i know the Aussie expression (it is Kiwi depending on whom you ask) of: yeah, nah, yeah can differ based on context and the actual variant used – in this case it indicates ambivalence.

it’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 12 years since i stopped work. don’t get me wrong – i was really glad to see them and i had seen some of them over the years but something was slightly different this time.

i had to reflect on it to figure out why. i don’t know if it was because my wife now worked for the same organisation, the place where we ate was just a stone’s throw away from our offices, they were “purely” social visits before, it was something else, or a combination of some of these factors. there were moments (admittedly, few and far in between) when the conversation was lightly peppered with “shop talk”.

this sounds like i’m nostalgic for work but i still recall it was a hardly a “bed of roses”. the core group is still around even after all these years (which is a testament to my former boss’ management skills). i think, to some extent, i miss the challenge – sure the team sometimes handled things differently, but our goal was, ultimately, to arrive at a singular mitigation strategy.

i guess i felt a little frustrated that stopping wasn’t really on my own terms and it wasn’t a conscious decision on my part: in short i didn’t have a choice.

i feel there were still things i could’ve “accomplished” and my contribution would’ve been much “greater”. Oh, well…

i have something called nystagmus (that’s a fancy way of saying my eyes dart around involuntarily). it’s not very pronounced so you need to consciously look for it. it manifests itself by me not seeing “very far”, my central vision being “blurry”, and my inability to read subtitles now – i use a magnifier when the fonts are “too small” as glasses don’t really help since it’s not a “lens” (the irony isn’t lost on me since that’s how my family and childhood friends refer to me) issue. my depth perception is compromised – i’ve always known intellectually that this is a likely effect but for some reason i only made the “connection” a few weeks ago. it’s more obvious to me as i played a lot of point guard in basketball and had a “decent” outside shot (i was particularly “skilled” at making free throws) – i now have trouble catching and throwing a ball.

the good thing is that i should have double vision but my brain compensated so i don’t experience this phenomenon and don’t get headaches. unfortunately when people should see two usually, i don’t based on my neurophysio tests.

balance can also be affected (that’ why PTs ask you to close your eyes to make a task “more difficult”). fortunately, all the core work they’ve asked me to do lately helps make this less of a factor.

i wonder how i’ll cope if i lose my vision entirely as i rely on a rollator frame and am claustrophobic…

i’m currently taking a visualisation course in Python and it has reminded me of red and green colour blindness: both hues appear similar to them.

while they are still granted driver’s licenses as a “strong” convention for traffic lights exist, the position and not just the colour convey information.

this made me think of truly inclusive designs: where a “best effort” is placed that a design is accessible by default (or a “reasonable” alternative or accomodation is provided). this is “good” to know since coming up with a “universal” design can be “problematic” (as more effort can be required) but in media without guidelines this can invaluable.

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.

i was at my weekly neurophysio appointment yesterday for first time in 2020. since it was the session of the new year, she asked if i had any goals or specific plans for this year – honestly, nothing came to mind and i hadn’t really thought about it.

she reiterated that my daily exercise routine was meant to improve my stability and balance. and that “putting it together” in a regular walk outside might be beneficial for me. i wouldn’t impose on my wife as she is tired from work and does household chores. although i exercise everyday, the last thing i want to do is go out exercise and do more of it.

so it might be more practical to arrange an NDIS-funded carer to take me for a walk. i sometimes already do this indoors in our “long” hallway at home so you might be perplexed. i’m not very confident walking alone on uneven surfaces. i was given an “assignment” before to walk around our house – case in point, i only tried this once as aside from it was slow going my walker kept getting “stuck”.

she thought walking outside may be beneficial (she was even willing to write the NDIS a letter to support an increased funding for this activity). i did some digging and i think it’s prudent to arrange a “trial” first using my current plan before “committing”to it in full.

we went to a a temple where one half was a tiger and the other side was a dragon – hence the title (subtext aside).

it was mostly raining while we were there (not at all typical for that time of year). my wife presented at Kenting (going there was a long , wide, and straight highway – our driver explained that the dividers can be removed and as a contingency can serve as a makeshift runway), a beach town (which we were unable to enjoy because of the weather and time of year – December isn’t exactly an ideal time), which was still about a two hour drive away from Kaoshiung airport. we were able to go to the night market – we would have enjoyed it more had it not been so windy. we had a cheap meal there – luckily the menu had pictures because we didn’t speak Chinese an they didn’t speak English at the restaurant. that said, most of the cuisine has a pronounced star anise or 5 spice smell and flavour – so if your not a fan of liquorice or aniseed be careful what you order.

the wi-fi at our hotel was very “efficient”. when we left the room that network disappeared. when we were at the lobby it was different, and when we were downstairs at the conference area another one took over. moreover, they had one on the tour bus they helped arrange.

among the tour, we were able to see a “shelled” beach where people are no longer allowed (as some tourists kept taking away the “sand”). we also visited the southern most tip of Taiwan (where you can supposedly wave to someone in the Philippines – it’s a “nice”, if highly implausible story). A very kind stranger got out of his car and helped my wife push my wheelchair up as the road was inclined upwards (it must be because we encountered a lot of Hindu temples).

we spent the last few days in Kaoshiung so we changed hotels. I was delightfully surprised that it was also highly accessible (and in my experience, second only to Australia and well ahead of several Western nations i’ve visited). honestly, i didn’t have great expectations as most Asian countries have what Hofsteder refers to as high cultural (adjective my own) power distance – case in point, ramps in other parts of Asia are quite steep and assumes there is someone at the back pushing the wheelchair instead of being self-propelled (which wasn’t an issue in Taiwan – at least the places i visited). that said, our driver said that a person in a wheelchair couldn’t just hail a cab off the street and special (read as: prior) arrangements need to have been made)

anyway, we were also able to go the night market in the city (it was obvious it was Japanese designed as the architecture and layout reminded us of Tokyo) but were not able to find the stall driver recommended – it’s really difficult when you can’t read or Speak Chinese. serendipitously, we ended up in a restaurant were another Filipina worked so it was easy ordering food.

our driver took us around the city before dropping us at the airport. we were able to visit the temple i mentioned previously. there were a lot of Japanese tourists and i noticed a heap of flights back to Japan at the airport. it was a “hidden” gem – we wished we had a few more days to explore it “properly”.