Decline

I couldn’t find my wallet yesterday, usually it’s my keys, or some other item necessary for interfacing with modern society, like a mask. In winter I wear much the same, day in and day out, and the slight deviation yesterday sent me for a loop. I left my wallet in a hidden pocket I forgot about.

It’s common to joke when you reach middle age about early onset of dementia, except it’s no joke. As you get older you might settle into a routine, or you get busy, stressed, or all of these things. Throw in what has now become banal, the pandemic and the misguided protests against public health, and I guess I could be forgiven for being absent minded. But I can’t help but think that my life has been considerably dumbed down.

Living in fast paced cities where everyday presented some challenge, constantly needing to study a hard language, using that language daily, the stresses of work and communicating with people, intense exercise and an international travel habit that entailed no planning whatsoever made for a more nimble mind.

There are few such challenges these days. Life here is pretty sedate, with the pandemic even more so.

The only answer I have to this, is to try and find something new that I curious about, but have little experience with, and try to gain some expertise. I’m just not sure what that will be yet.


Story Writing

There are a number of opportunities for growth when working for yourself, a lot of goals to accomplish, a decent breadth of tasks to finish. I’ve ticked many boxes these past couple of years but there were still a few things I wanted to try before making any decisions on the future of our work. One was music composition, and the other was story writing, which I wrote about in October.

Writing children’s stories has been a slow process, and though I have been writing scripts, rewriting dated and often violent fairy tales consistently, original writing was rife with procrastination. So inefficient was my writing that despite finishing a number of stories, I decided that it wasn’t going to be viable over the long term.

Except that I started to receive reviews and email’s about the stories I wrote. Kids started asking when the next chapter was coming and this morning I received a couple email, one stating that their kids were hooked on one story, and hoping there would be another very soon, and another whose son felt “understood, less alone, validated, and comforted” after listening to one of my stories.

I’m a bit overwhelmed.

I’m not a writer, but there seems to be a greater opportunity to connect with children via podcasts than I had really considered before. It would seem it’s worth finding a way to get over this procrastination issue, take time to improve the craft, and … get an editor.


Disagreements

Disagreements and differences of opinion are part of what makes a place vibrant, interesting and at times annoying.

You like tea, and think coffee tastes like shit. I love coffee and think tea tastes like pee. But we both can agree that sitting together drinking our favourite beverage leads to some interesting conversations.

But how do you discuss an issue with someone when their opinion has been formed based on complete fabrications? Fabrications from sources they trust. And they believe that your sources are complete garbage.

In business, decisions aren’t always based on good research, data, or any research at all. Sometimes good design loses over another approach. The results can be a loss of money, maybe a lot, or maybe nothing happens at all. In the public sphere that could mean a loss of life.

There will always be complete assholes of course, but how do you bridge this gap when the issues are important?


What am I? And do I care?

My son asked me last night what a graphic designer does, and I gave him the standard definition that floats around visual communication and the mediums in which they generally work.

He then asked me if this is what I do or what I call myself.

I said no, though it once was close to what I once did (my concentration in grad school was also visual communication) but it’s not a title that I would have or would use now. I left it at that because I didn’t really know what else to say. He knows what I do, but I guess as part of this foolish CEO class they take in high school they discuss job titles and he is trying to find how to fit my square peg in their round holes.

The work I do today ticks a lot of boxes for me. We are a success in so far that we have built products that people love. Unfortunately, despite making an income that should be enough (but isn’t), from work that I could continue doing till my mind turns to mush, I made a decision a while back that the likelihood that I can continue is pretty low.

Last year I ran a research project, interviewing 15 different people, local and remote, to get a sense of job prospects, their methods of success, and how I might now fit in the grand scheme of things. The reason to do such a thing was I guessed I would soon need to become an employee, not an employer. I analysed and abstracted the results, which in turn gave me action items. But I didn’t take action because I was having a great time doing what I was doing.

I don’t care much for job titles, if you ask what I do, I just say I make products for kids. But many employers seem to care and computers that scan CV’s care.

Much of the work I do still involves design at some level, but I’m not a graphic designer, nor UX, nor a product designer (whatever that is). Nor am I podcast producer or audio engineer. I’m certainly not a CEO. None of these levels of abstraction seem to work with me; maybe I’ll just string together a bunch of words like they used to do years ago in startups like (but add product and UX for SEO): Dream (Product) Alchemist, (UX) Happiness Engineer or a title used years ago when I was at the Creativity Lab, Creative Disruptor.


