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Posts filed under 'toys'

Selling collectable stamps

I recently decided to sell my stamp collection.  I start collecting when I was in Hong Kong since I was 13th.  It was the thing to do back then.  These are not the thing you cut and soak from the occasional snail mail.  Although recent issues, these are all mint conditioned sort of limited issues.

But a long time ago I lost interest in collecting (you can’t drink them) and they have been sitting in my closet since.  NYC closet is not cheap, and eating out as my new hobby is expensive.  So I decided to look into ebaying them.  The problem is most items are $1 to $5.  Less than 5% of them worth more than $35, which makes scanning, color correcting, researching detail and posting very inefficient.  The problem exist because they are about as liquid as fine art, but at 1/100000 the denomination.   No long tail here.

Note to self, never buy illiquid, non alcoholic, non wearable product under $1000 as investments.

1 comment October 5th, 2007

Cheapest 8″ spread faucet

I was looking for the cheapest 8″ spread faucet out there. This is what I found on homedepot.com for $39. Don’t even think about it…

Add comment November 28th, 2006

Limited Edition Brazilian rosewood Eames Lounge Chair

Herman Miller decided to make a limited edition Eames Lounge chair for their chair’s 50th Anniversary. Marketing effort, blah blah blah. But the cool part is that they offer a Brazillian rosewood version for about $850 more, bringing to total price to about $4000.
If you are planning on getting one already, the $850 premium is a real bargin. The veneer is called santos palisander. My walnut one is not bad already, but the grain on this one is abslutely stunning. Herman Hiller hasn’t make the rosewood version since the late 70s, making this even more desirable. It is also what Charles and Ray Eames intented the chair to look.
I was considering swaping my walnut one for a rosewood one. But between the buy and sell I would have to pay about $2200 for it. Probably not worth it. But I would totally do it for $1500.

Add comment April 26th, 2006

global shift of wealth and art market


FT.com art and weekend has this article out on the art market. What’s interesting to see is how the global shift of wealth changes the art market. But this is unfortunate as the art market is primarily a rich people’s playground. I found a watch the other day that I’ve only heard about, the Glashutte caliber 60. Knowing it’s rareness and the potential of the brand (own by swatch group to rival Lange & Sohne), I would have pick it up for under 18. It was listed for 50. Nonetheless, this baby is going to appreciate in 10 years. So in this case, for for someone in the lower-middle class like me, art as an investment is out of my reach.
If I am good and my jackpot rate is 1 in 5, putting your money in watches to generate a 10% annual return would take at least $500K, out of the reach for even a middle class American. One thing you could do is to wait for it to be popular enough for some mutual fund to be setup. But the point of investing in art is when they are NOT popular, not when they are popular. The rich always have it easy don’t they :)

Add comment March 25th, 2006

Asian backstreet boys

Two Chinese students decided to spoof backstreet boy. Man, they are good. And funny as hell.


I tried my holloween outfit on. I have no idea how Myriam talked me into this one, but damn, It definitely top last year’s. I’m sure I’ll get tons of pictures from other ppl tonight…

Wage went travelling… I doubt he is too excited about it tho?

Add comment October 29th, 2005

cheap working car for $345

From: Du, Kavin
Sent: October 26, 2005 10:00 PM
To: for-sale
Subject: Cheap working car for $345

And It moves

Green Ford 1993 Festiva. It’s a good point A to point B car, take 4 passenger (and it stil moves). Has a good sized trunk that can take 2 large suit cases (and it still moves). Has a whopping 53 horse power, so between the four of you, you have 13 each with one to spare (and it still moves). Small profile make it perfect for fitting in small parkling spots around the city. I bought this car a year ago to learn how to drive a stick. It runs well, and do 35 miles to the gallon. I only need to drive about twice a week, so a $20 tank will last me for over a month. Last checkup was September, and the only thing that still need replacing is the air filter. Passed emission test this Feb.

109K miles. Comes with A/C and automatic seatbelt. Mechanical condition is good and cosmetic condition is fair. KBB has a private party value for fair condition for $775. I am putting this baby up for the dealer trade in price at fair condition overall. I’ll throw in a free lesson if you have your own insurance. Please note that I’ve removed the “art” off the side as well.

My insurance runs under $300 for 6 months. So it’s fairly inexpensive to keep.


I will entertain any reasonable offers.

From: Smith, David

Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 10:18 PM
To: Du, Kavin
Subject: RE: Cheap working car for $345

Ha Ha Ha!!! How many horsepower are left when the AC is on??!!!


Add comment October 27th, 2005

Grand Challenge


Let me explain why this is so cool. For the longest time people have been trying to develop car that can drive itself. Darpa is espcially interested in that technology for obvious reasons. But since combat usually happen on rough terrians, the stuff that’s in your Mercerde wouldn’t work. (Mercede can drive itself? Yes. The commercial release was a watered down version call lane departure warning, originally developed in 1996 and runs on a 486. But I digressed).

GPS system can get you to certain resolution, and is helpful on route planning, if the route is all mapped out. So you need to add in satellite imagery if there is no route at all, and process the image to pick a route. But that only give you certain resolution. So you go in, and built a stereo camera vision system to see the road condition. But the range is limited, and it can be blocked by dust. Laser can see through dust, but have a scanning cycle time. Morever, extreme contrast such as shadows can thorw it off. The variation of light intensity a dent is much less than that of a shadow, so you on board camera can only do so much. After the heavy computation to calculate the route, you need to know when to do replanning to anticipate what’s in front of you.

After working on it for a few years, CMU produced this.

Add comment September 24th, 2005


When you get a stuff animal, do you remove the tags, or do you leave them on? Is there any reason why?

Add comment September 23rd, 2005

My new toy

Sony Ericssion S710a

Since my old phone got soaked on Mt Fuji and died on me. It sucks that I have to get a new one… hehe

Add comment July 11th, 2005

my new car

Gosh, it was soooo hot today, I decided it’s time to get a wine fridge. So I drove my new car, yup, new car, if you can call that a car that is. I got it last week to learn stick shift so it was probrably the 3rd time I drove it.

I managed to left the headlight on the first day, so my co-worker Kevin was jumping it. Doesn’t work. So I figure the battery ran out and we should get a new one the next day. Next morning I got the manual to looked for the battery type, and my co-worker Pradip thought we might as well give it another try. Turns out there is a picture of the battery in the manual, and guess what, the black cable is the positive. Every engineer knows that red is live and black is negative. Gee! What are they thinking. Oh well, saved $50, so no complain.

The car was soooo cool cuz it was so ghetto. If I send my mom a picture she’ll probrably send money and fly over to take me home. It has a whooping 63 horse power, and got spray painted over the left side. On highway it sounds like it was gonna fall apart. I could keep on pressing the gas and it just won’t go pass 65. It’s absolutely amazing and I’m loving it. And to top that, it has a working A/C. I am going to valet park it at Morton’s one day and see what happens :D

Add comment August 4th, 2004


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