Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

New Humanist Symposium (#19)

May 12, 2008

The new Humanist Symposium blog carnival is out, including a post contributed by myself.  It’s all about life from a humanist perspective.  You can find it at:

http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/2008/05/humanist-symposium-19.html

Well done, L.C.

New Carnival of the Godless is out

April 28, 2008

No time to write because I have to do my taxes.  In the meantime, the new Carnival of the Godless is out, including a post by yours truly.  You can find it at:

http://www.nmmng.co.uk/4814e44f

Great job, No More Mr. Nice Guy.

New Carnival of Cities (April 23, 2008)

April 23, 2008

The latest edition of the Carnival of Cities is up.  It includes a post written by me.  You can find it at:

http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Seafarer/carnival-of-cities-for-23-april-2008.html

Great job, Sheila.

New Carnival of Observations on Life

April 21, 2008

The latest edition of the Carnival of Observations on Life, which includes a post by me, is out at:

http://anjamerret.com/?p=357

Great job, Anja.

Recent Carnivals

April 7, 2008

In addition to the European Travel Blog Carnival mentioned in my previous post, I’ve also recently had posts included in several other carnivals, including:

The Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance

The Carnival of Observations on Life

The Carnival of Consumer Focused Real Estate

The Carnival of the Godless #87

The Carnival of Fraud

 Check them out.

European Travel Blog Carnival April 7, 2008

April 7, 2008

The new European Travel Blog Carnival, including one of my posts, is out at:

http://www.europealacarte.co.uk/blog/2008/04/07/europe-travel-blog-carnival-7-april-2008/

If you like Europe, you’ll enjoy it.  Great job, Karen.

Always Have a Plan B in Your Pocket

April 5, 2008

There’s been speculation in the media that the U.S. may not just be in a recession, but that this could prove to be a depression.  There are probably more Bear Stearns banks out there that are teetering on the brink and the full depth of the credit crisis is still not known.  Great – a full blown depression – and I thought the recession that started the 1990s, which was bad enough for me, was supposed to be the longest one since the great depression.  According to theories of economic cycles, the next really big one wasn’t due until about 2050, the same time global warming should have melted the polar icecaps and glaciers, and become pretty much irreversible.  Now THERE’s a party to stick around for.  Well, it may be that this will be the real big one.  Am I worried?  No.  I have a Plan B in my pocket.

A little while ago, my new passport arrived.  I now have another option.  I can now take my English teaching qualifications and experience anywhere in the world.  There’s over one and a half billion Asians who all seem to want or need to learn English.  No matter how bad things get here, I can always go to Asia and find a job waiting for me.  A job that pays well, by local standards, and usually carries a certain level of respect with it.  Best of all, I’d be taxed at Asian rates.  Asian tax systems seem to have been designed by the same people who design their electronics.  Smaller is better.

One of the places I could go to is Taiwan.  A Taiwanese woman told me once of a place on the east coast where the aboriginal women, who were there before the arrival of the Chinese, are particularly beautiful.  She went on to tell me about the working conditions, pay, etc., but she had me at the beautiful women.

Another thing I hadn’t realized about Taiwan until I recently looked at a map is that it is on the Tropic of Cancer.  Hmmm… live on a tropical island with low taxes surrounded by beautiful women…  No winter.  Sounds good, but I wonder if my lily white skin could take that sun.

‘Tropic of Cancer’ is a novel by Henry Miller.  It’s a first person account of his life, observations, sexual exploits, opinions, and any thoughts that may have run through his head, no matter how dark.  It was controversial at the time.  Aside from the prejudices of his time, it’s still a good book and I liked it.  Much of it takes place in Paris, where he’d gone to write.  I could write in Taiwan.  I could spend more time on my writing because I wouldn’t speak Chinese well.  I’d have nothing to do but sit in the brilliant sun writing brilliant words while the beautiful women frolicked around me.  Well, after I’d put in my Asian hours at work, of course.

As I mentioned elsewhere, someone in Taiwan has been reading me in Chinese.  They were reading one of my posts about Vancouver real estate.  This was just after I’d seen a news story about the election in Taiwan.  Apparently, people were so sick of corruption that they elected a new government that would be a little friendlier to China and is even willing to discuss the possibility of re-unification.  I guess not everyone is on board with that, though.  It looks like someone may be considering buying in Vancouver, just in case.

It wouldn’t be the first time, of course.  People from Hong Kong moved to Vancouver in droves in the run up to its return to China.  Many of them returned when it was apparent Hong Kong would continue to prosper.  Many Taiwanese came here in the past, when China started rattling sabres and staging naval exercises near its “rogue province”.  This election could spark another wave.  Just in time to offset the doubts Vancouverites are starting to have about the real estate market and the way the business works.

