May 23rd, 2023
I am standing at the heart of the Canadian Rockies, at the apex of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. The air is thin here, crisp and cold, as it mingles with the faint scent of glacial ice. It's a magnificent view, the kind that makes you feel insignificant and infinite all at once. The stark white of the icefield contrasts against the blue of the sky, making the scene look almost surreal.
Yet, as I look around, the grandeur of the scene is marked by an undeniable sense of loss. I can see the rate of retreat etched in the landscape, a harsh reminder of the rapidly changing climate. The Columbia Icefield, a majestic relic of the last Ice Age, is melting.
It's another record-breaking heatwave in the region, an unnerving reminder of the extent of global warming. I can feel the sun's intensity on my face, harsher than it should be at this altitude. I hear the occasional thunderous crack of ice breaking away, a disturbing symphony that accompanies the quiet whisper of the wind.
I take a moment to sit on a rock and soak in the reality of the situation. I'm here, in this moment, witnessing the slow demise of a natural wonder. It's a strange feeling, knowing that this landscape, so vast and seemingly eternal, is fading. I feel a pang of guilt mixed with sadness.
Climate change isn't just a concept or a statistic in a report.
It's real and tangible.
It's the receding line of the icefield
The softening crunch under my shoes
The increasing heat at this altitude.
This journey has made it clear to me that climate change isn't a distant problem. It's here, now, changing the landscapes we've known and loved. The Columbia Icefield isn't just a tourist spot. It's a symbol, a glaring testament to the urgency of the climate crisis. The Columbia Icefield is a reminder of the fragility of our world. It's a wake-up call to all of us. The question is, will we answer it?
May 23rd, 2023
The beauty of the journey is often found not in the destination, but in the journey itself. As I drove through the vast, serene National Forests of Canada, I found myself enveloped in the grandeur of nature, and I found solace and enlightenment within its embrace.
Firstly, I am thankful for having the opportunity to traverse Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, and Yoho National Park. Each one is a jewel in the crown of Canada's natural wonders, each unique, each breathing life into the landscape in its own way. The forests, the mountains, the rivers – they all speak a language as old as time, and yet, it's a language we understand instinctively.
The 11km hike up and down Johnston Falls was a challenge, and testing my endurance. Yet, every step brought a new perspective, a fresh vista that filled my heart with awe. The thunderous roar of the falls was both a testament to the power of nature and a soothing lullaby that washed over me, cleansing my spirit.
The journey to the Ink Pots was equally mesmerizing. Each pot, with its unique color and bubbling water, was like a mirror reflecting the vast sky overhead. The sight brought to mind the words of Kahlil Gibran: "You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth." I felt an intimate connection with the world around me, and I was reminded once again of the importance of cherishing these moments of communion with nature.
Driving through the forests and mountains of Canada, I found that the solitude of the journey gave me time to think. The open road, the infinite horizon, and the rhythm of the wheels on the asphalt became my companions. They offered a quiet comfort, a space for introspection, and a chance to look inward and reflect on my journey – not just through Canada, but through life itself.
In these moments of solitude, I was reminded of the importance of gratitude. I am grateful for the privilege to witness such beauty, to breathe the clean air, to listen to the symphony of nature. I am grateful for the strength to hike, to explore, to drive. And I am grateful for the wisdom to appreciate these blessings.
Driving through the National Forests of Canada, I learned that each journey we embark on is a reflection of our own life's journey. Each road we take, each mountain we climb, each river we cross, is a metaphor for our own struggles and triumphs, our own joys and sorrows. And in the end, it's not about the destination – it's about the journey, the experiences, the memories, and the lessons we learn along the way.
As I write this, I am filled with a sense of tranquility and fulfillment. I look forward to my next journey, my next exploration, my next drive. And I carry with me the echoes of the forest, the roar of the falls, and the wisdom of the open road.
Until then, remember: The journey is the destination. Embrace it, cherish it, learn from it. And most importantly, be grateful for it.
