Wikipedia is Fast!

Saturday, December 29, 2007
The news just came out that Rick Neuheisel will be the next Head football coach of UCLA. I went to Wikipedia to look him up because I didn't know much about his history as a player (I had only heard of him because of the scandal that caused him to be fired).

Well, I get to Neuheisel's Wikipedia page, and it is already updated with the fact that he was hired by UCLA. It wasn't any more than 4 hours ago that the news story was broken, and there it was already in Wikipedia.

This is something that is really changing the world. Certainly it has already, but we are only seeing the very early stages of it. Information just flows so much faster now than it ever has in the past. Things like this get updated in real time, and that has profound effects downstream.

Brian Cook Trade Just Keeps Getting Better

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Last night, the Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns on Chirstmas Day in front of a National TV audience. This was in no small part to thanks to Trevor Ariza who was the player sent over when Brian Cook was traded to the Orlando Magic. Trevor Ariza made his first start as a Laker and scored 14 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 3 assist, and one of the sickest dunks I've seen in a very long time. He got the past on a fast break and basically jumped over Grant Hill (who actually looked to have good position, but no way should a ref negate that play)

Of course, I've stated I would have taken a bag of chips to get rid of Brian Cook and I meant it. Getting someone as good as Trevor Ariza is just icing on the cake. Or should I say salt on the chip?

Stupid Drivers - Turning Right

Sunday, December 23, 2007
Drivers of the world. When you have a green right turn arrow it means you have the right of way. It means that there will not be opposing traffic coming from the other direction. It means that you can not come to a full stop, check both ways for a few seconds, and then turn. If you want to slow down a little bit just to be sure, maybe. But please, you do not need to come to a full and complete stop.

That is all.

Pimp My Ride

Friday, December 21, 2007
It always makes me a little sad when I watch the show and the people on it talk about how its going to change their life. There are lots of events that could change someones life. Getting an organ transplant, finding a lost parent, getting a great new job, etc.

But getting a car? Even a really nice one? I realize, that some of these people have been very unfortunate, and that any act of kindness is greatly appreciated. But getting a pimped out car does not top my list of things that are life-altering. PERHAPS if I could sell the car for a serious profit and use the money to do something else, but just having the car itself would not be life-altering for me in almost any other circumstance. No matter how down in my luck I was.

It actually makes me think of a scene in Hoosiers where the teacher explains to the coach that she doesn't want the highlight of someone's life to have happened in High School. I would just hope that nobody's highest point in their life would be getting a dope ride.

Gift Cards for Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2007
The Holiday season is upon us and one discussion I have had with people is if it is appropriate to give people gift cards for Christmas. The argument goes is that it would be equivalent to giving someone cash, and this is generally frowned upon.

I used to be of the belief that it was not appropriate to give gift cards or cash as a gift. I've always believed that it was the thought in the gift that counted the most, and it didn't take much thought to buy someone a gift card from Best Buy or Target. However, I've recently done a complete U-turn on this subject. The reason is because I've been enjoying the benefit of this my entire life and never complained about it then.

You see, I'm Chinese. And in Chinese culture, it is completely appropriate to give cash as a gift. In fact, it is the norm. I used to love getting those little red envelopes filled with money for my birthday or for Chinese New Year. The funny thing was, for some reason, I never put the two together. I thought it was fine for Chinese people to give me money as a gift but always believed that I should not do the same. Maybe it's because I don't really consider myself Chinese.

Either way, I've changed my mind on the subject. Partially due to this epiphany, partially due to the fact that the older I get, the more I appreciate how hard it is to buy someone like me a gift. I would rather not have people stress otu to try and buy me a gift, so if it easier to give me a gift card, so be it.

How Cold Is It In Seattle Right Now?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I went out to lunch yesterday. At lunch I ordered a coke. I took it with me when I left the restaurant and drove home. Being the lazy man that I am, I didn't bring the cup in with me when I got home.

