High End Stereo System

As a music junky who enjoys alot of different musical genres, listening to a proper high end music setup is a pretty unique experience. Unfortunately the music selection is pretty sparse. The CD I was listening to was a “Greatest Hits of Andre Bocelli.”

The inside speaker system (Focal) were the only ones hooked up. I don’t know why there’s a second outer one. But the Focal speakers handles the mid and upper ranges pretty well. The notes were crisp and clear. Con te partiro with Sarah Brightman really brought out the musical range. The bass ranges were not pushed enough for a good assessment.

I should bring some CDs next time with more of a musical emphasis… Hamilton anyone?

Overselling HSR Tix

How do you frustrate travelers? By overselling non-reserved tickets.

As background the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) mirrors the Japanese Shinkansen. The trains speed through the Taiwanese country-side from north to south in about 2 hours. That’s approximately 400 km. Each train line contains 12 cars of which cars 1-7 for patrons who reserve seats. Cars 8-12 are non-reserved, first come first serve seating.

Because of a National Holiday, the HSR was packed full of travelers. And as it turns out, they over sold the non-reserve seating so much that to compensate for the overflow, the HSR authorities opened up the reserve cars to non-reserved with a small caveat…. Non-reserved ticket holders can only stand.

For a traveler after crossing the Pacific, having to stand for 2hrs is an annoyance. But to oversell something is just gross stupidity in my opinion.

Sunergos Coffee

I’m very behind with the Angels Cup coffee roasters.  I think these beans are from January and comes from Sunergos Coffee.  It’s also from Ethiopia’s southern Yirgacheffe region called Halo Bariti (another link).  It’s pretty fascinating to read about the history of the region and where the beans come from.


Because of my “flu-like” symptoms, my congestion is really limiting what I can smell and my cough is limiting what I can taste.  I’ve been drinking this coffee for about 2 weeks now and haven’t really been able to taste let alone smell anything until today.  And even then, the smells and tastes are still subdued.

Opening the bag, it’s a very subdued aroma.  I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I am three months late in opening bag or that I haven’t regained my full sense of smell.  Making my latte, I taste hints of peach and berry flavors.  It doesn’t have the strong nutty/cocoa taste that I sometimes get with beans originating from Yirgacheffe.  There’s also pleasant floral after taste that lingers at the back of the tongue.  It goes down very smooth and I finish my latte very quickly.

I think I would enjoy these beans a lot more if my congestion clears up.


How much would you pay?

So Spectrum TV is now offering a “a la carte” option. 10 cable channel from a curated list + additional broadcast over the air channels of NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and of course PBS. All for $24.99/month for the 1st 2 years.

Spectrum 25 a la carte

So with all the cord cutting going on with Hulu, Netflix, YouTube TV, etc the cable companies are trying to play catch up. Admirable…

But given ALL the options now, I probable wouldn’t pay more than $15/month in my opinion. And I’m being fairly generous I think.

Post Tournament Analysis

I’ve been playing squash for over 5 years now.  I’ve definitely improved since I first picked up a racket.  I think most of the improvement comes from adapting my previous experience with tennis, a general athletic ability to pick up sports and a dedication to breaking down all parts of my game from swing mechanics to strategic shot selection.

In the most recent local squash tournament this past weekend, I failed to win 2 matches on the first day which guarantees participating in the second day matches.  Analyzing what I did right/wrong afterwards I came to a few conclusions.

  • Given enough time to set up, I usually will hit a good rail or cross court shot.
  • My strategic/tactical squash play is good enough to play at a higher skill level.  My court awareness comes from being able to slow the game down with lobs and deep rails.  However, once the game speeds up, I lose awareness of the court and prevents me from executing my shots.  My shots tend to become just punching at the ball instead of swing/stroking.
  • My general form and movement is also good enough to play at a higher skill level.  However, my overall fitness is an issue.  As I grow tired, my form breaks down leading to loose play and multiple mistakes.  This prevents me from executing my shots and general court strategy.
  • When I’m hitting rails, I tend to hit the ball straight back at me irrespective if it’s a forehand or backhand stroke.  This is great if I’m close to the wall hitting the ball. But if I’m in the middle of the court, this becomes a big liability as the path of the ball puts it close the T.   This allows my opponent to not stray far from the T to return the ball.  This is also bad if I’m trying to hit a cross court shot as the path of the ball isn’t wide enough to actually traverse the width of the court.
  • My lob serves are not consistent enough to rely on from both service boxes.  However, when the lob serves are working, they are generally hard to return.

Theodore’s Coffee Roasters

Over Christmas, I purchased the Geisha Gift box from Angels Cup.  During the course of Angels Cup packaging and sending the gift box, Angels Cup mentioned that Theodore’s Roasters weren’t able to finalize and send the geisha beans.  To support them not being able to send the beans, Angels Cup suggested buying from them to support.  And so here I am, finally getting to taste.


A subtle, sweet and fruity aroma wafts up upon opening the bag.  There is also a subtle hint of chocolate as well too.  Grinding and brewing my latte, the subtleties of the beans really starts to stand out.  Jasmine, oranges, chocolate, cherry and subtle nutty aromas and taste fade in and out with each sip.  It’s pretty amazing.