Archive

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

A day in the life of meeee!

January 29th, 2011 No comments

Hey everyone!

Today is Friday! What did you do today? As for me, I started the day by getting up at the sane hour of 10am. Since I am currently self employed only, I’ve gotten the bad habit of getting up at noon or even slightly later. I feel like 10am is a more reasonable time to get up and be fresh and productive with plenty of sunlight hours.

That said, did I really get much done? Short answer is yes, but only because of the big update post I just finished on my tech blog. Gonna just do a quick day recap.

Started the day a bit earlier than I’m used to, read about the market for a couple of hours on finance.google.com (probably one of my most frequently visited website lately). I’ve been eyeing this one stock called YOKU which recently IPOed. Long story short (long story available on the very same post I just mentioned), I ended up buying them and am now part owner of Youku.

Discovered that if you wake up earlier than you are used to, you still get hungry earlier than you are used to. Made myself my favorite avocado and natto with rice dish. I must of been either really hungry or out of it, because before I knew it, I ate all the natto mixed rice without even touching the avocado, which I must say is a rare occurrence for me.

Was gonna go down to SOBA today (SOBA = SOuth BAy A.K.A. San Jose area) but had a sudden change in plans, so ended up staying home. Good thing too, since I checked my books on half.com to realize 2 of them have been sold now for over 4 days lol so I rushed out to send them today (I should ship within 3 at the latest, at least normally…). The good news is I sold a couple book that had no value to me whatsoever and will get ~80% of the selling price (the rest goes to half.com commission and postage since their postage compensation is NEVER enough and they even take their 15% cut OUT OF THE POSTAGE!? I THINK!? I’m pretty sure they do!

My awesome packaging:

I also applied to go back to school. Thinking about taking ethical hacking course for beginners. I took the instructor before, and he is awesome. Problem is, I JUST applied to go back today, got confirmation too, but the semester has already been started for nearly 2 weeks…HAHA! Hopefully there is space in the class because if there is, technically I would have only missed one class if I go tomorrow (and will be a bit more than that behind in obtaining the textbook, unless the book is purchasable as an iPad compatible ebook). The class I want is a Saturday morning class so I really should be sleeping like…1 hour ago LOL this is bad.

Ok bi.

Categories: Life Tags:

An early few new years resolutions

December 4th, 2010 No comments

I want to share with you guys a few early new years resolutions I would like to make:

Honestly, overall, 2010 has been a ‘slump’ year for me, if that is even possible. You know how you feel as if some years are better than others, whether it be because of something you accomplished, someone(s) you met, or just a plain hard to explain feeling good about yourself over the year. For me, 2000 and 2001 were notable good years, and so was 2006. That doesn’t mean the others were bad, but I feel like those were good, and I happen to remember thinking that during those years. As it is now less than one moon to ending the first decade of the millenium and about to begin the next, I feel as if I need to take it upon myself to get myself out of this feeling of minor life slump and back to extremely awesome as usual.

One problem I’ve had at many points in my life is confronting other people. What does this mean? And no, I haven’t seen a double rainbow recently or smoked a pillar sized joint either. What I mean by confronting people is just simply approaching them or engaging in an interaction – whether its just a nod, a “hi”, or starting a short conversation. I often think twice about engaging with another human being. I avoid making phone calls for no reason I can think of, sometimes I don’t ask for something I want, don’t ask for directions that I need (which stereotypically is a male problem as well), don’t IM or post replies to people if I feel like I don’t know them well enough, and sometimes don’t talk to girls that I want to talk to. Admittedly, I KNOW for a FACT that the majority of the population is like me, especially if you’re a guy wishing to converse with an attractive lady(ies). That doesn’t mean or excuse me from not being like that. So I want to new years resolve (??) that I will engage interaction with other people whenever and wherever I feel like. There is no reason you should be afraid of other people in normal situations unless you feel a physical danger by engaging in interaction with them, since they are people too. The one exception I can currently think of for this if you want to make a good impression to a lady then the fear of failing will scare people. I think this is similar for the ladies as well, but seriously, no guy in their right mind should NOT want to talk to you unless you are a stuck up bitch. How often do you see a guy bragging about how few women they know? And if they are, they are generally failing at life. Just sayin’

You know, I may just make this a topic theme for December blog posts, since I can already think of 1 or 2 more resolutions that I would like to …resolve (is that even correct!?).

While I am at it, I would like to resolute another thing, and that is fitness. For people that know me well, you probably know that I do not like going to the gym. Its boring, and it smells bad, and you have to change clothing because you would look silly working out in street clothing…maybe. I’d still do it though because I just like street clothing and I don’t believe there is a rule against working out in street clothing at a gym. Anyway, point is, I’m very unfit right now. That doesn’t mean I want to start going to a gym, because I really don’t. I don’t desire to have guns the size of sewer pipes, as long as they are bigger than my buff lady friends, thats good enough. My arms are a pretty sad size right now, but they get bigger really fast. If I did 20 pushups once a day for a week, they would grow substantially. Thats all I desire in terms of ‘guns’. I do however, wish I was more aerobically fit. That means I want to be more cardiovascularly (real word?) fit, and activities I like to do that would probably make me more fit in that area is virtually any active sport (not golf or bowling, although I enjoy those as well) but what I mean is sports like basketball, snowboarding, tennis, biking, and even just power walking. I used to be EXTREMELY fit back in my senior year of high school. I don’t need to be that fit, but I’d like to be fit enough to where I could confidently say that I am fit.

