Yushan Hiking Trip October 1-3 2016

Proof that I made it to the top of Yushan

A few months ago, I saw Richard Saunders posting on Taipei Hikers about an upcoming hiking trip to Yushan, Taiwan’s highest mountain at 3952m. Since I knew that it took time to get the permits and even then, it wasn’t a sure thing, I jumped on the chance to climb this peak. At the time, I was quite fit. As the months passed, and the climb came closer, I actually had no idea what to expect. I had some issues with my previous employer, and had started a new job in September, so I honestly didn’t have much time to get back into the gym and running. Before I knew it, the climbing trip was upon me. I took the time off work, and bought some supplies.

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Big in Japan

I had a week off in July, so we decided to go to Japan. Specifically, Tokyo, with a short trip to Osaka. Naturally, Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios were on the menu. But first and foremost was the Ghibli Museum, located in Mitaka, Chiba. Unlike some of my other travels, we paid for everything besides transportation and food before we left. This was an interesting difference. After talking with a friend who is currently living in Japan, we decided to use AirBnb for the whole stay. This proved somewhat trickier than I thought, but it allowed me to sort out a Taiwanese PayPal account connected with the only bank in Taiwan that supports PayPal, E.Sun Bank.

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2015 AGV Pista GP & Corsa Review

When AGV released the Pista GP, it was pretty spectacular as it’s the only motorcycle helmet that I know that was designed with Finite Element Analysis. This is a technique to optimize and approximate missing data from known quantities. It’s pretty cutting age and processor intensive, but it does give good results. The Pista GP was made of 100% carbon fiber, while the Corsa used a blend of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aramid.

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The Last Cat Dinner on the Storytree

It was a busy week, and it had taken Mr. Fuzzles a lot of time to finish up the year at Cat School. From kitty report cards to marking pet exams, the way that the end of the year was organized at his Cat School was terrible. He had finished late more than once a week, finalizing everything. He had barely had any time at all to get high on some catnip or play with Tigger. He had already one end of year feast planned for the following week. Unlike this one, he knew that his other kitten school would pay for everything. It was a kind of local tradition. They weren’t dogs, they were civilized. It was what was expected.

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Kriega R30 Buying Experience & Initial Impressions

I had been looking for a new backpack for the last few months. The rebranded Ogio bags from Dainese didn’t seem worthwhile & I kept striking out with Octopus Bags. The Dainese-branded Ogio bags were 1.5 times more expensive than the Ogio bags themselves, it seemed like a waste. I had looked through many backpacks and decided that Kriega packs looked really good for motorcycle commuting.

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Institutionalized Organizational Inefficiency in Schools 

It’s always difficult and realize how inefficient some schools are, especially ones that you work at. Once you come across more organized schools, it’s a lot easier to make the comparison. It can be quite shocking how inefficiently run most schools are. I’ve also come across something quite balking. Schools that penalize hard workers. This is something very difficult to understand. Part of the problem when you work hard is that you make others look bad. This can especially be true when owners or others are lazy. 

There’s a problem when the people running the schools aren’t business people or educators. They just do what they think is best. This often comes from trying to deal with problems with short term thinking. There are plenty of ways of making schools grow. Only idiots don’t apply these short term measures, which generally end up hurting the school in the long term. It’s surprising how many times I’ve come across this in schools in Taiwan. 

Once you get through the lies, the “giving face” BS, you’re left with the cold hard truth, and from what I’ve seen recently, it’s not looking good. 

I’ve started working in a really big kindergarten school recently. They’ve got their school really organized in some facets. They know that the graduation show is a giant advert, so they run it like the army, ensuring that everything goes according to plan. My contribution to all this is quite minimal, as it should be. The managers know this and everything is already prepared for you. 

Smaller schools are generally a hit and miss affair. I’ve worked at some where it’s great, until something changes, like a new teaching director or a new owner. Others start off good and end up circling the drain, due to short term thinking and planning. When it comes time to the “graduation event”, smaller schools generally rely on their English teachers to come up with everything. I’ve come up with plays, songs, and more BS to placate the management. The result is never the best due to lack of time, resources, competence and organization from the owners. 

Ultimately, smaller schools need to look at bigger schools to see how more professional organizations go about running their businesses. There’s a reason why they grow even more. 

GPS Motorcycle Riding

Since I haven’t bought a RAM mount yet for my KTM Superduke, I decided to try a different way of navigating. On a scooter, it’s always easy to pause and check directions on a phone. On a motorbike, it’s a lot more difficult.

I paired my Bluetooth headphones with my phone, and started the navigation directions by Google Maps. I have to say that it worked very well, especially on the expressways, where it’s actually not possible to stop in Taipei.

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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