Category Archives: olympics

My 2015 Bucket List

Introducing my 2015 Bucket List

These are smaller items that I hope to accomplish by the end of 2015.

5. Catch a fish in Oregon

Considering how much water Oregon has I am disappointed to have not a caught a fish here. I am starting to wonder if the fish here are a myth like bigfoot. Salmon here are allegedly really good to eat.

4. Get back into Oil Painting

My wife bought an easel for me to use for oil painting. I enjoy it, but having kids makes it difficult to find a safe place to paint. Continue reading My 2015 Bucket List

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So What’s on your Bucket List? — My 2014 Bucket List

shirt seattle cropped

As a person I like to live life to its fullest… like running my first marathon in 2013. As a college student my resources are limited. However I do not let my financial limitations limit my life dreams… it just means I cannot do everything that I want to do this month.With that said I have been able to accomplish quite a lot since I first constructed my 2012 Bucket List.

I have completed six of the fourteen items I had on my 2012 Bucket List, including:

Although I feel like I need to redo the Washington D.C. trip because I was there on a weekend when the government was shutdown.

Following is the 2014 version of my bucket list

  • Start a family: My wife and I have had challenges to getting pregnant. We thought it would be fun to have gotten pregnant in the Philippines. We joked about naming our kid Manny or maybe Philip. Although we did not get pregnant in the Philippines, we hope to be pregnant before the end of the year. Adoption is something we have talked about before. It is something we want to do even if we have biological kids. So if we are unable to get pregnant, adoption is something we are cool with.
  • Washington D.C.: This remains on my Bucket List even though I was in D.C. in 2013. The city was closed because of the shutdown which impacted the enjoyment. So… to clarify: I want to visit Washington D.C. and its museums/monuments during a time when access is available to the general public.
  • Start a free college: I began thinking about this a because of the wild tuition increases at colleges. I don’t want an internet college. I want a college with live professors and buildings and classrooms. It would be small (2000 or less), and probably use the Socratic teaching style. I think I need to finish my certificate in nonprofit management along with my PhD before I tackle this idea though. Originally I envisioned this college existing in America. But after visiting the Philippines and seeing so many high school graduates who could not afford college, maybe I will try to do something like that in the Philippines… and make it open to more than 2000 students. I do not have a name for the college yet… although I know it will NOT be named after me.
  • Finish my PhD in sociology: My dissertation will focus on poverty, healthcare, and food.
  • I want to write a fiction novel that gets published.
  • Have a decent size farm so that I can raise a lot of my own food… a couple cows, large gardens, chickens, a few pigs, etc. Yeah, I know that means I probably won’t be teaching at NYU or UCLA… but I’m cool with that.
  • Attend the Olympic Games… summer and winter. The 2016 summer Olympics will be right in the middle or end of my PhD process… but 2020 is a real possibility. The 2018 Winter Games are in South Korea, and that is a goal I think I could hit. It is hard to know what my work schedule will be like 6 years from now.
  • Have some grandkids.
  • Be an extra in a cheap monster movie (science-fiction/fantasy). I would prefer to be an alien or a zombie chasing people… and I don’t think I would want any lines. Maybe I could say ARRRRGGGHHHH!! There was a student film last year that I considered being an extra in… but grad school keeps me really busy. However, I am keeping my eye out for student filmmakers who are looking for extras 😉
  • Go to Italy. Why? Because I love Italian food… and I have always wanted to go to Italy.  But will “Italian” Italian food be better than “American” Italian food? We’ll see. In addition I want to ride in a Gondola and see the art! Do I need to write a 1000 words to explain why I would want to visit Italy? Nope.
  • Visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia:
  • ankgor wat, cambodia tourism travel guide
    BBC: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/cambodia/10552839/Angkor-Wat-Cambodia-a-guide-to-avoiding-the-crowds.html
  • Snowboard. I was in Colorado for four years but I was BROKE broke when I lived in Colorado. So there was no snowboarding for me then. I’m fine being on the practically flat bunny slopes for my snowboarding. I don’t need to do anything crazy (like a 16-year-old).
  • Visit New York City again. I love New York. I don’t think I could live there. But I would love to take an extended vacation there. I think three weeks would be long enough. Broadway, museums, the Yankees. Yeah… New York is pretty cool.
  • Go watch the Super Bowl Live. I don’t need tickets on the 50-yard-line. But I want really good seats. I wish the bad seats weren’t ridiculously expensive.
  • Have a script I write made into a movie. For this I want either a good science fiction/fantasy movie, or a good romantic comedy. I write both of these screenplays. I can be an extra in a cheap sci-fi film but I don’t want to have MY screenplay turned into a cheap movie. At least not my bucket list film. Maybe I could write a cheapo sci-fi script for fun.

