This Friday, I went to my dad's farmland with him in the morning and harvested lots of vegetables. Then we had breakfast at the usual place, followed by a haircut. Then for rest of the morning, I switched back to working on my dominoes paper, having finished the rectangles paper yesterday. We then went to Hualien City for doctor's appointment, lunch (at the usual restaurant), and picking up clothes that I bought last week. In the afternoon, I went to massage for one last time.
[Non Sequitur: Light & shadow]
|Rectangles Paper Finished||0 comments|
This Thursday, I woke up on my own at 5 again. As usual, I immediately started working. I did not even have to go out to buy breakfast since dad made breakfast today. I worked all throughout the morning. I worked some in the afternoon, finally finishing revising the rectangles paper a few minutes before dinner. I sent it to Igor and he resubmitted it to the journal.
Today mom gave sister a bath. She now looks cuter than ever. Very pink and fluffy. I also tried to switch over to my new laptop named set. Indeed, I finished editing my paper over here, sent it to Igor from here, and am writing this diary entry from here.
[Non Sequitur: All the water on Europa]
|Brilliant Thoughts During Massage||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I got woken up at 5 by my dad using the bathroom. I thus got up immediately and started working. Today I tried to finish the final draft of the rectangles paper, but I have a little part I discovered need some work—about things that I do not quite understand. Therefore I emailed a friend, and I hope to get a response from her tomorrow so I can finalize this.
In the afternoon, I went to get a massage, as usual, and came up with a new proof of my rectangular tileability result while there. Maybe I should get more massages, even when I come back to the states. I should write a grant to fund this endeavour, justifying it as increasing research output. Afterwards, I went directly to Hualien City (three days in a row now), where I had dinner and did some shopping at the stationery store.
[Non Sequitur: Ridiculous zoo signs]
|Papers in the Pipeline||0 comments|
This Tuesday, I woke up at 5 again, despite going to sleep late last night around 10. I worked on my domino paper (joint with Igor—I sent him my draft a few weeks ago, he sent it back to me yesterday for another pass) in the morning. Then Igor sent me my rectangles paper (also joint with Igor), which I need to do a final pass before sending it back to the journal editor. I am experiencing the so-called pipeline. We have a paper that is probably near its acceptance for publication and one that we are preparing to submit. I also finished the first draft of a paper joint with three other peers (and is thus currently out of my hands), and am working on a fourth paper (should be single author) hopefully getting it done by next month. Finally, I have enough material to write another paper, and obviously I am working on research that will hopefully turn into more papers before my graduation. This is very invigorating.
In the afternoon, I went to pick dad up and go to Hualien City together. I went to the dentist while he went to his doctor, exactly like last Thursday. However, we didn't go shopping afterwards—we simply went to buy dinner and came back. After dinner, I continued working on my papers.
[Non Sequitur: Wooden light bulb]
This Monday, I slept from 8 to 5 again—this is getting to a steady state, yay! I did work in the morning as usual. I thought about math while in my parents' massage chair. I thought about math while in my bed hugging my sister. I thought about math while wandering about the house. Or shall I say, I wondered about the house? I talked to Caleb for about two hours today—we haven't talked for a few days. Then in the afternoon, I went to my massage, followed by picking up my dad to go to Hualien City for doctor appointments and dinner.
[Non Sequitur: Face on strainer art]
This Sunday, I woke up after 5 again! Today is my half-way point at home. Indeed, I got home last Saturday, and was at home for a full week. After today, I will be home from Monday until Sunday, also for a full week. I will leave on Monday for Hsinchu to stay with astro and meet up with middle school friends—something I try to do each year I am back. In any case, I did some math today, as usual.
I also took a little break and started working on my new laptop. I bought a Lenovo T420s. It feels just as light as my X201s (which is impossible), and look just as big as my T410. I am temporarily calling it set. I installed Fedora 17 on it today, and the installer automagically resized the Windows partition (NTFS, even) that came with the computer, installed itself in the freed-up space, and set-up GRUB for dual-booting. What has the age come to? It used to be super difficult to resize partitions, much less NTFS (used to be hard even reading NTFS, not to mention writing, or gasp resizing). As for dual-booting, that used to be quite tricky to set-up as well. Now it is automagic.
[Non Sequitur: Hanging rock installation art]
This Saturday, I woke up after 5 AM! This is surprising given that I've been waking up between 2 and 5, even when I sleep as late as 9—but last night I slept at 8. In any case, I got up and did work in the morning, as usual. I finalized the first draft of the tetrahedron section of the geodesic paper I wrote earlier this week, and sent it to the group for review.
