Sunday, September 19, 2010

[FUN] Bell 〿 You

Received this Bell Chinese Flyer a few days ago, looks alright by the first glance.
(Not the newest phone on the market, but not bad for pushing some of the old stuff out the door.)

What caught my eyes were the Promo about Chinese TV combine with the long distance phone call package.
I know that some Canadian still thinks that Chinese words (or characters) are just block letters, and they treat it as symbol or figure.
But this time Bell's Promo used a symbol as if it's a Chinese character, which is like using a heart symbol to represent love.

選看 BELL 電視,不但讓〿得知天下事,更可免費欣賞中文台組合一年!
In this sentence, what they trying to say is that, "Choosing Bell TV, Not only allows 〿 to know everything in the world, can also enjoy free Chinese channel combo for 1 year."
"BELL TV watching the election, not only to 〿 that world affairs, but also enjoy the Chinese Channel combination for one year free!" (using Google Translate)

I can guess that "〿" in the Promo probably means "you".
So in the eyes of Bell, you are "〿". They don't treat you as an account number, just a symbol.

But as I continue to read this funny promo flyer, I discovered another use of the "〿".

將有機會〿得一部最新的 3D 高清電視。
In this sentence, roughly translate it would mean, "Will have the chance 〿 get a newest 3D High-Definition TV"
"Will have the opportunity 〿 get a new 3D high-definition TV" (using Google Translate)

In this case, "〿" means "to receive"? It should have combine with the character "得"(translated as "get") to form the meaning of "to receive" or "to win", depending if you have to enter a contest at the store.

The fun continues as I read the fine prints, which have a few different uses of the symbol "〿".
(ie. the "er" in user, as it shown as "use〿" in "用戶".)

As a Chinese Customer, I just wonder, why there isn't a final draft review by someone able to read Chinese before the mass-production?
Just read it once and you can see that you can't really say "〿" in any way. (At least I don't know how.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

[Play] Photo Display on LCD

Homemade Loaf of Bread
Homemade Loaf of bread (edited)

Please have a look at these photos, and please reply and let me know which one looks better on your screen (CRT, LCD, laptop LCD, LED?).

Thank you very much.

The first picture is the original taken with my digital camera Canon Powershot SD1000 (aka Digital IXUS 70 / IXY Digital 10)
For complete Exif info, please visit "" at

On my laptop's LCD, the original looks a bit dark on screen.
But when it's on a desktop LCD, it looks ok.

While the edited (2nd photo) shows up better on my Laptop's LCD, it would seems to be too bright and the redness of it seems to be too much. (saturation?)

Well, I'm not good at taking pictures, and the photo certainly can be better after editing, if you can help, please leave me a message.

Once again, Thank you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

[Food][Baking] No Knead Bread My Way

Original recipe from The New York Times: Recipe: No-Knead Bread Published: November 8, 2006 on The New York Times
recipe ideas and cooking methods reference from FoodNetwork :Michael Smith's No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread
First attempt.

All Purpose Flour 3 Cups
Quick Rise Yeast 1/4 teaspoons
Salt 1 & 1/4 teaspoons
Water 1 & 5/8 Cups

Mix all dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl.
Slowly add water into the mix, stir with a chopstick or spoon, until everything turns into a very wet dough.
Cover with plastic wrap, sealing the whole bowl.
Place it somewhere that it won't get disturbed, let the dough sit for 18 hours.
(Get the mix ready at 10pm at night, you can continue to next step at 4pm on the next day.)

After 18 hours, punch or press the dough to release the gas inside.
Scrape the dough that is sticking to the bowl and slide it into a mould of some kind.
If you have a mould for the standard loaf, that would be great. If not, any rectangular mould would do. (like the Pyrex meatloaf baking dish I used in this case.)
Cover it lightly with plastic wrap, let it rise again for approximately 3 hours.

Preheat your oven to 425 Fahrenheit (or 220 Celsius).
Wait until your oven gets up to temperature, remove the plastic wrap on top of the dough, set the dough (which is in the mould) into the middle rack in the oven.
Bake it for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes remove it from oven.
What I did was let it rest in the mould until it cools to the touch, and then un-mould it and place it on a cooling rack to cool down completely.

