Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chinese Abortions

China Daily
Abortion statistics cause for concern

Inadequate knowledge about contraception is a major factor in the 13 million abortions performed in China every year, research shows.

Abortion statistics cause for concern

This is an unfortunate - and avoidable - situation, experts said, and improvements need to be made.

Li Ying, a professor at Peking University, said Wednesday that young people need more knowledge about sex.

A survey done by 411 Hospital of PLA (People's Liberation Army) in Shanghai, for example, found that less than 30 percent of callers to a hotline knew how to avoid pregnancy, and only 17 percent were aware of venereal diseases.

More than 70 percent said they did not know sexual transmission is the major contributor to the spread of HIV/AIDS.


Government statistics show that about 62 percent of the women who have abortions are between 20 and 29 years old, and most are single.

Wu said the real number of abortions is much higher than reported, because the figures are collected only from registered medical institutions.

Many abortions, Wu said, are performed in unregistered clinics.

Also, about 10 million abortion-inducing pills, used in hospitals for early-stage abortions, are sold every year in the country, she said.


Abortions cost about 600 yuan ($88). Since the 1990s, doctors have not asked for a woman's marital status when an abortion is performed.

There are about 20 million births in the country each year, Wu said.

13 million! That's the population of Los Angeles (10M) and Orange (3M) Counties combined. At $88, that's easily a $1B business in China.

The real interesting statistic is what % of the women getting abortions are ernais or mistresses of government officials.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Warning! Warning!

At 0:43 in the video. I don't get it either.

냉면 (Cold Noodles) by Park Myeong Soo and Jessica of SNSD

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I miss my hamsters. Especially momo. :(

Friday, July 24, 2009

(Mainland) Chinese Tourists

Why am I not surprised?

Taipei Times
Hoteliers lash out at Chinese tourists

By Lee Ying and Lin Hsiu-tzu
Sunday, Jul 05, 2009, Page 1

Taiwan’s travel industry is being forced to deal with many negative consequences — from damaged hotel equipment to delayed payments — coming from the influx of Chinese tourists, hotel operators and travel agencies said.

One year ago yesterday, Taiwan allowed the first Chinese tourist groups to enter the country on direct cross-strait flights. However, one year later, Taiwan’s hotel and tourism operators have more to complain about than to praise regarding their guests from across the Strait.

Although Chinese tourists did increase occupancy at hotels and boarding houses, they have also caused a lot of trouble, hotel and boarding house operators said at a meeting with Taipei County Tourism and Travel Bureau Director Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠) earlier this week.

One hotel operator in Taipei County said that after his hotel stopped providing ashtrays following the January ban on smoking indoors, Chinese tourists began smoking in their rooms and putting their cigarettes out on the carpet and wooden tables, or use its bathroom cups as ashtrays.

Another hotel operator said that although his hotel provides ironing boards in the rooms, Chinese tourists often iron their clothes directly on the floor, burning the carpets.

He said that he had even found a missing alarm clock in the electric water boiler in the room one time after guests from China left.

Other hotel operators said that while it was not news that guests often steal towels and slippers, they still found it quite shocking that Chinese tourists would take shoe brushes, shoe horns, hangers and even closet door knobs away.

Hotel and tourism operators said that some of the other complaints they often receive about Chinese tourists include littering, walking around wearing only underwear in public areas and spitting.

Chin said that hotel operators could ask Chinese tourists to leave a deposit when they check in. However, representatives from the Tourism Bureau and travel agencies were opposed to it, saying there was no legal basis for requiring deposits and that it may make Chinese tourists feel that they are targets of discrimination.

China, on the other hand, suggested that hotels should ask travel agencies to pay for damage inflicted by their customers.

Meanwhile, travel agencies complained in a separate meeting that their partner travel agencies in China often write checks payable only after three to six months, causing them tremendous financial pressure.

