Saturday, December 31, 2005

A summary of 2005

I'm sitting here at the sports bar at the MGM casino in Vegas. I'm updating my blog through my BlackBerry. Yup I love technology. My friends are still playing poker but it seems that I still haven't climed out of my bad luck streak. I'm not here to make money anyways and the relatively small amount that I lose is worth the entertainment value. I'm not afraid to admit it could be my game. I average playing once every 2 months these days rather than daily (when I used to play small stakes through the web or at friends houses once or twice a week) which I was doing last year. Poker has taken a back seat to all of my new hobbies and interests. I still enjoy the game though.

This was a pretty spontaneous trip to Vegas. I didn't make any new years plans. Then ran into a Stan at Sam woo's of all places while shoping at 99 ranch. He said he was on his way to Vegas the next day and invited me to crash at his friend's house. A place I was thinking of going to anyway but had probably would have passed on because the prices of the rooms at Vegas was a little outrageous even at the no name casinos.

Still about 3 hours till the countdown at the strip. It has started to rain here and looking at the rain clouds it could be a lot more than drizzle. Hopefully the fireworks will still happen and i'll be able to experience the chaos I've been told to expect.

So anyways I always reflect on the the past year hoping to take away the lessons I've learned so that the next year could be better than the next.

First, after reading the new year resolutions I made last year, I'm reading through and it looks like it didn't really have the affect that I was looking for. So there won't be a reward for keeping my resolutions. The first one, "get to work on time". We all know how this went. I can't say that punctuality was the highlight of my performance at work this year. Number two. Sleep earlier. Nope. I would give myself a big fat F on this one. 3. Eat healthier. I would give mysled a B on this one. Did prett well. Could have done better. 4. Keep room cleaner. I would give myself a B+ on this one. I did a lot better on keeping everything much cleaner. In my opinion I've been exceptionally clean in the common areas of the house ever since I've moved to Eric's house. My room could use some work. But considering how small my room is now and there isn't much to clean. I also have no choice but to keep it clean so I have walking space. 5. Save money by eating out less. I'll give myself a C on this one. I have been good that I never spend money on fast food or eating out alone, but I have been eating out at work almost everyday for a good portion of the year. 6. Keep on going to the gym 3-5 times a week. I can give myself an A+ on this one. It wasn't easy because there definitely we're some days where all I could think about was skipping on the gym but I made it there 99+% of the times. Definitely worth the A+. Aside from the last one, I can say that the fact that these were resolutions to begin with didn't affect much of anything. So why didn't it work? That is a complex answer that everyone with failed resolutions should think deep abou but I'll admit I'm going to approach resolutions a lot diffently next year and have a lot better understanding of why it didn't work and have a completely different approach for how I can make my life better by improving on these types of things that people call resolutions. All resolutions are are things one can change about them selves to make their lives better, but there is usually no strategy behind it. I'm not going to even call them resolutions. I just know the things I can do to make myself better and focus on changing them. Not really gonna list them like last year. Except the part about sleeping on time and getting up early and being productive in the mornings. I've realized that its the primer of everything anyone wants when it comes to being successful with life in general. I wish I had realized how absolutely important it was than anything I've ever tried to control in my life. That is all I'm going to say about it. Its important enough that I don't even need to make it a resolution. I should just be doing it. Other than that, for everything else, I know what I want and I'm going to be pursueing it by putting in 100%. I don't need it to be a resolution to find a reason to be proactive about it.

As for the analysis of everything I remember for the first half of the year, there isn't too much to mention. I'm sure I had my hobbies. I'm sure a lot of them positively affected my life like all the knowledge and things I've gained by doing the Abs Diet for example. At the start of the second half of the year I had to finally move out of beautiful La Jolla. Counting living on campus, I was lucky to live there for almost 9 years. I drive through sometimes running errands and can't help but appreciate how good the upkeep is, how everything is less than 15 miles away, how short my commute was to work, and how much I miss living there. I moved into Eric's house and although it is in the center of Mira Mesa where it takes at least 10 minutes to get to any major freeway in any direction you go, living there has been nothing but good. Always fun to have new roommates if you get lucky finding good people to live with.

Late August I met up with Cherie after having first met her exactly 2 months before while having some drinks with friends of friends. When everything seemed to click she was unfortunately leaving for Taiwan in a day, but that didn't stop us from getting to know eachother. All I can say is that its been a refreshing experience meeting someone like her. I look forward to getting to know her better by keeping up with daily emails and on my second trip to Taiwan in late Feb.

There is a lot to look forward to in 2006. Let's hope its a great year. For anyone who actually still comes to read my blog, happy new year everybody!

Friday, December 16, 2005

A wise decision by the apprentice.

A good number of people boo's when Randal said he should not be hiring Rebecca that night, and my first impression was, "wow, didn't expect that. i thought he'd be more generous." Because that would have not been my gut reaction. Thinking it through, it was absolutely the best decision. Donald put him in a lose/lose situation. He gave him the choice of (A) a tie. He is so much more accomplished academically and in the corporate world, yet, if he says he should hire rebecca, it would pretty much be a tie, and he would be acknowledging that Rebecca is in the same class as him, or that he himself is only as good as a 23 year old journalist. A very accomplished one, but definitely not in the same league. And every time Donald Trump had to introduce the winners of last year's apprentice, he'd always have to acknowledge them both. And that would definitely take the lime light away from Randal, who shouldn't be mistaken that he was the one who actually won. The other choice (B) was to look like a greedy backstabbing bastard. But people who understand business and competition should see that Randal has made the right decision, and if Rebecca would have won, and agrees that Randal should be hired, then it would have been a decision that showed the lack of experience in both competition and business. My impression of Rebecca was never that great anyway. She is definitely one of the most foolishly loyal people I've seen, but she was never more than anyone who can sound compelling by raising her voice when she's put on the spot, and nothing more.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Back in the US

Its a place where I can pay $8 for a lunch, and not be satisfied.
A place where people drive over 45mph, and are driving too fast to avoid any crazy people cutting into your lane.
A place where you're used to driving 20 miles for a bite to eat.
A place where just about every theather has stadium seating.
A place that doesn't sell guava, cherrymoya, or passion fruit.
A place where you can walk with your friend and not have 3 people cut you off every 30 seconds.
A place where you have to make your own watermelon juice.
A place where you can use 5 large paper towels to wipe your hands during lunch and throw them into our oversized trash cans.
A place where a cab ride costs you $20 to just get around.
A place where you don't have to worry about dodging scooters on the sidewalk.
A place where you have to leave 7.75-8.25% tax and then tip the waiter 15-18%.
A place where you have room to walk straight on the sidewalk.
A place where Tea Time (aka Afternoon tea) has no meaning.
A place where people care about getting sued so they don't have marble floors on wet ground on the streets.
A place where you can't buy tea boiled eggs at 7-Eleven, but you can find a bottle of Pinesol and a mop there.
A place where you can fall flat on your back onto your matress and not worry about breaking your back.
A place where if something is really stinky, it immediately goes in the garbage.
A place where if you opened up a coffee shop and decided to base your logo off the starbucks logo and be blatant about it, you'd immediately get sued.
A place where fresh means refridgerated and packaged, not bleeding and left exposed out in the open.
A place where all the street signs are lit and have font big enough to read.
A place where the police actually have important roles other than directing traffic.
A place where you don't need a police officer to tell you its ok to go when the light turns green.
A place where if your biggest local competitor moves in next to you, it actually helps business.
A place where you can read all the signs and speak to everyone in English!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Taipei 101

The building is truly a gem. It has the stylings of the old chinese architecture while having the latest and greatest when it comes to technical aspects of a skyscraper. Yet, when you go to the rest rooms, they don't have the paper toilet seat covers (w/splash guard). I wonder who forgot to think of that one. Although I can't remember if I've found one here. The last time it was available to me was on the plane flight over here. While on the subjects of toilets, today was my first encounter with the squat toilets. at least that's what they looked like. I had no idea how to use one, but luckily one out of the 4 stalls had a regular toilet. so I was safe. This happened at the Danshui MRT station.

