Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fantasy Football, Pre-week 4

Decisions, decisions...

I have 3 decent running backs but I can only start two of them: Marion Barber, Ronnie Brown, and Frank Gore. I've been playing Brown and Gore for the past three weeks. Even though Frank Gore was my 1st round pick, he's been playing kinda average while Ronnie Brown got me 49 points last week.

I think I'm going to go with Barber and Gore this week.

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Arrggg! Barber only got 9 points while Ronnie Brown had 35! :(

Meanwhile Frank Gore only has 6 points and it's half-way through the 3rd quarter. I should have gone with the "guru" points instead of trying to over-analyze.

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OK, I'm down 12 points but I have Tom Brady left to play vs. Laurence Maroney. Both are on the New England Patriots; more passing, less rushing!

I lost again in my no money league (don't care) but won this week in the third league even though my team sucked.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Clazziquai Project



I've been listening to a lot of Clazziquai recently. I found out about the group through a K-pop website but they're not your typical dance/hip-hop K-pop music group (like the Wonder Girls video I posted). Interestingly, even though all three members are Korean, the group started in Canada so a lot of their songs are in English (yay!).

Here is a video of a song from their 2nd album on YouTube. They've released 3 albums and 2 remix albums so far. You can listen to all their songs on their website.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

USC Career Fair

I volunteered to help out today at Broadcom's booth at the USC Career Fair. Lis (recent USC undergrad) and I carpooled from Irvine and got to our table at 10am where we saw Wendy, our HR college relations person, setting up. What followed were hundreds of students coming up to our table and asking us about internships and full-time jobs. During the first hour, all three of us would be talking to different students and taking resumes at the same time and still have lots of people in line. It's a tough job... I was really tired at the end of the 4 1/2 hours.

We were supposed to be recruiting for accounting and finance today but 95% of the people we talked to were graduate EE or CS students. Is USC still giving these degrees away?* Also, about 2/3 of the engineering students we talked to were from India and all needed H1 visas. We quickly learned to tell the difference between graduate engineering students and pretty much everyone else. Of course, it was much easier for me having been one of them before.

Some of these students were very persistent. There was one guy who was a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in control systems. I told him I was pretty sure we did not have many opportunities that fit his background but he insisted I take his 5-page resume. Another person wanted me to set up interviews for him for a finance position despite having no finance experience or education.


Our "booth" from the back. We didn't set up our backdrop since the two companies on either side of us hogged all the space.


Hundreds of companies...


"Anybody looking for a finance job?"

I didn't get a picture but I talked to a guy wearing a Ming Hsieh T-shirt. Ming is Haley's cousin who donated $35M to USC and only got the EE department named after him; the engineer school is named after Andrew Viterbi. Henry Samuely Samueli got his name on the engineering schools at UCLA for $30M and UCI for $20.

* I got my MSEE degree at USC too: 9 classes, no thesis or dissertation, no final project :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Paul Fromm

I got an email from Tim, someone I went to high school (Applewood Heights Secondary School) with in Canada. We haven't been in contact since I left the Great White North 22 years ago. He found my email address on our old high school alumni site.

The weird part of the story is that Tim found my email by accident. He was looking for info on Paul Fromm, who was in a segment on The Daily Show yesterday. Paul Fromm was an English teacher at Applewood and he was my teacher for grade 12 English (ENG451). I didn't know it at the time but he turned out to be a huge neo-Nazi activist. I don't remember any overt racist/fascist remarks from Mr. Fromm though... he was actually a pretty boring teacher.

Applewood was mostly white back in 1985 so I must have stuck out as one of the few Asians at the school. I ended up getting a 75% in the class and a "good effort" comment on my final report card. Not sure if his anti-immigration ideology had anything to do with my grade... and yes, I still have my old report cards, even ones from Taiwan.



I think Mr. Fromm confused The Daily Show with a real news program. I originally thought this was a hoax but the Wikipedia entry cites a 2005 Globe and Mail article that Paul Fromm founded the "Canada First Immigration Reform Committee" and the guy in the video looks like the guy in my 1985 yearbook--yearbook faculty advisor, no less!

Bonds' ball to be branded with asterisk

Associated Press
NEW YORK - The ball Barry Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th home run will be branded with an asterisk and sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fashion designer Marc Ecko, who bought the ball in an online auction, set up a Web site for fans to vote on the ball's fate, and Wednesday announced the decision to brand it won out over the other options — sending it to Cooperstown unblemished or launching it into space.

Ecko said he believed the vote to brand the ball showed people thought "this was shrouded in a chapter of baseball history that wasn't necessarily the clearest it could be."


I voted for the asterisk.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

College Recruiting

I'm headed to USC this Thursday to attend their Undergrad Career Fair with a co-worker that just graduated last year from USC. It's kind of funny since I graduated from UCLA undergrad; I would have never guessed that I would recruit at USC but I've been on the recruiting for the past three years. I think during that time, we've hired two full-time MBA's, four MBA interns, and six undergrads. I've interviewed all of them and five of them ended up working for me (at different times).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fantasy Football, Week 3

I don't have any updates on my two Yahoo! leagues but I won big on the $100 league on CBS Sports. I was down quite a bit in the pre-game match-up but ended up winning 180-105 with 49 points coming from Ronnie Brown. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check the scores from the other two leagues.



