Wanting Things Or How I Was Almost Late

Another picture of the Lakeshore elevator. Taken on the 9th of January 2007 in Hsinchu, Taiwan, with a Nikon D200 and a 18-35mm Nikkor lens. Part of the Lakeshore Elevator Series.

Today I woke up pretty late. I was woken up during the night by my wife’s fidgeting and/or talking. For some reason, I told her off in German the second time she woke me up. The next day, she said that I woke her in German, but it was the other way around I believe. Anyways, I still love her and sleepily apologized to her while she was heading out the door.

Then again, it doesn’t really matter. She left in the morning for Taoyuan. I slept in until 12:30PM. In hindsight, the whole incident was more funny than anything else, especially with the German.

I got my breakfast going and started assembling some adult lesson plans that I needed for my class; I had prepared them 2 weeks ago, but had forgotten the files at work, so I had to redo the whole thing again. It took me at least 20 minutes. That was 20 minutes that I didn’t have really.

I got my camera gear ready, loaded and formatted the files correctly in Word on my USB drive, and headed into the shower. I only had a few minutes and was already late. I made it out the door by 1:43PM and started driving pretty fast. I normally arrive pretty early for my classes, at least 20 to 30 minutes before I have to start, to get my thoughts in order.

Today, I managed to arrive at the school at 1:53PM, minutes before my class started at 2:00PM. I had some trouble getting the files out, but in the end everything was ready just in the nick of time. I made it into the class and was on time, with lesson plans and work sheets in my hand.

I noticed immediately that I had 3 new students in my class. We started doing some exercises and following our book. My boss told me to follow the book 50% of the time. The rest of the time, I should come up with things myself. So I did. I got this directly off forumosa, in the adult lesson plan topic. It worked really well. The whole worksheet and presentations the people did lasted for about 45 minutes. We could have used another 15 minutes to cover all aspects.

The students seemed to like the worksheet. This one asked them to imagine opening up their own store and what they would do, where and why. It was decent and in the end, they presented their idea to the class. They were all a bit reticent to do this, but I insisted and naturally they did it. I corrected a few wrong sentences here and there and explained the concepts.

Explaining the worksheet took about 10-15 minutes in itself.

After that, I headed out to Nova.

I tried getting some information about the 18-200mm Nikkor VR lens I wanted, but to no avail. The guys laughed at me and told me to try ebay. What a bunch of assholes, the last time that I shop there. They jokingly told me that it would arrive maybe in two months. Idiots.

I tried to find a video game shop and managed to find one tucked away in a corner. To my surprise, the had the PS3 and the Wii. I looked at both consoles. PS3 was about 21000NTD with the 60GB HD and Wii was about 9900 NTD. I was kind of lusting for the PS3, but didn’t plan on getting it this month. I checked up the review of the Xbox 360 game I was going to purchase. They didn’t have Gears Of War in a US version, so I had to settle for Lost Planet from Capcom. They guy wasn’t sure that it was going to work on my console. I had thought about bringing it with me. Haven’t tried it yet, but the reviews look good. I will have to look for Gears of War in Taipei at Nova next weekend. I also need to renew my Xbox Live Gold account; it ended in the end of December.

When I came back home, I checked up on PS3 games. They suck. That really sucks. Looks like I won’t be getting a PS3. However, the Wii looks great and I am going to look forward to playing Zelda once more. Zelda has always been my favorite, from the first time it appeared on the Nintendo 8bit system. On top of that, you can get all those crazy old school games on Wii Connect.

For the time being, I think my Xbox360 will do great for me. The trouble will be finding US games. I have read up on the subject and it looks like it isn’t that big of a deal, you can find them easily in Taipei, though I was looking forward to gaming a bit on my Xbox360 this weekend.

Since our internet connection is so slow, I will wait a few weeks before getting my Xbox Live account renewal.

I tried researching the PS3 launch and from what I have read, it looks really bad. At the time, I was too busy to really notice, but I have checked up on IGN and a few other sites and I am definitely not getting one, unless they get better games. The Xbox 360 has all the type of games that I want. RPGs and shooters. Some fighting games and racers. Above all, I brought all of my favorite games with me. I have at least 10 Xbox360 games. There are a few games that I haven’t even finished or even played enough off, like DOA 4, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Call of Duty 2. Since Call of Duty 3 came out, I might look into that as well. I still have to finish my Elder Scrolls IV game. I stopped playing the main quest when I got close to the last few missions and concentrated on the side quests.

