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San Francisco, USA

 

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.

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.

electric bike

That was until I found this e-bike kit for as low as $700. Then I jumped on it. I took me two week to receive my order and properly installed it. Now I have an electric assisted bike! My power is doubled!

My reservation that I am going to get less exercise turned out to be unwarranted. I sweat just as much if not more with this bike. It has greatly expand my range beyond the two miles radius I had usually confined to. Rather than relaxing, I pushed the performance two level up and pumped just as hard but at a higher speed. It is now practical to travel around much of the city by bike and it is not much slower than by car.

The economic 250W motor is consider a lite electric motor. It can go to about 15mph on a flat. This is already faster than my sustained speed. It won't go up a steep hill on its own. I have to work together with it. I think this amount of power boost is just what I need. I want to bike myself and get some assistance on hills and from dead stop, not wanting the motor to do all the work.

After one week, I have learned to harness its power better. Next maybe I should reconsider my riding style, just try let the motor run more and save myself some sweat.

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.

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.

The standard practice is to use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), i.e. Greenwich Mean Time. So everyone across the globe has a reference to the same standard time. Having a standard reference is great for computer system. But for us software engineers it is another quantity to juggle with. I often have to track time across systems. If the system responses something like 14:22, it is still hard to make sense of. Is it this afternoon? This morning? Or sometime in the future? Translating between local time and UTC is often necessity for me. But it is much harder to do mentally compares to, say translating between metrics and imperial unit.

One tip is I added a clock of Reykjavik, Iceland time on my cellphone. Iceland time happens to match UTC and Icelanders do not mess with daylight saving time. This gives me a easy read of current UTC time (8pm now, which is 1pm San Francisco time.)

I have a colleague who argues strongly that the entire world should adopt UTC time in actual daily use and do away with time zone. Standardization is probably very important for him. How practical is this for regular people? To this I said, let's have a meeting at 1am, UTC time (it is 6pm for your reference).

2016.09.08 comments

 

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