Monday, October 25, 2010

Fear the Machine

Hey will ya look at that, my blog is already Orange.  haha, I am by no means a baseball fan, but I've been watching the ends of some of the SF-Philly games, just for fun.  I used to follow the Giants when I was a kid (like 5-12 years old?), trading cards, following stats, all that good stuff.  But I just lost interest.  Playoffs starting in the 7th inning is fun to watch though!

Brian Wilson.  Hell of a character.  I never knew, but this last game when the Giant's beat the Phillies was when I learned all about the Giant's closer Brian Wilson.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

 The Beard
The Same Guy as above

All this time I thought BW was some 40 year old dude looking like a lumberjack.  But no, he's a 28 year old bro.  haha when they showed his shaved pic on TV, I couldn't believe it and just busted up laughing.  It doesn't stop there, he's a hell of a character:

When I was watching the postgame interview, he talks about "The Machine" and I just had to find out:

hahaha man that's awesome. This guy is ridiculous and entertaining as hell.

More machine  :) Don't worry, the video starts at 7:16 on its own, i'm not making you watch 8 minutes.

GO SF Briants!

10/28 Edit:
More Reading on B-Dub
Interview: Why he crosses his arms after saving a game
Most Interesting Man in the World + Video montage
Video: Interview about his Father

Mayhem in SE Portland

This weekend was crazy in the hood. Let's rewind *whirrrrrr*

I got the cold last week, most likely from insomnia/lackosleep and cooold temps.  So I decided to take it easy this weekend and not go out at all.  It was really nice to just park my maximus glutemus in my chair all weekend and catch up on my stories (MF, BBT, CMTY, HIMYM).  God I forgot how good BBT was, why did I ever stop watching you?

Anyways, I think I owe my life to the common cold.


Saturday 12:00-1:00AM.  Good Call Sports Bar.  
A bar I frequent, because it's only like 10 blocks from my house.  I was just there with my cousin last weekend.  I was telling him how great it was, how they give away free jerseys every gamenight.  The food was great, pho at late, yada yada.  I find out on the news that there was a shooting there this weekend! 
It was apparently some kind of gang related incident.  Man it's crazy when something like this happens so close to you.  My friend works there too, good thing she works mornings now. 

Saturday night 11:50PM.  Jay's Bar and Grill. 
We just went out to hangout for beers and karaoke last Thursday, and it was my first time there.  It was a pretty cool place, the KJ's (karaoke jockey?) were just awesome at singing.  One of them channeled Eminem with Lose Yourself, and it was awesomely awesome.  I didn't expect him to pull it off at all.  Then.. he started to C-walk and..... yea. hahaha.  Anyways, not even a day after the shooting at Good Call, there's a shooting at Jay's! wtfffff is this place I live in?! 

Time to find a hobby for the weekends, heh, maybe I'll start blogging more again?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston, TV shows

Besides being obsessed with my phone, I got hooked on something else.  I got addicted to a show about Meth.  I remember my buddy Henry trying to get me to watch Breaking Bad way back in January and I just shrugged it off.  "meh, its not for me" "i'm more of a comedy kind of guy"  "fuh-gettabout-it" 
I haven't gotten into hit shows like '24', 'Prison Break' or 'Lost' because I like my shows short and hilarious.  But I'm pretty sure if I saw the first episode of each of those shows, I'd get sucked in just as easily as I did with Breaking Bad.  I started watching it last Sunday, and a week later I finished the 3 seasons.  Here's how you know when you got it bad:
  1. You get emotionally attached with the characters and you get angry at them, swearing and calling them out by name, even when you're the only one watching it.  "WTF WALT, YOU IDIOT" "YESSSS KILL THAT MFER! POW!POW!"
  2. You don't even notice the sun has set, and you have to pry yourself out of the butt-crevice you formed when the sun starts to come out again.  
  3. You just finished the last episode, and you just need more content.  So you scour the internet.  IMDB to read the random trivia.  Wikipedia to learn all about the characters and actors.  Youtube to watch actor interviews, and award speeches.  
Man Bryan Cranston surprised me in this series.  He deserves his 3-Peat Emmy wins.  His character goes through so many changes and he portrays it perfectly.  And he's a completely different person in real life too!  Funny Jimmy Kimmel interview:

It's sad I need to wait another year to watch the next season, but good thing the TV season is starting up again!  Shows I'm looking forward to: HIMYM, Modern Family, Community, Two and a Half Men.  ahh.... my comedy fix

PS: hahahaha i just got finished watching his interview with Craig Fergusen they're crazy funny hahaha

Phone Phun Fone Fun

*cracks knuckles* let the flood gates open.  Pending pent up posts pour profusely.  I have had a lot to post, but I haven't felt the itch to write them down.  Here I go

I got a new smartphone about 3 weeks ago! and I've kind of become obsessed with it.  Whenever I get a piece of electronic that is highly tweakable, I spend countless hours scouring forums and tinkering with it.  The phone I picked out was the 1 year old HTC Hero for Sprint.  Why didn't I go for the beautiful HTC Evo 4G? because Sprint charges up the wazoo with a $10/month/phone fee just for using that phone, even if you don't use 4G.  That's just criminal... I say stick it to the man!  Sprint was also smart enough to deny the Froyo update for the HTC Hero, so that it might sway people to spring for the Evo and the silly fee.  Good thing theres a huge online community of Hero tweakers; there is now a custom Froyo Rom for my phone :)

This is what I've done to my phone so far:
  1. One-Click Root:
    1. This unlocks the phone so that you can do anything you want with it. 
  2. CyanogenMod 6.0 Custom Froyo Rom:
    1. This gives you the sought after Android 2.2 update
  3. Uncapped Kernel
    1. This let's you overclock your phone's CPU (528Mhz to 768Mhz)
Why did I do all this? Because the stock HTC Hero is kind of outdated and sluggish.  I couldn't stand the lag, so I rooted it within two hours of getting the phone.  Now it zippity doodah's along yay.  And the development community has made it so easy, you don't even need a computer.  Thanks XDA-Dev. 

