A city of edible delights, history, art and tiny awesome little streets.
We stayed at the hotel right in the middle of Hutong district. A place in the middle of international metropolis that consists of tiny backstreets where a car can barely fit in (but there are still plenty trying to get through). Most of them are three-wheeled motorbikes though, often powered by batteries. There are tons of tourist traps there, but there are also a lot of genuine Chinese joints where excellent local breakfast cost around $4 for two people. A must try is Beijing yogurt, and of course their huge selection of street food (my favorite is sugar-candied strawberries and duck neck).
First impression after getting of a train is the subway. It is million times more than what we have in Toronto. The map is extensive, covering most of the city and the ride is only 2¥. It is full of ads (mostly of her whiteness, Emma Watson advertising whitening makeup). In fact those ads are even plaid in the windows of the subway cars as we pass them (like a flip book). Everything that is written or said in Chinese is often dubbed with English, although with hilarious accent sometimes. And of course there are lots of people there.
There is this awesome street covered with lanterns that I forgot the name of (sorry). It is a place lined with restaurants that gets incredibly busy at night. Outside of those restaurants there are people sitting on stools eating sunflower seeds and smoking cigarettes. Nope, they didn’t come there to watch other people eat (although that is exactly what it looks like). It is a line to the restaurant, and it is big.
During the day time it is good to enjoy the lake parks and the blooming spring flowers on the trees an on the ground. And to visit historical sites. The Forbidden City Palace presented itself in its immense size and complexity, encapsulating history, architecture and huge herds of tourists (most of whom are Chinese). The palace is huge. Sufficiently huge to require a big meal before visiting or packing one to go.
A pleasant surprise is the 798 Art Zone that dwarfs the local Toronto art scenes. It probably has hundreds of galleries featuring modern contemporary work that will definitely impress anyone who appreciates such things. Again, it was impossible to see everything there.
All and all, Beijing is a city that trumped all expectations and inspired me in all kinds of ways. If you are ever there, expect to see one of the largest malls in the world, public toilets on every corner and security guards marching to open a door or you.
Dalian, a medium-sized (pretty big as compared to anything in Canada) city in China, home to my girlfriend’s parents. Being my first stop after sweaty, sleepy 30-hour transit from Toronto this is the first overseas stop after NYC. Being a port city that was built by Russians (read as Дальный) it is located on a peninsula that extrudes into Gulf of Zhili/Yellow Sea. It is a city of landscape contrasts: huge high-raise buildings being built at incredible speed while others are being abandoned at almost the same rate. Beautiful mountains and inspiring shorelines with random garbage to be found tucked in almost anywhere. Incredibly cheap food yet with some goods at the same price or higher than back in Canada.
Hello friends and random people of the Internet!
This post is written as I am leaving Toronto to travel across Asia (with some planned visits to North America in between). In fact, the travel started a week ago with my first-time visit to New York, New York (now I’m just back to T.O. to get my stuff ready for the big departure across the globe).
It’s funny how it only hit me now. Good, mutually pleasant (or at least self-benefiting) conversation makes a huge difference. I am not saying that this is an amazing discovery on a level of penicillin - we all know this. My point is the magnitude of this effect. It is not just nice, it is often so important we base out lives on it.
As far as climbing inspiration, (but also any sport or exercise) this one is a winner
I do not have a full-time (or even part-time) job, I live on my own. As a result I get showered with questions like: What are you doing, Dmitri? What have you done today? Why are you so damn busy? How come you are not returning my calls and emails immediately?
Here’s the skinny: I run two start-ups and am getting ready for a one-year travel across Asia.
Running a business is nerve-wrecking and time-consuming. It also gets a bit harder to explain wtf are the tasks are exactly if it is not a bricks-and-mortar company. But to name just a few:
- Research. Who’s gonna buy what I am selling? How to promote it? How to make the product better. What’s wrong with what I have right now? Where the fuck are the money?
- Development. Coding. Coding. Coding. Design. Design. Design. Testing. Testing. Testing.
- Strategy. Meetings, emails, reports, analytics, action planning.
- Promotion. Meetings, design, write-ups, coding, strategizing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google (+ other social networks), budgeting, video+audio production.
- Paperwork. A sea of paperwork to be exact - including invoicing, taxes, permits and all the other fun stuff.
Now multiply this list by two (to accommodate for both of my startups) and expand each point to a virtually unlimited amount of tasks (nothing is ever perfect and could always be improved). That should give you the gist.
Don’t forget to add “selling everything I own and going through paperwork hell” for the trip that is coming up!
I love this pedal. I know I need to sell it because I’m going away and I am not using it that much, but yet still the same: I don’t want to let it go. It sounds beautiful, it looks beautiful and the way the board is… OMG the old-school soldered caps and resistors bring so much memories… Yet all the same it has to go, just like pretty much everything that I own in the house. So here you go, treat yourself to something I can’t afford to keep: http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/msg/3575360609.html
Server side scripting… Sure can be a pain in the ass sometimes. It is the worst when you have no idea what is causing the error and all you got at your disposal is just trial and error. Below is a solution to a problem that seriously kicked my ass. Hopefully it will find it’s way into hands of someone at the mercy of .htaccess gods, not knowing wtf could fix the issue.
406 Not Acceptable error
There are variety of issues that could cause that error, but one that have not been extensively discussed - user language preferences.
Background on my website I have set up mod_negotiation in the .htaccess file like so:
Options +MultiViews -Indexes
This allows users to type website.com/page and get to website.com/page.php. The problem is that people with browsers that default to different language than the default give 406 error on these pages. This is related (not sure how) to mod_negotiation in .htacess. Basically the browser does not accept the language that it is being sent. To fix this issue the following 2 lines should be added to your .htaccess file:
My apologies in advance for not describing the root of the problem with all the little details, after all I am not an Apache pro. Today though I am an Apache hero to you!
Set of business cards I designed for mom. It is meant to make an aesthetic impression without logo or graphics (with an exception of a large dot at the bottom left). I used lines and geometry to achieve this effect: as you can see the text is arranged to form an imaginary line from the top right corner to the square dot at the bottom.
Hopefully it will work in her favor and inspire anyone to think beyond graphics when creating print design.
Sale ended. Store closed. Thanks to everyone who bought stuff and whoever got stuff from me for free - enjoy :)