As enticing and romantic as going abroad sounds, I’m in no rush yet.  Besides, I’ve lived overseas before.  But, it’s good to know you always have a Plan B in your pocket.

On Self-Pity

March 28, 2008

Okay, so the mild flu I mentioned in my last post was actually just the early stages of an unpleasant week of ravenous appetite inducing illness.  Now, I might more accurately say I’m recovering.  The fever seems to be gone – although I thought that a couple days ago, and it returned – and I can breathe easier.  I hope so.  I want to put this week behind me.

To make matters worse, the Canucks added to my suffering by playing some of their worst hockey just when they should be playing their best.  Two days in a row they sat and watched the other team play hockey in the final two periods.  How are they going to make the playoffs like that, let alone win their division?  It occurred to me after the second game that they appeared to be playing the way I felt.  Could they have been sick, too?  Had the flu infected them and worn them out?  It sure seemed like it.

Apparently, I looked so bad that one of my on-line students took pity on me and suggested that we cancel the lesson so I could get some rest.  Pity is not something that sits well with me.  It’s even worse when the source of the pity is myself, but that’s what illness does to you.  You want it to end.  You want to return to your normal, healthy, focused self, able to deal and cope.  So, you start to feel sorry for yourself.  “Poor me” syndrome creeps in.  “Why me?” thinking seeps in.  Before you know it, you catch yourself whining.  If it was someone else, you’d be annoyed by them.

I hate self-pity.  I don’t know how to deal with it.  Me?  Helpless?  I, who have endured so much?  I, who have overcome?  I, who takes a perverse kind of pride in the fact that he’s been fired from more jobs than many people have had?  How can I be this foul smelling, mouth breathing, wheezing, aching, limp mass of snot?

You might deduce from the previous paragraph that, even in good health, all is not perfect.  True, but at least you can try.  That’s what we do.  We get up and continue the struggle.  Self-pity takes that away from you.  It takes the fight out of you.  It makes you give up.

What do you do then?

A Certain Ennui

March 24, 2008

I haven’t written much lately.  In fact, aside from yesterday’s brief observation of global conquest, it’s been a week.  I’ve been feeling a kind of malaise, a lack of motivation to write posts even though I’ve commented on a few other people’s.  I just haven’t felt like writing.

I couldn’t even be bothered to finish any of the partially written posts I have saved just for such occasions.  Yes, I’m familiar with the concepts of forward planning, putting some away for a rainy day, and having a ‘Plan B’ in your pocket.  Imagine you’ve been putting money in the bank just in case you ever need it one day.  Then, when that day comes, you can’t be bothered to go to the bank to get it.  That’s how I’ve been feeling about blogging this past week.

There could be other explanations.  As my blogroll grows, I find myself reading other people’s work more, leaving less time to write.  I’ve also been trying to teach more online.  Since the students are in Korea, the classes are late at night and in the early morning hours.  That means I’ve been sleeping well into the day.  When I can fill the whole night, and I’m told it will get busy in April, it’ll pay off.  Right now, I’m just tired.  Then there’s the fact that my mind drifts to what I’d like to do.  Torn between what I want to do and what I have to do, I don’t put enough time or energy into either.

But, I’ve also been procrastinating.  I sometimes wonder if the time of year has something to do with it.  As far as I can remember, March has always been a slow month for me.  Even in my senior executive level negotiation days with an international publisher, I don’t think I ever closed a deal in March.  Budget and fiscal issues may have played into it because April was usually good, but I still feel below par in March.

I started to feel this way about the middle of the month.  Now, I even have a mild cold or flu to recover from.  Beware the ides of March, indeed.  Maybe its the darkness before the dawn – the final days of winter just before spring, the time of renewal or return to life.  Most cultures celebrate this time of year for that purpose.  Easter was actually hijacked from an earlier pagan celebration, Eastre, as many religious holidays are.  Of course, some will say that is not true – Easter is a unique celebration of the rejuvenation of a corpse and its ascent to heaven.  If this be true, I be Caesar.

As I look around my one bedroom East Van apartment it’s apparent that, not only am I not Caesar, it’s also in need of a spring cleanout and renewal.  Whatever.  I’m just waiting for April to roll around.

Reading in Tongues

March 23, 2008

Cool – someone’s reading me in Chinese.  At least, I think it’s Chinese.  I apologise if it’s another language.  This link – from Taiwan, I believe – has led to me two days in a row:

http://tw.search.yahoo.com/language/translatedPage?tt=url&text=http%3a//paulmct.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/never-pay-the-dealer-up-front/&lp=en_zt&.intl=tw&fr=notfound_dic

What a cross-cultural, global touchstone I’ve become.  😉  How many languages have YOU been translated into?

Funny – I’ve been thinking about Taiwan, recently.