Blog: Entries From 2006

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New Computer, New Year - Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Sorry for the paucity of updates. Two weeks ago I killed my laptop messing around with the internal hardware. Due to the holiday season, it was hard to find a repair shop, and the one I settled on took a while to determine that the motherboard was burnt out. I found out it would cost $500 for me to get a new board, so I decided to build a desktop instead.

Fortunately we already had most of the parts at home and I went to Fry's to get the remaining parts for $400. Here's what my new system looks like for the interested:

2 GHz AMD Athlon64 3200+
512 MB DDR RAM (I want to upgrade to 1 GB)
80 GB Western Digital HDD, 7200 RPM
256 MB GeForce 6600 LE (PCI Express)

I worked at Toys 'R Us for 3 weeks doing mostly cashiering. It was pretty boring (and tiring) standing around the whole day. The week before Christmas was insane, and they had me working 10 hours a day for 5 days. But at least I now have a job to put down on my resume, and I made $500, which I unfortunately used most of building that computer.

Man, these entries keep accumulating on the front page because I'm too lazy to archive them since I was planning to revamp my site. I can't believe it's already been half a year since I decided to do that. I was planning to get it done this winter but the sudden lack of a computer made it difficult. Hopefully I'll find some time in between the stuff I have to do at school.

Speaking of which, classes are extremely soporific.
Resolved - Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Over the weekend I and a handful of collegians, high-schoolers, and sponsors from my church joined 2500 other people at the 4-day Resolved conference in Pasadena. The conference was pretty heavy-duty, with sessions (some back-to-back) being in both the mornings and the evenings. We had nine speaking sessions from reputed names including John MacArthur, C.J. Mahaney, and Steve Lawson which covered various topics like genuine faith and sovereign grace. The worship preceding the speaking was upbeat and phenominal.

I didn't get as much out of the conference as I could've, the main reason being that I fell asleep in most of the speaking sessions. I hadn't gotten a good night's rest for a while, and the fact that we got between 4-6 hours of sleep each night did not help. That's not to say I didn't take anything away. On the contrary, I learned a good deal and had some good follow-up discussions with Joe and Steve, as well as fellowship with the other members of our group.

Perhaps the best part of the weekend was seeing a girl that Stan invited, Nina, come to faith in Christ. She had been a non-devout Catholic who had problems with some aspects of her religion. Over this weekend God gave her so many signs, from Stan inviting her to the conference out of the blue (and paying for it), to the discussions she had with people, to the topics of the messages and the parallels that she shared with C.J. Mahaney, who used to be Catholic. She felt like the whole conference was directed straight at her. It was just awesome to see how God revealed himself to her and the awesome power and love He demonstrates in doing so.

All-in-all, Resolved was worth the $145 and the time that I could've spent getting my homework done. I'm just sorry that I wasn't able to make more of it.
Chinese New Year - Sunday, January 29, 2006
Happy Chinese New Year! Woof woof.
Painful Realization - Wednesday, February 1, 2006
You can't always convince someone to think/do what you want them to. Sometimes all the arguing in the world won't change things. At one point you have to recognize that you've said all you can say, and the rest is up to them to accept or to reject. There is nothing more you can say.
Pawning My Laptop - Thursday, February 9, 2006
I've decided against replacing the burnt motherboard on my laptop. Not only would I be spending an additional $250 on a computer that has a history of cooling problems, amongst other things, but other components such as the processor and RAM might've be damaged and fail eventually. By the time I really need a laptop, there will be better things on the market at cheaper prices. So I'm going to sell my laptop for parts on eBay, which should actually be able to fetch a decent sum of money.

Yes, people do buy broken laptops! Some Dell model that was slightly better than mine sold for about $500 including S&H, and a model that was slightly worse also fetched a pretty penny at $400. That's more than a third of their original retail prices. Not bad for a broken laptop.

