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A Home For Our Family

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Katya and I have finally found a home for our family. It's the kind of place we can stay in for many years until we're ready to buy. For me this is a HUGE step!
For nearly 10 years now I've been on the go non-stop. I've moved from British Columbia to Ottawa, then to Russia, then to Nova Scotia, then back to British Columbia, then to southern Ontario and my hometown of Guelph. Even before all that I had driven out to British Columbia with an ex, spent a few years in South Korea, lived in Cape Breton for a summer and worked at a resort in Banff, Alberta. It's been non-stop.
 Even here in Guelph we've moved 3 times in 4 years. The rental vacancy rate in Guelph is one of the lowest in the country and prices are extremely high for sub-standard units. Every place we've rented has had major structural problems and huge inconveniences, as well as cheap landlords and noisy neighbours. 
Then, in March, we found the perfect townhouse. It's a big 3-bedroom with a …

What Are Your First Memories?

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Every day Max learns something new or does something absolutely hilarious. I wonder how much he'll remember from this period in his life? Do people remember anything as babies?

Ever since Maxim was born I've been thinking a lot about my earliest memories. It must be something to do with having a new child and seeing the world new through his eyes. I want to make sure that his childhood is magical and happy and full of love and fun. To do this I've been analyzing my own childhood memories and I've realized that I can actually remember quite a lot from a very young age!

I remember being in a high chair. My mother and my aunt Deb were with me in an apartment of some sort, and I was eating Kraft macaroni and cheese and sliced up hot dogs. I remember a TV being on and lots of lights and lamps, so it must have been winter. I don't know how old I was, but I was small enough to be in a high chair!

Another early memory I have is sitting on the bus with my mother, and jumpi…

5 Things To Know About Marrying Russian Women

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A lot of guys have heard that Russia is the holy land of beautiful, marriageable ladies, and they're not wrong! I spent a few years living in Russia and wow, were there a lot of hot girls. I had a sore neck my first week there from looking left and right all the time! Here in North America a hot girl stands out and everybody looks, but in Russia hot women are the norm and everyone takes a second look at the frumpy girls because they are so out of the ordinary.

Eventually the shock of being surrounded by so many hot women wore off on me and I just got on with my day, but not before I settled down and married one of them!

After 7 years of marriage to my Russian sweetheart there's a few things I've learned about Russian women that separates them from your average North American girl. I've tried to list five of those things here, in no particular order.

1: Russian Women Are Very Feminine
It could be just the overall Europeanness of Russians, but I found that the ladies in …

A Bad Year Leads To A Good Year

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2016 was a hard year for Katya and I. Maxim grew up so fast, from a tiny newborn to a goofy baby to a loving toddler. We suffered through some hardships at the beginning of the year with finances as my business slowed down to a crawl over the winter, and we ended up having to move from our cozy townhouse into a cheaper apartment.
We fought a lot, especially because the baby kept us awake at night. We were stressed and sleep-deprived, broke and our life was up in turmoil. Then the end of the year came and it all worked out!
On his first birthday, Maxim took his first steps! I remember when he started to crawl, it was super exciting. You can see a video of it here
After that, he started furniture surfing and was starting to walk while hanging on to one of us. He got so proficient at it that he could balance fine and walk just by hanging on to me with one hand!
It was summer so we took him to the Guelph splashpads dotted around the city (downtown City Hall has a fantastic one, but it&#…

Why We're All-In With The Apple Ecosystem

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Last year, in the early months of 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook became embroiled in a bitter fight with the FBI over the right of law enforcement to force Apple to hack an iPhone. This particular phone belonged to one of the terrorists in the San Bernadino attack in late 2015. I had personally never cared about iPhone before, being so wrapped up in the world of Android, but the saga of this big legal fight in America had me riveted, and Tim Cook's absolute refusal to break the trust that every customer has in the company was amazing. Apple ended up winning that fight, with a court ruling in favor of a company's right to not be coerced into violating their own privacy agreement, and the FBI went on to hack the iPhone in question on their own anyway, so all's well that ends well. In the meantime, I was now seriously considering a switch from Google's Android camp to Apple. Privacy concerns were one reason I wanted to switch. Google uses the Android system to collect data on …

This Canadian Loves America

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There is no other country in the history of the world that has provided more wealth, more technology and more global-scale influence than America. Rome and Great Britain come close, and the old Soviet Union was certainly no weakling, but the USA is in a different league altogether.

This isn't why I love America, however. I don't care about size of armies (although as a Canadian I do like living in "Fortress America" under the US defensive umbrella), and while there are major problems in the US, particularly with racism, violence, political corruption and obesity, I am able to see through these individual trees at the majesty of the entire forest.

Let me break it down:

Geography

There is no denying that America is beautiful. Where else in the world can you get EVERY SINGLE TYPE OF ECOSYSTEM within one country's borders? China? Please!

Here in Canada we have some beautiful landscapes too...for 4 months in the summer. The prairies are nice, until it snows. Cape Breton is…

Hello Uber

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I turned the ignition on, like I had a million times before in my black Hyundai with silver trim, and took a nervous breath. My Nexus 5 was secured firmly in its goose-neck mount, facing towards me but low, below the radio so it couldn't be seen from outside. I nervously hovered my hand over the screen, and then tapped the "Go Online" button on the Uber app.

Half expecting a SWAT team, helicopters and a crowd of angry cabbies clutching crowbars, I looked around nervously, but there was nothing going on. The app glowed warmly, the car's motor hummed smoothly and I tried to force myself to relax. I was now an Uber driver.

Uber has caused a storm of controversy around the world, with vicious legal battles culminating in several taxi strikes in Toronto. The service operates in a grey area, using ultra-modern technology to connect riders with private drivers at more than half the price of a regulated taxi. The company started in San Francisco and within 5 years could be fou…

Family Guy

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Changing diapers, making very weird sounds and funny faces, snatching dropped soothers out of the air in mid-fall like a baseball pro, trying to catch kicking feet with socks, rocking the baby to make him sleepy, hoisting a 2-ton car seat in and out of grocery stores, rocking baby to put him to sleep, making up incredibly ridiculous songs using common household objects as inspiration, changing more diapers, rocking the baby to at least make him a little sleepy, changing drool-and-spit-covered shirts (mine) twice a day, rocking the baby and thinking "Please go to sleep! For the love of God!"

These are just some of the joys of being a parent to a 3 month-old infant.

In August I was unceremoniously laid off from my crappy underpaid side-job. My own business, NLingua, had really picked up by then but was still in such an early stage that I needed to invest every dollar it made back into the company. I had found a shitty job with a sketchy company precisely because I didn't wan…