Day295 fillers

There will be probably a bunch of fillers from here on out to Day 300 because I just need to fill up the gap and there is not much going on.

I guess those in the US all focusing on the civil unrest taking place. I have not much to comment on it other than I need to watch out for my own safety. I have been feeling safe in my neighborhood, as you readers know, I take long runs that sometimes last whole day 8-12 hours or longer. My usual daily run now typically last 3 hours, doing somewhere between 12-20 miles. I run from both sunrise to sunset and to late hours into the night.

I have been feeling pretty safe. But now I have to watchout for myself. People don’t care if I am a runner. I might get caught in bad situation. Also law enforcement might not care if I am just a passerby, I might get identify as one of the rioters. I have seen even a CNN reporter was arrested on TV for doing nothing, but reporting the situation.

I haven’t been out to DC at all. I have heard protest been going on for 5 days and police trying to clear the people out.

Our president was trying to gather the troop as a show of force, but seems to fail spectacularly. Virginia has refused to send their national guards for the task. This is unheard of. I have never seen chain-of-command being failed to honor. The commander is chief is calling his troop and his soldiers refuse to obey. This is unheard of. I see a lot of politic going on. Virginia governor doesn’t see the protest in the capital a threat to the nation survival.

But any way, I said my piece. I think we as a nation is comical to the world.

Tonight run was one of my best run. I put in 18 miles. I was light. The first mile/first step always was hard for me. Before I went out I felt very sleepy and I laid on the sofa and slept until past 7 pm. Normally I go at 6. Maybe the nap help. I was an energizer bunny and was out on the road until 11 something. That is 4 hours!

I feel very awake now. I could probably run another 3-4 more hours out there.

During the run, my mind was mostly on the protest. I read many different things. Racial tension is not something new in this country. It relatively new for me. I remember growing up hearing about the Rodney King’s incident. Subsequently other similar stuff took place, and many more occurents in recent times. Charlottesville incident was something closer to home for me. All this was crazy to process.

I thought back to my trip in Chile. There the protests were much more frequent (daily) and much worse. They had the popular support. Everyone would bring out their pot and pan and started banging.

I don’t see we here will get to that level soon. This time there are a lot of popular support but it is not at anarchy state like Chile.

I see America is changing. The constant theme of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is so much more true today than when I grew up. I have seen reports supporting this. Real wages stagnant while expenses and cost of living go up. We have people now working two jobs and still could barely make end meet. At one point it reach a breaking point and society will unravel like in Chile.

Today, I was talking with my manager at work. He was telling me how in China they don’t have credit card. People can only spend what they have. They now switch to digital currency similar to bitcoin. He said we can’t have something like that here because it would kill all credit cards. Our economy would collapse without credit in the system. But then it is matter of time – like inevitably we would switch to a digital currency. He said that is a scary thought.

I don’t know what to think about that but he is right on one thing that we as a society rely heavily on the availability of credit.

That’s it for now. I will think of something to write tomorrow.

health life

Day293 Checking in

I joked with a coworker sometimes saying I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. A joke because I am an early riser and I do well early in the morning than late at night. More importantly I don’t always sleep on a bed. Sofa or floor would do for me. I love hearing her retorts to me, saying I don’t sleep on a bed.

My body usually automatically bounces up the next morning. Do I ever get tired the first thing in the morning?

For me, I need coffee at night and not in the morning.

Today though, I feel like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Just feel tired and groggy, but I can’t sleep any more. I slept in a bed last night though.

I am out of food too. Need to go to the store later. What I really want is a big steak dinner, but meat rarely goes on sale now. There are rumors of meat and fresh fruits shortage possible because the workers are infected with the coronavirus and cannot work. I need something deep fried. mmh.

I went for my first Chinese takeout on Thursday, for General Tso Chicken, deep fried. Yummy. I had a craving of it for almost three months since the coronavirus started.

