Sunday, February 25, 2018

Back to resuming blogging.  

One of the things that I want to impart to my kids is that they can truly do anything.  With little H, I want him to know that he can exclaim the Good News with confidence. With big R, she has grandiose dreams and visions and I truly love it.  No limits ....

This is my theme song for the moment

Thursday, August 13, 2015


"The voluptuous pleasure that cycling can give you is delicate, intimate, and ephemeral. It arrives, it takes hold of you, sweeps you up then leaves you again.  It is for you alone.  It is a combination of speed and ease, force and grace. It is pure happiness."

- Jean Bobet

By September 1, 2015

1. Weigh 158 lbs from 160 lbs
2. Learn to bunnyhop

By October 1, 2015

1.  Weigh 155 lbs
2. Learn to track stand

I've decided to resume blogging again, but I'm not sure how long it will last.

There are a couple of things that I would like to do in 2016
1. Garden.  Hence the name of this blog.
2. Bicycling.


I've been inspired by my mom and my best friend Dave who has started a garden plot.   The holy grail has been the cultivation for tomatoes, but didn't do so hot on my first try.  Here is a list for planting dates from TAMU

Recommended Vegetable Cultivars For North Central Texas

Prepared by:
Dr. Nancy Roe Extension Horticulturist
Dr. Jerry Parsons Extension Horticulturist
Dr. Larry Stein Extension Horticulturist
Dr. Sam Cotner Extension Horticulturist
Planting dates apply to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and refer to the planting of seed unless otherwise indicated. South of the Metroplex (i.e. in the Corsicana area), you can plant 5 days earlier in the spring. North of the Metroplex (i.e. in the Wichita Falls area and along the Red River), spring planting should be 5 days later than the dates shown.
Listed cultivars were selected for their productivity, resistance to common diseases and adaptability to north central Texas conditions. Proper watering, fertilization, weed control, etc., are necessary, however, if the desired results are to be achieved. Cultivars are listed at random, not in order of preference.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
Jersey Giant, UC 157
Planting dates: (spring only) crowns, February 15 - March 1
Beans, Snap Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)
Blue Lake 274, Top Crop, Tendercrop, Contender, Tendergreen, Derby
Planting dates:
    spring: March 20 - May 1
    fall: August 1 - September 1

Beans, Yellow Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)
Goldcrop, Improved Golden Wax
Planting dates:
    spring: March 20 - May 1
    fall: August 1 - September 1

Beans, Pinto (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Improved Pinto
Planting dates:
    spring: March 20 - May 1
    fall: August 1 - September 1

Beans, Snap Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder
Planting dates:
    spring: March 20 - April 20
    fall: August 1 - August 15

Beans, Lima Bush (Phaseolus limensis var. limenanus)
Henderson Baby Bush, Jackson Wonder
Planting dates: (spring only) March 20 - April 20
Beans, Lima Pole (Phaseolus limensis)
Florida Speckled, King of the Garden
Planting dates: spring only, March 20 - April 20
Beets (Beta vulgaris)
Pacemaker III
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 1
    fall: September 1 - September 15

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis)
spring only: Premium Crop, Emperor
spring or fall: Green Comet, Galaxy, Packman, Baccus, Early Dawn
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, February 15 - March 1
    seed: August 1 - August 15
    transplants: August 20 - September 15

Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera)
Prince Marvel, Royal Marvel
    Planting dates:(fall only)
    seed: August 1 - August 15
    transplants: August 20 - September 15

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
spring only: Early Jersey Wakefield
spring or fall: Sanibel, Rapid Ball, Savoy Ace (wrinkled leaves), Ruby Ball (red color)
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, February 15 - March 1
    seed: August 1 - August 15
    transplants: August 20 - September 15

Cabbage, Chinese (Brassica pekinensis)
Jade Pagoda, Michihili, China Flash (napa type), China Pride (napa type)
Planting dates:
    spring: February 15 - March 1
    fall: August 10 - September 1

Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis)
hybrids: Magnum 45, Ambrosia, Mission, Explorer, Caravelle, Minnesota Midget (bush type, good in containers)
non-hybrids: Uvalde, Perlita
Planting dates:
    spring: April 5 - May 1
    fall: June 15 - July 1

Carrot (Daucus carota var. sativus)
Royal Chantenay, Burpee's Toudo, Park's Nandor, Danver's 126, Red Cored Chantenay
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 1
    fall: August 15 - September 5

Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis)
Snow Crown
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, February 15 - March 1
    seed: August 1 - August 15
    transplants: August 20 - September 15

Chard, Swiss (Beta vulgaris var. cicla)
Rhubarb (red color), Lucullus, Fordhook
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 10
    fall: August 1 - September 1

Collards (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)
Blue Max, Georgia
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - April 1
    fall: August 1 - September 1

Corn, Sweet (Zea mays var. saccharata)
yellow: Golden Queen, Guadalupe Gold bicolor: Sweet G-90, Honey & Pearls white: Silver Queen, Frontier
Planting dates:
    spring: March 20 - May 1 fall: August 1 - August 15

Cucumber, Pickling (Cucumis sativus)
County Fair 87, Liberty, Saladin
Planting dates:
    spring: March 20 - May 1 fall: August 1 - August 15

Cucumber, Slicing(Cucumis sativus)
Sweet Success, Sweet Slice, County Fair 87, Burpless, Dasher II, Slicemaster
Planting dates:
    spring: March 20 - May 1
    fall: August 1 - August 15

Eggplant (Solanum melongena var. esculentum)
Tycoon (oriental), Florida Market
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, April 5 - May 1
    seed: June 15 - July 1
    transplants: July 1 - July 25

Garlic (Allium sativum)
Texas White
Planting dates:
    fall only: cloves, September 15 - October 15

Greens (hybrid of Chinese cabbage x stubble turnip)
Tyfon Holland
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 10
    fall: August 25 - October 1

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)
Dwarf Blue Curled, Blue Knight
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 10
    fall: August 25 - October 1

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)
Grand Duke
Planting dates:
    seed: February 10 - March 1
    transplants: February 15 - March 1
    seed, August 1 - August 25

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum )
American Flag
Planting dates:
    spring: seed, February 10 - February 25
    fall: seed, September 10 - October 1

Lettuce, Butterhead (Lactuca sativa)
spring or fall: Buttercrunch
fall only: Tom Thumb
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 15
    fall: August 15 - September 10

Lettuce, Head (Lactuca sativa)
Classic, Park's Mission
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 1
    fall: August 15 - September 1

Lettuce, Leaf (Lactuca sativa)
Salad Bowl, Black Seeded Simpson, Red Sails (red color)
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 15
    fall: August 15 - September 15

Lettuce, Cos or Romaine (Lactuca sativa)
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 15
    fall: August 15 - September 15

Mustard (Brassica juncea)
Florida Broadleaf, Southern Giant Curled, Tendergreen
Planting dates:
    spring: February 15 - April 1
    fall: August 1 - September 10

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
Blondy, Lee, Emerald, Clemson Spineless
Planting dates:
    spring: April 5 - June 1
    fall: July 15 - August 15

Onion, Bulbing (Allium cepa)
yellow: Texas Supersweet (Grano 1015Y), Yellow Granex
red: Red Granex, Burgundy
white: Crystal Wax, White Granex
Planting dates:
    seed: sow previous year September 10 - October 1
    transplants: plant current year February 10 - March 5

Onion, Bunching [Scallions] (Allium cepa)
Beltsville Bunching
Planting dates:
    seed: sow current year February 10 - March 1

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Moss Curled, Plain (Italian)
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 5
    fall: August 1 - October 1

Peas, English (Pisum sativum)
Little Marvel, Wando, Dwarf Gray Sugar
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 1
    fall: September 1 - October 1