This list was inspired by Bucket List Publications. Do you have a Bucket List?

“No Wrestling!?!?” Eh, That Will Not Ruin the Olympics for Me

 The Olympic Flag, www.olympic.org/

Among my bucket list of many dreams is attending the Olympics. I want to attend the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics at least once. I admire the skill, hard work, and grace that athletes have when performing incredible feats.

I am training for a marathon so I know how hard it is just to finish an event. To be competing against the absolute best in the world is something that is really admirable in Olympic athletes. The Olympics are so skill heavy that the number 10th place finisher isn’t necessarily a loser… it just means they are the 10th best at his/her sport. You know, 10th best in the “world.”

There are several must see events for me at the Summer Olympics:

  • Men’s and Women’s 100-meter dash: These athletes are smoking fast. I could have a 20-meter head start and still lose.
  • Men’s and Women’s Diving: Diving is graceful.
  • Soccer (football): The best footballers in the world representing their country in the most popular sport in the World. The energy will be second only to the World Cup.
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball: Mainly to watch USA basketball.
  • Weightlifting: This sport is boring … but I am amazed at the feats of strength. The weaklings are still at least twice as strong as I am if not more.
  • *and then stop in at other sports between the above events I want to see… such as volleyball, pole vault, swimming, etc*

* * *

Wrestling has history in the Olympics. And it seems bizarre for a Summer Olympics to not feature wrestling. Wrestling showcases amazing athletes using strength and speed. Not having wrestling at the Olympics is like a professional sports team that doesn’t have a mascot. It’s something that is supposed to be there because of tradition. The Olympics without without wrestling feels kinda Twilight Zoneish.

But I don’t go to a professional sporting event to see the mascot. And I never wanted to go to the Olympics to see wrestling. I have seen high school wrestling live and I have seen college and Olympic wrestling on television. To me wrestling is very boring to watch. Maybe if you are the parent, brother, or sister of one of the wrestlers it feels different, but to me it is boring. So my Olympic experience will not be negatively impacted by the absence of wrestling.

I believe my point of view of wrestling represents the casual U.S. sports viewer who pays attention once every four years… Continue reading “No Wrestling!?!?” Eh, That Will Not Ruin the Olympics for Me

My 2012 Bucket List

While traveling to the Philippines I had time to think about things I want to accomplish in my life. Not having access to television frees up a surprising amount of time to think when you are an American. Although I did really, really, really miss the entire 2012 Olympics.

Anyway, here is a list of things I want to accomplish in 2012.

2012 Bucket List

5. See the Irish Rovers

My wife and I have tickets for the Irish Rovers in November. This may not seem like a big deal, but my wife has wanted to see them perform live for most of her life. She had a couple opportunities before when they came to the U.S., but she missed those chances for various reasons. They are a Canadian band that occasionally plays in the U.S. So when we saw they were going to be near Seattle… I got the tickets.

**My wife always wanted to see a bald Eagle in the wild, but she did not see one until this year in the Northwest. Did we see it at one of the parks we visited looking for the Bald Eagle? Nope. She saw it fly across the highway while she was driving… she almost wrecked, but she finally saw a Bald Eagle flying and it was not in a zoo.**

4. Begin Training for a marathon

I want to run at least one marathon in my life. It’s just a goal, something to do. I have never wanted to sky dive or climb to the top of Mt. Everest, but running a marathon is something I want to do. I am targeting the 2013 Seattle Marathon. Continue reading My 2012 Bucket List

Top 10 Reasons I Miss the USA

USA Top Ten List / Philippines by IshIsm.Com
Top Ten Reasons I Miss the USA by Ishism.com

This is a list of the various things I miss about the USA during my research trip in the Philippines. It is not necessarily a cultural study … these are just the things that I, an American traveling in the Philippines, have missed about the USA.

10. Dairy

Vitamin A is one of the primary nutritional deficiencies in the Philippines. And, because of their geographic location and culture they simply do not eat a lot of dairy products. There is a saying, “Filipino cannot survive without rice.” Well, there should be another saying… “American cannot survive without cheese and milk.”

The food here is very good, but when I get home I want a giant chocolate milkshake.

9. Internet Access

I have WIFI, occasionally. However, because of my creepy internet stalker, NBC prevents me from watching the Olympics because I am in another country. I have looked for other internet access locations to view the Olympics, but being in the Philippines has proven to be an interesting challenge in staying globally connected. In the United States I could watch the Olympics and get streaming internet access 24/7.

8. Culture Shock

Culture shock. I drink coke in a bag, everything is shorter than I am accustomed to including doorways, and the water is not safe to drink. At the grocery store, packages of food are sold in much smaller sizes. Many things look similar to what I expect in the United States, but then they are slightly different. In the United States, my brain does not have to work extra hard to recognize Coca-Cola, toilets, or safe drinking water.

7. My Voice/Broken English

This is my fault, not the Philippines. I say it is my fault because I cannot speak Tagalog. I am traveling in a foreign country, but the only words I can understand are some of the Spanish words I pick up. So my speech pattern in English becomes broken into shorter sentences so that I can be understood… and I have adopted a slight Filipino accent which seems to make my words more recognizable.

6. Warped Time

Well, on the West Coast it is 6:31 p.m. Friday in the USA, while in the Philippines it is 9:31 a.m. Saturday morning. So that is one adjustment. The other adjustment is never knowing exactly when someone is going to arrive. An 11 a.m. meeting might mean the meeting starts at 10:30 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.

The warped time is not as bad as what I experienced in Uganda, where 11 a.m. meant sometime that day between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. I like knowing that if I say 11 a.m. is the time we meet, then people are going to arrive at 11 a.m. ish, you know… within a few minutes. Starting at 10:30 a.m. throws me off and starting really late frustrates me.

5. Toilet Paper

At public restrooms toilet paper is not provided in the stalls. You can bring in your own, or pay for toilet paper outside the stall. But there is none provided inside the actual stall itself. In the USA, I do not worry about toilet paper being in the stall. Sometimes the stall is empty, but I don’t go into the restroom KNOWING there will be no toilet paper provided freely.

4. Spiders and Lizards

In America, I normally do not enter a restroom looking at the ceiling to make sure there is not a giant spider or some type of lizard which might drop on my head. In the Philippines I have learned to check to make sure nature does not fall on my head!

3. Hiking

This is probably more of a familiarity issue. I do not know where is safe in the Philippines to hike. I am an introvert, so getting away from people is important for me to recharge emotionally/spiritually. In America one of the things I loved about Colorado was being able to hike in the mountains on a regular basis.

Here in the Philippines I have not had the luxury of being able to get away for half a day to hike and recharge.

2. The London 2012 Olympics

I learn about what is going on with the USA Olympic team through the international version of CNN. I am very happy for Michael Phelps, the Women’s soccer team, the Women’s gymnastics team and all the other wonderful gold medal winners. However, I have been unable to watch anything really… not even on tape delay because of where I am at in the Philippines… and because NBC does not share much internationally. Bummer.

1. Friends/Family

The people I have met here have been wonderful. I believe they genuinely want to help me. But I am also an American, which means when I travel to most countries the world becomes Disneyland. (This has not been true in Europe when I was in London). Everyone is nicer to me because I have the image of American money and the image of American warships. I do not think people are afraid of me, but I do know that because I am an American I get treated much better than the average Filipinos who are walking on the same streets and shopping in the same stores.

Some Americans get the warped idea that people in other countries are much nicer than Americans. This is not necessarily true. You see, I am a guest in the Philippines.

Because of the “niceness”… I miss friends and family. My friends and family know I am poor, and they have no issue telling me when I do something stupid. They are genuine. In the Philippines it feels like I am told what will make me happy.

Sometimes when I am mobbed by 3 sales clerks in a store while a Filipino customer is ignored, I imagine the song “Be … our… Guest! BE OUR GUEST! Put our service to the test!” ….

So, this is my top ten list of reasons I miss the USA. What do you think? Leave comments below and share with others! Have a wonderful day!