This post is in the vein of the “Do This” directives proposed by Derek Sivers.


  1. Find a convenient and affordable gym with a gym bench and dumbbell weights from 2kg to 10kg.
  2. Gain access or membership to the gym.
  3. Get your workout attire: t-shirt, shorts, socks and covered shoes (sneakers or cross-trainers or other shoes suitable for gym).
  4. Choose a fixed day and time of the week convenient to go to the gym. Call this the gym day.
  5. On gym day, go to gym and change to gym attire.
  6. Do your warm-up set. 1 set of between 2-10 repetitions using dumbells of the following 4 exercises:dumbbell bench press, dumbbell bent over-row, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell upright row. The weights of the dumbbell should be the smallest pair of dumbbells where you feel the slightest effort. If in doubt, start with 1kg or 2kg. The exercise should be done slowly with no jerking motion. Google and youtube for proper way to carry out exercise.
  7. Do your workout set. 1 set of between 2-5 repetitions using dumbbell of the same 4 exercises: dumbbell bench press, dumbbell bent over-row, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell upright row. The workout weight of dumbbell should be a comfortable weight where you feel some effort is needed but at the same time you can raise the dumbbells without jerking or with your arms wobbling. The workout weight of the dumbbells should be the same for each pair of the exercises. Dumbbell bench press and dumbbell bent over-row form one pair of exercises. Dumbbell should press and dumbbell upright row form another pair of exercises.
  8. At each session, try to increase your repetitions by 1 if you can. Do not force an extra repetition if you cannot.
  9. If your workout weight feels comfortable, you can increase the number of repetitions at the next workout. Once you can do your workout weight comfortably at 5 repetitions, you can increase the workout weight at the next gym session to the next set of heavier dumbbells.
  10. After your workout set, do your stretches gently.
  11. If you are injured during any part of the exercise, end the gym session. Restart the sessions when you have fully recovered and at a very light set of weights for both warming out and workout.
  12. If you feel a slight soreness during your exercise that feels like the onset before a muscle pull, you can gentle rub the affected muscles with your hand to increase the recovery rate. Stop that particular exercise immediately. You can do the next exercises if your body feels ok, if not you can stop the gym session.
  13. Continue the weekly gym session for one month to let your body get used to the training. After one month, you can increase the gym session to twice a week. Make sure to leave at least one to two days between the gym sessions so that your muscle can recover.
  14. If you are unable to the gym session on the gym day, you can do it any other day of the week.
  15. If you cannot to the gym session in a week or in two weeks, you can restart the gym session the earliest week you can. Start at a lighter set of weights compared to your last gym session as your muscles may have weakened since your last gym session due to the lack of maintenance.
  16. There will be a point where you hit a plateau where you cannot increase the repetitions or weights even further. Congratulations, you have reached the 80% of your genetic potential. If you wish to progress further, you can consult strength training coaches and books.
  17. You should see the results in about six months or earlier. It is ok to stop this program or go to maintenance mode (1 gym session once a week or once every 2 weeks) any time you want.
  18. Enjoy!

Da Zong had dropped his postings for the last 3 years. Now Da Zong is restarting his posts briefing to help answer the question: what can Da Zong’s story do to help guys with their problem of not being able to find a girlfriend. The posts will come out soon.

Link to ribbonfarm posts:

Ribbonfarm describes on 2 spirals: a positive progression from sexy to lucrative to powerful; and a negative progression from dull to dirty to dangerous.  Guys are judged by girls on two progressions:  From dangerous/powerful to physically sexy, or from dull to dirty to omegaland(no girls want to touch you).  Physically sexy is hard to improve on, you can improve to get a sexy body for guys, but short of plastic surgey and even then, you cannot change your physical face.  Yet in this day and age, guys you are not dangerous or powerful can mimick the social actions of the dangerous and powerful without their safety being threatened.  You can still act moderately assholely in a western upscale bar and not have physical violence threatened on you.  Try that in a biker/gangster hangout anywhere in the world and you might end up in hospital.  So the “strategy” or “cheap trick” that guys use is to mimick the social actions of the dangerous or powerful and to continue doing so even in an LTR.  This is the starting point of the strategy, the starting point if you will.

This would not work in a village where everyone knew each other.  For game to emerge, there must be a world where strangers have a chance join the double take zone and commence meaningful interaction without being close.  This would not be common place outside of cities, which is why fairy tales and contempory novels and dramas have to invent some reason for the heroine to meet the hero (or alpha male) in a setting favourable for seduction.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor

The World is Small and Life is Long

Today, something bad happened to me.  Bad things happen to people all the time.  I am grateful that my friends were around and talked me out of doing stupid things.  More importantly, I was upset because the event triggered my value of integrity but yet the real effect to the victims was effectively zero.  In fact, attempting to rectify the situation might even cause negative value to the victims in terms of taking up their valuable time which could be spent to generate more benefit to themselves.