My Favorite Apps: 
  1. Swype Keyboard - An Innovative and really effective way to type.  so cool
  2. Wireless Tether App (needs root) - Ever see that Droid commercial where you can create a wireless network with your phone? Done and Done!  Can you imagine Sprint charges 30 bucks a month to do this? 
  3. Handcent SMS - much better than the stock messaging app
  4. SetCPU - Overclocked my CPU to 710mHz.  For some reason my phone is unstable at 768mHz
  5. CraigsNotification - great for sniping those Kaskade tickets
  6. Mileage - Now I can update my gas mileage data using my phone yay.
  7. NewsRob - downloads all your newsfeeds into one spot, I get all the blogs I follow from this.
  8. Google Voice Actions (needs Froyo 2.2) - Yep, it's that easy, and pretty damned accurate.
Addictive Games:

  1. WordFeud: Yes, the infamous scrabble game that consumes your life.
  2. Alchemy: Unique game where you start off with 4 basic elements Earth, Air, Water, Fire and create up to 300 different things.  Weirdest thing I've created? I gotta say it's a toss-up between 'A Walking Tree' and 'Ectoplasm' (bonus points if you know what ectoplasm is)
  3. Math Workout: It's like the Brain Age games, but you get to see how well you match up against the world. 
  4. Trivial Droid:  Trivia about anything, and you get to compete against the world
  5. Wordoid: boggle like game
  6. Live Holdem: only 5 players at a table, but good time killer. 
  7. GeoQuiz: more Trivia
  8. Bit: haha its simple, but I love it.  It's the Bit from Tron that answers Yes or No.
Well thats that, if you're looking for a new phone, I highly recommend AndroidOS.  HTC is a good brand too.  Just don't get the Hero if you don't wanna spend time tweaking it so that it actually runs decent.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to the Future (warning: long, dry, rambling)

How to start, how to start.  This is going to be one of those rare posts that are a bit more serious than usual, but I thought I'd want to put it up here because it's important to me.  I'll probably look back at this post years later and think "hmm.. so this was the pivotal moment that brought me here".

Tentative.  I've been holding myself back because I have a tentative personality.  Whenever, things weren't going my way, I wouldn't try to confront the situation.  Instead, I'd just try to wait it out and see what happens.  I alway had the idea that things would work out.  Things always work out right?  For me, it was true for the most part.  I took the backseat, just following the standard path through college and my future looked alright.  I'm not a driven person, because I didn't feel the need.  I saw myself living in the bay area, with a cushy career and living it up.

But now I'm sitting in Oregon, and recently I started feeling trapped.  It was like I was following someone else's dream.  Throughout this whole year, I've been listening to my Uncle's dream of building a company and having me take it over.  It was a grand and lofty vision that widened my eyes initially.  But after a while, I realized that's not what I want in life.   Whenever I met his friends, he'd ecstatically introduce me as the nephew that would take over his business.  I'd just stand there and smile.  Until now, I didn't have the heart to tell him thats not what I wanted.

This engineering project has not turned out as we all had hoped.  I mean it's still on, but funding is lagging (characteristic of most big engineering projects) to the point where my Uncle can't give me an exact date of when we will have a line of credit to work with.  He's given me so many deadline estimations that I was growing weary and discontent.  I barely even gotten paid for my work up here, because the funding hasn't come in.  I've been extremely patient about this, but I'm reaching a breaking point.  I spent all this time researching, designing, talking to machinery companies and we still don't have funding to work with? This was not what I had envisioned when I took this project on 7 months ago.

But I'm not blaming him.  I'm sure he's not trying to shaft me.  He wants this project more than I do.  It's that I'm feeling a harsh discomfort from the uncertainty of my career.  I don't want to wait around for so long, when I could be out there furthering my career.  I remember in the beginning of the year, I was offered a contract position with my old company.  But I was already up in Oregon, and figured I already made a commitment.  What I should have done, was talk to my Uncle about it.  But I didn't want to face confrontation.  Didn't want them to question my loyalty to the project, to the family.  Which was a poor move on my part.  I missed the bus on that opportunity, and I'm not going to do that to myself anymore.

I finally mustered the courage to tell him man to man what I wanted for my future.  It's funny how I'm going to turn 24 soon, and I never went against my family.  They've always pushed me towards helping the family business.  "You want to be an Engineer? Go work for your uncle, he has a machine shop!"  "I'm going to teach you everything I know, so that you can take over the business".  I had no interest in this business, but I just went along with everything, ignoring my own self-interests to not offend the family.

I was fearful of being cornered into running the business so I had to speak out now before I'm in too deep. I told him, I did not see myself as an entrepreneur, I had no interest in heading a company or running a business.  I did not see myself living here longterm in Portland.  If I were to be still living here 2 years from now, I certainly would not be happy.  Had it not been for this project, I'd probably be working back in the bay area and life would be great!  So he sat there taking in all I had to say and he did not fire back like I thought he would.  I mean two years ago, he was vigilant in pressuring my cousins and I into helping the family business.  But this time, he was hearing me out.

He told me, if I had a job waiting for me in the city, I could move back now.  When the funding comes in, I can come back to work on this project.  In addition to that, when the design is finalized most of my work can be done remotely.  We were talking about how technology makes it extremely easy to work from anywhere in the world.  I felt so relieved.  All I had to do was speak up, and I wouldn't have to be all stressed out about my future.  Why didn't I do this earlier?  I could have been looking for jobs, but I hadn't.  I was too trusting of this project, and rode the backseat.

Whatever, there's no point in dwelling with bygones.  I can only look forward.  I'm stuck at a crossroads, where I can't really go for a career job or try to go back to school.  The project is still very real, and will be back online within the next year.  For now, I need to make most of my access to the machine shop and learn all I can.  I want to learn enough so that when I'm eventually done with this project, I'll have many options to choose from.  Another thing is, I have to generate some kind of income right now, because my savings aren't going to last forever.  It's a bit daunting to be self-employed, but I'm looking at a few things I can do to earn some scratch.

