Life with Churry.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


KTVU News Anchor: blah blah blah Kwanzaa...

blogger14: It's not even real!

me: They're all made up.

KTVU News Anchor: blah blah blah Kwanzaa...

blogger14: Guess I'm celebrating Kwanzaa. Can't go into work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why I Didn't Vote for Any of the Incumbents on the City Council

Not even for the council member who was running unopposed.

Sunnyvale councilman-elect pushes for his say on study issues

Can't believe I live in this town.

There is of course the slim possibility that the reporter is a really bad writer. Don't think that's the issue here though.

Good by Association

Proud just to know the people who helped make this happen.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Getting Ready

"Somebody didn't wash my brown pants. Now I have nothing to wear."

"Well, you better go wash it."


"You didn't say you needed your brown pants."

"I'm pretty sure I dreamt it. You were in my dream, too. Someone's slacking."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This is Not Why I Read Hawk Wings

Hawk Wings is a nice blog that offers tips for using Apple Mail, various plug-ins, and stuff like that. But today, like a special treat, Tim reminisced about an article from 1994 comparing PCs and Macs to Protestants and Catholics. Even the reader comments are entertaining.

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Case You're Wondering...

...whether Britney still has fans. No, you won't find the answer on Wikipedia. eBay is the place to look.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stuff on the Web

Dooce, one of my favorite bloggers and I think the only one who isn't an Apple-focused blogger, did a play-by-play commentary on today's Layer Tennis. Yeah, looks like another geeky pass time. But oh man, did you know you can do things like this in 15 minutes? I didn't even know it was possible.

Meanwhile, someone forwarded Mark Morford's column from last week -
American kids, dumber than dirt

Two great "reads" in one day. I'm not sure I can handle this.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I Have Nothing on Idol collected performances of Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing on Seasons 3, 4, 5, and 6 of American Idol onto the same page. It's quite a treat to watch these 4 brilliant singers take on such a powerful song.

My favorite, which also appears to be the favorite for most of the site's visitors, is Katharine McPhee's rendition of the song. Her delivery was much more entertaining than the others.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Of Course Not

"Were you watching infomercials?"

"Yeah...can I buy the complete home gym?"


"Christy Turlington recommended it."

"She probably has a personal trainer."

"But she's Christy Turlington. Why would she lie?"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Burning Man

Am I enthralled because it's so Star Wars-esque?

Monday, August 06, 2007


My boss is out of town so I get to work from home all week. After spending 6 hours going back and forth between my work PC and my beloved MacBook Pro, I thought it must be 5 o'clock already. I mean, how can it not be? I've already spent 100 hours on the phone with tech support because nothing works on the PC.

Apparently, mother nature doesn't care how tech support counts their billable hours, and it's only mid-afternoon outside. Since I've given up on doing work on the PC, I decide to take my MBP out into the afternoon sun, uh, shade and do some work away from my dungeon. It is a beautiful day by any standard. Wisps of cloud float in the light blue sky while a nice breeze sways the leaves of our loquat tree.

Now do I put a coat on over my sweatshirt so I stay warm out here? Or do I go back inside and turn on our new central heat?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Twice in One Month

This must be the summer of new experiences. I'm selling stuff on, I painted my apartment (ok, touched up,) I bought (and used) a jigsaw, and I've now stood in line on release day twice in one month to buy a hotly anticipated product (for two different products of course.)

Ah, the power of marketing. Here's the line in front of our local Borders store at 9:30 am. If you don't know what we lined up for, it's not even worth telling you now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Did You Not Read My Last e-mail?

I recently started selling things through's marketplace and have been totally happy with the results. No one's been interested in my eraser refills (big surprise,) but I've successfully sold a memory stick and two books.

Yesterday, I got a nice e-mail message about the camera I have listed for sale. The lady wanted me to send the camera to a friend in Africa. Now that made me a little suspicious, but it's not like I don't know anyone from Africa and have friends and family in Africa. So I considered the sale and even looked into customs forms for making such a shipment. Another flag started waving in the back of my head when I noticed that she wanted me to respond directly to her e-mail address. That wasn't how the other sales went, but this was only an inquiry. So I thought maybe it was different. I went ahead and responded directly to her, saying that I would prefer not to ship outside of the US.

