Monthly Archives: March 2013

Replace Your Window’s Insect Screen in 15 Minutes– Week 4

I never knew how easy it is to replace an insect screen. Replacing a raggedy, old, dirty, used up insect screen also makes a HUGE difference. We have that ugly galvanized window frame but combined with the ripped up insect screen, it is just a hideous sight.

Here is the before and after picture of my window:

Before and after replacing the insect screen.

Before and after replacing the insect screen.

I have an easy DIY project coming up to make the galvanized window frame look a little more pleasant without having to change the entire frame. Changing window frames would cost way too much money and time AND expert contractor to install. I can’t wait to do this project!

Anyway, proceeding to how to replace your window’s insect screen in 15 minutes!

You will need:

Supplies needed to replace insect screen.

Supplies needed to replace insect screen.

  1. Insect Screen Material
  2. Roller
  3. Spline (you could reuse the old one!)
  4. Scissors
  5. Screwdriver
  6. Small pliers (may not need if old spline is easy to remove)

You can get a little kit at Home Depot for less than $25 and it includes 36 inches by 25 feet of screen material, 60 feet of spline, and one roller. Here is the link for your reference:

Phifer Screen Kit


  1. Remove the insect screen by pulling up the lift tab and then pulling the screen panel towards you.

    replace insect screen

    Remove the window screen panel.

  2. Stick in the screwdriver in the corner where the spline is free and use it as leverage to yank out the old spline. You might need a pair of pliers to pull it out if it’s stubborn. Mine had over 20 years of grime and nasty build up so it was encrusted in the groove.

    replace insect screen

    Remove old spline from window screen panel.

  3. If you can’t reuse your old spline, cut a new piece that fits your screen by using the old spline as your measuring guide. Consider cutting an extra inch because sometimes as you insert the spline, you will notice the spline will be used up more than you expected.

    replace insect screen

    Remove old insect screen. Beware! Lots of dirt may come out as you pull it out.

  4. Cut a piece of the insect screen material that fits your window screen and add an inch on all sides as a precaution. You can trim it easily after you install it.
  5. Place the spline over the border of the window screen and use the roller to insert the spline into the window screen groove. Make sure the insect screen is aligned properly and has a tight feel but not too tight because you might end ripping it as you insert the spline into the groove.

    replace insect screen

    Insert spline over the new insect screen.

  6. Once you have the spline installed, use your scissors to trim the extra insect screen to make it seamless.

    replace insect screen

    Trim the extra insect screen.

  7. Insert the lift tab back on the lower right corner of the window screen.

    replace insect screen

    Don’t forget to put back the lift tab.

  8. Now you are ready to put the window insect screen back! First, insert the top then once it feels properly aligned push the screen down. You might have to use the lift tab to align it properly until you are happy with the fit.

    replace insect screen

    Put the window screen panel back.

Super easy to replace, right? Now you can open your windows again without worrying about insects coming in through the window!

PS: I will continue with the remaining 10 days of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China but I want to move on to catch up with the past couple of months of DIY projects : )

Highest Viewing Platform in Hong Kong

Sunday, February 24, 2013 – Day 26

victoria peak hong kong

360 degree view of Hong Kong from The Sky Terrace.

Continuing on our quest to be the best tourists we can be, we couldn’t miss a spot flooded with other tourists. My dad’s friend took us to the scenic and popular, Victoria Peak. The only way to get to The Peak is by taking the historic Peak Tram.

peak tram hong kong

On our way up, passing Macdonnell Road.

peak tram hong kong

Snapped a quick shot of the historic tram. Like the Photoshop effect? :P

The Peak Tram has been in operation since 1888 and it was the first funicular railway in Asia.  The tram ride to The Peak is only five minutes long and 1.4 kilometers, or less than one mile. At Victoria Peak, there is the Sky Terrace which provides beautiful 360 degree panoramic view. The Sky Terrace is the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong sitting 552 meters, or 1,811 feet, above sea level. You do have to pay about $5 to get access to The Sky Terrace.

You can find out all about the popular peak at The Peak.

victoria peak hong kong victoria peak hong kong victoria peak hong kongvictoria peak hong kong

victoria peak hong kong

Hello, Hong Kong!