Ha ha, walking around in public wearing only their underwear. The tourists must think they're back home or something. I remember walking around Beijing, very close to Tiananmen, and seeing old guys walking around the street topless and only wearing pajama pants. Maybe I'll look less like a tourist if I did the same... :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Random Driving Pictures

I'm cleaning out my micro SD card from my Blackberry so I can transfer it to my Samsung t819. I found some random pictures:

Driving home from Torrance after helping a friend paint his condo. This was near Long Beach airport. 405N was empty for some reason and everyone on my side of the freeway was slowing down and looking to see what happened. Never did see anything other than a few CHP cruisers.

Lexus IS-F... you can tell by it's funky exhaust tips.

Whole jackfruit

Central Propaganda Department

At least we're pretty certain what they do everyday. This is the latest censorship instructions to China's search engines:
胡海峰 纳米比亚、纳米比亚 行贿调查、杨帆 行贿调查、清华同方 行贿调查、南部非洲 行贿调查 - 以上关键词请各搜索引擎屏蔽为全站无结果

Hu Haifeng Namibia, Namibia bribery investigation, Yang Fan bribery investigation, Nuctech bribery investigation, southern Africa bribery investigation. Please show no search results for all the above keywords.

NucTech, the company headed by Hu Jintao's son (hmm... I wonder how he got that job) until recently, is being investigated by Namibia and the EU for corruption and illegal dumping. If you were in China, you wouldn't know about it since there is nothing on the news and the web is being scrubbed clean with search engine links and news stories removed. If anything is being mention in state media, it will probably be portrayed as "yet another anti-China falsehood perpetrated by the Western media™."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Woohoo! New song and album from Brown Eyed Girls. They need to come to LA to do a concert! :)


Dang it! Here's another link:

New Cell Phone

Since my parents only had a pay-as-you-go phone here in the US, and I don't use my minutes, I added a line to my plan and got a new phone. T-mobile had a lot of free phones but none really stood out. I ended up choosing a Samsung t-819 slider phone. I've been playing with it for the past hour, adding names to the address book since it looks like I'll be using it and they will take my Motorola RAZR v3. I got it several years ago and ended up unlocking it so I can swap SIM chips in Asia. It works out since they need an unlocked phone for the China/Taiwan trip next month.

I thought about getting a Samsung smartphone-like phone like the Memoir but didn't want to spend $200. I also have to carry around my work Blackberry so I ended up with a smaller phone. When I quit or get fired, then I'll upgrade my RAZR.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

China Trip Planning

Well, the total solar eclipse will start is about 13 hours and I'm still here in California... :( Leon is in Chengdu now and he said the sky is pretty much overcast all the time so you can't see the sun anyway. Still, everything will go dark for about 3 1/2 minutes tomorrow morning local time. My other friend in Chengdu is visiting her parents in Zigong, which is actually a bit closer to the max totality line. I also talked to a co-worker whose parents live in Shanghai. The view should be better in Shanghai though it's always smoggy there too.

For our big family trip to China later next month, we all have our plane tickets, China visa, and hotel reservations in Beijing. Since I'm only traveling to Beijing and Chengdu, I told them I would plan out the Beijing portion (having been there twice before), but the rest is up to them. My sister just called and said her and Rebecca may try to go to Lhasa/Tibet instead of Xi'an/Jiuzhaigou and my parents are still shopping for a Yangtze River cruise.

Mutianyu (from Wikipedia)

Since most of the tourist attractions in Beijing are local, I'm not really planning too much ahead. The only out-of-town thing to see is The Great Wall (TGW). I've been to Badaling (八達嶺) and Simatai (司馬臺) so I'm trying to plan a trip to Mutianyu (慕田峪) this time. I heard Badaling is way too touristy (I was there in 1998) and I was just at Simatai last year. If I book a tour from the US, costs range from $65/person for a large tour to $120/person for a private tour. However, the city of Beijing also run tours (bus fare plus entrance fee... not sure if there's a guide) to different parts of TGW and the one to Mutianyu is only ¥95.

