Participation Ribbons: Culture of Entitlement

"You'll all get ribbons, but only three will count!"
I've heard rumblings for years now (YEARS!) of adults pointing to the participation ribbon as the source of what has caused a claimed downfall of my generation onward. This "feel good" culture that has mollycoddled my generation into absolute ruin! It made us want something for nothing!


As if each aging generation before us hasn't looked upon the next one with condemnation. From their high horse of experience, they look down and think "my god, we were never that stupid!"

Bali in Review

Flying from Perth to Bali
This has been kicking around for some time now. I wrote it in Melbourne, a few weeks after going to Bali, though the numbers should be correct based on the records we kept.

Keep in mind that this information is about Bali during their low season. Not only was it low because of the season, but also because there has been an ash cloud from a volcano screwing up both the inbound and outbound flights. This had left a lot of people stranded for over an additional week, and delayed whoever was planning on going. I went this time because it fit my timeline, I figured it would be cheaper, and insurance would help carry the burden of my extended vacation if it came to that. My experience may be different than the norm because prices and bartering leverage will be different due to the scarcity of visitors. Chances are that a lot of the companies, cabbies, and tour guides were thirstier than usual for customers at this time.

Wedding Week

Before everyone arrived at Thanksgiving
Sunday - Thanksgiving and Shae’s gathering
Today is Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is a baking day to work on the recipes for my Matcha recipe book. Since I only give myself one day off a week from eating restrictively, and I try to avoid exceptions as much as possible… so it looks like thanksgiving is all salad and meat.

Waterloo Week

"Phil's Grandsons" the Infamous Waterloo Dive Bar
I'm going to be upfront and honest with this: I haven't really been focusing on writing for the past couple weeks. Not even taking notes, so this is what I recall based on the pictures during that week and walking through the week in y head.

I still hadn't heard back from my school and had followed up with them because I'm getting antsy. The Matcha is on its way, and I had put a fair bit of time into writing a recipe book. There was a wedding the weekend that began this week, giving me a surprise opportunity to hitch a ride to Waterloo with some family friends. Sounds good to me, I'm feeling cooped.

Mandarin - Kicking through Time

An alternative, wordier title is learning how indicate when a verb took place. I would say conjugate, but the verb itself hardly changes. I find using ridiculous examples as more useful for learning, and holding things in memory. For example: wǒ yǒu hó (which all rhymes) means "I have monkey." Now you know those three words. Congrats.*

More O' These
Learning to Kick Through TIME

Let's start with the basics here, shall we?  is the verb "to kick." It's short, it sounds like the hot beverage that Chinese people drink a lot of, and they can collectively kick you to the ground. When talking about time, and general modification of the verb, I'm going to show both time and a little bit of desire/necessity. Let's begin!

Interlude Between Months

Adeline and Steve during Painting Day

Ok, maybe I am getting a bit restless. I finally got out of the house, other than simply biking. I drove somewhere, parked, and went into a building. Williams street cafe is my local favourite, but they had unexpectedly closed early. This leads to me walking down king street, all half-kilometre, to the other cafe, Coffee culture. It’s actually a pretty cool place; formerly a bank, they converted it to a massive cafe with bronze, stamped ceiling tiles.

Introduction to Mandarin

Hello and Welcome to my introductory lesson in learning to speak mandarin. I can't read mandarin whatsoever, but they do have a handy translation for those of us who use the Latin Alphabet - Pinyin. They will write things like 谢谢 as "xiè xie," meaning "Thank you."
These have nothing to do with Mandarin

Let's crack into it!

The pronunciation of each vowel is fairly consistent. Though they use all the same vowels, they are not pronounced the same as in english. Combinations can be especially difficult at times. The best way to learn it is to watch this childrens video on the pronunciation. Ok, maybe it's not the best way, but it will drill it in. Over, and over, and over.

Fourth Week of September

Picture from when I went out Biking
Matcha comin' Atcha'

In my last post, I cut out a major part of my life for the first couple weeks because the writing was getting unwieldy. I’ll expand on that aspect a little. It is working with my Dad at odd jobs as a handyman for family and friends. 

I’ve had jobs before that were similar, such as demolition/renovation for a friend who runs a property management company, and helping friends here and there. But really, I know nothing, but would like to learn more. I just wasn’t sure of what it would be like working with my Dad…