# Htam::Diary

 Themes: { PHOTO, SURF, TT, VB, TACIT, CS, SCIENCE, SPORT, BIBLE, IM, HTAG, MATH, COMP, FAITH, SYSOP, TEST } =
Years: { 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 }
Pages: { newest, 167, 166, 165, 164, 163, 160, 155, 150, 149, 148, 147, 146, 145, 140, 135, 130, 125, 120, 110, 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 1 }
Total 3328 posts.
 htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-27 22:20:42 Very Eventful Sunday 0 comments This Sunday, I went to church quite a bit earlier, since I was not giving rides to the UCLA kids.  Today I did breaking of bread translation and also the audio recording.  After the meeting, I was doing the same thing as I usually do to edit the message recording, but alas, the recording program crashed!  Uh-oh.  I also had to go to a meeting, so I locked the computer and went.  Before going, I actually also frantically tried to finish a few time-sensitive tasks that would have been too late to do by the time the meeting finishes.  Today the various coordinators of the Sunday school classes gathered together to fellowship, discuss some matters, and pray.  One of the main reason for the timing is that Steph is leaving.  As she has been involved in teaching three out of the five classes, this is a pretty huge change—thus we talked about these things, and whick kids are moving up, and such.  We also spent some time in prayer, which is very encouraging.  Then I went to try to recover the audio recording.  Since I don't use Windows much, I asked James to help me a bit.  With me giving him ideas of what to do and letting him execute them, we successfully located the temporary file that was used.  I backed it up and started the program again, recovered the edit session, finish editing, and then export, upload, insert.  Yay, everything is fine!Then I went to the park and played a bit of volleyball with Eddie, Anne, Antonia, and Gabriel.  Unfortunately Mari fell sick so she couldln't play with us.  Then most of us drove over to the Wu's residence for a potluck dinner.  Anne forgot to bring something, so she asked me to take her to buy a cake.  I told her not to buy a cheesecake since I made one.  In any case, it was nice to get to talk to her on the drive there—we don't talk much.Last time we had potluck at the Wu's, it was mostly Sam Woo at the Wu's (pretty funny, eh?) but this time it was less so.  The food was good, and the fellowship was even better.  I get to talk to Steven Lee for the first time substantially, which is nice.  Then people played some table tennis.  After they played for a while, I joined them and won every single game.  We were playing doubles the whole time, but our levels are so different that I was basically able to win as long as my partner can make the serve.  The easiest is when I receive the serve—I can basically hit it directly so they have no chance.  Next, they have a lot of trouble returning my serve.  Finally, when my partner serves, as long as it is a reasonable ball, they can't attack fast enough—so I can get the point on the next hit.  The only uncontrollable part is when they serve to my partner.  But that is only 1/4 of the time.  So with most of the points of 3/4 of the game under my belt, it was very easy to guarantee a win.  I tried not to attack too much, maybe only once a game or so.Then the kids came to play so I let them play, and came in to the house.  People are eating the cheesecake I made, and either people are really nice to me about it, or they actually like it—I got a lot of praise.  I felt bad for Anne, since she actually spent money buying a nice cake (that is probably tastier), but people ate mine first.In the evening, I asked Steve to accompany on the drive back.  We talked about the Avengers movie.  This was a very eventful Sunday.[Non Sequitur: Move over DNA: Six new molecules can carry genes] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-26 22:01:07 Steph's Farewell Sharing Meeting 0 comments This Saturday, I went to sleep very late, because my neighbours were very noisy.  I called the police, and they became quite for a bit, but then noisy again.  I eventually felt sufficiently tired, after doing a lot more reading, and went to sleep at 2:42.  I woke up a bit later—at 7:30 or so—but with less than five hours of sleep.  I was super tired, but eventually felt fine.I went to church for special meeting with Eric Wu, where I took care of the audio recording.  Afterwards, the Lee family provided lunch for everyone—how nice!!  Then we had a farewell meeting for Steph, which I organized and led (Tammy asked me to, and I was happy to do it).  We sang, shared, and prayed—it was quite nice as well.In the evening, I went to Wei's club and quest together with Isaac Chao.  I haven't seen him in ages—he contacted me in the afternoon and asked me to go play table tennis with him.  Wei was very happy to see me as well.  I was so tired that I only played for about an hour or so, and then came home.  I tried to stay awake while I made a cheesecake, and then went to sleep "early," namely, five hours earlier than yesterday.