Being on time. Ever since I became responsible for my own on time arrival to anything, I’ve had a chronic, dare I say genetic problem with being on time. I say genetic because my dad is just as bad as me at being on time to anything unimportant. Yes, I actually can be extremely prompt to anything important, such as a job interview or…a job, or to a very strict professors lecture. I don’t see that changing, because this is not only been a new years resolution for me nearly every year of my memorable life, but probably every week of my life. Nonetheless, it would be a significant accomplishment if I could achieve noticably better on time performance for non critically important things, such as meeting friends or sticking to a schedule. Actually, scratch the schedule, since I never make schedules. And I’m OK with that, no need to resolve there. I wish I was more on time in the interest of convenience to those that expect me to be somewhere at certain times, and to improve my own image as someone who can be depended on to keep his word. While I do consider myself to be extremely responsible at keeping my word (and I am careful to not make too many promises that I may not be able to keep), one area I’ve always (and constantly) wanted to improve is my on time performance. Which brings me to another point…

I have obsessive compulsive problems that make me take longer than another person may at things. A very good example of this is that I often write extremely long blog posts (such as this one) and then go back and correct things I want to say way too much in the interest of self satisfaction and quality of writing. The issue is this: THIS IS A BLOG, NOT AN ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITTANICA ARTICLE. I should ignore minor typos and gramatical mistakes I discover later and spend waaaay too much time correcting or tweaking. What I want to get to at the core of my OCD is this: I want to be able to keep 80% of the quality of my work and do it in 20% of the time. This is a ratio I actually learned in a book by Tim Ferris called “The 4 hour work week” which btw is a New York Times bestseller, and I personally think it is a fantastic book that possibly has changed my life. In fact, it is only 1 of 2 books I have read all year since I graduated college in a PREVIOUS year. The other book, for those curious, is called “The Game”, but thats another story for another time.

I wish I was more motivated and more competitive. As it is, I don’t care whether I win or lose at ANYTHING. Ok, thats not even close to true, but it IS true that I am MUCH less competitive than the majority of the population. I’ve always taken this as a strength in my being that I don’t feel I need to prove myself by being better than somebody else at something, and I think that is true, but nonetheless, being uncompetitive leads to less motivation to accomplish anything. And I happen to like accomplishing things. I like to believe that I am REASONABLY good at a LOT of things, but not exceptionally good at any one thing. If I had to choose one thing that I felt I was exceptionally good at, it is building and maintaining computers. I also believe I am extremely approachable and likable online – in other words, I am ‘good’ at chatting…if that is even possible. I am equally capable of being the same person in real life, since this is not some false alter-ego I created to try to be cool and accepted. Online I be myself and in my experience, people flock to me. Somehow I am not as consistently ‘this’ me in person, but it is there and it is still the real me. Did that make any sense? I believe (and adopted this belief quite recently, I might add) that everything is good in moderation. The same goes for competitiveness. I think being TOO competitive is bad, since you’ll go nuts if you are not better at something than someone, and there will ALWAYS be someone out there that is better than you at any one thing, since there is so many people out there to begin with. The odds are against you! Similarly, and back to my problem, is that I am too LITTLE competitive (caps is for emphasis, and has very little to do with ‘little’. If anything, its an oxymoron, and I think I know what oxymoron means, and I think I’m using it correctly). I think its healthy to be a little competitive and genuinely try to be better than someone else at some things. The crazy and hypocritical thing about me saying this as one of my resolutions is that I’m already at a 1600 word count on this post (or more), it is 5:20am as I type this, and I just thought of one more resolution that I wish to resolute in a following paragraph. Sigh.

So, I going to try to make this my last resolution of tonight before I hit the bed, and that is my desire to…have better sleeping habits? While that is true, that is not what I was thinking of. I have actually forgotten! Haha! I also want to swear less, and cut down on using the word ‘gay’ negatively or the word ‘god’ particularly in the phrase ‘Oh my god!’. But again, neither of those are the one I was thinking about. Gosh! I wish I could remember!

Never mind then, I’ll save it for a possible future post, if I ever recall it.

I’d ask you what you plan on for your new years resolutions, but I actually think new years resolutions are better prepared when you want to prepare them, and not force yourself to make them at new years or when people ask you. The same way I believe presents should be given when you want to give presents, and not necessarily on birthdays, valentines, and of course, Christmas. Although, I actually think its nice to give and receive gifts on Christmas. By the way, I remembered one of the resolutions I wanted to talk about. I think it was the final topic I wanted to cover, but it might be an alternative. Either way, I want to talk about it and funny enough I talked myself into remembering, because it is about consumerism!

