Wednesday, December 22, 2010


two pieces of hilarity, and one story to completely sober you up.

the last two or three nights have been great. i think i like the holidays most because the people who are in boston are forced to create their own sense of family and togetherness. for most of us, home is somewhere else, and sometimes going home for the holidays is like leaving our real home. similarly, when others leave to go home, we're left here in boston to find someone to be family. and to get mightily drunk with.


yesterday i met up with one of my best friends from high school, george. we had grown apart a bit in college after going to different schools. and although he did come and attend MIT (a goal for both of us as innocent high schoolers) we never did get to hang out much, and despite several high school friends now living in the boston area, i had lost touch with that aspect of my life. but we did finally get together (although under worse circumstances) and it was still great.

i joined george and his wife and coworkers for their 9th day of the 12 drinking days of christmas. we went to the highly pretentious liberty hotel, where the restaurant "clink" failed to serve us satisfactory food but didnt seem to mind charging for it. so when we left we headed straight to the closest, divyest bar on charles st, and with no one else inside but us we proceeded to order the cheapest beers and play all their arcade games. and that's when we started having fun. i spent about $2.50 for a pint and about $5 on games each round. there was a boxing strength game, and after a few sincere punches we all started trying to figure out how it worked - whether it was an accelerometer in the base, or a force sensor in the bag itself, and we spent a dollar just testing different ways to move the bag and seeing if it registered. we got 5 out of 1000 for each of those tests.

then we played a basketball shooting game, and after going head to head for about a minute we realized that one side gets 80 seconds and the other side gets 40 seconds, yet megan (George's wife) still got 45 points in those 40 seconds to mark's 48 points in 80 seconds. he was excited that he beat her before he realized that she had half the time. at some point we wanted to power cycle the machines to see if we could reset the timers. but the most money of the night was dropped on Terminator Salvation - we had a great system of switching off when one person died, and a drinking game based on killing streaks. at the end of the night as the bar started to fill up, we had gotten enough of the cheap miller high life and gotten our fill of bar video entertainment.


tonight, after CW practice, we all went out to middle east to have a drink/food with mike bartending. the crowd was jay, his dad, fredson, amy, dan, ana, cwilli and me. as we're sitting there eating hummus some very very drunk, skinny white guy stumbles and crashes into our table. so we're like hey are you ok? he starts muttering something about islam and was being a bit belligerent, so we told him "have a good night" ie leave now. as he's walking toward the door, he turns back, puts his hands down on the table and leans over me and cwilli, and starts muttering "have a good night? have a cheap night!" of course it makes no sense what he was saying but he kept looking back and forth at us, and i really expected him to start swinging. but i have to say at this moment i was the least scared i have every been in my life, even compared to a situation where nothing threatening is happening. because at the table there were probably about 50 total black belt degrees, and about a thousand pounds of muscle, and this guy is trying to start a fight totally drunk off his ass.

but basically the guy gets thrown out, and keeps trying to get back in the bar, but was barred from reentry by various people. i really wish he had a sober friend who would tell him in the morning, "look, you really picked the wrong people to start a fight." and it was a bit of excitement but i realize that our community is full of very dependable people.

final thoughts

so i guess the sobering thing is that this holiday season i met up with george because one of our friends from high school just had a terrible stroke and ended up in the hospital. we visited him but basically he was no longer going to live without life support. today i found out that he had passed. it's a terrible thing to happen, especially with the holidays. and it's cliche to say it but these things happen so quickly and without warning that it is making me appreciate every kick, every drink, every conversation with people in my life now. and maybe i'm even beginning to reconnect with my own past, which kind of disappeared when i moved away from nc, but now to find out that not only george and chris were in boston, but many others from my high school class are now in boston. maybe i should make more of an effort to see them, to get to know them, not as the high school stereotypes we all were but as real people now. because i've come to appreciate the real people in the world.

