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Archive for December, 2006

Mt. Fuji from the air

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mt. fuji from the air, japan

Why you should listen when the captain says, “and on our left, you’ll see a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji.” And also, why you should either have your camera under the seat in front of you or have your sister sitting in the aisle seat so she can jump up and get your camera from the overhead bin.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 30, 2006 22:32:03

Shibuya, Tokyo

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the famous intersection in shibuya, tokyo

The intersection in front of the Shibuya Station in Tokyo is incredible. All vehicular traffic stops every couple of minutes, allowing hundreds, if not thousands, of pedestrians to flood into intersection from every direction. It’s definitely worth a visit. If you’re into shopping, you should go here. That’s what I’m told, at least. :) (read more »)

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 27, 2006 08:28:48

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

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loading tuna at the tsukiji fish market

UPDATE 12/27/06 I uploaded the whole lot of photos to Flickr [see them].

Wendy and I woke up at 4:45am yesterday and hopped onto the first train to Tsukiji’s wholesale fish market. Most websites say that the tuna auction has been closed to the public since May of 2006, but that’s not exactly true. The main floor of the tuna auction is off-limits for visitors, but there is a narrow hallway in the middle of the floor where you can stand to observe the proceedings. (read more »)

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Dec 27, 2006 07:50:53

Earthquake in Taiwan off Pingtung

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There was an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 tonight just off the south coast of Taiwan (with an aftershock measuring 7.0). So far reports indicate that only one building fell down in Pingtung (the city in which my grandmother and various other relatives live); we have been unable to contact her because the phone system is down. Immediately after the quake, my aunt called from Taichung to tell us that her kids freaked out and that everyone ran out of the building (she was teaching; kids go to school at night here).

We were on the streets of Taipei after eating at Din Tai Fung and didn’t feel anything, even though it was reported to have been quite strong here as well. And although there was a tsunami warning in the Philippines as a result of the quake, it never materialized.

Quite a few near-misses lately! We were in Pingtung just a few days ago. In August of this year, a volcano in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea erupted days before I landed, and two years ago I was in Indonesia for the big quake and tsunami (luckily for me, I was on the eastern border, too far away to feel the effects).

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 26, 2006 10:25:59

Photo catchup

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Even though I was only home for a few days in November and three days in December, I managed to get out to see quite a few friends.

Um. So… here are some photos. Subjects include Alissa Everett, Greg and Annabelle Tsutaoka, Dave Patchen, Emile Litvak, Susan and Chip Scarlett, Mandy Knox, and Vienna Teng.

view photos
Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 26, 2006 07:51:52

Spiders are cool

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8 legs of coolness

At brunch last month with Chip and Susan Scarlett, I found a beautiful little spider in the parking lot of the Claremont Resort in Oakland, CA. Luckily, I had my trusty Fujifilm FinePix F30 and managed to snap a few shots before we encouraged the guy to get out of the parking lot.

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 26, 2006 07:16:31

Douglas Seifert in San Francisco

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douglas seifert and eric @ mandy and elliot’s place

Douglas Seifert comes into down every Thanksgiving to spend time with his mother, who lives in Half Moon Bay. He took a break for a day and came out to see my place in Oakland and to eat at my favorite local dim sum place, Restaurant Peony. Afterwards, we went over to hang out with Mandy, Elliot, and their two little kitties. Douglas is a real cat person, which is to say that he loves to torment them. [see photos]

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Dec 26, 2006 06:11:54

Thanksgiving 2006 with Lai and Deng Family

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Caroline, Char, and Peter @ Thanksgiving dinner

I had planned on having Thanksgiving dinner with Geoff and Livia over at Steve Prutsman’s place, but a last-minute call from family changed my plans. My uncle, aunt, and cousin were in town visiting Charlotte (cousin), and we all had a Thanksgiving feast at Peter Deng’s house with his family. His mother is quite an amazing cook, and they somehow managed to get a 20+ lb turkey to be moist and tasty.

Peter managed to get ahold of 2 Wiis (one went on eBay). Luckily, there were no Wii injuries that evening. [see photos]

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 26, 2006 02:17:24

Lynn Park, 3-legged cat

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lynn park and me, san francisco

Below are photos of Lynn with her new 3-legged cat (found abandoned that day). When I met him, he was stinky from the anti-flea bath they’d just given him, but I think he has potential to be a good pet. He’s super mellow.

The only scary thing is that when he walks he sort of looks like the girl from The Ring. (read more »)

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Dec 26, 2006 02:02:43

Vienna Teng, Lens Baby

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vienna teng, taken with lens baby

I finally got to play around with my Lens Baby, which is a selective focus lens for SLRs. On the night before I left for Japan and Taiwan, Vienna came over to hang out for the evening before my flight the next morning. “Extreme schedules call for extreme hang out sessions,” we agreed. And by extreme hanging out, I guess I mean that she watched me pack, slept for a couple of hours on the couch, and then drove me to the airport. :)

Anyway, the lens is a lot of fun. [see photos at flickr]

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 25, 2006 19:58:07

Nash family visit

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newton and darwin nash, mutant giant beagles

On December 9, I drove down to Sunnyvale to visit Adam and Carolyn, who recently gave birth to a new baby boy (see a pattern? there have been 4 new babies from good friends in just the last 2 months!). I thought I’d end up with lots of pictures of baby Joseph, but for some reason I came home with none. Instead, I took photos of Jacob, whose new favorite thing to do is to escape out of the doggy door when Mommy and Daddy aren’t looking.

