Thoughts and things ... It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know. Henry David Thoreau

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Iceland -what an adventure

I could write for days about my adventures, experiences, encounters, observations, and overall feelings about visiting Iceland. Maybe I will write for days on this topic but for now, I will just summarise some thoughts and experiences from my visit that came to an end far too quickly. I was fortunate enough to manage two mini trips to Iceland within a two-week span. The break between trips was great for making more educated plans for my second go around. Let me start by summarising my overall impressions before the memories start to fade a little. On one hand, the countryside through a bus or a taxi window at times seemed dark and dreary and at other times intriguing and green. The weather was predictably unpredictable. Any Icelander would tell you to wait 5 minutes for the next weather pattern. I experienced, rain, sun, wind (gusting cold wind) and a repeat of all of the above frequently within the span of a couple of hours. My return trip to Iceland had remarkably stable good weather for 3 out of the 5 days which seems pretty rare as patterns go per the locals. Overall, visiting in early October seemed a good move. On average the temperature was in the high 30s to low 40s during the day and the rain when it came was gone within 10-20 minutes. The only time the temperature really felt cold was when the winds picked up and by picked up I mean, almost pick you up – or blew you over!! Those winds!! I like to sleep with my window open at night wherever I am and Iceland was no different. I was conscientious and of course, turned off the radiant heat in my accommodations. I was also fortunate enough to not have direct wind coming...

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Day 1 in Iceland!!! (Tuesday, 4 Oct 2022)

My overnight flight to Iceland was spent getting as much sleep as possible during the 5-hour flight. I hit the ground running I must say. I caught my bus to the downtown area of Reykjavík, the BSI Bus terminal. Most people when they travel to Iceland wind up booking a spa day at either the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon. This was on my to-do list but it had become very complicated to try and figure out the transportation and transfers and timing so I decided to just get to town and check out the local swimming pool. The local pool is Sundhöllin. What a find. 1 outdoor and one indoor lap pool, several varieties of hot tubs, a cold dip a steam room, and a dry sauna. I spent about 3 hours there waiting for the time for my check-in and I don’t regret a minute. It was very relaxing. I checked into my AirBnB, about a 20-minute walk from the pools. Afterwards I made my way toward the downtown area and started my exploring/sightseeing. I just started walking around the waterline until I would see something interesting. It was really quite beautiful but I also discovered quite spread out, not to mention, a bit chilly with intermittent rain. I had already booked a ticket for the symphony for Thursday night at the Harpa so I wanted to get an idea of that location. As I was walking along I noticed all sorts of the infamous electric scooters available for rent. Why not? I looked up the app on my phone and soon I was off for my first electric scooter ride. What a difference! I have to say I was quite glad for the knit cap I had purchased on arrival at the bus station and the...

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Planning a trip when you fly standby!

As an airline employee, I have the privilege of being able to fly for free or at a significant discount.  This sort of travel, as luxurious and free-spirited as it sounds, is not without its share of potential stress if allowed to be a part of the packing list. Flexibility is key as is being able and willing to change plans as needed. I have an annual trip I take to the UK during the first part of October. This year I decided it would be nice to break the journey into smaller segments. Really I was just considering visiting my friends in Toronto and then heading on to the UK. As I looked at the routing I discovered that Reykjavík, Iceland was an interim point between Canada and the UK. The bright idea occurred to me to spend a few days in Iceland on the way to the UK. The planning of a trip like this entails checking loads/availability on flights and working out the timing to coordinate with less busy air travel times. I work at the Oakland airport. The closest airport for an international destination is San Francisco but the flights to Toronto were full so I decided to fly with my airline to LAX and then proceed on to Toronto from there. I arrived in Toronto between 8 and 9 pm and met up with my friend who had also just flown in and we headed on back to his and his wife’s house in Toronto for a pleasant evening of conversation. The addition of Iceland to my itinerary was so last minute that I really hadn’t had the time to properly plan. I’d done some research and had an Airbnb lined up for the nights I would be in the country. I had no idea...

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A little project turned big

I suppose when you buy a house a little remodelling is to be expected. I knew going into buying the place that I would need to deal with a sill beam/plate replacement. A few friends in the area described the project as ‘no big deal’ and encouraged me to go ahead and tackle the project. The process started with digging out the garden that was causing the rot problem in the first place. the bottom of the post has a time lapse of the last several days of demo work :) Here’s a quick recap of this last week of siding removal

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CCC – Conscious Constant Capacity for good!

Today I’ve been just thinking about the idea of expecting and experiencing good in everything I think and do. I can’t say anything special happened today but I have to say it’s yet another day when I love life and am grateful for all the good around me and I see in various experiences. I make it a point to find good in every experience that transpires even the terrible ones. I find that even in bad experiences I can grow and learn. Conscious means I am thinking about something and being aware. Constant means no room to think less than good thoughts. Capacity is the amount I am willing to experience and by conscious and constant the capacity is umlimited and therefore so is the good I can find and experience. One day at a time and the moments mean something and are not worth wasting on less than expecting and being receptive to the good which can be found all around us. Short thought but that’s the gist of it. Conscious Constant Capacity for good!!