Here's my preliminary itinerary for Beijing:
Fri 8/28: arrival and check-in, dinner, Wangfujing
Sat 8/29: Qianmen (buy TGW tickets), Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Beihai Park
Sun 8/30: Mutianyu
Mon 8/31: Olympic Park, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace
Tue 9/1: check-out and travel to next destination

Friday, July 17, 2009

China Vi$a

So despite all my griping about the CCP and how much they suck, I still got a tourist visa for my trip next month. I usually have a travel agency drop-off/pick-up my passport and visa application for $25 but since there are 5 travelers this time, my parents went on Monday. It turned out to be a colossal waste of time but we "saved" $125. The entire process, including pick-up yesterday, took almost 10 hours, of which 4 was spent driving back/forth from South OC to midtown LA. Making things worse was the fact that my dad had a new passport. On the application, I put down that he visited China before so they wanted to see the old visa. This means they had to find their expired Canadian passport, bring it on the pick-up day, then pay an extra $30 for expedited processing. My mom basically was in the same situation (no old China visa in US passport) but they didn't ask for anything. All together, we spent $680 on one-year multiple-entry visas for 5 people. We could have saved a bundle if we all traveled through Vancouver and used our Canadian passports instead; China visas for non-US passports are only $30 or something. This is my 4th China visa... I'm rapidly running out of pages in my passport.

Next hurdle: making sure I don't sit next to anyone with H1N1 on the plane to avoid quarantine!

Next next hurdle: coordinating arrival of 6 people at Beijing airport within a 3 hour window without any Chinese cellphones!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

YAC - Yet Another Computer

I bought another computer through but it's not really for me. It's a Dell Inspiron Mini 12 which is basically a netbook with a 12" display. For some reason, Amazon was selling the computer for ~$360 while the Dell website was still selling for $500. The model sold by Amazon even has better components than the $500 base WinXP model.

Dell Inspiron Mini 12
Intel Atom Z520 1.33GHz CPU
12" LCD display 1280x800
1.3MP camera
Alpine White cover

I just checked Amazon again and it's now selling for $345. Strange... maybe there's something wrong with it, though the one I bought works fine. Dell is still selling the same computer for $524 (at least the white case is free instead of an additional $40) plus shipping and tax.

First impressions? The mini 12 is really slim and the display is nice. It's the same resolution as my larger 14" Sony Vaio. It actually weighs less than my 10" netbook since it only has a 24WHr battery; my Asus has a 90WHr battery and a much longer battery life. To make the computer so thin, I think Dell had to use a different HDD form factor so the largest drive offered is only 80GB instead of the 160GB found in other netbooks. It is also limited to only 1GB of RAM and has no internal fan. Maybe it's because the Z-series Atom CPU draws less power than the N-series... more memory will also add heat.

Overall, I really like the computer. It looks better than my Asus, which is a bit thick and heavy, and the 12" display is really nice compared to the 10" 1024x600 screen (the 600 pixel screen height is a pain). Much like all the other Atom CPU powered netbooks, the mini 12 is pretty slow compared to the current dual core Pentiums. I'm tempted to get one for myself but the 9 hour battery in my Asus is too good to give up. BTW, the computer is for my friend in China. The same computer in China is ~$650 even though it's made in China. This means I will have to carry two netbooks to China on my next trip, though together they're probably lighter than my 17" Dell E1705 I brought once.

Speaking of computers, it's time to upgrade my mom's laptop. She is still using a Dell Inspiron 600m with a Pentium M processor and only 512MB of RAM. You can tell it's obsolete since memory upgrades (DDR) are about 4x more expensive than the current SODIMM's (DDR2). One option is to give her my Mac mini desktop and I would replace it with a Macbook Pro. Since they're going to stay in LA now, there's no real need for a portable computer.

