Usain Bolt Documentary

Netflix has a documentary on Usain Bolt (wiki).  Most of the documentary seemed to have been filmed between 2015 and 2016 including the 2016 Rio Olympics with footage from the past interspersed to continue the narrative.  Briefly covering his rise as a junior sprinter to representing Jamaica at the three different Olympics, the documentary talks about Bolt’s legacy not only as a 3 time consecutive Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 100m sprint.  But also the Men’s 200m and 4x100m Men’s relay.  This particular feat has never been done before until Bolt.

Listening to how he approaches his sport is pretty fascinating.  The documentary describes his support team as a triangle and how each corner of the team is contributes to ensuring Bolt’s optimal performance during competition.  The amount of training his coach puts him through is pretty intense.  Having to full sprint AND drag a sled 50m AND within a time limit is crazy.  Nothing was off limits in the documentary.  I was pretty glad that the show talked about Bolt’s motivation and psychology during his training period leading up to the 2016 Olympics.  I can imagine after winning in 2008 and then defending his Men’s 100m sprint in 2012… what more can he prove?  I think the show makes an important point that with athlete’s at Bolt’s caliber, the motivation to succeed turns to an internal motivation of “to be among the greats.”  Because at his level, he’s already succeeded many times.

I think this is a great documentary about one of the greatest athletes today.

 

Portland

Last weekend, I went on a trip with my friends to Portland, Oregon.  It was a pretty short 4 day trip filled with local attractions, food, donuts, hiking, wine tasting, coffee and lots of Boss Monster.  Portland is a pretty green place.  There’s a lot of trees everywhere.  It’s also very walkable too with light rails running all over the place.  One thing I noticed that there are very few tall buildings.  I think most of the buildings were no more than 10 stories high.  Looking at the map, there’s quite a lot of green spaces/parks in Portland. Reading about things to do, outdoor activities like hiking were at the top of the list on many websites.

We went to the Japanese Garden, the Rose GardenWillamette Valley for wine tasting, and Latourell Falls hike.  Regarding the falls hike, I wanted to go to Multnomah Falls hike but in mid 2017, the Eagle Creek Fire wiped out pretty much all the popular trails along the Oregon side of the Columbia River.  Latourell was the only falls hike that wasn’t destroyed.  I love waterfall hikes so these other hiking trails will have to be hiked at a later date.  We also didn’t make it out to the Oregon coast or Tillamook Cheese/Ice Cream tour.

Aside from the hikes, I wanted to go to Portland for their coffee.  It’s one of the centers of what is known as the third wave of coffee mainly because of Stumptown Roasters.  According to this history of coffee waves article, Stumptown is one of the three roasters that managed to grow and become nationally recognized.  They’ve expanded to have coffee sit down stores in select cities. Intelligentsia and Counter Culture are the other two roasters.  I’ve had select Intelligentsia roasted beans but have not yet had seen Counter Culture beans to buy ever since I subscribed to Angel’s Cup.  What did I drink?  Across the 4 days, I went to Courier Coffee, World Cup Coffee, Sisters Coffee, and of course Stumptown Coffee.  There’s so many more roasters to try!

Next time!  Waterfall Hiking! Coffee! Oregon Coast!

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-21,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

All or Nothing Revisited

So I’ve written about Amazon’s All or Nothing show in the past.  They’re on Season 3 and recently I’ve been rewatching the past 2 seasons as well too.  I still think it’s a great behind the scenes reality show about all the issues that go into a football team and their ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl ring.

But as I’m rewatching the show, I wonder how the teams deal with the psychology of the players leading up to the game and then after the game regardless if the team won or lost on game day.  What’s shown to the viewers is generally an expletive filled team talk psyching themselves up before game day.  And then very little reflection on what happened at the game and what they could have done differently.  So that’s one thing I’m curious about.

The other thing I’m curious about is how does the management motivate a 53 man NFL team to perform optimally mentally and physically every week for 21-25 weeks (including pre-season exhibition games and potential post-season playoff games).  Every season each team undoubtedly says their ultimate goal is to get a Super Bowl Ring.  But that goal is the ultimate payoff for the team but in reality there can be only 1 team.  So how does motivation work?  I don’t think the expletive filled methods in the show is the optimal way of motivation.

 

Hari Kondabolu on Netflix

After recently watching Ali Wong’s latest Netflix stand up special, the Netflix’s algorithm suggested this other stand up called Hari Kondabolu.  To be honest, I’ve only heard of him once through a special Sporkful podcast live episode.  In the podcast, he sounded like he’d be a hilarious guy to listen to but I never really thought much further than that.  So with Netflix telling me that I might like his stand up special, who am I to go against an algorithm?

So Kondabolu’s special reminds me of Hasan Minhaj’s Netflix special.  Both use their immigrant and cultural background to poke fun of these stereotypes in a hilarious fashion.  For example, Kondabolu’s first joke was absolutely brilliant because he took me in a totally different direction than what I had expected it to be.  Since Kondabolu is an Indian American, I think the “High Expectations Asian Dad” meme also applies to him.  If you don’t know this meme, it’s basically a cultural stereotype of Asian father’s (Chinese, Indian, Korean, etc) expecting ONLY the best results from their kid… and by best I mean A+ only.  So his first joke about “how many people were in attendance?” threw me off when he didn’t go this route.  Yet he maintained the cultural stereotype perfectly!  Kondabolu’s jokes though are much more “aggressive/edgier” than Minhaj’s.  But that’s just the style of their stand up.

As I watch these stand up specials, I find that the immigrant comedians (Russell Peters, Hasan Minhaj, Margaret Cho) tend to be funnier than those who aren’t immigrants.  It’s specifically related to the fact that I can relate to their experiences as an immigrant.

 

 

Coffee Bean Kickstarter Campaign

I stumbled upon a pretty interesting coffee related link on while reading about food related items on Eater LA.  Following the link, it led me to this Kickstarter campaign to buy coffee beans.

Honestly, I think the idea is pretty interesting and worth supporting.  At the very minimum, you’re getting a bag of 12 oz beans for $15 when you pledge $30 or more.  Even though I already have a coffee bean subscription via Angel’s Cup (Referral Code: CoffeeHunter12050), my motivation for subscribing to Angel’s Cup is to taste how different roasters roast coffee beans from all parts of the world.  This Kickstarter campaign is no different.  I am definitely excited to taste their first batch.

Ali Wong’s latest stand up on Netflix

I’ve written about Ali Wong before when I went to one of her live stand up tour stops.  Turns out, on one of her stops, her show was recorded one night and put on Netflix.  It’s called Hard Knock Wife.  Watching the show, I realized that I’ve already experienced her show when I went to watch it live.

Nonetheless it’s still hilarious as fuck.

Come on boys~!

I recently read a USA today article about a doggie day care service that took a “dog selfie” and shared that dog selfie on social media. I’ve been absolutely engrossed at how captionable this picture is…

Dog Squad

This picture is absolutely great seeing so many dogs practically looking at the camera or in the camera’s direction. A dog-loving friend remarked how only 4 dogs are NOT looking at the camera. Some dogs look like they’re barking. Everyone one of them look happy/content.

Looking at this picture got my creative juices flowing. And like any savvy content creator, I started to caption this picture. Here’s just three of these captions that I find to be so relevant to dog squad goals.

Dog Squad 5

Dog Squad 4

Dog Squad 3

If the original dog selfie doesn’t bring a slight chuckle, the captions have to elicit some response…. right?! =]

Robert F. Kennedy

Based on the recent Netflix/TV show related posts, you’d think I’m on a documentary binge.  I don’t think that’s necessarily true or false.  The “You also might like…” algorithm based suggestions from Netflix presents these shows that look interesting to watch.  Fortunately, my personal preference of wanting to learn things for the sake of knowledge as opposed to studying for the sake of testing taps into many of these suggestions.

This Netflix’s documentary of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) popped into my suggestions feed shortly after finishing the Champions of a Golfer documentary.  I’ve never been to interested in the Kennedy’s.  My knowledge of them is mainly from reading about a biography of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and the fact that the Kennedy’s are a major political family.  I knew RFK was the younger brother of JFK and had helped JFK tremendously up until JFK’s assassination.  However, I had no idea about the history behind RFK.  That is until this documentary.

This contains four 1-hour long episodes that traced RFK’s rise to political prominence in 1960 to his own assassination in 1968.  What I didn’t know about RFK were the numerous amounts of public policies and progressive political stances he took during this time frame.  As backdrop, the 1960s was a turbulent era in US: Vietnam war, Civil Rights Movement, the counter culture of the Hippie Movement and Sexual Liberation in US, and even the farm worker strikes (part of a broader Chicano Movement) in California under Cesar Chavez.  All these events are significant in the context of American history.  And it’s amazing to see how one powerful individual as RFK worked to not only correct what he thought was immorally wrong but to work to bring equality to an otherwise racist America.  In one episode where RFK was touring the ghettos and poor communities in Mississippi, he was remembered for telling his kids that it is also their responsibility to end injustices.

Just reading about RFK in wikipedia, I’m amazed at the amount of different socio-political fields he’s worked in ranging from McCarthyism to labor movements to organized crime to civil rights and the Vietnam war.  I think RFK was aware that his “Kennedy” name could be used as a social media tool to show the nation a different aspect to these socio-political movements.  As someone remarked in the show, the Kennedy name brought cameras and those cameras showed the nation the plight of the situation.  As he began his run for presidency, the video footage of the throngs of people who wanted to shake his hand just shows how popular he was.  Similarly, video footage of interviews also showed just how racist white Americans were as well.

In retrospect, RFK might have been the first true modern era populist breaking down barriers of race, religion, and class.

Discipline equals Freedom

I listen to quite a few podcasts throughout the week. One of these podcasts (Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss) interviewed Jocko Willink. This phrase “Discipline equals Freedom” comes from Jocko and his time as a Navy Seal instructor. His two most common examples are:

  1. if you want to lose weight (freedom from extra baggage), you have to have the discipline to control what you eat.
  2. if you want to have financial security (freedom from debt), you have to have the discipline to control spending and to save money.

This mantra triggered an epiphany moment. It brought back memories of parental lessons passed to me, the lessons I’ve learned from the success and failures that I’ve experienced in the past 30+ years and even the current struggles that I’m facing today. I started to mentally categorize these memories and came to a profound realization that many of the successes can be attributed to maintaining discipline from start to finish. This reflection started me down a rabbit hole on YouTube (link, link, link). Just listening to the YouTube links and considering how this one phrase changed my thought process, I ended up buying his book on Amazon.

Currently, there are alot of things that I could do better if I exercised the necessary discipline. And since I recognize that I don’t exercise the discipline, it becomes much easier to recognize when I don’t have discipline as well as ask why I don’t have the discipline. And subsequently, what can I do to gain the discipline. In reality, I have patterns and behaviors that encourages the lack of discipline that I first need to identify and seek a solution for. Then… I can follow Jocko’s advice and “just do it.”

Documentary on Maria Sharapova

There is this short documentary on Netflix about tennis star Maria Sharapova.  To be honest, this show is more a vlog (video blog) recording her thoughts, feelings and general attitude after being suspended from tennis for 2 years (reduced to 15 months) for testing positive for using a performing enhancing drug meldonium.

Watching this documentary, I find her reaction to this unfortunate situation very zen like.  It seemed like she took a step back from everything and examined this incident rationally.  Not being able to play at a high level for 15 months is devastating for any athlete especially for an athlete of her caliber.  She opted to not blame her team and fully accepted the responsibility of her actions as a leader should.  And even if she were to blame someone, she would still have to wait 15 months to play competitively.  As the show points out, Sharapova took the time to pursue other interests that she was never able to do because of tennis… traveling to different locales, studying at Harvard, eating with friends.

As of April 2017, her suspension expired and she was allowed to play again.  However not playing competitively after 15 months certainly has taken a toll on her playing.  Looking at ESPN’s 2017 and 2018 records, she’s only had 1 tournament win and quite a few early exits…. the latest being the Stuttgart Open losing 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 4-6.

Now the real question is… How long will it take Sharapova to be back in competitive shape and ranked in the top 10?