The tipping point came when I realized that instead of worrying and using up 5 hours of my time thinking about this thing which would not benefit anyone else, there were many things which did not trigger the moral alarm but which had a way bigger impact on other people in terms of bringing concrete benefits to their lives.  These other stuff which dropped below my consciousness, could actually be measured in dollars and cents or actual outcomes.  In case you were wondering what these stuff were, they were extra stuff at work which I could do above and beyond my daily work.  In terms of both relieving my colleagues’ workload and benefiting the actual receipients of the work, the value of doing the extra work is way larger than the value of the 5 hours I spent just being upset.

So what this post was trying to do in its rambling way is to say that our consciousness focuses on things which are emotionally charged.  Yet, the best things we can right now do to improve our lives are not necessarily emotionally charged and hence may sink below our consciousness.

Also, what got me out of this funk was reading Jame’s altucher’s post today, which talks about not letting your failures kill you a second time.  Check out his post “Kissing ruined my life“.  The most inspirational line in his post? “Life never throws you something you can’t handle.”  Which made me realised that all my bosses who had thrown me very difficult assignments knew the truth all along and I was the one who did not see the truth, having my eyes half-closed.

I listened to DJ Fuji’s interview on Next Level Lifestyles.  You can download the interview from the webpage.  I learnt so many things.  I keep the interview on my iPod and I intend to listen to it frequently.  What I learnt in a nutshell.

1.  Being Asian is not a reason for unattractiveness

Like DJ Fuji, I had erroneously believed that being Asian prevented me from ever being successful with white chicks, latina chicks, and hell, even asian chicks.  Behaviours associated with asians (and promoted by asian culture) are the things making me, an asian guy unattractive.   While I cannot change being an asian, I can change my behaviours to be attractive.  Asian sex symbols, Rain (rejected a date with Megan Fox) and Jeremy Lin (politely declined Kim Kardashian).  Seriously my roommate needs to hear of this.  For all the biostat nerds out there, yes, unattractive behaviour is the confounding factor in the hypothesis that being asian reduces your attractiveness.

2.  The DATE model for effectiveness.

All credit goes to DJ Fuji ( for this idea.  You need Discipline, Aggression, Training and Execution.  Discipline means doing the thing that is good for you instead of what you want to do. Aggression means going all out (within legal means) for your goal.  Training means getting someone who is better than you to help you with your training.   If Michael Jordan needed a coach at all stages of his basketball career, you need a coach to help you with your goal.  Execution means going out to actually doing the thing you want to do rather than staying at home and reading about it.

3.  You are the average of the 6 people you spend the most time with.  Your income, how well you do with woman will roughly match these six people.  So, go and make friends and make out with people who you like to become.  DJ Fuji shared how he approached some people in a club and said how he admired their pickup skills.  Those people invited DJ Fuji to hang out with them.

4.  DJ Fuji ( shares his top three advice.

At the end of the interview, DJ Fuji shares his top three advice:

1.  Do the actions of the person you want to become.  If you want to become a person who is good with woman, do the things he does, wear the things he does.  If he wears dark socks even if no one can see his socks, you wear dark socks too.  You don’t say you want to wear white socks.

2.  When in doubt, err on the side of action.  DJ Fuji remembers the sets he didn’t open, and if you think back, you probably do too.

3.  Always learn from someone who is better than you.  He repeats his idea about training with a coach, which shows how important DJ Fuji treats this tip.

After reading two posts:  The Las Vegas Rules II: Stuff Science and the Last Viridian Note, I found the inspiration to look at the highly intelligent stuff in my life. To qualify as highly intelligent stuff in my life, the stuff had to see heavy usage or mulitple regular use, or just rank extraordinarily high in the Viridian Note’s criteria of:

  1. Beautiful things
  2. Emotionally important things
  3. Tools, devices and appliances that efficiently perform an important function.

1. IPod Touch MP3 Player

Using an IPod Touch for just MP3 listening may qualify myself for heresy by the Apple Church.  My IPod Touch has seen daily use since December 2007.  As at 2012, that is five years of heavy usage.  Compared to my previous MP3 players, my IPod Touch has longer battery life, a convenient method of uploading songs, easy navigation of playlist and songs and a easy way to recharge the batteries.  My IPod does not have a rainbow colored neckstrap so that I do not need to find a pants with pockets to put the IPod in every time, but I guess I can purchase that as a third party accessary.  From stories of his personal life, Steve Jobs may have many years to go in perfecting his spiritual life, however he is definitely up there in designing awesome products.  While I only use the IPod for one function, the superior way which the IPod carries out its function makes the IPod generate as much value for me as the other multi-function items below.

2.  Desktop

I have used my desktop cobbled from separately bought parts since 2008.  That is about four years at the time of this post.  I have used it for many functions, from word processing, internet surfing to playing games.  My desktop has provided me with the most functions in a single time.  Kudos for lasting so long.

