Monday, May 30, 2005


After jumping through all sorts of hoops and wading through lots of red tape, I finally got my temporary Canadian passport this week. This means I can travel to Asia in June as planned. For those that don't know the Canadian passport renewal process, we have to:

1. fill out application form
2. take two passport pictures
3. send in some money

All pretty normal so far...

4. get a guarantor to certify that the passport pictures actually look like me and I'm of good moral character; the guarantor has to be either a doctor, dentist, postmaster, or something else on their list, and has to know me for more than 2 years; they have to fill out a section of the application, sign the back of one passport photo, and also sign copies of my driver's license and green card; so far, I've been bothering Dr. James since he's also Canadian and understands the pain
5. sign in side the white box; if the signature goes outside the white box, they won't process the application
6. send in the original Canadian citizenship certificate and expired passport
7. send everything to Hull, Quebec (across the river from Ottawa) via FedEx and hope 20 days later we get a new passport
8. repeat every 5 years

So what happened was that I lost my Canadian citizenship certificate. In order to get my passport renewed, I need to apply for a replacement which requires more photos, application forms, money, a bunch of copies of documents notarized, and 6-12 months. Without the certificate, I can only get a temporary (1 year) passport which hopefully will get me to Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and most importantly, back to the US. I guess the good think about becoming a US citizen, other than having to do jury duty, is that a US passport is good for 10 years instead of five.

Did I mention you have to sign inside the white box?

Happy 88th Birthday

We went to see grandma today... it's her 88th birthday. She has recovered from the latest emergency and now she is back at the convalescent home. She was also much more coherent today, at least she knew my dad's and uncle's name; I don't think she recognized me but when my mom reminded her who I was, she remembered Nancy's name too (in Chinese of course). We also brought a cake so we sang "Happy Birthday" and took some pictures.

I also got to see cousin Stephanie today as well. She's finishing up her 1st year at UCLA... I think she was about 12 months old when I started my freshman year at UCLA many many years ago. I heard that the dorm food is not as terrible as I remembered but I only paid $300/month for room and board; it's about $1000/month now!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Rosemead Cruise

I went with Shirley on Thursday night to Rosemead's farewell cruise where they invite current 4th year students and people returning for graduation on Friday. The dinner was on the Paradiso, a 85' yacht owned by Henry Cloud, as it cruised Newport Harbor. Since Shirley is graduating next year, she'll probably get invited again.

There were about 70 people on the boat and we had beef/chicken fajitas for dinner. Shirley even got to drive the yacht for about 20 minutes as we cruised near the harbor entrance. Evidently, the yacht is available for charter ($4,000/day) as is many of the large luxury yachts in Newport Harbor. We saw some pretty amazing boats on the water, including three very large yachts from Georgetown... I wonder how long that took and if they had to go through the Panama Canal.

Monday, May 23, 2005

IVC Commencement

Irvine Valley College had their commencement ceremony last Friday. The Wind Symphony was asked to play the processional/recessional plus a musical piece. The ceremony started at 6pm and didn't finish until 7:45pm. I think this picture is the band playing "Army of the Nile" which was the concert piece. I'm not in the picture since I was probably still on a bus returning from Temecula after couple hours of wine tasting. I did manage to show up in time for the recessional piece; I don't think I was even warmed up after playing the song.

I've been to a lot of commencement ceremonies. I think the best speaker so far was Nicholas Cage at Shirley's graduation from CSU Fullerton.

What about artists� survival? I began to grow up. I�m now 12 and I�m going to school on a bus. Everyday I�m getting beat up by the older bully on the bus because he wants my hostess cupcake in my lunch bag. I�m skinny and weak and I can�t fight. I wake up in the morning and I decide to wear my older brother�s cowboy boots. I put some tight jeans on, I wear a pair of black sunglasses and I�m chewing my bubble gum with attitude. I slick back my hair and I get on the bus. �I�m not Nick,� I tell the boy. �I�m his cousin, Roy Wilkinson, and if you steal his cupcake again I�m going to have to come back here and kick your ass.�

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Broadcom Sues Qualcomm Over Patents

This could get ugly... Qualcomm has a lot of lawyers on staff.


