New Year Resolutions, based on hope and a refreshed awareness

Perhaps some observations are just more obvious at this time of year. And perhaps it’s never too late to modify behaviour

New Year Resolutions, based on hope and a refreshed awarenessAs the ‘Ho ho ho’ spirit fades and the reality of a new year looms like an enormous new moon, I’m summoned back to the keyboard. Why not try one more time? an inner voice calls, lightly mocking my compulsion to seek somewhat new and beckoning pathways. Why not sketch out a template for personal…

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over it

The full measure of the high-end European sports car, with a symphony of mechanical noises emanating from the engine

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over itBuilt on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and patterned after one of Audi’s LeMans racers, the Audi R8 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. Initially offered as a two-door hardtop, and later as a Spyder convertible, it was an instant sensation. Easily the most eye-catching production car ever put forward by the German…

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over it

The full measure of the high-end European sports car, with a symphony of mechanical noises emanating from the engine

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over itBuilt on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and patterned after one of Audi’s LeMans racers, the Audi R8 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. Initially offered as a two-door hardtop, and later as a Spyder convertible, it was an instant sensation. Easily the most eye-catching production car ever put forward by the German…

Five steps to improving your life in 2019

By focusing on simple things that improve your life, you'll become a happier person – enabling you to make a broader contribution

Five steps to improving your life in 2019I relish the opportunity to reflect on the year – and give thought to what I want to be different going forward, and how I will accomplish that. I gave up making actual resolutions years ago; like everyone else, my follow-through was short-lived and ended in disappointment. But I like to experiment with new habits…

Drawing out the gifts every child carries

The key is to expose young people to many things and let them decide where they want to excel

Drawing out the gifts every child carriesThe greatest gift to a teacher is seeing former students doing well in life. I’ve been teaching for so long that I’m watching the children of former students enter my classroom. I laughingly refer to myself as an “educational grandparent,” but I can’t deny the joy of this experience. As teachers, we know that we’re…

The last Blockbuster in America

The free market only sustains a faltering enterprise for so long. Consumer demands rapidly change, new products are always waiting

The last Blockbuster in AmericaJust about every year before Christmas, I sit down next to my wonderfully decorated tree, often with a beverage in hand, and clean up my computer files. Inevitably, I’ll unearth a few column ideas I didn’t get around to writing. This year, I found one older topic that I’ve decided was still intriguing enough to…

Preparing for another Christmas at Skelhp

There are lights to hang, cleanup work to be done inside and out, kindling to split, a turkey to order and a final round of gifts to buy

Preparing for another Christmas at SkelhpIt’s very calm this morning and still a dark grey overcast at 7 a.m. The offshore islands are shrouded in mist. There’s no sign of human habitation right across the southern horizon. No rising plumes of chimney smoke are visible. No boats or tugs and booms are passing. And it’s cold in the house. Time…

Roomba i7+ robot vacuum just keeps learning and cleaning

With advanced smart technology, it cleverly cleans and empties even while you’re away

Roomba i7+ robot vacuum just keeps learning and cleaningThe last thing most people want to do is vacuum. So the new Wi-Fi-connected iRobot Roomba i7+ vacuum makes perfect sense. Until now, the technology hasn’t been up for the job. But this might be the robot vacuum you’ve been waiting for. The iRobot designers reimagined the Roomba using the latest technology. It adapts to…

Buying used: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid stands test of time

Owners tend to keep them forever, given their reliable and economic performance

Buying used: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid stands test of timeFord Fusion Hybrids of the 2010 vintage can be in short supply. Owners tend to keep them forever. Introduced in 2010, the Fusion Hybrid was powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder gas engine mated to a pair of electric motors and a constantly variable transmission. The engine featured Atkinson technology, which basically lowers the compression and…

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lights

Across traditions and time, there has been a longing for light to brighten the darkness of winter

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lightsI had a striking visual of light in darkness early one morning this week. A bright light, probably the planet Venus, shone with extraordinary clarity and pierced an otherwise black sky. Given my Christian faith and the time of year – less than a week until Christmas – my thoughts turned to the legendary Star of…