Monday, October 20, 2008

Tis' a cold autumns' night....

Leaves fall and rides on a cool autumn's breeze as another eventful year wraps up around the corner. Was out raking some leaves and really enjoy the surroundings... Time flies and it is always good for one to slow down, take a step backwards to reflect and savor the things and people around us.
It's a bit ironic since during our younger ages - we try to earn that degree, save up for that big house, buy that fancy car, or strive for that senior work position; and when we reach an age where we appreciate life, we only find all of these things are materialistic objects without substance. Granted, these are some areas in life that one requires to live comfortably, but when we slow down for a bit; the question of what one really wants to achieve in life pops up in my mind. Aside from all these material aspects, what do we really want to accomplish in life so that it will carry on towards the end of time...? Mmmm... Just a thought...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's froid desu...

And so, weather's been getting cold in Toronto lately and it seems that it's moving towards the end of Autumn despite it's only in Oct... Leaves are turning red although I haven't had a chance to take some nice pictures yet. It's a huge change in scenery and temperature from Austin where it's still quite hot during this time. That reminds me that I was venturing into the heart of a famous park reserve called Mount Bonnell right before I returned back to Toronto. It features many rocky steps up the hill to the top where it overlooks a small river that channels itself through the west side of Austin. Climbing so many stairs reminded myself that I once enjoyed climbing up high places - especially on an aircraft where one would get to peak down at a sea of clouds in awe.
That may also be the reason why I was recently heavily sucked into this game called "Perfect World" causing myself from updating my blog until now. In this free MMORPH that is set in the middle ages, one assumes the role of a warrior, magician, or vecromancer. And well, I'm an elven cleric who flies through out the vast skies of the game. The most interesting part of the game was due to it's flexible storyline and allows everyone to meet up with their friends online. You can join up with friends forming a party to explore the Haunted Caverns, or commute to the Dreaming Stronghold to determine why there are a sudden influx of weird herbs popping up through out the land. I would highly recommend this game to anyone who is not afraid of getting addicted to it :) Check it out!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Work in Austin......

And so, with a blink of an eye; my 2 week business trip is coming to an end and I will return back to Toronto on Sunday. Despite having much trouble crossing the border; it was pretty good to visit the new company campus, meet with the team, and to associate a 'face' with names of people that I had been always exchanging emails with. Folks that I had met with in Austin are friendly, and I liked their sincere and genuine attitude... Despite I was brought up in Toronto, I somewhat preferred the work atmosphere here down in Austin.
Chairing and attending calls between Austin / Toronto / Sunnyvale is a very normal thing in everyday activity here, and by comparison; I see that the Toronto folks are more crafty and political. At one point, the team here and myself were fed up with the antics of some 'individuals' up in Toronto; and all of us had a common thought: "Dang, just let us get back to our work; you political clowns..." Oh well, I guess there's ought to be these things in a company this large, and I've seen much worst when managing a team in SH, so luckily it's nothing new to myself. Anyways, tomorrow is a day off to scenic locations of town to snap more nice pics and to stroll around some malls before heading back towards the end of the week... Here's some pics of Austin using new techniques my co-workers were showing off to me earlier :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Finally in Austin....

And so, third time's the charm - I was finally able to head to Austin and arrived 8 days late after having to rebooked my biz trip for two times (thanks to the admin who aided myself in this long process)... The new AMD HQ Campus in Austin was huge and was very impressive. Reuniting with my Austin counterparts went smooth as everyone was friendly; although some of the folks I met last year were not working there anymore. The week went by quickly as there were no downtime and I was swamped right from the beginning. Due to repeated bombardments of the hurricane brothers Gustav and Ike on the eastern coasts, I had to scratch plans of visiting the windy city (Dallas) this weekend, pity that it was the only remaining close-by city that I hadn't visited yet :( And so, my coworker and I drove out west to Frederickburg; the sleepy German influenced town did not change much compared to my visit from last year and there were much activities along the main city block as musicians were out playing their instruments. The most interesting was a cool laidback Texan enjoying the nice weather and just playing his music without even noticing passerbys... It's also interesting that along the city, most of the folk were holding onto a bottle of beer in broad daylight (it's illegal to carry beer outside the house in Canada), so it was quite new to myself.
Anyways, it was quite relaxing day today having a short roadtrip, and taking lots of pictures using some new techniques my colleague showed me last Friday.... Well, it's all good so far and hopefully my trip to Austin will continue to be a good one next week as well :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Business trip to the States.... is a joke

And so, I was originally scheduled to head to Austin with my new hire to help bring up a new project. But guess what? I was stranded in the airport customs and immigration area for 3 hrs, missing my flight, and they also denied my entry to the States? The reason....? Well, they thought that I was staying too long to just attend meetings and consulting so they assumed I must be doing active work.... Now here's the problem, US doesn't like people to actually do worthwhile work on their soil (I guess it takes away job opportunities from them) so I had to file for a work authorization letter from my company first; and hence, I'm rejected to board the plane... My new hire was a bit lucky as I told him to proceed w/o me, so when those idiot customs/immigration people was looking for him - he was long gone... ha ha ha...
Not to brag, but I think I've traveled to many places throughout the world and this is the first time it's happened to myself. For frickin goodness, it's not like I want to go to desert city in the middle of hurricane season myself either.... Geez. Oh well, more venting another time; as I now need to cancel my arrangements and to update everyone with the stupid news - hopefully i can get this done soon so I don't waste any more of my time on the crappy system. No wonder the future economic powerhouse will next be in Asia (China/India)....

Monday, August 25, 2008

China.... politics vs. olympics.....

And so... China has successfully ended its 16day goal of maintaining high standards of their Olympic events that was held in Beijing. I was glued to most of the events over the course of this 4-year event, and most importantly - I was highly attracted to the different venues and backdrop that CBD/NBC was showing, even for a glimpse. It reminded me of the times I had been working in China, a very energetic city that seems to shout that it is capable of accomplishing anything. Yes, anything. Despite there were lots of criticism ranging from Tibetian protests, to jeering of rendered fireworks; I felt that China did a great job of delivering its promise of hosting this great event. It may also have set the standards higher than expected since the economic powerhouse was reported to have spent 47billion to prepare and carry out this task. It is sad that over the course of Olympics, I was only able to access CBC and NBC locally; and can only listen to biased opinions from commentators not talking about the sports, but rather on human rights, yadda yadda.... C'mon - Olympics is a time for sports, and not for politics. I'm surprised to even hear that Mr. Harper has decided to skip the opening ceremony because of the Tibetian incident and his excuse is that "he has work to do"... Maybe that's why we have such a weak athelete support structure here in Canada, where future Olympian prospects are required to run around town trying to scrape up sponsors so that they can showcase their talent on world's stage. Maybe we are focusing on things that are less important and should focus our energy elsewhere. Maybe Mr. Harper can build better relationship with China, create more jobs to break us out of this 17yr record high of unemployment rate, ink more deals that will benefit our country and provide more support for our atheletes.
Anyways, that's my 2 cents; and I'm planning to once again visit China next year. This time I'm planning to visit my old team in Shanghai, Beijing's rich cultural architecture, and to Mount Tai. Not sure why, but recently i'm really into Mount Tai which is situated in ShangDong province. It boosts a rich history of being one of the 5 most famous mountains in China and it overlooks a sea of clouds as how one would describe it in JinYung's martial arts literature that I've always been very fond of. Hopefully I will get to see it with my own eyes, and this time; I'm glad I invested myself in a DSLR :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Spoiled myself again and got a new hobby

And so... I spoiled myself once again, getting a new toy and possibly a new hobby yesterday. I picked up a new Camera - a DSLR...! I kept seeing lots of friends carrying around huge cameras and communicating in alien technical camera jargon before, and now I'm getting infected too... Granted, it's an expensive hobby to have - but I find that as time moves on and never return; a nice camera is a good investment as we can look back and savor the moments with loved ones, friends, and life as time progresses. Of all my recent toys (listed earlier), I think my Takamine (guitar) and camera were the wisest choice of them all.... Hopefully I will get to post some nice pictures on my blog soon with my new camera altho here's one of the pics I snapped earlier today.
Aside from my camera, I just finished a recent TV documentary called "China rises" on CBC which was just shot maybe a couple months ago. It does bring back nolgistic feelings of the times I was back in China. The show was fairly complete, as it shows the life of people from different backgrounds - the successful hip hop youths who has the education/talent and am enjoying the prosperity of the modern life. And on the other side, the forgotten factory workers who were once proud population of Shanghai when it was still a factory stronghold, and now only finding themselves evicted from their properties to make way for new construction sites, and are struggling just to make a living. It's a sad reality, but it does convey a powerful message by showing at the perspective from both sides. I highly encourage others to watch this touching and unbiased show.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Having a breather....

Sometimes it just feels so great to take several days off, not doing anything, and just relax... And that was exactly what I did last week when I took Wed-Friday off, while declining all activities to stay home and relax. Despite there's always that urge to go out, meet people, and to try and accomplish as much as possible in as little time - sometimes it feels good to recharge just to chill at home. Is this part of human nature that we all have this 'comfort zone' and just want to rest, or is it just that i'm lazy...? ha ha... Eitherway, played PS3 and my guitar during this free time off. PS3 is create by Sony and being a HW engineer myself; I find that game consoles are just making its way into everyones' - be it the Wii, PS3, Xbox, etc. Will it evolve into not just a game console; but maybe an entertainment and multimedia console? A compact powerful little machine that can play BR, HD, DVD, CD, VCD, surf the net, online shopping, and pay the bills anywhere in the house. We normally have isolated PCs lying around in specific rooms, but will future consoles set a new trend for humanity moving forward?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On a spending spree...

There are things that one must do, and things that one wants to do. They are drastically different, and I feel that as one grows up - there are more and more things that we are forced to do. Things like fixing up the car that has Christmas lights on the dashboard, that leaky roof, or that old computer by the hallway that gives off tap-tap-tap-tap noise. Having no other option, one starts to go crazy and starts to spend on things that they really want... ha ha ha, at least that's what happened to myself.
And so, I find myself pampering myself for things that I had really had been looking forward to. Here's some new big toys that I found myself purchasing within the past year:
Homegym, Threadmill, a new 1080p 37" TV for my room, a very nice guitar, and the PS3 will come soon... very very soon :') Ok... time to save up and tell myself to buckle down for the next 3 months...

The calling of the heart....

And I am back, don't know even what I should update after around 8 months of blogging inactivity.
I'm glad that I found myself motivated again and decided to start blogging and listing out what's in my mind recently.

In a nutshell, much has happened in these 8 months and I can say that I sometimes can have very ironic feelings, not sure if many other people are like this as well...? For instance, as you all remember - I was on expat a year ago and working in a foreign country (China). The huge difference between China and Canada has been eating into my way of life after I returned; I was deeply attracted to the colourful livestyle and the endless things that I would experience when I was working as an expat.... Yet a small part of myself feels kind of tired and want to settle down for a more stable life. Isn't it ironic.....? Sometimes I still feel these opposing emotions in myself not knowing what I should do, but I guess right now I have decided to stay put in Toronto where my family and the bulk of my friends are and to continue on for my more subtle lifestyle.

Do everyone knows what that really want? Well, there's the obvious answers of that new dig, a car, a career, some savings, a family, etc etc... but what about the things that one really really want to do?