Thursday, March 9, 2017

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.

This came about when I about to ride my bike to the university, in a crisp California coastal sunny morning, listening to the podcasting of "meaning of time" by a Stanford prof, contemplating what is "the nature of innovation" and what can be the best joke today in my class later.

In many ways, I am in a place and time that is as close to heaven as humanly can be.  Healthy and caring family, more than enough income, comfortable home, secure and respected job, interesting and engaging projects, every possible material thing I need.  Wine, cheese, steak, grape, beach, music, parties, tennis, biking, clean air, nice temperature.

I decided to reply,

"Living the dreams, baby! Living the dreams!"

Well, sooner or later I will start a company, a movement, a revolution and make the living hell of it :)

But now,  living the dreams, baby!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hard work makes me happy

It's a crisp Carmel morning.  Have to wake up earlier to have a video conference with students in the service learning class. Many projects are inspiring - helping the inmate to learn technology, for example.

After the meeting, moved quickly to reply a few emails. Then playing the music of the theme from the King's Speech.  Organized my study room, clean up some old files.  The inspiring music, the quick and hard work, the cold sunshine through the curtain.  All made me happy.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Brand new year and crumbling body

It is the Chinese new year.  Many fun things - party at Kryztof's place and plenty of great wine, Startup weekend is very successful - several Cannabis businesses and office sharing (akin to AirBnB) are promising, play many hours of tennis - which bring me a lot of enjoyment and sorrow.

My body is falling apart, especially the right knee - which is shattered in 1997 a bad ski jump, and my right shoulder, which is badly hurt in 1992, in a chilly morning that I practice too many tennis serve.  Or both were already damaged when I had the motorcycle accident in Taipei in 1984.  I asked the doctors many times, but there is no solution.  Even a knee replacement is not a good option.

I can barely raise my right arm now, my serves are weak, while I can still win matches, it is all with careful placement instead of power.  Very sad.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reflection upon 2016

It is not a great year, not bad either.  There are triumph and headaches galore.

I always tell my students, DD and JJ that reflection is the best way to learn, I should do that too -

Kids are doing well 
JJ got into Cal, one of her top choices.  We were very excited even though there was a chance to go to Stanford or Harvard, we did not hire a consultant or went to special prep classes.
JJ got many recognitions and scholarship, able to drive her to campus and visit the interesting city of Berkeley is a special treat for us.  She is still struggling with which major to go, political science was her love but might not link to a career well unless she goes to grad school.
DD is doing fine, maintaining a 4.0, he is trying harder but not to the level that can make him compete with the best in the world.

Health is not great
My right knee starts to hurt more often, the old ski injury is coming back.  I can't run or walk more than two hours without feeling the pain, the weather is too cold to bike comfortably.  And too much good food in Taiwan made me feel bloated and frustrating. 

Career is going fine
Back the classroom pleases me.  Able to grow the CS Online program is also very exciting and rewarding.  The politics wear me down, however.  People's envy is toxic in a group.  Helped the HengDa group to acquire Mt Sierra College, an 18-month long journey.  Got a little bit of consulting fee at the end but have to turn down the president's job, the condition is not ideal.  But I am glad that it is done.  I learn a lot from the process.
Preparing a book on innovation - this could be my parting project at CSUMB and a stepping stone for next move.  While many of the classmates are retiring, which startles me, I am planning the next 20 years.  Probably more balanced between work and leisure - I was never that big on leisure since I try to find projects that are enjoyable.  But travel more, visit parents more, enjoy more music and arts, might be in the picture.

Finance is OK but risky
Got locked up in VAL, too risky.  Sold the Seaside house for a good price, enough to fund all JJ and DD's tuition. That comforts me.  The Pacific St project troubles me, the financing was not ideal, so I will have to look for other opportunities.

Spirit is not high
I had a hard time adjusting to DD and JJ growing independent, while I am happy with them, I don't know how much I should direct their study or lives. They are too young to be left alone completely, so I feel I am locked in a small space, don't want to leave but can't do much for them.
Maybe I should practice meditation more.  I tried a few times and it does help.

I set up the 2016 goals of
- health - lose weight
- book - innovation
- writing - blogs

I guess I have to continue those.

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. ...