Cycling Accident

It seems that recently I’ve gone through a streak of high stress (and possibly bad luck). I’ve gone through a thyroid ablation procedure, I was in a car accident in Los Angeles (as a passenger), I had to shut down a company I worked on, and most recently I experienced a bicycling accident. I’m not feeling down, but at the same time, my spirits aren’t the highest. It feels like tough times, and it’s going to take some focus to get through it all.

As some of you may know, I got in to a bike accident yesterday morning around 9AM. It all happened when I was heading to the hospital to get my blood work done as a follow up to my thyroid ablation. Ironic, right?

I was on the phone with Annie, and the next thing I knew I was in an ambulance. I literally was riding, and then I woke up inside an ambulance. I can’t remember what happened exactly, but I think my bike slipped or got caught on one of the railings in the road. To give you a little more context, it was raining lightly and the road was slippery. However, I can’t rule out that I could have been hit by a car.

Whatever happened, I had a memory loss and I was unconscious for about 20-30 minutes. I’m still trying to piece it all together.

So, what were the results of my accident? Well, I suffered a moderate concussion, messed up my teeth, got a black eye (which is swollen shut), and busted up my lip. In short, it looks like I got into a fight and lost big time. I also have some small abrasions and bruises on my body, but nothing substantial.

The good news is that most of the damage is superficial, and in time it’ll all get fixed. The key word to recovery is “time”. My head aches, my body is sore, but I’m able to walk around. I’ve spent most of my time resting and messaging friends/family about my status.

So let’s rewind to the moment when I crashed–Annie was on the phone with me. According to her, she heard me say “whoaaaa”, and then the phone was silent. She was freaking out and kept asking me if I was okay. She assumed that I had crashed, and then about a minute later, she heard people talking to me. She yelled to get people’s attention, but no-one could hear her over my headpiece. She hung up, and then called back constantly to see if she could get someone’s attention. Apparently a pedestrian or driver saw me on the side of the road and called 911. It wasn’t until about an hour later that Annie got a phone call from the hospital.

I can’t imagine the terror I must have put Annie through.

All I remember was riding my bike and then I woke up in an ambulance with a massive headache. The paramedics were cutting off my clothing as I opened my eyes. I asked the paramedics if I was dreaming, and they said, “No sir, you are not dreaming. You were in a bike accident and we’re taking you to the hospital. You’re hurt, and you have a chipped tooth. Your bike will be stored at a fire station”. I blacked out several times, so my recollection of the entire experience is extremely fragmented. When I was in the ambulance, the main thing I remember was telling myself that it was all a bad dream and I was going to wake up later.

Nope. It wasn’t a dream. The really scary thing about this whole experience is that I can’t remember what happened at the moment of the crash.

When I was in the emergency room, I kept asking everyone their name. I wanted to test myself and see if I could retain some information, but I kept forgetting everyone’s name… and that’s when I knew something was wrong. It was hard to focus, and I was extremely disoriented.

Fortunately, one of the nurses and social workers found my phone and was able to help me make some phone calls. They saw that Annie called a hundred times. Finally I was able to speak to her and told her exactly what happened. I told her to call my parents, Vinny and Hooman.

Finally, the nurse gave me my phone and I took a picture of myself. When I saw my face, I realized that I was really beat up and my situation was serious. Everything crystalized at that moment, and this was now my reality. It wasn’t a dream.

Since then, I’ve taken several photos to document my recovery. I’ll post the photos later when I’ve recovered. I don’t want to freak everyone out right now, because they look pretty bad. I’m not going to lie, my face is wrecked right now and it’s going to take a couple weeks to recover.

Side note: When I got my phone, the first thing I did was turn down the brightness, turned off bluetooth, and tried to conserve as much battery life as possible. I knew that my phone was going to be a critical tool to contact everyone.

Hooman and Aram came by later that evening to check on me. They were nice enough to pick up a little food and some liquids. It was good to see some familiar faces, and they were really supportive. Also, I was able to talk to Vinny and his parents. As you know, Vinny’s parents are doctors, and they gave me some more context about the entire situation. They saw my pictures and accessed the situation. Pretty much they said that I was not in any danger and it’ll take some time to recover. They reassured me that any injuries were cosmetic and could be fixed.