After this I'll finally be able to buy that extra RAM that I want. :D
Super Size Me - Monday, February 13, 2006
I watched the documentary film Super Size Me today. Yes, I know it's (relatively) old! Well I didn't learn any new information, but it definitely was interesting and well-presented. Totally worth my two hours. If you're going to see one documentary, see this one.
Disproportionate Cell Usage - Thursday, February 16, 2006
Our family cell phone plan entered a new billing cycle a couple days ago. I just checked the usage totals for my phone:

11 peak minutes
6 off-peak minutes
4 in-calling peak minutes
0 in-calling off-peak minutes

Compare that to the usage for my total family pool, which comprises my mother, my brother, and me:

115 peak minutes
634 off-peak minutes
58 in-calling peak minutes
70 in-calling off-peak minutes


Well at least they're making the most of the money we're paying.
Laptop Auction Over - Saturday, February 25, 2006
The auction for my broken laptop has come to an end. I made just over $350 including shipping, which is not as much as I had hoped for, but I'm not complaining.

On another note, I am convinced that mine is the most detailed listing to ever be placed on eBay. Ever.
A Discovery - Friday, March 3, 2006
I recently ran across a CD that I made five years ago, on which I backed up all my personal files, including all the music I had. Many of those songs I've since deleted, and some of them I don't remember even having. It's like opening a time capsule that's been buried for so long. Ah, the nostalgia.
Facebook. Why?! - Wednesday, March 8, 2006
I held out as long as I could. But at last my crumbling resolution has cracked. I've succumbed to the inevitable.

I got a Facebook.
Just Finals - Saturday, March 18, 2006
Finals start in three days, and I haven't started studying. How typical.
Dragonskies - Sunday, March 19, 2006
For those whom I haven't told, this blog can also be accessed through the URL I've had that domain for a couple months and set it up to redirect here.

When (or if?) I finally get around to designing my new site, it's going to be at that domain.
Where'd Spring Break Go? - Sunday, April 2, 2006
Spring Break is over already? :(
Blogging Trend? - Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Apparently I wrote 150 blog entries in 2004, and only 80 in 2005. We're almost a third of the way through 2006, and I've written only 14. I'm seeing a trend.

And no, I didn't tabulate those figures by hand. I'm not THAT much of a loser!
Spankin Cool Speakers - Friday, April 14, 2006
Last week I made up my mind to get myself a pair of good computer speakers. The paper ones built into my LCD monitor didn't quite cut it.

Kenny, who is a speaker enthusiast, among other things, recommended that I go with the unparalleled champion of 2.1 speakers: the Klipsch Promedia 2.1. The retail price is $150, but I found the Klipsch direct outlet on eBay selling refurbished ones for $100 including shipping. I ordered one and it arrived yesterday.

Now I'm turning into one of those people that I used to hate for disturbing everybody else with their music. Blasting bass down the hall sure is fun.
Speed Test At School - Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I found this connection speed tester through Theresa's blog. speed test result on 2006-04-20 02:38:29 EST:
45478 / 15509
Your download speed : 45478 kbps or 5684.7 KB/sec.
Your upload speed : 15509 kbps or 1938.6 KB/sec.
Programming- A Bad Thing? - Thursday, April 27, 2006
I've been programming almost non-stop today and yesterday, but it's been for fun, not for homework. I haven't even started my two homework assignments that are due tomorrow. I didn't even go to class today.

What's wrong with me?
Help Wanted - Wednesday, May 3, 2006
During my daily perusal of the Help Wanted section of my school newspaper, one particular listing caught my eye:

SOCIAL COMPANIONS. Get paid to date. Accompany celebs, VIPs to dinner, theatre, events, etc. $200/hr. Strictly platonic.

Unbelievable, I thought to myself. Getting wined, dined, and shown a good time by celebrities.. and getting paid $200 an hour for it! You'd probably have to be in the top 1% of good looking people to be considered for this job, though. Which means that I'd probably qualify.
Free Rhapsody - Sunday, May 7, 2006
Honda is sponsoring a two-week free trial of Real Rhapsody, unlimited use. Unlike the regular two-week Rhapsody trial, this one requires no credit card. All you have to do is watch a short Honda commercial, then register with some email address. The email address doesn't even need to be valid.

