Sunday, December 26, 2010


Another year, another yearly tradition.

This year, I finally make Armageddon. Driving out at night to attend this yearly tradition, it was really nice to see everyone and also meet a ton of new people.

Also marks the first time I have broken the '3 drink limit' since 1/1/2010. Obliterated in less than two hours with all them boat races and dice games that were going on. It was just too nostalgic and fun... it's not a matter of losing control, but really just a conscious choice to. Yes, sounds irresponsible, but there's a reason to everything isn't there...

It's dangerous to revisit the past, because we could get stuck in it - but it's great to go back in time and relive the good parts of the past every so often. Not only do you get to relive these moments, but you can also be reminded of the lessons that you have learned. As we get older, more responsibilities and what not might prevent us from doing so. So until that happens or new events in our life comes about, treading into the past is alright right?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Touristy Day - Movie and Medieval Times

Today's plan - Dave n Busters, Movie, then medieval times! A day packed of events.

Waking up late, we couldn't do DnB - but walking around Yorkdale randomly was more fun than I'd imagined. Maybe it's the lights, or just the people around. Felt very festive!

Little fockers was ok funny. For some reason I didn't think it was as funny as the ones before (though it was still good). I would dub this one airplane worthy.. hahaha. The theater wasn't packed, but there were much more annoying people in there than I remembered theaters would have...
1) Annoying little kids at the back kicking the chair
These I remembered. It was ok I guess because they stopped once the movie began.
2) Little immature 14 year olds
Throughout the movie, these little 14 year olds or so next to us who were all excited whenever they saw a girl come up on screen or hear the word 'sex'.
3) a baby crying
I mean really?! A baby crying... just what would the baby get out of watching Little Fockers???
4) Phones and Kids
Some kid who obviously didn't see the beginning of the movie where they tell you to switch off the cell phone. That or the kid's too dumb to know how to use the silent feature on their phone. The best part I thought was that the kid even answered the phone (after it rang so the whole theater heard them)... twice.

Is this the new generation of kids these days? Ahh.. maybe I am getting too old.

On the other hand, saw a preview of the new Adam Sandler movie coming out in Feb... exccccited!

For Medieval Times, got tricked into looking at the 'Dungeon'... which turns out to be a 5 minute walk around some torture equipment. The show was alot faker than I remembered it, though the plot was alot better than I remembered. All-in-all worth the trip.

To end the night, went to check out ex-Seattle buddy's place downtown. Pretty nice!

Thanks to my tour guides and my 'chauffer' for this touristy day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My 3rd course ... completed!

Done done done!

Another one down ... 5 more to go...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My 3rd course...

Can't help but feel like I am climbing a mountain here.

Will need to conjure up magic to get this done... so much magic....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Slip and Slide

Seeing alot of snow for the first time in a few years in

Seeing snow again is nice - there's a certain serene feeling to it.

On the way home though, it was a wild ride back. Slid 3 times in 30 minutes on the way back.

Slide #1: Sliding past a stop sign
- that was interesting indeed. Slid just right past it... it was like the brake didn't work.

Slide #2: Sliding sideways
- 2nd slide of the night. I am going maybe 10 mph, stopping in front of a light. Then sliiiiidee to the right the car goes. That was just weird in how the car just slid sideways... you'd think car's going forward, brake going downwards, where's the momentum to slide sideways??? But slide I did..

Slide #3:
- Deciding to take the main street back, I make a right turn onto it and then I see two cars parked sideways - with their wheels locked on the curb, a ton of cars on the other side not moving, and a car on the lane next to me not moving in the middle of the road.... so naturally I also stop my car there and watch. After a few minutes, I roll down the window and ask "What's going on"... the lady goes, not sure, but thinks that the other two cars couldn't go up the hill and see parked their car like that, and that she's afraid to drive up the hill. So hearing that, weighing my options, I march forward!

However, I find that in 1st gear, my car's wheels are spinning like crazy and the car was sliding, and there wasn't a chance for me to make it up the hill either. So I kick into my backup plan, make a U-turn and go the other way! With the cop car passing by me, I turn my steering wheel fully, step on the gas, and U-turn we go!! Over steered a little bit, and my car pointed right towards the lady I was talking to earlier!... Good thing there was some buffer so I was at least a couple car lengths away (I can only imagine how freaked out the lady was to see a car with headlights pointed directly at her...) but it worked, now that I am downhill, I steered away and back on the right side of the road.

What an adventurous drive. Slide #3 definitely had my heart pounding...

I think I have forgotten how to drive in the snow - either that or it was just a skating rink out there today. Good thing all 3 times there were no car around.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sushi Attempt #3

Attempt #3 - Fish cuts looking nicer!

