Friday, December 22, 2006

Last Nite at Palo Alto

So tonite is the last nite before I head back to the arctic north...

As planned since Monday, I went to the AYCE oyster + sushi place... What a great idea it was since I just realized I won't be eating anything probably for the next 24 hours!

It had been raining the day before... so I was glad that the last day I am here, it was sunny! :)

Hope it stays that way tomolo!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Can one week's worth of clothes make this huge a difference? I shipped one week's worth of dirty laundry homebound the other day... and now it seems like I don't have enought stuff to fill up my suitcases!

Interesting indeed... I wonder... hrm....

Monday, December 18, 2006

The War of the Ants

So for the past 3 weeks, the Ants and I have been fighting a war. Below is an account of the epic battle, and the results of the war!

A few months ago, reconnaissance ants had tried to map out my room... but these spies were caught and killed on sight. As a result, Operation Take-Mson's Room for the Ants failed. Little did Mson know that it was just the beginnning...

Act 1: Operation A-Day
Approximate Time: Nov 27...

The day after Mson's unsuccessful gambling efforts at Vegas, he returns to find that ants have invaded the Kitchen. Forming a line between East Counter and Recycle Bin, some had even found their way onto his cutlery! Not only so, but reports of ants having invaded the Bathroom also arrive shortly after a brief scouting mission to the Bathroom.

Frantically, Mson scraps up paper towels and eliminate the ants on sight, sending them spiralling down the toilet. But there were just too many waves of them. Mson retreats back into this room. The Ants have drawn first blood!

Score: Ants 2, Mson 0

Act 2: Landlord Joins the Fray
Approximate Time: Nov 30...

News of the Ant Attack reach the Landlord and ant traps are immediately deployed near Recycle Bin. Swarms of ants fall for it, and gather around Recycle Bin. But there were just too many of them. The Landlord, in a desperate move, takes the Recycle Bin to an undisclosed place. The number of ants on East Counter reduces, but the ants still maintain control of Bathroom.

Score: Ants 3, Mson 0

Act 3: The Counterattack
Approximate Time: Dec 7...

Recylce Can returns, and the Ants reclaim Recycle Can. Mson searches around the house, and comes across an ancient weapon of mass destruction. Upon spraying it... instant death to the Ants!!!

Mson unleashes the weapon on the Ants at the Recycle Can, and also in the Bathroom... Unprecedented Ant casualties resulted. Reminents of Ants still remain on these battlefields, but they no longer have complete control of the territory...

After the battle, with utmost respect, Mson clears the dead carcasses of Ants on the battlefield, saluting them as they spiral down the toilet.

Score: Ants 3, Mson 2

Act 4: An Unexpected Ally for the Ants
Approximate Time: Dec 10...

Up until now, of the 4 rooms, 3 have remained neutral, leaving only Mson to fight this war... but this no longer was the case when one of the rooms (Room #3) decided to motivate the Ants. In an unexpected move, Room #3 cleans up his garbage of what seemed like leftover organic stuff (wtf was all that garbage doing in his room???). Ants take the bait and claims White Garbage Can in the Kitchen.

Maintaining the neutrality stance after this deliberate sabotage, Room #3 gets away scotch free, since Mson does not have evidence to proof with certainty his involvement; nor does he have the energy to face a two front war. Mson takes out the garbage immediately to reclaim White Garbage Can.

Score: Ants 3, Mson 2

Act 5: Dam that Ant Ally
Approximate Time: Dec 11...

Less than 24 hours after White Garbage Can was cleaned, Room #3 was at it again, dumping yet another bag of garbage to signal the Ants to move in.... Where the heck does he find so much nasty garbage???

Act 6: The 'Weapon' is Complete
Approximate Time: Later that Day on Dec 11...

Investing all his comprehension power, Mson researches (ie. reads) the directions on the weapon of mass destruction... The key phrase that was missed when it was last used was: "... Residue lasts for 4 weeks ..."

With his training at PARC, Mson realizes that by not wiping down the battlefield, the radiation from the weapon will remain active. The research on the weapon is completed. Victory is at hand!

Over the next 5 minutes, 3 deadly sprays, blanketed the locations: Recylce Bin, White Garbage Can, and Bathroom. Entire Ant armies at these 3 locations were wiped out. Upon losing Recycle Bin, Ants retreat from East Counter.

Score: Ants 3, Mson 6

Act 6: Takeover at West Counter
Approximate Time: Dec 15...

Out of desperation, the Ants try to reclaim East Counter by entering from the other side. Hiding behind chopping boards, they took control of the West side of the Counter without much resistance. In a bold move, they begin making the trek from the West to the East to regain the lost land. Along the way, they claim the outer edges of the Sink.

It seems that Room #3, with his wok, had motivated this endeavour. But there is still not enough evidence to unmask his ill intentions...

Because of the close proximity of the ants to the Sink, the Weapon could not be unleashed. Ants claim Sink and West Counter.

Score: Ants 5, Mson 6

Act 7: The Radiation Wall at West Counter
Approximate Time: Dec 16...

Upon detection of the activities in West Counter, the Weapon was strategically unleashed. To avoid unnecessary contamination, the Weapon was only unleashed on the borders of the West Counter. It is thought that by spraying at the border, this would close off the Sink area from the advances of the Ant army. Plan seems successful as over the next few days, ant corpses are observed at the borders of West Counter. Ants travelling across Sink decreases drastically.

Score: Ants 5, Mson 7

Current Situation:
Though there are still Ants roaming on the other side of West Counter, it seems that they cannot get past the radiation wall left by the 'Weapon'. It seems that all territories have been reclaimed by Mson, and are under control.

With the 'Weapon' in his arsenal and 4 more days left, it seems that Mson will come out victorious in this war!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

San Fran Part IV: MoMA and 'Golden' Gate

So today a youngling came from Toronto to visit her dear old friends! After finding out that the plane arrived half an hour earlier (via a phone call), I jumped out of bed and headed for the airport.

So apparently, Canada to U.S. is a 'domestic' flight! Thinking Can to US was 'internationl', I drove up to the int'l terminal, only to find that Ms. Youngling was nowhere to be seen. Dum dum me decided to get out of the car and walk in to see, but little did I know, when I return back to the car, a parking patrol awaited me to deliver me a ticket! LOL.. my 2nd parking ticket... I would have been more p!ssed, but the parking ticket took me down memory lane... and eerily funny since it happened the day after I saw the past.

But all this aside, today was the day I become more cultured and visit the museum of modern art at san fran. Great experience I have to say. Got in for almost half price (since I was a student) AND received a docent tour, learning even more about the art.

One art piece had alot of meaning for me. This painting was called 'Heaven on Earth'. In this painting, the painter (Anselm Kiefer) has a river in the middle, but looking at this river clearly, you see that it is painted like the sky! So it was almost like the river was flowing from the heavens into the ground, or earth and heaven was united. I was very taken by the painting, since it basically summarizes the whole 'making dreams a reality' concept. Well, at least that's my interpretation of it.

After spending a good 3 hours at MoMA and feeling slightly smarker, we went to the wharf for some good crab. As always, it was great!. To finish off the mini San Fran experience, we went to see the Golden Gate Bridge at night. With a newfound technique, I was able to understand just how 'golden' the Golden Gate Bridge was...

Red during the day, golden during the night. What a sight!

But like all 27 hour days, my companion was exhausted from this relentless schedule. So I dropped her off at where she's staying. Have fun in the warm west coast!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

San Fran Part III: Tea Garden and Exploratorium

Waking up, I went to san fran to complete my other goal... the japanese tea garden. I was very glad I made this trip, because the place is VERY pretty. Go to the pictures section to see just how nice everything was!

After strolling inside the tea garden for almost two hours, I grabbed a quick bite and headed to the exploratorium. This place is like the science center, only I thought it was wayyy cooler and much more fun. Right before I left, I was able to talk with the person who designed most of the exhibits there, and got some great advice on how I can partially recreate one of their exhibits for our batcape presentation! All in all, this scouting experience was very fun and fruitful.

After two breathtaking events, I drove back from san fran to buy some groceries... and lo and behold, I discover a $23.00 gift set of black label on sale! So immediately, I grabbed one off the shelf and put it in my cart. Good stuff!

Ended the day by attending a bday dinner in the area. It sounds very bad, but the highlight of this event for me was not the bday, but getting to see someone from the past that I wasn't sure if I was ready to see at the moment. Long story short, I was more ready than I thought. It was 'slightly' awkward (I use this term VERY loosely here), but much less than I had imagined. So overall, I was glad I went. The other highlight was the free valet parking! :)

Plan for tomolo = MoMA!

Friday, December 01, 2006

PARC Xmas Party

So after spending the better half of the day printing out maps for the weekend, it was time for me to get pretty and go to the Computer History Museum for AYCE food, and open bar!

The chicken dish was very good... when I first asked for more, lady serving went "sure, but promise me you will finish it"... :) ... 2nd time I went she was alll smiles as I complimented her on how good the food was.

One thing though is even though it was open bar, I didn't have the urge to drink at all. After having two glasses of wine, I basically gave up walking to the bar for more drinks... weird eh?

Oh, the other thing is that I won the grand prize of the nite... a pink DS! I am taking bids should any one wanna take it off my hands :).

The PARC lunch crew:

Sunday, November 26, 2006

LV Long Wkend

So leaving at 1am on Thursday morning, I started driving from Palo Alto to LV. Leaving SJ at 3am, I was literally driving into the sunrise... (since we were travelling east!). 10 hours later (at 11am), we arrive at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas.

