December 25, 2006

One way to learn it

I recently subscribed to some podcast programs on the Internet about how to learn English in a more efficient way. One of them which impresses me most comes from Steve Kaufman. Speaking of this Canadian people, his capability of speaking nine languages has indeed surprised lots of people including myself. Not only can he fluently speak some European languages which I believe easier for him to pick up due to his English native speaking background, but he can also handle Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanse, and Korean with no problems. That really makes himself persuasive to be one of the best linguists in the world.

recently 最近地
subscribe 訂駛odcast 博客
efficient 有效的
impress 使人產生印象
background 背景
capability 能力
indeed 的確
surprised 感到驚訝的
including 包括
fluently 流利的
European 歐洲的
pick up 學會
due to 由於
native 本地的, 本質的
Mandarin 國語
Cantonese 廣東話
persuasive 有說服力的
linguist 語言家, 會說多種語言的人

The Linguist system, which he and his crew have been advertising for a while online, has been claimed by him to be one of the most efficient ways to help non-native speakers to learn English. By chekcing out his website, I can see how much effort he has put in there for the best use of it. However, I would suggust him cut down the price of using the site for attracting more memers to use the Lingusit system. If you don't want to pay for it at once, you may consider downloading his free-to-use Podcast files first and listen to his fine comments on how to be a lingusit like him.

crew 工作小組
advertise 廣告
claim 宣稱
non- 非...
chekcing out 觀看
effort 努力
enhance 加強
suggust 建議
cut down 刪減
recruit 招生
royal 忠誠的
consider 考慮
download 下載
comment 評論
similar 相同的

December 18, 2006

A surprising Monday night

It sure surprised me to see unexpected high number of students in my class tonight.

unexpected 沒有預期的

Usually on Mondays, most learners still suffer from the impact of Post-holiday syndrome. I can perceive that the reason why low attendance rate is usually well predicted for Monday's class is that the two day's rest has made their tiredness. As they get back to work on Mondays, seeing countless work-to-do stuff piled on their desks makes the situation even worse, let alone spare extra time to soak up new things after work. Consequently, some of them prefer not to show up in the classroom. The reason is simple: they just don't wish to get caught red-handed dozing off in class.

suffer from 受苦
impact 衝擊
Post-holiday syndrome 後休假症候群
perceive 了解
attendance rate 出席率
predict 預測
beforehand 事先
tiredness 疲勞
countless 無法數的
pile 堆疊
situation 情況
let alone 更別說
spare 空出
extra 額外的
soak up 吸收
consequently 最後
prefer to 寧願
show up 出現
get caught red-handed 當場被抓
doze off 打瞌睡

However, I saw a totally different scene tonight. Most of them chose to come to the class so that I was a bit touched. I also noticed that only few people put to sleep for a very short period of time. In any case, I saw the whole class go smoothly during my instruction. I think their efforts to prepare for TOEIC will get paid off one day.

scene 景象
touched 感動
notice 注意
put ot sleep 睡覺
effort 努力
pay off 獲得報償

December 08, 2006

Keep the change

Mr. Chang was very angry at Tonny because he said dirty words in class. Therefore he decided to teach him a lesson.

"Tonny. As I metioned earlier, those who say dirty words in class will have to pay five dollars to us as a fund for the class. Pay us now!"

"Okay, Mr.Chang. Here is ten dollars. Would you make change for me?" Tonny said to him.

"Sure. Let me check if I have some in my pocket...Ooops! I am afraid that I don't....", Mr. Change was embarrased a bit.

"Fuck!!" Tonny shouted at Mr. Chang in front of the class and went, "Keep the change. Mr. Chang."

A Joke

Customer: I'd like to buy a book which contains no killing, no romance, no mystries, no billionaire's stories, no sexy girls and macho men. Can you recommend one?

Clerk: Let me about a train schedule?

November 21, 2006

A Match Man?

A young lady asked me in class if I had ever seen a movie called "Matchman", wondering what that meant in English. I had no idea frankly speaking, but I promised her that I would find the answer for her asap.

wonder 想知道
frankly speaking 坦白說
promise 承諾

asap= as soon as possible

Aftre returning home, I looked up my dictionary and found no answers to that word. I also checked and the outcome was still the same- no clues from there either. The only thing I got on the Internet was that there was a Hong Kong-based Website that has been selling the Matchman comics and its peripheral products such as its dolls and so forth. Nah...I didn't think it was the one she mentioned to me, much less the one she needed.

return 回到
outcome 結果
clue 線索
based 建立基礎的
comics 漫畫
peripheral 週邊的
and so forth 等等
mention 提及
much less 更別說

I tried to turn to some other on-line resources like and Yahoo! Movies. A few moments later, I should count my lucky stars because I found it. Actually it is Matchstick men rather than Matchman. What "matchstick men" literally means is that people in pictures who have been drawn with thin lines to represent their arms, legs, and bodies, as if by a child. However, in this movie, matchstick men are relevant to con artists or swindlers who are very good at getting money from someone by deceiving them. This movie stars Nicholas Cage. You'd better see the movie to learn more about it.

turn to 轉向
on-line 線上的
resource 資源
Blockbuster 百視達
moment 時刻
count someone's lucky star 某人運氣好
actually 事實上
matchstick men 用線條畫出來的小人, 像火柴棒一樣(通常是小孩子畫的圖案)
rather than 而非
literally 字面上地
drawn= draw的過去分詞
represent 代表
relevant 相關的
con artists 金光黨
swindlers 騙徒
deceive 欺騙
star 主演
Someone'd better + 原形動詞= 某人最好...

November 02, 2006

Free English Podcasts On-line (Part II)

It has been a long while since I introduced Podcast to you. Now to continue with Part One, I would like to provide you with more resources for getting Podcast programs. The followings are the handy Podcasts I found:

introduce 介紹
provide someone with something 提供某人某事
resource 資源
Podcast--> an audio broadcast that has been converted to an MP3 file or other audio file format for playback in a digital music player or computer.
produce 製造, 產生
handy 有用的

Business English Pod
Business English Pod: A great way to improve your English on the go!
Listen to our regular podcasts covering essential language for today's global business world. Learn useful phrases and listen to how they can be used in real business situations.

improve 改進
on the go 一直進行中
regular 定期的, 規律的
cover 包含
essential 非常重要的
global 全球的
phrase 片語
situation 情況

Personally I like this Podcast program a lot. All the contents made from it are very practical in business situations. I highly recommend those who are at the high-intermediate level not miss subscribing to this one.