With the restrictions coming in place, I thought it would be great to just drop by at Mom's salon and then spend a simple evening with her. Over the past few months, there has been movement of the tenant mix around her salon. The empty units were gradually occupied again. The KZX massage unfortunately closed, and was taken over by a partnership between HW and the owner of the maid agency on level four. They decided to start a "drinking place", which was kind of apt for my mom since she's seen as the "big sister" for the area, especially with her sociable personality.
In fact, mom has been putting this small round table with a few chairs right outside her salon, as a meeting point for her and her friends. When I visit her, I would hang out with her at this table over red wine, and then it would become a nice spot for us to catch up.
So this evening, I surprised her with a smart watch as a Mother's Day gift. I reckoned that while she's never really wore a watch before, a smart watch would be useful for her to track her steps, monitor her sleep as well as to measure her heart rate (and of course, the smart watch can be a nifty gadget in notifying her incoming messages while she's busy with a customer's hairdo).
It took a while for me to update the smart watch and pair it with her phone. Then I explained to her the various features. As she's not as technology-literate, I had to be patient to explain to her step-by-step on how to activate and deactivate the various features, such as DND (which is a useful function in case incoming messages after midnight will disturb her sleep).
She was confused with the Safety Entry for business (as I was), so we took some time to try to figure out how to set up her salon to be ready to transit to implementing the Trace Together scanning for customers.
Maybe I should send her a message now to see if she's activated the DND mode. Lol.
Actually, this journaling initiative was related to my social media detox. Since eons ago, I have stopped posting on Facebook (never really liked the format). While I have been posting regularly on Instagram, I did not like the idea of "likes" and "follows". The mechanism of posting for likes and follows tend to steer me away from a few things:
Authenticity — Sometimes, I just want to post about my cats. Or my workout. Or a nice sunset. But I do get influenced by the likes that each post gather, or the number of follows that I get over time. And then I end up not posting what I might have wanted to post.
Depth — I do lament about the good ol' days of journaling on Livejournal. Those days, we spent more time using words to express our thoughts and feelings. Somewhat, this gave a bit more depth to who we were and what we felt, as opposed to the fleeting, transient nature of stories or even Tiktok videos. Sure, watching some dance moves can be entertaining, but nothing beats reading a heartfelt post penned by another fellow (virtual) friend.
Personality — The world of Instagram, etc. is visual. The best-looking person gets the most likes and follows. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does not facilitate connection on a deeper level. How much can we really know someone from a photo?
Hence early January I decided to go on a social media detox. “A social media detox is a conscious elimination of social media use and consumption for a set period of time. Generally, most social media detoxes are 30 days, but some people do seven days or even a year-long social media detox.” For me, it meant a short hiatus from Instagram. I didn't post anything, nor did I browse the IG feeds. Studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can be potentially hazardous to our mental health — social media can show distorted views of reality that make the readers feel inferior.
The social media detox turned out to be great. I wasn't really affected by the social comparison cycle, but I am by nature competitive, so this detox helped me to get away "from it all", even if there's a drop in my follower count, so be it — the FOMO aspects of it dissipated quickly, and I did begin to live more in the moment.
Until a well-meaning friend reached out to me. "Is everything alright with you," he queried. Apparently my radio silence got him worried. I quickly reassured him that all is well. I guess social media is still a means for friends to keep in touch, and as long as we make use of social media as a tool, and not become a tool of social media (and the community at large), it should be okay.
And since with my Ultra, the use of a stylus has helped me to write more. So let's see if I will write consistently. It's a little time-consuming though, but let's see. And here's a cute photo of Tigger yawning.
Rewatching "The Devil Wears Prada"
Managed to catch "The Devil Wears Prada" on Netflix. It's such a brilliant movie that even after watching it a couple of times, it was still engaging to watch. Some life lessons that came to my mind as I watched the movie were:
Always Prepare for Meetings
Never go to a meeting unprepared. This is especially so when it's an important meeting. Don't end up wasting other people's time.
Know the Important People
There was a funny scene when Andy (Anne Hathaway) received a call and asked for the other party to spell his name. "How do you spell Gabbana?" she asked. Always make it a point to know the "current affairs" of the specific industry.
Take Good Care of the Body
Don't starve yourself and eat just a piece of cheese daily! But watch what goes into your body. Health is wealth! And despite all the talk about inner beauty, outer appearance makes all the difference, and it's an indication of the discipline one puts into one's diet and exercise.
Fashion Makes a Difference, but You can Choose to be What You Want to Be
Watching the movie made me rethink about the fashion industry again. There's certainly much glam and vogue in the fashion industry, and everybody likes to look good. But ultimately it depends on each individual on how one wants to live one's life. As long as you are happy and with the same company, who cares, really?!
Don't Quit Just Because It's Tough
Quitting is always the easiest option. Lamenting and complaning second. This is a personal belief - that it is always possible to turn things around. Don't quit - when things go wrong as they sometimes will, all it take is persistence and determination to change the course.
Work Life Balance is Important
I do agree that when one is focused on career success, something is going to give. There is always an opportunity cost in life, and while we are chasing our success, it is important to cherish and spend time to the important things that might not last forever. This applies to family ties, friends and relationships.
I decided to post this entry specially because it was Day Two of the Norway trip, at Oslo, and at the tail end of the day, while I was about to get back to Thon Hotel Opera, I chanced upon this lovely fountain at Akersgata and decided to sit for a while.
It was a reminder that not all trips must be packed to the brim, and filled with activities. Sometimes, the best trips are the ones where we give ourselves time to do nothing. It's something good to simply plan nothing, but take a chance and do something random. Maybe sit by the bench at the fountain like what I did. Or read a book at the cafe and watch the world go by. Or buy a pencil and a sketch book and doodle or draw something that you see.
Life can be filled with wonder when we experience things that we don't plan to experience.
Watching the hourglass
Recently I came across this article.
It must have been on Flipboard or Facebook
Or something like that.
The article explained why we should treasure
The times that we share with our cats and dogs.
They age much faster than us; we would
See them as a puppy or kitten.
A decade whizzes by, and then
They are gone.
I was reminded by L's dog of
More than ten years.
He has lost all but four of his teeth.
He used to enjoy his walks
These days he stops after a few steps.
I decided to check on Tigger's age.
I have never been good with remembering birthdays.
His birthdate is (tentatively)
7th of November 2012.
Tigger will turn seven years old
That makes him the human equivalent of
44 to 56 years. He's going to get
Older than me; not just older,
But older at a faster rate.
Like sands through the hourglass
So are the days of our lives
Pause and enjoy the moment
Relish it as it lingers
For we may never pass this way again
Just ended a phone call with mom.
It started like this chain of messages.
"Gd nite son."
"Shall we do dinner soon?"
"Call me now."
And I called her.
As she lives alone, I think she gets lonely sometimes, even though she does not mention it. I arranged to meet her some time next week for dinner. This is one of my initiatives; to spend more regular time with her, despite my busy-ness.
"Why don't you call me more?" She asked.
"You can always call me anytime you know?" I replied.
"But I am afraid that you might be busy."
"I will have time to talk to you. If I am busy I would let you know, so you don't have to be pressured to call."
"Do you think of me," she asked.
"I think of you all the time; just that I don't vocalise it," I bantered.
She laughed. We always have this adorable chemistry with each other.
But I think she's lonely.
We talked about some other stuff. But she said something which reminded me of what I have been thinking for a while.
She said this to me.
"Don't worry about making too much money. There is never an end to making money. We can live a simpler life. We can eat simple. Just spend more time together."
So apt right.
Money. Time. Love.
Photo by Aleksandr Eremin on Unsplash
Singapore Budget 2019 Infographics - At a Glance
The Singapore 2019 Budget was recently announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. The theme for this year's Budget was the Bicentennial Bonus, the Merderka Generation Package, as well as the Dependency Ratio. Announced on 18 February 2019, we will try to summarize the key areas of the Budget.
Merdeka Generation Package
The Merdeka Generation Package focuses on the following 5 benefits:
S$1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus
This bonus applies to Singaporeans aged 21 and above, and includes GST vouchers and a personal income tax rebate of 50% (but only capped at S$200 per Singaporean taxpayer) for income earned in 2018.
