August 2010 –

Month: August 2010

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Champion of the CoC

The 7th annual CoC golf tournament was held this weekend at Indian Wells Celebrity golf course in Palm Springs. The tournament got off to a late start due to some bad directions and so we ended up starting an hour later and had to endure a few extra degrees of heat as the round went through the afternoon which hit triple digits. It was close throughout with no one having more than a 2 shot lead through out the round, although in the end it shouldn’t have been so close. I some how went into the 18th hole with a one shot lead over Roland and a two shot lead over Brian. With Roland going for the gold he popped his second, and thrid shot into the water and left be some breathing room, until i popped my third shot into the water. I ended up going into a putt off with Brian and came away with a victory.

The prize was a new 2 foot trophy that we’ll be passing from year to year, and a ice water bath by both Brock and Roland. I wasn’t really happy with my 97, and my complete failing at my first ever putt for eagle on a 240 yard par 4, but a win is a win and a trophy is trophy. Its my first new decoration to my new office.

The course played a little short, with only 2 par 5’s and 2 par 3’s. Playing from the white tees most greens were reachable without a long iron, but the holes varied enough with bunkers, water hazards and other elevation changes to keep in interesting.


An office … with a view!

I’m officially out of Santa Monica, and now i’ve got an office. Can you believe it, i barely can get adjusted not having someone sitting 2 feet from me.We moved all the data sensitive items on friday evening and found out that the building had eliminated the phone line that was going to be used for our DSL, but thankfully AT&T was able to send someone in to fix it on Saturday while the movers moved the rest of the office. Sunday i spent most of the day setting up all the computers, and moving all the boxes to the appropriate areas, and today we unpacked all the boxes and threw away a ton of stuff that we shouldn’t have packed in the first place.

I’m still getting used to the fact that there’s no one that has to deal with my crap, and i have space to deal with all the paperwork that gets thrown to me on a constant basis. I still need some decorations but for the most part it a pretty comfortable space to be in.

For lunch today we walked over to the shopping plaza just a block away, and Jonathan commented that it was so nice not do have to deal with all the weirdos (homeless and AA), and i commented how now we’re the weird ones. We got some chinese food and actually bumped into a friend of Janelle’s while waiting for our food. I had to literally stop myself from eating all the food we ordered because it was so good, and i really have to cook some food to bring to work tomorrow because i don’t want to gain the 25lbs i gained the last time i worked in El Segundo.

I’m not loving the bathroom situation because i really did like the private bathrooms at our old office versus seeing feet in the stall next to me. At least there’s some 3G coverage in there so i can surf the web a little faster while i’m relaxing.


The Chuangs

Even though Joy’s friends Jennifer and Jeremy got married earlier this year in Taiwan, they HAD to have a wedding/reception in the states too. They had a very casual, and festive party at the Auto Shop in Venice which has no relation to the Smog Shop in Culver City where Ben and Tiffany got married last year. This place is what you would say a raw space, which means there’s some walls, and some cement on the floor, but the rest is up to you. They did a very nice job covering some things with curtains, hanging various nicknacks on the walls, projecting a video against a wall, and setting up a candy corner with plenty of old time favorites to choose from, like pixy sticks, and tootsie pops.

They did go through and had another ceremony, but the rest of the night was just one big party. We did our best to get some of the passed food items like pork tacos, shortribs, and seared tuna, but barely any reached the back room where the bar was, and of course exactly where we posted up for the majority of the night.

Most if not everything seemed to be done as favors of friends and family from the wedding dress, food, and even the betty crocker wedding cake. Most of the guest seemed a little older or a little more boring as our group seemed to be the only ones drinking, and getting the happy couple to take some shots as well.

At 10 the party started to wind down so we ended the night by heading over to Swingers in Santa Monica for some much needed grease and bread to help soak up the alcohol, and end another successful night of wedding bliss.

View Photos.


Whirlwind day in 60 seconds

Its been a pretty hectic week at work, and probably put in a good 60 hours of work in. I had plenty of house keeping things to do on Saturday. In the morning we woke up at 8am and ran out the door so that i can could get my windshield wipers fixed, and go have breakfast for my dad’s birthday. The slow service at Mimi’s Cafe in Cerritos gave Joy and I ample time to teach my parents on how to use their new iPhone 4s. Thankfully they picked up the techniques of their new phones and should be good for a few weeks until they run into new apps to play with.  After breakfast we took a walk to the local farmers market and picked up some fresh herbs, and tomatoes, while my dad picked up a couple new flower plants for his garden.

Once the car was done being worked on i had the mechanic turn off the check engine light and went off to get my smog check done. The light has been on for long time now, and i was really nervous as my car was being checked on. Everything seemed to be going ok, until he had to check the pressure of the gas cap which failed and was the reason for the check engine light to be on the whole time. Thankfully he’s a good’ol boy from westminster and figured that the rubber ring seal was cracked so he opened up a new gas cap and replaced the ring with the new one. Whew, another two years, and i’ll see you again mr. smog man.

