I started doing “flip over” pushups in 2012. They were part of an 8 minute exercise program I found in YouTube that involved a variety of lower and upper body movements. There were  just 10 “flip over” pushups in that program but I  loved the movement so much that for whatever reason I decided to see how many I could get to.flip-pushupflip-over-pushup

I started doing the flip over pushups one to two times a week. Each time I would get a little further.pushuppushup-flip

After a couple of months I got up to around 115 and told one of my friends about it. He didn’t believe me. He told me the next time I did it to record it on video. His doubtful comments made me feel free great about getting to 115. But my goal at the time was 150 and so I kept my mouth shut. Later I would get to 150, record the accomplishment and keep it to myself.

When you shouldn’t listen to your friend’s advice:

That “friend” was someone who would regularly motivate me to do just the opposite of whatever he said. We each had young daughters. His daughter was a little older than mine and it made him feel the “expert” in parenting. He told me to stop the idea of traveling with our daughter, pick a spot and stay there. Shortly thereafter we would start an 18 month around the world tour that had us traveling through and living in 18 countries. I’m so happy to think back about all the great moments we had while traveling and experiencing new places. And am very grateful I didn’t listen to my friend’s advice.

Getting back to the “flip over” pushups I eventually got up to 264 and recorded that session from the rooftop of a building we were living in Buenos Aires. That video was made in 2013. Over the next two years I would keep furthering my top # and eventually I got to 400 consecutive flip over pushups! I still can’t believe I got to that number and even thinking back it seems a little unreal.

Then I hit a wall.  When we hit Asia in 2016 we stayed in a bunch of places where doing the exercises was just about impossible. And my progress crashed. The biggest problem was just getting overheated though I didn’t figure that out right away. Adrenaline kicks in after around 150 and I can normally keep going a lot longer, as long as I can keep from burning up inside and out. When I get past a couple of hundred my body feels like it is on fire.  To keep going I need lot’s of cold air blowing across my body.

Our travels have at least temporarily stopped.  And now that we’ve been in the same spot for a bit I’ve got the house where we’re living now well setup to do the exercises.  After not doing any pushups for months it was a struggle just getting back to 200.  But I’ve pushed myself and today I managed to get up to 325.  I’m still 75 short of my all time best. And my bigger goal is to get to 500. But it feels great because I’m back on track and getting to where I want to be again fast.

It takes me nearly an hour to do the pushups without a break. When I got to 400 before it actually took more than an hours time.

Aside from staying cool with AC and strong ventilation, a few other things I do to help me get through it are:

  • Watching YouTube motivation videos during the workout
  • Take one or two Guarana caffeine supplements prior to the workout. Each pill is comparable to a single cup of coffee
  • Drink a full glass of cold water to help me stay cool internally

Now that I’ve got a method dialed in, I can comfortably say I’ll soon be getting up to 400 again and maybe even 500 one day.  The body can physically adapt to extremes.  It’s just a matter of mentally allowing yourself to accept that you can do it.  And stay cool 🙂

January 29, 2017 0 comment
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Growing up as an army brat I always had the chance to travel.  We moved homes usually every two years and when you are in the Army that sometimes mean more than just changing states – we changed continents. 

I’m lucky my parents introduced me to the lifestyle.  And that they also trusted me to get an early start with traveling on my own.  By age 16 I was already off traveling to other countries. 

Nowadays I’m working online and it gives me the freedom to continue to travel.  Mind you I picked my job knowing that it would give me this freedom. I didn’t stumble into it.  And for those of you are stuck in the wrong job, it really is a choice no matter how many excuses you might give yourself.

It’s not easy.  I’ve given up on having a fixed residence.  I don’t own anything of any real value.  But I also don’t have any debts.  And it means I have the freedom to go virtually anywhere.

I travel with my wife and two year old daughter.  It’s amazing how much stuff you can travel with.  Most airlines are very liberal on how much free stuff you can bring for babies.  When we first started our around the world adventure we were lugging along a baby crib, stroller and baby seat in addition to our baby’s must need stuff:  food, clothes, diapers, etc.  You can imagine the scene just bringing along her stuff. But also keep in mind I like to take pictures and I work online.  It means for me a lot of electronics including a drone and underwater gear for diving.  My wife never likes to wear the same outfit twice.  Now you are probably really beginning to imagine how much luggage we travel with!!  But we pull it off.  Also we drink our breakfasts which are a mix of special cow friendly whey protein and a mix of green grasses.  This usually means we have an entire luggage just filled with our breakfasts.  Crazy and insane.  And completely the opposite of what most of the professional travel bloggers say.  They usually encourage you to only take what you can get in your backpack.  I’ve done that before too.  And am not sure what the point of that is.  But I guess if you are single, on a short trip and you want to avoid waiting for your luggage to come off the plane it might make sense for you.