Web site:

personally 個人而言
contents 內容
pratical 實用的
highly recommend 高度推薦
high-internediate level 中高級
miss 錯過
subscribe to 訂閱

The Linguist on Language-ESL, learning English, learning languages
The host of this Podcast program is Steve Kaufmann. This guy is amzaing because he can speak several different languages, not only the European languages but also some Asian languages such as Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. The more you know him, the more attracted you will get by him. He is also a smart business man who has invented what he calls "the Lingust" learning system which he claims to efficiently improve your English within a short period of time. In any case, you still can download his Podcasts from his Website for free.


host 主持人
amazing 了不起
several 數個
not only...but also 不僅...而且
Mandarin 國語
Cantonese 廣東話
attract 吸引

smart 精明的
invent 發明
linguist 語言家
claim 宣稱
efficiently 有效地
within 在...之內
period 時間
in any case 無論如何
download 下載
Website 網站

English Teacher Talk
Two English teachers made their own show on line. What's interesting is that they are actually teaching English in different countries, Japan and Korea, while they can still be able to produce their programs using some techniques such as recording their voice through an online messenger. You won't believe they have never seen each other face to face. If you are interested in how they react with their students in calss, download their stuff from their Web site.


actually 實際上
technique 技術
online 網路上, 線上
messenger 網路聊天軟體
face to face 面對面
react 互動

stuff 東西

October 05, 2006

Happy Moon Festival

I know you should blame me for not having shown up for such a long time. There is no excuse for that. Plus I'd just like to tell you that I never forget you all. I am hoping that you are able to make the best use of this long weekend. Four consecutive holidays is a real nice gift to certain degree. Your family are expecting you to go back home for the happen-once-a-year gathering.

What are you doing in the next few days? Finding a beautiful place to visit isn't a bad idea either, even though I understand it's not easy to search for a nice one in Taiwan now. All you can see at the most of the points of interest are verdors, crowd and garbage. Well it's better than do nothing during then, isn't it? Have a wonderful vacation.

September 11, 2006

September 10, 2006

Saturday September 9, 2006

I had never joined a demonstration before; however, this one seemed not only important to me but also to all the people who live on this island.

join 加入
demonstration 遊行
seem 似乎

I went on the Kaitakelan Boulevard yesterday at about 3 pm, seeing over 100,000 local people rally to demand the resignation of President Chen Shui-bian. Most of us do believe that he must step down due to his series of alleged corruption scandals involving his family members and close aides.

Kaitakelan Boulevard 凱達格蘭大道
rally 集會
demand 要求
resignation 辭職
step down 下臺
series of 一連串的
alleged 被聲稱的
corruption 貪污
scandal 醜聞
involve 牽涉
close aides 親信

Most of the protesters wore red to express their anger. We shouted slogans and gave the thumbs-down sign as we marched through the broad way in front of the Presidential Palace.

protester 示威者
express 表達
shout 吼叫

slogan 口號
thumbs-down 拇指向下
sign 手勢
march 前進
Presidential Palace 總統府

Frankly I don't think the president will be ousted from his position of power. The reason why I took part in this rally is just to let him know how pissed off I was. I stayed there for about an hour and took off as soon as it had started to pour.

frankly 坦白說
oust 驅逐
position of power 權力位置
took part in 參加
pissed off 憤怒
took off 離開
pour 下大雨

August 24, 2006

Nothing but happy

Five years ago as I moved back in Taiwan, I had never thought about that one day I would stick to a teaching job like this for such a long time. It is all due to the help from Bruce, a friend of mine who I met in the US. If you wish to know more about what'd happened between he and me, pelase refer to my earlier articles on this blog. I hope you can find it.

stick to something 堅定於
due to 由於
refer to 參考

I am not a good team player, as a matter of fact. That's why I couldn't always stay working in one office too long. I hate seeing politics going around in the workplace, let along become a brown nose of my boss. I always try to get away from those who get into a fight with one another. To me, office is like hell where everyone should distort themselves in front of others.

team player 團隊的一份子
as a matter of fact 事實上
workplace 職場
let along 更不用說
brown nose 馬屁精
distort 扭曲

After I have become a teacher, I am so surprised that I can handle the situation better than before. I don't need to live a hypocritical life, and who I am faced with in my daily life differ than the former. My students come up to me with the view to soaking up knowledge from me. I try everything I can to help them get better in preparing a test. My life can't be just as simple as it is now.

hypocritical 虛偽的
differ from 不同於
the former 前者
soak up 吸收

I don't know how much longer I can be a on this job, but I never get tired of this. That is strange, I think. The closer I go to the classroom, the happier I feel. Oh, God. This is what the doctor ordered.

what the doctor ordered 剛好是我想要的

August 16, 2006

It's in your hand.

The question that people often ask me is about how to improve their TOEIC scores. I think to answer the question is quite simple. Usually before giving an advice I would ask how many tests, both the real and simulated ones, they have already taken so far. Not surprisingly, most of them just did very few times to the tests. No wonder they wanted to know if there are some sort of instant way to get improved. Fat chance!

simulated 模擬的
not surprisingly 不令人驚訝的
no wonder 難怪
instant 快速的
fat chance 不可能

My idea for it is, to prepare for a test, practicing on end is the key to success. It is not enough to do just one test or two. To get familiar with most of the test formats in TOEIC, such as word forms, word choice, sentence structure, grammar, listening skills, and so and so forth, you must try learning them from different testbooks over and over and again. I'll say, taking ten different ones is the minimum requirement before you know what TOEIC is about. No kidding.

on end 不斷地
get familiar with 對...熟悉
format 型態
structure 架構
and so forth 等等
minimum requirement 最小要求

By the way, I am not asking you to take the real tests, for which will hit your pocket badly. I just mean try as many simulated tests as you can at home from various sources. Online test, school's old tests, or the one you got from the used book store...whichever way you can get them by. Remember, to either ace it or srew it up, it is in your hand.

by the way 順便一提
hit your pocket 荷包失血
various 不同的
sources 來源
online 線上, 網路的
ace something 做的好某事
srew something up 搞雜某事

August 04, 2006

I am back.

Hey! What's up? I guess the first question you wish to ask is, "Where have you been, sir?" hmmm.....where have I been? If you know it, you know it. If you don't, I am afraid I can't tell you. There is something I have to seal my lips, or I 'll be in trouble. That is all I can say. Sorry about that.

seal one's lips 閉嘴 least I am back. I will the usaul post some stuff here. I think I may have lost a lot of readers of mine, haven't I? This sounds like I'm making fun of myself. Ya...I think I am exactly doing that at this moment.

at least 至少

In Chinese culture, people see themselves as "being busy like a dog". I don't know why people would call themselves dogs if they really fit in that situation. Maybe it is because dogs are good runners or something like that. Uh...I am not like a dog but I've been as hectic as a dog in the past few weeks. But now, things have been back to normal. Let me think of what I have to write for next time....

fit in 適合
situation 情況
hectic 急忙的

Catch you later!

June 19, 2006

Taking a bike ride in Taipei

If you don't have something else in mind about what to do in the summer, going for a bike ride may sound like a good idea to you. In Taipei, the local government has built up several bike paths outside the retention walls of the rivers in Taipei. Good news that they are closed off to traffic, so now we can rest assure without worrying risking our necks on streets and highways.

built up 建立
bike paths 自行車道
retention walls of the rivers 河堤
be closed off to something 對某事禁止
rest assure 放心
risk one's neck on something 冒某事的風險

However, here comes to other concerns: how do we get started off and where do we begin our bike trip? Well, the answer to the question depends on where you live. If you live in the north of Taipei, you may wanna take the bike trail along Dan-Shui river. For those who live near the south, Jing-Mei River bike path is just right next to the Jing-Mei bridge and now it can extend all the way to Wan Hua, or even further up to She-Zi island. For the residents of Eastern Taipei such as Nei-Hu or Xi-Zhi, there are parks along Keelung river and some clearly marked and well maintianed bike paths can easily be found over there. It just wind all over the place. You can either put a bike rack on your car, so carrying the bikes to the bike paths becomes no sweat any more, or take the MRT with your bike to your favorite bike trails.

concern 關心
start off 開始
depend on 視...而定
bike trail 自行車徑
extend 延伸
further up 進一步
resident 住民
clearly marked and well maintianed 清楚顯示且維護良好的
bike rack 自行車架
no sweat 簡單

Are you really to go for a pleasant bike ride? Hey, don't forget to put on sun block before doing that out-of-doors.

pleasant 令人愉快的
sun block 防曬乳液
out-of-doors 戶外活動

June 07, 2006

More questions, please.

I am so pleased to see that my email group at Googles has been widely used over time by some of you. You know, this is just what the doctor ordered! Our class time is short and limited, so we only can talk to each other via some handy tools online and just like the one we are using right now. How nice if you can keep sending me email and telling me all your problems. But, don't just tell us how bad you have been feeling since your break-up with your boyfriend/ girlfirend because that will be something we can't be any assistnace of you. Cheers! :)

over time 漸漸的
what the doctor ordered 就是這樣的
limited 有限的
via 透過
handy 派的上用場的
break-up 分手
be any assistnace of 任何的幫助

May 25, 2006

Wonder and Twinkle -- by Bruce Lin


The moon of the light,
The sea of the blue,
Everywhere, everywhere, on the earth.
However, I saw the petals
Blowing in the air like stars

An American mother showed me this poem, Wonder, written by her 6-year-old boy. There are no difficult words in it, but somehow those simple words get off the ground, transporting the reader to the realm of a dreamy world. His Wonder makes me wonder: Would our six-year-olds come up with poems like that? Maybe, if their parents wouldn’t cram them with too much knowledge that blocks their imagination.

The mother proudly showed me another poem, Twinkle:


O mother,
Your beautiful eyes,
They twinkle,
Like stars.

Your eyes,
Whenever they open,
My heart feels nice.

I looked at the mother when I finished reading it, and indeed the mother’s eyes twinkled. Parents like that are unusual. I often have parents coming to me asking how to help their kids pass certain English tests. Those parents’ eyes rarely twinkle; instead, they often look concerned, insecure, anxious, or puzzled. You could sort of imagine that those worries would be carried through their kids’ lives, and it is difficult to stretch creativity when too much worry is in the way.

I asked the American mother what kind of learning environment she gave the boy. With her eyes twinkling again, she said that she just wanted him to be happy.


May 21, 2006

How to make an effective oral presentation

Learning a language is always full of excitement and challenges. Among ways of improving your language skills, making a public speech or presentation is a useful one. The following notes are my two cents worth about how to do a good job on an oral presentation.

effective 有效的
excitement 興奮, 激動
challenge 挑戰
presentation 簡報
two cents worth 觀點
oral 口說的

In order to make your topic informative and persuasive, it's a good idea to do a few research on it. Practice as much as your can before your do the real stuff.

informative 資料豐富的
persuasive 有說服力的
research 研究
practice 練習
stuff 東西

Use tools like Power point , slides, transparencies, pictures, and so forth in your presentation. These are the things called 'visual aid' that helps people understand, learn, or remember information provided from you. Besides, using visual aid can awake your audience for a monotonous topic.

Power point 微軟的簡報軟體
slide 幻燈片
transparency 投影片
and so forth 等等
visual aid 視覺輔助
provide 提供
besides 除此之外

awake 喚醒
audience 觀眾

A note card, the thing we learned from the school's presentation class, helps you remember your path or even when you have a blank during the presentation. To prepare note cards isn't like writing down everything you are going to say on it, but you have to just take down the key words or a summary of the contents broken down into several parts in your note card. During the presentation, you can hold them in your one hand and have a quick glimpse of them to remind you what you have to say next. It works well for me.

note card 提示卡
path 路徑
have a blank 一片空白
during 在...期間
take down 記下
summary 大綱
contents 內容
be broken down 分散成
several 一些
glimpse 很快的看過
remind 提醒

Body language is another important issue here. First, Eye contact! Pay attention to your audience and see their faces at times and make them believe that you are making a good presentation because you are enthusiastic about the topic. Second, tone variation. Try not to use the same tone all the time. Do not speak too fast or too slow, try not to let people know you are nervous though it happens to us very often.

issue 議題
eye contact 眼神的接觸
enthusiastic 熱心的, 真誠的
tone variation 語調變化
nervous 警張的

Last but not least, be confident. You have to trust yourself even if you are making a debut of your presentation. When it comes to the actual presentation, present your issue as if you mean it. You talk as if you mean it, the audience will be moved. You make them believe what you're saying.

last but not least 最後也是最重要的
confident 有信心的
trust 信任
debut 初次登場
actual 實際的

In a word, it sounds difficult to get ready for an oral presentation but is well the effort to prepare for it. So, good luck if you're going to do one. I hope these will come in handy for you.

In a word 總而言之
well the effort 值得努力的
come in handy 派的上用場

Showcase Update

Please check out my showcase to see the updated information.

May 14, 2006

How to prepare for "Short Readings" of TOEIC

Short readings is the longest and the last part of TOEIC. Lots of people may feel tired already while working on it. Your endurance will determine the score you will get. There are three kinds of questions appearing in this part: overview questions, detail questions, and inference questions. Here I want show you how to do a better job on them.
短文閱讀是多益測驗最長也是最後的一個部分.當做到這個部分的時候,許多人已經覺得累了.此時你的耐力將會決定你的成績好壞. 此部分有三種問題:整體性的問題,細節問題及推論問題. 以下是有關如何做好此部分練習的要訣.

  1. Look at the passage at a steady pace of yours to get a basic idea of what it is about.
  2. Read the questions only, not the answer choices this time, of the passage. Try your best to know these questions by heart as you read them.
    接下來只要讀此篇文章的所有問題. 先不要讀每一題的答案部分, 盡量記住問題在問些什麼.
  3. Now you should look for any question which is a “overview” question. You may be able to answer it since you have got an overall idea of the passage.
  4. Get back to the passage and start reading them again. Read the first two sentences first and then you have to ensure that if they refer to the question you are working on. If you can find the answer, fine. But, if you can't, keep reading the following two sentences until you find the answer that matches the question.
  5. If you are unsure about the answer, you must guess at it and go on to the next question or passage. Spending too much time on one question won't do anything good to you. Come back to these unsure items later if you have time.

    Overview questions
    What does the article mainly discuss?
    What is the purpose of this announcement?
    Why was this memo written?
    What is the best title for the article?
    Where was this ad probably published?
    What does the report concern?

    Detail and inference questions
    which of the following can be inferred from the article?
    What number would one call to speak to someone in room 921?
    For which of the following purchase is this form NOT required?
    What information does the chart provide about Downtown?

