28 December 2006

I Dug Out the Intarweb

Cable internet was installed last week, but the modem lives in the office closet. During moving, the closet doors were closed and blocked by a safe, 2 monitors (LCD and cathode ray), shelves, a stool, and about 16 heavy boxes. Now the door is sort of blocked, so I suppose I'll be digging myself out next.

22 December 2006

Receivers Are Stupid

Lots of people buy video game consoles. Lots of people buy component cables for them. Lots of people buy receivers. So you'd think that receivers would have more than the hd cable and dvd component inputs. But no, receivers are stupid. Specifically, the one about 10 feet in front of me, waving its lack of hi-def in my face. Oh sure, it's got some component inputs. Just not enough. The evil bastard. So exactly one console gets to use component. Since I'm not going to buy the PS2 component cable any time soon, it's out of the running. Which leaves the great Xbox v Wii war. There is already an Xbox component cable in our possession, but not a Wii one. However, at this point in time, the Wii gets by far the most use, with the PS2 coming in second. Therefore, the choice is relatively easy. And, Mr. Xbox, you have Pioneer to blame for your decrease in graphical quality come Tuesday evening.

And somehow, there must be a way to run all sound through the receiver for 5.1 surround sound goodness. It'll happen. It might require 12 more cables, but it will happen.

17 December 2006

Wii Waited

After missing out on Wiis during previous tries, Matt and I left nothing to chance and got to Best Buy at 9:30 to see if a line was forming or anything. We planned on staying through the night, but we went home from 11:30 to 3 for a few hours of sleep when there was no one else there yet. When we got back, we were number 14 in line, for what turned out to be 21 Wiis. The latest someone showed and still got one was around 4am.

So, Best Buy didn't sell a single Wii for three weeks, and every time one of us asked why they were holding back stock, it was always so that they'd have enough accessories on hand when they finally sold them. Want to guess how many nunchuks they had? Three. Uno dos tres. However, they did managed to scrape together nine whole Wiimotes! Then there was the morning manager, who was clearly enjoying her 6am power trip.

Now I must pack. :-( Maybe I can wave the Wiimotes and the boxes will pack themselves? Stupid moving.

17 November 2006

My TrinityVixen Impression

Maybe it's just the mood that I'm in, but for whatever reason, this article on cnn.com pissed me off to the point of ranting about it. Bush appointed Keroack, a leader in the no premarital sex, no abortions, and no contraceptives community, as head of the Office of Population Affairs. This office is in charge of national family planning programs and abstinence programs. How on earth could even someone as dimwitted as Bush confuse no contraception and no abortions with family planning? That is easily the best formula for unplanned families. Not to mention the huge problems caused by only teaching abstinence to teenagers. That idea has never worked, and, short of vasectomies for all males, it never will.

There, I'm done.

02 October 2006

Jay and Invisible Bob

On Saturday I walked by Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash when a familiar voice was heard. To be more specific, it was Jay's voice. Most of the rest of him was there as well, just hanging out and talking to the guy behind the register. Sadly, the majority of his hair was missing. He also looked significantly older than in the movies, the way that people who lead rough lives tend to.

21 September 2006

Much Ado About Buses

Long story short, I wasn't feeling well and I needed to get medicine for Zero this morning. Driving didn't seem like a good idea, so I decided to try the bus. Two miles down Wilshire couldn't possibly be a big deal, right? Well, that depends on which line you take. Santa Monica, which is it's own city, runs the Big Blue Bus (BBB) Line 2 from the beach to UCLA, via Wilshire. LA runs the Metro Bus Lines 20 and 720 along Wilshire. Either BBB or Metro would do, and both stop at the exact same places for the area of Wilshire that I'm interested.

So I go to the stop right outside the apartment. There's a shelter with a bench in it, and a BBB sign to the right and a Metro Line 20 sign a couple feet to the left. Silly me, I sat down on the bench to wait. A couple of 720 buses went by, but not a big deal since they weren't supposed to stop there (for whatever reason, they stop at the next block in this particular area). Then a 20 bus went by, and I actually saw the bus driver looking directly at me as he passed at full speed! What the fuck was going on? Okay, so maybe that was a special bus or something. Whatever, I'm not in a huge rush, I'll live. Then an elderly man joined me on the bench. A minute or two later, another 20 bus was spotted a block away. He stood up and waved wildly at the bus, but this one did the exact same thing as the previous one. The man sat down, swearing loudly at the driver. This is when I discovered that most of the Metro drivers will not stop unless you are directly under the Metro sign. Even elderly people who can't stand for long periods of time must be directly under the sign if they ever want to get on the bus! BBB, on the other hand, would always stop regardless of your specific location at the stop, I was told. Sure enough, a minute later, there was a Big Blue Bus stopped to let us on. The driver even said "Good morning!" as I got on! She would stop right in front of the people waiting at stops, and once waited for someone running for the bus. I was informed by another passenger that most of the BBB drivers were this nice.

