Monday, December 25, 2006

2006 In Review

Departing from LAX in a few hours! I'm not sure if I will have Internet access while I'm at St. Louis so I suppose it would be good to post my end-of-the year entry now. I like how Jen used the idea of a photo book to share her stay in London for the last 8 months, and I thought I can share this year through my eyes in similar fashion.

I know...I realize that a lot of the notable moments took place @ Cal or with friends from Cal. But it's revitalizing when you're with people who walked with you in Christ. =)


(L) Woke up at 5:15am to watch the Rose Parade in Pasadena with Annie, Hannah, and her friend. The marching band had a tough day to say the least. (R) Had an unexpected reunion with family and friends at my second cousin Tim and Ruth's wedding. (B) Participated in my first broomball experience with Koinonia (over 30+ people!). SO much FUN.


(L) Koinonia had our service project for Teen Challenge. Girls were tidying the front while guys were tearing the junk in the back. Woohoo! (R) Took a tour around the Port of Los Angeles / Long Beach with my port engineering class. I really disliked the subject but at least I got an A! =) (B) Living up a day of spring break with fellow IV '06 friends in LA during their road trip through the country.


(L) Fellowshipping, growing, and bonding with my small group, Band of Brothers, over the past months. (R) Watch my sister walk across the stage and prepare to dive into college life. (B) Flew up to Cal to take part in IV's Senior Large Group by the Class of 2006.


(L) Celebrated my aunt's marriage @ Caltech. After many years (think back to when I counted Pluto as a planet), our family shot our first formal portrait. (R) Took a weekend fling to Sin City with the homeboys for some poker, sushi, and chilling in the pool. (B) Served on staff and as a counselor for our church's annual Youth Camp in the San Bernardino Mountains. One of the most blessed weekends of the year.


(L) Reunited with The Commissioned to catch-up and hang with other Cal buddies. (R) Participated in our church's Summer Retreat in UCSD for an inspiring message. (B) Going off to the crystal beaches of Santa Cruz for a weekend retreat with 25+ people from the IV Class of 2005 (my graduating class).


(L) Deciding out of a spur-of-the-moment to road trip and The Big Game in person . Rushing the field after victory was icing on the cake. (R) Participated in a crazy scavenger hunt with AOW for our Christmas party. (B) Flying out to Urbana 2006 to close out the year. I know it's gonna be awesome and God is going to reveal His greatness to us. I hope to get a glimpse of where He wants me to be in His plan.

Looking back on 2006, I realize how humbling of a year it has been. Not just in faults and failures (and I had my fair share of them), but in how God can take visions, refine them, and grow us in the process. And the amazing thing is that God love His people even more than visions and works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I hope I can take the lessons learned this past year and make 2007 even more glorious for God.

Take care everyone and Happy New Year!!!

"BEGIN: Each new day is the masterpiece of God" - Anonymous

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!!

Cute logo from Google. Crazy kangaroos. =)

Anyhow, just here to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Three days to Urbana. Woohoo!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Card War


I just finished writing and sending out my Christmas cards for this year. The big dilemma I face every year is choosing between the traditional cards and the E-cards to send to others. So I compiled a short list to compare the two mediums.

Traditional Cards

  • Postage costs and sometimes time-sensitive
  • Thoughtful impact to the receiver
  • Creativity flexibility (perhaps your own craft!)
  • Can be kept and stored for years to come
  • Need address, not e-mail


  • FREE
  • Easily customizable
  • Animated templates (some w/ song and dance too)
  • Sender can control send-out time and date
  • Need e-mail, not address

I try hard to send traditional cards out to loved ones and friends. When Christmas Day closes within 4-5 days, I resort to e-cards and phone calls.

But regardless of the materials used, when I speak to them of my life updates and the glories of Christmas, I try to write as if I am reaching through that card and giving them a touch - a handshake, a hug. I let them know that they have friends and are loved not only by me, but by our God in heaven, who demonstrated His own love by sending His son to us this holiday season. It is this amazing love that I hope they can take away and live to enjoy for this Christmas. =)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Run, Throw, Hunt

It's been long enough and it's time to blog once more, especially this past weekend.

  1. After talking about running my discipler Marvin, I somehow became inspired to take up running once more. I got up at dawn on Saturday (you read it right) to run with Jesse, Tammy, and Eunice only to be stumbled and humbled by a sore knee finishing my fifth mile. [Sigh] It was my stupid sense of pride that made me push harder than I had to for my re-entrance into running.

