9/30/09

smile guidelines travel


sometimes i live more for a smile than for anything else. it must be because i'm Puerto Rican. we're happy people. it shows in our music. it's important to work; it's important for someone to say, good job, thank you. but only the smile calms the soul. the people i work with smile from the heart. i love that.

why don't people who write guidelines do so in 11th grade English? i have to pass on knowledge to my colleagues here and find i have to translate down, otherwise they won't understand. didn't guideline-writers learn about writing clear directions, without negative and passive verbs?

for example, i watered down "If such automatic controls are not feasible with the building systems, use the measurement equipment to trigger alarms that inform building operators or occupants of a possible deficiency in outdoor air delivery." to "If there are no automatic controls, set alarms to let people in the building know of a problem with air delivery."

why do they make it complicated? it does not make it easy for me as the "expert" to retain the information if I have to figure out what the writers said, and it is more difficult for the person to whom i'm trying to explain the concepts.

the law of economics are in place today with the motorized rickshaws. it's a holiday; it's raining; there are lots of people moving about. there are less rickshaws to handle the volume of people needing to go from the metro station to one's residence. so the price of transportation went up a bit. no problem with that.

i'll be on travel for the next 10 days visiting some western and southern provinces, with only sporadic access to internet, so i may not be writing here or posting pictures for a while, although i may try to.

9/29/09

Peter Sanson in Berkeley

i read an announcement by Anne Finstead in Mountainview that there are still some spots open for Peter Sansons' taller in Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley from October 5 to the 16th. Peter practiced closely with Guruji in Mysore for over 25 years. he's very kind and understands the practice. here is a picture of Peter doing Purna Matsyendrasana from Raeburn10025's flickr page.


here is a picture of Peter and Amma from Govinda Kai's flickr page. Amma teaches singing. she sang accompanied by teacher Vance on the base, last time Peter visited Berkeley.

sanskrit soup mat

i would think that if you need to try a practice that will make you laugh, the Lion Sequence is a good candidate. if anything because some poses can be so difficult that you roll on your mat laughing. take for instance Ardha Baddha Padma Urda Danurasana - a sanskrit word soup. you get one foot on half lotus, bind the foot from behind, then use the free arm to push up into an Urdha Danurasana. level of difficulty, from 1 to 10: 20. the best substitute pose is Urdha Danurasana. and the best preparation for Urdha Danurasana is Urdha Danurasana, as TM says.

after going about town in search of a mat that folded and not finding one, my colleague pointed out that I can buy a folding mat online. the manufacturer is easyyoga.com, which i think is a British company. i'll order one on the internet here after the holiday. here is a picture of the folding mat and also of their high performance mat. i like that they juxtaposed a woman interpreting plow pose with a folded mat. it's creative marketing.

9/28/09

notes lion ustrasana

as i settled to practice this morning i said to myself, "i won't be taking practice notes today. put the notebook away." i was wrong. i took the notebook out, but my notes are primarily funny. i continued experimenting with the Lion Sequence in the MS book. i started to do Ardha Bada Padma Ustrasana, in which, kneeling, you bind from behind a lotus bound foot and then with the other hand go into camel. i exclaimed aloud, "you have to be kidding." then i laughed. it's a good thing that because of the upcoming holidays most of the colleagues who typically live here are away, because they would have wondered what the laughter coming from the other room was about. then i moved to the next one and said, "i guess Ardha Bada Padma Kapotasana is out of the question". i laughed again as i attempted the previous one for a second time. Ardha Padma Krounchasana was an ooiue. how do you keep the knee of the foot that is in lotus on the ground while bringing up the other leg in the air? i was teetering like a rocking chair. it was fun. the bound ustrasana is not like the image below, but the illustrated pose is earlier in the Lion Sequence. the image is from agniyoga-ay.com.

beautiful dictionaries

this is for Susananda. i found this beautifully bound book, a Chinese-English Dictionary of Architecture. it includes the pinyin for pronunciation. the only thing is that it does not go from English to Chinese. in addition to it, I found a little architecture dictionary that goes from Chinese to English and from English to Chinese. however, that one does not include the pinyin, only the characters. in either case, looking at the books makes one learn.


i also found this book that is fun to read because it illustrates how characters where developed by the ancient Chinese. in some cases it's easy to see the relationship between the meaning of the character and what it looks like, such as in Shan - mountain.

9/27/09

dropback jacket

i've been incorporating in my practice the three mini dropbacks Grimmly recommended, from the book he's been reading.


a childhood mentor was an architect and world traveler. he told me that while on the road he favored clothes that were easy to wash and dry, and which had a lot of pockets with zippers to keep stuff safely stored. i found pants and a jacket like that. "they're the only ones they had." there are enough pockets in my jacket to satisfy Cello Holmes. i also found shades to go over my glasses. they make me look like part of the geezer squad, or as one colleague said looking at my new buzz haircut, like part of the maf ah. ha ha.

9/26/09

blanket bookstore haircut

i went to the big French owned Decathlon Sports store today to see if i would find a travel yoga mat. the ones in the store were as bulky as my Manduka travel mat. i left in storage in SF a thin mat that folds like a blanket. maybe i'll need to order a replacement for Xmas. i found a yoga practice towel, designed to go on a mat. it looks compact and will fit well in a small travel bag. i also found a handy poncho and some eyeglasses that go over one's glasses. yoga practice was difficult last week. i hope i can get practice in during my travels this week and next.

then i went to the largest bookstore here, the foreign language bookstore. it consists of seven stories of books. it was teeming with people. i found a beautifully bound architecture chinese-english dictionary at a great price. i went looking for the Lonely Planet China book, but, oddly, they did not have it. i think one can find a copy in the grocery store that caters to expats in Pudong.

then i went to the giga-sized camera store, just to find a little brush with which to clean my lenses. i don't know if it's that people have started their holiday, but everywhere i went today it was packed. then i went for a haircut. i thought i had learned to ask for a haircut properly. i prefer my hair long. i received the shortest haircut in recent memory. i was upset and let the stylist and the interpreter know. i need to return to the new place i tried last time and keep practicing with my language coach what to say. ha ha.

9/25/09

Yang Shuo, Guangxi Province

hot chilli peppers!


i'm going here soon.


reaching it by boat


there will be opportunities to walk too


it will be mesmerizing


yes, mesmerizing


photos by my colleague Guzheng

9/24/09

beautiful Yunnan

are you sitting down? that's good, because these are syncope inducing pictures. you may be given to fitz of oohs and aahs. these beautiful pictures of Yunnan Province where taken by the uncle of my colleague Nana Chen last year. the province is bordered by Vietnam, Laos and Burma. it has rice terraces of historical significance. on the west side it is very mountainous because of the Himalayas.

included here are nighttime and morning pictures of Lijian, an ancient city which is a World Unesco site.

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