Monday, January 30, 2006

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What it means to be a dog?

Haha....that's the title of a featured article i saw on covering the famours Chines New Year festival at the San Francisco Chinatown

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Great football moments

It's moments like these that make football the greatest game in the world.

Poor Shark...

Canon in D (electric guitar)

This guy is sooooo talented man. I wonder if he arrange the whole song himself.

Absolutely Insane Explosion

This is apparently the explosion of some fireworks factory. Crazy!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Love is good

A song i wrote a few yrs ago named "love is good"

The Storm

This is a Lloyd Spiegel cover i did with Luke Gyure 2 yrs ago. Luke is an amazing guitar player and song-writer. Probably the most talented guy I've ever played with.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An Jin

Another clip. This one is taken when I sang a Jay Zhou cover in some karaoke contest held by the HKSA here in Berkeley.

I'd be your boy.

After some researching on the net, I found out how to post video. This is a clip from a recent open mic I sang at Salvage & Freight. It's really a great place to play, much like "The Ark" in Ann Arbor.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Marcus & Chungjye's visit

5 yrs ago..

Chungjye: "Hey Marcus, seriously, I think we're not ugly at all. Actually we're quite handsome..."


Chungjye: "Ok, marriadge cost a bomb these days...u need to consider housing, wedding, pleasing ur in-laws..."

Evidently, the desperado 5 yrs ago is now a grown man thinking about how to settle down. Time flies man, but it's always a pleasure to be nostalgic at times and this weekend is one of those times. Marcus, my buddy from my military days, decided that he's sick of Harvard and flew across america to the west coast and hang out with me and chungjye. well, acutally mainly with chungjye. After one night of suffocation in ling's room, both seek refuge at my town berkeley...

Marcus: "So what's the name of this tower?"
Mike: "I think they call it 'The Tower' here."
Marcus: "........"

Ok, so after a really disappointing lunch at this semi HK tea restaurant cum german bar wannabe, we do not know whether to trust the second advice given by the old lady selling newspaper (who decisively referred us to the first restuarant when asked for a "gd place for HK food in the area"...she probably get s commision) to some bakery selling egg tart...well, the egg tart turns out to be absolutely AWESOME! hence the happy faces...marcus is probably puking somewhere after he stuffs himself with 3 big egg tarts..

You really have to wonder how kids these days perceive traditional chinese new yr seems that every tracks on these CDs are backed by a thumbing baseline and beat worthy of a techno chart-topper...

this is taken on our way to palace of fine arts...The slope waiting for us in front is positively SCARY! these slopes in San Fran makes for great car chase scenes in movies..

Behind us, the world-famous prison...hmm..wat's its name again? some alcatraz?

Fortunately for us the clouds start clearing up as we head down to the bay..we actually got a clear view of the whole bridge!

Marcus trying his 16:9 function on his camera..and hence this..

Look at the bottom of the pic, the golden gate bridge looks as if it's built across a big field of green grass instead of over the bay..

The Delta Platoon 1 Elite Section 1 on a recce mission to ,in Lt Ling Chungjye's word, where "the dude from THE ROCK escaped to meet his daughter"

These swans look relaxing..but atually they have a very very small area of space to chill...what a pity...they look really elegant..

Palace: "Yeah dude...I look awesome..."

Palace: "I absolutely RULE!"

We were here 3 yrs ago at this spot..but we can't see anything cos it was soooo forward 3 yrs and we finally get the shot we front of the magnificient Golden Gate..

Question of the day: How long does Tammy take to pose for this pic?

Buddy1 + Buddy2 + Me + kick-ass bridge....

we took a spin down to Alamo Square...another place where me and Tammy visited 3 yrs ago; me singing"...take my hand, and say you'd follow me.."

Chungjye attempting to dig into his "depths" for something...something filthy...

In front of Civic Center...we just happened to pass by this fabulous-looking's a gd way to end our day at San Fran

A very nice purple sky..

