Friday, December 30, 2016

A Day At Lake Tahoe / Heavenly Valley


Song:  The Paris Match

Group:  The Style Council (Tracey Thorn Version)


My wife had told me that there was to be an ice festival at Heavenly Valley at Lake Tahoe.

As we were to go on the first day of a 5 day festival...
and as the day was supposed to be sunny with a chance of snow storms 
on the following days...
we had thought it best to go early.

What I had not taken into account was that the temperatures...
while in the 40s F...had made it too warm for them to lay out the ice sculptures
on that first day.

And as it had turned out...
only one was on display when we arrived.

As the previous week in Reno
the daily temperature was around 19 degrees F...
I hadn't thought about a possibility of a winter heat wave
on the day we were supposed to see the ice sculptures.

As there was the possibility of unmelted ice on the roads...
I drove the whole day.






We had arrived at Heavenly Valley and walked around for a bit.

Alex had not been feeling well.
He felt nauseated and I had initially attributed it to motion sickness.
I thought that some walking around in the fresh air would make him feel better.


The lone ice sculpture.



We ate lunch at a Hawaiian themed restaurant.


Alex couldn't even finish his Caterpillar Roll.

We had originally planned to go up to the top of a nearby mountain on a gondola...
and then go to Sand Harbor to watch the sunset...
however, as Alex was still feeling nauseated...
we decided to just go back home after lunch.

I also changed our route back home to a longer, but far less curvy one.

Alex felt much better on our new route home
(I skirted Lake Tahoe and took the Northern route to the Hwy...
thereby eliminating the curvy mountain roads).






We are at King's Beach here.
This was just before the Hwy junction which led to the major Hwy to Reno.

We made this stop for Alex to get some fresh air to settle his stomach before we continued...
and for us to take a bathroom break.

As soon as Alex felt better...
we then went back home.


As I had been used to temperatures in the teens...
the unseasonable 40 degree weather was making me feel uncomfortable warm.


As it had turned out...
even after Alex had gotten home...
he still felt nauseated.

We just had Alex rest and then go to bed early.

Last night...
his mother had stayed up all night watching over him...
and I had checked up on him several times throughout the night also.

As he had no other objective symptoms other than nausea...
I had gone to an all night drugstore to pick up a variety of anti-nausea medications.

Although Alex hadn't vomited...
he still felt nauseated.

Alex has the best immune system in our family.

It is rare for him to even get a cold.

For him to feel this way with no apparent cause, very much worried us.

The only thing I can think of is that he had picked up some sort of stomach flu
as a result of him staying up too much during finals week...
which had then weakened his immune system.

---------------

This is the second night...
and Alex is sleeping now...
and his mother is still watching over him.

He said he felt better...
but he still a felt a little nauseated.

We will be having Alex rest until he feels fully recovered.

We have not been exercising lately because I knew this would 
have been too much for his body to recover from because of his
recent increase in study hours.

We will certainly not allow Alex to stay up so late studying in the future...
no matter how much he wishes to
(Alex will sometimes sneak out to his computer late at night
to continue with his studies  :)


While I applaud his intellectual warrior spirit...
he must realize that when his health fails as a result of his late night endeavors...
it will take away more hours from his study time than he had accumulated...
thereby, rendering his efforts moot.


The lesson for him to realize:

Anything which goes against the health of the body
is something which must not be done as a long term solution...
as the plan must eventually collapse...and so must the person.


This goes for anything involving the basic three:

A Nutritious Diet

Exercise 
(coupled with proper recuperation to allow supercompensation to take effect)

Deep Restorative Sleep



The Basic Three must be sacrosanct.

They must be lived by if a person is to realize his full potential
for health and happiness.


I will be far more diligent to ensure Alex lives by these rules in the future.

















Monday, December 26, 2016

My 2016 Birthday Card From Alex


Song:  Bridge Over Troubled Water

Artists:  Simon and Garfunkel



Although I have said this before...
it needs to be said every once in a while.


Having children is not your right (morally).

When you decide to have children...
their rights supersede your own.

YOU...
have the choice to have them...
they have none.

