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Into the Entrepreneurial Life of Freelance Writer Michael Kwan

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    Robin Sparkles

    Two months ago, inspired by the “Yappie” series by Wong Fu Productions on YouTube, I questioned whether I was a good Asian. A lot of that had to do with stereotypes, like whether I went to Kumon or if I drove a Toyota. But now, that got me thinking, how does the Canadian part of […]

    ~~ Continue reading Vlog #94: Am I a Good Canadian? on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    2018 Ford Explorer #5DadsGoWild

    When I was a college student, I drove around in a little sports coupe. It was nowhere near the fastest thing on the road, but I threw some money on it nonetheless. I got some strut bars to stiffen up the chassis, a short ram intake and catback exhaust for “performance” upgrades, and some new […]

    ~~ Continue reading Driving the 2018 Ford Explorer to #5DadsGoWild on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    #5DadsGoWild

    As I mentioned in the vlog last week, I’ve never been properly camping. The last time I went “camping” was over 20 years ago in high school, and that was when we had cabins, beds, heat, electricity and teacher supervision. Needless to say, I was quite worried about whether or not I would be able […]

    ~~ Continue reading The #5DadsGoWild Camping Gear Roundup on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    This Is Us (Olivia Maine)

    [You’re jealous] of him. He’s changing. And that’s scary for you because you want to change too. You’re scared that you’ll lose all the weight and that nothing will have changed, right? That you will discover that the person who you’ve always been is who you truly are. And all your dreams of the kind […]

    ~~ Continue reading Sunday Snippet: Olivia Maine (This Is Us) on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    #5DadsGoWild

    I’m a city boy. I’ve said this before and I’ll likely say it again. That’s why I felt I was probably one of the worst candidates for this #5DadsGoWild camping trip. With zero survival skills and even less camping gear, I was stepping well outside my comfort zone. But I’m glad I did, even if […]

    ~~ Continue reading Vlog #95: The Complete #5DadsGoWild Camp Experience on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Fall colors

    As you might already know, I do these monthly speedlinks that I call the What’s Up Wednesdays series. For the September collection, we’ve got bloggers dropping some mad wisdom. Or something. Life is hard. It’s full of struggles and challenges and hardships. How can you keep going? Borrow a page from Art Eddy and derive […]

    ~~ Continue reading What’s Up Wednesdays: Fall Wisdom on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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  • 09/28/18--11:45: On Complaining and Giving Up
  • Giving up

    Life is hard. Everyone you encounter on the street, just as much as everyone you encounter online, is going through something. The friend who’s cracking self-deprecating jokes all the time could be suffering from depression. The picture perfect family you see on Instagram could have a household of chaos when the camera is off. We […]

    ~~ Continue reading On Complaining and Giving Up on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Edgar Allan Poe

    From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were—I have not seen As others saw—I could not bring My passions from a common spring— From the same source I have not taken My sorrow—I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone— And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone Even if you […]

    ~~ Continue reading Sunday Snippet: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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  • 10/01/18--09:18: Vlog #96: Into the Woods
  • Lost in the woods

    After the 17+ minute behemoth of a vlog last week, I thought we might want to take it a little easier with this week’s vlog. In that spirit, I decided to take a stroll through the middle of the urban wilderness with my four-year-old in tow. Look at us! We’re getting into nature and making […]

    ~~ Continue reading Vlog #96: Into the Woods on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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  • 10/03/18--09:30: The Other Preschool Parents
  • Preschooler with parents

    Now that September is in the rear-view mirror — seriously, it felt like it lasted all of three seconds — many of us have fallen into our more predictable routines again. Schedules provide structure, and structure is supposed to provide stability. For me, that means going back to the usual pattern of drop-off and pickup […]

    ~~ Continue reading The Other Preschool Parents on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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  • 10/05/18--14:41: Making the Lists in 2018
  • Canadian Dads On Instagram

    I’m not normally one to toot my own horn. Okay, that’s not exactly true. It’s more like I’m never especially comfortable with overt self-promotion, but as a blogger, freelance writer, and dare I say “influencer,” shameless self-promotion almost comes with the territory. If I want to craft together some semblance of success, I need people […]

    ~~ Continue reading Making the Lists in 2018 on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Judge Gen, The Good Place

    I still believe that the only reason that you improved in Michael’s fake neighborhood is because you thought there was a reward at the end of the rainbow. You’re supposed to do good things because you’re good, not because you’re seeking moral dessert. When it comes to most TV sitcoms, we expect them to be […]

    ~~ Continue reading Sunday Snippet: The Good Place on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Dad blogger rap battle

    It’s Thanksgiving today in Canada, and families across the country are getting together to enjoy turkey with all the fixings. Me, I’m feeling as sick as a dog, but I am thankful for the supportive dad blogger community. I posted about being sick on Facebook, a friend asked if that meant I was sick on […]

    ~~ Continue reading Vlog #97: Epic Rap Battle of Dad Bloggery on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Diagramming on a whiteboard

    Just buckle down and get it done, right? If only productivity were so simple. As someone who is self-employed and works from home, I oftentimes struggle with getting it all done. I’ve got my responsibilities here on this blog, as well as the weekly vlog, the work I do with my freelance writing clients, the […]

    ~~ Continue reading The Venn Diagram of Productivity on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Political protest

    It’s civic election season here in Metro Vancouver (and I think throughout the province of British Columbia). That means we’re electing (or re-electing) mayors, city councillors, and school trustees. South of the border, Americans will be heading to the polls next month for the mid-term elections too. Democracy in action, right? Or is it democracy […]

    ~~ Continue reading But I’m Not Interested in Politics on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Reese Witherspoon

    I feel very blessed to have two wonderful, healthy children who keep me completely grounded, sane and throw up on my shoes just before I go to an awards show just so I know to keep it real. I don’t recall exactly where I first read this, so do let me know via the comments […]

    ~~ Continue reading Sunday Snippet: Reese Witherspoon on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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    Google Pixel 3 XL unboxing

    As best as I can recall, the most money I’ve ever spent on a cellphone would be somewhere around the $400 mark. That’s how much I paid, I think, for an unlocked Samsung D900. This was a cool slider phone, well before the dawn of smartphones. From what I remember, I also paid about the […]

    ~~ Continue reading Vlog #98: Unboxing the Google Pixel 3 XL on Beyond the Rhetoric.


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