no updates until further notice

1 Sep

folks,

professional and family life has caught up with me. no more updates until further notice on this blog. :(

China Blue

9 Feb

Today, in my  “Managing Global Production and Technology” class with Prof. Ellis, we watched parts of a PBS documentary named “China Blue“. This 80min film followed a second-born farmer’s girl that packed her things (duffel bag, green bucket, and 100 yuan) to go to the city and work as a thread cutter in a jeans factory.

The movie is very disturbing on different levels. The girl (Jasmine) and her co-workers, earn ridiculously low wages. At times the factory owner (a ex-policemen that loves to do calligraphy) defers salary payments for weeks and when asked how his management style works, he replies: “I like the relaxed management style, but you don’t want your workers to get out of hand.” Apart from the questionable living conditions, the young workers are forced to work long days (20hrs shifts) with no overtime pay, they get their eyes clipped open with clothes-pins, get their first months pay withheld as a “deposit”, and  get fired when they get pregnant (among other things).

I understand that the socioeconomic and cultural differences should force us to look at this problem through a different, open lens. Also, as a supporter of the free-market, I understand that the trend of Chinese low-wage labor is not reversible, and that it is in our and Chinas interest to have our stuff produced in the “third world”.

However, I did feel a little uneasy when some of my class mates referred to the girl as “happy”, and “fulfilling a live-long dream”. Some classmates scrambled to come up with comparisons to our world and were quick to find explanations for Jasmin’s situation.

“We have to work all day, too.” – “She chose to take on that job.” – “There is nothing we can do about that [problem].”

I believe that we have the choice, and privilege to make choices. Choices that Jasmin does not have. As a second-born child, she is unwanted by the government (One Child Policy), and the fact that she is a girl does not help the situation. Therefore, when we are made aware of obvious labor law violations, we should not hesitate to send a signal. We can do that by thinking twice when buying “Made in China”.

One more old swimming video? YES!!

7 Feb

please click here:

First Thoughts About My First Marathon

1 Feb

Holy Cow, did that hurt. I wasn’t sure what to expect, though I was sure it would cause some soreness, and maybe a few blisters; I didn’t not expect it to hurt that badly.

I started the Marathon off at 6:15 am with 18’000 fellow runners with the thought in mind to “take it easy at the beginning”. I therefore ignored the overly excited runners that zipped by me in the first few miles with the expectation that “I’ll definitely catch them on the homestretch”.

Passing the 5km mark at 27:02 gave me confidence that I was on track for a good time in the 3:30-3:40 range. Even when I passed the half-marathon mark (21km/13.1miles) with a time of 1:53 I was pretty certain I would at least break the 4 hour mark. Boy, was I wrong!

When I crossed the 30km/18mile, I felt like somebody pulled the plug out of my energy tank, and it all came draining out. My pace rapidly decreased and I got passed left and right by middle-aged men and women, and worst of all, 70+ year old Mr. Bilgutay. It was at that time that I realized that a sub 4hour time would be very hard to reach. So I adjusted my goal and swore that I would finish this darn race without stopping or walking, no matter how long it was going to take me. – I’m proud to say that I ran the whole thing, without stopping.

It took me 4 hours 8 minutes and 42 seconds to finish 42.195km / 26 miles and 385 yards. Here are some stats:

10k: 53:48 – 7:48 8:48 minutes /mile
30k: 2:49 – 9:06 minutes / mile

first half: 1:53 – 8:42 minutes / mile
second half: 2:15 – 10:18 minutes / mile

full: 4:08 – 9:30 minutes / mile

official time and splits here.

5…4…3…2…

28 Jan

Monday (108th day / 5 to go):
No running today.

Tuesday (109th day / 4 to go):
4.8km (3miles) easy pace… lots of stretching.

Wednesday (110th day / 3 to go):
No running today.

Thursday(111th day / 2 to go):
Another 4.8km (3miles). I’m ready.

Only 1 more week.

28 Jan

Monday (101st day / 12 to go):
Today was my last long run before tapering down. 22.5km (14miles)! It went great. at the 21.6km-mark (13.1miles) I had an exact time of 1:45.20, that’s exactly my marathon pace. :D I think I’m ready.

Tuesday (102nd day / 11 to go):
Rest today.

Wednesday (103rd day / 10 to go):
Resting today.

Thursday (104th day / 9 to go):
Aaah, tapering; I love it. 4.8km (3miles).

Friday (105th day / 8 to go):
Last “longer run” before the race: 11.2km (7miles).

Saturday (106th day / 7 to go):
Resting today.

Sunday (107th day / 6 to go):
Easy 3.2km (2miles).

2 more weeks

28 Jan

Monday (94th day / 19 to go):
I started this week with a easy 9.6km (6miles). I’ll start tapering soon! :D

Tuesday (95th day / 18 to go):
12.8km (8miles) today. This was one of the last fine tuning before the race in 18 days. I ran the 8miles in exactly 1hour and 1minute :D.

Wednesday (96th day / 17 to go):
No running today. I’m including more rest days and shorter runs, now that the big day gets closer.

Thursday (97th day / 16 to go):
9.6km (6miles) easy run on the treadmill today.

Friday (98th day / 15 to go):
I’m feeling good and my foot feels a lot better. 6.4km (4miles) today.

Saturday (99th day / 14 to go):
Instead of running today Rachel and I decided to do some community work. We put our hands on Overtown.

Sunday (100th day / 13 to go):
Only two weeks left until my race. :D I ran 3.2km (2miles) easy.

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