Summer is the best

Finally some warm weather. Had to do a ferry drop off on Galiano of the little one for a sleep over. It just feels like a midday boat ride.

Evening walks

My favourite part of summer is that it stays light out at night. This walk would be pretty perilous in the dark, but it’s so nice when the sun is just starting to set.

Overgrown tracks

Graduation

Apparently, I have a high school grad now! Reilly finished out strong, making honour roll and winning the Golden Hammer award for the TASK program. He’s already landed a job working on a build on Mayne and is really enjoying himself.

#bagomattic

Came out even better than I expected! I’ve played around with multiple colour/fabrics with Timbuk2 before, but I opted to go clean and simple with this one… and I love it.

The community guitar

It seemed like a perfect night for some pizza, Baxter cuddles and movies.

It’s been a weird day! There was a 3.9 magnitude earthquake in the middle of the night. Didn’t cause any damage, but I didn’t sleep through it either. Then it was snowing earlier as well. Not enough to stay on the ground, but weird times.

Log jam

It feels a bit like Mayne Island is surrounded by a ring of debris. There’s so many trees/bits of trees in the water all over the place.

Rain, rain. Go away.

Heavy rain all weekend. Cozy times for couch cuddles, but not much else. It’s been a bit of a torture test all around. Looks like I have some maintenance that needs attending to around the house. Lots of roads are very stream-like now.

Really need to get on that fireplace

Daylight savings sucks. Winter in general sucks. Baxter has repeatedly put in requests to move somewhere sunny year-round. He has simple requirements: no colder than 15°C, no hotter than 20°C. Very little rain, maybe some sand to play in.

It’s 4:30, and it’s almost dark out. It hasn’t really been bright all day though, so overcast and gloomy.

Days are too short

I don’t mean that they’re too short as in “there aren’t enough hours in the day”, but rather that there just isn’t enough daylight this time of year. Normally I’d be thinking about booking a holiday someplace sunny and then having that to look forward to, but I’m still not sure if the time is right to attempt international travel.

It’s that time of year where you hear yourself saying “I could really use a nap” a lot. I think I first said it at 7:30 this morning. I’ve played around with timed lighting to help me get up in the morning, and it does help, but it’s still not quite enough. It’s dark when I’m driving the kids to the dock in the morning, and it’s dark when I pick them up at night.

The crazy part is that we’re still a month and a half away from winter solstice. The days are still getting shorter right up until December 21st. Oh, but we have daylight savings to help! Ugh, that should completely throw off everyone for at least a couple of weeks.

Apple TV

I’m going to give one of these a shot. My only major problem with it is that the TV available in Canada is really limited. Guess I’ll just have to keep on with my current TV acquisition system, but I am looking forward to giving movie rentals a shot.

Victoria/Gulf Islands Co-working

So after searching in vain for a year for any sort of co-working opportunities this side of the Straight, one of my friends on the island asked me today if I was interested in the idea.  From what I gather, Victoria just doesn’t have any good space for this kind of an idea.  I thought that the idea would be impossible here too, but said friend pointed out a great possibility.

There’s a few folks on Mayne Island, probably enough to make this work, but are there folks in Victoria and area that would consider hopping a ferry to come co-work with us on occasion?  Ferry costs are about $20 round-trip for an adult with a car (you don’t pay for the Mayne to Victoria leg, only the trip over here), even less if you’re on a bike/walking on.  The location on Mayne is walking distance from the ferry terminal; probably about 20 minutes (10 if you’re on a bike).  It’s located right in the townsite, close to the bakery and the pub (for refreshments).  We’re also looking at doing an onsite cafe for your caffeinated needs.

Monday to Friday, there are six ferries daily from Swartz Bay, and five return ferries to Swartz Bay. So it’s entirely possible to put in a full day of work, and hop a boat home.

Obviously there are other factors at work, like what it would cost (which we haven’t worked out yet), but assuming it was fairly reasonable, is there any interest from Victoria people to come co-work on Mayne Island?  Hit me up at jonathan dot lane at gmail dot com if it sounds like something you’d do occasionally.

Of course, don’t mean to exclude other Gulf Islanders, or Vancouverites – by all means if you want to join us too, give me a shout.

Old posts

Yes, I killed my old blog, and no, I’m not really remorseful about it. There were probably some interesting posts buried deep in the archives (I had been posting there since circa 2004 I think), and I did make a backup of everything so if you’re desperate for some bit of information, you can try contacting me and I may be able to dig it up for you.

I make no promises about keeping this blog to a specific topic. This is my general purpose blog where I post about pretty much anything. You’re likely to find pictures of my kids interspersed with posts about business, web development, life in general and anything else that may take my fancy.

I’ve got Tumblr set to pull in my Twitter stream, so you may see a bunch of very short, out of context comments here and there.

Jonathan.Lane will slowly become more of a “professional me” site where I’ll stash my C.V. and such, and of course Industry Interactive is my company web site. It’s long overdue for a facelift at this point too.

Being flexible for clients

I’ve been looking at ways of expanding operations, and moving into a few different lines of business lately.  It’s probably my undergraduate degree in Biology at work, but I think that the healthiest companies are those with a range of products and services (as well as clients).

So, with that in mind, one of the local areas I’ve been looking at is real estate (not becoming a Mayne Island land baron, but rather doing some work for Realtors).  The with this area is that there is no denying that the real estate market is hurting nationally right now, and so Realtors aren’t as flush with cash as they used to be.

So how do you pitch doing work for someone that is feeling very risk-averse?  It’s easy really, deliver a quality product, and be flexible on payment.  In the case of Realtors, they don’t get paid for their work until a sale is finalized, so it’s risky for them to invest large amounts of money in marketing a property when it’s coming out of their own pocket.

Enter your flexibility.  I am definitely not a proponent of doing work on spec.  But in this case, I don’t think that doing work any other way would be appropriate.  Why not offer Realtors a “no money upfront, just a percentage of your commission” arrangement?  Sure, you’re shouldering some risk: if the listing gets pulled, or some other catastrophe happens, you haven’t been paid yet, but if you spread your risk over a range of listings, I just don’t see it as being that bad.

I’m working on something along these lines now, I’ll keep updating as things progress.  The initial reception has been good, next comes the pitch.  More to come.