Angel Island Pictures

Ferry Building Area

Farmer's Market behind the Ferry Building

Pretty flowers behind the Ferry Building along the pier

Ferry Building from Embarcadero

Pier 39

Sea lions behind Pier 39

That's Alcatraz in the background

Shots from the Ferry

Alcatraz Island from the Ferry

North Bay covered in fog, from the Ferry

Tiburon from the Ferry.

Pics from Angel Island

Camp Reynolds

View of foggy San Francisco and Alcatraz Island

View of the Golden Gate Bridge

View of SF and Alcatraz from Perles Beach

Golden Gate Bridge from Perles Beach

An old hospital in Fort McDowell

More Fort McDowell buildings

View of the East Bay from Angel Island

Immigration Station where Chinese Immigrants where detained

A Blimp over the Bay

Ferry Building at Night

From the back of Ferry Building

View towards Market Street from the Ferry Building

Ferry Building

View of Market Street


Speaking of...

I haven't been writing much as of late. I've been staying at mom's place the past few months while I work on their house. Mainly painting the walls and replacing the carpet with laminated wood floors. I'm almost done, about another two or three days worth of work left. Hopefully I finish it this coming week.

I wasn't too surprised that Bush withdrew Mier's nomination. The conservatives really hate her. I guess they don't really know who she is, and they're not buying Bush's "Trust Me" pledge. After all, his father is famous for the "Read My Lips..." line. Also with Bush's approval rating the lowest since President Carter oil embargo era, he has to please the conservative base. I'm sure he can find a conservative woman justice who would favor ending abortion to make the right-wing happy.

It always makes me laugh when I hear conservatives talk about Supreme Court justices. Specifically, when they talk about how they don't like justices that "legislate" from the bench. And how they like "constructioninst". Which basically means they want justices the interprets the Constitution the way the framers intended it. That sounds good and all, but if the Constitution is interpreted the way it was in the 1700's I'd count as four-fifths of a person. So I'm sorry if I don't agree with them. I wonder if Bush can find a woman Supreme Court justice that would agree with the Constitution's framers that woman should not have the right to vote? Hmm...

Speaking of low ratings, California's Arnold has numbers never before seen since Gray Davis' energy crisis. Of course Davis had Enron and others to blame for gouging the state. Arnold on the other hand made the mistake of attacking teachers, nurses firefighters and police unions. Sometimes I wonder why Filipino-Americans are the only Asians who are predominantly Democrats. And then I saw Fi-Am nurses on TV picketing against Arnold and I remember why.

Speaking of old actors past their prime, I read today that Stallone is bringing back Rambo. A month ago he decided to bring back Rocky. I'm guessing he's broke and needs money. I don't think I ever saw the last Rambo, but from what I remember it was Rambo helping Osama bin Ladin fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. How times have changed. Now the Russians are our friends, and Osama has a $1B bounty on his head. I guess Stallone don't want people to remember Rambo as the American hero who helped Osama. That would be high treason.

Speaking of high treason, Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby resigned today after being indicted for releasing the name of a CIA agent who was married to a person who didn't agree that Saddam was buying Uranium in Africa. That after all was the main reason Bush invaded Iraq. It's also the same lie that ended Colin Powell's hope of being a President someday. Or at least a person with any credibility. I feel sorry for the guy. I'm sure somewhere in the White House Karl Rove is typing his resignation. I just hope the special prosecutor wait until a year from now, right about when Americans are voting for Congress.

Speaking of prosecutors, last week I got another subpoena from the DA's office regarding the accident I witnessed a couple of months ago. When I called the court last time, the case got a continuance. This time I have to go there on Tuesday. This sucks coz I'm supposed to babysit that day. Hopefully this time the case goes forward so I get done with it.

Speaking of accidents, a video of Janet Jackson sunbathing is circulating in the internet. Honestly, I don't understand why she would need to work on her tan. But hopefully she doesn't need to take off her fake nose. Also hopefully she doesn't have those implant scars like Tara Reid. I don't admit or deny seeing the video, but I won't be surprised if she's into Brazilian waxing and spanking her own ass to the beat of a music.

Speaking of...


Angel Island

Last week I finally bought my digital SLR camera. I bought the Canon Rebel XT from my local Costco. I figured I take advantage of Costco's liberal return policy.

On Friday I got an email from a friend about a hiking trip to Angel Island. Great! I've always wanted to go back there, plus I have a new camera I wanted to take for a test drive. I've only been to Angel Island once, during high school on our Asian-American club field trip. Angel Island is the Ellis Island of the west. It has an immigration station where Chinese immigrants were detained in the early to mid 20th century, until they were allowed to enter the country. I remember the place reminded me of concentration camps I shown in the movie Shindler's List.