Another coworker said I am being unreasonable (racist) of avoiding Asian stores all this time. I said you can never be too careful, indicating without proof that the virus is more prevalent in the Asian community. I wish I can reason with her that it is not that the virus is discriminating, but that social factors are creating that the poorer and the ethnic minorities are ones bearing the blunt of this pandemic (including those who work in a chinese take-out). Always it is difficult to talk to this lady. She always thinks I just argumentive. I only do it with her, because she is my match. She is Chinese Asian and she can’t stand me and she felt very offended by my statement. She countered that Asian community are the first ones to have their masks on in public. I don’t talk about this though with others. Just trying to act according to what I think is safe. So now I think the virus is spreading more widely…there is no point in avoiding take-outs any more. Just be safe and well mask.

Related to food, I learned something new with food and running. I have done couple of long races and each time I tried to eat my own body weight of food during the race. That is a reason I still have my love handles in spite of all the running I have been doing. But I read a comment from a race director saying too much food would hamper a runner’s performance.

The lightbulb lit up for me. I have been eating too much on my run. They say, the pro eat just a tiny bit only enough to sustain for the moment. This way you could still run at your maximum speed without fatigue setting in.

This is so true. I need to readjust my fueling strategy. I need to carry just enough fuel to get me through to the end. Ultra people is pushing their body to the limit by how little they carry on their runs. I am not at that level yet and there is so much to learn.

I don’t feel like writing today, but I did it, here for just checking in.

life running

Day288 weekend joy

[old post] originally written on 2019 Veteran’s weekend

It was a wild weekend and I was still running high on adrenaline just thinking about it. I spent 12 hours in the car to do an eight hour marathon. I spent eight hours running before, and even 10. What tired me was not the race, but everything surround it, either before or immediately after. I overpacked my weekend, as always.

If it was the usual running, I wouldn’t have been so exhausted. It was too three other camping trips or outdoors events in one weekend, plus the cold weather, that really got to me.

Thursday, I came home past midnight and was franctically packing for the trip. Why I always leave things to the last minute? I don’t know. I had many things to pack.

I intended to do a bike ride on the race course on Friday, which mean I had to hit the road at dawn to get myself down to the course around noon. Fortunately, I didn’t wake uo in time on Friday and didn’t leave my house until 11. I brought my bike any way. It took up all the backseat section of my truck. Luckily, I did not try biking because it was way too dangerous. I am not a pro to do downhill biking with such steepness they have there at Kairos resort.

Then I had to pack for Friday night cold camping. I brought the usual stuffs, tents, sleeping bags (two of them), fleece blanket, pillow, toiletry kit, food, cooking kit, fire kit, safety/med/first aid/injury kit, water and filter, flashlight and batteries, camp shoes, and hiking boots, and lot of thick hiking socks. Cold weather gear – wind breaker, wool layer, a base layer, long johns, spandex underwears, head cover, gloves (two kinds, inserts), and more socks (for sleeping). Then duffle bags. You got to waterproof them even if no rain was forecasted. I got together four or five bags. Yes it was overkilled. Oh, let not forget my stuff animal. I love my cat! It served as a good pillow.

Then of course the big event, the race itself. You got of think of clothing for pre-race, race, and post race. Pre-race was a fleece jacket over a long sleaves and a short sleeves. I had tights on. I ran with my camp boots with two layers socks. I had two buffs on, one over my head and one around my neck. I had my racing glasses and a heavy trucker cap. For hydration pack, instead of being minimalist, I had a 20L hiking daypack. It held my phone (which I forgot in the tent), my thick wallet, my Sawyer water filter but forgot the sawyer water bag. My set of keys. I carried a wool long sleeves, and a clean shirt to wear at the end of the race. Two bottles one with half filled with Gatorade, the other empty to be filled at water station because this race was cupless. I also carried an empty hydration pack (2L). Keeping all the things needed for the race was not fun.

During the race I stripped down to only one layer and the rest of stuffs went into my day pack. After the race, I pulled out a clean set from my pack and bundled up. I know I could have left everything at the starting line (because starting and finish line was at the same place) or use the dropbag and left them at an aid station. Silly me to carry everything on me. I don’t think though that was a reason it took me an hour longer to run the 50k.

Ah, I placed in my truck also four pairs of running shoes. In the end I did not wear any of them. The hiking boots did it all. They are now very muddy. Surprised to me some finished with very clean shoes. I am just sloppy I guess.

