August 27, 2004
A nice day out...

I was raised in a town without weather. Where itís almost always hazy in the morning, burning off to a dry hot afternoon. The weather and the seasons are so boring, never too hot and humid, never snows, that even the plants are confused about when the best time to bloom should be.

Perhaps thatís why I live in Cambridge now... Life is more interesting in a place where things change. You never know if itís going to be an exciting day sailing, or a day when you get out the paddles.

Yesterday, I took off from the office a bit early to show some out-of towners my fine city. We parked at the hospital, and strolled over the bridge. It was warm, and the people at the boathouse addressed me by name. I wondered to myself ďThatís odd, do I have THAT notorious a reputation around here?Ē The staff just politely reminded me of polices and that I shouldnít be offended if they chased me down out there, and had someone else commandeer the boat.

Anyhow I sail around, give a gradual lesson to the customer. Theyíre not too interested in the lesson, so I donít press it. Heís got his video camera, itís a light wind day. I take off my shoes. Iím just enjoying being out on the water.

I head back to the dock, buzz the dock, ask them what I want to do. Noboday's paying attention, I can't tell if I'm supposted to dock or not. I turn around and head back out for one more pass. Five minutes later, five minutes later the staff chases me down so someone else can commandeer the boat. I donít sweat it and just get out.

We walk back, pay for the parking, Iím pleased that the hospital is only charging us the validated rate, not the guest rate, even though we had nothing do with the hospital. Yay! We drive to Harvard sq.. We find parking right next to the restaurant. Score two! We walk into the square. I call my girlfriend from the salesmenís phone. Sheís perplexed that the caller ID shows a number from Germany. But finding out that itís me, agrees to come out. Yay! I show them the yard, and the touristy things. The customer buys a Harvard sweatshirt. We go out to dinner, I like the restaurant, even if itís both a little bit pricey, beer as always is good. I order ostrich, because I was intrigued... next time I just get a sirloin... duh....

Se sit around the restaurant, some more co-workers arrive. Pretty soon thereís a possee of fifteen.... I meet spouses, I meet girlfriends. We go to another bar, we pass because it looks too yuppie... We go to the brewhouse... Itís more our style. I call it an early night at 10:30, and head home.

Posted by justin at 02:54 PM
August 24, 2004
Happiness is....

Frameset: Columbus Zona Nivacrom Asymmetrical Steel Tubeset w/ Carbon seat stays
Fork: Advanced Composite with 1" Carbon Steerer
Weight: Frame 1.6 kg, Fork 400 g
Specs: Front Derailleur: Braze-on, Seatpost 27.2, BB:ITA

Idiotic things - 50 gram weight savings for using carbon seat stays, instead of steel. But the bike weighs 21 pounds!!!

And at best I'll put 500 miles a year on the bike.

But it makes me happy in the morning... Maybe it's just the shower in the office that I like.

Step into liquid

Riding Giants

Surfers are a breed unlike anyone else.

Posted by justin at 12:51 PM
August 19, 2004
"Not as I will, but as you will... may your will be done."

"Not as I will, but as you will... may your will be done." [Matt 26:39,42]

I guess I'll send a brief update. Tell you what's on my mind.

I'm moving downstairs this week. I finally figured that I might as well live down there. The girl downstairs asked. So in one of my particularly depressed and jet lagged moods, I agreed. It's been a very emotional time going through all the stuff of my life. In a way I'm looking forward to moving downstairs, to see for myself how noisy the people upstairs are. And part of me is sad that it's a move simply for the sake of moving, not because I'm going to China, getting married, or going to a place where I feel called.

I'm saddened though, I went to BCEC and found out that a girl I had known since my early days in LA. She's moving back to LA after five years here. I'd gone to Jr High, High School, and College with her with then five years ago she moved out to Boston. I was glad to hear that she was out here, but somehow because she was at BCEC, never really became involved with her life out here. And knowing that the other person from my church back in LA, who lives out here. Knowing that fully well, he intends to go back to LA, in a few years (his wife is pregnant right now) and I suppose once her medial fellowship is over, they'll also be back to where they have family.

