Monday, February 26, 2007

the cost of taekwondo

i just bought my tickets to collegiate nationals (march 29 - april 1) and portland qualifiers (april 14 - april 16.) total, it cost me $630. Which is about what i expected, and I think i got lucky because as i was filling out my form for the $400 ticket to college station, middle of nowhere, texas, the prices on increased, and even the direct price from continental airlines was at least $430. only problem is i'll have to take extra vacation because nothing else would get me there on time for weighins.

hotels will be thanking me, too, since i have that extra night (thurs night) in texas and the extra night (sunday night, april 15) in portland. i have to get to the airport for a 6:15 flight monday morning so i can kill myself at the office for a whole new week. maybe there's some way to sleep in the airport instead? with all the recent delays and such, no one will bother me if i sleep on a bench.

this got me to thinking about how much taekwondo is worth. aside from the intangible and priceless experiences that you get out of competition, being part of a team, seeing your friends and girlfriend, the way it's been so far has put the value of each match to about $500. that's $500 for six minutes of kicking and getting kicked by somebody. this includes, of course, the airfare, hotel fees, competition registration fees. this doesn't necessarily include other things that are "good", such as disneyworld tickets and binge eating the night after competition. and this is also based on the worst case and very pessimistic scenario that one would only last a single round in each competition.

but then again you look at the BIGGER picture. say you go to 10 major taekwondo competitions a year, which is a pretty large number of major competitions. That only costs $5000, over the course of a year. many other things easily cost more than that, such as gas (a $30 refill every 2 days), alcohol and drugs (140 750ml bottles of grey goose or 83 ounces of cannibis, without bulk discount), FOOD (one $96 restaurant meal per week.) and although that has just made me very depressed on what alternative lavish lifestyles i could be enjoying, i think that in the end when you graduate from college and have a nice cushy job it isn't worth your time to cry over a ticket.

i still wish there was some sort of rewards program that combines ALL of your airline miles, because i don't think i get the recognition i deserve from all the evil airlines that are sucking up my money.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

the new and the old

it's been a week since us open. my life is slowly unraveling as i saw it - once the pressure of tournament is gone, there is very little for me to hang on to. my attentions have changed from the draconian health conscientiousness of an anorexic athlete to the listness ennui of a middle income noveau socialite. that means, instead of having a goal to achieve (but sacrificing every other aspect of my life) now i have a life to live and lots of free time, but no good way to live it.

instead i have gone back to drinking lots of beer and eating food, and looking for entertainment rather than scheduling training. to the layman that sounds just fine. but really to me it's a directionless life, especially when entertainment means either playing stupid games on the computer or sleeping and letting the weekend drift by. of course you need that once in a while but not all the time.

i even went out job hunting. this was my original plan - to take up some time i'd get a second job bartending, and thus combine my need for social drinking and interactions with a need for a second income stream. it was like last summer - you don't notice all the restaurants until you actually have a reason for finding them, then you realize how many large individual building restaurants exist in every shopping center, and how many of them have bars.

i felt like a student again - out job searching, giving my resumes to hostesses that stop you at the door and really don't let you in any further than the podium. i felt that i had better reception after i'd gotten a haircut - but maybe it was also that i had become used to asking if they had any job openings after going to the first two restaurants completely unprepared. i can flash a smile and banter with any middle level manager for the two minutes it takes for them to give me an application. i wonder if, when it got past that, i'd have what it takes to schmooze my way past the host/busboy positions straight to the bar. and also, whether i'd have the balls to do the same, if one day someday the economy crashes, i no longer have my cushy superior main job, and i'd actually have to use my street smarts to get by.

but it takes a splash of the old nostalgia to get you going again. news of mit's victory at the recent NYU tournament came to me about an hour ago, and even through the phone i could feel the excitement and the team building happening on that bus. once again the mit spirit of old has consumed our team, and we clinched a victory not through the work of superstars but through the grit of every men's and women's team fighting for a spot on the podium at every level. it took defeat to wake us up, so that we could finally start fighting as if we were the underdogs again, and treat each tournament like a trophy to be earned rather than a right.

i wonder if there will be a day when the ucsd team can adopt this spirit, because i sincerely miss being part of a group that fights together, and win or lose, does it as a team. but it does give me the energy to start training again, after my week of vacation, so that even away from my real team (mit/tbos) i can strive to represent them and uphold their legacy.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


I found Voltron episodes on the internet...and it brings back such memories! They were the ultimate team of space fighters...before there was power rangers, before gundam. i remember watching this as a little kid. yet my memory is somewhat fuzzy, because i seem to remember the songs and the starting sequence (when they attach to become voltron) in english. that must mean i watched it after i came to the us, because i definitely started watching Transformers in chinese when i was like 5.

voltron being an old, old cartoon, there are so many *funky* things about it. the plot isn't as smooth...although you look at any old cartoon (including disney and warner bros) and they kick the shit out of current cartoon network and nickelodean fare that our kids today watch. at least the artist would spend a bit of EFFORT in drawing a character back then. that's why my own character is so noble.

but notable points about voltron that you notice when you're old -
the weird russian guy with an indian accept -
pidge jumping 50 ft into the air to get to the window..maybe it's the low gravity
the public service announcement about vultures, with an immediate cue of psa music
the music that sounds like indiana jones
"we are space explorers, and we need space!"
king zarcon captures the five space explorers, then says "soon we will be rid of those pesky space explorers!"

ah, the classics of my generation. these are some of the other cartoons that we probably experienced right at the edge of cognisance - just enough time to vaguely remeber that we've seen a cartoon somewhere, but not yet old enough to completely understand or appreciate them.

He-Man and She-ra

Jem (yes i watched it on occasion. they were hot)


Flintstones (and Jetsons!) ahh, those hanna barbera cartoons

and that has eluded me for a long time but now is finally back into my mainstream memory...

Wheeled Warriors!!! I had this in a comic book from kmart originally.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


oh no my productive afternoon has degenerated.

Why Tea is like Sex

Tea never seemed so attractive until now. Maybe i will go make myself a cup of inferior american tea. or maybe i'll use english tea with a netherlandic tea/coffee maker. or maybe i'll just look at this fellow blogspot blog and wonder what it would take to maintain my own photoblog.


in my drunken stupor last night, i created a wikipedia note about the phenomenon of amc, or asian male crisis. (that's for another post another day.) of course, the last time i made a wikipedia entry, it was removed the next day. and the same thing's happened, though i made it sound as official as i could while tipsy off of half a bottle of chardonnay. the entry went something like this:

AMC: Asian Male Crisis: a social phenomenon experienced by asian males who feel sexually threatened by males of other ethnicities.

i wonder how wikipedia actually works - is there some sort of bot that removes posts from nonauthorized sources, or is there an army of PhD candidates who actually screen all changed material for reliable sourcing?

consequently, the closest actual thing i could find to AMC is under Male Crisis in New Korean Cinema. but since my college years i've outgrown that phenomenon, much like kids eventually go through adolescence and then mature. so it's no wonder that it's not an official psychological ailment.

office productivity

it is true that food makes you more productive. i think mostly it comes from constantly cutting weight, because when you're hungry, about 80% of your brain is focused on food and hunger and when's the next meal for most of the day. when you're full, or stuffed to the gills with a greasy carnitas quesadilla, you really don't think about food at all. (maybe you think about taking a dump once in a while, but that's only 5% of the time.) thus, i've successfully coded, or debugged, or wandered blindly through the wonderful world of usb drivers, nonstop for the last...oh, 30 minutes or so...that's a 500% increase in productivity!

the next experiment, is how long it takes for food coma to settle in. given that the company actually bought lunch because we have visitors, a food coma will be inevitable.

battlestar galactica

why do i need to work in the morning? frack normal life. i just want to eat ramen, drink wine and watch battlestar galactica.

my current favorite character is galen. maybe because they call him chief. (i didn't even know his name was galen until now.) even though he should be my mortal enemy because of amc but somehow he's just the most realistic, down to earth character in the series.

what really strikes me about battlestar is the great acting. this is no Star Trek folks. This isn't even Lost. whenever i watch tv series i look for moments where an actor breaks character, stops believing that he's in a spaceship. this never happens in battlestar. what you get is just complete immersion in the alternate universe, where cylons are threatening humanity. and every moment of survival is a victory for society, one from which we could learn so much.

maybe it's not like lost, where the cliffhangers rivet you to the screen for 20 straight episodes (or maybe i'm not there yet.) but what will keep me going is that sometimes, i will wish that i was on a ship, running from killer cyborgs, and trying desperately to repopulate humanity while calling every superior officer, including females, "sir".

Monday, February 19, 2007

disneyland and airline adventures

saturday, february 17

on saturday we went to the place where kids' dreams come true - disneyworld! we went to the magic kingdom, and although i thought i've seen the castle before i don't think i ever went to this particular one. so it was fun, and it was basically a way to relive my childhood.

during the long lines we played a game to pass the time - basically where you go around in a circle naming examples of a particular theme until you run out. and if it takes you more than 10 seconds, you're out. it is unexpectedly addicting and we went through a whole line playing one game, each time shuffling around in a group circle when the line would move. good topics include: countries, fruits, disney movies, animals, vegetables.

other highlights are: i went on a (small) rollercoaster, and we met mickey. i wish i had gotten video of alicia and erica rushing into the room and giving mickey a big hug. we were first in line so we had mickey's attention first, and made a big fuss about taking a group picture. in the meantime, all the little children had to stand in line and wait...muhahahah. but they got the last laugh because i freaked out before going onto the rollercoaster, designed for 5 year olds riding their first coaster. the second time was better because i knew what was coming and realized there was no huge drop. if you didn't realize, i have an insane phobia of rollercoasters that is slowly going away.

finally, at night it was the chinese new year, so we figured going to ming garden would be a good way to celebrate. plus, richard had gushed about their general gao's. when we got there, it was maybe 10:30, and they were in a HUGE rush to close, so they hurried our ass in ordering and brought the food out maybe 8 minutes after we placed orders. the portions were unexpectedly small though and we ended up all being somewhat hungry. but it was ok because all day we'd been eating junk food at disney.

sunday, feb 19

it was a bit more of a chill day this day because we had planned to sleep in. but at 3 AM erica calls, and tells me that jetBlue had called nathan, and had told him that all jetBlue flights were cancelled and they would not be able to fly anyone home until at least tuesday. this sent us into a panic and nathan into a shouting fit. we debated whether to get up at 7 to try to catch any standby flights possible...but decided to wait to see what jetBlue would tell nathan later.

at 6 AM, jetBlue calls alicia to say that her flight had been reinstated, but instead it was at 5:30 instead of 7:30. That was fine.

at 8 AM, erica calls me again so i could check on my computer to make sure jetBlue would still be running. that was ok, so they were still going to go to disney for the second day. i was offered the rest of their leftover ribs, but i didn't want to get up to get them from the lobby. now i wish i did.

so basically i got a good night's rest because i was so tired between each call that i fell asleep instantly, and basically had a long series of powernaps.

alicia and i spent the day in the local neighborhood. we went to ripley's, which was cool because of the point of view displays they had - a room that was so tilted that the pool table looked like the ball was rolling up the table, and a room with psychedelic spinning stars that made you lose all sense of up and down, as well as lose your balance and your lunch.

then we went to a chinese buffet - my dream for the last 4 months, and my dream for the next four because i don't think i'll be able to eat that much in one sitting again.

but the finale of this whole drama is that in the end, all was well. we went to the airport together because everyone's flight was at 5:30. after the jetBlue people checked in their bags, we decided to go down for one last look in the lost baggage section, and alicia suddenly saw her and dan's bags, that had JUST GOTTEN IN from boston in time to be shipped back with them on their return trip. so in the end we all had about an hour to eat some food and have a beer, and reflect on how hectic, yet satisfying, the whole weekend had been, before i left my boston crew again. until collegiates...stay warm and kick hard, tBos.

day 2 of sparring

friday, feb 16

day two was my day of sparring. the short of it is, master chuang said that "strong technique is more important than strong strategy" and this is more true at an international tournament than anywhere else. all the players from other nations had such strong basics, and hit with indisputable points. it was much more important to be able to hit those single points than to be able to string together a long complicated strategy or combo.

i lost my match 5-1. i think my feelings about my match are skewed by my preconceptions. but in general i think that maybe it is better for me to focus on getting that single hard kick, the solid counters, the solid footwork, before working too much more on the mental/strategic aspect of my game.

the brackets were huge. fredson made it the farthest, maybe into the 4th round or so, but he still lost in the semifinals, to either netherlands or canada, i forget. again, i see the same things in these matches - the european fighters, and the chinese bantamweight girl, had such solid indisputable points. most of the time, any american fighter you watch seems to be chasing an unhittable target, and each point their opponent took was just a matter of avoiding enough kicks and finding the openings. not that this was true everywhere, but the few spectacular players i watched were all similar in that aspect.

bantamweight is one of those funny weightclasses - nathan says it's a transition weight class. it's not quite heavy and powerful like the featherweights begin to be, and it's not quite small and quick and airborne like the fin/flyweights. but what i noticed in the finals was that bantam fighters seem to all possess an extraordinary level of trigger-happy jumpiness, more than the finweight finals, more than the other ones i saw. maybe that's just the two fighters who made it to the finals - maybe that's just the current style of bantamweights. but feel that to be successful i need to be more alert, quicker, and still have those harder kicks. move like a finweight, kick like a welter.

that evening we went out to tony roma's, and had some great ribs. i should have ordered my own blue moon when i had the chance because for the rest of the trip no restaurant had anything close. but almost everyone at my table got ribs or rib samplers, accompanied with bad jokes about "racks". in the end i ate my own ribs and salmon, maybe another half rack between nathan, erica and mike's ribs, a bunch of appetizers, and half of fredson's sandwich, which he couldn't eat because he eats like a girl. and that's just the beginning of the gluttony that would make up the rest of the weekend.

Friday, February 16, 2007

day 1 of sparring

it is 1:30 am, friday morning. thursday sparring went by and we are all exhausted. today's fights included chinedum at men's welter, ana at women's welter, lolo at women's light, mike at men's fly, and alicia at women's fly.

but first, i arrived at ATL at 5:00 AM ET, and considering I left at 10:40 PM PDT, that makes it a mere 3.5 hours to fly from san diego to atlanta. that means i got basically 0 sleep. on the up side, i got 0 sleep because i was busy pwning n00bs on the delta airplane trivia game. i won all three rounds of 20 question trivia, and scored the day's highest overall score on the second game.

but then, since shuttle tickets were $17 each from the airport to a hotel, i said fuck the police, and went to sunshine car rentals to get a car. the gross total was $115 for car, under 25 price, and gps system for ONE day. with about 7 people's worth of $17 tickets it would be worth it. but in hindsight, it may or may not have been worth it...i did get to use it to buy supplies such as pasta for alicia and lolo, but now alicia and mike are busy returning it and being lost.

but i had an extremely lucky day. and i was extremely good at remembering small things and providing for people, such as getting the car, getting pasta, checking in all within the 15 minutes of ordering the pasta, and bringing gear for people to borrow. *oh shit chinedum still has my old mouthpiece.* but as my phone died in the airport (i have to charge it basically every day or else) i had to walk into the terminal to meet them, and i basically had a window of 30 seconds before jetblue passengers rush through the airport and they were lost outside of phone contact forever.

but i run into alicia as i was running across the terminal and they were reentering the terminal. maybe one in a million chance of that happening, and 2 seconds earlier or later i would have missed them.

back to the sparring. chinedum's leg was injured so he had very limited fighting capability. but his gun (the right leg pada) worked wonders and won him some huge, loud points in his first match. I don't know if he had other matches after that but after a whole slew of coaching madness he was called (last call for chinedum before disqualification) for his next match. he fought rupert? rufus? hamon, had some bullshit calls and bad kyungos, and lost before the medal rounds.

the cause of the coaching madness was that we only had chinedum as a coach (mike snuck in once in a while) and at one point, ana, lolo, alicia, and mike were all on the floor. at that time, chinedum was unlocatable, alicia'd dropped her mouthpiece, and everything was crazy. meanwhile, the rest of the tBos gang were still stuck in the snowstorm.

finally we got the matches through. lolo lost her first one, unfortunate because somehow she couldn't get her padas to pop. ana won her first match, but i remember talking to liza on the phone in the last 30 seconds - "ana's at 0-0..oh wait, she's up 1-0, i have to run and tape alicia's match..on wait, ana's just won 2-0." her second match was against nia abdullah, and she actually did VERY well - nia only scored 2 points, and not actually really good ones the whole time.

mike's matches were full of typical mike energy. he was all over the place, hit one very good front leg axe kick on his first opponent to win like 4-2. after a shoeless coaching drama, mike lost 0-4 to RMC's jermaine. in the last several seconds mike had so much energy trying to get him kyungo'd out, it was crazy.

but the shoeless coaching drama involved mike sitting in the coaching chair immediately after sparring, so he didn't have shoes. somehow the ref didn't care about his lack of a coaching badge, but did care about him wearing shoes. so as mike went to get some shoes, alicia turned to see why mike had run off, and she turns around and her opponent had attacked with an axe kick and was trying to knock her out. alicia's fight was very good - she lost 2-0 but fought much smarter than ever before.

at about 10 pm the rest of the crew, hungry, ragged, tired, showed up at the airport. tomorrow will be our chance to fight.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

trip to orlando

this is going to be my attempt at logging the trip to orlando for US Open.

at 1:30 PM PMT, I am still sitting at my desk at work, because my flight isn't until 10:40 tonight. But the drama has already started for my teammates in boston - alicia, nathan, erica, master chuang, dan, lolo, and ana have all been stuck at the airport because of the most unfortunately timed snowstorm to hit boston. it began last night or this morning and now Logan airport is shut down for the next three days. unfortunately, it doesn't seem like they will be able to reopen, and the weather forecast has had headlines of "FURIOUS WINTER STORM POUNDING NORTHEAST" (not actually in caps).

i'm flying overnight so that i could meet up with them on thursday, which is when most of the people will be sparring. so if they manage to get out of town and to a not-snowed in airport, they'll still be able to fly in and weight in, maybe. i really hope they'll come - we have so much planned for Saturday and Sunday.

But the funny thing about being with a taekwondo team is this. at their gate, even though there were no attendants, there was a scale for weighing luggage. what did they do? each person stepped on to weigh himself just to make sure they were all under the cutoff. that's what taekwondoists do when they're stranded at an airport.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

reinventing the wheel

or the orange, that is. i should have just searched for "orange fruit detection" or something in the beginning...there seems to be much literature out there. makes me feel silly trying to do all this stuff from scratch for the past few months. but then, it also made me a semiexpert, and every paper i read is much easier to understand, since i've tried similar steps from the beginning.

30 lbs in 30 days


actually, it's more like 15 lbs in 4 months. although this is a little premature, i thought i'd still share these somewhat shocking images. this is how my body changed from september 4, 2006 to february 12, 2007.

"satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!"

as you can see, i've lost a lot of gut. (my skinny pants are large on me now, hehe) and both pictures are of me not flexing or sucking in. on the left, i am 152 lbs, 5'5 3/4", brown eyes, black hair. and tan. on the right, i am 137 lbs, everything else the same except shorter hair, and obviously more pale. (but it could be the lighting conditions.)

it's really cool to see the whole sequence of images since september, which i've been constently taking, originally about twice a week (mon/thurs), then every day in january. i'm stil cutting though - collegiates is on march 24th or so, and i'll basically be maintaining 136 until then but hopefully gaining some muscle back and toning more.

i'd take pictures of my face too (it's cool to see how my hair changes) but i am extremely ugly in the morning, before makeup and hairstyling.

Monday, February 12, 2007


ok the powernap didn't really work, 1) because i had just drunk coffee so it took me 10 mins to start dreaming 2) the office light was on for most of those 10 minutes 3) i ended up sleeping only 10 minutes. but i didn't have crazy dreams of joining some sort of navy, going into battle and having one of my rpg characters instantly killed by a huge MOB.


this articles comes just at the right time, when i start to feel sleepy:

maybe i will take a 20 min powernap then work until 8 pm.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

music for the soul

i tried traversing my music collection today. my very old and outdated music collection, half of which i downloaded but have not listened to. i don't even really like a lot of the artists. but there are lots of other albums that i have always enjoyed, and continue to enjoy even though i don't have a source of new music, unless conor gets back to me about his europe trip.

currently listening to:

Miles Davis with John Coltrane in Stockholm

Other classic albums:

Jurassic 5, Power in Numbers

Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin

Speakerboxx/The Love Below

Ayla, representing my limited knowledge of techno

and yesterday, when i was rock climbing at ucsd they were playing their frank sinatra collection. which is actually now ingrained in my head as rock climbing music. it was so chill and relaxing. it's a strange mix of the great outdoors (in simulation) and old 50s new york/chicago type music. but frank is always good to sing out loud when you're hanging on to a ledge.

Friday, February 9, 2007

the real food network

i'm slowly liking anthony bourdain more and more:

he's the author of Kitchen Confidential, a bestseller originally "meant to be read only by actual chefs" and people in the trade. basically i think his selling point is that he's underground, old skool and a real chef. although i love the food network, it is more entertaining nowadays to hear him rip it apart, especially sandra lee:

"I find myself de-constructing the not-terrible shows, imagining behind the scenes struggles and frustrations, and obsessing unhealthily on the Truly Awful ones. Screaming out loud at Sandra Lee in disbelief as she massacres another dish, then sits grinning, her face stretched into a terrifying rictus of faux cheer for the final triumphant presentation"

the other day i was listening to NPR (now my favorite radio station) and heard this prolonged interview with him on some literary Lectures and stuff show. He also blasted rachel ray. i'm glad that in this guest blog (above), he gives credit to alton brown and bobby flay, who i love to watch. and maybe one day i'll go to one of his restaurants if he has any.

the real skinny of things

i stepped on the scale tonight after practice and saw the magic numbers: 137.7. and there it was - i've crossed the line and am now officially on weight. (or within attainable distance for it.) it's a completely strange feeling to know that you weigh less than 140 lbs, simply because it feels exactly the same as when you weigh over 150 lbs. but when i think about the me that is in the off season it seems like he's a different person, yet really not. i expect to become some sort of impish, monkey like creature when i hit bantam, and feel that the lightweight me is some sluggish - not hippo, but maybe like a fat dog. but i don't think it's actually any different.

aside from the us open, this basically means i'm on weight about 1 month in advance, a first time in my life. but this is also probably the last time i will ever be committed like this, because for the last half year i've had collegiate nationals somewhere in the back of my head, and subtlely my whole life has been oriented to that. who knows what will happen once i graduate from collegiate taekwondo completely? will i still feel the same motivation, the same masochistic drive to constantly train? i can almost feel that the post-tournament crash this time is going to be apocalyptic, because of the long period of cutting, and the long, indefinite period of being free from taekwondo afterwards. sure, i will never be free of taekwondo, but up to now collegiates is still the main motivation factor and i don't know if i will feel the same way about senior nationals, and even the us open.

i hope i'm not just living a lie, to myself and my friends. i know this is what i want now, but after 137 bobby disappears, will the rest of his personality disappear with the weight change?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

the weight of credit

warning: more pointless bitching about money below.

don't ever be stupid like me, and pay your credit card with the wrong bank account. in fact, if you can, don't even have multiple bank accounts. don't even have multiple credit cards.

after fussing over small details and researching credit scores and banking tips obsessively, i've come to terms with my owning more than 20 credit lines (including banks, loans, and credit cards.) supposedly it'll be good for me, provided i don't do stupid things that result in the bankers actually making money off of me. i wonder if in the long run, these little rewards programs - cash back for groceries, thankyou points, airline mileage - are worth it when you think of how much the risk of slipping up is multiplied.

but i think money definitely has too much weight on my mind.

i paid a $1180 credit card on the wrong bank account, and about 5 days afterwards i realized my main checking account still had the money in it - meaning my backup account now had -$1090 in it. that means i'll get hit with an overdraft fee, a returned check fee, a late credit payment fee, and the ~18% interest for the credit card. it HAD to be the >$1000 statement too. so i'm expecting $300 or so for fucking up. and probably some imp is going to come kick me in the balls just to spite me.

but so far once i've gotten the nerve to open my account again, it looks like the check i wrote to cover the negative money has gone through and only a $19 overdraft fee has been charged. maybe it's been short enough that the bank won't return the payment? i don't know. i can only hope. thinking this did make me noticeably more energetic than i was this morning though. however, if it still happens, i think i'll be kicked down to a new emotional low.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

room gremlin

the gremlin of lost items visited me today and returned an item to me. i knew he lived in my dresser because i took out each shelf so i could move the whole thing to a different corner, and there under the bottommost drawer was the fourth wheel to my former mountain board.

one of the above two is the gremlin as i see it in my mind, or maybe a mixture of both. I knew the gremlin would visit once in a while. usually he taketh. but this time he has given back. i think it's a reward for finally cleaning my room.

Monday, February 5, 2007

pod sighting

today was one of the warmest days recently in san diego - i think around 80 degrees at noon when ryan and i went surfing. basically once we found the nice beach in del mar, it became apparent that the rest of the day would be great, and that coming out to surf was the best decision we could make.

the water at del mar was very smooth, with very wide waves that took a long time to break. it was a great day for my longboard, and i caught two of the medium waves.

then i was watching the horizon for the next 3 ft wave to cruise on when i saw a fin on a big black back emerge from and then disappear into the waves. i told ryan and he stared out toward sea for a little while, but didn't see anything.

later as we tried to catch a few more waves without much success, we saw them again, but this time the dolphin jumped straight out of a coming wave, did a front flip and dove back in. the wave then crashed over us and laughed at our meager human attempts to surf. and throughout the next half hour we saw three or so different dolphins, jumping out of the water, having the time of their life. even at a distance i was surprised how large they looked - seemed like they would be huge if they came near. and one did almost come near - it swam around where we had been earlier, and i frantically tried to swim out past the break but it had disappeared.

i swear that the next time i see a dolphin i'm going to catch the best wave there is, and i'm going to ride it as the dolphin jumps and flips over me. then i'm going to bail and he'll catch me on his fin and we'll go waveriding together.

blog rebirth

i've temporarily (?) moved my blog to blogger. the main reason is: during the winter months, the heating bill has risen so high that i'm inclined to actually keep my computer down unless i actually need it. blasphemy! the disadvantages to using a provider are that i can no longer host my images and videos directly off my harddrive. but, the advantages are that blogger will keep my website up 24/7, at no cost to my electric bill. and my apache server was too slow in uploading content anyways - you probably know this if you've ever tried to download any tkd videos from my site.

well, my website is still, since that's a paid domain name. based on the electricity bill, it may even be financially sound to pay $10/month for actual web hosting, if that's available. and since my neighbors seem to have an unsecure wireless, not sure how long that will last, it may even be worthwhile to cancel my internet subscription. though wireless can be unreliable and perhaps slower than i'd like.

but for now, this is an improvement to xanga! and a much more reliable source of hosting, so that you can continue to read all about my life without costing me a penny.