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Whoever you are, I wish you well.

One Week Trip With EJ in Sacramento

2019.08.26

The trip is with EJ from Aug.24th to Sep.1st.

Day 0

In burger

We got an in-n-out cheeseburger. It was good. Satisfied.

Day 1

We were near UC Davis (University of California at Davis).

We bought a bag of carrots.

“We will not eat the carrots.”

“What?”

“…”

“Snowman?”

“Not a snowman, but that was a good answer.”

“Decoration?”

“No decoration.”

“Used for praying for students to have good grade?”

“No sacrifice purpose.”

“Oh, feed it to rabbits?”

“Close.”

“Donkeys?”

“Closer.”

“Horse!”

“Yes!”

And here we were.

I like the horses. Their eyes were big. The way they look were gentle. They seemed to understand humans’ emotions. It reminded of the horses in the Anime ‘Silver Spoon’. The horse on the left let me touch the surface above the nose. I was trying to understand their emotions by staring at its eyes but did not make it to work.

Walk

We were trying to find a place to park.

“We are parking here, but I don’t pay 10 dollars.”

“Yeah, that’s about 4 in-n-out cheeseburgers!”

“So you are already using In-N-Out burgers as a standard for price comparisons.”

“…”

“Let’s have a 2 min walk.”

We got off the car.

The shadow of the leaves kept ticking my face. And the weather was damn hot, 39.4 Celsius or 103 Fahrenheit. But it felt great to me since I was in cold place for a long time. The power and warmth of the sun spreading on my skin felt cozy and comfortable.

We then walked a little bit to a lake nearby.

Look at the ‘light’ shadows on the leaves. That’s why I took this photo above.

We went home after 2 minutes.

Day 2

Setup this site

I said I was going to write a blog post about these days and I spent some time in the morning setting up this website. The details of the setup is put here.

EJ showed me around the neighborhood. We passed by some shops and had a Matcha green tea latte in Mishkas, we sat there and read for some time. I am bad at geology, I was trying to figure out where the states are, where we were, with the aid of google map. He had a book which was a comprehensive map about California and places to visit in California. I took a glance of it and found it very useful for a tourist, but not yet for me.

Later we went inside UC Davis. We spent some time doing our own business at the table outside the Memorial Union. EJ was reading a book about Robbie Robertson of ‘The Band’ and told me some background stories of ‘The Band’ as I didn’t know any.

Squirrels

The squirrels there seemed to be more comfortable with humans than in Waterloo. I didn’t touch them. It didn’t run away as I stood still and looked at it. EJ told me that the squirrels in Westmount Park in Montreal is even more trusting, they can sit on your legs or eat out at your hands. I would like to pay there a visit after hearing that.

Karaoke

EJ asked me what was my favorite song. As I was thinking about it and there was no immediate answer in my head, he started to play his favorite songs, ‘Theme from a summer place’ by Percy Faith, ‘Runaway’ by Del Shannon, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ by the Beatles. We sang together. I tried to guess where the next note would be and to catch up. After having some fun singing karaoke with audio coming from YouTube on a laptop, he let me sing wearing “professional” headphones alongside his radio studio equipments.

Day 3

Breakfast

EJ cooked me steamed spinach with eggs on it, barbeque grilled steak, Sourdough toast, grilled potato and mushroom. So sad that I forgot to take a photo of it.

Oranges

The tree in the front of the house dropped three oranges these two days. We thought they were ready to be picked so we shook the branches of the tree and then realized they were not ready yet. The three oranges that were dropped were the chosen ones.

Commenting functionality in this site

You can now comment in this blog site under every post and under about page.

Zoom with Chris

Recently I was writing resume and let my friend Chris have a look. He told me that my “resume” was more like a Curriculum Vitae other than a resume that targets a specific job. Before reaching how to optimize the chance of me getting the job, he gave me a presentation on zoom of what is a common tech company business model, and some common knowledge I should know after the first job, such as the levels of seniority in a company and so on. The rest will be for tomorrow.

