Friday, June 29, 2007

triple eyyyy!

i ran into this old guy who had a flat tire today, and stopped to call triple a. as we were waiting, it was interesting to see just how many people would turn their heads as they slowed down while passing by. i always wonder if they're just interested to see if there was an accident ("omg did that guy just hit a biker?") or if they're wondering if we needed help. i tend to think they're just curious because really, if i passed a stopped car and glanced, i'm doing nothing more than looking for signs of a crash.

anyway, this guy was a real old timer. i really wanted to ask him about world war ii. he was born may 30, 1926, and as we were sitting around waiting for the AAA service van, i wanted to ask him about his life and all the interesting history that he must have experienced. i did that once, for a school project, interviewing an old lady about her husband's experiences in world war ii. for a generation that is so hooked on wwii shooter games like call of duty, why is nobody taking advantage of the opportunity to ACTUALLY experience it through someone who was alive during the time?

you know when people do something good, others will either say "you're a good samaritan" and that person will either reply "it's the right thing to do" or "it makes me feel good". but deep down, everyone does nice things because they either 1) want recognition for it in this life or 2) want recognition for it in the next life. I am both, but i can honestly say it did feel good when edward omalley shook my hand.

however, this whole episode reminded me of another story. the guy who is first in line in buying an iPhone is apparently a n obsessive linesitter. that got me thinking, are there obsessive do-gooders? like, people who get in line are there because they WANT that item, and WANT bragging rights for being first to get it. but this linesitter may or may not even want the item or the bragging rights, but just wants to BE FIRST. all of this is leading me to imagine a short fiction story about an obsessive good samaritan, who does things not because he wants good karma, or gratitude, but because he needs to help others. i mean, people do that...they need to help others so they'll feel good about themselves. but i mean take this to another level, like someone who would put others into situations where he can help them.

if i were a good writer and had a longer attention span and better imagination, i could see this as becoming either an award winning satire or dark fiction, or a widely circulated children's book that teaches you morals.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

flying united in june

what the heck was i doing in june? i logged like 20k miles on my united account. it looks like i travelled every week. ok, maybe i practically did.

so now my personal united airlines mileage has hit the 50k mark. that means two free flights, or one super free flight. and two of those trips were on an interview, so the company footed the tab. sweet.


although i need coffee right about now, i'm actually referring to that programming language i was so familiar with, two or three years ago. i still am, apparently, at least enough to finish a vecna recruitment survey. and actually, after having done so much c, it is quite a breath of fresh air. there's this thing...called a "javadoc"...yea, it tells you what you can and can't do in your code. much easier, but sometimes less fun, than having to deal with memory allocations and low level structs.

i don't know much about vecna yet, but so far this interview process is so much less stressful than the one with google.

Monday, June 25, 2007

google, boston

i finished my interview with google today. and no, it didn't go well, because my brain is basically asleep this morning. or maybe i'm dual personalitied, because when i am in conversation mode i eel much more apt than when i begin to be technical. i'm fine technically when i'm in my own office, but not on the spot. where taco bell's motto is "think outside the bun" mine is "make it a double double, animal style."

it suffices to say that the problems are always interesting, even if i don't come up with good answers. right away. or even after a minute of silent staring at the board, which is actually what i did. but the google headquarters in boston are just as nice as i imagined them. and alot of what you read on interviews with google blog posts on the net - the printed nametag, the naked juice. i didn't see a big screen of current google searches. i did see a larger presence of colorful bouncy balls than i expected.

i always admire interviewers, because they are smart and focused but also know how to get through an interview, even if the interviewee was not doing well. the two guys i talked with were very friendly, although during long pauses every mark they made on their papers (it couldn't have been copying something i wrote because i wasn't writing) seemed to me like a comment on my unresponsiveness. i know that you're supposed to think out loud. i WAS thinking outloud - there was nothing going through my head.

the head of recruitment person was super friendly. he made my rejection almost fun. so in the end it was definitely not a bad experience, though a relatively large disappointment. it helps that i'm from the area so i feel comfortable leaving, but still.

either way this weekend felt like i was moving back, whereas before it still felt like a visit. i guess it's all the actual moving from one apartment to another we did on sunday. so now all i have to do is find an apartment.

