Saturday, July 31, 2010

25 Miles on Nike+

About a month ago, I bought a Nike+ thingy in Portland to measure walking/running distance. My sister and I made a bet on who would reach 25/50/100 miles first. After almost a month, I finally broke 25 miles. If I beat her to this milestone, then I win $25.



Usually I walk ~1.5 miles each time. Today, I knew I was ~3.5 miles from the first milestone so I decided to get it over with. At ~2 miles, I started to feel cramping in my left leg... not sure if it's still from the after-effects of the Levaquin incident.

Invincible Youth - Episode 35

I just uploaded episode 35 with English subtitles to YouTube. Here are some screencaps from the ending credits:


Victoria from f(x); she's from China (i.e., not Korean)


Goo Hara holding a 5-day old puppy

Since Sunny (SNSD), Yuri (SNSD), and Hyunah (4Minute) left the show a few weeks ago, there are three new replacement members. Having watched 3 episodes with the new girls, I like Victoria the most (not just because she's Chinese). Sori is okay as well but the vein in her forehead is weird. Juyeon from After School is pretty but she comes across as a whiner so far.

Here's part 1 of the episode:

Hosanna - Kirk Franklin


Original Recording


NewSong NOC Worship Team
Easter 2007 at Servite High School
Worship Leader: Michael Washington
I recorded this using my Tascam FW-1082 and Cubase 3. Since there are only 8 channels available on the Tascam, I could not record all the mics and instruments separately. Reviewing the raw WAV files, I used two channels to record the post-EQ/post-fader instrument group (L and R), and used the remaining six on vocals: five individual vocalists and one choir mic. I later remixed the channels in Cubase on my Mac and exported the result as a MP3 file. If the instruments are unbalanced, it was because we were mixing for the auditorium.

Hosanna

The angels bow down at the thought of You
The darkness gives way to the light for You
The price that you paid gives us life brand new
Hosanna forever we worship You
Hosanna forever we worship You

For you are the joy that my soul longs for
The lamb that was slain for my sins and the One I adore
King of kings, Ruler of everything
Hosanna forever we worship You
Hosanna forever we worship You

For your patience and kindness
And favor and mercy
And honor and glory
Because you are worthy
We can't live without You
We can't breathe without You
We can't sing without You
Hosanna Hosanna

No greater love in this world but You
No one can compare to the things You do
Whenever You go I will follow You
Hosanna forever we worship You
Hosanna forever we worship You

Someday every tongue shall confess Your name
This house made of clay soon shall pass away
And whatever the test You will bring us through
Hosanna forever we worship You
Hosanna forever we worship You

Hosanna forever
Hosanna forever and ever and ever
Hosanna we praise You
Hosanna forever and ever and ever

Unashamed - Starfield



Unashamed

I have not much to offer You
Not near what You deserve
But still I come because Your cross
Has placed in me my worth

Oh, Christ my King of sympathy
Whose wounds secure my peace
Your grace extends to call me friend
Your mercy sets me free

And I know I'm weak
I know I'm unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

I can't explain this kind of love
I'm humbled and amazed
That You'd come down from heavens heights
And greet me face to face

And I know I'm weak
I know I'm unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

Here I am at Your feet
In my brokeness complete

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mushrooms

There are some large mushrooms growing in our back yard. First question that comes to a Chinese person's mind: Can we eat it?





They must grow really fast since the gardener comes once a week and I think he mows the grass in our small back yard.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Green China

I stayed home from work today since I wasn't feeling too well. However, you still gotta eat so I Google'd around my house for a Chinese restaurant. I was actually looking for a buffet but there wasn't anything close. One click led to another and I found a place called Green China that got decent reviews, even on Yelp.


So at ~1:30pm, I make the 15 minute drive down to Tustin Avenue. There weren't too many customers but I wasn't too worried since it was kind of late for lunch.


I sat next to some ugly Chinesey decorations while I waited for my order.

I guess I should have been warned as I looked through the menu... there was no Chinese writing next to the dishes. Anyway, I ordered two dishes: beef with broccoli and home-style tofu, plus some steamed rice. The total came out to ~$20.

