Google and pop-up ads

Google doesn’t do pop-up ads, and explains its reasons here. I can’t quite understand how pop-ups are an effective marketing tool. Is annoying potential customers really good for business? Google appears have a greater respect for their customers than many others and their success shows that it pays off in the end. It’s only common sense – treat your customers well and they will return the favour.


Resident Evil – Now here is a movie I want to see. The dogs, zombies, freaky mutations and the girl hologram. Oh and of course…. the oh so great Milla Jovovich. Good trailer.


While the stylistic similarities are a bit of a stretch, listening to this music also brings up memories of my many unsuccessful attempts at playing Latin music. For trumpet players it is the most demanding of music and requires a sense of time I never had. Even studying and playing with the likes of Memo Acevedo couldn’t save me. Here is a short sample of Memos work (Real Audio).

Cuban music

Since buying the cd’s Buena Vista Social Club and Orlando Cachaito Lopez’s Cachaito. a day hasn’t gone buy where I don’t listen to them. I keep imagining myself dancing with some beautiful woman in a dark smoky club in Cuba or more realistically sitting watching someone else. Its a nice vision. Good music makes me dream like this. I’m rather new to this whole Cuban music explosion on the popular music scene but I will certainly be adding more to my modest collection.

Life in Taiwan 3

Hsinchu small. Taipei big.
I went to Taipei yesterday to visit the Free Time Gears store at the big Eslite building on Dunhua and the store on Roosevelt. There is one here in Hsinchu at the Sogo but it has very little selection. I managed to spend more money than I have … again. But at at least I got some proper gear for the short trek in northern Thailand next month. Some cool quick drying pants and coolmax apparel. I’ll have to break it in next weekend so as not look too much like a tourist. Anyway the trip to Taipei took and unbelievable 1hr 45mins. The traffic was crazy. But what was hard to believe was the amount of people in Taipei. I couldn’t get over the shear density of bodies. Living in Hsinchu for so long the only thing you have to adjust to is the parade of scooters – everyone has at least two – so it appears. I love and miss Taipei but if I ever return there to live, and I hope I do, it will certainly take time to re-adjust to the bumping and grinding of bodies as you walk from place to place.

Chinese language lessons

The pressure is on. It is now common knowledge that I am taking three Chinese language lessons per week. It seems to be brought up at every gathering of my co-workers. They’ll expect results now. They love to relate to me the stories about foreigners learning their language in 6 months. Afterwards I get a look of – “whats the matter with you”? Which is I suppose deserved. The shocking truth came to me when one of my Chinese teachers said to me in a forceful tone during my first class “… you should know this”. Scared me. With all this pressure I have no choice but to give it my best shot. is one of the best websites I have ever seen developed in Taiwan. Wonderful illustration done by local and European artists – highly entertaining. You don’t need to understand Chinese to appreciate and enjoy this fine piece of work.

my Aunt Mary

I am beginning to feel like my Aunt Mary. Whenever I visit home, which is only once every year or so, my Mother always comments about how I am just like my Aunt. Of course she is an Aunt from my Fathers side. Aunt Mary is getting on in age and always complains/whines that she has so much work to do but no time to do it. Well thats how I feel except I don’t want to do more work I want to actually go out and enjoy life. So my complaint is that I have no time to do the things I really enjoy. But like my Aunt Mary I have no idea where the time goes. Is it ok to still want to have fun at 34 or should I content myself with toiling all day and night?
I would like to buy Sam Brown’s Exploding Dog book. Wonderful illustrations. It will certainly make my coffee table look all the more interesting.


Say what you want about the earthquakes, the traffic, and the pollution but no where else in the world will you find people so nice as to give you a drive home on a cold frosty night (and in a luxury car no less).

Personal Preference Profile

According to CMI’s Kingdomality Personal Preference Profile I am a Discoverer… “might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. Your overriding goal is to go where no one else has ever gone before. Regardless of the number of available natural problems to be solved, it is not unusual for you to continually challenge yourself with new situations or obstacles that you have created. You are an insatiable explorer of people, places, things and ideas. You thrive on constant change and anything new or different. On the positive side, you can be creatively rational as well as open minded and just. On the negative side, you might be an impractical and indecisive procrastinator. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today’s corporate kingdoms.”

What is your medieval vocational personality?

Life in Taiwan 2

Traffic in Hsinchu
One of the many aspects of Taiwan life which I can never understand is the seemingly magical changes in the amount of traffic on Hsinchu’s streets. The weather is always a factor. If there is even a sprinkle of rain the traffic doubles. Now beyond the sheer volume there is nothing especially strange about this – when I lived in Canada I much preferred to drive in the rain vs. walking in it. But in Hsinchu no one walks and no one is interested in the delapitated public transit. The cars just appear out of no where. Which makes me wonder how people get to work when the weather is fine or do people only work when the weather is poor? Tonight the bus ride home took twice as long as the weather is brutally cold and people magically appeared in their cars, people that didn’t seem to exist yesterday at the same time.

Can’t say this word in public

Some how I have garnered an international reputation — an overwhelming number of search terms for my sites include the word masturbate. The latest, “pinyin masturbate”. Now there is a word you hear alot when you are beginning Chinese conversation. Unless perhaps I am hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Life in Taiwan 1

Dorothy’s Birthday
Last Friday our office held a suprise birthday party for Dorothy who has become known as my ITRI mother. Part of the festivities involved 3 short comedy skits which more or less gave us an opportunity to act half our age to garner a few laughs. Acting half my age is something of a career for me. The AV dept., perhaps as a means of blackmail, has posted a streaming Windows media version for the world to see here. I don’t think I was funny but many laughed and well thats fine. There are some pictures here as well.


I love to hear stories like this. Though it’s not a heart warming story, it’s nice to know that someone somewhere is still making a lot of money by making websites.
Making money from a small business on the web is something that I have dreamed about for some time. I don’t have huge ambitions. I don’t particularly want to be rich (though if you want to make me so, be my guest). I just want freedom – the freedom to escape the corporate world and live and work where I want . Is this an idea that will forever just be something to think about while lying around on a lazy Saturday or will this time next year I be working from my office in a small house in Thailand? Maybe some dreams can come true. I hope this one does.


At celia contributes a short illustration explaining how to properly hold the most essential of Taiwan eating utensils. If you can read the accompanying text (in Mandarin Chinese) you probably already know how to use them. Though her English is certainly not as good as her Taiwanese I’m sure she would love to converse with you via email.

IA = Sexual Pleasure?

I just finished a long meeting and I notice that my face is all flushed like it might be if I had a good session of sex … except I am at work and it certainly wasn’t that kind of meeting. And it certainly was not so exciting. I am displaying some of the symptoms – flushed face, tiredness, hunger, and sore muscles. If I had of known that information architecture was going to be so arousing I would have majored in library science instead of music.

I seem to have forgotten to recognize the new year. Funny how I seem to forget all these traditional holidays now that I live in Taiwan. Lets hope it’s a happy one. As well it seems that it is harrumph’s birthday. Seems a bit strange to celebrate a web site’s birthday but Heather Champ’s work is sometimes a pleasure to behold.