Monday, September 15, 1986

My Constitution v1 2009-9/2013

I am at heart a monotheistic libertarian. My support for civil liberties stems from my faith in the goodness of mankind and respect towards the multitude of social constructs that make this world an interesting and diverse place to live in

Open to everyone, I will not consciously discriminate against anybody for their looks, beliefs, culture, race, gender or mindset. I recognize that inattention is a form of discrimination. The principle of inclusiveness stands and healthy interactions with other people are actively pursued.

I choose not to see the world behind rose tinted glasses. I'd rather be hurt than live a lie. I shall recognize my weaknesses for what they are and not downplay them. I will not be too proud of my strengths.

Independence, Freedom and Happiness

I strive towards independence in all senses of the word. Emotional independence/security stems from a deep sense of security that can only be provided by other people. Financial independence is tied to my career.

Happiness cannot be bought, though is intrinsically tied to emotional and financial security. Emotional security involves having a robust social circle of people I can count on; whilst financial security relies on my career. To be independent from a social perspective means not having to rely too much on too small a social circle for support. This means that I will not be too badly affected even if a close friend leaves the country as my social networks can readily support me. Being socially independent means that never have to worry about inattention; and as one's social life is determined by reciprocity of attention, I will always place heavy emphasis on cordial relations with other people. I must not become overly reliant on any single social circle!  

Social independence is the fundamental pillar of long term happiness, irrespective of wealth with the exception of abject poverty.

Financial security requires my career to progress smoothly. The nature of my career is such that this will only happen if I put my blood, sweat and tears into it. Devotions of time. Devotions of mental effort. Reflection. Thinking. It is alot easier to do the above when I am healthy physically, socially and mentally. Emotional security is the foundation upon which a positive frame of mind is built.

Time is finite, and the long term goal is to strike a balance between career and emotional security.

Live Strong. Live Mighty. Live Righteously.


Chapter One: Spirit Core

1.1 The Purpose Of Life
The following story is allegorical in nature: In a time before time, in a realm beyond human perception, a transgression of God's will occured, and souls were given a second chance to prove themselves. The world was created to test people by means of which they differ. The child of a rabbi born into the most conservative kibbutz has no advantage over the child of an eskimo who knows nothing outside of his igloo. Everyone is tested, and none shall be wronged. Everyone's fate is sealed. But fate alone does not determine the outcome of one's life. For fate is like a tree - which branch each individual chooses to climb determines his/her destiny.

1.2 Spiritual Humility
Faith is not inherited. Faith cannot be taught. Faith is not religion. No amount of brainwashing and proselytization will make a person more inclined to follow either the right or wrong path in life. God guides whom He wills and leaves astray whom He wills. And only God knows who the believers are. What anyone claims to believe means nothing. I will never call anyone a believer or disbeliever. There can be no 'us-versus-them' mentality for there is no 'us' and no 'them'. It is wrong to pass judgment on people, and it is especially wrong to put oneself on a moral high horse and talk down on other people.

1.3 Independence From Hedonism and Religionism.
What makes you feel good about yourself? Beautiful rich people tend to turn to hedonistic pleasures while poor ugly people tend to turn to religionism. Some people feel good about themselves believing they are exceptions from the norm. Most people are in the grey area in between. Believing in one God and doing the right thing applies regardless of what circumstance an individual lives his/her life. It is independent of both religionism and hedonism. You could be living in trendy Shibuya, Tokyo, or the city of Qum, Iran. Sure, the hedonist will be subjected to different temptations (eg. drugs/alcohol, 'massage parlours') compared to the religionist (eg. extremism, blind hate, egoism, 'us-vs-them' mentality), but at the end of the day both will have opportunity to take the right path in life.
1.4 Faith In Humanity
Neither hedonism nor religionism are intrinsically bad, or good. They are simply different. Both sides have their bad apples. It is important to not hold preconceived notions about people based on their apparent lifestyle choice (hedonism vs religionism). A great majority of religionists are not terrorists hell bent on proselytizing the world's children. A great majority of hedonists are not drunken, crack sniffing swingers. The world is not a lost cause. There are many many religionists, hedonists, and those in the grey area between who are at the bottom line decent people - and that is where my faith in humanity lies.

1.5 Civil Liberties
There can be absolutely no coercion in matters of faith. God guides whom he wills and faith flows from that guidance. Nothing can help a person whom God has left astray. You do not know who has been guided and you do not know who has been led astray. As one individual cannot guide or mislead another individual, and faith is neither transferable nor teachable, it is reasonable that everyone should be left to their own unless their actions cause harm to others. It is ok to drink, but it is not ok to drink while breastfeeding your baby. Note that a person's s faith cannot be "harmed" - meaning that a person's actions cannot influence another person's faith.

