Thursday, August 30, 2007

Take me out to the Ballgame

Take me out to the fire? Today was supposed to be the company Astros game. Dynegy bought out this huge section of tickets and we were all supposed to leave at 12 noon to go to the game. We did a password change on our main production server last night, simple right? Nope, some morons who wrote the reports decided to hardcode in the passwords because apparently, passwords NEVER change. Long story short, about 90% of the reports (~320) stopped working and our team has to spend rest of day removing all of the hardcoded passwords while the rest of the office heads out to the game. Woot!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Veg Out 2 Final

Day 5: Monday
Relaxed for the first half of the day and ate the leftovers from SiChuan and Purple Dot for lunch. We then went out to the Locks to observe some of the history of Seattle, however, we also learned some intimate details about the migratory habits of salmon. Normally, salmon have to jump out of the water upstream in order to reach their spawning grounds. Apparently, these domesticated salmon have grown lazy and are now spoiled by a series of fish ladders that serve as an escalator of sorts to help the salmon reach the top.
After a dinner of Korean BBQ with Snoopy, our newly dubbed "Asian Persuasion" team participated in Trivia night at a local Irish/Cajun Pub. The categories ranged form Tom Hanks to animals that start with "I" (I'll never forget Night of the Iguana for sure...). I swear "Who killed Grandma" is just a synonym for "The Ladykillers!!!" They even had a question about the song "Me and Bobby McGee," a song that we NEVER EVER sang but just so happened to be on Karaoke Revolution. I remember BluPnuMM making some snide remark when she got that song for her random last performance during a knockout round. Can't believe that came back to haunt us. Asian Persuasion sadly came in second to last. Some guy played a one man team and got last place JUST to deny us of our $1 pitcher of beer.

Overall Veg Out II was an awesome experience. We even managed to plan out Veg Out III. A New Years rendezvous in Whistler, BC, CAN for some skiing. This time round, Grapes, mysteriously absent from Veg Outs I and II, will be joining us as well as Catnipped's friend Snoopy.

Veg Out 2 Cont.

Day 3: Saturday
Saturday started with our going on the Experience Music Project (EMP). They had special stations where you could learn to play different instruments, mix in your own effects, and even create your own music CD. My awesome hip-hop version of Chopsticks will surely live forever in the annals of music history. They also had this exhibit where you pretend that you are a band and played on stage in front of a huge audience. Our song of choice was Wild Thing. I feel we roxxored their boxxors and made the $60 admission fee well worth it for the audience. After a quick lunch of mostly fish and chips, we made our way back to PAX for Lemon's Guitar Hero 2 tournament. Apparently, this tournament was huge as they probably had 225 people signed up to play in it. Lemon had to wait in a huge long line just to play. While Lemon waited, the rest of us decided to check out some more of the booths in the exhibition hall. I had a small run-in with a lady at the American Army booth, so we decided to wait in the Rock Band line to get a shot at playing on stage. We were almost at the end of the line when we got a call from Lemon saying he was knocked out of the tournament. This ended up being a good thing, as without Lemon, our performance would have been lackluster at best. Our rendition of Wanted: Dead or Alive was so awesome that we got the entire crowd singing along! This is mostly because Lemon was totally awesome and carried the whole band with his singing!! After our second performance of the day, they Veggie crew took in some random PC free-play (World in Conflict seems really fun) and also learned that the BF2 team that had beaten us the previous night came in second place. After Lemon owned us all at Castle Crashers and took our Axes AND the Princess, we retired from PAX to have dinner at Z'Tejas. This place has the best corn bread and I think our entire dinner consisted of 3 appetizers and about 4 whole cornbread cakes. I actually ordered a fifth one just to take home! I think there was also some wailing to Karaoke Revolution afterwards, leading to no sleep for the neighbors, I am sure.

Day 4: Sunday
Today was a relax day. In the morning, we played some 2v3 tennis. Lemon seemed to have a strange affinity for the tennis ball as no matter where he stood, the ball just had a knack of finding him. Afterwards, we had lunch at a SiChuan Chinese place specializing in spicy cuisine. We ordered 4 spicy dishes at medium spice, and 1 non-spicy vegetable dish. Even at medium, the food still required the consumption of massive amounts of rice to drown out the spiciness. The food was very good although we ended up with a lot of leftovers again. After lunch, there was a visit to Sees Candies where jOrange picked up some boxed chocolates, and both Catnipped and Kira joined the "Dark Side." jOrange had to leave to go back home later in the afternoon.
Later that night, we hosted a poker night since Lemon had brought a nice poker set with real ceramic chips and all. Catnipped invited 3 of her friends to join but one of them had to work because deadlines were coming up. Min's friend, Snoopy, was incredibly lucky thanks to a fortune cookie that said something like "Good fortune will find you, a promotion will follow." She was absolutely ruthless and after proclaiming to Catnipped that she "helped her with everything," she took all of Catnipped's chips! Yes...helped myself to her chips is more like it! It was just downhill from there as the Veggies were knocked out one after another with Lemon making a valiant last stand.

