June 27, 2003

Outer Banks: Prolog

Heading out to the outer banks this weekend. Will be leaving straight from work today and returning on Sunday. If you miss me, that's where I'll be :)

Will post about it when I get back.

In General

Posted at 07:39 AM | Permanent link

June 22, 2003

Flying Saucer

Went to the new hires BBQ earlier today. That was fun. Got in a good amount of volleyball.

Afterwards, retired to Danny's house to hang out for a bit. Watched the Lennox Lewis Fight. That actually turned out to be one of the best boxing matches I have ever seen live, in spite of the fact that the fight had to be stopped prematurely due to seriously nasty cuts on the challenger's face.

Afterwards, went out drinking tonight at Flying Saucer with Danny, Jake, Anne, and Carrie. That was a very good time as well!

In General

Posted at 02:54 AM | Permanent link

June 21, 2003

Wing Chun: Second Circle

Went to Wing Chun class this morning, and what a rush it was today.

I think that my arms are finally starting to get built up and I'm finally starting to get the hand of doing the punch sets at the beginning of class.

Reviewed the full form of Sil Lum Dao today. I still need some work on that, but it's nice to finally know the whole thing. I can tell that I'm getting better, too.

However, the meat of class today was doing my second circle - this time with the head-lock holds added. A circle is where you stand in the middle of a circle of five guys, and each one takes turns choking you or putting you in a headlock, or generally just applying some technique to you, to which you must break out of using the techniques you have been taught. That was quite an experience and much, much more difficult than the first circle with just the choke holds. Water never tasted so good afterwards.

In General

Posted at 02:32 PM | Permanent link

On seeing Hulk at the drive-in

Went with some IBMers to see Hulk last night. Perhaps the most interesting part of the evening was the venue where we were seeing it at: The Starlite Drive-in. This was only the second time I have even been to a drive-in in my life (the first being when i was like seven), but this one was particularly good. Not only do they show movies, not only can you buy popcorn and candy at the concession stand, but you can also buy guns (as in real-live hand guns) and ammunition (as in real live bullets) right along with your push-up pops. I love North Carolina.

The movie itself was pretty good. It was very well directed, in my opinion, using split screen shots and fade-aways to give a very "comic-book" like feel. Ang Lee is the man. To be quite honest, I hardly even noticed the choppy animation of the Hulk at all durning the movie...I would have thought that would be something that would really bother me after seeing the preview.

Overall, it was a very good night.

In General

Posted at 02:26 PM | Permanent link

June 15, 2003

Einstein and Buddhism

I have begun suspecting that Einstien had either studdied Buddhism, or independantly arrived at many Buddhist conclusions on his own, or most probably both (like me).

The following quotes of his tend to lead me to believe this:

A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe'; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compasion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

This is almost exactly the foundation of Buddhist thought.

And of course:

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which is based on experience, which refuses dogmatism. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism…

In The Zen

Posted at 10:35 PM | Permanent link

Einstein, causation, and the future

This evening, I was reading some of Albert Einstein's essays from the book, Ideas and Opinions.

For some reason the following quote from the essay, The Religious Spirit of Science really struck me:

"...the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past."

Though I have thought about this idea intuitively many times before, I don't believe that I have ever seen the future compared to the past as directly as in this case.

For me, this evokes an image of a steady stream of states of the universe - the past states being no different from the future states, except for they are separated by a single point on this line that we call this moment.

This is a very Zen idea when I think about it, though I never really made the connection until I thought about the past and present in this context.

In The Zen

Posted at 10:32 PM | Permanent link

Movie Night with Quynh

I went to the movies with Quynh last night.

We saw Hollywood Homicide (the cop movie with Harrison Ford in a more comedic role). I rather liked it. Harrison Ford is still really good in most any role he plays, and I thought his comedy worked well here. He is starting to look old though, which isn't a problem as long as he keeps playing older and older guys (as he did in this movie), but I wonder about the next Indiana Jones...