I'm looking at partnering with my dad to design premium piano tools.  It's a niche market that seems to be pretty profitable.  Plus, it would be great engineering experience.   I also want to learn how to tune pianos.  It's a good blend of technical and musical skills that I believe suits me perfectly.  It would be a great skill to have for extra income.  If I'm able to do it well, I see myself tuning pianos longterm.  It's appointment based so that it's completely flexible so that I can earn money whenever I have free time.  If I ever get laid-off, or business is slow,  I always have piano tuning to fall back on.

Yep, so that's where I'm at right now.  It just feels strange to be on an unconventional path in life.  (conventional: Grade school->College->Stable Career) Thing's always work out right? Only if you know what you want and you go for it.

Good god this has got to be the longest post of all time.  Whoever made it to the end, I'm taking you out to dinner, no lie.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kids say the darndest things

When I got back to Portland, my little cousin runs out to greet me.  It looked like she was excited to see me woohoo.

Me: Hey Salina! (high five) You miss me?
S: iono
Me: ..oh

Then she follows me into the house.  I ask her what she wants to do, watch a movie, eat something.  She's like nah...I'm just bored.  She starts looking around the house, walking around.  After a couple minutes she goes: "can I do your dishes?" and she really starts washing my dishes.  hahahah she's so funny.   and yes, I'm a slob.

Today, I was at the post office to get a money order for my speeding ticket when this woman walks in with her 5-6 year old daughter.  Behind them was what I thought was the grandma, but she was just another friendly stranger.

Daughter: "mama, i'm thirssty, can we get something to drink?"
Mama: "well we in the wrong place, they aint got water at the post office"
Grandperson: "Well, do you have any water in the car?"
Daughter: "We don't have one! We're poor walking people!"  (O_O haha, i was shocked and laughing at the same time)

Friday, August 06, 2010

BBall With a Pro Athlete

"Barry! You want some Chicken!?"

Last weekend, we had a "Basketball Jones" 3 on 3 tourney with a few friends and friends of friends.  It was a lot of fun, I'm starting to really enjoy playing basketball now.  (I've told Alex that I had retired from the sport, maybe twice now haha)  But that's because since swimming, my endurance has become much better, and I'm less worried about collapsing on the floor after my 1st game.

So we're running games the whole day, getting a good sweat on, having fun.  When I hear CLANK.  I look over and I see this huge black dude dunking on foos.  I swear the average height of everyone was probably around 5'10".  And this guy is standing 6'5", looking like a athletic beast in the midst of it all.  I'm hearing guys around me, "damn who is this kid" "you see him? dudes a beast!" "he's built like a football player!".

Apparently he's Ryan Bailey, a professional runner for Nike.  And he's training to be a potential runner for the US Team.  It's pretty cool to have shared the same court as a future Olympian.  I'm not saying he's definitely going to be in the Olympics, but he has a good chance of making it.  And I'll be keeping my eye out.

He's got a hell of a story too.  I'm a horrible story teller, so here's a snippet from NY Times

Skipping class one afternoon, Bailey and a friend looked at a board listing the school track records. Neither realized those were also state marks. “I can get those,” Bailey said. He did not know Parks was behind him. Parks told Bailey, “Why don’t you come out and prove it?”
His mind squarely set on football, Bailey brushed off Parks.
“I thought track was for a bunch of nerds,” he said Thursday, laughing.
Bailey never went to see Parks at the track, but he showed up there one day to make up a physical education class. Wearing baggy jeans and basketball shoes, Bailey passed Parks, who had his stopwatch ready, as he peeled off a lap. Parks recalls clocking Bailey at around 51 seconds for 400 meters. Parks saw a future superstar.
 The article then goes on to talk about unfortunate injuries he's had every year in high school like breaking his foot twice, getting stabbed 3 times on a bus?  Man imagine how much faster he could be if he didn't have those setbacks.

Anyways, I'm glad the guy found a path for his talent, and I wish him much success.

Free* Tickets to Natasha Leggero

I just came back from my first comedy club experience and it was great!  It was awesome because I got free tickets from, and I can't remember the last time I got free anything.  I swear i just signed up, entered the drawing, got an email saying I won, and went to see the show...all in one day.  That was just rad in itself.  Plus, the site founder's last name is Chunlick.  That's a shiny gold star in my book.

*now I put the asterisk here because when I sat down I noticed the menu saying 2 item minimum purchase.  Grrr... If I hadn't gotten free tickets I woulda felt robbed.

Before I went to the show, I checked out Natasha's youtube clips and they were just awfully unfunny.  But her stand up set turned out to be hilarious.  Okay it maybe because I was forced to get two beers, but she was adorably funny.  She interacted with the audience a lot (especially the 3 single guys up front) and had this dance competition with two ladies from the crowd.  Lot's of silly fun.  The guy that opened for her was trying too hard, and the crowd wasn't having it.  He even fell on the floor on purpose and got like 3 claps (oh boy). I think it was a ploy to make Natasha seem even more funny in comparison.

But the host Ian Karmel was the funniest in my opinion.   Man that guy got things going.  He's one of those hilarious "heavyset" comics that make you laugh extra hard.  I don't know why it is, but when fat comicedians lose weight, they seem to lose a bit of their funny.  (see Seth Rogan, Drew Carey)

 Damn, Seth's lookin' good.  But he looks more like he'll be on CSI than in a Judd Apatow movie.
Ok, I never thought Drew Carey was funny, but look at all that weight he's lost!

oh man, I also found out that Bill Burr (He's my favorite comic at the moment, thanks Alex) is going to be at Helium Comedy Club Aug 19-21! that's when I'll be in Cali.  But it's all good, cus I'm gonna be in Cali!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Motivation by Humiliation Results

Alex specifically asked me not to reveal the fate of my eyebrows to him, so please don't ruin the fun.