So this trip was fun and all, but 3 days in Las Vegas actually seemed too much. Sure I gambled here and there, and went to old LV and walked around the strip, but I just wasn't too in awe of the place compared with say, yosemite.

The food though, was awesome. The Spice Market at Aladdin had AYCE raw oysters!!! This made my day. Combined with cotton candy as desert and crab legs that required minimal effort to eat (they split the leg down the middle, so the meat was exposed), it was easily one of the best buffets I've ever had.

Of course, the drinks there were insanely cheap :)... since if you gamble at the tables (or even just stand around it), you get served alcohol. haha.

Goal #2 of winning my plane ticket back didn't work out though. I was half way there after the first day, but then in the next two days, things didn't go my way. I had a chance to be down $5 for the entire trip... but I risked it all, and lost!... So LV had the upperhand in the gambling category.

Oh, and the casinos are all very smoky. My hair and all my clothes smelled like cigarettes every night. I took so many short showers (at least 2 a day) to get rid of that smell... ppeewwww!

The drive back was insanely long. I don't think we took pictures, but imagine nighttime, and a winding road up a hill, and all you see are curved lines of white and red. I don't think I've ever seen that many cars lined up on both sides of the highway... turns out the reason for the delay wasn't an accident, but a stupid traffic light 140 miles from this sea of white and red.

So it took use 13 hours (3pm to 4am) to get home (the trip there was only 8 hrs)... needless to say, it was a very tiring drive. I don't know what is worse actually, sleeping awkwardly in a car, or coasting down the highway and playing daytona :)... Personally, I prefer the daytona experience.. haha..

Friday, November 17, 2006

Candle in the Wind

So this past week I've been pretty busy after work, attending to the moutain of work that I was suppose to do throughout the term.

Actually, this week was sort of the beginning of my series of 'tests' to test out how much my body can tolerate nowadays before breaking... I am attempting to move back to (well, actually 'move to') the 6 hour a day sleep schedule as oppose to the 10+ hour a day schedule that evolved over time... Of course this is in anticipation of my 'congruency pursuit'...

Good thing is, I sort of shaved down the mountain... bad thing is its seems I might be getting sick from this drastic change in my regime (its either that or I ate the steak too fast and cut my throat)... but rather than see this first test as defeat, I see this as an indication that I need to treat my body better in the upcoming months.

Of course, I also realize all the actions I am doing now might be for nothing... but dreaming is something I am very good at, so I will continue doing that!

On the other hand, making dreams a reality, well, that I am working on :)

idealistic mson out.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Updated Pics...

Added a link to my pics on the right sidebar ---->
Check it out!

Stranded for Xmas?

So today I was catching up on my admin work... and I realized something when I crashed the Air Canada website trying to place a seat reservation...

My round trip air ticket return flight is booked for SAT, SEPT 23rd, 2006... as oppose to SAT, DEC 23rd, 2006... (yes.. oh sh*t indeed)

I just noticed this today, why the fuk are both the 23rd of these two months on a saturday???... frik!

so basically, this means I am screwed... Can't help but feel realllllly stupid right now... how could I miss this detail???... fuk!

dejavu just now... but just this past week, I started reading horroscopes again... So happened it was talking about how I will have to be spending money for no reason and for minimal returns... At first I had no clue what it meant.... but now I see clearly what it was getting at... ... all too clearly.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Another Invention?

So a few months has gone by, and my hair is soon approaching anime character length. Living in a house with all guys, it is hard to find a hairband. With that, another lightbulb goes off... ... inspired by the San Diego crew's CAT5 aka blue cable rope...

Invention #2: Hair Band of the 21st century

Description: The weight of the ear buds is just heavy enough to provide the pulling effect required to pull my hair back! Note how when the hair band is in the 'on' position, it is completely transparent and not detectable.

Cost: $0 (the earphones are courtesy of Air Canada... haha)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

LA Weekend Part III: Marissa Land!!!

**note: this entry will be updated w/ more pics later**

So today was the highly anticipated day... the day we hit up O.C!!!

So needless to say, I dragged everyone to the places where the O.C. was shot at and took pics. For the O.C. fans who read my blog, see if you recognize this one.

After eating at THE diner (yes, where O.C. films in), we went to Huntington beach to surf... the waves were humongous!!!... wiped out countless times... some of the waves were twice as tall as me!!!

Around 4:30ish.. we started to head back from Huntington... 5.5 hours drive + 1 hour dinner to get back to san jose... this includes the one hour traffic jam going from the beaches to the outskirts of LA... just imagine how short the trip might actually be if we drove at 12am in the morning... ahhh. .the possibilities!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

LA Weekend Part II - Hollywood

So we went to the walk of stars today in Hollywood, and watched the Clippers game. Pictures are worth a thousand words... so check the new updated pics!

LA Weekend - Part 1.5: Hyatt

Friday, November 03, 2006

LA Weekend Part I: Operation V220 Revival Saves the Day

So after Operation V220 Revival, it was time for the main event of the wkend... Los Angeles and Marissa Land!!!

So a couple events at happened on Fri night:
1) Highway 101
So I was driving down the 101, and passing a few people here and there, going 'slightly' above speed limit, etc... after 10 minutes or so, after passing yet another car, I start getting highbeamed. So thinking I p!ssed the driver off -- and not wanting to get shot -- I move back in one lane and let the car pass me by... problem solved right?... WRONG!
Because once I moved in, more cars started to flash their high beams at me...
At this point, I realize that I couldn't have p!ssed off that many people... so as I continue driving, a car who passed me by points to my car and waves his hands etc... At this point, I decide to pull over and make sure nothing was wrong with the car (ie. not leaking gas, trunk wasn't popped open.. etc.)
So we pull over and walk around the car, nothing seemed to be wrong at all... then as BJ and Odog step back in, they ask me... are the lights on?...
And with that... we were on our way.. haha!

I thought it was weird that I only twisted the light knob to the first position... but then again, this car didn't have a steering wheel height adjuster on it.. yet it had a MP3 CD player on board... so I thought meh, maybe it's another weird thing for this car...

I blame my headlight not on incident to the car... wasn't my fault I tell you.. wasn't my fault! :)

2) Reason behind Operation V220 Revival
So the main reason behind the Operation V220 Revival was for the LA trip. We were meeting City Boy in LA, who was living it up at a high class hotel... but since LA is a big city, it would be hard to find him...
Now I had established the fact that the V220 can't make calls in the last post, but lo and behold... text message works!... So with this in mind, I wrote a text msged and it was received by City Boy... phewf...
turned out he was at a club when we texted him, lucky the V220 came through... or we'd be sleeping on the streets this night!

Operation V220 Revival!

So for those who do not know... my cell phone battery had been going through some rough times since august. A month or so ago, the battery was officially dead... rendering my V220 powerless... (and useless).

So it was Fri afternoon at the creative powerhouse Xerox PARC when a lightbulb went off.

Idea: lithium ion battery = 3.6V. So what if I wired 3 AA batteries together, would I be able to power the V220 that way?...

... So off I went to grab some wires, some tape, some scissors and off I went.

As you can see by the pictures, the cell phone turned on! :)... 4 years, $6K a term, that's what EEs do!.. haha...

The only drawback is that the phone cannot make or receive calls. My hypothesis is that the wireless component draws too much power.

So for now, the phone can turn on, and when someone calls, rings and then go 'warning, battery low'...If i accept the call, phone dies.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

San Fran Castro Street On Halloween

So today I went to the famous Castro Street Halloween Party in San Fran. Supposedly, they block off this section of the street and then people just walk around and party... costumes were not as nice as Sat nite's outing, but still pretty nice...

All in all, it was ok... the atmosphere was great... but alot of people and alot of shoving and pushing around to get around... and the fact that you can't legally walk around w/ a 16 ozer killed whatever mood that could have been created...

Events to highlight:
- catfight between 5 girls vs. 1 girl... didn't see too well w/o my glasses... but I felt sorry for that one girl

- gunshots were heard, followed by hundreds of ppl (imagine a herd of those animals that killed simba's father in lion king) walking or running all in one direction away from the sound... (fences were knocked over as well)... ambulance and police cars followed shortly

- some very interesting costumes... when I get the pics from the other cameras I will update this blog entry or provide link to the pics

In other news... because of this outing, my leather shoes have taken another hit... aiii..... I haven't even wore it for more than 15 times, and the leather is already all scratched up in the front. For those who don't know, it's a very nice pair of soft leather shoes... guess I am not yet cut out to where such nice shoes yet.

Goal in the near future: Be able to wear nice things and not ruin it!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lobster in San Jose - Part III: Sleep-a-thon

So today really has nothing to do w/ Lobster... since I didn't even see her.

Today was about me, and my bed!

Sequence of Events:
1) Got home at around 3am-ish... slept.. woke up at 12:45pm (by alarm clock time)
2) Cooked, ate lunch, did dishes, then sat in front of computer... looked at a few things, saw it was only 1:30pm... then thought to myself... wtf... I swear it takes me more than an hour to do all those things...
3) Light bulb goes off in my head... its daylight savings time today! Upon realizing it, set my alarm clock to the right time (from 2:30 to 1:30)
4) Second decision of the day: decided that waking up at 11:45pm (by daylight savings time) was too early... so went back to bed... time: 1:31pm
5) 5:30pm. That's the time I saw when I next opened my eyes :D...

Total sleep time: 9 + 4 = 13 hours!

6) Ate dinner w/ little andrew and BJ, went to tea shop... came home.. slept by 12:30am....

So ends the day... I loooove daylight savings time!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lobster in San Jose - Part II: Halloween Bash

So after McDs... we went costume shopping then went to San Fran...

