These small images link to photographs found in my currently-active Flickr album.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Most Changes Have Been Improvements

Day 126 - I don't want to sound like an old guy but perhaps one is allowed special dispensation as one nears 60 years old.

We were waiting in a checkout line yesterday when I thought about how being a supermarket cashier had changed. The once-tough skill had been reduced to merely scanning barcodes. If paid with actual cash, a clerk no longer even needs to know how to make change as the display shows how much to return to a customer.

It's not just the supermarket, much of the everyday stuff of life has morphed since I was a teenager. For example, we went from relying on broadcasters to taped media, followed by digital discs. Now all the content we watch is streamed.

Of course, standard photography has seen an even more abrupt disruption. When I was working at BCIT at the beginning of this millennium, I can recall a heated, class discussion about whether all cameras would become digital anytime soon. Guess what? They were.

I not only carry a camera around in my pocket but the whole digital darkroom as well. This seems a fitting photo for today. I was able to doctor one of the Kuala Lumpur branches of the HSBC. Lastly, banking itself has wildly changed since I used one of those new-fangled ATMs in high school.

What's black and white and red?   A zerbra with diaper rash.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Keeping Chill is an Art

This Side of the Confluence

Day 125 - We've still got a month before we head home for the spring, summer, and fall. Writing that sentence sort of surprised me as it doesn't sound like so very long now. Things are fine in Kuala Lumpur at present. We also have a 4-night mini-break coming up in Phuket, Thailand at the end of the month.

I don't want to waste my energy by starting to think too much about heading back to British Columbia now. There's nothing in our lives which causes us great concern or stress. We're fortunate that way. I should always remember that fact.

Friday, March 15, 2019

So Many Bird Sounds in His Video!

Camcorder Still
A Jackfruit Tree in the Back Yard

Day 124 - Jay's back in Kuala Lumpur! His night flight arrived a bit early at KUL. He took an airport taxi and was back here at a little after 9:00 AM.

It was fascinating hearing all the details about his two weeks in Sri Lanka. He spent a lot of time catching up with all the news from his sisters. They travelled to northern Sri Lanka and took an additional short journey to Kandy. So much had changed since we were last there, both personally for the family but also the continuing development in society and infrastructure.

Jay needed a big nap. It was good to go to buy vegetables at our supermarket across the street. We just watched the camcorder video on our TV. Things are quickly back to our unusual normal and that's a good thing!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Swabbing the Decks

Drying the MopDay 123 - I have been messaging Jay on WhatsApp a lot. It is a free, convenient way to keep up. In fact, having the app has been indispensable on this trip. Our initial Airbnb, on the Taiwan stopover, used it to guide us to the apartment. Just yesterday, I added the AC technician as we have to schedule a mutually acceptable time for an appointment. It seems in Asia it is a very common way to interact for business or with friends.

Jay's time in Sri Lanka is just about over. In fact, he heads to the airport tonight to catch a flight which will put him into Kuala Lumpur really early tomorrow morning. Luckily, Sri Lankan Airlines is running an Airbus on the route so he'll not be affected by the newsworthy grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 80s.

It's been a long time since I had to fend for myself for such a long period of time. I am thankful for the supermarket deli that's within steps of this studio apartment. I have absorbed many good housekeeping habits over the years. Still, with Jay's imminent arrival, I have ensured I clean up. Mops and I have never had much experience together, but it became an easily-made acquaintance. The refrigerator is stocked so there will be no need for Jay to cook anything tomorrow.

It'll be good to hear the tales of his adventures firsthand. Jay is pretty fast on a computer keyboard but typing on a mobile phone took him a little longer. I've saved many questions about the two-week visit with his sisters and his first time back in six years!

Nagadeepa Island, Sri Lanka - Send via WhatsApp - Mar 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

27,049 x 1000 = (A Lot of Equivalent Words)

Day 122 - For more than four months we've been away from home on this trip. For the time spent in Indonesia and Malaysia, I have written a daily blog post. In fact, I've been creating a daily blog post since September of 2003.

There's a whole lot more to this compelling story. Most of my photos do not get embedded here. If taken in full, they probably tell as much or more than the words I post here.

Click the following screenshot image to visit my Flickr photostream. As the name suggests, this is a running compilation of images I've uploaded. Since joining Flickr in the summer of 2005, I have added more than 27,000 of them. Do not fret, you will only see one pageful with the most recent at the top of the screen. However, one can also view by collection, album, or even by searching for specific keywords.

