Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wedding Plans

The wedding was beautiful at the San Francisco City Hall by the Justice of the Peace. This isn't some ol' courthouse wedding. This is SF City Hall, a beautiful building with a dome that is larger than the Capitol in Washington D.C. Our wedding was on a could of Friday's ago, and yet it seems like longer, like already one of those memories that is held for all time. After the photograph session, we headed down to a small Vietnamese restaurant called Khanh's Garden in San Jose for a pleasant time with our immediate family and best friends for a small reception.

We had our celebration dinner for our wider group of friends and family the next evening at the incredible Nicolino' s Garden Cafe. We reserved their main banquet room. Many people were amazed by our restaurant selection. More than one person asked how we found such a place. For a party of our size, the food was of the highest quality for the most part. Everyone appeared to have a great time.

Funny part is that we still have one more dinner to host for the wider family on my wife's side. Her mom felt that they being Chinese would be more confortable at a simple dinner in such an enviroment. So, we will have one more dinner at a nice Chinese restaurant soon.

It seems the cost of us having a small, simple wedding is balanced by having what amounts to be three receptions. hehe

I'll post a few photos as soon as I have a chance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm married

Welp, I'm married. It's done. After a hectic week, we said our vows in a simple City Hall ceremony before the justice of the peace in San Francisco. More description later. :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Garbage Truck Fire 2005

I updated my truck fire video to showcase a couple of the photos I took in addition to the video.

Friday, August 03, 2007

There is no Santa Claus, Timmy

I feel bad, but not in a bad way. I had to burst some one's bubble yesterday in the soul crushing sort of way that wakes someone up and forces them to change their life plans.

One of the engineering interns at my company mentioned to me that his boss asked him if he was interested in staying on, becoming a regular employee. He didn't specifically ask me how much money he should expect, but the conversation moved in that directly quickly.

It turns out, by listening to braggarts and what not in informal society settings, he was under the impression that an Engineer makes 80 to 90K a year right out of school. Man, the next words out of my mouth really changed his ideas and plans after school. I just made it clear he could expect maybe 40 to 50K a year upon getting his degree.

Seeking confirmation of this soul crushing realization, he asked one of the other Engineers. That Engineer didn't answer right away, but asked "What do you think an Engineer should expect?" After waiting through the awkward pause, I piped up for him, "80 to 90K". To which he laughed through a dry spit take. A couple of the nearby Engineers then quoted their starting salaries, in the 35 to 45K range.

Without getting in to personal details, I'll just say that the intern was a little concerned about his post graduation prospects at that point.

To give him some perspective, I quoted off some general wage levels, such as Senior Managers are in the 80 to 90K and Directors may push into the six digits. Even in Silicon Valley, people aren't making astronomical wages. Besides that, the cost of living is so high here that it negates much of the wage advantage we have in this area.

He then told me what a couple told him at some party. He said they had just graduated with degrees in EE and got picked up at some local company for 90K a year. To which I simply replied, "They lied. People lie about what they make and what they do all the time, especially at society gatherings like parties where they want to make themselves seem more important. It just happens."

Well, I'm sure he will figure out how to adjust based on more realistic expectations, but it just sucked that I had to be the one to tell him there is no Santa Claus.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Organize

Well, as time ticks down for the big day, the work to get everything in order is falling into place. We have most of the details for the wedding already sorted out. Of course, it's a small wedding, but there's still a surprizing number of things that needs to get done. Around the house, I'm working on organizing and a little bit of cleaning to make sure the place to presentable for when guests stop by on our way to the rest'rant on the evening of the wedding. Fun stuff.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Simpsons

Da da da da da da da da da da

Spider Pig
Spider Pig
Does whatever a Spider Pig does
Can he swing from a web
No he can't
He's a pig
Looook Oooouuuuut!
He is a Spider Pig
:)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dear Lord!

I got this email just now:
There was a blind girl who hated herself
just because she was blind..
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend.
He was always there for her.
She said that if she could only see the world,
she w! ould ma rry her boyfriend.

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her.
She was then able to see everything,
including her boyfriend.
Her boyfriend asked her,
" Now that you can see the world,
will you marry me?"

The girl was shocked when she saw
that her boyfriend was blind.

She then refused to marry him.
Her boyfriend walked away in tears
and later wrote a letter to her saying:
"Just take care of my eyes dear,
for I loved you so much
that it was I who was the donor of your gift."