As my hopefully final resolution I want to mention tonight, I want to become less of a consumer. Sure, it is said that consumerism is good because it helps the economy, but I still think not being too drawn by material goods that we likely do not need has many more benefits as a habit than loving to shop. I like to think I’d rather spend money on experiences than material goods. I have too much crap as it is (borderline swear, but I think its okay…) and I’ve been on a selling FRENZY in the last couple weeks. My reasoning is this: The earth has limited resources. The population is ever increasing, and almost everybody wants people to spend more and more money so that the economy gets bigger and bigger. Notice I didn’t say BETTER just bigger. As the stock markets reach new highs and we supposedly make more money from the BETTER economy, the cost of things increase as well. Suppose we made $10 an hour 2 years ago and that was the cost of going to a movie. Now that the economy is better, we might make $12 an hour, but due to inflation, the cost of a movie has also gone up to $12. Is this really a BETTER economy!?!? Of course, its only a theory, but just tag along and hear me out here. To increase the economy, we are supposedly getting people to spend more money. Sometimes it might be that we are getting people to pay more for the same goods (inflation?), but sometime it may be because we are selling MORE MATERIAL GOODS (and of course, services, but services on their own do not use resources). If a woman had 120 pairs of shoes (sorry…lol) that were made of plastic (just imagine okay?) and that helped the economy, that also means we created 120 pairs worth of plastic to make those shoes. If the shoes were perfectly bio degradable, I’m sure it’ll just go back into the natural cycle of resources, much in the same way that it rains, we use water, and it evaporates to rain again. The problem is the products we created (and we do create a lot of these type of products) that do not go back into the natural recycling system for hundreds if not THOUSANDS of years! Anyway, this is not a carefully planned out paragraph and is basically typed out on the fly from ideas I get as I’m typing, but don’t you see some truth in that? Rather than spew more unorganized points at you, let me link you to a fantastic and inspiring video I have seen on the subject, which was pointed out to me by a beautiful and very awesome person that I am a fan of on the internet named Shelyn (If you ever read this Shelyn, thanks for tweeting this!):

Good night.

Categories: Life, Sports, Theories Tags:

Giants win! Giants win!! And iMac or hackintosh?

November 2nd, 2010 No comments

…Aaaand actually I’m not as excited as I thought I would be. I was really into the Giants playoff run back in 2002 (which they were SO close to winning…sigh…) and I honestly think I would of been excited out of my mind had they pulled it off 8 years ago. I am happy they won this year, but the excitement I feel is really already died down. Its probably because I gave up on the giants and all bay area sports in general after an abysmal last 2-3 years (and don’t even get me started on the Warriors…). I generally can watch almost any sport and enjoy it (exceptions off the top of my head being golf, billiards, and bowling…which I have heard they pay the audience to make noise). I only started to notice the Giants very late on in this year when they started seriously chasing the 1st place spot. At the time, it was a long shot that they would make the playoffs with so much competition and down by a lot. I guess you never know.

I’ve been wanting to build a new computer lately. I guess I should say GET a new computer, since I might get an iMac – which is an all-in-one computer. Basically, its just a screen and everything is inside, no separate boxes, as shown above. While I think I won’t mind a little bit more clutter from wires, the iMac also can be controlled by a nice compact Apple remote, and has the camera built in. I also wouldn’t have to do any hacking, since it is a Mac. The downside is that the iMac would require extra money costing gadgets to be able to play Playstation on the same screen, and also that the screen is SO SHINY that it bothers me. I don’t even know how to ask for advice since the pros and cons are so opinionated.

Categories: Apple, Life, Sports Tags:

New Monitor that I’m playing Dragon Quest 8 on!

October 16th, 2010 No comments

Been a bit unproductive lately, but not out of motivation. I should at least try to keep posting updates though. I think some part of me is insisting on quality updates with at least some length, when in fact that is clearly not required :/

I do want to post more Youtube videos. In fact, just a week ago or so, I made a video, finished editing it and everything, and my computer REBOOTED while it was rendering and I lost all the edits, which made me cancel that video. The major problem being that I have a pretty old computer that is pretty slow by todays standards, and a camcorder that takes very good (read: very large files) footage! You would think I could use that camcorder and take lower quality shots right? WRONG! I can only record in HD. Period. I am actually considering making videos until I get a better computer by recording with my iPhone! Which btw, takes surprisingly good video. Really!

If I do update with a new video, I’ll be sure to post about it here too! Maybe I won’t even mention which camera I decided to take it on, and see if anyone notices?

Recently, I bought another big screen monitor with a large resolution. For those who don’t know, until June I used a 30 inch Apple Cinema Display, but I sold it right before I went to Japan (along with my Mac Pro…). When I came back, all I had was my 2006 model 15 inch Macbook Pro, and its built in 15 inch screen (which is not that great honestly…). I bought a reasonably priced 22 inch Dell, and after using a 22 inch screen for about a month, I finally found a good deal and bought the screen I had my eye on, which is the Dell U2711. Its a top of the line 27 inch monitor, so compared to other 27 inch computer monitors, it has a better picture quality, and a very high 2560×1440 resolution. Without getting too technical on you guys, its considered to be one of the best 27 inch LCD out right now. What made me switch from Apple is 2 reasons. The first and biggest reason is that Apple released their 27 inch screen as I anticipated (which is why I sold my 30 inch Apple in June, since I thought the value would decrease after the new one is out) and well, it was a big disappointment because its SO REFLECTIVE. In daylight the reflections really bother me. The other is that the Dell has a lot of connection options so I can easily hook up my Playstation 2 to play games on my monitor, which I’ve wanted to do since I switched to an LCD from my old CRT (CRT = tube style monitor).

So recently I got back into playing Dragon Quest 8 on my PS2, which I haven’t played for a year or two now. I really love this game! For those of you not familiar with Dragon Quest, it is a famous role playing game genre game in Japan. In fact, it is practically a religious experience in Japan, with Dragon Quest release days being REQUIRED to be on weekends due to the traffic and unproductively it causes in the country. If you think I am exaggerating, go google it. Unlike the Final Fantasy series (also hugely popular), the Dragon Quest series is more cartoony with vivid, over saturated colors. The characters are drawn by the same artist that drew the dragonball series, so they look extremely similar, which I like. The battle system is extremely classic turn based battle, only refined over the years with prettier graphics and subtle improvements and depth. The world map is really pretty and vast! And this is on PS2, so I’m really looking forward to if they ever make a Dragon Quest for PS3. Actually the next Dragon Quest (DQ10) is planned for release on the Wii, and 9 was released for the DS, unfortunately. If Dragon Quest is released for Wii and Final Fantasy 13 for the PS3, I would be torn over which console to go with!