Sooo 4 more minutes until the August 1st deadline ends (by the time i post this, it will be long past).  And I just finished testing myself an hour ago to see if I made my goal.

Dylan already made his weight by flying colors this past Monday at a very impressive 158.9 lbs!  How did he do it?  He ran 10 miles twice (TWICE, once in the morning, once in the evening) before he took a vid of him on the scale.  The most I ran was 3 miles, i gotta give it up to him for his dedication and sheer willpower.

Me on the other hand..

click on the pic for to reveal my fate....are you nervous? ...cus im nervous

btw, the 'stache is for a Burt Reynolds Challenge on August 7.  I am certainly not going to win, but I gotta tell ya, having a 'stache when everyone has a 'stache is straight up fun. 

great mustache music video via alex via andy

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running On Empty

The most exciting time we've ever had driving economically.  

Dylan and I were driving back from Eugene to Corvallis.  I was in dire need of gas because the meter was at the last tick.  The estimated miles was calculated to be 34miles.  I remember from Eugene to the Shell near Corvallis was around 30-something miles.  We both thought the same stupid idea.  Could we make it before the gas runs out?  As you may know by now, we like a challenge. 

So off we went.  I was really tired, so I let D take the wheel.  It was a hell of an adventure for the next 40 minutes.  We had to drive around 60mph the whole way and we might not even make it.   So we thought of everything we could to conserve gas.  We closed the windows and sunroof.   We turned off the stereo.  We turned off the headlamps (luckily the sun was still out).  We turned off the A/C (shit. the sun's still out).  It was around 8 o clock so the sun was at perfect eye level, blinding the hell out of us, baking the inside of the oven that we had just created.  But whatever, we are not going to back down.  

Beads of sweat started forming and the temperature was rising.  I looked at the GPS.  16miles to go.  Looked at the estimated miles left: 18 MILES.   okay we're in good shape.  So I turn on the fan to cool off a little bit, you know, so as to not suffocate?  Instantly, the meter jumps down to 15Miles.  I panic and shut the fans off.  What the heck just happened?!  at this point we're yelling and panicking not knowing what to do.  He's yelling at me for turning on the fans, I'm yelling back for him to calm down and focus, it was a mess.  

But wait.  We see a big semi truck coming ahead of us.  We both smiled.  Let's draft that sommabich all the way there!  Cutting out all that headwind+aerodynamics mumbo jumbo would be huge for us.  So the next 11 miles D is trying his hardest to stay as close as he can to that semi.  It gets nerve racking as I look between the GPS and the mileage meter.  7...7,  6....6,  4....3  NOOOO what happened?!  we're so close!  1.2 ....0  a big fat zero shows up on the meter.  and we have 1.2 miles to go.  What does this mean?!  We're panicking even more than before, I'm imagining hiking over a mile for gas.  It was like waiting for a time bomb to explode.  

But it never did.  We coasted in neutral to exit, and slowly drove into the Shell station.  We made it!!  I look over at the data meter thing and was ecstatic.   I had driven nearly 500miles on that one tank.  Record broken!

I usually get around 400 for a tank.  but 496.2! That came out to 36.25 MPG.  (previous record was 462miles from my Davis to Eugene trip on one tank)

Who knew driving economically could be so fun?  The ambition, the panic, the pure joy.  Now I know why "Hypermilers" do what they do.  This can easily turn into an addiction.  Good times ol' chap.  Good times.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camping and Casino Weekend

Who likes lists? I do.  I present to you, the highlights of my trip:

  1. Dill and I hitched a ride with Andy and Lisa, but the car had no MP3 capabilities! What did we do? we serenaded the lovely couple with the roadtrip classics.  You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Baby On Board, Still of the Night, Copa Cabana (wish you could join us Henry).  It was fun and funny as hell, to hell with ipods.
  2. Deciding to make a campfire without matches or lighters was very educational.  I learned some nifty techniques from Andy who took a wilderness survival class recently.  But most importantly, I learned to always bring matches with you cus if you had to build a fire from scratch you're SOL.
  3. Finding out somebody was no longer in the tent.  and in his place was a puddle of puke.  I almost died laughing from the absurdness of the sight.  I'm sorry, that was probably one of the roughest night of his life... but i couldn't stop laughing. 
  4. Prime Rib & Crab buffet at the local buffet.  'nuff sed.
  5. Playing roulette for over an hour and only losing 40 bucks.  That's probably the best gambling session I've had in a casino and I'm not being sarcastic. Anyways the lady next to us who was going to "teach us how to play"  kept on shelling out hundreds.  She probably lost over a grand of her rich husband's treasure that night. 
  6. Serenading Doug with You've Lost that Loving Feeling, Top Gun style way past the campsite's quiet hours. 
  7. Watching Doug re-enact the Warriors scene waaaaay past quiet hours.  HAHA

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crack of Dawn at Farch Mountain

Last week, I was talking about where to go fishing in Portland with my Uncle and he was listing off all these lakes that I have now forgotten. Anyways, we started talking about scenic points and he mentions Farch Mountain having a great view of the sunrise. He jokes, "Wanna wake up at 4AM and drive up there? wahaha" Calling his bluff, I look at him deadpanned and go, "sure, lets do it!"... "ooh ok.. we'll go then, sure you can wake up?"

Haha when 4AM rolls by, I feel like crap and just snooze until 4:30AM. Then Wilton runs up the stairs bursting with energy, "Chad! Are we going? It's 4:30! I just ate two burritos!" The kid stayed up all night for this haha and I didn't have the heart to say no. I check out the sunrise time and it's 5:36. It takes about an hour to get there. So I'm like if we're gonna go we gotta go now!

About 30 minutes of driving, I start hitting the twisties to go up Farch Mountain. The sky is already brightening up, yet it was kinda foggy. Crap. I shrugged it off because we already drove so far. Twisties always bring a smile to my face, so I step on it. Wilton's been kinda quiet, so I look over and ask him if he's alright. He mutters that he's a bit carsick, so I dial it down a bit. I wasn't going fast just for the fun of it, I wanted to get there on time too! Apparently I didn't slow down enough. I totally forgot that he had eaten two burritos right before the trip. He ended up not going to see the sunrise at all. He threw up in the back of my car into a bag (thank god I had that bag)

I was probably about 5-10 minutes too late. When I left the parking lot, I had about a 1/4 mile trail to walk up to the viewpoint. From the parking lot the sun was poking out already...nooooooooooooo. But it made an awesome picture:

ooOOOoo, if I only had a better camera

Once I saw that starburst of a sun, I booked it.  Running like mad up the trails and I encounter the steps.  DUN DUN DUN
How far up? HOW FAR??

Luckily it wasn't that far up (but on my way down there was this heavy-set dude that was struggling so hard to get up there.  he had to rest every 3 steps.  ah man, poor guy).  When I made it to the top, I was gasping for air......

.....because the view was so breathtaking! (couldn't resist. i know, it's an illness and i believe its contagious)

Wish I was here before it rose.
I like this rock formation

Mt. Hood: Where snowboarding happens.

Above the clouds

What I saw when I first got up there, made me go Wow out loud. 

Staring at this kinda trips me out

The trees directly across from the sun provided a cool backdrop.  Yeah, I was alone, my uncle didn't wake up and my brother was passed out in the car.  But it was so awesome up there, even if it was by myself.  The sun was slowly rising, a sea of clouds below you, and five mountains in the distance all around you.  It was peaceful and quiet, I just let my mind go blank for a few minutes.  So relaxing... until the mosquitos found me.  RUN!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2 Talented

Just spreading some music around.  This guy, Matt Cab has been going around in the FB/Youtube-sphere and I just can't stop listening!  I'm not a Bieber fan, but here's Matt's cover of his song "Somebody to Love".

wow, he just owns the song, puts Bieber to shame.  When he sings in the higher register its oh so silky.  I remember back in highschool when he sang for the talent show, and I wish him success 'cus he's legitimately good.  Thanks Fishy for passing along the vid.

Then I went on the usual Youtube surfing and found a video of the guy 'Snuggles' who beatboxes for Matt.  He's beatboxing 'A milli' by Lil' Wayne.  Now, I am not only not a fan of Lil' Wayne, but I think he sucks ass.  However, Snuggles just makes the song sound siiiick. Check it out:

Oooh and there was another vid of Matt behind the scenes producing one of the tracks on his up and coming album Ryan Leslie style (or Han style).  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mt. Tabor

It's been loverly in Portland lately, so I decided to drag the boys out of their gaming dens and go hiking on a Sunday afternoon.  My brother came up here to visit for the summer and everybody just spends most of their time separate in their own rooms!  Can you believe that?  It'd be the same as if he didn't come up.  Kids these days.

Mt. Tabor is a small extinct volcano turned into a park only a few miles from where I live.  It's a really nice place to checkout on a sunny day.  It's got reservoirs, basketball courts, tennis courts, a playground, and a good amount of paved road.  I saw this guy take his longboard up there, and it looks like a lotta fun! We were initially feeling adventurous and decided to take the most adventurous paths we can find.  After about 10 minutes, and scurrying through a mosquito infested forest we decided to walk on the paved road instead.  Haha I think I got bit like 5 times in one path. 

 That's our drinking water
 Mr. Scott, the Pioneer pointing West
 NOOO Dont go in there!
Kenneth (15 minutes into the hike): "How long is this gonna take?"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Retro in the Metro: Home 4 July 4

3 days is not enough! I had a great time at home last weekend for Independence Day weekend. It's always good to be bask in the fog and see everyone (although I missed a few).

Friday Fireworks (and the incident)
T picked me up (thaaaaanks) from the airport to go straight to the Alameda County Fair.  We mucked (is that a word?) around with all the farm animals and it was pretty fun.  I believe I got urinated on by Babe, and shorts chewed up by a goat, but I got the last laugh because I've been eating bacon and lamb chops like crazy!! haha maybe not like crazy..  but we tried our first chocolate covered bacon! Sounds disgusting? It's actually pretty damned good, very bacon-maple bar like but too much of a good thing will make you kinda nauseous.  She kinda liked the chocolate more, and I kinda liked the bacon more.. so we ended up eating them separately haha.

Mmm... .delicious

beautiful shot! credits to T for the excellent iPhone-tography

The Iincident all started when I saw a dude carrying a Brian PBJ Time doll.  and I had to have one!  We saw this dart throwing game with the Brian PBJ and I walked right up.

Carnie: "First throw's free!"
I throw, and pop one
Carnie: "Keep on going and you win a prize!"
I throw, and pop one.  Throw and pop another."

Carnie: "read the sign, whats 5 and 5?"  (turns out, if you hit one, you pay 5 bucks per dart, if you dont its free, SCAM)
me: "huh? what do you mean? .....10?"
Carnie: "yep, you owe me 10, here's your prize"  
It's this crappy bear worth 25 cents.  I didn't want the stupid bear, I wanted Brian! so... he continued to con me until I paid 20 bucks for PBJ Brian *sigh*. 
T challenged the guy: "you do this all the time?"

Cockface: "yep, how else do I make 60k in 4 months" 

He made me look like a foolastnight... but I'm over it!  Brian is pretty awesome :)

Cou-Gary's Birthday
The rest of the weekend was pretty action packed, I don't think I even spent much time at home (wish I had more time!)  Jimmy's B-Day at Brunos and Gary's at Bliss Bar.

