2月 25, 2007

Sell it or not?

I'm debating with myself.

My gut is telling me that Seattle and its surrounding area will be home for a lot of new hires coming from all over the places for a lot of welll-known company headquaters located here:

Technology: Microsoft, Amazon, Real
Retail: Costco, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Expedia
Financial: Washington Mutual
Communications: T-Mobile

And of course, we have Boeing and Google offices too, not to mention there are quite a number of startups (where is Blue Origin, btw? You can't take it out just because their website can be done by a six-year-old!), and a lot of other companies in various sectors in the Seattle area.

On the other hand, the supply of land in the city area is becoming more and more limited, as we are surrounded by Pudget Sound at west, and a long line of Mountains at east.

So, a quick conclusion would be that keeping a property would be a better idea than selling it?

Besides, I don't have an urgent need of money now... hum... of course, there is opportunity cost here, which is pretty difficult to calculate.

Talking about selling a house, Redfin seems to be a very interesting model. The most attractive thing being is, of course, you only need to pay $2000 flat fee to the selling agent, as opposed to the tradtional 3% agent fee (well, yeah, you still need to pay 3% to the buyer's agent).

(Oh, don't take it personally if YOU are reading this right now :-)

Sigh... I dont' know. It's a hard decision to make...


2月 24, 2007


2月 23, 2007


Haven't been writing for a "long" time, since work is driving me crazy. I have way too many things I need to take care of and have yet undone... including getting a good night sleep! Although I'm now well-trained to forget about work after hours, there are a few things that are dogging me... I think I have to sort them out this weekend.


Called the college application center today, and they said they have received the transcript, and have sent it to the school I applied. I guess I should be able to hear from them shortly.


Heard that Villaggio Breads and Pastries hires blind people as part of their crew line. Will probably go check it out later when I get a chance.


I really like the name "Bake me a Wish", too bad it's registered already. Hum, let me think of something else that has "BW" in it :-)


I've been reading a few similar verses recently:

你 們 尋 求 我 , 若 專 心 尋 求 我 , 就 必 尋 見 ...


2月 19, 2007


Very spicy!!

We went to a newer restaurant Bamboo Garden, located very close to Bellevue's Toys'r'us. Before Bamboo Garden was opened, it was a Japanese restaurant called.... hum, forgot already :-) A few of us went to the then Japanese restaurant and found out that it's way too expensive for the food quality. But I'm still a bit surprised that they decided to sell their business so quickly.

The Bamboo Garden serves Xi Chuen food, and I would say it's really good--it has all what Xi Chuen food needs: 酸辣、麻辣、乾炸、怪味、椒麻、紅油... Very exciting! If you don't like spicy food, I highly recommend their 糖醋魚, the sauce is awesome!

They are having promotion right now. Dinner menu is 25% off (I heard they were doing a 50% off promotion until the end of last January. Too bad I missed it). We had 13 people, and we ordered 11 dishes, which cost only $108!

I'm going there again this Wednesday, I'll try their「 夫婦肺片」 (i.e. 麻辣牛肚加牛脷) for sure!

Up until now, my tongue is still very 麻麻麻...

Oh, if you see an older lady picking up used dishes for you, don't be fooled by her waitress look. She is actually the owner! And she's not that friendly, mind you.

Bamboo Garden
202 106th Pl NE Bellevue WA 98004
Tel: 425 688 7991

Didn't know that the Polaroid SX-70 was used in 中山美穗's 《情書》... The more I look at it, the more I'm attached...

It would be lovely if we can have meetings that are similar to what this Japanese Polaroid Life is doing. Interestingly, most of the participants are girls!

Here is another good Japanese site that is dedicated to tributing SX-70. Looking at these albums, it seems like 90% of the photographers are girls as well!

At about the same age as me, this camera has some magic power that can attract...

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2月 18, 2007


I wasn't feeling well today, probably it's because of yesterday's trip--slept only two hours the night before, and hauling my heavy equipments walking 10+ miles with quite some elevation gain. I felt my shoulder was burning when taking shower last night. Must be because of the camera pack.

