Preserved Stories Blog

Councillor Di Ciano meeting May 16, 2017 regarding possible new feeder road connecting Lakeshore & Queensway East of Park Lawn Rd

Click here for details about the meeting May 16, 2017 meeting >

There is currently a Park Lawn/Lakeshore transportation master plan in the works which poses a possibility of a new feeder road connecting Lakeshore and The Queensway East of Park Lawn Rd. (around Stephen Dr. area).

Join Councillor Di Ciano and City of Toronto Transportation Staff to discuss.

Details

Date:
May 16
Time:
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Venue

St. Mark Catholic School
45 Cloverhill Rd.
Etobicoke, Canada
+ Google Map

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The Family Camera exhibit at Royal Ontario Museum explores what’s fundamental about family

Ellen Montague and her son Christopher; her sister Ruth Brown; and her husband Spurgeon Montague beside the Christmas tree. Unknown photographer, Windsor, ON. Gelatin silver print, December 25th, 1961, 8.9 cm x 8.8 cm. Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth Montague. Source: Webpage at ROM website devoted to The Family Camera exhibit

Ellen Montague and her son Christopher; her sister Ruth Brown; and her husband Spurgeon Montague beside the Christmas tree. Unknown photographer, Windsor, ON. Gelatin silver print, December 25th, 1961, 8.9 cm x 8.8 cm. Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth Montague. Source: Webpage at ROM website devoted to The Family Camera exhibit

The following overview is from the May 2017 newsletter of The Photographic Historical Society of Canada; I have also learned about this exhibit listening to CBC Metro Morning; the Photographic Historical Society of Canada message reads:

What do all families have in common? How do families nurture relationships, cultivate individual identities and maintain ties, even through the challenge of separation? The Family Camera exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, considers these questions and more, inviting viewers to explore what’s fundamental and meaningful about family.

Photographs grouped by theme help to reveal how caring, courage and pulling together are expressed in a multiplicity of practices and cultures. The anxiety of migration is one of the more somber themes, while the Niagara Falls wall mischievously shows us how standard this destination is in the lives of most North American families.

The exhibit also investigates the technology instrumental in helping families compile personal histories. Before the phone-slash-camera era, an ever-evolving choice of economical consumer cameras made preserving special moments possible. The idea of the family album may be shared by all but the Family Camera exhibit offers a window on how photography creates our collective notion of belonging, inspiring our search for bonding, kinship and ancestry.

[End]

Click here ti access ROM webpage about The Family Camera Exhibit >

 

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Door-to-door scams and scamming season in Long Branch (Toronto)

From the Long Branch Neighbourhood Watch Facebook group:

“Heads-up, a sales-person knocking on doors asking to see if you qualify for a water filter and of course asking to enter the house.

“Can’t answer most questions about his company, won’t provide a card or a pamphlet and when told by the home-owner that the company he’s representing can make an appointment if they’re interested in talking, says they never will.”

Click here for previous posts about scans and scamming >

Some of the posts from previous years (from the above e-noted list of posts) include:

City of Toronto is warning residents to be cautious about private companies offering door-to-door free water testing

Beware of energy scammers going door to door

Beware of energy scammers going door to door; they are still going door to door

Scams and scamming: Updates

For your interest, an update that I’ve added to the above-noted post on May 11, 2017 reads:

A May 11, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “‘A very disheartening day’: Most of Canada’s regulators abandon plan to put your financial interests first: Only securities regulators in Ontario and New Brunswick still interested in a statutory best interest standard.”

Phil Gray suggested years ago that I write about scams and scamming

I began writing about scams and scamming years ago after Phil Gray, author and war veteran, got in touch with me and said it would be a great topic to write about, based on what he’d seen by way of door-to-door scams. He wanted people to know how to protect themselves:

I never met Phil Gray, author of Ghosts of Targets Past, in person but I much enjoyed getting to know him

 

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Put your money in Conservation Authority Flood Management Programs and it will be well-spent – May 10, 2017 Credit Valley Conservation post

The image is from the article, posted by Credit Valley Conservation, that is highlighted at the post you are now reading.

The image is from the article, posted by Credit Valley Conservation, that is highlighted at the post you are now reading.

