Saturday, September 23, 2017

Learn Mandarin by watching this movie (captioned with Pinyin & Chinese Simplified Characters using Google Translate)

I'm trying to learn Mandarin Chinese, but I'm having trouble retaining what I learn. I'm hoping that by captioning this movie I can retain these words.

Learn Mandarin by watching this movie (captioned with Pinyin & Chinese Simplified Characters using Google Translate)

Chinese Movie Literal Captions to Pinyin & Chinese Simplified via Google Translate 854x480 from Rob ABCBA on Vimeo.

I purposely chose descriptions and sentence structures that help beginners to correspond which Chinese Simplified characters and pinyin correspond to which English words. For example, using one word adjectives in front of nouns result in the Mandarin joining the adjective and noun with a "de", which helps me identify which Chinese characters correspond to which English words.

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Prime Sunnyvale location. Small house on HUGE LOT. Convenient to BOTH new Apple Campuses.

Very few listings become available in Raynor Park. The value is in the huge parcel(9,300)feet. Build your dream home in this quiet and sought after neighborhood. Garage was converted to family room and office in the early 60's. One mile to Apple Computers new "spaceship headquarters". What a great location. Close to everything. Open house on Saturday and Sunday September 2nd and 3rd between 1-4.

SUNNYVALE — For decades, the Raynor Park neighborhood was an island of modest living in Silicon Valley. Almost rural in flavor, it was developed on old orchard land after World War II: an affordable community for returning GIs and other new homeowners who snapped up its little flat-topped bungalows, situated on oversized lots with plenty of fruit trees.
No more. Just over a half-mile from Apple’s “spaceship” campus under construction in Cupertino, Raynor Park — like neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area — is a community in transition. It’s one more island of affordability that’s going poof amid the housing crunch brought on by the tech boom.
“You say it’s near Apple, people want it,”  a 1,050-square-foot bungalow that sold for $1.2 million, the neighborhood’s cheapest sale of 2015. “The people that are coming in here, they’re techies and doctors. That’s it. Otherwise, you can’t afford it.”

Last month, the Trulia real estate website reported that million-dollar homes are the new norm for much of the Bay Area. Crunching data from scores of neighborhoods, Trulia included Raynor Park as one dramatic example of the trend: From 2012 to 2016, its share of homes valued at $1 million or more rose from 19 percent to 94.4 percent.

nondescript bungalows — increasingly torn down by developers and private buyers — are sandwiched between Mediterranean-style McMansions. a weedy front yard where someone had parked a pickup truck; the two-story house next door, with an immaculate garden, showed off a freshly washed Tesla in the driveway.

“It’s less and less like a community and more and more where people live when they’re not at their 90-hour tech jobs,” said Laura Richardson, a systems engineer who raised her two daughters in the Raynor Park house she bought in 1987 for $275,000. “But it’s happening everywhere. There are very few neighborhoods that feel like Mayberry these days.”

Even with its escalating prices, Raynor Park is the most affordable neighborhood in Sunnyvale’s sought-after 94087 ZIP code.

Two of its public schools — Laurelwood Elementary and Peterson Middle School — are well-ranked. And its proximity to Apple’s new campus makes it “a jackpot,” said Karishma Arora, a physician in San Jose. Sensing “an investment opportunity,” she and her husband, an engineer, bought a 1,200-square-foot ranch house in 2013 for $850,000. They made it their home for three years with their young son, then sold it in February for $1.41 million.
Arora had anticipated healthy appreciation, but not that much: “Had I known, I would’ve bought two.”

While living in her Raynor Park house, she added, “We were constantly approached by real estate people. We would get fliers, knocks on the door: ‘Hey, are you interested in selling? We have all-cash buyers.’ So I think they’re going to be all wiped out, those little shacks. And it’ll be all two-story expensive houses.”

Those little houses — old-time residents refer to them as “flattops” — were built starting in the late 1940s. The neighborhood was a homey place then, full of chicken coops and well-loved gardens. Its street names recall its founders: Bryant Way was named for original landowners Clarence and Clara Bryant. Ramon and Navarro drives were named for Hollywood actor Ramon Navarro, one of Clara Bryant’s favorite leading men of the ’20s and ’30s.

The very name Raynor Park — originally spelled Ray-Nor, with a hyphen — is a contraction of “Raymond” and “Eleanor,” two of the Bryants’ children.

Close to bustling El Camino Real, with its shopping and restaurants, Raynor Park’s rapid transformation — all those McMansions — is a shock to old-timers such as Warren Campbell, a retired aircraft mechanic whose handcrafted mailboxes dot the neighborhood.
“Years ago, everyone had a flattop,” he said. “Now they tear them all down and put up something new for a million-and-a-half dollars. It’s a shame when I see these flattops torn down. The beams inside — they’re all two-by-six heart redwood. I hate to see all that redwood gone, because I could use it for my mailboxes.”

Such changes aside, the neighborhood remains relatively quiet and even boasts expanses of open land.

