Wondering, wandering, and making sense of the world.


Archive for January, 2015

Living the path not charted

This is a follow up post on “Taking the road not drawn.”

Our perception of the world as nodes and links is not only in the physical domain but also in the metaphorical way we live our lives. By our use of phrases such as “career path,” we’ve come to believe that there is a way forward in our lives to get somewhere.

The first stages of our lives are structured like climbing a ladder with grades in schools (as in “1st grade”) leading to degrees. Many people keep this way of thinking as they start working and climbing the “corporate ladder.”

In reality the world isn’t one ladder we are trying to climb or a path that leads us somewhere. It’s a place where you can head in any direction you want, any time you want. The paths we lay down are only our perception of how life should proceed, biased by the ways millions have traveled before.

You can go wherever you want. The question is, where do you want to go?


German Mettwurst Sushi – メットブルスト巻き寿司


Mettwurst Sushi

The internet can be a challenging place for creative people. While it provides a global audience, with one or few search queries, one can find out if his or her idea is truly unique or not.

For the last few years, I’ve been getting into experimental cooking and coming up with new recipes of my own. However, every time I try something new, it turns out that someone has already tried it and put it online.

Now I’ve found something no one has tried: Mettwurst Sushi.

Mettwurst is a type of German raw/cured/smoked pork sausage that is readily available in supermarkets. In Frankfurt, I’ve seen mettwursts spread on bread as open face sandwiches, usually mixed with onions and some spices.

Mettwurst Sushi (Packaging)This one includes onion

Mettwurst Sushi (Wurst)This is what looks like inside, the skin is inedible

When I first tasted mettwurst, I thought the texture was very similar to minced tuna, which is where the idea came from.

How to make mettwurst sushi

Mettwurst Sushi (Ingredients)


  • Sushi Rice – You could use regular rice if you want, but sushi rice will definitely make it better
  • Mettwurst – 200g goes with about 2 cups of rice
  • Seaweed – Standard sushi seaweed cut in half to make thin rolls, 4 full sheets
  • Green onions
  • Sesame

I used a standard sushi mix to make the sushi rice, but you could easily make your own.

Mettwurst Sushi (Sushi Mix)

Preparing the filling

Chop the green onions finely:

Mettwurst Sushi (Chopped Scallions)

Mix the mettwurst, green onion, and sesame as evenly as possible:

Mettwurst Sushi (Filling)

That’s it for making the filling.

Making the Sushi

There are many guides to rolling sushi online. I suggest this one for making thin rolls.

Mettwurst Sushi (Pre-Roll)Laying out the roll

Mettwurst Sushi (Rolled)200g of mettwurst lead to 8 rolls

Mettwurst Sushi (Cut)Each roll cut in four pieces (six works too)

More than ten people have tried the mettwurst sushi and reception has been positive. Non-Germans, however, seem more receptive, possibly because they don’t have any biases on how mettwurst is supposed to be used. Imagine how Japanese people would react if raw tuna is served on toast.

In a country where edible raw seafood is hard to find, this has become one of my favorite recipes.


Post-coma skills (what would you pick?)

Fascinating story about a man who fell into a coma and woke up speaking fluent Mandarin.

If you ended up in a comma but could wake up with one extra skill, what would that be?

Fluency in a language?
Fine motor skills for some complicated tasks? (Like instantaneously throw a frisbee perfectly)
The ability to operate new vehicles?
Perfect understanding of human desires, behaviors, and dysfunctions?

While it’s probably beyond our lifetime, this means that someday we may be able to rewire/reprogram our brain to learn new skills much faster than we do now. Yes, like “The Matrix.”


Taking the road not drawn

I spent Christmas on Fuerteventura, an island in the Canaries off the coast of Africa. Most of my friends went home, and I did not want to stay in Frankfurt so I booked a last minute ticket. I’d rather be a stranger in a strange land than a stranger in a familiar land.

Wings Above

Fuerteventura is a barren volcanic island without much vegetation. One can stand on high ground and see miles and miles away, something that is lacking for many of us who live in cities. Also, with the lack of plants, steep cliffs, and urban areas, one can walk pretty much anywhere on the island.

Fuerteventura - View from above

There are of course hiking paths, but Fuerteventura is not known for it’s hiking. The draw of the island is the ocean, white sandy beaches, and the surf. Most of the fellow travelers I met came for the surfing, may it be kite, wind, or the original. I did take a class one day only to be reminded that I’m really bad at it. Instead, I spent most of my time trekking around the island.


I’m not an avid hiker. I don’t mind spending time in nature but I’d get bored rather quickly and I’d rather be doing something intense like running or playing Ultimate. However, on Fuerteventura, I got enchanted by the freedom to walk anywhere I want.

15 Lanscape 4

We see the world mostly as points on a map with paths in between. The points could be home, work, school, gym, a restaurant or cafe, etc. The paths could be roads, subways, train lines, bus lines, or even flights. Our perspective is that of nodes and links, a collection of one-dimensional paths overlaid on a two-dimensional surface.


When the opportunity presented itself to break out of this paradigm and walk the land like the original explorers, I couldn’t pass. It’s exhilarating to not be bound or not knowing where you are going. I looked around for the tallest peak I could find and walked straight for it. At the top I looked around and picked my next destination without worrying about what’s in between.

Needless to say, there were plenty of discoveries in between.

Red Duck

Paint Roller

Protected Plant

Someone’s artwork:

Altered Landscape

Altered Landscape

The same caught on satellite imagery:


The world is a beautiful place.


明けましておめでとうございます – Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2015




平成二十七年 元旦



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