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August 30, 2007

往事如风

Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 10:10 pm

生活就如人迎面微风,即使人原地不动,时间却也象清风拂过面颊,带动衣衫,无声无息地远去,寻不了,觅不着了。而人却只能向前看,再向前看,连回头瞟一眼自己往事的机会都没有。只能睁大眼睛,专著当前,希望能够在微风扫过眼角的那一刻,收集一个又一个动人的瞬间,珍藏于心中、于脑海。

我,并不是一个记性好的人。过去发生的事都已模糊,棱角已不清晰,只留下一些影像。仿佛在看海市蜃楼,飘飘然,可望而不可及。可在内心深处我知道,我只是选择了不去回忆。过去发生的一切都深深的刻在我大脑的皱褶中,等待着一个机缘,重新被我唤起。

几天前saying发给我的那个link竟然勾起了我对往事的回忆,儿时的乐事、傻事又一幕一幕的展现在我的面前。很多事也只有我知道,我不说,没人会发觉它们的存在。可我又非常害怕自己忘却那些事,那它们就真的寻不了、觅不着了。我突然有一点冲动,得赶紧记录下那些陈年旧事。

这,便是“往事如风”的由来。

Disclaimer: The articles in this series may only be called “drafts”. They may be modified repeatedly. New materials may be remembered days, months or even years after the initial draft is finished. The drafts may only reflect my thoughts at the time of writing. It cannot be assumed that I possess the same thoughts at other times. As a matter of fact, I change my way of thinking quite frequently. The rules for this series are as follows:

1. Current events will not be recorded.
2. Issues affecting my current means of living will not be mentioned.
2. No specific names will be mentioned.
3. The drafts are totally biased. In fact, it is only my point of view.
4. The stories are solely for the purpose of recording the past. They may not be carefully crafted.
5. By no means the articles in this series may be copied or forwarded without prior permission.

August 29, 2007

Princeton University in the Independence War

Filed under: Toast Master — Tags: — Fei @ 8:04 pm

Disclaimer: This speech is solely for the fun of toast master international speech. The stories may not be historically accurate, nor is impartial. Please listen with discretion.

Thanks Mr. Toast Master…

Fellow Toast Masters, and honored guests. Today, I want to talk about Princeton University in the independence war.

When we talk about a war, what do we talk about? We talk about the start of the war, the turning point of the war, and the success of the war. And I tell you, Princeton University played a significant role in all three historical events.

The war formally started after the declaration of independence was signed, which was 1776.  A total of 56 people signed the declaration, and three of them were the alumni of the College of New Jersey, which only later changed its name to Princeton University. But a fourth person also signed the declaration. He was even more famous at that time, and among the Princetonians today. He is, John Witherspoon, sixth president of the College of New Jersey. He is the only clergyman, and college president that signed the declaration, not Harvard, not Yale, but Princeton.

After the war broke out, general George Washington really had a hard time. The continental army was defeated repeatedly. General Washington was in great need of a victory to boost the morale of the troops; to show his leadership; to prove that the independence was the right way to go. So the time came to the Christmas eve of the year 1776. In that evening, when it was supposedly a time for family reunification and peace, general Washington crossed the Delaware river, and attacked British troops the day after Christmas. We call it, the battle of Trenton, which was only 13 miles south of Princeton. On January 3rd, 1777, Washington’s army marched to a place only 3 miles south of Princeton, a place we now call it, the battlefield. As you can see from the name, it is where the battle of Princeton took place.

When we talk about the battle of Princeton, we have to talk about the story of the three canon balls. During the battle, Nassau hall, which was the only building for the College of New Jersey at that time, was exchanged hands three times by the British troops and the continental army. At one time when the British troop was in position of the Nassau hall, the continental army had to fire three rounds towards their own building. They fired three canon balls. The first canon ball, obviously, missed its target. The second canon ball.. hit the south wing of the building and bounced back, left a permanent scar on the wall, which can still be seen today… What’s interesting is the third canon ball. It went through a window of the prayer hall, which is now called the faculty room, and decapitated a portrait of King George II, the king of Britain at that time. The canon ball, however, left the frame and other parts of the portrait intact, only the King’s head was gone. The British troops must have thought it as an omen, since they promptly withdrew from the building shortly after the attack. And the continental army re-occupied their own building.