This morning, I awoke to a message from this Sandra De Jeken telling me she can't receive then re-send the package because she's in the hospital and thanking me for shipping to Africa. Another e-mail told me not only "Sold Ship Now," but also that the buyer has thousands of dollars deposited with Amazon, all of which is frozen until the sale is completed. Hmmm, none of the other buyers had that. Is this special for a "high" value item?

The problem is that I don't care if she's in the hospital or if she has $10 billion deposited with Amazon. I'm not shipping to Africa. I frantically went through a couple of Amazon help pages to find out if I could nullify the sale before noticing the sale is not even acknowledged in the Amazon system. *whew* It's a scam. I reported it to Amazon, and now? Back to my daily procrastination.

If there are any spammers out there who want to spam her account, her address is Cheers!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Self Improvement

"Hey, what's up?"

"My IQ! I just bought a Mac."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Certified Geek

After 11 hours on the sidewalk in Palo Alto, I was giddily walking to the car with my new iPhone in hand. blogger14 was feeling bad that instead of shaking my hand, Steve Jobs put his hand on my arm and said, "I'm not doing that today." A bit disappointing, but I cared much more about the $600 gadget in my bag than I did about shaking a man's hand, regardless of who he is. Plus, he was nice and smiley about denying me a handshake. So that's that.

Tony had said he decided against standing in line for the iPhone because he decided that he would be ashamed of having committed such an act 10 years from now. I, on the other hand, would've been sitting around at home thinking about the iPhone anyway, so sitting in line felt like taking action towards achieving my goal. Plus, I met some cool people, learned about the cute little "slow food" wine bar called Vino Locale, and got to play with a functioning Newton, courtesy of the Stanford Newton User Group. Good times.

In the end, Tony was there anyway. Standing with bystanders watching us get our iPhones and trying not to look left out.

All that aside, the iPhone is sooooooooo cool. I love the perfect synchronization of address books! The other perks are cool, too. Now I can tote around just one gadget to show off pictures of my niece, listen to music, get traffic updates and directions, check my e-mail, surf the web, and of course, make phone calls. All with the ease that Apple products are known to deliver. And now that I've stood in line for an Apple product launch, I feel like a true, certified geek. Go me!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No, Really. She Was Dancing.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm dancing!"

"They don't dance like that."

"Yeah, they do."

"Well, be careful. I don't want to have to explain to your mother that you hurt yourself dancing to traditional Chinese music."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Detail-Oriented or Over-the-Top?

There is absolutely no doubt that I will be fighting the crowds for an iPhone next week. I have waited more than five months, and nothing is going to stop me from showing up on June 29. But I am worried. What time should I show up? I'm pretty sure I don't want to camp out overnight, but is that really the right decision? I do, after all, live in an area with a super high concentration of nerds, geeks, and Apple fans. Is showing up at 10 am really early enough? I would just die (ok, not really) if I end up right behind the person who buys the last available iPhone at the store.

Timing aside, I have never even attempted to stand in line like this for anything since I was not a fan of such hype-generating machines as Star Wars or Back Street Boys. What do I need to bring with me? Will my spot in line be safe if I need to go to the restroom? What survival tricks do I need to learn?

My mind has been blinded by desire, and I can no longer decide if blogs like this are over-the-top or just detail-oriented?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stranger than Fiction

This guy should definitely go to jail for knowingly putting so many other people at risk, but this is kind of interesting.

"And in yet another twist to a story that seems to grow murkier with each new revelation, Mr. Speaker’s father-in-law, Robert C. Cooksey, is a tuberculosis researcher who has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." (See the NY Times article.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our Neighborhood Bar

The Blue Bonnet in Google Maps street view.

It opens at 6 am!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Found This in My Pile of Old e-mails


Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving. California will now be its own country. And we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northeast.

We spoke to God, and She agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, God is so excited about it, She's going to shift the whole country at 4:30 pm EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

So you get Texas and all the former slave states. We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay. (Okay, we have to keep Martha Stewart, we can live with that.) We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ol Miss. We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get all the technological innovation in Alabama.

We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue, and you get to make the red states pay their fair share. Since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms to support, and we know how much you like that. Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation's veggies? But heck the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the pickles on their Big Macs. Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at
your state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. Ouch, bet that hurts.