Scary-looking trees line up in front of the civic center..

A final pic in front of the civic center..

Ling: "Hey come back to bed.."
Marcus: "Nooooooooooo"

Who knows what transpire the previous night between these 2 passionate young fellows...hee...

It's been a great time hanging out with my 2 buddies...time changes alot of things...but fortunately something in life stays the's harder and harder to meet new ppl whom you can connect beyond the hi-bye level as you grow it waas great spending time with these 2 "comades", poking fun at each other, talkin abt ridiculous army stories, chatting abt film, school, gf, life as "scholars", career....a great way to end my month-long break...time to go back into the lab and do some real research work the sch's paying me for..hee...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Another trip to Indian Rock

So after just missing out the sunset the previous time we went to Indian Rock (which is this 3-4 storey high rock about 20 min walk from our place), we decided to set off earlier this time round, and we were rewarded with some stunning views.

We're northbound on Shattuck Ave, which will take us to Indian Rock

Long, long on the right, tammy on the left...

One of the many unique houses along the richer North neighborhood along Shattuck...

Finally! We're here at the Indian Rock. As you can see, the rock is HUGE!

Tammy sitting near the top of the rock, striking a pose...

Letting the gorgeous view in front of me sinks in...

It's going...

Still going...


The poacher gets poached in this case; I took a picture of this boy taking a picture of the bay sunset view..

Saturday, January 07, 2006

My to-do list for the holiday (directed by Tammy)

Evidently, Tammy feels that I'm not making the most of my holiday at home. So she came up with 18 tasks on this to-to list and made me sign on it as well. According to this list, I'm supposed to water the plants, wipe all surfaces, clean the toilet bowl, arrange shoe rack, pick up and arrange clothes lying around the floor today while i've gotta do some vacuuming and bathtub cleaning tomorrow. It's apparent who's in charge of this household.

Our "work station" before the major clean-up.

Nemo looks on while I clean the room...

Story in Map (screenplay 1st act)


STORY IN MAY song playing in the background, with the lyrics
dissolving in and out of screen.

The camera is flying "backward" through a REDDISH SKY. Finally,
camera pans down into a quiet playground just as the first half
of the song is fading out, with endling lyrics "and now my love
for her is crushed beneath all the lies in this story in may".


The camera finally settles on Patrick, in his early twenties,
sitting alone on the monkey bar, jotting down something on this
notebook. At first we only see his back, but as he put his pen to
his lips, we see the bottom half of his face, sufficient to see
that it's expressionless.

(in a whispering singing tone along
with the fading song)
beneath all the this May..



A sudden change of mood by the background music to [F C F C
finger-picking]. It's a typical sunny morning in Berkeley.
Patrick is holding some LP records in his arm as he strolls down
Shattuck Ave. He's looking around approvingly, although one wouldn't be able to tell from his expressionless face.

So this is my town, Berkeley, land of the
hyppies. In the 60's, the students couldn't
take the crap from the university any more...

Old images of FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT in Berkeley

so they decided to protest. It started with
one guy, but when he got arrested..

Old image of JACK WEINBERG being arrested

many others joined in. And all they did was

Old image of students crowd sit-in


Old image of student leader making speeches in front of Sproul

and sing.

Old image of students singing with guitar. Then, camera shows
Patrick waiting at a traffic light.

I sometimes wish I was born 40 years earlier.
I think the 60's is a magical time. A time of
stark love and hatred, peace and war. People
actually felt and cared about something.
What's more, they had great theme songs!Pete
seeger, Phil Ochs, Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan
Baez and of course, Bob Dylan.

Patrick finds himself waiting at the traffic light. Beside him
stands a caucasian man in his late 50s. He dons a hippie look and
has a big sign board wrapped around his neck in front of him that
reads "The crimes of Japan against China in WWII". He's also holding a tamborine and beating in his hand. He looks at Patrick
and sings with great enthusiasm.

