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San Francisco, USA

 

Presidio Heights Development

With CPMC’s California Hospital Campus at 3700 California slated to be shuttered and relocated to the new Van Ness campus, TMG Partners is pushing forward with plans to redevelop the campus at Presidio Heights into residential.

Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the proposed redevelopment will yield 240 units of high-end housing – including 12 new single-family homes, 14 new three-story townhomes and 214 multi-family units – spread across 37 new buildings in the 5-acre site.

3700 California rendering
3700 California rendering
Current CPMC hospital
Current CPMC hospital

How is this relevant to me? My two children were born in this hospital. I remember the morning he arrived. I looked into his curious eyes and felt an instant bonding. Four years later his brother has arrived. In the hospital room, he asked to hold him. I still have a fresh image of him holding the infant on his lap.

So much memories.

2017.04.06 comments

 

Intel Drone

Intel is so longer a semiconductor firm selling microprocessors only. It is going into the commercial drone business. The company will begin selling a heavy-duty drone for industrial use such as as inspecting power lines, construction zones or oil and gas rigs. The market could be worth about $6.6 billion worldwide by 2021.

Intel has created the famed aerial light show using 500 drone synchronized to display light patterns. The spectacle has set a Guinness World Record.

Somehow, when I see all these drones in the sky, I see a vision of Terminator.

2017.04.02 comments

 

Learning to Quit

I have been an avid learner of MOOC courses since this format debut in 2012. It is often said, despite the large number of people signed up, most did not complete the course, that is if they started at all. Few turned in home work or did any required work. Even fewer went through tests and exams. At the end no more than 5% of students would have completed all lectures, home works and exams.

I am in those 5% who made earnest effort in every class. I submitted all work on time, participated in discussions, and generally did well in exams. A good number of the classes I signed up are hard core courses that demand substantial amount of work, include a lot of technical effort like programming and mathematics. I took pride in accomplishing them.

I didn't stop myself at one course at a time. There were so many interesting subjects I often found myself going for two or three courses at the same time. How did I juggle a full time job, parenting two children, and working three courses I didn't know. (Watching lecture videos at 1.5x to 2x speed helped) The effort I have put in I am confident it is enough to earn a bachelor degree or two master degree.

But recently I have let up in my pursuit of MOOC. The number of course I have attended has gone down substantially. I have gone between weeks or months without any classes. There are a variety of reasons but I am not interested to inquire for now.

Mostly recently I have signed to a supply chain management class from MIT. I don't need to use this at work or in practice. But it sounds cool. And it uses mathematical tools like probabilities and calculus. I am interest to see how to apply them for real world problems. It was kind of fun to see the approach to make the best of a supply chain in face of uncertain demand. But now I am two third into the course, I have gotten the main idea. But I also have gotten tire of getting solutions by plugging numbers into formulas. I was busy and the course got tedious. So I did what I have not done before. I decided to quit. I think I have learned enough and it does not worth my effort to do every single exercise there. I have learned it is right for me to quit.

I still skim through the weekly lectures. I watch the introduction and the key points at the end without bother with the tedious work that make up the bulk of the lectures. I have learned that this is the best strategy for me to gain exposure to the subject without bog down by the details. Striving is good. But so is quitting sometimes.

2017.03.22 comments

 

Duck Pond It Is Not

Duck Pond It Is Not

I swear this is not a lake. Look at the tree stumps. They used to be a shaded parkland where we can sit to watch the kids play. Rain runoff has filled up this part of the park, turning it into a swamp. Now ducks have discovered it. They are quite at home in this new pond.

2017.03.06 comments

 

Golden Gate park Half Marathon

So I completed my first half marathon yesterday from the Golden Gate park, along with other 5,000 participants. I got a blister a few days before the race. And I was anxiously checking an impending storm forecast to hit on the day. None of this has affected it. It was a fabulous day. The weather was great the energy was superb. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Was it about the journey or the destination? Perhaps it was just the moment. About two third of the way, we descended from the park to the Ocean Beach. The runners were spread out on the wide Great Highway. By that time the lead runner has already reached the finish line. I was still going strong. Running along the Pacific Ocean, the surf was hitting the beach incessantly. The white noise from the waves were all I can hear. The sky was covered with ripple of cloud, where the sun was trying to breaking through. It was hours before the storm was to hit. I kept running and running and felt elated from the movement under the open sky.

2017.02.06 comments

 

Sundance notes 4

I had an awesome last day in Sundance, watching three award winning films back to back.

Tarik Saleh's The Nile Hilton Incident is an Egyptian film noir. Cop Noredin was investigating a murdered in an hotel. It quickly became complicated when it implicated an important businessman and politician in the country. The corrupted police office made sure it was a no go. All people involved, from a pimp to innocent witness found their life in danger. This tense thriller happened in the backdrop of turmoil of Arab spring in Cairo.

