You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2006.

it’s mildly amusing to see what ads google’s adsense has generated for this blog each time we log on. today i was greeted with “sell monkeys”, which i must admit was a welcome change to “date philippine women”.

i must admit i have been jarred out of my complacency by reading a column in the wall street journal written by an american expat in beijing. one of his more recent entries discusses the period of time where you reach a sense of comfort after moving to a new place. when your move is across cultures and borders, the changes seem to become more magnified – perhaps there is a feeling that the comfort finally restores you to your original, pre-move status. at any rate, we find ourselves slightly lulled by the relative constancy of our daily routine.

one of the perks of my new job (if you can call it that) is that i can expect to finish up the day approximately the same time every day. for the past year, it has been difficult (if not impossible) to forecast whether i would be off at 7pm or 2am. now i am on a more steady path (allowing for some new hire adjusting) where alicia and i can meet to enjoy dinner and a bit of the evening.

as far as exploring hk and the region goes, we did manage to hike around big buddha in lantau and drop down to the philippines for the long weekend, although those were technically august accomplishments. so far this month we have little to show by way of explorations, although we had some fun shopping around stanley with kai and rhonda last weekend. we will be up around kowloon tong on saturday, and perhaps we will explore some other parts of the island if it’s not too wet.

here’s a new tool called sitepal, which gives you an avatar that speaks whatever words you put into it’s mouth (or text box). try out the demo, you can put on a new face, choose text to speech, and make it say whatever you want. try to avoid the temptation to make it say stuff to other people in the room (but if you give in, make sure to turn up the volume first).

after being here over a year (and alicia for 10), we decided it was time to see the big buddha out on lantau island. we went with our friend matt “the hong kong hiking guru” and met up at mui wo after a half-hour fast ferry ride. after a 40 minute bus ride up to the top, we got off to start our hike.

to get to the buddha, you have to walk up about 12 flights of stairs. today felt like one of the hottest days of the year, with all the heat and humidity trapped under a cloud layer. needless to say, it was futile to try to keep cool, and we were happy that this was the most uphill part of the hike.

once we had toured around the base of the big buddha, we headed down towards the reservoir. it was a couple of hours down the trail, and we saw lots of nice views, interesting insects including a stick bug, a praying mantis, and giant spiders, and only ran into a handful of humans on the way!

it was really interesting to see the changes in plant life as we descended from the peaks down to sea level. we made it through pine forests where alicia made a bug out of piece of a pinecone! despite the safety of the path, we also paid attention to the signs.

overall we had a great time, although it was nice to get home and have a nice cold shower! thanks matt!

inspiration

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it."

~ Steve Jobs

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