Weekly Photo Challenge: Time ( Night & Day)

I never have the patience to take the same image during night time and also day time.

I have a couple of photos here taken at different locations, one during night time and one during daytime.10153816_837122682971540_353915063_n

The images show chandeliers. They stand out a lot during night time.

The image taken during day time shows a more tropical setting.DSCF6068

They are also called “hanging bells” in HK.

Please enjoy!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Time (Angkor)

I felt I have stepped back in time when I visited Angkor, Cambodia.IMGP1172A

This image has been changed to Black and White to strengthen that sense of timelessness.

This is such an unique place on earth that I would like to revisit again.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Time ( Stalactite and Stalagmite )

We only perceive time through changes.

However, both stalactite and stalagmite in caverns only grow very slowly.DSC_0198

Limestone stalactites in particular form extremely slowly – usually less than 10 cm every thousand years – and radiometric dating has shown that some are over 190,000 years old.

Here are a couple of photos taken in the limestone caverns of Yunnan, China.DSCF2894A

While I am in awe with these formations, I don’t particularly fancy seeing them lit up in multi-colors.

I prefer seeing them in their natural color and state.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Time (Wall)

There are so many things around us that remind us time is passing by, sometimes, too quickly.

This wall at Lithuania reminds me that once it was newly constructed and painted.

With the passage of time, the wall deteriorated.DSC_0074

The paint came off, exposing the under-layers of plaster and down to the bare wall.

The windows became distorted as well.

The flowers give it a contrast, adding a bit of beauty to the aged wall.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Time (Great Wall)

This week’s DP theme for the photo challenge is Time.

I am always amazed that some structures can stand the test of time.DSCF2671A

The Great Wall has been built thousands of years ago; this is still one of the longest structures in the World.

These walls were the scene of many battles and were great in keeping the “Barbarians” out of central China.DSCF2670

Wish these walls could talk; so that they can tell us their stories.

Here are several photos taken in the Miutianyu section of the Great Wall near Beijing.DSCF2650A

I have converted them to Black and White, emphasizing the timelessness.

The original photos were taken during Autumn with some color foliage around.

The B&W, however, evoke more moods.

The next three days are public holidays for the Lunar New Year; so be prepared that there may not be any posting during the period.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Now (Clock)

This week’s  photo challenge is Now.

Clocks (and watches) always remind us of Now – the present moment. Of course, it is related to the concept of time or even to relativity.

While travelling in the Latvia, I stumbled across this clock tower. The face of the clock is interesting , so were the details around the edges.

I have to take this picture at an angle as the clock tower was quite tall. By doing so, I compressed the clock’s image in the vertical direction. Thinking about it, it is not the clock face that I want to compress, it is time that I want to compress and if possible, save time into a bottle as the Singer Jim Croce suggested in his Time in a Bottle lyrics.DSC_0063

On the subject of time, I am a big fan of Albert Einstein. One quotation from him is “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”  For instance, I didn’t hit you with eight blog posts at the same time. You only received one post in the last eight days, one post at a time.
Einstein also indicated that time is only an illusion. The fact that one of his best friends died first didn’t matter him that much; they will soon meet.

The Joy (and Jokes) of Retirement

The only reason for my retirement was because of health reasons – I was sick of my company and my company was sick of me. I knew if I was the last one to laugh at my boss’s joke, then I would not be too far from retirement. The best time to start thinking my retirement was before the boss does.

Working people have a lot of bad habits, but the worst of these is work. I told myself there’s one thing I always wanted to do before I quit – retire!

So one day, I returned  from work day and said to my wife, “Hi, Honey, I”m home – forever.”  From that moment on, I knew I switched bosses – from the one who hired me to the one who married me.  It turned out that my wife was happy because she knew that when a man retires, his wife gets twice the husband although receiving only half the income; knowing that if you have the time, you won’t have the money. If you have the money, you won’t have the time. The question isn’t at what age I wanted to retire, it’s at what income.

Then there was the memorable farewell party hosted by the company. My colleagues generously presented me with a watch at a time when time is no longer of essence. It is time I stepped aside for  less experienced persons. I knew that I have made a graceful exit at the most appropriate time

As I have retired from work, but not from life, I need something to retire to, so one of these things I set out to do was writing a blog. Retirement without the love of letters is a living burial.

I knew that I was taking my days off from my days off. Retirement is a time to enjoy life!  A time to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, how you want to do it. Retirement is wonderful. . . . . .  it’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it.

Life begins at retirement. The concept of freedom is never truly realized untl one settles into retirement mode. Although, I have been taking many laps in my retirement, retirement is not a time to sleep, but a time to awaken to the beauty of the world around you and the joy that comes when you cast out all the negative elements that cause confusion and turmoil in your mind and allows serenity to prevail. Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me. I never had the time before to notice the beauty of the lilies I love, the landscape and the tree outisde my own very window. . . . . . and the beauty of time itself.

A man cannot retire his experience, he must use it. So, I have been teaching, writing and using my previous experience as far as circumstances allow. I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul!

PS  The above is just a compilation of many Retirement quotes by this Retiree; the use of the originators’ ( dead or alive) quotable quotes is deeply acknowledged. They include George Foreeman, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Mason Cooley, Catherine Pulsifer, M K Soni, Clarence Darrow, R C Sheriff, Hartman Jule, Henry Emerson Fosdick, Gene Perret, Douglas McArthur and Seneca.

Borrowed Place Borrowed Time

I came to know about 1997 when I first read Richard Hughes’s Hong Kong: Borrowed Place Borrowed Time in the secondary school. Hong Kong was not returned to China when World World II ended and therefore we lived in borrowed space and time. (Richard Hughes was an Australian journalist who died in HK in 1984. He was also known to be a British spy, or even a double agent. He was the inspiration for the fictional character Dikko in Ian Fleming’s James Bond’s You Only Live Twice and for ‘Old Craw’ in John Carre’s The Honorable Schoolboy).

We seem to have learnt more about time and life from books, songs and movies than from our  schools.

In 1973, Jim Croce’s album Life & Times gave us the unheard  notion of saving time in a bottle in his song Time in a Bottle. . . . . . .” If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do is to save every day“. Jim died in 1974 at the age of 40. Of course, it is impossible to bottle up time.

Earl Grant’s If I Only Have Time embarrassed us with our many excuses for not doing the things we wanted to do . . . . . . . . .” So much to do, if I only have time, only time. Dreams to pursue, if I only have time, only time. . . ‘  then as in his song ” . . . times like a wind, goes hurrying by and the hours just fly. . . . ” and again in the same song ” . . . . life is really too short. One whole century isn’t enough to satisfy me. . . . .”. Earl died at the age of 39.

We know time is our most precious asset, but could we beg, steal and borrow time?

Then in 1975 Paul Anka came along with his jingle for Kodak, Times of Your Life. ” Good morning yesterday, you wake up and time has slipped away” and towards the end of his song . . . . .” Here comes the saddest part, the seasons are passing one by one, so gather moments while you may, collect the dreams you dream today, remember, will you remember the times of your life“.  In 2012, Kodak may even collapse.

Then came Stephen Hawking who inspired us with his cosmological view of the world and time in his Big Bang Theory.

The imagination of films have no end. I am beginning to think that we even live in a borrowed skin after watching the recent Spanish movie “The Skin I Lived In”.

Are we just spacemen travelling in time, living in a borrowed place (the earth) and in a borrowed skin (our body)?????