Broadcom Sues Qualcomm for Alleged Patent Infringement, Files Trade Commission Complaint

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) -- Chip maker Broadcom Corp. said Thursday that it is suing wireless communications company Qualcomm Inc., and filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission over several patents covering wireless technology.

Broadcom said it filed two complaints against Qualcomm in a central California federal court for unspecified monetary damages, alleging that Qualcomm's current and next-generation wireless products infringe 10 Broadcom patents. The complaint also calls for a permanent injunction barring the manufacture and sale of infringing products.

The patents cover multimedia services like audio, video, data as well as communications capabilities. Broadcom said it was filing the suit as more wireless networks are upgrading their systems to handle the increased capacity for non-voice wireless applications.

The company filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that Qualcomm has engaged in unfair trade practices by importing integrated circuits and other products that infringe five Broadcom patents. The complaint calls for a cease and desist order against the trade practices.

Broadcom expects the ITC to begin an investigation in June and the California trial to begin in early 2006.

Qualcomm spokesman Jeremy James said he could not comment on the allegations as the company has not received copies of the court or ITC complaints.

Broadcom shares rose 10 cents to $35.47 and Qualcomm shares rose 8 cents to $36.63 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

Duct Tape Car

I saw this car on the 57 Fwy near Yorba Linda Blvd. while driving home on Tuesday. The entire back of the car was caved in and covered with duct tape (it's kinda hard to see since the car was silver and so is the tape). Isn't it dangerous to drive a car in that condition? What if he gets rear-ended again? The car is already structually unsound. I guess the guy did not have uninsured motorist insurance or did not have car insurance at all.

Of course I was risking my life trying to take the picture with my Treo while driving 65 mph on the freeway.

Stupid Lawsuit

Yahoo! News

A Russian court ruled that an astrologer could proceed with a lawsuit against the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration for plans to bombard a comet whose destruction would "disrupt the natural balance of the universe," ITAR-TASS said.


Bai seeks a ruling that would restrict NASA in its plans to annihilate a section of the Tempel 1 comet in a project that has been dubbed "Deep Impact," as well as punitive damages of 8.7 billion rubles (300 million dollars, 240 million euros).

"My client believes that the NASA project infringes upon her spiritual and life values as well as the natural life of the cosmos and would disrupt the natural balance of forces in the universe," Molokhova was quoted as saying.

The lawyer said Tempel 1 had sentimental value to Bai because her grandparents met when her grandfather pointed the comet out to his future wife.


From this NASA article, comet Tempel 1's brightness ranged from 9th magnitude (April, 1867) to 11th magnitude (May, 1972). I think the unaided human eye can only see objects brighter than 6th magnitude (lower the magnitude, brighter the object). In addition, Tempel 1 was "lost" for most of the early 1900's, i.e., astronomers could not locate the comet. So unless her grandfather had a telescope or a big pair of binoculars and knew exactly where to look, I doubt he actually pointed out the comet to anyone.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I went to get fingerprinted on Thursday for my U.S. Citizenship application. I got there at 11:45pm and essentially sat for 45 minutes waiting for my number to be called. I'm not sure how they scheduled but no one got called for a long time. The whole process only takes 3 minutes and there were only 10 people in front of me. You'd figure with 4 machines, I wouldn't have to wait that long.

Also, the fingerprints were taken with a scanning machine. I did one of these about 4 years ago when we applied to be respit foster parents. It kind of defeats the purpose if you have to get re-fingerprinted each time even though the results are stored electronically. I think INS just wants my $70 fingerprinting fee.

At the same time, I'm trying to renew my Canadian passport so I can travel to Asia in June.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Monday, May 2, 2005

California Poppy Reserve

I went hiking this Saturday with NewSong's hiking group to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. There were not a lot of flowers; the picture below is the largest patch of flowers we saw on the entire hike and we pretty much walked on every trail in the reserve. The Poppy Reserve is in Lancaster which is about 100 miles away; the drive (one-way) was longer than the hike!

It was good though to get out of the house and breathe some fresh air. Next week, the group is going to hike at Crystal Cove-El Moro Canyon in Laguna Beach.

Poppy Field

Close up of some poppies