I ended up staying at the hospital a little later than expected because my blood work revealed that I had low phosphorus levels. Most likely, it’s related to my thyroid issues, so I’m going to follow up with my endocrinologist. Patrick ended up picking me up and helping me get my medication from a 24 hour Walgreens.

So, now here I am, in my bed, blogging. My head is woozy, and I can only see out of one eye. Hopefully you guys can make some sense out of all these fractured thoughts. Annie will be here tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can get my bike back soon, and set up some time with a dentist.

Joining @Expa as Designer-in-Residence

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaming up with Expa as Designer-in-Residence. I’m looking forward to working with the partners, awesome engineers and entrepreneurs to create new companies.

Expa was founded by Garrett Camp, co-founder of Uber and StumbleUpon, to apply his lessons learned creating successful startups. Joined by Hooman Radfar (founder of AddThis), Naveen Selvadurai (Foursquare co-founder), Milun Tesovic (founder of Metrolyrics), Roberto Sanabria (Google, Linkedin), Vítor Lourenço (Twitter designer, co-founder of Envoy) and 25 talented in-house experts in SF & NYC, the Expa team actively guides companies. We have done this before, founding 4 industry-defining startups that have collectively reached over 100 million registered users. And now we’re applying what we’ve learned to create the next generation of startups.

I’m thrilled to be joining efforts with this gang, and they’ve given me a warm welcome. I’d like to thank Annie, my family, my friends, and everyone following me for all their support over the last few days. I’ve read all your messages, and I hope that I’ve responded to everyone. Thank you! ^_^

Nice Weather, Finally

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Photo from San Francisco from Bernal Heights, shot on an iPhone 7 Plus.

For the first time and a couple of weeks, we finally had a couple days without rain. For the first time in a while, it feels like California again.

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Another photo of San Francisco, zoomed in 2x.

I’m hoping that this will last for a while. I was kind of getting tired of putting on all my rain gear. Anyone else enjoying the weather? ^_^

An Encounter with a Coyote

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Photo at the top of Bernal Heights, shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

On my way to watch the sunrise this morning, I saw a coyote walking around in the middle of the road. There was a woman curiously chasing them around. She introduced herself to me, sharing some basic guidelines around coyote interaction and safety. If you want to learn more about Coyotes in San Francisco, check out Janet Kessler’s blog.

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Screenshot from my Facebook Live stream of the Coyote.

I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t bring my camera along with me this morning—it could have been a great photo opportunity. Instead, I shot a Facebook live video.

According to my conversation with Janet, coyotes were hunted for such a long time that they virtually disappeared from San Francisco; however, in recent years they’ve come back and repopulated. The coyotes roam along the streets, often chasing and stopping cars. People typically feed them, which encourages this unusual behavior.

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Panoramic photo of the sunrise from Bernal Heights.

As the coyotes return, Janet explained to me that everyone in San Francisco will need to find a way to co-exist with them without feeding them, similar to raccoons or skunks.

Here are some tips from her website:
• Never feed them
• Don’t approach them
• Walk on and don’t linger
• Keep dogs leashed
• Don’t let cats roam free

And here are some photos from her website so you can get a closer look at the coyotes.

A Couple of Photos

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Selfie of Annie and me next to Highway 1.

As much as I love the camera on the new iPhone 7 Plus, there’s just something magical about using a DSLR to capturing a moment. I shot this using a mini tripod, a timed exposure, and my old trusty Nikon D600.

I scrolled back and looked at some of my recent blog posts using my iPhone, and I’m just not satisfied with the results. I guess I’m going to have to start lugging my DSLR with me everywhere. Hah!

By the way, I wanted to share a couple photos from a trip I took recently. Here’s a sneak peak–I’ll post more soon.

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Kent taking a photo of a sea turtle at the Marina Del Rey Aquarium.

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Annie and Julia taking a selfie in front of McWay Falls in Big Sur.

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Los Angeles at night, from Griffith Observatory

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Sunset at Santa Monica.

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Astrophotography on a semi-hazy night at Big Sur.

Ps. Thank you everyone for all the support. I’m reading them all your messages and I will respond to you soon. I’m just taking the moment to reflect, meditate, and edit photos. ^_^