Friday, December 31, 2010

Sistar Photo

From Twitter... they must have won some kind of award.

Hyolyn (the one holding the award) has a pretty good voice.

4Runner Fixed

I picked up my 4Runner earlier today. I had brought it in two weeks ago and the diagnosis were bad U-joints. Well, the vibration got really bad a few days ago while we were in Torrance. I managed to get the car home, driving 50 mph on the freeway, and dropped it off yesterday at my new mechanic's shop. He was able to get new U-joints without having to buy a new driveshaft so the final bill was ~$450, including the initial diagnosis cost. I just drove it home and it seemed fine. He showed me the old U-joints that lasted ~135,000 miles. The roller bearings were all shot so the joints did not rotate freely thus causing the vibration.

Next project: fix/replace the inside wheelwell cover on the Z.

If anyone is looking for a good mechanic in OC, I recommend Andy.

Socal Motorworks

808 W. Angus Ave Suite B
Orange, CA 92868

Dance K-pop Style 2010

LOL! Canadians...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

華麗的冒險 - 魏如昀

華麗的冒險 - 魏如昀

I think her English name is Queen Wei and she's a finalist on an "American Idol"-like TV shows in Taiwan. The song is originally by Cheer Chen (陳綺貞).


Here's the original MV:

華麗的冒險 - 陳綺貞

니까짓게 - Sistar

New song by Sistar... I think the title translates to "How Dare You" but Google Translate barfed all over this one.

니까짓게 - Sistar

I think they're my new favorite K-pop group... this week. The one wearing shorts is Bora, who did a faceplant during a performance in the rain.

Blog Comment Troll, Part 2

Wait, there's more! Safely hidden behind Internet anonymity, the personal insults continue...
Anonymous said...

Okay, let me try to explain this internet thing to you. I googled "Newsong noc service times." Your blog pops up. This means that whenever someone puts in Newsong noc or something akin to it, your blog goes up as a result. This means that random people who know nothing about what occurred with the lead pastor, such as myself, find out about this terrible happenstance with no other context. This means you are publishing exceedingly personal information about a person and his family without regard to its effect and it appears you do so because you are, at worst, a vengeful, attention-hungry jerk or, at best, an irresponsible, immature, ignorant and thoughtless little child. So, though you received this e-mail because apparently you were in the CAM and part of the Newsong family, you are hereafter distributing it to people not in CAM and not in Newsong. The question then is why do you continue to post this blog and continue to spread privately-obtained information on your blog? Would you be as happy if someone were publicizing your privately-executed sins to the world?
Dec 29, 2010 9:37:00 PM

How do you argue with willful ignorance? Remember, I posted one paragraph saying that something happened at NewSong NOC, the senior pastor stepped down, and I wish he reconciles with his family. This comment troll has wasted a lot of his/her and my time on imaginary issues. I'm not really pissed at the troll anymore; obviously Internet anonymity and likely some personal emotional issues have brought out the worst in this commenter.

Original post + comments: NewSong NOC Scandal?

Amazingly, after three long and insult laden comments, the anonymous troll has not asked me to do anything. It's all been about how terrible a person I am and how I must be hiding sins. Weird...


Ironically, all these comments and posts will probably move this non-issue up on the Google search results. I'm surprised that my one insignificant post comes up so high on a Google search for Newsong NOC (#8 and the first non-official NewSong hit).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blog Comment Troll

I guess at point, every blog gets its share of spammers and trolls. I get a lot of spam comments already but this week I got my first troll. I was going to ignore it but he/she is very persistent... and both extremely rude and insulting. As my three readers know, I stopped attending NewSong NOC about two years ago. Last summer (2009) I got some emails from Pastor Peter Park and other CAM (Creative Arts Ministry) members about Brian Kim stepping down as senior pastor. I made a short post about that fact, and hoped he reconciles with his family.

Post: NewSong NOC Scandal?

18 months later, an anonymous commenter, who freely admits not knowing anything about NewSong (he/she didn't even know the service times), reads my blog post. Instead of finding out actual facts (not sure why it's even interesting to outsiders), he/she decides to make up their own context, and leaves a couple long comments laced with wild unsubstantiated assumptions and personal insults towards me.

Here's what I wrote:
I just found out that the lead pastor is stepping down because he "violated his marriage vows." I'm not sure what that means exactly and I don't have more details. He is married and has two young children. I hope it's not a Mark Sanford type meltdown and things work out between him and his family.

