Tuesday, February 27, 2007

going to the dark side

I recently downloaded some Arcade games on my xbox (company perk) for M to play with. She is now completely addicted to Bejeweled 2 (a matching game with colored gems.) She played for 5 hours straight over the weekend and her world ranking jumped from 50,000 to 10,000 over night with no sign of slowing down. I had to go make dinner because she is so busy with the game. Isn't it usually the otherway around? -_-!

In other news, we finally bite the bullet and got some DX10 cards for work. These geforce 8800 GTX are monsters that take up two PCI slots. The heatsink and fan is bigger than the card itself. In fact, it is so massive they had to put an fan outlet on the connection plate itself in addition to the big fan on the body so it doesn't overheat the computer. It is ridiculous! Now if I only have a DX10 game to play with :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

random weekend post

I was invited to a housewarming party thrown by these 4 guys from my company. I knew them through a mutual acquaintance. They lived in an apartment on the waterfront with a gorgeous view of the pacific ocean in downtown Seattle. They are in all respects the perfect example of young successful people in a sophisticated urban living. They had a professional bartender friend come to do the drinks and played club music on their giant lcd tv using windows media center. The party started at 9 and didn't end til 3 am where all the drunken people left. Now I must confess I don't have much experience with these "social" parties as they call them. Mine more gravitate towards the "chainsaw that monster" type of parties (:)) so this is a very interesting experience for me. I did not know most of the people there, nor they each other so it is my duty to mingle and get to know people as my friend told me. I had a great deal of fun trying to talk to people, of course the whole evening is littered with awkward silences as my very small social skills failed to keep the conversation going. This is a very hard thing for me as I am not used to such surroundings, standing around and having to come up with suitable topics of conversation in extremely loud music. Incidentally this reminds me alot of those period movies where people go to a ball and having to make conversation and appear sociable, minus the hiphop and booze. So I guess society really hasn't changed all that much except for the disturbing trend of binge drinking that seems to be prevalent at all such parties. I of course declined to drink but that caused everyone to look at me like some sort of alien. They seem to think it is some sort of affront to not partake in this "ritual". Now I have nothing against drinking or drinking people. If I did that means I would have to hate like 90% of the world. Of course I have never been drunk so I might indeed be missing something profoundly awesome. but I have to say people really did seem to have more fun without their inhibitions. They danced and yelled and in general made very sociable and happy people. Lots of friends were made and experiences shared. So the dual purpose of making friends and having a good time was served. I did find it amusing that almost everyone seem to think that I must not be having any fun since I don't have some alcohol in me. When did this relationship start to develop? Alcohol = fun or rather Alcohol -> fun. I can't decide if I am just too "conservative" for this modern American world where social scene is inevitably linked to alcohol or rather this trend is an anomaly only in youth society. I just haven't been to enough parties to form a informed opinion. Should I try to integrate myself more into this seeing how obviously I need more social skills? stuff to ponder about..

ETA: on a totally different note, I also received mail to pick up that free thong from Victoria Secret as Bunky did. As I am unable to resist free stuff I had to go pick it up. I had the same thought as Kolaap did in his post but since I read his post first I was not as surprised. Having seen it in person I have serious doubt about the practicality of such things as it seems to position one for a permanent wedgie. And since I cannot imagine any woman will wear that of her own volition I can safely say "this is all the men's fault!" ;)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Happy Chinese New Years!!

Everybody who reads this message must send me a red packet or else.....^^

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

AI 6 hollywood round

The hollywood round contains group auditions so you gotta know how to harmonize and sing in a group. Most of it was a trainwreck as usual but there was one group that really stood out. These 4 guys was great! If they don't make idol they should totally just form a group themselves. Between them, they have a rocker, a beat boxer, a boyband extraordinaire and a crooner. what more can you ask for!

Idol Hollywood group song: Chris, Tom, Rudy and Blake.

Another aspect of the show I don't like is how they showed so much drama. Do I really need to know how many people are divas and how many can't get picked to be in a group? I hate how they keep reinforce the stereotype that girls just can't get along. And if it is not a stereotype, there is something seriously wrong with education of girls in this country.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Puzzle Hunt Weekend!

This is one of the best weekend I had in a long time. I joined a team for our semiannual company Puzzle Hunt weekend. It is a great traditional here where people divide into groups of no more than 12 and do a 48 hour puzzle hunt marathon. The puzzles are devised by the previous' year's winners over couple months and they are extremely complex and entertaining (and totally geeky!). This year's theme is Atlantean Culture and all the puzzles are devised to solve 5 meta puzzles that will lead us to the Atlantean WMD that is going to destroy the world at 6 pm on Sunday. There were 72 teams involved. That is close to 1000 people all together. We completely took over buildings on main campus and it was a hard fight to schedule a conference room as our headquarters. But we managed to secure a building right across from the Puzzle Hunt headquarters for easy retrieval of puzzles ( they are released throughout the day to teams based on their progress). I haven't done puzzles in a long time so it was very hard to get into that frame of mind at first but soon I was pretty engrossed in it. The puzzles are extremely complicated in that they require 15 steps to arrive at the final answer which is then used to solve the bigger meta puzzle. This is often frustrating as I was only able to go through the first 3 steps before i am stuck and have to move on to something else. The first meta puzzle came in the form of 6 foam squares with intricate holes cut into them, we had to figure out 10 smaller puzzles and use their answer to assembly the squares and then at the end, pour seed down the top of them so that they go through the right holes and form a phone number at the buttom which we can call to get the next clue. I wish I had a picture.

There is nothing more fun than being in the same room as 10 other nerds for 14 hours straight solving puzzles! I don't even think I ate food on Saturday because we are concentrating so hard we don't notice the time pass by. Our team was by no means the best as we came in 55/72 in the final rankings and we were only able to solve maybe 1/3 of the puzzles but it was still a great time. I think I will definitely do it again in the fall!

