Feb 28, 2005

I ordered GT4 on 25Feb2005 and the scheduled date of shipment is 07Mar2005? What's up with that, eCost? Shipping from TN shouldn't take ten days.

Hmm, didn't take long to purchase what I needed:

  • Wash: NXT Generation Purchased from Autopia
  • Clay: Sonus Block Detailing Purchased from Autopia
  • Cleaner: Klasse All-in-One Purchased from Autopia
  • Wax: P21S Carnauba SEE BELOW
  • Wax removal towel: Der Wunder Buffing Towel Purchased from Autopia
  • Tire dressing: Good ol' Armor All! To Be Purchased locally

I found out that P21S carnauba wax is also sold as S100 motorcycle wax. Same stuff, same jar, different name, half the price! I picked up the S100 from autogeek.net.

I'm not sure why I like auto detailing so much; it's just so relaxing to me. Fire up the iPod on a clear day and get to work! It must be a combination of the relaxing work, a sense of accomplishment and the look of the car at the end!

Spring is coming and I'm running low on quite a few important car detailing supplies! Looks like I'll be picking a few things up soon:

  • Wash: NXT Generation
  • Clay: Sonus Block Detailing
  • Cleaner: Klasse All-in-One
  • Wax: P21S Carnauba
  • Wax removal towel: Der Wunder Buffing Towel
  • Tire dressing: Good ol' Armor All!

Feb 27, 2005

In case someone with an SVT Focus wants to rotate their own tires (and save $12), here is the vital info:

  • OEM tires (ContiSportContact) are directional AND asymmetric
  • Rotate OEM tires front to back only
  • Lug nuts should be torqued to 94 lb-ft

Feb 25, 2005

2005 Lotus Elise - Automobile Magazine: This has to be one of the most humorous reviews I've read. It's not "Oh my god, I'm going to pee my pants just after I stop crying" funny, but it has it's moments:

"The cop hands me my first speeding ticket in nine years. I console myself with the thought that my streak was broken with a worthy car, something like getting an STD from a supermodel."

"If I owned this car, I'd put in more aggressive cams and crank the idle up to about 2000 rpm, so it would play a frenetic staccato tune at all times. And I'd rip out the passenger seat and replace it with another fuel tank so you wouldn't have to stop every ten minutes. And I'd airbrush a portrait of a ninja on the hood, but that's, like, stage three."

"The interior is mostly bare metal, there's no power steering, and the radio is so bad that you expect Ashton Kutcher to run out from behind a bush and tell you that you've been Blau-Punk'd."

Feb 24, 2005

[Insert wolf howl here]

Feb 23, 2005

...and from this day forth, it shall be known as Cayman.

Feb 18, 2005

iTunes for Windows is getting buggier and buggier. Other than the obvious visual artifacts you are seeing, iTunes occasionally just stops letting me minimize.

EverQuest II, Splinter Cell to introduce in-game ads - Feb. 18, 2005: "When players type '/pizza', a new browser window opens, connecting to PizzaHut.com and allowing the player to place a delivery order. There's no need to log out of the game and leave your fellow players in the lurch as they rush into battle." No comment necessary.

Feb 15, 2005

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and Katherine and I had plans to go to a cute Latin bistro downtown for some paella and maybe some rioja. She came down with a massive headache and we had to cancel our reservations. I decided to try out some of the great cookware she has purchased recently and made paella myself! It wasn't too difficult, so here is my recipe (modified from here.)


  • # 1 [6 1/2-ounce 184-mL] can chopped clams
  • # Water
  • # 2 tablespoons [30 mL] vegetable oil
  • # 1 pound [454 g] chicken breast, rib meat and skin removed
  • # 1 large onion, chopped
  • # 1 1/2 cups [375 mL] uncooked paella rice
  • # 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • # 2 [10-ounce / 284-mL each] cans chicken broth concentrate
  • # 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] curcuma (AKA tumeric)
  • # 1 teaspoon [5 mL] pepper
  • # 10 ounces [284 g] frozen small peas
  • # 1/2 pound [227 g] medium-size shrimp, shelled and veins removed
  • # Parlsey [optional, to decorate]
  • # Lemon segments [optional, to decorate]