And here's the comment thread so far:
Anonymous said...
I have to wonder why you've posted this on your blog and why you've let this "scandal" remain here. In the context in which you've posted it, it sounds like you're some vengeful jerk who was mad at the topic of the sermon so you've decided to ravage this guy and his family. Real classy. What would be just as interesting and rightfully yours to publish would be the stuff you do at your computer late at night when you think you're all alone and no one will find out about it. Or any of your other sins you so assiduously keep hidden on this fabulous blog of yours.
Dec 26, 2010 5:32:00 PM

Anonymous said...
Yes, I'm not a member of Newsong NOC or of Newsong Irvine, so I don't know who you are. I genuinely wish I did, so I could talk with you in person. Do you see how the leadership of Newsong did it? They told the members of NOC and Irvine; they did it, I assume, respectfully and not in some gossipy, trashy fashion such as you've done here. I googled service times for Newsong NOC and stumbled upon your incendiary crap. Unfortunately. Hey, buddy, quit crying about my comments. You published it, deal with the consequences of your actions. Zero facts, indeed. You've provided me with everything I need to conclude you're an immature kid looking to be noticed. I'm fascinated by your self-confession that your 14+ hours working the sound system somehow makes you like a super-special Christian. The good news is despite this blog, despite your desperate desire for regard and attention, despite your incredible smallness, our God is bigger. Taking you to task on this is my personal mission. I'll try to find out who you are from the NewSong people and hopefully we will chat in person.
Dec 29, 2010 7:15:00 PM

Sigh... zero facts and a whole lot of baseless accusations. Now I have my own stalker who's "personal mission" is to harass me on my blog. Great.

We'll see at the end of all this whether my troll is mature and responsible enough to apologize for all those insults hurled my way. I'm not going to hold my breath...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Little Fat Sheep

We went to a hot pot place in Hacienda Heights for dinner. I think I've been there once before but they moved to a new location within the same shopping plaza. It's more of a Taiwanese style hot pot place so it's different from restaurants in Chengdu.

Since there were 5 + 2 of us, we ordered two separate pots. This is the half/half pot with original and spicy soups.

My parents and I just got the regular soup base. The spicy soup base is also different from what we had in Chengdu, which is more of a spicy oil than soup.

We ordered only one serving of each ingredient and shared it across both pots.

The soup base has some Chinese medicine stuff in it but was pretty good. We managed to finished almost all the food we ordered. The total bill came out to ~$120; in Chengdu, four of us had hot pot for dinner and it only cost ~$20.

Religious Persecution... in China

AP News
Benedict's traditional holiday speech highlighted the tensions between Beijing and the Vatican and the dangers facing minority Christians in Iraq, where militants have used violent attacks to try to drive them out of the country.

"May the birth of the savior strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his church, may keep alive the flame of hope," Benedict prayed.

In recent weeks, tensions have flared anew between the Vatican and Beijing over the Chinese government's defiance of the pope's authority to name bishops and its insistence that prelates loyal to Rome promote China's state-backed church.

Chinese church officials did not immediately comment late Saturday on the pope's homily.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Last Christmas - Foxxi misQ

Thursday, December 23, 2010

833+ Million Cell Phones?

This article suggests that there are over 833 million cell phone subscribers in China.
November saw the net addition of 8.86 mln new mobile subscribers. China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) added 4.62 mln new mobile subscribers, pushing the operator's total mobile user base to 579.64 mln, of which a total of 18.84 mln subscribers used China Mobile's TD-SCDMA terminals during the month.

China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) added 0.6 mln new GSM subscribers, bringing its total GSM user base to 152.75 mln, and added 1.12 mln subscribers to its WCDMA 3G network, for a total of 12.78 mln WCDMA users.

China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) added 2.51 mln CDMA subs, taking its total to 88.02 mln.

China Mobile = 579.64M
China Unicom = 152.75M + 12.78M
China Telecom = 88.02M

Does that number seem high? That would mean everyone in cities (622 million urban residents) and ~20% of the rest (732 million rural residents) has a cell phone number. I hope they're not just counting the available SIM cards out there. Also, I wonder how they come up with the ~400 million Internet users in China. From news reports, it looks like a survey. How accurate is that compared to every other inflated statistic coming out of China?
The survey, based on a count of residents who said they used the Internet in the past six months, found 29 percent of China's 1.3 billion people are now net users.

우린 친구가 될 수 없어

There are a lot of girls in K-pop named Lisa so I don't know if she has released other songs before. This one is pretty good.

