About Taiwan, FotoZon and lots of other stuff

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October Ending

101 BuildingOctober is winding down. It's been a busy month -- just like all the other months. Red Sox won the world series in impressive fashion blowing away the up and coming Rockies. The season for the NBA is almost here giving me some TV to watch in the morning in Taiwan instead of working.

I'm happy to report that recently I convinced Craig to feature me on his "Featured Photographer" series. That makes three features this month so I can't help but feel a little bit of a glow from the attention.

It is tempting to just sit back and enjoy the "glory" but I am now more determined than ever to continue my quest for web stardom and continue development of FotoZon and a few other ideas up my sleeve. I just can't keep working for the man forever...

Of course I continue to enjoy picture taking for fun. Recently after I dropped our 5 year old off at school, I took a drive around town to see what I could see.

Lanterns Detail
Lanterns outside a new sidewalk.

Selling Fish
Selling Fish

Temple Blue Truck
Temple with Blue Truck and Camper

Drying Plums
Dried Plums

Bird House
Bird House

This house had a lot of decorations on it. I think it used to be a Kindergarten.

Woman of the Budhist House
The owner of the well-decorated house.

All for now. catch you next time.


Monday, October 15, 2007

FotoZon Links

Temple DetailHere are some links for recent developments and coverage on the FotoZon.com Site.

Recently, a web site devoted to cultural ties between Australia and Taiwan did a piece on our web site entitled Brilliant Window on Brilliant Taiwan. I must admit the article is very flattering and paints a great picture of our web site and the progress we have made so far. It even looks like a real news piece with quotes from our interview and web site statistics to boot. Christine Sun, the editor of the web site has a degree in journalism and did a great job on the piece.

With help from a translator, I have published a page in Chinese entitled 台灣每日一照. If you can't read that text, you couldn't read the page anyways, so I will just say that it is a Chinese version of the Taiwan Picture of the Day page.

Finally, I have re-done all of the Taiwan Daily Archive Pages as well, using Light Box which is a JavaScript library for showing photographs on a web page. It is much better than the old version which used my own cooked up JavaScript that displayed the picture on the bottom of the page, rather than a cool overlay. There is one more kink to work out in Internet Explorer 6 where the previous image flickers for a second before the new image appears. To top it all off, I also added navigation menus on the side, and a listing of all the titles for the month with links to their respective pages.

Drying Plums Lots

That's it for a busy weekend working on the web site. Next installment will be a photo tour around our town, and a trip the the Jong-Shin Village in Nantou County.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Trip to Checheng

Just south of Sun Moon Lake on the road to Jade Mountain National park is the town of Shuei-Li. North of Shueili on a lightly travelled road is the terminus of the Ji-Ji railroad line formerly used during the Japanese occupation for logging. Originally we had planned to drive up to Yu-Shan national park, however after taking one look at the dark menacing clouds up that way, we took a left not knowing where we were going and ended up in the little town of Checheng. The locals are busy there building a logging museum and other attractions for tourists. A fine time was had by all.

First up on the trip was a stop in Shuei-li to visit the river and watch some rafters:
River Rafting in Taiwan

And also some river rescues

River at Che ChengAfter that we continued to drive onto CheCheng and saw the little tourist railroad town including this little tea-house on the pond:

Pond at Checheng:

Pond at Che Chang

Resevoir behind Town:


After driving around the Resevoir, we came to this washed out section of the road, which is a common occurence in Taiwan:

The strangest thing in this case were the steel I-Beams in the road, presumably
to keep out the bigger trucks from driving on the weak road:

Well, those are all the updates for our trip to Checheng, tomorrow is double 10 day, Taiwanese "independence day" even though the "country" is still not really independent. More updates coming soon on the recent photo trip around our town to the plum drying factory, the lantern array and the small budhist

Friday, October 5, 2007

We Cracked a Million!

New OfficeNo, I'm not a millionaire, not even close! . . . In fact it's probably even pathetic to point this out, however here goes... We cracked a million in our FotoZon.com Alexa Ranking! Now this Alexa rating tool is fairly accurate for the top web sites, but it is becoming less and less important for the rest of us because fewer people are using the "Alexa Toolbar" than ever these days. I suspect the only reason our site is even doing ok there is because of a few heavy FotoZon users that happened to install the toolbar.

Google Page Rank has become the new de-facto king of rating, however it hasDitch Prettier Side recently taken a very long time to update their ranking according to this Google Page Rank History. Now, it doesn't really mean diddly squat to the normal web surfer, and even I only like to look at it once and a while just for fun.

I won't have much to report this weekend because of the double birthdays of my oldest son, and also my wife on Saturday and Sunday. All for now - the Typhoon is coming!

*** Update on 10/27/2007 - Google finally updated their Tool Bar Page Rank and I'm happy to report that the main Fotozon.com pages went from zero up to 3 or 4 .

Monday, October 1, 2007

Funny Shop Signs

I just like these funny shop signs. The Buty Shop and the PP Shop are located in our town of Yuanlin, Taiwan. I was taking the picture of the Buty shop and a fellow was asking me if it was my shop. I told him no, I was just taking the picture because of the funny name.

I need to get back out and take some more pictures, that is really the funnest part of the fotozon web site so far. The ankle injury is finally healing so I can walk around again, so I need to get out there and do more pictures. Like my favorite shoe company says "Just Do It".

In other news, last week, I compiled a list of the other photo sharing sites out there and my personal experience in joining them. I guess I really didn't have much to do that day as I was probably avoiding my real job so I decided to whip that page together to replace the link I previously had to the Photo Sharing Wiki Page.

Anyways, that is all I have to say today, I will close with a regular picture taken after my sign pics:

Temple at Night