It’s been almost 2 weeks since I got married. Before I talked about my big day, I think its worth telling how I spent my last days as a single guy. Me and my mates (Bujs, Sait, Kazod) like to go out for a drink. We usually get a bottle of liquor and drink it till someone or we’re all passed out.
1 week before my big day, we (Me, Bujs, and Kazod) had a drink at SMS (stands for Sumarecon Mall Serpong). It’s a mall with an open air dining area, and a music stage in the center. We had a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Years, and we managed to drink 2/3 of the bottle. Only the weakest in the group, Kazod, passed out. I still managed to drive my car back home safely.
5 days before my big day, we (all the gangs) had another drinking session. This time was at my friend’s friend’s apartment (MOI apartment). I brought the leftover Chivas and a full bottle of tequila. The drinking went Ok until we hit the bottle of tequila. One by one started to fall like flies. All of my mates puked, but I didn’t (although I did fall asleep the soonest).
3 days before my big day, I had my bachelor party. I had my party at Equinox, a night club I often go with my mates. We had 2 bottles of Gold Label, 1 Bottle of Tequila, 1 Bottle of Smirnoff Raspeberry (for the ladies), and 5 Waterfall flaming cocktails. This time I’m the one who puked, badly. Turned out that my friends had been planning to get me drunk that night. I had to drink Gold Label straight from the bottle for 5 plus seconds and plenty of tequila shots. What’s worse is that, beforehand I went to another Club called "’DOMAIN”, and had 2 glass of Martell Cordon Bleu Cognac and a glass of gin and tonic. Despite of the endless puking, I didn’t feel hangover on the next day. Woke up pretty early, had my brekkie, and then went to deep sleep for the whole day.
I got married on Sunday, 17th October 2010. I had a catholic wedding ceremony in the morning, and a wedding reception (the party) in the afternoon. The ceremony was held in Santo Thomas Rasul church which was led by Father Sylvestre. Despite the western name, he’s actually a javanesse and his full name is Father Sylvestre Hari Pamungkas. The wedding ceremony went very well, except for my vows. I memorized my vow and practiced it over and over again. I was pretty confidence that I would be able to speak out my vow with no problems. But my nerve got the best of me and caused me to stumbled a little bit.
My bride looked very beautiful in her wedding gown. Never saw her wedding gown before. I decided long ago that I didn’t want to see her wedding gown until on the day. And I don’t regret that decision for one bit. It was truly a blessing to see her for the first time in her wedding gown on our special day. Felt like the luckiest man in the world.
My Wedding reception was held in Hotel Mulia, Senayan. Not to brag or anything, but Hotel Mulia is one of the best and most prestigious wedding venue in Jakarta. They serve good food like Sushi Sashimi, Tempura Udon, US Rib Eye steak, Peking duck, and Salmon ecroute. Roughly about 1950 people came to the reception, who mostly are my dad’s business guests. I choose “Especially For You” by MYMP as my entrance song. I really like the song. It’s an acoustic song, so it gives a relax and cosy atmosphere. The song is against the current trend, whereby a wedding entrance song must sound grand and big. The party went fantastically smooth. The crowd was good, food was good, entertainment was good, everything was good. Have to say big thanks to my Wedding organizer for doing such a great job.
The party finished around 9.30 pm. Half an hour later me and my friends gather around the bar wine to have last rounds of drinking for the day. I prepared a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old scotch whisky, a bottle of Martell Gordon Bleu Cognac, and a bottle Camus X.O. Cognac for this occasion. The Camus XO actually belongs to my father, and it tastes really damn good. If I was to rate the two cognacs, I would give the Martell a 7 and the Camus a 9. Not sure if it’s a really good cognac, or the fact that my father had kept the XO in shelve for more than 15 years, but the taste of the Camus was so fruity and smooth. Really top notch Brandy, I will definitely get my self a bottle or two in my trip to Europe. Anyway, the after party was legendary. Managed to get my revenge to my friend for making me drunk on my bachelor party. Four of my friends were seriously drunk; three blacked out, two puked endlessly, and one managed to damaged his car (no one was injured thankfully).
Well, that’s the story of my big day. I will definitely cherish and remember all the moments I had in that one week, and that one blessed day. Now, I look forward to my new life as a husband and a married man.
