Updates and Reflections: New Camera, Newsletter Changes, and More

Dear Good Characters,

I recently mentioned that I got a new entry-level full-frame camera. I’m still getting the hang of it. Since then, I participated in a photo walk in downtown Fresno, capturing street photography. I also used the camera extensively during a four-day youth camp with my fellowship to document their experiences.


Good Characters Friday, June 28, 2024, Newsletter


Mandarin Monday to Good Characters Friday

I have decided to change the newsletter schedule from Monday to Friday and rename it from Mandarin Monday to Good Characters Friday. Besides the day change, this also signifies an expansion to include not just Mandarin but also related characters (Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean, etc.).

Spanish and German

We just added Spanish and German auto-translation to the Good Characters store! It might not be perfect—similar to how I feel when I read other auto-translated sites in Chinese. Let me know what you think if you read those languages!

To see the translations, go to goodcharacters.com and scroll down to the bottom. You’ll see the Country/Region and Language drop-down boxes. You can switch the language to Spanish or German.

Great Power Chess

I had an idea for a new hybrid chess game for years, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I created the board and assembled the East and West chess pieces to form this new chess game I call “Great Power Chess.” Last year, I started developing an iPad app for it, but I only got halfway done due to other priorities. I’m still refining the rules. For a tagline, I considered, “Not your grandfather’s chess,” to highlight its modern twist. I hope someone will bring this game to life on the iPad!

My initial thought was that when you enter the other side, you have to play by their rules. Both chess rules are similar in many ways, so there are no major changes overall. However, on one side, each piece needs to be on the square, while on the other side, pieces must stay on the intersection of the lines.

Walk the Line

Last month, I watched a three-part documentary series by CNA in Singapore about nearly 40,000 Chinese immigrants entering America’s southern border in the past two years, seeking asylum along with 2.5 million other mostly South American immigrants.

You can watch the playlist here on YouTube: Walk the Line

I highly recommend watching the whole thing, but if you only have 3 minutes, watch this trailer: Walk the Line Trailer

It gave me a perspective on what the journey looks like. It’s quite heartbreaking that people had to risk their lives to seek a better life. Part of me, thinking irrationally and emotionally, thought maybe we should welcome these people who risk their lives just to enter and want to work hard to improve their lives. This is in contrast to some of the entitled people in this country who don’t work and steal items from stores and shopping malls as a mob. Those people should be sent to the Darien Gap!

On a side note, I used to feel a bit annoyed by people selling flowers or things on the street corner or the median, but compared to those who just hold a sign saying, “I’m not gonna lie, I need money for beer,” I admire the hardworking people more.

Back to the immigrants, I also realized that many of them are too naive to believe the fake news trending on social media telling them how the Biden administration is welcoming them with open arms and how America is paved with gold.

Some friends suspect that most of the Chinese immigrants are Chinese soldiers. I heard from a friend’s friend, who is a border control agent, that he saw a group of them acting like soldiers. I believe there are all kinds of people among the migrants. Most people don’t think this way, but I wonder if it’s possible that they’re defecting to our side.

Anyway, if there are real threats, I’m sure there are many more capable people already worrying and doing something about it. I don’t want to be a backseat driver who can’t even see the road ahead. My main point is that I got to learn what the journey is like, which is sad, and I hope that we, who live in a free and orderly society, appreciate what we have more.


Comments or Ideas: Do you have comments or ideas about these? Let me know! 


Good Characters.
That’s who we are; that’s what we do for you.

Regresar al blog