Archive for July, 2009

Visit Stamford, UK

Stamford is a unique town with all traditions kept intact. It is regarded as “the finest stone town in England”, where almost all of its buildings were built with stones.


The bridge leading to Stamford, with St Mary’s church greeting visitors.

The town is so small that one can easily walk around, along the narrow stone/brick roads. A small river flows by the south of the town, and on the other side of town, lies expansive town meadow where kids are running and playing. From the town meadow, you can see the Stamford Skyline with 5 churches (St. Mary’s, St. George’s, All Saints, St. Martin’s and St. John’s), not very tall, but outstanding among the other ancient stone buildings.

The famous estate around Stamford is the Burghley House, which is just outside the town across the river.
Hurghley House

In the background, that is what privileged people call a house!

It was Lord Burghley’s house, a really grand 16th-century English country house, an Elizabethan architecture. Many movies were filmed there, such as “Da Vinci Code”, “Pride & Prejudice” and “Elizabeth The Golden Age”. The Burghley park is so large that the palace would look small if you take a long walk in the park. I guess the Burgley house/park is even larger than the entire Stamford town. Burghley family was the dominant political family in Stamford for 400-500 years, so practically speaking, the family owned everything there.

In the Burghley park, there is an area for herds of deers, maybe thousands of deers. Not sure if that was the hunting ground for the Royal or Noble families. I took several photos of close-up on deers.


The deers in the Burghley’s backyard.

I will post some photos of the Stamford town and Burghley House soon.


Photoshop II

As the second session of Photoshop starts, now Level Two, I learn more and more. This time, they teach mostly masks and clippings, and I am amazed at the great amount of knowledge I have amassed during the class. The class was taught by the same teacher, same Final, and same grading. The students were different, though, as most were ones that weren’t in the first class.

For my final, I took pictures of fruits and added parts of the future counterparts, like tomatoes and ketchup. To make them blend better, I used layer masking using brushes and vector masking using a pen, to cover us some parts to make the images look believable. It was a very challenging, but fun process of putting together the images.

Tomato Ketchup

Tomatoes and Ketchup

Grapes and Wine

Grapes and Wine

Apple & Apple Pie

Apples and Pie

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Trip to English country side

The article was written on July 18, the day I arrived in UK. Just get a chance to post it here now.

Finally all settled down and ready to rest. If I did not ask for the GPS (they charged me additional cost of $300 for 2 weeks), I would be probably still in the middle of wheat field somewhere right now. I still have no idea how I got here, I studied the maps so carefully but no use at all, because all the roads look the same at country side, and you do not see the sign. Most of intersections do not have signals or stop sign, they use “roundabout”, driving in circle at left side to cross or turn at the intersection. After about 10 such “roundabout”, I completely missed the direction and location. So I completely rely on the GPS, but the problem is that GPS kept saying it is going to run out of power and would shut down soon (due to loose charge contact). Once I had to pull over to a side path, but looking one direction, there is nothing but wheat field; looking another direction, there are some trees and wheat field. Really have no idea how to proceed, but have to figure out how to recharge the GPS.

Seems that most people in UK drive manual car. I booked an automatic car, but Hertz could not find one in its lot; and so they asked me if I can drive manual car. I said I can drive manual car, but do I sit at the left or right side in the car? After knowing that people sit at right side, and use left hand to do the shifting, I insisted that I need an automatic car. After waiting for half hour, they finally find a Mercedes which has automatic shift (free upgrade).

Driving at left side is awkward at local, because the center divide line is just one simple dash-line (so you feel it is two lane one-direction road), and you are intimated by the cars coming to you in other direction at your right side; and the intersection is roundabout which extending various roads in different random angles. I thought it would be easier on freeway. But when I got to the free way with speed went up, I immediately felt that I could not go straight line. Because sitting at the right side, and your tendency always drifts toward left side to cross into left lane, because we got used to feel driver should be at center-to-left in the lane. I had to force myself to position at “center-to-right”, but just could not judge my lane position; much like first time went on freeway. And when you check the cars behind, you would naturally look at rear mirror at up-right, and you see nothing (you have to look at the other way).

