Monday, June 29, 2009

Final Fantasy VII

I'm finished with inFamous for now so I bought Final Fantasy VII online for $10. It's running on my PS3 in some kind of PSOne emulation mode. The graphics are chunky and it looks/feels like the original. I actually played through the game on a PC. Elim lent it to me many years ago... so long in fact that there are a lot of surprises since I've forgotten most of it.

I have Final Fantasy X and X-2 for the PS2. The newest game in the series is FF XIII for the PS3 but it's not out yet.

She must be from Shanghai

Either that or she is a high-ranking CCP member. The arrogance and self-righteousness is appalling.
Woman charged with kidnapping 5-year-old boy

ROCKVILLE, Md. - A woman has been charged with kidnapping a kindergartener at a Rockville elementary school.

Xuhua Huang, 39, and her husband were called to Lakewood Elementary School on Tuesday to pick up their sick daughter. As the husband and daughter were waiting in the family's van, Huang returned to the school.

Rockville City Police say Huang didn't think her daughter was being treated well and decided to leave with a different child to test how the school would react.

Tell Me Your Wish - Live Performances

I think I mentioned before that there are three major Korean TV networks (KBS, MBC, SBS) and each has a weekly music performance show that typically features the same artists each weekend. The shows are on different nights:

Friday - KBS Music Bank
Saturday - MBC Music Core
Sunday - SBS Inkigayo (Popular Song)

Each show is only an hour long but can take up to six hours to tape due to multiple takes and set changes. It must be a busy weekend for groups that are promoting their album. The video above is a mix of SNSD's performance of their new single 소원을 말해봐 (Genie). They must be using the same background track each show since the audio matches perfectly.


OK, I'm going to be a sound nerd and complain about the audio quality again. They obviously spend a lot of time and money on the stage set each week. What I don't understand is why the sound quality, as heard on the TV broadcast, is so bad. Even though it's a "live" performance, the broadcast is not; the many hours of taping are edited into an hour-long show. The most glaring example for SNSD is when Jessica sings her solo parts; I think her singing voice is softer than other members. The audio level in the mix for her is always low, often barely audible over the backing track. Why? Don't they sound check each mic before the performance? I know there are a lot of groups performing and they have to share mics, but they should have a digital sound board where you can store level settings for each group. Maybe they don't keep track of which wireless mic each vocalist uses so they're all set to the same level... unlikely but extremely sloppy if true. Although the scale is much smaller, I think we do a better job with the sound mix at NewSong each week.

Also, they should be using a least two sound boards, one for live sound and the other for broadcast/recording. If I ever travel to Seoul, I want to check out their sound setup. Since these are music performance shows, you would think that there would be an emphasis on sound quality. The audio engineer on the broadcast sound board needs to pay attention and balance the different channels in the mix through headphones. Since they're going to edit the broadcast, they also should be recording each channel separately and remixing the sound during the edit. I'm not sure if they're doing all this; it sounds like they're just using the final house mix, which is rarely suitable for broadcast or recording. In the past, I've talked with the sound coordinator for Promise Keepers and they use at least 5 sound boards for their live events: house mix, stage monitors, live broadcast, recording for CD/DVD, and something else (can't remember).

소원을 말해봐 performance on SBS Inkigayo (6/28/09). Jessica is the 2nd solo singer... see, can't hear her at all. This seems to be true for different TV networks, which is really weird.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Co-op Laundromat

Every so often, I need to make a trip to the local laundromat to use their large capacity washers as the home/apartment washers are too small for comforters. Since my parents are coming this week and won't have their furniture until the following Monday, I'm setting up an air mattress in the new apartment. I haven't washed the sheets, pillow cases, and comforters in quite awhile, so this was a good excuse.

Laundromat in a strip mall. I probably should have drove the 4Runner to draw less attention. I've been here a couple of times already to wash the same comforters.

The place was quite busy. I didn't know there were so many apartments (I'm assuming none of the customers owned a house) do not have a laundry room. About 90% of the people were Hispanic.

