The House of Random Crap
A clearinghouse for my crazed, deviant, trivial, irreverant & occasionally reflective thoughts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003  

"Gandalf, Gandalf! Take the ring!
I am too small to carry this thing!"

"I can not, will not hold the One.
You have a slim chance, but I have none.
I will not take it on a boat,
I will not take it across a moat.
I cannot take it under Moria,
that's one thing I can't do for ya.
I would not bring it into Mordor,
I would not make it to the border."

-excerpt from Dr. Suess's FOTR (credit to gonzoron)

I've been a fan of The Straight Dope for a long time, but I had no idea that it had such great message boards. Thanks to Jen, I have discovered a link to fend off productive work for months to come! Check out the message board "What if Lord of the Rings had been written by someone else?" Currently 41 pages of some really good satire.

For a quicker read and equally good laugh, check out the Secret Diaries of LOTR.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 2:46 PM |

I don't know what it is about girls and guns that I find soooooo damn sexy. Actually, it's really the thought of a woman who can beat the crap out of me which I find so alluring (which explains why I married a strong and willful woman =). I think that's why I get my rocks off playing the female characters in Street Fighter, Tekken, and Diablo, and never get tired of the girl-girl fight scenes in "The Mummy Returns" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Ass-kicking chicks rule, and so does this trooper...


Soldier played her cards right

Nabs Iraqi official

By Darla McFarland
The Examiner

Excerpt: One of Iraq's most wanted generals was run down over the weekend by a young soldier who just a few years ago was running down opponents on the Fort Osage High School track team.

U.S. Army Specialist Heather Baldus, 21, of Independence, was standing guard duty west of Bagdad along the road to Syria. In a call to her mother Saturday, Baldus related the story of how she chased down General Husam (Hossam) Mohammed Amin [who was the head of the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate and the chief liaison to United Nations weapons inspectors before the war].

"She was standing post with this other soldier when she saw some movement in a bush by the road," explained Baldus' mother, Kim James, of Sibley. "She told the guy to cover her while she checked it out."

As Baldus approached, she came under fire from unseen gunmen in surrounding buildings. A man bolted from the bush ahead and she pursued, knocking him to the ground with a blow to the head from the butt of her weapon.

"He looked up at her and all he could say was 'You're a woman.' Heather told him 'Yeah, but that doesn't mean I won't put a bullet through your head,' " James said. "Heather has always been outspoken." [Paul: You can't get dialogue this good in the movies!]

Baldus and the other soldier brought their unknown prisoner to headquarters where they later learned he was one of the 55 most wanted Iraqis, all identified in a deck of cards distributed to soldiers by the Department of Defense. He was the six of clubs and number 49 on the DOD's mosted wanted list.

(Thanks to Jen for the link)

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 2:06 PM |

"Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone you love." - Woody Allen (in Annie Hall)

Let's see: between the finding that pud wacking reduces the risk of prostate cancer, and the article about the 7-year old porn addict playing with himself (and busty women), my blog had taken on a "self-love" sort of theme. Well, to make it a hat trick, here's a link to the Big Masturbation Database. According to their quiz/survey, I'm only 52% normal. I won't tell you how I answered, but my deviant nature speaks for itself...

(Thanks to Greengrl for the link)

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 1:42 PM |

I just got an e-mail from Yoko, an old friend from high school who sat near me in Calculus class and was my senior prom date (technically, she was my first real date). The really curious thing about our friendship is that until prom, I knew very little of Yoko, and have actually only seen her again no more than three or four times. However, for most of the first 10 years out of college, we managed to keep very faithful correspondence, sending each other birthday and holiday cards and several lengthy letters each year. During my extended stay in Southeast Asia back in the 90's, I would say I was in more frequent contact with her than with any of my friends or even family back in the states. The last two times I had the pleasure of being in her company were during very momentous times in recent years: the first was in 2000 at a farewell dinner/party at Dave & Busters in Irvine before I moved out to Hong Kong, and the second was a year and half later in Bangkok at Nicha and my wedding. She's the ultimate pen pal =).