The best part about BBB is the fare; it is only 75 cents, while Metro is 1.25. Next time I venture onto LA public transportation, I'm definitely going with BBB.

24 August 2006

I still exist

Also, I'm home for the next couple weeks.

01 August 2006

Officially a Dog

Today Zero and I walked down to the Santa Monica Animal Shelter to license him with the city. By the front desk there are two huge cat cages, one filled with kittens. Zero walked up to the one with kittens and just stared at them.

"I don't know what they are, but I want one! Can we take one home?" he asked.

"Not until you're older and can care for it yourself. I don't want to end up having to do everything myself," I replied.

He sniffed them a few more times, but then realized that something under the counter smelled delightful, and was therefore more interesting.

Sadly, the license tag (it's a small tag that dogs must wear on their collars) is a small pink-purple flower. Hopefully it's is a skull and crossbones next year, since Zero isn't feeling too manly at the moment.

31 July 2006

New Title

The JTHM joke in the old title no longer expresses the timeliness of posted material. With the help of , I have hereby renamed my LiveJournal. I believe my faithful readers will appreciate the relevance of "THE SHERIFF OF HONG KONG." Please update your bookmarks accordingly.

Thank you.

16 July 2006

Wheee Vegas!

Gah! The limo isn't coming for 20 more minutes! I don't think I can wait any longer.....


13 July 2006

Update! With Pictures!

Last week I went to pick up my car from the body shop. Read bumper number three looked very nice. Front bumper number one, on the other hand, had magically been scraped. Apparently my car got hit while AT THE FREAKING BODY SHOP! On Tuesday I brought my car back to get fixed again, yay. The odometer is just over 4000 miles so I'll get that first oil change once I get my car back. That is, assuming no further disasters befall my car.

I am quite pleased with my new place. I'm renting a room (and a bathroom) in a condo. My landlord, her husband, and their friend are all much older than me, but I really like it there. I have less personal space, but it's nicer and cleaner. Also, I can walk to the Third Street Promenade and the beach. It is still surreal that I can walk to the beach in about 15 minutes. As an added bonus, when I do walk there, I get to walk by Google; their Santa Monica office is exactly three blocks away.


Presenting Zero, a one year old mutt that I rescued from a local shelter. He was found wandering near a freeway. After two weeks with him, he has been determined to be Miniature Pinscher, Jack Russell Terrier, Dachshund, Pointer, and some other undetermined breeds. He came house trained, which is absolutely awesome. He also doesn't bark/yap except when Matt or I leave. He mostly just sleeps - on the couch, under the table, in my lap - but almost always gets up to follow me around.

Until a couple days ago, he wore a nylon harness and had a nylon leash for walks. Then, while at Matt's dad's house, he decided to mark his territory indoors. More specifically, he tried to claim Tawny's favorite areas in the house. After he tried twice, I put the harness on him and tied his leash to a recliner in the family room (where everyone was hanging out). Then Matt and I made the mistake of leaving for about a half hour, even though Nancy was still there. We came back to a very naughty little dog. He chewed through the leash in about 30 seconds, and later, when reconfined with a leash, managed to wiggle and chew his way out of the harness. Since then, Zero has had the pleasure of a choke chain and chain leash. I was considering getting one for training anyway, so now seemed like the right time to dig Matt's old dog training supplies out. Shockingly, he doesn't like the new leash and collar as much, but he's really smart and already learning.

Zero has also learned that he doesn't like the vet very much. He had the usual initial just-home-from-the-shelter visit two days after coming home, but then the cut on his leg from having a dew claw removed opened up (the shelter removed both rear dew claws before I adopted him). Also, he started coughing and wheezing. Trip number two resulted in four medicines to treat kennel cough and various parasites that stray dogs can pick up (just in case he had any). That night he puked, and the next day he started coughing up stuff. Trip number three, also know as the day after trip number two, involved chest films. It turned out that he had a light case of pneumonia. Now he gets 1cc of gross tasting (based on his reaction) medicine twice a day. After four days of torturing him daily, he's already almost better. Now he just needs to live through another weeks of meds.

