Quick Hack

As a quick hack, I’ve whipped up something that will automatically translate the official business and school closings from Chinese to English: http://vps1.jameslick.com/cpa/

As this is a quick hack, it currently only has translations for the current contents of the main table. I will have to update the translations as new types of closings are posted, and add translations for the surrounding information.

Quick Up-to-dates

So, I passed the written part of the driving test. Still working on the road test parts. Before you laugh at me, go back and review those videos of the test in the last post.

Sunday April 1, we went by High Speed Rail to Tainan for early Tomb Sweeping for my great-grandfather-in-law, grandmother-in-law, and father-in-law. Instead of 5 hours by bus, it was about 1:45 hours on the HSR. I had to give driving directions to Maggie’s father’s grave since she never remembers. I had fried fish soup for lunch (everyone else had other stuff).

In the afternoon we headed to Kending by bus via Gaoxiong. HSR doesn’t go further than Gaoxiong and the bus to Gaoxiong was faster anyways, since the HSR stations are far outside of downtown in both Gaoxiong and Tainan. In Kending we stayed at the Chateau Hotel which was right on the beach. We went a short walk into town for dinner where we sampled night market fare and had some Thai food.

Tuesday we spent all day hanging out on the beach or in the pool.

Wednesday the weather turned cold again but it was still just warm enough in the sun to enjoy the beach a bit more until we had to make our way back home. We took the bus back to Gaoxiong and stopped off at the Liuhe Night Market where I again had my favorite fried fish soup. The Liuhe Night Market place makes it best, even though the Tainan one is supposedly more authentic. Then we took the train up to the HSR station and then back to Taipei on the express train in just 1:40 instead of 6 hours by bus.

Weather has been pretty crappy in Taipei since then. That and the real Tomb Sweeping 4-day holiday of Thursday, April 5 through Sunday April 8 really put a dent in business. Things have been slowly warming up though, so that and some sunny weather should be good for business. Please! Please!

Last night Emily was playing around and dropped a heavy 10 meter metal tape measure square on her big toe and busted the toenail. Lots of blood and drama but she seems to be OK today.

Next week I’m going to Singapore April 15 though April 18 for a Subway meeting. My flight on Sunday leaves 7:40am which means leaving the house at 5:00am. And since the buses aren’t running that early, that also means hiring a taxi to go to the airport. Ugh, too early.

I’m still hoping to make it back to the US at the end of this month. In related news, I’ve finally got the majority of my stuff off of tcp.com and onto my hosting accounts. I just may be able to get the last remnants off by the end of this week.

I also finally got the finalized versions of the VIP discount cards done for my shop, both English and Chinese versions. I found a nice heavy stock green paper that’s a bit lighter than “Subway Green” but pretty nifty looking. Microsoft Word has some decent Business Card Templates that I was able to use for layout, and they even have the ‘A4 sizes’. I got a small laminating machine, business card sized lamination sleeves, a small paper cutter and rounded corner snippers. I tried printing on my laser printer at home, but the toner tends to flake off the rough surface of the heavy stock paper I got. The HP inkjet printer at the restaurant works great though, and once printed, cut, and laminated they look really nifty.

For any of my readers in Taiwan, if you’d like a discount card, email me your mailing address (Chinese preferred) and let me know if you’d like the English or Chinese version and what name you’d like on it.


It’s been a busy night down in southern Taiwan. We had a 7.1 quake followed by a 7.0 quake, both of which were quite noticeable way up here in northern Taiwan 300 miles away. They’ve since had a 5.2, another 5.2, and a 5.4 down there, all of which were too small up here. At one point Japan issued a Tsunami Alert for the Philippines but fortunately that turned out to be a false alarm. Currently there is at least one collapsed building and several fires reported.

This brings my magnitude 7+ tally to four.


Last night Taiwan Beer (台湾啤酒) sponsored a Forumosa Happy Hour at Alleycat’s Lishui Jie. Sponsorship involved Taiwan Beer paying the entire bar tab that night after 9pm. They also invited a couple of TV crews to come in and film the festivities. So at some point you may see me on TV saying “I love Taiwan Beer! Cheers!”

I got there early so I could get a table and some food before the festivities began. I was the first Forumosan there, but a few people started drifting in later. People really started arriving past 9pm and my table was soon filled up with people, and Alleycat was going around delivering beers in bulk. Taiwan Beer was paying regardless of the type of beer served, so most of us started out Hoegaarden. When the cameras arrived suddenly dozens of bottles of Taiwan Beer sprouted in the middle of every table.

Final count for me was 1 small salami pizza, 1 Caesar salad, 2 large Hoegaardens, and 2 small bottles of Taiwan Beer. That may have had something to do with sleeping past noon today.