Don’t forget the food. I brought lot of them, both for pre-race dinner and breakfast. I did my shopping on the way. Unfortunately, I did not pack the food to eat during the race. I brought a lot of food too for after the race meal. You have to eat a lot to add back the calories lost during the race. I did not eat that much though and brought all the food back home. I did not have an appetite after the race!

Saturday night camping was an optional challenge. I could have driven six hours home that night. I would have arrived around midnight or a little after. However, I had a habit of sleeping immediately after a long workout, so driving the long distance home would have been a very bad idea. Or I could have stayed at a motel/hotel along the way. Spending money for such luxury and I did not want to when there was the ‘free’ /low cost camping available. My campsite was only $15 with race discount (about a price for my meal).

The other option was to go camping at a place nearby. Jefferson Forest is just down the street (still about 30-45 mins away) and Salem, which is where I wanted to do my hiking (the Triple Crown). I thought about going there and hiking about 10 miles into camp. So, I packed a separate bag for all the light weight gear for this second trip. Fortunately, the plan didn’t pan out. I stayed the second night at the race course venue. It was all by myself then since everyone else had left and I got to unwind on a dark and cold night (moon was up). Still being by myself, the night felt darker.

I had the Saturday night camping as an option was because my friend and I were supposed to go to do the Triple Crown, which is really close to where I was racing. I would have gone there if I knew for certain that my friend was going to be there and that she would be happy to see me.

However, she said her plan has changed since I was going to do the race and she did not feel like driving six hours to hike by herself. For me too doing it by myself was no fun, knowing she probably was not there. Also even if she were there, we kind of still left on a sour note the Friday morning, so I did not want to run into her not knowing how she would reacted if she saw me. It was a no-no to be out in the middle of no where with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. However, I had all the gear with me and was ready for that trip after my race. I just was not able to will myself to do it. Physically, I know I can do it, but mentally, I was not.

I had no regret because there was nothing better than to be able to unwind after the long race. I did. I built a fire, both for cooking as well as I had nothing better to do and there were a lot of fallen branches. I sat all night by the fire by myself tending it. This was a big thing, because I was not good at making a fire.

Then on Sunday morning, I had to leave at the crack of dawn to drive back and to have everything pack up ready to roll out. However, I overslept again! I would have a long drive of about 5-6 hours back home, except I was not going home. So it was not a leisure packing up, but a rushed packing. Just I threw everything into the back of the truck and drove. The morning was beautiful!

One of my friends wanted to do a day hike in West Virginia at Harper Ferry. It was his birthday and it has been a tradition we started last year to get together. So, I was beating the traffic to get back by 11ish to meet up with him and his other friend.

I packed a separate bag for this day hike too. I would be simple since at most we would be doing only 5-6 miles. It is a cake walk for me. However, a hike is a hike. I carried the daypack that I ran with on Saturday. The day was warmer, but I had my fleece jacket on. I had hiking pants and boots. My pack was light. I had a fresh shirts and pair of socks.

The birthday event took whole day, but there was still one more event left — church. I didn’t mind the slow pace stroll. We had a lot of fun catching up. It though caused me to be late for evening church. However, I ended up of not going. I had packed a fresh set of clothes for that event. I had also intended to shower first before going to church. I did not want to smell like I had ran an ultra and spent two days camping and a day hike before arriving at church. In the end I missed the evening church.

I closed my day with stopping by my mom’s place. This was not planned. However, they don’t care how bad I smell. I found out then everyone there was sick, from the oldest to the youngest. Even the family dog was sick. I stayed a long time, talking and listening to my mom talked.

This post ended up longer than I wanted to. It was because, man I had an awesome weekend both with the race and time by myself, and with friends and family. I did not end up being with the one I wanted to be with, but it was definitely a worthy trade-off. Sometimes, you can’t have everything.




I had a perfect blog to write while running but things and thoughts vanished once I stepped inside the house.

I don’t feel like writimg any more because I am sleepy.

I received a sad news couple days ago of a pilot missionary or missionary pilot depending how you want to stress her job title. She was a pilot for a Christian organization that delivers supplies and transports people in remote places. She flew in Indonesia and her plane went down on May (12?).

