Dear Js,

I went to China for work for a few days. Mama said j fell asleep whimpering: “I love you daddy, daddy so far away, up in the clouds, in the sky daddy. I wish I could make you come back as soon as I want, pick you up waiting at the airport when I wake up.” Broke my heart. I don’t want to leave again.

When I was back home they shared some stories about my dad. His first business was to sell 3rd brake lights in Malaysia. But business was slow because the regulation to enforce 3rd brake lights was delayed. His first camera was a Yashica. He was always into new tech. He took many pictures. At the church service my brother said he felt a weight in the corner of his eye. He said “Dad is here.” One night when relatives were over visiting they tried to turn on the AC. The remote worked for my uncle that he likes, but not the one that he didn’t like. When on the plane, my dad’s only sister stared at a boy sleeping next to her. She couldn’t stop staring because he looked just like my dad when he was younger.

I scattered dad’s ashes at a place called Tanjung Harapan. We rented a boat and took it out to sea. I sent them off the side of the boat. The wind blew some of them onto my shoes. It was slightly disturbing and a little funny. I still have trouble believing this is real. Did I really pick out my dad’s skull fragment from the ashes and place them in an urn? The skull of the man I loved as my dad. Who I just saw a few months ago.

There’s a can of Modelo Light beer in the fridge, that I can’t drink because it reminds me of my dad. When he visited last summer we enjoyed those cans of beer in the pool. It was such an American thing to be able to drink beer in our own pool.

j got Rosie for Christmas.

I enjoy our little conversation s on the way to school. Today we talked about adapting — exercising your adaptation muscle. Because you didn’t like having to wear your boots long pants jacket. J: “I think I look weird.” It is raining. The person who looks weird is the person who did not adapt to rain.

I played piano for the first time in a while yesterday. It reminded me of mountain biking and suddenly I was on my bike gripping my handlebars. The notes coming with the tempo of the piece were like the features of a trail. And trials is like the classical piano of biking. Realized this when I was wondering why I haven’t been having fun riding. Because right now it’s drills like practicing scales.

You guys have me nickname Bibby bench baby. Somehow came from Diddy. And then it became Diddy Dumpling. And now just shortened to Dumpling.

What is it about beaches that make them objects of fantasies? Sand? Water? Sounds? Or that you only get to go there during a holiday. What if you grew up by a beach. Do you also think of it the same way, or do you go elsewhere for a vacation?

Sep 2018 Disney Trip with 2 grandmas
California adventure
J favorites: grizzly River run, goofy sky school, radiator springs we won, soaring around the world,
j favorites: guardians of the Galaxy breakout, guardians, guardians 7x because 7 floors
J favorites: Star Wars star tour, chip Dale tree house, gadget coaster, big thunder mountain, Indiana Jones
j favorites: splash mountain, space mountain, gadget coaster


I ran into my neighbor yesterday night while skateboarding. He is in his 50s. he looked at me with curiosity on my skateboard. So I asked him if he skated before, who knows maybe he was a skate god back in the day. He said no.

Then I thought, if I got to his age and saw some 30 something kid rolling up to me… and if he asked me if I did whatever it is he was doing, I hope I don’t regret not doing it while I was younger. Because one day I won’t be able to anymore. That’s pretty much been my motto lately. Life is short use it while you still got it, don’t let fear hold you back.

But on the other hand, there are people like my mom, who decided to race my son on the skateboard in our backyard the other day. I think I was more afraid than she was.

Garbage disposal repair
I guess it was time for a new garbage disposal. Old one just hummed but did nothing. So it was fried. Luckily home depot was open til 10pm that day.
Bought it, took the new unit home, found some parts were missing. And the bag where the parts was supposed to be in had a hole in it. So I rushed back and made it 15 minutes before closing and said this bag is missing some parts. A dude with a santa claus beard named Michael says “Follow me”. He asks me what parts are you missing. I said a gasket and some bolts. He said we can just take it from one of the other boxes. I said, “… I think that’s what happened to my bag. It had a hole in it already.” He said “wouldn’t be the first time.” I’m thinking he’s the reason for an endless chain of shittery. Anyway it’s fixed now and I feel proud for fixing something.

Silly words

She is practicing words on her workbook. After helping J I came to check and she was reading them for me. There were two lines like this:

mom dad is
silly play at

Suddenly she says: “This is like a real sentence: Dad is silly!”

She was so excited and it is so exciting seeing her make such quick progress. She had an awesome gymnastics class. With my luck, they’ll invite her to the advanced class and my schedule will become a mess once more :).


j mama spent the day exploring music with you. you decided you like blues and show tunes and classical

Copy and paste

J I was trying to teach you programming by going through Minecraft tutorials. Along the way you learned how to copy and paste pieces of code. You were amazed at the wonderful things you were making. Then you declared, “I love copy and paste!” That was not the lesson I was trying to teach you.

Curious convos
j: huggy
stretch arms, you give me hug and kiss
j: never say a hug doesn’t come with a kiss!

