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Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Just a little corner of the interwebz where I occasionally jot down a thought or two. Why do I do it? Partly to communicate in some way with you, the reader, and partly because it's some sad way of leaving a legacy of some kind I guess.

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Ramblings

this is how the world ends

Jonathan Tom

This post may be NSFW

I’ve been struggling to reconcile the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia as anything less than completely reprehensible. Needless to say I haven’t been able to quell the sadness, the frustration, the genuine rage over what’s happening with our southerly neighbours in the last few months. I never believed that things would take a turn for the worst so quickly.

Not only the white supremacist acts of terror in Virginia but also the escalating tensions between President Trump and Kim Jong-un bringing their countries to the brink of nuclear war in their global scale dick measuring competition. The fact is that these “world leaders” are bringing the whole world to a very dangerous precipice.

The march in Charlottesville was reminiscent of the events leading up to World War II - a recent internet meme comes to mind:

The problem with the majority of the protestor who were yelling about “not being replaced” and “blood and soil” is that they seem to actually believe that they are being oppressed. The situation is very much the definition of “white privilege”; these protestors have been living with white privilege for so long that equality seems like oppression. As often as I will poke fun at my American friends the current climate there has me genuinely worried for them.

1876

Jonathan Tom

THe significance of that number is not (or should not) be lost on any Canadians. July 1st, 1976; New Brunswick, Noca Scotia, and the Province of Canada were proclaimed to be united into one Dominion of Canada. Some basic math, along with just about every major Canadian media outlet, tells us that this year is Canada's 150th birthday which is a big deal for us.

Living in the nation's capital has a lot of perks but this year particularly holds quite a few bonuses. If you are in town, even for a short period of time, it's worth checking the Ottawa 2017 Website to see what events are taking place. There's something for everyone; the Red Bull Crashed Ice back in March looked like a lot of fun.

We just concluded La Machine which was a large scale moving art installation consisting of huge robotic puppets (a spider and a dragon) - I went and saw one of the exhibitions with the dragon wandering around an area of town known as the Byward Market.

You get the idea, there's a lot going on this year but I'll leave you with one more which is still going on through September so there's at least one listing here that you can still see and it's not just me going "look at all these cool things you missed"!

This one is another art installation called Kontinuum and it's from Montreal's own Moment Factory. The premise behind Kontinuum has to do with the construction of the new LRT in the city - ostensibly, while digging the Lyon St. station the workers discovered a wall of light which I won't go too much into here as you can read it on the website's story section. The bottom line is that you can now visit this dig site and experience the anomoly for yourself.

If you find yourself in town let me know using the mail link at the top right side of the page and I'll be happy to point you to in the direction of some cool things.

new horizons

Jonathan Tom

The big news to talk about with this post is that I'm stepping away from being at sea after almost 18 years. While working on cruise ships I made some amazing friends, saw some amazing places, and experienced some amazing things but as with all good things they have a bit of a shelf life. They say it's always ideal to never stay the big fish in the small pond for too long and I think I came to realise that it was time for a larger pond. So, having said that, I'm making the transition to a company called Lucid Creative based out of San Francisco - it's a move to a smaller company compared to the last couple I've been with but it's got a lot of potential for growth and I'm excited to be starting something new.

I've not completely left ships of course (part of the crew part of the ship and all that) - I'll still be dealing with some of the same people from Holland America Line (and a few, as of yet undisclosed companies). In the meantime, I would encourage you to check out our web page or our facebook page

minimalism

Jonathan Tom

Over the last couple of weeks I've been told about this new must watch documentary film on Netflix called Minimalism. Contrary to what most initial thoughts are when they hear the term the film centres less around living with very few possessions (well, it sorta does) and more around ensuring that the possessions that you do live with have significant meaning to you.

While watching the film I thought briefly about my own lifestyle and how it all applied to me. Honestly, I feel that people who travel for a living (such as myself) probably have a bit of an advantage when it comes to having high-quality belongings.

Because we can only carry so many things with us, it's important to make sure that the stuff we choose to carry actually means something to us. As an example, I tend to travel with a couple of pairs of jeans, a couple of t-shirts, a couple of snap shirts, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of flip flops. Obviously, this quick list doesn't include the essentials like socks, underwear, and toiletries...  I also travel with two pairs of my work pants, work shirts, and my steel toe boots which I have to have for my job.

If you have an hour and twenty minutes I would recommend that you check out the documentary and see if/how you can apply the concepts to your life.