I probably wouldn't have picked up Dan Sickles's Dina by myself. But it turned out to be a sweet documentary about two a middle aged couple. Both of them are poor and have some degree of developmental disability. The crew followed them when the decided to get engaged and later married. Two unsexy middle aged people is not going to be very photogenic on screen. Still it is inspiring to see how they deal with life and their marital issues.

I Dont Feel At Home In This World Anymore
I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore

The Grand Jury Prize went to Macon Blair's I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore. It is an absolutely brilliant film. Nurse Ruth already had a bad day. Then she came home and found it burglarized. When police did not act on the information she found, she went with her quirky neighbor to retrieve the stolen objects on their own. The result is an unpredictable adventure that is at the same time hilarious and brutal. Macon is a genius in the style of Quentin Tarantino. This is my top film from the festival.

2017.01.29 comments

 

Sundance notes 1

Really excited to be in the Sundance festival for the first time. I saw some good movies and met a bunch of people. Here are some of my notes

Sundance 2017
Sundance 2017

The first event I've attended was a writer's panel. There were a number of accomplished writers and directors. One of them was Gina Brice-Bythewood, whose film "Beyond the lights" is one of my recent favorite. The theme was writing TV episodes. For the longest time I have not paid much attention to TV. I thought they were lesser work compare to feature film and they were low quality stuff for mass consumption. But some writers actually prefer that because they are in longer format and have more space for character development and creativity. This reminds me I have really enjoyed some European TV series like "Borgen" and "The best of youth" greatly. From now on I should seek out TV drama more.

One of the panelist Marti Noxon noted a dysfunctional family background is a fertile source of inspiration. She made a good point in a clip of a martial squabble with a lot of tension.

In the evening I got a free ticket for Novitiate, about a young woman want to devote her life to become a nun in a convent. I am really a fan of Christian theology. I thought I will hate the movie. Instead the movie gave me insight into their state of mind. The young ladies were turning their back to ordinary life for their ideal, to live their entire life devote to Jesus. To be accepted by the convent they have to live their life according to strict order and traditions.

Interestingly I resonated with them to some extend. I have elected to join a Buddhist Monastery for a week. We actually shared quite a few things. We arose by early morning bell at 4 or 5 to start religious practice. There were a lot of attention for a period of silence for inner reflection. There are ritual that might seem odd, but you practice without question nevertheless just because it is an institution evolve over hundreds of years.

And for these young women, there were also normal human feeling, one that is completely counter to the order of the convent that have no way to express and have great difficulty to handle at all.

2017.01.28 comments

 

Presidio Run

Today I made another long run in Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge. There are so many wonderful sights on way, it is just magical! I ran by Andy Goldsworthy's Wood Line. I love love love this sinuous log line emerged in the forest! Then it was the Yoda statue. Fans have setup a impromptu memorial for the just departed Carrie Fisher by the fountain. From there it headed down to the beautiful lagoon at the Palace of the Fine Arts. Then the open air by the shoreline in Crissy Field. Then climbed up the giant bridge structure and crossed the water of the beautiful bay. It returned by the scenic cliff side trail on the Pacific coast. Finally back to the wood to another sculpture of Andy Goldsworthy - the Spire. The 10.5 miles loop has to be one of the best trail in the world!

Tribute to Carrie Fisher
May the peace be with you
Fans pay tribute to Carrie Fisher

It rained though. The half Marathon I am training for is in February. So there is a chance it might rain that day as it is in the rainy season. I might as well get some practice now. Fortunately it was only some scatter showers. There were muddy puddles to jump through and misty spray hit us on the bridge by passing trucks. But there was also some clear sky that was just so gorgeous to see.

There were some hills at the end. I could still run. But climbing hills of any grade became a challenge. I worried I might hurt my ankle if I pushed for it. So I walked most of the slopes instead. This is the longest run I have done thus far. I was pretty drained but in high spirit after this great run.

2017.01.02 comments

 

Book Reading Log

Recently I have noticed I was reading five books at the same time. So I decided to track how I was doing with them. Everyday I logged down the pages I have read. After one and half month, the progress is shown in the chart below. [more...]

2016.12.26 comments

 

Nine Lakes of The Golden Gate Park

The Golden Gate Park is beloved of its museums, sports fields, lawns and forests. Not as well known is that it is dotted with a string of lakes. In all I have counted nine lakes of significant size. I have decided to visit them all today in my run. Each of them was pictured below. [more...]

2016.12.25 comments

 

Midday Adventure

After lunch, I went to Tilly's coffee shop, one of my favorite spot in the neighborhood. The atmosphere in the Sunday afternoon was very relaxing. I sat next to a young couple who were studying with their computer. Most other people, there were a few older ones, were just sitting and passing time. I was supposed to work on the homework assignment for my writing class tomorrow. Instead I found myself browsing on the computer, reading news, and commenting on Internet forum. Before long I have emptied my drink. I was disappointed that I still have not written a single word. Resigned, I packed up and headed to grocery shopping before returning home. [more...]