It is just another death. So what? Somehow, I met her once in passing couple years ago. I had a deep impression of her during the brief presentation she gave at my church. It was a life I very much like to live. Her words resonated.

I felt it was tragic how soon her life has ended.

I was very frustrated the past couple days. Not just trying to process through death of the missionary. Work too, I worked till late yesterday night from morning to midnight. When work interferes with my running life, I am not happy.

Another sad news was no matter how much effort I put in the work, I ended up making a big mistake, one of the biggest ever in my 16 years of working. Of course I am very unhappy about it. I should have dropped everything yesterday and gone for a run. Sometimes, it does not make a different when you trying to go the extra mile, things backfired.

I heard a wonderful tip about resilient people on NPR this evening. A few points I got are: always believe you have control in even most desperate situation. Know that troubles only last a short time. Don’t blame failure on things that you can’t change – like I’m lazy or I’m stupid or this is the way it is, instead lay out causes of failure on area you can improve on.

I got some tips from my pastor too on transformation. I will leave that for another post.


day282 random Friday/Sat

Not that I don’t have things to write about but I haven’t had a single fully developed topic to post.

So this might be a garbage can or a recycling box that I dump everything.

About running, pretty consistently done. I love it and can’t do enough. My body is definitely taking a hit this week. Recovery from the 100k is slower than I want it. Kind of expecting that. It has been a miracle that I could even move. In the past, it took me months to recover and now we are talking hours, and get back out. I am taking easy this weekend. No more another 100k.

I switched to evening run again. Just been busy every morning…not busy busy, but there were things I got to do, and before I knew it I blew an hour and so gone was the time allotted for running. Luckily I had the evenings to run.

My body now aches. My legs (calves) are jelly. My shins hurt. They say need better shoes and rest. Sleep more at night. Eat better. Don’t ramp up miles too quickly. No more than 10% a week. I guess From 58 to 103 miles is a bit more than 10%. I’m not good with math. I will try buying better shoes or switch to no shoes, maybe that will help. I want to be a moron, just denying the reality.

Oh, I checked on the blister on my little toe, and it is not good. It has harden on the outside. I dare not pop it now. It might be painful. Bad bad bad. I waited too long. They say to soak it with water during shower and rub/file it down. They say don’t develop calluses on your feet. Hopefully my body will absorb the blood clot into the body and it will be ok. I plan to order those pumice rubbing things for my feet. No calluse. No pic here.

Though I didn’t post every day like last week, I was writing stuff to be posted later. Don’t do that right? Post now and post often, right? Sometimes you just have to wait for the right timing. Otherwise it is garbage bin like this post is.

The down side is if I don’t run, it means no dinner. I love running but no dinner is an extra incentive. I love food too. Usually my runs took 1.5 to 2 hrs and by the time I was done there would be no dinner any way…because the stores were closed by then. I cooked my own food but there was no food to cook. I have been putting off doing my shopping this week. I learned the hard way — Stores in our area used to open till midnight and IHOP is 24 hrs. But COVID changed everything. I didn’t know because I was sheltering in place. I thought they were essential and would keep to regular schedule but didn’t realize no one steps out the house after 9 pm now, so the whole city goes dark after that except for road construction – they don’t sleep. So after one of my runs, I said oh it is still early, only 10:15 let me go to Giant (our local grocery chain), when I was there, the restocking staff outside said they are closed. I did again the second night and the third night. By Friday, I got the message. The store has changed their hours. Duh.

I said I will call for chinese. There was no one picking up the phone. I drove there and saw a sign. It thanked the patrons for all the supports and all the years of doing business with them, but they have closed temporary since April 1 for everyone safety! what!? I looked in it didn’t seem to be closed temporary. I suspected many mom and pops went under during the COVID. Same thing played out for my haircut place/barbershop.