With that said, I think I might go play some more Dragon Quest 8 right now!

Categories: Apple, Life Tags:

Last week and the Grand Canyon trip

September 2nd, 2010 No comments

So last week was a very busy week for me. Especially considering I’m unemployed, and not going to school. Speaking of school, I actually almost went back to school again just to take a couple certification classes, but ended up not going.

I probably should of signed up for classes at CCSF to get a few certifications in computer related topics, but I just got too lazy to reapply and register. Now its been a couple weeks since school started and I suppose its too late, plus I’m not all that motivated. The only class I was realistically motivated to do was the ethical hacker class, because although I think I’d enjoy the class about Windows 7 for the MCTS/MCITP or whatever the entry level Microsoft certification is called these days, I don’t really think it would add much to my resume. I’d rather go for ethical hacker or CCNA. I actually tried a CCNA class once halfassedly, but ended up doing nothing and going to Japan halfway through the class. I got a really good book for CCNA and will do it self-study instead, as I feel that will be just as good as taking the class (for me).

But really, no certifications are a big priority for me right now. Instead, a masters is more realistically a help in my career. Certs are nice but are very specialized and never can be as valuable as bachelors and above degrees. Even Associates (2 year) degrees I feel hold a better value than a lot of entry level certs like the A+ (easy computer technician certification).

Other than school, I did go to the Grand Canyon last week, which was clearly the highlight of the week. It was a super low budget trip split by 3 other good friends of mine. We decided enough people on the trip wanted it to be a low expenditure trip, so we shared a rental car AND a low cost room in Flagstaff. Since I used to work at a hotel, my expertise was called upon to book a hotel, and I ended up choosing a Travelodge which I feel was a good choice for the price. It wasn’t exceptional or anything, but more than enough considering it was $51 + taxes and fees per night, which is really low. It was roomy enough, and super clean and new. Apparently the room was recently remodeled.

I had actually been to the Grand Canyon 10 or so years ago, but that didn’t take away from what I believed to be one of the most memorable spots I have been to. The sheer scale of the canyon really makes you realize how small a single human being is compared to the entire earth. In some angles, the canyon looks smaller than it really is, so if you can, I’d recommend to do a little research and try to get your first glimpse of the canyon to be the full canyon. Every single person I have been with that saw it for the first time exclaimed something along the lines of “holy shit!” or “oh my goodness!”. Its really that awe inspiring, especially on first glance. If you’re asking me, I’d recommend the north rim, and go to Angellic peak to get a REALLY good panorama of the canyon. Hopefully you’re not too afraid of heights, since at some parts the path is only about 2 meters wide and falls off on both sides.

Although it was the highlight of the trip, we made short pit stops both on the way, and on the way back to the canyon.

On the way there, we stopped in Los Angeles. Actually we went to check out a ramen place called Orochon. I don’t know who said it was good or how we found out about it, but before we knew it, we were in Jtown LA. The temperature was shockingly hot to someone who is used to SF weather (90 fahrenheit compared to 65 typical in SF). No matter, we wouldn’t be there long, although there was a long line to get in (or out, as half the restaurant was actually a bunch of tables outside under big table-umbrellas (tablebrellas?)). The ramen, we all agreed, was an enormous letdown the likes of which have not been seen since the last airbender movie. I actually haven’t seen that movie, but I hear that some audiences booed and threw garbage at the screen when the credits started rolling. Thats sort of what I felt like doing after tasting this ramen. On the way out we stopped by Marukai and I bought a big bottle of Calpis and a swiss roll cake (Japanese style). I would later eat only a quarter of this cake before forgetting it in the fridge of our hotel room on the way back. I don’t know why, but whenever I am on a trip and I see Calpis, I often buy a bottle. Back in 2008, when I went to Japan with my best friend, I bought Calpis at almost every vending machine I saw that had a bottle of Calpis to offer (which, admittedly, was not as many as you would think). After Marukai, we switched drivers and went merrily on our way. We also made a stop to Las Vegas on our way back.

On the way back, we decided to stop at Las Vegas. We decided to see how much of a time detour it would be to go by Vegas, and it turned out that stopping by vegas would only add one hour of driving time on the way home (plus the time we actually STAYED in Vegas). We decided to go to the buffet at the Wynn, which was recommended by a sibling of one of my friends. My dad had also stayed at the Wynn once for business, and said it was a really upscale place. It was down to the Wynn or the Bellagio buffet, and the Wynn won out. It was about $25 + tip. 3 of us payed exactly $28 by creditcard. I did it first, and 2 of my friends whom payed directly after me apparently copied me. I didn’t even know until one of my friends asked us if we tipped, to which we all replied that we did (you prepay before you get in, and we all prepaid tip, except one of my friends). My friend didn’t believe us, so we all took out our receipt with a “boo-yeah!” and showed our untipping friend. Thats when I realized everyone payed exactly $28 except for the untipping friend. Hey, I’m not criticizing ok, I’m just pointing it out because its interesting! While we were paying and patiently waiting to be seated, there was a group of about 3 girls also paying and waiting, and I later found out all my friends thought one of them was cute. I actually thought so too, and although I haven’t told them, she looked at me several times while in line, and I talked to her VERY briefly when we saw each other again later on inside the buffet. As for the buffet, it was pretty good and a recommended meal for those who want to ‘treat themselves’, but nonetheless slightly pricey at $28. I actually got the meal for $9 though, and I’ll explain how in a minute.