Sushi Rice
Similar results as last week. Right amount of vinegar (no more sourness) and less burnt (but there was still some).

Bought White Tuna, Salmon and Octopus.
Was able to cut the Octopus pretty well this time - at least the first few pieces. Still trying to figure out how to cut the tail end pieces. Bought a bigger piece of white tuna, so it looks VERY much like the restaurants :). Seems like the key is making sure the fish is big enough so it can be cut nicely.

This time it was alot better. It actually looked like what I'd exepct. Missing that right amount of wasabi between the fish and rice, but its getting close! :)

Miso Soup
Again, the best part out of it all. Soft tofu, green onion in place. Simply delicious.

Mmmm.... getting closer.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sushi Attempt #2

2 weeks ago, I first tried making sushi at home. While that wasn't too successful, I did get some ideas on how to improve. So with this in mind, attempt #2!

Sushi Rice
Right amount of vinegar (no more sourness). However, half of the rice got burnt and the water portion seem to flood out. Peeling off the burnt part, the rice was ok.

Bought White Tuna, Hamachi and Salmon. Hamachi is great! Mmmm...
The white tuna and salmon didn't look like how the restaurants do it - it looked a lot smaller then I liked.
Also, the salmon wasn't as good as the ones at the restaurant... I wonder if it's because how I am cutting it (supposedly if you cut against the grain in a certain angle, the salmon tastes that much better).

This time it was alot better. After the rice was done, scoped it out into a bowl and let it sit a little bit to cool down BEFORE trying to handle it with my bare hands. Was able to make the shape pretty well after that.

Miso Soup
Again, the best part out of it all. Soft tofu, green onion in place. Simply delicious.

Will improve on more. Once I figure out how to find really tasty fish, then i should be set (all that fish, it was only $12!)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Xbox - Red Ringed...

So after getting FIFA 11 the other day, I have gone on an Xbox spurt (the ones where I play essentially hours and hours non stop). Been going great as I get home, procrastinate, and start playing on the Xbox...

So today, I was going to continue this. But after a forced update, my xbox decided to red ring :(. Even though I've been told the update and the red ring are not related... I still have my reservations. But end result, I am now without a Xbox to procrastinate with.

Sorta sad in a way - played it maybe less than 50 times since I got it 3 years ago, and it's gonna take $100 to fix (as luck would have it, it was 1 month past the 3 year warranty).

If only I played it more in the past... anyhow, guess I will just have to get a new one (since the new one comes out to around the same price it seems).

note to self:
lesson of the day - play on the xbox more.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sushi Attempt #1

With my new knife, today I decided I would try to 'make' sushi. The thinking, buy some sashimi grade fish at Uwajimaya, slice them up, make miso soup, some sushi rice and drink some sake :). Not bad for a Friday night.

So after purchasing all the materials, went about making this happen.

Sushi Rice
Added too much vinegar, so the rice was sooo sour that I gave up eating it after half a bowl

Bought Tilapia, White Tuna, and Octopus. I have to say, Octopus is just amazing. Tako, tako, tako! However, I cut the Octopus pretty badly, so it didn't look pretty at all (same w/ the other two).. But next time, will make this look better.

Plan was to make Nigiri (slap on a fish on some rice). But this was alot harder than I thought. Next time, will let the rice cool down first before trying to pick it up with my bare hands... lol.

Miso Soup
This was the best out of it all. Did buy the wrong tofu - bought firm instead of soft... so the texture was a bit off, and forgot the green onion. But this was still pretty decent.

Much to improve on, but this is a start :0).

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Bday Weekend - Stop #3: Bumming at Home Attempt

Feeling pretty mellow after all the past few days' celebrations, to end the weekend, after 3 nights of drinking... today was rest day. A day where I had hoped to not do much, bum around and not have to think, and take naps often.

Though as it turned out, it wasn't too much a rest day at all. Ended up needing to scrap around for food, had to cook, and barely had enough naps.

In hindsight, I guess it was a silly thought that bdays would be an excuse to be freeeeeee. Oh well, c'est dommage.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Bday Weekend - Stop #2: Karoake at Gossip

The second venue of the day had me going for some booze + karaoke.

The tradition of celebrating w/ the trusty lobster still continued on, but didn't really need to have the drinking strategy in place these days.

Good times indeed. Felt just like the good ol' carefree days. Thx for organizing!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Bday Weekend - Stop #1: IMO and Trinity Combo

Another year, another weekend. Last week we happened to talk about the legendary IMO and Trinity combo - so this week it was put in motion. This one will likely be the last one since I am getting too old for this... lol.

