Thursday, November 27, 2008

olivia yu - the first year


here's a video i made up of some photos from the first 12 months. enjoy.....



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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

happy 1st birthday to olivia!


olivia turned 1 year old today but the celebrations already got started this past sunday at my in-law's.....

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
other than karen's immediate fammily, we were also joined by some of her aunts and cousins.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
when we lit the candle and turned off all the lights and everyone started singing happy birthday, olivia just froze there shocked and freaked out since she didn't know what was going on.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
with karen comforting her, she started to come around and went along with it.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
she still doesn't know what's going on, but with everyone around her smiling, laughing and applauding, she also started to smile probably thinking it was a game.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
make a wish!

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
nice makeup.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!


then, since my sister cindy's birthday (11/25) is a day before olivia's, we bought a cake and they celebrated their birthdays together.....

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
the "1" candle is for olivia and while my sister went with the "?" candle. women and their age. really, age is simply mind over matter. if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
cindy's 2-year old son ethan joins in on the festivities.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
make a wish!?

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
cutting the cake.




ok. so finally, today 11/26 is olivia's actual birthday. we didn't do anything too special other than dinner with the family and a cake as usual.....

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
we bought her a cute teddy bear cake from 85c.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
this being olivia's third cake and birthday celebration in 5 days, i think she's got the hang of it now. plus, i think the teddy bear shaped cake helped too. she started smiling as soon as she saw it.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
"happy birthday to you... happy birthday dear olivia... happy birthday to you!!!"

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
cindy's son ethan jumps in on the fun again.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
make a wish.....again.

happy 1st birthday to olivia!
yay!!!



happy 1st birthday to olivia!
olivia really enjoyed her cake!

happy 1st birthday to olivia!


olivia, happy birthday baby! mama & papa loves ya!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

a day in miaoli & hukou


on saturday, we spent a really nice and relaxing day in the miaoli cabin, which was topped off with a really good thai food dinner in hukou.....

a day in miaoli & hukou
first thing first. made a pit stop at subway to get some breakfast.

a day in miaoli & hukou
as soon as we arrived, olivia gets her own breakfast.

a day in miaoli & hukou
the weather couldn't have been any more perfect. the past few weeks have just been rainy and cold but we've really lucked out as the warm sunny weather has coincided with our outings the past couple saturdays.

a day in miaoli & hukou
view from the front porch.

a day in miaoli & hukou
my cousin jeff getting on with some chores, which included washing the front porch.....

a day in miaoli & hukou
and feeding the fish in the pond.

a day in miaoli & hukou
yes, there are a couple of fishies in the pond.

a day in miaoli & hukou
ok, maybe a little bit more than a couple.

a day in miaoli & hukou

a day in miaoli & hukou

a day in miaoli & hukou

a day in miaoli & hukou
not everyday that you get to see a corn field in taiwan.

a day in miaoli & hukou

a day in miaoli & hukou

a day in miaoli & hukou

a day in miaoli & hukou
the neighbours to the left.

a day in miaoli & hukou
the neighbours to the front.

a day in miaoli & hukou
speaking of neighbours to the front, they came over with their 14 month old son.

a day in miaoli & hukou
i don't know if olivia was happy or pissed to see this kid.....

a day in miaoli & hukou
since he took over her pink bike right away.

a day in miaoli & hukou
hey buddy, watch your hands!

a day in miaoli & hukou
hey, where are you going with my baby? you lucky you riding a pink bike and that you ain't older or i'd probably shoot you!

a day in miaoli & hukou
after some playtime, we were getting hungry so it was time to fire up the grill.

a day in miaoli & hukou
a staple grub in all our bbq's now, salty pork.

a day in miaoli & hukou
olivia knows there's some good food coming, so she gets ready and take the best seat in the house.....

a day in miaoli & hukou
right on the table!

a day in miaoli & hukou
karen and becky cooking with the dutch oven.

despite the amount of food served, we did not get ourselves too stuffed because we wanted to stop by hukou on the way home for some thai food. so we hooked up with hui-chen, mj and ashish over at ah-dong's.

a day in miaoli & hukou
the food was great as usual but what was cool is i got to try some vietnamese beer. now, that's a first for me.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

taipei photography club


taipei photography club

darren melrose is putting together a taipei photography club.

info from darren.....



Taipei Photography Club

It has been tried before, and I am trying it again. I am hoping to start up a Taipei Photography Club. This is intended to be a fun, social group meant for anyone with any kind of camera. Please do not believe that you have to have a state of the art DSLR; anything that takes photos is great.

I guess there are a few goals I have in mind. First, I am just hoping to build up a group of friends with a common interest; the social aspect is a big part of my ideals. Second, I am hoping that this can act as a motivation to get me and others out taking photos. Learning from others, perhaps helping other shooters myself would be nice benefits too. Mostly though, I want this to be fun.

Here is what I am thinking. The group would meet once a month, probably for breakfast or lunch, followed by some shooting. At these meetings, I was hoping that someone would give a talk on something photography related. As an example, I might do something on how to shoot strangers on the street, as that is something that is not easy for everyone. Other examples might be someoone covering post processing or cataloging, matting and printing, selling your photos, getting published, studio lighting, shooting for magazines or newspapers, or who knows what else. The speakers could be members of our group, but perhaps we could also have guest speakers too. For example, I am sure there is an AP or Reuters photographer based in Taipei and it would be cool to hear his or her story. Likewise, it would be interesting to hear from a professional studio photographer, a Nat Geo shooter or who knows who else might be willing to give up a morning. Perhaps at each of these meetings, it would also be nice to have everyone in the group show a few of their best prints from the past month? Just ideas all, but these are things I think might be fun.

At these meetings, I am thinking that we could set a theme or a project to shoot in the upcoming month. Fro example, it might be a scavenger hunt, where each member is to shoot (for example) 12 photos based upon 12 themes and then put them together in a set. Rather than a scavenger hunt, it might be a set number of photos based upon a certain theme, a roll of film shot with a disposable, etc? I am thinking that these projects might be done as a competition, with the winner being the one who sets the next challenge. If folks would prefer not to introduce competition into things, that is cool too. One of the good things I see about the month long challenge would be that in this way, people who can’t be at the meetings can still participate in the challenges.

Thinking in more of a long term way, I was thinking that other possibilities might open up. Perhaps the group could have their prints featured in a local gallery somewhere. I know all of the FNACs in town show photos, there is the Jhongshan Art Gallery, in the underground between Jhongshan MRT and Taipei Main Station shows prints and art, any number of restaurants and tons of other places I am sure I don’t know about but which do exist. I would think that many people would like the ego boost of seeing their stuff hanging somewhere other than on their walls. Who knows? Maybe something like that could even lead to a print sale or two?

We could also, after a few months, do the odd weekend road trip to some scene or event in Taiwan. We might rent a studio, studio lights and a model or two and try some studio photography; something I have never done but would be very interested in. Who knows what else might come up in time should this thing really get rolling?

I am sure there are lots of creative people out there who have more and better ideas than do I; please let me know what they are.

First off, I guess we should set a possible meeting time. Of course, it will have to happen on a weekend. I am not certain what day is better. Let’s think about making it the weekend of November 22 or 23. If you are interested, either leave your name and email in a reply here, or email me directly at darren AT darrenmelrose.com and let me know if Saturday the 22nd or Sunday the 23rd is better for you. After we know what day we will meet, we can decide where that will be. Please let me know if you have other ideas and please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested. We will finalize the meeting date by Sunday the 16th I guess and a meeting place sometime shortly after that. I am very open to ideas about where to meet too.

Like I said earlier, everyone is welcome. The only requirements would be that you have a camera of some kind and I guess a way to display them on the net. Maybe it would be best if everyone were to sign up for flickr? flickr is free as long as you don’t want to display more than 200 photos, so it need not cost you anything. If need be, I could also set up a permanent gallery on my site should that be useful.

Some additional things: First, I forgot to mention a link to the original group, which never really got the momentum going: http://www.flickr.com/groups/taiwanphotoclub/. Second, in order to get things rolling from the beginning, I will come up with a set of ideas for the first project/challenge. This one will be a scavenger hunt for sure and I will have a set of 12 subjects ready at the meeting.

Again, if you could let us know which day, Saturday the 22nd or Sunday the 23rd is better, that would be great. You can either reply to this thread, or email me at darren AT darrenmelrose.com.

Hope to see you soon.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

national center for traditional arts


about 6 years ago, karen and i went to the national center for traditional arts in one of our weekend getaways in yilan. unfortunately, it rained the whole time when we visited the center so we didn't get to see nor do anything. so ever since then, we've been wanting to go back but never got the chance to do so until this past saturday when we went with olivia and my parents.

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts



national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

national center for traditional arts

google maps location of the traditional arts center.....

view larger map

i highly recommend visiting the center if you have kids. lots of traditional taiwanese arts and customs for young kids to see and learn. taking the hsuehshan ("snow mountain") tunnel, it's less than an hour (with normal traffic) from taipei, so it's not too far at all. even if you don't visit the center, there's still lots of places to visit around yilan. plus with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other; flat and farm lands in between with hardly any buildings, it's just such an easy going, laid back and relaxing region. the first sight of yilan when you come out of the hsuehshan tunnel is a feeling of instant relaxation. i simply love it out there.

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