After the buffet, we decided to walk around a bit. The Wynn is really nice, and there were plenty of the high end stores like ..uhm, Dior, Luis Vuitton, and Brioni. Most people don’t know Brioni, but they are considered a super duper high end brand and can be found at Neiman Marcus, for example. I like them for their quality, although styling is average IMHO. I saw signs for the ‘esplanade’ and decided to find out what it is. This lead us outside into an area with an artificial waterfall and 105 degree weather. OUCH. We walked across a bridge to a neighboring casino, but quickly turned back when one of us had to use the bathroom due to our familiarily with the Wynn and it was also clearly nicer than whatever neighboring casino we stepped into. I noticed one guy on the bridge between the casinos in the 105 degree heat selling ice cold bottles of water from a water chest. I assume he bought a big case for roughly 20 cents a bottle and was reselling trying to make a buck. While I don’t know and don’t think this was legal, I give him props for working hard earning money. I totally support it, although I didn’t buy a bottle.

This is where we went to the bathroom back at the Wynn. One of us went straight in, while I discussed among the remaining 3 of us if we should walk around a bit while we wait for everyone to finish. I checked if everyone had reception, which we did, and we went in, totally heterosexually, one at a time… One friend stayed outside and waited. I was the first to come out, so I offered the waiting friend to walk around. This turns out to not be the best idea in the world, as we ended up going further than I had originally planned, all the while waiting for phone calls from the friends that came out. One of the friends had earlier spent a good 20 minutes or so at the buffet bathroom, so I had assumed he had a stomach ache and would be another 20 minutes. I also assumed he had heard me discuss we may walk around a bit, forgetting to realize he rushed in first and didn’t hear that discussion. We didn’t get a call for a while as we walked around, but I didn’t find it particularly strange as I had expected the last friend to take a while. What sucked what when they came out, none of them decided to call us. The one that heard our discussion decided not to call, and instead enjoy himself at the slot machines. The one that didn’t hear our discussion thought we ditched him…which we effectively did. After we called around and met up with one friend, we called the other and told him to head to the Ferrari store and give us a call once he got there. While we waited, we decided to gamble to kill the time.

I got peer pressured into playing $1 slots and gambled in roulette as well. I later realized that because it was the Wynn, a 5 star casino, bet prices were a bit higher than usual. I actually don’t like slots, as I find them neither entertaining or fair, as you are totally at the mercy of the machine. I preferred roulette among all the games at the casino, since in roulette there are options to place bets on items that give you almost a 50% chance of doubling your bet. After quickly losing my dollar at slots, we walked around looking for a roulette table, which turned out to be right in front of us. I sat down and asked the ‘dealer’ a couple questions, as it was my first time. Turns out the minimum bet for betting “outside” or on one of the ‘high odds of win’ areas was $10. So I got $20 worth of chips and bet $10 on black. First roll landed on black, and I won $10. I was ready to take my winnings and run, but without a phone call and my friends looking on, I felt peer pressured to play another. In the end though, of course it was my own choice and I put another $10 but this time on red. The second roll landed on red and I was up $20 when the phone rang. Our friend decided to go to the parking lot where our car was parked, just 3 minutes walking from the Ferrari store, so I sent my friends off to meet him as soon as possible while I went to the cashier. With $1 lost on slots and $20 won on roulette, I was up $19 overall, and effectively got the buffet for $28 – $19 = $9. Ahahaha, I was happy with the small winnings.

We finally met up at the car and drove a long, long drive home. This concluded our trip. The trip total was about low $200’s for everyone.

Categories: Life Tags:

Room Cleaning – 10% complete (thats a lot!)

August 10th, 2010 2 comments
So after I got 3 humongous boxes recently that I have to store in my room for about 2 weeks, I was pretty strongly motivated to clean up my room. Keep in mind my room now has about 10 years worth of school papers and mail I have to sort through to see which ones I need to keep, which ones I recycle, and which ones need shredding.

First thing I did was borrow my dads huge buff shredder. Apparently some shredders can shred DVD’s – this one can puree a brick. The top part alone with the motor must weigh like 30lbs.

There is a huge list of things to do to completely clean my room, after/if I complete everything, my room would be completely transformed. Keep in mind I have been pack ratting huge stacks of paper and some boxes roughly on and off for nearly 10 years (with small mostly unsuccessful attempts to clean up thrown in here and there). There was basically 5 huge (and I mean HYUUUGE) stacks of paper that I know about in my room as well as organizing one of those clear drawer case container things, cleaning up wooden cart/rack space full of crap, and sorting out stuff under my bed. Oh, and cleaning up wires under my computer and one more smaller box I forgot about with some papers and boxes in it too. Once everything I just listed is cleaned, I would have to clean my roughly 10 spindles of backup CDs and DVDs, and clean up my harddrive (virtual organizing). Now, let me tell you, cleaning up data is a HUGE, ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE undertaking. This alone could be equal to cleaning my entire room TWO times or more.