In any decision or action...
you must be capable and willing.

Not everyone should have children.

Unless you can provide them with adequate nutrition, housing...
an education...and most of all...
a warm loving family atmosphere...
you need to work on your life... 
before having them.

As my mother in law has said before...
"Even a bird knows not to lay any eggs until its nest is built."


When you decide to have children...
it no longer is about you.

Some people wish to dedicate themselves to their work...exclusively.

Some don't wish to work at all.

Others wish to live life hedonistically...
going from one short term thrill to the next.

While others are so self absorbed that they carry around a picture of themselves
 in their purse or wallet.

What is especially bad is when a single person has a framed picture
of him or herself on their wall.

These are not people who should have children...
until they can fall out of love with themselves...
so that they then can possibly love another...
more than themselves.


I did not marry until I was 35 years old.

I had always wanted at least a son.

However...
I wasn't ready to have a family at that time.

My wife and I decided to travel and enjoy our lives together some
 before completely settling down...
so we would have no regrets...
and so we could dedicate ourselves to our child.

Only when I had felt an emptiness...
an unsatisfied urge to have more in life...
did I think it was time to have a family.

As my wife is quite a few years younger than am I...
there was still time.

I was already 40 years old...
 I was in a solid career...
and we decided then to start a family.

About one week after our decision...
my wife had a positive pregnancy test.

A short while later...
we bought a big house in Ripon, CA for Alex to grow up in...
and one in which he could grow to love
(which wouldn't be finished being built until Alex was about 3 months old...
and where Alex grew up until he was almost 11 years old).

I was almost 41 years old when my son...Alex, was born.

He has been the best thing in our lives ever since.

Alex's happiness is our happiness.


I had my time as a single person.

My wife and I had our time together as a couple before having a child.

Only when our son was born did life become dramatically more special...
far more endearing and colorful.


I have two points to make here:

1)  Build your nest before you raise a family.

Young men to be...
a message:

While a family may be raised with both parents working...
or with only one parent...
it is usually not by conscious design.

A family has the best chance with one working full time...
and with one being at home full time.

Why?

Because a child's mind grows by leaps and bounds 
when it is fed a steady diet of great love and affection...
along with constant intellectual stimuli.

A child whom is deeply loved and cherished...
and constantly engaged with his mother...
who in turn...teaches him how to read early
through direct association with a loving atmosphere, great encouragement...
 and fun...
learns to love learning.

He actually responds physiologically by creating far more neuronal connections
in his brain.

This is a positive spiral.

Through constant encouragement to learn...
he becomes better able to learn for the rest of his life.

This is why...
at least until the child is the age of 8 or so...
it is called the formative years.

(Don't believe the nonsense that only till age 5 is important.
A child's brain continues to form most connections at a greatly accelerated rate
until he is 8 years old.  However, many connections in his forebrain (emotional control)
aren't fully formed until age 25 or so...or in my case...never :)

Who fulfills this role better than a mother with great maternal instincts
with a close and personal one to one intimate bond?

NONE

This is not only far better for the child...
but, in general...
leads to a greater rate of progress for society.

This is the way we had planned the future of our family.

I had prepared my life to be able to make enough money
so that my wife could be a stay at home full time loving mother.

This is all part of preparing your nest.

Think about possible careers early on, while still a child.

Guide your educational efforts towards fulfillment of this goal.

With a dream guiding your efforts...
all efforts then become effortless.

You will develop drive to achieve your dreams.

So...
to the young men...
if you wish to be able to provide this type of life for your family...
you need to learn as much as you can while young.

This means staying in school...
and picking a career in a profession where you may do this for your family.

For young women to be...
you must also be highly educated...
in case you wish to pursue a career...
or if you wish to become a stay at home mother.
Either way, you will still need to be highly educated...
so you may then teach your children.

For men thinking that most women want careers
so it would be hard to find a woman who wishes to stay at home...
believe me...
once you get your education...
and especially, when you get into a successful career...
there will be many women who seek you out as a potential mate...
and who will love to be a stay at home mother.

There are still many women who wish to become a stay at home mother.
You will have your pick...
ONCE you become successful.

