Archive for February, 2009

2/20 New Toy

Posted: February 22, 2009 in Toys

Since David bought my old camera, Panasonic LX2… I went out and got a new one, Panasonic LX3…

I could’ve just use iPhone as my main photo shooting apparatus… But after my trip back from Seattle, I just had to buy a new camera, a real camera. Not that the camera on iPhone is crap, but I couldn’t stand the shit quality in low-light situations… and without auto focus, it’s kinda hard to take pictures of food on my plate, and food on other’s plate…

So what’s the difference between LX2 and LX3? Same camera almost… except aperture size is a bit bigger, and wide angle is a bit wider… and some other features I am too lazy to explain… Google it…

Here’s the cheap looking plastic bag that holds it all…
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Yippie! New toy to play with! I also got a 8GB memory card, a spare battery, and a lens cap from Ricoh (I’ll explain why later…)
As you can see, the spare battery is not a original Panasonic, instead, I got a Taiwanese made battery, difference? The original one will last a bit longer… Being me, I usually buy original factory parts, but since it’s only a back up, and costs about 1/3 of the Panasonic one… and no since there’s no bonus this year… yeah… cheaper is better…
As for the lens cap… the camera comes with one, but, this one from Ricoh, which is actually made for it’s GX200 camera, instead of removing it before shooting, the lens can actually go "through" the cap as it’s split into 3 little "doors" so there’s no need to remove the cap every time before you shoot. However, I didn’t hook it up right away cuz there’re a few modifications I need to make before I can put it on my camera… and I’m sure no one wants to know why and how, so I’ll just skip it…
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This is the free "leather" case that came with the camera… It’s fake leather, you can call it vinyl or plethora, either way, it’s not real leather, and I’m probably never gonna use it anyway… so… that’s that…
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Alright, here’s the open-box pics… It comes with a CD loaded with a few software, a instruction booklet, which I actually read from cover to cover… A charger, of course, a USB cable for hooking it up to the computer, and AV cables to hook it up to the TV…
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The camera itself is slightly bigger than it’s predecessor, which is ok with me. It is much bigger compare to the slim type cameras such as Sony’s T series, and the Z series from Fuji. But those cameras will never perform as good as this one under low light situations, which is VERY VERY important if you like to take pictures of foods, and especially in those fancy restaurants where they over charge you on food but stingy on the lights so they can save a few bucks on electricity! Hehe~
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The one on the upper left is the lens cap that comes with the camera, and the one from the right of course is the one from Ricoh. The metal ring on the bottom is… ummm…. yeah…. Google it… if you really want to know…
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Here are some pics I took with the camera at the airport yesterday and today…
Air China with it’s special livery, and our very own 747-400 with the Boeing Dreamliner Livery…
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Here’s Angel’s dog… I’m not sure what its name is… I’ll just call it Shaggy… hehe
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Here’s Bonbon! Now he is living with Angel’s parents cuz… it’s complicated… Google it…
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My first… Actually my second meal after I arrived in LA… Actually, first meal in SD… whatever…
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Andy’s precious G37S… with new front diffuser and side skirts…
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Seattle For The First Time

Posted: February 17, 2009 in Travel

My NYC flight was canceled and switched to Anchorage, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle…

Not much to say about Chicago, except there’s a Ruehl at the mall, one of the very few shops in the States…

As for Seattle, it was my first time there… actually… Technically, I have been there before… for about 12 hours… and the only thing I saw was the bed at the hotel… and that was it…

This time, I got to stay there for almost 3 days. When we checked in, the hotel guy told us that they upgraded our rooms so we have a Jacuzzi in our rooms… and it was literally "in the room"… It was right next to the bed… Which was nice, since that way, you can watch TV while you are in the hot tub…
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One of the most exciting thing at the mall next to the hotel was… they have Jamba Juice… I had a big cup every day that I was there…
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The second day, I made my way downtown by hopping on the bus. When I got on the bus, the bus driver said to me, "what happened? your BMW broke down?"…
I thought it was a bit… sarcastic and discriminating… just a bit…  Anyway, the bus system in Seattle was kinda cool, as the bus made its way downtown, it went "underground". There’s a tunnel just like the ones for subways, except its for buses~ How cool is that? and it’s free within the tunnel, so as long as you get on the bus at one of the stops in the tunnel and get off at any of the stops in the tunnel, you ride for free~ Even though there’re only about 4 or 5 stops, it’s still kinda cool~
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As I got off the bus at the University Street, right beneath the Art Museum, I managed to find my way to the Pike Place Market.
If you watch the Discovery Channel, or Travel and Living Channel, you must have seen this place. It the market where salmon are thrown back and forth from the front of the shop to behind the counters. Google it, or YouTube it, you’ll find videos of it.
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There’s also the live size piggy bank, and people actually do put money in there, and all the money goes to some charity… It’s all on the market’s website…
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Inside the market, basically, it’s just like any other farmer’s market, you can find veggies, fruits, seafood, nuts, flowers, handcrafts, and lots more. There’s is also a restaurant where they filmed one of the scenes of the movie "Sleepless in Seattle". It was closed the day I was there, so I could only take pics from the outside…
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There’s also this pasta shop, where they have all sorts of pastas. All different shapes and sizes, and even chocolate pasta. I had one, it’s… interesting… They also have these balsamic vinegar and vinaigrettes. All were good, but I only got four… hehe
White Truffle Oil, Heirloom Balsamic Vinegar, Sun-Dried Tomato Balsamic, and Garlic Balsamic Bistro Oil.
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There are also fresh truffles (expensive) and honey farm stands.
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And yeah, this is also where the world’s first Starbucks opened. It’s rather small but filled with people of course. To tell you the truth… It’s nothing too different from the Starbucks around the corner from your house… Only the logo is a bit different… that’s about it…
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After all these excitement, I was tired… Actually, I was tired from carrying the Starbucks mug, handmade cheese, truffle oil and balsamic vinegars, and honey and… So, I headed back to the hotel… Space Needle, it’ll still be here when I go back next time…
On the "cherry flights" in the summer~

