ViviBear – Gangnam Style: The new 17mo developmental milestone

It has been a while since I have made any posts of late, but I am back. Aside from being busy doctoring,  changing out my outdoor pond pump, setting up a new home media server, and setting up our new ViviBear Cam… well this is not 100% accurate. I’ve been doing these things over the course of the past 1-2 months, so I guess I really do not have an excuse as to why I have not been posting. Then again, do I really need an excuse? It’s not like I have dedicated viewers awaiting my every word.

Back to the point: It’s amazing to see such fervor over this Korean Pop/rapper star Psy and his song Gangname Style. Aside from being very amusing, there is some very interesting social commentary embedded in the video/song which is explained in this article here.

Sow now ViviBear is about 17 mo going on 18mo. It is amazing how much development and progress happens over the course of a month. It may be due to her starting daycare, and the socialization process. Not sure, but she is starting to copy more of my words and actions. I decided to take advantage of this and see if I can get her to do the “Gangnam Style” dance. Almost there.  Video is posted below


It is unfortunate she falls on the ground crying, but I can not help myself from watching this repeatedly without laughing. One day she will hate me for this, especially when I play this video and all the others at her wedding:)

Knowing she is absorbing everything she sees and hears, I really have to be careful about watching TV these days (I probably should have been more careful about 6 months ago when I was watching Spartacus on Stars (with all the blood, breasts and violence). I was watching some SouthPark, and MommyMD reminded/scolded me for watching it with ViviBear. I didnt realize how engrossed in the show she was… and I realized… hmm bad parenting here.

You wonder why some children run around insane, destroying things and hurt other kids. Likely they are watching their parents behavior and mimicking  That stated, I really hope ViviBear doesnt end up biting people’s ears off, cause then people may think they learned that from us. (well at least combo). It is funny to watch her poke MommyMD’s bum with her finger and say “butt butt”. ~sense of pride~ she’s learning so much so fast.

Maybe this means I need to neater as well. I want to set a good example. Don’t want a slob of a child.

I really hope I dont scar her for life with all these videos and posts:)

Love you ViviBear!

Runwriting, lets see what you can do

Running and writing

I’ve never really liked running. When I was wrestling in high school, I hated the running part. I never could run far, and I always felt nauseated after running. I figured, who wants to spend their time making themselves feeling like they cant breath and are dying… while slowly destroying your joints. Well somehow this changed when during college when I figured running was a good way to stay in shape, and that you were working out hard enough unless you felt like you were dying. “No pain no gain” right?

Capital City Half Finish Line
Me crossing the finish line with the super speedy 2:26:10

Well some how DP convinced me to train and run the Capital City half marathon back in April of 2005. I figured it was one of those things that I wanted to force myself to do. During my off and on training, the most I was ever able to run in one sitting was 5 miles. I was usually accustomed to running only 1-2 miles in a day. Then my buddy Clement created his “clement two and a half”. This just meant he would run 2.5 miles, but he did refer to it as the “Clement two and a half”. So of course I felt i needed to up my game. I did try my best to follow the suggested training schedule on the Capital City Half Marathon website, but I only try did I do. The most I actually ran ever prior to the actual half marathon was 5 miles during training. Some people would say: “you’re an idiot” for deciding to run a full 13.1 miles while only ever going 5 miles… EVER. Well I was an idiot for that.

I remember on race day that their was a huge snow fall, nay a Blizzard! I was going to use that as an excuse not to attend, but somehow I was able to psyche myself up into going. I also couldn’t let DP do it, and have me wuss out.

Chunks of snow was falling as I painfully pushed my way through all 13.1 miles. After the race, I remember digging my fingers into the available Donatos Pizza to warm my hands up. I could barely walk back to my car because my knees were hurting so bad, and I was exhausted. Then when I actually got in my car, I couldn’t even drive. I sat and laid down in my car for about 1 hr. I  somehow mustered the energy to drive home (in the snow storm mind you) and then laid around the rest of the weekend. Painful.

