Snow monkeys & nude dudes

Nude dudes, really ? Yep, keep reading ... The day is packed with plans as we head out early from the… [more]

Snow monkeys & nude dudes Snow monkeys & nude dudes

A dose of Mother Nature

Now that the title got your attention, I thought I would take a few minutes and fill you in on the past… [more]

A dose of Mother Nature A dose of Mother Nature

Back to Japan …

30 straight hours of travel; consisting of 2 car rides, 2 plane rides, and 2 train rides and I finally… [more]

Back to Japan … Back to Japan …

A Mucking Good Time !

It seems impossible that it has been nearly a year since my last update on this site. I guess I use Facebook… [more]

A Mucking Good Time ! A Mucking Good Time !

Joys of home brewing

After watching a few episodes of a new TV program called "Brewmasters", my passion for home brewing has… [more]

Joys of home brewing Joys of home brewing

Travelling Around Ireland !

I recently returned home from one heck of a 10 day trip to the Emerald Isle ! The "reason" for the trip… [more]

Travelling Around Ireland ! Travelling Around Ireland !

Finishing Strong …

I did not get a chance to update you with a new post because the last couple days have been a blur. I… [more]

Finishing Strong … Finishing Strong …

Fish Market & More …

Today was another early start ! Now, everyone who knows me, knows I love to go to markets, but this one… [more]

Fish Market & More … Fish Market & More …

2 Years Later !

They say that hindsight is always 20-20 ... and I would be inclined to agree ! It was 2 years ago this… [more]

2 Years Later ! 2 Years Later !
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2 Years Later !

Posted on : 23-12-2010 | By : Nathan | In : General | Comments

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They say that hindsight is always 20-20 … and I would be inclined to agree ! It was 2 years ago this week that I decided to sell my majority stake in a server support outsourcing company (ClearLogix Technologies Pvt. Ltd – www.logicsupport.com) that my business partner Vivek and I started in India. It was a tough decision, as we spent 5 years building it from a crazy idea we had into a successful offshore corporation.

We started in a 2 bedroom apartment with a couple part time techs, and upon concluding my tenure we had 50+ full time admins running 24x7x365 at a custom built, fully redundant, office facility. Fighting things like: constant power-outages, internet connectivity loss, oppressive heat were just a few of the interesting variables we had to find solutions to.  We definitely had our fair share of obstacles throughout the 5 years I was involved, but the experiences and lessons learned are priceless.

After flipping through some of the pictures I took during my trips over to India, I am reminded of so many good times I had during my visits. The visits were not all business and everyone in the company went the extra mile to show me what their great country had to offer. Sights and sounds that you could never experience anywhere else in the world really opened my eyes.

I went ahead and created a new image gallery on here to share some of those pictures with you. Please take a look if you get a chance, as you will surely see something of interest. Whether it be elephants in the street, a massive festival, a severely bug-bitten hand, or just picturesque scenery, the India  gallery will give you a little peak into my experiences during the trips.

While I don’t want to go into detail regarding my decision to sell my stake in the company, I will say that the decision was made with a heavy heart and none of it would have come to fruition without Vivek. I miss my business partner Vivek, the friends I made during my visits, and the extraordinary assault on the senses that only India can give you. While the company is in great hands now, I definitely wonder “what if” …

In reference to the hindsight quote earlier, they also say “A good soldier never looks back”, which is especially true in business. So, did the true worth of the business lie in it’s sale, in the lessons learned, the relationships made, or the experiences encountered during the travel ? I would honestly say all of the above !

Unordinary: Ever heard of a flash mob ? If not, check this out !

Money & Experts Solve All !

Posted on : 14-10-2010 | By : Nathan | In : Rants & Raves | Comments

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Every so often I read something that just begs a response:. I just could not let this one pass by without weighing in.

