Thinning the herd, in the garden and the office

Many vegetable seed packages tell you how far apart you should space, but also when you should “thin” the crops. It’s something I’ve always been bad at. I see a whole bunch of radish tops and I get excited and I don’t want to thin them out. I mean, firstly, mother nature doesn’t thin them out, so I clearly don’t need to.

Also, the idea is that really all I care about is the total amount of radish right? Not exactly that each individual radish is as big as possible, right?

You get this problem in the office as well, and I’ve been guilty of this in the past. The thinking goes that It’s okay to have some low performing folks as long as your total output is higher. It’s okay to tolerate mediocrity because the pain and the work and the impact on morale of going thru firing someone or going thru telling someone their performance isn’t up to par might not be worth it.

The problem is, when I had many radishes growing in close proximity none of them really matured, they were just some weird radish-like monstrosities.

And I’m sure you can figure out with the foreshadowing here, my thesis here is that the same happens in an office. When you start to accept mediocrity, you end up having more and more mediocrity.

It’s really tough and really challenging to have all the hard conversations about performance. It’s tough to take the time to reflect on why you hired these people, what influenced your decisions that proved to be wrong, what mistakes you made, how you could of better set them up for success. It’s really tough to accept that you made a mistake and you need to address it, that you need to then follow thru on firing those people (performance improvement plans rarely, if ever, fix the situation).

I haven’t always been able to do that hard work, and it’s always easier to see problems when it’s not you who has to deal with them, but hiring and firing is the most important thing to an org. It’s the one thing you should devote the most resources to.

Who you have on your team is more important than your team’s mission or it’s strategy. It’s more important than how you do things, it’s more important than the right leadership. Having the right people will let you improve your strategy, it’ll help you tweak your mission. Having the best strategy doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right people. So start pulling out the bad radishes as soon as possible.

Garden beds

I’m not sure if I did an update on the garden bed since the first one was built. We’ve now added 2 more. Only one more of them with the landscaping ties, the last one with fence board (we had more dirt and we didn’t want to really pay the extra for the landscaping ties on the last one. We’ll probably redo it in ~5 ish years if/when the wood starts to rot.


I love the re-store, it’s the habitat for humanity store where you can buy random building supplies. You never know what you’re going to find, but whatever it is, it’ll be a good deal and the money goes to habitat for humanity.

Anyway last year sometime I found these rocksolid garage floor coating for $50 a box (usually ~250). The reviews are a bit hit and miss, but most of them just mentioned that you’d need more than they said. So since I thought our garage was around 500sqft I bought 5 boxes which would allegedly do more than enough (625sqft).

Turns out our garage is more like 625sqft and putting just the right amount on was really not enough. You could see thru the coating to the floor.

It was a pain to get on and it took way longer to dry than they mention (they said 8-12h, but it wasn’t really ready even after 72h.

We got some more boxes after complaining to rustoleum and while it’s a bit better it’s still not great.

Anyway, here’s how it looked like:

We plan on adding another 3 boxes that we’re getting from rustoleum and we’re hoping it’ll be a bit smoother and less spotty. We’ll see. Either way, our garage is now ready to play ball hockey in.

Many thoughts, few posts

Recently I’ve been having a lot of thoughts but they haven’t translated into posts. I think this is because, since this is public and friends, family, work, can all see it, things need to be at least slightly polished.

I do think that’s a bit BS since it means against living authentically (and by doing so, increasing the amount of mis-information or ignorance in the world [IMHO, living honestly and authentically is the only way to help the world get better since it’s only with better data about the world that we can make wiser decisions about it]) but I recently don’t want to have the tough conversations that will happen if I just write everything I’m thinking. I don’t want to have to explain to some well meaning family member that yes, things are fine even if I talk about all the things that are on fire. (This also applies to friends and co-workers, but family is the usual suspect.)

I’ve started writing some drafts since that seems like a good balance.

