Sunday, May 18, 2008

take that, iphone

my samsung a707 phone has finally reached its full potential.

i bought a set of accessories for it - usb cable, earphone jack, and some chargers. then after a bit of work - but considerably less work than it took to get my old motorola phone to work - i downloaded and installed the correct software to be able to transfer files to and from my phone.

and here, finally, are some of the photos i took using my camera phone. the quality is actually really good.

paul and steve!

more king richard's faire photos

a bugatti that i followed all the way to costco

spring at the old work place

and what's more, i can now more fully customize all my media with ringtones and mp3s. a 2gb microsd card for the phone only costs $15, making my phone a fully functional mp3, camera and phone. just like the iphone.

so currently i've got my new ringtone set up to be the ff7 battle victory song. the more calls i get, the faster i'll level up! but i've also got some rihanna and usher lined up. the speakerphone is actually pretty decent quality - it plays music louder than my laptop speakers. and there's no loss of sound quality through the earphone connector. i guess what was i expecting - the phone is supposed to have really good speakers because you're not going to talk to someone in MIDI.

so now my initial random decision to just get a media-able phone has paid off. i didn't think i would actually want to use my phone for multiple purposes, but after seeing that its camera quality and mp3 playing ability was pretty decent, i'm pretty glad i bought a sync.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

end of year blues

currently listening to:
Red Garland Jazz Piano collection

i love and hate the end of the mit taekwondo season. it's always a flurry of activity with celebrations of yet another tremendous year, and it's also an emotionally stormy period of people preparing to leave, and for some, to move on. even as a not-so-recent graduate, i found myself in the mix, spending late nights preparing what was probably the best highlights video i've ever made (or helped make). its reception at the banquet was great. the banquet itself just seemed a nonstop stream of activity, from plays, awards, videos, food cooking contest judging, etc etc. and after a few other end of year partying mishaps, i think i enjoyed the peace and normalcy of the banquet a lot more, in a way.

we capped the year in the studio with a pair of belt tests. i gave what i thought was my highest belt test yet - the red belt/black stripe test on monday. and despite being somewhat unprepared i believe i gave a worthy and enjoyable (and challenging test.)

here is ning and snix performing their one-steps.

however, then i had the honor to give my first black belt test this past wednesday, for a very deserving teammate. i had to look back to conor for inspiration - as much as one looks to a captain for sparring technique, one looks toward a higher instructor for belt testing wisdom. i threw technique after technique at jarek, interspersed with sets of nx10 sit ups/running men/crunches. i don't even remember what i called, i just called out numbers and he did them. after the sparring he looked exhausted, and i knew all the instructors were pleased and lower belts were horrified at what a spectacle a black belt test is. but after doing 100 running men and using up his last ounce of strength before proceeding to his final form, jarek must have been happy with the completion of a test worthy of him, because he ran off to the thirsty ear to grab maybe a pitcher or two.

today is a saturday and for me that means going to haymarket, enjoying the weather, making some kick ass lemon mint ice tea, and listening to jazz. but for the rest of the mit kids, the last stretch of this academic year will be crammed into today, tomorrow, and the days of next week without finals. yet we managed to have enough time to relax yesterday, with a barbeque at mccormick, a fun sparring practice, another trip to mccormick to eat more of the leftover banquet foods, a movie at the commons and a pretty late night drinking at senior house. it seems that after the last day of classes, everyone feels the need to bbq despite two or three inches of rain throughout the evening. we'll make up for the lack of sun over the summer, of course.

for someone like me, the goal is always going to be the next practice, because there are no other times when i would naturally (and not sketchily) be hanging out on campus. but who knows who will be here on monday? who will be there the next week? if the summer goes well, the end of this school year will just be the beginning of the beginning of another great one.

Monday, May 12, 2008


my cultural clash has finally been reconciled! no, gangstagrass is not about weed. my southern roots and my gangsta roots have finally found a way to combine - bluegrass from the good old deep south, and hip hop, because every true azn is an original gangsta.

here is the unique album from Rench via boingboing.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

it's just a sunday

current music: Sia - Healing is Difficult listen to it here
and i'm using these old school earphones (clip ons that i used to run in.) brings back memories, sort of.

and btw holy shit look at this fucking candidate, you know you want to vote the shit out of him.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ultimate workout

today the weather was nice again - around 70, sunny, not too windy, beautiful. so i dragged my lazy ass away from my desk and forced myself to go to the gym. the ambitious, committed, motivated bobby (and unhappy and bitter bobby) is gone since the weekend tournament ended. actually, he disappeared the moment we parked in the lot by the taekwondo dojang where we weighed in. and now it takes a monumental effort for me to get up, go out, work out, and not be lazy.

well i had to decide what to do because treadmill sounded awful, jogging outside was nice because of the weather but was potentially a 3 mile commitment i didn't want to take on, and i felt too antisocial to try to go and meet people to play racketball. in the gym locker room, as i was going over all of my unhappy options, i saw a guy putting on running shoes (cleats, actually) and grab a disc. just as i got up the nerve to ask where he played ultimate, he left out the door.

i decided to go for a jog and went past the field where they play ultimate frisbee, and i had another stupid moment of deciding whether i wanted to actually go play ultimate, or just forget it and take the familiar and boring jogging route. i took the jogging route halfway, then decided i hated just jogging and instead, i ran toward the frisbee field. another reason to do that was that if the people weren't playing a game, i could just cut my run short and go home.

but when i finally got there and talked to some people, i was reminded of how great of a socializing and exercising tool ultimate frisbee is for people like me - unconventionally athletic (though who defines football as conventional, anyways?) and socially awkward. we fit right in with the ultimate frisbee crowd. and there i remembered the two times i played ultimate for the social benefits and not just fun or exercise - once on a ACSL field trip with my high school math teacher and the biggest nerds from all of NC's best high schools, and once when I was rushing phi sig on a george's island jaunt. and this time i felt similarly welcome, with my adequate disc handling and slightly above average physical fitness gaining me attention where my social skills would not. maybe. and it's great to think that i can now forego the horrid mindless routine of the treadmill, erg, and elliptical, and even slightly more interesting jogs around the base and the occasional racketball game, for addictive, track-of-time-losing games of ultimate frisbee. plus i lost 3 lbs (of water) and gained a slight tan.

and coming back to the office, i felt i could let myself have some candy (because i'm still feeling the residual anorexia from cutting weight) and therefore went to the atrium cafe to buy yogurt raisins, peanut/m&m mix, milk balls, and chocolate covered peanut chunks. the salty sweet chocolate nut snacking brought me back to the good old days at vision robotics, where the exact same food would have been free. i miss the zone bars and starbucks mocha drinks, but i can still buy my memories back once in a while.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


today i went through the worst cutting experience of my life. and it was only a measly 2 lbs of water. but basically i have become very intimate with saunas, more than i've ever been.

the pain started last night after dinner, when for some reason i was suddenly hungry. i wasn't hurting because of small meals before but once the water cutting started, the whole ordeal made the future bleak. and i started counting down the next 24 hours.

at work i was like a zombie, and i started rationing water. fortunately, the hours passed relatively quickly in the morning, and i was always surprised when the next hourly sip was available. at about 3 i started to zonk out, and i could not care for the group meeting at all. driving home was just another obstacle to me getting into the final sauna.

when i got to the gym, i was at 138.0 - about 1.5 lbs. three long and torturous sessions in the sauna were made better by the presence of talkative people who were surprised to no end that i was in full track pants and a hoodie. i also saw some phi sigs and managed to hang out with them in the sauna. and it surprises me that anyone would willingly sit in the sauna if they're not trying to cut water.

that made me wonder if there's anything actually good for you about saunas. there was a guy who doesn't actually work out at the gym - only uses the sauna, alternating between drinking water and pouring water for the 180 degree steam. is there any actual health benefit to sweating regularly? i don't know. maybe it just feels good.

and the last thing i remember thinking is how scary an actual world shortage of water would be. at the office i was reading treehugger and wondering what % of the world's fresh water is available outside of the glaciers. and then i remembered the cool, clear, flowing feeling of a water fountain, and i was suddenly scared. when gas becomes a rare commodity, we can compensate by not being road hogs. when water becomes rare, that's the time to really be concerned.