Like the other IMO and Trinity nights, the night started out good. Drinks, food, chilling and relaxing atmosphere. But as the night wore on, instead of the usual IMO + Trinity aftermath, this time I ended up needing to take care of someone... instead of the other way around!

What a difference this time around... almost sad in a way - to have the classic combo be reduced to this... tsk tsk tsk...

Anyhow, it was a pretty fun night still - so onwards to the next few days...

PS. Once again did not go past the 3 drink limit. 10 months and counting!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pouring Beer at Ocktoberfest

The last volunteer gig had me pouring beer to passerbys at the Fremont festival. Started out pretty weak, but as the day wore on, my pours was just perfect.

As an appreciation, they gave us drink tickets to sample some of the beer. German beer is yummy! Mmmmmm....

If only all volunteering events were like this :P

Friday, August 13, 2010

Another Todo Complete: xbox - blue cable.. CONNECT

Another todo is completed today. Got that xbox live gold thing, blue cable attached to the xbox. Anddddd we are off!

Sucky thing though is that my local profile couldn't get converted into the online one. Which meant I lost the very little achievements that I have :(.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Todo Complete: Air Conditioner - Purchased!

after 3 years of talking about getting an air conditioner, today this was completed.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Volunteer Day - Sculpture Park Prisoner Labor

Woke up bright and early today to do the 2nd of 4 volunteering outings for Seattle Works. The last one (at Women's Jubilee Center) was all about cleaning and vacuuming... Even though they were simple tasks, it seemed pretty worthwhile to do because it felt like it would help the place and make it feel like an even nicer place to live in.

So today, in the hot sunny outdoors, we arrived at the sculpture park at the Seattle Arts Museum. The task of the day... weeding. We ended up weeding 3 areas, under the sunny cloudless sky for 3.5 hours+. Water breaks probably around every hour...

During this time, I can't help but feel like those prisoners in the movies, where they go to a field and hammer at white rocks (or in my case, go to a big field, and pull out weeds). The tools we were given were a pair of gloves... and that was it. The 12 or so of us weeeded out buckets and buckets of weeds with our hands - you'd think we'd get those small little shovels or what not to dig at the ground. Not only would we have been more efficient, it would also have been less tiring. The bigger issue I had was that we were weeding what seemingly looked like areas that were pretty obscure - didn't seem rewarding at all. Also, these weeds really would just grow back, so this is an endless task really.

The good part of the day started after 2pm, when it was bye-bye time and we hit a bar that served Sangria (sponsored by our awesome volunteer leaders :P).

To top off the night, an IMO night was called during our time in the fields, and it turned out pretty fun - a few of the folks that we volunteered w/ came out, and the usual crowd. Even amidst all this, the 3 drink limit was observed (as usual) :).

Friday, June 25, 2010

E-Ma in Seattle

An unexpected call during a spec review a couple days ago reveals that E-Ma was in town. Giving her part of my tourist package, I take her out to Ginza and Ray's Boathouse :0)

Good nephew = me!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lake Chelan: Part II - Manson!

Today was the day!

Some may recall a post I made a while back about the place called Manson, WA. After a year, I am finally here. The city with my name on it... ha ha ha.

Went around, snapping photos here and there, pulling over on Manson Hwy to take pictures of anything with Manson on it... heh heh heh. What a funnnn day!

Went to the Wapota Hills Winery, and they were doing complimentary wine tasting. The guy there was pretty nice, and I tried a whole bunch. Never shying away from a deal, we ended up picking up 6 bottles (partly because it was 20% off, partly because I needed to pick up a new batch of wine for my place anyway, and also, partly because the wines were pretty good)

Then also swung by Leavensworth. It was really neat actually. Looks like those miniature Christmas towns / gingerbread houses.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lake Chelan: Part I - World Cup and Waverunners

First item on the list - get to Lake Chelan, and then find a place w/ TVs to watch the England vs. USA match :).

Got in time to catch the 2nd half, and to see that big fumble by England's goalkeeper. I would hate to be in his shoes right now - basically lost the game for the team. Ouch!

After that, it was time to soak in the sun, and to do outdoorsy stuff. Tried out waverunning-ing for the first time. It was really fun.

Going 25, 30, 25, 40 miles per hour was really fun. Gorgeous day.

Next time definitely bringing a camera.

Opened a bottle of red wine from Manson (yes, Manson :) ). The winery was called Vin du Lac. The steak was pretty good - even better because the meal was free!.. wuhahahaha.

Walked around and sat out in the balcony for a bit. Then passed out shortly after... did quite a bit today!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

My 2nd course completed!