My Endless Search…

Posted: February 1, 2009 in Toys

About three years ago… I saw this watch by Oris…

It’s a Flight Timer 1945 Limited Edition, to commemorate the peace after WWII… hence the dove on the backside of the watch, I think… They only made 1945 pieces of it, and all of them came with a picture of… Spitfire? inside the box and a little wooden propeller… and a little compass I think… and it’s main function… the triple time zone…  with the second time zone located at the 3 o’clock position which also got a little window that shows if it’s day or night, nice eh?
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I love the triple time zone function, and the big ass dial on the upper right corner, and the leather wrist strap is just NICE~
The stainless strap that also comes with it is very nice too, especially it looks quite different with the steel strap…
Even though it’s a limited edition but back then, I thought it was a bit over priced… It’s "just" an Oris…
But I still go online and search for it every once in a while. Just so I know I can still buy it when I win the Lotto or when I’m really really drunk, or if I get a big raise… (which is not gonna happen, I’d be happy if I don’t get a pay cut…)
(I just check online again… and… NO ONE in TW has it… there’s a few in the US and Japan… but selling it with almost no discount…)

Then a year later… umm.. I think it was 2007, Oris came out with this watch, the limited edition R4118… and yeah, it’s also a limited edition, a total of 4118 pieces were made…
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It’s very similar to the 1945 one, but I don’t really care for the chronograph function… Being a Bus Driver, the Triple Time Zone function seems to be more useful…

Then.. last year… Oris came out with their latest entry level watch series, the BC4… (Even though it’s "entry level", the price sure didn’t feel like it’s "entry-level"…)  It also has a triple time zone model, but this time, it’s no longer limited edition… I am not sure if they all share the same movement… (I just checked, they are not…)
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They were all similarly priced at around 3000 USD, of course, no one will buy it at that price, average discount is around 30% in Taiwan… Anyway… So of course I went to check it out… and I thought, this is it, this is the watch I’m gonna buy this year!
To my disappointment, I didn’t like it when I saw the real thing… The major issue I have with it is the strap. The leather felt cheap… It’s not thick and leathery, instead, it felt kinda synthetic… and it’s a bit too narrow for my taste… and the stainless steel strap didn’t make it much better either… man…

So what now? Just when I was about to leave, the owner said, how about Breitling? No way!! It’s too "mature" for my taste… but then… There it was… The Avenger Skyland PVD Limited Edition… (I’m weak when it come to these two words… "Limited Edition"…)breitling pvd Avenger_Skyland_BlackSteel_1 1696507637_230947430a
I tried it on, it was nice~~ Actually, this was not the first time I’ve seen it. I saw it in the Breitling 2008 catalogue last year, and when I saw it, I thought it was nice, but being another "limited edition" watch, I didn’t think I would see it… Guess I was wrong…
Even though I like it a lot, but I still don’t care for the chronograph… AND… Doesn’t it kinda look like a Luminox?
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I’m not sure who copied who… but at the price of 170,000 NT… I can probably buy all the watches from Luminox… All the styles, all the colors… OR… this other watch…

Which brings me to… Bell & Ross BR01 series…
Designed with the cockpit instruments in mind, it’s tough and big, just the way I like it! (BR01 series is 46mm, BR03 is 42mm)
Comes in leather, nylon, rubber straps, casing made with stainless steel, carbon/steel, titanium, and more…
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I especially like the carbon face… The colored dials are very nice too~
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The Phantom dials are cool too! The picture on the right shows you during the day, it’s all black, and at night, coooool~~
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This… it’s way too expensive for me to even think about it…
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Anyway… My first choice is still the Oris Flight Timer 1945 LE, but… I can’t find it… Bell & Ross would be my first choice if I win the Lottery… Although there are tons of "replicas" on Ebay… I just can’t do it… I just wouldn’t feel right… Not because my morals nor am I against "replicas"… It’s… just… the feeling of owning a replica will never be the same as if I have an authentic one… I’m sure some of you would understand…

I guess… I just keep on searching…