A May 10, 2017 Credit Valley Conservation article is entitled: “Put your money in Conservation Authority Flood Management Programs and it will be well-spent.”

The opening paragraphs of the article, by by Jo-Anne Rzadki, Business Development & Partnerships Coordinator, Conservation Ontario, read:

News of the unfortunate and fatal flood events in eastern Canada, Quebec, and Ontario has captured national media attention. There have been many cries for emergency relief and requests to all levels of government and the insurance industry to provide payments to repair damages. Recent media reports call for governments to take responsibility and make land use decisions that keep development, people and businesses, transportation and utility corridors safely away from floodplains in order to reduce costs and protect lives.

It’s good to see some of the heartwarming stories about tireless homeowners, emergency management officials and volunteers pitching in and helping with rescues and relief.

We think that Ontario’s network of Conservation Authorities is another good news story, but one that remains largely under the radar for most people, including our government partners. Generally, Conservation Authorities are not in the media, so many people don’t make the link between Conservation Authorities as a first line of defense in preventing and reducing the impacts of flooding, thereby also reducing the need for flood disaster assistance.

[End of excerpt]

A conflict of interest may be entailed, with regard to development on housing on flood plains

A May 9, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “One way to battle future flooding: stop building on flood plains, say experts: Goodale says building on land prone to flooding will be brought up with provincial counterparts at May meeting.”

The opening paragraphs read:

As the battle to protect homes from flooding continues across the country, questions are being asked about whether it’s time to reconsider regulations that allow developers to build on flood plains.

Jason Thistlethwaite, an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo’s faculty of environment, says the problem is that municipalities set zoning regulations and collect property tax revenue but do not pay for rebuilding costs after natural disasters.

“The municipality really doesn’t have an incentive to go in and use land-use planning and building codes and communications strategies to tell people that they are at risk of flooding, particularly given that most of the revenue comes from development, it comes from property taxes.” Thistlethwaite said. “So they face a real conflict of interest.

“Poor land-use planning at the local level basically goes unpunished and in fact gets rewarded with additional disaster assistance from the province, from the federal government.”

[End of excerpt]

Kelowna

A May 11, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Kelowna mayor warns residents to prepare for unprecedented flooding tonight: ‘As a community, we need to come together and look after each other,’ mayor says.”

Prince Edward Island

A previous post is entitled:

Coastal erosion due to sea level rise in Prince Edward Island is highlighted at these links

Physiography of Southern Ontario (1984)

The Physiography of Southern Ontario (1984), one of my favourite books about physical geography, is written in a characteristically friendly, crisp, and authoritative form of language. The book features a remark about flood plains that I find apt and evocative. The remarks is that (and I paraphrase): “The flood plain belongs to the river that runs through it; it stands to reason that people should avoid building houses on such a location.”

Toronto

An April 29, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Toronto the resilient: how the city plans to adapt to climate change in 2050: City’s plans require dramatic shifts in lifestyle, planning and building, report says.”

 

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Trends in Toronto house prices: Tweet from Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner, City of Toronto

The image is from the May 10, 2017 Better Dwelling article that is highlighted at the post you are now reading.

The image is from the May 10, 2017 Better Dwelling article that is highlighted at the post you are now reading.

A May 10, 2017 Better Dwelling article is entitled: “Toronto Homeowners List Detached Homes For Sale At A Record Pace: Toronto homeowners are listing detached homes for sale at a rapid pace, with new listings soaring over 61% last month.”

We owe thanks to a May 11, 2017 tweet from Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner, City of Toronto, for bringing out attention to the article. In her tweet, she shares a link to the above-noted article and comments:

“Despite the flood of inventory, prices continue to increase. Record supply, and record prices. Think about that for a minute.”

Mid-rise developments; housing supply; Moody’s

A May 5, 2017 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “Defanging the housing price monster: Mid-rise developers say proximity to transit mitigates investment risk.”

A May 8, 2017 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Toronto has too much housing despite overall population growth: report. Ryerson researchers found population declines or freezes in most neighbourhoods over the last 30 years.”

A May 11, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Moody’s downgrades credit ratings for Canada’s Big 6 banks: Ratings agency cites debt level, high house prices as reason for concern.”

