Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

I hope 2006 will be a better year than 2005.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


More pictures from Taiwan. My flight back to LA was at midnight but I had to check out of the hotel at noon so I had about 10 hours to wander around Taipei. I got on the MRT without a destination in mind and decided to get off at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall station. We used to live fairly close to the hall (just two MRT stations away--of course this was way before they built the MRT in Taipei) and I remember my dad bringing me here several times.

National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
(with Taipei 101 in the background)

Sun Yat-sen

After walking around Ximen, I stopped by the CKS Memorial Hall. Even though CKS died before we left Taiwan, I don't think this hall was built until later. I do remember my dad bringing me to see his body though. I think we got in the short line because my dad was in the military.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-shek

Taipei Apartment

This is a picture I took during my last trip to Taiwan of the apartment we used to lived in. I think we move there soon after I was born until we emigrated to Canada in 1977. I don't remember having security bars covering the balcony nor the garage doors downstairs. Actually, the street was pretty empty before, no cars nor scooters. Everything also seemed much bigger before instead of the cramped feeling I get walking down the street.

I also remember there was a park right next to our apartment. Back then, there was a concrete "ring" where kids roller-skated. The roller skates were all metal and clamped on to your shoe, not like the rollerblades today with fancy ABEC 9 bearings. I also remember wiping out quite often on those crappy roller skates, scraping my knee on the rough concrete. Here is what the park looks like today.

Friday, December 23, 2005

House Problems

Our house is only 10 years old but now is in need of repairs. We had to shut down the water heater yesterday because it was leaking badly. The bottom of the tank was all rusted and it was making weird noises. My dad checked with Home Depot and they charged $300 for installation and a 50 gallon water heater costs about $350-$420. I guess my mom called around and one of her friends knows a handyman so this Chinese guy is coming to the house to take a look. Hopefully I can get it fixed for around $500.

The furnace is also having problems again. This has been a constant problem since we bought the house. When the fan kicks in, about 50% of the time the furnace won't ignite so cold air blows out the air vents. They charge $75 to come out and take a look; hopefully it's a small problem and won't cost me a fortune.


Arg! Just found out that the furnace will cost $428 and the water heater will cost $650. I guess I need to fix everything if I'm going to sell the house.


Sigh, more problems. The leak has caused mold/mildew to grow on some of the walls inside the garage (at least it's not inside the house). I had a wooden cabinet in the garage sitting against the wall and the bottom is rotted out too. I'm going to have to check my homeowner's insurance since it seems like they have to rip out some drywall to repair the damage.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Weekend Activities

This past Saturday night we went to a Kings game at the Staples Center to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. His b-day was actually in November but there were a limited number of Family Nights (4 tix, hotdogs, sodas, plus parking) so we chose this game against the Phoenix Coyotes. With so many NHL teams moving around, I didn't realize that the Coyotes were the old Winnipeg Jets.

The game was pretty good although Wayne Gretzky didn't show up as coach of the Coyotes due to some family issues. Kings ended up winning the game 4-1. The funniest part of the game was hearing everyone at the game yelling at the Kings to "shoot the puck" during their many power plays, including two 5-on-3 situations. It seemed no one wanted to take a shot.

Picture of the ice from our seats (the camera in the Treo is pretty lame)


This past Friday night was the Ops Christmas party at the St. Regis in Dana Point. It was a pretty large event since there are about 200+ Ops people in Irvine and they also invited some Finance people. I guess this was an important event; many people left work at noon to get hair/makeup/nails done. I brought my one suit to work and changed before leaving for the party. Overall, the food was mediocre (especially the steak) but the entertainment was pretty good. Actually, the apptizers they served out in the hallway was better than the dinner itself. I carpooled to the party so we ended up leaving at around 11:30pm but I heard that people were drinking and dancing until 1:30am.

