Monday, October 21, 2013

DIY cash book

It's wedding season!  It's time to celebrate and to be creative...

Another alternative when gifting monies for a special occasion, aside from a money envelope, would be to gift a cash book.

FYI - I went to the bank in search for crisp new bills, but they told me that they only have new bills around Christmas and Chinese New Year.  However, they were kind enough to sort through what they have so that I would have nice crisp bills for this project.  Thank you!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

ten thousand hours

"... ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world class expert - in anything..." - Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.
I suppose if one was to practice something for ten thousand hours, it would be something he/she is passionate about.  The first thing that comes to my mind that I have practiced over ten thousand hours is accounting.  Having worked at a public accounting firm for over five years, that tips me over ten thousand hours.  I feel like I have achieved the level of mastery to a certain extent and I also have to admit that I do enjoy my field of work, most of the time.

However, aside from work, I have a creative side.  I have many many hobbies, but none of which I have committed a significant amount of time to.  I took violin classes for a few years back in grade school and a semester of piano in college, but I never reached the point where I feel comfortable with the instrument.  At times I would think it's because I don't have the "ears", being practically tone death, but I found hope!
"The closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play..." - Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers
So perhaps I could master a musical instrument... I will start working on my ten thousand hours with my electric keyboard, and one day, when I am able to play fluently, I shall reward myself with an acoustic piano.


Monday, September 9, 2013


As promised, more Bay Bridge photos:

This time, I played around with the special effects using the FOTOR app.  The special effects are noted in the photo.  The intensity of the special effects could be adjusted.  The exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, blur/sharpen, and white balance adjustments are also nice features that are simple to use.

It is estimated that it'll take about three years to deconstruct and remove the old Eastern span... I'll have to remember revisit in a few years and do a similar shoot after the deconstruction.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

shutter speed

With the excitement of the new Eastern span of the Bay Bridge, I took the opportunity to work on low light photography.

According to wiki... "In photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time a camera's shutter is open when taking a photograph. The amount of light that reaches the film or image sensor is proportional to the exposure time."

In the first photo above, I set the shutter speed to .0125 (1/80) seconds.  In the second photo, shutter speed was at 0.02 (1/50) seconds with all other settings remaining the same.  In the last photo, the shutter speed was set at 0.1 (1/10) seconds, again with all other settings remaining constant.  Notice that with a longer shutter speed, the camera was able to pick up much more light.  We can now even see a part of the old Bay Bridge.

On average, we could hold the camera steadily without support for about 0.01 (1/100) second.  With the longer shutter speed in the shots above, I rested the camera on a still object to capture the photo.

More photos of the bridge to come... till next time!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

DIY $ envelope 2

I must of had too much fun in July. I totally didn't even blog once!

Anyway.  I hope everyone is having a great summer.  Summer is the season of graduations and weddings.  If you have trouble picking out gifts, money may be the way to go.  To dress up the gift, here are some DIY money envelope ideas:

Click here to see my first DIY money envelope post

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

double trouble

Hello all,

Warning... cute pet contents below:

I spent the weekend stalking these two with my iphone to capture these moments.

Double Trouble
Can we go for a walk yet? Walk, walk, walk!

Then when the two are napping, I spent some time with iMovie...

 Have a great week!


Saturday, June 22, 2013


I spent the whole day photoshopping.  I'd have to say that trial and error and hours experimenting have improved how I maneuver around the program and my approach in enhancing photos.



The photo had a yellowish hue, so if I remember correctly, I used a cooling filter.  I also brightened the photo and then distort the photo by applying a diffuse glow which gives it a dreamy effect.

I took these photos last year at my cousin's wedding.  I received a free photobook offer so I decided to enhance some of the pictures from the celebration and create a memorabilia.

Here's another photo I played with...


After adjusting the shadows and highlights, diffuse glow...

This photo I adjusted the color balance to change the color palette...

Till next time everyone!

<3 tingtinging

Thursday, May 16, 2013

the bean

Hi all!

It's been awhile.  I want to share some photos I took in Chicago.  Enjoy!

These flowers are everywhere! Love them.

White Cherry Blossoms?

More flowers. @millenium park

Alien invasion? Just kidding.
The famous bean, officially known as the Cloud Gate

Really tall chair

Buckingham Fountain

Chicago Tribune Building

More foliage

Sky Scrapers

Photos from the architectural boat tour
I'll leave you with the...
View from the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier


Sunday, April 14, 2013


It's already mid-April and that means that your 2012 income taxes are due tomorrow Monday, April 15, 2013.

If you need extra time to file, you may apply for an extension of time by filing a form 4868.

According to the form instructions, there are three ways to request an extension:

  1. You can file Form 4868 electronically by accessing IRS e-file using your home computer or by using a tax professional who uses e-file. 
  2. You can pay all or part of your estimate of income tax due using a credit or debit card or by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). 
  3. You can file a paper Form 4868. 

Please note that in order to qualify, you must meet the following:

  1. Properly estimate your 2012 tax liability using the information available to you, 
  2. Enter your total tax liability on line 4 of Form 4868, and
  3. File Form 4868 by the regular due date of your return. 

VERY IMPORTANT: Although you are not required to make a payment of the tax you estimate as due, Form 4868 does not extend the time to pay taxes. If you do not pay the amount due by the regular due date, you will owe interest. You may also be charged penalties.

Lastly, the Form 4868 extends your Federal income taxes only.  Please check with your respective state for extension instructions.  If you do not owe any California state taxes, filing the Form 4868 will automatically extend your filing due date of your California taxes.  If you believe that you owe California taxes, then you would also have to file Form 3519.


All information provided here are intended as a convenient source of tax information. This information is general in nature, is not complete, and may not apply to your specific situation. You should consult your own tax advisor regarding your tax needs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy π Day!

Happy π Day!

Did you know that Albert Einstein was born on this mathematical day?

Photo courtesy of

π = 22/7 = 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603486104543266482133936072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798609. . .

<3randomness <3tingtinging

Monday, February 18, 2013

Train Adventure

As mentioned in my previous post, I recently went on a train adventure!  It was an interesting 19 hour train ride.  Fun experience, but I don't think I would do it again.  (It's definitely faster, and in my case, cheaper to fly.)

We boarded the Amtrak here around 9:30PM Wednesday:

Amtrak Station at Jack London Square - Oakland, CA

I didn't take many photos of the train cabin, because the lighting was not that great.  If you want to check out how it looks like, Amtrak has a pretty neat 3D virtual tour.

I would say that the sleeper cars are similar to airplanes since each car has an attendant and the toilet flushes the same way.  In general, everything on the train is just a bit more spacious than on an airplane.

We woke up while passing by the snowy mountains.

More photos taken during the train ride... and experimenting with the manual mode of my DSLR.

I think this is one of my favorites

erie... is this train going to hogwarts?
I'm not sure what this was...

Thursday around 5PM, we arrived at Portland, OR.

Darn, it's not Hogwarts!!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stonehenge... replica

One of the results that came up when I was researching for places to visit in Portland was the Maryhill Museum of Art...

Too bad it was closed...

Luckily the main attraction we drove 100 miles east of Portland was this:

Stonehenge Replica

It's in the middle of no where and it's always open!

I had a blast snapping photos!

Can you tell what time of day this photo was taken based on the shadows casted by the concrete stones?  :D

<3tingingting - wishing you a happy valentines day