At San Fran, we walked around for 30 minutes to find food... and encountered numerous drunk ppl... summary:
- one guy shatttered a bottle of liquor near me after chasing his own bag
- one guy gave us a balloon sword
- one guy walked around asking for change saying he's honest for asking $ for booze
- one guy standing in middle of street pointing at the traffic light
- numerous paper bags holding liquids...
... and this was before 9pm!

After eating at a place similar to Mel's diner, we went and got ready to club... lineup was super long... but the costumes there were AWESOME! No pics were taken by me. So readers will need to either wait for me to see them, or hunt around and find the city boy's for them... I took a pic with a guy dressed as Optimus Prime... his costume was awesome (he won $100 for it)...

Back to the scene... at first, the bar was very hard to get a drink from as there was a HUGE lineup... but on subsequent visits, the line was alot shorter; but still had a slight wait. Sometime during the night though, I officially became a 'VIP' of one of the bartenders... haha.. meaning I basically walk up to him, and get served right away!... I guess that's when you know you've gone to the bar too many times! :)

But this clubbing experience is starting to look too similar to those of my early university days... so with that, I think I will abstain from this kind of life for awhile... or should I?

Lobster in San Jose - Part 1.5: The Twillight

As I mentioned, since it was late (early) in the morning, was velly velly quiet getting into aunt's house... so no one except me and city boy (CB) knew I was there that nite...

Here's what happened at twillight...
City Boy's Uncle (U) opens door to a room usually open and empty... unexpectedly finds a guy sleeping on the bed!

M: Hello!
U: (stares and walks out)...
[mumble downstairs in unknown language --> Mson's interpretation:
U: you know a stranger is sleeping in our house
Aunt (A): huh... [blah blah blah]
[Silence for a bit, then Aunt comes up and peeps in]
M: Hello. I am Vince's friend. (in cantonese)
A: ok ok... [then closes door]
[Mson's interpretation: Mson spoke too fast in cantonese + his half asleep mode = unintelligible babble to even the most experienced chinese person]

Once morning (11am) came around, we were ready to head off to rendezvous w/ lobster and co. So me and Vince explained why I was there that nite... A and U are very nice ppl... and it made it easier since I was able to communicate w/ them.

Then before we headed off, I learned about the history of Vince's ferrari (the mysterious mark on the hood) from A and U before riding in it to pick up the rest of the City Boy's for some good ol' fashioned monopoly McDs.

To be continued...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lobster in San Jose - Part I: The Friday

So this wkend is lobster and co.'s travels to San Fran.

The start of this wkend was not good for us (palo alto/san jose ppl) at all.

Fri nite:
We went for driving range...only to find they didn't rent clubs
We went to DnB... only to have jacka55 security dude refuse us entry just cuz we are canadians...
We went for McDs...only to find it closed
So we settled for some chinese food, only to find the chicken, duck, BBQ pork were all slightly cold... ...

Only good thing of the night must be lobster's arrival at 2:30am in the morning!

Having seen the lobster, ended the nite at City Boy's aunt's house since the next morning, me and BJ were getting costumes b4 heading to San Fran for some halloween bash!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Another Safeway Raid...

So today I went to my favorite store... (no... not the LCBO), and stocked up on some good wholesome meat and STRAWBERRIES... buy 1 get 1 free... what a lovely store Safeway is!

I also bought some candies in anticipation for the children that may come by on Halloween! :).. And to add that extra little touch, I even bought a bucket to put the candy in! I bought two types of candies... snickers and skittles (ie. nuts and no nuts...) just in case the kid has allergies they won't go home w/ inedible candy... hope it works out to their favor...

I also almost bought the single malt that was on sale today... it was only $33.00 + tax AND it came in a nice box. Was very very tempted to get it. If I was at the store for 10 more minutes, I probably would have picked it up... maybe next time.. maybe next time.

Today I started to realize I've been idling way too much; as a result of this, I have now created a schedule for myself that I will try to keep for the remainder of the term... hopefully doing so will get all the work I am suppose to do done... this plan begins next week...

Blogger Mson out.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Funny Work Day at PARC

So today, I finally got the Ms. Vickies' Jalapeano chips I so wanted for the last month. For those who don't know, the week before I asked the lunch lady why they had almost every single flavour of Ms. Vickies but not the green one, and lunch lady told me she would get it for me. And today, she DID!!! (this was the same lady who was present on the day I achieved goal #1: buying chips w/ all my US coins...she was actually the cashier who took those coins)

Then before I left work, me and 'young grasshopper' got our hands on some bubble wrap, and pure immature kid style, we started popping them (for the record, I was still writing some code when 'young grasshopper' began popping the bubbles with his hands, then I fell into peer pressure and joined him)...

Now in this process, I have come across my first patent :)

**Patent 001: Quick method for optimal bubble wrap popping
1) Place the bubble wrap under a chair with wheels
2) Sit on the chair, and then try to move around as you would normally do

Enjoy the popping sounds of bubbles popping at an alarming rate... effortlessly!!!

**Note: Patent pending...

After this ground breaking patent pending invention, I left for soccer :). The last game of the season (since it gets dark early starting now...), pretty good turnout! Playing soccer in the dark is an interesting experience... but too dangerous for my blood!

Oh.. I also made slight progress at work today!.. goooodo stuff! And yes, starting tomolo, I will REALLY start to do the things I am suppose to do... I really will... Just a tiny bit behind these days... but still good.. still good...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Triple Header Wkend - Part III: San Jose

So to end the triple header wkend, we decided to lay back and chill out at one of the member of the 'city boy's' pool. This for some reason reminded me of back in the HK days when I played outdoors in the pool near the apartment where I lived; and also reminded me slightly of carriage hills... haha.. to think, here I am working Mon to Fri, and the weekends just seem like I was at a resort... I wonder if this is life I should expect if I can get myself down here in the US...

Getting a house here may be a tad difficult, but once I get one here, I wonder...

To finish the day off, we went to Olive Garden and this time, the food was alot better and the service was ALOT better... very nice place!

So ends the triple header wkend!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Triple Header Wkend - Part II: Santa Cruz II

So for the 2nd part of the triple header, we went to Santa Cruz to surf again!!!

I have to say that surfing is one of the best activity ever! The waves were very good this time and we were able to go for 3+ hours in the water. The water, contrary to what I expected, wasn't cold at all (of course this is with the wet suit on).

The rush you get from catching a wave is unbelievable. You feel like you are going sooo fast! I was able to semi get-up a few times and that feeling was great. I wish that I will get another chance to try surfing once more and get up fully and enjoy it even more!

Of course I wiped out numerous times. Lesson learned: when you see 'white water' rushing towards you and you haven't caught the wave yet, DON'T try to ride it... or risk wiping out and doing somersaults in the water... a few of them!... Timing seems to be very important in surfing, if you are too early, you miss the wave.. if you are too late, you get engulfed in it... you have to be juuuust right!

What I thought makes surfing great is that you can rest on the board when you are tired. Now for those who swim, imagine just floating in the middle of a pool (conscious - of course), and feeling your body just buoy up and down with the currents... very relaxing feeling right? Now imagine you are floating, but you are gazing into an infinite blue sky, hearing the soothing sound of the waves, and you are gently rocked by the waves while you sit on your board to take in the sight, with a very faint breeze blowing at you so that you are not terribly hot, but not cold either... that's the feeling of surfing when you are resting! And when you are moving and do catch the wave, well, I already talked about that...

Then at night, went to San Fran and went to see the night life again. The street we went to was an interesting street with LOTS of cops!.. haha... But it was ok. By the end of the night, you see drunk people stumbling around and talking about random things, very nice atmosphere! haha... ended the night with a nice midnight snack before heading back to Palo Alto area...

From the long dip in the ocean, and the lots of swimming required, sea salted Mson fell asleep on the ride back from San Fran to home.... and with that, Part II of triple header is completed.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Triple Header Wkend - Part I: Karoake Night at Fremont

So tonight we decided to go to karoake here in California! Before that, went to this place called "Denny's"... first time going there ever and I have to say, it will be my last. Reason: when you see raw chicken on someone's plate at a restaurant, thats enough to make me never go there again...

Anyway, so the first place we went to for karoake... the place apparently didn't serve alcohol. So yes, once we found out, we got our a55es out of there right away and went to another one. A karoake place that didn't serve alcohol... that's something the non fobby me would never understand...

So then we drove half an hour to this other place... (guess there's not much karoake joints around)... so at first, this place seemed good. I mean, when you get 12 beers, you get 6 beers free (before 12:30am)! And it was only $2.50 for a beer. But little did I know that they have this thing called a 'room fee'. Guess that's how they make money here at these places... since booze is so cheap, guess they gotta make a profit somehow... and make a profit they did!!!

The other interesting thing is that they had no 'ice cups'... see below picture on what they gave us when I asked for it...

styrofoam cups with ice around it??? haha.. only in America... or maybe this is another proof that I am not fobby at all! Guess I haven't been to these places enough, haven't seen it all yet!... :)

oh ya, we also got told that fitting 4 people in the back of a car was a bad thing... or at least we think we did... with Odogg yelling random stuff as the 'nice people' were telling us, we can only take BJ's word for it...

So ends the first part of this triple header weekend.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Reflection 1/1: Red Wine & Steak Nite

So tonite I cooked myself the first filling meal.

3 sumptous strips of beef (they were like 2 inches thick.. mmmm...)
1 healthy serving of macaroni and mushroom soup with toasted bread on the side
2 glasses of the $4 merlot red wine

It was deellllicious!! First filling meal I cooked myself since I got here in Palo Alto. Now my muscles feels recovered from the work out I did last nite where I wasn't able to even do a push-up at the end of the day.