Saturday, February 23, 2013 – Day 25

hong kong sunset

Sunset in Hong Kong from a taxi cab.

Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities I’ve visited. Everything is so clean and orderly. Public transportation is very accessible. Everything is close by and there are a lot of nice restaurants to eat at. People are quiet and respectful and there is a lot of cultural diversity. But a huge con of Hong Kong is there is no space, everything is so tight. And because there is no space, everything seems to be more expensive!

A tiny apartment costs over $500,000! Imagine a 500 square feet three bedroom apartment with two full bathrooms and a balcony. Everything is perfect, except it’s shrunken into a space that would fit two 10-year old sized adults. You can only stand in the balcony, no chairs or coffee fit there. My dad and I stayed in a guestroom that accommodates three people – one bunk bed and one bed by the window that looks like a perfect spot for a cat who is sunbathing. Not sure where clothing and accessories would go if three people were living in this room though. The kitchen fits two people at one time and there is almost no counter space.

Besides the small size of the apartment, I would say it’s a nice place. The building complex has one security guard at the lobby 24/7. The entrance to the lobby is opened by a security code or the guard. There is a huge pool with other amenities. The apartment is next to all sorts of public transportation (bus, metro, and taxi), a beautiful big park, and a shopping center. So it has a perfect location. But I can’t imagine raising a family in 500 square feet with having a dog… I feel almost guilty not using my space efficiently back home. It shows how wasteful we are with space in Los Angeles compared with places where space is rare to come. Even though, by American standards, Los Angeles is crammed.

While we spent the next couple of days in Hong Kong, our means of transportation were buses, taxis, and metro. Even though it’s more time-consuming that driving your own car, I love the essence of public transportation. Everyone is like a little ant, we have a destination to go to, follow common courtesy standards, pay our fees, sit quietly and avert direct eye contact, and somehow everyone knows how public transportation works. I enjoy watching how everyone has a different destination but use the same means to get where we want to go.

I also love the super courteous culture of Taiwan and Hong Kong. Everyone, without question, gives up their seat for parents with small children, elderly, disabled, pregnant women, or people that are carrying a lot of load. Nobody eats or even drinks water while using the metro and everyone pays their fees without any problem. Also, almost everyone carries on conversations quietly without disturbing others, and mostly everyone keeps to themselves. Most young people are on their gadgets anyway lol It’s absurd how we are all immersed in our electronic gadgets, 90% of teens and young adults were on their cell!

The day after we arrived to Hong Kong, my dad’s friend took us to Sai Kung Promenade and Harbour City.


Sai Kung Promenade for the Freshest Seafood

Sai Kung Promenade

Sai Kung Pier with fishing boats lined up selling fresh catches.

El Salvador has a similar pier in La Libertad, where you can buy fresh seafood off boats. But Hong Kong’s Sai Kung Pier took freshness to a whole ‘nother level. There was a row of boats nicely displaying the freshest catch of the day (or maybe the week?). The selection of seafood was amazing; there was so much variety of exotic sea life. They looked like the sea life you would want in a salt water aquarium. I still can’t believe that anybody can just buy these beautiful fishes, crabs, squids, octopuses, etc…, and we just eat them right then and there.

Sai Kung Promenade

Take your pick of these exotic sea creatures and get them ready to be cooked.

Sai Kung Promenade

Interesting crab flipped upside sound. Made me sad…

My dad’s friend’s wife selected a variety of super duper fresh seafood off a few boats docked at the pier. Then, we walked around to choose a restaurant to cook our fresh catch while providing an ambience. It was one of the most delicious seafood meals I’ve had in my life. We had a feast of different types of seafood – which reminds me, I wish I had taken photos of each feast we had while in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, but I didn’t, sorry.

Anyway, part of me felt so bad enjoying the crabs, shrimps, fish, snails, clams, and whatever else we had… It felt like I was so inhumane but I kept thinking that it’s no different from buying packaged meats at the grocery store and cooking it at home. Just because I don’t see a cow getting slaughtered for a piece of New York steak on my plate doesn’t make it any less inhumane to eating this fresh seafood. I was having inner conflict – should I feel bad or should I enjoy this buttery piece of fish in my mouth? I felt bad and enjoyed it at the same time.

This trip made me consider giving up eating animal products. But… I can’t. Not yet at least.

Here are some pictures while we strolled around the promenade:

Harbour City

Sedov, Where Did You Come From?

sedov sailing ship

Sedov docked at Victoria Harbour.

After the Sai Kung Promenade, we headed to Harbour City. A big surprise was docked at one of the Victoria Harbour piers! The world’s largest and oldest sailing ship, Sedov, made a stop to Hong Kong! What a lucky day! I’ve never seen a sailing ship anywhere besides Disneyland. This ship is so intricate. It’s amazing people know how to navigate this ginormous thing full of ropes.

sedov sailing ship

What an intricate and sleek sailing ship.

Sedov is a 92 year-old Russian windjammer and was originally owned by Germany but surrendered to Russia in 1945. This ship is 117.5 meters, or 385.5 feet, long. Back in World War II, Sedov was used as an auxiliary fleet supply ship by Germany. Then after surrender, it was sporadically used as a training and research ship by Russia. Sedov is in the middle of a 13-month first voyage around the world as a training ship and in commemoration of the 1,150th anniversary of Russia’s statehood. On another note, the captain married a couple who is part of this world voyage on Valentine’s Day. They got engaged on the ship AND got married on the ship by the captain. How romantic is that?

A Symphony of Lights

Hong Kong skyline

View of Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Harbour.

After marveling at Sedov, we headed to a building structure where there is a huge open balcony and my dad sat somewhere with his friend while I went off on my own. It was so crowded! I had no idea what I was supposed to be waiting for. I was just following the hordes of people. A lesson I learned while learning how to use the metro in Taiwan – just follow the people.

Hong Kong skyline

Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Harbour.

After what felt like an eternity of waiting because I had no idea what I was waiting for, the music started. These lights coming from skyscrapers from across the Victoria Harbour started synchronizing. Now I know that this huge light show is called “A Symphony of Lights” and is displayed every night for over 10 minutes starting at 8 pm.

It was difficult to take a photo of the lights so I took a short clip instead:

Hong Kong Lighshow – A Symphony of Lights

The panorama of the buildings lit up at night is already a beautiful view. The LED lights show was just a bonus to the view. It is a great reminder of how a metropolis looks like. It’s a double-edged sword, on one hand technology is crazy advanced but at the cost of the environment and nature. So while buildings and concrete structures appear, nature disappears. Where do we set the boundary of technology advancement versus environmental degradation? Enjoy the convenience of everyday living at the cost of our health?

Which reminds me, a DIY I’ve been keeping on my to-do list is a recycling section at home. That will ease my guilty conscience a little bit of the harm I contribute to the environment : )


Good Night~

After the “A Symphony of Lights” show, we headed back to the fancy shopping center at Harbour City and had yummy sushi. Now you can put a face to my dad’s friend, his wife, and super hyperactive three year-old boy. I had to whip out my cell phone at each meal so he would sit still. My unprofessional diagnosis is that he has ADD. Or maybe all toddlers have the attention span of a pigeon? Never met an extremely hyperactive boy who loves puzzles, numbers, and singing so much.

Hong Kong skyline

Having sushi right by Victoria Harbour with a view of the skyline.

howard playing

Meet Howard! Smart little cookie – really good with patterns and numbers.


Daddy and me having sushi.

Fo Guang Shan Monastery Videos

Friday, February 22, 2013 – Day 24

I got the days mixed up… Yesterday, we spent the day just hanging out at home. Doing laundry and preparing for our 10 day trip to Hong Kong and China. We didn’t arrive to Hong Kong until today actually.

Anyway, as promised here are the videos I wanted to share of Fo Guang Shan Monastery from my prior post at Finding Fo Guang Shan Monastery.

Sadly, I don’t know what the ritual means. To me it would sound like first they chant/sing/pray before starting the festival. Then, we head toward the big Buddha statue in unison, celebrating and welcoming the new year. Then, another prayer until the big fireworks display. It was an interesting and fun experience even though I don’t know what it all means.

Hope you enjoy the videos : )


5 Videos of Lantern Festival at the Monastery

First Prayer Before the Parade

This is a 3-minute video of the first prayer/chanting before the parade. People lined up in rows in front the main temple while monks were on a stage.

