Role Play

My wife is visiting her mom on the other coast, for three weeks.  During her absence, I get to be both dad & mom to our son who is staying with us.  And to be fair, our son is in his 20’s and not a picky eater when it comes to food taste.

I have done this before. Therefore, it’s not a baptism by fire.  But it is an opportunity to excel for I am less proficient in cooking.  Nevertheless I set a goal to emulate my wife’s role to the point where my son would not complain (at least not to me).

It is a low bar, I know.  And this is after my wife has done her best in giving me a crash course on where things are in the kitchen, and she even stocked up the refrigerator before I dropped her off at the airport.

So after two weeks, how am I doing?  Well, my son has yet to complain.  And I have learned that meal planning involves more than just putting food on the table.  It takes coordination of the who, when, and how.

Who is going to be at the dinner table?  My son is a carnivore, but I prefer less meat.  What’s for dinner becomes a balancing act to appease the taste buds.   When should the meal preparation start? This actual goes way before the mealtime, as far back as grocery shopping (difficult to cook without proper ingredients).

How to make the whole presentation comes alive? This is my weakest link. Because lacking a feel for it, I tend to rely on recipes’ step by step and can’t just wing it. Not yet anyway.

Bottom-line is I am getting better.  With one more week to go, I look forward to my wife’s return, with a renewed appreciation.


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Liars, Liars

Q.  Why do liars lie?

A.  That is what they do.

Q. But isn’t all communication/ interactions based on assumption of honesty?

A. Yes, that’s why liars believe their lies are true or legit.

Q. But isn’t it as obvious as Pinocchio’s nose?

A.  No, not to the president.

Thoughts from today’s court order to the White House on restoring CNN reporter’s credential

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Say Hello To Avery, Everyone

Waking up this morning  a blanket of snow and ice covered the neighborhood.  In fact the whole National Capital region.  What a surprise and perhaps one of the earliest snowfalls in my memory.

Yesterday, the sun was shining and temperature in the mid 40s (decent enough to have our car washed).  Overnight, everything changed.  I learned from the news, this unexpected storm, named Avery, had the schools closed, cars slid off the road, and traffic around town paralyzed.

And, Washington DC is not alone in this predicament.  Other metropoles in the Northeast are faring not much better in dealing with Avery.   Whenever confronted with situations like this, I am optimistic on the Big Data to come to our rescue.  And it does, to some degree.

Apparently,  Big Data has been helpful in the preparation, response, and recovery phases of disaster management.  It can alert people about the pending disasters, recommend options for evacuation routes and where to stage relief materials, etc.

But when it comes to prevention, the fourth and ultimate phase, Mother Nature proves still too elusive for the Big Data’s predictive analytics to be useful.  Does that mean we need more disasters to build the model?  I hope not.

Do you believe that the Big Data will be able to prevent disasters one day?


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Inspiring Yogi

I was looking for some motivation for my yoga practice, and lo and behold I came across Laruga Glaser’s demo video (see below). 

The video was filmed by Alessandro Sigismondi, a yoga practitioner herself, and titled: The Impossible . . .  And it blew me away (in the best possible sense). 

Watching the video over and over, I am totally awe-inspired.  Laruga makes “the impossible” not only possible but also looking easy.  A hallmark of mastery for any endeavors. 

Would I ever be at that level?  Probably not.  But it’s nevertheless humbling and inspiring to see someone at that level. 

It makes me want to go back to my downward facing dog and try again to get it right.


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My Turn At The Helm

I feel cold.  Layered over my body are my hooded sweater, flannel pajama pants, and a long sleeve T.  On top of that, I hear the heater running in the house.  Perhaps it’s the rain outside that’s making everything cold & wet. 

Glance at the clock on the wall – dinner time is right around the corner.  A nice hot meal would certainly warm me up.  Only thing is that I am the one who has to make it (wife is out of town visiting my mother-in-law). 

You see, a gourmet chef I am not, more like a short-order cook.  Fast food is not for me, but I like the idea of cooking not taking too long.  And steak is quick except my body can no longer handle that much bovine.  

Whatever the dinner maybe, I better get on with it.  Because this body is not getting any warmer.

