Showing posts from October, 2007

Culture: 24 - season 7 trailer

There you go.

Hmm ... hacking into computers that control infrastructure?

Sounds a bit like Live Free or Die Hard?

Crashing planes into each other?

Sounds a bit like Die Hard 2?

Tony a bad guy?

Oh no, sounds like Mr. Phelps turning bad in Mission Impossible?

Travel: One stop travel page - my various photo travelogues

UPDATE: With the end of AOL Hometown and Geocities, many of the links below are broken or the pictures they call up are missing. It is my long-term goal to repair as many of the links as possible.

I enjoy travel!

Fully repaired links (if problems are found please send email to me at rrblog(at)
[in progress]
Glacier NP August 2005

Below are links to various travelogues with photos.
July 2008 - Mississippi and New Orleans
Midsummer 2008 in Stockholm
Oahu-Kauai, September 2007 - photos and travelogue
Oahu-Kauai, September 2007 - you tube video
Palm Springs, July 2007
Seeking the Scrolls, July 2007
San Francisco, June 2007
Mammoth, May 2007
Kansas, April 2007
Central California Coast - December 2006
Yosemite August 2006
Joshua Tree 2006
Big West Tournament 2006 - 6 posts
Yosemite trip 2005
Spring Break 2004: Switzerland and France
Minneapolis Photos September 2003
Gonna Go to Botswana (June/July 2003)
Backpacking class at Joshua Tree NP, Nov. 2002
Alaska adventure 2002
My 2001 Asia trip!
See the Re…

Life: Hung's 60th birthday party and Fan lab reunion

I went to UC Irvine for graduate school in the department of molecular biology and biochemistry and did my dissertation work in the laboratory of Hung Fan.

The other weekend, alumni of the lab came from around the world for a reunion and to celebrate his 60th birthday!

It was such a nice feeling to reconnect!

Life: Random thoughts this morning

Image source:

STS-120 has launched and is underway!

Meanwhile, back on the earth, in Southern California, wild fires rage on.

Image source:

If one believes in god, how does one pray in the face of such an enormous situation?

Lord, don't know what to pray right now. All I can ask is that you would work through the firefighters giving them strength and wisdom across the board from those on the ground to those who lead them. Thank you that such courageous people are a part of our communities. Lord, thank you for the compassionate impulses of those who are volunteering to help the evacuees and are opening up their homes and their resources to help people who have lost all their material possessions. Creator God, with a mere word you can still the winds and raise the humidity of the air so that these devestating fires can be diminished and I ask that you would do…

Sports: Topsy turvey College Football 2007

Wow. Can't believe all the top ranked teams are getting beat week after week.

Goes to show you that just because a team has a stable full of 4 and 5 star recruits, they aren't sure fire world beaters. A team is more than just the some of its parts. Also, a key injury here and there, you not only lose the talent at that spot, you lose the chemistry of a unit that had been playing together.

Stanford (2-4) beats #1 USC. Oregon State (4-3) beats #2 California. UCLA (4-2) beat both Stanford and Oregon State. UCLA lost to Utah (4-3) and Notre Dame (1-6). What next?

UCLA plays California this Saturday. As of Monday morning, on Yahoo! Sports NCAAF Odds it is off the board! I guess that means the number crunchers in Las Vegas don't want to risk the house money on a crazy game like that where who knows which QB will play and how they will play?

In any case, Go Bruins!

Devotional Thoughts: The Gospels as Screenplays?

What are the Gospels?

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.


But what are they?

They aren't biographies in the way we understand biographies.

Today, when we think of biographies we think of massive tomes like Doris Kearns Goodwin writing about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (768 pages!) or David McCullough's Truman (1120 pages!).

Grabbing one of my Bibles on my bookshelf:
Matthew, p. 554-572 (18 pages)
Mark, p 573-585 (12 pages)
Luke, p. 586-607 (21 pages)
John, p. 608-623 (15 pages).

If one were to read aloud the Gospel of Mark, how long would it take?

According to Gary Friesen about 90 minutes!

Would it be horrifying to think of the Gospels as movie screenplays?

Interestingly, one recent film maker opted to use the text of the Gospel of John as his script for a movie. The film ran 180 minutes.

The life of Jesus in all its detail would be far too much to write about. The Gospel of John acknowledges this in John 21:25: Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written…

Travel: Hawaii-Kauai, September 2007

My first You Tube video!


UPDATE: Here is a YouTube video that shows there is trouble in the paradise of Kauai.

Devotional Thoughts: The stories of our times

In youth group today, the idea was what's our story?

And is our story inter-voven with God's story?

Part of the way the message was given was through film. The latest one isn't yet posted on the group's film page but hopefully it will be soon.

Anyway, it got me started into a reflective mood and so in that mood sometimes I write.

Here is what I jotted down in my journal today:

Cars going too fast
Eating too much
Eating too little
We follow the folly of the famous
Diminished life
Images in movies
Sounds of music
To dull the pain?
Missing a cross on a hill
Redeeming life
To whom do we go?
To whom shall we go?
To the living water
The true bread?
Receive life.

Lord, you are on the move in this world. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Thy Kingdom come. Master, will I be a part of what you are doing in this world? Jesus, I want to be; help my unwillingness. Send others to spur me onward. Send me to spur others onward. Amen.

Sports: UCLA self-destructs against ND

What can you say?

The 14-point defeat was entirely accounted for by two turnovers that ND cashed in.

Key play call by the Bruin brain trust: 3rd and long deep in their own territory. They call for a pass and it got intercepted which eventually led to an ND TD for a 13-6 lead.

If they had called for a run, they would have punted on fourth down. ND would have had good field position but they weren't showing much offensive prowess against the UCLA defense.

Do you fault the walk-on freshman third string QB for throwing the INT or do you fault the OC and the head coach for making that play call deep in your side of the field?

UCLA gets one week off to absorb their second very bitter loss of the season and the second bitter loss at the hands of the Golden Domers in two years.

Devotional Thoughts: What makes church different?

Really, what makes church different?

We sing songs.

I suppose if one when to go to one of these arty coffee shops where people sing thoughtful songs they have written it might seem similar. Or how about karaoke? Isn't that fun singing?

We hear sermons.

I suppose people go to public lectures to hear people expound on some subject matter of importance or share their life experiences. I bet self-help book authors get big audiences at book tours.

We contemplate.

I suppose with the rise of yoga and new age meditation, people do something similar.

Really, what makes church different?

When we gather at together as a church (not necessarily a place but rather a community of people), we do the three things mentioned above. And it is supposed to be different.

Certainly, the content is different: Christians sing to, learn about and contemplate about Jesus.

And what does Jesus say is the most important thing?

Can't help but think about Jesus in his final thoughts he shared with his disciples…

Sports: Dodgers done and UCLA in the middle

The Dodgers were riding high mid-season then they had the slump from which they never fully recovered.

As they say winning helps cover up a lot of clubhouse infighting and it was so unseemly to see the team take to public sniping as the season came to a disappointing end.

There is blame to go all around. Some of acquisitions didn't work out, the veterans had injuries and underperformed and the kids showed promise but also made mistakes.

Its baseball. Wait 'till next year.

Meanwhile after seeing the BYU game at the Rose Bowl, I knew this team wasn't ready for prime time and they promptly got humiliated in Utah. They bounced back for wins against Washington and Oregon State.

Clearly, the class of the Pac10 are USC, Cal Bears, Oregon Ducks and Arizona State. UCLA might stake claim to being the #5 team in the Pac10. But soon enough, UCLA will have to play the aforementioned top tier. We shall see if UCLA can take any of them down.