After a 65/100 outing... recovered to get a final mark of 3.7. Not too shabby eh?

Still trying to figure out this GPA system. Doing some quick math, looks like 3.7 = ~89.3. I wonder what a 4.0 is equal to. Hrm...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Sushi Nite - Ototo

The fish was really really fresh. And the taste was just really good.
The sake was also very reasonably priced.

Going to start a new blog for all the sushi place I've gone to and give them a review :). Maybe I will even take pictures of them.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part V - The Trek to Work

En route to home...

12am-ish. Drive into the car wash, to find we can't fit under it. Solution, park perpendicular to the car wash stations, then use the water jets from various stations to clean one side

Arriving back at the owner's place at 3am-ish, slept in car since we were a bit early.

Woke up at 6am to the sound of the alarm I set at 10am.. and with that, the final cleanup process started. Moved everything out of the RV and into our cars, ready for the final inspection.

Got back to at 9am-ish. Took a quick shower, then off to work I go.

And with that, another soldier trip completed.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part IV - The Final Half Day

The last day at Yellowstone, we woke up and got ready.

Ate, cleaned, unanchored the RV and off we went.

Our last destination, the Mammoth Hot Springs. It was a pretty short walk and the colors were pretty nice (especially so since today was a nice day)

Starting the trek home at around 3pm... onwards we go... towards home

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part III - Onwards we March!

Waking up at 7.. ahem 9... we proceeded to go on hikes and animal hunting. Was able to see some bisons, elk, deer. Some picture are below.

For lunch, we found a picnic table - even though it was snowing. Also today, we saw waterfalls and more geysers that are either mini ones or non erupting.

Tried to see old Faithful again.. but it had faithfully erupted earlier.

For dinner, it was hot pot night. Not enough meat in my mind.. hahaha. After dinner, apparently got told by ranger that we have been 'penalized' in that the next day, we have to turn off the engine earlier (oh well, we were gone by the next day :P)

Some deep convos and wine after dinner.. then called it a night.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part II - The Faithful Soldier Tour

Arriving in the afternoon, with half the car passed out or what not, we reach our RV site, which was snowing... Mountain weather is pretty weird. One moment it's sunny, one moment it's snowing.

Anyway, so we then proceeded to anchor the RV and set it up. There were a bunch of steps to do, including setting up the sewage, and water pipes. For some reason, kept finding it funny that we pull out some tubes from the RV, and just connect it with a hole in the ground. The 'purging' of the RV was pretty fun too... the whooosh sound was pretty cool.

After finishing up lunch and setting up of the RV, we then drove to our first point of interest - Old Faithful. On the way, we saw a car in a ditch, with 2 babies on board. Pretty scary stuff. Luckily there were a bunch of people, and there was reception (not everywhere has reception) where the accident happened - so help was there and more help was on the way.

Arriving at Old Faithful, turns out we were there at a good time as it was about to erupt within an hour. So walking around a bit, we find a decent spot and wait for the eruption. Expecting something huge... I was disappointed... The eruption was really small. Apparently I find out later that Old Faithful means that they can predict when it erupts, not that it reliably erupts nicely.

Afterwards, we walked around the site, walking for hours to see a bunch of other geysers and what not. There were some bacteria pools that were pretty colorful. This one was the morning glory pool - which though pretty, when you factor in that we walked 1.5 mile to get here, and saw a bunch of similar ones along the way... then it's really not all that pretty.

Being ridicously tired, on the drive back to the RV, passed out and just slept. We return to a RV with a leaking ceiling... and can't use oven :( not enough electricity. So we ended up being creative and found ways to cook with just the gas stove.

With 4 hours of sleep yesterday, the soldier trip continues...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part I - The RV Gathering

The RV Rental... a 34 feet long, 12m+ high movable car. Complete with a dining table, a sofa, a queen size bed, a kitchen, and a full bathroom with shower. It's like a little house on wheels... what a cool vehicle.

The transmission was pretty cool. It was all just buttons! One for N, R, D, and two arrows (Up and Down). To park, you would press the 'N' button, then pull a knob to put the breaks down. Oh, and the cruise control is key in this vehicle. The big metal gas petal takes awhile to get used to.

Driving it was definitely interesting. I felt like a truck driver. Only I didn't get to pull the horn... that would have been fun. Driving through the night, we took turns in this 14 hour+ marathon. For my shift, I was able to at some point able to pass:
- another RV
- a truck
- a minivan
- a sedan
on the highway :). Wuhahahaha! ...But a RV is really not designed to drive above 70mph. At 75 mph, it was pretty ridicous. For the most part, kept to a nice 65 to 70mph, and all was happy.

So the trek begins... onwards to Yellowstone!

Yellowstone Weekend: Part 0 - The Itinerary / Logistics

So there were 7 of us... and our logistics (as I found out a few days ago):
1) The first triplet...
- Leave work early, and 3 of us (the RV drivers) go meet w/ RV owner at Kenmore (~ 4 hours away)
- Once arrived, get a run-down on the RV from RV owner (~1.5 hrs)
- RV drivers drive around the block so RV owner gets comfortable leaving the recreational vehicle in our capable hands...

2) The second triplet...
- While the above was happening, another 3 will drive up separately and meet up at where RV owner lives to rendezvous with the RV drivers

3) Combining the 2 triplets...
- The 6 of us drive then heads towards Yellowstone in the RV (~13 hour drive), leaving behind the 2 sedans at RV owner's place

4) The single...
- 1 of us is flying into Bozeman?, where he picks up a SUV rental, then will head towards Yellowstone to rendezvous with us

Goal: This was to be completed by Saturday noon-ish, so that we can hit a few sights before the end of Saturday.

- Arriving at noon-ish, set up RV, and make lunch
- Go in SUV and hit a few spots

- Hit yet even more spots

- Hit a few more spots
- Start the trek home, with detours to:
Bozeman?(to drop off SUV at airport rental)
Spokane Car wash (to clean up RV)
Kenmore (to return the TV)
Goal: Reach home by Tuesday morning, hopefully before 10am.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My second course - a progress check.. wtf

The second course of my grad school adventure.

In hindsight, if I had known, should have gone for that 8 day vacation - wouldn't really have missed all that much. What a bummer. That first course made me think that lectures would actually be alright and interesting... but boy does this course remind me of lectures back in undergrad.

Interesting how assignments have 'common' errors show up on the assignments. Is this really a reflection of the individual or of how the class is being taught.. hrmm...

Anyhow, a bit bitter, but onwards I march...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Lil Cous in S.Town

This weekend, my lil cous and aunts and uncle swing by for a day.

Meeting up w/ them on Friday, i take them on a visit to my work place, then we swung into downtown for some food, followed by a visit to the Space Needle.

The next day, waking up bright and early at 10am on Saturday, I swing into downtown and become the tour guide for the day.

The details of the 'Dai Sic Lan' tour....
10:00am - Meet up at starting point (the SAM)
10:15am - Actually starting the downtown tour.. walking around the waterfront and pike's place
11:00am - Stop by and eat some Piroshky's
11:30am - Stop by the famous Chowder place (Uncle 6 ends up ordering 1 each - guess I should have warned him more)
12:05pm - Brazillian Grill Buffet
1:00pm - Say bye bye as they swing back up to Vanc to catch a flight.

Pretty good tour guide = me.. n'est pas? :D

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Will in Seattle - Glass Museum Day

A visitor drops by, and off we go on another adventure. To recap (taking parts out of an email).. hahahaha I can't blog any lazily than this:

- Lucid: Live Jazz and good times overall!
- Went to Imo, great place and lost an imaginary $100 bet! Ahh.. dadadada girl...
- Glass Museum: Saw cute kids designs - which I thought was pretty cool. Also saw some works by this guy called Chihuly (supposedly the same guy who designed the glass ceiling thing at Bellagio). Also saw some $60 mushrooms, and $2000+ waves.
- Someone walks into a pole... hahaha

Ending the night, we chill at a hotel bar... experiencing the life of a consultant.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Boot!

Most noteworthy event of the night:
MIT intern alumni decides to spray the world with his dinner. Pretty nice bartenders - guess they see this scene quite often.

Ah and the boot. The bubble... the bubble!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My first course - complete!

My first course in grad school - complete.

Onwards I march... ... ...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Mad Dash Home

Taking a stroll by the private beach, we took a few pictures and admired the scenery, then proceeded to head back. Started driving at 12:40pm, had lunch at In and Out, and got stuck in traffic at various places.

BJ ended up having to drive like a madman to get me to the airport on time. Tailgating SUVs, cutting back and forth, I arrive With 32 minutes before take off. Was rushing at this point, so couldn't really say goodbye properly, and instead, made a mad dash to the counter to get my boarding pass, to the security checkpoint. Luckily, there were no lines in either of these places, so I was able to get to the gate in 5 minutes - just in time to board. I have to say, this was too close for comfort though - I was rushing so much.

With that, another fun filled weekend in sunny Cali and the end of my first business trip. Thx guys!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Tahoe Ski Day

~5.30am the alarm goes off. 6 people in the room, 1 person responds to it. HHH takes on the task of driving us there, while the rest of us passed out for the most part in the car. I have to say, having only had about 6 hours of sleep in the past 2 nights, these 3 hours of sleep was great. Arriving bright and early at 9.30am, we geared up by the car and then hit the slopes!