So...
in short...
if you wish to one day marry a princess...
you must first make yourself into a prince.

A prince or a pauper...
it is your choice.

In America...
it is always entirely YOUR choice.

You are allowed to reap what you sow.

However...
this is a double edged sword.

If you don't sow...
you have no one to blame but yourself when you have nothing to reap.


The formula is quite simple...

D + P + DG = S

D = Dream, which gives you Direction, which in turn, gives you Drive.

P = Plan, which, without one, renders your dream into a mere pipe dream.
Know what you want to become and know what it takes to get there.
Simply stay the course until fruition.
Never give up.

  DG = Deferred Gratification, which prevents you from pissing away your dreams
by chasing short term pleasures which could sabotage your long term plans.
Self Denial also charges the batteries of your drive.
When you know that you can conquer your inner demons...
you know that you may then conquer your world
(Master yourself, and you shall then become the master of your universe).

These then lead to:

  S = Success

Yes...
it really is this simple.



My second point...


So...
how does it feel being a father?

With a child raised in a fully supportive and loving family atmosphere...
life becomes magical...
not only for your child...
but for you...
the parents.


Pure MAGIC.








Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Alex's ACT Target Zone Achieved / Last Final Taken


Song:  Together

From The Theme To:  The Partridge Family



Alex had just gotten his latest ACT results today
(One of two major college entrance exams in the US).

(The essay results have not yet been released).


Alex, in short, has been taking care of business.



Just to give you an idea of how well Alex is doing in his ACT scores (35 Composite Score)...
the average Composite Score of students accepted to MIT...
is 34 (33 to 35).

36 is a perfect score.

Of course...
this, in no way, means Alex will automatically be accepted to MIT
or to any other prestigious university.

However, it does open up this possibility now.

Alex had, once again, gotten a perfect Score in Math.

The last time Alex had taken the ACT was when he was in the eighth grade.

Back then...
he had a Composite Score of 33, with a perfect Math Score.

The area he had really improved in was in his Reading Comprehension.

The last few points are really tough to get...
but Alex is going to take another ACT in a couple of months.

He really wants to improve his Science scores.

Plus, Alex thinks he will do much better the next time since 
he couldn't devote much time to ACT preparation due to his preparation
for his finals (he had taken both, an ACT, and an SAT, just one week apart...
 during his finals, and just one week before).

We will receive his SAT scores in a little while.

Also, due to Alex's PSAT score from earlier...
Alex is also a National Merit Scholar semi finalist.

What will happen in the next few months 
to determine National Merit Scholar finalists is that they well take 
into consideration the student's SAT scores and his high school GPA.

We don't know how well Alex will do in this 
as I am unsure how they do the actual scoring. 

We were especially glad how much Alex has improved his Reading Comprehension.

This is an extremely important area.


Of course...
the person most responsible for his scores...
is Alex himself.

He works very hard for his achievements.

He has an inner drive to succeed.

His mother is the second most important in his academic achievements
by ensuring Alex has all of the best supplementary courses 
and material to help him succeed.

She also helps him a lot in areas of organization.


Although I play a more minor role now...
I help him arrange his thoughts in a coherent manner...
and, especially in areas of the world through life application...
I try to teach him basic common sense through a logical format.

(Alex needs very little guidance now.
We had taught him the basic concepts early on...
and he just took off from there).

However, once again...
Alex deserves almost all of the credit...
as it is he who studies on his own...
it is he who always strives to improve...
and it is he who strives to conquer new challenges.

Still...
this has always been a family affair.

We have always worked together...
as a team...
and always...
doing what is best for Alex
(go team Alex :)

Together...
having a ball  :)

----------------------------

Alex today...
as I waited for him at UNR to arrive after his last final of the semester.

He had just finished his Analysis I final
(it had run from 5 PM until 7 PM).

Alex was very upbeat upon his arrival.

He said that his professor gave a quick look at his final and had told him 
that he should have no problem earning his 'A' in the class.



We are getting ready to go up to the garage and go out to eat.


We had given Alex his choice of restaurants at which to eat.

He had chosen the Atlantis for all you can eat sushi.






We had a delightful meal...
our spirits buoyed by his results of his ACT and of his final.

Alex was also very happy.



We then departed for home in a light mood.

We told Alex to just relax for the rest of the night...
and for tomorrow.

Right now, it is almost 10:30 PM and Alex is typing away on his computer.

He is busy putting together his teaching format for this year's NNV Winter Math Camp
(in a couple of weeks).

Alex will, once again... 
be a guest lecturer on Algebra, Probability, and Number Theory.


Alex is also working on his next year's 
Mathematics Talent Exhibition

(Alex's own math competition where he designs all of the problems...
designs the competition layout...
and helps run and score the competitors...
for elementary, middle, and high school).


This is what is fun for Alex.



















Friday, December 16, 2016

Alex's Final In Macro Economics


Song:  Storm

Artists - Yoshida Brothers



 Alex completed his final in Macro Economics yesterday.

Next semester...
he will be taking Micro Economics.

His final was a three hour compilation of all he had learned throughout the semester.

On the eve of his final...
his mother had made him a special meal which would keep him fueled up all night 
so he could review for his final until midnight
(his final was from 1 PM until 4 PM).


Alex started his meal with a green salad with citrus vinaigrette.

He loves this dressing.


Alex also loves udon with Memmi and seaweed.



His mother had also made Alex some Rib Eye and shrimp...
both in Teppanyaki style.



Alex had a delicious meal which fueled his efforts for the night before his final.


Alex at his computer.


Alex has been studying from morning until about 9 PM almost every night...
but on the night before his finals...
 he studied until midnight.

Alex wants to study extra long to review all of his past exams and notes
to ensure he doesn't make any stupid mistakes.


 Before some of his other exams...
I had to send Alex to bed at 2:30 AM because he was still studying.

On one night...
Alex had stayed up until 7 AM after pulling an all nighter.

He had to finish up some essays and assignments in some other classes 
so he could have enough time to devote to his review of his upcoming finals.


By the way...
Alex got an 'A' on his final...
and in his class (Macro Economics).


Alex is studying now for his upcoming final in Analysis I at UNR.

So long as he does well on his final...
he will get an 'A' in that class also.


Alex registered for Analysis II at UNR...
and so, he is all set for his last semester of Hell Year
(the 3rd year of high school is the most important 
for entrance into a university as a full time student).












Tuesday, December 13, 2016

II - Alex's Progress In Analysis I / Test Prep


Song:  Haunted

Artist:  Gary Numan



The following is the remainder of Alex's quizzes and his last homework
for his Analysis I class at the University of Nevada Reno.

Alex had his last class today for Analysis I and his final is next week.

Alex told me that his professor told him today that he was the only one in the class
to have gotten perfect scores on all of his quizzes. 

Alex will be registering for Analysis II tomorrow.

--------------

The past few weeks has been a whirlwind of activity for Alex.

Alex took his midterms for most of his classes...
and he had taken another SAT a couple of weeks ago.

Just last weekend...
Alex took another ACT.

For 3rd year high school students...
this is the year which will count the most for their university applications.

For many...
it is considered Hell year.

For those of whom have never taken their SATs or ACTs...
this is the year where they must do well if they are to even be considered
for the most prestigious universities.

As Alex has already gotten perfect math scores in previous SAT, SAT II (math specific)...
and on his ACT...
Alex is looking to improve his other category scores.

In less than one year...
Alex will be submitting his university applications.

----------

These are the remainder of his Quiz scores for his Analysis I class...
and the last three pictures are of his last homework.








As you can see...
Alex's use of LaTeX to type out his homework
really makes it look nice and neat.






Alex has two more finals for which to prepare...
but, he has much more time since he has already taken his other finals...
and his SAT and ACT are also done.

It is almost Winter break.

Alex plans to study and work ahead for his classes coming up after the break.


As I have said before...
his online high school has a lot of work for them to do...
especially since he is loaded up with AP courses...
and he will be graduating high school a year early.

Along with his university class...
they have been preparing Alex well in the workload 
he must expect once he becomes a full time university student.










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