Anyways, the reason why this e-mail is so special is that Yoko just announced that she just got engaged! I met her fiance Duy back at my farewell party and found him to be a really nice guy; they were a really good match. It saddened me to hear a while later that they had broken up, but apparently, there back together, and I couldn't be happier for both of them.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:13 AM |

Monday, July 28, 2003  

Between watching a purple dinosaur and playing with his purple dinosaur, I think this kid made the better choice. At least he won't have to worry about prostate cancer...

Only 7, and he's addicted to porn
KAOHSIUNG - A seven-year-old Taiwanese boy is getting expert help for his porn addiction.

He started watching X-rated VCDs as a toddler because his grandfather, who was looking after him, liked to watch them, according to a newspaper report.

His mother, identified only as Mrs Liu, said her father thought the child would not understand what was going on, the United Daily News said. He was wrong.

When the toddler learnt how to switch TV channels, he would search for those showing pornography instead of cartoons.

When he was about three years old, his mother found him fondling his penis while a porn film was showing on TV.

A shocked Mrs Liu moved out of her father's home, where she lived because her soldier husband was seldom at home.

She began to monitor the boy's behaviour and noticed that he liked to be hugged by busty women and would touch their breasts unabashedly, the report said.

In kindergarten, he would lift his teachers' skirts and draw naked women instead of cartoon characters.

He peeped at a neighbour, a woman who had a habit of sleeping naked without closing the windows.

He also stole her underwear and continued to do so despite scoldings and beatings by his mother.

Mrs Liu finally realised her young son needed expert help after he started touching her while she was asleep, the newspaper said.

Doctors at a psychiatric hospital in Kaohsiung told her that her son's behaviour was the result of prolonged exposure to pornographic films.

They said that adults were mistaken if they think very young children do not get influenced by such material.

(Credit to The Straits Times for the article)

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:34 PM |

The King of Comedy is dead. May he Rest In Peace.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:17 PM |

Thursday, July 24, 2003  

Nicha got the job offer tonight. She met with the regional head of trading (a huge "wall" of a Dutchman, as she describes him), who spent most of the interview telling him about his work philosophy and reassuring her that her job would be secure (as many of their competitors have closed up shop in Asia). He told her that they will be sending her a contract shortly. Congratulations, babe!!

We actually ran a few calculations. If I also wind up taking a new job, and the markets do alright, our combined incomes would be comfortably in the six-figure range in US dollars (though still not quite what I was making in Hong Kong). Since the cost of living is so friggin' cheap in Thailand, it would be like living on a high six (or even low seven) figure package in the U.S. on a purchasing power parity basis. This is pretty key to our future plans, since this would make it easier to send our kids to the top international schools in Thailand, and perhaps even a prep school in the states before they head off to university. For me, being able to set up our kids so that they can attend a U.S. university was a major condition for me moving to Thailand on a permanent basis. It may seem premature to be thinking so far ahead, but I figure the present value of educating each kid will run us at least US$400k, so it can never be too early to be preoccupied with this (it might be a helluva lot easier to just pick which kid we love most, and put the others in factories to earn tuition money for the lucky one. jk! =).

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:41 PM |

Drudgery. That's what I'm feeling now, day in and day out. I appear (and occasionally am) reasonably active at work, but on the inside, I'm getting really sick of it. I often procrastinate like crazy, playing Solitaire, cruising blog sites, and download and watch episodes of Seinfeld. Maybe it's because of my recent job interview with my friend's company. Or maybe because I'm on a countdown to my vacation. Maybe both. Leaving won't be an easy decision either. I like the people, our most senior partner has been very good to me (sort of like the wealthy uncle looking after a favored nephew), I do get the chance to play an active entrepreneurial role, and as arrogant as it may sound, I won't be easy to replace. However, the inescapable fact is that this experience is really starting to grate on my nerves. I find myself bickering with one of the other partners in the office (strictly professional; we get along great as friends, but when it comes to debating professional issues, it's like Celebrity Death Match), and frankly, I'm not learning anything I care to know. Basically, I don't think the entrepreneurial skills I'm picking up are keeping pace with the brain rot that is eroding my finance skills.