Veg Out 2

Veg Out 2 was awesome. We did a smorgasbord of different activities and had a great time.

Day 1: Thursday
Today, Kira and I flew into Seattle. Lemon and Jorange went camping earlier and so were already at Catnipped's house. After a conveyor sushi lunch, we proceeded to the Underground Tour and Pike's Fish Market. It didn't really seem like many people were actually buying fish; rather, they were all doing touristy things. One rogue crawfish managed to give his own rendition of Homeward Bound, but he was quickly snatched up by a worker and returned to the holding pen. Dinner was at Saltys, a pretty upscale seafood restaurant with an awesome view. The waiter there seemed not so attentive and tried to mask his ineptitude by giving a long, bloated description of what they had on the menu even though by this time, we had all made our choices. I also almost choked to death on a seed in the lemonade. Good times!

Day 2: Friday
First day of PAX! Catnipped had to drop off M at the airport. M was evicted by Catnipped for the weekend so there would be enough space around the house for us to board. Afterwards, we hurried to PAX. We caught a quick lunch at Subway and picked up our PAX gift bags. Our first order of duty afterwards was to sign up for the two tournaments we would partake in: 6v6 Battlefield 2 and Guitar Hero 2 solo play. Guitar Hero 2 was done very easily as they started the console sign-ups about 15 min before they opened the doors to the public. The PC sign-up proved much more difficult because for some reason, we had to gain entrance to PAX first before we could sign up. We eventually had to wait in the LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG line of about 30,000 people to get into PAX. The theme of PAX seemed to be waiting in line as most of the good booths/panels had huge long lines. The sign-up for the BF2 tournament required full 6-member teams but we only had 4. Luckily, we found two people who were also looking to participate (Thank you Mike and Brian!) and signed up with them as Team Um... We were able to sign up for our tournament, take in a bit of the exhibition hall, check out the keynote speaker, and take in the Tycho/Gabe panel. The keynote speaker was Wil Wheaton and he had an amazing speech that got the whole crowd of about 8,000 people cheering. We wanted to get some pizza for dinner, but because of the vast amount of people, the restaurant had no pizza left by the time we were in line. Luckily, there was a little cafe around the corner with some fresh sandwiches. The time for the BF2 tournament came around and after a delay of about 1.5 hours to get everyone situated and Ventrilo working, the tournament finally started. The first map up was 16-player Dragon Valley After an intense first battle with our first opponent (W17-0), we completely steamrolled them the second game (W81-0). Second map was 16-player Dalian plant. This totally sucked for us as we ran into the team that had won the event the past 2 years AND we had no reliable chopper team. We lost both games rather embarrassingly without even pushing them the slightest bit. However, we can extrapolate and say that since we made the semi-quarter finals, we were at least better than half the people in the whole world at BF2!!
The day ended with our dining at a Chinese restaurant called Purple Dot. Catnipped referred to this place as having a picture of "Yoshi" on the front although it looked nothing like it. They gave out rather large portions, and we had a huge amount of leftovers. All in all, a great day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Lots of cool information on Claymore on wiki. There are some spoilers revealed on what happens during the northern expedition and stuff as well as background on the abyssal ones.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Best Place Evah!!!

Today saw the demonstration of Accenture's 6 core values. The presenters today were a lot more energetic than the ones yesterday, and there were many more group activities which made the day pass by much faster. The first presenter set the stage by going over One Global Network and explained how he has worked at many places including Da Lian. Ahh, the joys of Dalian Plant in BF2. So many tanks, annoying jets, helicopters...a great place for infantry. That set the tone for the rest of the day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Accenture is the Best Place

Today was the first day of Accenture Orientation. I went in with the sense that perhaps there would be some corporate coercion afoot but I wasn't fully prepared for it all. First sign was that all the books and periodicals available for reading in the waiting room were all Accenturefied. They had the annotated history of Accenture, Accenture stock reports, and some other magazines. I finally see a copy of Newsweek, ah, something pure. But I notice that the cover is conveniently covered up by a special Accenture cover featuring Tiger Woods. I flip through it and every other page was an ad for Accenture. The orientation lady came in and I halfway expected her to ask "So, How Awesome is Accenture??"

