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Inspiration Is for Amateurs: How to Become a Creative Professional

professional
The following is a reprint of an article by Brett & Kate McKay that appears in the Art of Manliness web site.

Imagine, if you will, a day in the life of Jack London — fascinating adventurer and author of hundreds of short stories and more than 50 books, including classics like Call of the Wild and White Fang.

Come into his room on a typical morning, and see him propped up against a pile of pillows in bed. A mound of cigarettes sits on a plate on his nightstand. Notes hang from a clothesline strung across a corner of the room. The author is writing his latest story in longhand on a pad resting on his lap.

What’s London’s state of mind as he brings to life another of his muscular tales of the Klondike? Is he glowing with the vigor and inspiration that comes from laboring at the very vocation he was born to do? Do the muses descend upon his keen mind and practically compel his hand across the paper? Is he animated by passion, lost in the reverie of creative work?

Decidedly not.

Rather, London describes his work this way: “I go each day to my daily task as a slave would go to his task. I detest writing.” And on another occasion: “I am nothing more than a fairly good artisan. I hate my profession. I detest the profession I have chosen. I hate it, I tell you, I hate it!”

If London disliked writing so much, why did he pursue this career? Simply because it was “the best way [he] had ever found to make a very good living.” London had a knack for writing, and it paid well, allowing him to support his family and expand his ranch, so he struggled through it nearly every single day for the last decade and a half of his life.

London may not have liked his profession, but he pursued it as an absolute professional.
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SCC rules management directive not reasonable; does not engage s.7 liberty interests.

directive
"In the early 1990s, the employer established a standby shift system to respond to urgent immigration matters outside of normal business hours, whereby a lawyer in the Immigration Law Directorate in the Quebec Regional Office of the Department of Justice Canada would be available evenings and weekends to attend on short notice to any urgent stay applications that might arise. Until 2010, the system worked on a volunteer basis. Lawyers who volunteered to cover standby shifts were compensated with paid leave and received the same amount of compensation irrespective of whether they were called into work. In March 2010, the lawyers were informed that they would no longer be paid for time spent on standby. Instead, they would be compensated — through either overtime pay or paid leave, depending on their seniority status — only for the time they spent working if they received an urgent request. With this change in policy, there were no longer enough volunteers to cover the standby periods. In response, the employer issued a directive making after‑hour standby shifts mandatory. The Association of Justice Counsel then filed a grievance on behalf of lawyers working in the Immigration Law Directorate.

The collective agreement at issue is silent on standby duty, but it specifies that the employer retains all management rights and powers that have not been modified or limited by the collective agreement. The labour adjudicator concluded that the directive was not a reasonable or fair exercise of management rights and infringed the lawyers’ right to liberty under s. 7 of the Charter. He ordered the employer to immediately cease applying the directive. The Federal Court of Appeal allowed the government’s application for judicial review and set aside the adjudicator’s decision."

The S.C.C. (with two judges dissenting in part)
allowed the appeal in part; the adjudicator’s decision that the directive contravened the collective agreement is reasonable and his order that the employer stop applying the directive should be reinstated. Read More...

SCC rules resort approval does not infringe First Nation's freedom of religion.

grizzly bear
"The Ktunaxa are a First Nation whose traditional territories include an area in British Columbia that they call Qat’muk. Qat’muk is a place of spiritual significance for them because it is home to Grizzly Bear Spirit, a principal spirit within Ktunaxa religious beliefs and cosmology. Glacier Resorts sought government approval to build a year‑round ski resort in Qat’muk. The Ktunaxa were consulted and raised concerns about the impact of the project, and as a result, the resort plan was changed to add new protections for Ktunaxa interests. The Ktunaxa remained unsatisfied, but committed themselves to further consultation. Late in the process, the Ktunaxa adopted the position that accommodation was impossible because the project would drive Grizzly Bear Spirit from Qat’muk and therefore irrevocably impair their religious beliefs and practices. After efforts to continue consultation failed, the respondent Minister declared that reasonable consultation had occurred and approved the project. The Ktunaxa brought a petition for judicial review of the approval decision on the grounds that the project would violate their constitutional right to freedom of religion, and that the Minister’s decision breached the Crown’s duty of consultation and accommodation. The chambers judge dismissed the petition, and the Court of Appeal affirmed that decision."

The
S.C.C. held (9:0, with separate partially concurring reasons by two judges) that the appeal is dismissed. Read More...

Is It Really Easier To Dismiss An Employee During His Or Her Probationary Period?

probation
BC Supreme Court confirms the lower threshold for dismissing an employee without notice during their probationary period.

Many employers require new employees to complete a probationary period to allow the employer to assess the employee's suitability and fit within the organization. In
Langford v Carson Air Ltd., the B.C. Supreme Court considered an employer's ability to dismiss an employee without notice during the probationary period, and offered some guidance on the actual purpose of a probationary period. Read More...

A Man’s Guide to Fragrance: How to Choose and Wear Cologne

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The following is a reprint of an article that appears in the Art of Manliness web site.

On my recent trip to Atlanta I was the last person to board my plane.

I asked the stewardess if I could check my bag, and as she reached over to grab my luggage she immediately looked up and said, “You smell wonderful!”

Now I’m a married man, but I have to admit that this compliment from a beautiful woman had me feeling good the entire flight.

And that’s why this matters, gentlemen.