Now onto the Reflection 1/1....
So for the past few days (actually week), I've been madly blitzing through and absorbing the self-dev web site I have been reading. This has now grown out of the procrastination pasttime phase and into a full-fledged read-a-thon. Perhaps its just my way of connecting to things in an abstract way, but the thoughts this guy used to have seem very very much like the thoughts I have now. Maybe his solutions are not optimal; but hey, at least its better than the solution I currently have or am trying out. After reading so many pages (I estimate I read an equivalent of about 125+ 8.5 by 11 single sided pages), I actually feel more motivated and refreshed than before...

So perhaps as a result of reading up on this self-dev stuff, I remembered one of my thoughts I had 4 years ago...

"I will keep my doors open, and in doing so, AND if I do not falter, I will be at relatively the same spot 4 years from now, and be able to make a choice then. If I do falter, then that means I really didn't want it enough." -- This was the bet I made to myself. A silly bet on a fool's own life...

So during this time, I was suppose to be looking into this, but sadly, being uninspired and unmotivated, all I did were the bare essentials and clung to this thought mindlessly. Now add to the fact that I was the underdog at where I was, I kept my uninspired self occupied every week with other activities to feel more sane.

Two years ago, realizing and accepting that my focus was waning, I realized that: "in order for me to keep this thought alive, I cannot dangle this carrot in front of me anymore." So I decided to try to embrace what I am doing, and go from there. Try to meet people around me that seemed to enjoy what they are doing, and learn from them and see their world.

While some people thought I had given up on my original thought, little did they know I was consciously blocking out all thoughts related to it. In going the other way I became more focused, and actually started moving back towards the original thought (ie. preventing myself from faltering)... In order to achieve this, I must not think it, look into it, or do anything about it; even though I have to admit, when I caught wind of it, I do pause momentarily. But I carried out this plan (for better or for wrose) and it seemed to work. As a matter of fact, there are even very small aspects of what I am doing now that interests me slightly.

Back to the present day, I have reached the point I once imagined 4 years ago. My original thought seemed to have survived, but because of my lack of searching, I have made almost no headway. I am in the same position as I was 4 years ago, only difference is I have opened more 'doors' for myself... but to open these 'doors', I am not sure if what I had given up was worth the price to obtain the keys to these doors that I will never walk through.

But perhaps my fundamental problem is that my virtual world composed of 'doors'. Perhaps instead of thinking of doors, I should think of my virtual world as such:

The path to success is like that of the switchbacks going up yosemite, and what used to be 'doors' are really forks along the path. In which case, if I come to a fork, can't I just walk between the two paths and continue along? Sure there are dense trees and vegetation there, but if my resolve doesn't wane, I can carve a path through this forest at the same speed... perhaps even get onto the path to success sooner. Or if I finally figure out which fork I want to take, then I can start walking towards it, and not have to back track... this sure beats the 'doors' concept where once I walk in, I have to backtrack to try another door...

and an even better idea, while I am walking through the forest, if I know where the direction to top is (the concept of 'true north' is what I am thinking about), then perhaps I can get to success even quicker by creating this path... Sure I might have to work harder, and get bruised along the way, but no pain, no gain right?

Perhaps that was my problem 2 years ago; instead of blocking it out, I should have took on the challenge of pursuing both congruently. As I am blogging now, I am reminded of my day's event: 1.5 hours for an online survey, 1.5 hour for eating and dishes, 1 hour for TV related things, 0.5 hour for shower, 1.5 hour for blogging = about 6 hours... imagine if I used half of this time for something more productive AND enjoyable at the same time... what would that amount to in a year? How much productive work will I have done then?

Everyone has 24 hours... but just like the brain, most people use so little of it effectively... including me. Perhaps its time I start to use my time more wisely and grow up...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

San Fran Part II - Paying to go to a Jail

Our plan today:
1) Wake up early and bus to SF.
2) eat dim sum in Chinatown
3) go to Alcatraz
4) bus back to Palo Alto
5) night plans: club in SF?

1) Wake up early and bus to SF.
So today was my first experience on the local bus system -- the Caltrain and SF muni (electric buses). Very good system and pretty on time. The first bus we took in San Fran, you would not believe I was in the USA if I hadn't told you. See for yourself!

2) Chinatown dim sum
First time going to chinatown... how do we when we are there? Answer: Just follow the waves of asians leaving the bus! So 10 minutes later, we saw the wave of asians flood out of the bus, and knew we had hit chinatown (also, when 'young grasshopper' can no longer read the titles of the stores, that's a good indication we had found it.

We walked around quickly and found a place to eat dim sum. Not that great a dim sum place I have to say; was pretty expensive as well. We taught 'young grasshopper' the ways of the chopsticks, as well as introduced him to 'phoenix claws'. Brave grasshopper did very well at his first outing. Very good, young grasshopper! Very good!

3) Go to Alcatraz
The tour to Alcatraz was very nice. I have to say that is was the best $20 I spent thus far in the USA. The audio tour was terrific. The background sounds they put in really painted a vivid image of the jail cells there. There was also a tour guide afterwards talking about the story of the Birdman of Alcatraz; which was told in a very nice manner as well.

The only bad thing was that there were ALOT of flies on the ferry. Still not sure why they are there, but didn't really make the experience any worse since getting to see the SF skyline was well worth the flies sharing our ferry ride.

After Alcatraz, we went to Lombardo St - the famous switchback roads built in the old days to allow horses to go up the steep ascent. Walking from fisherman's wharf to there was a loooong walk; and consisted of very very steep hills. Then after having made it up there, we walked back down!...

4) Bus back to Palo Alto
So logically, this was suppose to be the most uneventful part of the trip... but always looking out for a challenge, we decided to spice up this little adventure.

Event 1: Bus Chasing
So we see the bus, maybe 200m away, and its the bus that would take us back to the train station. So rushing and running, we started going after it! 2 confused taxi drivers, and 2 streets J-walked later, we reach our destination. Bus #30: Stockton!...

Note that this bus comes every 5 minutes! Bus driver must think we are idiots! Running to catch a packed bus that comes every 5 minutes. Duma55 Canadians! heh heh.

Event 2: Permaturely Getting Off
So following the same strategy as when we searched for chinatown, we got off the bus when a wave of people got off the bus. Only this time, this plan completely failed! After walking for a few blocks, we looked at our map to realize we were 7 blocks away from the train station! So gracefully we walked ahead to the next bus stop, and waited for the bus that comes every 5 minutes. 2 minutes later we got on and 5 minutes later, we have gotten to the train station.

Lesson of the day: Transfers are the best thing to have on a public transit. Keep it close to you and never let it go!

Event 3: Safeway (my favorite!)
Now an exciting adventure is never complete without a visit to Safeway. Having 0.5 hr to kiil before the train departs, we went to the local Safeway and thought about buying some groceries.

I walk out w/ 750mL of Merlot for $4.00.
Young grasshopper walks out w/ 6 cans of Heini.

Great groceries we picked up eh?

5) SF clubbing?

So having gotten back home after the 5 minute bike ride after leaving the train station. I checked my battery-less phone and realized that clubbing is a go. So got showered and changed and was picked up to go clubbing... back in San Fran!

At the club, same old same old... yadiyadiya... did try this drink called the AMF. Very nice drink, strong but very good tasting; this might become my favorite drink from now on!

The day began very sunny and nice, but like all trips to San Fran, it seems like I brought back the clouds with me. Guess that's the price I pay when I venture out of Palo Alto to San Fran.

To come: Part III of San Fran: Japanese Tea Garden and MoMA

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sandwich of the Gods

So today I made my usual sandwich in preparation for tomorrow's lunch. I opened up the first bag of deli meat I bought from yesterday... and went... wtf?! Where's the rest of the it???

Having got a couple (4) lbs of deli meat last time, I thought to myself that I will go back to the usual and get 1 to 2 lbs of deli meat (which should last me a week or two I hope). So trying out the different kinds of meat... this time it was turkey roast. Now I didn't really pay attention when the lady put the meat in the bag; but summary:

Turkey Roast 0.52 lbs at $7.99/lb = 4 pieces ... (will last me two days). All I have to say is...that turkey better be dammmm good

So tomorrow, my MBB special (Meat Bread Butter) sandwich will cost a whooping $2.00+. For that price I could buy some fries AND chips at the PARC cafe!

Lesson of the day: Stick w/ ham, they are salty, tasteless, but they are light and cheap!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Palo Alto Goal Number 1 Completed: Spending was never so much fun

Today I achieved one of my goals of being down here in the US. Having brought my lifelong collection of US coins ($0.56 USD) from good ol' Canada, today, combined with my stash of coins collected in the first month and a half, I finally had enough coins to buy something with it...

So armed with $0.31 in pennies + $0.20 in dimes + $0.25 in quarters, I set out early today for lunch to the cafe and got myself a bag of chips (Ms Vickies -- imported from Canada!). Bye bye US coins collected for the past 10+ years! I swear, the cashier lady who took the coins was about to burst out laughing; guess she had to be professional and hold her laughter till later.

In other news, Europa is looking very good. 6 weeks of vacation, unlimited speed limit on the road (in Germany), good tasting beer (everywhere), culture (everywhere), slightly advanced tech (compared w/ Canada), 'futball' (UEFA), and not to mention the british accents (UK)!... I think I will start looking into the possiblity of going to Europe to work! It might actually be feasible, since I am british I think afterall... wuhahahahaha

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hillsdale Mall

So once again, today was a Sunday... and a planned surfing outing became a mall shopping experience... aiii.... seems like me and the active life here doesn't match.