So tomorrow is my last day here. I have roughly 24 hours left here. It feels like all I did here is the local stuff, but now that I think back, I have done a lot of the touristy stuff. I've gone to Danshui twice now, and been to the top of Taipei 101, and probably have gone to every night market in Taipei. Probably the only 2 places I wanted to go to but didn't have time to this time was the National Palace Museum and maybe checked out Beitou. I'll be back here in less than 3 months anyway. I'll probably be delaying that trip a week longer as well. We're thinking of going to Hong Kong for a few days flying out of Taiwan during that trip.

Today was an interesting day. We met one of Cherie's aunts, and an uncle who is an archintect, and he was telling us about all the buildings he was working on (five star hotels, 40 story buildings and such). Which was very cool.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

There will definitely be things I'll miss when I leave here

other than the obivous, I really like walking around and just being able to pick up some fresh watermelon juice, or something on a stick for about a dollar. i think part of why everything is so much cheaper here is because they are forced to be so much competitive driving the prices down for the consumers. i don't think most of the street vendors need to worry about a business license. either the police just look the other way, or the police will show up, and all the carts know to just hide away untill they are gone. and also, there probably isn't anything like how you can pay the city money so that similar shops selling similar items (like what starbucks does to coffee shops that want to open close by) can't open next door. in the US, when a bottle of water costs $3, or a hotdog costs $4.50, even though i'm thirsty or hungry, i'll likely pass. When a hotdog and some fresh fruit juice costs $1 on the other hand, its a deal you cannot pass up.

The temperatures here fell really low here all of a sudden yesterday. so we went and got a heater, and some gloves to keep warm. Went to a night market yesterday to eat some stinky tofu that Elena preferred (Cherie likes the one near by where she first stayed at when she got here). This one was less stinky, and the sauce was a lot more spicy. I think i like the less stinky one better. After that, we went to the GongGuan area because cherie wanted a jacket, and we got some red bean soup with black seasame mochi for dessert. today, we went to all you can eat hot pot before Cherie headed off to class.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

There must be a better way

it probably has a lot to do with the number of mopeds on the streets but mopeds are required to ride on the crosswalk to get up onto the sidewalk so they can park there. isn't there something really wrong with that? i don't think you can even ride your bicycle on the sidewalks without someone pointing out to you that you can't do that in the US. along with that, there are some crazy drivers here. pretty much, the lines on the road are suggestions. i've been on a bus where the 4 left lanes with buses on each lanes are all making left turns at once, and they just all somehow manage to squeeze into 2 lanes before completing the left turn. oh yeah, the horn is different used differently here. like you are pretty much required to honk if you're passing by someone pulling out or parking, and you want to make sure they know you're coming. yeah, you'd probably piss off a lot of people if you did that all the time in the US.

i've been riding the bus a lot, but yesterday was the first time i was in a car. cherie's cousin jimmy was driving a small light car, so at least i knew a quick evasive maneuver was possible if we needed to. he drove pretty agressive, but also picked up that he was a good driver so i didn't really fear for my life. but it was everything i pretty much imagined it to be. it was kinda fun actually. so we drove to the top of this mountain and got this amazing view of taipei. slightly under us, there was a place called "The Top". It was one of the coolest places I've been to just relax and have some drinks and appetizers. You get a lounge/ottoman type chair and you get the same awesome view of taipei while shipping drinks. unfortunately it started raining. but we got in this canopy, and it was still cool.

cherie has school this week, so i'll have to work around her schedule for the remainder of the trip.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Taipei, the real land of opportunity

just the sheer number of stores, and seeing a 7-11 and a bank on every block tells me that this town is been booming for quite a while now. considering how much cheaper the cost of living here is, i'm assuming starting a business here is so much easier here than in the US.

i delayed my return flight so i will be returning to the us on december 11th.

had a mos burger today for lunch. it was like having yoshinoya beef bowl in burger form. we went to this japanese market that was really cool. they had the largest selection of pocky sticks i've ever seen. they had that and an impressive collection of everything else you'd find in a super market. i'd love a place like that back in the states.

i tried stinky tofu finally, and it definitely was edible this time. i can't say i'm a big fan of it just yet, but it tasted more like the korean fried marinated tofu you can even get at costco these days. the sourness in the koreaqn version comes from vinegar, the sourness of the stinky tofu comes from the fermentation. after that, we went to 2 differnt night markets, and i actually did some shopping. tomorrow, we're going to Dansui with one of cherie's cousins. cherie has never been there either so it should be fun.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


went to go watch harry potter 4 last night. you would think such a simple experience wouldn't be too different from what we're used to in the states. for one, the air conditioner was cranked up to 11. it was about 72 degress outside, but inside the theater as soon as the movie started, i think it was close to 60. it became more about trying to keep my arms warm and less about the movie. i really dig the pop corn here though. they had the choice between salty (buttered), and sweet. the sweet popcorn was pretty much kettle corn without the salt. after the movie ended, they pretty much pulled the projector while the credits were rolling. i guess they forgot that there usually a little extra clip at the end of harry potter movies after the credits. and after the movie was done, the theater attendant came in and said please bring all your garbage out with you. that explains why i sat on a seat full of sugared pop corn when i unfolded my seats and i blindly sat down like i always do. unfortunately i fell asleep during the last part of the movie. i started getting really drowsy during maybe the first quarter of the movie, and i tried my best to stay awake. oh well. can't say the movie was good or bad cause i missed the biggest part of the movie where everything comes together. at least i got to experience the classic date experience with cherie, going to the movies. i want to do as much of that while i'm here.

i think cherie is feeling better. we're gonna have dinner tonight with some of her relatives today.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Damn it, is it Wednesday already??

Not sure if i can sum up my impression of Taiwan so far but here is what I'm noticing. There seem to be limitless amount of street and small store vendors. If you're amazed at how many stores there are here, you'll be equally as amazed on how many customers flood the markets. Another thing is that there must be 100,000's of scooters here. On the streets, I can honestly say I've walked by more parked scooters on the streets than I've walked by pedestrians. How is that possible? The available fruits here differs a lot from what you are used to seeing at American markets. It was my first time having guava here. I think it would be very nice in one of the smoothies I've been making in the mornings. Too bad its either very expensive or impossible to find guava in the markets in the US. I also get the sense that people are more trusting here than in the states. Like the way things are laid out in stores, or how the small places to eat are set up, you can easily get away with not paying. But I guess its something they don't concern themselves too much about.

And finally, what is the deal with their paranoia on germs, but without the willingness to do any cleaning? Like people seem deathly scared of germs you can carry on the bottom of your shoes. And yes, I agree, there is some truth to that. But most of those germs wouldn't be there if everyone just picked up a hose, mop, sponge, and some pine sol. You don't see Americans falling to their deaths because they wear their shoes in the house.

There are some weird things how now, the right side of the escalator is for people not walking up or down the escalator. you need to hail a bus, like you do a taxi. when you get on a bus, you need to read the sign that tells you whether you need to pay when you get on, or if you need to pay when you get off. its all written in chinese, so if you are a traveler, i bet it'll be very confusing indeed. also, most of the small restaurants here don't have picture menus. so its just written in text. probably about 90% of them are like that. so this place is not that accomodating to foreigners. its no surprise that i've only seen about 3 white people so far out of the tens of thousands of asians. and they were probably european.

yesterday, we went to taipei 101 for dinner, had some hot pot. it was really good. then planned out a pretty tight schedule for the few days i have left here.

Cherie is sick again. might just be the same thing she had a few days ago. bad timing i guess. she says she had never gotten sick here until the day before i arrived here. and i was worried that i was going to be the one getting really ill being out of my enviornment looking like a wuss. i guess all those years of exposing myself to germs at B and C grade resturants in LA have helped my stomach get stronger. we were supposed to go watch harry potter tonight, but we might opt out for another day. Unless she's feeling a lot better later, we'll probably just stay in and just watch more of the kdrama "Full House" and have a clean bathroom available to us.

