December 2005 Archives

Exotic America


It's been a tiring, but a wonderful week in the States. I am over the jet lag, at least physically, but mentally I still feel a little foggy. Every now and then, something happens and I think "I should write that on my blog," and then the moment of clarity passes and the fog rolls back in.

I've done a lot of traveling on this trip: A few days in San Francisco, a few days in Missouri, and now a few days in Florida, in the town that I spent the first 18 years of my life. And, I have to tell ya, my old hometown is like a foreign country to me. Sure, most of the buildings and the roads are familiar, but at the same time it feels very strange and exotic to me -- so much so that I just can't imagine living here again. And to think that Bangkok seems more comfortable to me now. Odd, isn't it?

So, perhaps I will be able to write some more of my thoughts down later, but for now, I just want to tell everyone "Happy December 25th". (Is that the most PC way to say it these days? ;)

Hard Drive Rebirth


A couple of months ago, the hard drive on my Sony Vaio crashed. Luckily, I had recently bought a new Mac Mini, and so after using both Windows XP and Mac OS X side by side for a while, I was not terribly distraught that I was forced to be 100% Mac.

But this week, I started thinking that maybe it would be nice to have a laptop on my trip home to the U.S., and so I started making plans to go to Pantip Plaza to buy a new hard drive. But, before I went, I decided to give the laptop just one more try, just for fun.

And it worked.

A little window popped up and asked if I wanted to send information to Microsoft to help fix the problem. I did, and amazingly it came back with some good information about what had happened and what I could do to fix it.

So now, I am very happy to have my Windows laptop back. And to go even farther, I have a very warm feeling towards Microsoft. For once, a Microsoft OS did something unexpectedly good and helpful. Thanks, Bill!

Phallic Shrine behind Siam Paragon?


In the comment section of my last post, Carl Parkes asks:

I still miss the old Siam Intercon and wonder what happened to the famous phallic temple in the back gardens. Have you heard anything about that?

Does anyone else know anything about the shrine Carl is referring to, in the back of what is now the Siam Paragon shopping mall?

I have never even heard of the phallic temple in the back gardens. However, it looks like there is still a small bit of garden left behind the new mall that I visited a few days ago. The gardens are a mess now -- very overgrown and the pond is full of algae. It would be nice if they cleaned it up and opened it to the public. I'll post something here if they do.

Siam Paragon Grand Opening

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Perhaps only in Thailand will the opening of a shopping mall draw the biggest crowd in the country. Well, I don't actually know if the thousands of people at Siam Paragon yesterday was "Thailand's biggest crowd ever", but it was a remarkable turn out for a mall that is less than 50% finished.

But what was finished was fairly impressive: the 6 story atrium with a wall made out of tropical plants, the Lambergini, Masarati, and Porche showrooms, the gourmet grocery store, the biggest aquarium in Asia, the biggest bookstore in Thailand. I've been watching the mall grow from the Siam Skytrain station, and I have to say that the inside is much more beautiful than the outside.

It was also perhaps the biggest collection of VIPs Thailand has seen in years: bank CEOs, politicians, hundreds of big-haired khunying and more male and female models than I have ever seen in one place.

I didn't actually do any shopping, and so I don't know how the prices are, so who knows if I will actually shop there. The Paragon department store is the same as Central Chit Lom. And the food court contains the usual fare. Most of the mall, however, is of little use to me, as it is made up of luxury stores that seem to be aiming for the Asian tourist market. After all, how many Hermes or Prada stores does a developing country like Thailand really need?

In any case, it is a beautiful mall. I am sure I will visit now and then, if for the Kinokuniya bookstore and the easy access from the Siam Skytrain station.

For more details, see SIAM PARAGON: Bt15-billion mall set for grand debut from the Nation newspaper.

Jerry Update

My friend Jerry has been missing in San Francisco for five days now. Here is an email from the search team. What a sad, sad story. Those of you in San Francisco, please keep your eyes open as you go about your business in the city this week.

Dear Friends,

Today we continued the physical search efforts looking at areas around the city and the South Bay. Once again, people were out on bikes, in cars and on foot looking for Jerry and spreading the word with posters and by talking to people.

We expect there to be an article in the San Francisco Chronicle tomorrow asking for volunteers to join our search for Jerry and directing anyone who wants to help to come to the 828 Ashbury Garage any time after 9 am.

If you can help with the searching again, please come to the garage or call 415-564-5864.

Tomorrow we would really like people to take the large posters to populated areas.

As the 5th day of searching for Jerry comes to a close, we have begun shifting modes from one of crisis management to one of longer-term planning. We now have a Yahoo users group to facilitate our communication in the search for Jerry. We will shortly be inviting all of you to join the group. Once you have joined, you may invite people you think would like to be part of the group to join as well. This will probably be the last email sent to everyone. After this, we will use the user group to communicate.

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over the last 5 days to find Jerry.

We would like to send this letter out to Jerry wherever he may be:

Dear Jerry,

It's been almost one week since we've seen you. In the last several days, so many of your friends and family have come together and sent their loving thoughts out to you. You have an amazing group of friends and family who care about you. We all miss you so very much.

We love you and are full of hope that those who come across your path will show you kindness. We pray that you are somewhere safe and warm and that you are able to come back to us soon.

Jerry Tang is missing in San Francisco


JerryTang.jpgWhen I worked for the Internet consulting firm back in San Francisco 3 years ago, one of my favorite co-workers was a guy named Jerry Tang. He was one of the main engineers, and even though he and I never worked on the same project, he was always a good guy to chat with over the proverbial water cooler.

Last night I received an email from Jerry's wife saying that he has gone missing in the city. He is a 39 year old, 6'1" Asian guy and was last seen at his home on Ashbury St near Golden Gate Park. He had a stroke a couple of years ago (at age 37!) and needs medication for seizures.

He was also a very intelligent, super nice guy. I hope he is found safely, soon. For those of you in San Francisco, please keep your eye out for him!

News article about Jerry's disappearance

A wiki with more information

National "Missing Adults" website

Update 7 Jan 2005Over a month later, and unfortunately Jerry has still not been found. I see that a lot of people are coming to this website after searching for "Jerry Tang" on Google, so I wanted to add that perhaps the best place to get new information about the search is at a new Yahoo Group called FindJerry

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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