Saturday, December 12, 2009

My review of "Food, Inc."

Too much conspiracy theory, but there are some good messages too.

The story of corn and e.coli was that, "this may be happening, and if that is true, then this really bad thing is happening." A lot of the points were driven in this manner. And the fact that they added dramatic music and cinematographic lighting effects accentuate their points whenever they showed the evil meat processing plants left me wonder if there was another agenda for "Food, Inc." by its producers.

There is one story of a family where the dad spends more than a hundred dollars a day on medication (implying he got sick by eating unhealthy food for a long time), then says because of this, they can only feed their families through the dollar menu at Burger King. How about the miracle of technology and science that is able to keep this man alive and functioning? The alternative is that he is dead and the family is in a worse situation. Lots of people die due to bad genetics, and it has been this way since the dawn of man. The fact that he can take a pill, he should consider himself one of the lucky ones. Also, with bad decisions in life, like deciding to have more kids than you can provide for, he should consider it a blessing that he is able to feed his family of 5 through the dollar menu, rather than buy a head of lettuce for dinner.

There are some good tips at the end. Buy food locally at the farmers market. Buy things when they are in season. When you buy food from local markets, you support your local community. The food is cheap, and the food tastes amazing because fruits and vegetables are best when they are in season. This takes the need to add chemicals to colorize and to keep it fresh through the long communute from a country that you wouldn't ever consider traveling to.

If I were to add to the conspiracy theory, I do think there is something bizarre going on in the big American grocery chains. Let's take Ralphs for example. Do you ever remember being in the fruits and vegetables section at Ralphs? The raw fruits and vegetable prices are outrageous. Sometimes, I go there, and I want to buy an orange, and I find myself in a situation where I have to decide whether I want to pay $1.50 for an orange. Why of all places, should a single orange cost $1.50? You would expect that a big market can provide you good deals for fruits and vegetables? If you've been in the asian market, compare that to the atmosphere of an American market. The fruits and vegetable sections of the asian markets are bustling with people. The worst thing is, you pay $1.50 for that orange, and you realize that the orange has been stocked for its appearance, and long shelf-life. The last thing they care about is taste. So maybe there is some truth to the conspiracy here. The big markets would really prefer that you buy something from the regular isles, not their fruits and vetables. And they've calculated out that if you really want something from their fruits and vegetables section, they have that too. It's just not going to be cheap.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Navigon MobileNavigator 1.2 vs TomTom 1.0

I updated to Navigon's MobileNavigator from 1.1 to 1.2 and wow, what a huge improvement. It speaks the street names, doesn't seem to have a problem wanting to start navigation when it has already triangulated your position, in-app iPod controls, and night time color scheme.) My guess is they rushed to get their initial release out there because of TomTom, and they both (TomTom and Navigon) shot themselves in the foot. The new features on the Navigon app are solid, and it looks like they are serious in trying to improve this thing, unlike TomTom who hasn't released an update since 1.0.

Having used my Garmin Nuvi 360 to travel thousands of miles across the US, I have some strong opinions on what it's going to take me to not grab my *real* GPS when heading out the door for a long drive to a new destination. On my iPhone, I tried both Navigon 1.1 and TomTom 1.0 when they came out, and my reviews for both products would be "pathetic" for TomTom and "a good start" for the Navigon. Maybe the TomTom actually works for the iPhone 3GS, but for the iPhone 3G the TomTom app would just jump left and right all over the place while you were driving in a straight line. And it would jump across an entire street over or it would say you are in the ocean. I understand that its mostly due to cell phone triangulation, but its something that can be controlled with some code (it should know you can't be on the road for one second, then be 500 ft out in the ocean the next). I'm sure Navigon and I'm sure every other GPS app already does this unlike TomTom.

Trying to use an app like TomTom in front of people reminded me of nerds in high school who would try so hard to make a high-tech gadget do something simple (like bringing a keyboard for their Apple Newton (PDA), staring at that ridiculous small screen and trying to take notes. Then spending half the class trying to troubleshoot why the keyboard stopped working) when it was obvious it was more trouble than its worth. Everyone else in the class would screaming in their minds, "Just shut that thing off you idiot!!!"

I heard great things about TomTom devices, but the TomTom's iPhone app was so bad, I pretty much swore off the brand for good. Navigon on the other hand seems to be rapidly improving their app. I'm looking forward to future improvements. I think it may be good enough to let it start guiding me around when I'm out in the wild without my trusted Garmin Nuvi 360.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How to change your iPhone SSH password after you've lost the password

This guide is for people who have changed the default root password from alpine to something else. And unfortunately, have forgotten to write down the password and now they can't ssh anymore into the device.

I thought I would make this contribution to the web because all the past guides seem to refer to this app called iCommander, which doesn't seem to be available on iPhone firmware 3.0. So without further ado:

What you'll need it is a Windows machine. You will want to google an application called iPhoneBrowser. It lets you transfer files from your iphone without ssh through the USB cable. On a mac, maybe a similar application is available that is able to accomplish the same thing. You will need iTunes installed, or the iPhoneBrowser will not start correctly.

on iPhoneBrowser, connect your iPhone, go to /private/etc directory

download the file master.password to your desktop. Open this file with notepad. be careful not to touch anything in here that is not necessary.

You will find a string that looks similar to this:

root:/myoldpasswordhash:1:2::3:4:System Administrator:/var/root:/bin/sh

replace the line with

root:/smx7MYTQIi2M:0:0::0:0:System Administrator:/var/root:/bin/sh

Save the file, and overwrite it on your iPhone with iPhoneBrowser. Now you can ssh in your iphone again with the password of alpine, and the username of root.

One last tip, change your password again using a ssh client like putty.exe by logging in and running the passwd command. This time, write this new password down. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mafia Wars (Facebook)

What a stupid game, yet, I can't stop playing it.

Street Figher IV (X360)

Stan managed to pick this game up for me for $20. What a bargain. If I had the patience, all games would cost $20. I'll have to fire it up once I'm back at home.

UFC Undisputed (X360)

I got this game early and managed to not suck online. I haven't touched it for a month though, and I'm sure I'm not as good.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why you shouldn't trust IMDB.

Many many years ago I had a brilliant idea to start a company that would write fake reviews for IMDB. With maybe a handful of creative writers, you can definitely give the movie a boost by scoring it high, and also writing fake call-to-action ("go out and watch it now because you won't regret it and it made me feel this way") reviews.

Well, that's what IMDB has become today. A new movie comes out, its rated unusually high like 7.5 or 8.0, when it deserves a 5.5 or 6.0. These numbers, although may not seem that big of a deal but could mean tens of millions of dollars. IMDB has established itself for recommending movies, unfortunately you can't trust it. Look at the movie Public Enemies. It even was high in the imdb top 250 the first week. Now its out of there, with the rating of 7.8. But what is weird is that the forum, all there are is people complaining how bad the movie is. This movie is probably more likely a 5.8.

