Wednesday, December 27, 2006

[trip] Xmas in San Diego

When: Sat Dec 23rd - Mon Dec 25th
Stayed at: The Bristol Hotel

- Plane spotting
- Mano e mano video poker
- What do you mean, you don't serve alcohol in the casino?
- Palm reader, energy worker, and storyteller
- Mushy Peas
- Vibrating room
- This room has no dark shade?
- Pad Thai, W's Polish Sausage and Fries, Pizza, 7-Eleven Hot Dog
- Yule log, A Christmas Story, and How the Grinch stole Christmas
- Lucky pooping on the floor

Sunday, December 17, 2006

[outing] Brunch at Fig Tree's Cafe

Who: Marie, Renzo, Jeremy, Paul, Joanna, Jason
Where: Fig Tree's Cafe, Venice

- What's that giant thing that just went across the room?
- You just took the only leaf this cactus will ever have!
- Let's order another of that giant puffy thing
- Let's call Jessica (again)!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

[outing] Battlestar Galactica Screening

What: Battlestar Galactica Mid-Season Finale Theatre Pre-Screening
Where: Westside Pavillion Landmark Theater
Who: Ben, Dana, Dana's friends

- "You are all invited to come watch battlestar galactica at our house"
- "You'll be sorry that you said that!"
- "Will we see one of the final fives before the end of this season?"

Sunday, December 10, 2006

[outing] Holiday parties

'Tis the season to be partying.

Saturday December 9: Laura and Josh's Holiday Party
- Laura the Santa
- The Viagra cup
- Toe Socks
- The grape paper towel holder and votive holders
- "Ganta"
- "What happens when someone die?"
- "How does that mouse changes color???" (Targus Mini Kaleidoscope Optical Retractable Mouse: ...This fun, sleek mini mouse features a patented color-radiating design that cycles through seven colors as you use it..)

Thursday December 7: Business.com Holiday Party at Duke's
- Festive casual and Mike's Santa tie
- Pre-party at Shelby's
- Richard's amazing breakdance
- Mike's tutorial on tap dance
- Tequila and vodka ... on ice, please
- Three helpings of prime rib (me)
- Three helpings of ice cream cake (pierre)
- Fried wontons with crab and cheese fillings
- Is that guy doing magic?
- Sharon stepped on Pierre
- wii
- 2-side orders of bacon at Swingers

Tuesday December 5: James' Birthday Party at Tokyo Delves
- Buzz killing mystery sushi game
- Learning to do the sprinkler

Friday December 1: Yahoo Holiday Party at The Highlands Hollywood - Tri-tip beef
- Tequila in champagne glasses
- Blackjack and poker
- Pinball


Friday, December 08, 2006

[log] TenFold and the Universal Soldier

I have always felt very lucky that I joined TenFold right out of college. Sure, not everything came up roses, but I worked for a great manager, made life-long friends, and learned a heck lot.

TenFold's foundation product is a rapid software development platform called "Universal Application" -- It's the application that can be turned into any database-driven business app! The core product team meticulously abstracted, layered, and structured the code, so that any app could be run a any OS, any database, and multiple tiering configurations. An impressive vision, really.

But the more interesting vision, was that TenFold required everyone to be a "Universal Soldier" (Though, no, they never used that term). New hire bootcamp started with the TenFold Writing class -- Everyone must write well and write consistently. Everyone. And when you hired college grads who had no preconceived notion of this-is-not-my-job, anything was possible.

When I started I was a developer. What I didn't know, was that in other "traditional" software development organizations, there are many other titles like QA, Technical Writers, Product Manager, Project Manager, Release Manager, User Support, Trainer, UI Designer, Analyst, DBA, etc -- We were just a team full of developers. Since I didn't know, I thought that must be just how things were everywhere. And why not? We had to figure out how to do everything and I loved it.

Today I work in a traditional organization. We have people with all different titles and we have a great team. But I continue to promote the Universal Soldier philosophy. These days, I explain it as "growing Revenue per Employee" -- If we could to do more business with the talents we have, we will be able to give everyone a fatter bonus check, and look better on our financial report ...

... Ah ha! A win-win proposition.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

[log] Culver City Redevelopment Project

http://www.culvercity.org/citygov/redevelop/proj_sepulveda.asp

Friday, December 01, 2006

[log] Free Hosted Wikis

Keeping a list of free hosted wikis so I don't forget:

* http://www.pbwiki.com -- Nice. Very nice. Text and wysiwyg editors. Free one is ad supported.