Alex Run
Using Endomondo to spell my name

Back to the topic at hand. So now I do enjoy running more than I used to. I enjoy the challenge, and the exhausting feeling that I equate to accomplishment. I do hate the difficulty breathing aspect (maybe I have exercise induced asthma…), but running is a great time to get alone time, to think and reflect on anything, and also just to enjoy the outdoors. I’m not one of those trail runners (not yet), since I don’t really go farther than 2 miles at a time usually. I enjoy running in the neighborhood and seeing my neighbors and what not.

Now with the smart phone APPs and GPS tracking, it is easier to log runs, and make things more interesting, by trying to beat prior lap times, or tracking where you were. The other day I had this great idea, why not try to write/draw something with the GPS tracking? Am I the first to come up with this idea? Probably not, but I just havent bothered googling this yet. I am sure others have thought of this, but now I am challenging all those other runners out there to do the same. Write something creative, draw something cool. Whatever. Obviously my first attempt to write my name was in vain, but I think my attempt today was pretty good.

Compare that to the one I did the other day

Runwriting, as good as my handwriting!

I want to see what you guys come up with!

Also check out Endomondo. They have an app for the iPhone and Android (the one I use)


Hot to grow a mango from seed PART 2

sprouting in the containers


check out the initial steps to growing a mango from seed or wonderful methods of eating the mango prior to getting the seed

Here is a follow up on my mango growing activities. I figure they are easy enough to sprout, might as well do as many as I can. They do make great gifts, but unfortunately they do require some care.

After about 3-4 weeks

Sprouting Roots


After 6 weeks

seeing leaves


About 7-8 Weeks

7-8 Weeks of growth

They need to be transplanted into a pot now. I have been putting this off, really not sure why.


more to come…

How to easily peel/eat a Mexican Mango

Peeled Mango ready to eat
OXO Mango Pitter

Eating a mango always seems to be messy business. They are very tasty, but they have a huge seed in the middle, and they are very juicy. I have tried mango pitters before, but if your mango is too ripe, it will just get squashed. Even if you do pit the seed out, you still have mango juice all over the place now.

Growing up I would watch my mom cut mangoes. She would do what I refer to as the “flower technique,” or inversion technique.

Flower/Inversion Technique for eating Mangoes

She slices the Mango vertically, (lateral to each side of the seed). Then she will slice cross hatches in the mango. Then invert the mango, pushing on the skin of the mango. It makes eating the meat of the mango easier. [image to the left obtained via a google search which led me to]

*disclaimer, I have not tried this on the big mangoes, just the mini Mexican Atulfo Mangoes*

Somehow I never seen these mini mangoes before until I went to Beijing, China. Odd thing is once I came back from China, I noticed that we should the mini mangoes here in Ohio. Eitherway, I saw someone there eating what seemed to be an oddly shaped banana, but on closer examination, this lady was eating a mango. She had peeled the skin off like a banana. Interestingly it works well with these Mini Mangoes, and is better if the mango is ripe. So here is my take on peeling mangoes. The benefits are great: 1. you dont waste any of the mango, 2. it is less laborious to peel and eat a mango. Unfortunately it does not solve the problem of the mess after.

IMAG1383 Step: 1. Cut the mango skin superficially at 90 deg angles all the way down. Makes it easier to peel (without the skin breaking off mid peel)

IMAG1385 Step 2. Peel the mango gently.

IMAG1388 Step 3. Eat the mango.

Obviously if you are out and about, and do not happen to carry knives with you, you can easily enough just peel the mango without cutting. This is just a tad messier, but better than not eating a mango at all.

on to sprouting and growing a mango tree from a seed


Planning for the future… What happens when the future is here?


With an attention span of a goldfish , I always found myself making calendars and to do lists during lectures. I would try to plan out major events or tasks, i.e. finishing medical school, papers due, boards, vacations, rotations, finishing residency. I remember the last time I made the calender task list was probably last summer, prior to starting 3rd year residency.
It was the home stretch. Job was lined up (link), baby on board… Just had to pass boards and get to July 2012. Well, despite a few unexpected kicks in the nuts, which I won’t get in to here, I secured a great job, better than I could have imagined mind you, passed boards, and graduated residency.

