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Should you laugh or should you cry? February 3, 2016

Posted by hslu in Social Issues.
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Is this the testament of moral decay in the United States or is it simply a sign of an advanced society in action?

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Maybe the San Francisco school board leaders want to establish a new trend in the classrooms of American middle schools.

It is only natural to expect such a development in American schools after cities in the United States decided to distribute free needles to drug users to prevent the spread of AIDS.

What’s next? Free birth control pills for American Middle School girls?

By the way, who will receive the free condoms; middle school girls or boys?

Just curious.

And how will them distributed?

And will their parent(s) be notified?

Just curious.

Fortunately, I don’t live anywhere close to SF and I don’t have kids going to SF middle school, or high school, for that matter.

Phew!

America the country of Open Air Urinal January 29, 2016

Posted by hslu in Social Issues, Travel.
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WOW! This is America at its best on display.

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Source: Fox News

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Source: Associated Press

Now, San Francisco public park goers can find one to relieve themselves instead of aiming at three-story-tall light posts like male dogs do.

According to city workers, one three-story-tall light post toppled because the base of the post was corroded by a mixture of human and dog urine and the post was weighed down by a large and likely very heavy banner.

I suggest NYC and DC send officials to SF to inspect the revolutionary invention and adopt it in their respective city.

A city paid TV commercial may be needed to make people aware of this new public service addition. A Facebook post might be added for maximum exposure. Tourists need to know its existence too. Dogs can find it on their own.

Other cities in the U.S. may consider it too.

Hmmm…, where does the urine go?

Google bus: trickle down economy at its best February 14, 2014

Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, jobs, Liberal Media, Obama, Politics, Racial Bias.
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Atmosphere tense at a Google bus stop in San Francisco

This is the headline of a CNBC story on Google employees who live in San Francisco but take their morning buses to Google offices in Silicon Valley. A typical Google bus rider, according to a UC  Berkeley study, is “a single male about 30 with an annual salary of $100,000 or more.”

CNBC reported that many people protest the affluent class of high-tech workers at bus stops. The complaint that these high-pay Google employees have changed the make up of the neighborhood in places around San Francisco. Reads: Poor folks have been driven out of the neighborhood.

Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101415989

“Gentrification stops here,” reads one protest sign. 

“Are they too delicate to take public transportation? I take public transportation all the time. I’ve lived here 50 years. I’ve taken public transit for maybe 45 of those 50 years. I’ve turned out just fine,” said a protester.

Yet, you can not deny the trickle down effects here; an economic fact loathed by Obama, Democrats and liberals in the U.S.

Bob Linscheid, president and CEO of the SF Chamber of Commerce, expressed this political taboo the best: “tech is a job multiplier,” which means that every well-paid engineer is supporting restaurants, retailers and a range of personal services, from yoga sessions to health clubs.”

He continued: “Taxi drivers, people working in restaurants and in hotels are jobs created in and for San Francisco,” he said. “If you want to solve unemployment, then good-paying high-tech jobs create other jobs, too.” Mr. Linscheid forgot to mention the jobs for those bus drivers.

You can’t deny this, can you?

Yet, Obama and the Democrats hate this economic facts. In public, that is.

They vilified the haves to win votes from the have-nots.  They created class envy first and fans the emotion fire to start a public fight among the classes: pitting the 99% against the 1%.

Obama will use what we called “阶级斗争“ to attack the Republicans and he will gradually raise the profile of this issue as we are near the Mid-term election. There is no doubt that many so-called “black leaders” will gladly pick up the issue to raise their own public profiles and energize the Democrat’s base. I am sure that DNC is mapping out strategies and allocating funds to mount a high-profile attack against the Republican candidates right after Summer is about to end.

Of course, the elite liberal media will be Democrat’s willing participant by default.

To fight against DNC’s tactic, RNC may want to consider drafting Linscheid as its spokesman and uses Google bus in their TV commercials during the campaign season.