One thing that still amazes me is the quantity of alcohol consumed at these events. We had several Finance events this year with open bar and it was no different. I can understand a social drink or two but some people at the Ops party were totally drunk. Do people usually drink this much or is it because the company is paying for these overpriced drinks? Also, drinking and partying with friends is different than seeing your co-workers drunk and out-of-control. Anyhow, we've paid about $64,000 for the party already... not sure what the total tab will be after adding up the bar tab.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Citizenship Oath Ceremony

Here are some photos from my U.S. Citizenship Oath Ceremony at the LA Convention Center on December 9th. The letter told me to be there at 8am so I had to leave the house at 6am so I wouldn't be late. The line was huge and it took about 1.5 hours to get everyone seated. The actual "swearing" part took 3 minutes but we had to listen to people speak, watch a video message from President Bush, and some other stuff. It also took about an hour to exit the room since we had to line up to get our citizenship certificate. As soon as you walk in the door, they take your green card. Since I turned in my citizenship certificate to get a U.S. Passport, I have no proof that I'm here legally. I was planning to visit Vancouver during our Portland trip but I have no documents to get me back into the U.S. I guess can always risk using my Canadian Passport to get back.

Rows and rows of chairs (4,071 people took the oath that day)

They gave us little plastic flags to wave

Monday, December 5, 2005

Ski Boots

I went to SkiDazzle at the LA Convention Center on Saturday and picked up a pair of Salomon Performa 7 ski boots for $169 (I found the picture on eBay). I'm sure these are not the latest model; the list price was $425 and I've seen them online for $299. Hopefully there will be good snow this year.


Picture of the actual boots

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Thai Taxi

View from a taxi in Bangkok

The Circle of Life

I went to the USC MBA Career Resource Center this morning to interview 2nd year MBA students for job openings at our company. 11 years ago, I was in the same situation except I was the one looking for a job as a student. The business school has since moved to a newer building but the process of meeting people one-on-one for an interview remains the same. Most of the CRC staff are different too but I did meet Jean, the receptionist from back in 1995; she is now the budgeting person for CRC and she recognized me right away. I guess it's true that as you get older, time seems to be move faster. It doesn't feel like 10 years has gone by since I graduated from USC.

We had 12 interviews scheduled today at USC. I took the morning six while my manager came during lunch to interview the remining six. Meanwhile, another colleague was at UCLA interviews MBA candidates as well. After driving almost 2 hours to get to USC, it was hard to concentrate on the interview process. I usually have a few questions in mind but I encourage the candidate to treat the interview as more of a conversation. All the interviews went pretty well; the 12 people were weeded from about 30 resumes that were submitted. However, I had to quickly scribble notes between interviews in case I start forgetting who said what.

Monday, November 28, 2005

McRib is Back

On the way back home, I decided to get a McRib for dinner instead of cooking something; it's a real pain to cook for one. I went to the McDonalds on Imperal Highway and surprisingly, the guy taking the order didn't ask me whether I just wanted the sandwich or a "Meal" with fries and a drink. They always ask! Anyway, I ended up getting two McRibs but could only finish 1-1/2 sandwiches. They're going for $2.49 and come in a paper box. I thought the last time I had a McRib it was only $1.99 in a paper wrapper; maybe this limited availablilty is a marketing trick since people forget how much it cost last time.

The Joys of a Parliamentary Government

Canadian Government Falls on No-Confidence

A corruption scandal forced a vote of no-confidence Monday that toppled Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority government, triggering an unusual election campaign during the Christmas holidays.

Canada's three opposition parties, which control a majority in Parliament, voted against Martin's government, claiming his Liberal Party no longer has the moral authority to lead the nation.

The loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet would continue to govern until then.

Full article...

US Citizenship and Immigration Service

I sat in the USCIS office in El Monte for two hours this morning because the government cancelled my citizenship application. I had to postpone my oath ceremony twice since I was going to be out-of-town. Following the instructions, I sent in letters explaining why I was unable to attend the ceremonies but I guess no one ever got my letters. So this morning, I sat for 20 minutes waiting to see a case manager, talked to him for 10 minutes, and waited another 90 minutes for them to generate a new oath ceremony appointment letter. I guess I should be happy that everything was taken care of in one trip but throughout the entire naturalization process, I sat around a lot in different waiting rooms. I think I probably spent about six hours in waiting rooms total; that's probably a low number compared to other people. Since my Treo has a built-in camera, I couldn't even bring that into the waiting room so when I say "sat around", that's all I did.