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Tijuana!! Dental Trip

Last year I had the pleasant news from my local California dentist that a tooth of mine needed to be removed. Of course this is a specialised procedure which means you have to first get a $300 scan to prove you need the procedure then the pleasant news that one tooth will cost the equivalent of a used car. The figure quoted me was $7000 for extraction, post implant, and then crown. This figure was startling to say the least and my dental insurance is a joke only covering $1500/yr. I remembered that a friend of mine had travelled to Tijuana to get his dental work handled so I reached out to him for advice and to get a sense of his experience.  He had nothing but good things to say and his experience was far enough in the past to be a reliable source I felt.  This was last August when I decided I would follow through with Tijuana.  I have to say my first trip there I was a little apprehensive.  I reached out to a couple of other dental clinics besides the one my friend recommended.  Their explanations and time frames were not as comforting and didn’t feel as though they would be as thorough.  The clinic I chose based on my friend’s experience was Washington Dental Clinic.  They had no problem answering all my questions on the phone before that first visit. One of the things I liked about them was their time frame.  They refused to rush.  The first part of the process was the extraction and bone graft.  They said they required you to wait a minimum of 6 months before proceeding with the implant.  A number of places even in America like to do the extraction and implant all at once.  This clinic...

closeup photography of adult short coated tan and white dog sleeping on gray textile at daytime 0

Back to the subject of sleep

Earlier posts I have mentioned trying to gert rid of ambien and red bull. I’ve done pretty good with cutting back on Ambien. If I am desperate I might take a 1/4 of an ambien so about 2.5 mg. Sometimes I do have to up the dosage but I just uyse it to fall asleep if I just can’t seem to dose off. My ailment? Life! Nothing wrong just seems like such a waste to go to bed and waste time with eyes closed when there is so many things to enjoy and do whilst awake. I hate wasting time and that’s all sleep seems like to me is a total waste of time. I guess if I valued it I might get some but I have come to realise I don’t have to march to everyone else’s drum on this topic. I get it, to be healthy you are suppposed to to get 8 hours of sleep, you are supoosed to sleep at night because of body natural rhythmns, you are supposed to do a lot of things and they don’t all fit for everyone is my conclusion. I frequently stay up 24 hours and then when I do go to bed I am tired. Iam not exhausted just tired enough to sleep more naturally. Sometimes in the middle of the day I am tired. Well then I take a nap (3-4 hours worth). This doesn’t happen often but mostly I am realising it happens when I have supposedly had a good nights rest. The thing is those naps, when I am going to bed because I am really tired I sleep naturally and deeply. Last night I was in bed by 2am I think. I woke up at 8:30 which is a whole lot of sleep for me...

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Reading and remembering

Seems like every day I am finding more interesting material to read from a wide variety of authors. I’m not real big on fiction. I like to be educated or gain awareness of new topics in the process of reading but that can be a lot of information to take in and absorb at a time. I have been trying to find ways to keep material that I am reading fresh in mind and absorb more info. Reading multiple books at a time makes it a bit of a challenge to track sources mentally. The electronic age to the rescue! As much as I like the feel of a paperback book in my hand (much preferred over hardback) I have really developed a real love for the Kindle Oasis as a means of carrying books with me to be able to read at any time. I also like the Kindle desktop application for it’s ease in highlighting and reviewing notes quickly. The best means of remembering is daily looking over notes or highlights but that is just not realistic in today’s world. Enter ‘Readwise’. If you should do any search on the internet for Readwise and you will find multiple reviews as to the value of this amazing system. It’s a subscription service but the value for your money is amazing in terms of keeping you freshly reminded of notes. You sync Readwise with Kindle and with other apps that you may like such as Instapaper, Evernote or Notion and all your notes can become one document for any given book. The big service provided by Readwise is a daily email of 15 random highlights. Very easy to read through and review and you can opt to continue reading more highlights beyond the 15. I really look forward to my...

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Music – always an answer!

Another day when I can say music once again makes the grade and makes the day. Music is such a powerful healer and comforter. It helps me work, helps me change moods, helps me wake up, helps me stay awake on a drive it’s just got such power. I have several posts here already about my love for music and I’m sure there will be more in the future. Music really is the essence of my mood at any moment and can lift my spirit. Most of my friends have a favourite artist or a favourite type of music. I love so many types of music I can’t even fathom being limited to one genre. Between YouTube Music and Spotify and MixCloud – well I have my ears full. The last couple of weeks whilst reading and studying I’ve gone back to classical and I can instantly get in the zone to read. I’d prefer to be able to read in silence, but when there is other activity around that I need to block out the classical has been perfect. I have 2 playlists on spotify that are my reading playlists. They are both classical music – this one is the longer of the 2 playlists. I have another playlist that is over 25 hours long that I call the ‘everything playlist’ it’s got the sort of music that I think most people can relate to. Some of the music I like is too much for most people so my ‘Everything Playlist’ bridges the divide. I like all the music on it but there are a lot more the classics on it than I listen to these days. Great music of all genres from the 50s. 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today but all of a feel that can meet...

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Gratitude for the Dog-Sitters

It’s always hard to go out of town without the pups and this time around it’s turned out to be an extended time away. I have 2 friends who have been really helping me out with the dogs and making it so much easier for me to be where I need to be, helping the parents out at a time of need. Jason and Chris have really come to the rescue for me. Chris was available at the drop of a hat on a very last minute scenario and Jaason, well Jason actually called me before I knew I was going to need to go out of town to let me know he was available and the dates. I wrote the info in my calendar when he called but I hadn’t anticipated needing his kind services. As it turns out my trip was rather last minute and after a quick walk-around of the property Chris and his dog Chance agreed to take the first stint of my time away. Then Jason came for a few days and will be returning again before I come home. One of the things that makes my time away a little more bearable is the ability to be able to look in from time to time and see the pups chilling or playing in the back yard. Here are a couple of clips of their fun times. Chance is the big white dog that belongs to Chris – he seems quite happy to be a part of the pack during my time away. Thanks Jason and Chris for coming to the rescue. I know the pups are just as grateful as I am!!