Thursday, October 20, 2005

Open Mic at Freight & Salvage

Yeah! I finally found a music joint that could match the Ark of Ann Arbor...this place is run a non-profit music-lovers organization...and this is my first time playin at their open mic!

So I ended up doing 'Story in May' was a great feeling to be able to play in a setting like this again...the sound system is perfect...i'm definitely coming again!

Blue Angel Air Show in San Fran

So Tammy finally convince me to join her and some new found friends (from a church we attended in berkeley) to an air show in San Fran...I was quite reluctant to go cos my work's really piling up, but then again we haven't really explored San Fran ever since we arrived in Berkeley and so i figured i'd just have to leave the work behind for a while (which is actually what i've been doing pretty consistently these days haha)...but it was definitely a good decision!

So things went abit late as we were preparing to leave house, but fortunately we made it to the International House where we got a ride to a ferry terminal...the pic here is taken at the ferry terminal...Gena, a super nice Korean whose husband named Peter is also super nice, is chatting with Tammy...judging from their looks i think they are comparing whose husband is more untidy and does less house work..i suspect i might have won this round for tammy..ha

So this is Yuanqin, the vital connection i made when i first came to berkeley which leads us to make some really great ppl from her church...she's actually from my same junior college, and we have some very good mutual friends...unfortunately i found myself in another embarassing situation when she first recognize me and pointed out my name and as usual my person-name-face retention capacity eludes me...anyway, she's turned out to be a great friend to hang out with!

The ferry ride to San Francisco was really to see the city from a very different perspective..and the sky can't be more clear...

The piers are already packed with crowds who lined along the pier to get a good spot at the air show later..

And of course the famours sea lions that has taken a perpetual shelter in pier 41...i wonder how did this 'illegal gathering' first started...

There sea lions look soooo lazy man...but their nap won't last for long...cos there'd be figher jets flying right above them in a few moments time...i wonder if they willl flip out at all or would just continue their perpetual obliviance to their surrounding...

So we decided to get some lunch from the famous long lines of seafood stalls that occupies the fisherman's wharf...and in the midst of posing a picture, tammy had some help from one of the stalls' worker as a backdrop...this is pretty hilarious man..

So finally some actual air show's the arrow and heart figure that's a must for every air show...definitely a crowd pleaser..

This is a pretty amazing stunt...the guy actually shut off the engine for a while and did a free drop..and they actually had big speakers which was broadcasting messages from the pilot himself! he waas saying 'this dun feel too good' when he did this stunt...i think i'd have to concur with that one..

Tammy looks on at the fabulous air show and think "hmm...should i have shushi or chicken rise for dinner later?"

Two fighter jets about to execute a we're-gonna-fly-very-close-but-not-close-enough stunt...

So I ended up taking lots of video instead of pictures during the air show...but here's a pic of tammy looking pretty on our way home after an afternoon of great fun and even greater weather!

I'm not an American...but i gotta say the national flag does has a kickass look from certain angle...a professional picture courtesy of Mr Cho..

Sunset in the backdrop of a romantic city...and a sign that it's time to go home and start mugging...good times surely pass fast...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tammy's bday celebration...

so this is an update of the celebration we had for tam's bday on 2 Oct...we wanted to go to San Fran originally but realized that there was a food festival right on Shattuck so decided to check it out since it's just 2 blocks away...and it was a great outing...check out the pics..

So this is the beginning of the street-food fair on Shattuck, the street where we live...the north stretch of this avenue is filled with some pretty well-known eateries (including one that'd been nominated for 'best restaurant in USA')...this is also one of the 3 locations where they host the famous Berkeley open market where you can buy yourself some organic fruits..

As usual, I'm at where the music's at...they have some 3 or 4 open jam session going on in the festival...there was this pretty good country band that performed later in the day...didn't manage to take a pic of them thou..

I wonder where did they bring in these donkeys/horses from..but there you have it...a mini-ranch for the young cowboy/cowgirl wannabes..

as you can see, we don't really have a very coherent theme to the festival...first some horses and now some people with really tall stick-shoes walking around...that's wat i call a party man..

it's goofy how this town retains alot of its 60's hyppie evident from this psychedelic color flag, one of the many that dons the stalls here that sell stuff that you'd imagine joan baez wearing everyday..

what's a festival in berkeley without a few friendly protesters...i believe i've seen this same dude a few times in campus...apparently he has a varied issues of concern as he was holding some sign denouncing the japanese's aggression durin the 2nd world war the last time i saw him...not wanting to come across cynical, i wonder what he does for a living..

"hey tammy...hello...shall we go? u been standing there for like 5 min staring at the thai bbq...okok..i kno it looks yummy..but hello? hello?"

so instead of some oily hearty thai bbq food, we settled for some japanese vegitarian food...this stall we went to always have a long line we figured it must be good...well, i can say that they are good at at least one thing, and that convincing me that a vegetarian life is gonna be really boring (just look at the pic man!) and expensive...i also tried sake..and frankly, i prefer my Corona...

so this pic is taken after we went out for another jap dinner..this time round much more satisfying than the veggie lunch...and as usual tammy make a grand entrance..back home...

i actually wrote and recorded a new song for her called 'love in san francisco' first attempt at a jazzy number...think she really liked it...he..

Friday, October 07, 2005

Lost in Berkeley...

The title seems abit strong, but this reflects to a certain extent of how I feel lately. This feeling sinks in even more especially when I'm in the lab working on the mini-project on FinFET. It is a pretty mundane job, basically taking a bunch of mechanical strain data, which doesn't really need much brainwork and hence leaving me with a lot of room to daydream.

So a usual chain of thought would go like this..
- hmm, wat am i doing here?
- ok, i'm workin on FinFET. Sounds high-tech, but is it something I can gain an understanding in and find an angle to pitch to my sponsored company back home so that they'd give me some $$ to start a start-up?
- ok, finfet is certainly a great technology, but what really interest me and let me see the potential of a start-up or even evoke some sense of excitement is gotta be OLED, the thing that i've been workin on in michigan...
- well, working on OLED doesn't seem feasible now that i know none of the professors in berkeley works on OLED..and the only professor working on organic electronics has his hands full in inkjet-printing and organic transistors stuff that OLED would not be in his radar...
- so basically my dream of startin a start-up involving OLED technology seems abit more why did i come to berkeley in the first place? should i have gone to stanford for that management science in engineering thing which is only course-based and probably more inclined to my business interests?

that's when I really feel a sense of panic...i've always set myself lofty goals and usually my plan always plays out the way i intended them to be...but it looks like this strategy of working-in-engineering-field-so-i-can-convince-ppl-back-home-i-have-sth-to-start-my-business-on might just backfire...i'm afraid of settling into a project that i have no interest in just to satisfy my advisor requirement for me to get my master would really be a waste of time if it turns out like tat...perhaps i was too naive to even think that i can learn any technology in a meaningful way that could give me sufficient background to launch a business on..and yet this is what daydream is all about...and quite frankly i think this is my strength, ability to dream...

perhaps i'm complaining too much..but i certainly do not want to look back after these 1 yr+ here and decided that i would have been more productive elsewhere (this is also the part when I start to miss Ann Arbor alot...many great friends and i was working on OLED!)...actually on the 2nd day I arrived in Berkeley I wrote myself a list of things i wanna achieve during my time here...there're about 4-5 items on the list..."run a marathon", "learn another language", "write my first full-length movie script", "record a serious demo album of my songs", "get to know tammy more"...i can't find that sheet of paper now but i think that's all i have on that...surprisingly i didn't write down anything about learnin about OLED or engineering stuff or start-up ideas...maybe i was assuming that this particular career-related goal of mine would go smoothly...not that i will end up in a bad job if i don't get to do the kind of research i want..there's alot of great opporunity for me in my sponsored's just that i always have this almost sentimental idea of doing things myself, and growing a start-up seems like the ultimate challenge that will bring about the most self-fulfillment...i'm still hanging on to that dream, though it looks like i'd need to take some substantial detour now..