Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bday Wkend: Japanese Tea Garden

Continuing with the low alcohol consumption weekend gala, Sunday was all about learning about the tea. Booked a tour-like/show on tea ceremony. So this took place in a little hut in the Japanese Tea Garden! The Tea Master lady explained all the traditions to it, quickly demonstrated the tea ceremony, did that little lady like Japanese walk the whole time. She even did the whole sit on ur legs on hard floor thing (this despite the fact that she was 60+ yrs old!).

One of the facts that I found very interesting is the scripture that gets hung during each tea ceremony. Supposedly these scriptures are chosen each time and people contemplate and think about its meaning while drinking tea. The one they had up today had 3 characters on it, but supposedly to explain it would take 4 hours!!! Wow!

..Highlight of one conversation:
Tea Master: So, it's not often that young people (there were 6 of us in total, Me + Anime Buddy + Fraudman + 3 older folks that we didn't know) come to these. So what brought you here?
Me: Anime
Tea Master: (with this very deep thought provoking look)... Hrm... (ramble ramble... blah blah blah blah blah...) In summary: Yes, that's what alot of young people tell me as their reason for coming.

The only slightly bad thing was that it was raining, so wasn't really able to take pics at the Japanese Tea Garden. Doing a quick walk around, this garden is smaller than the San Fran one, but this one had ALOT of fishes.

Oh.. I even got to whisk my own tea... but I wouldn't do it for too long, 'cuz it gets REALLY tiring!

One more healthy bday wkend completed! (now 3 yrs and counting)... woohoo!

Many thanks to all those who came out during this weekend. Had alot of fun.
To those that couldn't make it, thx for all the bday wishes!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bday Wkend (Sat Night): Pontis and Brocolli?

After finishing up building my chair, it was already dinner time. Thinking I was running late, I arrived panting at the restaurant to find I was the first one there!

Supposedly Ponti's is one of the best restaurants in the Seattle area...The food at Ponti's was ok, but I think Ray's Boathouse is better. The service was very good though. Waitresses there were pretty nice and very polite :). My glass of water was never empty (not to mention I had two glasses).

My first of two gifts was also very interesting. No pictures to show here yet (it is on somebody else's camera -- will add to it once I get my hands on it...). But a brocolli giftwrapped and packaged in a box was very unexpected. The Gold Label was also unexpected... Thanks! :)

Many thanks to the Bday planners for organizing all of this. Offering their place for all of us to hang out at... making the reservations... listening to all of my random ideas :). The cake was very delicious as well!

Thanks Thanks!

Bday Wkend (Sat Afternoon): White Allak!

At the bar last night, I kept thinking about one thing I wanted... Waking up this morning, I decided today would be the day. After a quick lunch and a quick call to make sure it was available, I drove down to the good ol' Ikea to give myself the present I've been waiting 2 months for... the WHITE ALLAK!!!

Also listening to the sage advice of the Wise Surfer Man, I went and purchased the indoor antenna to get HD channels! $20 for lifetime HDTV.... Wise Surfer Man is just too wise!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bday Wkend: Friday Night

To kick off the bday weekend, decided to try a little bar hopping. However, ended up really only going to one bar called Lava Lounge...

The drinks there were cheap...wayyy cheaper than other places, but didn't really feel like drinking all that much.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Streaming TV from Internet

After missing the season premiere of heroes, I was at my wit's end trying to figure out where I can get it. Then out of nowhere, the Wise Surfer Man appeared from nowhere and blessed me with a gift... an URL that in it, contained the NBC's full episode watching website. With it, after fiddling around with it a little bit, I was enjoying the first episode of Heroes, in full screen style! Heroes Season Premiere was GREAT!

Turns out there are other TV stations doing the same... wow! How technology has changed... Who needs cable when you can stream from nbc's website :) ...

Personally, I think being able to stream from these TV station web sites is even better than cable, because I don't have to sit in front of the TV at a specific time and have to go through all them commercials. This will make me watch shows alot more.. wuhahaha

Monday, September 24, 2007

Safeway Sale

The local Safeway was having a sale today. So being the faithful Safeway shopper, I had to go. There were alot of people as it was their grand reopening or what not, and the staff were all pretty friendly and all smiley. I wonder how long it would last...

Result: Saved 47% today! :) And got 10 cents off next gas purchase as usual!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gun Range

Went to shoot real guns for the first time today. Tried a 9mm? Glock. Below is my target after 50 rounds.

