Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hong Kong - part 1

I was in Hong Kong for a few weeks attending a family wedding and visiting friends and family. Upon arrival I saw something like a ticketing booth in the immigration area:

So I stuck my smart-card Hong Kong ID card in and viola, in-and-out of immigration area in less than 10 seconds... cool!

Here is more info on the system.

My boss told me after the trip that this is similar to the NEXUS program. One difference is that every resident of Hong Kong has or will have this ID card and the system is to designed to process a high number of travellers at a very short time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I have been pondering on a new bike for a while. The ability to use a commuter bike for normal riding and a nicer bike for longer and faster rides has attracted my attention for roughly two years.

So finally I pulled the trigger and got myself a second hand Cannondale. There is a couple of things I need to install before a real ride so more to come.

The interesting thing about this ordeal is the emotional aspect of it. I have been debating back and forth with myself with a little help with some friends. The moment I close the deal I felt dreadful, as if I have made the biggest mistake in the world. My wife was mildly supportive (that fact she did not veto is a good sign). My kids were a bit excited and wanted to go out with me on the new bike. Now I feel OK but there is no urgency to ride it - possibly saving it for next year.

Anyways I will put the stuff on and give it a spin when I have a weekend opening.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chinese Fields Medal winner!

I was planning to write up on Yau Shing Tung and this news popped right out. Congrats to this fine young genius!

Monday, August 21, 2006

new shifters = new bike?

I have a touring bike with road shifters. My front Tiagra shifter is starting to skip at particular areas and the mechanic advices me to look for a new one. After a bunch of googles ended up getting a good idea on a pair of 105 shifters. I just got them installed yesterday.

With new shifters and new handlebar wrap, it justs feels like a new bike. It seems very smooth. So happens they put the same colour as the original wraps so it actually brought me back to the point in time when the bike is new and I was so happy!

So do yourself a favour, spend a little money on handlebar wrap and you can make a 5 -year old bike brand new again.

Friday, August 18, 2006

let me be the first to say this on the internet

Last night we invited 2 out-of-town Jesuits home for a get-together. One of them, an alumnus of La Salle College and also attended my alma mater, said that the reason my school has a serious rivalry with Wah Yan College Hong Kong goes as far as the found of Wah Yan. It is documented that he was a teacher at St Joseph's before he started, but apparently he "invited" a few colleagues to come with him. So according to my friend the Jesuit this is the start of a rivalry.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

what do I want to do - part 2

This is one that is way out in left field: being a quant (aka rocket scientist), aka financial analyst in a heavy weight math setting. Most found in investment houses calculation financial option prices.

Why? Because it seemed fun. I was working in Tokyo for a US bank when I realize there is such an occupation for math grads.

It would be fun putting my interest and skills in math and programming together. The closest I've got since was to write a bunch of bond price-to-yield calculations which involve solving a bunch of degree N polynomials. It is really high school math then it is "advanced" math.

The saving grace these days is me having the ability to talk intelligently about financial instruments in general how it is modelled in the application.

The other side effect is to be able to argue with accountants and implementation folks about what kind of accounting entries need to be created for the financial instruments we model. Yea, amortization and interest accrual, debt expenses and stuff are *really* sophiscated math. :-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What do I want to do when I grow up? Part 1

I guess when one turns 40, one starts their mid life crisis. So I am starting to ponder the things that I wanted to do but never did and see if there is any chance of happening in the future.

So let's start with something old: the thought of becoming a teacher. A high school Math teacher to be precise. I did that for two years not long after graduating. It was challenging for a young guy who is not patient and does not possess the wisdom (read conviction) to stick to his ways and do the right thing for the students. Somewhere in the back of my head this is a broken dream and one day I want to try it again...

Also back in my education training and undergrad days there was a thought: the use of history in aiding the instruction of math. The argument I have is that topics should be introduced in the order of their discovery in history. For example, the concept of limit was introduced after integration and differentiation. So therefore when teaching students you really need to talk about differentiation and integration before you can introduce limits in any reasonable manner. But yet if you read Calculus textbooks 99% of them would define limit ahead.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Listed on BlogShares