a language

April 21, 2011

since living in china i’ve wanted to relearn mandarin and practice it regularly. chinatown being nearby presents the possibility of language buddies.


it was literally posted when i woke up with my laptop on my chest staring at me like some sort of cat. i posted, put the computer on the floor, and went to sleep.

the idea is that every other week i would go, alone or with a crew, to a national park and go for a hike and camp out at least one night. by “learn” i mean that i would get to know the trails, mountains, and secrets of all these places.

last thought before bed

April 20, 2011

learn the parks 

a race

April 19, 2011

today’s idea is a little different because it has been circulating around my skull for a while. i ran the detroit free press marathon in 2007 and started training for another marathon at the beginning of 2010. i gave up due to IT band injuries and mounting academic pressures. as i was looking for jobs this year, i kept it in the back of my mind that once i found one, i would look for a marathon there.

then, one day, i was flipping through James Fixx’s “complete book of running” – a bible for distance runners – and was drawn into the chapter about the Boston marathon. frankly, the glory of the race was palpable even as i sat there reading about it. in 2007 i finished the race in 3 hours and 31 minutes. out of 3745 runners, i finished 450th overall. out of 2508 male finishers, i finished 394th. out of 41 male finishers under 19, i finished 11th. the boston qualifying time was 3 hours and ten minutes. based on the way my knees rebelled for the next three weeks, i told people i’d never run a marathon again. but in the back of my mind i knew that i was too close to that qualifying time to give up.

i checked online after reading fixx’s chapter, and sure enough, the qualifying time for the 2012 boston marathon will be 3 hours and 10 minutes for men 18-34. in 2013, however, the qualifying time will drop to 3 hours and 5 minutes. meaning this is the year to do it.

the san francisco marathon is july 31. my crazy idea today is to run it and qualify for boston. i’m close to serious about this one, though. that’s 26.2 seven minute and fifteen second miles – down from eight minute three second splits when i ran in 07. i’ll have to get a stopwatch.

a chip

April 18, 2011

develop low-cost air quality microsensors for installation in stacks and pipes, based on “lab-on-a-chip” medical devices, equipped with RFID transmitters that upload real-time emissions data to public databases.

a service

April 17, 2011

today’s idea: volunteer at a local high school, possibly a hispanic one, to lead after-school math and science programs once a week.

day 2

April 16, 2011

day 2 is tough. once the mind has been stimulated, too many ideas come forth. it’s tempting to post them all but it’s also important for me to pace myself.

so crazy idea day 2 is: become a volunteer teacher for local after-school math and science programs.

some just blog stuff for today: i really need to learn to see beyond rules. i am constantly registering, extrapolating, and following new rules about the situations i’m in. this prevents me from being myself and being creative in so many ways, from meeting girls to advancing my career. the most successful people i know are always skirting or bending rules. it’s important for me to maintain my integrity and follow the rules when necessary. yet i feel that i have followed them too closely, lately.