2007 Jun 25
Had a good weekend! On Saturday I took Koa to his Tee-Ball game in the morning. He was kind of fussy, and didn’t want to get out of the car, but once we were with the team, he did great. He ran the bases better, and even picked up three balls while fielding. After the game, we got ready for Bay’s Birthday party, which was at Chuck E. Cheese’s. It was a small party, but everyone had fun. Bay got about 350 tickets from playing games, so he got to pick out some cool toys. The best one is this big black spider that is kind of sticky, so you can throw it on the ceiling and it slowly peels off and drops to the ground. It’ creepy. After the party, we came home and cleaned up the house because…
Sunday morning we had 11 families over for Sakurakai (Japanese Kids Playgroup) Tanabata celebration. It was a lot of fun. The kids did some crafts and played a bunch. For snacks we had grapes, watermelon, graham crackers with marshmallows, and popcorn. I think the kids had a good time.
After the playgroup was over, we headed over to the outlet mall to do a little clothes shopping. The boys had fun riding on the coin-operated vehicles. I only let them have one ride, but they got lucky and got the tail end of another boy’s ride since he left the ride early. I bought a couple shirts and Mariko picked up a bag and some sandals. The boys got ice cream.
For dinner we went to Korea House, which is a great Korean BBQ place on Anderson. We had spicy pork, chicken, tempura udon for the kids, and of course lots of little dishes filled with Korean goodies such as bean sprouts, sweet potato, seaweed, daikon, tofu, and of course, kimchee. It was all excellent and we got stuffed.
That was pretty much the weekend. Too short, but still tiring. Everyone except me is totally crashed out!
2007 Jun 22
I bought a new LiteOn DVD burner the other day and hooked it up to my desktop computer last night. Our old burner was not burning nicely. I try to copy come files from dvd’s I have burned with it, and I am getting errors. I am not sure if the burn went bad, of if the reading back is bad. Anyways, the new drive is a lot faster, so it’s a lot more convenient. Plus being an external device, I will be able to use it on the laptop if I need to.
It is also a dual-layer burner, which means if I burn to a DVD-DL disc, I can fit 8.5GB of data. The discs are more expensive though, and it won’t burn as quickly, but it might be convenient for fitting a whole dorama series on a single disc. We’ll see if I end up doing it though. I did burn a backup this morning, and the 16x speed for DVD+R was great! My old burner was only 4x, so the speed increase is really noticeable.
This burner also has a couple of features that make it pretty convenient. One is the “EZ-Dub” button, which makes copying a disc super easy. The other is “Backup” which just kicks off the simplified burning software. I think Nero is pretty easy (a copy is included with the drive) so I usually just use that.
Name a funny habit you have.
I talk in my sleep (so I have heard).
If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick?
I’d like to be able to play the piano better.
How long is your hair?
Short. Probably ½ inch on the sides and back and 1½ on top.
When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it?
I can’t remember.
What is your favorite kitchen appliance?
I like all of the normal ones because they make life easier. But I really like our food processor because it saves me from grating cheese by hand.
2007 Jun 21
I can’t be the only one who thinks Rolls Royce’s are just plain ugly.
After reading the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, I decided to rent the 1950 Disney movie Treasure Island, which got the highest reviews of all the movie adaptations. It was Disney’s first completely live-action movie and is pretty amazing because of the sets, the ships, and the locations. The island is pretty much how I imagined it would be as I was reading the book. The only part that didn’t mesh with how I thought it would be was the actual location of the buried treasure. I had envisioned it to be on the side of a large hill or mountain, above the jungle treeline. The rest of the island was pretty neat, though. The stockade and the inlet to the island was just like the book described.
The plot in the movie followed the book loosely, with the beginning happening too quickly. There is pretty much zero backstory told in the first five minutes. Before you know it, they are boarding the ship and heading out on the treasure hunt. In contrast, the book spent a good deal of time with Jim Hawkins at the Admiral Benbow Inn and explained much about pirates and the map. Besides this, there are some simplifications in the movie, which is understandable, and nothing that is too drastic.
The acting is really good, especially the character of Long John Silver played by Robert Newton. His role pretty much set the standard for pirate-talk as we know it today. It’s kind of cool to know that some of the the popular pirate expressions “avast”, “shiver my (not me) timbers”, etc came from him. It was like watching history unfold when I heard him speak those lines in the movie! The only part of the casting that was strange was that Jim Hawkins had an American accent, while everyone else was British. Also, all the dialog seemed very appropriate for the period, except when Jim says, “One more step, and I’ll blow your brains out!” I was like “whoa"… And he did blow the guy’s brains out, actually.
All in all, it was a good movie and still looks great today. The ship was really neat, the island looked perfect, and of course the story is a classic. If you haven’t seen Disney’s Treasure Island, go rent it! I watched a bit with Bay who is almost 6, and he enjoyed it too.
2007 Jun 20
5.0 miles at the Y.
Can’t wait for our summer vacation. We are planning on hitting SoCal and NoCal. The Wine region, Monterey, SF, and of course back in the southland, Dodger Stadium! (Go Blue!) I’d love to visit that ballpark that the Giants play at (what is the name? PacBell), but I don’t think we will have time. Maybe the Giants are on the road anyways. But it’s gonna be fun to go to Chavez Ravine again. It has been about 10 years since I last went. I will have a Dodger Dog (or 2), peanuts, beer, and a chocolate malt. I can’t wait!
2007 Jun 19
I made a couple batches of takoyaki the other night and I must say that I am getting pretty good at it, IMHO. The first batch didn’t look so great (they weren’t perfectly round), but my second batch was much better. They were almost uniformly round, with just a few that had some spaces. The good thing about takoyaki is that in the end, you cover them with okonomiyaki sauce, mayo, katsuo and the green stuff, so you can’t really see any imperfections. For the record, we didn’t actually use tako this time. The first batch had sliced hot dog in it, and the second had cheddar cheese cubes, which really make great takoyaki.
2007 Jun 18
Sunday was very relaxing! I woke up late, I think about 9:30am. I think that was a gift from Mariko and the kids. When I went downstairs, Bay gave me a nice Father’s Day card. The morning was spent relaxing and playing with the kids, and then in the afternoon I did a little yardwork. My fingers today are really sore from pulling weeds, but the front yard looks much better than it did on Saturday.
For dinner we drove down to South Austin for some Brazilian Churrascaria at Estancia. It was great! Pretty much like other churrascaria restaurants, but it’s the only one in town at the moment. I was so full. I ate so much meat. Towards the end of the meal, I was getting a little sick of the taste. And when we got home, I could smell a bbq grill from off in the distance, and it made me a little queasy.
Father’s Days are always great. It’s funny thinking that this is my 5th one already!