Fo Guang Shan Monastery – Lantern Festival (PART 1 of 5)


Ringing the Gong!

Then, the big-guns come out. This is a 30 second video of the ringing of the gong. Monks dressed in bright red and orange clothing chanted then rang the gong. This was the sign that we may proceed following behind them as they lead us into the Buddha Memorial Center.

Fo Guang Shan Monastery – Lantern Festival (PART 2 of 5)


Parade Through the New Boulevard

This is short clip 1 minute clip, which gives a view from the top of the new boulevard at Fo Guang Shan. There were a lot of different groups of people parading. There were these teenagers that were dancing to some LMFAO ahahahaha with glow sticks and some little gimmicks. It felt out of place, just a little bit. They were dancing to this loud boombox playing Party Rock Anthem.

To give you an idea, here is the song – LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem

Fo Guang Shan Monastery – Lantern Festival (PART 3 of 5)


Last Prayer Before the Fireworks!

Then, another 1 minute clip back at the Buddha Memorial Center. There was another set of chanting/prayers by the higher up monks. Everyone was very quiet and still. We all lined around so that we were out of the way and view from each other. It was a very enjoyable event because everyone was so respectful. I loved it.

Fo Guang Shan Monastery – Lantern Festival (PART 4 of 5)


Can You Believe They Do This Every Night?

This is a longer video clip 4 minutes long of the fireworks! It was so beautiful… Finally get to share the fireworks that I’ve been blabbing about. My little video clip is not the greatest :/ I’m glad I have a video of it though, even though there are tons of videos on the Internet, it’s nice to have something that is more personal. My cousin said that they do the fireworks at Fo Guang Shan Monastery every night during the first couple of weeks of the Chinese New Year. That’s expensive, where does the money pour in from? Apparently, this particular monastery is one of the “wealthy” ones.

Fo Guang Shan Monastery – Lantern Festival (PART 5 of 5)


So, I’m pretty much caught up with the videos I wanted to share. YAY! Now I’m slowly catching up with the remaining days of my trip with dad to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. I still have 12 more days to share. And then, back to the DIY projects.

Just Arrived to Hong Kong!

Wednesday, February 21, 2013 – Day 22

We just flew into Hong Kong and settled in. Hong Kong is a very beautiful city full of tall and skinny buildings ALL OVER. There are so many apartments! It’s crazy. And these little, tiny, apartments are ridiculously expensive. Anyway, dad and I were crammed sharing one tiny room at my dad’s friend’s house/apartment. These were three long nights of taking cough/cold medicine and using ear buds to sleep through the night. Dad never knew he snores. I think he’s still in denial hahaha It also didn’t help that I got sick when I got to Hong Kong with a dry cough that wouldn’t go away. I think it may have been the pollution, plus second-hand cigarette smoke?

So since I have no pictures of this day to share, I can finally share the photos and videos from my cell phone that I couldn’t upload while in Taiwan!

* Need more Salvador Dali mustache! From our trip to the Salvador Dali Expo – Salvador Dali Art Exhibition in Kaohsiung

salvador dali taiwan

Salvador Dali, where is my mustache?

* Another moped ride with dad when we went shopping together from the “There is Such Thing as Too Much” post

dad moped

Dad got the handle of the moped. It’s like riding a bike – you don’t forget.

* Remember the orchestra at Lotus Pond that played for hours that I mentioned in the “Self-Guided Tour of Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung” post? I finally uploaded a short clip. I’m surprised at the quality of the video taken by my cell phone. It’s very clear 🙂

Click here for the video: Orchestra at Lotus Pond, Kaohsiung for Chinese New Year

* If you are curious of the High Speed Rail (HSR) train ride, I uploaded two videos taken from our trip up to Taipei from Kaohsiung mentioned in the “Getting from Kaohsiung to Taipei” post.

Here is the first video, taking off from the Zuoying Station:

High Speed Rail in Taiwan Part 1

Here is the second video, with a view of a small town in Taiwan:

High Speed Rail in Taiwan Part 2

I have many videos from Fo Guang Shan that I need to upload. They deserve its own post. Watching them, is as if I’m there again. I’ll post them soon 🙂