[Non Sequitur: Baseball fan caught over 5,800 balls] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-25 21:49:23 Caleb Finished 0 comments This Friday, I did some work in the morning, and then I went to buy groceries at 99 Ranch Market, which I had tried to do yesterday, but was deterred by traffic.  It worked today.  Then I went to school for Athipat's talk in the logic seminar.  Then I bought some food at school and came home to eat.  After dinner, I continued doing some work.  In the evening, I started re-watching one of my favourite movies: The Lake House.  About half an hour in, Caleb called me—he has finished a very major thing for school, which he has been working on for weeks (even months)—and we finally had a chance to chat for an hour or so, stress-free.  It was nice to catch-up, even if that means I might not finish the movie tonight.  I know how it ends anyway.  I've seen it twice, second time with Steph, on the DVD she bought for me.[Non Sequitur: Cats imitating art] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-24 22:55:42 Horrible Traffic 0 comments This Thursday, I did some work, and then went to school for the combinatorics seminar.  Afterwards, since there is no GSO seminar, I did not stick around for department tea.  I talked to my dad while attempting to go groceries shopping at 99 Ranch in Van Nuys.  However, the traffic was very horrendous—and I looked it up on my phone.  Apparently the north-bond entrance to the 405 was closed.  At that point the easiest option was to go on the 405 south, and exit immediately.  Now this is already overshooting going home, so I figured I would go to Pavilions and continue talking to my dad.  I bought a few small items, and then came home.  In the evening, I did more work until I was pretty tired, and then went to sleep early (I've been sleeping around midnight, so 11 PM is "early" for me now).[Non Sequitur: Russian artists bring sheet music to life] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-23 23:59:59 Airport Pickup 0 comments This Wednesday, I did some final work and then went to school to have lunch with Athipat, as usual.  Then I skipped reading group since I was meeting with Igor earlier.  Yesterday he suggested that I had more than 24 hours to come up with something exciting.  I emailed him and said I will shorten that by one hour since I am switching with Stedman—to go meet with Igor at 2 instead of 3.  When I walked in, he said "I have a feeling you are going to say that if only you had one more hour, the whole thing would be solved."  I told him he was wrong, and he's like "Well, too bad, sometimes I am wrong."  Anyway, we had a good meeting, talking about various ideas—I even proved him wrong after he repeatedly said I am stuck on something because I don't see the big picture.  Eventually I convinced him that it's not I cannot imagine it working, but rather, it will never work (that it is a legitimate obstruction).  He agreed.After the meeting, I went and bought a new UCLA tshirt from the bookstore (25%-off sale today).  I've gone through two already (the first one given to me by June and Hou-En).  Then I went to the airport to pick Tina up.  The whole thing took about two hours, since the traffic was super bad.  Oh well, it was nice to talk to both Caleb and my dad on the way there, and then talke to Tina on the way back anyway.[Non Sequitur: Non-Newtonian fluids potholes filling] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-22 23:48:09 Watching The Avengers in a Movie Theatre 0 comments This Tuesday, I fixed a few more mistakes and finally sent the finalized version of my paper draft to my advisor.  He replied immediately: "Oh, good.  Start doing research then.  You still have over 24 hours to prove something exciting... :)"  Heh, better get back to work.  I came up with some new ideas for the shellability problem I've been considering.  And then I went to Mitsuwa for lunch.  Wherefore?  You must be thinking I'm going tutoring, like what I did many times in the past.  However, I'm actually going to see The Avengers with my officemate Davide.I got a $20-off deal from going to see Das Rheingold in theatre. Since our schedules are flexible, we decided to go see a movie during "off-peak" hours for cheap. We shared the entire room with only one other person. I have to say, I was not too impressed with the movie. I think I don't like action—I like drama that involves romance. Wait... am I a girl? Oops. Anyway, I've just watched a movie in a theatre for the 5th time in his life, first time in 7 years. Indeed, I watched 101 Dalmatians in 1997, Harry Potter in 2001, both with the Tsengs in Seattle; Robots and Narnia in 2005, both with LCF (then ABSK) after some dinner and didn't want to make people drop me back off at Tech so went along.Is it funny that I've gone to more operas (9) than movies? Actually, I've gone to more operas by Wagner (6) than movies. I've also gone to 13 musicals and 5 Shakespeare plays, not counting student productions.Then I rushed back and did some tutoring, followed by prayer meeting, as usual. I stayed there quite late tonight because I was waiting for people to finish signing a card for Steph. Alex started writing a lot so everyone had to follow suit.