So I went to take an afternoon "nap", actually I slept for four hours straight, and when my sister called at 6ish, I thought it's time to go work!

Read this article "Why your camera does not matter" by Ken Rockwell.

I can't agree more on what he said at the end:
Knowing how to do something is entirely different from being able to do it at all, much less do it well ...

... Having too much camera equipment is the best way to get the worst photos.

Oh well, next time I should just take the paper-weight Holga with me.


2月 17, 2007

What a day!

Went to Mount St. Helens together with Jim. It was a very tiring day for me, but fun! Got a few rolls taken and am waiting to get them processed.

Here's what I got using the SX-70, when we were in a misty morning around a wetland by the visitor center.


2月 16, 2007

"Prayer is Not Optional"

Found this article from an Orthodox's website. Worth a read!


Every day I'm like entering a war room now... to get myself unwind from work I've decided to do some nature shooting tomorrow! It's time to take out my Hasselblad :-)

And then come back to worry about my IRS letter :(


Didn't have much preparation for the small group tonight--as usual. However every time we found something "meaningful" to "do" (although I always think that we're set the format of fellowship too rigid that we always think we need to "do" something to make it meaningful, but I think being there for one another is already a good fellowship).

Anyways, we met a new comer June. An interesting small group indeed. Unexpectedly we all shared our testimonies of how we became a Christian (and it's my first time hearing a lot of them!), and we look up some verses to deal with how not to worry about things.

As we gather in the name of him, I'm sure the spirit will guide us through!


Argh, loving one another is SOOOOO difficult, especially someone whome I DON't like. I quit. I just can't stand it.


Really like today's verse:

誰 能 使 我 們 與 基 督 的 愛 隔 絕 呢 ? 難 道 是 患 難 麼 ? 是 困 苦 麼 ? 是 逼 迫 麼 ? 是 飢 餓 麼 ? 是 赤 身 露 體 麼 ? 是 危 險 麼 ? 是 刀 劍 麼 ?
然 而 , 靠 著 愛 我 們 的 主 , 在 這 一 切 的 事 上 已 經 得 勝 有 餘 了 。
Romans 8:35,37

I don't have 患 難, 困 苦, 逼 迫, 飢 餓, 赤 身 露 體, 危 險, 刀 劍 ....

It's that sin, that separates me from him.....


2月 15, 2007

買貴 vs. 買錯

It took a while to wait AMZN goes back to $40+ during the trading window!

Zecco.com seems to be pretty good, and the $0 commission is really attractive! Has anyone used it before? It's certainly better than Scottrade that charges $7 per trade, but I'm not sure how reliable they are. The minimal $2500 account balance isn't bad at all, although their site is a bit slow to me.

Hum, what should I put into my portfolio? I have been eyeing on NT for some time, and they have a strong growth over the past three months:

The company did have its shameful past, but the sector it's playing in remains pretty demanding. Also after their recent layoffs they should be able to transform itself to put more concentration on the areas that are strong at. Also the recent high volume seems to be a good sign....

One thing that I dislike the most aboout the company, more precisely about their website, is that why would they choose this image in the publications area??


So funny, as soon as I posted this, someone did a google search using this keyword and landed here:

amzn OR rsh OR infy OR "NASDAQ:EBAY" -virus -login -rlogin -routing -command -linux -rsync -psp -"red hat"


2月 14, 2007


Get yourself a gift... Polaroid SX-70!!

What a romantic... bathroom :-)

The camera itself looks really romantic already. Look how slim it is when folded. The blue cartilages on its right are one-time only flash. Each flash bar has ten bulbs. But I wonder who would use these already rare flashes now? It also comes with a leather case!

When opened, the view finder will pop up, and all of a sudden it becomes an SLR!! So cool... too bad focuing is a bit difficult because of how the lens is oriented. So most of the time you need to focus on the subject first, and then recompose.