There is a lot more things I’d like to do before I’d be 100% satisfied. I’d like to reposition my amplifier for my speakers so that it takes up less or no floor space, throw away my radio which I never use (its a hi-fi radio, so its huge!), reposition my gaming consoles and maybe consolidate to only one console (probably the PS2) instead of 2 (SNES being the other). I also would like to get rid of my plastic container drawer thingy entirely if I could by either throwing away stuff inside, or moving the contents I REALLY want to keep into space I freed from my other drawers. I forgot to tell you, but I had a lot of success cleaning up some drawers lately as well! I still have 2 to go out of 4 total, so halfway there on the drawers – they aren’t a big deal by comparison anyway. I also want to get rid of my huge tall wooden shelf like thing in the corner of my room by clearing the stuff I don’t need off of it (another “stash” to sort through).

Also need to sell a bunch of stuff. Need to sell whatever text books I have left that are worth anything, and throw away the rest unless I have a strong interest in the subject. I think its safe to throw all of them away if they have no market value, as I haven’t touched any of them in YEARS. Not to stop at text books, I need to sell everything I have that I don’t use but has value, and throw away or give away the rest. I need to gather all my electronics I’d like to throw away so I can go to the next free electronics recycling event at ocean beach. I want to be ready for it so I can just bring a buttload of stuff at the next one and be rid of more crap. I also don’t think I need a clock anymore, I’d probably use my iPhone or iPad in its place, in a dock to show the time. Why have extra crap when you have something else you’re going to keep that can cover the same functionality?

Let me tell you a little bit about my plushies that I have. I’ll be getting rid of my Pikachu plushie in the ultimate scheme of things. Unlike all my other plushies, Pikachu has the least emotional value, is the poorest quality, the ugliest, due to being flattened over the years, and is actually bleeding (has a hole in the neck, with stuffing visible). Unlike my 3 other plushies I will keep (a snoopy, an Eyore, and a small monkey, all of which were gifts), Pikachu is the only plushie I actually ASKED for (I suppose Pikachu was a gift too..). My Pikachu actually has a name, although it is often forgotten “Jello”. Funny enough, its the only plushie I own that has a name other than the default name (such as “Snoopy”, “Eyore”, or “Gumby”). Eliza, if you’re reading this, you actually gave me the Eyore and as I recall its from Disney World.

Back to the room, nearing the 100% mark soon after finishing a few more things on my checklist. I actually want to get rid of the wooden rack space thing in the corner of my room. The plan is the same as my clear container drawer thingy which is to clear off and throw away sell whatever the stuff currently taking up space on it, keep the things I really want to keep or need, and put those in areas where I cleared space such as my drawers.

I also want to get rid of my subwoofer. Although I built my own subwoofer from scratch (the amp and driver are obviously pre-made), and I am pretty proud of it, I do not use it at all, and its big and heavy and takes up a lot of space. While I did pay about $250 for the materials (MDF wood, sealing rubber, glue, spikes, screws, nuts, bolts, braces, stuffing, panel dampner, decorative wood vinyl…) it is still a waste of space if I am not using it at all. It pumps out good bass actually and really shakes things up if you want some oomph. Maybe I can work out some way to hook it up and have it “fit” nicely into my cleared up room.

Although buying new things would be a nice option to have in clearing up my room, I’m going to try to minimize purchases and work with what I already have. Even so, there are a few MUST HAVE things I am considering. First thing I will need to clear up my wiring is a surge protector. Not so much for the surge protection, but for the extra outlets it provides. I’ve actually been passively shopping for one for the past year, but every one I see in stores these days are ugly! What happened to the good looking ones from 5 years ago that were FAR (free after rebate) from stores like office max? Of course, if needed, I’ll need extension cables…to route wires along the walls whenever possible and not straight through the room like I have now (I once fixed this, but my mom came into my room while I was in Japan and messed it all up and put the big wooden rack space thing in the corner of my room without my permission). Next I think I really need to get an all in one WIRELESS printer that can do scanning, printing, and faxing – WIRELESS is the key feature here, because this allows you to put the printer anywhere you can get a power cable to it (and telephone cable if you want fax functionality). I think getting rid of my current printer and replacing it with a wireless all in one printer outside my room would be a great solution, and not only that, printers are MUCH cheaper than when I bought my previous one to the point that a good Canon all in one without fax is $30-50, and including fax is $70 from Frys, meaning it might be even cheaper online!

Finally, (at least I think so…) I also need to clean up my clothing. I have a bunch of clothes that I can’t or won’t wear. Why in the WORLD do I still have them!? I don’t even have a closet, and not only do they take up a lot of space, but they make it harder for me to search for the clothing that I actually wear. I actually have clothing in odd places in my room because I have no closet and no clear place to put them. I currently use a big box against the wall and just stack my most worn clothing on the top of that box (which btw, is overflowing to where my stack is 3 times as high as the height of the box). While I don’t really mind the box solution, the bottom of it is full of clothing I don’t use, and its just a used cardboard box…which I repaired like 2 times with layers and layers of duct tape. I think it would be reasonable to get a nice STRONG metal or wood box with a nice clean aesthetic to replace it. Finally, I would like to replace my current clothing hamper (is it called hamper? The tallish rectangular container where you put in dirty clothing, usually made of plastic?). Right now I use an old one that might actually be older than me. Again, I’d like to invest in a good, STURDY strong one to put dirty clothes into, and preferably fits into a bigger container with wheels for wheeling down to the laundromat, since I don’t have in room laundry machines.