Optimism

After our last set of restrictions from the CPHO I wrote a missive about what I had hoped to do to maintain my sanity midst the never ending deluge of negativity (and rage) that seems to accompany life on the Island of late.

With the exception of getting outside, I still am not a fan of winter, I’ve read a few books, exercised far more and have paid increasing attention to the food I eat.

I’ve also disconnected from most of social media, with the exception of Instagram, the Internets greatest source of unrealistic body image expectations.

Despite this I’ve found it increasingly difficult to maintain a positive attitude. I’m generally not what you would call a positive person on the best of days, but the current environment makes it hard to maintain my usual salty/not salty equilibrium. Let alone make the kind of change needed to transform myself to having a more positive outlook.

Peter linked to Charlie Angus On Getting from Darkness to the Light which helped for a moment.

I think all I can do is acknowledge the negativity, move on and keep achieving the goals set in front of me, and hope that the sun of Spring and Summer bring with it a greater sense of optimism.


Literacy

When you sit and wonder how so many people can believe what they do with regards to all matter of topics, but most importantly these days, public health, it’s important to first ponder the following statistic:

“For years, we have seen data that says 46 percent of Islanders struggle with the basic literacy required to work and thrive in our knowledge-based, digital society,” – source

“In 2003, it was estimated that 40,000 (nearly 43%) of PEI residents who were 16 to 65-years old had literacy levels below the desired level of coping (Statistics Canada, 2003, p.107)”

The problem doesn’t seem to be improving.

Now couple this with the algorithms behind social media platforms manipulating people with disinformation and we can come to a possible understanding of why we are where we are.


Workplace fashion

I haven’t had to dress well for work in over 20 years, with smart casual being as fancy as ever needed. Mostly my uniform of choice has been jeans and a t-shirt, maybe leather shoes if necessary. But a combination of working alone and the pandemic has created a whole new level of comfort. Sweat pants, comfy sandals and running socks are now the norm for me. I get some looks from other olds like myself when I’m shopping for groceries, but I could care less. This habit is here to stay.


A quick change

I wrote this missive on our company Instagram account, replete with the required photo:

January has been my least favorite month for as long as I can remember, and my view on winter in general has always been that it’s best experienced from the inside of a warm home or on a tropical beach.

Further restrictions by the CPHO this month has meant my plans to increase indoor fitness activities have been put on hold, and daily trips for coffee cancelled.

To keep healthy mentally and physically I plan on:

❄️ getting outside as much as I can bear – including running on trails,
❄️ reading more,
❄️ have an increased focus on sound nutrition,
❄️ and follow along with the excellent coaching from @782fitness for daily workouts

I might also spend a bit more time working than I should.

The goal is to continue pushing forward despite all the roadblocks put in our way.

Sometimes a change in perspective, attitude, or direction takes ages to occur. This time for me it took a short afternoon nap. When I woke I decided to stop letting external events affect me to the degree they had been, and treat them as simply another challenge to be overcome.


Study harder

“Keep this thought at the ready at daybreak, and through the day and night—there is only one path to happiness, and that is in giving up all outside of your sphere of choice, regarding nothing else as your possession, surrendering all else to God and Fortune.”
EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES , 4.4.39

I told Sheryl the other day that I have been studying some of the wisdom of the stoics. Nothing serious, just some choice quotes and explanations.

This was at a time when after shovelling out all the walkways, so people could exit the building after the storm, (the people responsible never wake before noon, and take a couple days to get started) and shovelling and salting our parking spot clean, someone had the rudeness to take our parking spot. They came out later and moved the car without a hint of care.

This precipitated a boomer-like rant about selfish-individualism and the lack of empathy in people, laziness, and on and on.

We both agreed that perhaps more study was needed. My son simply stated that I needed to chill. He’s not wrong.


Emotions

I felt a range of emotions yesterday as I listened to the news reports announcing new restrictions on what we are allowed to do. I had arrived at another gym, which I just joined for the winter in an effort to not only keep mentally and physically healthy but prepare for some competitions in the summer and fall, while I am still able.

Like many I am tired, and like some I am angry. I have no more patience.