Just so we're clear, the country of California will be pro-choice and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to want all Blue States citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals. They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show pictures of their kids' caskets coming home.

Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

I haven't been a true NPR junkie in a while. These days, I try to stay up-to-date through my 37 RSS feeds in NewsFire. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report would probably keep me informed as well, but I'm way behind on those. I think I've only just watched the March 19th episodes yesterday. Plus, they don't have the Mac-focused tidbits that make me happy.

It's not always easy to read all 37 feeds. In fact, I have a group called "Skippable" for items that are, well, skippable. Some days, it's also disappointing to go through dozens, if not hundreds, of posts to finde nothing exciting. Other days, like today, there are just gem after gem after gem. Check these out:

== Ten Things We Hate about Apple - No, not the one that involved some editor resigning. This is a spoof that any Mac fan can relate to on some level. Me? The distraction and the weak knees.

== The hybrid notepad - I've downloaded my free copy. Can't wait to print!

== The Bevy bottle opener - I don't even have an iPod shuffle and I want one of these. I barely even open bottles, ever. But it's only $15!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

False Sense of Security

I posted some stuff for sale on Craig's List in preparation for the westward move. The site's popularity is definitely making things crazy. Instead of one for-sale post, I had to write 4 different posts for 4 different categories. There's gotta be a better way. I can understand how it used to just be someone's pet project. But now that Craig's List is a for-profit company (am I dating myself?), I feel a little better complaining about the site's shortcomings.

Anyway, it took me some time to decide which of my 11 e-mail addresses to use for managing the responses. Whether the spam and privacy concerns are warranted or not, I don't really want to use my main e-mail address when communicating with random Craig's List users.

The first response I got came from a Georgetown address, which felt safe enough. I responded with my Georgetown address, and sold my TV in less than 12 hours. Now I have to find somewhere else to watch American Idol.

The next two responses were from Gmail addresses, followed by a Hotmail address. Guess what I realized? Response content aside, the Gmail users seemed much more credible than the Hotmail user simply because of their e-mail provider. Isn't that interesting? Discrimination based on internet savvy-ness.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


I would rather not imagine this happening to me. Although I must say, I am not a fan of the Blackberry wheel, hence not a fan of the Blackberry. Can't wait until I get my hands on an iPhone.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Quicksilver + Yubnub

I decided to check out LifeClever's post about integrating Quicksilver and Yubnub because

(a) It seemed like a cool tool
(b) I'm procrastinating (am I ever not?), and
(c) What's up with the name Yubnub?

Apparently, the guy remembers the phrase from a Star Wars movie (surprise!) and it means "hooray" in Ewok.

Anyway, I love the shortcut!! Try it out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Life Imitates Art

Coincidence? I think not.

Kryptonite Discovered

The question is, why do we have to follow international naming coventions when everyone knows what kryptonite is? I say we vote on this.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Just A Friendly Reminder of Who You Are

MITCNC Events: Week of April 16 - April 22

Check out MITCNC website:

Check out MITCNC Upcoming Events RSS feed:

Summary of upcoming events for MITCNC (MIT Club of Northern California):

This week:

Tue 04/17/2007 6:00pm VLAB Event: The Next Wave in Online Ad Distribution Networks

Fri 04/20/2007 8:00pm Nerd Pride Movie Night at Instructables HQ

Sun 04/22/2007 11:00am MITCNC hike: Gerbode Valley and Tennessee Valley, Marin Headlands (N. Bay)

Monday, April 09, 2007


I had an interview the other day and was asked about my creativity. That was probably the toughest question for me. I am solidly in the box. I may poke a finger out once in a while, and I do look at all the people outside the box. Some of them look ridiculous, some of them look brilliant. I found this web site via Graceful Flavor. I'd say this is a brilliant way to promote a book.

Friday, April 06, 2007


"I think I hired someone on the spot."

"Who was it that you hired?"


"And she was the one trying to take off your jacket?"

**Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Now I Know

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Strawberries Wild? It makes me a better person...until I have to run to the bathroom. It's been a mystery to me because I always get the non-dairy option (sub sorbet.) Yet since the temporary inconvenience does not even compare to the euphoria of consumption, I've let it be.

Well, I came across this post today, and suddenly, I can see clearly.

