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San Francisco, USA

 

Snow Park

Snow Park

We have much fun in the snow park in civic center this afternoon. There are sled ride for the kids. They can make snow man in a patch of artificial snow. Like a typical day of activity, kids are tireless, parents are tired.

2011.12.18 [] - comments

 

Solve Puzzle While You Are Sleeping

Monday my colleague reports a severe problem in our test system. I checked in some incomplete work and it breaks the test system. Strange that no QA has reported the problem even though the problem has originated one week ago. Nevertheless I fixed it right away. Then I moved on to other task without giving it much through.

But something does not seem right. Why was the problem not surfaced on the QA system? I was rather confused. Then it dawn on me what has happened. There was a series of confusions regarding the software branches and the timing of release. My fix was checked into a wrong branch. The QA is testing a version that's different from the version that's going to be deployed. My fix yesterday is actually going to break more things. And it will be deployed without properly tested!

The thought of this immediately wakes me up at night. I got out of bed to fix the problem around 6am.

Did I mention I was literally awaken? All the reasoning in the second paragraph appear to happen during my dream. I have straighten out a confusing sequence of events that explains the problem. The thought of serious consequence when deployed to production has waken me up. The first thing I do is to fix the problem right away. The second thing I do is to reflect on the strangeness of this. What was my brain doing when I was sleeping? Does a brain work in autopilot mode that resolved a problem I couldn't resolve during the day? Or perhaps I just couldn't relax and brought my day time problem into my sleep?

2011.11.29 [, ] - comments

 

 

 

失父記

午夜收到家裡來電,父親突然在睡夢中離開了。當日他還是好好地買了報紙準備做飯,想不到在床上一睡不起。原本我們訂了五月的機票,準備帶七個月大的行之去見祖父,他這樣先行一了步實在是很難過。

父親董鏡在家中排第十,年青時離開鄉下來了香港。和他一起的還有大伯,五姑媽和幾個月前才離去的七伯,我出世時祖父母已經不在。大伯在戰時壞了腿,父親成家後就不再和大伯和七伯同住,但每星期六慣例他都帶著我一起上他家為他洗澡,我和堂家姐就樂得有機會一起玩。大伯離去後我們還是照舊星期六一起吃飯。

Father

爸爸有中學教育,在香港只當的士司機。平時生活規律,沉默寡言,安分守己。清晨五六時我們起床以前他已經離家上班,下午五時才回家,閱報,吃飯,看電視這樣平凡地過一天。小學時他會每天查看我的功課,書我還是讀得不錯,所以幾年後功課就不用管了。有一天上學前下著滂沱大雨,雖然學校離家只是五分鐘的路途,爸爸還是特地駕了的士來帶我上學,那是我記憶中唯一一次坐爸爸的車。又有一次我下課時自己和同學上街玩單車,下斜坡時失控跌倒,手和臉都擦傷了,不記得有沒有因此挨罵。倒是以後假日一有空爸爸便帶一家到郊外梅窩,在村裡找到沒有車的地方讓我學騎單車和玩樂。爸爸的木工是有一手,我們一家四口同住一間房,爸爸造了一個木箱給我做床,箱子裡可以存放不合時節的衣物。箱下面有四個輪,每晚我從大床下面拉出我的小床睡覺,白天把它推回床下騰出房裡的空間。

我長大後養成了一種獨來獨往的性格,選大學,以至後來離開香港到海外生活都沒有間父母商量過,全是自己決定的。母親不明白我的想法,卻偏要替我安排做這個那個,所以我從不理她。父親不言不語,但是心裡對我是很信任。

有一年爸爸說他要退休了,其實他那時已經六十多歲,不過習慣了他每天開車,所以轉變是有點突然。他的生活簡單,平時也不求甚麼,不時上圖書館閱報或者自己去散步。後來他和媽媽在天台搞種菜,種到大的瓜菜吃得津津樂道。

離港以後一次我飛回家,我平時來來去去,坐飛機是閒事,叫他不要來接機,爸爸還是自己來了。一兩年不見,他頭髮白了。我問他:「怎麼你瘦了?」他說自己還是差不多一個老模樣,這樣大家一齊坐車回家,也沒有多言。

