Saturday, January 31, 2004

Random links:

  • UMich and Harvest people, check out Katie Beth's weblog, where she's writing about her trip from Hong Kong up to Beijing, where she'll be studying this semester. In the latest entry, she met Chen Xiao in Shenzhen. Update: she's in Beijing now!
  • I uploaded one of Jin tha MC's new songs to the media folder.

On Thursday night, Andy Ahn drove down from Southfield to visit Ann Arbor. We met at Borders, went out to dinner at TK Wu's and made a run to Meijers. Andy is his same-old cynical self, great for conversation and generous beyond the call of friendship.

I went to Wendy's in the Union for dinner, and happened to meet up with Bryan and the refreshments team (RT). So we had dinner together—a very nice group.

Tonight Access Bible study was really great, I'm not sure why but the whole grouped seemed energized and plugged in to each other. Pastor Ben gave a great talk on I Corinthians 13 (hard to give a bad talk on that chapter, eh?). I think we all left convicted about loving each other in a self-less and unchanging way. Afterwards, the grad group spent some time praying together, and went to Meijers to shop for muffin ingredients.


Please folks, don't spit on the floor.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A few new photos. Also, an update to the Zhongwen Tool: check out the Ruby and Print options. Works in Mozilla and IE 6.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Ted found that he likes to cook. I will like to cook. When I get my own kitchen. Or at least, when I get my own kitchen that I only have to share with one other person, a person whom I have made a life-long commitment to getting along with, and whose ideas about personal property and cleanliness will be closely aligned with mine.

Anderson gave me a ride to Krogers today: three kinds of apples, radishes, grapes, two kinds of chips, salsa, cereal, jelly, bread, yogurt, soda, and a candy bar. You would think I was going on a picnic. (argh, forgot the oatmeal)

Sunday, January 25, 2004

I was watching a press conference on the webcast of NASA TV tonight; guess who was in the audience, and asked a question about the current Mars missions? Bill Nye! Science is COOL!

Vocab for today: 炒票贩子, meaning "ticket scalper". The first character, , literally means to fry (炒饭 is fried rice); is ticket, and 贩子 is vendor or seller.

In order to crack down on ticket scalpers, since January 11th Guangzhou station has begun to closely question customers who return 5 or more tickets. (Soure)

As a reminder to the general public (and news-starved parents), I keep a calendar of public events online. The server it's on is flaky, so if you get an error then give it a few minutes and try again later.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

I've visited a lot of countries.

Must... travel... more! (create your own visited country map)

Friday, January 23, 2004

I wonder how many times I can freeze and thaw, and freeze, and then thaw my fingers before they stop working completely?

New photos.

Remember how I redesigned the new CCS website? Well I don't have to do the same for the the new new Michigan registrar's site; in fact, the designer probably did a better job than I could have done of making it standards compliant and accessible. I wonder if this means anything about the upcoming Wolverine Access redesign.

In the Center for Chinese Studies Annex there is a book of recently (1998) declassified documents from the last two years of the US-Japanese conflict during World War 2. Extraordinary stuff, like the report to the president on the success of the first atomic explosion test, including Oppenheimer's nervousness and succesful efforts by the Office of Censorship to pass off the test explosion to the press as an accident at an ordinance storage site.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Wiki Spam? A budding young poet from Beijing decided to leave some of his work on the wubi wiki: he failed on his first attempt, then managed to leave a list of his poems on the second.

Those pages will be removed in a few days.

Ugh, I let the work pile up and now I'm paying for it, in hours off my life.

If I ever organize a conference in Ann Arbor, I will have a "Post Conference Social Event" at the Necto too.

She made it! Katie Beth is in Hong Kong safe and sound.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Warning, geek talk ahead!

Stayed up way too late trying to figure out how to get esd working client-server mode across the internet so that I could play the CDs in vb's changer and listen to them here at home. After hours of testing, consulting an expert (thanks mlyle), and switching back and forth between a dozen screens or so, mlyle reminded me to make sure that vb's box was also running esd... which it wasn't! Live and learn.

