Sunday, September 23, 2007

"We've been practicing for about a year"

Allie and are have been married for over a month now. I surprised her on our one month anniversary. She wasn't expecting anything, so the roses and card wowed her. I think she even felt just a little guilty for not getting me anything. ::evil grin:: I also have a small surprise in store for her birthday that will likely get another wow from her.

I'm glad we moved in together last year. The stress of living together for the first time coupled with the marriage would've been a lot of deal with at once. This allowed us to take it a little easier for the wedding, though it was still pretty stressful.

Married life isn't treating us any different than before because of this, though. I mean, we've been practicing for about a year now. It's just good to have the ceremony behind us. A few people have asked about then we will start popping kids out, but for the most part we just hear "How is married life treating you?"

Friday, September 21, 2007

Squeezing Rubber Chickens

Ok, seriously, who would by these for their pets? (recommend listening with the volumn turned up for best experience)

Monday, September 17, 2007

US Company Blackwater kicked out of Iraq

Blackwater contractor kicked out of Iraq after killing 8 civilians .. 72% of Iraqis want the US out.. With no success.. So now they are kicking out the contractors.


I know I'm going to forget something. I just wish I could know what I'm going to forget before I forget it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Making triangles with Six toothpicks

Use six toothpicks to make four identical triangles. This is a problem that was given to my pre-algebra math class in Jr. High School. The problem was straight out of an old math book and presented to us by a substitute teach whose strategy was to offer free time at the end of class for accomplishing tasks. The math book listed only one solution to this problem. It stated that the only way to form these triangles was to build them into a tetrahedron (a 3D object). In other words, this old text book presented this problem in order to get kids to think in terms beyond the 2D dimensional realm of a flat piece of paper. So no one in the class figured this solution out. When the teacher presented the 3D solution, he declared that this was the only solution possible. Several people in the class protested saying that other solutions had to exist. So, he gave us a double or nothing wager. If someone could figure out a 2D solution to the problem by the next day, he would double the amount of free time he offered.

I worked the problem for a couple of hours that night, not because I wanted the free time, but because this problem bugged me. I drew many sketches of possible methods, but none produced four identical triangles while the toothpick ends touched. Then it hit me. Nothing in the problem stated that the toothpicks couldn’t overlap. (Nor did the problem suggest that the triangles had to be equilateral.) I drew up my solution: two toothpicks formed an X, and then the other four toothpicks formed a square around that X with overlapping tips. Easy. I read over the problem several times to make sure my solution was in compliance.

The next day, I left my solution on the teacher’s desk and sat down. A minute or two after class started, the teacher discovered my sketch of the solution on his desk and was surprised. He showed our class the solution on the chalkboard. Everyone was happy. Our class won our free time. I didn’t really care. I got my rush the night before by solving the problem.

The next day, a deskmate of mine in another class mentioned the incident. She didn’t have the math class at the same time as me, but she did have the same substitute teacher who challenged her class with the same problem. So, that teacher presented my solution to her class as well. She told me people in her class were upset with her because she sat next to me in another class and didn’t get the solution from me for them. Pretty funny stuff.

Now note, if you look for this problem these days, there are many different versions online. The problem is stated much more specifically, so as to limit the possible answers. These days, this same problem is worded similar to this,
“Using six toothpicks, make four identical equilateral triangles and nothing else. (In other words you can’t make six equilateral triangles, or four triangles and a diamond, etc.)”.
Of course, being this specific, the only answer is a tetrahedron. Another similar problem I found allows for several 2D solutions, but of course it also requires equilateral triangles. However, the solutions are all along the same vein as my solution to the old problem. Now, I’m not saying I was the first person to figure this solution out, but I did do it on my own in one night in the days before the Internet. Looking over the Internet these days, I can’t even find this problem improperly stated. Maybe the writers of that old math book just didn’t do their research, tried to dumb down the problem too much, or just didn’t catch the wording error? I can’t imagine that this problem was improperly stated for hundreds of years before it found its way onto my desk.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bourne to miss

Dang it. I had plans with Miriam after work on Friday to go to see the Bourne movie that's still in the theaters. Well, she wanted to go get something to eat at a Mexican rest'rant she really likes near her place. The drinks there where stronger than expected. Neither of us were sober, so driving anywhere was out of the question. Dang it! Well, it was still fun. She wanted to look for toys for her new hamster, so we walked to the per supplies store next store.
Then it got crazy. We found these rubber chickens (dressed in beach wear) that made this awful noise wailing when squeezed. It was hilarious. We made a symphony of wailing rubber chickens. We got a photo video and audio recording of it on her phone, but can't figure out how to get it onto the computer yet. When we do, I'll post here.
After that, we called some friends that could pick us up and take us to the movie. Ronnie and Fern ended up coming, but headed to the wrong city at first. Anyways, by the time they got there, it was too late to go to even the evening showing, so we decided just to head back to her place. Allie came by and brought the Knocked-up DVD to watch. It was kinda funny. It ended around 12am, and we all pretty much headed home right after.
I want to see Bourne in the theater. Oh well.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Great void in the universe