I brought two comforters to wash so I used the largest washer; you can see my $400 Lauren Ashley comforter (wedding gift) in the left washer. The cost was $4 for each wash and the sign said that it held six loads. That works out to be cheaper than my apartment's $1.25 per washer load. The wash took 25 minutes and about 20 minutes to dry (using two dryers). Some white guy came in after me and used the other machine to wash a sleeping bag. Hmm... I need to wash my sleeping bag as well.

The entire operation took about an hour. For most of the time, I was sitting in some chairs next to this young "couple"... I wasn't sure if they were married, dating, or related. Anyway, the girl was dressed normally in a tank-top and shorts but the guy had the wannabe gangsta look: huge white t-shirt, baggy shorts, and a wife-beater cap. He had trouble walking since the top of his shorts only came up to the middle of his thigh (boxers on underneath). The girl spent the entire time folding clothes while he just sat there on his ass complaining that it's taking so long. Most of the t-shirts coming out of the dryer were his and they were size 3XL to 5XL. Fashion (non)sense aside, I overheard one of his phone conversations and he sounded retarded; maybe his fashion IQ is correlated with his actual IQ.

I actually had some deep thoughts while waiting for my comforters to dry. What keeps a family poor generation after generation? I assumed that the guy in question was not a recent immigrant from Latin America since there wasn't really an accent; he just spoke like a sixth grader. Is it the neighborhood? Is it some sort of cultural aversion towards education? Why did he talk like an uneducated fool... to impress his GF or his homies? I can understand if the first generation has language barriers but why are the 2nd and 3rd generation still poor?

"New" Apartment

I'm hanging out in my parent's empty apartment, waiting for my laundry to dry. They are moving here next Friday... actually, their furniture has already been picked up by the moving company. To make things easier, I got them an one-bedroom apartment (almost directly) downstairs from me. It's a slightly bigger floorplan which they will need to store their furniture and boxes of stuff.

Right now I'm borrowing someone's wireless signal. From my apartment, I can see about a dozen access points and this was the only non-secure AP. My 802.11n router shows up with about 2 bars of signal and drops quite often. I know my parents like to watch Chinese TV streaming over the web so I bought another Netgear wireless-N router, which I will try to configure as a repeater. This way, they can share my 10Mb cable modem connection and save some money. I don't know how to share my cable TV signal so they may have to get their own cable account.

I've been too lazy to really cook for the past 3+ years. Now that my parents are right next to me for the next six months, maybe I'll get some home-cooked food. I probably should also learn how to cook Chinese food from them...

Friday, June 26, 2009

K-pop Beatbox

Awesome! SM should have got him to perform live with SNSD at Hollywood Bowl. I can't figure out what he's blabbing about at the end though... "Asianese?"

SNSD - Gee

2NE1 - Fire

Michael Jackson is Dead

I'm sure everyone has heard the news. As someone that grew up in the 80's, it's hard not to know about MJ. He wasn't high on my list of favorite artists but he had a good voice and was a great performer. It was kinda sad watching his gradual meltdown over the past decade.

Be The Voice - Rock With You (Michael Jackson)

Winterplay - Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)

I actually have some of his songs on my iTunes. The person doing live sound training thought Thriller was one of the best produced albums and told us to listen to the tracks as an example of good mixing. Even though it was a studio recording, the stereo mix gave the listener a 3D mental image of the band.

DJ, Put It Back On

SNSD - 소원을 말해봐 (Genie)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Mini-Album from SNSD

Heh, when they released their first mini-album (Gee) back in January, it hit #1 in Korea the same week. I think it's going to happen again. Not sure I like the military costumes though. Here are more pictures; I think there was a comment about short skirts in another post.

Teaser video for title song. I wish they could have found someone with a better English accent (though I heard it's the song composer).

Audio - first track: 소원을 말해봐 (Genie). 120k+ views on YouTube in three days. Crazy!

Audio - second track: Etude.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chinese Bigfoot

One of the more popular TV stations in China is Hunan TV (Chinese website). When I was sick in Chengdu this past March, I spent a lot of time watching TV. There were a lot of CCTV stations as well as Sichuan and Chengdu stations but their shows were lame. It was either news programs, historical dramas, or movies of brave Communist troops fighting the evil Japanese and/or Nationalists. Yawn.

