Saturday, December 15, 2007


I jsut saw this video that demos physics engine in Crysis by stacking 3000 oil barrels and knocking them down.. It is crazy!! I can't imagine the rig that will take to render this. Make sure you watch to the end to see some insane explosions. I think I am going to attempt to run this game in another 2 years maybe lol.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Forbes has a sense of humor

Prince Peach made it to the Forbe's top 15 richest fictional character list this year. They explained it by saying she married Mario and then divorced him, taking off with half of the fortune in shiny gold coins and mushrooms. Tsk tsk... I guess even fairy tales need legal help these days.

THere were also several other major changes on the list. I quote:

McDuck moves into the top slot vacated by last year's richest fictional character, defense contractor Oliver ''Daddy'' Warbucks. Warbucks was tragically killed by an improvised explosive device during a visit to Iraq in March. The mogul's sudden demise leaves Warbucks Industries--the world’s largest maker of depleted uranium artillery shells and cat food--without leadership. Adopted daughter Lil' Orphan Annie is now in court fighting Warbucks' former wives, bodyguards and mistresses for control of the company and estate.

All told, six billionaires fell off the list, including Atlantic City real estate magnate Mr. Monopoly, who lost everything in the subprime mortgage crash. Archaeologist Lara Croft is missing and presumed dead after her plane disappeared above the Congolese jungle. And narco-capitalist Tony Montana, aka Scarface, was finally confirmed dead by a joint CIA/FBI task force.

Taking their place is a cast of new characters including Ming the Merciless, who ranks second on this year's list. With the existence of this evil alien overlord only recently confirmed by the U.S. government, we've had difficulty separating planetary wealth from his personal fortune, but we can safely say his net worth is at least $20.9 billion, and potentially much higher. Variously described as "control freak," "micro-manager," "vile despot" or "a kinder Steve Ballmer," Ming is best known for his fixation on NASA public relations specialist Dale Arden, girlfriend of astronaut Flash Gordon.

I guess fortune is a rather fickle thing.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

AMerican Ex Wish List

Was talking with Kungfucius about Rockband. Alas he said he will not be bringing one to Veg Out sniff. Anyway, if anybody has an American Express card. They have a great deal for rockband at My WishList website. They have 100 on sale for $50. You have to basically log in using your AMEX card and then refresh like mad and hope you can beat the other 5 million people. They also have a Xbox elite system for $300.
Rockband is going on at Dec 11th at 12 pm

Xbox is going on at Dec 11th at 3 pm and 7 pm.

How is your luck?? :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

OMG Portal is so awesome!

I just finished Portal and I have to agree with Ender, this is like the best game ever!! It is so innovative and funny. I have to admit when I first started I thought it was too easy. Once I understood the way it works I breezed through like most of the rooms with no problem. I really enjoyed some of the later rooms though. Like 17 took me an hour to do but it was really fun. But most of all, it has this incredible, fantastic ending (trying not to spoil). I burst out laughing while I was also shaking with nervousness, and creeped out by the story all at the same time!!! That was like one of the best game I have ever played! (and actually finished ahem). That was time well spent!! :D!!

ok this is hilarious

Dazzleu sent this to me at work. I burst out laughing, how do they think of these things. The guy was a really good sport too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a new low point!

I suppose this day is memorable as well, but for a totally different reason. Yesterday was the day when our trivia team, CCP, LOST a tie breaker for last place!!! This is the worst of the worst. Not only that, we lost it twice!! Our night ended with 33 points. We actually graded our rival's paper so we were joking that we tied for 33 points, what if it was last place??!!! And guess what, it was. D and I were chosen to go up there for the tie breaker. At first we were quite confused on whether the $1 pitcher should go to the team who wins or loses the tie breaker but at last it was decided that it would be the team who wins (highly unfair for a requirement for last place if you ask me). The first question was "in which movie did Arnold Schwazenegger uttered the phrase "consider this a divorce!!". Both of the teams said "True Lies" which was of course wrong!! We had to have a double tie breaker for LAST PLACE!!! The second question was "how many of the Seven Dwarfs had beards". at this point I have to say, we totally lost because of D because D then turned to me and said "well sleepy didnt have a beard" and I said "I know Dopey didn't havea beard". D said "well that makes 5 then". and sure enough we were WRONG!! It was 6 and only Dopey didn't have a beard!!! This is totally D's fault, totally!!!

anyway, so we were left with regretting why didn't we just get one more question wrong and avoided this total humiliation sigh sigh...

oh yeah and the box the waiter gave me for my leftovers was WAY too small even though he assured me it will work. Snoopy spent an incredible amount of energy trying ot pack it in and failed. humph....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One more album

I forgot to post about this one.

This is album of pictures taken at Chicken, Alaska and the way back from Yukon. We took the Taylor Highway, which is also called Top of the World Highway. From the name it sounds like it will be a very high up road with gorgeous view. We stopped at a town before we climbed the overpass to ask about this road, the lady at the gas station told us that there is a 45 degree climb, and it is all gravel and it is so dangerous because you can't even see the ground when you climbing over. As a result, we went ahead with much trepidation and also anticipation of the gorgeous view. But in reality, it was a really tame, road that wounds up some hilly landscape, sooo boring. This teaches to believe people at gas stations!! Anyway, the only highlight of the trip is the town of Chicken, which is just hilarious in its own way, and the lone border crossing on top of the mountain. :D

Top of the World Highway

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rest of the picture

I have made two other albums, one is all the wildlife we saw on the trip. I didn't take most of the picture since our friend had a SLR.

WildLife of Alaska

Here is the pictures of Portage Glacier and Denali National Park, Denali National Park is actually really cool, but the day we went was really cloudy and foggy so the picture turned out to be kinda sucky.

Portage Glacier and Denali National Park


Ok, I have finally felt shame for my negligence of my photos, and since I expect a influx of new photos from the Caribbean, I feel like I better get the Alaskan ones out of way, finally! so here I am starting with my absolute favorite part of the trip, the drive to the Arctic Ocean on Dalton Highway (highway 11). This is the most wonderful part of my trip because I have seen things that are just so amazing and so out of the world that I will never see anywhere else. It is also the most exhausting and terrible part of my trip because it took us 16 HOURS( we started morning of the 3rd, didn't get there until 6 am of the 4th) to drive 400 miles on the worst gravel road ever made and I hated every minute of it and every minute I swear to myself, I will NEVER go back. And finally I just have to say, Subaru makes one hell of a car!

Alaska- Dalton Highway
Picasa doesn't allow embed videos so here are videos:
2 am in the Arctic Tundra

Mosquitos, Mosquitos

I am pretty sure they are sheep!

Some of my favorites:
This is the Alaskan Oil Pipeline, Dalton Highway basically runs alongside it. The red flowers in the back are Alaskan Fireweeds, they are everywhere.

This sign is deceptively full of hope. and I don't happen to have any Actic Circle photos for some reason. Must be in the other camera.

We are only 10 hours away...

Midnight Sun, this is right before we drove through the mountain pass into the Arctic Tundra. At this moment, we were still hopeful of getting there before morning. HA!!

The sunlight basked mountains of the Actic Tundra

The pipeline in the sun

The Polar Bear club (yes you get a certificate!)

Our trusty old Outback after the grueling trip back.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Black Friday

SO Anybody going to do some shopping battle for Thanksgiving? The Best Buy and Circuit City Black Friday Ads are now up on Who is going to brave the weather and the crowd in search of a good deal? :D

I will miss this since I will be on a cruise with M in the Caribbean. Maybe they will simulate one on the ship lol.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

random TV thoughts

Black Hawk Down has the best soundtrack ever!!

Assassin's Creed is soo sexy looking!

Is Beowulf a completely computer generated movie? I am soo confused by the trailer. and is it a good thing the trailer reminds me of a badly done game trailer?

The game playing on the teeny little arcade screen is actually a real version of Guitar Hero playing to the correct notes in The Guitar Hero episode of South Park!!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Rerun's Are Coming!

