Friday, December 28, 2007

3 Spoon Delight


I had dinner with Chris and Josh last night, and things haven't changed much in 16 years. We had Chinese food, and Chris still eats like a bird. Girls would love to have a "small gas tank stomach" like him. He gets real hungry all of the time, but only needs to eat a few bites before he complains that he's so full.

I'm sad to hear that Josh is moving yet again back to Las Vegas. I'm betting that he'll be back in a couple of years.

After dinner, we went to Josh's favorite place for dessert at Nicole's Cafe at Ktown Plaza. We ordered our usual dessert that we've been ordering for many years, Pot Bing Su. It's a Korean dessert that has red beans over shaved ice, fruit, and ice cream. The barrista automatically knew to give us 3 spoons. Even though we love it, we sit in the corner so nobody can see us sharing the dessert together. I guess we don't want people to think we're gay. We've been doing this since college. Some things just don't change.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Ghetto Skiing

More skiless skiing. video

Sledless Snowsledding

Here's a quick clip of Mikey sledding by the seat of his pants. If we used the snowsled I bought, then he would probably be flying down...right over the rocks. video

Ghetto Skiing

Yeah, that's right! You don't need a pair of skis to ski. You just a need a pair of low grip sneakers in icy snow. I did much better when I wasn't on camera. I always mess up and fall when I'm being taped. video

Snow Day





We tried to go snow sledding, but there wasn't enough snow. We still had fun playing around in the snow. We had to drive up to 7000 feet in order to see some snow. Most of the snow melted after a week. This was Mikey's first time seeing the snow.

Then, we went to my parents' house to have an xmas bbq. Sae Woon and Christine cooked the New York steaks. Nothing like a good bbq steak for xmas.

Sunday School Kids Wish You Happy Holidays


Here are some of my second grade sunday school kids this year. I couldn't get all of them to stand still for one second to pose for a picture in front of the holiday tree.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Church Cocktail Party




Laura Kim hamming it up with everyone, including Reverend Park, while having cocktails at the Sunday School teacher's cocktail party. Don't worry they're virgin cocktails.

Butt Dust

Don't you hate it when you're trying to do #2 and there's all this nasty butt dust on the toilet? I don't know what it is about men's restrooms, but they're totally disgusting. I hope the women's restrooms aren't that gross. Instead of using the urinals to pee, some guys pee all over the toilet and floors. I have to clean it up before I use it. On the toilet seats, I see butt dust, poop in the toilets, poop flakes on the seats, and nasty curly pubic fries. Some guys read newspapers in the bathroom even though prolonged sitting on the toilet can cause hemorrhoids. Some people must be clipping their nails in there too. Others must be pulling out their pubic hairs one by one, because there are so many on the floor. Then they flush the toilets with their shoes. Now, I have to touch the toilet flush after they touched it with their dirty shoes.

I'm not saying I am perfect and poo golden eggs, but at least I try not to make a mess after I do my duty. I need total peace and quiet to do my thing. I can't relax if all these guys keep walking in and out of the restroom and talk to each other and talk on the cell phone while pooping. So please by silent and please clean up after yourselves!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Davemas 2007


Dang, it's Davemas already. 2007 was generally a good year for me. There were some stressful times, but I did have a lot of fun this year. Much like last year, I will celebrate another quiet night at home since Sarah comes home a little before 10:00 p.m. from work.

Some people celebrate xmas. Others celebrate hanakkah or chanakkah. And others celebrate kwanzaa. A very small percentage celebrate Festivus. In my household, we celebrate Davemas. As I said last year, unlike that commercialized holiday of xmas, Davemas is a time when we celebrate by truly loving others and living life to the fullest...along with having our cake and eating it too!

Oh, and another reason why I choose to celebrate Davemas is that I always get jipped when it comes to presents. Instead of getting separate xmas and bday gifts, I only get one.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Audi Driving Experience











I had a great time racing Audis on the track at the California Speedway in Fontana.

I got to Fontana early, but Google Maps gave me the wrong directions. It told me to make a right on a street that wasn't there or had its name changed. I finally arrived at the track, but the registration process seemed longer than other car shows. My friend, Josh, was going to go too, but he didn't want to take the risk of not getting in since he was wait-listed. Unlike at other cars I've been to, Audi seemed to be strict about registering. Otherwise, I don't think you could get in. Some people who were wait listed were put on the wait list for another time slot. That's why you have to register for the earliest time slot and get there real early.

I drove the S3, S4, A6, S5, A6, A8, Q7, and got to sit in the R8.

We were given a 30 minute classroom style lecture mixed in with some marketing speech about Audi's Quattro technology. The instructor talked about the Quattro All Wheel Drive technology and how Audi has achieved great success in racing with it. Audi was the first car manufacturer to put AWD in its production cars and race cars. They have won so many races that Audi was later banned from some races. He discussed front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive handling characteristics. He explained weight transfer and its effects on handlig.

Then, we were split into 3 groups of about 7-9 people each. We went through an high speed accident avoidance course, which was a very quick lane change without braking. Next, we went into a course that helped us avoid accidents while heaving braking with ABS. Then, we went on a short autocross course.

Finally, we put on our balaclavas and helmets on to "race" around the track at the California Speedway. I chose the brand new 6 speed manual S5. It has a beautiful interior and can challenge the M3 coupe. We followed the instructor who drove the RS4. We followed closely behind each other on the twisty track, but I wish we could have gone faster. I wanted to pass, but I didn't want to get yelled at for putting other newbies at risk.

There were some light refreshments and drinks.

They made us do a short exit survey on an Apple iPod.

The great thing about this show was that there was no waiting in lines at all like in other test drive car shows. That was due to the fact that there were strict about only allowing people who pre-registered.

The beautiful S5 is fast and handles really well. You can adjust the engine, steering and suspension from its MMi on board screen, which is like BMW's iDrive system. There are 27 different settings you can make by adjusting from comfort to auto to dynamic.

The S5 doesn't have a handbrake, but has a one button switch. I'm not sure if you can use it if you want to drift.

I think Audi's have the best interiors. It also has an awesome Bang & Olufsen sound system. The S5 has a lane assist feature where a small camera reads the lines from the lanes and sends the info to its computer system. It warns you if you veer off the lane if you don't signal.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to drive the R8 supercar. That car is so fast and the engine melody is better than anything you can hear from its stereo. It has no body roll when it tracks the corners.

I was so good during instruction that I didn't get to drive as much. I only got about 2 turns each at each course. Other people who weren't as good and who kept messing up went again and again to improve.

Each car show I go to, I get impressed with their cars. Audi seems to be really cool. The only thing is that it's not as reliable as Japanese cars generally.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Office Holiday Party



We had our office holiday party at Busby's in Santa Monica. There was a ton of people there. All the cool people showed up.

Here's a picture of me with Nicole, Holland, and Jessica

Timur and his lovely wife, Melissa, grace us with their presence

Timur, Jeff, and Mike D pretending to be sober


A cute couple, Hadi and Mimi

Marky Mark in his party shirt

Timur and Brian discussing the joys of law

Doug and Burt having a drinking contest

Astro Boy saving the world one drink at a time

Hadi's girlfriend, Mimi.


Pool Shark


A nice profile of Hadi and Mimi. I took a shot while Jeff was taking a picture of them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Am Legend





Josh and I went to see the premiere of I Am Legend starring Will Smith.

It was an entertaining movie about the last man on earth. There certainly were times of terror and suspense. The movie started off slow, but I liked the way they portrayed an abandoned New York City. Amazingly, most of the abandoned cars were neatly parked on the side and not blocking the road. Ford must have been a big sponsor of the movie, because they sure did show a lot of their cars.

I think that Will Smith is way over-rated, but I think this was one of his better performances. He did a good job of showing sadness and loneliness of being the last living person in New York. However, there were some mixed performances that were corny to me. Perhaps they rushed the part about Will Smith losing his social skills. He seemed to do a fine job of talking to himself and his German Shepherd, but in the scene where he watches Shrek with the boy, he acted like a buffoon mimicking the cartoon characters.

The movie starts off with Emma Thompson saying she found the cure to cancer. Then, apparently, the cure turned out to be a virus that turned everyone into zombie monsters. Didn't we see this in 28 Days Later and in Resident Evil Apocalypse? Oh well, I guess people just love zombies. Frankly, I'm sick of them.

Smith is an army scientist who tries to find the cure to the rage virus. He wanders alone in New York City during the day and hides in his house at night when the zombies come out. The zombies are allergic to the sun like me. I have a bad case of chronic prickly heat.

After his dog dies after getting bitten by a zombie dog, Will chokes his beloved friend to death. Then, he gets rejected by a mannequin at the video store where he gets his DVDs. He wants to die, but is later rescued by a mom and her little reticent boy. Will says that there is no god, but the mom says that god told her to go to Vermont where there is a survivor colony. He sees a butterfly tattoo on her neck and remembers what his dead daughter said about looking at the butterfly. Maybe there is a god. Before he can say hallelujah, he is attacked by zombies. A few seconds before the attack, he finds the cure to the disease and gives it to the mom. She later tells the story of his deeds. That is his legend.

Aside from the weird grammatically incorrect title, this story could have really been told in 5 minutes. Still the journey was fun.

My score: C, 74

The Highs: Entertaining, good performance by the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

The Lows: Derivative storyline, dumb looking zombies, simple plot, pointless and meaningless story.

The Verdict: The best Will Smith yet...which isn't saying much.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wicked



Last night, Sarah and I went to go see Wicked the musical. It was awesome! It's as good as people say it is. There were some kids that sat behind us that kept talking and they were even more excited than I was about the show.

It's an modern imaginative prequel to the Wizard of Oz. Elphaba is a nice girl that unfortunately was born green. This was due to the sins of her father, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz who had an affair with her mom. He gave her a green elixir to drink. Lesson learned: don't drink alcohol when you're pregnant, especially green ones.

When Elphaba goes to school she meets Galinda, a perky and outgoing blonde. They become roommates and loathe each other in the beginning. Later, they become best friends as they begin to understand each other. Elphaba gets to meet the Wizard because a professor of sorcery sees that she has talent. Elphaba is excited to see him at first but learns that he's the one behind all the animals in Oz losing their ability to speak. She runs away and the Wizard's press secretary condemns her as wicked. Everybody then hates her, except for Glinda and Fiyero, Glinda's fiance who really loves Elphaba.

Call me shallow, but how could anyone fall for a girl that's green? Watching Fiyero and Elphaba french-kiss made me laugh and want to puke guacamole. Fiyero says that Elphaba's beautiful and she tells him not to lie. He says that he means it and that he sees her in a different way. I guess he was under her love spell.

Eden Espinosa who played Elphaba was really good. Her voice was amazing. I can't believe she sings every night for a year or so. Glinda was also good and funny. The guys who played Fiyero and Boq weren't as good as the girls. Their voices were weak and were hard to hear.

The sets, background, singing, and lights were amazing. The lighting effects really were magical. I think this was the best sounding and looking musical ever.

Sarah said that Les Miserables was more emotional and the story was better. I would tend to agree. Wicked was just good fun though.

The best way to see this musical, as with all musicals, is to listen to the songs over and over again until you've learned them. Then, when you go see the musical you appreciate seeing it performed on stage so much more. The only drawback would be that if the actors sing a little differently than what you're used to, you might not like the change.

I wish that they would make DVDs of musicals so that everyone could have a chance to enjoy them. They can distribute the DVDs after the end of the production run. The ticket prices can be very high, especially for the best seats.

Oh, as an aside, don't ever watch the Tin Man mini-series by the Sci-Fi Channel. They tried to make a wild modern remake of the Wizard of Oz, but it's unbelievably dull. Tin Man is absolutely terrible rubbish.

The musical had great themes of love and friendship. You can find tremendous beauty in things if you see things through different eyes. Don't judge people by their outward appearances. Stick to what you believe is right instead of following the herd.

My rating: A, 94.

Highs: Angelic singing, beautiful backgrounds and lights, Glinda was cute and funny, Elphaba's voice was enchanting, catchy songs, great themes.

Lows: Clever twist of a story was subdued by its thin plotline; few characters, there are some problems reconciling the story with the Wizard of Oz, weaker male performances.

Verdict: Wickedly wonderful!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Solo Time Trial along the L.A. Coastline












I just did a time trial by myself along the beaches of Los Angeles on Saturday. Okay, I didn't race anyone, just myself. It was a race against the clock. Going up and down the coastline took less than 3:00 hours. The distance was 50 miles from Pacific Palisades all the way down to the end of the bike path in Redondo Beach. It was pretty windy. The beaches were nearly empty. There were sandstorms in certain areas. Sand constantly hit my face for many miles. Sometimes the wind helped me, but most of the time it slowed me down. There were times when I could lean against the direction of the beach 10 degrees and the wind just held me up. I can see why you wouldn't want to have full aero disk wheels on these days. I was struggling to keep straight when there were strong gusts of wind. It was still a good day overall. I passed everyone on my Motobecane Nemesis. I love passing people, especially other road bikers.

Riding to church on Sunday was really cold. My fingers and nose felt frozen. I have to ride downhill in the beginning and that is really cold. But, during the middle of the ride I still get hot enough to break into a sweat.

Monday, I had to deal with another road rager. This stupid Chicano guy in a dark gold Civic Si kept yelling profanities at me and kept trying to run me over. He pulled over 3 times and tried to stop me to pick a fight. I should have got his license plate to report him to the cops. Man, drivers are such @ssholes!

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Car is an Accident Magnet II

A few times before I've posted about how people have hit my Hyundai. Yesterday, I got hit yet again by this young 22 year old girl on the freeway. I was on the 5 South in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. I was braking, and this girl who was trying to change lanes to the right, rear-ended me. Fortunately, I was okay, although I did get really minor whiplash and a headache. There were just some big scratches on my bumper. Her BMW's front crumpled up upon impact. She seemed like a sweet girl so I'm not going to sue her. Plus, I'm tough. I can't believe all those people who claim to be severely hurt after minor fender benders all the time. People in car races crash and flip over 20 times and still walk away fine.

