Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#consumerism

MC: I have a Pinterest now!
SU: MC when did you become so materialistic?
KR: lol



I'm slowly filling my apartment with new furnishings. I got rid of all of my furniture when I moved from Michigan. Most/all of my old furniture was from Ikea and falling apart so I donated/threw out most of it.

This is a filler post for now. More to come in a later post when I have things.

Monday, August 22, 2016

In principle, I like the idea of camping


I like camping gear:
  • Tents
  • Rain coats
  • Backpacks
  • Water purifiers
  • Flashlights
  • Sleeping bags
  • Water bottles
I like the idea of planning camping trips and long running canoe trips.

I like the idea of retrofitting a van into a mini-camper and going on a road trip and camping in random national wild areas.

I have never gone camping before in my life.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I am a view snob



Last photo of my view, I promise. I was just going through photos on my computer and found this one from when I moved in.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

And this is the last time I order a TV online

Coast to coast to coast


A Google self-driving car (such Silicon Valley)

This has been my travel schedule for the past few weeks: two weeks in the Bay Area for training, one week back in NYC, and then two weeks back in the Bay Area. I'm finally back in NYC for good now.

I've done enough travel in my life now that travel is exhausting. It used to be fun and exhilarating; I set my seat preferences in Expedia to be the "window" because I always wanted to watch take off and landing. Now, on my most recently flight out of NYC, I was asleep even before we took off.

There are a few things that I've discovered about traveling from NYC.
First, it adds a bit of time flying to SFO from NYC, compared with flying from DTW. Usually I would fall asleep on the plane and wake up about half an hour from landing. Now, I have an extra hour and a half to kill.

Second, getting to and from JFK actually takes a while. On one of my treks back from JFK I was stuck in a cab for over an hour.

For one of my round trips I flew Jet Blue. I really want to like Jet Blue, but their seats are so uncomfortable. My butt was hurting from sitting on their hard seats for so long. I'll prefer not to fly Jet Blue again, though they did have above average leg room.



It was nice to be in the Bay Area again, especially for two prolonged trips. I got to hang out with a bunch of my really good friends. It's a weird feeling, traveling to a place that's not your home but feels so familiar.


But now that I'm back in NYC, I have to actually make it feel like home and furnish my apartment.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Beer in a hotel room



I'm glad I'm not a consultant where life is just travel all of the time. Or else life would be a lot like this; in a hotel room, drinking beer.

Luckily, this trip is almost done and I'll be back in NYC at the end of the week. Finally.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

This view though



I really need a tripod to do this shot right though.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 1 of fitness tracking



I bought a fitness tracker. It was a bit of an impulse buy but I needed one because my heart constantly feels like it's going to explode. So I reasoned that I needed a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor to reassure me that my heart is actually (not) going to explode.



I got up this morning and took the 5 up to the Union Square Best Buy to pick up my order and then walked to work. NYC is actually awesome for detours like this; it added hardly any time onto my commute to go to Best Buy before work. It helped that the 5 is an express train.

I got the Garmin Vivoactive HR. It has a heartrate monitor and GPS, so I can track my runs without my phone. It took forever to get set up with my phone. I need to turn off practically all of the notifications from my phone or else it'll drive me insane.

It's going to take some getting used to wearing a watch again. I feel so constrained having something on my wrist all day. I'm not sure I'm going to get used to it. We'll see how it feels after a week and if I'm still wearing it after a week. I need to wear it for a week or so just to make sure my heart rate is normal.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Underarmour is my official footwear of choice



My basketball shoes are UA and now I have a pair of running shoes/EDW (every day walk). The Speedforce Speedform on these are actually amazing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Playing with photography

I recently bought a 35mm prime lens1 for my camera. I bought a camera that was on sale last year and I haven't figured out how to use it yet. I've wanted a DSLR camera for a long time and since I've gotten it, I haven't used it much. I shoot on "auto" most of the time and it produces much nicer photos than what my phone can do.

I'm using the prime lens as my "everyday lens,"2 which means it's my primary lens, so when I go somewhere I only carry this lens. Its focal length matches that of the human eye, so it'll capture photos at roughly what you see. I've found that this lens in particular takes really good portraits of people. Shooting with a prime lens also simplifies part of using a DSLR. There's no zoom (since it has a fixed focal length). I still shoot almost exclusively on AUTO but I do sometimes play with the aperture mode. I found this guide to be extremely useful and helpful.

Being in the city3 is great for photography since there's always something to photograph, like a building, a landmark, or people. It's also great because you can just blend right in with the crowd and no one really cares if you're taking a photograph.