I was watching The Daily Show last night as I always do when I heard Jon Stewart say "We might be out next week because of the writer strike". Gasp!! I almost forgot about this. The Writer's Guild is staging a huge strike possibly starting next week, unless some last minute deal can be struck to keep them at work. The dispute is over internet broadcasting rights and fees. The writers wants to get paid for each time a show is shown over the internet as well as other new media like cellphones. The companies thinks it is so new they don't even know it will make money, how can they pay the writers. Therefore, impass--> strike. You know what this means, it will be all reality shows for the next six month ( they don't use real writers), "Daily Show" and SNL and "Colbert Report" and other up to the minute scripted shows will be dark for weeks! Network shows like "House" and "Desperate Housewives" will run out of reserve episodes in a month. and in a year or so, we will see a flood of really crappy movies that were rushed out this month to get ahead of the writer strike. The future looks gloomy :(

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halo Kitty Rules!

Happy Halloween everyone :)

Our building organized trick or treat for the kids. You can bring your kids around every office and get candy. So today I put out the candy and the sign that says "you can trick or treat here". Everything is going really well and everybody that walked by is complimenting us on our awesome window poster

Then, this really cute girl about 5 years old came by with her mom. She is in a Disney Snow White costume. She said "hi", and got some candy. I was just thinking "awww she is so cute". When her mom saw our poster so she said to the girl "hey! look it is a Halo Kitty poster, how cute!! you remember this right? we were testing this together the night before it came out, we let you play with the controller and kill mommy!" -_-!!

You can only hear this kind of conversation in our building hee hee.

more ZeroPunctuation

Here is this week's ZeroPunctuation review of Medal Of Honor : Airborne (hint he hates it haha). His review comes out every Wednesday on The Escapist.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

oh the pain

I went to see "Lust, Caution" (link contains spoilers) with friend today. I didn't really want to go at first since I already gleaned the major points of the plot from the trailer and I don't like to see movies where I can guess the ending but this is suppose to be Ang Lee's big piece this year and of course there was all this indignation of really naked sex scenes in there so we went to check it out. ( btw, what is with Ang Lee and really naked sex scenes? is he going through some artsy phase? He was actually dismayed by all the fuss over the sex scenes but really if you don't want people to fuss over it, then don't make a NC-17 movie!)

Anyway, some thoughts about this movie without giving away the plot. It is really quite an masterpiece. Ang Lee managed to capture the subtlety in every expression, every movement, every unsaid pause. It is all filmed with a distinct Chinese sensibility. When I was watching it, I did not have a feeling of an "made for foreigner" movie (take notice, crappy Chinese directors with too much money). The actors were absolutely wonderful. The only bad points I can think of is that some of the HK actors (including the main guy) doesn't speak Mandarin that well, so some of the subtlety of intonation is lost during the mandarin dialog and it was a little jarring. But other than that, everything was exquisite.

Now onto the sex scenes, despite the big deal people made of it, there wasn't actually alot of it considering it was a 3 hour movie. It definitely was deserving of the "NC-17" rating though. I saw way more than I wanted to see. Both character was completely naked, although the guy's front side was always in shadows, the backside was very apparent. In other words, it was completely bare and under the light for everyone to see, and there were at least like 5 different positions with big close ups. I have heard some people call it a realistic portrayl because of the fact that there was no cover up, no half hidden views that might have beautified what was basically a very animalistic act. But I have to disagree, yes, it was very raw but it was hardly realistic because it was infused with the desperation, the anxiety and the fear of both characters until the whole act becomes one giant explosion of pain and suffering that the two people tries desperately to be numb to. The only thought i had when I was watching it was it was alot of emotional pain, almost unbearable. So I feel like it wasn't very realistic ( at least for normal people I hope), more like an magnification to the breaking point.

All in all, it was a good movie, I don't think I can bear to watch it again though because I tend to empathize with the main characters in movies and this is just too much pain to go through.

I want to talk about the plot too later, is anybody waiting to see it and dont' want to be spoiled?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Crysis Demo

The long awaited but probably unplayable Crysis PC demo is coming out tomorrow. You can download it at the Nzone website (I would wait a day, the bandwidth hog could be humongous). And just in case you think your PC might meet the requirement, they have a helpful "test your system" button on the website so they can show you how sucky your PC really is :)

In case you forgot what this is, here is the official blurb:

"With mankind facing an alien cataclysm, your elite Delta force and North Korean forces combine, united by common humanity in a battle to save Earth. Graphically stunning, tactically challenging and always intensely immersive, Crysis sets player choice at the heart of its gameplay, with customisable tactical weaponry and adaptable armour allowing instant response to changing conditions. "

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Don't burn them

So anybody doing anything fun for Halloween? I guess I will just be home watching scary movies marathon on scifi or something. On another note: Cat Dirt Sez

"Zombies" Reported Coming out of Eastern Hills
I just saw on tv that fire zombies have been shuffling out of an area near a resovoir. It is unclear whether they are 'flesh eating' zombies, or the less dangerous 'vegetarian eating' variety.

I bet they smell bad..

ETA: I wish I brought my camera. We have a new admin this year who has gone all out decorating the hallways (so this is where our morale budget went humph). We have one of those open ceiling stairwells, it is completely lined with real dried corn stalks, then covered with two layers spider webs (different colors) and then sprinkled with spider.s THere are grey rats running up the side of the stairs. our walls are covered with humongous bats and I swear the pumpkins are multiplying every day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

sarcasm rule!

I forgot about the Escapist: Zero Punctuation for a while and today I went back to catch up on his game reviews. It is still as funny as ever. You just can't beat a dry, sarcastic British guy with excellent sense of humor (see House, Dr.). Here is his review of Orange Box

Saturday, October 20, 2007

my craziness is self evident

I had planned to go see the Opera "Iphigenia in Tauris" today. It supposed to start at 8:00pm. I am supposed to dress up, pick up my friend at 6:30 pm and meet Snoopy at 7:00pm in front of the theatre so it gives me an hour for any type of unforeseen events. On the surface this plan seems quite simple and fool-proof. But really, here is how it went down:

4:30: Call my friend to double check time of pick up at 6:30pm,was invited to friend's house for dinner so planned to get there at 5:30 instead.
mood: YAY FOOD!

5:30: arrived at friends house to realize that I have brought neither dress nor binocular nor books promised friend. I haven't panicked because as I said before, I have an hour window. So revised plan to go back home after dinner for things I need.
mood: embarrassed but calm

6:30: finished dinner while calmly convincing friend's mom that we have plenty of time. dragged friend back home.
mood: determined

6:50: finally picked up stuff that I ACTUALLY NEED for Opera. Call Snoopy to tell her going to be delayed til 7:15 pm.
mood: perfectly calm..

7:15: Call Snoopy again to tell her we are stuck in small traffic at the highway exit,
mood: still not panicking.. after all, still have 45 minutes to spare.

7:27: While parking Snoopy calls to tell me they are going in and has left ticket with usher. I thought no problem. It isn't nice to make Snoopy wait anyway.
mood: feeling a little bit of urgency

7:40: arrive at Opera House with 20 minutes to spare~!! walks calmly to the Usher who tells me that we are actually late since the show actually starts at 7:30 PM!!!!! Now we have to stay outside and wait for intermission.. at HALFTIME!!!!
mood: =O AHHH!!!! OMGWTF!!! Soul crushed...

7:45: in complete distraction and panic, I made giant papercut on my finger while I was flipping the program.
mood: pain!! :(

8:40 : finally sitting down for second half of opera
mood: remorseful,

So yeah, that was how it actually went down.... I have no idea why I thought the opera started at 8 instead of 7:30... so this is great example of how one piece of bad assumption can cause giant catastrophic chain of event to fall down. :(

oh yeah btw, the second half was pretty awesome LOL.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

COD4 Demo Available

You can now download the Call of Duty 4 PC demo. Features one entire map (only single player tho:( 1.4 G.

Give yall's pristine new PCs a work out!

Required (minimum) Specs
CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 2.4 GHz or AMD(R) Athlon(TM) 64 2800+ processor or any 1.8Ghz Dual Core Processor or better supportedRAM: 512MB RAM (768MB for Windows Vista)Hard Drive: 8GB of free spaceVideo card: NVIDIA(R) Geforce(TM) 6600 or better or ATI(R) Radeon(R) 9800 Pro or better

Recommended Specs
CPU: 2.4 GHz dual core or betterRAM: 1G for XP; 2G for VistaHard Drive: 8GB of free spaceVideo card: 3.0 Shader Support recommended. Nvidia Geforce 7800 or better or ATI Radeon X1800 or better

Monday, October 08, 2007

Myers Briggs

So I was randomly reminded of my Myers Brigg's test that I did for my old company. Then that got me thinking, what personality type is Dr. House. I first thought it would be INTJ, but I looked it up online (and yes, apparently other people think about this too lol) and everybody agrees he is INTP because he is so observant and likes to delegate out all the work so I guess that makes sense. There were some heated discussion about what Spider-man is too. They can't decide if he is feeling or thinking since he seems very emotional.

Anybody else did this test before? and what are your results? Here is a simple test

To start: I am INTJ (although I am really trending towards P all the time I think.)

Update: here is a link of brief descriptions of the personality types. I feel like this is a better page than most because alot of other websites are quite pedantic. See if it fits you :) so far, I thought Kung and Velius' description fits them quite well as far as big pictures go (except for Velius and lawn mowing hehe )

Friday, October 05, 2007


So I was standing in the microwave line in the kitchen today. I was second in line, so I nudged up to the first guy( my coworker) in line to peek at his lunch since I know his wife is a really good cook. So we were talking about his stirfry when I saw another guy walk in on my peripheral vision. I figure he is just another guy waiting to use the microwave. I saw him went to the fridge, pull something out and then stood to the other side of me and grabbed a plate. So I turned my head to see what he brought (what can I say, I like to look at people's lunch lol). and behold, like magic, he pulled out an ENTIRE straight-offthe grill rotiserrie chicken onto the plate. My jaw dropped, this is when I realize the "thing" he pulled out from the fridge was one of those plastic chicken containers that places like Costco sell. My coworker and I started laughing and I asked "is that your lunch", the guy sheepishly said "yeah, I need alot of protein". O_o!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

coffee nerds

So they bought us these 2 fancy Starbucks automatic coffee makers for our kitchen earlier in the year. They are super nice, you just press a button and it makes coffee. Yes, it is an continuing effort, along with lunch delivery and wi-fi commuter busses, to keep us at work 24/7. So as soon as these two darlings came to be with us, it became indispensable. People use it hundreds of times a day and like all things under the law of entropy, it has started to gradually break down (albeit at a slower pace than the copier printers DAMN THEM~! *cough). So today I wandered into the kitchen to find one of the machine is again broken. I don't really use them so I was only mildly interested. but I saw there were a whole bunch of post-it notes on them which peaked my curiosity.

The first one said :" the normal coffee option is broken" (quite normal)
Then someone wrote underneath that line "WEAK SAUCE!" (this guy needs his coffee)
Then, someone tore a small piece of Post It and put it on top of that one and wrote "Flog it harder!!" ()_0

Then, someone put another post -it right next to that one that said :

"Severity : 1"
"Priority: 1"

-_-!! this is how you know you work with a bunch of geeks..

Monday, October 01, 2007

Damn those skulls

So I guess this is why Velius has been making me do all these sick acrobatics, that results me in falling off various objects continuously. How come I never noticed these Skull "effects"? do you have to do them in Legendary?

Halo 3 Skulls and Efffects

Monday, September 24, 2007

Remember this day!

Friends!! Comrades!!, remember this day in history, September 24th 2007, the day when team Coal Creek Productions(TM) received SECOND PLACE in the Celtic Bayou Trivia Night contest!!! Yes, you heard me right, after umpteeth humiliating weeks of last places and drinking more $1 pitcher beers than what is good for us, we won 2nd place with a fantastic and godly score of 125 points!!! Yes, feel free to shower us with praise and flowers :)

This day started out special. There was aelectricity in the air. When D imed me in the afternoon and said "I think we are going to win today", I laughed it off as an attempt to rally the troops. Even during the rounds, when I couldn't remember the other name of Master Chief, I wailed in anguish at our luck ( how can I not, considering I just came straight from the Halo3 launch party!!!!?????) We couldn't remember the name of the Israeli intelligence branch. We had no idea that 75% of U.S. Internet Users spent 3 hours or more a day on internet videos (WTF!!). and Phalacrosis is really not what you think it is, and Unilever's company logo is really freaky. All that did not matter! because we remembered that the U.S. left Vietnam in 1973. we knew that the small Islamic Sultanate in the South China Sea was Brunei, we sweeped the sports category, we almost sweeped the TV series photo matching round (yes House was one of them, and damn you, Hill Street Blues). and in the end, D's prophecy came true and we were triumphant!

ETA: edited to fix ridiculous grammar mistakes

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

playing God

So I have been sick at home the past 2 days pretending to work. shh.. and I saw this Japanese flash game called "growth game". Basically you have to determine which technology to put down in which order so that they grow each other into the ultimate human/environment paradise. AFter of 2 hours of hard effort (it is strangely addicting) I was finally able to achieve the ultimate paradise result. It is quite satisfying to tame a wild volcanic island into a metropolis AND remain environementally friendly.

The Growth Game

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More halo stuff

can you tell this is all everybody is talking about at work? lol

I saw this video and thought it was pretty neat, it is the Halo theme on Mario Paint. I never seen this program before but I guess it is a mario themed MIDI synthesizer.

This is the video game pianist playing the Halo theme on Piano, he was at PAX last year, not this year tho.

man I wish I can play like him,

ok. no more Halo stuff for a while, promise lol

Friday, September 14, 2007

Halo Diorama

The online tour of the Halo 3 Diorama is finally up. I am not a particular fan of tiny models of battlefields but it was still interesting to look through it. I was quite impressed with the next video, "the making of the diorama", which was told from the perspective of the museum curator. The music they used was very poignant and sad. You almost feel the whole thing was too beautiful for a FPS game advert haha.

Halo 3 Diorama virtual tour (click on Menu -> VIdeo-> first video to see the Making Of)

Halo 3 Believe video (maybe spoiler)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Addiction

I discovered the awesomeness of Lumines 2 days ago and I have been playing nonstop. It is a new addiction that I totally am incapable of shaking. Lumines is a tetris-like block game that was originally on the PSP and was ported to Xbox Live Arcade recently. The idea is quite simple, you have various block pieces that consist of 2 colors and they slowly drop from the top, but unlike tetris, you don't try to fill in the bottom row, instead, you try to make stacks of 4 smallblocks that has the same color. And periodically, a time line passes through your blocks, and only then your stacks gets erased. Sounds simple enough, but combined with pretty graphics and trance soundtrack, it is incredibly fun and addictive. Here is a sample of someone playing:

Now this guys is about my level (which is to say, sucky). My goal right now is to get the achievement of 70 blocks erased in 60 seconds. This is a monumental task for me. I have struggled for hours in vain, my best record only comes to about 39, I usually average about 25. I was pretty dejected already when someone showed me THIS one, which have crushed my soul forever. This is Mr.Hexic, #1 in Lumines rank on XBLA, erasing a whopping 201 blocks in 60 seconds

I can only cry, and keep trying.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

jumping on the bandwagon

I guess I better say something about Halo 3, as I was assured that it will be the most incrediblest, fantastic, 10 million dollar entertainment launch in the history of humans period. In another two weeks you won't be able to walk anywhere without seeing some Halo 3 related product. Today, they released "LIVE ACTION" trailers for the games that will be played in cinemas across the country. Get it? they made real live action trailers for a video game!!! this is going to be first of several actually.

Halo 3: Museum trailer

actually I thought this trailer was pretty good. It didn't have any flashy graphics or intense action sequences, but rather invoke a feeling of nalstalgia through the old marine's memory. Very nicely done. I can't help but think MS is making another pitch for the live action movie.

Here is more on the web and trailer campaign from the press release

Filming the Experience

As part of the integrated campaign, an innovative web experience has been created that enables consumers to interact with and explore every part of the climactic battle in minute detail. Beyond the TV, cinema and print efforts, the site is also supported by an online advertising campaign that starts the conversation with the consumer and a branded channel on YouTube that helps to position Master Chief as the biggest hero in history. All digital components were created by AKQA San Francisco.

Viewers get a sneak peek at "Diorama" on Friday Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. PST / 12 p.m. EST, as well as a feature on the making of the diorama, entitled, "Ammo". The "Diorama" work will make its TV debut during NFL Football on CBS Sunday Sept. 16. This, and the full series of web films, which honor the heroism of Master Chief, will also be available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and starting September 14

Thursday, September 06, 2007

cloning kamikaze supersoldiers

M was explaining what she does to me the other day. Most of the times I don't even ask her since I have no idea even when she explains it to me. But this time, it was pretty interesting. M is involved in gene therapy for leukemia/cancer patients. She splices these genes together that targets cancer cells. Then she takes T-cells from the patient, insert those genes that turn these T-Cells into special cancer killing cells and then send them back to the patient to fight the disease.

This is all very good, but, M says, that is only the first generation. The second generation involves making the new soldier cells dependent upon certain enzyme to survive. So the patient must get daily injections of enzyme in addition to the T-Cells. This way, once you are done with the therapy, you stop injecting the enzyme and T-Cells dies off. This kind of reminds me of super soldiers that relies on some drugs to do their work, and when the masters are done with them, they just withhold the drugs and they die off. tsk tsk..

Anyway, so M says, the third generation which they are working on now will splice a "suicide" gene into the T-Cell. So after the therapy is over, they send a chemical signal through the body and boom, the T-Cell self destructs. Simple and painless.

Now I ask you, are we very far from cloning kamikaze supersoldiers that will do our bidding? I think not.....

Sunday, September 02, 2007


So M has finally decided to upgrade her camera (which is a Nikon Coolpix I bought for her Sophmore year). After looking around, we decided to get a Canon S5IS. It seems to be the best out of the point and shoot categories. Having a 12x optical zoom would definitely help with taking brighter pictures, and it is not too complex that M can't play around with it. So now I have to find a good deal with it. This is the time when I wish Amazon headquarters wasn't here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just some photos

I was going through some old photos today and I saw these picture I took of some pretty scenery. The first one is boats going through the Ballard Lock. The second one is sunset at Alki Beach ( is it pathetic that the first thing I thought after I saw it is how the water looks just like CGI !). The third is boats moored at Lake Union. Also I am trying out this Flickr thing that TOchi seems to be using.(Any tips on using this thing?)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

new music!

So, I discovered this new band recently and I went to their first public concert. I was fortunate enough to get front row seats so I took some videos. I think this music could really take off!

Awesome Concert

I also managed to capture some backstage footage.

Song 1

song 2 ( A rare duet!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

watch and weep

in keeping with the theme of PC games we can't quite play. Here is a multiplayer trailer for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It shows "perks" or customizable add-on. I would love to use "Last Stand" though, my last revenge before death. WOuld come in soo handy in BF2 lol.

Monday, August 20, 2007

BioShock PC DEMO

From all the internet chattering, you would think BioShock is the bestest best single player FPS ever made (Most game rating sites gave it like 9.99999/10). I played the Xbox360 demo and thought it was indeed very well made with incredible art and voice acting. The atmosphere is pretty creepy too. So if you wanted to see what all the hype is about. You can download the Bioshock PC demo here (bittorrent link). It is 1.84 gigs and minimum spec req are listed below.

Minimum System Requirements:
CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz Single Core processor
System RAM: 1GB
Video Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 128MB RAM (NVIDIA 6600 or better/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550).
Sound Card: 100% direct X 9.0c compatible sound card
Hard disc space: 8GB free space

Recommended System Requirements:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo processor
System RAM: 2GB
Video card:
DX9: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT or better)
DX10: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or better
Sound Card: Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ series (Optimized for use with Creative Labs EAX ADVANCED HD 4.0 or EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0 compatible sound cards)

The actual game gets released tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Take the Transformers Quiz

High five Kolaap

interesting article on Wikipedia

WEll about Wikipedia. SOme of the edits were really interesting, but the CIA one, you are just like (appropriately) wahhhhh!~!!>?

Wikipedia 'shows CIA page edits'

An online tool that claims to reveal the identity of organisations that edit Wikipedia pages has revealed that the CIA was involved in editing entries.
Wikipedia Scanner allegedly shows that workers on the agency's computers made edits to the page of Iran's president.

It also purportedly shows that the Vatican has edited entries about Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. ...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shuggy FTW!!

Our team recently held a Dream Build Play contest, which basically allows you to make a game using the our framework, and the winner gets to have a contract to put their game on XBL Arcade. The results was announced this week at Gamefest. you can check the games out at the website. I played most of these games ( not judging tho) and my favorites were definitely The Dishwasher (totally deserved winning) and SHUGGY!, the best, cutest, most interesting platformer I have seen in a while. The level design is incredibly innovative and fun to play. We played it so much our entire office was so sad when it didn't make it. However, I did meet Shuggy maker at Gamefest and I got a t shirt out of him :)

If you have some time to kill, I highly recommend checking it out, it has about 100 levels. it is free to download, and it tells you exactly what you need to install to play it (download the windows version) and when you install our framework, you can rest safe knowing it has been completely tested by me :) The game itself may be a little buggy but just remember it is built by ONE guy over couple of months.

Glory in the awesomeness of SHUGGY!!

p.s. I would recommend trying The Dishwasher too, but I don't think the makers released it. I can only find this video that is about 2 months old, I think the final version doesn't have red blood like this, its all inky.

Iran, the next Iraq

Iranian Unit to Be Labeled 'Terrorist'

U.S. Moving Against Revolutionary Guard

By Robin Wright

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 15, 2007; A01

The United States has decided to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country's 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a "specially designated global terrorist," according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group's business operations and finances.
The designation of the Revolutionary Guard will be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It authorizes the United States to identify individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said -- a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.

Bold is mine, WTF!!! Bush just declared the ARMY of another COUNTRY terrorists. That is like saying, the Canadian army is terrorists. You know what this will lead to.. justified invasion of Iran without having to declare war. Declaring war needs approval of Congress, hey but if you are just "fighting terrorists", you can do whatever the hell you want. Can the country only invade one or two country at a time?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I have discovered game demos on Xbox Live and I am quite pleased with it. They come for free at about 1 gb size and you can download them WHILE you are playing some other game so it is like a little present at the end of game *_*. I have downloaded about 4 demos over the last week and just trying them out. Some sucked and some looked pretty cool. I feel like this is so much better than downloading PC demos because no installation is required, you download, you click play and then you just delete them. So convenient!!

Blue Dragon: J-RPG, this one I totally hated. The art style looks very ugly to me and the voice acting was horrible. I didn't even get passed the first enemy before I lost interest.

Eternal Sonata: J-RPG made by the same company that made Tales of Abyss. I thought it had very pretty graphics and music, seems very typical J-RPG. I got Velius to try it since he liked Tales so much. I thought the game play was alright until I discovered the way to circumvent the timed blocking action during combat is just to button smash B after attack. It may be pretty, but maybe too easy

Stranglehold: It is like MaxPayne except with a storyline of Hard Broiled by Chow Yun Fat. It is kinda funny to play a character that looks like him, and you can do these time slowing moves complete with stylish dives while you are duel wielding surrounded by white doves LOL. It was pretty amusing to play basically a John Woo movie. I find it hilarious that everytime I move him near a table or a counter he will start to slide across them like in an action movie, this results in everything on the said table getting completely smashed. After 3 -4 times of doing this, all I can think about is man, his pants must be sooo dirty! I doubt I will pick it up but it was interesting none the less.