1.  Being very drunk after Jimmy's thang, getting forcefed a slice of pizza and all of a sudden it's morning.
2.  Gary coming back to the backroom (pretty awesome caged room) with a gash in his arm from falling on stairs!  It was still early in the night I think haha what a trooper.  Happy Birthday man
3.  Watching Gary's interactions with the older women at the bar haha, one of them gave him a little more than a bear hug?
4.  Xin!

Don't blame him, poor guy has to drive back to Hayward

Sunday, July 11, 2010

belated-Breaking News!

belated and breaking cancel out, so it's just news.  Finally, I've found a name for my car!

(drumroll please)

Minimus Maximus

I was talking to T about her car "Tobi" and she told me Tobi was short for Tobias. haha so I just joked with myself (I do this all the time) and thought "hmm..well then Mini is short for....Minimus.....MINIMUS MAXIMUS (in a low baritone voice)".   success! 

And Minimus Maximus generates a whole slew of nicknames:  M n' M, Max, Maxi, Maxi Cab, Relaxi Maxi? (err.. probably not enough room for a massage table), Mini Maxi? (nah.. reminds me of a tiny woman's product).  Anyways you get the point.

On further note, the name seems more suited for the MINI's overgrown buffoon of a brother the Countryman:

I dono about this one MINI...acquired taste much?

Although an AWD MINI is pretty sweet, why must you SUV-ize everything!?

Thanks to Tobi (Gary's car jr.) for his inspiration

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spreading the Miyavi Looove

My brother's been listening to mostly JRock and Visual Kei bands for the past few years, and I never knew what the fuss was about.  I mean there were some good X-Japan and LunaSea songs, but I never really went out of my way to listen to them.

Then he with my cousin to this Miyavi concert recently, probably their first one?  And I'm like who is this guy? I never heard of him, and shrugged it off.  Then a few days later I hear some funky junky guitar coming from the other room and found myself bobbing my head.  This shit was FUNKY, and I was really digging it.  Hey Wilton! who is this?  MIYAVI.

"God of Guitar"
Age: 28
and yep, he rocks, and he's always having fun doing it.

Man I love listening to funky music, and he also incorporates a lot of blues rock and rock guitar in there too.  I've browsed through some of his other songs, and they all have a different feel to them.  He draws from all kinds of musical styles and elements and FUNK. 

I wish I was at the concert, he passed by SF on 6/15 and Portland on 6/19.

Tracks I'm currently Digging:
Miyavi - Survive : Rock Guitar style playing plus catchy rock vocals
Miyavi - Selfish Love : Funky Blues Rock Guitar, with bluesy vocals
Miyavi - Itoshii Hito (My Beloved One) : Acoustic Slow bluesy song
Miyavi - Are You Ready to Rock?:  This one is just fun! check the vid. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Motivation by Humiliation

So I was just kickin' it with my cousin Dylan one day, you know driving around having the same old "let's get back into shape" conversation we've had many, many times before.  The main problem with trying to get into shape is staying motivated.  Last time we scheduled a fight against each other as motivation.  This time, we're going another route.  Instead of our pride on the line, it's humiliation.

Deadline: August 1, 2010

His goal: Lose weight
How much? ~ 8 lbs.  He has to weigh 160.7lbs or less during weigh-in, wearing nothing but boxers. 
What's on the line?:  If he weighs 160.8lbs or more, he's going to have to shave one leg and leave the other leg unshaven for 1 month.  Doesn't sound humiliating right? Well his reasoning is that, he plays basketball almost everyday, and he'll definitely get heckled on the courts looking like this:
yes he's that hairy.

My Goal: Perform 60 clean, steady paced pushups (not pounding them like a jackhammer).  Perform 15 clean pullups with no jerking or swinging. 
How Much?: 60 Pushups, 15 Pullups
What's on the line?: haha i feel like the sucker of this deal.  If I can't reach my goal by August, *sigh*.  I will have to shave half of each of my eyebrows.  That's right.  But what's motivation without extreme humiliation right??  K, readers: in case of my failure please choose my fate

So.... which one will get the ladies? 

hahaha oh man. I feel like working out now. SO BAD

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You Don't Look Like You Sing

Have you ever heard a song on the radio and have a mental construction of what the singer looks like, only to find out later that the singer looks completely different than what you had in mind?

Wrong Ethnicity
For example, one of the first ones for me was back in highschool when I heard Paperboy - Ditty.  I totally thought it was an Asian rapper for some reason.  Probably because Viet Rap was all the rave back then.  Does anyone agree with me though?  I swear it was Paperboy's sort of higher-pitched, softer rapping style plus the minimally produced backtrack.  Reminded me of the poor quality self-produced azn rap songs. no? maybe this was a bad example. In any case.

Wrong Gender
How about Nick Pitera?

Yeah, it's a little bit different with video, but if you had your eyes closed you wouldn't doubt it was a girl singing.  Pretty damned impressive.  Props.

Just Plain Wrong
This post came about because of a song by Tracy Chapman - Fast Car that I heard on 96.5 (Lite Rock Less Talk).  I've been listening to this song for years now thinking that it was some white dude in the country singing about wanting a new life, right?

ANNKKK wrong!  check the music video:

Little did I know, Tracy Chapman is a black woman!  That just blew my mind.  Whaaaaaaaaaat. I couldn't believe it, I got both the gender and ethnicity wrong on this one. Nonetheless, it's a great song and great artist.

Wrong.. Species? 
haha just for fun, i'll throw this one in.  Ever heard of Vitas? Skip to about 1 minute. 

Doesn't it remind you of the Diva from The 5th Element?!

Honorable Mentions: 

Charice Pempengco - Little girl sounding like a grown ass woman
Lin Yun Chun - Boy sounding like a grown ass woman

So yea it's pretty interesting how dynamic or different people's vocal tone and range can be.  How do people, especially impersonators manipulate their vocal chords to sound like someone else?  Crazy. 

Terry Fator doing a puppet doing a woman's voice

Skills... so much skills!!

haha man i'm digressing, but here's the extent on vocal chord research we are currently at. LOL HAHAHA i can't get enough of this:

And this concludes my Youtube vomit

Monday, June 21, 2010

Retrospect: SF Weddings!