goodbye chris miller, we'll all keep living for you

Monday, December 6, 2010


started listening to a tight jazz playlist on youtube and it's slowly's some cool stuff

from the jazzanova mix

bike mania

edit: yea...posted at work so i'll have to take pics when i get home

i did a bit more work on my huff puff bike this weekend, as christine puts it (my motorcycle is my vroom vroom bike). i took out my old schwinn roadbike, which is old, scratched up, the seat post is permanently rusted inside the frame, the pedals and gears are a but unsmooth and will probably break sometime in the future. but recently i cut the handlebars into bullhorns (see tutorial here) and suddenly the bike is highly awesome. i'm not sure what the exact appeal of bullhorns and single speed bikes are, but they're popular in urban areas like cambridge/boston, and i've long jumped on the bandwagon.

this week i finally got in touch with a few fellow bikers on craigslist and met up with a guy who sold me another set of drop handlebars and a set of road tires. i love meeting people and talking about bikes with them. this guy rode up on his track bike which was clean and basically simple to the point of being almost only a frame. he carried the tires, tubes, and apparently enough parts to almost make a complete bike, on his back, because he had gone around selling parts on craigslist all weekend. we chatted about track wheels vs traditional road wheels and how to use wd-40 to clean handle bar tape gunk.

so then i went home and put together the wheels for my old scwhinn revival. i used to have a set of thicker (>23 mm) wheels whose bearings were also worn and i had removed them to try to clean...but now i have a set of thinner wheels i had bought, a set of tires i just bought, and when i put them together they were a nice, sleek setup. so i had the bullhorns on the frame already, i put the two wheels on, and installed an old noseless bike saddle that i had spray painted because it was shockingly pink before. i had one bike chain left, and it happened to be a single speed which fit pretty well - i had to take off 6 links for it to fit on the largest gear in front and the 2nd smallest on the rear wheel.

i took the bike for a spin despite not having brakes. it starts a bit slow but it seems to have a good top speed because of the gear ratio - my other single speed has a bit too low of a gear ratio so i have to pedal a bit too fast. and thus my old heavy schwinn is on its way to becoming a cool cambridge city bike with bullhorn handles, a noseless saddle, and sleek wheels. can't wait to ride this one around.

Monday, November 29, 2010

new office

We just moved to a new office this week, and we got all kinds of fancy new modular furniture. so one of the things that is possible with this stuff is that the desks can be raised and i can set myself up with a standing height keyboard and monitor. apparently that's alot healthier for you than sitting at a desk 8 hours a day. Although most of these studies seem a bit exaggerated. however, why not give it a try? it might keep me from falling asleep sometime. next step: treadmill desk.

Friday, November 26, 2010

black friday my ass

i've decided that black friday is a complete waste of time.

yesterday i was quite insomniac in the evening, despite a large and pretty heavy thanksgiving dinner. i played dragon age late into the night and soon i decided it might be worthwhile to stay up to see what black friday deals are available, even though i had sworn i wouldn't do any of this stupid consumerist nonsense this year.

i remembered the one thing i did kind of want - a dremel set - and home depot would be a good place to go because i needed to return some other stuff and buy more plastic wrap for the windows. so i looked it up, there seemed to be a deal, and off i set toward home depot.

but first i wanted to check on microcenter - they have some sort of deal for a GPS system, who doesnt? but compared to amazon, this garmin nuvi seemed to be a pretty good deal in store. so i drive there first, which is the complete opposite direction of home depot.

there is a line of people waiting outside, and in my mind i think maybe microcenter opens at 8 (it's only 7) and i laugh at the fools standing outside in the rain waiting for the doorbuster. then i drive to home depot, get a nice dremel for $20 less than its usual price, and start heading back. it's now 7:45 as i pull into microcenter. the line's a bit longer but not appreciably. and i get tired. so i decide to take a nap until 8:05, just to let everyone bust in the door, do their thing, and if there's still a nuvi left i'd take it.