I shouldn't judge my life based on other people's actions. I'm setting myself up for dissapointment. As if my own shared values could be ovelaid upon other people's lives. I'm sarving for role models here. It's as if I'm looking for people proving that life is not so hard for transplants in Boston.

Pray for me:
The recent travel has wearied me, just thinking about everyone else's travels, makes me even more tired.
Two friends should be off to Cambodia, this month. I do hope they make it.
Two of my closest friends in Cambridge, are going to a month long Asia tour, including two week with her parents in LA, a week in Hong Kong with his parents, A week in Korea for business for him, and a couple of days in Shanghai as business for her.
Two other friends seem to be back in San Francisco from a long term trip to Mongolia, the word is that she's pregnant.

Cambridge is feeling less and less like the place I want to call home.
Yet I know right now, this is the place where God wants me to be.
I need to listen to hear what God wants me to do in life.
Whether it is China, or going back to where I call home.
Or simply living out the value that I've been denying for so long -
that I should stay in Cambridge, and prove that indeed you can live in Cambridge,
raise a family, have a happy marriage, and not be on the verge of poverty.

The preacher said this week, while preaching on Esther:
Her situation was this: she was Jew and a wife to a foreign King. Surely she wouldn't have chosen such a predicament. He said "Sometimes God puts you in places in situations where you don't want to be. You don't understand, and even it seems like you're there out of some injustice. And you want God to take this burden from your shoulders." There's a lot of pain in the world. There's a lot of dissapointment. And a lot of time we find ourselves screaming at the sky, mad at God. He could have made us better, but we suffer. And not because of anything we did. Just because... It's unfair, and it sucks.

He said that even Christ, in his hour of weakness. Knowing fully well... that all his closest disciples would fall away from him, he would be betrayed, arrested and killed. He's going to be separated from the prescene of God. It just doesn't get any worse than that. He cries, he pleads to God, he prays. In the end we are simply called to be faithful to God's will.

Posted by justin at 09:21 AM
August 13, 2004
Portland Oregon: I almost moved here

I was in Vancouver, Washington last week. Not to be confused with Vancouver, British Columbia, which aside from being in Canada, is a totally different town. Vancouver is a suburb of Portland Oregon.

Itís a study in contrasts, this is an area, one time known as ďSilicon ForrestĒ

It's is a haven of tech industries, and a place where people value nature.
Where people drive big trucks, and complain about pollution.
Where they urge people to recycle,
and yet where timber is one of the biggest industries.

Itís an outdoors loving kind of place,
yet a place also desperately trying encourage a new-urbanistic lifestyle.

One can see the results of new urbanism a revitalized downtown, efforts to control sprawl, and encouraging mass transit to reduce car dependence.

Finally Portland is a place with a memorial to Executive Order 9066, and the Bill of Rights. Yet, I didnít get the idea that Portland was all that diverse. I didnít see all that many Asians, at least not in the city center. The downtown Chinatown appeared rather dreary, as if the city was trying, but somehow hasnít managed a revitalization yet. Portland has about the same percentage of Asians as the Boston area so I would imagine that thereís another Chinese community somewhere in one of the suburbs, where one would find the requisite 99 Ranch Market.

Going to the Portland area this year a couple of times reminds me, of how my life might have been. I think what might have been had I moved here after college.

Graduating from college I had an enviable resume. With internships at Intel and Micron, as well as solid academic work, I had interviewed in Texas, and the Portland are, as well as multiple times in Los Angeles. But instead I chose to go to Massachusetts. And my life was changed. It wasnít a wrong choice, or even a bad choice. My friends say donít look back at what might have been, it can only disappoint you.

At the time I couldnít really tell the difference between working for Intel and working for DEC. Maybe later I would get my prejudices against working in a real factory, after working for DEC. But essentially I say the reason I went, because it seemed like a strange place to me, and quite far away as well. The job looked like it paid decently, and I was pretty much fresh out of college.

Posted by justin at 02:26 PM