Me no play joke, me no put pee pee in your coke

Everyone thinks I'm Chinese. Everyone who initially meets me thinks so. Even my Korean friends all have told me they thought I was Chinese. So its no surprise that people think I'm Chinese here.

I was doing some shopping yesterday and the person at the shoe store turns to me and asks me if Cherie is Malaysian. So she was asking a Korean guy who doesn't know Chinese in Chinese if my Chinese gf was malaysian. I thought that was pretty funny. Of course Cherie was the one who responded since I had no idea on what she was saying. I'm definitely picking up some of the dialogue even though its usually just the amoung like $800, 1 piece, or 3 months, etc.

Yesterday we went to get some beef noodle soup, and then for dinner we cooked in and started on a Korean drama which supposedly all the rage.

Today we went to a place called din tai fung which probably all Taiwanese people know about. They are famous for their soup dumplings. They definitely lived up to their reputation on how good they were. We're going to head off to the gym here then maybe to taipei 101 afterwards to look around and get hot pot for dinner.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

no plans are good plans

if you haven't heard by now, cherie and i have a lot of interests in common. and the importance of having something like that really shows on days like yesterday. like all we did yesterday was plan our outings on where to go to eat. then we came back home in between and watched House MD that I downloaded and brought over to watch together. for people that plan their outings differently, feel like they need to go out and do more just because they are in a different country, or maybe don't like the same tv shows, then yeah, yesterday might have been a boring day. but for me, and i'm sure for her too, we just had loads of fun just doing just that. not to say that is all we're going to be doing. i'm still here for a week.

yesterday, she took me to this hot pot place next to her cousin's apartment she stayed in when she first got here, got some water melon juice at this stand, went to a super market...she pointed out some interesting items. like snoopy toaster, snoopy water heater, 3 other snoopy matching kitchen products, "black man's toothpaste" (not very pc, but it was called just that). we bought some groceries, i picked up this black seasame paste that you spread over toast like peanut butter. then we got some red beans with shaved milk (like shaved ice, with milk).

for the evening we got on the MRT (subway) for the first time, and went to the night market around Shilin. it was a really cool place, geared towards the younger crowd. we had some oyster pancakes, guava juice, some ground pork over rice, then we started playing carnival like games where you can win stuffed animals. unfortunately we didn't win a single thing, but its much cheaper than in the US. in the US you can easily blow through $50 in a matter of 15 minutes trying to win something. here, at least it doesn't go as fast, although the odds of actually winning something might be much lower. the last thing we did there was they had this place where you catch live shrimp, then they'll cook it for you. after about half dozen failed attempts (the hook kept popping off), the guy finally showed us the correct technique, and we easily caught 4. after you catch them, they'll cook them for you over a bbq so you can eat them.

i haven't gotten sick yet, even though everyone was saying everyone gets sick their first time there. {knock on wood.} i have been taking some echinecea and vitamin c just to keep my immune system boosted. and the weather couldn't have been nicer. the smog is still there, but we don't need the ac at night, and its just the right temp to be walking around at any time of the day without having to wear an additional or less layer of clothing.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A slow and steady start

As usual I didn't get much sleep on the plane. I guess I'm a little more paranoid and still mystified by how this whole traveling by plane works. First I gotta rely that people handling my luggage won't actually out it on the wrong plane. Its very much like a mailman sorting mail at a post office. Even with everything being very computerized, human error plays a big part on how it gets to the destination. Then there is everything related to the flight itself. How good is the flight crew? How well is the plane maintained? Also it boggles my mind on how I can just enter a cabin full of people for a number of hours then step off to find myself at a place so far away. I think the number one reason I cannot sleep on the plane is because I can't fall asleep sitting up or even reclined. Even when I had a recliner at home, it was almost not worth trying to fall asleep on it fully reclined becuse I just couldn't make it happen. I'd resort to just crawling into bed from the recliner and then falling asleep shortly after.

So the first night and the first day I had only slept maybe a few hours tops within the last 60 hours. Plus Cherie has this really firm bed that I had to adapt to. So after a good nap last night before dinner I finally started gaining my appetite back. Which actually worked out pretty well in perspective because Cherie was affected by a stomach flu of some sort when I got here and hasn't had much of an appetite either. So the original plan to just plan our days around great places to eat has been a slow start. We've just been hanging out indoors for the most part, taking it easy, but still fun because this relationship is still all new to us.

We did go to the electronics mart under the bridge yesterday. We both picked up the extended 2200 mah batteries for our PSPs. And then had some shaved ice at Ice Monster on the way back.

Today we are planning to get around to check out some places more than walking distance. Really looking forward to eat at some places she's been telling me about.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Taiwan trip log

While doing a check-in with my parents at the airport, a guy with a turban asks so is this for china airlines 2PM (the one I'm on). I'm sure my paranoid parents didn't want to be hearing something like that as soon as I got to the airport while sending their son off to a foreign country with its own problems at the moment, the bird flu.

The first culture shock encounter was when I was using the urinal at the Taipei airport. A female custodian comes in and starts cleaning the sink behind me. I don't ever recall ever encountering something like that at the states.

When Cherie picked me up at the airport the first thing she tells me is that she's not feeling too well. Then she tells me more as we're walking towards the bus how sick she really is. Poor thing. If I had known I would have tried to find my way to her apartment by taxi. Hope she's a lot better today.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

too many megapixels backlash

SHARP announced today they came up with a 1/1.7" 10 megapixel sensor. normally, having more megapixels for a pocket cam would be an achievement that people would want, but it seems like people are just getting fed up with the more megapixels marketting gimmick, because people have wised up and know that a 10 megapixel camera really isn't going address any of the issue with their current cameras. it may even make the images softer. everyone pretty much has a digital camera now and are more knowledgable in the subject than ever before, and people know what their camera isn't capable of. i personally would prefer better lower light performance and less noise at higher ISOs, and i think that is the general consensus. it pretty much seems like SHARP has been bitch slapped by the public for their "accomplishment".

which may not be fair. people were speculating that the 7 megapixel sensors that canons and sony uses was not going to provide much more, then it proved that, at least for well lit conditions, it actually provided very noticable improvement even over the 5 megapixel cameras. then again, they were comapring it to a 1/2.5" 5 megapixel sensor to a 1/1.8" 7 megapixel sensor. we'll see when the reviews come out.

Monday, October 31, 2005

one post for october

i guess its time that i update some stuff on here. hmm...what's new... i'm going to taiwan on thanksgiving for about 9 days to see cherie. it'll be my first vacation where i've gone on vacation with a significant other. although she's already there, so i guess it's not a couple's trip per se. should be a blast.

i also bought a PSP and a 2 gig memory card. i primarily bought it so i can take it to the gym with me while i do cardio. i almost bought a video ipod, but i think the PSP was a much better choice. on the 60 gig ipod, the screen is less than half as big as the PSP, lower resolution, only 50% of the battery life, doesn't play PSP games, no emulators. and with a 2 gig card, you can easily store 6 hours of video, and by then your battery would have run out so techinically, you shouldn't need more than 2 gigs for video storage space. yes its true that it will be cool to carry every episode of family guy, futurama, and simpsons on top of everything else you plan on watching, but really, would i really be watching those eps at the gym when i have so many other things i would never get to that i would want to watch first? probably not. good thing they were out that day when i walked up to the counter and asked for a black 60 gig one.

another big purchase i made was a queen sized slect comfort 5000 series sleep number bed. there was a sale for 33% off, so i got that. the select comfort have the right idea. the problem with any matress is that people sleep in different positions, have different body types (frames, weight, big ass, whatever). and when they manufacture a bed, they have to try to accommodate for as much as possible. so if you fit the average frame, sleep on your side, and weigh about the weight of the national average, probably you never had a problem finding a bad bed as long as you bought anything from a descent manufacturer. but if you are not, like to sleep on your back, have narrow or wide shoulders, you need something that is adjustable so it is more customized to your body. i'm not saying the select comfort is the perfect bed either, but they have the right idea. what am i gonna do with my current bed? maybe i can have it replaced under warranty and then sell it. the tempur pedic was freakin' awesome for the first 2 months. probably better than the select comfort matress i bought today. but after that, its not too different than a cheap slab of foam. and that's not what you want to be sleeping on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


its the wrong day to be wearing slippers into work.