Well, you probably don’t believe trickle down because you might think inequality is sources of all evils in the society.

But have you even seen jobs created by a poor person ?

I am still looking.

北京小館, San Francisco January 17, 2012

Posted by hslu in Chinese, Chinese Food, Restaurants, Travel.
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Yelp led us to this small restaurant in San Francisco not far from the SF Airport

It looked better than tasted

Look, where is Yao Ming?

The restaurant isn’t too bad. Worth going back to.

Kevin’s Knee Surgery – March 18, 2009 April 30, 2009

Posted by hslu in Travel.
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Kevin’s Knee Surgery – March 18, 2009

My son, Kevin, had a knee surgery (ACL) on March 18, 2009 in San Francisco. Maria and I went there two times to give him a hand with his long recovery. He loves Chinese Wushu and has been practiced this beautiful Kung Fu for almost 10 years now. His right knee has been giving him problems due to Wushu practices.

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He found Doctor Kenneth Akizuki from Yelp and had gone to Embarcadero Physical Therapy near his work before the surgery to strengthen his knees. Dr. Akizuki is an Orthopedic Surgeon who got his MD from George Washington University in Georgetown, Washington, DC. He is in his mid 40’s and has been an Orthopedic Surgeon for the past 12 years.

We arrived at Pacific Height Surgery Center around 11:00 AM and the nurse took him into the room shortly. From the outside, you won’t know that this is a surgery center. It looked like a 3-story condo with a parking lot at the bottom level. We were told to wait in the waiting area and the operation will take up to 2 hours and recovery should be around 1 hour. We should be out of here around #:30 or so. We asked to speak to the doctor and were told that he is in surgery now and will talk to us after the surgery. We waited for about ½ an hour and talked to the doctor for about 2 minutes. He looked quite young, energetic but warm. He briefly went though the procedures and asked us if we had questions. We told him that we will be here for 10 days to help with the recovery. He said that’s adequate. He knew that we came from Northern Virginia and said he studied at George Washington in Georgetown. We talked about where we live and a few places he was familiar with in the area. He said that we can leave our cell phone number with the front desk and the receptionist will inform us when the operation is over. He then went in the operation area.

We decided to have something to eat and came back in about 2 hours to wait for the doctor. We drove to a strip mall about 4 blocks down and ordered some sandwich and drinks for lunch. We then came back to the surgery center and waited for doctor Akizuki.

He came out around 2:15 PM and said that everything went through nicely and Kevin is comfortably in the recovery room. He also said that Kevin’s bone was too hard and he had to use a Titanium drill bit to drill holes in his knee. He said other than that everything went through smoothly. He also said that Kevin is very strong but he still has to go through physical therapy to gain full motion of his knee. We thanked him and were told to wait for him at the reception area. We waited for another hour and were told that Kevin was ready to be discharged. We then took him home, helped him walk to his apartment using crutches.

For the next couple of days we stayed at Kevin’s apartment and didn’t go out unless it was necessary. I cooked for us using the grocery we picked up from the local 99 store on the day of our arrival. I made many soups and dishes such as 鸡汤, 牛尾汤, 排骨汤, 狮子头,猪排,饺子 etc for us. The bone soups were good for Kevin’s recovery. I also made many dishes, separated them into small batches and froze them for later use. Kevin can easily make many meals out of them after we go back to Virginia.

On Friday March 20th, I went to Asian ghetto across the street from Kevin’s apartment around 10:30 in the evening to get some 珍珠奶茶. On the way back to his apartment, as I was trying to get the key card from my back pocket to open the front door of the apartment building, I heard a loud bang from behind. When I turned around and looked toward the source of the bang, I heard a second loud bang and saw a small red sedan stopped at the concrete barrier for the control box for the traffic light. The sedan had a big dent on back fender on the drive side. Many people immediately came around the intersection (Durant and Telegraph, probably the busiest intersection in Berkeley). Since I was about 15 feet from the car, I went to look too. I saw a motorcycle in the middle of the intersection. A guy in his 20’s lying about 20′ from the motorcycle with his right leg on top of his left leg. He was in his shorts with a pair sneakers and I noticed that he didn’t wear a helmet. Several people gathered around him and were apparently checking his condition. I didn’t see any blood on the ground and people around the guy talked among themselves but didn’t ask anyone to call an ambulance or getting some medical assistance. They stood up, took his left leg and lay it on the ground. Shortly after, a policeman showed up. He first walked to the guy on the ground, briefly checked his condition, talked to the people around him, then walked toward the car and asked for the driver of the sedan. A young Asian guy answered the call and said that he was the driver. He then proceeded to ask him questions about the accident. By this time, it was obvious to me that the guy was dead. He most likely broke his neck when he landed on the ground. I wasn’t sure who was at fault. Someone mush have run a red light and the impact was so huge it forced the sedan to turn 180o.

What a terrible thing to happen when I was there! It reminded me that life is so fragile and bad thing can happen at a blink of an eye: one moment the young guy was enjoying a ride in a clear spring night. A few seconds later, he landed on his back with his neck broken and dead on the scene. Imaging how terrible the news was to his parents and family. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for his parents who raised him to his 20’s but lost him in a flash of a second. At that moment, I couldn’t help but thought about what Chinese say about parents attending their kid’s funeral because there is nothing worse than “白髮人送黑髮人。”

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During the next several days, Kevin gradually improved from having to take pain medicine on a daily basis to relying on Ibuprofen before we left on Friday, the 27th of March. Most of the time, we stayed at his apartment, walked with him to help with his recovery. We also took him to physical therapy near his work a couple of times and to the doctor’s office on the day of our flight

back to Virginia to check on his progress and to remove the dressing. Dr. Akizuki took out some reddish fluid (about 20 cc) from his swollen knee. The procedure was so painful that Kevin called it a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10. He later went back to the doctor’s office again a month after surgery. This time, Dr. Akizuki removed some more fluid from his knee. Apparently, the wound was recovery nicely because fluid was clear to slight brownish in color. I hoped it wasn’t as painful as the first one.

We went back to Virginia on Friday but decided to come back on the 5th of April. This time we only stayed for 4 nights and took Kevin to PT twice. By the end of our second visit, Kevin was much better and the wound has almost healed. Although he still couldn’t stretch his right leg all the way out. I guess it will probably take 6 months to completely recover.

A day after the surgery, Kevin was able to walk around with the help of crutches. Since the doctor wanted him to walk in order to speed up the recovery, we didn’t stay at his apartment for too long. We took him out to meet with his cousins and a friend in the Bay area. On Saturday, March 21st, we met with Stephen, Joyce and their two kids at a very nice Japanese restaurant “Sushi House” in Alameda, about 15 miles from Berkeley just north of the Oakland Airport. The next day, we had dinner with Ho-pu, Erica, their kid, Christine and Justin at Shanghai Restaurant 江浙聚豐園 in Milpitas not too far from their houses. Monday afternoon, Maria and I drove back to Fremont to see Maria’s Aunt and chat with her for 2 hours. On Tuesday night, we took Betty to Taiwanese Restaurant in Berkeley for dinner then to have some gelatos at Ciao Bella. Betty teaches Math at an element school in the Mission district of San Francisco. She is a daughter of a good friend of ours in Northern Virginia. Other restaurants we went to were On our second trip, we met Danica’s mother and brother right in front of Kevin’s apartment by accident. We talked about Kevin’s knee and she invited us to have dinner with them the next day. They took us to a Singapore restaurant in Lafayette north of Berkeley, called Kopitam.

We also ate at local restaurants such as Taiwan Restaurant on University Blvd, Great China Restaurant on Kittredge, Zachary’s on College (bad pizza but very popular with locals probably because of Zagart’s favorable review,) Manpuku  Sushi on College (fresh and very reasonable on prices,) The Cheeseboard Pizza Collective on Shattuck in North Berkeley where only one kind of pizza is served everyday for $20, a Szechuan restaurant (Sichuan Fusion)  in the shopping center where 99 Ranch grocery store is, Osaka Ya at Japan center, Ciao Bella Gelato on Shattuck in downtown Berkeley (we’ve gone there twice because it was so good,) and Fentons Creamery on Piedmont in Oakland where many of Kevin’s cousins went there for a great night of ice cream during Ho-pu’s wedding.

Shanghai Restaurant was a good choice. I liked their 臭豆腐燴大腸: unique combination, right amount of spiciness, hot and last but not least the大腸 was chewy but not over-cooked. 糟溜魚片 was authentic: white fish in tangy酒糟 sauce. But I didn’t think the kids liked it probably because of the distinctive taste of 酒糟. 砂鍋腌燉鮮 (金華火腿, fresh bamboo shoots and 百頁結 (made from soy beans: kind of like dry bean curd but different in form and texture) is an authentic Shanghai dish I like a lot. It bought back some fond memory of my Mobil days when I frequently drove from Bakersfield to St. Gabriel north of Los Angeles (130 miles) after work in the field just to have this dish. The broth was clear, fresh and delicious. The bamboo fresh and the百頁結 was quite good. Unfortunately the restaurant was out of a few dishes I like to try. Well, maybe next time! I also saw a framed Chinese calligraphy art work on the wall which I enjoy reading.

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It is one of seven short poems in “何處難忘酒七首 – Can’t Forget Drinking Wine with Friends” by 白居易, a very famous poet in the Tang Dynasty. The art work says:

何處難忘酒,天涯話舊情。
青云俱不達,白發遞相惊。
二十年前別,三千里外行。
此時無一醆,何以敘平生。

It expresses author’s affection to wine and uses wine to symbolize friendship between two friends who last seen each other 20 years ago and has since traveled 3000 miles apart. Now that they meet after so many years, how can they not have some good wine to talk about their live stories?

The Sushi House was a busy restaurant. We had to wait for about 20 minutes before getting a table for 7 including 2 small children. While we were there, we saw a line of about 15 people waiting to get a table all the time. The restaurant is about 100′ from the shoreline of the San Francisco bay. We sat at a table which allowed us to watch the beautiful sunset. The view was great. The atmosphere was vibrant. People came in and out of the restaurant nonstop. Three young hostesses took names of new customers, answered phone calls, prepare to-go orders, rushed people to their tables and helped with setting tables for new customers. The open sushi bar had 6 sushi chefs working nonstop to put out colorful sushi plates. A kitchen behind the sushi bar put out other dishes such as Teriyaki, Tempura, Udon and Bento boxes. The 140-seat restaurant was such a hit with locals and tourists alike it was completely packed. The menu was filled with beautiful sushi and sashimi pictures. There were at least 60 different selections and it took us a while to make up our decision. We had Toro Sashimi (belly of Tuna, Fatty, oily and soft), Crunchy Roll (deep-fried warm tempura shrimp with crab meat and avocado,) Samurai Roll (looks very nice), Crispy Roll, Power Roll, Beef Udon, Oregon Roll, Super pawn, Spicy Tuna Roll (much more spicier than what I had before at other Japanese restaurants.) I also wanted to order some sake for the occasion but there were so many choices. I had a hard time to decide. I finally ordered a small bottle (300 cc) of Sho Chiku Bai Ginjo Sake in a very pretty bottle for $9.95. It was made from rice that was milled off the outer 40% of each grain. I believe that this particular Ginjo (not Junmai) had alcohol added to the rice wine hence the alcohol content was very high: 40%. I didn’t like the wine because of the higher alcohol content which overwhelmed the sake flavor. It turns out that this sake was bottled by Takara Sake USA located right in Berkeley.