So, here's the deal. Science has disputed the age of the universe for a long time now. The current consensus is that it's about 12 Billion years so or, +/- a billion years (depending upon methodology). This comes from the previous observations that when looking into deep space, the farthest objects are about 12 billion light years away, in every direction.
When I was much younger, this interpretation of observations of the Universe got me thinking. How do we know the Universe is only as old as the number of light years away we can see? The only way to equate seeing the farthest objects with the age of the Universe is if we can also see one or both of the following: the center of the Universe; the edge of the Universe. Here's the problem. No one has claimed to observe either. Without this frame of reference, there is no way to determine the Universe's size. Without knowing how big the Universe is, we can't really know its age, unless by some magical fluke, we are at the center of the Universe. OK, so a general idea of the age of the Universe can be determined by the objects we observe at it's visible edge (Quasars), but we don't know if this visible edge is really the actual extent of the Universe. At most, we only know that galaxies of some sort began forming at that point in time, 12 billion years ago.
What does this hafta do with the vast void recently discovered in the Universe? The void is estimated as 1 billion light years across. That's 24th the size of the known Universe. That's like looking at a two foot long rulers and spacing them 1 inch apart by length. What would cause this big of a hole in the Universe? Could it be the middle of the Universe. Is it the void left as matter accelerates outward? Or is it the actual edge of the Universe? The notions being put forth by astrophysicist right now is some sort of dark energy explanation. But why does it have to be so exotic? OK, so I don't think it's the edge of the Universe because I believe astronomers do see deep objects past this void. So, hey, why couldn't it be the center of the Universe left void from matter expanding outward? One way to test this is to examine redshifts of the objects between us and this void to see if there are subtly less than objects in every other direction, using Hubble's Law. If the void is the center of the Universe, the age of the Universe could be judged with extreme accuracy because we'd no longer have to relay on objects 12 billion light years away. We'd only need to observe our distance from the center, then calculate the mass based on the shape of the Universe and the fact that the Universe looks the same in every direction.
This is all just an idea. I don't know much more than the press story. Heck, for all I know, this void could be where god lives. lol Just some fun to call up my old thoughts about the Universe.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Koi Pool

On Saturday, my new brother in-law planned a small suprize for his mother. My wife took their mom to The City to shop. Afterwards, her dad, brother, he's best friend and I met them for a big dinner at Koi Palace. Allie had only told her that she was talking her to a noodle place for dinner, so it ended up being a pretty good surprize.

On Sunday, Allie and I went over to Miriam's place and chilled by the pool for awhile, then had great chicken dinner and watched a movie.

Today, it looks like we are going to head up to The City just to be out and about on this Labor Day.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Linkin Minutes

After listening to the Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight release, I am a bit disappointed. I agree with reviews that state they've gone from being original and fresh in a genre they pretty much created into trying to cover a style that has been done by hundreds of other bands. I miss the rock-rap combination they were so talented at mixing. I welcome their evolution and change, but that usually means exploring new areas and not covering stuff that's been done over and over. In addition, their effect in the tired 90's still alternative rock isn't a good contribution. They added nothing to the genre, and just copied what others have already done (and not well at that). So, I'm disappointed. I feel the CD is still enjoyable, but it's just not up to the standard fans have come to expect from LP.

By contrast, when Green Day came back, they also changed. They also went with a political message. But the changes they made improved their style and showcased their talents in music writing and playing. Green Day did the transition well. Linkin Park failed. Before this point, I would've put both group on each footing in becoming great bands. If Linkin Park can recover from Minutes to Midnight, them more power to them. At this moment, it doesn't appear they will be a band with longevity.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

I saw the lunar eclipse this morning. I didn't plan on it, but thought it would be cool to see it. By a strange coincidence I woke up this morning pretty much at the peek of the eclipse at 3:40am. Got dressed and went outside. Spooky. I expected to see something like a new moon silhouetted against the night sky. What I saw was pure evi...., well, no it wasn't evil at all. It was cool though. It was like looking at the full moon, but with the lights turned out, as though the man on the moon forget to switch the light bulb on. It was a dark brown color. A new moon is generally very dim and flat in appearance. The eclipsed moon has the full effect of a full moon, just a lot dimmer and dirtier looking. I shared the site with Allie from our bathroom window a few minutes later, since she woke up too. This full moon eclipse was more spectacular than most to astronomers because it was so long. Unfortunately, that means it was all the more boring to watch for the rest of us. I got my glimpse and went back to bed. Can check "See lunar eclipse." off my to-do list.