Thankfully, Newton and Darwin (mutant beagles) aren’t as hyper as they used to be. I like them better when they’re mellow.

An unexpected treat was the aural bliss of Adam’s old G4 tower as it “moo’d” repetitively (MOOOOO!) while trying to ingest a couple gigabytes of Jacob images from my camera. Oh, how it tried. [see photos]

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 25, 2006 19:43:44

More photos of baby Jack

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baby jack jack, 10 days old
 

I’ve finally posted some more photos of baby Jack.

Lesley was nice enough to baby sit while we went out for my little birthday dinner back on the 11th, and afterwards we met up for some quality baby time. Warren and Vienna were there, too.

I wish I lived closer to Stanford. After Geoff and Livia’s relocation down there a few months ago, I’ve been driving the 50 miles to and from their place 2-3 times a week (when I’ve been home, that is).

Speaking of moving, I may move back to San Francisco soon. The East Bay is great and all, but aside from my neighbors, nearly everyone I hang out with lives on the other side.

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 25, 2006 19:15:31

Okonomiyaki dinner, Tokyo, Japan

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dessert and drinks, tokyo, japan

On December 16th, Hitomi took us out to have okonomiyaki at a little place in an area no tourist would ever have found. I had never had (nor heard of) okonomiyaki before, and really enjoyed the new experience. And since Hitomi was involved, we went out to another place afterward for a hugely decadent dessert (in a Japanese not-too-sweet sort of way, of course). [see photos at flickr]

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 25, 2006 08:45:52

Birthday celebrations in Palo Alto and Tokyo

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birthday cake in tokyo

After spending two consecutive birthdays in Indonesia, I had grown accustomed to being out of town for the big day. But every year, Geoff and Livia have nonetheless ended up facilitating some sort of domestic birthday celebration, even if it ends up being days or even weeks early. (read more »)

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 25, 2006 08:13:38

So many photos, so little time…

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me, in jiji, taiwan (photo: wendy cheng)

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it! (we barely do). Our days here in Taiwan have been so packed that I have had very little computer time. Virtually all of my journal posts from Taiwan have been tapped away from my Blackberry — painful, but at least I haven’t been cut off completely.

Several trips ago, I stopped processing the images that I post here on my website in order to save time. My web workflow these days involves ripping thumbnails out of RAW files, resizing, sharpening, watermarking, and then uploading to the web. So you’ve been seeing what comes out of my camera pre-Photoshop. :)

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 25, 2006 07:43:02

Death screams

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Yesterday, I heard what can only be described as “death screams”. (read more »)

Taichung, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 23, 2006 17:01:22

Sibling conspiracy

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Mom: How do you spell Jessica?

Wendy and me: (simultaneously, spontaneously) J-A-Y…

Mom: (confused) J-A… What?

At this point we noticed that she had a pen in her hand and was about to write down our version on a card, so we gave her the right spelling. Plus, we were laughing too much to continue.

(You probably have to be of similar descent to get this. Jessica is often pronouced “jay-see-kah”)

Taichung, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 22, 2006 21:52:35

Adam Tow on KQED

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photo: adam tow

Adam Tow was on KQED the other day talking about Yul Kwon’s win on this year’s Survivor. [see transcript/download mp3]

Adam opened with the following: “It was great seeing Yul win on Survivor because it’s so rare that we get to see images of Asian Americans as strong, capable leaders in the mainstream media. Especially for Asian American men, who are often shown as weak and effeminate or nerdy and socially awkward. Yul demonstrated that he has the intelligence, physical prowess, and social adeptness not only to stand toe-to-toe with The Man but to be The Man…”

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 22, 2006 18:49:42

Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan

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a reflection of wendy and eric in a gold ball

Known as “Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées”, Omotesandō (表参道) is quite an amazing street and neighborhood. Wendy and I spent a couple of hours wandering around the area window shopping and people watching. I really enjoyed sitting by a window in the upper section of a nice little cafe/restaurant with a yummy vegetable curry set.

Also, I discovered that I really like Muji. [see the photos from omotesando]

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 22, 2006 09:44:46

Early morning G ‘n R

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There’s nothing like getting into a cab in the early morning and being greeted with a little Sweet Child O’ Mine action.

We had dinner last night at the ugliest restaurant in the world. Luckily, the food was really good, and I’d totally go back again. I took some pictures and will try to get them posted soon.

And speaking of meals, Wendy and I have been amazed by some of the conversations we’ve been hearing at some of them.

Here’s one example:

“Uncle”‘s Wife: Uncle can only eat at this restaurant. Otherwise, he gets diarrhea. “Uncle”: That’s right! Me: OK! Let’s order!

It’s a familiarity rivaled only by family interactions.

Taipei, Taiwan | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 21, 2006 16:55:51
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