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San Francisco, USA

 

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.

Book Reading Log 2016
Book Reading Log 2016

In this period I have completed six books and started four. Right now there are three books in flight. This is very solid progress. In the entire years of 2016, it looks like I have read 20 books. Notice some lines in the chart shoot straight up while others are flatter. The rocket like lines are library books that I often have to complete in three weeks of loan period!

The other question arises. Why don't I read one book at a time instead of moving on multiple books? This is a good question. I think I might suffer from some ADHD problem and multi-task too much. Let's see if I can change that.

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.

Elk Glen Lake

The first one was Elk Glen Lake. It was looking good in the afternoon light.

Metson Lake

The smallish Metson Lake along Middle Drive.

Mallard lake

You might have driven past Mallard lake without noticing this brown body of water.

South Lake

South Lake, the first of three in the Chain of Lakes.

Middle Lake

Middle Lake was choked by reeds.

North Lake

North Lake, it looks best in the morning fog.

Spreckels Lake

Spreckels Lake is popular for model boats. There wasn't any today though.

Lloyd Lake

Lloyd Lake, I love its exquisite portal.

Stow Lake

The largest and the most well known is the Stow lake on the East side.

Above is my route of about 8 miles hitting each lake in the Golden Gate Park.

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.

On my way I passed through the Golden Gate Park. Sunday was always a popular time. It was such a beautiful place where many visitors were coming to see and enjoy. Right next to me was the lush and charming respite of the Botanical Garden. Why didn't I stop by for a short walk?

I went inside and walked pass the central lawn and the grand fountain. The green open space was as lovely as ever in this overcast day. But I really wanted to check out some spots on the peripheral that I had not seen before. I followed the sign pointing away from the main area. California natives and redwoods, sounds interesting to me. I followed the path, which turned and turned and led me down to a dale. Wait, this looked familiar. I thought I have gone down this path before. On the other hand, the dirt path on the left, led to a different place.

I entered the wood via the trail. The path was wet after a few days of rain. I stepped on the dark mulch and water was oozing under my feet. After a short climb, I exited the woods. This was a hidden part of the garden I have not seen before. A tree stood in front of me. All its leaves have turned into golden color, making it stand out from the green background. Fallen leaves blanketed the quiet path in yellow. Gingko tree this is, says the information sign. Under the trees were a few pieces of rocks. Thick mosses, soft like velvet cover, wrapped the rock completely. Next to it is a stone path. I followed it and wandered away.

Soon it led me to a bamboo forest. A meandering path cut through the bamboo grove. Or were they planted this way originally to allow people to walk inside? Either way, I immersed myself inside this green darkness, feeling the meditative atmosphere inside.

The bamboo forest gave way to an open area. There was a wild meadow. In front of it was a small pond obscured by tall grasses. In a distance, the canopy of Monterey Cypress rises high up in sky. It felt like I was in a wild country somewhere. I was positively lost by then, not knowing the location or the orientation. The California natives and redwoods that I was coming for, I have never found out where they are. Instead I ended up in an unknown country.

I awoke from the serentiy to the siren sounds from an emergency vehicle speeding by. It was a clue that I was situated close to the heavily trafficked Lincoln way just behind the wall of trees. A reminder that I was in the middle of a big city.

Feeling properly rejuvenated, I have found my way back out and continued on my grocery trip.

2016.12.19 comments

 

Frost in SF

Frosty car Frosty car

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

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.

I had a casual discussion with the driver. He believed he will get 80% of the ten dollars for this trip. I thought he misunderstood. He should have gotten 80% of the full fare while Uber get the sum of from all the POOL riders. On this particular trip, I was the only one. So the company would have lost money because it was too optimistic and quoted the price too low. In any case, ten dollars just seemed too good to be true. I decided to share my good fortune and handed him a five dollar tips at the end of the trip. This was the first time I tipped. I felt happy for it.

This morning I had an embarrassing incident. I have boarded a bus to go to work. I put my wallet against the clipper card reader and anticipated it to beep. It didn't. It dawned on me that I have taken out the clipper card last night and must have forgotten to put it back into the wallet. Guess I had to pay cash then. I found an one dollar bill, a bunch of coins, most of them nickels. I kept counting and counting and scrambling to come up with the 2.25 fare. Seeing my awkward moves, the gentlement standing next to me just handed me an one dollar bill. He saved my day. There was probably some good karma at play.

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.

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.

I am a lot less interested in Sci Fi these days compares to when I was a child. The idea of colonizing Mars no longer excites me. Suppose our earth is too ruined or too full that some people want to move to Mars? But is our earth really too full?

Mars Colony
Mars Colony

What if instead of Mars, we create a new colony on some remote and barely inhibited places on Earth? Let's say the South Georgia Island. There are a population of mere 30. With the resources for Mar Exploration it can easily buy them out and put them into some nice apartments in London. Then you have the whole island to do whatever you want.

South Georgia's land mass is unfortunately fairly small. How about we find some places in Alaska? Given the history of manifest destiny, I'd think the United State government will be quite open for people to settle in remote areas in Alaska. Beyond Alaska, there are plenty of land available in Kamchatka, Siberia, etc.

You many protest that these places are barely inhibited because they are terribly harsh for human. Yeah, the sea is ice-locked in the winter (if it is a warm water port Russia definitely won't it give away). But could we trust the SpaceX engineers to figure something out, couldn't we? If they are good enough to send cargo to space they should be good enough to send stuff to the Arctic. Perhaps some places do not have enough water to support a large population. I don't know how do you get water on Mars. But here on earth we have the ocean and we have the technology for desalination. It is costly perhaps, but a proven technology. However horrible is a piece of land on earth, it is really a heaven compares to Mars.

Better still, if the colony does not work out, you can easily back out. Why die on Mars when you can return home?

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

 

My Appearance in a Giants Game

Boat in Giants Game

I went for rowing this Tuesday. We rowed into McCovey Cove while a Giants games was going on. The camera man took interest in our boat and put us on the screen in the ball park. I was behind the steer man in this picture, at the second oar on the left. It was a fun sport and I got a good workout that night. [more...]

2016.09.29 comments

 

The Electric Man

I have had this cargo bike for two years. It seats two kids on the back easily. When I was initially offered an electric drive option I have declined because it doubles the price. I managed to haul them around in the neighborhood, crawling up hills when I have to, all on the power of my own legs. I was so good I wouldn't need electric assistance. [more...]

2016.09.18 comments

 

San Francisco Opera


On my way home, I caught sight of this giant 10 story tent erected on the Golden Gate Park. Turned out it was San Francisco Opera's free performance in the Park. I have to stopped to listen to it. I sat on the lawn to enjoy the wonderful music in this good if not a little bit chilly afternoon. [more...]

2016.09.14 comments

 

Las Vegas Dream

Las Vegas Dream
Las Vegas at night
radiating heat

come to the throbbing music
gaze at the dancing lights

handsome people swarm in
hobnob with fellows
Brazilian beauties turn up
in dazzling dresses

bursts of laughter
after
rounds of cocktail

we gather at the temple
of sensualities
under the monuments
those lights are as bright
as the sun

Las Vegas
dream the world away

2016.09.10 comments

 

Let's meet at 1am

My work needs me to setup computer system to work across the globe. A key issue is to have a common time reference. This gets tricky because of time zone. Just saying 12pm is imprecise. Which time zone is 12pm reference to? Is it 12pm in San Francisco? Or 12pm in London? Another complication is day light saving adjustment, which make time measure more irregular. [more...]

2016.09.08 comments

 

Will Silicon Valley remain the stronghold for innovation

My attempt to answer the question in Quora about Will Silicon Valley remain the stronghold for innovation. Basically I try to demolish the idea that other people will catchup naturally. [more...]

2016.08.07 comments

 

Santa Monica Night Photos

One night I was walking around and taking some random picture in Santa Monica. After a few accidental mistakes, I found it fun to take pictures without aiming for clear and sharp focus. These are a few that I like. [more...]

2016.07.10 comments

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Trump worries Nato with 'obsolete' comment (16 Jan 2017)

 

Orlando Pulse nightclub: Gunman's wife arrested (16 Jan 2017)

 

Ice crack to put UK Antarctic base in shut-down (16 Jan 2017)

 

Kyrgyzstan plane crash: Dozens die as Turkish cargo jet hits homes (16 Jan 2017)

 

'I'm allergic to my husband' (16 Jan 2017)

 

Iconic Piccadilly lights turned off for site renovations (16 Jan 2017)

 

Trump-Lewis row: Democrat inauguration boycott grows (16 Jan 2017)

 

N Ireland snap election called for March (16 Jan 2017)

 

Tunisia attack: British lives could have been saved (16 Jan 2017)

 

Mexico BPM music festival: Gunman opens fire at club (16 Jan 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)

 

6 Home Items You Should Never, Ever Buy on Amazon (16 Jan 2017)

 

Buzzfeed dubs Whataburger better than In-N-Out, Shake Shack (15 Jan 2017)

 

Testing wearable sensors as ‘check engine’ light for health (15 Jan 2017)

 

For young entrepreneurs, college debts can snuff out startup hopes (15 Jan 2017)

 

Best tablets under (15 Jan 2017)

 

Aerospace firms start recruiting in prekindergarten (14 Jan 2017)

more »

 


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