In addition to this, younger Singaporeans will get top-ups to their Edusave and Post-Secondary education accounts. Older Singaporeans who are eligible will get a CPF top-off (one time only).
The CHAS subsidies will be extended to all Singaporeans for chronic conditions regardless of income. Also, existing CHAS Orange card holders will have not only chronic conditions but also common illnesses covered. The subsidies for complex chronic conditions will also be increased.
Dependency Ratio Ceiling
As indicated in the infographics above, there will be a lower foreign worker ratio particularly in the services sector. This will without doubt exert even more pressure on the services industry, which is already squeezed by higher rents and wages.
GST Import Relief
Travellers who are away from Singapore for less than 48 hours will have to pay GST on goods purchased overseas worth more than $$100. For those away for more than 48 hours, the value of goods granted relief is increased to $S500.
In addition, the duty-free alcohol entitlement will be dropped from 3L to 2L.
The diesel fuel excise duty will be increased to S$0.20 per litre. In addition, the annual special tax on diesel taxis will be reduced by S$850, while the special tax on diesel cars will be reduced by $S100.
All in all, there are pockets of benefits for everyone, especially in the healthcare segment. However, there will be more duties on goods purchased from overseas as well as on diesel. The SMEs in the services industry will also face more pressure. All these will pave the way for the impending GST increase as well.
There is money to be made in Cryptocurrency trading, but you need to avoid these 10 mistakes if you want to be profitable.
Crypto gains have attracted a whole new segment of investors, bringing in more capital and growing the market to over $0.5 trillion this year. However, not everyone is making money, and unfortunately, most new crypto traders are making mistakes that can easily be avoided.
If you are investing in coins for the long-term, the safest strategy is holding, but day-trading, or even casual trading can be profitable in the short term, allowing you to increase your stack relatively faster. Whether you’re a beginner to crypto trading or just trying to take a chance in this exciting new market, here are 10 mistakes you should avoid.
1. Falling for shills; not doing your own research
Almost everyone joins Telegram groups and follows Twitter traders for signals, and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you do your own research. There is no shortage of ‘shilling’ (promoting coins and market moves for personal gain) across all social mediums, and you will come across tons of people claiming that a particular coin is going to ‘moon’ soon or give 10x gains.
If you just listen to these people and put your money on the line, you are extremely likely to lose it. Most of these shills are either fake accounts, paid promoters or members of pump and dump groups, who are creating fake hype to promote FOMO (fear of missing out) and getting more people to buy what they are selling.
Doing your own research is the most important step before you enter any market. You need to understand what a coin does, how the price moves, what stage is the development at and so on. Running blindly into trades just because you see a pump is a recipe for disaster.
2. Not understanding basic charting fundamentals
Most traders think charting or technical analysis is either extremely complicated, or just over-rated. While both views can be argued, there is no denying the fact that market movements and coin prices have patterns that can be identified and used for, at the very least, ‘increasing’ the chances of successful trades.
Just like everything else in life, there are no guarantees in the crypto market, and given how it is largely speculative and emotion-driven, charting and technical analysis will, and does fall apart now and then.
That being said, if you are serious about trading, you should understand the basics, such as candlesticks, support and resistance zones and trendlines.
Details of technical analysis will not be discussed in this piece, but we will be publishing more in-depth guides and tutorials in the future.
For starters, you should understand that resistance zones are price ranges which a coin has repeated failed to break through, while support zones are where the price often bounces back. Identifying these zones can help you assess where the current price stands, and whether it has room to go higher or drop further.
Trend lines are also quite simple, where an uptrend is indicated by the price making ‘higher lows’ (green line in the screenshot below) and a downtrend is reflected by ‘lower lows’.
The screenshot above is a basic representation of these concepts, where the horizontal lines roughly mark zones where price either finds a ceiling or a floor, and generally, in an uptrend, past resistance zones can become supports later on (notice how candles earlier failed to breach the second-last horizontal line, but later bounce off from the same) and in downtrends, support zones can become resistance.