Screenshot 2019-03-14

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Life in Black and White

Is Colour Just Extra Noise?

Day 121 - If you'd have asked me a month ago about saving digital files in black and white, I would've said it was silly. It felt like a step backwards in modern image manipulation.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself;
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

This comes from Walt Whitman's, Song of Myself.


I have noticed that my Flickr photostream requires an occasional break from colour. There are indeed some photographs which tend to say more with less, in this case, with a mere addition of monochrome.

I'll no longer think of B&W photography as the oasis of snooty showoffs or precocious critics.

Not Much Junk on It

Public Space

Monday, March 11, 2019

Candid Strangers

A Night Before Full

Day 120 - The picture above was taken a day before the full moon last month. In July 2016, I bought my camera because of its powerful zoom lens. Technically, it is just a point-and-shoot device but has an 83x zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24mm to 2000mm. Lots of wildlife photographers bought the Nikon P900 when they came out because they are relatively cheap and light for such optical power. Now, of course, there are newer models with additional capabilities!

I don't shoot pictures of the moon often. Neither have I even taken a photo of a deer or moose. However, I felt as though I was on the other side of the park when I took this photo. The EXE data shows I left a lot of the lens unused!

ƒ/5.0 - ISO 400 - Shutter 1/200 - Focal length 98.1 mm

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ignorance Has a Cure

Readying for the Night Market

Day 119 - The number 119 means we've been away for about four months now. I realize this as we've only four or five weeks remaining before we return to New Westminster.

How nice it's been to experience another life, actually several! I swear this travel-bug thing morphs from something of a nicety to a full-blown necessity. I cannot imagine living as most people do and I never have. I mean what separates one day from another, one week from the last, or entire years from each other?

Jay and I can look back, on Bali not of our intial discovery in the 1990's, but from two months of living there this winter. From that island we came to live in Kuala Lumpur as a base. We rubbed shoulders with others who live here. We participated in activities we'd never have seen otherwise. We developed new routines and learned new ways to survive.

We feel smarter as a result. I don't know if travel can really make one smarter, but I'm sure it has helped to make me a whole lot less ignorant.


Saturday, March 09, 2019

Jay and Sisters Visit Jaffna and Nagadeepa

Stopping for Ice CreamDay 118 - Jay went to visit his sisters in Sri Lanka on March 1st. I called from here to ensure the flight went well and it did. Then, after he got settled, they planned their an overnight trip to northern Sri Lanka last Tuesday. Neither of his sisters had ever been to Jaffna. Jay and I did visit twice: one time during a relatively calm period of the civil war and once after.

It seems as though they had a good time although the weather was very hot. The oneway trip is about 400 kilometers and rather than taking the train or bus, they hired a van and driver. A friend of the driver also went along.

I telephoned the day after they got back.

Jay has realized that everyone everywhere has phones now. He has held out and has never owned a mobile. Uniquely, he felt proud of the fact. At the HotelHis sisters use WhatsApp and last night I added his younger sister's number. He sent about a dozen photos. I think he likes the idea of instant messaging. While he's still in Sri Lanka, I'll arrange for a video chat too. I can say being able to call for free makes up for the money in getting a Canadian phone plan.

I have a feeling that seeing how convenient it is to have mobile Internet, he may just decide to finally get one! I will encourage that wholeheartedly. This IS 2019!

Jay returns to Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Friday, March 08, 2019

No Jacket or Gloves Required

Old Market Square This Morning

Day 117 - I was up early, but not ridiculously early like the other day. Last night, I tried calling our Airbnb guy and discovered I was out of airtime; however, I still have 4.2 from 5 GB of data to use before next week! Telecommunications companies here are remarkably cheap compared to Canada's. Actually, most everyplace has cheaper plans than those in Canada! Anyway, I went out to buy a top-up at a kiosk guy in just down the street. He hadn't opened when I arrived at 9:20 AM.

I figured rather than walking home and then back after a few minutes, I could go for a little walk. Then, I remembered I could use some cash. I hardly use any local cash as we buy groceries using credit cards. Still, the HSBC is only a few interesting blocks away. I took out 150 Malaysian Ringitt ($US 37) just to keep in my wallet. The bank is right in the historical center of Kuala Lumpur.