Now I am about to reach the end point of my last calander/planner. once I start work I know there are always tasks to plan for, but as for those life events… What do you do when you reached your foreseeable goals? Obviously you make new goals.

I never thought this day would actually come.

It’s funny, I didnt realize this until just now… I will obviously be planning for events that far more important from now on. These events will make all those past milestones seem like mere fluff… I will be marking down/dreading events such as April 20th, 2022 and 2027… When ViviBear becomes a teenager and wants to start driving!

I know many people have had this thought regarding me… my god, Alex is a dad…

Back to the point at hand… new era starts July 16th. Can not wait.

Things to do before work starts… ie: (un)Hoarding

So I have two weeks+ to get stuff done that I have been putting off for many years or have not thought of doing it. How did I spend my first day no long as a resident?

1. started cleaning out parent’s basement: MommyMD always gets on my case about hoarding boxes and items that she deems useless. I always tell her “I MAY NEED IT LATER”. Usually i never ever ever need it again, until I throw it away. That’s how it always happens right? Well I learned this from my parents. They are incessant about keeping boxes and… well everything, down to broken projection screen TVs. WTF are we keeping this stuff? At least if it is broken, I wont keep it (usually). Well today I brought up a 45″ projection screen TV up by myself, and I tell you that was difficult. Stupid thing is I could have asked for help but I didnt. My parents are currently getting work done on their house with Paul Werner from Werner Contracting, they are the company (and my neighbor) that built our patio and deck. They are in the middle of tearing out their old rotting deck, and fixing up the exterior. Back to the story, they were available, but for some reason I did not want to bother them so I took it upon myself to bring that stupid TV upstairs. The frame isnt that heavy with the components removed, but I did need help to throw that POS on top of the dumpster. Well there is still more cleaning to do, and I really don’t think I will be able to get it totally clean in order for Paul & Co to start finish the basement (phase 3 of my parent’s projects). I did clear out a bunch of firewood (by the way do not keep firewood in the basement). Then there are these empty boxes, which I can go throw and break down to recycle (the dumpster is full). Then there are these boxes full of papers my dad has collected over the past… 30 + years. I really dont think a lot of this stuff will ever be looked at again or used again. Very frustrating, because I want to throw it away, but am not sure if I am allowed to. I would think if I threw it away, he wouldn’t even notice, which brings us back to… the dumpster is full, so we need another dumpster… ahhhhhhh.

Attempting to clean out their basement out has opened my eyes to how MommyMD must view me. I always keep boxes… I mean I may need to return something or sell it or …. or ship something. Well I realize now it is not worth it. Typically I dont return things, and if I do sell something, can just put it in a different box. All those papers I have collected over the years… time to use it in the fire pit I suppose. I really hope I do not end up on hoarders one day.

2. Dropped by the new office today. I wanted to take another gander to figure out what else I need to get settled in, set up the computer, and figure the lay of the land prior to starting. Also helped configure their new T1 internet connection. I brought a penguin print I bought myself for fathersday


Already have my Diploma and Board License up… I think I need more penguins. Since I’m trying to clean up my parents house, I think I might as well take some of the penguins and take them to work:) Also need some family photos.

3. Took Vivi to the pool yet again, this time we had more success with her not crying. I think the key is to stay in the very very very shallow end until she is ready. Seemed to work. Many 102 degF… pool felt great!


“ready to swim”

*need to do still*

4. Need to hire a medical assistant. I tried to fish away some great people I’ve worked with before, but they probably know better than to work with me, or have a good gig as it is. So apparently they will be putting an add out Monday. If you know of any GOOD Medical assistants that are looking to work with an awesome, handsome, smart physician, tell them to keep looking, otherwise if they want to work with me… let me know.

“the original medical assistant,” I do hope the person I work with doesn’t really look like this.