  • # Drain clams, reserving liquid; add enough water to the juice to get 1 1/4 cups [310 mL] liquid; reserve.
  • # Heat vegetable oil in a 24-cup [6-L] casserole, over medium-high heat; slice chicken breast into inch-wide strips; fry chicken breast for 10 minutes [until golden brown]; remove chicken from casserole, cut into bite-sized chunks and set aside.
  • # Into hot coking juices, cook together onion, rice and garlic, until rice is light brown, stirring often.
  • # Stir in reserved clam juice mixed with water, chicken broth, curcuma, pepper and reserved chicken; bring to a boil.
  • # Lower heat to medium-low.
  • # Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • # Mix in reserved clams, peas and shrimp.
  • # Cover; simmer for 5 minutes, until shrimp are pink, no longer translucent.
  • # Serve, garnished, if desired, with parsley and lemon segments.

Feb 10, 2005

Gizoogle - Fo all you beotches who wanna find shiznit: The translizzle text feature is pretty tight:

Let me explain W-H-to-tha-izzat has happened aww nah. Mark worked fo' Microsoft fo' 'bout 18 months . One, two three and to tha four. He came in as an SDET (developa trippin' fo' tiznest) n tizzy decided ta become a PM (program managa, like myself) in all flavas. He asked me fo' a few playa n moved into a new position soon poser. I found out a couple months ago that he gots a job wit Google. I was shocked . Nigga get shut up or get wet up. Mizzark is a smart guy, but I didn't think of him as Google material. He wasn't even sure wizzy he was going ta do, but it was somewhat PM-related. I even wizzy ta his go'n-away lunch!

Civic Si Concept: Supposedly, Honda concepts are very close to their production counterparts. I could see this as a production model, with a few changes.:

  • Tamer spoilers all around
  • Less tint on the headlights
  • No yellow tint on the fog lamps (maybe for JDM, not for USDM)
  • Smaller, non-cross-drilled brakes
  • Smaller wheels
  • More wheel gap
  • Center exhaust changed to side exhaust (no duals)
  • Wing about the same size and height but changed from dual center mounting brackets to side brackets
  • Manual fuel door

The things that matter (overall design, engine (K20) and transmission (6-speed)) should all remain. I like it. I won't get one, but I like it.

Feb 9, 2005

Slashdot | Google Fires Blogger?: Whoa, what drama! So, I met Mark Jen quite awhile ago, basically as soon as I moved out to Washington. He was friends with Lee and we all hung out if not often, occasionally. I'd see him at the gym, occasionally have lunch with him in a group, etc etc. When my roommate decided to move downtown, Mark moved in with him. Basically, I had a lot of connections to him.

Let me explain what has happened. Mark worked for Microsoft for about 18 months. He came in as an SDET (developer working for test) and then decided to become a PM (program manager, like myself). He asked me for a few pointers and moved into a new position soon after. I found out a couple months ago that he got a job with Google. I was shocked. Mark is a smart guy, but I didn't think of him as Google material. He wasn't even sure what he was going to do, but it was somewhat PM-related. I even went to his going-away lunch!

I just found out about this story yesterday, but it seems that Mark decided to keep a blog about his new job at Google. It didn't take long before he started to complain. Then he posted somewhat private financial information and the blog was no longer being updated. He returned soon, having removed the offending matter and said that Google was being nice about all of this. The next week, searches on google for "life @ google" would return his site in the AdWords section. Just try signing up for AdWords using the term "google" yourself. You can't do it! He abused his own system again, the first time being using a Google blog tool to post his complaints. Turns out, after just a few weeks of Google employment, they fired him.

I feel bad for him, but that seems deserved. This story has even made it to Slashdot.

Feb 8, 2005

Vegas, baby!