So anyway, every work term, I've managed to work out and burn off the layers of fat accumulated during my hibernation in waterloo. It's worked out pretty well over the years... but this term... one and a half months in, 8 months of school later, I am still sitting on my a55 in front of a computer.

But this *might* change very soon. Today I was told that I dress and look like a FOB. Reason: I look very skinny. WTF?!?!?! Nothing against fobs and all, but since when did I EVER look like a fob? Anyway, guess this is a wake-up call for me to get off my a55 and head to the gym. I will see how far I get with this.

Personally, I've always believed that to 'work out', you should be using it to help you be better at another sport/activity. I always felt that purely working out just for 'looks' doesn't get me very far; I would never have that drive to push myself hard. However, if I have a reason to work out, then I usually am able to push myself wayyy harder and the results will follow.

Oh, on another note, so I mentioned I played those midway games at 6 Flags... I did the 'guess my age' game and the guy guessed I was 25 years old +/- 2!! I was sooo happy to lose that $5 :) . Afterwards, he said he actually thought I was 30! Dam, either school has done its magic making me into a zombie or he just made my day!

This didn't stop them from carding me for signing my own mastercard though... this is the first time that has ever happened in my life! I've been carded for alot of things, but for my own credit cards?... only in America... only in America!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

6 Flags Wkend.. at Valleyjo

Saturday me and the 'city boys' went to 6 flags Marine World (aka an amusement park). The suprising thing was that the lineups to the rides were very very short. Longest wait of the day was 30 minutes MAX. Not much different than the one's at Wonderland I find. The most SCARY ride is the Boomerang...

The 'boomerang' was really just the Wonderland equivalent of 'The Bat'. At first, this ride was closed when we got to it. Then 20 minutes later it opened; so naturally, me and Odogg went on it. Now as we were waiting, I noticed it was strange how the cart is pulled up at varying speeds (ie. the motor doesn't seem to be putting out constant torque)... but at that time, didn't find anything unusual about that - since the kart is pulled up, then released, yadiyadiya. So the ride seemed to work fine while the line progressed.

So finally it was time we went on, and the motor pulled higher and higher and higher... then at the top, expecting that drop to start off the ride, we heard a 'clunk' and instead of plunging, we were suspended in midair!...

So we were suspended in midair for a good 5 minutes, and being in the 2nd row, we saw first the operator calling some dude, then a mechanic popped out of nowhere... then ANOTHER mechanic popped out of nowhere... all the while we were suspended in the air. Not a word of news from those at the bottom - though I did see people leave the line, deciding this ride was too scary for them. .... The view was nice though, sort of reminded me of being at Yosemite! Then a few minutes later, clank, and off we went! (phewf). I think that after we safely landed, they closed the ride. Guess we didn't have to pay that $10 extra for the haunted house attractions to be scared at 6 flags!

Scary ride aside, as always, had to try out the funnel cakes here. Conclusion: mmmm.... so good; it was Halloween themed I believe, so they shaped it like a brain...

Also played ALOT of those midway games. Though not really successful, did get myself a hat out of it ...

Also saw animals... penguins, elephants, tiger, shouka (killer whale), sea lions... I thought they were all pretty neat! Almost made me wanna visit a real zoo, until I remembered why I try to stay away from zoos in the past. (hint: it has something to do with the smell.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Shocks at Palo Alto

Shock #1 (bad shock):
30 days since I've been here, and the unexpected happened... it rained in Palo Alto today! For some reason, I didn't expect it to ever rain here. Everyday the sky is blue, who would have thought... who would have thought...

Shock #2 (good shock):
House cleaning: It's official. There is a mystery person who comes in once every 2 weeks to clean up the place. I think the person even mopped the floor today! Talk about good service. This place is pretty decent! The person even did my dishes... too bad they were clean though, but still, the mystery person stuck it in the dishwasher, came out even more sparkling clean!

Shock #3 (good shock):
Magic Braun shaver... So today I was shaving, and having not shaved for awhile, the hair was growing long. Now in the past, as those who read this know, I would resort to a complex series of scissors + shaver combo to get rid of it. But without a pair of scissor and thinking of calling upon the trusty titanium knife to help me vanquish this evil, a hidden blade appeared in the magic braun shaver... AND it was electric. It was one of those razor blades that barbers use to cut your sideburns... so easily I was able to shave those long hair off. Of course, I now have slightly shorter sideburns since I got too excited and shaved a tad of them by mistake!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Reflection 1/4: Soccer avec PARC a lundi

So today I played soccer for the 3rd time in 3 weeks. Once again, it was pretty fun.

Now a couple things happened today...

Event 1: Almost losing it in a friendly game!...
So here I was, playing the usual mode for me at these pickup games; and then this guy, in full gear (shin pads, cleats, etc.) decides to detch me. This is fine of course, since it is a soccer game... The outcome was that he was unsuccessful in this attempt, as I saw right through the crossover BS he was attempting, but then as he lost the ball, he decided to imprint the memory of this encounter by placing his 4 cleats on my left ankle! Now without shin pads, it f*cking stung! In my rage (which rarely happens if you know me playing soccer), I just shot the ball, clearing the fence of the field when we were playing 'below the knee' as goal. VERY VERY unsportsmen-like... lucky it was just a friendly, otherwise I would be yellow carded for sure! I did go climb the fence and get the ball back though...

Now I am actually feeling pretty shameful about this. I mean, getting 4 cleats on my ankle, this stuff happens in soccer. Sure its been eons since I've gotten cleats to my leg anywhere, but this was no way to play in a friendly. What made it worse now that I think about it was that I was considering decking him on the next play (legally of course - with the zi-wun-tad special [a character from a comic book]) -- now for those who don't know me and my bible for soccer that I devoutly studied in french class back in gr. 8 :), you would have no clue what I am talking about!

As for credentials, I've pulled this move off enough times in matches, and the playing style that this guy had would have sent him doing somersaults if I pulled it on him. But since it is a friendly afterall, I decided to calm down for the next 5 min so that I would get this vicious intent out of my system. I mean, the guy probably didn't do it on purpose (he did stop playing after he landed his cleats on my ankle), AND I do like having more people playing soccer during this time. But vent today on the blog I must!

But the more important question was why I felt this urge to kick that ball. It's not something I would do usually. I only have two answers to this for now:
1) Maybe it's a sign that at the end of the day, I am a competitive person and don't like to be taken out of a game... seems pretty far-fetched but at the time, this was what I sort of thought. Hard to explain how the idea of 'competitiveness' comes out out this event, so I won't bother explaining. But if this is the case, then it is a good sign because I've been looking for that competitive spark in things that I do for awhile now; I haven't really cared to compete ever since I got into good ol' Waterloo. Personally, I believe having some sort of 'drive' is important in this world.. but that's just my opinion. Please comment if you beg to differ.
2) Maybe I was more mad at myself for not protecting my busted left ankle better. An 'athlete' worst ail are injuries. And having been through one before, I have no intention of heading back into a surgery room to fix any part of my body. So maybe that thought unconsciously triggered my more rash self, causing me clear the ball over the fence.
Which do you think it is? I for one, really don't know...

Event 2: technical flamboyance
Pulled a semi-'kolidak' (aka rainbow) on an unsuspecting opponent successfully today! Didn't get a goal out of it, cuz the pass to my teammate didn't connect perfectly, but it was a clean semi-'kolidak', followed by a decent pass. This was the highlight for me today!... haha.. No where near the comfort level I had with a soccer ball back in the day, but I am proud of this semi-kolidak; since it was pulled off SOOOO cleanly... Wished I had taken a video of it so I could youtube it to the world!

(on a side note: I did miss half a dozen simple cross over back heels today... but then I got a goal using my back heel.. kekeke)

Anyway, done my rant for the night.

Mson out

Blog Facelift

So instead of studying, spent an hour or so reading the html template code and playing around with it; then decided to centralize all bloggable things that I have. Changes below:

1) Expanded the text portion (to reduce scrolling required)

2) Still looking at quick and painless way for uploading pictures and have people be able to download them by the bulk. Any suggestions are welcome!

3) Added another section to this blog. This blog now links to another blog page that has more 'non-journally' stuff of mine. Link can be found on the right sidebar (Mson's collection). It has what my msn space used to have... and more. This page will be updated less frequently than this main page.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Post Bday

So today, I woke up at a nice regular time (1pm). Then ate my lunch.

I told myself that today I was suppose to start working hard! But instead, I tried out the PS2 lying in the common room... and loaded in Dynasty Warriors 4. And it worked! Then I sat down and lost track of time...

... So I sat in front of the TV, played Dynasty for 5 hours (I didn't think I would play for that long), and am now officially dumber from mindlessly tapping that x and square button to kill fellow asians.. haha. But my character is now suped up! :) I think 3 more levels and I clear the game!

Now I am slightly groggy from this exercise (last time I did this was Dynasty Warriors back a couple of years ago...)...

Now its 9:30... almost another day. Starting next week though, will start working... I really will!

Bday 23 Completed

So after an uneventful morning, the night was slightly better.

The highlight of the night had to be the place we went to for dinner... called Todai. This was a buffet restaurant that served chinese and japanese food. And get this, it served octopus sushis. ... (of course I chowed down on that). There were crepes, sashimi of 5 differnt kinds, eel sushi, dragon roll, and even cooked stuff like king crab and clams. It was $25.95 per person (yes, a tad expensive...).. but get his, since we went on my actual bday.. it was FREE for me!!! We even got a crayfish (small lobster as I would like to call it) at the beginning for free.... only thing I missed was the bday song that some other table got. I guess being old and the store closing in 15 minutes made the waiters lazy.

