Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ramen noodle wisdom

from Iconic Noodle Celebrates 50th Anniversary (NPR):

"A few days later, after I flew home, a friend asked if she should leave her boyfriend. Unsure what to say, I opened Ando's book. One saying was related to his failure to sell a product called instant rice. "When you enter a market," Ando had written, "do it slowly. When you withdraw, do it quickly." My friend was single next day."

ramen provides all one needs in life. i have recently learned to appreciate instant noodles when rich moved in to my apartment, and also brought over all of his leftover food. and on days when i simply do not have time to cook, i am able to heat up some ramen, plus eggs and cut veggies, in my rice cooker. ah, to live simply. "mankind is noodlekind."

more advice from andy raskin based on momofuku's sayings: ramen advice

Thursday, August 21, 2008

lactose, lactose

8/19, 2:30 pm

i've always thought that i had a relatively strong stomach - living in a frat house and having a college life style requires certain strength of microvilli. so until only recently i've always been kind of blind to the possibility of being lactose intolerant, even though the statistics say that most asians probably have that problem. i used to think that it was because i'd eat healthy (only salad and fruit) that my stomach was rebelling and feeling upset, for lack of meat and carbs. but no, yesterday morning i had only milk and cereal, and cottage cheese, which is when i realized that it might just be the heavy amounts of dairy that was causing my stomach to bubble over.

so i did a experiment - i had tea instead of milk this morning. and behold - i was ok all morning.

i guess i'm somewhat disappointed - i'm a big fan of creamy foods, cheese, etc, and i'm always down for a big glass of milk shake, or cold milk and warm cookies. but i guess it's when i cut weight, and eat nothing but milk/high fiber cereal, then high fiber veggies, that shit hits the fan.

but just to confirm it, here is a small log that i will keep for the next few days:

Day 1 Aug 19
milk, cottage cheese, fruit
extremely flatulent. office mate was out so i let'er rip. spent about 15 minutes sharting in the gym bathroom.

Day 2
tea and muffin, then creamy lunch
fine until 2 pm, slight gurgling in stomach.

Day 3
breakfast was only a muffin and tea. lunch was delayed because of a meeting, and throughout the meeting my stomach rumbled almost like it was upset, but for lack of food rather than lack of lactase.
lunch was a tasty bite indian meal with brown rice. so far, a little bit of stomach rumbling. results inconclusive, maybe from hunger, maybe from other reasons.

dual vertical monitors

yesterday my manager came in to my room randomly, after being sparse from my area of the office for a month or two, and asked me how i was doing, in his typical style: "are you having fun, son? are you coming into work on time?" then he asked, "do you need anything? hardware wise?" before i said no, he said, "i'll get you another monitor."

so now here i am sitting with two 1920x1200 widescreen monitors on my desk. i am virtually impossible to see if you're just walking by my room because i am completely blocked by the two 2 ft tall monitors.

and yes, this morning i decided that it would be a good idea to rotate them both 90 degrees, so i have two monitor towers, from which i can code without ever having to scroll through a function. (of course, that says alot about my bad coding style.) and i've downloaded ultramon - a utility to expand your desktop, allow multiple wallpapers, and extend your task bar - not a giant japanese transforming summoned-by-card beast. i can see easily how, once you go beyond your typical 1200x800 lcd monitor, it's hard to stop before you have a 3x3, 50 megapixel jumbotron display.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the great bike saga 2008, pt 2

to continue the story. so now i was left with a bike tool and my old bike, which was being used for parts. fortunately i had picked out a frame from the trash a while ago - it was a large hybrid commuter bike with a nasty tricolor stripe and half-decomposed seat. the sign said "free" and basically the owner didn't feel like replacing its pedals. so then, the obvious thing was to fix it up using the other pink pedal that was left. with a little air in the tires, my interim bike was almost ready - except we were missing one more pedal, the other pink one that, unfortunately, got stolen with my old bike.

i tried several times to obtain pedals - often with a flashlight and pedal wrench, looking for abandoned bikes in the streets. being without a bike meant i had to skateboard everywhere - to work, to taekwondo, and along my neighborhood. there was one bike that was almost completely stripped - the pedals remained because only the seat was easy to remove..but i couldn't take away the pedals because they were stuck too hard. i even considered going back to alicia's apartment to see if there were any abandoned bikes in her complex's bike rack, but i decided against it.

unfortunately, the next day, i received a call from alicia asking if i had ridden her bike to work, which i hadn't. "oh no," she said, "i guess it got stolen." so if you see any decathalon bikes with a huge sign that says "MyBike.com", it was either hers or some other poor sap's mybike.com loaner. but from that point on i decided that no porch would be safe from bike thieves, and that as much of a pain in the ass it is, it's probably necessary to lock the bike to itself and something else, every time you leave it at home.

so now, we are bikeless, and suddenly the hunt on craigslist has started.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the great bike saga 2008, pt 1

here begins a saga about bicycling in boston, and the adventures we can have while looking for a good ride.

it all began with the huge, man eating rose bush that grows under my porch. this particular rose bush has somehow found a way to survive any harsh conditions boston can throw at it, and visibly grows several inches every week, slowly consuming the wooden railings in the porch. over the summer, this rose bush had grown to the point where the entrance to my apartment was no longer visible. this was a good thing, because each day, returning home was like disappearing into a secret entrance behind a jungle of thorns. as a result, i was also able to park my old, red bike on the porch, hidden without fear of being targeted by bike thieves.

some time during the summer, as i was riding, the right pedal snapped off of the bicycle. rather than getting ripped off at cambridge bicycles, i purchased a bike tool set and found that replacing bicycle pedals was easy, if you only had the spare parts. luckily, i had some junk bikes in the basement, and i replaced the broken stub (which had already worn a hole in my shoe) with a nice, inconspicious pink pedal. i also successfully made a switch with the wheels, skeweres, and various other parts so that i had, for once in a long time, a fully working road bike.

so then i continued to trust in the rose bush for protection of this relatively acceptable steed since i was too lazy to even use my chain combo lock. and then in the morning on some july monday, i came downstairs to catch the lincoln shuttle, and it took me a second to realize that the porch was bare. someone (probably the gardeners) had trimmed the rose bush and other plants so the porch was nice and neat and exposed. and empty, because now my red bicycle, no longer protected in a nest of thorns, was gone, and only the stub of the old pedal remained.