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Arg, I lost in both my other leagues... by a lot. Larry Johnson sucked again. :(

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wonder Girls

video
Tell Me performance, 2007-09-09

The first two girls to sing are only 15 years old; the other three are 18 to 19.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rain

It's raining like crazy outside. This is the first major storm of fall/winter so expect lots of flash floods and accidents. Leon called me from the airport (returning from China) and the Sepulveda tunnel is closed, probably due to flooding. I guess I won't be doing any laundry tonight.

Form 8-K

My former manager was recently promoted to VP of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, and today we filed a form 8-K with the SEC.
Change in Directors or Principal Officers

Item 5.02 Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

(c) On September 14, 2007 the Board of Directors of Broadcom Corporation elected Bret W. Johnsen as Vice President and Corporate Controller, and designated him as Principal Accounting Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Johnsen succeeds Bruce E. Kiddoo, who resigned from those positions effective August 31, 2007.

Mr. Johnsen, 38, joined Broadcom as a Corporate Accounting Manager in October 1999. From June 2000 through December 2003 Mr. Johnsen served as Controller for various business groups within Broadcom. He was appointed Director of Finance, Worldwide Operations in April 2003, and became Senior Director of Finance & Operations - Worldwide Manufacturing in May 2005. Most recently he served as Senior Director of Finance - Wireless Connectivity Group. Prior to joining Broadcom, Mr. Johnsen served as the Corporate Controller of Classified Ventures, Inc., an Internet company specializing in classified advertising. Before joining Classified Ventures, Mr. Johnsen served in various financial management positions at Qualcomm Incorporated. He received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Southern California and an M.S. in Finance from San Diego State University. Mr. Johnsen is a certified public accountant, licensed in California.

I worked for Bret from June 2000 through February 2007. Since he's the biggest USC fan at work, everyone assumed that he got his MBA from USC. Not many people realize that he actually went through the part-time program at SDSU. It's no big deal but Bret used to say that if people want to think he was an USC MBA alumni, there's no need to correct them. Now that fact is out there for the world to see, although I'm not sure who actually reads 8-K filings.

Monday, September 17, 2007

AAdvantage Gold

I don't travel that much for business and my personal travel is scattered across lots of different airlines since I usually look for the cheapest fares. However, with the recent trips to Chengdu on Cathay Pacific, I've accumulated enough miles to get gold status on AAdvantage. It's not much but it lets me use the business class check-in line and board early. Of course, I received the card in the mail today, after returning from Portland where I could have used it on Alaska Airlines.

After the planned November trip to Chengdu again, I may have enough miles to hit platinum which lets me into business class lounges on all oneworld airlines. Woohoo!

Fantasy Football - Week 2

I got the 2nd lowest score in my $100 league; good thing I'm up against the lowest scoring team this week. Actually, I may still lose this match-up since they have two players (WR and K) left to go tonight and I have none. Hopefully my 28 point lead will hold.

I also won my other money league by at least 3 points even though my opponent has Carson Palmer. I was saved by Jamal Lewis who had a huge game against Cincinnati though Larry Johnson, my 1st pick, continues to disappoint. Finally, I'm up by 4 points in the "no money on the line" league but they have a WR and a TE left to play.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Addison

New pictures of my niece in Portland:


Happy


Hmm, who am I sitting on?


Ready for hiking


First time eating "real" food

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fantasy Football - Week 1

I'm 3 for 3 this week! This means I'll probably lose all three leagues in the end. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Travel

Our family didn't travel all that much in the past. We moved from Taipei to Toronto then to Los Angeles but we did not go on many vacations. Recently however, with everyone living in different places, there are lots of trips to the airport. My parents are arriving at LAX in about 90 minutes so I'm leaving soon to pick them up, right after I clean up the apartment a bit.

I've been to Hong Kong/Chengdu twice this year already and I'm planning to go again in November. In addition, I'm also flying up to Portland to see my sister and probably to Toronto during Christmas to visit my parents. I used to think air travel was a big deal but after 5 trips to Asia in 2 years, it almost seems routine.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Driven Out

I'm reading a non-fiction book, Driven Out by Jean Pfaelzer, that documents the roundup and purging of Chinese immigrants in America from 1850-1906.
At nine o'clock on the morning of November 3, 1885, steam whistles blew at the foundries and mills across Tacoma, to announce the start of the purge of all the Chinese people from the town. Saloons closed and police stood by as five hundred men, brandishing clubs and pistols, went from house to house in the downtown Chinese quarter and through the CHinese tenements along the city's wharf. Sensing the storm ahead, earlier in the week, about fine hundred Chinese people had fled from Tacoma. Now the rest were given four hours to be ready to leave.