The interview earlier this week went rather well. I met with my friend's boss, who not only founded the company (a small investment banking advisory boutique and would-be buyout fund), but also the private equity fund they both used to work at. He was down-to-earth, yet polished and obviously very bright and ambitious. He is well-connected, and is looking for a few young banker-types to help him develop a stable of clients and a steady deal flow. Otherwise, the ideas and philosophy this guy has for his company are very much the same we have for our own. Aside from differences in the types of clients (we go after local small-to-medium-sized enterprises, he after multinationals working in Thailand) and the types of work we do (we are more oriented on strategy consulting projects and he on investment banking deals), we are pretty much flip sides of a coin. I even commented to him during our lunch interview that his company is everything my company should be if I have the influence to move it towards a more finance-oriented business model. I'll be meeting with other partner who launched the Singapore office the next time he's in town, so we'll see how that goes.

One interesting thing that I noticed is that the interviews I've done lately have become far more relaxed, social, and cordial. Most of interviews I've had after college and the first year or so out of business school were very rigorous and exhausting gauntlets of professionals poking and prodding and probing for skils and flashed of brilliance. Interviewing for my company and this new job has been more about cultural fit and personal compatibility with company founders and would-be colleagues. It's taken me a while, but I think I've finally arrived at a point in my career where my accumulated education and experience can speak for itself without having to be stress-tested every step of the way. Most interviews lately have been over a meal or drinks, talking more about personal interests, my views on economics or politics, or ideas I have about developing businesses. Beats the post-MBA investment banking stress interview any day of the week (actually, as head of recruiting for my company, now I'm on the giving end of stress interviews. Muahahahahaha!!).

Tonight, Nicha has her interview with the regional head of trading of her potential new employer. Personally, I think it's a lock. In fact, the guy who's been headhunting her (the guy she would be directly reporting to) called Nicha last night for about a half hour to coach her on topics she should focus on to make a good impresison on his boss. 'm very excited for her. I think a large part of why she was excited is that she found the idea of being the breadwinner and earning far more money than I am to be very sexy (it certainly appeals to her domineering alpha female nature in her =). However, should I wind up joining this other advisory company, I would leap-frog her in pay scale, so she's begging me not to accept any job offer for at least a month after she starts her new job, so she can at least say that at one point in her career, she earned more money than me. What a dork =)!

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:45 AM |

Wednesday, July 23, 2003  

How demotivated do I have to be at work to have stooped so low as to take an on-line test as ridiculous and emasculating as this? How much worse is it having the quiz rate me as "average"? How many more hours until the weekend?

Which Hello Kitty Fairy Are You?

come discover which Hello Kitty fairy you are!

I'm Hello Kitty Water Fairy!
made by: Jen

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 6:29 PM |

Tuesday, July 22, 2003  

Previously, I gave you the shizzolated version of my website. Now here's the pornolized version of it. Pornolize any site here.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 11:35 AM |

Monday, July 21, 2003  

It looks as though Nicha will take the new job after all. She likes the people and the prospect of trading more exotic financial instruments has her pretty excited. She has yet to meet the regional head of trading, but she figures that it's just a formality, since her future boss has the authority to make hiring decisions and she is his first recruit since joining the bank (he inherited the incumbent team); for the regional head to countermand her future boss' hiring choice would be a loss of face.

Interestingly enough, I've been considering the possibility of finding a new job, and an opportunity has recently presented itself. I am extremely impressed with the caliber of people at my current company, and I can't deny that holding a partnership position in a start-up has its own appeal, but the pace and style of work seems to constantly grate on me, leaving me frequently impatient and frustrated at best, and thoroughly pissed off and fuming at worst. Additionally, I miss investment banking deals. Even though our company is supposed to be a bit of a private banking/merchant banking/ management consulting hybrid, we seem very much focused on more consulting and fund management-type work. As finance-oriented as the fund management work is, I would much rather be looking at leveraged buyouts and other private equity investments. Anyways, last Friday I went to dinner with a business school classmate of mine who has recently transitioned from a private equity fund to a start-up investment banking and M&A advisory shop. It was a chance for us to catch up, but it was more of a chance for him to pitch his company to me, since they were looking for post-MBA banker types at about my level of experience. It was an impressive pitch, since my friend's outfit is everything my company ought to be. I am intrigued, if not outright interested. I'm supposed to meet the senior banker tomorrow over lunch, so we'll see where it goes.

Otherwise, I've been dragging my ass on my current work project. I'm way behind on a company valuation model I'm putting together, though in all fairness, I'm orchestrating our current recruiting blitz, and am neck deep in candidates. At the moment, we have 18 candidates in the pipeline, each of whom have to meet all our 8 professionals for about an hour each over 3 rounds. It's been a logistical pain in the rumpus. I've ramped up on my extracurricular reading lately as a pleasant diversion from work. I just finished "Stealing Time", a chronicle on the merger between AOL and Time Warner. It was a great blow-by-blow account of the transaction, but was a little bit thin on analysis. I just started the 1st of a 3-book sci-fi series by Kim Robinson on the colonization and terraforming of Mars. Though its catagorized as sci-fi, its written in an intelligent, sophisticated, polished, and scientific style, much like Asminov's Foundation series or Donaldson's Thomas Covenant chronicles. It's an almost realistic account of how the colonization might actually progress in the near future. I've also downloaded 3 more e-books in the last week: "The Mercury 13", an account of the female counterparts to Mercury 7 astronauts; "The Pirate Hunter", a biography of Captain Kidd; and "In Praise of Nepotism", a political, historical, and socialogical look at the practice of nepotism. My upcoming vacation should be a nice opportunity to immerse myself in some good reading.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 12:54 AM |

Sunday, July 20, 2003  

Only 33 more days until my vacation! Hard to believe that it’s only been a year since my Turkey/ Hungary/Germany/Italy/United States walkabout (the journal of which I have yet to complete, if ever). But if I was ever in the need for a vacation, it’s now. Work is a bit frustrating, and besides, if I spend too much time in Thailand without break, I go stir-crazy. I have just finished making the final arrangements, from our flights to our accommodations to our show tickets. This is one of the very few times I'm looking forward to a long-haul cross Pacific flight. I'm redeeming all of my remaining miles earned during my investment banking days, which is enough to land Nicha and I business class seats on Cathay Pacific; they renovated their business class sections last year, and they are supposedly pretty cushy. After Singapore Air, Cathay has some of the best service of any airline I've ever had the opportunity to patronize. Certainly blows away anything the U.S. airlines have to offer. I normally don’t sleep well on flights, and it seems like a waste to me to sleep when we have access to such good airline service. I’ll probably be spending the entire 13 or so hours of flight time watching movies on demand, snacking on the ice cream and chocolates the hostesses bring by, and polish off a few books I’ve been downloading onto my PDA.

I also booked our accommodations for most of the trip. Actually, for about half the trip, we will be staying with either my folks, or with my brother Pete for the oh-so-small price of babysitting my favorite and only niece Jessie (who I might add is crawling now!). We’ll start off staying with my folks, since they’ll be heading off to China on their vacation about halfway during our visit. The first weekend with the folks should be relaxing, and we could certainly use the time to adjust to the jet lag. My brother Pete may stop by with the family so I can get a first glimpse of the peanut. We’ll also visit my brother Don so we can meet my nephew Jadon, and perhaps spend a day at Disneyland while my parents are at work.

After a few days in Tustin, Nicha and I fly to Las Vegas for a few days, which is exciting because I haven’t been to Vegas in over 20 years and Nicha has never been. At Pete’s recommendation, we’ll be staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. I expect we will spend most of our time by the pool, gorging at buffets, blowing our cash at the poker tables. I booked tickets for us to see Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio, which I’m been hoping to see for quite a few years now. There are actually several old favorite 80s acts will be performing around the time we are down there (Hall & Oates, the Bangles, the Go-Gos, Huey Lewis and the News), but unfortunately none of them are playing the 2 nights we are in town. Bummer.