You can put on the flash in a slot right above the lens. The flash bulb is one-time use only, and the flash bar has five bulbs on each side. I tried once, and it works!! The flash is not sophisticated, but it does the job pretty well.

Operation is super easy, and apart from focuing, what you need to do is to adjust the lightness/darness (EV) knob. Oh well, most of the time it needs a bit trial and error.

Once you press the shutter, it is up to the camera to decide how long to expose the film. Once it's done exposing, the motor will roll out the film.

This camera doesn't have any compartment to hold a battery. So where does the power come from?

The secret is in the film cartilage. Each of it has a 6v zinc battery buried inside the cartilage. So every time you put in a new pack of film, you get fresh power. Smart, isn't it?

The SX-70 uses its own films-- Time Zero and SX-70 blend. The Time Zero is famous for the ability to manipulate the photo even after a few days it is developed. How so? The emulsion wont' settled down until a few days. Alternative potographers usually use tools like a crochet hook, cuiticle pusher, rounded dental tool, burnisher or any other thin, but not sharp tool and start to 'draw' on the print a few minutes after it develops.

Too bad Polaroid has decided to stop producing Time Zero since last year...


Went to the Facing East Taiwanese Restaurant, and turned out to be pretty good. We had a little bummer because of the table, but overall the food is good!

標籤: ,

2月 13, 2007


Ha... didn't expect that there are people responding to my invitation :) We're going to try out the new Facing East Taiwanese Restaurant in Bellevue. Hopefully we'll be able to get a table!

Talking about Valentine's Day, there are a lot of people voicing out against it. Doing a Google search on "anti-valentines" you will find a lot of results :-) And the 去死去死團 from Taiwan is becoming very popular too! Well, that's pretty similar to Single Awareness Day, but more exaggerated.

I don't agree with what that 團 is doing, but do think that we need to become more aware of people around us that are singles, or in whatever way we're different. (Hum, and that reminds me of someone who complained about the lack of topics because of age differences..... I'm skeptic that age is the main reason blogging us to be close friends?)

Really like today's bible quote:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Anyways, 情人節快樂!

(Oh, btw, I found my 夢中情人 today! And have printed out her picture in the digital imaging class to stress test the paper and printer :-) yeah, I'm THAT superficial....

love... is BLIND!)


This Kidfresh is one of the things that I would like to see myself doing in the future :-) Well, actually, I'm interested in setting up cooking classes like what they do, and hopefully that would improve relationship between parents and kids.

Oh well, this is an old idea, but that doesn't mean it can't be done innovatively...

標籤: ,

2月 12, 2007


I don't want to pretend being busy on Wednesday... let's have dinner!!!

not AGAIN!

As soon as I get a hold of that letter, I know I'm back to those days of nightmare again....

Sigh... IRS... why would I end up encountering you this Valentine's week!


Wow!!! You are the only one I know, kind of personally, who is a cinematographer! Yeah, Ryerson film school rocks (and so as their engineering graduates??? hum... )

I so much wish that one day you will become a successful and influential producer!


Can someone tell me why I have a $700 cell phone bill this past month??


Guarding the fort (since my boss and another teammate are on vacation) drains out all of my energy... and it's just the beginning. Next week I'm going to be on call too!!

No, I will handle it professionally no matter what. Ownership of getting the problem solved comes before my personal well-being.

Reassigning is the key word.


2月 11, 2007


The beautiful Flokati rug has just gone for a pretty good price (well, to both the buyer and me) :-) I posted it last night and there were already several inquiries as of this morning!

The sad time of parting with my collections over the past two years has come.... if I had a choice, I won't sell one single item! I spent lots of energy and time on researching these items, acquiring them from ebay, craigslist, and Good Will. I even paid for a rental truck once to get the stunning sofa downstairs, and got caught of speeding :-( Yup, speeding on an old Uhal truck!!

Every furniture and decor item has its own story to tell, and that feeling of opening the box and examining it from head to tail is still fresh...