I had quite a scare when Igor sent me an email sketching a very short proof of one of my new results that I sent him a few weeks ago. He cited a paper (after I opened it, I was relieved since I know this paper—thus likely his reasoning is incomplete) and outlined a few tricks (that we have used in the past) to complete the proof, with a little caveat that he said I probably need to work out. After thinking a bit, I realized that it is (virtually) impossible to solve that caveat, since, if we do that, we would have proved a statement stronger than P=NP. In any case, I think I convinced him that this is not a suitable line of attack—don't throw away my 6-page proof just yet!! However, I am very glad that he is reading my paper and thinking about it more without just taking everything for granted—even if it had taken quite a few weeks.
[Non Sequitur: Life-support machines keep each other alive]
This Friday, I woke up at 4, got up and did more than 5 hours of work in the morning!! I took a break in the middle and ate some bread. When I was done, I suddenly realized I was extremely hungry—it felt as if all my strength suddenly left me. Maybe I was running on adrenaline. =P In any case, I had lunch, and then went to the University Bookstore, which I go every year. I bought about $150-worth of stuff there. Then I went to therapy, during which I came up proof of a theorem I was going to write up tomorrow. I think both the old and the new has its merits, which makes it harder for me to decide what to do. Afterwards, I drove to Hualien City. My mom wanted some medicine, so I took this chance to buy some more stuff, browse the stationery store, and have dinner.
[Non Sequitur: World's tallest LEGO tower]
This Thursday, I woke up at 4 and got up to work, as usual. At around 7, I felt I have done enough to warrant resting, and if I "waste" the rest of the day, I will feel okay about it. I had breakfast, and then did some more work nevertheless. Then I talked to Caleb for 1.5 hours (again) before lunch. In the afternoon, dad and I went to Hualien City again to see multiple doctors again (me my dentist, and he a Chinese doctor). Then we went to Adidas and bought three pairs of sports pants, La New to buy a new pair of dress shoes, socks, and a shirt. Then we had dinner at Far East 21, where I bought two belts, two khakis shorts, a short-sleeved buttoned shirt, and twelve pairs of socks. I am essentially done with my annual apparel shopping. All I need to do is pick them up next week.
[Non Sequitur: Hash building]
|Hualien City||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I woke up at 2 AM after sleeping at 8 PM sharp (I was falling asleep at 6 and stayed awake forcibly until 8). I figured this is not enough, plus giving in will only perpetuate my jet lag, so I went back to sleep. I woke up again at 5 AM—perfect. I got up and did 1.5 hours of work. I wrote a preliminary draft of the tetrahedron section of our collaborative paper from the MRC. I was thinking about what to write and how to write it during physical therapy yesterday. After I was done writing, I went to have breakfast. Then I continued to revise what I wrote for three more hours. At 10 AM, I felt that I have done enough work already, so I called Caleb and talked for an hour or so before lunch. My parents were both out today, so I ate some bamboo-leaf dumplings in celebration of the dragon festival. In the afternoon, I went to physical therapy (again) and thought about what to do write tomorrow morning in terms of math. Then I went with dad to Hualien City to see doctors (he his and I mine). We had dinner at our usual restaurant, and then came back straight afterwards. We will do errands some other day.
[Non Sequitur: Hold on tight shelf]
|Manipulative Massage||0 comments|
This Tuesday, I woke up at 3 and started working. I wrote a proof of the undecidability of rectangular tileability. Then I went to buy breakfast for my parents and myself. In the morning, I continued working, but took a break and talked to Caleb for 1.5 hours (haven't talked since leaving the US) before lunch. In the afternoon, I went to the physical therapist that I go see every time I'm back. He looked at my whole body, and told me which parts need work and such. I will plan to see him five more times before I leave.
[Non Sequitur: 1-BIT Camera]
This Monday, I woke up at 4 something, after sleeping 7 hours or so. I thought my jet lag has been adjusting quite nicely. Little did I know, I would feel very sleepy in the late afternoon. I kept awake, but it was very difficult—relying on listening to messages, watching TV, moving about, and switching tasks rapidly to keep the excitement up. As for work, I wrote up some stuff for the MRC paper we've been working on—I am quite excited to be collaborating with these different people. I sent it to the list and got positive feedback. I also took care of quite a few errands for dad, many involving our house in Seattle that I am taking over in terms of managing. I'm gaining more responsibilities as days go by. 'tis the way of life.