When this all started two years ago, it was perplexing as to how people refused to wear masks or wash their hands or follow common sense health guidance. When the vaccine came, it was mesmerizing how people had collective amnesia with regards to the litany of shots they already have HAD to receive. I realized that most don’t have our frame of reference, having lived through SARS and various other outbreaks in a society that respects health professionals and trusts government. These measures and more feel normal to us. We have improved.

Being a small place surrounded by water with restricted points of entry we seemed to do well. Round-abouts were built, hockey rinks announced, pay raises for government were approved, and most importantly few got sick. Like before, you still needed to wait 6 months to get an ingrown toe nail clipped, and years to see a paediatric specialist. Life was as it was but with the added regime of limiting your contacts or booking your time in a gym (travel was somewhat a no no).

I assumed that like health care professionals, and many others, surely the government has been working to exhaustion to prepare for an outbreak, right?

That assumption has proven to be patently false.

It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of priorities and competence. My son today cannot attend school, cannot train in the pool, and cannot go to his CrossFit gym. But he is free to add more shifts at his service job. He is safe while increasing the profits for corporate but not while preparing himself for the future? Not a good look.

I see no strategy or long term plan, only tactics. If there is one, it isn’t being communicated which is in itself another failure.

A crisis is a sure test of leadership for which this provinces leadership is failing. Now I turn this angst to something productive, the one thing we can do, work, at least until election time, when I hope to devote myself to making sure these people don’t continue to serve.


Getting more sleep

I don’t always sleep well and despite for years expending effort on other areas of my mental and physical health it has remained a problem.

Lately the problem has been compounded by frequent nightly visits to the toilet, which I find incredibly annoying but have come to accept as it’s largely out of my control. A recent blood test has shown no cause for concern. To help, I resist my night time love of fruit and limit my night time fluid intake.

I’ve tried intense exercise, relaxation techniques, stretching, listening to music, reading and other activities in an effort to improve my sleep, nothing has shown consistent results. What has been working is simply forcing myself to stay in bed longer, to not adhere to a set schedule. The kids are old enough to take care of themselves and I have the luxury of setting my own work schedule. This hasn’t meant sleeping in until noon unfortunately, that’s a talent I lost when I stopped being a teenager, but it has meant that when I wake up at 3 or 4am alert and ready to start my day, I force myself to lay there for an hour. Eventually I fall back to sleep until sometime between 6 – 7am, which is sleeping in for me.

We introduce visualization techniques to kids on one of our podcasts and I have found that useful as well. If during one of my frequent trips to the bathroom I find my mind focusing on thoughts of the upcoming day, I switch my thinking to a calm and relaxing place, an imaginary place for me. That place lately has been a small room full of books, with a fire place, and a comfortable leather chair.

It’s been working most nights.


Disabling Focus Mode Syncing

Apples Focus mode is useful if not overcomplicated feature which I use frequently. I find it useful when I am working to set do not disturb on my Mac so that I can respond to messages and notifications when I feel it’s appropriate. And at night so that annoying email messages are not coming through on my phone. Unfortunately, “Share Across Devices” located in Settings > Focus is enabled by default, which has meant numerous missed calls on my phone (our doorbell rings my phone so that I can speak to whoever is at the door, usually a courier).

To stop this syncing

Open the Settings app
Just above Screen Time, tap Focus
“Share Across Devices” — tap the toggle to turn it off


Spot on

I have been at the office subsisting on Maxwell house instant coffee of late so it was an absolute treat to enjoy a cup of pour over at The Shed this morning. Having a cup of coffee where you can not only smell but taste the overtones is a brilliant (re)start to the day. There are a number of places in town to have an ok tasting expresso but no place I have been dedicates itself solely to great tasting coffee. We are so lucky to have her.


Salty

My son read my Twitter posts recently and he and his girlfriend let me know that I seem salty all the time. This comes on the heals of being told that I seem too serious and don’t smile enough.

The Twitter that I am subject to is full of vitriol, virtue signalling, and an endless stream of all that is wrong with the world. With the exception of virtue signalling (many local companies/orgs. with social media chops pat themselves on the back endlessly), I thought I fit in.

I take their comments to heart and hope to share the brighter side of me, if I can find it. Except for here, where I will continue to crank.

Likely the best thing I can do for my mental health is simply delete all my social media – even Instagram, where I am flooded with videos of rich food and extremely fit people, a weird dichotomy which helps create unrealistic expectations.

