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Archive for February, 2002

HDTV sucks

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HDTV. What’s the point? Peter was raving about watching the Olympics in HDTV, which I’m sure was very impressive… so I picked up an RCA DTC100 HDTV unit to finally take advantage of my HDTV-capable TV. I actually have felt just the slightest bit of guilt for owning a 1080i capable TV, without ever having seen a 1080i signal on it. :) Anyway, after hooking it up… I’m not very impressed. The picture is shifted to the right on my screen about 2″ (HDTV signals from an XBox work fine, so I’m assuming that it’s this specific RCA unit’s problem), and it turns out that the only worthwhile “local” air broadcast HD signals are being broadcast on channel 61 out of Fresno, which I can’t get. So… having HDTV decoding capabilities in San Francisco just isn’t that exciting, except that PBS occasionally broadcasts HD demos. I just wanted to watch “The Practice” in HD! heh. too bad. :( At least I can return the unit. Maybe I can try HDTV again in a couple of years.

Also, having a TiVO makes it impossible to try to catch shows on at their normal broadcast time. Someone asked me the other day, “What time is [The Family Guy] on?” I replied: “oh. I have no idea!” :)

Two links to share:

- a great kerpal link that Peter sent me
- “Lange Fellowship winner announced” – Berkeleyan article on Wendy

| link | trackb | 4 comments » | Feb 28, 2002 12:00:32

Mike Stern Band

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I just got back from seeing the Mike Stern Band at Yoshi’s (thanks for planning, Amabelle!). Both Amabelle and I are being dorks and are busy at our respective computers, updating web sites. :) Anyway, the band was AMAZING, but not really for the band itself, nor for Stern’s music. They were amazing because the individual performers were amazing, and when they started improvising together (after the cheesy easy listening jazz parts of the songs ended)… everyone’s jaws were on the floor. Victor Wooten is the best bass guitarist I’ve ever seen (read more »)

| link | trackb | 6 comments » | Feb 24, 2002 23:03:49

Gamble House, Mom

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Here are some photos I’ve been too lazy to post, from San Diego. My family and I went to the Gamble House in Pasadena to check out cool Arts and Crafts movement architecture. I hadn’t been in that area since I visited Kenny, when he was still at USC Med School.

My Mom made a feature story about the biotech industry, in Taiwan’s Business Weekly Magazine No. 99, 2/11/02-2/24/02. If any of you in Taiwan happen to have a copy, can you send one to me? It’s the article that talks about Pacific Biotech and Wyntek Diagnostics. My mom is quite a business woman. :) Her name was listed incorrectly, though. Too bad.

Lots on my mind lately. I wonder if I should share publicly. I guess it would be uncharacteristic if I did, huh? :) (read more »)

| link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 21, 2002 18:09:19

D&D Test

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I took the D&D Test, which was posted on Rice Bowl Journals. It’s sort of fun, but you can get stuff like “Lawful Evil Halfling Ranger Paladin,” which is totally bogus. Oh well. :) Here’s my result (the same as cyn!!): (read more »)

| link | trackb | 9 comments » | Feb 21, 2002 12:08:57

Friendtest scores

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I’ve retired my friendtest from a few days ago. Thanks to everyone who took the time to take it. :) Here are the results! (read more »)

| link | trackb | 3 comments » | Feb 18, 2002 03:20:36

San Diego

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San Diego is so nice! So warm and sunny here (despite the morning clouds and afternoon haze). I fell asleep last night at around 2:30am, Super Shuttle showed up at 6:50am, and I was through the security line at SFO by 7:50am, free to waste two hours waiting for my 9:50am flight time. Some woman decided to bring sharp scissors in her bag. I don’t know what she was thinking. There’s no way those would have made it through security. Wendy said she managed to convince the security folk not to confiscate her angled tweezers, which is pretty impressive. Amabelle has had two of them confiscated so far, and their obscene price of $15-22 each makes it hurt.

I have totally unreliable 802.11b access from my room here, and when it does work, DirectTV DSL sometimes craps out. I installed the Linksys access point in my parents’ room, which is at one end of the house, and there are more than three walls between me and it. Oh well. I probably shouldn’t be wasting my time online while I’m down here, anyway. I’m also writing like I’m in elementary school. Eric is in San Diego. Eric likes San Diego. See Eric, in San Diego. My brain feels like it has shut down.

