August 27, 2006

Punch You in Your Face

Whenever I get really angry or frustrated, I just want to "Punch someone in his/her face." Of course, I can't literally do that because it will probably bring me to a jail cell immediately. There are many times that when I see someone saying something irresponsible or inconsiderate, I just want to "punch him in his face." I had joking around my ex-colleagues at Google that I wanted to "punch them in his face." Sometimes, the person that I want to punch has nothing to do with the incident, I just want to release my anger before it gets built up inside me.

Anyway, I was at Bloomingdale's yesterday and I came across a T-shirt in the sales rack that truly reflects my feelings. I basically want to wear it every day to warn people that I want to punch them in their face if they act selfish. You can actually go to the company's website at to order many creatively designed shirts from a number of budding designers. Take a look at the site and you will end up finding something that you really like!

One Hour Before You Die

If you knew that you were going to die in the next hour or so, who would you call and what would you say to the party on the other side of the phone?

Despite the fact that it's a rhetorical question, many of us never give a second thought when we meet someone in-person or talk to someone on the phone. How could you be 100% sure that that won't be the last time you would ever speak to the person? I am not trying to be a pessimist but am merely trying to point out the reality that nothing is for certain in our world. Many of us take things and people around us for granted and forget to be thankful for little things happen in their life or love each person around them.

Tonight, I took the chance to pick up the original A&E channel movie, Flight 93, which is a reconstruction of the event happened on UA 93 on September 11, 2001. I couldn't help crying when I watched the movie and listened to the conversations between the passengers and their families. The passengers knew that they were going to die. They were making their last call to talk to someone that they loved dearly. Some of them called their parents, while some called their significant others. Imagine if you were on the plane, who would you call and what would you tell your loved one?

The movie makes me think more about what I want in life and what I want to achieve. I am not hero but I do want to make a significant and positive impact of people's lives. I want people to learn how to value and treasure every thing, every person they have in their lives. Somehow I find that this core value is missing in my life. I wish there were more that I could do to help the people around me. I want everyone around me to know that they have a purpose on earth and they do many a significant impact on me, no matter how trivial that is. It can be a single laugh in the office or a stupid thing we do together.

I want to dedicate this post to the loving friends and families that I have in my life. They are all heroes in my life.

Also, if you have a chance, I'd encourage you to read this excellent website which details the life of each person on Flight 93. I hope everyone of the victim's families will know that we are still moaning with them five years after the event.

August 23, 2006

Death of My Friends

Have you ever wondered how you would feel if your friends around you suddenly passed away? Would you regret something that you did or didn't do in his/her life? Somehow I question myself each year as I grow older whether I actually love and treasure the people around me, without taking everything for granted. That's why I want people around me to be happy, to love one another, and to provide support to them if needed.

Benji Cantwell
Two years ago on August 22, a friend of mine, who was a devoted Christian, passed away in a motorcycle accident. It's hard to believe that it's been two years since Benji Cantwell left his band and his group of fans behind. Despite the fact that I know for sure that he is in better hands now, I still feel very sad and depressed about his death. I met Benji back in March 2004 when I was working out at the 24-hr fitness in Mountain View. He invited me to attend his church in Redwood City on Sunday and I gladly accepted. Somehow I was surprised to learn that most of the church members are not the typical wealthy white Christians you see in many Churches around Palo Alto. Many of them are actually Hispanic immigrants or Christians with a more "typical" or "average" American lifestyle. I enjoyed the diversity of the group and I started going to the weekly bible study held by Benji's brother, Josh Cantwell.

I really learned a lot during the time I spent with the Cantwell family. They are such a devoted, loving family. Benji had a great passion to use his music to spread the gospel to the people around him, though he was also a fun and compassionate person. I helped out Benji briefly during the preparation of his 2nd major CD release as he was gearing up to attend professional photoshoot and going to LA to do the mixing and recording. However, I became too busy and too involved in my own emotional affairs that I didn't put in as much effort as I wish. The last time I heard from him was in July when he told me that he just released his 2nd album and bought a new motorbike. He even sent me a picture of it. I was so happy to listen to the CD and ended up getting a few copies for my friends.