May 10, 2006

A quick announcement

This message is sent to my ELTS's students of the Interchange 3 class at Shi Lin school. The mail recipients for this message include Annie,Angela, Emily, Dave, Randy, Alice, Cayko, and some people who I can't recall their names. If you are not one of them, then you may please ignore this message.

message 訊息
recipient 收信人
recall 記得
ignore 忽略

As you may know, there are some differences made in our class schedule. We still meet on every Tuesday evening at seven but the contents for the class have been slightly changed. That is, after following every two units in the textbook, we will have to do some extracurricular activities in our class. The school authority offered me no limitation to whatever I want to teach. Therefore, I've decided on giving everyone more chances to speak and practice your presentation skills. On the following Tuesday, everyone who attends the class will be asked to make a short speech in class. The topic is up to you, butwe have come to a conclusion last night about what you have to say next time-- you are going to show us something you are good at. In other words, you will make a presentation about your field of expertise. For example, Dave is an experienced lifeguard so he may tell us how to be a good swimmer or how to prevent ourselves from drowned while swimming.

slightly 輕微地
extracurricular activities 課外活動
school authority 校方
offere 提供
limitation 限制
presentation skills 簡報技巧
attend 參加
up to someone 由某人自己決定
come to a conclusion 得到結論
field of expertise 專業領域
lifeguard 救生員
drown 淹死

Doesn't that sound exciting to you? I am so looking forward to see howe eryone will be working in our class and I believe you also anticipate doing a great job then. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

be looking forward to + Ving/ Noun 期待去...
anticipate Ving 期盼做...
at one's convenience 在某人方便之時候

Albert Chang

May 07, 2006

A message board founded here

I just added a message board in the right column of this page. People may ask me how I did it. Well since I am not a cyber-geek who can do programming myself, in fact there is no trick doing this-- I just found a Web site that provided such feature for me . Then I copied some HTML codes from there for building this board and eventualy I pasted it on my blog and that's it!! I guess it is pretty easy to get it done.

message board 留言板
column 欄位
since 因為
cyber-geek 網路癡狂者
programming 電腦程式設計
in fact 事實上
trick 把戲
found 建立 (found founded founded)
find 發現 (find found found)
feature 功能
HTML codes 網路標記語言碼
eventualy 最後
paste 貼上

You know I used to put a message board here a while ago but it seemed no so many people take notice of it. This time I expect my friends like you to leave some messages here to let me know you have known it. Would you please do this favor for me? Thanks.

used to 曾經
take notice of 注意
do a favor for someone 幫忙

May 01, 2006

Talk about hybrid cars,...

A Japanese hybrid car has been introduced to the local automobile market these days. It may have drawn a lot of buyers' attention; however, due to its high price--say something around 1.05 million NT dollars-- whreas in the US it's only priced in half, what it means to the average Joe and Jane is a "dreamboat" only. What is the appeal of a hybrid car? Please see the following intro.

hybrid 油電混合車
be introduced 被引進, 介紹
automobile 汽車
draw one's attention 吸引...的注意
whereas 相反地
the average Joe and Jane 普通大眾
dreamboat 夢想之事物
appeal 吸引人之處
intro= introduction

There are two engines in it, an electric engine and a gasoline one, which are both used in unison. People who drive a hybrid car need no worries if it has a reduction in speed or acceleration, even though its gasoline engine is designed smaller than the conventional ones. Instead, when starting the car, the electric engine provides extra thrust for acceleration. After the hybrid car hits on the road, the gasoline engine kicks in so you can go as fast as fast you can, not to worry people cutting you off.

engine 引擎
electric 電力的
gasoline 汽油
in unison 一致地
reduction 減少
acceleration 加速
conventional 傳統的
provide 提供
extra 額外的
thrust 推進力, 爆發力
kick in 啟動
cutting someone off 開車時擋在某人前面

Don't forget why a hybrid car is made. Just because of its light weight, it can save lots of fuel as driven on the road. Insight, made by Honda, is reported to get up to 70 miles per gallon, that equals 28 liters per kilometers. Holy Cow!! I think the other hybrid, Prius, which is the Toyota's make may have the similar performance in preserving gas.

weight 重量
fuel 燃料

Insight 本田的混合車名
reporte 報導
mile 英里
per gallon 每加侖
equal 等於
liter 公升
kilometer 公里
Holy Cow 天啊
Prius 豐田的混合車名
performance 表現
preserve 保存

What's more. The hybrid car not only save our money on purchasing gasoline, it also helps pollute less and gets better mileage.

purchase 購買
pollute 污染
less 較少的
mileage 里程數

April 26, 2006

Showcase Update Notice

Remember I have a showcase Web site which posts sentences I have made for your reference? Please go take a look right now and see what you may learn from them. I usually update my showcase on a weekly basis. If you have any question, please don't hesitate to ask me. Thanks. My showcase's Web address is:

showcase 百寶盒, 展示箱
post 刊登
for one's reference 給某人參考
update 更新
on a weekly basis 每週定期
hesitate 猶豫
Web 網路(全球通訊網)

April 24, 2006

Free English Podcasts On-line (Part I)

Like I've told you before, there are many many free resources for learners to learn English on the Internet. Among them, using Podcast seemes to be the trend now. More and more people and organizations are publishing their own programs as a Podcast format online. If you don't know what Podcast is, please go and read my another article here at: to get a overall understanding about Podcast.

resource 資源
among 在...之間
Podcast 一種網路的廣播節目模式, 以mp3格式製作供使用者下載至電腦播放或再傳輸至mp3播放器播放, 任何人或團體皆可自製廣播節目放在網站上供人下載.
seemes to 似乎
trend 潮流
organization 組織
publish 出版
program 節目
format 格式
online 網路上
overall 整體的

Now I would like to highly recommend you some useful Podcasts online.

highly recommend 高度推薦

ESL Podcast and English Cafe
The two Podcasts are provided by the Center for Educational Development. To download their programs, just click the following link and once you are on their Web page, you can download their up-to-date mp3 files and save them into your computer and later they can be uploaded by you to your mp3 player too. Their mutual Web site is:

provide 提供
download 下載
up-to-date 最新的
upload 上載
mutual 共同的

TOEFL Podcast
This Podcast is also served by the Center for Educational Development. The purpose of this Podcast is to help people improve their ability for TOEFL preparatoin. Its link is:

serve 提供
improve 改進
ability 能力
preparatoin 準備

Englsih Teacher John's Show
Usually you can download the English teacher John's Podcast through iTune. However, considering people like you who don't use eithter iTune nor iPod, you can go directly to his Web site and look for useful Podcasts you need. In fact, on his Web site you may find more fun stuff about his show.

however 可是, 然而
considering 考慮到
neither...nor 既不...也不
directly 直接
look for 尋找
in fact 事實上
stuff 東西

Next time I will introduce more wonderful Podcasts to you. Enjoy listening to them now!