Peas, Edible-Podded (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon)
spring only: Sugar Snap (bush)
spring or fall: Sugar Ann (bush), Sugar Pop (bush), Super Sugar Mel (vine)
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 1
    fall: September 1 - October 1

Peas, Southern (Vigna unguiculata subspecies unguiculata)
Blackeye #5, Mississippi Silver, Purple Hull, Zipper Cream Crowder, Colossus Crowder
Planting dates:
    spring: April 1 - May 20
    fall: July 1 - August 1

Pepper, Hot (Capsicum annuum var. longum)
Super Chili, Hungarian Yellow Wax, Long Red or SlimCayenne, Hidalgo Serrano, Jalapeno, TAM Mild Jalapeno
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, April 1 - May 1
    fall: transplants, July 1 - July 25

Pepper, Sweet Bell (Capsicum annuum var. grossum)
green: Big Bertha, Jupiter (mature color: red), SummerSweet 860 (mature color: yellow)
yellow: Golden Summer
purple: Purple Belle
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, April 1 - May 1
    fall: transplants, July 1 - July 25

Pepper, Sweet Salad (Capsicum annuum var. cerasiforme)
Gypsy, Sweet Pickle, Cubanelle, Top Banana
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, April 1 - May 1
    fall: transplants, July 1 - July 25

Potato, Irish (Solanum tuberosum)
red: Norland (early season), Red LaSoda (midseason)
white: Kennebec (late season)
Planting dates:
    spring: seed pieces, February 15 - March 1
    fall: seed pieces, July 25 - August 10

Potato, Sweet (Ipomoea batatas)
Jewell, Centennial, Vardaman
Planting dates: (spring only) slips, April 15 - May 15
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo)
Connecticut Field, Spirit, Small Sugar, Autumn Gold, Jack Be Little (ornamental)
Planting dates:
    spring: April 1 - April 20
    for large pumpkins June 15 - July 15
    for small pumpkins July 15 - August 15

Radish (Raphanus sativus)
red: Inca, Champion, Cherry Belle
white: White Icicle, Snow Belle
Planting dates:
    spring: February 5 - May 1
    fall: September 1 - November 1

Rutabaga (Brassica napus var. napobrassica)
American Purple Top
Planting dates:
    spring: February 1 - April 1
    fall: August 1 - October 15

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
Melody, Coho, Iron Duke
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 15
    fall: August 1 - October 15

Squash, Summer(Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo)
Multipik, Dixie, Sun Drops, Burpee's Butterstick
Planting dates:
    spring: March 25 - May 1
    fall: August 1 - August 25

Squash, Summer Pan-Type (Curcurbita pepo var. melopepo)
yellow: Sunburst
white: Patty Pan
green: Peter Pan
Planting dates:
    spring: March 25 - May 1
    fall: August 1 - August 25

Sqaush, Winter (Cucurbita moschata)
Early Butternut, Sweet Mama, Table Ace, Table King Bush Acorn, Cream of the Crop
Planting dates:
    spring: March 25 - May 1
    fall: July 1 - August 10

Squash, Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo)
green: Senator, President
yellow: Goldrush
Planting dates:
    spring: March 25 - May 1
    fall: August 1 - August 25
Note Regarding Tomatoes: Cultivars listed as determinate are the bush type whereas those listed as indeterminate are the vining type. "A" indicates genetic resistance to Alternaria, "F1" to Fusarium wilt race 1, "F2" to Fusarium wilt race 2, "N" to root knot nematodes, "S" to Stemphylium (gray leaf spot), "T" to tobacco mosaic virus, "V" to Verticillium wilt.

Tomatoes, Large-Fruited (Lycopersicon esculentum)
    determinate: Celebrity VFNT, Carnival VFNT, Surefire VF1, President VFNT, Merced VF1F2ST, Heatwave VF1F2SA
    indeterminate: Champion VFNT, Quick Pick VFNT, Simba VFNT, First Lady VFNT, Superfantastic VFN
    determinate: Surefire VF1, Heatwave VF1F2SA
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, March 25 - April 15
    fall: transplants, July 1 - July 25

Tomatoes, Paste (Lycopersicon esculentum)
indeterminate: Roma VF, San Marzano
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, March 25 - April 15
    fall: transplants, July 1 - July 25

Tomatoes, Small-Fruited (Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiforme)
determinate: Small Fry VFN
indeterminate: Porter, Cherry Grande, Sweet 100
Planting dates:
    spring: transplants, March 25 - April 15
    fall: transplants, July 1 - July 25

Turnip (Brassica rapa var. rapifera)
spring or fall: Tokyo Cross, Royal Globe II, White Lady
fall only: Just Right
Planting dates:
    spring: February 10 - March 10
    fall: August 25 - October 15

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)
regular: Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby, Royal Jubilee, Royal Sweet, Orange Golden, Star Brite
triploid or seedless (transplants only)
    Jack of Hearts, Supersweet 5032, Tiffany
Planting dates:
    spring: March 25 - May 1
    fall: June 15 - July 1

Monday, April 25, 2011

Obtained this from GRS. Template about starting a new garden.

