Lab Rat of Life

Ever have those days where you wonder if your whole day is one big sociological or psychological experiment to see where your thresholds are?

How to Break the Law

This is hilarious (found it on You hold a seminar on how to circumvent American employment visa laws, and it gets put on YouTube. Guess who's going to be in big trouble?

I mean, it's not like tons of us have known about this method for years, but you have to be an extraordinary idiot to hold a big seminar for it (instead of private consultations) and then video tape it and put it on the vast expanses of the Internet.

Losing Touch

Over the course of our lives, we meet people, we make friends (and/or enemies), and we continue. That's an oversimplification, of course, since we don't just go on accumulating all the friends we've amassed into a huge Friendster/facebook population. A lot of the time, we grow distant or lose touch. But that got me to thinking,

Exactly how does losing touch happen?

It's not like one day you're all chummy and "best friends forever" and then the next, you don't even really know where to start to talk to them again. There's not an "international date line" where when you cross, magical things happen and friends become strangers.

I figure losing touch takes time, and takes a passive approach on your part. (Yes, in a way, I'm saying it's your fault.) Each time you suddenly think of that person, but deem yourself too busy or too lazy to call them and say hi, or send an email, or whatever. Even if you remember, but forget later. Or even when you shrug it off as something less important than whatever you're doing at the moment.

Or say, you see their name on the latest faddish social networking site of your choice, or on your IM contacts list, and you don't say hi. (And I mean, how hard is it nowadays, really??)

That accumulates too. And after a while, it becomes A Long Time(c) since you've made any contact with them and it just seems to be out of the blue if you message them. So to avoid that awkwardness, you follow that slippery slope down into Lost-Touch-Land, and then your connection is gone.


I was on the toilet the other day (that other day being Thursday), and when I was done my business, I proceeded to wipe up (as usual). But on this particular day (the Thursday), I had a thought.

I wondered if there's another way to wipe my butt.
Does everyone wipe the same way?
I mean, how would I know?
Wait, how would anyone know?

Because the way I see it, buttwiping is really almost like genetics. We seem to be taught to wipe our asses by our parents and/or caretakers, and that's pretty much our only source of instruction for this task. We don't learn at school (or perhaps I missed that day in class). What it comes down to is that there's no real information sharing when it comes to wiping our own asses.

So, what if there's one way that seems obvious and 95% of us do it that way, but what if there's a vastly superior technique that the remaining 5% use? What if that's one of those things where, once you learn it, you think, "Of course! Why didn't we think of that before??" And maybe that's the reason the 5% never thought to bring it up!

So, being the humanitarian I am (because this really could be beneficial for 95% of humankind), I propose a solution: let's share our ass-wiping techniques.

You first.

PS: There's no hidden meaning here. I mean it literally: wiping our bums. And I had a nice long weekend, thanks for asking.

Don't Wake the Dragon

If someone needs to be brought out of their happy little dream state of sleep, I would postulate that there are right ways and wrong ways to do so.*

My dad is an expert in the latter; he used to have a number of tactics for waking me up for school in the mornings. He would yell at the top of his lungs in the general direction of my bedroom. He would burst into my room and talk at outside voice levels. He would sit quietly at the side of the bed, lift the covers off my feet, and patiently tickle the soles of my feet.

Any of these methods was sure to basically irritate me until I got out of bed. And all of them put me in a crappy mood for at least an hour or two afterwards.

I beg of you guys, when you have kids, don't do that to them.
Happy Father's Day in advance.

* I don't mean, for example, being woken up if you've fallen asleep at the wheel or while piloting a plane or something like that. In those cases, a slap in the head and a big scream is about as appropriate as any method.

Eyes Wide Out

Here's something I've noticed recently. I actually share a trait with Marcia Cross: my eyes are kind of far apart.

You'd think that I'd have noticed it much earlier on in life, but for most of my childhood, I didn't care about such things. And then in adolescence, I was more concerned about the zits that were invading my face than the placement of the actual facial components. And so now it springs forth as an issue, and an issue that I really can't do anything about.

But it's definitely there. And what's worse, the more I notice it, the more I notice how wide apart they are. It's weird. It's like they're slowly shifting outwards in a freak of nature.

I have face-plate tectonics.

I fear that one day, they'll be on the sides of my head the way birds and lizards have their eyes. Maybe one day, I'll have a face shaped like a hammerhead shark ... and probably as much hair.

Wowee Maui

So ... I'm back in Taiwan again, after a week in Maui and two days in Waikiki. Sucks to be back, except that at least the food is more reasonably priced here.

What a trip. I think I took on a few pounds from the continuous eat-drink-play fest that was this past week. Met pretty much the whole family and got to know them pretty well. Lahaina and Kapalua (on Maui) were fantastic, and on hindisght, we probably should have just skipped the Honolulu part and stayed the extra time on Maui instead. (Admittedly, the stop in Honolulu was to do a little shopping for things we can't get in Taiwan -- and admittedly, I did buy a lot -- but I'd rather get the most out of whatever Neighbour Islands instead.)

On the flight back, we sat in economy class but in the section where they put business class seating -- everything's economy, but we get the larger seats -- and that was a welcome treat. Being a Gold member does come in useful sometimes! Chatted with a guy on the plane who's a kite-surfing designer on Maui, but has to travel to Taiwan and China (Hainan) pretty often to test them on the waters after they're prototyped. Sweet gig.

Well, next time, if we ever head back to Hawaii, we'll have to check out the Big Island and Kau'ai. But in the meantime, I'll get my fill of tropical paradises in southeast Asia instead: all the fun, half the cost (and flight time). And now, back to my jetlag.


In 12 hours, I begin a journey and it's goodbye Taipei, hello Maui! Yeah! I know!
I can't sleep, I can barely contain my excitement (or the numerous cups of tea I drank)!
I hope to squeeze in a little fun, since a lot of my time is tied down to obligations.
Sadly, it's only for a week, and then reality comes back to get me. See y'alls soon.