Back to Work

I’m finishing up my short vacation by watching the VMA awards. It seems that Barack fans are all over the place. McCain is my man though.  Britney just got her 2nd award and she funbled a little bit when she opened the show although she still looks great and better than her last stage performance.

Check out the McD’s sweet ice tea which sells for a cool $1.  After awhile, it taste close to Tito Benj’s gulaman and I hope they keep it in their menu. I’m going to check out Taco Bell’s Volcano Taco. Looks like a good deal for 89 cents.

Patricia was in town last week and it was nice of them to pass by. Mom and Tita Alma left today for the Philippines for a one month stay. Tropical storm Hannah passed by NJ but did not do a lot of damage. Summer is over and we’re enjoying the last few weeks of warm weather.

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Foot Surgery

I had an infection on my right toe for 3 days and finally decided to see a doctor when it wasn’t getting any better. The doctor diagnosed it as ingrown toenail and operated on it. This is my first unplanned surgery and I was a little hesitant to go through it but having been diagnosed recently with diabetes, I know that foot problem is a major concern so it had to be done. The only painful part of the procedure was applying the anesthesia but the recovery process when the pain-killer subsided was a lot more painful. I now realize that improper cutting of toenails probably caused this infection.

Jon Fritz on Star-Ledger

A photo also appears on the front page of today’s paper.

http://www.nj.com/starledger/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-13/1218083891130230.xml&coll=1

Asian population bubble growing
Trendy tapioca tea drink mirrors N.J. census surge
Thursday, August 07, 2008
BY BRAD PARKS
Star-Ledger Staff

Jimmy Hwang was raised by a pair of entrepreneurial parents and studied enough economics at Rutgers University to know a business opportunity when he saw one.

So when he realized six years ago that his hometown did not have a place that served bubble tea — the tapioca-spiked tea sensation that originated in the 1980s in Taiwan and slowly spread to San Francisco, New York’s Chinatown and every corner of the world that claimed a large Asian population — he filled the void.

“It was only natural to open one in Edison,” said Hwang, the owner of Fusion-ti on Old Post Road, one of at least a dozen cafes around New Jersey that now serve bubble tea. “The number of Asians living in town was just blowing up. The demand was definitely there.”

After all, just like bubble tea, Asian-Americans are arriving here in force. According to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian-Americans are the fastest growing ethnicity in New Jersey.

The Census puts the state’s Asian-American population at 643,855 as of July 1, 2007, a 32 percent increase over what it was in 2000. Every county in the state has seen a double-digit increase in its Asian-American population during that time, ranging from Essex County’s 10 percent bump to the 113 percent rise in Warren County.

And it is being fueled by a large number of overseas immigrants who have found a home in New Jersey and are having children at a higher rate than the native population.

“Generally, New Jersey has always served as an immigration gateway,” said James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School for Policy and Planning at Rutgers University. “A hundred years ago, it was European immigrants. Today it’s Asians and Latinos.”

Hispanics have added more total population — an additional 264,840 of them have arrived in the state since 2000, bringing their total to 1.38 million as of 2007 — but Asians increased at a faster rate.

And while the largest total population figures remain in counties that have traditional had large Asian communities — Middlesex County was home to 145,521 Asian-Americans in 2007, Bergen County was second with 124,862– the fastest growing counties are in further flung counties like Somerset (55 percent) and Hunterdon (79 percent), places not usually known for large Asian populations.

“It’s a different kind of immigration than we’ve seen before,” said Howard Shih, manager of the Census Information Center at the Asian American Federation. “Instead of immigrating into traditional ethnic enclaves in cities, they’re moving directly to the suburbs and setting up enclaves there.”

Asian-Americans are also starting to make their numbers felt politically. Jun Choi, who is of Korean ancestry, is now mayor of Edison, the state’s sixth largest city. In 2002, Upendra Chivukula (D-Somerset) became the first Indian American elected to the State Assembly.

“I think you’ll see more of us in the future,” Chivukula said. “People start to see the success and say, ‘If he can do it, I can do it.’ It helps them rally behind other (Asian) candidates and generate some real enthusiasm for the process.”

It’s all helping making the state more comfortable for Asian-Americans, whether it’s Asians in elected office — or just a new bubble tea place opening down the street, a place like Fusion-ti.

Jon Fritz Lagua is one of the regulars there, coming on almost every day. His routine is to arrive mid-afternoon, order a cookies and cream fusion bubble tea, then crash on the couch and slurp down his tea, with its signature globules of tapioca that rest in the bottom of the cup.

Tell him Asians comprise the state’s fastest growing group, and he hardly registers surprise.

“Everywhere I go, I feel like there’s a large Asian population,” said Jon Fritz Lagua, a Filipino-American. “We’re definitely branching out.”

iPhone swap

If you have the old iphone, you can sell it back and get cash back. http://www.freeiphoneswap.com/

I will be keeping my iphone and have no plan to switch to the new 3G phone primarily because of the increase in data plan price. Since the software upgrade applies to both old and new phones, other than speed, which I can live without, it does not really make it inticing to upgrade. The new App Store really brings a new life to the old iphone. There are lots of free apps for the taking and the simple model that apple developed for developers makes it easy for users to find what they need. My only complain is that my battery has been draining faster lately.

Weekend of Shows

We will be watching Kevin Costner’s band and also catch Tony and Tina’s wedding. Hopefully, we’ll also be able to catch an IMAX screening of Batman’s The Dark Knight. Tonight, we attended a wake for Lota Ladao, who was a good friend and music supporter of the Youth Pops String Ensemble. She always welcomed us for rehearsals at her home and was a gracious host. She will be missed.

I just finished watching the tv series John Adams. The first couple of episodes were great but it started to drag after that.  What was a surprise was the special on David McCullough, whose book the movie was based on. He was down to earth and still even uses a typewriter to write his books.

Jon Fritz videos

I’ve posted a couple of videos on My YouTube Videos from Jon Fritz’s high school graduation where he played with his mom and his acceptance speech at the Rotary Club when he was named student of the month.

My Podcast Subscriptions

I subscribe to the following podcast on my iPhone. You can watch them online too.