Created: 00:20 Sept07/2004
Sept. 03 - 06 @ Seattle, WA, USA
Earlier on this evening after I came back home from our "Chan Family Reunion" Labour Day Weekend stay at Seattle Fairmont Olympic Hotel I told my dad & mom, "Ok, the dream has come to an end. Now we're back to reality."
I really did feel that way.
Sept. 03, 2004, Friday
I mean.. how often do you get to live in a 5-star hotel? And for 4 days, 3 nights too! Somebody was really generous and paid for everything. My parents picked up an Aunt who lives in one of the apt's behind Burnaby South school at 08:40. Then we headed down to the border. Went through with ease and continued on and tried to figure out how to get to the Hotel at the exit from the highway. For an extra couple bucks [$30?] we handed over our car to the valet and went in to check in. It was probably about 12noon. We decided to hang around the main floor first. I took two pictures of the Garden ,. Unfortunately my camera and skills couldn't display the sight that gave me the feeling of awe that I got when I was there. You can also take a look at this slideshow presented by Fairmont. We also took a look at the fitness place ,, and pool ,. And then the arcade where the super-expensive clothing shops are [ie: a wool vest was something like $3K]. And then up to our rooms where we unpacked. Aunt was #524, parents were #514, mine was #504. Before I did my unpacking, I took some shots. Again, as you can see, I need practice in getting the right angles while under limited lighting and space conditions. From my window, I could see squarely the "Plymouth Congregational Church". I stood in front of the elevators on 5th floor and took shots of the hallway [,] as well as the sitting area. My room is down this hall second door to the end on the right. I don't remember what this part was. And then back downstairs to meet up again.
We headed down to the Pike Place Market where they were supposed to be famous for fish-sellers to be throwing huge salmon around. They weren't doing it when I was there and I didn't bother waiting around. And then I also heard that they were only throwing a dummy fish. Anyway, the pic would have shown up too dark to see anything. I also failed to take a pic of that metal (bronze?) pig statue because by the time I took out my cam, a little girl went to sit on it. So I only took a pic of this tent with all those chilli peppers hanging there. And the outside. And then headed back up the street to walk around. Banana Republic. Two shots of the US Bank Centre. For once, I shot a pic which I thought wasn't too bad. The angle and lighting seemed fine. And then there was Niketown which had quite a good selection of shoes I haven't seen in Canada (Vancouver anyway). I also went to Adidas store but I think that was Sunday. Or maybe it was Friday. And for the last shot before the end of my roll of film I stepped out of the curb to try to get a better angle and got this shot of I-think-it-was-called "Seattle Convention & Trade Centre". You know, I could shoot the developed photos with my dad's 5.0 megapixel camera. Well.... on second thought... I guess I can select a few to be digitized at the photo lab... (as long as they're not simply scanning it).
Sept. 04, 2004, Saturday
Sept. 05, 2004, Sunday
Sept. 06, 2004, Monday
Sept. 11, 2004 @ the Peace Arch Border Crossing
I took a drive by myself to the border to better familiarize myself with the routes to get down to the border. It would be great to drive down to Seattle again. It would be great to drive to Alberta as well! I didn't bring my passport because I thought I could turn back without having to go through the inspection gates. But I had to go through one when I U-turned back. They sent me to the Immigration office. At first I went to the Customs Office instead because I didn't think much about the arrows painted on the ground. Anyway I thought it was interesting that my name in the system when I first landed in this country was "C___ K__".
Sept. 22, 2004
I tried out an $81.50 11-session 1-hour HipHop class at Kits Community Centre. I also tried a $48 6-session 1½-hour class at Bonsor Rec Centre on September 27, Monday but I decided to go with the one at Kits. Although the Bonsor one was conducted by Bailey Dance Co, the first half-hour was just stretching whereas the class at Kits was getting straight to the real stuff. So basically it would be $48 for 6 hours versus $82 for 11 hours. And besides, Kimberley was more upbeat and springy than the other one. The one at Bonsor looked like she still had ballet in her mind - a lot more soft and graceful, not really what I want for a hiphop class. The only thing was that I was the only guy at the Kits class whereas the other class had about 40% guys including a couple of HongKong boys. I didn't expect that kind of people to be in these kinds of settings to take hiphop. There was this East Indian guy (about 30-something) who looked like he's doing cultural traditional East Indian dance when he danced along with the class. Anyway that was how I chose to spend the $50 credit (ie: Choices) that the company offers as part of their Employee Benefits program. As for me being the only guy in the class, I just hope the others don't mind me. I just want to take some hiphop; I'm not there for fitness and I'm certainly not there for any other purpose if you know what I mean! In the coming January, I want to take the $99 breakdancing class at Vancity Dance which Kim told me about when I told her after the first class that my first choice was actually breakdancing. I just want to be able to look back ten twenty years from now and be glad that I did dancing that I would no longer be physically capable of doing. I may not attempt any headspins or even just a flip or aerial somersault but perhaps I would be satisfied just to be able to do a whirlwind. I don't desire to spend time in a wheelchair or anything.
Oct. 01, 2004 @ 21XX E. 55th Avenue
I went to a "Noah Fellowship" which was for adults from the Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church. I have a coworker who goes there and earlier on in June she showed me some topics that they talk about in the upcoming gatherings and one of them was on different denominations. But it was postponed because the speaker had to go to a wedding or something. Her name is Dr. Joyce Chan from Carey Baptist Theological College at the VST in UBC. The talk was mostly focusing on a historical account of how the various Protestant denominations came to exist. She was quite fair and I was glad. The information was, of course, quite general given the time limits and the audience but it matched up quite well to what little I still remember from my own readings that I used to do back in Victoria. As I suspected, many of the people in the fellowship didn't seem to know much about the history. I hope they can gain a better understanding of their own religious beliefs from the perspective of history because I think it's important for not only a better appreciation of Christianity but it may also help prevent some misconceptions of Catholicism. Not surprisingly, however, there was a stir and murmur around the room as people nodded when the speaker mentioned the abuse of indulgences that prompted Luther to nail his thing on the door. I mentally shook my head as I thought how people can be familiar with these historical facts but miss out on so many other important historical occurances.
Oct. 03, 2004 @ SFX School
I went to a Parish General Meeting where the topic was to exchange opinions regarding ministering to the youth. Apparently about 600 surveys were handed out a couple weeks back but only about 100 came back. Not too good but prayerfully things will improve. As the priest said the following Sunday there were about 500 (or was it 400?) people at Mass that day and only about 10% of people showed up at the meeting. I mean, there won't have been enough space for everybody but of course the more the better. I filled in the appropriate survey (a blue one for those 18+ people who are not parents) but immediately generated some criticisms of it after scanning it. I took another copy of the survey after the meeting and will eventually (right now is Oct. 17) fill it out again along with an attachment which I expect to be full of words. Previously I didn't even know you could attach extra paper to the surveys. Apparently, Jenny mentioned it when the surveys were first handed out near the end of Mass.
Oct. 11, 2004
Today is Thanksgiving Day and I drove my parents to the airport for the #493 Lufthansa to Barcelona in Spain. They will be there for about 5 days before boarding Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas for a 12-night cruise around the Med Sea with stops including Rome. I reminded my dad to take pics especially when he gets to the Vatican. He buys another 256mb card for his cam and now he has 3 pieces altogether. Should be enough for most purposes. They'll be back on the 31st. Talk is already existing about going to a cruise in S.E. Asia in late October 2005. It would be a 16-day journey on the Diamond Princess starting from Beijing and ending up at Bangkok. My parents would like to stop by HongKong first before heading up to Beijing. So I would like to go to HK with them and then from there they continue on to Beijing while I hang around. Maybe I can go on a little trip to Singapore myself or something. There's a friend I met online who lives in Malaysia and I won't mind going over there and get her to take me around. It would be nice to see the Twin Towers @ Kuala Lumpur! I'm not so enthusiastic about going on the cruise because only the aunts/uncles are going and also I rather stick around on land where I can go anywhere as I please. Even though the ship makes stops every 1 or 2 days, I'm still on it. But there are quite a lot of things to do and see onboard anyway. But it's also more expensive.
Oct. 15, 2004 @ Metrotown A&B Sound
Bought an Alpine CDA9826 mp3 deck [sale for $240 incl. install], Clarion SRR1685 6½" speakers for the back [$123], and Clarion SRR1027 4" speakers for the front [$55]. The CDA9827 has blue buttons which I think looks more cool and techie whereas mine has green buttons. But mine was about a hundred bucks cheaper and it only offers 1 preout of 4v which is all I want. I won't go for a unit that offers, for example, 3 preouts of like 2.2 volts if I only plan on getting a single multi-channel amp. I rather get less preouts and focus on power and accuracy for that one amp. While I never looked extensively, Alpine was the only make that offered a single high-voltage preout. I can't believe installation for the front speakers is $49... so expensive... thought it was maybe $30 or so. It's actually $45 labor + $4 materials. I will try to install the rear ones myself. I am to get it installed tomorrow evening (Monday 6-9pm) at the A&B Sound on Barnet Hwy, Port Moody. Perhaps I should've simply bought the Kenwood speakers that are on sale for $50? I mean, I could probably get Alpine for $123. Hopefully my next car (could be as early as next year) uses 6½" too! :-P
But the truth still holds... You get what you pay for.
Oct. 16, 2004 @ Chinatown Electronics Centre Ltd. [601 Main St.]
I finally found a copy of one of my favorite movies. Actually, it's not like an oscar-winning production or anything but I like it mainly because of its chinese theme song. I love it so much and I just can't get tired of listening to it. It would be great if I can somehow compose my own lyrics to match the melody and sing it on my wedding day (if ever that day happens). I got the DVD. It may have been in that store all the other times I've been in there but I didn't notice. Anyway I'm so happy I found it!! Too bad my winDVD that somebody sent me a few years ago only allowed 5 minutes of playtime. Maybe I can find a crack for it? And I don't know how to get the DVDPlayer that comes with Windows to play the movie. In the meantime I'll just enjoy it in the living room (much better system anyway) rather than watch it from the computer. Cracks are not a good idea anyway. Here's a clip that I found long ago (RealPlayer format).
A minor reason why I like the movie is because it talks about three friends matching up together so well even unto death. And then, of course, half of it took place in San Francisco which for some reason I feel attracted to. There were a couple of scenes that stick to me in particular. One can be seen in the clip where Alan&Olive are looking out into the ocean with the sun shining on the waters before them. That matched up so well to what I remember seeing back in like 1990 or so when I went to Canada Place in the summertime. Standing outside on the decks with the sun on the white masts and enjoying the fresh summer breeze while looking at the waters and reminiscing of Expo86 when Canada Place was the Canada Pavillion. It was wicked! That reminds me of a Canada song that I heard during Expo86 and I still remember some of the melody too. It'd be great if I could find the song again! And the other scenery of the movie that I particularly appreciated was at the very end when Alan&Olive were on the grassy hill in the sunshine after a short bout of rain and the view in front of them featured a row of Victorian houses as well as skyscrapers further out. Nice scene. I wonder if I have actually seen this movie when it first came out in 1991. So many things seemed to come together in my mind and fit so well - so many images and sceneries. All that imagery is played in my mind along with the music of the song and it is so soothing. The movie also reminds me that I should always treasure friendship because there are some things that were never done that should've been done but you can never turn back the clock.
Oct. 24, 2004
Just wrote this out to inform you that I had installed the rear speakers to my car. In the process, I ripped off panels that I didn't need to. Yesterday I went to the A&BSound on Marine Drive and asked them to demo that speaker as well as an Alpine of similar price. They told me to stick with the Clarions because it provides more bass whereas the Alpines had a wider range. I said maybe I should get the cheaper speakers (the ones for like $80 or whatever). They said no because for an extra $30 you get better material and sound, blahblahblah. I decided to take their advice. I mean, after all, I'm giving them work to do and they're not getting much commission if I decide to refund for a cheaper speaker.
Oct. 29, 2004
I did a very interesting test online about how the brain works. Here it is. Basically, I am "balanced brain". Furthermore...
That means you are able to draw on the strengths of both the right and left hemispheres of your brain, depending upon a given situation. When you need to explain a complicated process to someone, or plan a detailed vacation, the left hemisphere of your brain, which is responsible for your ability to solve problems logically, might kick in. But if you were critiquing an art opening or coming up with an original way to file papers, the right side of your brain, which is responsible for noticing subtle details in things, might take over. While many people have clearly dominant left- or right-brained tendencies, you are able to draw on skills from both hemispheres of your brain. This rare combination makes you a very creative and flexible thinker. The down side to being balanced-brained is that you may sometimes feel paralyzed by indecision when the two hemispheres of your brain are competing to solve a problem in their own unique ways.
Last Update: 04:01 10/30/2004