ETA: I just remembered something else, besides word and math puzzles, there were also spacial puzzles like assembling a celtic knot. The field puzzles including diving down the gym pool to retrive a clue and figure out buildings from sketches and go there to look at the windows for clues. So we did get some exercise haha.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

crazy cars

I am normally not a car enthusiast at all. My understanding of cars stays at "Japanese cars are small, American cars are big!!" level. But this video of a Bugatti Veyron doing 250 miles an hour impressed even me. That is going the length of a football field every second!!. Of course it is totally unpractical even without a speed limit, since the tires would burn out in 15 minutes and gas in 12. Now if they can only make wear resistant tires.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Ok so I finally saw the movie tonight. I am totally depressed now. *shake fists at all eloquent movie reviewers*. I guess they did warn you by showing you the girl at the beginning but I still managed to tear up at the end. The movie deserves all its accolades and praises. It is superbly done and very well acted. The Captain was incredibly convincing. Ofelia was lovely, especially the part where she tells the story to her brother. I think one thing that struck me the most about this movie is that despite its fantasy elements, it is still full of realism at heart. This is not some sanitized Hollywood violence but cold and harsh realities of the cruelty of men. I keep cringing at the various parts but I appreciate their efforts to keep it real so to speak. I mean if I was tied up in that barn with the Captain behind me, I would be full of despair too knowing that there won't be some miraculous rescue to save me from fate worse than death. It is amazing what human beings will do to one another. I also had a hard time trying to understand all the symbolisms from the fantasy side. Do they have counterparts in reality or not. One of my favorite things is the soundtrack. It was hauntingly beautiful and I think without it, the movie would not have been so sad and poignant. So I have to agree with everyone and rate it 100!. I love the fact that it was subbed and not dubbed, because bad dubbing could have totally ruined it since there are so much dialog. I spent a little bit of time trying to see how much I can understand the dialog without looking at the sub, but give up soon hehe.

That is another one off my list, oh one more thing, I got CARDED when I was buying the movie ticket because it was rated R. *headdesk*

Friday, February 02, 2007

Pseudo science for sale

Came across this article yesterday while I was reading about the new climate report on Global Warming that IPCC is coming out with today: Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study.

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.
Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...etc.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this lunacy of politics trying to dictate science. I think the administration does not understand that wishful thinking and reality are two different things. You can't make reality come out your way just by throwing money at it (well I guess really you can temporarily but catastrophy is not far behind). The art of pseudoscience has reached its zenith here in the U.S. with the hugely successful process of establishing a organization with a neutral and vague name such as the American Enterprise Insitute, hide your funding source and then start to put out "scientific papers" with enough jargon to impress even the most skeptical media (those are hard to come by as it is). With any luck, you will start being quoted as an authority on this subject and your agenda will be on its way to the top.

So here is what I propose as our new money making scheme, we should totally register a nonprofit think tank, lets say named "Climate Research and Prediction" institute. Then we can spend couple hours making up some papers about how the glaciers are not melting off and a warmer Earth will really be better for the tourism industry. Voila, 10 grand in the pocket! It is that easy!

I am pretty sick of the pseudoscience agenda being advanced by the people like the "CO2 is our friend" American Enterprise Institute, the "All we need is more troops in Iraq" Heritage Foundation, and especially the "Evolution is just a theory" Discovery Institute. It is bad enough that they have faked their way to the top of the stack, it is even worse when they get quoted wholesale by Media. Stop this madness!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Idol update

I saw the classiest audition on Idol yet last night. 60 years old Sherman Pore went to audition for his "lady" who passed away from cancer just two days before. It was such a sweet moment, very rare in a show that has gotten increasingly vulgar.

In other news, "someone" was asking for an update on my favoritest singer in the world Clay Aiken yesterday so I thought I would copy over his blog post on clayonline.com from today. He isn't doing much these days but he is definitely keeping himself amused. :) and he will be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Feb 14th. When those two get together, you know there will be some mayhem.

02/01/07 : Lend a Helping Hand

It seems over the past few weeks, the tabloids and gossip mongers have had their hands full coming up with new and exciting "scandals" for me to be a part of. Yet, for all of their efforts to be on the "cutting edge" and the forefront of bull$#@& journalism, it seems that some of them may be running out of ideas and resorting to recycling and re-hashing some of their older tall tales. How sad!?
With this in mind, we thought maybe we would try to give them a finger.... er.. a hand.
For all of the contests that we hold here on the OFC, this one promises to be one of my favorites.
That's right! Let's show off the creative abilities of the greatest group of fans on Earth.
The contest is simple, but will require some thinking and planning...

Come up with the most outlandish story you can that places me (either alone or with others close to me) in a really juicy/tawdry/scandalous/shameful story.
Then, use any photos, videos, audio clips of me that you can find along with your favorite multimedia enhancing/"doctoring" program (like a PhotoShop or a sound/video editor) to create your "evidence"!
Maybe you have "pictures" of me being "abducted by oversized turnips"... or ... "video" of me "dancing with a three legged gorilla". Be creative!

You'll submit your "story" and "evidence" to an address that you'll find online here at the OFC very soon.

I'll personally pick the "story" that not only is most creative, but has the most CONVINCING and REALISTIC looking "evidence"!
(It obviously can't be that hard to come up with!)

The winner(s) will be featured here... PLUS... there will be a great prize to go along with the honor of being the creator of "Scandal 2007"

This one is gonna be fun!!

Feel free to get started thinking...but, keep your eye out for details on rules/requirements for entry and deadlines and prizes. they be announced here soon.

Happy Fabricating!!


Current Mood: Excited