Newly Arrived in Stuttgart, Germany

August 28th, 2010

I’ve recently moved out to Stuttgart, Germany and am enjoying it so far — being in a new environment and surrounded by a culture that is not my own can be slightly disorienting but also exciting at the same time. More updates as time permits! Check for my updates on facebook, as I tend to be posting there more these days! =)

Resolutions for 2009

January 3rd, 2009

Ok, it’s that time again… time for new years resolutions! I thought of a few the other day, and already I’ve been slacking on them. =( So hopefully by posting them online it will help keep me a little more honest and engaged in sticking to them! Here’s my “start” of my 2009 resolutions (may be updated):

  • Health and Strength – daily
  • Prayer Life – daily
  • Time Management – daily
  • House Shopping – weekly
  • Learn Photography – weekly
  • Learn Spanish – weekly
  • Volunteer or Charity – weekly

I’ve broken down each of these “main goals” into finer details after the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

March for LIFE, March for Ron Paul!

January 22nd, 2008

Today is the March for Life in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.! Last year I joined the March for Life in San Francisco, and after today I will have marched for life on both coasts! There is no issue more important to me than the preservation of Life – and this falls into politics as well with abortion and war (see entry below) – which is why I encourage you all to vote “Dr. Ron Paul for Life”.

Here’s a great Ron Paul for Life video:

When it comes to the other candidates, all of the Democrats are for abortion and of the republicans – both Guiliani and Romney have been vocal and resolute for abortion “rights”. McCain while opposing abortion as birth control (but not incest/rape) he is adamant on federal funds for embryonic stem cell research in this EWTN video however EWTN says Ron Paul is a great Right-to-Life candidate. The problem with abortion “rights” is that no one has the “right” to murder. No one has the right to take your life and you have no right to take another’s. This stems from the very Philosophy of Liberty. Also, no other candidate promotes all “Pro-Life” issues like Ron Paul, who by principle is against: abortion, the death penalty, federally subsidizing embryonic stem cell research and unjust war (following the Christian “Just War Theory”). See just how compatible Dr. Ron Paul and Pope John Paul II are on Pro-Life issues!

Abortion is a matter of “principle”, not “privacy”. Dr. Ron Paul (OBGYN) is “the man of principle” and the ONLY Pro-Life and Pro-Peace candidate running for the Presidency. The Philosophy of Liberty is to protect both Life and Liberty – you cannot protect Liberty without protecting Life! (the ultimate liberty).

Updates? We don’t need no…

March 27th, 2007

Ok, but maybe an update would be nice! Since my last post about the exciting ‘via ferrata’ course in WV, I’ve (done a lot), then moved back to Monterey over the Christmas/New Years holidays. I saw several good friends and family along the way (Jeff in CO, Mike in NM, Vince and Terri in AZ, Pat in CA, Liane in CA). Back in school now, I’ve got a thesis to work on until graduation in June. So you may not see many more updates until then… this thesis will be taking all of my time. =)

Down with TOB? (Theology of the Body)

October 9th, 2006

I haven’t even been in Maryland for a week, and now I’ve already taken in 2 sessions on the Theology of the Body (TOB). Pope John Paul II gave over 129 short talks in his Wednesday general audiences from 1979-1984 defining the Catholic view of sexuality. Under the title “Theology of the Body”, these church teachings provide a groundbreaking view on how our own humanity of body and blood unites us to Christ through the Creator’s design of our own sexuality. There is a young adult TOB study group meeting near Baltimore at The Church of the Crucifixian and also a greater-DC area group (TOB related) meeting at The Good News Cafe in Gaithersburg. After just seeing one Christopher West video (on marriage), already I am hooked on learning more about how to find and practice a truer love in my future relationships.

The Theology of the Body is built upon the 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae” by Pope Paul IV and heavily influenced by then Bishop Karol Wojtyla. I personally have been dwelling on how simply “God is love” (1 John 4:8), but these teachings take that even further. Pope Benedict XVI just wrote his “Deus Caritas Est” (God is love) encyclical which also discusses the nature of love even further and is worth a read. My friend Harley and I remarked how coincidentally “very TOB” this Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word was! (archive)

Entertaining Strangers

June 26th, 2006

Hebrews 13

1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Matthew 25

35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

Job 31

32 The alien has not lodged outside, For I have opened my doors to the traveler.

1 Peter 4

9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

Old Coast Road Run

June 24th, 2006

This morning I ran the 10 mile Old Coast Road down in Big Sur. It starts on the northeast side of Bixby Bridge and then returns to Hwy 1 again just in front of the entrance to Andrew Molera State Park. This road was “the highway” along the coast before Hwy 1 and the Bixby Bridge was built in 1932. It is semi-popular for runners, mtn biking and general people driving through to enjoy the scenery (though you’ll pass up Point Sur and the Lighthouse along Hwy 1). The most popular direction of travel is North to South along the road, which provides some steep descents with relatively mild ascents. It is pretty remote though, so you’ll probably want to run with a buddy at the least, and with aid stations along the way if you’re lucky!