3.  Samsung Galaxy S

Yes, it has less Apps than an IPhone, particularly an app that shows what times the local bus would arrive at any bus stop.  Yet, it has lasted for nearly one and a half years while I am waiting for the contract to expire.  This is a long time in the world of smart phones, where the same company releases a model every year and people change their smart phones even more frequently.  In the mean time, besides checking text messages and making calls, I have also used my phone to navigate in unfamiliar neighborhoods and book movie tickets.  I have also stopped carrying around my digital camera unless I need to take a photo with 1080p resolution and higher.  It catches up with my desktop in terms of the sheer amount of functions compressed into a single item.

4.  Dumbells

My 3kg dumbells offer me more exercise options than most exercise machines on the television infomercials.  From strengthening core back and leg muscles to working out on the ole big guns (Biceps for all the non-meatheads out there), only a kettlebell may conceivably offer more exercise options (crosses fingers and prays not to catch the notice of kettle enthusiasts). Is included for the amount of functions compressed into a single item.  Being recently bought, only time will tell how much value it gives.

5.  Shoes (Hush Puppies and Nike Pegasus)

The first time I bought my Nike Pegasus, I took the saleman’s claims with a heavy pinch of salt. The particular pair I was buying was developed for outdoor trail running was ‘weatherproof’, even against snow. I was buying these shoes on a tropical island one degree north of the equator which will never snow even in an ice age. The salt was thrown out of the window when I was walking on a snow and sleet covered sidewalk in Philadelphia like it was summer while all around me, my friends were struggling to keep their balance. By backing up its claims, this pair of shoes helped to reduce the cynicism of a growing 20 year old.  The shoe lasted three years of daily abuse in the summer by an undergraduate, retiring with honor (and wear and tear) when the undergraduate began to work.

The Hush Puppies leather court shoes were also advertised to be waterproof.  Having walked miles in leather shoes that soak up water from every puddle, I was skeptical of the claims.  So far it has been doing a good job of backing up its claims.  For doing the awesome job of being a waterproof leather shoes that you can where to your office, it deserves a spot on this list.

6.  Honorable mentions

There are a lot of items in my life that carry out a single function well and have lasted for a reasonable amount of time.  For example, good shirts, socks and underwear.  However, they have not exceeded expectations enough to reach the category that would make people turn heads like my IPod or Hush Puppy Waterproof shoes.

As for final comments, the items that are the smartest in my life are either electronic gadgets, shoes or exercise equipment.  Surprising, an item can qualify in two ways.  I was expecting items with many uses to qualify, but I never noticed that items could carry out one function (play mp3s, walk on snow) so well that it would bring value into my life.  So the definition of smart items can be extended to items that improve the quality of their output.  Not only can you compress more functions into one item, an item can optimize its existing functions as well.  Hopefully, this post can give you food for thought on the existing smart items in your life and how you can invite more smart items into your life.

The bucket list is something that is going around on the blogosphere.  The name is taken from the movie “Bucket List”  where two men who are going to die make a list of items they are going to do before they die.    My list is directly inspired by Sean Oogle’s bucket list.

Other people who have similiar lists which you may want to look at for inspiration are listed below:

Tyler Tervooren’s 1% club list

Joel Runyon’s impossible list

Without further ado here is my list


  1. Complete a marathon
  2. Complete a Mizuno Mount Faber Run
  3. Do 200 situps challenge
  4. Do 100 pushups challenge
  5. Do 150 dips challenge
  6. Do 200 squats challenge
  7. Hit and maintain 9% body fat
  8. Pass IPPT
  9. Continue learning Aikido
  10. Do jumping ukemis
  11. Do the workout from the movie 300
    • Pullups – 25 reps
    • Deadlifts with 135lbs – 50 reps
    • Pushups – 50 reps
    • 24-inch Box jumps – 50 reps
    • Floor wipers – 50 reps
    • Single-arm Clean-and-Press with 36lbs Kettlebell – 50 reps
    • Pullups – 25 reps


  1. Complete some version of Incan trail
  2. Visit Carnival in Brazil
  3. Learn to surf (Maybe Bali/Brazil)
  4. Visit South Korea
  5. Visit Mayan Ruins in Mexico and Guatemala
  6. Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  7. Visit Ayutthaya ruins in Thailand
  8. Volunteer for an Engineer without Borders project
  9. Stay overseas for 3 months
  10. Visit Yunan
  11. Ride a horse on the Mongolian plains (Inner Mongolia or Mongolia)
  12. Visit Phillipines
  13. Visit Vietnam
  14. Visit Thailand
  15. Visit Australia (Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Tasmania, Alice Springs)
  16. Visit Cape of Good Hope
  17. Visit Niagara Falls
  18. Visit San Francisco
  19. Visit Orlando


  1. Learn Guitar (Songs: Unforgiven)
  2. Draw a manga chapter
  3. Write a fantasy novel (and get it published)
  4. Help to direct or creatively produce a video.


  1. Earn $1 on the internet
  2. Earn $100 on the internet
  3. Earn $1,000 on the internet
  4. Earn $10,000 on the internet
  5. Earn $1 from the financial markets
  6. Earn $100 from the financial markets
  7. Earn $1,000 from the financial markets
  8. Earn $10,000 from the financial markets