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Happy 4th of July 2016

Happy 4th everyone. 14 years ago + 2 days I became an American, and every July 4, I am so happy to be an American!!!


Where was 2015???

Funny… I remember when this blog first got started, I was posting 2-5 times a day, then it was once a day, then maybe one a week, then maybe once ever two weeks, or once a month, once a quarter… then once a year? and I just missed 2015 entirely!!!! you would think that with the invention of mobile devices and better and easier apps, I would be posting more often, but sadly no I did not.

So just to recap what happened in 2015…

Traveled alot… including

San Diego
San Francisco
Las Vegas
Glacier National Park
Caribbean Cruise
Kona, HI

yep it was a year of travel.

So 2015 was also a year of new things.

So last year I joined USTA and started to play team tennis, mixed double in particular. I did not play much, and not a single win last season, but I did lose over 10 pounds which is a win in my book.

Speaking of tennis… last night at my Men’s 3.0 team, I got my first USTA win in a men’s doubles game.  It was a 2-6, 6-2, and 10-8  (tie breaker) win.

I still need alot of work, but it is a good start.

UPDATES are Coming!!!

Well, it is close to the end of 2014. So many things has happened. I pretty much have abandoned my blog for most of the year, but there are so many things that is going on in my life that I think I should start posting things on my blog again. Now rules for posting about my life will change a great deal in this new world of Information security and personal security, so I will only talk about generic thing that I think will contribute to the world. I will minimize talking about any thing that can Identify me. All travel pictures will likely contain few personal images and posted after the trip is over and never during the trip.

I am also thinking about changing the theme of my website. In 2012, I did a 365 challenge for photographs. I did it and it was harder than I expected. I will try to do a 52 challenge which means I will post a least one entry a week. I will hope to keep it meaningful.

What are rules for? — Part 2

So this week, I finally received my email from Seattle Parks and Recreation about the tennis court incident.

So the following is the email that I recieved.

July 21, 2014

Dear Min-Hsao Chen, 

I’m sorry for your experience at the Victory Heights Playground tennis courts.
Seattle Parks and Recreation’s policy is that facilities are to be used for their intended uses: tenniscourts are for tennis, which does not include “soccer tennis.” 

The only exceptions are the designated courts at Cal Anderson Park and Judkins Playfields, where dodgeball and bike polo are allowed.

The reasons for keeping tennis courts exclusively for tennis play are that:

1.   Tennis courts are the only places available for playing tennis (other activities can usually manage in other places).

2.   Activities other than tennis often harm the court surface and/or net.

You could print this out to take with you; or, if you encountered this again, maybe it would be sufficient you just to confidently state that, when you contacted Seattle Parks, the Superintendent’s Office verified that tennis courts are intended for tennis only; and if the “soccer tennis” players had any doubt, they could contact me as well at
Thanks for checking, and my apologies for my delay in replying.

Laurie Dunlap
Superintendent’s Office, Seattle Parks and Recreation
Seattle Parks and Recreation
“Explore more”

So for all those Soccer Tennis players, “how ‘bout them apples!?!?”.

What are rules for?

Why do people don’t follow rules? what are rules for, if people don’t follow them.

So Today, when my wife, Vicky and I arrived at the Victory Height tennis court to play tennis, I met  two individuals playing soccer tennis on the Victory Height tennis court. (Soccer tennis is using a soccer ball and kicking the ball back and forth across the net and court). When my wife and I address the individual and asking them, if we can play tennis on the court, they told us they just go there. I then ask them if we can use the court because they can play soccer on the large grass field and we can only play tennis on the tennis court, they then told us they will be playing for another 30 minutes. Then a young 7 year old kid nearby pointed out the posted court rules which states that the “courts should only be used for tennis and other city approved activities”. I then address this to the individuals playing the soccer tennis and they argue that their activity was a city approved activity and would not leave the court. I complained and stated that “that can’t be right”, since it is stated that it is for tennis only and they don’t have any written statement from the city therefore it is not approved.

My problem is this, if I was in their shoes playing soccer on a tennis court when someone shows up playing tennis, I would yield the court. Instead they call me grumpy and saying that these are rules and not laws and that it can be bent or broken and they are not meant for them.

So my question is Am I wrong for following rules? What is the point of posting rules stating that the tennis court is only for tennis and people don’t follow them?

Is this just Seattle? or is it just me getting old and grumpy?

End of week 1

So today is the end of week one at my new job, or should I say the beginning of week 2. So far it has been a pretty remarkable experience. I went through 4 days of training and still trying to get my head around everything that I am learning. IPv6, DHCP, DNS… etc. All the things that I’ve used and know about but I am just doing a major deep dive into these subjects. It is good to be back in the mist of all the technical goodness. Tomorrow begins my week too and it starts with an early morning travel.  Once again, I think I will try again this year to start my blog back.  hopefully this will continue.

A New Start

It’s been a long while since I wrote on my blog, but I feel this is an important occasion to update my blog.  So today is my first day at my new job with BlueCat Networks.  After close to 7 years working at Sparling, I finally called it quits, little over a week ago, on Valentines day (2/14/2014).  It was a difficult decision, but it was time to move on.  It’s always the people that I missed the most.  So for the last week, I’ve been throwing away everything, reshaping my office, and preparing for my new work day today. During my week off, I’ve been really enjoy my time off, like I said, I been cleaning up the house, walking 10K steps a day and trying to eat healthy.  It’s pretty amazing. So today starts my new work life.  In a few minutes I will be on a conference call with my new boss and start my new work day. Wish me luck.

Old Tee Shirts

Well, it has been such a nice a wonderful weekend, so during this weekend, I decided to do some cleaning and get rid of some old stuff that’s been following me around for sometimes.  So when I open up this one suit case, it was full of old tee shirts.  I will probably never wear them again, but I hated the idea of throwing them again.  They are my history, they are my past… they mean so much to me.

My logical and not emotional wife asked me a simple question, “when was the last time you’ve wore those?”

My response… “uh… 1995…”.  Right,  that wasn’t too long ago, but what 1995 was 17 years ago!!!!

Yeah… Vicky is right … I will probably never wear them ever again and they are just taking up space… but they are still so special to me… So I decided to digitize them.

So here they are… let me know what you think.

1994-1995 AP Chemistry

This shirt is my high school senior AP chemistry shirt… I am sure all my classmates are all rich and famous now :)… maybe I should keep this shirt 😉







1995 Auburn High School Science Olympiad shirt

This shirt was for the 1995 AHS Science Olympiad Team and yes we made the nationals that year!!!  This shirt is special because I created this shirt with my friend Ming Yan.  It is also special because we printed all these shirts in the Technology Student Association club in AHS.  Note that this was a 4 color screen print, however the back design has more than 4 colors…. pretty cool right?

Additional information about the design, the fonts are of course Star Trek DS9 Fonts and the idea for the back came from the Sliders TV show opening.






Auburn High School Science Olympiad Team Shirt

Very late 80 and early 90 style and look.



Catholic Youth Organization

This shirt was from our teen youth group in Auburn St. Michael Catholic Church.  Once again Vintage 1995.

IMG_7740.jpg IMG_7741.jpg


The following shirts are from college… few years laters


Catholic Student Organization Pan Y Vino  XLII and XLIII Shirt

Pan Y Vino is a biannual retreat for the CSO.  These shirts were from the two time that I was part of the host team.  Those were special times.

IMG_7743.jpg IMG_7744.jpg

Catholic Student Organization

IMG_7745.jpg IMG_7746.jpg

Catholic Student Organization

These are CSO  @ AU shirts

IMG_7747.jpg IMG_7751.jpg

Superball 1995!!! 

One year before the 1996 summer olympics in Atlanta, many women softball team came to Columbus, GA for a pre Olympics fast pitch softball competition.  The is the shirt made for that event, for cheering on the Republic of China team!!!

IMG_7752.jpg IMG_7753.jpg

Physics of the Future

I recently finished a great book by!/michiokaku. He is a theoretical physicist that writes books about technology and about the future. Take a look at his wiki page. Anyways, the book Physics of the Future is very good, I think anyone who loves science and wonders what the future might be like should give it a read. He paints a future not of just pure science fiction prespective, but of a future with advancements based on the current technology and why that future is possible, etc. If you are too lazy to read the actual book…try the audiobook. It is a good way to learn something in your daily commute.

Another good one from Michio Kaku is called the Physics of the Impossible. Great book about if all the science fiction technologies and sciences are actually possible or not.

So what is my next book?
My next book next book will be Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.

Check it out:

What is great about this book is that it is so old, from ’84. 1884 that is. 😉 It is so old, that this book is pretty much free, almost everywhere.

My grandmother passed away

Today, I found out that my grandmother passed away. She was my last remaining Grandparents. My Grandmother was always the best to me. I was planning a trip back to Taiwan this summer, but now it’s too late. 外婆, I miss you.

February 2012 Update

Oh, it’s been a while since my last update to my blog. Few things, yesterday was Mardi Gras. It is hard to believe that it is Mardi Gras again and how my life have changes from 4 years ago. Anyways, it was pretty fun hanging out with my buddies at the Tree.

After my first MRI in my life, the doctors determined that it is a moderate knee ligament injury. So I am on down low for the remaining snowboarding season this year. The good news is I probably don’t need any surgery and will recover with time.


Day at the Aquirium

A rainy afternoon in the Seattle aquarium.

More Buns and Apple Tart

Today is another relaxed and cooking weekend. Of course following the tradition of making steam buns on the weekend, this weekend is no different. We made another batch of steam buns this weekend and the results were wonderful. We’ve made alot of improvements from weeks before. We made some pork steam buns today. Check out the pictures below.

So, tonight Vicky decided to try her baking skills and made an Apple Tart. It was amazing, it was hard to believe it was her first time baking it. Check it out.

So yeah… no snowboarding today, but we did cook some beautiful food!!! yum yum!!

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

So yesterday was a good night, celebrating the Chinese New Year with friends, cooking some Crawfish etouffee, and playing few rounds of poker. The etouffee was extremely popular, it was all gone fairly early. I need to make alot more next time and the poker? Well, lets just say that I did not do too bad.

