New GS Adventure

back in 2014 I wanted to change my motorcycle. I initially ordered an adventure bike which is the GS Adventure. It was my dream bike. The bike was used in the show Long Way Round. At that time, I was doing a lot of adventure motorcycling around Malaysia. I love exploring small villages all around. Going through very small roads with no plans at all.

Every Friday night, I will open Google Maps and look for new roads to explore. I will try to find the most remote roads that is accessible by my motorcycle. Occasionally I will also check the condition of the roads. Next morning, I will get my bike and ride all over the place. Sometimes I will clock almost 500 km in the day. I will start early in the morning and finish my adventure late in the evening. It is very fun.

I remember, when they launched a new motorcycle they were two models that will launch at the same day. The initial plan of the GS adventure was shelved when I saw the new RT. the RT was a dream bike when I first started riding. I was so engrossed with the BMW video that shows a couple riding across Norway. The video below:

 

and I’d end up buying the RT versus buying the GS. I did enjoy using the bike for a long period of time. But what I noticed is that I’m not able to do a lot of exploration anymore. Which was one of the reasons why I wanted to get a bike. The RT is a great bike. Along the highway, I can go and really high speed and still sit down comfortably. But when I get into the B and C roads, I get into trouble. It is just so difficult to ride the bike on non-highways. Whenever that potholes, I will scream for my life. And I felt restricted with this bike. I slowed down my riding and didn’t clock the mileage that I could have clocked.

Anyway, I went to BMW showroom. I saw the GS adventure again. I fell in love. I met my sales advisor and asked him whether he takes trade in for my current bike. And to my surprise he said yes. The best part I got a very good value for it. The reason being is that my RT is not locally made in Thailand. When I calculated the amount of money that I need to fork out to buy the new GS adventure, I realised that I can afford it. I call the supervisor again and told him that I wanted to make an order. And I did.

Last Saturday, I picked up my new bike. It is such a beauty.

So far since Saturday, I rode almost 500 km. It is such an awesome experience to ride the bike. Last Sunday I went to write with my ex colleague. It was awesome. The video below shows the ride:

 

I do hope that I will get more mileage with this bike. the RT only had 15,000 km when I sold it. I do hope with a new bike, I will get 15,000 km in the first year!

Day 85 – not so good

yesterday was not a very good day. I was going to be a very good but seems like I fell off the bandwagon again. For break fast last night, I had fried rice. I went against the principle in which I did not think about what to eat for dinner. That has always been a problem for myself, where whenever I think about what to eat, I tend to eat junk food.

I classified fried rice as junk food. Reason being is that it has a lot of carbohydrates, filled with oil, so much of salt and was not made with love. The whole thing would have been avoided if I spend two minutes thinking of what I want to eat for dinner last night. The thinking process will allow me to revisit again my objectives for the day.

Thinking is an important aspect of Project 365 days because it allows me to stop and reflect on all the things that I want to achieve after the project. Whenever I stopped thinking and impulsive things, I will definitely fall of the bandwagon. Falling off the bandwagon seems to be a regular thing for me now. It is very very disappointing because I started very well in the first 60 days of this project.

I think the whole change of routine for fasting month is really impacting the way that I handled the project. Waking up early in the morning and going to the gym is not a regular thing anymore. I used to wake up at 4:30 AM and go to the gym at 5 AM. Now, I wake up at 5:30 AM and still sit in front of a computer at 6 AM. The only thing that I do is surfing and watching YouTube videos. When I am supposed to be in the gym sweating myself out.

I guess since the fasting month is going to be over soon, I hope that I will get back to my old routine. In fact I will get back to my old routine.

In addition to the gym routine, I will also need to improve on my dietary inputs. I have not been very disciplined during the fasting month. I am not sure why I am like that, but perhaps I am clouded by the fact that I don’t eat for most hours in a day. Even though I don’t eat for most hours in the day, the inputs that I take for break fast is almost equivalent to my normal daily inputs.

The important my diet regime is no sugar and no carbohydrates. What this means is that I do not take any desserts and sweet drinks with my food. In addition to that, my food does not contain any carbohydrates including rice and noodles. discipline and commitment is the most important part of this project. And in the past two months, I have not been very disciplined and committed to this project. Perhaps I am satisfied with what I have achieved in the first 60 days of this project. To be honest that is probably something that is running at the back of my mind.

I need to sit down and reflect on what I have achieved in the past 85 days, and then decide what I want to achieve in the rest of the project. I seem to be not so focus in the future. Not being forward-looking, and think that everything will be all right. This is very wrong because whatever that I do need to be forward-looking and objective driven as the opposite will be very detrimental to the health.

So today, I am going to change. I am going to turn over a new leaf. I am going to change drastically by diet. In a way where it is more focused towards what I am trying to achieve in the rest of the days in the project. There are 280 days left, and I have 43 kg to lose. That makes it about 1 kg a week. This is very challenging. All the buffer that I have created in the past, is now all gone.

That is okay, revisiting back again the five principles that I have set up during the initial phase of the project. Principle number three – “Accept Failure and Move on”. I need to accept that I have been a failure in the past two months and I need to move on and look at what I can achieve in the rest of the 280 days. This is definitely a psychological struggle that I am facing.

What I am scared of is that I am more like what people call as NATO. What NATO refers to is “No Action, Talk Only”. This is a disease that I have in my life. I don’t really act on the things that I say. It is seriously a big problem. And I need to fix it now.

So what am I going to do today?

Few things – I’m going to go to the gym in about 15 minutes time. I’m going to get healthy for break fast. Let’s see where I’m going to be today.

Enough ranting for today. I need to accept failure and move on. I need to go to the gym and sweat myself out.

Note: this post was written completely DragonDictate.

Another Useless Post on DragonDictate

Using Dragon dictation is not easy. But as I get better at it I should be able to make good use of it without typing. I think after teaching the Dragon dictation a few times, I can notice the improvement in my speech especially my pronunciation.

It is amazing to see how technology has improved in the past 20 years. I tried DragonDictate when I was much younger. Using pirated software of course. There was back then when I cannot afford the software. In fact during that time it is a common thing to do to buy pirated software from Imbi Plaza. I always thought that buying software from that place is considered original. But I guess I was wrong. I think that story will be in another post.

Back then when I was using this software, it was so difficult and I decided after a couple of hours using it that the software is useless. Perhaps the software wasn’t that bad, it was my speech after all. I think after using the software for the last 10 hours, I realised that the software is very good at my speech is very poor. And the more I use it, the more I realise that my spoken English is extremely poor. I know that speaking in proper English is not easy. As a non-native speaker, I tend to use different words that is best for the Malaysians culture. Example:LAH.

During my younger days, I don’t get a proper speech training. And I never did have a speech training. I continue to speak the way that I speak because that is the way that I speak. In Malaysia, people tend to speak the way that they want to speak. I know that I am not very good at speaking, especially when I am put in front of a native speaker. I noticed that my confidence level when speaking just drop to 0 whenever I speak to a native speaker. I hope with the use of this software, I will be able to have a much higher confidence level when speaking to a native speaker.

The problem of confidence level is all related to 2 things:

  • the way that I speak
  • the knowledge of the topic

I think the way that I speak is something I can improve, but the knowledge itself is something that I need to continue to build along the way. I need to focus on getting myself acquainted with the new knowledge that will help me to speak better with my colleagues or native speaker. Then again, this is for another post of course.

I think the key to having a proper conversation with a native speaker, is to do the right preparation for any of the conversation that I will help. In my line of work, I do have a lot of conference calls. And the key of having a successful conference call is to prepare. I notice that if I prepare for the conference call, I usually will be able to speak better and communicate the message clearer.

