Let's see, start with [livejournal.com profile] felisblanco I've learned how to cross post between LiveJournal and DreamWidth.  This is my test to see if I can get it to work.  (ETA: it worked for the most part.  The <lj user> tag didn't work.  Since I have different mood theme at DW, it didn't work either)

Then it was the superfantastilicious [livejournal.com profile] evening_spirit who gave me valuable pointers on Photoshop usage.

Last but not least, [livejournal.com profile] layne67 reminded me it's the International Children's Day today!  I almost forgot about it after living in the U.S. for so long.  I remember back when I was a child, it was such a big deal 'coz that was the day I got to wear new clothes, and it usually was the first day in the year when I was allowed to wear a skirt! :p

To all you lovelies above, THANK YOU! *hugs*

Now, a little blurb about the movie I saw last night.  My girlfriend and her whole family showed up at my door in the evening yesterday and dragged us to the movie theater.  The two big boys all wanted to see T4.  I'm not exactly a Terminator fan, but I'm recently intrigued by TSSC.  Plus there's a bit of personal history involved:  on my honeymoon years ago, hubby dragged me to the theater to watch T2 (while we were in Hawaii no less).  How "romantic" huh? *eye roll*

My thougts on Terminator: Salvation )

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As [profile] i_o_r_h_a_e_l shared her Supernatural experience at her journal a couple of days ago, I mentioned to her my friend and I also had what some might call a "supernatural" experience years ago, while we were still in college.

The infamous incident was so bizarre and ended up involving several of our friends that we still talk about it from time to time.

The story is rather long.  If you bear with me through the whole ordeal, you can judge for yourself whether it's a mere coincidence, fueled by the power of suggestion; or if it is indeed paranormal.  Here it goes:

A series of unfortunate events... )

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(Photo shared on twitterpic, click to enlarge)

Went to school's Trident Room (Bar & Lounge) last night for dinner. After the meal, my son stepped up to the pool table and started playing around.

Uhm, when did he learn how to do this?!  He looked pretty good at it (in posture), well to me anyway :p.

For that matter, when did he grow so big?! o.O  It seemed it was only yesterday he was a little boy.  Not that he is really big nowadays, but he's definitely not a baby any more. :)

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xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (lol - stop!)
( Apr. 17th, 2009 12:13 pm)
Saw a Twitter post from ProgGrrl (thank you [livejournal.com profile] asta77 for pointing me to Twitter): apparently Ron Moore made a cameo appearance on CSI last night, shouting (what else):  YOU SUCK!

Courtesy of ProgGrrl:


 

Also, [livejournal.com profile] triniroslin15 made a post detailing other BSG alums' cameos as well (Grace Park was in the middle of the picture, but Ron's head later obscured her).

I had no idea Bradley Thompson and David Weedle wrote this CSI episode.  I was actually watching it last night.  Well, sort of (my attention was elsewhere reading a Supernatural fanfic).  So I missed most of the show except the conversation regarding what is Scifi (Mr. Ed), and what is Fantasy (traveling faster than the speed of light).  Now I must hunt down this episode, damn it!

xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (lee smirk)
( Mar. 27th, 2009 05:37 pm)
Went to my local Borders bookstore to get the latest Supernatural Magazine.  As I walked pass the bookshelves, my eyes caught the cover of a paperback book:


Whoa! Am I seeing things?!  Please tell me THAT is not a likeness of Jamie Bamber there?! :-O

BTW I bought the book (on the sole count of the cover art).  Am pretty sure it's a new low for me...  :p

My son's nose got hit by a baseball yesterday, hard.  Took him to see his doctor this morning.  The pediatrician ordered an x-ray to make sure nothing is broken.  Fine.  I asked him to write the request for the hospital that is on my insurance's Preferred list.  Makes sense right?

We made our way to the hospital's lab.  Only when checking in, the nurse at the counter told me the doctor didn't write down his diagnosis, and they can't take x-ray without it.  Unfortunately it was around noon and the doctor's office was closed for lunch.  She said we had to come back another time.  This is ridiculous!  I don't want to come back another time.  Why is this so complicated?!  The kid got hit on the nose, his doctor can't make a final diagnose until he sees the x-ray!

After arguing for a few minutes, another nurse relented.  She decided to write down "trauma" as the diagnosis so that they can have the technician take the damn pictures.

Great!