[Non Sequitur: Who needs a bike when your SUV has a built-in exercise machine?]
|Productive Day||0 comments|
This Sunday, I woke up at 2 something after sleeping for about 7 hours. I decided to stay in bed and listen to a message that I missed from ACF. This way I am not horribly bored lying there, but I won't get up too early either! I got up at 3 something and started working. Igor sent me an email while I was sleeping, and so I started thinking about it. After dad got up, we went to have breakfast at the usual place, which has moved to a new location (slightly closer than before). In the morning, I continued working and solved both Igor's problem and another problem I've been thinking about since MRC. In the afternoon while my parents are getting massages, I continued working and wrote up one of the solutions. Since yesterday, I killed 2 out of 3 mosquitoes that bit me, and solved 3 (apparently easy) open math problems. This is nice, being productive after a change of scenery, eh? It's almost 9 PM already and I haven't needed to take a nap yet. I am getting tired, having been up for more than 18 hours now.
[Non Sequitur: Why meteorologists shouldn't wear green clothing]
This Saturday, I woke at 5 and stayed in bed until 6. Then I went out for a stroll. I walked to the train station (which required going up and down stairs) to get the lay of the land. Once there, it was easier to locate a way to get there without taking stairs—which required going a bit farther to take the elevator. Satisfied, I walked back to the hotel, buying breakfast on the way. I then took a shower, ate, and watched a bit of Downton Abbey to pass the time. That television show is most excellent—it's one that I actually care to watch with my full attention (as opposed to putting things in the background as I have become accustomed to do), since not only is the dialogue interesting and the story compelling, the visuals are also stunning—like an Elizabethan movie. What's with our fascination with British culture anyway? Then packed and walked over to the train station (a easy 10-min walk), bought a lunch box (which I scouted out as well this morning), and went to wait for the train. After a 3-hour ride, I got off at the station near my parents' house. My dad came to pick me up, and after a few minutes, I was home! I left my apartment in LA at 13:30 PDT on Thursday, and got home 13:30 on Saturday, this means door-to-door time was precisely 33 hours, with a 9-hour stay at a hotel, 18 hours of actual spatial travel, and 6 hours of waiting between things.
Once I got home, I saw an email from my MRC polyhedral geodesics group. I thought the inquiry is easily resolvable, so I sat down and spent the first hour at home working on this. I figured it out and sent a reply email. I am losing ground to argue with Mari that I am not a workaholic, eh?
In the afternoon I got really tired, having only slept 4 hours at the hotel last night and 6 hours total in the last 39 hours, I dozed off a little in my bed for two hours—though I tried staying awake by keeping my eyes open as much as I can and also thinking about mathematics. Then I took a shower, ate dinner, watched a bit of TV, and then now I am going to sleep.
[Non Sequitur: Bond will die another day]
|Going to Hotel Solo||0 comments|
This Friday, I landed in Taiwan at 21:41, after 13:06:14 of flying (departed 17:35 PDT). This is 46 minutes longer than last year—I wonder why. (We still landed before the scheduled arrival time.) As usual, I tried to stay awake as late as I can to fight jet-lag by watching many movies. I watched John Carter, This Means War, Chronicle, and The Vow. Chronicle was rated highest on IMDb, but I thought it was entirely boring. I really enjoyed The Vow, quite liked This Means War, and thought John Carter was okay. This is more evidence that I like romance. In fact, today I skipped the other action movies and focused on romance, since I realized I always watch action movies on the terrible screen on these flights and don't enjoy it much (if at all). While being bored by Chronicle, I worked on my laptop a bit simultaneously. I organized some stuff, and recorded some of my thoughts for what needs to be done academically in the coming weeks.
EVA is getting nicer and nicer. I had a plug to charge my laptop, and after going through immigration, my luggage was already ready, courtesy of flying Elite. It was pretty obvious that they were delaying the other bags from coming out and having ours first. I got onto a car that my dad had ordered and it took me to the YMCA hotel that we usually stay at. My dad fell sick last-minute so he didn't come to pick me up. Everything went smoothly, and we'll probably do this from now on. Every year he comes to pick me up and show me how to go about it if he doesn't come. Now I guess we put this to the test. I got to the hotel around 23:30. By the time I slept, I had been going on roughly 2 hours sleep out of a 27-hour period. Hopefully I sleep lots and adjust to this time zone well.