BioShock: underwater FPS also out for PC., this game came with alot of hype. I think it won best game of E3 or something. I am not sure I want to play another single player FPS but I wanted to see what the hype was about. It was creepy man! I started this demo late last night after the requisite Tenchu session (failure again!!) and I had to stop about 2 minutes in because I was so creeped out by the music and the environment. Have yet to see any enemies so might have to report back on that. I can tell this is a great production though because the graphics was amazing, the art design is unique in that it is art deco and the music enhances the mood alot. We will see how the game plays later, (in broad daylight ;))

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hiking at Mount Rainier

One of my schoolmates CY came to visit Snoopy over this weekend so we all hang out together. They decided to go to Mount Rainier for a day hike since CY is such a hiking enthusiast. Mount Rainier is about 2 hours from here so it is good for a day trip. The day turned out to be really beautiful with almost no clouds. I have never been to Mount Rainier on such a good day, the two previous times I went, it was so cloudy I didn't even see the mountain when I was standing on it. We decided to take the Skyline Trail on the Paradise side. It is a 5 mile loop that has about 1500 feet elevation change. The description list it as "strenuous" and takes about 5 hours. I was a little wary about such a long hike but I figure 1500 feet was not too bad. It takes us right to the feet of the mountain and it is the same trail summiters take to go to the gathering point at Camp Muir. The hike started out with quite a steep ascend for about 20 minutes but it turned out after the first few hundred feet of pain the rest of the trail was quite doable. The view was spectacular and the wild flower meadows was incredibly beautiful. We saw a ant line of summiters crossing the glaciers far above. There was gorgeous mountains on every side and the weather is so warm and the sun was shining. I think this is one of the best hike I have ever done.

Rest of Album

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Yesterday, I went hiking with M at Tiger Mountain, which is a range that is right next to our house. The trail we went on was only 1000 feet rise but I was still very winded as I haven't hiked in a long time. This resulted in merciless teasing from M who says I act older than her *humph*. Can she play dunx5 for 4 hour straight and not get dizzy? I don't think so!

Anyway, when we finally got to the top, there was a very beautiful grassy hill that overlooked the vast expanse of the area near our house. In the first picture, do you see where that ugly patch of construction is on the right? thats where our house is. So we sat down to admire the view, when suddenly these paragliders hiked up with their gigantic bags and proceeded to jump off the cliff. Apparently they were members of a paragliding club. I have never seen parachute paragliding before and it was an amazing sight to see them lightly jump into the air and float away like eagles soaring on their wings.

Link to the album

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

I went to see THe Bourne Ultimatum with M today. I have to report that it was an awesome movie. It was a perfect combination of crazy action and intense espionage. They had some really cool situations that was not a spy movie cliche. I found myself at the edge of the seat the whole time holding my breath for Bourne. I think I like this movie better than the James Bond movies because it is more gritty and more real (featuring the very shaky camera actions), had minimum gadgets. There was no "groan" moment with hacking thank God. Below is my favorite parts spoiled

1. The train station chase with Simon the reporter, it was soo intense, and so amazing with enemies at every turn and Bourne trying to direct him. IT reminded me of MIssion 16 of Tenchu where you had to sneak ahead of your target to kill everyone first. Very intense

2. The motorbike bomb that killed Neil, I was totally mislead by that shoulder bag as did Bourne, until you realize, holy shit, the "asset" was alot smarter than you thought. I am much more impressed with assets now, since they are not just like fodder for Bourne to plow through.

3. The massive car chase in New York city was very well choreagraphed and only minimum product placements hehe.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Quote of the Day

Scott, Emily, Ida and Me in the office, Scott turns to Ida in frustration:

Scott: Wouldn't it be great if we could talk in C++?

Ida: As long as we don't talk in lisp.

Scott: See, if this was C++, if I didn't want to hear you talking, I could delete the object beneath you. And I gave you a weak reference in the first place anyway, so then you'd just crash.

Me: You mean you'd delete Ida's chair?

Everyone: ....

[10 minutes later]
Ida: I think it's just rude.

Scott: What's rude?

Ida: Deleting my chair is rude!

Monday, July 30, 2007

fangirly post <3 <3 <3

I think it is about due for a fangirly post about my favorite singer Clay Aiken so here it is. Clay is doing a summer tour right now to support his 2nd album A Thousand Different Ways. Unfortunately I can't go this year since he isn't coming to where I am ( I am so sad, I have made it a point to go to every tour he does). The good thing is that he has a very close relationship with his fanbase. He lets people video tape all his concerts and put them online so fans from around the world can share. It is very rare that an artist is not so crazy about copyright issues. and it is known for a fact he downloads his own fan videos lol. So it is due to all this that I was able to basically watch every concert he has done on tour so far through downloads( Before you start to comment on my obsessiveness, =P all his concerts are totally different as he ad lib and improvise alot of it. yeah thats my excuse..). My favorite song so far is Lover All Alone, a beautiful song written by the great David Foster and lyrics by Clay. It is not even on his album except only as itune bonus. I love this song because it was penned by Clay and therefore it is an rendition of his own thoughts and feelings and he gets totally immersed in it as opposed to the more campy entertainment parts of the show. His tone and control is absolutely brilliant and everytime he sings this song, the entire place is completely quiet as everyone is mesmerized. So here it is, Clay singing Lover All Alone in Houston for the 2007 summer tour. I am not exaggerating when I say I am often moved to tears in the more tender moments sigh...

and while I am fangirly, I must include this other video. During the Sterling Height,Michigan concert, one of Clay's backup singer's voice gave out and had to leave the stage before her solo song. So Clay and the Quiana, the other backup singer completely improvised this duet of "Listen" from the show Dreamgirls. Having never even sang this song before. The harmonies were amazing for just basically on the spot improvisation.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I am sitting here quite self-satisfied as I have managed to triumph twice in the eternal battle between men and machine yesterday!! It all started when M finally got sick of her 7 year old computer and decided to get a new one. Since I was too lazy to build her one we decided to go the easy route and get her a Dell E310, useless for gaming but quite adequate for internet surfing. The machine came quite without mishap and M was happy with it. Now M is actually quite computer savvy compared to her peers. In addition to checking her yahoo email, she can surf the web, download music, text chat in Chinese, do video chats and even get drivers for her accessories if I was not there. She is viewed with awe in her office as the tech guru. Though I am pretty sure she doesn't do it out of tech fervor, but rather to be able to not hear me say "What is wrong NOW??" in an extremely humiliating and condescending tone as I am known to do ;)

Anyway, the computer was quite usable until recently when M discovered the wonder of karaoke on the net. There are these massive chinese websites where you can download popular accompaniments, record your karaoke and then upload to it so other people can hear them. So to facilitate this interest, I got her a free audio recorder software and showed her how to record over the mic. This is when I realized that the Dell's onboard sound card isn't full duplex! This means you can't really play music and record it at the same time. You can only record whatever the mic pick up. I just assumed it was a limitation of the soundcard and told M to turn up the speaker REALLY LOUD so the mic can pick up her voice and the music coming out of the speakers (yes it is stupid! lol). It makes for sucky recordings but M accepted it and proceeded to record many quite lovely songs with sucky mixing.

But it is human nature to never be satisfied, after M listened to her beautiful voice accompanied by the sucky quality accompaniments, she started hinting that she wanted to record in more than 96 bps so to get better sound quality. After several hints, I decided that the best solution would be to get her an Soundblaster Audigy card which would solve both the full duplex issue and the quality issue since the mixing would be so much better. but as soon as I installed it , I realized that the mic didn't work anymore AND the front headphone port no longer worked either!! *shake fist in anger*. After hours of research, I realized that the Soundblaster Audigy only support mics with 2000 impedance. WHO has requirements like this!!?? not only that but it is incompatible with dell's motherboard which means no front headphone port. Well that was a bust, and then M totally dealt a horrible blow to my ego by mentioning how everytime I try to improve her computer I just breaks it, alluding to the fact that earlier I gave her a wireless optical mouse that broke the screensaver. This unbearable insult to my geek status increased my resolve to solve this once and for all!! (cue thunder and lightning). So after researching problems with soundblaster for a while, I saw something on the forums about my Dell onboard audio card which is a SigmaTel. I noticed many people on the forum having the same full duplex issue that I did and I suddenly read something incredible: that the SigmaTel actually DOES support full duplex but Dell, in all its evil glory nerfed it as an agreement with RIAA who is concerned about people recording internet radio songs!!! Have you heard of anything so absurd!! is RIAA out of its mind??!! What a stupid agreement in that can be easily circumvented with a $10 real sound card!.