Kat, her parents and I went to Vegas for the weekend; my first time. Kat and I stayed at Circus Circus, simply because it was the cheapest location on the strip. Turns out, that was a bad call for multiple reasons. Not only was the Circus Circus casino by far the least classy, the hotel room was light on the amenities (including hot water on our last morning!), but most of our destinations were a cab ride away. The flag drops, you already owe $3.20 and the fare quickly climbs. The average cab ride was about $15. Next time, I'm staying in the heart of the strip, paying more per night but reducing travel costs and the hassle of waiting for a cab.

Kat and I arrived on Friday night well after dinner time. We were going to meet up with her parents on Saturday so we had some time to do things they wouldn't want to do. A little fear of heights on her mom's part gave us a chance to go up to the top of the Stratosphere. Getting up to the top carried a $12+ fee but for an extra $2, you could get a drink at the lounge up there. Seemed like a good deal to me! The view from the top was quite nice, but I believe the waitress got a few of our free drink tickets. The Long Island Iced Tea I received was quite sub par, but it was still drinkable. The Cosmo that Katherine received was absolutely putrid! I can only imagine it was an ounce of cranberry juice, a third of an ounce of vodka, a splash of lime juice and then just a torrential pour of club soda. Two sips and we were out of there, free drinks or not!

Saturday morning, we were still free and still exploiting a lack of acrophobia, we headed to New York, New York in order to hit the Manhattan Express. As roller coasters go, it wasn't terribly high, fast or exciting, but it was also the first coaster I've been on in years so I enjoyed myself. We then walked from NY, NY to Excalibur, Luxor and then Mandalay Bay. Sort of an odd pairing, the World Show Association had The Shoe Show on the same day as Super Saturday, the latest UFC. I was amused. Kat and I hit the Shark Reef before heading to Caesar's Palace to meet up with her parents.

Due to a late flight and some complications with the reservations, we were delayed two hours. We decided to hit the Forum Shops before our 6:30 PM dinner at Bradley Ogden followed by seeing O. I decided to go out on a limb and try bison and it was a pleasant surprise! Much more flavorful than beef and better for you as well. Dinner was made a bit less enjoyable by a table of young attorneys nearby. Their loud, misogynist comments made it quite clear they thought they were the only people in the restaurant. I'm sorry, even if you can drop $150 on a meal and not blink an eye, that doesn't mean you can treat the restaurant as if it's a bar. Kat got so angry she yelled at them across the table. They tried to act coy, but they even started to make fun of Dr. Holder. They eventually apologized, but we could tell it was just lip service. Anyway, the meal was great and the show was quite entertaining. It didn't live up to the hype, but I was basically told there was nothing on par with what I was about to see. Yes, it was impressive, yes the engineering behind it all was just as impressive but I wasn't blown away.

We slept in a bit on Sunday but ended up hitting a few more hotels (Treasure Island, Bellagio, Venetian, etc), did more shopping and did a bit of gambling. Thanks to a little chicanery from Kat and her dad, I was given a $150 certificate for Thomas Pink. I chose a fairly sedate shirt, but I think it looked great. Besides the $30 or so I lost on the slots, the only other gambling I did was roulette. I started with $20 and left the table with $94 (minus $10 for a generous tip to the dealer), assisted by 35:1 payout on $3 on red 12 (my lucky number). Gambling is addictive, I have an addictive personality and thus I decided to call it quits before I was pawning my watch for just another hand.

Dinner was at Picaso and it was the nicest dinner I have experienced in this lifetime. Every course was delicious and combine that with perfect wine pairings, I was amazed. We did a bit more gambling after that, but Kat and I needed to catch a flight at 8:55 the next morning, so we turned in early.

I took the DReb with me, hoping for a few good shots. I'm STILL a bit overwhelmed by the camera, but I did get a few good ones.

Feb 4, 2005

So, trying to save my sanity at work, I was seeing what my car is currently worth over on Edmunds. I noticed that my color, red, increased my cars resale value by $67 and I was curious about the other colors. Here is a breakdown, normalized by the highest value (red, w00t):

Dark Blue-$100
Dark Brown$0
Dark Green$0
Dark Red$0
Light Blue$71.64
Light Brown-$73.13
Light Green-$50.75
Off White/Cream$52.24