How to Grow Your First Garden
J.D. Roth Apr 23, 2011 6:00 AM - Show original item
This guest post is from Jane Sanders of DebtManagement, a writer whose two biggest passions are gardening and personal finance.
Starting a vegetable garden can be one of the most rewarding hobbies you ever pursue. Gardening is a source of relaxation and exercise, while yielding hundreds of dollars worth of fresh and delicious produce. It’s also extremely rewarding to watch the seeds you plant and care for grow into mature plants.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and start your first vegetable garden, this article will help you understand what you’re getting into and the steps you’ll need to take to make it to that first harvest.
The garden in summer
Things to Consider Before You Start
Gardening, especially for those without experience, goes a lot better if planned properly beforehand. So before you take a shovel to your front yard, here are some important questions to consider:
What kinds of produce do you enjoy?The ultimate product of a garden is fruit, vegetables, and herbs, so it’s important to plants crops that you’ll be happy to consume after harvest. Different types of crops also take different amounts of time and effort to harvest. In general:
Fruit plants are perennials, meaning that the plants live on for many years but often take years of growth before they yield any fruit.
Vegetables are usually annuals, meaning the plants die at the end of each season, but that they’ll yield a crop immediately.
Herbs are known for being particularly easy to grow so they’re usually a good choice for beginners.
When you consider a crop to plant, it’s important that you research its life cycle and requirements. For beginners, the best way to start is usually annuals, so you can to see the rewards of your labor within a single growing season. A great place to start is with herbs and salad vegetables and eventually work your way up to fruit trees and other perennials.
Which plants grow well where you live?Different plants have different requirements in terms of soil, amount of sunlight, and level of moisture. It’s important that you research which plants can grow well in the climate you inhabit to avoid planting a crop that’s doomed from the beginning. You can search the web for this information, or even better, ask experienced gardeners in your town or neighborhood which plants they’ve had success with in the past. Gardeners are usually happy to discuss their past crops and getting local information is ideal.
How much space do you have available for planting?Another important concern is the space where your garden will be planted. Many people are hesitant to dig up large portions of their yard, or aren’t allowed to because they don’t own the property themselves. One excellent option for beginners is container gardening. This means growing plants in pots or raised beds, rather than directly in the earth. Container gardening offers flexibility because the mobility of the containers allows you to rearrange their location, keep aggressive growers contained, move plants between areas with varying levels of sunlight, and start plants indoors before the climate outside becomes hospitable.
In you want to learn more about container gardening, Get Rich Slowly has previously reviewed The Bountiful Container, a guide to container gardening that is accessible to beginners but contains enough detail to benefit experienced gardeners.
How much time and money do you want to commit?Like most hobbies, gardening requires an investment to get started. Fortunately, you’ll be able to get some if not all of it back from the produce you harvest. The largest investment is required when you start your first garden because you’ll need to purchase tools and supplies for the first time.
Depending on the scope of your project, the tools you’ll need might include:
Other important supplies include:
Young plants
pH Test
Containers, or lumber and other hardware for constructing containers
While some supplies need to be purchased every year, most tools will last for many years (especially if you buy quality), so the investment you’ll need to make in subsequent years will be much smaller.
Starting a garden also takes a lot of time and effort, particularly at the beginning of the season when you’ll do all your planning, soil preparation, and planting. For this reason I recommend starting small. It’s much better to take on a bit less than you can handle than to try doing too much, getting burned out, and leaving your garden unfinished. If you do well, you can always expand the following year.
Images of summer…
Purchasing Seeds and Young Plants
The first step of garden preparation is usually purchasing seeds and young plants. The easiest way to do this is usually through mail-order catalogs or websites, but you could also buy from a local supply store.
You should consider a number of factors when putting in your order:
What produce you want at harvest time
Which plants are easy to grow from seed and which ones you are better off ordering as young plants
Soil temperature
Amount of sunlight
Space and soil requirements
Depending on the climate in your area, you might also want to start off your plants indoors and transfer them outside once it’s warm enough. (Obviously, it’s too late in the season to do that for 2011.) It’s impossible to say exactly what the best seed order is because it depends on your personal preferences, climate, and other unique factors. Considering all this and creating your own order is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of starting a garden.
Choosing a Location for Your Garden
The next step is choosing a location for your garden. The best spot depends on a number of factors:
The plants you’d like to grow. Some plants need a lot of shade, others sun.
The number of plants you’d like and how much space they need
Access to water
The available areas around your home
You should research your plants and weigh the other factors when coming to a decision on where to place your garden.
J.D. and Kris dug up their yard to expand their garden in 2005.
Preparing the Soil
Once you have a space picked out for your garden, the next step is preparing the soil. This can be a laborious and time consuming process, depending on the quality of your soil and the amount of rocks and weeds in your yard. You’ll need to test the soil pH, dig up any grass and weeds that might be present, add manure or other organic material, use a tiller to mix the soil, and remove rocks and roots that could grow into weeds. You may also need to add chemicals such as sulfur or lime to adjust the soil pH. This article provides a more detailed guide to the process of digging a garden.
If you’d rather avoid this, or your soil simply isn’t suitable, you can plant your garden in containers or a raised bed. This can be a great option because the containers keep out weeds and your plants will be growing in high quality soil.
Once your garden is ready for planting, you’ll want to draw up a garden plan that specifies which plants will grow where. To do this, you’ll need to research how much space your plants will need and how they like to be planted. Some plants do better in wide rows, while others excel in thin single-file rows. Some plants should be planted in raised beds because the extra soil depth is important, others need to be planted in troughs so that they can be covered with soil as they sprout.
Raised beds (photo by johnyaya)
After you’ve made your plan, divide your rows, either by drawing in the soil or using stakes and string to make the rows. Don’t forget to rope off a walk way through your garden so you can access your plants without trampling them. Your garden should now be ready for planting.
Ongoing Maintenance
After you’ve finished planting, congratulate yourself! You’ve just completed the most strenuous part of gardening. Now that the plants are in the ground, you’ll need to conduct ongoing maintenance, which shouldn’t take more than an hour a week if you have a reasonably sized garden.
Important maintenance tasks include:
Watering. Forget this and your plants won’t stand much of a chance. When you bought your seeds they should have come with instructions for how much and how frequently the plants should be watered. It’s also a good idea to monitor the garden daily for signs of poor health.
Weeding. This won’t be an issue if you have a container garden, but if not, you’ll need to check regularly and uproot any invasive weeds that infiltrate your garden.
Side Dressing. This means spreading additional fertilizer around the base of your growing plants. Do some research to determine if and how often each of your crops should be side dressed.
Hilling. This means piling up additional soil around the stem of your plants into a “hill”. This is often done in conjunction with side dressing where the fertilizer is spread around the stem and soil is piled on top of it. Certain plants, especially root vegetables, benefit from hilling because they grow better with extra soil above the root.
As your garden grows, it’s important that you check it daily to watch for any problems. This doesn’t take a lot of time and you will catch any issues before they become bigger problems. Things to watch out for include:
Rotting or disease plants
Insects and other pests
Animals eating plants
Withering or otherwise unhealthy plants
An actual weekend harvest from J.D.’s garden in August 2006.
As the season progresses you’ll see your plants grow and eventually produce the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you envisioned when you ordered your seed packets months earlier. It’s extremely rewarding to see your hard work pay off in the form of food that you grew from the earth.
When you feel that your produce is at the peak of its desirability, it’s time to harvest. Gently pick ripe produce as it matures and store it in a cool dry place in your home. If you have more than you can eat, giving some away to friends and neighbors is a great idea.
This is when you recoup your initial investment by eating fresh delicious produce for free. A decent-sized garden can easily produce hundreds of dollars worth of food each year. If you make it this far, you should give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve developed an enjoyable hobby, done good for the environment, and saved yourself money on food.
J.D.’s note: In theory, next weekend is the big garden weekend here at Rosings Park. Kris and I will attend the local garden show, and then we’ll plant most of our crops for the year. (This morning we’re at our friend’s plant swap!) In reality, the weather sucks. It’s been rotten for two months. We’re way behind. I’m not sure when the garden will get started. But I have hopes that next week we’ll be back on schedule.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Superbowl Prediction

San Diego has always been the neglected stepsister to Los Angeles and San Francisco, but this is the year that she will finally wear the glass slipper. You see this is the city that couldn't even hold on to the Clippers who bolted to Los Angeles.. For their last superbowl experience, they were humiliated by the 49ers by the score of 49-26.

Why is this year different? One word -- Obama. He is the man that has brought world peace upon us and has single-handedly protected us against Al Qaeda. Yet, he did have one flaw .... Here is the excerpt from

Blame it on Obama, Chargers' fans

I was talking to Mike Pereira, the league's vice president of officiating, when the conversation turned to the San Diego-Denver game. I told Pereira that as bad as Ed Hochuli's call was, it was the failure of the replay system in thye first half that bothered me more. I mean, a ref can blow a call. It happens. But replay systems are not supposed to malfunction. It was then that Pereira told me the replay in Denver had worked flawlessly in two preseason games but had to be removed, taken apart, reassembled and returned before the season. The reason? The Democratic National Convention. "So if you're going to blame anyone," said Pereira, tongue in cheek, "blame the Democrats."
To make it up to the Chargers, he has rigged the entire NFL postseason to enable the Chargers to win it all. He will let nature take its course on the NFC side where the Minnesota Vikings will also make it to the Super Bowl.
So Vikings fans, if they lose the Super Bowl you know who to blame.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hi Dave!

As I promised, here is a synopsis of my trip to Washington (11/27 -
11/30/1999). Sorry this is so long, but I had too much fun!

I went on American Airlines on Friday night, because I would like to
reserve the entire Saturday for sight seeing. Since my friend, Mono,
didn't have a car, one of his friends drove him to the airport. I am very
grateful for his friend, Ken, because I didn't know him at all.
Furthermore, he had to wake up very early on a Saturday morning to pick
me up. He also insisted on buying me breakfast, because it was my
birthday :)

Ken knew the area fairly well, because he has lived in Washington D.C.
for over 10 years. He suggested that we visit the monuments, because it
would be easier to travel with a car. The first monument that we visited
was the Lincoln Memorial. It was a very imposing sight to see Abraham
Lincoln. Reading his speech moved me greatly, and I was impressed by his
foresight to abolish slavery.

We then moved to the Vietnam Memorial. In the book, I tried to find
someone my age (23 years old) on the roster which contained all the men
and women killed in the war. In the book, I found a person called John
Morris from Long Beach, CA. It is frightening to think that an entire
generation my age was lost in the Vietnam War. At that wall, I said a
small prayer for his family.

