I will think of a better name for this blog one of these days.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Taipei Computer Expo

I went to the computer expo here last weekend and picked out a computer. Due to me switching jobs, I didn't have a computer of my own for almost two whole weeks! I was pretty close to commiting suicide a few times. I'm so glad that ordeal is over. . . I'm currently typing on an Acer Aspire 5583

14.1" WXGA
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz
1 GB of RAM
256 MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7300
120 GB Hard Drive
DVD SuperMultiDeluxePro#-^&+=*

Pretty good upgrade considering my last notebook only had 256MB of memory TOTAL. . . the video card in this Acer has 256MB all by itself.

Anyways, back to the computer expo. That place was a freakin' madhouse! Sooo many people all over the place, can't move an inch without pushing someone or someone pushing into you. The most annoying thing was the salespeople. At the notebook section, the salespeople pretty much attacked us. At the HP booth, five salespeople simultaenously came up to me and in almost perfect unison they asked me "Are you looking for a notebook?" It was kinda funny since they looked at each other right afterwards, with a slightly confused look. I think they were all just trying to get to me first, but ended up being a five way tie. This was the worst example but pretty much all the booths were annoying with their salespeople. After awhile I went to the bathroom to check if I had "Looking for Notebook" written on my forehead.

We ended up going into the Toshiba booth. . .

This pic is what it looks like inside the booths. That's where the salespeople demo the notebooks for you and the negotiating starts. The idea of negotiating for a computer is so foreign to me. I don't really like it, but it's only way to get a decent price here. At some booths, they'll slash 10% off the listed price immediately. After the deal is done, they give you a bunch of freebies like a portable mouse, mousepad, pens, etc. . . To me the experience is more similar to buying a car than a computer.

The whole thing is really tiring. I miss how simple it was in the US. . .
1. Get newspaper, find Sunday circulars, pick out a computer,
2. go to the store, ask salesperson to get computer you picked out,
3. find out it's sold out, they offer you a more expensive computer, you say no, they tell you the closest store that has this computer in stock,
4. drive to next store, ask salesperson to get the computer for you, salesperson pushes extended service plan on you, you say no
5. Wait in line for register, cashier person pushes extended service on you, you say no
6. drive home with new computer

Almost done. . .

7. fill out the Mail in rebate forms, make copies of the mail in rebate, make copies of the receipt, cut out the UPC barcode from the packaging, make copies of the UPC, put it all in an envelope, mail it in.
8. wait 8 weeks, remember rebate check never came
9. call rebate center phone number, they tell you "Oh, yeah, it's in the mail"
10. Receive rebate check a week later. Deposit check.

That's how I remember it, the process is probably different now, i haven't bought a computer in awhile.

Anyways, here's a crappy video I took from the computer expo. I'm pretty sure this is the only possible way to make people interested in flash memory cards.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Roller Coaster of a Month

Some big changes in my life since my last blog/entry/post whatever you call it.

I'm not gonna go into the details as it's boring (and I'm not in the mood to type all that crap out) but basically, a few weeks ago I quit my job. After that, I seriously contemplated moving back to the US. About a week ago, (amazingly) I got a new job! Now I think I'm might be in Taiwan indefinitely.

Life is so unpredictable sometimes.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My mom is funny

My mom always compares herself to one of her close friends. A long time ago I started referring to her friend as Tim Allen because for a small asian woman she looks a lot like . . . well, Tim Allen. Now I feel kinda guilty because it's not very complimentary and now even my mom refers to her as Tim Allen. Also because I actually don't think she looks like Tim Allen that much anymore, so it doesn't really make sense. Anyways, sometimes when my mom is bored she'll ask me silly questions. . . this past weekend she asked me who looks better? Her or "Tim Allen". I always reluctantly say "you look better" because it's kinda true. She always gets a sense of satisfaction from that, i don't think it's healthy, and frankly it isn't a huge accomplishment. Then she asks for specific number, 1 out of 10 or something like that for both her and her friend. That's usually when I stop participating in this stupid game. But she kept on asking and insisting. . . that's when i jokingly told her about a website called hotornot.com. If you're not familiar with that site, click on the link. You'll figure out the concept in two seconds.

I think you all know where this is heading. . .

Here are the results after 127 votes:

8.5??? Who the heck is voting 10 for my mom!?!?!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

5 day weekend almost over

5 day weekend almost over. :( I didn't really do much except sleep a lot and watch a movie and protest against the president.