This is pretty sad.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Steve Jobs: Give the man a liver and STFU

I'm no Apple fanboy by any means (I don't own an apple and will never own one, except iPod based products), but Steve Jobs has revolutionized the world with Apple products, and has definitely improved lives of people all across the world. He's created jobs directly and indirectly for countless people. The Apple products of today were spawned partly or fully from his personal vision of what computing and portable computing should be today. Products like Palm Pre wouldn't have come along if the iPhone weren't invented first. There would be no back and fourth competition from microsoft trying to improve operating systems and GUIs. What would the world be like today if it he hadn't come along? Just look at what happened when Steve left Apple, and look at where its headed now with his direction. Apparently, as sad as it is to assume one man could be responsible for so much, he deserves a lot of credit.

Does this make it ok for him to cut in line so he can get a liver so he can continue to do what he does? Yes. I'd rather let Steve snatch away livers from 5 alcoholics who destroyed their livers because they couldn't put down the bottle so they can beat the spouses on a daily basis. He can take every single one of those livers for all I care. Those people will never change the world, Steve will continue to employ people, create jobs, revolutionize technology, and improve lives for every single person that steps in front of any computer based device.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I was able to run 1.5 miles straight, and with a quarter mile break, ran 1.25 miles back. I've finally gone over the invisible hump of not being able to run for more than a mile due to complete exhaustion. On my way back, I felt like I had enough energy to keep running another mile no problem. This is quite an accomplishment for me because getting over the hump always seemed so impossible every time I tried running.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Deadliest Catch, does it have to be so deadly?

Anyone ever watch the show and think, why can't them make some heavy duty machines to eliminate all those people on deck?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Did you know.... (Orowheat & HFCS)

Orowheat (bread company) removed High Fructose Corn Syrup from all their breads late last year? I guess I'll be buying their bread again. A snafu (using HFCS in the first place) like that probably let Milton's become so much bigger than they were ever intending. Why did they use it in the first place? Other than HFCS being blamed for obesity, HFCS packs more sweetness than other sugars per calorie, and is much cheaper too. Whenever you ate orobread, it mysteriously tasted sweet because of the HFCS.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Here's a tip for Nintendo: Give the Wii Motion Plus away for each controller

Wii Motion Plus is simply amazing technology, while the original Wii controller (after all the hype has died down) really has been trying to do more than it was techinically possible and people have realized that they just were fooled into a gimmick that promised more than it delivered.

Wii Motion Plus finally makes possible and catches every movement and position with shocking accuracy. Unfortunately, the peripheral is worthless without having games for it. And I'm going to guess that people won't be buying these up like hot cakes. And developers will be making the Wii Motion Plus an optional accessory. And that is the problem.

I think if Nintendo gave it away, they'd have everyone adopting the new technology and all the games of the future could really shine. Until then it'll be a shame if developers don't develop their games with every single advantage they can gain with making thier game work magically with Wii Motion Plus because they have to dumb down things to make sure it still work with both types of controllers without putting too much work on them selves.

What's inside really? Probably a few dollars worth of parts. It is better that everyone adopted this fully rather than optionally. They'll be able to sell more games this way in my opinion. Say a great game comes out. What they want is everyone praising it and don't want someone else buying the game complaining that they are not experiencing anything new although they probably "think" that it would probably be better with Wii Motion Plus. Nintendo should make this investment, or do something like offer rebate programs if they buy Wii Motion Plus and buy a Wii Motion Plus supported game within 30 days.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Play Pinky Off, Keyboard Cat

We've reached the limits with flash video

Flash video was great around 2002 (give or take a year) when it exploded through YouTube. Unfortunately, sites (like YouTube and Hulu) are now using it for what it probably was intended for. I run my monitor resolution at 1920 x 1200. And my computer is no slouch. But when I watch high definition or 720p flash video at full screen, I get about maybe 8 frames per second. On some sites I can say turn the Quality to Low, and get to around 20fps. And if my computer's cpu doesn't catch fire, I'm able to enjoy the program.

Unfortunately, some of these sites thought it would be cute to disable the changing of quality so the users wouldn't get confused and watch a video in low quality.

h.264 doesn't seem like its the way to go because it is usually associated to quicktime. And everyone knows that Apple intentionally retards Quicktime on the PC (no overlay, no fullscreen(gotta pay for this feature), horrible performance (it is 10 times slower than flash video for high res videos), just like Microsoft retards business applications on Microsoft Office for the Mac. No PC user in their right mind is going to pay for intentionally crippled version of Quicktime when there are things like VLC Player.

There is much better technology available to us. And I'm sure everyone has heard abuot Divx. DivX has an amazing streaming video plugin that unfortunately only one site on the internet uses ( which is plauged by ads) Isn't that terrible? We can have amazing streaming video, but we're stuck with this flash crap. It would be nice if adobe bought DivX and incorporated into their flash player. Sure it has nothing to do with flash, but at least adobe can make themselves look like geniuses by making it happen. And it'll be great. They can deliver streaming bluray quality. It has been available for at least 2 years.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The latest sourdough lesson

There are limits to how much the dough rises. If you leave it alone for too long, it actually starts deflating. And the key to the sourdough bread I've concluded so far is to bake it before it makes this transition. In the 1-2-3 recipe I found on youtube (1 cup starter, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 3 cups of flour), 8 hours of letting it rise in a warm environment (above 90 degrees F) is absolutely the max. I think you should inspect the loaf around 4.5-6.5 hours to see if almost there.

What happened with the latest loaf I baked was that after the dough had risen, the dough wasn't thick enuogh (I could have paid attention to the thickness after I mixed in the flour, water, and salt to avoid this in the future). So what I did was I added more flour, let it rise again, then baked it. Unfortunately, this made the whole loaf go extra sour. The sourness was over the top. It was so sour that I could only eat the crust. The the soft part made me cringe with one eye shut as I furrowed my brow trying to keep the other eye open. It was definitely something else.

My frist 2 attempts were loafs with very little hint of sourness. But now I know how to make sourdough as sour as I want to make it. And there is definitely something as too sour sourdough. I just need to find the balance.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My sourdough escapade continues

So that youtube video about the sourdough starter isn't perfect. There are 3 key things left out.

1. Do not use bleached flour. I believe all purpose flour is usually bleached, and this is what people normally have. Its true that you can grow your starter with unbleached flour, but it almost certainly won't be sour. After my first experience, although it was good bread, I was disappointed that it hardly tasted sour. And I was left wondering why. The starter itself should have smelled sour. But it definitely didn't. And it certainly isn't going to develop when the actual dough is rising.

2. Don't use water with chlorine in it. All tap water contains chlorine, even if you cannot taste it. My tap water comes out of a pur water filter, which should remove the chlorine taste but I'm sure there is some chlorine in there. As you can imagine, chlorine kills yeast, among other things. So what I do is I boil water for 5 minutes (lid off). This heavily accelerates the chlorine from evaporating. I've also heard you can leave tap water out for a day, and it should also do its job. But to be sure, I boil it, then leave it overnight for maximum dechlorination (i probably made that word up.)

