25 September 2009

The special day in a special place

Hi there! Guess what, I'm typing you this from the Hudson Hotel in New York! Yes! I'm over here on this side of the planet, about to sleep before a looooong day tomorrow exploring the world of art in NY! To top this off, it's my birthday today! Oddly enough, those who know me well know that I rarely do anything big on my birthday, mostly because I don't see the point in celebrating it really. But if I did want to celebrate, then this birthday really tops them all, being here in NY! :D

I walked around a bit down broadway tonight and to be honest, my leg got exhausted from that because we went from 58th street down to 30th street..... normally, I'm a-ok with this, but this damn leg brace I'm still stuck with is really irritating me now :(. Partly because it's not fitting me right, partly because I'm starting to be able to walk without the brace. But I don't want to risk walking the streets without my brace, it's not worth the injury since I still have like 2 weeks on this trip!

So far, Washington DC was quite peaceful but a little bit too dull for my liking. We got to see the great monuments and buildings and let me just say, I really appreciate how everything there is symbolic. It was quit inspiring, especially seeing Lincoln's memorial site. I'm beginning to like that guy a lot. Of course, Da Vinci still holds my #1 spot, but Lincoln is pretty damn interesting.

We passed through Philadelphia and I got to munch on a Philly Cheese Steak. Boy oh boy is that deadly but tasty! We passed Baltimore before reaching the big apple. Man, it is so awesome that I still remember so much of NY! It feels like I had just recently visited this place! The only thing I noticed that has changed is the Virgin store at Times Square is gone :P

I've got a little under 5 hours of sleep ahead of me and I really wish I could have one full day here in NY to just soak it all in, but no matter what, I'm looking forward to whatever little time I have here before we move on to Albany.

It's interesting to see some of the people in my group change over time on this trip. Impatient people become impatient, fussy people become fussy. All the real personalities are popping out. I'm just happy to be here, I don't find myself complaining that my time here in NY is so short, after all, I'm technically being compensated for being here, so why complain? I would have been in Hong Kong instead if it wasn't for my being selected for the International Visitors Leadershp Program.

I guess it's always good to stop and check if your complaints are valid. Personally, when you're given a free meal, to complain that it's cold is plain unacceptable. Then again, time is money so we're just getting compensated for our time here... ahh well, I better hit the sack :) Hello new york!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 September 2009

Brace yourself: the after-heal edition

So it's been a little over 2 weeks since I injured my knee and right now, I'm still in a brace but walking 95% normal. There's a very, very slight limp in my steps but I'm working on it by walking around more. I was told to do exercises to strengthen my muscles but I find walking itself to be pretty damn good (enough). :)

With all this (sit) down time, I've been banging away at my computer getting projects out of my to do list. By the way, I'm seriously loving my Remember the milk Pro account. The downside is that the USB port of my phone has screwed up so it can only charge the battery but not transfer data and having this silly knee of mine means it's hard for me to take care of its warranty. Not to mention I'm off to the US on 19th morning so if they take my mobile phone in for repair or checking, I'm quite screwed. So it'll have to wait till I return. Sigh. That's the one downer of my injured knee, a lot of things are "do it when I can...... later". As you may know, I really like to get things done and I'm not one to procrastinate. Not because I'm a disciplined guy, but my to do list system is like a mean woman always nagging at me to finish what I wanted to get done.

I formatted my macbook and cleaned it up. Inside and outside. I researched online and found that many people had good experiences wiping their laptop with rubbing alcohol and soft cloth, so I went and did it and boy does it feel different. I took it one step further and cleaned my super dirty mouse and keyboard on my desktop. Boy, my keyboard feels so smooth now it's crazy! Not to mention my mouse is no longer sticky (no, no dirty thoughts :P).

I've also been tweaking my macbook a lot and came across some cool tools like GeekTools and DateLine. I also went and installed Litestep on my PC and so far things are working great! Sure it takes a little getting used to it, but it sure makes my system feel.... well cleaner.

On a different note, Hong Kong got hit by a typhoon last night, it was pretty intense and people got to miss a bit of work this morning due to the conditions but everything seems to be back on track now. So I'm hoping nothing happened to my appointment with the physiotherapist today. It's 1:21pm now and I got an hour before my appointment so I'll ring them up at 2pm to double check. Getting a bit hungry, could use some food. Hm.

The few benefits I got from having an injured knee is that it forces me to stay in one place for a while. I get to focus on what I'm doing because the distractions are only on-screen. Sure I still have a lot of interruptions but I've figured out a better way to do things so I avoid the "Oh my goodness, I've got new email, I'm so curious I have to stop everything I'm doing to check it out" problem I used to have because with the Better Gmail extension for Firefox, my Favicon used to tell me if there were any new emails in my inbox. Whenever I saw that update, I'd get excited and stop what I'm doing to check it out. This used to totally screw me up because sometimes I'd get some long email that I'd end up taking care of, then afterwards wonder what I was doing before this! Yikes. So now I have an email notifier that checks my email every 15 minutes and informs me of any new messages. It gives me a short snippet of the email which allows me to skim through them quickly. I finally can sit and do my work. Interruption-less. Not free, just less.

As much as I feel my inability to do a lot of things now an annoyance, in some ways, being disabled has its benefits, it makes you enjoy the world slowly, like forcing yourself to walk slower and just notice things. One thing I noticed, not surprisingly, was how fast I actually walk normally. It sure has hell is humbling when you can't do that simple task. So the next time you get fed up with say traffic jams, at least remind yourself, you have the option of walking fast to beat this jam. It really sucks having to take taxis everywhere here. I'm used to getting there myself. And so is my wallet. Oh well. See you in 10 days from the US (fingers crossed I get some Internet connectivity while I'm there!).


05 September 2009

Brace yourself!

So check this out, I've managed to hurt my right knee from swimming in HK waters. Yes, while swimming. Ok so that's the short story, I really injured it when trying to swim/jump across a metal tube in the water that held the shark nets of the beach and while confusing myself for a dolphin, my right knee hit the bar and hyper-extended, pulling the tendons and damaging the soft tissue. Ever since, I've been in a leg brace that doesn't allow me to do anything other than stand up (har har, I'm a stand up comic, har har) or lie down.

So for the past few days, life has been moving very, very slowly for me. To the point, I've decided to just sit at home today and take the day off. Literally. This is going to be the shortest blog entry, ever. Because it ends here :).