Once all that is done, I’d say I’d be 100% done with room clean up. It would be pretty dramatic. If I could even do just the first couple paragraphs though, I’d consider it 50-75% done. The last 25% is “ideal” and would probably take months without extreme focus, motivation, and dedication. If lucky, best case scenario I could do it in 1 month if I spent 40 hours a week on it like a full time job.

One thing I wanted to add just for self-notes. New compact battery charger and maybe 12 or so Sanyo Eneloop “1500” AA batteries. Get rid of huge old charger and old batteries that don’t even hold a charge.

This would almost be like organizing my entire life it would be such a huge project and accomplishment. I’m getting hopeful as I’ve made the most progress I have ever made in the last ~10 years (9 years to be exact).

Categories: Life Tags:

ROOM CLEANING PROGRESS – END OF DAY 8

July 15th, 2010 No comments
I’ve been slacking lately. First off, I’ve moved from LJ to my own website for my blogging purposes, and generally been playing around and touching up my site. Its actually quite fun, although frustrating at times :). Although I cannot remember exactly what was accomplished on day 7, I can safely say I got nothing done on day 6 or day 8 in terms of actually cleaning my room and very little on day 7, if anything.

As far as being productive, I guess I did get a working decent looking website now and a couple cool things on the sidebar like a twitter display, a shoutbox (which I’m not 100% happy with because it won’t send when hitting return – you actually have to click ‘add’). The shoutbox is not a big priority for me right now and at least it blends in visually, so it will do for now. Oh, I also installed forums LOL if anyone feels like going in there to post stuff, feel free. I am currently looking into adding a store section to the sidebar, just for fun and put random real things I have up for sale there through paypal LOL.

To be honest, 10 days ago gxcad.com was a proud domain name I held but with nothing more than a couple links to my other presenses on the web. So, its safe to say I’ve made a huge improvement to it. It is constantly a ‘work in progress’ but now is much more polished and adds a couple functions people can mess around with (not to mention easier on the eyes!). I will be transitioning to blogging on this site only which is easy to do now that my friends on LJ are much less active, making it less beneficial to stick around. It is also a lot easier for me to add content or mess with the page now that I have proper paid hosting (and some of you may notice I recently tweeted about how good $2 a month can get as far as web hosting). Well, that is actually how much I am paying (2 year contract mind you, but come on thats still only $47 or so). They are actually giving me a free 25 day trial or something like that, so I can cancel if I want really easily, which is really cool! I’m very happy with the hosting though, so I will definitely stay on board. If anyone wants to get paid hosting, and is interested in the one I use, let me know and if there is any referring bonus we can split it. Paid hosting make it a lot easier to get stuff working and is smoother and more reliable than the free host I used to use before. Although, for free, you really cannot complain, right?

I have 2 plans for tomorrow. One is to make a new video. Its not something I have to do, but I want to, and I SHOULD do it. The other thing, is to go to the bank. The video will be the focus, though. I better end here because to be honest it is 4:20am right now and I don’t want to stay up much longer.

Categories: Life Tags:

ROOM CLEANING PROGRESS – END OF DAY 4

July 9th, 2010 No comments

Well, here is my update from the middle of day 5. It is safe to say I will get little to nothing done for the rest of day 5 for starters.

Day 3 – Some Shredding – Day 3 was pretty unproductive, especially compared to day 1 and 2. All I was able to accomplish was to bring down my dads super shredder (which must weight like 20-30lbs btw!) and shread maybe 20-40 sheets of paper (which means thats all that I threw away on day 3). I also shredded all of the cards (creditcard sized cards) that I had that were utterly useless such as my SF and SJ library cards (which haven’t been used in at least 5 years). Old AAA membership cards, other OLD membership cards (current ones that have had use within 1 or 2 years were kept). Although I am being much more ruthless than usual about what I throw away, I am still keeping things of reasonable size that have sentimental value. So while I may not keep my huge items, I am keeping things like cards and notes I’ve received.

Day 4: – Google Voice – I honestly don’t think I did ANYTHING on Day 4 with regards to cleaning my room. I did however start messing around with Google Voice, so you could say I learned about what Google Voice is – and signed up. Since Google Voice is such a big deal these days and relates to my industry of expertise, its not unproductive to learn about it, you could argue. Google voice gives everyone a free new phone number which you can choose (from what is available) I got a cool new phone number that you can dial if you wanted to, its pretty easy to remember :). Works just as if you called my current number. GV also has an option where you don’t have to pick a new number, and it’ll just simply take over your voicemail. Its like Youmail, only better and completely free even for the advanced features. Here is a breakdown of the coolest features of GV’s voicemail portion:

1. You can have a VERY SHORT outgoing message with none of that “if you would like to send a message press blah blah if you would like to leave a message please stay on the line” BULLCRAP that takes like 45 seconds. My outgoing message just picks up and says “Ken’s Voicemail” *beep*. This feature was also present in Youmail.

2. You can have customized outgoing messages which change automatically based on who is calling you. I used to have messages such as “You have reached Ken, who is INCREDIBLY BUSY at the moment, please leave a message and he will get back to you in *robotic voice* 4192 hours” when I get calls from work, or outgoing messages in Japanese for people I knew who spoke Japanese. This feature was also present in Youmail.