Careful readers will notice though, that the update includes new claims by Jamba Juice that they don't sell a non-dairy blend.

For now, this is just a hypothetical struggle between Jamba longing and a healthy stomach. It's not too hard to stay away from Jamba out here, but I will need to smoosh this knowledge come May, when I will again be surrounded by Jamba in the land of Cali.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fun Fun Fun

Yes, geeky fun.

Kelly Clarkson's Beautiful Disaster was stuck in my head all day, so of course I kept playing it on iTunes. I didn't put it on repeat cuz I didn't want to overdose. So I was pleasantly surprised by Jordis Unga's rendition of Man Who Sold the World, and it made me wonder what happened to her.

Her web site isn't great, but it did point me to a cool site - Frappr!. What fun!! Here's "my" map, though I haven't even signed up yet. We'll see how well this works.

Update: Ok, I signed up. Here's the new map.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

In the Words of Others

When I return from an extended overseas trip, I often feel behind on everything regardless of how hard I try to keep up with the news. Part of it is being cut off from the local (US) media and part of it is being away from people. People are generally great, efficient sources of information, hence the simile "spread like wild fire." Accuracy is always questionable, but at least I get a sense of what's going on. I vividly remember missing Britney's debut summer and feeling all confused by this new superstar upon my return.

While we had to deal with slow internet connections and censored content in the Dubai hotels, having access to e-mail and the world wide web while away has been wonderful. I do not feel so disoriented after this last trip. Still, it is a shock to return home and find Sundance Head booted off of American Idol while Sanjaya Malakar is still prancing around on stage. He's not even that cute. And the hair is heinous. It is therefore with great pleasure that I share with you today's Achenblog.

And while we're on this entertainment kick, I must also share with you this rant about Justin Timberlake.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Airport Security

We planned a nice dinner out before our flights to Dubai, but the food did not agree with blogger14. By the time we got to the modern but grim Frankfurt airport, nothing seemed more appealing than some fresh air. The lady at the information desk told us that the only way to get "fresh air" was to go through passport control. I swear, she used air quotes. It's like she was too polite to flat out warn us against the dangers of breathing Germany's polluted air, but still wanted to teach us the advantages of mechanically filtered and ventilated air.

Passport control was a breeze, but then we got stuck in this purgatory-esque room. For some reason, no one was allowed to go out into the pre-security terminal area, yet we had to go through an extremely long x-ray line to return to the gates. People moved back and forth between the two options, getting nowhere, while the room filled up with more unknowing travelers coming through passport control. Some uniformed personnel came through and were accosted by people who wanted to know if we would ever in our life see the outside of the room again. It looks big here, but trust me, it was not a fun place to be with a thousand other people in it.

Plus, doesn't it look more like a danky subway station than Europe's busiest airport?

After we were finally let out of the room, we wandered about looking for a bench outside. We were dressed for balmy Dubai, so I couldn't last too long out in the cold. We ended up going in and out of the terminal every few minutes to both get fresh air and stay warm. Not the most dignified way to spend our 4 hours of transit time, but look what we found!

That's right. An adult novelty store by the baggage claim. You know a country is progressive when the airport has facilities to meet all your needs.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Sometimes I feel guilty about the leisurely nature of my blog, and I wonder if I should be writing about more meaningful topics, like education or politics. Or spending my computer time on something good for the community. Then there are days when I wake up to story after story of disturbing news. I could spend all day venting about the many things that are wrong around us, and what we should all be doing to make the world a better place.

Well, I don't have all day. So I will stick to celebrating small wins. Like the fact that Britney seems to still be in rehab. And that not everyone is gleefully watching her self-destruct. And that, according to MyBlogLog, more people have been visiting my blog, and some of them have even clicked on my text ads. Thank you, whoever you are.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Over It

Katharine McPhee's music video for Over It is finally out. (The video will start playing in the upper left hand corner after the MTV clips. I'll update the link to some other site once it's not exclusively on MTV any more. The MTV site is just not user friendly.)

I like that the video has a story line that matches the song, but I don't really get the multiple scenes where she's clicking a remote at the camera. It's unclear if the remote is malfunctioning or if she just enjoys the clicking motion. I also do not understand why she seems so sad to be over this skinny, unattractive guy. Anyhow, take a look. She's very easy on the eyes. So much so that I suspect someone at RCA is trying to sabotage her debut album. Why else would they release the music video more than 3 weeks after the album release? I think a simultaneous release would have totally boosted her first-week sales.

