Thursday, November 24, 2011

TEDx: thoughts and photos coming soon


It was an epic and awesome experience and I loved every minute of it. My talk went exactly as I was hoping it would. People said it seemed "conversational" and "ad-libbed" which is super awesome and exactly what I was aiming for. The only way to make it appear ad-libbed but actually stay-on-point was to prepare like a maniac for 5 months straight, which is exactly what I did. :)

Awesome times. Kevin took a bunch of great photos and I have some excellent ones from the official photographer and a few other folks too. I'll post those and some further thoughts when I get a chance.

The YouTube is currently being edited by the fine folks at IBYork, so I'll be sure to post that when it's available. Sounds like a week or two probably.

What an awesome weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New (crazy) shoes

I'm joining the Gym at work (finally) and found these crazy shoes in Toronto last week. They are craaaaaaaaaaaaazyyy. And I love them. But checking on Zappos (never bought from there before, it's pretty sweet) and they were only $89 here in the US, no shipping/tax. Pretty sweet.

This is the orange version, very awesome but they are so close to what I have already. So I didn't get these.

This is the one I got, Rainbow coloured. Epic.

Oh man these are insane.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TEDx time! Live at 4:15pm EST/1:15pm PST today!!

Had the TEDx rehearsal tonight and it went super well. Just got the schedule for Friday and my speaking time is 4:15pm EST (1:15pm PST). If you're logging in to watch the streaming simulcast I'd suggest logging in just before 4pm EST/1pm PST to make sure you have the right browser requirements etc.

Thanks for your support!

Here goes... EVERYTHING!!!!!!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In TO for TEDx

As Remy from Ratatouille would say... Let's.... DO THIS THING!!!!!

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Moonlighting within Microsoft

Awesome article about "intrapreneurship" at Microsoft:

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Monday, November 14, 2011

TEDx countdown!

Whooooa this is the week!!!!!!!!!!!

I was offered the speaking role way back in April and wrote the first draft then over a weekend. Since then it changed many, many times and the last 4 months or so have involved a lot of writing and re-working of ideas. Then I made the slides and tightened them up, shortened them, and sharpened the message over the next couple of months. The last month or so I haven't changed the speech content, and focused only on practice, flow, intonation, emphasis, and a couple of silly jokes :)

I can't believe this is finally the week where I'll be presenting it!! Crazy!!! Like any creative endeavour, getting it prepared, re-worked, and finished up to your absurdly high standards is 99% of the work. Getting it "out the door" is really just the last step, and I of course will have a few butterflies on the day-of, but getting on that stage is gonna be SO fun. Can't wait to see all the smiling and laughing faces (I hope, if the jokes are good enough, haha!) and to have my chance to give my message of the benefits of enthusiasm and hard work in glorious combination - if there is any "secret" to my success, it's this, and I'm so happy that my TED talk is exactly what I want to say to the world.

Oh, happy days.

Also: I completely finished my Autodesk talk!! It's only 10 days after the TED conference so I had to do them in parallel for a little bit. But it's all ready to go, and quite different than the TED talk. It's 50 minutes long, I have notes and a podium and it's for a technical/programmer crowd so the vibe of it is quite different. It was pretty quick to prepare as the focus of that is just on the information. Now that's completely done and off my plate so I can focus only on TED now for the rest of the week! Exciting!!!!!!!! This is gonna be great. Super psyched to present and also really happy that lots of good friends are coming to watch, either in person or online. Thanks everyone for your kind support and encouragement through this entire process, and especially thank you so much to Mom, Dad, Norm, Kevin, Alex and Heev for a pile of great ideas, a stack of suggestions, and for being exceptional sounding boards and advisors through this whole process.

Here goes... EVERYTHING. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dinner at Jutan's

Had dinner at my place for some friends on Friday. Tried some new dishes, it was fun!

Crackers and Brie
Steelhead Trout, a lot like Salmon
Caprese appetizers
Appetizer area
Making Quinoa, Rice and about to put the fish in

Saturday, November 12, 2011

TEDx Speech Time: Fri Nov 18, 4pm EST

Hello friends!

My speaking time is now finalized for TEDxIB@York next week. I will be speaking at 4:00pm EST (1:00pm Pacific) on Friday, November 18. The whole event will be streaming live via the LiveStream link at

My talk runtime is 18 minutes. If you're keen to watch I suggest logging in a 15 min before or so to make sure you have the correct internet browser requirements etc.

If you can't catch it on the day-of, it will be available on YouTube sometime following the conference.

