Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ankle Resprained... .. .

When I played soccer last week, I was going pretty easy, and since there was no pain, thought today I could take it up a notch. Still cautious, but then as I am playing defense, I for a moment forgot that I shouldn't use my right all that much. Oops. Result: Resprained :( .... ahhh...

All this week will be - ice, ice, ice. Will nurse the ankle like it's a baby. Hopefully it heals enough for Sedona this weekend.

Monitoring it closely...

Random Redmond Town Center Visit

Random Trip to REI to buy random things today. Turns out RTC had booths setup for a sidewalk sale.

The coolest one must be these dancing animals... heh heh heh...

Ahh RTC... always a joy to go.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mashiko Revisited...

12 Course omakase.. for $60. This time, with pictures!

1. Geoduck with Scallop sashimi on lemon with some sauce
2. Kunimoto Oysters (only shell shown cuz we ate it all before I remembered to snap a picture)

3. One of the fish of the day - Spearfish sashimi in some sauce
4. Fresh Baby Shrimp with Tomaotes

5. Clams on half shell
6. Tuna Poke (seaweed + raw tuna)

7. 4 Piece Nigiri - Spearfish, Albacore Toro, White King Salmon.. and I forgot the last fish now (the one with a red skin shown... it was not one that is normally served)
8. Mackerel Nigiri with Salmon Roe (there was a lot of rice on this one - we figure they were trying to stuff us full... hahaha)

9. Spearfish Tempura in some sauce I don't remember what it was
10. Tuna Bloodline (aka blood jello) - pretty interesting. Tasted like beef, totally not what I would have expected.

11. Clams in Claypot
12. Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream

Note to self: If I go next time, get also their full names and sauces (and of course, pictures)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

AC is on!

AC is on!... ahhh.. life is sweet.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reflection: To be able to win against 100 people.. or 1 really strong person?

A quick thought...

I had always been thinking that being able to win against 100 is the way to go. It's a different tactic I think, 100 vs. 1. But lately, I think being good in everyone's eyes... is that really better than being good in that one person's eye. Hrmm...

In other news, happy 4 years to me!

Spec Spec Spec

Spec spec spec... Word decides to crash on me whenever I do copy/paste, sharepoint decides to eat my documents up. But solider Mson marches forward... spec spec spec...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Seattle Works - Gardening in the Rain

So today was the second of the volunteering sessions for this quarter with the Beer-View Mirrors.

This time we would be going to help out at a community orchard to help build out the orchard. From making bean tepees from bamboo poles, creating a new garden to take advantage of ground and metal shipping container heat, planting edible vegetables, to making the field pretty, we did it all!

Pretty worthwhile cause because most of the proceeds do end up going back to the community, and the lady that debriefed us was pretty enthusiastic about the whole thing.

For my part, I did some sh*t tossing (literally) and alot of planting. Learned how to plant perenials today. Thinking back, I am impressed in how mom used to do this tirelessly each year - it's alot of work.

So the 10+ of us worked through the rain, and in record time, completed beyond expectations of what they hoped for us to achieve.... Yes, we rock! Definitely though it would have made the experience that much more fun if it was sunny.

Afterwards, onwards to the usual happy hour to warm up near a nice fireplace with some ginormous pizzas right across from Mashiko's. Seeing it just made me want to go back for the omakase even more.

Heading home, I spend literally 15 minutes trying to rinse the gloves I used from the dirt that accumulated in my planting and digging. After like 1000+ rinses, I would say it still was brown and dirty and oozing with dirt. If they weren't what I thought was nice gloves, I would have just gave up on them and tossed them out. So continue on they will stay in my bathtub and let time clean it up (and no, definitely not going in the washer - pretty sure it will destroy my washer since it only has a low, medium, or high for soil... these gloves are in the 'landfill' site soil level)... .. .

Friday, June 17, 2011

Soldier Trip - SVC Day Trip

Day trip to SVC. Another soldier trip of fly in early, full day of meetings, then extradite myself back out all on the same day.

As always, had my breakfast of champions at Sea-Tac, then had a great filling lunch that had steak, rib, and chicken.. .Mmmm... so good.

Learned quite a bit this trip, which would help greatly in the specs I need to write. The other cool thing was that I tried out online check-in and used my phone to pass security. That was pretty cool and conveninent. Data phones are aweeesome!

After the flight back in, met up for some sushi. Was originally going to go out after, but was too exhausted and so just went back home and called a night - resting up for volunteering the next day.

The restaurant was alright, not spectacular, will post an entry for this place on the sushi blog... eventually... hahaha.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Flight Booking - Gaaaa!

So today, I try to finalize my plane booking. But massive fail!
Orbitz seem to have gone down, try to book train tickets and the site was being g*y... Bahhhhh!

Guess I will try again over the weekend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My First 4.0

So after almost failing my last course, today I check my marks for last term and lo and behold... my first 4.0! Woohoo!

... :) Reimbursements here I come!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weird Day... Watching My Health...

Woke up this morning feeling Today marks the last day of my 2 week holiday in My bro and his wife! (1st time calling her that) came by and off we went for dim sum.

The weirdest part of the day was right before dim sum, I got my lazy self off the couch and whoosh, my heart started pounding real fast and it wouldn't be 2 hours later that it would return to normal. As part of this, my head started pounding and I was all clammy and sweaty - wasn't a good experience at all. Soldier me carried through lunch though, but if it wasn't for this not being the first time, I swear I had symptoms of a small heart Guess I am getting old.

Anyhow, being all recovered by the time I went to the airport, back to work I go tomolo...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hermie's Wedding! (Pretty Long Post)

A late night finalizing logistics, this morning was the day Hermie gets hitched.
Pretty fun times the whole day!

1. The entourage assembles
To door crash the brides' home, the entourage assembled at our place. Started off with some coffee, then lead the entourage to the scotch table I had assembled the day before for this morning's wake up beverage. Balvenie 21 Years, Blue Label, Nadura were among the choices. So after all had a drink to freshen up, off we went!

2. Heading to Old Mills, presetup
With a stretched limo that had no AC, we headed towards the home. Not much games played, Hermie handled them all himself - so I guess he got off easy.

Having extracted the bride, we now make our way downtown. Arriving at Old Mills in style, we take some pictures of us coming out of the car, then off we went to setting up the various things. Things went pretty smoothly, and by an hour or so, every vendor were briefed (there was a pretty agenda Hermie came up with), the entourage had finished helped setup the table cards and chair to be 138 instead of 140 (so two people had to stand at the reception, haha), and we all happily down beers in preparation for the tea ceremony.

3. Tea Ceremony
... the picture says it all :)

4. The Wedding Itself
Infinitesimal... that was a weird word... haha. But nevertheless, it was a good vow from Hermie and did make the speech memorable. Though I have to say, I liked my sister-in-law's speech alot more... hahaha. The cool part was that I also got to sign the marriage certificate (which I wasn't expecting, nor do I know if what I signed was indeed the marriage certificate). But either way, that was pretty cool.

On another note, as I was listening, I thought it was intriguing that including ex-Seattle's buddy vows, both these vows talk about the reasons that they are marrying one another... and I go, hrm... isn't that what I have always had. More on this though another day.

5. The photo taking session after the wedding...
This was the tough part of the wedding. Honorary best man, with his trusty sidekicks, would need to pull off the feat of arranging the groups for 50+ photos. The requirement to stay on time would meant that it needs to go very smoothly. When the photographer saw the list, they went... hrm... it's not the largest they've seen, but not the smallest either. But since it's Hermie's wedding, so it is written, so it shall be done!

Sister-in-law's friend and PHD-to-be cousin were pretty awesome here, marhsalling and organizing the folks while I row called the guests to the patio. Tres efficient, the list of 50+ photos... all done within an hour or so, exceeding all expectations!!!

With that, the tough part of my day is completed... wuhahaha, on to the boozing!

6. The Best Man's Toast
So now came the toast that as honorary best man, I was to make. Having not done much to prepare for the wedding, this was the piece I figure I should nail. From the sounds of it, looks like it went well. Maybe one day I will post what I wrote, so I don't forget it (or I wonder if it was taped, and I can see how it went from the other side of the podium).

7. The Piano and the Song
As part of the surprise, Hermie would play a song live to sister-in-law. Now the surprise part was that she was completely oblivious to this. Not even the bridesmaid knew about this secret mission. There were only a couple who knew the full details, with a few others knowing the pieces here and there. At the debrief, honorary best man had worked with the DJ and Matire'D on the logistics (well, mostly the DJ and Matire'D), so the only part left is the execution.

Bridesmaid was pretty awesome here. Having only been briefed on the plan as the plan was unfolding (aka, as the piano started rolling out), we devised a plan to add more randomness/chaos to distract sister-in-law's attention.

So to help with the situation, we orchestrated an on the fly smoke screen, to give Hermie time to scoot across to the other side of the hall to the piano. So after the cake cutting ended, I had already moved into position by occupying her chair and pretending to not know where to move around while bridesmaid small talked with her, the smokescreen was in progress. It was a half-baked plan, almost foiled by my own brother... lol. But it did the job once Hermie I think realized what might be going on. To seal the deal, when sister-in-law wanted to go to the rest room. Both me and the Bridesmaid unanimously said 'Nope. You are not going'... hahaha. I can still remember the surprised look sister-in-law had on her face when we said that.

So as this conversation was going on, like all others, Sister-in-law didn't notice the piano coming out, just like the 'selective attention test with the gorilla'. I guess the different part was that no one was actually paying attention to the back of the room because everyone was focused on the cake cutting, except the photographers and videographer who knew that right after the cake cutting, they would need to be near the other side of the room.

It was not until the DJ started to introduce Hermie at the piano, that everyone turned and went.. woah - when did that happen.

Decoy Mission Complete!

The other funny quote:
DJ: Herman will now play Anna's favorite song.
[Piano starts, Hermie plays the famous wedding song]
A: That's not my favorite song.
[Piano playing continues for a few more bars, now transitions into Bruno Mars, sister-in-law now listens intently to every word... cuz it is her favorite song!].

It was pretty well played and sung - much better than the practice sessions... hahaha. But with such a strong performance, the comment one of Hermie's friend said captures it the best - "[You] just raised the bar for all guys getting married"... or to put it another way, all the guys were like wtf, while all the girls were like awwwwww.

This performance will be a hard one to top... .. .

Heh heh heh - Mission Complete!

8. Fun Afternight
As the final dances progressed, me and bridesmaid devise another adhoc plan of getting a celebratory shot to fill in the timing gap between leading on the parents and guests to the dance floor. It worked out perfectly and seemed all too natural. This was how good the night went. No major blips at all (or at least I could tell. hahaha). So with my honorary best man duties were officially ending, after a round of bringing all the folks to the dance floor, my job was complete and it was time to loosen my tie. That shirt and tie was basically choking me the whole night, so boy was I glad to be rid of it. Next time I wear a tux or formal wear, I will highly be debating whether I buy a shirt that fits me perfectly + cuff links + buttons, or go through another choking ordeal. Not to mention the tie wasn't really fitting anyway (silly elastic band ties - they never really work well).

But after loosening up, Phd-to-be cousin mention that I should button my shirt up, so instead of doing that, I decide to moon her instead... wuhaha. Now shortly after, being the awesome uncle, I cover myself up when taking pics with my baby niece... heh heh heh. What a responsible uncle!

Closing out the tabs with the photographer and taking care of a few things moving around, it was just a good wholesome drinking and dancing fun. Below is a never seen PG13 shot captured on my phone in one of the shot rounds:

Pretty eerie, but I sorta like the effect, as agreed with one of the entourage members.

With last call looming, bartender + Matire'D line up for us another few rounds, then with the majority of the remaining folks intoxicated... the responsible ones took the respective folks home.

What a fun day overall! Congrats Hermie and Anna!

Pictures taken with my camera (big thanks to Phd-to-be Cousin and Cousin's Fiancee) are here:
6/12, at Home
6/12, at Old Mills

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hair Combing Ceremony

So after dinner, it was the hair combing ceremony. Too many funny vidoes and good times here. I am so glad we had a bunch of cameras and a bunch of people all taking picturs.

It was a hilarious sight - with permission, one day I will post it on my blog... hahaha. But for now, will just have to trust that it was just a hilarious and fun-filled hour!

Weddings and Dinners - Part II

Having only drank half the Ballantine from the cup, it was time to go to the family dinner... responsible = Me! :)

Arrived a little bit early, went next door to the No Frills. With my suit, got some funny looks as I strolled through the aisles looking for my souvenirs.

Anyhow, having killed some time, I walk in to the restaurant and after a dew minutes, everyone was here! Played around with the camera, took tons of pictures, opened bottle after bottle of wine, and there were lots of food!

Mom and dad looked really happy, not to mention Hermie looked like he was on Cloud 9 too!

What a great day - and tomolo can only get better!

Weddings and Dinners - Part I

Today ex-Seattle buddy and VIP bbtea buddy were both getting married! Congrats to both of them. On this same fine day, it was also family dinner night. Busy day!

Wasn't able to go to VIP bbtea buddy's wedding, but I was able to make ex-Seattle buddy's and got to see a bunch of people I haven't seen in years! It was really nice to see them and it was fun catching up. Also thought it was pretty cute that there was ex-Seattle buddy's personality sprinkled throughout the wedding like the confetti and bubbles, serving peking duck and sushi during the reception, even the unplanned last minute change from outdoor to tented wedding walk (which I personally think it looked nicer than the outdoor one. All made it her wedding!

Was definitely glad I was able to make at least part of the wedding - really nice that though I didn't have a chance to talk, I was for once able to see some people more than once in my semi-annual trips. It'd be great to meet up more than once, but time and distance is against me here. Oh well, all I can do is make the most out of it I guess...

After a little bit, it was time to say goodbye to bride and head off for the family dinner. Wasn't able to say goodbye to everyone I wanted to in person, hopefully I will see them again soon!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Final Tux Fitting Day

So the week passed by really quickly actually. In the blink of an eye, there was only a couple days before the my bro's big day. This morning I would go for my final fitting for my tux...

So the week before, we went to try on suits, they measured us, jotted down the numbers, etc. etc. So today, it was suppose to try on these items, pay, and go. But instead, every item that was tried basically needed to be changed.

The week before:
Transition phase:
Transformation Complete!

Changes include: the shirt, tie, pants, and vest. The only thing that was kept was the jacket, and shoes.

Makes me wonder why the standard procedure is to go for an initial, then a final fitting. Seems like might as well just go for one.

The other thing I learned today. Tux pants = dress pants with racing stripes. If ex-Seattle buddy didn't tell me that there was a difference a couple days before, I would have never noticed.

And with that, another task complete!