A May 15, 2017 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Toronto sees April home prices grow as listings soar: Toronto region sales were down but prices still growing, says the Canadian Real Estate Association. Some experts feel the market is becoming more balanced but it’s not a buyer’s market yet.”

A May 20, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Canada’s housing boom has 30% chance of going bust, Goldman Sachs says” But there’s a catch — the bank views ‘bust’ as beginning with a price decline of as little as 5%.”

Climate change

A previous post is entitled:

Put your money in Conservation Authority Flood Management Programs and it will be well-spent – May 10, 2017 Credit Valley Conservation post

An April 29, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Toronto the resilient: how the city plans to adapt to climate change in 2050: City’s plans require dramatic shifts in lifestyle, planning and building, report says.”

 

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I have received an apt correction regarding a Brown University study that I reviewed earlier, regarding meditation

Hal Roth of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, has posted the following comment at a previous post:

I am a co-author of the above study.

The Press summary of the study is seriously erroneous and incredibly
oversimplified.

The Study did NOT conclude that men were not affected by studying mindfulness techniques and that they should, instead, study moving meditations. That is totally false.

Both the young men and young women in the study showed marked improvements in their ability to focus their attention; in other words in their abilities to concentrate as a result of taking a 12 week university course of academic study of contemplative texts and relevant contemplative practices. BTW there were at least 4 different courses included in this study over 4 years.

Where they differed was in how their emotional reactivity was affected. Young women showed marked improvements in reduced self criticism and improvements in negative affect. Young men did not demonstrate the same level of improvement.

That’s it. The Press has substantially misrepresented this study. Probably because they only quickly read a summary on the Brown University website and didn’t carefully read it nor read the actual article. That is seriously irresponsible.

Thanks to Mr. Pill for calling attention to problems in the Press reports of our study.

[End]

Comment from Jaan Pill of Toronto

The published research article (as distinguished from the Press summary) can be accessed here.

I much appreciate the message from Hal Roth.

I have deleted the link to the Brown University article. I have also deleted my own response to the Brown University article, taking into account the comment from Hal Roth. From time to time, I encounter situations such as this one. I am delighted to have the opportunity to make such a correction. As I have noted elsewhere at this website, based on my personal experience with the practice of mindfulness, I have a strong interest in research related to mindfulness meditation, and in how such research is represented in Press accounts.

Additional comment from Hal Roth of Brown University

[The article under discussion can be accessed here.]

Hal Roth notes, with regard to the article:

It’s technical but still understandable to nonspecialists. Please look closely at Table 1: it shows results from three major self-reporting studies, the PANAS (measures affect), the FFMQ (measures mindfulness), and the Self Compassion SCS Scale.

Just look at the differences between Baseline and Exit Scores and you can see the basic data. Both women and men improve in almost all measures in all three tests (with one exception); but women improve more than men in all tests. Not that men do not improve.

The one exception is PANAS negative affect, in which young men get very slightly worse (but apparently not really significantly so) and young women improve. Otherwise men always improve in all measured data; just not as much as the women.

Note also the asterisks, which indicate women’s most notable improvements. Please also note that baselines are different for each item measured in these tests.

[End]

Hal Roth spent many years in Toronto in grad school

Harold D. Roth, Professor of Religious Studies, Director, Brown Contemplative Studies Concentration, adds: “I spent many years [in Toronto] in grad school and have a real fondness for the city.”

As part of his email signature, Hal Roth features the following quote:

…Where neither It nor Other finds its opposite is called the axis of the Way. Once the Axis is found at the center of the circle, there is no limit to responding with either, on the one hand no limit to what is It; on the other hand no limit to what is “not It.” Therefore I say: “the best means is illumination….”

“The Sorting That Evens Things Out” (the collected works of Zhuangzi; 4th century BCE)

 

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Thursday, May 11, 2017 Heritage Talk at Lambton House starts 7:30 pm

lambton house

AGNES DUNBAR MOODIE and FITZGIBBON CHAMBERLIN
with Madeleine McDowell

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Doors open at 7:00pm

Talk at 7:30pm

Refreshments
Good will offering appreciated

Lambton House
4066 Old Dundas Street, York, M6S 2R6
TTC bus 55 from Jane station stops at the door.
(416) 767-5472

A remarkable woman’s life in early Canada

Born 1833 in Cobourg, Upper Canada, Agnes was the first Canadian-born child of author Susanna Moodie. Agnes married twice, gave birth to nine children and experienced life in many places and levels of society. Her legacy is a wildflower book with roots in Lambton Mills.