The verdict? Blah. It was pretty lame Americanized Chinese food. The broccoli was overcooked and the beef had way too much tenderizer so it was slightly puffy. The tofu was okay but too sweet. I hope the reviewer who said "The food is authentic and very good" is not a Chinese person because it's far from authentic (while I was waiting, there was a white lady complementing how good the food was). Even our cafeteria has better Chinese food now there's a Chinese cook. I would have given it 2 stars out of 5... edible but not enjoyable. I ate only 1/4 of the food and it will probably get tossed out later; I don't even want to have the lefeovers for dinner. :(

I did notice that the food tastes a lot like another place right near our house called Chen Panda. Likewise, it got good reviews but I didn't like the flavor either. Is there a common recipe when cooking "Chinese" food for white people? Do Americans not like authentic tasting/home style Chinese food? I remember Rowland Heights had a food court where you can get three dishes for $10 and they were good! You write what you wanted on a notepad and they cooked it to order. I never did see any non-Chinese people there though...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

K-pop Semi-close Encounter

I visited my old church today since my friend John was the guest speaker. Due to traffic on the 405 and getting lost on a "short-cut" (I ended up on the Vincent Thomas Bridge for some reason), I was a bit late and arrived when the worship started. There are a lot of new people at the church, especially the worship team. There were unfamiliar people all around, including the keyboard player. After service, Elim told me that the keyboard player was Uriah Park, who is the sister of Lena Park. Cool. I saw Lena in concert during the 2009 KMF and knew she also had a concert in June of 2009. I found a video on YouTube and Uriah sang with Lena on stage.


Unexpected Friends - Lena & Uriah Park [20090619]

Wow, such awesome voices. I also found out that CCCSB had special musical guests Friday night and I knew most of them since they're mainly from Newsong Irvine. As expected, the younger kids loved it but the older people thought it was too loud. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

DEL *.*

I cannot express how much I hate Microsoft OS. Why does it suck so bad? How come they can get away with selling POS OS like Vista and Windows ME?

I've been having constant problems with Vista locking random files on my computer. Today, it wouldn't let me rename a file so I made a copy, thinking that I can rename the copy and delete the old file. Nope. Vista decided to lock both files. Sigh... So I restarted the computer thinking that may unlock the files. Instead, Windows Explorer (not to be confused with Internet Explorer) crashes on bootup. As a last resort, I pulled up a DOS window, typed DIR HAPPY*.* and it displayed exactly one file, which is what I wanted. The filename started with "Happy..." but there were about 10 other files I wanted to keep. Next I typed DEL HAPPY*.* thinking that it would delete just the one file shown in the DIR command but got the locked file error again. Arg! I went back to check the directory in Windows and discovered that the DEL command erased all the other files in the folder!

If I had a hammer handy, I would have smashed my Sony Vaio. Instead, I'm running an undelete program. Of course, it couldn't find anything in the folder so I have to scan the entire 1TB external HDD (estimate: 2 hours). It's nothing crucial since the files deleted were some Korean TV shows (Happy Together) that I recorded over the past several months. I guess I can go back to YouTube and download what I uploaded.

Why can't a modern OS simply delete one file?

Friday, July 23, 2010

"New" K-pop Download Site

My favorite source for K-pop videos just moved domains. They used to be at cashewmaniakpop.wordpress.com but now have their own domain name. I'm guessing that they finally got a warning from Wordpress about linking to thousands of uploaded TV shows. Or maybe they got a message from TheKBSofficial as well! :)

The site-mistress is someone from Toronto and used to have many Clubbox accounts as well. The new site is Kpopella and mainly has links to Megaupload files. Her files are usually HQ (1024x720) or HD (1920x1080) and encoded at a superhigh bitrate so my external HDD fills up quick. They also upload entire episodes of music shows (Music Bank, Music Core, Inkigayo, Chocolate, Sketchbook, Music Travel Lalala) so sometimes I cut out performances I like... otherwise each file is 700MB+.

YouTube PM Hoax?

