Friday, October 2, 2015

Inspiration from Pico Iyer

Have you seen these two Ted talks by Pico Iyer?

Caught them on a plane ride last year and find myself coming back to them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mental Health Day

It is a difficult thing to admit, the need for a day where I say "no" to any more demands on my time and more importantly, mental emotional load, however slight. 

I find myself teetering on the edge of extreme frustration (already quite frustrated) and emotional detachment (my way of distancing myself when things get dark) even though on paper, things look good.  There's a disconnect somewhere, so I know it is time to do this before I sabotage things further. 

Cannot remember if I've ever taken a deliberate work day for myself.  Booked a holiday yes but don't feel the need to fly anywhere.  Just need to sit still by nature for a while to get grounded again and gain some control over perspective.   And it cannot wait another day. 

It scares me to feel this way especially after all I've done and seen.  It hasn't felt like this for a very long time.  But nowhere near the worst it has been.  Just wise enough to recognize the signs.

What is 1 day, 1 week or even 1 month within a career lifetime?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


  • I've gone back and added captions to the pictures of Bogota.  The city was surprisingly cosmopolitan and the area I stayed in (La Macarena), had a lot of trendy restaurants.  My Spanish was pretty pathetic so there was a good amount of gesturing.  Met some great people.  Would love to go back sometime.  And again, nothing during my time there tweaked my worry meter at all.
  • Our trip to Bangkok has come and gone as well -- It was good to be back.  Had the option to cancel our flights without penalty but decided to go and support the country, knowing full well we are responsible for ourselves should anything happen.  Do check your travel insurance policy as they may not cover you in acts of terrorism, war (declared or not).
  • D is going through yet another round of job hunting and interviews.  I've come to realize just how much I dislike this whole process as he gets super pumped and I get a headache trying to work through what various positions might mean for our life.  A change is needed, as the work schedule over the last year is unsustainable and very unhealthy.  Can't believe he has lasted this long, to be honest.  I would have had a fit a long time ago.  He likes the position but it is just too much work.  And he is situated around what seems to be all movers and shakers and they cannot understand why he isn't one.
  • We just got notice that our airline credit card will cease to exist in another month.  Quite disappointed with the news are we are fairly new users and have already gained a lot of bonuses and have been looking forward to many years of it.  Instead, we are working down the list of places we have to update automatic charges with.  Back to our old travel card it is.
  • I believe I may have hit on something that can improve my heat exhaustion episodes -- Sodium.  I'm not used to sweating a lot at home, even when working out.  But when I started to go to some very warm places, that changed and I've been just drinking more fluids etc.  In Bangkok, I started to feel overwhelmed with the heat again and the idea popped into mind, so I did a small experiment with ingesting extra salt from foods plus a different electrolyte and felt like a new person by the next day.  Maybe this is the key I have been looking for.  Hope so, because my next Habitat build will be in a warm weather place and I don't wish to be the one who passes out on the work site.
  • My goal to get stronger is slowly coming along.  I'm frustrated with how long it is taking and how much it hurts some days.  Granted I'm not doing anything ballistic and I have no coach pushing me, but still I am getting impatient.  Enjoying it, but feeling pressed for time.
  • Almost forgot to mention -- I had a George Clooney "Up in the Air" moment at the T4 Delta lounge on the way back from Bogota.  I flew out of T2 and an agent at the lounge there helped reprint some boarding passes for me.  Coming home, he was working at the T4 lounge that morning, saw me and said "Welcome Back!".  It was embarrassing as everyone turned to see who he was talking to.  I couldn't believe he remembered me when they must help thousands each day in each lounge!
  • One last thing -- The car windshield replacement worked.  No more drips!
 This is what was getting passed out at Sathorn pier, site of 2nd bomb attack in Bangkok.
The investigation has been a bit of a gong show and even though Thailand is likely the 
most developed of the developing countries in this region, they still fall far short, 
in terms of training, education and procedures.  It still is, everyone for themselves.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bogota -- Photo Heavy...

Views from Monserrate

Lots of examples of street art.  
It is a respected thing there and police have been known to stand in protection of artists.
Huge contrast from Palestine.

Were these little guys ever cute.  How they managed to be so well trained is beyond me.
If you could only hear the level of noise on the street.
You place your coin bets on top of the houses and if they go into it, you win.

Lots of these cell phone minute vendors around the city.
For people who don't own a phone and wish to make a call, local or long distance.

Outside of the Paloquemoa market.  
This market was a real highlight for me.

I had the best shake made from that giant green fruit -- Guanabana.

Don't judge an orange by its colour there.  The greener ones are sweet!

Oh, the amount of money I'd have to pay for one of those papayas here in Canada...

I have never seen the need for such close egg size distinctions!!

Incredibly rich fruit shakes

It's obvious I'd never make it as food photographer.
I only remember to take a photo once I've mixed things up and take a bit or two...

On Sundays, major roads are close to cars -- Ciclovia!
Vendors line the roads selling snacks.  People walk, bike, roller blade.  Fantastic time!

This was the only food miss.  I thought it was some kind of coffee flavoured mousse.
Turned out it was a tough marshmallow thing and I could barely pull the stick out.  
Ended up having to just bite it. Horribly sweet. 

Walls of lottery tickets for sale.

Poster against the privatization of electricity.

Fantastic photo exhibit of the work women do in remote villages.