Hey Mr Tamborine Man write a song for me, I'm
not sleepy and there is no place i'm going
(to Patrick)
...hey son..
(continue singing)
..hey Mr Tamborine..

Patrick looks up awkwardly at the caucasian man, closes his eyes
and takes a deep breath then continues crossing the road after
the light changes green.

And there you go, some remnants from the old
days. You can't really fault that guy though,
at least he seems pretty passionate about it.
I suppose that's the problem with my
generation. We don't really have a glorious
cause to fight for.

Patrick makes a turn into the univerisity campus area and walks
through Sather gate and passes by a group of asians students

Anyway, this is where you'd find people from
my generation. I was rather surprised when I
first came to this univeristy to find that
more than half the student population are
asians, which makes me a majority here.
Not that it makes a big difference to me, people
don't really notice me whether I'm a minority
or majority, which is how I like it.

Patrick crosses another road and enters into an old record store
named "Cho's Records".


The "Cho's Records" store is a small shop that only sells old
LPs. The walls are covered with album covers, from Led Zepellin
to Cream. A virtuso solo electric guitar sound playing "House of
Rising Sun" comes from a backroom. A customer seems to be waiting at the counter which is empty. Patrick hurries to the counter and
puts down the LP records in his hand onto the counter.

(to the customer)
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Hmm, let me take care
of this.

(smiling, O.S.)
No worries.

Patrick takes the LP record from his customer. He finally got to
take a good look at the girl in front of him now. She is an
beautiful and attractive girl in her early 20s. She dresses like a college student, wears plastic-frame glasses and has an air of
vibrance and positive energy. She has eurasian look.

Sorry for waiting again.

That's fine. Someone was here when I first
came in but for some reasons he just ran out.

(stealing a glance at Isabella)
Yeah, that'd be Ronald, he does that all the

Patrick is fumbling through the cash register, trying to get it
to work. He appears awkward and clumsy and intentionally avoiding
eye contact with Isabella. Both did not speak for a while when the same solo guitar line from "House of the Rising Run" came
from the backroom for the 3rd time.

(giggling and pointing towards the
backroom door)
Someone's really putting in a lot of effort
in that solo line.

yeah, that's my dad.

(genuinely surprised)
oh!that's your dad? That's amazing! I mean,
he plays really well. I wish my dad can..

Before Isabella could finish, a chinese man in his late 50s, back
slightly humped, wearing thick glasses, came out from the
backroom behind the counter. He looks every bit a stereotyped old chinese man, serious and stern looking, definitely not someone
whom you'd expect to play a mean rock guitar.

Patrick makes way for his dad to move pass him.

Hi, dad.

Hmm. Where's Ronald?

I think he ran off again

Mr Cho doesn't look too pleased.

That'd be $8 off his pay today.

Mr Cho finally notices Isabella and saw the Dylan's record she's

(referring to Bob Dylan's Greatest
Hits LP)
Is this your first Dylan's record?

(surprised and puzzled)
Yeah, how do you know?

Mr Cho ignored her question, turned around to the aisle behind
him and gave her a copy of "Highway 61 Revisited".

Take this.

While Isabella is still trying to figure out what to make of
this, Mr Cho has already walked towards the shop door. Isabella
tries to make some gesture, but Mr Cho merely waves back in a
dismissive manner and leaves the store without looking back.

Isabella, looking slightly helpless and confused, now turns to Patrick.

Don't worry about that...
(taking the "Highway 61" copy)
I'd put this back later...

(referring to the "highway 61" record)
Hold on, well, do you think I should get this

No, you don't have to listen to him.
(referring to Greatest Hits)
This is value for money...

But do you, personally, think this'd be a
good album to buy?

(pausing a little)
I think...personally I'd never buy a Greatest
Hits. Hmm. It's just...I feel I don't give
the artist enough respect if I do that.