[Non Sequitur: Functional Nintendo controller coffee table] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-21 21:34:31 Catalan Numbers, Part II 0 comments This Monday, I went to Gertz—Ressler High School and taught Steve's kids. I've visited thrice before. The first time I went to observe, and gave an impromptu short talk on Redei's theorem (every directed tournament admits a Hamiltonian path). For the second visit, I gave a one-hour lecture on group theory. The third time was to tutor a specific student that Steve thought had great potential. Today I used the material I prepared for yesterday's LA Math Circle and taught a two-hour session on Catalan numbers. It was fun.I then hurried back to UCLA and went to a probability seminar that Igor suggested I attend (I got an email from him while I was at Steve's school). Of the 15 people there, 9 were far-east Asian. Interesting.Today I sent 22 emails, 37 if counting multiplicities. Of which, 5 emails were to multiple people, thus the other 17 were individual. Also, the 22 emails spanned 17 conversations. One person got three emails from me, 5 people got two. This means 24 people got precisely one email from me. Of the 22, 13 are church-related and 8 are work-related. One is with dad. In the last year, I average between 4 (August 2011) and 10 (June 2011) emails sent per day. Today was a lot more than usual. I have so many things I had to discuss with people, partly because the school year is winding down.[Non Sequitur: 3d graffiti] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-20 22:41:03 Los Angeles Math Circle 0 comments This Sunday, I went to pick Hannah up, and she drove to church, as usual. We went to get gas near church building since she drives a bit faster, giving us quite a bit of extra time. Today is one of the first times that I was able to stay for the entire message—starting from singing all the way until announcements. Yay! Then I went and had a HSG planning meeting. After we were done, I walked Steph to her car and talked to her for a bit. Then I came back and took care of some more errands. Finally after I had time to breathe, I went to the chapel building and joined them singing. Hannah drove me back (today she did most of the driving!—that was nice) and I rushed home to put some things in the fridge, and then went to school.Today I am teaching the Los Angeles Math Circle to the high school kids. I've been preparing for a week, and the session was excellent. I taught the kids elementary enumerative combinatorics. First, we counted monotonic lattice paths, and in a series of exercises, derived the expression for the Catalan numbers$C_n=\binom{2n}{n}-\binom{2n}{n+1}=\frac{1}{n+1}\binom{2n}{n}$. Then in another guided tour of exercises, they discovered a purely combinatorial proof that the Catalan number is a$\frac{1}{n+1}$fraction of the Binomial coefficient$\binom{2n}{n}\$.  This was cool, and at least one of them saw the beauty of this proof, as he was trying to explain to the other kids why this second proof is better than the former, when other people wondered "didn't we already do this?"  This was very fun and rewarding—though I am dead tired afterwards.[Non Sequitur: Ugliest buildings] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-19 22:44:55 Trebuchette and Carmina Burana 0 comments This Saturday, I went to church cleaning in the morning (an interlude to Bible studies).  When I was about to enter the freeway, I saw a person pushing a car that had broke down, presumably.  I kept thinking about it and felt bad about not stopping (though I couldn't have by the time I noticed—I was already on the on ramp).  I knew it would bug me a whole lot if I don't act on it, so I turned back and tried to help.  By the time I got back, he was safely on the side of the road (since I was already on the 10 when I turned back, it took a lot of time to get back to where I was).  I eventually got to church about 20 minutes late.  I did my usual task of cleaning things at the audio station, and then helped Beryl a bit with cleaning the HSG/upper elementary room, and then Auntie Willow with the library.  After lunch at church, I stayed behind and did more random work, including helping Uncle Ted with sound-proofing the HSG room.  Beryl played a some hymns on the piano—five songs that she liked that I never even heard of.  I then went over to play with Beryl's kids.  I brought them a Trebuchette that I got as part of my kickstarter sponsor gift.  I had dinner with them—it was very nice of them to be so hospitable.  In the evening, I went to Caltech to attend Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, a joint production by the Caltech Orchestra and Glee Club.  It was very epic.  Today I did not watch any TV![Non Sequitur: Attemped robbery with toilet plunger] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-18 23:38:45 Driving Local Streets to Visit Steph 0 comments This Friday, I did some more work with the paper I "finished" two days ago.  Afterwards, I had lunch and then went to Torrance.  The traffic looks extremely bad today, so I opted to drive local the entire way.  I basically took Sepulveda all the way down.  