In the past 18 months we visited 18 countries and I worked the entire time.  We went to some remote locations but everywhere we went we had at least some form of internet.  For example, we went to the outskirts of Iceland to see the Northern Lights.  Pleasantly in the middle of nowhere there was high speed internet.  More recently we went to the tiny island nation of Tonga in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  We were there to swim with Humpback Whales.  Our island got the electricity fed off of generators powered by solar panels and yes we had internet 🙂

Now we’re back in Brazil and while we rented a place for a year we still plan to travel significantly.  We’re hoping to get to these spots:  Dominican Island, Mexico, Indonesia, Alaska, Italy and Norway.

December 29, 2016 0 comment
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Living the Fun Life in Florianopolis, Brazil:

I first visited Brazil in January of 2008.  I had recently taken up surfing in the mountain lakes of Montana and wanted to take my newly learned skills to the ocean.  I was debating between going to Australia or Brazil.  After seeing the images of Florianopolis, Brazil became my choice. 

Before going I used Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur to learn the basics of Portuguese.

Florianopolis, also known as “Floripa” by locals, is actually a large island off of the coast of Southern Brazil. 

It’s a stunning location to live or visit with over 40 beaches and some of Brazils most beautiful and happy people.  Think of it as the Miami of South America where the rich from Brazil and surrounding countries come to vacation and party. 

DJs from all around the world come for the parties and club events that regularly attract crowds of over 10,000 to a single event.

The people of Brazil are the most friendly and passionate I have met. 

Holidays are so common that rarely does anyone even know what the actual holiday is for.  And holidays in Floripa mean a chance to go to the beach! 

Sexuality in Brazil is celebrated and not hidden away as if it is some kind of sickness.  It’s perfectly fine to look at other people and even talk about them.  Gossip is rampant in Brazil!  But it’s all in good fun.  What Brazil lacks is the harsh criticism of Western Culture.  I’ve literally watched old ladies in Brazil laugh out loud at the foreigners on their beaches with their gigantic swimsuits.  Being beautiful and showing it is rewarded with positive glances from both sexes instead of disdain.   

One of the things I always miss when I leave Brazil are the great buffet lunches.  Lunch is actually the main meal in Brazil.

After discovering Floripa in 2008, I have lived there part time ever since.

In 2014 my wife and I welcomed our daughter into the world.  But when gun shots went off just outside our house we decided it was time to leave Brazil.  We were on a mission to find a country like Brazil but without the problems – the next best place.  We travelled to 18 countries in 18 months.  But we didn’t find any country like Brazil.  Not even close 🙂

We’re now back in Brazil and trying again to live here full time.  I’ll say the only reason we left the first time is the crime.  Even on the beautiful island of Florianopolis you can’t escape Brazil’s worse problem.   But we’re here again because it’s the funnest place to live.

December 29, 2016 0 comment
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Being “Rich” is just a perspective.  Financial burdens dominate every income level including the financially “rich”.  It’s funny to think but even people with millions in the bank waste their days stressing about how to get more money.

Financially the subject person in the story below could easily be mislabeled as poor.  But spiritually he is rich.  And that is the best feeling of “rich” you can have.

If there is one story that has stuck with me over the year’s, it’s this one:

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.


Simple-life

We’re on a timeline.  And it starts with birth and ends with death.  Everyday that happens in between is a day to live and experience life.  The fisherman in this story gets it.  The Harvard grad is lost and will no doubt one day take up yoga and meditation to try and figure out where it all went wrong.

Life is too short.  Stop chasing that extra dollar.  Make your days count today.  And appreciate what you have.

 

December 28, 2016 0 comment
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The idea is you don’t eat beef and you save a cow’s life.  If only it were that simple.  The reality is eating beef allows more cows to be brought to life.  And then killed.  It’s a cruel twist where if cows were not wanted to be eaten they wouldn’t be given the chance to live.  What a conundrum.

Choosing to be a vegetarian isn’t saving a cow’s life. But you are off the hook for having a cow killed for your food.

Corporate "Farming"

Corporate cattle farming conditions like this are the norm. Are you supporting this?