SO after another couple hours of research, I realized only the Dell drivers were nerfed due to this absurd legal agreement and after I tried 6 or 7 SigmaTel drivers (XP system restore rocks!!) I finally found a LG notebook driver that unlocked the SigmaTel's full potential! Now it has stereo mix, input monitor among other goodies which allows M to do a complete internal recording. no more really loud speakers.

Moonfleck: 1
Dell+RIAA evil partnership: 0 !!!

And even better as a bonus, I was able to figure out the mouse screensaver issue which I have always suspected as a driver issue since I remember fixing this before. But it didn't work for M's computer for some reason and it was always a pain to search for it on the internet because if you search for "screensaver disabled" you never get anything relevant. However, I was possessed to try this search string " computer cannot recognize wireless Intellipoint". And THAT gave me a forum post that gave me the answer. Apparently the Dell machines has DVD drives that runs PowerDVD, which is incompatible with Microsoft Intellipoint Mouse which is incompatible with XP screensavers!!! It is amazing they shipped computers like this!!. So after getting to the end of the long thread, the holy light was shone on the Microsoft "HID non-user input update!!" And everything was resolved to a satisfying end. so again

Moonfleck: 1
Dell+MS evil partnership: 0

and I was rightfully restored in M's eye as her favorite tech guru, the way it should be.... *satisfied sigh*

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Noble Sacrifice for an Amazing Story

This is headline news on google news right now: Deaths in US TV helicopter crash

Four people have died after their helicopters, owned by rival US television channels, collided in mid-air while covering a car chase.
Both helicopters went down in a park in central Phoenix, Arizona, and caught fire as they were covering the police pursuit of a pick-up truck.

Let's all have a moment of silence fo the brave souls that sacrificed their lives to cover such a momentous event as a police car chase of a pickup truck. They can take comfort in the fact that their death will be covered by other rival tv station helicopters, the original car chase quickly forgotten.

but seriously, I really feel sorry for these people. what a horrible accident!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

youtube rocks, politicians not so much

So, CNN made presidential debate history yesterday by organizing a Democratic presidential candidate debate consisting of questions submitted through YouTube. The candidates met in the Citadel in SC with Anderson Cooper as moderator and they showed youtube video questions selected by CNN. Overall 3000 some videos were submitted and they only had time for 36 of them. I missed the broadcast so I was catching up on it on.. you guessed it.. you tube. It was actually quite fascinating and refreshing to see real American people ask straight questions that are not carefully worded by journalists. Something you almost never see on tv, and certainly NEVER in a presidential debate where everything is carefully planned around talking points. The internet geek in me felt a very warm and fuzzy feeling towards the youtubers. There were some really excellent questions like the one the pastor in NC asked John Edwards about why he uses religion to defend his nonsupport of gay marriage. , the question asked how do Hillary feel about criticism that she isn't feminine enough and the question asked to Obama about critism that he isn't black enough. However, after watching question 3, I remembered why I don't watch presidential debates, it is to stop that nauseus feeling in my stomach which occurs whenever I hear politicians fairy dance around a question thinking that people won't notice. It is like watching a giant job interview where you know the candidate is making some sh*t up to suit what he/she thinks you want to hear. I think it can be demonstrated fairly well by question 36, a light hearted question meant to let the candidates have a break.

Come on people! have a sense of humor. BTW, Gravel is the only straight shooter because he has like 1% chance of winning so he can afford to say whatever he feels like. Gotta admire him for that.

on a only slightly related topic: this article about Senatorial Gaming amused me greatly. Any of you Wow peopel going to look him up?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Other E3 oddities.

Here are other interesting(or silly) stuff that I saw that is either too weird or on other consoles which means I won't be playing them. Some of them are cool to look at though like EchoChrome.

FolkLore : PS3, RPG, this is hailed as the next generation RPG that finally deserves a PS3 console. The game is a real time action adventure game with RPG elements, in the same vein as Genji and Devil May Cry. Supposedly with amazing graphics and storyline.

Super Mario Galaxy: Wii, this is Super Mario 64 in Space. Perfect for the Wii console. I am tired of mario though so no more for me.

LittleBigPlanet: PS3. This is probably the most interesting game that Ps3 has. It is a cooperative online sandbox. It is hard to explain without seeing the demo.

Pirates of Burning Sea : PC. MMORPG where you play Pirates!! You can be on a boat and have giant ocean battles.

Spore: PC. This is the revolutionary new game made by the guy that created The Sims. It looks so different from the previous trailer and it keeps getting pushed back so we are still waiting here.

Naruto, rise of Ninja: xbox360. I just thought this game has nice anime style graphics. I think you basically play through the anime, and then the fighting sequences are in the style of fighting game.

EchoChrome: PS3, PSP, this game has a really interesting concept, it is a puzzle game based on Object Locative Environment Coordinate System developed by Jun Fujiki, an engine that determines what is occurring based on the camera's perspective. (wikipedia) Too bad it is only for Playstation. I always admire new game concepts.

Geometry Wars Galaxies: Wii, why is this only on the wii!?? why?? this is co=op mode of the xbox360 arcade game Geometry Wars.

Nintendo Fit: Wii man, I am going to have to buy one of these for me.. um I mean for M.. yeah..

Pain : ps3, umm PS3 has a game that just throws you against buildings.. yeah.. weird.

E3 thoughts

E3 2007 happened this past weekend and I have been trying to keep up with the videos at E3Insider I also read some of the Kotaku reports about the show itself but I am not really very interested in that except knowing that it was less glitzy than the previous years. So here is a list of games that I think are the most anticipated for this holiday season. I think I would like to try most of them out if not actually playing them fully. The links are to their trailer videos on youtube. Admittedly these are biased towards PC and Xbox360 since I won't be owning the other consoles any time soon.

Halo 3 - Xbox360 FPS. well duh, although despite all the superhype, I really think this will be just like Halo 2 but for the continuation of story so it is mostly for completion's sake I guess. Not to mention I would suck at it without Velius to Co-op hee hee.

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare - PC FPS,Xbox360, PS3. admittedly I don't think this game will be more fun than say BF2, but I am interested in the atmosphere and the intense battle scenes they have since it will be close to real life than their WWII titles. Assuming my computer can handle it. The game play footage they showed looks awesome

Assassin's Creed: Xbox360, PC, PS3 Action-Adventure. A new game that is not a sequel! what more could you ask for. This game has such beautiful graphics, a entirely historically accurate model of Jerusalem, completely interactive crowds and lots of assassinations. It is like hitman with a sword meets Prince of Persia! The only thing I didn't like was the voice acting but I guess you can't have everything.

Crysis: PC FPS, the most beautiful FPS ever made. Our computer will just choke and die when we load this game but it looks so pretty, and everything is destructible and you are fighting North Koreans and Aliens in single player!

Mass Effect: Xbox 360 Action RPG. Futuristic action RPG that has garnered alot of excitement. I think everybody said the story is going to be great. Built on the Unreal engine.

Lost Odyssey: Xbox360 RPG. This is for Velius as everybody said this is going to be Final Fantasy on Xbox since it is made by the same people that made Final Fantasy. From wikipedia: "Lost Odyssey's story is being penned by the award winning Japanese novelist, Kiyoshi Shigematsu who is working directly with the game's producer Hironobu Sakaguchi on the story sequences. Heading up the artistic demands of the title is famed Japanese comic artist, Takehiko Inoue, while famed composer Nobuo Uematsu has been recruited to create a more contemporary soundtrack"

RockBand: Xbox360, PS3 Music-Rhythm. Guitar hero meet drums meet karaoke revolution. This is all i can say..:)

Gears of War: PC FPS. This will basically be the same thing as Xbox360 but with some more levels. I think the multiplayer games should be fun especially now that we can use mouse and keyboard.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Xbox360, PS3, PS2 Action RPG. play Darth Vader's secret apprentice. so basically play the dark side. Sounds pretty interesting.

