Sat, 31st May '08, 9:25 pm::

Have you ever truly believed that you were right yet everyone who cares about you thought you weren't? All you want is for people to be happy for you yet all you get is rebuke and dire warnings. You've taken a big risk, made a gutsy call, and understand the consequences yet your loved ones treat you like a reckless dolt. The ones you relied on for support and advice make you feel guilty for doing what you honestly feel is the right thing. Have you ever felt like that? It's debilitating. Why can't my loved ones just be happy for me for once and stop with the negativity? I am well aware of what can go wrong. If you can't be happy for me, then stop trying to make me feel sad. That is all.

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Wed, 28th May '08, 7:50 am::

Last week has been pretty crazy so I haven't had much time to get online for my mundane updates. I had a blast at Ginnie Springs with Tay and his family but the campgrounds were so crowded and full of drunk college kids that both Tay and I went back home a day earlier than planned. I know I'm getting old when drunk college girls start to annoy me instead of getting me excited.

I'm getting more and more fired up about my Pacific North-West camping trip in less than two months and have made pretty much all the reservations well in advance. My neck's feeling much better but the pain returns if I rest at any awkward angles. Life's good and there's not much I can complain about.

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Tue, 20th May '08, 8:45 pm::

I picked up my new Cobra Eliminator from Sweetwater Kayaks today. The guys at Sweetwater were quite helpful and set up the kayak's rudder, scupper, and adjustable-seat in advance. I even got free pads for my car's kayak rack to protect the new kayak from damage on rough roads. If you're ever in the market for a kayak, especially in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater/Tampa area, I highly recommend Sweetwater Kayaks.

I went to Lake Seminole to test out the kayak and I absolutely loved how it handles! It's almost 17' long but weighs only 42lbs, considerably less than my good ol' Ocean Scrambler XT aka Floaty. Once I adjusted the seat and the foot-operated rudder to a comfortable position, I hopped in and begun my first paddle. Being only 23" wide, I was afraid it would be too unstable but five minutes in the water and I had a pretty decent idea of how far I can tip before it capsizes. Having tried out the controls and stability, it was time to give it a real speed test. The results were amazing! I was going almost 30-40% faster on my first day than I have ever on Floaty. So in accordance with my habit of giving my paddling gear laughably obvious names, my new kayak shall henceforth be known as Speedy :)

My neck is feeling considerably better and did not hamper kayaking today. I felt pretty much back to my old self. I wanted to take pictures of Speedy but by the time I returned home, it was too dark. There's always tomorrow.

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Sun, 18th May '08, 3:00 pm::

This has been another relaxing weekend. I just watched Annapolis and just started to watch Pitch Black. I'm going camping at Ginnie Springs next weekend with Taylor and his family. Hopefully my new kayak will arrive by then and my neck will be better. If not, it'll be an interesting lesson in survival.

My neck has definitely been getting better though there's still considerable pain when I move around. I cleaned my house a bit yesterday but didn't have the strength to do five loads of laundry that I have been avoiding for about 6 weeks now. So I dropped off my dirty clothes at Gardens Laundromats and will pick up the clean clothes later today. My total bill was $43 for 46lbs of clothes. It seems pretty high but that's about 6 hours of work if I have to do it myself. Add to that the electricity usage for running the washer for 3 hours and the dryer for 5 hours and it sounds like a sweet deal. They hang the clothes on my own hangers and put them in my car too. So all I have to do is drive over, collect the clothes, and hang them in my closet. If this works out well, I think I'll go for it once a month. I can drop off the clothes before work and collect them on the way home.

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Fri, 16th May '08, 7:35 am::

I feel much better today. Yesterday I had a 30-minute physical therapy session early in the morning that helped loosen the tension in my neck and shoulders. I was prescribed a moderately strong pain-killer that helped ease off the pain. My boss referred me to his chiropractor who adjusted my neck and made me feel much better almost immediately. Whatever concerns I ever had about chiropractors are now gone because the relief was instantaneous and precisely targeted. I didn't sleep too well once again but I can already feel a marked improvement.

I should be all better within a few days, just in time for the delivery of my new kayak, Cobra Eliminator! I custom-ordered this super-fast kayak earlier this week and can't wait till it arrives. I picked the color "Mango" because it's the easiest color to spot against the backdrop of the ocean water so that motorboats don't run me over. I'm so excited! Now I'll have two kayaks. Who wants to go paddling with me?

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Wed, 14th May '08, 7:55 pm::

I went to the doctor today and turns out I have some sort of muscle spasms in my neck and upper back. It's not at all serious but will be quite painful for the next two weeks during which whatever the hell is wrong, is automatically healed by my body. I'm taking some non-drowsy muscle relaxant and other than the constant pain, should be fully functional. Just like every other time I've been sick, it's nothing serious thankfully, just really really annoying. No kayaking, running, or lifting heavy objects for the next two weeks.

