Casa de socrates

Hidden away on the campus of Tsing Hua University is Casa de socrates, a café following the bohemian tradition of many of my former Toronto haunts. If it weren’t so removed from the rest of the city (which may be part of it’s charm) it might just become my home away from home.
We had dinner there last Wednesday after going to see the Australian production of Thomas the Train which was being shown on the Tsing Hua campus. The kids seemed to enjoy it. The greatest thrill for me was watching the performers try to lip sync to the Mandarin sound track. Attendance was light at our showing no doubt due to in part the outbreak of enterovirus.
I love the atmosphere of the café. Used books line the shelves, many in English and French, and jazz plays on the huge audiophile set-up they have at the front of the main room. A large grand piano is there as well and seating is either comfy couches or swirly old chairs. Swirly old chairs are like a ride at the circus for the kids which doesn’t make for a relaxing start to the ‘meal’. Cats roaming the room round out the ambience.
The food is rubbish. Our first and second choices were not available. My wife eventually could order pasta which somehow is always, not so good – not so bad, in almost every restaurant in Taiwan. I was hungry so I ordered ‘peach pork’. The dish was a large plate with 4 slices of dried ham with peach sauce on top. Craptacular and expensive. I didn’t try the coffee but I suspect like the pasta, the coffee would be passable in much the same way as my morning Nescafé.
But I will go back. The staff is young and sickly cute. It seems like an excellent place to have a lazy afternoon of reading, or to spend a morning writing, and it would be a great choice for meetings. It’s nestled in the beautiful Tsing Hua campus and is quiet. If you keep your menu expectations low it’s certainly worth the effort.
Google Map of location.

No cut ‘n’ past in Illustrator

I’ve had this error pop-up regularly for ages when I am using Adobe Illustrator and it drives me mad:
quicktime and a decompressor are needed to view this image
A completely unintelligible error message. What the hell does this mean exactly? I have Quicktime and it’s only a jpg so I have all the necessary resources to allow for what is in every other application on the Mac a basic mode of interaction – cut ‘n’ paste.
So far the only answer I have found is that simply the only way to import a jpg into Illustrator (and InDesign) is to use the ‘Place’ command. That seems unintuitive but if that’s the case than why not say so in the error message!
You can cut ‘n’ paste easily between Adobe applications just not from the Finder into Illustrator and InDesign.

Bad start

I finally got to sleep before midnight but the kids woke me having bad dreams. Later Elsa was whimpering and not settling down to sleep so I took her downstairs to the first floor bathroom in the chance that she was going to be sick. Later I was awake a few other times with more bad dreams from Catriona. Slept in late until 6am when I heard Elsa crying downstairs. She had diarrhea all over the bathroom. Nothing like that smell first thing in the morning. I took her outside for a walk and she relieved herself numerous times on the street prompting a return trip for me with a bucket to clean the mess. I took her to the roof and gave her some water. After the diarehea in the bathroom was cleaned I returned to the roof to give her some medicine when I stepped on a piece of glass which went deep into my bare foot. Hobbled down the stairs spreading blood everywhere. Luckily LuLu, our other dog, is fine.
In theory this morning was going to be the start of a good day. The kids are coming off of a quarantine after both being infected with enterovirus, whatever virus I had seems to have weakened, and Sheryl starts her holidays.
Theories seldom seem to work in practice.

The RT-Mart date

I wouldn’t call trudging through RT-mart an enjoyable shopping experience (RT makes Wallmart seem exotic). We shop there because they have a good selection of fresh foods and the cheapest prices in town. And yet each time I go there, a shopping cart full of vegetables, fruit, and rmb for the dogs I see couples leaving with nothing or on occasion a box of cookies or some other small sundry items. Of all the places to do the ‘shopping date’ so prevalent this strikes me as the oddest place of all. I wonder if this is an indication of what the future holds for these couples relationships. Would shopping together at Jason’s market indicate something more auspicious?