Saturday, April 28, 2007


This is soo sweet T_T

Thursday, April 26, 2007

nice song

I was listening to "love someone tonight" Delilah the other night and I heard this song that I really liked. There was a section of the lyrics that was quite moving. I didn't remember the name so I emailed Delilah to ask her. She responded just a day later with the song name and artist. I was quite impressed. So here is the music video of "Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hill. This is a love song made in the 70s, and everything would be perfect if the singer didn't look like the caveman from the Geico commercial.

Sometimes When We Touch - Dan Hill

You ask me if I love you
And I choke on my reply
I'd rather hurt you honestly
Than mislead you with a lie
And who am I to judge you
On what you say or do?
I'm only just beginning to see the real you

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

Romance and all its strategy
Leaves me battling with my pride
But through the insecurity
Some tenderness survives
I'm just another writer
Still trapped within my truth
A hesitant prize fighter
Still trapped within my youth

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

At times I'd like to break you
And drive you to your knees
At times I'd like to break through
And hold you endlessly

At times I understand you
And I know how hard you've tried
I've watched while love commands you
And I've watched love pass you by

At times I think we're drifters
Still searching for a friend
A brother or a sister
But then the passion flares again

I especially like the part where he sings "I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides". It just seems like such a tender moment :)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

fun screenshots in LOTRO

I am on my last day in LOTRO beta. If I don't buy it now my character will get erased. I haven't decided yet but I probably won't end up buying it right now. A level 10 char is not really worth saving. And MMORPGs are so time consuming as it is. I am not sure I want to get sucked in. I did have alot of fun playing the beta though. I grouped with some random person yesterday and it was fun doing quests. The surrounding scenery and atmosphere really is the most beautiful part about the game. For example, I accidentally wandered into the marshes one time, and I didn't notice that it was getting dark. So I was walking slowly towards the outline of a ruin in the marsh when suddenly it was dusk, the marsh fog rose and surrounded me and it was pitch dark. The ruin's sillouette disappeared and I can see nothing around except some swarming insects that likes to follow you around. I was totally lost. The music also changed to a dark creepy tone. Everything was very well done and I decided not to go there again after dark :)
Marsh when it is sunny

Marsh at dusk

Creepy night marsh

The other fun thing I did was this: I would never do this in real life so it was very satisfying to do it with such realism in a game.

everything looks better with a cloak in Bree town

Rich people ride horses, poor people walk..

Lastly, my favorite place: Celondim, the Elve's starting town.

Friday, April 20, 2007

One down, many to go

So Regi and I formed a plan to go to the Beijing Summer Olympics next year in August. I have always wanted to see an Olympics opening ceremony. It is one of the things on my "To Do" list. She is very excited about it as well, especially the men's gymnastic team ;). We finally submitted our ticket applications at yesterday. I was keeping an close eye on when they are releasing tickets so to maximize our chances. Now I have never applied for Olympics tickets before so I don't know if it is always like this. But the ticket application process is incredibly vague and convoluted. They make you apply for tickets, but they can't tell you where you are sitting or how much they really are or if you are really going to get them. BUT if for any reason you got the tickets you requested you HAVE to buy them. So basically the whole thing is a crap shoot. You just go in and hope for the best. I am also kind of annoyed that the price discrepancies is so big between tickets in China and tickets for foreigners. The lowest level ticket for opening ceremony in China is 200 yuan (30 bucks). The lowest level ticket for Americans is 1500 yuan. >_< they suck so much!!

Anyway, I know all this will be worth it next year when I am standing in Beijing :)

P.S. funny story: A couple of years ago, Regi drove through Houston and I happen to be there as well. So She, Velius and I met together for bubble tea. Regi never had bubble tea before so we told her to try some. She tried one sip and almost choked on a bubble, so she asked us what is the bubble. Apparently we jokingly told her it was frog eggs (Now I seriously don't remember saying this -_-b) We all laughed and left it at that. But apparently Regi thought we were serious. She thought she ate a frog egg this entire time. She was so disgusted and resolved never to eat anything with Velius and me ever again. -_-! she calls this the "bubble tea incident". She finally looked it up a couple weeks ago and realized what it was.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


So today I finally opened up LOTRO beta and played through the introduction quest arc. The graphics is definitely awesome. Everything is so beautiful, the trees, flowers, lakes and ancient ruins. After some consideration, I have discarded my Elven hunter (yes I know blasphemy) and made a Human female Lore-Master (druid/mage). I am sure Velius is going to kill me if he looked it up as I didn't really pay attention to any of the stats and strength/weaknesses. But I already created it so there =P. I had to get rid of Legolas wanna be as he was making this grunting sound everytime he hits during melee and it is driving me nuts. My nice new human is perfectly silent as she clubs bandits and wolves on the head with her staff. The storyline basically follows the same timeline as LOTR but you are on the peripheral. You will hear about the deeds of those Baggin hobbits and the fellowship but you won't really be involved in the main quest. It creates a kind of realism without actually allowing you to interfere with the main storyline of the book. Basically going through the intro story arc gets you to level 5. It is too early yet to see what kind of unique skills my human has. So far everything is pretty much standard MMORPG: quests, skills, leveling. I finally learned the Lute skill at level 5. Now I only need to figure out where I can buy a lute and I am on my way to rockstar-dom. The only thing I didn't like was the UI, all the labeling text seems unnecessarily big and it is giving me a headache especially when among multiple people as you totally can't make them out. It is also very laggy in town as usual. I also had the honor of being Gold Spammed during my stay in Middle Earth. 1 G for the very cheap price of 8.99 ( I have 7 silver at level 5). Do they already have sweatshops for this? It is only Beta people!!