This is the link to the photo album at Flickr for the first attempt at No Knead Bread
No Knead Bread
The bread seems to have a lot of air hole inside.
The crust is pretty hard, like a European style bread, you know, those tasty crusty bread.

No Knead Break with Milk
My second attempt.

Ingredients are little bit different this time:
All Purpose Flour 3 Cups
Quick Rise Yeast 1/4 teaspoons
Salt 1 teaspoon
Water 1 & 3/8 Cups
Homogenized Milk 1/4 Cups (milk @ 3.25% fat)
(basically just replace some water with milk)

A little different on the methods too.
After the first 18 hours, don't remove the dough from the bowl, just punch-out the air and let it continue to rise in the bowl for 3 hours.
Once it's finished, transfer the dough into the mould, and bake it in a 425 Fahrenheit (or 220 Celsius) oven for 45 minutes.

No Knead Bread with Milk
The crust this time is a bit crunchy and the bread inside doesn't have that much air holes.
May be it's the milk? The crust had a slightly bitter taste, like it's some burnt milk. But it also taste like some roasted malty drink. Hmmm, still room for improvement.

No Knead Bread
Third time's the charm?

Ingredients were changed again:
All Purpose Flour 3 Cups
Quick Rise Yeast 1/4 teaspoons
Salt 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1/4 teaspoons
Water 1 & 3/8 Cups
Homogenized Milk 1/4 Cups (milk @ 3.25% fat)

Changes in methods as follow:
Dissolve the salt and sugar in half cups of hot water.
Once it's mixed, cool down the mixture with cold water and cold milk, until it's just slightly warm.
Then mix the flour and yeast with the liquid mixture to form the dough.

Allow the dough to rise in the bowl for 18 hours, then release the gas by pressing it, and let it continue to rise for another 2 hours.
Rub butter on the inside of the mould, then lightly dust the mould with flour, covering the inside of the mould.
Transfer the dough into the mould and let it rise for 1 hour.

After 1 hour in the mould, bake the dough in a 425 Fahrenheit (or 220 Celsius) oven for 45 minutes.

No Knead Bread
The results were Terrific!
Slice the loaf, bake the slice in toaster for 3 minutes, spread some butter on the toast, it tastes like the best store bought sliced bread you ever had.
With added sugar, the bitter burnt milk taste was gone.
And with this method, the bread looks very much like the standard loaf you get at stores.

What should I make next time? May be something to go between the bread. ;)

Monday, June 07, 2010

[Travel] WTF? Ottawa Parking INjustice

I'm sure it's a f**king sh**ty Monday.

Visiting my sister in Ottawa, traveling all the way from Toronto, enjoying a week of quiet life.

Got up a bit early to move my car out of the driveway onto the street, so my brother-in-law can go to work.
After that me and sister take my niece to school, then we did some shopping.
Got home right around lunch, thinking I should just leave the car on roadside instead of pulling it back on to the driveway, as there are few other car parking on the street.

There is this sh**ty Pontiac Solstice parking one of it's wheel on my sister front lawn. It's not the neighbor's car, and doesn't seems to be for people checking out the house on sale that's down the street.

This street is a "P" shape residential street, and it's not linked to any park or play area directly, so only people who lives here or visiting would be parking on the street.

Thinking it's probably going to leave soon, we decided not to go further and find out who is parking on the grass.

When it's time for us to go pickup my niece at school, I saw a little piece of paper clipped on the windshield wiper.

"Oh SH*T!" I said to myself, and ran over to check it, as expected it's a parking violation ticket.
It said I have parked on the roadside for more than 3 hours.
Ottawa On Street Parking Restrictions details that
Parking Prohibited - Whether Signs Have Been Erected or Not:
In excess of three (3) hours between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.;

so yes, I did park there for more than 3 hours and it's right between 7:00am to 7:00pm.

And I was going to pay for the ticket, until I check out the dashboard on the shi*ty Pontiac in front of my Honda Civic.
I was furious! The Pontiac Solstice parked in front of me for more than 3 hours, didn't receive the same parking ticket!

This is selective justice!

After we pickup my niece, I took my digital camera and take a few pictures of the "sports car" as it's still parking in the same spot!

As I check the front of the car, actually it's TWO wheels on grass.
(and you can probably see that I park on the driveway now.)

