Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Colonel

[via Miss Cellania]

Le Tao des chiens

funny pictures of dogs with captions

I'm No Good

[via Pharyngula]
Results from an online test:

Your morality is 0% in line with that of the bible.

Damn you heathen! Your book learnin' has done warped your mind. You shall not be invited next time I sacrifice a goat.

Do You Have Biblical Morals?
Take More Quizzes

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dim Sum Virgins

I had dim sum today with the Ex and B-Boy.

A couple walked in and sat at the table next to us. One dim sum lady pushed her cart to their table and asked it they wanted chicken feet. The conversation went like this:

DSL: Hello! Would you like some chicken feet?

Woman: Ew! These things are chicken feet? And why is it red?

Man: What else you got?

DSL: Baby squids, pork stomach.

Man: Uh.. the squid, I guess. Honey, you want pork stomach?

Woman: Ew! Why would I want to eat some animal stomach?

DSL: It's pork. Here's your baby squids.

Man: OK. How do I eat them?

DSL: You want hot sauce?

Man: What's this?

DSL: Hot sauce. Very hot.

Man: And this?

DSL: It's soy sauce.

Man: (starts to point at everything on his table) What's this?

DSL: Red vinegar.

Man: And this?

DSL: Mustard.

Man: (lifting teapot lid) And this?

DSL (exasperated): IT'S TEA!!!!

Woman: That's all we get to eat? Some mini-squids?

DSL: You choose from other carts.

Man: Ooh! Aaah! I get it now! You guys bring the food to us and we choose.

The DimSum Lady pushed her cart away, cursing and rolling her eyes, then froze when she caught my eyes, but I was smiling broadly so she relaxed and smiled back, shaking her head. When she passed our table, she whispered to me: "They know nothing!"

Friday, February 20, 2009


Random cute picture

From The N.Y. Times Technology Section (, via Corrente:

Popular urawaza include picking up broken glass from the kitchen floor with a slice of bread, or placing houseplants on a water-soaked diaper to keep them watered during a vacation trip.

Other low-tech tricks include the following:
If your cellphone loses its battery charge too quickly while idle in your pocket, part of the problem may be that your pocket is too warm. “Cellphone batteries do indeed last a bit longer if kept cool,” says Isidor Buchanan, editor of the Battery University Web site. The 98.6-degree body heat of a human, transmitted through a cloth pocket to a cellphone inside, is enough to speed up chemical processes inside the phone’s battery. That makes it run down faster. To keep the phone cooler, carry it in your purse or on your belt. This same method can be used to preserve your battery should you find yourself away from home without your charger. Turn off the phone and put it in the hotel refrigerator overnight to slow the battery’s natural tendency to lose its charge.

Suppose your remote car door opener does not have the range to reach your car across the parking lot. Hold the metal key part of your key fob against your chin, then push the unlock button. The trick turns your head into an antenna, says Tim Pozar, a Silicon Valley radio engineer. Mr. Pozar explains, “You are capacitively coupling the fob to your head. With all the fluids in your head it ends up being a nice conductor. Not a great one, but it works.” Using your head can extend the key’s wireless range by a few car lengths.

If your printer’s ink cartridge runs dry near the end of an important print job, remove the cartridge and run a hair dryer on it for two to three minutes. Then place the cartridge back into the printer and try again while it is still warm. “The heat from the hair dryer heats the thick ink, and helps it to flow through the tiny nozzles in the cartridge,” says Alex Cox, a software engineer in Seattle. “When the cartridge is almost dead, those nozzles are often nearly clogged with dried ink, so helping the ink to flow will let more ink out of the nozzles.” The hair dryer trick can squeeze a few more pages out of a cartridge after the printer declares it is empty.

It could happen to anyone: you dropped your cellphone in the toilet. Take the battery out immediately, to prevent electrical short circuits from frying your phone’s fragile internals. Then, wipe the phone gently with a towel, and shove it into a jar full of uncooked rice. It works for the same reason you may keep few grains of rice in your salt shaker to keep the salt dry. Rice has a high chemical affinity for water — that means the molecules in the rice have a nearly magnetic attraction for water molecules, which will be soaked up into the rice rather than beading up inside the phone.

