26 April 2010

Who would make a good parent?

(Hey, what are you searching for?)

(Obviously you've learnt when to look into the lens.)

Holding a baby is a delightful, as well as delicate, job. Because a newborn baby's neck muscles are quite weak and hence has little control over the head, when holding an infant, it is of utmost importance to support the head and neck at all times to prevent the head from flopping back.

While many people would not try to hold a young baby, some do enjoy having an infant in their arms. However, those who want to start a family will have to do it sooner or later, and what's more, they will have to bathe their newborns as well (another tough but enjoyable task).

Some of my colleagues came to visit Fanne and Ronne last Saturday and certainly they all had to perform a ritual, from which one would hardly escape when paying a visit to a newborn baby—holing the infant. Thus, the two parents and three guests had their photos shot as a memento of this event.

Whether single or in a relationship or married, as none of our visitors has already started a family, last Saturday's visit was absolutely a good exercise for them.

So, who would make a good parent?

(Lucy, single, a member in my database construction team, who started working in 'my' office even before I started)

(Jing-Ting, in a relationship, my teaching assistant, who was awarded Distinguished Teaching Assistant for two terms in a row)

(Carla, married, a former member in my database construction team, who still works in the same office with me)

10 April 2010

Weird and coincident: funeral song for my birthday

('A Thousand Winds', kikawa Masafumi)

In celebration of my 35th birthday, last night, on my birthday eve, May and I went to Riverside Live House (河岸留言西門紅樓展演館), where the young Taiwan aboriginal singer Leo Chen (陳永龍) and the indie rock group Clippers Band (夾子電動大樂隊) had two gigs in a row.

It was a very enjoyable night. However, I'm not going to comment here on the two delightful performances, but instead I would like to highlight a Japanese song which Leo Chen presented to end his session in the first half.

Leo just released his first Mandarin album Come Rain or Shine (日光 雨中), a collection of classic songs written by Li Tai-Hsiang (李泰祥), a well-respected composer in Taiwan. As 'Farewell' (告別) is the lead track in this album, Leo had a theme of 'Farewell' at last night's performance and sang, apart from several pieces from the album, some more songs about valediction.

It was 'A Thousand Winds' (千の風になって) that captured my ears. The song derived from the well-known bereavement poem 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep', which is usually read at funerals or memorial services, and sometimes carved on tombstones.

The verse was translated into Japanese, set to music and first performed by a Japanese novelist, Arai Man (新井 満).

Last year, I gave May, as a birthday present, the single album of 'A Thousand Winds' by the Japanese tenor Akikawa Masafumi (秋川 雅史), which once reached No.1 on Oricon Singles Weekly Ranking (オリコンチャート) in 2007 and has since sold more than one million copies in Japan.

This year May invited me, also as a birthday present, to a gig, where Leo Chen delivered 'A Thousand Winds'. Neither of us expected this song in the programme.

It is absolutely a beautiful song although weird is the word I could say for this coincidence.

09 April 2010

More photos of Ronne

Finally, I can make sense of what seemed to be unexplainable to me in the past. When you have a baby:
  1. If you happen to have a digital camera, the number of the photos you would take for your child within a month will probably far exceed that of the images you have captured for yourself in the first half of your life.

  2. If you happen to maintain a blog, it will become an online album for the photos you would take for your child.
Therefore, I hereby upload more photos of my beloved son.

(Who do you resemble, Wei or Fanne?)

(That would be a very sound sleep)

(Hey laddie, don't be startled, as you are learning to recognise your long-haired and goateed father.)

02 April 2010

April Fool's pranks not necessarily well appreciated

(BMW's 2010 April Fool's ad)

I still remember that British media outlets would usually have a break from their daily business of delivering hard news and turn to pull some hoaxes on their readers or viewers on April Fool's Day. When British people find odd news stories or nonsensical adverts, they would probably take such items as the sign of the arrival of April Fool's Day.

In comparison to Britons, Taiwanese people seems to be far less enthusiastic about April Fool's Day pranks. What's worse, some people would even take offence when receiving text message jokes.

Vibo Telecom, a 3G mobile service provider in Taiwan, sent such a text message to all its customers:
Because of poor air quality, you are advised to throw it on the floor should your mobile receive no signal or not stay connected. Just throw harder, and several times later, the mobile will resume its normal function Happy April Fool's Day!
Some of Vibo's users who have long been annoyed by poor signal reception were absolutely furious at this 'joke'. One lady almost banged her mobile on the floor before reading carefully to the last few words.

I suppose before making a joke, the administration should evaluate if the company's service is up to certain standard and therefore appropriate to joke with.

In Britain long established companies produce hoax advert in the broadsheet press to offer the general public good laughter on the 1st of April every year. For example, visit BMW Education website in the UK to see some good April Fool's ads. I don't think BMW would have such a tradition if their cars stall all the time.