J: when I grow up, if I don’t get to be a time traveler
my second backup plan is to make a Jurassic world
except it won’t have an indominus rex, or if I do I won’t make it too smart that it can trick me
j: when I grow up if I don’t get a cat I’ll get a bunny
J: I might even set up a battle arena

J: these peanuts are for apu’s elephant
Apu was the Simpson’s character that my dad introduced to you two that you guys loved

Merry Christmas good morning
j runs to open gifts instead of hugging us

1st Pinewood derby
Me: even though you feel bad that you lost, I think this is a really special car because it’s the first car we made together
J: really I think it’s just a slow block of wood
Me: ok then do you want me to keep it or do you want to keep it on your desk
J: I’ll keep it on my desk
(You won 1st place in your pack’s pinewood derby the following year with the Eagle:

J on dealing with grandpa’s death
J you told mom very calmly: “I think when people die, they go to another dimension.” “So I think that when I die, I will see all the people who went there already. Like grandpa and titi.”
“Mom, when you die, will you wait for me there? But I won’t be there for a looong time. hehehehhe.”

drunken sailor song: whey hey and up she rises early in the morning
first J songs along merrily, then…
J this song makes me sad
because it makes me remember Grandpa
what makes me sad is I can never play with him again
Mama said the way I like to see it is be thankful that you were able to enjoy the time you had with him

j: “J, let’s go outside and play chipmunks. This time Theodore has some mangoes.”
J: (in his best squeaky voice) “Ok, titty-dore.” (giggle giggle) “Do you know what titty means?”
j: “No.”
J: (softly right outside the sliding door) “Breasts.” (giggle giggle)
Mama: “J!”
J: (dismissively as usual) “Ok, ok…”
Now they are in the hammock. j is eating her mango and J is reading a book.

j: good morning. I love you. There’s only one best Daddy in the whole wide world and I’m glad I have it.

New developments
j lost first tooth at school nibbling biscuit (May 29 2019)

2018 swimming:
J learned breaststroke in 1 day can swim to end of pool and back with breathing. also learned to forward flip into water
j can dive underwater (holding nose) and doggy paddled around me when I was standing 6ft from steps. you said water got into my nose but I didn’t care!
I feel a little more relieved knowing both of you can kind of swim. but still got lots of practice to go.
I even came up with a catchy phrase to try to help J because when she panics she tries to stand in water: “if you are sinking, keep on kicking!”
2019 swimming:
started swim lessons with friends in our pool. Both of you can swim well enough to not drown now. Both of you are stronger too. j still holds her nose as a habit but practicing not to.

I published my game! It even received a Spanish review:

I even tried to start teaching online classes, but could not hold enough interest

I passed my citizenship test and I am now a US citizen. The tester tried to trick me by sneaking in a “No” question inside a string of “Yes” questions.

We’re at gymnastics. j already started. BG2 (beginner girls ages 7+) were just out on a water break. When they’re lined up, waiting for the coach to call them back on the floor, one of them is staring at J’s Pokemon book. He tries to hide it. She squats to see it and finally approaches him. She’s super nice and chatty. She tells him about the Pokemon books she’s been reading and how she hasn’t had a chance to read this one. She talks about the ones she likes. Finally, she tells J he’s so lucky to have this book. J, softly says thanks….. And nothing else! Luckily she just smiles nicely at him until soon thereafter the coach calls her group back on the floor. OMG, I think I just saw a girl kind of, maybe be flirty/friendly with J. It was adorable!!

J’s 8th birthday. Got a Nintendo Switch and Pokemon books. We played Super Smash Brothers all weekend. My brain seems to still be active. We lost to Mama at Mario kart. I recently got into it for playing with other people in Online Mode. My favorite character is Pikachu. We played a few games together.
j’s 6th birthday. Got a gymnastics bar. It had been raining so we set it up in the family room. It was in the middle of everything and everyone but you hopped on it every chance you got.

Teacher appreciation day
j was awesome. She went and collected everyone’s letters and she waited for the last slacker to write a last minute letter before she entered the class.
Then she went to the front of the room while they were already at the carpet and delivered it to Mrs B, who then proudly showed it to the whole class.

We went Musseling
we went mussels and seaweed foraging
had fun identifying seaweed edibles
after some walking j had cheeks full and seaweed juice dripping down chin
what are you eating
I hadn’t seen you pick any but you had mouthful of seaweed

It was the most user friendly thing I have done in years. It was as if the Earth wanted us to eat them and we were designed to eat them. Everything from gathering them to cleaning them felt familiar easy and natural. Carpentry was not natural, mountain biking is not natural, programming is definitely not natural. I was surprised how user friendly it all was. You could walk right up to them and pluck them off the rock. And even when cleaning out the guts I felt like I had done it before. The mussel meat opened itself to me effortlessly, like the segments of an orange.

Scout aquarium sleepover

“I really like the bat rays. I want to visit them again tomorrow. they’re fun.”
there was one goofy one that kept swimming around like a dolphin and flapping its wings on the side.

we had the whole place to ourselves. Just scouts
“we’re sleeping under the star fish”
we slept between the shale reef and wharf

Tahoe for Christmas

This day in pictures
Finishing Subnautica together over the Christmas break:
2018 Nutcracker:
My first ollie?
Skater girl:
Little big planet:
J’s new song:
Gadget roller coaster with j:
j’s 5th birthday:
New band:
Backyard fun:
“I made a clay snake”:
Birthday sun:
1st grade concert:
Grandma zipline
1st BJJ competition:
Boy Scout Shootout badge, archery and BB:
Skateboard sledding:
Hydraulic arm:
Windy day:
Monkeys in the fort:
Irresponsible manual: (compared to 2 years ago:
School talent show:
Bedtime reading:
j climbing:

j: you have been wearing these to school almost every day
100 words

Fun fact
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Well, because that’s the way they built them in England, and English engineers designed the first US railroads.
Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the wagon tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
So, why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.
Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break more often on some of the old, long distance roads in England . You see, that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
And what about the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match or run the risk of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with this?’, you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses’ asses.)

Now, the twist to the story:
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah . The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature, of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system, was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass.

Interesting things
Diver spots rare megamouth:
How stereo was sold to a skeptical public:
Arnold Schwarzeneggar motivational speech:



P.S. maybe haven’t been writing because I have been avoiding my feelings for the past year (or two). I am still sad, deep down somewhere. And more afraid of death.