Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Back in the USSA

I've been back in the States for a couple weeks now been busy equipping myself for hockey this winter and rebuilding my life back stateside.  I'll be heading to San Francisco tomorrow then to Chicago shortly after that.  Once my summertime adventures are over I'll be finding employment and restarting classes here.  I would like to thank everyone in Taiwan for the kindness and hospitality you showed me.  I'll eventually re-title this blog and occasionally post random stuff, thanks for reading along!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Class Trip

Tomorrow is the last day of class so today we took a class trip to have lunch and then visit the Taipei botanical gardens and history museum.


Yet more flowers

And even more

Over the lotus pond

Mr. Quackers

Class photo

Friday, May 20, 2011


Skipped on over to the shilin night market to get presents for the family back home and to get shaved ice cream.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Random pictures

Some various shots from the last several days: the Huang family toy poodle, mirrors edge style building, delicious lunchbox.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Sitting on campus cooling my heels for a half hour here.  No one in the whole country is supposed to be out on The streets to allow for 'military maneuvers'

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Medieval Times

Just ordered 3 tickets for the dinner theater in Chicago.  It's a good time and excuse to yell, eat with your hands and get drunk.  Use the coupon code 33thank for a 45% discount.


Mass Effect 3 Delayed Until 2012 | News & Opinion |
That is too bad, but at least it seems they don't want to release a rushed crappy game like DA2

Friday, April 29, 2011

Down with the sickness redux

Having fun waiting for the doctor at the clinic right now.  We were going to start a dance party but it's not allowed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Men plan, fate laughs

Been a busy few weeks since my last post. Studying Chinese is getting more intense at the grammar becomes more complex. There was a hitch with my original plan for a 2ish year tour in Taipei to complete a business degree. As it turns out it would be more like 3-4 years and the university credits I have earned thus far would not apply in the system here. Sadly, a 3-4 year study tour is too long a period of time considering the opportunity cost of not working and spending my late twenties in an efficient manner.

With a course laid in the only question remains is when do I return to a US school to make good on those credits and complete a business degree as efficiently as possible?

It's disheartening to enter a grand scheme only to have it not come to full fruition. Good thing I'm not planning a war over here!

Oh well, to make myself feel better I have posted some almond bubble tea. Oh yes!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Did some errand running today.  Got a haircut and talked to some shopkeepers for a school project.  Realizing around 6:30 that I had nothing to eat all day Matt and I went to a traditional Taiwanese restaurant and had some mushrooms, beef in sauce and pork.  I don't know if its because I've been sick for a week but these flavors were vivid and amazing.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bacon Lung

Most of the time when I get sick with the flu or cold or something it's during a day where I really want to do something really bad. Like today for instance, there is a tomb sweeping parade down the street I live on, and I'm going to have to bail on the Dylan concert. It probably wouldn't be so bad if the parade didn't include thousands of firecrackers and drums. It would be amazing, however, if I didn't have this pounding headache.

Mercifully the DR MED pharmacy right down the street from my house was open on the holiday and I was able to, using charades and broken Chinese, get the correct medicine to help with the symptoms.

This is the part of the post where I lay blame. It's your fault, that's right you. Thanks bunches.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Instead of sleeping it was decided that shrimp fishing through the entire early morning would be a good idea. It certainly was. Took roughly a 40 minute scooter ride to get to Lujhou city. Grabbed some dumplings then did some fishing for shrimps for a couple of hours while drinking really bad American import beers.

Get your shrimps on

The shrimp pool

Notice the centuries old arcade machines in the background

Deep Fried

In Taiwan if you go to any night market there is going to be one or many street stalls selling fried bits of plant, animal or fungus. This is good news as once you deep fry something it becomes three times more delicious. Tonight I went to the chicken warrior stall (no idea what it's real name is) at the 737 night market. Got some deep fried cauliflower, chicken bits and breaded tofu. This is all then sprinkled with an unknown white powder and cayenne pepper.

Fried Mushrooms

Chicken Warrior

An unhealthy spread

Apparently later we're going fishing for shrimp at like 2am so I'll see if I can get pictures of what that is all about.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I go clubbing so you don't have to

Turns out this club is very little like the fictional space club. This is to be expected. For those who were wondering the key difference I have constructed this handy spreadsheet in my spare time.

Unnecessary Nightclub Comparison

In summation, lack of the implausible didn't preclude a dance epidemic.  Oh yes.

If you have the slightest idea what I'm talking about leave a comment...


Standing at line at the neo 19 club in Taipei.  If it burns down, as night clubs tend to do I'm screwed.  Oh well, here's to hoping its like Afterlife in ME2!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


**edit** sonofabitch! Apparently due to the events in Japan messing up this leg of their international tour they have postponed the show until December. Good thing I have Bobby D to fall back on!**/edit**

While my original plan was to go see Bob Dylan in concert next Sunday I was pleasantly surprised when I learned The Black Label Society was playing that very same day.  So the BLS show is cheaper, longer, has a special guest and I've never seen them live before so I'm going there is lieu of the Dylan show.  I haven't been to a metal show in almost a year so it will help sate my need for headbanging, jumping up and down like a monkey, and ringing ears--for a while at least.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Had some time to burn while waiting for a dinner appointment so I walked up onto the roof of my building at NTNU.  It provides a nice view of the center of the city. Then it was off the Spring, which is a vegan buffet right down the road from my school. Had dinner with one my dad's colleagues, his wife, and another American student. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and flavor of the food I found there and even tried out steamed stinky tofu for the first time.

Commons @ NTNU

Hazy late afternoon from the roof of the education building

Taipei 101 in the distance.  It's so freaking tall!

Jeremy, fellow American

Mr,Mrs. Lin

Monday, March 21, 2011

Game Review: Dragon Age II

Dragon Age II is a badly phoned in effort with insulting release-date DLC.  The second installment isn't even on the same planet as it's predecessor.  Diluting many aspects that made the original great takes away most of the aspects that makes a good RPG fun.

How about adventure? Level design is copy-pasted over and over again;  There is perhaps a maximum of 10 small maps that you get to explore in entire game and these are recycled for each and every mission.  The deeps roads consists of a single tunnel network that takes around 30 minutes to play through.  In the original it took me at least several hours and it had probably 12 parts all which looked unique. 

How about epic story?  I may have grown bored with the story before anything really interesting happened.  I was crowned 'champion of Kirkwall' for arbitrarily murdering hoards of random enemies on quests assigned by random NPCs.  The storyline seems unfocused at best.  It certainly didn't hold my interest and I'm not hard to please.

How about character interaction?  The voice acting is well done and there is lots of character interaction.  Downside is that most of your NPC buddies are two dimensional whining machines.  In the first Dragon Age I found that I really grew to care for my comrades and tried to keep them out of trouble.  In DA:2, well, I kept secretly hoping that everyone except Varric would be killed off by the Qunari.  But hey you CAN score with many of your teammates but this interaction is shallow and emotionally meaningless as such.

Overall: 5/10 (Bioware averages 9/10)

Danger DANGER!!!

So there I was standing on the MRT platform wearing my sweet Electric 6 shirt and listening to some sweet E6 tunes when I looked over and noticed. Boom, High voltage.

750V DC to be exact

Monday, March 14, 2011

Taipei 101

Lit up for Monday.

Star struck

I'm riding the wenhu MRT right now on my way to a grocery store at Taipei 101; rumor is they have Vermouth.  On this el train, I shit you not we have Justin Beiber and Burt Reynolds's Taiwanese dopplegangers.  It's uncanny.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Stopped by the citymart department store for some eats.  First time I have ever eaten at a teriyaki place.  Had some surf and turf: crab and squid in seasoned sauce and beef with rice and beansprouts.  Was absolutely delicious.


At Miramir right now.  Gonna go get something to eat and try to find some Vermouth.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


On the Taipei MRT heading into school right now.  Trip takes a total of around 1 hour.  Keeping me in shape because there's about 1.5 miles of walking each way.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Took a bus to visit the port city of Keelung then another bus to the Jioufen gold ecological park which is actually an old Japanese gold mining camp turned museum.  The mountains meet the sea and it's all very majestic.  Got to go down into the mining tunnels and climb a mountain up to a ruined Japanese temple.  After we got to see the 10 million dollar brick of gold we walked back to town uphill for like 10 miles.

Once back in town we went to a night market which was easily the most crowded place I've ever been-- see pictures below.

Breakfast of Champions

Keelung Harbor

Lucky Star Seaman's Club, oh yes.

Recreation of a Japanese sitting area circa 1940

Japanese contemplation area

Crown prince Hirohito's Mini-golf course.

Pacific Ocean

Not bad building materials


Fishball soup and bean noodles.  Damn tasty.

Fairly busy

Sunset on the coast