Category Archives: Story

New MacBook Broken 10+ days and counting

Around 1 month ago I had a trip to China planned and I decided to pre-order a new aluminum MacBook from the Apple Store in Hong Kong and I picked it up during my layover back to Taiwan.

After getting back to Taiwan, I sat down and installed all of my applications (using my mouse). I finished installing all of my applications, had everything set up and I opened up Mail to send an email, and I find out the keyboard on my new Mac is broken.  It doesn’t look like much, but if you press the “C” key on the left side, it pops up like a flip phone and you can’t type on it until you bend it back to the right position.

I brought it in to an Apple service center to be checked out.  They investigated the problem, identified that the keyboard is in fact broken and asked if I could send it back to Apple. The Apple Store said NO and told me it was past the restocking period. I went back to the service center to just fix it.

7+ days later it is still sitting at the service center. I call AppleCare and asked them if they could speed up the part shipment, and they said replacement English keyboards are out of stock with no estimated ship date!  I ask for a replacement Mac, and once again they said they can’t do this.  I feel like the biggest idiot — I have a wonderful new MacBook that is less than one month old sitting in the service center waiting for a new keyboard with no available replacement parts. Is anyone else out there having the same issue?

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Want a little “Liquid Brown”

This past week Steven went to the emergency room twice and a lung specialist once. Unfortunately the two times he went to the emergency room the doctors said “oh you just have a cold” when it turns out that the lung specialist saw pneumonia on the very same lung x-rays. Coincidentally, the very same emergency room staff said I had an enlarged heart when all I had was bronchitis.

When Steven got home and showed me his medicine, I started laughing. I suggested he gets something with codine to help his cough, however they also have cough medicine with opium (the source of codine) in Taiwan. I looked at the brand name of the medicine and get this – it is called “Liquid Brown Mixture (with Opium)”. He asked me why I was laughing, and I said “The name – it is so funny” but he protested because he said it was an accurate name.

You need to remember that this is the same logic that was applied to our pet bunny when he chose the name Brownie – she is brown indeed.

Fire seen from the 19th floor of my office

After I got into work and began checking email, I began to hear a lot of fire engines outside. I got up to the window and saw that a home across the street was ablaze and went back to my desk to grab my camera.

It was amazing how fast the building became an inferno and how ineffective the fire department was at putting the fire out.  Overall most buildings in Taipei are made of concrete, so this is not an ordinary occurrence because this was obviously a wooden structure.

The 31st came and went with no Adobe Acrobat updates in sight

I guess I should not be too surprised that Adobe isn’t supporting the Mac platform to the fullest. The thing I don’t understand is how they were unprepared for the Leopard 10.5 update.

When Leopard was first updated Adobe released a notice concerning their support for the latest version of Mac OS Leopard. Interestingly enough this report was published as an Acrobat file. Now why is this interesting? Well, one of their comments was that Acrobat 8.0 will encounter issues on OS X 10.5. Well how could you view this support article? Well, acording to Adobe you couldn’t use Acrobat, but don’t take my word for it:

[Adobe Acrobat Professional] Requires update to 8.1.2 for full compatibility. Expected to be available in English, French, German, and Japanese in late January 2008. Additional languages expected shortly thereafter.

Adobe had a similar comment for their free Adobe Reader application:

[Adobe Reader] Requires Adobe Reader 8.1.2 for full compatibility. Expected to be available in late January 2008.

Well January 31st came and went and there was no update from Adobe. Sure, the press gave a pass to them, but what about the “Creative Professionals” who rely upon these tools? Well, I guess Adobe has been giving similar signals for the past few years and it seems like they would rather all of the Mac users just switch over to Vista because the 12% of the market Mac users will have by 2011 is too small of a market for them.

The thing I do not understand is how MacWorld can claim that Adobe is one of the closest developers to Apple and they don’t cry foul when Adobe was unprepared for the stealthy and minimal release of Mac OS Leopard. I guess Adobe thought that no-one would upgrade, and I guess MacWorld was worried about losing advertising dollars from Adobe. That’s journalism for you.

Taipei Story House


Stiched image of the Taipei Story House
Originally uploaded by Nothing Really Poignant

Last weekend we were looking for new and interesting places to visit and we stumbled upon a website talking about “Taipei Story House”. Steven convinced me that this is the place where Ivy and Owen had to meet, but after going there I didn’t think this was the case. Steven now claims “I’m not so sure honey”, but I am sure it isn’t the place since I showed Ivy the photo and she has never been there.

Well what is the “Taipei Story House”? Well it isn’t anything I expected. I was hoping to see some colonial house with exhibits on historical Taiwan. I was also hoping I could take photo’s inside like you can do at Filoli, but unfortunately you can’t, and I soon found out that you really wouldn’t want to bother.

The only redeemable thing was the fact that they let you listen to your MP3 player, and I was listening to the director / producer podcast for the Season 3 finale of Doctor Who. This was very entertaining and made up for the drab environment.

So how can I describe the Taipei Story House other than saying it is a nice place to listen to a podcast? Well it is a small 4 room museum about buildings that house museums. Now they don’t talk about famous museums like the one at Bilbao, but instead they talk about old buildings that are converted to museums. This is an homage to museums that really shouldn’t be because it is really boring. Sure they talk about great places like the Tate Museum in London, but the articles look like they were pulled down from Wikipedia. I really didn’t learn anything other than there are quite a few gullible people (including myself) who are willing to part with 50 NTD to see a museum on museum buildings.

They had a gift shop that sold totally unrelated items. They also had a nice cement bench that is so hot from baking in the sun you can lose weight from sitting and sweating on it. To top everything off they have an expensive cafe near by, but after sweating for 10 minutes I wasn’t really hungry. Maybe I will go back if the visit to the cafe, but the 50 NTD cover charge is somewhat steep.

I cannot carry it on my back

Early this year I met a few friends in Tokyo before they traveled on to Thailand. I found a bargain basement hotel which was clean and under $100 USD a night. This was a centrally located hotel and provided easy access to the subway.

On our last night before we left, my friend asked “Did you read the instructions on how to use the internet?” Well I didn’t, I just plugged in and it worked, but apparently there were some instructions. Some of the funniest were the disclaimer on the internet usage:

It is the instructions about the use

When it is used this system, responsibility about the following matter asks for the use on having had you understand it before because I cannot carry it on my back.

  • Malfunction, the loss that occurred when this system broke down and cannot use it for some reason
  • Malfunction of the PC which occurred during this system use

This is just 1/6th of the entire document. You can read the entire scanned document for additional tips on proper internet usage.

My Speech at Ivy’s Wedding

A friend and co-worker of mine asked me to give a speech at her wedding. After writing down a bunch of ideas and talking on the phone with Yuyi, I decided to cut it back, make it a little less humorous and a little more heart felt. I have attached my speech below.

When Ivy asked me to come up here and say a little speech at first I was very nervous and I didn’t know what to say. I was married myself in June of last year and only two people attended, but here there are so many people to celebrate the joining of Owen and Ivy. For a second I though that I could just show clips from my wedding video to fill up the time and then I could give Ivy and Owen advice on how to have a happy marriage, but I decided against this because Ivy and Owen are both smart, capable people and they can find this out on their own.

Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of working very closely with Ivy. She is dedicated to her work and she can stand up to the toughest challenges. Many nights Ivy would work late into the evenings so that she can meet her tough deadlines and she would still have energy to overcome new hurdles the very next day.

Ivy appears innocent at work, but she really has a sharp wit and sense of humor and can keep up with my banter. Additionally, Ivy has an air of elegance that doesn’t require pounds of makeup or over dressing. Ivy is both a confident and experienced designer who can work independently and accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

Anyone who works with me knows that they cannot get married until they have my blessing. So when Ivy first met Owen and told me about him I had to ask her as many questions about what he likes, what he does for a living, and what his hobbies are and so on. Ivy told me how artistic and thoughtful he was and pointed me in the direction of his blog where I could see some of his photography.

When I finally had a chance to meet Owen in person, I immediately felt that he was a great person and can take care of Ivy. Many nights while Steven would be waiting downstairs for me to get off of work, Owen would be at his side waiting for Ivy. When Ivy and I would go downstairs he would tell me that he is concerned that Ivy works too hard, but he was still there to wait for her, and that is what really matters. Some nights after work Owen would meet Ivy to play badminton near the office with our other coworkers, and on the nights when Ivy would have to work very late, Owen would show up and bring dinner for ivy. Owen is a patient, sweet guy and I know he will always be at Ivy’s side.

After meeting both Ivy and Owen, I can say that they are both dedicated to one another. Anyone should be happy if they could marry someone remotely like either Owen or Ivy, but the fact that two great people could find each other shows how destiny can reward caring and giving people with one another.