Monday, September 19, 2005

What the funk?

I thought something had gone wrong with my taste buds because all the water I've been tasting at the gym's water fountains, chipotle, pho hoa cali express, flame broiler all tasted moldy. Finally ran into someone who observed the same thing, and discovered its some algae in the water, and it should be clearing up relatively soon. until then, I'll have to bring a water bottle to the gym. cause i just can't stand it when i'm forced to drink the moldy tap water when i'm really thirsty in the gym.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What is worse?

A president who we blame for the tragedy? Or a president who says he's to blame for the tragedy? He should just quit. But Cheyney is even worse. Wow, we are really SOL. Its still 2005.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Where did my old blog go?

Well, with 500 posts, I was starting to wonder if the stuff I wrote in the posts 3.5 years ago would still be stuff I would write today. So I've put it in a safe place for now, and just started another one. Maybe this way, I can get myself to post often. Also, the new blog templates are so much cooler anyways, I got tired of the old design.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Morgan Spurlock, the guy who put himself through 30 days of eating only McDonalds and lived to tell about it, is producing a show called 30 Days where an average american goes through 30 days of being in someone else's shoes. There are some people who hate the show because they feel stereotyped and can't admit that people fear the unknown, and are brainwashed by the media. If someone shows you that what you have been blindly following is just totally wrong, I understand it would be hard to swallow for a lot of people. But it looks like most of the people watching the show are discovering that the show makes a hard stab at the bubble we're living in and opening our minds to a lot of the issues we've chosen leave ourselves in the dark about, like how hard it is to live on minimum wage which a lot of people do, and what it means to be a muslim. I say the show is really hard to watch at times, only because it makes me uncomfortable to think about issues that a lot of us purposely avoid, but if you can stick it out for 60 minutes, you might learn a lot more than you ever thought it would be possible through a semi-reality TV show. I've only seen episodes 1-3 so far (and the one about steroids just didn't have any point) but the other 2 were really good, and episodes 4-6 (which deals with living in a world without fossil fuels, a straight man in a gay world, and a binge drinking mom) have really good reviews.

In other reality tv news, it appears that someone has finally decided to start encoding the real world. Just late last night, I was flipping through my tivo and telling myself, "alright, I think I'll have to tell Eric to get cable since I don't want to miss a lot of these shows, especially the real world", but to my surprise and delight that it seems like they are encoding it and releasing torrents for it. I've been hoping this would happen for a good year or two. I hope they keep it up.

So the move to Eric's house in Mira Mesa went very smoothly. The planning and the timing for the move couldn't have been any better. Basically, I was able to clean at my own pace for 3-4 days when I had holes in my schedule and pretty much handed them the keys without having paid rent for any day I wasn't going to be there. Its amazing how different the weather is here for only being 10 miles inland. I'm sure its also from moving out of la jolla in the spring, and moving to mira mesa during the summer, but damn, its hot here. Can't wait for the fall, especially winter. I'd rather be freezing than uncomfortably hot, any day. Its different living here in a house with furniture. At my other place, I was pretty much living in a loft. Wei and I both had rooms big enough to make our rooms to be a bed room/personal living room so we never used our living room for anything. But definitely, having a living room with furniture is nice. My friends actually have a place to sit on when they come over.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Don't cry for me La Jolla

I've been fortunate enough to live in La Jolla since 1996. This is by far one of the nicest place I'll ever get a chance to live in. The weather is perfect, the streets and just the area in general are kept in pristine condition, and just really safe where you don't have to worry about anything. Although I wasted away thousands of beautiful days, I never took it for granted, and never got tired of looking outside and seeing how beautiful and perfect the day was. How cool is it that I can just leave my balcony door wide open 247 and have it perfect indoors and outdoors during the summer time? It just has been rubbed into my face because the weather just has been extraordinarily good for the last 3 weeks even for La Jolla standards, and I'm discovering things that I have missed ever since I moved off campus, only to discover them 4 days before moving out of the area. Like the exercise park in that loop wher ethe mormon temple is. Its like something out of a movie. Shame on me for not taking advantage. Another thing is how you are driving against traffic in just about any direction you're going during rush hour. And it 15 minutes is generally how long it takes you to get to any part of San Diego. I love this place.

My biggest mistake was to not invest in a place when I was totally able to around 1999 when my boss told me that I was making plenty of money and it was gonna cost the same amount of in rent anyway that I should just buy one of those small 3 bedroom condos. who knew the price was gonna more than triple in about 5 years. I could have just been paying the interest, and I would have made out like a big time bandit. Maybe if I was smart, I could have just bout 3 of those places after my place doubled in value, and I'd be a millionaire by now. All with no extra cost to me. Shoulda-woulda-coulda. Too late now.

I'll find my way back here one day. Some way, some how.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Vegas Trip to Remember

3 days, 2 nights at Bally's Casino in Las Vegas + Cirque Du Soleil's Mystere at Treasure Island over the Memorial day weekend.

This was actually the longest vacation we took as a family to date. Before this, they had never closed a store we owned for more than a day. Closing a store (in this case our coffee store) 3 days back then was just unheard of. But I guess my parents value time with the family a lot more now, and we don't have to pinch pennies these days. So we opted to take a 3 days 2 nights vacation to Las Vegas. We got tickets for Cirque Du Soleil's Mystere. From the moment I bought tickets for that show, I've been stressed because my parents have never indulged themselves to an event like a show like Mystere. I actually have had bad dreams where they are complaining to me how much the show cost and how boring they found the show. My parents gave me a call on Thursday night telling me that they wanted to leave at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning and meet at Ontario Mills Mall at 7AM. I didn't object because I figured if we get there early, we would have time for an afternoon nap, and then I wouldn't have to worry about them being tired and falling asleep during Mystere.

Saturday morning, I actually managed to wake up around 5:30 after a long Friday, and my parents call me shortly after, telling me that they are just leaving from Gardena. I figure I have plenty of time. I get ready and double check my packing list, and head out at 6:08 AM. With some agressive driving, I make it to Ontario Mills Mall at 7:25 AM. My parents had just gotten there 5 minutes ago. We drop off my car in a residential area, and off to Vegas we go. The traffic at 7 in the morning on a saturday is actually thicker than I had imagined. But we are chugging along. About 9:22, we are about 5-10 miles past Barstow, but we are moving very slowly with traffic. We finally find out what was causing the traffic. A car must have tumbled in the desert a few times and is now crushed and covered in dirt. It looks like an accident that happened quite some time ago, but everyone is stopping to take a look. Soon as we pass the rubble, the traffic picks up. My dad had kept our car in 2nd gear the whole time for god knows what, and he is listening to the ipod at full blast with headphones on. When the traffic clears, he floors it, and the car hits 8000+ rpms for a good 2 seconds or so and is going 80mph in 2nd gear in my sister's Toyota Camery. We hear a loud pop before any of us can react. I don't think my dad even heard the pop because he had earphones on.

Seeing what just happened, I'm in denial. I thought that's what happened, but maybe we ran over something on the road or something? About 2 seconds later, white smoke rushes into our cabin through the vents and out of the hood. My dad quickly pulls over to the side, and black smoke starts to come out the vents. I grab my sister's laptop and my own luggage and head away from the vehicle. My dad pops the hood open flames are visible. My dad being too fearless for his own good gets a few water bottles and tries to put out the fire. I realize that we had just passed a police car just about a half a mile down the road so I put on my running shoes and run towards the police car. The police car must have seen the smoke because he meets me half way and tells me someone has already called 911 and the firetruck is on its way. During this time, my mom and my dad has pretty much removed all the luggage from our car. The police car arrives and tell us to get far away from the vehicle. About 15 minutes after the fire had started, the firetruck shows up out of nowhere. Considering it was coming from the opposite direction of Barstow, it almost seemed like it appeared out of nowhere. They douse the car for 30 minutes. When they took the circular saw to our hood, that's when I realized we are going no further in that vehicle. Then our flatbed towtruck appears. It fits all of us including our massive amounts of luggage. They drop us off at a rental car place. They tell us that the only cars they have left but trucks. Then a guy drops off a Hyundai Accent, and it turns out it needs to go to LA anyway, they give us a deal for $40/day. So after about 2.5 hours, we are back to where the fire had started. Considering what happened, 2.5 hours from blowing an engine in the middle of the desert to being back on the road to resume our trip is really impressive. We got lucky on how everything worked out. After our engine started smoking, I thought our whole vacation was ruined and I would have cancelled our reservations at Bally's and for Mystere if there weren't more important things to do like worry about our luggage being burned up.

