Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here We Go, Again

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Scott Hanna

Date: Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Subject: Special pledge

Pastor Dave Kenney,

Your contributions challenge to the congregation last Sunday really got me thinking, and it was what inspired me to come talk to you during the service. It reminded me about a story I read in BBC some months ago about a website in the UK allowed dieters to make weight loss commitments, and if they failed to meet their goal, money was withdrawn from their accounts and donated to charity. The idea I came up with adds an extra twist to that scheme – to motivate both of us to lose more weight:

I will donate $1 for each kilogram you lose during the three-month challenge to the church’s long-term fund. And I will donate $100 for every kilogram more than me that you lose during those same three months.

For example, if you lose 30 kilograms and I lose 25 kilograms, my obligation would be $530. Better yet for the church, my employer, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc will double-match charitable contributions to registered non-profits up to $500 and single-match after that. So, the final contribution to the church in the example above would be $1,560.

I have battled weight all my life. From one perspective, my story is a success – I lost over 50 kilograms ten years ago and I have kept most of it off. But, from another perspective, I still have not achieved a healthy long-term weight. While I can still do many active things like complete a 10K race or climb fifty flights of stairs, the rackety knees of too much load for too many years make going down even a single flight of stairs a painful thing for me. Next year I will turn thirty. I want at least another thirty years to see my daughters grow into the wonderful women I know they will be. And, I want to spend those next thirty years carrying my children, and maybe grandchildren, both up and down stairs without pain.

So, thank you for the motivation to reinvigorate my commitment to managing my weight. And, I hope my special pledge is helpful to give you both camaraderie and “healthy-competition” during these next three months and beyond.

I weighed-in this morning on the digital scale at International SOS Kuningan. Attached is a photo. I got a bit confused looking at my notes from Sunday, as I have both “Tuesday” and “December 16th” written down. But, we can sort out the one day discrepancy at the end as needed. I plan to weigh-in at least every two weeks.

In addition to keeping in touch at church and via email, feel free to monitor my blog: http://candotujuh.blogspot.com/ . I started this blog a couple of years ago for a similar purpose, but some of the weight I lost has slipped back on since then. This is a great opportunity to re-commit.

Here we go – Day One: 157.8 kilograms.

-- Scott Hanna

Friday, September 4, 2009

I think Irving Berlin would have been disappointed too

About a month ago, I sent the letter below.

August 7, 2009

Mr. Pierre Perusset
General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton
JL. Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav. E.1.1 NO.1
Jakarta 12950, Indonesia

Mr. Perusset: I received a disturbing phone call from my wife this afternoon. She called to tell me that there was a fire in the Ritz-Carlton and that they were evacuating from our apartment in the Airlangga Apartments as a precaution. (My wife injured her foot badly the night before and wanted to get down via elevator before conditions might have prohibited doing so.) Given the events of recent weeks, I was troubled to hear this news – not sure if it was mere bad luck or more dubious acts in play. The series of phone calls that followed were relieving in some senses but even more disturbing in others.

It turned out that the Ritz-Carlton tested the alarm in the Airlangga Apartments – with no announcement, notification, details, or communications to Airlangga Apartment management. Amid normal circumstances, this would probably be a mere inconvenience, exacerbated by my wife’s injury. However, following our experiences on July 17, this was a particularly disturbing episode. My oldest daughter is just old enough to understand the events three weeks ago were a bomb and a big problem, but not old enough to differentiate the alarms as something separate and, in this case, without real danger. Therefore, she remained scared throughout the afternoon.

Certainly I can appreciate that these have been difficult times for the Ritz-Carlton, your staff, and yourself. However, I hope that you and your staff can also appreciate that these experiences have been traumatic for the tenants of the building. I presume there is a review of security procedures being done at the Ritz-Carlton, but disappointingly we have not been informed if indeed this is the case, nor any status or results from such review that might ongoing.

