My attempt at a picture I've seen online. I find my ring size is a bit small for this.

Iron Ringed, and the Fall of the ThinkPad

I know I don’t write very often to this blog any more, and truth be told, I don’t expect that I will write a lot here in the coming while. It has been a outlet, and for a period in my life, it has served me well. I will probably have another blog post, or two as I conclude several more milestones in my university program, but I’m gonna say, there might not be much that I’ll be putting in after it.

I’ve been meaning to write a post for a little while now, but no better day than tonight when my closest friends are all out having fun, and I’m left out on the other side of the country.

Haven’t really much to share, but tonight it’ll just be an outlet for some things that have crossed my mind recently.

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An Adventurous Heart, And a Map to Explore By

It’s been several weeks at work, and I have finally self like I’ve settled in. I cannot believe that I’m already nearing a quarter of my work term. Time is indeed flying by very quickly.

It’s been a struggle to do things recently, having the motivation to keep true to my goals. But right now, it’s a new opportunity, and this final year of school [of my program] is time that is needed to live the remainder of my University life to its fullest. So tonight I want to reflect upon motivation, at least, one example I’ve been doing recently of how to address it.

Thus far, I’ve been exploring places after work and on weekends, riding the subway to obscure stops and visiting the locale. It’s been a little tiring, but fun. I’ve kept a local transit map that I have drawn on to keep track of the locations that I have explored. So far, it’s turning out to be a nice project.

I say it is nice because of several things. First of all, this is an exploration of the real, tangible world, without the limitation like the virtual worlds in video games I’ve gotten used to. There are no dead ends or hidden corners that cannot be explored [aside for private property, of course]. There is no invisible wall that keeps you to the ‘valid’ area, or a goal that steers you along a pre-plotted course. This is spontaneous exploration.

Just the other day, after work and not paying attention very well after a site visit, I took the subway the other way. Figuring that I was already on the train heading the wrong way, I decided to make the trip into an exploration excursion. I pulled out my map, and looked for somewhere interesting to stop. Found a nice camera shop, stayed there for a while, before charting a new [unexplored] way home.

It was a tiring day, but it was a blast.

The most important thing about this model, I find, is that there isn’t a large amount of effort that needs to be invested before seeing reward. Exploring new locations is fun, and the construction of a map to log this has proven an immediate and progressive realization of that fulfilment. I look at my map, every time, and I marvel at how it has slowly grown.

Highlighting areas on my map is like keeping track of my achievements. It tells me where I’ve been, and where I need to go next. It also gives me an overall picture of the area that I have “conquered.” Truth be told, at the end of the day, it’s also a very nice map to look at.

I am only hoping, that before this work-term is done, a significant portion of this map will be shaded in by pencil.

Even if you are a local in your own hometown, how many places do you take for granted, knowing that you’ll always be around to visit it someday. We keep saying that day will come soon enough, but up until now, still hasn’t yet come.

So start out small, for every journey has a beginning, and that beginning starts with the very first step. And there’s no better time than the present.

Pencil shaded areas represent places that I've phsyically explored [and remember well enough]. There's not much on this map, but I hope to have the downtown core almost completely dark when I last set foot in Toronto.

Explored Areas

Toronto Diorama at CNE

Toronto Diorama at CNE

One lifetime…is not enough time.

Good end of January folk. It’s been a while since I’ve been writing. And I’ve taken a nice, long break, but it is now time to get working.

Expectation inflation – This is what happens when I seem to expect everything to be at an absurdly (to others) standard and always become annoyed when nothing lives up to my expectation.

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it’s a product of the University Life: being thrown into such a condensed program that there is quite literally no time for anything else, no excuses, being exposed to the workplace of professionals, where mistakes and errors are indecently frowned upon. And when others seem not to be on the same page as me, sometimes it takes an effort to step back and reconcile to the context.

Maybe this is just me, but maybe it’s not only me.

More and more frequently, I trudge along the daily grind of life, and more and more of the little things get to me. I expect uncompromising reliability in the products I buy — but things seem to break sooner and sooner with every passing generation and new release. Products I buy now, a Logitech headset, and a Logitech mouse, compared with their respective predecessors from three years ago, are already problematic after a month… (right out of the box for the mouse). Even the build quality of cars, electronics, houses…. They don’t last as long as they used to.

Of course, this could always be a product of the fact that when I was younger, I cared less about these things.

I have come to expect no-nonsense from my friends, and when there is, it is usually a half and half chance whether or not I will get annoyed.  I expect common courtesies, respect, and understanding. And though the pretense and context of our conversations are generally very informal, (i.e. Skype Conversation) the standard of quality I expect does not ever really change. I mean, at the same time, I understand a need for an argument here and there… it means people are communicating… but unnecessary drama and disagreement really stresses everything for everyone.