The condition at North Star was awesome. Every run we went on was all powder - wasn't icy at all. The view at the top of the mountain was also really breathtaking. The other thing I realized was that turns out that the black diamonds at this resort are equivalent to the blues at Whistler - which meant I actually was able to go on any run at this resort. Towards the end of the day, went on two groomed long black diamond runs. It was really nice to just carve down the hill and feeling the air rushing onto my face. What a great feeling! Great ski day overall. The other cool thing I did this time was try out a few jumps at the terrain park. Never was really into them because I always preferred just the feeling and sound of skiing down a slope, but nevertheless, decided to try it out. To my surprise, it was pretty fun. At the end of the day, I pushed myself a little bit and got quite a bit of air on the jump, but then the landing was far from perfect... lol. My first and last fall of the day.

The Hotel. We get upgraded with HHH's Diamond status to these cottage like rooms that faced Lake Tahoe. This is one perk that is pretty cool I think w/ HHH's job, though I do see how it can be pretty tough to be living at a hotel for 150+ days a year. Everyone was sooo tired, so we ended up having a few hours downtime before we went for dinner. The place we went to was a restaurant doing an American + Japanese fusion. We tried quite a bit from their menu (5 appetizers + 1 main course for each person). The lobster dogs was what sold me to want to try this place (turns out it was bread crusted lobster on a stick with this custom amazing sauce the place made). For main course, I had the duck which was made really well. Overall very nice place - though HHH never did get his steak cooked the right way, and the service was a bit slow.

Returning home, we juggled with a few ideas - Reno, gambling, drinking, chilling. But as we started up our fireplace, all of us ended up passing in and out of consciousness watching the TV. And from the lack of exercise, HHH, BJ and I were sore from the day of skiing - so we just grabbed a beer and chilled at the nice room we got. About the 3rd time I returned from consciousness on the Ottoman, we grabbed a beer and decided to go outside to the bonfire. Nobody else was here except us, so we pulled the chairs in and talked about random stuff. It felt just like old times - what a great feeling!

Then we headed to the casino at the hotel to play some blackjack. Tis was a horrible night where I lost 8 straight hands to start. It goes without saying that the drink I had at the table turned our really really expensive.

After that, played a little friendly poker, only to lose at that too. Originally thinking that I'd have another beer, I hear that the Chivas BJ and HHH brought was going to be tossed away if it wasn't finished - so I made the executive decision of drinking it all :).

I think we finally called it a night a 4am - after HHH and his friend played a see-saw battle of poker games.

Pictures are here

Friday, March 05, 2010

First Business Trip + Return to Sunny Cali

Woke up at 4.30am today to catch a flight. Normally it'd be nothing to blog about, but the purpose of today's trip though was that I am flying because of work! Yes, my first ever 'business' trip - though not really in the sense of meeting clients, it was a trip that was sponsored!

Arriving back in sunny Cali at 8:40am, I then taxi-ed to SVC. Pretty nice campus with pretty cool people. Weather was pretty nice, and seeing parts of the 101 on the way to the campus was pretty nostalgic. At work, I got to meet most of the people that I have been interacting with phone calls / emails - it was pretty neat to see the people in real life! lol. Had planned to do alot of stuff, but I didn't really get to do everything that I wanted to get done this trip - guess I planned too aggressively. Overall, I think it was a successful trip though, and also got to hear some interesting feedback - I guess I will know if this day trip was successful in the next few weeks.

With work aside, then we begin the start of the weekend.

Plan - dinner, club and then next day, ski and casino...

To start and dinner...
With slight delays, we end up not making the original dinner plans, and instead the 4 of us went for food at a Thai restaurant. Before that though, we went to a sports store to rent equipment. Being tired from the lack of sleep, I started off the evening by dinging a car as I opened the door... with the owners of the vehicle right next to us. Ooops... :(. Felt really bad, but all I could really say I was sorry. Thinking back, I wonder what a person should do in those situations... hrm...

Anyway, returning to see our car still in one piece and tires not slashed, onwards to dinner we headed. Bring my bag in with me, one of the waiter spots it and asks what camera is in there. I tell him it's the Rebel and then we talk a little. Turns out he is really into photography, and right now he's playing with 360 degree pictures. He pulls out his iphone and shows me his work, and they were pretty nice. He had taken a picture of the church at the Univ of Standford, and also of the restaurant - in 360 degree! I really hope that one day I can snap pictures that when I show people, it will make people go 'wow'. The food here was pretty good as well - the plating was done really well, like the pineapple fried rice that I ordered for example.