Every time when Pastor Shiu gives sermon, I'm so touched and remained spiritually shocked for a long time (the last time was 這世界非我家?--認識神永恆的計劃).

Living a life bearing the image of Christ is never ever an easy thing, but I truely feel that power through pastor's.


Sigh... 這世界非我家... 這世界非我家....


Thanks for the gift! I wish that one day we could meet, although I don't really know who you are who fold this paper bird for me... it's also your life that touched me through the sharing, you know? Even though you don't know him yet, I'm sure you have that light shining in your heart that will guide you through and get to know him one day.

標籤: ,

2月 10, 2007


Doing work again, even though the weather is so nice out there.... Hopefully this will soon be over! I love Photoshop :-)


2月 08, 2007


an MTurk to finish off my yearly review!

argh, can I just copy last year's and change a few words....


2月 07, 2007


Finally I made my frist few digital prints! Love D print so much, since I don't have to waste 10 papers and an entire afternoon for just one print (well, only if I didn't mess up which side of the paper I should face up when loading it to the printer).

The class has a lot of good photographer though, including this married woman who is working towards becoming a professional. She's also taking the fashion photography class, which I was so tempted to take. But looks like the instructor is a bit hippie :-) Oh well, yeah, I shouldn't judge people like that.

Thanks for sending the button over! I'm glad to have great discussions with you!


2月 05, 2007

dancing my fat away

Well, at least I'm trying to!

I just can't watch myself hip hop'ing... when I'm supposed to contract my torso, I can't see anything moving except my head.... yup, not even my hip, it stays in the same position.... more or less like a chicken!!

Argh, when will I be able dancing like them?!

Thanks for the good find, Jonathan :-)


2月 04, 2007


Sigh, how unfair... looks like I should start posting ads on HK's newspapers soon, like this:

(quoted from here)

Hopefully, it wouldn't turn out to be this ad in the end....

(quoted from here)


It was a very touching sharing night last night. Those kids' unselfishness is making me shameful...


2月 03, 2007


Just got back my long waited film from the lab! Lovely Holga!

The result is better than I expected, given that I had bad experiences with my Holga, which include the back of the camera falls off all of a sudden. The remedy? I used a couple of rubber bands wrapping around it.

Focusing is also challenging, since you can't tell anything from the viewfinder. All you can do is to make your best guess, using this guidline.

And then it comes to setting the exposure. Again, you can't do much playing with the aperture, since pratically it has no aperture setting. It has been reported that the fixed aperture is f13.3. But hey, every Holga is different, so don't rely on this too much. And bare in mind that the sunny/cloudy switch will not affect the aperture in any way.

Now comes to the shutter speed. Again, it has only one speed, which is 1/100 seconds. However it does provide a bulb mode, but your hands need to be very steady even if you put the camera on tripod. Oh well, you can probably mod the camera and add your own .

Oh, don't forget that light leaks is kind of expected in Holgagraphy :-)

Given that you have many fixed parameters with the camera, choose a film that has wider range. I used Trix 400 for the shots shown below, but a 3200 would give you more space. That said, my next roll will be Velvia 100, since I have a few of them I need to consume...

There are people out there where you can get your Holga modded. For example, you can get two aperture settings (around f8 and f11), close focusing (up to 2 feet), etc. Since the camera is so cheap and easy to hack, you may also want to DIY!

Oh, btw, if you are into BW photos, Holga do have their own Holga filter. If you don't konw yet, yellow filter reduces the brightness of blue colors that makes the photo appears more natural to human eyes. Green filter is good for shooting forestry or greenish plants. It also makes the blue sky appears more natural. Red filter increaese contrast, where sometimes it creates dramatic effects on a cloudy sky.

In Holgagraphy there is so many parameters out of our control, which is exactly where all the fun comes from.

Don't think. Just shoot!

Most information is taken from this site.

Official site: http://www.lomography.com/


2月 01, 2007


Net income has declined the past seven quarters as Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos increased spending to develop products such as the ``Unbox'' service.