3. Don't use metal anything. Supposedly metal contact will make the sourness go away. Stainless steel is the only metal that should be okay to handle the goods with. But aluminum, copper, brass, anything else can kill the sourness. You shouldn't let your starter grow in it. Don't let the dough rise in it. Although you can probably stir the starter with metal utensils, maybe mix your dough in a metal container, it seems as though almost all videos I've seen, people just avoid touching any metal when dealing with sourdough period. If you really want to make it sour, just don't take any risks of taking away any bit of the sourness. Just like when you're cooking anything, if you want the best product, you gotta handle it the best way possible without any shortcusts. In other words, don't be lazy especially when it doesn't take any extra effort.

I'm also having a bit of fun mixing in things to add flavor. I added a roasted red bell pepper & eggplant spread (trader joes) into the mix, and that produced some amazing smelling bread. It didn't rise as much as I wanted. I'm not sure if it was the natural perservatives in the bread, but I'll definitely have to explore than further.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My favorite place in and around Huntington Beach

Whenever you move, one of the things you lose is the favorite places you like to eat at. You have to start the list from scratch.

After I moved to Huntington Beach, I found 3 places that I would recommend to anybody.

85c cafe. About 7 miles from me. Its the same chain that is in Taiwan. It opened last year in Irvine. It could be that I am biased about the desserts here. 85c and Taiwan are good memories of mine. But what you can't argue is the energy of this place. Its electric. And the pastries here are cheap and top notch.

Ajisen (noodle place). Same plaza as 85c cafe. I only went there once, and the ramen noodles seemed more al-dente like angel hair pasta. But the soup and the meat of the royal pork ramen (I absolutely wouldn't recommend anything else) is to die for. Its just one of those things that you eat, and then a day later a knot in the back of your brain shows up. And it keeps reminding you of that dreamy experience. And all you can do it just satisfy the calling, to quiet down the urge before it drives you crazy.

Alertos - on Brookhurst that is closer to the 405 - The burritos are as good as San Diego's quality. The portion is about the same because they don't serve you large burritos in San Diego anymore (except maybe JV's).

Still haven't found a good pho place. The $3 pho place is not consistant. Although its cheap, sometimes its good, sometimes you leave there unsatisfied. Not worth $3.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chicken Piccata on Pesto Ravioli with Green Beans

All the ingredients are from a Trader joes which is just a hop skip and a jump outside my door. It takes about 5-10 minutes. Boil the Pesto Ravioli, simmer the chicken tender with some chicken stock with some saffron, covered in piccata sauce. After it has reduced (and the chicken cooked), add the green beans. Then pour the sauce, chicken, green beans on top of the ravioli. I always seem to lick my plate clean with this dish.


I found a really quick way to make a delicious meal. Start boiling the fusili. Just fry freshly chopped garlic in olive oil until golden brown, add some white wine (any will do),. add a tablespoon of grated parmesean. Reduce into the same consistancy of the sauce. Add any trader joes red sauce out of the jar. Don't net it start boiling. I think you can kill the sauce that way. Then add some cajun andioulle sausage at the very end so that the fat inside melts, but make sure its not too hot that the sausage starts releasing all of the juices.

Lomo Saltado

This is my favorite Peruvian dish. Its probably the favorite dish of every Peruvian you'll ever meet. I followed the recipe online and it was terrible. I found where the elusive flavor came from. Its soy sauce, oyster sauce, and vinegar. And you gotta cook it on a wok if possible. But without a wok, it can still be good. I'll have to try the new recipe sometime.

Roast Beef Sandwich with Sharp Provalone on Sourdough Bread

All I did was slice very thinly some onions, wrapped it up with the roast beef, toasted the sourdough and the sharp provolone, and it was heaven. As long as the roast beef is good, you don't need anyting else. It is a perfect sandwich. Probably the best sandwich I can make.

Red Bean Soup

I tried it different ways this time. I blended it in a blender, and the consistancy was like lobster bisque, but of course red bean soup flavor. I thought it was pretty good, but I wouldn't really eat it as soup. I'd be good as bun filling, or frozen (with added sugar) as a icy treat.

Hell's Kitchen US (Latest Ep)

Danny is definitely the certified cooking prodigy. He's never received one bad comment from Chef Ramsay it seems. He does have his flaws. His leadership seems very suspect. He doesn't seem like the leadership type. But I don't think he'll have any problems gaining full support for the final episode. Its been pretty clear since early on that it'll be Danny and Paula at the finale.

CSI (Latest Ep)

I really liked the episode before this episode with the star trek mockery. I guess its the inner awkward nerd inside me that want to get with a hot lab tech in the office.

Hell's Kitchen UK (Latest Ep)

I am in love with Danielle Bux. She looks more amazing on this show wearing a chef's coat rather than her lingerie foto shoots. More focus on her face, less focus on her body (which is also just as amazing).

As for Marco Pierre White, he's an amazing individual. When he's in the room, everyone is in his reality and space. He is a leader among leaders. I'd love to dig into his brain. I'm guessing he's not the type that is willing to break it down, but he'd rather give you stories and expect you to figure out how it all matters over time.

The Deadliest Catch (Latest Ep)

Why do I like this show? I'm not sure. Maybe its because some episodes, they pull dead bodies out of the water. Or maybe I just like the idea of catching a cages full of king crab. Its probably both.

Earth Investigated Time Travel

I really like these shows that talk about worm holes, black holes, time travel, atom splitting, the 4th dimension, infinite dimensions, parallel universes, string theory, electromagnetism, gravity, etc. I think I may have considered majoring in it if I had the same love for it as I do now in 1996. This all sounds like science fiction, but its no longer science fiction. Its the latest theory.

The Ultimate Fighter (Latest Ep)

I don't like these immature pranks in the house. The fight this week was good.

The Celebrith Apprentice (Latest Ep)

I've been saying how much I hate Annie Duke on this show, but I'm starting warm up to her a little bit.

Rhythm Heaven (DS)

I don't know why I'm fighting myself to not love this game. I can't play it for more than 20 minutes. But there are definitely some addicting elements to it.

Monopoly (iPhone)

I love this game. It has easily consumed 40 hours of my life.

Patapon 2 (PSP)

I'm about 90% complete. Don't seem to want to go any further. I don't know why. I'm sure I'll beat it someday.

I'm making my own sourdough starter

I'm about 24 hours in on my sourdough starter.

But let me backtrack. What is a sourdough starter? Its referred to as "the sponge". I have posted about it long before how I thought it was a subject that should give you goosebumps.

A sourdough starter is usually a mixture of flour, water, and yeast. It is literally alive, and you need to keep it alive if you want to continue to use it. Kinda like a caged creature, you keep it alive by feeding it water and flour. And whenever you want to make sourdough, you take a little bit of it, and give it some time to grow back what you took.

So this means the sourdough we are sometimes eating is from a concoction of fermented flour that has been kept alive in someone's kitchen sometimes for years (and in extreme cases, it could possibly be from a famous sourdough lineage that is decades old).

