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San Francisco, USA

 

2017 SF Marathon

5am on Embarcadero, the still dark boulevard was bustling with athletics preparing for the run. It took 30 minutes for my middle wave to propagate to the starting line. There the bell ringer ringed the ceremonial cable car bell. Ding. Ding. Ding. Off we go.

We filled the familiar San Francisco streets and waterfront, overran the hill by Fort Mason, passed the Philz Coffe truck that was already opened in Marina Green. Then we scaled the hill that lead to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was fog shrouded, completely fog shrouded. While we were running on the windy bridge deck, the fog horn was blowing the deep deep sound below. Just another day at the Golden Gate. And this day I was running on it.

We went pass the residentals in Richmond and arrived at the Golden Gate Park. Here we splitted up with our half Marathon friends. The atmosphere changed a good deal. Now people had thinned out with only half as many runners going down a much wider road. Tall trees flanked both side of the road still shrouded in fog. It was tranquil and peaceful. It was magical.

As we returned to the city streets, the sun had finally broken through. People gathered on the street to cheer the runners. There were band stands. Some people offer few drink to runners. I had high fived at least fifteen people along the way. It was such a festival. Their encouragement helped me to squeeze my last bit of reserve. I kept going and made it to the finish line.

2017 SF Marathon

Big thanks for RUN365 for organizing the training. And big thanks to the coaches and pacers. It was such a wonderful experience to run with you in the last few months.

2017.07.29 comments

 

Street life abound in Mandalay, so long if you aren't killed by traffic

I have taken a short walk in the streets of Mandalay. The busy street were full of activities. Open air food stalls are all over the place well liked by locals. The streets are lined with all kinds of small businesses. Motorcycles crisscross the streets carrying people to all the places.

Choked Street in Mandalay

There was a problem though. I have not been to any city where walking is as aggravating as in Mandalay. There are no connected sidewalk in Mandalay. People there freely use the sidewalk space as their front yard, blocking it for storage, parking, market stalls, setting restaurant tables or simply walling it off. The encroachment extend well into the road. The picture shows how difficult walking can be. A red car freely parked mid street next to the vendor, further constricting the already choked road. Be very careful to walk around them, because motorcycles can come from anywhere! I was quite challenged by how to proceed forward from there.

Yangon Street

Yangon is a much more lovely city in comparison. It is lot more populous than Mandalay. But the old town is quite nice to walk. The food vendors are operating in a space that enhance the street life rather than cutting off access.

Soccer on Mandalay Street

People adapted to their way of life. Perhaps I was overly agitated by the difference? I walked by a group of teenagers who were literally using the busy street as their football field. They were setting up goal post out there, running around and shooting the ball, oblivious to passing traffic. I did not witness anyone getting knock down. Yes, there were a lot of honking from cars and motorcycles. But they always managed to miss each other. People survive somehow.

2017.06.14 comments

 

Sleeping in hotel

When I go to vacation, I usually packed the days with activities. I spend all these time and money to go to a faraway places, I want to make the most of my time. I usually use the hotel mainly for sleeping.

This morning I woke up at 6am to run. I covered 15 miles. When I returned to the hotel it was only 11am. I was so tired I took a bath and then slept for an hour and didn't care for other things. Damn it, I paid for this resort-y hotel I am allowed to sleep in!

2017.06.09 comments

 

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. [more...]

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 [more...]

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! [more...]

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

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Barcelona attack: Van driver shot dead by police (21 Aug 2017)

 

Solar eclipse 2017: Americans gaze at sky spectacular (21 Aug 2017)

 

Trump to unveil Afghanistan war strategy (21 Aug 2017)

 

Solar eclipse: The day the US went dark (21 Aug 2017)

 

Kim Wall: Torso found amid search for submarine journalist (21 Aug 2017)

 

Gustavo Dudamel: Venezuela star conductor's tour cancelled (21 Aug 2017)

 

Men in South Africa court on cannibalism charges (21 Aug 2017)

 

Earthquake on Ischia leaves at least one dead and 25 injured (21 Aug 2017)

 

Libya crisis: Benghazi shootings video mars 'victory' (21 Aug 2017)

 

Ambushed Ohio judge shoots gunman dead outside court (21 Aug 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)

 

California power grid survives solar eclipse unscathed (21 Aug 2017)

 

CA officials: Grid is fine despite loss of solar power (21 Aug 2017)

 

Best action camcorders (20 Aug 2017)

 

Chinese video game rakes in cash, draws young rule breakers (20 Aug 2017)

 

Evidence of a toxic environment for women in economics (20 Aug 2017)

 

To fit into Silicon Valley, wear these wool shoes (20 Aug 2017)

more »

 


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