Monday, November 29, 2004

Brett Favre Day

In the State of Wisconsin, Governor Jim Doyle has pronouced today, November 29, Brett Favre Day marking his 200th consecutive start for the Green Bay Packers. They play the St. Louis Rams tonight at Lambeau Field.

Packers 45 : Rams 17

Brett Favre

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Remembering Canterbury Booksellers

Although I live in the city of Madison and I work and go to school here, I don't always keep up with the local updates. On this Sunday afternoon, much to my surprise, I was on the Gorham block where Canterbury Booksellers keeps its shop and inn and came upon Avol's Books. I do a double-take as I'm sure this store, filled with books, is suppose to be the one I came to in my younger years. Apparently, Canterbury Booksellers closed its doors in the opening months of this year. Although the downstairs bookstore is now Avol's Books, the upstairs Canterbury Inn will stay open.

This is quite a loss to the city of Madison because of all the people that won't get a chance to experience what it's like to step into a classic Madison book store. Sure nowadays it's hip to sip coffee from a Starbucks at a Barnes & Noble or a Victor Allen's inside the Border's bookstore or even stay at home and buy your books from an online retailer like, but in my experience, none of those come close to my first visit to Canterbury's.

Canterbury Booksellers

When I attended Georgia O'Keeffe Middle School, my cousin and I had won some academics award from the Urban League of Greater Madison and given gift certificates for Canterbury Booksellers. My dad took me to the store after some driving around as even then we were not so familiar with downtown Madison. When I first stepped in, I was quite in awe of the warm atmosphere. It was quite bustling in some areas and grew more rustic as you journeyed into the different parts of the bookstore. I must've spent more than an hour deciding the book that my academics had awarded me. There was just so much to choose from but I found what I had wanted and even today, I still own that first book. In the years to come, throughout High School and my college days, I would stop in for a cup of coffee and a book here and there but I was eventually drawn into submission by the .com business and And it wasn't until tonight when I realized that a part of my childhood had finally closed its doors. It's like that saying that goes "You won't know how good something is until you lose it."

Albeit a bit late, here's to you Canterbury Booksellers!
Thanks to the owners and the employees that gave their time there.
You have given me and the people of Madison memories we'll cherish forever.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

TiVo, preferred by felines everywhere...

TiVo, preferred by felines everywhere

What are some of the system's features?
TiVo Fever

TiVo Logo

Also, look what Target is selling these days?
They're also offering...yikes!

The Tingler

The Tingler

Everything for Love
The Tingler Head Massager

Spine-tingling bliss. The Tingler gently massages the scalp, touching acupressure points to create goosebumps and shivers of delight.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Powered by Fei

New Features:
- Access to Popular EMail Services (top bar)
- Access to Popular SMS/Cellular Text Services (side bar)
- Access to Webcams from around the World (side bar)
- Weather updates featuring humidity and wind speed/direction
        for Madison, Wisconsin (side bar)

Random Acts of Kindness

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas is only a month away and I'm sure all of you are thinking about gifts. When gift giving came into mind, I had to re-think what this time of year meant for me. Christmas sales and holiday clearance, it all seemed so material. Although I'll be forever stuck under the tyranny of commercialism, I wanted to explore outside my personal norms.

I signed up for the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. This group promotes kindness and hopes that you pass it on to others whether it's for the community or little things that you can do to put a little cheer in another's day. One of the things I'm doing this winter is to volunteer for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dane County. They're always looking for help even if it's just an hour a week. I found them through VolunteerMatch.

So if you have an hour of your time this Winter break, look into some volunteering opportunities and make a difference in someone's life.

Be kind to one another. ;)
Get out. Do good.

Flower Bouquet

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Thanksgiving Story

Now that Thanksgiving is here, I can't help but be reminded about year's end. In the year 2004, the Year of the Monkey, there is plenty to give thanks for.

Thank you:
Mom and Dad, for being my parents.
Diana, for being my sister and putting up with me.
Jon, my bro, for being there.
David, for getting me ready for the Real World.
Sarah, for inspiring me to do good.
Max and Mollie, for getting married in Vegas and introducing me to Rockstars!
Stephanie, for your guidance.

