Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the eggling pt. 5

not only has our little eggling found a nice cosy place to call home, it's also got a new friend!

in fact, these egglings are twins, who were unfortunately separated at birth. but today they are reunited again!!

you may be wondering, if these are twins, why is one so big, and the other looks either newborn or just plain dead. well, if you did wonder that, you've just earned your "observation badge" for the year.

the truth is, the other twin came from a very dark household (literally, not much sun). but after only a few days here, reunited, there's signs of progress and hope.

Monday, July 19, 2010

the eggling pt. 4

it's one week later and we* have successfully moved, and the eggling is settling in nicely.

lots of afternoon sun allow the eggling to sleep in, and bask after lunchtime.

the eggling's leaves are really starting to branch out and create a nice full plantlike shape

just look at that color! i'm such a proud parent.

*we = me + eggling

Saturday, July 17, 2010

current state

panoramic picture taken one week after move in (click for full size).

road master pro tour

i've been riding bikes ever since i was a little kid. and i hated it. my first bike was yellow, and i must have asked my dad 1,000 times to raise the pedals on the bike. when i’d turn/lean and pedal, the pedals would scrape the ground.

later on, in middle school and early high school i'd have to ride my bike to my friend's house if i wanted to play. everyone else would get rides in cars with air conditioning from moms or older car driving brothers. getting my driver’s license was not only a moment of transit freedom, it was also a goodbye to my pedal powered nemesis.

then in college miraculously bikes were cool again! cars cost money to park, run, maintain, and bikes could get you to a friend’s dorm or an apartment party much faster. most of the guys in my dorm followed my lead and purchased bmx bikes like the one i had. since i had experience owning and working on bikes, i was the dorm go-to guy for a quick tune up, flat change, or even a new paint job. no other dorm had so many bikes in top condition at all times.

one dark night my yellow bmx was stolen, and i haven't had a bike since. i was crushed, but it happened just as i moved 15 miles away from campus. not too long after it was stolen my bike would have simply taken up storage space in my new apartment. a word from the experienced: use a u-Lock. cable locks can be cut through with a simple hacksaw, chain link locks can be snipped with bolt cutters. it takes the power of a small car jack to bust open a u-lock. my yellow bmx was just chained.

to sum up my bike background, i’ve disliked owning and riding bikes (aside from a small stint in the college dorms).

fast forward to the present day. one week ago i moved to the mission district (link). the mission has a reputation as being the hipster neighborhood. and one thing that comes with hipsters are their bikes. i figured when in rome you realize that it wasn’t built in a day, so when in the mission you accept your mission and get a bike.

after a few days cruising craigslist’s bikes for sale, i got a pretty good idea what was out there. my decision would be between a bmx, road, mountain, or hybrid bike. a hybrid is a mix between a road and a mountain bike.

bmx bike – small and portable, cheap and rather abundant. plenty available at $40-$70.
road bike – the most expensive yet the most desirable. $100-$1,500.
mountain bike – the most abundant, the least cool, and they are big.
hybrid – almost as costly as the road bike but didn’t see many listed.

i continued my craigslist combing for 3-4 weeks, and developed two requirements for my soon-to-be-bike, i decided to find a bike that is 100% functional yet cost me <$50.

on july 15th it showed up. 40miles away, a fresh grad from berkeley was looking to clear some space out of his trailer park home. he posted two pics and two sentences about the bike, and that was all it took to grab my attention.

actual listing:
Road Master Pro Tour for sale - $35
I bought this one to ride in my school few years ago from another owner; however, in the end, I didn't ride it at all.

I will also throw in a free master lock ( U shape).
Just want to get rid of this junk out of my house. No low baller plz. Pick up only

i emailed him promptly. within a few minutes, he replied, and a time was setup to see the bike. he then took the craigslist listing down, as he was being overwhelmed with responses of people wanting to buy the bike. i was the lucky first to reply!

his name was phat, hey he was vietnamese, and he had just graduated from berkeley school of engineering with a mechanical engineering degree! what do you know, same as me (except uc irvine is no uc berkeley)

as i pulled up to his driveway i noticed that he was a very smiley fellow. we exchanged greetings and headed towards the bike. i rode it up and down the streets, and could tell that with a few adjustments this bike would run tip top. he said he just wanted to get rid of it because it’s been sitting for a while.

in random conversation i told him that i too hold a mechanical engineering degree. he asked me where i worked, and i told him a bank. “but i used to work in aerospace down in los angeles!” he said he'd been job hunting for 2 months (since graduation), and was getting nowhere. i could tell he was a bit beat up by the job search. i know his struggle. i assured him that something would come up, and that with his engineering degree he could do more than be an engineer.

i didn't have $35 dollars exactly, so i handed him $40 and told him "since i didn't bring 35 dollars exactly, will you take $40 for the bike and u-lock?" he smiled yet again and we went our ways.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

watching the world cup to boot

Saturday, July 10, 2010

1520 C to 65 307

Thursday, July 8, 2010

the eggling pt. 3

here we are at day 30. the eggling is doing great.

they say plants like music, and so far ray hasn't moved from the top of my left speaker.

i'll be moving in a few days, hopefully ray will be okay with the move, and find a nice place for ray to live.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


i was never into comics, or comic culture. but a friend of mine is, and he loves to write. i love to doodle. so we combined forces for 30mins the other day and this is what we came up with. it's a very rough piece of strip, but proves that we can do something.

Friday, July 2, 2010

i'm a self machine

"i saw the mirror staring back at me,
and it told me i'm a self machine"

there's something about this song that i just can't get enough of. i blame coco is apparently sting's 19yo daughter. after la roux got a hold of the original and sprinkled some magic on the track, i've been hopelessly hooked.

i blame coco - self machine (la roux remix) right click to save-as if you want the .mp3

lately i've been feeling a lot like a self machine. i'm not even sure what that means, but it sounds right for the situation. machines don't feel, they just "take in information, process it, and produce an output". having no feelings means no irrational fears, or apprehension, or anxieties. unfortunately it also means no enjoyment, happiness feelings, or excitement.

for me, self machine actions are faced around dealing with changes. change is definite, but it's not always easy. even if the change is something that you've been wanting, and yearning for, change can be scary. somehow it's in our nature to find comfort in the reliably predictable future, and experience discomfort, anxiety, and fear in the unpredictable and unknown future. i suppose this is why people stay in crappy relationships, jobs, homes, cities, and so on.

in the past i've taken pride in the fact that i face my changes head on, and that i am one who can recognize when it's time to initiate the move from an unsatisfying situation. however, as i reflect back, i haven't quite been that person. i look back and see situations still existing today that require some change. but i've sat on them, and hid in the safety net of being able to predict what would happen next, even if it was a situation i dislik(ed). i am proud as to how far i've come, and what i've accomplished, but i am not content, yet. i want to continue on my path, i want more. which requires change.

i've realized that it's time to make some changes. as tough as making changes can be, and as scary as it can feel, there's no other way to make things better than they are right now. the biggest of these changes is where i spend 80% of my time, home. in one week i'll be moving across town. google maps says i'm moving 4.8 miles, and 18mins away from where i currently am. what's so scary about that?

where i'm moving to there will be far less fog and wind. the walkscore of my residence will jump from 78 to 97! i'll go from living with 2 other people in a three bed two bath apartment to living alone in a one bedroom one bathroom apartment. and my rent will be close to double of what i pay now. i guess you take the good with the bad.

as i move through these changes i find myself making decisions like a machine. decisions where i could weight out just how i feel, and what i think, and toss in how scared i am of the risk that things could turn out in the worst possible scenario imaginable. but instead something takes over me, and i "take in information, process it, and produce an output".

sometimes i snap out of it, and find myself in knee deep in transition. it feels almost as if i've just woken up from a sleepwalk. woah, how did i get here? a second ago i was nowhere near where i am now, but i guess i'm on the path to what i want so i mine as well keep on going.

"I’m not a human if you say I’m not
I’m not a human if my engines lock
And this motor that you call my heart
Is another machine that wont stop"