Monday, December 31, 2012

back from Tahoe

Christmas break is off to a good start as we went to Tahoe over the weekend. The trip was only two days long but lots of fun!

Day 1

Despite the late start, my family arrived at Tahoe fairly early thanks to the light traffic. That left some free time, during which we made a stop in Truckee. One thing I love about Truckee is that it never gets old.

Our hotel for the night was the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village. After we checked in, I played Angry Birds Star Wars HD on the iPad while my parents watched Contagion and Big Miracle on HBO. I soon started getting itchy bumps on my wrist. They looked like bug bites, so we went to the front desk to ask for our room to be cleaned again. However, management blew us off and said they couldn't do anything. Dad wasn't too happy about this and filed a complaint with Hyatt.

The three of us went to the Grand Lodge Casino after dinner. I think we spent around $4 at the penny slots. Aside from not winning anything, this was pretty enjoyable.

Day 2

It was snowing in the morning. The plan was to go skiing at Soda Springs after breakfast, but we didn't want to get wet in the snow and went back to the casino. The weather cleared up around noon, at which point we went to Soda Springs. The resort was extremely crowded despite the freezing temperatures. I have no idea how these people manage to brave the cold.

Mom then suggested going to Nevada City instead. The foliage was beautiful when we came here last fall. Yet the scenery wasn't impressive this time. Therefore, my parents and I didn't stay long except to visit a local supermarket.

I wanted to stop by Auburn again on the way home as it was one of the highlights of our Memorial Day weekend trip last year. However, the Old Town seemed smaller than I remembered. I took a few pictures, although we didn't stay long here either as Mom was a little tired.

The last stop of the day was Vacaville. I've always wanted to eat at Black Bear Diner, so that's where we went for dinner. This turned out to be a good choice: not only was the food reasonably priced, everything was delicious. All of us then headed to WinCo Foods for groceries (and tons of snacks) before continuing home. It was a spectacular end to a spectacular trip.


This was one of our best vacations ever. The highlight of the trip was the dinner at Black Bear Diner, although I also loved playing the slots. While the bug bites were annoying, they went away after a while. I didn't take many pictures this time, but you can go to my Flickr account to see them.

Currently listening to: "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys

Saturday, December 22, 2012

on Christmas holiday and the Mayan apocalypse

Christmas break has started for me - for the most part.

Because I've only been at Lab126 for six months, I don't get the full amount of floating holidays. This means I have to work two more days between Christmas and the New Year. On the bright side, my boss says I can leave early if I want to. :-)

Speaking of holidays, my family had planned to go skiing at Tahoe this weekend. However, the trip was postponed to next week due to the recent storm. I can't imagine it would be fun if we were stuck in our hotel room the whole time!

A major topic of conversation was the 2012 phenomenon. Some people believed the world was going to end yesterday due to the previous cycle of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar coming to an end. Well, the apocalypse didn't happen, and we're all still here. I guess we lucked out. :P

In other news...

Happy 100th birthday to my late maternal grandfather Ching-Shang. Don't party too hard in Heaven, Gramps!

Monday, November 26, 2012

an awesome Thanksgiving

I had a great Thanksgiving long weekend. This was a pleasant surprise given what happened last year!

The weekend began with trouble: my parents were picking me up from work when our Lexus RX 330 died. I thought we'd be stuck in the Lab126 parking lot, but my colleague Ryan managed to save the day with a jumper cable. Thanks, dude!


It was a busy day as we had to make preparations for our Black Friday party and another gathering at our family friend Sun-Yen's house. This took up lots of time and meant we couldn't do much else other than go hiking in Rancho San Antonio County Park in the afternoon. Figuring that three parties might be too much of a good thing, my family decided to not have one this year and had our turkey the day before.

One thing I'm thankful for this year is getting an offer from Lab126 in June. The job is enjoyable and perfectly fits my interests.


Seeing that his old classmate Sing Man and his wife were in town, my father invited them over for lunch. Their son Hang Kin and daughter-in-law Wing also came along. The cool thing is that Hang Kin and Wing are both software engineers. It's always nice to meet other young people with similar interests.

Dad also had the Lu family over as Wen-Juei was another old classmate. This was our first time seeing the Lu since the 2009 Labor Day weekend. Though Thomas and Connie are in SoCal and couldn't join us, I had a great time hanging out with Jenny and watching Star Trek: The Original Series on DVD.

