4月 30, 2007


Spent the entire day figuring out the itinerary of the New Mexico trip--one of the five trips I am having this summer! This particular one is going to be very interesting since it has a bit of everything: from ancient (100 A.D) ruins of human civilization to astronomical radio observatories; from colorful crystalized caves burried deep underground to dried ocean filled with tiny white crystals; from unique Spanish style churches to dwelling places built on cliffs... my mind has already flown there just by imagination...

5/9 (wed)
1200 Albuquerque
1400 - 1600 Bandelier National Monument
1700 Santa Fe (stay for a night, La Fonda Tower)

5/10 (Thurs)
0500 Start going
0630 - 0900 Taos
1100 - 1230 Ghost Ranch
1500 Nageezi
1600 - 1900 Chaco Culture National Park
1900 - 2200 Acoma Pueblo (Stay)

5/11 (Fri)
1300 - 1500 Climbing ancient stairs in Acoma Pueblo before going to Socorro
1500 - 1700 Socorro (Stay)
1700 - 1800 Socorro to VLA
1800 - 2000 VLA
2000 - 2100 VLA to Socorro

5/12 (Sat)
0500 - 0800 Socorro to Gila Cliff Dwellings
0800 - 1200 Gila Cliff Dwellings
1200 - 1500 Las Cruces (Stay)
1700 - 1800 Las Cruces to White Sands (Check for closure due to missile test)
1845 Join sunset guided tour

5/13 (Sun)
0600 - 1000 Las Cruces to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Will go check out fossil in Guadalupe Mountains National Park on the way.
1000 till dust will stay in the caves observing bats (if we are lucky enough). Will reserve guided cave tour.

5/14 (Mon)
0600 Leaving El paso.


4月 28, 2007

It's a good day for...

... trespassing!!

I'm going here, an abandoned mental hospital in Steilacoom, to shoot. If you don't see me returning by 6pm, you know where to find me...


4月 27, 2007


I am thinking of going to The Fat Duck, which is located 45 mins away from London.


Good that they don't have any dress code!

The pictures of the food is really tempting...

I guess I'll probably need to sleep in hostels all the way through the trip to compensate the extra expenses :-) But I'm sure it would be well worth of it.

Hopefully, one day, I will own a restaurant too that people from other parts of the world will give up something just to try out my food.... haaa, a dream within dreams.


I totally forgot my friend's birthday! Good though my friend reminded me about that... We went to the Tap House Grill in Bellevue downtown. A pretty good restaurant where they serve 160 beers on tap! I asked the bartender to pick a few beer samples for me. Not that impressive. I should just get a Rogue Chipotle. My friend got a Leavenworth Whistling Pig Hefe which is supre good. The food is great! I was too full though after finishing two big pieces of bread--I can't resist their steam clam sauce :-)

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4月 26, 2007

Half dead....

The EU trip planning is not easy. I spent hours to send emails to find and negotiate lodging places in Italy, let alone I haven't done any work for France and London. It's tiring... and it should be fun--when I look back.

Here's what I have settled so far--the cities in orange means I have a place to stay. Half way through! Good though my super faithful personal travel agent is standing by me all the time. Friendship... is really priceless :-)

Have heard good things about The Fat Duck, which is ranked the second on the S.Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants list 2007.... will I get a chance to try it :-) Eating there alone will be super odd... think about it, a very Chinese Chinese sitting alone in a dimly lit corner of the world's most famous restaurant with jeans and a pair of hiking shoes... Sigh... I started to hate traveling solo. Hum, may be I should try my luck and apply for a position at this restaurant a year after... do they care about my color??

And talking about trips, another friend "戀上週日床" gave me great info on the great Southwest... I love to visit there too (particularly the Very Large Array!)


4月 25, 2007


4月 24, 2007

Blessing or curse?

Everything has it's flip side, I guess, it all depends on how to choose to face it.

After two uneventful days I started to miss work a lot. Not that I like to become a slave again, but that office fun, that humorous team of people, that "lunch?" IM message I faithfully send out at 11.46pm are all the things that are itching me now. I've never thought of staying home can be this boring and *sigh* nothing but boring.

Although, I for sure wouldn't like to go back to that very unbalanced life where I had to go back to the office during weekends like what my friend did :-) No wonder AMZN is back to its glorious days after the earnings report--hum, is it time for me to cash out now :p Oh wait, what are you actually doing in the office??