On Friday I saw World Trade Center: The Movie. It was basically two guys stuck in a hole, talking to each other. For a movie about two guys stuck in a hole, it's really very good. . . but I prefer movies where the scenery changes more often.

I just came back from the "protesting", I'm not really against the president. . . I just didn't want to do my assignments for class and it was a nice day outside.

Here's a picture and blurb from the Associated Press:

Thousands of anti-corruption protesters shouting slogans march outside the Presidential Office on Taiwan's National Day, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006, in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian spoke Tuesday, as tens of thousands of red-clad protesters gathered in the broad boulevard outside the Presidential Office building, demanding that he step down over a series of alleged corruption scandals.(AP Photo)

The atmosphere is more like a carnival than a protest. Everyone is all smiling and taking pictures of each other wearing all red and with their thumbs down. Some people bring their kids all dressed in red. . . i saw a few babies in red also. Even dogs were dressed in red. I guess even the dogs hate Chen Shui-bian.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

I don't like this. . . i'm old.

I just got an invite for my high school's 10 year reunion. I wasn't really ready for it. . . kinda snuck up on me. I remember briefly talking about this with one of my friends last year but it's been completely off my radar until now.

I wonder how all my classmates are. I wonder what they'll look like. I wonder who got married, if anyone has children yet. I wonder how successful they are. The more cynical side of me wonders who got fat, who's losing their hair, who aged so much you need to look twice to recognize him/her and. . . if anyone died yet (i guess that would be my morbid side).

Unfortunately, I won't be able to find out any of the above. . . atleast not with my own eyes as I won't be able to attend. Not worth the time/money to fly back to US. Oh well, i'll just have to wait for the pictures from the classmates that i still keep in contact with.

I feel old though. I wonder what 18 year old me in 1996 would think of me now in the present 2006. I think 1996 me would be disappointed. :( Now I feel old and depressed. This blogging thing is great!

A bit random but here's a picture I drew last month with my 3 year old niece. It's kinda funny if you're familiar with the characters of Dora the Explorer. Atleast my niece thought it was funny. She chose the colors of the rainbow, that's why it looks a bit "unconventional"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Guess what fat girl eating noodles?!?! Wo hen yo kong!

I'm not really sure why but for the past few years I've thought about running a marathon. I remember making a pact with my friend a year or two ago that we'd both do the NY Marathon that year. That if one of us didn't run we'd have to pay the other a certain amount of money $100 or something. . . i guess that was supposed to be the motivating factor. It's pretty obvious nothing happened of that. There was no monetary penalty if neither of us did it.

I've decided I'm gonna give it another go. I have no excuses this time. I live right next to a waterfront park that stretches for miles and miles in both directions. The weather this time of year is very good, especially at night and I'm in pretty good shape right now.

Actually, i think the real reason why I'm doing this is because of the annoying TV commercial for the marathon that's shown 100 times a day. You can see it here(might be useful if you understand Mandarin). I'm so easily influenced by TV ads. :( Guess what fat girl eating noodles?!?! Wo hen yo kong!

Some stats:
The distance for the marathon is 26 miles (42 kilometers).
The record is 2 hours 12 minutes , that's an average speed of 5 minute 5 sec. a mile. I can't even do that for one mile! :(
Last year supposedly 100,000 people participated in the Taipei Marathon making it the world's biggest marathon.

So far, yesterday I ran 8 miles (13 km). I have only 10 week before the marathon (Dec 17). I got a long way to go before I'm ready to run 26 miles. I'm not sure I have enough time, in a few weeks I'll have a better idea if this is even possible for me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What's that smell?

Awhile ago I got my shoes completely soaked riding my scooter in a torrential downpour. Yeah, i know I'm a genius. It takes an long-ass time to for things to dry here. . . took like 5 days for my sneakers to air dry. No biggie since I'm a patient guy. I only started wearing them today. I really should've examined them before I did this.

The reason why? While in the middle of explaining to us the historical background of why noon is referred to as "zhong wu", the teacher stops and says "Does anyone smell something?" I think nothing of it, I honestly didn't smell anything. Then she briefly walks around the room and looks underneath the Korean girl's chair for some reason. Finding nothing, she continues her explanation of "zhong wu". Then she pauses again and asks us if we smell something a bit sour. . . no response from us. This part is kinda funny, she asks the two Korean students if they brought kimchee to class. We all laugh. . . stereotyping people is funny!

