Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Love is... the distance between two heartbeats

My dear nephews back in Australia - Nathan, Anthony and Calvin growing up faster than bambooshoots (if you didn't know, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world)

I've been thinking about what it means to have a memory of someone you meet, stay with you long after your time together has passed.
As a traveller, I have encountered and enjoyed the company of exceptional people who have opened their hearts, lives and friendship to me. They by example, have taught me kindness and the meaning of hospitality which will remain long after the moment has passed.
I wonder sometimes what will happen when I return, will I make a change to my past environment or adapt to the shell that was one before?
Leaving all that family and friends behind, you have an opportunity to analyse yourself, the relationships that matter the most, sometimes renew your identity and also ache for the best that was left behind.
How does one transgress the path of time without leaving a little trail of happy tears, or handle this possibility with each encounter?

Dylan my other nephew

My sister Phong and niece, Charlotte.... but wait there's more

Ahhhh wallaby to further melt your hearts (photos courtesy of my sister Phong)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jamie's visit ..Es Schneit!!

Laughter makes ur cheeks soo Big!

Jamie is a fellow traveller from Melbourne, Australia who is currently working in the Australian Embassy in London and came to see what Germany was about.

We had a great time seeing it snow in a town for the first time. Like little kids, we could not get enough of the schnee! We were walking the cobbled streets of Schwaebisch Hall, trying to catch the flakes on our tongues, hiking up to the top of the valley and sliding down on card board.

Me doing a couple of tumbles

Just us and our cardboards (you can see all of Schwaebisch Hall in the background)

The local park in Winter time

A few weeks before the snow

Einlander cafe (I think that's what it's called) beside the park

Top of the valley

Jamie's visit


@ the park

along Gelbinger Gasse, photo by Jamie

view from the bridge

Schwaebisch Hall Bahnhof, photo by Jamie

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Inside the apple

New Apple IPhone Swanky!

Steve's thoughts on the role of computers in the class room (sourced from old article)
"The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can. The elements of discovery are all around you. You don't need a computer..."

Computers are very reactive but they're not proactive; they are not agents, if you will. They are very reactive. What children need is something more proactive. They need a guide. They don't need an assistant. I think we have all the material in the world to solve this problem;

"I always considered part of my job was to keep the quality level of people in the organizations I work with very high." Steve Jobs

full article here

"The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, and to the extent that we do not violate any known laws of the universe, we can probably make it work the way that we want to."

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." Alan Kay - computer scientist and developer of $100 laptop

Die kunst der kreation

The art of creation ...

Quality vs Quantity (designing for beginners)..


This is the biggest challenge for me personally as a designer, is having to overcome creating work at the very start. Procrastination on a creative level?
I'm not sure, it's just being too self-critical at first hinders your efficiency, motivation and ability to improve.
I wish I had a button that would enable me to flush these thoughts away - the closest thing to do that would probably meditation I guess.

Also having a strong concept or idea, a target to focus on design wise contributes to "the Flow"

Yes you know what I mean by "the Flow" when you're so into your work and time stands still in your personal space or doesn't matter anymore and the rest of the world can just burn into ether. It's just you and your imagination, you are connected to whatever tool or medium that happens to be used and everything just moves.

Michael my graphic designer lecturer from RMIT, told me sometimes we jump onto the computer too soon, and don't give ourselves the opportunity to start the creative process in an organic way; like using our hands, word associations, doodles and discussion so that the thinking behind the design has a solid foundation.

Winter's first real snow

What fridge?? Mohrenkopfle chilled with snow

View from my window

View from my window

fake snow, real snow

The prison

Berlitz training in Stuttgart

I spent about 1 week and a half learning to be an English teacher in Stuttgart. Here are some notes:

  • always have a check list of your luggage and don't rely on others to take it for you
  • having not enough sleep when you learn something makes you ill and stupid
  • I don't ask enough of the right questions in everyday conversation
  • I still get nervous when I get up and talk in front of a group of strangers
  • Need to make a list of good questions to guide people
  • trying to learn a new langauge is both rewarding and frustrating, trying to teach it requires a lot of preparation, and analysis of your goals
I crashed at Melanie's place, cooked for her, Benjiamin (her bro) and Patricia (flatmate) a nice roast chicken, went to Yoga in a beautiful dojo, drank lots of fragrant tea and smoked like a chimney.
I had a tarot reading from Melanie (the future is great!), ate authentic Vietnamese food at their favourite restaurant Noodle 1 I think and met some really cool people during my training.

Paul: A world champion powerlifter from my hometown of Melbourne Australia, came here for World Cup 2006, met a girl and has stayed since.

Donna: American student here on a 3 year exchange studying agricultural economics I think

Urvashi: Currently teaching maths, hindi, yoga and science, she has a photographic memory and I alwys manage to crack her up with my random smiles. Originally worked as a marketing manager in India, she married and moved here coming along with her husband.

Friday, January 05, 2007

RMIT graduation Oz

Sebastian (in the middle) congratulations!!!!

Lee (4th from the left): RMIT Bachelor of Property

My friends back in Oz in their lovely gowns, Casey,Ray,Jen,Sally,Eubien,Christina
Bachelor of Design (Multimedia Systems) gowns are sexy!
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Thursday, January 04, 2007

iamsterdam NY 2007

Trawling for bikes in the canal, over 2000 bikes are pulled out every year.
kool basketball Bling Bling shop
Taking a cruise along the canal, a bit slow for our tastes.
We didn't make it to the brewery, o well

iamsterdam NY 2007

Houses along the canal, the Dutch have huge windows so that they can move in and out of the houses.
walking tour
fireworks on the streets
Travis making himself at home at the hostel