Well, even though Benji was gone, we can still help out his ministries by going to . You can purchase his CDs and see his performance! Most importantly, I encourage you to donate to his ministries. I know that's what Benji really wanted in his life. He wanted to have a positive impact on the people around him. I was the fortunate one to get to know him during his 25 years on earth.

Ng Kar-Yue
Ng Kar-Yue, a high school friend of mine from Hong Kong, passed away this March because of heart failure. Despite being in the States, a group of our high school buddies contributed to send a bouquet of flowers to the funeral home where the memorial service took place. I was touched but happy that all of our high school buddies showed some sort of support together to "celebrate" his life even though we were thousands of miles away.

I knew Kar-Yue when I was in Secondary two (equivalent of the eighth-grade in US). When I looked at the time I spent at Queen's College (my middle and high school), I realized that I actually was never in the same class with Kar-Yue. We happened to know each other pretty well through our common friends including Albert Hsu and Manfred Lam. We ended up hanging out quite a bit when I was at Queen's College and after I returned from North Carolina in 1999. I still kept the book that Kar-Yue gave me when I was about to leave Hong Kong in August 1995 to start my undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After I became a Christian and returned to Hong Kong in 1999, Kar-Yue invited me to attend his church a few times and I went along once to check it out.

Kar-Yue is and will ever be a role-model of my life. Despite his heart conditions, he was very devoted in serving God in any ways he could. After he graduated from college, he worked in a community center to help immigrant kids. He spent endless hours in the center to encourage and educate the kids to make sure that they felt loved by someone. He took them out to movies, which many of the immigrant kids couldn't even afford. I read his website and learned so much how the work he did on each and every one of the kid in the center. Trust me, I don't understand how someone could be so selfless in helping other people. He gave more than 100% to the kids even thought it was just a job that he was having at the community center.

Everyone of us from high school has long known that Kar-Yue had a heart condition. However, he did very well in school and had never used his medical condition as an excuse for not participating in various activities. He worked hard at school and spent time outside school in many activities organized by the Christian organizations on campus. Just when all of us thought that he was doing excellent, he started getting ill again in December. No one would have predicted that this time, the hospital stay would be longer than before. I heard from my high school friends that during his funeral. The funeral hall was completed jam-packed with people. It showed that during his brief time on earth, he had a significant impact in changing the course of many people. Kar-Yue, I wish you well in Heaven.

Matt Cress

The death of my college friend, Matt Cress, was a big blow in my life. Matt passed away this July in the hospital. After a battle with cancer and another battle with mental illness, Matt finally decided to end his life on earth. I was disheartened when I heard this news from Jason Lutz, my best buddy in college. I met Matt my junior year in college when both of us were involved in the Campus Crusade for Christ. A group of us including Matt went on to the Big Break in Panama City Beach in March 1998. Matt was sharing his stories about his battle with cancer and how he fought and won the war. It was a very touch and impressive life story. However, behind the happy face, no one knew that he was battling another war with his own mind. During the times that we hanged out, none of us really felt any different or strange about Matt. He was always very cheerful and positive in groups. You can read more about Matt's life on his girlfriend's myspace website.

I was disheartened when I learned about his suicide. After reading his suicide letter, I feel that I understand the pain he had been through all the years. I don't want to go into details about it on my post here but if you ask, I am more than happy to share with you. I couldn't help crying for a few days when I read and re-read his note. I feel the pain, the angry, the frustration, the loss of hope, and the despair within in words. I wish I had known about it. I wish people would have asked. I wish he would have shared it with us before his suicide. I wish....

Online Dating Facts

With the advent of the Internet technologies, you probably have experienced some random people trying to add you as a friend on your myspace or thefacebook account. You probably think that you are so hot that everyone is going after you. You start wondering why the girls or boys around you are not interested in you and thinking that you are in the wrong place and the wrong time to find a partner.

In addition to the social network sites, there are plenty of dating websites catering for your special taste. The ones that are well-known include,, and Yahoo Personals. Okay, I can honestly confess to you that I have never signed up an account with any dating websites, though I was tempted to do so in many occasions, especially why I am sitting at home alone on a quiet Friday night.

