Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
A really great book about Rosencrans Baldwin's 2 years living as an expat in Paris working for an advertising agency. He has no experience in advertising and his French is rusty, but his observations are funny and endearing and he takes a humble approach to what seems like a great experience.
Based on the subtitle of this book I figured it would be right up my alley. It wasn't. Clinton is a classic, "Look at me! I travel!:" (usually 1st class) type of person. It was pretty boring and annoying and he is not a good writer, despite being in the publishing industry. As I type this I do realize that half of the posts on this blog could be subtitled, "Look at me! I travel!". I know.
A classic introduction to secular Buddhism this book presents the principles, but it is a bit dry and dated. There are better books on Buddhism out there, I'll let you know when I find them.
Jonathan Franzen is a great American author. You should absolutely read The Corrections and Freedom. I would recommend this collection of essays, mostly about reading and writing, only for big Franzen fans. Otherwise they don't hold nearly the power of his novels.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I spent the first 3 months of the year training for this race and being really excited about it. It proved to be a ton of fun and super challenging. It was one of the worst days for weather in Charlotte: cold blowing wind and rain all day. We did 4 miles through mud and rivers with 15 different obstacles to overcome ranging from wall climbs, carrying sandbags, crawling under barbed wire, rope climbs and tire flips. It was an awesome experience that I am definitely doing again.
Here is a link to a few clips of me during the race:
Sunday, March 17, 2013
It's been a while since I have posted, I am going through an anti-technology phase. But I will attempt to catch up on what I've read:
Kind of a thriller about an accidental kidnapping, with a weak surprise ending. Not that great.
An interesting story about a recently divorced thirty-something in San Francisco working on an Artificial Intelligence program based on his dead father's diaries. It is intelligent and touches on many facets of life and relationships.
This is some new agey shit, but it could blow your mind. Nothing matters except for the present, not the past or the future. Figure this out and your life will change.
An excellent book, Junger stationed himself with a small airborne brigade in one of the most dangerous posts in Afghanistan. It is a fascinating and honest look at modern war. He also made a film of the same experience, Restrepo, a must see after reading the book. His partner Tim Heatherington was later killed while covering the Syrian uprising. Very highly recommended.
I loved this book. It is based on the tale of the Buddha but told by the German Hesse. Simple and exactly why I am a Buddhist.
I have always been a fan of Klosterman's wry and insightful non-fiction. I recently discovered his knack for fiction with The Visible Man, which was great. This collection of mostly previously published magazine articles has a few gems, but I started to realize that CK is playing the same shtick over and over again (funny over-analysis of popular culture).
Saturday, January 19, 2013
A series of interwoven short stories and paragraphs devoted to young women and their effect on men. Creative, but trite.
Short book on Sivers' entrepreneurial experience. Great advice for going against the grain.
A brutal tale of life in North Korea. Makes one realize that one of the most depraved societies in human history still exists today.
An awesome tale of survival when an Antarctic expedition goes awry. Truly amazing, highly recommended.
Difficult to get into, this tale of a soldier's experience in Iraq ties together by the end and had a stronger lingering effect than I would have thought.
Cool non-fiction about a tiger gone mad in Eastern Russia and the hunt to stop it from killing. The book touches on politics, the history of The Soviet Union, evolution, predation, hunting, and the environment.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Here is how I fared with my 2012 Resolutions:
1. Visit 3 new countries (Pass)
I started the year in the Philippines and ended in Charlotte, NC but had a great year for new countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Curacao and Panama.
2. Read 52 books (Pass)
Just under the wire, I finished #52 a couple of days ago. I spent $190 on books this year, less than half of what I spent last year because of our great public library system.
3. Speak Portuguese (Fail)
I thought I might be in Brazil this year, so I started learning Portuguese at the end of last year, but alas, I did not go.
4. Learn Kite Boarding (Fail)
5. Memorize Phonetic Alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie)
Papa Alpha Sierra Sierra
6. Practice a Martial Art (Boxing, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu) (Fail)
7. Join a Race (Pass)
I am quite happy that I did my first sprint length triathlon (500 meter swim, 15 mile bike, 5k run)
Feats of Deprivation:
5 days of eating raw (Fail)
I made it 3 days
Hold Breath for > 2 minutes (Fail)
No Caffeine for 30 days (Fail)
No Booze 30 days (Fail)
Feats of Strength:
Control a perfect handstand for 10 seconds (Fail, but I am getting close)
Bench Press 110kg (242 lbs.) 1x (Fail)
25 Double-unders (Pass)
Monday, December 24, 2012
I almost didn't get this book. I have been a big Tim Ferriss fan ever since 4-Hour Workweek and 4-Hour Body. But I wasn't sure what he could include in another book and I'm not all that interested in a cookbook. But I'm glad I did. Even though it contains a lot of material that was already on his blog (in fact this book is like an analog website) it is still good. You must have the beautiful hardcover version, as a digital edition could not do it justice. A nice smattering of all things learning tied together by a journey through cooking. Good advice, good gear, and good recipes.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
John McAfee founded the eponymous anti-virus company and used the millions he made to move to Belize. This Kindle Single (long form article) documents his eccentric activities that led to him secretly fleeing Belize to seek asylum in Guatemala. Yoga, young girls and lots of guns were just some of the things McAfee surrounded himself with. The Belizean authorities raided his compound with scant evidence of drug trafficking. Shortly after being released with no evidence McAfee fled to Guatemala at the same time his neighbor, an American expatriate, was found dead.
Just last week McAfee showed up in Miami and gave a strange interview on CNBC. Cool follow up to where the story left off.
This story reminds me of the movie Billionaire, in which Larry Hillblom, a founder of DHL, mysteriously dies in a plane crash and his fortune is contested by dozens of illegitimate children across the South Pacific where he took up residence. I have met men similar to these types in my travels in Mexico and The Philippines, and somehow I feel like with the right amount of money I might end up like them.
Monday, December 10, 2012
We decided to take some pictures riding last weekend and inevitably we ride a little faster when the camera is out. My buddy took it a little too fast. He couldn't ride after the crash, but x-rays show it was only internal damage, no broken bones. Rub some dirt on it and tape an aspirin to it!
We even had it from 2 different angles: