Sour Times · Really, they are. Our civic spaces are mis-led and full of anger, some of it even righteous. We have fouled our species’ nest and are ignoring the smoke curling out of its edges, and don’t know what’s awaiting when we fall out of the tree. I’ve been sad a lot ...
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Sungarden · End of April, beginning of May, it’s pretty well peak time for flowers. Back in the last millennium, I used to run lots of flower pictures here, but they started blurring together in my mind in a way that made me not want to. But sometimes when the sun’s in just the right place, the flowers insist ...
 
Jag Diary 10: Four Months In · Yesterday I drove the I-Pace to Seattle and back in one day, 459.8km (285.7 miles); the second time I’ve done that. What with that, and coming up for four months ownership, I thought it was time for another, maybe the final, instalment in this diary. Mostly good news — by a wide margin the best car I’ve ever driven let alone owned — but nothing’s perfect ...
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Tianjin · It’s a chunk of China west and south of Beijing, extending to the sea, with a mere fifteen or so million or so people. It was where our walking-the-Wall sequence ended up, specifically at 黄崖关 (Huangyaguan). The wall there was OK, but there was an attached museum I really liked, and also the Eastern Qing Tombs, which are highly photogenic and full of stories. Here’s a view out over Huangyaguan from up on the Wall ...
 
2019 Networking Snapshot · Home networking, I mean, and by phone. Hasn’t been on my mind much, because it’s generally been good enough. But for a variety of reasons I got an Eero WiFi setup and so now I have to think about it ...
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Walking the Great Wall · That was the name of the tour and that’s what we did, on each of five successive days. It was exhausting and thrilling and educational and yielded more good pictures than good stories. So herewith an illustrated narrative of what you might expect to do and see if you take this sort of tour ...
 
On Liking Beijing · It’s complicated. No big city offers just one flavor. Beijing (only China’s third biggest) has plenty. I feel no need to go back (see Disliking Beijing) but I liked some ...
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On Disliking Beijing · Walking the Great Wall was fun, but Beijing is more intense, leaving me with strong and mixed feelings. There’s a lot to dislike, and on balance I can’t imagine wanting to live there. (But see also On Liking Beijing.) ...
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Fujifilm X-T30 · I bought the latest Fuji in Hong Kong. Herewith the how and why, and twenty-four Chinese-flavored photos as supporting evidence. Um, if you’re visiting on a less-than-fast Internet link, you might have to wait a bit for ’em. Sorry ’bout that ...
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2000km · That’s the distance from Hong Kong to Beijing, and if you’re on a train that cruises at 306km/h, you can leave at 8:05AM and arrive one minute past five in the afternoon. The train has a number and a Wikipedia entry: G80 (check it out for some cool pix of the train). I suspect that not that many readers have taken this, so herewith words and pictures ...
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Visiting Buddha · Its official name is Tian Tan Buddha but everyone in Hong Kong just says “Big Buddha” and indeed it’s maybe the biggest tourist attraction. That’s OK, it’s worth visiting and you probably should if you’re there. I offer no insights about Asian religions but some possibly-useful tourist advice and a couple of pictures that make me smile ...
 
The Surface of China · What happened was, the girls are finishing Grade Seven so we walked the Great Wall of China. This actually makes perfect sense. By “the girls” I mean my daughter and a schoolfriend; they’ve been in Mandarin Bilingual elementary and have learned quite a bit of Chinese. They may be at their maximum proficiency for a while, since their high schools’ Mandarin offerings aren’t that great. So we (I mean the girls’ parents) thought we should expose them to some Real Chinese. Except for none of the adults speak any, so we went shopping for tours and picked Walk the Great Wall of China ...
 
Fun With Semiotics · I just finished reading The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet; it’s impossibly erudite and also hilarious. If you remember the Eighties and if you have some idea why Foucault, Giscard, Nastase, and Eco were interesting, you might really enjoy it, especially if you’re also entertained by sex, violence, and conspiracy theory ...
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Pink Floyd Dad Jokes · I took my 12-year-old and 19-year-old to see Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets tour (Lauren had choir practice). The band was grizzled, grey, and genial; when Nick closed by saying “We hope you had as much fun as we did” we felt he meant it. Their stage banter was that of well-bred Englishmen, dry and mild ...
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Graying Out · For many years I’ve interacted with my fellow humans, I think perhaps more than any other way, via the medium of Internet chat. But in my chat window, they’re fading, one by one. This problem is technical and personal and I felt it ought not to go unrecognized ...
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2019’s Crocuses · They come early, purple and gold harbingers of spring. Traditionally I have celebrated them in this blog space. But that nearly didn’t happen this year, for reasons that are obvious in the picture ...
 
LP Log · What happened was, Lauren said “My friend Leonard from choir has a friend whose husband died, and she’s wondering what to do with his record collection.” I said “If she doesn’t want to try to sell them, I’ll have a look at them.” Then I took off on a business trip. When I got back, Lauren said “You need to bring the records in from the van.” There turned out to be 900. This is the start of a story of musical discovery ...
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Tech Office Sketches · Herewith notes from the white-hot center of the Internet software profession. Maybe the reality these reflect prevails across other technology territories, but I wouldn’t know. In no particular order: ...
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D&I Soundbites · I went to a two-day “D&I workshop for leaders”. Many in biz will know what that stands for: Diversity and Inclusion. The people facilitating were WMFDP, which stands for “White Men as Full Diversity Partners”. Having said that, only one of the two was a white man, and the audience was more gender-diverse than the high-tech norm. Everyone was senior, there were lots of VPs in the room. It had a strong effect on me ...
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