Monday, July 31, 2006

Monster House 3D

Monster House
今天在還搞不清楚這部電影在演什麼的情況下就去看了Monster House。想說GRE考完了,就跟一群共同住Co-Op的台灣朋友一起去看電影。

It's really a very special movie. It's a slightly scary movie, for kids. But all those childish behaviors seem very cute to us adults, so I think people of all ages could enjoy it, although in different ways. The animation is so great, with THX sound systems and 3D effects, you really feel that you are some where in there. All the charectors' movements seem lively and smooth, showing all the power and activity you'd expect from a growing kid. But I love the first scene most, where you see a leef drop to the floor, drifting with the wind, simply beautiful, although seems more like a show-off scene to show how good the animator is.

It's an original story, full of immagination, and certainly no trace of your run-of-the-mill Hollywood script formula. No expected hero, no expected kisses, every development of the plot would surprise you if you expect it to be a benal Hollywood movie. It's simply full of unexpected excitment. But it's still sad that most people still like no-brainer formula compliant cliches, since when we got into the theator, it's almost empty (and add the point that we got in in the last minute). What a waste of this great work.

The 3D gives the screen depth, instead of making the things come out at you. It's not as realistic, but less likely to make you feel dizzy. You can feel which things are far away, which are close. It's really feels good to have a feeling of depth.

What suprises me is what I found on the net about this film. It's produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, director of "Back to the future"! Also, it's premire is here at Westwood, the Fox theater where we saw it, why didn't I know? Finally, the director is a new director, who just graduated from UCLA! Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read more from the links. This movie is expected to be in theaters by Aug 25 in Taiwan, you'd definatly got to watch it. (Yes, expecially you, who wanted to study animation in UCLA...)
A model of the Monster House in the theater

All of us Taiwanese friends who went

UCLA DAILY BRUIN: A Monster Opportunity
Trailers on Apple's site
Official site


(以上來自 )

BX 版實在是太閃了啦

北海道地圖 網站 介紹

作者: chroma966 (找回遺忘已久的感動) 看板: chroma
標題: 北海道地圖 網站 介紹
時間: Sat Jul 29 13:11:52 2006

japan national touriest organization


辦證 約3000日圓一宿





打手機 1min
打室內電話 3min

※ 發信站: 批踢踢兔(
◆ From:

How I got to LA: @Narita

(Continued from this post)

Just after we got out of the airport at Narita, we took a free shuttle bus to Hotel Nikko Narita, the Japan Airlines owned hotel, where you were offered a free night's stay for transit. On the road, I see lot's of bikes on the side walks, I even spotted a beautiful white Specialized, which doesn't seem to be locked...

Because I'm going back to Taiwan later then my family, our tickets aren't reservered together, and thus, I was arranged to have a room to my self.

It's a nice small room, but the bath room is big, since it took half the space of my room.

As always, we got on the free hotel bus bound to Narita city, and went to the small city for dinner. A tiny japanese Ramen shop is always our first stop: Ramen Bayashi (ラメンばやし, which means Japanese noodles master). They serve delicious ramen and fried dumplings(餃子/ぎょうざ). Although expensive (about 700yen a bowl), the noodles are very good. It's slightly chewy but still soft (咬起來很Q), and you'll know that it's great noodles just by the feel of bitting on it. I like the Tenmen (天麺, vegetable noodles), which has a simple salt based soup with a generous ammount of fresh, crisp vegetables. You could actually hear that sound "crunch" when you chew. The down side of it is that the soup is different this year. Last time I went, the Tenmen is lightly flavered, but this time, it's a little over salty. My sister's fried rice and dumplings are also good but very salty.

After dinner, we walked around, going to the supermarket to get Japanese big peachs and Japanese instant noodles(which, as I realised a week later, is also very salty). We also went to a book store, to see what comics and novels they read. The Japanese verson of "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" are in easily spoted spots, they are pocket sized, and each cut into 3 volumns, nice to bring around.

Then, it's back to the Hotel. Since our flight is in the afternoon, we were planning on a more in depth tour of Narita next morning...

(My roommate just turned off the lights, to be continued...)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

[單車] 北海道計畫002--裝備&路線

作者: chroma966 (找回遺忘已久的感動) 看板: chroma
標題: [單車] 北海道計畫002--裝備
時間: Sat Jul 29 15:56:35 2006



其他衣物 (T恤*1、短褲*2、長袖上衣*1、長褲*1、泳褲)。


數位單眼相機 ( CANNO 800 )。

隨身護照袋 (護照,機票,旅行支票,日元現金)

地圖;Lonely Planet旅遊指南。

※ 發信站: 批踢踢兔(
◆ From:

作者: chroma966 (找回遺忘已久的感動) 看板: chroma
標題: [單車] 北海道計畫002--路線
時間: Sat Jul 29 14:57:15 2006


6/14-16 北海道神宮祭
6月第三個週日 阿寒湖火花大會 阿寒湖
6/28 葡萄酒祭

7月中 薰衣草祭
7/20 海洋祭
7/20-22 釧路霧祭 釧路
7/28-30 小樽潮祭
7月最後一個六日 層雲峽峽谷火祭
7/28-29 北海道肚臍祭

※ 發信站: 批踢踢兔(
◆ From:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stupid automated systems

"That tree ate my kite!"
Nah, I'm not Charlie Brown, but my ATM card was eaten by the mechine.


中午,豔陽高照,來到Westwood一個十字路口的 ATM mechine。
拿出沒用過的全新ATM card插進去,接著輸入密碼。輸入第二個碼時不小心按錯,找不到backspace,就按了cancel,沒想到卡被吐出來了!!!很好,那我再推回去,重來。結果它就只是一直叫,叫我把卡拿走。但此時卡已經被我推的太進去了,拔不出來了,也沒有任何退卡鈕,我只好推的更進去,結果機器還是一直叫我把卡拿走。








服務小姐曰:「We're sorry for you're inconvenence, and I'm very sorry that you're check card was eaten...」

不過更不爽的是,用手機打銀行的1-800 number (等同於台灣的0800),竟然還扣我6分鐘通話時數!又多一個東西要argue了。

Monday, July 24, 2006

Email, bloging and shopping

My Gmail account is fixed, so it's working now. (Thank god...)

I've got tons of storys to blog about, but this week, my blogging time is alocated to GRE score damage control, so, no storys this week :)

If any of you in Taiwan wants anything that could only be bought in the US, you may send an email to my Gmail account, with your name, and a clear discription of what you wish to get. submissions would be accepted from Aug 1st thru Aug 24th.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The heat

It's so hot here in San Bernadino. The wind outside is like what comes out of a oven: you've got scorching hot air blowing in your face. It's so hot that you practically just want to sit around and do nothing. There's a cloud pattern in the sky, making the air a little more humid, and locking the heat in.

The TV news seems more like horror story shows, with extream heat all around Southern California, electric outages here and there, and the highest temprature in Los Angeles county history: 119 fahrenheit!

One good thing, it's still much dryer here then in Taiwan, where you are all sweaty and sticky.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yam Map

在美國這邊習慣了Google Map/ Google earth 的方便


連台大Burger King都找到了^^

不像Google 查美國的地址,它可以把方位準確的指出來,還能在衛星圖上看到你要找的建築物


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Email down notice

I screwed up on my Gmail account, I changed the password, which, some how doesn't work after the change. So now I'm locked out of my account. I forgot the secondary email I entered in the account info, but it's likely to be one of the emails accounts that I no longer use and is deleted (such as Netscape).

Thus, I'll keep trying to recover my account, but I can't get your messages from that gmail account before I recover it. In this period, please send any messages to my old Yahoo mail box (the one I use for MSN regestration)

Good thing I have a 2nd Gmail account, which is working as my web drive. I just invited myself to a 3rd account and would switch to that one, if I unfortunatly can't recover my original Gmail...