우린 친구가 될 수 없어 - Lisa with Brian

Brian is Brian Joo from Fly To The Sky. I think he was born in the US. Another music show translated the song title as "We Can't Be Friends".

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Culture of Violence

BBC News
In China earlier this year a spate of violent attacks by intruders who targeted schoolchildren shocked the country.

China's response was to step up security around schools.

But one academic in Shanghai believes the attacks may have been a symptom of a more serious issue.

The upheaval of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s, he says, could have created a generation who see violence as the only answer to their problems.

If he is right it could be that as that generation hits middle age, and many of them start to feel left behind in China's rapidly changing society, they are hitting out.

Can this explain why everyone is so rude in China?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boryeong Mud Festival

Way To Go + Etude + Genie - SNSD

More K-pop performance in the rain. I think Seohyun loses a shoe around the 9:00 minute mark. Good thing none of them got a faceplant like Bora.


Sigh... they should stop holding concerts in the rain, or at least keep the stage dry. I read that she (Bora) broke her thumb during the fall.

She came back and finished the song though.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gran Turismo 5 B-Spec

I bought Gran Turismo 5 for my PS3 and just playing the game. One "feature" is B-Spec mode where you "manage" the race instead of actually driving the car. For GT5, you basically tell your driver to speed up/slow down/maintain speed/pass... that's it. It's very similar to the B-Spec mode in GT4 but you only had one driver. In GT5, I think you can have a whole team of drivers and change during the race.

Only problem? There is no fast-forward like in GT4. For long races, such as the 24 hours of Le Mans, you used to be able to fast forward and finish the race in ~8 hours. Well, no more. For long races, you need to keep your PS3 on, wasting electricity. Who decided to leave that option out of GT5? Stupid...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unhappy Meals

LA Times
A Sacramento mother and the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a lawsuit Wednesday against McDonald's Corp., alleging that its practice of giving toys with children's meals is deceptive to children.

The organization had been threatening to sue McDonald's since last summer, claiming that the Happy Meals toys constitute a method of circumventing parental control and teach children unhealthy eating. The complaint, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also accuses the company of false advertising.

The lawsuit alleges that "McDonald's exploits very young California children and harms their health by advertising unhealthy Happy Meals with toys directly to them" and that "children 8 years old and younger do not have the cognitive skills and the developmental maturity to understand the persuasive intent of marketing and advertising."

In a call with reporters, Monet Parham, a Sacramento mother of two, said she was bringing the case because of the constant requests for McDonald's Happy Meals.

That's lame. I haven't enjoyed a Happy Meal from McDonald's for a long time but I remember eating them as a kid growing up in Canada (I don't think there were McDonald's in Taiwan in the 70's). I think this kind of stuff should be left up to the parents.

It's interesting that they brought the lawsuit to a San Francisco suit even though the woman lives in Sacramento. The city of SF just banned Happy Meals; hopefully the courts are more sane than the kooky SF Board of Supervisors.

Second, the LA Time does a poor job of fact checking. "Sacramento mom" sounds awfully suspicious... let's see, what else is in Sacramento? Turns out the woman works for the California Department of Public Health as an advocate for Network for a Healthy California. That doesn't mean she can't file a lawsuit but now we can see the politics behind it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beijing Suicide

I just talked to my friend in Beijing; she's already up (3:30am) since she just got a call for an emergency surgery scheduled at 6:30am. She now has to go to the office to grab some stents then run to the hospital, all in -5°C weather. Since Thursday is her "no car day", she can drive to work but has to take a taxi or the subway to get to the hospital. The "no car" time runs from 7am through 8pm.

She also had an emergency surgery last night. Unfortunately, after 5 hours in the OR, the patient died. She said the patient was a 35 year old female and pretty looking; she tried to commit suicide by stabbing herself because she found out her husband was having an affair. The stent was used to try and repair a blood vessel but the surgeon was ultimately unsuccessful in saving her life. My friend said that the patient kept staring at her during the surgery, until she finally passed away. Ugh... I don't think I can handle that job.

This is not uncommon. She gets quite a few emergency calls for surgery due to attempted suicides... almost always female patients whose husbands are having affairs. Sigh... they need more mental health and counseling resources in China.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Starcraft 2 Multiplayer

I installed the retail version (i.e., non-pirated) of SC2 on my (slow) computer and tried a multiplayer game in beginner mode. It's a lot harder than it looks on replays. I'm not very good at multi-tasking and sat around doing nothing for a good portion of the game. My opponent ended up loading like a million marines and flooded my base using dropships. Afterward, I looked at my stats and realized that he had almost 2x the units I had.