That’s that. I found what open late at night! It is 7-Eleven. Trusted old 7-Eleven. I finally got my dinner there couple nights ago. My third option would have been Walmart but that would be a longer drive and I didn’t think of Walmart at the time, who would do grocery at Walmart? I got dinner from a gas station couple times too (a bottle of soda really), but you don’t want to eat (drink) the same thing all the time. I know they charged me twice what I normally pay at a grocery store, but when you are hungry after a run, you pay whatever. I would even sell my birth right to my little brother for a bowl of stew 🙂

Virginia went to phase 1 of the reopening last night. My area is still closed for two more weeks because we made up the bulk of the infection numbers. My tiny locale is still showing 200 infections a day, that more than entire Australia (107) had in a week. These are known infections, many are suspected to be unreported.

They say wear a mask. Save life. Stay at home. That what my aunt in Sydney is telling me. She thinks we are nutz to protest to our local government for not willing to reopen a few weeks ago. Some here even refuse to wear a mask because it is their right. I told her, we have to liberate Virginia and Michigan – joking here! I feel proud of our state motto – sic semper tyrannis (my loose translation: down with the king).

I thought about my mission statement. I had something but it is not ready to be posted. On my last run, I was rethinking some of the stuffs of what I want to do. There is some problem with that. We are (I am at least) too focused on the doing this and doing that. Get this done or that. Buy this or that. Reach this level or that. So forth. Action items are easy – either you have done it or you have not. I like bucket list. You don’t have to refight the same battle every day. Have it done and move on.

I was reminded, there are mission statements out there focus on Being. Am I a better person? Am I more gentle and exhibiting patience this year? Am I more at peace with myself and people around me instead of being frustrated, contending with this or that? But shaking things up or throwing out the bath water with the baby, those are what I really like to do. Demonition and rebuilding! Have I gain any word of wisdom to live by?


Day281 Dream

As I pondered on my mission statement, someone asked me what I think is missing in my life? This can be answered in many ways. It is hard to answer – I wish it is simple as a concrete ordered list of items. Deep down, I don’t really know the answer.

There are people who are perfectly content of where they are in life. While life might not be perfect, they are happy of what they have or where they are.

Not me though. I am not sure if I can ever find myself at peace with the way things are. Sometimes though I do get too tired and lazy and start accepting the status quo, but that is not who I am. I have been contending with myself and my environment since day 1. Things can’t stay the way they are. I measure myself by changes each year and positive changes over a period of time, which I called growth. My struggle and inner drive is probably the proof that I am alive.

I wrote up a blog on this to answer this question, yet it remained unpublished (maybe some day I will). I wanted a rewrite, because while running an amazing thought came to me of how I will write this, unfortunately I forgot. Let this be a take two if you will. I don’t want to be too negative as one who is ungrateful of what the Creator has allotted to me.

I know I am already part of the one percent by living in a developed nation, and not just any nation, but the world only superpower. In many metrics, we outshine the second place by huge margin (it is not a perfect nation, but we have done well in many ways, especially in term of wealth). On top of that I am much much well off than many in the nation already. I might not the one percentile in term of wealth (many of my peers are, or near there), but I live a much comfortable life, not having worry when my next meal will be or where I will sleep. All bills are paid on time and best of all, there is a lot of money left over for me to ‘spurt’ on vanity spending for example, on races and running shoes — stuffs I don’t need to survive.

That said, I am not unhappy. There are something missing still. There are things I can have control over and there are things I have less to no control over. Obviously, we all fighting with the limited amount of time and money. I can only do so much in this amount of time. There is also talent. Say, even if I have eternity, I will not be a great musician, that is something I must accept.

I wish to do better in life. 1. What this mean I strive to make more money still. Much much more. Humongous amount. I talk as much about money as I do with running. Stocks and investments and 401K are my lingo.

2. A better job.

3. A wife. I found love once. I used to believe it doesn’t exist. Then encountered it, but it was like a mirage. I am a changed man though. A lot can be said about it. I think it is most ironic facet of life. There is a blog I follow, I think it called something the brokenspecs, which captured this irony. It is not simple. I can’t wrap my mind around it.

4. A house. I don’t really need one, but seeing other people buying, kinda make me go hmmm, why can’t I buy one too. Of course I can’t afford one yet with my salary.