This is how the human brain changes
when our status changes.
Only few remember what life was before,
and who's always been
there even in the most painful situations.

"Life Is A Gift"

Today before you say an unkind word -
Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food -
Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your boyfriend or
girlfriend or husband or wife -
Think of someone who's crying out to GOD
for a companion.

Today before you complain about life -
Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children -
Think of someone who desires children
but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house
someone didn't clean or sweep -!
Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive -
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job -
Think of the unemployed, the disabled,
and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger
or condemning another -
Remember that not one of us are without sin
and we all answer to one MAKER.

And when depressing thoughts
seem to get you down
-
Put a smile on your face
and thank GOD you're alive and still around.

Life is a gift, Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it,
And Fulfill it.We Serve an AWESOME GOD !!!!!!


To which, I replied:
Devils advocate is whispering in my ear:
Dude! This kind of technology doesn’t exist.
Even it did, it would be unlikely her boyfriend would be a donor match.
Besides that, why would she hate herself for being blind?
What’s this with hating everyone except her boyfriend?
What does this say about blind people?
Honestly, isn’t it saying that blind people pretty much hate everyone
because they can’t see and everyone else can?
Isn’t this rather a presupposed bigoted statement?
And why didn’t the boyfriend communicate with her better so she’d know what he was doing? And why wouldn’t she immediately know it was his eyes since he wasn’t blind before anyway?
Why would she be so self-centered as to not marry him before she was able to see?
How would she know how to magically read all of a sudden after being blind?
She wasn’t blind to begin with?
And what’s this with the random statement about brains tacked on at the end of the story?
It could’ve been put at the end of a knock-knock joke and still have been similarly appropriate.

Ok, and the rest of this
is rehash of altruisms that are either self-evident to adults, or are
actually bad advice (particularly the part about depression). BTW, since I’m my own God, I do agree that yes, I am awesome, but hey, so are you. :)
Dear Lord!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Disabled

I do not use the word disabled lightly. It is a word that shows there is a very real difference between some and the rest. I am also for anything that diminishes discrimination, including against those who classified as disabled. However, I cannot find myself in support of the idea that people who require assistance from a mechanism should be able compete on equal footing as those that do so with their natural bodies. The story of Oscar Pistorius is a prime example of someone trying to compete unfairly. He is a double-amputee with mechanical legs. It is ludicrous to allow him to compete in a race with people using their natural legs.

The problem is that mechanisms can be modified by simply changing out materials and improving design. They are no representative equal with that of the human body which is allowed. In fact, efforts to unnaturally improve human body performance is specifically against the rules in most sports. Yet, here is someone trying to replace entire body parts with machines! Where is the equal footing here? There is none. If this is allowed and accepted, what is to prevent someone from volunteering to amputate body parts to replace them with machines that might perform better than their nature body? This is less ridiculous than it soudns. One only has to look at some of the unnatural lengths people go through to try to improve their bodies right now with steroids, blood replacement therapy, etc. There's no difference beteen that behavior and that of using mechanisms in place of human limbs in sports.

Vacuous

My fiance was vacuuming our room the other day. She accidental sucked up a
shoe lace. Normally, string type things get hung up on the belt drive.
Normally. Well, the string made it past the drive and all the way into the
blower. When the motor stalled, it took out both a secondary house breaker
and one of the main breakers in the box outside our house. Needless to
say, it took a while for us to hunt down that issue.

So yesterday, I set about to repair the dang vacuum. Allie watched as I
methodically took the vacuum apart, piece by piece until I had the blower
in two pieces.

At that point I let Allie have the fun of digging the string out from being
wrapped around the axial with scissors. I hate doing that, and she's
pretty good at it.

So then I reassembled the vacuum, with no left over parts. :) I plugged
it in and it ran great again.

Allie hasn't seen my mechanical skills too much, so she wasn't all that
sure if I could take the vacuum apart. Apparently the fact that I'm an
Engineer and I build devices for a living didn't register. Women are
funny like that. Quick to assume a guy can't do sumfin just cuz they
haven't seen it for themselves. I mean, it's fun to impress a woman, but a
little faith in the first place is nice too. This is a lovingly critical
comment about all the women in my life. :)


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Monday, July 09, 2007

Transformers 2

Transformers is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It was a great action flick full of battling machines. But it's not gadget porn. It's better, much like Jessica Alba never does full nudity but is the hottest women on the planet. This fill is kinda like the Jessica Alba of sci-fi movies. I went into this movie with some fairly high expectations, and I was actually surprised that it surpassed those.