 

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May 2017 Update from David Godley: Committee of Adjustment & related topics

The following update is from David Godley, a retired urban planner and former member of the Committee of Adjustment:

*

1) Status of applications
2) Committee of Adjustment Changes (see 9 38th attachment on integrity commission route to rein in members)
3) Etobicoke Lakeshore Press
4) 24 33rd Street OMB hearing
5) 55 Long Branch Avenue

*

1) Status of applications

*

Severance Applications and Variances from 6 April Committee of Adjustment

32 36th Street, (1) 3 storey buildings, soldier houses 0.35 to 0.91 density. Far too high a density. If 30 32nd is approved a new area of character destruction will be started. (Deferred)

20 Daisy (1) 2 storey house 0.35 to 0.53 (Approved)

23 35th addition to heritage building 2 storeys with good design facing Park but affecting abutting properties. (Approved)

39 27th Street. New 2 storey house 0.35 density to 0.39 (Approved)

16 41st Street 2 storey modern 0.35 density to 0.61 (Approved)

62 30th Street. 3 storey modern 0.35 density to 0.84 (Deferred)

119 22nd Street. 3 storey soldier house, 0.35 density to 0.95 with side yard set back of 4 inches. (Approved)

Severance Applications from 4 May Committee of Adjustment

9 38th Street. A revised application from February 2016. 2 storey traditional and ultra modern on 25 feet frontage lots from 0.35at 0.56 density in a solid area of wide lots.

29 Lake Promenade. 2 storey new house, no density change.

99 27th Street (2) 3 storey detached 0.35 to 1.18 – a non-fit proposal at over 3 times density where the character is rapidly becoming that of Brampton North.

People in this area have now faced 6 OMB hearings with 2 outstanding. This is equivalent to harassment by the planning system. Talk about an aggressive application – this takes the biscuit.

Yet it was turned down only 2 to 1. Committee of Adjustment member Gulli supported it demonstrating he has no place on the Committee of Adjustment. He simply has his own agenda and ignores all planning and legal matters. He is blatantly undermining civic policies. He will therefore be the subject of an Integrity Commission Probe.

People in this area and parts of the rest of Long Branch are effectively the subject of psychological warfare which has been created by the OMB. Citizens are suffering physically and psychologically. Mayor Tory stands aside and ignores real people. See attached. [See attached items in Comments below.]

Severance Applications for 9 May Committee of Adjustment

56 31st Street. Modern 2 storey new house, density 0.35 to 0.55.

32 28th St 2 storey 0.35 density to 0.70. Planning recommend deferral

Outstanding Committee of Adjustment Applications

51 Elder Street. 3 storey house density 0.35 to 0.98. 1 June COA

38 36th Street. 3 storey soldier houses 0.35 density to 0.70. 29 June COA.

8 Branch Avenue. Classic split for 2 soldier houses, 0.35 density to 0.98 (very high) plus increase in height 31 feet to 37 feet. 24 August COA

75 James Street. Postponed but can be revived at any time. No details

303 Lake Promenade. Deck 4 sm to 97 sm (2600% increase!) 1 June COA

31 Fairfield Road. increase in density from 0.35 to 0.63. 29 June COA

If you wish to look at all the material online go to “City of Toronto” “Development Applications” “Committee of Adjustment” “Ward 6” “Search” and follow the cues.

OMB Hearings, a long List

30 36th Street. Decision to approve severance and deny variances (see attached)

80 Twenty Third Street, January 4 2017. Awaiting Decision

68 Daisy Avenue, 73 4 storey townhouse units, February 24 2017. Prehearing Conference for 1 day held. Hearing Day 10 October 2017

2 Shamrock Avenue, March 8 2017 Approved. Residents did not show as they are demoralised by taking time off work, being abused and ignored.

