Category Archives: miscellany

Blog facelift; Sites to checkout

If you have visited my site recently (as opposed to just reading off my feed), you’ll see that I’ve given the site a facelift– a new theme with some fancy AJAX stuff going on (which I may regret later) and some of my own tweaks for color, etc. I’ve also updated my blogroll to list some of the new blogs I’ve been reading lately:

Check ’em out. (As if you didn’t already have RSS feeds to get through everyday.)

Schmap!! and Barcelona, part 2

As I mentioned earlier, two of my photos from my Barcelona trip this past summer were short-listed to be included in the fourth edition of the Schmap Barcelona Guide. I just found out that they have been selected for final inclusion! Check them out:

I had a great time there, so I’m glad that my photos can be used to direct and guide others to this great city. Check out the photos, the guide, and if you can do it, the city itself, live and in-person.

Schmap!! and Barcelona

Somewhere along Via Laietana
Originally uploaded by sindy

Despite being one of the most amateur of amateur photographers with my point and shoot digital camera, I just found out that two of my photos from my trip to Barcelona this past summer have been short-listed for the fourth edition of the Schmap Barcelona Guide (to be released later this month). I guess it pays to actually make some of your Flickr photos public and publish them with a Creative Commons license.


If you’re curious, check out the photos: photo #1 (shown here) taken while walking down Via Laietana and photo #2 taken while lunching at La Tramoia. Or browse through the entire Barcelona photoset.

A Beer A Day

I was going to write a long post about the contest, lessons learned, etc., but I realized it just made us sound like a bunch of alcoholics. So, in short: the contest started on June 15 and I tapped out on August 26. The contest ran for 73 days– Ian wins, I lose. Props to him (which is all he’s getting, since there was no money on the table, but really, isn’t respect priceless?).

Both of us were too proud/stubborn/competitive (characterize it however you like) to back down, but really, it’s a relief for both of us. As I predicted, the only thing that would stop this contest would be one of getting sick and it would most likely be me– I’ve come down with some type of super-cold and I figured, when you have trouble breathing, maybe it’s time to throw in the towel. (Not that I’m making excuses– Ian won fair-and-square.)

The KKUP Cupertino – 91.5 FM Listeners Award, 1971 Dodge Charger

Noel receiving the KKUP Cupertino – 91.5 FM Listeners Award, 1971 Dodge Charger
Originally uploaded by sindy

As mentioned earlier, I spent most of today at the 6th Annual San Jose City College Street Rod & Classic Car Show and just wanted to say congrats to my friend Noel Clarke for winning the KKUP Cupertino – 91.5 FM Listeners Award for his 1971 Dodge Charger. The station’s website should be updated soon with photos, etc. about the award.

Weirdest thing about the show though: the presence of “Natalie,” Miss Northern California, about whom I can’t find any information on the web. She helped present the awards, wearing her inappropriately short skirt (imagine what happens when the wind blows), and you didn’t really get a choice whether she was in your award photo or not (you actually didn’t even get an opportunity to get out of the car either when they took the photo either). And being very blond and very pale, she didn’t really strike me as being a very “representative” Miss Northern California– I would have gone with someone Asian or Chicano myself.

For more: Another photo of the award presentation and a closeup too.

“Sindy is graduating” (Part 1)

Bill Cosby giving the Keynote
Originally uploaded by sindy.

That’s what I updated my Facebook status to via Blackberry as I waited in the Processional. So, in additional to being a Cardinal alum, I’m a Tartan alum now too. How did I end up going to two universities that used “colors” as their mascots? (Although, CMU has just adopted a Scottish Terrier as their official mascot similar to the way Stanford has the Tree.)

In any case, I have more to say in terms of reflecting on the last two years at CMU and what I think of the program now that I’ve come out the other side, but just a few thoughts on Commencement itself:

  1. First, two years of juggling work and school plus $50,000+ later: totally worth it to get to wear the special gown (with nifty Harry Potter-esque sleeves) and gold hood as a Masters candidate at graduation.
  2. Also kind of a novelty: to participate in a semi-orderly Processional. Masters and Doctoral candidates at Stanford enter the stadium with an orderly Processional, but Bachelors candidates enter with the famous Wacky Walk.
  3. Just in case you forgot how Scottish Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon were, there was plenty of bagpipe action and Tartan plaid around to remind you. In fact, you can actually get a BFA in Instrumental Performance in Bagpipes.
  4. Gold– really a bright yellow– is the hood color for the School of Computer Science. I’m sure the color was chosen a thousand years ago and not to feed into stereotypes, but it’s not a particularly flattering color for Asian people. The irony.
  5. Instead of receiving my diploma on Sunday, I had it mailed to me. Why? Because a) CMU West graduates have their departmental ceremony in August out here on the Moffett Field campus and b) the diploma itself is apparently ginormous and it would have been too unwieldy to carry back on the plane with me. Why does it have to be so big? Are we trying to compensate for something?
  6. Sorry, Pittsburgh, but I see why they call it “the Pitt.” Getting a CMU education while also getting to stay in northern California was definitely worth it.

Otherwise, graduation was fun– there were a few showers early in the morning, but the weather cleared up in time for the Processional and Ceremony and I walked and sat with two of my former teammates. As I had mentioned before and as you can see from the photo, Bill Cosby was the keynote speaker as well as recipient of an Honorary Degree (Doctorate of Humane Letters). You might think it weird that a comedian and man who spent many years selling Jell-O pudding pops would be the keynote speaker at a college commencement ceremony, but what people don’t know or forget is that Cosby, aside from being a particularly influential and brilliant comedian and entertainer, is Dr. Cosby. He earned his BA from Temple University and then his MA (1972) and Ed.D. (1977) from the University of Massachusetts. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids were an integral part of his Ed.D. dissertation and a commitment to education has always been reflected in his work. Definitely a recurring theme in The Cosby Show: remember all the college t-shirts and sweatshirts? Remember the episode where Theo thought that college wasn’t for him– that maybe he just wanted to be a “regular person?”

My point is that Cosby was an apt choice on a number of levels and in short, here’s a summary of the his address:

  • You are nerds. Embrace it. When high school ended and everybody else quit, you went on because you’re nerds. That’s a good thing.
  • Graduations, weddings, funerals– these are big events in your lives, but graduations are special in that there are less likely to be fights.
  • Now that you have graduated, don’t go back home. Get a job.
  • Cosby told an anecdote about when he was rising as a young comedian and was given a big opportunity, he lost his confidence and bombed. In the end, the lesson: be yourself.

All in all, pretty sound advice.

Enjoy your coffee

Life is stressing me out lately and this message is certainly a propos. A friend posted this on Facebook and I shared the post, but for those of you who aren’t on it:

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:”If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups … and then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”

God brews the coffee, not the cups…….. .. Enjoy your coffee!

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God