Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Trade Kobe

What would be more ironic, if Kobe got traded for Shaq or for Wade? Is it about business or winning? I think the Lakers are so profitable they lost the will to win. Kobe's Laker jersey is like the number one selling jersey in China. Whether Kobe wins or not we pay to see him play. If the front office can totally screw things up, have a crap roster and still the money rolls in, things probably won't change.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fry's Bait and Switch

Fry's has some funny ass sales strategies. My cousin is visitng from the Philippines and he's been eyeing this laptop at Frys. He checked it out previously and today we went to Fry's in Burbank and found it on clearance for $130 less. The laptop was not on the showroom floor either so my cousin asks if they have them in stock. One of the greenhorn salesmen comes out with the laptop, its a previously returned open box item, he tells us since its open its 5% off. We're like "OPEN BOX? Don't you have a new one?" He goes back in the back and checks. Hehe, here we go, the old bait and switch. Except this one got all weird because as it turns out the clearance price was suppose to be for openbox items and he just offered another 5% off it. My cousin then asks, can we take a look at it? Haha, so all three of us are looking at each other, I'm thinking "haha oh crap is he actually going to open it and boot it up?" And he did. So we play around with it and he's making a sales pitch and the next higher up salesman comes and also makes a pitch.

Finally my cousin decides to buy it and we ring it up. Oops the price is not what we thought it was. So after the misunderstanding gets cleared up he offers the brand new in box laptop with an open box discount of 5%. So my cousin is like, great thats like $65 bucks less than what I was going to pay for the other day. And here's where it gets backdoorish. The salesmen goes to his friend in returns, gets her to "return" the laptop so that now its in the system for 5% less. Then he brings us to his friend the cashier and we pay the discounted price for it. So basically you can sell at 3 different prices with the bait and switch for the laptop. 1. New in Box items, 2. "Open box items" and 3. The mystery box, it-could-have-been-a-failed-bait-and-switch-laptop-or-something someone-returned item. Of course it could all backfire on the salesman. His next higher up manager probably wouldn't be too happy that his salesmen are risking 5% on the sale and it could all backfire if the customer raises a big enough stink. The best thing about the bait and switch is you don't have to stand in line.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I heard about the shorter index fingers in relation to ring fingers indicate a more physically agressive man. Now its apparently also indicative of SAT scores:


Mines are practically even. This is an old pic from when I sprained the bird finger.

In the article, they mention the researchers using calipers to measure people's fingers. It reminds me of old photos we looked at in History of Science classes where people who were advocates of Eugenics and Phrenology would measure random people to come to the conclusion that yes! by god! some people are idiots or born criminals because they have this certain bump on their head.

Off topic thing about hands. Nails in particular. My fingernails have ridges on them, which weren't there before. I think the ridge is from being in two different places the last couple of months, different water, diet, climate. There's probably a similar mark in a strand of my hair too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Name that Appliance

Anyone know what this technological marvel is?

>On 2007-05-24,10:09:42 Kathryn wrote:

>>A sandwich warmer. You put a sandwich in the opening, push down on the top, and the sandwich pops back up nice and melted.

>On 2007-06-12,06:44:30 daniel wrote:

>>damn i havent seen a rewinder for yrs.

2 for 1

Yay got 2 for 1 on the vending machine again. I did get ripped off last week on a bag of chips when it fell and blocked the sensor. So it looks like the machine determings whether the product was sucessfully dispensed when the laser sensor is tripped and not when the trip sensor is restored, causing me to get ripped off.

>On 2007-05-24,02:07:45 Blaise wrote:


Juarez, Mexico

You can see across the river into Mexico when you're driving through El Paso. The difference is night and day. On the right side there's a Courtyard Marriot and a strip mall with a Walmart then across the river you got a Mexican barrio. No KandB houses with white stucco but you might see the guy who built your KandB house staring back at you. Move over 5 miles and you can probably film a commercial with Sally Struthers and little Ynez with her big brown eyes making a plea to help feed the children. I think I've seen worse in Asia though. These guys are pretty fortunate, they're living on some solid hills. Try living in a shack on a humongous shifting pile of acres of garbage.

The Southwest is Empty

We drove for 10 hours and saw a lot of knarly cactus. I think it next time I have to bring my bike and go down the side roads. A lot of the desert is fenced off though but there were some spots that look like they lead to valleys and maybe some caves and ravines.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Later San Antonio

From San Antonio we drove through El Paso, the nothingness of New Mexico, through a Southwest desert storm and on to Phoenix.

Flag Fetish

They've got a big hardon for the state flag down in Texas. There's flags everywhere. On top of buildings, car dealerships, at the Denny's. Someone is making a tidy profit on flags down there.

Tower of America

This is a view of the Tower of America from the River Walk. I left my SLR in the room, so this is the best shot I could get. I only brought my 50 mm lens anyway (packing light) so even if I got a good shot I might not have enough framing to work with. I'm not really sure what goes on in the tower, we didn't have time to check it out.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rice University

In Houston we had a quick lunch in Rice Village. There are a lot of live oak trees on campus. It makes the place really green and shady, which is a strange contrast to the rest of Houston.

The Riverwalk

Under the city of San Antonio there are a bunch of bunch of shops and cantinas that they build around a little canal that they diverted water through from the river. The canal water was kind of gross, it was grey. If you fell in you'd probably be bathing for hours and getting some hepatitis shots probably would not be a bad idea. Other than the septic water, which isn't really worse than the canals in Europe anyway, the riverwalk was pretty nice. It goes through the mall and convention center and you can dine next to the water in a lot of the restaurants. I was hoping we'd spot Tim Duncan or Eva Longoria at one fo the restaurants.

Knock knock

Who's there? The Alamo. The Alamo who? Hey you said you'd remember the Alamo!

We spent the night in San Antonio after driving all afternoon from Houston. San Antonio was pretty quit, the Suns and Spurs played the day before in Pheonix so there was absolutely nothing going on in San Antonio besides some convention.


Jesus and Moses action figures. My mom went to some event at the Rose Bowl, I think they called it the Rossary Bowl and I guess there was merchandising there. Jesus and Moses Have kungfu grips and there's a button on their back that when pressed spouts out phrases. Jesus' voice is kind of whinny, Moses sounds very fire and brimstone and he says the 10 commandments like "Thou shalt not take the name of god in vain." Aren't Jesus and Moses action figures bordering on breaking commandment #2, and also were there Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene action figures?

Awesome, found the website: Blessed Toys

Peter kind of has a crazy look on his face. Haha I'm glad I didn't have these to play with. They would have been naked in no time, my sister would have cut their hair and painted their feet black and their voice recordings would have been reduces to snap crackle pop after swimming in the Sea of the Kitchen Sink.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Navigational aid

On Tuesday Scott dropped me off at the airport and I met up with my Benedict in Houston, he left four hours earlier from New Orleans. In Houston we drove around his old hospital M.D. Anderson in the humongous facility they call the Texas Medical Center. We had lunch around Rice University and hit the road with this, our state of the art navigational aid, also known as last Tuesday's USA TOday weather map. So you can see Houston on there, on the eastern border of Texas and Los Angeles on the Pacific coast. Suprisingly the map was pretty helpful and gave us an idea of where we were travelling. Who knew you could drive 1600 miles on a weather map alone. And we even knew what the weather was like in Yakima, Washington.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jersey Shore

Big thanks to Scott for showing me around in Philadelphia. We also went to the Jesey Shore, there's a pretty cool boardwalk there in Ocean City. I'd definately be bumming there all summer if I was a Jersey boy. The Weather was pretty good over there considering its spring time. Philadelphia is a pretty nice town, lot of history, museums and hang outs. Definately a city with an identity. Out of all the places I've been to the last few months I'd have to say Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Antonio have that going for them. Everywehre else, LA included are just either too huge or lack that something to define them. All other places had a Anymetro, USA feel to them.

I Smell Everything

I like to smell things. Food, unmarked bottles, newly bought clothes, fresh flowers. I have a bunch of cologne decants from when I got really into sampling colognes. I even take a big whiffs when I'm filling my gas tank and when I'm going through the paint aisles at the hardware store. Yeah I admit it I like that gas smell although it gives me a headache. I think when it comes to people, especially girls, I remember their laundry detergents. Forget Chanel or Creed, its Tide or Cheer that I remember. Actually I remember my music teacher wore somekind of vanilla fragrance and I guess a popular one because once in a while I'd smell it when I'm out for Sunday brunch and I'd instantly think teachers and saxophones. But its usually soap. I still remember what my nanny used. If I find that detergent bar in a filipino market I'll probably recall memories of hot tropical afternoons in my parents old house. So this version of tide is the stuff I've found around the house lately and I guess its pretty strong because I can smell laundry all day.


I was in Arcadia on my way home on Santa Anita when I saw a white Camry with a girl in it. I was thinking, oo she's cute. Then her car pulls forward and I see the two baby seats in the back. Dayum momma. Well I hope she was flattered.

I'm sure mother superior has important email to check but it still amuses me when a nun pulls out her laptop at the airport. It goes right along with Buddhist monks text messaging and policemen driving their personal vehicles in uniform.

Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is in the west side of the city by the banks of the Schuylkill River. They've got a big statue of Rocky outside the Museum. Not a statue of Sylvester Stallone, but a statue of Rocky. Too bad the museum is closed on Mondays. The museum is on Rocky's right but there is scafolding all over the facade.

Philly Cheesesteak

Took a few days off and went cross country. Here's a Philly Cheese Steaks from Pats in Philly. Man this is good stuff. Meat, onions and cheese, I think I'd eat this everyday if I lived over there. Meat juice was dripping all over the place. Anything that drips meat juice is totally worth eating, carne asada, burgers, crispy pata-- add cheese steaks to the list.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Weekended at Big Bear Lake

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I spent mines at Big Bear. We left Firday afternoon and suprisingly the traffic wasn't too bad. I think I drove up the mountian too fast, Jeff and Mary got car sick and Jeff lost his lunch. We rented a cabin, thanks to Ben and Daniel for making all the arrangements. Here's a pretty nice view at the top of a trail we hike. The trail is off Highway 18, right at the sign that says "Big Bear Lake city limit".

>On 2007-05-07,14:51:12 Blaise wrote:

>>And the pictures: Bear Pics

Thursday, May 3, 2007


I think its time to retire the Great White board (its white on the topside). She was a great board, but her edges don't bite so hard anymore. Maybe with a tune up she can go another season. Man I rode this thing everywhere. She was a factory second that I got from someone who worked in the factory, thats why the topsheet is plain white with no graphics but she was still Burton's best, light and snappy. It took like no effort to snap it two feet off the ground from a dead stop. She practically jumps into those turns leaving an S with an invisible transition. She definately still can. Oh well the snow melted. It's always good to have a second around so I'll keep her even if I get another.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Dr. Gill

Today I had an appointment with Dr. Gill a pulmonary specialist. Funny thing is he's Indian-Filipino, born and raised in the Philippines and he speaks our language. Apparently he spoke Indian too in additon to Tagalog. I told him I was born in Manila and my Chinese sucks. Since my medical records were signed off by a Navy doc, he mentioned he was in the Army National Guard and resigned his comission as a Major. Another funny thing though is that he enlisted in the Guard after getting his MD from Irvine and doing his residency. That made him a Private First Class with an MD. Well I guess you can't beat having a medic thats completed his residency. No offense, I met some great corpsmen, but nice to know when Doc actually is a Doc. He said when they found out he was doctor they promoted him to Captain and made him a field surgeon, even though his specialty was pulmonary medicine. Apparently they make everyone a trauma surgeon if you so happened to be attached to a front line unit. Anyway I had to take some test where I blew and inhaled into a pipe. I'm suppose to also do the same test on a more extensive machine so I'll be blowing a big old box later. I have to wait for my HMO to approve the test though so I got more waiting and paperwork to suffer through. Its pretty ridiculous that everything has to go up to some office in El Monte to get approval. Whats even worse is everytime they send me to a specialist, I'll get charged another 15 bucks in copay in addition to the 15 bucks I already paid my primary physician since I had to see him first to get a referal. I'm also having to drive halfway across the valley to drop by on some lab. Well at least I can throw away these inhalers they gave me in Quantico, they're not really doing anything.