Grand Theft Auto IV: Xbox360, PS3 Action-Adventure. Another sequel. I really like the trailer for some reason. I suppose it would be at least as good as the first 3 if not better.

and lastly of course

StarCraft 2: PC RTS, well what can I say, it will be like StarCraft with better graphics =P.

Monday, July 16, 2007

cool co-op

Velius and I were talking about the new Gears of War for PC that is coming out soon and we got to lamenting how there are no more really good co-op games out anymore (GRAW was so painful!). I have been trying to keep up with E3 news this week and I saw this game Left 4 Dead under development.

It seems like the ultimate co-op zombie game! You play 4 survivors fighting off massive amount of zombies or for a change you can play zombies. I was watching a dev interview and it says the zombies have a AI director and are being procedurally generated based on survivor experience so you can never predict them. I think it will be really fun to play when it comes out. The graphics doesn't look too crazy either so our computer can probably handle it lol.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Carmina Burana

Tonight I took M to see Seattle Symphony Orchestra's production of "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff. It was a last minute thing because I didn't find out about the show until the day before. We ended up with decent tickets though and I always wanted to see the production since I've heard about it so much. I knew M would enjoy it cause she is really into choral music, albeit mostly Chinese ones.

The show started with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major. It is a pretty famous piece although I don't think I have heard it in entirety. The guest violinist was quite good but I think I don't really enjoy the kind of frenzied solo sections they put into it. You can barely make out the notes. I guess violin concertos are not my cup of tea haha. The main theme is quite beautiful though. This piece also marked the first time I saw a ASIAN FEMALE conductor at a symphony performance. Carolyn Kuan is only 29 years old and she was incredible. She was so energetic and flamboyant that you just can't help but feel her enthusiasm and control. I thought she was super cool haha.

After brief intermission, we went on for the main course. "Carmina Burana" is basically 24 medieval Bavarian song text set to music by Carl Orff. The most famous piece is of course O Fortuna, shamelessly ripped off for many apocalyptic movie trailers. (this link is just for Velius ;)) So it was quite cool to hear the original in an symphonic setting performed by the Seattle Symphony Chorale. there is just something about listening to a 100 person choir singing in latin Gregorian Chant style that makes you automatically think of the apocalypse. Now I wonder if it is because the music invokes the feeling or is it because I have seen too many apocalyptic movie trailers set to this music haha.

In addition to the chorus, we also had 3 solo guest stars, a Soprano, a Tenor and a Baritone. The Baritone was actually really wonderful. He had a very deep and beautiful voice of course. But he was also very expressive and funny especially singing the drinking songs. He got the first spontaneous applause of the night because he portrayed this drunk with such charisma. I thought the Soprano was quite decent as well but M said she was only mediocre and her voice wasn't big enough. Since M can sing circles around me I defer to her opinion on such things :). I actually felt very sorry for the tenor because he only got to sing one song out of 24. So he had to spent the whole hour and a half sitting in the front row looking bored. But not only that, the only song he got to sing was about a swan being roasted on an open fire lamenting his fate. The tenor was quite big (very typical opera singer) and it was already incongruous to hear a very pure high tenor out of his mouth. Then he proceeded to sing in this very self pitying voice just made the whole thing extremely comical. Too bad he didn't get to perform more. I put the text of his song here:

12. Olim Lacu Colueram
Olim Lacus Colueram -----once I had dwelt on lakes
Olim pulcher exstiteram --once I had been beautiful
dum cygnus ego fueram --when I was a swan
Miser, miser! -------------poor wretch!
modo niger ---------------Now black
et ustus fortiter! ----------and well roasted

Girat, regirat garcifer-----The cook turns me back and forth
me rogus urit fortiter0----I am roasted to a turn on my pyre
propinat me nunc dapifer--now the waiter serves me
Miser, miser! -------------poor wretch!
modo niger ---------------Now black
et ustus fortiter! ----------and well roasted

Nunc in scutella laceo------now I lie on the dish
et volitare nequeo---------and I cannot fly
dentes frendentes video---I see the gnashing of teeth
Miser, miser! -------------poor wretch!
modo niger ---------------Now black
et ustus fortiter! ----------and well roasted

Thursday, June 28, 2007

oh the Irony

So THursday is usually our group lunch day. Today, one of the guys there sent out an email that he really wanted to go to this famous fast food burger joint. The reason is because he is starting this incredible diet and exercise routine next week for 24 weeks where he will meet with trainer 3 times a day so he won't be able to eat anything he likes. So he is going to satisfy his burger cravings today. We all said "your trainer will hate you to learn you are going to gain 5 pounds before going to see him".haha. Anyway, so we all drove to this burger joint and went in. We went in two cars so our car arrived first, the other car is still on their way. I was in the diet guy's car. We went in the line and the first thing the cashier said was "the beef truck didn't arrive today! We have no meat, only vegeburger and frozen chicken" Then he grumbled "I don't know why I opened". Diet guy practically fainted HAHAHA. It was hilarious, Since we were already there we ended up getting chicken sandwich and fries. Man this is the first time I went to a burger joint and they had no burgers, they did have these excellent garlic fries.

10 minutes after we ordered, the second car arrived. They came in and we all yelled out "they have no beef today!!". They made a sad face of course, but as they got in line and waited, one guy suddenly smirked and yelled to us "He says the beef truck just arrived!!" -_-!!!!! It was totally hilarious as the diet guy's plans were completely ruined. We were like, your trainer is so good he anticipated your cravings and stopped you hahah. Oh the Irony!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

vacation plans! ^_^

I am going to Alaska next week for about 10 days for vacation (feel bad cause work is really busy haha). I am pretty excited. I am going with my favorite fellow traveler Paddy and this crazy couple we recruited off the company mailing list. ( I say they are crazy because the guy just got married, he has never gone camping and his wife has never been in a road trip but they are totally gung ho about it.) Paddy always had this dream to drive the Seattle -> Alaska route. It is apparently one of the best roadtrips you can do. We did some investigations and found out that the one way trip takes about 6 days of driving which basically means we have to drive there and come back immediately. Also the rental fees were outrageous in the thousands range. so after weeks of planning (the crazy couple backed out once due to cost but came back) we decided to fly one way and rent a car to drive back. Avis actually had a summer deal for one way drive to Seattle so I guess we are not the only ones doing this. The cost turned out to be acceptable so here is our final plan: I thought I would post this here incase we all got eaten by bears at least you guys would know where I went -_-!

June 30th: Fly Seattle to Anchorage

July 1st: Anchorage - Seward, Anchorage - Denali National Park- Camp for the night

July 2nd: Shuttle bus tour to Wonder Lake, in front of Mount McKinley (10 hour round trip, this is gonna be so painful) camp for the night

July 3rd: Fairbanks - Deadhorse - Prudhoe Bay driving on the infamous Dalton Highway (12 hour one way gravel road to the Northern tip of Alaska inside the Arctic Circle) stop at the last camping site on Dalton highway - camp for the night

July 4th: Prudhoe Bay - Fairbanks - (Another 12 hour gravel road if we are still alive lol)

July 5th: Fairbanks -- Haines Junction and camp. This drive is 8hrs.

July 6th: Drive from Pine Lake - White Horse - Watson Lake (6hrs to get here) - Muncho Lake, BC (10hrs to get here, if we can)

July 7th: drive to Fort St John 7hrs

July 8th: Prince George - Williams Lake - stay for the night

July 9th: KamLoops - Seattle (should be back by midnight).

Route Map:

Monday, June 25, 2007

embarrassment -_-!

