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Good Night 2017 and Good Morning 2018

Wow, I can’t believe it has been a year already. It seems like yesterday, I was just here posting how I need to post more on my blog and how this blog has become an annual post. So I’ve been so blessed this last year and I am sad to see it fly by so quickly.

So let’s look back at some of the highlights for 2017.

Places that I’ve went to in 2017

1) Taiwan, first time in close to 10 years
2) Japan, I love this place
3) Palm Spring, CA
4) Bay Area, CA
5) Fort Lauderdale, FL
6) Mobile, AL
7) Auburn, AL
8) Anchorage, AK
9) Boise, ID — first time here and it’s pretty amazing place
10) Portland, OR
11) Sun River, OR

Highlight events in 2017

1) Chinese New Year in Taiwan
2) Middle of no where hot spring resort in Japan!!!
3) Eclipse from the plane
4) USTA Tennis Mix 6.0 Sectional trip to Sun River, OR
5) USTA Tennis 40+ 3.0 Sectional trip to Portland, OR
6) USTA Tennis 40+ 3.0 National trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL
7) USTA Tennis Mix 6.0 National trip to Mobile, AL
8) Year end trip to Kona, HI

So with all this travel, I made platinum status on both Delta and SPG/Marriott. This means I stayed over 30 days in hotels in 2017… that is way too much.

But with great sacrifice, there are also some good rewards. This year, I was so lucky to be on two wonderful tennis team with lots of wonderful friends. Our 40+ men’s team made it to national in Florida and we almost made it to the top, taking home second place at the national tournament. Vicky and I also made it to Nationals in our 6.0 mix doubles team, and we also placed second at the mix tournament in Mobile, Alabama.

My tennis level remained at 3.0 with a very rough early start. I ran in to some mental challenges, that I am still trying to conquer and over come. But all in all with another year down, I feel my tennis and Vicky’s tennis has improved a lot. Oh and Vicky is now 3.5.

Workwise, it has been a super busy year, being a sales engineer, I am on the road almost every week. It is very tough on my loving wife and family, but Vicky has been very understanding and loving! Like I said, I am very very lucky.

Tech wise, I finally retired my Pebble :(. I loved my Pebble Steel, but I finally opted to go with an Apple Watch 3 with AirPod, which is almost life changing. pretty cool stuff man!

So as for misc, I am Auburn Club president again, by default, it has been a tough season, not the football team, but for the club. it seems that I am not getting much local support, with all my work travels and tennis it has been hard. But really appreciate all the friends that did step up to help out!!

Finally, we had a big scare with Hugo, but everything worked out, and he is ok and happy as ever.

So as for goals for 2018.

1) Improve workout and lose that belly. Tennis has been great for Vicky and I, however, I feel we plateaued and need to do something to improve our fitness level. We will see how this will turn out next year.

2) Continue to have more world travel and maybe print some photos for my house

3) Need to get that back yard completed

4) Let’s make club for 2018 … I am very close to making club for 2017 so let’s make it in 2018

5) Spend more time with family

6) I am sure there are more goals, but I will post as I think of them.

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome 2018!!! See you next time I post ::)

Good Bye 2016 and Happy 2017!!!

Well… and there we go another year. 2016 has been very good to me. I know many says 2016 is a horrible year, but 2016 to me has been really blessed.

So let’s reflect what has happened.

First, I am an uncle again!!! Welcome Ethan Chan!!!
In earlier 2016, we decided to buy a new house. This was such a life changing experience. This also lead to a career change, I decided to leave BlueCat, one of the best job I ever had. Oh and for the first time in my career, I received 3 different awards from BlueCat for my performance!!!

But with these changes lead to even better experiences. We love our new neighborhood and believe it or not… I love my new job with Gigamon even more!!!!

so on other news…
This year (2016) has been a year of tennis and travel and no travel.