我結婚那年他和媽來美國參加婚禮,住了一段時間。他不怕人生路不熟,拿了我的地圖自己和媽媽坐公車四處逛。公車總站面對太平洋,他還告訴我見到那裡波濤澎湃如何壯麗。他在美國只待了一兩個月已經嫌悶要走了,那次是他唯一一次到訪美國。

父親和母親是一對冤家,家中事無大小也可吵鬧一番。但母親臨終前最盡心照料她也是父親,幾個月來風雨不改,每天跑往醫院,為她做飯送飯更衣洗身直到最後一天。兩個人就是這樣渡過了四十年。

我獨自闖到美國發展,從來沒有懷疑自己的決定,舊金山是最適合自己的地方,這是清楚不過。但是年青時追求自由,毫無顧慮四出闖蕩。到了中年時又是另一番情懷。父母年邁,應該照顧他們的時候,我卻在萬里之外無力做到什麼。父母離去後我有點像船失了錨的感覺。有了孩子後總想可以向他們多點傳授傳統文化,讓他們有機會親近祖父母。現在是我要獨力擔起傳統承繼人的任務了。

2011.05.01 [] - comments

 

The Imaginary World of Children

Like many young children, my 4 year old son is engaged in a lot of imaginary play. Lately he has been making a lot of drawing. He uses his color pens to depict his world with so much creativities. Below is one of our favorite - the helicopter friends (each of his friend becomes a helicopter in this drawing).

Helicopter friends drawing

Sometimes he makes me to do a drawing also. I can only scribble stick figures. Still it is fun and it frees my mind to the imaginary world too.

2010.11.19 [] - comments

 

Remember this moment - with Tatchee in Hong Kong

Remember this moment.

It is a quite summer afternoon in Hong Kong. It has been raining since the morning. I sit in my room. My bed is at the corner of the small room. Three years after my parents moved into this new house, we still haven't taken the Styrofoam cover off the bed's headboard. My mom bought the bed for me in case I return for a stay.

Tatchee is sleeping in the couch. I make him sleep on my leg at first. A pleasant surprise for me that he did fall asleep. The temperature is not too high. But he has sweat all over. My dad is laying on his bed reading before his regular afternoon nap.

Last night Tatchee sleep with me in the bed. He fall asleep quickly. At 6:30am he has woke up. I went down to the street to bought him some bread. He didn't really want the bread so much. We played toy robots. He keep asking me to play robot with him all day. We probably played a few hours total in several stretches. It is not such a fun game for me but I like it that we played together. He dropped the ‘Shark’ tank toy on the floor and destroyed it. It was actually a toy I had from my boyhood. It was a gift that my neighbor bought me from a trip in Japan. I find it sweet that he has taken interest in a toy left over from my boyhood. It is sad that it was broken so easily.

Broken Jaguar Vulcan

It is a rainy day, so I can't take him to other activities outside.

My father cooked. Tatchee ate both meal fairly well.

Yesterday we went to swimming pool. I have promised to take him there. He played water gun and seesaw and water slide. He asked me to go under the shallow water with my goggles. He has fun. It was fairly windy that day and it was surprising cool in pool.

And then we take shower. For the very first time, I shampoo Tatchee under a shower. He used to protest when I shower him over his head. But his time he covered his eye with his hands and manage just fine. An excellent first time.

After we left the pool, we go to a bench so that he ate the sponge cake his mom gave him. And then we went to visit my mom's shrine. We climbed 10 flights of stairs to get to her shrine. I found it without too much effort. Tatchee recognize her pictures on the stone. We say hi to her.

I remember this moment, a summer afternoon at home in Hong Kong.

2010.06.25 [] - comments

 

Big Brother Tatchee

My niece was visiting us from Peru. So we had an active holiday week showing them around in San Francisco. She brought her 1 year old baby daughter along. I setup some old infant gear for her. It all worked out quite well.

tatchee with wingwah

This is the first time Tatchee has a baby visitor. I'm delighted to see him act like a big brother. He spontaneously bring her toys and other stuff for her comfort. Other times I saw him act with a sense of fairness. When the baby try to grab things from him, he hold it away from her and told her that you shouldn't grab things from others. Tatchee is a little boy to us. We only realize how much he has grown up when he is together with his little niece.