Working as a programmer I feel like that I’m lacking of business skills. Whether that be my business knowledge, marketing, nor management skills, I have none of them. I think I focused too much on how to be better in what I do and completely forgotten of my long term goal. It’s always been my dream to run my own business, and I think I will have better chance of succeeding if I come well prepared.
I think there are many aspects of business that needs to be explored, such as:
- Running your business.
- Managing your employee/team.
- Marketing your product/services
- Sales/Revenue strategy.
Those are pretty much gray areas for me. I have no experience in any of those business aspects, nor do I have the knowledge. I’ve decided it’s time to do something about it, so that when the time comes to run my business, I wouldn’t be a complete idiot and had no idea what I’m doing. My approach to getting my business skills hone up is simple, Books and Blogs. From today I’ll start reading more and more business related books and blogs. Hopefully they will help me to gain some business skills as they do with my programming skills.
Today marks the beginning of week 7. My current weight is about 60.5 kilos, which means that I have lost around 4.5 kilos since I have started my weight lost Journey. My upper and lower abs has started to look more defined, though my mid section is still covered with fat. I’m guessing that I’m probably about 17-18% of body fat right now. I think my diet and training strategy has worked pretty well.
Sadly I must say that I have injured my calve muscles. Last Saturday I was helping my sister moving in to her new house. I had to carry heaps of heavy stuffs from third floor to the ground floor, in which between each floor there are probably about 15 stairs. And then on Sunday I felt sharp pain on my calve muscles. I tried having a low intensity cardio, but it made the pain worse.
I decided to give my legs some rests and will stop doing cardio. But I’m not going to give up on my weight lost journey. I will still be on diet and do upper body training for the last of the two weeks. Hopefully without cardio, my weight loss journey will still be effective.
Yesterday marked the end of week 2 of my weight loss journey. I have lost about 1-1.5 Kilos so far, which means that I lost about 0.5-0.75 Kilos a week. I think that is not too bad. There are still rooms for improvement and things to adjust, to make my weight lost journey to be more achievable. But I’m not going all out just yet, I’m taking it progressively and doing some adjustments to my diet and training every 2 weeks. Anyways, In today post, I am going to layout my workout routine.
I work out five days a week, which consists of 3 days of weight training and 2 days of cardio sessions. All my weight training is done with moderate intensity. Being in caloric deficit state (due to my diet), I may already have a chance of losing some muscles. Doing a high intensity weight training will definitely makes it worse. That is the reason why I weight train on moderate intensity as I don’t want to over train myself and lose too much muscles. Moderate intensity should be enough to maintain or built a little bit of muscle, and stimulate my metabolism.
I do cardio every weekdays, but only for 2 days will I be focusing solely on cardio. On weight training days my cardio will be done after I pound the weights, with low intensity for about 10-15 minutes. On cardio day, I will be doing high intensity cardio sessions for 20-30 minutes, followed by low intensity abs training. Weekends will be my rest days, but I may throw in 20-30 minutes low intensity cardio session depending on my mood.
This routine has been doing me pretty good. It gives me good recovery time, which is crucial to keep me going on my weight loss journey. Anyways here is my typical workout routine looks like:
- Monday: Back, Biceps
3x10 Wide Grip Lateral Pull Down
3x10 Close Grip Lateral Pull Down
3x10 Bent Over Barbell Row
3x10 Barbell Curl
10-15 minutes Low Intensity Cardio (Power Walk)
- Tuesday: Cardio
20-30 Minutes of High Intensity Cardio
2x15 Sit ups
2x10 Leg Raise
- Wednesday: Chest, Triceps, Deltoids
4x10 Flat Bench Press
3x10 Incline Bench Press
4x10 Machine Flyes
3x10 Triceps Push Down/SkullCrusher
3x10 Front Dumbell Raise/Shoulder Press
10-15 minutes Low Intensity Cardio (Power Walk)
- Thursday: Cardio
20-30 Minutes of High Intensity Cardio
2x12 Cable Side Bend (both sides).
- Friday: Legs
2x15 Standing Calf Raise
3x10 Standing Leg Curls
3x10 Leg Extensions
10-15 minutes Low Intensity Cardio (Power Walk)
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday: Rest
Early of the year I set my fitness goal of the year to be 70kgs @ 12% body fat. I have to admit that this goal is rather unrealistic, but I like to set my goal high so that I would do my best to achieve it. It is time to do something to get myself closer to my goal.