1 I did an in-store pickup at Best Buy, which was actually really quick and convenient. I've never done an in-store pickup before.
2 This nomenclature is borrowed from EDC or "Everyday carry."
3 If you're in the United States, there is only one "city" and thus it can be referred to simply as "the city."

Sunday, July 3, 2016

My June recap

It's July, already! Where did my June go?

I was sick for most of it. I got a science1 infection after MJ's wedding. That was brutal because I had to move out of my apartment in Michigan, sell my car, and drop off a bunch of stuff at the Salvation Army. So I was sick and didn't get much sleep for 2 weeks and then I had a nagging cough for another week or so after that. I took a lot of Dayquil/Nyquil/Tylenol and I would get carded a lot for buying cold medicine.

Then, I moved to New York!



It would have been much more daunting, arriving via plane and living in the city, if I weren't drugged up on cold medicine for the first two weeks I was here. I have a temporary place to live right now in the Chelsea area. It's right across the street from Dave's place so I can be creepy and see into his apartment.

There's a lot of people that I have to catch up with in the city now that I'm healthy. There's been a lot of drinking, even though I should probably cut back since I have high blood pressure and sometimes it feels like my heart is going to explode. There's also been a lot of walking; I'm averaging about 5 miles a day now.

My oldest sister came into the city for her birthday and we got Dim Sum and went to a Yankees game. It was Old Timers Day, so it was like a game and a half.



It's been gruelingly hot in the city and I don't like wearing t-shirts or shorts. I did wear shorts the Yankees game, however, and I ended up with a brutal sunburn on my knees and lower thighs. This is what I get for never going out in the sun, #CSvampire. And now, I have the weirdest striped tan on my legs.

Meanwhile, I found a studio in the Financial District so I have to pack up my two suitcases move into my new place in the next couple of days.


1 Sinus

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

May Flowers



It's been a busy past couple of months, so I have a bunch of blogging to catch up on.

May was filled with weddings and travel.

First, I flew back home for Melissa and Jordan's wedding. It was a really fun wedding, and it was our first family wedding. It was also the first wedding party that I was in*. There was a lot of dancing, a paper cup tea ceremony, lots of photos, and I got to meet my new brother-in-law!

* Remember how I was asked to be in an acquaintance's wedding party and I turned him down?



Marco and Jedy's wedding was the week after in the Bay Area and, my goodness, their venue was gorgeous (see above). It was at a beautiful vineyard and they had a nice, small, quaint ceremony and reception.


I really enjoy going to weddings. I get to catch up with a lot of good friends and family. We get to drink and dance and have a merry time. They're happy events, and happy is good.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Zen of Motorcycles



I've been tempted to get my motorcycle license. In Michigan it only costs $20 for a course after which you can get your license. Plus, parking for motorcycles is pretty widely available most places.

I like these older looking motorcycles. It's like a motorcycle Captain America would ride on.

However, I will never ride a motorcycle because so many things can go wrong while riding a motorcycle. I could just fall over while sitting at a red light and then not be strong enough to lift it up off of me. Or falling off while riding and skinning myself all over pavement. Or just plain getting hit by a car and going flying. Or fall into a pot hole and then go flying. Or slipping on a turn while it's raining on wet pavement.

So ultimately I've convinced myself that there are enough bad things that can happen to you while riding a motorcycle where I won't ever ride a motorcycle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pixel Art



Kevin and I made these about a year ago. I borrowed the idea from some artwork that I saw in a bar in SF. We ordered a bunch of canvases and paint off of Amazon. Then we picked up a couple of paintbrushes at a local art store.



We designed these on the computer using a 24x24 grid. Then it was just fill in the color in each of the squares.



It turns out each bottle of paint is a lot of paint. We also needed to apply a lot of paint in order to make the colors dark enough so that the underlying grid we drew didn't show through.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Trying out the "cloud"

A week or so ago my family went through a huge hassle to try to get an iCloud shared album set up. And I'm still not convinced that we have it properly set up.

In one of my attempts to join a shared album, I thought I had to enable iCloud drive, but my storage exceeded that of my free iCloud provision. So I bought the bullet and decided to pay for additional iCloud storage. I got the $2.99/month plan for 200GB, which is about one hipster coffee a month (slightly less, sometimes)*.

* Meanwhile my subscription plans are starting to add up. Currently I have Netflix, Spotify, and now iCloud. When I move to NYC and get rid of my car, I will free up my monthly car insurance expense so I might add the online HBO too. But I'd be doing that strictly for John Oliver. Great show.

So finally, I think we got it to mostly work with about 3 or 4 members of my family having set up a shared album correctly. Invites to shared albums disappeared and reappeared. Shared images were "shared" but didn't show up in other people's phones. I really don't trust Apple to do the cloud right and yet, they're the only company that I'm currently paying for a "cloud" service. And they mostly convinced me by making it incredibly cheap. I turned on the option to let Apple automatically sync my photos and it has been taking a while to upload over 23,000 photos from my computer. It's been over a week now and it's only uploaded 14,000 of my 23,000 photos. (I still have yet to figure out a decent workflow for my DSLR photos but that's a post for another day)

Also, as a result of having access to over ten thousand photos on my phone, it's pretty much now impossible to find a particular photo that I'm looking for. E.g. I want to find that cute Yoshi photo from a couple years ago. Impossible. I want to find that picture of DH in a trench coat. Impossible. I want to find a picture of dinner from that one time. Impossible.


Every so often I like to look back and marvel at the technological progress that we've made over the past few years. Like how I can easily watch a movie on my TV now that I rented and downloaded from the Internet without having to have the correct cable to hook up my laptop to the TV*.

* Remember in college how we were always looking for the correct adapter and cable to hook up to the TV in the dorm lounge

This is almost the moment where I can look back and marvel at how cheap and accessible cloud storage is now.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spectating eSports

I've recently, in the past couple of years, gotten into watching professional Starcraft. If you had told me this just like 5 years ago, I would have admitted that it is kind of strange. Nowadays I still wouldn't even consider myself much of a "gamer." Starcraft 2 is the only game I play with any regularity. I'll play some sports games (Fifa, Nba 2k, Madden) and some Halo during VGN*.

VGN stands for Video Game Night. Colloquially it's pronounced "Vegan" night. The most historical moment during a VGN session was when we took a break to eat pizza and watch basketball, we inadvertently started Linsanity when we watched Jeremy Lin come in against the Boston Celtics.

I forget that sometimes I live in this bubble where in my work and social circles, watching eSports is a casual event. I can throw around gaming terms and names like "Day9" and most people would recognize the reference. However, in talking with regular people, it can get a bit strange:

"Hey what'd you do today?"
Me: "Oh not much. Got up, made some coffee, watched some Starcraft"

I was, however, pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago. We met one of Chris's friends during brunch and they actually weren't taken aback when the subject of watching eSports was broached. I actually think that casual gaming has gone fairly mainstream.

Commentating is the main draw of watching eSports. The commentators bring a great deal of excitement to the game. This stands in stark contrast with some of the boring, boilerplate commentary of real-life sports.

There are still several aspects of watching Starcraft where I can't really keep up. I can hardly keep track of different players; there appears to be a large amount of churn within professional gaming. Then there's a bunch of different teams and sponsors and tournaments and geographical regions. I've been following sports for practically all of my life, so I guess this is what it must feel like to people who are new to sports like football or baseball.

I haven't had the chance to go to a live eSports event. Unfortunately the Starcraft season was over when I was in Seoul so I didn't have a chance to watch any games. Maybe next time.

Sidenote, if you're interested: a while back, The New Yorker had a great article on eSports.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Weekly update

"You're not confusing, you're just odd"

  • When I moved to Michigan for grad school, I arrived with only two suitcases. I eventually had three boxes of stuff shipped to me. I remember taking the bus to the mattress store. I was fresh off of my adventures in Seattle where I got the naive notion that I could take the bus everywhere.

    I remember walking into the store and asking for the "cheapest mattress." At the time, my bedroom in my apartment was small enough to only accommodate a twin mattress. So I got a twin mattress, a mismatched box spring, and frame for about $220. It's been the same mattress that I've had for the past 5 years now.

    I got a new pillow, so that's why I bring this up.

  • I've gotten back to playing basketball recently. I got new shoes and we've played about 3 times in the past 10 days. I forgot that I play in such a way that maximizes pain on my body. I'm in really horrible shape. Sometimes this leads to blinding migraines (literally I lose my peripheral eyesight). Other times I get really bad leg cramps. When I got back to my apartment, my leg cramped up when I was taking off my shoes so I was on the floor of my apartment in debilitating pain for the next 15 minutes while I waited for it to go away.

    I had also forgotten how much I enjoy playing sports. Sarita once asked me if there were anything that I liked more than watching TV; I responded with playing sports.

  • I'm not particularly good at ironing. I was ironing my shirts earlier today and it still takes me forever. I also don't iron the sleeves because I'm not particularly good at it and it's not clear that there's much benefit. I convinced my psychiatrist to get a steamer instead of using an iron for his shirts. He doesn't have to wear a tie because there's a risk that his patients will try to grab him by the tie and choke him.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Walking in the snow



It's March so it's probably going to be snow's last hurrah here in Michigan.

Ever since I moved in January, I have been taking the bus to work and have been walking back. I always found an evening walk in the snow to be really peaceful and contemplative.