We went into the conference room and they started going over all the important stuff like the history of Accenture and how awesome the founders were followed by a description of Accenture's Vision and Mission. It would have been all over for me, except I noticed the presenter's name was Hyman! Instantly I started thinking about BF2 and assaulting the TV station on Sharqi Peninsula with the overpowered MEC chopper. Ahh, good old BF2, you came through again!

The rest of the day passed by with various presentations on benefits/PTO/401K/Business Ethics. The ethics part was the best as they presented us with several ludicrously easy scenarios to discuss. I suggested taking the bribe, double charging the plane ticket, and making illegal stock transactions but was shouted down by my fellow coworkers. Obviously, they need to play more BF2!!!!

Overall, Accenture seems like a very good company to work at and despite the sarcastic post, I think it's a good fit.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Resistance is Futile

So, checked out Facebook today out of curiosity. Big mistake....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The world is doomed


I don't get it, I even farted on the plane!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


At my old company, there was no such thing as office politics or office drama because well...there were only 5 people there in total. My team here already has 8 people and another 5 or 6 supporting people. Recently, we got two new people. The first one is a ex-marine who tells all kinds of stories about his time travelling in multiple different countries. For instance, he told us about his travels in Nigeria with his own roving band of bodyguards.

These Nigerian bodyguards were merciless. Supposedly, once when he was stuck in traffic, his bodyguards got out, ran to the front to see what the problem was, and very soon after, traffic was moving quickly again. How did they get the traffic moving? According to the marine, they had went to the front, found out who was causing it, shot the people responsible, then directed the traffic to get it moving again. Also, arguments don't end until one of the parties is dead. That's how they settled things in Nigeria. He was also showing us videos of this minigun mount on the back of a suburban. Just imagine how much less annoying morning rush hour would be.

The second guy is totally different. He's just this normal guy, mostly an intellectual and not at all as outspoken as the ex-marine. These two have basically by jostling all week and sizing each other up. Office drama, here we come!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Office Birthdays Part: 2

Today was the monthly birthday celebration here. Remember that last time, it was pretty cheesy with only a handful of people showing up to get some pretzels. Well, this time, the head HR person decided that instead of providing the food, they would hold a dessert taste-off. Basically, anyone who wanted to enter would bring their favorite dessert to share while 3 mysterious judges would decide on who wins. The first thought in my mind was, dang, they are so cheap, instead of providing the food for the birthday, they will just make the office people bring in food in the disguise of some contest.

2 o'clock rolled around and I head to the room not really expecting to be surprised. Well...I was totally surprised. There were SOOOO many yummy dessert things on display. From bite-sized chocolates, to custard pie, to strawberry cheesecake, to this strange cottage cheese mix, everything was home made! There were enough desserts to fill up an entire conference table. HR provided some default chocolate cake and some rice crispies squares just in case no one brought anything. My personal favorite has to be the bite sized pretzels. They had a little bit of caramel used to hold a chocolate covered pecan in place on the pretzel. The biggest question running through my head was, how would Faalena's cookies stack up to these others?? I have tasted the rest, but the taste of the cookies seem to be fading from my mind. I think I need a refresher!! Shameless attempt to extort some cookies!!!

Update: Seems like the chocolate cheesecake was the winner. The pretzel things (known as Poor man's Turtle) was a runner up.

Back to China

Dropped Mom off at airport this morning. She's off to China for a while then probably back to the US to go job hunting again. Yesterday evening, we went to eat at the local Razoo's Cajun kitchen. The food was good, but nothing specifically extraordinary until dessert. Normally, I never order dessert, but this time, I had to try their "Zydeco Dancer." This thing was possibly the most awesome dessert I have ever tried. It's like strawberry cheesecake, but served on a graham cracker/walnut bedding. It wasn't thick cheesecake filling either, it was fairly light and fluffy. Except for the fact that it was probably about 1000000000000000000000000 calories, It was perfect.

In other random news, I read an article this morning about this Spanish bank robber who thinks of himself like Robin Hood. He's fighting back against the evil corporate institution that is banking and was about to start attacking insurance agencies too. Sounds good? Well the little footnote at the end says "Citing police, Spanish media reported he kept the money he stole, depositing it in several different bank accounts." Ummm, so he's stealing money from banks, just to redeposit them into banks?...It's like stealing friendly engineer's mines and placing them in the exact same spot just so you get the kills instead of the other engineer!!! So Noble.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I can totally see Eastwood with this!!

Just imagine Clint pointing a pistol at some bandit, pulling the trigger, then puffing on his electronic nicotine atomizer. What's amusing is this thing even has a red LED at the end to give the illusion that the person is actually smoking. What's next? E-drinking maybe?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New BF2 Map

EA has just announced a new expansion map for BF2. Set in the African savanna, this map features all 3 factions battling for dominance: Battle at Kruger. The US War machine, having righteous cause, has thundered it's way down to Africa to liberate the oil fields of Nigeria. Unfortunately, because South Africa had the word Africa, Bush sent the USMC advance force there. MEC and PLA have no idea how they ended up there, but thanks to large bags of "laundry" from EA, they have decided to stay and fight. This map also features all new artwork done with facelifts to all three original factions.

