Sunday, July 30, 2006


Tomorrow would have been our 7th wedding anniversary. I've decided to take the day off from work since I won't be too productive anyway. Hopefully this is the bottom and things will improve after tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


It looks like Honda is making airplanes now, including the jet engine. It's a very small jet with seating for 7, like a minivan or SUV. The range is only 2,000 km, so to fly from LA to Toronto, you would need to stop and get gas somewhere in Nebraska. I wonder how much it's going to sell for.

Of course, the HondaJet is nothing like the Saab Gripen which seats only 2 people and costs $25M.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


It was really really hot this past weekend so I ended up sitting in front of the air conditioner all weekend. With nothing else better to do, I re-read three novels by Michael Stackpole based on the BattleTech universe. It took me about 12 hours to read all three books.

In addition to the novels, I also bought a lot of MechWarrior PC games during the past 10 years. I used to play them on my old PCs with a Microsoft Sidewinder joystick but now everything connects via USB ports. After reading the stories, I felt like blowing things up with lasers and missiles so I went to Fry's on Sunday and picked up a Logitech Extreme 3D joystick for $30.

Even though the game was six years old, I managed to install MechWarrior 4: Vengeance on my work computer running XP Professional. So far, it seems to run okay except the missions are more difficult than I remembered; I keep getting killed even on the easiest level. I thought I finished the game when I first bought it. Hmm, I'm going to blame it on the faster computer or new joystick... but it's probably old age.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Opening Day at Del Mar

Some photos from Opening Day yesterday at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club near San Diego. The grandstand was packed with people; I've never seen so many hats and breast implants (sorry, no photos). Don't ask how I was able to take these photos on a work day.

Midas Venice 320

This is the mixer we use for NewSong NOC worship services; Irvine has a larger Verona board, also built by Midas. There are 682 knobs, buttons, and sliders on the top surface of the mixer. In addition, there are 146 connectors (XLR/TRS/RCA) at the back. Each Sunday, I have about 90 minutes to unload the sound equipment truck, plug in all the wires, and run sound check with the worship team to set most of the 682 controls on the mixer. It was a pretty simple band setup this week but due to the drama segment, I ended up using 20 out of 24 mono inputs.

I think the list price is about $6,000.

Learning How to Putt

Our beginner golf class on the practice green at
Oak Creek Golf Club

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Google Earth

Google Earth must have updated some of their satellite pictures recently. Last October, I took a photo of a blue-roofed house on Ko Yao Yai off the coast of Phuket. Each time I looked at the island in Google Earth, I could not see any details within the low resolution pictures. However, with higher resolution pictures this time, I was able to find several places where I took photos.

Google Earth view (7°58'55.90"N, 98°34'12.53"E)

Photo of house with blue roof near the center of image above

I didn't realize that Phuket was ~8°N latitude. No wonder it was so hot. If you look in Google Earth, you'd realize that the island is in the middle of nowhere; it took us about an hour by boat to reach the island. During the boat ride, in the middle of the ocean/bay, I had full signal strength on my Treo and even received a couple of emails. Of course, I get dropped all the time driving on the freeway in SoCal.

Google Earth view of a beach on the south end of the island

Photo of the beach houses taken from the end of the pier. The water was warm and very clear.

A zoomed-out Google Earth view of the area. Ko Yao Yai is off the east coast of Phuket.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blogger Spam

Arg! I just got hit with 92 pieces of Blogger spam from the same "Anonymous" poster. I used to get about one per week but not this much at once, and one per post too.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fat Lady Sings...

7/31/1999 to 7/14/2006

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Old Camera

I found my "old" Canon T50 SLR camera I bought when we first moved to California in 1985. The camera came with a 50mm lens and I bought a 80-200mm telephoto zoom lens as well. It was a simple camera to use—although you had to focus manually—and took pretty good pictures.

Image from Canon's Camera Museum

I checked the frame counter and it showed "4" which means I took three pictures already. I think the film inside (if there is even film inside) is from before 2000 and I'm not even sure if it's a 24 or 36 exposure roll. I changed out the batteries and the camera seems to work. I guess I'll have to shoot the rest of the roll and get it developed.

All the recent pictures I took on this website was with a Sony DSC-W5. Earlier pictures are from a Sony DSC-L1 or Sony DSC-U20. I've been pretty happy with Sony digital cameras. The really crappy looking pictures were taken with my Treo 650.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Pit of Despair

I just spent the past eight hours in the office working on a PowerPoint presentation of Q2 financial results. Sometimes Often, I feel my job is completely pointless.

Sigh... at least there's A/C and free sodas.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Italy 2 - Germany 0

Wow, Italy scored 2 goals in about a minute in overtime... and I thought Germany was going to win the whole thing.

Pre-Independence Day BBQ

I finally got to use my BBQ at the apartment. I invited several co-workers over for dinner yesterday and I grilled up some filet mignon, halibut, and jumbo shrimps. I've cooked steak and shrimp on the BBQ before but this is the first time I tried halibut filets. I even went out and bought a grilling basket so the fish wouldn't fall apart while cooking. I have one more piece of filet mignon left; maybe I'll grill it up for dinner tonight.

I've also starting cooking a bit more at home. I think it helps me feel less like a transient since I pretty much ate at work or ordered take-out for the first few months after moving. Too bad my kitchen in the apartment is tiny.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

France 1 - Brazil 0

Wow, France almost didn't make it out of their group. I guess everyone in Brazil can get back to work now... :)