Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

My Photo

A round peg in a world of square holes...

Friday, September 02, 2005


Howdy, folks!

A number of you got worried and sent emails, AIM/ICQ/iChat messages, and left messages on my answering machine as well. My housemate tops the cake: when I didn't come home on Wednesday Aug 31, he actually drove 2+ hours up north and spent the entire night cruising the streets looking for me. Dude! You shouldn't have! I'm touched. Thanks, guys. I'm all right. I was just too tired to continue at 11 PM. That and I remembered that the Golden Gate Bridge is closed to pedestrians and cyclists after 9 PM. So I decided to stay for the night in the North Bay and continue my journey the next morning.

I have lots of pictures, but I am waiting for some software to be delivered so that I can download some of the GPS data.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Two pictures

First, here is the picture Mr. E. requested a long time ago: my kickass bicycle lock and chain I use for securing my bicycle on campus:

The lock is hardened throughout, with an armored, drill-resistant, 6-pin tumbler. The shackle is boron steel alloy. The chain links are hexagonal (I think), rendering them more difficult to cut. That is irrelevant, however, as the chain links are made from titanium-reinforced, boron steel. Not even a hydraulic cutter can cut this chain--you will need a plasma torch to do the job. The entire unit is also resistant to freezing attacks. The AA batteries are there to give a sense of scale. Weight? Lets just say that the lock and chain weigh more than my bike and leave it at that, shall we?

Next pic:

With the exception of the Cage Rocket (silver container with black flip-top) containing more Power Gu, Espresso Shot candy and rehydration salts, everything on the table goes into the black Camelbak H.A.W.G. resting on the chair.

Trail mix and energy bars need no introduction. Replacing alkaline batteries with lithium equivalents in the front light (and other electrical devices) result in a 33% weight reduction. Gerber Tracer Headlight (with a fresh battery).

Emergency thermal blanket. Self-heating pad for emergencies. Emergency whistle. Old Swiss Army knife from 1988 scouting days--in case I need to defend myself from a vicious rabbit. (If I get eaten by a mountain lion, then I will just blame it on President Bush. Yes, it's always his fault. Wah! Waah! Waaah!) Digital watch. Garmin Forerunner 201 GPS unit. A pack of tissue in case I need to bomb Korea (i.e. take a crap).

Topeak Alien multi-tool. Presta-to-Schrader valve adaptor. Tire levers (purchased from Bridgestone, Far East Shopping Center, 1990 January). Patch kit. Spare tube. Relatively lightweight bicycle lock and security cable (2.5 lbs).

Digital camera. Lightweight tripod.

Lightweight windbreaker. Heavy fleece jersey.

Yes, I am off somewhere (in a few hours, actually).
Stay tuned for pictures sometime this week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Infinite moments

On the penultimate day of August, it seems to apt to re-read this poem and reminisce. It was good while it lasted, hm?

To Someone (Not to Play)

Not to play,
not to waste time,
you come to meet me.
—Painting no paintings, reading no books, doing no work—
and two days, three days,
we laugh, frolic, play, and make love,
shrink time mercilessly,
exhaust several days in an instant.

Ah, but
it’s not to play,
not to waste time.
For us, brimming over, there’s no other life.
This is life.
This is power.
May be it seems too wasteful, too excessive,
August’s wealth of nature:
grasses bloom and decay in the heart of the mountains,
the voice of sunlight springs forth,
flocks of clouds move endlessly,
overabundant thunder,
rain and water,
green, red, blue, yellow,
forces that blow forth in the world,
how can we say these are wasted?
You dance for me.
I sing for you.

Moment by moment, we tread life fully.
I, who one instant casts aside a book,
or another opens it,
am one and the same.
Don’t associate me with
vain diligence
or vain indolence.
When your loving heart bursts
you come to meet me,
abandon all, transcend all,
trample all,

[1913], Takamura Kotaro (1883-1956)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Yearning, destiny & fulfillment

Cathy by the sea, Hanoi

She sits gazing,
gazing across oceans,
to mother on shining shores.

May 23, 2005