Nowadays the vast majority of cows are owned by corporations.  Large scale agricultural has taken away any chance these cows had at enjoying a good life. Many cows live indoors their entire life.  They never see a pasture. Others are outdoors but are kept in such small confinement they live their life standing on their own feces.  Stressful conditions like this should be illegal for any living creature but are presently being allowed.  All for the purpose of saving money.  It’s really sad.  And it’s completely ignored by the media.  The corporate “ranchers” are being given a free pass for abusing life.  It’s a shame.

I have an instinct and urge to eat meat.  I’m not happy with it but it’s in me.  I also feel there is a more responsible way to eat meat that gives cows a chance to live a better life before dying.  Before massive agricultural companies came into existence the small scale farmer did things in a way that was a lot easier to accept.  Their cows were born into a world where they could step out into real pasture that was often grass.  They could soak up days in the sun.  They could enjoy life.  Sure at some point they were killed but at least in the time in between they enjoyed a normal quality of life that any living thing should have. 

Free Range CattleThere are countries where cows have a chance.  New Zealand comes to mind.  I was recently visiting the country and in the grocery store I had a hard time finding any beef that said “organic” or “free range”.  Well it turns out all the cows in the entire country are free range!  No need for fancy packaging in that case.  What a great surprise. So the entire world has not yet been turned into a corporate nightmare.

In summary:

  1. Vegetarians are not saving the lives of cows.  If they were to eat cows they would actually be giving more cows the chance to live.  I’m not talking down on vegetarians.  I admire them and really think it’s great they are able to live without eating beef.
  2. Large scale agricultural corporations are abusing cows in a way that if you ever saw the abuse first hand, you would likely want to become a vegetarian – the key is to not have a blind eye but rather avoid buying beef that was not raised humanely – no more fast food is a good start.
  3. Buying your beef from stores that source from small farms is the best way to show your support for humanely raised beef.  It sucks that cows have to die for us to eat beef.  The least we can do is to pay a little extra to help give the cows we eat a better life.
December 27, 2016 0 comment
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Thanks to the internet & airplanes it’s pretty easy to travel around the world while earning an income online

For the past four years I have been living outside of the USA while running a small marketing company for law firms. My employees are completely outsourced. I started the business in 2012. Shortly after starting the business I moved to Brazil to live full time.

In June of 2015 I started a 18 month around the world trip to 18 countries with my wife and young daughter. We traveled to some amazing places including Iceland, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Fiji, Tonga and all over Europe.

Over the last 4 years I’ve spent a total of less than 4 months in the USA even though 100% of my money is earned from American clients. So how do I do it?

Phone Calls:

For speaking with my clients by phone I use Skype. It works well. I’ve tried other services but Skype is still the best in my opinion. And it works on my laptops and mobile phones.

I also have a Skype To Go phone number that gives me a USA number to hand out to my clients when I want. I can take the calls on my cell phone or even forward them to another number if I prefer.

I typically don’t give out my personal Skype number but rather have a different virtual number that is setup with a team of virtual secretaries in Tennessee. They take the calls and can route it to my outsourced employees, route it to me or simply take a message. I have chosen to never have them route the calls to me directly but that is an option. The voicemail messages come to me by email. There are many companies offering this kind of service. I am using this one: https://www.gabbyville.com/

I try to avoid speaking with clients by phone. For new customers this is not always easy but for established customers I can typically get them to put forth their questions by email.  Most new customers I refer to an outsourced sales rep to answer their questions.

My business is simple and I have things dialed in very well.  I average just 1 phone call per week so phone calls are not a big part of my everyday life.

Postal Mail:

I have all my postal mail sent to a virtual mail box where letters are opened, scanned and uploaded to my online account. I can even forward any piece of mail to any address I choose. And checks can be mailed by them and deposited to most any US bank. I’ve been using this company for over five years now and the service has been good: www.MailBoxForwarding.com

Changing Time Zones:

One of the biggest pluses of putting yourself in a remote environment is that you focus better on work because you tend to work less.  Less time means working faster when you need to get things done.  And typically working faster actually results in less errors and better overall production.

Our time zones were completely flipped while we traveled through Asia.  During that time I worked the fewest hours. But I never got behind or felt like I was missing out. And my clients didn’t either.

Bank Accounts:

There’s no need to change bank accounts.  Your debit and credit cards are going to work just fine anywhere you go.

Taxes:

If you stay out of the USA for a full year directly you can potentially gain a large tax credit on your taxes.  It’s called the “Foreign Earned Income Exclusion”.  Learn more about taxes while living outside the USA here:  http://www.efile.com/foreign-earned-income-and-income-exclusion/

——

I don’t have any detachment about working from outside the USA.  The ability to travel when I want is an incredible feeling.  And after seeing so many other countries, I can’t imagine a scenario where I would ever want to live in the USA again.