This might have been a different story if I got hit really hard. A few months ago, I posted about how this one pick up truck was going real fast and kept skidding forward. I thought I was going to get hit, but fortunately, he was able to change lanes. Then, he proceeded to just cut in front of traffic later on like nothing ever happened.

I almost got into 2 more accidents after my accident yesterday morning. Another idiot made a double lane change without even looking. He kept driving into my lane when I was in the fast lane. He nearly drove me into the center divider. If I didn't break hard and honk at him, he would have definitely hit me. He was talking on his cell phone which he had in his left hand. He didn't even bother to turn his neck back to check his blind spots. Drivers are real lazy that way. They don't want to turn their dog-gone necks! Another time, I stupid woman made a left turn right in front of me when I was going 40 miles an hour on the streets. People have to make sure it's clear to turn before doing so. Gawd!

Previously on my Hyundai, my parents' neighbor hit my car when they were backing up from their garage. Another time, this old guy just hit my car trying to squeeze between a tight spot at the gas station. This other time, some jerk just left a big dent on the passenger side of the car without leaving a note. My car also has light swastika scratches on the back of my car trunk.

I thought I was glad that I still drive my older Hyundai so that I wouldn't get that upset as compared to if people hit me when I had a new car. One of my co-workers said that if I had a new Mercedes, people would try not to hit it, because it would be very expensive to fix. That may be true. Thinking back though, it wasn't that long before I got dents and scratches on my Mustang and on my new Honda Accord. So, I still think it's better to have an old car. Once you get a new car, it will be scratched and dented very soon. Take my word on it.

The Golden Compass


I went to the premiere for The Golden Compass and the director, Chris Weitz, was there to make opening comments about his new film. He said it took 3 years in the making and it was very expensive to make.

I think this film kicks Narnia's ass. This was still a film geared towards pre-teen children, but it was much more violent and had better action than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

The movie is basically the anti-Narnia. There are many worlds out there other than ours. In some worlds, the souls live within people. In other worlds, like the one in which The Golden Compass takes place, the souls live side by side next to people and the souls, called Daemons, take the form of animals. In other worlds, people do not have souls at all.

The star of the story is this 12 year old girl, Lyra. She's very headstrong, smart, and stubborn. She lives with her uncle and 007 agent, Daniel Craig. Pretty soon, Nicole Kidman comes to take Lyra on a journey to see the giant polar bear king. Lyra soon discovers that Nicole Kidman isn't as nice a woman as she first made herself out to be. Nicole seems to work for a church-like organization that wants to rule the world and tries to stop people from thinking freely. They don't want people to question its authority and its teachings.

Children's daemons keep transforming into different animals depending on their mood and/or situation while adult's daemons stay the same once they mature. Perhaps, this is a way to show that children's minds are more maleable and can be influenced whereas adults are more set in their ways. Children's personalities can be molded and are still developing.

Lyra then gets The Golden Compass, a device that helps her find out the truth in any situation. The church like organization are getting children to brain wash them. Lyra gets help from gypsy-like people called the Gyptians. She also meets some old guy with an airship like the ones found in the Final Fantasy video game series. She forms a strong friendship with a giant white polar bear. These polar bears have the voices of the Wizards from The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf and Saruman.

This movie had great special effects that surpassed Narnia and Harry Potter. I just wish it wasn't full of kids. I don't like kid movies. If it was a fantasy movie geared more towards adults, it would be kick-ass.

The fight scene between the polar bears was great. I liked how Gandalf the polar bear slashed Saruman the polar bear's throat at the end. People in the audience started cheering like they were in the Roman Coliseum watching gladiators slaughter each other.

The movie seems like it will follow the book series just like the Narnia movies followed the books. So, expect to see more of these films in the future.

The big mystery is what "Dust" is. It seems to be some elemental particles that evince the existence of parallel universes. The church-like organization is hell-bent on trying to stifle this research, because they do not want people questioning the church's teachings.

Although I did not like the kiddiness of the movie, I liked the story overall. It's important to teach kids to seek the truth instead of blindly following what they're told without question.

My rating: B, 81.

The Highs: Beautiful special effects, great scenery, epic storyline, important lessons about learning about the truth instead of blindly following an institution's teachings.

The Lows: Too Kiddy for adults; cheesy animal daemon souls everywhere.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Angeles Crest







Hiking up Angeles Crest. We're at the Charleton Flats area. Watch out for giant pine cones falling on your head.