After I made french bread a while back, I decided making french bread really wasn't for me. To be honest, I didn't like how long it took. I liked the kneading, but I didn't like the mess it made. French bread is relatively cheap $1-2 for a large loaf, and arguably, its cheaper to buy French Bread than to make it.

A good loaf of sourdough however seems to be a bit more expensive. Generally starts around $3 at Trader Joes. I even saw it for $8 at Ralphs. Totally outrageous. The irony of all this is it looks like sourdough is much cheaper and easier to make than french bread. So that's why I decided to investigate this further.

This video below shows you how to make a sourdough starter. The reason that this video inspired me was the simplicity of it. Just water and flour. How beautiful is that? Total work involved is a few minutes tops (although you let it sit for a day or two). It would be awesome to have sourdough year round for very little cost. I just need to go to Costco and buy one of those industrial sized bags of flour. Well, I won't go that overboard until I see if this starter can produce sourdough I want to eat regularly. I'm really hoping this works out. Plenty of people seem to say that this is definitely the right method, as simple as it is. There is another video on youtube that says you don't need to knead the dough before you throw it in the oven. That would be amazing if I can just have a fresh loaf with minutes of physically involved preparation (still need to let it rise for half a day) in a single shot. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The demise of the food network

If you haven't heard, the food network has pretty much been unwatchable for the last few years. I used to just keep my TV tuned to the food network from 1999 to 2005, now I can't remember the last time I tuned in.

I never really gave it much thought on how this happened. Its not like I lost interest in cooking of food. Its quite the contrary. I have more interest in cooking and food more than ever. But after I have gave it some thought on why I no longer watch that channel, I am disgusted at the people in charge of the food network. You tune in these days, and you find shows on how junk food is made. Then there are cake making competitions where they seem to make cakes that almost appears to be unedible and resembles plastic and glass. Sandra Lee is showing you how to make a breakfast in bed with canned peaches, a bucket of cool whip, and a squeeze bottle of fake honey. I loved the original Iron Chef, but I loathe Iron Chef America.

And last but not least. Good Eats. It used to be a show I loved, but it quickly lost credibility with me when I finally decided to try a recipe from the show Good Eats. It was terrible. No, its not because I'm that bad in the kitchen. Whenever I try a recipe for the first time, I follow it down to the exact details. I don't substitute, and I'll go out of my way to get all the ingredients, even if they are exotic ingredients. After trying the recipe, I realized that the recipe was just made for TV, and would not be a recipe anyone would consider repeating (or refine) after you've tasted what may come out of that recipe. I'm sure not all recipes of Good Eats were heartless recipes, but all it took was one recipe to make me realize that Alton Brown was not the gastronomic einstein that he was making him out to be. A few years later, I saw the TV biography of Alton Brown. I saw that his credentials were things in cinematography and photography. And that he had only joined a culinary school with the goal of producing his own cooking show. It made perfect sense. There is some educational value on that show, but if they are going to fake about the food, I gotta wonder how much of the science wasn't just fluff. Just like everything on the food network these days, its all about entertainment value, and there is very little importance on the actual food itself. This is why I stopped watching. The food network has turned into the fake food network. Food has become secondary. Entertainment value seems to be everything. I feel betrayed as a viewer.

I think the type of cooking shows I'm looking for these days are by people who can cook like Anthony Bourdain describe in Kitchen Confidential. People who can cook on the line, have leadership skills, and can excute any dish they can conceptualize with speed and accuracy. In other words, chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White. Underneath all that cursing, trash can kicking, and food spitting, Gordon Ramsay has some serious cooking chops from years on working on the line. You get to see very little of it on Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, but you can see a lot more of it in his UK shows. You look at all the bios in the food network website, and you quickly see that none of these people are qualified to be teaching you anything. Mario Batali, Ming Tsai, Emeril Lagase, and Sara Moulton (All the people I used to watch) seems to have gotten the boot or left on their own accord. And it even gets worse. You have people like Robert Irvine who seems to been revealed to have a fake resume. There were rumors that he was going to get the boot, but no, he's still on the food network. And oh yeah, that food guy from Queer Eye from the Straight Guy has a show on the food network too. Wasn't he more like a foodie than a cook? I guess it doesn't make a difference anymore.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The problem with British humor, and why British comedy is always a bit dry

Don't get me wrong, I do love the accent. The accent may just be an evolved form of the English Language. The accents give you character. And it says a lot about you. Especially where you've come from, where you've been. That's huge when it comes to communicating with people. Hey, you got that same accent as me? You must be from xxxx. Instant rapport. Bloody brilliant as they would say. And another great thing about British/English accents is that it makes you sound proper.

The rudest people on television, the ones that can get away with it anyway, all have British accents. Why? They can dish it out, and not sound like like a raving lunatic who has lost their patience, but more importantly, their mind. They can say the most terrible things, and they won't get stabbed in the neck by someone on the receiving end. Its not like they can turn tirades into sunshine and butterflies. What I mean is when they say terrible things about you, the accent takes the edge off. Because it sounds sincere, proper, and educated. Take for example Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsey, Piers Morgan. Can you imagine if these guys did their jobs without the accent? It would be a disaster. But with an accent, they are able to do something someone without an accent will never be able to get away with.

But there is a downside to these accents. And its the comedy. Can you imagine if Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle , or Joe Rogan had a British accent? They'd be terrible. Take for example Ricky Gervais, a popular British comedian. Is this guy supposed to be funny? Well, he's ok. But he'd be way funnier without the accent because his vulgarity wouldn't be toned down with his proper English. I'm sure there are funnier British comics out there, and everything I said here is not as cut and dry. But I'm sure is some truth in a lot of things I mentioned.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I feel the camel's pain

He's saying, "I'd rather die than carry this woman in these conditions! Just kill me now!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tyson 2009 Review

I had a chance to see this early before the release and I must say it was pretty eye opening. I've seen other documentaries about Mike Tyson, and know about his life story. The difference with this documentary is that its him telling the story with his own words. Not a story by someone who thinks he has a good understanding about him. What I learned was that he's not a boarderline mentally handicapped individual. The media portrayed him as some kind of a fighting prodigy with a mind of a 3 year old child. Sure he has a bit of a lisp. And although he is not a genius, he's a man who understands himself very well. When he's using those big words, he's not trying to sound smart. He's just doesn't stop himself from trying to get the other person to understand just because he can't find the right words.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A query for the ages

On a normal day, I write about 10 different queries sql queries. And they mainly are composed of selects, updates, deletes, and inserts using things like inner joins, inner joins of inner joins, where, like, top 1, orber by, group by, count, max, etc., etc. I've gotten really good at it, and can do these half asleep usually error free the first time.

Today though, I had to branch out of my comfort zone and use for the first time (on top of everything above) coalesces of coalesces, outer joins, cases, havings, and more in one single query. Been working on one query pretty much all day, and I must say I'm proud of it. I'm taking mutiple queries, and queries that would branch off after another query, and turning something that would require a minimum of 1-2 seconds to complete into a complex recordset that gets formed in one shot.