The worst part about this was trying to call the USCIS on Friday when I received the "application abandonment" letter (certified mail is never good news). Since there were no phone numbers on the letter, I called the national 800 number. I ended up talking to three people, none of them asked for any id numbers to look up my file, and essentially the message was, "We're not here to help you. Follow the instructions on the letter. Dumbass." The final guy I talked to was so rude; he kept cutting me off and wouldn't even let me ask questions. I even drove to the USCIS office on Friday only to find that they were closed (I couldn't get a phone number from anyone to check hours).

I just know if I worked like a government employee, I would get fired or our company would go out of business. I think we should have two or three "government" agencies competing for our tax dollars so the most efficient and professional group wins out. Not sure how the logistics would work but monopolies definitely suck. Anyhow, my oath ceremony is on Dec. 9th along with about 10,000 people. I'm not going to miss this one for anything for fear of getting sucked into the bureaucratic black hole again!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Car Spy Photos!

I saw a Lincoln Zephyr parked at the Doubletree Hotel near the Block at Orange Sunday morning. NewSong NOC was holding their service at the hotel and I showed up to help setup the sound system. I guess it's not really a "spy" photo since they show the car on their website but it still had the camouflage padding on the front end.



Treo 650 Pics

I'm tired of typing... here are some more pictures I took with the Treo in Thailand/Taiwan instead.

Thai Elvis impersonator... his English was really bad

Some "girls" dancing in a bar in Patong Beach... okay, they weren't girls

Thai boxing

Thai girls boxing

NT$138 (US$4.30) dinner I got at a food court in Taipei

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

One Night in Bangkok

I arrived in Bangkok on Sunday at around 11:30am. The first thing I noticed while the plane was landing (turned out to be the same 747-400 I was on from LAX to TPE) was the golf course right in the middle of the airport, between the two runways.

I found this picture on the web. The dark green area between the runways is the golf course. I saw people actually playing golf on the course as we were landing. How can you concentrate with 747's taking off/landing right next to you? What if you slice a golf ball off the tee into a jet engine? If you have Google Earth, you can get a bettew view of the golf course at 13� 54' N and 100� 36' E.

From the email exchange I had with Xealot people, I thought I was going to arrive by myself and would need to make my way to the hotel after arrival. So I was surprised when several boxes labeled "NewSong" rolled past me on the baggage conveyer belt. I followed the boxes around the conveyer and ended up meeting the rest of the group, 3 guys from the Brea small group. The boxes contained a new Dell computer they were helping to bring over from the U.S. We met Bryant from the Xealot team, who has been waiting at the airport for 4 hours due to the same miscommunication, and we took a van to our hotel. The weather was hot and humid, probably not as hot as Singapore but more than Taiwan or Hong Kong.

As I mentioned before, our Bangkok hotel was the Pathumwan Princess Hotel. It turned out to be a pretty nice hotel. At check-in, they gave us some sort of fruit drink that tasted a lot like sweet winter melon juice. The hotel is attached to one of the largest shopping centers in Bangkok so after dropping off our bags and changing into shorts, we went to MBK to have some lunch. The stores that lined the corridors were very small, and some were stalls in the middle of the walkway. Unlike the U.S., similar stores were congregated in one area instead of spread throughout the mall. We had lunch at a Japanese restaurant. The food was decent and really cheap but we found out that Thai serving portions are much smaller than in the U.S. After lunch, we walked around the shopping center looking for a SIM card for one of the tour members. Like the rest of Asia, they had the coolest cell phones and accessories compared with what we find back home. I even saw Bluetooth phone headsets for $3; that's about how much we sell our Bluetooth chip!

Now boarding...

I just realized that I was on 8 flights this past trip to Thailand/Taiwan, one more than the 7 flights during the June trip. For some reason, the Bradley international terminal at LAX seems to be the most chaotic and disorganized out of all the airports I visited this trip. Even the little single-runway airport in Udon Thani was more orderly. On the day of departure, it took me over an hour to get my one piece of luggage scanned and check-in at the EVA Air counter. I'm not sure why but everyone seems to spend a long time at the counter. Were they haggling for seat upgrades? It only took me about three minutes to check-in and I even got aisle seats all the way to Bangkok. Waiting for the flight was crazy too. My flight to Taipei was departing at 1:20am at gate 101. For some reason, China Airlines had a flight to Taipei at 1:15am departing from gate 102. Why would you fly basically the same route 5 minutes apart? Even worse, I knew that there was also a Singapore Airlines flight from LAX to Taipei leaving at 1:05am. To make the waiting area even more crowded, there was a Korean Airlines flight to Seoul at gate 103 leaving at about the same time. Lots of people...

