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Monday, August 27, 2018

After the Storm at Lake Michigan





Watched the sunset at the White Lake Channel (Montague Side)

A storm pummeled Muskegon last night and left behind a trail of colossal destruction. The heavy downpour of rain flooded some areas and caused power outages to thousands of homes. We’re lucky enough to sleep through the night with power. The deafening thunder was so loud that the whole house trembled so many times.

However, just like in every storm, there’s calm after. It was a beautiful sunny day and we watched the sunset at Lake Michigan! 
 
The water was calm and this man was doing the kite sailing.

Amazing view of the man doing the kite sailing right before the sunset.

He jumped so high out of the water so many times!












Saturday, August 25, 2018

Asian Buffet or Red Wok?


Personal favorite?
A typical day cravings for Asian cuisine usually bring us either in Asian Buffet or Red Wok. The cultural contexts that the selection of the two restaurants embody are truly amazing and sometimes it’s hard to make a decision which one to go.

The two offer a wide range of selection that are mostly stir-fried at high temperature gastronomies surefire to suit all kinds of palate. Do not be deceived by the names because both restaurants actually include American food in their choices. Ham, steak, pizza, onion rings, fries and mini beef patties that are described by my husband as ‘scrumpdelicious’.

I personally consider it a luxury to be able to fuel myself with dumplings, egg rolls, chow mein, fried rice, egg foo young, lo mein, and other authentic Asian cuisine thousand miles away from home. They also have sushi ala carte and their shrimp varieties include sweet and sour, hot and spicy Szechuan, and shrimp with lobster sauce.

My husband and I like the wider selection of Asian Buffet but we prefer Red Wok because the owner and the servers are always so friendly. Mary Dillon couldn’t make it any clearer when she said, “I learned from McDonald’s that we can do great things from a marketing and advertising perspective, but if the experience at the restaurant isn’t superior, it might not matter.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians Review: Too Asian It Really Made Me Cry


Photo source: https://slate.com/culture/2018/08/crazy-rich-asians-movie-vs-book-differences-between-the-film-adaptation-and-the-novel.html
All the media hype of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, Crazy Rich Asians did not fail to deliver. The trailblazing romance comedy movie with an all Asian cast was rife with vibrant and free-spirited characters that our jaws hurt from laughing so hard. It was an extravagant display of power and brazen wealth while trying to resolve imperially an all too conflicting familial duty against the desires of the heart.

The opening scene was brief but sufficient to convey a strong message. Old money fixes everything- even a callous case of racism. Perhaps it also gives us a glimpse of the constant struggles that people of other race face even in a simple case of staying in a hotel.

Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and Nick Young (Henry Golding) were effervescent in their characters. There is a hint of biased since I am an Asian but I think they won the movie-goers with their indomitable spirits. The theatre was not full but the whole two hours was filled with laughter and loud reactions.

The gentle tug on my heart came when I saw the familiar Singapore Changi airport. I suddenly missed home so much that seeing a recognizable place almost made me teary-eyed. The sight of so many familiar Asian cuisines as seen in street-stall delicacies like satay, dumplings and curry made my stomach growl at the same time made my eyes a little bit misty. The ‘lah’ at the end of the sentence reminded me of my former Singapore and Malay co-teachers and elicited a bit of a chuckle.
The movie was a treasure trove of cultural display. The rich ethnicity of Chinese people was so distinct and although humor was injected in most of them, the truth is palpable. They favor their own people and Rachel is just too ‘American’ to belong to their family. The movie painted a dazzling picture of Singapore and Marina Bay Sands hotel was majestic and grandeur as expected.
The underlying issues with Rachel’s plight were brought into what might be cruel but the truth nonetheless- she will never be enough. It is not just the question of wealth and power but also tradition and culture. Eleanor, Nick’s mother, exudes this aura of opulence and it is difficult to dislike a mother who thinks she knows what’s best for her son. Chinese culture goes deeper than the world-defined hierarchies or imperial influence and the movie clearly depicted that.

Crazy Rich Asians brought me into nostalgic reminiscences of my visits to Singapore. I caught myself exclaiming several times, "I've been there!" The places, the food, the people made the movie too ‘Asian’ that my eyes got misty thinking of the other part of the world I call home.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Wyze cam Home Security Video Review

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Wyzecam is so little yet packed with everything you need!
The iconic five-year-old viral Internet princess Claire Crosby and her dad Dave Crosby brought us to the discovery of this tiny video camera. If the names are not familiar with you, check out one of their viral videos which has been viewed over 37 million here. Claire’s dad owns the Wyze cam company and we were so impressed with the video quality that we thought of giving it a try. It’s currently making a wave in the home security technology amassing more than 600,000 units sold since it became available online.


So, what’s in the box?


The package was the tiniest I’ve ever received in the mailbox. In fact, it’s the only package that we received that fit in the mailbox. Packaging was so efficient that I was really impressed how the camera, the charger, and the magnet fit in a tiny box. I downloaded the app before we got the camera so installing took only about five minutes.

The camera doesn’t work in 5G wireless connection so you need to make sure that your Wi-Fi has also 2G capability. I didn’t know this before purchasing so thankfully, we have two choices for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Considering the price which is $19.99, the tiny camera takes vivid images. In fact, 1080p full HD. It has live stream with 8X digital zoom and it also works with Alexa. The enhanced vision delivers clarity up to 30 feet away. It has also magnetic base that you can mount it anywhere.

Check out video quality here.

Whenever a motion is detected, I receive a notification on my app. Its advanced algorithm also recognizes the sound patterns of smoke alarms and CO monitors. In addition, there’s a built-in speaker and microphone to listen and talk to. A 360 degree capability is available in different unit- the Wyze Cam Pan and it might be worth a try.

With its affordable price, you can actually have several of them in your house! The picture quality is so good that I could see my husband eating jalapeno poppers and cheetos at the middle of the night even though it's pitch dark. 



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