We had about 15 or so WNLR runners that ran it today as part of a birthday run for Brad, who organized it, and whose b-day was Friday, but Gene’s (I believe) was today. (Note: I passed up the doubledipsea for this, but am glad because this was a lot of fun!) We had Kevin driving around in a pickup truck as our aid station along the way which was great! A few runners started at Andrew Molera at 6:00 a.m. and ran the 8+ miles north to Bixby bridge where they met the others around 7:15 a.m. to start down Old Coast Road. I suprisingly woke up late, at 7:00 a.m. and sped my way down the 1 to get there in time. I arrived around 7:20 a.m. to find empty cars, then drove 100yds up Old Coast Road and luckily saw them there! I managed to catch up on some of the downhills and had a great time.

Afterwards we drove down to the Big Sur River Inn for breakfast and I had the Little Sur Omelet for $10 with a strawberry smoothie $4. After telling the waitress I needed to take off quick, I was suprised to receive my food in about 5 mins later! Talk about service! I’ll definitely be going back again, and also to soak my feet in the river which I hear feels great after a run! I also met Sally and was finally able to get my membership fee in for the WNLR group.

Hospitality Club Social

June 20th, 2006

I recently moved to Monterey in September, and since then, I’ve been lucky enough to get a few Hospitality Club guests stop on by and finally “pay forward” the genuine hospitality I received while in Europe over a year ago. I’m excited to be living in such a beautiful and tourism-rich area now, and hope to see the HC really ‘come to life’ here!

Since the whole HC idea is about ‘bringing people together’ and fostering international friendships to increase intercultural understanding and strengthen peace, I thought it would be great for the local HC members to get together and also to invite others to learn more about the Hospitality Club! So here it is… what I believe is the first Monterey-area HC social event ever!!! You’ll want to be a part of this!

What: Hospitality Club Social Party for the Monterey area

– meet fellow local HC members
– introduce your friends to the HC and meet other locals
– share stories of traveling, life, etc around a campfire on the beach
– sports activities?: frisbee, football, etc if interested
– eat, drink, and be merry… =)

When: Sunday June 25th, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: Carmel Beach, near the 13th street intersection

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First WNLR Run

June 3rd, 2006

This morning I had my first run with the Wednesday Night Laundry Runners in Carmel. I actually showed up at 6:30 (because I misread the schedule) for the 7:15 Saturday morning “Long Run”, and because of that got in 2x the amount of running! I ran for 45 minutes or so and was doing a cool down run along the beach, then asked 3 runners if they’d heard of the WNLR… they said, “Yeah, you can probably still catch them! Cut over across the Pebble Beach golf course and they’ll be on their way.” This is when I found out the run started at 7:15 instead of 6:30 (though I was still in disbelief.)

I found a footpath up from the beach, cut across to the golf cart road… and lo and behold — I saw about 40 runners coming my way from Carmel! I tagged along with the leading group of 4 runners and ran ~3 miles to the famous Cypress tree out on 17 mile drive, then turned around and ran back with Rick. Total running time: 1 hr 35 min. (A bit more than I anticipated though!) Rick said our returning 3 miles was about 7:08 min/mile pace! The run was beautiful, I highly recommend it! I think the best part was coming back through the golf course and cresting a hill when you can see Carmel beach again. =) See more runs on my good runs wiki page.

Visit with Jano

April 24th, 2006

While I was studying abroad in Norway during the Fall 2004 semester, I became very good friends with Jano Sunderlik from Slovakia. It was faith that brought us together and the enjoyment of each others company by which we became friends. We both attended the catholic mass every Sunday in Kristiansand, and with Jano’s help we never missed a mass celebration – even when we were traveling in Oslo together. We last saw each other in December 2004 when I saw him off to his train back home but kept it touch briefly via email. I promised that if he ever made it to the states though, that we would meet up for sure!