Oh, don't watch it while you're cooking. My soup boiled over because I couldn't resist watching the video twice in a row.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


"Why are you such a butt? Do I need to send some toilet paper to wipe you up?"

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Life is unfair. Whatever your opinion is about Britney, you cannot deny that she was born a pretty pretty girl. How many people do you know can shave their heads and still look this pretty? Not to mention how most people aren't even brave enough to shave their heads. And maybe, just maybe, she was actually thinking logically, "Everyone thinks I'm crazy anyway. I might as well take advantage of the situation and shave my head. There's no way I would get to otherwise."

For my own enjoyment, here's her I'm A Slave 4 U video.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


One of the inconveniences I've had to deal with for the last 18 months is the lack of fast food offerings along my daily route. It is a testament to my laziness that I have chosen to be deprived of fresh french fries and nearly-meatless burgers instead of walking 4 blocks in the other direction to the nearest McDonald's.

What I do pass every day is a Ben and Jerry's and a Haagen Dazs store. I would be able to count the number of times I've been into these stores on one hand if I actually kept track of those visits. Unmemorable? Absolutely.

But now, I have a purpose. The great Stephen Colbert has gotten an ice cream named for him. And tomorrow, I will go forth and conquer the Americone Dream.

Update: The people at Ben and Jerry's had no idea what I was talking about. Ugh. The official press release seems to imply that the flavor is only available in pints. Does that mean supermarkets only?

Geeky Fairy Tale

I'm not so sure about the Commodore 64, but I love the lightsabre scene.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Saw It Coming

I remember promising myself, in second grade, that I would stay the same weight forever. It did not cross my mind then that (a) I was still growing and would have to gain weight, or (b) eating a lot is not conducive to maintaining the same weight. Luckily, I exploited the great loop hole of unit conversion. I went from 50 lbs as a 6-year-old to a steady 50 kgs as a teen and adult.

For more than a decade, people have marveled at the disconnect between my appetite and my physique. Many kindly informed me that my luck - or as some would call it, metabolism - would not last forever. So I knew the day would come when I must start to watch what I eat. I also expected this to happen around 30. What I did not expect is for it to happen the week I turn 30.

I first noted a 4-pound gain over my birthday weekend. No big deal. A little too much House of Prime Rib and Baskin Robbins, but that doesn't happen all the time. I'll be back at my regular weight in no time.

A few days later, Tony catches me heading for free chocolate in the Admissions Office and points out that I've gained weight. No, he wasn't being mean. And he didn't know I was going to get chocolate. But that made me think.

Then this weekend, I can't fit into my dark jeans, and the scale now says I'm 7 pounds over the standard. Now this is getting serious. 7 is only one meal away from 4, but I will not let me closet full of clothes become obsolete. The horror of having to shop for new clothes! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Clocking In

I look forward to my Fridays in the office. If I'm lucky, I get to hang with people who regularly tell stories like this one. They also teach me about important things like how the French get paid for smoking.

I also get to work with people who have become so dependent on the calendar event invitations that they cannot attend non-invitationed events. You know, because it would be unreasonable to expect that they enter an appointment into their calendars manually. That would be demanding too much.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Morality 101 for Mothers

Two attorneys were overheard discussing whether they should depose the plaintiff's mother.

Attorney #1: "That's pointless. Her mother's going to lie for her."

Attorney #2: "I disagree. My mother would not lie for me."

Attorney #1: "Well, that's not normal."

Attorney #2: "You would lie under oath?"

Monday, February 05, 2007


Anonymous #2 found this blog post about hotel service. It's long, but a nice read, especially those who appreciate good service.

The Joy of Tech collected some of Bill Gates' recent fibs into a great ad with PC of Mac-and-PC-ad fame.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Trouble with Names

"i'm watching beauty and the geek"

"you're not geeky enough to be on the show, so stop dreaming"

"i started watching it half way through last season after chris replayed it on tivo"

"I'm not sure who would be more upset about that sentence - replay tv or tivo"

"that and i think it was actually the cable DVR"

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Alternative Education

One of my favorite games of all time is Fluxx. Playing the game demands a high level of attention, but it's really easy to learn the basics of the game and start playing.
(1) Deal 3 cards to each player.
(2) Someone starts by following the basic rule - draw one, play one.
(3) Take turns playing.
Every card has instructions on it. If you play a card, follow the instructions on that specific card.

