Friday, November 28, 2008

doormat decision

My townhouse came with a doormat, which is now at least four years old. My brother calls it "the pile of unidentifiable material which used to be a doormat".

I've narrowed down my decision to three choices.

A. Throw it away, and have no doormat at all.

B. Buy this amusing doormat, which may quickly get dirty as people wipe their feet on it:

C. Buy a normal-looking doormat, like this:


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

chair proof

My brother is moving into my townhouse. We're going to be housemates for the next three months, potentially longer.

Yesterday we loaded up his Accord with small furniture pieces. Around 8pm, we began stuffing his computer chair into the front passenger seat.

Me: [after a couple minutes of pushing] "We got three of the wheels in. By induction, we should be able to get all five."

Tom: "Induction is awesome."

Both of us: [shoving against the chair]

Tom: "Though I'd say we're using the brute force method more."

Monday, November 17, 2008


I was IM-ing with my friend John about choices for health insurance, and he said something I found funny:

"I am what is known as 'bad with money', i.e. my math skills are great until I see a dollar sign."

This reminded me of something he said a few years ago:

John: My checking account is almost overdrawn.

Me: How come this is happening now when it never did before?

John: Well, I used to have a system of checks and balances, in that I would check my balance.

Friday, November 14, 2008

my doctor's story

Today I went for an annual physical from my doctor at Kaiser.

The actual physical took three minutes, and we spent twenty minutes talking. My doctor is a chinese woman in her 40s.

When she was my age, she was working at a Berkeley medical lab as a technician. She wasn't satisfied with the work, so she decided to take the medical board exam to be qualified to practice medicine in the US. She quit her job, and lived off savings for a year while studying.

She had the knowledge from medical school in China, but her english was rough. After a year, she took the exam, and failed by one point. But this gave her courage that after another year, she would be able to pass.

She said it was stressful sometimes, studying and not remembering english vocabulary, looking it up and not comprehending the definition, wondering if she should instead spend her time getting a boyfriend.

At the end of the two years, she passed the exams, and embarked on the road to practicing as a doctor. Later she married a chinese friend she'd known from Berkeley.

I was really moved by the story. I was planning to switch from Kaiser HMO to Cigna PPO, but now I'm wavering because I like my doctor so much.

Monday, November 10, 2008

poem from my brother

From: Tom Wang

I wrote you a lovely haiku – this is what happened when I was bored last night and surfing the internet.

What’s This ‘Two Girls One Cup’?
Traumatized Brother

Saturday, November 08, 2008

funny hacking conversation

This hacker chat transcript that Alipé found is really funny. I am LOL'ing.

<bitchchecker> shut up i hack you
<Elch> ok, i’m quiet, hope you don’t show us how good a hacker you are ^^
<bitchchecker> tell me your network number man then you’re dead
<Elch> Eh, it’s
<Elch> or maybe
<Elch> yes exactly that’s it: I’m waiting for you great attack
<bitchchecker> in five minutes your hard drive is deleted
<Elch> Now I’m frightened
<bitchchecker> shut up you’ll be gone
<bitchchecker> i have a program where i enter your ip and you’re dead

Thursday, November 06, 2008

fobby lol

A reader pointed me to the sites and These are so funny!

no need for expensive birthday wishes:

Me: Happy birthday Dad!
Dad: Thank you.
Me: What did —
Dad: T-Mobile have no more minutes, call me tonight when it’s free. [hangs up]

Self-celebratory text message:

Dad: happy birth to me!
Me: sorry, dad…i knew it was your birthday, but i didn’t have a chance to call you before class
Dad: oh ok i just want you to share glorious happy birth!

weight gain:

Dad: People get old, get fat; gray hair, move slow….that’s life; young ones/next generation take over.
Philip: ya
Philip: but you got fat really fast
Dad: ok, I’ll try to lose weight; it’s not easy; I get hungry.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

low income voters against prop 8?

By current tallies, Prop 8 to eliminate gay marriage is leaning toward passing, 52% to 48%. It's disappointing.

You can see the voting broken down by age, gender, race, education on this CNN page.

As expected, the younger the voters, the more likely they are to oppose the proposition (i.e. favor gay marriage). The more educated they are, the more likely they are to oppose it. The highest income brackets are more likely to oppose it than middle-income brackets.

However, I find it interesting that the lowest income brackets (<$30k) also oppose the proposition. Why would this be? It goes against the education correlation.

The only explanation I could concoct is that perhaps younger voters are more likely to earn less than $30,000, so the income is more correlated to age than to education.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


There's a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, where you place orders via a computer monitor, and can play games while you wait.

Dan went there and said the games were horrible. He maintains that they are cheesy and not sociable enough. This made me curious, so I went with Sha-mayn the following week. We loved it!

I especially liked the trivia game.

A debate ensued between Dan and me. Spread over several conversations, we debated the merits of uWink. This culminated last Thursday in a bet.

The bet concerns whether the uWink company will go out of business within two years (10/30/2010). Dan bets that it will, and I bet that it will not. The loser will cook for the winner for one month.

Reza, who was eating dinner with us when we determined the bet, is the arbiter.

After we finalized the bet terms, the three of us jauntered over to uWink to watch the crowd. It was one-third full, not terrible for a weeknight. We noticed that it was about 70% Asians. The Asians were laughing, playing the games, having a great time. The non-Asians sat away from the computer monitors, looking bored as they chatted with each other.

Maybe uWink is an Asian thing.

Sha-mayn across the table from me.

Ordering via menu.

The "spicy" First Date game. (It's not very spicy.)

Sha-mayn took this photo of me.