A Welcome to USA Citizenship

Here’s another scan of something I found in my room while going through all my things. At this point I don’t even remember where it was, nor do I remember receiving it, but it had to be in the mid 1990s when I became a citizen of this great country. Posting it now, when the country is under attack from within, seems appropriate.

Although I usually say “enjoy” for museum posts, tonight I instead urge all to stay vigilant in the face of tyranny. Even small actions of kindness during our everyday lives can add up to more positivity in society, whether it’s Hong Kong, the USA, or anywhere else in the world. Treat all people the way you would like to be treated and the world will be a happier place. It is sad that politicians and bureaucrats do not understand this basic tenet of humanity.

The PDF can be downloaded or viewed here:
A Welcome to USA Citizenship.pdf (15.5MB)

On Throwing Things Out

Below are some thoughts from earlier this month, originally typed out on a Moto G 2014 with an unreliable Logitech bluetooth keyboard that has also since been disposed of.


I saw an article about a homeless man losing his tent in a fire. He said he lost everything. Everything he had was in a small tent, just a few feet by a few feet wide.

I have been going through my bedroom to clear out things I no longer need, things that I have stored for long periods of time without use. Many are sentimental or old items. It seems to be a shame to throw out something that’s been kept for such a long time. To me, they have historical value and can never be replaced. But at the same time, there are probably billions of people in this world who possess things from decades or even centuries ago. Multiplied throughout humanity, what’s one or two old items from my closet?

In these past months, there have been times where I have asked myself the question, “what if there was a fire, and all your things were destroyed? What would you do?” I would be like the homeless man, with no more physical possessions, but at the same time I would no longer be burdened by such possessions. I would be free to move wherever I wanted without having to worry about where to store my things, what to bring, what to leave behind. These things that are old and that used to be play a huge role in my life that no longer do. Every so often my eyes sweep across them on the shelf when I turn my head around the room. I want to pull one out, open it up, and take a look inside, but I never do. Only when I finally started identifying what to say goodbye to did I open them up.

Genesis

I want to revisit this post I wrote in 2013. At the time, I said that there are some items in my life that are off limits to disposal, but now I’m not so sure. I’m not even sure I still regret selling all my Genesis games – it may have been a blessing in disguise.

In my more recent post about growing up, I mentioned clinging to childhood. I’m cleaning out my room now, it’s taken 3 months with lots of scanning and recording. I still want to hold on. The most drastic one is the bear my parents got me when I was a baby. It is older than I am. It was always considered untouchable, but recently I put it in a trash bag, and it didn’t seem so bad. Also, when we were in Hong Kong, we didn’t see many of these childhood items, and we were fine.

We’ve talked about going back to Hong Kong, but I don’t really want to do it just to get our independence back. I’ve finally gotten over HK. We could use the time and money to do it here. I don’t want to deal with the crowds, the lack of space, and most of all, the bad air.

Goodbye, Friend

Tonight, I bid farewell to a lifelong companion, a friend who has been with me since I was born, a friend who has silently shared each and every moment of my life up until this point. My friend’s name is Freddy, and he is a bear.

As I write this now, Freddy is laying inside a black garbage bag, inside a black garbage bin. In a few hours, the garbage truck will arrive and tip the garbage bin upside-down, depositing Freddy and a whole lot of other childhood objects on top of the rest of the neighborhood’s trash. He’ll probably be compacted at that point. It is a saddening thought, but it is necessary.

These past few months, as can be seen in the museum, I have spent a lot of time combing through all of my belongings. Boxes and boxes of things that I’ve collected over the decades, stuffed under the bed, stuffed into the closet, opened once every few years for nostalgia’s sake, taking up space. I never really understood that I had so many things. Yes, they are mostly contained in an 11-foot by 11-foot room, but it wasn’t until I went through them, trying to decide whether to keep them, that I truly felt their weight. The Transformers from before we moved to the US. Coloring pencils from primary school. Books that I used to read before bed, mesmerized by the images I imagined in my head. What do all these things have in common? They are the property of a child, around 10 years old (plus or minus a few years), and still innocent. His world is Sega games, dinosaur books, and going to school.