Home Network

I just checked the status of my main wireless router and my little home network is getting crowded. I may have too many computers... :)

Netgear WNR834v2 x2
Sony Vaio CR420
Apple Mac mini
Asus Eee 1000HE
Dell Inspiron mini 12
Dell Inspiron 600m
Dell Inspiron E1705
Dell Latitude D820
Apple Airport Express (iTunes)
Sony PS3
HP 1022n Printer
Compaq Presario 1722

To be fair, none of the 4 Dells are really mine; my parents each have one, the D820 is from work, and the mini 12 is for someone else. I really only have three regular computers and the Eee is usually attached to my LCD TV. Still...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Agenda-Driven Pseudo-Research

One group of people that I've never understood is the anti-development crowd. These people are usually white liberals from rich Western countries and their message can be reduced to consume less. I'm not sure they're driven by guilt ("I'm destroying the planet!") or greed ("Leave some for me!"), but they irritate me a lot. It's similar to the Hollywood hypocrites who drive hybrids but fly everywhere on private jets... or just look at Al Gore and his huge carbon footprint.

Anyway, part of their propaganda is "research" that confirms their agenda goals (lots of groups are guilty of this). I saw a 64 page report called The Happy Planet Index 2.0 published by a group called nef (new economics foundation... in hip all lowercase *sigh*). Once again, you can judge the validity of the research by the results. In its ranking of 143 countries, the "happiest" is Costa Rica followed by Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Riiight. The United States is ranked 114th out of 143, between Madagascar (per capita GDP = $457) and Nigeria (birthplace of the advance-fee fraud scam).

WTF? The top 10 happiest countries include 9 countries from Latin America plus Vietnam. Mexico is ranked 23rd, well above the US and Canada (89th). We should translate this report into Spanish and hand it out along our southern border... that will stop illegal immigration! Seriously, the three criteria used are life expectancy, life satisfaction, and ecological footprint. This is put into an arbitrary formula along with two "constants". The report even admits that without tweaking the results using the two constants, the happiest place on earth would be Haiti, truly a Hell on Earth, due to their small ecological footprint. That would make the report a bigger joke than it already is.

So what they mean by "happy" is not happiness for the people--who cares about them--but a "happy" planet. To these nutcases at nef, what make people happy is using less resources. What a load of crap. Do they really think people in Costa Rica are happier than people in the United States because they are poor and consume less? How arrogant! The reality is that people from Guatemala (#4), El Salvador (#8), and Honduras (#10) are risking their lives daily to cross illegally into Mexico (#23) on their way to the United States (#114). Now why would they do that if they were happy???

Their ideological bias is easy to see in the report. Each of the three categories color codes countries into green, yellow, and red. However, for ecological footprint, there is an additional color... BLOOD RED!!! How dramatic. Bloody countries include Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, USA, and Kuwait.

BTW, China is ranked #20 though I don't feel that happy when I'm there versus when I'm back home in 114th ranked USA. Maybe it's because I'm a shameless ecological resource hog, leaving my multiple computers on all the time.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wireless Jungle

The repeater I installed in my parents' apartment works but the signal seems to drop between the two routers quite often. There used to be a program call Network Stumbler that showed what wireless AP's are in the area. Looking around on the web, I found another application called inSSIDer that does the same thing and works with Vista.

Here is a screen capture:

There are 28 WLAN routers that my Sony Vaio can detect from my apartment (27 not counting my repeater). The strong signal on channel 1 (yellow line) is my router, sitting 3 feet from my computer. The repeater is buried amidst all the other AP's broadcasting on different channels (green line). The picture is pretty similar when viewed from computers in my parents' apartment. The trick is for each router to find each other and sent/receive data. Initially I had both routers on channel 6 but the connection was flaky so I switched to channel 1 and it's a bit better. I think the strong signal on channel 8 was causing interference and there's already a lot of people on channel 6; same thing for channel 11. I tried channel 3 since it seems to be more "clear" than other channels but the repeater status showed "poor" for signal strength.

