I will think of a better name for this blog one of these days.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Torture and T-shirts

How an AIM conversation about an internet advertising company's name switches to talking about torture and then T-shirts.
Me: Eyeblaster is the worst name ever
Friend: yeah I know.
Me: when i think of it, i have a bunch of different thoughts. . . all of them bad
Friend: hahaha
Me: it's like a some kind of medieval torture device
Friend: POW right in the eye
Me: give him 10 minutes on the Eyeblaster. . . he'll tell us where the secret base is.
Friend: hehe
Me: isn't there some kind of controversy right now?
Me: with wakeboarding or something?
Me: oops, i mean waterboarding
Friend: its a type of torture
Me: that's funny. . . waterboarding sounds like fun
Friend: it does right?
Me: the weather's great, let's go waterboarding!
Friend: like a cousin of boogie boarding
Friend: They should make a T-shirt like that
Me: haha
Me: i want to get some T-shirts
Friend: Oh yeah.. me too.. the gawker shop is having a sale!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Interesting thing I learned in Chinese class

Normally nothing interesting happens during class, either it's too early in the morning for me to remember anything or I cut class for an extra two hours of sleep (those are the best two hours of sleep ever!)

A little bit background info for people who are not familiar with Chinese characters. Chinese characters are like molecules built up from smaller elements like atoms. These smaller elements are called radicals. For example the character for noodle is (mian4). It consists of two radicals, on the left side is the radical (mai4) which means wheat and the right side is the radical (mian4) which means face. So by looking at the (mai4) provides a clue on the meaning of the word (Noodles are usually made out of wheat) and the (mian4) portion tells us how to pronounce the word.

It's not always this easy though, radicals don't have to be aligned left to right, sometimes they are placed top to bottom, outside/inside. Sometimes all the radicals in a character are for meaning and not for pronuncation. Sometimes radicals are put in there that have nothing to do with meaning or pronunciation.

For example, one word i hate is . On the top is (neng2) which means "can or to be able to." On the bottom there those four little marks that are the radical version of (huo3) which means fire. So I'm thinking, you pronounce the word just like (neng2) and it has something to do with fire.

WRONG! is pronounced xiong2 and it means bear. Bear as in those big furry animals that live in Jellystone park and steal picnic baskets.

It's as if whoever made up these words hundreds (thousands?) of years ago were like. . .

Guy1: Okay, how should we make the character for bear?
Guy2: Dude, it's friday, it's late, we've done a thousand of these already. We're gonna miss happy hour.
Guy1: Okay, then. . .
(Closes eyes and points to a wall with all the radicals)
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the. . .

So what two words did the teacher write on the blackboard?

First word was . The radical on top is  which represents a body, inside/underneath of that is which means rice. So what happens when you eat rice? You eventually go #2, and that's what the word means.

The teacher actually wrote "shit" in english next to "" just to make it clear. I thought that was pretty funny.

Second word was . The same radical on top, bottom is the radical which means water. So what happens when you drink water? You eventually go #1, and that's what the word means.

I am absolutely terrible at remembering how to write chinese words. I usually need to keep on practicing writing a word over and over again before i have it commited to memory but these two words. . . it won't be necessary.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Noodle place

There's a noodle place near my workplace that I frequently go to for lunch. It's great except for the fact that it'd fail every health inspection code if it were in the US.

On three separate occasions I've seen a cockroach crawling around on the floor. Not those cute little german roaches, like the one shown below:

No, they were those huge "I will eat your children" cockroaches:

And once while i was eating there, a rat the size of small cat ran underneath my chair. It was so quick i didn't even have time to react, i was in the middle of slurping my noodles.

And then last week, there was 2-3 tiny black ants in my wonton noodle soup. I picked them out but I'm sure i missed a few and probably ate one or two. . . Yum, protein!

It sounds pretty disgusting but I really like the food, it's served fast, it's cheap, and it's close to the office. I'll keep on going back as long as I don't find anything really disgusting in the food or i get sick. But so far that hasn't happened yet (knock on wood).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Japanese Bug Fights

I enjoyed watching these videos more than I'd like to admit. . .

See more of them at http://www.japanesebugfights.com/

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Back to school

I recently took a self appointed week off from school. I'm such a bad student. I feel a little guilty for wasting my money but whatever. . . it's my money. That's what I get for choosing the 8 AM class.

When I went into class for the first time in a week, I knew the teacher was going to make a big deal. And I was right. . . she couldn't just let me quietly sit at my seat and pretend to be a good student. I forgot exactly what she said (8AM, my brain not 100% functional yet). She said something like "Wow, Kevin is back" and everyone welcome the computer expert back in chinese. I was a bit confused and then i remembered the last time i went to class we were just starting the chapter related to computers and computer parts. I didn't think they'd still be on the same chapter.

They asked me a few computer related questions like what's the difference between RAM and Hard Drive and is it cheaper to build your own system. They also asked about the Eee PC i brought in a week or two ago when it was my turn to do presentation in front of class.

If you've never heard of it, it's a tiny full function notebook computer the size of a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper folded in half. Does web browsing, email, instant messaging, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, divx/xvid movies, mp3, photos, skype, games, etc. Has SD card slot, Wi-Fi, and webcam, and has battery life of around 3 hours. Not bad for $11,500 NT dollars here in Taiwan, roughly $340 USD.

Here's pic of it on top of standard 14.1" notebook.

Friday, January 4, 2008


I started using a new instant messenger program recently that combines all the different networks (AIM, MSN, Y!, gTalk, etc) into one. It's called Pidgin, it works pretty well. I recommend it.

Having all your friends under one program is nice but it creates a huge list that's quite cumbersome. So, I decided to do a little housecleaning. Deleting all the people i didn't recognize and that haven't gone online in a really long time. . . until I came up to a "slw11648." It sounded so familiar, yet i couldn't remember. i kept on thinking for awhile. Who is this slw11648?!?!

Then I thought, maybe it's my boss from almost 10 years ago, back when i was working part time as a web designer. His first name starts with an 's' and his last name starts with a 'w', maybe the 'l' in "slw" is his middle name and the 11648 is birthdate.

I googled his name and first thing that came up was a short article that said SW had passed away less than a month ago (Dec-07) due to complications from leukemia. It also talked about the small company he founded and some it's products that i had a small part in building.

He was a good boss, funny guy, he helped me get my first real job out of college when i used him as a reference. I have some great memories from working with him.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Great start to the New Years

I hope everyone had a great New Years. 2008 didn't start off so well for me. About 30 minutes into 2008, I lost my cell phone. :(

I already miss that phone. Yeah it had it's problems. . . like it would turn itself off whenever you looked at it funny, or that the outside looked like I lent it to Edward Scissorhand for a few months, or if you pushed the buttons too hard the screen will just turn completely white. But it's been with me everywhere for the past two years. Every blurry, out of focus picture you see on this blog was taken with that phone.

I'll probably get my SIM card replaced by Friday. If anyone needs to contact me before then, use MSN/AIM or Facebook.