Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Living Color

Continuing with the overhaul of our house, PP and I have decided to add a little color to the walls with different pain schemes. So far, we have decided on the colors for the living area, bedroom, and guest bedrooms. The computer room however, continues to elude us. What would be a good color for a computer room? We are thinking rice colored on black furniture so far.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Your IKEA furniture crafting skill went up 100 points!

PP and I had been shopping for a new bed and finally decided on a SULTAN sleep set from IKEA. I really wanted to try a memory foam mattress but the $5000 price tag for the Tempur-pedic was not exactly a thrifty proposition. By chance, we went to IKEA to look for some other furniture and they had this SULTAN memory foam mattress. I tried it out for around 30 minutes and it felt just as comfortable as the Tempur-pedic. The best part was the price tag was $4000 lower!

The nice part about IKEA stuff is that most of it is designed to be space-saving and this bed set was no different. The box frame/stand for the mattress also served as a storage unit for blankets and other stuff as well, thereby freeing up a lot of closet space. The only thing annoying about IKEA furniture is that most of it requires assembly. While they provide all the necessary components, most of it is not very ergonomically designed..actually I would go so far as to say most of it was designed by a band of evil geniuses to ensure the maximum amount of non-life threatening injuries while putting together the furniture.

First, the tools they give are way too small and concentrates all the pressure on a very small area of the hand. This is fine for a few odd screws on and off, but when you have to use the same old double-L shaped crank to put in 200 screws, your hands start to cramp up like crazy. I also have quite a few bruises where the L was pressing against the palm of my hand. The most masochistic part of the design was putting Velcro RIGHT next to a bunch of places where you have to use the double L tool to tighten a bunch of screws. What happens when you use a lot of force at an odd angle you ask? The tool slips off the screw! And what happens when the tool slips? My hand goes sliding across the Velcro at super speed, leading to many many scrapes and burns caused by the Velcro.

Even through all the blood and sweat, the finished product is definitely a marvel to behold because of the obvious superior craftsmanship...though elvish wood-crafters will probably not be giving me any awards.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Cure for Cancer..

Apparently lies in sleeping on Tempur-pedic mattresses from the wild amount of advertising online, but really how comfortable are they? Always been curious about them and two of my coworkers who have slept in them claim that they live up to the billing. Experience is always the best guide, so time to go sleeping around!

Monday, October 19, 2009

We need to get production going...

Straight from PP:
"I really hate the sun starring at me when I drive that makes me blind."
I think this is ample evidence to say we need to get those SuperVisors and Solarixx rolling off the assembly line. Now if we just knew where to build the factory...

Return of PP

PP got back from China a couple of days ago and despite the horrible jet-lag is going in for her first day of work today! Exciting times.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Suspended Animation

This article is pretty fascinating. Basically using hydrogen sulfide, a scientist is able to put a rat into essentially suspended animation for almost an hour, then bring it back with no problems. The medical implications of this are pretty awesome since people with deadly diseases could be suspended until a cure can be found. Too late for Ted "The Iceman" Williams, but could potentially save millions of lives in the future.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Recently, I discovered this little Facebook app/game called Fellowship. While it is not the most sophisticated RPG out there, it has a certain charm to it that's certainly endearing it to my heart. You start off creating your fellowship of 6 party members, then you go out and do quests/get loot. That's about as simple as it is yet it is still incredibly amusing and addictive at the same time. Your play time is limited by a stamina stat that regens 1 point per 10 minutes so it's not a time hog. The combat is actually pretty hard with each encounter being rather challenging and requiring a certain degree of planning. The payoff feels pretty good though when you survive a Very Hard encounter with everyone having a sliver of life.
Mages are overpowered!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Giving Up the Ghost

My Xbox360 and I have been through quite a lot. From Veg Outs to Vegas, BF2 to BF2142, Viva Pinata to Dynasty Warriors, Bachelor to Groom, the Xbox360 has seen its fair share of Cucumber history. However, this weekend, the dreaded RROD finally popped up, ending our brief but torrid affair. I noticed strange green tint on powering up Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires and confirmed the GPU was fried when ODST presented many many purplish lines across the screen. On trying to power it up one more time to save stuff to the memory card, it finally RRODed. I pawned off a bunch of old games at pennies on the dollar to get a new 360 from gamespot, but today, it dawned on me that it might still be under warranty! According to my blog, I purchased this console in December of 2006. Since Microsoft extended the warranty to 3 years on RROD, this potentially means I can return my 360 for repairs! Perhaps I will take back the new 360 and get a PS3 instead...

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The Chinese are pretty (in)famous for their ability to take existing technology..and blatantly copy it to distribute for profit. 爱情公寓 is not (really) one of these imitations. Whereas it takes some premise and inspiration from "Friends", it has its own dash of originality. The writers of the show are awesome and the acting is top notch. PP first introduced me to this sitcom and we blazed through the first season of 20 episodes in less than a week. The combination of your standard couch gags mixed with subtle, intellectual humor, with a dash of rather witty satire makes this series a hilariously entertaining show. I highly recommend it to anyone..who understands Mandarin (hopefully they have a subtitled version soon).

Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Girls Round of 4: Review

This was the final elimination round before the finals next week. The judging has been mostly fair and unbiased so far with results usually being the worst performer(s) for a particular week being eliminated. However, this week, there was an incredibly unfair act of judging that made no sense and brought personal issues into the judging.

First part was a round-robin with the main theme being dancing. Last place person sits on lonely seat way up high while the other three compete in some kind of "pass the torch" performance where the contestants each bring in an older, wiser singer with whom they have a duet on an old famous song from the singer. The top 2 move on while lonely seat gets to challenge #3 to switch places. Winner moves onto ELLE cover model round, loser up for elimination. ELLE cover model round was where everyone had to use their "Succession Technique" with the top performer becoming ELLE cover model and moving onto round of 3.

This next part is the unfair/personal vendetta-containing part: out of the remaining 2, the previously eliminated contestants (6) + ELLE cover model (7 votes total) each have a vote and get to vote another person into top 3. Lonely chair girl then competes against 3rd place in elimination round. Here are how things played out.

1. 江映蓉 Jiang Yingrong - She was the ELLE cover model for the second week straight and third time overall. The first round totally catered to her strong points as she was probably the only person out of the four that had dance ability. She chose some kinda Latin dance routine and it sucked like crazy. Totally lifeless, no finesse, looked like Tin-man doing Salsa with rusted joints. Luckily she was up against 李霄云 whose "dance" routine could only be described as monkey on crack. Okay, so I am being a little harsh since I can't dance either, but what better way to feel better about myself than criticizing others! Her second round duet was very good despite the older singer's creepy attempts to make her a groupie at the end. She saved the best for her succession technique which was arguably the best performance of the night. It had everything, a good beat, nice moves, and bench tossing. At this point, I think she is being groomed to be the next "Britney Spears" Archetype.

2. 李霄云 Li Xiaoyun - Even though I like her songs a lot and was rooting for her to go all the way, 李霄云 should not have advanced to the round of 3 given the quality of her performances this week. Her first "dance" routine was not really even a dance routine. She basically just sang and waved her arms and legs a little. That was it. Most of the spectacular break dance moves were done by the other dancers. She went back to her forte for her challenge round with 黄英 and totally dominated the performance. I think 李霄云 should just stick to love songs. She does such a good job with them to the point where I think some of her renditions are better than the original singer recordings. Her succession technique was pretty good, but really could not compete with the others. However, because the voting was done by the previous contestants, she was voted 4 to 3 (Deciding vote cast by 刘惜君 who was eliminated by 郁可唯 last week) to move on into the round of 3. I think she was probably the least deserving of the final three.

3. 黄英 Huang Ying - She keeps improving each week and definitely has the greatest potential out of the other remaining contestants. Her dance routine this week was a traditional Tibetan dance with lots of whipping hair and thunderous drumming. It was a pretty awesome performance. Her duet was sang pretty well but there were two main problems. First, the song choice was pretty horrible. Just imagine a kindergarten song...set to a modern pop track. Second, the older singer actually did a better job on the song than 黄英. Kinda bad that the new torchbearer is worst than the original torch passer. As a result, she was beaten by 李霄云 in the challenge round and didn't even get to use her succession technique. However, her raw potential and cuteness convinced the audience to vote her into the round of 3. Here's her 100 second elimination challenge song.

4. Eliminated-郁可唯 Yu Kewei - This result was totally unexpected. She was by far the best singer out of all the other 9 contestants. She should have been in the final three, except the voting was horribly biased this round. Her dance routine was like a Broadway show performance. Not much dancing, but the overall quality was great. She definitely has tremendous Broadway potential. Her duet song was pretty awesome too. It clearly shows how much better of a singer she is than even the original obviously aging singer (struggled with parts of the song). Her succession technique was chosen very well. It highlighted her superior vocal control and singing technique. The performance was awesome and imho on par with 江映蓉's bench tossing spectacle. Unfortunately for her, the previous contestants voted 李霄云 into the round of 3 and she was put into elimination against feel-good story/people's favorite 黄英. Her final song was great, but not enough to counterbalance the favoritism for 黄英. The final vote was also pretty heartbreaking (towards the end) as she was ahead 9 to 4 (13 to win) but then the last remaining voters either out of sympathy or carelessness voted 黄英 into the final three.

