I probably make a trip up to the Big Buddha in Pattaya about once a week, because I find it peaceful and relaxing. The views are fantastic and the large Buddha is pretty impressive. Nearby there is also a pond where I like to feed the turtles some food. It doesn’t take too long to get to the Big Buddha especially if you have a car, or a motorbike. While at the Big Buddha I would also recommend checking out the panoramic view point near the radio station just across the way. It takes about 2 minutes to get there from Pattaya and offers up the “famous” view of Pattaya you’ve probably seen before.
Here is a quick video I shot of Big Buddha hill during the week of Song Kran.
Usually in life you’re either doing or you’re not doing; lately I’ve been doing quite a bit and hence the reason I haven’t really posted in a while. The good news is I have quite a bit to post about if I can find the time and motivation (mostly motivation). I’ve also decided to try posting more videos to the blog via YouTube, instead of photos which I haven’t really posted any of my own in a while; I’ll see how it goes.
A little disclaimer about the videos, they are just alright in my opinion, they could be better. It was kind of difficult to get really good footage with people trying to spray me while trying to film without a waterproof camera. Either way I think you’ll get a good feel for what it’s like to be there in person as opposed to a few static photos.
Back to the topic of this post, Song Kran 2013 Pattaya City, Thailand…
I don’t have 15 Song Krans under my belt like some of the relics around here, but I’m sure as hell not going to cry about getting a little wet. Bottom line is if you winge about Song Kran, getting a little wet and inconveniencing your daily archaic routines you’re a loser; live a little.
As a kid I occasionally went to swim meets because my best friend’s sisters were swimmers. At that time lap/competitive swimming seemed extremely boring to me (although I loved water and “playing” in it, surfing, skim boarding, etc.), I preferred football, baseball, and soccer when it came to competitive sports.
However, somewhere in my early twenties I began to grow more interested in swimming laps. I worked with a guy who was a triathlete at the time and he told me he also trained people for triathlons. I asked him if that meant helping people to become better swimmers and he said it did. I then asked if he could improve my stroke and he explained it wouldn’t be a problem. Until that point in my life I wasn’t aware that there much if any technique involved in swimming.
A topic has been on my mind for some time now, and I haven’t really found the words to pen the post. However, a news story broke over the last few days that is closely related to what I’ve been thinking about.
Here is what happened in chronological order for those who don’t follow the news (very often that is me).
A developer evangelist named Adria Richards who works for a company called SendGrid attends Pycon (developer conference for Python software developers)
She overhears some men near her speaking amongst themselves and joking about “big dongles” (dongle – device that plugs into a computer) and using the term forking (software term) in a sexual manner
She takes a photo of the men, and posts it to Twitter (and she has quite a few Twitter followers)
The man (with a family and 3 kids) is fired from his job when his company finds out
SendGrid doesn’t agree with the way Adria handled the situation and fires her
If you want more detailed information you can find it all over the internet, the story has been huge.
Let me start by saying I have a low tolerance for sexual innuendos and/or sexual harassment in the office space (well sexual harassment anywhere). However, two people having a conversation amongst themselves is not sexual harassment, it’s called a private conversation even if it is in “bad taste”.
I wrote the first progress report post on 28-Feb-2013, so it hasn’t been quite a month. I snapped some photos on 19-Mar-2013 and put together a photo body fat comparison chart of myself, and decided there was a big enough of a difference to warrant another update post.
Usually when I look at comparison photos I say to myself “The guy is just flexing in one, and not in the other”. I can assure you I was doing my best to get my abs to “pop” in both of these photos. These are the cream of the crop photos that I selected from about 3-5 photos which were taken on the different days. With that being said there is no doubt that I’ve shed some body fat.
I’m sporting much less fat around and under the belly button areas and sides of my body, and the photos show this.
I was at the grocery store in the 15 items or fewer line to checkout last night, when the cashier pointed at the sign and pointed to the lady’s shopping cart in front of me.
She clearly had more than 15 items in her cart and this was his way of letting her know she needed to go to a “standard” line (instead of the express line for people with 15 items or fewer).
She nodded her head and as if she understood and proceeded to pull 15 items out of the cart, which she placed on the checkout stand; leaving behind the remaining items in the cart (which equaled less than 15). She then paid for those items, and then had her husband pay for the remainder of the items in the cart, essentially splitting her single order into two orders.
I stood there in amazement knowing (my belief) that what comes around goes around…I’m wishing those two all the best in this life and beyond.
Over the years I’ve heard some people make some pretty outrageous claims about what their body fat percentage was (compared to what it really was). I used to own a set of my own calipers and would offer to measure anyone at any time, they were especially handy for settling disputes. Over the years I was told by a lot of people that I didn’t know what I was doing when they weren’t happy with their results, which were usually re-verified by someone at their local gym no more than a week later : )
During the process of purging most of my possessions I decided to let the calipers go. It’s really not about what body fat % you are, but more importantly how you look. The calipers and all the measurements I had taken over the years had taught me all I needed to know about what body fat looked like; I can now give you a pretty good estimation just by taking a brief look at someone in a bathing suit.
Seems there has been a recurring theme I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older in life; some people grow up, while others continue to be babies. Rather than small babies these people have now evolved into big babies.
Yesterday produced a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
The weather was really nice and it was a great day for a bike ride, however I was busy cleaning out the last of my “life’s work” from my storage unit. I no longer wanted all the trinkets and material possessions anchoring me down, and at the same time costing me $125/month for an 8’ by 8’ unit. Since I was busy with this task I wasn’t able to go on a ride.
At around 5pm I get a text that says “Would have been a nice day for a ride”. This text came from a person I know (that also knew I was busy moving) that bought a bike a year ago, and hasn’t taken it out once because nobody has been around to do the hand holding. Being tired from moving stuff around all day, and somewhat short on patience I shot back a text that said “You rode today?”, and I don’t have to tell you what the response was.
The weather here (Northern California) finally got warm enough to start doing some biking as of a few weeks ago, and I’ve tucked in 3 rides. My favorite training ride takes me about 35-45 minutes (depending on my energy) to climb the mountain and about 10 minutes to come down. My Strava riding app tells me I burn about 550+ calories during this particular ride. If you’re looking for a good mountain biking app, I would highly recommend Strava. The app records your rides with GPS, and ranks you against other riders for similar riding sections. The app will also give you other stats about your ride like: ride time, altitude gained, average speed, top speed and more.
Here is a little video from the top of the mountain, and just before I ride to a bench where I take a 15-20 minute break for water, a protein bar and some mixed nuts before making my way back down.
Besides the rides I’ve been eating clean (low carb, high protein, high fat), and getting to the gym 5-6 days a week to lift weights and do a little additional cardio. I’ll probably post a new photo in a few weeks to document the progress.
When I was in Chiang Mai I debated riding an elephant. At first it seemed like a good way to spend part of the day and see some of the landscape. They had an elephant tour where you could ride the animal up a creek and around.
I had asked my girlfriend if she wanted to ride a chang (ช้าง), interested to see if she would be aware of any reason to not ride a chang (being that she is Buddhist). She said it looked like fun and she would ride one if I wanted to go.
Ultimately, I decided we wouldn’t ride changs for a few reasons. First, I had seen the photos of the elephant camps, and how they are very often mistreated, and really decided it best we not support “the cause”. Second, elephants are large wild and dangerous animals that can kill you if they decide to do so.