The next memorial that we went to was Roosevelt's Memorial. Roosevelt is
the newest memorial in Washington D.C. They are currently planning a
World War II memorial, but they havn't finished designing it. Basically,
the memorial was divided into 4 parts based on FDR's 4 freedom speech and
his 4 terms in office. Because I took a picture next to FDR, I decided to
take a picture next to Eleanor (that should make him jealous ;).

Lastly, I went to the Jefferson Memorial. Supposedly the memorial was
closed for renovations, but I decided to sneak in instead. There were a
few others there, but nowhere near as many as the Lincoln Memorial. Ken
was a great tour guide, because he knew a lot of factoids and trivia
about Washington D.C.

He dropped us off at the George Washington/Georgetown area of Washington
D.C. I wanted to go there to get a glimpse of George Washington
University School of Medicine. I have an interview there, but the
director of admissions is flying all the way to California to interview
me. One of my good friends from Mudd, Kimmie Bui, is also going to the
medical school there. I didn't get to see her that day, because she is
still in So. Cal. For lunch, Mono and I went to a French restaurant. The
food was pretty good, but food prices in D.C. are generally a lit bit
more pricier than L.A. We walked around the George Washington area for
quite some time, and then we took a break at Mono's friend's apartment.
There I listened to some Jazz music and sorta unwound. We then went back
to Mono's apartment on a Metro. I simply love the metro. The metro has
gotta be one of the best public transportation systems in the country.

In the night time, I went to Bethesda, Maryland. Within a day, I have
traveled all acrross the country and ate in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.
Since it was a weekend, all the restaurants were packed in the area. We
decided to go to a Thai restaurant, but the wait seemed to be too long.
After some discussion, we went to another Thai restaurant. I chose Thai
food, because I havn't eaten Thai in quite some time. The other Thai
restaurant also had a long waiting time. We decided to go to a bookstore
and browse some books. Afterwards, we went back to the Thai place. The
food there was absolutely superb. I had some of the spicy chicken and a
seafood combo platter. If you ever go to Bethesda and are craving for
some Thai food, make sure that you go to Bangkok Garden.

On Sunday morning, we decided to go to President Clinton's church. Since
there was no security detail, I knew that the President was skipping
church that Sunday :) After church, I heard about some of the history of
the church. They have a stained glass window of Abraham Lincoln (in the
fellowship hall, not the church), because he occasionally visited the
church. But more unusual was that they had a stained glass window of
Madamme Chiang Kai Shek. The wife of the former president of Taiwan.
Apparently she was part of an organization called China Aid which was the
largest aid organization at the time. At that time, she seemed like a
logical choice, but now it seems very strange.

After church, I went back home and went to a Greek restaurant. The food
there was very good as well. I've only tried lamb stew, but I don't think
that I have eaten lamb in any other fashion before. After watching the
football game, I immediately went to Union Station to catch a train to
Richmond. The train was delayed, so I had to wait for a long time.

The train ride was pretty uneventful. One reason was that it was pretty
dark, so I didn't see the countryside. I called my host immediately after
I arrived, and he only gave his address. This was one of my mistakes. I
should have asked him very detailed instructions on how to get to his
house. When I called the cab, the guy got lost, so I had to pay quite a
bit. I figured out that he had a cell phone, so I called my host and got
there safely.

I had a very gracious host that talked a lot about medical school in
general. He told me very good tips about surviving my first year in
medical school. But apparently he was very low on groceries, so instead
of dinner I had 2 nutrigrain bars instead. On the other hand, very few
medical students would be willing to talk for 3 hours about stuff.

The next morning, I went to VCU. One of the unique things about VCU is
that it has class at 8 in the morning. As a result, I had to wake up at
6:15 in the morning to get ready for school. On the other hand, this is
the only school that serves complimentary breakfast and all-you-can-eat
lunch :) Before the interview I had a good 2 hour long discussion with
the Dean of Admissions. It seemed that I was far more talkative of the
other candidates. When I went in for the interview, I felt very ready.
This was the best interview I have had. The interviewer, Dr. Clifton
(dean of students), said that he wanted me to come to Richmond. He told
me that he will try to persuade the other 28 people on the admissions
committee. It is a pretty good sign, but in no way does this mean that I
will get accepted at VCU. I've already had 2 acceptances so far, so I'm
taking it easy. On the other hand, I left with a very good impression of

I went back to the train station by a cab. The cabbie was very nice and
talkative. I talked to him about his impressions of VCU. He told me that
VCU literally saved his and his wife's life. He told me that he would
always be grateful to the doctors at VCU. When I was at the train
station, I talked to an older African American lady about VCU. She told
me that it had an excellent reputation, and started to try to persuade me
to come to Richmond. She has been in Richmond since World War II and she
absolutely loves it.
I was kinda tired when I went back to Washington D.C.

The next morning, I made an appointment to meet my friend Kimmie. At
first, we were planning on meeting at Ross Hall. But instead we met each
other in the metro station. It was an amazing coincidence, because there
are thousands of people in the station. She told me a little bit more
about George Washington University. I liked the GW campus, but I liked
VCU better.

Please bear with me, I am almost done ... I'll be extremely brief.

I went to the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art. I decided to focus on
the traveling exhibitions instead of the permanent ones. I saw a bunch of
Vermeers, Rembrandts, Holbeins, and Durer's, on loan from another museum.
That was pretty cool. After I toured the Congress, I took a picture in
front of the Whitehouse. I left Washington D.C. with a lot of good

Have a good weekend,

Old email about the Tori Amos/Alanis Morisette concert

As I promised, here is my short review of the concert. It is so much
harder to write about the concert itself rather than the experience of
going to the concert.

After listening to Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink countless times,
I was expecting a more sedate version of Tori Amos. Instead, I was caught
in a whirlwind of drumbeats, basses, and guitar solos. Yet, above it all
I could viscerally feel the intense percussive quality of her piano. Tori
started with the song, God. In the past, I probably would have said that
I knew the song well. But tonight, she morphed the song into a brand new
experience for me. Yes! This is what a concert should be -- transforming
the songs in the CD anew. The highlight for me was her encore, Precious
Things. As usual, I had no idea from the intros which songs would come up
next. But if there were any of her old songs that would fit her new
style, Precious Things would be it. My lone criticism of the concert is
that she didn't play many of her old songs. But this is understandable,
because she has to promote her new CD.

I'm not that big of an Alanis fan, but surprisingly I knew more of her
songs than Tori's. Since she was not captive to the piano, Alanis was
able to prance around on stage. Ah, I am at a loss for words to describe
the concert. But if there was one song that was worth the price of
admission that would be the song from the City of Angels soundtrack. From
the haunting piano intro to the end, it was an awesome experience.

I will come to Claremont soon. If you aren't busy, I hope to see you and
some other friends. Meanwhile best of luck in everything!


I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail ...
he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion
and sacrifice and endurance ---William Faulkner
My very first concert - Tori Amos/Alanis Morisette

Thanks for the forward about the circle of friends, I totally appreciated
it. It is always really nice to hear from you.

I was partly kidding when I said that I would write for the Collage about
the Tori/Alanis concert. I've always wanted to write for a newspaper, but
I realize that I probably can't meet the high standards of your newspaper
:) I've also attached a copy to Dave, so he can vouch for my accuracy ;)
However, I do have some really good tips about Irvine Meadows (see John's
rules), so you could share my report to your friends who might be going
there for concerts.

Anyway, here is my report of my very first rock concert!

Sunday 3:00 p.m.

(Secretly humming Tori Amos tunes, while the sopranos in the choir were
struggling with Handel's Messiah in the background)

Normally I love choir practice, but today I couldn't wait for the
practice to end. First of all Handel is way too difficult for the youth
choir. But the main reason I can't wait to leave is because I will be
going to my very first rock concert -- Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette at
Irvine Meadows.

