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).

Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Amazingly, I just finished rewiring our family's entire computer systems! After having a rough half-week of work (4-day weekend ahead!) and the fact that our DSL company can't quickly resolve our on-and-off connection problems, I had the urge to pour my frustration into organizing and fixing everything around me until completion. The horrendous wiring mess that accumulated over the years between our two PCs has always annoyed me and so there was where I began my cleaning crusade. So much for a restful weekend kickoff.

Now I know how Monica Geller ("Friends") feels when something isn't neat or done right. But I admit it IS a satisfying feeling when you can do something constructive with semi-destructive attitude. Imagine how much better our earthly homes would be if we all could do it.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Now and Then much for a "soon" update. But finally have some time to write my blurb for my 4th post-college visit to Cal. (is there something wrong if your weekends are just as busy or busier than the weekdays?)

Like my previous visits, it was soooo GOOD getting to catch-up with friends, and bask in the beautiful campus scenery of Berkeley. While several meet-ups were planned, there were quite a few moments where I would be strolling through campus and I would be blessed to run into an old floormate or classmate who I haven't spoken to in the longest time. I guess that means I'm still young enough...? =)

A few more highlights worth hitting on:

  • Having early morning coffee with Carol from IV. I love her heart for developing leadership in the Body of Christ.
  • Meeting with Christina from CEFC and chatting about college experiences and church times.
  • Eating dinner and sharing with The Commissioned. Time really seemed to have stopped over those couple hours of fellowship.
  • Celebrating THREE birthdays that weekend that included a Halloween costume party, a surprise 21-candle burning cake, and playing games with other IV folk.
  • Crashing at Nathan and Matt's comfortable and equipped bachelor pad.
  • Eating the good food from Cal's unique restaurants along the south side.
As much of a good time I had that weekend, there were some instances when I was asking myself, "What am I doing here? Why am I here?" Not much seemed to have changed during my past visits. Yet this time, it seems everything has somehow changed, and I began to realize that there is not a whole lot left for me in Berkeley now. New generations of bright students enter this college everyday, eager to learn, be challenged, and do many great things. It feels like it's my time to let them have theirs. I still love the learning, relationships and atmosphere the university brought me for the three years I attended, and I will certainly miss it. As it is very much like earth, it's just another special place to pass through to reach where God is calling me to go. And thankfully, all the memories of the people and places along the way are here to stay for the long haul.