at 8:05 there's still a line that's not moving. i take another 10 minute nap. by this time i am dreaming of all sorts of weird things in my car. when i wake up, i notice the same people in line, but one or two people are exiting the store. what, they let you in one by one to buy what you want, then force everyone else to wait outside, prioritized by who is the most greedy and willing to get up at ungodly hours to buy temporary happiness in the form of portable electronics? yes.

some part of me, whether it's pride, laziness, or sleep deprivation, forbade me to enter that charade. i was already ashamed of having come to microcenter twice after declaring to everyone at thanksgiving dinner that i would not be up at 5 to shop. i drove home, happy to be free of this consumer culture that plagues america. i went home happily with a dremel set.

of course, now that i'm on the computer i went back onto amazon...they have an online black friday special as i got a different gps system for a bit less, and it's probably the same anyways. so yes, i did succumb to the greed of america. but i did it in a modern way.

motorcycle tales 2

recently i was able to finish my motorcycle light installation. this is kind of how it went.

after taking out the old lights, reusing the wires that connected to the motorcycle by twisting the wires together with the new light fixtures, and using a 1003 bulb instead of a 1073 bulb, it was time to make things permanent. i bought a soldering iron but it didnt have a stand (i later saw the actual stand) so i used what i could - an empty wine bottle makes a the perfect classy soldering iron stand.

after soldering, the lights were in their fixtures and ready to be inserted. I used a dremel that the bus driver from work loaned me. dremels are useful tools. i was able to cut a small hole in the fairing of the motorcycle where the old lights attached, without doing too much damage. and finally, the lights just slid right in, the base plate fit well, and the wires clipped right into the old attachments inside the bike.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my stomach as a child

i was browsing reddit today and randomly came across a post reminding us how this got us all free pizzas as a child:

it randomly brought up a memory of when i was in elementary school. there was a program (school district sponsored?) where if you get a good report card, straight A's or gold stars or whatever they give you in elementary school, you could take the report card to redeem a personal size pizza.

we did it once. we took the report card to the local Kmart. and turns out you get the pizza from the layaway department, the place in the way back of the store where returns are processed. i wonder why they have pizzas there too. but i got my personal pizza, it was a small, circular cheese pizza, cut into four slices. i guess i was expecting one of the gooey cheese and pepperoni pizzas you see in ninja turtles. but oh well, it was free food, and we were a chinese immigrant family.

but maybe it was my lactose intolerance, but i ate a quarter of that pizza on the way back, and immediately felt sick, and threw up all the pizza in the car. i never finished the rest of the pizza, and never got straight A's again. well, not as far as Kmart could tell.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

corner office conversations

I have my office on kind of a corner in the hallway - where it starts to change direction. for some reason, that makes snippets of conversation much easier to hear. as people come around the corner, their conversation instantly becomes audible, then almost instantly goes out of range, giving me a short window to listen in at the most strange moments.

overheard today:

A: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
B: well, i guess so...
A: i mean, it's all a concept.
B: well is it new bacon, or is it "been in your mouth" bacon?
A: oh, of course it's new bacon!
B: ok then of course that makes sense.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


last week, i officially successfully got my first bag of crap on w00t! after a week of waiting, and receiving a ton of other things (a monopod from woot, motorcycle pants, a package of amazon food, and a soldering iron, see previous post) i finally got the bag of crap today.

and it came in a huge box that weighed 4.1 lbs so from the start i knew it wasn't a big screen tv or an xbox 360. but all i wanted was for there to be NO screaming woot monkey. those things suck ass.

and the official stash is:

3 garden sprinkler stakes (looked like sais to me)
3 hdmi cable bending connectors
1 pga golf hat
1 pga bookbag
1 carabiner camera - pink with flowers
1 citronella mosquito repellant lamp

kinda cool - no real bags of crap.

motorcycle tales

i received a package recently that was sent from thailand with very unreadable markings on it. i was scared for a second then i realized i had purchased some flush mount turn signals from a company called, and it turns out they are located in thailand and ship direct. so here's the blog story documenting my first attempt at modding my bike with aftermarket products.