I can’t delete Twitter entirely unfortunately, but like Facebook before, I’ll just stop showing up and be all the happier as a result.


Not a resolution

I’ve long felt that New Years resolutions were nonsense and more a way to make yourself feel bad about what you didn’t accomplish than setting achievable goals.

On New Years Day Sheryl shared what we did on that day four years ago. We ran a race together sponsored by ChaTime (the same chain in Charlottetown), then went to see a movie at Big City, followed by Cheesecake and Latté’s at Ink, our favorite café at that time.

5 years ago I ran the Xiamen Marathon and spent New Years Eve alone in a hotel bar.

I enjoy how Facebook, Apple photos and DayOne give us a chance to remember or relive the past. It’s a valuable feature for me but it’s becoming evident that we spend too much time reminiscing, and not enough time creating new memories. Granted there is much more to do in a place like Hsinchu than say Charlottetown, the Island is a sleepy place, not a bustling Asian city surrounded by mountains and beaches. We led a full life before returning home, and now with the exception of our first year here, our default seems to do more work, which includes my son, who has a part time job, is on the swim team, and is part of our CrossFit crew.

We don’t expend enough effort trying to find something to do together, no matter how simple the activity may be.

My daughter is starting to get it. Unlike other local youth her age she has no interest in bars and drinking, or house parties and such. On New Years Eve she said she was going to go out with friends for a drive to the beach and later sit and talk at the park. At the time I thought it rather odd, but later realized this is exactly the kind of activity that is possible here, the kind of activity that helps build new memorable experiences.

On the podcast Stay Tuned with Preet, Scott Galloway talked about how he takes the month of August off and travels with his family to Europe. Now, he’s rich, and I’m most certainly not, but Sheryl and I used to do the same. One year we spent the summer traveling Europe, many summers afterwards we would spend time on a Canoe Cove beach. Scott talks about how he will never regret taking time away from work to spend with his family – a common refrain from anyone with the ability to do so and a modicum of foresight.

I have little to report about the past year. This is in part due to COVID (and Canada’s lack of a coordinated response), but we really could have done more. Much more.

I’m not going to call this a resolution as that’s just framing for failure, but I will commit to spend more time in 2022 creating more memories with family and outside of work.


Negative

My focus with going to CrossFit has been to enjoy the benefits of functional fitness, keep the various hinges working, and to focus on the conditioning component vs. Olympic lifting (which I can’t often do anyway). As well, any intense physical activity has mental health benefits, which is increasingly important these days.

I seem to have been gifted with good heart and lungs, and excellent VO2 Max, which allows me to push myself during activities that don’t require me to move a lot of weight. Any activity involving sprinting and the BikeERG I seem to enjoy most. Endurance activities seem limited by my weak frame alone. This is not to say that I expect to be finishing the MOAB240 or even the PEI marathon, but this seems to be where I am at my best and receive the most joy.

Lately, the workouts have taken a turn to the difficult. My time is only slightly off but the effort to complete has increased exponentially. One night this week I was laying on the ground post workout in a fetal position, less something bad might happen. Last night I found it difficult to breathe.

Granted our diet since returning to Canada has taken a turn for the worse and I’ve gained close to 10kg as a result but this seemed like a sudden change. With cold like symptoms, more laboured breathing, and general malaise I thought perhaps my 5 minutes in an overcrowded box store might have given me the gift of COVID.

So I took a test and it came up negative.

Now the only blame I can place on my decreased performance is my enlarged belly and a lack of training.


How it went

I started my holiday not with sitting still but with cleaning the whole house, taking all the extra stuff’s laying around out to storage, installing some new pieces on the wall and generally doing things that kept me moving and busy. It’s excruciatingly difficult to not do something.

Eventually I calmed down a bit and Christmas Day was spent preparing for our afternoon dinner and watching bad movies and TV. The only close family we have left on the Island is my 90 year old uncle who came over for a socially distanced dinner. He left with enough food and sweets to get him through January.

Perhaps it’s reverse culture shock, but I’m still not convinced with the “be kind to yourself take a break” culture that seems to be so common on the Island. I do feel energized today, despite not sleeping well, and am looking forward to a full day of work tomorrow. To contradict myself, they might be on to something.

When I was in Asia I was big on resisting the prevailing attitudes on work. I wanted hobbies, time for outside activities, and time to think. It’s strange to me that once I arrived in Canada, a place where you can’t find people because they are on coffee break, I became what I often wasn’t before.