I want more RPG games for the Xbox 360. Mass Effect, Too Human and a few other tantalizing games are on the menu for 2007. It looks like a Wii will be here too in a few weeks. Its cheap, looks great and has Zelda. It is not looking good for the PS3. I have had an Xbox as well.

Why?

Halo.

The main reason I got an Xbox. As soon as I saw that game, I knew I had to have it. I have been itching to try Half Life 2 again on my new terabyte workstation. It should be killer with all this RAM that I have. I will try it in a few weeks. Also, since I have a 22” widescreen LCD monitor, playing videogames should be a blast.

/* Update

I have tried Lost Planet, and it’s kind of fun. A lot of shooting going on, but the premise is a bit weak; precious thermal energy harvested from the big bad monsters? Sounds bad. Playing the game on the LCD is crazy, since it is pretty big and the screen is pretty close to where I sit. I am gaming in HDTV now. The only problem was plugging in the speakers, since I needed an adaptor plug to do this. However, since my screen had built in speakers, an adaptor came with it! Used it and it works great.

*/

I have had all of Nintendo’s consoles, from the NES, SNES, N64 and GameCube. I got the GC really cheap for about 3000 NTD (99CAN$) to play Zelda the Wind Waker. I really enjoyed Metroid as well, though I had gotten Metroid Prime: Echoes, I didn’t play it that much. I am a fan of used games and like picking up a few cheap ones here and there.

I have read that Sony are already doing ads for Final Fantasy XIII in Japan. The game will not be out for another year, and they are already trying to hype it because of the difficult launch? I think that Microsoft timed the release of the Xbox 360 right, a full year before the PS3 to outmaneuver them. It gave the game developers enough time to come up with good games. Do I really care that I do not have a BluRay DVD in my Xbox360? Not really, since I do not watch DVDs anymore. Microsoft really killed with their Xbox Live concept and Marketplace. I like those, but I do not play with anyone on the net. I just download the games. I have purchased a few games on Xbox Live, live Geometry Wars and a few others, because sometimes you just want to play a few games. But honestly, I haven’t put my Xbox 360 on in a few months. That is, until today.

One of the problems I encountered was that I could not hook it up to the TV here. A friend told me that I need a SVideo cable. However, I had already gotten a cable during christmas ’05 to hook it up to a computer monitor and have been doing this ever since.

* * * * *

After that, I made my way to the HSR stop in Jhubei. It is close to Hsinchu. Relatively. I actually thought that it wasn’t too far away until I drove there myself. You have to ride across town and take a bridge to Jhubei. Then, you have to drive 10 minutes on this deserted highway. I took the scooter up to 80km/h and speeded away as I followed the sign. Most of the area looks like it will be a nice city in a few years. I found the HSR and started shooting away.

My favorite is the Kiss and Ride sign near the entrance. Kiss and Ride? From David’s blog, I understood that it meant pick-up and ride, although badly translated into English. The station itself looks great, with those strange wings of metal coming down on both sides. Almost like a bird. Pics will be up in a few days, time for them to upload onto Zooomr.

There were a lot of people there. My plan was to stay there for an hour until night had started to get optimum lighting. I walked around snapped away. I looked into getting on the train itself, but was informed that no tickets were available anymore for today. I thought about it a bit and then got 2 tickets to go to Taichung on Tuesday. Since I am not tutoring this week, my students have exams, I will be free. I will be going on the 20 minute ride to Taichung, disembarking and then riding back within a few minutes! The staff looked at me strangely when I did this. But I replied it was just to try it out.

Most parts of the HSR station are inaccessible to non passengers. So I had to content myself with the shots I took around the station itself. As the night fell, I took some good shots of the station. I left the darkness shots for Tuesday, since we will be there again when it will be night. I plan on taking my time in when we get back from Taichung and shooting a few trains during the night as well as the train station itself during the night in more detail, from better vantage points.

I left and drove back, and shot some more pictures when I saw some interesting buildings on the way back. I finally made my way home after having taken 520 shots. I have looked at them quickly and I did get some good ones, though I will probably have better ones on Tuesday.

Author: range

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

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