Since last August, Jano has been teaching mathematics in New York city, and just last week he made a trip out here to California with some friends also teaching there in the schools. I got to meet up with him in San Francisco on Thursday night for dinner at Pier 39, then I took Jano and his friends for a quick tour driving over the Golden Gate bridge, down famous Lombard street, and over to see the Palace of Fine Arts. On Friday morning, we drove down to Monterey where I showed them a few quick sites around the city – including San Carlos Cathedral, our City Hall, and Sunset Avenue along the coast. It was great meeting up again after nearly a year and a half! Thanks for coming to the states Jano – now I’ll try to return the favor! (Will post some pics as they become available.)

Remember to LIVESTRONG

April 23rd, 2006

I just found this quote about what it means to LIVESTRONG. I’m glad I found it, because I often forget. Quote copied below. I also just found out that LIVESTRONG Day is May 17th, with the purpose to mobilize cancer survivors, caregivers and those involved in the cancer survivor community across the country. Our goal is to to raise awareness and bring attention to the issues cancer survivors face which often go unaddressed..

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Animal Friends Rescue

April 23rd, 2006

Do you happen to live in the Monterey area and love animals? Then be sure to check out the Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) based out of Pacific Grove. AFRP serves as a fostering agency to match up abandoned cats and dogs with loving people who can share in the joy of life with these animals. They have a great website of information, particularly if you’d like to adopt a cat or dog, or simply provide support to the agency via fulling their wishlist, volunteering, fostering a pet or donating support in any number of ways. I wish I lived where I could at least foster a dog here in Monterey, but I’m in an apartment with no yard unfortunately. I am willing to take the dogs out for a run though to get some exercise, particularly those dogs in foster homes awaiting adoption. Fights Cancer

April 16th, 2006

At age 22, Jacqueline Young was diagnosed with an advanced state of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Three years later, she is now thankfully in remission and raising funds to help find a cure for cancer while also instilling hope to those who are battling it. From the Young website, you can purchase a “PHUK Cancer” T-shirt in any one of a great number of styles to show your support — with 1/2 of the proceeds going to fund research at the Stanford Cancer Center. The message itself is a bit of a an attention grabber — but also a challenging response for those braving through the effects of cancer in their lives. New discoveries are made everyday in cancer research, and hopefully someday soon we can safely regard “cancer” as some tragedy of the past.

As a cancer survivor myself, I can definitely relate to the challenges of dealing with cancer. I remember always feeling drained of energy during chemotherapy treatments and the day when I received one of my favorite “Get Well” cards. The card simply had a cut-out sign which read, “I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!” I wore it a lot. =)

UNO Alumni NUCIA article

April 13th, 2006

I was just quoted in an article of the Spring 2006 issue of the UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha) Alumni magazine speaking about the NUCIA program there where I studied Information Assurance under the Computer Science curriculum. Dr. Blaine Burnham has really setup a great program there in Omaha, and I’m very proud to have been a part of it (as one of the first actually)! I coincidentally met Blaine when he first moved to Omaha and was living in the dorms with his wife and us other students. We struck up a conversation in the cafeteria and found we had a similiar interest in computer security… and things just took off from there! Actual interview responses below…

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April 11th, 2006

Our team “I Left My Wallet in San Francisco” finish 5th in our division (open mixed) and in 35th place overall with a time of 28 hrs 23 mins to finish the 199 mile course. The 2006 Race Results are now online to examine for yourself. Once I get my camera back (which I Left in San Francisco) I’ll post my pics online, but here’s some others:

Team Dean Karnazes with Jim Joe Green of The North Face finished near the end with a total time of nearly 34 hours – but then again, this was only 2 men instead of 12 running the 199 mile relay! Luckily I did get to meet Dean out on the course at one of the exchanges late Saturday night, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures. It was a great fun weekend adventure, we had a team full of great runners, and we all got to make a few new friends. Also, I should say that the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company team should have definitely won any “Team Spirit” award for so regularly cheering on all the runners in the race! Giving out free chocolate was a highlight of the event as well!

April 16th: Ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes story on plans to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.

Mud Run and 14-miler Training

April 2nd, 2006

I just found out that I placed in the top 10 of this years Big Sur Mud Run! Check the April 1st results here. This was my first race in over a year for sure, but even with the rugged terrain, a few muddy obstacles, and wearing 10lb water-logged shoes… I managed to scrounge up a 7:41 min/mile pace for the 5 miles. My friends on Team “Cybercorps” took 11th place in the mixed teams with a 12 min/mile pace. Great job Rafe, Buddy, Mario, Binh and Julia!

