Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini is first generation Afghan-American, the son of a diplomat who moved to San Jose, got an MD from UCSD and wrote his first novel, Kite Runner, in 2004 after practicing medicine for 8 years. The book is a work of fiction, but like they say, first novels are always somewhat autobigraphical. This one also ties in closely with recent current events. The book is written through the perspective of Amir, who grows up in Kabul with his best buddy Hassan and eventaully flees to Hayward, CA with his father and renturns to Afghanistan months before 9-11 to fulfill a dying man's wish. All the while he struggles with inner conflict and comes to grasps with the truth about himself, his family and his culture. A Kite Runner is one who chases down plumetting kites after their lines have been severed by the glass encrusted line of another kite.

>On 2007-09-29,20:50:27 Blaise wrote:

>>Oh, this book also has gay pedophilia. Hey I just read book, I don't know why there's always gay pedophilia in them.

>On 2007-10-01,18:24:17 Kathryn wrote:

>>I still loved the book though! They're making a movie out of this book too.

>On 2007-10-02,19:24:32 Blaise wrote:

>>What! I should just get netflix.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Dawn up and signal picked up. Haha here's an odd quote from Dr. Russell:

The Delta 2 rocket, fitted with nine strap-on solid-fuel boosters, safely climbed away from the Florida coastline and launch complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. "We have our time machine up and flying," said Dawn Principal Investigator Christopher Russell of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bike got Couched

Somebody dropped a couch on my bike. The front tire which was hanging on by a thread blew up and the rim was bent. Actually it was already bent before, but having a couch with a bum sleeping on it wasn't helping. So getting the rim straightened, getting a new tube and a new tire put on came up to 38 bucks. This 10 dollar bike is a freakin money pit.

>On 2007-09-27,00:39:16 grandmasophia wrote:

>>maybe you should get bike insurance

>On 2007-09-27,20:08:02 Blaise wrote:

>>Good idea, I bet the deductible would only have come out to 5 dollars.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Running with Scissors

The memmoirs of Augusten Burroughs. This guy either had a pretty crazy upbringing or a very original perception of it. Either way his childhood and the lives of those that surrounded it makes for an interesting if not criminal tale. This book also has lots of gay pedophile sex so be warned. The people on the bus or the pretty bookstore girls might look at you funny. I hear it also has a movie adaptation. If after I read this book and found out they were going to make movie about it-- I wouldn't believe it, half of it couldn't be made into a movie. Sure raises the bar for tu vida loca.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Book Reviews

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Both are really good books. Into the Wild is about a 20 something guy named Chris McCandless who right after graduated from college sells and gives away all his belonging, leaves all family and friends behind and started wandering around the US. Eventually he walks into the Alaskan bush an ends up starving to death. Really interesting book, sums up a lot of things about certain young men. Maybe don't read it if you've got the wandering bug. Either way its a good book, read it and reflect about your sense of purpose.

Mario Puzo's Godfather I read after being recommended to me. Its also a good read, even after you've watched the Godfather 100 times like I have. The differences are interesting. The characters in the book completely contradicts the whole premise of Godfather III the movie. The book also goes a lot into what is going on inside the character's heads, which isn't as obvious when you watch the movie. Tom Hagen's part, or at least his point of view is also more front and center in the book. There's also a lot more sex in the book. Finally, the characters were played very well by Al Pacino, Robert Duvall and James Caan. If I read the book first and then watched the movie, I would have thought that they got the characters down exactly, except for John Cazale's portrayal of Fredo. They made him wa more wimpy than he was in the book.

>On 2007-09-21,17:15:39 Kathryn wrote:

>>So weird! I just read about Sean Penn making a film about this:

>On 2007-09-21,19:50:51 Blaise wrote:

>>Hmm that'll be interesting, it'd be hard to do without completely romantizing some characters even more so than the book already did. I think oddest of all would be the homeless people he met along the way who suddenly find out someone like Susan Sarandon is going to be be playing them on big screen.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

FedEx Cup

Here's Tiger Woods holding up the FedEx Cup. I guess the FedEx Cup is like the Nextel Cup in NASCAR where the driver with the most victories or points wins it for the season. So for winning the FedEx Cup, Tiger gets $10 million dollars. Not in taxable cash earning though, it goes to his PGA retirement account, which Tiger can claim when he's 60. If everything goes well, or actually even if Tiger's performance sees a drop off, read this article about how much his retirement account could be worth.

Yahoo Article

So if he sees a modest 5% on just what he won this year and collects in 28 years when he's 60, his 10 million would be worth about 40 million. Gees, I thought I was getting a good deal with my Roth IRA.

Google "Man"

If you search for "man" in, this guy is the first hit. Who the hell is this guy?! I thought it would be Tom Brady. Anyway watch out, some naked hairy gay men were also in the results.

DAWN launch

DAWN is one of the biggest missions we currently have at UCLA Space Sciences. Its about to launch on September 26th from the Cape. Here's an article on its ion engines.

DAWN Engines

DAWN has been a long time coming. Dr. Russell's first proposal for the mission was submitted about 10 years ago. I think it was originally suppose to go to the moon first. I remember when I was still a student in 2001 many of the staff were in DC on Sept. 11, either for the final succeeding proposal or a design review. Since we are on the science end, for most of us the job hasn't started yet and really won't get rolling for another 5 years. By that time, a lot of the systems I ordered and configured for handling the data will already be obsolete, but thats ok we already budgeted for upgrades. A lot of the people who worked on the original proposals have also already retired or moved on to other jobs. For now most of the jobs will be test data and checking up on the instruments aboard.

The great thing about the ion engines on this mission is its flexibility. The mission has actually already missed its first launch opportunity but its still on schedule to hit Vesta by manipulating the output on the engines. Beyond the second rendezvous with Ceres, its also possible to route DAWN to other objects. It all depends on the fuel and whether we can convince NASA's space science office to give us more money. The picture is of the spacecraft packed in its shroud.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ray and Val's suprise

Ray and Val had a big announcement this Labor Day. What a handsome/beautiful peanut. Details are at their website

Broken Leg

My mom broke her leg on Saturday afternoon so I spent most of Labor Day weekend at Methodist Hospital in Arcadia. She fell and broke her left femur. An orthopedic surgeon performed surgery Sunday morning to insert a titanium pin so she's recovering now from the surgery. Looks painful, but my mom felt a lot better after her pretty nurse, Michelle, stopped the morphine drip. I guess she didn't mind the titanium pin inside the femur bone as much as the drugs that were making her drowsy and giving her a headache.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

24 hour Koreatown

The nurses wanted to go out on Friday so we had a late dinner at BCD Tofu House in Koreatown. Its a 24 hour Korean BBQ restaurant so it has become popular with the night shift hospital people. Sure enough it wasn't long before a set of 3 filipina nurses in scrubs came in for Korean BBQ. The odd thing though was that their ages were set equally apart. They looked like a set of grandma nurse, mother nurse and daughter nurse coming in for their midshift break. Keep it in the family.

>On 2007-09-10,12:38:21 Kathryn wrote:

>>Mmmm! I love BCD tofu!

>On 2007-09-12,02:32:13 Blaise wrote:

>>So you've been there?! Usually I see a lot of Yong Dong Tofu. I think thats what its called.