April 18, 2006

A trip to Dongyan Mountain

In the middle of April, my family and I took a hike in DongYan mountain in Tao Yuan county. It took us about an hour and half to get there by car. Travelers may run into congested traffic condition on their way there during the weekend rush. If you drive down from Taipei, you may consider taking the province road #7 starting from Sanxia so you can avoid the probable traffic jam in CiHu by taking #4. The admission to the recreatoin park is 100 NTDs per adult plus an extra 100 NTDs for parking inside. You may pull your car somewhere outside the entrance to save some money on that.

take a hike 健行
DongYan mountain 東眼山
congested 擁塞的
weekend rush 週末車潮
consider 考慮
province road 省道
Sanxia 三峽
avoid 避免
probable 可能的
jam 擁擠
CiHu 慈湖
admission 入場費
per adult 每一個成人
plus 加上
extra 額外的
pull 停(車)
entrance 入口

You will get a map when you enter the park (for inside car parking only). Following each trail on the map will take you to different places, but here I strongly suggest that you try the one for getting up to the top mountain. Not only is the view along the trail pretty, but what is on the highest point of the mountain is also fantastic. Don't miss out! I took some beautiful pictures of the sight and they really look so picturesque.

trail 步道
sight 景點
picturesque 風景如畫的

April 15, 2006

If there is God...

God please don't make our kids suffer from our lousy education system any more. Don't you ever see tons of pressure having been placed on these young faces yet? Do something about it please, God... if you are there observing us.

suffer from... 受...之苦
lousy 糟糕的
tons of pressure 大量的壓力
observe 觀察

We wish them to learn wisdom of life, not the knowledge out of math and science. They are not supposed to be born to the world with the view to taking those crap while given education at shcools. We just simply want them to learn to share things with their peers, not to train how to fight their rivals as they grow up. We want them to realize that competition is not the only way for them to get ahead in their future but loving and helping each other is the best thing to do.

wisdom of life 生命的智慧
be supposed to 應該是
with the view to 為了
crap 垃圾
peers 同儕
rivals 對手
competition 競爭
get ahead 成功出頭

We all want our kids to live a happy life without having too much burden given to them. However, there always seems to be the murphy's law-- things always ended up at the ironic end. God, tell us what to do now. We have been tired of blaming our kids for their poor calculating skills on math problems. We have also been feeling guilty for nothing we can do for them. As the father of my just-first-grade-in-the-elementary son, I beg for your help. Amen*!

* Though I am not a Christian, I still believe that everone can for God's help.

burden 負擔
murphy's law 莫非定律(事情永遠朝自己不想得到的結果呈現)
end up 到頭來
blame 責備
calculating skills 計算能力
guilty 有罪的, 不好意思的
Amen 阿門

April 12, 2006

New Links Available

Dear freinds,

Should you pay attention to the right column of this page, you will notice that several new links have been added here. That's right! These new links include a very useful Website, the English Forums, where learners like you and me are able to post questions regarding your problems in learning Englsih. Once a question is posted, some experienced teachers from all over the world will take notice of it and then join in your thread of the message soon. Accordingly, your question can be answered in less than an hour. You should not miss it out.

Should you = if you
column 縱列
Forums 論壇
post 刊登
regarding 有關
take notice of 注意
thread of the message 串聯訊息
Accordingly 最後

Furthermore, the other link goes to the which is also part of the features of and I just intended to seperate it from its frong page. Now try your guts chatting with other learners the world over and you will get addicted to it sooner or later.

Furthermore 再者
intended to 故意去...
frong page 首頁
try one's guts 試某人的膽量
chat 聊天
get addicted to 對...上癮
sooner or later 不久之後

Good luck and start checking them out right now.

check something out 看一下

April 09, 2006

TV Turnoff Week

I read that the week after next is the so-called "TV Turnoff Week (April 19-25)". I guess the advocates for this movement think people waste too much time watcing TV. Technically speaking, I think it is hardly to ask all of us to turn off the boob tube for a week, let alone keeping up doing it forever. I can't even imagine what our lives will be like without TV because we have already centered our lives around wathcing it.

so-called 所謂的
advocate 提倡者
Technically speaking 技術上來說
boob tube 電視機
let alone 更不要說
to center one's life around 以...為生活重心

Here I want to share a true story about myself. As my kid grew up, I found he had spent too much time in front of TV. At his age, he watches a lot of cartoons on number of channels. One day I told him if he kept watching them without taking a break, I would disconnect the service. My warning seemed not to work very well as he always turned a blind eye to me. Few days later, I called the cable company to call off the service. After about a few days whining, he eventually found other way to entertain himself creatively such as reading and studying. I supposed that my strategy had really worked.

disconnect 中斷
turned a blind eye to me 沖耳不聞
call off 取消
whining 抱怨
eventually 最後
strategy 策略

Ironically, I ended up getting my wife's complaint about no good TV programs to watch. We only had four channels to watch then since they were all wireless TV programs -- free for antenna users. I started to realize that there was no free lunch in the world. You just got what you paid for. From time to time we even turned this into arguments, which was the outcome beyond my expectance.

Ironically 諷刺的
ended up 到頭來
complaint 抱怨
wireless 無線的
antenna 天線

turned something into arguments 造成爭執
outcome 結果

Therefore, it was time that I must find an alternative solution to the problem. Frankly I was kind of reluctant to re-subscribe to the cable TV after it had been phased out by me. I really wanted my kid to live healthier and do better in school. We still couldn't live without TV, however. Eventually I turned to subscribe to a digital TV service powered by my ADSL provider. The technology behind it is that all the TV program get signals from the internet modem-- both the TV and ADSL share the same cable. Good news that it offers only one cartoon channel and some other programs are mostly educational-- at least not that violent now compared to the cable TV before. Plus, I nearly pay no extra fee to the digital TV service since it is bundled with in the internet sevice. It really pays off, I will say.

alternative 替代的
reluctant 勉強的
subscribe 訂駛hased out 淘汰
signals 訊號
modem 數據機

be bundled with 與...結合
somthing pays off 某事是值得的

Watching no TV really makes me feel like I'm missing out on something. I have given up on the idea of being without it because I couldn't go cold turkey.

miss out on something 錯過某事
give up on something 放棄某事
go cold turkey 戒掉習慣/cold turkey 另有冷傲之人之意

April 04, 2006

Apology, apology, apology

Hello folks,

I really got nothing to tell you except for the apology for not having posted any articles here in such a long while. The thing is, my schedule is really filled to capacity. I realize I may be losing my loyal readers if I don't make an immediate announcement now to you.

Speaking of the progress delay, Amber, a good freind of mine who used to take my class in Xindian GV, called me the other day asking why she hadn't seen anything new on my blog. I felt so sorry about that. Since I had to take care of lots of personal stuff, I've barely had no time to drop a line here. I feel like buring the candles on both ends.

Don't worry yet! I am still in good shape as I was. I just sometimes couldn't believe that time really flies, does it? Catch you later my friends. I promise I will never forget you all. Best wishes.

March 28, 2006

When dreams come true...

A very long while ago, my friend Scott passed on a Music CD to me. I could still remember what it looks like- a smaller size compact disc which comes with a special name, EP. I am not sure why people name it EP, but perhaps it is because of its 8 centimeters size that allows only one song to be included in it. Just a rough guess, though.

