Tuesday, January 29, 2019

my first business trip!

I went to Oregon today to meet with a team we've been working with. This was my first business trip ever, first time flying on a private jet and also first time flying alone without my parents. It was definitely a new experience for me!

It was a little exhausting as I had to get up pretty early to catch the 7:45 a.m. shuttle to the Intel Air Shuttle terminal for the 8:30 a.m. flight to Hillsboro. I was actually supposed to arrive even earlier, but the 7:30 a.m. flight was fully booked. At any rate, check-in was very fast as we only had to show our ID and Intel badge. Not having to go through TSA was pretty nice. :-)

The plane was very small and not unlike the one we took to Sacramento during our second trip to Yellowstone. I was a little nervous about flying alone withouy my parents, but that wasn't a problem as the other passengers were all co-workers. There was Wi-Fi access, although it was very slow most of the time. I tried to get some work done but decided to get some rest instead after not being able to receive any e-mails. No wonder people say Gogo sucks.

I took the shuttle to the meeting location after we landed. The campus was located in a quiet area away from the city center. Our office was a nice place with a startup feel. I really enjoyed meeting the other team and wish we had more opportunities to work together. Though I had to leave early to catch the shuttle, I don't think I missed much as the meeting was almost over.

The flight back to San Jose was pretty smooth. The shuttle took me back to the Santa Clara office, where my parents picked me up. On the whole, this was an interesting experience. It's too bad there was no time for sightseeing as this was a business trip and I had a tight schedule. This reminds me - our last visit to the Pacific Northwest was over 11 years ago. Looks like we're overdue for another trip there. :-)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

I got a Wii for Christmas!

I just got a Nintendo Wii as a late Christmas present. This is something I had wanted for a long time. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

It's a funny story how this came to be: my parents had gotten Wii Fit Plus for a low price at a thrift store. Due to the size of the package, they also assumed a Wii was included. I figured it was too good to be true, and sure enough, the package didn't contain a console.

Come Christmas. Because there were some kitchen supplies on eBay that my mother wanted, so I ordered them for her. Although my parents had planned to return Wii Fit Plus for store credit, they decided to keep it and order a refurbished Wii online. I'm definitely very excited.

Now I just need some more games and people to play them with. I only have Wii Fit Plus right now, so it looks like we'll have to start checking more thrift stores and garage sales soon. :-)

Currently listening to: "This Is Your Night" by Amber

Friday, January 4, 2019

level 99 Prayer in RuneScape

The year is off to a good start as I just got level 99 Prayer in RuneScape — on the game's 18th anniversary, no less!

You can see the screenshot here. Prayer used to be one of the most expensive skills in the game, but the price of ashes and bones have gone down significantly in the past few years. Yet this was not an easy task by any means. I'd definitely like to thank the players who hosted open houses as I was always too lazy to build my own gilded altar.

I'll probably get either level 99 in either Mining or Smithing next as I'm already level 98 in those skills. :D

Currently listening to: "Run Away" by Real McCoy

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

entering 2019 in style

It's hard to believe 2019 is already here. I can't believe how fast time goes. The good news is that I had a great holiday season even though we didn't go on any vacations.

The plan was to go skiing at Tahoe over the holidays, but we cancelled the trip due to a storm in the area. This wasn't a big deal because we had been there many times. The other thing is that I don't have any PTO saved up as I only joined Intel in December. I had to work for a few days between Christmas and the New Year, but the thing is that my boss took us to lunch at an Indian buffet on the 26th. The food was super spicy but also delicious. That was definitely a nice experience.

New Year's Eve

Although we technically have to work on New Year's Eve, my boss told me I could work from home. It was definitely relaxing to not have to commute.

One thing I noticed is that most people don't seem to celebrate New Year's Eve anymore. This year was no different as we didn't invite anyone over or vice versa. However, my mother and I did watch the Times Square countdown together. I can't believe Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve didn't show the ball drop. That was really lame.

I decided to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp on DVD afterwards. That was another great Marvel movie. I then watched the local countdown to 2019 before going to be.

New Year's Day

Today was pretty fun as we attended the New Year's Day Rogue Run before having family friends over. I wanted to do a mock countdown to 2019 before starting lunch as I reallyed missed the feeling of counting down to the New Year with friends. To my surprise, everyone actually agreed!

Some people brought desserts while the Chiangs brought a large platter of California rolls. Everything was delicious as always. The party also doubled as a celebration for Jim and Yeng-Feng as today is their 50th anniversary. This was definitely a very special get-together.

All of us then watched Mary Shelley together. The Chiangs and the Changs left early as they had other errands, but everyone else stayed until the late afternoon. On the whole, I had an amazing time even though there were no other young people.

2018 in review

Every year has its ups and downs. For me, the best part of 2018 was meeting The Martian author Andy Weir. Not many people get the chance to meet their favorite authors.

The worst thing that happened was when I got laid off in October. Although I had seen signs that the company was experiencing a cyclic downturn, this completely took me by surprise because I felt both my manager and our VP liked me. I did get an awesome new job a few weeks later, but this left a sour taste in my mouth for a while.

At any rate, it's best to look for the future. On that note, my New Year's resolutions for 2019 are to get a promotion and improve my social skills. Let's get serious!

Currently listening to: "Another Night" by Real McCoy

Monday, December 10, 2018

an exciting new career at Intel

I'm thrilled to say that I started my new job today at Intel. It's definitely great to be back in action after being laid off in October. For those curious, I'll be doing quality assurance for the Intel Sports team.

The morning consisted of the new employee orientation. The speaker went over Intel's history and benefits before an IT guy showed us how to set up our work computers. Our badges were then delivered to us. Breakfast and lunch were both served during the orientation!

After everything was said and done, someone led us to the building with my actual office. I met up with my boss before spending the afternoon setting up accounts and completing the online training required for new employees. It's easy to get lost here as the building is huge, but I'm sure I'll know my way around soon enough. It's actually a nice place to work as the building contains cafeterias and lounges with TVs and games. I'm definitely loving my new job so far.

Of note is that Dad used to work at Intel many years ago. I'm sure he can give me advice about the company's culture. Like father, like son.

Currently listening to: "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC

Sunday, December 9, 2018

another awesome holiday party

Today was the annual book club holiday potluck and book exchange. I had been looking forward to it for a while. It was certainly lots of fun!

The event was supposed to be at Elizabeth's house like last year. But because she was going to be out of town this time, the party was moved to Dane's new house in San Jose.

Everyone brought lots of food as this was a potluck dinner. Everything was delicious, especially the IKEA meatballs. After we got desserts and drinks, it was time to do the white elephant gift exchange. It got pretty heated near the and as people kept stealing each other's books. That was hilarious!

We then played a round of Left Center Right afterwards. This was my first time playing this game, and it was pretty fun even though I didn't win. Although I left shortly afterwards because I'm starting my new job tomorrow and wanted time to prepare, this party was definitely one of the best ever. I certainly wish I could have stayed longer. At any rate, I'd like to thank Dane and Che for hosting this event and opening up their home.

In other news...

I mentioned earlier that I'm starting my new job tomorrow. I'm a little nervous but extremely excited at the same time!

Currently reading: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

level 99 Slayer in RuneScape — the start of a long journey

I just reached level 99 Slayer in RuneScape today. Here is the obligatory screenshot. :-)

However, it's worth mentioning that the cap for Slayer was raised to level 120 last year. Getting a skill to level 120 takes requires about eight times the experience as a level 99 skill. I've heard that training gets easier in the higher levels, but there is still much work to do. I'll get there someday - I promise. :P

Currently listening to: "Euphoria" by Markelody