Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl weekend report

I had a pretty good weekend, especially considering that we went to our family friend Grace's birthday party and watched the Super Bowl!

To start off, my company had a Super Bowl happy hour on Friday. This was our first time doing something like this. It was really fun as there was good food and karaoke. The only downside is that the food ran out pretty quickly, but I can't complain about the quality of the event.

Saturday was also nice as we celebrated Grace's 70thy birthday at a Thai restaurant. With about 40 people in attendance, the party was much larger than expected. There was lots of food, and everyone had a great time. The only issue is that the limited space made it hard to socialize. Grace's husband CY invited us to hang out at their house afterwards, but we decided to leave that to another time as Grace seemed exhausted.

I watched Justice League: Gods and Monsters on DVD after getting home. It was really good for an animated movie. This was a great way to end the evening.

I spent most of Sunday evening studying Android programming. However, Dad and I watched Super Bowl LI in the afternoon. I must say that the Patriots' comeback was hella impressive. It was overall a great game.

Currently listening to: "Waterloo" by ABBA

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chinese New Year weekend report

"Don't worry, I won't bug you about reviewing my code here." -- me to Desiree"

The Lunar New Year weekend was great as we had a big party at a family friend's farm. I also got to attend the Lab126 post-holiday event. :-)

Lunar New Year party report

I'll start with some background: my mother was elected as president of a Chinese writers' association sometime last year. Mom decided to organize a celebration for Chinese New Year that our family friend Charles was kind enough to host.

The party took place at the Won family's farm in Hollister. There was lots of food as this was a potluck lunch. After the meal, the Wons gave us a tour of their farm. It definitely brought back memories of New Zealand. There was nobody else my age, but I can't complain about a good party. :P

Lab126 post-holiday celebration

Later in the evening was my company's annual post-holiday celebration. This one took place at Levi's Stadium, where we had a similar event in 2015. However, unlike the last party, we also had a live band this time. That was a pretty nice touch. I was a little tired and didn't stay until the end this time, but I don't think I missed much.

Today was mostly eventful. Having done so much the day before, I spent most of the time studying search algorithms. Other than that, I managed to get level 86 dungeoneering in RuneScape. :-)(

Currently listening to: "Starman" by David Bowie

Sunday, January 1, 2017

a quiet end to a rough year

I'm not going to lie - 2016 was a rough year. So glad 2017 is here!

Our New Year's Eve was mostly quiet. Like last time, we didn't have a party or anything. I looked for local events, but there weren't many this time - at least not those that are like $100 person. On the other hand, the evening wasn't too bad as I watched Captain America: Civil War on DVD. It's probably my favorite of the series so far, although it's more of an Avengers movie than a Captain America one.

It's often said that 2016 was pretty tough. For a start, 2016 saw the passing of many beloved celebrities, such as Anton Yelchin, David Bowie, Prince and Carrie Fisher. Then there's the election. I usually don't write about politics, but Trump doesn't seem like a good fit for the President of the United States. On a personal level, my job has been pretty stressful in the past few months. Being a software engineer in the Silicon Valley ain't an easy thing!

But for all the bad, 2016 had its highlights. The best part was when we went to the Southwest U.S. with four of my aunt's students. The memories from that trip will last a long time. The other activities we did with them (such as going boating and the movie club field trip) were also memorable.

At any rate, it's best to not dwell on the past. Speaking of which, my New Year's resolutions for 2017 are to learn more software development skills and kick some bad health habits. Wish me luck!

Currently watching: Captain America: Civil War

Sunday, November 27, 2016

another great Thanksgiving break

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend. At least my family did!

Thursday

This Thanksgiving was really awesome as the Changs had us over for dinner once again. Seeing that we out for the evening, I spent the morning and afternoon catching up with work-related stuff. Other than that, I got to play a bit of RuneScape and managed to reach level 93 runecrafting. :D

The party was lots of fun. It was great to see the Tings and Ruth's boyfriend Steven again. Sophie's nephew Howard's family also came this time as well. The downer is that Eric had caught a bad flu and couldn't come. Getting sick before Thanksgiving must absolutely suck. :-(

I watched Jeopardy! with Henry's girls and Steven while the food was being prepared. The Tings again brought a turkey and several other dishes, all of which were delicious. There were also three types of desserts. Yum!

Of note is that we didn't stay quite as late this time. The Huangs didn't want to let their young daughter go to bed too late and were the first to leave. The Tings soon left too as they needed to take care of their ill brother. As Henry's daughters were also getting tired, my parents decided it was time for as to go as well. Even though this party wasn't quite as long as the previous two, that didn't make it any less exciting.

This year, I'm really thankful for the support of my parents during hard times. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 4 laptop that Dad got me is also really nice. I wouldn't trade this life for anything.

Friday

I spent the morning setting up my new laptop. The IdeaPad Flex 4 is definitely really nice, especially with its long battery life. I also managed to get level 91 fishing in RuneScape in my free time. :-)

I made a brief stop at the office as I had some code that needed to be checked in. The plan was to go hiking on the Stevens Creek Trail afterwards, but we decided to head home as it had gotten dark outside. On the other hand, my parents and I watched I'm Not There for Henry's film club after dinner. I found the movie to be a bit hard to follow but really enjoyed the music.

Saturday

Yesterday was again pretty busy as I mostly studied Android test development. The day wasn't all that bad as we went back to Henry's house for his film club meeting. Everyone really enjoyed discussing I'm Not There over snacks.

Sunday

I didn't do much today as I got out of bed fairly late. It was definitely nice to get that extra rest. Though I mostly studied Android programming, my parents and I did take a stroll to Panera Bread to redeem a free gift.

Currently listening to: "A Sky Full of Stars" by Coldplay

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

new Lenovo laptop!

Dad recently got a new Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 4 laptop. Seeing that my MacBook Pro is now several years hold, he decided it was time to get a new computer.

At any rate, the notebook is really nice. It has an Intel Core i7-U7500 processor, an AMD R7 M460 video card, 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid-state drive. The startup time is blazing fast. The Flex 4 is also pretty light despite having a 15.6" screen. Thanks, Dad!

In other news...

The Chang family has once again invited us to their Thanksgiving gathering. I'm so excited!

Currently listening to: "Faith of the Heart" by Diane Warren

Monday, October 10, 2016

obligatory 31st birthday post

So I'm now 31 years old. It's hard to believe time goes so fast.

To celebrate the occasion, my family went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. While Dad has been here before for meetings, this was my first time eating here. Though the food wasn't that extraordinary, the free was a nice touch. Of note is that two adjacent tables also had people celebrating their birthdays. What are the chances?

This wasn't the only celebration as we also had lunch with the Tangs on the 8th. Speaking of which, Eileen gave me a jar of high-quality cocoa powder from Silly Cow Farms. I haven't tasted it yet, but it looks delicious. Thanks, Eileen!

In other news...

I just got level 92 prayer in RuneScape. That's halfway to level 99 if you do the math. :-)

Currently listening to: "Love Me like You Do" by Ellie Goulding

Monday, October 3, 2016

check out the Fire App Builder!

Our team at Amazon Lab126 just released the an open source library called the Fire App Builder. Internally known as Calypso, the Fire App Builder is a Java-based framework that allows easy creation of streaming media apps for the Amazon Fire TV. It's more for developers rather than end users, but feel free to check it out. :-)