The single-song EP is featured by a renown Japanese music group "Dreams come true". I used to listen to some Japanese music before, but the song "Eyes to me" in this CD really touches my heart. Its melody is played in such a beautiful manner that you don't need to worry whether you understand its Japanese lyrics. In any case, it just don't stop me from appreciating this song. The female singer of this song definitely has a rhythm which makes me get into the spirit of it, making it a warm breeze blowing tenderly on my face.

Whenever I listened to this song, there always seemed to be a wonderful dream coming up in my mind. I kept this CD for a very long while until one day Scott asked me to give it back. Ahem! I wish I had got a CD burner then, so I would have made a copy of the CD. Does anyone here still keeps this song? Please let me know.

March 19, 2006

Facing the reality

I really don't want to be a harsh father for my son, but I have recently found that I just couldn't help it. Before he started school last year, I told myself that I would never be serious about his education. But the truth is, after his school started, I saw his test results gradually come in the sorry state. You know that made me feel uncomfortable and in the doldrums.

I feel like getting more and more grumpy because I have been dreading that he will fall behind his classmate in terms of his school studies. As a father with an impulsive character somehow, I think it goes without saying that I might have given him the long face up to the present day. Although he hadn't complained to me anything about my having a temper toward him, I can sense that he tries to avoid seeing me sometimes. I am so wondering what I should do next to him. I want him to be a happy learners without worrying too much about his school exams. But on the other hand, if he didn't study harder, his school grade would not only frustrate himself but also his old man.

"Impossible!" Tommi said to me, and he is the one student in my class. "Both your boy and you have to face the music now. In Taiwan, academic performance is above everything for the kids and parents. If you don't do well on every subject, you are out and the world will pass you by." How cruelly has he said that to me, but I should give him some credit. Here in Taiwan it is unlike the US where parents also encourage their children to do something they like beyond their school life. Instead, the education environment on this island based on examination-orientation seems to be still in existence despite the implementation of the education reform few years ago. It is getting more and more serious about kids under much more pressure by knowing the increasing number of cram schools year after year.

Whew...I told Tommi I felt like moving to the back country. He poured cold water over my plan in no time and warned me that would do nothing good to my son because he will lose his competence with others. "Living in Alishan (阿里山) is actually nothing but an impossible dream. Forget about the idea or you will get screwed over." However, he added in the end of the conversation, "Unless you move back to the US, you have to help your kid learn to survive well in this society. After all, Taiwan is different than any other countries across the world."

March 05, 2006

Picking callas

This Sunday was a sunny day and also ideal for a family outdoor. Without thinking too much, I decided to pay a visit to the Yangmingshan National Park again. I locked in the Zhuzihu area this time where not only can tourist like me check out the wonderful view of the calla fields, one will be able to try the local specialties in the vicinity at the mean time as well.

Calla, a.k.a. calla lily or water arum, is a greenish flower that can be found in temperate zone. It is suitable to grow such plant in Yanmingshan area for its long lasting mild weather the whole year round.

After having the lunch on site, we started our tour around several calla fields. It was quite a wide area where the fields were owned by different calla farmers.

We finally picked some callas for home decoration. The total came out to eight callas for one hundred NT dollars. Sounds a little expensive, but it really pays off to see the sight there.

March 02, 2006

Total Chaos

As usaul, I stepped into the entrance lobby of the school last night and got myself ready for the upcoming class. However, I sensed that there seemed to be something different more or less. I couldn't tell what it was but the air frozen in the room made me feel a bit uncomfortable.

The receptionist turned to me and started speaking in a surpsrising tone. She asked me why I was here becasue a new teacher would substitute for me for the class that I "used to" teach. Suddenly I felt like falling into a total confusion. Would I be no more the teacher for this class? Why hadn't anyone ever informed me of it? Standing next to her must be the new teacher who appeared to have a troubled look herself too. Well, things must have turned out in a embarrasing way now.

In no time, the receptionist picked up the phone and dialed the office where someone could help work this out. Few minutes later, she got off it and said to us in a smoother way. She explained to me that the new teacher would replace me from now on and my new class shcedule wouldn't take effect until next Wednesday. I was pretty sure about my new class schedule for next week, but no one ever kept me posted on the fact that I didn't have to teach the current class tonight-- for the last time... I supposed.

What became of me was that I had to take the MRT and train home. That was kind of fun when I became jobless for two hours last night. Anny, Stoney, Agnes, Daniel, Erica, John, and some other faces who I couldn't remember. Sorry about that folks, it was a total mix-up. I wish to catch you later if possible.

February 26, 2006

New class schedule

So annoying the weather has made me go nowhere recently, let alone write any fun traveling stories for my readers. When it comes to March, we realize that the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere of the new year has waned to the least it can be. Everyone appears to get back to their regular way to live their own life.

The following month, however, seems a little different to me because my new class schedule will be taken effect. First of all, no more night class for the Global Village. Though I had already finished teaching the last TOEFL class on last Thursday evening, I think it is about time to relay it to the next teacher. It is indeed a rewarding class to me where I learned many wonderful things out of the text book. Some students complained to me that the contents in the textbook seem outdated and not compatible with the patterns of TOEFL, but I still believe that it is a good thing to read, as well as a decent reference material for English learners. So.. Jenny, the only student remaining in the class, please take my words for it.

Where am I going and what I am doing from next month on? Few new classes will be arranged and I will see them as new challenges I will be taking on. I feel like I am getting more chances to instruct on diverse classes for the days to come. Good news for me to a degree.

Feel free to catch me, and I will be glad to assist you in your studies.

(PS. I have updated my personal Website with new sentences -- , please go take a look)

February 19, 2006

Blood types and personality

Asian people especially who live in Japan and Korea nearly have the strong belief that their blood types connect to human's personality characters. This craze has been picked up stream and spread around in Taiwan since long ago. One of my friends, Dennis, is the expert of analyzing the personality straits on people with different blood types.

According to his analysis, people with blood type A is always a perfectionist. Type-A people is also considered to be level-headed and the ones who can be trusted. When dealing with a tough situation, they never quit until they have it done to a T. On the other hand, they are sometimes indecisive and become easily depressed. I think they should learn more about how to look at the bright side of everything. I was told that why Japanese products are so renown to the world is because a dominant population of Japanese are type A. Do you buy into that?

Speaking of the Type-B, the people with which are just the opposite to the Type-A. Type Bs are mostly the optimism, and it is hard for them to expect something to turn out be to a disaster. When asking them what to eat in a restaurant, their answer always goes "everything is fine to them". They are unlike the Type As who seem to be on the horns of a dilemma making a quick decision about what to eat.

Type-O people easily fall into a yes/no pattern. The logic in their mind appears to be "If X is not good, then Y must be good". No wonder it is easier to deal with these people because you can read their mind without taking a guess. But, their hot temper and lack of romantic view are things you have to put up with.

What about Type AB? Well, I guess they are either like A or B, or the hybrid of them.