near the end of summer (september) i was riding down broadway and had a small accident. it was basically caused by the lack of paving on prospect which was a huge mess at that time, a little girl on a tricycle crossing the road, and a left turn. i remember thinking this is a typical accident situation, when my eyes met hers, then her dad's eyes, and i knew i had to stop and risk the skid. my back wheel slid out and i remember looking sideways at the road and my bike handle bars, and thinking SHIT my light broke off.

after the father helped me pick up my bike i rode off again after taking some pictures...but those are pretty useless so i never did anything with them. my knee kind of hurt and had a small scrape through the jeans, but my shoulder and arm were perfectly fine. i didn't even notice that the armored jacket had gotten scratched up until later...thank goodness for shoulder pads.

so i took the opportunity to replace my turn signals with flush mounts, which i feel might look better, and definitely won't snap off next time i take a fall. they came a few weeks after i ordered them, with everything except instructions.

then i had to search around to figure out how to install them. fortunately, keithinasia is a very popular seller and provider of kawasaki ninja 250 lights, and there are many forums where people have complete instructions on how to install his flush mounts. so the only thing i could do was go in, and try to pull out the lights.

the light fixture itself was attached by a few screws which came out easily. the wiring kind of plugged into another pair of wires that were inside the motorcycle frame and harder to get to, but they were pretty easy to pop out of the connector. however, i found out that the original bulb does not fit inside the flush mount enclosure - it was a 1073 bulb, and i had to go to advance autoparts to buy a similar but smaller bulb (1003). however, later i plugged it in and it works just as well, and is bright enough.

i would use the old fixture's wire connectors by cutting them off and soldering it to the wires on the flush mount fixture. i plugged everything in and hooked it back into the motorcycle and the turn signals seem to work fine. the next step would be to actually cut the fairing on the motorcycle so the back of the flush mount fits...because if the front is flush, all the crap sticks out the back. that's to come later.

Friday, October 29, 2010

food cravings

i want ramen (the college kind, with spam and an egg...thanks to silly facebook posts).
i want wonton soup.

Monday, October 25, 2010

on motorcycles and other mounts

today i realized why some motorcycles are cool to ride. one thing that makes a sport bike cool is the way the tail rises up, and the back wheel is almost not connected to the rest of the body. you look at this bike and you think wow it's like riding on something that's flying in the air.

then i realized maybe a part of me has always wanted to be in those cartoons/fairytales where you can ride a flying insect.

maybe i should call my motorcycle dragonfly from now on.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

fall sunday night

it's chilly again. mainly it's the feeling that the weather is changing again and another year is truly passing. somehow this year i feel it sharper than before - it's like i could pinpoint the moment my windows started being chilly instead of breezy. this past week it started getting cold in the mornings and today was the first of many where it is harder to get out of bed than usual because it's so cold outside of my blankets. i ride around and there's a shuffle of leaves and crunching acorns under my wheels, and my hands become ice cold from not wearing gloves while biking. maybe the fickle boston weather will bring us some heat again. but it's the first real taste of the crisp air all day long, and the first real need of my peacoat and beanie. it is definitely fall.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

more motorcycle documentaries

i've become a bit of a bike nut. and a documentary nut. here's a touching little story.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

this kid can play

i want to enjoy something as much as he does. i get the same look of pleasure on my face as he does when i surf a good wave...that's about the only time i can think of that.

Friday, September 17, 2010

dansons sous la plue

edit: it was removed from youtube but another version (official?) now exists.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


i have a fear of roller coasters. and i will never go on one. i can simply experience it from the poor schmucks who get tricked into them for the first time by their so called friends. for example, this guy.

this is exactly what i would be like but worse, i'd be freaking the shit out and tearing out my hair in the first 5 seconds of the clip. "are we done? are we done?" apparently that was a gameshow. a cruel, cruel gameshow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

getting ready for work

from a friend on facebook:

this is just for my reference, so i can get up in the mornings and be super efficient.