I went out to see Amelie with my family tonight. It’s one of the cutest movies I’ve seen! Very enjoyable. :) Before that, we went shopping in Fashion Valley (I just walked around, really), and went to see my Dad’s 228-dedicated “Night Blooming Cereus” photo exhibit at the Taiwanese-American Community Center (not to be confused with the “Chinese-American” Community Center, if there is one. heh… :) (read more »)

| link | trackb | 5 comments » | Feb 17, 2002 12:15:38

eBay Manners

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I’ve had pretty good luck on eBay, and when I haven’t, good manners have typically gone a long way. I recently sold my underwater camera setup, but it took two eBay listings to sell it because the first guy misread the post and backed out after he had already won the auction. However, he offered to do “the honorable thing” and purchase the unit anyway, because he figured that it was his own fault for having misread the listing. I relisted the item instead, but because he was so willing to do whatever it would take to fix his mistake, we both were left feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

I’ve been an ass only once on eBay, and it was totally unintentional. (read more »)

| link | trackb | 1 comment » | Feb 15, 2002 21:19:42

Skyline R34 GT-R V-Spec

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Driving is fun! I went out today with Allon, Peter, and Amabelle and shot some crappy footage. It’s fun to watch, though. Allon let me drive his Skyline for about half an hour, and that thing is AMAZING. (read more »)

| link | trackb | 12 comments » | Feb 15, 2002 20:44:36

Wendy, on Berkeley.edu!

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Check this out! My sister Wendy is on http://berkeley.edu. I’m very proud of her. :) If she’s not on the page when you click on the link (if you go there at all), I’ve cached a static version on my site. Here’s the “2002 Fellow” page at the Dorothea Lange Fellowship web site, where you can see a few of her photographs.

| link | trackb | 3 comments » | Feb 15, 2002 14:18:39

Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Here are some photos from the Monterey Bay Aquarium today. I was debating taking a tripod, but I decided to try to shoot inspired by Wendy‘s friend Hitomi, instead. Her fish/marine photographs are often blurry, making them abstract and very effective. (read more »)

| link | trackb | 5 comments » | Feb 14, 2002 23:02:07

Aqua, MusicPad, Mindjet

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Look! Now they’re right outside my place. Exciting, huh? And, it seems that they’ve decided that 7am is too late to start, so they’ve started working at 6:30am. I bought some earplugs a few days ago, and it’s helped the problem a little bit.

I went to Aqua with Amabelle and had the chef’s special tasting menu. It was really, really yummy. The staff wished us a happy new year a couple of times, which was nice.

Barry sent me a link to a product called the MusicPad, which is a LCD tablet-based music management/display system. I had always wanted to build one of these in the past. It looks really cool, and it’s being demonstrated at Stanford tomorrow in the music building faculty lounge. When touchscreen LCDs come down in price, these things will become more popular, I’m sure. You can annotate directly on the tablet! I wonder if it will be… usable for musicians trained on paper music. (read more »)

| link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 13, 2002 22:46:58

Berkely, IQ test

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After being jolted awake at 7am by circumstance accompanied by the lovely singing of jackhammers, I spent lunch at UC Berkeley with my sister and her funky friend Shiloh, eating at the faculty club with some Berkeley public relations folk and professors. It was a celebration lunch for the Dorothea Lange Fellowship, which Wendy won this year. Her photos will be up uh… somewhere in a gallery on Berkeley campus, so go check ‘em out, if you can find them. :) Anyway, it was interesting. The people at the table were old school photographers and museum curator types, and some of them were really funny. Go, Berkeley. :)

I just took The Spark’s new IQ test, which isn’t a joke, like the last one was (they received some pretty funny hate mail for that last IQ test, by the way. Justin forwarded some of it to me. har har har). Anyway, the test was actually pretty hard! My brain felt like it did when I took the analytical section of the GRE. Of course, I was much quicker back then, before a few years of coding and designing enterprise software dumped starch into my head. Or, maybe I’m just older now. I’ve already started the slow descent down the ranks of standardized test percentile ratings. sigh

I want Peter to take the test. I’ll bet he gets over 200. I’ll bet you he cheats, too, like he did on my friendtest. Just kidding. :) He seems to still be very sharp. :)

I still feel really unhealthy. (read more »)

| link | trackb | 7 comments » | Feb 11, 2002 17:16:33

Friendtest, Monica, Flying Fish, Lion Marriage

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Hey, check it out. I made one of those friendtest things. I would advise using a bogus email address, cuz these things generate spam like nobody’s business.

I have a few photos to post. I went out to Monica’s party on Friday night, but didn’t get to hang out for very long, because I was extremely tired, and all of the people I knew showed up a couple of hours late. On the way back to SF, I ended up doing a last minute 5-lane change to get onto the 92 West from the 280 North, so I could drive up the coast at 1:00am. The sky was perfectly clear, and with the help of my seat warmers, I managed to stay warm with the moon-roof open. The sound of crashing waves soothes me, and that drive is one of my first urges when I’m feeling down.