And enjoy. I sure am.
A New Start? - Friday, May 12, 2006
Today was the first day I got up before 9 this quarter. It was also the first day of this quarter that I had breakfast. Granted, there are very few things in life that could actually motivate me to pull this off. This one happened to be my new job.

As of today, I'm working as a helpdesk technician at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. We support mainly grad students who use laptops. People having issues bring their laptops in and we troubleshoot.

It's a pretty laid-back job since people aren't coming in all the time, so I'll get to do homework when I'm just sitting around. And getting paid over $100 a week isn't too shabby either.
Even More Programming - Saturday, May 20, 2006
I just spent another whole day programming for fun when I was supposed to be studying. I'm sooooo addicted.
Speaker Fun - Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The speakers on the laptop I used to have were downright horrid. So bad in fact, that there wasn't ever an instance when I preferred to listen to music through the speakers rather than through my $6 pair of headphones. That was the ONLY way of listening to music I was exposed to.

So for the most part, music sounded the same regardless of what bitrate it was encoded at. I couldn't detect the difference between CD quality MP3's and radio quality MP3's. Thus I vehemently decided that any songs over 128kbps took up more space than they deserved. When I stumbled upon a re-encoding program one day, I was all too happy to trim those excess megabytes from my collection.

Ignorance is bliss. But it usually comes back and bites you in the rear. Now that I have a real speaker system, some of these songs don't sound so great when blasted around the room. They sound grainy, and details are missing.

Fortunately I wasn't ENTIRELY a fool, thanks to Gmail. Before deleting something, if I thought there was even a 1% chance of me wanting to recover it in the future, I archived it in Gmail. I guess I didn't fully rule out the possibility that I might get a killer speaker system one day. Or more likely, just better headphones...

The day is saved. And Gmail says: You are currently using 2636 MB (97%) of your 2727 MB.
The 25 Worst Tech Products Ever - Friday, May 26, 2006
This is an interesting read. The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time
Free Rhapsody Still Going - Monday, June 5, 2006
I can't believe the free unlimited-use Real Rhapsody trial is still being offered. I'm now on my third one.
A Sidekick Story - Sunday, June 11, 2006
I found this link posted on a forum and thought it was interesting. How NOT to steal a SideKick II

Evan's friend lost a $300 T-Mobile cell phone in a New York City cab. The people who found it, instead of doing the right thing and returning it, decided to keep and use it to take pictures of themselves and log onto AOL. Unknowingly to them, those pictures were automatically uploaded to the T-Mobile server, where they were accessed by the owner of the phone.

Now Evan has posted their pictures online to put pressure on them to return the phone. The site has been up for less than a week and is receiving half a million hits a day. Evan is getting thousands of emails daily, radio station interview requests, and has been featured on MSNBC and NY Times.

Follow the story as it unfolds!
Finals and Flotsam - Saturday, June 17, 2006
So finals are finally over. I think I aced one of them, did decently on another, and uh.. well let's not talk about the third. So I guess that more or less balances out...

I finished up the week at work. The fact that people don't come in for help too often is nice during the year when you need time to do homework or study. But since finals were over, it was tremendously soporific. Like class.

Lastly, Raymond seems annoyed that my blog has seemingly turned into an advertisement page with all the links I've been posting lately. Sorry Raymond, I guess you're right. This one's for you: User-contributed UPC Database.
Winamp - Monday, June 26, 2006
Ever since it was bought by AOL, Winamp's stability has gone under. I've downloaded a handful of versions that incorporated fixes for "critical security bugs" only to have them crash when I simply tried to play something.

On a more positive note, all my grades for the Spring quarter have been released. In my Automata Theory class that I feared I would fail, I got a C. In my AI class, an A-. And in my Circuit Design lab, the first A+ I've gotten in college. I am elated.
What's in a Name? - Thursday, July 6, 2006
It finally dawned on me that having an eccentric name like Anson does have some advantages.