By 10:30ish, we started to head into San Fran. Close to midnight, we arrived at the club and met up with some friends of HHH and BJ. Had to piggyback off some random people to get in. $20 cover, ~$8 drinks, and I have reaffirmed once again that I am getting too old for clubbing. All the pushing and maneuvering, just too much work and effort.

But, one key event was found by looking at the liquor shelf of the lounge. Tonight I was finally able to try the 'champion' tequila again. The tequila that I have reserved a place for in my liquor rack buildout, it has been 5 years since I had last tasted it. To date, I have only seen this bottle when I first bought it in Mexico, and thereafter, no liquor store I've been to (at duty frees, big and small liquor stores) had it. So I was very happy to see it just sitting there, on the shelf. To those not familiar, people here say that Petron is really good - this tequila blows it away. The price is also steeper than Petron, weighing in at the bar at $27 a shot (which I ordered 3 - not all for myself)... Expensive, but worth it :). At the end of the night, I talked with the bartender, and he tells me that it is actually buyable in California, he writes down the name of the store and also the name of the tequila (Clase Azul) - there is now hope I can get it without having to go to Mexico!

Had a nice walk back to the hotel (got lost at one point - turns out we overshot the hotel by 2 blocks).
Got back to the hotel at 3.30 am-ish... to wake up in 2 hours to get ready for skiing the next day up at Tahoe.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canada's Golden!

After finding out Canada beat Slovakia on Friday, Sunday was the USA vs. Canada final. Deciding to cheer my country on, I drove up at 7am so that I would make it to a bar at 12pm to watch the finals USA vs. Canada in the motherland. Even skipped birthday outings to make sure I wake up on time!

Getting to Vancouver at about 9am, it was pretty early for me. But I was pretty excited. So as we drove towards the place we were meeting up at, it was interesting to see that:
- at 9:00am, not many people were on the streets
- at 9:30am, few people wearing red started showing up at the streets
- at 10:00am, people were already lining up to get into bars...

What a sight! So driving to the bar where we'd meet my fellow tourguide, we get there and there's already a line... a really long line of 100+ at least trying to get in. Waited an hour and a half to get in, but it was pretty worth it because there was an insane amount of big screen TVs. Everywhere we'd turn, there'd be a TV. So at this bar we watch the game unfold. It was a fun time at the bar. There was one american fan - who really stood out among the sea of red and white.
Had 5 pitchers? of beer between the 4 of us - fun times all around. It was a nail-biting, but at the end, we saw Crosby score that one decisive goal, giving Team Canada the win!!!!

Tons of honking and yelling, we get to the sky train terminal to swing by downtown. The atomsphere in downtown and everywhere was intense. Tons of honking, high-fiving - Skytrain had carts singing the national anthem and chanting ole ole ole and we are the champion. Downtown was just awesome - tons of people walking around, streets were closed - people in cars high-fiving people walking by. It was a great decision to come up for the final game.

After a few hours of walking around, all tired out, went back up to Richmond to try to have some lil dragon dumplings. Only to find out all the usual places I know were full. So ended up at a Boston Pizza (another great classic place), ate and then drove back.

All tired from waking up early and cheering away, slept pretty early. Goooo Ca-na-da! Yeeeee-ah!

Also found out that Vanc seemed like it was closer - I wonder if they redid some roads - only took a little bit more than 2 hours to get from point A to point B - interesting considering that I was only 4 miles over the speed limit for most of the trip... Hrmm...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Culture Day - Going to a Symphony

Tonight, grabbed a quick bite in I-district and then went to listen to some live music. As part of culture day, we went to see a symphony.

The highlight though was taking the light rail and the bus system here. The light rail station looks like a miniature subway station! The funniest thing I thought was that the dropoff was really shallow.

Seattle is finally becoming a city!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What happened to my freezer?...

Getting home after work, I decided to finally open up the freezer to use the ground beef that's been in there for 2 weeks+. A little rice, some tomatoes + beef, looking forward to a nice meal.

Getting home, try to open up the freezer, only to find the door stuck!? There goes my grand plan... Trying to get it to open .. turn down the freezer temperature, trying to pry it open, looking online for other great tips... half an hour later, I give up and figure I would just call the help number the next day.

Carrying on and making some quick pasta, watched a little TVB, and then voila, freezer opens up again. Guess all it took was to watch some TVB... lol

Interesting thought though, what would happen if the freezer does freeze over. Would a person have to drain the fridge? Hrm...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wine, Macaraoni and Cheese

Note to self:

On its own...
Wine - good
Cheese and Macaroni - good

Together in one pot... Not so good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Courtesy Warning for Running a Red Light...