Sunday 4:40 p.m.

Dave Beydler finally arrives at my church. He is one of my best friends
in college. For the most part we have similar music tastes, but he
prefers Alanis and I prefer Tori. At this point, we knew that we were
going to be 2 hours early so we microwaved some leftover church food.

Sunday 5:30 p.m.

Stopped by Arby's for food. He ordered a roast beef sandwich, while I
ordered a large cup of water. I know we have food, but leftover church
food isn't exactly the best food in the world. To my amazement, the
cashier gave me a little cup of water. Note to myself: Next time when I
go to Arby's I should order the extra extra large cup of water :)

Sunday 5:40 p.m.

Dave told me that he wasn't sure how to get to Irvine Meadows. I told him
that we're guys, so we should be experts in finding our way. Hmmm ... not
exactly, I actually told him a joke about Moses taking 40 years to go to
Israel, because he didn't know the directions. Dave was totally awesome
though, and we arrived in Irvine meadows without the need to ask people
for help.

Sunday 5:42 p.m.

Finally arrived in Irvine Meadows. I told Dave that I would talk to at
least one stranger in the concert. Lo and behold, immediately after I
came out of the car a woman came up to me and said that she liked my
smile. Then, I was completely flabbergasted we she said that she was
ticketing me for looking happy. (I do joke and laugh a lot, and maybe I
do have a nice smile, but she was completely outrageous!) She then gave a
sticker about smiling in public. I thought I could keep it, but then she
requested a donation.
John's rule #1: Never accept tickets for strangers, unless it says KROQ.

Sunday 5:45 p.m.
We didn't have tickets, because Dave ordered online. We were supposed to
pick up the tickets at the will-call window, but we made a mistake of
waiting in the tickets-only line.
John's rule #2: Ask someone before you wait in line.
We ate our really delicious church food and drank water from our little
Arby's cup. I was actually really envious of the family ahead of us,
because they had cookies, drinks, and a tomato and tuna salad. Behind us
were 2 women who were Tori fans. After my experience with that nut, I
decided not to talk to strangers anymore.

Sunday 6:00 p.m.
Dave spots a Mudder! I can't believe it another person from the 5
Colleges is actually going to the concert. I didn't know her, because she
was only a first or second-year student at Mudd. Dave barely knew her,
because he was about to graduate. To out surprise, she went out and
talked to the two women behind us. After she left, I talked to one of the
women. She told me that she was from Scripps (I think her name is
Lauren), and she also told me that she had terrace seats. Lucky her! I
can't believe she is actually waiting in line, since she had tickets.

Sunday 6:15 p.m.
After drinking all that Arby water, I felt that I had to go to the
bathroom. I asked the attendants if I could go inside to the concert
area, but they wouldn't let me cut the line. Since I couldn't spot a tree
in the parking lot, I decided to quickly run to the Burger King across
the street.
John's rule #3: Don't run on a full stomach.
John's rule #4: Don't leave the line, just before they open the gates.
I was afraid that I would get lost finding the Burger King, so I quickly
darted back to the line. When I arrived, I couldn't find Dave because the
line had moved. I frantically went to the front of the line, and asked if
the line had moved much. Fortunately the line didn't move much.

Sunday 6:35 p.m.
We finally get frisked in front of the gates. Dave then realizes that we
need tickets to get past the gate. He then asks the security guard for
permission to jump over the fence to go to the will-call window.
John's rule # 5: Immediately go to the will-call window to get tickets.
At first the guard said that we would be forced to go to the end of the
line. Meanie! The line was like 2 miles long. We begged him to let us
slide, and he finally relented.
John's rule #6: Be nice to security guards, even if they do make you feel
really uncomfortable when they frisk you.
John's rule #7: Don't bring cameras to concerts, unless you know for sure
you can take pictures.

Sunday 6:40 p.m.
Yessssssss! I can finally go to the bathroom. I noticed that the women's
line was 3 times as long as the guys line. It did seem to me that there
were 3 times as many women for the Tori/Alanis concerts. Hmmmm ...... I
wonder why that is the case.
John's rule #8: Use the bathroom near the lawn section. There is
absolutely no lines for the men and women bathrooms.

Sunday 7:15 p.m.
Some unknown band starts singing.

Sunday 8:00 p.m.
Tori sings.

Sunday 9:30 p.m.
Tori stops singing.

Sunday 9:50 p.m.
Alanis sings.

Sunday 11:05 p.m.
Alanis stops singing.

Sunday 11:10 p.m.
Dave and I get KROQ stickers. They're free!

As you see I'm getting sleepy. I'll write a review of the concert

Yours truly,

I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail ...
he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion
and sacrifice and endurance ---William Faulkner
Quotes from my college signature.

I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail ...
he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion
and sacrifice and endurance ---William Faulkner

"Good-bye', said the fox. 'And now here is
my secret, a very simple secret: It is only
with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.'"
Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince, p. 70

Saturday, April 12, 2008

> Dr. H,
> I am currently a freshman at Harvey Mudd. I'm considering a career in
> medicine because I'm very interested in the human body and in
> practical ways of fixing its problems. Professor Haushalter gave me
> your email address, saying you might be able to give important
> insight. At this point, I have not by any means decided that medicine
> is what I want to do with my life; it's just one of many options I'm
> mulling over. I don't have any specific questions yet, but if you
> would oblige me, I'd be very interested in hearing a little about what
> life is like for someone pursuing a career in medicine. If you have
> any tips as to how I might get a better idea whether this path would
> work for me, I would greatly appreciate those as well.
> Thanks,

There is so much diversity in medicine itself that you could probably find a niche that you are interested in. I'd like to know a little more about yourself regarding what your motivations are in coming to Mudd and medicine.

A little bit about myself and my journey and the pitfalls along the way.

When I first came to Mudd, I wanted to be a scientist but never really considered medicine as a career. I was torn between biology and chemistry, but what sold me was when I talked to Dr. Purves (former chair of dept) and had a long talk about the lac operon and molecular biology.

I was definitely not prepared for the rigorous curriculum at Mudd. I'm not sure what the curve now is at Mudd, but when I was there in the late 90s it was around a B-. My first year I did slightly above average, except for physics for which I got a C+ (had an awful physics class in high school). Partly due to pride, I decided to take a physics class over the summer to prepare me for E&M. This random act probably helped me get into medical school.

After doing research in plant biology, I felt that this was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I enjoyed research immensely, but I wanted to make a difference in people's lives. At the end of my sophomore year, I decided to look into medicine.

One of the best things about Mudd is the intellectual firepower, strong honor code, camraderie, and lifelong friendships. I loved the place, and it was definitely the place for me. However, like I alluded to earlier grades was probably the reason why I didn't get in on my first try. I also lacked some of the volunteer work that most other premeds had done. It also didn't help that there wasn't anyone who knew the byzantine application system.

Once you get into medical school, you'll find it to be a piece of cake compared to Mudd. I found the first 2 years to be very easy. I did study hard, but all you need to do is to memorize everything in the lecture and do old exams.

After going through medicine and residency, I realized that what drives me is a combination of patient care and research. Looking back, Mudd is THE perfect place for someone who wants to be a physician-scientist. I'd like to understand how cells respond to injury (in particular the nephron) from the immune system's point of view. On the side, I'd like to be a transplant nephrologist. It has been a long road (graduated in 1998), but the light is at the end of the tunnel.

The hard part is finding the entrance of the tunnel.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

92% John McCain
83% Mike Huckabee
82% Mitt Romney
75% Rudy Giuliani
71% Fred Thompson
58% Tom Tancredo
54% Ron Paul
49% Hillary Clinton
46% Chris Dodd
46% Barack Obama
45% Bill Richardson
42% John Edwards
41% Joe Biden
26% Dennis Kucinich
24% Mike Gravel

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Monday, July 09, 2007

I am 6% Geek.
I wish I was a Geek. But alas I am not. Damn.
I wanna be a geek. But I'm not. Why would I even want to be one. Do I think it's fun? I should try writting an online test application at 1 am in my underwear

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ok ...