  2. After taking a lot of the day to recover, I went on my first disc golf activity with Aldous, Cecilia, and Ted at Whittier Narrows park in El Monte. I had mixed thoughts walking onto the field for the first time, especially since the sport had the word "golf" in it. But it became a really fun afternoon, and it added to my sense of direction of how to throw a Frisbee disc. It's really a science (and an art if you care how you look when you toss it =) ).

  3. The best part came later that evening with AOW had our Christmas celebration..."The Amazing Race" style! No joke: our group was split into teams to go on a scavenger hunt that led us from the Target complex on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena to an AOW member's house to a random Nativity scene in front of a Cold Stone's in Arcadia to a newspaper stand next to the Goldline train station in Fillmore St. (boarding it too!) and finally to our restaurant that night. Whew!! My team was THIS CLOSE to winning too, but my knee broke down from running that morning and the other team hit the restaurant a few seconds before us. =( Tough lesson learned but the dinner afterwards and team reuniting again raised my spirits and made my night.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Everybody Loves Peter

Emmy-Award winning actor Peter Boyle passed away yesterday at the tender age of 71 from heart disease.

After "Friends" finished its run, I got into "Everybody Loves Raymond" earlier this year and I love the show. The only character that would make me laugh with any line he said and would never annoy me was Peter's character: Frank Barone.

Here is to you, Mr. Boyle. HOLY CRAP we're gonna miss you. =)

Memorable quotes

  • "Holy crap!"
  • [to Ray] You're even dumber than I tell people.
  • [To his wife] "You're a trophy wife? What contest in hell did I win?"
  • [Commenting on Ray's TV appearance] "I could've eaten a box of Alpha Bits and crapped a better interview."
  • "You don't know a monkey wrench from a monkey's @$$, do you son?"
  • [To his sons] "Hello, ladies!"

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Workplace Discovery

Shortly after lunch yesterday, I ran into a fellow co-worker in the bullpen.

Him: Hey, can I ask you a question?
Me: Uh, sure. (He motioned for me to take a seat on a chair inside his cubicle and I sat down)
Him: So, uh, what's your faith?
Me: (I was a bit taken by surprised) Christianity.
Him: What denomination?
Me: Protestant. Along the lines of evangelist.
Him: Oh I see. (He then extended a hand to me) That's cool dude. Same here!
Me: (I smiled and returned the handshake.) Wow!! That IS cool, dude!
Him: Yeah. I saw that you always pray before you eat lunch. That's something I should do more often.

We entered a short conversation on our individual faiths and before getting back to work, he invited me to join him in the morning with a few others in the division for some devotional time.

God is good.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Sports Night

A couple days into the work week and I could already feel sorry for myself. As I pulled into my home about 10 1/2 hours after leaving it this morning, I needed a boost. A power-up. Just something. I knew there has got to be more to this life. After dinner, my friend Aldous called me up and suggested that we forgo our usual bowling night out @ ABC out and "mix it up a bit". Sure, I shrugged. Why not?

That little bit of mix up was an understatement.

In addition to going bowling elsewhere with less distractions, we teamed up for some doubles action in the tennis courts, taking on some "experts". When we were finished with them, we made off to the diamond and played some good ol' fashion baseball, and improved the timing of our batting to make some home runs. Golf came next, and despite some frustrating times, we were able to work on our swings and practice getting the ball onto the green. And heck, we even threw in a little boxing too!! (thankfully, no one was really hurt either... =) )

What a crazy night of fun and all of this within about 4 hours time! My thanks to Aldous for making the initiative and providing the equipment to do it.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Big Game 2006

Half planned, half-spur-of-the-moment, Theresa (a fellow Cal CE) and I took a road trip up to San Francisco and Berkeley this past weekend to see THE BIG GAME!! =) It was kinda rushed and sort of crazy (5-6 hour drive one-way), but the annual rivalry sport made it all worth it. Big props and thanks to Theresa and her great connections (tickets @ the 20th row!) as well as her parents for letting us stay at their place for the short weekend. =)

Everyone was expecting a blow-out victory for Cal this year, making me doubt how much fun it can really be (let's face it - 42-0 is no fun to watch). But the Cardinals definitely gave a respectable performance and a "bear of a fight" to the finish. All emotions spilled over in the end, and I joined the crowd in rushing the field (my third time!) after our hard-fought victory. As the 4th quarter clock ticked to zero, I took off to the center of Memorial Stadium: leaping over railings, dodging slower fans, and pumping my fist in the air - all while yelling to the top of my lungs and high-fiveing as many fans along my way. And all of this with the same fervor as four years ago when I was a freshman at my first Big Game where Coach Tedford ended our losing streak to Stanford. Well, everything except for taking down our own goal posts and carrying them out of the stadium into streets...[sigh]...robbed of opportunities once more...=) Nonetheless, what a great way to end a largely successful football season!