I have one I’m working on that I think will be titled “Buddhism, Rage Against the Machine and George Bernard Shaw”

Hopefully at some point I’ll find a way to massage all these opinions in a way that won’t “offend my political connects”

If not, they’ll be sneakily published without being posted anywhere. (I mean, if it’s not on social media, it might as well not exist)

Y fait beau aujourd’hui

English automated translation follows

C’est 15C en se moment et c’est ridicule comment du bien sa fait. Genre, c’est la premiere journée que je peut etre comfortablement dans mon screened in porch. On a été pour une marche, on avais pas besoin de manteau, y’avais un beau soleil.

Je sais que l’hiver est pas finit. Et pas juste pcq mes parents mon envoyer une photo de la nouvelle dump de neige que y on eu mais aussi pcq je sais que y neige souvent a Ottawa en avril. Cela étant dit, le printemps approche tout doucement.

J’ai commencer a planter des raises dans la maison. Pas vraiment pcq j’ai besoin plus de plant de fraise mais plutot par ce que sa me donne quelque chose a faire en attendant que je peut jardiner dehors. Y reste au moins 6 semaine avant que on peut penser a planter dehors mais on y arrive.

On avais pas mal de plan pour la cours encore cette année mais je pense que avec la pandemic on va en mettre plusieurs en pause. Focuser plus sur apprécier la cours que esseyer de l’amilioré tsé?

Automatted English Translation: (deepL)

It’s 15C right now and it’s ridiculous how good it’s doing. Like, this is the first day that I’ve been comfortable in my screened in porch. We went for a walk, we didn’t need coats, it was sunny.

I know winter’s not over yet. And not just because my parents sent me a picture of the new snow dump we had there but also because I know it snows a lot in Ottawa in April. That being said, spring is slowly approaching.

I started planting strawberries in the house. Not really because I need more strawberry plants but because it gives me something to do while I’m waiting for me to be able to garden outside. It takes at least 6 weeks before you can think about planting outside, but you (editor’s note: we’ll) get there.

We had a lot of plans for the class (editor’s note: yard) again this year but I think with the pandemic we’re gonna put a few on hold. Focus more on enjoying the class (editor’s note: yard) than trying to improve it.

The Pandemic is Overwhelming

I’ve found it very hard to get stuff done the last few days. I had a burst of productivity when there was a fixed list of things to do. But now, in relation to basic income work and trying to spread the word and putting on a social media presence and a website and the like I just feel overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start.

Then the guilt of being able to help in a time like this and not contributing enough gets to me. It’s ironic that the guilt of being able to do something and then not doing it feeds into this downwards spiral.

And yes I know the “it’s not on you individually to shoulder the weight of the world” and all that shit. But I don’t believe it. I think if it’s not on me then on who is it? I have enough friends in the medical field to have a glimpse into the shit show that this is starting to be. I’m sure it’s incredibly rough and I’m sure they have days they don’t feel like they can keep going. But their contribution pales to the shit I’m doing (which is very little).

I’m not sure how to get out of this rut. I know it’s one small step at a time. You eat an elephant one bite at a time but right now, I think the elephant is sitting on me.

Stock photography never disappoints

The Wellbeing economy

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the future of work. I’m sure you know I’m a big advocate of a basic income and thinking thru the changes it can have to society is very interesting. The recent pandemic stuff I think will just increase societal change at an even greater pace.

One thing that has been constant and will increase is automation. Many of the jobs right now where people are being put at risk are retail jobs. Self checkout is probably going to increase exponentially as people want to distance themselves as much as possible. But I think those predictions are a bit banal at this point. Everyone knows that’s going to happen and the world will be changed. And while we do need a basic income for the transition, I’m not pessimistic about the future.

And the reason for that is that I think society / the “economy” will change once again. We went from agriculture, to factories, to services. The next step I think is the “Wellbeing Economy”.

It’ll be a great resurgence of soft skills. Everyone will have a counsellor / therapist, we’ll have more physiotherapists, nutritionists, massage therapists, “life coaches”, etc.

Basically, we’ll move from provide services to providing wellbeing. If that’s what comes next, I’d be okay with that.

Basically, we’ll move from provide services to providing wellbeing. If that’s what comes next, I’d be okay with that.