Accountability time. I admit I have not blogged, but that is also because I have not been on the internet that much. As for my New Years resolution, I have slept in quite a bit. (Sleeping in means sleeping until 7:25 am to be at work by 8:15 :P

Today is a very special day, since it is the last day for me before R is born. Actually if it is a he then it'll be named after my dad and by best friend.

The big news this past week was that my friend Rob visited me from California. We actually had a jam packed schedule for the week. He is a big train buff since he is working with California's department of transportation. We decided to first go on an authentic trolley ride down McKinney Avenue. It was free, but the main gripe I have with the trolley was that it was incredibly loud. Still you can't beat free :) Next we decided to walk to the place where JFK was shot. I know it's morbid, but still you can't visit Dallas without seeing this cultural landmark. Next we went to American Airlines arena. For a bit of trivia, that area (Victory plaza) has the largest collection of big screen TVs in the country. Last I check there was 10. We went back to my car with the DART train. Next we visited the train museum. It is a quirky littly museum located in FAIR Park. Unlike the other museums in FAIR Park, it does not get along with the commission so it exists as an entity within an entity. Inside the park is the largest locomotive (BIG BOY) that was owned by UP. It also appears that their relationship with Union Pacific has also soured because their dispatchers have been giving them a hard time. Anyway .... the coolest part of the museum was that they were able to fire away some of the trains and I got to see the trains move. Way cool ....


Baby time,


Sunday, February 18, 2007

I've been ok about not using the internet as much.

My talk on rejection went very well this week. I had some really funny slides like the holy grail and the main villain on the show heroes. It was a rather basic talk, but I'm glad I didn't go into too much detail because it would have been a much longer talk.

The big news is waiting for the baby to come. My wife hasn't felt any contractions lately, but she has noticed that the baby has been positioning herself. We pretty much have everything we need, but you never know with your firstborn.

Happy Chinese New Year!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ok, for an update. I was on the computer for 1.5 hours today. Not what I wanted. The actual reason was to procrastinate from writing this blog. Hmmm .... not good.

In the meantime, I need to finish my presentation on transplant rejection.

Church today was good. I love pastor Ed, he comes up with the most hilarious illustrations. Today's sermon was on joy, and on the habits and things we do that sap it. For his illustration today, he brought a digital camera to church and took random pictures of people sitting in the front row. He then asked the folks to evaluate his picture taking skills. Then he asked them, who was the first person they looked at. Invariably, everyone looked at their own picture first. One of the things that are second nature to all of us is selfishness.

Which brings me back to the topic of rejection. One of the main theories regarding rejection is that self/nonself hypothesis. The reason why we reject transplanted organs is because it is foreign. Our bodies do not recognize the transplanted organ as "self." You see, if I can prevent "selfishness", I can prevent rejection.

Pretty cool stuff,


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ok, looking back I've accomplished one goal last year and stopped another. The good news is that I have finished reading the bible last year. The bad news is that I have stopped reading my kidney book.

One of the most frustating things in this past year has been my internet addiction. Good I've got it out my chest. Hmmm .... isn't it weird that I'm typing away on my blog ON THE INTERNET.

As a doctor, it has always been frustating for me to hear my patients who are smokers tell me that they are going to quit. I've had a few successes, but they are far and few in between. To all the readers on this blog, I implore you that I will probably let you down but I am doing my best.

Yes .... but I've finally concluded that I need to be kept accountable in all of this. I've also decided that this would be a way for me to document that I have finally kicked this habit.

By the way, I'm going to start by limitting my home internet use to 1 hour a day. 15 minutes of which would be used in blogging (12:00 minutes left on the clock).

My internet use is a way for me to procrastinate from the more urgent needs in life. I need to reconnect with goals regarding my health and spirituality.

At church this week, my pastor is going through this series called Larger than Life. In fact to be a Christ follower means that I should hold on to the promises that HE will enable us to live life to the fullest. Need to have big dreams, but give all glory back to HIM.

Goal: To be the best husband and father I could be and to be the world's foremost expert in Transplantation.

The sad state is that I have been wasting my life on the internet and have been neglecting my wife and home.

In the next edition of my blog, I will update my progress.


May February 10th, 2007 be the day that I finally conquer this addiction.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My newest find is called Basically it is a social bookmarking website. Since I don't publicize my name on this blog, my website is"my juno login (Noncomputer bots should delete the parentheses)".

Friday, May 19, 2006

Finally got my test scores for Step 3. I didn't do as well as I hoped, but I passed which is all that counts. Now comes the painful process of getting my license in Texas. The first step is to apply for licensure in the state of Texas and then I'll need to take my jurisprudence exam. The dumb part about is is that I have to go to Austin (3 hours away) just to take the test.

Weird dream sequence revisited.

I had a dream that I went to a luscious tropical island with a prominent rock. Then in my brain, I started singing a hymn with the words "Cleft of the rock." I woke up excitedly telling my wife that I composed a hymn in my sleep. She corrected me in saying that a hymn by that name already existed, but I have absolutely no recollection of the hymn. So here are the REAL lyrics.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

First day of my ICU month!

My kidney text book has just arrived and it weighs 19.5 lbs!!!! I guess I'm such a nerd for weighing my textbook. Anyway, the goal is for me to have that read.

Will need to start waking up earlier, however I've been working on my paper forever!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I have a new goal in mind. This will actually be my new habit for the upcoming month. This is partly inspired from reading blogs like "Success for Today". My long term goal for the moment is to finish reading The Kidney by Brenner and Rector. However, there is no free time in my schedule. In order to free up time in my schedule I will need to wake up earlier. Here is my plan

First month (I will be on ICU)
Goal for the month: Wake up at 5:30 in the morning except when I'm post call
Ways to accomplish this goal
1. Wake up immediately when the alarm goes off
a. Create a subconscious loop in my head that I will automatically get up. (Creating a habit)
b. Start jogging for 10 minutes immediately after I wake up
2. Get to work by 6:15 in the morning
3. After 30 days, gradually shorten the wake up time by 15 minutes to 5:15, and get to work by 6:00 in the morning
4. After 30 days wake up by 5:00 in the morning. Increase exercise time to 20 minutes

Now I'm in July on a consult month (Renal Transplant)
Read 30 minutes of Brenner and Rector on renal transplant. Get to work by 6:30 am.
Read 30 minutes of Brenner and Rector at night.

I'm on my way to reading 3000 pages (300 hours work of reading) for the year. Thus it all starts with waking up early.

P.S. I still need to do MKSAP questions and Medstudy reading as well. AAARgh!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I had an awesome trip back to California. My goals for my short time there was to learn 5 new dishes and get lots of sleep.

I have to thank my friend Dave for teaching me two new dishes. The first dish was a combination of straw noodles and eggs. The second dish was a tofu dish with Yu Chai. At first I said that it was Yu Choi, but my wife got totally confused. I was mispronouncing the name of the vegetable ;)

The rest of the dishes that I learned was wonton soup, fried noodles, and another tofu dish. It is a good thing that I got the recipes in writing, otherwise I would forget how to cook it.

I also spent the majority of my time sleeping and also viewing trips about Europe. I will blog about my tentative trip a short time later.