It was very clear and intriguing to drive and see new parts of town that I haven't been.Steph and I met at the carwash place that we frequent, both got car washes, and then drove to King's Hawaiian, as usual (opting to skip our usual detour to the beach).  After a long and nice dinner, we went back to her house and talked for many more hours.  After sharing, we also spend some time in prayer.  I ended up leaving at around 11 PM.  Wow, so late.  I originally had planned to leave around 8 or 9 (we met at 4:30).  We always talk too long.  It was nice nevertheless, especially since this might be the last time we do this.[Non Sequitur: Virtually enlarged food tricks Japanese dieters into eating less] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-17 22:36:09 GSO 0 comments This Thursday, I did some chores and took care of some personal matters in the morning.  Then I went to school for the last GSO meeting of the year, followed by combinatorics seminar talk by Dan Betea (with whom I played table tennis at Caltech).  Then I talked to my officemates for a while (including mathematics), and then went to the GSO seminar talk by Patrick.  I came home after the talk since there is no table tennis at the gym today due to a special event.  I did some more work and then now I am going to sleep early![Non Sequitur: London data centre geeks will live in pods to dodge Olympic traffic] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-16 23:37:12 The End of an Era 0 comments This Wednesday, I woke up at 6 AM with only 4 hours of sleep, having gone to bed at 2 AM.  I decided to sleep in and woke up only at 8 AM.  I then did as much work as I can in the morning before going to school.  I had lunch with Athipat "as usual," though we haven't had lunch for two weeks now.  Then I went to combinatorics reading group, where Anand talked about Gower's lower-bound on the number of parts needed in Szemeredi's regularity lemma.  Afterwards, I went meet with Igor with no research progress.  However, I gave him my (almost) finished paper on domino tilings.  He said "this is actually impressive."  Haha, as if I wouldn't have written something good.  Then we talked a bit about research, where he made the comment that I am uniquely well-suited to attempt this problem since I know so little in this subject, so my imagination will not be encumbered by the burden of knowing how difficult these problems can be.  Haha, I'll take that as an encouragement to work hard.  The funniest thing was when he looked up a bunch of papers and told me which ones are related to what we are doing, but then told me not to read any of them (just yet) and try to do as much as I can on my own.After my meeting, I came home early today (around 4:30 PM) and had an early dinner.  Is my schedule shifting back?  I played some TV and listened to the dialogues while mostly going about cleaning up my apartment.  I have realized that every time I am near the end of a project, my room becomes very messy.  Indeed, I know the end is in sight, so I give up maintaining order and just goes all out and try to finish whatever I am doing (in this morning's case, my paper on domino tilings).  I pull out whatever sources I may need, and just leave them out piled on my table while I frantically try to finish everything.  My mind is racing during the crunch time—who would want to slow it down by cleaning?  At the end of the day, I finally cleaned everything up, and now my desk looks really nice again.  I did some more work, and now I am ready for bed.[Photo: My messy desk moments after I finished my current writing project and before I cleaned everything up again.][Non Sequitur: Fake police academy exposed in China] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-15 23:59:59 LAMC Prep 0 comments This Tuesday, I woke up earlyish still, despite going to bed past midnight.  I tried doing some research, but it didn't fly, so I went back to writing up my paper.  I am almost done.  I essentially completely re-wrote one of my proofs, including drawing lots of new pictures and such.  I am quite proud of the fact that this proof is now only 1/3 as long as the previous rendition.  Yay!In the afternoon, I went to school to tutor (and also take care of a few errands).  I was not feeling too well, which coincided well with prayer meeting being cancelled.  So after tutoring, I grabbed some food from school (originally I planned to eat at prayer meeting).  Then I called my mom and talked for quite some time.  Afterwards, I was thinking of watching some TV to relax, as usual.  However, none of the shows in my queue piqued (that's quite high "qu" density) my interest (not counting new episodes of shows I recently watched, as I like to spread episodes of each show apart).  Therefore I decided to prepare for LAMC this coming Sunday.  I worked for about three straight hours (not even getting up to use the bathroom!??—or maybe I did but I have no recollection since I am so much in the zone) around 14 hours after waking up.  I am very confused as to why I am not tired at all right now.  [Edit: It's 1 o'clock "tomorrow" now and I think I'm finally ready to get ready for bed.][Non Sequitur: Portrait made of socks] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-14 23:42:37 TAship 1 comment This Monday, I did a lot of work as usual.  I was intending on cooking lunch at 10:30, but I completely forgot about it and worked until around noon.  As such, I decided to go to school to eat there, and also to print out what I have so far.Today I finally got confirmation of summer TAship, so I immediately spent two hours looking into plane tickets for going back to Taiwan in the short window of what's left.I did end up cooking dinner, and then doing more work in the evening.  Caleb called me and we talked for almost two hours.  In the mean time, I filtered through one of my RSS feeds which had more than 1000 items before the phone conversation, and ended with less than 200.  Yay multitasking.[Non Sequitur: Black and white twins] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-13 21:48:06 LAMC Preview 0 comments This Sunday, I woke up after sleeping 5 hours or so.  Well not quite.  For the first time that I can remember, I fell asleep in the evening while lying on my couch.  I woke up at 1:30 AM and promptly switched over to the bed, and then woke up at 6 something.  I got ready and then went to pick Hannah up for church, as usual.  Again, she offered to drive.  She's getting better at directions and also driving much more comfortably.  Yay!In the afternoon, I came back early and went straight to the math department.  Next week I will be guest lecturing at the Los Angeles Math Circle, so I decided to go scout it out this week.[Non Sequitur: Fumblerules of grammar] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-12 22:50:03 Numbers 0 comments This Saturday, I woke up much earlier than anticipated, despite going to sleep late last night.  I got up nevertheless and got ready and went to Bible study, getting there half an hour early.  I figured I would do some work there as I wait.  There were very few people, and all of them besides Steven were quite late.  Good thing he and I started playing and singing without waiting.Today we had a wrap-up of Ephesians.  After the Bible study, we went to Pho 79 for lunch.  Then I went and got a haircut, followed by groceries shopping at 99 Ranch Market.In the evening, I did some organizing of files, relaxed, and did some more chores.[Non Sequitur: Bus driver cuts off hit-and-run person fleeing] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-11 23:10:05 Low Key 0 comments This Friday, I started out having a bad day, but then I turned it around and got quite a bit of work done.  In the evening, I spend some time with the Lord, and then did some more work.  It wars a fairly low key day—except for when I was singing for a bit.  Haha.[Non Sequitur: Beautiful alternative Disney movie posters] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-10 23:22:18 Typical Thursday 0 comments This Thursday, I went to school in the afternoon for combinatorics seminar, and then had some chat with Stedman and a few other about combinatorics.  Then I attended the GSO seminar where Jack talked about polynomials that output infinitely many prime numbers.  Afterwards, I went with him to play a bit of table tennis in the gym.  Today I didn't lose a single match, so I played continuously.  I even beat Ryan 3-0 today, even though usually I go between a narrow victory and a total defeat.[Non Sequitur: Unusuably high and low ATMs] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-09 23:59:59 Das Rheingold 0 comments This Wednesday, I finally had a day without tutoring.  I did some work, and then went to school for lunch and reading group.  Today Pietro presented a very clever argument for destroying all tuples that multiply to the identity by only removing a few elements if there are few tuples to start with.I left reading group early to pick Tina up and take her to the airport.  I then went to a shopping center, did some work at Starbucks, and then had dinner at The Counter (thanks Chris).  I then drove to Rave 18 to watch Wagner's Das Rheingold, the first of four operas on the Ring cycle.  Met Opera performed this and transmitted it as part of their Live in HD program.  This was one of the Encore events.  It was quite well done and I enjoyed it.[Non Sequitur: A better strategy for Hangman] htam@76.172.78.*2012-05-08 22:33:44 Tutoring 0 comments This Tuesday, I continued my tutoring cramming session for my two students, who both have tests tomorrow.  Between yesterday and today, I tutored for eight hours.  Wow, now it is time to take a break for a few days and do more work.  In the last thirty days, I tutored for thirty hours, averaging one hour per day.  Not bad, huh?  I can definitely afford to go visit my parents in Taiwan during the summer.  Haha.I also printed out a hundred pages of reading... one would think that's the amount a humanities student would have to read.  Well, guess what?  We also do lots of reading, which is even harder, when we need to think a long time every other line.  These are actually six separate papers.  Some were suggested by Igor yesterday, and some I found myself.  It's exciting to be starting research again.[Non Sequitur: Pie charts]