The gathering turned out to be so lively that we encouraged our guests to stay for dinner, to which they gladly obliged. Jenny left early to see her other friends, but that didn't make the evening any less fun. I don't think we've ever had a 10-hour party before!


Another highlight of the weekend was the party at Sun-Yen's house. Her son and daughter came home later in the evening, although they were busy with schoolwork and didn't spend much time with us. On the other hand, Dad and I enjoyed playing pool with two other guys. It was past midnight when we got home.


All of us tired from the partying and didn't much aside from fixing our treadmill. The belt had become misaligned and took me and Dad the entire morning to shift back into position - obviously not very exciting. Other than that, I watched Super 8 in the evening. That was a cool movie.

On the whole, the weekend couldn't have been better. I've posted some pictures here.

In other news...

I just successfully compiled my first CUDA program. Woohoo!

Currently watching: Super 8

Friday, November 2, 2012

new Alienware X51 gaming PC

I just got a brand new Alienware X51 desktop. It has a 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7-3770 processor, a GeForce GTX 555 video card, 8 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage. Sweet!

The PC isn't actually for gaming, but for a project that my father and I plan to work on in our free time. I imagine it'll also be useful as a home server for testing web applications. In any case, getting a new computer is always exciting!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Congratulations, Jacin!

One thing I love about my job is our sense of community. Case in point, my colleague Jacin is getting married on the 27th. To celebrate the occasion, his boss organized a little party for him today. Our executive assistant ordered a two-tier red velvet cake that resembled a miniature wedding cake. While an office party isn't the same as an actual wedding, the gathering almost felt like one. This is certainly one of the reasons Lab126 rocks. :-)

At any rate, I'd like to congratulate Jacin and his soon-to-be wife on their marriage. Here's to wishing them a happy life together in the years to come.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

my first foray into Meetup

I recently decided to sign up for Meetup. For those unaware, Meetup is a social network for organizing in-person meetings that has gained popularity over the years.

One of the advertised events was a Java user conference at the Google headquarters in Mountain View. I went to check it out as it sounded quite interesting. The program began with a networking session and a light dinner consisting of pizza and salad. The topic of the presentation was a next-generation database management system called NoSQL. It was an extremely fascinating concept.

I had to wait a bit for my ride home as the presentation ended earlier than planned. On the other hand, there was lots of leftover food; those two pizzas should last more than a few days. This was a overall cool experience. I mean, not many people can say they've visited the Googleplex before!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

turned 27 today...

I'm now 27 years old. Strangely enough, my 26th birthday feels like it was merely months ago. Time goes so fast these days... maybe a little too fast.

To celebrate the occasion, my parents took me to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. I picked this place because I've always wanted to try it out and that the birthday dessert looked nice. Outback Steakhouse wasn't a bad choice as the food was quite enjoyable. You can go here to see what we ate.

One of my birthday traditions was to post three facts about my childhood. However, because I've started running out of interesting ones, here are three facts about the number 27 instead:

  1. 27 is the third perfect cube.
  2. 27 is the only positive integer that is three times the sum of its digits.
  3. There is said to be 27 roads to the mythical El Dorado.

Although I didn't receive any presents this year, I did get two books for free - albeit completely unintentionally. About two weeks ago, I ordered some old Doom and Duke Nukem 3D level editing guides from to add to my collection. Two of the books were from the same seller, and one of them was missing an accompanying CD-ROM. When I contacted the seller regarding the issue, they gave me a full refund for both books while letting me keep them. It's funny how things tend to work out!

Currently watching: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Sunday, October 7, 2012

a festival and a fiesta

The weekend was a mixed bag at first but overall ended well.

One thing I wanted to do was check out Gaelebration, an event commemorating the 150th anniversary of St. Mary's College of California. However, the campus is around 55 miles away in Moraga. I'm also rather averse to driving alone and couldn't find anyone to carpool with me. This was kind of a let-down as Gaelebration looked really fun. While admission was free, I'd have gladly bought tickets for the event if it were closer.

On the other hand, I went to the Los Altos Fall Festival instead. The festival wasn't too impressive this year, but the cool thing is that I ran into the LAHS auto tech teacher, who was helping out with the classic car show with one of his former students. It was great to see a familiar face even though I never took Mr. Ely's class. I spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up a work project from home.