Well, at this point it's pretty obviously how the rankings will play out. I predict: 1. 江映蓉, 2. 黄英, 3.李霄云.

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Case you were wondering..

Just in case any of you want to attempt karaoke on this song (and I cannot imagine why you wouldn't)..Here are the lyrics and translation to English!

Oh Vajrasattva, keep your pledge,
Vajrasattva reside in me,
Make me firm, make me satisfied,

Fulfill me, make me compassionate,
Grant me all siddhis.

Also make my mind
Virtuous in all actions Hum Ha Ha Ha Ha Hoh
All the Blessed Tathagatas,
Do not abandon me, make me indivisible,
Great Pledge Being.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Girls Round of 5: Review

The singing quality this round seemed to take another sizable step upward. The theme for this week was "hand in hand" with most of it dedicated to the Typhoon victims in Taiwan. Each girl was paired up with a difference contestant from previous years' "Happy Boys" competition for the first round of competition. Then after the initial rankings, they went solo thereafter. Here's how it played out:

1. 江映蓉 Jiang Yingrong - She was paired up with 张杰 for the first part of the competition. Ironically, because of 张杰's busy schedule, they never even had 1 practice together. Luckily, the song they chose didn't really require much teamwork or coordination and it all came out pretty well. She took a page out of 李霄云's "how to crone for first place" method and chose a slow love song for her second song as she won the ELLE cover model for this week.

2. 黄英 Huang Ying - She was paired up with 吉杰 as they sang a unique blend of disco/modern/classical music with a hint of Latin flair. Seriously, they sang a folk song, this is 黄英 we are talking about after all. PP tells me that 吉杰's specialty was actually more towards jazz, but he did an admirable job playing 黄英's foil. Her second song was the same song she sang a while ago. This time, she probably practiced it more, ditched the boat, and went barefoot. All of this apparently made a difference as the audience thought it was a better performance, but not as good as 江映蓉's croner. Her third song was pretty awesome though. I had heard "person who first got me into video games" sing it multiple times at karaoke and always thought it was a pretty good song. 黄英's rendition didn't quite have the forcefulness that I liked about the original, but it certainly had the power. After this week, I really think she has a chance to win this thing.

3. 李霄云 Li Xiaoyun - She was paired up with 苏醒 for the first part. They sang a absolutely stunning version of 红豆 for their song. However, I think their strategy was a little off. They chose to go first in the competition and since it was a round robin, their chances were hurt because the voting always occurred after their opponent's performance. I totally think she was snubbed by the judges as they were voted as the last place team. This probably ticked her off as she chose immediately to go after 郁可唯 during the challenge. This was not a friendly challenge either. This was the "I am going to kill you, feel my battle aura" type challenge and 郁可唯 was visibly taken aback by 李霄云's ferocity. Her second song was this angry, energetic, 杀气好厉害 song that the audience totally loved as she successfully defeated 郁可唯 in the challenge. Her third song was good, but nowhere nearly as awesome as her second song (WTH was up with those feathers...). In a surprising twist, she was selected by 郁可唯 to move onto the next round. Perhaps the intimidation factor was too high and 郁可唯 didn't want to go up against her in elimination.

4. 郁可唯 Yu Kewei - She was paired up with 魏晨 for the first round. They sang this exceptionally difficult song that I used to love back in the day when I was obsessed with 周华健. Their performance was pretty damn awesome. I seriously think they should have been the top team during round 1. Her song for ELLE cover model was good, just your average 郁可唯 perfect pitch/smooth transition/kinda bland song. Her challenge song to 李霄云 was this French love song. One has to question the choice of choosing a French song for a 1v1 challenge since their track record in major wars tends to be one of capitulation and surrender. This was no different as her song pulled a Maginot Line and she was again put into the elimination round.

5. Eliminated-刘惜君 Liu Xijun - Ahh, she of the dead eyes. While her singing has improved in the past weeks, I think it was about time she went. She was paired up with 俞灏明 for a first round cron-fest. The song was pretty good and they got the judges questioning if they were actually dating each other after their performance. She went for the "awww, dancing kids" effect with her second song and probably got some sympathy votes as the song wasn't really that awesome. Her last song was taken from 红楼梦 but was sang pretty horribly as her voice doesn't really match the style of the song. That and she ran up against 黄英's rock and roll extravaganza. She was eliminated by 郁可唯.

If I had to take a guess as to who is going next week, I would have to say a toss up between 郁可唯 and 李霄云.

Monday, August 17, 2009



Happy Girls Round of 6: Review

The theme for this week was 'Ode to My Parents'. Each contestant had to select a song that had some kinda relationship to their parents. First, a video was played detailing each contestant's family situation, then once the air was nice and saturated with emotion, the contestant sang. What struck PP and I the most was that a lot of the contestants were from broken families where their parents were divorced. A sign of the times I guess. The contestants were urged to try uncharted territory this week as well as push the envelop by performing songs with higher degrees of difficulty than their usual selection. Despite the increase in difficulty, the contestants performed pretty well as most of the performances were good.

I could go into detail about how this week's contest worked but the judging just gets more and more complex and nonsensical as the contestants dwindle making it harder to fill up that 3 hour contest time frame so here's what happened:

1. 李霄云 Li Xiaoyun - First repeat as the ELLE cover model. She sang a beautiful song that she wrote herself for her father who had passed away because of cancer for the first round and then did some kinda awesome rapping routine for her ELLE cover model round. She's always struck me as a one-trick pony who was only capable of singing love songs but with this week, it seems like she can do so much more. Her ELLE cover model picture though was ridiculously bad. Whoever did her hair needs to be shot.

2. 刘惜君 Liu Xijun - The big hype for this week for me was that she was supposed to sing "Think of Me" from The Phantom of the Opera and I must say, I was not impressed at all but more on that later. For the first round, she sang this happy little "I don't wanna grow up" type song for her mom. It was good but nothing spectacular. I have to wonder what the heck was up with the fashion designers this week. It looks like she just wrapped herself with some green curtains. Her second song was the aforementioned "Think of Me." I know she was trying something that was way out of her element, but I think her approach was all wrong. For some reason, she felt the need to speed up the tempo of the song A LOT which made it so she didn't have enough time to hit the high notes. She probably missed every single high note in the song which made the entire effect feel rushed and sloppy. Her last song wasn't that memorable. Good enough to get her to the round of 5, but was not anything spectacular.

3. 郁可唯 Yu Kewei - Perhaps she didn't really take the advice of the judges to heart, but she again flopped on her best song. The judges advised that she truly understand a difficult song before trying it, something she didn't do. Her first song was dedicated to her father who was your stereotypical "it's never good enough, glass is always half empty" parent. Her second song was a wildly popular song that I really liked..when I listened to the awesome performance by the original artist (official MV in Sanskrit and in Mandarin. Yes, I am obsessed now). 郁可唯's performance is nowhere near the quality since I don't think her voice is strong enough for the style of the song to come through. Her third song was good enough to get her into round of 5.

4. 江映蓉 Jiang Yingrong - Err, I really can't remember much about her performances. I suppose this is ultimately bad because that means none of them were that memorable. First song was dedicated to her mom, but despite the song name, I still fell asleep during it. Bear in mind we were watching this at like 11:30 at night. Oh wait, I suddenly remember something about her performances. She wore a HORRIBLE outfit for her challenge song. She cosplayed as Janet Jackson and sang Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You." Some people, like the whole audience, probably wondered what the hell she was doing dressing up as Janet Jackson. PP mentioned that the outfit highlighted all the bad features of her body while covering up all the good features. While she did a pretty good job with the song, the audience and judges were not as receptive. She was put into the elimination round where she had to choose her opponent.

5. 黄英 Huang Ying - She continues to develop as a singer and it shows in her increasingly varied repertoire. Originally she was a country girl who could only sing folk songs, but since then, she's certainly blossomed into a great singer. She may still be the dark horse, but I think she may develop into the favorite with the next coming weeks. Her first song was another take on a classic Chinese folk song. It didn't seem like she sang that many words, but the song was pretty good. Her challenge song was an attempt at singing a somewhat pop song that was way outside of her usual selection. She was having a little difficulty adapting her voice to the style, but I think she pulled it off.

6. Eliminated-谈莉娜 Tan Lina - I think her strategy was a little off this week. Usually her routines are dance heavy as to divert the attention away from her rather average singing ability. Maybe it was her back injury or maybe she was doing it for the challenge, but most of her routines featured very little dancing with a much greater focus on singing. Her first song was dedicated to her mom and she actually did a pretty good job. Her challenge song (starts at 3:48) featured this supposedly ultra difficult move where she spins while attached to a wire. I don't quite understand all the hype as she was probably in the air for a maximum of 5 seconds and didn't really perform that many mid-air dance moves. Just sorta spun around like a propeller. She was selected by 江映蓉 to PK in the final elimination and lost.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Girls Round of 7: Review

This week's performance had the theme of "Grade School Memories" and definitely had some surprises while displaying one of the most unfair moments of the competition. The performances were above average for the most part with quite a few exceptional performances. The format for this week was a lot less complicated than last week.