Mike :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Math 3 Building at Waterloo


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New Mobile Blog Template

Thanks to Blogger's awesomeness, I've now got a fancy new Mobile template. Happy reading, iPhone and Android afficionados!

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Movie Review: In Time

Well, that sure was freakin' awesome.

I saw In Time over the weekend with my bro Finkel along with my old friend Meagan and her fiance Eric who just moved to the city. For some insane reason, RottenTomatoes is giving it only a 38%, that seems way under what it should have been. It was incredibly fun to watch and I really liked the serious undertones too. The "time"-based puns were over-the-top and so hilarious and I love that they kept using the same joke over and over. Justin Timberlake knocks it out of the park and proves again how well he can act. "Pete" from Mad Men makes a fantastic co-star and Amanda Seyfried did a really solid job too. I thought it was great. This is why we go to the movies: a fun, exciting adventure, some romance, a few laughs, and a few (but not too many) serious things to think about. I thought it was excellent. Probably one of my favourite movies of the year so far.

The movie itself looked beautiful, the credits rolled and top of the list was the Director of Photography, the glorious Roger Deakins (from all the Coen Brothers movies). So that's why it looked SO good. The story was super interesting and captivating, and the parallels to "class warfare" are extremely current with the whole "Occupy" movement and protests happening literally this week. It was incredible, the action was great, there were some nice cars and good chase scenes and some really cool ideas in it. It was exactly like a Bond film but there is actually some serious important issue they are also talking about. Why in the world are all the critics hating on this so hard?!

Anyway, I thought it totally rocked and was definitely worth seeing. Awesome movie. The writer-director also directed Gattaca and The Truman Show, so this totally fits with his usual style. Very cool movie, and well pulled-off. Forget the haters, I say go and check it out and have a fun day out. :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Dear Japan National Tourism Organization: Please send me back to Japan!!!

Well this sure is cool.

The Japan National Tourism Organization is apparently considering the option of issuing 10,000 free round-trip tickets to Japan to bloggers/people with social influence of some sort. Their website says the government has not yet approved it, but if they do, they will announce it next year. This is a method to encourage foreigners to come visit Japan (following the natural disaster and nuclear power plant issues) and "report back" to the world that Japan is still a safe and "SUGOI!" place to visit.

Dear JNTO: if you're reading this, I love Japan, and I will blog like CRAZY about how awesome it is if you send me!!!!!!!!!!!

For those who haven't read my Japan tour blog from Winter 2009, please check it out here:

Japan honestly remains as one of the best trips I've ever taken in my life and I would definitely choose to go back in the future, irrespective of a free trip or not. It's a really awesome place and absolutely worth the trip. It was so easy to travel around as a foreigner who doesn't speak the language at all, and the people were so welcoming, nice, and helpful to someone who was obviously fully and completely out of his element. I didn't get to explore Sapporo in the far north, or the cool surf islands of Okinawa in the south, I'd love to go there on my next trip. I also sadly spent only 1 day in Osaka! The capseru (Capsule Hotel) was such a funny and awesome experience, but I'd love to spend more time there. I would stay in a traditional ryokan again at a MOMENT'S NOTICE!!!!!!!!!! Even thinking about it makes me want to go back.

Anyway, for those bloggers out there, keep an eye out on the JNTO website in case they announce this, sounds like an amazing opportunity. If they end up doing it, I'll definitely be submitting an application for it.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

TEDx talk: The Home Stretch

Right before the release of something big that you really care about (in my world, typically a software product), you would think that you'd be really nervous about it. Turns out the opposite is true.

After months and months of prep for this TEDx talk, I'm really just plain ready and excited for it. I've iterated and iterated on ideas, had several horrible ones and crumpled them up, had a few mediocre ones and crumpled them up too, and then after hours and hours and hours and hours, finally settled on something I am really happy with.

Don't get me wrong - the journey has been super fun too, it's like planning a world trip. You spend days and weeks and months planning and thinking and anticipating. But in the couple weeks before you go, you've prepared so much mentally and emotionally for the trip that all you need to do is pack your bags, jump on the plane, and have the time of your life.

I'm very much in that state right now. It's been a lot of hard work to prepare this, and I've changed and modified and completely remodeled the speech several times over. But the last few weeks have just been practice and minor tweaks. I am now just preparing the cadence of the speech and getting very comfortable with the flow of the slides and with the timing of each section. It's all about the presentation now - the content is locked down and I'm going to submit the slides in the next couple of days. The only thing left to do is the presentation itself. And as I mentioned in the previous post about this, that's the easy and (really) fun part!!! Going back to the travel analogy, preparing like craaazyyyy for my Japan trip was a lot of hard work over months and months. But actually jumping on the plane and GOING to Japan?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!! That wasn't stressful at all. That was the fun part. The hard work (stress, if you want to call it that), is all done at that point. At this point, it's all about straight implementation.