Then we went to a loft party... DAM!.. That place was nice. They had a fire going up in the top floor, and the view was nice. First time I've seen San Fran not rainy!

As I am typing this, it is 3:45 am in the morning, so forgive my spelling mistakes...Pictures to come soon; once I get it off the camera.

On another note, just talked w/ the lobster.. seems like she survived as well... goooodo stuff.. 2 years in a row we survived.. let's keep this tradition alive!!!

tipsy Mson out.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mson's Express Route to Work

So this morning, thinking I was going to go to Six Flags... but the 'City Boys' had a late night and was too tired to go. So having woken up bright and early at 10:15am in the morning, I decided to use google maps to investigate the 'express route' to work.

For those who have forgotten, the dear old car right now has to travel 2.5 miles to work, and last time I walked it and found a quarter, it took 45 minutes. And a few weeks back, I had hypothesized that I could cut this time by half.

So today, armed w/ a trusty bike from my roommate, I set out on a journey to find this express route... and lo and behold, IT EXISTS. A 10 minute EASY and light bike ride, cutting through trails and no parking lots, 1 hill (that has both an up and a down hill), and minimal main streets, I estimated this route to be 1.5 miles at the most (or about 2.5 km). But more importantly, it means that there is now a route that can be walked in 30 min (or 20 minutes jogging)...

My most exciting discovery yet!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ants Pre-Invasion!

It seems like my room will be under attack by ants soon. These past two days, I have eliminated two reconnaisance ants and one flying moth-like critter.

Does opening a window make that big a difference?.. I wonder. Or is it time that I vacuum this room. Any ideas anyone?

Alright, back to more reading....

Monday, September 25, 2006

Laundry Day at Palo Alto

So after Yosemite, soccer, and having neglected laundry for 2 weeks, I was COMPLETELY out of clothes (I guess I could wear my suit to work; but then, that'd be pretty dumb wouldn't it?)

So for 2 hours today (and counting), I began sticking the mountain of clothes to where they belong -- the washer and dryer. I actually had no PJs since they were all in the wash. My solution: do what normal people would normally do in these situations, wrap a towel and walk around the house with it! heh heh heh

Laundry today though was more tiring than I last remembered it... It could have been the 4 glasses of beer I chucked down after soccer, or the fact that I played soccer after the 16+ mile Yosemite hike, or I really just don't do laundry often enough... either way, dead tired just from laundry... and as I am writing this, the 2nd load of my laundry is stil being spun around in the dryer.

Was gonna do some coursework today, but with laundry... well, coursework can wait until tomorrow... or the day after.

In other news, I think there's a bug with the AC au naturalle... literally... it seems like more and more little critters are sneaking into my room. Today there was an ant on my desk... as well as some moth like critter flying near my computer (the corpse now reside under my keyboard... dam that moth thing; if I get held up at customs on the way home, it will be an interesting day)...

I guess as the weather gets colder outside, the bugs trying to get in here increases.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Yosemite - Half Dome

So this weekend was Yosemite weekend and going on the trial "Half-Dome". What is 'Half-Dome' you ask? Well, according to the Yosemite National Park's website, it is the 'ultimate' hike, taking usually 12 hours (16+ miles roundtrip), taking you to more than 8000 ft above sea level.

So the hike was pretty nice... Saw two waterfalls during the hike, and got to see very many very nice landscapes. The climb was not easy, but definitely worth it.

A pic of the last 0.25 mile of the climb (the famous half-dome cables):

Up close, the hill looks very scary... and actually, if you climb half-way up and the line stops and you look down... well the feeling is interesting. But this part of the climb wasn't that bad.

The line was pretty long to go up this last part - supposedly some ppl waited for 3 hours and didn't get a chance to go up. But we waited and did get up to the top. Btw, if you wanna 'jump' the line, here's a trick that we used (after seeing the ppl lining up behind us do it - we followed them).
1) put on those gloves they have -- very useful
2) You saw two cables in the photo above right (and people in the middle)? There are acutally planks in the middle between the two cables for ppl to rest on. So now, imagine going along side the cable (not the middle) where no one is going up... you now have urself another way to go up the hill...
***DISCLAIMER: this method is not for the weak hearted! I am in no way endorsing this and will not be responsible if you fall in any way using this method...***

For me, what I did was this jumping the line technique for about a quarter of the hill, then looked down and went 'oh sh*t!' and decided to be a good boy and go back in the middle... but doing so got us ALOT farther up the line to the top.

On the way down was pretty scary at first (especially w/ zero grip shoes), but you get used to it and so the down part w/ the cables was definitely easier... also since it was getting late (we came down at 4:30pm), very few ppl were going up so the down part was not too delayed...

The most dangerous part of the descent was actually after the cables... 8000 ft above the sea level + zero grip shoes + going down rocks that were slanted + tons of debris and gravel covering it = one hell of a long fall if I made a mistake...
I slipped 3 times during this descent part, was going extra slow... and w/ my sore right thigh from soccer, and busted left ankle that hasn't fully healed, it was the hardest part of the hike for me (though others who went would probably say otherwise)... this part I struggled most with...

But having made it down this part was nothing...there was another event that few non-experienced hikers would ever want to experience: hiking on an unknown trail after the sun had set...
So as I mentioned before, this hike usually takes 12 hours total... if I had gone on the pace I wanted, I swear this hike can be done in 8 hrs or so; probably even less if I had some good shoes... but in the end, it took us 11 hrs -- since our team sustained some minor injuries along the way and was not at peak form probably due to the aggressive itinearay we had this wkend (see below)

Back to the night hiking... so since we started at 9:00am... we knew we would be pretty close to hiking in the dark towards the end... with 2.5 miles to go at 6:30pm (4+ miles if we chose the 'easy' trail), we were in for a scary ride when it was 7:30pm, and the sun had completely set. What made things even worse was the guy I had been following (some old guy who knew where he was going... decided to check out up on his injured friend - who had to get her leg bandaged along the way... putting me in charge of leading EVERYONE who was caught in the dark (which by a rough estimate.. was at least 30+ ppl)... Hiking on an unknown trail in the dark is very dangerous and taxing... what made theses trails hard was the trails don't look like trails in the dark.. since at one point you would go right through rocks that don't look like a trail at all; or there are two sand 'paths' to take... with one leading towards the edge of a cliff; or you are going down weird steps... with one side completely open for free falling!...
Needless to say, these 2.5 miles seemed much much longer than 2.5 miles. In the dark, it was impossible to see without a flashlight; I could have been walking towards the edge of a cliff had I not have a flashlight on me. Most memorable moment:

(as I am leading like 30+ ppl for what must have felt like 30 min now.. having passed yet another column of these neverending steps)

Me: What the fuk?... There's a cave in front of us...

Person right behind me (L): What?.. Sh*t.. There's a cave?

(... slowly the broken telephone line starts to propagate... )
(shining the flashlight around, frantically looking for a trail so we can avoid this cave route... but everything led to a free fall into the rocky recesses of Yosemite)
(Me thinking... there is no fu*king way I am going back up the way we came...)
(walking further into the unknown darkness and seeing what is inside this cave... it turns out to be an overpass)

Me: Phewf... It's not a cave... It's not a cave... Still good!

L: It's not a cave.. It's not a cave!
(... slowly the broken telephone line starts to propagate... )

Someone behind the line (later ID'ed to be Odogg): Fu*k! Make sure before you scare the sh*t out of the six seven thousand ppl behind you!

So eventually we got back... everybody in one piece...

So all in all, this Yosemite trip was pretty interesting. I would want to go to Yosemite again, but probably not on hard core trails or night hiking if I do.

Here was the 'proposed' itinerary for this weekend:
Fri 8:00 pm meet, eat and buy necessary items in San Jose
Fri 9:00 pm start 4 hour drive to Yosemite
Sat 1:00 to 2:00 am, arrive in Yosemite and sleep
(5 to 6 hr sleep)
Sat 7:00 am, up and prepare for hike
... 12 hours later (ca. 7pm) --> Half Dome Complete, sitting back enjoying some Heinis at the campsite
Sun get up and drive back home

And here is the actual itinerary:
Fri 8:00 pm still at San Jose
Fri 9:00 pm still at San Jose
Fri 9:15 pm, started shopping for stuff
Fri 10:01 pm, wandering in mall to find dinner
Fri 11:15 pm, start 4 hour drive to Yosemite
Sat 3:00 am, reach Yosemite
Sat 3:01 am, lost in Yosemite, park ranger comes and takes us to registration
Sat 3:15 am, lost again in Yosemite (couldn't find our tent)
Sat 3:30 am, found the tent, move stuff in
Sat 3:45 am, we start cracking jokes cuz of our 'cabin situation (top secret classified event)', some guy knocks on our tent to tell us to 'stfu'...
Sat 4:00 am, we slept
(3.5 hr of sleep later)
Sat 7:30 am, woke up and got ready for hike
Sat 9:00 am, actually started hike ...
Sat 8:30 pm, eating pizza at the bottom
Sat 10:30pm, left from Yosemite -- the "city boys" didn't want to stay in Yosemite... the dark trail and fatigue got to them... the hiking in the dark might have gotten to me too, had I not been concentrating on ensuring I don't walk off the cliff as the head of the lemmings line...