Here’s a picture I took while in Hawaii last November. It has the smoothness of an abstract painting, and I really like it for some reason. These guys were everywhere, shooting out of the water to evade predators (and our huge boat) and gliding for impossibly long distances.


Flying Fish, in Hawaii, Nov 2001


Oh. This is funny, too. This is totally typical of family correspondence. :) (read more »)

| link | trackb | 5 comments » | Feb 10, 2002 03:04:19

Livia performs Rosza

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I’m not sure that some of the guests in the audience last night realized how rare it is to get to hear a violinst of Livia’s caliber perform from a few arm-lengths away.

Almost thirty people arrived just before 8pm to hear Livia run through the Rosza Violin Concerto with Dmitri Cogan, including members of another quartet who had come over a couple hours earlier to run through a Brahms Piano Quartet. Rosza was the dude who wrote the music for BenHur, and Geoff said that the music was sort of like… “Bartok meets film score.” :)

I won’t say much else, but you can check out a very short clip of her playing, if you have Real Media Player installed. See the clip now, before her management finds this and sues me. hehehe.

Artist Bios (read more »)

| link | trackb | 1 comment » | Feb 8, 2002 18:18:55

Taiwan Photos

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I’ve finally posted some photos from my winter Taiwan trip. Enjoy! :)

| link | trackb | 3 comments » | Feb 7, 2002 11:38:40

Dorm Recital

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I played in a dorm concert tonight at Lagunita, on Stanford campus. Barry asked me to play, and I had lots of fun, despite being forced to play Pachebel’s Canon, which has the Most Boring Cello Part in the World. I didn’t know what was going to be performed until just before the little concert. Good thing we had some time to look at the parts before performing. :)

Afterwards, I had a drink with Barry at the Coffee House, on campus. While walking from Lag to Tresidder, I realized that being an undergraduate on Stanford campus is like being in paradise. Granted, you have to pay roughly $130/day to be there (tuition + board was just hiked to $35,000/yr recently), but there really is nothing like it. I don’t think most students appreciate it until after they have graduated.

Getting out of my house and playing music cheered me up.

Other students still think I’m a student. I guess that’s a good thing. It’s hard to tell how old Asian people are, huh? :)

Thanks to Oliver for coming up and hanging out with me. He, Livia and I ate at “Sunflower”, in the Mission. I love that restaurant.

My car is having problems that the dealership can’t fix yet. The rear differential is protesting when it slips, and they’re trying to find an additive that can make it happy again. I guess I should be pissed for paying so much money (read more »)

| link | trackb | 3 comments » | Feb 7, 2002 03:17:56

Stranded

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I’m tired. I went climbing today with Brian Babcock, and I only made it to the top of one climb. Climbs that had been easy last week were impossible today. I guess it is accurately reflecting my state. Lonely, lonely, lonely. (read more »)

| link | trackb | 9 comments » | Feb 5, 2002 18:13:31

Missing painting

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I’m so disappointed. I went to The Canvas today (finally) to rent/purchase the cool painting I really liked there (it’s in the background in these photographs), and it was GONE! Someone purchased it yesterday, and the woman working there said three people had come in asking about it after it was gone. :( The thing is — I went in there once after the performance to check it out, and after that I had planned to stop by (even tried to twice, but couldn’t find parking easily). I almost never see paintings I really like, and I missed the opportunity to grab this one. My sister suggested that I try to contact the artist directly to see some more of his work.

My sleeping schedule is totally whacked. I was awake from 3am-6am yesterday, and am still up at the same time today (partially because Geoff and (Livia came over to watch the Superbowl, time-delayed seven hours by my trusty Tivo. :) Geoff had rehearsal and a concert during the game. It must suck to miss a game, if you’re a crazy football fan like he is. I probably wouldn’t have watched the game if he hadn’t asked me to record it. I’m GLAD I got to see it, though. It was a good game. :)

| link | trackb | 4 comments » | Feb 4, 2002 04:53:52

3 Shows

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Weekend full of the arts! Friday night I hung out with Elliot and his friend Sarah, and then met up with Adam Tow at Vienna’s show in Mountain View. In addition to the few regulars who always seem to be in attendence, I bumped into Chris Olsten, a Stanford Ph.D guy who was on the VLDB trip to Egypt I went on with Beverly.

Last night, I went to hear Heidi play a recital at the SF Conservatory. I hadn’t seen her in a long time (read more »)

| link | trackb | 1 comment » | Feb 3, 2002 23:33:20

untitled

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| link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 3, 2002 01:59:06
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