And of course, how can any MMORPG be good without some domestic animal

Saturday, April 07, 2007

dream and reality

To continue my chinese proverb lessons, I want to expound on the one that says "What you think of during the day you will dream at night". I really felt the accurateness of ancient people when I had this crazy dream last night. But before I get that far, I must start at the beginning. I had a pretty rough week because we are doing our final test pass before release. So basically I've been working 14 hour days and getting no sleep so my brain has been fried. So I finally finished everything Friday night on time. I got home, completely exhausted, and then I remembered that I signed up for Lord Of The Ring Online open beta last week and it is their first day on Friday. So I figure I would load it up, take a look for 5 minutes and crash. The game actually has beautiful graphics. The gameplay seems pretty similar to the other 100 MMORPGs out there (They do have this pretty cool music system where you can really play a song on your lute using your keyboard instead of just canned music) . So I created a woodland elven hunter by the name of Dashiel(Legolas was taken -_-) and did the first quest. Everything went pretty much according to plan without surprises. So I turnd it off and went to bed. And then the dream begin: I found myself first at a grass plain talking to some elves, they told me that the evil one (whoever it is) has risen again and we must recruit everyone to battle the darkness. So I courageously said of course I will join. Then since apparently I don't know how to do anything, they sent me to the terrorist, err I mean rebel training camp which looked just like my office. I got there and found out that they have converted the whole place into a obstacle course with multiple games like at a country fair. So I found myself spent days going through the obstacle course over and over again. The details are fuzzy now but I distinctly remember one where I had to shoot at some poor animal nailed to a wall using a bow and arrow. The poor little thing kinda exploded when it got hit (I am not bloodthirsty, really I am not). And there is also another one where I had to walk across this room on a wooden beam while on the floor there are tons of mice running around. It was horrible. Just as I was getting so tired of the obstacle course, I found myself back at the archery game. I found that after days of practice, I can successfully blow up the furry critters with no problem (YAY!). So my next goal is to shoot three at once using three arrows on my bow! Just as I was getting totally lost, this elf that looked surprisingly like my LOTRO character came up to me and started to teach me how to do it. mmm... and just as I was getting everything under control and gotten three arrows on my bow, alas, I woke up to another dreary annoying rainy day.....

ETA: Ender was asking what guitar I have. It is a Model AA31 by Ovation Applause. Apparently it doesn't exist on the internet Lol(I looked). Anyway my teacher says it is a "traveling" guitar since its back is made of plastic and not wood.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

trivia night record

it was so sad that I didn't even want to post about it. But then we must face the truth even if it hurts. Due to the unfortunate loss of Plop and the most ridiculous questions ever, we again was last place at Trivia Night with a world record shattering 14 points out of 90 something. 6/9 sections of the quiz we got 0 points. The good thing is that we are so famous now people kinda expected us to be in last place so no surprise there. The obscure question contained NCAA trivia like which Kansas coach had a losing record in the history of Kansas basketball, and the furthest bracket that a 5/12 upset ever went, which teams it was and what was the shooting percentage (or some nonsense like that). There were also questions like who was reputed to be the "most handsome man in America" in 1863, which was JOhn Wilkes Booth apparently. *headdesk*. Anyway, to sum it up, we sucked and the pitcher of beer was ours :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

speaking of guitar hero....

There is this saying in Chinese that "all smart people think alike". At least when it comes to making money. This saying can be exemplified by Harmonix's latest natural extension in their music game line: Rock Band. The press release explains it as:

today it has been revealed that Harmonix is working on a game called "Rock Band," which will let gamers perform music from the world’s biggest rock artists with their friends as a virtual band using drum, bass/lead guitar and microphone peripherals, in addition to offering "deep online connectivity."

Other feature they are touting is that they are going to use the original artist tracks this time instead of good imitations. I don't know if I care about that, I thought the imitations sounded pretty darn good in Guitar Hero. The "deep online connectivity" they are talking about is the mode where you can collaborate with people over the live network (and the equivalent for ps3). I wonder if it will be as fun though when you can't jam with your friend next to you. I saw comment that brings up another good point, when you have 2 guitars, a microphone and a drum set in your living room, how do you get all those moving notes onto the tv screen without making people dizzy? Something to ponder about and look forward to...

p.s. I also had to look twice to make sure it wasn't some April Fool's joke.

Monday, April 02, 2007

wannabe guitar hero

I happened to be given a guitar last year by one of my old coworker. Since it was just sitting there and I was inspired by all that Guitar Hero playing at Velius', I decided to take beginning guitar lessons in January this year. Our local community college offers a adult group lesson class at night. The cost is about 120 bucks for 8 hours of lesson which is not bad as far as classes go. It was a pretty fun class although he taught us way more stuff than we can actually learn. Since it was an adult education class there is no exams nor grades nor anything that can motivate one to actually practice afterwards. So I decided to record myself playing this first song I learned. In a way it forces me to practice so to actually be able to play this song in one sitting. I think it will be amusing to come back a year later and see if I have improved or deteriorated (or practiced even -_-!). So, here is my attempt at Youtubing :) Me playing House of Rising Sun by the Animals

And if you don't want to hear me butcher a perfectly good song, here is the real version with real guitar playing :).