Maybe I'm too old for this... :(

More Car Problems

Sigh... I'm getting a weird noise and vibration on the 4Runner. I took it in to a repair shop today and they said it was the u-joints. Evidently this is pretty common for older 4Runners. Depending on whether Toyota can find the right parts, it will cost me $82 to $612 just for u-joints plus drive shaft. I don't think I need a new drive shaft but supposedly they come in a set. :(

Since my sister is coming to town tomorrow, I'll need to drive it a bit more so it probably won't get fixed until the last week of December. If they're still going to Vegas, then they probably need to take my parent's Camry.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

350Z Wheel Well Cover

It looks like that blown tire I ran over will cost me even more. I just noticed that the inner wheel well cover on my Z is gone again. I lost it once when I got a flat on the front right tire on the 5 freeway. It cost me ~$200 to replace. I guess the impact of the blow tire last week knocked it off again. The plastic tubing connecting to the windshield wiper reservoir is exposed again... crap.

Leading Worship

I played guitar for the English service at CCCSB this morning. It's the first time in ~10 years that I played guitar for worship. During a quick rehearsal in the morning, I broke the G (3rd) string on my Taylor; I had just changed the strings about a month ago. Luckily, the English pastor had some old strings and I replaced it in time. It was a weird feeling since I led worship at the same church for many years.

My ex-mother-in-law still attends the same church. I think she's trying to avoid me but I said hi to her anyway.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Blog Platform

Someone at NewSong NOC asked about different blogging platforms and tumblr got a lot of recommendations. I started with Xanga and moved to Blogger but I'm always open to new stuff. I'm going to try out tumblr and see if it's better at handling audio/video posts than Blogger. The other big blog platform is WordPress... I already have a WP account but have not done anything with it.

If anyone cares, here's my tumblr test site -


Hmm, the tumblr site seems really really slow...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blown Tire and Stupid Drivers

I hit a blown tire driving home tonight. It not that big of a deal if I was driving the 4Runner but I was driving the Z today and it felt like I hit a rock. After I got home, I saw a huge black mark on my front air dam... not sure if it's rubber from the tire or if the paint job got rubbed off.

At first I thought it was another truck tire. However, as I got close to my exit on the toll road, I saw a car stopped in the right lane. All along the toll road, I was noticing a lot of debris being kicked up on my car. Well, it appears that this car, an older model Lexus LS, had blown it's front left tire, probably the one that I ran into 10 miles ago. The wheel was on its bare rims and I could tell that it's been scraping the road surface for miles. The car itself was smoking like crazy, probably due to the heat of driving on its rims. Crazy... and stupid.

Empty Chair

Thursday, December 9, 2010

News Blackout

New York Times
Chinese censors apparently began blocking the news Web sites of CNN, the BBC and the Norwegian broadcaster NRK from appearing in China on Thursday, a day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is to be held in Oslo to honor Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned dissident.


China has not said that it is intentionally blocking the news Web sites of the broadcasters, but Chinese censors regularly black out some portions of CNN and BBC television broadcasts when delicate political topics are covered. This happens even though CNN, BBC and other international television channels are largely limited to five-star hotels and luxury apartments that cater to foreigners.

In recent weeks, CNN and BBC television broadcasts have repeatedly gone dark in China during news segments about the Nobel Prize’s being awarded to Mr. Liu, only to reappear after the segment is completed.


Asked whether Chinese censors were blocking foreign Web sites that carried news about the Nobel award, Ms. Jiang said: “I am not aware of the problems you mentioned about those Web sites. But I can tell you that the Internet is open in China, and is regulated in accordance with law.”

A spokesman at CNN, a division of Time-Warner, confirmed that CNN’s Web site did appear to be blocked in China.

The British broadcaster BBC said on its own Web site that its news site was apparently being blocked in China.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Invincible Youth Canceled

Oh well... all things must come to an end sometime. I've actually watched every episode since the pilot back in October 2009. I just read that they filmed the last episode this week in Korea and the show will be canceled due to low ratings. The beginning of the end was probably when Sunny, Yuri, and Hyeona left the show during the summer.

Photo from Hara's Twitter feed

That's two canceled shows from KBS that I record frequently. :(

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Orange Caramel Single

Cute... but sounds a lot like their last song though.

A-ing - Orange Caramel [Music Core 20101120]