Fragrance is an invisible part of our personal style, and it has a powerful effect on how people see and remember you.

A good cologne offers numerous benefits, from making you more attractive, to helping you feel less stressed and more confident.

And yet 80% of men do not wear fragrance on a regular basis!

Why is that?

I feel the main reason is a lack of basic information and education. Most men who use colognes and perfumes do so because they had a father or role model who introduced them to the practice. Here in the U.S., the industry is dominated by women and most men are ignorant of the terminology.

Additionally, there is a strong fear of overusing fragrance and the repercussions it can have on our reputation. No one wants to be known as “Pepe Le Pew.”

Thankfully, a working knowledge of how to understand fragrance and wear it well is easily within reach, and we’ll provide it to you today!
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Alcoholic Employee Reinstated After Employer's Compassionate Approach Put In Question Seriousness Of Previous Warnings

alcohol
There is an old, and somewhat cynical saying, that no good deed goes unpunished. While I personally disagree with that saying, one employer must believe it after a decision it received.

In the case, an adjudicator reinstated an alcoholic employee who was dismissed after he was found to be under the influence of alcohol at work. The employee had previously been disciplined for alcohol consumption, lateness/absenteeism and abandoning his shift, and on one occasion had entered into a "last chance agreement". Read More...

9 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler Without Using a Smartphone

crying toddler
The following is a reprint of an article by Brett & Kate McKay that appears in the Art of Manliness web site.

You’re in a public place — say a restaurant or a doctor’s waiting room — and it’s taking longer to get your food or have your name called than you expected. Your toddler is starting to get restless. And cranky. Real cranky. She’s whining and teetering on the edge of a crying fit, and the other folks around you are glancing over with irritated, disapproving looks.

You don’t have any toys or books on you, making it extremely tempting to just shove your smartphone into your tyke’s pudgy little hands to instantly shut off the waterworks.

But, the idea that you should turn to your phone whenever you feel unhappy or bored is not exactly the kind of lesson you want to teach her; you want her to grow up to be able to entertain herself, absent a technological device. So you think about busting out some pen and paper games like hangman or tic-tac-toe, but she’s preliterate and only understands strategy in terms of figuring out how to poop so no one sees her.

What to do?

Well, with a few completely accoutrement-free games in your metaphorical back pocket, you can easily improvise some games that’ll keep your little one happy and engaged before her chicken nuggets finally arrive. Here are 9 fun, brain-boosting ideas to keep on deck; some work better depending on age and ability, many can be modified to meet your toddler’s level of cognition (which is right around that of a golden retriever), and some will be equally enjoyed by the preschooler set on up. Experiment and see what captures your kiddos’ attention.
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The United States of Guns

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This series of news articles—clearly made up—appears on the Onion web site. They have captioned each: “”No Way To Prevent This,’ says only nation where this regularly happens.” Read More...

Men and Status: How Testosterone Fuels the Drive for Status

stare down
The following is a reprint of an article by Brett McKay that appears in the Art of Manliness web site.

Welcome back to our series on male status. This series aims to help men understand the way status affects our behaviour, and even physiology, so we can mitigate its ill effects, harness its positive ones, and generally get a handle on how best to manage its place in our lives.

In the last post, we discussed the way in which a desire for status is hardwired into our neurology, and how losing and gaining status affects the brain.

But status is not only woven into our brains; it’s also tied into our bodies. And the main driver behind the physiology of status is testosterone. Exactly how this hormone impacts our desire to gain and hold on to status is what we’ll delve into today.
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Sweet Jesus! President Quesada is Back! I hope you're wearing Depends-You'll need 'em!

fox_expresidente
I found this video clip through my favourite blogger, John Gruber. He quotes Vincent Fox saying “If that worn out baseball glove tightly gripping a turd can be president, then amigos, anyone can.” He says “Vincente Fox has Donald Trump’s number. More like this, please.” You have to watch this. It is hilarious.

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The Best Way to React When Someone Is Shouting at You in Anger

yelling
Yelling is a topic relevant to every person on this planet because everyone has raised their voice in anger during their lifetime. Some people yell on a regular basis, but we are all guilty of yelling at some point in life. There are ways to react to a yeller that will help diffuse them, rather than continue to escalate the situation.

Yelling is not healthy for relationships and its results do not yield long term positive results. A person may acquiesce to a yeller at the moment to get them to stop yelling, but once things get back to normal, they typically revert back, because the yelling hasn’t changed their mindset long term. For example, a Mom who yells at her kids to pick up their toys may actually result in the kids picking up their toys in that moment. However, it won’t change their mindset that they should pick up their toys consistently. Kids will learn to pick up if they have been conditioned with a reward or punishment system and they recognize the importance and value of picking up their toys.

Yelling is damaging to relationships. It is not a constructive way to deal with a difficult situation, yet every person engages in yelling. Some more than others. You should be aware of your own yelling, understand why some people are constant yellers, and also know how to deal with a yeller.

When someone is constantly yelling at you in life, they are displaying emotional tyranny over you. Their goal is to gain an upper hand in the situation and the yelling is their means of gaining control over you. It is a form of intimidation. The yelling may work temporarily. However, the long term sustainability of the results from yelling is not good, because it is a way of bullying someone into getting them to do what the yeller wants done. Yelling is not healthy for relationships, in fact it breaks down healthy communications and the closeness of relationships.
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