So the big success story for tonight has to be on a different front, which is the firewall issue. Woody is pretty cautious about what he lets through the firewall that guards our network here at Liberty. Consequently, I haven't been able to SSH into my computer (petisuis) from school. Tonight, however, after SSH'ing all over the place and taking advantage of my account at vb's new box (Shellacct), I took a hint from mlyle and looked up exactly how SSH tunnelling works. Lo and behold, I can forward a port on the Shellacct machine to my box, from my box. By keeping the connection open between my computer and the Shellacct box, I can SSH on the port I specify from there to here. It boils down to executing this command as root on my box (all one line):

ssh -l username -R port_I_choose:localhost:my_sshd_port -N


  • -l username tells ssh to login as my username, rather than root (only root can redirect to priveleged ports like the one sshd listens on).
  • -R tells ssh that this is a remote forward, back to the connecting box.
  • port_I_choose is the port on the Shellacct box that I will connect to.
  • localhost is the computer to be forwarded to (it could just as well be petisuis, or
  • my_sshd_port is the port that my ssh daemon is listening on
  • -N is to tell ssh to connect, but Not execute any command. When I leave for school tomorrow, I'll change this to sleep 99999 or something, to not be auto-logged-out by sshd.

One debugging strategy that mlyle reminded me about is to always use the -verbose flag when trying to figure out where a problem lies. Good tip!

It appears that, one of the Sun boxes in the Fishbowl lab, does port forwarding too. In that case, all I would need to do is this:

Open a connection to pita, forward a random port to the sshd port on my box, and when I'm at school I can ssh directly from pita to my box.

Vocab for the day: T台 means "runway", or "catwalk", as in "The model was walking down the runway." The origin of this word is unclear. Usage examples:

Probably the catwalk is every girl's dream, haha, at least I think so. (Source)

Nicholas Tse (Xie Tingfeng) models jeans on a Shanghai runway. (Source)

Also, the first example-sentence comes from an interesting weblog entry on standards of beauty, relevant to the recent discussion on Brainysmurf, and that one post on Justagwailo. Use the 中文 Tool, if necessary (plug!).

There are some people who look really good in photos, but come across as unimpressive in real life because of their awkward mannerisms and lack of self-confidence. There are also others who look goofy or cute in photos, but whose confident attitude and friendliness give them a stature and shine that is not captured on film.

There is a Falun Dafa guy who sits on the grass just off the Diag and practices qigong with a sign in front of him explaining the basics of his conviction. I thought that the snow would surely drive him indoors. Last week, he proved me wrong by clearing out a small space in the snow, setting up his sign, and standing perfectly still—insanity in this weather—and carrying on as usual. I haven't seen the Diag preachers out lately. I greatly admire this guy.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Went into town this morning with John, Sarah, Anna, Zhou, Helena and Dan to catch the 2004 North American International Auto Show. Had a fantabulous time. Dinner afterwards at the New Parthenon in Greektown: flaming cheese, fried zucchini, and eggplant moussaka loaded with peas and veggies.

Probably my favorite-looking car: the Subaru B9 Scrambler.

Photos posted at the photo weblog.

Friday, January 16, 2004

A new cable came in the mail today for Laurel's digital camera, which I'm borrowing. That means that the photo weblog will start seeing some new content again.

I talked to a cute girl today in Econ and since I believe nobody who knows her reads this weblog, it's OK to post that.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Chubby Huggs is a cat in the Get Fuzzy comic strip who lives on the first, hugs everybody, and tells you how great you are.

Chubby Huggs reminds me of John Yim.

I'm staying indoors today because we've gotten about three inches of snow since early this morning.

Some sources say an inch an hour of snow.

Risky Business:

My friends can be divided generally into two clear, competing groups: those who feel I have facial features similar to Tom Cruise, and those who adamantly deny such an assertion.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

As I type this I'm listening to my latest splurge (not that they're so frequent), a one hundred dollar order from Tower Records Japan. I picked out four CDs that I think I was long overdue in ordering: if I truly believe in intellectual property and the value of intangible ideas and works, then I owed it to these few artists for the many hours I've spent enjoying their music on the computer and burned onto CDs.

The first collection to debut tonight is the 1999 EP of remixes of a joint called Dancehall Checker, four tracks featuring some of Japanese hip hop's greats: names that grace the insert include Zeebra, You the Rock, Twigy, Dev Large, Sugar Soul and Rino. The track I have grown particularly fond of over the years is the third on the disc, Dancehall Checker (CJ Watarai Mix) feat. Sugar Soul, Zeebra, Shiba-Yankee, Dev Large, and Rino. Very catchy.

The next disc to spin up is Lamp Eye's 証言, or Shougen, a more hard-hitting style of hip hop with aggressive vocals and less dressed-up beats, first pressed in 1996. I picked up a sample AIFF of the title track off the Elebugi website (look for the sekrit link too) back in 1998 or so and haven't stopped listening to it since then. Ben List gives a good review of this EP.

I'm now popping in Dying for Seagulls!, a compilation of hits by the band with the second best name ever: シーガル・スクリーミング・キス・ハー・キス・ハー, or Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her. The first track I recognize right off the bat for being included in the limited edition Mike Donk P5ML Jpop sampler, namely It's Good It's Real. SSKHKH is on Cornelius' Trattoria label, and musically is what Shonen Knife would be if they were more truly punk rock. So, if you're not familiar with Shonen Knife, then it is two Japanese women on guitars doing melodic punk? No? Argh. This, folks, is why I will never write for Pitchfork Media. Bear with me, I'll just post some samples at the end.

Finally, 夏木マリ, Mari Natsuki. With Konishi Yasuharu (Pizzicato 5 mastermind) producing and Mari's confident voice starring, some songs on this jazzy, poppy album would be a great soundtrack for a dark, smoky nightclub, and others would be great for a summer day frolicking in the heathery meadow. I glance over wistfully at the window, and then away quickly so that I won't lose the magical feeling of this album. Ah, that it wouldst be summer again.

Samples of all the above albums are available in a directory on

I posted this link before on the other weblog, but the page address has since been changed so I re-discovered it and I present it to you now, American Lifestyles & Habits. It's a guide to American culture for visiting scholars and students from the former Soviet republics, but I think it's useful even for Americans to read to remind ourselves of our unique cultural peculiarities. A sample:

You might think Americans are odd because....

  • They might let their dogs and cats sleep on the couch, or even IN BED with them!
  • They might not eat anything at all for breakfast - so be sure to ask for some.
  • They may treat their guests as members of the family and expect you to do things like laundry for yourself.
  • The husband might do the food shopping and the cooking while the wife is still at work.
  • Their food may seem strange to you.

It's worth reading the entire page; it may be especially timely for Katie Beth as she heads off to China, to remember when she observes strange new customs and habits in her time abroad.

Hamster Ova with Panda Sperm:

Chen said that his experiments are not meant to start a new species of either pandas or hamsters, but rather to create a way of providing better research methods on test-tube pandas.

Note that that is is news from 1989.

Fun Google referer:

Monday, January 12, 2004

I pruned and repopulated the media folder at New tracks by James Iha, Crystal Kay / m-flo (for Julie), and the Papas Fritas.

Pokey sells T-shirts. YES!

A Pokey comic about Brocco Li.

And finally, hooray for data URLs.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I just spent the last two hours looking for a way to re-install and run RealONE for Linux as a non-root user, because I rendered the old installation non-functional by trying to upgrade it. For future reference, the solution that worked is here: Real one installs in /root directory by default which is not accessible by any other user.

Movement '04 is Detroit's annual electronic music festival. This year, the festival will take place over Memorial Day weekend in May.

UGCS Earth shows the pattern of night and day across the face of the earth, centered on the UGCS servers in Pasadena, CA.

Katie Beth loaned me her Chinese media book (thank you, Katie!). Timely, since today I discovered the CCTV 4 News Feed, live video of the news on China's government-owned TV station. (Katie Beth is also leaving on the 19th to study for a semester at Beijing University. I'm quaking with jealousy.)

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Broadway, we hardly knew ye. Truly a sad day for Tianjin.

Friday, January 09, 2004

I spent a couple of hours studying at the Center for Chinese Studies Annex today and borrowed the earliest China Pictorial that I could find, the third issue of 1974. I scanned in a few pages. (cross-posted to China, Michigan, Books)

Oh and this morning when I put on my shoes I noticed that there is a crusty rim of salt around the edge of the soles. And thank you again Vicky for the ear-warmers, it took a walk to school on an Ann Arbor morning to really appreciate them.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

An XHTML 1.0 Strict, CCS 2.0 compliant mock-up of a page from the new CCS website.

Monday, January 05, 2004

I'm back in Ann Arbor.

New CCS website.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

OK, I'm inspired by Vickie and the Pitchfork Media top of 2003 lists to put together my own mini-review of the year.

Highlights of 2003

  • Building a computer out of parts, and installing Linux on it.
  • Book-borrowing priveleges as a Borders employee.
  • Planning and executing the grand Central American trip with Aaron.
  • Friday and Saturday nights out with fellow CCS folks.
  • Harvest Mission Christian Church in Ann Arbor.
  • Having a social life again in Michigan, albeit the social life of a grad student.
  • Finding out that I could be satisfied as a teacher, if I made a career out of it.
  • Snow.

Lowlights of 2003

  • Losing my book-borrowing priviledge at Borders for a month.
  • Substitute teaching at the junior high.
  • Getting robbed in Nicaragua.
  • Living at home, and the lack of a social life.
  • Re-adjusting to school responsibilities.
  • Snow.

Promises to myself for 2004

  • I will work to be a better friend.

  • I will concentrate on the little acts of discipline, and grow into a more responsible person.
  • I will be more excited about learning Chinese.
  • I will learn to sacrifice, and that getting enough sleep is a way of praising God.

Looking forward (with just the right amount of fear and excitement) to a fruitful 2004.

  • Friday the 2nd: met Vickie Wu at Kelly's in downtown Brea for hot chocolate and conversation. Thanks for the Christmas present Vickie, and for the hot gossip, news, and theater info! Next time I'm in town, we gotta go watch a production together.

  • Saturday the 3rd: tripped with mom and Annie to visit Nana, who was perky and talkative, enjoying apple pie, coffee, and Saturday afternoon football. Dinner out with the family at the Blue Agave, OK food and better conversation. Then in the evening, hung out with Dave, Tim, Justin and Jeremy (who I hadn't seen in forever; hooray for MK shared experiences: "How's your knowledge of pop culture?" "Uh, I was gone for the 1980's." "Yeah, me too."). Justin picked up a record player in a nice wooden case and inherited his parents' album collection—Feliciano! was particularly cool. Watched the second half of The Ring, ordered out pizza and Chinese, and played Trivial Pursuit until late.

Friday, January 02, 2004

OICQ (the Chinese ICQ equivalent) in Chinese, in English, and for Linux (and here).

在RedHat9下安装Chinput中文输入法Step by step (step-by-step instructions for installing chinese input program Chinput under RedHat 9).

What's up with the Google ad at the top of this page today? Does it say This blank space brought to you by Google for you too?

Recently released through the National Security Archives

The market for alternative rock radio in the Los Angeles/Orange County area is pretty much cornered by KROQ. If you're between the ages of 13 and 30, own a radio, and are not in the Britney/Christina or 50cent/Biggie Smalls camps, then you probably listen to KROQ. So when I came back from Michigan this winter, I was surprised to hear a friend tuning in to 103.1, so-called "Indie Radio" (which has been written about by Andy). Apparently, the new station that is getting a pretty warm reception, both from random OC webloggers and radio industry folks: despite a weak signal and likely lack of support by the Clear Channel parent company, it gets good reviews for its alternative playlist and targetting a neglected demographic. Of course, there are always skeptics (and that's a good thing) like Richard, who maintains that Indie Radio can't be as indie as Cincinnati's own WOXY Cincinnati. I think that's true, but you can't poo poo this station considering its location: Los Angeles. How indie can you be in a city that sees parades of Hollywood-made stars every week? One of the reasons I'm enjoying living in Ann Arbor is precisely because it's so far away from the entertainment machine: a band like the White Stripes wouldn't have developed their alternative sound in LA; it took a beat-up city like Detroit to produce that gem. I would expect similarly great music from Cincinnati.

Something that has been mentioned in the discussion of this new station is Groove Radio. Groove was a dance music station that was briefly on air in SoCal while I was in high school. For several reason related and unrelated to its genre, it didn't make money and went off the air in a matter of months. So it followed in the footsteps of KNAC (a failed LA metal station) and took to the internet, where it streams its broadcasts for a fraction of the cost of operating a full blown radio station. There are still no dance music stations in Los Angeles, nor in Ann Arbor, but fans of the genre who listen to music at their computers and have an internet connection can find streams on the internet, e.g. at Live 365 and Digitally Imported.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

QDB: Quote #29696:

riddledscars: I have passed the transitional stage of internet geekhood

Oh, and happy New Year.