This is only what I can detect from my apartment. If I walk around with a notebook, it will probably pick up more, each ~$50/month of revenue for Time Warner.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tell Me Your Wish - Lyrics

I'm switching tactics on K-pop lyrics. I was typing them out on a standard Korean keyboard layout to learn some Hangul. However, I think the layout is faster for typing but has no correlation to how the vowel/consonants actually sound. For this song, I've switched to Gongjin Cheong Romaja which uses romanization to match sounds with English keycaps. It takes more keystrokes to type in each word/character but at least I kinda know what it sounds like.
소원을 말해봐 (Genie)

소원을 말해봐 네 마음 속에 있는
는작은 꿈을 말해봐
니 머리에 있는 이상형을 그려봐
그리고 나를 봐
난 너의 Genie야 꿈이야 Genie야

드림카를 타고 달려봐
난 내 옆자리에 앉아
그저 내 이끌림 속에 모두 던져
가슴 벅차 터져버려도
바람결에 날려 버려도
지금 이 순간 세상은 너의 것

그래요 난 널 사랑해 언제나 믿어
꿈도 열정도 다 주고 싶어
난 그대 소워을 이뤄 주고 싶은
행운의 여신
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your boy)
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your wish)
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your dream)
내게만 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your world)

소원을 말해봐 지두한 날들이
넌 지겹지 않니
평범한 생활에 넌 묻혀 버렸니
인제 그만 깨어나
넌 나의 Superstar Shining star Superstar

심장 소리 같은 떨림의
Bike에 네 몸을 맡겨봐
이제 이 세상은 오직 너의 무대
환호소리 같은 파도가
내 가슴엔 너의 체온이
나는 너의 길 영워한 Biggest fan

그래요 난 널 사랑해 언제나 믿어
꿈도 열정도 다 주고 싶어
난 그대 소워을 이뤄 주고 싶은
행운의 여신
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your boy)
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your wish)
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your dream)
내게만 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your world)
소원을 말해봐

DJ put it back on

그래요 난 널 사랑해 언제나 믿어
꿈도 열정도 다 주고 싶어
난 그대 소워을 이뤄 주고 싶은
행운의 여신
소원을 말해봐
난 널 사랑해 넌 나의 Music
난 널 사랑해 넌 나의 기쁨
난 널 사랑해 넌 나의 행운이
되고 싶어
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your boy)
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your wish)
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your dream)
내게만 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your world)
소원을 말해봐
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your boy)
소원을 말해봐 (I'm Genie for your wish)

I'm missing a few lines from Taeyeon's part at the beginning since the video did not subtitle it. I'll need to find it from another performance (there's at least 3 each week), or steal it from another website. Here is the performance I used from Inkigayo on June 28th.

Wireless Repeater

In order for my parents to share my Internet connection, I had to buy another wireless router and use it as a repeater. Since I already had a Netgear WRN834, I bought another one from Amazon for $60 to make sure they work together. After messing around for 2 hours, I think I have it working, though I'm a bit disappointed in the router to router connection. They're both 11n MIMO routers so I thought the signal would be better. At least it's working... I'm posting this from my parents' apartment bedroom.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Communism, killing millions since 1917

Sigh... x2. I'm going to puke if I see another new story about Michael Jackson, when evil like this is still happening and ignored.

BBC News
North Korean food need 'critical'

North Korea is facing a "critical" food shortage, especially for children, the UN's food agency has said.

The World Food Programme's director for North Korea said the agency was unable to reach millions of North Koreans due to a shortfall in funding.

The director, Torben Due, said the WFP had received no new donations for North Korea since Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test in May.

He also said Pyongyang had barred the WFP from using Korean-speaking staff.

North Korea had given no reason for that decision, he added.

How is this different from what Mao did 50 years ago? 20-30 million people died in the Great Chinese Famine. Any "government" that can't feed its own citizens, yet has money to develop nuclear weapons, is not legitimate. Maybe they will trade the two Asian American journalist hostages for food.

One Child Policy


BBC News
China babies 'sold for adoption'

Dozens of baby girls in southern China have reportedly been taken from parents who broke family-planning laws, and then sold for adoption overseas.

An investigation by the state-owned Southern Metropolis News found that about 80 girls in one county had been sold for $3,000 (£1,800) to foreigners.

The babies were taken when the parents could not pay the steep fines imposed for having too many children.

Local officials may have forged papers to complete the deals, the report said.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dude, where's my package?

