Richard Hsu

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World Cup of Hockey: NA vs. Russia

Sep 21, 2016

The match between North America(NA) and Russia in the World Cup of Hockey was fast, exciting, dramatic, and had an edge-of-the-seat heart pounding finish that makes hockey entertaining to watch. There was also the young guns of The West (US & Canada) versus the men of Russia angle. The end result was disappointing for me but Russia deserved to win it.

Some commentary

  • Matt Murray had a bad night and gave up 4 goals in a short span of time. That was too much to recover from even with the talent and youth that NA had. Gibson was solid after taking over from Murray and kept NA in the game till the end. It will be interesting to see if Murray starts in the next game and how will this affect his role in Penguins' lineup next month.

  • Bobrovsky, on the other hand, allowed 3 goals on 46 shots from NA. He was the MVP of the game. Russia, with their NHL snipers could only make 25 shots on goal. The contrast between shots and goals reminded me of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals between Penguins and Sharks.

  • NA team was too fancy many times resulting in missed chances or turnovers. It was nice to watch but not helpful to their cause. Time and experience in NHL will impart the wisdom to decide when to try low percentage moves and when to just keep it simple and pass or shoot.

  • After the shock of going from 1-0 to 4-1, the young guns of NA regained composure with the late 2nd-period goal. That set up an exciting 3rd-period chase. It was comforting that NA didn't panic.

  • Apart from a one-timer that hit the post, Ovechkin was quiet. Same for Malkin. Datsyuk was busy and I saw some smooth moves but it was the other players that made the difference.

  • It was my first time watching the new NHL players like Auston Matthews, Morgan Reilly, Connor McDavid, and Nathan MacKinnon. I am excited for the start of the NHL season with two of them playing for Toronto Maple Leafs especially Auston Matthews (first draft pick).

  • It could easily have gone to overtime. Now I regret deleting the recorded game. I could watch the 3rd period many times and still not get bored like Game 6 of the 2015-16 Penguins vs Sharks.

  • It was an odd experience watching the recorded game and forwarding to skip the ads and commentaries. While I could watch the match in just over an hour instead of the two to three hours a live broadcast takes, it felt a bit rushed and highlight like. Maybe I missed the commentaries. Maybe the act of pressing Forward and Play on the remote control frequently disrupted the concentration needed to enjoy and watch the game. Maybe both.

  • Notice I didn't use the word grit that Team USA has been using to describe their style of physically aggressive play. There was some pushing around, face washing, and body checks but all forgettable. It was few and far in between and didn't matter. That is how hockey should be played.


Home Made Static Site Generator

Sep 19, 2016

First new post on the home made static site generator. Feature complete with RSS and a few nice things like auto Title casing. No more ads.

When a Mistake Sounds So Right

Jun 17, 2016

My 4 year old daughter says many things with confidence whether it is correct or not. Here are some memorable ones that makes me smile every time.

  1. Newtube (Youtube)
  2. Write the Weather (write the date for when I have to sign her homework)
  3. Silly (saliva)

Instructions From the Wife

Jun 10, 2016

She is a wise and hard working woman, my wife. I must listen to her.
Previous instruction

Instructions From the Wife

Jun 03, 2016

My life is complete because of my wife. I cannot praise her enough.
Previous instruction

Instructions From the Wife

May 27, 2016

I shall buy my wife a great gift for all her hard work and sacrifices.
Previous instruction  

Instructions From the Wife

May 20, 2016

I discovered hand written notes at the top of 4 pages of my notebook. They are from my wife. I will share one per week (unedited) every Friday for the next 4 weeks.

Here is the first one:

I shall learn well write poems for my darling wife

Artist Series :: Alexey Titarenko

Apr 26, 2016

Ted Forbes through his Youtube channel The Art of Photography has taught me the history and art of photography. He introduced me to many interesting photographers and works of art. Here is the first video in The Artist Series featuring Alexey Titarenko.


LG TV (Model 55LF6000)

Apr 15, 2016

The Samsung 50" TV stopped working Thursday night. No TV on Friday meant the general mood at home was a mix of impatience (when are you getting the new TV?), boredom, anxiety (what is happening in Friday's episodes), and excitement (shopping for a new gadget and reading reviews). After eliminating the power cable as the problem for the dead TV, I decided it wasn't worth repairing and so began the search for a new TV.

Requirements

  1. The dead TV was a budget model so it had only 2 HDMI ports. Since I had more than 2 HDMI devices, I bought a HDMI splitter that expands 2 HDMI ports to 4. So any TV with 2 HDMI ports will suffice.
  2. I use Apple TV for Netflix, YoutTube, etc. so there is no need for the "Smart" apps in the TV itself.
  3. There is a chart that shows optimal TV screen size for various viewing distances. I looked up the chart and found 50"-55" to be ideal.
  4. Price range: $700-$1200.