Our family friend Fennah's reading club met tonight and was hosted at Henry's house this time. All of the food was delicious as usual. Like at most reading club events, there wasn't anyone else my age. Though Henry has a daughter who is slightly younger than me, she was busy working upstairs and couldn't join us. The gathering was nevertheless so much fun that my parents and I stayed for around six hours!

I've posted some pictures from the Los Altos Fall Festival and the reading club party here. Oh yeah, and my 27th birthday is coming right up. :-)

Currently listening to: "Oh Love" by Green Day

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I love rummage sales.

One of the local churches just had a rummage sale, and my parents and I went there yesterday to see what was available. Although the church holds a sale every few months, this was our first time checking it out.

There were lots of stuff, most of which was extremely cheap. We bought a vacuum cleaner, two reprinted paintings, some iPad and laptop cases, an unopened Death Valley National Park jigsaw puzzle, a knitted bag, a shoe rack and lots of greeting cards - all for a grand total of less than $75.

Some of these items were especially good deals. For example, the greeting cards were only five cents each, and the puzzle was just three bucks. In comparison, these puzzles often cost $15 or more at gift shops. What a steal!

The other cool thing is that I ran into my old classmate Allie from Egan and LAHS. I'm surprised we still recognized each other after eight years. On the subject of which, my mother also ran into one of her friends at the sale. It's a small world indeed.

Currently watching: Star Trek: The Original Series - "Where No Man Has Gone Before"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

another uneventful summer + Labor Day weekend report

Summer was again uneventful due to the economic recession. This was actually our first time in at least 15 years that we didn't go on any vacations during the summer. While I got a cool new job in July and went to my company's family picnic last month, that's pretty much all. I've posted a few pictures I took during the summer here.

On the other hand, the Labor Day long weekend totally rocked. The break began with a hike in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Saturday afternoon. That was something we hadn't done in a while. There was lots of free time, during which we went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for another stroll. Our last time here was at least five years ago, but the place hadn't changed much. I think we walked a total of around nine miles!

Having hike so much the day before, my family decided to spend Sunday relaxing at home. That said, I finished watching Star Trek: The Animated Series on DVD. The animated series is almost 40 years old but still quite enjoyable.

Other than that, I spent most of Monday working on an assignment for an online programming class. The good news is that I managed to get it done - even though it took a couple of hours. On the whole, the break was an extremely productive one.

Currently watching: Star Trek: The Animated Series

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lab126 fall family picnic report

Yesterday was the annual Lab126 family picnic. This was particularly exciting as I had only been to one other company picnic since 12 years ago. The event was at Coyote Ranch in Morgan Hill. Although I only saw a few of my colleagues there, the place was still rather crowded. I suspect the distance was the reason many people didn't show up.

We arrived just in time for lunch. The food and desserts were plentiful. The Coyote Ranch staff put on numerous activities for kids and adults later in the afternoon, such as three-legged races and tug of war. The DJ also hosted additional games for families. They weren't my cup of tea but were still fun to watch.

The three of us left about an hour before the picnic was scheduled to end as it was very hot outside, but we overall had a great time. I've posted a few pictures from the picnic here.

Currently listening to: "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" by Usher

Saturday, July 21, 2012

a new member of my extended family

I just found out that my cousin Tom and his wife Sarah welcomed a baby boy named Jerry on the 4th. There is nothing more special than bringing a new life into the world. I'd like to congratulate the Hus on their incredible achievement and certainly hope to meet my new family soon!

Monday, July 2, 2012

First day at Lab126

I started my job at Lab126 this morning, and so begins a new chapter in my life. For those curious, I'll be working on a secret project as a software development engineer in test.

The day began with the new hire orientation, during which the HR team went over things like benefits and referrals. The IT folks then gave us our laptops and helped us set up our accounts before explaining the security policies. Our senior manager then took us to the nearby Park Place for lunch. It was definitely a great way to get acquainted with my new colleagues.

I spent the rest of the day configuring my laptop. Our building is like a maze and easy to get lost in, although that's probably something I'll get used to soon. At any rate, I'm already loving my new job and look forward to all the great things it has to offer.

The only real downside is that my work is highly confidential. I can't disclose any details about the project other than that it's related to the Amazon Kindle. Having said that, I'm sure everything will be revealed in due time. :-)

Currently watching: The Running Man

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

new job, new chapter...

