Blockchain in Bangkok: Neighborhood is Buying & Selling Energy

I normally give Thailand (primarily the women) a hard time in terms of treating individuals the same.  However, I love innovation.  As the mass transit system sets up across Bangkok, I’m like a child on Christmas, jumping around deliriously and anxiously waiting for the grand opening.

With the Sky Trains (grey, red, pink, brown, green line extensions, orange, yellow) going up around the city, there’s an even greater story: Thais buying and selling electricity using blockchain.

Source: World Economic Forum

 

So, the infographic might be hard to understand, but let’s just say the generating capacity of is enough to trade electricity between a mall, school, dental hospital, and apartment complex.

The managing director of the Australian firm, Power Ledger, said that enabling renewable energy trading will reduce our carbon footprint.

Just recently, Elon Musk heading to my native Puerto Rico and provided dozens of solar panels to a children’s hospital.  Furthermore, neighborhoods all across the globe are implementing solar panels in neighborhoods — encouraging everyone to switch to renewable energy.

This not only puts a spark into humanity, but for countries such as Thailand, which are notorious for pollution, there are people who are pushing to make the switch.

Most notably, the gym I go to, Lab BKK, is all renewable; from the lightbulbs, to taking out all plastic, to having all their products + humanity.

Times are getting interestingly exciting!

Dealing With Potential Jobs & Saving Yourself Time

I’ve been on such a tear in terms of trying to find a part-time/full-time job in Thailand.  Over the past few months, I’ve come across the most ridiculous potential employers, as we’ve all had in our lifetime.  How can you save yourself a peace of mind during the process? Let’s go over the past potentials — turned laughing stocks.

The One That I Thought Was Cemented

Ahhh, this was was a gut-check.  This was the one that made me throw my hands in the air incredulously and say, “how did that happen?! It was a perfect interview!”

Rule Number 1: If they want you, they’ll call you within 24 hours. 

If you have the interview and they tell you to have a good weekend, chances are they’re not going to call you back EVER AGAIN.  I thought I landed what could’ve been a dream job, but for whatever reason, it vanished.  The worst part about it is I gave myself false hope.  I had the interview on December the 18th and I was still telling myself, “he will call me” around the 27th.  Into New Years, I was still clinging onto hope, thinking I would get an email for an orientation of some sort.

My student gave me the wake-up call and said, “you already know what happened.  You’re wasting time thinking about them.”

Hard dose of reality.  If a potential employer wants you, they’ll ask you to start almost immediately.  Back in America, I had my first ever interview at a newly opened dental practice and he called me the next day around mid-morning saying, “we decided to hire you.”  It was the most glorious moment of my life.

Don’t get bent out of shape and jump to conclusions.  Whatever the reason may have been, which might include an extensive list, they don’t want you.  Move on, like I did.

The We Will E-Mail You Once We Find Out

HA! These are the deceptive ones that make you wait.  I had a great email response to an individual who said, “thank you so much for your extensive and impressive resume.  We’ll find out soon about times and let you know.”  This was in regards to a corporate employer.

Was it true? No.  I told him that I’d be waiting and then he sent me an email back saying, “we also have jobs in China.”

So, I think his intent was to find someone here in Thailand and ship him/her off to China.

REDUNCULOUS

Rule Number 2: You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.

That “we’re waiting on a response” is horseshit.  But thanks!

Please make sure you tell them that.

The Apply For Jobs But Never Get A Response

Now let me tell you this.  This probably doesn’t relate to people outside of Thailand, but I want to give you some stories to some notorious teaching agencies.

There was a girl I met who was running an agency online.  She said she had quite a few corporate clients and wanted me to teach one in particular out in the boondocks.  She then gave me another one, reconfirmed for a particular morning during the weekend, and then she went silent.  About three days later (and just before I blocked her through messaging), I asked her “so, what happened with that particular company?”

She retorted, “oh, they chose another teacher.”

As a man of color, these agencies are not only impossible to work with, but it’ll drive you insane, destroy your confidence, and make you want to leave the country.  So basically if a Thai company is going to choose between 5 white men and 1 black men….who the hell do you think they’re going to choose?

It wasn’t just one company, it was five other potential suitors.  They would say, “ok, we will send you profile to the student and it’s up to them to contact you.”