Friday, June 22, 2007

physical and mental exercise

i've come to really understand that the brain is just like a muscle. you have to constantly use it to keep it in shape. there will be times when you have to prepare for something...a tournament, an interview, a test, a marathon, etc. and if you haven't exercised hurts.

my body was so sore this morning because i had started "working out" again. this isn't even tournament season workout. it was a couple of sprint drills on tuesday, kicking paddles on wednesday and monday. and there i was waking up at 9:30 and feeling like i got two hours of sleep after getting hit by a truck.

i suddenly realized today that it's the same thing when it comes to mental exercises. they tell you in college that you can't really cram. it's not really effective...maybe it's like carboloading and basically sucking it up for some strenuous exercise, after which you are completely spent. and the alternative to that is to train consistently, whether it's doing exercise every day, or continuing to learn every day.

the difference is that it's easy to force your body to do something, like run for 30 minutes. and even if you can't...if you just do it straight for 3 weeks there will be a marked and inarguable improvement. but with the brain. you can't just go outside and start doing mental jogging. it's like when you just leave college, you know all the (mental) jogging trails. as time passes, those trails get grown over with weeds, shrubs, greenery, and soon you're left in a little open field where the boundaries are clearly defined, but you're not sure how to explore past the treeline. so you have to bust out a machete.

sometimes i look back at my MIT classes and only now can i really appreciate their magnitude.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

technical knockout

i see one coming. omfg.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

surfin and chefin, day 2

ah the things i can get accomplished when i have a weekend at home. meaning, pretty muching nothing, but surfing, then cooking and eating and getting drunk. yep, the following pictures represent a small, but necessary, part of my life.

today i went surfing again. ryan went home relatively early because the lack of a rashguard was making him uncomfortable, and the waves were a bit more choppy. still they were good waves, and i brought my camera out by myself this time, strapped around my neck along with my car keys and my puka shell necklace of st christopher, the patron saint of surfers.

there were times when the bonfires and barbeques smelled so good on the beach.

then when i got back home, the thought of beer was so good. when you surf, you leave STARVING. and because i was supposed to have rice yesterday, i decided to make some rice today. but because i had fettuccini yesterday, i decided to skip around and make the pork chops that's for something like day 5.

well, i reached a new level of chefdom. it's something like, at level 1, you can make ramen. at level 5, you learn to make scrambled eggs. at level 10, you can cook a whole spaghetti dinner. and at level 30, you learn to make a wine reduction.

so today basically i made pork chops and veggies, but also added basmati rice and broccoli. i heated the broccoli in the rice cooker as the rice was finishing. but the special touch was when i decided...hey there's a lot of bits of veggies and pork stuck to the pan, so i'm going to pour this shiraz in...what about cranberries? so then my masterpiece: pork with cranberry shiraz reduction with basmati rice. yum.

anyways, two beers for cooking, one glass of wine for eating. life is good.

surf's up

my water camera has proven a good investment. it's really clear, and floats. (that's a relief.) and very waterproof. only thing is it doesn't take i didnt actually get a $99 underwater camcorder.

here are some pictures from my flickr set:

waiting in the calm

catching that wave

Ryan paddling for the wave

the waves get thicker and calmer at the end of the night. there were smooth, thick, fun waves around 6:30 pm tonight, and the sun was no longer blinding as you looked out to sea. I wish i had my camera later in the night because there were nice rays coming from the setting sun.

men's fitness diet: day 2

actually it's more like day 4.5, because i didn't get to go home for dinner thursday or friday. today's recipe called for shrimp fajitas, but i actually left my tortillas at work for day 1's lunch along with my brown rice, and the avocados were not ripe. so i improvised and turned the shrimp fajitas into spicy shrimp fettuccini with peppers and onions. and it went well with a nice beer and slice of sweet potatoe pie.

i guess i'm deviating from the recipes. but the whole point is to try new recipes. so i've made basically a jazzed up version of my typical spaghetti dinner, and it's pretty tasty. especially after a 3 hour surf session.

Friday, June 15, 2007

toolin all night

tomorrow's a presentation day at work. some big money spenders are coming to see our current progress at the office. that that means we have to go from simulation to getting the apple scanner working on real trees (and fake apples) in the parking lot, and the orange scanning arm to work on real trees. at least to demo it, because we took pictures with the apple scanner.

so here we are at 1 AM, the office lights still on. sometimes i work late...but this time it's different because other people are still here. it gives it that familiar all-nighter feeling, even though it's only 1 and that's when people usually stop procrastinating at school and START.

but my favorite time is at around 10 or 11, when it seems everyone's starting to get tired for real, but you're not sure if the night's going to end at 12 or going on way later. and usually it's time for a food break because by now you probably haven't eaten since dinner. and sometimes you skip dinner.

so i'm at the point where i'm probably done, and even if i go home now it's no later than when i usually go to bed. but working through the whole night like this makes your brain tired, so at a point earlier tonight i stopped being able to think and solve problems. ah, how i've grown weak! used to be, a midnight meals break would kick start my mind again. not this time. but at least i'll remember that day when, during the afternoon i got to haul around fruit trees and heavy machinery, and in the evening i tooled to candlelight and fatty midnight snacks. i just need my typical black cherry diet pepsi and laverdes to be home again.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

summer is here

scripps is 67.8 degrees. i believe that's the threshold where i can move from the wetsuit to the trunks. funny that in the span of ~2 months the water temperature rises 10 degrees. and it's sunny outside, and this weekend i am not going anywhere. stay tuned, underwater surf pictures coming up soon.

day 1: rotisserie chicken with baby greens and asparagus

ok, so here i start the men's fitness diet. it's not actually a diet, because i'm eating three times the variety i'd normally eat, twice the calories, and spending about 2.5 times the money. (i spent an even $50 at trader joes and ralph's tonight, but that included some extras like indian food and cereal.)

day 1 dinner: rotisserie chicken, baby greens salad, roast asparagus portabello and onions.

the last rotisserie chicken at ralphs was taken after i turned around and decided to buy it. so i substituted turkey wings instead. sounds ok, right? a larger bird must have more meat, and turkey's lean, healthy, full of taste, a good alternative to your everyday blah chicken. turns out baking turkey takes a lot of effort, and the meat was still hard to get to, and a bit chewy. not as good as precooked rotisserie, i think, which would be well worth the extra $3.

asparagus is tasty. my cooking skills, however, are still clearly lacking, as the rest of the veggies (portabello and onions) came out simply a bit soggy on the bottom, dry on the top, and overall not very tasty.

the trader joe's sauvignon blanc goes well with a white meat such as turkey. the baby greens, something i normally would not eat, and at $3.50 for 5 oz is not something i'd ever consider buying, was a tasty diversion from the usual salad. at the end of the night i'm left with a ziplock bag full of leftovers, homemade aioli (sauce for tortillas), and excitement for tomorrow's lunch.

st peter and woot

today's woot had quite an entertaining story. i guess they're usually entertaining. i wonder who sits down to write them?

anyways, for a simple Vivitar 8.1MP Digital Camera with 6X Optical Zoom and 2.8" LCD, which only got one or two mentions in the whole story, here is a story about st peter.

We're Off To Take Pictures Of The Wizard

A glass of water sat on St. Peter’s gold-trimmed marble desk. On the surface of the water sat a small box-like structure, made by folding up the sides of a piece of ordinary window screen. Eyes a-goggle, St. Peter stared in wonderment as the screen boat lazily floated across the water.

“I give up, Don,” St. Peter finally laughed. “Why doesn’t it sink? I mean, the thing’s full of holes! And it’s made of metal! What gives, huh? What gives?”

The new arrival smiled. “You see, all matter is made up of tiny particles called molecules. Molecules are all attracted to other molecules, some more strongly than others, and this attraction is called adhesion. The adhesion of the water molecules to each other forms a kind of ‘skin’ on the water’s surface, which is strong enough to hold up the screen without breaking. This is called ‘surface tension.’ Now, er, if you’ve seen enough, maybe I can go on through the gates-”

St. Peter waved a hand impatiently. “In a minute, in a minute. What’s the hurry, right? Eternity isn’t going anywhere.” With an eager flourish, the white-bearded saint produced a glass milk bottle, a hard-boiled egg, a strip of newsprint, and a match from beneath his gossamer robes. “First, how about the egg-in-the-bottle trick? Please? I’ve never seen this one in person.”

Don sighed a weary sigh. “OK, but take a picture. I’m not going to do this every time you want to see it.”

“One step ahead of you there.” St. Peter turned on his Vivitar 8600s 8.1MP Digital Camera. “Check this Vivitar out – an 8 MP sensor, a 2.8” LCD, and a 6x optical zoom. That’s twice the zoom of your standard camera. Pretty scientific, huh, Don? Ooh, I know! I’ll take a video! The 8600s takes VGA mpeg4 video at 30fps!”

Keeping his opinions about the Vivitar brand to himself, Don started the experiment. He’d done it a thousand times before. Light the strip of paper on fire. Drop it in the bottle. Set the egg on the open neck of the bottle. SHLUP! In goes the egg, fully intact. He couldn’t believe he was running through this banal stunt once again, while all the delights of Heaven waited for him just beyond the gates. But Don’s impatience turned into delight when he saw the awed grin on St. Peter’s face. This was what he’d lived for. So what if I’m dead?, Don thought. Life is temporary. Science is forever.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

housing hunt

craigslist is my temporary obsession as i start my housing search once again.

i have a dream house. it is located neatly between CW and MIT, near the shaws. has off street parking and a small grassy back yard. it is a 1 br place with a kitchen and a small living/dining room, and a separate bedroom.

of course this place does not exist at my price range. i don't even know if it exists at all. but as i'm searching, there are many places that sound like they'd be close, all of them somewhat farther, or smaller, or with less amenities.

here are some of the links:

one thing i discovered was that sublets often lead to potential lease renewals. and that means, if someone's moving early and desperately wants to get some of their rent back, they will sublet a very decent place for cheaper than usual rent. that doesn't mean the normal rent will be lower, but that means you might be able to secure a nice place for a small fee.

the search goes on. craigslist is my new woot.

Friday, June 8, 2007

drinking games

from through digg, it's Top 10 drunk multiplayer games.

after reading all the worthless news flying around, i've finally found something worthwhile.

and while i haven't played all these games, i definitely agree with the top four choices:

4. guitar hero 2
3. wii sports
2. halo 2
1. super mario smash bros

of course, from my personal experience, super mario double dash should be up there somewhere too. except for the fact that other than nathan, brandon and me, it becomes far too challenging to race well, especially rainbow road. especially after shots of soco 100.

and my favorite single player drunk game: oblivion iv.

karaoke revolution also tops the list. however, it's different because sometimes you have to be drunk to play it, otherwise you (conor) would NEVER sing.

waste of space

you know the news around paris hilton going to jail, being reduced to house arrest, then going back to jail? well it's gotten wayy to much attention, more than she deserves. and why i'm writing about it here i don't know, but maybe i'm commenting on how people on the internet are stupid. and it's too funny to read the Letters to Paris blog comments. stupid people who post comments on blogs are stupid. paris hilton is a waste of space in this world, and a waste of space on my blog.

as one commenter said, "I hope the papparazzi stop following you, you don't deserve it."

dreaming of hawaii again

i think it was mike's banquet video that got me into hawaiian music again. i used to love ekolu, and that was about the extent of my knowledge. i suddenly remembered when justin young performed at the MIT Luau (2006). and i had found a justin young clip on my computer, so that got me thinking...i still have $12 on my itunes account from a gift card. i'm glad i got that gift card now because now i own:

One foot on Sand

But then i tried to chase down the hawaiian rendition of Over the Rainbow. Turns out this was by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole who was one of three hawaiians to be honored with the hawaiian flag half mast at his death. and really...this song is beautiful.

Hear it on Rhapsody.

See a music video on YouTube.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

a new world of media

ah, looks like i'm finally taking a step forward in the video/photography/media sector of my life. ever since i was a child (ok, well, 11th or 12th grade) i was an avid fan of making movies. lets see. the earliest movie i can remember now is my class project's rendition of Lord of the Flies in which we portrayed Simon and his campaign in a "presidential election". we had some advanced special effects too...when simon turns into a dove, we used stop photography and flour powder.

when my skills and toolset moved from VHS TAPE and its endless record/play cutting tedium to digital media, i discovered adobe premiere. and ever since, i've been struggling with the fact that i got adobe premiere for free, and will never be able to make videos look as good for as little memory as the big dvd studios do.

until now. muhahahah!

this endlessly useful article, Everything you wanted to know about video codecs, gives me the scoop on a new codec, x264. Actually, other than this bit of information, everything else i actually learned about in 6.341. wow, this class website hasn't changed. only now i recall seeing "H.264" on our study sheet, as a detail that i didn't bother to learn. who'da thought that might be the new codec of choice?

well i havent actually done anything with this knowledge yet. i will be downloading some encoders and decoders and whatnot. thank god for opensource...only now i understand its meaning and importance. so maybe soon i can process nicer videos...or at least compress my raw videos in a way that keeps as much of the original quality as possible, without forcing me to buy more external hard drives.

on other media news...i received my new camera that was purchased off of woot. it's basically my birthday present from my parents, i guess, that i managed to catch on last week's woot-off. at only $99, it's surprisingly better than my old klunky kodak, which has probably officially died. and the underwater case that comes with it is waterproof to 10 feet...enough for me to go take surfing pictures from the board. i'm really glad that now i have a digital camera again, and that it is more compact/portable, cheaper, and probably comparable in quality than my old one. so stay tuned...for some amazing surf shots! next up...underwater video camera for surf videos, compressed with the x264 codec?

teams i will miss


i miss the MIT team.

i remember the days when i was a senior (but not graduating yet) and the actual seniors who were leaving were on the banquet slideshow. and when we watched the videos it was nostalgic. and the same happened my year, only better. and looking back was magic. it was like, how did we ever manage to have such a good year? how could i have lived through so many great events, been with so many great people? photos, yearbooks, banquet videos, they're not enough for us to commemorate the past. it only suffices if you had lived through it, and the memories were part of you.

i watched this year's banquet video again. and strangely, i felt the same way, almost as if i had been living MIT sport taekwondo. in a sense I have, because i've seen all the people - dan, alicia, nathan, even RDC and john wong, and to a lesser extent the other 07s, several times this year. so i feel just as sad that the team that i've known is leaving. who will remain when i return?

here is this year's MIT Sport TKD Banquet Video on youtube.

but THEN again,
i look at UCSD,
and I know i will miss them too.

it's been a great year and it's only getting better. i feel more and more recently that things are falling together. there is a core group of people that i feel will allow the club to live on. i can always depend on paul, mike, tiffany, kyung to be at practice, and now even master baik. (today we had a great kicking session, just me, master baik and kyung. 1 hr paddles, 1 hr sparring. almost like CW.)

and that the banquet seemed a success, that we hosted a tournament and dominated it, that people feel it is important enough to dress up, make speeches, to pass the torch to a team of student leaders for next year, all of these make me feel that ucsd is only starting to shine and find its footing. i'm glad that i was here near the beginning. i hope that i have made an impact.

and i think that, even though i've spent more time leaving teams than joining them, i think my 1 year trip to the west coast has given me a new outlook, on taekwondo and life. it's like fusion sushi - i bring the best of east and west together on one plate. i know for sure that moving outside of the bubble of the new england region's taekwondo has made me better - i understand that taekwondo exists on a larger scale, i have met people and made connections, i have achieved many things and will strive to achieve more.

i'm going to come back a more worldly competitor. i'm going to come back, rejuvenated from helping build a new team. and i'm going to combine that energy with the nostalgia i've felt for the old team for so long. and who knows what will come of that?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

money for thought

so i looked through my finances, and these are roughly the numbers i've spent on "Food" this year.

Total food:

Restaurant bills where i've paid for the whole tab on my credit card (and got cash):

Total food that i acutally ate (excluding above):
~ $862.21
This approximates the amount i spent on my credit card at restaurants, but omits whatever cost i actually incurred in the bills above

Total Spent at Trader Joe's:

Total Spent at Ralphs:

Total Spent at the local groceries (Trader Joes + Ralphs):

Total Spent on food, but not at Trader Joes or Ralphs:
$862.21 - $455.12 = $407.09
This estimates the money i spend eating out, but may include other grocery stores

Groceries per week, assuming 22 weeks

Restaurants per week
$18.50 this right? I don't seem to be spending much for food at all. Thus, the effect of cutting weight?

food for thought

as if i never have food on the mind...

but anyways, after half a week of gluttony, which actually resulted in ennui and an overall dissatisfaction in life's tasty pleasures, i think i'm turning back to obsessing about food. more specifically, i'm interested to know how much i spend on food per week.

actually this is something i'd been wanting to track - ever since members of congress took on the congressional food stamp challenge, in which each person spent only $21 (the equivalent of what many of the poorest people get in food stamps) per week for food, i've been curious about the exact limits of a wallet, and its effects on your belt.

then i see this article on Men's Health about healthy, relatively inexpensive weekly shopping lists: Shop once, Eat for a Week.

men's health is my guide to living healthy...during season. the magazine is a great read on the elliptical, to make those tortuous 15 minutes pass. so in case this link goes away (it's not a blog, but a stupid online magazine article) here is the basic text of the article below.

Of course, now that I look at the article closer, it only extends to Thursday night. What the heck do i do friday and saturday? i guess they assume you go out and eat. not everyone can live a spartan life like i do when i'm training for taekwondo, but alas.

and if you read the recipes closely, you see a pretty diverse menu. good for a magazine that wants its readers to stay interested, i guess, whereas it would really be easy to buy large bulk potatoes, rice and maybe some meat and make variations on that. but basically:

sunday = american/italian
monday = tropical/latin american
tuesday = italian
wednesday = asian
thursday = american/spanish

The Grocery List:

Frozen Shrimp 1 lb uncooked, medium size
Rotisserie Chicken 1 cooked
Pork Tenderloin 1 herb-flavored or lemon-garlic marinated (about 3/4 lb)
Bell Peppers 1 tray tricolor (or pick out 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange)
Yellow Onions 2 lb
Baby Mixed Greens 4 oz bag, washed
Portobello Mushrooms 2 large caps
Asparagus 1 bunch
Garlic 1 head
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto 8 oz jar
Avocado 1 ripe
Mozzarella 8 oz bag, shredded
Instant Brown Rice 1 lb box
Black Beans 12 oz can
100% Whole-Wheat Fettuccine 16 oz box
10" 100% Whole-Wheat Tortillas 1 package

THE PANTRY LIST Buy these crucial building blocks every couple of months and you'll always have them on hand to construct meals around the clock.

Reduced-fat mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Low-sodium soy sauce
Peanut butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese
Tabasco or other hot sauce



3/4 bunch asparagus (about 8 medium spears)
2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced 1/4" thick
1 medium onion, cut in 1/4"-thick rings
1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 rotisserie chicken breast or leg

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by gently bending each stalk until it breaks -- it'll naturally snap off at the right spot. In a baking dish, toss the vegetables with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables have developed a light brown crust. Serve half the vegetables with the chicken and a simple mixed-greens salad tossed with olive oil and vinegar. Reserve the other half of the vegetables for other meals this week.

430 calories, 36 grams (g) protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat (7 g saturated), 5 g fiber

The next day's lunch


1 c chopped rotisserie chicken (left over from Sunday's dinner)
3 bell peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 whole-wheat tortilla
2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small handful mixed greens
1 c leftover asparagus, mushrooms, and onions

To chop the chicken, remove the skin and use a fork to pull the meat from the bones. Then place the meat on your cutting board and cut it into bite-size pieces -- it should yield about 3 cups' worth. Use 1 cup for the wrap and save the other 2 cups for later in the week. Chop the peppers into 1/2" pieces. They should yield about 4 cups; use 1/2 cup today and save the rest in a plastic bag for dinner.

Mix the garlic, mayonnaise, and vinegar together to make the aioli. Brush the tortilla with the aioli, then put the cheese down the middle, followed by the greens, chicken, and vegetables. To make a tight wrap, fold the bottom of the tortilla up first, then roll it from the side.

400 calories, 43 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 5 g fiber



1/4 c instant brown rice (measured dry)
1/2 can black beans, drained and heated
1/2 Tbsp canola or other cooking oil
1 medium onion, sliced
Bell peppers, chopped into 1/2" pieces (left over from Sunday's lunch)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz shrimp, defrosted
Cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, or Tabasco to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 whole-wheat tortilla, warmed

Cook the brown rice according to the directions on the box, then add the black beans. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add the onion slices, the bell- pepper pieces saved from lunch, and the chopped garlic, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. Mix in the shrimp and spices, and cook for another 3 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and firm. Serve half of the shrimp fajita mix with a small scoop of the rice and beans, the avocado slices, and the warm tortilla.

Reserve the rest of the rice and beans in a microwavable bowl or plastic container along with the leftover fajita mix, and use it for tomorrow's lunch.

602 calories, 42 g protein, 71 g carbohydrates, 22.5 g fat (3 g saturated), 15 g fiber

The next day's lunch


Leftover rice, beans, and fajita mix (from Monday's dinner)
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
Salsa (optional)

Heat the leftovers in a plastic container or a microwavable bowl for 60 seconds. Top with the avocado and salsa to taste, if desired.

650 calories, 37 g protein, 85 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat (3 g saturated), 16 g fiber



6 oz 100% whole-wheat fettuccine
1 c chopped rotisserie chicken (left over from Sunday's dinner)
1 c roasted vegetables (left over from Sunday's dinner)
1 1/2 Tbsp sun-dried-tomato pesto
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Cook the fettuccine in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Toss half the pasta with some canola oil and reserve in a container for Thursday's lunch. Combine the chicken, vegetables, and sun-dried-tomato pesto with the remaining pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Grate some Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Serve with 1 cup of mixed greens, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

490 calories, 46 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat (5 g saturated), 6 g fiber

The next day's lunch


1 Tbsp sun-dried-tomato pesto
1 whole-wheat tortilla
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c chopped rotisserie chicken (left over from Sunday)
1 c roasted vegetables (left over from Sunday)

Spread the pesto on the tortilla. Top with the cheese, chicken, and vegetables, and microwave open-faced for 1 minute, or until the cheese has fully melted. Fold over and slice into quarters. If you have time, try cooking it over low heat in a skillet or sauté pan for a crispier result.

440 calories, 38 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat (8 g saturated), 4 g fiber



1/2 c instant brown rice (measured dry)
1 tsp canola or other cooking oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 c mixed chopped peppers (left over from Monday night)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c chopped raw asparagus
8 oz shrimp, defrosted
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Hot sauce to taste (We like Sriracha.)
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the brown rice according to the package directions. Add the oil to a large sauté pan or wok and place over high heat. When the oil is smoking, add the onions, peppers, garlic, and asparagus, then stir-fry for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have browned slightly. Stir in the shrimp, soy sauce, and hot sauce and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve half of it over the brown rice, reserving the remaining stir-fry for lunch tomorrow.

592 calories, 36 g protein, 88 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat (2 g saturated), 9 g fiber

The next day's lunch


1 c shrimp stir-fry (left over from Wednesday's dinner)
3 oz cooked whole-wheat fettuccine (left over from Tuesday's dinner)
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp water
Splash of vinegar or orange juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
Hot sauce to taste
1 Tbsp chopped peanuts (optional)

Toss the shrimp stir-fry with the leftover pasta. In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, vinegar or OJ, and pepper. Add the peanut-butter mixture and hot sauce to the stir-fry and pasta, and mix thoroughly. Top with peanuts, if desired. Eat cold or at room temperature.

530 calories, 43 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 7 g fiber



1 pork tenderloin, about 3/4 pound (herb or lemon-garlic marinated, if available; check the meat section of your grocery store)
1 medium onion, quartered
1 1/2 c mixed chopped peppers (from Monday's lunch)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. In a baking dish, toss together the pork, onion, peppers, garlic, oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the tenderloin (to an internal temperature of 150˚F, if using a thermometer). Enjoy half the pork and vegetables tonight, and save the rest -- storing both together in a sealed container -- for lunch tomorrow. (If you want a bigger, meal, prepare 1/4 cup of instant brown rice, measured dry. It'll add 170 calories, 4 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, and 2 g fiber to the nutrition information below.)

350 calories, 37 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 2 g fiber

The next day's lunch


1/2 Tbsp sun-dried-tomato pesto
1/2 Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 whole-wheat tortilla
2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
Vegetables and pork tenderloin, thinly sliced (from Thursday's dinner)

Combine the pesto and mayonnaise, mixing them together in a small bowl, and spread over the tortilla. Layer the cheese, pork slices, and leftover vegetables on top, and wrap it up.

480 calories, 48 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat (5 g saturated), 3 g fiber

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

happy 567

it's 05/06/07 (in order of magnitude.) happy june 5, 2007!

too bad i didnt write this post at 02:03:04 AM.

san diego, etc

what's with this weather, it's gray and blah here. especially in the morning. may gray brings june bloom, i guess, maybe a few days late. but seriously it's 75 and partly sunny in boston, humidity 68. here it's 60 and cloudy, and humidity 80. it's like the reverse.

but still, i looked on the NODC Coastal Water Temperature Guide and Scripps Pier is 64 degrees. that's water temperature that'll get you sweating in a wet suit. i'd been freezing my balls going surfing when it was 61 (i did it like once at 58 and OMFG) so now it looks like it's time to hit the beach again. but i would like some sun, one day.

of course, it looks blah at scripps right now.

so here are some things i've decided i have to do before leaving san diego.

1) get scuba certified
2) take the coaster down from encinitas to downtown. apparently it's scenic.
3) go to seaworld and the zoo again. use up my year pass.
4) visit coronado again.
5) go to mexico (past tj)
6) go wine tasting in temecula

Monday, June 4, 2007

post tournament ritual

10 signs you just came back from a big tournament.

1. you eat a carnitas quesadilla from caliente for lunch
2. you buy a bag of trader joe's mandarin orange chicken
3. on tuesday night, you get drunk off of red wine while playing oblivion
4. you realize that a turkey, lettuce, tomato and pickle sandwich on wheat doesn't taste as good as it did the week before. neither does a fruit smoothie.
5. you walk with a limp
6. you can estimate your weight to within 1 lb before stepping on a scale
7. you don't wear a warmup and underarmor at practice
8. your goal for practice is to work on the 540

ok make that top 8 signs. nathan and alicia, please feel free to comment and add your own signs.

and even as the rest of us return to normal lives after the last qualifier, there are several people who are training in korea. it's like in dragon ball z. the small fry are doing their thing on earth, while goku and gohan and the really big dawgs are off in some strange planet, getting way, way better than we could hope to be.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

editing videos with adobe premiere 2.0

it's really hard to make yourself edit six hours worth of sparring tapes. especially when theyre back logged from the past five years. that's why i took a smaller project today - the ihouse demo videos - and redid them, with some titles, some music, and some cuts. this was done for mike and the ucsd banquet, so i could show another video without much worry.

well, it was much more fun to edit, because it's a demo and most of the footage is meant to be interesting. and naturally there's a mix of footage, and not just sparring. boring, high level sparring. with a few tracks of music, some grammatically and punctuationally liberated titles, it looks pretty cool.

here is the link:

the new and improved iHouse TKD demo

and for those who might need this for the banquet, and those who didn't ever see, here's the first (and so far only) highlights video i made, when UCSD went to UCLA in the fall:

UCSD Highlights Video

Friday, June 1, 2007

yo yo dieting

maybe i'm a big wuss but dieting sucks. and tonight i had a combination of dehydration, some sort of stomach ailment, and too much celery for lunch. i'd burp or cough and something i ate for dinner smelled on my breath. the funny thing is it smelled kind of like weed, and i thought steve had been smoking. i wonder if my lettuce went bad? because i only had a ham and lettuce and tomato sandwich.

but i weighed myself after workout, and i was down to 134.8 lbs. that's kind of ridiculous, given i only need to be at 136.6 on SATURDAY. well no wonder i cramped up and was faint and couldn't even count to 10 at the end of class. but then again, that's only 3 lbs of water, which is normal for some people, so maybe i'm just a big wuss.

this weekend is UCSD's end of the year banquet. i helped mike work on some videos, glory helped me with some stuff that's still a secret, and there are many others working behind the scenes to get everything done. of course i'm really sad that i won't be there this saturday because i'll be at the fresno qualifiers.

in a way this qualifier means a lot to me, because it's the last one before nationals. nathan and i are going to try to join the rest of our crew in being qualified and being allowed to fight on the world class division rather than the elite open. it's kind of like i've been working up to this one, right? portland, collegiates, kansas city. so this is the one i'll gun for. master baik said that i should want it most. i should get angry in the ring because i've worked so hard for it. and i used to get angry, or excited, and even cocky. i've lost some of that edge, and maybe that's why i've been less successful. part of me feels that i'm wiser, and cooler, and more at peace with the world. but the other part of me wants it so bad that i'm willing to knock someone out.

but mostly, i just want to stop yo yo dieting. that burrito sounds might good right about now. oh wait, that's part of the reason yo yo dieting happens.