Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jogging after lunch

One good habit I have is jogging after lunch, almost every weekday - hot or cold, sunny or cloudy, windy or drizzling. It is a good exercise and an escape from staled indoor air.

test rig
The place I work is an industrial site - test rigs, manufacturing plants, equipment storage areas. There is no natural beauty around, all concrete and steel, but there is a 1 mile loop "trail" on the backside of the industrial campus. The towering rigs and the grand crane under blue sky illustrate the mighty of masculine. Despite this environment, there are two persons at this site who jog outside after lunch regularly - Wade and me. Even though we don't jog together, and our jogging time is almost random between 12 - 1pm, we see each other several times a week on the trail. We will know the other person is offsite if we don't see each other at least once a week.

crane
The fast changing Texas weather provides plenty to see in the sky during my jog - rainbows after flash rains in summer, beautiful cloud formations on a windy day. Even when the sky is a monotone blue, there could be something interesting to see. One day I looked up the "pure" blue sky, I saw a "white bird" high in the sky - a silver plane under bright Texas Sun at noon time! I looked up again  - I saw 5 planes in the sky at the same time.

beautiful cloud
During my jogging, there is no distraction, my body is in motion, and my mind is free. I observe many things I would otherwise not pay attention to. One day I saw two technicians working on a Cell tower at the northern end of our campus. The other day I saw 2 to the power of 485 on a container and quickly compared it to google (10 to the power of 100).

cell tower
a huge number
There are wild life in this concrete and steel world. In late Spring and early Summer, I see and hear house finches under the roof of the chemical storage building. Rabbits live under the pipes in an unpaved area. I also have frequent encounters with plovers - bird with a white collar on its neck.

This 20 minute solo jogging after lunch, provide me fresh air, time to relax, and to observe.
It is a 20 minute bliss of solitude.








Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lucky Night

I attended a couple formal dinner parties to celebrate lunar new year for the first time. The second party night was a lucky night.

lion dancing

At the first dinner party a couple weeks ago, I went there solo as a VIP representing my non-profit organization at a sister organization's event. I sat at a table with a state representative, Dallas county GOP chair, a Congressman's outreach director, and two other non-profit organizations' representatives. There were Lion dancing, costume show, and many performances from various Asian Pacific cultures.

my table
Fashion show - Qipao


Last night Lily and I went to the 2nd dinner party together by my non-profit organization, in night gown and suits, siting at table 4 near the stage. We were a little bit late to arrive at the restaurant, most everyone was seated already. As an officer of the organization, I was pretty "outgoing", I introduced myself to everyone at the table, 3 other parties, a longtime volunteer and his date, a newly wed couple who have no relation to the organization but wanted to expand their connections, and a mixed race family of 4.

The stage design was beautiful, the program/performance was lively, and an online a game played during the dinner generated quite a bit excitement. The food was great. The conversations at the table were interesting. 


dancing

stage
Near the end of the dinner party, there was a raffle drawing. First the mixed race family won a prize, after couple rounds, the volunteer's number was called, and then our number was called. It caused quite a roar - Table 4 was the lucky table at the party!! We were rooting for the newly wed to win - but they had no luck. Lily gave our prize to the newly wed to celebrate their wedding and wish them a happy year of Rooster. In the end everyone at the table was very happy!

It was a lucky night and It was a memorable night! 




Sunday, February 12, 2017

How to get real news in Trump Era

According to a September 2016 Gallup poll "Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media "to report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media."  

I  rely on major mainstream news media - network news and national news paper such as USA Today, Like the super majority of the country I feel that these news organizations report partial, biased and thus inaccurate information. The biased and partial news report reaches new high since Trump was elected the president of Unite States.

In this highly partisan era, how can one get true news, a full picture of what happened?

1) Use logic to digest news  - don't be fooled by headlines, read the full stories, check the sources
2) If you don't have time to read the full news from any outlets, see both sides arguments at the same time at RealClearPolitics..com.

The following are a few examples of partial news, or repackge of  outdated news or outright smearing news, and they showed why 68% of voters don't trust major news outlets.

Biased report on recount effort by Jill Stein

Despite the fact that there was no report of irregularities, no protest from Clinton campaign about the election, news media tried hard to highlight the potential of a Jill Stein recount efforts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. When the Michigan and Pennsylvania's recounts were denied by courts for lack of standing and evidence, they cried foul. This actually is not the issue. The issue is that they did not report the outcome of Wisconsin recount results.

The news reports from mainstream media on recount efforts were not only biased, they were trivial news.

Hacking of Democratic National Committee emails

The hacking, which happened in July 2016,  revealed the true color of DNC and how DNC and news media collaborated to support Clinton. Then later in the year, it was reported that there was a potential Russian link. But the latter news died on the arrival - because the leak confirmed what people suspected of DNC and Clinton, and there was no evidence provided.

After Trump's win, the political establishment, including Obama, who promised to help Trump to succeed, repackaged the news, try to sell it as Russian influence on election process, without highlighting the only thing happened was DNC email hacking. The news are outdated and obsolete news

Temporary ban on immigration from selected countries

The Trump executive order was instantly branded by news media and most pundits as "Muslim Ban", which is not true for any unbiased person who read the executive order. The "Muslim Ban" was a lie created by Trump opponents.

After the temporary ban, there were many protests, and the network news reported only protests and opinion against it. What was the percentage of people protesting the temporary ban? How many people support the ban? According a poll by Rasmussen, 57% voter support the temporary ban on visitors from 7 countries. The full title of the ban is " EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES" Surprisingly all major news organizations did not report the Rasmussen poll findings in their headline news reports. I heard this poll finding by chance from a NPR report in the middle of half hour news report. Politco reported a poll they conducted - highlighting majority of Democrats wanted to block Trump, somewhere in the middle, it is stated "Across the board, Trump is finding strong support for nearly all of his policy prescriptions. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said they approve of Trump’s new immigration restrictions, which curtail the flow of people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Only 38 percent of voters oppose the order". CNN had a report on supporters of the temporary ban, but did not list it with news on protest of the ban, but buried in the middle with other news.

The news from major outlets are partial reports of the full picture, they are skewed news.

How to get real news in Trump Era

In this highly partisan era, how can one get true news, a full picture of what happened?

1) Use logic to digest news  - don't be fooled by headlines, read the full stories.
2) If you don't have time to read the full news from any outlets, see both sides arguments at the same time at RealClearPolitics..com.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

From Dawn to Dusk at Bosque del Apache

Bosque del Apache is a great place to see and be amazed by migrating sand-hill cranes and snow geese during winter time. The following are some pictures we took during our Thanksgiving trip to Palo Duro Canyon and the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge. 

Sandhill Cranes leave their roosting area - shallow water around sunrise
They chirp loudly before they fly out. They fly out in small groups - 2 ~3 to 7 ~10 cranes
this group of cranes was late to fly out
After some "deliberation" they finally decided to take off
they flew higher and higher 
then they made a turn to the northwest for day time meal

As you can see from the photo, the Sun was behind me 

Thousands of snow geese were in a nearby pound and they flew out half an hour later
snow geese flew in hundreds 




some snow geese and sand hill cranes did not fly far, they stayed near the refuge at corn fields
there are many other birds in the refuge
thousands of snow geese landed in this pound in late morning




sand hill cranes and snow geese would go back to the same roosting area for the night before sun set.