Sunday, February 22, 2015

Feb 18, 2015

These kids were having the time of their lives sliding down the road, 
on plastic bags, cardboard, plexiglass, whatever they could get their hands on.

Monday, February 2, 2015


  • D met up with his cycling group for a few drinks and it did wonders for his training focus.  He is still hoping to join them in a spring cyclocross race...
  • I've been concerned about my buddy R.  Hadn't heard from him in a long time and from previous experience, silence has traditionally meant crisis.  I reached out and we tried to connect at his home airport while I was there recently on a 3 hr layover but he ended up not being able to make it last minute.  Life is still difficult as his wife has had her 6th/7th? surgery and is still not feeling any improvement. 
  • Recently started drinking "bulletproof coffee".  Not bad at all.  However, "bulletproof green tea" made my stomach turn within 30 min.  Not doing that again.  Thankful for Pepto Bismol.
  • Forgot to mention in the Habitat post about our homeowners' repayment of build loan.  The loan cost was 8460 USD total with a monthly payment of 106 USD from a monthly military income of 493 USD.
  • Our new-to-us car battery gave out during a particularly frigid week.  I found out that we can reasonably expect them to last 3 - 5 years now due to the elaborate electrical needs of more recent vehicles.   That would put us at just over 5 years.  Turns out that 2nd highest rated battery can be purchased from Costco (first rated one is more suited to rally car racing).  D was able to replace it, saving us 50% compared to what the dealership had quoted. 
  • It's difficult to explain the exhilaration I feel when you plunk me down in a cold stark place.  From the moment I emerge from the plane, breathe in that cool air, to the walk down the ramp across the tarmac into the main building.  There were many gasps of shock from the sudden burst of cold.  I think I was one of only a few who were grinning.  It's been a long time -- 2014 was about heat and humidity.  This latest getaway allowed me to test out my winter A-Game which led to the discovery of a few areas that needed upgrading.  The weather wasn't as cold (-38C) as it was supposed (-45 to 50C) to be this time of year so I have some work to do for next time.  At least ice wasn't enough of an issue that required my yaktrax.
  • I feel exhilaration of a different kind in Asia.  More from the chaos and not knowing what you are going to see due to the unpredictable nature of life there.  And also maybe a touch of having to keep an eye out for your life due to lack of structure and safety standards as we know it.
  • My office move has been delayed.  The contractors were not finished enough for my liking.  I was quite angry that they did not give any warning when I felt it was obvious.  It's a pain, didn't appreciate the last minute discovery and having to re-contact everyone when they had been notified a month ago and reminded just the day before...such is the life of a business. I've been actually having thoughts of not returning as where I am now is pretty good.
  • D is working from home 3 days a week now and enjoying it.  He's putting in longer hours so I'm happy he doesn't have to commute all week.
  • Had a higher than normal number of recent interactions with people who have difficulty with time management.  Last minute requests (not small either), not getting back for weeks or at all, being ultra casual in emails, like they are texting...Bothers me.  Makes me want to shout "Please get a grip and take ownership of your life!  Don't try and slather your drama all over me.  It's not my responsibility to solve all of your issues."
  • Did have a real breakthrough with deciding not to be more concerned (than they seem to be) with, or feeling the need to mention consequences of, other people's timing even if it looks like an impending train wreck.  
  • I think the above behaviour seems to bother me more now than prior because I see it as so preventable and unnecessary compared to stuff I've witness over the past year.  It does concern me that I currently feel that impatient.
  • I'm ending this summary with this article and some related pictures from Jordan.

migrant family housing/village

2nd, 3rd, 4th generation refugee settlement/small city

refugees from Syria working in fields picking tomatoes

 UN tents

Amman views