While I don’t expect I will start taking weekends off anytime soon, I do plan on taking time off like this more often.


The Future

In the Spring of this year I finally came to the realization that the work I was doing, though rewarding, was at best a side hustle and decided to make some changes. Ideas of what to do are easy, ideas always are, but I didn’t really trust my own intuition and decided to ask for help.

So I started a design research project of sorts. Which though odd, makes sense to me since I use design thinking in most areas of my life. In total I interviewed about 12 different people, some of whom knew me, but none of whom have ever worked with me. Most were employed in tech, design, or were entrepreneurs. These were “casual conversations with a purpose”, short, and very open ended. I had no script.

The results were a wall of data which I further distilled to 2 categories, each with 3 data points each.

So I knew how and what to do. But I didn’t take action because all of sudden we started to make money podcasting.

The funny thing about living in Canada is that more money is not always a positive. It has to be a lot more money.

In our first year we made next to nothing, but had almost zero expenses. In our 2nd year, we doubled our income but we added a huge increase in expenses which negated the increase. In our upcoming 3rd year we see a large increase in revenue but now any increases will be absorbed by taxes, depending on how, or if I take a salary.

Yesterday over coffee we looked at the business, our finances and talked more about our future. We lead a modest lifestyle with the majority of our money going to support our mental and physical health. The thought of living here long term, leading the lifestyle we wanted, was a risk, the economics of which no longer exist.

I don’t know other families in Stratford well enough to ask how they manage, but I do know that we make far above the median income and just break even. We can’t approach the same lifestyle we had in Taiwan, nor could we survive on my wife’s salary like we frequently did there.

So we have started planning for an alternative future, one that includes living elsewhere, but also includes me working for someone else, which I admit is attractive, and/or working multiple jobs.

The future is basically more, not less work.


A Christmas gift

I’m burned out and reached my limit. With the exception of my wedding anniversary I have not to my knowledge taken a day off since last Christmas.

There has always been a bit of darkness to my personality, lurking in the background of my form of introversion, and sometimes exhibited by moodiness, or by being overly pragmatic, or once at it’s worst, mild depression.

Lately, it’s been more akin to burnout, which is what I have been feeling for a number of weeks now. It shades my perspective of living here and life in general.

My lack of running due first to injury, than the near constant horrible weather (an excuse), has not helped. When I move and do something I feel good. When I don’t accomplish much I can feel the darkness encroaching on my mood.

The conditioning workouts at Crossfit help, but working myself to physical exhaustion, last night I felt like throwing up, doesn’t have the same lasting effect as before.

So for 4 days I am going to try and do nothing, except clean the house, read, and binge watch tv. That’s this years Christmas gift. The hope is that this will be a recharge of sorts and that it will enable me to continue doing good work in what is going be a very busy new year.


Post Christmas

Coming out of Superstore last night in my evening stupor of exhaustion I stopped and mentioned to Sheryl that they were actually playing Christmas music. My first taste of Christmas muzak. Looking around the outside of the store it would be hard to notice it was Christmas season.

Downtown Charlottetown looks great with each changing season. Christmas is no different with the streets lit up and store fronts decorated. But leaving the downtown area around the Confederation Centre one would be hard pressed to realize much of the usual Christmas excitement of years past.

I could of course be blind to it all now.

The bright lights and celebrations have been moved to the residential areas, where I guess they should be.

I do miss the ostentatious light displays, the rush to find gifts, the food and general excitement of years past. It’s ironic to me that some of the best displays of Christmas come from our times in countries that place no cultural value on the holiday at all.

Luckily this Christmas we will all have the day off, something that was not always possible in the past, and spend the day eating, and wearing out the couch. Less gifting, more time with family.


Foreboding

Looking at the water yesterday, while out for a run, I had the feeling that a major storm was on the way. The harbour was so calm and sky grey.

Running at my level is largely a mental exercise, so one of the tricks I have been playing on myself is to wear shorts and a minimum of clothes on top. That way, if you dare stop moving you freeze. Eventually though, after I warm up and my legs are numb I stop to take some pictures.

The undershirt I wear is by KALENJI. And at $15 it is likely the deal of the century. I have winter gear costing 7x that which is no where near as effective. It keeps you warm until -15 and wicks dry in a flash. This coupled with a windbreaker and you are good to go but for the coldest of days.


