Friday, June 27, 2008

it's ok

So I was really grumpy because of the A/C and equipment problems at the caffe, and when I went home in the afternoon the dogs probably sensed it. They wanted to get really close to me, to sniff me, and to lick my head.

I think the dogs were realy trying to help... or to see what my frustration "chi" was all about. All of a sudden I realized it was no big deal. So the A/C is down. So we had to spend some money on a new unit. So I had to sit in the 86 degree room that one afternoon. After I calmed down I was able to figure out how to keep the store cool with buckets of ice cubes and fans with John (both retro metal and high-tech spinning ones!) So it got cooler.

Yes the A/C situation still needs to be taken care of, and no I'm not too excited about the whole new unit purchase and installation thing, and sure I'm still feeling a bit warm sitting here in the kitchen, but shit happens, and being upset or grumpy is not going to "clean up the mess." Everyone was safe, so it's OK. We just have to take care of things one step at a time... to get to where we want the end result to be.

pets 007

Thanks doggies!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I've been kind of grumpy off and on for the past few days. It all began when the A/C at the caffe start to have problems. The technicians were called but nothing was fixed.

Yesterday we learned that the compressor needed to be replaced. Fine. We got different quotes from various companies. One company quoted us $1,5000, another $2,500, and yet another $2,700! Fine. What needs to be replaced needs to be replaced.

Then we eventually found out that the whole A/C unit needs to be replaced, and it will be around $5,000. WTF.

This is why I'm feeling all hot and grumpy today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

i found some books

I enjoy reading, and I always have a lot of books around me and in the house.

I was just looking in the kitchen at the caffe and found a few books on the bottom shelf, burried under some supplies. I don't quite remember when I got these books, but I think it was when the library had a book sale last year. I also notice these are the sort of books that I don't usually read, and most of them are best sellers. Interesting. I wonder if I bought them because they were .50 each at the library at the time... but I'm going to read them and see how it goes.

I think I'm going to start with "Who Moved My Cheese?" I hope I'll like it.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

purple torsion

I made an amigurumi dachshund for my friend Joyce's birthday! I was inspired by Joyce's dachshund Torsion and decided to make an amigurumi Torsion.

purple torsion
Purple Torsion at the restaurant. I know he looks sort of like an elephant...

I couldn't find any Dachshund amigurumi patterns, so I pretty much made it up myself... and you can totally tell. His body and legs are just chubby, and his head is giant... but I hope Joyce would think he was cute.

purple torsion
He looks more like a Dachshund in this photo.

yama and purple torsion
Yama likes Purple Torsion.

jasper and purple torsion
Jasper likes Purple Torsion as well...

jasper and purple torsion
...even if it didn't quite appear that way.

joyce and purple torsion
I think Joyce likes Purple Torsion! Happy Birthday Joyce!

Friday, June 20, 2008

cool jasper

I always think Jasper is cool. He hangs out with the dogs, shares treats with the others, takes care of Ginger, and has the loudest purr.

And I think he LOOKS super cool, wise, and handsome!

Chillin' in the bedroom.



Wednesday, June 18, 2008


A lot of people know I love Japanese treats... cookies, candies, chips, cakes, you name it, and among them Pocky has been one of my favorite for a long time. These stick cookies coated in all sorts of chocolate are just hard to resist.

Joyce's sister sent her some Pocky treats, and she was kind enough to share a pack each with me! These are of some crazy flavors: banana, green tea, blueberry, and mystery marble.


And every time I have Pocky I think of "Glico Man" at Doutonbori in Osaka!

glico man

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

OSAKA: nissin instant ramen museum

Japanese instant ramen noodles are yummy, and it all started with Monofuku Ando who invented the world's first cup of instant noodles at age 48!

And who knows, there's a museum in Japan to honor Ando, and it's called The Monofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. According to their web site, visitors can learn how to make the noodles from scratch (with class fee) and create their very own cup of instant ramen with the ingredients and spices they choose.

I read all about it before we headed off to Japan, but didn't end up going after all. Sad. I really wanted to make my own cup of instant ramen!

nissin ramen bus
I did see a special Nissin Chicken Ramen bus when I was in Osaka. I guess that would have to do until I go and visit the museum.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

arthur and his puppy

Arthur came to have tea and see me at the caffe, and he brought his puppy with him. OMG. The puppy was so tiny! Arthur is a big boy (I think he's the tallest Asian/half-Asian guy I know) and the puppy just looks super vulnerable and tiny around him.

arthur and little puppy

I asked Arthur if the puppy could just stay with me and he said no. I guess I'll have to wait to play with the tiny puppy when Arthur stops by next time.

arthur and little puppy
Look at his puppy eyes!

Friday, June 13, 2008

spicy sate beef noodle soup

Joyce and I went to La-Cai Noodle House. I was going to have pho, but decided to try the spicy sate beef noodle soup with rice noodles instead. It was delicious and reminded me of this "fish noodle" dish from a small shop in Taiwan.

spicy beef sate noodles

We also shared some spring rolls (in rice paper wrappers) with peanut sauce. Yummy. Joyce had a big platter of grilled pork on rice. I was surprised she finished all her food! (She's tiny!)

