The particle way

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The importance of being Asics

Ok, the correct title should be - the importance of having a good running shoes. I went to buy a new running shoes last Saturday. I was happy to find out my current pair (Nike Air Structure Triax) is not a bad running shoes. The shop owner let me try the newer version of the same shoes, I noticed the new one has a much better cushioning. Then he went on to let me try the Asics GT-2100. How could I describe it... they are even bouncier than the new Air Structure Triax. I didn't like the feeling at first. Somehow, it made my muscles around the knee feeling more tired. On the other hand, I do "feel" I will be able to run faster with the "bounce". Anyway, I bought the shoes.

The next day, I went to Foster City and ran for 5 miles with my new shoes. Well, the shoes are indeed pretty good. My legs felt relax after the run, and no pain at all the next day. My friend who was complaining about the aching toes and leg muscles also felt much much better with the new shoes (we bought the same shoes). The shoes passed the first test with flying color. Next time, I will try the shoes on the treadmill. Let see if the new shoes help to improve my speed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Running updates

Well, I ran on track mill today. Didn't do well. I tried to run at 4% gradient, 6.4 miles per hour. I was trying to re-train my legs to take bigger steps. But it was more difficult than I thought. I used a lot of energy to take big steps. My muscles around the end of the ribs starting to hurt at around 15 munites. I reduced the speed to 6 miles per hours the. But I was breathing so heavily and the pain was so unbearable that I have to stop at 20 minutes. Hmmm, wonder if I should keep trying to take big steps...


The San Francisco annual big run event, Bay-to-Breakers, took place last Sunday. A 7.43 miles run from San Francisco downtown to Sunset District. There were more than 65000 runners. Me and my friends were among them. And we ran to finish :)

I wasn't running very fast. There were too many people, and I kept taking stupid pictures. Well, we still managed to finish the course in 1 hour 20 minutes. That is, around 11 minutes mile. Not too bad.

Will definitely go again next year :)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Lego Piano

As I said, I am a sucker for Lego stuffs. This site is really impressive. This guy build so many impressive Lego sculptures. And the Lego piano is playable! Here is the sound of this piano. It sounds pretty funny. Kind of like... someone playing guitar while another person typing on a computer keyboard :)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Running updates

I ran yesterday. Again this time was for speed. That is, run as fast as I could for 2 miles, pause, then repeat for 2 more times. I ran around 16 minutes each (all 3 times). But I almost killed myself. I need to rest for more than 5 minutes before I could run again. So I knew I have reached my limit already.

One thing I was trying to do was to speedup for the last 200m. That worked pretty well, and it did cut my final lap time dramatically. Hmmm, if only I could speedup a little earlier without killing myself...

Saturday, May 07, 2005

OMF workshop - "Grasping God's Call"

IMHO, this is the best and the most encouraging workshop among the four I'd been to. This was supposedly to talk about how to grasp God's calling. Ended up they were sharing with us how they grasped God's calling and went to China to serve, and what they learnt from their experience. (They were in China for more than 8 years, mainly working for Evergreen).

I think as a Christian, I always use "God's calling" as an excuse for not to do certain things. For example, if I don't want to take up a post in church, I would tell myself I didn't hear God's calling for me, so I won't help. Pretty lame. And I bet many people also used the same excuse to not go for missionary. Dr. (medical doctor) David Leung and his wife, Vivian shared with us that they didn't get a call from God, but still ended up going to China. That is a scary fact for many Christians. He also reminds me something I already know: God didn't call us to stay neither!

Ok, back to his work. He told us one story. He said some guy he never meet before seems to know him well. He wonder why, so he asked this guy how he learnt about him. The guys say, "Oh, my co-workers always talk about you. You are THE doctor who is willing to touch the sick patients." [Apparently in China, doctor don't give patient much respect]. He said, don't assume people are not watching what we did. They are watching us in many ways (esp. in China).

So the best way to spread gospel is to love your families, love your neighbours and love your enemies. Let them see how we live our life, and they will be touched.

OMF workshop - "Befriending Your Mainland Chinese Neighbours"

This was a fun workshop. The speaker, Dr Doug Vavrosky, aka Pastor Lee, is an amazing speaker. Not only he knew how to speak Mandarin, he also learn to write Chinese characters! Really amazing.

He gave an in-depth look into Chinese culture and behaviours. For example, don't let them lose "face" in public (that is the most general and the most important rules for all Chinese, I suppose). What make them lose face? Well, for one, correct their mistake / idea / proposal in front of everyone - NOT GOOD! He also pointed out people from China are extremely relying on reason. Maybe because of the education system in China. They also strongly believe in self-effort. In general, they also think "love" is conditional (except for [close] relatives). Put it the other way, they don't believe there is un-conditional love. And they like to ask questions :) Which is a very good thing (if we could answer their question :P). Oh, for Chinese, a "yes" do not always mean "yes" :) The best way to befriending with them is through food / dinner (of course!)

OMF workshop - "Lessons From the Church in China"

"Lessons From the Church in China" was also pretty interesting. It gave me a very good history lesson on what happened to the Chinese Church since 1950. Basically since 1950, the Three-self churches (δΈ‰θ‡ͺζ•™ζœƒ) started. They aligned themselves with the communist government. Some people don't like that, and underground family churches began to appear. The Three-self churches were helping the government to oppress the family churches at first, but they found themselves also in trouble when the government began to tie the rope on their necks. The low point for churches in China was during the Culture Revolution, when no religious was allowed. Surprisingly, that was also the point the church saw the biggest growth. I think the more the oppressions, the stronger the Christian faith. After the death of Mao in 1976, the church began to resurface, and began to growth again. Of course, the important thing is, "what now"? They found out one interesting thing, "The less you say, the more you can do". So basically, the Chinese government is basically covering one eye. They give you a lot of freedom, as long as you don't "make-it-big" or "shout-it-loud". Also, they also found China is too big. No one organization could cover the whole China. All organizations need to work in a coordinately manner... or at least not get into each other's way. Oh, also need to help the Chinese church to be self-reliance. i.e. Don't just give them fishes, teach them how to fish!

OMF Conference

Last week I went to the OMF Conference - Serving Christ in the Chinese Century. The speakers were Jamie Taylor IV (Great-great son of J. Hudson Taylor)and Dr. Matthew Koh (MSI). Jamie was awesome! He is funny and speaks prefect Mandarin! Amazing.

Ok, I learnt most from their workshops. I attended "Reaching China's National Minorities", "Lessons From the Church in China", "Befriending Your Mainland Chinese Neighbours" and "Grasping God's Call".

The "Reaching China's National Minorities" was presented by Peter Kim. He talked about what the Yao/Mien people. They have around 3 million people, living int the mountain (hence hard to reach), speaks 13 different dialects, and sadly, were among the poorest in China. What touched me most was the speaker. I was so surprise to find out he is Korean! He came to US to learn English at first, but was touch by God, and decided to go all the way to China to learn Mandarin and serve the Yao people. I really admire his passion.

I'll talk about the other workshops later.