我住的Co-Op housing已經不只是普通聯合國了。有中國團、有法國團、有韓國團,不過其他國的人,如台灣、日本、越南、印度,甚至道地美國人(白人&黑人)都是小貓兩三隻,無法成團。我表哥說Westwood算是大學城,應該亞洲人&美國人約略各佔一半人口。結果,據我觀察,在街上逛的以白人居多;UCLA校內大概一半一半;Co-Op這裡呢,亞洲人壓倒性勝利XDD 來這裡簡直是英文聽力大考驗,要聽懂中國腔、韓國腔,就是大挑戰了;中文就更神奇了,中國人可以每個人的腔調都不一樣(不同省吧),其中,我認為廣州腔還算跟台灣接近:P

來這裡可以化解族群隔閡,我以前有偏見的韓國和中國人,現在發現都有其可愛之處。我們台灣經濟輸給南韓我現在認了,我的韓國人室友只有一個強字可以形容。除非有朋友來,他幾乎隨時都在唸書,那認真的程度,在台大絕對拿書卷。不過他有個更強的功力:電視開著唸書!讓我想起班上的書卷,王冠中,邊玩三國誌(電腦遊戲)邊唸書,期末考跟大家炫耀:我又統一中國了!然後拿書卷。而實驗室的另外三個比我早進去的大學部學生(UCLA student)全部都是韓國人,也全部都超認真的。我要振作啊!中國人,我老闆就是,很親切也很關心學生,不過這禮拜不在,我也才剛來,所以還不夠熟,只知道他超帥超有形的(羞)。我另一個室友呢,是浙江團的,也就是我老闆跟浙江大學合作組的暑假研究團。給人的感覺就是一個老實的鄉下人進大城市,對一切都既緊張又小心,不過待人誠懇,他講中文的腔調也滿好懂的,還滿喜歡他的:D

Co-Op check-in 時剛好有一位中山醫大的研究生排在我前面,聽不太懂櫃台(那個同學是韓國人)的英文解說,由一個同實驗室的廣東人當翻譯。在國外時還是覺得同鄉特別親切吧,我們吃飯偶而會一起吃。有趣的是,那廣東人見到我通常都講英文,而那中山的女生只要聽到英文就把嘴巴封的死緊,跟我交談絕對只用中文。她是我所知道唯一一個同樣是台灣人的說。

Co-Op 的食物很奇怪,老爸說要讓我體驗美國人平常都吃什麼。我現在覺得,當台灣人真幸福,美國人很可憐;以後要好好珍惜活大的ㄆㄨㄣ XD 第一個晚餐簡直是震撼教育,seafood soup 的腥味,可以在5公尺外聞到!很多東西起司&奶油的用量超高。不過我也逐漸習慣這裡的食物了。恩,一般來說呢,所謂的蔬菜有兩種處理方式:用滾水燙到又爛又黃(青椒啊、紅蘿蔔、花椰菜、豌豆之類的);不然就是洗乾淨生吃。所謂生菜沙拉呢,不一定有醬可以沾。生菜每餐一定有,我們所熟悉的沙拉醬沒出現過。吃法很多,我第一餐配蔓越莓醬,不過還是直接撒鹽又方便又好吃。很多中國或韓國人則使用大絕:拿出龜甲萬(有一罐一加侖裝的)狂加。所謂濃湯呢,就是奶油比水多的一種濃愁物,今天的cream chicken soup甚至只有奶油和雞汁,連個雞的碎片都沒有。主餐通常都是馬林薯泥或義大利麵,不過因為亞洲人眾多,白飯每餐都有。因為覺得美式爛菜配白飯很難吃,所以我就跟隨美國人不吃白飯。24小時供應的東西不少,如酸黃瓜、豆芽菜(生)、紅蘿蔔、橄蘭、豆腐,還有cereal(那種加牛奶吃的玉米片之類的)、土司、牛奶、豆漿,甚至汽水、果汁、咖啡、冰淇淋都是隨時都有。還有各式調味料,除了常見的鹽、胡椒外,還有醬油一筒、橄蘭油兩桶、番茄醬、芥末醬、牛排醬都是隨時供應。我有發現有人每餐都可以吃cereal。對付太濃的奶油味有個大絕,狂加番茄醬或酸黃瓜。酸黃瓜這種東西配什麼都會以自己的酸味掩蓋掉其他味道,把整個變成美味。不過呢,伙食有在進步吧,越來越好吃。昨天的西班牙飯一不小心拿太多,還是很高興的吃完;今天的主廚現身在那切一隻比保齡球還大的烤雞。