2016.12.19 comments

 

Frost in SF

Frosty car Frosty car

What the heck? I don't expect these frost in San Francisco. [more...]

2016.12.18 comments

 

Tipped Uber Driver

After using Uber for three years, this is the first time I have tipped a driver. I was making a trip from Berkeley to San Francisco. The quote was ten dollars for UberPOOL or twenty something for a regular Uber. I didn't understand how the pool fare can be less than half of the full fare. But it sounded like an easy choice for me. Just the bridge toll would have been five dollars, which I wasn't even charged for after I reviewed my bill. [more...]

2016.11.30 comments

 

Golden Gate Bridge Run

My 8 mile run to Golden Gate Bridge and back today. It is a gorgeous route with some hills in Presidio. Add another 7 miles round trip of bike ride from my home to the starting point. [more...]

2016.11.25 comments

 

Elon Musk wants to die on Mars

This issue's National Geographic is about Mars exploration. Elon Musk himself is advancing the effort with his company SpaceX. He reportedly said he wants to die on Mars. [more...]

2016.11.20 comments

 

Cheers City Car Share

Anyone remember these green Volkswagen Beetle? Back in 2001 City Car Share began one of the first car sharing operation in United States, starting with a fleet of green Beetles. People paid an annual fee so that they can rent the car by hour, picking up and returning to a designated spot. I have joined in 2004, just as they were phrasing out the green Beetles and replacing them with a wide selection of cars. Let me tell you the Volkswagen Beetle is a terrible car. There was a good reason that this iconic fleet didn't last. [more...]

2016.11.19 comments

 

System and compressed memory high CPU usage [solved]

A few months ago I have a upgraded to new laptop Lenovo T450s with Windows 10. Usually after a new years, the old computer feels old and slow and a new computer gives you an instant boost. It did not work out so well this time. The shiny new laptop actually feels lot more sluggish than my old one??? [more...]

2016.11.04 comments

 

City By The Bay

After roaming on the road for 15 hours and reached four different states, we were at the end of our journey. The bus came out of the tunnel, riding high on the bridge deck overlooking the blue water below. The skyline of San Francisco has emerged in front of us. People brought out their cameras to snap pictures. I was excited to show off famous landmarks to the international tourists on board, "this is the famous prison island Alcatraz, that is the ferry building, ..." The silhouette of Golden Gate Bridge was in the background, wearing a sheer layer of fog at the time. The weather was perfect. Above of us was blue sky and below was glittering sea. Seeing the high rises on the shore has brought out a sense of excitement in us. [more...]

2016.10.16 comments

 

City By The Bay

City By The Bay

2016.10.09 comments

 

Climate change law has reshaped California in 10 years

10 years after then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the climate change bill AB32, SF Chronicle has published an article to review the progress. Renewable energy has make a remarkable stride in the last decade. Mostly boosted by solar and wind, they have doubled the contribution to about a quarter of the power mix. They have delivered all their promises and then more. [more...]

2016.10.01 comments

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Egypt Coptic Christians killed in bus attack (26 May 2017)

 

G7 summit agrees on countering terrorism but not climate change (26 May 2017)

 

'Progress' in Manchester bomb inquiry (26 May 2017)

 

Germany vaccination: Fines plan as measles cases rise (26 May 2017)

 

What's the French for 'bromance'? (26 May 2017)

 

Wonder Woman women-only screenings in Texas spark row (26 May 2017)

 

Sri Lanka floods: Scores die as monsoon triggers mudslides (26 May 2017)

 

Disney's Bob Iger says the film hack threat was a hoax (26 May 2017)

 

UK achieves solar power record as temperatures soar (26 May 2017)

 

Teacher disciplined over 'most likely to become a terrorist' award (26 May 2017)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

Bay Area News (7 Jan 2012)

 

City Insider (11 Feb 2012)

 

Crime Scene (13 Feb 2012)

 

C.W Newius Column (10 Jan 2012)

 

C.W. Nevius Blog (11 Feb 2012)

 

Education News (10 Jan 2012)

 

KALW (11 Feb 2012)

 

Matier and Ross Blog (11 Feb 2012)

 

Lights out! Eclipse to cut solar power in California (25 May 2017)

 

Jury rules with UC Davis in fight over strawberries (25 May 2017)

 

Business News Roundup, May 26 (25 May 2017)

 

Harassment lawsuit against Monsieur Benjamin, former worker (25 May 2017)

 

Partial eclipse of the heat; Switch helps Best Buy (25 May 2017)

 

Lawsuit alleges GM cheated on diesel pickup truck emissions (25 May 2017)

more »

 


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