In a way, its good that the car burned down. It made it a lot simpler for us because we didn't have to worry about getting it towed to a mechanic shop on a holiday weekend, then spending x amount of hours and dollars diagnosing and trying to fix the problem. since it all happened so fast and away from home, it was easy to take our minds off what happened, and enjoy our trip. We got to Vegas right around check in time. We took a nice long nap after we ate at the hotel room, then headed out to the strip towards Treasure Island to see Mystere at 10:30 PM. My whole family enjoyed the show, and my dad said it was "very good" with enthusiasm. That was even more of a positive feedback than what I would have expected if he liked the show. Next morning, we woke up early to get to the Bellagio Buffet. We got there right before 9AM and were seated immediately where we all ate well. I knew that if we had gotten there any time after 10AM, we were going to have to wait a minimum of 2 hours. Once again, I had to convince my parents it was worth the $30 per person because of their fresh ingredients. My dad noticed how everything wasn't salty at all, yet very good in flavor. He said it was an eye opening experience since he was able to enjoy non salty foods for the first time compared to the salty Korean foods that he's used to eating. The rest of the trip went very well. We visited many casinos. Saw a free show at Aladdin's Dessert Passage. We were going to watch the Bellagio fountains and the Treasure Island pirate show at night, but they got cancelled due to high winds. We caught the Bellagio fountain show right before we left Vegas, and the traffic wasn't too bad coming home (took us 5.5 hrs to Ontario Mills). On our way back we discussed future trips that we can take this year. We'll be planning on Sequoia, Yosemite, or Grand Canyon for labor day and Christmas break.

Pics of the vacation Family Trip Vegas 2005

Friday, May 27, 2005

Vegas Baby!

2x a month is a record for me.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

End of Abs Challenge 1

Well, it didn't turn out to be the miracle solution that I was somewhat hoping for, even though I got the results that I expected. I lost 7.5 lbs and lost 3.1% of body fat. Not too shabby. I think one thing I can benefit from when I start up the diet again on Tuesday is benefit by going to the gym early. The absolute best would be if I could get to the gym an hour and half before work (7:30). Considering I need at least an hour in the morning to get ready and drive to work, I need to start sleeping before midnight. I think I can operate at 95-98% optimal level with 6.5 hours of sleep. It's possible. And if I don't happen to make it in the morning, I can always go at lunch. What I had been doing is going around 10:30pm and staying until midnight. So all I end up doing is getting my metabolism up high, then hitting the sack around 1:30. Probably its the worst time to work out.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Abs Challenge

So I've joined Travis' Abs Challenge based off of The Abs Diet. The book gives personal stories where a lot of them seems to cut their body fat in half. Lose half your body fat in 6 weeks? Everyone has to be skeptical, including myself. But since I have been working out 5x a week for almost 6 months seeing pretty much no loss in body fat (although I'm sure I'm healthier, especially my cardiovascular health), 6 weeks seemed like a walk in the park. What have I got to lose? And if all else fails I'll at least be eating uber healthy for 6 weeks which will undoubtably make me all that much healthier.

My background:

All my life, I had no clue on what a proper diet, and proper exercise was. I really never knew what metabolism was, and all I was assuming was that my metabolism was low, and that was the reason I was over weight. I tried going to the gym a few times, and always knew I should exercise more, but I never knew why or how people should exercise. I would go to the gym, do a few things at the gym, and be disappointed that I wasn't seeing any results. I had also been smoking since high school. And I'm sure my body fat was somewhere around 30+%. I decided to change all that and commit myself to getting fit. Being so out of shape, I knew I had a long journey ahead. I quit smoking cold turkey and I became an expert on nutrition, metabolism, muscle building, motivation, and working out at the gym in the beginning of 2002.

At the very best, my body fat was hovering at about 10%, weighing about 155lbs in the beginning of 2003. Everyone was surprised on how much of an improvement I had made on myself, and I felt invincible. At the time my diet was strict. I measured every calorie of fat, protein, and carbs. I used every tip known to man to increase my metabolism 247. I ended up going a little overboard trying to bulk up and wound up with a serious injury to my lower back (disc herniation) which pretty much kept me in bed for 6 months. After surgery, I had tried going back to the gym on and off for a couple of months at a time. What made me stop for a few months at a time was the interest in trying to not injure my back again .

It wasn't until mid october of 2004 where I found myself going to the gym on a regular basis, 4-5 times a week. Even though I had been going to the gym without missing a beat for almost 6 months, I've been disappointed by the results which was no change in body composition. I still have about 20% in body fat, and weigh 175lbs. Pretty much the same stats of from when I started working out 6 months ago. I definitely am not eating right for sure. I have a snack for a breakfast. I eat big lunches (I try to avoid unhealthy foods, but I probably order the biggest thing on the menu). I eat dinners with way too much sodium and almost no valuable nutrients. And on the weekends, that's when I reward myself for being "good" by eating out. I'm clearly not on the right path to make any significant progress. Will the Abs Diet give me the results I'm looking for? We'll have to see.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005


Damn, I just had the Zoneperfect Cinnamon Roll bar, and it was sooooo damn good. Better than any meal replacement bar I've ever had.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What happened to the original Britney?

I know this post is about 5 years too late but I think Britney Spears' best songs were when she was more about singing catchy tunes, and dancing in the music videos. I still like listening to these songs from time to time. Now, its mostly about how much skin she wants to show, her sexual nature (more info than most of us really care about, especially since she's married, and possibly pregnant), and the singing has just been reduced to singing/whining through her nose.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

is it friday already?

its thursday, but sure feels like the friday. good thing we have a 3 day weekend. go caesar chavez!

Monday, March 21, 2005

quarter life crisis

why does a quarter life crisis happen? i think it happens when you realize that your outlook of things to come (if you just kept on doing what you're currently doing) falls far short from your expectations of how you invisioned your life was going to be. i look around and see my friends having less time to hang out, buying real estate, new cars, and getting engaged (or about to) to an all around great person who is a good match for them, and i look at myself and see how far behind i am. why am i so different than what seems to be the norm? its true that i should try to be my own person and not want things just because other people have them. i agree with that, but all the things listed is what i want. i want to move ahead in life, have some real estate investments, and at least be in the dating scene and looking for prospects. i have none of that so far. i'm still in just a state where i'm a college graduate trying to find what i want to do with my life. Its been almost 4 years since I graduated, and progress is pretty much zero. pathetic don't you think? What I'm more worried than anything else is having no close friends who i see regularly as the years go on, as they become more focused on starting their own families. that's if i keep doing the same thing i'm doing now, which has been absolutely nothing.

i always said i try to regret nothing, and that had been true. maybe because i never had too many things to regret over, but as these things (my dull outlook on life) are revealed to me, i find myself regretting things i should have done quite a bit. i was at a bbq just the other day and saw someone i was good friends with a few years back. i look at her now and can't help but think to myself, "good god. what the hell was i thinking back then. the door was wide open for me to at least make some advances on her. it was painfully clear we were both attracted to one another at least for a little while. she even slept over for godssake. why did i let this one go?" and if i just had a half a nut, maybe i would have had enough balls to do something about it back then. and i look at myself now, and if i knew what i was thinking now, would i do things differently? and the sad thing is I really don't know for sure. I would like to. and that's what really bothers me. I'm just disappointed at myself when i meet someone from my past (since they apparently have no place in the future). I'm just truly truly disappointed at myself that its just eats me up inside for days.