Something I found online that I had to post as an ending to a hugely fun weekend:

GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


After 4+ years of keeping me on time, my trusty Freestyle Model 817 sports watch gave it's final "tick" right before my final tonight. I initially thought that it ran out of batteries or something got through the waterproof seal, so I struck it a couple times. But it was gone.

Even time can wear out the very thing that measures it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

'Tis The Season To Be Crazy...

Right after coming home from our family thanksgiving celebration, I hopped into my truck and drove to Circuit City in the City of Industry, where a few church friends were waiting in line for the busiest retail shopping day of the year - my first Black Friday ever. It was 10:30pm and there were already about a 100 people ahead of us. Geez. So for the next 7 hours, we broke out the blankets, folding chairs and table as well as our poker chips and PSPs to pass the time. Between playing and snacking on a few treats, we even chatted with other waiting customers about what we wanted and how our holiday went earlier that day. When the time clocked 5 am, the store opened and everybody was running. Unfortunately, the 100+ people ahead of me wanted the same things I was planning to get (32" HDTV for $474 and a $300 laptop - unbelievable, huh?), but I luckily did my research and had other electronic goodies in sight - like a $3 1GB SD memory card and three 1GB USB memory stick for $4 (I know I have a better one in hand, but...dude, it's only $4!). Our group of six split, dodging (and some cases, leaping over) people to grab what we can. We regrouped at the cashier to hand over the greens and drive to the nearby Best Buy to repeat the process for $2.99-$5.99 DVDs ("Field Of Dreams", "The Office: Season 1", "Big Fish", "Jerry Maguire", "Hitch"). I came home at 7:30 am with my prizes, only to find my mom covering my back by bringing home a 7" widescreen portable DVD player for $59.99 (retail: $99.99) AND a 32" LCD HDTV for just a $100 more than the one mentioned above at RadioShack. BOOYA!! After some sleep (until 3pm), I rounded out my shopping with some $8 Chris Tomlin CDs and a $10 One-Year Study Bible from New Life Bookstore in Alhambra, ending at a "debrief" dinner with the guys in Pho 79 across the street.

Although it was an interesting and fun experience altogether, I don't think I can go every year unless I bring a heated bed (or a portable jacuzzi) to withstand the freezing cold that night. Then again, I just might be waiting out there for one of those suckers when it arrives in stores. =)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wow...I'm glad we have dishwashers these days. =)

For our traditional thanksgiving dinner in Glendale with the family, my aunt read how our holiday was officially announced by Lincoln in his Thanksgiving Proclamation. Indeed, there is always something to be learned in an annual celebration. =)

In addition to family, friends, good health, and fortunes for this year, I'm mostly thankful for just who God is: my Savior, my guide, and friend whose unfailing love, grace, and mercy wants me to reflect the same for others and built me. While it's still imperfect, there is so much goodness from His promise that I want to "stand up, shout out, sing 'Hallelujah!'", knowing there is always hope from the cross.

God is great. =) Thanks Lord.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bond Is Back!!

What a comeback! The reboot of the long-running British spy series makes for pleasantly fun entertainment, taking our globe-trotting secret agent back to his early years as a double-0. Daniel Craig makes his first mark as James Bond, giving an intense, reckless edge to 007 that audiences have waited to see since veteran Sean Connery debuted the character. Goldeneye director Martin Campbell returns nearly a decade later to revive the franchise, again focusing more on the boy than on his toys. Add a few well-casted supporting roles (Eva Green does a fine job on her Bond girl outing, along with the ever-faithful Judi Dench as M), a script polisher (Paul Haggis of Crash), and some non-CGI action sequences, and what you have is an awesome action-adventure that will keep your heart pounding and mind guessing to the end. For those of you Texas Hold'em players, this film is sure to find a place in your heart. Of course, producers have opened the doors for future outings, but with Craig in the lead, we can gladly toast with our vodka martinis - shaken, not stirred. =)

Bottom Line: All in for Bond.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