Although I would not get "Highway 61"
either...well, what Dylan songs do you know?

well, I've heard "Like a rolling stone",
"Knocking on Heaven's door", hmm, "Blowin in
the wind" and "stairway to heaven".

hmm, "Stairway to heaven" is not really a
Dylan song.

(a little embarassed)
Oops! As you can see I'm really new to his
music. I downloaded that "Stairway to heaven"
song and it says that Bob Dylan was the
singer. I should have known, it's not the first time this kind of mix-up happen. And I
can sort of tell that it's a different guy
singing too.

That's fine. Bob Dylan sounds like lots of
people and lots of people sound like Bob
Dylan. Hmm, but if you're serious into his

Patrick walks out to the Bob Dylan section and flips through his
record and takes out the "Bob Dylan" album.

Get this. This is his first album. 1962.

Oh thanks! So is this really good?

Patrick is now back behind the counter.

Not his best. But I think it's a nice journey
to listen to his stuff from the earliest days
and just move up the albums chronologically.
It gives you a great story of the man. Hmm,
but that's just me.

Thanks! Appreciate it! Hmm
you know, I think I'd still get this one
(referring to "Highway 61")

Yeah sure. You should probably be better off
listening to my day.

I'm sorry, I would have gotten both if I'm
not running so low this month.

That's cool. That's cool. So I guess that'd
be 8 bucks.

Isabella took out a $10 note and hands it to Patrick.

So, just out of curiosity, is that really
your dad playing guitar at the back just now?

Yup. That's him playing.

Wow, that's really something. I think that's
probably the first time I ever heard an old
chinese man plays the electric guitar so
well. And he certainly didn't look it...

(realizing that Patrick is looking at
her with a blank expression)
Oh I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to
offend your dad.

(trying to reassure Isabella)
No don't worry about it. I sometimes think
it's a pretty odd thing too. It's funny, i
mean it's funny.

(seeing Patrick's expressionless face)
Still, I shouldn't have.

It's cool. I'd laugh with you if I could, you

Awkward silence for a few seconds.

(handing her the change)
Anyway, here's your change.


Come back if you want more Dylan stuff,
that's if you like it of course.

(still regretting over what she said)
Hmm. Bye.

Then Isabella leaves the store.

A close-up shot of Patrick digesting what has happened. Then a
wider shot of the whole now-empty store.

I'd laugh with you if I could, you know.


Story in May (film summary)

This is a screenplay I'm working on that's based on the songs I've written in the past. The main character, Patrick, lost the ability to move his facial muscle since young and has been a loner most of his life, besides an annoying yet loyal friend, Ronald, who aspires to be the next Eminem. Patrick's dad, who lives his life around his music, migrates to America from China to seek the musical freedom he was looking for, but was dejected (espeically after the passing of his wife) and led a lonely life looking after a small LP records store. He is also troubled by his guilt of causing Patrick's lose of facial expression. Patrick also takes refuge in his music and has a love-hate relationship with his dad, whom he respects for his musical influence, but blames for his misfortune. Their lives took a sharp turn when a politically-active college girl walked into the store one day.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Things I really should be thinking but not..

well..these are things that deserve more attention than what is currently getting from my limited attention spectrum..

1. wedding plans (yeah..i think abt it..but i guess not enuff)
2. master thesis (if i wanna graudtae in time..i better start working on this asap)
3. South America trip (possibly my last long vacation for a while..i gotta make the most out of it in Aug 06)
4. jobs with Temasek (which temasek companies should i apply for?)
5. movie sreenplay
6. where is my U-Mich graduation certificate!!!!!!!

Things on my mind lately...

I like to make here's a list of things that has occupied alot of my attention in the past month...

1. Happenings related to my start-up idea (can't really be too specific here)
2. Carbon Nanotube (there's some absolutely amazing research in this area man! and i need to work out a master thesis on this fascinating material!)
3. Web 2.0 (i guess i'm a few months behind when i found out abt the explosion of web 2.0 spirited services on the net..but i'm playin rapid catch up now)
4. more biz ideas (recently i've experienced an outburst of new ideas...i wonder if i'd have time to work on more than the one i'm currently workin on rite now)
5. Apartment Lease (where can we leave after July 06? i hate moving man and i absolutely adore this apt!)
6. Wedding plans (how much can we afford? can we have a memorable wedding without going under even before we start saving?)
7. my music & movie (sigh...i feel that my artistic side is always being sacrificed becos of all the wild ideas that i have from time to time that i draw all my attention...i've been starting to record some demo...but the movie script would have to put on hold for now i guess)

Start-up thoughts so far...

I haven't been able to write as frequently as I could have as I've been busy with kicking-off the start-up idea i have...after some talent-scouting, i've got myself a decent team of 7 ppl...we're all located at diff placess...2 from HK, 1 from Stanford, 2 from Berkeley, 2 from's still too early to say if we'd be a great working as a team yet, although I'm still pretty satisfied with these 6 other ppl i manage to persuade to join in the ride...

i'm really excited for this venture because for one, i've always had many business ideas and finally i'm acting on one of them so i wont be just one of those idea-man-without-action...secondly i think i'm gonna learn much more from this experience about the basics of running a business; marketing, legal, market research, company strategy etc...i just hope that the 'tuition fee' wont hurt me too much.. in other words, my current motto for this venture is "to gain a great learning experience without losing too much money"...

we finally had our first team meeting a few days ago and i must say things got on to a pretty good was quite productive considering it's a 6-person meeting on MSN messenger...i manage to function as a facilitator and go thro several impt issues...although there's some issues that definitely needs more attention in future meetings...currently i'm the only connection in the team since almost everyone (except Connie who's Francis pal from CSP) is a personal i really hope that they can start communicating among themselves and establish some kind of relationship without me as the middleman...this actually reminds me alot about the early days of starting World Service Team back in Michigan...i was also the only 'connection' in the beginning...fortunately the WST core team turned out to be really cohesive and efficient in the end...i wish things would turn out tat way this time round too...

anyway, we've set our beta launch date on 15 i've been working almost non-stop on the look-like prototype and wrwiting some specs to get the design process started..thing abt the internet is that things move so fast that every single day counts! we really need to stay lean and fast if we wanna survive...a frequent question posted to me as I tried to tell friends about my idea or try to recruit some hardcore programmers (i failed to recruit the service of 2 supposedly very gd programmers becos i couldn't convince on this point) is that i dun have any technological advantage over others..."why cant google do the same?" , "what stops others from copying ur idea?"...frankly, i can never give them a satisfactory answer that they're seeking for...fact is, we're the underdog..none of us on the team are truly hardcore geeks by the extreme sense of the word...5 of us are still students...none of us has ever tried started a biz b4...and frankly, even though the idea is still novel rite now (to the best of my knowledge) is indeed an idea that can be easily copied by others...

while those 2 guys definitely have a point, and that i was actually quite disappointed that i couldn't convince them (not that i'm disappointed tht i cant get their service, but more with my inability to convince the "experts" on the potentials of the idea, which says something about, or rather the lack of, my "pitching" power), i actually dun think that technological superiority is all that impt in the start-up we're starting...timing, marketing strategy, user experience emphasis would be mmuch more impt actually...and NETWORK EFFECTS! the most impt thiing about my idea and most web 2.0 ideas out there these's sth even Google cant do anything abt once u got it...think has passed the tipping point in the network effect curve...even though it's a very simple thing to implement (technologically speaking), google has probably lost the battle to create their own google campus social network...what i need most is the a self-perpetuating network...getting there is everything! and it's fair game for everyone, whether u'r a $1bil a month company or a cashless start-up...i dun think there's any exact science in tellin why the wind blow whichever dirrection in a network effect dictated economy...i'm hopin abit of gd timing, marketing genius and tons of gd luck could work some magic for my team...well, if it fails, i can always look back and say 'that was wat else can i start?'

Sunday, January 01, 2006

X'mas Eve Dinner

Well, looks like it's finally time for da main man in the house to do some work in the kitchen, or rather under direct instruction from his i'd-write-u-a-list-of-to-do's-once-u're-done-with-all-ur-finals "female master" yeah, first thing on the list was for me to prepare a "traditional x'mas dinner". Being ever resourceful, i googled for "christmas recipe" and up pops all sorts of dish i didn't know one should consume during x'mas, or rather these are dishes that i eat all year round anyway...well, i ended up going with a swiss cheese fondue, a prime rib roast and venturing into baking my first cake!

what has a bud light beer, orange mermalade, garlic, minced ginger, soy sauce, hot sauce etc has in common? well, they all happen to be the ingredient for the seasoning that i'm gonna use for my prime rib's really a wonder how anyone could think that mixing all these stuff together could actually produce anything edible, much less producing some kind of tastebud it turns out, the prime rib roast turns out to be almost tasteless, but the $16 rib roast has got a texture to die for...possible the best piece of meat i've eaten for the past 3 yrs since i've been here in US...

our main character for the night getting ready to be be frank i waas abit worried how it would turn out at this point, cos all i can smell from the elaborate combination of ingredient is just cheap beer...surprisingly, the end product didn't has any taste of beer thou..

my first attempt of baking a cake...after much coaxing from Tammy who highly doubts, probably rightly so,my ability to bake a cake from the "flour up"...i resorted to buying some 'instant' cake mix where u just pour out the already mixed content, throw in a few eggs and milk...the instruction reads "use electric whisk to whisk for 4 minutes"...obviously i refused to buy an electric whisk for possibly the last cake i'd ever baked,, so i ended up doing all the mixing and stirring in a rice cooker (haha, east meets west) with a pair of it was HARD! took me almost 8 minutes to get things mixed well...i also took the discretion to melt some chocolate in the hope of replicating one of those famous Sara Lee chocolate-laced cake...well, i shalln't go into it any further, but it was quite a needless distraction which further escaltes the disaster in the kitchen

so..i'm making swiss cheese fondue, but i refuse to buy a fondue set, thinking that with my jungle confidence training i can start a small-scale anywhere i want with a spark of genius i decided to use the rice cooker (again) and pour in water and use inverted cups as support for the eventual cheese pot...and put candles which will float on the water and hopefuly keep the cheese melted...the floating-candle heating device worked well, for 2 miniutes...before the candle all died out because of lack of oxygen supply i think...well, wat can u do rite..

while my heater invention didn't work too well, the fondue was AWESOME! the swiss cheese is simmering with the wine and cheery brandy i put in...this is sooooo french really tastes great, although tammy complains that the bread which we dip into the cheese isn't crusty enough, which i agree...well, tammy, so u know what to do the next time u make fondue for me yeah? hee

well...after almost 4 hrs of oven heat...the prime rib roast is indeed "roasted"...but it is not as bad as it looks...the texture is heavenly albeit the seasoning didn't really come thro..

white zinfandel! kicking'!

me working the cake...

as u can see..the cake is not half as glamorous as the other 2 dishes...personally i think it's alrite for my first attempt..but the only compliment i could force out of tammy was 'great effort', which equals 'bad food'..

Present time!!! i got Rick Price CD!!!! Rick Price!!!! i was soooooooo excited man! i've been trying to get hold of the rick price albums for the longest time..apparently tammy got the Australia's HMV store to ship it was great!!! she also gave me three Cambodia bracelets!!! yay!...i gave her a knife (haha...) since our own set of knives aren't that sharp and also a black bag from Ross, which tammy promptly went back for an exchange (she thinks that the bag was too auntie)...haha..well, it was a great nite nevertheless!