Apparently a couple weeks ago, a camera decided to snap a few photos of my car.

The system looks pretty cool though. Before and after pic, and the license plate. Pretty neat.

But I think the system forgot to account for the law that you can make a right on red... good thing it was just a warning!

My First Lecture in 2.5 years...

Result: same as 2.5 years ago.

Knocked out within 10 minutes... ... ...aiiiiiiii... hope the camera didn't catch me in the act

After making all that effort to get there too...
Next time, next time I will last the whole lecture!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Random Solicitation Day

So as my first assignment, I had to make a little design and paper, and then get user feedback on it. The requirement was that these users had to be strangers to me, and so our prof suggested we go to a coffee shop and ask people.

So today, I went about doing this. Originally I had lined up a scribe for this activity, but they decided to bail last minute. But needing to get a job done, I grabbed my gear, and went.

Went to the library, Starbucks, and a bbtea shop...

Result: Success! Was alot easier than I thought it'd be. Though I did get one 'No' when I solicited a person, 3/4 ain't too bad. It's all about watching facial expressions and gauging their level of boredness with their current task. hahahaha.

I think with this course, I probably have to do this again in the near future. So my random adventures continues... ... ...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And So It Begins.... 6 hours of reading later.... still reading

Life of a student:
1) Procrastination and more procrastination... ... ...
2) Reading reading reading...

The good thing though - at least most of the content so far is semi-interesting.

Reading continues ...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mson's Bus Adventure + Revisiting the Academic Life

Arriving back last night after a 2 hour flight delay, today I officially restarted my academic life, pursuing a Master's degree. The course seems pretty interesting, but getting to the class today itself was more interesting...

The sequence of events
Knowing that the traffic will be crappy, I decided to try out the bus system for the first time. Printed out some bus routes and all, I went about to the bus station. As I park, I see the bus number I want to go on just arriving, so I started walking towards it, only to see it drive away. $#*()&#$... ga... But tis ok, since it comes every 15 minutes anyway. Here I stand, thinking how lucky I am that the bus drove by, because now I know where the bus station was (the bus station was actually right along the highway - cool eh?)

So bus comes, I get on, only after 30 seconds in it did I realize that I got on the right bus number.... but wrong direction! lol. So yes, I just wasted almost 15 minutes of my life waiting for a bus that I shouldn't even be on - suddenly I don't feel so lucky anymore... ... ...

Getting off at the next stop, I go back to the correct bus station in the right direction, and off I go! The bus ride itself, once I am on it, was pretty smooth. I get off a the right location, and having missed the original connecting bus, with 15 minutes left before class started, I soldiered it up and walked towards the building.

Getting to the building 2 minutes late, here I thought 'awesome, I am here'. So I go into the room I thought the lecture was at, sat down quietly to not disturb the class. Noticed a few things here...
1) Really nice lecture room and not the usual dungeon or crabby tables -- didn't think much of it... guess UWash is well funded
2) The table by the door had a bunch of something about 'law' on it -- probably some class before left them there
3) Prof not making sense -- happens all the time right?
4) Alot of females in the class ?!?!
Hrm.. as I confirmed point #4 after putting on my glasses, I then double checked the lecture room that I was suppose to be in.. And lo and behold, I was in the wrong lecture room! Confirming w/ the nice lady next to me that I was indeed in the wrong class, I then hunted down the room I was suppose to be in.
(FYI: The class turned out to be Environmental Law - seemed like an interesting class)

So with that, I finally arrive... 15 minutes late to my first lecture in 2.5 years.

The return trip was much less eventful. Overall, the bus experience wasn't really too bad. Would probably not mind doing it again if I had to.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Xmas Holidays in a Nutshell

Back after almost 3 weeks. The past 3 weeks was pretty nice. Ate lots, drank lots, saw some people that I haven't seen for years! Took a more relaxed approach this time around, and tried to find some time for myself and stay home more. Turned out nicely because I wasn't as exhausted as I usually am after trying to do EVERYTHING while I am back :D AND I was able to swing by the AGO!

As always, every time I return to TO, things always seem a little bit different than the last time. This time was no different.
The feeling this time I guess can be described as 'distant'. Not distant in the sense that the people I know and I have started to feel distant, but more that it doesn't seem like I am part of the city anymore. But I guess that's with good reason, since I am really only back there 30 days at the most a year.

Come to think, in another couple years, things will have changed quite a bit more, people will shuffle around more, lives will have continued to move on, and what I remember and cherished of TO will start become a sweet memory.

Well, I guess vacations are always nice :).