What’s your dinner tonight?

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Metabolism & Weight Loss

Apparently, the key to losing weight is not decreasing your food intake but increasing your metabolism.  Yes, and allow me to explain.

According to this article, metabolism is the big kahuna in our body consuming calories.  It accounts for 60 -70% of our daily calories while physical activity accounts 20% ( and the last 10% belongs to actual food digestion).

And I have experienced it personally.  During my 20 weeks marathon training, I was losing weight in spite of my ferocious appetite.  It was not so much of the distance I was running but my metabolism due to the leg muscles I was building.

And it felt wonderful.  I would laugh at diets, eat anythings, and not worry about gaining weight.  All because my metabolism was burning the lion share of the calories regardless I was exercising, eating or sleeping.  Wished it would go on forever.

My metabolism now no longer peaks like it did during training.  Furthermore, as we age, our metabolism slows down.  And a natural outcome from slower metabolism is that our weight goes up.

So to boost metabolism, the same article suggests:

  1. include strength training to increase muscle mass
  2. ramp up workout intensity to get into the training zone, and
  3. add protein for muscle repair/ building

How is your metabolism?

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Week In Review – 11 Nov 2018

A major event this week was the US midterm elections.  Whether you believe it was a referendum on the president, the majority of the House of Representatives got turned over to the opposition party.  Consistent with historical trends.

This outcome restored some check-and-balances within our political system. No longer could one party dominates with impunity.  My hats off to the American people, the voters, and the democratic process they trust.

However, America still faces numerous problems.  One of such problems is the emotional health or lack of it.  Case in point is the mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California that took place Wednesday, on the heel of another shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

These tragic news feels numb because we have heard them before: grieving victim families, shocked communities, etc.   But nothing seems ever change.  What is the real solution?  What can we the people do? Seemingly there is no answers.

Meanwhile, the president is sending troops to our southern boarder to stop the folks from seeking asylum.  This is after he fired the Attorney General of the United States and replaced him with an unqualified appointee.  If it sounds we are running amok, we are.

On a lighter but brighter side, each of us holds a choice in our hands.  Instead of reacting to the situation, we can choose to take responsibility for ourselves and others.  Like the people donating blood to the Thousand Oaks victims.  We can choose to be healthy, happy, and proactive.

Have a nice week.


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Darkness My Old Friend


It is all quiet on this cold Saturday evening.  And I am ready to snuggle up and call it a day.  But the night is still young really.  Just the day has given in (to the night) earlier and earlier each day.  Messing with my circadian rhythm if I may say.

Not sure how our Canadian friends to the north nearing the Arctic deal with their long 5 months stretch of darkness each winter.  The thought of it is way beyond my simple pea brain can figure out.

But I find “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel intriguing, echoing with poetic justice, and a fitting description of our time.

How is your Saturday night?


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How Is Your “Weather”?

A cold & wet Friday here at the Nation’s capital. The only saving grace is that the rain will stop before the weekend gets into full swing  But the temperature will remain cold, struggling to get above 50 degree (Fahrenheit).

It’s days like this, my mind drifts west.  All the way to Hawaii.  Where the temperature is constantly between high 80s to low mid 60s year round.  Yes, my friends.  it’s thirty degrees warmer there.  And it’s not even close to winter.


Shot of Waikiki beach, photo taken in Feb 2018


But before my mind going off the deep end, I need to come up with several projects to keep myself occupied and mentally sane.  It’s what Stephen Covey called “carry your own weather.”  Thinking about Hawaii is nice but it’s not practical.

For instance, while training for the marathon, my mind was focused and my goals clear.  I executed my days without waffling nor hesitation.  In a sense, it was easier.  I was carrying my own weather.

Now off-marathon season, I again must take the same responsibility to choose, to set my priority, and to execute.  In other words, being proactive.

How is your weather?

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On Food We Eat

You are what you eat.

Go that.

I feel like a restaurant –

Have been eating out a lot.

True, quality food need not be expensive.

And expensive food does not mean quality.

But cheap food guarantees poorer quality.

What is your choice?

Do you prefer eat-in?

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