Part 1: Each contestant picks another for a sing-off via the usual buzzer press system. The 19 media members choose a winner from each pairing. Because of the odd number of contestants, the last person to sing gets to challenge one of the three winners to a sing-off to see if they switch places or not.

Part 2: The top 3 contestants sing to see who will be the ELLE cover model for this week. The winner automatically moves onto the next round. The remaining 6 then sing in succession with full scores given by audience/media/judges. The contestant with the lowest score is automatically up for elimination with the judges picking her opponent. 6 move onto the next round.

1. 李霄云 Li Xiaoyun - She really is my favorite now on the show ever since they eliminated 曾轶可. She has a really deep voice and fits very well into your "love song croner" category. I can see how she is kinda one sided in her singing ability in that if she selects a non-love song then she usually scores poorly. However, in her element, she's pretty much untouchable as she won her part 1 showdown with a pretty good rendition of 白桦林. She came out of nowhere to win the ELLE cover model position with a spectacular rendition of 从开始到现在 that got the judges crying.First, Second songs.

2. 刘惜君 Liu Xijun - Ole Dead-Eyes Liu definitely surprised me this week. Usually her singing doesn't really impress me since she sings so genericly. This week though, she tried singing in a new style. Her style up to this point has been kinda quietly singing and never just letting go of her restraint and letting her voice fly. This week though, she let it all fly and although she didn't quite reach the high notes, it was very refreshing to hear her new-found voice. Her song for ELLE cover model was totally awesome and got a standing ovation from the judges. She scored over 90 points and looked on the verge of taking the crown until 李霄云 blew the audience away. She actually had to sing 3 times because she sang twice in Part 2: once for both ELLE cover model and again for elimination rankings. First, Second, Third songs.

3. 郁可唯 Yu Kewei - I agreed with the judges in that she almost seemed disinterested in the competition. The contest was like an afterthought to her; just a stepping stone in her ascend to superstar-dom. The judges saw this and harshly criticized her song selection and performances this week. She is still the reining favorite to win the competition and to be fair, her singing ability and range is far superior to just about every other contestant. She was oddly both in the top 3 and also chosen as an elimination candidate. Like 刘惜君, she sang 3 songs. First, Second, Third songs.

4. 江映蓉 Jiang Yingrong - She messed her foot up while jogging and did the entire competition with her foot swollen like a wet sponge. It didn't really seem to impact her dancing that much although it could play a significant role in her future performances. The judges warned her to be vary careful with her song selection so that she doesn't aggravate the injury. Her First, Second songs.

5. 黄英 Huang Ying - I thought she actually sang very well this week. She showed some better voice control and a much expanded library of songs that she could sing. She's kinda the dark horse of the competition. First, Second songs.

6. 谈莉娜 Tan Lina - See last week minus the Bollywood and add some oddly placed camera shots of her showing her extreme annoyance. First, Second songs.

7. Eliminated-潘辰 Pan Chen - She's probably the last contestant on the show with any sort of individuality. PP made the point that she had the problem of always selecting songs that she liked to sing instead of songs that everyone *wanted* her to sing. She is rocker with a voice that others want her to use for love sonnets. Case in point: When she sang 一遗失的美好 and You're Beautiful, the audience absolutely went nuts and loved them because those are the kinds of songs they want her to sing. However, she keeps selecting rock songs and those that she wants to sing. She was definitely a free spirit in the competition and a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale mix of pop songs. She was up for elimination and the judges selected for her to face off against 郁可唯 in an audience vote. WTF is up with that? It's like putting a Beetle up against a Ferrari and having the male masses decide which they want. Sure the Beetle is unique, massively efficient on fuel, and makes parking easier, but most people will be blinded by the coolness that is the Ferrari. First, Second songs. Here is the elimination round video.

Thursday, August 06, 2009



Monday, August 03, 2009

Happy Girls Round of 10 Part3: Review

This was the final round of 10 and first elimination round for the competition. Since there were 3 weeks of no eliminations, the producers decided to oust 3 contestants this week. It's all a bit dramatic since these 10 girls have been living together and building some nice bonds of friendship for 3 weeks. Because of this, this round featured lots of crying and some slightly wavering voices in the songs. However, just about everyone brought their A-game as the songs were much much better than the previous rounds.

The way this round played out was:
PART 1: The 4 contestants who appeared in the bottom 3 from the last 2 weeks paired up and PKed each other (regular song) with Judges/Media Panel/Audience giving scores for each pair. The one with the lesser points from each pair then PK each other in a 30 second sing-off (no background music) with the winner being decided by 25 audience members who each have 1 vote. The one with the fewest votes is eliminated immediately.

PART 2: The remaining 9 each sing another song (regular song) with Judges/Media Panel/Audience giving scores for each contestant. The 2 contestants with the highest scores are then voted on by a panel of 19 media members with the winner being the ELLE cover model for that week. These 2 also automatically move on to the round of 7. The contestant with the lowest point total is automatically up for elimination with the Judges choosing 1 person out of the other 6 to be the opponent. The 2 up for elimination then have a 30 second sing-off (no background music) with the winner being decided by 25 audience members who each have 1 vote. The one with the fewest votes is eliminated immediately.

PART 3: Based on the alignment of Jupiter with Saturn's 2nd moon and the predictions of Nostradamus, the judges give a wild panda some crystal meth and let it loose on the contestants, whoever it eats first is eliminated. The remaining 6 contestants then have to compete on pressing a buzzer. Whoever presses first gets to select an opponent. This goes on 2 times to form 3 pairs. They then individually sing a song within the pairing (regular song) with the 19 Media panel members determining who wins in the pairing. The winners automatically move on to the round of 7. Out of the remaining 3, the judges pick 1 to move on immediately while the last remaining 2 have a sing-off (regular song) with the winner being decided by 25 audience members who each have 1 vote. The one with the fewest votes is eliminated immediately. The panda method would have been a lot less convoluted..

1. 黄英 Huang Ying - Her father actually brought her home-cooked food before the competition. She stated before that she always ate before she sang and this must have made a huge difference. She was paired up with 曾轶可 in Part 1 and lost by a slim margin. She was then paired up with 李媛希 and eliminated her from the competition. Her song in Part 2 was off pitch on the high notes, but was still a spectacular performance. The mix of rock and folksong worked exceedingly well and she exuded so much energy and passion in the performance. I was definitely not expecting this result as I had her picked as one of the 3-people eliminated this week.

2. 江映蓉 Jiang Yingrong - I personally didn't think she sang that well, but apparently everyone is still going ga-ga over her new-found body and dancing. She only had to sing 1 song to move on to the round of 7.

3. 刘惜君 Liu Xijun - Sings pretty generic songs and still has no real stage presence. Every performance of hers seems rather ho-hum even if the song is sang well.

4. 郁可唯 Yu Kewei - As always, her singing was flawless. Unfortunately, her choice of song wasn't the best and the audience/media were less than impressed leading to a rather low score. Her challenge song with 李霄云 was much better received.

5. 潘辰 Pan Chen - She really impressed me this week with her vocal ability. She was in every single elimination round and had to sing a total of 5 times. She started off beating 李媛希 in Part 1. Her first song in Part 2 was totally despised by everyone and only earned a 31/100. She was paired off with 曾轶可 in the second elimination round and won by popular vote. She was beaten by 刘惜君 in Part 3 during the initial pairing and was up against 潘虹樾 in the final elimination. Despite this, she saved her absolute best song for last. She put on a stunning performance while playing the guitar (something she hasn't done in the competition yet). It was totally awesome and I think it was the best song of the night.

6. 李霄云 Li Xiaoyun - She scored pretty high in the initial ranking of Part 2 and was selected by 郁可唯 as her PK opponent. Despite the fact that 郁可唯 won the sing-off, I think 李霄云 sang a much better song in 至少还有你. She is now the one I am rooting for in the competition since 曾轶可 was eliminated.

7. 谈莉娜 Tan Lina - Ugh...Why is she still around? Sure, she dances well and everyone seems distracted by her fabulous body and sexuality, but she does not sing well at all. She has no real style of her own and all her songs come off as boring. She tried doing some kinda exotic Bollywood performance except she didn't speak Hindu nor did she dance Hindu even though she claims to have danced the style before. She's my pick for going home next after 潘辰 went super-saiyan this week.

8. Eliminated-潘虹樾 Pan Hongyue - Eliminated by 潘辰 in Part 2. She did okay this competition and actually sang some pretty good songs. Unfortunately for her, 潘辰's power level was over 9000!!!