On that note, I'd like to announce the name I've (finally) settled on for the speech.

Mike Jutan: "!!! (and why it's so important)"

If you already know me in person, you already know what I mean by "!!!". If you don't, I hope you understand it after my speech. Tune in live (and free) at on Friday Nov 18th. I'll be speaking sometime in the afternoon, eastern standard time (Toronto time zone). If you can't make it online to catch the speech, don't worry. Sometime following the speech, a version will be posted online on YouTube to watch at your convenience. Thanks to everyone who has helped me prepare and offered advice, wisdom and direction. I hope you enjoy it.

Mike :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Weight-loss reward #1: Tea kettle and new tea

In keeping with "celebrating small successes", I've decided my reward for getting 1/3 of the way to my goal is to buy that fancy new Cuisinart tea kettle I was looking at. A friend at work recommended it and it sure looks cool. I like how it keeps the water warm and also how you can select a temperature for the type of tea leaves you're using, or for french press coffee. Very useful, and very fancy.

I wanted to buy myself something as a reward for losing 10 lbs and I wanted it to be a non food-based reward. Not clothes either as I'm planning to drop some bills on a nice suit when I reach my actual goal. The tea kettle and some new tea is perfect, because it's NOT a food based reward. It's actually one of the things that's helping me lose weight - it's really tasty and good and I'm making a point to have a few cups in the evening. I thought I might do that IF I got hungry to take my mind off snacking, but I'm actually finding that I don't even think about snacking anymore. It's pretty awesome. So that must mean the tea is working so well I don't even notice it. Even better.

So yes, I'm buying that fancy Cuisinart Tea kettle I posted a few days ago, and I'm gonna get a couple of teas from The Republic of Tea to start, as well as probably the British Sampler Pack from Upton.

Minor website update

Very minor update. Removed the Google Buzz social networking icon due to it's deprecation coming up in the next couple weeks, and replaced it with a link to my new obsessive fun website, steepster - a "tea lover's social network" haha.

For those of you who have been to my house you'll know my tea cupboard is something of an epic nature and it's reaaaaaaaaaaaaally fun to go through each of those in succession and decide which ones I like the best. Haha. I should probably sleep more instead of this. Anyway, it's fun, so whatever. :)

Weight Loss Progress

This graph is really motivating.

This graph is from the Myfitnesspal app and shows my weight loss progress over the last 2 months. The decline is at a reasonable rate and holding very very steady. No spikes up. No "bad weeks" where I slipped back into bad habits or went off the rails. There are a couple weeks where the weight loss plateaued somewhat, but the longest plateau so far came in right around 3 weeks ago and only lasted for about 10 days.

The real reason this is working this time and why I am going to succeed at reaching my goal is a longer answer, some of which I covered in my previous blog about this. But in short: I've actually made this a priority. I am an insanely goal-oriented fellow - good friends and close blog readers know that. So applying my usual mentality to something like weight loss is bound to work - but why has it never worked before? That's also a much longer and more complicated answer. Suffice it to say: I love traveling. Paying several thousand of my very hard-earned dollars to explore Peru and Argentina next year is going to be so awesome that I wouldn't dare ruin it for myself through my own inaction. The Inca Trail is going to be one amazing hike and I plan to enjoy every minute of it.

But don't expect Peru to be over and for me to return to old snacky bad habits. This is a major lifestyle shift - a permanent one - and once I reach my major goal weight of 180lbs (approx 11 down, 19 to go), I may either set a further weight loss goal or focus more on continued healthy activity like fitness and weight maintenance. It's about time I knocked this weight loss thing out of the friggin park. And it feels really good to be well on my way.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Art of Non-Conformity

My bro Heev passed this site along to me. In a word: "WOW".

This guy's goal is to travel to EVERY country on the UN list of countries - a list of 193 - in the 5 years between his 30th and 35th birthday. Amazing.

His blog is absurdly inspiring and interesting, and it looks like he covers a wide range of topics from entrepreneurship to what he calls "travel hacking". He has a really solid message about living life to it's utmost and I really, really, reaaaaallllly like this message.

Well done Chris. After 10 seconds of reading the first article on here, I knew I'd better add it immediately to my blog roll list so I can read it often. There are some really awesome people in the world.

Check it out, this guy friggin' rocks.