Picture of the waiting area taken with the Treo

View from seat 54H (it was a completely full flight)

I sat next to a 70-year old woman from Jakarta and a younger woman from Vietnam. The flight attendents kept speaking Chinese to all of us in my row even though I was the only one that could understand. I had to "translate" for the Indonesian woman (from Chinese to slow English) so much that they thought she was travelling with me. I guess on EVA Air, if you look remotely Asian, they're going to speak Chinese to you. When I flew EVA Air business class back in June, I wasn't very impressed. Well, I'm even less impressed with their economy class service. The seats were really small (34" - I should check with other airlines) and the food was not very good at all. In hindsight, maybe I should have spent $200 extra for "deluxe" economy class where the food was still bad but the seats are much wider. I ended up watching almost every movie shown and getting my customary 30 minute nap on the 13+ hour flight to Taipei. I also tried taking notes on my Treo during the flight but was told that I had to turn off PDA phones during flight. I explained patiently that I turned off the cellular/wireless radio but in the end, I had to "turn off" the Treo (it doesn't really turn off, it only goes into standby mode) to avoid getting into an argument about FAA rules with the flight attendent.

Anyway, my entire flight path this time was:
Los Angeles -> Taipei -> Bangkok
Bangkok -> Udon Thani
Udon Thani -> Bangkok -> Phuket
Phuket -> Bangkok
Bangkok -> Taipei
Taipei -> Los Angeles

Total mileage: >18,000 miles (per Google Earth)

Wallace and Gromet in Taiwan


Gromet (the rabbit is missing an ear)

Monday, October 31, 2005


I'm back from Thailand/Taiwan. It's 4:57am, I can't fall asleep, and there's nothing on TV other than advertising for Girls Gone Wild on 4 different cable channels. I didn't get to post anything with the Treo even though I had a good data connection throughout the entire trip. The keyboard is too small for serious typing. However, I think I got about 200+ undeliverable notices when my email server tried to send my vacation notice to spoofed spam email accounts.

Here are some pics from the trip:

McDonald's on Silom Road in Bangkok (all the Burger Kings seem to be in airport terminals)

Movie posters in "downtown" Udon Thani, Thailand (if you're wondering about the road signs, they drive on the left side of the road in Thailand)

House on Koh Yaow island

The famous jade bok choi from National Palace Museum in Taipei

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Thailand Hotels

I just bought the Lonely Planet guide to Thailand since we have a lot of free time on our Xealot trip and I've decided not to bring a computer. This edition was updated in September 2005 so it should have recent information. Since I can't sleep well on the plane, I've got about 18 hours to read up on Thailand.

I've also been checking out the hotels we're going to be staying at and they all look pretty nice... and cheap. I think the hotel in Udon Thani is only US$25.

Bangkok: Pathumwan Princess Hotel

Udon Thani: Charoensri Grand Royal Hotel

Phuket: Club Andaman Beach Resort

I hope the actual facilities live up to the pictures and words on the Internet.

Testing the Treo, Part 2

This is a test from my work email account to Blogger.

Hmm, how am I going to charge my mp3 player if I don't bring a computer? The
13.5-hour flight from LAX-BKK will wipe out the 10-hour battery charge. Speaking
of which, my cube mp3 player is busted again. I'll have to upload the
firmware again.


Arg, the line breaks are obviously not working. Yahoo! Mail puts them in too early and Goodlink Mail puts them in too late. Did I mention it was hard to type on the Treo's little keyboard? Also, I just noticed that Yahoo! Mail ignored my apostrophes... I'm sure I typed "I'm" instead of "Im".

I think I will go with the low-tech solution of bringing a notebook (paper) and take notes each night and update the blog when I get back.

Testing the Treo

Im debating whether I should bring a laptop to
Thailand or not. I can download pictures off the
camera and update the blog but then I would have to
leave it at the hotel desk all day Saturday.