5. Adventures. Life would be dull if it is just work and paying off debts and on the weekend either endless chores and too tired to do anything else. Having a focus or cause to pursuit is what make life real and worth living. I don’t get it exactly what I want or need to be satisfied. Over the years I came up with two lists: The first one is my bucket list items [BL], and the second list is what I find delightful [JY].



6. Religion. I am a religious guy in a way. I know I was taught that there is a god-shaped hole inside each of us, that can’t be filled but God himself. Whether this is true or not is religion. I wish it is true. The argument goes, if you have God then you don’t need anything. I am a simple guy, I can’t think too hard on these kind of things. I don’t think it is true. But by that argument, there are very few people who attain this, because most of us have ‘other’ goals in life than ‘seeking’ God. Any way, I think about this stuff a lot, and I probably not the first one in history to do so.

I prefer focusing on item 5. I can say a lot on it. I like to travel. So I need more money for this. Hope to go around the World one day! I already did in an airplane, but you know that is not what I mean. I want to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest. Visit Nepal to do trekking. Climb Kilimanjero and touch its snow. Go to Galapagos islands. When I went to Chile, I didn’t get to go to the southern most point (they called it the end of the world), so I would like to go back there. Travel on the silk road. Plus many more places.

Adventures – Trek. Hike the PCT, CDT, AT. Cross the USA continent, experience the Oregon Trail.

Running. There is no end to this. Run marathons in all 50 states. Do some ultras and triathlon. Escape from Alcatraz seems interesting.

Backpacking. Many adventures. Vermont. presidential traverse. Adirondacks: the great range traverse. White Mnt. camp in Alaska.

Other sports. I wish to able to Kayak more. Bike more. Learn how to ski. I hear skiing is a lot of fun. Swim.

Ya, we have only limited amount of time on hand. For me, I wish to do all these things within the next 10 years of life when my strength is still near my peak.

That is what I am struggling each weekend.


Day277 one of those days

Random Friday – I am ashamed to put up any number today, because I walked 75% of the time than run. 4 miles done. GVRAT total ~ 86-87.

My body is fine with minor fatigue here and there on my foot. My spirit though is not like yesterday. I rather skipped prayer meeting for a run but the run didn’t lift my spirit. One of those trade-offs.

Forgot what I was going to say. This will be one of those aimless blogs. I had great thoughts during the run and was going to write about those too, but now can’t recall them. Had it all plan out.

A fellow blogger was blogging about childhood favorite things. This brings to mind of songs I remember when I was a kid as I was running. I like to hum during my run. Today I hummed How Great Thou Art. I don’t know the lyric to it but in my childhood, that was something I remember.

I wish for a normal life, but nothing is normal. The stay-at-home is supposed to be normal. It likes this is what life is supposed to be. You get to spend more time at home and to do the things you always don’t have the time to do, like cleaning and endleas chores. Then I said it is not normal to stay at home. I never have enough time. Why life is always so hectic?

Then in the middle of my run, I got to plan out this race across the America for real. You can’t just wake up and run out the door for it. Same for the real run down at Chattanooga. I can’t just go and do it.

I figure for the next 10 years, I will need to take a break 3-4 times during the summer to reach some of life goals. Cross the America will take 4-6 months. Hiking the Appalachian too will take about that much time. I might want to throw in the PCT and CDT. And the question is if I have $50000 what would I spend it on? A running vacation or downpayment on a house? I am struggling whether to do the sensible thing or to do what my passion dictate.

This reminds me I still looking for a mission statement for this year or the next so that my life has some kind of anchor. I know I have one – Run.

Oh I finally remember what I was going to write. Nothing earth shattering. Many people who embark on this epic journey pf 1000k GVRAT wanted to watch some documentaries on running, or podcasts. Fpr me I don’t feel like reading or watching on any those right now. What I feel like reading is the Canterbury Tales, and the Pilgrim’s Progress.