First of all tennis ….
Well… I got bumped from 2.5 rating to 3.0. It is a really nothing, but my goal for 2017 is to get to 3.5. Vicky’s 3.0 team made it to the Nationals again and got 3rd place!!!

As for travel in 2016 I’ve been traveling a lot for work but not much personal travel because of our new home purchase. Because of this this was also the first year that we (Vicky and I) spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with our pup, Hugo, in Seattle.

So where have I been for work this year?

Toronto, Canada
San Francisco, Califorina
Portland, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon
Spokane, Washington
Anchorage, Alaska
Las Vegas … way to many times in 2016

Personal travel this year
Auburn, AL
Atlanta, GA
Phoenix, AZ
Vancouver, Canada

This year has been a stay home year, but that has been really fine with me, because during the work week, I’ve been traveling pretty crazy during the year for work.

Once again, looking back at 2016 for me, personally, it has been pretty good. We’ve been very blessed and I hope 2017 will be another peaceful and wonderful year.

So of course, this is a new years eve post, so I have to post some goals.

1) Improve my Tennis Game
2) Spend more time with family
3) Try to make it to next years Presidents Club Trip
4) Have more social events and share our wonderful home with friends
5) Ride my bike more
6) Change up my diet a bit
7) Reconnect with my friends
8) Do some home automation
9) Work on the back yard
10) Travel the “world” and have fun!!!

Happy New Year 2017!!!!

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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!!!

USA USA USA!!!

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

Auburn
Portland
Toronto
San Diego
San Francisco
Houston
Atlanta
Las Vegas
Glacier National Park
Beijing
Osaka
Kyoto
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.

Goodbye of 2014 and Hello 2015

2014 has been a year of joy and sadness. So let’s look back.

Sadness

Passing of my father-in-law

My father in law passing away was very hard on my wife and my family. Although, I only knew my father-in-law for 5 years, he has been wonderful to me. I am very blessed to have shared great conversations with him about his past and history. Those are all great memories that will be kept alive. RIP.

Happiness

New Job
2014 is another big year of change. I finally after many years left my consulting job with Sparing and went to work for a Canadian Software Company called BlueCat and it is one of the best decisions that I’ve made. This was one of my biggest event that happened to me in 2014.

My New Nephew (Toby)
2014 I gained a new relative. My little sister is not a mother and I am now an uncle!

Spain and Portegal Trip

2012 was a huge travel year for me, but this year was also an amazing year. Vicky convince me to to

NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour

Iphone 6

2 books read/heard
The first book was one of the Best books this year. It is the Martian. I would recommend it to anyone who love a real science based Sci-fi.

The second book was “All you need is kill”. it is what the movie “Edge of Tomorrow” is based on, but the book is so much better and so much more

Events around the World

Seahawks Won the Superbowl

3 crash plans in south Asia

Increased Cyber security everywhere

Looking forward to 2015

In 2015, my goal will be try to rebalance life and become more healthier. I know this is a common goal, but I hope this is a goal that I can achieve.

New Years Resolutions

  • Workout at least 30 minute – 60 minutes each day
  • Start Japanese Language Class
  • Start volunteer work (e.g. CISSP,church … etc)
  • Read and Listen to couple more books
  • Do more tech side projects

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 PKS_Info@seattle.gov.
 
Thanks for checking, and my apologies for my delay in replying.

Sincerely,
Laurie Dunlap
Superintendent’s Office, Seattle Parks and Recreation
 
Seattle Parks and Recreation
http://seattle.gov/parks/
“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 😉

 

Back

IMG_7733.jpg

Front

IMG_7734.jpg

 

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.

Back

IMG_7736.jpg

Front

IMG_7737.jpg

 

Auburn High School Science Olympiad Team Shirt

Very late 80 and early 90 style and look.

IMG_7739.jpg

 

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 https://twitter.com/#!/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.


http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Future-Science-Shape-Destiny/dp/0385530803

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.

IMG_1654.jpg

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!!!