we are experiencing technical difficulties - i'm having lots of trouble posting new entries to my blog. my laptop is about to die, and whenever i try to publish lengthly blog entries (especially those with links), the computer locks up and it's time to reboot. the good news is that i have a job interview in a couple of weeks, and i plan on getting a new laptop if i get the job. i'll keep you all posted with succinct messages these next few weeks. costco is selling laptops for 700 dollars.
Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?
James Chen: Asian-American writer, film director, journalist, entrepreneur, athlete, political activist, environmental activist and renaissance man
Monday, December 30, 2002
Sunday, December 29, 2002
a week in a life - we had a very busy christmas week, with last-minute shopping, parties and family get-togethers dominating our schedule. when i was a child, christmas was always a very magical time for me and my family. i especially enjoyed getting together with my cousins, opening presents, and stuffing my face at nearly every opportunity. the holiday began to lose its luster when i became an adult. perhaps it was because i was getting fewer presents than i had bought, or the massive amounts of weight i would gain from overeating. my little cousins were also no longer cute--some of them are now bald and have nervous eye tics.
with baby russell with us for the first time, the magic of christmas feels like its back again. jenny and i enjoyed taking him out to parties and family dinners where he would be the center of attention and meet new people and other children. jenny had fun dressing russell in a santa claus outfit that is absolutely adorable. dressed as santa, russell went with us to toys r us, and several shoppers screamed out loud how they wanted to pinch his cheeks. i'm so proud of our little boy.
as new parents, jenny and i are savoring every moment that we have with russell. can you believe that he's six months old already? his baby teeth are starting to come in, so we quickly scheduled an appointment at the sears portrait studio to have his picture taken while he still has those chubby cheeks and that toothless grin. somehow, i think we'll be visiting the studio many more times these next few years.
Monday, December 23, 2002
axis of evil, indeed - two articles sum up the latest threats to civilization as we know it. we may now be closer to nuclear war than ever before. this is scary stuff. where is james bond when you need him?
Desperate efforts began yesterday to head off the growing Korean crisis as Pyongyang and Washington continued to talk up the tension. -snip- Pyongyang has issued a series of threats, including one to "destroy the earth" if the US resorted to nuclear war against it. - The Guardian
In the past five years, Iran has used a web of phony trading companies to obscure an increasingly sophisticated drive to secretly build large facilities that could produce the materials needed for nuclear weapons, according to U.S. government officials and information obtained by an Iranian opposition group. Two recently disclosed sites, near the cities of Natanz and Arak south of Tehran, appear designed to help produce enriched uranium or plutonium, the fissile material needed for nuclear weapons. - Washington Post
remember when people wondered why bush included north korea and iran in the axis of evil? they have their answer, i'd say. some people believe that north korea and iran should be the primary focus of our current 'regime change' efforts. of course, these people just don't get it. you see, the thing is, it's better to head off a potential nuclear threat before it becomes an actual nuclear threat. that way, you have one less nuclear threat to worry about.
i believe that we will take out the axis of evil in this order: iraq, iran and north korea. we simply cannot afford to wait much longer.
Thursday, December 19, 2002
double whammy - i don't know whether to laugh or to cry. first, there's the news that the california state government is facing a $34.8 billion--that's billion--budget deficit for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. rather than cut those great state services (can you name any?), democratic governor gray davis is proposing a combination of one-third spending cuts and two-thirds tax increases to balance the budget. in news closer to home, the oakland board of education recently 'discovered' an $80 million budget deficit that threatens to push the oakland unified school district into bankruptcy, and ultimately place oakland schools under state control. the democratic-controlled schools appraratus is dumbfounded by the shortfall, but believes that it might be related to the 24 percent pay raise that teachers received three years ago.
we californians have no one to blame but ourselves. we had every reason to know that gray doofus was a steaming pile of deceit, yet we reelected him anyway (i voted for simon). and anyone who voted for the losers on the oakland school board also deserves what they get for the next two years (i voted for myself). the problem is, they're taking the rest of us down along with them.
Monday, December 16, 2002
I Had A Plan - Ever get a popcorn hull stuck in your throat and, no matter how much hacking you do, you can't dislodge it? Bill Cinton is just like that...he just will not go away. He keeps hoping he will say something that will give him a legacy and the Nobel Peace Prize that he believes is rightfully his.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Sunday he had warned North Korea in 1994 the United States would destroy its nuclear reactor unless it agreed to freeze its operations. "We drew up plans to destroy the reactor," Clinton said, and he told Pyongyang the facility would be attacked unless it were frozen.
Speaking at a dinner for Dutch businessmen and public figures, the former President said it was more likely North Korean would use the nuclear issue to bargain for more aid, rather than put weapons on the market. "Make no mistake about it, it has to be ended," Clinton said. "You do not want North Korea making bombs and selling them to the highest bidder."
Apparently, Clinton did a lot of planning during his tenure as President, but took little action. He has had more ideas on running this country since leaving 2 years ago, then he had in 8 years in office. How envious of George W. Bush and even Jimmy Carter (2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner) is this sick puppy? Well, he's even trying to sound like President Bush, with his "Make no mistake about it" schtick. And let's not forget his many "I Had A Plan" speeches, which somehow doesn't have the same ring as "I Have a Dream".
What I am wondering is how is this story going to affect the Nobel committee, when they hear that Bubba was planning for war back in 1994? I thought Clinton was a man of peace.
Thursday, December 12, 2002
thanks a lott - is it my imagination, but are the press and the senate going overboard with their condemnation of senator trent lott (r-ms) for his comment about retiring senator strom thurmond (r-sc)? at thurmond's retirement party, lott made a remark about the voters choosing the wrong presidential candidate in 1948, which some have interpreted as lott's support of thurmond's segregationist past.
talk about the pot calling the kettle black. a quick check of the us senate's website reveals that 97 percent of its members are white. i'll bet virtually all of the senators have this in common:
1) grew up in an all-white neighborhood
2) currently lives in an all-white neighborhood
3) went to an all-white high school school
4) attended a predominantly white college
5) belonged to an all-white fraternity/sorority
6) belongs to an all white golf or athletic club
7) sends their children to an all-white school
8) socializes among mostly white people
so why is lott the only member of the senate that the press is denouncing as a segregationist? while i am not the biggest fan of senator lott, i believe that actions speak louder than words. and i have no doubt in my mind that most of the white members of the senate pay only lip service to diversity and desegregation--just as long as they aren't directly affected in their own neighborhoods, schools and social organizations.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
job hunt update - now that jenny's mom is here during most weekdays, i am free to search for jobs on the internet. it's not a pleasant thing to do. for one thing, my iraqi laptop has a tendency to crash around every ten minutes. if i am in the middle of submitting my resume during a crash, that means i have to start the process all over again. it also sucks not to have a fast processor--i think this is a 90 mhz pentium, which is around 10 times slower than today's models. finally, i have only 300 mb of usuable hard disk space at any given time. this means that i have to frequently clean up the hard drive to provide for swap space. i think it's called swap space.
still, i have been applying for approximately 10 positions a day for the past 7 weekdays. i believe that i can get a response rate of around 0.5 percent, which means i might get one callback for every 200 resumes that i submit. during my last job search, i received five callbacks after sending out 300 resumes. i estimate that i'll need to send out 1000 resumes for a single job offer. i'm in this for the long haul. i have no choice, since no one has offered to help me to find a job as an 'insider'. it's somewhat disheartening to know that i've helped over 100 people get jobs and into college/graduate school, yet no one--except for kristen-- has offered to go to bat for me. such is life.
i did recently get a bottle of cologne from someone that i helped four years ago to illegally emigrate to canada. i don't wear cologne, though. maybe it's a hint that i have 'b-o'.
Monday, December 09, 2002
Farewell, My Porcupine - Elise, the long-time pet Shi-Tzu of the Sui family, is dead. She was ten years old. Elsie had been ill for the last couple of weeks and died this past weekend at the Berkeley Animal Hospital. The vet had diagnosed her as having an infection of her uterus, and her death came rather suddenly to the Sui family. We were all saddened by her death, which triggered a flood of memories among the Sui family members.
I've only known Elsie for 4 of her 10 years, but I will always remember Elsie for her smiling face and the enthusiastic wag of her tail. Unbeknownst to the Sui's, I used to feed Elsie scraps of beef and pork under the Sui dinner table. This explains why Elsie would always come to me during family dinners. In appreciation, Elsie would sit on my lap as we watched TV after dinner. For her last Thanksgiving, I gave her hunks of prime rib and chicken. Little did I know that it would be the last time I would feed her.
On Friday night, I went over to the Sui house to pick up some food and Jenny's parents told me that Elsie was not eating and had become dehydrated. I volunteered to bring her to the pet clinic that night, but they said that Jenny's sister Wendy would bring her the next morning. The next day, I drove Wendy and Elsie to the clinic for what was supposed to be an overnight stay prior to possible surgery. That night, Wendy called us with the news that Elsie would have to be put to sleep. The infection had ravaged her digestive and reproductive system. The vet put her to sleep that night, but unfortunately none of us were there to see her before she died. I said a prayer for Elsie.
Here's to you Elsie, up in that big doghouse in the sky. We'll miss you.
Thursday, December 05, 2002
Attention Shoppers, Death to the Jews - Shoppers at San Francisco's Rainbow Grocery Cooperative are finding that politics has now hit the supermarket aisles. Citing their support of "freedom for Palestinians and all people", two departments at the Coop, Bulk Foods and Package Goods, have voted to remove all products from their shelves that are imported from Israel. No word yet on whether the Coop is considering a boycott of goods made in Arab dictatorships, which of course is a moot point since the Arab world isn't capable of producing and exporting anything other than petroleum, dates and camel dung.
Is Rainbow boycotting any other countries, such as that champeen of human rights abuses, China? The answer is no. Worker/owner Cyrus Heiduska explained that China sells too many products, and often much cheaper than goods from other countries.
So why the Israeli boycott? Heiduska said that store workers knew that both sides had committed atrocities, but they wanted to show solidarity with "the most oppressed party."
Liberals, whom as we know, invoke 'tolerance', 'diversity' and 'multiculturalism' as their social footings are now holding the Israelis solely responsible for Middle East terrorism. Apparently 'diversity' does not apply to thought, only skin color, the liberal's ongoing obsession. Also of note, many if not most of Liberalism's loudest sycophants happen to be Jewish. Is this the same type 'self-loathing' that we hear so much about whenever Clarence Thomas is mentioned?
This 'Frisco (they hate the name 'frisco'..sounds so much like Crisco, which they sell a lot of out there) phenomenon is worthy of mention to every Jew I know. Someone needs to ask American Jews why they remain so predominantly liberal, given the hate openly and systematically demonstrated towards them in America's most 'tolerant' city. I just can't figure how an intelligent Jewish voter can possibly vote for a DemonRAT.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
random thoughts - i was leafing through my sister-in-law anna's oakland high school yearbook--class of 1999--and confirmed what i already knew: out of 230 graduating seniors, there were only two white students in her class. one of them was an albanian muslim, so maybe the number was really just one. my understanding is that there are no white students left in oakland high school today, which is quite startling.
that's because our neighborhood happens to be pretty well intergated, although most of the white people live up the hill from us and the minorities (asian, black and hispanic) towards the bottom of the hill. we live right on the border of the racial divide, just 6 blocks away from the high school itself. now, this is supposed to be a progressive neighborhood, yet virtually all of the white families send their kids to predominantly white private schools while most of the minority children attend oakland public schools. strange as it seems, no one ever talks about the racial segegation that has developed in the school system.
i wish people would talk about improving the schools here, and why it is acceptable for the minority children to continue attending a public school system that was rated the worst in california. less that one-third of oakland public school students ever graduate from high school. white students are like the canary in a coal mine--when white students transfer out, then that is usually considered to be a bad sign (but not always). if somehow we end up staying in the area when russell starts school, i might just have to begin attending school board meetings and asking some tough questions.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
you reap what you sow - back in the days of monica and the impeachment, some of bill clinton's most ardent defenders were the students and faculty of the university of california's boalt law school (berkeley). now, the liberal-leaning law school community is learning that they have a sexual predator in their midst, and he is none other than the dean of the law school. the lurid details of the incident sound eerily similar to that of bubba and his mistress, with the dean (john dwyer) claiming that the encounter was consensual and not "sexual intercourse".
While he used her bathroom, the woman, who was "very intoxicated," passed out on her bed, Stevens (the lawyer) said. When she woke up, she discovered that her panty hose had been removed, and her skirt and shirt were pushed up, she said. Dwyer had his head on her chest and his fingers in her vagina, the lawyer said.
berkeley liberals, having made their pact with the devil (clinton), now find themselves in an awkward position of trying to defend the conduct of now ex-dean dwyer, a supporter of environmental and liberal causes. there's at least one key difference between dwyer and bubba: the dean had the guts to resign.
Monday, December 02, 2002
writer's block - why is it that i haven't felt like writing lately? is it because i've been burned out taking care of russell? or perhaps the reason is burnout: i've been helping my sister-in-law and a family friend write their college admission essays. whatever the reason, i'm not feeling motivated in my crusade against liberalism. certainly, there have been plenty of potential topics for me to explore. perhaps later this week.
one good thing: jenny's mom started baby sitting russell today. she'll be here two or three days a week. this will give me time to begin my job search in earnest.
Sunday, December 01, 2002
home sweet home - we've just returned from our trip back to the east coast to visit my family. it was a very eventful trip. we saw a lot of people, ate a tremendous amount of food and slept very little during our stay. although we had a good time, jenny and i were happy to be home. there's nothing like lounging around in your own house and sleeping in your own bed.
russell met his east coast aunts, uncles and cousins for the first time. he was remarkably well behaved on this trip, even during the 15 plus hours we spent at the airports or in transit. he seems to enjoy meeting new people. even on the plane, he was smiling at complete strangers sitting atound us. definitely not a shy little boy.
we also paid thanksgiving visits to my aunt nancy and my neighbor mrs. drew. it might have been the final time that i will get to see them, since both of them have terminal cancer. they were both grateful for our visit, which brought out a flood of memories from both of them. i'm happy to say that they had a chance to meet russell, who clearly enjoyed meeting them.