It was at Princeton and Trenton that Washington made his first major victory. After that, the British crown lost most of the cities of New Jersey; and the continental army recruits tens of thousands of new solders. It changed the course of the independence war. So… battle of Princeton was the turning point of the war.

After the battle, the continental army achieved more and more victories, fewer and fewer defeats… and the time soon became 1783. In that year, the Continental Congress met at Princeton’s Nassau hall from July to October. This, made Princeton the capital of the United States for four… whole… months… It was during that time at Princeton, the Continental Congress learned of the signing of the treaty of Paris, which basically ended the war. And welcomed the first foreign minister from Netherlands. It was during that time, general George Washington attended the commencement of the College of New Jersey, donated 50 guineas as a testimony of his respect to the College, and had a portrait taken in front of the Nassau hall. If you know about general Washington, you should know that he did not want to have portraits taken. It is said that in his lifetime, only three portraits were taken, and one of them was at Princeton. The portrait depicted his definite success at Princeton that changed history. After the painting was finished a year later, it was framed using the same frame for the portrait of King George II. Today, you can still see this portrait in the faculty room of the Nassau hall. To show the Princetonians all-encompassing culture, on one side of the window hangs the portrait of general Washington, on the other side is a portrait of King George II. When you go to Princeton, don’t forget to see those portraits.

Princeton University is the only university that played such an important role in the independence war. It participated the start of the war; it was the turning point of the war; and it signaled the success of the war. Without Princeton, we may still be ruled under the British Queen today. In every year’s July 4th, the independence day, we should not only think about the founding fathers: Washington, Jefferson; we should think about, Princeton.

Mr. Toast Master

—————————————–
Time: 6 minutes 45 seconds
Date: 08/29/2007

August 28, 2007

Princeton Research

Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 12:11 am

At a second thought… I have to say something fair for me… I did write a lot of things in the past years… How could a Ph.D. graduate without a paper? And actually I really like my papers… out of the four papers I wrote… I like three of them… and the other paper is really junk… I wouldn’t publish it except that my boss pushed me really hard… considering double counting… I have eight papers in total for my five years at Princeton… not really exciting.. but not bad either… and my last paper’s going to be published this Nov… then I will be finally done with my boss…

And…. did I mention I didn’t do much research… just enjoyed my life at Princeton all those five years? that’s actually the most exciting thing…. but my boss will be really mad at me if he hears it… still… I published several high-quality papers… at least I’m happy with them myself…

The first paper was a ground breaking one… thanks to my boss to select such a good topic… I was the one of the first few working on custom instruction synthesis for embedded processors… and it is a really very hot topic now… the good news is… all the papers later on have to cite my paper…. haha… now it has been cited a lot of times already… I just reviewed a paper for ASPDAC… cited my papers (happy)… but the their paper was poorly written… have to be sorry la… will review two more papers from VLSI design… haven’t read the papers though… but they both cited my paper… feel happy again already…

However, only my first paper was cited "reasonable" times… the rest of my papers were poorly cited… I just feel that my research was soooo advanced that no other group is working in the same area…. maybe I still need to wait for a few years before I can see some group working on similar things… I’m quite optimistic on that… my latter research was based on my first project… since all other groups are now still focusing on my first project… which I did six years ago… when they exhaust all the little things on custom instruction synthesis alone… they will sure move to custom instruction and coprocessor and MPSoC synthesis… that’s the direction… isn’t it?

Well… I have to praise my boss… he was soo good at technology direction… and did research far before other groups… and especially the way he modified my papers.. //grin… he made comments on my hard-copy drafts only on my first paper… at that time, his red comments almost filled all the blank spaces of the paper… and I had to incorporate all the changes to the latex files myself….:( then he would give me another round of comments… well… that was the only time I needed to do that… since my second paper… my boss just asked for my latex files and modified directly…. and that made my life really easy… but it made me wonder whether he thought my writing was really Bu4 Ke3 Jiu4 Yao4 le…

The same thing is true for my dissertation!!! haha… I didn’t even take a serious look after my boss’s modifications… still… frankly… I spent a lot of time and effort to make my dissertation perfect… it was really MY work… it was MY research at Princeton… and I had to be responsible for my self… I wrote three pages of acknowledgment alone… coz I have soooo many people to thank for…. but even now… when I open my dissertation… I can still find something imperfect…. which make me pretty regret sometimes…

However, it did not always make me happy… I felt quite disappointed about my bosses for the book chapter I wrote based on my research… I finished it on Nov. 2005… just a month after my defense… and my bosses did not even look at it till the Feb. 2007… more than ONE year later!!! At that time… the editors were really mad at us…. damn… At that time my account at Princeton was deleted, and they could not find my original drafts… damn again… after finally the OIT people restored my files… my bosses did not even pay any serious edits and finished it in two days! What made me really disappoint is that they did not even send me a copy after the book was published… it’s $129… will cost me a fortune to get my book…. 🙁

Now, my Princeton research has concluded… and my new research is about to begin… after two years of adjusting.. and wondering… it is time for me to do something interesting… and innovating… I’m planning to write a paper on my project at Tensilica… and exploring what to do for the next major release… thank god… I finally can think about something interesting… I’m really tired of the slow pace of the company… and the tedious repeated work without any result… btw… did I tell you my current job is closely related to my research at Princeton! that’s a plus!

fingers crossed… for the future…

August 27, 2007

征mm

Filed under: Freestyle — Fei @ 11:09 pm

昨天saying发给我一个link,问我认识不认识这个人。我一看。。。是一个征mm的帖子。oops。。。老乡,又是同一年的。。suppose应该认识。那年我们那儿去清华的也没几个人。。。可看看介绍,wow,国内知名推理悬疑作家,已出版了三部小说,一部电影。。。我突然有点迷惑,清华有学文的吗?我可不认识有清华学文的人。。。再看看照片,怎么也想不起这号人来。。。我又想起前几次和老同学聚会,翻了翻以前的照片,我老是问,这人是谁,那人是谁。。。也许我记性真的变差了?。。。只好老老实实告诉saying我不认识。

saying还不相信。。。其实我也不相信。。。这几率也就三选一。怎么我就看不出他是三人中的谁呢?幸好saying又给了我他的名字。。。well,他的形象立刻就出现在我的脑子里了。。。看来还是名字管用,尽管是对我这个向来不记名字的人来说。。。哈哈。。。

果然和以前长的大不一样。。。比以前壮实了(也就我还象以前那么瘦弱Sad),看上去很成熟。。。比以前帅了。。。最主要的是,他以前的酒瓶底不见了,不知道是戴了隐形还是用了激光。。。他的这个作家头衔很有迷惑性。。。我以前可不知道他会写文章。。。看来真是很久不联系了。。。我就是不善于远程联系。。。Sad

well。。。他现在可是大作家了。。。事业有成。。。还和一个侵权的电影剧组打官司。。。现在也就我还什么都不是。。郁闷中。。。写的文章也还是这样上句不通下句不顺的。。。想以前语文本来就是我最差的学科。。。虽然很喜欢。。。又花了最多的时间学。。可就是没长进。。。Crying

Anyway。。。没想到他现在还没找到心仪的mm。。。我也不想现在唐突地发封信问候一下。。。就在这儿 bless him ba….