According to a survey on dating and Internet use conducted by the PEW Internet and American Life Project, here are some interesting findings (Carolina Alumni, p.106, July/August edition):

Of the 10 million adult Internet users who are single and seeking a romantic partner, 74% have used the Internet in their quest and 37% have used a dating website. Other online activities reported include searching for information about prospective dates, exchanging e-mail or instant messages with prospective dates, maintaining a long-distance relationship and breaking up!

1) 18% of singles age 18-29 use online dating services; they are more likely than any other age group to do so.

2) 22% of singles age 18-29 say they are looking for a romantic partner. The rest are evenly split between those who say they aren't looking and those who are in committed relationships.

3) 17% of adults who have used online dating services say they have entered a long-term relationship with or married someone they met through an online dating service.

4) 64% of online daters think online dating helps find a better match because it helps a person meet more people.

5) 61% of online adults do no think online daters are desperate; 29% do. Younger users generally are more likely to have a favorable opinion of online dating.

6) 55% of adults who are single and looking say that it's difficult to meet people where they live.

7) 66% of Internet users think online dating is dangerous because it involves putting personal information online.

8) In 2004, dating web sites created more revenue than any other paid online content!

Okay, should I start a dating website or should I start using one?
Drop me a comment and let me know what you think.

August 22, 2006

Jeff Conkey and Google AdSense

Just when I thought I had known everything about Google AdSense after being there for a few months, I realized that I didn't even know how to implement my ad code correctly and optimize my site. My ex-colleague, Jeff Conkey, recently published a post on Inside AdSense blog to teach us how to optimize our site. It is so cool to see him on AdSense blog. He actually was the one who initially referred me to work in AdSense. We worked together as Advertising Sales Executive for the Stanford Directory back in 2004.

By the way, all the ladies out there, if you want to contact Jeff, you have to go through me. Send me an email and I will see whether you can pass the initial screening. Just for your information, I do accept bribes.

August 21, 2006

Bowling 106

Steve, Chris, and I were wandering around on Saturday night after our dinner at Chopstix in Mountain View. We ended up spending half an hour outside the Starbucks next door reading the Saturday edition of Wall Street Journal. Steve got bored sitting down watching Chris smoke and me reading the newspaper and decided to pick up the phone and called Ben. Ben was about to go to bed in Penn when he called. We ended up chatting with him for a little bit and were glad to know that he had recovered from his rashes and fever. He told us that he is going to start school in a week or so. For some reason, I start missing school this week. I feel that I have not really learned anything new since I stopped taking classes in January.

After a while, I proposed that we went bowling. We end up going to Palo Alto Bowl and had a great time there. It was US$15 for all you can bowl till 10:30p.m. We ended up finished 3 games or so. Steve, Chris, and I each won a game. I was so happy that for the first time in my life, I scored over 100 in bowling. I ended up getting a 106!!! I actually quite like bowling but I never have a chance to really practice it. Maybe I should start going to the bowling alley more often from now on.

Snakes on a Plane

Yes, I did it. Before you laugh at me, I want to confess that I think Snakes on a Plane is going to be best movie this summer. Trust me, how could you possibly find a movie which is full of excitement, romance, violence, and nudity?

I wasn't a Snakes on a Plane junkie at all before I watched the movie on its opening day. I was aware of the publicity that was going around the web but I basically just ignored it. On Friday, one of my colleagues wore a Snakes on a Plane t-shirt and has a Snakes on a Plane sticker on his laptop cover. I was very interested in finding out how the word-of-mouth marketing would play out in theatres. Throughout the day, my Google ex-colleagues kept messaging me and asking me whether I got a voice mail from Samuel L. Jackson. I didn't realize what they were talking about until I went to its website and figured out that it was another marketing trick to attract moviegoers.

Anyway, Alton wanted to see the movie with his friends and I decided to go with him. It was so much fun. Throughout the movie, I just couldn't help laughing, screaming, and yelling. The movie is just brilliant! It's way better than Superman Begins.