Friday, September 10, 2010

herding cats at ikea

i love ikea. i like cats.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

my very first ikea hack

I bought a Lilliberg 3 seater sofa frame by itself because it was on sale. I had an old metal futon that was falling apart so I used the hinges on the futon to turn the Lilliberg sofa into a Lilliberg futon.

First I shortened the legs by a few inches because I like lower furniture but also the futon hinges would add a few inches to the height of the sofa.

The futon back and bottom needed a wooden frame to be attached to the hinges. I cut four pieces of 2x3 and attached them to the hinge using various L brackets I had laying around. Then, with the frame extended, I drilled holes to attach the hinges to the futon frame so that the 2x3 supports would lie flat on the lengthwise beams.

I also added 1x3s lengthwise to support the middle of the futon. These were attached with small brackets to the 2x3 supports. The Lilliberg back and bottom come attached with several small metal hinges so I removed those so that each piece was independent and could be screwed to the wooden frame of 2x3 and 1x3s.

The futon folds up very easily and is nice and solid because of the additional wooden frame. Lowering the Lilliberg by cutting off a few inches made the sofa the right size because I added extra padding. I topped it with two regular futon mattresses which were a bit longer than the Lilliberg but I could get it in there by scrunching the mattress.

Submitted to too!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

MIT Sport TKD: the docudrama

allright. i am tasked to produced the dvd for the 10th year MIT Sport TKD Anniversary/alumni reunion. Which is great because it will finally force me to make the documentary that i've wanted to make for years. since 2003. and 2004. and then 2005 when we officially became a dynasty (three years of the cup). then in 2006 i got old and bored and tired so it started to drift and I realized that I would never make this documentary, about how we started up and became amazing and had so many achievements.

and now the script is done.

as far as my filmmaker's resume goes - i actually have quite the list of imbd accomplishments - "I Am Bobby Director", not my first genius works came as a high school junior or senior in ap environmental science class and english class. we made some film about culling the deer population but made it ironic in that the deer were culling the human population. i also made a political ad for simon in lord of the flies, in which special camera effects involved stop and go recording, a paper dove hanging on a string, and flour thrown to imitate smoke from an explosion. that was what jump started my film career.

my masterpiece came in senior year with the mystery "duck and run" whose theme song was the same title by three doors down. in it i realized that music made everything better, and script writing and camera special effects always happens best initially so FILM THE MOST IMPORTANT SCENES FIRST. otherwise you lose patience and the ending is just a hack. we actually had a premier for the movie - at my friend's house, with me wearing a black shirt and black tie and being as hollywood as i could possibly be while being from north carolina.

and since then, as a has been, i've found myself exploring more creative media - music videos. and recently i've looked back on some of the work and there have been some really good highlights work...and some very repetitive work. you can tell that the first one in the year is great, then i learn to follow the formula so closely that later tournaments are not served justice. but there are several good ones that i am very proud of. i think those were made just so my 80 gb harddrive could be freed up for more footage.

oh yes, i forgot about the martial arts movie we made in the MAC courts. conor, erica, i've forgotten completely about that and will not mention it again.

so now with a million small projects still on my mind (WUTC video, poomse video), i have given myself to the task of this documentary. because honestly if I finish it, I can die a happy man. and i think that i'd be able to do anything else i want afterwards.

so look forward to a great two part film about MIT Sport Taekwondo. as seen from bobby's eyes, but you'd never really know that.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

paint master

last night i pulled off a feat worthy of being featured on a TLC or HGTV house flipping show. actually more like some cooking show where they give you a bunch of random ingredients and say GO! and you have 2 hours to accomplish something.

here's the back story: I bought a nice light white paint/primer for my renovated room. except i calculated the square footage wrong (and the first layer has to be thick) so I ran out of paint. Later i brought the can back to the store to buy a second can...but somehow the color they gave me was completely off. some poor sap out there is going to have a nice white ceiling for his nice reddish grey den. but since i had someone moving in, i had to paint the ceiling. it was at least a coat of primer.