I figure 2 and half days will be more than enough for us to blow my savings in the casinos, so afterwards we’ll fly up to San Francisco where we’ll catch up with friends, see “Phantom of the Opera” (Nicha’s first time, my third), take a tour of Alcatraz, go to a Cal football game (Go Bears!!), attend a Kellogg wedding in Sonoma, and go wine tasting. Originally, I had booked a room in the Marriott Courtyard down in South San Francisco for $85 a night all-in, but a few weeks ago I tried Priceline and scored a three-night stay at the Grand Hyatt off of Embarcadero for $65 a night. I frickin’ love Priceline! I also booked a night at $370-a-night Renaissance Lodge in Sonoma for $170. Right now, I’m your garden variety happy camper =).

After the wedding, we’ll be driving down to Southern Cal. Originally, I was planning to shoot down the I-5 to cut my driving time and make it home for dinner to celebrate my dad’s birthday, but since he and mom will be in China, it’s no big rush down. We’ll likely take the leisurely route down the Pacific Coast Highway so Nicha can enjoy the California coastline (admittedly, I have never really had a chance to take the full drive myself). Nicha’s dying to go to Universal Studios, so we’ll check it out (haven’t been there since Battlestar Galactica and Jaws were the big attractions). We’ve also got tickets to see “The Producers”, which I wanted to see when I last passed through New York (but wound up seeing Les Miserables” instead). Other than that, we’ll wrap up our last few days having dinner with old friends (mine, not hers, since they are all here in Bangkok), and even some quality time with my niece and nephew. Nicha asked me if we had any spare time, since Pimco, the world’s largest bond fund, is headquartered in Newport Beach. Since she handles the liquidity accounts for Bangkok Bank, she is in constant contact with large, international equity and bond funds, and the representative from Pimco invited her to visit their office (which supposedly boasts the world’s largest bond trading floor) and even a fixed income training session. So after visiting Hollywood, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Napa Valley, after seeing 3 stage shows, visiting 2 theme parks, taking 1 winery tour, and seeing innumerable friends, we’re gonna finish up our blow-out vacation by hanging out with bond traders! Zowweee! Aren’t we a wild pair?

Just 33 more days…

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 5:07 PM |

Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Bruce Lee. In honor of the occasion, one of the local Thai stations broadcast "The Big Boss", Lee's first feature film (filmed in Thailand). Watching the last, climatic fight scene reaffirmed in my mind why he is the king of cinematic martial arts. While the film has the characteristic cheesy Asian film editing and fake bright red blood, we are seeing pure fighting, no special wires or computer work. Just a few well-trained martial arts letting loose on each other. And as much as I enjoy watching Jackie Chan and (occasionally) Jet Li, both were trained for the purpose of exhibition (Chan for mock-fighting and Li for sport competition), while Lee trained for pure fighting and defense. And it really shows in his movies.

Anniversary or not, it seems a bit undignified that his old home has been converted into a pay-by-the-hour love motel:

There are no public monuments to him here -- not even in Kowloon Tong where Lee used to live.

Instead, the neighborhood is known for its "love motels", built to accommodate courting couples and businessmen who arrive with mistresses in tow.

CNN visited Lee's old address, number 41 Cumberland Road -- a place which now goes by the name, Romance Hotel.

The building contains a number of small unpretentious rooms, simple and with a rather hard double bed.

Couples pay about $30 dollars for three hours.

Ting opened the exhibition. She found Lee unconscious at her apartment thirty years ago.

For that price they get complimentary slippers, a couch which has definitely seen better days, and perhaps the highlight of this hotel, a chance to use a rather gaudy looking 'love tub'.

Romance Hotel management told CNN that Bruce Lee's legend helps boost occupancy.

But Lee's fans say the rooms bear no resemblance to the star's old home. They want the Hong Kong government to buy the Romance Hotel so it can be restored to its former glory and promoted to tourists.

"Transform it, decorate it, let it become a new Bruce Lee museum," says Hew Kuan Yau from the Bruce Lee Club.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 12:05 PM |

Thursday, July 17, 2003  

Do you think my health insurer will lower my premiums if I spanky the wanky?


Masturbating Lowers Prostate Cancer Risk - Study
Wed July 16, 2003 03:21 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Frequent masturbation, particularly in the 20s, helps prevent prostate cancer later in life, according to new research.
Australian scientists have shown that the more men masturbate between the ages of 20 and 50, the less likely they are to develop the disease that kills more than half a million men each year.

They suspect that frequent ejaculation has a protective effect against the cancer because it prevents dangerous carcinogens from building up in the gland.

"The more you flush the ducts out, the less there is to hang around and damage the cells that line them," Graham Giles, of the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, told New Scientist magazine on Wednesday.

In a survey of 1,079 prostate cancer patients and 1,259 healthy men, Giles and his team discovered that men who ejaculated more than five times a week in their 20s were a third less likely to develop an aggressive form of the disease.

The findings contradict previous studies which suggested that having a variety of partners or frequent sexual activity could increase the risk of prostate cancer by 40 percent.

But Giles said the earlier research concentrated on intercourse, whereas his study focused on masturbation. Infections caused by sexual activity could account for the different findings.

"Men have many ways of using their prostate which don't involve women or other men," he added.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 7:48 PM |

I don't know why I find this so amusing as to post it on my blog, but I do.


Squirrel ‘adopts’ man in Germany
15 July 2003

GOETTINGEN - A squirrel "adopted" a human who strayed into its forest in Germany, refusing to budge from the man's shoulder and forcing him to call police for help.

Calling from his cell phone, the agitated rambler told police in Goettingen he was walking through the woods when the bushy-tailed red squirrel scampered up to his shoulder.

Repeated attempts to give the furry admirer the brush-off resulted only in the animal becoming more persistent about jumping back up onto his shoulder.

"You've got to help me, I can't get this crazy squirrel off my shoulder," the unidentified caller told a police dispatcher.

"The caller was given the address of an animal shelter," a police spokesman said. "And if the folks there are unable to separate them, then perhaps they'll both live happily ever after."

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 7:41 PM |

Friday, July 11, 2003  

Things just got a little more interesting for Nicha. Last night she had dinner with her potential new boss, who is stepping up the pressure for her to join his bank. He upped the offer, saying that he will not only double her current salary, but after a 3 month probationary period, he will take the increase up to 130% of her current pay (incidentally, the increase in her pay would exactly equal my current salary, meaning that I could quit my job and stay at home and eat chocolates; she was not particularly amused with my proposal...=). Additionally, this foreign bank typically pays annual bonuses equal to 4-6 months of base salary, compared to 1-2 months at her current job. All in, Nicha could potentiall increase her annual income by over 3x if she goes over, an offer that is too attractive to dismiss. I think we will likely put off having a family for another year or two.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 12:21 AM |

Wednesday, July 09, 2003  

My wife and I are at a bit of a crossroads in our marriage. A few months back, we discussed the possibility are starting a family in September after we returned from our Calfiornia vacation. Since then, she was contacted by an international bank to join their small and recently established Bangkok sales desk. They would double her pay and she would be exposed to more exotic financial instruments, a proposition which greatly appeals to her. However, it would also be a huge committment of time and energy, meaning we would have to put off having kids for a year or two. I am completely supportive of which ever path she wants to choose, and for several weeks, it seemed as though we would put off starting a family until 2005 or 2006. Lately though, she's been having second thoughts; if she stays with her current employer, she'll be able to balance starting a family and her work responsibilities, which many of the female currency and fixed income traders at her bank now do. I think once Nicha sees the new videos of our niece compunded with a chance to babysit the little peanut will push her down the family path. Persoanlly, I'm torn. On one hand, I've been thinking about a family for the last year or so (and I'm not getting any younger, you know!). However, I think this job offer is a fantastic opportunity to really test her skills and enhance her profile in the financial community. The wuss that I am, I told her that whatever decision she makes, I will be behind her 100%. Yes, this is an easy way out, a way to shift the burden of making the decision on to her, but no matter what my contributions are and will be to this family, ultimately it will be her that has to endure the pregnancy and child birth or the additional professional responsibility, so she should be the one to decide which she is ready for. At any rate, we'll know over the next few weeks, and definitely by September, what we will be doing.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 3:57 PM |