(cross-posted from cjkpopstuff.blogspot.com)

I'm not sure if anyone even visits this blog. Anyway, I got a personal message after uploading Happy Together episode 152 last night.
Infraction

We recently noticed that you uploaded a KBS show called Happy Together. This is a violation and this is absolutely contrary to the YouTube community guidelines. Please delete all your videos called 'public bath' or we will ask YouTube to delete your account.

TheKBSofficial

WTF? I'm almost positive that this is fake. If you click on the sender's name, you get an error message that says "This channel is not available." I've gotten many strikes on my accounts from KBSi and they don't send you a warning.

I think this was sent from the same type of people that forward email hoaxes you read about on snopes. I'm not sure what motivates these people; probably their parents didn't love them enough or they were bullies/bullied growing up. I'm just hoping that they're not the snitching type and actually send an email to KBS telling them about my uploads. That would be really weird.

I'd better start another account just in case.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Radio Star - Chinese Subtitles

Son Dam Bi and 3 members of After School were guest on Golden Fisheries Radio Star, a Korean talk show where the set looks like a radio studio but since they put in a lot of video CGI, I don't think it's a real radio show. There are 4 MCs and they're known for asking tough/embarrassing questions. I downloaded the entire episode without subtitles and have been searching YouTube to see if anyone uploaded anything with English subs.

I did find Chinese subtitles though. Maybe they're using big words or I just can't read Simplified Chinese but I'm getting only about 1/3 of what they're saying... which is better than my 0.1% understand of Korean. Too bad I can't switch it to Traditional Chinese characters... then I'd get about 50%. :)


Son Dam Bi = 孫丹菲
Kahi = 嘉熙
Jung Ah = 正雅
NaNa = NaNa

I've always wondered if name of the show was just Radio Star or if it did included "Golden Fisheries", whatever that means. The Chinese title has 黃金漁場 which literally means Yellow Gold Fish Market so I guess it does.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MacBook Wheel

It's 18 months old but I just "found" it... really funny.



==========

This one is funny too. Again, I hate the "genius" label; most of the Apple Store workers look like nerds and they actually don't know that much.

Evangelion: 2.0

I downloaded a pretty clean copy of Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. A few years ago, I bought the boxed set of 8 DVDs containing the original TV series. It was good but confusing. Evidently it wasn't just me that didn't get it so they released a two part (bought those too) alternate ending.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

Of course, when they say "The End", usually it doesn't mean the end. Recently, Gainax announced something called Rebuild of Evangelion. Part 1, called You Are (Not) Alone, came out in 2007. That was basically a retelling of the first part of the original story. The second in the series, You Can (Not) Advance, came out in 2009 and seems to be still showing at film festivals. I think a lot of the storyline is new but I need to watch it to find out. The Japanese DVD was released in May of 2010 and there are no official English subtitles yet. There were some subtitle files in the 1.4GB torrent I downloaded but they turned out to be traditional Chinese. Sigh... better than nothing I suppose.


Evangelion 2.0 Trailer

Evangelion 3.0 is supposed to be released this year.

==========

I found an English subtitle file for Evangelion 2.0. However, it was made for the single CD version whereas what I downloaded was split into two files. I guess I have to split the SRT file manually if I want to understand what's going on in the movie.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gantz



I found a Japanese anime series called Gantz while surfing the web. I've only watch the first episode of Gantz so I'm not sure what's going on yet. I read somewhere that it was similar to Black Lagoon, another anime series that I've downloaded/watched before and really liked.



It was hard to find videos with English subtitles. While searching, I found both French sub/dub and Spanish sub/dub. I think I finally found two uploaders and together I can get both 13 episode seasons (26 episodes total). I like these shorter series; I've also been watching Bleach and Naruto, each with hundreds of episodes.

Most of the videos are on Megaupload. The free account checks your IP address and limits you to one download at a time. I'm using my work VPN to login at two different "locations" with different IP addresses. So along with my regular home connection, I'm downloading using three different computers. I'm still limited by the bandwidth of my cable modem connection though.

