Random Thoughts

The best things in life can't be given, it must be earned.
The most precious knowledge can't be told, it must be realized.

Don't decide someone else's course for them, even in the best intention, because it is the surest way to leave no future for them.

Don't start the game if you don't intent to have fun. Don't quit until the game is over. Don't brag about your victory, because such act trivializes the win. Don't belittle the lost, because such act trivializes yourself.

If you love someone, tell them. If you can't return the love, tell them too. Half truth are no better than complete lies, and perhaps more crippling in the long run.

Honesty above all else.

Don't do everything for the person you love, it weakens the person. Rather if possible show her how to do it; or even better - inspire her dreams so that the light generates from her own self.

Don't take everything too seriously, i don't see how sex can be possible without some sense of humor - it is such a messy and awkward thing.

There is nothing wrong with you, sometimes life is about pain. Stastically speaking 50% of your life is spent in relative discomfort, the other 50% in joy. People are sometimes sad, it is normal and you are not alone - you just feel alone, that's all. And yet, perhaps that is everything. How would we know the world if not through how we feel?

There is a different sort of economy that most people don't realize but trade daily. It is the Economy of Life and the coinage are words. The price of coinage is backed by trust and fluctates up or down. Some people's words are worth as much as gold, other people's words are worth nothing. We all unconsciously keep count of this stock market even though not everyone know there is such a stock market.

Reality is nothing more than promises kept. The promise between you and god. The promise between you and the government. The promise between you and natural laws. A disruption on a foundmental promise is an assult on sanity. Sanity is very important to human beings.

Sometimes it is easier to believe lies than truth, to keep the disruption of reality down. Sometimes truth are not as important. For what good are truth if you destory the person by giving it?

I contridict myself, a lot.

People before regulations. It is in the interest of people that regulations derives. The care of a person must come first. The priniciple will take care of itself.

The worse kind of human being break rules, the average human being follow rules, the best of human beings break rules.

Anything that is worth doing is worth doing well.

If you don't have good memory, don't lie, it will come back and bite you in the ass. If you have a good memory, don't lie, it will come back and bite you in the ass.

If life is change and change means pain, does life equate to pain?

Wearing 3 layers of pants make my legs look fat.

To conquor an alien species perhaps all we need to do is introduce alcohol and tobacco to them. They are such vile and potent weapons. More people are killed by alcohol then all the wars combined, and that is only counting drunk driving.

singing too hard makes you loose your voice

if i don't love someone i don't have the right to change her. if i love someone i wouldn't want to change her.

aim high, because even though you still might miss the target, you won't shoot your own feet off.

some people don't know how to be happy, don't force it on them. just like some people don't know how to deal with pain, and you certainly don't want to force pain.

the debt you owe your parents can never be repaid, you can only simply do the same for your children.

Love should start with mutal unconditional surrender. It is the only way it will work. As soon as any one side start thinking of winning, it would have been lost.

the quickest way to kill a plant is not by drying it out, it is by over watering, the stench of root rot is formiddable too. Maybe love is the same way.


Name: Albert
  • Birth date: January 30, 1981
  • Birthplace: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
  • Current Location: Taipei, Taiwan
  • Eye Color: brown
  • Hair Color: black
  • Height: 5'7"
  • Righty or Lefty: righty
  • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

TWO: On The Inside
  • Heritage: Taiwanese
  • Shoes you wore today: brown, sorry that is all i can tell you, i am not very good with articles of clothing.
  • Weakness: consistency
  • Your fears: disappointing people who i care about
  • Your perfect meal: someone who i can have an interesting conversation with + Gree-tea Ice Cream or 奶酪 (a kind of pudding made with milk) for dessert.
  • Goal you'd like to achieve: make a noticable positive difference, or failing that, make one person happy.

THREE: Past , Present , Future
  • Your most overused phrase on AIM: ":)"
  • Your thoughts first waking up: 5 more minutes and I will get up...
  • Your best physical feature: my skin, never had skin problem.
  • Your bedtime: 10pm~2am, depending who I am talking to online.
  • Your most missed memory: i don't know, i must have lost it...

FOUR: Your Pick
  • Pepsi or Coke: Pepsi but I really much prefer water, juice, or tea.
  • McDonald's or Burger King: Burger King in US, McDonald's in Taiwan
  • Single or group dates: single
  • Chocolate or vanilla: vanilla
  • cappuccino or coffee: cappuccino

FIVE: Do You?
  • Smoke: never
  • Cuss: no, supposedly it sounds funny when i swear , so i try not to do it
  • Sing: only in the shower
  • Take a shower everyday: only when i sing
  • Have a crush: seems more like a bump as suppose to a crush
  • Think you've been in love: yes, i think.
  • Like(d) high school: yes
  • Want to get married: still waiting for a girl to inspire that desire.
  • Get motion sickness: no
  • Think you're a health freak: no
  • Get along with your parents: yes
  • Like thunderstorms: sometimes
  • Play an instrument: triangle? okay, no i don't play an instrument

SIX: In the past few months have you...
  • Drunk alcohol: yes, but it was for business
  • Smoked: no
  • Done a drug: no
  • Made Out: no
  • Gone to the mall: yes
  • Eaten sushi: yes
  • Been on stage: yes
  • Been dumped: no
  • Gone skating: no
  • Gone skinny dipping: no
  • Dyed your hair: no
  • Stolen anything: a pen from the office because i was heading into a meeting without anything to write with. I give it back 2 days later.

SEVEN: Ever...
  • Played a game that required the removal of clothing: no. well, does water sport count?
  • Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: no
  • Been caught "doing something": no, but on related note, caught my roomie doing something and had to pretend i was asleep till the business was done - twice. Two different roomies, two different occasions. They are nice people though just very....passionate.
  • Been called a tease: no, i think when guys do that they call it horny
  • Got beaten up: in highschool it was football and wrestling, in college it was judo. never outside of sport arena though.

EIGHT: Getting Older
  • Age you hope to be married: 2-3 years after i find that someone.
  • Numbers and Names of Children: however many she wants, hopefully not more than 2 though. I would like to name the girl Hermione, because with my last name Shih her nickname would be Her-Shih, which sounds exactly like Hershey (the chocolate). Or I would like to name her name Susana, because her nick name would be Sue-Shih, which sounds exactly like Sushi (the food). Maybe I just shouldn't have kids, these names seem like cruel and unusual punishment. I also like the names Nuwen and Albert. Not sure if Nuwen is a girl name or boy name though.
  • What do you want to be when you grow up: a kid, someone who can tell for sure what is right and wrong, because adults will wonder the gray area. A kid, someone who can love an ice cream with his whole heart and soul, because an adult wouldn't value the trivial things in life - ice cream or otherwise. A kid, who says what he thinks and not merely what is socially acceptable.
  • What country would you most like to visit: Japan

Ground rules: The first player of this "game" starts with the topic "Five Weird Habits of Yourself" and the people who get tagged need to then write an entry about their five quirky little habits as well as state the rules of this game clearly. In the end, you need to list the next five people who you want to tag.
  1. i wear socks all the time, even when going to bed.
  2. when talking to a pretty girl, i have a hard time looking into her eyes, must be a fear of falling in or something...
  3. hair cut makes me feel happy, which is nice, because i get those once a month.
  4. i don't particularly like eating tomato but i am fine eating ketchup (with something).
  5. when i am bored i like to re-read parts of books in my head, sometimes i even laugh out loud if that part of the book is funny. [to people who were near me, i am not crazy....really]

5 People:
絲方, 采珊, Megan Ertle, and Emily Haslinger, and Ani Gangopadhyaya.
Sadly I don't think any of them reads my blog, since they probably don't know I have a blog. This blog is like a secret pleasure, they might be suprised to find that I actually write.

I am worried...

Wondering about my future....
Yet with no risks there can be no great rewards, right?


A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

Google Earth

Aerial pictures are taken with Google Earth ^_^
[Click on the picture to enlarge]
You too can see your home from Bird's Eye View



2 Home in Taiwan

Home in Taipei

Taipei Home Aerial View 01

Taipei Home Aerial View 02

Taipei Home Aerial View 03

Taipei Home Aerial View 04

Taipei Home Aerial View 05

Elmhurst Home - USA, Illinois

Elmhurst Home and Park

Elmhurst Home

Elmhurst Home

Taichung Home, Taiwan

Taichung Home

Taichung Home

Purdue University - USA, Indiana, West Lafayette

Purdue University

Purdue University - Engineering Mall

Earth Light

Courtesy of NASA: Visible Earth Project
[Click on the picture to enlarge]

Why do men die younger?

I inspire many idiotic arguments. One of these on and off discussion with a friend is why men tend to die younger than women. In US men's average life span is 72 and women 79. From time to time I would complain to her about the unfairness of it all. Little did I know, she would provide an argument that makes men's shorter lifetime seem logical and justified...
My argument:
  • Men has only one X chromosome, no redundant back-up of important genetic information like women who has XX.
  • Society discourage men to express emotion, more specifically men are discouraged on the act of crying. Suppressed emotion over a life time is harmful to one's health.
  • Estrogen lowers harmful cholesterol and raises "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein).
  • Testosterone increases aggression and competitive behavior in young men; it also increases levels of harmful cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein).
Her argument:

I think she won.

Happy Holiday ~ Hug!

Fly High

Sometimes we soar high only because of other's help... >_<


September 11th Attack turns out to be a more successful attack than I first imagined. It was not just the 2,986 lives lost on that day. It was not even the economic recession months later. The real damage was done slowly, in the form of fear and spread like cancer.

9-11 drove us into a war. A war not declared by congress. A war that has none of the legitimacy but has done every bit of damage to both the supposed enemy and ourselves. It cost 30,000 Iraqi lives, 228 billion US dollars, and 2,154 US soldiers. Yet that is not the real damage either. The real tragedy is that in fighting the enemy we somehow became the enemy.

You can’t keep an enemy down without a part of yourself down there with him. Combat is the fastest way for cultures to exchange, for information to spread, and for people to change. There is nothing like the desperation of a fight that forces people to evolve and sometimes move in a direction that is normally unthinkable.

Our defeat is not just in the form of economic loss, not just in the lives of American citizen; our defeat is the lost of our way of life. The abuse and torture of prisoners, the detention of foreign citizens without trial, the secret CIA prisons all over the world – these are not the signs of freedom nor democracy. Even worse we committed all these acts ourselves, we are our worse enemy.

It is easy to talk. It is easy to name a law that strips the right of American citizens the “Patriot Act”. But the fact remains that a horse dropping by any other name would smell just as foul. A fascist country is the one that spy on its people without court approval. Our privacy and freedom is what this country should be about. Yet now, the president can and did order wiretap into your life without the other two legislative branches’ check and balance.

The enemy has already won. Instead of us brining Democracy to them, they have managed to make us loose ours. And in loosing what we used to hold most dear, we also lost the good opinions of friends all over the world. Some countries wonder, “Who is the terrorist? Who invaded whom?” Iraq did not plan nor execute 9-11. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. It was a war started by mistake. It is our second Vietnam.

We have lost a great amount of political creditability with rest of the world. Our national debt has a disturbing trend of breaking its own gap record month after month. Our brothers are dying on foreign soil for a mistaken war. Even worse, do you really feel safer now? Is America or the world safer? It would seem one terror leader is simply replaced by a couple more nameless one.

An enemy is one that gets you killed, no matter which side he is on. In this case, an enemy is one that takes our Democracy from us, regardless of his side. It is time to seriously start thinking about impeaching Bush and Cheney and start the process of regaining our country.

Lastly, I would like to apologize to people who read this article from another country. My nation has wronged the world. My nation has not listened. Although I am just one small person and my apology meaningless in power, yet this is what I can offer and I offer it with all my heart.

Curious George

Pole Dancer

What did you think this post was going to be about? ^_^ It would be kind of funny if my site gets more hit today from this post...

If I Have Money to Burn...

I don't even play piano. Yet this piano just makes me want to sit infront of it and appreciate its artistic form. Such a nice blend of visual art piece into a musical art insturment.

From the company of Schimmel Pianos.


你真的知道嗎 真的了解你自己嗎
一直這樣的問 你就會開始動搖嗎
你真的相信嗎 得到了最想要的嗎

你也會這樣嗎 不止一次想哭嗎
越努力去解釋 oh~越被誤解嗎
還是不好意思 再拒絕

這是你嗎 你要這樣的過嗎
這是你嗎 你錯過了自己嗎
就這樣嗎 把你自己信仰

這是你嗎 是誰給了你框框
這是你嗎 讓你自己走了樣
你的心 畢竟是你自己的地方~

你也會這樣嗎 有時也會害怕嗎
只知道往前走 oh~不知去哪裡
還是不好意思 去承認

這是你嗎 你要這樣的過嗎
這是你嗎 你錯過了自己嗎
就這樣嗎 把你自己信仰

這是你嗎 是誰給了你框框
這是你嗎 讓你自己走了樣
你的心 畢竟是你自己的地方~

這是你嗎 你要這樣的過嗎
這是你嗎 你錯過了自己嗎
就這樣嗎 把你自己信仰

這是你嗎 是誰給了你框框
這是你嗎 把你自己都隱藏

這是你嗎 你要這樣的過嗎
這是你嗎 你做過了自己嗎

這是你嗎 是誰給了你框框
就是你嗎 把你自己都隱藏

梁靜茹 - 這是你嗎

Do you really know
do you for sure understand yourself

Under the constant question
Have you began to Sway

Do you really believe
Have you gotten your heart's desire

Or have you narrowed your own dream to fit other's expectation~

Have you also been like this
Driven to rain more than Once

The more effort in explination
Oh~The more misunderstanding

Are you really sure

Have you found your true love

Or are you simply too embrassed To say no one more time
And convinced yourself into accepting him~

Is this who you are
Are you going to live like this

Is this who you are
Have you somehow missed yourself

Is this it
Exchanging your own faith
In order to gain other people's Heaven~

Is this who you are?
Who drew the border and boxed you in?

Is this who you are?
Who did you let to sway you from your path?

Your heart
In the end is your own~

Do you also feel this way
Sometimes a little scared

Only knowing to move forward
Oh~Yet doesn't know where it leads

Are you really sure

Do you know what you are doing

Or are you simply too embrassed To admit
And settled to simply fool yourself~

Is this who you are?
Are you going to live like this?

Is this who you are?
Have you somehow missed yourself?

Is this it?
Exchanging your own faith
In order to gain other people's Heaven~

Is this who you are?
Who drew the border and boxed you in?

Is this who you are?
Who did you let to sway you from your path?

Your heart
In the end is your own.

Is this who you are?
Are you going to live like this?

Is this who you are
Have you somehow missed yourself

Is this it
Exchanging your own faith
In order to gain other people's Heaven~

Is this who you are
Who drew the border and boxed you in

Is this who you are
You have yourself hidden,
Forgotten who you truely are in the beginning~

Is this who you are
Are you going to live like this

Is this who you are
Have you been yourself yet

Don't be so concerned about so-called Heaven defined by others~

Is this who you are
Who drew the border and boxed you in

Is this who you are
You have yourself hidden,
Forgotten who you truely are in the beginning~

梁靜茹 - Is This You
Song Writer:李焯雄 
Cord Composer:施盈偉

[All faults and imperfections from the lyric's english translation are mine. I like the song because it seems to have described parts of my life.]


The best way to show your gratitude,
whether towards those who have extended their hands,
lend you their shoulders, or sheltered you with their strength,
is by becoming the best that you possibly can...
not because that they demand so
but because you wish to be worthy of their time.
~Sushi Delight

Masakatsu [必勝] is a Japanese word and literately means "True Victory". The word is part of a short phrase "Masakatsu Agatsu", meaning "Victory over oneself". The phrase is popularized by the founder of Judo and I believe it is the spirit of this sport.

The first and last battle is with oneself. The struggle to do right. The honesty to confront your own demons. Judo fascinates me because it is more than a sport, it is a way of life. It trains both the body and the mind. There is something very spiritual about the exercise.

The name itself, judo [柔道], literately means "the gentle way". There is a strong emphasis on circular motion so the movement is strangely like a dance. While other sport practices and drill entirely on success, Judo wisely teaches you how to fall, how to take damage, and how to be flexible. It teaches you how to minimize defeat before showing you the path to victory. The spirit of the sport is also reactive. You try to use other people's motion against them when possible. If they punch, you pull. If they attack high, you throw low. When done right, it is very like a chess match with first reaction time limit. It is exactly like a dance.

Judo is an art with a strange blend of physics, exercise, and philosophy. Besides love I think Judo is the closest I can come to accept for a religion - for a way of life. What? You don't think love is a religion? Have you seen its power, its salvation, and its hell? Don't be blasphemous, your god or goddess will slap you silly and tickle you to death. If you haven't met your god or goddess yet - you will, or so I hope.


If we reason, we would be understood;

if we imagine, we would that the airy children
    of our brain were born anew within another's;
if we feel, we would that another's nerves should vibrate to our own,

that the beams of their eyes should kindle at once and mix and melt into our own,

that lips of motionless ice should not reply to lips
    quivering and burning with the heart's best blood.
This is Love.

~The Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley in Verse and Prose


Where there is no exaggeration there is no love,
and where there is no love there is no understanding.
It is only about things that do not interest one,
that one can give a really unbiased opinion;
and this is no doubt the reason why an unbiased opinion is always valueless.
~ Oscar Wild

Chinese Evolution

There was a story on Slashdot, "China overtakes US as Supplier of IT Goods". It has many interesting comments made mostly by westerners. Some views are about why China has been so successful in terms of economy. Others think US should stop doing business with China because of political differences.

if only their government didn't suck ass, they could be so great. They have immense cultural momentum, a well reasoned and disciplined populace, and a penchant for churning out intelligent people.

You've never considered that maybe the reason they're doing so well economically is that their government has absolute control and can do unpopular things that it thinks are necessary? Don't get me wrong, I certainly prefer living in a democracy, but it would be a mistake to think a democratic government is the best in every respect.

This was correctly modded insightful. Assuming the government acted only as a hindrance to the current progress is ignoring the obvious. Their government has done quite a lot positive to get things to the point they are today.

The Chinese government has some very big problems, but it also has two really important things going for it.

1)The Chinese government has shown itself to be adaptable. The level of free enterprise that exists today in China was unthinkable 50 years ago. The level of general freedom as well. The government correctly saw that the country could not compete economically without change, so it changed.

2) Change is coming relatively slowly. This has allowed the Chinese people to become comfortable with their new rights and responsibilities and therefore use them more wisely. In the Soviet Union, where change came quickly, the people and government could not effectively make use of their newfound freedoms. The countries suffered as a result. Perhaps if they had had more time things might have turned out differently for them.

More change must come to China. My guess is that it will come, but it will take a few more decades to get close enough to the west that we feel comfortable.

The Chinese have a lot of advantages. The first is sheer numbers...a higher number of people can be educated and work in the technology field. All other offshoring destinations (India, etc.) have this same advantage. The second is control; the Chinese government can still crack down and force people to do things that may otherwise be unpopular. The Soviet Union was famous for this when they forced the industrialization of Russia in a very short period of time. The third is an educational advantage. The only way to get ahead in Chinese society is education, and it seems from the numbers that parents drum this into their kids' heads right from the start.

I think that one of the things we could do to reverse the trend is to find a way to graduate more students in math/science/engineering. They're being scared off because they think that the only jobs left in this country will be in management. I can't say I blame them either.

These comments got me to think about the One Child Per Family Policy. I have always thought about this policy from the negative stand-point - for example the population aging problem. But China's recent success made me think in a different direction.

One Child Per Family Policy can also be seen as a survival for the fittest tool. You have a lot of males and maybe half the female. That means you (male) either have to be smarter, richer, or better looking to find a mate. It is a brutal battle and only the best survives. It is an artificially generated gatekeeper.

You can argue that there are women outside the country too. Yes, true. But then the unfortunate over-ratioed Chinese male would have to have the money, the political connection, and the ability to speak at least 2 languages to go outside the country. In the end, same affect is achieved. On the grand scheme of things for China, looking from a statistic point of view, only the above average will reproduce. Normally, you only have to be average to find someone - speaking from probability.

Of course, I am assuming women would generally choose the better male, the good looking ones, the funny ones, the smarter ones, the rich ones. That assumption might not be true. Yet from a pure evolution stand point, it would be interesting to see how the next generation of Chinese turns out.

Grace Under Fire

I have been very busy lately and my report for the company is not done yet. Howeverhere are some thoughts that has to be put on paper before it evolves into another idea.

  • When people give me a gift, I act embrassed. I am not sure why. I say things like, "you shouldn't have." and I really mean it. The correct response would be a simple "thank you". The fact is more appearent during the holiday seasons. I can't help but notice, "sometimes it is just as important to accept the gift graciously as it is to give selflessly".
  • Truth and logic is not everything. A person feels what she feels. Sometimes it is not as important to tell her how she might change for the better, sometimes all you need is to feel the pain with her.
  • A person is as young and as old as he allows himself to be.
  • Gaps. Gaps on nationality, gaps of gender, gaps of age, gaps of education, and gaps of racial distinctiveness is only as wide as your mind conceive them to be. I find people are basically the same.
  • People are not looking for someone to love them for their good, for it is easy to love the good; people are looking for someone to love their bad despite logic.
  • Loneliness might be the only thing two people can't do together.
  • Reality is nothing more than promises kept.


I adore fondue. I like how the slow fire dances on the bottom. I like how the chocolate melt and swirl on top. The air would smell sweet, but the fruit or bread dipped into the chocolate would taste sweeter.

The food is older than some of the gods. One of the recipe dates back to the 8th century BC appearing in the epic Greek poem Iliad by Homer. Chocolate was not discovered by then. The Greek would melt grated goat cheese, add a mixture of Pramnos wine and white flour and dip bread or meat into the pot. I would imagine the taste is divine. The cuisine would be tried, judged, and weighted for the next 3,000 years - a chain unbroken to this day.

I was surprised when someone invited me to a fondue restaurant yesterday out of the blue. There was a puzzle at first because she refer to the food as "chocolate pot". It is perhaps a more apt name than fondue. I then surprised myself by saying yes even though I don't really know her. Fondue is definitely a weakness of mine.

The store is amusingly named Chocoholic. It specializes in chocolate drinks, dessert fondue, and hand made bread.

It plays different background music depending on the day of the week.
  • Memory Tuesday - Old Country
  • World Music Wednesday - Foreign Exotic Music
  • Jazz Thursday - True Jazz
  • Movie Friday - Original Movie Soundtracks
  • Latin Saturday - Hot Latin Music
  • Chanson Sunday - French Romantic Melodies
It is a pretty small restaurant. Sitting in a corner quietly and easily over looked. The music wasn't loud and the smell wasn't overwhelming. The light also dims slightly at night so the first thing that catches your eye is the candle like fire underneath the fondue pot.

This place is known for its chocolate specialty drinks and for good reason. I ordered a Rose White Chocolate. Which is white chocolate extracted from coco then added with vanilla. Nectar or syrup of roses then is distilled from rose and blended with the white liquid. The taste is unique and it goes down smooth.

There is also something called chocolate alcohol, bought all the way from Holland. Hand made by Avers Haler and looks simply enticing. I have never had Chocolate Alcohol before and I usually don't like alcohol, but I have a strong desire to have a taste. Who knew curiosity could be a part of flavoring? I think I might go back and buy a bottle one of these days, when the perfect occasion calls for such a special drink.

Fondue is something you have to experience yourself to understand. The food is much more than just the taste. The smell, the feeling of liquid chocolate sliding down your throat, the sight of candle flame melting and dancing, and the sound of chocolate bubbling in the pot. The experience is one of a kind. I recommend anyone to find your near-by fondue restaurant. It would be the perfect food for your up-coming Christmas gathering.


Fire and Motion

I have always admired people who know what they want. Their single-mindedness, their drive, and their passion make them seem so alive. It is like watching a flame dance and feeling the heat radiating. I can almost see their sense of purpse brimming over like lava and filling the empty souls around them.

As a bystander, one has to be a strong enough person to contain that gift. The lava that gives heat can very well burn you up. Yet for a time, whether you are burning up or containing, you are alive just like the flame.

There are consquences even for people that doesn't burn up like an offering. The lava eventually cool, harden, and settles in your soul. You became a more shallow person. Like a cup now half filled with concrete - your depth, your capacity to contain is forever changed. You became a smaller person after leaving that fire.

Some people offered themselve willingly for the temporary warmth. Other people are drawn without a choice like moth to flame. You can't blame the moth for its senseless death. Like wise, I can't blame the fire for the destruction. It is simply who they are - forces of nature.

We have master the art of fire for thousand of years and it enabled us to move from nomadic life into civilization. I wonder when will we master this second fire of passion and purpose and where will it lead us? Or perhaps, this second fire will simply consume and destory us in the form of a well placed atomic bomb. I stood by the side watching with fasination and awe as the flame continue to dance, oblivious to my or anyone else's existance.

Baby Mop


What goes up must come down.

I thought I was used to being different. But meeting someone who have walked the same path made me realize the desire to be part of a group can be so strong, so overwheling, that it hurts. The good news is that I will probably never meet someone special like that again - the bad news is that I will probably never meet someone special like that again.

Human Resource Development

Day 1, Session 1: An Introduction to Organization Development: How It Applies to Asia.

The Human Resource Conference my company sent me to are now half way finished. Here is a brief overview of what 650 USD had bought.
Organization development is an effort (1) planned, (2) organization-wide, and (3) managed from the top, to (4) increase organization effectiveness and health through (5) planned interventions in the organization's "processes," using (6) behavioral-science knowledge.

The way I interpreted is that Organization Development is the study of psychology for corporation. The 500 pound company will lie on OD's sofa, tell OD its possible internal problems, and then expect advice or course of action from an OD.

One stressed key point is "Organization Culture" - the values, norms, customs, and assumptions held by people that serve as a guide to their behavior. It influences how people make decisions, treat others, and determine what is right or wrong.

For example let me compare between eastern and western human resource development. Eastern philosophy is about "Master and Pupil method". A teacher who is judged as superior and near infallible transfer the knowledge to someone who absorbs by memorization. The Western philosophy is about "Free Speech method" and "Christian method". Free Speech learning is the exchange of information between equals. 2 parties may question freely and debate the validity of statement. Christian method is about love and guilt. You motivate and train people not in terms of argument but by emotion. If you do this you are a good person or if you do this you will be loved. On the other hand, if you don't obey certain behavior or development then guilt will be applied to you and you should modify your behavior.

All culture use these 3 methods to a certain extend, but those are the core behavior development of east and west. The need to emphasize specific HRD technique in Asia is clear.

HDR is the science of change and its application. We briefly talked about "How People React to Change".
  • People will fell awkward, ill-at-ease, and self-conscious.
  • People will think first about what they have to give up.
  • People will fell alone, even if everyone is going through the change.
  • People are at different levels of readiness for change.
  • People will be concerned that hey do not have enough resources.
  • If you take the pressure off, people will revert back to old behavior.
We did an interesting exercise to demonstrate a particular human reaction to change:
everyone paired up and stood back to back in the conference room. We are then asked to make 5 changes to ourselves and let the partner discover the change. Now you might think the point of the exercise is to discover the change, which I am ashamed to say I only discovered 2 out of 4.

The important part of the exercise turned out to be the change and not discovery. 93% of people change themselves by modifying what already existed or taking off what they own. Some change the shape of the hair, watch position, take off the jacket, ring position...etc. Only 7% of people picked up something new and change by addition. For example, pick a pen or notebook on the table.

What does this prove? At no point did the direction forbid change by addition. Humans by habit when forced to change will think of what they must give up. Less than 10% of people will think of what they might gain in times of change. This is important because many valuable opportunity would have been lost in the transition of development.

Take a look from another example. 20 years ago people only go to their doctor when there is a problem. It is called the patching method. You are sick then you go get the medicine. Now-a-days, people do check up, which is the preventive method. You stop the heart attack before it happens. You take the vaccine before the flu season. It has been proven in the medical field to be much more cost effective.

Take that preventive method and apply to Organization Development. You don't just hire a consultant before things go wrong. You hire a consultant to do a check up - strengthen the strength (the addition part of change) and minimize the weakness.

But why use Organizational Development as suppose to other types of adaptation? The reason is that OD uses "System Thinking" that is better than the more common "Traditional Thinking".

How we Tend to Think:
  1. Connections between problems and causes are obvious and easy to trace.
  2. Others are to blame for our problems and they must change
  3. Short-term policies assure long-term success
  4. To optimize the whole, we must optimize the parts.
  5. To implement change, tackle many independent initiatives simultaneously.
Complex Systems:
  1. Such relationships are indirect and not obvious.
  2. We unintentionally create our own problems; we solve them by changing our behavior.
  3. Quick fixes make no difference or make things worse in long term.
  4. To optimize the whole, improve relationships among parts.
  5. Only a few key coordinated changes sustained over time will produce large systems change.
Yet how do you know what to change? How dose the 'check-up' of corporation proceed? Since Organization Development is such a soft science, meaning there aren't usually any concrete numbers, statistics, or case studies, it demands a more rigorous standard of feed back. Assessment takes 4 forms - Observations, secondary data, interview, and survey. A proper study needs at least 3 out of 4 for triangulation. In addition, the result must be fed back to the source for second confirmation.

I think that is an important point. My biggest problem with this "science" is that it never set a limitation. No one knows when not to use it. It promises the world but unlike engineering or math has no concrete evidence to back it up. Everything is very based on theory. The lack of evidence and excessive faith troubles me a bit.


As I grow older my wish became more simple. Perhaps the grandness was sacrificed by the need to keep pace with reality. When I was young I recall saying in a straight face proclaiming the dream of saving the world. Little did I know the world doesn't want to be saved - nor do I have the power to nudge it.

My power only consist of giving someone on the street a dollar, repairing computers, reading contracts, and bringing one person happiness. That's right, exactly one person. My wish now consists of taking singing lessons, reach the rank of black belt in judo, and to create stories.

I let go the foolish desire to force redemption upon the world and learned to enjoy the details of life. Then day by day I realize that one person I was able to save grew to be my whole world. So I guess I did save the world after all - and was saved in return.

Online Shopping Scam

With the holiday nearing everyone I know is trying to find the perfect gift at the lowest price. The desire to get the best deal has led many people to venture into online shopping where either great fortune or great scam awaits. This article is an attempt to inform you of the scam practices and how to spot shady dealers who hide online as Mr. Anonymous.

People are familiar with yahoo or ebay online shopping. Most people would just check the price and the comments left right below the product. Yet sometimes, the feed back and rating is inflated by dishonest dealers. What you should do is type in the store name + scam and see what google turns up. The beauty of all the excessive blog is that if someone is cheated, their voice can now be heard. We just have to listen. That one single step will save you a lot of grief.

Also, if an online store name uses incorrect spelling like Price Rite I would stay away from it. The reason is that a fraud store tends to be on the move and have multiple names. They can't be bothered to come up with a good name every time they restart their business. A store that is in for the long haul will most likely not use cheap names like these.

Second, if you are suspicious of a really low price, check out legitimate consumer feed back sites with better safe guard and integrity:
If unfortunately you fell into one of the traps. You can and should take 2 minutes to write a negative comment. You can also choose to submit a report to resellerratings, bbb, ripoffreport, or epinions. You may wish also to let law enforcement know of online scam so they can shut down the store:
  1. Issue a complaint through the FTC:$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01 Your complaint will be accessible to local and federal law enforcement that may prosecute.
  2. Contact their local police department and file charges. Some precincts may not wish to take the complaint, but they have no choice if you press it. It will be best if you provide printouts of the screenshots and emails that you have, as well as a timeline covering all event and phone conversations. The easier you make it for them the more likely they are to follow through with everything. At the least, you want to go after them for fraud, harassment, deceptive trade practices and threat of bodily harm (if they threatened physical harm).
  3. Contact their local district attorney and file a complaint with them that references your police repot. You are much more likely to get "action" from the local DA, compared to the state attorney general.
  4. File a complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) at The IFCC is a joint partnership with the FBI to investigate internet based crimes.
Also you can write to National Fraud Information Center

There is a horrific scam story written from the view point of victim, Mr Tomas Hawk - "PriceRitePhoto abusive bait and switch" It is an interesting account and seems to be one of the standard procedure of online scamming. The story even made it to Slashdot - "Consumer Strikes Back at Crooked Online Retailer". I recommend you read through the story.

Personally I was looking forward to buying a Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT online but that article from Slashdot stopped me cold. Now I am going to go into the official Cannon branch store and buy the camera in person. There is no iPod store in Taiwan though, so I would have to order it online from the official Apple iPod.

Hope this helps. Happy shopping and get me a gift.

What's That?

My sister discovering her foot ^_^


Touch is the most famous manga drawn by Mitsura Adachi. The publication started quietly in 1981 but quickly gain popularity through word of mouth. The art is simple in the sense love is a simple 4 letter word. He somehow packs meaning and soul into characters with just a few lines. That simplicity is part of the reason why his work is accessible to every level of readers. The story reaches out and touches the reader with its unpretentious plot. Here is a master who didn't add violence or sex as addictive to clutter his work. He has a story to tell and he tells it honestly. I consider him more than an artist; he is also a great director that handles his art like a great motion picture. It came as no surprise that his manga is being adopted into a full featured film.

The filmis in Japanese and will be released tomorrow (12/02) in Taiwan as 鄰家女孩 with sub-title. I am excited. Granted I won't have time to see it for another 10 days but I plan to enjoy the full sense of anticipation.

The development of Touch is planned out like a book. Each chapter can stand on its own and usually ends with a punch that makes you either think or smile. The character development is gradual and for 26 volumes you came to understand their hopes and fears. It is a rare chance to gleam into the workings of human motivation. Adachi the manga director distill the essence of human emotion and present a raw force that touch the core of everyone who read his work.

The plot is simple. There were two families. One family had twin boys and the other one had a girl. The 3 kids grew up together....

The first 30 pages of the book build slowly to a love triangle. Twins, equal in every way at the beginning and loves the same girl. The tough moral dilemma is fascinating. George Hegel once wrote, "Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights." The struggle to do right and to define oneself is just one on-going theme.

If you haven't read the manga yet, I highly recoomend it. Manga Project does the unofficial translation and you can find the books in their IRC channel. The onlywork that Adachi has officially translated to English is "Short Program". It is a fair representation of Adachi style. If you are famailar with scanlation, here are is a more complete reference to the groups translating Adachi work into english from MangaDownload.

Just to put it in perspective. Touch has sold 1 billion single copies and it is not even officially released in any english speaking country. That number is only taken from Eastern world. The work has been remade into 3 movie length animations and 106 episodes of tv show. I hope the current movie release in the US so you can have the chance to understand his work better.

*Here is the official movie homepage in Japanese


Firefox 1.5 came out 4 days ago and here is the browser distribution chart of my site from StatCounter.

Out of last 100 hits:
Microsoft Internet Explorer = 36
Firefox = 53
Safari = 10
Netscape = 1

I think the security issue of IE has finally drove people to migrate to Firefox. Morrighu said it best on her Slashdot post:
The first prophet was called Netscape and he was mighty, leading the people serenely through the internet. But the people forsook the prophet and the prophet turned to evil ways. In time, the first prophet was corrupted by evil in the form of the giant ISP known as Baal or AOL.

The second prophet was a false prophet called Internet Explorer, which hid its true nature from the people until it was nearly too late since it was sent out by the great deceiver, Microsoft. The great deceiver tried to limit their access to the internet and to turn them aside from anything that the deceiver did not make money off of.

The people groaned and labored to feed the great deceiver, but alas, nothing could fill his belly. The great deceiver blessed the heresy of having the browser integrated into the operating system. Loudly did the people cry unto the computer gods for a new prophet to lead them, but the gods were angry since they had given the people Linux. The people ignored Linux and chose to follow the great deceiver.

Finally, the computer gods softened their hearts and heard the cries of the people and sent a third prophet. The people are fortunate that they have not been abandoned for straying from the path of Linux. Mighty indeed is the penguin. A new prophet has been sent to lead us out of the valley of the shadow of ActiveX.


The heavens opened, the angels sang, and Firefox descended into our midst to relieve us from the woe that is Internet Explorer.

Now if you are still using IE, I urge you to consider moving to Firefox. This simple action will save your engineering friend many hours of grief trying to revive your virus ravaged computer.

Firefox is not just more secure, it is also more powerful. You can choose and pick extentions to add functionality to the browser. Here are some that I use, there are literally hundreds to choose from:

Adblock, (4.2 stars, 121436 downloads)
Once installed, it's a snap to filter elements at their source-address. Just right-click: Adblock: done. Filters use either the wildcard character (*) or full Regular Expression syntax. Hit the status-element and see what has or hasn't been blocked.

Tabbrowser Preferences, (3.23 stars, 62836 downloads)
Enables enhanced control for some aspects of tabbed browsing.

IE View, (4.39 stars, 46451 downloads)
Lets you load pages in IE with a single right-click, or mark certain sites to *always* load in IE. Useful for incompatible pages, or cross-browser testing.

FoxyTunes, (4.73 stars, 20386 downloads):
Do you listen to Music while surfing the Web? Now you can control your favorite media player without ever leaving the browser and more...

Google Preview, (4.54 stars, 9870):
Inserts preview images (thumbnails) of web sites, Amazon products and stock charts into the Google and search results pages.

Besides extensions you can also equip/integrate your browser with plugins. Which you can choose to include or not with your browser - Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, Java, Quicktime, RealPlayer, Shockwave, Window Media Player...etc.

Last but not least, you can customize the browser with various skins. Below are iFox, Aquitant, and Aquafox.

For the love of God. If you are still using IE, upgrade to Firefox right away. Your computer will thank you for it.

Friends don't let friends browse IE.