- Introduction to Driven Out

I took a lot of Chinese history classes at UCLA while I was an undergrad but I've never heard much about the history of Chinese people in the Pacific Northwest and California. I knew about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the only immigration law passed to exclude a specific ethnic group, but not much else was discussed, even in my modern Chinese history class. This book looks interesting since it has a lot of archival material collected from all over California, Oregon, and Washington, and also first hand accounts from the persecuted Chinese victims.



I'm only half-way through chapter 1 and it already looks like it will be a depressing book, like all Chinese history books I've read, especially those dealing with the Cultural Revolution. :(

Friday, September 7, 2007

Goats sacrificed to fix Nepal jet

BBC Article
Nepal's state-run airline has confirmed that it sacrificed two goats to appease a Hindu god, following technical problems with one of its aircraft.

Nepal Airlines said the animals were slaughtered in front of the plane - a Boeing 757 - at Kathmandu airport.

The offering was made to Akash Bhairab, the Hindu god of sky protection, whose symbol is seen on the company's planes.

The airline said that after Sunday's ceremony the plane successfully completed a flight to Hong Kong.

"The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has resumed its flights," senior airline official Raju KC was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Nepal Airlines has two Boeing aircraft in its fleet.

The persistent faults with one of the planes had led to the postponement of a number of flights in recent weeks.

The company has not said what the problem was, but reports in local media have blamed an electrical fault.

Wait... if the plane crashes, are Boeing and Nepal Airlines off the hook since it's an act of god? I think they should have hired a mechanic and paid him with the goats.

Monday, September 3, 2007

$300k+ Car

I saw a Maybach on the 405 freeway this afternoon. It didn't look stretched so it was probably a 57 instead of a 62. From far away, it looks like a Mercedes-Benz S-class with different tail-lights. I guess it's no big deal compared to a Bugatti Veyron or a Rolls Royce Phantom but you don't see too many of these on the road.


I tried to take a picture but didn't want to get too close at 75mph

More SeeYa MV

I can't seem to upload my copy of the video file on Blogger so here it is on YouTube. Once again, they don't appear in their own video and the ending is sad; however, this is only part 1 so maybe it gets better in part 2... or worse.


사랑의 인사 by 씨야 (SeeYa)

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Here is another MV from their 2nd album and it's different from all their previous videos. It appears to be a happy song (Let's Get Married), they're actually in the video, and no one dies, at least not on-screen. The ending is a bit unbelievable though, as if Nam Gyuri is going to fall for a older balding guy.


결혼할까요 by 씨야 (SeeYa)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hot

It's super crazy hot outside. The Weather Channel says the high was 96˚F but I was just outside and it feels much hotter. Good thing humidity is only 40%, not like 90% in Chengdu.

Definitely no bike riding today... and no buying meat from the back of someone's bicycle or truck.

Korean Music Video

video
사랑한다는 말 by 김종국 (Kim Jong Kook)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Short Travel Vids

A couple of short videos I took with my Sony camera in Taiwan last year.

video
Waterfall in Toroko Gorge

video
Waves off the western coast of Taiwan near Kaoshiung. There was a typhoon offshore causing the large waves. Parts of the rest stop where I took the video was destroyed by waves the night before.

SRT Bike Ride

SRT is the Santa Ana River Trail and it starts somewhere in the San Bernardino Mountains, goes through Riverside County and ends up in Huntington/Newport Beach. We were supposed to meet at 9:00am in Yorba Linda but I missed my alarm so we didn't get going until around 10:00am. Next time, we're going to get started much earlier since the temperature was already crazy hot by the time we started. I think the hot weather is following me from China; it was probably close to 90˚F but not too humid.

We rode the trail, which roughly followed the 91 freeway then the 57 freeway, for about an hour and then turned around; I traced the path in Google Earth and it was about 15 miles round-trip. Most of the way was pretty flat except for the dips when we crossed under major roads. There wasn't really too much to see since we were pretty much riding in a large concrete canal. 15 miles doesn't seem very far but the hot weather made it worse and I ran out of water in my Camelback pack with about 2 miles to go.

To reward ourselves after the ride, we had In-N-Out for lunch. :)


Randy's new road bike. I rode my old Giant hybrid, which while not ideal on pavement, was probably much better then trying to ride my dual-suspension mountain bike.


When you get to Orange County, the Santa Ana River is essentially a concrete lined canal. However, there is still a lot of vegetation growth and wildlife (mostly ducks and crane/stork-like birds).


We rode right next to the Honda Center (formerly the Arrowhead Pond)


... and Anaheim Stadium.

More Music Videos

video
The Look of Love by Diana Krall

This was a 9MB ASF file; I can't remember where I downloaded it from. It was quicker to upload and process but the quality is not as good as the A-mei video.

Video Blogging Test

Blogger now lets you add videos to your blog. I'm going to try an upload a KTV video of an A-mei song I'm learning. Need to be prepared with a couple of Chinese songs if you're going to do business in China!

video
我要快樂 by 張惠妹 (A-mei)

The video is 21MB and is taking a long time to upload & process. It's probably converting it to Flash, similar to YouTube and other video sites. It was originally from a DVD that I ripped to MP4 for my iPod.