If your home Wi-Fi router doesn’t reach the other end of the house, don’t rush out to buy more wireless gear to stretch your network. Instead, build a six-inch-high passive radio wave reflector from kitchen items, like an aluminum cookie sheet. Follow the instructions at Place the completed reflector — a small, curved piece of metal that reflects radio waves just like a satellite TV dish — behind your Wi-Fi router. It focuses the router’s energy in one direction — toward the other end of the house — rather than letting it dissipate its strength in a full circle. No cables, no batteries, no technical knowledge required. Yet it can easily double the range of your network.

You need to clean a skipping DVD or CD, but you don’t have any cleaning fluids? Soak a washcloth with vodka or mouthwash. Alcohol is a powerful solvent, perfectly capable of dissolving fingerprints and grime on the surface of a disc. A $5 bottle of Listerine in your medicine cabinet may do the job as effectively as a $75 bottle of DVD cleaning fluid.

Random cute picture

* Japanese term for clever lifestyle tips and tricks

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bernard's Thursday Video

(Merci, Bernard)

This is the best quality I could find.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Parents Of The Year

I went to a Vietnamese restaurant with Little Brother and Sister-In-Law. It was a Sunday afternoon and the place was packed, but we managed to find a table, albeit too close to another larger table with a couple and their three children. I would guess they were 7, 3 and 1 year old respectively.

The parents have ordered a large bowl of Pho soup for the three children and two rice dishes for themselves. I didn't notice what or how the two older children ate, but for the youngest one, the father had fished out from the bowl of soup some strands of pasta which he then put right on the table for the baby to pick up and eat. Of course, her little face was covered with pasta but none of the parents seemed to care. But the main thing was that the glass pane covering the table was dirty, because between two sittings, the surface is wiped clean with a dirty rag. I tried to look away, but Sister-In-Law started commenting: "Look! The mother just dipped her hand right into the soup, searched around and pulled out a piece of vegetable and now she's flinging it on the table for the baby to eat."

And then it was over, they're finished eating. The parents started dressing up the two younger kids, without wiping their faces or their fingers (or even their own fingers). The little baby, who had her coat put over her noodle-covered pants, smiled at me, with a piece of shallot stuck on her cheek.

They left and the waiter came to wipe the table with his greyish wet rag.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

You don't have to read this post, or believe what it says. I just wanted to tell the story for the records, that's all.

Last Sunday was the 6th week ceremony/prayer session at the pagoda. As you know, I'm a very skeptical Buddhist and I consider these types of ceremony as superstition at worst and as kabuki/theater at best. As soon as I arrive at the pagoda, I bow three times in front of the huge Buddha statue to show my respect for the Buddha's teaching, but after that, I don't participate in the chanting. I go through the motions: bow, stand up, sit down, etc. with the crowd, but otherwise I just sit there and meditate or daydream until the end of the service.

But last Sunday, as the chanting was droning on, I was falling half asleep when suddenly two powerful waves of cold went down my spine, making me shudder violently. I sat up, wide awake, but nothing else was out of the ordinary, so I stopped paying attention again. Later on, the families of the deceased went in a smaller room in the back for a special ceremony. That's when the thought suddenly hit me that next week will be the seventh and last week, and that I will never be back at this pagoda again, except once a year to visit my mother's urn. I was struck with an acute sense of loss and I started crying, the first time I cried since my mother's death. Then, I just KNEW that my mother's spirit has finally left the intermediary bardo and that she's on her way to a future life. I KNEW that the shuddering I felt before was my mother's final embrace before she left and her way of saying goodbye.

Elvis has definitely left the building.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Torn Between Two Loves

I'm having problems with my two dogs who are both vying for my affection. I love them both and I cannot bear to see one being sad while I pet or kiss the other. So here's my solution:

(H/T to myiq2xu @ The Confluence)