Motto: the occurence of things that
can’t happen always takes place in april.
In April 2007, I finally decided that medical school wasn’t for me, nor me for it, closing the book on the primary impetus that’d driven me to pursue biological sciences as a field of study for the better part of the previous decade.
In April 2008, abhorring the mere suggestion of a life wasted in university laboratories, I graduated from my degree in Immunology and Infection to sell the most blue-collar consumable this side of blue jeans : Chevy pick-up trucks. Decked out in my Prada loafers, Hugo Boss dress shirts, Theory slacks, and all the grooming befitting a broadly traveled, trilingual, Jewish upper-middle classman, I fit in about as well as a 7′-tall Thai ladyboy in an Arkansas bingo hall. But hey, I had to learn to sell.
In April 2009, I was accepted into an after-degree program and so gave my notice of resignation at the dealership just as GM was falling behind on its debt payments and headed for Chapter 11 reorganisation. I spent the then-liberated summer golfing, tuning up my game to its pinnaclei and later that summer going on to win the Men’s Club Championship at my home club in a two-hole playoff, solidifying my rank as one of the top 20 amateur golfers in this golf-crazed city.ii
In April 2010, I was back in school and I’m not sure sure that anything of any particularly notoriety happened personally, but Russia and the US did sign a nuclear arms pact and the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland did explode. So there’s that.
In April 2011, I began my practicum as a Public Health Inspector with the provincial government, thus commencing a soul-wrenching 2.5-year stint in civil service. In slightly better news that month, Japan came to terms with the depth and severity of the Fukushima disaster, raising its assessment to Level 7 : the same as Chernobyl.iii
In April 2012, I announced that I’d been banned from several auto manufacturer press fleets, kicking off a fire-storm of vitriolic windbagery and ear-biting frothcanos over at TTAC.iv Humourously, these first bannings were but the tip of that iceberg ; it wasn’t long before I was banned from all the press fleets I’d previously enjoyed access to. Not that this was particularly dismaying, I’d been pushing the boundaries of their patience in concert with my rising disinterest in the perpetual and flippant frivolity of the entire journalistic (ie. prisoner of war) pursuit. It was neat at first, but the kinds of vehicles circulating through this woebegone corner of the frozen globe elicited all the passion of an employee performance review in my loins.v In other news, that same month I also returned to Israel for the third time, this time bringing my then-fiancée along with. Her first time to the Eastern Mediterranean, it’s there where she bought her wedding gown, where we met the only non-Canadian-based extended family I have, and where I drove my first all-electric car : the since defunct Better Place Renault ZE.vi
In April 2013, I spent three sleepless weeks coming to terms with how little I knew about peer-to-peer networks, cryptography, secure computing environments, as well as the relationship between scarcity, liquidity, fungibility, and perceived value. It was then that I thrust myself into the mad, mad world I can no longer seem to live without : Bitcoin.
In April 2015, freedom smiled radiantly as TMSR~ graduated from warring with a scammy pretense to relevance to tackling a dimly illuminated hedge fund head-on.vii I could hardly take an appreciable amount of the credit, if any at all, but some of the deeper flesh wounds inflicted on Gavin did just so happen to be administered on these very pages in both articles and comments.
In April 2016, I came within inches of buying a pillar of the nascent Bitcoin economy, only to watch it slip through my fingers just as the seeds I’d been planting in my dual life away from TMSR~ suddenly, and with pent-up perk, began to bear a bumper crop of sweet, fibrous fruit. With new Building Codes and more specifically new Energy Codes on the near horizon in several of our key markets, our fibreglass composite curtain wall framing systemviii – is attracting attention and interest like never before in its 2.5-year history,ix the entire period of which I’ve been the overseer of its management, marketing, funding, partnership recruitment and advanced testing. That this explosion in enthusiasm for our building material – in addition to the usual duties of new fatherhood, not to mention a few other side projects buying, selling, and fixing-up cars and even real estate, plus the fact that even kulaks have to work (if not in the same way nor for the same reasons as “the people”) – has suddenly left just a fraction of the time I’d previously been committing to the TMSR forum,x where I’ve been yeshivaing daily for more than two years, is perhaps unsurprising. Then again, maybe that’s just April for you.
April. Oh April!
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- The double entendre here is that “pinnacle” is also the name of brand of golf ball, if a shitty one for hack amateurs. I played the Callaway HX Tour that season, a ball I’d played for several years for its happy medium between the Titleist (pronounced “title-ist” not “tit-el-ist”) Pro V1 and Pro V1X – the balls played by pretty much every other top amateur at the time – in terms of both spin rate and firmness around the greens.
Go figure that it’s now pretty common to find those same top amateurs playing Callaway balls years after I’d all but retired from the game. Who said I never set trends ? ↩
- You’d be amazeballed at how many of the well-heeled members of the local business and professional community use “winter” as a verb while golfing daily at their houses in Phoenix and Palm Springs between November and April. Not that Edmonton winters are renowned for their docility, but I find the cold dry prairie air refreshing, invigorating even, walking outside as I do at least an hour most days even at temperatures below -20C. Then again, my bones are young.↩
- Six sigma’d. Boom.↩
- Yes, the same TTAC that serves as the present home of Steph “The Wabbit” Willems, though it was an appreciably less click-driven spam-a-tron a half-decade ago, or maybe I was just younger and noticed it less ? ↩
- Getting banned, in case you’re even remotely interested, is about as frequent as bacon at a bar mitzvah. I can only think of two other auto journalists who this has ever happened to : Jack Baruth and Chris Harris. Pretty heady company, really.↩
- Whereas Tesla took the USG payola route and multiplied it by the mentally-fast-on-a-stick factor, Better Place went for swappable battery tech, which allowed users to “recharge” in just 5 minutes by zipping through a nifty automated car wash style loading bay. Compare battery swapping with typical sit-and-wait charging and it’s not hard to see why the former held so much appeal, emulating as it did the gasoline “fill-up.” Unfortunately, Better Place eventually ran out of other people’s mone, unable to keep the hype high enough for long enough to crack the billion dollar development cost threshold of most car platforms these days.↩
- The “dimly illuminated” bit is in reference to the bumbling incompetence of MIT’s engineering grads. It’s worth a watch.↩
- The rest of the market is, by and large, aluminum, with the odd project using steel or wood. The issue with aluminum, and what we specifically address, is the issue of thermal bridging, which is particularly of concern for the framing in triple-glazed curtain walls. In double-glazed systems, even with low-e coatings and select noble gases filling the inter-pane cavities (eg. xenon, argon), the proportion of glass area to framing area ensures that the lite is the weakest part of the thermal envelope. However, the 1.75″ of glass and inert gas in a triple-glazed system is a superior insulator compared to metallic frames, so it’s this where we’ve focused our development and it’s this niche that’s set to go gangbusters in the next decade.↩
- The opposite of Bitcoin, where 2.5 years is a generation or more, the construction industry moves as quickly as molasses. Rightly so, given the magnitude in difference in age between engineering for the built environment and computer engineering. Not to mention the prospect that the building you construct today will be here in 50, 100, even 200 years. What computer programmer has confidence in that type of longevity for their software ? ↩
- /me waves!↩