It sounds obvious and ridiculous to even have to say it, but I am no longer a child. If you look at the archive of greetings I’ve made here on this website, you’ll find that I stated I was a 30-something in 2010. Now, in 2017, I am almost a 40-something. A 40-something. A grown man, approaching middle age. When I ask myself why I’ve kept all those childhood things, I wonder if maybe I’m just a man in body, who has not grown up inside.

Time keeps moving forward, and sometimes we don’t realize that we are being left behind, stuck in the same place. It is that weight which I mentioned before. Carrying all those things gets heavy. We each get one life to live, and a lifetime of experiences awaits us if we’re willing to put down all those heavy things and move forward. Staying only in the past is wasting valuable time. In the end, it will be like we lived only half a life.

And so, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Freddy, and all the other companions that have accompanied me in my life’s journey thus far. I am sad to part with things that I have had for decades, but ultimately these companions are inanimate objects, and it is I who gave them life and voices. As JC pointed out, they’ve been me all along, and they will continue to be me. That is a comforting thought. Goodbye friends, and thank you.

Sony PlayStation Japanese Catalog, June 1995

Continuing on the same retro-gaming vein as the previous post, we now have a circa 1995 Sony PlayStation catalog from the Japanese market. For the past 21-and-some-odd years, this catalog has remained in the plastic bag that came with my original SCPH-3000. I probably looked at it a few times in the beginning, but I don’t remember looking at it at all in subsequent years. Tonight, I finally scanned it. Although the scanning process was a destructive one, I do believe it is better to have it digitized and posted where people can see it, versus continuing to leave it buried inside the Trapper Keeper in my room.

While it doesn’t show in the scan, it is interesting to note that the middle pages (JPGs 5 through 8) were in a centerfold-style, so that you would see three pages of games at once when you unfolded it. Since the pages throughout the entire catalog show four columns of games each, I wonder if this was a marketing decision, to make it seem like the PlayStation library up until that point was expansive, which is always important early-on in a console’s life.

Enjoy!

Sony PlayStation Japanese Catalog, June 1995 Sony PlayStation Japanese Catalog, June 1995

Sega 1988 Games List

In 1988, I was a little kid in Hong Kong two years into Sega mania. Although I don’t remember the exact circumstances, I must have figured that since there was a 1986 Game Catalog (it came inside my copy of Hang On), there must have been one for 1988, too. So, I wrote a letter to Sega of America, and this is what they sent back to me. It came inside a Sega envelope with a blue logo on the upper left, but sadly I must have misplaced it over the years because I did not see it while going through all my old Sega docs. But imagine, as a kid, writing a letter to the object of your fandom and receiving a response! It probably made my year. I must have pored over these two pieces of paper dozens, if not hundreds, of times.

Looking at the screenshots, it’s interesting to note the placeholders for new games such as R-Type, Lord of the Sword, and Y’s. Even more hilarious is the one for Double Dragon – I wonder why they didn’t just type out the words Double Dragon, or show a picture of two dragons, like in the other new-game screens? 🙂

As always, hope you enjoy this museum post.

Sega Games List 1988

Sega Games List 1988

Sega Games List 1988

Hong Kong Tourist Association Official Map, 1991

I seem to be finding a bunch of things from 1991 lately. The latest example is this official map from the Hong Kong Tourist Association.

At this point in history, Hong Kong is still a British colony, but it is already a known fact that China will be taking over come July 1, 1997. Many families, including my own, with recent memories of why they fled from China to Hong Kong in the first place (not to mention the even more recent memory of June 4, 1989), have left for places like Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. Interestingly, I left Hong Kong before 1991, and I have no idea how I came across this map that I’ve kept for at least a couple of decades now. Maybe my astronaut father brought it to me during one of his many visits.

It’s fascinating looking at this map and seeing how Hong Kong has changed. Parts of the map that show harbour are now reclaimed (e.g. the IFC and the ICC). Instantly-recognizable skyscrapers like the Bank of China building and its neighbor the Cheung Kong Center are either not yet on the map or yet to be built.

Please note that because these are maps, I’ve included the scans in their original resolutions, with file sizes of about 40 megabytes each. You can right-click and download them via the links underneath the thumbnails below. I hope you enjoy this museum post as much as I’ve enjoyed looking at the map.

Hong Kong Tourist Association Official Map Hong Kong Island
Download HK Island here (40 MB)
Hong Kong Tourist Association Official Map Kowloon
Download Kowloon here (40 MB)