This afternoon, about 24 hours after I had gone out to lunch, I got back in my car to run some errands. I looked down at the cup of coke, expecting to see all liquid. Much to my surprise, it looked as if I hadn't left more than 5 minutes ago, because the ice was still floating at the top.

DVDs and VHS

Monday, December 10, 2007
Here is a random fact I had no idea was true. A DVD case and a VHS tape are exactly the same height. I found this out today packing, and I happen to have an old VHS tape I am dragging along with me. I packed it next to the DVD case and noticed they were flush. I assume this is on purpose so that old storage shelves used to hold VHS tapes could hold DVD movies. Just thought this was an interesting fact.

DRM Sucks

Sunday, December 09, 2007
DRM, or digital rights management, sucks. I have no idea why companies continue to insist on implementing half-ass solutions that do nothing to prevent piracy and do everything to prevent people who want to legitimately use their product from doing so.

I got Hairspray from my Blockbuster Online account. I actually have packed up most of my stuff already, so I don't really have a good place to watch the movie other than on my computer. So I popped the DVD in my computer, and started up my Media Center. Of course, my computer is having problems reading the stupid DVD because New Line had decided to put some Anti-Piracy measures on the DVD to ensure people don't try and steal this movie. These types of measures generally make it more difficult for computers to read the data because this is where pirates are going to try and rip the movie off of. It is supposed to work for legitimate uses, like paying in my media center, but there are always issues.

Of course, one quick search on any torrent network, and you can find copies of it. The only people this really hurts are those who just want to legitimately watch the movie. With the prevalence of media centers and people watching movies on their computer, I just don't understand why companies think this is a good idea. It does not stop piracy, it only pisses off legitimate users.

Most overpaid athletes in professional sports

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

As this is the most popular search on my blog, I figured I would actually compile a list of the most overpaid athletes in professional sports. Now I really don't think these athletes are overpaid, as I don't think anyone is overpaid. These athletes signed contracts, and their employers were willing and often eager to give them these huge paydays. This is a list of athletes who, in my opinion, give their teams the least bang for their buck.

Shaquille O'Neal - I've written before how I feel about Shaq, how he is not the most dominant ever. He did get Miami one NBA ring, but he recently signed a contract extension worth $100 Million over 5 years. That buys you 16pts and 7 Rebounds a game. That is until he gets injured, which is inevitable. The last two years he has averaged 50 games a season.

Stephon Marbury - Guy walked out on his team but is under contract for a little more than $14.5 million. I should actually include the entire New York Knicks team and the idiot Isiah Thomas, but this one is good enough. That's all I have to say about that.

David Beckham - He signed a 5 year $250 Million contract to play in a league few people know about. At half that salary, it would be too much. I don't know a single person who follows MLS, so how on earth can you make him one of the highest paid players in all of professional sports? He isn't even close to the best player in the world anymore. It just doesn't make any sense.

Jason Giambi - Highest paid player last year in MLB earning $23,5 Million. For all that money, the Yankees got a player who only played in half the games and hit a pretty bad .236 with 14 homeruns. Guess he isn't quite the same player without the juice. I am tempted to add Alex Rodriguez onto the list, but while he can't win a championship, he at least is the league MVP.

Honorable Mention - Michael Vick. Should be on the list, since he had a ton of guaranteed money that the Falcons haven't recovered, but considering he isn't actually playing, I left him off the list.

I don't know Hockey well enough to pick one from that sport so that is my list. Did I leave anyone obvious off? What are your thoughts

Ranking Performance

Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I don't know why people get so upset about being ranked. There are some people where I used to work that seem to have a real problem with being ranked. At the time of reviews, all the managers get together and essentially rank you against the other employees in your peer group. This is how the decide on who gets what for a bonus, raise, promotion, etc.

I personally feel I should be told my rank. If there are 20 people who I'm being compared against, I want to know if I'm 1, 7, or 20. In any company, this has to happen. People must be differentiated. If you don't differentiate people, than you have people who slack off getting the same rewards as people who do all the work. All that leads to are people at the top wondering why they are working so hard and doing all the work yet getting the same benefits as everyone else. This leads to them either leaving the company or working less hard, which in turn is bad for everyone. Even the people at the bottom as the company is likely to go under when everyone stops giving a damn.

