Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review: Hop on Pop

Whereas previously I had believed this book to be a work of fiction, I now have reason to believe it is rooted in the personal experience of the author.

I mean, come on! "Hop! Hop! We like to hop. We like to hop on top of Pop!" could only have come from the father of two preschool children.

And the stirring filial imperative, "Stop! You must not hop on Pop!" makes me weep for its plea for early morning peace and quiet. I was like, omigod, I can so totally relate. The author is going insane, and it's because of his kids. The horror. The horror.

This book has so many levels to it - and it is only now that I'm beginning to explore and understand them.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Little Girl Who Follows Me

A careful man I want to be;
A little girl, she follows me.
I do not dare to go astray
For fear she'll go the self- same way.

I cannot once escape her eyes,
Whate'er she sees me do, she tries.
Like me she says she's going to be;
The little girl who follows me.

She thinks that I'm so very fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me she must not see;
The little girl who follows me.

I must remember as I go
Through summer's sun and winter's snow,
I'm building for the years to be;
The little girl who follows me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dream Water Floatation Tanks in Taipei

Earlier this week, I had the cool experience of trying out a floatation tank for the first time at Dream Water, a new company in Dazhi owned by a friend of mine, Mike Zev. What an amazing experience! (No, the girl in the photo doesn't come with the experience - you'd probably have to pay a lot more for that!)

I still remember watching the classic sci-fi horror thriller "Altered States", which dealt with the effects of sensory deprivation and psychoactive drugs. It didn't look relaxing, but I was intrigued even then (I was just thirteen years old when that movie came out!)

Anyway, I'd always thought it would be a cool thing to try, and so when I heard that Mike had imported state-of-the-art flotation tanks, I immediately signed up for a session.

The location is very nice, a quiet, upscale lane in Dazhi, not too far from the Miramar shopping center. If you're not driving, the fastest way there is to take the MRT to the Jiannan Road Station on the Brown Line. If you are driving, there is ample parking in the area. Inside, the feeling is very spa-like. The decor is modern and relaxing, and you feel mellow just stepping in the door. Mike took me on a tour of the place and I was impressed by the attention to detail they took with the renovations.

Then it was time for the float. Mike encouraged me to use the bathroom first - he said nothing ruins a good float like the creeping awareness that one's bladder is the only part of you that isn't relaxed! Good advice.

I then stepped into the shower, rinsed off, and opened the floatation tank. (Actually, it looks more like a "pod" than a tank, I think.) The tank is BIG, and although the water isn't very deep, it's loaded with epsom salt, so that you're always floating - it's physically impossible to sink. There is a light inside that can be easily turned on and off, and the lid is also easy to open, so there was no sense of claustrophobia. Actually, the whole thing was very womb-like. The water is heated to body temperature, and once you get in, there's some soft relaxation music that plays to help get you in the right state of mind. After five minutes, the music stops and the real relaxation begins. I have to confess, it took me about twenty minutes before I could "empty my mind" of thoughts, and just float. I was also experimenting with different float positions to find out what the most relaxing position was. Once I found that position, and I started getting used to the whole novelty of the experience, I pretty much lost track of time. I wasn't asleep, but I wasn't entirely conscious, either. After an hour, the music quietly came back on, and my mind started to return to the day. I pushed open the lid, walked over to the shower stall, and took another shower, this time to get the salt out of my hair.

The rest of the day was fantastic. I felt really rested, and had lots of energy. I also felt relaxed, which is a very rare thing for me - my daily life is pretty stressful, and feeling relaxed is NOT my usual state of being.

So, it was a very positive experience. If you need a little bit of downtime, if your batteries need recharging, or if you just want some peace and quiet, you should definitely check Dream Water out.

Their address is No. 61, Lane 69, Jìngyè 2nd Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei.

Their telephone number is (02) 8502-6900

Monday, March 28, 2011

Things I learned from the Entrepreneur's Meet yesterday

  1. Know what the model is and stick to it.
  2. Keep your team motivated, especially in the tough times.
  3. Develop a solid core team; "build the foundation before the house". Usually 4-5 people.
  4. Never stop marketing. Always keep a positive image and energy.
  5. Nurture long term relationships with key supporters. A "no" today might turn into a "yes" next year.
  6. Allow others to pay your tuition.
  7. Limit partners. Don't mix business and family/friends.
These are just a few thoughts I wanted to remember, and writing them down in my blog seemed to be the simplest thing to do.