My gadget history

I guess continuing from where I left off at my fashion style, and similar yet different than my semi-annual gadget update posts, I just want to list my main gadgets over the years, the ones I carry and use everyday. I’ll also include vehicles, just for kicks because they are also “gadgets” in a way.

Vehicles
I got my first car in May 2009 when I got my internship at Environment Canada. So because Toronto’s TTC system sucks, I had to buy a car for the commute. I liked small, luxury cars so I eventually ended up with a 2002 Acura RSX, paid $6500 for it, with help of my parents.

Acura RSX

It was a decent car, and I enjoyed driving with the sunroof down, listening to music and cruising a lot. I had it for a little over a year before I sold it in Aug 2010, to help pay for school, at only $3300 (I scratched up the car alot).

My second vehicle that I used from Nov 2012 to Apr 2016 was my 2011 Honda PCX 125 scooter. This was my primary vehicle in San Francisco, and I loved driving around in it. The freedom I had in it was much more than anything I ever experienced from a car.

Honda PCX 125

Bought it for $2500, sold it for $1300 (because again I crashed it and it wasn’t in good shape).

I can also list my parents’ cars since I drove them around before. The first car I remember our family having was an old 1980s Ford Escort, followed by my dad’s 1992 Ford Taurus, and my mom’s 1994 Mercury Topaz. My dad’s Taurus eventually broke down, and my mom’s Mercury was wrecked in a car accident which I was involved in back when I was 12. I was delivering papers back then and my mom went out to drive me and it was a really cold day with a blizzard so the driver t-boned us and fortunately we didn’t suffer any injuries but the car was totaled.

My dad got a new car, the 2000 Ford Taurus station wagon (he likes big vehicles), and my mom got a 2003 Honda Civic (which was new at the time). My dad drove that Taurus for like 15 years up until last year when it stopped working, and my mom’s Civic got totaled by my brother in a car accident in 2011. My brother was not injured fortunately, and my mom replaced it with a new 2011 Honda Civic. My dad just recently got a new 2015 Acura MDX 2 years ago, which was a really good ride. I think our family became more fond of Hondas/Acuras now (my mom had 2 Civics, my dad the MDX and me the RSX and PCX).

My dad's 2015 Acura MDX

2009-2010: 2002 Acura RSX
2012-2016: 2011 Honda PCX 125

(main) Phones

In 2005 I had my first cellphone (remember, kids didn’t have cellphones that much in those days!). It was a cheap Sanyo flipphone, and I used it sparingly to text or call my friends. In 2007 I upgraded to a Samsung D900 Black Carbon, which was thin, slim, and had a 3.2mp camera. I used that phone from 2007-2010 until I broke the screen.

Samsung D900

Then I had an iPhone 3G from 2010-2011. I got an iPhone 4 after I went to San Francisco in 2011 and used it until it was stolen from me in Apr 2012. Then I upgraded to an iPhone 4S which is still one of my favorite phones, that I would use until Nov 2013, when I upgraded to the iPhone 5S. Because I don’t like big phones, I would stick with the iPhone 5S until Apr 2016, when Apple finally released the iPhone SE. And now the iPhone SE is my main phone. I would also use the Sony Xperia Z3C as my main phone in Korea from Dec 2014 to Aug 2016 when the screen got smashed.

I used the 5S from 2013 to 2016

2005-2007: Sanyo fliphone
2007-2010: Samsung D900
2010-2011: iPhone 3G
2011-2012: iPhone 4
2012-2013: iPhone 4S
2013-2016: iPhone 5S
2014-2016: Sony Xperia Z3C
2016-: iPhone SE

(main) Laptops

In 2003 I had my first laptop, the Dell Inspiron 7500 and it was good for the time even having a dedicated ATI graphics card, although it had heating issues.

Dell Inspiron 7500

When I went to university, I changed to the laptop I would use the most, the Gateway CX2724, which I bought in 2007. It was a convertible tablet, and had a digitizer and pen with it, wayyy before Windows 8 came back. It was running Windows XP tablet edition!

Gateway CX2724

I used this laptop until 2008, when I switched to the Dell Latitude E4200, which was a very small, portable, light (only 2.2lbs!) laptop that was very versatile. I would dock it in the docking station and use it with my monitor at home, and it was easy to carry at school.

Dell E4200

I would use this laptop until Aug 2011, when I got my HP Envy Beats edition. This laptop had dedicated graphics, which I hadn’t had since my first laptop, so I could finally play games on it!

HP Envy Beats

I would use this laptop until I felt that it was rather heavy to carry around all the time, and made me wish I had a notebook like my Dell again. The screen on it also later broke and doesn’t work anymore. That’s when I got my Lenovo Thinkpad X240 in Jan 2014, which then became my main laptop. I also had a Macbook Pro Retina 13 from 2012-2014 that I used mostly for programming or recording.

Lenovo X240

I used this until the screen started malfunctioning around Jun 2016. From then on, I used my work Macbook Pro Retina 15 as my main laptop until I got the Lenovo X1 Yoga to finally have my own personal laptop again. It now remains my main laptop as of Dec 2016.

2003-2007: Dell Inspiron 7500
2007-2008: Gateway CX2724
2008-2011: Dell Latitude E4200
2011-2014: HP Envy Beats 14
2012-2014: Macbook Pro Retina 13
2014-2016: Lenovo Thinkpad X240
2016-: Lenovo X1 Yoga

The curse of the odd number years

I only have a few days left before I leave Korea – now one of the reasons as a lot of my friends know, that I came to Korea was to find a Korean girlfriend and marry a Korean girl. Now that goal has to be pushed back, since I am single right now and will not be bringing back a girl to USA/Canada obviously. One of the best things about Korea, is the beautiful slim sweet and polite women here that seem to be everywhere. I’ve talked about how Korea is very unique in the sense that the *average* girl is so beautiful and caring here. Usually those kinds of girls exist in very small quantities in other countries, but in Korea the majority of girls are like that.

So when I go back to USA/Canada, my main concern is how do I find the right Korean girl abroad? There’s obviously not as many Korean girls abroad as in Korea, and the existing Korean girls there (especially in California) are going to be harder to get due to them having more options. They can choose between Korean guys, Korean-American guys and American guys. Why would they go for me? But I keep telling myself my personality changed a bit since before, I am less shy, more confident, my style is better (my friends tell me), and I know more about Korean culture and Korean language, so in theory I should have an advantage still even if I go back. But I am still hesitant and unsure about this.

One of the reasons is that next year is 2017. Now for some reason, I’ve always had worse luck in odd numbered years than even numbered years. And I’m not quite sure why that is. Let me recap my years since 2000:

2000: I was in sixth grade, and an overall really good year as I remember, since I had a good teacher, good grades, and the girl that I had a crush on acknowledged me multiple times that year.

2001: seventh grade, I struggled the most I ever had in elementary school because I had problems with math, specifically fractions as I recall. That was the only time me and my parents were really worried about my grades in elementary/high school.

2002: A good year. Eight grade I actually got to dance with my crush(!) at the school dance, and overall I have fond memories of my last year in elementary school. My teacher was really cool and I remember end of year we had a party at my crush’s house!

2003: Ninth grade. Nothing too special happened this year, and I don’t remember anything too exciting happening to me that year. It was overall a so-so year. I remember getting my first job as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. My love for chicken wings started then.

2004: Tenth grade. I tried out for the football team and made it (my friend convinced me). And my popularity went up a lot because of that. A lot of girls knew me throughout the school because of my presence on the football team. Also the time I began programming websites.

2005: Eleventh grade. I remember starting my interest in guitar and playing guitar at the coffee house this year but I also remember being rejected by a lot of girls I was interested in that year. I remember being forced to take summer physics and chemistry classes by my mom because she thought it was necessary for computer science in university. I told my mom it had nothing to do with computer science but she wouldn’t listen because apparently in China, they had to take chemistry and physics, so that means in Canada I had to take them as well. Typical Chinese mom logic. That summer I also worked as a cashier for a local convenience store. I remember my love of snack sausages starting then.

2006: 12th grade. My last year of high school was pretty memorable. My guitar skills continually went up, and I played some gigs in Barrie and Toronto. I had graduation parties at my friend’s houses and in particular one Japanese friend I made who I would meet 10 years later in Japan this year (amazing right). The first time I drank a lot of alcohol and nearly died from alcohol poisoning (I blacked out and woke up at my friends house). Also my first year at University of Toronto where I made a lot of friends in my CS program, made friends at Frosh Week, worked at the CNE as a screen door demonstrator often making fun of all the ridiculous people that walked by. I lived in the university residence that year and met a cool Korean roommate who introduced me to Korean church. Overall it was a very memorable year.

2007: My first/second year of university I remember being insanely difficult, and my lowest grades I ever got in university came in second year. Not only that but, one of my female friends in university started ignoring me (I still dont know the original reason why) and I was really frustrated by it and my schoolwork was ultimately affected by it since I constantly saw her. She was a total bitch now that I look back on it, but back then I was too innocent and it deeply affected my personality as I used to care how other people thought about me and now I don’t.

2008: My second/third year of university was also difficult, though not to the same degree as in 2007. I started studying more and more. I met one of my best friends in university that year (a chinese girl in my economics class). I started playing piano more and often did so with her. I started investing in stocks that year. I remember changing my focus to economics and business and not just computer science.

2009: my third/fourth year of university was a bit easier. I took different courses, and thankfully got my co-op internship at the Canadian government that year and met a lot of cool people. This year and the next were technically a break from school as I didn’t take many courses while I worked. I bought my first car that year. It was my first job and I started becoming more conservative because I realized how much I got taxed. I took public speaking at Toastmasters. I remember being too shy to talk to girls still. And I got rejected by the Commerce program forcing me to change to just an Economics major. Took a trip to Cuba with my family that year which was nice.

2010: Still working at the internship, but it was overall better year than 2009. I started to hang out more with co-op students, met many friends, went to lots of house parties. I made my first girlfriend that year, a Chinese-Canadian girl and had my first kiss. I remember putting on an mp3 CD in my car, and driving with the sunroof down in the hot Canadian summer. I remember going to a Chinese temple with a cute girl and listening to Beethoven in the car with her. I started to open up more that year. Joined AIESEC and was the website manager for the Toronto branch. Overall 2010 was a memorable year.

2011: Probably the best odd-numbered year I ever had. I finally graduated university, and thankfully I found a job in the place I wanted, in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, California. That was my biggest accomplishment to date. I went to San Francisco first to go to a technology conference and fell in love with the city. And fortunately I was able to live there now. I made one of my best American friends there at that first company, Switchfly Inc (Chinese-American). That year I also got interested in Korean culture, and Korean language and made my first Korean friends (some of which I still contact to this day). 2011 was the year that made it possible for me to live in the USA, so it was unforgettable. I also took a trip to China for 2 weeks before I came back to Canada which was also a great experience.

2012: Probably still the best year of my life. I met alot of good friends at language exchange meetups, many of them Korean. I hung out with them alot, drank alot. Work was not that stressful. I would hang out with my Chinese-American friend after work and play games alot. I traveled everywhere in California, like Yosemite, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, Napa, San Diego, LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon, etc. I made my first Korean girlfriend that year, and I still remember her today. I also lost my virginity that year. I came in third in a startup competition. My brother and parents came for a visit (at different times) and I was able to fly a plane with my parents over San Francisco. My parents helped me find my SF apartment and loan me some money to purchase it late that year. I bought my scooter that year. I spent the new years with a Korean girl in San Diego. This year was really impactful on my life overall and really memorable to me.

2013: Not so good a year. Didn’t have any girlfriends that year. Work was just so-so though I changed jobs that year. I remember being rejected by a lot of girls that year, and a Korean girl standing me up in Vancouver. I lost lots of money in stocks that year and parking tickets. I went to lots of clubs and house parties but only met a handful of really good friends that year. On the plus side – I had lots of house parties, I went to Korea for the first time, which is still a really memorable experience, and had a lot of fun. My parents, brother and cousins came to visit me, and we took a roadtrip through California, Vegas, Grand Canyon together which was all really great. So this year had a lot of plus and minuses.

2014: Overall a year with more pluses I think. I found a really cool friend to hang out with in California at the beginning of the year, and we went to lots of places together including LA, and many house parties at his place and mine. Went to Korea for the 2nd time, which was great as well. Finally found a remote job I could work from anywhere, which allowed me to travel to Korea ultimately. Did Couchsurfing, hosted alot of people from different places (Poland, Texas, Korea, China, Russia) at my house. I met my second Korean girlfriend that year. Spent Christmas with a cute Korean girl by my side. It was ultimately a better year than 2013.