Pete sent me three video clips of my niece Jessie. Everytime he does this, I end up watching each clip like 50-60 times in a row before I manage to get around to doing my work, and by then, I get all weepy-eyed. I cannot believe how much of a wussy cream-puff I am...

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 2:18 PM |

Friday, July 04, 2003  

Remember that Honda commerical a few years back where a man is viewing an Accord hanging on the wall of a museum, and then climbs up into the car and drives off, leaving tire tracks on the wall? That was one of the best car commercials I have ever seen. Until now, that is.

Again, Honda (this time, Honda UK) came up with a great concept. Called "The Cog", it features a 2-minute Rube Goldberg-esque chain of events which culminates in the launch of an SUV. Most of the props and components used in the commercial are standard Honda auto parts, and the clip employs no trick photography whatsoever. It supposedly took the film crew 606 takes to get this thing right. The truly unfortunate part is that there are no plans to broadcast the commerical outside of Europe.

The video quality isn't great, but the commercial is phenomenal. Highly recommended if you have the patience (or bandwidth) to download a 3+ mb file.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 12:50 PM |

Thursday, July 03, 2003  

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which, if my law school education serves, covers the western states including California) has ruled that bloggers cannot be sued for libel based on contents published on blog sites. While this has major implications for extending First Amendment rights of free speech to Internet content, it does have some meaningful impact for my brother Pete. Last year, he had published a series of deservedly unflattering blogs about his psycho-bitch ex-boss. Pete was good enough to have never mentioned her by name, nor his employer, but upon finding the site, she proceeded to threaten to sue Pete for slander and to complain to the university at which Pete works, which insisted that Pete dismantle his site, despite the fact that (even though he occasionally published blogs from work) it in no way was affilitated with his employer. When Pete told me, I got completely indignant, telling him that he should have called the ACLU and sued the bejeezus out of the university, but he let the matter drop. Now, with the recent ruling, if his employer so much as utters a peep about his blogs, he can likely sue the deep-pocketed private university for some serious damage.

Incidentally, slander is based on the spoken word, not written word, which is what libel is. It always amuses me to see completely uneducated trailer trash bandy about legal terms as if watching a few hours of People's Court, Judge Judy, or Court TV makes Average Joe America an instantaneous authority in the field of jurisprudence. I guess it doesn't help that we come from a very litigious society, where Americans will sue their fellow citizens at the drop of a hat (or alternatively, shoot them and then protest in defense of their Second Amendment rights...).

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 10:39 AM |

Wednesday, July 02, 2003  

Happy Birthday, Asian Financial Crisis!!!

6 years ago today, Thailand floated its currency, the Thai Baht, setting off a domino effect of currency devaluations throughout Asia and ushering in a period of shock, upheaval, and economic downturn from which most (if not all) the affected countries have yet to recover. Cake, anyone?

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 5:55 PM |

If my blog looks a bit different, well that's because it is! Blogger overhauled their website, and in the process, completely wiped out the HTML code on my blog site. Fucking rat bastards!!! I put a lot of time tweaking my site here and there, and unfortunately don't back-up my templates (though that's about to change). Luckily, I keep a little-used blog site chronicling my travels last year which uses a similar template. So on top of the buttloads of work I need to do, I have to get my blog back in working order.

posted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Paul | 2:16 PM |
thai mafioso
nomads in siam
the rest of the riff raff
the truly damned of rbj
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