9. Eliminated-曾轶可 Zeng Yike - Sigh, so much potential to be eliminated so early. Yes, I realize her singing is mediocre at best and abysmal at worst, but she represents what music is all about. Anyone with minimal voice talent can find a song to cover and release it as a rehash. It might be a good rehash, but it's not creative at all. 曾轶可 on the other hand stood by her principles and sang her own songs from start to end. She sang 1 song in the entire competition that she didn't write and even then, she only used a very small portion of the actual words. I hope she goes on to have a fantastic music career filled with many many creative songs. She sang much better this week than last and defeated 黄英 in Part 1. She was ranked 7th with her song in Part 2 and was chosen by the judges to face 潘辰 in the elimination round. She lost by audience vote and was exceptionally emotional. Two judges then made comments. One a pretty thoughtful and hopeful comment, the other a completely inane and ridiculously retarded remark.

10.Eliminated-李媛希 Li Yuanxi - Her lack of experience probably showed a bit in her song selection. It wasn't very good throughout the competition, but this time, it was actually very fitting for her voice. She did an awesome job performing the song as well, but in the end, lost to 潘辰 and was the first to be eliminated.

Sunday, August 02, 2009



Friday, July 31, 2009

Lost in Translation

While Microsoft does a commendable job with their Bing translator, it is certainly not without fault. While not on the same order of magnitude as this, it does create a certain amount of hilarity:

增轶可#1歌迷! -> It is difficult to imagine the world better than i do like the man who had Yi-may.* cough * but authoring this MTV who busy of too much time! i never accept defeat!
Hmmm, okay, this one might give people the wrong impression since I don't particularly like men, especially those who ate Yi-may. It kinda got the last line backwards as well but that's just being knitpicky.

Field of Greens -> Today to the field of Greens ate supper.Eat, healthy and delicious.Every time eating always feel should develop into town.Sure can make a lot of money.When the next time everyone come in Houston-Vo, please remind me to take you to go eat!
Did a good job on this one, minus the slightly cannibalistic mention of Utopian society where everyone eats each other.

Wii 网球!-> My company's every few months will celebrate the birthday of the staff.Celebration time will have the cake.Sometimes there are some plenary activities or games.This activity is Wii tennis game.We have a total of eight teams in a bloody battle! watch today's few field scrim, bloody battle turned a bunch of erhu.
Bloody battle becomes duel of erhu. Sounds like I work at a company full of Wu Xia characters! Sadly, No, that would be too awesome even by my standards!

1,240 个气球->Everybody likes a good prank. Recently, some of my same makes the nasty messing up their boss. when he came into Office, the boss facial expressions too funny! unfortunately, if the balloon contain hanging gourds used SOAP friction instead of gas is even more ridiculous la!
Starts out pretty well, then goes off the deep end about balloons containing hanging gourds and soap friction.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


很难想象世界上还有比我更喜欢曾轶可的人。*cough* 可是创作这个MTV的人好像闲的时间太多啦!我认输!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Girls Round of 10 Part2: Review

Here's how the ranking filed out this Friday and my impressions:
1 郁可唯 Yu Kewei - Incredibly awesome voice, is obviously the most talented voice-wise in the entire competition. Have not heard her miss a note. Has very good vocal range. At this point, I would say she's the favorite to win the competition. Here are her first and second songs.

2 江映蓉 Jiang Yingrong - She was voted the cover model this week. Her singing was not so good for the first song and much better on the second, but to be blunt, I think she got the sympathy vote this week because she lost like 15 lbs in a week for the competition. Here are her first and second songs.

3 潘辰 Pan Chen - Sucked last week and came back strong this week. Not sure why or how since her first song was terrible. I totally felt the first song after hearing it. That's not a good thing. To her credit, her second piano song was much better. Her first and second songs.

4 刘惜君 Liu Xijun - Her singing is pretty good. She doesn't seem to have anything particular that stands out. Well, except she kinda looks like a lifeless zombie on the stage if you look at her face..those pupil-less eyes...Here are her first and second songs.

5 潘虹樾 Pan Hongyue - She's kinda erratic. Sometimes she does a decent job, usually it's pretty bad. She also relies on her dancing ability more than her singing ability. Her first song was especially forgettable this round but for some reason, the crowd seemed to love it. This is also a song that made me feel the title after it was over. If it wasn't for 曾轶可's rather lackluster performances this week, she would have lost her 5th place. Her first and second songs.

6 李霄云 Li Xiaoyun - I like her voice a lot. This week, she brought back the guitar for her first song and promptly sucked it up. The song choice was bad and the execution was a bit flawed. However, she saved her best song for the challenge round where she was nearly flawless. She missed her first high note, but after that, it was awesome. She won the challenge and switched places with 李媛希. Her first and second songs.

7 谈莉娜 Tan Lina - Can't sing but has good dance moves and people think she is sexy. Basically your generic Britney Spears archetype. I don't like her at all as she has nothing unique about her, except maybe bad singing. Luckily the mostly male crowd found her and her motorcycle more sexy than competitor 黄英 so she kept her spot during the challenge. Here are her first and second songs.

8 黄英 Huang Ying - She definitely has a very unique voice. She sings almost a yodeling style. It's very good for singing classic folk songs, but sadly, not so good for singing more modern pop songs. She's kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place in that if she sings folk songs, people say she's too singular. However, if she sings modern pop songs, they say she loses a bit of her unique style. Here are her first and second songs.

9 李媛希 Li Yuanxi - I think another of those contestants who relies more heavily on looks than singing ability. However, unlike 谈莉娜, she actually has pretty decent singing skills. She did very well in her individual competition but ran into a buzz-saw (李霄云) in the challenge round. I don't think any of the other challengers had a chance against 李霄云 with the way she sang. Here are her first and second(starts at 3:50) songs.

10 曾轶可 Zeng Yike - So we get to the most controversial contestant. You either love her or you absolutely hate her. I tend to be in the former. Yes, she can't sing that well, her guitar skills are rather meh, but she just has this creative charm and style. She writes her own music and almost always performs them as part of the competition. No flashy dance moves or backup singers. Just she and her guitar. Last week, she performed rather well, but this week she was pretty terrible. The first song was sung HORRIBLY and showcased her sub par singing talent. The second song was much better, but still wasn't close to her usual performing form. The oddest thing was she changed the lyrics from "sleeping with you" to "cooking with you." Seriously, wth??? This totally makes no sense in the flow of the song. Is "sleeping" just too risque or something? Maybe she was going for the double entendre...Here are her first and second songs.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Field of Greens

今天又到Field of Greens吃了晚饭。吃得又健康又好吃。每次吃的时候总是觉得应该发展到城里。肯定可以赚很多钱。下次大家来Houston-VO时,请提醒我带你们到那哪里去吃!

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Round Flame out

Sadly, my team flamed out in the first round against a team composed of just-out-of-college interns....Damn their superior hand-eye coordination and lack of respect for their elders! The management team was similarly defeated in the first round by a group of soon to be ex-employees. The infrastructure team ended up winning a thrilling final against the Oracle DBA team. Yes, the same infrastructure team that won the company basketball tournament. I swear they are using PEDs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wii 网球!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

1,240 个气球

人人都喜欢一个好的恶作剧. 最近我的一些同使狠狠恶搞了他们的老板.当他走进办公室时,老板脸上的表情简直太好笑了!很遗憾,要是气球里装的是挂瓠子用的肥皂摩而不是气就更可笑拉!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


我一般对这种像American Idol类似的比赛没有兴趣,但是前几天PP一直在“快乐女生"里面的曾轶可.我听了听她的歌后觉得她的创意能力非常强.虽然唱工可以进步可是他在比赛里唱的都是自己写的歌.我很欣赏和佩服.听听她的歌:多余的流星!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


今天早上我和PP大早起床到Kemah Boardwalk玩了玩.本来想散散步然后在某一个海鲜餐馆吃午饭,但是所有好看的景点十一点才开门.我们是九点到的可是天气已经非常热.加上大太阳的晒,外面简直热得受不了!原来Rita前Kemah Boardwalk都是木头桥.可以一直走到海上去,可是Rita把它们都吹坏了.真的是很遗憾.因为这些,我们了三十分钟就回家了.以后还是晚上去好!

Friday, July 17, 2009



Thursday, July 16, 2009



Wednesday, July 15, 2009



Monday, July 13, 2009


中国政府好像把Blogspot频蔽了!这才是为设么这么长时间没有更新。 花了29小时才赶回来。现在暂时休息,明日再写!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Miami Heat? Don't think so...

Well, at least Houston made the headlines of CNN...It's just withering outside...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This article over on ESPN PAGE2 is hilarious. My personal favorites being the ones for Tracy McGrady and Dwight Howard.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


After hearing that RE5 was so good, I had to give it a try. I must say the coop is a blast, but everything is kinda dark and sometimes it's very hard to see what direction you are going. This is interesting because it leads to a strong sense of anxiety and not knowing what lies around the next corner. On Veteran, it's like a minefield: you have get you and your partner through it and hope no zombie comes by and bites one of your heads off (the dogs are the worst). Sometimes, I just don't wanna go through a level because there is so much stuff to remember, but I think if the path is chosen by both, then it's time to kick some zombie butt.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Incredibly Geeky but Awesome Quote of the Day:

"A pizza with the radius z and thickness a has the volume pi*z*z*a."
--Confucius....who invented confusion.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Man Vs. Tube

The Austin trip this weekend turned out pretty well despite a few hitches on the way there. About 45 minutes away from Austin, the "Service Engine" light switched on in my car and I could noticeably feel my car stuttering because the engine was missing on its cycles. After a tense 10 minutes or so, the light went off again and my car seemed to return to normal. BluPnutMM was very helpful in finding a dealership in Austin that was open on Saturday and I was able to drop my car off the following day to get repairs. It turned out that they just had to reprogram the on-board computer because it was causing the wrong percentage of oxygen in my engine. The procedure cost $165 for what I am sure was just hitting ctrl+alt+del and letting it restart.

