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Archive for May, 2003

Packing sucks

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OK. It’s 5:25am now, and it’s starting to get light outside. I made a quick run down to Palo Alto at around 2am to drop off a mobile phone at Centerscore, raced back up here, and began to pack. It’s 3 hours later now, and I’ve packed all of my dive gear, camera gear, and video gear. All that’s left is my clothing, and I have roughly … no more space — and this is with three check-in bags. :( I guess I’ll be doing a lot of laundry while I’m in Bimini. :)

A few photos, before I finish packing: 1) from my parents’ visit last weekend, 2) from lunch at Burrito Real with Mandy, Elliot, and Wendy, and 3) from a first-meeting with Jean Shi, the daughter of the guy who survived a mountain-climbing accident with my mother during college (only she and he made it down alive after a typhoon hit). It was really nice to meet Jean, even though it can be a little bizarre to meet the kids of family “friends” we’ve been hearing about all our lives. :) [see some photos]

Shit. I forgot that I have to fold laundry, too.

| link | trackb | 9 comments » | May 29, 2003 05:33:37

Sharklab

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I’m going to be out for awhile, so there may or may not be updates for the next month. But if you need to reach me before June 22, I might be accessible through e-mail.

Or, you can write me snail mail at the coolest address EVER:

Eric Cheng
Sharklab
Bimini Bahamas

Be sure to include international postage. No unidentifiable white powder, please. :) (Update: I hear that mail sent to that address “may” get here eventually, so it’s probably not a good idea to try. Too bad! :)

Also, I apologize if you have written me e-mail and I have not responded. My inbox is up to 221 messages now, and I’m sure it will be unmanageably worse when I return. Sometimes I wish I could just turn it off (except for the nice, long “real letters in the form of e-mail” that I’ve been receiving from a few of you. :).

| link | trackb | 8 comments » | May 28, 2003 22:10:27

PDN – Photo District News

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I’ve just been informed that there will be a little spread of my work in the July issue of PDN Magazine (it’s unclear whether it will also appear on the web site). Things happen so fast sometimes! Thanks to photographer David Katz, who told me that he was going to “talk to some editors” about me. :)

I’m also looking forward to future issues of Dive Magazine, one of which will feature a photo of mine (with a short interview).

| link | trackb | 7 comments » | May 28, 2003 22:07:22

RSS Feeds on your iPod

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For you Mac people:

Adam Tow and Alex King, two friends of mine (I think they met through me, but I can’t remember :), have announced a new product called Read it to Me™! Read it to Me creates a playlist of MP3 files in iTunes from your unread items in NetNewsWire using Apple’s Text-to-Speech that you can sync to your iPod.

[Adam's announcement] [Alex's announcement]

| link | trackb | 4 comments » | May 26, 2003 21:38:13

… accents of herbs, sherry and roasted garlic

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Tender chicken breast scallopini glazed in a lemon herb butter sauce with accents of herbs, sherry and roasted garlic. Accompanied by Parmesan cheese rice with hand-picked broccoli and red bell peppers.

A selection from a fancy menu?

nope.

It’s what is written on a Lean Cuisine® Cafe Classics meal with 7g fat and 270 calories. They’re lucky I don’t run marketing for them because I would have just written on the packaging:

Last resort food.

| link | trackb | 5 comments » | May 26, 2003 20:08:56

Coffee cups

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I hate this time of day. It’s too bright for lights to be effective inside, and yet it’s too dark to work without them.

Why do I have 25 coffee mugs? I don’t even drink coffee, except socially (heh). I only have 8 “normal” cups now because my mother and friends have broken a few of them in the last year or so (I insist on buying glasses with thin walls, for some reason. I think I may have to switch to plastic. :). I’d much rather have 25 normal cups and 8 coffee mugs. Anyone want to trade? :)

Actually, I think I will have to keep 10 mugs. Among the keepers: 3 Epiphany mugs, 4 E.piphany mugs (various phases of the company. note the ever-important ‘.’), 1 Trilogy mug, 1 FuckedCompany.com mug, and 1 Stanford mug.

| link | trackb | 4 comments » | May 26, 2003 19:45:20

Online orders

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—–Original Message—–
From: cute richard [mailto:foo@bar.com]
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2003 8:38 AM
To: Eric Cheng
Subject: mail order

Dear Sir/Madam,
I want to buy your product by email,and delivered/ship over seas in Indonesia. I want to pay by credit card,please email me with your special price and thanks a lot.

This is my email order :

1.Nikon D1X with Standart Lenses
-Quantity : 1
Please email me soon,ok and thanks a lot.

—–Public Reply—–
From: Eric Cheng
Sent: never
To: cute richard
Subject: re: mail order

For some reason, I get online orders for camera equipment and/or underwater housings every month or so. Nowhere on echeng.com or on wetpixel.com do I claim that I sell anything!

Please stop “placing” hardware orders through me.

Now, if you want a print of a photo you see on my site, that’s something altogether different. :)

| link | trackb | 4 comments » | May 26, 2003 08:51:45

Peter and Karine

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Peter and Karine are moving to New York on Thursday! So sad. :( Allon and I had dinner with the two of them at Palomino tonight, where we received the worst service ever. I don’t know what was going on, but it took us two and a half hours to eat — which was fine, since it was a farewell of sorts. But still, it was unfortunate to be nearly completely neglected by the waitress. A girl came up to our table (with her friend, for support) while we were eating and asked Allon (in an obvious pick-up sort of way), “you look familiar. have we met? is your name ‘Mark?’” Allon stammered some fairly brusque responses (declining to continue the conversation) while Karine, Peter and I flashed toothy grins. He (of course) talks about his universally irresistable charm all the time, so it was good to finally see it working. It’s too bad he wasn’t interested in her. :)

Anyway, I’m going to miss both Peter and Karine. :( I have no idea what Allon is going to do, since he and Peter seem often to be joined at the hip. Rumor has it that he may move to New York as well, but we’ll see. Allon is a huge wildcard; no one ever really knows what he will do. [see some photos]

| link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 26, 2003 01:38:33

Griffin iTrip

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Ahhh… Mac people. Gotta love them for their beautiful hardware.

The Griffin iTrip is going to make my gen 1(.5) iPod a few times more useful. I hate cassette adapters for car use. And besides, my car’s cassette player is busted. :)

Sorry for the crappy product photo. Mac people use white backgrounds with their white products. Masking is very hard when they do that. :)

| link | trackb | 5 comments » | May 25, 2003 17:52:03

Chengs and Jeings

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Mom and Dad are in town for Wendy’s birthday, and for the wedding of a family friend’s daughter’s. We met at Chika for dinner with my cousin Tom and his family. Evan and Allison (the kids) were, as usual, a riot, and it was unbelievable how much food Evan consumed. He ate an entire bowl of steaming udon, a bunch of rolls, and part of his sister’s zaru udon; his stomach was really hard and slightly round by the end of dinner (I grabbed it while I was restraining him at some point. I think he was trying to push/kick Allison into another kid who was at the restaurant).

After dinner, Evan and Allison were extremely hyper (Grace says it was from the sugar in the green tea ice cream. She was in good spirits despite being tired, being on call, and having two kids climbing all over her). They ran up and down the block of Irving between 9th and 10th, screaming like banshees. Like all 5 year olds, Evan likes to kick things, and Allison loves to play along with whatever Evan is doing. They are both wild and very cute. [see some photos]

Oh yeah! A story: Allison used to have cute long hair, often tied in pig tails. One day, Tom left the room to do something for a few minutes, and when he returned, Evan had cut Allison’s hair with kitchen shears (!). That’s why Allison’s hair is short now. I can’t believe she let him cut her hair! Wendy would never have let me. Although, I did spit gum into her hair once. My mom had to cut it out of her hair. :)

| link | trackb | 2 comments » | May 25, 2003 01:25:48

Annoying

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snip

entry deleted. it’s just not worth it. thanks, chester! (and others. :)

| link | trackb | 6 comments » | May 24, 2003 13:23:27

Wendy’s Birthday Party

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Wendy’s birthday celebration was tonight, featuring dessert and champagne at their Oakland pad. Lilli brought fabulous homemade cheesecakes, Char whipped up chocolate fondue, and Rebecca baked an amazing chocolate cake.

And so we ate; the desserts were really good. My exceeding high alcohol tolerance led me to a nice buzz after only a few drops of champagne. We watched the BBC Blue Planet DVDs while socializing, and they were really the perfect thing to have in the background. So many bizarre things going on in the marine world. :) A nice mix of people attended: Berkeley geography grad students, a sprinkling of Stanford and Harvard folk from Wendy’s past, and a few others. It was good to finally met Sarah Thomas (even though we didn’t get to talk much), who was Wendy’s sophomore year roommate at Harvard.

Unfortunately, my flash ran out of batteries during the evening… and I was stupid and left my camera set to a flash white-balance. Grrrrr. Many of the photos are obscenely red. Apologies in advance. :) [see some photos]

| link | trackb | 6 comments » | May 24, 2003 02:32:07

Photo: sharpening, coffee-table books, etc.

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Microsoft has a concise article about sharpening images captured by digital cameras (the ones that use CMOS or CCD, anyway) on their XP Home Digital Photography site. I agree with the content and use similar workflow myself. They also plug MyPublisher.com, the third party service that Apple uses to print their iPhoto books (from what I’ve heard). More articles are also available.. Most seem rudimentary, but useful and accurate.

| link | trackb | 3 comments » | May 23, 2003 16:30:17

Your photo (private version)

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See the prior post. (I want photos of you guys! :)

| link | trackb | 10 comments » | May 22, 2003 17:23:39

Your photo

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I’m a pretty visual person, and I’ve certainly given this site far too many photos that include me and the people around me in them. What I’d really like is to see photos of the readership here! I was grateful for the comments you all left after the last solicitation. This is the logical next step, right?

Unfortunately, I cannot accept image uploads, so you’ll have to post (as a comment) a link to a photo already hosted somewhere. Or, you can send me one and I’ll post them for ya. :)

I’ll add a separate locked entry for you “members” who don’t want to have your mug linked publicly. :)

Tech note: you can use anchor tags in my comments section. For example, to link an image found at http://foo.com/image.jpg, you can write something like this:

     Here is <a href="http://foo.com/image.jpg">a picture of me</a>.

Do not try to inline an image tag. It will not work, unfortunately.

| link | trackb | 13 comments » | May 22, 2003 17:22:32

Tough California Anti-Spam Bill Passes in Senate

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Justin Kestler just sent me this news article:

“SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The California State Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would make it illegal to send unsolicited e-mail advertising and allows people to sue so-called spammers for $500 per unwanted message… The law also requires spammers to stop sending the e-mails after recipients ask them to or face a $1,000 fine…” [the story]

| link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 22, 2003 14:15:32

Free Corona

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Why do I buy beer when it is clear that no one drinks it when they come over?

Anyone (of my real life friends, I mean. :) want 23 bottles of Corona? Geoff is out of town for the entire summer, and he’s the only one who drinks the stuff at my place.

PLEEEEEASE come take it!! :)

A response from e-mail land:

—–Original Message—–
From: Dad
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2003 2:09 PM
To: Eric Cheng
Subject: beer

I will help you to get rid of the beer over this weekend.

Dad

| link | trackb | 7 comments » | May 22, 2003 12:16:28

Printers suck

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I have a HP Laserjet 1200, which is a $399 printer. I’ve owned it for a year and a half. Two weeks ago, it decided to malfunction, and after going through HP Tech Support (which is excellent, by the way), we have concluded that the problem is something I cannot fix myself. Unfortunately, the machine is out of warranty, and it costs $375 to fix. Normally, they would allow me to trade it in for $75 through an upgrade to the new 1300 (the 1200 is “obsolete” already, apparently), but because the 1300 is so new, I can’t even do that.

So I have a $399 paperweight, and I have to buy a new printer. Oh, and I have a brand new $64.99 + tax toner cartridge which was purchased as part of the troubleshooting process. I opened it, which means that I can’t return it. Luckily, it seems that there is a large market on eBay for just about everything. :)

I’m going to get an extended warranty for the next printer I get.

UPDATE: So I have my new LJ1300 now, and it looks the same except that the stupid USB port isn’t hidden behind a cover that is nearly impossible to remove without feeling like you are breaking it. What did they change in this thing? It looks exactly the same. It sounds different, though, and the toner cartridge has two leads that must be wired to a chip or something. Stupid printers.

I did manage to sell my faulty LJ1200 for $50 to a nice Berkeley student. It still prints fine in 2-up mode because the area that doesn’t print becomes the top margin when two pages are printed on each sheet.

| link | trackb | 12 comments » | May 21, 2003 16:38:15

r dr r

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boy = me. girl = girl.

girl: bai
boy: r^2 dr
boy: hahahaha

girl: haha
boy: (3 r^2 dr) / 3
boy: ok. i’m really going now.
boy: dy = (3 r^2 dr) / 3
boy: AHHAAHAHAHA

girl: omg
girl: :)
girl: you are forgetting who you’re typing to

and you wonder where my charm comes from. um… perhaps i should go to bed.

| link | trackb | 7 comments » | May 21, 2003 00:54:48

Bartók String Quartets

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I’m listening a recording of the Emerson Quartet play Bartók String Quartets while I work in my study, and I wonder…

   … how do they do it?

   and… why did we even attempt Bartók back in college?

   and… how does David Finckel sound so good?

man. although, i must say that i gained a level of appreciation for the quartets that i would never have attained without having played two of ‘em.

| link | trackb | 3 comments » | May 21, 2003 00:35:52
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