Monday, April 28, 2008

Allergy Meds: Another US Canada Difference

Feeling like crap for the last week... finally dragged my butt to a pharmacy for some allergy meds.

So it looks like they name EVERYTHING differently. Took me quite a while to figure out which one I needed to get. Talking to the pharmacist was talking speaking alien... because all I could do was describe how the box looked like - which does not help them at all. Luckily, I vaguely remembered some of the medical ingredients name so I was able to figure out what I need with the pharmacist. Below is the list of the Canadian name, and its equivalent US name, with a little blurp about each:

Claritin Allergy and Sinus (Red) == Claritin D (12 hour)
(A 'Semi-OTC' drug here in the US... you actually take a card to the pharmacist like you are buying some expensive video game, then you sign something before they give you the actual goods)

Claritin (Blue) == Claritin (without the D)
Medical Ingredients: 10mg LORATADINE

Allegra D == Allegra D
(Prescription Drug here in the US)
Medical Ingredients: 60mg FEXOFENADINE and 120mg PSEUDOEPHEDRINE

Reactine (Dark Blue) == ZYRTEC (24 hr)
Medical Ingredients: CETIRIZINE HYDROCHLORIDE 10 mg

Aerius = Clarinex
Medical Ingredients: 5mg DESLORATADINE

Note to self: talking to a pharmacist, the active ingredient trumps even your best description of how the box looks... no matter how vivid or detailed you are.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vegas III: Final Day

The last day at Vegas was just checking out and returning home...

The best was the whole no checked-in luggage concept. The previous times I was at 49.5 lbs for BOTH check in luggage. Feel so empty with only one carry on! haha... Loove just walking through the airport and being able to be sitting by the gate in less than 15 minutes!

The entire trip took 4 hours from Vegas airport to home. The flight took 2 hrs or so, and the bus took 1.5 hours... Good ol' public transit... takes less time to fly to Vegas than to get home from the airport!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vegas III: Third Day - Ka!

Miissing it evertime I've been to Vegas, today I will finally get to see a Cirque du Soleil show.

Ka was such a cool show! We had gotten these seats that were 15 rows or so from the front stage, so we were close enough to feel the heat from the flames!!! The added unexpected bonus was that our seats were the rightmost seats, so everytime a character came onto the stage from the right side (and there were quite a few), we were right there!

The plot was pretty standard. Prince and princess torn apart because some evil person took out their family. So then they reunite after a bunch of ordeals and then have a Star Wars ending.

There were some pretty cool action throughout. There was the whole sand thing (on every ad I think for Ka), there's this one where the princess dances with the babarian lover dude, and the whole playing out a scene on a vertical plane to name a few. I liked it alot!

After the show, took the bus down to old Las Vegas to see the biggest screen in the world. Strange that all the times I've been, I've never noticed that the canopy was actually a screen. The video played was not all that amazing, but the sheer size of the canopy was just astounding!

More Pic of LV III

Monday, April 21, 2008

Vegas III: Second Day - Zzzzz Timeshare Talk

For the second day, the main activity was going to listen in on some timeshare talk. The 'gift' for going was that they would comp us a $150 meal and a 3 nite 2 day stay at a hotel in Vegas.

Agreeing to it because the recruiter person asked ME to go (so long as I drag my parents along :P), we.. ahem I decided we should pay it a visit. So we went and sat in at the talk. Since this was my first time, I was pretty excited.

So what I originally thought was that you sit in a chair hours while some guy up at the front ramble on for 2 hours. Boy was I wrong! It turns out that for every person (pair) that shows up, they have one 'salesguy' allotted for you. Which to me meant I can't doze off like I do with lectures! Ohhhhh boy...

Service was anything but good. The 'free' lunch was just sandwiches.. bleh! And we actually had to wait 20 minutes or so for someone to attend to us. While that was going on, I did play with my camera and took a few pictures of a flower pot :)

So once they attended to us, after a good couple hours of showing us the place and random BS, another sales guy (known hereafter as 'hard sell' dude) came and started trying to sell us the place. Really didn't like this guy at all.

First he insulted what we have, didn't let me reply to what he was saying, and kept saying how it is such a great deal when after a brief series of number crunching in my head, doesn't really save me all that much (if at all). Not that I was considering buying anything in the first place, but he really made me NEVER wanna buy timeshare ever again.

