Switching Web Hosting

As discussed last week, I’ve decided to switch my web hosting from a company located in Jakarta, to Dreamhost.com.

I’ve had a number of headaches, billing issues, downtime, horrible communication, etc, not to mention the price/benefit ratio is absurd. Here’s an example of what the Indonesian host offers:

4 GB space + 40 GB bandwidth = $45 / month
1 GB space + 15 GB bandwidth = $14 / month
100 MB space + 3 GB bandwidth = $5 / month

OR

Dreamhost offers:

20 GB space + 1 Terabyte of bandwidth = $9.95 / month (both space and bandwidth automatically increase for free every week).

Hmmm…. tough call huh?

Also, I used a referral code and knocked off half of that price and no setup fee. (I’ve made another referral code for $50 off – “javajive” – if anyone is interested).

I’ve already uploaded everything to their servers, but things won’t actually be switched for another day or so (I hope) as I’m waiting for the old host to release the DNS. I’ve tested the majority of my work without problems, but cannot feasibly check this blog out on the new host – I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Please be aware that when they do actually move www.thejavajive.com to the new host, my site may be down for a day or two. I can always be reached via thejavajive (at) gmail (dot) com or via my flickr account.

Productivity, Organization, and Getting Things Done

Lately an overwhelming feeling of ‘things I gotta do’ has taken over my mind and my free time. I think as technology and stress continues to grow exponentially, this won’t subside anytime soon. The best solution will come from learning to cope and manage these areas. As any proud procrastinator would proclaim, it’s all too easy to shut down and ignore all of your responsibilities rather than face them head-on. (A mantra I’ve tried to leave in my past).

What is cluttering my mind? Decisions, organization, responsibilities, projects, deadlines, perpetual self-education (photography, web design, Photoshop, Illustrator, Mac stuff,), family, friends, financial planning (or lack thereof), health, fitness, reading – you know, the same as everyone else.

In an effort to help handle the many directions I’m being pulled, I’ve started making a few web resources daily stops and thought I’d share what I’ve come across.

  • Lifehacker: I think they’ve said it best: “Lifehacker makes getting things done easy and fun. Delving deep into the technoweb, Lifehacker brings back simple and totally life-altering tips and tricks for managing your information and time.” It’s continually fascinating and always contains fresh tips for ‘hacking’ all areas of your life. Every time I drop by I find at least a few new ideas for life-management. Highly recommended.
  • Ask Metafilter is an utterly absorbing project which questions ‘the hive mind’. Questions are submitted and answered by anyone, anywhere, from all walks of life – but be warned – it’ll consume hours from your schedule if you’re not careful, especially once you find the archives. Highly recommended.
  • Del.icio.us is a list of some of the most active, fresh links on the web. Once again referring to the wisdom of crowds, it often produces some great links to a variety of subject areas. On a similar note, if you haven’t gotten into social bookmarking, one that I use on a daily basis is, once again, Del.icio.us. From their site:

“Keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, restaurant reviews, and more on del.icio.us and access them from any computer on the web.
Share favorites with friends, family, and colleagues.
Discover new things. Everything on del.icio.us is someone’s favorite – they’ve already done the work of finding it. Explore and enjoy.”

None of these resources is new. In fact, you may wonder why I’m bothering to bring them up now. Well, it seems to me that these are the type of sites that many people would never know they always needed. If I can help to spread the word, then I’ve passed on the goodness to help combat the vicious mindjunk that hounds our modern times. In another post I’ll show more tactics I’ve learned, and how I’ve started to put them to work for me.

Portrait of a Meat-Head

No, really, I do own shirts with sleeves!

brandon singapore Portrait of a Meat Head

In response to the comments left on flickr:

I have to dress more formally for work, so sometimes when I get home the first thing I do is strip down to my workout gear.

I admit, I miss wearing long sleeves, jackets, sweaters, and not sweating anytime I step outside. This perpetual summer gets a bit old at times.