I suppose in one sense, it’s harder… being in an online chatting environment, half the time, you can’t actually tell another person’s true tone. And I know this… because with serious matters, one should never discuss with people over instant messaging… at least… now I know. It’s easier to sense another person’s true emotion, and work with it, instead of either, or both parties, trying to hide everything behind a string of words.

I just feel that there is so little time in life. So many things that I’ve learned that I don’t know; so much content posted online that would take hundreds of lifetimes to view. There are so many things to do, places to visit, sights to see, that I don’t want to waste my time dealing with people who can’t treat another person fairly, who can’t treat another person with respect.

It seems my life is all ready written before me. Once school is done, and work comes along, when all my friends are graduated and off to their own places, there won’t be time for much left over. It’ll be hard to arrange reunions. Even worse, one day if I’ll have kids, they’ll take up time, and any activity/journey/expedition/adventure that I ever wanted to go on… won’t happen for another twenty years. And by that time, we’ll generally be too old to be adventurous any more… Unless of course… I turn out like Carl Fredricton

So please forgive me sometimes, when my patience is short, and I feel you’re wasting my time. I know I waste a lot of time too, but… so does everyone. All I ask is that… when I don’t want time wasted, or things disappointing me… that we get along, so we can all concert our efforts to enjoy the infintessimally small fraction of existence that we can experience in our lifetime.

This is life.

 I wonder if this makes me mature, or rather, immature. I may definitely not be as open minded as I once was… either that, or my expectations and standards have grown almost “exponentially.”

Maybe this makes me more humble, this subtle thought process… but generally, it’s more to seek understanding.

Photographers - Just a collection of photographers. Faces have been covered by Cameras to preserve privacy!

Let’s Put the Camera Down for a Moment

I haven’t got anything I’ve written recently, so I’m digging up this half-completed draft:

This is going to be a blatant contradiction to what I normally write, but bear with me. Think about the following statement:

Let’s put the camera down for a moment, shall we?

It’s not about the nature shots or trying to preserve a memory, it’s about the times when you pick up your phone or camera, or tablet and trying to record every living moment.

Let’s consider the hypothetic person who walks into a museum and all they do is take pictures of all the exhibits.

Another person is sitting at a fireworks display or a music concert, holding their phone, trying to “preserve the event.”

Answer me this: When are you going to watch either of these events (on your device) again?

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Overusing Your Element of Surprise

It’s been a month….. More than… that I haven’t written anything. This feels bad. But I’m not giving up on this blog, so…

Let’s talk about surprises.

Surprises can be nice. Without a doubt. But surprises can also be unwelcome. Absolutely. But those are straightforward. What about surprises that are intended to be good, but never fully actualize?

Or they backfire.

These kinds of surprises are nice the first couple times.

Say you’re announcing your visit to a friend’s city after you get there. “Surprise!”

Or say you’re organizing with everyone else to pull off a party for someone who’s too passive to organize a birthday celebration. “surprise…!”

Or maybe you’re like me, and you try to pull off a dinner outing without telling people it’s actually your birthday! “Surpr–…” (I almost did do that once actually.) But you know what, morally, it wasn’t right. Morally… it wasn’t.

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A Year of Blogging, a Year More Developed

Today is the 11 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.

And for that, I will give a line of silence. [I would give more if wordpress would let me]

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However, more relevant, today is the 1 year anniversary of the inauguration of my blog.

It’s also a very interesting topic as I have recently come across discussions about introversion and extroversion. One of the reasons I started writing a blog was to try to balance myself from being such an introvert at the time. It’s now been a year, and almost 40 posts later, it has changed me.

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of NASA

Okay, so I’m tired of seeing all these comments how Curiosity was a waste of time and money, and I wanted to weigh in.

Science has always been like a forerunner for me, and I support scientific advancement wholeheartedly. After all, science was one of my best subjects, and I loved it studying it too. I love it too, that sense of discovery, and understanding of the world around you…

Science is just awesome.

But you see, science, inspires people. It elicits progress. And I’m not just talking about NASA, I’m talking about all of the agencies that push the forefront of technology. I don’t consider companies like Apple or Microsoft, working to push for a profit. I’m talking about the organizations that push for advancement for the pure simple reason that is science, and the quest for knowledge. Universities fall under this, CERN, I’d even say Ansari (prizes) are sources of great motivation.

All these organizations, create something for us to live for. Wouldn’t it be mundane if the life you live today is the same life you live 50 years from now? The cities still the same, the technology still the same. Nothing’s changed. Nothing to look forward to, just going day-in and day-out, making a living. It’s as if you’ve gone through half a century, but it’s been all the same. For a civilization as intelligent and great as ours, it’s natural that we strive for something more.

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