Next to the River Today

The sun was beautiful and it was a pleasure listening to the many tropical birds. Honestly, I don't understand why anyone would stay in a place if they find themselves complaining about the weather. Is there some type of sadistic pleasure in it? We tried Canadian winters in just about the warmest location in the country. Even after more than 20 years, I never got used to the seemingly-endless five months of cool, wet weather.

This helps to explain why today's three photos were taken here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

My Memory

Every Time I Spent Less.  Soon, They'll Owe Me!

Day 116 - For most items, purchase prices seem to rise over time. However, this doesn't hold true for flash memory. I know I've made this same type of entry at least a few times in the past here. Yet, I picked up a bit of memory today when I was walking through the hypermarket where we buy most of our food. I think retail prices for some items may be cheaper than in Canada and the tax is included in Malaysia.

I got the 64GB for my camera although I probably never have had even 8GB on its SD card. Every evening, I copy everything to Dropbox. This allows me to edit via any device. Most recently, I've been using Snapseed on my phone. I picked up the other duel USB card for its practicality, forgetting my new phone is USB-C. I'll figure out some use, even if to carry around movie copies.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Feeding My Flicker Stream

Day 115 - With Jay gone this week, no amazing things are planned. For example, the highlight of my day was a walk. When together, we do it for the exercise and errands. Now, I'm doing it primarily to take photos.

I happened to be in the zone for seeing things to snap. It happens sometimes that almost everywhere I look, there's something interesting. Of course, this could have been magnified because I chose a pretty-much unknown route. I never really left the neighbourhood and probably only walked for several kilometers.

I took a dozen and a half. I'll show you just a half dozen. (Clicking any photos here will take one to the actual Flickr photo page.) The ones I've selected fall into three categories: buildings, transportation, and flora and fauna.

Through the Corner of a Glass Building
"Through the Corner of a Glass Building"

House Plants
"House Plants"

Shiny Red Things
"Shiny Red Things"

We Keep Perfecting 'Em
"We Keep Perfecting 'Em"

On Closer Inspection ...
"On Closer Inspection ..."

Too Fat to Be Feral
"Too Fat to Be Feral"

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Nearly Equitorial

Day 114 - For some reason, I woke up at around 4 AM. I didn't briefly wake up; I got up. I got up for the day.

We get around twelve hours of daylight in Kuala Lumpur during most of the year. This city is just 3.1390° N latitude. However, the time zone for KL means that it gets light after 7 o'clock. I don't mind as I often get up after that! In addition, it has a positive pay off because of the light later into the evenings.

What am I doing up before dawn?

This image was taken at 7:01 AM from my balcony. The dark area towards the bottom half of the picture is vegetation on Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill). The location of the KL Tower just a bit to the left of the image.

Monday, March 04, 2019

The Faded Maytower


Day 113 - The center building is the Maytower in Kuala Lumpur. We have rented a basic studio apartment in the building for part of the winter. After several months in Bali, we arrived in mid-January.

I decided to present the photo in black and white. I blame Flickr. I used to vehemently detest shooting in B&W. I mean it was perfect before the advent of cheap colour film. In the digital age, one has to consciously remove the colour during editing. That seemed silly. I thought people using greyscale were just trying to be pretentious.

However, this photo looked better without colour. The image says something MORE this way. In reality, the building is a bit dirty. Although it was built in 1992, I'm not sure it's ever seen another coat of paint. The top of the tower still houses hotel rooms. We're on the 18th floor in a section of the building reserved for serviced apartments. Our room isn't flashy but it is fairly good-sized. Its location is great and, importantly, the monthly fees were reasonable.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Try Not to Smile. I Dare You.

Try Not to Smile.  I Dare You.

Day 112 - This is a perfect place to hang right now. I marvel every time I walk outside with a t-shirt on and feel perfectly comfortable. Things are easy as there are three different supermarkets within a 5-minute walk. I know how hotel and Airbnb listings always say, "minutes" when they really mean "20 minutes". I am more literally in the middle of things.

I will not call Jay until after he and his sisters are back from their trip to Northern Sri Lanka. They're leaving on Tuesday and due back to Minuwangoda or Nugegoda the following evening. Until the middle of the month, I have the place to myself. We have never spent this much time apart for, well, as long as I can recall.

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