Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How many hours of sleep do you need?

Recently I find that I need more and more sleep. I still remember the days when I had a full-time day job as an engineer and a part-time night job at a restaurant as a buy boy; there's just no way I can do that anymore now. Every night I need at least 8 hours of sleep in order to function okay at work. I feel that it's a lot despite the common belief that 8 hours is normal.

Is the standard of 8-hours sleep normal or a myth? I really don't know. If you have a few seconds, I would appreciate that you participate in the little survey on the right hand side so that we can have a rough idea on how many hours people usually spend on sleeping. Thanks a lot! :)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I Love Rock N' Roll - Joan Jett and the Black Hearts

Went to the Alhambra Summer Jubilee event tonight and saw the performance of Joan Jett and the Black Hearts.

I must confess - before today I didn't even know who Joan Jett is. When I first saw their performance, I thought to myself: "Let's see what kind of local band perform tonight". After listening for a while, I started to feel that this band can't be just a local band; the singer sang exceptionally well and their performance was professional and full of passion. However, a famous band wouldn't perform at a small event in a small city like Alhambra, at which no one had to pay anything to watch the show, right?

And it turned out that I was totally wrong.

Man! They're not only famous; Joan herself was named "The girl Elvis" and "Godmother of Punk". Their song I Love Rock N' Roll ranks no. 28 of all time on Billboard. Talking about how ignorant I'm in American music. Damn.

Joan, you and your band just rock. Someday I hope I can see your live performance again. Keep up with the good work :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Customize you system-tray clock with AlfaClock

Ever wonder why your system-tray clock only shows the the time and the day of the week but not the date? (this is Windows XP, I'm not sure about Windows Vista)

I don't know why Microsoft made it like that. It's pretty easy to realize that people usually want to see the date also, right? If you're bothered by this like me, you should install AlfaClock.

After installing it, you'll see the following preferences screen when you double-click on the system-tray clock:

In order to display the date, week of the day and time like this

You will put in the following string in the Format string input box:

M/dd/yyyy ~ dddd~ h:mm tt~

Stuff like "dd" in the string is called a format element and you can see more of them by clicking the Format elements... button. For example, "%batt" is the battery life of your laptop in percentage.

To look at the calendar quickly, you can set a hotkey for it. Just click on the Advanced... button and you will see the following window:

Change the Action in System-wide hotkeys to Show Pop-up Calendar and click on the Edit hotkey... button and you will see this box:

I use the key combination Windows key + C but you're free to use another hotkey you like as long as it's not already used by some other applications already. Oh, the calendar look like this:

It's better than the buil-in Windows calendar since you don't have to use a drop-down box to change month (which is very annoying to me):

Another cool feature of AlfaClock is that you can set alarms to remind yourself to do various things throughout the day:

For example, I have lunch at around noon everyday and I need around 5 minutes to microwave my lunch so I set an alarm to remind me at 11:55 am:

When the time comes, a window will pop up with whatever text you enter in the input area below Show this text in message. (Of course, you need to check the checkbox also)

Does Windows Vista show the date in the system-tray clock?? If you're already using it let me know :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Play chess with me at 64squares

Just discovered this chess website from my friend's blog. It has a clean simple interface and lets you play via emails, hmmm, I mean, it notifies you by email when you opponent makes his/her move. Because of this, you can play with several opponents at the same time. If you want to challenge me my login there is Paranoia1980 :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Last Christmas - Wham!

Recently I'm digging up the old English songs that I used to listen a lot during my high school years and this is one of them. You like this song?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

If it only takes a few minutes, JUST DO IT!!

In David Allen's Getting Things Done, there's one tip I consider very useful but seldom practiced by many people:

If it takes less than two minutes to get a task done, just do it NOW!

Why? Because if you have to do the task anyways, it usually takes you more than two minutes to keep a record of it or delegate it to someone else. Of course, "two minutes" is just an idea. You can make it a "one minute", "three minute" or "five minute" rule. As long as you know that it's not "one hour" then it's fine.

"I don't need to keep a record of it; I'll remember to do it after I get the current task done." you say.

Are you sure you will remember? I don't think so. Even if you can remember, it means that that little task is sitting somewhere in your brain and thus preventing you from being fully concentrated on the current task. So, whether you remember or not it isn't good for you.