It adjoins Full Circle Farm, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable food systems that sits on 11 acres leased from the Santa Clara Unified School District. With a community garden and its stable of alpacas and mini-horses, the farm is a favorite destination for local schoolchildren. Across the street is the city of Sunnyvale’s eponymous Raynor Park, with ballfields and a community activity center on close to 15 acres.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

OFF-Market, NEW-Looking 4BD 2.5BA ~2300sqft Home for just $850,000 in Morgan Hill

OFF-Market, NEW-Looking 4BD 2.5BA ~2300sqft Home for just $850,000 in  Morgan Hill.
Call Robert Lei (408) 893-2410 for details.

OFF-Market, NEW-Looking 4BD 2.5BA ~2300sqft Home for just $850,000 in  Morgan Hill.
Call Robert Lei (408) 893-2410 for details.

Robert Lei
Century 21 M&M and Associates
(408) 893-2410
BRE # 01716389

Saturday, July 29, 2017

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Score Report

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System is California's new statewide student academic assessment system.

On January 1, 2014, California Education Code Section 60640 established the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System of assessments to replace the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, which became inoperative on July 1, 2013.

One good way to get a better feel for how to interpret the test results is to look at a couple examples of actual test results.

The areas for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) include:  
  • Reading: How well does your child understand stories and information that he or she reads?
  • Writing: How well does your child communicate in writing? 
  • Listening: How well does your child understand spoken information? 
  • Research/Inquiry: How well can your child find and present information about a topic? 
The areas for mathematics include: 
  • Concepts & Procedures: How well does your child use mathematical rules and ideas? 
  • Problem Solving and Modeling & Data Analysis: How well can your child show and apply problem-solving skills? 
  • Communicating Reasoning: How well can your child think logically and express thoughts in order to solve a problem?
These areas are based on the standards, which describe what your child should know and be able to do relative to the overall Standard Met achievement level for his or her grade. These results by area are most useful to identify skills where your child is performing particularly well (Above Standard) or where your child is struggling and needs help to improve (Below Standard). If your child received a “No score,” it means he or she did not complete enough questions to receive a score in that area.

There are four levels of scores for ELA and mathematics for each grade. Achievement levels “Standard Met” and “Standard Exceeded” are the state targets for all students.

Score ranges for each achievement level are different for each grade, and the standards for the next grade are higher than for the previous grade. As a result, students may need a higher score to stay in the same achievement level as the previous year.

Go to for more information, including the Parent Guide to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments with sample test items.

For complete results for schools, districts, or across the state, visit the CDE CAASPP Results Web site at

Monday, July 3, 2017

What are some areas in Silicon Valley that have a good public high school (850+) but not so good elementary and middle? We plan on using private schools for educating our kids early on and then use public high schools.

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Question on Quora:

What are some areas in Silicon Valley that have a good public high school (850+) but not so good elementary and middle? We plan on using private schools for educating our kids early on and then use public high schools.

Robert Lei, REALTOR, E-PRO at Century 21 M&M and Associates

Hi, Yes, I know the perfect spot within Silicon Valley for you if you want excellent high school but do not need excellent elementary. One part of Sunnyvale has just this scenario. To see what region I’m talking about, go to this link: Silicon Valley School Districts . Scroll down and click on “Sunnyvale Elementary”. Look for the light-blue region along the western edge of Sunnyvale bordering Mountain View that says “Vargas Elementary”. This is the part of Sunnyvale that has an excellent public high school (Homestead High School API=873) but not as good elementary (Vargas Elementary API=776). Usually, elementary schools have higher API and the API gets worse as you move from elementary to middle to high school. However, this pocket of Sunnyvale is an exception because Vargas Elementary is joined by the two star elementary schools Cherry Chase Elementary (API = 952) and Cumberland Elementary (API = 947) when they reach high school at Homestead High.

Note: The API scores I’ve reported above are the 3-year average of the last 3 recorded years of the Academic Performance Index (API) from the California Department of Education website.

I’m guessing you are asking for “not so good” elementary because you are hoping to get the good high school without paying such a high price for the house as you would be forced to pay if you bid on houses that had all 3 schools — elementary, middle, and high school — all highly ranked. If so, you are correct that the prices of these homes aren’t quite as high as the homes that are in the Cherry Chase Elementary and Cumberland Elementary attendance areas.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Santa Clara County Real Estate Market Trend (May 2017 vs. Last Year vs. Last Month)

Single-Family Homes May 2017 Apr 2017 May 2016
Median Price: $1,200,000 $1,160,000 $1,117,900
Average Price: $1,446,930 $1,429,430 $1,419,890
Home Sales: 1,061 833 962
Pending Sales: 1,306 1,179 963
Active Listings: 943 898 1,290
Sale/List Price Ratio: 105.8% 106.1% 104.4%
Days on Market: 18 17 19
Days of Inventory: 27 31 40
Townhomes/Condos May 2017 Apr 2017 May 2016
Median Price: $710,000 $710,000 $695,000
Average Price: $764,090 $778,377 $778,407
Home Sales: 412 338 386
Pending Sales: 513 488 339
Active Listings: 239 290 391
Sale/List Price Ratio: 104.9% 104.7% 105.3%
Days on Market: 16 19 16
Days of Inventory: 17 25 3