Another thing I decided to do is improve my javascript skills. I'd say I know html, css, T-SQL and ASP inside and out, and can practically look at any web application/site and break it down and remake it from scratch. But where I never really concentrated too much time was on javascript. If you want to do anything interactive after the page has loaded has to be done by javascript. And I felt hungry to learn this weekend.

Another thing I played with yesterday was XML. I've been avoiding XML like the plague because everything I do, I always have a SQL Server backend. I have to say that with everything I've tried so far, making, reading, adding, deleting, and editing XML with code, I really hate the syntax. I feel like I can write a more simpler and easy to version of xml if you give me a few hours. One thing I wouldn't do is use words like childNodes, createElement, appendChild. I think we have more meaningful and shorter words in the english language. The word Elements or Nodes doesn't add to or take away from visualizing the structure of the data. Its like adding confusion to your code by writing confusing comments and being too general. Childs should have parents. If you're going to have a root, you should have trees and branches, not childs. And the whole thing about converting to XSLT to do stuff with it. As if loading an XML file and parsing through strings wasn't inefficient enough. After I got there, I decided these guys are just whacking eachother off trying to invent names for the smallest of things. The best thing about XML is that its universal. But I'd say if they really collaborated, we can achive something a lot more sophisticated, a lot more powerful but easy to use as sql queries and recordsets, a lot faster, and a thousand times more efficient. All the big players of every framework need to have a big sitdown and hash out a killer standard that should last through at least a decade.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ipv6 is too long

Anyone else think ipv6 is stupid?

I like ipv4. Its short enough, and when you're in the same network, you can just remember the last 6 digits because the first (up to) 6 numbers don't change. ipv4 has 4+ billion combinations. I do see a problem with that. A normal person on the average will probably need 3 ip addresses. Work, home, mobile. And all the servers, routers, and unmanned devices in the world can probably take place of all the people who currently don't and will not need an ip in the future. Considering we close to 7 billion people now, and considering not all ipv6 addresses being addressable, we'll eventually run out.

The good thing about ipv4 is that DNS doesn't need to come into play. DNS is not accessible because there isn't one on the local network? Fine, no problem, computers can still talk (just give me the last 2 groups of number of your IP). DNS is not updated? No problem, we can talk in and out of the local intranet, just give me your number. DNS is down because rats chewed through some wires? Its ok. We can still send files locally. ipv6 on the other hand, the ipv6 addresses are ridiculously long. Its like trying to remember the cd key of your copy of windows. since when have you memorized one of those? People have problems writing legible phone numbers on scratch paper, or even typing them out. How much of a problem is it going to be to work directly with ipv6 numbers? Think of trying to troubleshoot a connection for an hour not knowing if the ipv6 address has a typo in it.

Or try reading one of these to someone over the phone:

Remember to say b as in boy, and d as in dog cause those 2 sound pretty much the same without any context. Might as well use alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, and farfegnugen.

"Oh doesn't work? Can you read it back to me?"

Why do I say ipv6 is stupid? Well there are:
340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 combinations.

Is that too many? Well, here is some perspective. The earth is estimated to be 4.55 billion years old. Wee have gone through about 143,587,080,000,000,000,000 milliseconds (60 * 60 * 24 * 365.25 * 4,550,000,000 * 1000 milliseconds) so far.

Or to put it in better perspective, that means to exhaust ipv6, we would need to assign about 2156 ipv6 addresses for every millisecond, or 2,156,000 ip addresses a second for the next 5 billion years. Considering we have yet to fill 4 billion ip addresses for a population of 7 billion people, I'm going to go out on a limb and say, maybe this number is too big. Too big that it has more negatives than positives. If earth got so populated that if every surface on the planet was able to be stood on by a person, and we stood shoulder to shoulder with a person (with a person immediately in the front and back of you) on every available surface on the planet, then we built 1000 story buildings where we can do this at least a thousand times that would be a population of 5,502,532,127,000,000,000. Say because of nanotechnology, we have to give each cell in the human body an ip address. (we have about 5-10 trillion cells per human body). We would still have the luxury of giving 100,000 ip addresses for each cell in the human body, of every person if the population grew to 5,502,532,127,000,000,000 in 5 billion years.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Apple iPhone 3.0: Hits & Misses

New Features:

-Cut & Paste (for people who insist that they can do actual work on the iPhone). I never needed cut and paste all that bad on the iPhone. It didn't make my list of things I wanted. It'll be there now? Cool, maybe I'll use it when I finally come around to needing it.

-Real Push (No more fake push, also known as pull every 15 minutes). Not having real push for 2 years now, I don't miss it that much. 15 minutes is fine. Too much junk mail these days where I'm in need of immediate notification of emails. It would be good for instant messaging. Lets see if they can do that without costing me money for every IM I get.

-A2DP (strereo bluetooth headphones, no more dropping the iphone in the gym). Why did it take so long you bastards?

-Turn by Turn Navigation (provided the app comes with its own maps.) Look for expensive apps by Garmin or Tom Tom soon. And most likely they'll probably want to charge you subscriptions as well. Two steps forward, one and a half steps back. At least it'll be available. I won't be ditching my Nuvi 360 anytime soon.


-Application Data sharing is good, but not as good as application switching support. It I read in between the lines, they are still against any kind of running of more than one application at once, except those controlled by apple. Sucks.

-Still no tethering. They are placing the blame on carriers. My word of advice? Psst...PDAnet by June Fabrics.

-No mention of in application brightness controls. I hate having to start a video, then go back to home, settings, brightness, adjust brightness controls, home, ipod, and if you can remember what you were watching, you can get back to it. Does that seem intuitive?

-No mention of video recording on the iPhone. I'll probably be needing this very rarely, but at the rare times that I'll be using it, it'll probably be a life saver.

-No mention of improved wifi. Wifi speed is terrible on the iPhone. Lets hope they secretly are looking to improve it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is Wok Hay?

Reading this article on chowhound about wok hay, you can break down wok hay into 2 different definitions. One is almost metaphysical. You need to honor the ingredients, and with the right preparation, technique, and skill, the food will give you and enlightening experience. This just sounds like an eastern marketting pitch. "The preparation is very complex, the technique is almost indescribable. And even if could do both, you would need a lifetime to master the skill. Don't bother wasting your time at home, but you can come to my restaurant and you'll be taken on a journey of the senses." Or another common thing I'm hearing goes something like "I take the best ingredients, really honor them by preparing them in a near ritual like preparation technique. I pour all my knowledge, skill, love and heart as a chef when I cook with a wok. And at the end, you get something magical, which is what you're tasting." See, what it really does is add to the mystery of what wok hay is, obscures it, and discourages the breakdown of how to even achieve wok hay at home any further. It makes you want and appreciate it even more. It is effective marketting.

Some people also use the term to describe the aroma and essense of freshly prepared food cooked in or even out of a wok. But I don't think these people are right. A freshly prepared dish with fresh ingredients cannot have the breath of a wok. I understand that the amazing essence fresh ingredients prepared fresh is something just as hard to describe just as wok hay is hard to describe, but they are talking about something entirely different, mixed up with the adjacent properties of wok hay.

The other definition of wok hay is simply its flavor. Probably an average man with an average palate can quickly learn to identify a dish with wok hay when presented with 2 identical dishes (one with wok hay, and one without). But where the challenge is when one tries to describe the flavor. Why? The flavors and aromas are elusive. First, the flavor is different from dish to dish. Second, its more about the method/process than the ingredients, even though the ingredients are integral. Third, its invisible and we make the mistake on trying to identify the ingredient rather than recognizing the method/process. Fourth, people generally don't cook on a wok at home, and even if they did, they don't have the right equipment to generate the heat required so they don't know where the flavor comes from.

So how do you achive wok hay? You need a non teflon surface (a wok is almost impossible to do without), heated enough where the oil would start smoking almost immediately. And while its smoking, you should throw in your stir fry items. Then let the smoke catch fire while you're tossing the things inside. This process marries to elusive flavor to your seasoning.

Here's the proof to my logic. Say you have every equipment, preparation, ingredient, technique, and skill required to cook on a wok. On one wok, you cook at high enough heat for the oil to smoke, and when it smokes you let it catch fire. On the second wok, you cook just below the smoke temperature of the oil. At the end of cooking, food from both woks may look identical, but you can say that food from the first wok has wok hay, and food from the second wok hay has absolutely no wok hay at all.

The second part of my proof is that if you've ever accidentally cooked on a pan where the oil started to smoke, and some of the splattering oil and smoke accidentally caught on fire, and you ate the food anyway. You can argue that there was something extra in there where the flavor was kinda nipping at the heels of flavors associated with wok hay. You can even say it had some wok hay, whereas the food from the second wok mentioned above has no wok hay.

So there you have it. I hope I broke wok hay down so its more tangible. Unfortunately any home kitchen stove won't be able to produce enough heat to cook effectively on a wok. It may even be dangerous too, and I'm pretty sure the smoke detectors would go off. So even though you won't be able to achive wok hay at home after reading this article, you can probably try to nip at the heels of wok hay. Another thing to point out is that it is pretty common knowledge that oil that has reached its smoke point is supposedly very unhealthy with unspeakable amounts of carcinogens and free radicals. Its a little ironic because wok hay is generally associated with freshness and life. Wok hay is translated as "wok breath". Why is it that the better the food tastes, the worse the food is for you? It seems that wok hay is no exception to the rule. I'm sure I'll get no arguments when I say a life without blissful culinary pleasure is a life not worth living. So enjoy your carcinogens and free radicals in moderation.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monopoly: A new appreciation for an old game

I played a good amount of Monopoly when I was young. And I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining game. But playing it on my iPhone again, I realized we played the game entirely wrong when we were young. I don't remember anyone playing any differently than, maybe buying a piece of property that they land on (people usually didn't buy it). And after a long session, if you were lucky enough to buy all the same colors because no one else bought those colors, the houses and hotels just never seemed like a good investment, so no one would buy them. And the game ended when you accidentally landed on park place (the space that everyone wanted) that someone else owned and it pretty much made you broke.

Being older now, this game immediately made sense. You buy every empty space you land on. It doesn't matter if someone owns 1 out of 3 colors already. it doesn't matter if you own one color of every other color. You buy so that you can negotiate and trade for all the same colors and some money. If someone owns 2 out of the 3 colors, that property is a much better buy because you can probably instantly sell for a big profit, or make some powerful trades. And you should have them throw in a property they don't really care about (because they only have 1 of the 3), but it will be worth it later because you'll be able to make another trade with it in the same scenario.

The game is all about trading, negotiations, and putting up houses and hotels so that you have enough properties that someone can land on and so you can do a lot of damage to their finances. When we were young, no one traded, and rarely hotels got erected. All wrong. Haha.

There are some strategies too. I always thought that the board game didn't come with enough houses. But I realized they did this for a reason. If all the houses are taken, then no one else can build houses, which means they can't do anything with hotels either. You also gotta keep in mind that there are expected outcomes with dice. For example 7 is the most common outcome for a pair of di. And since people tend to end up in jail, 7 steps from jail, and the properties that surround it is the best property to own. I'm guessing the next one would be 7 steps from Go.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Annie Duke is this year's Omarosa

On this year's Celebrity Apprentice, it is apparent that Annie Duke, the professional poker player, is the person that's going to have a lot of friction with the teammates. She's a very assertive woman, and I'm sure she can lead/rule a team of subordinates better than any of her teammates, but she does not understand one of the principal concepts of leadership. You can't lead when you have no followers. Especially when everyone on the team is a bunch of A type personalities/leaders in their own right. To lead leaders, you must establish some rapport. As John C. Maxwell puts it, you must touch people's hearts before you ask for a hand. You can't just go on ordering people around, or even worse, talk down to them in a condescending way. They need to believe in you and your vision to put that trust in you as a leader. That's also why it is pretty moronic to volunteer as the first project manager. You need time to get to know people, and judge people's leadership abilities as they naturally fall in line with time. So when it comes to your time leading the group, you know the key people that you must have on your side so the whole team can function efficiently as one unit.

I'm glad Andrew Dice Clay got the boot. I didn't like his personality. On the outside, he comes off as someone like Gene Simmons of last year. A natural born leader, but on the inside he came off like a schmuck. He didn't want to make muffins because his friends in Brooklyn would make fun of him? He's like 50 or 60 something. And it seems like its an issue he should have solved in his early 20's. He didn't want to participate because he was too cool for that stuff. And he decided it wasn't the competition for him. And to not hurt his publicity, Donald Trump did some damage control and said some nice things to him on his way out. After he fired his ass.

Other thoughts:

I'd still rather prefer to have George and Carolyn in the boardroom. At least previous Apprentice winners. Just seeing his daughter and son there, just seems a little over the top. Ivanka is definitely not an eyesore (she's a total babe and smart too). And I'm sure they both are successful in their own right. But the Apprentice has almost become Trump and his family show. Takes some seriousness away from the whole business aspect.

What the hell is Jessee James wearing? He looks like he just came into the board room from his log cabin up in the mountains. Everyone else is dressed in suits in the boardroom. From his shows, he seems like a smart guy, but I don't think he'll have any muscle to pull in big donations in the end. To get to know A list celebrities and deep pocketted people doesn't seem like his thing.

My guess is that Herschel will be fired eventually in one of these challenges, although his focus on team mentality is great, his vision, goal, and gameplan seemed almost non-existant as project manager.

Dennis Rodman's heart doesn't seem to be in the competition, but he definitely seems smarter than he looks, and if he can focus put his heart into it, he can get far. I'm sure he has a lot of friends with deep pockets. He does have the potential to win, if he wants it. Right now, he seems on the fence.

Scott Hamilton will be able to lead with his heart, but his demise will be his leadership skills won't be strong enough to handle some of these other A type personalities.

Tom Greene is definitely smarter than he looks, but lets see if he can put his game face on for the whole competition so that he'll be taken seriously.

Bryant McNight looks like a well rounded invidual.

Clint didn't speak enough for me to make any kind of assessment of him.

As for women, the only names I recognize is Annie Duke and Joan Rivers.

I am going to guess Annie will stick around because Donald likes to give people with strong personalities a chance, even though the whole team hates them. It also makes for interesting TV. But her unability to work with people will get her fired about half way through.

Joan Rivers is too old to deal or handle the physical stress of this competition. She'll make a graceful exit probably midway through.

Melissa Rivers, Joan's daughter, seems very on point with some key business aspects.

Claudia Jordan, deal or no deal model, seems to be a smart and well rounded individual. Will she have the connections to pull in some big bucks?

Brande, the playboy model, seems to have gained the trust of her team rather quickly. I'll keep an eye on her. And her friends. ;)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Did Casey cause Carla's loss on Top Chef?

My thoughts of Top Chef Season 5 finale.

Probably due to editing, they made Casey look like she caused Carla to lose the competition. Casey is not too happy about the fact (she's done some interviews after the show), and she feels like she was thrown under by bus by the show, when Casey's the one who was doing the show a favor by coming back on the show to be the sous chef. Sounds like Casey will never be making a cameo appearance on the show again, and rightly so.

To be the *top chef* you must posess good leadership skills, and Carla can't blame anyone but herself for being easily influenced or not speaking up. And Carla wasn't blaming anyone but herself, and that's why the judges panel quickly eliminated Carla from the running, even though she was clearly the crowd favorite. The souffle not making it on the plate in my opinion did very little to do with her loss, but it definitely put into the spotlight of how much of she let herself to be influenced by Casey. Unfortunately the audience will likely blame Casey because Carla was such a crowd favorite, and the crowd seems to be easily influenced as well (receptive to trash talking and sympathy).

When I saw that Carla ok'd the idea of sous vide beef, I knew Carla was in a lot of trouble. I couldn't think of a worse way to cook beef. Beef properly cooked has flavor from the charring of the meat and the carmelization of the seasoned juices. In a bag, none of that develops, so you are essentially working with some raw flavors of beef and its raw seasoned juices, but Carla cooks with "love" and I can't think of a better example of the antithesis of her style of cuisine. Off the subject but I think the only reason to sous vide beef is to serve large numbers, and you have to put it in the bag after you've grilled the meat, so you can finish cooking the inside right before you serve.

I hated that Hosea just hoarded all the most expensive ingredients, just so that Stefan couldn't use them. I highly doubt he used that much fois gras or caviar to serve 6-8 people. So you want to win by not letting your competitors cook their best food? Wow, what a champion. Lets not forget he didn't make desserts because he was not good at it.

It almost seemed like Stefan's dessert had so many little things here and there because he was trying to show the judges, "look at all the desserts I made for you while Hosea is making none." I think if he just picked one main component of his dessert, and plated it better, it would have been so much better. His dessert looked more like I went to a gourmet buffet at vegas and I picked a lot of little desserts here and there.

I like Stefan's attitude of what he thinks of the outcome. He says he doesn't look back, and I believe him. A lot of people say they don't have any regrets, when they really do have regrets (but are saying it because they wish to live a live without regrets). But Stefan genuinely sounds like he lives by that rule, and how can you not like him for that?

I thought it was interesting that they are no longer bringing families to the finales. The season finale seemed to very very low key, and under budgeted. Did it seem over the top before? I think a little bit more couldn't hurt.

Looking forward to Season 6.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Problems starting mssqlserver service after vmware 6.0 to 6.5 upgrade

I upgraded vmware 6.0 to 6.5, and when I installed vmware tools that it came with it, the sql server service on my vm wasn't starting. The event logs said:

The MSSQLSERVER service failed to start due to the following error:
The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.

For some reason, the vmware tools likes to delete msvcp71.dll from my Windows, system32 directory. Lets hope it'll be patched in the next release.

Solution? I just googled it and found it on

Just stick it back in windows\system32 directory, reboot, and it'll be good. No need to run regsvr32.exe.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

GTA IV: PS3 vs X360

I've had the opportunity to play both versions through. I'm noticing slight differences here and there. For one thing, there seems to be a lot more blood splatter in the 360 version. That by itself makes the game better. I remember that on the PS3, there was very little of it, where the 360 version is a lot more realistic. Its there all the time as it should be. I've always enjoyed a lot of blood splatter in movies and games. I find it amusing.

The Triangle Club looks even more realistic on the 360. Did PS3 purposely add unattractive bumps or curves to the "characters" so they look less realistic?

The online portion...the PS3's online community for GTA IV was not existant the last time I tried to play. Not because it was too early. People were just not doing it. The 360, it seems like I can get a 16 man going just about any waking hour. But can I turn off the emo chatter? I gotta look into that.

Before the game was announced, Microsoft announced they secured a deal with Rockstar to do exclusive downloadable content. That was a smart move, and its being released in less than 3 weeks. This seals the deal. The X360 version owns (pwn3d) the PS3 version.

For the PS3 is better argument, its true you can force GTA IV to play in 1080p, but there was a catch. The graphic detail didn't seem to improve even though I pixel peeped on the large 52" screen. I couldn't tell if it was better framerate or alternate blurring effects. In the end, not seeing the gain of better graphic detail, and wondering if I was not playing the game with all the visual effects, I reverted to the 720p on the PS3.

GTA IV (X360)

Playing this through a second time. This time on the 360.

Rock Band (X360) My Expert Progress

So I've been playing RB1 more than RB2. I don't like the RB2 interface because there is almost no progression. The progression through the world tour is weak. I like the linear progression where I can see a list of all the songs and how many stars I got on all of them. So anyway, I managed to 5 star first 14 songs on Expert. It would be 17 if I can get 5 stars on Epic. I got 5 stars of maps today.

I've progressed more than I could have ever seen myself doing on drums. And still no signs of pleatuing yet. It would be nice to apply this new level of coordination someday to everyday life.

A cool refreshment at a bargain

I stumbled upon something today. I had an uncontrollable urge for some gatorade. Having seen some people use gatorade powder, I decided I give those a try. While looking for those, I also saw a box of Wyler's Light drink mixes. The package seemed awfully light and about 1/4 the price of gatorade powder. I thought for $1 (8 packets) it would be worth the risk. For some reason, the pink lemonade seemed to be a hot seller, and having tried that just now, I was blown away by the flavor. How only that amount of powder can produce a solid tasting pink lemonade with that level of sweetness. Didn't even need to mix it. It mixed just fine when water was being poured into it. There is definitely some voodoo going on with it, but I was sold at first sip.

I always thought gatorade powder was horribly over priced. Its just a little bit more than the bottles them selves. And its mostly sugar too. I probably won't be buying gatorade powder after I'm done with this box. Especially when I can buy the Wyler's stuff. I looked at the reviews online for all their flavors and all their flavors are rated really highly.

You can find it at walgreens around the freeze dried coffee section.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Top Chef (Latest Ep)

The new judge Toby Young sucks. All he has are these stupid analogies. Maybe is true what they say about British humor. If Tom Collichio is a good leader, he would notice Toby is not working out and tell him to take a hike.

Unlike Bourdain who is creatively sharp (although sometimes harsh) but still insightful and to the point, Toby Young's comments are pointless, disconnected from the food, and hold no value to the chef receiving the comments. They are just insults. And poor ones at that. This guy is terrible.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CSI (Latest Ep)

The first part was good (before the holiday break), second part just fell flat. At least it had closure. I never thought they made a good couple, but hey, at least they looked really happy on camera.

Nip Tuck (Last 2 Eps)

When Sean's wife had *amnesia*, the show gave me a bad realization that I was just watching a latenight soap opera just shot in 24 fps. Still enjoying the show, but not as much. The ridiculousness actually seems more ridiculous than crazy fun.

Top Chef (Latest Ep)

Fabio's charm-o-meter is through the roof. It literally won the challenge for them. Your experience at the restaurant is not all about the food despite what Bourdain says. If you read a lot of Yelp comments, the ones that say they are never going to come back are typically people who got treated bad by the staff, and may not even have eaten the food. Well, Fabio's been on the bottom a lot, and I can see an episode where they make the argument "you are amazing when it comes to people skills, but doesn't mean you're the best chef here." We'll see.

Its unfortunate that Radhika went home. Didn't she have a lot of wins?? Well, unfortunately no one else deserved to go home that night, and it had to be that way.

UFC 93

UFC 92 was amazing, UFC 93 was amazingly bad. 5 fights in 3 hours. It seemed like all of them went to decision. Lytle and Davis fight....they wanted the fight of the year, or ever? Well, they couldn't even accomplish fight of the night in my books.

Rock Band (X360) Still Playing...

I'm finding that I like Rock Band 1's interface a lot more encouraging thatn RB2 interface. So I keep loading the 1st disc. I 5 starred Won't get fooled again on Hard yesterday. That makes 56 out of 58. Only 2 I have left is Next To You which I've 4 starred, and Run to the hills which I've 3 starred. I think I'll revisit those when I feel like I've significantly improved. For right now, I'm speeding through the easy songs on Expert.

Day 4

Day 4 was yesterday, and for some reason I find myself less discouraged than I think I should be, having just started a new bet. I did get on the scale and weighed myself at 2 lbs lower, but I think its because I've been concentrating on cardio, not building muscle. Hopefully the 2 lbs is not all muscle. My cardio is so much better these days. Weird though, cause I've been wanting to sleep more.

Mabo Tofu

I can make this in 5 minutes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Top Chef (Latest Ep)

I think Josea and Lea set Arianne up. It was pretty messed up. They made Arianne look like a fool in the process. I liked Josea and Lea before this ep. But now, I want them to get eliminated. My favorite in the running in Stefan and Radhika. Stefan's handicap is that no one really wants to work with him, even though he's constantly on the winning team. That says a lot. Fabio is cool, but he's either hit-or-miss when it comes to challenges.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Its on again. Day 1

So I was able to complete the last bet. My cardio is in much much better condition. Unfortunately, I didn't lose much weight as I was hoping. The bet is on again. This time, the goal is to lose 20 lbs in 6 months by working out at least 3 times a week. The first day of the bet was 2 days ago Sunday, and my first day at the gym was yesterday.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top Chef (Lates Ep)

I knew Eugene's days were numbered. I originally had high hopes for him. But after watching him for a few episodes, I knew that he was a little bit out of his league. Finding himself constantly at the bottom.

I think the blonde girl lost because she misunderstood the concept of what the judges were looking for. They wanted to get to know the chef through their food. She interpreted it as "cook us your favorite food that says something about you" which was the wrong interpretation. What she should have interpreted it as was something like "show us the best dish, and it should say something about yourself (skill, influences, tastes)".

Rock Band (X360) Passed

I finally 3 starred Run To The Hills on Hard. I got to hitting enough notes to survive until the double amount of bass drums kicked in. As the saying goes, don't work harder, work smarter. I went to training mode, figured out how to make it relatively easy if i just leave a 16th note out. After I was done, the credits rolled.

With having 5 starred everything on hard except 5 songs. All the gains could make on Hard, I can improve on expert, and it may even be easier to do so as it scrolls faster. That should help since there are more notes.

I am done with hard. Only expert from now on. And onto Rock Band 2.

Monday, January 5, 2009

World Guiness Book of Records (DS)

This game is actually pretty good. Nothing to do with Guiness Records but the quality of the minigames are tip top.

Rock Band (X360) Almost Done

I was planning to move on, but I decided to stick it out and see if I can at least pass Run To The Hills. In the process I may just go for it and try to 5 star everything on hard. I didn't 5 star everything in Hard yet, but I'm almost there.

Yesterday 1/4/09 I 5 starred Enter the Sandman (I could have done it a while back) and Highway Star. Among others I believe.

Today 1/5/09, I've 5 starred Molley Hatchet, Detroit Rock City, Electric Vers, Dead on Arrival, Don't Fear the Reaper

What is left?
Tom Sawyer: 3 stars
Next To You: 3 stars
Go With The Flow: 4 stars
Won't Get Fooled Again: 4 stars
Run To The Hills: 0 stars

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Great Debate: XBOX 360 vs PS3

I'm about to lay some science down and give some convincing evidence why PS3 games will never look significantly better, or if at all than the XBOX version of the game.

If you were a publisher and wanted to sell the most copies, would you:
A) Make the game look equally as good on both systems so that whatever console the consumer has, they'll buy it.

B) Make the game look a whole lot better on the system that many less millions of people own? This would present an unsolvable dillema to the consumer. They want the game. They can get the inferior (graphics wise) version of the game for the 360 because they have the 360. Or should they buy a PS3 just because they want improved graphics of a certain game? The customer will often walk out empty handed. They may buy in the future, or they might just lose interest and move on. Many missed sales, and many millions of dollars lost.

I've heard that the cell processor is an amazing processor. And I'm sure you'll see it in all of its glory in PS3 exclusive titles like Gran Turismo. But never in 3rd party titles. You'll see many more side by side comparisons of how the graphics are virtually identical because the developers made them that way on purpose, not because the PS3 isn't capable of better. The 360 fanboys will always point this out. While PS3 fanboys will always mention that the hardware is there, they are just waiting for a shift to happen. Unfortunately, this shift where 3rd party developers engineer their code specificially for the PS3 version of their games is never going to happen. It would be foolish. Spend more money developing something that will hurt sales? Never.

Maybe in the future, when the next xbox is out (and Sony holding firm that PS3 is still the next-next-gen console), the publishers will apply the same logic. They may be willing to make the effort (and spend the money) to make sure that the PS3 games look as good as the XBOX 720. They may also be more familiar with the ins and outs of the PS3. So whatever you may own, the XBOX 720 or PS3, you'll buy the title because you get the same product with the same graphics.

In an ironic twist, people will buy the XBOX 720 because it is capable of better than PS3 graphics. But in a side by side comparison, they look virtually identical. Can you guess why?