Saturday, March 14, 2015

Incomplete thoughts on failure

Let's talk failure. I will say that I've never really failed before and that it bothers me. The advice the greats always seem to give is to don't be afraid of failure: you have to fail to succeed. For that reason, I feel as though I haven't risked anything and am not on a path to greatness, but on a path to mediocrity. By all means though, I don't wish for failure. I am not reckless.

What do you mean you haven't failed? What's failure? Metaphorically, failure, I think, is when a step backwards happens; to lose something, progress, that was once there. If you are currently on block 5 in a board game, failure is to be reverted to block 1, block 0, block -5. The opposite of success, of moving forward. Inverse matter (yuck, inverse matter, that sounds gross and complex, bad analogy.). When I didn't get into Brown University or get those internships, I didn't fail. Sure, I was disappointed and didn't get what I wanted. But I didn't fail: it was a brief moment of stagnation. My life didn't move backwards. Flunking an exam? I didn't have that knowledge to begin with. And things that didn't work out, I never put in the effort or progress for it to count.

The work I am doing right now for graduate school is difficult. I feel like I'm constantly playing catch up like I'm "half-drowning" or "floundering." But maybe this is the moment in my life where I keep pushing despite the hardship and accept whatever result I end up with. And that maybe all this effort and movement in one direction will pay off or maybe it will be for naught. But hey, I gave it shot.

Oh and Happy π day! =]

Sunday, March 01, 2015

What the Hell Part III

Part III? What? If you care, use the haphazard blogger search function. Recently, it's all been about music that keeps me focus in lab, which translates to cohesive albums or playlists with no need to skip songs. In no particular order:

Swan Lake, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky is probably my favorite composer in the "classical" genre. I've been listening to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's version of Swan Lake just because it's on Spotify.

Joe Hisaishi's Budokan concert is great. It's a medley of pieces he's composed for Studio Ghibli films. Fantastic.

Fall Out Boy. They have a new album: American Beauty/American Psycho. But I just play their entire discography on Spotify. They're the kind of music that just pumps you up. 

Like rap music! I usually listen to Eminem before taking an exam. But while working, happy rap like Scott & Brendo's stuff is cool.

Recently, I saw Song of the Sea, great film. So I've been listening to the soundtrack from that by Bruno Coulais, Kíla et al. It's got a Gaelic overtone. Great stuff! Go see the film. Go listen to the music. Go enjoy Song of the Sea!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

I updated the RAM on my Macbook Pro =|

It's a bittersweet day: I have just prolonged the life of my Macbook Pro by updating from 4GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM. The irrational side of me wants new gear! But the rational side is like $85.00 for more years out of your current system is way more reasonable than spending $2000 on new gear ($2000 because I pay a premium for Apple stuff and because I'm going to max off the specs, duh. I'm eyeing a 16GB of RAM system!). But I want new gear . . .

It was actually on sale for $79.00.
It was a pretty simple process: unscrew a couple of screws, lift the lid, pop out the old RAM, and snap in the new RAM. I'm currently running some memory tests to make sure the RAM is good. But so far, everything seems a-okay.

It's that patch of green with 8 rectangles (ICs).
My current specs for my Macbook Pro stand at:

Processor: 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Ram: 8GB DDR3 1067 MHz
Harddrive: 320GB (5400-rpm)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB

Yes, everything is on the older side. I could use a new processor and a solid state hard drive would probably make things a lot more snappier and I could probably run more graphics intensive applications with a new graphics card. But it's nothing I can't live with. Despite wanting new gear, I'm pretty attached to this Macbook. It got me through undergrad! So the RAM upgrade was needed. It's also the easiest thing to upgrade; my system was really starting to crawl: I was regularly seeing the beachball of death . . .  And here I am bittersweet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Ideal Getaway

I went on a 2.5 day ski trip (I didn't ski; I snowboarded, but ski just rolls off the tongue more eloquently) this past weekend at Stowe, Vermont. It was just the second time I went out to the mountains to snowboard. I've never gone to the mountains in the winter before this year -- my family doesn't partake in sports like skiing/snowboarding/tubing/etc. and they also don't particularly like being out in the cold. But I'm different and adventurous. As long as I have the right gear, being out in the cold is a pleasant time. I've gone snowboarding twice now, and I'm hooked! I'm still a beginner -- green circle status -- but I've got the basic gist of it down: I can feather down a steep hill, ride straight, turn left and right, crave accidentally, and sometimes ride goofy.


During my repetitive ride-fall, ride-fall routine, it dawned upon me how nice it would be to live out there, outside the hub of a city, away from the worldly distractions and constant chatter. I couldn't help imagine how wonderful it would be to live in a small house in the mountains, peacefully watch the snow, sip a hot beverage, and go snowboarding on whim. And then to go hiking and star gazing in the warmer seasons. And of course to take in the fresh growth and foliage of the in-between seasons. It seemed like the perfect place to live, especially since my current life is so draining.


But then I remembered my needs. I need to make a living and contribute to the world in some form. Out there in the semi-isolated world would not be where I would be able to do those things. For other people, yes. But not for me. I am not a writer, an inn keeper, a farmer or an artisan. I am an engineer; I work in teams to design, innovate, and create technology for the betterment of society. No quiet mountain side community would welcome the intrusion of the super contrasting industrial nature of an engineering company or research facility. So far now, I will just have to reserve that wonderful, peaceful, ideal for vacations, escapes, which is quite a luxury in itself, because I get a taste of both worlds.



Edit, March 22nd, 2015: Saw this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sadOfmkTtpw

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2015 Offers A Fresh Start

Hello 2015, you wonderful, baggage-free, empty new year. Hello, Hello, Hello.