The shows on Hunan TV were more interesting. They had lots of variety shows and dubbed Korean dramas; I watched many episodes of Famous Princesses in Chinese. Hunan TV also hosted the Super Girl/Happy Girl competition.

Anyway, using software from TVU Networks, I can watch a lot of Chinese channels streaming from the web, including Hunan TV with only about a 30 second delay. I was talking to my friend in Chengdu today and she told me to turn to Hunan TV. They're showing a "documentary" about this guy claiming to see a 2m hairy human-like animal running around in the mountain forest... basically a Chinese Bigfoot. She kept asking me, "Do you think it's real?" I tell her it's probably fake since we have lots of stories about Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, and other wild humanoids here in the US and none of it has been verified. I don't think she believes me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Same BS, Different Country

Right before the Tiananmen anniversary, the Chinese Communist government blocked access to a lot of Internet sites, including Twitter. Now the same thing is happening in Iran where there is a lot of protests against vote fraud during last week's election.


Iranians warned not to use sites such as Twitter

Iranians who have been using websites such as Twitter to record every twist and turn of the political crisis faced the threat of state retribution yesterday from the country's feared Revolutionary Guard.

The elite military force issued a statement alleging it had identifed websites run by companies it charged were backed by the US and British secret services.

It warned that it would take action against people stoking "tensions" using new media, such as the micro-blogging website Twitter, which has been a key tool in the dissemination of news at a time of upheaval and censorship.

The Revolutionary Guard, set up in the wake of the 1979 revolution to defend the Islamic Republic from "internal and external" threats has struggled to contain an explosion of news and comment published on websites.

"We warn those who propagate riots and spread rumours that our legal action against them will cost them dearly, especially since some of the youth of this land were killed by the thugs' action, so we urge them to delete such material from their sites," its statement said.

It's quite easy to spot the dictatorships and political thugs. They're always the ones trying to restrict journalists and media reporting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Total Solar Eclipse in China

I blogged about solar eclipses way back in 2006, about a year before I started traveling to Chengdu. Looking at the map of eclipses, I though that Shanghai may be a good place to visit in 2009. However, since then, I've made seven trips to Chengdu and in 5 weeks, Chengdu will be in the path of totality. My first thought was, "OK, how much are plane tickets at this point?" Then I checked the calendar and our Q2 earnings call is on the following day. That means I have almost zero chance of taking off from work to experience the eclipse. BTW, plane tickets are about $1800.

Here is more info on the upcoming eclipse from NASA. Chengdu is a bit north of the centerline but still in the path. From the map, it looks like Chengdu will get about 3 minutes of totality. Further east, Wuhan is going to be very close to the centerline and will experience 5 1/2 minutes of darkness.

Eclipses are rare and to have the path of totality cross over millions of people is even more rare. The next time we can see a total eclipse in the US will be in 2017. Sigh... maybe Leon will be there in July to take some pictures for me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


OK, it helps if you put in the right search term. The jazz group's name is WINTERPLAY, one word. Here's their website and they even have a MySpace page. The vocalist's name is 혜원 (Haewon).

Men Are No Good


Looks can be deceiving. Part of the hype around Susan Boyle is that she doesn't look the part of a Broadway singer. Likewise, when I first saw Whale on Star Golden Bell, I was surprised at her voice and her name. I cut out the relevant 60 second clip:


Luckily, there is a bit more info on W&Whale on the web. The name of the band is W and her name is Whale. I haven't found the backstory of why she chose that stage name. They have two albums out in Korea and a couple of quirky MV's.

W&Whale - R.P.G. Shine
I just noticed at the beginning of the MV it says W&鲸 which is whale in Chinese/Hanja. She also looks different in the MV compared to the Star Golden Bell clip.

Say My Name (Destiny's Child)
Hmm, she looks different here too. Maybe she went for a stealth no make-up look on the Star Golden Bell. Here are more HD videos on Youtube.

Winterplay (K-jazz)

If you search SNSD using Google, it returns about 4.57 million hits in 0.09 seconds. Since everything is connected through the Internet (except North Korea), there is a lot of K-pop info on the web. However, it is still hard to find stuff for less popular artists, especially when I can't read Korean. I found a couple Youtube videos by a Korean jazz group called Winter Play Winterplay (one word). Other than the two videos, I couldn't find any more info on the web.

Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)
The singer looks a bit like Shu Qi, the Chinese actress in The Transporter. Her English is not too shabby.

Come Together (The Beatles)
Here she is joined by Horan of Ibadi/Clazziquai. Trumpet solo!

I can't find any info on Winter Play from online stores as well. If Sunny (ex-coworker) goes back to visit Korea this September, I'll ask her to see if she can find any CD's in music stores.


UPDATE: 1/14/2011

I managed to find a lot more on Winterplay, including replacement YouTube links to the dead ones above.

Billy Jean (Michael Jackson) - Winterplay

Come Together (The Beatles) - Winterplay + Horan

Quando Quando Quando - Winterplay

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Street Sound - Brown Eyed Girls

OK, enough about China... Blogspot is blocked over there and nobody cares anyway. Back to more K-pop.

I found this video on YouTube. The show is call Street Sound Take 1 and features various bands performing live. The concept is pretty cool, and requires that the singers have some talent. The group in this video is Brown Eyed Girls and they perform three songs. I think they're one of the most underrated groups in K-pop. All three vocalists are really good, and although I'm not a fan of rap in any language, I like Miryo (the one playing guitar in the Street Sound video) too.

One of the complaints about the Korean pop industry, especially when it comes to idol groups (SNSD, Wonder Girls, Super Junior, SS501, etc), is that it is dominated by a few entertainment management companies, and they have a lot of sway with music performance shows and radio programs. As a result, independent artists and those from smaller companies that have more "talent" do not get as much exposure. Maybe that's why there are so many similar sounding groups of mediocre talent and lip-syncing is so prevalent at live shows.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Green Dam Youth Escort

A lot has been written about China's edict that all computers sold in China must have an Internet censoring software pre-installed beginning on July 1, 2009. It wasn't very well received, either by foreign PC manufacturers or Chinese netizens.

Yesterday, a CS professor at the University of Michigan published a report that details a lot of flaws with the software.
Our brief testing proves that Green Dam contains very serious security vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, these problems seem to reflect systemic flaws in the code. The software makes extensive use of programming techniques that are known to be unsafe, such as deprecated C string processing functions including sprintf and fscanf. These problems are compounded by the design of the program, which creates a large attack surface: since Green Dam filters and processes all Internet traffic, large parts of its code are exposed to attack.

If Green Dam is deployed in its current form, it will significantly weaken China's computer security. While the flaws we discovered can be quickly patched, correcting all the problems in the Green Dam software will likely require extensive rewriting and thorough testing. This will be difficult to achieve before China's July 1 deadline for deploying Green Dam nationwide.

In addition to being a piece-of-crap software, which the Chinese government is paying $millions (can you say guanxi), it appears that portions of the code is either open source or stolen from other commercial Internet blocking software. Epic fail.

Nobody is buying the lie that the goal of the program is to block pornography from children. Obviously it's another way to control information flow within China. In the version UM tested, there is already a complex filter to block all references to Falun Gong.
The new rules say all PCs sold in China after June 30 must include special software — designed by a company with links to China’s military and security agencies — to filter out pornography and other “vulgar” material. Beijing claims that it is trying to protect children. Don’t believe it.

In any country, such vague terms would be a frightening license for government intrusion. China’s government, which fears the free flow of ideas, already vigorously restricts Internet content, including blocking access to Web sites on Tibet, human rights and other politically sensitive subjects.

Chinese bloggers, dissidents and even some state news media outlets are right to worry that the new software could be used even more nefariously: to collect personal data and spy on consumer Web habits.

The contract for the software, meanwhile, was awarded without industry input. There are serious questions about whether the product will even work.

Sigh... you'd think they would be better liars with so much practice. Maybe this is satire?
What is controversial about the filter software controversy?
by Yan Bingguang / Xinhua

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's requirement that all computers come pre-loaded with the Green Dam-Youth Escort Internet filtering software has garnered quite a bit of attention of late, and one interesting thing about it is that while support largely stems from end users, opposing opinions primarily come from a minority of media outlets and businesses.