For me it was very easy to leave the USA on a mad dash for anything new.  But for most the biggest hurdle with working remotely is to detach yourself from your current situation. It means abandoning most everything around you.  My advice is to just do it and later you can always go back if you want 🙂

 

December 14, 2016 0 comment
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Kuala Lumpur is a surprisingly modern city.  It’s the capital city of Malaysia and at one time it could claim ownership to the tallest buildings in the world – the Petronas Towers.

If you are coming to Kuala Lumpur, locally known as just KL, you probably have it on your list to see these building beautiful buildings.

And you might have already found out the two hotels with the supposed best views are the Traders Hotel & the Mandarin Oriental.  I just finished a short stay at each and can tell you the hotel with the absolute best view of the Petronas Towers is the Traders Hotel.

What makes it the best view?

The Mandarin Oriental is located literally right next to the Petronas Towers.  You can easily get a room with a view. But being so close you can’t take in the whole buildings.  Your view will be dominated by just a small portion of the towers.

The Traders Hotel is located about a ten minute walk southeast of the Petronas Towers.  The hotel is facing squarely to the towers.   It’s just enough distance that you get a full view of the towers from many of the hotel’s available rooms.  The SkyBar restaurant located near the top of the building also offer spectacular views of the towers.

If you are spending more time in Kuala Lumpur you might also consider staying at the Fraser Residence which offers large apartment style 4 start hotel rooms at very reasonable prices.  There’s a great view of the towers as well.

And finally for a view of KL from an infinity swimming pool the private residences at the Regalia Residence can’t be beat.  These are privately owned condos and many are offered for rent on a daily basis through the website:  www.AirBnB.com

I’ve recently stayed at all four and if you have only one choice and you are on a short term stay I’d recommend the Traders Hotel.  Best Travels!

December 14, 2016 0 comment
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The best equipment can help but it won’t make your shot. That being said there are situations where the right equipment can give a definite advantage.  As an example, drone photography is giving a whole new angle on photography that you simply can’t match without wings.

Thanks to Ebay and the ease with which you can buy and sell camera equipment for nearly the same price, I have bought and sold dozens of professional lens and many different cameras over the past ten years.

One thing I’ve learned is that going overkill on equipment can make it harder to get the shot. For example, when I owned the extremely large Canon 500mm 2.8 lens I found it was not practical to hike long distances carrying the lens. But if I couldn’t have it with me all the time it didn’t make sense for me to own it. I bought and sold that particular lens two times fighting myself over the idea of using it. And in fact during the two times that I owned this lensI never got any images that I thought were keepers. It was a terrific lens to use under the right circumstances but it wasn’t going to help me get the images I was after.

I started out as an Olympus owner back in 2005.  Shortly after I switched to the Canon Rebel.  I’ve used Canon brand up until last year.  Unfortunately last year I had an amazing camera combo stolen while traveling by train in Europe:

  • Canon 5d Mark iii with 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 L lens – total cost for this setup is about $7000

After losing my prized camera setup and mostly due to a lack of money but also for other reasons, I decided to switch back to Olympus and went with the Olympus EM-1. Aside from being a fraction of the cost ($1200 with lens) the new setup would bring several advantages. The EM-1 is a micro 2/3 format. It effectively doubles the focal length of the lens. A 50mm lens effectively becomes 100mm.

The camera is also smaller and lighter than traditional DSLR cameras like the Canon I was using before. It’s so small that it takes some time to get used to the difference in size if you are accustomed to using a full size camera.  The smaller size would prove to be a lot easier to travel with.

The lens that are available to use on the Olympus EM-1 are top notch and in my opinion are very much comparable to the L professional lens series from Canon.

For landscapes I am usually shooting with the 12-40mm lens with a 2.8 aperture. This lens on my EM-1 gives an effective focal length of 24-80mm.

For portraits I am usually shooting with a 40-150mm lens with a 2.8 aperture. It gives an effective focal length of 80-300mm lens. It’s a really fun lens to shoot with.

Between these two lens I can easily cover a wide variety of shooting conditions. It’s given me even more options than I had with my previous setup. And it does so at a fraction of the cost and in a much lighter package.