* http://www.wikidot.com -- Twiki syntax. Text editor. Nicest default template. Integrated Forums. Integrated Comments. Customized menue. Currently first choice.

* http://www.wikispaces.com -- Wysiwyg and text editor with MediaWiki syntax. Can import blog and download entire wiki. Integrated site stats. Has AdSense ads.

* http://www.wetpaint.com -- Wysiwg editor. Integrated comment functionality. Can map to any domain.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

[log] Innovation

1. Innovation means change
2. The road will be blocked
3. Innovation means execution
4. Innovation requires marketing

How true. Quoted from this column.

Friday, November 24, 2006

[log] Paper cups

The other day our office manager told me, that we use 1000 cups a week at the office.

1000 cups a week? 52,000 cups a year?

She said, everyone at the office uses 2-3 cups a day -- 1000 cups / 5 days / 80 people = 2.5 cups.

Yes, I used 3 cups a day -- cup of coffee, cup of tea, cup of water -- nothing crazy.

But never did I think that it added up to 1000 cups a week.

I now use a mug.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

[outing] Goodbye to Jessica Brunch

Saturday November 18th

- Unagi handroll
- Two dozen pastries
- Crepe
- Omelet
- Masks of wandy
- Cheese cake
- Greygoose
- Starbucks liqueur

[recipe] Cal Pep's Seared Beef Tenderloin

- Cut beef tenderloin into ~1 1/2 inch sized pieces. Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Heat pan on high-heat with olive oil until oil starts to smoke lightly
- Sear beef tenderloin pieces for 1 min 15 sec on each side
- Remove from heat and sprinkle coarse salt to taste

(Singularly the best thing we learned in Barcelona)

[recipe] Eileen's Chicken Pot Pie

- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 (9 inch) Marie Callender's Pie Crusts
- 2 cans chicken broth
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 egg white
- all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasnoning

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and add in 2 cans chicken broth. Boil for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the soup.

- In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in butter
- Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp balck pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
- Slowly stir in 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Slowly stir in 2/3 cup milk and 1 1/2 cup of reserved soup
- Simmer over medium-low heat until thick
- Mix in the chicken and veggie

- Bake two pie crusts about 10 minutes at 350 degrees
- Place the chicken mixture in the pie crusts
- Cover with top crusts, seal edges and brush with egg white
- Make several small slits on the top crust to allow steam to escape

- Bake in pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown
- Cool for 10 minutes before serving

(Tastey!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

[trip] Barcelona (Day 8)

Sunday October 22nd
- "Finish the Sangria now! (in bathrobes)" (0.50 euro for that 0.75 liter)

[trip] Barcelona (Day 7)

Saturday October 21st

- Sagrada Familia (just because we felt like walking?)
- Walking to Camp Nou (we really felt like walking)
- "Did you just take a photo of the police station?"
- Sangria that took 20 minutes, made from whole list of mystery ingredients
- Camp Nou!
- The paella noodle dish

[trip] Barcelona (Day 6)

Friday October 20th
- Montserrat!
- Random choir outside
- Choir boys
- Death on the second floor, which took my camera
- Baguet sandwiches with Jamon
- Furnicular to the top of the mountain
- "Come closer to the window!"
- "I love being on the spine of the mountain!"
- Dinner at Cal Pep -- Beef with potata. Dessert served in five shot glasses.

[trip] Barcelona (Day 5)

Thursday Octbober 19th
- Potata and zuchini tortilla at Pinotxo
- Cathedral, with its 13 geese
- Finally got to shop at Kukuxumusu
- Taking sneak pics at Palau de la Musica
- Parc Cidetal
- Aquarium
- Marinated bull at Amaya
- More coke and wine

[trip] Barcelona (Day 4)

Wednesday October 18th
- Bye bye eileen carmel james
- Potata and veggie tortilla at Pinotxo
- "That guy just ordered beer with his breakfast!"
- Jamon Serrano
- Foodball
- Xurros
- Super skinny Fries
- Juice box wine and coke, every two hours

[trip] Barcelona (Day 3)

Tuesday Octbober 17th
- Oh
- so
- hung
- over
- The grueling uphill hike to Park Guell
- La Boqueria - 1.6 euros for a lovely 100g of Jamon!
- "You really can go up Christopher Columbus' ass!"
- Dinner at Cal Pep
- Hot chocolate at Glacier

[trip] Barcelona (Day 2)