So today, in a routine presentation in a routine meeting, I was showing the team our newest test tools and how it can help them simplify testing. I opened boss's brand new laptop, opened internet explorer and typed in the address... connecting..connecting... Nothing. My hand is starting to sweat a little and I have no idea why it wouldn't work since it just worked before i walked in the meeting (classic example of Murphy's Law). So I pulled up remote desktop and connected to my machine because everyone is staring it at me and it is scary. Finally it connected and my desktop showed up, immediately the entire room burst out in a collective "OMG" as they gazed with amazement at my awesomely cluttered desktop. You will see what i mean in a moment. Then they started all to read out the icons I have, so here I was standing in the middle of the room mentally kicking myself for doing this and mentally trying to think if I have anything bad on my desktop (well I don't really but you get paranoid anyway). Then suddenly one guy said "what is that Paris Hilton file", then everybody went 'oooo'. I yelled out "it is her new CD, it is her new CD!!!!!!", and everyone was like "that is even worse!!!' -_-!!!!!! (incidentally, Snoopy this is all your fault! hahha). So after everyone thoroughly inspected everything on my desktop I was able to move on to my presentation with my face completely red hahaha.

screeny of my desktop ,see in 1600x1200 it really ins't that bad!! i still have 3/4 of the space!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

fatal error

One of our guys got this error when trying to compile a file on Visual Studios

Fatal Error C1121
Error Message
call to CryptoAPI failed
The compiler made a call to the CryptoAPI and the call failed. Reinstall Visual Studio and possibly reinstall the operating system.

Nothing like reinstalling the operating system to comfort the user lol.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Quake Wars

I saw a video of the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars beta at Youtube today. It looks like a crossbreed of BF2 and Halo. It is strategic FPS with two sides, alien and human. You can be different solder roles (medics, engineer) and drive vehicles, but I don't think there is squad and commander features. the Aliens and Humans have completely different classes etc. Wonder if it is worth looking into. It is online multiplayer only with bot support I think. Can't imagine it being better than BF though. The release date should be sometime in 4th Quarter this year. I looked up the requirement and it is at least playable lol.

System requirements close to Quake 4
"In talking to Kevin Cloud and Paul Wedgewood of id Software and Splash Damage, it was expected that the game would have the same requirements as Quake 4. -- 2007 Santa Monica California Hands on preview session

Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 98/2000/ME/XP
Processor: Pentium PIII 800 MHz Processor or AMD Athlon
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 2™ or ATI Radeon™ 7000 or higher
CD-ROM: 4X or Faster

Recommended System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP
Processor: CPU Pentium 4 2.4GHz or Athlon64 3000
Video Card: Geforce FX 5700 or Radeon 9600 or higher
CD-ROM: CDRom 52x or DVD Rom 16x

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Best Game Ever??!!

Saw some new info about the game Rock Band on our mailing list, it does seem to be turning out to be the best game ever (if it is true)! These are taken from a forum post at Game Informer

- One disk with 4 separate campaigns. Guitar, Drum, Bass and Vocal. Each can be played on its own from start to finish, in addition, a full band game is designed to allow for one huge co-op playthrough.

- Will feature full support for four player online play on both 360 and PS3. Any combination of on/offline play will work and each player can pick their own difficulty setting.

- Flexible community system will allow you to find bandmates anywhere in the world

- There will be a way for you to share your band's triumphs with the world, but the details are still under wraps.

- Musical fret-boards are now transparent so you can see more of the background visuals. Guitar is on the left side of the screen, Bass on the right and drums down the middle. Vocals scroll from right to left along the top of the screen.

- Guitars and Bass now have 10 frets. 5 for the regular sections of the game and 5 for the newly designated solo sections.

- Whammy bar is back as is the tilt to activate rock band's version of star power

- there is a five way switch on the guitar that allows for 5 different self-applied effects to the sound.

- Singing is now more in depth. There is a phoneme detector that will pick up individual vowels and consonants you say. Build up enough highly judged phrases and you'll be able to sing free-form. If you do well enough in free-form, then you'll trigger the vocalist's version of star power.

- Microphone doubles as a tambourine on many songs to combat super long guitar solos where the singer doesn't have much to do.

- Drums are apparently insane. You use actual sticks and hit one of four colored pads in front of you, in addition to a kick pedal attached to the drumming unit. Drummers will also have the ability to do fills etc. in their own little free-form section, do well and you'll trigger the drummers version of star power.

- If one person fails, the whole band does not fail, their section simply turns gray and they have to sit out the rest of the song unless one your band mates initiates star power, which will bring you back into the fold.

- If all bandmates can reach the end of a song, you'll be greeted with one huge free-form jam session.

- There will be a character creation system, and you can create multiple avatars that play different instruments.

- Four themed clothing stores in addition to licensed guitars and pedals and other rock paraphernalia.

- A full set of mo-cap stage movements have been added for each instrument. You can decide whether your vocalist moves like Axel Rose, or stands his ground like Clapton.

- 40 performance venues planned

- All peripherals will be unique to each platform. This isn't the developer's decision. Apparently MS peripherals require special circuit boards.

- You'll be able to craft your own band logo

- The HUD in the screens isn't final but is a good indication of what you can expect

- 4 songs announced in the article, not sure if this is new or old but whatever.
Weezer - Say It Ain't So - Original Master Track
Black Sabbath - Paranoid - Original Master Track
The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again - Original Master Track
Nirvana - In Bloom - Original Master Track

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


In keeping with Kungfucius' theme, here is something I saw about Mr. Woo who builds robot in china. Wait til the end to see the most amazing one, It almost looks too good to be true. My cynical mind wonders if there is a guy in there pretending hahaha.

This is a segment from British show by Paul Merton, called Paul Merton in China

ETA:, after posting this video, I started looking at other segment of his show and I saw this..!!!

OMG, what restaurant they went to?? I have NEVER seen this eww....
Paul Merton in China - Chinese Meal

OMG, what a total waste of space!! that girl is right about Chinese rich people LOL
Paul Merton in China- weird French hotel

OMG, that is so funny!! lol I wonder what happened when the hotel manager founds out
Paul Mertonin China- mistaken identity

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Trivia report

SNoopy and I made a come back last night with our newest team members CCP. They are Snoopy's friends who we roped in into joining us. I think they had fun and may come back. It also helps one of the guys on another team actually knew them so there is that competition factor as well haha. The questions were actually really mainstream this time, which made for a more fun experience even if we didn't do very well.
There was a category on gentleman sports that included Sailing, Polo, Snookers and Fencing (thank god for taking Fencing classes in college haha). THen there was Manly sports category which CCP totally rocked. We did ok on real estate, completely bombed the Cowboys and Indians category. The funny thing was that the first question was "what was the name of the Indian chief whose real name means "in the wilderness". We of course were clueless, so I randomly said "crazy horse??" (I had no idea and was making it up)> we all laughed and moved on, and then later, when they came to that question, they were like the answer is ...."Crazy Horse!!". Snoopy said "OMG< we got that one right!! did you put it down??" I said "err, I was just joking so I left that one blank". then I got beaten up for not putting that answer down LOL.

The bonus round was name that Classical COmposition. Finally!! a music category that was not modern rock! We did ok in that, It is sad that I can't remember any music that is later than 1800s lol. In the end, we came in 3rd to last with 29 points. Although now that we don't get free beer, I am not sure it is such a good result after all HAHAHA.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

quiz of the day

Saw this in an email thread. The funny thing is I never programmed in PHP hahah.

You are PHP.  You enjoy the World Wide Web. You are constantly changing the way you do things, and this tends to confuse people who work with you.
Which Programming Language are You?

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I uploaded some videos I took on the trip. This is the first time I seriously tried out the video function. So looking back, I definitely moved too fast and talked too quietly. Oh well, will do better next time.

Also here is my Big Island hazard signs collage :) ( you might have to zoom in to see some of them) I think the reason they have so much signs is that basically the attitude on the Island is we warned you about stuff but feel free to do whatever you want.

celebrating Edward Norton

I always liked Edward Norton ever since I saw Primal Fear. He is such a wonderful actor and very lowkey, always doing interesting characters. I was reminded of him today when I was telling someone about The Painted Veil which I saw on the airplane. He was remarkably good in it. Then Snoopy watched The 25th Hour today. She was telling me about this amazing monologue that Edward Norton did in this movie. It was truly awesome. So here is it in celebration of Edward Norton.

warning: strong language