Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snowfall In Reno - The Drive To Pyramid Lake



Song:  Have You Heard / Voyager

Group:  The Moody Blues




I had awakened to snowfall this morning.

Alex was already up and studying on his own at his study station.

I had Alex take a break and play a little in the snow.





This is Alex's view out the window at his computer study station.

He was busy coding in JAVA for his computer class.


The mountains in the background are obscured by the snowfall.




It was actually not so cold today.

The wind was gentle...
and the temperature was only just below freezing.



After Alex completed his studies...
we decided to take a short drive (45 minutes) to Pyramid Lake
to see the mountains and the lake in Winter.

This article will cover our drive there...
of the Southwest shore of Pyramid Lake...
and our drive to the Southeast shore.

The next article will be of the Southeast shore.














It was a short 45 minutes to Pyramid Lake...
and a scenic one.

On our way around the Southern portion of the lake...
we had seen some hardcore fishermen on stilted seats in the water.

They must REALLY love fishing!




During our whole time there...
Alex loved making snowballs and throwing them.



We are rounding the Southern portion of the lake...


and heading up the Eastern portion to explore for a good spot to see the sun go down.



We had gone over a mountain pass which put us on the wrong side of the mountains...


so we turned around.

Pyramid Lake is known to many fishermen as a world class Trout location...
but it is relatively unknown to Winter enthusiasts.

Our whole time there...
there was nary a car...
and of the few which had passed by as we were parked alongside the road...
no one had stopped to take photos.

In the next article...
I will have pictures of the Southeastern shore of Pyramid Lake.

It was magnificent!








Clouds Over Reno



Song:  New Horizons

Group:  The Moody Blues


Here are some photos my wife had taken of some interesting clouds from home
over the past month or so.

Both of us love the cloud formations and the sunrises and sunsets over 
our home in Reno, NV.














As I was downloading my wife's camera's memory card...
I had spotted these shots...
and so, I just had to make an article for these photos.

In the next article...
as we had a decent snowfall in our hills today...
 I had taken some photos of Alex in the snow...
and we had gone to Pyramid Lake in the evening to take more snow photos.

We just love Reno.

Natural beauty abounds here...
at home...
and at so many other places within an hour from home.







Friday, February 27, 2015

Alex's 2015 AMC 12 Honor Roll - Qualification For AIME



Song:  Right Down The Line

Artist:  Gerry Rafferty





Alex took his AMC 12 just a few days ago.

Alex just matched his problem sheet to an answer sheet posted on AOPS
and his score puts him in the honor roll for the 2015 AMC 12...
and it qualifies him to take AIME
(a next tier math competition).

He will be officially notified in a couple of weeks.

AMC 12 is for advanced young mathematicians throughout the world...
up to the 12th grade.

In general...
only the top 10% of math students even take the AMC.

Only 5% of all those who take the AMC...
 score high enough to qualify for honor roll, and so, for AIME.


AMC 12:

A special purpose of the AMC 10/12 is to help identify those few students with truly exceptional mathematics talent. Students who are among the very best deserve some indication of how they stand relative to other students in the country and around the world. The AMC 10/12 provides one such indication, and it is the first in a series of examinations. The AMC 12 is one in a series of examinations (followed in the United States by the American Invitational Examination and the USA Mathematical Olympiad) that culminate in participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad, the most prestigious and difficult secondary mathematics examination in the world. In this way the very best young mathematicians are recognized, encouraged and developed. Another valuable comparison students can make is between their own level of achievement and their levels in previous years. In particular, they are encouraged to begin taking the contests early in their mathematics studies and to look back with pride each year on how they have learned to answer questions that they could not have answered previously.
Just to give you a sample of the complexity of the math in the AMC 12...
one of last year's problems on AMC 12:






This also qualifies Alex for the next tier of math competition...
AIME:


The American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) is a 15-question 3-hour test given since 1983 to those who rank in the top 5% (or score at least 100) on the AMC 12 high school mathematics contest (formerly known as the AHSME), and starting in 2010, those who rank in the top 2.5% (or score at least 120) on the AMC 10.
The AIME is the second of two tests used to determine qualification for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO), the first being the AMC[1]
The use of calculators is not allowed on the test.

Alex will be taking the AIME in a few weeks.

We took Alex out to eat Sushi for a celebratory dinner.

Alex also did well on his Japanese language exam...
and he is busy with his other courses...
especially his computer science course...
which, although, is not difficult...
the coding is quite tedious.

--------

For those who may think that Alex is not having fun in his life...
you would be quite mistaken.

Alex loves math...
and studying in general.