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Mon, 12th May '08, 8:30 pm::

I sprained my neck somehow while sleeping and can't turn my head in any direction. I was supposed to go to The Castle in Ybor City with Sandra tonight but we ended up just going for a nice dinner by the beach instead. She's moving back to St. Pete area from Orlando and I'm pretty happy to have a good friend around again.

Work projects are going well and other than horrible pain in my upper back, things are pretty good. I will go see my doctor tomorrow and hopefully he can help. He is a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) and has lots of experience fixing up muscle tensions and sprains. I don't even know how my neck got so bad in a single night. I went to bed fine and woke up miserably in pain. Usually, if I wake up with a stiff neck, the pain goes away by the afternoon but not this time. Oh well, just need to relax a bit more.

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Do you deserve anything?Fri, 9th May '08, 7:35 am::

Lately, I have been mulling over the concepts of deservedness and what is "meant to be" and "ought to be." The reason I give any consideration to this stream of thought is because anytime you are trying to overcome a major event in life, it is your outlook on how the outcomes ought to be, that determines which course of action you take. By deservedness, I mean a lot more than the notion of karma or "as you sow, so shall you reap." Why do we even think that anyone deserves anything, good or bad? Nature doesn't care if you deserve a bigger house or a more caring family. And yet, we all walk around everyday, certain that we deserve better and should get more.

Intricately linked to deservedness is our understanding and acceptance of what is "meant to be." I went to college and worked hard. I am meant to be financially stable and capable of sustaining myself. Since I was a good student, I "ought to" have a high salary. You and your girlfriend have been dating for three years now and despite all the tiffs, you both still love each other. You are meant to be together. We have formulated rules on how we think our future should materialize. Hard science works like that. Take water, add few minutes of heat, and the water is meant to be vaporized. Same way, meet a girl, take her out to dinner, be a wonderful companion, be romantic, and since you deserve a marvelous girlfriend, you both are meant to be in a relationship soon. Errr... not exactly.

If you take care of a person for years and they leave you for someone else, your world will come crashing down. You spent your entire 20's to work hard and make their life better. And now they've left you. YOU DESERVE BETTER! That's what everyone will tell you and that's what you will start to tell yourself. We put in effort, wait for a while, and expect results. When results aren't what we expected, we lose sleep and hope. Why? Because we just can't accept that maybe there is no such thing as deservedness. We can't accept that what is now, is all there is. You don't have complete control over what happens in future. Nobody does, including the richest and most powerful of the men. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. The ones who are undaunted by unexpected outcomes are the ones who do not base their happiness on reaching the intended destination, but rather the lessons learnt en route.

If you think life ought to be a certain specific way, you will have a hard time accepting when it does not turn out so. Worked hard, married young, raised kids with love and care, and now the kids don't even call you except when they need money? Life ought to have turned out better, don't you think? I wish it had. In the heat of the moment, I will readily point it out that you deserve more in life. But later, when I sit back and think about it, I don't see why you deserve anything. Nobody does. I don't either.

So if we don't deserve anything in the end, why even bother to put in the effort on long-term goals? Because the experience is usually worth the effort. The outcome is often a random flip of a coin but you can't replace the experience gained with a billion coin flips.

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Sun, 4th May '08, 2:10 pm::

I had a pretty good weekend so far. Went to the beach yesterday, then later to my friend Juliet's birthday party. The weather is beautiful and it's nice just being outside in the sun. My new glasses will arrive on Tuesday (hopefully) so till then, I'm avoiding computers and TV as much as I can. I do have a lot of things I want to write about but the eye-strain is a little too much to bear right now. I am going to go sit in my backyard and just chill for a few hours.

Taylor's coming to town soon and we had some major work stuff to talk about. So let's see how it goes :)

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Thu, 1st May '08, 11:00 am::

Not even five hours since my glasses broke and I'm already causing disasters. In an email sent to all of our senior executives at work, I make a small but horrible typo. Instead of saying "Customer wants us to fill the product soon", I wrote "Customer wants us to kill the product soon." I sent the correction to everyone and thankfully it's not a big deal. But I have to be careful now. Meanwhile, everyone's laughing at me :(

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Thu, 1st May '08, 8:05 am::

My glasses broke. I had a feeling they were going to break so earlier this week I had my eyes tested and ordered a new pair. My last eye exam was almost five years ago and thankfully my eyes haven't got any worse since. My single pair of glasses lasted so long that I forgot that glasses break. However, the new pair of glasses won't be ready till Tuesday. This means I have three full days of work without my glasses. I was kind of hoping that my old glasses would last at least a week longer so when I have the new pair, I could keep swapping them with the old one all day and confuse the hell out of everyone at work. Oh well, time to change all screens from 1280x1024 to 800x600.

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