i had to redo some of the seams in the living room because of unrelated taping issues (well, related in that i'm a n00b at renovations) so i needed wall paint as well as ceiling paint to cover up the corners. fortunately the previous owner of the house had done some work as well, and had about 10 half used cans of paint left in the basement. three of those were decent, light colored white paints, so i decided what the heck, i can get two full cans of a soft white from these three cans of bluish white and very white, and greyish red. (some of the paint had rust flakes in them too.) and after an iterative mixing procedure done very precariously over the tarp in the room, i did have two full cans of a color that almost came out like the existing wall color. in the right lighting (atmospheric mood lighting) of the room you can't tell.

but the important thing is that i have more than enough paint to finish the wall and ceiling, and maybe even repaint my hallway. and i got rid of some old paint. THAT should go on ikeahacker.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

extended education

I attended one day of motorcycle school today. I went to bed at 1 and got up at 6, with several intermittent (3:30, 4, 4:15AM) waking and checking my clock moments. I didn't want to miss another learning opportunity in my life. More than that, I didn't want to forfeit the $275 I choked up for yet another hobby that I hope I will have time for.

That's when I realized that here was another one of my recent stints sitting in classrooms listening to some craftsman, artisan, or professional who has gotten so good at his trade that he can get paid teaching it to others. But I love to take classes to learn the proper way to do things - it's like a woman collecting shoes that she never ends up wearing. And it's just another hobby that will eventually get hung into my closet, after I shell out a few more hundred bucks for accessories to go with it. Will I ever use these adult education seminars? Do we get the choice to take more classes because finally, as an adult, we can take classes for skills we enjoy rather than skills needed to get a job?

The most recent one before this streetwise motorcycle school was a home brewery class. Fortunately that one came from a groupon so for $35 (?) I got a full kit and a beer brewing lesson that comes summarized in a handbook. And the brewery kit paid off once, failed horribly once, and is now sitting in my cabinets. At least I can always tell my friends I'm a brewmaster, and in case I lived somewhere where a constant beer supply helped run a household, I would be proud to uncork my 5 gallon bucket again.

Before that, there was bartending school. Which, of course, really taught me the right way to do things whether at an actual event or just with some friends. And I still do it, just on my own, with far fewer standards, and with no possibility of screwing up or making money. It's just that now I meet people who are more successful than I am at getting bartending jobs, but at least we can all chat and say wasn't bartending school fun? And when I see someone else try to mix a drink I am filled with contempt at their ignorance, and sadness that my bartending snobbery brings me no extra joy. College kids can do fine with college bartending skills. It's like I got a PhD and now work at a McDonalds.

And another thing before that in which I spent weekend days listening - sailing. I took the sailing class - books all morning, sailing all afternoon, and with that they sent us out on the water with the sail in full motion. I made it back that time - the next time I didn't, and haven't sailed since.

So hopefully this time the motorcycle lessons will pay off. Because once I drop another $2k on a bike, $1k on gear, and decide I'm brave enough to go onto the road and eventually commute to work...this class will have paid off. Because I will be much better at not dying while riding my bike than if I had "learned it from Uncle Joe" as our instructor said.

So...maybe it'll actually be better if this habit gets hung into some cabinet as well.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

lightning storm

yesterday a fantastic lightning storm rolled in as we were having practice on the turf. it was near the end of practice so we were doing pushups and crunches and stretches, and you could see the dark clouds sliding in over the field. between every five counts for pushups or squats, there would be a sharp spike of light spreading over our heads like a coral skeleton in the sky. that would have been the perfect time to capture some imagery but I didn't have my camera and we were still in practice, so after everything finished i ran home and grabbed my camera and tripod and went first to the mass ave bridge, then up to the top of the west garage. it was empty up there, just me and the sky, and i'd continuously take 2 second exposure photos hoping to catch the lightning in the middle of my frame. it was like a game. every time i pressed the button just at the right time (1/2 second before a thread of lightning spread across the sky) i would get chills down my spine at the awesomeness of it all. it was probably a funny sight, me in my workout clothes holding a huge pink victoria's secret umbrella, under a while street lamp on top of an empty garage, pointing a camera at nothing and intensely taking photos. but i caught some of the lightning.

