Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's all smoke and mirrors...

I saw the strangest thing yesterday when I was Christmas shopping. There was a kiosk at a mall I was shopping at that were selling these "fake" cigarettes that apparently "taste" and look the same as regular cigarettes, and the girl managing the kiosk was doing a live demo puffing and blowing smoke with one of these fake cigarettes. I figured such a thing wouldn't get much attention, but the various times I walked past the kiosk, there were usually a crowd of 5 or 6 people asking about it and trying them out. It's advertised as being "healthy", so I guess whatever it takes to get a person off cigarettes is a good thing...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ring ring...

It's that time of year again when Kungfucius starts looking around for a new cell phone. Although this time, I'm having a tough time justifying to myself to get something new since I don't use my cell phone that much and I don't use texting that often either, so my F3 with its ginormous text pretty much serves all my needs. I never had a Nokia phone (so far I've dealt with a Samsung and 3 Motorolas), and the Nokia E71 has caught my eye as a nice sleek smartphone, but first I'll have to convince myself and M that it's worth paying extra every month for the dataplan :P

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monkeys, Balloons, and Cannons!

The DragOnfruitS showed me this addicting flash game where you set up unit strategically to destroy the onslaught of incoming balloons. Don't let the first few rounds fool you...the levels quickly ramp up like a horde game in GoW2.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend Awards Ceremony

So this past weekend, my company had their annual awards ceremony, which also doubles as the Holiday Christmas party, but since it's not officially called a Christmas party, the party can be tax deducted. It was held at the Lansdowne Resort in Virginia, and it was quite a nice place for the venue. One advantage of working outside of the company headquarter is that they paid the cost of the hotel room for the night, which gave me an extra incentive to go down for the ceremony since it was out of the way for me. On the other hand, I didn't know anyone who was attending the party besides the co-workers in my building who came, and for me, it's awkward to go up to random people and say "hey, I work here too..." But besides that, the dinner was nice (had a nice medium-rare steak that melted in your mouth), the prizes give out for job referrals to the company were ridiculous (two 50 inch plasma TVs were given away as well as various iPods, digital cameras, and maid service for a year), and the room I stayed in had like 10 pillows on the bed. I did find out later that the electronic lock didn't actually lock when I left my room, but fortunately everything was there when I got back from the party.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving '08 Recap

Hope everyone had a good and relaxing Thanksgiving! Fortunately for me, the drive back home to PA for Thanksgiving is only an hour and a half this time around, so I planned to head back home after work on Wednesday. But first, I had to head back to my apartment to pack my 360 since my brother and I wanted to do some Gears of War 2 co-op action. I also brought all the RB stuff home since my family's house somehow inevitably always is the meeting place for all Chinese families in the Harrisburg area, and RB will keep all those who sit at the "kids table" (even though the "kids" are probably all college students or older) entertained. So with all that, it looked like I had enough stuff packed in the Kungmobile to be moving out :P

On Thursday, my parents asked if my brother and I wanted to head to Jumbo Buffet, which has become sort of the default restaurant/hang-out amongst my parent's friends, in the morning to eat, but both my brother and I thought it was sort of silly to go there given we'd be eating a lot for dinner, so we passed on that and grinded through Gears of War 2 through the morning and into the afternoon. We eventually ran into the infamous fish boss that Velius had talked about, and it was indeed annoying as it probably took us like 10 or 11 tries to figure out the steps to beat the boss. My brother became a big fan of the lancer chainsaw and tried to chainsaw every enemy within melee range without realizing that not all Locust be cut in half :P

My brother recently got a mortgage for a new condo and was looking to accessorize his new place, so after finding a good save point in Gears, we scrounged the ads for Black Friday sales on TVs. With online shopping becoming so prevalent and online pricing being much cheaper that B&M pricing, Black Friday deals have been underwhelming the past couple of years, but we managed to find some two LCD TVs (40 inch and 32 inch Samsung) at Best Buy that my brother wanted to purchase, and with Best Buy offering no interest financing for 18 months on $500+ purchases, my brother decided to get a BB credit card to purchase the TVs to lighten his financial burdens from getting the condo.

The evening rolled around, and M was in the kitchen prepping while the usual suspects of Chinese families came to our house. M bought a smaller turkey this year since we "only" had 3 families come over this year instead of the usual 5 or 6, but she never disappoints on turkey cooking as it always comes out moist and juicy. Usually, there would be a "kids" table and an "adult" table set up to eat, but everyone was able to squeeze into the same table this time around. The "kids" were entertained by many rounds of RB and Castle Crashers, but what I found sort of interesting was the many rounds of Geometry Wars 2 that people wanted to play in the "Pacifism" game mode. In this mode, your ship can't shoot, but you can destroy enemies by passing through these barriers, and there were furious battles amongst the "kids" to get the high score!

Once all the families left, my brother and I hit the sack for an early 3:30 am wakeup to raid the local Best Buy. We eventually got there at 3:50 am to find crazy people who had camped out waiting in line (there were even 2 or 3 tents set up). When my brother and I parked and got in line, the line had wrapped halfway around the store plaza. Even though it was cold, there were people pushing around carts with free coffee, donuts, and hot chocolate, so my brother and I got two cups of hot chocolate to keep ourselves relatively warm. Some BB employees came out and handed paper vouchers for various items if people were looking to buy them, and my brother managed to snag a credit card app from one of the employees. There was a chatty guy behind us in line who struck up a conversation, so the wait passed by relatively quickly. 5 am rolled around, and we finally got into the store and walked quickly to the TV section where we found the 32 inch LCDs all stacked up. We couldn't find the 40 inch LCDs, and after asking around, we found that they weren't releasing those till 11 am, but you could take a voucher to pay for one for pickup. Of course, paying for the TVs became a bit of a hassle as my brother was told he could have his credit card app processed at the TV center register before paying, but once he got there, he was told to go to customer service to get the credit card app approved and pay over there. So we meandered to customer service, and my brother got approval, but had to head back to the TV center register to pay -_- So we headed back again and eventually paid for everything and escaped Best Buy by about 10 AM.

One of our friends on the tennis team was also in town, and he introduced me to Scene-It on the 360, and I think this might be a good group game for future Veg Outs.