Now, we are not actually told a number where we are ranked. You can kind of figure out where you are by figuring out how your review went and what type of rewards you got. But seriously, I think I should be given a number. Why is hiding the number and not telling anyone, yet still coming up with that ranking and using it to figure out something as important as raises and promotions, a good thing. Who does it help? Is it going to hurt someones feelings? Does it make it better to see that you clearly got the low end of rewards but not know you are at the bottom of the ranking? Do these people kid themselves into believing they aren't at the bottom?

When I was in High School I knew my rank. I was #8 in my graduating class (out of about 600). For someone as competitive as I am, you would think it really bothered me. And you would be right, it did. I wanted to be #1, but I wasn't. I sought to improve, but in the end I wasn't angry that I was #8, it was what it was. I didn't hate #1-7, they were some of my best friends. If I can handle it as a teenager, why can't people handle it as adults?

Now I'm not saying that you make public who is ranked where. But you yourself should know where you rank at work if they are coming up with that number anyway.

Moving Around Junk

Monday, December 03, 2007
I'm not sure why we do this, but people tend to keep moving around the same old junk. As I prepare to pack up and move, I am going through the closets to see what I have and what I want to get rid of.

As I do this, I run across stuff I brought up with me from LA, unpacked, and never looked at again. So in essence I dragged my stuff 1200 miles across the country, stored it for two years and never looked at it, and I will now drag it back the full 1200 miles just in case I might need to use it again some day.

What will make it even more perfect is if I someday move back to NYC. Could you imagine? I'm sure I have a few items that made their way from NYC with me that I haven't looked at again since then. If that ever happens, I would have dragged the junk almost 9,000 miles with me.

Now I tend not to save too much junk, but imagine all the people who do. Just thinking about the colossal waste in energy and space that all this junk it taking up is mind-numbing. And for what?

Shanghai Kiss - A Review

Sunday, December 02, 2007
I rented a movie called Shanghai Kiss. I had never heard of it before I saw it on the shelf at Blockbuster. It caught my eye because it had Hayden Panettiere in it, and I'm a big Heroes Fan. But when I picked it up, and saw the premise, I decided not to put it down.

My girlfriend and I have noticed that Asian Men tend to not date non-asian women. (By the way, I have been noticing more and more examples of this not being true, so maybe the tide is turning). Since this premise of this movie is about an Asian Man dating a White Girl, I thought I would at least see what it was about. Bad mistake.

The basic premise is that Ken Leung, a thirty something struggling actor, meets a 16 year old Hayden Panettiere while taking the bus. They become friends, which is awkward enough, and the whole movie you are wondering if it will turn into more.

Spoilers after this

Most of the film revolves around Leung struggling to find his place in the world. He is neither Asian nor does he feel like he is really American. Everyone in America sees him as Chinese and nothing more. Everyone in China sees him as an American. All the while, the one person who really loves him, Panettiere, is off limits.

This is one of those movies that is just awkward. Why is a thirty year old guy hanging out with a sixteen year old girl? They address this issue multiple times in the movie, so clearly they want you to feel this awkwardness, but it still made the whole thing creepy. I can relate to the Lenug's feeling of being trapped between two worlds, as I often fell this way myself, but the ways in which this movie addresses those issues seem a little contrived. Further, the awkward romance between the two forces you to focus on that rather than Leung's racial dilemma.

In the end, he ends up with Panettiere, of course only after she turns eighteen. It's still creepy though for a 30 something year old guy to be dating an 18 year old girl. Asian guys have it hard enough as it is, there is no need for a stereotype to be formed that we are so hard up for dates, that we will resort to dating underage girls. Maybe it wasn't the point of the movie, but it was certainly what I focused on.

Seattle Weather

Saturday, December 01, 2007
It is snowing in Seattle right now. It is sixty degrees in L.A. Is it any wonder why I'm excited to move back to Southern California?