3. One of the COOLEST features of the Google voicemail is the speech to text transcription. Anyone who leaves you a voicemail is reasonably clear english will automatically get translated to text and emailed to you. Since I have push notification, as soon as I get an email my phone lets me know and I can go and READ the message that was left for me, or listen to it from the attached soundfile. The text transcription is SURPRISINGLY ACCURATE! Youmail had this feature, but it cost money. Google’s version is completely free.

Unfortunately, as famously published many times such as here, Apple has rejected Google’s official app for iPhone (shortly after accepting it, I’ve heard). Many speculate this is due to AT&T’s influence, since Google Voice has a lot of features that replicate what AT&T charges money for, only Google does it all for free (or very cheap, if we are talking about international calls). For that reason, GV support on iPhone is clearly behind that of Android (which sounds really well integrated). People with Android phones who don’t have Google Voice better look it up! *hint hint to someone who reads my blog and recently got a brand new Android phone!*

Plans for the next couple of days:

Well, rather than cleaning my data (which is just as big if not a bigger deal than cleaning my physical room), I decided I’ll clean my actual room instead, since it physically gets in the way, while data is not messy when my computer is off. I also want to spend some time learning 2 things that have been around in the technology world and I think I should understand better. Those 2 things are RSS feeds and WordPress. I do think I will be transitioning my blog to WordPress pretty soon, and I want to use it and understand what it is capable of. After I weigh the benefits of LJ, I think recently that comes down to almost nothing. The main benefit of LJ is that people who already have accounts can comment easily on my posts, and the “friends page” gives a good summary of every friends latest posts, but since my friends recently don’t post at all, and WordPress has good support for guests wishing to post comments, I basically am ready to ditch LJ in the coming months.

Learning about exactly what RSS feeds are (in more detail – I know the basics) should just be a short reading session in a web browser. Will try to update regularly.

Addendum: Weekends will be considered off days.

Categories: Life Tags:

ROOM CLEANING PROGRESS – END OF DAY 2

July 7th, 2010 No comments
Ok, so the legend of cleaning my room continues.

Recently I started cleaning my room again. Today is day 2. I just want to go over how much I got done. Unfortunately its not as easy as most rooms since by cleaning my room I somehow also mean cleaning up my DATA. This is a huge undertaking in itself, on top of going through GINORMOUS stacks of paper to see what I need to keep and what I need to SHREAD. Yesterday, I started off by cleaning my desktops. Oddly enough, I cleaned my computer desktop, and I cleaned my physical desktop (so I can put my computer on it). Today, I cleared out the drawer immediately under where my computer now is (below my desk). I found a binder in my drawer that I have looked at every time I opened that drawer for the past 12 years, but today I opened that binder to find out it contained not mine, but my friends 12 year old homework assignments:

Seriously all this time that binder has been taking up the majority of the space in my drawer and I find out 12 years later its not even mine!?

I changed, I started ruthlessly throwing away stuff I never use. Stuff that I used to keep “just in case” or because “it had some value”. Today i threw away at least 3-5 things that I could sell for $5-$10 each. Why? It simply isn’t worth the hassle. For example, old CPU’s, enormous quantities of unused staples. If I don’t need it, why in the world should I keep it and have it take up space!? If anyone reading this wants nearly 5000 staples, let me know and you can have it! Comes in a neat and tidy box. Otherwise I’m gonna leave them in my car and drop them off at my hotel the next time I’m there so at least they will go to use. I’m also throwing away a stapler, so same thing goes for that if you want it let me know its old but works, somewhat compact, and black and standard looking.

I also went through all the plastic cards I’ve acquired recently. Heathcare memberships, AAA, old creditcards, ID, library cards, old school IDs, AMC movie watcher cards. I even found one card that I have NO FUCKING IDEA what it does. I also found an old Bestbuy gift card. Its so old the number is almost rubbed off, but I could see it so I called the number on the card (this card must be pre internet, I mean aren’t there websites to check gift card balances these days!?). There is actually money on it!

Speaking of money, I keep finding some! Holy crap it scares me to think how much big stacks of money are lying around my house because I found probably $8.71 worth (some of it was Japanese Yen, so it would depend on the exchange rate…) so far. I found this TINY TINY plastic ziplock bag so I squished all my yen coins in there and since it wouldn’t close, I wrapped it up with electrical tape instead. You think I’m joking, don’t you?

I also found a bunch of phone numbers written on various pieces of paper. Since I was late to the cellphone bandwagon, I remember thats how I used to keep phone numbers of people I know (and since my friends had cellphones, I’d borrow them to call people I knew). One of my friends Eliza even recopied all my phone numbers onto a 3×5 index card (from various scraps of paper which were fading) back then, and in the process wrote HER OWN NUMBER WRONG. Who does that!? LOL!

The small stack on the right is my Japanese yen coins in a tiny plastic ziplock bag sealed with electrical tape for WIN.

Actually, the phone numbers I found that was not a part of that “summarized index card” were mostly girls. I am so pimp. I even found the phone number (home) and pager number of the prettiest girl in my high school. What? You don’t know what a pager is?

Tomorrow my Dad is going out of town for a bit, and he has a big, fat, juicy paper shredder. Seriously its hard core, I think it could dice up iPod Nanos and puree a buffalo if I could squeeze them in that little slit. It even eats CDs for breakfast (I kid you not, this feature was actually advertised on the box when we bought it!)

Oh, by the way, I kept the index card Eliza wrote for me, LOL. I can’t throw that away, it would be WRONG.

My drawer is very empty now.

Categories: Life Tags: