This is a collection of short, daily thoughts and memories of life. It’s inspired by journals of Sheldon Brown and others like him.

January 22nd, 2017

Today I cooked chicken tikka masala for the first time from a recipe found online. It took quite a few spices, but it turned out fantastic. Next up, it’s time to learn how to bake naan to complement it.

I’ve been documenting all of my recipes and cooking and I think I’ll be putting them online soon.

December 15th, 2016

Today I learned the meaning of the word halcyon. As an adjective, it has a few definitions, here are a couple of them:

  • calm; peaceful; tranquil: halcyon weather
  • happy; joyful; carefree: halcyon days of youth

December 10th, 2016

I’m in Hong Kong again today. I met with my uncle and some of his friends for lunch, and I have a NU alumni event later in the evening. Lately I feel pretty worn out from always being on edge because of the unexpected and I am really excited for a bug-free couch to sit on and read.

This certain worn out feeling is a little new and I’m trying to figure out what exactly it is. It’s not the feeling I would have at the end of a long quarter at NU, where all I want is some sleep and stress-free weekends. It’s not quite homesickness either, although a couple weeks ago during Thanksgiving I was definitely feeling that too.

Right now, the best analogy in my head relates to a carbonated drink. When you have a fresh bottle of Coke, if you pour it into a glass or shake it, the C02 bubbles up to create large chunks of foam. Over time as the drink sits out, it loses its carbonation and the size of foam on each successive shake decreases. Other than some bubbles here and there, it’s not always easy to tell just from looks whether or not a drink has carbonation, but when you shake the drink the resulting foam tells you. Eventually, the carbonation completely disappears and you are left with a glass of water full of flavoring and sugar that hardly reacts to movement.

I think that behavior best describes my mindset right now. As unexpected change happens while I’ve been here in Asia, it ‘stirs’ things up and the C02 in my case represents my ability to deal with the to and fro. In the past few months, my level of carbonation has slowly decreased with all the change. It’s not easy to tell on an average day, but when the break from normal happens, I see my waning ability to keep an open mind and roll with the flow.

The analogy isn’t perfect of course, I can recharge unlike an already opened bottle. But I most identify with the ‘invisibility’ of a drink’s carbonation. I don’t think I realize how drained I am of change until the change actually happens, and lately it has been happening a lot.

Definitely looking foward to going home for Christmas to recharge and spend quality time with family and friends.

November 25th, 2016

I’ve been thinking about getting a camera to help document my adventures and the ups and downs of starting a company. I know some of my friends have taken some really nice photos with the small mirrorless cameras in the past few years. In particular, the [Sony a6000][a600] has looked promising and it doesn’t break the bank like other mirrorless cameras out there.

However since I have a habit of being trigger happy with buying new technology, I’m going to try something new this time. I have an iPhone camera already, so for the next few months I’m going to work on improving the quality of photos I take with it. While the quality is not as great, taking good photos still requires skill that a new camera won’t magically give me.

There are a few sites out there that offer tips and composition ideas for your photos, so each week I’m going to try to focus on one style of photo and take a daily photograph that meets that criteria. We’ll see if I improve enough to make a new camera worth it.

November 21th, 2016

What are you doing now that will make you proud when you’re 30? Doesn’t have to be money, fame, or something like that. The things that you do in your free time and in your job are the important things. Will this be something that you would be proud to tell your friends, your nephews or your neighbors about? Is this something you could be writing about now so that you don’t forget?

November 14th, 2016

Just dropping a note here about the election so I don’t forget.. I wonder how I’ll feel about it in 4 years. For now, this will be all..

October 17, 2016

Last week I had a chance to go to Hong Kong and visit a friend. I did two hikes, one leisurely hike and one really intense once. Visiting Hong Kong and spending some time around the city itself is pretty amazing, and I hope to come back. I don’t really know if I would want to live there for a long time, but it’s fun to visit!

September 30, 2016

I’ve been learning lots about neural nets for amper lately, and I’m pretty mindblown by what you can do with them. As I learn more about them and use them, I’m sure I’ll find usecases for my personal projects.. excited to find those out!