Friday, April 14, 2006


1: Learn to say, "I don't know." If used when appropriate, it will be used often.
2: It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.
3: If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much
4: Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what's there; few can see what isn't there.
5: Presentation rule: When something appears on a slide presentation, assume the world knows about it and deal with it accordingly.
6. Work for a boss to whom you can tell it like it is. Remember, you can't pick your family, but you can pick your boss.
7: Constantly review developments to make sure that the actual benefits are what they were supposed to be. Avoid Newton's Law.
8: However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best effort.
9: Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties, discouragement or indifference. Don't be known as a good starter but a poor finisher!
10: In doing your project, don't wait for others; go after them and make sure it gets done.
11: Confirm the instructions you give others, and their commitments, in writing. Don't assume it will get done.
12: Don't be timid: Speak up, express yourself and promote your ideas.
13: Practice shows that those who speak the most knowingly and confidently often end up with the assignment to get the job done.
14: Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports.
15: Be extremely careful in the accuracy of your statements.
16: Don't overlook the fact that you are working for a boss. Keep him or her informed. Whatever the boss wants, within the bounds of integrity, takes top priority.
17: Promises, schedules and estimates are important instruments in a well-run business. You must make promises — don't lean on the often-used phrase: "I can't estimate it because it depends on many uncertain factors."
18: Never direct a complaint to the top; a serious offense is to "cc" a person's boss on a copy of a complaint before the person has a chance to respond to the complaint.
19: When interacting with people outside the company, remember that you are always representing the company. Be especially careful of your commitments.
20: Cultivate the habit of boiling matters down to the simplest terms: the proverbial "elevator speech" is the best way.
21: Don't get excited in engineering emergencies: Keep your feet on the ground.
22: Cultivate the habit of making quick, clean-cut decisions.
23: When making decisions, the "pros" are much easier to deal with than the "cons." Your boss wants to see both.
24: Don't ever lose your sense of humor.
25: Have fun at what you do. It will be reflected in you work. No one likes a grump except another grump!
26: Treat the name of you company as if it were your own.
27: Beg for the bad news.
28: You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100% of what you feel.
29: You can't polish a sneaker.
30: When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn-out, "short them to the ground."
31: When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will change quickly.
32: A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person. (This rule never fails).
33: Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, an amateur built an ark that survived a flood while a large group of professionals built the Titanic!
Postscript: The qualities of leadership boil down to confidence, dedication, integrity and love.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My grand project for my third year will be to finish Brenner and Rector's, _The Kidney_.

This might be the most monumental project that I've ever done. Basically encapsulated within those 3072 pages is the state of human knowledge on the kidney. I figure 1 year is a doable goal if I read at least 10 pages/day.

Things to do to accomplish this goal:

1. Publicize it on my blog. Done!

2. Find the book
Ok, here's the hard part. The book costs $420 and there is no copy in the library. My goal is to find a renal fellow who would let me borrow the book for the year. Another thought is to try to convince the drug reps to buy the book for me.

3. Wake up early in the am to read.

4. Start by doing another doable goal. For example, for this past month I've been very diligent in reading the bible. I have a reminder system by email to remind me to read the bible every day. Prior to finishing this book, I plan on finishing immunobiology within a month. I've already read a third of the book.

5. Since the book is in electronic format, I will try to read random chapters when I'm bored.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Due to overwhelming popular demand, I'm going to post on a more regular basis :)

After my licensing exam, I will be going back to California for a little R and R. Unfortunately, my wife is busy working at Goldman Sachs doing American taxes on European investments.

To do list for Step 3

1. Finish 5 practice exams (done with 4.5)
2. Review Ob Gyn again.
3. Reread pediatrics
4. Look at urology and orthopedic surgery
5. Do all the computer exams

To do list in California
1. Do nothing!
2. Look at Rick Steeve's videos on France, Italy and Greece
3. Learn how to cook 5 new dishes


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Time for another random musing.

I've been on the internet for way too long. It's good that I'm no longer using it at home (I'm quitting cold turkey). However here is a list of recent random stuff I was searching:

1. The first description nephrology. (Aretaeus of Cappadocia - he also came up with the term diabetes).
2. Housing styles in the United States from Octagonal, Italianate, etc.
3. NCAA tournament
4. Increasing productivity
5. Origami project
6. Oregon Nike project
7. Infinite pools
8. Travelling to Turkey
9. Meteora and other cool monasteries
10. Corfu and Santorini
11. Scrabble tournament
12. Design of the colliseum

Oh well, just looking at the list I will need to figure out to concentrate on the essentials.



A and I invited Pascal and Kerri over for dinner tonight. Both Kerri and Pascal has quite a bit of experience in evaluating steaks. Kerri is from Iowa where her uncles owned a meat-locker facility, while Pascal used to be a manager for a restaurant. It was the first time for all of us trying the Omaha steaks. I thought it was pretty good, but I'm no steak connisseur. It was definitely a higher grade of steak than the supermarket and it is on par with some of the steaks I've had for weddings. But the best part for me was the cheesecake with raspberry (we bought it) with the special sauce.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Reply from cartalk

Thanks for submitting a puzzler suggestion.

If your puzzler is the one about the helium balloon and the car, or any of the
other puzzlers of which we've been sent 55,000 copies of over the years, we will
have no choice but to forward it immediately to the
Jehovah's Witness. Otherwise, we gratefully accept your contribution.

As you know, Ray is in dire need of puzzlers that are somewhat less lousy than
the ones heýs been using of late, so your offer is very much appreciated.

If we use your puzzler on the air, and if you happen to catch us, we will of
course deny everything. If you threaten legal action, you may get a CD or a
coffee mug. Please note that we save all these puzzler suggestions for
approximately six months, after which time we can be reasonably assured that you
will have erased your letter to us and can no longer prove that you sent it to

Again, thanks for writing.


Tom and Ray Magliozzi
Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers
Hey Car Talk guys,

I have a puzzler for you guys based on a real life experience at the gas station. I bought 12.901 gallons of gas for 2.249 for a grand total of $29.01.

Here's the puzzle:
How many gallons of gasoline (DA.BCD) do you have to buy at $2.249 to come up with a total of (AB.CD).

Hope you talk about this puzzle on the air, especially since it has to do with cars rather than apples:)


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Thursday, January 05, 2006

China Trip Christmas 2000. (I found this thru my email to Rob)

I had a great time in China, here is a summary of what I did there.
The flight from LA to Beijing took approximately 12 or 13 hours. On the plane, I
saw the worst movie I've ever seen in my life. The movie, starring James Caan
and Randy Quaid?, were about two quarelling neighbors. The next movie was a
rather strange French movie, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the first one. I
fell asleep for the third movie.
The airport in Beijing was really nice. I was actually expecting an old airport,
but this one was fairly new and modern. The tour guide took care of our luggage
and check-in, so he took us directly to the restaurant. For this tour, all the
meals were paid for and there were 8 to 10 dishes/meal. Since I havn't had a
decent Chinese meal in over 5 months, I was really glad to be part of this
The first stop in our tour was the forbidden city. The forbidden city used to be
the living quarters for the emperors in the Ming and Qing dynasty. The last
person to live there was the last emperor, Pu Yi, who was there until the
1920's. After the communists took over he was assigned to be a gardener at the
forbidden city. What irony! The archictecture was really impressive, my only
regret was that we didn't get to see the palace treasures. The next stop in our
tour was the summer palace. There was a huge man-made lake which helped to cool
the temperature down in the summer. It was almost completely frozen in the
winter with a few cracks here and there. There were some really foolish people
who ventured out towards the lake. It was a pretty comical sight when we saw a
bunch of guards going in the middle of the lake to catch them. The next day, we
went to the most famous cultural landmark, the Great Wall. It is truly an
awesome sight to see first hand. I have no idea why they needed to build a great
wall, since there were mountains in the background. A few of us in the tour
decided to climb up one stretch (about a mile) of the great wall. It was kinda
scary to look down, but I tried to concentrate on the steps. When I went down, I
decided to count the steps so that I didn't have to look down. In all, there
were 1732 steps on the way down.
The next city that we visited was the ancient capital of China, Xian. Xian is
the place for the famous terra cotta figures. Xian also has the world's largest
and oldest remaining city wall. They are not done excavating the site --
according to the guide it will take another 100 years to finish the dig. Part of
the problem is that the technology is not quite advanced yet. In total, 40 years
and 750,000 workers took part in the construction of the mausoleum for the
Gosh, this email is getting rather lengthy. After Xian, we went to Shanghai. In
a really short amount of time, Shanghai has transformed itself into a really
modern city. I think that Shanghai may have the edge in the number of
skyscrapers in comparison to Manhattan. The freeways had a lot more loops and
levels than the ones in LA.
We also went to a number of smaller cities (relative to Shanghai and Beijing).
It was really amazing for me to see all the development even in the smaller
cities. Still, there is still a large part of China that I havn't seen. Maybe in
a few years I could go back.
That's about all. Have a happy new year!
I am nerdier than 56% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

You are a

Social Conservative
(31% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(76% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

This is advice from someone who does research.

