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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Khao san Rd and the vicinity post curfew tonight.

Khao san Rd and the vicinity post curfew tonight.


Khao san Rd and the vicinity post curfew tonight.

Posted: 22 May 2014 09:58 AM PDT

We heard about the curfew too late, as we had just arrived in Sukhumvit -- we grabbed a cab at about 9 which took about an hour to get us to khao San.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand

Posted: 22 May 2014 09:52 AM PDT

I am in Chiang Mai, second largest city of Thailand. It has been quiet for two days, even funny yesterday morning after the announcement of the martial law.... towels on the army truck, soldiers cleaning the place where they were....But more soldiers were at Thapae gate this morning. Tonight, curfew since 10pm. All the TV channels have the same image. The situation is quiet at the moment in Chiang Mai.

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7 Eleven closes

Posted: 22 May 2014 09:32 AM PDT

The power of #ThaiCoup: 7 Eleven is closed after 22:00

Photo by Instagram user @paceyes
http://instagram.com/p/oTfNQHuFPd/#

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Khao san road

Posted: 22 May 2014 09:19 AM PDT

Another shot of khao San road tonight just as curfew was starting.

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Khao San Road

Posted: 22 May 2014 09:08 AM PDT

Khao San road just after curfew tonight.

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Thailand coup pictures

Posted: 22 May 2014 08:56 AM PDT

Hello, These are from Khao San..... Follow our blog ���� http://195days0fsummer.wordpress.com Instagram    lsheref Twitter         @iaml_ucy

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Thailand Coup

Posted: 22 May 2014 08:56 AM PDT

It's my first time to see 24-hour convenience store like 7-11 to close

 

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Slide Wildfire torches the beautiful red rocks of Sedona

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:44 PM PDT

In 24 hours the Slide Wildfire in Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona has already torched 4,500 acres and has triggered evacuation orders for more then 3000 people. The beautiful red rocks of Sedona, a premier Arizona vacation destination is threaten by the wildfire. These images were taken on the East side of Oak Creek Canyon as the wildfire spread North and West.

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Sedona Blazes On

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:37 PM PDT

The Slide Fire just north of Sedona has scorched over 4000 acres of land and threatened hundreds on homes. Many residents, vacationers and campers were told to leave the area due to the growing fire. On the other hand the southside of the town which includes the Village of Oak Creek, seems to be going about business as usual, with tourist shopping, eatiing and taking the famous Pink Jeep Tours.

Shockingly enough many seemed to be uneffected by the thick cloud of smoke and smell of fire looming in the beautiful red mountain back drop.

As of right now there is zero percent containment of the blaze and officials say the fire may get worse before it gets better.

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Modern Family Season Finale Gay Marriage

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:14 PM PDT

The fifth season finale of Modern Family did not disappoint. Cam, played by Eric Stonestreet, and Mitchell, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, finally got to say their I do's. Not without the wedding drama's of course, like a fire too close to their original venue, then another wedding party shows up at the second venue, then they move the wedding party to Cam and Mitchell's house, then they finally end up getting married at a golf course. The original Officiant goes into labor so Phil takes over those duties. Then there were the butterflies floating around the car they took to their many venues, sorta funny since most couples getting married have the "butterflies" that day. As Phil is rehearsing the wedding vows to Manny and his son Luke, Alex is taking a video of this. For the remainder of the episode Manny and Luke are behaving like a nagging married couple which Alex is also secretly recording on video. Just another hilarious and creative episode from the writers of this exceptional show.

 

Pictured above is a photo I shot of Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his real husband Justin Mikita.

 


Photo by KCRep

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9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero

Posted: 21 May 2014 08:35 PM PDT

On May 21, 2014, the 9/11 Memorial at the original World Trade Center opened to the public. Copyrighted by Robert Ondrovic Photography

 

For a video compilation of additional photos:  http://animoto.com/play/klu8w25nEfb0i84l98kJ8g

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Border Line Diabetic To Fit And Healthy (more pictures)