==========

Dang it. I spent the entire day watching both 13 episode seasons. It was okay until the last episode... for some reason, I can never understand the endings of Japanese anime. I didn't get Akira (movie) and the worst as Neon Genesis Evangelion. For NGE, they had to release a two part alternate endings since the fans didn't like (or understand) the original. Maybe the producers/writers want to share something philosophical instead of just providing entertainment. I dunno... or else it's something cultural that I don't get.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ping Pong Match

I was playing ping pong with my mom last night. At some point we decided to keep score. She beat me twice out of three games. :(

BoA

I haven't posted much about BoA before since she hasn't performed much lately, other than release a few songs in the US (in English). She's actually one of the artists that got me into K-pop originally (along with S.E.S), though she probably has released more albums in Japan than in Korea . I have ~10 GB of videos and MP3s for BoA and most of it was collected back in 2005-2006. Of course, I probably have ~100 GB of stuff for SNSD... :)

These are my two favorite (Korean) BoA songs:


Milkyway - BoA


Atlantis Princess - BoA

Weird. The "official" BoA YouTube channel has videos that are blocked in the US... why is it named BoAmusicUS then? This was her first English single... I didn't like it that much.


Eat You Up - BoA

SM Town Concert

Hey, yet another K-pop concert! SM Entertainment is probably the biggest entertainment management company in Korea and they manage a lot of artists/groups. The company was founded by Lee Soo-man (SNSD Sunny's uncle) and each year, they hold their own concert. I'm not sure if they've held SM Town outside of Korea before but this year, they're going to be at Staple Center on September 4th.


Promo video... wow, BoA is going to perform.

I've heard of or listen to almost everyone performing. It's supposed to last ~5 hours so each artist/group should have plenty of time... tickets are not too expensive at $40 to $180. It should be a really cool concert but it looks like I may be in China that weekend. :(

==========

It looks like SM Town will be in Shanghai on September 11th. Maybe I can go to the concert in China! However, the last time Super Junior performed in Shanghai, this happened. Maybe there will be less people since this concert won't be free.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shake - e.via


Shake - e.via
Mnet M Rookies [20100630]

I linked to her MV for this song but ended up deleting it. Here's is a live performance so the visuals are a bit tamer.

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video

Arg... got flagged by Mnet on YouTube. Here is a direct upload to Blogger.

Intel i7

While I still have my friend's new HP EliteBook 8540w, I'm using it to convert some QT movies to MPEG4. This particular model has an Intel i7-820QM processor running at 1.73 GHz. The specs also say that at 1ku volume, it costs $546... just for the CPU! The HP is running Windows 7 Professional and the OS gives the system a rating of 5.9. In comparison, my 2 year old Sony Vaio has a T8100 running at 2.1 GHz but with 2 cores instead of 4 in the i7. Windows Vista rates it at only 3.1.

I was a bit disappointed in the speed of the HP. It didn't appear much faster than my Sony using QuickTime Pro 7.6.6 to export video files as MPEG4. I pulled up the Task Manager and it showed 8 CPU graphs, not 4, but the Resource Monitor app said 4 of the 8 CPUs were "parked", whatever that means. Also, the overall CPU utilization on the HP is running at only ~5% while my older & slower Sony is running at ~50%. Maybe the HP is not giving QuickTime priority? Is there a way to change this? The result is that my Sony is completing the task "faster" but using more of each CPU core.

==========

The PassMark CPU Benchmark gives the i7-820QM a score of 3525; the T8100 only has a score of 1353. My Mac mini's Core Duo T2300 is at 772 but it seems to play high bit-rate MPEG4 files in QuickTime with less lag than my Sony.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Additional Passport Pages

I got my passport back from the State Department. I sent it to Philadelphia, PA on 6/29 and it was supposed to take 4-6 weeks so I was surprised to receive it back today. Interestingly (or not), it was mailed back to me from Charleston, SC. There was only one address to send in the passport... did the office in PA resend my passport to SC to be processed? Not too efficient if that's the case.

My passport was issued back in 2006 so it's the older version (no chip) with the soft cover and light blue pages. There are only 14 pages for visas and stamps (pages 8 through 21). With visas taking up an entire page, I was already on page 19. I heard that if you only have one set of pages left, the Chinese consulate won't issue you a visa. The insert adds 23 pages (not counting the "cover") so I should be good until my passport expires in 2016. The new pages are the same as the ones in the "new" passport so they have background pictures on each page.

My current Chinese L (tourist) visa expired on Tuesday to I have to spend $140 on another one if I'm going to go to China in September. It will be my 5th Chinese visa in the same passport... which means I'm carrying a ~$800 booklet. At least these extra pages were free since I sent it in before the State Department started charging $82 for the service. Seems like a lot of money for a few pages of color paper, though they sew it into your current passport nicely.

==========

I took a picture of my passport showing the different pages and was going to upload it here... then I noticed that one of the expired China visas was visible and you can see my passport number. I was too lazy to blur it so no pics.

Ping Pong Table

My parents finally bought a ping pong table for our house after talking about it for six months. It was shipped to our house today... in preparation, we parked all the cars outside on the driveway. They bought it from Costco and it was ~$400 including shipping (it's selling for $480 now).



The table was strapped to a wooden pallet when it arrived. The product description said the weight was 238 lbs... not sure if it was with or without all the packing. Anyways, after dinner, we decided to try and put it together. How hard can it be?


After opening the box and getting rid of the pallet, we laid it out on our garage floor.


The assembly instructions were okay but I misread one diagram so we left out some spacers when installing the table legs. They packed all the tools and assembly hardware in a blister pack and labelled each compartment so each piece was easy to find. I didn't use their crappy tools though.


After a few hours, we finally assembled the table. However, we got stuck on the last crucial step: flipping the table upright. The instruction said we need to "lift the table up and set it down on all four wheels at the same time." It was kinda obvious since the frame seemed a bit shaky... there was no way it would support the entire weight on two legs.

After pondering how the three of us (my parents are almost 70) were going to lift a 240 lb. table, we decided to put the table against the wall and think about it some more. At one point, my dad said we should cruise to the nearest Home Depot to pick up 4 day laborers to help us. At the end, our best plan was for my dad to call a friend living close by, I was going to call Tim, and the four of us would try to lift the table. I strapped the table to a post so it wouldn't fall over and kill someone or start an earthquake.

However, while standing there staring at the problem, I remembered watching piano movers trying to move Shirley's upright Kawai into our 2nd floor apartment via a narrow staircase. If I could find a sturdy box to rest the table on, we can use it to support the weight and tip the table over onto its legs. Well, we don't have a sturdy box so we settled on two old dining room chairs and a wooden Ikea shoe rack. I was too busy holding up the table and forgot to take pictures of our "moving" equipment.


Tada... success! We tipped the table back and somehow got the two chairs under the table. Next we used the shoe rack (low and wide so it's more sturdy) to support the inside corners of tabletop and tipped it over on it's casters. It was actually quite easy and we didn't break anything (table, limbs, other stuff in the garage) in the process. Like moving pieces of the Airbus A380 through a French town, I had to measure out everything to make sure there was enough room to maneuver in the garage. Luckily, everything fit (less than one inch to spare near the ceiling) else we would have to move the table to the driveway and try.

The table came with 4 paddles so we playing a bit. The process of folding and unfolding the table was simple and smooth. Since it has an 1" thick top, the bounce is very nice. I think the free ping pong balls are not very good though so they sounded and bounced funny. The only downside is that we have to back all the cars out onto the driveway when we want to play.

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Hey Tim, you're welcome to come by and play. I promise you don't have to move anything heavy. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sistar on Chocolate

Sistar = K-pop girl group
Chocolate = a music performance show hosted by Kim Jung Eun


Ain't No Other Man + Push Push - Sistar
KJE Chocolate [20100714]

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video

Video blocked by SBS on YouTube (strike 2) so I uploaded it to Blogger directly.

There's Nothing You Can't Fix With Duct Tape

But god Steve Jobs said it was a software problem?!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Small World...

OK, not really... the world is a big place. There's just a lot of people living here.

My parents were asked by one of their friends to help out an older lady here in LA look for a retirement home. Their friend and the older lady had met ~10 years ago on a trip to China or somewhere. Anyway, my parents went to see her today and it turns out that she is my uncle's ex-mother-in-law from his first marriage. Crazy, huh?!

My parents said they've never met before, which is weird. They didn't go to my uncle's wedding?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mission Impossible: Embedding MP3s

I went back to check some MP3s I embedded in my blog back in April. I wanted to post some songs from artists invited to the 2010 KMF. For some reason, the Blogcastone player doesn't work anymore. Surfing the web, it seems that Google has made it very difficult for people to blog MP3s in Blogger. I think because Google has deep pockets, they are natural targets for the sharks at RIAA.

Anyway, I'm going to try another file hosting service I found online. They provide embedding code after you upload a MP3 file. I also uploaded some song to 4shared.com on my other blog but their player uses a converted FLV file and often it gets cut off.


Bad Girl Good Girl - miss A

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Ooh, it works pretty well. However, the flash player takes awhile to load and hangs Firefox while loading. Bah, it's free and you get 5 GB of storage!


I'm In Love (With 정성하) - Narsha (Brown Eyed Girls)

Windows 7 Sucks Too

One of my ex-coworkers quit to go back to school in the Fall. Since she's out of the country right now, she had her new computer for school shipped to my house. I'm helping her to set it up with anti-virus and some other software.

I have it connected to my wireless network at home and I tried to access some shared folders. I have several external HDD attached to my Sony Vaio and my Mac mini. The Windows share seems to work okay but the Mac volume is causing all sorts of problems. I tried to open up an AVI video file and it would crash the Windows Explorer window on the new computer. Even if you try to restart the computer, it would hang on the "Logging off..." message; I've had to do a hard shut down (by holding down the power button) twice already. My mom has been having weird problems on her Dell notebook with Windows 7 as well.

Sigh... so Vista is crap and Windows 7 is not much better. The most stable computer, other than my Mac with Snow Leopard, seems to be my lowly netbook running Windows XP. I think Microsoft tries to put too much crap in their OS, I guess to have more control over the desktop. I think their goal should have been to create the thinnest OS possible and let users add functionality as necessary instead of installing this huge behemoth of an OS which leads to slow performance and all sorts of security issues.

Friday, July 9, 2010

UN = Worse than Useless

BBC News
North Korea has hailed as a "victory" a UN Security Council statement that condemns the sinking of a South Korean warship but avoids blaming Pyongyang.

The statement expresses "deep concern" over the finding by a South Korean-led inquiry that a North Korean torpedo had struck the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors.

But it also "takes note" of Pyongyang's insistence that "it had nothing to do with the incident" in the Yellow Sea.

Correspondents say the omission of blame helped ensure China's support.

So the UN condemns the sinking but they don't name anyone responsible? Did the ship sink on its own? Did aliens blow up the Cheonan? What an utterly useless chickensh*it resolution. Tell me again why my tax dollars goes to support these bureaucrats?

Why do countries bring stuff up at the UN anyway? South Korea (and the US) wanted this resolution but for what? If they're not going to do anything about it, then why issue a useless statement. The article also says that China protested the wording so they removed references to North Korea. Lame... both China and the UN.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

AMG SLS

I saw a strange looking Mercedes Benz on the way home from work today. It was a black AMG SLS. At first I thought it was a new SL but it was much rounder and lower to the ground; it also had the funky Audi-like LED headlight bar. I couldn't tell it had gullwing doors until I looked it up online.



I didn't have a real camera with me so I had to take the picture with my BlackBerry. The Wiki article said that it's supposed to be available in the US starting mid-2011 so maybe this guy got it from Germany directly?

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The Wiki article also says it has a 563hp 6.2L engine. When it drove by, I could have swore I saw a 5.3 badge on the side. Maybe it gets a smaller engine in the US? Normally German cars in the US has larger engines than Europe/Asia.

==========

I just noticed the CHP pulling someone over in the photo. My V-1 (radar detector) was going crazy for about 5 minutes. I guess they drive with their radar guns on which makes it much easier to detect. There were a lot of cars so I don't know if anyone was actually speeding... maybe they got pulled over for something else.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

miss A

Another new K-pop girl group! They're managed by JYP, which is one of the large entertainment management companies in Korea. JYP = Park Jin Young and he also manages the Wonder Girls, 2AM, 2PM, 4Minute, and lots of other groups.