The Relay One thing I should have posted about sooner, is that I signed up to run The Relay with the team “I Left My Wallet in San Francisco” out of San Mateo. I just found out about the 199 mile relay a couple weeks ago (well past the registration deadline) but found a team that needed a runner, and so I’m in! So today I intended to make the 2hr drive up from Monterey to go meetup and run with some of my teammates — unfortunately I overslept to get there on time. =( So instead, I went on my own along the trail to Ft. Ord for a 14 mile run out-and-back.

I reached 2nd Ave (where the Mud Run took place yesterday) almost exactly 1 hour into my run, and then made it back exactly 1 hour later (within 1-2 minutes) for 8.5 min/miles. The trail only has a few sections of off-pavement opportunities, so I’m a little worn out (right knee tight and right glute still sore for the past few months, but shins and left arch feeling ok). And to think, I’ve only got 4 weeks to go until the Big Sur Marathon! I’m not quite in the condition where I wanted to be training wise (running 7 min/miles like in my half-marathon 2 years ago) since I’ve had to take a few off-days with school/weather, but at a good pace I think my body may be able to hold up for 26 miles… maybe?!

Poynter Online – Fifty Writing Tools

March 22nd, 2006

I was reading some various blogs earlier today (sorry, no trackback) and came across this list of Fifty Writing Tools/Tips to improve your writing. It is geared towards journalists but anyone who dares to write something for others to read can benefit from it. Since I am notorious for writing very long sentences, the first writing tool “Branch to the right” is already helping me out! I hope to get through all 50!

Diving into Dvorak

November 10th, 2005

dvorak laptop

It has probably been 8 years now since I first wanted to learn how to use the Dvorak (or Simplified) keyboard when I saw my crazy friend Craig give it a try in high school. Now after learning about the benefits of Dvorak over Qwerty again in class and from my new friend Topher… I’m diving into it. It’s difficult though – like learning to type all over again! I’ve even rearranged my keys (as much as possible w/the touch pointer in the way) so there is no easy going back for me. In my spare(?) time between classes now I’m practicing with my local copy of A Basic Course in Dvorak.

Also interesting, to configure your console and X-session for the use of Dvorak see kbdconfig and edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf from something like:

Option "XkbLayout" "dvorak"

… or…

Option "XkbLayout" "us"

… and change it to this…

Option "XkbLayout" "dvorak,us"

Option "XkbOptions" "grp:shift_toggle"

Now you can switch layouts by pressing both Shift keys. This text was written very slowly by a Dvorak newbie. 🙂

Training for a Marathon

October 17th, 2005

On Oct 11th, my friend Kyle Hoback emails me his Chicago Marathon time of 3:43:00 and pictures to prove it! My last serious long run was a half-marathon in May 2004… over a year-and-a-half ago. Back then, it was Kyle too who incited me to run this race, as I trained for the full marathon. I followed Kyle over to Norway to study abroad and now I’ll follow up with a full marathon – a lifetime plan of mine that I had put on the back burner recently.

Now I’m training for the Big Sur International Marathon in April 2006 along Hwy 1 – considered one of the best and most scenic marathons in the world. As I’ve just started training, I’ll only assist with the Big Sur Half-Marathon next month, but will be running in the Big Sur River Run this weekend – Oct 22nd. Just today, my friend Mario joined me out in Pfeiffer Big Sur SP on his bike as I went for a 45min run around the park. The race this weekend will be my first since my TNT half-marathon! I’m a bit nervous and just working to keep myself injury-free and strong for the upcoming run.

Subpoena YOUR OWN call history

August 25th, 2005

You wouldn’t think, but it’s true – To follow-up on my lost/stolen cellphone story… so, when you buy something with your credit or debit card, in most scenarios you can (within a couple hours usually) verify the transaction by logging into your banking account via the Internet. Sometimes it may come up as a ‘pending’ transaction, but nonetheless it’s still there. The marvels of technology and the Internet. But… did you ever think for a minute that you could possibly do the same thing for your phone call activity? WOW – wouldn’t you be wrong!!!

Since Monday morning I’ve been trying to get a __report of the call activity from my own phone__ for 4 days now… and the response is that all I can do is wait for my billing statement to come in the mail! YES – isn’t that bizzare?! Alltel will _not_ provide me with my own call activity — the same information I will receive in a billing statement within weeks (up to 1 month possibly mind you!!!) — without a subpoena! Why do I need a subpoena for my own call activity?!

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