Hope y’all have an awesome Friday and weekend!


day269 dream

This has happened to me several times before, all recently within the last couple months, well maybe six months, three or four times. I woke up, between sleep and wake stage actually. My eyes were still closed but I felt I was awake and conscious. I was pretty sure or I thought I was back at the old house but in my present body. My mind pictured everything in the house and if I walked down the hallway, my mom’s room was there. I laid on my bed and felt exactly like I was in my old room. No one was home and no one here either. I had two rooms but I felt I was in the smaller room. My mind said hey, that couldn’t be. It doesn’t make sense. I am living alone now, how can there be a room for my mom.

I don’t know what age I was in the ‘dream’ but it was so photo, more than photo realistic, it was like I was there. Virtual-realistic if that is a word. Well I think I was in my present age – hence plot hole.

Even when I woke up, I was still disoriented and really wanted to open the door of my room and peek to see if I was dreaming.

I guess I missed the old place. I moved about 10 years ago. Gosh, not sure what bring me back to that place. I ran passed it couple weeks ago. It was a feeling that I was ‘back at home’. Even then it didn’t make any sense.

Maybe because before falling asleep I had a super strong desire wishing I was a teenager again. The mind just laid down the images of what I wanted and I was submerged in it.

It was one of those weird feeling to relive a moment of my teenage year. Well not like reliving, but more like traveling through time in my present mind and body.

The weirdest feeling was when I opened my eyes, I had to remind myself, I am now here in the present.

I don’t usually dream (they say everyone dream but it is just we don’t recall them) and when I dream it was about sleeping in my dream. In anime, there is a genre called slice-of-life, where to me is pretty pointless to watch – I guess it is like reality tv, but usually the main character is doing something irrelevant and there is no plot and sometimes the whole conversation in it is pointless too — well maybe I just don’t get the genre. It is a window into someone’s life at a moment in time and most of the time, that moment has nothing going on. Who would spend all the effort to produce an anime about nothing? But I still watch them, sometimes, because they produce certain feeling – nostalgia.

I felt my dream is like that. Those are what my dreams are like. There is no action, I just laid around in my dream doing nothing except thinking of stuffs. Weird. The plot hole happened when I realized I am in a dream and forced myself to open my eyes to find out. I rather dream of adventures and battling monsters, going on quests, those kinds, not the boring kind.

Is it scary when you realize you might be in a dream and can’t wake up? It happened to me. There is a pause between sleep and awake. My mind convinced me that I was in a dream, so now how do you wake up. I have seen the movie Inception. It was almost like that except there was no sleep machine. But it was a freaky realization…since your mind was telling you that you are awake in the dream. There was that brief pause where I can’t move my body (I guess for transitioning) – or at least I felt I can’t. Luckily I was laying then. And somehow my eyes were closed in my dream but I could see too with my eyes being closed – I guess I was using the mind eye. So I woke myself up by forcing my eyes to open. It took a great deal of effort. When my eyes opened I would be fully convince I am back at the real world. This time though it was easy to wake up. I think the first time it happened to me, it was pretty hard to get out of the dream.

Am I losing mind? Is this some kind of disassociation?

life Uncategorized

day266 kind a random Friday

This couple weeks I have learned quite a few things from Youtube while having nothing to do. It was more like an excuse of not wanting to do anything.

Napal, it is a beautiful country I want to go there trekking someday. It was not on my radar other than the Everest base camp trek.

–I watched couple videos by Sarala Thapa

Her mini documentaries reminded me of the serious tone from NPR (US National Public Radio) news reports or movie of Dances with Wolves. It was a pleasure to watch. I just love heavy things like this.

-I know about Bobby Fischer, American Chess champion and herarded as the greatest chess player ever, from a movie “In Search of Bobby Fischer” many years ago but I haven’t looked at any of his chess games. I found stimulating watching couple videos on his games on Youtube. After that, my mind was too tired to continue, but it was well worth it. Plus I learned about a new chess game he invented, chess960.

It led me to watch many chess videos of the current world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen. It was beyond my ability to follow. Plus, speed chess is not my cup of tea.

I throughly enjoyed the interview he did with Dick Carvett Show in 1972.

WW2 Battle of Midway. I want to know more about World War II and I like strategy.

The video from the Japanese general’s perspective was interesting. The battle could have gone either way. The video puts the viewer behind a ‘fog of war’, meaning you only know about things as it comes and experience confusion occurred during the battle.