I miss autumn and spring the most – not so much snow, slush, and overcast winters. It’s not so rough when I’m sittin on some beach in Bali – knowing that my friends back home are freezing their arses off. icon wink Portrait of a Meat Head

The Spoiled Weighlifter

Ok, in response to Shaky’s questions about fitness and working out, I’ll post more answers – in a new post as they revolve more around the workout rather than the diet aspect.

What time do you work out? Are you able to go at the same time each day?

I’m not much of a morning person, therefore I pretty much workout in the late afternoon/early evening. There are many benefits to working out in the morning but I simply don’t have any desire (or energy) at 5am. The author of Body for Life, Bill Philips, actually says that he works out at that time. I start work at 7:15am so I feel your pain – on the other hand, if I’m overly ambitious I’ll get up and run for 20 min at 5:45am. Believe me, this doesn’t happen often!

I need to get into a routine, but I just cannot guarantee I can go at the same time each day, unless itÂ’s before work. I start work at 8am, so that means getting up at about 6am each day. I did it for most of November, but then it got into December and party season.

I know that if I had to get up and try to make it to the gym before work – it wouldn’t happen. I’d miss many workouts. I find that it’s so much easier to stay in routine once your into it – for me that’s gotta be later in the day. It’s also just as easy to stop once you get off track. I’ve taken months off at a time that way, but once I’m back in it simply becomes part of my day.

It sounds really odd but I actually look forward to getting in the gym – once you’re at that point I think it’s much easier. And party season doesn’t mean you can’t workout – it just means that you’re not as likely to get the optimum benefits out of the workout. Maybe you can just learn to drink a bit less – or make sure you get enough water in during the nights out – anything to ward off a gym-crushing hangover. Trust me, I still like to go out with my buddies – I just have to strive for moderation in all aspects. Notice I use the word ‘strive’ – I’ll let you know when I learn what ‘moderation’ means. icon wink The Spoiled Weighlifter

What do you do at the gym? Weight work?

Absolutely. I revolve my entire workout around lifting weights. I warm up with 10 minutes of running and then lift for about 2 hours. If you’ve read any of the New York Bestseller books, you’ll see that they say anything longer than an hour is too long. Well, that’s fine and dandy for those who can fit it in an hour, but truly I cannot get a decent workout in less than an hour and a half. I know 2 hours sounds daunting, but I can’t seem to get the time down to less than that.

Here’s a typical workout week:

Monday: Chest/biceps/abs/cardio
Tuesday: Shoulders/back/triceps/abs/cardio
Wed: Legs/abs/
Thursday: repeat monday
Friday: repeat tuesday

* 3 different exercises for each body part, 3 sets / 8 repetitions

My cardio routine generally is 20 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical machine. I do HIIT training – High Intensity Interval Training – meaning that you warm up for a couple of minutes, get to about 60% of your max heart rate, and then increase intensity dramatically for 1 minute – around 90% max, and then back down to 60%. I do these “spikes” about 5 times within the 20 minute period. This has been proven to greatly enhance fat-burning and continue to elevate metabolism hours after working out. In my opinion it’s much more effective than simply doing 20 minutes at a steady pace.

NO coffee?

Coffee is fine – it just tends to spike blood sugar. I actually drink a cup every morning, but have switched to green tea once I leave the house – which has many proven benefits. And I don’t add sugar or cream to the coffee – just a bit of milk.

Also, do you take your food to work? Or are you able to get lunch like that?

Well – in this aspect I’m a bit spoiled. I have a full time / live-in maid that cooks every meal for me. Whatever I need, she’ll cook. I know this sounds terrible, but she actually cooks the lunch in the morning and brings it to me at noon. This was her choice by the way – not mine. I’m completely willing to bring it with me in the morning – even if it were cooked the night before. I think she just likes to get out of the house. I bring two protein shakes to work as well.

This approach to working out completely depends upon your fitness goals. It’s not for everyone. This is geared towards building muscle and maintaining/losing body fat. I’m a definite mesomorph by nature – I need to be careful not to put excess weight on. Someone simply trying to be ‘fit’ definitely wouldn’t need this much weight work. I lift with very high intensity – that’s just the way I learned to train back in high school/university. There are many varying opinions on how much/how often/set/reps/etc. This is just what works for me. I’d be happy to recommend some books for you if you’d like additional reading.