My sister and Rebecca are planning to visit China in late August. Since there is no Chinese Consulate in Portland, they sent their passports plus some other documents to me via USPS Express Mail. It was sent out yesterday so it should have arrived today. To be safe, I had them sent it to my work address. Well, the web tracking said that they attempted delivery at 9:40am and left a notice. That doesn't make any sense at all. With close to 2,000 employees in Orange County, we're one of the larger employers in Orange County, and have a fully staffed mailroom. I even called the mailroom to check and they said they were there to receive the mail delivery but had nothing for me.

I also called the 800-number for USPS and all they did was repeat what the web tracking site said, and promised to reschedule delivery tomorrow. I hope it's not lost. The mailroom guys also said that USPS package tracking was notoriously inaccurate. I'm definitely sending the passports back using FedEx or UPS. :(

NewSong NOC Scandal?

I haven't attended church at NewSong NOC since last December, other than helping out with sound during Easter weekend. I had an issue with the sermon/guest speaker during one of the services prior to the presidential election last year. It gave me a strong impression that NewSong was supportive of illegal immigration, since we should be "compassionate" to those less fortunate. I totally disagree. The guest speaker was basically an immigration activist and he gave out a lot of misleading information that went unchallenged. After several email exchanges with the lead pastor, I gave up and left NewSong since he never addressed my concerns ("call me" is not an answer). I was more upset that after helping them run the sound system for four years, sometimes working 14+ hours each weekend, I thought that I was part of the community and deserved a bit more consideration. Oh well.

Even though I've been gone, I'm still on their general email list and the more specific CAM (Creative Arts Ministry) list. I just found out that the lead pastor is stepping down because he "violated his marriage vows." I'm not sure what that means exactly and I don't have more details. He is married and has two young children. I hope it's not a Mark Sanford type meltdown and things work out between him and his family.

State of California Department of Finance

As of this morning, the State of California has no budget for FY2009. Instead of checks, the state government will start issuing IOU's. There are probably a lot of different issues but basically we spend much more (~$24 billion) than we take in. During the fat years, the state spent all the extra tax revenue, including adding lots of entitlement programs. However, now that we're in a financial crisis, the Democrats won't reduce spending and Republicans won't approve tax increases. To me, this just further validates my feeling that Democrats use other people's (tax) money to stay in power.

One thing that amazed me was the people in charge of the state finance department. All of them are political insiders, having worked in government for a long time. Perhaps we should get some people from the real world, where you go out of business if you can't budget, to help them. Sigh... you can tell by the lack of finance professionals in the finance executive staff that the annual state budget is not a finance exercise but a political one.
Director: Michael Genest
Master's degree in Public Policy
No private industry finance experience

Chief Deputy Director, Budget: Ana Matosantos
Bachelor's degree in Political Science
No private industry finance experience

Chief Deputy Director, Policy: Thomas Sheehy
Some experience at TIAA-CREF

Chief Operating Officer: Fred Klass
Master's degree in Public Administration
Bachelor's degree in Political Science
No private industry finance experience

Deputy Director for External Affairs: H.D. Palmer
University of Maryland College of Journalism
No private industry finance experience

Deputy Director, Legislation: Miriam B. Ingenito
Master's degree in Public Policy
No private indusstry finance experience

Special Counsel, Jennifer Rockwell
Worked in state government since 1999
Why is she here and not in the legal department?

Seven people and only one with some professional finance work experience in the private sector or even a finance education (but he's deputy director of policy). It seems to be top heavy with Public Policy, Public Administration, and Political Science types... including the deputy director of budget. Figures that they can't produce a real budget. Do they have any work performance goals at all? At least the next level of managers have finance experience.

I've worked in corporate finance for almost 15 years. If I had to put together an Executive Staff team, it would not look like this. However, my goal would be to produce a balanced budget and set up controls to help other departments manage their spending. I don't think those are the goals of the State of California Department of Finance.


Woohoo! Asshole neighbors downstairs moving out! No more blaring music and screaming f-bomb fights at 4am. Too bad they didn't move out earlier so my parents can rent the unit downstairs. On second thought, they were heavy smokers so that may not be good. Probably a lot of spilled beer on the carpet too.

*Don't Let The Door Hit Your Ass On The Way Out