Monday October 16th
- Sagrada Familia
- Squeezing by people on the staircase
- The stained glass window shining on the pillars
- Amazing onion soup
- Sangria with Cava
- Coke and wine
- Bar tenders at 1898 gave us round of authentic shots
- Bar tenders gave us another round of those shots, because they thought we were fighting over the one extra left-over shot
- Bar Rosa and the fresh fruit cocktail
- Tapas at midnight
- Racing to chug wine at midnight
- Irish bar 1
- Irish bar 2
- Irish car comb that I don't remember drinking

[trip] Barcelona (Day 1)

Sunday October 15th
- 2.5 immigration stations serving line of 300 people
- Someone hit the emergency stop button on the baggage conveyer belt
- The fantastic rain shower at our room at hotel royal
- The bottle dancers in Barcelonetta
- The ridiculously large paella
- Dinner at Taxidermists. The awesomely strong jack-and-coke and the awesome ergo-back seats
- The ticket booth man, who gets out of the ticket booth, and locks his booth, while we are all in line, waiting.
- "There is no way you can go up Christopher Columbus' ass"
- Gorgeous basement pool at hotel 1898
- Hotel bar of 1898

Thursday, October 05, 2006

[recipe] Microwaving Bacon

Rachel Ray just produced beautifully crisp bacon from the microwave oven (or does everything look crispy on TV?)

1. Put two sheets of paper towel on a plate
2. Lay down the bacon
3. Repeat step 1 and 2 as the daily cholestrol quota requires
4. Top with two more sheets of paper towel
5. Microwave for 2-3 minutes per layer

How good is THAT?

Saturday, September 30, 2006

[find] Wondy Pierre-Louis

Pierre jumped out of his seat when he heard this name on TV!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

[homage] Thursday Surprises

We have been running a series called "Thursday Surprise" at work, and it has been just fantastically fun:

- Jelly Bean Count Contest (The bean counters took it home)
- Paper Airplane Contest (Yodakawa won with the super dart plane)
- Brain Teaser Contest (Yodakawa strikes again!)
- Mini-Hoop Contest (I am a pretty good shot when holding a beer in one hand)
- Treasure Hunt ("Where is the !@#$ poster with 4 half circles and 4 squares?!")
- Ro-Sham-Bo Tournament (Simply brilliant)
- Marshmallow Sculpture contest (Richard anad Jason built the burning man. Todd and I just used up all available marshmallows and toothpicks)

[buy] Panasonic DMC-DX07 Digital Camera

Purchased from: Costco
Cost: $319

The Nikon S6, though with a beautiful 3" LCD screen, drove me nuts with its slow start up time, slow flash, bigger size, heavier weight, and just annoyingly difficult with indoor pictures.

So onto the next evaluation. I think this is the one! (Pierre: "Uh huh")

- 28mm equivalent wide(r) angle lense
- Small, light, fast
- The LCD is noticeably sharper and brighter, compared to Pierre's Optio A8
- That on-off switch is oh so satisfying

God bless Costco.

Update 2007 Jan: Still in love with this camera. Even though it mysteriously died after it slipped off my lap in Barcelona. But, that's probably because we were in a church watching a bunch of boy choir, and I was falling asleep.

When I first got it I scoffed at the "simple mode" (Who needs simple? I can tweak all the crazy settings) But overtime I have found the simple mode to be surprisingly good. A lot of times I take pictures in simple mode with flash forced off -- and the results are usually much better than if I used the other modes.

And it's done a great job for low-light conditions (great compared against the bunch of other cameras I evaluated). In the end, I know a big SLR will always get better pics, but I wouldn't want to lug the pricey SLR around once I have had a few cocktails ...

[outing] Beehive, the 60's Musical


What: Beehive, the 60's Musical
Where: El Portal Theatre
When: Sunday, 2006 September 24
Who: With Corinne

- "Wait, I know this set of directions ... it's to Tokyo Delves!"
- Dusty Springfield is a blond British chick?
- Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, and Janis Joplin
- The single couch seat in the entire theatre are marked H17 and H18. Must try to get those next time.

What a rocking fun show and a great theater -- thanks Corinne!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

[eats] Violet (Santa Monica, CA)

Macaroni and Cheese.
Macaroni and Cheese.
Did I mention Macaroni and Cheese?

OK. It is "refined" with Serrano Ham and Gruyere cheese. But no matter, it's simply heavenly.

What a great restaurant. They even give you the recipe on line. And let's not forget:
- Bread (I had forgotten how great bread can taste)
- Roasted red pepper soup
- Roasted Idaho Trout
- Bottomless Pinot Grigio for $10
- Machego cheese with honey and toast

And, your check is delivered with with milk and cookies. Love it.