We planned to go to the gold country. As EJ tried to clean up the leaves tangled with the wiper of the “titanian” (the nickname EJ gave to his car), he forgot to pick up the sandal before closing the car door. He didn’t realize that he lost his sandal until much later. When we arrived at the gold country, he had no choice but letting the ground massage one of his feet. In the end, the good news was he bought a $12 1-hour slipper there, and when we went back his BirkenStock sandal was where he left it. We realized the sandal was run over by some car. Walk in gold country These are the machines in the past to process gold I believe. For some reason the jpegs displayed horizontally in firefox. EJ’s driving ability He had demonstrated his amazing driving skills to me countless times already. This time he parked the “titanian” (nickname for the car) on a slope, within a small distance and two forward-backward rounds, he did a parallel parking. Anyways, it seemed very difficult to me. Day 4 Yijinjing 易筋经 I always wanted to practice Yijinjing to improve my stamina, it’s a three-hour video my mom gave me. I remembered I once managed to do half of it when I got the video perhaps one year ago. Then I hardly practiced any. Almost every morning, when I woke up, I felt my breath were short and stressed. That’s why I’ve always want to do it, but somehow didn’t. Anyways, this morning I managed to do 15 min out of it😂. EJ stood opposite to me and copied whatever I did. He managed to do 5 min, he said he would join me later next time when there was more moving parts than holding-still parts. Picking figs There is a fig tree near the house. We would like to pick every figs on the tree before they dropped to the ground. EJ said his wife wanted to make jam out of them. Figs can be snipped at the top. And if they are soft, they are ready to be picked. I was surprised by how many figs a single fig tree could give. (Picture above is only a portion of it.) What I benefited from these days of bloging. 1. When I looked back at what I wrote, I would feel I did a lot things in those days. 2. I can refer to, search for what I did, when my memory become vague. 3. I would be a bit more observant. State Capital Tour We went to the state capital of California this afternoon and got a free guided tour service. I learned some history about this building and California. There were a lot of portraits of governors of California in different period of time there. Among all the portraits, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most special one. His portrait is the biggest, has no frame, no name tag on the frame since no frame. This is the place where the voting happens. I heard that entire voting process would be recorded and viewed online and visitors should be able to watch the process through the second floor. An interesting thing mentioned by the guide when she showed us a floor delicately composed of stones of different colors, one piece was not the right color (it drives perfectionists crazy) because that was the signature of the artist who put the pieces to the ground. On the right is an outstanding tree that is very different from the other palm trees. Coconuts fish cafe We ordered two fish tacos there. The fish was good. I like the theme of the restaurant, the tables were shaped as surf boards. At the time we just started to have the tacos, I asked EJ when did he met his wife. The answer I got was he met his wife 47 years ago and married 40 years ago. 😮! Zoom with Chris Firstly, Chris let me review what we went through yesterday. Secondly, he told me about viewing the same job application problem in three different ways. • a Venn diagram: the intersection area of jobs that I want and jobs I have skills for is the area I need to aim for • a supply demand graph: volume of supply goes up if salary is high, and when salary is high, demand is low • a bipartite graph: labor party and employers party, they have links connected with direction Thirdly, he explained to me the hiring process in a mathematical way. An analogy he gave is that departments are like different sections in the brain, they are separated by their functions. Fourth, he went to the hiring process from the company’s point of view. A big company would have two resume screening. Where I can improve the chance of getting a job is to present in resume to the human resources with what they are interested in seeing at the top with a summary of my profile and skills. Lastly, we stopped at how we could optimize the summary part and skills part in different ways including content, language, structure, presentation. Lady Bird We watched half of the movie “Lady Bird”. The reason EJ kept recommending this movie to me was that the story took place in Sacramento. Day 5 Fish and chips at Sausalito Our first stop was Sausalito Fish & Chips (since 1966). We ordered a fish & chips with an extra fish. Later we added two extra fish. Not ready for Muir Redwood We were on the way to the Muir Redwood, but it needed reservation for both parking and visiting. We drove down to get a card where the website to do the reservation was on it, then we drove up the hills the get the signal to try to book the reservation on-line. But the total price was$38, which is 13 cheeseburgers, so we ended up not going to the redwoods. However, We would like to go next time if we could do the reservation in advance and arrive early. In this case we can spend the entire day in the redwoods until the traffic becomes not so busy then we come back.

Even though we did not go to see the big trees we did plan to see, we did have fun when we were driving on the sloped roads where we could feel the wind blowing from outside and be with the trees. The air there was really really fresh.

“What are some tips you would give for driving on a sloped and twisted road ?”

“Accelerate when you turn, slow down when you are about to turn.”

“Gotcha. Do they teach these knowledge in a driving school ?”