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For desserts, we shared a Green Tea Cheesecake and a Pound Cake. The dishes came out quickly once we placed our order. Since it was a busy Saturday evening, the service was spotty and at least I felt a bit rushed. The kids were so nice they were patiently playing with toys and munching finger food such as cheerio. We finished our dinner in about 40 minutes then drove in heavy rain to their house somewhere south of Fremont. We talked about Joyce’s business, Stephen’s job and watch their kids playing with the toy train. Grace asked Kevin about his girl friend and found out that he was once available. We stayed for an hour so and then drove back to Berkeley.

Well, 10 days went by very fast but it was a nice break from the daily grind of the restaurant business. We were quite nervous before the surgery and it was gut wrenching to watch him suffering the pain especially during the first few days. Since he is well off to a good recovery, I guess we can easy the anxiety now. On our second visit, we had more time for ourselves because Kevin went back to work. We tour the city: the crookest street, the Golden Bridge, San Francisco Park, and Sausalito. We also went to see the Bhutan exhibit at San Francisco Asian Museum. Although it was raining, we had a good time being together on a quasi vacation. Sausalito was particularly beautiful even on a raining and cold day. We had some espresso. coffee and small pastry at a shop called Piccolo Caffè by the bay. We sat outside on a wooden bench. A propane heater kept us warm. We watched seagulls flying by, gazed at the skyline of downtown San Francisco in the far ground and enjoying a quite moment together. Maria also bought a couple of nodding head pandas and we will put them in our restaurant. They will do the nodding to thank our customers for their business.

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In the past, when we flew into Oakland Airport, we usually rented a car at the airport. This time, we rented cars in downtown Berkeley instead. It was much cheaper because we saved at least 50% on the rent. We learned to take BART to and from the airport. It was quite convenient but the trip took about an hour: 15 minute walk from Kevin’s apartment to the BART station on Shattuck, 25 minute BART ride and 15 minute bus ride from BART station to the airport. We also rented a car with City Carshare at $5/hr for 45 minutes in order to return a rental car to Alamo on University. Parking in Berkeley was much better this time. I only had one ticket during two trips this time which will cost me $30. I do have to get up before 9 AM to move my car from street parking to a public parking lot though. The Interceptors at Berkeley were out in force at all times to check parking meters and parking lots. I had seen so many of them in Berkeley (and in San Francisco) that I thought their salary depends on how many tickets they issue everyday. Last time when Maria and I were here early this year, I had to pay $42 to park overnight in a garage on Durant at Telegraph: $21 overnight fee and $21 for parking. What a rip off! I though that the maximum charge was $21 and that was what I had in mind when I went to the cashier to pay for it the next morning. I will never park there again.

Talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal in California. I knew that because Kevin told me. Unfortunately I got a ticket from a policeman on his bicycle when I answered Kevin’s call about letting the guy came into his apartment to retrieve the CPM machine. He was right behind me when I answered the call. He had his flasher on and I didn’t pay attention to him and continued talking. He then pull right beside me and asked me to pull over. He said I kind of ran a red light while talking on the cell phone. I told him that I didn’t know the law but he gave me a ticket anyway. He said he’d let me go on the red light violation probably I was distracted by the phone call. He handed me the ticket and said the fine was only $20. Well, at least he was reasonable. Other wise, it would be close to $100. Better pay it or they will send me a ticket to me home.

Staying at Kevin’s apartment wasn’t that bad. We got used to sleep on the floor: a little hard on my back but we saved at least $1500 on hotels. Well, 10 days went by very fast but it was a nice break from the daily grind of the restaurant business. We were quite nervous before the surgery and it was gut wrenching to watch him suffering the pain especially during the first few days. We were glad to be able to help him with his recovery. Since he is well off to a good recovery, I guess we can easy the anxiety now.

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