Couple of advices below:
1) If you are planning to hike on hills, etc... consider using shoes that have grip.
2) Bring lots of water or gatorade (I had 3L)... that stuff hit the spot good
3) Walking stick helps a lot (imagine a stick that elders use... one of those things helps the hike uphill alot easier... a ski pole .. or my favorite -> a branch found off the ground is perfect)
4) Bring a flashlight if you know your hike might extend into the dark; without any kind of light, it gets EXTREMELY dark...

oh and btw... if you get in at 3:00am in the morning and leave at 11pm at night, there is no $20/day park entry fee!.. haha...

Another pic of the beautiful scenary taken along the trail...

And so Sunday, we went to good ol' Safeway and Ranch 99... bought 10 lbs of meat and coldcuts.. (and this time, I split up the meat before putting it in the freezer)... wuhahahaha...

2:44am Monday Morning - Mson out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Titanium - Cuts Through Bone

So once I again my most trusted blade comes through again. Four years ago, T-Bones became not a problem anymore as I used the titanium blade to cut through bone.

But like me, the blade is getting old and can't perform the feat of sawing through bone anymore. Whoever knew that today, in my moment of despair, my trusty blade would come through yet again.

Today's task was the unsplitting of the hunk of sliced meat I bought a month ago lying in the depths of the freezer. Normally, this hunk of meat would be split already prior to entering the freezer... but since I am living on my own now and 4000 miles away from TO, the 'magic meat distributor' was not readily available. (as well, I wasn't able to bring along the 'magic basket' either ;) )

So having missed eating meat for quite awhile, I decided that I will no longer let this hunk of meat tease me like salt water teasing a thirsty sailor. I was determined that for tomorrow's dinner, I will be chomping down on some good wholesome beef! So after being unsuccessful at prying the meat apart with my bare hands, I saw my trusty titanium knife... and a revelation came: if knife can cut through bone, then it can cut through frozen meat.

At first, I sawed, but that only produced shavings of meat. If I kept this up, I would probably be up till morning shaving away. Then another light bulb in my brain went off , and the 'L-stroke' technique was invented (major invention #2 since I've been at PARC)... Words cannot begin to describe this technique, one day I will give a demonstration of it... But with the L-stroke technique, the hunk of meat was no longer for my trusty titanium tool!

End Result: 20 minutes later, hunk of meat laid in 5 separate bags, titanium blade still in one piece, I am still in one piece --> mission complete!

Now some anticipated questions that I wil reply to right away:
Q: Why not just defrost the meat and then cut it?
A: Takes too long to melt. I actually waited 4 hours before preforming this feat... but the meat was still rock hard! Guess that's what happens when you stick meat in a freezer for 3 weeks.

Q: Why didn't you split it up on the first day you bought the meat?
A: I was too lazy ...

Reflection 1/2: Mall and Soccer and Lil' Bit of Thought

So Sunday I went shopping . And to make it even wierder, I went shopping over going wine tasting! But anyway.. as with all malls, not really exciting, bought some new shoes and a pair of jeans... nothing much to report.

Today, being without cleats (and using my very worn out nikes that has ZERO grip) + a busted ankle that hasn't fully healed, I went to play pick-up soccer w/ PARC people. Luckily it wasn't too intense at all, so I was able to pace myself and not play too too hard. There were only 9 ppl total who showed up, so not a full blown game, which made it much easier on my feet (which was a good thing). I have to admit though, not playing w/ cleats on a wet field is a major disadvantage... when I was smaller, I swear I would have never noticed the difference, but nowadays, if I had cleats today, it would be soooo much easier. I think I slipped completely at least 3 times today, and probably half-slipped a dozen times -- this is even w/ me going at half my pace...

Anyway, enough blabbering, it was fun nevertheless; met some new people from work, and they seem pretty cool. Its funny how being mediocre/decent at something gets people's attention. I really think that had I sucked today, these same people who seemed pretty nice would not have been too fond of me. Heck, one guy there even mentioned to me that I should play w/ him on Fridays at a pickup game in the afternoons with this other company close by... but the idea of walking back into the office sweating like a pig is not really an image I would like to portray.. those were back in the highschool days, and not really suitable these days... but I will see, PARC does have showers so I could definitely make use of it should I choose to play in the afternoon... Something to think about I guess...

So starting this week, I will probably be getting busier and busier. I have begun to realize that I've been slacking too much these past couple years, and haven't been really trying to do my best. I came across this guy called Steve Pavlina in one of my new recently acquired procrastination hobby. An article I found very interesting was the article of raising your standards. Since I don't' wanna possibly infringe on copyright (since I will probably have my hands full w/ the pier 39 prodigy later on), search for Steve Pavlina and once you are inside, search for an article called 'raise your standards' (he has a little search field for his visitors). Or ask me for the link and I can send it to you. But either way, I recommend underachievers to DEFINITELY read it, as I found that it produced an ever so tiny spark in me; leading me to think about what I've been doing these past years.

Now mind you, I am not being arrogant here and saying I am above everyone. (and if you think I am being an a55, then you don't really have to read this.. it is my blog after all .. friiikk! ... but all comments are welcome and will be taken seriously :) ).. I am just saying that ever since I've gotten into university -- and actually most of my life, I haven't really tried to the best that I can, happy to just float slightly above the pack in whatever I do; but as this article say, doing so makes me basically a 'loser'. Maybe thats why I admire those who put everything on the line for the things they care/like, and even if the outcome is not good, they still have my deepest respect.

Anyway, enough reflection for tonight, this is a public blog after all. Last thing I want is the world to know every little thing I think about. Heck, comments like these could get me sh*tted on in some countries!... nite nite

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Santa Cruz II

So today we were supposedly to go to Santa Cruz to surf. However, since we didn't understand diddly squash 'bout surf reports, the waves ended up being too low for us to surf (yes, even for us amateurs). So instead, we spent the day at the beach at Santa Cruz, just like any other California I guess....

Now if you thought the water was warm, boy did we fool you. The water was actually pretty cold. But in a way, it was pretty refreshing. We did some burying of people as well on the beach, but I won't post those in my blog... Those who know me can look at my laptop when I get back...

As well, since we were at boardwalk/California - and there were lifeguard stations... I decided to pay my tribute to OC.. below is the 'classic OC pose' I decided to do... I think you should be able to guess what I was going for here... so white so pure.. hehhehehehe

So even though we didn't get to surf, it was still a pretty nice day. One other thing I found was that my leg, after 2 months, has still not fully healed! I found out when we were playing volleyball on the beach and after jumping up to hit the ball back, I completely lost my balance on the way, falling to the ground. This was partly cuz my left ankle just gave out...This is getting to be a very big annoyance as I cannot go as carefree as I like. You'd think after 2 months, a little sprain would have completely healed itself. But no, my foot is still fu*ked! But meh, I will be playing soccer on Monday, guess I will just play injured! As long as its not a real competition, I won't need to push myself too hard...

For dinner, we went to "in and out", a fast food restaurant... now being the newbie, ordered this item called 'animal fry'... and well, if you wanna know what it is, you gotta order it yourself! It is a VERY interesting looking piece of work!

And at night, went to downtown San Jose for the clubbing experience. The best part was being able to get in right away. By merging in with the guest list ppl, we were told by the bouncers to get in the line... so that saved us at least an hour or two of waiting out in the East side of Mson's map...

Inside the club, same old same old.. blahblahblah. nothing worth mentioning...

And so ends the day at Santa Cruz II

Friday, September 15, 2006

Palo Alto - Starting to Get Chilly...

So ever since the trip to San Fran the cloudy city, the weather at Palo Alto doesn't seem to be as great as the first week I got here. Mind you, the weather here is still very very nice ---> afternoons are still sunny, nights are still natural A/C condition like. But the clear blue sky is now being whitened by some fluffy white clouds, and the nice warm weather has cooled down a lil bit... Who knows, maybe I brought some of the cold cloudy weather from my trips to San Fran and the driveby through Half Moon Bay...

Work is starting to pick up... but nothing unexpected there. Still going to interesting talks multiples times a week; and very soon (maybe in a week or two), I will be personally emailing some guy at PARC to see if I can talk to him. The reason: he is or was doing some research that I have been looking into; so if he is willing to entertain me, I will for sure want to hear his ideas.... more to come on this later!

For some strange reason, I am starting to sleep less and less. I am also putting off alot of things that I am suppose to be doing (like right now, I am suppose to be looking at some application things). Maybe I am still in my relaxed mode; but I guess soon I will have to start working...

So in my procrastination mode, I started signing up for online surveys...LOL... I will see if I can make my Ms Vickies fund from doing these surveys; IF they ever decide to email me to tell me to do them. It's been 3 days since I've signed up, and still NOTHING!

Oh, a couple nights ago, I was reading these self-help/development sites, very interesting in what they have to say (this will be another one of my procrastination pasttimes). I will see how far I can get with this.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Palo Alto - Walk to work

So today I walked to work.. call it a preworkout for yosemite...Took me 45 minutes to get to work.. but I think I might be able to cut that down by 20 minutes... I will try it out if I go crazy one day and decide to walk again!

The reward for walking to walk though was $0.25 (since I found it on the way to work)... so I guess being healthy pays off!

since it is a work week, not much to post... just been reading pages and pages of code at work... will start real work soon... haha

Saturday, September 09, 2006

San Fran - Part I - The Cloudy City

So leaving sunny Palo Alto yet again, we arrive at the cloudy San Fran... Very cold there actually... very windy as well... amazing what a 20 min drive can do to the weather here... and from my roommates, it seems like San Fran is ALWAYS like this...given this fact, I wonder why people in San Fran don't migrate to Palo Alto...

