Steven’s Creek Trail

I paid a visit to Steven’s Creek Trail here in Mountain View. It has been a long while since I’ve been to there. I used to be a frequent visitors of the trail with my bike… which was stolen on campus more than a year ago.

Despite the cooler temperature, there were still many visitors to the trial. The trail runs amidst the city yet still maintains a sense of isolation, even though you can still see all the buildings hosting all the tech. companies. The buildings only stretch mostly at the beginning part (1.5 miles I think) of the trail going from Moffet. There are plenty of greens, water, and fresh air.

I only walked a short part of the trail today. Here is the photo album.

Piggy Hit 130 :)

Good news! I finally hit 130 on a scale today! I know body weight fluctuates a lot throughout the day, but it has been a long long while since I was over 130, like 1.5 years ago before I returned to Stanford after my period of leave-of-absence.

You all must be thinking, “what? so excited about being 130. This guy is nutz…” Why am I so happy? For the folks who know me, it’s not difficult to understand because it’s insanely difficult for me to gain weight. (I hope I don’t get attacked or killed for saying that…) Probably due to a combination of living habits (sleep, what sleep?) and insanely high metabolism. After a lot of effort of keeping up with my diet and consistently hitting the gym, I finally hit a milestone, albeit a small one. Actually, I find it interesting becauase I reached 140 before; however, I am certain that I am more in-shape now than when I was 140.

How much am I really doing? Actually, unlike other people who go to the gym 1-2 hours. I go 30-45 minutes for 2-3 times each week, being my efficient-lazy self. I do not do cardio in the gym and instead, leave the cardio requirement to playing basketball outside. My routine in the gym consist of doing the MAX weight on each machine/free-weight that allow me to do 3 rounds of 8 rapses at each station. In addition to that is some “piggy-style” situps to build that 6-packs that leaves me with immense pain right after, which I will not go into details here. Contact me if you are interested. To my knowledge, for people who want to tone and have lean muscles, they should do 3-4 rounds of 12+ rapses. In other word, focus on quantity over amount of weight. These are just what works for me, so please contact a profession trainer for advice.

Peronsally, I don’t want to be profoundly huge. I don’t think it looks that great aesthetically (no offense!) and especially for one with my height…haha. BUT! I have to say being in shape is closedly knitted to self-confidence and a healthy mind. Not to be superficial, I will say that being in shape and also somewhat fashionable do provide a boost in one’s confidence. Tell me who wouldn’t feel good knowing yourself is a better looker :P Besides, health should be the top priority in our lives. Not only we’ll be happier, it’s also the fact that only when we can take care of ourselves, we can take care of others.

Hence, exercise should be an essential part of our lives. To really make it an integral part, we cannot think of it as an “extra” activity in the day or some sort of burden that takes away our time. Make it a habit to go to the gym, walk or run outside, or whatever sports you like to do, and turn it into a routine, a habit. Start small and keep it growing. These are my 2 cents.

Piggy in Texas

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Piggy was in Texas from the middle of last week ’til Sunday. The main purpose of the trip is a training/crash course for new hires joining the company. All in all, the class was alright, pace was too slow…but the good part is that I got to meet some interesting and different people. And I’m always up for that. By different people I mean that they’re not engineers :P What makes it even more interesting is hearing from these folks outside of engineering arena who had accumulated plenty experience outside. One of them is even a fellow Spartan alumni from Michigan State, woohoo!

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View outside of my hotel window.
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Meet Buch and Sundance – the beautiful and gigantic Royal Swan inside the hotel!
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Austin Downtown
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Peet’s piano bar – what a fun place!

So the class ended on Friday in Austin and the same evening I got a rental car and headed to Houston. The minutes about Houston:

  • Due to my ignorance, I was amazed how much bigger Houston is than Austin :P?
  • Their Hong Kong style restaurants were on par w/ the Bay Area. I went to two, only remember one named 金大碗
  • Like LA, I was not very pleased with the traffic there, including the fact that my GPS got confused because of local street running parallel right next to highway.
  • Like LA, things are too spread out…making the traffic problem worse.

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Here’s DA space-cow at Houston airport!

Besides Houston, I also hit Galveston, which is where my friend is located. I enjoy the small town feel of Galveston, where seems to have much fresher air and surrounded by nature/water. Due to time constraint, I didn’t get to hit too many spots in Galveston (or Houston) – the fact that I had to drive back to Austin to make my flight on Sunday. I only wish it’s not such a rush so I could take more pictures. Well, next time when I go for vacation.

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Pictures taken crusing down Seawall Blvd.
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Beautiful builings in downtown Galveston.
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Inside Fudruckers

May Zhou – Tragedy at Stanford

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Here is a strip of the news of the missing Stanford student:

A body discovered in the trunk of the car in a Santa Rosa Junior College parking lot was identified as that of missing Stanford University student Mengyao `May” Zhou, a Santa Rosa police spokeswoman said late this afternoon.

The spokeswoman said some items found in her vehicle “were consistent with a possible suicide.”

Zhou’s car, a silver Toyota Corolla, was found parked on the campus of Santa Rosa Junior College, the newspaper said.

Notice what was said about her:
Zhou, an accomplished student with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is assertive, happy and confident with her studies at Stanford, said her father. … Zhou was a National Merit Scholar at La Jolla High School and earned perfect SAT scores. She had a straight-A average throughout high school and earned the top score on all of her Advanced Placement tests.

Sad, especially it’s somebody from the same school and the same age as me, and much more accomplished. I got a few words to say… though I have no intent and am not making any judgement. Whether it is suicide, I sense some pain/stress/pressure involved for the girl through out her academics since I was kinda similar, until high school at least… a student always with excellent scores (not perfect like her), with Asian parents. I was certainly not a happy person. I just wonder, yes, we can be driven, she is definitely driven and successful… probably much have to do with the expectation of parents, but how much happiness actually fills the gaps of those time and how much/long can we endure – the constant stress/pressure to be perfect, the constant ever-growing expectation from parents/teachers/friends/peers, and burden that comes in social relations when one seems so perfect, etc…

Hence I became skeptic (again, I’m not judging) when her father says that she’s happy… is she really? Or rather, does he really know that she’s happy or what she feels? Perhaps he thinks she is happy because she is successful in his standard and therefore, she should feel happy. I guess what I want to say is that Asian cultural instinct of high academic requirement in parents has a tendency to cause negligence to the children’s real inner feelings. In other words, they think that, “as long as I teach you so you get a good education/degree, you’ll have a good future, and therefore you will be happy.”

Maybe this is the cause of tragedy…(disclaimer: again I am just hypothetically speaking) that she feels her closest people (parents) cannot understand… no one is reaching her heart… the feeling that she has no one to communicate to and share her sentiments and thoughts in a deeper level… making her very isolated… at least, when I myself realize that the closest people to me don’t really know me nor they care to, it’s pretty painful and I just have to forget about it. It’s the excruciating pain of absolute solitude. If I focus on that pain/feeling of isolation, I may just be angry at everyone and the world constantly. As a side-effect, I will go around causing pain for others, endure it however long possible and eventually, take my own life…

That is, how can we be happy when people automatically assume we are happy, which effectively create a non-understanding, dis-communicating environment around “us.” It’s a suffocating kind of loneliness.

Well, it’s late and I’m just jotting down thoughts w/o trying to organize much. I hope my words make some sense and you get something out of them. Perhaps someone else won’t have to feel what was described after their friends and family read this.

As last words, think about if what you are doing and will do in the future is really worth the sacrifice of happiness, or the happiness of others.

(Photo by Adam Pender)

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