It is wrong to force someone to do things you consider to be 'good' (eg. Rituals). It is wrong to punish someone for doing something that you consider to be 'bad' (eg. Smoking). Religionists often use the excuse that they are preventing "moral degeneration" or "loss of faith" to restrict civil liberties such as alcohol, gambling and porn. I am not saying those things should not be legislated. Yes alcohol is bad for kids and cigarette tax makes sense. What I am saying is that it is wrong to restrict civil liberties on the pretext of preventing loss of faith. You cannot prevent a person from losing faith in the same way you cannot guide a person. God guides people, and only God can leave an individual astray. Going on moral crusades is a pointless waste of time as you not going to guide anyone, and you are not going to prevent anyone from being left astray.

1.6 Openness
This constitution shall be public for all to see. When there is nothing to hide there is no reason for secrecy. The light of openness will shine through the darkness and negativity that comes from withdrawal and secrecy.

Chapter Two: Of Others

2.1 Open Hearts
Ethereal. Unexplainable. What does it mean to have an open heart to others? To remember things about people? To share tears and joy? It goes beyond empathy. It is undefinable; though having a positive outlook on life helps. Inclusiveness and outreach initiatives flow naturally from it, though I must always be wary of the risk of being too dependent on a single social group (see 4.5)

2.2 Inclusiveness
I will never discriminate against anyone regardless of ethnicity, beliefs, looks, culture or sexuality. This goes beyond non-discrimination. Inclusiveness means that I will pay fair attention to others and will not ignore anyone.

2.3 Time
Outreach requires a significant devotion of time. Saying hi and acknowledging people exist is one thing. Hanging out and spending time with them is another. Sharing laughs and experiences are part and parcel of clicking with people. This is one aspect of my constitution that I will struggle to fulfill as academic commitments do take up large chunks of time.

2.4 Online Social Networking
This section will be updated frequently as changes arise to online networking platforms. Recently facebook enabled friends to be eliminated from news feeds. This is a good thing as I can now freely add people without having to worry that my homepage would be flooded by lots of irrelevant posts by people I dont really care about. In other words, I'll be able to see the posts made by people whom I am close to and people whom I wouldnt hesitate to call if I broke a leg.

Chapter Three: Realism

3.1 Preamble
I vow to never stray from the truth. I will to the best of my mental capacity to reason; strive to see the reality that is the world. For truth that hurts is better than living a lie.

3.2 The Light of Day
This constitution shall be public; for transparency promotes truth, positivity and accountability. While nobody can dictate my thoughts, the standards that I aspire towards are enshrined in this constitution and with this openness dark and bitter thoughts are indirectly expunged.

3.3 Subliminal Denial
The mind's eye can be deceptive. In the face of adversity I pledge to never downplay my weaknesses. I will never put too much attention on my strengths; in pride, in denial, or in avoidance of my weaknesses.

Monday, February 10, 1986

Ezra's Coffee Beans

Spiels are by Andy from

Brazil Pulped Natural
. Sun dried and screened to 17/18 this is the perfect Brazilian base to your favourite traditional blend. It roasts evenly and produces good body and balance in the cup. Great value in a rising market and we bought plenty of it to give CS’rs some consistency in their blends. My Comment: That generic “coffee” taste. I can see why it is used as a base in blends. Nothing remarkable, but very drinkable straight as espresso. Drink hot as a long black. Doesn’t taste good when cool.

Ethopian Gambella Sundried. Another dry processed Ethiopian that has been called "poor man's Yemen" in the past for its similar cupping style but much lower purchase price. Wild, earthy, sweet, fruity and a viscosity like honey when roasted in the CS9-CS10 range.

Ethopian Harrar Longberry. This Ethiopian Harrar Longberry was certified organic at origin and is one of the cleanest dry processed Harrars we have ever offered. In the cup it produces a mid bodied espresso shot with wild and fruity flavours that make it a standout.

Indian Monsoon Malabar AA. These beans have been left to dry in large warehouses that are exposed to the moist winds during the Indian monsoon season. This unique process leaves a bean with nearly no acidity, a pale colour and about 20% less density. In the espresso its all body with heavy jelly like crema which can be drunk as a single origin but also works well a component of a complex blend. My Comment: Tastes fantastic as a single origin long black. Well balanced, and even when the cup cools down it still tastes great.

Indian Tiger Mountain seems to make regular appearances in BeanBay. Its a great bean, well graded, roasts very evenly and produces a well rounded single origin espresso, perfect on its own or as a great base for a more intriguing blend.