My current stats is more or less the same as to beginning of the year which is 66 kilos @ 20-22% body fat. I have decided to start my journey by losing some weight and get leaner. I will be on a diet phase for 8 weeks, and my diet goal is to get my body fat to be around 12-15%.
It is not going to be an easy task as I don’t have a professional trainer to help me with my exercise and my diet. I’m not an expert in losing weight and dieting either, thus I may succeed or I may fail miserably. I will make a post every two weeks with my progress, and talks a little bit about my training and diet. Wish me luck!
We went to Kyoto early in the morning. Kyoto is a city where it has kept most of its traditional value. You will see people riding bicycle and wearing kimono significantly more in Kyoto. We arrived at Kyoto station around 10.30 in the morning. Upon arriving, I noticed that the station is significantly larger than the one in Osaka. The station is connected to a hotel, movie theatre, and two shopping mall: iSetan and The CUBE. In Kyoto we will be staying in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese style accommodation. We checked in to Ryokan Shimizu and had a meal in Ramen Alley before exploring Kyoto.
Our first destination in Kyoto is the Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion). It was first built in 1397 to serve as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, which then converted into a Zen temple by his son. The temple was burnt down twice by warfare, and once by a fanatic monk in 1950.
Kinkakuji, as per name says, is mostly covered with 24c Gold. It has a shape of a Japanese pavilion with a phoenix statue on the roof top. It looks so bright and majestic under the sun light. The pavilion is the main attraction to see, but there are couple of pedestal and statues to see on the site as well. In front of the statues there is a bowl in which you can throw in some coins from a meter or two distance. If your coin goes into the bowl, it will bring you some luck. Even though I don’t believe in it, it is a fun thing to try and helps you to dish out those small yen coins.
After Kinkakuji we went to visit Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. The temple lies on top of a hill. The road to the temple is filled in with many shops. You can buy a variety of things on the shops, such as: Kimono, Japanese sweets, mochi cakes, and some other Japanese traditional goodies. The temple is big and crowded. Its a very good place to take photo shots. The admission is free, but there is one temple which costs you 300 Yen to get in. Inside the temple you can find or pray to some of the Japanese god statues. The statues look cool and eerie, you definitely do not want to kid around in there.
A brief information about the temple taken from Kyoto Official Guide website.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is perhaps the most beloved of Kyoto's temples, and is a fixture in the minds of the Japanese people. The temple's platform juts out of the side of a mountain supported by 13-meter-high wooden columns. The main hall with its distinctive hip-shaped roof of cypress bark rests on the platform, and houses within it a priceless statue of Kannon Bodhisattva, the goddess of mercy. From the platform, one can appreciate fine views facing west over the city of Kyoto. This is an auspicious place to watch the sun set, which may also explain the romantic associations accorded to the temple.
Finally our last destination for the day is the Gion Centre, which is Kyoto’s most famous Geisha district. We were scheduled to see a geisha show, but due to fatigue we cancel that and visit a shrine near the Gion Centre. Nothing special to say about the shrine, but it has a night market in it. Luckily, while walking on the market, we saw a geisha. Her outfit and looks look similar to the ones you see in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”, but she’s a lot more graceful and beautiful. Seeing the Geisha made me regret not going to the Geisha show. After the shrine, we tried to find something to eat in the Gion Centre and were not able to find anything good. Thus we decided to go back and had our dinner in the iSetan shopping mall.
Today is our last day in Osaka, tomorrow we will be leaving Osaka for Kyoto. In the morning we went to Himeji city to see the Himeji Castle. It is one of the most famous and most visited castle in Japan. It was built in year 1333, and had been used by many Japanese rulers, such as the Tokugawa shogun family. The castle has never been destroyed by warfare, but it has gone through a few refurbishment works, which is why the Himeji castle has kept its form intact for more than 400 years.
We went to Himeji by train from Osaka, and it took us around 1 hour to arrive at Himeji. The Himeji Castle is located 800m from the train station, which takes us 10/15 minutes to get there by walk. When we got there we were greeted by a marching band and a couple of well dressed Japanese women. The Himeji Castle is huge and beautiful. It is indeed a very good place to take photo shoots.
The castle is very big and filled with many high stairs. It can be quite an exercise for unfit people. My backpack was moderately heavy, and it feels like doing lunges exercise when climbing those stairs. At night I felt sore on my thighs, and I had to rub some oil to ease the soreness. I highly recommend you to have a light backpack when you go there.