It was hard to push the bullets in, and I was really careful with the gun (since this is the real thing afterall!). But as careful as I was, they had to replace the gun I was playing with because somehow I magically broke it... haha.. Not sure what I did, but they had to give me a new one to play with .. wuhahaha.. All in all, it was a pretty interesting experience... Next time I wanna try a shot gun! :)

After the gun range, went to rotating sushi, and then the plan was to go hit a club. However, I guess all my energy went into thinking about random things and so I ended up being reallly tired. Took at nap after dinner, hoping it will revitalize me; but instead, just made me sleepier and lazier...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pool and Fruity Drinks

So another Friday, another week. This Friday was all about shooting pool :). Having not had a good drink in quite awhile, I felt like going to a bar and having a drink. With CS buddy and crew, we had a nice dinner followed by a trip to the billiards. Waited an hour and a half for the pool table, but it was fun as usual... never really good at it, but always fun to play.

It was a slightly posh place that we went to. Drinks were slightly more expensive, but they did taste pretty good...Ended up ordering quite a few drinks from the place over the night. For some reason I was liking the sweeter and fruitier drinks... they all had pretty funny names to it. Gladiator was one of the drinks that I had that I liked.. now that I think about it, it might be the same as a Sicilian Kiss... hrmmm...

Also realized I've lost my imagination for creating random drinks in my head... There was a time when I can conjure up a taste and the name of the drink would pop up in my mind...and if it didn't exist or I didn't recall the name, I could just run off the ingredients required and then voila, drink would show up in front of me, with the taste I had in mind... Nowadays, I find it hard pressed to even remember the names of my ol' time favorite drinks, let lone the taste of them...

On another note, seems like I have been going out for food and booze alot this week... should start looking at going out less for food and learning how to cook!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Very Late Dinner/Happy Hour

Ever since I had gained the power to see all the specials from Happy Hour in the area, I have been looking for these deals... (Note: This was how the oyster day was found on Monday)

So after a seemingly long night at work (involving mostly walking around and talking :)... and real working of course), decided that we go for half price appetizers at McCormicks. The place sold me because they had oyster shooters for $2.50, and cheeseburgers for I think $2.00 after 9:30pm. With this having been a long night, it was peeerfect!

First time having raw oysters in a shot glass, it was pretty interesting. They put the oyster inside the shot glass, then put some red Tabasco sauce on it and some tomato stuff, then you just shoot it back. Pretty neat way to eat oysters... though I'd still prefer cold oysters on the shell :)

Another night, another round of oysters... yuuuum!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

King Crab Experiment

On my way home from work, I casually drove into my favorite store, thinking I will stock up on some groceries. As I walked the aisles, I noticed some very nice looking legs just jumping out of me in the seafood section...

Not knowing how to cook it, I casually stared at the legs until the person behind the counter told me how to cook it... some butter, some oil, some lemon, and steam the crab... He was a good salesman; cuz the king crab legs ended up being my dinner :)

Result: 1.43 lbs of king crab legs
Price: $15.18

Mmmmmm.... It was good.. but next time I need more butter!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Oyster Bar!!! @ Happy Hour

After an early day at work (4:00pm), I went about a few errands... On the way, I suddenly thought about a conversation I had earlier last week...

Result: An hour and a half later, I am sitting at Seastar, enjoying a glass of white wine and some very good $1 oysters... mmmm...

Looooove Happy Hour!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

99 Nights

Like the ever addicitng Dynasty Warriors... 99 Nights proved to be the exact same :).

3 hours later... I feel that much dumber as I lay on the ouch and hacked away at goblins w/ a sword... hahaha

Sure beats cleaning up my place! :)

Ray's Boathouse and 3am Setup

So on Saturday, I decided to make another purchase and got an XBox... The first place I went to was sold out.. but luckily the second place I went to had it.. woohoo!

After this, proceeded to have a nice dinner at a place called Ray's Boathouse which was REALLY good. It's been a long time since I had fish that good!!! I looove seafood! Had an entree sampler that was simply delicious (3 different kinds of fish made in 3 different ways)

Ended the night watching a movie called "Catch Me If You Can". It was a pretty cool movie. Here's a kid who conned his way into millions of dollars and finally gets caught... only to be hired by the FBI to work on bank fraud stuff. Supposedly this was based on a true life story too. Impressive!

Returning home, took a shower and then figured since my hair needed to dry, I might as well put that time to good use. Having purchased 2 games on Friday, I spent this time setting up the XBox and then trying out the games... this began at around 3:xx am! Played a bit of it and before I knew it, I was approaching 5 am...

With that, I decided to call it a night (or day)...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Day of Waiting...

An eventful day full of waiting...

