Yesterday I made an application to depart my university of employment and to accept a redundancy. It was an emotional moment for me as I had never contemplated exiting employment in this way. I always thought I would work until I dropped. My decision partly reflects what I want to do with my life in [...]
I am thinking about buying a home unit in Cairns north Queensland. I like the tropic climate – particularly as an escape from the Melbourne winter but also because I like the mix of natural habitats that lie in and around Cairns – from Port Douglas and the Daintree to the Atherton Tablelands. I probably [...]
I enjoyed and (I hope) personally profited from Roy Baumeister & John Tierney’s Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. The link gives a better book review than I could hope to write but this a special book. It analyses our ability to say “no” to temptation (to use heroin, to eat excessively, to fritter our [...]
I have sympathies for Mark Lawson’s preference (in AFR but unfortunately paywalled) for hotel swimming pools over hot, sandy Australian beaches where the sand burns your feet, there is no shade (apart from wind-vulnerable beach umbrellas) and where cold (genuine) gin and tonics are hard to come by – unless you are prepared to accept [...]
Recently I’ve taken greater interest in using Facebook than I have in the past. Its a nice way of keeping up with the conversation of life. If you do read this blog, and are reasonably active on Facebook, please join me by searching for me from your Facebook home page.
I’ll definitely continue with this [...]
I have been incredibly busy – writing up a new course (on “Economics and Ethics”), trying to learn how to use my new digital SLR camera (Canon 7D) and, as usual, in pursuing the hopeless task of trying to reduce my golf handicap. Many commitments with postgrads are suffering (mea culpa) and I need to [...]
I traveled to Yueyang at fairly short notice so I didn’t have time to do the usual internet search I do when I visit a new location. All I knew was that it was a tourist destination that was also an industrial cerntre, that it contained one of the three major pagodas (or in this [...]
I am residing in a hotel at the entrance to the Central Southern Univerity of Forestry and Technology in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. I have been holding seminars and classes at the University and, about twice a day, sampling the excellent Hunannese cuisine – spicy hot but not as hot as Sichuan. It has been [...]
I haven’t done a lot of work over Easter. I played a couple of games of golf, as I have been trying to read Immanuel Kant’s, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (the excellent CUP edition with introduction by Christine Korsgaad) and have, as well, been listening to music – Beethoven and Mozart String Quartets [...]
I am attending an Economics of Happiness Conference in Byron Bay NSW. It’s the first time I’ve been here in Byron Bay in more than 30 years. It is an attractive coastal town whose white settler history began when James Cook anchored here in 1770 – he named the town after the grandfather of the [...]
The usual end to each year for me. I have been holidaying in southern NSW and now in Sydney waiting for some really hot weather. Posting will be intermittent at most until New Year. Enjoy the festive season – I hope Santa brings all my readers lots of good toys.
Update 1: Back in Melbourne [...]
I finally got to spend a few days at O’Reilly’s in the Lamington National Park. A super-efficient, large-scale ecotourism resort that provides much better food and quality of service than most luxury, downtown hotels. Moreover, despite the commercial tourism the quality of the natural rainforest environment around the facility is very good with only minor [...]
I am taking some time off and smelling the roses. I’ll be back soon with a lower golf handicap and a more constructive appreciation of my betters.
Update: Ennui squared. I have just been listed as a participant for a half-day workshop on X in Y and because of my immense value to the participants [...]
I am holidaying in southern-central Italy. My main lasting impression from this visit will be of the good-natured and gracious people of Italy – for example, strangers greet you in the street, are helpful and decent. Of course Italy has many natural/cultural and artistic assets – and a deep sense of history – that similarly [...]
I have made my first ever visit to Greece by attending an economics conference in Athens over the past 5 days. It’s been a whirlwind visit but my impressions thus far have been, in the main, pleasant. Like every first-time tourist visitor to Greece I made an immediate B-line to the Acropolis the first morning. [...]
I am heading north for a couple of weeks and can recycle an old post to describe this move – except that last year I was the proverbial brass monkey in freezing cold Beijing. Blogging will be intermittent for two weeks unless it rains a lot. Readers please enjoy your summer vacation. If you are [...]
Richard Green points out that I am classified as a left-winger in this survey of Australian political blogs. The terms “left-wing” and “right-wing” are notoriously difficult to define so I am not unduly concerned about this. I hope that I am not regarded as “left-wing” simply because I support strong action on climate change – [...]
I am a sucker for ‘getting organised ‘ schemes – lists, sub-lists prioritising tasks etc. etc. In the main I employ these schemes for about a week until I tire of them. Email is a particular curse – I am on leave at present but yesterday received over 50 emails from my employer, many requiring [...]
I bought a fish in the Zhonguancun shopping plaza – a Siamese fighting fish – with a satchel of food included for 20 RMB – that’s about $3-50. In the shop it was sitting in a bowl of water about half a coffee cup size and I sympathised with its dilemma. The world is not [...]
I am settling quite happily into life in Beijing. It’s hot – around 31oC one day – and muggy with occasional showers. The heat gets to you the same way it does in Bangkok – the Joules interact with the smog and the excessive concrete making the heat feel as if it has just gushed [...]