30 June 2006

I am a Vampyre!

So I woke up this morning with a trails of blood from the corners of my mouth and down my chin. I was also in quite a bit of pain. I think all of this may have something to do with all four of my wisdom teeth being yanked yesterday, but I'm not entirely sure.

In other news, Sam Adams is having a home brewed beer contest. The winner's beer will be sold nationwide. I'm tempted to try it, if I can come up with a good idea. Hmmm, let me rephrase that. A good idea that is legitimately good and possibly even drinkable.

31 May 2006

Electromagnet Anyone?

So it's been awhile. Ooops.

I was rear ended. Again. For the second time this year. The fourth time ever. I haven't even changed the oil yet, and I'm going to the body shop AGAIN. Did I mention that I'm not pleased?

A Mercedes pulled out of the valet lane and into my lane. No signal, and obviously without looking, otherwise he would have noticed that I was directly next to him, about halfway past his car. The light had just turned green, so I was going all of 4mph. I slammed on the breaks and stopped in time. The taxi behind me, trying to switch lanes, did not. Time for bumper number three!

While I was talking to the taxi driver afterwards, my faith in humanity was restored. A pedestrian who had seen the whole thing came over and gave me a receipt with her name and phone number on the back. She said that the taxi clearly hit me, and she wouldn't mind telling the insurance company that. There were a whole bunch of pedestrians, as well at least ten other cars, but I never expected any of them to care enough to stop. As upset as I was about getting hit, this simple act of kindness made me feel a lot better.

18 April 2006


Melissa is officially going to MIT next year => I am officially moving at the beginning of summer. She's going to be around until the end of August, but I'm aiming for moving out the end of June. Why? It's easier earlier in the summer, when there are more places available and it's not as hot. I plan on going home sometime in August. And, for some stupid reason, parking permits applications for UCLA are due the end of July.

I have already started looking around for possible roommates and places to live. Last summer I gave up and just got a place that didn't allow pets, but this time I'm going to make sure I get a place that allows me to get a dog.

Luckily, I don't have all that much stuff or furniture. My desk sucks - it is a quality desk, in theory, but I was never able to get the top drawer in. Not to mention the paint is all chipping off. It's getting thrown out and I'll just get a new one. It's not a big deal since the damn thing is so heavy in the first place that it'll have to be taken apart just to get it down the stairs. As for everything else, it'll all fit in the back of Nancy's Tahoe. It'll just take a day to move it all.

So. Fun. Yay. I get to get a dog. YAY!

31 March 2006


Last night I finally watched My Neighbor Totoro. However, the interesting part is not what I watched, but where I watched it. At Harry Turtledove's house, of course. I did not get to meet him, sadly, since he was upstairs sleeping(?) all evening. It turned out that I had previously spent an evening with one of his daughters since all three daughters are friends with one of my friends from UCLA.

There are only two things that I am going to say about their house. 1) Never have I seen such a large private collection of books before. The entire house was lined with books, which I whole-heartedly approve of. 2) It was a bit surreal to be looking at a slightly dusty Hugo Award sitting on a wet bar.

29 March 2006

LED Porn


27 March 2006

One Royal Flush, Please, Hold the Ten

On Saturday night Matt and I joined Andrew at Commerce Casino. We got there around 10pm. Andrew also got there around 10pm, except on Friday. At one point he was up over a thousand, but it was reduced to a couple hundred by the time we arrived. Matt and I both had fairly successful (read profitable) nights, during the course of which a guy at my table actually had a royal flush. This may not sound like a big deal, but the odds of getting a royal flush are about 1 in 650,000. A few hands later, someone else got a straight flush. A straight flush usually receives quite a response, but it was completely dwarfed by the royal. After all, the odds of getting a straight flush is only 1 in 72,000. Real easy, right?

When Matt and I left around 2:30, Andrew was still grinding away at the $100 NL tables. He didn't leave until 5am, for a ~30 hours session.

23 March 2006


Spring arrived today with a big thunk, partially due to the construction down the street. Today's incredibly awesome mid-70s no cloud in the sky weather has put me in a great mood. Must resist urge to take PowerBook to Santa Monica beach...