They would never contact me.

Rule Number 3: When dealing with a company of this nature, STAY THE F*** AWAY! If not, your confidence and self-esteem will be battered. 

The Respond 6 Weeks Later & No Human Follow-up

Oh, we have all had that job that responded way too f***ing late, right? LOL! I think my record was about 3 months.  This one that happened recently caught me off guard.  I jumped up in JOY because it wasn’t just one job offer, it was 6 in total with different timings and all in the same area.

I said, “OMG! This is perfect! I knew I would attract this to me!”  I sent somewhere between 4-6 emails back in terms of choosing jobs.

However, this is there little memo they had at the bottom….

Please note, this is not a job offer, this is a job listing that is distributed to our mailing list of teacher candidates. Please read the information above carefully and respond to the listing if you are available to teach the contract, we will then get back to you if you are short-listed and arrange an interview / orientation.

We apologise in advance but due to high numbers of applications we will only respond to short-listed candidates. However, you are on this mailing list because we have already reviewed your resume and consider you a viable candidate to work with. If this opportunity does not work out please continue to let us know if you are interested and available for future openings.

If you would like us to remove you from this mailing list, please let us know and we will do so immediately.

Wow….so teaching candidates — of what could be more than fifty teachers; let alone fifty white teachers.   Not only that, only short-listed ones will have an interview arranged.

They went on to say, “due to high numbers of applications, we will only respond to the short-listed ones.  You are on this mailing list because WE CONSIDER YOU A VIABLE CANDIDATE. If it doesn’t work, please continue to let us know about future openings.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list, please let us know.”

OH-MY-GOD.

You’ve got to be shitting me.

Not only did they it might not work, but they said if I want to remove myself off the list, please ask them?

WHO THE HELL SAYS THAT?!

That’s like me saying, “Margaret, you probably won’t get the job, but please inform us if you want one in the future and we’ll continue to beat around the bush and waste your time.  If not, we’ll block your email.”

I mean, that’s got to be the most outlandish s*** I’ve ever seen in my life.

And out of all six of those jobs that were sent to me by email a week ago, I never got a human response from them.  I never got a follow-up to why they didn’t work.

I went on google to google the company and realized that it was the most PRO-WHITE company I’ve ever seen.  Every single teacher there was over 50 and beyond white.

Rule Number 4: Are you looking in the wrong place?

Yeah, I should definitely be my own boss now after these happenings, but I’m contemplating staying here any further in this country.  The ignorance and racism continues to get worse and worse.

However, to everyone who is reading this, when you’re looking continuously in the wrong place, you’re going to continue to find the same problems.

Time to open up some new doors.

Don’t give up!

TOEIC: Text Completion #2 + PDF – Continuation

Here are parts 7-12 for everyone who tuned into my last blog.

Dr. Jim Croker of Budapest Lab says that people _____(7)_____  always travel with their own pillow.  “If business travelers can

  1. might
  2. will
  3. should
  4. can’t

bring their laptops on board, there’s no reason why they can’t bring their own pillow,” said Dr. Croker in a recent podcast interview.  An even _____(8)_____ solution, according to another celebrity doctor, is to avoid business travel altogether.

  1. good
  2. the best
  3. better
  4. greatest

The studies have also shown that time away from families can be detrimental to family life. 

After all, everything from _____(9)_____ meals to driving kids to and from school is affected when one parent goes away on business.

  1. preparation
  2. prepared
  3. preparing
  4. prepare

Leasing Office Memo

Is your work space overcrowded?  Are you looking for a _____(10)_____ office at

  1. more spacious than
  2. more spacious
  3. most spacious
  4. the most spacious

affordable price?  Here at the leasing office, we have a solution that will help you.  It offers a full-service building with a parking garage.  All offices have great views and the rates start at $500 per square foot.  With advantages like these, why consider _____(11)_____ anywhere else?  Call our rental office today.

  1. rent
  2. rents
  3. to rent
  4. renting

A five-year lease ______(12)_____ be signed in order to qualify for this special rate.

  1. must
  2. might
  3. could
  4. can

YouTube

PDF

Text Completion (2)

Is Thailand Really As Bad As “They” Say? Or Is It The Foreigners Who Come Here With Bad Intentions?