I know, it's been over the month since I've posted, but it's because I was having too much fun back home.  Now I'm doing a couple of posts in retrospect to reminisce about the good times in June.  The main reasons I came back were because of two weddings.

1.  Xiao's wedding

Wow.  This was the first wedding I've been to without my family, and it was so beautiful.  I remember driving up the windy road through the vineyard hills and seeing the building appear ahead.  Wow.  The word Tuscany came to mind.  I didn't even remember what Tuscany was at the time!  But now that I googled it, I totally agree with what my subconscious blurted out.  I wish I took a picture coming down the road, but here's a close up shot i took.
 The wedding photographer ( took a much better picture (snagged from fb)
 Ain't it beautiful? The wedding ceremony was even more awesome.  It was outdoors and they had a harp!  Man the harp was my favorite part.  The harpist just seamlessly and subtly switched from wedding song to wedding song.  I felt like I was in a movie or something.  Actually my favorite part was when the flower girls came through, it was hilarious!  This little 3 year old girl comes in and instead of throwing the petals on the carpet, she tries to plant them into the dirt off to the side!  She totally stole the show and I wish I got it on video. 
2.  Leeme's Wedding

I was stoked for this wedding because a bunch of my closest friends were going too.  Originally my brother and I were supposed to play as a duet during the ceremony, but plans were changed.  Oh well, maybe next time! (taking reservations from friends, will play for food haha).  This wedding was also at a vineyard, so it was also very classy.  Hors d' oeuvres and open bar, what more can I say?  We all knew it was gonna be a kickass time, and everyone looked smashing in their get-ups (I heard someone was gonna come in jeans?).


  1. The Decor: It was really nice inside the banquet room.  The lit flowery walls were a very nice touch, and it just made me feel classy.  The running slideshow was really touching, back-in-the-day pics are awesome!
  2. Father-Daughter dance:  Man, I don't see myself as someone who'd cry at a wedding.  Maybe it was too much champagne? too much other misc. drinks?  But when Leeme and her dad started dancing, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Tears started pooling up in my eyes, and I had to look away to compose myself. I'm feeling it a little even right now godamn!  I think it was the look papa Luong had in his eyes, pure joy and pride.  wah wah wah moving on. 
  3. Food:  Leeme did a great job planning her wedding, and the dinner was delicious.  Family style, what a great idea!  Steak, Fish, mash potatoes, pasta, she sure knows what a man likes to eat.  Then there were tacos, sliders, and candy afterwards.   She's a genius.
  4. Shenanigans:  I know from past weddings that the dance floor is always slow to start.  Not this time!  Readers listen, if you wanna have a poppin' wedding, you have to invite a guy named Hiep Dang.  Best part was watching him groovin' with the mature ladies haha, I bet it was the time of their life! 
  5. More Shenanigans:  We were definitely the younger rowdier bunch.  The Mike! chants, the Lee-ME! chants, the Isn't She Lovely crooning (i think it happened like 3 times, I know theres a video out there somewhere).  Hilarious times. 
  6. The After After Party: we all know what went down.  Smell my breath?
 Thanks for the invite buddy, I had a blast!

Who's next?!
(thanks Hen for the pics)

    Chadillac the 2nd year.

    June 20th! Two years ago I picked up my beloved people mover from the dealership.  I still remember it vividly, hands at the wheel in the showroom.  I was scared to death, because I had to drive through the narrow-ass showroom door.  It was just there taunting me, being extra narrow, impossibly slim.  "You can't get through me!" "You barely know how to drive stick!" "You're gonna scrape your paint the 1st 5 minutes you own this car".  The dealer hands me the keyfob and mutters something like, "Turbo eh? I know how you kids are like with these cars, just be careful out there".  I chuckle and smirk at his snide comment, thinking "kid? f-ing asshole, i'm a college grad".  Then I looked back at the narrow path to freedom. With sweaty palms and a racing heart I slowly creep out into the sunlight.  YES! FREEDOM!! VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM (displaying my middle finger through the sunroof in full fury)

    Okay okay,  that last sentence was made up, but that woulda been sweet. 

    2 Years by the Numbers
    • Miles Vroomed:  24,304 mi. 
    • Fastest Vroomed: ~112 mph? (on the track! I only go 65 mph on freeways, officer, i swear.)
    • Gas Consumed: 803.304 gal. 
    • Longest Tank: 462 mi. 
    • Best/Worst/Avg mpg : 33.98/22.45/28.99 mpg  (compare to 32/26/29 EPA estimate, the average is dead on!)
    • Total Gas Cost: $2452.51
    Just for kicks, the price of gas over 2 years.  That spike is filling up at the track with ultra high octane gas. Can you believe gas was under 2 bucks?

    Battlescars - I'm way past the honeymoon period, no more worrying about that 1st scratch.
    1. Windshield crack - still lazy to fix, someday
    2. Various Rear bumper parking nicks
    3. Large but unnoticeable recession in the back right corner from a basketball.  
    Is it weird to have a car birthday? I don't think so, I love my car and I'm planning to keep him for many years.  The thing is, I still haven't found the right name yet.  Toyed around with Mickey (the boy Minnie, get it?) one afternoon, but it was quickly shotdown by sundown.  For now, keep on truckin Chadillac the 2nd.
      Still giving thrills, holla. 

      Tuesday, May 18, 2010

      Modern Day Gandhi?

      I talked about the nice sunshine fun half of Saturday, but later on that night things took a turn for the crazy.  I went out with my cousin (let's call him GS) and his friends for some drinks and dancing at a local college bar and it started out like a normal night.  When we leave the place, we're all in great moods just joking and laughing in the streets.  All of a sudden some husky fellar comes over and kicks GS in the behind.  I'm laughing thinking this guy knows GS.  Then the husky fellar starts mouthing off:

      "Get the F out of our corner! You're embarassing our house!"  (oh.. it's some douche frat kid)
      "I'm in a bad mood today! F off!"