How's married life treating me...

Same conversation over and over. I don't mind it. I can imagine the same basic conversation playing out over thousands of years, only with my slightly unique twist.

"Congratulations on your marriage!"
"Thank you!"
"How long has it been?" or "When was the wedding?"
"A couple of weeks ago."
"Do you feel any different?"
"No, but we've been practicing for about a year already, so there's not much difference between today and a month ago."

After this, the conversation can branch off into talking about how it is good to life with someone first, or that they are happy for both of us, or other such happiness. But then, the next question pops up eventually.

"Did you go on your honeymoon yet?" or "When's the honeymoon?" or something similar.
"We are going to Atlantis. We've planned our trip after the hurricane season is mostly done in the Caribbean area."
"That's a good idea."

In classic Groundhog day fashion, this conversation replies itself over and over since the big news broke. We didn't tell too many people, but once the wedding was about to happen, the news travelled fast. On reason it caught like wildfire is because we used to work together and a lot of people know us both from my company. (We didn't "meet" through the company per se, but knew each other through it.) So, this is a big positive gossip item. There's still some people that are finding out, so even two weeks later. I am still having this same conversation. However, why does anyone ask me if I feel any different? I don't think this question has ever even come into my mind when talking to a newlywed. This is just an observation of fact; I'm not complaining about this. It's actually kinda fun.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Four days a week

For me, there are only four days in any given work week. Monday through Thursday usually kinda just blur into one long day for me. Then there's Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Each of these is its own significant day.

For example, this past week, I did something each of Monday through Thursdays besides work, but I can't really pick out what I did on each day. For this weekend, I can go into detail. Allie and I went to a game of the local Giants minor league team called San Jose Giants for a few innies with a couple of free tickets handed down to me through my company from the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce. The game was alright. The team is in the A level California League. It makes me wish a higher level league team was in the area. I might actually consider get season tickets for AA or AAA league level teams.

Saturday morning, Allie and I worked out for the first time for almost a year. We are going to try to get somewhat into shape before our honeymoon. I’m still sore.

Sunday afternoon, we went to my friends’ going away BBQ bash. They are a couple who are moving to Las Vegas. This is my second/third friends who moved to Vegas. If this keeps up, I’ll may eventually have more friends in Vegas than in the Bay Area.

Sunday evening, Allie and I held a dinner celebrating our marriage which included about 30 members of her family at a Chinese rest’rant up the Peninsula. It was a great time. It was also the first time I met some of her relatives. Afterwards, we visited on relative’s Dry Cleaners store nearby.

Sunday night, Allie and I sat down and picked the photographs from our first celebration dinner that we want that day’s photographer to clean up and print for us.

Now, today is Monday. I’m not going to be fully aware of the differences between Monday through Thursday.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mildly unusual

In the middle of a recent weekday, I saw a California license plate that read "New Yorker" but spelt in a New Yorker accent, here in Silicon Valley. Here's the weird thing, the plate was one of those fancy plates with the rear fins of a diving whale. It's a very California attitude kinda of plate. So, why would someone brag about being from New York on the very plate that proclaims them to be very Californian? Mildly unusual, but of course, not entirely unlikely.

I then noticed the plate border, which advertised a car dealership in Salinas (aka The Salad Bowl or Lettuce Capital of the World). This is a little unusual by itself since there's somewhat of a cultural barrier between Silicon Valley and Salinas (even though they are only 60 miles apart). It is common to see Silicon Valley and SF types spending a day or two in Monterey Country (usually on the Monterey Peninsula), but it is unusual for the reverse, particularly from Salinas itself. Again, mildly unusual, but of course, not entirely unlikely.

As my mind wondered a bit more, I realized the car itself was a Mitsubishi Eclipse. OK, nothing unusual there. But then I notice the driver was an older gentleman. Now, I hope I don't offend anyone here (particularly that older gentleman, should he ever come across this blog post), but the Eclipse of this model year is more typically driven by younger 20-something girls. Other types of people do buy that car, but there's a bit of a stereotype associated with it. So, that was also mildly unusual, but not completely unlikely.

Each one of these little points by themselves is mildly unusual, but all combined together, it forms a very unlikely little curiosity. What is this New Yorker doing by bragging about the fact he's from New York on his personalized fancy and very California license plate. How did this New Yorker end up in Silicon Valley only after he found himself in Salinas, of all places. Then, why did he buy himself an Eclipse, despite the strong trend of others in his demographic to get other types of cars? Something doesn't add up.