If you have the idea in your blood, try not to take my words for it. You can't take it for granted that all people follow the same patterns on their blood types. If you entirely believed in that, you might get screwed over.

craze 短期的瘋狂流行
picked up stream 加速進行
spread around 傳開
analysis 分析
perfectionist 完美主義者
level-headed 冷靜的
to a T 到達完美
indecisive 猶豫不絕的
renown 知名的
dominant 佔上風的
opposite 相反的
optimism 樂觀主義者
be on the horns of a dilemma 左右為難
pattern 型式, 花樣
romantic view 浪漫的觀點
hybrid 混合物
someting in your blood 在血液裡面(對某事很在行)
take somthing for granted 認為理所當然
be screwed over 被害慘

February 14, 2006

Back-to-school week

You may be wondering where I have been up to these days. Well actually I am so busy since my kid had got to get back to school earlier this week. This has been his second semester since he started in elementary school last September. Being the only kid in our family, Brian owns his own study room at home but never seems to use it at all times. As a result, he always does his homework in the living room. I realized that it was time to prepare him a real place for studying now as I found it was piled with countless toys and books in such an untidy way.

After cleaning his room, tons of toys and books had been sorted out and placed into different boxes. I guessed I might be able to get some of them listed for bidding on eBay or Yahoo Auction to make some quick buck. His room looks clean now; however, I start considering whether I should do some cleaning job in my study room because it looks like such a mess too. Perhaps I can dig something out and get them sold on line.

It used to look like 10 times messy as you look in the pic...

February 10, 2006

About Google Groups

Google Groups is a service that helps people/ members communicate effectively on the Internet through email. It is also known as a discussion group formed by the organizer of the group and he or she will have to create a contact list by collecting all memebers' email addresses. With the contact list established, everytime when any memeber including the organizer her/ himself wishes to send new information to other members, all she/ he has to do is send email to them by the contact list. The group email address is similar to the one below: *
* I have created my own group on Google Forum so I decided to use aboto1 as the account name for this group email address.

Each group founded on Google Groups can have their front page set up, though, most group members don't need to come to the front page all the time. They will receive the same information via email from other members who posted them. They go to the front page only if they want to check some old messages posted earlier by other people.

Being the only organizer of my group, I can't appreciate too much for this Google Groups service as it helps connect me to my students and readers in a tighter way. You can start building your own group with Google Groups now to experience the magic of it.

By the way, if you are already the member in my group, why not post your questions or send us anything using our group email address. We are craving to know more about you.

February 08, 2006

Frisbees --by Bruce Lin

In my teens, I bought a set of English-learning books that came with 7 audio cassette tapes to save my English. I read the books and listened to those tapes over and over but could not understand much. After that, there was no apparent improvement in my English, but the experience triggered my interest to learn the language. To this date, I still have those tapes though they are no longer useful.

Now students mainly use CDs to learn English. Amy*, a high school student, told me her school demands that every student subscribe to an English magazine that comes with a CD. However, no student – not even one, she said – uses the materials. Instead, some students use the magazine as a lunchbox tray, and most use the CDs to toss at each other as if they were Frisbees. Owning learning materials certainly is not equivalent to learning from it.

Lord, how we have changed. In terms of price, user-friendliness, durability, and sound quality, the CD is far superior to the cassette. The problem with CDs is that they are easy to produce – they are a dime a dozen now – and thus, less valuable. Besides, they often come out so fast and in such high numbers that students like Amy are eventually overwhelmed by too much information: they don't know how to use the information and don't know where to start under the cramming education climate. Naturally, CDs become Frisbees.

I flipped through the 20-something English articles in the magazine. Most of them were quite good. I picked one article on fashion designing (Amy's interest) and told her that every month she only needs to read one article and listen to the sound file from the CD. Of course, she may read more if she likes. Now she is the only one in her class to really use the magazine-CD.

Less could be more. Haven't we learned?

*Amy is not his real name.

February 06, 2006

Website Update

I updated my personal website, Albert's Showcase.
This time I just posted a few sentences I made earlier.
So, please come take a look at it. Its Web address is

February 04, 2006

Life, tour, and train

My friend sent me a file the other day. It really touched my heart as I read through the whole passage. As a result, I decided to translate it into English to share it with you.

Life, tour, and train

Not long ago, I read a book that compared our life to a journey on a train.

Our life is like traveling on a train. We often get on and off of it. There are always suprprises and incidents occured all the time during the ride. We meet not only surprises but also unforgettable things of sadness.

Our being given the birth is like getting right on the train. In the first place, we thought the first two people we met-- our parents, would accompany us from the beginning of our life to the end of it. Unfortunately, it was not true. They must get off the train somewhere ahead of us, leaving us hopelessness and loneliness. Their love, affection, and companion with us can't be retrieved and also be replaced anymore with anything else.

Besides, there are still some others who mean a lot to us: our offsprings, relatives, and we may also meet our better half to experience the great romance on earth.

There are other passengers on the train as well. Some of them enjoy their trip pretty well. Some don't, however.

Moreover, some guys rush about on the train to give us assistance and advice. They are the helpers memorized by us eventhough they may get off the train before us. They will be known by our heart forever. In stead, some other faces are hardly remembered once they take off from their seats.

Maybe someone who means a lot to you is not sitting next to you but somewhere else on the train. You can't help but keep a distance from him/her on the journey. Or, you can go straight ahead to find her now but I am afraid that the seat next to him/her may have been taken already.

That's ok, dude. The trip is by all means full of challenges, dreams, desires, seperation, and so got to face all kinds of things... but never turn back.

Treat nicely to anyone you have met during the trip. Find their good qualities and learn to appreaciate them.

Always bear in mind that people like you and me may feel weak and vulnerable at all times.

We need to learn to feel for others because they may feel for us too.

The mystery of life is:

When will we get off the train?

When will our significant other get off the train? and so will our friends?

We seem to have no idea to this point.

More often than not, I ask myself if it comes to my turn to get off the train, will I do it with no hesitation? I don't think I will because it will absolutely hurt me when I bid farewell to my friends. I will mourn to my kid if I let him go along without my company. I am sincerely hoping that we can meet again at the destination to our journey.

My kid's luggage is empty when he/she first got on the train. It will be such a nice and wonderful thing if I can leave some good memories in it.

If anyone can rememebr my face and misses me as I get off the train, that will make my day.

Bon Voyage my friend, we are riding the same train now.

February 02, 2006

Busy week

I have got to apologize to those who are looking for me. I really don't have time to update anything new on the blog here, because I've been so busy over the week. My schedule is dead crazy like having different things to do on a daily basis. Since the eve of the Chinese new year, I have been hanging in and out with my family members for different purposes. I went for big meals with my parents, my wife's parents, and gatherings with other in-laws and relations. We also went to see the sight at Caolin Water park in Gongliao of Taipei county, join the workshop for making pottery works such as bowls and vases in Yingge Taipei on the other day, and so forth. Those are pretty cool events I have partaken in so far.

I have received greeting messages from friends and students of mine through the ways like email and phone. Thank you all for not forgetting me. Leo called me earlier today. I can't believe that he has been in the military for three months already. Time really flies and he will be getting out of the army sooner or later.

