Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Parents Visit (Part 3)

Well, it's been 7.5 months since I posted "The Parents Visit (Part 2)".
I'm still here, and the video from the rest of my trip remains on my computer.

The trip I had with my parents and my ex-girlfriend around Myanmar last holiday season was a memorable one.  By the fact that it's been fermenting on my hard drive for so long has meant that looking at it again was like memory lane for me. 

This video is the last you'll see here of my -ex on the trip; she had to return to Yangon from Mandalay due to an emergency; Nicki became my ex not long after that.

The music you'll hear is the original work of Jon Duncan, a long-time "online friend" of mine who's recently released a collection  of his music. I thought it worked well with the video clips, both musically and thematically. Seeing my 70-something year-old parents helping each other in rough hills of Shan State echoed the feeling of a "Short History of Everything". If you like the music, support a young (ok, he's my age) musician and visit Half a Cow Records and DL your own copy.

It won''t take another 7 months to publish the next installment. I was inspired by my mother's birthday this last week; Dad's is just a month away.  

Saturday, October 12, 2019

400 Weeks!?!

I'm putting this pic here so it has a 'host'...

Although if there are any ukulele players reading this who aren't already in the Seasons, come join!

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Parents Visit (Part 2)

On returning to Yangon from the journey around Myanmar with my parents, my free time has been taken up by a new avenue of pursuit. 

In my role as an English teacher, I have found that my favorite aspect of my new career is teaching IELTS preparation classes. For those unfamiliar, the
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the fastest growing English language test in the world. Over 3.5 million tests were given last year, and it's used by tens of thousands of institutions worldwide to gauge an individual's English reading, listening, speaking and writing levels. I think I enjoy it so much because the students really have something to gain by performing well, and I feel like I'm helping to get them there. 

Because of the stakes involved, the IELTS-prep industry is similarly growing. There's tons of advice online for test preparation, and a lot of it is bogus. I've had my own ideas for an IELTS prep blog and service, and so much of my time in 2019 has been taken up on my new endeavor: The IELTS Temple. Feel free to check it out. It's growing daily.

Consequently, there's lots and lots of video footage I haven't had time to edit.

I can rely on my software's "Smart Movie" creator...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mom and Dad Visit Myanmar - 1

I think anybody who lives far away from their home town has imagined how they would show off their new city to friends or family visiting from afar. Over the recent holidays, my chance came to guide not just visitors, but the people who brought me into this world: Mom and Dad.

I wasn't alone in chaperoning their Myanmar tour. My partner Nicki has, amongst her many talents, professional training and is a licensed tour guide. She knows all about Yangon and it's interesting history. It was great having her along. 

Mom took this picture of Yangon's Wiring.
Go read her blog to see how a first-time
visitor experiences Myanmar. Link
When deciding where to take my parents in Yangon, I wanted to see the few places of interest that I hadn't been to yet. So, in this first video, you'll see short clips of visiting the National Museum and The All-Races National Park. Of course, we visited Shwedagon Pagoda, the most significant structure in the city in the minds of the Burmese. 

By bad luck, Shwedagon was under maintenance when my parents were visiting, so they didn't get to see it at its shiny best. 

After Yangon, I drove the SUV we'd rented up to Naypyitaw, the strange created-capital I've visited many times. Then, on to the Irrawady River, and Bagan: the center of an empire that ruled much of this part of the world from the 11th to 15th century. 

Over the first two centuries of the Bagan Age, the industrious rulers competed with their ancestors and future descendants to build as many pagodas as they could. 

Consequently, the best way to see it is from above. The video ends with MacKenna's in the sky as we floated in a hot-air balloon over the peaceful and breathtaking sites of one of the most remarkable places in the world.  

Be sure to check out Merikay's Dream, Mom's blog, a place to see their pictures and stories from visiting their son.

Enjoy the video. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Robert Mac Kinnon's 60th birthday bash.

Robert is my colleague. A delightful man whose last name is very similar to my own. Unlike me, he's full on Scottish. So much so that he had haggis imported for his 60th birthday party.

The Parents Visit (Part 3)

Well, it's been 7.5 months since I posted "The Parents Visit (Part 2)". I'm still here, and the video from the rest of m...