Events at San Fran:

Like all faithful tourists, we went for the famous crabs (Dudeguuesesnsen crabs) here at fisherman's wharf... was pretty good... first time I ever had crabs for lunch though!...

After them crabs, we walked around the pier... now I am probably gonna get sued by this kid if he ever discovers my blog, but below is a movie that I would like to entitle "the Pier 39 prodigy"... this is sooo good!

This kid raked in the dough.. probably did better than the guy sitting on the bench watching him (probably his dad)...

Golden Gate was very cloudy... I was hoping to see mist below the bridge, but instead, got mist on TOP of the bridge... You will see when I post pics later on...

Also, as we were walking, saw this palm reader person... didn't do the whole reading but interesting what they said nevertheless... I get the same phrases a lot I realize... I wonder if they really all read the same book, or I am destined by how the lines on my palm are drawn

oh.. and sealions... those were sooo cool... here's my favorite sealion.. :)

We are in so key! Here's another pic! It's like a match made in heaven!

As I am sitting here, I look down my feet and see my white flip flops. feels like i am walking on a cloud... my best investment in the US thus far!... $7.97 from walmart!... no pics for this one .. readers will just to wait or get on webcam.. haha... hope it is still white by the time it gets back to TO...

Also, talked to my roommates... figured out why East Palo Alto is a no rent zone... apparently East Palo Alto was the 'murder capital of the US' 7 years ago... surprising how just a highway apart, there is such a difference.. .

So right now, the Mson map of the area is as follows (with my casa as the 'centre' of the universe.. ehheheh')

Around the casa: BMW litter program... (yes.. BMW, NOT BMX)
To the west: stanford and fancy cars
To the north: murrrrder capitol
To the south: houses that you probably need golf carts to go from one end of the house to the other
To the east: unexplored territory --> rumored to house a bunch of video card neerrrds :) ...

Alrite.. thats it for now.. more to come!

p.s. why San Fran Part I you ask?.. because I am planning to head back again.. this time to see Alcatrez up close!...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reflection: Inspired by Cloudy Clouds at outskirts of Palo Alto

It is funny how the more I try to run forward, the more I remember the past!

Today I understood a little bit more about my past. After a year and a half, I have someone put what I could not express in words back then... I probably won't be able to regurgitate it again (I already forgotten half the line already), but it goes something like this:

"... being in the same city for most of their life and then me getting the opportunity to come out here, it makes the other part of you feel left out..."

Now of course life is not so simple that you can summarize a whole sequence of events with one line, but this is probably the biggest catalyst back then -- who knows, perhaps if I had been able to notice this early enough, I could have done something about it...

But don't get me wrong, I am not depressed or anything now. What happened in the past is the price I paid for being ignorant about my own self, and forgetting the very reason I went to Waterloo in the first place.

But then again, perhaps people are right when they say that things happen for a reason; I was looking for a lifetime, but if all it takes is a little doubt to crack, maybe it was not meant to be at all. Or maybe it was just not the right time.

If I could go back in time and redo things over, I would definitely have done more... but times change, and most importantly, people change... what's lost cannot always be found. For all I know, maybe the present has already been replaced by the recent past... but thats all irrelevant to me now, since this stuff I had already known could happen ...

So on top of all the other things I am suppose to be doing, one of my goals is to understand more of others, as well as myself; even though it is a bit late, better late than never right?

And so ends my cryptic spheel on this Palo Alto day where I gone from the sun to the clouds and back...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Palo Alto - a la PARC

So my first few days at work...

PARC (no, I don't work at a park), for those who don't know... is the place where the mouse and the concept of GUI originated. Apparently a whole bunch of stuff come from this lab. It was originally Xerox's 'legendary' research arm until in 1992, it was incorporated (more of this can be found in the PARC website...). PARC is now a fully owned subsidiary of Xerox.

Now I thought PARC was like a Bell Labs for telecom (you know, the once famous, now not so spectacular labs), but boy was I wrong! Apparently the people who worked at PARC invented some of the coolest innovations that revolutionize our world. And if you knew what I knew and the various inventions tied to previous recent PARC employees, PARC will seem like Canada in hockey...
Though I don't want to publicly post (since they might be confidential), one upcoming invention or product that could revolutionzie the concept of paper is the 'epaper'. So what is epaper you ask? Well, you can google that, but in short, 'reusable paper'!.. More info on PARC's website...

But very cool stuff they are doing it seems; it will be interesting to sit in to all the talks and see what the lab is up to. Of course I have to be hush hush.. but even the non hush hush stuff is pretty amazing and people not in the field may not here about them till they blossom into another invetion comparable to the mouse!

Oh and on this PARC note, I have created my first invention there. It is called the 'sweetened iced tea'. In case you don't know, U.S.'s 'iced tea' is REALLY 'iced' 'tea'. I swear what they do is they brew a big pot of tea, then put some ice in it, and serve it. So you can imagine what it taste like.. cold tea, too 'bleh' for my semi-Canadian blood

I might be infringing on Nestea here, but hey, not like I am selling this stuff; and I am sure Nestea probably sticks in some glucose, fructose, sucrose and sugarose etc. in it. Here's mson's 'prototype' below (will be improved over the term):
1) 16 oz. cup, fill a quarter of it w/ ice
2) put in the 'U.S. iced tea'
3) put in 3 packs of sugar (white fine grain sugar) and mix vigorously
4) put in 3 packs of sugar (white fine grain sugar) and mix vigorously
5) put in 2 packs of sugar (white fine grain sugar) and mix vigorously

Now, don't put all 8 packs in, cuz if you do, you are in for one hell of a vigorous mix!

My task also seems pretty cool... not quite sure what it is yet. Something to do with sensor networks and collabarative computing. But I think I will be eventually working out of a real lab... hahaha. But just reading tons and tons of code right now... eventually I think i will have to start writing some stuff, but until then, more reading and reading...

Oh, so PARC has these like things called 'atriums'.. and my office faces the atrium. I share an office w/ one other person, and lucky guy has the desk facing the window. Directly across is where my supervisor is.... so if my supervisor ever turns his head, he would be able to see what I am doing.. Now who thinks this is a pure coincidence?...

oh and btw, went to downtwon mountainview today, lots of chinese stores... had mongolian grill tonite!!! ahhh the memories.. hehehehe... this was a smaller scale one though. On the way back, there were these lamps w/ fire in it. Will post a pic later once I get it.

So tomorrow I will be waking up to return my beloved Corolla rental car. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my 'CS mentor - aka young grasshopper' who sits adjacent to me who will be picking me up. Now if he'd only move his monitor a couple inches over, then my office setup will be complete!

and here's a link for my pics:
mson's pics
I am not sure if this will be a permanent thing yet, still thinking of checking out other pic sharing sites... but for now, enjoy!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Palo Alto - First Weekend

So this first long weekend was surfing at Santa Cruz, and Stanford.

Now contrary to the UofT and UofWaterloo, Stanford does not look like a jail at all. Rather, it looks more like a resort. The main entrance to the school is that of a church, and just looks like one of those resorts you see on travel guides.

Also I might have realized why driving in the US seems so easy... haha.. I seem to be missing stop signs and going on the opposite side of one ways half the time... I think in the last 3 or 4 days, I've missed 3 or 4 stop signs on various occasions, and those weird US parking lots that go one way.. well, let's just say I found US parking lots extremely hard to park on every other row...
... Did I mention that US intersections (at least in Palo Alto) are VERY wide... when you see a yellow light and start crossing the intersection, the light turns red halfway... That was a scary moment... not because it turned red as I was going through, but because there was a cop car right behind me ....
... I guess its a blessing in disguise that the rental car will be gone by Friday... I will miss that small.. so compact, can fit into the tiniest spaces possible..

Also went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk... I guess this is where Monopoly got its most expensive property from... this place reminds me of the CNE. Very nice place with midways and arcades. To top it off, right next to it, was the beach... I can just imagine living here; nice weather everyday, drive an hour from my million dollar mansion to go surfing...

speaking of surfing... which is the main topic of this post. It was FUN!!! Though I wouldn't consider myself really surfing yet.. it was more: 1) get on the board, 2) forget to arch, 3) wipe out... 4) repeat steps 1 to 3...
So it was a bit tiring, and we actually drifted off VERY far away from where we started. Must have taken us 15 minutes or more to walk back to the original place. But nevertheless, it was fun.. the very very last time I went out to brave the waves, I was actually able to stand up! The hand waving sideways thing that you see in movies REALLY help!... remember that if you ever go surfing..

I did get hit a few times by the fin of the surfboard though.. me and my careless self... though I have to say that next time (since I am hoping to go once more), I hope I can get up more... and once my leg fully heals, I think I will be more comfortable doing that 'fast spring' step to get to that semi-plank position on the board... Supposedly, there's 4 basic steps to start surfing:
1) arch your back
2) spring up to this one knee in front, one leg back position (need to be fast)
3) slowly lean back and get up SLOW... making sure your feet are at the center of the board
4) Try to stay up as long as you can before wiping-out OR
If you actually know what you are doing, you should be starting to surf...

oh.. and btw, the water didnt' feel cold at all.. (at least with the wetsuit on)

I am still thinking of an efficient way to post up all the pics I am taking... any suggestions are very welcome... I am too lazy to rename the images, so I just need one where I can just dump a bunch of images ... quickly, and painlessly... stick a link on my blog to it.. then done... everyone can enjoy!

And I think I have made a discovery. .it seems that empty water bottles/plastic containers here can be traded in for money. Since I have got here, I have been taxed this CRV Fee, or deposit fee for every plastic container (24 of water, 2L cokes) I buy... I think I am on to something here... Will keep anyone who's reading posted...