I started my first personal blog in December, 2000 on LiveJournal, but this site houses my (aspirationally) professional writing and reviews. To crib from Canadian author James Fell, I’m also an unapologetic virtue-signalling social justice warrior who wants to #smashthepatriarchy and to do my part as a man to help amplify the voices and writings of women and people of colour in an effort to help lovingly educate White men about their inherent privilege. (Admittedly this leads to many uncomfortable conversations in person and online, but I consider it a small price to pay in the light of the underlying reality of our society’s systemic racism and violent misogyny — all men have to try to become part of the solution and we don’t help anyone with our continued silence.)
At my core I’m a generalist and I’ll write about almost anything, but I’m usually most interested in writing about how to fix or improve something, and/or how to accurately identify what’s not working properly in a given system (I have a pathological notion that there’s always a plausible solution to every problem). In my professional life, I’ve written everything from software documentation to business plans to telemarketing scripts to corporate reports and marketing research analysis: all of it has been incredibly important stuff. I’ve also been a full-time stay-at-home dad since around 2005.
Most recently, my topics of interest have been focused on parenting and raising socially conscious and respectful kids; on how to recover from personal trauma and to effect positive personal behavioural change; and on the day-to-day functioning of our local and provincial governments. I’m a policy wonk and data geek at heart who is most happy digging deep into budgets, spreadsheets and planning documents to see exactly how effectively the resources in a given system are being used.
My connection to the health care system via my physician wife + my own efforts at improving my physical and mental health also drive my reading interests, and between March and June 2020, I (obsessively?) tracked Canada-wide COVID-19 stats + the various bits of writing and research I’d been reading about coronavirus epidemiology, disease modelling, economic re-opening dynamics and news coverage. These can all be found in my Facebook Notes archive, and my COVID-19 list on Twitter is filled with professional scientists, researchers and writers on the coronavirus pandemic.
For more info about me personally, please see my bio. I also play jazz saxophone, I was Chair of the Shannon Park School Advisory Council from 2012-2014, I used to be Vice-President of Programming for the Halifax Jazz Festival at JazzEast, and my most significant recent volunteer position has been as President of the Shearwater Bluefins Swim Club, a competitive youth swim team that trained out of CFB 12 Wing Shearwater.
I’m not a teacher, but I hold teachers, the teaching profession and public school education very close to my heart. I marched (with my kids) 4-5 times with the NSTU throughout their dispute with the McNeil Liberals in 2016-17, and I also testified at the Law Amendments Committee at that time. That experience fired me up about checking the effectiveness of local government and bureaucracy, and also inspired me to take out a subscription to Tim Bousquet’s adversarial online local newspaper, the Halifax Examiner.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Sincere Post Script (from 2017): As an affluent White member of Canada’s 1% who was also raised by a radical activist lesbian mom, I’ve always had an itch to spread the word to other White folks about our country’s violent colonial history and the oppression that European settlers to Canada have exacted on our First Nations Peoples, dating back to First Contact, leading up to as recently as when the last Residential School was closed in 1996, and continuing right through to the present day with the deplorable living conditions in so many of our First Nations communities. As if that weren’t enough White burden, I’m also pissed off about the insidious and systemic racism and misogyny that is rife throughout Canada and its many institutions. Aside from being well-informed politically and trying hard to raise intelligent and enlightened kids, I feel mostly powerless to do very much about any of this, but I do sincerely want to be part of the solution to the greatest possible degree.