Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013 report

Lab126 had a costume contest today after lunch. This was our first official Halloween event ever. I went as myself because I'm scary enough without a costume, but it was fun to see what others were wearing. Speaking of which, my personal favorite was NSA leaker Edward Snowden. That was hilarious, although it was Master Chief from Halo that ultimately won. I've posted a few pictures here.

I later passed out candy to the kids. There was lots of extra candy as we had fewer trick-or-treaters this year. Here are the stats for those curious:

Total: 38 (-15.6% change from 2011)
* Male: 21 (55.3%)
* Female: 17 (44.7%)
First arrival: 6:16 p.m.
Last arrival: 8:28 p.m.

Currently watching: Star Trek: The Original Series - "The Mark of Gideon"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

post-birthday weekend report

The weekend wasn't too bad either. Case in point, my parents invited the Tangs and the Chens over for lunch yesterday. Because the generation gap made it hard to follow the conversation, I mostly played RuneScape while the older folks talked.

Winnie's son Michael stopped by after lunch. He had recently graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in computer science; no doubt we had a lot in common. It's always great to meet other young people with similar interests.

The Chens left for San Francisco to look at apartments for Michael. We then took George and Eileen to the nearby Redwood Grove for a hike. The five of us also went to a Chinese art exhibition in Santa Clara. There was lots of food at the event. Back at home, I studied Android programming while my parents dropped the Tangs off at the BART station in Millbrae.

Today was uneventful as I mostly listened to online lectures. That said, my parents and I went hiking on the Stevens Creek Trail as well as stopped at Baskin-Robbins to redeem my birthday reward. It was only a small scoop of ice cream, but freebies are always nice. On the whole, the weekend was perfect. Be sure to check out my new pictures.

Currently watching: Star Trek: The Original Series - "The Ultimate Computer"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

a somewhat busy 28th birthday...

I'm now 28 years old. Because our project at Lab126 is at a crucial stage, I didn't plan anything for my birthday due to the possibility of having to work after hours. However, that turned out not to be the case. :-)

After my parents picked me up, the three of us went shopping for fine china before heading to Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too! for dinner. Although we've been there a few times, the food has never disappointed. I've posted pictures from the dinner here.

Mom also made an absolutely delicious green tea cake. There was so much left that we gave some to the Wilsons next door. Jenny insisted that we stay for a while, to which be obliged. It was a busy evening!

The fun doesn't end here as we're having some friends over on the 12th. But because the Chinese think it's bad luck to have late birthday celebrations, it'll be just another get-together... officially.

Currently watching: Contact

Sunday, October 6, 2013

on celebrating the National Day of the Republic of China

I had another great weekend.

To start off, my family went hiking in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Saturday after lunch. This was refreshing as we hadn't been there in ages. Our next stop was downtown Santa Cruz for a stroll. The area we visited was fairly close to the UC Santa Cruz campus, bringing back memories.

After finding a Starbucks store, my parents and I went in to redeem a birthday reward. Dad took the opportunity to buy Mom a cup of latte. I also had some ice cream at a candy store as it was rather hot outside. The day trip was the highlight of the weekend.

The three of us attended a flag-raising ceremony for the National Day of the Republic of China in San Jose this morning. The dance and martial arts performances were enjoyable. The other thing is that we saw several familiar faces. I've posted some pictures and videos of the event on Flickr. The videos are also on YouTube.

But there was one thing we weren't happy about. Upon arrival, attendees were given tickets that could be redeemed for a bento box and a Taiwanese flag. However, the staff kept handing out the boxed lunches to people who arrived late without a ticket. The lunches ran out just when it was our turn. While a free lunch is no big deal, this wasted an hour of our time. Shit happens.

On the other hand, my birthday is in four days. The cool thing is that it's actually on the National Day of the Republic of China. They say people born that day are treated like kings in Taiwan. If only plane tickets weren't so expensive...

Currently watching: Star Trek: The Original Series - "A Private Little War"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A super September

So there was recently a RuneScape event called Super September. Though I haven't played the game much lately due to real life, last month was pretty awesome.

You may remember that we hosted a welcome dinner for our new neighbors during the Labor Day long weekend. The Wilson family returned the favor by having us over for dinner on the 21st. Their older daughter Julia made most of the food, all of which was delicious. Later in the evening, the Wilsons lit floating candles on their pool to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. That was a nice touch. I've posted some pictures from the gathering.

The following day was Fennah's reading club at Carol's house. It was just me and Mom this time as Dad was busy with work and couldn't attend. The two of us didn't stay long but still got to enjoy good food.

I had to work overtime again on the 28th. On the bright side, the company again bought us lunch. The rest of the day was uneventful, although I watched two episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series on Amazon Instant Video in the afternoon.

Dad took us to Half Moon Bay on Sunday morning. Because it was already noon, my family had lunch at Sushi Main Street before exploring the downtown. Our stops included two pumpkin farms; they were a little crowded, probably because Halloween is coming up. The plan was to go hiking afterwards, but we decided to head home as Mom was feeling tired. On the whole, the day trip was lots of fun. You can go here for the pictures.

Currently watching: Star Trek: The Original Series - "A Piece of the Action"