On this day

7 years ago today I reached what I thought was the pinnacle of my Chinese language ability as I fielded questions from students at a university in Fujian. Giving a lecture in Chinese is one thing, but the unpredictability of what comes out of students mouths another. I was encouraged to teach the design school undergrads by my then employer, perhaps in an effort to make the company seem more international, and thus slightly more attractive for new recruits. I was nervous as hell but prepared and generally thought it went well. But as was often the case in Taiwan and China, the dean at once thanked me, and thereafter chided me for speaking less than perfect Chinese. Thoughts and ideas are of less importance than your ability to convey them.


Why Vaccinate?

I don’t know why I had the question or remember what online news article might have triggered this procrastination, but I thought I would go in search of “Why should we vaccinate against COVID on the Island”. We are all vaccinated, for self-preserving reasons first and foremost, and I have as much an understanding of the science to make a reasonable decision as I need. But time and time again I hear or read people having muddled responses as to their reasoning, which though they are I assume vaccinated, would lead me to believe that many are not clear as to what vaccines are and do.

Surely the PEI Gov. website would have that answer? Not that I could find with any reasonable search. The best I could find was from the Immunize BC website which though a tad lengthy for most people today, was very clear.

Why vaccinate.

When nonfactual information keeps getting repeated over and over again it replaces truth. This isn’t a messaging problem or a PR problem, it’s a design failure in government to present facts in a way that remind people of their purpose, in such a way that is clear enough to be a signal though all the noise.


Ads

This is another big week for advertising on Sleep Tight Stories for which we are grateful, as without them we might not be able to continue doing what we do. At the same time I likely won’t sleep, as I fear our listeners will balk and bail, or there will be a tech fail. Our numbers are still just about the same from the last ad campaign but this I see as a sort of stress test for listener loyalty.


Colors

I’ve taken a new approach to running of late, partially a result of listening to a number of interviews of Courtney Dauwalter. She espouses a joyful enthusiasm towards getting outdoors and moving your body which has been lacking for me these last 8 months. No training plan just run as your body feels. Of course, what her body can do and mine are miles apart, 240 miles, as she has been the winner of the 240 mile MOAB race over all participants. Which is great evidence of what the mind is possible of doing.

She is also a refreshing change from the “dominate”, “crush”, “who’s carrying the boats son” testosterone addicted athletes I’ve been listening to for too long.

So I go out and run, look at my surroundings, take pictures, and don’t worry so much about pace. It’s been working very well and despite the increasing cold I’ve been enjoying running. I tried to do the same today, as it was the type of temperatures I’d love to see all winter, but alas my Achilles still doesn’t want to come along with the rest of me. This injury just does not want to go away.

My plans are, if I can heal my injury, to spend an increasing amount of time running on the trails culminating in some moderate distance trail race in the summer, ideally in Utah, COVID willing.


Mysteries

Living and now working under people gives you insight into strangers lives.

Our first year back in Charlottetown was a nightmare, as we lived under a neighbour we unaffectionately called “Stampy”. He and his family own a restaurant in the downtown and would look like model neighbours – always a smile. But surfaces can be deceiving and many nights were filled with parties and people falling down drunk. Not the neighbours I wanted at this stage in my life.

Now I work in an extremely quiet office below a publisher of a periodical, which my past experience tells me is primarily a sit down do work affair. The noisy days of setting type are over but for those who appreciate the craft.

And yet there are days when I hear people constantly walking on their heels, using what sounds like a cement mixer, shuffling drawers and dragging large objects across the floor (dead body?). It’s at times like working under the constant din of a hotel lobby.

I mostly have my headphones on and it’s not in the same league as Stampy but it often leaves me curious. Maybe one day I’ll just ask.


Coffee and Pineapple Cakes

Sheryl received an unexpected gift of coffee beans and pineapple cakes from Taiwan. Much appreciated and I feel lucky that she has such great friends. I’m anxious to try the coffee, not just because you can never have enough, but also to test the likely romanticized memory I have of the quality of beans in Taiwan. Pineapple cake is an odd pairing with coffee but I will give that a try too.


Still searching

I’m still looking for glasses for running and CrossFit that don’t cost $500 or more dollars. These come close in fit but still need some adjustment to overcome the sweaty slide. I think I’ve aged about 10 years since I returned home to the Island, which is the exact opposite effect I had hoped for.