Lastly we headed back to the Southbay so that we could get ready for Jen & Jeremy’s Wedding in Venice which meant that i needed to get a haircut. I headed back to the barber that i go to now in Redondo Beach, and got it cut by the same guy who did it the first time. It says something when everybody in the past week was complaining about my hair and how crappy it looks now compared to when it was originally cut back in June. Thats probably why i liked just growing out my hair long last year and year before because if you miss one week from getting your normally scheduled cut and it all goes to hell.

Now’s the time to say goodbye

Its been a fun year, but we’ll see you in another two. Last year’s Disney promotion of free entry on your birthday i think was a great move by the park, and i wish they would do it again in the future, because i’m sure it boosted attendance for last year, and this year for all those who converted their free day pass into a discounted annual pass as Joy and I did.

A couple fridays ago we took our last trip with our annual pass and just hung out for one last night. We rode on a few rides including Thunder Mtn. and The Space Orbiters, and for the first time watched Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, even if i did fall asleep close to the end. The only thing that we failed to do that night was to get a churro because we didn’t have any cash on us. I think the only thing that we never ended up doing with going on Grizzly Rapids because it never really got hot, and we lived just too far to drive home in wet underwear.

We were pretty lucky this year with the timing of things, and got to enjoy some of the new/old attractions mainly with Captain EO making a triumphant return, the new maleficent dragon of fantasmic, as well as getting to see World of Color. The beer tasting was really fun to do at DCA, along with the wine drinking on my birthday last year.

I can’t wait to go back in a few years when Cars land, and the Little Mermaid ride opens in DCA, and when Star Tours II opens with a few new adventures around the galaxy.

The timing of the end of our pass is perfect as we were getting a little tired of the crowds and probably need the time away so that the place can seem more magical as it once did. I’m pretty scared at what the price is going to be when that time comes as a single day two park pass is over $100 already, and a single park pass may break the triple digits by the time all those new attractions open up, not to mention that parking is over $10, and the tram wait line is pretty horrible already in my opinion. Of course i’ll miss all the fried goodness at Disneyland such as the churros, corndogs, and the BEST monte cristo anywhere.


Night and Day

While Joy is out in Las Vegas this weekend for her friend’s bachelorette party i will be at the office trying to finish up six projects due at the end of the month. We’ve been pretty busy since last month, and even had to involve Thomas’ company to help out with a few of the projects. We’re currently building some micro sites for the WB as they bought the syndication rights for Entourage, Curb your Enthusiasm and The New Adventures of Old Christine. I don’t know much about the latter two but at least Entourage has things that i actually understand what we’re working with. Not only that, we’re pretty proud to say that we also got a small project with Scion doing some e-Blasts, and hopefully this will lead to some bigger projects in the future.

At the end of the month we’ll also be finally moving our offices south to the city of El Segundo which will really be nice for my commute, most everyone else too. Our new space might not be as cool as our current office, but at this stage of the game, it completely worth it, considering that we’ll be paying just a few hundred dollars more in rent, but we’ll get almost twice the amount of space, i’ll get my own office with a window, i wont have to worry about our utility bills, the place will be cleaned every night, no more car parking carousel and we got to them to paint the office and install certain things to keep the office looking design-y. Not to mention that the city El Segundo has really good relationships with its businesses and there a plenty of discounts that go into having a business in the city. That’s probably why so many engineering firms and other large companies do business there compared to other cities.

Spice World

After weeks of traveling Joy and I are finally back at home, or at least a few weekends worth of dust and laundry to do. For most of the day we spent sweeping, and wiping and just getting everything back in order so that we didn’t have to think about all the dust that our feet would pick up when we walked through the house. It feels great to reset the house back to working order, and for the next few weeks while we’ll be each out of the house for Vegas, golf or another wedding reception to attend.

For lunch we used our 2 for 1 coupon for Souplation in Torrance, and I finally got to visit this spice store called Penzys Spices. Back when we were living in Santa Monica they had just opened this purely spice store but I never got a chance to visit it, so when we passed by it on the way to lunch i wanted to check it out. Surprisingly when you enter the store the smells aren’t over powering like Yankee Candle always does, and the place is neatly setup with everything broken down between spices, herbs, seasoning mixes, and other stuff. Everything has a sample jar which you can smell and everything comes in different sizes from 8oz bags of the stuff to 2.4oz jars of it. We picked out some spices that were missing from the pantry, and a few new ones like smoked paprika that i want to try out on some potatoes. Thanks to Restaurant City on facebook there were a few things i knew when i saw and vice versa, and of course the saffron was the most expensive spice there coming in at something like .5 oz. for $9.00.