Violet Restaurant
3221 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA (Just west of Centinela)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

[outing] Labor Day Fair on Hermosa Beach

When: Monday, 2006 Sep 4th
What: Drunken and disorderly at Hennesey's

Item Qty Unit Price Total
Budweiser 3 $ 4.25 $ 12.75
Well Tequila 17 $ 6.25 $ 106.25
Jack Daniels 30 $ 6.25 $ 187.50
Belvedere (Double) 1 $ 17.00 $ 17.00
Fish & Chips 1 $ 11.95 $ 11.95
H2O 10 $ - $ -





Subtotal

$ 335.45
Tax

$ 27.67





Total

$ 363.12
Tip

$ 60.04 18%





Grand Total

$ 423.16

[trip] Warrensburg, MO

Departed on: Friday, 2006 Sep 8th
Returned on: Sunday, 2006 Sep 10th
Event: Chris and Adrienne's Wedding

- Pierre and groom. Poker showdown at 3:30am before (er, on) the wedding day. Pierre gets flush on the river. Pierre takes money from groom.
- Hertz Neverlost
- Warrensburg = 90 minutes out of Kansas City
- Sonic -- America's Drive In (and the tots!)
- Trolley tour of the town
- John-John and the piano
- Uncle Johnnie and luggage-o-nuts
- One too many midget shots of Jameson

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

[news] Expiring Nukes

Everything has an expiration date—even nuclear warheads. Concerned that the United States' 10,000-strong stockpile of atomic bombs are past their prime, scientists at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos Labs are vying to design the first new nuclear bomb in the United States since the W88 warhead in the mid-1980s ... But careful analysis of old warheads turned up no signs of weakness, raising questions about the need for new nukes ... To avoid violating international antitesting treaties, the stockpile is kept up to date via a $6 billion-a-year recertification program that tests existing weapons for signs of corrosion -- Discover Magazine
If we kept just a measly 1,000 nukes around, could we save $5 billion a year? If we really fired 999 nukes, will there even be anyone left to fire the 1000th nuke?

Too bad our most brilliant scientists aren't working on answers to these questions instead.

[find] Lore Sjöberg

This Wired contributor, Lore Sjöberg, is one funny geek.

Need to save this Wired article so I can find the rest of them.

Monday, August 21, 2006

[buy] Sansa m230 512MB MP3 Player

Goal: Lowest priced MP3 player with belt clip.
Found: Sansa 512MB MP3 Player + Silicon case with belt clip
Price: $50+$12 = $62 from CircuitCity

Sunday, August 20, 2006

[log] Steak and Chairs







Pierre's masterful steak, and my attempt to master the game of Chairs -- the age 21+ version -- My expression foretelling that I was to lose that round ...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

[find] Pixelblocks

Gave into impulse buy today. Oh well. It only costs 3 cocktails, good for ages 8 and up, comes in 8 colors, and has 875 pieces!

[find] Comic Book Creator

Just downloaded this. It promises to be hours and days and years of fun ... Let's see, what did I think really happen on the Vegas trip again? What's Pierre really saying in these pictures? Bwa ha ha.

[find] Google Coupons

Google now let's local businesses create their own listings and coupons. I made one. (Guess who is suffering from Google Envy today?)

Friday, August 18, 2006

[outing] Musical Theater Class Guest Night








[news] Google to pay $900M to power search and ads on MySpace

Google Inc. on Monday agreed to pay News Corp. $900 million (in guaranteed minimum revenue share payments) over three years to provide search and distribute advertising on the popular social network MySpace.com and the rest of the media company's Fox online network. --InformationWeek
Another "Hmmm" news. (Wow two in a row) News Corp paid < $600 million for MySpace not very long ago. Nice move, Mr. Murdoch. Now if only I can figure out his trick ..

[news] AOL Search Data

AOL's release of subscribers' search data is an unprecedented event that could spark a change in Internet privacy rules or it could spark a series of lawsuits, according to experts ... the company's research team ignored internal policies by deciding to publish search terms on an open Web site designed to help academics. They did not vet their plan through AOL's privacy team, he said. They attached the information to user identification numbers intended to protect subscribers' anonymity. --InformationWeek
This is one of the most "hmmm" events this year (ok, at least for me) -- For the first time, the regular public sees how revealing search terms are -- But of course that fact had been obvious all along. AOL just accidently pointed the headlight on the giant elephant in the room. Now people will start to seriously wonder about the power in the data that search companies have collected and hold.

Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

[find] The Mug of vi

What I am printing out at work tomorrow. So classy. I never was a fluent vi user, so these are new to me from the mug of vi:


:>  indent

:<  outdent

[buy] Roomba

Roomba "Scheduler". From the iRobot site:

Our top-of-the-line vacuuming robot features a built-in scheduling system that adds ultimate convenience. Program up to seven cleaning times to clean automatically as often as you like--even when you're out. Includes filters, brushes, Cleaning Tool and 2 Scheduling Virtual Walls.

Purchased from: Costco @ $270

- Having a low profile means it will go underneath beds, sofas, and other furniture that we would never had touched.
- Running it during the day means we never hear the vacuum running.
- Watching in action is entertaining for hours.
- We love the first one so much, we now have two!
- Hooray for robots

Sunday, July 30, 2006

[outing] Magic Castle

When: Saturday, 2006 July 29

- Dave Cox pulling dollar bills out of a lemon
- The evil hynoptist monkey
- Karaoke with the Irma
- Denny Haney's pulling cards and bottles out of
- Puck doing the American Idol magic
- The greatest magic of all: Frank making the MONDO 40+ oz prime rib disappear
- And, Thanks Jessica!

[outing] Alan's birthday

When: Friday, 2006 July 28

- Fogo de Chao: Picanha. Pork Ribs. Lamb Chops. Cheese balls.
- El Carmen: Tequila. Tequila. And more Tequila.
- Number of shots Alan had: My estimate is 10+
- Revenge with toilet paper

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

[homage] Tesla Motors









Hot.
- 100% electric
- 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds
- 135 mpg equivalent
- 250 miles per charge
- about 1c per mile

Monday, July 24, 2006

[outing] The Last Hoorah!

When: Saturday, 2006 July 22
Where: Casa de Crescent Heights

- Wandy: Apple 99 + Butterscotch schnapp
- Pierre: Red Wine + Jim Beam
- James: Vermouth + Irish Cream (and bringing Jack)
- Chuck: 64 Oz of Pineapple Juice
- Amos: Jim Beam from the bottle
- Rod: Stabbing the beer can with a knife and shooting it
- Livin' on a Prayer. Sweet Child of Mine. Mr Roboto. Hey Mickey.

- 160 pieces of sushi
- 90 degrees weather
- 1 great place and many memories

Saturday, July 22, 2006

[outing] Musical theater class guest night

When: Mon July 17th and 18th
Where: Masonic Lodge, Culver City

Hard to believe that this is the third guest night with Cathy's class!

- Pierre, Alan, Mike, Jack, and Coke. Sushi Central.
- Pierre, Eileen, Smirnoff, and Tropicana. Ford's Fillin Station ( killer beef tartar)
- Jessica's coming to both nights!
- Jason, Josh, Laura, Josh, Cynthia
- That baby in the front row
- Traci's Always a Bridesmaid
- Tracy's Adelaide's Lament
- Takayo's On My Own
- Ray's On This Night of a Thousand Stars
- Mel's eBay Dance
- Mark's "I don't need a super model. A regular model is fine"
- "My Lord and Master" (and that nutty b-flat) and "Patterns"
- "Back in Business" and "Bow"
- What did I do on the Santa Monica pier?

Friday, July 21, 2006

[homage] SET

Eileen came over today and gifted me with a deck of SET cards. I have wondered how I managed to not played a game of SET (nor Pinnacle, nor Magic-The-Gathering) through college. But now I've earned one more point on the nerd test, and added one more candidate that can be modified into a good drinking game. Excellent.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

[trip] World Series of Poker, Las Vegas

Departed on: Saturday, 2006 July 1st
Returned on: Monday, 2006 July 3rd
Accomodation: Bill's Comp Room at the Rio

- A poker tourney so big, it looks like a poker sweatshop
- The guy who was walking and hugging his $100,000 stacks of cash
- Tuning $30 wager into $99 at roulette
- Alan's free springroll from the World Carnival Buffet
- The oh-so-cool Bodog room

Voodoo Lounge
- Spending Saturday night at the Voodoo lounge
- Spending Sunday night at the Voodoo lounge
- Lighting storm
- Josh running off on a girl Saturday night
- Josh having a girl ripped away from him Sunday night
- Bill returning at 7am with big bottle of Belevedere, both nights
- So many bachelorette party girls, what are their names again?
- The incredible views and lovely warm breeze on the 51st floor