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Saturday, August 30, 2008

rope jumper

At Meijers with my friend Jason, trying to find jumper cables to jump his dead car battery.

me: (at the car supply aisle, to jason) go look in the next aisle

jason: I don't see it, let me ask someone

me: (walking over to see Jason talking to a fobby chinese clerk)

clerk: go down 3 aisles on the left

me: (walking - noticing that we're now at the sports equipment aisle) are you sure you said jumper cables?

jason: yea, on the left

me: these are jump ropes, not jumper cables! I guess he didn't understand your English

** For some reason this seems a lot less funny ina blog entry than in person **

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Give me your male goose

At Sam Ash buying some guitar tools

me: do you have peg winders?

sales clerk: Right over there (pointing to the plastic flimsy ones)

me: (thinking)

sales clerk: (sensing my hesitation, then proceeds to up sell me) Do you want the ones with wire clippers on it?

me: yea

sales clerk: (standing silently devoid of movement)

me: may I have a gander?

sales clerk: (giving me a puzzled look)

me: ... umm ... have a look ... just to see

sales clerk: isn't gander a male goose?

me: uh yea, I guess it could mean that too ...

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

haikus are easy ...

During my 15 hour flight back from HK

While in my half asleep / half awake trance, I heard some bustling up front and saw flight attendants handing out hot towels. My hands were thoroughly clean and I didn't want to be disturbed, so I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. Moments later, I felt a hovering presence around me - someone was intruding in my space. I struggled to prop my eyes open and when I did, the flight attendant was standing there staring at me. Being pretty dazed and confused at this point, I just muttered "no thanks" and shut my eyes again. But he refused to go away, he kept standing there gawking at me.

I opened my eyes and blinked a couple times to see what was going on, and the only thing I managed to get out of my mouth was a "huh?" Then I heard the poetry reading:

haikus are easy
but sometimes they don't make sense
Apparently the flight attendant specialized at reading people's shirts. He chuckled to himself a couple times then looked that the woman sitting across the aisle from me and repeated the haiku again - this time adding "get it? re-fri-ger-a-tor" at the end. The woman wasn't amused. She had no idea what a haiku was, and probably didn't even understand English all too well. I wasn't very amused myself, so I closed my eyes again and drifted back to sleep.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Eavesdropping with Ken (Part 2)

At the Hong Kong airport check-in line. Two American girls were being sendoff by a group of local HK folks.

HK guy: you will be so far away from here
US girl: we will be worlds apart
HK guy: yes, men are from moooss, women are from weenus
US girl: ....
HK guy: (repeating himself louder than before, thinking the girl didn't hear his wittiness) men are from moss, and women are from weeenus!
US girl: Venus ... women are from VEENus.
HK guy: haha, women are from WEENus.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Eavesdropping with Ken

At the Venetian Casino Floors @ midnight
Prostitutes roaming freely trying to prey on lonely men.

hooker: hey handsome

ignorant man: (surprised - does a double take) huh?

hooker: are you feeling lucky tonight?

ignorant man: huh?

hooker: do you want it?

ignorant man: what are you selling again?

It blows my mind how obtuse people could be. I just pretend I don't hear them and walk away.


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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

outsourcing to China

Dedicated to those of you who love Dell's wonderful technical support =)

Two days ago, calling Dell technical support in HK.

*** Try #1 ***

computer: "Thank you for calling Dell XPS 24 hours support. For Cantonese service, please press 1. For English service, please press 2. To repeat the selection, please press 0."

me: (pressing 2)

csr gal: blah blah bla blah Dell blah bla grah huh duh

me: Do you speak English?

csr gal: ooger booger blah blah bla dui bu qi wo bu hui shou ying wen ladida

me: gah ... (hangs up)

*** Try #2 ***

computer: "Thank you for calling Dell XPS 24 hour support. For Cantonese service, please press 1. For English service, please press 2."

me: (pressing 1)

csr guy: blah blah bla blah Dell blah bla grah huh duh

me: (in Cantonese) Do you speak Cantonese?

csr guy: ooger booger blah blah bla dui bu qi wo bu hui shou guang dong hua bla bla

me: (in Mandarin) can you find someone who can speak Cantonese please?

csr guy: (in Mandarin) oh ... hold on to see if I can find someone who can

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ads we don't mean ...

