Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recap on the Last Two Months

It is over two months since my last blog post. I have recently been posting to Twitter, mostly so that I can write to myself and see what the few people I have been following are up to, maybe unknown to them. Anyway, I am thankful for the few friends who do follow me on Twitter (there is a link on the right), and no doubt they sometimes see my postings.

The main reason I have not posted on this blog is because I have been very busy. There just does not seem to be time to post things, and I sometimes feel bad about posting things, especially if it distracts me from my work. My swimming has been affected, too. While I still swim about 10 km per week, I often swim slowly and seldom feel out of breath, meaning that I go too easy.

A few months ago, our younger son was accepted to study at a college in Chicago (see the previous posting) and soon after that I thought we could just about afford it. Then our elder son attended a UK universities exhibition in our home town in Taiwan and was subsequently accepted by a university in South-East England to start an honors degree program this September. James has often tended to be a last-minute person, and this was no exception. We received the university offer for him only in June.

While this is of course good news, it has put added pressure on me. It's a bit like trying to ride the waves. If you can stay on the board, then it's great, but if the waves overwhelm you, then you sink! I am not one to consider borrowing money (even if it were an option), and so each day I have to be very disciplined with my work (fortunately I don't lack it), to make sure I am doing everything possible to make our children's university dreams a reality.

On this posting I attach a few pictures taken in recent weeks and months to serve as a reminder of some of the more interesting things I have seen or done in an otherwise busy life.
Kaohsiung (in south Taiwan) hosted the 2009 World Games and we attended the opening ceremony with 50,000 other people. This is only a few miles from our home. The wooden canoe is a traditional hand-carved boat used by the Yami indigenous tribe living on Orchid Island off the east coast of Taiwan.

A fisherwoman casts her net into Kaohsiung harbor. In the distance is the tallest building in southern Taiwan (85 storeys). The image is not very sharp as it was late in the day.
View from our rooftop. Not very exciting - naphtha crackers, a congested overpass, and some hills in the distance. Part of life in a big city.
Sunset over Cheng Ching Lake in Kaohsiung. Our home is about one mile behind the building sticking up to the left of the setting sun (the incinerator shown in other pictures below). I see this lake each morning on my way to the pool.
Not the moon, but rather the sun during a partial solar eclipse on July 22 about 9:30 a.m. Taken through 4 pairs of sunglasses on the roof of our house. A little hit and miss!
The gabage incinerator which is a major landmark in our immediate area seen behind a rice field. If you click on the image you will see that is carries an ad for the World Games.
A sign along the bike trail that goes along one side of Cheng Ching Lake, with the words being backlit by the setting sun.
Jocelyn standing with her bike next to two mascots of the Kaohsiung World Games. This was taken near the Love Pier by Kaohsiung Harbor, a place that we can bike to mostly along designated riverside bike routes.
The new wetlands park a few hundred meters from our house. The garbage incinerator is in the opposite direction to our house.
Not sure what these things are, maybe some kind of eggs. At least they have an important part to play in maintaining the ecosystem in these wetlands, something that has been neglected for too long.
Bananas, just yards away from the pink eggs. Grown privately on public land.
A excellent local jazz band performing on a stage set up by the river along which we ride our bikes. Well worth stopping to listen.
Jocelyn and me in our cycling gear on the sea wall having just arrived too late to watch the sunset over the ocean next to Kaohsiung's National Sun Yat-Sen University.

We are not doing anything special this summer, just spending time with the boys mostly at home as they get ready for the adventure of their lives. Hopefully, as time passes and more work gets done, there will be a little time to relax later.


Randy said...

Welcome back to blog land Bruce. Cool post and great photos.

Mark said...

Nice to have you back Bruce

ShirleyPerly said...

Good to hear from you, Bruce. You are truly a very dedicated father. My husband and I both put ourselves through school and expected my step-daughter to do the same when she chose to go to a private school vs. a public school (which we would have covered if needed). I hope both your sons appreciate all that you are doing for them.

Pilland said...

Your report is very interesting indeed. I invite You to see a great collection of views of borders (riigipiirid) in my Italian-Estonian site
Best wishes from Italy!

michelle said...





John said...

very beautiful sunset.

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