It is something that I need to continue to improve especially on how I organise my days. The key on preparation is to set time to prepare. Most of the time in my mind I think that I am a Superman and will be able to think 30 seconds before the call. I have been caught way too many times for not being prepared for the call. Example for today, I do have a call with a highly educated PhD holder that since in my firm’s innovation Council. I have not prepared for the call, in fact I have not even set up a time for me to prepare for the call.

The call will be at 7 PM. Therefore I should set up some time about 15 minutes before the call or sometime much earlier. The key is to block my time for preparation. I notice that if I block my time, I will be much better prepare for the call.

In this dictation, I noticed that I am not able to pronounce the word call properly. I keep on getting court instead of having call. It is definitely because of the way that I pronounce the word call. What I noticed is that I don’t twist my tongue when I pronounce the word call. This is definitely because of my laziness in pronouncing the word. I guess I need to be able to continue to use the software in order to continuously fix my pronunciation.

Dictation is not a very difficult thing to do. The key is perseverance. I need to continue to train the software so that it can work with me. I know that in the marketing brochure, DragonDictate says that the software has deep learning technology that will be able to learn the way that I speak. but the thing is, it will not be able to really understand me if I don’t train the software properly. My understanding of deep learning is that it will continue to take the feedback that I give it to the software and then make sure that it does not repeat the same mistakes over and over. Hence I need to continuously look at the correction window and make sure that all corrections are made. I know it is tedious, but this is just for the initial phase of training software.

In the past 10 hours, the software can now understand me more than what it is in the first five minutes of using a software. It is because it is learnt the way that I speak on the way to pronounce the words. But, if if I don’t change the way that I pronounce the words, the software can continuously be confused with the things that I speak. Therefore I need to continuously teach the software. Hopefully it will be better as I move on with this software.

I am committed to use the software for at least the next 30 days because after 30 days I will not be able to ask for a refund. The main goal as I mentioned before in my previous post is to be able to transcribe my Digital recorder recordings.

I know that I want to post more of my thoughts online, but the pain of typing the post is just painful. I have a lot of time in my car while driving to work. Therefore instead of making useless phone calls having useless conversations, I can record myself and do the blog post. At the end of the day I can copy the audio file to my Mac and let the software transcribed the post. I am quite sure by doing this I will be able to get much longer post, and perhaps more useful posts.

I have been doing this dictation for the last two hours. It is quite addictive I must say. Having to see how the software learn how I speak, is just amazing. In fact, I don’t get much corrections now. Probably in one paragraph, I may have one correction. I think the key is really to be able to pronounce the words. And what’s annoying to me when writing this post is that need to always say the punctuation symbols. It is pretty annoying and it does stop my train of thoughts. In fact in this initial phase, I need to continuously look at the words that the software dictate. This is even more time-consuming compared to typing my posts.

But it’s okay, it is just for the initial phase in which I need to teach the software how to understand my pronunciation properly. I have a lot of expectations for this software in the future and I hope that I will not need to look at their pronunciation or rather dictation there was made by the software every time after I speak a sentence. It is probably a practice that I need to do as I continue to use the software. I wondered if I can train the software when I do my editing. In which our highlight certain words and then change the word and then the software will pick up and fix the recognition.

What I notice is that are by using speech recognition, I write much longer posts because I tend to have a lot of thoughts in my mind but too lazy to type in the software. I guess maybe it’s just an initial phase where I wanted to test out to make sure that the software can really understand.

What will be interesting is whether I need to speak louder than usual. Because it is actually quite tiring especially during fasting month. But I guess with the right microphone I don’t really need to speak very loud. In fact the mic and I’m using now is actually quite good. It is the built in mic on a MacBook Pro.

In this paragraph I didn’t even speak very loud. I just let the microphone to capture by voice projection from about 3 feet away. It is actually quite good. In fact it seems that and to speak in natural language, slightly slower than usual, but in a clear manner.

I think I can really use the software, I just need to use it properly. It is amazing to see the advancement of technology in the past 20 years. I’m really impressed the software now.

I think it is enough for now and I hope I will be able to continue to teach this software a lot more as I progress with my day. I would be able to teach during the daytime because I’ve been busy working in the office. I actually use DragonDictate for my work laptop because I don’t think you should mix work and pleasure

The thing is I will look weird if People see me speaking to the laptop dictating the emails that I want to reply. in fact I think for quick emails, it is probably easier to type.

Okay then, this is a second posting on DragonDictate for today. It is a very long post because I’m taking this opportunity to teach the software how to understand myself. I also need to stop using the word “full stop” as it is very difficult to speak two words just have a “.”. I can always use the word “period”. In addition to that I can also replace the word “choose” with the word “pick”. I think the word “pick” is much better than word “choose”. it is much faster to pronounce that word.

I guess as I get better and handling the software, I will be able to write more efficiently. But just more efficient, but much longer as well. It is definitely a habitual thing that I need to build along the way. As I continue to build the habit of dictating, I will definitely be able to write much longer posts than usual. The thing in my mind now is whether I would be able to speak much faster in comparison to how I speak now while training in the initial phase. I do hope that the software will be able to take much faster speech. But I guess is whether I can speak faster with proper pronunciation. It is very hard to get my part to move left and right, up and down to speak faster. It is just very difficult.

Maybe it is about me using very simple English for my blog post. Pronouncing very difficult words as tough. But I guess sometimes is not about having difficult words, even simple words have complex pronunciation. Example is “difficult”. I need a somewhat pronounced a silent “T”. I guess I will get used to speaking properly as I move on with this journey. It is definitely a long journey but I need to start somewhere if I want to get to my destination stop the destination is that far, but as any other customer experience that I pledge to my clients, it is about having that real-time feedback and fixing the quirks and the issues as we go on with it. I cannot stop now because if I stop now it means that I am a failure. I am not afraid, I am a person that is hungry for success. I would need to push myself to go on with the journey. Because it is important to go through with this journey so that I will be able to reach my destination soon. I know that I keep repeating myself over and over again but sometimes by repeating myself, I be able to put the thoughts in my mind.

This is probably my longest post in my blog. The reason being is that I cannot stop talking to the software. There are so many things in my mind that I wanted to share on this blog, but I don’t get to share because I can’t be bothered express myself through typing. I know that this is somewhat very screwed up but I guess it is what it is for now.

I think when I start migrating over by Mr recorder, my post will be extremely long as I span like 30 minutes in the car every day to work and back from work. Imagine the amount of information and thoughts I can share through this blog post. But I guess it is what it is now, that is for today. Maybe our share my thoughts more later today to my Digital recorder were driving to work.

Thank you very much for reading this far, it is definitely a bloodied use less Post but I guess it is fun to speak what in my mind.

Speech Therapy: Using Voice Recognition Software #1

I was recently purchased a voice recognition software called Dragon dictate. It costs US$300. I must say it is very expensive, but the reason why I spend this amount of money is to be able to write my post off-line using a digital recorder.

What I realised is, that it is very difficult to use a voice recognition software if I don’t speak properly in the right pronunciation grammar. I know that with the Malaysian accent, it is extremely difficult for the software to recognise my voice. But I also know that the software will continue to learn as I correct the dictation. the decision to need to make is whether to continue to correct my dictation or fix my speech. I think, the combination of both will be ideal. Pronunciation is something that will take time to change. I always rushed through my pronunciation. Example: the Silent B in the word combination. My typical way of pronouncing the word combination is “comination”. and there are many more examples that I probably wouldn’t know.

I guess I should take this as a speech fixing therapy, and hope that by continuing to use the software I will be able to speak better English. I notice that my speech and my mouth doesn’t really synced. I don’t prove my voice out when I speak. I can to close my mouth when I speak. And the result of this is that, I don’t get proper pronunciation with the words that I say. I need to really fix my speech because I think that is a lot of value in a speaking clearly.

Speaking clearly is very important for my job. If I do speak clearly, it will project a different personality to my future clients and bosses. I think even after less than 12 hours using the software, I am already speaking better. I think if I continue to use it for the next 10 days-I will be amazed at the result. In fact I will compare the recordings of my speech last week to my future recordings next week.