September 25, 2016

I’ve been in Shenzhen for a little over a week now, and I’m adjusting well. Working at HAX has been a crazy awesome experience so far, and I have no regrets so far. Being surrounded by such smart, talented, and motivated is a very exciting experience. In the meantime, I’ve churned out a small project to help me remind me to look away from my computer screen, and I’m working on a small journal application. I will post it when it is more developed here!

September 15, 2016

I’ve made it to Shenzhen, and finally settled in my apartment. It reminds me a lot of Taiwan here, and I’m being forced to brush up on my Chinese again.

September 6, 2016

T-7 days until China!

August 29, 2016

Took a Megabus back home today, and it was pretty brutal on my entire body. Just a few years ago, the 6.5 hour drive never seemed so bad.. Anyways, it’s good to be home for a little bit before I head off to China.

Always - August 26, 2016

For the days when this is needed:

There will always be someone that you wish you were more like; there will always be someone who wishes they were more like you.

Don’t forget the second part.

August 21, 2016

Spent some time back at home with the family this past week/weekend, and had the chance to relax and enjoy life with them. One thing in particular I was reminded of (by example, and not just in word) was the importance of diligence and the slow way of doing things. By slow I don’t just mean slow in the sense of time, but a careful, devoted, and deliberate effort with which one does things.

Doing things this way is full of substance, not flash. It is diligent, it doesn’t lose sight. It requires unwavering commitment, even when change doesn’t happen fast. It carries things through to completion, and doesn’t leave a trail of starting lines behind. It takes careful listening and conscious thought, without giving into the thinking of the times. It comes from a discipline within, not from the approval of others. It stands as a rock amidst the reeds in the daily current of life. It speaks in action and character, not just in words.

Ultimately, this is the narrow and hard path, not the wide and easy one. May God grant us the strength.

August 17, 2016

Went to Cedar Point today for the first time in a few years and got a chance to ride the new roller coasters there. Highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of thrill rides.

August 15, 2016

While walking home from work, I passed a large storm wall that was getting battered by some huge waves coming in from Lake Michigan (it was quite windy). As the waves hit the wall, they would reflect cleanly and head back out to the lake where they would meet the next incoming waves. Occasionally the peaks would collide and produce these large waves that would spray foam all over the deck. I read up on some basic physics from high school and relearned the basics of constructive and destructive interference, as well as the superposition principle.

While the concepts are simple, it’s pretty cool if you really think about what is going on when these conflicting waves meet. With the right timing, two powerful waves moving at each other with great (and equal, for our purposes) force can produce a net zero effect on a given point where the waves meet. Offset that timing by a little bit, and not only is the effect not just zero, it is a wave with the amplitude of both combined.. and even when the waves destructively interfere to produce a net zero at a given point, the waves still move forward in their respective directions.

It made me think of metaphors of how certain people can work together. Different, strong personalities can sometimes bring out the best of both to produce something great. I’ve also seen it not done well, where the two might butt heads and leave with nothing accomplished. It’s up to you how you might interpret what ‘time’ in this metaphor translates to..

August 14, 2016

This weekend a few college friends and I went up to Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin for some hiking and an overnight camping trip. I’ve never been camping up in Wisconsin before, and the lake and the hiking on the bluffs above it were amazing. Grilling on the lake and enjoying the sunset capped off an already great day.

devil's lake sunset

August 12, 2016

We at amper ended up going downtown today to file for our Chinese Visas today, other than the rain, it wasn’t too eventful. I think it’s finally hitting me that I’m going to be going to China in just a few weeks.. excited and nervous.

August 11, 2016

Today I rode down to Navy Pier from Evanston. There’s a portion of the route that requires you to ride along the road, but fortunately there are street markers that guide you from the end of the Evanston trail area to the Chicago Lakefront Trail. I’ve marked the route below because for some reason when I googled it, I wasn’t able to find the route anywhere online.

bike route