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January 30, 2006 03:12 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
IA Summit Program

I know I've been light on the IA material here, just ramping up again and trying to organize what direction I want to go as a consultant.

My professional site: www.madonnalisachan.com

Planning to attend the IA Summit 2006 at the end of March in Vancouver, Canada. Conference program. Looks very interesting and will hopfully take the time to catch up with folks since I have not been at these events for 2 years.

January 29, 2006 02:54 PM Spirituality  |   Link
Rom 15 13

I was driving around today just running my errands and an interesting license plate caught my eye. First the license frame said "Upon my departure this car will be unmanned" I thought how funny, a reference to the rapture. And then I saw the plate itself refer to Romans 15:13. Upon returning home I had to look up the verse.

"May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. "(NIV)

These past days have been quite spiritually challenging but in some way seeing this bible verse has really put things into perspective for today. At first I was thinking how cheesy to put a verse on your plates which of course is not cheap, since you have to annually pay a fee for the custom plates. But I'm wondering perhaps this is that person's ministry, share a simple verse to give somebody hope and encouragement.

There are many cars out there that bear some kind of mark of someone's faith which is great since you already drive a car that is branded by some car company why not brand your car with what you really believe, be that the Niner's or Raiders or some political idealogy or spiritual identity. But what is really special is that we are fortunate to be able to share what we believe freely. We are not captive to just one worldly thought, we are free to share and to receive many ideas and if anything learn from each other. But most of all this license plate verse reminds me that I have a responsibility to share a hope that goes beyond this earthly, material world to share my faith not by standing on a corner or knocking on doors to share God's word, but to just live out my faith as a good neighbor and available friend.

January 27, 2006 12:59 PM Travel  |   Link
What Time Is It In...?

I thought this was a helpful site for those out there who call or IM with folks around the world.

World Clock

January 25, 2006 11:17 AM Whine  |   Link
My Laptop and Me

I've been with my laptop for over 2 years. Yup it's pretty out of date but I figured by now my expectations is it would know what I want. Yes ubiquitous computing is big. It has been for several years since I was in grad school. But what I'm wanting is not "clippy" I want my machine to understand my habits. I'm a creature of habit when it gets to using my laptop. Every morning pretty much the same except when I'm on the road. But I just realized why doesn't my computer "learn" my habits and anticipate those needs...and I'm not implying the anticipated needs that MS Word or Excel does for you...it's beyond that...but why couldn't really learn? I'm wondering if I'm at the point where I should swap out to a new machine but I like my stickers on my laptop, all the goofy things that I've grown to love about this machine. I'm not materially obsessessed with it just that it's like a sort of world lifeline...it keeps me connected to things beyond the 5 blocks around my house. I'd probably have a dull life since I don't really watch tv either. Oh well.

January 19, 2006 04:21 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Government Watches the Search Box

Just read this article about the US government requesting information about searchers queries at Google.

Google, US Clash Over Online Searches

This definitely points in the direction of violating our privacy rights. What's interesting is that Yahoo complied to the request. Now I'm having doubts about using these search engines while at home...perhaps I'll use the public library terminals or something. It's just weird if the government is capturing our searching habits even if to uncover terrorism.

January 18, 2006 05:41 PM Travel  |   Link
Very very short stories from Hong Kong

I have a friend working in Hong Kong who is originally from California who started a creative writing site that is pretty good. Gives you a little taste of coffee breaks over there.

12 Minutes
"Everyday, I sit in a local coffeehouse and observe my surroundings for twelve minutes. I write about the things that I see. Since I currently live in Hong Kong, I'll usually be observing at Starbucks or the Pacific Coffee Company."

January 16, 2006 04:08 PM Food & Wine  |   Link
Hong Kong: Places to Eat

People are really into food in HK. But first and foremost, it has to be a good deal or be super fresh and interesting. Lunch specials usually consist of 3 courses: soup or salad, entree, dessert with cup of hot tea or hot water. Dinners rarely have specials but it doesn't hurt to ask. Don't be afraid to ask what others are having at the next table in most cases if you don't look asian or speak cantonese you will only get the limited English menu.

Here's a short list of the resturants I actually had kept business cards. However if you like I can recommend connecting with one of our friends there who is in the food/restaurant business who could recommend alot more authentic chinese food.


Books I've Read  |   Link
Children's Lit: Each Peach Pear Plum

No don't get me wrong my reading level is way above preschool but a friend recommended this book and even gave me a copy to contribute to the Family Connections library.

It's really good for preschool age kids learning characters from popular Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Great colorful illustrations that follow the "i spy" genre of books. Rich with images and animals children will definitely enjoy making up their own stories along with them. The text is very east for the listener/reader to follow from frame to frame. I highly recommend it and will probably pick up a few copies for friends and family.

Also very good to read for story telling time for many children.

