Charles and Pam Ogletree

Photo taken from the Boston Globe article referred below

I’ve always been a fan of long-form journalism (especially print) but finding the time to enjoy good pieces is often difficult to find. It’s too easy in the modern day and era to be distracted by the next buzz on our phones or the changing colours of the world around us.

Thankfully, I was able to find a pocket of time recently to finish the Boston Globe’s heart-warming profile of Charles and Pam Ogletree.

Well worth a read.

Pam lives for those extraordinary, unexpected moments. When he allows her to hug him, or smiles, it feels like a gift. One night this fall, he turned to her abruptly. “Are you all right?” he asked with concern. “I just want to make sure you’re all right.”

“You’re a tough woman,” he told her another day, in a tone that was clearly complimentary.

She copies his infrequent words down in her journal, sustenance to nourish her in the silences. Sometimes, the notes have an ominous quality, as when he noticed a cemetery one day. “Dead people are over there,” he said. Then he hugged his wife. “You’ll be all right,” he told her.


Left, right, yellow, East, West – we are but a mishmash collection of features and Timbits, never producing the exact same blend, always melting into each other.

After some last minute scrambling, understanding colleagues, police removing flight passengers, overnight in an airport and travelling in a tiny candy tube, spent 2019 Christmas and New Years both further and closer to home.


The small things

It’s the small things that matter, and its these things we’re least likely to remember or realise. Not sure how one can make sure they always remember these little things, that’s probably an ask too much, but at least we can be understanding and more conscious of these.

I was sat there in a cafe having my chicken fillet and rice when an elderly lady on the table behind me loudly complained to one of the staff.

– Has the spaghetti been cooked?
– Yes, it’s meant to be ‘bounce teeth’ (think this means al dente in English)
– NO! You haven’t cooked it at all, it’s still raw!

It was a pretty innocuous, maybe 20 second, exchange. But I think it stuck in part because I had a similar situation on a recent trip to an Italian restaurant while on holiday with the grands.

Although I gave the same resolution to make sure the pasta is boiled more soft next time… I’m honestly not sure I would even remember before hand. So I guess understanding and in the moment cognisance is all we can ask for.

WSDC 2018 – Motions

Note: Wording is second-hand and may be erroneous. Apologies in advance if that is the case.

R1P: This House would require professional sports teams to be owned by their local communities instead of individuals or corporations.
R2P: This House opposes the development of lethal autonomous weapons. (infoslide: Lethal autonomous weapons are a type of autonomous military robot designed to select and attack military targets (people or installations) without intervention by a human operator)
R3I: This House regrets the widespread belief that motherhood is a rewarding experience
R4I: This House believes that states should allow all non-citizen migrant workers to vote in local and national elections
R5P: This House supports a school voucher system.
R6I: This House would not allow sellers and service providers to advertise their products beyond showing information and images that reveal technical product details.
R7P: This House regrets the Belt and Road Initiative.
R8I: This House regrets the rise of call-out culture.

PDOFI: This House believes that democratic states should not own or run media organisations
OFI: This House prefers a world with no belief in the afterlife
QFI: This House believes that foreigners should not be allowed to own land in developing countries
SFI: THBT rehabilitation should be the only consideration in criminal sentencing
GFP: This House believes that the West should end all arms sales and military cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Linkin Sleep

I was greeted this morning as I woke up by the fabulous click-bait from LinkedIn ‘How to fix your sleep cycle’…
Now how did LinkedIn figure that out?!

Baited I was, and apparently a ‘sleep expert’ Michael Breus wrote a book about four chronotypes (or sleep patterns) people fall under: lions, which you may better know as early birds; wolves, aka night owls; bears, who are in the happy middle and about half the population; and dolphins, who are the troubled sleepers.

I know this probably means we should figure out which of these we are, and then try to adjust our lives to the appropriate cycle, but to be honest my first thought is along the lines of this meme. Another instance of real life catching up with the desirable approach.

The Long Way

Since starting work, being a consummate consumer of news has been increasingly difficult. At the same time as my interests (or perceived supposed interests) expanded to include things I ought to know for work, the amount of time I have to read and consume news has shrunk as work has taken up the time or at least the mental space. I have learned to be more selective in what I read and choose, fewer spontaneous pieces, more focus on things I feel are most important. My sources have become shorter and shorter, being easier to finish in the sport bursts of time that I feel I have.

But more often than not, I am simply succumbing to the pithy, bite-sized, sound-bite based culture that our news and media has increasingly been reduced to. So it was fantastically refreshing (in this holiday of the last few days) to be able to engage in some serious long-form journalism – Hiking around the hills of Hong Kong listening to an almost 3-hour long podcast about the Oprah Winfrey show (Making Oprah by WBEZ); watching a 2-hour long film about spending a year in space (A Year in Space by TIME); a ton of long-form articles that I wouldn’t have had time to read in my normal routine.

So despite my succumbing to the ever-shortening attention span that we grant to the news, I guess this is a timely and helpful reminder that we should always find the time for some proper long-form news.

IMAGE: Taken from Mount Butler as I was reminded of a friend who said that their favorite thing about Hong Kong was how close nature was to the city and vice-versa. Fact proven when it is possible to do a 3-hour casual hike from door-to-door on the fly.