The castle is planted with plenty of Sakura trees, which had not blossomed yet when I was there. Without the blossomed Sakura, the castle is already magnificent, I wander how it looks like during spring. Sakura trees start to blossom early spring in Japan which is mid April, really made me wished I was there one month late.
After Himeji Castle, we took the train and went to Kobe. Kobe is famous for its Kobe beef steak, which is the reason why we went there. We decided to have Kobe beef Tepanyaki instead of a western style steak. We tried the highest grade of Kobe beef (grade A-5) and a cheaper mid-level grade (grade A-3). I have to say it was THE BEST beef I have ever tasted in my life. I can feel the juice coming out of the beef in each bite. This really makes Wagyu beef feels like nothing. After the meal we walked around to explore the city before heading back to Osaka to spend our last night shopping in Osaka’s Dotonbori district.
I spent most of my first day in Japan to visit Osaka’s Universal Studio. In the morning we went to Tempozan Harbor Village to ride the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. It is a very massive ferris wheel, and it’s claimed to be one of the biggest ferris wheel in the world. The ride costs us 700 Yen per person, and it lasts around 5-10 minutes. The ride was nothing special, it’s just a ferris wheel, but the view was magnificent. After riding the ferris wheel, we went to WTC Cosmo Tower for a couple of photo shots, before going to the Universal Studio.
We arrived at Universal Studio roughly around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. We were very excited when we got there, we went straight to the souvenir shops and was totally forgotten that there’re a couple of attractions worth seeing in Universal Studio. Due to tight timing, we only managed to see 4 attractions, which are: Rocky Horror Show, Waterworld, Wicked, and Terminator 2 3D. I like the Terminator show the most, it’s one of the best 3D effect I have ever seen, especially the part where Arnold blows T-1000 terminator’s head off, the liquid particles look so darn real. We spent roughly about four and a half hours in the Universal Studio. Since we did not play any rides, its more than enough time to experience Universal Studio. We had an awesome time.
Universal Studio Osaka is not my first Universal Studio experience. I have been to Universal Studio America when I was a kid. I have to say that Osaka’s Universal Studio is very similar to the one in America. There are a couple of rides and attractions that can be found in both Universal Studios, such as: Waterworld, Jurassic Park, E.T. and few others. One complaint that I have for Osaka’s Universal Studio is that, all of the attractions are done in Japanese Language, and it does not have English subtitle at all. There are plenty of non Japanese visitors in the Universal Studio, there’s no reason not to have English subtitle in their attraction shows.
After Universal Studio, we squeezed in a little bit of time to see Osaka’s floating garden before having dinner. The floating garden is located on top of a very tall building. From the name, we thought that there’s actually a real physical garden on the top of the building, but when we get there we were kinda surprised that there was No garden at all. We later found out that the garden is actually the full view of the Osaka city. Yep, you can see the whole Osaka city from the top of the building, and it is very beautiful. Definitely worth seeing.
My first destination in Japan is Osaka. I flew to Japan with my girlfriend and my sister. As I’ve mentioned here, I fly with Jet Star for my trip. I didn’t get any meal in the flight, as expected, but I’ve loaded my backpack with breads and instant ramen to keep my hunger away. The flight was long and tiring. Due to my overwhelming excitement, I did not realize it until I reached the airport.
It took us 12 hours of journey in total to arrive at the Kansai International Airport, Osaka. Surprisingly, I had the best plane landing experience in this flight. I did not feel any bumps at all when the plane touches the ground. Never expected to get that from a budget airline like Jet Star.
In the airport I noticed that the Japanese custom is more strict than Australian custom. Every foreign passport holder is required to be photo and finger-printed by the custom officer. It’s a bit too much in my opinion, but they say that its a new measure to prevent terrorism act. Another thing that I noticed in the airport is that the conveyor belt is not as hectic as other airports I have been. It has got this red line where all the trolleys must not pass, allowing more people to wait in front of the conveyor belt. It makes it pretty well organized.
Before we went to the hotel, we had to wait for my parents and my grandmother. We’re planned to meet my parents and my grandmother at the airport. Their plane’s due to arrive one and a half hours after my flight, allowing me to wander around the airport to grab some meal and take a couple of shots of the Kansai airport, Osaka.
