Monday, September 29, 2008


You know you're getting old when you check your mail to find a invitation to your 10-year High School Reunion.  Man...ten years have really past by and gone.  Right now I'm sort of on the fence about going.  Part of me is curious to see how some of my high school classmates are since I'm terrible at keep contact with people (though I'm sure AA will try to drag me along), but the list of current people attending didn't have too many names of people that I hung out with, so part of me says to not bother.  Ah well, I'm sure I'll make a more decisive decision as the date crawls closer.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Driving can bend time and space...and more...

So when I went home for the weekend, D showed me a letter from Violation Management Services that said that I got a traffic violation ticket in Culver City on July 10th, around the time that I was in San Diego.  I know I wasn't pulled over at any time but perhaps I got caught on one of those silly cameras that catch red light runners or something.  But after I dug up my car rental receipt and took a look at where Culver City happened to be in relation to San Diego, it became pretty obvious that they have the wrong person.

Exhibit 1: Culver City happens  be 130 miles away from San Diego, and given that my rental car receipt said that I driven a total of 14 miles, there's no way I could have driven over there.

Exhibit 2: The letter said that performed said traffic violation at 8:15 AM.  Now, my car rental receipt said that I had returned the car back to the rental place at 8:41 AM, which means that unless I was driving 300 MPH away from Culver City, there was no way I could have made it back.

So unless I have the amazing ability to wormhole through 130 miles or time travel, I think VMS has the wrong person...

Update: A woman from VMS called me this week and apologized profusely about the issue and said they figured out the problem.   Someone messed up at reporting the violation date, which was suppose to be on August 10th (instead of July 10th).  In addition, D got another letter from Culver City which had the photo of the culprit,  a brunette female driver...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

San Diego Part Deux

I did managed to find a use for the credit I had on Frontier, and thanks to the hospitality of KiraTomato, I flew over to San Diego for the second time this year to crash at his place for Labor Day weekend.  Although I complained about Frontier's pricing, I must say that their planes are pretty comfortable (all seats are leather) and I felt like I had a bit more room than the average coach airline seat.  Every seat even had its own LCD screen, although it was sort of annoying that Frontier only let you "preview" the DirectTV channels they offered for about 10 minutes before putting up in giant VHS letters in the middle of whatever you're watching that you would have to pay $5.99 to continue to watch.  I put up with the letters and continued to watch the US Open match that was on for about 15 more minutes before the system shut me out for good.  Perhaps on a longer flight, I would have paid up, but by then, they probably would have offered you the channels for free.  Each plane even has its own name based on the animal that was pictured at the tail of the plane, but I only remembered Bottleneck the Dolphin from my flight out of Denver to San Diego.

I arrived in San Diego at around 10:30 PST, but I too tired since I did some napping on the plane, so Kira and I hijacked his roommate's Xbox 360 and proceeded to crash some castles.  Although it was sort of annoying that my Green Knight's profile wasn't recovered with my Xbox gametag recovery, Kira and I had a good time bashing our way about halfway through the game before we called it a night.

On Saturday morning, it was time to hit up the tennis courts!  Kira decided to try and see whether we could grab the Qualcomm tennis court, and luckily for us, it was empty!  No scoring was kept since the action would have probably been ugly given that I hadn't touched a racquet since Seattle and Kira hadn't had much luck finding someone to hit with, but about half an hour into it, both of us started finding our range as Kira started to move me around the court, and I tried to do my best Federer impression to hit impossible shots past him.  I even let Kira use my racquet for a few minutes, and remarkably enough, he started hitting even better!  I thought Kira was going to hold on to my racquet forever with the improvements, but he was kind enough to return it.  Overall, I think Kira gained 6 levels in this practice session, and he probably would have gained 10 levels if he could always use my racquet :P

Thankfully, Qualcomm had free sodas in their break room, so we went to cool down with some Brisk ice tea, and then it was go time for some TABLE tennis action on the Qualcomm ping pong tables!  The action was even more heated since Kira and I are probably an order of magnitude better at ping pong than, and there was some video-worthy rallies where  Kira would slam the ball at me multiple times, but my defensive skills would just barely put the ball back in play, which would drive Kira nuts after the 4th or 5th shot he thought was a winner :P  We were both pretty exhausted and hungry after the double header of racquet sports, so we headed back for showers and some lunch at Jack's down at La Jolla, and then strolled around the coast since it was a typical nice San Diego day.  Afterwards, we headed back to Kira's place to finish Castle Crashers, and had some Phở for dinner before calling it a day early since we were gonna try to schedule some early snorkeling.

On Sunday, Kira managed to book snorkeling for the afternoon, so we took the opportunity to go to the Wild Animal Park, which Kira managed to snag some tickets for from a coworker.  Unlike a lot of zoos, WAP gives the animals quite a bit more room to roam around, and this was quite apparent in the "Journey into Africa" tour where visitors loop around a giant "African" area that represents different parts of Africa.  Fortunately, we got to see the rare baby rhino which is always under the strict eye of its mother, and hundreds of other animals along the way as you can see here.  It was a pretty hot day, so some of the animals were not very motivated to be up and about :P

After a quick lunch at Elijahs, we drove down to La Jolla for snorkeling.  Kira was worried that we'd be late, but we made it just in time for the 3 PM session.  After putting on wetsuits, we were off into the water!  It's hard to describe how amazing it was to be floating on the ocean and watching all the action going on under the water with schools of fish swimming by, underwater "grass" swaying back and forth, and even the occasional seal swimming by :P  Unfortunately, the ocean was quite crowded with kayakers and other snorkelers, and the water was also really turbulent that day, so we didn't get to explore some of the caves that the instructors said they usually took everyone, but we did manage to swim by and get an up closer and personal look.  Ah well, something to look forward to next time!

After snorkeling, we were pretty much spent physically, so after eating some dinner at the Blue Wave, we headed back to the house where Kira owned me at a Naruto fighting game and in Super Smash Brothers.  My flight out was early the next morning, so we hit the sack early so we'd have some semblance of sleep to get to the airport.

Thanks again to Kira for letting me crash at his house!  A Veg Out with San Diego will definitely be in the list of places for the future.