transmogrify is my favourite word i learned from the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. i like it because there are sometimes muliple “layers”.

Python has some built-in functions to do some “basic” type conversion. however, i’ve learned “recently” that sometimes additional conversion is required to “prove mastery” (aside from logic) so my next discussions should involve these to be more pragmatic.

the first thing that comes to mind when i hear the word “apple” is the fruit but when i do a Google search the auto-complete and top results relate to the tech company.

i recently discovered from HQ Trivia that the apple traces its origins from Central Asia and China – i know it’s apple pie that’s associated with America but my “tangential” brain finds this fact interesting.

apparently in olden days, apple was a “generic” term and could refer to any fruit. this may have implications on whether the forbidden fruit actually referred to an apple.

interesting…

apparently, i was wrong: both think and thing are acceptable. like so many others, i had been inadvertently “influenced” by the Judas Priest lyrics.

i discovered my mistake when i “played” commonly confused words : https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-games/more-confusing

this had caused me to do a bit of digging and i stumbled upon this article: https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2014/nov/18/mind-your-language-another-think

if mondegreens are often misheard lyrics, what do call “misinterpreted” language from a song?

although we use the metric system in Australia, i still mainly use the English (or Imperial, pick your poison) equivalents for height and weight. maybe IMHO it makes more “sense”, maybe it’s just a force of habit (as we use a “mixed” version in the Philippines. strangely, we’ve not committed to one nor the other), or maybe some kind of combination of these.

apparently, lb is short for the Latin libra which roughly translates to “pound weight” – this etymology is also the root of the currency.

i partly recall the jingle to fully “convert” the population to metric that’s why i remember these ratios: cm = in * 2.54; lbs = kg * 2.2…

i knew i watched a lot of tennis – i’ve always tuned in to the AO. i thought i liked it because my maternal grandfather, my dad, my sister, my uncle, and my aunt played. my 1st cousin in America even was on the team for his university.

my son plays tennis but neither my wife nor me “encouraged” him to take up the sport. i used to believe that my affinity was primarily due to environment but his “innate” interest makes me think it has something to do with genetics.

usually i’m on my computer most of the time, but the frequency of “long” matches in this years AO has seriously cut into my daily routine – as i’m generally home-bound, it’s a bit more obvious. honestly, i’d rather watch than do other things.

i knew this year was “bad” because i used to just watch a bit and just occasionally checked the score but this year i watched some matches until the end. Maybe it was a bit more “compelling” this year – regardless, a sign i watched too much was when i noticed the players’ sock colours: some of the “next” generation ones sported “darker” shades, whereas the more “well established” ones wore the “traditional” white.

“tangentially”, it didn’t help my schedule that i also watched the SuperBowl (not just the half-time show but also the game – they show different ads in OZ) yesterday – even if it’s “unfashionable” to admit i sometimes do watch the sport.

i’ve always wondered about this but not until i had to use it in my code did i bother to find out the difference. apparently, it’s just a spelling thing: “grey” is the preferred British way; while some Americans use “gray”.

i was originally from the Philippines and the educational system there is heavily influenced by the Americans, and have migrated to Australia awhile back – hence the “worsening” of my confusion.

it took me awhile to resolve the “s” and “z” (pronounced here as “zed”.

my speech therapist says it’s another “obstacle” for me in learning to speak again as my accent is somewhat “Americanised” and most words are produced differently in Australian-English.

we only had a few days to go to China so we chose Shanghai because of Disney (previously visited by my sister and her family) and my best friend was there (unfortunately, he was reassigned to Thailand before we got there). sadly, we didn’t get a chance to ride the bullet train; or see The Great Wall or the Terracota Army but we enjoyed our stay nonetheless.

we’ve been to most Disneys and the castle at Shanghai was, IMHO, by far was the “best”. not only is it more aesthetically pleasing but you can enter and climb it. we started with a ride exclusive to that park. if there are three or more in your party and you are keen to repeat rides, you may want to consider their concierge service. moreover, it also includes reserved areas for the parade and fireworks.

we saw numerous bridges and canals that day – we were told that waterways were historically significant. on our tours, we were able to visit a “traditional” water village (my wife and son were able to go a gondola ride on the main canal) which was about an hour away from the city by car. as a contrast, we also walked by the river during the day (we saw the Bund and the things around it) and went on a “scenic” cruise that night (we saw the Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower with its “renown” spheres illuminated) – my son is into photography so he really enjoyed it.

aside from the aforementioned places, we also visited a “traditional” home – like the gardens we visited it was designed for introspection and thought. room entrances (at least those accessible from the outside) were designed with “hurdles” as ghosts supposedly had no knees – and there were a lot of “zig-zags” as apparitions could only travel in straight “lines” we noticed a lot of rocks in gardens and asked about it – apparently large ones were difficult to gather from the river and was a sign of affluence.

we also went to a silk factory and a pearl producer – they also educated us and not only gave us an opportunity to purchase stuff. what was important was they taught us how to tell if something was authentic or fake.

we also went to two museums (it would have been three if the other one had not closed). not to be aloof, but yes, we are museum people. i noticed a “lot” of paintings (not just at “traditional” repositories such as these) – my theory regarding affinity for calligraphy as the source seemed to be validated by my guide.

i (and my son) enjoy duck so much that my friend (whose tastebuds i trust) sent me this link:

http://www.smartshanghai.com/articles/dining/the-list-5-place-for-peking-duck-in-shanghai

consistent with what my friend said, one of the five “top” duck restaurants had closed as the food scene is really competitive. we managed to book at my friend’s go-to place. i usually don’t name places but i had the “best” duck i ever ate at Quan Ju De and the meal was “cheap”. i learned that it is referred to there as Beijing Duck and not as it’s sometimes known as Peking Duck as this has something to do with the pinyin transliteration (that is, technically it doesn’t really involve a name change). that said, so far our preferred cuisine is Cantonese – which is supposedly the apex of Chinese food according to our guide which isn’t the primary cuisine in Shanghai. what is the saying about Cantonese: they eat everything on land except cars, they eat everything in the sea except boats, and they eat everything in the air except planes. so i’m generally open and will try something first before saying or decide\ing i dislike it – that said, i don’t like everything but i’m more gastronomically”adventurous” than most.

i’m a big coffee drinker but , unsurprisingly, tea was really good there. just as i’m an advocate for beans, loose-leaf is the way to go. we witnessed a “proper” tea ceremony and my wife bought several tins of tea – they even knew how to package it for Australian customs.

i prefer food to shopping but you can’t deny it is world-class. most “luxury” brands have a “major” presence (some have multiple floors and we even went to a mall with only “exclusive” shops. there were even products that were sold only in Shanghai. thankfully, my wife and son only looked.

we wish we had more time to explore the city “fully”.