Quynh and I had a rather interesting, but brief conversation about religion in the car following the movie (stemming from the fact that she would be "visiting" a church with a friend today). Turns out that her feelings on the subject are much the same as mine. It's good to see that not everybody in this world is crazy...

It was an enjoyable evening at any rate.

In General

Posted at 09:35 PM | Permanent link

June 13, 2003


Y'know? Life is really good :)

In General

Posted at 10:03 PM | Permanent link

Night Out

Went out drinking and clubbing tonight.

Good night =)

Goodnight :)

The Group
(posted on zspotlight.com)

In General

Posted at 01:06 AM | Permanent link

June 09, 2003

Saturday revisited

Ok, I wanted to go back and talk about Saturday a little bit before I forget.

I got up just in time to make it down to the Wing Chun School for class. To be quite honest, I was really only half-sure that I was actually going to go. I had gone the night before for endurance training and was expecting my arms to be really tired-out in the morning. Luckily they weren't too bad, so I went.

I was really glad that I did, too. We learned our first actual self-defense techniques and, man, are they brutal. It practically gave me goose bumps watching Sifu demonstrating them on another student, even without actually making real contact.

But anyway, that wasn't the reason that I said the school is fucking awesome in my last entry (well, that was only part of it anyway). The interesting part of the day was the BBQ that was held at the school later that afternoon, and getting to actually meet a lot of the people who attend the school.

It was a nice break from the homogeneity of the crowd I'm used to hanging out with in any kind of social context (y'know, college students who are all very similar and age and situation to me). In contrast, I think that I was the only actual student, student there. I think that it's quite possible that I was the youngest person there (well, except for the kids of other students in the class), though there were still very few over 35. There were people who had finished college and were working with very young kids to attend to...and also people who had no plans of ever going to college... I had a lot of interesting conversations. It was very interesting hearing about everybody's different perspectives and struggles in life...and they're all great people in their own way...

One of the most striking things from my point of view was the number of people who had graduated college with good degrees and had had high-tech jobs in the area in the past, but have since had to move onto other things (working with their hands and such) after being laid off. There was the network engineer who lost his job at MCI following the scandal, who joined the Army reserves (as a combat photographer) for some extra cash, but who was now called up on active duty at Fort Bragg. Perhaps the most interesting conversation I had all night was with a guy who works for IBM Global Services. He has a 12 month old son and is pretty sure that he is going to get laid off in the near future and is therefore planning on moving to Florida so his wife can be close to her family.

Hearing these people's thoughts on their life and their plans and their advice... It was all very eye-opening in a way. Sitting where I am in life, it's easy to forget the reality of what's out there a lot of times. These things can strike you at what seems like the most unforeseen times.

But what else is funny, is that when I step back for a second, a lot of what I'm seeing lines up with a lot of my own independent conclusions and thoughts on life. I don't know if I should think that's scary or what...

Hmm law school...

Anyway, after the BBQ, I made my way over to Christine's house (which is like two blocks from the school). That was philosophical in a different way ;)

In General

Posted at 09:50 PM | Permanent link

June 08, 2003

Rockclimbing Photos

Here are some of the photos from rockclimbing a few weeks ago that I have been meaning to post. Still waiting on those skydiving pics...

The group



In Matters that are otherwise worthwhile

Posted at 04:31 PM | Permanent link


What I have concluded today: The Wing Chun school is fucking awesome.

Other than that, the things are somewhat lame.

Will elaborate later (maybe).


"We are a generation of men raised by women. I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer we need."

In General

Posted at 03:20 AM | Permanent link

June 05, 2003

Productive Thursday

Pretty good day at work today. Nothing much of note happened, just another productive day of testing. I'm feeling much less shy about writing defects now, and it is very satisfactory to be able to collaborate with developers on a bug that you found.

I ended up staying a little bit long again today (as per usual), and so I didn't bother going to Kung Fu tonight, as I didn't want to be late. I think that I could use a little bit of a more relaxing evening, so that's kind of good anyway.

Just ate dinner. I'm planning on doing a little bit of reading and hopefully getting to bed on time tonight. I would like to be able to get into work early tomorrow if I can.