Here are some items 'hard sell' dude pitched and disagreed with me:
1) Accommodations are expensive...
HS dude: How much do you think you spend on hotels on vacation
Me: err... $40 a nite.. since I probably share with others
HS dude: So do you expect to do this all your life... how much you think you will spend if you had to pay on your own...
(so already, this becomes a hypothetical situation that does not apply to me right now... and isn't $40 a very conservation budget anyway for me.. haha... )..
..blah blah
HS dude: So, say you spend $200 a nite at a hotel. 3 weeks of vacation = $3000. BAM.. you are saving money already (because monthly dues are $xxx, and interest is $xxx etc. etc.)...

He goes on to mention that over time, I may end up spending in the thousands range... That would be true in 10 years or so maybe. But right now, do I really live in style when I go on vacation? Let's recall my previous trips... Egypt... um.. hostel.. $40 EGP = $5 USD for one nite. Toronto.. accommodations = $0 USD...

2) For someone young wanting to buy timeshare, it's a no brainer. You save $xxxxx amount over 40 years...
HS dude: If you don't buy now, then 2 years from now you are gonna come back, and I will be charging you more. That's fine if you want, I will just take your money...

This argument is very strange I think. If I give him all this money up front, I save in the span of 40 years. This timeshare thing I buy never goes up or down, why would I want to 'invest' in that rather than stocks or heck, even a GIC? There's also monthly dues that need to be paid. An initial number crunching session using my head means that I am probably better off betting red on the roulette table with the money than coughing it up to them... (ok, maybe I am exaggerating here...)... but seriously, save $xxxxxx over 40 years... they must assume people put money under their bed or something...

3) Their whole gimmick of getting some points that you exchange in to get ur vacation. These points are good for airfare, food, etc. etc.
Sounds great. BUT, points are only give good deals for getting the accommodation. It drains ur points if you want to use it towards airfare, food, rental car etc. So you fork up $x amount of dollars and exchange it for these monopoly like points every year... which is only accepted at these resort places etc. I rather hold on to good ol' John A McDonald or my Jeffersons and give those when I go on vacation!

Anyway, I will stop bashing it now. Because timeshare I believe do have some nice advantages. But at this stage in my life, it was a fun experience to attend this and see a guy like this. But this package really does not benefit me. For someone who lives in 'cheap' accommodations, and probably won't be spending much time in a hotel during vacation... having money locked up just really doesn't seem logical.

But all in all, did get these coupons to go eat at the Rio buffet though... which had rock lobsters. shrimp, king crab, oysters, mussels, meat, etc. etc. It was sooo good. The lobsters were nice as well.. Having not heard lobsters in oh so long... ah.. how I missed it!

After the dinner, we were all exhausted and called it a night at 10:30pm. What a healthy day at LV! haha...

Note to self:
Unless they are giving something better, don't go to these talks ever again. The time you spent there is really NOT worth the 3 nite 2 day stay. I used to think my time is not worth much... but after this, my new base is that 4 hours of my time (x3 if including my parents) is worth more than 3 nite 2 day stay + $150 + 4 hours of listening to a guy BS.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vegas III: First Day

Waking up at 5:30am, proceeded to the airport via a cab with flurries falling down from the sky. It's April, and its SEATTLE... and it's snowing... what's wrong with this picture???

Anyway, got to the airport and checked in ridiculously fast. Sat at the terminal after and waited to board plane.

After meeting up with parents at the LV Airport, we went to the hotel and had a champagne brunch. After this, we walked from Stratosphere to the main strip. Took an hour to get to the main strip... which really surprised me. I knew it was far, but not an hour far!...

After seeing a few hotels, we went to Casino Royale to play the promotion slot machines. 3 of us were playing with a total of 100 credits... for 1.5 hours! During this time, we saw 4 sets of people come and go beside us, while we were still pulling the lever. If only it was not a promotional machine... the trip would have been paid for! At the highest point we had over 450 credits!

Ended with a dinner at the Spice market. They had oysters there, but maybe because I am spoiled here, they did not really taste all that good. The lamb and cotton candy was good as always though :)

After parents went to bed, went down to Stratosphere to play some blackjack. Let's just say I paid my tuition fee there. But it was fun nevertheless...

So ends the first night at LV III.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

First Ever Seattle Bday

Today is CS Buddy's Seattle Bday... What this means is that a person who lives in Seattle will gain another birthday that commences 8 days after the person's 'real' birthday! How did we come up with this great idea you ask?...