Monday, March 14, 2005

My photo gallery gone for a while

I had to take down my gallery because I'm getting way too much traffic than I anticipated after I posted my gallery link to Steve's Digicam's website. So the link to my photo gallery has been relased in the Internet like pee in a children's swimming pool. You can try to remove it, but there's just no way. My pics will only be on JussPress for now.

Friday, March 11, 2005

ipod's awesome but really dumb interafce

I understand why ipod designed its interface to work with very little difficulty. Its designed by apple who gives users only one mouse button to work with. Afterall, there are people out there who think one mouse button is enough. Ha, to get to the alternate select button, you need to hold down the mouse for 3 seconds. If you just had one more button, you can just click on the second button on the mouse, and do it infinite times faster. Sure, with enough time on your hands, you can design a one button interface for the whole computer that you can operate with one toe. Hold 1 second for A, hold 2 seconds for to type "b", hold 3 seconds for "c" and so on. Even apple would agree that just would be insanely stupid. But apple's thinking isn't too far off from that. One thing missing on my ipod is a shuffle on/off button. It would be great to just be listening to one of my playlists on shuffle, and I might get in the mood to listen to more of the same artist I'm currently listening to. So I should just be able to hit one button on my player, then shuffle it later when I get tired of the same artist, doing all this without having to leave the playlist, or even look at my screen. It would also be instant. Right now, you can't do this without having to click and navigate your way through 9 layers of the menu and a bunch of rotations on the wheel. Why couldn't they instead just add one more button? Aren't you guys supposed to be designing intuitive menus?

Another really dumb thing they did was not have an on and off button. It would be so nice if I could just turn off my damn ipod without having to hold down the play/pause menu for 3 seconds, then enable "Hold". You need to switch it to hold because if the ipod is in your pocket, most likely, you'll hit play on the ipod, and your full charge will be dead after only 30 minutes of enjoyment because it was playing while you weren't listening. I should have to option to turn off/on my ipod instantly.

Oh, and the battery thing. what the fuck were they thinking? If people are paying $300+ for a device, their ipods should come with a convienient way to change the battery. Right now, your options are to pay apple $99, and they'll send you a replacement/refurb ipod, which will have about 2/3 chance that it will be a faulty ipod that someone dropped and mistreated (while you sent them an ipod in perfect condition that you never once dropped or mistreated), and has weird problems like it likes to shut off after 3 minutes of play. Do you really want to pay $99 to have this shit done to you? Sure you can replace your own battery by buying a kit, but that isn't a walk in the park either. Just a simple battery flap. That's all we're asking for. Every freakin electronic device on the market has one.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

CSI Season 5 Finale Cliffhanger?


"CSI season five will end with a MASSIVE cliffhanger, be forewarned. Apparently, one of the major characters will be left in a life and death situation at the end of the season and fans will have to wait all summer to find out the character's fate."

I actually predicted something exactly like this will happen. This is all a guess on my part. The major character in question is gonna be Conrad Eckley, the guy everyone hates and wants to kill, even Grissom. The episode is gonna be likely called "Who shot Conrad Eckley"? Kinda like who shot Sherlock Holmes? Grissom always had a dark side about him, and as we approach the end, the people that already hate him now, like Grissom, are going to be brought to a boiling point, and even Grissom is going to be the likely culprit, when at the end, he obviously won't be. Whether Conrad lives or dies, it'll be up to the writers and producers to see if they want to continue havnig Conrad part of the show, or if they want to get rid of him completely..

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Review of Sophos PureMessage AV Only 2.1

Sophos PureMessage AV Only 2.1

The good:

The bad:
-Installs its own version of MSDE. Although the version of PureMessage says it is for Windows 2000 and 2003, Microsoft recommends against MSDE (Recommends MSDE 2000/2000A instead). MSDE is also no longer supported by Microsoft.
-Unstable and messy install. The first time I installed the software, it failed installing. It said something went wrong, and just quit the installation without bothering to remove any components that have been installed half way. I could not get it to install over existing failed installation without having to manually uninstall the software, then running the installation again.
-Highly ineffective in detecting the most common and threatening viruses. We tested the software by sending it 20 major and popular viruses (all over 3 months old so we knew it would sure be caught). To our surprise, it only caught 15 out of 20 while good virus software like Norton and Sybari caught these instantly. If they have this much trouble now catching common viruses over 3 months old, I can't imagine how unreliable things would be if we had new virus outbreaks. We verified that PureMessage and Sophos AV had the latest engine and virus definitions.
-Requires Domain Admin access to install. Only reason it needs this is to create and modify a group in AD users in Computers. Obviously the programmers at Sophos don't have a clue on how simple things like delegation of permissions work in AD. I would not trust these guys to write software for Microsoft products if they are this clueless and unwilling to learn. Tell me Sophos, why does every other MS Exchange anti virus solution not require Domain Admin access (only needs Exchange Administrators access), and you seem to think that you need Domain Admin access? All you are doing is manipulating one security group that can be created anywhere in any OU that has no ties to anything that an account with Domain Admin privledges would need to create. A few years ago, I called them directly and spoke with the programmer (about Sophos MailMonitor which works the same way), and when I confronted him, I couldn't convince him that Enterprise/Domain Admin access was not needed to install this software if they just changed a few lines of code. It was useless trying to convince him so I just hung up.
-The engine needs to be reinstalled every 2-3 months. You update the engine by installing the whole PureMessage software again on top of the existing install. It DOES NOT install through Sophos Auto Update (I have an official reply by them to verify this). Every time you reinstall the software, it restarts the SMTP service on MS Exchange. All other antivirus products seem to have no problem updating their engine, while Sophos requires you to do this or their software will stop working properly. This means Domain Admin privileges will be required to update the engine.

My personal recommendation:
Avoid this product at all costs. The false sense of security with its ineffective detection is not worth the trouble you have to go through to install the software with buggy installation and unnecessary engine update model. This product needs a lot of work, and should still be in beta, and absolutely does not belong in any production Active Directory environment.

You get what you pay for. It is important to note that despite significant improvements over Sophos MailMonitor (mostly the stability of the program, less buggier install, easier deployment) this software is still useless. Any descent Network Admin who test the effectiveness of their software before deployment into a production environment should become aware very quickly on how truly underdeveloped Sophos PureMessage is.

American Idol castoff predictions

The guys performed last night, and to me its clear who will be leaving. What's really amazing this year is that even at the top 14, these guys are really good, and should have at least some success in the lime light being an entertainer/singer. My the standards have changed this year. I think its the end of the road for Scott Savol. He was one of my favorites at first, because he seemed like one of those people that stuck his head above the clouds even after everyone had told him that he will never make it. A very similiar reason why everyone liked Clay so much. But what makes him different is that he's not the humble, soft spoken guy who's main goal in life was to help handicapped kids. Scott isn't that. And in the image and vocal department, he doesn't outshine anyone, so I really can't see his target audience so to speak. Scott, you're fired. ;)

The one I think who should really go is Constantine Maroulis and Anthony Fedorov, because vocally, they are the weakest out of the whole 14, and I can't ever see these guys ever winning the competition. Unfortunately, I think the contestant that will probably get voted off are Anwar Robinson and Nikko Smith. Nikko is damn good, and he did go first yesterday, which should help. Anwar is a musical teacher, so he should appeal to the younger crowd. So basing it off that, I say Anwar might be the one leaving. We'll see on wednesday.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Chancellor's Inauguration, What a Joke

So today, they closed off about 80 staff (eyeballing it) spaces and 80 faculty spaces for people attending the chancellor's inauguration. creating havoc for a significant amount of people coming to work. And wouldn't you know it, the turnout was pretty much non existant while two people were assigned from whee hours in the morning to make sure no one who really needed to park there couldn't. The 2 or 3 cars in the lot probably were cars that never moved from the night before. Is this a forecast of how things will work at UCSD with the new chancellor? I just don't like the fact that the chancellor is willing to shut half the school down just incase she might get a hangnail.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

RIM BlackBerry 7100g, you're my best friend

Sharing made simple by

I got a new phone to replace my Motorola v60c (arguably the best cell phone ever made because of its simplicity, design, and durability). My BlackBerry connects me to all my contacts through phone, email, instant messages AIM&MSN (3rd party software by VeriChat needed since 7100g doesn't have it built in unline 7100t) directly and efficiently. Everything with my exchange mailbox syncs wirelessly. This means, I can just update my Outlook's contacts and it will automatically sync up with my BlackBerry. And when I'm updating someone's phone number on my BlackBerry, it will update my Outlook at home, so there will never again be a confusion on which number is newer (the cell phone's or outlook's). The color screen is amazing. The small pixels remind me of the fine detail of sony PDA's, and the brightness level is a demonstration of how far we've come in handheld displays. The browser is very capable. There is a bunch of 3rd party software in the works. The included softwares and game (brickbreaker) is awesome. The UI has drawbacks but also significant improvements over the standard BlackBerry full QWERTY keypad which results in an overall a better decision than the standard BlackBerry design.