I can also update the blog with the Treo. Im trying
out the Yahoo! account to see if it works.


Hmm, it did work but Yahoo! Mail adds an irritating signature at the end of the message. I can't seem to get my Adelphia email acount to work with VersaMail on the Treo. I guess I'll have to use my sync'ed work email account to update the blog. Typing on the little Treo keyboard is a pain though...

Monday, October 17, 2005

NewSong Day

Today was an all NewSong day. I was supposed to help out with sound production this morning at 6:30am. When I woke up, it was sunny and about 8am. It turned out I forgot to turn the sound back on on the Treo; I use the Treo as my alarm clock. I jumped up out of bed, brushed my teeth, and was at NewSong NOC in about 15 minutes. Good thing I wasn't the lead audio technician this morning.

After the service, Dave took a bunch of us out to an Italian buffet lunch and then we all drove to Irvine to help unload the truck. It's pretty quick with a couple of people helping but takes forever if you're by yourself, especially unloading the dual 18" subwoofer cabs. I also signed up for Connections class, needed for membership, at 5pm so a couple of people came to my house to hang out. The meeting was at a couple's new house in Buena Park; it's so new that both Yahoo! and Google maps didn't have their address yet. We had more Italian food and found out about NewSong's history and vision/direction. I signed up to be a member but now I have to answer a long list of questions about my faith and spiritual beliefs.

I got to talk to the site pastor, Brian Kim, for a bit tonight and he wants to meet me for lunch later to talk about financial budgeting and reporting. Interestingly, that's really the first time any pastor has asked me about the topic (even when I was a deacon at CCCSB), though it's what I do at work most of the time. I think churches are overly-concerned when talking about money. Of course the church is not a business out there trying to turn a profit. However, tools we learned in business school and use at work can be applied to long-term financial forecasting and spotting trends. Anyway, I'll need to brush up on budgeting and planning for non-profit organizations.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Just Like Heaven

"Show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream" she said
"The one that makes me laugh" she said
And threw her arms around my neck
"Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I'll run away with you
I'll run away with you"

Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make her glow
"Why are you so far away?" she said
"Why won't you ever know that I'm in love with you
That I'm in love with you"

Soft and only
Lost and lonely
Strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You're just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes
And found myself alone alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me

Soft and only
Lost and lonely
Just like heaven

Monday, October 3, 2005

Brea Mall

I went to the mall after work today because I couldn't think of anywhere else to eat. First I went to the pharmacy to pick up my Cipro prescription for Thailand. My doctor wrote that for me in case I get traveller's diarrhea.

I wandered around the mall for several minutes and ended up at the food court. I always end up eating at the teryaki place; today the food wasn't too good, the rice was too wet and the sauce was too salty. It's always kind of depressing having to eat by yourself, especially at 8pm in a mall food court. I usually end up eating at my desk if I can't find someone at work to eat lunch with. Occasionally I go to China Buffet in Fullerton by myself for lunch; I usually bring a magazine to read while I eat and no one notices me.

After dinner at the mall, I went to both Macy's and Robinsons-May to look for some pots. I've been looking for some saucepan/pots to replace the ones we got for our wedding. I really want to get some All-Clad pots but they're really really expensive. At Robinsons-May, they had some Calphalon stuff on sale. I stood there for awhile debating on whether I wanted a 5 quart chili pot. I'm really picky about pots and knives. It took me about 3 months to pick out and buy (waiting for sale) my 8" Henckel chef's knife; it looks like a murder weapon but cuts real well. Finally I went home without buying anything. I had wanted to cook some porridge but I had no pot but since I ate at the mall, I postponed the purchase.

Wow, that was a pretty boring evening.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

UCLA Wins!

UCLA beats Washington 21-17. They were losing the entire game until the last minute of the game. There was pretty much no offense until the last drive of the game. UCLA is now 4-0 on the season; they were ranked #20 before this game but I'm not sure this game will improve their ranking.

The game was at the Rose Bowl and it's now 10:53pm. I hate to be living near the Rose Bowl with 65,000 people trying to leave through residential streets.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Slippery Slope

I guess it was bound to happen...

First Trio "Married" in The Netherlands
From the desk of Paul Belien on Tue, 2005-09-27 00:08

The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals. In the United States some politicians propose �civil unions� that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage. These civil unions differ from marriage only in name.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal �married� both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

�I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both,� Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam�s divorce the threesome decided to marry.

Victor: �A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage.�

Asked by journalists to tell the secret of their peculiar relationship, Victor explained that there is no jealousy between them. �But this is because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual. I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult.� Victor stressed, however, that he is �a one hundred per cent heterosexual� and that a fourth person will not be allowed into the �marriage.� They want to take their marriage obligations seriously: �to be honest and open with each other and not philander.�

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Random Treo Pictures

Roast ducks hanging from Sam Woo in Irvine

Central Garden at the back of The Getty Center

Engineering IV building at UCLA (it says Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science)

Z Tire Pictures

Picture of the spare tire replacing the left rear tire

Old tire is totally shreded

So now all 4 tires are new after 23,000 miles. The front two tires were replaced by Nissan as part of their tire feathering "recall". All the tires are still Bridgestone RE040s but the front have a slightly different tread than the new rear tires. I think Bridgestone made the revised RE040 especially for Nissan to mask the alignment/front suspension problem which caused the tire feathering.

Monday, September 12, 2005


This weekend:

Parking ticket at UCLA for being 2 minutes late: $38
Finding out that your vintage Mcintosh MA-6100 amp is busted: $300
Blowing a tire on the Z and having to replace both rear tires: $600

Not being able to sell stock at 12 month high because you're blacked-out: !@#$%^&*

Friday, September 9, 2005

Xealot Thailand

I booked my ticket today for a trip to Thailand (and Taiwan) next month. I'm going to check out NewSong's ministry over there. The trip is from Sunday (10/23) through Thursday (10/27); I'm going to stay over in Taiwan for two nights on the way back. This time, I'm flying EVA Air again. I wasn't too impressed with their business class when I went to Taiwan in June but this time I'm in coach and Shirley said it wasn't too bad. I'm planning to spend a day at the National Palace Museum. My parents took me there when I was really young so I don't remember much.

I'm also supposed to go to my US Citizenship ceremony later this month. However, once you go, they take your Green Card and you're supposed to apply for a US passport with your citizenship certificate. I think I'll postpone my appointment until later since normal processing for passports take 5 weeks and I may not have any travel documents for the Thailand trip. I can still go on my Canadian passport and come back with the Green Card.

So after 20 years, I'm finally going to be a US Citizen. Hello, jury duty!

Thursday, September 8, 2005

iPod nano

Dang! Apple just came out with a smaller iPod with a color display for $199 (2GB).

Friday, August 26, 2005

MP3 Player

I bought a new mp3 player a couple of weeks ago by mobiBLU.

Yep, I bought the orange one. It reminded me of the 350Z LeMans Sunset color.

I saw the same mp3 player in Hong Kong but it was about US$200 for the 1GB version. The only place to buy the cube player so far is online at Wal-Mart; the 1GB model sells for $129 and the 512MB model sells for $99. They're about the same price as the iPod Shuffle but you get to see what song is playing, ability to organize songs into folders, and it has a FM tuner as well. I even uploaded some Chinese songs and it shows the Chinese characters on the display. It's definitely better than my Rio MP300 which only had 64MB (32MB internal + 32MB expansion card). I could only squeeze in about 15 songs.

BTW, the mp3 player is made in Korea. I guess not everything sold at Wal-Mart is made in China.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New Computer

Just got my new work computer. I had a Dell Latitude C610 for about three years. It is a 1.2GHz P3 that was starting to show it's age. Even after upgrading to 512MB, it took forever to boot up the computer and it was really heavy as well. My new system is a Dell Latitude D410 with a 1.6GHz Pentium-M and 1GB of RAM. So far it runs pretty fast and is very light; the only downside is the CD drive is in a separate unit. Now I have to move all my files from the old computer over and swap out both docking stations.

American Hot Rod

American Hot Rod is a show on Discovery Channel where they build hot-rods. The company featured is Boyd Coddington. I've watched the show a couple of times and wondered where they're located in case I wanted to buy/build a hot rod. It turns out that they're located about 5 minutes from my house.

Monday, August 8, 2005