Photographical Postcards From Taiwan


Let me just mention that the photo above was taken on the 12th of October 2006 on our first trip to Taipei. We were on the MRT, Taipei’s subway system, which has a mixture of underground and above ground trains, on our way to the Shilin nightmarket. Our friends told us that we were going to go by the Grand Hotel. I immediately took out my camera and hugged the door to take a few shots, with a few seconds of exposure (1 or 2 seconds). The result is what you see above.



It took me forever to figure out what was wrong with jUploadr, a little piece of software that uploads pictures to photo share sites such as Flickr and Zooomr. To me, the software looks like a piece of Mac software that was patched to work on Windows.


Well, you have to click a .bat file in order to launch the program. But, it’s very convenient; you can mass edit photo attributes, descriptions and tags.

What was wrong you might ask?

After about an hour of trying to download the software and not really understanding why it didn’t work, I figured out that I was missing the JRE, the Java runtime. Downloaded and right now, I am uploading my latest pictures to my Zooomr account. Naturally, I keep most of them private since they are set to the highest resolution and I will be damned if I spend another minute resizing photos.

I was browsing my photos and I realized that I do have some pretty nice ones. It’s especially nice since Zooomr upped their max upload limit for pro accounts to 4 GB per month. Now that is a lot and I will make sure that I upload to the max!

I think I uploaded all of my most recent photos during the night. Worked like a cinch!

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One good thing about using your own pictures in your posts is that you don’t have to insert links and give credit. If you are wondering what you are seeing above, it is the world’s biggest damper in the Taipei 101 building. It weighs a ridiculous amount of weight, something like 660 tons. It helps to keep the building from falling over.

Speaking of which, my wife has been has been trying to get me to buy new t-shirts. I haven’t bought any t-shirts for years. Probably the last one I got was the last Mouse On Mars concert in 2000 or something like that. Most of my home clothes and most of my t-shirts are years old since I spent 4 years of my life in a suit. I have quite a collection of ties and shirts. But that doesn’t mean that I have tens of suits; only 3 suits and a Hugo Boss sport jacket that I brought with me just in case. I also brought all my nice shirts. Trouble is, that it is so hot here, I don’t wear my best shirts. I wear my other shirts that I don’t mind using everyday.

You have the choice of wearing a Hugo Boss shirt that you paid 200USD or a cheap 20USD or 40 USD shirt that you can wear and wear until it falls apart, what shirt will you wear?

Back to T-shirts.

Now my wife finds it hilarious when she asks me when I bought this t-shirt or this t-shirt and the answer is most likely 15-20 years ago. It’s not that I didn’t buy any clothes for a certain amount of time. Well I kind of stopped buying clothes of a certain type. Honestly, for home clothes I don’t really care, but I do notice since we got to Taiwan with only a few suitcases, that I am missing t-shirts.

So why am I having this diatribe with myself about t-shirts?

Well, I think I found t-shirts that I like. I am, as always, hard to please. The t-shirts I am talking about are from EDOC Laundry. They were featured in the CSI New York S03E04 episode called Hung Out To Dry. These shirts include codes and hidden messages that you use to play an ARG, and Alternate Reality Game. I think that I will ask to get all of these t-shirts for Christmas, that makes a good gift. It’s either that or trying to get a PS3 or a Wii. But I am not too worried about the video games, since I have not played a lot of my XBOX 360 here in Taiwan. My kids love to hear that I have one though.

* * * * *

I am surprised at how much CSI NY is hugging to the new trends. Somebody in the writing department is doing their research. From EDOC Laundry, apparel filled with clues and hidden messages, no doubt inspired by the DaVinci Code and Lost – just a quick word to say that the DaVinci Code is inspired by The Foucault Pendulum by Umberto Eco, to a show on Suicide Girls, I am impressed. Suicide Girls are what we call alternative models, girls that are covered in tattoos, piercing and other interesting stuff.

The web sites and movement was started up by Missy Suicide and they tour around the Americas doing their shows. Their founder, Missy Suicide was in the show actually. I honestly don’t care about the whole mission of the Suicide Girls. To me, they are somewhat related to the Rollergirls, girls who play Roller Derby. You have to watch the Rollergirls documentary show on AE to understand. It’s fun to see that girls from all walks of life band together.

And between you and me, sex sells.

Pierced, tattooed, whatever. It sells. You know it, I know it and Mr Angry knows it.

I don’t deny that at the time they started, they innovated. And I don’t deny that these so-called alternative girls are beautiful and possess a certain allure. I am always surprised at how much of their skin is covered in tattoos. And most of them are very young.

What will they do we they hit 30s or 40s?

* * * * *

There was another thought that I didn’t finish a few days ago. I was talking about the violence and graphic goreness of the batch of CSI-like show, like of course CSI, Bones, Criminal Minds and others. I find the whole attention to detail to autopsies, brains and shit like that just plain gross. This started with CSI and went into other shows.

I never really watch the surgeries on Nip/Tuck, does anyone? Who really wants to see this shit? I don’t. I just wish they would stop doing them on film. I find the whole mess too dehumanizing. The more you expose yourself to such materials, the more you desensitize yourself to the violence and grossness.

I used to play a game called Call Of Cthulu, years ago. It was an RPG centered in the world of HP Lovecraft. All our characters had a trait called Humanity. The more we saw strange and disturbing things or creatures, the more we lost our humanity. The more we witnessed killings and violence, the more we lost humanity. Now I don’t really mean violence like the type that we see in most video games. I mean realistic violence and degradation of the human body in shows like CSI. Do we really need to see all of these details on all that shit?

I don’t think so.

I honestly don’t care about swearing or nudity, but the gore has got to stop. If I want to see gore, I’ll watch an Miike Takashi or a Dario Argento movie.

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Featured Photographers

me!, me on flickr.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

2 thoughts on “Photographical Postcards From Taiwan”

  1. I’ve always been a fan of geeks shirts with obscure humour like spelling out “you are dumb” in binary. And when did I become an expert on sex selling? Besides the selling of my own sexy self of course 😉

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