For some reason this is when I started to link previously soaked shoes with sour stink. I crossed my legs so my feet are as close as possible to my nose and . . .


My feet stink. So embarrassing. :( The stupid part is that now I'm aware of this, i can't help but notice my feet getting sweatier. I never have a problem with this normally but now that I'm so concious of my stinky feet, it's somehow making my feet sweaty. Which makes me feel like the odor is getting stronger which makes my feet feel like it's getting even sweatier. I've become my own biosphere of stinkyness. Somehow I make it through the last hour of class and I'm first out the door. Not one of my best days. . . nope definitely not. :(

On side note: I got 100% on my last exam. EXCEPT I actually wrote my name wrong in chinese. The teacher announced that to the whole class while passing out the graded exams. Hahahahahaha funny. C'mon. . . i was in a hurry. I'm not that stupid. . . reallly!

Monday, September 11, 2006

i hate monday

I hate waking up on Mondays. No matter how many hours of sleep I get, I still have trouble getting out of bed and i feel like crap.

The only thing I'm kinda looking forward to is that I'm going to see a college friend I haven't seen since backstreet boys were popular. haha backstreet boys. Anyways, should be fun.

ain't no lie, baby bye bye bye!

Scooter story of the day:
Riding to school this morning was fun. It was still raining so the roads were a little slippery. A lady on a scooter decided to stop when the traffic light was still yellow. C'mon lady, you from america or something? Green means GO, Yellow means GO faster!, Red means Go if it just turned red, otherwise stop, watchout for cops, then go. It's not that difficult lady. Anyways, I was behind her so I had to brake a little harder than I wanted to. . . ended up locking up the rear brakes and briefly doing an impromptu rendition of Initial D on a scooter. Of course I acted all calm and everything like I did it on purpose.

Rain ruins my weekend

I miss having a car. It's been raining a lot for a few days here. Starting to get on my nerves . . . is there such thing as a "dry dance" I could do? Anyways, my main mode of transportation here is riding a scooter. If you look at the sketch I drew, you might think that your feet is relatively safe from the rain.

I wore sneakers. It was the wrong choice, even going barefoot would've been a better choice. I didn't account for cars + puddles = BIG SPLASH, it doesn't matter that my front of my legs were covered since the splashes came from the sides. As i was cursing at myself and thinking how much fun two hours of walking around going *squish* *squish* *squish* was going to be, I wondered to myself how the heck do other people keep their feet dry. Then I noticed everyone else riding their scooters wore sandals or flip flops. Oh. . . I felt a tiny bit stupid. When I finally reached my destination, soaking wet. I reach for my cell phone to find out where my friends are. . . phone not there. I forgot it at home. I feel extra stupid now. Too many possible locations, i'm not going to search every spot in this downpour and in soaking wet clothes. Game over. An excellent way of wasting 30 minutes and getting soaked for no reason.

While riding back I realized something interesting. At 50+ mph raindrops actually hurt a little. Not painful enough for me to slow down but painful enough to make me go "Hmm. . . i gonna post this on my blog".

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Holy crap! I started a blog.

I guess I'm a bit late to this bloggin' thing everyone's been doin'. Whatever, i'm slow. . . deal with it.

school just started.
I think I'm retarded.
They put me in the remedial class
cuz I farted. . .

Seriously though, I'm retarded and i'm in the remedial class. This will be my third attempt at learning Chinese. First time was when i was in elementary school (failed/dropped out), second time was during college (passed but i remember nothing). This time I'm serious! No joke. . . yesterday I studied so hard a pocket protector spontaneously popped out from the front of my shirt.

Highlight of my first week of class: The teacher asked everyone in the class (all 6 of us) to draw a cat. Then she asked "Shei de mao shi zhui hao kan de?" (Who's cat looks the best). Everyone pointed at mine. Even some random kid out in the hallway came in and pointed at mine. I thought to myself. . . all those games of cranium finally paid off! Here's my rendition of it done in MS Paint.

I thought the Japanese kid in my class would easily win this competition but surprisingly his drawing was. . . what's that word . . . oh yeah. GARBAGE. He ended up dropping out of the class a few days later. Hmmm. . . I wonder if this had anything to do with that. We may never know.

We may never know.