Monday, February 27, 2006

Starry Nights

If I could live anywhere, I would find a place where I can see lots of stars at night, and still be within 10 minutes of good Chinese food! It seems like these two things are mutually exclusive... :(

Car Damage

Just got the quote... a little bit over $1,700.

Things to fix/replace:
• left front fender
• left front alloy wheel
• front bumper
• small scratch on left door
• front-end alignment

I guess it's not too bad. They couldn't find a used fender so I'm getting a new one. My only worry is that they match the paintjob with the original paint on the rest of the car.


Wow, I just logged into my email account for the first time and there were 18 messages... 17 of them were email spam! None of them were directly addressed to me so hopefully there's some type of glitch.

Oh well, I'm probably not going to use this email account since I have so many already.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Moving Day... Done

What a long day. We finished moving all the large items from my house to the apartment; there are only a few things left to move next week with the SUV. I want to thank everyone that came out to help: Andy, Z, Ali, Tim, and Dave. Sorry my apartment is upstairs.

I just put together the bed so I can take a nap.


I accidentally took out my own car this morning with the moving truck. For some unknown reason, I parked the Z in front of my house. After picking up the rental truck, I was trying to figure out where to park it in front of my house so we can use the lift. Well, I came a little bit too close to the Z and the rear lift of the truck caught the front left fender of my car. I think the damage is cosmetic but still significant so I called my insurance already and they'll have it fixed next week. Sigh... $500 (deductible) down the drain.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

House Fixed

The contractor finally finished fixing my house today. After the mold guy left, he had to rebuild the water heater closet doorframe, put up lots of drywall, and repaint everything. He even filled some cracks/holes in the stucco... all for $500. We'll see how it looks after the walls dry. One good thing is that I finally have hot water again in the house, after about two weeks of showering at work and at the apartment. I'll also get to do some final "free" laundry before I move out this weekend. I was going to take some pictures of the repair but I was too lazy.

I think I'm about 80% packed for this weekend. I ended up buying about 15 file storage boxes to pack books and other office stuff. You really don't know how much stuff you have until you have to move all of it somewhere else. I'm going from 1617 square feet down to 735 square feet so it's going to be tight. I can't imaging how our family of four moved from Mississauga to Los Angeles 20 years ago with only 8 check-in suitcases (all filled to 70 lbs.) and 40 boxes that we shipped. I think we sold or gave away everything. When my parents moved back to Canada last year, it took half a trailer plus my sister driving their car across the continent.

I'm probably going to buy something again once I get tax-shock this year, being single and not owing a house. Maybe this time I'll donate all the furniture and rebuy everything from IKEA.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hong Kong

A co-worker posted a picture of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak and mentioned that often there is a heavy haze. Here is another picture from our trip to Hong Kong last summer that demonstrates the "heavy haze"... actually, it was raining that day. We couldn't see out more than 30 feet into the fog/clouds.

Once again, here's my favorite picture from Hong Kong :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Greeting Card

"I Love You" Is My Lasting Promise to You

Love is a word with many meanings.
So when I say "I love you,"
I want you to understand exactly what I mean...

I don't say "I love you" expecting something in return
or just to make you feel better.
I say it so that you know that no matter what else is happens in your life,
there is at least one thing that you can count on: me loving you.

I'll be there to
hold your hand in hard times,
calm you in distressed times,
and offer my help even when your pride may keep you from asking for it.

My love is unconditional, and it will always be there.
Even when everything else seems lost
and there is no hope in sight,
just remember one thing—
"I love you,"
and my love is genuine.

—Erica Denmark

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Posting in Chinese

I had tried posting some stuff in Chinese before; it would paste in the editor but when I post, it always shows only question marks. I finally figured out that my settings were set for Western encoding instead of Unicode. Now all I have to do is to learn how to write Chinese better (or at all, since I can really only write my name).

Below are lyrics to a song by A-mei I really like, especially line #7. Loosely translated, it says "many things are better understood after rinsed/cleansed by tears". I ran it through Babel Fish and got "some many matters let the tear laundering understand"... say what? :)


人變了心 言而無信 人斷了情 無謂傷心
我一直聆聽 我閉上眼睛 不敢看你的表情
滿天流星 無窮無盡 我的眼淚擦不乾淨
所以絕口不提 所以暗自反省
終於 我掙脫了愛情
把愛 剪碎了隨風吹向大海
有許多事 讓淚水洗過更明白
天真如我 張開雙手以為撐得住未來
把愛 剪碎了隨風吹向大海
越傷得深 越明白愛要放得開
是我不該 怎麼我會眷著你眷成依賴


OK, I found some pictures of the K-Pop group SWI'T. I also found out that it's pronounced like "swee-tee". Evidently they only released one album in 2003 called I'll Be There. One of the songs on the album is a cover of Hotel California by The Eagles; the actual song title is 호텔 캘리포니아 which I think phonetically sounds out Hotel California (I'm verifying with a Korean co-worker). I thought it was done really well but the Korean accent is pretty heavy. I found out about them through a music video of one of their songs, Everybody Get Down.