22 for 2006

In turning the big 22 today, I opted out of a party or gathering and instead went for a more modest, sports-oriented birthday than my previous ones. My sister came home yesterday so the whole immediate family could go get a good sushi dinner and talk old times. It felt good to be around those who will never stop loving you. =) Later that night, I shared a birthday cake with my small group members, and poker with XBox 360 gaming went into the night.
Despite a late play, I went with about 8 CEFC friends to play softball at Barnes Park. I haven't batted since elementary school, and it felt really refreshing to know that after many years of absence, I am actually decent at the home plate. =) Afterwards, Mike and Jason introduced me to Clearman's Galley a.k.a. "The Boat" for some delicious sandwiches and cheese bread. Now I can see why some of the guys love this place: walking into the kitchen to order (and watch) their food, sports on big-screen TVs spread about the bench-tabled area, and fast, friendly service. I gotta go back here soon to watch some Laker games! But all these things didn't match for a special birthday gift later that day.

I didn't think I would get to see the long-anticipated Cal-USC game due to the chaos over tickets, but my discipler Marvin was so gracious to let me go with him to watch it at the Colliseum. He is an awesome man of God and I really feel blessed to be in partnership with him in the Holy Spirit. I was surprised to see a lot of Cal fans present to support the Bears and I even had a run-in with my former floormates in the middle of the campus. Although it didn't exactly go the way I wanted it, I still had a lot of fun and as a student from both schools, I felt I won either way. =) I stayed for the USC marching band's post-game performance, and then went home to wake my mom and sister up so we can break open some champagne they bought from France just for today, alluding to last year.

Thanks to those who wished me a happy birthday through e-mails, Facebook wall postings, and/or phone calls! Here is a toast to you!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

PlayStation 3 Protection

With the US release of PlayStation 3 around the corner, things might get a little out of hand as it did in Japan this past week. But thanks to Aldous, who e-mailed me earlier today, there is indeed a solution to all this. Check it out below. What a deal!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Next to the parts for new computer (which is almost done!), the latest gadget I have recently acquired through good deals is this U3 DataTraveler USB Flash Drive. In addition to carrying a significant amount of memory storage (2GB), this finger-sized device can host software programs that can be utilized in practically any computer with a USB outlet. This is especially helpful when you need specific programs to do tasks, but the computer doesn't allow you installation rights. So now you can find me creating PDF files without Adobe products and browsing through the Net with ONE window (Mozilla Firefox) on any PC out there. With the holiday season coming around the corner and all these new technological releases, I think I'm gonna go nuts! Black Friday, here we come...=)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Veterans Day Weekend

It was a fun weekend of R&R for these last four days at home.

  • Went to the LA Food Bank on Friday morning with Daryl, Owen, George, Carmen, and Chao to help sort through the donated food products and make sure fresh products were packaged and contaminated ones were disposed. Though it was hard work, I found this act of serving to be a welcoming change, reminding us that not all of God's people in need are inside the church's walls.

  • Took to hanging out with church friends. We even tried turning our poker game this week to look like those on TV, by taping our cards and everyone's expressions upon playing. =) Small group, although quite tiny this week, was God-glorifying with sharing and praying for one another's hearts. In addition, I finally met up with my disciple. He is such a bright young man and I am really looking forward to walking with him this coming year.

  • Made my AOW performance debut in Agape Youth Service today. I was playing a mean father who wants to apologize to his son for a mistake, but ends up demanding forgiveness for himself, and not caring about a drop of sincerity. Pretty intense, huh? I think our group (everyone performed!) did pretty well on our first outing of the season, and I felt encouraged by my awesome cast members and other youth who complimented my portrayal. =) But most of all, I'm glad that we helped add flavor and application to Pastor Rich's sermon today. I'm really excited to see where God will take the team as the next year rolls on.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Jars of Clay

Earlier this week on Sunday, I visited Biola University to see Jars of Clay in concert. There were a lot of "firsts" for me that night: seeing the university campus, hearing the 10-year Christian band perform their songs, and even seeing a concert without any significant prior knowledge of the artists. While the opening acts did poorly in my opinion, Jars of Clay pleased me with their very personal lyrics and unique bland of rock, pop, and other melodic tones. I hope to listen and enjoy their music - those in the past, present, and future.

L-R: Matt Odmark (guitar), Gabe (bass), Charlie Lowell (keyboards), Jeremy (drummer), Aldous (my friend who invited me to go), Dan Haseltine (lead vocal), Steve Mason (guitar).