Normally, I would probably not go to see a movie with so much hype. Till today, I still haven't seen Pirates of the Caribbean I and II. I didn't watch the Blair Witch Project until it was released in DVD for a year or so. That movie was so stupid that I still think it's a complete waste of my time and money!

So, why Snakes on a Plane is so good? Take a look at the pictures below. They may give you a clue. Also, remember, I am a snake (according to the Chinese horoscope).

It's time for you to watch the Snakes on a Plane!

Snake came and Soma is gone!

Drano didn't help and a plunger was no use. So, how did I resolve the problem? Yes, I bought a snake. Yes, Soma was gone after that. Snakes on a plane is showing in three days. Did I buy a snake from pet shop to get rid of Soma?

Before I get into my story, I have to tell you that gone three days without using my toilet and I start feeling the pain in my vein. I sent a message to my friend on AIM at work and asked for help. He is a web designer so I am sure he knows how to navigate the web to find some relevant information to help me resolve the issue.

According to numerous blog postings, it's not uncommon that people dump cat litter into the toilet. What ended up happening is most people have to call a plumber to declog it. Some of them even had to replace the entire toilet. The cat litter is usually made of sand or clay-like substance. Therefore, when it interacts with water or cat's pee, it turns into a clay-like paste and becomes very sticky. That's how people can scoop out the cat litter from the box.

Let's get back to the snake. It's not Samuel L. Jackson. It's not a Cobra. It's something called a snake that you got from Home Depot to declog your toilet. I can't really describe it because it does kind of look like a metal snake with a handle.

August 20, 2006

My Toilet is Clogged - Part II

Some of my ex-colleagues at Google are very interested in knowing the cat that causes all the chaos in my house. Yes, I finally decided to take some pictures of "the" cat, Soma. She was actually not too shy from the camera or afraid of the flashes from my camera. She basically just sat still in the TV box inside my closet. That's her favorite hiding place. I think she even slept in there during the day.

Many of you are curious to know how I could possibly go on three days without having a functional bathroom. As I told you in my previous post, I couldn't call the landlord because I am not supposed to have any pet in my apartment. I thought Drano would help but obviously that didn't work. After pouring two bottles of Drano in the toilet, it was still clogged and I was about to die from the fumes evaporated from the toilet bowl.

Basically from Monday to Wednesday, I could only pee in the toilet. I had to make sure that I won't pee too much. Otherwise, the water would overflow again. After each pee, I had to carefully control the water valve of the toilet to make sure that the water flowed slowly to the toilet bowl. Of course, I couldn't really go poo poo at all. Otherwise, my bathroom would become another New Orleans and it probably would need a FEMA rescue team to find me.

What did you do when you needed to poo poo at 3 in the morning but your toilet was not working? I was prepared enough to imagine all possible scenario before going to bed on Sunday night. Here was my game plan:

1) Went Poo Poo at work. I was at work from 9 to 6 so hopefully I could go poo poo during that time.
2) Went to Happy Donuts to go poo poo at night. Since they open 24 hours and there's one on El Camino Real, I could go there in the middle of night if I really had to. All the fast food places closed at 2:00a.m. and I couldn't really climb through the drive-through to go poo poo inside.

Anyway, I survived. I am still alive and do not constipate!

August 16, 2006

Okay..My toilet is clogged!

I have to confess that I made a very stupid mistake on Sunday night. I was talking on the phone with my best friend from Hong Kong while I was cleaning up my bathroom. I was trying to clean up the cat litter box. (I don't actually have a cat. My friend went to Montreal and I am cat-sitting for 10 days.) I got too excited and did not think twice by simply pouring all the cat litter in the toilet. Well, needless to say, the toilet got clogged! You know, the cat litter is a pretty darn messy thing. Once it interacts with water, it forms a paste-like substance. If you follow the directions, you can simply scoop out the cat urine and poos from the litter box. Of course, I did not and the toilet ended up clogging. The water kept running from the toilet and flooded my bathroom floor. I ended up staying up till 4 in the morning to dry the floor and clean up the mess. It was a nightmare!