The high(low) light of the trip was the tubing experience in New Braunfels. We expected it to be hot with lots of sunshine so we had plenty of sun screen and hats. I had consulted with my boss beforehand and he recommended that the people in the group with glasses get those sports glasses straps so that the glasses don't go flying off into the water. Considering how scorching the sun was, I decided to put a double coat of sun screen everywhere I could, an act that probably saved me about a week's worth of horrific suffering.

We got out to the Guadalupe River and after a "brief" 1.5 hour wait, finally got into the water around 1:30 pm. There was a 3-hour tube ride and a 5-hour tube ride. It was all down the same river, just with different exit spots along the way. The tubing initially was pretty awesome. There were about a billion people on the water and people were drinking, dancing, singing so the atmosphere was definitely a party atmosphere. We had 5 people in the group and we initially started out each doing their own thing; however after a while, we decided to lock our tubes together and go down the river as a group. I feel as if the more sinister reason was to make me do all the paddling.

The trip was pretty uneventful for the most part. The water level was super low and the flow was pretty much nonexistent. There were a few parts where the water sped up and it was during one that NCubic managed to flip her tube over and fell into the water. Luckily, I was able to snag the cooler as it fell out so at least our food and water were safe! Before we got in the water, I had asked if NCubic wanted a strap for her sunglasses and she had declined. Ironically, her sunglasses came off when her tube flipped over and was lost forever.

We reached the 3 hour exit point and debated if we should stop then or continue on for the full 5-hour experience. Up to that point, we were all still in relatively high spirits and were enjoying the experience so we fatefully decided to continue on for the full 5 hour experience. This was probably the biggest mistake we could have made: not stopping while the experience was still fun. About 20 minutes after passing the exit, we started regretting the decision. The water became dirty, the sun became unbearable as we were just getting cooked alive, and we ran out of food and water. There were probably man-eating crocodiles and deadly electrified eels in the water too...we just didn't see them. It became a matter of survival instead of a matter of fun as our group soon devolved into every-man-for-himself when we unlocked the tubes and each decided to make it as fast as possible to the end. The number of people on the river got fewer and fewer (eaten by the assorted creatures in the river) as we got further and further down the river. I was paddling for my life and after a while, my arms were burning like crazy. I thought I was really close to the end when this big sign ominously displayed "approximately 30 minutes to last public exit." At this point there were barely any other people on the water while the water itself was now a deep green with tons of mold and sludge.

Feeling the need to reach dry land, I started paddling like a hummingbird with my arms despite the soreness. I asked a nice couple on the water where the end was, and they told me to watch for a bridge, then a dam. I made a turn on the river and saw the bridge (This is probably what Frodo felt like while looking at those statues). Going under the bridge sucked. The flow was relatively fast, but the water was no more than 2 or 3 inches deep. I had to get out of the tube and walk along the slippery, moldy rocks. I deftly dodged a crocodile strike but slipped on the rocks and managed to scrap my knee. I continued at full power down the river and soon the dam (and salvation) were in sight! I pulled myself and the tube out of the water at around 5:15 pm. Not quite the full "5" hour experience, but at that point, I had had enough tubing for at least a year. The BluPnutMM couple came ashore about 15 minutes later, MusicianOfManyColors came in about 5 minutes after the BluPnutMM couple, while Ncubic was smart and actually got out of the river and walked along the bank to reach us.

With the group reassembled, we assessed the damage:
1. Me-I was covered up the most as I had a basketball shirt, shorts, and hat on while applying a double helping of sunscreen. Scrapped my knee but for the most part, I didn't get burned by the sun, but got some horrible rubber burns on both arms from rubbing against the tube so much while paddling.
2. BluPnutMM couple-The guy didn't put sunscreen on his back, nor his legs and as a result paid a pretty heavy price. His legs were sunburned with multiple sections showing bright red. The gal wasn't burned too badly, but also had rubber burns from paddling.
3. MusicianOfManyColors-This guy probably suffered the worst wounds out of all of us. His chest/back/legs were completely burned. He was audibly grunting every step he took.
4. NCubic-Lost sunglasses and had a slightly bruised ego from the flip into the water, but otherwise, wasn't burned at all.

We ate at Buffet Palace afterwords where we stuffed ourselves to exploding. Overall, tubing was an enjoyable experience...up to 3 hours. Next time, hopefully the river will be faster and the sun won't be so deadly.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Viva la Love Story!!

This is so sweet. Amazing mish-mash.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Cousin in the House!

My cousin and her boss are coming from China this weekend. The plan is a tour of Space Center Houston, lunch on the Kemah boardwalk, shopping at the Premium Outlets, and Dinner at Fogo de Chau. I think I am going to be doing around 5 hours of driving for the whole thing. Hopefully things will go well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Punch Out....

Feel so tempted to get a Wii JUST to play this...Such fond memories of playing the NES version in that little free arcade machine in the MCLLU lounge....

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Lemony trip to Austin

Spent this weekend hanging out with Lemon and half-BluPnutMM couple in Austin (other half in China). The weekend seemed to focus mainly on the taste of Texas over any actual touristy attraction so here's a brief summary of the eats:

Dinner-Friday: Louisiana Longhorn Cafe-We went here specifically to eat crawfish as Lemon had never had this before. I had hoped it would be fresh crawfish, but it turned out to be rather old crawfish that had probably sat in the pot for the whole day. The key to being able to learn how to efficiently eat crawfish is for the crawfish to be fresh. Because this wasn't true, Lemon had quite a difficult time learning how to actually peel the crawfish. The seasoning was good, but the crawfish really didn't taste good because of the non-freshness.

Brunch-Saturday: Kerbey Lane Cafe-Salt Lick was planned for dinner so this was to be a light brunch. Lemon had the full stack of pancakes and some sausage. To our surprise, he ate it all, and seemed none too worse for wear. It wouldn't be the last time he surprised us with his intestinal prowess.

Dinner-Saturday: Salt Lick-This was the big event of the trip. We specially ordered the marbled brisket for the occasion and it did not disappoint.

The pork ribs were a bit tough the first plate, but the following 3 plates all had tender ribs. I am not sure how much meat we consumed, but I think we were all sick of meat by the end...maybe.

Brunch-Sunday: Round Rock Donuts-I challenged Lemon to eat an entire Round Rock Donut by himself thinking it would actually be a challenge. Lemon annihilated the donut easily and even had a pint of chocolate milk afterwords to wash it down. We are not worthy!

It rained the entire Saturday so most of our outdoor planned activities were a scratch. As a result we had to resort to indoor activities to work off those calories. We bowled several games at a local fun center and played several games of pool at Slick Wiley's. I demonstrated my awesome aptitude in pool by losing 2 games by scratching the 8-ball and missing the 8-ball on an easy winning shot while setting Lemon up for the win. During the evenings, we played Texas Hold'em. Lemon won the first game, I won the second game, and PP won the last game with a pair of Aces on the River. The weather did finally clear up on Sunday and we were able to go kayaking before Lemon's departure.

Thursday, May 14, 2009



Monday, May 11, 2009

Biggest Loser: Finale

The 10 week biggest loser competition at work is finally over and I finished in 4th place, losing 18lbs. The winner ran away with the competition losing 42 lbs for over -16% total weight lost. The pot ended up being $412 from the initial $20 fee and the accumulated penalties each week. ($5 for missed weigh in, $1 per pound gained). My goal for the competition was to lose 20 lbs and to not pay any money in. I was doing fine all the way until the last week when I gained 2 lbs and had to pay $2. Overall, I have lost 34lbs since the Vegas trip and hope to lose about 15-20lb more. Luckily, I am planning a trip to China in June where I will be eating super healthy, including but not limited to: Peking Duck, Pork buns, Fried Chicken Wings, Sweet and Sour ribs, Lamb-kabobs, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Austin Trek

Going to Austin this weekend to hang out with Lemon who is in town for a conference. The plan is for tasty meat from Salt Lick and death by donuts from Round Rock Donuts. Should be a good time!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I can't wait to wake up!

This brings new meaning to "the best part of waking up!" PewPew!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dallas and WCG Ultimate Gamer

Going to Dallas this weekend to visit PP's aunt and to visit the Dallas Arboretum. Should be a good trip!

In other news, I have been keeping up with WCG Ultimate Gamer lately and the show is just nuts. It's about locking 12 gamers in a loft where they play games all day. Each week, they play a different game with half their ranking coming from some real life game based on the video game, and the other half coming from the game itself. It's pretty much a representation of life in a frat house. It's drama-tastic and totally amusing to watch. If you like emo, bang-straightening males feuding with drama-queen, cosplaying females, then this is the show for you.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wedding Plans: VO: VII?

I know some of you (jOrange *Cough*) have been pestering me constantly on setting a date for the wedding ceremony. After some long discussion, PP and I have finally decided to have our ceremony next year on February 29th, 2010. 2010 is a great year as in Chinese '10' represents a wholesome and fortuitous number.

The ceremony will be held in Driftwood, TX as it has beautiful scenery all around and we wanted a ceremony that represents the more classic stereotypical view of Texas tradition. In order to further live up to deep southern stereotypes, we are both converting to the Catholic faith. I'll be spending the time between now and then rejecting all notions of evolution while reading the Bible and becoming expert on all things biblical, like when Moses parted the Atlantic ocean on his way to slaying Goliath. Another added benefit to having the ceremony in Driftwood is that "The Salt Lick" is also located there. Both PP and I were dazzled by its delectable meats last time round and thought it would be great to share the experience of "eating till you explode" with others.

After the ceremony, our plan is to stuff as many close friends as possible into a wagon, and reliving the pioneering days of the US with a journey to Oregon via the Oregon Trail. In preparation, we will set up a wedding registry. The most critically needed components include:

1. People familiar with the bovine family of animals (we want the most healthy oxen to pull our wagon)
2. Experts in wagon repair (those axles break all too easily)
3. Expert marksman (Those capable of killing 4~5 buffalo in one hunting trip)
4. Quantum physicists (for fitting 2000lbs of buffalo meat into a wagon that cannot hold over 200lbs)
5. Pirates (Need to ford lots of rivers with only makeshift materials)

While doctors and medicine might be useful, we wanted this to be as close to the original as possible. Therefore people will just need to tough out those bouts of dysentery/measles/snakebites that always happen.

Overall, I think this will be a fantastic adventure and wonderful bonding experience for us and all of our friends. Please send me any suggestions as to how to plan it better as we want this to be as memorable as possible!

So Useful....

I can't wait to try out this new autopilot feature from Gmail. I especially like the analytical relationship recognition AI!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I cannot believe the ignorance down here and am truly ashamed to be living in Texas where people simply ignore centuries of evidence-backed research in order to promote a fictitious theory completely unsupported by evidence.

The Evolution of Online Dating?

This discussion on design concepts for a "new" genre of gaming is quite amusing. Even though online pR0n sites are probably light years ahead of whatever these industry big shots can come up with! -_-;

Monday, March 16, 2009


Party on Sunday turned out to be pretty cool. The original purpose was for everyone to meet Mrs. deathKnight, but she canceled at the last moment because her aunt called and they decided to go shopping instead. There was a bit of confusion about when the party was supposed to begin so most people arrived late. Lunch was a potluck of sorts with many people bringing different dishes. PP's ribs (2 varieties) were both delicious and very well received.

After the party, we played pictionary! =VGI= regularly plays games of iSketch so most of them can attest to my tremendous drawing capabilities, especially when it comes to bugs of all shapes and sizes. We had 9 people so we split up into 3 teams. Papaya/Mango/SSS (Team PMS) vs BluPnutMM couple/nCubic (Team BMW) vs Cucumbernator/PP/deathKnight (Team CPK). Our team sprinted out to a pretty commanding lead of at least half the board when BitterPotato arrived on the scene after his church services and joined team BMW. His impact soon changed the balance of the game as our team got stuck on an all-draw orange square and saw our lead dwindle down to 3 spaces. However, after 4 rounds we got out of that orange square and proceeded to run away with the rest of the game to pull out a hard-drawn victory! Pizza > Car > Moodiness

Monday, March 09, 2009

Size does matter?

You thought your gaming rig was uber....Check out this one. I especially liked the test where they opened up all programs.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Curiosity killed the...

So I have been morbidly curious about Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li since the film's release. I have read the reviews and they are all universally bad. You would think I would take the hint, but I remained curious about the movie but didn't want to pay the money to see it at the theater. It was at this juncture that PP came to the rescue and found the awesome "DVD" version. It took forever but eventually, I fully acquired this "DVD."

This movie sucked....bad...The fighting sucked, the acting is atrocious, I can't believe they got 1st Lt. Buck Compton to play M. Bison, the plot was retarded, even the ambient noise in the theater where the guy video taped it was bad. At the end of the movie, you can hear members of the audience mockingly cheering that it was over. The movie ends with a ridiculous lead up to the next movie as Gen (Liu Kang from mortal combat) lifts this flyer and talks about some fighter named "Ryu."

Friday, March 06, 2009

And they would have gotten there faster if they accepted me!

Congrats to the MIT Basketball team on making it into the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. However, they probably would have gotten there sooner if they had accepted me when I was a 7 foot 11 high school senior applying to their school! Apparently, on my application to MIT, they misread my height to be 7'11 instead of 5'11. One day, I received a call from the MIT athletic director:

Director: It says here that you are 7'11 and listed basketball among your extracurricular activities? Is this true??
Me: ... Sorry, that must have been some kinda mistake, I do like basketball but I am only 5'11..
Director: Oh...well you know MIT doesn't offer any athletic scholarships right?
Me: I didn't know that....
Director: Okay, well good luck on the application process.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Extreme Deliciousness: Day 2

Sunday started off in the morning with a visit to Round Rock Donuts. BluPnutMM told me about this awesome custom donut shop that made rather large donuts. I wasn't really impressed until I actually walked in the shop and saw it. This donut was humongous and was probably about the size of a life preserver.

This donut was not only large, but extremely tasty. It was even featured in the Travel Channel program: Man Vs. Food. The glaze they use is a special proprietary glaze developed completely in house. They also offered donut holes, danish, kolaches, and regular sized donuts (stuffed, glazed, cake). The donut was so good that I decided to bring one home to share with the coworkers.

After the early morning sugar rush, we decided to have a nice picnic outdoors at a park. We got some Schlotzskys sandwiches and fruits, picked up the lovable Teddy and drove to the park. The weather was perfect with the sun shining and a nice cool riverside breeze blowing in. I attempted to tire out Teddy by throwing his toys as far into the lake as possible, but he just kept retrieving it and bringing it back. Sadly, we had to leave after a couple of hours in order to drive back to H-Town. This weekend was fantastic and I would like to thank the BluPnutMM couple, as well as MasterMusician for their wonderful hospitality. Much thanks to GooseLiverLover for the awesome photography!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Extreme Deliciousness: Day 1

The spectacular weekend in Austin was filled with much fun in the sun and deliciousness. We left on Saturday morning and made it into The BluPnutMM couple's apartment complex at around noon. After a light lunch, we headed off to park with lots of rocks #1. We did a bunch of hiking over some relatively rough terrain while GooseLiverLover took many amusing photos of us. The wind was super strong that day causing all kinds of chaos with hair. Afterwords, we had some hot cocoa and latte at a nice riverside coffee shop while taking some more pictures then went to park with lots of rocks #2 which featured these sheer cliffs on the side of the highway. There was a lone tree at the top growing out of the rocks causing the whole scene to look like it was out of some Wu-Xia movie...minus the sound of traffic right below of course.

The highlight of the day was a trip over to the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX. This BBQ restaurant is the mother of all BBQ restaurants. The meat is cooked over an open flame as opposed to the usual closed grill and the meat is as fresh as you can get it. The Salt Lick is essentially surrounded by ranches where cattle and pigs are raised. The place is so popular, they had multiple police officers on the premise just to keep the traffic flowing and the crowd orderly. When we finally parked and went to the receptionist, we found out there was about an hour long wait for a table and that this waiting time was actually considerably shorter than the regular weekend waiting times of 2-3 hours for a table. It was a rather chilly and windy day, but Salt Lick had these giant tents set up with space heaters for the waiting masses. They even had live performances inside the tents for entertainment. It's also BYOB for drinks so you had families with big coolers filled with beer and wine just sitting inside the wait areas drinking it up.

We finally got a table about 40 minutes into the wait and the food was on! We had 6 people and 4 of us got the $18.95 all you can eat family deal. Basically, you get this big dish of meat (sausage, brisket, pork spare ribs) that is infinitely refilled. The first bite into a pork spare rib was pure euphoria. It was tender, perfectly seasoned, and the meat basically melted in your mouth. The sausage was good, but not super awesome OMGWTFBBQ good, while the brisket at first, didn't appear to be that good. However, MasterMusician soon requested the marbled brisket and it made a huge difference. The marbled brisket blew my mind as I had never had such good brisket before. Soon, I was struggling between deciding which to eat as I only had limited stomach capacity and two delectable meat factions battling for dominance. We managed to pull through 3 plates of food and just a little of the 4th platter. To our delight, we found out that you could actually bring whatever you couldn't eat home! Don't think I have ever gone to an all-you-can-eat restaurant that allowed patrons to bring the food least legally.