5. Finish mulching the yard

6. Clean out KoiPond – it is green yet again… ALGAE!!!!

7. Will be getting a new phone and hopping over to Verizon… there you go Ed. I did it. I also opted for a new number, so for those of you that care enough, rest assured you will have it. Wont get the new phone and # until Mid July.

…. to be continued I am sure.

When to start training a baby… to use chopsticks…

Chop Sticks
Chop Sticks
The Asian fork

Vivienne loves to mimic us and do things we are doing. It’s rather cute. We were at Sunflower Chinese Restaurant this past weekend eating some Dim Sum, and ViviBear really wanted to play with our chop sticks. Well I figured what the heck. I let her have mine, since she already threw hers on the ground. The first thing she did was stab some shrimp dumplings [Hsia Jiao] (i was never good with the phonetics) and proceeded to feed herself. She stopped, and gave me a sly look and offered to me. Not a bad try. Heck I still stab food with my chopsticks too. Actually, I apparently do not even use chopsticks properly. When I spent a month in China a 4 years ago, the servers or owners at the local restaurants/food carts would love to point out to me how I use chopsticks really weird and like a child. Well whatever. Back to the point. I wonder if it is too early to start training Vivienne how to use chopsticks. Well, it’s kind of like me teaching her Chinese I suppose, or a penguin teaching a pomeranian how to fly. Well I at least can kind use chopsticks to move food from point A to point B, no matter how improper my technique.


“Vivi trying to use chopsticks”

On one of her attempts she actually grabbed some sticky rice with the chopsticks, but I unfortunately did not record that part. I dont really remember when I learned how to use chopsticks. maybe it’s innate in all Asian people (hah). I still find it amazing to watch ViviBear grow up, and start doing new things. I fear the day when she starts doing things I dont want her to. shudder. 

On a similar note, it’s funny to hear some people’s reaction to things like potty training. Vivienne has been using the baby toilet since about… 6 months? maybe earlier. I dont remember. There is a picture somewhere with a censored ViviPoo  Bombs in the Baby Bjorn After re-reading that post, I think she was around 6-7 months when she first started.


I figure, if we can train our offspring to do things early as possible, why not? I mean I do not forsee any sort of “traumatic experience” as long as we are not berating and yelling at them. I figure if I see her doing something, we can give her positive reinforcement such as fetching slippers:

I mean she started washing windows on her own (after watching Nai Nai do it) as soon as she could cruise:

“10 month old window washer (from MommyMD)”

Now I just need her to start mowing the lawn.

How to grow a mango from seed

Mango #5
Mini Mango


When I was younger (the day before the net was readily available) I wanted to grow a mango tree. I figured it would be easy to. Plop the seed in the ground and voila. Well it seemed they would usually just rot. Never grew a darn thing. Forget the fact that I live in Ohio. It should still sprout.

Many years later, I decided to try again, and had the great idea to check online. Someone must have tried to do this once before. I found out that the hard shell inside a mango is just a husk. The seed actually is inside . So here are the steps I used to germinate mangoes from a seed.

Mango Seed Husk Step 1. Get mango seed [see the steps I use to eat a mango to get the seed] – link is pending completion of article/pictures –


Seed inside Step 2. Pry open the husk. You may have to scrap away one end to find an opening or to find a place to create an opening.

Remove Seed Step 3. Take seed out and put wash with soap. Hopefully this step will reduce the amount of mold that grow in the water.

Seed in Container Step 4. Place seed in a container and fill with water until seed is submerged.

Germinating Step 5. Place container with mango in a dark warm area. I usually place it on top of my fridge, where it is somewhat hot and dark. Back in my apartment dwelling days I would place it on top of my computer, since the compy usually generates so much heat.

Step 6. You will want to change the water about every other day, to keep the water from molding.

I am currently trying to sprout 6 mango seedlings. I will try to update the status with additional pictures on this post directly.

Oodles: noodle and dumpling bar


Eating lunch at Oodles off of Main Street by the adolescent medicine clinic. Ordered the special of the day:sezchuan eggplant.


For $7.39 you get the main dish, a side (I chose sweet amd sour soup), and a drink. Overall if you like eggplant, you’ll like this.

Got a side of hot and sour as well. I must say this is pretty good. Too nad I likely wont come down town just to eat this, then again it, may worthwhile. Oodles is located next to indian oven.

DIY: Uncrustables – save the money!

DIY Uncrustable
DIY Uncrustable

The home made uncrustable. Why pay $4 a box (about 1$ a sandwich) when you can just make it yourself. Reality is: it tastes the same, and you can do so much more. I personally like whole wheat, and avoid white bread when possible. You gotta have the fiber!


Dont want colon cancer one day (or hemorrhoids or constipation for that matter). Eitherway; I scoured the internet for a while looking for other “sandwich sealing” and “decrusting” devices. I came across one device from the Pampered Chef. From my earlier post I linked to a page the showed you how to make your own uncrustable as well []

I really didnt want to fork over $10.00 (not including shipping) for this contraption. Let alone my biggest issue with this device… IT WASTES SO MUCH BREAD! Being circular… and most bread loafs are… well not.

Pan Pita
Pan Pita: Sandwich Press and Seal and Decruster

I wanted something that was lest wasteful. With a lengthy google search I finally came across this one from Japan. I purchased it on for about $3 and some, with free shipping. I actually later found it at my local Japanese Grocery Store to be about a dollar less, but after you add tax, meh. evens out.

Wonderbread made one too, but I didnt like the way it looked. I tried to find one that would make a shape of a penguin, but didnt really find anything.

Looking at the back of the package, there were some instructions in Japanese with pictures. You dont really need instructions to figure out how to stick some bread inbetween this device and press, but the pictures did give me some great ideas about making some ham and egg sandwiches (like you find at the Asian bakeries- at least the ones in Asia). For the purpose of this post, I am just going to stick with PB&J.


That said, I will do my step by step instruction for making my own uncrustables.

Pan Pita - decrusting and sealing device
1. open it up
2. Get the bread/PB/J
3. Stick the PB&J in the center and the loaf centered on the device

Here I like to get a little wild (though it is now demonstrated in the photo) and get the PB and J all the way to the edge. I figure that once I cut the crust off, I dont want to waste it, so I am going to eat it anyway. Might as well have some PB&J on it already.

4. Stick the other side of the bread on top
5. Place the top part on and PRESS!
6. Peel crust off
7. Take top off (the device not yours)
8. Voila - Done
9. Place in sandwich bag and freeze.
DIY Uncrustable

What I did the first day I tried it was I used a whole loaf of whole wheat bread. Made some uncrustables, placed them in a baggies and threw them in the freezer. For one thing, this will keep my bread from going stale. I usually eat a whole bunch, then forget about the bread. Then the bread goes bad.

At least this way it will be preserved better. Just like the Smukers Uncrustabels, when you want to eat it, take it out of the freezer, let it sit for about 30-4o min. Then voila. Chomp down as one would on the left. I figure when ViviBear goes to school in about 5 years from now, I can have her take PB&J with her. I wont have to wake up extra early just to make her lunch. What a great money saving time saving idea!!! I also figured each time I make the sandwiches from a whole loaf, I’d be able to just eat the crust as my lunch or what not. I’d hate to waste all that crust. I never understood why people hated the crust so much. I actually like the crust.

So with my stash of PB&J without crust sandwiches, I had some snacks premade for the next few days. I noticed each time I checked them out, my stash was slowly disappearing. Turned out MommyMD was taking them to work to eat. Well someone is eating it.

Overall review of the Pan Pita: Cheap. Easy to clean. easy to use. Some bread (if smashed a bit) will not fit perfectly, and you may have some residual crust. I’d rather have that than waste too much bread as you would with the Pampered Chef CutNSeal. Buy one if you want to be lazy like me and premake the PB&J. When I showed this to my mother her response was: why are you so lazy? Just make the sandwich when you want it. meh…