2010.01.02 [] - comments

 

40s Blues

I have a phone call with my dad this evening. We talked about some issues in handling of family properties. At the end of the conversation my father mentioned sometimes he feels he is counting days. He is in his mid-80s so it is not a complete surprise. Since my mother passed away last year my father is living alone. Actually this is something already on my mind, perhaps subconsciously. But we have seldom talked openly about it. [more...]

2009.12.28 [] - comments

 

Bringing Tatchee to My Office

Monday is Tatchee's preschool's day off. I brought him to my office for a few hours so that I can work there. I brought the Totoro DVD to entertain him. And I also brought along some toy cars. One of them is his favorite police. I was worrying about its siren and the sound it can make. I warned Tatchee not to make noise it in the office. Once he was there he understood that noise is not appropriate and voluntary put this car away. Finally, I bring him along to an hour long meeting. He played quietly in the meeting room the whole time. People are fairly impressed by him. I'm happy that the day turned out quite well and he wasn't too bored. [more...]

2009.11.30 [] - comments

 

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.[more...]

2009.10.31 [, ] - 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. [more...]

2009.10.14 [] - comments

 

Good day

8pm in the evening, it was those time of the day when sunlight shine horizontally from the west. Looking out of the window, it illuminated distance objects in a glowing golden light. The crown of the tree outside was highlighted today. A little bit of drizzle coming out of nowhere has just passed. There was just enough moisture in the air for a rainbow to emerge. For a few minutes a beautiful picture has appeared in front of my eyes. I feel thankful for a having a good day. [more...]

2009.07.11 [] - comments

 

Visiting Home

This week I am visiting my parents in Hong Kong. I have grown up in Hong Kong and lived there for most of my life. But since 13 years ago I have moved aboard. During the time I make regular visit but otherwise have not spend too much time here. I have left long enough that I feel out of touch with my birth place in many ways.[more...]

2008.05.14 [] - comments

 

Loss

Like many others I was drawn by the story of the disappearance and the search for the Kims family in the last few days. I was following update of the rescue effort almost in real-time via the news website. It was a big euphoria at first when the mother and the girls were found safe. But at the same time it was all the more urgent to find the missing dad who has left to seek help but has failed to return. When bad news finally came back that he was found dead, I was deeply saddened. [more...]

2006.12.07 [] - comments

 

Making VCD Movie

I am having great fun making a VCD home movie for my baby. Initially I was looking for a way to sent my mother our collection of video clips. She is tech illiterate and does not have a computer. So YouTube is out of question. VCD seems to be a great option. Just put it in the player and press a button to play. Even my mom can do it. [more...]

2006.11.21 [, ] - comments

 

Impermanence

I was in a coffee shop one day. I saw this man in his 50s. His look aged. His hair grey and thinning. One thought flashed though my mind. I saw my son Tat Chee aged like him.

Mind you my son, now two months old, is the cutest baby in the world. He just starts to sleep through the night. He cries a lot but also smiles sometimes. He can babble and we are expecting to hear his first legible word. Then there is child care and school in our mind. Nobody would have associated old age with a baby. I should really concerned about myself with all these middle age issues like hair loss striking close.

But then... one day... Tat Chee would indeed become an aged man. Surely. Inevitably.

O impermanence.

2006.04.21 [, ] - comments

 

Baby Arrived

Our baby, Theodore Tat Chee Tung 董達之, has arrived on Feburary 1st! His name Tat Chee means make achievement.[more...]

2006.02.14 [] - comments

 

Reflection on this blog

One and half years ago I started this blog. It was not too clear what this would achieve. Is it going to be another collection of worthless personal mumbling? Is my writing worth anything? If I build it, will they come?[more...]

2004.11.27 [] - comments

 

Searchable from Google

Finally this website can be searched from google using the keyword tung wai yip!

2003.06.07 [] - comments

 

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