Blowing Your Mind

I’ve been reading this thread on Ask Metafilter regarding one person’s search for experiences which will blow their mind. It’s amazing to see the variety of responses, and how many people cite drug-use as the sole answer. (I’m not advocating nor discrediting this, just noting).


I realize this is kind of a weird and imprecise question, but bear with me here.

Some background – I’ve done a lot of things in my short time on this planet in an attempt to further understand myself, everyone else, and generally just become a genuinely interesting and understanding human being. Not to mention have a bit of fun along the way. I’ve been around the world and seen poverty, excess, and everything in between. I’ve taken a myriad assortment of weird drugs, always safely, always with the intent of learning about the inner reaches of my mind. I’ve dabbled with reasonable success in the arts of lucid dreaming and “astral projection” (with and without drugs), keeping in mind that these are scientifically explainable aspects of consciousness and not supernatural mumbo-jumbo. In the past year or so I’ve been messing around a bit with meditation, and getting serious about it is my resolution for 2006.

So! What types of things have you done that have totally blown your mind? What sorts of things have changed the way you think, act, feel, or just your general perception of the world around you? “Expanded your consciousness “? I’m looking more for slightly offbeat things than the “when I saw my child for the first time” stuff that happens to everybody.

Some of the answers I completely agree with: studying quantum physics (c’mon I’m not just a photographer), reading ground-breaking literature, meditation (wish I had studied it further), extreme physical exertion, complete isolation, visiting the great works of man, nature’s creations (grand canyon, etc), realizing that almost every single thing around us was created by those that lived before us, studying astronomy and truly (attempting to) grasping the scope of how small we are (check out this image!), and my own personal favorite – leaving everything behind and moving to a completely new country and culture where you don’t speak the language or even think the same way as those surrounding you. It will truly change you forever.

Would you add anything to this list?

Gettin Poked

That sounded bad. Sorry.

Today I got jabbed with a needle twice – once for the flu vaccine and once for a typhoid update. A doctor from Global Doctors was kind enough to come to work to offer vaccines for whoever wanted them. I know what you’re thinking – the flu vaccine has nothing to do with protecting against avian flu. True, however, I’ve heard from a number of ‘professionals’ (in a calm, yet warning tone) that if you’ve had the flu vaccine and come down with flu-like symptoms, you’re much more likely to be diagnosed properly and quickly against the avian flu – and more likely to receive Tamiflu quickly. If this isn’t true, or wouldn’t in fact be the case – what do I have to lose? (other than $25)

She then asked if I’ve had a typhoid shot recently, and it’s been over 3 years, so I did that one as well – literally didn’t even feel the needle. They must be coming up with smaller and smaller needles all the time. Which reminds me of this article about doctors needing longer needles for the increase in obese arses in the world.

It’s funny how the world changes so drastically – one year ago, I’d never have considered getting a flu shot – now our entire experience in Indonesia could be cut short by a potential pandemic. Never thought I’d have to worry about that. We’ve been through terrorist bombings, the massive Asian tsunami and earthquakes, more terrorist bombings, embassy warnings, and yet none of it was enough to persuade expats from leaving. It’d be ironic if the final blow simply came from a tiny organism smaller than this period.

Kabar Magazine – My Submissions

There’s a new magazine in town called “Kabar” – geared towards the English speaking residents of Indonesia, but not necessarily expats. I’ve been in contact with the editor, a very cool cat named Avi, and have contributed some material for this month’s issue. If you happen to see the magazine around (bookstores, cafes, hotels, fitness clubs?), you may recognize the cover – the blue warung boards I shot a few weeks ago. Inside, there’s an article with photos that I submitted as well.

If anyone has seen the magazine, drop me a line! (I haven’t seen the new issue yet).

On another note, I spent the day yesterday formulating some ways to help a local orphanage. I may need some help brainstorming a plan, but I think it could be a wonderful way for us to ‘give back’. More on this later today or tomorrow.

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