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: