tungwaiyip.info

home

about me

links

Blog

< October 2009 >
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

past articles »

Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

San Francisco, USA

 

Bound for Perú

I am off to a vacation to Perú shortly. I was hit by flu in the last few days. So my preparation is somewhat interrupted. I hope the trip will be smooth from now on.

2009.10.31 [, ] - comments

 

Peak to Peak Walk

Last Saturday I have joined WalkSF in their annual Peak to Peak Walk. We gathered the starting point at West Portal. It was sunny when I took off from the east side. Who would have expected it was actually drizzling in West Portal! We headed out to the wood in Mount Davidson and then Twin Peaks and over a series of hills in San Francisco. When we have arrived on Twin Peaks, we were right at the edge of the morning fog. The scenery change from instance to instance. One moment we saw the Sutro Tower floating in the air, a moment later it was hidden by fog. I find such scenery magical. I have also visited the beautiful campus of USF for the first time. The walk ended in Coit tower where we have a small picnic.

2009 Peak 2 Peak Walk

I was also using this walk as a training opportunity for my upcoming trekking trip in Peru. I carried a backpack with 20 pounds weight the entire day. I don't know if this is a significant factor, but I was really tired at the end of the day.

2009.10.27 [, ] - comments

 

Movie Review - Jean de Florette / Manon des Sources

Jean de Florette
Manon des Sources

Jean de Florette / Manon des Sources (1986)
Director: Claude Berri

It was those tragedies, those tragedies so filled with sorrow and irredeemable regrets that it will wrench your heart. On the hills of Provence, where serene farms surround quaint hill town, where life is tranquil and air is fresh, this heartbreaking tale has unfolded.

Papet and Ugolin are the prominent Soubeyran family in the village. They plotted to take over the neighbor's farm in order to control a hidden spring in the property. The Soubeyrans were about to start a carnation planting venture. In this arid region, access to water is vital. This spring was critical for their carnation’s irrigation.

When the owner has died in an accident, they believe they can buy the land cheap. To their great astonishment, its heir did not sell out. Instead they have decided to move in themselves. Jean Cadoret, a tax collector from the city of Crespin, was the owner's nephew and the son of the Florette, who has left the village to marry to a blacksmith when she was young. Jean bring along his wife and young daughter Manon to fulfill the dream of his life, to start their new life in the country.

Jean has a great plan for the family farm. He brought along capital, tools and modern agriculture knowledge from the city. On top of that he toiled tireless with unwavering determination. But his crux is water. Once the drought has set in, he saw his hard work withering away. Ugolin has befriended Jean on his arrival but contrived to sabotage his effort. Above all, he has done everything to ensure Jean would not discover the hidden spring, those water under his feet that would have absolved all his problems. For all his passion and diligence he was undermined by the merciless nature, the devilish neighbors and his own faults. The pain ended in little Manon's unforgettable shriek.

The story continues in part 2. After losing the farm to Soubeyrans, Manon has run away and stayed in the hill. She made a living by herding sheep. The carnation planting has bought financial success. But Papet was worried that Ugolin has not fathered a descendant for the clan. When Ugolin finally did fall in love, by fate he falls madly in love to Manon, who has then grown up into a young beauty but an elusive spirit. Manon would become the avenging star to the Soubeyrans, making them pay for the crime they have committed. Once again water shortage has inflicted great distress on the farmers. This time it was the Soubeyrans on the edge. Their punishment has come down on them so hard that, by the end, I have grown compassion for the sinners.

2009.10.18 [] - comments

 

Power Pole Explosion

Yesterday's storm has caused quite a bit of havoc for me. It wasn't the first time we were out of power during a storm. But this time I saw the electric pole in front of my house exploded in a blindingly lightning. It continues 4-5 more times in the span of half an hour. Firemen has closed off our street because live wires were still dangling from the pole. We went out to the street with trepidation because we have to pick up our son from pre-school. I found there was a one foot deep flooded pond to wade through in order for us to go out. We are stopped from returned home for another hour until the PG&E people have arrived. The good things is PG&E restored the power by 9 pm. Also there seems to be no injury other than the damaged equipment.