As I continue the journey with the voice recognition software, I will continue to post some blog notes so that I can share the painful journey that I am experiencing. I know it is very tough but if I continue to persevere I will be able to enjoy the technology. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to write this post using a digital recorder, and transcribed using the software when I’m back home.

So day one, it has been an interesting journey discovering that my English language is poor. I hope that in the next 30 days I will be able to improve my English in pronunciation and grammar.

Till tomorrow, we shall see whether I get better with my English language. I hope that I will get better.

Day 84 – Going Well

This morning when I wake up I went straight to the scale and measured myself. The weight has gone down even further since yesterday. It is amazing to see how fast my weight has gone down since yesterday.

In fact it seems that the target we for myself, is already reached this morning. I am not particularly sure what extra have I done yesterday that resulted me to lose more weight this morning. I know that I have fasted the whole day and had very little for dinner. I guess the combination of running in the morning and the diet itself causes me to lose more weight yesterday.

And it will continue to have a more healthy diet was versus limiting myself from eating properly because it is detrimental to the overall scheme of things. It is extremely important for me to make sure that the way that I loose weight is the healthiest way possible. If I don’t eat properly what happens is that I won’t be able to have a sustainable weight loss. Which is where I had problems in the past.

I need to continue to rediscover myself and see what I have done wrong in the past. It is not easy to be honest, the costs sometimes we are clouded by the short-term results that we see. We will always need to look at the future and always strive for long-term solution for very difficult problems. Short-term solution our awesome, but the problem is it is not sustainable. It may even cause detrimental effect to the long-term goals. This will be easier to have very small meaningful gains versus trying to have a fast short and fast results.

Today I will continue to go to the gym and make sure that I set out because it is not just for weight loss but it is also for the mental health. I feel a lot better when I go to the gym in the morning. It is amazing that the impact that sweat has this to the mental health. I think if I continue to do this I would definitely reach my goals and 365 days.

The strategy for today is to eat healthy and make sure that I have the right to exercise. The exercise will not be a weight lifting or weight-bearing type of exercise but it will be focused towards cardio. The reason being is that I am trying to bring up by cardiovascular capacity as I am trying to build stamina for riding a motorcycle.

The weightlifting exercises will start next week after the holidays. I will start back again the program that I had stopped couple of weeks ago. I know that it is important for me to do weightlifting exercises but at this point of time the cardiovascular capacity will need to increase. I know if I push hard enough I should be able to increase cardiovascular capacity and will be able to enjoy motorcycling more. At this point of time I do enjoy motorcycling but I am not sure if I am able to ride for hours and hours without stopping.

In the past, I can ride for eight hours and don’t even feel tired. But now, even after four hours as if I ride for the whole day. But it’s okay there are the motivation that I have to lose weight now. Some of the motivations are,

1) health

2) enjoy motorcycle riding

3) buy a new jacket

4) replace the wardrobe

I shall continue this journey and will not stop until I reach my target. If I stop now, I don’t think I will ever start again. After reaching the age of 40, you do feel that you need a massive transformation in this new phase of life.

Note:

this will posting was done using a speech recognition software. There are quite a number of reasons why I wanted to use a speech recognition software, but it seems that I have discovered that there are quite a number of problems with the way that I speak. One of the problem is that I mumbled my words a lot. Which makes it very difficult for the software to recognise my voice. And if the software can even understand my voice, what more can people. In addition to mumbling my words, my spoken grammar is really bad. Because of technology that tries to predict the words based on typical grammar, when my grammar is really bad, it has difficulty in recognising the words to be used. I guess, using speech recognition software is like using or getting myself a speech therapy. I do find that I speak a lot better after just 18 hours with the software. I need to continue to train the software for the next 30 days, and then decide whether I want to continue to use the software or asked for refund. There is a 30 days moneyback guarantee with the purchase of a software. I need to make sure that I set a reminder before the end of the 30 days.