Leo meets Spa

Tingting arranged to take Leo to a baby spa last weekend. The whole experience was interesting with mixed results for the kid. He was scared, happy, angry, laughing, and often confused.

He got to swim (float) in a baby pool thing with a floaty that really concerned me. Later, I spoke to a few “experts” who said, that if properly monitored, it should be totally safe. Indeed, it did not hurt or bother Leo, but he still did not seem to really enjoy the experience all that much. I’m guessing he’s still too young.

As the pool was right next to the windows, a number of locals stopped to stare and smile at the little western kid floating in the water. That part was fun for me! Haha

Will we go back, probably, but likely not for another couple months till he’s a bit older.

3D Printed Desk Organizer

As I said last time, here is a a simple desk organizer I printed. It warped as the material cooled, but it works mostly as intended! So cool.

Reading: Live Long and…

Today I started reading Live Long and… What I Learned Along the Way, by William Shatner. I expected this to be a typical book about the actor’s life, successes, etc., and while I’m only 15% in, I have to say it is a great book, that has already left me feeling positive and motivated for the days yet to come!

Shatner comes across as a calm, insightful, thoughtful and practical individual, providing down to earth guidance, that he admits we should not follow, and is only worth the price of the book minus the discount. LOL

If you’re a Star Trek or Shatner fan, I certainly recommend this book, at least the first 50 or so pages.

Where to buy?

Live Long and

Learning, building, sharing

I’m teaching a new unit in my grade 6 Design classes where the kids are researching, planning and developing some original toothbrush holders. As of this week, they are starting to print them using our 3D printers, which means in the last few weeks I’ve been teaching myself to use our school’s CAD/CAM software, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ll post more pictures later, but today I designed and printed a 10×10 cm desk organizer, last week I made a 10×12 cm wall sign in the style of my university’s TU logo, and I made some 6 sided dice that used Roman numerals rather than the traditional dice. I also made some plant water trays today for another teacher. It’s amazing how you can get an idea, draft it out on the computer, and say “print”… then 2 hours later have a real, tangible, 3 dimensional object!!! The quality of our printers leave a lot to be desired, but they are rather amazing nonetheless.

I just finished the 4th book of this wonderfully creative and funny series by B.V. Larson called Earth Fleet. Book 4, Rebel Fleet, was really enjoyable, though not as original or interesting as the first three. As so often is the case, books in a series can easily lose some of their charm and appeal. Regardless, I’m eagerly looking forward to book number 5.

Gerbil Rating: 8 out of 10 paws

Earth Flee: Rebel Fleet, Book 4

Where to Buy:

We took Leo to Vera and Claes’ place today to see their baby girl Kayleen. She was born on the 9th and is as cute as can be. Leo got to meet her, and while he looked confused, Kayleen was a bit more vocal in her reaction. LOL It was so cute.

Leo: “It’s ok Kayleen . . . sheesh…. wow, get over it…..”


Leo, “shush, or I bonk your head!”


Keyleen, “I punch back!!” POW!!!!


New Recruit for Team America!

At roughly 9:40 AM, the US Consulate office in Shanghai, China, on the 8th floor of in West Gate Mall, proclaimed Leo to be a bonafide citizen of the United States of America. He handed us a USA flag sticker and said “Welcome to the team!” 🙂 While the declaration was made, it will be another week or three before his papers are ready for pick up. Nonetheless, it’s official, he’s an American!!!



The average person has no idea how difficult quality teaching can be. Writing curriculum, developing lessons, making your own teaching / learning resources, presenting the content to 120 students, managing the classroom, assessing over 600 pages of portfolio content every 6 weeks, providing written and meaningful feedback, etc. etc., is truly hard work.

However, with all that said, I think God I am blessed and fortunate to work in a warm, dry and safe environment, and that other people are willing to do the other hard jobs like these fellows in my neighborhood. Maybe they love their job as I love mine, but wow, that looks hard and dangerous.


Tingting and I took Leo out for another picnic today. Of course, he fell asleep almost immediately so we did not get many good pictures. Tingting and I ate some fruit and ordered Indian delivery. Many, I love the curry and butter chicken here, it’s so good. I’d love to go taste the real thing in India to see the differences.

Tingting and Leo USA FLagLeoJoel's Reflection

I miss you Yangshuo!

I just posted a photo on Facebook and came across this video I posted 4 years ago. Man, I love and really miss Yangshuo, China.