Well, yeah, I guess it's just a transition, but I need to make good use of my time now!

I just signed up to do volunteer work for a non-profit organization, so that will take up a lot of my time. On the side, I need to finish up the EU trip planning--for now, I have the logistics pretty much fixed, but I need to finalize lodging soon. Then I'll need to start the AZ trip planning. That should be an easy one though. And what else? Learning French, do some readings, going to the gym, do some cooking, fix up the house, ... yeah, I do have something that I look forward to after waking up!


Went to Ginza today, a friendly authentic izakaya-like Japaense restaurant that serves a lot of good food. Their sashimi is super fresh! The price is very resonable. Be sure to arrive early (by 6pm) so that you don't need to wait for a table.

103 102nd Ave Se
Bellevue, WA
(425) 709-7072

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4月 23, 2007

So close....

Last Friday when I was backing up files I found this picture that was taken in 2001 in US1. What an awesome rainbow that seemed to have a symbolic meaning of some kind :) (the building shown in the picture is PacMed, one of the office buildings of Amazon). I was so naive thinking that Amazon's stock should be going up--which it did! The stock was up to an all time high since the middle of 2000--it went up to $60 on 10/17/2003.

Too bad. I was too greedy at that time and missed the boat of cashing out...


To be honest, staying jobless isn't a very pleasant experience to me, regardless of what the reason it would be. Fortunatley the first day without work isn't that bad--at least I have things lining up for me to work on.

I just got a ticket going to Flagstaff, AZ on 5/16, and return to Seattle from Las Vegas on 5/19. Yup, I'm going solo again, and this time I'll go for Grand Canyon and Death Valley.


4月 21, 2007

It never went away

So I turn in all the stuffs at the exit interview, except one thing.

My pager!!!!

I tried to catch the HR person, but he's already disappeared in .99 seconds....

That's how my story at Amazon ended, and it looks like a cue to the segue...


A lot of plannings now: the BC trip, the EU trip, and day trips to do shootings... it's good to keep myself busy in this way!


4月 20, 2007


Inspired by my ex-boss, I digged up an old packaging box and took this picture... Today, 4.20.2007, will be my last day.

The feelings are mixed: I'm excited about the new changes lying ahead, but also miss the time we build something good for our customers as a team. We laughed, we fight, we put many extra hours and dinner-less nights... together. I respect each and every one of my teammate not only because they are technically skillful and talented, but also their great sense of ownership and the willingness of rolling up sleeves to help each other make this team a pleasure to work with.

And of course, all the HK-er's lunches we have had. The food in I-District stays pretty much the same since Day 1, it's the laughter and rumors and discussions that bring us back every day (and ha, yeah, the reluctance of having lunch alone is also a big reason :)

I thank God for putting me in this company. I am blessed by having the opportunities of working with a lot of great engineers and biz people (yeah, I know, only if we segregate the endless requirement changes and remedy tickets :)

A truly humbling experience that will never be forgotten.


4月 18, 2007


Apparently, life is full of surprises and changes...

* Just found out that one of my teammates is leaving the company too! It's surprising (to me) but I'm glad he is taking the move and pursue his dreams on another side of the planet. Good luck!

* The performance review has yet officially communicated, but according to what my ex-boss said it is somewhat out of my expecations... in a good way :)

* Ho gor has changed his habits upside down--sleeping before 12 and wake up at 7! In the old days he had never gone to bed before 3am... the power of love!



Finally I've done the tax return and submitted it successfully, although I did send the extension today!



往事如煙, 往事真的如煙。


4月 16, 2007


Finally, AMZN is upped!

To be honest, I'm very impressed by the numbers my team Advantage generates each month globally :-) And I'm sure this consignment business will continue to grow and expand our well-priced (tail) selection! And think about it, we risk nothing!

But then, at the end of the day, what really matters to me is what I really want to do with the rest of my life.

I have high confidence that Amazon will continue to grow and "make history"! And for me? I had fun, and am becoming history...



過去的封建皇朝,普遍將官階分成九品(亦有些朝代例外),以“一品”為最高官階,歷朝有如相國、太師、司徒等官職,就是屬於“一品”;有一人之下,萬人之上之意;菜式以它冠名亦取其意,如“一品天香”“一品煲”等等;現在,有用“金牌”等名稱取代之勢。雲英雞:即雞項的一個美稱,“雲英”古語為處於少年時期。 ...