I will get back to my daily routine right after this new year vacation. I know I will have a lot of new things to do and I think I have to get myself ready for any upcoming challenges. Days of mine may get tougher but I must get over it by all means.

Caoling Water Park

Caoling water park

Caoling water park

Gongliao Old Street

Gongliao train station

Yingge pottery class

* The above photos are taken with my Sony camcorder/ DCR-DVD 803. I love this guy so much.

January 27, 2006

Happy Chinese New Year

In about a day, we will have to bid farewell to the year of chicken but welcome the arrival of dog year.

Recently I have received many gifts from friends of mine. First, Lulu the eldest student in my class got my son a toy racing car that came with a remote control. Nina brought lots of candy to the class and shared them with me as well as others. She also gave me the local specialties she purchased on her trip. Stoney gave me a bottle of wine which was made by his company. Anny also bought my son the game he liked. On Thursday, Frank, the optician, invited me to pay a visit to his store because he said he wanted to clean my glasses free of charge. When I got to his store, he showed me around and eventually passes me two bags of candy. Oh! dear. They looked so delicious to me. Have I forgot anyone here? How about those who haven't got me any thing yet???!!! Hey, no sweat, I am kidding you. Hint! Hint. Actually your attendance to my class has been the best gift for me already.

Last but not least, may the following year be the best one you've ever had. Happy Chinese New Year!!

January 23, 2006

A hacked digit

I laid my eyes on a magazine story which indeed grossed me out. One guy bought a pint of frozen chocolate custard one day at a restaurant's drive-through lane somewhere in the U.S.. When he popped it in his mouth, he found a piece of severed finger in it. In the first place he thought it might be some candy put in as a bonus , but as he washed it off he could 't believe what he saw but screaming his head off.

The finger belonged to one of the restaurant employees who accidentally lost his finger when working in the kitchen. I think this must be way too crazy because I can't figure out why they could let this happen. They should have found the finger before it was scooped up from the bucket where his finger dropped.

In this respect,I think that poor customer would have a good case against this restaurant with his lawyer. He may win a big moolah eventually. As luck would have it, what can I say?

hacked 斷掉的
digit 手指
laid one's eyes on something 注視某物
gross someone out 使某人噁心
pint 品脫(單位)
custard 布丁蛋糕

drive-through lane 得來速車道
popped something in something 把某物放入某物
severed 斷掉的
screaming one's head off 大聲尖叫
scoop up something 舀起某物
have a case against someone/ something 與某人或某物打官司
As luck would have it 就這麼巧

January 21, 2006

Year-end wishes

The winter break is on for most of the students here. It seems reasonable to presume that more people would come to learn English during the vacation, so that I may get a bit busier than now. To my life it has been a smooth running for the last year.

In the middle of 2005 I stopped my instructions on Saturdays in Xinzhu with the view to spending more time with my family for the weekend time. I had also accepted a new TOEFL class and got contracted with the cram school to teach office employees on site, which is a good news to me because I believe these rewarding experiences will pay off in the near future.

I took part in the GEPT high-intermediate level a month ago because I think having a license or certificate for one's job could be a guarantee of their skills. Since we can't easily judge peoples' capability only by their appearance, a certified paper to prove one's excellence in his/ her field of expertise may come in handy. This concept applies to me as well.

Before the year of chicken is wrapped up, I just want to say something to cheer everyone up. If you have been out of luck the whole year, don't look back but think positively that all the crap will all be gone soon. Start planning on your new life for the year to come. Eating less meat but more vegetables will do good to your health. Take doing exercises into a routine is the key to success. In any case, I wish you a wonderful year of dog.

January 18, 2006

A letter to an old friend of mine

Hey Dan*,

How is everything going with your life? Good to hear that you still stick to your job since I know it is getting harder to eke out a living in the US. These days lots of Taiwnaese moved back home or some even seek job opportunities in Mainland. I think you are the blessed one and you attribute your calm and peaceful life to your belief in God, aren't you?

It has been alomost five years since we moved back form the US. Our son is in the first grade in the elementary now, so that we are baring much more pressure and responsibilities on ourselves than ever.

When you get back to visit your parents here in the near future, don't forget to drop by our place. Just keep me informed before you set out your trip. Please also say hi for me to your wife and adorable kid.

Best regards,

Albert Chang

*Dan is not his real name. He is my friend back in college in Taiwan. Now he's living in Washington state.

January 16, 2006

Gift for daddy

Though Father's day is still far behind, I am actually thinking what we can get him in advance of that day already. In Taiwan, father's day falls on August 8, which lives up to its sound "Ba-Ba" in Chinese Mandarin. Generally speaking, it is a little hard to think about what we can get our father on Father's day. Partly it is because in our society, our father usually plays the role as a person in our family with "a long face", "an indifferent look", "harshness in mind", "stubbornness", and such and such the "code names".

Another reason for that is usually what some fathers really want is sometimes out of our price range. They always go for expensive stuff like golf clubs, lap-top computer, car, or even some antiques in a darned steep price which we can't afford to get at.

On the other hand, we may think about arranging something that he would enjoys. If our dad has a sweet tooth, then it won't be a bad idea to buy him a variety of chocolates for a surprise. Another worthwhile idea is taking him out for a short trip to a place he longs for going. With the whole family's company, he shouldn't be less than satisfaction.

In any case, it really is to his own in terms of our fathers' liking. It is still early to prepare anything for them however, but don't tax your brain too much if you can't think of anything for him. It's just the thought that counts, right?

January 13, 2006

My new group at Google

I just created a group at google and this group's function is like a on-line forum where all members in the group can interact with one another by sharing information. All members are allowed to post any messages and once it is posted, a copy of it will be mailed to all members' email box.

I will send you a invitation mail now, so please join us in the group to facilitate the Englsih learning process.

Google Groups
Albert's 老師的線上群組 站? 瀏覽群組

January 12, 2006


I can't help but shout when I gladly saw Brian's improvement on his final exam. Chinese: 91. Math: 82. These scores are way much better than how he did on his mid-term, and also way much better than I expected previously.

Well, I think it is high time to hit my pocket now, since I have promised him that I will award him if he can do well on the test. So, I owe him now a big and a small robots. There is one thing I can be sure of-- it is more effective to educate our kids by encouragement than punishment. Though we might get the same outcome off the kids by scolding or beating; nevertheless, I truly think it isn't the way to do it.

January 10, 2006

My E-commerce-oriented blog

Recently I have found many people doing e-business and it is like a win-some, loose-some game. You can either pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into building an on-line store that comes with fancy looking Web pages, an user-friendly interface, and also with a fully data-driven server-side support on your Web store, or just spend few bucks creating a single Web page asking people to put an ad on the frontpage of you Web site. The money can be easily burn in a snap, or you make much more than you expected. (A Million Dollar Homepage)

To catch the trend of doing business on the Internet. I have made a blog by the name of Taiwan Only, which is to introduce special things about Taiwan in foreigners' angle. Your contributions are needed if you could tell what are the unique and special things that can only be found on this island. So far, I have spent no money making this guy, but who knows it may become another a million dollar home page one day. I am telling you.