Posted: 21 May 2014 01:58 PM PDT

My name is Edgar Hernandez and my journey has been (And still is) going on for about two years now. I started out at 360-370 pounds... Yeah "Aha" and I am 18 years old now. I weigh 180 pounds now. This is how it started, I was a bullied teenager and most of my life I spent hiding and eating my problems away. I couldn't stand being in public because of the horrid days I spent being made fun of for my weight. I had always been a over weight child. My parents tried to get me to do sports and help me stay somewhat fit, but I never gave it a try. As I got older my depression and eating habits grew too. I could not stop eating my problems away. I had tried to go on "Diets" but non of that really worked because I just gave up on it and went back to junk food. Everything got worse once I entered high school. As the kids in my age grew up, so did their immaturity and that's when the bullying got worse. It would all begin in the lunch room when I would sit down to eat, there was always a group of kids who would throw food at me and ask me if I was going to eat it, or they would even sit next to me and eat my food and go along telling me "You don't need all that". I went along with it and smirked, but deep inside it hurt beyond anything. It didn't end at lunch time though. It came back during physical education when we would have to start warm up runs. Coming in last in everything we did just made it worse for my self. I would try my hardest to keep up with people so I wouldn't be made fun of for being last, but it didn't work. I came in last. I had finally gave up and just accepted the fact that I was obese and I knew the bullying wouldn't stop so I just gave in and laughed along with it for a while. It went good until I found someone who I thought liked me. This moment of my obese days was a starting point to my change. I got close to this girl who I really cared about and I thought she had liked me but it turns out she was using me for rides to get to places and what not. This went on for about six months and I had fallen for her but I was tricked into thinking she had liked me so I just got depressed again and continued my normal routine of eating horrible foods to make me happy. Soon I ended up getting over it but then something else happened. I had gone to my doctor for an appointment and blood was drawn from me. When the results came back they were bad. I had early symptoms of becoming a diabetic. My mother and father never wanted this for me. My mother started crying and that's when it hit me hard. I had grown to be 370 pounds and I just could not stand to look at my self anymore. I cried the night I got home, I lost it. I had grown tired of people making fun of me, I was tired of getting screwed over for being nice and helping people out, I was tired of everything. I wanted all the pain to go away so I simply just "Let it go" I knew I had to be the one to make the change, it was time to stop blaming others for my choices and make a choice to take responsibility. I immediately threw on my jacket and began jogging. I came to about half a mile and threw up. I realized that it was going to be the toughest challenge of my life. I began by looking up on the internet what all should you do to prepare for loosing weight. The first thing I knew right away was the foods. I had to eliminate all junk food and that was the hardest part. The first month was the worst, I absolutely hated it! I grew on though. I started to slowly eat better foods and I began to like them more! I knew I couldn't let anything slow me down, I had to work hard for this. I started running. Running is what made me feel happy, I had gotten what they call " Runners High" and now running has become a life style. Now during school, for lunch I just brought my own food and stayed away from the cafeteria food. That part was actually easy because I didn't really like the school food anyways. As I started noticing more weight loss though, I also noticed my mood and attitude changed. I felt more, happy. I wasn't sad anymore. At that point I had realized that exercise was my key to happiness. That is what motivated me to work harder. I kept working hard and noticing more weight loss, soon my blood levels were beyond normal and I was at a healthy state. Even though my blood was normal, I still wanted to keep the life style I was growing on, I didn't want to just leave it. It made me happy so I kept it. This has been the same process for about two years now and I am still going strong. Finally, I was 200 pounds and I cried. I cried because I never thought I was going to see that number again. My family cried because they finally saw a smile on my face. I had entered my story on KPLR 11 STL and I was given the opportunity to discuss it on there. Now, I try my best to help people stay motivated and go above and beyond to accomplish a life transformation. I had never thought I would rise above the people who tormented me. I always look back and remember that I turned it all around, simply by taking responsibility and making a change for my self. Eating healthy and exercise is just a life style for me now, and I believe is should be that way for everyone. I have a facebook page called "Run With Edgar" And Twitter " @ RunWithEdgar if you would like to keep in contact with me.

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Dancing Toward My Dream Weight

Posted: 21 May 2014 12:57 PM PDT

This is my journey to my 100 lb. weight loss. It was way easier than I ever thought it could be.

I had an L4-S1 spinal fusion in 2006 my junior year of college, and was told that I needed to live my life in the awareness that I had an "80 year old back." I dealt with chronic pain which affected my ability to function at work and then to sleep at night when I got home. As an agriculture teacher, I was constantly on my feet working with kids, animals, and equipment. For three years I taught a welding class that required I be hunched over work stations which added to the pain. As a new teacher, I was constantly exhausted, so my meals consisted of take-out, every single day.

I have never been a skinny girl. At my thinnest, most athletic form in high school I weight 155-160 lbs. I just assumed this was my body type and that there wasn't anything I could do about it. I remember trying to cut meals and work out in attempts to be perfect at prom and other formals, and thinking this was okay. I gained some weight in college due to unhealthy eating and drinking habits like most college kids, and I also picked up smoking cigarettes to keep myself awake on the 7 hour drive home from school when I would visit my family. My dad passed away from cancer my sophomore year of college and that just multiplied the alcohol calories and the number of cigarettes I was smoking. I was also in what could have been a fatal car accident a month before I was supposed to graduate college, so that didn't help my weight either. When I started my first job, my eating habits spiraled out of control, and I was smoking almost a pack a day. Despite my weight, I started dating a boy I had been in love with for three years, and he genuinely loved me for my heart and who I was, and not for the number on the scale. We got married in December of 2011, and like most people, I gained more weight because I was "in love." It's silly, really. You would think you would want to take better care of yourself for the person you love, but that is easier said than done. I reached a weight of 235 pounds, which was very heavy for my 5'6" stature. I was taking at least 10 ibuprofen a day to combat back pain, and that was taking a toll on my stomach. I quit smoking at the beginning of that school year, but felt like that wasn't enough of a lifestyle change. I found myself crying in bed one night over my weight, and my husband told me that he thought I was beautiful, but if I was so unhappy, I should do something about it. This triggered something in me, and that next day I began eating healthier and walking or riding the stationary bike 6 days a week. After two months of this, I became brave enough to get a gym membership and tried my first Zumba class. My instructors were amazing, and made me feel like they loved having me there. I couldn't believe how fast the weight came off. I was having a blast exercising for the first time in my life. Ten months later, my instructors started encouraging me to get my certification, so I did! I have been teaching now for 4 months, and I absolutely love it.

When I started my weight loss journey in November of 2011, I was 235 lbs. wearing a size 22 and carrying around 42% body fat. Today, I am 135 lbs. in a size 6 with a 21% body fat. I have almost NO BACK PAIN, and am the happiest I have ever been. Any time I make comments about myself being fat before, my husband tells me that he fell in love with that girl, and not to make fun of her. He loves me the same way he did 2 years ago, and for that I am extremely blessed. He has encouraged me every single step of this journey. I have my dream body, and as crazy as it sounds, it has been an absolute blast getting here. If I could give one piece of advice to anyone struggling with their weight it would be to find something active that you love doing, and don't give up. Consistency is key to making any lifestyle changes. Find a support system and tell people what you are trying to do for yourself. When you say it out loud, you become accountable.

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Action, Mr. President - NOT Another Study

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:58 AM PDT

After  weeks of silence, President Barack Obama finally spoke today about the  horrid, unacceptable scandal plaguing the Veterans Affairs medical care  system.

This  veteran, like many others I have spoken with or heard speak out on the  news channels, was not satisfied with what the President had to say.

The  President set the table and invited us all to have a seat. We were  expecting meat and potatoes, but received a few croutons and alfalfa  sprouts instead. We left the table hungry and a pit in our stomachs.

What  has become all to common with the President and his Administration,  when action is called for, this President must "reassess" the situation  and call for an "investigation" or a committee to study what needs to be  done.

Also  commonplace, it seems, with the President is "learning" of problems and  issues only when the media brings the situation to light.

Earlier  this week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told CNN's Jim Acosta  that the President only became aware of the fake waiting lists and  veterans dying waiting for medical care when the network broke the story  in the past few weeks.

Never mind that CNN has been airing the scandal since November.

Never  mind that the President, then junior Senator from Illinois seeking the  White House, in 2007 acknowledged the shortcomings with the VA in a  speech and promised to make veterans' health care a top priority if  elected to the presidency.

Never mind a 2010 study called for an immediate stop to "cooking the books" and playing fast and loose with waiting lists.

Never  mind an order from the Assistant Secretary of the VA ordering a "cease  and desist" order following that study to personnel throughout the  medical system to end the sham practice uncovered.

This is not a time to study or reassess, Mr. President. This is a time for action.

If ever there was justification of an executive order, now is the time.

Fire  those who have been irresponsible in fulfilling the commitment to our  veterans. Bring in new blood who will follow orders and will ensure our  veterans' medical needs are addressed in a timely manner.

Now is not the time to be giving a pass to anyone.

I  and other veterans honor the decorated military service of VA Secretary  Eric Shinseki. We appreciate and feel for Shinseki laying it on the  line during the Viet Nam War and returning as a wounded veteran.

However,  being a decorated, wounded veteran is not an excuse for turning a blind  eye to the apparent problems within the department which you are  assigned to administer and oversee.

Our veterans deserve better than another study.

Our veterans derserve and demand the medical care they need in a timely manner.

Our veterans deserve and demand action now - NOT some time down the road after reassessing the situation.

From  the Cornfield, Mr. President, this is six years into your term in  office. You knew in 2007 of problems with the VA and vowed to raise the  standard of treatment and care for our veterans.

Why do you need another study?

Why not issue an executive order to fix the problem now?

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50 States Completed.. a dream achieved

Posted: 19 May 2014 04:05 PM PDT

It was a surreal feeling, as I pulled into Montana in late 2013. 50!! I had made it to all the 50 states in less than 20 years. This from an immigrant from India who liked the idea of traveling and seeing cultures, people, sights and the awesome feeling of seeing all this from the road.

My constraint on the count the 50 states – visit or drive at least one of major cities in the state and stay a night or more. Airports and travel were part of my work but there were surely places where business would not take me. It started off as habit as I crossed into my 10th state that I would collect a thimble for all my visits. I found that something small and something cute enough to keep like the shot glasses or the spoons. There was something about sowing(stitching) and the connection to my mom that appealed to me. My parents had taken me travelling when I was in India via car and reveled in being able to see any new location from the road, eat their cuisine and understand what/why there was a distinct flavor/style to each one.

I did spend some time in the UK and drove every nook and corner there as well England, Scotland and Wales in my 2 years there. The experiences there were unique with the diverse culture and nature that made every county in UK a little different in terms of speech (English accents) and in terms of architecture.

In 2013 I visited a number of the states in the US in including Alaska, New Mexico, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Utah and Montana. Alasks was a pristine, clear and gorgeous, a long haul from the east coast of the US – but a sight to behold and visit again. Utah was breathtaking with the Canyons and the natural landscapes and Yellowstone. It was all worth the extra strain the travel from a hotel to another every night as we drove, flew and covered the last few states that I had left to see and enjoy.

The drive into Montana in late October capped that 50 state visit. I really revel in the fact that I was able to do this and it all started in October '94 in Massachusetts. That being said, my wife has listened to this push to visit the Mt Rushmore, the Badlands and many of the sights over the last few years and she has been instrumental in visiting, capturing and being part of the travel in the last 10 years – she is at 41 states – and I am sure if we continue to be in the US she will get to 50 as well ☺. I can see her smile when she reads this (or do I!!).

As part of this 50 state trip, I have viewed some gorgeous landscapes, natural beauty and with very unique memorable sights. I still live in the North East Corridor therefore see the sights of Boston, New York, New Jersey, Florida very often through my personal travel. However, there are some states I will be eager to visit again, time & company being there – they include and are not limited to Hawaii, Alaska, California, Utah, Colorado, Tennessee and anywhere in the North East during the fall.

Now that the 50 states in the US is done - what beckons? Europe, China, Oz and NZ beckon. We have started on that in earnest with many more to go – part of a bucket list that has started early. However, there is something that tugs at my heart too that while I was born in India that I have not seen/visited as much there. India is a land with so much diversity and has opened it doors so much more to facilitate the ease of tourism (Incredible India!!). That also will be a driving force, as I head towards knocking off those dreams when I got into a cab at around 7 years of age and told my parents – I wanted to be a driver – since I could drive and see places when I wanted to!!!

Thanks to all the people who helped me achieve this including my parents, sister, my wife and the entity that has kept me able.

TAGS: USA 50 states US India immigrant

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South Sudan: Millions of people's lives at risk in world's newest country

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:35 AM PDT

As the conflict in South Sudan rages on, children's lives hang in the balance. Since the violence began in December 2013, 1.3 million people have fled their homes, and almost four million people are facing severe food insecurity.

 

These photos were taken by World Vision staff member Nadene Robertson in the Upper Nile region of the towns of Malakal and Rom.

 

Malakal is the scene where some of the worst fighting has taken place, and was South Sudan's second city with 170,000 people. Today it is a completely destroyed ghost town.

 

Over 16,000 people take refuge at the UN base in Malakal where living conditions are dire. People sleep on top of rubbish piles, as it's too dangerous to remove their rubbish outside the base for risk of getting killed. Six latrines serve thousands of people with no light making it too dangerous for women to use the latrines at night. Fears of cholera outbreaks are increasing as the rainy season begins.

 

In the town of Rom, Upper Nile there are 28,000 women, children and elderly sleeping under trees. They have fled to Rom from Malakal city where there was serious fighting. Rom is peaceful but those who fled there have nothing and risk disease and starvation and cold.

 

Women and children sleep under open air in the driving rain. One mother pictured here says she has no breast milk to feed her baby. With no food she's eating leaves to survive.

 

Aid agencies including World Vision are warning millions are at risk of starvation and malnutrition across South Sudan. International governments meeting on Tuesday, May 20 in Oslo, Norway are an opportunity for funds to be pledged to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

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