Panama Boquete Bajo Volcancito is a high grown, strictly hard bean (SHB) from the Bajo Volcancito plantation. Clean, well graded and produces a great balance of sweetness and acidity with a smooth body at a CS9 roast depth. Fans of Central American beans should love this one.

Peru Grace Villa Rica Estate. The smooth body of this bean gives a great mouthfeel in an espresso with a long caramel sweet aftertaste. Great as a single origin espresso. One of the all time favourites on CoffeeSnobs, a really easy bean to roast evenly and it works well through a wide range of roast depths to produce a medium bodied coffee with great mouthfeel and flavours.

Sunday, February 09, 1986


Phase Two
: Increase cardiovascular performance while maintaining muscle bulk obtained through strength training.
Routine (tentative): Swim once a week. Track (threadmill) once a week. Track (urban) once a week. Strength training, maintenance cycle (6 reps @ 90%, full compound circuit) once a week.

Ρhase One

Completed. Body weight raised from 45kg to 65kg.
(6 months): Upped calorie intake from about 1400-1600 a day to 2200 a day. Body weight rose from 45.5kg to 55kg.
Week 1-2. Sessions 1-6
: Began compound exercises and a bit of track to train major muscle groups.
Weeks 3-4. Sessions 7-12
: Introduced full set of isolation exercises to complement compound exercises. Each session lasts about 1hr40min. Christmas and New Year break: Burnout/overtraining. Fell sick and didnt train for 8 days.
Weeks 5-6. Sessions 13-18
: Separated upper and lower body isolation exercises (alternate sessions) to reduce strain on body. Session time also reduced to 1hr. Dropped cardio totally. Stretching in between sets introduced. Compound exercises performed during all sessions.
Weeks 7-8. Sessions 19-24: Continued training regime. Compound on all sessions with isolation exercises on alternate sessions.
Weeks 9-10. Sessions 25-30: Deadlifts introduced. First free weights exercise. It replaces the dumbell walking lunge. Can feel hamstrings stretching and hip stability markedly improving.
Weeks 11-12. Sessions 31-36: Previous routine continued. Introduced second free weights exercise: bent over rows.

Ρᴙᴏᴊᴇᴋᴛ Я.А.Ϻ.™ Core Indicators
Initial vs Current (sets x reps x weight)
Squats: 2x8x15kg - 3x8x65kg
Pull Ups: 2x12x43% - 3x8x75%
Chest Press: 2x12x30kg - 3x8x50kg
Seated Row: 2x12x30kg - Bent Over Row: 2x15x20kg
Shoulder Press: 2x12x30kg - 3x8x60kg
Dumbbell Lunge: 2x8x5kg - Deadlifts: 3x8x27kg

Ρᴙᴏᴊᴇᴋᴛ Я.А.Ϻ. Focused Indicators
Hyperextensions: 2x8x0
Biceps: 2x8x5.6kg - 2x8x9kg (per side)
Triceps: 2x8xll.15 - 2x8x18.25lb (both sides simultaneously)
Superior Deltoids: 2x8x10 - 2x8x30kg
Pecs and Anterior Deltoids: 2x8x35 - 2x8x42.5kg
Posterior Deltoids: 2x8x21 - 2x8x42.5kg

1. Compound: Full range of compound exercises during _all_ sessions.
2. Balance: If a muscle is worked, the opposing muscle must also be worked to preserve muscle balance.
3. Temperance: Completely dry day before and day after each session.
4. Form: Proper form to be observed during all exercises. No locking of joints between reps. No use of momentum.
5. Recovery: Sessions on alternate days. Isolation exercises for each body part performed on _alternate_ sessions. Few days rest every two weeks (6 sessions).
6. Nutrition: 2200 calorie target for off days. 3000 calorie target for training days.

Target 2200-2500 Calories per day, approaching 3000 on session days. Carbs from various sources depending on mood (couscous/rice/pasta/bread/noodles). Roughly 80g of protein a day. Red meats at least twice a week. Major protein sources include light (2%) milk, full cream yoghurt and lean chicken meat. Significant daily serving of leafy greens such as salads (50g), choy sum, spinach or bok choi depending on availability. Daily fruit serving equivalent to two medium (tennis ball) sized stone fruit consumed between meals. No supplements.

Saturday, February 08, 1986

About Me

This blog was started in 2007 as a place for me to share my photos. In time, it evolved into a place where I put down in black and white the congealed streams of thought that form in my brain. The pictures were originally taken with a DSLR, but as technology progressed, I noticed that even cameraphones capture pictures undistinguishable from DLSR pictures at standard web sizes (less than 500x500. You will be hard pressed to tell the difference between DSLR, PnS, cameraphone and 35mm film scans on this blog. I can be reached at: or drop me a message on facebook.