1. What is the question for today?
2. What could be the answers for the questions?
3. What experiment can discriminate among them?
4. What techniques are used in this experiment?
5. What materials: chemicals, solutions are needed?
6. What are the protocols?
7. What results do I expect?
8. Analyze and discuss the results.
9. Is the question answered? What is the next step

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Renal Fellowships

After much thought, I've decided to apply for renal fellowships this year. The main reason is that I've decided to go into academic medicine and it would be nice to get plugged into a research project as soon as possible. Here are the places I'm thinking about applying

University of Washington

Seattle is a beautiful place and I've got good friends in Walla Walla. However their renal program is in disarray after their program director got fined by Medicare for billing compliance


Fantastic place if I would like to do clinical research. The main PI that I'm looking into is Glenn Chertow. My sis is also next door at Berkeley


Location, location, location. Unfortunately, housing prices are up the wazoo here in Los Angeles. I've also got a bunch of family and friends there.


Fantastic weather and another place that has a strong clinical research program in acute renal failure. Ravi Mehta does a lot of work with the PICARD (Program to improve care in acute renal disease) group.

UT Southwestern

Of course the sentimental choice since I'm there right now. If it weren't for the compassionate hemodialysis (ie dialyze me before I die) and the VA it would be a very compelling choice. I'm very excited with what Chris Lu is doing with TLR-4 receptors. My wife also has a lot of roots in Dallas.

University of Colorado

This choice is more of a gamble. Big risks, yet huge rewards. They are creating a medical industrial research complex a few miles in the southern Denver suburbs. The downside is the head of the medicine program James Schrier got fired for opposing the move. I just need to know more about how good they are in promoting their fellows to junior faculty.

University of Michigan

I believe this program and Johns Hopkins has the best balance between basic and clinical research. On the other hand, I hate Detroit sports teams with a passion!

Harvard/Brigham and Women's

This is the primier place in the country for basic research. The Man for acute renal failure (Joe Bonventre) is there. I heard rumors though that you need to apply for grants even before entering the program.


Yale has been making strides up my rank list. The main downside is its location. However in terms of research, it is the only program to have faculty that I'm super interested in both clinical and basic science research. Lloyd Cantley who is does some nice work on acute renal failure. Recently, he has a well-cited publication about mesenchymal stem cells in ARF. On the clinical research side, there is a junior faculty Chirag Patel who does translational work in developing markers in acute renal failure (my topic in resident's talk)

Johns Hopkins

I'll be interested in working with Hamid Rabb in ARF. He's a peripatetic wanderer, so I'm not sure how long he'll be in the program.
I'm trying to fix my garden (ok bad puns, but I love them)

At first I was horrified that I might have lost all 200 of my previous posts. But luckily I'm able to see it from the edit view. It was fun reminiscing through my journal, and I realize that by not writing in my journal I'm forgetting all the cool stuff I've done or thought. The hard part is putting it back into public circulation.

I may need my sis' help in restoring blogger (If you are reading this in Beijing, let me know if you can fix it by the time you get back to berkeley).

Alas, procrastination has been chief of my 7 deadly sins. Ok, I've sinned a lot more than that but don't tell anyone. I've decided to blog more frequently now that I have the time during my consult months. However, I will need to go back to serious mode in September when I'll lead my Parkland ward team. I just need to brush up on my writing skills as I will apply to nephrology fellowships this year.

Here's a list of what I need to do. In no particular order

1. Clean the house
2. Pay the bills
3. Get my car license renewed
4. Finish book by Burton
5. Finish Nephrology MKSAP
6. Copy Pulmonary MKSAP
7. Buy flowers for wife
8. Plan Austin trip
9. Buy board review books
11. Apply for renal fellowship (Finish ERAS)
Penguin Sex

My, oh my. After such a long time away from blogging why on earth did "J to the Izzay" (my gizoogle nickname) decide to blog on this. Sometimes in life crazy coincidences occur that make you realize that God has a sense of humour.

About a week ago, I had some free time from my nephrology rotation so I decided to go to borders and just chill ... Anyway, on the bookshelf I decided to pick up a book. The inveterate reader that I am started to read the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. This book is primarily about nonspiritual thoughts on Christian spirituality. In the intro of the book, he wrote about how he first fell in love with jazz when he first heard a sidewalk musician play the saxophone. As he played, there seemed like there was no structure, resolution, but he had the pathos to be immersed in the music for what seemed to be an eternity. For him, that was akin to his Christian experience when he couldn't quite predict what riffs God would play in his life. I just chuckled when this strait-laced Christian dude from Texas tried to reach out the pagans at Reed college. Yet in a way they expanded his conception of God beyond petty Republican or Democratic politics.

What does this have to do with penguins? He probably is the first Christian writer to write a chapter to penguin sex. Oh well ... I'm probably the second. To be honest, I don't quite remember what he had to write about sex however the mating habits of penguins are a wonderful analogy of love. Every year emperor penguins walk days and nights to the breeding ground in the harshest winter environment on earth to find love. They march one stubbly webbed foot after another through miles and miles of barren ice to their primordial mating ground. There the females fight over the choicest male to mate. With tender strokes they caress each other, the quiet of the antarctic ice broken by orgastic bleats. After the female delivers the egg, she shuffles the precious egg to the male partner. Soon afterwards, she leaves the male to incubate the egg until she returns to the ocean to feed. After months of waiting by papa penguin, she returns as the eggs hatch to give back regurgitant fish and krill to her baby penguins. Then it is the dad's turn to go back to the ocean to scavenge for food. This cycle repeats until the penguins grow big enough to fend for themselves.

So after my wife finished the bar we decided to go see a random movie. The title was March of the Penguins, but of course it was more about penguin reproduction ;)


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

You Are Romans
You are Romans.

Which book of the Bible are you?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It has been a while since I have posted. Unfortunately that means that my writing skills has atrophied beyond belief.

Here are a few things I'm thankful for:

Being married to the best wife in the world :)
Learning medicine under Dr. Foster.
Having family with a crazy sense of humor.
John Kerry losing the election.
Sleeping well every night (except when I'm in the hospital)
My new computer.
Subscribing to Uptodate and New England Journal of Medicine.
Having friends who remember my birthday.
Sleeping in on my day off.
La Madeline fruit tart.


Wednesday, April 07, 2004

After looking at Justin's secret website, I decided to do the grammar quiz. Even though my grammar is atrocious, here are the results:

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, March 19, 2004

Got into UT Southwestern!!!!!

Yayyy, I'm really excited that I got into my first choice program. It is a very hard core residency program, but with the new 80 hour work limits it should be an improvement. It is an amazing residency program, but they are definitely a bit cocky. Their webpage has a picture of the nobel prize (they have the most number of nobel laureates for an internal medicine department), and they talk a lot about the Southwestern brand. I'm glad I chose it though, because they will push me to become the best internist I could be.

Soli deo gloria,