i will post a few later.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


its been about 10 days since i've left boston and arrived at spain. and i can clearly say that if i had the opportunity i would leave the united states in a heartbeat and move to spain. or almost any country in europe. but i love the lifestyle. perhaps it is that i love the memories i obtained during a few days of sports games that i attended. but in truth my whole experience here in spain has been amazing and i would come to another seminar/open/training here in a heartbeat.

tomorrow i leave for the USA again. it mis an afternoon flight but we're leaving in the morning so it will be early. pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

sports in 2010

it's a great time to be a sports fan. and i'm not talking about your typical american sports fan with the superbowl sunday bbq. it's about all kinds of different sports where people are giving it their all and really doing some ridiculous things.

last week we were all glued to the TV for the celtics-lakers NBA finals. lakers took it in 7 in a rough final game and the tension was incredibly thick in every living room and bar in boston. somewhere, fans have to cry, it just happened to be in the beantown this year. i didn't really follow the celtics that much but now i will be watching rondo play next year.

then the world cup starts in south africa. it plays in the morning so we couldnt really watch as a group but the buzz is everywhere, and not just from vuvuzelas. when the US tied england 1-1 there was a shitstorm on reddit about getting England back for BP (which is ridiculous). then the US lost a point to tie 2-2 instead of win, and US fans were suddenly in uproars about bad reffing. but then we had a victorious overtime score by landon donovan (another person i didn't really follow until now) and it is all good for the US fans. furthermore, France has some serious *drama* and is out of the first round, and italy, last year's world cup winners, just lost and did not qualify for the 16. in fact they lost to south africa, who did not qualify but left the world cup with a sweet victory. and north korea scored 1 point against brazil for which kim jong-il must be rewarding his player, but they lost 7-0 against portugal.

then we've had the longest match in wimbledon history, john isner vs isner mahut, 5 sets over 3 days, with the final set ending at 70-68. they played for 10 hours yesterday until they couldnt see because the sun had gone down, and this morning resumed at 56-56. it was good that someone didn't just screw up and the game ended 58-56. but hopefully isner doesn't just lose in the next round in 3 sets or something pitiful, because he's going to be feeling this game for a while.

tomorrow morning we leave for Spain, for the World Universiade Taekwondo Championships! there will be a lot more sporting craziness, alot of travel and sightseeing after the competition, and a lot of europe to experience.

Friday, June 11, 2010

final room

before anyone moves in:

looking for a place to rent starting aug 14? lemme know!

workweek day 6

thursday. today we pounded out the work and changed a construction site to a bedroom. just don't look up at the ceiling because i ran out of paint.

let there be light!the electricians came in the morning and put in bulbs and outlets, so there's actually electricity in the room. no more need for that long extension cord! of course there's still an issue with the dimmer switch actually connected to the rest of the outlets. that's not good because then your computer could be hooked up to an outlet that can be dimmed down to 1% of actual power. the shopvac sounds pathetic when it's "dimmed".

iliya and i figured out how to level the floor. we took all of chsueh's broken boards and cut them to fit in the groove where the wall used to be. they matched up with the height of the lower half of the room perfectly. so then we had a long thin layer of the old paneling covering the crack, then we fully covered that half of the room with another layer of the old paneling. and with that slight step change in height you can't feel anything under the laminate.

iliya cutting paneling. who knew these would be useful?the paneling covering the old hardword side of the room

laying down hardwood floor is alot harder than internet sites say but alot easier than you'd think. the hard part is dealing with small regions like the closet. because the walls aren't quite perpendicular (my fault?) the floors are slightly angled all the way through. but once we got out of the closet area and started laying en masse, it went much faster.

