Hotpot Plan Shot

Some coworkers from HQ (the nice ones) had some spicy beef noodles the other day, and somehow had the idea and newfound confidence that they can handle spicy foods now. So they asked me what the "next level" is: tonight, we're going to a spicy hotpot (麻辣火鍋) place. What's more, one of the (backstabbing) coworkers invited herself and the other evil colleague ... and a friend as well. Wish I knew a nice way of saying,

"Actually, I don't want you there. Or your friend. Get away from me, you ... you ... you nasty name-dropping, office-politics-playing witch who's trying to take over my location."

Dammit. I'm already not looking forward to the burn, let alone their presence.

Darting Around

I've been frequenting a darts pub/bar lately. Yeah, you heard right. It's a bar that has some 6 electronic (soft-tip) dartboards in it, and you go there for food (which I heard ain't bad) or drinks (Boddington's on tap) or just to shoot darts. It's called Duckbill, and now all the employees there know us by name.

So anyway, it really caught on amongst a bunch of us guys, and some weeks later, we all bought our own darts instead of playing with the "public" plastic ones, and now we're all in a team competition against other semi-beginners. We're one step short of having team shirts made and creating a secret handshake to give us the illusion (to ourselves) that we're cool. Although, to my dismay, we did quite by accident develop the most stupid-looking hat trick celebration dance.

Well, I wouldn't call it a dance so much as a goofy wobble on a drunken horse.

Dishing It

Okay, so I'm somehow strangely interested in cleaning order. But humour me anyway: what order do you do the dishes in?

Big Brother Notice

About a week ago, a little sign appeared in my apartment building elevator, almost exactly at eye-level, above the buttons, in a colour that contrasted starkly from the dark wood-panel of the wall. In large letters, it broadcasted something to the tune of:

"Monitored by security camera. Mgmt."

I can only begin to imagine what kind of events must have been witnessed on the security cameras -- which I'm sure have been there since forever -- to warrant a clear notice like that.

What do you think happened?

The Day After

Something I noticed earlier this week: the day after an interview is always blah, because of the contrast between the excitement of a new company, new possibilities, and new changes versus the old drab of the same old crap and internal struggles.

Guess Where?

So yeah, I haven't uploaded photos for a long time now -- I'm bad like that. But the other day, I was goofing around Flickr, through the Explore pages and all that.

Anyway, I came across this group called guess where vancouver, where people take photos of buildings or scenes in Vancouver and people guess (in the comments) where it is. Fun! That is, it's a lot of fun if you happen to know Vancouver somewhat well, and completely not fun if you don't know the city nearly at all.

And somewhere in between is where I am, where I can't guess any of the photos right and can barely even picture the spot after someone's guessed right. It's almost like I never really lived there!

AC. Eh, See?

Just had a guy come over and look at my air conditioning, which was leaking water onto my couch. Turns out (duh) that a water drain pipe was getting clogged so the moisture would periodically overflow the internal tray. So he cleared that up while I wiped down the casing. And since he was already up there on the ladder, I gave him some disinfectant sprays and some AC cleaning foam stuff to clean out all the insides too. That should do for a while. Hopefully, that will help reduce the mysterious smell in my apartment, because I still suspect the AC unit.

On the bright side, now I'm at home early and can go play darts.

The Squeeze

Ever since I came back from my (personal) Shanghai trip, things at work have been going awry. Big political games are going on, and the power struggles ensuing reach all the way to the top of the international network (one or two levels up from me). I should be clear right now about one thing:

I hate politics.

With a passion. I hate the kind in offices, and the kind in government. I simply have no interest in the subject and most of the time, I find it just gets in the way of real work to be done, or real life to be enjoyed. To understate it, I seek to avoid it as much as possible.

But it seems that politics has instead sought me out to play. And I don't wanna.

I have a feeling that our visiting colleagues from HQ have decided they would like to take over this office. I have a feeling that they are masterminding some information flow and different stories to create a little confusion in their favour. I have a feeling that -- because I'm really tired of playing in this stupidity -- they will eventually win this battle.


Sometimes my head wonders about silly little things.

Like, if I had been wearing a backpack that evening, then I wouldn't have tumbled the way I had. I would have instead been stopped from rolling by my backpack, and it would have forced me to slide down the tunnel pavement. I probably would have scraped one side of my arm and body to the bone.

Yeah, little things like that.

Waste of Money

Rack your brains for a bit. What have you bought, and then only used a few times? Little things, big things, name them all. I know you have some; I'm pretty sure everyone does.

Here are some of mine.

Golf clubs. I bought them before I moved to California in 2001, and I've only used them a handful of times in Vancouver, another handful at driving ranges in the Bay Area, and a few games. I really should play more, but golfing in Taiwan is too pricey.

Bluetooth headset. Okay, this was a gift, but still. I thought I would use it a lot more -- and for the first while, I used it a lot -- but trying to keep it properly paired with my computer (for Skype) and sometimes with my phone (as a handsfree) proved to be too difficult for the little thing to remember. So as a result, it's now a permanent fixture on my bedside stand.

Spice magnets. They're these little things are small metal canisters with glass tops, designed to hold your spices while also being fridge magnets. Very cool. And on sale at half the regular price, I had to get them, dammit! But two problems that I hadn't thought of: the magnet and the metal are somewhat flexible, but the glue used to bond them isn't. So any time you happen to smack it by accident -- it's on the fridge after all -- not only does the canister fall, but the magnet part comes off. Incredibly frustrating, and none of them have ever held any spices in my home.

Various clothes. I like to buy clothes when I can envision wearing them in the future; I don't have to immediately go home and then model it, pairing it with whatever else in my closet it would go with. Sometimes it means I'll buy it without a particular wearing event in mind, and even have it still in the packaging. Weeks or months later, I'll come across it again, and find I have something "new" to wear! It's like Christmas, I tell you, and it makes me happy. What.


These stupid typhoons, what a flop.

Three typhoons formed and organized themselves in as many days -- Maria, Saomai, and Baopha -- all headed towards us on the east coast of Asia. And while Maria was headed earlier and more towards Japan, weather reports warned that the other two could join forces into a Voltron of twin typhoons to batter us. And they were coming in quick.

Again, with our fingers and toes crossed, we watched after work as the rains poured harder and harder. Then, one by one, the news channel weather tickers announced that we'd all have to show up for work today. Now that we're at work, rains are coming down hard, but only in waves.

Look, typhoons, get your acts together: either rain super hard so we get a typhoon holiday, or don't rain at all. Especially on weekends, don't rain at all.

Get a Grip

I have a big client meeting tomorrow, and half of it will be on the golf course. I haven't picked up a golf club since I left my set in California some 2 years ago. So naturally, yesterday, I figured I better hit up the driving range in search of my lost natural swing.

Instead, I managed to get myself all sweaty in the 33C weather, rent a nasty 7-iron and a driver, and work through 55 balls before rubbing off a good chunk of my ring finger skin. And with the current weather conditions, we may not get to play golf tomorrow in the end.

Couples & Monopoly

I have to say, I can relate with this article: I've been guilty of couple surfing before too.

But then, I'm a geek, so I'm excused. Kind of like a get-out-of-jail-free card in Monopoly, which nobody seems to value until you really need it because all the good properties are being bought up while you try to roll doubles.

Speaking of which, does anyone really play Monopoly by the official rules (PDF)? I think most of us skip some rules because that's just how we've always played it.

Have a nice weekend, and happy birthday to HG!

Chicken with its Head Cut Off

Busy with work.
No time to blog.
Yeah, I know.
Me too. But.
I'll be back soon.