Hoofers Sailing Club, for sailing with me this summer.
UW Kendo Club and Kiyota Sensei, for teaching me the way of the sword.
Finally, my Green Team Family who have stuck with me for all these years.
...and to All that I don't mention here.

On this Thanksgiving Day, it reminds me of the importance of family and the company you keep. Three years ago, my Grandfather died a week before Thanksgiving and my parents went back to China to mourn his passing. My sister stayed with my aunt and cousins and I remained on campus alone. For Thanksgiving, HD Green Teamers Josh, Michael, and Kristie had all invited me in for a Thanksgiving meal. Since John Henry didn't get a ride home to spend time with his family, we both went to Michael's house and spent Thanksgiving lunch with the Sidell's. After turkey and a fulfilling meal, we watched the Green Bay Packers crush the Detroit Lions. I had a great time and was most thankful to spend my Thanksgiving with such caring people. Even though I had only known Michael and John for a few months from work, in this moment, I had adopted the loving nature of the family I call Green Team. For what they have given me, I would give them my all.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Remember the ones you care about and thank them; this is the time to do so.

Learning to Fly by Foo Fighters

We live happily ever trapped
If you just save my life
Run and tell the angels
That everything's all right

I'm looking to the sky to save me
Looking for a sign of life
Looking for something help me burn out bright

I'm looking for complications
Looking cos I'm tired of tryin'
Make my way back home
When I learn to fly high

Make my way back home
When I learn to fly....

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Spirit of the Warrior

Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life itself reveals again and again the opposite: that letting go is the path to real freedom.

Just as when the waves lash at the shore, the rocks suffer no damage but are sculpted and eroded into beautiful shapes, so our character can be molded and our rough edges worn smooth by changes. Through weathering changes we can learn how to develop a gentle but unshakable composure. Our confidence in ourselves grows, and becomes so much greater that goodness and compassion begin naturally to radiate out from us and bring joy to others. That goodness is what survives death, a fundamental goodness that is in every one of us. The whole of our life is a teaching of how to uncover that strong goodness, and a training towards realizing it.
-Excerpt from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Grapple Craze

I've heard of them but had never seen them until last night. The new craze in the world of produce is Grapples. Pronounced "Grape-L," they're basically Fuji Apples processed to taste like Concorde Grapes. According to the Grapple website, they're produced in Wenatchee, Washington and it's a new way to entice junk food afficionados back to the world of fresh fruit.

Dinner and a Quote

Monday Night Kendo Practice consisted of only three people. It wasn't much of a showing because of the coming Thanksgiving break. Since James (who normally works on turkey day) is spending time in Texas this year, I'll be working this Thanksgiving at DoIT in his place. After practice, I came home to make some of my famous Chili Rotini.

It's good to cook again. The last few weeks have been dinners of canned soups and going out with the Kendo Club.
Ahh. Here's a good recipe for what else?
New England Clam Chowder

On a sour note, I read this article about a deadly hunting incident:
Autumn tradition turns deadly in Wisconsin

"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch?'"
-Winnie the Pooh

Monday, November 22, 2004

There's a Hero in All of Us

"He knows a hero when he sees one. Too few characters out there, flying around like that, saving old girls like me. And Lord knows, kids like Henry need a hero. Courageous, self-sacrificing people. Setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they'll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer.

I believe there's a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most.

Even our dreams."
-Aunt May

Sunday, November 21, 2004

My Sincerest Apologies to Stephanie

I made a terrible mistake tonight. I pissed off a good friend and someone whom I confide in a great deal. I was at DoIT and John discovered a neat pranking scheme that involves the Sprint Relay Online Service. It's a service for deaf users to text-to-call people. We used it to prank. I meant no harm. Nonetheless, I was a jerk and acted in an improper manner.

I am sorry Stephanie.
mea culpa.
Your friendship is too valuable a thing to lose over childish jokes.

...primordially, I'm reverting back to a child-like nature to escape the realities of adult life.
Homework. Failure. Stress.

Reminiscing of Summer Haiku

jumping in the lake
rockstar underwear on stage
a season's away

Gosh, it's 6:00AM and I'm up doing laundry. I've got so much to do after that, it's scary. Furthermore, I'm scheduled to work after Kendo practice tonight and I really can't. So much is due by Monday that I think I'm officially freaking out now!!

I miss summer.

Superman by Lazlo Bane
(theme song from Scrubs)

You've got your love online
You think you're doing fine
But you're just plugged into the wall

And that deck of tarot cards
Won't get you very far
There ain't no hand to break your fall

I know what I've been told
You gotta know just when to fold
But I can't do this all on my own
No, I know I'm no Superman

I'm no Superman....

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Imperial Garden with Kiyota Sensei

After kendo practice last night, we took Kiyota Sensei out for dinner at Imperial Garden. The occasion is celebrate our achievements at the Midwest Kendo Federation Fall Tournament. It was good to take him out and to talk to him candidly about personal things. After a hearty chinese meal, we picked up some beer, soda, and ice cream and dropped by Mark's House to watch film of the tournament and some videos of the 2003 World Kendo Championships. Mark has an incredible house and a great collection of Japanese Katanas and other weapons of Southeast Asia.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

UW Kendo Club Exhibition '04

Tonight, I participated in the annual UW Kendo Club Exhibition in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. There were a fair amount of students from Kendo Class as well as Kendo Club members. Among the students from class were Dan and Kevin of HD Green Team. Club members that participated were Shin-il, Ari, Tei, Dominique, Farah, Fei (me), Eric, and Ellie. We demonstrated some basic strikes, kata, ji-geiko, and shiai. Afterwards, most of us went out to dinner at Takara for some sushi and Japanese dinner.

Monday, November 15, 2004

My Trojan Horse

Project 2 for Professor Cahill was due today. The paper was on the Judgement of Paris in which Zeus chose Paris, the son of Priam (the King of Troy), to choose between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite to contend for which Goddess to be the most beautiful. Hera offered the lands of men [all of Asia], Athena offered Paris the gift of skill in battle, and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful woman in the World, Helen (the Queen of Sparta). Paris chose Aphrodite and took the hand of Helen back to Troy which sparked the Trojan War.

The essay paper fits inside the body of the horse. My Trojan Horse is made of a mailer tube and 250 popsicle sticks glued on individually.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Midwest Kendo Federation Fall '04 Tournament

The weekend long tournament is over and it was a blast! I had incredible fun and experienced some of the best Kendo. We all played well and the UW Kendo Club had a great showing. At this event, there were the first time participants, fighters redeeming themselves from past performances, kenshi improving their art, and then there were the master swordsmen. I saw novice women kenshi fighting against veterans, the short beating someone twice his size, and a UW team that came back from 2 points down, tying, and then winning in a sudden death point. In the individual mudansha division, I was paired with Max Long of the Moline Kendo Club. I won the match swiftly with 2 points to the men. For my second match, I went up against Brian Lopez, University of Chicago Kendo Club. After a lot of pushing in tsuba-zeriai, he hit me 2 points to the men. In team play, my team finally settled down to Fei, Joon, Dominique, Joseph Swayne from Valley View Kendo Club, and Jeff Solliday-McRoy from East West Connection. We matched up with the Battlecreek Kendo Club who in their ranks had Matsura Sensei, a 5th dan. We lost the team event with Dominique the only one of us to score a point. In all, we won with humility and lost with grace.

3rd place in the Individual Mudansha Division: Tei Fujiwara
The Fighter's Spirit Award: Travis Stronach

Lastly, I want to give thanks to:

Mark Kenoyer, for leading our club to tournament.
Travis Stronach, for organizing everything.
Eric Terao, for driving and for being a good drinking buddy.
Tei Fujiwara, for teaching me in kendo play.

Finally, thanks to Kiyota Sensei for inspiring the warrior spirit in all of us who live by the sword.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Seoul Garden Korean BBQ

We got into Glenview before 7:00PM and went to dinner. Mark was supposed to be at a meeting by 7:00PM but decided to take us out for dinner at the Seoul Garden. We had an awesome dinner spread of appetizers, soups, and a Korean BBQ. In the end, the bill came out to over $400 but the UW subsidized it. On my end of the table Eric, Keith, and I finished off more than 6 liters of Korean OB beer before leaving dinner and checking into our hotel at the Fairfield Inn. Once we settled in, Eric went out to get 2 more cases of beer and we all drank some more before going to bed. All of our spirits were good.