Well, I guess this is similar to the week long bday galas some people get in TO. But since week long galas happen in the same city, a Seattle Bday is just like one of the nights you would have during the week long gala, but you continuing celebrating in Seattle.

Defining a new term, a day is a person's Seattle Bday iff:
1) your 'home-home' is not Seattle
2) you celebrated your 'real' birthday at 'home-home' for at least a night
3) you must be residing in Seattle (duh - how else would it be a Seattle Bday?)
If all of the above apply, then your Seattle Bday is 8 days after your 'real' bday.
Note: This definition is subject to change so that I can reap in the benefits of a dual bday later on down the road :)

So for the morning of this Seattle Bday, I had to wake up really early to wait for the dryer dude. They've been here 4 times, but I think this 4th time should be the last (crossing my fingers). So far dryer has not been hiccuping, so that's a good sign!

For the rest of the morning, I ran a bunch of errands. But of all the errands I ran, I forgot to go to the dollar store to grab a shiny tiara! Would have been hilarious if I remembered.. but oh well, maybe next year for CS buddy's Seattle Bday.

Once afternoon hit, it was a bunch of activities including pancakes, wine tasting, K (in the afternoon AND without gosh), and then a nice dinner at Elliot's. Was suppose to end the night at a club, but it was converted into a bowling event. Seeing I had to wake up at 5:30am the next morning, I decided to pass on bowling at the bowling alley and bowl in my sleep instead...

The wine tasting was different from the one I had last time with fellow Brazilian griller. This one felt very rushed and there was not much explaining. It almost felt like I paid $10 for 4 sips of alcohol. I did end up buying a bottle from this winery though... this award winning one supposedly. The ironic part was that I got more wine from the 'taste test' before I bought the wine (2 quarter glasses - 1 glass with the wine I was about to buy, and another one to 'compare' against) than the 4 sips that I got from wine tasting. Should have just said I might want to buy the wines that I paid $10 for, probably would have had bigger portions and would have been free!

At the K, the mics there were pretty busted but I guess its Seattle, so what can I expect eh?... At least it was cheap though.. $5 a person. haha...

The oysters at Elliot's was pretty good! :) Loooove oysters!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another TVB Completed - Drive of Life

So for the last couple weeks, I have been religiously boiling a TVB series. Loooove VEOH TV. I am still amazed at all the shows they have. More on that maybe another time, because today's post is about this TVB.

So in there, there was this character who was very competent, who kept himself in check and tried to understand the big picture. But a lack of recognition and bonuses, and he eventually becomes obsessed and turns evil. Evil character ruthlessly climbs up, but then like all good TVB, he loses almost everything and becomes good again... What makes it interesting is that while he climbs ruthlessly up in the work world, he treated his wife/gf very nicely. It was almost like a Jekyll and Hyde thing in a way. On one hand giving the wife the world, but on the other, trying to take away everything from the wife's family.

Then there was this other guy. In the story, he is some world renowned car designer, sought after by lots of car companies. But he ends up helping out this small fry startup because of the people in it.

What both these people had in common was that even though they could go anywhere, they chose to help out at this small fry startup. I guess when u have the strength to do anything anytime, who you are working for matters. It no longer matters how big a paycheque you get, or how great their competitors are. Perhaps the way to grab the very best talent is to show not what can be offered to them, but the vision that you carry in your heart.

Overall, there were lots of little things in this TVB that made me think. Pretty good one indeed!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Meh Meh Month

Hrm... So it's been a month since I blogged I just realized. Usually this means that I will have had a list of backlog... but surprisingly, nothing much have been going on.

So to recap... let's see.. since the last time I wrote something...
2 weeks ago a friend came down to visit. Went to outlet and bought a bunch of stuff...

Tutoring has been going ok. There's one tutee showing up every week. So that's alot better than zero. Hopefully more will show up eventually... if only I can think of ways to advertise it. My coworker did come up w/ a good idea...if I get bored enough one day, I might just go ahead and do it!

...Was suppose to be in SD this weekend but decided I really shouldn't be going...there will be other times for me I guess. So to make the most use of my time, I will go and finish up my scuba lessons... took 5 mths but hey, it's finallly getting done :)

But yup... life in has slowed down quite a bit these few months (so basically a grinding halt)... need to find some stuff to do to entertain myself... haha... oh well, more to come hopefully in the next few weeks!