January 13, 2006 12:19 PM Spirituality  |   Link
PhD in Theology or Philosophy

To the common person heck it's the same thing...a PhD in something accredited...but when you look under the hood they are definitely related but with a very specific path or career goal. I've been doing research on pursuing a PhD or MA in Divinity or Philosophy. I'm still not sure which direction and the costs are a bit prohibitive especially if you pursue a more religious orientation since financial aid is not quite the same. So I continue to pray on direction and hope something will reassure me of a decision either way.

I know for sure I just need to first complete my certificate in business. The last class is accounting. Argh!

Have you ever heard of a corporate chaplain? They have ministers for hospitals, military, and police departments, but I'm wondering if at larger companies they have a list or roster of local ministers for employees to connect similar to how they have counselors available through an 800.

Don't worry I won't start rambling on about this particular topic if I ever meet up with you. It's definitely sitting in the back of my mind.

January 10, 2006 10:05 AM Whine  |   Link
Combo Stores

First it was video rentals at the supermarket. Well most folks are doing Netflix now and most of these small video rental spaces or machines don't carry much. Then we started to see small bank branches at the front. There are some supermakets with drycleaners too but with a load of laundry and cart full of food, it's a tricky balance.

However the one combo that I think would be more convenient is Starbucks and drycleaners. Most folks are at Starbucks every day, what a great way to pickup/dropoff your laundry while getting your coffee in the morning. It's quite easy one hand coffee(or fill in your brew of choice) and one hand drycleaning. How easy is that!

January 06, 2006 02:01 AM Whine  |   Link
The Challenge of Insomnia

...or am I really back on Hong Kong time?

The last few nights have been such a challenge getting to bed early. Each night I was creeping later and later to bed. It's 2AM and I'm somewhat wide awake and in a few hours I'll have to get J to the train station around 6:30. I've tried alot of things short of taking sleeping pills. Maybe I need to get back to taking my sleepy time tea after dinner. Let's see what happens later today.

January 04, 2006 04:09 PM Spirituality  |   Link
Prayer Request for a bunch of folks...

Asking for safe return and recovery(got into accident with major injuries) of friend's parents over holidays.

One of J's co-workers (is recovering from breast cancer) her husband just passed away this morning from lung cancer.

Healing for my right knee.

January 03, 2006 01:13 PM Just Because  |   Link
Cleaning out camera

Totally forgot to post these photos from Thanksgiving...gosh it's difficult to keep track of photos when your camera can hold so much.

Thanksgiving in LA 2005

Cars  |   Link
I guess bad guys win too

I'm super upset. The guy who crashed into us totally lied to the insurance company and said it was our fault. If you did forensic analysis on our car it's so obvious to anybody who looked at it that it wasn't our fault. The angle of the impact and the ripple effect of the impact is clearly from the direction of the person who hit us. Now we have this major repair to do on the car since his car company won't pay for it.

January 02, 2006 04:30 PM Whine  |   Link
Trials with Origami or Opportunity for Paper Ornaments

So much for ornaments this year...used my Hallmark ornament collection and received a couple over Christmas and of course the inexpensive gold and red balls from Ikea. Next year's challenge...a tree full of origami. I'm hoping to try to make a couple dozen this year. The challenge is that for the last 10 years I can't seem to put a crane together. I've surfed websites, I've borrowed library books and bought a range of pretty paper from the local Japanese paper store. No luck :( So I'm hoping to find among friends or family a teacher to show me some of the basics.

January 01, 2006 08:08 PM Books I've Read  |   Link
Book Exchange Cocktail Hour

With the weather a bit dreary and being outdoors is a bit wet and gloomy. Its the perfect time to cozy up to a new book with a glass of wine or cup of tea. However in my quest to get to know people better I thought maybe a book exchange cocktail hour might be kind of fun. In the next few weeks I'll be planning a cocktail hour for a book exchange. No particular topic. Bring books you want to unload and appetizer or beverage to share. You take home a book that others want to unload. Great opportunity to meet new people, hear about new books, and share stories about your book adventures.

All leftover books will be cheerfully toted over to the Menlo Park Friends of the Library program.

House & Garden  |   Link
Brown Leather Cubes

I remember someone asking me when they visited recently where I had got my brown leather cubes in the living room. I actually got them from Craigslist over the summer. I got them 2 for $80 after negotiating it down from $120. Well I was perusing Ballard Designs catalog I got in the mail the other day and found the same exact ones on there.

Leather Cube $239 each or 2 or more 229 each.

They are alot more than I thought but it would have been nice to get the red ones.

Just Because  |   Link
Happy 2006

A year ago today we were wandering around Shanghai, China after a whirlwind tour of mainland China that included a stroll through The Great Wall at -20C and various tromping through snow and ice and below 0 weather. But today is different. Last night we spent a quiet evening just the two of us just relaxing and reflecting on the year past where we were before and where we are today. 2006 probably has alot in store for us but right now we're taking it slow.

There's been a bad storm here in the SF Bay Area with lots of flooding in various areas. It's still a bit scarey for us being out there after what happened Christmas night. So hot cocoa in hand, in my sweats and easy rock music playing it's definitely a quiet start...heck I think I want to take a nap.