Friday, June 30, 2006

Another Drunkin Good Time

Well, last Friday was kinda crazy! We stopped at about every bar in downtown Houston for the beer festivity held by St. Arnold. The last place where we landed, The Flying Saucers, I witnessed a guy drank his 200th beer in 2 months or something and got his name printed in a plate which in turn nailed hard on the high wall. I looked around and found out that there are about 16 plates belong to a single guy. Do a simple math you would know that this guy now is either dead or having severe erectile dysfunction!

Look who happy we are

I think Justin looks like chicken in this photo. Maybe he has some sort of chicken flu...

2,545,875 people have found my blog funny.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

World Cup Fever

I think I am experiencing the world cup fever! We discuss about the event at work most of the time. We sneak out of the office to view the game for a few minutes. Some even take off due to "sickie" to watch the game at home. I wonder why don't we have the World Cup pool at PROS like the March Madness pool.

Bring the excitement of March Madness to your office with a World Cup pool. It's nice to give people something to talk about other than the latest business transaction or bitching about development process. Competition for the best bracket within the office can only be a good thing.

Last week I went to the Houston Dynamo game with Real Salt Lake. The Dynamo beats Salt Lake 2 - 1. The stadium is pretty packed. More than what I expected from a soccer game in Houston: about 25,000 people showed up to see the game. I just have the feeling that in a couple more years maybe soccer would gain the momentum and become a more popular sport in the US.
So to celebrate the 4th of July, why don't we go to the Dynamo game on July 4th and watch the game and eat the tailgate BBQ there at the stadium!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

USA vs Ghana

I'm looking forward to watching the game this Thursday. It's crucial that we must win the game in order to be qualified for the second round. Don't know if I could get a portable TV, the 4 or 5-in color TV in Wal-Mart and bring it to work. But I doubt that the reception is OK because even my cell phone is working off and on in that building.

I ran the simulation tonight for the match and the computer predicts that the score will be USA - Ghana : 2 - 0!!!

Ghana, here come your daddy.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Godspeed Team USA

I notice that the Gatorade commercial featuring the ABC World Cup show has been out for a few weeks now. But I just saw the commercial for the first time today during the game between USA and Italy, and it's brilliant.

In just 30 seconds, it really manages to capture worldwide soccer fans' passionate intensity, the truly hostile atmosphere that the Yanks often face when they play abroad, particularly in Latin America. Not to mention the courage it must take for our players to travel to and play in such venues. The rivalries and nationalism that pervade international soccer are, in my opinion, a primary part of what constitute the sport so much fun to follow.

One aspect that I enjoyed much about the Gatorade commercial is how it shows not only the hostility of opposing teams' fans toward the U.S., but also the U.S. players' reactions to the hostility. You see Keller, DJ, Donovan with looks of focused determination on their faces while listening to music, trying to block all noise of hatred out. And the look on Quaranta's face as he's sitting in the lockerroom and the fans are making so much noise that the ceiling tiles are bouncing up and down is priceless.

Finally, the goals and goal celebrations at the end are awesome in the way they capture the joy and exuberance of a critical goal. The rhythm of a soccer game, where both teams can struggle for an hour or more to score while the tension builds, only to be finally released when a goal is ultimately scored, is another part of what makes the game truly the beautiful game. And the background music is so much brilliant: "Take me out to the ball game", the song usually played in major baseball stadia here in the US.

When the US national anthem was sung before the game, the whole Kaiserlauten stadium echoed with US fans voice. They behaved like real world "football" supporters. They sang, they took on the ref. They lifted their team. Make no mistake, that was a game of football -- violent, passionate, hard fought and the U.S. contingent responded. Outstanding.

So hats off to Gatorade, for a terrific commercial. I hope they show it early and often in the World Cup.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

USA vs Italy or Davids vs Goliaths

Group E's nickname is the group of death and I think today's games somewhat reflect the natural characteristic of the group.
First game is between Ghana vs Czech Rep.

Who would have guessed Ghana dominated the entire game and conquered the Czech with a convincing victory 2 - 0. Second game is even more exciting to see the little guy "David the USA" tied with world-class, stars-filled "Goliath the Italian". The game could have been more interesting and the team USA could have got 3 points easily without having Mastroeni sent off the game.

Kudos go to team USA for their dedication and endless effort even with only 9 men in the field after the 47th minute.
US blood was shed in the field at 27th minute. And we will have them paid for it!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I've never looked down on friendship. And I have never taken my friendship for granted by any mean. Recently, there are some incidents, good and bad included, go through my life which I like to share. And they somehow change the way I feel about friendship in a very positive way.

The first story is about love.
A friend of mine recently broke up with her partner. This is beyond her what she could expect and of course she is so heart broken. So for a while her friends take her go out and keep her company. We go out for lunch and dinner every weekend. We take self-improvement classes every week. Her friends know that this is the time a person need to be surrounded by words of understanding and encouragement and they are there for her. What I learn in this story is that when the love one leaves you behind you have nothing to loose but good friends. Good friends that will care for your lost and they will set aside their personal time to come comforting you. Love could come and go people, but friendship remains the same. And to my dear friend I could not refrain from tendering to her the consolation that may be found among us.