After that, I went on to watch the American perspective and an earlier naval battle of Coral Sea. I love this video. It is likely boring subject to most people, but the narator of this video is excellent.

There you have it. Heavy stuffs for a heavy time.


day263 cabin fever

I am losing my mind. It is not even a solitary confinement, but it feels like one. I don’t know how prisoners are dealing but this is tough.

I want to get outside. There is nothing normal about staying at home. First couple weeks seemed great but now, it is like how long do I have to stay like this. I can’t stand it. I literally feel like I am losing my mind.

Such a strange day every day.

I now kind of have to resign to the fact that it might take a long time – we are talking about months – maybe another 2-3 months. Our governor gave a date of June 10. Not sure what that date is, but it is telling us nothing is normal until then. However, our number of infections is still rising, but at a slower rate than the day before. It is still rising. We have not hit the top of the curve yet. The date for that is April 26 for our area. One more week.

I have to remind myself not to get a false sense that we are improving by looking at New York. They hit their apex of the curve and is on the downward slope or plateauing. We like to think we are too on the downward slope for our area too. Nope. We are like two weeks behind them. We are still on the upward side. But people are out and about now. Or is it just me?

Our state is also doing better than our neighboring state or the capital (DC). It might make people, myself included to think everything is better now. There is now traffic on the road!! Not proud of that but see people can’t put up with this crap any more. Yup, Viriginians should be out protesting. People around the nation are shaking their heads at us. I blame cabin fever. I wish to hear from our governor to tell us, you guys need to stay inside.

I have done that this weekend.

On Friday, the parking lot at my food store was full! When I went in, man, the place was packed – I am exaggerating but there were a lot of people – I turned around and headed back out the door. There was no need to fight with all the people. I know, it was a peak period, and everyone wanted to buy food to make dinner etc. I usually shopped around 9-10 pm and it is much less crowded, no line at the check-outs. It’s just hard to change everyone’s behavior – why do everyone feels they need to go to the store right before dinner time? Me included.

Why is our state better than the neighboring state? I don’t have an answer.

My guess is there is a river separating us and ‘them’. DC of course is a hot spot just because it is more densely populated, and more people going in and out (tourist, business, govt offficials, commuters, etc). Note that there are a lot of essential employees since our federal government has not shut down. People still need to go to work.

They also say wealth disparity can affect the number. If we are wealthier that could explain it. But I don’t think we are wealthier than Maryland, at least Fairfax County vs Montgomery County or Howard County. But VA is always perceived as being richer. I could look up the stats on this. [1] Can’t really tell from the stat. MD spent more per capita in 2016 data than VA. I looked up the county budget too, it seems Montgomery budgeted for $4.6-4.7 billion in revenue 2018. Fairfax budgeted for $4.1 expenses in 2018. not apple to apple, but seemed to be about the same, with Maryland having a slight lead.

Back to geography, our northern Virginia land area is smaller than Maryland side. Maybe a third of the total Washington region. That could explain why we have a bit less of the infections (about 4000 cases difference). We have less metro stops in VA for the same reason.

Why does it concern me? Because the overall rate seems lower here in VA makes me and others feel we safer and we are doing the right thing! Thinking deeper at the reasons behind it can reveal a fallacy. I think though the northern VA might have the same rate of infection as DC and MD, or we might even have more than them – it is just our statistics might be skewed because we have more land/people in the country side who haven’t caught the infection yet. We don’t have a regional specific statisitics. Our state population is larger but more spread out and they are all far away from the northern Virginia, so making the numbers seem fewer infections per capita. This might give us a false sense of security, because watch out now that people here (myself included) started going out their houses and we will increase the rate of infection!

Some say Governor Cuomo’s briefing is like a father lecturing his children. In a sense he is. I like that – yes stop fooling around people – kind of talker. We know we shouldn’t be out, but having someone being ‘mean’ and lecturing us about it is helpful. Otherwise, I will be running about.

I feel in Virginia, we don’t have that fatherly figure imploring us to stay in door. Instead, we have the President next door telling us to protest to our state for a quick reopening! I think we are going to whether or not our President is encouraging it or not.