I understand that the LAW is fixed and if you did something that violated the LAW, you will be punished.
I'm not trying to get away from my parking ticket, as I know in my heart that I did park on the roadside for more than 3 hours during the 7:00am to 7:00pm period.
The police don't even need to have any proof to show me how did they know I parked there for more than 3 hours.

Yet, I still want to challenge this ticket in court, because I really want to find out why this police officer only issue a parking ticket to me (my car), but not the car that is right in front of me.

If the court of law in Ottawa tell me that driving a Pontiac Solstice can get away with parking tickets, I'm sure the sales of this car would increase like 10 times or more, and everyone would stop buying Honda Civic in Canada from now on.

Honda Canada, I'm sorry, but I'm seriously considering selling my 2009 Honda Civic because of this.

Pontiac, F*ck you. I would rather take the bus and will never purchase or drives a Pontiac for the rest of my life!

To the issuing provincial offences officer ELLACOTT, officer number 2551, I don't know why you did this, but I do wish that you can explain to me why you didn't issue a ticket to the Pontiac Solstice.

City of Ottawa, since when it's a Provincial offences to park on the side of a street? Shouldn't it be a city by-law violation?
A Provincial offences, this will probably increase my auto insurance by 15% or something like that.


(This post took me 2 hours to complete, and that Pontiac Solstice just left the front lawn at 6pm!)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

[GAME] Super Mario Galaxy 2

Buy Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo™ Wii) at

The most anticipated game for Wii this Spring, Super Mario Galaxy 2 had been released on May 23, 2010.

I was surprised it didn't have any special opening movie or some game demo showing if you let it idle at the main screen.
(then again, who would wait for that?)

If you didn't press A+B right away, you can try pressing only A or B Button for some special effect on the title.
(click to view full size picture)

Let's watch the video.

Once again, Princess Peach was kidnapped by The Monster.
With the help from the lumas, we landed at Yoshi's doorstep.
A sign in front ask us to go around the back.

Of course Yoshi means the tunnel!
Once you are on the other side, you see a 1UP mushroom inside a cage, go ahead and take it.
After you clear the dark side (grin), take a look at the sign next to the green tunnel.

It's a hint video!
(Normally I wouldn't watch tutorial video, don't think I need it.)
(But if you don't, you will miss the very first infinite 1UP + infinite coins + infinite Star Bits secret!)

To activate the infinite 1UP + Coins + Star Bits, you have to watch the hint video, after you finish, everything (both side) will regenerate including the 1UP mushroom inside the cage!

Each time you clear both side, you will get one 1UP mushroom, 18 coins, and about 52 Star Bits.
(If you always get Star Bits by defeating the monster, with the method in the hint video.)

I have only completed the first 2 part, "Sky Station" and "Yoshi Star".
According to the guide book, there are so many secret and/or hidden items, it will probably take kids a whole summer to play through this game.
(Which is exactly what parents want, 1 game, 1 summer, for around 60 dollars.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

[Restaurant] Ju Izakaya Japanese Restaurant

Ju Izakaya (japanese style pub) opened back in April, right at the same complex with J-Town, the Toronto North Japanese supermarket.

We start off with 5 different types of skewered chicken, (from top to bottom): Chicken leg meat, Leg meat with Japanese leek, Chicken liver, Chicken gizzard, and Chicken cartilage (soft bone from the breast).
All of them were seasoned with salt, in order to try out the taste of the meat.
The leeks were brunt quite bad, and the Chicken cartilage were also slightly brunt.
It was quite, including me and my friend, there were only 10 customer. That's why the food came real fast, it's nice and hot.

Took this picture with my old cell phone, so it's really fuzzy.
This is called Motsuni, which is a Pork intestine stew. Flavored with miso, the pork intestine along with sweet potato, burdock and Konjac (aka konnyaku) makes a great tasting stew.
We share this bowl, as the order was about 12 - 15 spoon full of ingredient, with a miso soup like broth.

The grilled beef tongue really surprises both of us.
As we were enjoying the flavorful Motsuni, the over-the-edge saltiness of the beef tongue really hits our tongue!
By adding the lemon juice to the tongue, our tongue only pick up the salty lemon taste.
Less salt would be great, as the beef tongue was quite a thick cut, if only it had some beef tongue taste to it.

Of course we are not nearly full with just that.
Second round we start off with a skewered leg meat with sauce (Tare). The Tare version was much better than the Shio version, mainly because of the sweetness of the sauce gives the meat a different flavor, and the sauce keeps the meat juicer than salt (the salt one was juicy too).

Also we tried the Chicken skin skewer and the Chicken meatball.
For the Chicken skin, we decided to have it with salt, as the sauce would probably made the skin soggy.
It was great, skin crispy and not dried out (served HOT of the grill), and the amount of salt was really nice, thumbs up!

Does anyone really eat meatball with salt only?
Chicken meatball with sauce on it was just ok, nothing special, except the price was higher than other skewers.

We started eating the Ochazuke (お茶漬け) without taking any pictures, so "borrow" the picture from Ju's website.
Three different toppings to choose from, Salmon, pickled plum and takowasa (たこわさ, pickled octopus).
My friend had the one with salmon, and I had takowasa.
I didn't try the salmon one, and because I mixed everything together, I can't really taste the takowasa by itself.
But the Ochazuke was really good, the broth really tasty, the rice are softer than you would have in a bowl of rice (probably soaked in alot of broth), the garnish on top (seaweed and arare あられ) was just like what you see on pictures, everything you expect in an Ochazuke.

We were full right after this. (perfect)

TOO BAD they don't have any beer yet! How come an Izakaya doesn't have any beer or sake?!
(I don't see any LLBO license application posted on the door, don't know what's going on.)

Price wise, real Japanese style of food in Toronto, I would say they are at mid-range? But without beer or sake (or a glass of calpis), I don't think I would visit in a few months.

Let's hope they get the license real soon, and apply the profit from the sales of beer & sake to lower the price of food, that would be great!

[Blog] New blog tools update

Added a few things to the blog.

First of all, the links for the older post are changed to something like this:

so visiter can see which page they are on, and how many pages in total.
since this is a javascript function, if you've those browser add-on to block javascript, you probably won't be able to see it.

Thanks to Blogger Plugins for the "numbered page navigation" code.

Next up are buttons for TwitterFacebookGoogle Buzz.

(I expected to see the same thing happen to every post, all links are ZERO.)
Haven't use Twitter for a while now, ever since I switched over to Plurk back in 2008.
I found that alot of people just join Twitter recently, and it would be a good way to promote this blog, so that's why I added it in.

I don't really use Facebook, because I don't play those flash games (not anymore), and I don't really update my personal info there. (If I really have time, probably should update this blog more often.)

But most people I know, they love to use Facebook and they are always on Facebook, that's why I added this button, to better serve the people who loves Facebook.

Google Buzz button, this is just for the sake of adding stuff. People I know don't rarely use Google Buzz, and some don't even have a G-mail account, (sigh) may be I will take it off when Google decided to shut down the Buzz service.

Again, Thanks to Blogger Plugins for Facebook share count button, Twitter retweet button (service provided by tweetmeme), and add Google Buzz button

Also added the Facebook Like Button, which shows up at the bottom of every post. I think it's just the same function as the button at the upper right hand corner of the post.
Just another way for all of the Facebook to use.

You guessed it! This code was from Blogger Plugins, on Facebook like / recommend button

I wanted to add the lightbox (picture viewing function) code into the blog, was reading the code from Blogger Plugins - light box image viewer, but somehow it doesn't quite work with my blog, as the lightbox will show the full size picture, which is way to big to fit on screen.

Then I found The Illuminated Path - Logan's Blog, and they have a code for blogger (blogspot), which they have restricted the lightbox size to 640px when showing the pictures, that's almost perfect...

But I will have to add the line rel="lightbox" to every picture manually, and it only works with pictures that has a direct link (like Picasa). Since my blog mainly uses pictures hosted on Flickr, if I have to made lightbox to show pictures from Flickr, I would be violating Flickr user agreement.

gotta find a better way to do this.
Found the original LightBox code, it include the automatic adjustment to pictures, along with some modification, can actually have lightbox to display a link-back to flickr.
Too bad it doesn't work on blogger (blogspot), tested everyone of it, I can't even see my blog (stuck at loading).

Right now have to settle with the slimbox w/ MooTools, and hope fully one day someone will find a way to get this to work with Blogger (blogspot).
Please click on the picture to view the larger picture.
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