We also picked up some empty jars as well to use on the stuff that we had just kept in ziplock bags, and now everything has its on home, in its own jar. Now we just need to get a labeling gun so that we know whats inside each one now.


The Rush is back

Last week the much awaited for (i really wasn’t waiting) game from Blizzard, Star Craft II hit the shelves after 12 years from the original game. The first game is still considered a national icon with gaming centers still filled with kids and adults battling it out, and two professional leagues setup. I knew that it was coming out but didn’t really think that i was going to get it until Thomas said that he was going to the store to pick it up at midnight and watch the intro. The next day i decided to stop by the store after work and pick it up at the Gamestop down the street. I went back and installed it, logged on, and immediately went to battle with Thomas and his employee. It really doesn’t seem like much has changed in game play, but honestly i don’t really remember the original considering the last time i played it was back when i worked in the computer lab on campus at CSULB. Even before that i never really played the game very much.

Playing with friends online brings me back to the Costa Mesa house where we would invite some 10 people over to play War Craft III. Everyone would bring over their own computer setup and we would set teams up in separate rooms. We would drain so much power the breakers would go off and we would have to use extension cords to draw power from the other outlets. We would play until our eyes bled and the house was out of soda and pizza.

Its a little less crazy now that everyone is a little older has a little more responsibility and some don’t even live in the same state anymore. Although times have changed, at least the Internet is able to keep us all together. Just the other night I got in a game with Thomas and Alex in OC, Jerry from the IE, and Jonathan’s old friend Alex who logged on from Taiwan.

I’m currently learning the Zerg, and i actually originally got their gameplay mixed up with the undead from WC3 and totally ate it the first couple games i played. I’m still learning and have gotten my ass handed to me a few times, but at least now there are a ton of tutorials, and keyboard shortcuts to learn to keep up with the real gamers out there. So if you got the game just look for my e-mail address and bring it on!


Aloha Sun and Surf

Not much to talk about Hawaii this time around. Joy and I spent most of our time actually on Waikiki Beach (for the first time) just laying out playing in the surf and floating on a inflatable raft out in the middle of nowhere. I actually was able to actually turn a few shades darker with the amount sun i was able to get. A few new things that actually occurred on this trip was that we actually got to see two turtles out in the water, the first at hanauma bay, and the second right out in waikiki beach, and i got a little heat exhaustion on the last full day we were there.

We sure did go through our laundry list of places to eat and ended up eating at (i’ll update with links to my yelp account as i write them):

*Update i added my past reviews, and Joy’s reviews to the list (no point double posting reviews)

  1. Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co.
  2. Ramen Nakamura
  3. McDonald’s
  4. Rainbow Drive-Inn
  5. Tokkuri-Tei
  6. Yogurt Land
  7. Food Galaxy Restaurant & Coffee Shop
  8. ABC Store Spam Musubi
  9. Waiola Shave Ice
  10. Leonard’s
  11. Teddys Bigger Burgers
  12. Hula Grill
  13. Wailana Coffee House
  14. Marukai
  15. Beach Bar
  16. Fatty’s Chinese Fast Food
  17. Duke’s

Some of the tips that i can share that i learned from this trip are the following.

Its really fun to have a flotation device out in the water of Waikiki because there are so many rocks and coral in the sand so its very easy to step on them just making your way out into the ocean, and better yet if you don’t want to buy one, just wait till night fall and walk along the beach and you’ll find a few that some tourist didn’t want to take back with them and that goes with straw mats too, but those usually ended up in the trash. I’m waiting for the old Hawaiian man to shed a tear.

Buy your alcohol in bulk and store in your hotel’s room fridge. My favorite is malibu rum with real pineapple juice, or papaya juice and champagne. Just have a glass before you leave and use the empty plastic bottle to walk around with on the street. Also check in one of the tourist maps for a 50% off coupon for a mai tai at the Beach Bar, and remember its 1 per person.

Hanauma bay is a cheap destination that you’re able to get to without renting a car. The Bus travels twice an hour to hanuama bay during the weekends and only once on weekdays and never on tuesdays. The ride is $2.50 each way because the transfer ticket only lasts for two hours unless you’re lucky. It takes about 40 minutes to get the bus there but i think if you catch the first bus it typically will fly by empty bus stops and get you there quicker. Make sure someone gets in line for entrance tickets fast because they group the intro movie by times so make haste and get a showtime as soon as possible. There isn’t terribly a lot of shade on the sand so bring a umbrella or a tent to keep the kiddies out of the sun.

Take a stroll down Kapahulu to get away from the tourist and get some real hawaiian life. They’ve got a few great places to get some grinds, and sugar fixes, but remember that amazingly there aren’t any bus lines to get you back to waikiki or an ABC store to buy another $.99 1.5L bottle of water.