Wednesday, October 31, 2012

5738 xx

Monday, October 29, 2012

A large, noisy gathering of birds out front this morning. The choir included tkrat/樹鵲 (Himalayan Tree Pie, Dendrocitta formosae) and 白喉笑鶇 (白喉噪眉, White-throated laughing thrush, Garrulax albogularis).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This afternoon Yumin kept barking his snake bark, a ways downhill. This was today's third snake. I decided to go have a look, if for nothing else, then to bring the beagle home. In a nearby vegetable patch, he was facing down a 南蛇 (Ptyas mucosus, Dhaman rat snake).
The snake struck at Yumin several times, just to keep him on his toes. Byajing circled around in back of the snake, but we managed to keep her out of the fray.
It turned to look at us, and stick its tongue out at us, then returned its attention to Yumin.

Finally, we convinced him to leave the snake alone.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Take the money and run:
Meet Leo Gao, the accidental millionaire::
and back

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If you buy an Olympus camera, you will have lots of memories; precious few good photos, but lots of memories.
I bought an Olympus TG-810 in September, 2011 because I want a camera for outdoor photography (click here). It is very slow to start up and slow to respond. The shutter is heavy and very slow. If you try to take a photo of a bird flying, what you will get is a blurry blob (unlike my previous cameras such as the Sony and Panasonic, which all gave excellent, clear-cut shots.) The super-macro is fixed focus, so you have to move your camera back and forth to try and find the focus. Usually you can't. Most super-macro shots come out blurry. It does not handle outdoor lighting very well, and indoors, you can eat a bowl of noodles between the time you press the shutter and the actual flash.
It has a very useful GPS, so when you use this function, and play your photos on the computer, you can read such constructive information as:
GPS latitude: -1.#IND -1.#IND -1.#IND
GPS longitude: -1.#IND -1.#IND -1.#IND
Trying to erase a photo in the camera is so difficult and time-wasting that it's easier to just erase them when you upload to your computer.
One day a rare bird perched on a branch not three meters from me. I took half a dozen photos. On another camera, I would have an excellent record of this remarkable event. With my Olympus, I got blurry, blotchy spots of color that you could barely recognize as a bird.
But at least it's a camera.
In August, 2012, the camera started shutting down by itself, and by September it was crashing every time I took a photo. The screen would go black or turn green.
On October 1, 2012, I took the camera to the store where I purchased it. The boss examined the camera and immediately agreed that it needed to be fixed, so he sent it to the Olympus dealer in Taiwan. I didn't hear anything until October 9, when someone from Olympus phoned and said that the camera was fine, there was nothing wrong with it. I told him it didn't work; he said I shouldn't use it in a desert; I haven't been near a desert or a beach. (This is Taiwan, and as far as I know, there aren't any deserts here.) He said that the camera should never be used where there is dust. Isn't this camera waterproof? I asked him to examine it and tell me what he found.
I posted on the Olympus FaceBook page, but they didn't respond. By October 17, I still hadn't heard anything from Customer Service, so I went to the dealer again. They promised to help, but apparently didn't do anything. On October 22, I phoned the Olympus Service and asked about my camera. They said there's nothing wrong with the camera. I told them that I have friends coming to Taiwan from abroad on October 25, so please hurry up. The next day, on October 23, I phoned again, and they said there’s nothing wrong with the camera. By this time, I had already given up, so I told them that I have friends coming to Taiwan on October 25, so please send me the camera immediately. I also phoned the dealer. He told me that Olympus would send the camera to his store on the 25th, so I could go pick it up there. His store is over an hour's drive away; I said that when I bought the camera, he promised door-to-door pickup and delivery for any repairs. This promise is also on the Olympus Taiwan website. He said that doesn't count, I had to go to his store to get my camera. Finally, after some argument, he agreed to have the camera delivered to me today, October 24. Customer Service told me they would have the camera delivered to me today, October 24.
This morning, Customer Service phoned and told me that there is nothing wrong with the camera, so they will send it to me tomorrow, October 25. I told them that yesterday they promised to deliver the camera to me today, and that since my friends are coming, I will not be home on October 24. They said it's not convenient for them to deliver today (the 24th), so they may deliver on October 26.
So, tomorrow my friends will visit, and I will not have any photos to commemorate the event. Thanks to Olympus!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What kind of trauma is this going to cause? A little girl wearing a black and white Halloween costume was mistaken for a skunk and shot. The lasting injury will not be from the bullet, but from being mistaken for a skunk.
I know you don't believe me, I didn't either, so click here:::
I have labeled these photos to prevent further confusion. I trust you will find this helpful.

little girl
But don’t you think people in the States are going a little overboard with the guns?

Monday, October 22, 2012


Sunday, October 21, 2012

RIP to George McGovern, an honorable man, but I remember how my Viet Namese friends in Saigon hated him. He thought he was their savior, but to the Viet Namese in the early 1970s, he came across as arrogant and patronizing. He never bothered to learn about their culture, but deposited his own romanticisms and ideals on them. They did not appreciate it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's interesting how our eyes play tricks on us. It could be a side-effect of efficiency. Of course when you read, your eyes gallop along the page, not recognizing each letter as you come to it. But still, I was a bit surprised by the headline that I thought said
I have to admit it caught my attention. I went back and read again:
Oh. Would some of the players care to comment on which is the more appropriate version?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


三國、晉時鮮卑部族拓跋,李蓋提與林安慶溯自阿爾泰語系:拓=tog、跋=beg,tog者,塵土; beg者,氏族。

Monday, October 15, 2012

Does power corrupt? Or are those who seek power by nature corruptible?
Few have power thrust upon them. Nobody who doesn't love power would bother to wrestle with turds all the way to a position of power. Maybe it is the nature of the beast that they seek power in order to savor its intoxication, and are then corrupted by it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What kind of scum would shoot a 14 year old girl?
But the Taliban have good reason to fear Malala. If Bush had sent teachers all over the Arab world instead of soldiers, those cowards would be long gone. They fear education more than anything.
If I had been President in 2001, I would have sent all the basketball stars I could find to every village and farm, donated thousands of basketballs, and built thousands of courts. Michael Jordan is infinitely more appealing than bin Laden. By now, if you said Taliban, people would be asking, Yeah, what ever happened to those jerks?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yumin很配合,很快就犇回來,到ngasal Silan,好了,不是蛇,蛇不會跑那麼遠,或許是小野獸。五點。怕吵到人家,只好起牀提手電筒。
It was still dark when I heard a dog barking way off into the jungle. A very familiar bark. Who could it be but beagle Yumin? Maybe he had found a snake or a kitty cat. No, if it were a cat, Byajing would be barking too. If it were a wild dog, they would be carrying on a dialogue.
Oh no, don't drag me out of bed into the dark, dark jungle! The night was cool and the bed was warm.
Yumin cooperated. He came racing back and off down the mountain. Okay, it wasn't a snake, a snake wouldn't go that far, it was probably some wild animal. Five o'clock. I didn't want to bother the neighbors downhill, so I dragged myself out of bed, got the flashlight, and went outside. 14 degrees C. But if I called for Yumin, I would be disturbing people, too, so I lightly rang the gong, once, twice, Yumin stopped barking. Shortly after the ninth ring, Yumin trotted in out of the darkness.
Now may I go back to bed?

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Sunday, October 07, 2012

It has long been forgotten that Hippocrates taught, Let your food be your medicine. Is it a better idea to put your life in a doctor's hands, or to take the responsibility yourself? Eat well (=vegan), stay away from bad habits such as smoking, drinking, or accepting too much stress, exercise, get close to nature, regulate your life, think, think, think!
If you need more persuasion, watch this: :click:: 13 minutes

Friday, October 05, 2012

so I was like, hey, man, you guys lost my case, it should have been a slam dunk verdict but you guys screwed it up, and they was like, yeah man, but hey, we only got one bong so we gotta share so we you know, we, man, you know like so we got only one bong so maaaan it’s like you want a toke you gotta wait foreeever man, so you know like hey man whacha so uptight about man, just cool it and when you get the bong you can have a toke too, man, so why you worry about you case, man, I mean, you want a toke man? and so and so I was all like well hey sure man but hey you guys lost my case and they was all
heeeeeyyy mannnn ~~~

Wednesday, October 03, 2012