My second story is about death.
My best friend from middle school was diagnosed with bone cancer 7 years ago. He went though all sort of possible treatment - from surgery to chemotherapy to amputate one of his leg finally. During the first month after getting the bad news about the arrant disease, he was depressed and afraid of dying. Friends came to talk and comfort him, encourage him to fight against the disease instead of giving up. He did listen and go through those treatments mentioned above. But my friend was finally sent home to wait for his death because cancer cells had already spread all over. I still remember that he was calm and brave after all. He called me up one day and we had a conversation about God, what he believed in God and what he believe he would go after death. He also told me that he was spending most of his remaining time to read the bible and pray for his poor mom and dad. I remember what he said was one wanted to die. Even people who wanted to go to heaven didn't want to die to get there. And yet death was the destination we all share. No one had ever escaped it. And that was as it should be, because Death was very likely the single best invention of Life. It was Life's change agent. It cleared out the old to make way for the new. Hah, sorry to be such dramatic but it's quiet true.
He died in 2001 leaving a will thanking all the friends who had come to comfort him. His mom is now living in CA and I often come to stay with her and her husband now and then. They both treat me like their late only son.

My last story is about making the connection.
Couple of years of ago, I knew this friend from college. We started studying in a assigned group project originally. Because of my programming skill and the dedication I had for the project, he asked that we should keep in touch and take class together. Later on that year, I took several classes with him. As far as I knew, he was working full-time and going to school partime to refresh his knowledge. So knowing this friend for two years and I didn't have a clue where he worked or what his job was. I think partly because of his down-to-earth personality. As the last semester approached I asked him if he knew anybody hiring because I'd like to have an internship before getting out of college. He said just give him my resume and he would take care of it. And I found out that he is a VP of PROS Revenue management - the world's leader in optimizing revenue software development products. And of course I was hired (after the 6-hour long interrogated interview) and being trusted in the company.

Guess it must be time for bed because I was uttering this kind of gibberish from my mouth and I don't even know what I was talking about anymore. :-)

My Old Friend - Tim McGraw

Sunday, June 11, 2006


This is the song stucking in my head recently "Californication" of Red Hot Chilli Peppers in 2000.
Both the lyrics and the rhythm are excellent.

Doing some research about his song reveals that the song is a protest song about globalization, as with many of the other songs on Californication. It also talks about pornography, and makes several pop culture references, including Star Wars, the Apollo conspiracy theory, Star Trek, Celebrity Skin by Hole, Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, and David Bowie's Station to Station.

Californication is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 4th single from their hit album, Californication. It was released in 2000, in which it hit #1 in the USA, and #16 in the UK charts.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Live Football (Not American Football)

World Cup officially starts today with the game between host country Germany and Costa Rica. Haven't seen the whole game yet but watching the highlight of the game, I know this one of the best opening game ever, especially with Germany involves. The German soccer team has been known for their tactical mind-set, steelie mentality, emotionless in playing soccer.

Branded with all kind of nicknames from WWII history like the Panzers, Blitzkrieg, German team comes out of nowhere and plays like the Brazilian of Europe: 4- 2 is the score!!! I don't remember any opening game with that such a high score, not to mention the two beautiful and unbelievable goals from outside of the 16m50 area from Phillipp and Torsten.
I am always a big fan of the German soccer team. This time I also cheer for the USA and England team. The order of precedence is: USA, Germany and England.

Most of the game this time will be in the afternoon. That means all work and no games for the weekday. Thankfully, ABC is kind enough to air the rest of the games on the weekends (totally about 17 games including the finals). Having said that doesn't mean I can't watch the game while working. We have a little satellite TV in the gym. I notice that traffic to the gym is surprisingly high today because people just keep walking back and forth to watch the game for a few minutes.

For me this ain't enough. I want to enjoy the moment more by going to Fry's and pick up the EASports FIFA 2006 soccer game today. And when I get home to play for an hour, I have already led the US soccer team to the second round. Those are the scores of round one. Pray God it becomes true!!! Just remember don't bet your money on it.

USA - Czech : 5 - 2
USA - Italy: 1 - 1
USA - Ghana: 6 - 0

So US advances to the 2nd round as the first seeder.

Here are some screenshots of the game.

Brian McBride already has 8 goals in round 1

Let live soccer this month everybody!

Monday, June 05, 2006

House Warming Party

A friend of mine recently moved to a new high-rise apartment. So we open a house (more like apartment) warming party this weekend.
The apartment is located somewhere in the galleria, on Post Oak street. It's nice, luxury and has all characteristic I would expect from a place like that: valet parking, strict security. It goes this way: you need to ask permission to get to the elevator, to the pool, to the garage, to the restroom...
The nicest thing about this place is the view. From the 23rd floor facing north you can see I-10 and 610 just around the corner and pretty much the entire north-west side of Houston. Imagine how nice it would be sitting outside at the balcony, having a coffee and watch the traffic passing by.

This is the balcony. Interstate 610 s on the right.

As always, simplicity is always the best design in interior decoration. I think I would hire my friend to decorate my house when I get one.