La-Cai Noodle House
961 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 322-3590

Thursday, June 12, 2008

yama and pink dude

My friend Joyce's sister loves animals, too, and when she went shopping for her kitties and Joyce's Torsion, she got our dogs fun stuff, too!

Pink Dude is from Joyce's sister, and he is Yama's new favorite toy.

yama and pink dude

I can't really let Yama play with Pink Dude inside the house, because Naicha would probably get jealous and starts being bad. I'd bring Pink Dude out to the backyard and Yama would just chill with him. I would also throw Pink Dude like a ball for Yama to chase. Yama loves it!

yama and pink dude
Yama running with Pink Dude.

yama and pink dude
He can't get his eyes off Pink Dude.

yama and pink dude
He likes to bite Pink Dude's left foot.

yama and pink dude
Yama says, "Yay for Pink Dude!"

Thanks Joyce and Joyce's cool sister! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

chinese radio on demand 061108

Some of you may already know that the show I'm hosting at KRCL has been moved to a super early 5-6am slot on Wednesday. The station has been archiving our shows online and you can listen to the shows, along with my Chinese lessons on demand at

Ya-chi and I will each edit two shows a month. I am in charge of the first two weeks and she is for the later two weeks. She does the local events and I do the weekly featured Chinese lessons.

Anyhow, I just uploaded the June 11th show, and you can listen to it now by going to its KRCL mp3 page (and click on the mp3 button).

John usually helps out during the Chinese Lesson segments, which are toward the end of the show. He's funny. Good, and funny.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I finally finished my first amigurumi project! It's a cool little purple bear whose name has yet to come.

amigurumi bear
Hanging out on a coffee grinder at the caffe.

Oh, and my friend Joyce made an amigurumi pig and gave it to me as a gift. He's so cute and colorful!

amigurumi pig
Mr. colorful amigurumi pig from Joyce.

amigurumi bear
Hanging out in a latte cup.

I think I'm going to make "mr. purple little bear" some friends.

Monday, June 09, 2008

nuki and naicha

Usually when the dogs hang out they would each find a little spot in the area, whether it's the living room, TV room, kitchen, or the bedroom.

Yesterday I noticed that Nuki and Naicha are chillin' side by side in the "dog room," while Yama was running about being silly.

nuki and naicha

Maybe they're trying to form an alliance of some sort.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

mustache... NOT!

I realized late last night that I didn't even turn on the screen on my laptop at all yesterday. Interesting. I guess I was just a bit too busy yesterday. I don't think that had ever happened in the past!

Anyhow, I'm still making the same purple little bear... a few stitches at a time. It actually doesn't take too long to crochet different parts of the bear, but I just take my time...

I've finished crocheting all parts of the bear, and I just need to put them all together. I was having a little trouble with his nose and mouth, and eyes. I don't have any black embroidery thread for his nose and mouth, so I used regular black thread, which apparently didn't work well. I think I'm going to re-do it.

I was also trying to find cute little beady bear eyes for my purple bear, but couldn't find them at the stores, so I decided to use black little buttons instead. They seem to work fine. :)

bear head
I haven't sewn but just pinned his ears on, and he reminded me of Lei Fang, one of the characters of Dead or Alive video games!

John looked at the bear's head and asked, "why does he have a mustache?"

It's not his mustache! It's his mouth! I guess I really have to re-do it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

stir-fried turnip cakes

My sister and I went to have pho at a local Vietnamese restaurant and we ordered a stir-fried rice cakes for appetizer. We ordered it because we were wondering what kind of rice cakes were in the dish... it could be something like mochi, rice flour discs, or puffy rice squares.

The dish came and they use rice cakes that were made of rice flour and water... similar to the store-bought turnip cakes. It was a very simple dish: simple cubed rice cakes with scarmbled eggs, green onions, and soy sauce.

I had never seen rice cakes prepared this way. After going home I decided to make my own version of it.

I heat a little bit of oil in the pan, and add some cubed storebought turnip cakes, toss the cubes for a little while, cover the pan to allow the turnip cake cubes to cook (until the cubes are not white, but slightly transparent). Add 2 eggs (pour over the cubes) and sitr to allow the eggs to fully cook. Add soy sauce, black and white pepper to taste.

sitr-fried turnip cakes

I think the dish turned out really good!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

the man and his crew

Treven lives fairly close to the caffe, and he comes to the shop to get Americanos or teas. Whenever we see him, we see Bomber, his dog as well. Every time I see them I am reminded of Cesar Milan's theory on how people and their dogs should 'travel' together. Treven and Bomber 'travel' together all the time.

There's a new addition to their little pack. Geisha the kitten! I just had to snap a few shots when they were hanging out on the patio.

treven and his crew
Geisha, Treven, and Bomber.

Sometimes I wish I can have my dogs with me all the time... well, maybe just Yama. He'd be a good "traveling" buddy.

I want to bring Yama out about with me more often. Maybe some day he'd chill like Bomber.

Bomber chewed up his "leash"... a hemp string to be exact. Treven said the "leash" was just for the people around. Bomber always stays around with or without leash. Ahhh Bomber is so cool.