My Japan trip is just few days away. I’m so excited and can’t wait any longer to see Japan. The last few weeks I’ve been pretty busy preparing for my Japan trip. In this post I want to outline the important things that I’ve done to prepare for my trip.
I’m flying with Jet Star. They are the cheapest option to go to Japan. You can get a return ticket for just $600 when they are on sale. One caveat of flying with Jet Star is that you’re not going to get any meal, unless if you’re willing to pay $30 more. I opted not to pay the $30, going to stock up on instant ramen. :)
If you have Australian passport, you should not worry about visa, as you are allowed to enter Japan for holiday/business purpose without it. If you are not holding Australian passport, like me, you need to obtain it from Consulate-General of Japan [location]. To apply for a visa, you need to bring your passport, a recent photo of yourself, your ticket itinerary, your hotel bookings, bank statement and $30 for the application fee. It takes around 3 days for the application to complete.
If you are going to different cities in Japan, I highly recommend you to get the JR Pass. The JR Pass is a pass ticket that is valid on most trains on the nationwide Japan Railways network, which includes urban train lines and bullet trains. It is also valid on JR bus lines and the JR Miyajima ferry. It is a very cost effective way to travel around Japan. You can purchase JR-Pass on most Japanese travel agency in Sydney. I got mine from Nipon Travel Agency [link] for $490. You need to provide your passport to buy the pass.
In Osaka I’ll be staying in Swissotel Nankai [link], which costs me around $290 per night. Just like everyone who’s visiting Japan, I’ll have the opportunity to experience Ryokan. Ryokan is a Japanese traditional style accommodation. I’ll be staying in Shimizu Ryokan – Kyoto [link], which costs me around $86 per night. Lastly, For Tokyo I’ll be staying in SunRoute Plaza Hotel – Sinjuku [link], which costs me around $225 per night. All of the hotels I booked online from expedia.com.au and hotel.com.au.
Im bringing roughly around 60,000 Yen to Japan. I find it best to exchange the money online through Travelex [link]. Submit your exchange online, pay them by BPay, and collect the money at the airport. It does not get any easier than that and the rates they offer is better than rates you find on the street.
I will bring my trustworthy Canon Ixus 960 IS and my MSI Wind U100 to Japan. I’m so glad that I bought MSI Wind before the Japan trip. I’ve saved most of the tour guides to the MSI Wind, so that I can open them up again later and print them if necessary. It will also serve to back up all the photos I’ll be taking in Japan. I can just go crazy in taking pictures without having to worry of running out of space in the SD card. I have also saved many podCasts, screenCasts, and movies to my Wind, just in case I get bored while in the train. Lastly, I’ll be able to blog my Japan trip, that is of course if I have the time to. :)
Happy New Year 2009. Overall I would say year 2008 was a pretty good year. At the beginning of the year I set my new year resolution to lose some weight and be a healthier person. I realised that I was a litle bit too fat that i became a rather unfit person. By unfit I meant I got tired very easily. So have I achieved that goal? Well, I didn't start right away. I started working out around april until now, and I have to say I achieved my new year resolution!! I started to go to the gym 4-5 times a week, watch what I eat most times of the year, I tried to have a more active and healthier life style. Figure wise, I haven't lost that much. I was 67 kgs with 30%++ of body fat, now im 66 Kgs with probably 20-22% of body fat. I lost most of my fat of my belly and my hips. Im able to fit my old trousers that I had not been able to wear in two years.
It feels awesome to be fit and healthy, and Im not stopping! In this year Im setting a goal to be 70 Kgs @ 12% body fat. Will maintain the same strategy, train hard and eat clean. Carb loading during the day and minimal carb in the afternoon. Hopefully I'll be able to achieve my goal, and show off my abs next summer :p.
Other than my personal well being, I think I've improved a lot as a programmer. Overall I would say that 2008 is the year I started to be more active to improve my skill in my leisure time. Here are brief re-caps in things I started doing in 2008:
- I started blogging!
- I started to read blogs and tweets from some of the greatest minds in programming world.
- I started to attend ALT .NET user group.
- I started to explore programming concepts that I came across but never had a chance to try it at workplace.
I think im quite happy with my progress as a programmer. Im still going to do all of the aboves and more! I'm going to try to better manage my time to actualy do something worthwhile, something that can make money. Im thinking of creating a website, not sure what its about, but I have some ideas. This is going to be my target in 2009, Im going to start to write a web application. 2009, its gonna be an awesome year.