I went to Macao last weekend and stayed at the Venetian Casino Resort. The place just opened earlier this year so the everything is spankin' new. They have a huge casino, good restaurants, lots of expensive shops, shows like cirque du soleil, an outdoor minigolf course, and an indoor gondola boat ride along with opera singers - entertainment for the whole family.

They also have a lot of shameless promotions everywhere too, plastered on every wall and corner so people don't forget all the ways they can spend money at their hotel. With every gambling ad, they always have "Gamble Responsibly" in small print and a link to some obscure website. I think they even provide advice/classes on how to do "Gamble Responsibly" too, but you and I both know that the big casino bosses are praying no one takes that message seriously.
After all, if everyone gambles responsibly, how are they going to make any money?All they want you to do is to spend money, wager your life savings for a miniscue chance of actually beating the house. So why do they put these ads up (other than for legal reasons)? It's somewhat double-handed it peeves me a little. It seems to me that they just want to wash their hands from their guilt.

Everyone else does it too:
  • Beer/liquor companies tell you to drink responsibly while trying to convince you that drinking more is cool.
  • Tobacco companies give classes or tips for people to quit smoking even though they really want you to smoke 10 packs a day.
  • Condom makers tell teens to stay abstinent while posting racy ads all over magazines and tv spots telling people to have sex.
  • Oil companies tell people to use alternative energy when they expand their plans to drill for oil at wildlife refuge.
The world is full of contradictions.

p.s. - i love this ad.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It turns out my dream the other day was prophetic.

Really? Someone stole your laptop?
Hmm ... not literally.

And it happened in a subway stop at night?
Well it happened at my office at 3pm ... but it was RAINING.

So you punched someone in the face?
Close, I almost punched Dell and Nvidia in the face.

Anyway, my computer blew up. Fine, it was just the graphics card, but it effectively "blew up" because nothing worked after that. Fortunately, it didn't take me by surprise - since it's a very well known issue with a lot of nvidia video cards. Basically, the people who make video cards screwed up BIG TIME and shipped out millions of defective chips that overheats. The companies (Dell - in my case) who sold the laptops to us are too cheap to give us new cards, so they are hoping the cards hold up until your warranty expires. Oh I love America! And the best part is ... even if your computer is still under warranty, they will replace your defective graphic cards with another one of the same model, which means it will eventually fry itself in a couple more months.

BLAH. Just as I was getting back to my blogging routine, my computer dies. Maybe this is a sign, a prophesy. Hmm .... death to Dell and Nvidia!!! I am shaking my fist at you and am getting ready to punch you in the face!

*** good thing mine is still under warranty - and I plan to make sure it blows up again right before my warranty expires so I get a brand new card***


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Friday, August 01, 2008

a cynic's view on our hearts

Let me start by saying that I have nothing against cops. My grandfather was a cop, some of my friends are cops, and if I were to play cops and robbers right now, I would want to be the cop. I especially admire them for their courage and selflessness in risking their lives to protect people like us. But when I see things like this, I shake my head in disgust.

Power corrupts.

And not just cops ... power corrupts our politicans, our pastors, our celebrities - everyone just wants to know how much they can get away with (Even batman was distraught when he realized what he had to become to stop the joker). Sure, being a police officer isn't easy, but do you seriously have to go knock a guy over and then lie about it in the police report? There were no cars forced to weave and stop, the biker wasn't trying to run into you, and I didn't see you fall to the ground ... in fact, you were the one who sped up to take the guy down. If you had good reason to arrest the guy, that's fine, but don't lie about the circumstances to make it look like you're the good guy? ARGH.

Yesterday a lawyer and a cop convinced me to never voluntarily offer information to the police under any circumstance, and now I really understand why. You really should watch the video yourself, but here's a 3 point summary:

1) Anything you say can only be used against you, never to help you.
2) Cops make honest mistakes - and their mistakes can screw you over big time.
3) There are countless ways cops can frame what you say to incriminate you, even if you're innocent.

So what's moral of the story? People are evil. You are evil. I am evil. Everyone is morally corrupt and is drawn to do evil things no matter how hard we fight against it. I know I'm painting a pretty grim picture of humanity because of one idiot cop - but let's face it, if you had that kind of power over people (and the law), if you had no accountability, you would eventually act the same way that cop did.

Thankfully, there is one solution to our wickedness.

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