After several months of sending in résumés and trudging through interviews, my hard work has finally paid off: an Amazon subsidiary called Lab126 recently gave me an offer. I accepted the offer right away as it was far too good to pass up. If everything goes to plan, I'll be joining the Lab126 team as a software test engineer early next month. Woohoo!

Currently listening to: "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy birthday, Cathy!

So my cousin Cathy just turned 20 years old. The nice thing is that she invited me to her party at Memorial Park in Cupertino. This was quite exciting as I hadn't been to a birthday party in ages.

Memorial Park had changed a lot since my last visit 15 years ago. It had become much bigger, and most of the pavement has been replaced with grass. One of my childhood memories was feeding the pigeons and ducks at the pond. The pigeons have largely disappeared ever since visitors were asked not to feed the birds, although the ducks were still present. On the whole, the park looks much better now.

The party itself was lots of fun. I was the second earliest to arrive, but Cathy's other friends soon started showed up. There were about 25 people in total, many of whom brought food to share. Mom was more than happy to contribute her famous homemade bread. I had a great time chatting with my cousin's friends, some of whom were rather attractive. ^_^

There was a solar eclipse later in the afternoon; the fact that it coincided with Cathy's birthday was pretty awesome. I even brought my Celestron binoculars to project the eclipse for safe viewing. Cathy and her friends definitely thought it was cool. Of course, all good things must end: I left with Mom shortly afterwards as she was feeling tired and that I had a 6 p.m. conference call.

The call turned out to be canceled, leaving lots of free time to observe the eclipse. The party and the solar eclipse made today really exciting. I was busy talking to Cathy's hot friends and didn't take too many pictures at the gathering, but you can see my eclipse shots here.

Currently watching: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Thursday, May 17, 2012

AnDevCon III report

I went to the Android Developer Conference in San Francisco yesterday afternoon. Seeing that I'm currently taking an Android programming class, Dad figured I might be interested.

The event was tailored to professionals as opposed to learners. Aside from gaining insight on services for developers, I scored lots of cool swag, including two T-shirts and some Android cookies. There was a bunch of desserts too. I also ran into my classmate Oliver from my advanced Android class at UC Santa Cruz Extension. Talk about a small world!

On the whole, this was a worthwhile experience. I've posted a few pictures from the conference here.

Currently playing: Hidden Chronicles

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

new fiber-optic Internet

As part of an upgrade to AT&T U-verse, my family switched to a fiber-optic connection this afternoon. While the new subscription is slightly more expensive, the upgraded connection is noticeably faster and more stable. The deal also included a new Wi-Fi router with a much greater range. Sweet!

In other news...

I started an advanced Android programming course at UC Santa Cruz Extension last night. This class is more challenging than the first one but certainly nothing I can't handle!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

COSD Full Access report

I went to the COSD Full Access Student Summit in San Jose (an event for college students and recent graduates with disabilities) at the recommendation of my career advisor. The purpose of the event was to help people improve their job skills, explore workplace accommodations and connect with potential employers. It was certainly a worthwhile experience.

Day 1

The summit began at 10 a.m. at the San Jose Marriott. The attendees checked in with the coordinator before taking the bus to the Cisco campus. I didn't run into any of my former colleagues as the event took place in a different building, but this still brought back memories.

The first activity of the day was a résumé review session. There weren't enough advisors to look over everyone's résumés at once, so the rest of us got acquainted in the meantime. This was followed by lunch, for which Cisco generously provided the food.

Up next were the keynote speeches. They were pretty interesting at first, although the talks got boring as time went on as there were several speakers. The attendees then took the bus back to the hotel for another break and the formal dinner.

For the meal, each of us were assigned to sit with an employer not on our preferred list. I was paired up with the U.S. Department of Transportation. But before we could pig out, there were more speeches to listen to. As you could imagine, all of us were pretty hungry by the time they were over. One of the summit coordinators then went over dining etiquette as the food was served. It was finally time to enjoy dinner. ^_^

The day concluded with a mixer that lasted late into the evening. The "fun room" had a Wii and board games, but people generally seemed more interested in socializing. There was also an AT&T booth with giveaways. Though only about half the people showed up, that didn't make the mixer any less fun.

Day 2

The morning was rather exhausting as we had to check out no later than 7 a.m. or risk missing the bus. All of us then gathered at Cisco again for a continental breakfast. It was then time to meet with two of our preferred employers. The Microsoft team was awesome, although the Google folks were pretty cool too.

The summit ended with a closing address at noon, after which we rode the bus back to the Marriott. I took the moment to bid farewell to my new friends before my parents picked me up. The only downside is that lunch wasn't provided. :P

I greatly enjoyed meeting the other attendees, especially those who come from a similar background as me. The experience was reminiscent of my stay at Camp Costanoan in 6th grade, only there were no bullies this time. It was also my first time staying at a hotel on my own!

On the whole, the COSD Full Access was interesting and inspirational. I've posted a few pictures from the summit here.

Currently listening to: "A Moment Like This" by Kelly Clarkson

Monday, January 30, 2012

first party of 2012

Last night was pretty fun as my family went to another one of Fennah's reading club parties.

The club met at Sun-Yen's house this time. Her place is somewhat smaller and was often crowded, but that didn't make the party any less fun. I've posted some pictures of the gathering here.

Seeing that everyone else started leaving shortly after dinner, my parents decided to not stay too late either. On the other hand, I watched Predators on DVD after getting home. The movie wasn't that extraordinary but was a great way to end the evening.

Currently watching: Predators

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oh hai, iPhone!

Dad and I each got a new iPhone 4S this morning. Let me begin by saying that I'm already loving mine!

The controls didn't take too long to get used to because I'm already familiar with iOS. The iPhone 4S is faster, easier to use and more stable than my aging Samsung Rogue. In addition, the capacitive touchscreen makes it difficult to pocket dial. This device is pretty awesome for sure.

I've already downloaded several apps for my phone. There is so much stuff in the app store that I don't even know where to begin. No wonder so many people love Apple.

Currently playing: Bejeweled Blitz

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 CES trip report

"Who needs booth babes when you have Angry Birds at your booth?" -- me at the CES

The year is off to a good start as we went to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show with Dad's colleague Jim. This wasn't so much a vacation as we were there for business reasons, but it was still an enjoyable trip.

I'll start with some background: Dad has been working with a digital audio company for a few months. The team had decided to demo their product at the CES. The plan was to meet up in Las Vegas, but my father agreed to carpool with Jim so they could discuss the project. Though we couldn't bring much because Jim only has a sedan, that wasn't a big deal.

Day 1

The first leg of the trip was a 35-mile drive to Jim's house in Morgan Hill. Dad introduced us to the Langs before we hit the road. Angry Birds and Bejeweled Blitz kept me occupied during the long drive. I'm glad we got the iPad 2 last month!

Of note is that Jim used to be in the Marines and had interesting stories. Jim is extremely alert due to his military training and could spot hazards on the road much quicker than any of us. He's probably one of those guys that can take out an entire SWAT team. I wouldn't want to get on his bad side, that's for sure.

All of us were tired when we checked into Gold Spike. Jim picked this place because of its low rates and proximity to the Las Vegas Convention Center. The downside is that the Wi-Fi sucked: it only worked half the time and was slow as hell. The 3G-enabled iPad 2 definitely came in handy here.

Day 2

Because the team wasn't ready yet, Dad took us to nearby attractions in the meantime. This was possible because Jim heard we wanted to go on side trips and was kind enough to lend us his car. I truly appreciate his consideration.

The first stop was Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. We came here in 1996 but only went to the visitor center due to fatigue. It was nice to fully explore the place this time. There was a $7 entrance fee, but that could have been waived had we brought our national park pass. *facepalm*

The plan was to visit Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and Blue Diamond as well. However, our GPS had trouble finding them and kept sending us in circles. Seeing that this was getting us nowhere, my parents and I decided to continue on.

Valley of Fire State Park awaited us next. The valley gets its name from the sandstone formations that appear to be on fire as the sun sets. It was no doubt one of the most unique places in the world. Hiking here was the best part of the trip. I'd love to come back here in the future.

Another notable stop was the Moapa travel plaza. Moapa is one of the few places in Nevada that allows consumer fireworks all year. With its huge selection of fireworks, the store was like heaven. However, I didn't buy any because of the high prices. The fact that I recently lost my job made it even harder to justify purchases. :-(

Day 3

We met up with Jim and his colleague George at the hotel's on-site restaurant. After they finished their breakfast, the five of us took the shuttle to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dad went with Jim and George while Mom and I explored the CES on our own.

The event was very crowded this year. Getting around was difficult, but there was plenty of time to look around. Haier's Brain Wave TV was the coolest thing we saw even though it didn't work for me. I imagine similar devices will be a household staple in the not-too-distant future.

One thing I noticed is that there was barely any swag. This was understandable as most exhibitors probably don't have enough to give to each of the tens of thousands of attendees. On the other hand, I got to chat with several cute booth babes. :-)

Dad picked us up as the show winded down. The three of us then had dinner with George and Jim at an Italian restaurant. The place had just opened three weeks ago. The servings were huge and quickly filled me up.

Day 4

The day was much like the one before: I checked out new products, looked for giveaways and talked to more girls. Mom and I also attended some keynote sessions that caught our interest. The best part is that I won $100 from TechnologyTell in their daily drawing. Oh yeah!

Our group met up again for dinner, after which my family checked out the nearby Fremont Street Experience. The light show and music were exhilarating. Figuring we have some luck left, I suggested hitting the casino upon returning to the hotel. This wasn't a bad idea: my father won $5 while I got $1.50 - all from the penny slots.

Day 5

Today was uneventful as Jim wanted to leave Vegas right after breakfast. The only major stop along the way was a sandwich joint in Boron for lunch. The food turned out to be quite good despite the mediocre reviews on Yelp.

Back in Morgan Hill, Jim invited us in to see his kitchen collection. He and his wife Betsy also love cooking and had tons of stuff. Looks like Mom has competition. :-)

Speaking of which, Jim gave us a stove-top smoker. That was so generous of him. After everything was said and done, my parents and I bid farewell to the Langs and began our drive home.


Business reasons aside, this was an awesome trip. Hiking in Valley of Fire State Park was my favorite part, although winning $100 at the CES and chatting with the booth babes were also memorable. Some of you may remember when a girl at the 2008 CES simply walked away when I tried to get a picture with her. It's nice to know not all attractive girls are stuck-up bitches.

Our options were limited as Jim was in charge of the plans. Jim is very punctilious, so we didn't want to bother him too much. On the upside, carpooling saved us hundreds of dollars in car rental fees, not to mention that having companions always makes traveling more fun. I certainly wouldn't mind more trips together. You can go here for pictures from our adventure.

In other news...

1. Dad and I are both getting an iPhone 4S tomorrow. Sweet!

2. I'm starting a course on Android app development in a few days. Being out of a job, I figured now would be a good time to learn about current technologies.

Currently playing: Bejeweled Blitz

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 0x7DC!

It's hard to believe 2011 is already over. So there you go: happy 0b11111011100 to everyone!

New Year's Eve was uneventful. This was the first time in at least 13 years that we didn't invite anyone over or vice versa. I guess people aren't in the mood for celebrating when the economy isn't doing too well.

However, last week wasn't too bad. For a start, Mom made an amazing Christmas Eve meal with lobster tails and stuffed clams. Three days later, one of Dad's professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign treated us to dinner at the Fish Market in Santa Clara during his visit. It had always been the other way around, but Dr. Trick insisted on returning the favor this time. Everything was delicious, especially the angel hair pasta.

The day after that, my mother invited the Chus and the Tangs over for dinner. That was nice even though there were no other young people. The only reason we didn't have the gathering on New Year's Eve is that Wen-Ko had to catch a flight to Taipei this morning. I jokingly suggested doing an early countdown, but everyone else thought it was a stupid idea. :P

2011 in review

I'm not going to lie - 2011 a tough year due to the economic recession. Our only vacations were two short trips to Yosemite and far Northern California. The worst thing that happened was finding out my contract wasn't going to be renewed. Although my departure from Cisco was graceful, joining the ranks of the unemployed just before the holidays sucks no matter what.

But 2011 had its upsides: the best part was the Armada Group family picnic in October. That was my first company picnic in over 11 years. Another highlight was getting the iPad 2 last month. I've never been crazy about Apple products, but Dad decided to buy an iPad after trying one. It's definitely pretty useful, both for productivity and as a time killer.

To conclude this post, my New Year's resolutions for 2012 are to improve my social skills, kick some bad habits, get a new job and hopefully survive the Mayan apocalypse. Haha.

In other news...

Dad is going to Las Vegas for the CES and plans to take me and Mom along. I'm so excited!

Currently listening to: "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO