Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Transformer fanatics

Guys just have different passions about these stuffs than gals. I can't imagine a girl would spend time doing such......

Monday, December 29, 2008

When I feel that I'm old

While I'm still in the middle of my vacation and won't be back to work till beginning next year, I spend a lot of time with my baby son. Taking him to the park is almost the daily routine. Man, just playing with him, watching him with so much energy, I'm feeling old. What can I say? it is an undeniable feeling. Just can't help but the time that I spend with him just keep reminding me that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Just went to see this movie this afternoon with my wife. It's been a while since we went to see a movie together, works and family do take a lot of time. Anyway, my wife thinks that this movie is so-so, cos she is just not that into sci-fi stuff and for her, they all looks the same. When the movie ended, her comment was: "is that it? that's the end?" Of course, I said "yes".
Do I like it? I think it is ok. Cos, I didn't go to see it with very high expectation after all the criticism that I've heard. So, it helps. To be fair, for movie of such theme, about life and death of our earth, what more can u do? Good guys die, but some don't, that make sense. Bad guys die too, but some don't, that's equally acceptable. You want a bit of sci-fi jargon, u got it. U want special effects, u got it. U want some relationship stuff, it has but thank god...not much, u got it. So, what else do u want? Did it give me deep thoughts about our earth? Emmm.....not much, cos other movies have done that or better. Do I find that entertaining? Well, it has its moment, it is decent! I think it is not as cheesy as Armageddon, but not as good as Deep Impact. Not as stupid but exciting as Transformer, but at least better than Wars of the World.
In terms of acting.....emmm.....let's not get into that, cos it has none. Keanu is playing himself, can't find anyone do better, Jennifer Connelly, emm....kind a waste, much more so that she was in the Hulk. The kid? I would rather watch the girl in The Sign, at least she got the funny line of water is contaminated!
So, here u go... I still think it is worth going to see this movie. Just to chill and think nothing for one and half hour of non-thinking visual entertainments.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Photo Session

The economy is bad, so $ has to be saved whenever possible, especially for high expenses or 'non-essential' ones. I'm having my annual leave now, one of the things that my wife and I plan to do is to take our kid to have a baby photo session. Yes, it costs $, yes, it is not really essential, but time can't never be stopped or saved. So, our son is growing, just try to capture some images of him in a professional way is not something totally out of our reach. As such, we did it today. Thank goodness, it didn't cost too much, and both of us are happy with the results, particularly my wife. She just delighted to have looked at those photos. They just light up her face!

For me, out of the 50 photos that we selected, only one has me in, cos I just don't look good in any of them. I'm just tired and still recovering from light fever yesterday. The key is that, I'm just not photogenic person. I did't know how unpleasant to be filmed till I saw myself in those photos today. So, it is wise for me to take a pass. My wife is better looking than I'm, way better.

Anyway, I think overall, I've a good family day today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How I spend my limited personal free time these days

It is always nice to have a reflection of our life every now and then. Usually, we do that because 1. we have time.
2. we need to (usually after something bad happened)

I think I'm doing that for the first reason.

My daily life is considered to be quite routine and should be 'boring' to many folks. I've white collar job with fixed office hours (+ voluntary/necessary OT). That takes up most of my waking hours. Besides the mandatory personal daily tasks, like brushing teeth, bathing, changing clothes, 3 meals, spending time to play with my kid a little bit and listening (more) / talking (less) to my wife also occupy a bit of time before bed. The only so-called personal free time that I had travelling back and forth from office, breaks during office hours and a bit of TV news watching time before bed. I don't know how others live, but I really cherish the limited personal time that I have each day.

First of all, I'm not complaining about the responsibilities and tasks that I need to take on outside my personal time, cos they are needed and I do enjoy some of them. I'm just saying that how to make the most of it from my limited personal time is very important to me and I'm trying to perfect my skill of squeezing every drop of it.

'Getting inform' is my hobby. So, my mind needs to be fed. That's why I like to read and listen. For reading, in view of the short span of personal time that I've, reading anything long is almost out of question. I've not read any novel for a long time. Even for books, I only read one or two books this year, and they are books in chapters with content that can be read and put down for a long time before picking up again without and problem. Therefore, I like reading articles from newspaper and the web. That's why I use my mobile to read newsfeeds everyday. Surfing web is a must. I love to be informed of what's going on in the world on different aspects.

'Watching' is another form of visual information gathering. Watching news is a must to be if possible. TV shows and movies are luxury, cos slots of my time are in 'half-hours' at most. I can push it to 45mins for an episode of Heroes, but movies take too much time. That's why I've not see a movie at home for long while. With my kid, going to cinema became a very infrequent event.

Listening is good too. Music is a passion. I still listen to music very often with my ipod. Definitely every week day on my way to and from work. However, I also divide those times, may be half or more on listening to podcasts. Thanks for these feature, I can listen to what I want any time. Yes, some of those podcasts are news, when I listen to them, they are old news. But, as long as I've not heard them before, they are news to me. Most important is that those news podcasts are more in depth then just regular TV news. So, to me those podcasts are more 'to-know-more' kind of cases. I try to listen to as many as possible, as I always get new episode every time I hook my Ipod up to my PC. I always have a backlog of them to be cleared.
As you can see how I spend my limited personal free time, you can pretty much tell, how busy I am and what would be my best gift. Da Iphone! That could help me to do most of the above. However, I'm still stuck with my old phone contract, so I don't think I will get my Iphone till next May or June. So, I just have to wait till then as I don't wanna pay any penalty for getting out of contract. Still, I'm still quite in touch with the features and news of Iphone, not just from reading those news websites about Iphone, but also playing with my wife's Iphone. Hopefully, by the time I buy an Iphone next year, the Iphone will be improved upon to meet more of my needs and desires.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time of the year again

Well, it’s almost the time of the year, when people are gathering for various religious, and holiday festivities. Personally, I’m gonna take 2 weeks off for my overdue long vacation for this working year. Well, I’m planning to get to do some personal things that I wanna do for a long time, but just got put off due to various reasons. Certainly, I still need to take care of my son. Glad that my wife is gonna take time off as well. So, we can do some family outings as well. I’m sure 2 weeks are gonna flied, but I will try to make the best out of it.

It is a bit early to talk about New Year resolution. Personally, unlike most people, I don’t really put much thought on those conventions that…well because today is so and so, we have to do this or that. If I feel like I need to change, I just change. If I need to plan, I just plan. January 1st is not necessary a new beginning for me, if I need to begin to do something, once my mind is set. Then, just do it, that’s it! So, when folks are planning to do that so-called New Year countdown, I’m just not into it. Still, I will take my son to go to see those Christmas decorations and related stuff. Though, I’m not that into those festivity spirits, I’m not gonna to deny my son’s chance to explore and enjoy those things himself. He is too young to know what’s going on, but I think he will enjoy them, and that’s what matter the most. I’m looking forward to have a good time with my wife and my son in these coming holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One of my favorite Artists of all times - M.C. Escher

I always like M.C. Escher. The pictures that I select here are 'inspired' by his scretches and drawing. Folks just somehow 'try' to make them into more 'modern' day 3D real life stuff. Lego is an obvious choice, but my favorite one got to be the car!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Some thoughts on parenting a 15 months old

Being a dad of a more or less 15 months old boy is joyful as well as tiring. He will always find something to surprise you and do something to crack me up. On the other hand, with the seems to be unlimited energy that he has, I can't help but think that 'man, I'm old!'
Watching him, spending time with him can't help to make me think that a lot of things that we take it for granted are not really easy. Do we remember when did we take our first step, learn to walk, learn to run, go to certain place the first time, learn to feed ourselves, our first words, etc. All these must be learned and explored to gain experience then become essential part of ourselves. It also makes me think that nothing is easy, how we human equips to deal with all the challenges that we have. Also, it makes me really admire our parents who raised more than one kid, we all turn out ok, not great, but ok. How can they do that? Certainly, environment has changed, but there are still things that don't change. Our parents didn't know a lot more than us (that's perhaps), certainly they are not as resourceful as us in terms of material things. Just think about washing diapers, that task alone would enough to put most current day parents off from having babies. Just how could our parents able to do all that?
Well, I don't have all the answers, but one thing is for sure. It is the love and sacrafice that we've on our kids that make us to do the difficults, if not the impossible. I love my kid and glad that my wife is helping and we hire a maid to take care of the 'dirty' works. In view of the current economic condition, I hope and pray for things to stay stable. Challenges are always around, just don't want more unwanted. Touch wood!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dream on Dec 8, 2008

Well, I enjoy dreaming, cos I think that they are entertaining, considering my daily life is kinda routine and bored. So, I would love to catch my dreams and just for the heck of it. Last night, I don't remember a lot about my dreams, I only remember that I was in a strange bathroom that with 2 huge tubs. The walls are white, the wall of the bath tubs are with white porcelain. Somewhat like those old fashion public bath place or like to hot springs in Japan. I was by myself. The tubs are deeper than issue, just sit that water are up to my chin. I remember that I had to soak myself in one tub for few minutes and then come up and hop into the other one. The only difference is that, one is very hot, the other one is cold. I remember that I was told to do so for skin beautification, to tighten my skin or so. I don't know why I've such dream and go through the same treatment as what I would do before cooking chicken wings (i.e.boiled them for few minutes and dump them in icy water, but not repeatedly) .
Well, just a dream!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fortunate Telling - 三世書 (Book of three lives?)

三世書 - "Book of Three Lives" (not sure if the translation is correct or not), it is a book widely believed by Chinese as a reference in fortune telling. The most basic premise of this book is based on your name, birthday and time, to tell what kind of person you are in your 'past' life, how your current life is gonna be, and what your 'next' life will be. Certainly, it is not gonna be acceptable for people who doesn't believe in this sort of things and people who doesn't accept the concept of reincarnation, i.e. most Christians. For more information, for those who can read Chinese, please refer to this good article for further details.

I thought about the concept of knowing our past life and next life to be quite ridiculous. I do believe in reincarnation, but the thing is that we can change who we were in our past life regardless who or what we are. If we did good things, we may benefit from them due to karma and vice versa. We just have to accept them, knowing that doesn't help. Like some folks lost their limbs, if they find out the reason is because they chopped someone else's limbs, what can they do this life? If they already lost their limbs, that's it! If they've not, then they should be careful like everyone else. There is a belief that we should do good this life, so we can:

1. Compensate/offset the sins from past lives and current life
2. To accumulate good deeds, so we will be better off next life

I believe that just doing good can make us feel good, that's already good enough to motivate us to continue. Thinking too much about the above just make us too 'calculative'. That may take away the fun or good feelings for doing good deeds.

On the other hand, knowing what will be in next life is also stupid. First, if we believe in karma, things have not been finalized or all set unless we are gonna kill ourselves in next minute. So, there are still plenty of opportunity for changes one way or the other. So, telling you something so definite for next life, like you will be a beggar, a policeman, etc. It is just plain stupid! Cos, just in our current life, we change jobs all the time. Even in the Chinese history, the first emperor of Ming Dynasty had been a monk, a beggar, a thief before end up became an emperor. So, how do we know what stage our life the book is telling?

I do think that consulting fortune-tellers or involve in such activities are very tempting. I did that myself once before. However, I think we should get a grib of our life in our own hands and make the best out of it in our current life. The old lesson of not doing warm to oneself and the others should be a good enough life-long motto. Just try our best and there shouldn't be much regret. That's what I believe in.