Friday tomorrow - seems like the week just flew by.

In General

Posted at 08:57 PM | Permanent link

June 01, 2003


I jumped!

Skydiving was incredible! What an experience!

I am so glad that I went through with it, and I would definitely do it again (in fact, I probably will sometime)!

Standing in that open doorway, looking out at the ground 11,000+ ft below is just completely unreal...and then falling...flipping over...catching one last glance at the plane as you tumble...and then the wind rushing up at you. There's nothing like it. Not even close.

Looking down at the ground below you, rushing up at you at 120 mph (yet looking so still) and knowing that there is nothing around to hold you up… The whole thing barely registers until you are a few seconds into your fall, and then it's just like "Damn, who would have ever thought that I would be in this situation right now?" And you're just there for a full minute...falling...and it doesn't even feel like you're falling...more like just floating there. And then the 'chute opens and things are just so peaceful and you look around and down and up at your parachute holding you up now, and again, it hits you that you're just there in the middle of the sky with nothing else around but your instructor behind you.

It's amazing. I literally cannot put it into words.

As we were coming down, I guess the wind wasn't fully cooperating so we missed the drop zone by a good mile and ended up landing in the middle of some farmer's corn field :) I bet that they really get pissed about the skydivers around there, but I'm told that to miss the drop zone is unusual. The weather was just unusually nasty the day that we went...and thank goodness that we get a little window where conditions were right and could actually jump.

Of course, not everyone that went got so lucky (or maybe they're breathing a sigh of relief, even though they really should be disappointed ;). There were seven of us in total who went...all intern IBMers. Of the seven, only three of us got to actually jump. The weather was pretty flaky all day. We were originally scheduled to jump at noon, but shortly after we arrived at The Skydiving Place, the rain started pouring down and we had to wait a good three or four hours or so to get our "window." After my group jumped, the others got all suited up to go, but unfortunately the weather turned stormy again and they didn't get another good window of weather before we had to leave at sundown. I felt bad about that. Especially for Pratik, who organized the whole thing and was so excited about going. Ah well, it was good being able to get to know everyone who went, and I hope that they will get there chance to go for real shortly.

Quynh, especially, really cracks me up. I really like her a lot :) When we were first going that morning, she claimed that she was feeling "sick," and "shouldn't jump today, but maybe some other time," and that she was just "along to watch the guys jump," but after my group jumped and I and the others came back raving about how amazing of an experience it was, and I told her that I would definitely do it again, she was signing the paperwork and suiting up in no time :) Again, too bad that she and the others didn't actually get to go :(

The absolute worst part of the experience was the anticipation, just like everything else. I'm really glad that I decided to go so spur-the-moment (at 8pm Friday night - the night before). Otherwise I would have been agonizing over this for weeks with many sleepless nights. As it turns out, I only had to endure one :)

The release forms were also really nasty. "By signing this, you acknowledge that you understand that skydiving is an extremely hazardous sport and that serious injury or death may result..." Makes you really sick to your stomach right before you are about to go...that "holy shit, what the hell am I doing?" feeling :) But in hindsight, I think that's part of the fun (even if it really wasn't at the time). When you're standing in that doorway, and during the fall, none of that comes to mind at all.

If I ever go again, and I think I probably will someday, I definitely want to look into training to jump by myself. This time it was a tandem jump, with my instructor strapped to my back, doing all of the important stuff like pulling the ripchord. That means that much less training is necessary for the novice skydiving student like me. And by the way, thank you very much to my instructor, Darren, for doing an excellent job and helping to put me at ease!

I guess that's all I have to say about that. Words just don't do the experience justice. There really is nothing like it. I highly recommend that anyone and everyone who has even the most remote interest give it a shot. I assure you, you will not regret it at all. I wouldn't doubt that it would become a regular hobby of mine if it weren't so friggin' expensive ($130/jump), but it is definitely well worth it.

I will be posting pictures, as soon as everyone can coordinate and send them around over email...

The group before jumping.

In Matters that are otherwise worthwhile

Posted at 10:06 PM | Permanent link