A wine-themed post today as I prepare to head to the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival tonight.
Today I learned:
1. Crutches: After much research I must conclude no one has invented a device that will allow me to simultaneously use crutches and carry a wine glass.
I had imagined someone would have come up with some sort of gryroscopic-like sippy cup device that I could hang around my neck, but alas I am out of luck. The coolest thing I could find (pictured below and taken from a post at blog.winecollective.ca) looks good, but you still need a free hand.
In the end all I really learned is that my wife is going to be carrying my glass all night. That is all on her though, because she won’t let me go to the Wine Festival tasting event utilizing my original idea (via bonappetit.com):
2. Wine as a Crutch:
“Wine is like a crutch – it supports me.”
Wine is certainly present alongside many of the good times but hopefully it isn’t a necessary companion in the bad times.
This quote did teach me one lesson though, helping me avoid learning the same thing the hard way tonight. As I head out towards one of those good times in life, the quote reminds me that yes, wine is like a crutch, but do you know what else is like a crutch? An actual crutch.
If I want to ditch the kind of crutch helping me get around these days then I better go easy on the other kind tonight.
Today I learned:
1. The marginal cost of an email is not always zero: Witty banter back and forth via email is a lot less fun when it’s a lawyer on the other end of the exchange and you know she bills you $20 every time she reads one of your messages.
This made me wonder, if I knew I was going to be invoiced $20 every time a recipient read one of my messages, how many emails would I actually send?
I am guessing a lot fewer.
So, should I build that into my decision-making criteria when determining whether or not to use email for certain types of communication?
I am guessing I should.
2. Perfect Price Discrimination for…Parking? The headline in today’s Vancouver Sun reads “Vancouver Parking rates could vary by block, month with new project.” Apparently 1500 of the city’s 10,000 meters can now have rates remotely changed.
The issue? Not enough people are using transit, resulting in drivers parking illegally or circling around looking for spots in busy locations.
The solution? Remotely altering parking prices will allow the city to control consumption patterns with the goal of ensuring there will always be one open spot on every block. According to Jerry Dobrovolny, Vancouver’s director of transportation, “the reason for getting the right price is that the wrong price does so much harm.”
To that, I call bullsh*t.
This has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with revenue. In fact, the lesson I learned here is that the city is actually smart enough to notice the technology now exists to take aim at perfect price discrimination for parking spots. They understand that with a bit of effort and investment they quickly change the cost of a spot to find the right buyer and then reap the rewards. They will have a model where they can extract more of the consumer surplus available.
To be clear I have no real issue with the direction they are going with this. It is brilliant. The city deserves kudos for figuring this one out. As a resident of Vancouver I know just how many people will be coming in from the suburbs everyday to fill the meters and in turn add to the cities coffers. I just wish they were more honest about it.
Today I learned:
1. I heart Wasabi Gelato: I took the kids to La Casa Gelato, the best spot in the city, this afternoon and decided to try only uncovential flavours. After sampling Purple Yam, Star Fruit, and Saffron, I settled on Wasabi. Surprisingly, I learned I liked it. The bite of the wasabi contrasted nicely with the icy gelato. What do you know? It turns out there are other flavours beyond chocolate.
2. Self-motivation: When school was drawing to a close last year I knew job #1 upon completion would be to work on re-establishing balance in my life, including a focus on health and wellness. After 2.5 years sitting at a desk all day at work only to come home and sit at a desk all evening at home I was way out of shape and I had adopted a number of bad dietary habits.
So, what was the first thing I did?
I bought some new clothes two sizes too small, and then placed them at the front of the cupboard so I saw them everyday. Fast-forward 8 months and my purchases now fit like a glove. Nothing like finding practical motivators to incent yourself towards a goal. How did I know this would work? I just knew I was way to cheap to left a bunch of new things go to waste. Today I learned I was right.
Note: Yes, I am aware my post today includes learnings about high-calorie gelato and weight loss. Everything in moderation…