Bad Girl Good Girl - miss A [Music Core 20100703]

No idea who's who yet. There are two Chinese girls in this group. At this rate, maybe I won't need to learn Korean after all.

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They're not super cute so maybe they can actually sing. Hara (from KARA) is cute and all but she can't really sing that well... :(

Nike+

I bought one of these in Portland:



It's basically a wireless accelerometer that connects to an iPod. The sensor sends data to the receiver and the iPod counts how far you traveled. You can also upload the saved data to Nike's website and track your progress. My sister had one but it either broke or ran out of battery power so she bought another one. To "encourage" me to go out and walk more, we have a bet: the first to reach 25/50/100 miles receives $25/$50/$100 from the other person.

I tried it out earlier tonight. I walked around several blocks near my house for ~30 minutes. The sensor was designed for special Nike shoes that includes a slot in the insole for the sensor. Since I don't have the special (and expensive) shoes, I stuck the sensor under the shoelaces of my cheap Reeboks and held it in place with some packaging tape. I walked ~1.6 miles and it worked pretty well though my mom said she'll make me a little pouch for it. You're supposed to calibrate the sensor, especially if you use a non-official shoe and the sensor is not parallel to the ground. I checked my route on Google Earth and it was pretty close... 1.6 miles on the map vs. 1.56 shown on the sensor.


No Nike+ running shoes? No problem!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Evergreen Air & Space Museum

My parents and I went to visit my sister and her family in Portland this past weekend. On Saturday, we went to check out a local air & space museum. Since it was out in the middle of nowhere, I didn't expect too much. It's a private museum owned by Evergreen International Aviation (we thought it was part of the Taiwanese company at first) and it was located across from the McMinnville airport. I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the collection of airplanes and spacecrafts they had on display. The centerpiece is the Spruce Goose, built by Howard Hughes. I never went to visit it while it was in Long Beach. I knew they moved it from LB to another museum up the coast a few years ago but I never knew where exactly. The museum is also supposed to get a space shuttle soon; not sure if it's going to be an "actual" shuttle or a replica since they didn't build that many. They must have a lot of influence in government.


Boeing 747-100 on top of a new building (it's supposed to be a water ride or something). The plane was on the ground the last time my sister visited the museum. We couldn't figure out how they managed to get it on top of the building.


Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)... it's really large!


Inside the Spruce Goose looking back towards the tail section.


F-4C Phantom II


Me-262 - One of the first operational jet fighters in WWII.


F4U Corsair - These planes were used in the TV show Baa Baa Black Sheep during the late 70's. I watched a lot of episodes of this show.


P-38J Lightning - It looks like this one shot down a lot of Japanese planes.


P-40 Warhawk used by the Flying Tigers during WWII in China. It has the Nationalist/KMT markings under the wings.


V-2 rocket


First stage rocket motors from a Titan IV rocket


SR-71A Blackbird - I've read so much about this plane but have never seen one in person. It's much bigger than I imagined.


The business end of a Pratt & Whitney J58 jet engine; two of these powered the SR-71 to a top speed of Mach 3.2 (~2,200 mph).


Another view of the SR-71 from the front. They let you get pretty close to the planes on display.


F-5E Tiger II parked outside. Northrop sold a lot of these to Taiwan (and everyone else).


MiG-29 Fulcrum A - How did they get one of these?

There was also an IMAX theater but since we got there at ~3:30pm and they closed at 5pm, we didn't get to see everything.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Everybody's Wish

Well, I sat in front of the computer and waited the Cathay tickets to go on sale. As soon as the countdown timer went to zero, I clicked on the "I want it" button. As expected, I didn't get anything since there are only 2 tickets. At first it said that all the items are on hold for other cardmembers, then after about 2 minutes, it said everything was sold out. Oh well, I hope two lucky people got the first class tickets and this wasn't all a fake marketing/PR trick.