Notes from Taiwan, and Blog Post 700

For my 700th post on, I wanted to include my initial notes on Y’s and my trip to visit my in-laws in Taiwan.

We flew Continental from Jacksonville to Houston to Narita, Japan to Taipei, Taiwan. I particularly enjoyed the flight to Narita, even though I was very tired at the end, because we flew on a Boeing 777 Dreamliner. We got back row seats (only 2 wide) and it was comfortable and relatively quiet–at least compared to the uncomfortable short leg room and noisy 747 between Narita and Taipei operated by United. I liked the individual on-demand video system on the 777. I got to watch The Crimson Rivers with Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel, and I watched part of the second Nodame Cantabile movie with Y. Also, I was pleasantly surpised by the quality of the food on our flights. We had beef with rice, chicken enchiladas, and a delicious egg breakfast. There was also a midflight desert of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream.

I have been eating very well at Y’s parents’ house. Ma and Ba make excellent food, and they are determined to make us gain weight. I have had the most excellent tofu, fish, and chicken as well as tasty vegetables and fruits that we cannot find back in the States.

Y’s parents’ house is located in a very nice part of Jongli outside of Taipei. We There are bakeries, department stores, a huge library, and 24 hour convenient stores everywhere. There are people everywhere and so many scooters. I wish that I could take a scooter around the city even though I would have to be very careful with how aggressive drivers here can be. I made a point of asking Y to show me around a 7-11 store around the corner.  It is so fascinating! Good food, many conveniences at much more reasonable prices, no dust on the goods, and video games for sale in the store (World of Warcraft Cataclysm is only about $2.50 here–I will have to find out what the subscription rate is). Also, you can order digital photos and pay your bills from the store.

Since my iPad died shortly after we arrived to Taiwan, I used Ba’s computer to rewrite my review of Tron: Legacy for the SFRA Review (my verdict: go see it before it leaves theaters despite some of its gendered stereotyped misgivings found in much cyberpunk).  In exchange, I wanted to super charge their older Acer Dual Core Pentium based computer. It also gave me an opportunity to work in a Traditional Chinese based install of Windows XP.  After completing a draft of my review last night, I did these things to their computer and I am amazed what a difference a little tuning did:

  1. uninstalled outdated Norton AV
  2. installed Microsoft Security Essentials
  3. ran scan–all okay
  4. updated Windows XP several times–lots of security updates
  5. uninstalled proprietary Acer software (except drivers)
  6. uninstalled all versions of Flash Player
  7. installed Firefox
  8. installed latest Flash Player
  9. installed latest nVidia driver
  10. moved all Desktop files to My Documents
  11. moved all Desktop shortcuts to Quick Launch Bar
  12. installed optional Windows XP updates including .Net Framework 4 Client
  13. made Desktop icons large
  14. disabled ADSL connection, configured through wireless Netgear router that Y and I brought with us to use with our iPads
  15. installed Internet Explorer 8
  16. installed AUSLogics Disk Defrag
  17. defragmented primary partition last night and rebooted this morning

After dinner last night, Y and I took a stroll around the neighborhood and through the park. We also picked up some slippers for me to wear in the house.

This morning I finished editing my review of Tron: Legacy and emailed the final copy to Ritch Calvin. Now, I am typing these notes of our visit on my blog.

I am looking forward to the rest of today. We are visiting a university that has a connection with Kent State University through its TESOL program for Ba’s work. I will have my camera with me, and I will post many pictures when we get back to Ohio.

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.