I was a little hesitant to try the new keyboard. My first encounter with a customer's 7100t was unspeakably bad. It literally took me a minute to type my email address. Later I learned that I just didn't know how to use it. I was trying to do the TAP method trying to find the (ABC for #2, DEF for #3 and so on) keys that I was familiar to on a standard cell phone. How you are supposed to use it is to use it like a qwerty keyboard but it will guess what you are trying to type (tap method is automatically switched on when typing passwords). And this isn't a standard dictionary lookup. It is smarter than I imagined it would be. It will learn words that aren't following spelling rules like UCSD. The more you use the word, the more familiar it will get in guessing it. When you are also typing a slang word for example, it will try to follow spelling rules like (i before e except after c) to guess whether you typed a E instead of an R, or an A instead of an S. Just about every time I type, I'm usually scratching my head wondering how in the world they ever guessed I was wanting to type that specific word that for sure is not in the dictionary. It really feels like it is reading your mind as you type. I don't have any Bluetooth compatible devices, but I'm sure the Bluetooth on the 7100g will come in handy some day.

Congrats to BlackBerry for making a huge step in improving on what was already a fantastic interface in the original BlackBerry devices.

Now only if it can play mp3s, videos, let you stick a memory card in there, and put in a camera sensor, that would just make this device the ultimate device.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

damn, taxes again?

I need to clean up my credit...cancel about 5 credit cards that I'm not using, and get a credit check. I'm almost scared to get one since it seems like everyone is a victim of fraud these days. especially when you've attended UCSD!

Monday, February 14, 2005

An Old Saying

"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was. We do not possess anything in this world, least of all other people. We only imagine that we do. Our friends, our lovers, our spouses, even our children are not ours; they belong only to themselves. Possessive and controlling friendships and relationships can be as harmful as neglect." - Alison Willcocks

I've been letting my bird's wings grow, and he's getting really good at flying around. Flight is a beautiful thing. It is something we were never meant to do as humans, but for birds, it must be an amazing experience every time they take flight. Imagine having the freedom to go whereever you wanted to go without walls, paths, barriers, or limitations. I can't help but feel that i'm depriving my bird of this priveledge. There definitely are much better things to do than sit in a cage 20 hours a day, while hanging out in my room for a few hours a day outside of its cage. Do I set it free and see if he comes back to me? If he doesn't there's probably 95-99% chance that he'll die. he won't be able to feed himself, or he'll get eaten by a predator. I'm lost on what to do next. Maybe I'll just get him a companion.

man, I suck at poker now. I might just give it up for good and only play at friendly gatherings where poker is not the main event of the get together. i played at travis' poker pad, and I found myself only playing with what my cards and odds were and not playing the player. And since I really didn't know too many players there, or forgot about them, it just made me think that they were all bluffing, or I was just trying to reaffirm my suspiscions. This led me to call all the bets, leaving a hole in my wallet. I played again at a potluck, and I didn't do that bad. It was all for fun, and there was this crazed loon who called a raise and a reraise of 40% of his chips with 89 unsuited against my AK. I guess he took a chance, and took $10 away from me at that pot. But that one measily $10 win now, will probably end up costing him 10 times more later trying to call big raises in the future with crappy cards trying to hit a flop as lucky as the one he played against me. I personally wouldn't do that to myself. At least I didn't lose any money that night.

I saw two movies that I enjoyed. Million Dollar Baby and Sideways. Sideways was just one of those refreshing feel good movies about people stuck in a rut that have gone through similar experiences to break out of the shell and do something bold.
Million Dollar was a good film, but I can't help but wonder... [major spoiler alert] i'll type it in white font. definitely see the movie first if you are planning on watching it before reading (drag text with mouse).

Was this movie inspired by the life of Christopher Reeves? Christopher Reeves is someone who has probably seen and done everything he's ever wanted. Its unfotunte he suffered a such a life altering accident. It seemed like he had the resources and the will to be the first person to overcome total paralysis. He was doing so well and was so hopeful for a speeches, starring in movies, writing books, and even guest starred in a few episodes of Smallville. Then he fell out of the lime light. And then a while later we found out he passed away (heart attack brought on by massive infection). What's interesting is that how someone as important as Christopher Reeves could be left alone with that kind of an infection for that long. My theory is that he had the infection and he made the decision to not treat it. Or there wasn't an infection at all. He decided it was just a the right time to go, much like the boxer in Million Dollar Baby.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Germans have horrible taste in music

Norm McDonald was onto something.

A 4 year old singing about a dragon is the #1 downloaded music on iTunes, and number 1 on the chargs. I've listened to it. It sounds like one of those Welch's grape juice kids saying schnappi over and over again to the Teletubbies theme song.

German Idol/Superstar winner Alexander Klaws decides the song to win the world over and show what Germany is all about is "Maniac" (the Flashdance theme).
Personally I would have chose a better song to represent myself and my country.

Or maybe they just are different.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Thank You!

if there's anything better than a new expensive gadget is a free expensive gadget. all the pleasure, none of the guilt thanks to!

if you haven't heard, (my brother's referral link is embedded in that link) is a very legit company, and this is my story.

one day, i was surfing a torrent site, and after seeing the ad for a free ipod for the millionth time, i decided to type up "freeipods scam" on google. surprisingly, i fuond zero results for what i was actually looking for. how about a search for it on no hits. but, an article google found was an article from saying how this site is legit. then i realized how i should have at least gave them more of a look rather than just blow them off for the past year. i wondered if it was too late to sign up for this thing. with nothing to lose, i signed up. at first i tried to tell all of my friends about it. absolutely no takers. i don't blame for anyone being skeptical. even the people who have heard from reputable sources that the company was legit were still skeptical that a company would actually send you an $300 ipod for your small amount of trouble. some, just would not even want to listen as they were absolutely convinced that this site was up to no good. i initially thought 5 people would be easy. boy was i wrong. i pretty much gave up my quest right after i found out how disinterested people really were to the idea.

then a week or two later, we had a pizza party at work, and i got to sit down with some coworkers. we were on the topic of ipods, so i decided to give them some info on the freeipods site. they seemed to express some interest so i told them i would send them the link when we got back to the office. i sent them the link and didn't think much about it. and a week or two later, i find out, they actually completed their offers. now the ipod was 3 referrals away from my grasp.

christmas came around, and i knew my brother would definitely be willing to help me out if i asked for his participation as a favor, being christmas season and all. and another friend told me she'd do it if she was the last one i would need to get the ipod. only as a favor of course. and knowing how enthusiastic my sister is about her ipod, i was pretty certain she'd be willing to help me out.

so after all my referrals got their credit for their offers, the site gave me a button i could click on to request approval so i can order my ipod. it said it would take 5 business days, so i eagerly waited. then i hit a small road block. It turned out that both of the referrals that had hotmail accounts did not get accepted since they never verified that the email address was their real email address since the verification link never got to them (it gets filtered by hotmail's spam filtering system.) It took about 2 emails each showing proof that they did complete their offers honestly, and requesting that their accounts be taken off hold, and verified by hand. what i was surprised about was that their customer support was very reliable. every email i sent them, they responded within 1 business day. after that getting their account in the clear, i got the button again to get my account approved again (5 more days of waiting). this time, it went through, and gave me a button to order the ipod. i ordered it (free shipping of course) and it took 5 days for them to ship it out. and the package was soon to be arriving 2 days ahead of schedule (2 business days to deliver).