20 March 2006

It's a Linfura!

On the way to retrieve my car from the body shop (International Auto Specialists, who did an amazing job and even gave me a little container of paint for touchups should anything unfortunate happen), I was staring out the window at the other cars. That's when it dawned on me that Lexus, Acura, and Infinity all have the same logo, given stretching, scewing, and rotation. For some reason this just makes perfect sense to me.

15 March 2006

News Alert

Tonight I'm flying back east for my brother Marc's Bar Mitzvah. It's a red eye flight, so this should be extra fun. Thursday is picture day, which means that I get to have my hair done at the salon (a necessity after spending the night on a plane) and then pretned to be extremely happy. Friday night and Saturday morning are services, with a kiddush on Saturday. And Sunday night I'll get back on a plane, preferably one flying west. I'm so excited that I could just pass out from exhaustion. Bouncy bouncy bouncy.

However, before I leave, there are six and a half million things that need to be done. Pick up stuff from the drug store, return the evil rental car, steal Matt's car so I can get to my last class of the quarter, go to my last class, pack. I think I'll start by taking a shower. Right now. ::splash splash::

08 March 2006

Cupcake Dance!

There are very few things in life that are better than coming home from a stressful day and finding a cupcake on your desk. And not just any cupcake, mind you. My favorite cupcake (which, sadly, is from Starbucks): delicious vanilla frosting with yellow and white round sprinkles sitting on top of moist yellow cake. Now, a cupcake is a very small item that gets used up very quickly, but the effects last for hours. Today, about 15 hours later, it is still making me happy. :-)

01 March 2006


On Monday the weather finally decided that some rain would be good. I agreed, absolutely loving the rain all day. I even turned off the radio in my car to listen to the rain hitting the roof of the car. Then I was late for my 4pm class due to all the fender benders on Wilshire. Apparently no one around here figured out that the road gets wet when it rains.

After class, I offered to drive two guys, Kevin and Dave, home, since both were practically on the way and it was pouring. Unfortunately for me, before we got to the first apartment, the Jeep behind me decided to perform an experiment to determine the value of Planck's Constant. I was fully stopped due to the line of traffic in front of me, while he did not stop before my bumper. What was the result you ask? I'll give you a hint: h is still a very small number.

We pulled over onto a side street to examine the damage and trade information. That's when I remembered that I put my backpack in the trunk of the car since there were two other passenegers. Unlocking the trunk with a key wasn't enough; the trunk had to be pried open for my enjoyment. During the process, a large piece of plastic fell off in my hand. I just handed it to someone, Dave I think, and asked him to hold it. Dave tried calling 911 while I copied down information. It took five minutes to get an operator, which is pretty scary to think about. After determining that no one was bleeding, the operator said that there were no available cars in the area to file a report, so we should just write down eachother's info and let the insurance companies sort it out. Useful.

We happened to be down the block from Kevin's apartment, so he just walked the rest of the way. Now technically, my car was still drivable. That is, assuming you didn't want to see out the back since the trunk could no longer close. On the way to Dave's place, we actually had to stop for him to push it down enough for me to see.

I made it back to my place without losing any more pieces of my car. It's currently parked in my spot, waiting for the claims agent to examine the damage.

I called my dad to tell him what happened as soon as I got back. He asked if I was okay, and I replied that my upper back and neck were a bit sore. He insisted that I go to the emergency room. Blech. But to UCLA Medical I went (with Matt driving his car).

They put me in a neck brace upon arrival, then poked, performed x-rays, and poked some more. The doctors declared me to not be permanently damaged, just a victim of whiplash. I was discharged. By then, it was around 10:30, and we'd been at the hospital since around 8. However, as we were walking towards the exit, one of the doctors came running up to me. She wanted to perform another test. That wasn't at all worrisome.

A few more pokes and a CT scan later (and 3 more hours), I was pronounced alive, but with a bi-fit spine. This is not an injury, but a common abnormal spine. The resident didn't know this at the time, and it was the source of the extra worry. Then came leaving the hospital, take two. This take was significantly more successful.

Having been pronounced alive, I went to sleep. The next day I began the process of getting my car repaired. My insurance covers $30 worth of rental car per day, so the agemt contacted Enterprise (normally I would not be allowed to rent a car by myself due to my age). I'm currently driving a Ford Fusion. It drives pretty well, but you can't see well out of the back. When all is said and done, this minor disaster is going to cost me about $700, if I'm lucky. The repair bills for my car are going to be between $4000 and $7000, depending on whether or not there is any frame damage.


