i was up until 6:00 playing around with the ipad last night. it was already light outside when i finally decided to go to sleep. i didn't wake up until 11:00, 5 hours later; i could've easily slept more, but i i didn't want to waste the day away in bed.

i noticed the temperature inside the house was a few degrees warmer, and the outdoor temperature was in the low 60's. there was still sporadic rain throughout the day, but they didn't come as often, and it was a bright overcast. i saw people outside walking around in t-shirts and shorts, neighbors taking advantage of the warmer weather, even if just by a few degrees.

i'm learning how to use the ipad by leaps and bounds. last night was about adding apps. there are more than 2 dozen new ones on top of the default apps. i also figured out how to create folders and move icons around. i don't know why new apps are added to the 2nd page instead of the 1st page, but it's easily to relocation them.

today i sync'ed up the ipad to the copy of itunes on my computer. i loaded up 1100+ china 2006 photos, which took up about 1gb of space (not a big deal, this version has 32gb). the ipad is a great way to show photos. i also tried converting a 700mb movie into an ipad compatible format but the final file would've been 2gb, a little big for my taste. i loaded some pdf magazines and books into the stanza app, as well as a few cbz/cbr comics. they looked great, much better than on the kindle simply because everything was in color.

from julie's demonstration back in january, i found a few apps that she had that impressed me the most: flipboard, urbanspoon, and dropbox. i have flipboard linked to me flickr account, although i wish you could view sets instead of just the entire photostream. i don't know how useful urbanspoon will be for me (since i almost never eat out nowadays), but i just the blending of all the different technologies: maps, user reviews, and restaurant database. i wasn't so impressed with dropbox when i first saw it, but now i realize it's probably the easiest way to quickly get a file onto the ipad (and vice versa back to a computer) without using the usb cable.

for me, one of the most useful apps is one from the weather channel. i love the easy access to the doppler radar, which is the one thing i'm always checking on my laptop. i think weatherbug has one as well (also free, but has ads) which i'll probably check out too.

while making lunch today (kielbasa + sauerkraut + english muffin) i also vacuumed the house. i vacuum about once every 1-2 weeks. it's usually just the bathroom because it gets the dirtiest, with all the stray hairs on the tile floor, but today i went through the whole house, sucking up dust bunnies hiding in the corners and underneath the furnitures.

it was warm today that i could use my dual ventilation window fan with one fan blowing in and one fan blowing out. usually they both just blow out, but i've discovered it doesn't suck out that much cooking smell when i do that. unfortunately i can't do that when the weather is cold, since it quickly drops the temperature with so much air circulation.

later i did a partial water change on the tetra tank, and scrubbed off some oil-induced algae bloom on the java ferns.

i tried some of the china snacks my parents brought back. there was some "horse nipple" (ma nai 马奶) raisins - a xinjiang specialty so called because they're unusually elongated. for some reason they were rose-flavored, which made it taste even more exotic. i also tried some spicy sichuan-style broad beans. i think they could've been spicier, and probably kick up the flavor quotient up a notch by throwing in some peppercorns too. finally, i had a packet of preserved duck gizzard, which looked like really tender meat jerky and tasted like spam.

the gizzard didn't agree with me and soon afterwards i had a quick bout of diarrhea. just like being there in asia!

i also got a bag of "eight treaures" (ba bao 八宝) tea, a naturally sweetened chinese tea comprised of 8 ingredients: black tea, goji berries, dried dates, dried longans, dried plum, clover flowers, raisins, and rock sugar. i took out a packet and steeped it with boiling water in a tall glass. the flowers, goji berries, and dried longans floated to the surface. the rock sugar sweetens the tea but also eating the goji berries. i peeled the longans to get to the dried black fruit inside but i think it's mostly for show since i can't imagine any flavors can be extracted from those dried husks.

for dinner i made a medley of leftovers: grilled chicken thighs mixed with chinese noodles with some chopped lettuce and fermented sichuan radishes all combined with a dan dan noodle sauce. it was okay, i've had worse, but the good thing is i didn't waste any food. victor came home close to 9:00, but instead of watching basketball, he ate his dinner in the dining room and watched some show on his laptop. later in the 4th quarter he came out to saw the end of the game between dallas and oklahoma city. the thunder ended up winning, bringing the series to 1-1.

10 years ago on this day i began this weblog.1 back in those early days, i did the weblog by hand, updating a single html page, archiving the whole thing after each month. then 2 years later i picked up enough php and mysql to put everything into a database, automating the blog to a small extent. over the years, i've tweaked the design and added some more features. for example, in those early days, there was only thumbnails. that was because my webhost at the time only gave me 2mb of storage space. the blog didn't even have it's own domain name (i registered one a few days later). i've had a web presence since college in the mid-90's, during the internet infancy. it wasn't a blog, but i put up some vacation photos and i had a few essays (fire hydrants, heather kahn, wisdom teeth extraction).

the decade went by pretty fast. i don't think i'm more mature but definitely a bit wiser. i don't know how i feel about having a detailed log of the past 10 years of my life. it's certainly useful for remembering things, i don't think very many people can pick out a day from the past 10 years (27% of my life) and be able to say exactly what they were doing. i don't think i have too much to show for it however. there was some excitement of course, but for the most part it was pretty mundane. i'm not even sure why i keep on blogging when almost everyone i know who has a blog gave it up after a year or two. i guess some people were meant to keep online journals with photo documentation and make them public to the entire world.

1 purely by chance, it also coincides with the 10th year anniversary of the very first apple store.