You may notice that the MIIT's measures are first met with skepticism, but after ministry spokespersons explain in detail, the skeptical voices gradually fade away. This says that public apprehension is largely due to a lack of understanding and trust. It reminds us that the when the government brings forth measures that concern the public interest, it must fully respect the public's democratic rights and act within the scope permitted by the law, while at the same time making a public explanation of the situation as soon as is possible, to answer any doubts the public may have. This is how to win the public's support.

Oops, he said "public's democratic rights"... maybe he needs some 劳动教养 (re-education through labor).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Bad Drivers

Avoid this car!

On my way back to work from lunch today, I was cut off again at the same on/off-ramp. This time it was a black Porsche Cayenne Turbo trying to take the MacArthur exit. There's really no good reason for him (yes, another white guy) to cut me off from the left, especially when there is no one behind me. I think he gains two or three positions on the exit ramp, saving about... 5 seconds? At least I didn't get the finger this time.

My entire commute was about 6 minutes so I'm only posting the relevant 30 seconds. The exit lane is quite long and there was a lot of room behind me to merge in and exit. I was probably going ~60mph when Mr. Cayenne suddenly sped up and cut into my lane. You can't see the front of my car but it was really close, probably only about 2-3 feet of clearance. I guess if you spent $100k on a 500hp SUV that you never take off-road, you have to show off somewhere. I should have rammed him to see how much the bumper costs... oh well, next time. :)


On a techical note, the original 6 minute video clip was a 471MB Quicktime movie (848x480 30fps). That seems ridiculously large. I saved the short 30 second clip as an AVI file using Quicktime Pro and it was only ~8MB. I think I'll delete the original file since there's nothing else intereting in the video clip.

Muslims invented compass and printing?

Barak Obama gave a long speech at the Cairo University on June 4th. I dropped the entire text of the speech into MS Word and it counted 5,802 words. I think that's way too long; perhaps Obama should have cut down the length and hired better fact checkers.
As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.

It is pretty well established that Chinese people invented the compass and printing. I know that Obama likes to pander to his audience, evidenced by his campaign promises, but I'm not sure what he gains here? Even worse, he begins this section by saying, "As a student of history" then goes and screws up historical facts.

Ahem, I thought he was the smartest guy in the world...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bad Driver

The exit right before the one I take to get to work has a long exit only lane that is connected to the previous on-ramp. In the morning, cars get backed up in the exit lane so some people wait until the last minute to cut in, often obstructing lanes, making it dangerous for people in the normal traffic lanes. In addition, people just pulling on the freeway also cut into the traffic lanes early, going much too slow, so they avoid the row of cars trying to exit. Anyway, due to the road design and poor/inpatient drivers, I'm surprised there are not "accidents" every morning.

This morning, I came to work a bit later than usual so there wasn't any traffic on this on-ramp/exit lane. However, old white guy in a new MB C300 decides to cut into the traffic lane without looking. As he was cutting me off, by no more than 2-3 feet, I honk my horn to warn him since I was still going ~20 mph faster than he was. Without glancing back and while still cutting into my lane, he flicks me off. Since we're near the Newport Back Bay, some people use the on/off ramp as part of their local commute. Unless the driver uses their signal lights, who knows if they want to merge into the traffic lanes or not... and no, he did not use his signal lights.

For the past few weeks, I had my mini tripod mounted inside my 4Runner and sometimes I would take videos of my drive to work. Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera this morning so I missed it.

1000th Post

So says the Blogger Dashboard for this blog. I still have a few draft posts that are probably included in the 1000 count but close enough.

I mentioned to some coworkers that if I ever look for a new job, I'll need to delete this entire blog. I probably need to do it weeks in advance so all the cached pages have time to be refreshed too.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Strange Dream Revisited

Thinking back to my first strange dream, the one with Tiffany, it was in color. Until now, I thought all my dreams were in black & white and didn't have sound, kinda like an old Charlie Chaplin movie. Anyway, I'm pretty positive there was color in my dream from two nights ago. Still not sure about sound though.

Also, I did see SNSD in concert last month, though it was from quite far away. Tiffany is the one in the middle (pink pants) singing. Hmm... I not even sure if I see people's faces in my dreams or if I just know who they are. All this is giving me a headache; I'm going to take a nap.