There’s really no other way to explain what I just read by just showing you what I just read – all credit to Ajarn.com, the place where apparently “men” go to lose their feelings and talk about how bad life is here in Thailand.

As an African American, I’m completely appalled at the fact that so many people, of a completely favorable skin-tone, can complain about this country.  I mean, I was turned away at immigration and treated badly at the main dog house in the heart of Bangkok five years ago, I was looked down upon at the border crossing (Sadow) where a family before me went to the window and the lady gave them a proper “why”; however, when I approached the window, she gave me a disparaging look as if I was the worst drug-dealer on the face of planet Earth.  Does this happen to “anglos” here? Absolutely not.

I’m pointing out ethnicities simply because this is what I’ve talked about all long.  Those “whiny bitch parties.”

Without further ado, there’s a little entry thingy on this particular website called the “great escape.”  The man, who doesn’t even need to be mentioned, is the creator of this – telling Native English Speaking teachers who have left Thailand to write an entry on why they left.

This is one of those cases…..

I wasn’t qualified enough as a teacher and the ESL industry in Thailand doesn’t allow for any sort of nurturing or learning of teaching abilities, except in a really cruel and counter-productive manner to the actual idea of teaching.

The way Thailand immigration and work laws are set up simply doesn’t allow for any sort of real growth in teaching or for students learning ESL. I wish I had done my research better and I had more realistic expectations to start with, because it really didn’t end well.

The first job, I got sacked from a high rotation agency for little reason and extremely roughly in a way that went directly against the contract I signed.

Second job was for a school that was little more than a prison for rich boys with an unbelievably toxic bully culture – and they had no curriculum, exam papers or even textbooks. I resigned from that one.

Even the international school I applied for was super wrong. They couldn’t even arrange a demonstration class for me properly and got me to travel back and forth three times before they threw me into a science class to demonstrate an English class I had prepared. Of course I didn’t get the job and I now understand I was set up to look incompetent because they couldn’t be bothered to manage things right.

My self-esteem plummeted and I guess I must have “lost face” with my own partner, with whom I’d arranged to marry after the school year ended. I told her I didn’t believe I was qualified enough (to be honest I don’t think anyone is except for local teachers) to teach in Thailand. We couldn’t realistically keep the same date for marriage so I suggested postponing. She kicked me out – taking my bike and leaving me in a hotel with only what luggage I could carry (after a 3-year relationship).

It’s a terminal issue that goes way beyond me. I met other teachers who were either alcoholics drowning their issues into oblivion, losers, sex pests using the local women for their man-ventures, people running away from their own countries for whatever reason, ditzy backpackers or gap year folk looking for a working holiday (probably the best way to do things), actual teachers who were extremely bitter (for good reason), or good folk who were stuck in relationship quagmires like me. The long-termers all seemed stuck in a toxic situation and all seemed miserable.

I realised that I was contributing to a more ingrained pattern of a toxic education system that is highly budgeted but highly ineffective in teaching English.

I got burnout from teaching and got treated badly by immigration and country in record time, and then everything I had built just fell apart. That could have been a good thing because it could have gotten worse. I saved money from the dowry (for a relationship gone bust) and I have that to get me by back at home.

First of all, how could you rely on immigration to help you with your personal and professional development as a teacher? I mean that’s what “schools” are suppose to provide, right? I mean I’m working at a language center which has declined rapidly because they don’t have development curriculums and classes that teachers can take to improve their teaching capabilities in a particular subject.  This is all because the foreign coordinator — and has nothing to do with the Thai system, immigration, or Thai culture.

The second school he was at where he detailed, “no curriculum, no textbooks, no nothing” is a reasonable find, but I’ve been through those, too.  However, can I just back up the Thais on this one? How about China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia…etc….do they have the same problems? The Australians and British within Thailand always love comparing saying, “back home in England we have such an unbelievable system that prepares students – BLAH BLAH BLAH!” Yeah, and they also have men shoving Africans off subway trains while spewing racial rhetoric.  This “I’m from England; therefore, I’m the greatest man on the planet” nonsense has to stop.

Him losing self-esteem is not because of what he went through, but because he allowed it to happen.  I lost my self-esteem when Thai women shouted racial comments at me on social media.  However, I got it back by taking personal development into my own hands. When he told his partner this, I can tell almost immediately that she was a bargirl.  No girl would kick a man to the curb, take his stuff, and leave him at a hotel.  My guess is again, he was a 40-70-year-old man like I’ve told you about a many of times.

If your is in the wrong place, you’re going to lose the game.  Those foreigners that come here winning the 1st and 2nd quarters will end up losing the game.  I can assure you that.

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/is-thailand-really-as-bad-as-they-say-or

Napoleon Hill: Lesson Fourteen – Tolerance/Intolerance — The Desperation of Help Needed In Thailand

First: Intolerance is a form of ignorance which must be mastered before any form of enduring success may be attained.  It is the chief cause of all wars.  It makes enemies in business and in the professions.  It disintegrates the organized forces of society in a thousand forms and stands, like a might giant, as a barrier to the abolition of war.

Second: Intolerance is the chief disintegrating force in the organized religions of the world, where it plays havoc with the greatest power for good there is on this earth; by breaking up that power into small sects and denominations which spend as much effort opposing each other as they do in destroying the evils of the world.

Now, let’s see how it affects you, the individual.

In my story, I think the lack of patience and not being able to tolerate even the meaningless situations has plagued me.  For instance, living here in Thailand and seeing how customer service is, I give a particular second/minute threshold in getting service.  If I don’t get the right service, or any in general, I will blow up.

In the workplace, we’ve all had that coworker that is “short-tempered” and get’s tense quite easily.  This is because of their tolerance level.

I remember back in 2007 I took the bus twice within the same week and got the same bus driver.  The first time I saw him, he said good morning.  The second time he was extremely agitated; and at one point, I heard him yelling at a passenger.  I heard passengers screaming, “f*** you bus driver!”  People saying, “oh, I think he’s from New York.” LOL!  These were good times, but it goes to show how the tolerance level on particular individuals is not good at all.

Here’s a story from Napoleon Hill’s book….

One day I was introduced to a young man of unusually fine appearance.  His clear eye, his warm hand-clasp, the tone of his voice and the splendid taste with which he was groomed marked him as a young man of the highest intellectual type.  He was of the typical young American college student type, and as I ran my eyes over him, hurriedly studying his personality, as one will naturally do under such circumstances, I observed a Knight of Columbus pin on his vest.

Instantly, I released his hand as if it were a piece of ice!

This was done so quickly that it surprised both him and me.  As I excused myself and started to talk away, I glanced down at the Masonic pin that I wore on my own vest, then took another look at his Knight of Columbus pin, and wondered why a couple of trinkets such as these could dig such a deep chasm between men who knew nothing about each other.

All the remainder of that day I kept thinking of the incident, because it bothered me.  I had always taken considerable pride in the thought that I was tolerance with all men; but here was a spontaneous outburst of intolerance which proved that down in my sub-conscious mind existed a complex that was influencing me toward narrow-mindedness.

This discovery so shocked me that I began a systematic process of psycho-analysis through which I searched into the very depths of my soul for the cause of my rudeness.

“Why did I abruptly release that young man’s hand and turn away from him, when you knew nothing about him?”

This is especially for every Thai in Thailand.  Just yesterday that was a situation where this lady saw me, gave me a dirty look, and walked almost in the opposite direction, twisting her head over her left shoulder to avoid looking at me at all costs.

The same schools in Thailand that get my resume, look at the outstanding experience I have before turning to my photo — seeing that I’m “color” — and plunge my resume into the trash.

Yes, I’m calling out each and every last one of you.  It’s like what’s happening on the roads here in Thailand.  A country that has the highest fatality rate by percentage in the world because Thais now tolerate the stupendously fast-and-furious type driving without any reconciliation.  It’s time to dive in!

Podcast

TOEIC Grammar – Comparatives & Superlatives

 Comparatives and Superlatives

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

one-syllable

hard

-er harder

-est hardest

two-syllable ending in –y early

-er earlier

-est earliest

other two-syllable and long tiring

intelligent

more more tiring

more intelligent

most most tiring

most intelligent

some two-syllable quiet

clever simple

more or –er more quiet

cleverer simpler

most or –est quietest

most clever most simple

Some adjectives have irregular comparatives and superlatives as shown in the following table:

Example: The situation should get better soon. How much further is it?

The new model uses less gas.

+) A lot, much … with comparatives

Before the comparatives of adjectives you can use:
much, a lot, a little, a bit, far, any, no, rather, slightly, and significantly

  • If we leave any later than 5.00, we’ll get caught in rush hour.
  • This task is much more complicated than that one.

 As … as

We use as … as … to say that people or things are equal in some way. Note:

  • as much … as …, as many … as …
    I didn’t get as much money as I hoped.
  • twice/ three times … as … as …
    A US worker is 10 times as expensive as a worker in Mexico.
  • the same … as …
    My hair is the same colour as yours.

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

good

better

best

bad

worse

worst

far

farther/further

farthest/furthest

little

less

least

much

more

most

TOEIC QUESTION

  1. A customer requesting a refund must be prepared to wait __________ 4-6 weeks for the request to be processed.

a. rough

b. rougly

c. rougher

d. roughest

 

YouTube

 

TOEIC – Incomplete Sentences #5 + Podcast + YouTube Video

Welcome back to another edition of incomplete sentences.  If I’m not mistaking, this could be the very first blog I’ve written along with the YouTube video and Podcast for Incomplete Sentences.

Anyhow, here’s a breakdown of gerunds.

Gerunds are verbs in their base form + -ing, e.g. doing. Infinitives are verbs in their base form + to, e.g. to do.

Short Exercise

Match the sentences (a-f) with the rules down below. 

a. That will give us more time to go running.

b. I’d be interested in finding a new pair of shoes.

c. I don’t like doing homework.

d. I think cleaning will change over the next few decades.

e. You use a fridge to keep your food chilled.

f. That’s easy to fix. 

Rules

  1. We use the infinitive/gerund after prepositions (except to)
  2. We use the infinitive/gerund immediately after adjectives.
  3. We use the infinitive/gerund with go to talk about physical activities.
  4. We use the infinitive/gerund after verbs of liking or disliking (except would like).
  5. We use the infinitive/gerund to explain why we do something.
  6. We use the infinitive/gerund as the subject or object of the sentence.

 

TOEIC EXERCISE

  1. Although I advised her to go by train, she decided _____________ instead. 

A) drive     B) to drive     C) driving     D) drove

 

      2. He was out when I called, but the receptionist kindly offered _________ a message for me.

A) to take       B) taken     C) took      D) taking

 

3. It appears that our competitors are considering ____________ our takeover proposal. 

A) to accept     B) accept     C) accepting     D) accepted

 

     4. When buying a new car, it is advisable to __________ the best deal you can find. 

A) go through     B) look for    C) get into     D) fill out

  • If you take a look at the sentence, what verb in the answers is closely related to the word “find?”

 

 5. We are ___________ on you to make a good impression at the conference next month.

A) taking    B) counting    C) putting     D) picking

 

 6. After waiting for more than thirty minutes for my entree to arrive, I asked __________to the manager.

A) speak    B) speaking    C) spoken    D) to speak

 

Podcast Link 

https://www.spreaker.com/e/DNmcCSXeUJ8

 

YouTube Video

TOEFL: Part A – Part I – Incomplete Independent Clauses

For all of my students around the world tuning in to my  YouTube channel and blogs for test preparation help, here’s one on TOEFL.

I know a lot of people view my blogs for a number of things; whether it’s health related articles or personal development.  However, this particular blog is for several PhD students who have asked me to break down the TOEFL (which is widely known test for NES students who are trying to learn abroad) grammar section into small steps.

Because grammar in TOEFL is the same as ACT and SAT (or very near), I’m going to break down each category individually to help you understand the very basics in understanding Structure.

Introduction

This part of the test consists of fifteen incomplete sentences.  Some portion of each sentence has been replaced by a blank, so it’s up to you to figure out which one completes the sentence grammatically and logically.

On top of this, there are five main points tested.

Sentence Structure

  • Incomplete Independent Clauses
  • Independent Adjective clauses
  • Missing Participial Phrases
  • Missing Appositives
  • Adverb Clauses
  • Noun Clauses
  • Missing Prepositional Phrases

The other testing points consist of: word order, verbs & verbals, proper style, and word choice.