The EM-1 is also a fantastic camera for underwater photography. I use the Olympus underwater housing and ports. When I need to go super wide I have the 8mm lens from Olympus. But in reality I have found that it’s too wide. Even for big critters like whales I wound up getting my best images using the 12-40mm lens. I also don’t like the odd effect that super wide angle lens have on the shape of your subject. The 60mm macro lens is incredible and allows me to make full size images of tiny creatures in the sea.

Last year I bought a drone.  With it I can capture the angles from the sky that you just can’t get unless you are flying.  It’s also a great way to do mid-day photography without the worry of  sunlight destroying your shots.  In my opinion it’s even better to do most of your drone shoots during the day instead of the normal sunrise/sunset intervals that land photographers are accustomed to.  If you are shooting straight down you can even shoot at 12 PM and get a beautiful image!

My main camera setup:

  • Olympus EM-1 Micro 2/3 Camera
  • Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens
  • Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 lens

For underwater photography:

  • Olympus EM-1 Micro 2/3 Camera w/Olympus Underwater Housing
  • Olympus 60mm macro lens
  • Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens
  • Olympus 8mm f2.0 lens (rarely use)
  • 2x Sea & Sea YS-03 Flash Strobes

For above land arial photography:

  • DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone

For accessories I keep a travel tripod, lens cleaner, polarizing filters, extra batteries and a remote trigger for taking selfies with the family.

 

December 13, 2016 0 comment
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Let’s bring excitement back to the NBA!

For starters let’s get radical and turn the 30 team league into three 16 team leagues:

In the top level league you get the best teams playing each other more often.  The NBA on TV suddenly gets a lot better.  

Each league sends 8 teams to the playoffs.  Playoff series are shortened to best of three for all but the championship series which becomes best of 5 games. 

The championship winner of the lowest league gains entry into the mid-level league the following season.

The championship winner of the mid-level league gains entry to the top level league the following season.

Losing should Suck!

Since the championship winner of the mid-level league climbs up, the worse team in the top-level league gets dropped down to the mid-level league for the following season.  And the worse team in the mid-level team gets dropped down to the low-level league.  It’s going to create happy chaos watching the teams with the worse records play their hearts out to keep from being the worse team.

Scheduling:

Top-level league teams play each other two times each, mid-level teams a total of 24 games and low-level teams 8 games for a grand total of 62 games.

Mid-level teams play each other two times, top-level teams a total of 24 games and lower-level teams 8 games for a grand total of 62 games.

Lower-level teams play each other two times, mid-level teams 8 games and top-level teams 8 games for a grand total of 46 games.

With 18 extra markets the NBA gains far more exposure on the “local” level.

With three leagues you could stage the start and stop of each league to allow for more basketball throughout the year.  Why give baseball free reign during the summer? Summer would be the perfect time to start the lower level league.  Then start the mid-level league closer to fall and finally start the top level league in the winter.

Draft:

I’d keep the draft in place but allow it to play out like this:  48 picks

  • A 16 team lottery from the top league determines picks 1-16.  Every team has equal chance for the top pick!
  • A 16 team lottery from the second tier league determines picks 17-32.  Again the odds are spread evenly among the group.
  • And same situation plays out for the sixteen teams of the lower league finishing out picks 33-48.

We don’t need more than 48 picks.  If a draft eligible player is not picked by pick 48 he can either try again next year or sign a free agent contract with any of the teams.

Free Agency, Trades, Salary Cap & Guaranteed Contracts:

When players become free agents they can sign with any team from any league.

Teams can trade players with teams within their league and also in any of the other leagues.

Eliminate the salary cap and allow for big markets like New York City to finally buy their way to wins.  And frankly they need this advantage.  It’s not helping the league at all when small markets like San Antonio dominate the league.  Let the big markets have a financial advantage.  The small market teams will still find a way to compete – maybe not every year but often enough that it keeps it interesting.

Take away guaranteed contracts.  It’s not helping the best players.  They will get paid regardless of whether a contract is guaranteed or not. The reality is the only players who benefit from guaranteed contracts are injured players, underperforming players or players who have off court issues.  If teams could cancel contracts when they want they would pass the money saved onto better players. It’s how economics works.  And for players who are worried about injuries costing them money they already have the ability to buy insurance to protect themselves from losing money in case of injury.

NO MORE TIMEOUTS IN LAST 5 MINUTES!

Watching the end of an NBA game truly sucks.  All of the stop in action is just ridiculous.  I’m sorry but I just don’t have the time or patience for it.  Take away the timeouts and make teams figure out how to win games without a scratchboard.

So there ya go. A lot of different ways the NBA could have a substantially better product.

December 13, 2016 0 comment
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