24 February 2006

Holy Crap, Batman!

Someone in a position of power not only figured out that consumers don't particularly like DRM, but actually had the balls to publically declare the negative effects of DRM at a conference. Odds of it having a positive effect for consumers? Probably nill, but at least it's a good start.

14 February 2006

A box!

As most of you know, I don't like chocolate. Therefore, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that I've never gotten a box of candy for any occassion. As far as I can tell, they all have some sort of chocolate in most of the pieces, if not all. When Matt gave me a small box for Valentine's Day, I was quite confused when I discovered a box of See's Candy underneath the wrapping paper. However, upon opening the box, I discovered about 20 pieces of candy, none of which contain chocolate. Matt had put together a custom box of candy with every kind (all 6) of candy without chocolate. So far I've discovered key lime pie and crunchy nut things covered in yogurt. I am immensely pleased, even though Matt wouldn't let me eat the candy for breakfast. Definitely the best Valentine's Day gift I've ever gotten.

01 February 2006

pipe fork exec repeat

Those who have been paying attention probably have noticed that my life has been temporarily consumed by OS. Luckily, this is by no means a permanent state of affairs, just a very annoying temporary one. Future labs will involve a partner, and theoretically, less work. As for this one, it is almost done. The lab involves writing a linux shell, which almost works well. In other words, pretty much the only thing that it does not do is change directories, but I intend to fix that within the next few hours.

Now I just need that damn pixel to stop distracting me.

28 January 2006

Dead Pixel of DOOM!

There is a permanently red pixel almost centered in my monitor. It's driving me nuts. The worst part is that it's a CRT! CRTs do NOT get dead pixels. Then mine had to go and be different. Tell you what, Mr. Gateway Monitor - if you really want to be different, you can be different. Just keep in mind that I might start being different. With a bat.

16 January 2006

Things that just shouldn't exist


Until now, I didn't know that hobbits could sing. Of course, they probably shouldn't be.

12 January 2006

Unless You Can Give It Its Own Seatbelt


I don't mind the special parking spots at malls and such, but the carpool lane? No, a fetus is not a separate passenger.

While I had little doubt about how this case was going to be decided, once one judge decides that the fetus counts as a separate passenger, the flood gates open for anti-abortion legislation and lawsuits with this as a precedent. There are some anti-abortion groups that have literally been sending pregnant women to drive in carpool lanes by themselves just so they can try to fight the ensuing ticket and have the fetus declared as a passenger, and by extension a person. Hopefully no judge ever decides to interpret the law in their favor.

09 January 2006

A Parrot!

Usually there are no parrots in the "courtyard" at my apartment building. Today, however, there is one. I first noticed it around noon while leaving for lunch. It was just sitting on a low concrete ledge, minding its own business. It's wings aren't clipped, and the courtyard doors are kept closed, so it didn't take much imagination to detemine that it flew in.

Matt and I approached it twice, once to take pictures (which will be posted later this evening) and once to feed it Triscuits. The bird definitely appreciated the food, seeing as how it dove for the pieces Matt left as soon as he started walking away. We concluded that the bird is domesticated, and I called animal control since its owner probably wants it back. It took 3 phone systems to find out that LA Animal Control does not deal with birds, unless they are sick or attacking humans. Pets aren't allowed in the building, so I'm not sure what'll happen to the parrot. In the mean time, it's a pretty cool bird to have around.

As of a couple minutes ago, the bird is still on the same ledge, just sitting there in the dark. I left it some more Triscuit pieces, next to a water bowl that someone else left for it. I can't help hoping that it stays around for a few more days, if only for the food.

Those of you who have visited my house may have noticed a gigantic stuffed parrot, which happens to be named Tiki Bird (after the Tiki Room at Disneyland). Since this parrot has almost identical colors, I unofficially named him Tiki.

08 January 2006

I think I'm going to have bird flu tomorrow....

Apparently I have class tomorrow. MOOP.

Stupid quarters.

06 January 2006

Hell Froze Over Earlier This Afternoon

In other words, Starbucks was no longer serving espresso. Yes, you read that correctly. A Starbucks in Burbank was covered in signs explaining that they currently didn't have espresso, but you could get your favorite drink made with house blend coffee instead. I predict that Banana Republic will run out of khakis tomorrow.