Tuesday, October 10, 2017

when your age is a perfect power of two

I just turned 32 years old. To a computer geek like me, this is a pretty special birthday because 32 is 0b100000 in binary. :-)

The best part is that my family went to Black Angus Steakhouse for dinner. The food was really good yet not too expensive. I especially loved the lobster and the steak soup. The free entree and dessert made things even better.

The rest of the evening was uneventful because I have to get up early for my commute, but this is definitely one of the best birthdays I've had in years.

Currently reading: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Labor Day long weekend report

I had a great Labor Day long weekend even though it was extremely hot outside.

The best part is that our family friend Linda invited us to a party at her house on Sunday. Mom's friend Lily also carpooled with us. Linda had asked us to arrive early as there were some things she wanted to discuss with my parents. The plan was to go hiking together, but we changed our minds because the weather was too hot.

After the others arrived, all of us went to the Ly Luck Restaurant in Oakland for lunch. Everything was really good, especially the giant clam with vermicelli. Back at Linda's house, the other adults talked while I read a book and surfed the web on my phone. I'll have to admit it was a little boring as there was nobody my age. On the other hand, all of the snacks were delicious.

Though Lily said her husband could pick her up at her house, Mom insisted on giving her a ride home. This did mean a longer drive, but we enjoyed hearing about her recent trip to Alaska. It definitely reminded me of our own trip there many years ago.

Lily invited us to hang out at her place for a while. This was our first time going to her house in around 20 years. The Shuehs showed my parents their souvenir collection while I chatted with their son Alan. It was around 7 p.m. when we finally got home!

The rest of the weekend was uneventful. Due to the heat wave, none of us wanted to spend much time outdoors except during our evening strolls. On the other hand, I got to watch several episodes of The Flash (the 2014 series) and get RuneScape membership again. So yeah, this was an awesome weekend. :-)

Currently reading: What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro

Monday, August 7, 2017

a final farewell to Eileen

You may remember that our family friend Eileen recently passed away a few days ago. Today was the celebration of her life.

Only my parents attended the viewing because I was at work and they didn't want it to impact me too much. Dad then picked me up at the BART station near my office before we met up with the other people at Eileen's house. It was pretty crowded as many of Eileen's family members were there.

This was followed by dinner at a Chinese restaurant. There was lots of food, but I didn't east much because I was admittedly feeling a bit emotional. On the other hand, I got to meet many of Eileen's relatives. Though it was nice to get acquainted with them, this definitely wasn't the situation in which I wanted that to happen. The plan was to back to Eileen's house afterwards, but we decided to head home because everyone was getting tired.

It's a little sad to realized that one of our closest family friends is gone. I'm going to miss Eileen for sure. :-(

Currently listening to: "Bright Eyes" by Art Garfunkel

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

R.I.P. Eileen :-(

I'm saddened to learn that our family friend Eileen Tang passed away this morning. Eileen was one of the kindest people that we were blessed to have known. She always saved presents for me whenever we visited her. Even though she was over a generation older than me, I had always considered her a true friend.

My favorite memory of her was when we went to Pacifica on Mother's Day two years ago. I treated my parents and the Tangs to lunch at a Peruvian restaurant before we went on a stroll on the beach. All of us then headed to a nearby park and relaxed for a while. That was certainly a wonderful experience. It's sad to realize that something like this will never happen again. :-(

Our biggest concern right now is the well-being of her husband George. I definitely hope that we can visit him in the next few weeks after giving him time to grieve. In the meantime, please send positive thoughts to the Tang family.

Rest in peace, and may we meet again, Eileen.

Currently reading: The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Berkeley Kite Festival report

Today was fun as we went to the Berkeley Kite Festival and had dinner in Berkeley with several family friends. The day was kind of exhausting but also lots of fun!

Our first stop was Milpitas Square, where Jim and Yeng-Feng picked us up. Our party then headed to the Berkeley Marina for the festival. There was some traffic along the way due to an accident, but we were the first to get there. Seeing that event venue was quite a long ways from the parking lot, we decided to take the bus there. Given the small number of buses, we had to wait almost an hour for our ride. The only reason we didn't walk there is that Yeng-Fong couldn't walk very far at a time.

Dad and the Chiangs bought similar kites on Amazon after seeing they had good reviews. However, both of our kites kept flying erratically before falling to the ground like a North Korea missile. Even though our kites didn't work very well, I enjoyed going around to see what other people had.

Because it was getting really hot outside, the five of us decided to head out. The Changs got caught up in traffic and didn't arrive until just before we arrive about to leave. We stayed with them for a bit before agreeing to meet at the restaurant. It was defintiely great to see their girls and Ruth's boyfriend Steven again. We and Jim walked back to the parking lot while the others took the shuttle. It was definitely a good workout!

Our group went to a restaurant in Berkeley called Great China. There were lots of people - mainly because the restaurant is famous for its Peking duck - but we were the first in line to get in. All of the good was really good. However, it was soon time to head out as there was a long drive ahead of us. After the Chiangs dropped us off at Milpitas Square, my family made a quick stop at Ranch 99 Market for groceries before heading home.

The only downside is that we didn't stay long after dinner. I had barely talked to Connie, Ruth and Steven when my parents and the Chiangs wanted to leave. It would have been selfish to keep them waiting just so I could stay for a few more finutes. On the other hand, the event was so fun that some of us are hoping to fly kites together again later this summer. I definitely hope we can work something out!

Currently listening to: "Holo" by Ampyx

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

an eventful 4th of July

I had a pretty good 4th of July weekend, considering that we went to Pescadero and watched several movies!

Saturday

So my father took us to Pescadero on Saturday. Though we went there around 16 years ago, we didn't really explore the town. Because it was noon when we arrived, the three of us had lunch at a local tavern. The food was expensive but really good.

We then browsed the local stores before heading to Arcangeli Grocery Co. to buy some of their famous garlic artichoke bread. All of us were pretty full at the time, but the bread was too good to resist. This wasn't a bad choice because we saw a bunch of other buy the bread as well.

This was followed by a short stop at Pigeon Point Lighthouse. We also walked around the trail, although we didn't stay long as it was a little cold outside. On the whole, the day trip was the best part of the long weekend.

Sunday

Having done so much the day before, my family didn't do much else except go on a hike in Los Altos Hills. However, I did watch Abraham Vampire: Vampire Hunter on DVD and two episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures online. Abraham Vampire: Vampire Hunter was a weird movie but otherwise entertaining. Jackie Chan Adventures was one of the shows I really like when I was in high school, but I only saw the first season before we lost cable access. I'm so glad it's so easy to find TV shows online these days!

Monday

Seeing the weather was nice, we went hiking in Los Altos Hills again. We then watched Manchester by the Sea for Henry's film club and Doctor Strange in the evening. The special effects in Doctor Strange were really awesome. I've never seen a movie so visually impressive.

Tuesday

One thing I wanted to do was to check out the 4th of July event in Shoup Park in Los Altos, but we changed our minds as the weather was kind of warm. Dad wanted to go a German restaurant for lunch, but we stayed home after it turned out the place was closed on the 4th.

We then watched Inferno in the afternoon. Despite the critical reviews, I really enjoyed the movie. On the whole, my long weekend was pretty awesome.

Currently listening to: "Reflections" by Kasger

Thursday, June 8, 2017

a new computer for Mom

I just finished setting up a new laptop that I bought for Mom as a late Mother's Day gift. Seeing that her eight-year-old laptop was becoming unreliable, Dad and I agreed it was time to get her a new one. We settled upon the Lenovo Flex 4 because its predecessor has worked really well for me.

The Flex 5 has an Intel i7-U7500 processor, an Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU, 16 GB of memory and a 512 GB solid-state drive. It's definitely a lot better than the crappy old Acer Aspire 6930 that has been giving Mom a lot of trouble!

In other news...

Our family friend Grace has invited us to her house tomorrow to watch the Golden State Warriors game. I'm pretty excited!

Currently watching: The Flash - "The Nuclear Man"