正如美聿說的,這裡的人穿著都很隨性。不過加州風也許就是如此吧。T-shirt + 海灘褲隨處可見,不然牛仔褲也很多,很少襯衫。墨鏡超多的。不過呢,最有趣的是鞋子。喔,不,鞋子很少見。涼鞋不少,不過拖鞋最多。拖鞋有名牌喔,有Nike、Fossil、Merell甚至Tommy Hill-Figger......。今天還看到一個女的,穿著短褲,屁股上寫著”Jackass”(囧rz)配件呢,最常見的就是那看到膩的iPod白色耳機。

校園車都很高級,大部分都是Shimano A系列(Acrea, Altus...)。常見的有Giant Boulder, Rincon, Yukon, 還有Specialized, Trek, GT, Fuji 等各大廠的入門車都有。在這裡,沒有快拆的車才算稀有,於是各種防盜措施就出現了。有拆坐墊的,有拆前輪的,當人,最保險的「搬進室內」還是有的。不過,校園中有飆車的,有定竿的,說起來這裡的人騎車技術比台大好多了XD

加州日夜溫差超大,白天快晒傷了,晚上著涼感冒。今天在實驗室鼻涕狂流T_T 另外,空氣超乾燥的,什麼東西都是一放就乾,什麼發霉啦、生鏽啦、長苔啦都看不到,野草地都是枯黃的,有灑水才有綠地;結果呢,我最近常流鼻血。難道這叫水土不服?


Monday, July 10, 2006

A walk in Westwood village

Today, after dinner, I set out to the streets in search for a bicycle store, also, to explore the surroundings of UCLA.

So, I pulled out my Clie handheld, with maps loaded on Earthcomber and walked out heading south. Earthcomber found many of the resturants and banks in the area, but didn't list bike stores, since that's not what a normal tourist would look for.

Westwood is a beautiful town. Most buildings are less then 2 stories high and have an intresting Spanish style that is common among Californian cities.

The streets are stright and wide, and lined with palm trees, adding to the sunny feel of sourthern California.

A Haggen-Dazs ice cream store, nostalgic brick styled building. I'll bet there would be a long line in front of this store if it opened in Taipei.

Westwood village is like a mall in that there are guide maps in corners of the streets, with listings of stores. So with the help of the guide, I finally found "Helen's cycles", only to notice that it's already closed at 7pm. From looking inside the windows, I can see that it's quite spacey, and the front window is filled with Cannondales. Maybe I'll try some other day.

Intrestingly, I noticed a psychic near the bike shop. It's got neon lights reading "palm reading" and "tarot cards", and there's peculear head shaped ornaments and curtains, much like in the cartoons :D

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My temparary phone

Last Friday, when I was attempting to go back to where my family is, I some how took too long on the bus that took me from UCLA to Holywood, where I transfer to a subway and then to a train to San Bernadino. I took about 1 and a half to get to the subway station (including waiting time), and, realizing that I can't get the last train, another 1.5hr to get back to UCLA. A full 3 hours, I was unreachable to my family.

So, we got a new phone, that was just needed for the 2 months in the US.

Got the cheepest phone, 20 bucks, and added 20 bucks of airtime. I chose Virgin mobile mainly because it has the cheapest phone model, plus, it's not Motorola, which has the worst user interface that I know of. It piggy backs on the Sprint network, a great one. But other then that mentioned above, I hate the corporate image Virgin is trying to make. It's all flashy and colory, more like what they think a teenager would like, which, in my view, is tasteless and stupid. It's filled with dumb ugly wallpapers and ringtones of electronic sounds. I don't like them. I set my ringtone to the normal phone ring. Also, the customer service line is answered by a stupid unintuitive computer voice recognition system. The automated answers are in the language of kids, unprofessional and confusing. Also, you need to read keywords to make your choice; I prefer the old way of pushing numbers, or yet better, talking to a real human operator. The nice thing is that once you get a real service personal on line, the service is quite nice.

Crappy flashy phone, but it does the job. 2 functions to note: a painfully slow "web browser" to check your account and download ringtones and stuff; the most retarded function that you could get on a phone: a built-in LED flashlight.

This was never my idea of my first color screen phone :P







First time into the GAP

I usually wear crappy clothes, just get the ones that fit and are comfortable. But then I had the thought to look better. So I told my self that I should get better looking clothes is summer.

My cousin suggested that I goto a GAP store. So there I went.

It was really cool and trendy and everything, but not the kind of place I'm used to be. The on sell price is just slightly higher then the normal cheep stuff that I get, so I went on and picked a pair of jeans. They've got a lot of spacious trying rooms and even buttons for calling for help on picking the right size. I picked the most conservative style of jeans, just plain blue, no wear and wash marks, no holes. The fancy one, although more trendy, just isn't my style.

Then I went on to look for a shirt. Most of them look good, really good. But then suddenly, out of nowhere, I've got a strong feeling that I don't belong. I'm used to the crappy discount stores, not fancy stuff, even if they're on sell. I feel like a dumb old villager in a city of vogue. So I put back the shirts, and only got the jeans, thinking that I might as well just wear cheep and wrinkled T-shirts with the jeans...


Later, as I walked down the isles of a cheep and messy Wal-mart, I feel much more comfortable and got the feeling that this is where I should be...


It's kinda strange that I prefer cool gadgets, such as the glossy Sony Clie TH55, the white and shiny Macbook. I even want my bike to have a good combination of colors when picking components, and want to wipe my bike clean and shiny. But for the looks of my self, I wear clothes from discount stores, I prefer my hair to be short and don't prick at my ears or neck, never caring about the style. I look like a man of the slums using cool gadgets. I am a GEEK.

If I really want to look good, guess I'd need a friend that knows how to look good to drag me around and make me buy this and that, like in one of those movies. But in reality, geeks make geek friends. So, whatever. On making a good visual impression, I give up. I feel like a fish out of water.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

First day of my summer trip 1

Jul 4th...
Went biking the day after my final exams ended, then invited friends to my house just after I came back from the trip, and today, the day after that, I’m on my way to the US. Never had such a tight schedule, but this sure is my idea of an efficient use of time.

A tight schedule is sure tiresome, as I woke up this morning with an sore muscles all over and a stomach ache. Packing this year is especially challenging, since my backpack is quite small and I’ve got a Macbook to stuff in. Worsening the situation, I’m staying for 2 months and doing lab work this summer, so I’v got to pack in more clothes and some materials for my research.

Also, I need to pack in my GRE preparation stuff. The result is having to bring an additional bag, which is a first for me whose used to stuff it all in one single backpack.
And so we arrive at the airport, TPE. We are boarding from terminal 1, but JAA is changing to terminal 2 soon, so I’ll be at new terminal 2 when I come back, sweet.

The food at the airport is real expensive. (No wonder most of the resturants of 2 years ago are no longer there)They've got beef noodles for 160NTD, twice the normal price. There's also a Burger King, which has each meal only 5NTD more expensive then normal. But we, brought our own food, and a coupon for Burger King's onion rings^^

The plane we took was not painted as a normal JAA plane. It's, instead, a special paint, with beautiful flowers and a humming bird. It says "Reso'cha" and "JALways" on it. Looks beautiful. Even the inside is decorated with nice graphics of those flowers and hummingbirds.

Nice food, Japanese cold noodles, mango jelly and sashimi salad. There's even free French wine^^ The main dish is curry beef. I wanted the "Japanese special", just to know what it is, but I somehow slept over the lunch time, so, no choice. Later on, Mom said that the "special" on the menu was fish.

Narita Airport is still beautiful and clean, but I don't like the fact that there is no free WIFI.

... It late, guess I'll post more when I have time.
You may see my photos first, though.