Kara McNair

a work in progress

panorama of Vancouver/English Bay in summer

“What’s he _building_ in there?”

This jawfish has some serious construction plans.


ok, I think I have the media thing sussed

Media upload from the iphone app just fails. Period. There are some other reports of it and all the advice on how to fix it involves gradually disabling then uninstalling plugins and the full app and I don’t feel like doing that.

But uploads work via browser so my solution will be to pick which images I want to post and to upload those that way and then include them in posts I compose on the phone (because for some reason creating new posts on the browser is interminably slow. At least this will force some advance planning of what I want to post)

In the meantime, have an orangutan.

testing media upload from browser

max image size is 128MB. I am nowhere near that. What gives?

seems to work from browser but not iphone app. curious.

A good day in Ketambe

After a night of the heaviest rain I’ve ever been in (and I have spent a decent amount of time in SE Asia so trust me – this was serious rain) we decided to not go trekking in the jungle because the trails would likely be too slippery and dangerous. (The local guide agreed).

But the monkeys in the area decided to come to us and we saw three kinds around our deck before deciding to go walk up the road toward the park. I decided to stay behind and read because I’m still dealing with some blisters from newer flip-flops. Bill said he’d text me if he found any orangutans and I said sure, go for it.

(if I could upload photos here is where I would include the screenshot of the text message that says “found some”, the “Find My” screen of me zeroing in on Bill’s location, and the video of how quickly I was walking with those cruel flip-flops)

We got some good photos and some great video that I swear I will put up as soon as we have enough throughout for TLS sessions to work!

All in all, we saw 4 of the 6 endemic primates of North Sumatra today! Orangutan, long-tailed macaque, short-tailed macaque, and Thomas Langer (which I gather is a type of monkey and not the specific guy we saw)

Still North

I just realized that we haven’t crossed the equator yet. In fact, Lake Toba is a bunch north of Singapore, even.

Off to Sidikalang

After being assured that there is no way to get from Tuk Tuk to Sidikalang other than by a shared tourist bus that would pick us up at 7:30am at our penginapan (150,000 rph pp) did a bit more digging and instead walked 4km to the main road to catch a local Damri (20,000 rph pp) to Pangururan. Before the Damri got there an unregulated minibus came by and offered us the same fare. Since that was 30 min less waiting, we took it.

It was picking up people ad hoc instead of only at bus stops so that was more fun.

Once we got to Pangururan (dropped at a local transport spot operating in front of a small resto) we were able to book another minibus to Sidikalang for 40,000 rph each. AND we get to talk to locals instead of tourists.

Also, despite the fact that the minibus drivers are invariably, continuously smoking, because the windows are open on the minibuses, I think our covid infection risk is significantly lower than on the sealed, air conditioned tourist buses. AND many of the locals wear masks (no tourists that I’ve seen are) CO2 on this bus is 501.

(I sure wish I could figure out a photo solution but haven’t yet. I’ll get there.)

Danau Toba – laundry day

It’s been a while since I did this kind of laundry by hand so I put in too much soap powder – buying myself a lot more rinsing than I would otherwise have had to do.

But it was a nice rhythm to get back into.

We stayed at a different place last night ( we arrived at Parapat at 2:20 but hadn’t eaten so skipped the 2:30 ferry in favour of the 3:30. when we went to the dock at 3:20, they told us the 3:30 had left 15 minutes ago. which… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So we took the 4:30 and only got to Samosir island about 5pm. The ferry was supposed to drop us at our place’s dock but probably because it is low season and there were so few passengers, they called ahead to have someone come get us.

A 12 yr old boy driving a scooter came 🙂 I decided to walk 😉

The place was nice enough but the other guests were louder than we are totally comfortable with (our neighbour was having a VERY loud phone call in German until about 11pm (possibly in his tile bathroom because he sounded amplified) and we had planned to look around once we got here anyway.

We found a place with no other guests and a fantastic view! At a good price! they were a bit concerned that we opted to walk back to the first place and get our bags and walk back instead of borrowing their scooter but we and bags wouldn’t have fit anyway (see yesterday’s ferry arrival) and I need the exercise anyway 🙂

I don’t have photo uploading sorted out (we have mobile data but the images are too big and I don’t want to use it all up trying. I might see about an iCloud photo link instead or uploading when we’re on wifi.

We’re going to stay here a couple more nights and then move on somewhere else Hopefully to see either tigers or orangutans!

I’ll update this with images later – possibly from the small computer. I’ve never tried to do his from a phone before and I am not my sure I care for it. Or maybe I just need reading glasses.

Intention for Feb 3, 2020

I think today’s (and possibly this week’s) intention will be to practice equanimity. I added a little reminder sticker to my computer.

Unfortunately, I basically never see that while I’m at my desk because the laptop is on a raised stand.

But it’s an important skill to practice. In “Buddha’s Brain” they note that “complete equanimity is an uncommon state for both the mind and the brain”

and “with equanimity, the limbic system can fire however it “wants.” The primary point of equanimity is not to reduce or channel that activation, but simply not to respond to it. This is very unusual behavior for the brain”

There’s something very appealing about training my brain to decouple limbic response from my actions. I also like that this is described as ‘unusual’. For some reason that makes me more motivated to try this.

An index card with bubbly text saying "Mr. Loof" and a childlike drawing of a very long cat that could be mistaken for the Pink Panther.

Day 1 of “Making Comics”

It’s been a pretty mellow weekend so far. I … don’t think I left the house yesterday, despite it being the first sunny day this year (we have a pretty great view so I got plenty of natural light and enjoyment out of it anyway)

I learned yesterday that this year is a Leap Year, so I felt justified in deferring my “30 min of cardio a day for all of Feb” until this morning, but I did do it this morning.

But yesterday, I started the comics course I mentioned in my last post.

The course asks us to pick an alternate identity to ‘put on’ when we’re doing the course work. I wanted to be thoughtful about this but damned if the words “Mr. Loof” didn’t spring into my mind and refused to be shifted.

Meet Mr. Loof

An index card with bubbly text saying “Mr. Loof” and a childlike drawing of a very long cat that could be mistaken for the Pink Panther.

Mr. Loof is based on a real life loof (flood). This real life floofgoof:

A very long, very flat, orange short-haired cat

There’s something about drawing to random songs with explicit prompts that is very freeing (constraints driving creativity and all that). I’m trying to be open and no-ego about this process so I thought I’d share the weekly course drawings here. (The daily diary I’ll keep to myself).

Have some early work 🙂 (no alt-text for these b/c I don’t know how to begin describing them. “8 index cards that are starting to show some level of drawing style”?

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