Another problem with country side, is that the hotel address does not have street number. So I could just input the street name into GPS, and when it said “You’ve arrived”, and I was at the middle of a long road inside woods. Then I searched nearby hotels in the GPS, and it did not have Holiday Inn. I found a familiar hotel “Hilton” on the list, because all other hotels having strange names. I guess the Countryman must be confused with the two American big hotel names, so I followed GPS to Hilton, and it is really Holiday Inn.

The weather was fine, mostly sunshine with clouds, and once a while heavy shower. When it was pouring, you can not really see clearly; most people would pull cars into a gas station to wait the shower over.

The food at Hotel was expensive and very little; the service was even worse - they did not hand you a menu (you have to grab one yourself), and I was drinking ice water for half hour, before I could see/stop a waiter to put an order. They (just one waiter and one waitress) just disappeared . When I finished my meal, I waited half hour again for the bill, and still did not see them. So I just walked out the restaurant, the waiter finally showed up at the door. How much tip would you give? Sounds like the people and situations in the Catch-22.

Anyway, quite an advanture.

The English country is tranquil and tidy. Here is a photo of a tiny Rockingham village.

Rockingham Village


Farewell to Sixth Grade!

As the Sixth Grade passes and the Summer is almost done, I recollect on the various experiences during the passed school year. I had grown greatly both physically and mentally.

In this year Physically, I lost three teeth, grew 1.5 inches, and went up a shoe size. I started wearing glasses (-2.00) got a :33 on my 50 yard freestyle, and started trying to ride my bike hands-free.

School-wise, I got 20 A’s and 4 A-’s , read lots of books like the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and “The Guardians of Ga’Hoole” series, and met lots of new teachers. I saw friends for 5th grade and made lots of new friends. And in PE, I drapped from a 9:20 to a 7:09 in my mile runs.

In music, I made the Jazz Band on piano in my school by auditioning, and played Alto Sax in the 6th grade band. I went up one level in the Certificate of Merit testings, and attended Branch Honors, a recital for students who did exceptionally well in the CM tests. I also learned two more dances from Bach’s English Suite III.

This year has been a hotspot for growth, with gains physically, school-wise, and musically.With these advances, I have a feeling that 7th grade will be even better!

Go David!!

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Keyboard coding II

Here’s my own version of key board coding. See if you can figure it out. If you are confused, look at the directions in the original Keyboard coding by David.

Fucw nw kuvwert ie fucw nw swprg

Ri vw ie bir ri vw rgpr ua rgw mywaruib.

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Blog No More

I have decided to erase my new blog because it just wasn’t getting a lot of use and it was just too big of a problem.


But check out my new “Why swearing is bad” coming August 2009

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New Story: The Poogue Tale

The Poogue Tale, a revised edition of the previous fable, The Tale of Michael, has just released its first chapter as a separate page. Like David’s Master of the Elements, The Tale of Michael has been dormant for quite a while. I have decided that many more improvements could have been made to the story, including main themes to the story, more character development, and a myriad of plot changes. With all of these new additions, creating a new story would be justified, so I decided to just start over from the beginning, making all of the changes as I go along.

For now, please use the link here to read the story. As you may have noticed, there are currently two duplicates, and one will be removed later. The version with the above link is the one that will be updated.


As a side note, I will no longer be updating The Tale of Michael, but I have kept that story as a page if you ever want to refer to it. However, I would be more than willing to take it off if you want to avoid possible spoilers.

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Now with nothing to do during the summer after my failed Chinese Class Experience, I decided to go to DVC to take Photoshop classes instead.

The teacher, Mrs. Holman, was very fun and nice, and the classmates were of all ages. I, of course, was the youngest, the next being a to-be 9th grader called Nikita. He seemed very interested in zombies and heavy metal guitarists, and loved to read about both. Though he was a good friend, his interests were very unlike that of mine.

The first couple days, they taught stuff like selections and layers that I already knew from playing around with it during some free time. But after a while, I was learning quite a lot. Homework was quite easy, and after only 5 weeks, the Final was due, a project with all we learned for 40% of our grade.

I decided to turn my sister into a mermaid, fairy, and goddess.


Emily the Fairy


Emily the Goddess


Emily the Mermaid

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If anyone gets this message i cant write my story until the end of summer or maybe sooner im going on vacation and im going camping. i will try to add a little every now and then. but itll be hard. once again sorry for the delay.

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The page Master of the Elements is being completely rewritten. It has been dormant for a very long while, and I will continue to add more to the story.

X-Man’s write-rate system:

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