1) First hunted around for printers, then waited for printers to print 300+ pages of stuff

2) Went to Fry's... in hopes of getting a router.. only finding out that they didn't sell it there, so had to wait until I got home before I can order it online!
Also lined up for 15 min until I was able to buy anything else

3) Went to Ikea to get extra parts and refunds... waited half an hour+ to get the part(s) I needed. Couldn't really be mad though, the girl at the counter was so nice and all smiley.. even offered to buy me a coffee cuz of the long wait!

4) For dinner, went to a Vietnam restaurant which seemed to have opened a few weeks ago... It had a very nice bathroom... with rocks in the sink and everything. The stall was actually higher than normal, but the bathroom was pretty nice.
The waiting was ridiculous though
a) Waiting for a table...
They took 10 minutes to set up a table of 8 (which was for a group before us)... meanwhile there were empty tables everywhere else. Server told us that she wanted to set up the table properly before letting us sit down.. which seemed reasonable.
Result: When we sat down, the only 'setup' she had to do was give out menus... Of the 6 ppl there, 3 got menus cuz they ran out.

b) Waiting for water...
This took another 10 minutes. Funniest thing was the first cup of water (for 6 of us), came 10 minutes before the rest. The 6 of us were just wondering who gets the water... or if we have to share... lol

c) Waiting for food...
Seeing quail on the menu, I jumped at the opportunity to get it. So we ordered and nothing seemed wrong. Half an hour later (and right before 2 of the other 6 ppl got server), I guess the staff there realized they weren't gonna be able to catch 2 quails for our table... so the server comes by to tell me that they are out of quails... and I had to reorder another dish... Sure wished they told me this earlier.
Result: Me and CS buddy (who ordered quail as well) had to order something else... and by the time I got my meal, everyone else at the table had finished their meals.

Later on, the server comes by and goes 'oh, so you are still eating your dinner'... What am I suppose to say to do that I wonder... lol

So this ends the day of numerous waits...

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Today was the Seattle Todai! Mmmmmm....

Before that, tried to go kayaking... but that didn't actually materialize (since they were closed today). Ended up walking around Seattle (2nd time ever) for a few hours.

In summary, Todai Seattle didn't seem as good as the Todai up in Redmond or San Jose though... Maybe I had too high an expectation... but it was still a good meal.

Then went to my first bar in Seattle... pretty nice. reunited w/ AMF.. ahhh what a good 'girly' drink...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Day of Missed Purchases

Having been Builder Mson for the past little while, there was enough room to acquire more goods...

In a spur of the moment thing, tempted by fellow CS buddy, and my diligent coworker, I decided to purchase yet another item(s)... So on a semi-nice Friday night, we got off work and began yet another shopping adventure. Unfortunately, this shopping outing left all 3 of us with a slightly empty feeling...

Fellow CS Buddy
Goods sought: A $$$ bag
Result: Bag was slightly scratched... only 4 left in the west coast which were all display items! So ended up not getting...

Diligent Coworker
Goods sought: game console and games
Result: games bought... but no game console

Me: Bought what I wanted... but needed to wait 5 days for it... So left the store with nothing... except a big hole in my wallet...

Ended the day w/ some Wii action. Will be sore the next day.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Midnight Construction: Secret of LAXVIX

This long weekend, Builder Mson spent most of his time acquiring the skills to become the LAXVIX master.

By the end of the night (around 2am), I have proudly built a 3 drawer dresser, a shoe rack, a few desk lamps and THREE LAXVIX shelves of varying height... This includes the monster 4 shelf LAXVIX, the 3 shelf LAXVIX, and also the 2 shelf LAXVIX.

15 pieces of glass, 3 LAXVIX base, 6 LAXVIX extenders...

Couple tips:
1) Those screw holes are too small. To put the screw you, you need to make sure you drive the nail in straight... and twist VERY hard

2) Following the Ikea directions is great for beginners... but for the advanced and master builders, consider opening multiple boxes of LAXVIX base and extenders at once and building it together. This will save tons of screwing and unscrewing time... so you won't get screwed!

3) Never tighten fully each section until the whole thing is built. Otherwise, be prepared for some brute force action!

4) If it wobbles, tighten or loosen each part until it stops wobbling.

Other discoveries by Builder Mson:
1) The opposite end of a screwdriver head is great replacement for a hammer. **DISCLAIMER: Be careful where you aim, your fingers sometimes get in the way**
2) Building stuff is pretty intuitive, but reading manuals in detail MAY save lots of brute force labor... intuition saves time, reading saves labor... that's the tradeoff