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More customer service fun

Received this one from fitbit this morning:

Let me translate:

Hi Calvin,

Thank you very much for getting back with us and providing us with the information requested. Your help through this process is highly appreciated.

Translation: Okay, we feel a tiny bit bad for making you jump through all these hoops to get to this point.

Your happiness and satisfaction remains to be our number one goal and priority. We understand that the situation encountered with your Aria scale is not ideal....

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My scented candle making process

Here it is, in condensed form:

  • Fill up the ziploc container with wax flakes
  • Microwave at 100% for 2 minutes
  • Add a few more flakes, but don’t fill it up all the way
  • Microwave again at 100% for 2 minutes
  • Take the temperature
  • Microwave at 100% in 30-second increments until temperature reaches 185 F
  • Let i cool to about 120 F
  • Add whatever the essential oils you want. Haven't figured out exactly how much. I guess that also depends on how strong they are.
  • Thread the wick, put it in the glass
  • ...

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Venting

My friend and colleague Nick told me about a therapist who'd told him that the first 5-10 sessions, people usually need to just vent and get all their anger out. Only then can we get to the real issues. I'm thinking there might be a point here.

Then this morning, I was listening to a book on the law of attraction, and it mentioned that if you're feeling depressed, moving from depression to anger is actually a step up, a move in the right direction. It's a first step towards joy and bliss...

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Apart from what you're thinking and believing ...

One of the things Byron Katie kept saying at her workshop at Esalen last weekend was this:

Apart from what you're thinking and believing, are you okay?

You might notice, that if you really check in, and you're honest with yourself, the answer is probably "yes".

It falls well in line with everything else I've heard or read from her, but that particular way of phrasing it was new to me. And I love it.

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Clear intentions

Having clear intentions is the ENTIRE game.

We can spend endless amounts of time and energy flapping about when our intentions aren't clear.

We can spend so much effort trying to work towards a goal, pretending to be working towards a goal. But if we're not 100% clear on what we want, if we're split, torn, if we have hesitations, concerns, doubt, worry, fear, guilt, or anything pulling is away from our goal, we're not going to get there.

In that case, it's much better to stop what we're...

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No One Murdered Because Of This Image

One of the top one or two biggest issues we have in politics and public life in general right now is the limits to free speech, BAMN being a prime example ("no free speech for fascists"!), though it's much much bigger than them.

What pains me is that it's mostly the left that wants to enforce this taboo on what can be said and what can't be said.

The only limits on free speech should be direct threats of violence. Anything beyond that inevitably leads to authoritarianism, which is where...

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Climate Science

Around the year 2000 I had a conversation with a friend about Bjørn Lomborg, who'd been thrown in the global spotlight thanks to his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist.

I haven't read the book, but I got his main points: Climate change is real, but a lot of the science out there is overstated, and the way we're trying to approach it is costly and ineffective. Let's apply a cost/benefit analysis to how we approach it. Let's invest in innovation, not subsidies or taxes. And let's spend...

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Not Sorry

A while back my friend Nick Gray sent out a link to this cartoon. It's fantastic. Click on it now.

Here's one:

If you want to say "Thank you for your patience", don't say "Sorry I'm always late".

I've really taken this to heart. I rarely say sorry anymore.

Apologizing always felt weird to me. My dad would sometimes make me do it. Would make me apologize to my brother, for example. I never quite understood it. How does the apology make things better? I did what I did in the moment because it...

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An Open Letter to James Dyson

Dear James

I know that on the surface, this is a petty sob story. I bought one of your vacuums. After about two and a half years, it stopped working. I had a bad experience with customer service. They said to buy a new battery. I did, and it still doesn't work, and I'm reluctant to invest even more into this machine.

"Wah, wah, wah. Throw it out, buy a new one, get over it." says the voice in my head.

Yes, but ... there's more to this story.

Here's why this bothers me, and why I'm writing...

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The struggle

A draft from July 2011. Publishing now.

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There’s a struggle between our inner Self and our outer learned, adapted sense of self.

Deconstructing our personality structure is a necessary part of the process of discovering our true inner Self.

Compare that historic sense of the larger meaning of our natural deaths and rebirths with how today, when a person’s personality structure deconstructs, he or she may be shamed, ridiculed, or pitied, and nearly always distanced by...

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