the first laminate plank, lined up with the outside of the closet

cwilli being a slave driver

anye and mengfei measuring end pieces

construction cat

the painting went on at the same time as the flooring, basically, because we had two groups and one could paint while the other cut and installed flooring. i had to run to home depot because i didn't have primer for the paint left over from the previous owner, so i sucked it up and bought a gallon of paint+primer. turns out 1 gallon doesn't cover the whole room, and when the guy said that it would be enough for a 200 sqft room he meant 200 sqft of surface, not floor space. so i'm leaving the ceiling artistically bare, for now.

painting the closet

we had enough paint for the walls but not the ceiling

at the end of the night, the room looks like it's almost, ALMOST habitable! i just have to install the closet shelving and put the trims in. one day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

renovation expenses

and just before i forget i'm going to list down what i think this place has cost:

electrical $700
flooring $300
closet $100 shelving, $20 wood
paint and spackle - $40
sheetrock - $100
beer and pizza - $50

workweek day 5

wednesday, june 9. a crazy day in terms of scheduling. i went to the home depot straight after work and stayed for about an hour and half, making two trips through the checkout for two different projects. i've never purchased flooring so the whole section was a mystery to me. i finally found the cheaper but pretty laminate (estate cherry, 99c/sqft) and it cost me $200 for the ~170 sqft room. I'll have extras for the downstairs.

then i went back to look at closets and just became engulfed in the selection of their closet shelving system. not to get into details but it is much much better than the old ghetto wood plank and metal hooks in the original closet.

wednesday evening is usually busy for other reasons - UIU homework (a midterm today) and poomse practice. so i went home, worked on the midterm for half an hour, ran to the gym to practice poomse with rdc and sauza, came back for another half hour still in my dobok to finish the 2nd part of the midterm, picked up cwilli and xuan and put them to work sanding and dusting while i finished the rest of the midterm.

so we did more cleaning. it seems that the dust never really goes away because it gets dispersed into the air each time you clean. and this time we removed the sublayer from the carpet, which was full of dust, and finished all the sanding. in the end, we had a system of sweeping the dust into the cracks under the walls, vacuuming it up from there, then wiping down the walls with a dry sponge. and voila the room was clean.

we moved the paneling that was used to cover the hardwood half of the room down to the garden in order to try out the laminate. the color i bought matches pretty well, but it turns out that with underlayment and laminate down on the old carpet half, there's about 1/2 inch of height difference. even if i had bought the right high to low t-moulding, i think having a 1/2 inch ledge in the middle of your bedroom is not very convenient. so it looks like i'm going to have to lay down laminate over the original hardwood. at least it'll match completely. and if we use the paneling over the hardwood, it actually brings the height up exactly, so that there is no need for connective moulding.

cwilli and xuan stayed until 2, and by then we were making scary faces in the worklight.

proof that i am actually involved in this project:

tomorrow is a finishing day. the hardwood will go down, the paint will go up, and the lights are already being installed by the electricians.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

workweek day 4

tuesday. we put in the final layer of spackle in. one thing i realized is that i shouldn't have used corner tape for all the seams. mesh tape would have been fine and easier to smooth over, but i was thinking that since corner tape is flat it makes a smooth surface. it does, except the edges pop up when the spackle is dry. i'm too pressed for time to change it now but i'm afraid that after painting, it'll just be a permanent mistake that can't be covered up.

other than that, we were able to clean up the whole room more or less, and get rid of a lot of the dust. we took up the boards protecting the floor to reveal the original hardwood. i'm not sure if this hardwood is good or not, so i might just be putting in laminate over the whole thing. this is providing i can even the floor between two levels or figure out how to make a nice transition.

tasks to do:

build inside of closet
fill in gap in floor where old wall was
put down laminate
install electrical components (thurs morning)
trim (?)
assemble furniture

the small details I have to look into today:
measure for trim
measure for laminate
buy closet materials
buy paint or use existing paint