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

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Just got done fiddling around with my guitar. Over the last couple days I've shaved off a good 2 millimeters from the bottom of the saddle bringing the string height into acceptable parameters around the middle of the neck. Playing open chords and bar chords near the nut was still very taxing however so tonight I busted the nut off of there and took a millimeter off the bottom of it. With that reinstalled it's a massive improvement in ease of play without a capo. Last change needed is a truss rod tweak that will put a bit more relief in the neck but I can't do this without a hex wrench set so I'll pick that up from the hardware seller down the street tomorrow.

School Daze

Back to class, what joy...

Today we were taught some pronunciation and given the task of memorizing all 37 initials and finals in pinyin and Mandarin MPS. This isn't a problem for me luckily thanks to the power of Anki a program which I will be spending a lot of quality time with during my time in Chinese classes.

The phonetic alphabet of Mandarin Chinese