It's the morning after now and I'm going to get some breakfast before riding out to the Kendo tournament. Strangely. I don't feel any nervousness at all. If anything, I am anxious to get out and see how 5 weeks of Kendo practice has prepared me.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Art is Nature Perfected

In the car and on the way to the tournament, I took out the FeiBook to begin on one of three essays due by Monday. I'm nearing completion of one of the essays but I'm strapped to find time for the other two since we'll be going out for dinner and drinks tonight to celebrate before combat tomorrow morning. Then afterwards is a tournament banquet followed by more drinking later in the night. I'm thinking about leaving early on Sunday and using that time to write my second essay. Then I've got all Sunday night to write the third one.

In amusement, I was looking through This Week in Pictures, a column hosted by, and came upon this great picture of the terraced fields in Yunnan Province, China. This aerial view looks like a real-life van Gogh painting with his swirls of modulated thick paint.

As my Art History Professor, Narciso, would say...

"Art is a realm in between that of Nature and God [the ideal]. Art, you can say, is nature perfected."

Indeed, Narciso, indeed.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Leaving for Kendo Tournament Tomorrow

It was a beautiful sunny day, slightly cooled but not cold. Hoping for the same weather this weekend as I'm heading down to the Midwest Kendo Federation Fall 2004 Tournament in Chicago. The teams are preliminarily set and I'm on a team with Dominque, Tejas, and Farah.

We'll be leaving at 4:00PM from the NAT and returning to Madison some time in the afternoon on Sunday.
Tournament begins at 9:00AM on Saturday.

Feldman Park Gymnasium
8800 Kathy Lane
Niles, Illinois

Video from last year's Tournament: MWKF Fall 2003

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tales of a Chicken and a Bartender

Subservient Chicken:
Virtual Bartender:

One is Sexy, One is decide!
Fei 2004.

Soup Haiku

clam chowder by choice
chunks of meat and potato
a delightful dish

Haiku is an honored form of poetry of Japanese origin that came into existence during Japan's Edo period (1603-1867). It is highly structured, consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, respectively.

Define Haiku:

Progresso Soups are on sale for $0.99 per can at Cub Foods. I bought almost 40 cans. That makes me all prepared for the Winter months. Soup is good!

The Remedy by Jason Mraz

The remedy is the experience.
This is a dangerous liaison
I say the comedy is that it's serious.
This is a strange enough new play on words
I say the tragedy is how you're gonna spend
The rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends
When it all amounts to nothing in the end.

I won't worry my life away....

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Good Morning Sunshine

After Kendo practice last night, I went straight to DoIT to work for Kelly. I'm sure she needed to study for her exam. Since we have NetID account turnoffs scheduled for today, it started to get busy last night. What was worse is that I rushed into work without a shower and was smelling like vinegar...YUCK! After work, I went out to the Oakcrest Tavern with David for a few beers and chicken wings and then went to bed early last night. So now I'm up early and the sun's out. And it's a beautiful morning! Good morning sunshine and let my day begin.

"What lies behind us and what lies beneath us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fee Fei For Fun:

Monday, November 08, 2004

Madison's Aurora Borealis

A picture of the Borealis hovering over Downtown Madison:

More info:

"The more we realise our minuteness and our impotence in the face of cosmic forces, the more amazing becomes what human beings have achieved."
-Bertrand Russell

Borealis in the Sky

I came home about 1:15a this morning and stepped out of the car. In the sky were streaks of gray caressing the heavens. I took a broader look around and suddenly noticed the lights of the Aurora Borealis. It was amazing! Like a painting in the sky. Then on the northern horizon was a dancing, swirling line of greens, and sometimes violets, moving about quickly. I was kinda scared at first, standing out on the middle of the street, with no one around, with only a few areas lit up by the street lamps. I didn't think anyone was up anyways. Moments later, I got a call from my bro, Jon, and he was outside watching the lights too. Apparently, he was also kinda scared so he came by and we walked toward the darker area in my neighborhood to experience the full force of the lights. I have honestly never seen the Borealis in Wisconsin in all the years I've lived here. I didn't even know they came this low in our hemisphere. It's something I'll remember always because I can now recall my thoughts whilst watching the Borealis. I can imagine that one without technology and knowledge of these lights would think this a message of God but for today, it gave me a re-realization of how small we are in the universe.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Apple iPod, preferred by felines everywhere...