On the one hand, it's frustrating when everybody I meet mutilates my name a few times before it clicks. It's not their fault, but it gets somewhat annoying when I introduce myself and they struggle to get it right- "Did you say Hanson? Manson? Arson?" Sometimes I feel like introducing myself with a name that everybody knows... like "Bob."

But once they do learn my name, using it is unambiguous. "Go talk to Anson about it." "Hi this is Anson returning your message." It's like I don't need a last name.

I guess a little grief in the beginning goes a long way.
Inane and Insane - Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I almost choked on my breakfast as the morning news informed me of the most ridiculous, and senselessly funny, court cases I've yet to hear.

So apparently a guy in Oregon named Allen Heckard, who seemingly bears a close likeness to Michael Jordan, is tired of being mistaken for the basketball legend daily for the past 15 years and is now suing Jordan and Nike for $832 million for emotional damages arising from Jordan's image being so well-known.

Heckard also plays basketball and it upsets him to hear that he plays like His Airness. He was also caught wearing Air Jordan shoes, which he claims he does because they are the most comfortable. I don't know about you, but if my likeness to a celebrity was driving me crazy, I wouldn't be strutting around in his clothes.

Here's a link: News story on Fox Sports

And who knows just how many days he's used his Jordan-likeness to get freebies and pick up women!
Firefox - Friday, July 14, 2006
I have a confession to make. I've been adamantly supporting Firefox since I've started using it, blindly claiming that it is faster than IE, secure, and completely conforms to W3C standards. I never really investigated these claims, just only assumed them to be true.

Then I stumbled upon Firefox Myths, a site created to dispel such thinking. The author provides sources for every myth's debunking and is careful not to lapse into subjective speculation.

It is important to remember that every major application is bound to have bugs. Firefox is generally a good piece of software, but it's not perfect and shouldn't be touted as a religion. Its programmers are fallible like any others.
The Internship Course - Thursday, July 20, 2006
A couple weeks ago Tom Shen from church hooked my resume up with the company he works at- Digital Insight, a leading banking software provider. I'm going back to school in fall, so I could only work for summer, and there weren't any summer positions available. But the HR manager contacted me when one finally opened up, and I went in for an interview.

Both the HR manager and the interviewers seemed impressed by my resume and interview performance. Nonetheless I got passed up because, according to them, they were looking for somebody who could ideally work longer than summer. Go figure.

No matter. The position didn't seem too engaging - doing basic hardware work such as wiping hard drives and doing base Linux installations on machines, and the occasional office work like lifting boxes. Plus, I would've had to drive 1 hour in each direction to their facility in Westlake Village.

And it leaves me free to pursue other, more interesting venues. For example, yesterday I and another guy, Fred, were appointed the System/Web Administrators for ESUC, an engineering society at UCLA that runs a network of computers and a central web server.

ESUC hasn't had a sysadmin for a year, so their site was a tad disheveled. Fred and I spent 6 hours hacking CMS modules on the server to get ourselves in with admin privileges, and filtering out the hundreds of spam messages that had accumulated on the message board. The site looks better than a pile of fish already.
A Handy Ringtone - Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Here's an interesting tale of technology hijacking: The Mosquito Ringtone. I don't know whether it's good or bad that I can't hear that tone, but it's even more reason for me to feel old.
Dell Sweepstakes - Sunday, July 30, 2006
Dell is having a 1-month promotional and giving away 12 notebooks a day. You can play once a day for an instant chance to win one.
Going Camping - Thursday, August 3, 2006
The college group from church is going on a camping trip from Friday to Sunday to Lake Lopez in San Luis Obispo. We're going to be camping out in tents and partaking in such activities as waterskiing. It'll be a lot of fun. I really should start packing though, it's almost midnight.
Camping and Alcohol? - Saturday, August 12, 2006
I've been meaning to write about the camping trip but didn't get around to it because I've been busy redesigning this site. The final layout revisions are looking promising!

On the camping trip, we didn't get to do some fun things as planned, such as waterskiing. But meeting and bonding with new people made it worth it. And the fond memory of eating a ton of fried food and getting sick because of it.

