Alex Lowe

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In case you haven't heard, today there were explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. There were many injuries and some deaths. One of the dead was an 8-year old boy.

(In case you're wondering why I even mention "in case you haven't heard," I actually talked to people this evening who hadn't heard.)

So many feelings, so many varied and sometimes contradictory feelings, at a time like this.

I feel terrible for the victims, the ones who got hurt just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the families of the victims, who are hurt emotionally, and who are just as innocent.

I feel vulnerable, because if innocent people can be hurt just at random, why couldn't it be me next time? Or someone I know and love?

I feel hopeful, because if you see the videos of the explosions, there are of course people running away in fear, but there are also people running towards the explosions... to help.

I feel weak, because I don't know if I could be one of those people, those helpers. I'd like to think that I would, but until you're there, you don't know.

I feel angry, because who would do this? Who would deliberately hurt innocent people? What makes someone think this is a good idea, that hurting random people will serve some higher cause or bring about some greater good?

I feel sad because I realize there are a lot of people who do think that hurting others, at random or otherwise, serves a higher cause or brings about greater good.

I feel lucky because I was not harmed, nor was anyone I personally know; and I feel a little bad for feeling lucky.

I don't know how to feel.

I feel tired because all this emotion is draining.

Don't mind me, just getting the thoughts down.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

It's a trap!

No, it's not what you might think. This is Father's Day weekend, which for me, means it's time for me to be trapped by the North Beach Festival.

In Japan, I thought festivals were cool. Probably because they weren't surrounding me for days at a time. Here, I hate 'em, because every year there are several festivals and parades that screw up the roads and parking and basically trap me at home unless I want to deal with massive traffic.

The North Beach Festival is the worst, since it literally surrounds my place. I'm not enamored of the Columbus Day parade, either. Chinese New Year parade I tolerate because I found other things to do during that time.
Andy Lau

1st quarter update

So, we're at the end of the first quarter of 2010. Note, this is not an April Fool's Joke, I'm writing this and posting this on the 31st my time. Some updates:

1. I'm still actively trading the stock market. Not exactly day trading, in that I am carrying positions for more than a day, usually more like weeks or even sometimes months.

2. I'm taking classes at City College this semester. These classes are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. They are partially to keep my mind active and partially to see if there is potential in me continuing in those fields.

3. My New Year's resolution to eat healthier and exercise more? Well, I've been using this iPhone app called LoseIt, and it's helped me lose 19 pounds in the last 3 months. Which should give you an idea of how overweight I was to begin with (I ain't tellin').

4. My other New Year's resolution to read more? Well, I've already read the first Sherlock Holmes novel (strange Utah interlude and all), so I'm even with 2009.
Alexander the Great

Wow, that was quick

January 14, and I had some potato chips today. Didn't even notice until after I had the bag open. Well, 13 out of 14 days ain't bad for keeping a resolution... right?

As for the other resolutions, I'm doing OK. I even started reading "A Study in Scarlet" (the first Sherlock Holmes novel) on my iPhone (public domain ebook via Project Gutenberg).
Alex Trebek

Happy New Year! and Resolutions

Happy New Year! I just received my copy of Final Fantasy 13 in the mail today, so before I go jump in on that, I thought I'd write up my 2010 thoughts and resolutions. Otherwise I won't get around to it for at least another week.

I haven't been blogging much lately, due to throwing my random thoughts onto Twitter instead. I've been averaging more than two "tweets" a day there, including replies to others.

2009, in a word, was a mulligan. I'd like a do-over, please. About the only good thing was that I ended up not losing money in the stock trading, which was relatively easy to do since the US stock market was up almost 30% in calendar 2009. Well, I also got to go back to Japan in early September, and that was fun.

The defining event of 2009 was my mom's lengthy hospitalization starting in February, but my aunt also had a heart attack and spent time in the hospital in late September.

I also let myself go a bit, due partially to stress but also due to being kind of sedentary.

So with that in mind, here are my three resolutions for 2010.

1. Get more exercise. Specifically, at least 15-30 minutes a day of walking or similar exercise (i.e. Wii Fit or the like), and 30 minutes of cardio exercise 3-5 times a week. So far, so good.

2. Eat healthier. Specifically, no potato chips. I have more on this, but I can't implement all of this until I'm cooking for myself more often, so I'll keep this simple for now. So far, so good.

3. Read more. I was surprised that I only read one book in 2009, and I didn't think it was very good. That's probably my lowest number since I learned how to read. So, my goal is at least two in 2010. (If I re-read a book, it only counts as half.) Gotta set reachable goals, right?

Anyway, may 2010 be safe, happy, and healthy for all.
Alexander the Great

Me versus Schedules

So I planned my Japan trip so that I would at least get back in time for the September 12 Cal game. I'll miss the 9/5 home opener. But, it turns out that I probably picked the wrong game to miss. The day I head back to San Francisco is the day of another school festival I was invited to. Sigh, can't make it, bummer.
Alex Trebek

Me versus August

Haven't written for a while. I've been fighting a lingering cough for the better part of a month. That's just the way it is with me and coughs, especially after a cold.

Because of this, I have barely left the house this whole month. I feel OK, but if I do anything more strenuous than walking a couple of flights of stairs I start coughing more.

Anyway, I also bought a ticket to return to Japan next month for vacation. I'll be leaving Sept. 3 and coming back Sept. 11. Part of the reason is so that I can finally close out my bank accounts; the other reason is so that I can visit my last school's festival, which will be Sept. 9 and 10 (I'm planning on just going the first day).

I'll also visit my friend Steve, who since the last time I saw him moved from Fudai, Iwate (200-odd miles northeast of Tokyo) to Dazaifu, Fukuoka (300-odd miles southwest of Tokyo). Quite the scenery change.
Andy Lau

Me versus the Streets of San Francisco

I am now the proud owner of a brand new bicycle. After much deliberation, I bought it from Warm Planet Bikes, which is right next to the Caltrain station on 4th and Townsend. I also bought a helmet and a lock.

So far so good. Except, since I lost the key to my bike lock in Japan back in... February last year (I think, something like that), I haven't ridden a bicycle for over a year.

Also, Nagoya is a pretty flat city. San Francisco is not.

So I rode around for about half an hour yesterday, and boy are my legs tired. I gave up on the last half mile or so (uphill on Broadway from Embarcadero) and walked the rest of the way.

Let's see if I can get my biking mojo back.