So the dinner party was pretty nice. I like every single dish we had. The party's theme is "poultry", and every dish needs to have something that's related to birds--be it white/black meat, egg, fat, gizzard, etc. At first I thought we'll have too much meat for entree, but it turned out a good mix and match.

So here's what we had:
1. Chicken soup with "fish swim bladder", abalone, and Chinese mushroom (by Phoebe and Chris)
2. Drunken chicken (by Mandy)
3. BBQ chicken on stick (by Derrick)
4. Turkey Mushroom Brie Croissants (by Peggy)
5. Roasted chicken with aluminum foil covered legs (by David)
6. Thai style curry duck fillet (by Jacky)
7. Pan fry game hen on lentil stew with smoked bacon (by Boris)
8. Undercooked eggplant in spicy garlic sauce with duck fat (by Boris)
9. Green tea tiramisu, cake style (by Eva)
10. Cranberry brownie topped with dark chocolate port cream (by Jason)

All the dishes were really good, every one is so talented! Too bad I still can't try Jeff's dishes since he just had a long drive from Vancouver. Ho gor was kind of busy with his school work so he didn't come up with a dish too :)


4月 12, 2007


This is the first time I've ever completed a review in a very very timely manner--the exit interview review!!! It's not because I didn't write anything (and in fact this is one of the reviews I've ever put the most thoughts on during my seven years of service here), it's just super 爽 to describe how good the company is!

And now, I'm all ready to leave this shelter and start a new chapter.


4月 10, 2007

Crush: Spendy trendy

Last week a few friends and I went to Crush, a two-year-old restaurant located on E. Madison, Seattle.

First of all, I'm impressed by their hip design decor--especially their Pandon chairs! Unfortunatley, to be honest, it's a bit too much if you know what I mean. If I were to redesign it, I'd choose something stylish but not plastic to match the "classic American" style of the building (yup, it's a house-converted restaurant). The Pandon chairs would be a great match with an overall space-age designed restaurant, but probably not this house :)

The service is pretty good. The waiter is knowledgable about the food on the menu! I mean, some waiters care nothing about what they're serving and that always piss me off. Talking about waiter, I used to think that it'd never ever be a job that I would like to do. But now that I'm planning to look for that position (while I'm in school), I need to change my mindset... I remember I once heard from the movie The Gold Rush directed, again, by Chaplain, that a waiter is someone who serves, but not a servant in itself. It's like God serves us, but He is not a servant to us. Interesting perspective, isn't it?

Anyways, talking about the food of Crush, I can't say that it's exceptional, but they're done right to me. I mean, the food tasts good mostly because the ingredients are fresh and have good flavour, so I guess it's relatively easy to cook them right.

I liked my lamb chop a lot--it's very juicy and has strong flavor coming from the melting fat; unfortunately my friend who ordered the same thing had exactly the opposite experience: his lamb chop was done way too rare and it's not juicy at all. Incosistensy isn't something any successful restaurant should have, not to mention that the two chops were done at about the same time!

The desserts were something that I wished I had passed. The nougatine was way too sweet to me. Talking about nougatine, I didn't know that it's one of the famous products in Canada!

Will I go back again? I probably would--if they are not so pricy.

Read on other reviews:


4月 09, 2007


It's the best thing I've done for myself at the worst time, since it's the first day I work with my new manager. Apparently it's kind of a shocking news to him after a swell time at team lunch. But what else can I do?

The last day is still TBD, depending on how much I need to help out during the transition. I hope it will be at the end of next week though.


I'm selling my Sentra and have a potential buyer! If all is going well I'll see if my friend would lend me his car :)


What I need to do soon are:
1. File 2006 tax extension
2. Get rid of the 2005 tax audit burden
3. Get quotes for medical insurance before I leave the states
4. Verify with lawyer that I indeed am legitimate to stay in the US without H1B status
5. Sell my car
6. Borrow a car
7. Nail down the trips
8. Repaint part of the house
9. Take pictures of my furniture and put them up for sale
10. Take more pictures!
11. Printing intensive class in May
12. Dinner with friends

Argh, what a list!

4月 08, 2007


I have been staying late to do research on this trip recently. But then this call makes me feel I should cut down on the time I will stay there--even though I've already purchased the ticket that will leave Seattle on 6/3 and return on 6/29.

Here's where I'm planning to visit. If I have to cut down on the trip I'd just stay in Italy.

I haven't heard this guy saying something serious for quite some time. But whenever we talked about this topic, he's always darn serious. You're right. Leave nothing to be my regret, ever.

And you know what's funny? We're watching the same TV show at the same time, and he's so addicted to this program and reminded me through IM that the program has resumed after the commercials are done...


What a surprise to know that you are leaving soon too! I mean, it's not shocking to me learning that you'll leave, cause I know you will eventually, but not that soon! Good though I'll leave sooner than you :) Good luck my friend, there are lots of challenges lying ahead--for all of us.


Finally called up Mr. V to help out doing a massive clean up on the lawn. I'll need to start doing some painting too in May. I think it's a good decision to submit the letter sooner than later--I'd rather use the time between now and August to do something I need/want to do, rather than building up relationship with the new boss knowing that I will leave in two months.


4月 05, 2007








到 了 一 個 地 方 , 名 叫 髑 髏 地 , 就 在 那 裡 把 耶 穌 釘 在 十 字 架 上 ,
又 釘 了 兩 個 犯 人 : 一 個 在 左 邊 , 一 個 在 右 邊 。(Luke 23:33)


4月 04, 2007

O Canada!

I love Canadian ebayers! The transactions with them were possibly the best ever! Things are well packed, my questions thoroughly answered, and they even offered a refund on extra charged shipping costs, and for a little defect they were not aware of when the item was listed.

I may be biased, but I'm impressed!


The recent change at work pushed my exit plan earlier a little bit. It's just not worth of it to wait three more months just to get those RSU that worths less than my salary... I should make use of the time before the school starts to take a good rest (although I feel like I'm resting all the time :) Besides, the recent changes in management don't favor my original plan...

To get myself sidetracked from the sadness of leaving, I've started to plan my 仲夏之旅...

Should I go solo again? Or should I try out Contiki?

Big thanks to you for the suggestions! Here's my initial plan. I thought of visiting as many National Parks as possible instead, but looks like solo hiking in the wilderness doesn't sound fun...


4月 01, 2007

The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator is another gem of Chaplin. There are a few scenes I can't stop laughing, and the last speech of the barber is powerful and moving. It's like a declaration of war to the social problems of that era.
Which sadly still remains to be our problem--that the Great Dictator is still here, living within us...
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business.
I don't want to rule or conquer anyone.
I should like to help everyone if possible;
Jew, Gentile, black man, white.
We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that.
We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery.
We don't want to hate and despise one another.
In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in.
Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little.
More than machinery, we need humanity.
More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together.
The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.
Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.
The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.
And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you;
who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel!
Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder.
Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts!
You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!
You have the love of humanity in your hearts!
You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.
Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!
In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men!
In you!
You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness!
You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then in the name of democracy,
let us use that power.
Let us all unite.
Let us fight for a new world,
a decent world that will give men a chance to work,
that will give youth a future and old age a security.
By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power.
But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will!
Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people.
Now let us fight to fulfill that promise.
Let us fight to free the world!
To do away with national barriers!
To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!
Let us fight for a world of reason,
a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.
Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hannah!
The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through!
We are coming out of the darkness into the light!
We are coming into a new world; a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality.
Look up, Hannah!
The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly.
He is flying into the rainbow!
Into the light of hope, into the future!
The glorious future, that belongs to you, to me and to all of us.
Look up, Hannah.
Look up!


Making use of my toilet

Has anyone signed up TiSP yet? Sounds dirty but cool :)

(Too bad they don't support Mac yet...)

(thanks for playing :)


CitySearch: 又一次失落

Went out for dinner with some friends before one of them are leaving for a job offer in California. We searched on the web and City Search says that Gingogae has a rating of 9.0--and again it proves that their user reviews are disappointing.

Read this:
Posted by taraluv on 12/07/2006

Well, it's an amazing korean restaurant. The food is excellent, the service is great and it just feels very good to be there! Plus it's a very good deal. Once you've been there you just keep going back.

* Pros: Very quality and tasty foods, Nutritious food, Excellent Side dishes
* Overall user rating: Highly Recommended

To be honest their food is far from "excellent". How could marinated Korean food be a lot different? They just tast like more or less the same. Oh well, OK, may be my taste buds are not sensitive enough. But how could their service be "great" with only one waitress (actually I think she is the co-owner) serving the entire restaurant? Not to mention that their side dishes are the worst I've ever seen here--very limited varieties, and the kim chee is taken right from the fridge that it's way too cold to eat with other hot dishes...

Hum, user generated content is good, but you also need to build up their reputation...