so early this AM, i went to DHL's main office in san diego to pick up my iPod. I never have picked up anything at DHL before, and to my unpleasant surprise, there's only one office here in San Diego to pick up your packages. its in Mission Gorge in between the 15/Friars and the 125/8 fwy. I woke up earlier than usual and headed out to DHL an hour earlier than I would have left for work. after getting lost for about 30 minutes around Mission Gorge, I finally decided put pride aside and call DHL for directions. the first person i talked to was a complete moron, and it was just one of those calls with customer service where there was a lot of waiting/ being put on hold, then they would transfer you where you end up getting disconnected for some reason or another. I called again the second time and the person was actually really helpful. He told me that its right after this major street...Katie Ct. or something like that. Katie Ct I recognized. The street after was a tiny street with a tiny sign (not readable when traveling the speed limit for first time visitors to DHL.) So I got there. There's was hispanic gentleman with bloodshot eyes who looked like he'd been put on a wild goose chase for the last couple of days looking for his package. And when the CSR comes out of from the back, there wass no good news for him. He's just more tired than frustrated at this point. The CSR says, "oh there's one more place to look, I'll be right back". I'm sure its typical bullshit, she's just gonna have a coffe and have a little chit chat and be back empty handed. Another CSR comes up and its my turn to deal with DHL.

I hand them my tracking number, and her next question is, "ummm...did you request to pick up this package?" i respond, "yes, just yesterday" with absolute assurance. but i'm thinking, "why in the world did she ask me that question? does it say its not being held in this office? damn it, i can already envision see her coming back from the warehouse to only deliver the bad news. so off she went to find it, from what i can image, a massive warehouse. No matter how sophisticated their sorting system of boxes awaiting pickup is, they still have to read off the names of these shipment stickers on each box. I can only imagine what a frustrating job it could be. And its not like it could be in one place. It could be in many places if there are special circumstances and special directions depending on when the packages arrived. its a very timely process. but luck was on my side today. She came back out within 5-10 minutes, with a small box that could probably only be a fit for a box that the ipod comes in. I signed for it, made sure it was heavy enough before I walked outside with the box. even up until this point before opening the box, there was something inside me saying, could there be something wrong with the whole thing about getting a free ipod? maybe its an open box/refurb? or maybe they just gave me one of those ipod minis to save them some money? i was still had a small bit of skepticism in me. i would hate to be counting my chickens before they hatched, then have some of my friends tell me "i told you so" after i found a 3 lb brick in the package delivered to me by DHL. so not being able to contain my curiosity any longer, i opened the box while walking back to my car from the DHL office. Inside was a brand new, factory sealed 4th gen 20 gig ipod. Exactly what they promised. no more, no less. i couldn't be any more relieved and happy that i finally got my hands on it. i can lay all my doubts to rest.

so far, from what i have noticed, there has been: no spam. no solitication calls. no junk mail that resulted from dealing with they didn't even have my first name (and i didn't even have to give them anything except my email address) until they had to mail me my ipod. so you can't really say they are out there to sell your information. customer service gets to you when they say the would and were more reliable than just about any company that i had to deal with lately. so my advice is if you wanna try getting a free ipod, make sure you DO NOT use your hotmail account, and urge your friends to use a email service other than hotmail (school and work would be even better). this will save you a lot of time trying to prove the validity of their email address, and not having to deal with accounts being put on hold. make sure your friends all have verified their email addresses before hitting that approve button also. and if you want sign up, please use this referal link for my brother. he's one of the 5 that helped me out, so this is the least i can do for him.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


iPod is here....I just wasn't at home to get it. but i'll be picking it up tomorrow morning. there better be no messups at DHL.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Who will be the next american idol?

We're just a week away from the start of season 4, and I can't wait! The rumor is that we will have more episodes of auditions, and less episodes of the final round. I agree with the final round part. Taking one week to weed out the bottom half one by one in the final round seemed way too slow. As for more auditions, I remember thinking last year how 6 episodes of auditions was just enough. Any more and I would have been bored. Hopefully they will mix it up and maybe even showcase the 36 more in depth so that we get to pick our favorites and get to know a lot better. The problem with last season was that I chose a favorite that I knew didn't really have the potential to win after a few tries in the final round. After that, I found myself fast forwarding thruogh the episodes on my tivo skipping past thruogh contestants I didn't have interest in. Also, this year, we will have 6 males and 6 females in the final round. 36 after Holloywood round, and 24 for the audience to vote. I guess that's fair. Last year, I thought a good amount of hopefuls (who could have done better than some of the final 12 contestants) slipped thruogh the cracks when they had to pick 12 out of 32. I see a lot of improvements and potential with these changes. I trust FOX to know what they are doing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

What the fock?

how does a movie like Meet the Fockers take $80 million to make, while LOTR 3 only took $94 million? The fact that we can get away with saying, "fock" on TV a billion times and get heavily fined by the FCC by saying "fuck" is really amusing. Its pretty much the same thing. And everyone knows it, even the kids. If they let us get away with that, shouldn't we allow kids to swear in the house as long as the spelling is a little off?

Johnny: "Fock you mom! And fock all your friends! What a bunch of sheetheads."
Mom: "Oh Johnny, you make me laugh."

I think our censorship standards is really out of whack, thanks to the FCC. I think we are too occupied with the official word, that they've totally forgot why we wanted to censor the words in the first place. And why is it that we can show people's head's being blown out the back when they are shot point blank and close range in the head, yet, we can't show a single boob (Superbowl & Janet jackson). The FCC is a focking joke.

Monday, January 3, 2005

happy new year!

there is not much i could say about the previous year. 2004 pretty much came and went. i met a good number of people surprisingly (all friends of friends of course). i was still recoving from my back injury, and the problems along with it pretty much kept me grounded. even though i did have a legitamate excuse for all the activities i kept myself out of in 2004, i can't help but wonder if i also used some of that as an excuse for being lazy. anyway, the aches associated with my back have pretty much have gone away again it seems (and this time without medication.) i haven't fully tested how long i can comfortably stand and walk thoroughly, but its definitely improved since the end of november. so technically, i should be better than i ever was. i'll never know for sure. but that's all i could ask for to begin the new year.

my new years resolutions. i'm going to make a section on my website to track the progress

1. get to work on time.

details: 5 minutes late once per week allowed. leave house by 8:45am.

2. sleep earlier.

details: lights out by 1am when there is work the next day in the morning.

3. eat healthier.

details: consciously choose alternatives to deep fried, highly refined simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. never buy junk food (chips, chocolate, and the likes).

exceptions: ok to make an exception when purchasing primarily for people other than myself. small hard candies and gum are okay anytime.

4. clean and keep my room (and apt) clean.

details: every day, the room should be cleaner than the day before until it becomes impossible.

5. save money on food during weekdays.

details: $200 allowance on eating out for lunch during weekdays and eating out on weekends for myself. saved money will carry over for next month, but no borrowing from upcoming month.

exceptions: planned trips will be from a seperate trips budget.

6. keep going to the gym.

details: 3-5 days a week depending on routine. take a week off for deconditioning every 6 weeks when building muscle, and a week off every 8 weeks when toning. switch routine at least every 6-8 weeks.

exception: when gym is not available because of travel, sickness, injury, or lack of sleep not due to willfully going to bed late.

if all resolutions are kept till jan 1 2006, the reward will be a digital SLR (either canon or nikon) or a massage lounger (panasonic). the resolution kept will be at 3 states. Good standing. Probation. Fail. Probation status will happen if I violate the rules for the resolution. Once on probation status, I must not violate the rules for that resolution for 6 weeks to get back to good standing. If I violate the rules while on probation status, the resolution will be considered a failure.