We tried to hit up the Elephant Lounge afterwords for a little jazz bar experience, but the artists there were covering Myles Davis that day and the line was literally out the door. We managed to get a little jazz experience while waiting in line, then headed home shortly afterwords for a fun-filled night of Pictionary.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amazing Prophetic Previous Post

Last post spoke of hard fouls and the game yesterday did not disappoint in this category. While individually, we had a couple of pretty good players; overall, our team was completely outmatched by theirs. The other team had played more together and had way better chemistry with cuts and plays. Our team was pretty disorganized and whenever the decent players subbed out, it became all out chaos on the court for our offense/defense. They basically swarmed whenever I was inside and I got fouled a lot. Got my glasses bent, had multiple scratches including a deep one that's about 3 inches long, and several nice hacks to the head.

Eventually, we started clicking a bit more and the second game (L12-8 was a bit more competitive than the first game (L12-5). After the loss, we mixed the teams and played a pick up game. With the teams more balanced, the game turned out to be really competitive and less of a hack fest for me. We ended up winning that last game 16-14. A good time was had by all. Here's to having more games in the future.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Six Hard Fouls!

Company basketball game today between team DBA/Asset Systems (Team: The Ren) and team Infrastructure (Team: The Axis of Evil). Our team really has not had any practices and I don't even know if half the people on the team know the rules of basketball. However, I have full faith that with these members, the least we can get out of them are 6 hard fouls. The following is a Venn Diagram of our team concept:

Either way, it should be a fun game as we actually have 4 teams going in a pseudo-tournament style with the winners playing each other next week.

Addendum: Check out the awesome logo for our tournament:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Biggest Loser

Company is hosting a "Biggest Loser" style competition as a means of going with the theme of health and fitness. Being the IT department, it is full of people who probably spend more time seated than standing and more time thinking about exercising than actually exercising. Each participant has to pay $20 to enter. Then at the weekly weigh-ins, each pound over the previous week's weight results in a penalty of $1. Missing a weigh-in results in a $5 penalty. Winner at the end takes all with the winner determined by the person with the most % weight loss.

I could stand to lose about 30 more lbs which is about 12% of my total weight. This is what troubles me, assuming I get close to it and only lose 20 lb (8%). Would that be enough to win? Some of these people around the office look like a 30% loss wouldn't be an unhealthy weight loss for them. Should I resort to less ethical measures like putting giant vats of extra rich ice cream out in the kitchen?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grats to Slumdog

First customer service, then information technology, now Oscars, tomorrow nationwide cricket leagues??! Seriously though, Slumdog took home an impressive 8 Oscars. I thought Hugh did an admirable job hosting the show even though that whole musical number with Beyonce was ridiculous. Ben Stiller's bit with Natalie Portman was retarded as well. PP and NoMoreGossipGirl were disappointed by the number of non-good-looking presenters and lack of female presenters with pretty dresses. Overall though, it was a good show and reasonably entertaining. The highlight of the evening was PP's recognizing that "That actor in Brokeback who died" and "That actor in Batman who died" were the same guy, and then bitterly lamenting why such a cute actor had died!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fated Hour

Our first company basketball game is next Wednesday. Overall, it might be an uphill battle as the other team has this 350+ lb center who is strong and a bit difficult to maneuver around. Most of my team really do not have much basketball experience. But, to quote Churchill:

"...we shall fight in Houston, we shall fight on the top of the key and the perimeter, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our paint, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight for rebounds , we shall fight for the loose balls, we shall fight in the box and in the open court, we shall fight in transition; we shall never surrender."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Things I have always wanted to know!

Like for instance, how would the military combat a zombie outbreak? Obviously a very viable scenario evidenced by such historic outbreaks like "Left 4 Dead" and spoken of by the great philosophers Valentine and Redfield. I have had many a sleepless night pondering this very problem, but today, I found the answer.! There are also tons of other interesting things in the archives if you have the time to kill.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Company B-Ball

My company seems to be getting into inter-departmental sports. They are hosting an inaugural Infrastructure vs. Deskside game this coming Wednesday and convinced my boss to form a team of our own. Time to own....or be owned!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Onward to the Past!

Looks like EA could not continue the march into the future with the Battlefield series. It is going back to its roots and the origin of its success. I am pretty excited about this as I don't think =VGI= ever fully gave the original due respect. =)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We all knew it was an unspoken truth, but now there is proof

It's pretty obvious what this video is saying: =VGI= are obviously better in bed than the average human. All that's missing are some hunky men gazing wantingly at some catnip.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Niu(2) Year!

Har Har, take THAT Grapes =) Here's to wishing everyone a happy Chinese New Year. May the stock markets follow the Zodiac sign for this year!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I saw other people blogging about how awesome the food they made tasted. However, since real life does not mirror WoW, I have no cooking skill to speak of. PP on the other hand, is totally awesome. Today she made this calamari spaghetti with creamy black pepper sauce that was absolutely delicious. The calamari was cooked perfectly and seasoned just right. She also sprinkled in a bit of Chinese pork sausage. The sauce was made from milk mixed with starch seasoned with black pepper and basil. I would have taken pictures but I ate it way too fast. Next time, hopefully I can capture this delicacy before my hands find it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Renegade replaces Trailblazer!

Renegade's speech was very inspiring and really left people feeling a renewed pride for the USA. Out of curiosity, I stumbled upon the Secret Service code names for important executives. It's kinda hilarious. Too bad there's no Quarterback or rolling out of pocket...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Revolutionary Depression

Watched Slumdog Millionaire and Revolutionary Road over the weekend.

Slumdog was a very well crafted film in terms of the story. It had a whole "Crazy Stone" feel to it as it was a montage of before, during, and after scenes all meticulously tied together. While I felt like sometimes, the coincidences were a bit too contrived, the entire plot felt somewhat believable. I really enjoyed the first half of the movie thoroughly and while I liked the second half as well, I found it much too predictable. Amusingly, I knew the answer to the last question thanks to my previous obsession with "The Man in the Iron Mask."

Revolutionary Road on the other hand didn't really do that much for me. I found the film incredibly boring through the first half and didn't really care as to what happened to the characters at the end. Yes, suburbia sucks, but so are decisions on a whim without considering any consequences. That's actually how one gets an STD or ends up paying for an extra ticket from Toronto to Houston (Chivalrous: yes, Realistic: No) Even though I understood the plot clearly, I didn't find any of it tugging on my heartstrings. In fact, my favorite character from the movie was a mentally insane dude. I do admit that both the actors did a fantastic job with the roles they were given and if I drank and smoked heavily, then I may actually identify with just about every character in the movie. However, since I was sober, I didn't.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

VO: V Day 5-A Grand Finale

Today being the last day and travel day, I didn't really do much. The other Veggies got up early to go to have brunch buffet at the Mirage, but PP was not feeling well that morning and I had a whole lot of stuff to pack so I stayed behind. After everything was packed, we decided to go have the buffet downstairs at the MGM Grand.

We got there at 10:54 AM and were able to pay breakfast prices for lunch! In sharp contrast to the Bellagio Buffet, the food at the MGM Grand was awesome. The ribs were tender and well marinated, the beef was extra tender, and all the fruits and vegetables were perfectly ripened. Before the meal, I had met the Veggies one last time outside in front of the lobby and apparently Lemon had won enough money in poker the night before that he offered to pay for everyone's food! After stuffing myself again with food, I headed to the airport.

On the way to my flight, I met jOrange and Kiratomato at the airport and we just chatted a bit until my flight. My flight had my arriving about 2 hours earlier into Houston than PP and M so I just spent some time walking around the airport and playing Chrono Trigger on the DS. I even met a lady from Belize who had to spend the night at the airport and gave her my M&Ms since I figured I didn't really need them as much as she would. After PP and M arrived, our friend picked us up from the airport and we were headed back home!

Overall, this Veg Out was fantastic. PP, M, and I all had a wonderful time and it was really great meeting all the Veggies again. Special thanks to Lemon who organized the whole thing. So when is VO: VI?

VO: V Day 4-Outlets-O-fun

The rest of the Veggies went out to Death Valley today while PP, M, and I went to check out the Premium Outlets of Las Vegas. There is also a Premium Outlet here in Houston, but the one in Vegas had way more name brands. The main purpose of the trip was to get some new clothing for me. As most of my friends know, I tend to be somewhat "thrifty" on the clothing spending. As such, I tend to wear jackets for too long and PP would have none of this!

We first stopped by a Kenneth Cole outlet and PP immediately saw the perfect jacket! It was made from some kinda wool/cotton/polyester combination but looked awesome. I tried it on and it was a perfect fit. Just 10 minutes into the trip, I had already gotten some extremely phat lewtz.

We next stopped at a shoe outlet where we picked out two pairs of slip-on dress shoes. One was leather and went well with the jeans I was wearing, and the other was a bit dressier to wear with khakis or dress pants. As I went to check out, I realized that Citibank also knew of my thriftiness with clothing as they had automatically put a block on my card after the jacket purchase. If you remember from before, this is NOT the first time this has happened!! At least this time all I had to do was call in and confirm that it was indeed me who was making the purchases instead of just having my card canceled on the spot.