[Non Sequitur: The world's quietest place is a chamber at Orfield Laboratories]
|Farewell LA||0 comments|
This Thursday, I got up and started packing. I usually put a big box in my luggage since I bring very little home and buy lots of stuff in Taiwan. However, I am bringing so little that I put two boxes in today. I was all done packing, then I thought, maybe I should retire one of my laptops and bring it back to Taiwan. So now I have to take out one of the boxes and re-pack everything again.
I am retiring my Thinkpad X20, purchased in 2001. After serving as my primary laptop, it got relegated to webserver duty even until a few years ago (when I switched to hosting my website at ugcs). Currently it is my only spare Thinkpad that is not being used regularly that is in the States (I have 7, 5 are being used regularly, 1 is in Taiwan). I figured I can do away with this one since I am buying a new one this summer. It is sad to see it go, but I might be moving next year so I should start transporting unneeded laptops back to Taiwan.
I finished packing, turned off my primary laptop, and then left at 13:30 to walk over to the Flyaway stop. It is so convenient, and it is very nice to not have to ask anyone for rides (though I do offer people rides from time to time, and accept them occasionally). I got to the airport at 14:30, checked in at the "Premium Laurel class" counter, courtesy of my Silver Card status. I got through security and got to my gate at 3 PM, and then walked over to the International Lounge. This might be my last time here for a while, since I haven't been flying enough to keep my Silver Card, which is expiring in a few months. I'm writing this post in the lounge using the free wifi, eating cantaloupe, just like last year. My next post will be in Taiwan time (+0800).
[Non Sequitur: Humongous on/off switch building mural]
This Wednesday, I did some work, and then went to one last tutoring before leaving for Taiwan tomorrow. Afterwards, I had lunch at Mitsuwa near my client's home (as I usually like to do), and then came home. I did laundry and started post-pre-packing: still nothing packed, but I fixated the list I have from pre-packing, and make sure I have everything ready. What's left is the actual act of packing (as in geometric packing) to optimize and save space—everything I need is already in a pile. Then I went to CPK for dinner to use the coupons I got from the fourth-year dinner. I got 20%-off, so I tipped generously. Then I went to the math department to do some more work, run errands, and such. I eventually left around 10 PM, less than 20 hours before I have to leave. I will pack tomorrow morning—it should be fairly easy.
[Non Sequitur: Chicken chair]
|Long Meeting with Igor||0 comments|
This Tuesday, I did more work, and then had lunch with Athipaat at Sandbags. I bought a Google Offers offer that allowed us to eat at half-price. It was definitely very worth it being 50%-off. I'm not sure if it would have been as good if we had to pay full price. In the afternoon, I went to meet with Igor one more time before I leave town. We talked a whole lot about my future, focusing on postdocs, but also in terms of what I should be doing next quarter, during postdoc, and years to come. We talked for 2.5 hours!! Then I got some dinner at school (since I was super hungry) and came home to eat.
[Non Sequitur: Inflatable air bonsai]
This Monday, I spent a lot of time packing for my trip to Taiwan. I also jogged to school, took care of some errands, bought lunch, and walked back. I did some work, mostly stuff from the MRC. I will be meeting with Igor tomorrow, but I don't have much to present.
In the evening, I played some guitar. I used to avoid bar chords as much as I can—transposing and playing cheat open chords. Recently I started barring more, and now I am getting callous not just on my finger tips, but also on the right side of index finger. Yay, level up!
Also, yesterday at breaking of bread, (almost?) every single hymn picked was prime material for harmonizing—either ones I've practised, or ones that are very easy to sight-read: 69, 75, 99, 121, and 225. I sang tenor part for the entire breaking of bread! I don't think this has happened before.
[Non Sequitur: Drunk grandparents tow child in toy car]
|Dr. Wilson||0 comments|
This Sunday, I woke up early and decided to go to church extra early since I can (I often have to drive kids, but this week I am going alone). Today I translated breaking of bread, played music for the kids, did treasury, and then had a planning meeting for Sunday school. Busy busy. Afterwards, I said bye to a few people, and then left. I talked to Caleb on my way to buy some groceries, and also on the way home. I rested a little, and then headed out again to attend my advisor Igor's first UCLA student Stedman's graduation party in Mailbu. On the drive there, I talked to Caleb even more. It was nice to catch-up with him. During the evening, most of the math people gathered together to chit-chat, including lots of nerdy talk and puns. In the evening, I came home and finished watching The Shawshank Redemption—it was a good movie, but I was not as impressed as Steph thought I would have been.
[Non Sequitur: Urban plant tags]