Meanwhile I'm tallying the damage in household electronics and our power system. One of our cell phone charger that was plugged the wall has exploded. We first noticed this when we are puzzled to find an object that looks like a shell of a capacitor on the floor. Other equipment damages may end up causing us a few hundred dollars.

2009.10.14 [] - comments

 

Your Tax Dollar At Work

Last night I was in this unfortunate incident. I was walking in Mission when a young man behind me suddenly fell down, knocked himself unconscious and was bleeding on the street. I called 911 for an ambulance. This was perhaps the first time I use the emergency service. I gave the dispatcher my location. It was an small alley, those name I only come to know for the first time despite having walked by it many times. Nevertheless, the dispatcher immediately identified the street. This is all more impressive because I have mispronounced the street name. She sent an ambulance to the scene. It takes less than 5 minutes from the time I picked up the phone to the arrival of the ambulance. I saw the young man was getting help. I hope he was only drunk and suffer no more than a bruise on his face.

The professionalism of the personnel in the emergency services deserves my praise. It gives me a warm feeling that whoever run into trouble, help is always at hand. I also happen to know this is a hot button budget issue beacause each time this team is dispatched, it costs the city a good deal of money. And certain population with chronic issue is abusing the service disproportionately.

This brings to the question, how much do citizen willing to pay in tax and what level of service do they expect. I am disappointed that people seems unwilling to acknowledge the connection between the two. Government are facing a lot of budget issues lately. People are adamantly against tax raise. On the other hand they also react strongly to any service cut, be it for school, transit or parks and recreation. There are always a constituent to claim the service is essential and to fight vigorously for the cut.

So what should the government do? Cut waste! They said. I am certain that the government is not working nearly as efficiency as it should be. But it is also a huge bureaucrat resistant to change. Its hands are tied in many ways, often by the rules set by the constituents themselves. But the fatal fault is the thinking that budget problem has an easy solution. People expect this to be painless. "Waste" is something that shouldn't be there in the first place. And it is the only thing that stop people from getting what they are entitled.

Cut waste was the popular solution Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed in his bid for the California Governor in 2003. But how much waste has he managed to cut? A quick glance at the State Budget document shows that the total budget has raised 30% during his term to the peak in 2007, only to be forced down sharply due to the plummet in revenue after 2007. As the Schwarzenegger government themselves have acknowledged, "for much of the last decade, state spending grew faster than population and inflation." So much for the cut waste fantasy.

Many people believe that our government is broken. It probably is. But I believe the democratic process being practiced is also broken. After all it is our process that created this government.

2009.10.07 [] - comments

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

US-Iran crisis: Trump lashes out at 'ignorant and insulting' statement (25 Jun 2019)

 

San Francisco becomes first US city to ban e-cigarettes (25 Jun 2019)

 

Jeremy Hunt: Next UK PM must be trustworthy (25 Jun 2019)

 

Stephanie Grisham: Melania Trump's top aide picked as press secretary (25 Jun 2019)

 

In pictures: Europe's June 2019 heatwave (25 Jun 2019)

 

Fertility doctor loses licence after using his own sperm (25 Jun 2019)

 

'World's best restaurant' is France's Mirazur (25 Jun 2019)

 

'Climate apartheid' between rich and poor looms, UN expert warns (25 Jun 2019)

 

New York helicopter crash: Pilot 'did not know where he was' (25 Jun 2019)

 

Rhino release: Epic journey to freedom in Rwanda (25 Jun 2019)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

Ship traffic, June 26 (25 Jun 2019)

 

A look back at Microsoft for lessons on antitrust (24 Jun 2019)

 

A message from the billionaires club: Tax us (24 Jun 2019)

 

Justices side with business, government in information fight (24 Jun 2019)

 

50 years later, the moon is still great for business (24 Jun 2019)

 

Supreme Court’s red-letter ruling for a 4-letter trademark (24 Jun 2019)

more »


Site feed Updated: 2019-Jun-25 15:00