I also take Alex out to enjoy the world on a regular basis...
and we engage in daily exercise when we are in our normal routine.

Alex is actually living a charmed and magical life...
and so, we, his parents, also live a charmed and magical life.




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Las Trojes Mexican At UNR - Makers Of The Perfect Tacos



Song:  Eres Tu

Group:  Mocedades



As I have said before...
the tacos at this cafe on the campus of the University of Nevada Reno
are simply the best I have ever had in my life.

I have been eating these tacos from this cafe since the beginning of Alex's 
Autumn semester at UNR...often, many times a week
(they aren't open for the Summer semester).


Almost everyday that I take Alex to his classes...
I stop in for my...
numero dos - carne
(number two (special plate of three tacos) - beef).

I know I have said much about these tacos in previous articles...
but I want to go into why these tacos are so delicious...
and how the concept behind the making of these tacos
should be generalized in the making of, not only all food, and in all products...
but, more importantly, how it should be generalized into a way of thinking.

First of all...
some pictures of this great little cafe in the business building of UNR...
Las Trojes Mexican.



First of all...
this little operation is speedy and efficient.
It has to be...
between classes...
this cafe can fill up with many students looking to eat...
but have little time to do so.

Their prices are very reasonable...
especially for the quantity and the quality you get.



I apologize for the quality of the photos...
I had used my iPhone, and I was slightly moving.

Their operation is very efficient...
and everything is very tidy and clean.

They serve the very best of what typifies great Mexican food...
the very chief factor of great Mexican food being...
freshness.

There were food preparers cutting fresh ingredients...
each of which I can taste in every bite.


The lettuce is crisp and chilled...
the grated Mexican cheese is flavorful, but not overpowering...
the full sized flour tortilla is fresh and soft...
and the freshly diced tomatoes top off this delectable treat.

However...
the two ingredients that really make these tacos so great...
is the ground beef...and the verde sauce.

First of all...
the ground beef is cooked just right.

It is light and fluffy...
not at all greasy...
and this is important...
they don't pre-spice the beef.

This is important...
as the verde sauce does the spicing...
and to the taste of the customer
(they have a container of the verde for customer use).

In this manner...
there is no clash of spices...
while at the same time...
it allows for the light fresh beef flavor to also shine.

Although I don't know much about food preparation...
I know that, first of all, they must be using quality ground beef.

There is never any gristle in the beef...
it is always light and fluffy.

I know that they must slowly cook the beef...
as any excess saturated fats are gently rendered out...
without any of the beef having a burnt taste.

The verde sauce (green sauce)...
is also spiced just right.

It is not so spicy or hot as to overwhelm the taste buds...
but it greatly adds to the flavor of the taco...
with just enough heat.


Another very important aspect of these tacos...
the proportion of the ingredients.

They do not skimp on the ingredients...
especially not with the ground beef.

The fill these tacos with heaping and fully generous amounts of ground beef...
from end to end.

They then fill up the rest of the tacos to the brim with the rest of the ingredients.

This correct proportion of ingredients is especially important.

If you look at how these tacos are constructed...
with each and every bite...
you have the beef, which is infused with the verde, filling the taste buds...
while the generous amounts of topping striking the upper palate and then
crunch between the teeth...which gives a greatly satisfying texture...
as well as its cool temperature giving contrast to the hot temperature of the beef.

The aroma of the grated cheese then fills the sinuses with a wholesomeness...
and flavors the whole taco just right.

These are Taco perfection.

----------

You think I am exaggerating my love for these tacos?


Here is a little love poem I made just for these tacos:


Eres Tu 
(It is you)

When I cannot have you...
I develop a craving that draws me forth...
a calling which cannot be denied.
You satisfy the deep hunger inside
with a perfection that only you can fill...
Eres Tu...my one and only...Eres Tu  :)


-----------


Tacos are one of my favorite meals.
I have loved them since childhood.

I have eaten them in different parts of the nation...
and even in other nations.

Never had I had such great tacos as these.

---------

I have been to places which specialize in Tacos...
and I have been in many Mexican restaurants.

Almost without fail...
I have been greatly disappointed.

Why?

Their beef is greasy...
overly spiced...
and small in quantity.

Their supposedly fresh ingredients are sparsely applied...
and well...neither chilled nor fresh.

---------

Okay...
I have explained what makes these tacos so great.

How do these attributes apply to everything else?


The concept behind these great tacos is one of:

Simplicity...
as applied in the correct quantity of quality.

I would go into this more...
but...well...
I want to keep it simple...
and in just the right amount of goodness  :)














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