2015: Last year was mostly negative. I don’t want to say it was a wasted year but, most of the people I met in Korea that year, I didn’t keep in contact with except for a select few. I went to lots of clubs, lots of meetups, had lots of drinking nights in Korea – and unfortunately most of the people I spent that time with I don’t keep in contact with anymore. Thats Korean life I suppose – but its also kind of sad. On the plus side, I traveled to Eastern Europe and had a really good time there and met cool people there. But overall I don’t rate last year that highly. I didn’t find a good girl until towards the end of last year and that only ended in breakup anyways.

2016: So far, its been a okay year. I lost lots of money through betting. I focused more on my work this year. But I did lasik surgery and changed my style a bit, and that seems to have helped me a lot this year with meeting good girls. I dated multiple Korean girls this year, and it was a good experience. Traveled to Japan and Taiwan this year. I began to get tired of Korean life this year, but I felt that I really matured a lot this year, especially with relationships.

So overall, I rate my even number years a lot higher than my odd number years, (with 2011 being the exception). My years in San Francisco (2011-2014) I consider to be the best years of my life, and so I am somewhat excited about going back, but nervous about meeting a good Korean girl there. If you noticed, all the odd number years of my life, I never had a girlfriend. So hopefully I can break that curse next year!!

My fashion style

People who know me, know that I love to talk about fashion, so yeah today I’ll talk about my shoes preferences. Why not. I have said that for most things in my life, like technology, phones, clothing etc I have no brand loyalty whatsoever, and tend to get whatever is the best value or best looking.

I generally prefer style over brands for everything. I also prefer brands that are not that popular over brands that are massively popular. For that reason I tend to avoid Samsung/Apple for phones and consumer brand laptops in general (preferring business laptops because they are better quality and less commonly seen in public). For technology I guess you can say I lean towards Sony, but thats mainly because Sony’s technology products have great style and are usually not as popular as other brands.

Ok, so for shoes, its a little different. Its pretty much the only I do have brand loyalty for. Why? I don’t know, maybe because I tend to wear them until they get worn out, which I can’t say for anything else.

From high school to university, all I wore were Adidas. I loved the three stripes, and wore them exclusively over other shoes from 2004-2011ish pretty much. These were my ‘Toronto’ shoes.

Adidas shoes

After I graduated university, I switched to mostly Converse and Vans shoes (they are fairly similar quality and style anyways). So from 2012-2014 I wore Jack Purcells alot. These were my ‘San Francisco’ shoes.

Converse Jack Purcells

After I came to South Korea (2015-present), I switched again, to Bruce Lee signature edition Onitsuka Tigers. These babies look really nice, and are good to wear sockless as well (a trend that I’ve taken from Korean men).

Bruce Lee Onitsuka Tigers

So yeah, you can get a sense of my fashion sense there for shoes.

I also like to wear hats alot. All throughout high school, I would wear a NY Yankees Baseball Cap, pretty much all the time. After high school, I only wore hats occasionally, in 2012 me and my friend often wore army-cap style hats. Occasionally I would also bust out the fedora for special occasions like performances.

Was never without this in high school

For my upper wear, I wore a lot of hoodies, jackets and sweaters and just regular t-shirts in high school and university. After I started working, I changed to wearing mostly polo shirts or a t-shirt layered with a collar shirt. I wore plaid shirts alot when I was in California. In Korea, mostly I wore tight collar shirts with the sleeves rolled up (thats Korean fashion style).

This shirt was really common for me in San Francisco

For my bottom wear, I exclusively wore jeans from high school to my time in California. I switched to skinny jeans once I got to California and started wearing khaki’s in addition to jeans once I got to Korea.

Skinny Jeans - cause regular jeans in America dont fit me

For watches – I really like watches as well.
From high school to university, I wore mostly standard Timex/Casio digital watches. Once I got to California, I switched to a Seiko 5, then a Seiko Kinetic (self winding quartz) which I wore until I got to Korea (2011-2015). Once I got to Korea (2015-) I started wearing my current watch, the Orient Sun & Moon (automatic mechanical).

Seiko Kinetic (2011-2015)

Orient Sun & Moon (2015-)

So that’s my fashion sense. Yup – not that different from a lot of other guys, but I have my own distinctive style as well. Nothing overly fancy though – I tend to stay on the conservative side when dressing.