Where it all begins …

This is a visit to the birth place of my passion of baking and love of software development . Before moving to Vancouver, I spent F1 to F3 (similar to grade 7 – 9 in North American system) in one of the oldest all girls school in Hong Kong: Ying Wa Girls School(英華女校). Experience from Ying Wa has fundamentally shaped my life.

I can still vividly remember in the cookery class kitchen where I saw eggs turned into pale fluffy batter and baked into delicious sponge cake.  The transformation was magical and I was hooked on baking ever since that sight!  I was one of those geek who joined computer club and spending my after school hours sitting in front computer (Apple II ;-).   It was fascinating to write some “for loops” with some “if.. then .. else” and see diagrams displayed on mono colour screen.   One day when I was walking pass connecting corridor between the lower and upper building, I looked at career bulletin board which has posting about jobs in computer. At that very moment, I was determinated that I have to be a programmer (and I was only in F1 – grade 7)!  I still feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to study in Ying Wa. This place has brought me so much good memory and also dearest life long friends.

This memorable building will soon be torn down.  I am sad but I know I should not feel too sad because it is all for the best.  There will be bigger and better campus for future Ying Wa Girls.

P.S. Specials thanks to Ms. Leung (from school office) who kindly let me visit the school and show me around to revisit this wonderful campus for one last time.

Click on the map to see how I “urban trekked” back to Ying Wa that day!


Earth Hour 2009

I have just turned off all my light on the main floor and leaving just the tv on and blogging via my netbook currently unplug from the power grid.  I was planning to continue to prepare cheesecake in candle light.  But thinking it is actually not that practical.  At the end just decided to write this blog then continue to read more book (pdf kind) for the rest of the night.   Kind of boring eh.. well, at least i can say i have done my tiny little part to keep mother earth happy.

So what have you done during your earth hour?

Beijing Olympic Closing and Looking back

Kudos to summer Olympians of Canada.  You have made us really proud! I am excited about every single medal you have brought back (regardless of colour) and all the personal record you have broken.   I still remember a feature CBC news report showed the lack of funding for the summer sports comparing the winter games.  Your struggle has paid off and you all has helped us to win more gold medal per capita comparing to China ;-) 

The closing show was not as spectacular as the opening.    Some how I think it is not necessary the problem with the closing ceremony itself.  It is the fact that I couldn’t stop thinking "Is the Chinese government sending us fake computer generated graphic again?"   The most memorable moment of the closing was the actually the raising of the "Union Jack" within China.  A slight flashback of 97 hand over image, but this time the British flag is raising.    After the quick flashback, there was a long lingering thought of the "Treaty of Najing". 

Last but not least I felt my tax money has been very well spent in that crown corp: "CBC".  Outstanding coverage of the Olympic and I just *LOVE* the high quality live steaming.  The Olympic web site was very well layout and very organized.  The athletes and CBC personal blogs have been very interesting reading.  CBC truly has "LIVE" coverage comparing the at least one day old NBC coverage.   

Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony – comparing CBC, NBC and TVB versions

I did not wake up in the middle of the night to catch the opening live.  Instead, I watched the prime time rebroadcast which is cut to just two hours.  That’s definitely more interesting to see how each broadcaster from different country decided which section is “chop-able”.

The performance is incredibly stunning. I particularly love the ancient drums and tai chi.  It was amazing team work which required a long time of practice.  This is way better than any high tech shows.

NBC(American): watched for ~ 1 hours.  really funny to see how hard it tried to teach the American the different countries around the world.  As each country’s athlete entered, it show with a tiny map on the lower right hand counter.

CBC(Canadian): I watched the full show from start to end for two hours.  I like the presenter did not constantly talk.  That allowed the audience to enjoy the show on their own.   Unlike the American, there was a lot less effort in teaching geography during the parade of nations.

TVB(Hong Kong): finally I can see the full version unlike the trimmed version from CBC and NBC.  However, I really think the presenters could shut up a bit more… I really don’t need you to be constantly yapping…

After seeing this impressive opening, I cannot help but think how hard it will be for Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic to have a comparable opening.  We cannot afford that kind of budget and there is no way there is such a huge overwhelming public support for the game.


I really want to know the truth.  What is happening there now?  Who can I trust?  Where can I get the real news and find out the real situation?  Given the Tiananmen Square experience, I found it very hard to believe any words coming out from the Chinese official. 

What concerned me the most is why kicking out the foreign and even HK media?  If there is nothing to hide and only justifiable force is applied to control riot.  Why can’t you show the world from independent news media?!

I was  planning to travel to Tibet later this year.  Not sure if expressing my opinion on my blog will hurt my chance to enter Tibet.  Hopefully not…

Recipes for Disaster

This is a documentary about how a Finnish family adapting a "Low-Carb(on)" life for a year.  It is definitely an interesting film  about climate change and how or if it is possible to adopt a new way of life to save the over-heated earth.  The tension between the husband (the film marker) and his wife was quiet interesting to keep you watching. 

Being aware how much we depends on crude and crude-by-product (plastic) is one thing.  But completely cutting off from that and imagine life without crude and crude-by-product  is a definitely impossible now-a-day.   That family was already living a low emission way of life comparing to typical typical North American families.  Living in a cold country like Finland makes it extremely hard truly cut to down zero carbon emission.  I am already quite impressed with 52% drop in total.

There are lessons to learn from that documentary.  For example, throwing away perfectly good plastic household items and switching to home made toothpaste definitely is over-do and not necessary.   At the end, these action did not lead to huge or any reduction in carbon consumption.   I think one should know where to draw the line when trying to save the environment.

However, simpler change such as switching to public transportation and using train instead if plane to travel has made a huge different.  Yes, those may take longer time, but you also "gain" more time during the travel instead of being stuck in traffic jam and swearing at the stupid driver in front of you. 

The family has proven it is possible to life a low carbon emission life.   And some of the change is very simple and easy to do without scarifying.



p.s. this receipt post is not my usual recipe post ;-)