Lion: USMC
Water Buffalo: PLA
Crocodile: MEC

Why Spec Ops rule!

Ahh, Spec Ops, those sneaky, annoying, beret-wearing, little bundles of death and destruction. They get an amazing gun, grenades, anti-armor capabilities all in 1 package!! But what makes them unique is C4. Sure, they can use it to blow up stuff, but there are far more important usages of C4. For instance: "Because C-4 burns slowly if simply ignited with a flame, rather than detonated with a primary explosive, soldiers would sometimes use small amounts of C-4 as a fuel for heating rations "

This is totally awesome, airfield going down, but hunger pangs getting to ya? Just whip out some C4, shoot down a few coconuts and have a BBQ.

Have you ever had one of those days where you JUST don't want to go to work? Well, never fear because: "a soldier would occasionally ingest C-4 ... in order to be sent on sick leave." Everyone would have C4 around just for doing this.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Why Hollywood...WHY THE HELL ARE YOU MESSING WITH THE CLASSICS!!!! Before they totally destroy the legacy that is this movie, watch it here on Youtube.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Growing VGI Family

Our nightly adventures of BF2 have attracted the interest of another lost soul in search of ruthlessly slaughter! Lemon's roommate recently ordered the Deluxe version of BF2 and will hopefully join us soon on the fields of battle. Lemon is tremendously awesome at coming up with names. He can now add TheDragOnfruitS to his list of creations along with eLemonator and jOrange. Pspmator will be in Guyana for a year so DOS's arrival is at an opportune time.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A minor Skirmish

After surviving a fierce barrage of Myspace and Runescape, I have managed to reclaim the computer. Scans only revealed 2 tracking cookies so my computer has survived relatively unscathed from this experience. While I would like to claim that I fiercely defeated the oppressors and freed my machine at the end, what really happened was they simply go home to Nigeria. Kinda like in BF2 when you shoot at a plane with IGLAs and claim victory as it flies actually left because it was out of ammo.

Well, I was a little bit too hasty in my assessment that my computer was unscathed. It seems something DID get on it although it didn't really infect my system. Friday night, my Norton started detecting this program: w32.sillyfdc, that was trying to execute a .exe in one of my temporary internet file directories. With Catnipped's help, I went through a whole long list of instructions on how to remove this worm. After 3 hours, I finally figured out that the virus hadn't actually infected my system yet. It was just that temporary file that needed to be deleted. A quick restart in safe mode, a quick delete, and my computer is healthy again. +2 revive points, with +1 assist to Catnipped.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Chipotle 2: Burrito Combat

After many months of hearing how amazing this Chipotle place was, I finally had a chance to go today. There were many previous failed attempts caused mostly by the unwillingness of my coworkers to walk about 1/2 mile to the location. I had heard many stories about the fabled "Chipotle Burrito" and was quite eager to see how my encounter with it would go. I went with the chicken fajita burrito with no beans. This burrito truly is massive in size, and tasted pretty good. Next time, I think I will skip out on the guacamole as the taste of it was a bit too strong. Overall, Chipotle was a great experience. While the burrito there is definitely good, it didn't really present itself as unique outside of it's size. It could be the fact that good Mexican restaurants are in ample supply in Houston.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

They won the battle, I won the war..sorta

After surviving a fierce barrage of Myspace and Runescape, I have managed to reclaim the computer. Scans only revealed 2 tracking cookies so my computer has survived relatively unscathed from this experience. While I would like to claim that I fiercely defeated the oppressors and freed my machine at the end, what really happened was they simply go home to Nigeria. Kinda like in BF2 when you shoot at a plane with IGLAs and claim victory as it flies actually left because it was out of ammo.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The only sure thing in life

The house guests are finally leaving today, thereby leaving my computer in peace. While this is a semi-joyous occasion, there is also a great bit of sadness mixed in.

Last night, I received a phone call from my uncle in China telling me that my grandmother had passed away that morning. She went peacefully and without much suffering so there is solace in that. She was actually the one who raised me until I was 2 and 1/2 years old in Shanghai. Even though because of medical malpractice she was confined to a walker/wheelchair for almost half her life, she remained a very strong and kind woman, never becoming one of those old, bitter, grouchy hags. Because of the time differences, she actually passed away on the morning of 8/1 which is a bit chilling as this is exactly around the same time my father passed away.