Tonight Priscilla treated me to an expensive dinner at Lulu's Cafe, where the main motive was alcohol. Prior to today, I've only tasted a couple sips of wine, but that didn't stop me from ordering a cranberry martini and a whole bottle of Chardonnay, which I somehow managed to finish 3/4 of. After that I felt really sick and threw up in the bathroom. So much for that expensive dinner.

Well now I know my limit, which isn't much at all (I got really red after those couple sips last time). Apparently my body really doesn't like "unhealthy" things. The college-induced craving to drink has been satisfied, and I don't think I'll be doing it again any time soon. I don't think I'll ever be able to get drunk to the point where I start losing the ability to think, since I can't hold my liquor long enough. That's ok, it tastes like uh, crap, anyway.
Blockbuster Sucks - Sunday, August 20, 2006
Recently I found a link for a free month trial to Blockbuster Online. I'm not a fan of Blockbuster, but I figured that getting more free movies can't hurt.

One thing I don't appreciate about Blockbuster is the looooong mail turnaround time compared to Netflix. With Netflix, I would send in all my movies one day, they'd be received and processed the next day, and I'd get a new batch in my mailbox the day following- for a nice turnaround of 2 days.

At the beginning, Blockbuster waited 3 days to acknowledge receiving one of my mailed-back movies. Yet two other movies found themselves at HQ in just 1 day. The funny thing was that I mailed all three together. And they've been getting slower ever since.

I've read about this practice, called throttling, where the company willfully delays processing for "heavy users" so that they can mail less per month and save that much/little money. I've read that Netflix does it too, but not nearly as much as Blockbuster.

I suppose finishing three movies in 2 days could be considered "heavy use." But why are they throttling me during my free trial? And at the beginning, at that? Isn't this period supposed to be when they try to make my experience most favorable? I'd hate to see what happens if I were to become a regular member.
Matthew McConaughey - Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Just something I noticed. Matthew McConaughey, who stars/co-stars in Failure to Launch and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, bears a strikingly similar composure on each movie's poster.

Notice the triangular shape formed by the two people, his placement on the right, and his hand in his pocket.

And interestingly, both movies were released by Paramount and share the theme of love developing under a guise of deception!
A New Record, for Stupidity - Friday, September 1, 2006
Today I broke my record for the stupidest thing I've ever done.

9 people including myself went to Zuma Beach to hang out. I drove 6 of them in my dad's van. When we got there I decided to go in the water on one of the boogie boards we brought. I was out there for a bit, having a good time. I had forgotten that I had my van keys and cell phone in my pockets.

When I got back on shore I realized what I had done. The phone was completely dead. The keys were missing.

The only part of the beach I could search was the shore, and they didn't wash up there. It looked like my passengers and I were stuck.

In the end, my mom found a spare key at home and drove an hour to bring it down to me. Not once was she critical towards me. The only thing that puts me to shame more than my absent-mindedness, is being treated with that kind of love.
Last Post at Anson's Blog - Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Alright. I've been putting it off for too long. The redesign of my site has been long overdue.

For the past couple weeks I've been working on the new site- from designing a new layout, to writing more flexible code. I'm finishing everything up this week, and my site will officially be moved to It'll go up this Saturday.

This will be the last post I make here at Anson's Blog!
Site Move Complete - Thursday, September 14, 2006
Moving my site went as expected. Right now I'm fixing up a couple parts of the site and working on some programming stuff.

This morning I woke up to find a nice surprise on my bed: a live vomit-colored caterpillar a few inches from my head. How it got there I have no idea. I really hope there aren't more breeding in my room..
Gmail Woes - Saturday, September 23, 2006
I need to start moving some files from my primary Gmail to my other accounts. Gmail is telling me, in bold red letters: You are currently using 2763 MB (100%) of your 2767 MB.

And it won't let me send even plain-text messages now.
New Phone Just in Time for School - Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I bought a used Verizon phone off eBay and activated it as a replacement for my damaged phone. So I will be answering my phone again.. to the extent that I regularly do, at least. ;)

Moving into the dorms was a breeze. I arrived on the last day when most people had already moved in, so I didn't have to fight anyone getting stuff from the van up to my room.

At first it looked like all my stuff wouldn't fit comfortably, but being the engineer that I am, I was compelled to rearrange all the furniture to achieve maximum space efficiency. So this year I get to have my server next to my desk instead of hidden behind my fridge.

I also got a new 19" monitor, so I'm running a dual display setup. Being able to watch a movie fullscreen while doing work on the other is sweet.
School... - Wednesday, October 4, 2006
So classes started last Thursday, and I've been swamped with work ever since. 100 pages of reading for Linguistics, 50 for Psychology, and requisite but not required readings for my two Computer Science classes. I'm learning to appreciate school more and I've managed to avoid slacking off and falling asleep in class, but it's very, very tiring. Not to mention I'm getting less sleep than is ideal and have had to put personal and club-related projects on hold because I simply don't have time.

Every day I have a solid block of work and class from morning till afternoon. I have to get sack lunches and eat on my way between buildings. Wednesdays are my worst days because I have a full 7 hour day.

As far as classes go, Linguistics and Psychology are actually pretty interesting. My Compilers class is unique in that it incorporates what I've learned in my previous 3 years of CS classes. It sounds fun, but I haven't yet seen the projects that are supposed to be killer.

And finally, my Circuits lab is.. well how should I put it, the TA doesn't seem to have it together. Today he gave two quizzes randomly in the middle of a lecture. And he was speaking over a PowerPoint presentation made by some professor from a different university. He was reading almost word for word and, when asked questions about it, would mumble something unintelligible. I don't know if he really understood the slides himself.
Renewal - Sunday, October 15, 2006
Today was interesting.

I've been in a mental, physical, and spiritual rut since school started. I've been excruciatingly busy, sleep-deprived, and since last week just out of it. I've also been going home every weekend, and customarily not studying well there, a great ingredient to add to the mix.

Today started pretty lousily. My brother and I were to drive to church separately from my parents, who had to leave early. Before she left, my mom woke us up, but we fell right back asleep. We would've missed church (or been very late) if it weren't for her calling 15 minutes before the starting time to ask us to bring something that she had forgotten. Needless to say, I was pretty tired, and I ended up nodding off during half of the sermon.

Adult sunday school went better. We are doing a seminar on spiritual warfare, and the topic was the breastplate of righteousness from the Armor of God section of Ephesians 8. The breastplate back in the day was also called the heart protector because of its obvious function.

In the same way metaphorically, God's breastplate is the strength we gain from his Word to protect our hearts from the snare of guilt that the devil brings. This is a big issue for me, as I always struggle with guilt from wrongdoings, as well as for not living the Christ-centered life I think I should be. I sometimes feel that God can't forgive and accept me because I am so wretched in his eyes. But my group leader said this kind of thinking is a slap to God's face. It is denying that his grace is sufficient to cover even our biggest sins.

In the afternoon I met with my discussion group to go over the first three chapters of the book we are studying - The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Unfortunately, due to unforseen constraints, the group has dwindled down to just me and Priscilla. But we had a good conversation, and from Chapter 3 I realized that my life is driven mostly by guilt.

I arrived home exhausted and couldn't help taking a nap. I awoke right before dinner, still fatigued, and feeling (overdue) illness creeping over me. I realized that, despite being behind in school, I had not done any work over the weekend, and now it'd be even harder because I was getting sick. I felt miserable.

But afterwards, as my mom was driving me back to school, I had a moment of clarity when everything I had heard that day sunk in and clicked. God really did know every detail of our lives, before we were ever created. I can stop worrying about how things will turn out because whatever it is I am going through, he has allowed it. My life is in the hands of someone who is vastly more powerful and wise than I will ever be. And he has accepted and chosen me. There is nothing that can separate me from his love.

After I realized this, I confessed my biggest struggle to my roommate and asked him to help keep me accountable. I will no longer allow guilt for things done in the past to interfere with how I live in the present. I thanked God for what he has done for me, and I asked him to give me a renewed sense of purpose. I still don't know his will for me, but going through life, going through school and doing my daily grind, have a new meaning.

Whatever we do, we should do it for his glory. It's not about me. It's all about God.
IE 7 - Thursday, October 26, 2006
Many props to Microsoft for last week's highly anticipated release of Internet Explorer 7! The web-surfing world is now a much better place.

Here are some reasons we should all switch to IE 7:

I don't know about you, but I am 100% sold!
Fun Factory - Thursday, November 2, 2006
This past (Halloween) Tuesday Priscilla kidnapped me and Christina from UCLA to go to CCAC for our annual [International] Fun Factory carnival. Even though I had a midterm to study for and got back to school very late, it was great helping out. Fun Factory is a great way for our church to reach out to the local community.

Priscilla and I were working at the monkey hula-hoop toss booth, and we were scheduled from 6-8 but apparently only Deborah signed up after us, so Priscilla ended up staying overtime while I walked around like a lazy guy and watched the magic show going on. Thanks Priscilla, you're a very fun friend! ;)
I Love My Job - Thursday, November 9, 2006
I love my job as a helpdesk technician. Some of the people who bring their laptops in have funny questions. One guy brought in a laptop where the battery would not charge. Turns out he just never had the computer plugged into an outlet.
Rare Stamps Used to Mail Ballot - Saturday, November 11, 2006
I just read a funny story about a couple of extremely rare stamps being used to mail an absentee ballot in Florida this week. Ironically, the ballot lacked the proper registrant info or a return address and was disqualified.
Love - Monday, November 13, 2006
I'm about to delve into a long rant about the meaning of love. If you find such topics or analyses boring, turn back now! Otherwise, enjoy reading all the juicy details of my personal feelings.

It wasn't the first time by far, but I've been thinking about this topic today and it occurred to me that being in love with somebody and loving somebody are not the same things.

Being in love is a feeling. Falling and being in love with somebody is as natural as falling out of love with them. Being in love arises as a response to an attraction. It usually is ascribed to a relationship with a significant other. In the here and now, life is great. But when things go south, the relationship is not guaranteed to last.

Loving a person, on the other hand, is a commitment, and it is unconditional. Real love finds you caring about a person so much, that you elevate their wellbeing above your own. You value them for who they are, in spite of their faults and weaknesses. There is nothing that you would not be willing to give up for them, be it even your own life. You have nothing to hide from them, you come before them being completely open and vulnerable. Real love does not have an end. Not because of illness, situations, or conflict. You don't have to be perfect (that might be just a bit hard for most of us), but you do have to give it your all.

How many people get married truly meaning the words "for better or for worse, till death do us part"? My guess is that if everybody really meant it, divorce lawyers would be out of business. Real love is a commitment. How many marriages fall through because one or both partners are not committed?

If I ever have a girlfriend, I will not tell her that I love her, because the truth is- I won't. No matter how I think I feel, a dating relationship is conditional. Only after marriage would the words "I love you" not be a blatant lie.

There are three people whom I should be able to say I love: my father, my mother, and my brother. I realize how very distant this concept of love is to what my actions are, and where my heart lies. I want to be able to say that I love them. This is something I need to work for immensely.
Happy 21.5 Priscilla - Saturday, November 25, 2006
Priscilla was my slave for what was also her 21st and a half birthday. Here's a recap of our day:Yeah so, I don't think we could've had a more random day. Which is why it was so fun. =)
Speechless - Saturday, December 2, 2006
Describes my reaction to seeing UCLA take the win in football over USC for the first time in 7 years. After last year's abysmal game, and with our record this year, I thought I'd never see us beat USC in my years as a student.

Incredible. Truly incredible. Go Bruins!!
Jia Yo! - Tuesday, December 5, 2006
These past two days I did something that I haven't done for as long as I can remember: all work and no play. I've been working on my CS project every minute of my available time. No games. No aimless browsing the web. And tonight I finished it, two days ahead of schedule.

I was about to start studying for my Thursday final when I got a call from Priscilla. Long story short, we're officially in a relationship.

... Um. People at church already knew we were dating. I didn't want to ruin the surprise until we were going steady. But somebody had to let the cat out of the bag early!

So ok, yeah. Nobody has to guess now. Priscilla and I are now girlfriend and boyfriend. Respectively. Ahem.

And now I'm blogging instead of studying for my final. Grr, look what you made me do, Priscilla!

Done With Finals! - Friday, December 15, 2006
Another quarter has drawn to a close. I soon shall be going home, basking in a much-needed euphoria called winter break. I'm now just finishing up my shift at work, bored out of my mind since there's nobody around. This whole week this place has been a ghost town, with students being too busy with studying to come in asking for computer help.

But it's all good. I finished my CS final this morning with an hour to spare, and I think I did pretty well. Hopefully this will supplement my abominably low project scores. We shall see.
Video Editing Fun - Friday, December 22, 2006
Priscilla let me mess around with her Sony Vegas Movie Studio program. The program is a bit buggy, but editing sure is fun. I even made a music video with clips from The Butterfly Effect, which took me... way too long to make.
Merry Christmas - Monday, December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas! I hope everybody is having as good a time with friends and loved ones as I am. Here's a recap of the past three days:

Saturday: Went caroling at two retirement homes with Crescentia and Priscilla and members of MBCLA. Watched Home Alone and The Ring Two with Priscilla afterwards. I think I can safely call The Ring Two one of the worst movies I've seen.

We also experimented with cooking dinner and fortunately didn't set the kitchen on fire. We made a stir-fry melange of chicken, eggs, carrots, instant noodles, and tomatoes (my weird idea) and some boc choi (Priscilla's idea). I think the boc choi would've been better combined with everything else in the stir-fry. Nonetheless, everything came out edible. :O

Sunday: Went to MBCLA with Priscilla because they had some special Christmas program. They are SO musically gifted there. One of the songs sung by the choir was Carol of the Bells, and they had people accompanying with actual bells. Most of the bell players had two bells of different notes, but the guy at the end had seven!

I finally got to talk to Priscilla's parents (actually just her mom) about the relationship. Finally we went to their annual family reunion where everybody was pretty talkative (contrary to what I've been told, ahem). Their family is really huge. I got to meet pretty much everybody but I don't remember half their names now. Oh well, maybe next year. ;)

Monday: Watched Rocky Balboa with Raymond, David, Max, and Yakov. I've never seen a Rocky film but I really enjoyed this one. We had a good time of hanging out and making fun of everyone and everything. Finally, I spent Christmas dinner with my family. We didn't do anything fancy this year, which I'm somewhat glad for.

Finally, in the spirit of Christmas, I'd like to share an animation which I found amusing. It's about the least known reindeer of all, Fabian, who never had a nose. True story.
Bowling - Thursday, December 28, 2006
I went bowling with Kenny, Raymond, David, and Randall at Brunswick this afternoon. After much deliberation we decided on the family pack, split $12 per person, which gave us two hours of playing time into which we were able to squeeze 3.7 games. Also included was a free pitcher of Coke, which even I had a cup of. I haven't had Coke since, what, high school?

I also broke my personal high score of some mid 70's with an awesome 111. My new technique is to not concentrate on aiming, and just throw, hard. Ironically my aim becomes a lot better that way. :0
Basketball - Saturday, December 30, 2006
I joined Kenny, Raymond, Minh, and Yakov for a grueling three hours of basketball at Reseda Park today. I never thought that I could get blisters on my feet from playing basketball. Or that I could get out of breath after playing for five minutes. I really need to get in shape...
The End of a Great Year - Sunday, December 31, 2006
The new year is quickly approaching (2 hours and 4 minutes remaining at the time I'm writing this). 2006 has truly been a great year. Here are some of the highlights of my year:
May 2007 bring another year of blessing and joy to us all!