2nd Moving Day

I moved some more small stuff over to the apartment today. I spent about 2 hours last night with the tape measure trying to figure out a way to squeeze all my furniture into the apartment. I think I just have too much stuff, especially in the office. I'm trying to fit all three tables, a lateral file, a bookshelf, queen-sized bed and dressers/nightstands into one bedroom. I think it will all fit but will be difficult to walk around the room. The living room will be about the same since I'll need to fit the futon in there as well.

The apartment is just not as comfy as the house. I think the main problem is the carpet. It's not bad... but not the same as the expensive carpet we put in when we bought the house. There also seems to be multiple "leaks" in the different doors so there seems to be a draft somewhere. Oh well...

The cable guy came and installed the cable modem. He had to run a line under the carpet and through a wall to reach the corner where I'm putting my office table. Once again, I just ordered cable modem without cable TV. Hopefully the basic cable signal will come through as well so I won't have to pay for cable TV. I won't know until I move the extremely heavy 36" tube TV next weekend.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mori Living

I was surfing on the web and saw this new apartment in Tokyo. I thought I was paying a lot for my apartment but the 700 square feet one-bedroom apartment in this complex is going for ¥1,150,000 per month; that's about $10,000! Yeah, it's Tokyo and it's new but still... unless they're getting paid a lot in Japan or two families are going to share this apartment.

Monday, February 6, 2006


I got my U.S. passport in the mail last week so I can travel again. I had to turn in my green card at the citizenship oath ceremony so for the past two months, I could have used my Canadian passport to leave but I couldn't come back to the U.S.

I guess I won't have to renew my Canadian passport (it was a drag to have to renew it every 5 years)... unless I travel to the Middle East.


Ever since I got my iPod last month, I've been listening to some K-Pop (K = Korean). Sometimes it's better not to be able to understand the lyrics. I had downloaded some music by S.E.S. long time ago but I found a couple more singers/groups I like: Fin.K.L, Jewelry, BoA, and SWI'T (I've only found one song for them so far). It's actually easier to find and download music videos than good quality MP3s. I've been looking for Chinese Pop as well but since I can't read very well, it's hard to know what I'm looking at... :) I did find a co-worker with a lot of new Chinese songs so I'm going to copy some files off her computer. Interestingly, most Korean songs have an English title; not sure if the meanings are the same. For Chinese songs though, they just use PinYin so not only are the song titles hard to say, you still don't know what it means.

Fin.K.L (Fine Killing Liberty... whatever that means)


BoA album cover

Saturday, February 4, 2006


I went skiing for the first time in over 10 years. I had to load sound equipment at NewSong this morning so I could only go to Snow Summit for 1/2 day of skiing. I don't think I've been to Snow Summit for over 15 years but I still remember the drive and everything looks the same. The snow was not too good today; it was too warm so the snow was pretty wet. I had only bought boots (and thermal underwear) at the ski show so I had to rent skis. The 1/2 day lift ticket was $50 which is a lot more than I remembered and the ski rentals were $18. I did get to use the snowboarding jacket I bought at the Columbia factory store in Portland.

Since I didn't get there until 1:30pm, I only got to ski for about four hours which was going down Summit Run about 8 times. I was wearing jeans so I didn't want to push my luck on black diamond runs. I did go down Miracle Mile (intermediate) once but the snow as really clumpy and I couldn't see very well since I was only wearing my glasses. There were a lot of people on the slopes and since they made Summit Run a beginner's run, there were lots of people sitting down with their snowboards. The lift lines were pretty short though so maybe it took people a long time to get down the slope. Hmm...

The drive from home only took about 90 minutes. In high school, I remember meeting at Haley's house at 4am to go skiing at Snow Summit. I also remember Carlos losing control of his car on the way up and crashing into a guardrail. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

View of Big Bear Lake from the upper portion of Summit Run

Looking back up the slope from the same place

Notice that there is only snow on the runs and not anywhere else. Hurray for snowmaking!

Friday, February 3, 2006

Sorry, that was the last one

I was at the La Habra Costco last night at around 8:20pm and decided to get a Chicken Bake for dinner. As I was walking up to the window, there was a woman standing there looking up at the "menu" board. Being a nice guy, I paused and let her go ahead of me. To repay me for my kindness, she went ahead and bought the last Chicken Bake so I had to find dinner elsewhere.

There is a lesson in there somewhere.