August 25, 2007

Fortune cookie of the day…

Filed under: Freestyle — Fei @ 8:22 pm

After having dinner in a restaurant today… I picked up a fortune cookie…  "Instead of worrying and agonizing, move ahead constructively"… that’s what I should do…

en… that’s what I should do now…

August 14, 2007

流星雨

Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 11:11 pm

一年一度的仙女座流星雨又来了,这次正好是周末,又是新月。真是观看流星的好时光。。。于是就和一对couple朋友开车进山,想第一次看一看流星是啥样。

其实之前我也算看到过一次流星。那是三年前的夏天在death valley露营的时候。只是那时候温度极高,达到110度。周围的山峰呈现暗红色,显得有些恐怖。大家都没心思看星星。我偶尔抬头看看天,就看见一道一道的光从天空中闪过。不过也只有我看到流星,别人还嘲笑我。。。现在想来,那些流星可能也是仙女座的。。。因为那时也是八月初。。。

不过这次是专门去看流星的。我们开到一个大湖的旁边。当时讨论是否去一个很偏僻一盏灯没有的地方,那是看流星最好的地方了。可这种想法想想都觉得可怕,如果遇到老虎狮子什么的也就算了,最怕就是遇到熊了。于是我们就到了一个有一些灯,偶尔有车开过的地方。。。我们在那儿反复换了好几个地点。又不想灯太亮,又不想灯不亮(真是麻烦)。最后车就停在湖边的一个停车场内。。。我突然想看看晚上的湖是啥样的,便怂恿那对朋友一起去。刚走到湖边,就看见湖黑黑的,一点也不反光,像个黑洞,觉得不太对头。。。就不由自主的往回退。等过一会我想再看看清楚,那对朋友怎么也不肯去了。。。只好作罢。

看流星首先要看星星。抬头一看,wow,天上星星真多。中间那银河非常明显,在天空正中划了一条带子。可以说,这是我看到星星第二多的一次。这最多的一次还是我在上大学军训时。。。记得那天晚上刚下过一场暴雨,天上一点云都没有,灰尘都被洗去,空气散发出泥土的清香。晚上九点钟熄灯,suppose是睡觉的时候。可那时又怎么睡得着,于是就和几个人偷偷跑出来,躺在军营后自种田的田埂上,抬头看星星。那是第一次看见如此如此之多的星星。早已习惯了天上黑黑的一片,突然发现星星可以如此之多。看得我心里直发毛,真是越看越害怕。特别是所有的星星都集中在南半天球,北边硕大的空间只有寥寥几颗星。再熟悉不过的北斗勺子躺在北边地平线上,占据了整个北面天空,和南面群星密集的银河呈现鲜明的对比。看着北斗七星,想着以前看的武侠小说和动画片,又不由得害怕起来。可这次的北斗七星远没有上次看到的那么大,蜷缩在西北角,让银河占据了整个从北到南的天空。可能因为第一次的视觉冲击太强烈了,我怎么也不觉得这次的星星有上次的多,也许以后也不会有了。。。

我们于是站在车旁,抬着头找流星。正当我们找得脖子发酸,灰心丧气的时候,我和一位朋友同时看到一颗很亮的流星,从北向南,顺着银河划过。我们立刻激动地叫了起来。朋友的丈夫没看见,吓了一跳,还以为我们看见熊了。。。这下气氛又热烈起来,大家又四面八方的找流星。。。可天气实在太冷。。。不一会我们都受不了了,躲到车内,看着窗外一小片天空。。。这种方法真是没有前途。。。瞪了半天,啥也没找着。。我又耐不住了,提议出去。。。幸好是有备而来,我把睡袋铺在车旁边的地上,三人睡下后又盖了一个睡袋。。。这下只露出三个头,正好对着天,可以舒舒服服地看流星了。。。

天上流星还真不少,不时就划过一两颗。。。每看到一颗,我们就尖叫一声。如果有人没看到,其他人就讲述看到的方位,方向,长短。。。以一种很得意的语调。。。那没看到的人就显得很懊恼。。。hoho。。。早就知道一个传说,就是看到流星的时候可以许个愿,如果许完愿流星还没有消失,那愿望就会实现。。。可这时又派不上用场。流星从看见到消失才区区0.1秒。。。反应都来不及,更别说许愿了。。。所以我只好wow,ya,wa,oh地乱叫。。。许愿的事就放在脑后了。。。看来那愿望是实现不了了。。。

我们睡的停车场有时还有车开过,车来的时候车头灯一闪。。。天上的星星顿时暗了下去,除了几颗零等星,其他的星星都被车灯压了下去。。。车走后天空顿时又明亮起来。。。这样车来车去我们都习惯了。。。专心看流星。。。突然,我们仨全都猛地坐起来,一阵狂叫。。。不是我们看到一颗特大的流星。。。而是有一辆车在我们旁边停了下来,准备开进我们睡的那个车位。。。把我们吓了一大跳。。。我估计那开车的也吓了一跳,突然从地上冒出三人来。。。只见他迅速倒车,停到离我们几个车位的地方。。。上帝保佑,幸好他踩的是刹车,不是油门。。。等车走后,我们又躺下,照看不误。。。

这样我们就看了一个多钟头。。。总共看到三十多颗流星。。。当时有点想看一晚上,又怕看着看着睡着了。。。然后又有车开进来。。那可不是好玩的。。想来想去,还是决定回去。。。我们就恋恋不舍地慢慢开回去了。。。

我知道在我熟睡的时候,又有无数的流星划过天空,陨灭了。。。结束了它们短暂而灿烂的一生。。。无常的流星如此,其他事又何尝不是如此呢?

August 8, 2007

一次唱歌

Filed under: 往事如风 — Fei @ 11:54 pm

说到音乐,我又由不得的想起以前一次唱歌。前一段时间整理以前普林斯顿的文件,发现那次唱歌的伴奏音乐和试唱时录的歌,本身就已经很感慨了。这次又听了Vienna Teng的歌,不得不说几句。

那已经是好几年前的事了。当时在准备春节晚会,里面有一个节目是对唱。一位很喜欢唱歌的女生要找一位搭档,不知怎么的就推荐到我头上来了。当时正好是梁主席当值,他的事我当然要出头啦,所以就答应了。我那时还有点窃喜,一直以来想唱一首很难的歌,总是找不到合适的人。。。现在有人送上门来了。。。//grin…所以我就和她谈条件啦,要唱某某歌。她一听,没听说过,不过还是很爽快地答应学。其实那首歌我也不会唱,只不过看起来挺难的,就向难度冲锋了。

看来那几天她日子挺不好过的,整天听那首歌。不过我的日子也不好过,找不到伴奏的MP3,连卡拉OK都没有,这怎么办呀。当时她还动摇了一下,考虑唱别的什么歌,不过都给我打回去了。。。最后工夫不负有心人,星期四终于从国内某个网站下载成功。。。一听,这是那首歌吗?怎么听怎么不像。给她一听,她斩钉截铁的说,是。这下我可慌了,自己要唱的,反而不会唱。遭她的白眼自不用说了。不过她还是个挺好的人,把她那部分唱好录下来,让我唱男声部分。这也可见她对唱歌的热衷程度。

星期五晚上我们第一次合练。自然又遭她数落一番啦,这个地方抢拍,那个地方走调。。。我怎么都听不出来?怎么真正唱歌和跟唱一点都不一样呢?看来我是遇到一位专业选手了。。。那晚上可真是唱了无数遍,还录下来听。甚至还想过假唱,播录下来的录音。不过录的效果都不好,只好作罢。那也是没办法的,第二天就要上台了,不练怎行?晚上我睡觉时耳朵里还塞着耳机,听了一晚上。

星期六自然也练了一白天。在她的教导下,我也对音乐有点感觉了。最后也能听出节拍,啥时唱什么了(有点夸张)。然后就准备服饰了,我对这东西一向没什么感觉。她问我穿什么,我就说穿blablabla。。她瞪着眼睛对我说,就穿这个呀。。。我当时没有反应过来,还说,春节穿红色挺好的。她也就没说什么了。到了晚上,我一看她穿的那个正式呀,就觉得我穿的不太配。不过那时已经没有办法,只好硬着头皮上了。。。其实我还是挺好说话的,只要她当时告诉我穿什么,我还是会穿的。。。

真正唱的时候发现自己表现挺好。歌的上下段中间有很长的一段伴奏,平时我在下段切入的时候总是拿捏不准。。。但真正唱的时候发现很容易就找到起唱的那个note。以前紧张的那些地方都被我注意到了。唱后的回馈也还不错。。。唯一遗憾的是到现在也没有看到录像,所以也一直没有从观众的角度看自己唱的样子。。。

从那以后,我总觉得自己有点对不起那位请我唱歌的朋友。。。提了那么多要求,又制造了那么多麻烦。。。我现在还记得,那时我告诉她要穿什么衣服时她失望的样子。。之后很久都感觉她有点怒我。。。不过我也知道没有这一回事啦。。。就我在瞎想。。。很久没联系了,那时整理文件的时候就聊了几句。知道她最近也要毕业了。。回国。。不由得又感慨一番。。。

自从那次唱歌后,有一点我是很肯定的了。。。那就是。。。再也不吹自己唱歌了。。。

August 7, 2007

Vienna Teng

Filed under: Freestyle — Fei @ 11:25 pm

I did not expect to listen to Vienna Teng’s concert again today… but it just came true… Thanks for the Palo Alto county… The songs were sooo beautiful… just the same as the album I have, “waking hour”. I had a copy in my car and I listen to it once a while… it’s quite a feeling… and I keep the original copy somewhere in my album collection… It may be my only album that has the singer and song writer’s signature…

I first heard about Vienna Teng’s song at Princeton… in person… A friend invited Vienna to give a concert at Cafe Vivian as a CSA event… I liked her song immediately… I didn’t really care about the voice… because the mixer, amplifier could turn anyone’s voice into a golden voice… but the note, the pitch, the music, and the story were all perfect… an hour’s concert was just too short… It’s hard to follow up the lyrics though… I just came to the states not long before… so it was not quite surprising… but Paula, the director of international center, also told me the same thing… I also really admired my friend… a freshman… could organize such an event… alone… what a person… I could not or dared not to do that when I was a freshman… maybe I can do it now… but it’s still a question mark…

Vienna is an interesting person… she graduated from Stanford in computer science… followed her father’s advice… but later she found out what she really liked was writing songs and singing songs… so she finally gave up all her knowledge on computer science and started her new career… a brave girl…

Back to now… I bought Vienna’s second and third album after the concert, and managed to get her signature again…. but I felt a bit disappointed… the songs, except a few, were not nearly as good as the first album… maybe I could sense something in the concert… most of her songs she sang today were from the first album… obviously, she changed her style… maybe because she no longer has the feeling she had five years ago… maybe because I cannot apprehend her feeling now… it’s indeed hard to write songs… requiring a lot of intuition… she’s no longer a little girl… must have experienced a lot… as I could see from her tattoo around the neck… she could sing the old songs the same as before… but no more new exciting songs… I just feel like her five years ago more…

Anyway… bless Vienna Teng.. a Chinese folk singer that loves music…

by the way… it is freaking cold today… I realized it immediately I arrived at the park.. everyone’s wearing jacket or blanket… I only wore a T-shirt… so I was trembling all through the concert… 🙁 can’t believe the weather is like this… last year I experienced the hottest summer in history… and immediately.. this year is the coldest year in history… damn…

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