So Today isn’t too bad as well. Today is a really relaxing day at home made some red bean bao zi. It was ok. Only one batch turned out ok, and the rest looked really bad. It tasted ok, but just looked bad… however, I’ve learned alot and I think I’ve almost got it.

Take a look!!!

Another Snow Day

The weather forecast said that today the weather suppose to warm up and snow will turned in to rain. Well… that did not happen. The snow continued. I did not mind at all. Get a chance to work from home and of course enjoying the snow a bit.

Another Wonderful Snow Day

Today is another wonderful day. The day started very early making dough for my chinese stuffed buns. With Vicky’s help we were able to make 18 buns. They were wonderful!!!
Check it out!!!

Oh it’s a beautiful Snow day today.

The day of cooking

So today is an atypical Sunday, or maybe it is a typical Sunday in 2012. Anyways, today started off with me steaming mantou (饅頭) (Chinese Steamed Buns), then in the evenings making some dumplings, and of course Vicky baked some yellow cake from scratch!!!

Awesome cooking day!!!

First work day of 2012

Today is my first day returning to work. Oh my gosh I was so jet lagged in the morning. The weather in Seattle today is just wet and nasty, but it is still great to be back in Seattle. So work is still work even in 2012, but I did catch up on my Auburn football tonight. Well, instead of watching the boring Orange bowl. I decided to watch the replay on ESPN3 of the Chick-fil-a bowl (Peach bowl). It was actually a pretty good game, especially in the beginning. I am very glad that Auburn won. What a great way to end 2011. So what’s next? the LSU / Alabama rematch. I can’t wait.


At the end of every year, I look back on the year before and see what I have accomplished.  This year is no different.  So here are what’s went on last year 2011 !!!

1) I got married.  Yep… Min is off the market and not available anymore.  I got married on February 5, 2011.  It was a lovely wedding and we are very very very happy together.  As a matter of fact, in 2011 my little sister also got married plus 4 other close friends.

2) STP – Seattle to Portland bike ride.  The 202 miles bike ride from Seattle to Portland.  It’s the longest I’ve ever travelled on a bicycle in one day 150 miles and 202 miles in two days.

3) Auburn National Championship — AMAZING in the beginning of the year, Auburn beat Oregon and won the national championship!!!!

This coming year 2012 what are my goals…

1) be more healthy — dang cold and flu and all these other aliments go to heck.

2) be more productive — But for work and for family … enough said.

3) be more  attentive to my professional life — maybe get another certification

4) be more time cautious and travel less — most people want to travel more in the year ahead, I want my wife and I to spend more time at home and less time on the road.  This past month is one such example of the total craziness.

5) be more money conscious — I am no longer single… I got to start to think long term and long term planning, therefore I got to be thinking more about my future fiances.

I am sure there are more things that should be doing for the new year but I am sure this is a good start!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Oh and one more thing… check out my new project365 website. It is my 2012 goal to have a photo-a-day blog journal. Check it out!!!

Day 3 in China

Today, we are traveling to Yuan Yang. Yuan Yang is a very small town in Yunnan province and the only way for us to get there is by bus. I’ve never travelled by bus in china before so this is a new experience. The bus ride to Yuan Yang is around 7 hours long. I did not realized how far Yuan Yang is and I did not realized how rural of a place Yuan Yang is. The ride to Yuan Yang was very interesting. The adventure began at the KunMing bus station.

Vicky and I were in the number 1 and number 2 seat in the big bus. On the way there, we went from the city of KunMing to the outskirts of civilization. On the way we saw all sort of development and lack of development.

As we get closer to Yuan Yang, the road are pretty bad and also we begin to enter mountain roads. I did not realized that Yuan Yang is broken up into two towns. The new town and the old town. The new town is more developed however there are not much to look at in the new town. The old town is less developed and is about a hour drive away in the mountain roads. Once we arrived at Yuan Yang our guide met us at the bus station, we grab our bags and headed toward our hotel. Our hotel is pretty much the only major building in town. It IS the best hotel in town or in the region. The room was clean, but a bit cold. There is a air conditioning unit with heater, but we are not allow to turn it on. The only thing that is there is a small electric pad that is on top of the mattress for you to lay on.

Shortly after our arrival, we drop off our bags and grab our camera, we went out to look for our first sun set. Oh … the reason why we are on this adventure is to take pictures of the beautiful rural southern China. Our guide took us to this secret location for pictures. He said to us, “the road condition is pretty bad, so we will be taking to little car to help us get around”. The little car is a 3 wheeler, similar to the three wheeler in Mr. Bean. The ride there was interesting.

Once we got to our destination, we immediately saw a water buffalo walking by with a farmer. We then walked down a small muddy trail to the terrace rice fields. The view was magnificent!!!

After our photo shoot, we travelled back to town and went to a small local restaurant for dinner. The food was decent and cheap. After dinner, at the town square there was a group of locals line dancing. Pretty neat!!!

So our plan tomorrow is to head toward our next location around 5 AM in the morning for sunrise photo taking. This will be an interesting morning tomorrow. More to come.