Guangzhou – the south

Last of the stash In China, Guangzhou is known for many things – Cantonese (Perhaps the dialect furthest from standard Mandarin); a somewhat irreverent culture perhaps owing to its location far from the edicts of Beijing and from exposure to centuries of foreign trade, and of course, Cantonese food. The Chinese expression “When eating, eat in Guangzhou” sums it up. Cantonese food, up until recently, was what the rest of the world generally considered to be “Chinese” food, mainly because many Chinese emigrants from the Gold Rush up until about the 1990s were from the Guangzhou area. To sample the … Continue reading Guangzhou – the south

Lunch and the Great Wall

More notes from the forgotten stash The next day we were off to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, although our driver (Who I later found out was not a professional tour driver) did have some slight trouble finding it. Guide and driver camped out in the parking lot below while we took the cable car (“The strongest cable car in China” we were assured) up to the wall itself. We were both glad to be able to do some walking and exploring on our own without having to follow the guide around. The guide did however, mention that … Continue reading Lunch and the Great Wall


I was cleaning out my Google Drive and found some notes. How did people file in the Paper Age? Every year since starting work I have taken time off to visit Southern China to see my family. This year however we first visited Beijing as my traveling companion had never visited Asia before, and since it’s along the way from Toronto to Guangzhou it’s certainly worth a stop. The first person to test my Mandarin Chinese skills after the 12 hour flight was the Chinese Immigration officer who asked me about my flight number. I fumbled around for my boarding … Continue reading Beijing

Apple and the progress of personal technology

I break blog-silence to talk about the Apple Watch. I like to think that clothing was the first piece of personal technology. 100,000 years ago, I suspect when it came to covering ourselves with the skins of other animals, we weren’t too picky. Perhaps the clan strongman got to choose first, but really, there weren’t too many choices. We were happy to be warm, if not particularly attractive. Then as other technologies got better (e.g. Building insulation, weapons) we relied less and less on clothing for protection and demanded different utility from it. Personal expression. Status indication. If we shopped … Continue reading Apple and the progress of personal technology

Chrysler Town & Country rental review

Perhaps in a some universe, I own a Chrysler Town & Country for occasional trips to Canadian Tire, hauling offspring, catching Cheerios, and perhaps a nip over to Linen Chest for a bit of room spray and throw pillows for when company is over. In this universe, I rented a grey 13 000 km example to haul a bunch of stuff 500 kms down the freeway without resorting to U-Haul. Things I liked: Leather wrapped steering wheel Punchy engine (Didn’t look at fuel economy though) Backup camera (Useful when you can’t actually see out the back) High mount shift lever Super console  Stow … Continue reading Chrysler Town & Country rental review


Months into my first real job, I bought a motorcycle – a 2001 Suzuki GS500. Just a few weeks before I’d done the rider safety course and received my M2, and followed it up by devouring every ‘how to buy a motorcycle’ guide I could find on the internet. The course was a lot of fun. From a shipping container in a university parking lot a stable of motorcycles emerged, some cruiser style, some sport style, some standards, and a handful of dual-sports. All were 200 cc and under. I tried the sport and and standard and liked the standard … Continue reading Motorcycles