Strovek Writes

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dirt Art

Somebody sent me some very impressive art done just using dust on the car. Here is the sample of some of the art work:





Here is how Scott looks like:


I also found his gallery here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone! I know it means different things to different people. To majority it is time for Easter eggs and Easter bunny.

For Christians it is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.


I was in the night mass at our church and here are some photos from our candle light virgil:



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Learning Piano using Internet resources

I managed to get a keyboard (electric piano) from a shop at almost less than half price.   Problem is neither my wife and I knows how to play the piano.   So I did a search on internet and found many resources to help us to learn how to play the piano. (Just that it may not tell us if the timing is correct).

The following are some good resources:

Free Piano Lessons
Get Piano Lessons

As you learn and want more material, you can then download free music sheets from the following:

MyPiano blog

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why Dieting Is a lot like a Financial Crisis

I received this from a newsletter from AtoZ Fitness Weekly and thought I would share it here.  Note that I am not selling their products nor am I linked to them.

Why Dieting Is A Lot Like a Financial Crisis

By Nick Nilsson

Learn the parallels between dieting and the biggest financial crisis of our time. And no, it's not because both are painful and leave you hungry!


Now, let me be clear right off the bat…if you think I'm going to make a joke here about how your Freddie Mac and Cheese ends up on your Fannie Mae, you're wrong…I would never do such a thing.

What I AM going to do is draw some parallels about how the financial mess the United States is in can actually help you understand how dieting affects your body, and in turn, can help you get better results in your fat-loss efforts and, of course, make you millions of dollars richer in the process.

I'm going to drift around in between finance and nutrition here - I know, they're two almost identical subjects but, try to bear with me.

And keep in mind when you read this, I'm no financial expert. If something isn't 100% right, the SEC isn't interested in small fish like me so I wouldn't bother mentioning this article to them...


1 - The Boom Years

Your body is designed to store fat. Its how we've survived as a species over the millennia. When famine hit, it was always the individuals who could best store and use fat who survived. Evolution wasn't concerned about the potential for muffin-top when it loaded our bodies with easy-to-fill fat cells.

So when times were good (like in the U.S. housing market a few years back), those fat cells were getting filled up like crazy! Everybody was seeing their house values (i.e. waistlines) expand.

Now, greed operates not only in the financial markets but at the buffet table as well. The less regulation there is, i.e. portion and food quality control, the more things start to get unbalanced and the more potential there is for gluttony.

Some people were buying houses they really couldn't afford which is a parallel to some people eating the crappy food (i.e. pretty much anything that comes directly to you through a window). It compromises your health in the long run.

Heck, you can think of eating at McDonald's sorta like getting an adjustable rate loan…you're fine for the first little while but suddenly BAM. Your rate adjusts and it's time to bust out the fat pants.

But hey, while you're still in those first few years of your Adjustable Rate Mortgage, life is good. You may not look like you're gaining a lot of fat (it's all settling into those spaces between your internal organs) or setting up your financial markets for a crash until the moment of truth hits.

Then the balloon payment comes due, your mortgage doubles and you start blowing out the seams on your fat pants.

The internal workings of your system have been so corrupted by deregulation (and coagulation) that your markets can barely function. Your blood pressure is going up faster than a CEO's retirement bonus because your body is carrying too much debt around your waistline.


2 - The Crash

So it's time to diet. And you want to lose that fat FAST. So you immediately drop your calories to near starvation level. Of course, in the stock market, a strict diet looks a lot like a crash. Your body views it the same way.

Panic sets in. Just as brokers start selling off stock, your body starts getting rid of things it doesn't want to carry around.

And, of course, the greater the panic, the stupider the brokers (and your body) get. When you crash diet, your body tends to burn MUSCLE more than fat. Just like a broker selling off the good stocks that can help him recover from a crash.

It's the FAT you want to sell off, not the muscle.

But a big crash [diet], which was set up by the previous gluttony [the result of excess deregulation, akin to asking a 4 year old to guard the birthday cake], you're now attempting to accomplish very quickly what should normally happen over a longer period of time.

If you were to experience a slow economic downturn, your ability to get rid of the fat is much better, allowing you to streamline your portfolio smartly rather than just trying to get rid of everything all at once. You cut your calories, increase your activity and gradually lose the fat.


3 - Market Instability

If you've got a retirement savings plan and you've looked at it recently, you've probably seen a graph that does up and down just like the numbers on the scale of a yo-yo dieter.

The crash is followed by a binge of people buying cheap stocks (because the price is so low and because that Kentucky-fried birthday cake just looks so good), followed by another crash, followed by another binge. And so on.

This constant cycle of crashing and rebounding does nothing to stabilize the economy. It only makes you want to eat more and makes you fatter.


4 - The Great Depression

Now you're really feeling bad about yourself. You've gained back all the weight you lost when you crash dieted only you lost muscle and gained back fat.

You're in the middle of a great depression. What's it going to take to snap out of it?


5 - The Two Magic Words

I'm talking BAIL OUT, right! Government to the rescue, right! WRONG.

Look at how well the bail-out worked. The stock market keeps tanking and keeps yo-yo dieting. Until the government takes high fructose corn syrup out of the food-lobby pyramid, you can be pretty sure the government isn't going to solve your weight problems.

Now come the REAL two little magic words that will make everything okay…Personal Responsibility.

I am VERY sure there are predatory lenders out there who convinced people that they could afford homes that they really couldn't just as I'm sure there are food manufacturers trying to convince you that Lucky Charms are healthy because they suddenly contain calcium…

When you get down to it, nobody is holding a gun to your head to eat that last chunk of Texas Toast with extra cheese, butter and frosting. Just because something is available doesn't mean you HAVE to insert it into your face (or sign the paperwork that says you're fine with 5% APR jump on your mortgage when it resets).

When you put Personal Responsibility into practice, you take CONTROL over your finances and your nutrition. You realize that the world does not owe you a lean body…it's something you have to work for and make an effort for, just like it takes work and effort to pay your mortgage every month.

If it sounds too good to be true…well, you know how the rest of THAT goes…

In this case, it's a lesson Wall Street should learn from Sesame Street. Like Cookie Monster says, cookies are a "sometimes" food - meaning if you're greedy all the time, it's going to eventually catch up to you and you'll have to pay for it (unless you're AIG, apparently, in which case you've got a license to keep on partying without any hint of accountability - I guess the parallel to that would be liposuction!).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meditation

It's been 3 week since I stopped my Fastestman program but I have managed to maintain my weight.  

I have been reading the book below and one of the things it talks about is that all the things we do causes us to accumulate various kinds of energy in our cells and overwhelming them. And as a result our cells are suffocating. This in turn causes all kinds of diseases.

Energy Medicine in CFQ Healing: Healing the Body, Transforming Consciousness

I am not sure how true and accurate this theory is but I know many people believe in them. I have not met the originator of the CFQ healing but know of those who have.

What I do know is that I tried to just perform my own kind of meditation in which I just closed my eyes and focus on releasing all the energy within my body - basically think of radiating energy from all parts of my body. This is sometimes very difficult especially when you have a throbbing headache. I do this both in the sitting position or lying on the bed. Just need to make sure I am relaxed and my arms and legs are not crossed - which will block the flow of energy. The result even after 3 weeks of minimal exercise, I am maintaining the weight of 70.9 kg with Fat% of 24.9. This is close to my weight in Jan which is 70.5 with 24.5% fat.

This method seems to work quite well for me but the energy burn is quite slow so it still does not allow me to binge too much. Also, when I eat too much, my body knows to purge the excess out.