Umbrella Censorship



Another Strange Dream

I usually don't remember my dreams after I wake up. However, I still remember the one from last night. Does this happen more often as people get older?

I'm driving my SUV somewhere to either go hiking or camping. After a long drive through a college campus, I arrived at a old building to spend the night with some other people. However, a volcano has erupted nearby so ash was falling down the entire time and I was worried that the ash would collapse the roof of our building. Then it started to rain heavily and muddy rainwater started to leak through the ceiling. The last thing I remember was trying to get out of the building, getting my socks wet, and some strangers with dogs and cats (leashed) trying to help me remove my wet socks. Unfortunately, none of the members of SNSD showed up.

Maybe dreams are not so random after all. I'm going hiking with some coworkers tomorrow morning though I certain there are no volcanoes around here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Strange Dream

I had a dream last night that Tiffany from SNSD (K-pop group) was at my house (when did I buy a house?). She needed to use my computer to typing something in Chinese. I was typing in pingyin and she was picking out the right characters... then I woke up. Good thing she's originally from California because I don't speak Korean. :)

Perhaps I've been watching too much Korean TV and listening to too much K-pop.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thunder & Lightning

There is some crazy loud, window rattling (literally) thunder going on outside right now plus huge flashes of lightning. No rain yet though. This is pretty odd since the average rainfall for June is pretty much nil.


OK, the rain just started falling and it's pretty heavy. Good thing I didn't wash my car recently. LA DWP (Department of Water & Power) just announced Mandatory Water Conservation starting yesterday so this should help a bit.

Red Envelope

I just got off the phone/Skype with my friend in Chengdu. The judge in her divorce case accepted the ¥500 "gift" and has agreed to pass the paperwork up for approval. It will still take another 3-6 months since the government will publish the verdict (not sure where) for final public comment. The dinner "gift" is no longer required at this time.

The impression my friend got was that the actual amount didn't matter as much as the fact a "gift" was offered. It seems that corruption is so prevalent that it's almost part of the official process in getting things done.

In China, 有钱就没有问题!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

20 Years

June 4, 1989. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre in Beijing and the CCP is commemorating the event by blocking Tweeter, Flickr, Hotmail, and others in addition to the usual list. I'm not sure why they even bother. Most of the younger generation in China don't know or don't care anyway, having grown up in a media blackout about the incident.

Here is an article from Richmond Times-Dispatch:
"Well, it happened before I was born," the 19-year-old said as the crowd shuffled out of the vast expanse of concrete on a balmy evening. "In any case, it's history. Why should we dwell on the past?"

It was 20 years ago that hundreds of unarmed civilians were killed by an army making its final push to crush a pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square, and the Chinese government has fortified its information blockade on the bloody crackdown. Anybody trying to search the Internet here for information about the square, one of Beijing's most popular tourist attractions, is likely to get the message, "This page cannot be displayed."

But the efforts may be overkill: Apathy as much as censorship has pushed the events of June 4, 1989, into the dark recesses of history.

The young Chinese, whom one graying activist calls "the stupid generation," remain willfully ignorant about the past.


"Our generation doesn't feel so much pressure as our parents. Even the global recession hasn't hit us much. It shows what a good country China is," said Hou Jue, 26, who is studying to be a bartender.

Although he lives only a few blocks from Tiananmen Square, he admits that he is "not too clear" about 1989's events and doesn't feel a need to learn more.

"If the government tells us as Chinese citizens we should not know about something and shouldn't be searching material, we should be responsible and obey," Hou said.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -George Santayana

Monday, June 1, 2009

Human Flesh Search Engine (sorta...)

I've been connecting with some really old friends and acquaintances, mainly through Facebook but also through Internet search engines. There was someone I worked with at Alphagraphics back in 1990 and I haven't heard from her since she quit to become a flight attendant with American Airlines. Through Google and Yahoo search, I'm pretty sure I found her current home address but no phone numbers or email address. I think it would be too freaky if I just showed up at her door and said, "Hey, we haven't seen each other for 19 years... but how you doin'?"

I tried that with a high school buddy in Canada. I rang the doorbell to his house last year but it turned out his family moved 8 years ago and didn't leave a forwarding address with the new owners.