“No, I don’t think so. They would only teach you the rules.”

Later I came across with another question.

“What are the things you think you are professional in ? Like driving, house-sitting …”

“I agree. Once a car racer commented in my car that I am professional. In terms of house-sitting, my wife is much better than me. But I would say I am responsible which contributes to my professionalism in house-sitting.” (I didn’t remember the exact words EJ said)

Right after getting out of the woods, we headed to the Stinson beach.

“We did have a good excursion today, even though we did not see the redwoods.”

“What does ‘excursion’ mean ?”

“It means exploration. E-X-C-U-R-S-I-O-N.”

“Thanks. New word learned today.”

Trace back lost key

In Stinson beach, EJ couldn’t fine his key to the house and we looked around in the car but couldn’t find it.

There were a few number of options the key might be:

• at the house (hopefully)
• at the bench or the fish & chips place at the harbor
• at Stinson beach

Then we drove back to the beach, to the fish & chips, but it was not at those places.

When we were at harbor, I went to the bench we sat to look for the key.

The moment I came back to the car, I noticed EJ had already started the picnic.

The picnic was at the back of the car. The car was parked at the front of the fish & chips.

After the brief lovely funny picnic at the back of the car, we used 2 hours to head back to home. And the traffic was so busy on road 101.

Finally we arrived home at 7 pm.

Ironically, we were basically searching the key for the last half of the journey.

And we found the key on the door.

After the dinner we watched the movie from where we left of yesterday at 42 minutes.

My comments to the movie were following:

• it reflected a very true story that would happen between a daughter and a mother. It made the movie feel genuine.
• after staying in Sacramento for 5 days, I could sort of relate to the feeling the characters feel in the movie.

Day 6

Hot conversations

The story started here. One time I took a glimpse at EJ’s screen. “There were so many tabs in the browser.” I said my immediate thought out aloud.

Long story short, I explained him about how to manage bookmarks and try to convince him to use a email browsing application instead of go to their individual websites to check emails.

I did explain what was mail server and http server when convincing. But I could do a better job next time using better analogy and be more patient.

Taste of non-existence

I was trying to list out what I should do in the rest of 2019 and 2020. After I wrote the ‘2019’ and ‘2020’ on my notability, I wanted to keep writing out the numbers. Then I did ‘2021’, ‘2022’, …, ‘2029’. Then I realized I would be 32 by then, which shocked me a little.

I kept going, ‘2030’, … , ‘2039’ (42), …, ‘2049’ (52), …, ‘2059’ (62), ‘2069’ (72).

“Hey I would be at your age in 2069” “I wouldn’t be around then.”

‘2070’, … , ‘2089’ (82). And I realized it is possible that I might not exist anymore after that point.

I wrote the number up to ‘2097’.

I was overwhelmed, later I did some meditation. The meditation went well.

“I will be leaving in 24 hours.” said me.

“I have heard that 3 times.”

“What ?”

“You mean ‘I missed you already.’ ?”

“Yes, now 4th time.”

“When did I say that ?”

“In the last trip, in the last last trip”

Later we found out our first met was in Sep 2016.

“You are a good roommate”

“You are a good roommate” said EJ.

“Why ?”

“Because you had such a great personality, … (I forgot). And you washed the dishes.”

“Okay. (Because you cooked.)”

Day 7

Barbeque

We had a barbeque using a grill box.

There was also a big mushroom not in the picture which was really juicy.

Book finding

He couldn’t find something again. The book he was reading these few days.

He eventually found the book at back of a car.

I gave him two suggestions to prevent this from happening:

• A checklist notebook. Mentally checking a checklist for items before leaving the car.
• Record an audio for where are the things before leaving the car.

EJ said he would like the checklist one better because it was more feasible and recording was too much trouble.

I said the purpose of recording was to let someone avoid the trouble of recording by making sure he had everything in mind.

EJ eventually took a modified version, which is talking to himself where are the things.

Car washing

We went to a place where provided necessary devices to wash a car.

I put on slippers to prevent my shoes getting wet. We used high pressure rinse and foam producing brush.

It was fun.

Out burger

We had in-n-out burger just as I came. This time double double, not as satisfied as the first time.

Conclusion

Blog challenge

I started the blog on the second day and I made a commitment to blog for one week.

And I did it. It was fun. It is a long article.

Tell me what you think. I would like to hear about it.