That's the reason I don't understand why it's so difficult for many people to reply to an email. I'd say that 90% of emails take less than two minutes to reply (assuming you have a decent typing speed). Yes, most applications like Gmail makes it so easy to reply to an email. Instead of replying right away, however, people choose to do something else and keep the sender waiting for an answer.

Be more productive guys!

Related post: Getting Things Done with GTDInbox

Monday, July 16, 2007

Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John

I remember I brought the Lion King CD to the first annual ball I joined at Wah Yan for the event organizer to play as one of the slow songs. Wow, that was more than 10 years ago already.. Still loving this song.. Lovely melody, great lyrics :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Twins Concert at the night of Mid-Autumn Festival

Just found that that Twins is having a concert at the night of Mid-Autumn Festival in September. Below is the information of the concert:

Date and Time: 9/25/2007 (Tuesday) 8:00 pm
Ticket Price: $138/$108/$78/$48
Venue: Shrine Auditorium
Guest: Sun Boy'z

I'm probably going, anyone's interested also?

(P.S. Grasshopper is holding a concert in September too, but the cheapest ticket is $60 which seems to be a bit expensive. Besides, it'll be in Las Vegas and I don't think I want to go there again within such a short time :P)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Would you wash your hands?

The restroom near my office has two doors. There's a big trash can inside the inner door. The door you see in the picture is the outer door and there's another small trash can besides it.

"Why do we need two trash cans? We can just throw the paper towel in the big trash can inside!"

Why? The reason is that...

Many men don't wash their hands after going to restroom!! (I'm not sure about women since I don't go to their restrooms :P)

Because of that, people prefer to turn the full-of-germs door handle with the paper towel covering their hands. That's why we need another small trash can between the inner door and the outer door for us to throw the paper towel in after turning the door handle.

Yes! I did, many times, see some men going straight out of the restroom without washing their hands (sometimes even without flushing the toilet, yuck!) And this is not mainland China; this is all happenning in one of the most famous universities in the US, with supposingly "highly educated" people.

Guys, you're not kids. Would you flush the toilet and wash your hands after going to restroom? (O__O )

Monday, July 9, 2007

幸福摩天輪 (Blessed Ferris Wheel) - Eason

I think that the melody of this song is really romantic.. Although you may not notice, this song is pretty difficult to sing too because of the alternating high and low pitches :)

Friday, July 6, 2007

T-Mobile Hotspot @ Home

My friend just told me about this new plan named T-Mobile Hotspot @ Home and it sounds like a pretty cool concept. Basically, the idea is to use a Wi-Fi hotspot instead of a signal tower to make cell phone calls. If you use a Wi-Fi hotspot to make the call, all the minutes will be free, no matter where you're located, even in another country.

After reading about the details, here're some reasons you may consider using this new service:
  • You're currently a T-Mobile customer and don't really have good signal at home but you have a broadband Internet connection
  • You're currently a T-Mobile customer and do have good signal at home, but you talk so much that you always use up your airtime minutes (you know who you're)
  • You like to hang out at Starbucks and Borders bookstores and like to talk a lot on the cell at those places (Starbucks and Borders are T-Mobile HotSpot locations)
  • You want to get a free Linksys or D-Link wireless router after a $50 rebate
  • You want to get a Nokia 6086 or a Samsung t409 for 50 bucks
It's not that useful for me since I don't stick to the phone like teenage girls do :P

P.S. If you're interested you can read this article to learn more about it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Japanese TV Tetris Game

This is so funny hehe :D I really admire the creativity of Japanese people in general. How do they teach their kids?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Buy 1 Smoothie get 1 Free at Jamba Juice

Got this link from my friend on Friendster:


Just give them your first name, email and zip code and you'll see the coupon page. Buy any one smoothie of any size and get the second one free for any other flavor of the same size or smaller. Offer expires on July 4th. Maybe you can get two smoothies and watch fireworks with your lover that night :)

Updated: HanaMaru sent me the direct link to the coupon page:


Thannk you HanaMaru! :)

Google Maps: Dragging Driving Directions

This new feature from Google Maps is one of those cool stuff that wows me when I first check it out. I am also wowed by the fact that a pretty girl like Jess in the video is a product manager at Google. Isn't Google full of geeks? :P