In the PDF down below I go over the basic simple, compound and complex sentence structuring along with independent clauses and a couple of examples.  I don’t want too much information overload on the first TOEFL blog, so stay updated for more coming this week. Consider this a warm-up.

TOEFL Part A – Incomplete Independent Clauses

Goitre Thyroid: The Condition That Ravaged The North of Thailand & Foods You Can Put Into Your Diet That Contain Iodine.

So, after having a conversation with one of my students yesterday, I was left terrified – touching my neck to see if I have enlarged thyroid glands.

Years ago in the north of Thailand, the accessibility of salt was scarce.  Salt, for those of you who don’t know, contains iodine.  Have you ever went to the super market and found on shelves *Iodized Salt*?  That’s exactly what I’m here to tell you about.  This deficiency alone affects more than 2 billion people on the planet, scientists say.

Now, in America, this is uncommon dee to the readily available iodine in our diets.  However, in parts of Thailand dating back 20-30 years and still a bit common today….suffers heavily from this.

Goitre Thyroid

This is an enlargement of the thyroid.  A very grotesque looking condition that causes your thyroid to swell up into a small mass that’s the size of a mini soccer ball.  I won’t attach any photos because it makes me want to hurl.

Nonetheless, this condition is uncommon in some parts of the world, but I do want to give you some foods that contain iodine just incase you’re lacking it in your daily diet – and I’m not talking about just table spooning salt down your throat, either.

7 Foods That Contain Iodine

1. Sea Vegetables – Kelp

The ocean hosts the largest amount of iodine foods, including Kelp.  Kelp has the highest amount of iodine of any food on the planet and just one serving offers 4 times the daily minimum requirement. 1 tablespoon of Kelp contains about 2000/mcg of iodine.

I would recommend sprinkling these into soups or salad, even an avocado salad. 🙂

2. Cranberries

This antioxidant rich fruit is another great source of iodine. About 4 ounces of cranberries contain approximately 400/mcg of iodine. I recommend buying fresh organic berries or juice. If you buy cranberry juice from the store, be aware of how much sugar it contains. Obviously those cartons of juice in super markets have stacks upon stacks of sugar, so what could be a very antioxidant rich fruit can turn detrimental.

3. Organic Yogurt

A natural probiotic, yogurt is an excellent iodine food you should add to your diet. One serving holds more than half of your daily needs. 1 cup contains approximately 90/mcg of iodine. Other than yogurt, I will make a blog containing a bunch of probiotic foods that actually even promote your digestive system. Stay tuned!

4. Organic Navy Beans

Many beans are a great food source of iodine and navy beans may top the list. Just 1/2 cup of these beans contain about 32/mcg of iodine. Beans aren’t just an iodine food, they are also incredibly high in finer, which also supports the digestive system.  Navy beans are probably a rare commodity in the households of a lot of people around the world; however, I’m sure there are other beans that have a great source of iodine, too.

5. Organic Strawberries

This tasty red fruit packs up to 10% of your daily iodine needs in just a single serving. One cup of fresh strawberries has approximately 13/mcg of iodine. It’s hard to tell what’s organic and inorganic nowadays, but fresh food markets and places where the prices are normally jacked up houses organic foods.  I know, it’s sad that there are organic food shops which are far more expensive than inorganic food that are full of chemicals.

6. Raw, Organic Cheese

CHEESE! Cheese is high in iodine, along with essential B vitamins, calcium, and protein. Dairy, whether raw or pasteurized, may not be the best choice for some people, especially those with sensitive digestive systems.  Also, most cheese is loaded with sodium, so be aware of what type of cheese you’re buying! I’ll probably have to do a blog on cheese just to steer some of my readers in the right direction.

7. Organic Potatoes

The common potato is an easy addition to most meals and is one of the richest sources of iodine in the vegetable kingdom. Leave the skin on and one medium-sized baked potato holds 60/mcg of iodine. Be sure to get organic only as potatoes tend to suck up pesticides very easily! Scary, I know.  I always LOVED eating baked potatoes with the skin on, so I think I’ve set myself up just because of my earlier years. HA!

If you have any questions or inquiries, don’t hesitate to ask!

Next blog: probiotics!

Podcast – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/10461174