82 Twenty Seventh Street, March 21 2017 Awaiting Decision

9 Meaford , April 11 2017 No planner on board. Awaiting Decision

5 31st, 28 March 2017 Approved

5 Ramsgate, 16 May 2017 Good Luck Judy andResidents

20 Elton, 28 March 2017 Awaiting Decision

24 33rd, 1/2 May 2017 No planner on board Awaiting Decision

40 37th, 18 April 2017 Awaiting Decision

14 Villa, July 17 2017

34 27th, 15 May 2017 Good Lick Eileen and Residents

160 30th, 28 June 2017

55 Long Branch Avenue, PL170469. Awaiting hearing date.

Status can be checked on OMB website under E status, Toronto but no index is given so you need to scroll down/up entries.

2) Committee of Adjustment

Posting is required for notice of hearings on front lawns. Research requests for Committee of Adjustment decisions can now be made online. Record numbers of applications have been submitted to the Etobicoke York Committee of Adjustment.
2016 is the first time 1000 applications have been processed. The first few months of 2017 indicate the rate of submission is increasing.

The new service enables users to search for a property and to request up to 10 years of Committee of Adjustment decisions from the surrounding area for a fee.

A resident also wrote

For those interested, the Toronto Committee of Adjustment has launched its online research request portal. You can access it here:

Committee of Adjustment (CofA)

The portal can be helpful in identifying similar consent or variance applications that were approved in the area of a site. It allows you to obtain Committee decisions from the last 10 years for properties within a 500m or 1000m radius. The decisions can be filtered by application type (minor variance or consent) and by outcome (approved, approved with conditions, or refused).

You can conduct a search for free, but ordering the decisions costs $150 for a 500m radius and $300 for a 1000m radius.

Nearly all appeals emanating from the Committee of Adjustment will now end up on TLAB’s desk.

If you notice Susanne Pringle, the Etobicoke/York “boss” has a spring in her step it is because she is contemplating retirement in a few months time. She has served the City dutifully for 35 years. Congratulations Susanne.

3) Etobicoke Lakeshore Press

The April edition contained an article by Mary Marello, Real Estate Agent, encouraging owners to sell to developers. My response is attached which I hope Lakeshore Press will publish.

4) 24 33rd Street,

Report from 655, May, 1 and 2, Severance for semis

Siamese soldier houses, change from existing zoning for detached house 0.35 density to semis 0.79 densities.

No outside planner was secured for the OMB hearing after 3 approaches by Legal. All planning consultants seem to have migrated to the development sector. The Planning Department did a 180 degree turn, suddenly supporting what they had criticised previously – on the day before the hearing without explanation.

Franco Romano did his usual “glossing over” presentation” missing the parts of the OP that were awkward for him. He contends that only land use comprises urban design character. Appears to have zero aesthetic appreciation. If the OMB disagrees with his urban design take he is going to be on a sticky wicket. His professional unit should be made aware.

If Richard Jones, the former planning director for Barrie and hearing officer, decides he going to be a Richard rather than a Dick, it would help all soldier house hearings before TLAB. I would be surprised if this is approved in totality, but look at Trump and Brexit. 6 residents appeared and here is a comment from one of them, not me.

Nick gave up a day’s pay to attend on Monday. And he worked very hard for a week on his written presentation and taking all the photos.

Sandy and Alex were relentless in pursuing City Planning, Councillor, Heritage Staff and City lawyer to get their attention and assistance for this hearing, and they were up all Monday night, typing two fingers on the computer to re-write and add to their statements.

David (Nick’s neighbour), and everyone was very articulate on the witness stand, and stood firm on what was occurring in the neighbourhood, the lot splitting, and that they want it to stop and regulations upheld.

I was very proud to be on this TEAM.

My own long-read evidence attached.

5) 55 Long Branch Avenue

A tale of woe attached.

Feel free to forward anything that may be of interest for June’s newsletter.

– David

[End]

*

Note from Jaan Pill re: Attached files from May 2017 Update from David Godley

In the Comments section below, I will post the text of each of David Godley’s May 2017 attached files. I will post them in alphabetical order by file name.

It will take me an hour or so to post the attached files, after the main post has been published. I am using the comments section as otherwise the main body of the post become too large for easy reading.

After I have posted the Comments, I will work out the spacing. It will take me a while.

Please note that the contents of Comments are not, so far as I know, able to be located  through a Google search or through a search using this website’s internal search engine.

Topics:

  1. 55 Long Branch
  2. 9 38th Street Appeal
  3. The file is entitled: “2433omb.doc”
  4. 30 36th Street
  5. Lot Splitting

Note regarding searching for applications at Committee of Adjustment website

You can find the details regarding the Minor Variance application for an application such as, by way of example, 55 Long Branch Ave. by going to the City of Toronto website and looking for the Application Information Centre.

Once you are at the latter page, you have to click on the “Committee of Adjustment” button, located at the top of the page, and you’re ready to do your search.

Initially, when I went to the page in question, I didn’t notice the detail regarding the two buttons at the top of the page. For that reason, I initially ended up doing a search for the default choice that’s in place, at the top of the page.

The default choice is “Community Planning,” but that’s not what you are looking for.

Also, there’s a field where you need to specify whether the address is an “Avenue,” “Road,” “Street,” etc. I have the sense that needs to be filled in, before you will get the results.

I mention this because, given that it took me a while t find my way around, it’s possible that at least a few other people will encounter some similar, initial, challenges, when looking for details about an application such as, by way of example, 55 Long Branch Ave.

 

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Kitchen Orkestra CD Release – May 12, 2017 starting 8:00 pm, Placebo Space, 2877 Lake Shore Blvd. West

Source: One Tune at a Time website.

Source: One Tune at a Time website

For many years, I’ve been following – and have been highly impressed by – the musical career of the young Etobicoke musician Hayley Ryerson.

Click here to access Hayley Ryerson’s website >

Hayley and the Kitchen Orkestra is releasing their Etobicoke CD on May 12, 2017:

Etobicoke CD Release – May 12, 2017

They look forward to releasing their album at Placebo Space, 2877 Lake Shore Blvd West, Doors at 8pm.

Tickets at the door or online here.

See you there!

Schedule of upcoming shows

To access upcoming Kitchen Orkestra shows click here >

 

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I encourage you to set up your own website about local history and planning issues in Long Branch

As you may know, it takes me a fair amount of time to write posts, related to local history and planning issues, for this website.

Looking toward the years ahead, I strongly encourage younger residents to consider setting up a website, such as mine, so that we as residents will continue to share information – as I am currently doing in a small way with this website – in the years ahead.

I would be pleased to work with any Long Branch resident, now or in years ahead, who might have an interest in setting up a website similar to the one you are now visiting.

I would be pleased, as well, to share (assuming there is interest) what I have learned in recent years about web design, writing, documentation, and connecting with audiences.

In sharing what I have learned, I also always learn many new things in return. For that reason, I am always keen to share what little I know.

I sense that encouraging younger people (well, people in their forties and fifties, by way of example) in the community to take up blogging, specifically as a way to add to the ways in which local residents can share information and experiences, would be a great endeavour.

My purpose in writing this post is to say that if you have an interest in getting into the kind of blogging, that I have been doing in Long Branch in recent years, I encourage you to get started, now.

With many such efforts, the most important thing is to get started – take the first step, from which all else follows.

Additional notes

Working at this site in recent years has been a tremendously valuable learning experience for me. In my experience, in some ways the work is very easy and in other ways it’s very hard.

I’ve been really lucky in being able to find good web designers to work with. That has been a key ingredient, in getting the site up and running in the first place.

What’s been hard for me is being able to focus on getting the work done, that’s required to write the posts. Sometimes the work is very easy, but sometimes it takes a while to getting around to actually posting things. Sooner or later, however, the work gets done. Once I’ve posted something, I often think to myself, “That was easy work. It was getting around to it that was hard.”

There are so many things that a person can do, and it’s hard to decide what to get done in a given day. I’ve found it very handy to make a short list each day, and to check at the end of the day to see how I’ve done, after which I prepare the next day’s list. That has been very helpful.

I believe that other people may be more efficient in the use of their available time, than is the case for me. Speaking for myself, what is a real plus is that having a website offers a person an opportunity to get better at what they do, just by working at it. That’s probably the number one lesson that I’ve learned, since the time that I set up this website some years ago.

 

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