READ: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_school_lunches

This is a perfect example of how ridiculous we have become … In case you were not aware, the US has a major problem concerning the school cafeterias where kids are fed shitty, high-fat food, processed, fried foods, and it is a major contributing factor to child and adolescent obesity. The kids/students get to choose whatever they want, which typically includes french fries and other nasty processed foods on a daily basis. This is a well documented issue across the US, even going as far as spurring a show on national television to help try and change things from Jamie Oliver (famously known for improving the health of the entire UK’s school menu):

IE: http://www.jamieoliver.com/tv/jamie-s-food-revolution

So the US govt says “lets spend millions of dollars on psychologists to figure out how to improve this”. Things like pretty display baskets, hiding chocolate milk behind regular milk, and “cash-only” deserts…  But all of the options are still available to the student, they just have to look/work harder for them or possibly be enticed by nicer display options on the healthy items. So basically, after spending millions and calling in all sorts of know-it-all self-proclaimed experts (psychologists) we are either trying to trick the students or we are relying on their laziness or lack of cash to make them default back to something that is healthier. that is their solution, ridiculous

Here is my solution: Simply remove the shitty food options from their daily lunch choices altogether. Give them only options which are all decent/healthy choices. Remember, healthy does not have to mean boring or bland. They can either choose the good food that the school is supplying or if they don’t like it, they can pack their own. That way the  fatty and unhealthy foods come from the children’s parents poor choices, not from the govt. or state funded school.

Spend millions on psychologists or just remove the unhealthy options, costing nothing. One option gambles millions on the most remote possibility of any dietary change occurring at all. The other gambles nothing, costs nothing, and guarantees the kids cannot choose poorly.

Money & shrinks or common sense ?  Simple !

Unordinary: Anyone remember “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies” ? In case you don’t, they were a green pie shell filled with vanilla pudding. They also came with a cool character trading card. I can’t tell you how many of those I had at our school cafeteria… I bet if it was not available, I would not have eaten any of them. Hrm …

Travelling Around Ireland !

Posted on : 24-09-2010 | By : Nathan | In : Travelogue | Comments

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I recently returned home from one heck of a 10 day trip to the Emerald Isle ! The “reason” for the trip was to visit Niamh’s newest nephew William, and attend his Christening. Even though the trip was only for 10 days, we managed to pack in tons of fun sites and adventures.

Dusty, one of Niamh and I’s good friends, didn’t have much going on so he decided to join us for the trip as well. And with Niamh’s best friends Dee and Noel at the helm of our various road trips, how could we go wrong ;) Check out this summary of the trip, day by day:

Day 1:
- 2 hour convertible ride in rainy 60 degree weather through the Dublin Mountains
- Irish breakfast (fry) with white and black pudding
- Night at Sippers  – Proper welcome w/Guinness and Oysters

Day 2:
- Noel & Dee’s Condo
- Guinness Storehouse Tour
- Temple Bar area (including Goggerty’s & Ring a Ding sing-along)

Day 3:
- Rock of Cashel
- Cork – stayed at Ashley Hotel (click for review)
- Supermac’s for lunch
- Blarney castle and stone (I kissed the wrong stone)
- Oval bar and Oshea’s pubs

Day 4:
- Kinsale and Charles Fort
- Kilkenny Castle and town
- Bociellos for dinner & night on the town

Day 5:
- Christening and after-party

Day 6:
- Viking Splash Tour
- Dublin Tour (Molly Malone, Spire, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Etc….)
- Ate at the Chipper and watched “the Van”

Day 7:
- Bunratty Folk Park and Castle
- Knapogue Medieval Banquet (served mead, sang, and danced)
- Stayed at the Monkswell B & B (lock in)

Day 8:
- Quin Abbey
- Cliffs of Moher
- Burreen (limestone rocks)
- Lisdonvarnagh (matchmaker convention)
- The Bog (drove by)

Day 9:
- Citywest golf outing
- Dublin (Carroll’s gifts, Petersons, Porterhouse, Temple Bar, etc)
- FXB steakhouse for dinner (click for my review)

Overall, this was one of the best trips to Ireland I have ever had. Noel gets a special thanks for getting us a free cart rental at the golf course … even though he scored 0 skins out of 18 holes, he is still a winner in by book. I want to thank Niamh’s family for putting up with our “shenanigans” and also Dee and Noel for handling all of the navigation, organization, and trips out and everything.

Unordinary: Apparently there is a raging debate between who has the best ketchup in Ireland. Half of the people think it is “Chef’s” and the other half think it is “Heinz”. Well, allow me to be the tie-breaking vote: click here to find out !

Leave a comment & checkout the gallery for more pics.

Ride’n Dirty … Good Luck Guys !

Posted on : 23-05-2010 | By : Nathan | In : General | Comments

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In case you didn’t know, I am an avid dirt bike enthusiast ! I may not be one of the faster guys out on the track, but I sure do enjoy myself. It is not all about the racing either, as I enjoy the weekend trips with friends, BSing, camping,  scenery, and everything else. Here is a pic from “The Wolf Pack’s” last outing.

However, there are a couple local guys that make a living doing what they love, riding at the highest possible level of this sport. I have been lucky enough to spend some time with both of them, hanging out and/or riding … which, of course, inevitably led to me making their official web sites.

Charlie “Hotrod” Mullins is from Hamilton Ohio and rides for AmPro Yamaha. He has been in contention for the #1 spot in GNCC Racing for the last couple years and I have a feeling this could be his year. He is also racing the National Enduro Series, where he is currently the points leader. He has won his last 5 races races in a row and is stomping the competition in both GNCC and National Enduro. His entire family is very supportive of him, especially his father (who is blazing fast as well) and fiance. Good luck Hotrod !

Nick Fahringer is the other local pro, from Dayton Ohio. Like myself, he is a graduate of the University of Dayton. I had the pleasure of getting to know Nick when I took one of his 5 hour “riding classes” at Dayton Dirt Riders. He has been riding for factory Husaberg for the last couple of years. He has been steadily improving his results in the National Enduro series (which Hotrod is currently leading) taking numerous podiums throughout the year. He even rand the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) last year in Portugal, where he finished gold in his class ! His father is one heck of a trail rider/racer in his own right, so he gets his skills pretty honestly. Keep up the good work Nick !

Unordinary: My theory on dirt biking is: “If you can’t win, you and your bike better look good on the starting line!” Guess what … I look pretty damn good on the starting line, just ask me ;)

Thanks for stopping by everyone …

Finishing Strong …

Posted on : 09-05-2010 | By : Nathan | In : Travelogue | Comments

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I did not get a chance to update you with a new post because the last couple days have been a blur. I am just now finding time to sit down and write a post for the last couple days, even though I leave for the airport in only a few hours. We packed TONS of activities into the last 48 hours …

We started off yesterday morning bright and early, and making our way to the Tokyo outskirts where Tokyo Disney is located. The park was very busy since it was Saturday, but we managed to ride all of the major attractions. To be honest, the park was just like what we have in the states. However, it is a bit smaller, and the rides are a little less aggressive. Not to mention, there were only 2 white people there :) We rode “Big Thunder Mountain” and “Space Mountain”, ate some tasty snacks, and went to the “Haunted House” and more. A good time was had by all !

We worked up one heck of an appetite for dinner, after an entire day of walking around the amusement park. Derek kept talking about this style of dinner called “Shabu Shabu”, so we had to give that a try for sure. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a really good “isakaya” a block from our subway station. It was on the 5th floor and we had a view of the beautiful city lights. Shabu Shabu consists of heating broth and vegetables on a burner at the table, then dipping your meat into it to cook it. Once everything is thoroughly cooked, you use your chopsticks to eat. It was a typical Japanese style meal, where food just kept coming and coming, all at different times, all cooked perfectly.

The night was still young, at just past 9pm, so we decided to go to another Karaoke bar called “Big Echo”. We flipped through the thousands of songs, sang our hearts out, drank lots of beer, and had one heck of a time ! I actually ended up losing my voice by the end of the booth rental time, which was likely a good thing ;)

Today we slept in a bit due to the previous nights festivities. Once we were awake and freshened up, we headed out to watch something I have been waiting years to see … Sumo Wrestling ! We got lucky with the schedule, because today was the 1st of the 15 day tournament, and Derek was able to get us tickets months ago. You would not believe the spectacle, pageantry, posturing, and bad ass wrestling we beheld at today’s event. Some of these guys weighed over 600 pounds and were fast as lightning. We watched around 40-50 matches, all the way to the final where the current “Yokozuna” (highest rank of sumo) whipped his opponent. Very cool indeed !

The last mission to accomplish was to get some sushi. We took the subway to Shinjuku Station and located a fantastic sushi restaurant a few blocks away. This place only sat about 30 and it was packed with locals, as well as foreigners, so we knew it would be good. We got our fill, drank some beer, and had a postmortem on the trip. We decided to head to one final bar called Heartland for one last beer before heading back to pack for tomorrow’s trip home.

unordinary: Well, it’s Mother’s Day, so I thought my mom would get a kick out of this Japlish translation.

I want to thank Derek for single-handedly putting this trip together. We have been talking about this for years, and there is no way it would have happened if he hadn’t organized it. I am really thankful to have such a great friend who would go to such lengths to make all this happen. Time sure went by fast, but the memories will last forever.

I appreciate everyone who took time to read my blog, check the pics, and leave comments.

Japan, done ….