Based on a recent e-mail from the company, the buyer from a big department store chain in New York couldn't figure out how to play. The active fan base responded immediately to help fine-tune the separate (not on a card), printed instructions so people might understand the instructions better. One contributer credited his experience with Magic for helping him understand "do what it says on the card."

Has the American education system been infused with that people don't know how to follow directions anymore?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Asian American

Dude, I am not just excited that there is going to be a sequel to Harold & Kumar. I laughed out loud at some of the fan comments.

Three cheers for social networking for geeks!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

You Get What You Pay For

I don't always read the speaker bios because they pretty much sound the same. And usually pretty boring. The ones that are worth reading are usually for people so famous I already know everything they've done. So for the exact same reason why American Idol shows the painful auditions, I share with you here one of the worst speaker bios I've ever read.


Born in Gaza Palestine in 1941, Akel Biltaji was raised and educated in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He obtained his High School Diploma and the London General Certificate Examination in 1959. In the summer of 1962 he graduated with a Degree in Education and joined the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) the same year.

In the summer of 1968 he left ARAMCO to join the Saudi Ministry of Defense as a Senior Coordinator on the Saudi Arabian Army Mobilization Program. The following year in 1969, Mr. Biltaji joined ALIA, the Royal Jordanian Airlines as a Senior Management Officer. In his 28 year distinguished Airline career, Mr. Biltaji had served in different capacities, the last of which was Senior Vice President.

His Majesty the Late King Hussein appointed Mr. Biltaji in March 1997 as the Country's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, where he continued to serve in this portfolio under His Majesty King Abdullah II till June of 2001 when he was appointed by King Abdullah II as Chief Commissioner for the newly declared Region of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority.

In February of 2004 His Majesty King Abdullah II appointed Minister Biltaji as His Majesty's Advisor on Tourism Promotion, Foreign Direct Investment and Country Branding.

In November of 2005 His Majesty appointed Mr. Biltaji as a member of the House of Senate where currently serving as Chairman of the Tourism and Heritage House Committee. In all portfolios (Minister, Chief Commissioner, Advisor and Senator) Mr. Biltaji had accompanied His Majesty King Abdullah II on almost all State and Official visits abroad. He represented his country in a number of National, Regional and International Forums and Conferences including the World Economic Forum both in Davos and the Dead Sea. Mr. Biltaji is known to be one of Jordan’s strongest Public Speakers especially on issues related to the Country's Image and Protection of Heritage. Mr. Biltaji was decorated with the Highest Orders at home and by a number of Foreign Heads of State."

Now do you appreciate the well-written bios?

I have no idea who wrote it, otherwise I would dutifully credit the writer. So I'll just say I received it from the e-mail address

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I try not to start my posts with "While I was procrastinating tonight, ..." because if I allowed myself that, then almost all of my posts would start that way. So one site led to another tonight, and I ended up here. One of the best parties I went to in college was at his place. We were never great friends, and we've lost touch since. Though I have run into him around San Francisco and in the SF PRIDE parade. He is always inspiring even if I can't imagine doing the things he does.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

$25,000 Anyone?

I think I've been totally desensitized by the amount of violence and tragedy in the movies, on TV, and of course in the news. When I first read this story about a missing Stanford student, I was simply intrigued and wanted to see what clues the police have found. You know, like watching Law and Order or CSI or something.

Then I found out she went to MIT...Why does that make me care more? I almost feel like I can relate to her even though I still don't know her. It reminded me of how parents of kidnapped children are encouraged to talk about their kids in the media. The idea is that the kidnappers would start thinking about the victims as human beings and might be less likely to kill the kids. Of course, this assumes that the kidnappers are not psychotic and that killing is not the thrill they seek.

Anyway, if you have seen this young lady or her car, call the police.

You can get a user name and password for the Mercury News and other web sites at BugMeNot.

Update: Sad news

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cool As Cool Can Be

"Guess what? I'm applying for Mensa."