That's when the first nurse took out another piece of paper:  "You do know that although the hospital is on your insurance's preferred list, the x-ray lab isn't, don't you?"

"What?  How come the hospital is preferred, but its lab isn't?!"

"Well, actually the lab is preferred also.  It's just the Radiologist whose going to read the x-ray isn't!"

"Huh?!" #@?!

What am I gonna do at this point?!  Go to a different lab?  There's no guarantee the same situation won't happen again.  So I suck up and paid extra money to get the x-ray taken.

Good thing the doctor confirmed later in the afternoon that nothing is broken.  Hooray!  Really hate to get sick in this country.

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xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (airhead)
( Feb. 23rd, 2009 01:58 am)
Uhm, changed my banner again.

I can't quite get the Dean/Lee graphics to mix well together. So I decided to hell with it, and made an animated gif instead. :p

I'm a little nervous about the file size.  It's almost 3 times the still banner.  Hope this is not going to be a big problem.  Oh well, probably going to change it again soon...

ETA:  I also cheated by cropping one of my favorite wallpapers (Bastille Day) made by [livejournal.com profile] stilettos81.  Hope you don't mind girl!
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xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (catching up)
( Feb. 15th, 2009 10:45 am)
This is embarrassingly late.  As I was updating my profile, I noticed someone has sent me a virtual gift! {{{SQUEE}}}

I wish I had seen it sooner.  I wish I had tended to my LJ more frequently.

As it is, this still made my day!  So THANK YOU, whoever that was.  I feel loved. *g*

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xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (unwind)
( Nov. 5th, 2008 10:09 pm)
Barack Obama was elected President last night!

No need to say history was made, here is a glimpse:  this morning I stopped by Starbucks on the way to work.  Beside the usual cup of coffee, I wanted to grab a copy of The New York Times.  I normally get my news on the internet, but today I wanted to hold them in my hands and keep them for posterity.  To my surprise, I was met by an empty news shelf.  At 8:30 am, the newspapers were all gone.  So I went to another coffee house, and another...  The story was the same.  I even went to Borders and searched newspaper dispensers around town.  Not only The New York Times were sold out, so were Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicles...  It's as if everyone knew and wanted to capture and preserve the historic day that was Today!
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xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (heart coffee)
( Jul. 15th, 2008 11:33 am)
It's a little weird to recap my week on a Tuesday.  But a couple of things have happened in the past 7 days, I feel I ought to jot them down.

It was exactly a week ago on a Tuesday, I met a lovely young couple at a friend's house.  Nick is my friend's brother-in-law.  He and his wife Audrey were on their way to Zambia to work as international staff for FORGE, a US based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) that works with refugees.  Through our chat, I learned Nick would spend most of his time over at the refugee camp, managing programs there, while Audrey would be based in Lusaka, the capital, working with the refugee students who are sponsored by the organization to attend University there.  Needless to say, I was quite impressed by this amazing couple, and a little envious of their youth and energy.  That night, Audrey gave me the link to her blog site, Nick and Audrey in Zambia, with the promise that they would update it with news of their adventure.  Since then, I learned from her blog they had arrived Lusaka safely.  Anyway, I wish them a happy and rewarding time in the foreign land.

Later in the week, I got a rather lucky break.  I found out (the cheapest) airfare to Beijing had actually dropped a little as the Olympics draws near.  Yes, [profile] asta77, it was just as you predicted it! ;)  Thanks to her, I kept on checking the prices (on kayak.com).  So as of now, Beijing, here I come!!!  I'm so excited.  I don't actually care about seeing any of the games, I'm just happy I get to see [profile] stilettos81 in a couple of weeks.  The last time I saw her was at DragonCon a year ago!

Speaking of the "poor" girl, I found out she hasn't seen any of the BSG Season 4 episodes yet!  She had been doing her best to stay unspoiled.  It must be hard.  I know I couldn't do it, I'd peek at the spoilers in no time!  So for the rest of the week, I spent my entire free time (and not-so-free time) working on cutting her the DVDs I recorded.  The trouble was, I missed taping 4.07 Guess What's Coming to Dinner.  But I found and downloaded the episode online in AVI format.  I then converted it into DVD format (NTSC) using AVS Converter6.  Strangely, the DVD plays fine using ONE of my DVD players at home, but not the other!  What gives?!

Adding to my dismay, my home was "attacked" by ants on Sunday!  Granted, it was entirely my fault for leaving some left-over food (in a container) on the kitchen counter overnight.  The next morning, when I wandered into the kitchen, I saw black ants crawling all over my snowy white countertop!  Yeeeeek!  There were so many of them!  I still shudder when I think about it.  So I cleaned, cleaned, and killed, squashed the tiny insects with paper towels.  I don't care how "cute" and "humanized" they were depicted in the movie Antz, there is no way I'm going to "coexist" with anything that crawls.  ::shivers::  So I laid out ant baits in the "strategic" spots, hoping the drones would carry the poison back to kill the queens.  The thing is, I really don't know how useful these baits are.  I saw the ants merely diverted their ways around the blasted things.  But it must've worked because by evening time, the ants were mostly disappeared.  On the other hand, it could just be they didn't bother to come out when there's no more food to entice them.  Here's hoping they don't make a come-back, ever.

Let's see, what else?  Oh yeah, I finally convinced a friend of mine to start blogging on livejournal. (yay!)  First entry, he puts in his 2 cents on Tibet.  It's an interesting look at the issue from the perspective of a Chinese.

Anyhow, it's already two days into another week, and I'm swamped by the work that needs to be done... 
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xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (father)
( Jul. 6th, 2008 02:32 am)
My son turned 9 today! Actually it should be yesterday since it's already 2 o'clock in the morning.

Anyway, I was all sentimental during his birthday party.  To think, another 9 years, he would be off to college!  Eeeeek!

What can I say -- I'm having a worst case of "proud parent" syndrome, and decide to post a little clip of him playing piano on this special day. It's the song from the opening credits of his favorite movie Pirates of the Caribbean:


The actual link is here.
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It was only a short while ago I mentioned earthquake at my journal.  I was worried about the prospect of California getting hit by a 6.7 in the next 30 years.

Little did I know six days later, I would sit in front of my computer, crying over the lives lost due to the massive earthquake in China.

Goodness, a 7.9 magnitude on the Richter scale!

The last devastating one happened in China I recall was 1976's Tangshan earthquake.  Back then, over a quarter of a million people died in the disaster.  That was a 7.5 magnitude.

I remember all those years ago, as a kid living in Shanghai, when the news of the earthquake unfolded, I was deeply affected by the fact thousands of children lost their parents.  Today, it's the news of those 1000 students and teachers trapped or killed in the collapsed school that really got me...

Even though I don't personally know anyone living in the disaster area, my thoughts are with the Chinese people right now.

p.s. I do have a good friend who came from Sichuan province.  She has relatives still living in the provincial capital Chengdu.  The last I heard (yesterday), they were unable to get in touch with their relatives.  I hope their loved ones are safe...

ETA:  Talked to my friend today (Wednesday) and found out they had gotten in touch with their family and friends back in Chengdu.  Thank goodness everyone they know was okay!

This is slightly OT, and a bit self-centered, but as I read the news regarding the trapped/killed students from the collapsed Juyuan Middle School, my thoughts were shifted a bit to my son and his school:

The news segment suggested the school building was subpar as the neighboring buildings suffered relatively small damage.

But what does that have to do with my son and his school?

See, my son currently attends International School of Monterey, a public charter school from K to 8th grade.  He *loves* his school -- he told me so just the other day.  About a month ago, the school was given a 90-Day notice by the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) that it should move to another campus (Hayes Park) soon.

The thing is, Hayes Park campus is substandard.  Many improvements are needed to bring the facility to meet the California codes.  I've heard the school official say there's no way these improvements can be done in 90 days.

The school is actively fighting the move.  However, just yesterday the local newspaper reported (erroneously) that the school IS preparing to move.

As a parent, I'm outraged!
 
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Saw a "News from Barbara Boxer, US Senator from California" blurb in my inbox today.  It says California has 99% chance of having a magnitude of 6.7 or larger earthquake within the next 30 years.

Apparently, there's a new United States Geological Survey (USGS) report published recently. The summary of the report and the full report (with comprehensive maps) listed the most likely affected area.

In a gist, the following is the excerpt from the summary report:
The probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake over the next 30 years striking the greater Los Angeles area is 67%, and in the San Francisco Bay Area it is 63%, similar to previous Bay Area estimates. For the entire California region, the fault with the highest probability of generating at least one magnitude 6.7 quake or larger is the southern San Andreas (59% in the next 30 years).

For northern California, the most likely source of such earthquakes is the Hayward-Rodgers Creek Fault (31% in the next 30 years). Such quakes can be deadly, as shown by the 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta and the 1994 magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquakes.
Am I worried?  Yeah, sure.  Even though my area isn't named as the epicenter, it's close enough.  But am I going to move?  Certainly not because of that!  But I do hope the house for which I'm slaving to pay the mortgage will be left standing after the BIG one blows over... Heh.
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Yay!  I did 9 Miler today!

I timed a little over 1 hour and 57 minutes, or roughly 13 minutes per mile.

Pretty lousy actually.  But I'm happy I finished it.  And under 2 hours (I thought it was going to take me at least 3).

My knee was injured couple of months ago while skiing.  I didn't even think I'd be able to do this.  But I did it, and now I feel good!

Marathon next year?!

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So it begins. Today is the Spring Festival in China (actually last night since the time zone difference).  It's the year of Rat for us.

And it's the start of another zodiac cycle. Hehe, for such a small animal, Rat is the one that "leads" the pack!

But most importantly, this new year is special because it coincides with [profile] stilettos81's birthday!

So,  [profile] stilettos81 :-)
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Just got back from the most eventful ski trip we had up to date.

Read more... ) 
xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (cylon six)
( Oct. 5th, 2007 07:54 am)
I know, I know--totally cheesy title.  But last night I went to a girl friend's birthday party at Cypress Inn in Carmel.  As I walked into the (Doris Day owned) hotel, I saw Barbra Eden sitting on the couch in the hotel's sitting room with her friends.  She looked AMAZING!  Even though she's much older since she played Jeanie in I Dream of Jeanie, she hasn't changed that much!  All the male friends in the party agreed that she was hot!  Hmmm... wonder if she stayed at the hotel or just came in for drinks.

On a different note, I'm quite amused to discover at the party last night that one of my friends' boss might be a closet BSG fan!  The said boss is a computer network security professor.  She was addressing her group of researchers to pay attention on what they leave on their computers because they never know who else might be observing, and she let it slip--she said for all they knew, it could be CYLONS on the other end of the network!  Because of my influence, my friend was acquainted with the terminologies from the show, so he smiled when she said that.  And she promptly turned red! 
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Another quickie:  After well over two hours delay, I finally landed in DFW!  ::exhale::

We landed in Terminal C.  On my way to the Skylink to get to Terminal D (where my connecting flight is going to be), I discovered Samsung Mobile Travel Center located just underneath the high-speed train station.  It has nice sofas, power outlet for laptop computers at every seat, and it's a T-Mobile wireless hotspot.  It even has a foldable bed in the back room!  But what delighted me the most was I discovered a lightweight comforter that came with the bed.  ::hooray::
Quickie posting:  I'm now back at the San Jose airport!  ::eek::

I was on my way to Atlanta for the Dragon*Con.  My flight took off from San Jose airport on time (5:45 pm).  But we had to turn around almost immediately and land.

There was a strange odor in the cabin while the plane was climbing altitude.  I actually smelled it at the onset and wondered what it was.  I'm always scared of every little things during flight so I'm super sensitive to the things around me on the airplane.  Anyway, not soon after I smelled the odor, the Captain announced we were turning back.  The flight back was pretty frightening for me (okay I admit I'm a chicken.)  The plane banked left and right very sharply and it came down FAST (like it was doing a dive)!

After we landed, the mechanics came to check the plane/engine.  Wouldn't you know it--the engine took out some birds during takeoff!  Actually the Captain kinda suspected it because he said he saw some birds on the runway just before the takeoff!  Come to think of it, when I first smelled the odor, my reaction was:  God, what was that?!  Then I thought it kinda smelled like burnt barbecue.

Anyway, I'm back at San Jose airport.  The damage to the engine was extensive enough that we had to switch to a different plane. We are just waiting for the next plane to come in (it's scheduled to come in around 7:30 pm.)  Good thing I'm catching a "red eye" flight and have an overnight layover in Dallas Fort Worth!
xwacky: Dean from Supernatural (j2 adorkable)
( Aug. 24th, 2007 12:02 pm)
No, this isn't about the movie.

The following happened earlier in the week.  I'm only writing about it now because the ordeal is over, and I can laugh about it.


Edited to Add:  After chatting with my girlfriend over the weekend, I found out a bit more details on that night:


  
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