The only enjoyment flaw in the movie is near the end in the final showdown. Because of the way the robots are made in the movie, the view might lose track of who's who in a couple of the battle scenes. Other than that, this movie is great. One particular point I enjoyed is that it has the best car chase scene I've seen in a movie in a very long time (with near perfect mix of pacing and excitement).

Now, here's the spoiler. There's seems to be a teaser trailer for Transformers 2 before the Transformer movie. Did anyone else catch that?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Economy America

It seems a lot of Americans really don't understand economy nearly as much as they've been told they do. Many seem to confuse economy with government, falsely believing that Free Market is intrinsic to Democracy. Of course, many Americans are under the false belief that America's economy is Free Market. America has a Mixed Economy based on Free Market principles, it does not have a pure Free Market.1

Although government and economy work together, one particular type of government does not require one particular type of economy. It is possible to have a free society yet have an economy based on the sun worship. That's not an ideal mix, but it's not outside the realm of possibilities.

Free Market has its place in our country. It is necessary to regulate that Free Market to prevent abuses. Anti-trust, monopolies, rigging or hording of necessary supplies are examples of possible abuses that hurt both the individual and the market overall. However, redundancies in a Free Market can also lead to inefficiencies. Examples of these are if a city privatizes services such as water piping, garbage collection, electricity routing, and other infrastructure services without a central contract giving one entity the sole right and authority to provide such services. For example, it is OK to have more than one source for water, but it is bad to allow one property to be serviced by 4 separate pipes that bring that water in from the outside. In such as case, the city is responsible to regulate infrastructure services efficiently to prevent wasteful redundancies that can drain the overall resources of the city.

More on this some other day. :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bad vision

So, I went into the eye doctor the other day to have my eyes checked. I've been noticing that over the past few years, they've degraded a bit. My vision degraded all the way down to 20/20 in one eye and "20/15" in the other. (I used quotes because I think the doctor just used a familiar term, as the normal correct term is 20/16.) Normal uncorrected human vision is actually 20/12 to 20/16. 20/20 is considered the low end of normal, but it is actually slightly off. This is what've been noticing. My eyes being slightly off. So, as it seems, I've just been spoiled with really good vision before, and now I just have good vision.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Hilton back to jail?

What a bum rap. I got to go against the main stream on this one. It seems ridicious to waste tax payer dollars to teach Paris Hilton a lesson. She is getting specially harsh treatment for what she's done in comparison to others (not famous people) who have done the exact same thing in the exact same way. The normal punishment for first time DUI offenders is house arrest. The normal punishment for someone driving on a suspended license is...get this...a ticket! Even with Paris' nose-thumbing to the law, 45 days or even the lesser 23 days in jail is hefty for this charges. Not only they, they choose to put her high security type prison cell? Normally (from my understanding) for "special" persons, they are put up at the "country clubs". She is totally getting shafted here in two ways. Ok, and who's complaining that house arrest isn't harsh enough? I've had a friend under house arrest for a DUI. Sure, it's not jail, but it's also no picinic either. It's not getting off easy by any means. She is getting special treatment; it's especially harsh! This is more an example of a judge who's trying to prove a pointless point, rather than a rich girl getting away with something.
That said, I do believe she does have to pay for her crimes, but that punishment should be in line with punishments handed down to her peers and normal folks for the same charges and behavior.

Miriam's Non-birthday

I took Miriam out for a one-on-one dinner in downtown Mountain View last Friday. We don't get to spend quality time with each other much these days. She's been busy with her daughter and her b/f and her new job. In fact, she's been quite the stranger recently. Well, anyway, we met up at Zucca's in the mid-afternoon, but didn't stay long since the rest'rant she really wanted to go to was turned out to be open, Fiesta Del Mar Too.
Dinner was good and we did do some catching up. We are starting to get back to normal, one step at a time. I know we aren't going to have a lot of personal time from here on out, but it's always feels good when we do, and we are getting more time with each other in group, couplish activities. ...looking forward to the official non-birthday gathering (back in Mountain View) on Saturday. It's non-birthday cuz she's now in her late 20's, and the looming 3-0 is knocking on the door. She's trying not to count the years. :)