Sunday, October 30, 2005

New Vaio release in Seoul

Slashdot had this:

Posted by CmdrTaco on Wed Oct 19, '05 09:00 AM
from the i-feel-pretty-so-pretty dept.

Shawnzyoo noted that Sony has released their new series of VAIO TX laptops. In order to make them stronger/lighter/thinner, they are now made of carbon fiber. No plans to release it in the US yet, so start learning Korean if you want this one.

So obviously, once we got to Seoul from Sorak-mountain climbing on friday, we tried to spot electronics stores, computer stores, Sony stores in Seoul.

I've been to Seoul like 3-4 times, each time for about 2 days w/ relatives & friends guiding me, in my life, so I'm about as a tourist as one gets in my motherland. After looking at maps a few times, and after getting lost a few times now I know how to spot Sony Style stores and large electronics/computer department areas in Seoul; to tell the truth it happened more accidental than by my amazing navigation skill. On subway greenline exit for 'Gangbyon' is a large electronics/computer department store, 10 story tall, having all home appliances, some clothing shops, cameras, watches, computers and large selection of DVDs, ... And, there's this small electronics shops row in Ch`onggyech`on near Dongdaemun(Eastern Gate) subway stop. And, there are Sony stores in Gangnam COEX(Korean Trade Center Mall) at Samsong subway stop as well as in Apgujongdong(Korean Rodeo Street).

Sadly, this model isn't released until November 11th. So I didn't really get to be awed by my laptop's yet newer model siblings.

Should I make an extra trip? So many interesting events seem to have occured prior to my visit, and there seem to be so many intersting upcoming events in Korea in November, after I return to the states.

Will have to monitor Korean websites on Nov. 11th to see how this new model's reception is like.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Korean Food rendezvous

Originally uploaded by speattle.
Thanks to Chizu's korean vacation booklet, we've decided to try gamjatang(literal translation would mean potato soup) for our dinner after a long day of sightseeing Kyongju all day.

I've heard of the name, but I wouldn't have tried it myself if it wasn't for her suggestion. Yes, I am a chicken when it comes to eating something unknown, thanks to my health-food guru grandmother who'd eat about anything known to Korean that are healthy.

As we near the train station to head back to Busan, and still having about 2 hours, obviously everyone's mind was on food. When we couldn't decide on restaurant after about 10minutes of walking around, I left the group in a street corner and had to look around downtown Kyongju looking for a place to go. There was this place with 'Wonjo Gamjatang...' (Wonjo means original) that seem to be clean, large, and yet authentic enough, so I hauled them over for our sit-down meal.

Well, our taxi-driver took us to tourist-lunch spot earlier that day, and though food was good, food we got wasn't quiet enough to satisfy our hunger as it was, and thus we were glad to get a large pot being present to us, when we ordered dinner.

Since I've never had this gamja-tang myself, I couldn't tell how big the portion is and for how many it was for. I was told medium dinnerset would suit four of us just fine.

When we ordered, one of the lady watching TV got up, searched refrigerator at lobby area and carried this huge pot from it, that seem to have occupied entire shelf.

4 rice on the side, some side-dish vegetables, and a large pot on camping-stove came out.

The pot had pork rib, broth of pork rib, some halved peeled potatoes, greens on top, and in about 2 minutes it started boiling and we lowered the heat and helped ourselves with soup on our individual bowl. Meat was tender, and there were un-sliced kimchees also cooked in the broth and it was pretty tasty.

I didn't realize it's been an hour, and Chizu didn't realize herself, Simon and David already finished 2 bottles of beer when I finally said "I can't eat anymore or I'll burst."

Now I'm not so reluctant to try gamja-tang or other food lesser-known to me than bibimbap & tofu-soup.

Was a nice & relaxing trip back on 2.5 hr train ride as we were tired and our bellies were full, easily placing us to a sweet dream land.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Scent of old books and obsession of childhood manhwa on Bosu-dong

On the way to Kukje market from Hotel Commodore, I ran into Bosu-dong bookstore street entrance accidentally. Wasn't in plan 'til tomorrow, but I couldn't resist and headed to bosu-dong's narrow bookstore streets before getting into kukje market streets. At first I was a little hesistant. Had much hope to buy up everything and anything in sight and yet also I was a bit shy about engaging with eager shop owners to negotiate for price. I so hope to buy some chinese writing practice books, some history related fictions & non-fictions, and some classics not easily found in US. Also, I wanted to find out more about my childhood favourite manhwa, animated novels called manga in Japanese that's catching its popularity in America as well. I somewhat sheepishily asked for works by artist named Kim, Dong-hwa and store's assistant girl helped me locating this item called 'Mongma ui Si' translated to poerty of wooden horse. Opening the book, I saw titles of other works he's done and so much memory rushed to me. I think I'll be asking more of his works such as 'Yong-o sonsaengnim' (English Teacher), and ask other artists from 80's and 90's.

Shopping around Kukje market and Kwangbok-dong also was very much thrilling. Wanted to buy so many items, small and big, and wanting to stay longer.

Can't wait to go to Jagalchi market tomorrow, and stop by Bosu-dong again and ask about my old time favourite manhwas. Or perhaps I'll start searching on google for them. Huhu, I'm back to little girl in far away never-land of manhwa. hehe. I used to spend hours at that bookstore street, searching through piles of old book, where I'll find some interesting paperback for like 200-won(equivalent to like 20-cents) or 500-won which were a lot to me at the time.

Anyways, glad to be back home. It's been too long, and too far away.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Camera Crews at Incheon

Originally uploaded by speattle.
With all the bus stop directions and helpers, finding the hotel shuttle wasn't all that easy. For Best Western and Hilton, I saw shuttles come and go, and come and go again. But not the hotel I was given, so finally we hopped onto Best Western Incheon Airport hotel shuttle. That was about an hour or so after arriving at Incheon airport, with no luggage to pickup.

With suspicion and with much hope, 10 minute ride ended and we entered the hotel. Immediately I saw the long pole with microphone and lots of people at front desk, and more people sitting at lobby chair. Most of front desk was taken over by filming crew and the one on leftmost was available for everybody getting off the shuttle and for other hotel guests.

I've noticed an older man ahead of us asking to check in for the same hotel name as us, with the same expedia reservation confirmation paper. The front desk clerk called our hotel to request for shuttle stop to pick him up, and we had to request that we be pickedup as well. I was told it should be momentarily, but in reality it took about 15minutes waiting.

Out of curiosity, I hopped in and out of lobby and parking lot outside, took some photos until was stopped by crew member, and saw KBS bus and truck out in parking lot as well. I also saw some guys moving back and forth between lobby window and KBS truck to add lighting to the filming that occurs inside. Out of some 20 people there I recognized two guys to be actors in Korea.

Have no idea what show they were filming, but it was pretty cool, as I've not yet had a luck of witnessing filming in San Francisco nor elsewhere yet.

Hope I wasn't too much of nuissance, but it was definitely worth going to Incheon Airport, staying a night over before heading to south, and made getting lost not such a bad idea.

Shuttle that went to airport stopped by Best Western to pick up three of us and continued another 15minutes drive to the hotel I made reservation with using expedia.

I still thought of filming scenes when I went to sleep...


Saturday, October 15, 2005

success of de Young re-opening celebration

At 3:30pm, as I leave the museum, de Young's flocked with people waiting on 30-45minutes worth wait line outside. For it's re-opening weekend, after remodeling, de Young is hosting 31 hr marathon free admision acompanied by loads of musicians performing at the entrance. After my share of waits, and about 2 hrs of walking around, I'm done for today. I'll have to come back and pay good money to see the rest, more in depth. With vacation packing and work I'm trying to finish off before monday, I'm glad I squeezed in to come see de Young come back life. de Young be young forever!


Sunday, October 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by speattle.
By the time I reached Fisherman's Wharf the Airshow was at its height and Blue Angels about to take off at SFO and head up to demonstrate their aewsome skills.

It is interesting to note that there were much comments from crowd that this is a recruiting act that kids can be susceptable to. I guess that's true.

Anyways, The last guy doing air show prior to Blue Angels was aewsome, as he flys vertically upward high up, seem to have turned off engine and let plane fall vertically nose up then start up the engine and bail himself out at 180 degree turn, and doing stunts like that over and over again.

Blue Angels flew 6 in a group, and 4 as main body and 2 planes coming out of group and crossing each other in center, slightly missing each other as they fly toward one another, making it thrilling.

Music choices included what I often heard in Top-Gun, Kenny Logan's Final Hour, and Beautiful Day by U2, and some other of Lenny Kravitz.

It was a beautiful day, musics were nice and fitting for the occassion and air show was pretty spectacular.

Now, I have a wish for a better camera, and higher resolution lens. Oh well, I guess I can't have everything afterall.
It was a nice sunday at the park. :)


Saturday, October 08, 2005

NPR, Dan Brown and Da Vinci

Thanks to Border's sales gimick, I've finally got caught w/ "Da Vinci Code" fever a week ago and munched down the book in about a day and half, even as it was still a hardcover.

Having already read the book and picked up a few juicy gossips around religions, such as possibility of Leo being a gay for one thing, and picking up a word 'Opus Dei' another, when NPR's saturday broadcasting began with nomination of Harriet Maier which led to religions, and one of the segment was entirely on religions mostly around christian-dome, I couldn't help but smile as the name Dan Brown and a word 'Opus Dei' came up every 30seconds.

So is it true that there's such a religious group as 'Opus Dei' in existance? It seems so, and did it really enjoy warm-welcome of Vatican while previous Pope was in charge? I'm no religion expert so all I know of 'Opus Dei' is from Dan's book and what I've read through the book as a fictional background seem to be depicted in the broadcast that piques my interest.

Last time I paid this much interest on history after reading a fiction was when I read Philipa Gregory's "The Other Boyln Girl."

I guess I should put a sticky note for myself to look into historical background behind Dan's book "Da Vinci Code."


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

more old notes on figure skating stuffs

Axel Jump: Named after its creator Axel Paulsen, it's the only jump that takes off from a forward position. A jump that takes off from the forward outside edge and is landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot, a single axel taking 1-1/2 revolution, double 2-1/2 revolution, and triple 3-1/2 revolution.

Camel Spin: A spin done on non-skating leg. Body remains spiral position while the free leg extends parallel to the ice.

Combination Spin: The combination of several spins.

Layback Spin: Spinning while dropping head & shoulders backward, that's generally done by women skaters.

Lutz Jump: A toe pick assisted jump, named after its creator Alois Lutz.

Salchow: An edge jump, taken off from the back inside edge of one foot and landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. This jump's takeoff is from a left back inside edge. Named after creator Ulrich Salchow.

Sit Spin: A spin done in a 'sitting' position.

Toe Loop: A toe pick-assisted jump that takes off and lands on the same back outside edge. The approach is on a right backoutside edge.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Orange Juice, Da Vinci Code, and sick ole me

Cold's been lingering since monday afternoon, monday's been pretty tiring 1st day back at work after weekend and I've stayed late at meeting and had to catch later train in dark foggy weather back to SF. I must admit staying up late with things like flickr and other distraction doesn't help much. I went to work w/ headache, mild fever and chest pain on wednesday morning, and after taking care of immediate issues I bailed out and came back home on a rather long caltrain ride. With weather change between day and night pretty severely different, especially with fog, my cold's been not worse but not much better either. So here I am on saturday, no plan to enjoy the weekend, not enough energy to be doing much of anything, and just grumpy with headache. Went down to downtown, to cheer up, hit SF Moma for about 30min on new photography exhibit, swing by new Cody in SF for another 30min and got to Borders with 25% discount coupon.

It is consumerism of about every human being that even if you didn't need anything when there's a coupon in hand you just buy something to take advantage of coupon power. Started from top 4th floor on Powell store combing each section to see if there's a book I want to get w/ the coupon. Too big, too expensive, can get w/o coupon, ..., as usual. Finally I stopped in front of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" on first floor. I've been waiting for paper-cover, and also have been a bit snubbing it for being so popular; saw British version of paper-cover but not in U.S. yet.

Now I get to join the band-wagon.
Saturday night w/ no plan but coughs and runny nose, I'm sitting with a glass of orange juice and the hard-cover book that is already on 30% sale and my 25% coupon not applicable. Hope I don't get totally immersed into it so as to pull myself out of Da Vinci mania on monday morning to get to work.