Showing posts from September, 2012

reach for the stars

In September 1988, I saw STS-26 launch.  That launch of Space Shuttle Discovery was the first launch after the Challenger disaster.  I saw the launch when I was at Space Camp.

Today I saw the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its decommissioning flight.  It was as amazing to see as the launch I witnessed 24 years ago.

dale earnhardt's letter to himself

Overall, you need to just be more sure of yourself. You're going to do great things man. You're going to have an awesome life. ... So don't be so timid and worrisome about the future so much so that you can't enjoy the present.

-- Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s letter to his 16 year old self, reprinted from USA Today.

To a 16 yr old Dale Jr, Now writing this letter to you is going to force me to think pretty deeply about my life and you know thinking deeply was never one of your favorite activities. You always did and always will shoot for the C on your report card, anything more than that is always going to be a surprise to you right? You just got your driver's license ... your heart belongs to no one ... and you're going to spend a lot of nights in the bed of your S10 pickup truck out in the field staring up at the stars worrying about your future. Your father's accomplishments on the race track already cast a pretty heavy shadow over your existence. He's g…


My experience with physical fitness came later than for many, since I was successful in completely avoiding gym class in high school. When I was in graduate school, I needed something to help me deal with stress, so I would jog around the block a few times. That was about it.

Running (2000-2001)

When I started working full time, I kept up the jogging, sometimes on a treadmill at work. That led to me running several 10k races from 2002 to 2005.

Strength Training (2001-2002)

One day when I was on my way to the gym at work, I ran into Lance. Literally - he knocked me down. He apologized profusely. I asked him to teach me about weight lifting in the gym, and he did. He explained the importance of doing 3 sets of 8-10 reps, to failure. And taught me about major muscle groups: Chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs. He showed me how to use the bench press for chest exercises, etc. Now I was able to mix some basic strength training into my workout program. I used the dumbbells and exercise machine…


I woke up when the phone rang. It must have been sometime between 6 and 6:30 am. I picked it up... it was my mom. 'Turn on the television, quick.' Clearly, something bad happened. We turned on the television. There were the WTC buildings, one on fire. A minute later, an object went into the other building, and now both were on fire. No one on TV knew what was happening. As we prepared for work, I watched on the television as the two buildings disappeared into a thick plume of smoke and dust. No one knew what happened initially, but then the realization struck the broadcasters (and us) that something had happened structurally to the buildings. Maybe they had partially collapsed. I remember thinking that tens of thousands of people could be dead, and what difficulty it would be to repair that much structural damage so far up in the air. But there was nothing I could do, so I went to work.

At work, everyone was huddled around a few computers reading or watching the initial…


Today is my three year anniversary at Google.  Thank you, Google.  The opportunity I was given three years ago changed my life forever.

gone google, part 2: converting to chromebook

My Other Computer is a Data Center
In August 2012, I uninstalled Microsoft Office from my work-issued MacBook Pro. I was already mostly working in Google Docs. And the few times I need to use Microsoft Word or Excel, I have access through Citrix. I was nervous to pull the plug on Excel, but doing so didn't cause any immediate problems.

After that success, I decided I might as well as get rid of my work-issued MacBook Pro entirely. In September 2012, I exchanged my Mac for a Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550.
Here's how I transitioned:

Step 1:  Move to the Cloud
I already had no files saved locally. I was 100% in the cloud. This includes music (Google Music), spreadsheets, docs, etc. (Google Drive). Tip: Change the default download directory in chrome://settings to a "_Downloads" folder on Google Drive.  That way when you save email attachments, they are imported directly into the top folder in Google Drive.Step 2:  Configure Displays
I had been using a three-screen d…

next car

It's getting to be time to think about what my next car will be.  I did some math, and I'm now leaning towards a 2013 Chevy Volt.

My analysis:

my inguinal hernia experience

In 2009 I had an inguinal hernia repaired... this is my summary of the experience.
I arrived at the outpatient surgery center around 8:30am, checked in, and waited. The nurse came and got me, I changed clothes into a backless gown, and got onto the bed. We went over medical background stuff, and I wrote my initials on the side of my body where the injury is (this is a safety check to make sure they do the operation on the right side). The nurse started an IV drip. I was asked my name and date of birth about five times.

Mom was allowed into the pre-op room, so we visited for 40 minutes or so while we were waiting. The anesthesiologist came and I talked to him for a few minutes, and he explained the process.

Then one of the OR nurses came and got me ready for transport. He explained what the next 10 minutes would be like. He wheeled me into the OR, and scooted me from the bed to the OR table. My doctor came in and said hi, and the anesthesiologist put an injection into the IV l…

indonesia / malaysia

My itinerary from my Indonesia / Malaysia trip.

Saturday8/27/2011SFO-DPSDepart SFO 1:30amN/APark at YouTube, take taxi from YouTube to SFO

Sunday8/28/2011Bali (Ubud)Arrive DPS 2:20pmRoyal Kamuela at Monkey Forrest UbudFrom Ngurah Rai International (DPS) Airport to Royal Kamuela Hotel on Monkey Forest Road (Ubud).  Flight arrives at DPS at approximately 2:30pm.  Flight details to be provided.

Monday8/29/2011Bali (Ubud)N/ARoyal Kamuela at Monkey Forrest Ubud(no driving needed)1/2 day biking tour; dance performance at Pura Dalem Ubud at night; spa?

Tuesday8/30/2011Bali (Ubud)N/ARoyal Kamuela at Monkey Forrest Ubud"Driver for approximately 10 hours:
Depart hotel (Royal Kamuela in Ubud) around 7:30 AM
Lake Bratan/Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (temple)
Lake Byuan/Lake Tamblingan - Canoeing/Hiking
Munduk - Coffee plantation, waterfall, lunch
Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
Pura Batukau (temple)
Quick stop at Mengwi
Return to hotel around 5pm"Driving tour (Idul Fitri)

Wednesday 8/31/2011Bali (Ubud)…