On Saturday morning, I took the 7AM BART from Pleasanton to the city. I wanted to go to walk around Union Square to take pictures, but since I had a 5 mile hiking to do later in the day, I decided to just go to the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero. On Saturdays they have farmers market there, so it was a great atmosphere. I decided against taking pictures of people there since I didn't know if they would mind. But I did get some pictures of the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and the Ferry Building.

After an hour in the Embarcadero, it was time to head up to Pier 39. I was gonna walk, but I was short on time, so I took the street car MUNI up and enjoyed the view of the several piers along the way. There were lots of joggers and tourist walking along Embarcadero.

Pier 39 was mostly deserted. It was too early in the morning and most shops were still close. I decided to grab a coffee before I stroll around and take more pictures. The view of the city is really nice from that pier, too bad it was too foggy. I walked around pier 39 for about an hour taking pictures of the sea lions, shops and Alcatraz Island.

The ferry ride to Angel Island was really fun. I've never taken the ferry from SF so I was excited. I also have a new camera with me, so it makes it more exciting. On the way to Angel Island, we got a decent view of the city, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. If could have been better but the fog covered most of the view. The ferry stopped at Alcatraz and Tiburon, before finally stopping at Angel Island.

The 5 mile hike around Angel Island is not too bad, we had to stay on a paved road most of the time, but we managed to find trails to the beach. From the beach, we could see the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge. As well as Alcatraz and SF. Again, the fog enveloped most of them, but its alright. Its what the area is famous for.

The hike was also fun because we had a big group. We had 12 people of mixed education and professional backgrounds.

After the hike, I went to a friend's dental office in the Embarcadero. We had dinner at Chevy's and then went to a friend's place in Chinatown. We hung out there until midnight and a friend drove with me to Pleasanton.

Sunday is Sabbath where I pay respect to the football gods. Of course the football gods haven't been helping my Niners the past few years. They lost 52-... well lets just say, they got their asses handed to them.

I also went to a photography presentation in Pleasanton library. The speaker is an author of a new book and also the founder of BetterPhoto.com I talk was basically about taking good pictures, lighting, composition, etc. Stuff I've read about before, but always forget to do when I'm actually taking pictures.

Speaking of great pictures, I finally downloaded the pics from the Angel Island trip. The pictures didn't come out as great as I had hoped. Most of the shots are soft or out of focus. The fog around the bay really affected the lighting and that strong coffee I had in the morning made my hand shake while taking pictures. A tripod would have been really helpful, but I don't have $150 for a tripod yet. I'm also not used to taking pictures with a big camera, and of course the Rebel XT is famous for its small hand grip.

I'll take more shots with the camera to figure out if its a keeper. Three of the people I went hiking with have the Nikon D70. That was my second option. Its only 6MP, but its really easy to hold since it's a little bigger and heavier than the Rebel XT.

I'll post pictures of the trip when I find time...


Dig SLR & O Canada!

I've been too busy to update my blog lately. I'm still working on my parents' house, painting and replacing the carpet with laminated flooring.

I was supposed to meet with the DA for an accident I witness a couple of months ago, but when I called about the case, the recording said I didn't have to show up. When I talked to the process server that gave me the subpoena, I was told that if the recording says I don't need to go, then either the guy pleaded guilty, or the case is just postponed. If postponed, he said I could be subpoenaed again. Anyways, I hope I don't hear from them again. Initially I thought it was exciting to appear in court, but now the excitement has died down. Anyways, if I do end up testifying I'll make sure to turn to the defendant and yell out: "Did you order the Code Red?!!!".

One thing I've been obsessing about is getting a digital SLR camera. I'm not aiming for the really expensive ones since money is tight. But from the look of things, it's gonna cost around $1000 for the camera, lens, camera bag, tripod and all that good stuff. My options are Canon's Rebel XT, Nikon's D50 or D70/s and Olympus' E500. All makes a great first SLR. But it's amazing how good lenses can cost a thousand bucks by itself. The lens that comes with D70s kit cost $300 by itself! I paid $200 for my niece's 5MP Canon A520. And that came with a free 256MB memory card. Really good lenses can cost $1000 easily. But for now, I think a good everyday lens is good enough. That, and maybe a decent Macro lens. I'm hoping to get it by Christmas. So hopefully prices comes down for the shopping season.

Right now I have a four year old 2MP. To help pay for my camera, I decided to sell my Nintendo GameCube along with all my games, and I'll probably sell most of DVDs also.

I recently read an article about a survey that named Vancouver as the "Best city to live" in. I've never been to Vancouver, but almost everyone I talked to about the city gave a very positive view of it. They say it's very diverse and progressive. Plus, it's close to Seattle and only 17 hrs from Le Bay Area! Oh yeah, one doesn't need to speak French to live there. It also has the second largest Chinatown in Northern America (only SF's is larger). It has a lot of Asians, about 17% of its population are Chinese, 3% Filipino and 8% other Asians. If I were to live outside the Bay Area, Vancouver will probably top the list, and then Melbourne or Sydney. There are also European cities I'd like to live in.