Since my last two TVs lasted 4 years and 3 years respectively, I wanted to get a 5 years warranty so I didn't have to buy another TV in 5 years. That narrowed down the seller to Costco. Other sellers either charge more for 5 years warranty or can't be relied on for that long.

There are many TVs in the price range of $700-$1200. I narrowed it down to two based on reviews1, screen size, and some unscientific selection criterias. After considering Vizio M-Series 55" LED TV, I decided to buy LG 55" LED TV (Model 55LF6000). The pros and cons of the Vizio vs. LG are listed below:

Why Vizio?

  1. Ultra HD/4K
  2. Smart TV
  3. Better build quality
  4. 5 HDMI inputs

Why LG?

  1. Costs 37% or $412 lesser ($511 if 5 yrs warranty and taxes are included)
  2. Can't play Ultra HD/4K but I anticipate limited Ultra HD content for the next
  3. few years so I would be viewing 1080p (HD) most of the time anyways, and I doubt the additional resolution and detail would matter to me.
  4. Not a Smart TV, but I don't need it. Apple TV is much better (more apps e.g. Shomi, better designed apps).
  5. LG design and build quality is good. The metallic look is nice. Besides, all I see is the big display, the rest I hardly notice at all.
  6. Only 2 HDMI inputs but I have a splitter already so not an issue for me.

My Review

After 2 days of cable TV watching, XBox gaming, and movie watching both on Netflix and via USB, I am happy with the TV. Looks great and works fine. I gave it a 5-Stars rating on Costco's website. I just have two minor annoyances with the user interface.

First, when I press volume up/down, even though I don't use the TV's sound, it still shows a round image at the lower center of the screen. This is much better than Samsung's rectangle in the center of the screen but I wish it showed nothing at all. Second, when playing movies from a USB, the movie names are truncated so files with the similar long names are indistinguishable.

Conspiracy against LG?

We almost didn't buy it! At Costco, the LG model mentioned above was on display so The Wife and I compared the picture quality with other TVs (including a Vizio M-Series) and to my disappointment, it was not as good as the others. Images were not as sharp and text wasn't smooth (the curve of the letter C looked pixelated). We went back and forth comparing different TVs and came to the same conclusion that the picture looked worst in the LG one. I suspected it had to do with the picture profile settings so I started looking for a Costco employee for help.

There was a gentleman in the next aisle helping another customer so I waited. When I got his attention, I told him about the LG TV picture quality and asked him if he can change the Picture settings to improve it. He said that is how that TV is and there is nothing he can do. He didn't even bother to see it for himself! His reply wasn't satisfactory and I got the impression he didn't know or care so I went back and tried to change the setting myself.

It was awkward since I was reaching above my shoulder height and under the TV to find the control button. I did manage to change the setting from "Vivid" to "Cinema" and the picture quality improved. It looked just as sharp, clear and smooth as the rest of the TVs we were comparing to! With confirmation and agreement with The Wife, I loaded up the TV and headed for the cash counter. There are lessons here about many things and it makes me appreciate all those times when I depended on a knowledgeable and helpful store people.


  1. Reviews read
    a) http://www.wirecutter.com (the Vizio M-Series came into consideration due to the good review of C-Series)
    b) http://hdtvcomparison.net/2015/09/lg-55lf6100-vs-55lf6000-do-you-need-to-choose-55lf6100/
    c) https://www.amazon.ca/LG-55-Inch-55LF6000-1080p-120Hz/dp/B00TRQPNKU 

Milestones

Dec 11, 2015

My daughter reached an important milestone today. She was allowed entry into Ikea's children's play place called Småland. Ikea shoppers can leave their kids in the supervised play place for 40 minutes at a time. The play place has toys, movies, sponge balls etc. that keep the kids entertained while their parents/guardians shop in peace. My older son has played at the play place every time we have shopped at Ikea over the years.

Since the facility is designed for a certain age group, there is a minimum and maximum height requirement for entry. Few months ago, my daughter was shorter than the minimum height requirement and wasn't allowed to play in there. She was disappointed but I told her if she ate lots of food, she would grow the few inches she needed to get in. Today, we were shopping at Ikea again so I took her to the play place. The entry supervisor asked her to take her shoes off and stand against the measurement wall. To our pleasant surprise, the top of her head was just touching the line marking the minimum height and they let her in!

This marks a small but significant milestone in her life and ours. We don't weigh or measure our children's height so it is these simple and small life events that makes us pause and think about their growth.

Another funny story related to my daughter happened last night. I was dressed and ready to go out when I realised the cell phone wasn't in my pocket. Thinking it was upstairs in my office room, I asked my daughter to go get it for me. She could not find it(it was in my jacket pocket) but came back with the cordless phone handset. She said she couldn't find my cell phone so I should have the cordless phone instead.

Dated: Dec 5th, 2015.