3.Panic selling at the bottom, buying back at the top
The crypto market is extremely volatile, which means price swings are normal, and if you get spooked easily, you will lose money. Panic selling is a common mistake beginners make, where they first get into a market without much research and then, when faced with a sudden drop, sell to ‘cut their losses’.
The problem with this approach is that once you sell, you’ve actually lost money (you don’t lose until you sell), and while in some cases, cutting your losses does make sense, most coins will bounce back in days, if not hours, and then the same people, seeing a surge, buy back at higher prices, only to repeat the cycle. Buying high and selling low is a one-way ticket to going broke.
4. Not taking profits; no exit plans
You found a good entry, and the price has gone up, what now? Do you book your profits and exit? Do you keep holding? If so, why? Most beginners don’t have any exit plans and just wing it as they go along, and in most cases, end up either losing their profits, or actually going into loss and have to hold the coins until they can break-even.
As I said earlier, if you are buying to hold long-term, you are not trading, but if you are trading, you should have an exit plan, where you book your profits and move on.
Granted, at times you may see the price going higher after you take profits, but as a trader, you need to expect that. One very effective strategy however, is to sell in stages instead of selling all your coins in one go. This way, you give up a percentage of immediate profits to have a chance at riding the surge higher.
5. Looking for the next Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin
This year alone, Bitcoin has gone from $1,000 to $20,000, which is an obviously impressive gain. Ethereum and Litecoin have also recorded similarly massive returns, but not every coin can, or will, follow the same path.
Some coins, either due to their large supply, or a host of other factors, are relegated to certain price ranges (for example Ripple), and investing in coins, hoping for 2,000% or 4,000% gains is not a sound plan.
As a trader, you need to understand the specifics of each coin that you trade, and that includes its price history and reasonable future projections, so you can plan your trades accordingly.
6. Getting emotionally attached to a coin
No coin will go up forever, even Bitcoin has very good days, and then some really rough ones. The crypto space is ever-changing and evolving, with new opportunities coming up every day. If you believe in a coin, holding it for long-term returns is a good approach, but if you are looking to make money by trading, you cannot have emotional attachments with any coin.
When Bitcoin is dropping from $20,000 to $12,000, it is hardly smart to keep holding on to it. Similarly, if a coin is surging ahead of an important announcement, you can easily double or even triple your investment with it, instead of holding Bitcoin at $20,000, expecting a $500 gain.
7. Spending all your money in one go
Another very common mistake beginners make is spending all their trading money in one go. If you find a good entry, you should buy in with a percentage of your funds (50% - 60%) and hold the rest to see whether your entry works. This way, even if a coin drops following your purchase, you can average it down by buying more at the dip. Similarly, if the uptrend continues, you can always buy more, and even though this approach reduces your profit margins, it secures your position and prevents you from being all-in on a trade that goes south.
8. Putting all your eggs in one basket
Even the most hyped of coins can, and do suffer from major dips while the market as a whole stays green. Cryptocurrencies are unpredictable and in a state of evolution, which means there is no single coin (not even Bitcoin) that is ‘guaranteed’ to survive down the road.
Whether you are holding, or trading, you cannot afford to put all your funds in one coin. Diversification and risk management is the key to a sound portfolio and finding good entries in multiple coins will increase your chances of profiting.
9 Thinking cheap is always better
Just because a coin is cheap does not mean it is a better buy or has a higher chance of profits. While it is true that it’s easier for a $0.05 coin to reach $0.10 compared to a $500 coin reaching $1,000, but it is also easier for a $0.05 coin to go down to $0.01, wiping you out completely.
The key here is to not just take price as an indication of profitability, and conduct your research to understand why a particular coin is cheap, and which, if any, upcoming developments can boost the price.
10. Not following the news
Price movements, charting and market analysis is not enough. If you want to be a successful trader, you need to follow crypto news and stay up to date on all recent and upcoming developments. Since crypto is a speculative market, it responds very strongly to both positive and negative news, and being in-the-know is invaluable for a trader.
On Cryptovest.com, we cover everything of note in the crypto space and make sure our readers get the latest updates as they happen. If you want to get updates instantly, you should subscribe to our mailing list or activate push notifications.
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.