Tip: dont watch the clock at night

I heard a good tip the other day when I was discussing how interrupted my sleep was getting. With a small child, I’ve become a much lighter sleeper. And with all the thoughts constantly running through my head sometimes I wake up processing the ideas. At that point I end up looking at the clock, doing a quick assessment of how much time I have before I have to get up and trying to race to get back to sleep. Bad practise.

There’s no reason to see the time at night. My iPhone is set to wake me up every morning if my daughters singing from her crib over the baby monitor hasn’t already awoken me. But at least the alarm tells me when I have to drag myself out of the comfy warm bed. Since there is no reason to check the time on the clock, I’ve turned it away so I can’t see it anymore. The first night I was reminding myself not to look and it definitely helped not break me out of my slumber.

Give it a try.

what’s your work environment like?

View the image large

i’m always interested in seeing what other people’s work environment is like. are you at a desk all day? are you outdoors? are you working with people? do you see the same thing every day or are you mobile?

i usually work from the office most days of the week and i’ve got a pretty great setup. i used to have a window office, but i can’t complain about this one – i’ve had a lot worse over the years.

i took this panorama image with the Pano app for the iPhone. It stitches a series of photos together and it was on sale, so I snapped it up for $0.99. Get it while it’s on sale.

take some photos of your office and post them online. what’s your spot like?

the whistler trip chronicles

Blackcomb from Showcase T-Bar

the yearly snowboarding trip is over, and this year it was a great one. over 20 inches (almost 2 feet!) of snow in 4 days made it a blast.

i’ve been taking a snowboard trip every year for at least the last 10 years. thanks to my wife for letting me go – she knows it’s the most fun i have each year and how important it is. also, I get to go on these trips with my closest friends – thanks to their wives for letting them go as well. since it’s been a long-standing tradition, it’s usually just accepted that we go each year. if we were to start this yearly trip now when we have mortgages, kids and a lot less disposable cash it likely would be a bit harder to convince everyone. 90% of the time, the trip is to Whistler Blackcomb, but sometimes we’ll mix it up and go to Austria or go heliboarding.

Whistler just has too much to offer since it’s so huge and always different. It’s my home away from home, one of the places I most spend time each year. and we always end up with accommodations within walking distance to the hill. lots of thanks to Nicole and her family for letting us stay at her place many times.

this year I was really looking forward to the trip for 2 reasons – the riding and the bro-time. with kids abound for all of us, I don’t get to see my friends as much any more and when I do, it’s usually quick chats between watching the kids run around. this trip would be days without kid interruptions.

this year i had considered going elsewhere (Kicking Horse for one option) since I thought it was going to be very crowded and overpriced due to the Olympics being held there. apparently, i wasn’t the only person thinking this way as it was very quiet before and after the Olympics. we talked to locals and they said it was packed during the olympics but when we were there a few weeks later, it was nearly empty. also, there were good deals to try to attract tourists. but for the most part, we chose to go back to Whistler because we’re lazy and cheap. we know the routine, we had airmiles to burn – we booked the trip within a day of discussing it. and this year it definitely paid off.

we flew out to vancouver on Thursday afternoon and flew back on Monday afternoon – typically we just ride 3 days, but for this trip we stayed to ride on Monday as well so we could get some extra time in the powder. before we headed out west, we were watching the snow reports and it was snowing constantly and big amounts. i kept thinking – “why couldn’t we be out there now?”. it was being advertised as the 3rd highest snow season on record and has since become the 2nd highest. thankfully, we got to experience a lot of that snowfall.

there was some fresh snow the previous 48 hours before we arrived and we ended up with a couple more inches our first day out. day 2 saw no new snow. but days 3 & 4 were legendary. we’d been watching the forecast and it kept getting better and better. on day 3 we woke up to 5″ of new snow at midstation and it was even more at higher elevations. a full day of riding and it kept dumping big snowflakes all day. on day 4, we woke up to good (or rather great) and bad news – the good news is that there was another 12″ of fresh new snow. the bad news is we only had 3 hours to ride it since we needed to leave at lunch to make it to the airport. so we rode and got buried and played in the snow as much as we could that day. snow days like that don’t come around that often, so when they do and you’re able to be there for it you have to soak up the experience – it could be another long while until you see it again. i kept telling myself as i was riding – “have fun, remember this, and live in the moment”

thankfully, I’ve got photos and video to remember the days. and you can experience a little bit of those days as well. check out the video. the real snow fun starts at 3:30 in the video.

iPad – to buy or not?

Today is the day many people have been waiting for, and lining up at Apple Stores for – at least in the US (Canada has to wait another few weeks). The iPad has arrived. And since I’m an Apple Fanboy (I’ve got 4 Mac’s currently running in my possession, not including my iPhone) a lot of people have asked me if I’m going to get an iPad. And response lately is “No”. That’s before seeing one or trying it out. I’m sure the envy and coolness factor will definitely try to persuade me buy one, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And for me, it just doesn’t make sense.


The usage covered by the iPad just isn’t something I need. The iPad is an around-the-house casual internet appliance. Music listening, email, internet browsing, e-Book reader, possibly light gaming. A lot of these scenarios I’ve already got covered with my iPhone. I see the iPad as a larger, faster iPhone with some additional capabilities. But if I wanted a 10″ computer, I’d want to be able to do much more with it. The Pad doesn’t even multitask. So you can’t listen to music while you’re surfing or tapping out some email. Granted, it looks like it does some things VERY well – movie watching could be great. The book reader looks impressive as well.

Since I want more from a 10″ computer, I got a netbook last summer and for my usage, it fits perfectly. I recently took my netbook on a trip rather than lugging my 15″ MacBook Pro and it was great for editing photos, editing video, and even listening to music while surfing. Not to mention a physical keyboard. Combining the portability of the netbook with tethering from my iPhone and I’ve got mobile internet anywhere. It’s a great combination.

And I’m not the only person thinking this way. Another Canadian and photographer, MostlyLisa summed up her 5 reasons why she’s not buying an iPad either