All blog posts in the year 2009

Going into hiding to study

I'm realizing I still have lots more practice drills to do: a few hundred cases (from First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 Cases) 950 questions (from First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 Q&A) and 2,000 questions (from USMLEWorld) for my licensing exam, so I'm going into major hiding mode until May 21st. In other words, I'll be studying from 5am to 9pm each day (need at least 12 hours each day). And as a backup, I can push back my test date, but I don't want to do that because I dearly want a vacation and go see the Bay Area again before the 30-hour work days or whatever in 3rd year of med school starts.

I've got a freezer full of food, anti-anxiety techniques, a big goal, and a packed schedule. Wish me luck!

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How to survive the transit cuts: Get a folding bicycle!

OCTA's severe transit cuts have made traveling by bus much more unpredictable, spontaneous affairs, and since I need a bicycle to get to places the bus doesn't, I often wait at the bus stop and wonder if the next bus's bicycle racks, like this photo on line 43, will be full. I've been refused to board at least twice within a month because of this unfortunate scenario, and unfortunately, one bus can only carry two bicycles at a time (unless the bus driver generously lets you take your bicycle on board). What to do about it (besides resorting to driving)?

Solution: folding bicycle! read more→

For Orange County transit riders, doomsday comes later this year: 59 bus routes and all UC Irvine routes may be cut

Click for image of possible route eliminationsThe financial "doomsday scenario" now has a deadline: June 2010.

OCTA just posted a dedicated section of their site outlining their cuts and explaining the budget situation. They have a list of 59 routes that they say they may curtail service on or are considering for outright elimination. Let me break it down for you. I modified their system map with these cuts (click on the image to the left; 400 kb PNG file). A summary of potential cuts:

  • 59 bus routes may be cut, along with...
  • All 24-hour service
  • All "community bus" service
  • Nearly all community shuttles
  • Nearly all intra- and inter-county express buses

Santa Ana, for example, will find a lot of their bus service cut, leaving behind a skeleton of local service for the transit-dependent.

It's now impossible to get to the airport:

But I think, worst of all, it's now impossible to get to and from UC Irvine. OCTA may eliminate lines 59, 79, 175, 178 (along with 213 and 473), stranding students, faculty, employees, and, well, making the UC Irvine U-pass useless.

Of course, that's my interpretation of what OCTA posted. I've pasted the summary from OCTA's page. Got any thoughts? Make sure you send your comments to them! read more→

We just opened a Free Clinic in Orange County

And it's accessible by bus (see below for the bus pass deal)!

It was a little over a month ago that my friends and I held our Grand Opening with the Chancellor of UC Irvine, along with many special guests. The UC Irvine Outreach Clinics serves the growing uninsured population in Orange County, those who can't afford basic primary care services. Our clinic has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Southern California Public Radio KPCC, and on the front page of UC Irvine's main website.

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My progress in losing weight: 20 pounds gone!

I'm very happy with a personal goal I set out for myself this year: to lose weight, despite the crushing workload of med school!

Although I definitely don't have, like, big muscles, I've noticed I fit comfortably in medium-sized shirts. My clothes have gotten considerably baggier. I'm also surprised I've been able to commit at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Before 2009, I wouldn't have lifted a weight to save my life.

My body fat has been decreasing, too. I've been using different methods of estimating the body fat with different formulas, so my chart below (the screenshot of My Personal Diet on my phone) zig-zags quite a bit. But I definitely feel thinner: my clothes have gotten baggier and my belts are all too long. read more→

Three new Bravo! rapid bus lines to open 2010, with a possible link to UC Irvine

During last Wednesday's OCTA customer roundtable, the unofficial word from staff members was that rapid bus service couldn't begin this year because implementing it means dipping from the same financial pot as local service. They're hoping to launch both the Westminster Line and the Harbor Line at the same time in June 2010, and then the Brea-Irvine rapid bus later in 2010. read more→

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