      We are all totally confused, this guy was totally looking for a fight so we all start walking away from his crazy ass.  Then from the corner of my eye I see him walk up to GS and straight up punches him.  This couldn't be happening.  I wasn't even sure if GS got punched, because GS was standing there apologizing and reasoning with the guy trying to calm him down.  So I walk toward them to see what was going on.  Out of no where the frat guy punches GS right in the face again.  oh hell no,  something snaps in my drunken state and i go up and shove the guy to get him away from my cousin.  The crazy thing is that GS was completely unfazed by this punch and was still trying to reason with the guy.  When we got back to their apartment we found out that one of GS's friends got punched too.  This was ridiculous.  Who the hell would do this to people who showed no signs of animosity?  We were all outraged and thoughts of vengeance flashed through our minds.  But GS told us to stop, and not to blame the frat guys.  He said that the guy was probably just having a rough day, and was drunk. 

      I looked at him and I saw that he was completely sincere.   I stopped my vengeful thoughts and realized that I really respected what he did or didn't do.  I was proud that he took the high road and didn't retaliate against that fool.  I don't know if I could have let it go like that.  We were joking that he was like our Gandhi haha. Before this incident, I always saw GS as the strongest and toughest in our family.  Meaning that if it came down to it mano-a-mano he'd be capable of ending some one.   I remember me and my other cousin GC were thinking that it would be freaking awesome if we got to witness someone getting destroyed by GS.  But we (including GS) found out that it wasn't his personality to resort to violence.  Even though some jerk kicked him, and sucker punched him in the face twice.  He stood tall.  He didn't flinch.  He didn't waver.  He just looked the guy in the eye and taught him a thing or two about humanity.  I really see GS as one of my role models for doing this. 

      Unfortunately GS just found out from the doctors that his jaw is broken, requiring surgery to re-align.  Right now only two teeth make contact when he bites down, and if nothing was done his jaw would stay like that.  It's so unfair how GS has to go through this.  It's ridiculous.  That frat fool was probably so drunk he wouldn't remember what happened.  But now GS has to have surgery even though he did the right thing.  I hope everything works out so that those responsible would pay for the medical bills. 

      Return, View and Review


      I'm back! it's been a while because of this fixture design and manufacturing project that I've just officially finished. WOO! Boy, there was overtime, and weekend working, and major hurdles, but I'd rather not get into details.  This weekend was just what I needed to unwind and I didn't even know it was coming.  My uncle tells me on Thursday night that I have to drive him down to Eugene so that  he can drive my cousin's car back to Portland to get it Smogged.  Oregon has this crazy backwards rule where you have to get the car DEQ'ed (Smogged in Cali) in the city that it was registered in?  So instead of having it smogged conveniently in Eugene, we had to have two cars travel over 200 miles roundtrip to get it done.  Thats great for the environment...


      But it was a blessing in disguise, because when I showed up in Eugene I found out that we were going to the beach on Saturday.  Woohoo! I forgot how long it's been since I've seen the Pacific Ocean.  I've taken living 1 mile from an ocean for granted.  This portion of the blog shall be in pictures.  I present to you:: Hobbit Beach (credits to LN and JY for their beautiful pics!)

      Nice view of Hobbit Beach (left) We spent probably over 2 hours building our  manly wave protection wall hahah.  It was destroyed in 15 minutes.  Damn you nature! (right)
       We then proceed to fight back against nature by trying to destroy boulders.  BAMM!! ROCK SMASH! 
      You always gotta do handstands at a beach.  Guess who's the gymnast and who's a good fer' nuthin' scalliwag?

       The Ferocious Five
       I draw the only thing that I know how to draw, Turtle Power!

       I get buried, and it was so comfortable I damn nearly fell asleep!  (feel free to caption-ize this pic)
      Heh, thanks to Jenny's action picture taking skills, I had to make this.  He was merely helping me get all that sand off, don't judge. 

       Then we went into town and ate Prime Rib for $12.95.  Hell yes. 

      Ahh it was a great Saturday at Hobbit Beach in(around?) Florence.  Thanks for bringing me guys!

      What else is new? ah yess, I splurged and bought myself something nice and shiny.  So let's get on to the

      I always despised Bluetooth Headsets.  So hard to use!  The first one I got was this crappy cheap logitech one where I was never sure when it was on or connected or off.   It would drain out of batteries cus I left it on, and I probably spent a total of 9 minutes actually using it.  So since then, I stuck with the tried and true wired earpiece or the even more tried and true "cellphone held by wrenched neck" method.

      But then I decided to look for one recently, because I had this Call of Duty session where there were 5+ buddies with headsets trying to talk to me, but I remained a mute.  It was like I wasn't even playing with them at all!  And plus, I was tired of the CHBWN method.  And plus, I'm going to be driving a heck of a lot and will need emergency calling to keep myself alert (like last time when I played "I Never" over the phone).  Anyways I scoured through the net seeing what the most recent new fangled reasonably priced Bluetooth headset was, and I came across this baby
      Behold the Motorola H17

      This thing is so cool! the microphone boom flips open and close to turn the headset on and off! Now I'll definitely know if its on or off, and it's super quick so that I can flip it open, put it on my ear and still be able to answer the incoming call.  Another big feature for this is that it can connect to 2 devices at once.   So imagine this: I'm playing COD with my friends, smack talking, yelling, having a grande time when suddenly my phone rings.  This headset will let me switch over to my phone with one touch of a button, and when I'm done I'm back in my game.  Yay!  Now I understand this use case scenario doesn't apply to a lot of you, but I really love the design of this headset.  Simple, elegant, and it just works.  Plus it charges in 15 minutes haha

      So when I'm driving back to home, feel free to give me a call.  I won't end up in a ditch trying to fumble for my phone, I promise! (plus, thats illegal)