"How will that affect your image?"

Monday, January 15, 2007

What's Your Claim to Fame?

I woke up early today and thought I'd try to post something on the blog. I had several topics in my head, but it was hard to decide which one to write about when there were RSS feeds to read. I wasn't sure how I wanted to expand on my favorite This I Believe essay, and I didn't have a picture of the two (yes, two!) pay phones we saw on the sidewalk near MacPherson Square. They looked brand new, too.

After about 4 hours of procrastinating, Shahed IM-ed me to tell me he will be on a panel about "Blogging where the Speech isn't Free" at this year's SXSW conference. Turns out he was a front page story of the Austin-American Statesman recently (You can get a password from Bug Me Not.) for starting alt.muslim. The site gets 7,000 visitors every day and 25 million page views a year. Talk about giving back to your community.

Now it felt reassuring when I read in The Tipping Point about connectors knowing a lot of people but not knowing them well. But the connecting only works when I know these amazing things so I can tell people. The challenge is how you promote yourself without bragging. That is an art.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Street Smarts

I was walking down M Street going faster than the bus when the light changed at Wisconsin. I decided to utilize my time by checking out what's going on outside of my bubble. So on this fateful day, I discovered a cardboard box sitting in the fast lane.

The box was in such great shape that I had to wonder if someone actually left it sitting there. It certainly couldn't have fallen off a truck without getting a single dent. Maybe it was empty so that it kind of flew around like a plastic bag a la American Beauty and landed softly in the middle of the street. I briefly wondered if it contained explosives.

I didn't have to wait long to find out. When the light turned green, a van sped through the intersection. The driver must have thought the box was empty since he drove directly over it. Cardboard, glass, and liquid splattered all over the road, leaving intact one standing six-pack and a couple of rolling bottles of beer. Looked like imported beer, too.

Before I had time to figure out if I know anyone who would want free beer of unknown origin, one of the area's resident homeless man stalked straight into traffic and picked up all the full bottles.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monster Arm

In case you're wondering, this is what happened.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Laugh at me all you want, but I think Britney still has a chance. And if the music she's blasting in this video really is from her new album, I'd buy it. Sounds better than most of the new music out there.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Choose Your Cult

The first time I attended a recruiting event at Yahoo!, a panel of five enthusiastic employees gushed about why Yahoo! is a great company to work for. To sum up the entire presentation, they loved Yahoo! because they believed that it had and would continue to change the world. In other words, I thought they were freaks.

I like Yahoo!, and I agree that it has played an important role in our increasingly internet-dependent society. In fact, I am a Yahoo! small business customer, I have four different Yahoo! e-mail addresses, two different web sites hosted by Yahoo!, and Yahoo! is pretty much the only web service I access on my mobile phone. But I couldn't imagine fitting in with people who worship the company they work for. I was completely turned off by the presentation.

As always, I told anyone who asked (and several who didn't) exactly how I felt. One of them cleverly pointed out that the problem was me, not Yahoo!. She was, of course, more tactful than I am. The words she used formed sentences that sounded like, "You just don't belong to the Yahoo! cult. You belong to the Apple cult."

Over time, I've grown to understand that I really am a part of the Apple cult. How else would I have found a friend who follows an Apple-designed calendar? And what non-Apple-culter would understand and agree with celebrating Easter on Tuesday, January 9th, 2007? I would worship my company too if I worked for Apple. And I think it's awesome that employees love their company. So the Yahoo! guys weren't freaks afterall, they were simply evangelicals from a different cult.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year

"Happy New Year!"

"it won't be the new year until.... the SteveNote! That's the calendar I go by."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

One Please

Yes, that lemon will last the whole year.

When I wasn't Looking

I remember the days when my tv was on nearly all the time. I'd get back to my dorm room / apartment / townhouse, and I'd turn the tv on. It would stay on until I finished procrastinating (almost never) or until I went to bed. The popular shows were on NBC, the trashy shows on Fox, and my favorites on Nickelodeon.

Then I stopped watching tv. So in my world, NBC has the best shows. Imagine my confusion this afternoon, when I looked up from the mahjong table and caught an ABC ad about all the hit shows they have. Actually, it seemed like they had all the hit shows. When did this happen? How long was I asleep?