We walked from store to store and leisurely shopped afterwords. Ultimately, the entire haul was 2 shoes and 2 jackets for me, M got a sweater, and PP got some T-shirts and several bottles of lotion/face-wash. Since we had so much stuff to bring back, we also bought 2 Samsonite suitcases to carry it all. After a pretty tiring day of shopping, we headed back to the hotel in preparation for our show tonight: 'O'

'O' in a sense was just like Le Reve. It was a show that was set in water and had all the same wonderful choreography and synchronization. One major difference was that while Le Reve was much more artistic, 'O' was much more physical as it featured more acrobatic performances with a more centralized focus on the stunts over the choreography. The diving portion was particularly powerful as they had professionally trained divers being launched into the air in series from 3 different take-off points forming this strange yet awesome display. The best part of the performance was four contortionists who used their bodies to build human pyramids while bending and flexing in all sorts of exotic ways. It really makes you wonder if they even had spines.

VO: V Day 3-Livin' Le Reve Loca

Today was another freelance day where the entire Veggie group wandered around Vegas looking at various hotels. We visited New York-New York first to have some brunch since everyone was still kinda sick from the buffet gorging. PP and I had some sandwiches from this burger place that was listed as one of the 10-best casual eats in Las Vegas while the others had some fried seafood from a nearby shop.

We split up afterwords with Catnipped, PP, M&M, and I headed to the M&M store to explore. This place was like a huge 4-story shrine to everything M&M. They had T-shirts, sweaters, mugs, cups, and just about every possible imaginable thing with M&M logos. The entire second floor was devoted to various kinds of M&Ms along with huge candy dispensers that stretched from the floor to the ceiling filled with every possible color of M&Ms. On the 3rd floor, they even had this little M&M exhibit showcasing how the candies were made along with this weird black-light that made everyone's teeth glow green. The 4th floor was just random other M&M merchandise like dishes and mugs. We picked up several little gifts as well as a pack of gourmet raspberry/walnut M&Ms for friends at home.

We met up with the rest of the Veggies at the Monte Carlo and continued our romp through the hotels with the next highlight being a visit to the flamingos in The Flamingo. The flamingos were all pretty neat, with some standing on one leg and sleeping, but the bird who stole the show was this awesome black swan. This swan was trying desperately to go up a bank that was just a bit too steep. Unable to actually climb up the bank, the swan just kept swimming back and forth around this rock repeatedly. we were all enthralled by this swan and wondered if it could ever get up the bank. Alas, after a fairly long time, we grew somewhat tired of the swan and left. It's probably still there today, trying to get up that bank. I think we headed to the Mirage next with the intent on seeing some white tigers and lions (and bears Oh My!)

Unfortunately for us, the white tiger/lion exhibit was now a paid attraction instead of being free. PP and I had read about this awesome aquarium at the Mirage that was on the 10-Best free places to visit in Vegas so we all decided to head there. On the way, PP took some pretty awesome pictures of "Veggie Revolution" and "Veggie Vagrancy." This awesome "aquarium" turned out to be just a slightly larger than usual fish tank at the front desk of the Mirage, much like those found in fancy Asian restaurants. Guess that is why it was free. The Venetian was next on the list.

We all headed to the Venetian to look around and walked a bit in the Canal Shoppes. These shops, like many in Vegas, have the ceiling painted like the sky and illuminated giving off an effect of an everlasting day with blue skies overhead. After a brief stroll, we all had dinner at a Chinese place inside the hotel called Noodle Asia. The food there was excellent but the service was craptacular. The waiter was rude, mostly ignored requests, and didn't even come back to serve the food to the right people. We walked around a bit more afterwords then headed back to the Mirage to watch the "Volcano" show. It was just this fountain with lighting and lots of fire to simulate the eruption of an active volcano. For a free show, it was pretty spectacular! The main event was next so we all headed to The Wynn.

The highlight of the evening was watching the Le Reve (The Dream) show at the Wynn. This was a show from the creator of 'O' and like 'O' was a show on water. While Ka had a well-defined storyline, Le Reve had little story. The entire show seemed like some really strange dream that a girl has at night after a date out with a guy. Despite the lack of a plot, the show was awesome. The visuals of the show were spectacular with people flying in the air while people swam in the water below. Modern Latin dancing featured prominently in Le Reve, with performances between each set of major stunts. The diving portion was awesome with people jumping from progressively higher locations into the pool. The best part of the show though was a display of strength from two performers. PP thinks they were like Gemini as each performer used the other to balance and create many seemingly impossible poses. Le Reve was PP's favorite show as she loved the choreography and the artistic beauty in the presentation.

After a rather exhaustive day, PP and I retired to our room.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

VO: V Day 2-"The Bellagio Buffet"

Lemon and jOrange went out earlier in the day to walk around while M went out to try her luck at the penny slots. PP and I basically stayed at the hotel until we had to check out and head to the MGM Grand.

At the MGM Grand we met up with KiraTomato and checked into our rooms. Since my two rooms were not ready yet, we all just chilled in the big suite with the other Veggies to await the arrival of everyone else. Pretty soon, Catnipped and her M as well as Lemon's friend (Yam) arrived and the circle was complete.

My memory was a little fuzzy because all of us were fasting in preparation for "The Bellagio Buffet," but we visited a bunch of Hotel/Casinos where jOrange and Lemon got $1 chips. New York, New York was where Catnipped succumbed to the hunger and got some ice cream.

The time for food finally arrived as we all set out to wait in line for the Bellagio buffet at around 3 pm. The line was long and our stomachs were growling, but we finally reached the end and were seated! I was looking forward to trying some venison while jOrange wanted to take pictures of the champagne fountain. To our surprise, neither of these much touted features was there.

In my opinion, this buffet did not live up to the $35 price tag nor the 1.5 hour wait time. While there was a wide variety of foods, most of it was not made spectacularly well. The featured "Kobe" beef was not marbled or tender, the prime rib was way too undercooked and bloody, the crab legs were overly salted and not fresh, and the fruits were all really raw. The pineapple was so sour that I could hardly even eat one piece. The desserts though were very good, offering a wide variety of different desserts. Even so, I thought this buffet was totally disappointing. After finally eating some food, we all headed back to the MGM Grand to watch Ka.

Ka did not disappoint. This show was amazing as it combined choreography with acrobatics along with breathtaking stunts, fire, flying, and bafmodads. Ka tells the story of a brother(prince) and sister(princess) on a joyful little cruise with their parents. Suddenly, the king and queen are murdered and the little ones have to fend for themselves. An epic journey follows with pain, agony, endurance, love, and eventually redemption. The best part about the show was that the entire stage was one giant moving wall that could be turned and rotated in various ways to simulate terrain. The most exhilarating display was a pair of performers who peddled this giant pendulum like thing that kept tumbling end over end. The performers would do tricks like jump-roping while balancing themselves and leaping in the air.

After the show, I delivered the gifts I had brought back from China for the other Veggies. Catnipped got a really round stuffed panda, KiraTomato got a MiG jet with chain-gun action, jOrange got an authentic Chinese Chess set, and Lemon got a super awesome XM8 assault rifle with flashlight and laser scope. I hadn't expected Yam to come to VO: V so I had to give him an Olympics highlighter.

VO: V Day 1-Welcome to The Strip

Day 1 was mostly a travel day. jOrange and I got into Vegas around 10:30 am and met up at the airport. Much to my chagrin, I had thought we would be staying all 4 nights at the MGM Grand. Luckily a quick call to Lemon confirmed that we were indeed staying at the Riviera the first night.

We took the airport shuttle to the hotel and decided to hit the strip with the goal being to check out the prices for 'O' tickets as well as checking out buffet prices at the Bellagio. The first thing I noticed was that Vegas is very cold and extremely dry. My lips were chapped within the first 3 or 4 hours of walking around and my hands felt like sandpaper the second day there.

My first objective was to try out the awesome "Foot-long" hot dog that I had seen on the travel channel's 10 Best Hog Dogs in US. They had featured the particular hot dog from Slots-O-Fun. Little did we know that Slots-O-Fun was literally right across the street from the Riviera! The hot dog was pretty awesome if a bit salty.

jOrange was on a quest to collect $1 chips from every casino so we basically walked south along the strip, visiting just about everything hotel/casino on the way down to the Bellagio. The last time I was in Vegas was 15 or so years ago and even then, I only remembered the inside of Circus Circus (still there!). We also checked out several shopping malls briefly so that I can could inquire about Wii availability. This turned out to be a futile attempt as every store we went to was out of stock. We finally got to the Bellagio and found out the price for the Buffet was $35 per person (totally not worth the price of admission as the Day 2 entry will detail) and I also booked my 'O' tickets.

The trip back to the Riviera saw jOrange get ripped off by Bill's casino as their chips were totally cheap and not worthy of $1. PP and M arrived shortly after we got back to the hotel and met us at the hotel. For dinner we had the buffet at Harrah's where PP and I probably scared the crap out of jOrange with the amount of crab legs we consumed.

We spent the night, somewhat cramped (we had 5 people in a 2 person room), in the hotel room. PP and M had one bed while jOrange and I had Mt. Everest-quality sleeping bags approved by Sherpas (or so claimed by M) on the floor. Lemon arrived later that night and occupied the other bed.