Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Moscato plus Rachmaninoff: Cheap, yet deep, enjoyment

Life sometimes gets in the way of having deep enjoyable moments.
Lately I was lucky enough to find some other than driving a convertible in the chilly 55F sunset: Moscato plus Rachmaninoff
The $9.99 special sweet white wine from Trader Joes and a few YouTube recordings of the prelude in g are all I need to escape from the crushing responsibilities, unrelenting ambitions and
carnivorous daemons deep in my soul pushing me to make something out of my meager self.
The strong aroma from the Carmel Moscato and the pounding notes from the Russian maestro take me away. To a abstract, visual-less, journey of nameless emotion. After three glasses and five different renditions of the prelude, I am revived. To fight the daemons again with a refreshed mind. Life is sweet.

Friday, October 30, 2009

No longer hurried to play Bach cello suites anymore

Stopped taking cello lessons for 3 months now. Progress and stress are both diminishing. Little regret, I understand there is always sacrifice. Much has been let go for career ambition. Sigh.
I remember when the teacher assigned me the Bach suites 1 prelude in G a year ago, I was so thrilled that I practiced hours on ends until fingers became numb. Some of more intricate parts would take hundred of times of repetition to perfect. Those days are gone. I still play the beloved piece often, not nearly as well as before, but now I enjoy it more. No longer hurried. One good thing of getting old.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Counting my blessings

Sunday is usually a great day to reflect since I usually leave it as open as possible so I can have some white spaces for reflective, creative thinking and long term planning.

After working on the major federal grant to get the construction of the institute for innovation started for the last two months, able to relax a little today is especially rewarding. Woke up as late as 8:30am but watch PBS in bed was a treat. Went to look at a couple of open houses and decided to submit an offer on a short sell house in Hamilton Ave, Seaside. It will take a few months to know if the offer is accepted or not. How strange the real estate market these days. Plan to purchase 2-4 houses in the next year or so, the price is probably as low as it gets.

The most enjoyable of the day is taking yoyo, the yellow lab, out for a run. We zipped through Carmel mission, River Beach and spent about half an hour running on the edge of the waves, watching sun set, on Carmel Beach. I listened to Warren Buffet's MBA talk when I was walking. Truly an expert on investing, he made things sound straightforward.

On the way back, it is already dark. I kept pressing on, Yoyo was a bit tired. Panting hard, I felt content when we reached home. Not much to worry about, not finance, budget, planning, start-up, health, tax, projects, just a simple run through the beach with yoyo. A true blessing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reflection in a quiet morning

It seems to be a warm day and my spirit is upbeat. Maybe because of flu that bothered my last week is gone, maybe because the semester is entering a more stable period, maybe because the labrador is getting used the home and quieter, maybe because the book "tipping point" I read last night, maybe because the chat I had with friends, maybe because the walk I had with yo-yo, maybe because I have arrange the SF conference, maybe because I can open up the top of Starbucks, or maybe because the girl smiled at me when I came in the school building.

Feeling that my talk to people these day bores them. Feeling my public service position is at a standstill. Worried about CALMAT.

Like the song said,
Already embarked
Can't ask where is the route
Against the wind we go
Is the only direction

Against the wind we go.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The meaning of life!!

Well, yes, I finally found it. Not easy, since it took me almost fifty years. Not special, since many people have mentioned something similar numerous times. This came just before I delivered my talk in the Serious Tourist speech. The three things I am looking for in life: Knowledge, Service, Experince. In order to do that, I have to Learn, Help and Take Risks.
The conclusion is not earth shaking, so it seen trivial, but the process is difficult. Everyone has to go through a lot of hardship, reflection in order to reach it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Measurements of success

Excerpted from motivation speech: "Success is measured not by the miles, but inches".  I can not agree more.  More than often, it is the small tasks immediately in front of us that make all the difference.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A message to the prospective employers of ITCD graduates

The School of Information Technology and Communication Design is committed to developing graduates who can apply state-of-the-art information technology to solve real world communication problems in a socially responsible way. In addition to the technical knowledge and skills they master, graduates of ITCD programs excel in communication, collaboration and innovative problem solving.  

The School of ITCD is leading the charge in the new era of technology education: our cutting-edge faculty excels both in research and education; our instruction integrates both a timeless theoretical foundation and timely real-world skills; our interdisciplinary curriculum help students solve problems using both hard technical and soft inter-personal skills; our outcome-based education and project-based learning has generated successful graduates in Monterey, Silicon Valley and around the worlds.

I have been told time and time again by our graduates and by employers like you that the distinct education our students gained during their years in ITCD is invaluable for their organizations, especially in a business environment that is fast changing, collaboration essential and globally connected.  You will find the quality and ethics of our graduates are unparalleled. I encourage you to provide an opportunity for them and discover for yourself the value they can bring to your company.

Eric Tao, Ph.D. Director and Professor 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Resveratrol, Melatonin, Low Calories diet and long life

News about a food supplementary: extract from red wine called Resveratrol caught my attention.  In lab it has shown it can extend life for 20% similar for very healthy people who have a very healthy life style.  I remember 20 years ago it was melatonin that created all the health buzz, which is hardly mentioned these days?  Will Resveratrol follow the same path, don't know.  But the promise of living healthy till 100 years old and dying peacefully in ones sleep is so attractive that people, and I included, welling to give it a try.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Getting worried about workload.  Especially emails.  It take more than two hours to cover all the emails each day.  It gets worse after vacation, emails still piling on during those days.  There is no compensation during the off days yet everyone expect work is done continuously.

As I grow older, I am much choosier about what kind of project that I should engage.  Any project that does not generate long term benefits do not interest anymore since my time is so limited.  I still remember not too long ago I am finished all tasks that are assigned to me, now most of my work are assigned by myself, I can afford to be selective but also have to take on the responsibility of not starting, sometimes finishing, all worthwhile projects. Sigh. 

Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...