You must be curious why my toilet still clogs. After the flooding, I rushed to Safeway to buy a plunger and a big bottle of Draino Max Strength and hoped that it would help resolve the problem. Well, at one point, I think I poured too much Draino in the toilet and I was inhaling the ammonia. I was choking to death and thought that I was about to start bleeding from my nose and ears!

At this very moment, my toilet is under control but I can't really call the management to fix it under the cat is gone. I am praying that I don't have to stay up all night again to clean up the bathroom!

August 15, 2006

How to Create a Pleasant Working Environment

I was reading the June edition of Entrepreneur and came across a very interesting article called One Big Family and it mentions how important it is to create a pleasant work environment. Surprisingly enough, many employees will trade a nice work environment with higher salaries. I think that may be the reason why so many Google employees are very happy at work.

Here are some interesting statistics:
"Employees' biggest pet peeves"
44% Condescending tones
37% Public reprimands at work
34% Micromanaging
32% Loud talkers --- okay, maybe I was too loud!
30% Cell phone ringing
22% Use of speakerphones in public areas
11% Engaging in personal conversations
9% Using PDAs during meetings

Source: Randstad

August 11, 2006

I love Sammi!

Okay, I am obsessed with Sammi. Many of you have no idea who Sammi is. Today, I had to drive 20 minutes during my lunch time to see her. Yes, you are right. It's the SAMMI, David Jone's brother's dog. I love the dog. She is so cute and responsive. I always want a dog but I don't think I can take good care of it. I don't think I can take good care of myself. So, where is my Audrey?

My friend decided to leave his cat to me while he and his family is away for a conference in Montreal. Soma-the-cat used to be a crazy psycho cat who ran away whenever you approached her. Now, after staying with me for two days. She is in love with me. She is constantly walking around me and seeking my attention. Fortunately, I used to have a cat when I was an undergraduate at Carolina so I have some ideas to take care of her. Soma will be with me for 8 more days. Hopefully, she will stop meowing so that I can get a good night of sleep!

Let me confess it one more time! I love you Sammi!

In Search for Audrey!

Well, not exactly. First, I don't have an Audrey in my mind now that I want to go after. I was reading an email from my ex colleague and he mentioned that Ben should start a blogger site titled "In Search for Audrey." To help him out a bit, I did my research on Men's Health magazine (June edition) and found out the best place for Ben to look for his Audrey, other than watching Amelie 20000 times.

(A) What we think are the best ways to meet a mate:

1. Through friends such as Steve Matthews or Alton
2. By chance
3. At a party, bar, or club (here you go, Chris)
4. Online (that's me)
5. At work (oh yeah... Steve, you know what I mean)

(B) In reality, this is how people find their mates:

1. 34% through friends
2. 17% by chance
3. 15 % at a party, bar, or club
4. 3% online
5. 19% at WORK!!!

From my experience, I think meeting your potential girls at work is the best way to go. You see the girl every day and you can do a lot of observations before you make your move. The best thing is that there's always a perfect wing man at work for you. In case of Steve, I think I will take the honor! :)

August 10, 2006

I am psychologically exhausted!

I was debating whether I should enter a blog for today or not. It's 2:49 a.m. in the morning and I am very psychologically exhausted. I just went to Safeway about half an hour ago to pick up some bottled water and grocery. I know it's a bit irrational to go to the supermarket in early morning. I just wanted to take a breathe and drove around a little bit. I wanted to clear my thoughts and my mind. I just wanted some fresh air.

Some of you know that a lot of things happened lately at my job. I just want to thank you for listening to my grievance. I guess I just need to take it easy and learn to take everything as a grain of salt.

I am looking forward to Thursday because I get to have lunch at Google and see Sammi. Sammi is David Jones' s brother's dog. She is so adorable and I just can't resist playing with her.

I also discovered last night that I am pretty dumb while I was reading a book called 101 things to learn. I realized that I don't know how to read musical notes, play chess (I know how to play Chinese chess), and knit (yes, I think it's a good skill to learn.). I am also terrible at riding a bike. Trust me, I think I can fall off my bike at any time. I did not get a chance to learn how to ride a bike until about a year ago. Anyway, I guess I should practice more often.

August 07, 2006

The Best Supplements For Men

I was reading an article titled "The Best Supplements for Men" in the July/August edition of Men's Health. I want to share some information that I think it's relatively useful for all of us.

(1) High cholesterol --> Plant stanols
(2) The 3 o'clock slump --> Ginkgo biloba
(3) Kenn pain --> Glucosamine plus chondroitin
(4) The flu --> Elderberry extract
(5) A family history of colon cancer --> Vitamin D
(6) Erectile dysfunction --> Korean red Panaz ginseng
(7) An expaning midsection --> Green tea
(8) Elevated prostate-cancer risk --> Selenium
(9) Cravings --> Chromium picolinate
(10) Depression --> Fish oil
(11) Fertility problems --> L-carnitine
(12) Migraines --> Feverfew
(13) Sleepless nights --> Timed-release melatonin
(14) Back pain --> White willow bark
(15) Acne --> Zinc gluconate
(16) Fatigue --> Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q10)
(17) Allergies --> Butterbur

Ben Haskell is Gone!

Yesterday night, a very good ex-colleague of mine at Google was leaving us to go to Carnegie Mellon University for a Master degree. Yes, that guy is Ben Haskell. I met him a few months ago when I was still working for Google AdSense. He just moved from Princeton, NJ to start the job as an AdSense coordinator. When I first met this guy, I thought how nerdy and dorky he was. He was sitting right next to me, taking over Christina's space. I was not happy at all that the space was replaced by a guy!

However, I got to know him when I became his buddy for bin approvals and email training. I was shocked by how smart that little guy was. He could basically memorize everything in the split of a second. Not only did I feel very old but I also felt very stupid sitting next to him. Ben is way smarter than many people I have encountered at Stanford.

The funny thing is that you can't really tell how sharp he is until you actually work with him. He is very humble and rarely tries to impress people by showing off his computer and programming skills. I was basically asking him 20 times a day whether I should buy a THINKPAD or Mac Book. Ben, as you may have known, I ended up getting a THINKPAD. Maybe you can think about buying me a Linux laptop for Christmas.

To say farewell to Ben, Steven and Chris held a party for him on Friday night. It was too bad that I was in a bad mood and forgot to take a picture of him covered in red duct tape! I am sure one of us must have the pictures in our cameras.

To have our "final" dinner with Ben, Steve, Chris, Kento, and I took him to a Thai restaurant on Castro Street in Mountain View. I was planning to take him to a nice restaurant on Santana Row in San Jose but Mr. Ben ran out of time packing his belongings. So, we settled for something in Mountain View. Ben ordered Pad Thai. Yes, we will all remember that he likes Pad Thai a lot. The food was decent but Kento and Steve thought that the green curry was too spicy. Anyway, we finished at around 8:10p.m. and drove Ben back to his place. It was hard saying goodbye to a great friend. I know for sure that he has a better future ahead of him in CMU. Here are the pictures we took during the dinner. Enjoy!

Ben, we'll miss you! Have a safe trip home!

Yes, I Shaved My Head!

I can't believe it's almost mid-August and I felt like that I have done nothing since June. Well, I was not feeling too well this morning so I called in sick. I think I am coming down with a flu or cold. It's weird because the weather is so good these days that it doesn't make any sense for me to get sick or feel tired.

Since so many negative events happened in the past two weeks, I feel like that I need to make a drastic change in my life. After some thoughts, I decided to shave my head. I stomped into SuperCuts on El Camino Real in Mountain View and asked the "stylist" to shave my head. She was shocked because I have been there in the past few years and I have never asked her to shave my head. Initially, I asked for a #2 but she said let's do it bit by bit so that I won't regret it!

Have I regretted anything in my life? Yes, I have done way too many things that I wish I had thought twice before I did them. But if you know me, I am not the kind of person who would think twice for a haircut. So, I did it! The stylish started with a #6 but I was very dissatisfied. So, she moved down the number and got it down to #3. I was going to go shorter but I realized that I am getting a little bit bored in the front. I guess Mr. M came to visit me way too early in my life. If you want to see how I look now, wait no more! You can laugh as hard as you want!