Today’s events can seemingly only be explained by insensitivity, foolishness, or ineptitude – none of which are particularly reassuring explanations about the personnel in charge of emergency response. When I came from work tonight, I went to the Ritz-Cartlon lobby to try to find out more about what had happened and why (with the hope that perhaps there was a more sensible explanation to be found).

I asked to speak to the Duty Manager. I explained the situation to her. Shockingly, she knew nothing of the situation, an unnerving indication about communications and de-briefing procedures. After a few phone calls, she was able to confirm that the Ritz-Cartlon had done unannounced tests of the alarms in the Airlangga Apartments, and she apologized and claimed there would be an internal review.

Given the circumstances though, I wanted to write to you about this experience, particularly because I have credible reason to believe that you might not even be aware of the situation, if I can extrapolate from my experience in discussion with your staff earlier. I hope you can understand the basis of my concerns.


Scott Hanna
Airlangga Apartments 47-B

A couple weeks later I received the following letters. (By the way, these were the first formal communications to even state there was an incident - only five weeks afterward.)

I would have welcomed an opportunity for a few points of clarification, but no one from the Ritz bothered to answer my first letter so I won't hold out hope for any different outcome for a second letter.

Mr. Berlin wrote a hell of a nice song about the place and that Dutch fellow Taco was born in Jakarta and, so on their behalf and mine, I feel compelled to pose a few questions even if no one from the Ritz ever bothers to read them – let alone answer.

-- Mr. Perusset, it took a mere three times over the course of nearly three weeks to get to the bottom of this alarm ringing mystery? And the source of your concern was learning “how aggravating the situation was”? Were you expecting the residents to respond differently to bogus emergency alarms? And now all emergency alarms will be announced in writing? Does this mean the alarm bell will be replaced by the alarm memo? Will these memos also take five weeks to come out? If so, will it be printed on loudly colored paper at least? Lastly, do the two loops of your signature cover both your first and last name?

-- Ms. Wati, about the “no effect” to building structure, does this include the side of the building that dislodged and moved to the pavement in front of it? With respect to the process of structural inspection to ensure safety considering that residents were allowed to move back in within 24 hours, can you provide me the name of that engineering firm because they work extraordinarily quickly? “To anticipate the unwanted incident”? When is it scheduled for? Is this driver and maid registry the major security enhancement to address the network of them instrumental in the last “unwanted incident”?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The thrill is gone?

The article below describes my experience with blogging well. However, it fails to discuss one important issue, especially with Facebook: the loss of control. I have noticed some migration away from Facebook as the amount of traffic becomes overwhelming or too many things get posted that the user would rather not see up. Blogging allows greater control for both readers and writers, in my view.

People who strive to have the greatest number of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter don't make any sense to me. Like the guy who goes to a networking event and measures his success based on how many business cards he take home, these connections have no value unless there is a *real* connection. Similarly, the 'heavy users' who update status constantly with things like "Eating toast, yum!," should consider whether that kind of information would be interesting in a regular conversation. If that answer is no, don't post it.

One challenge for me is that this is a blog about fitness, healthy lifestyle, and nutition (though I mix it with other things like this post in a more 'traditional' blog pattern). But, lifestyle, workouts, and meals can be mundane, which can make for boring or overwhelming numbers of posts. Most specifically, I plan to try to use iPhone and photo posts to serve as online nutritional diary. This is useful and hopefully effective for me, but it makes for alot of non-thrilling content for my readers. For my readers then, I suggest you may want to consider less regular (weekly?) RSS feeds - so you can scan for more interesting/relevant updates.

I have been using Twitter for WoD postings, with mass postings every once in a while to keep transfer the records from Twitter to the blog. Hopefully I can get a better Twitter application for my iPhone soon (my current one, TwitterFon, crashes and stalls frequently) and transition nutrition photos to Twitter to consolidate blog traffic.


Looks like my old LBJ Follies Video

I made similar moves in my starring role in the Parking Nazi Video, my Monte Carlo had dents to prove it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Late morning boost

Morning makanan

Omelet (egg white, mozzarella cheese, & sausage) for breakfast; fruit
for snack at office later.