How many Facebook friends do you have???

November 17th, 2007

Hey everyone…. The laptop got lost for awhile.  Well actually, the blog got pushed aside while my life focused on work.  I’ve been debating keeping/losing the blog, since the Internet is more social communities rather than individual blogs these days.  Everyone is into Facebook or MySpace or some other form of keeping large networks together.  This is where people are migrating to…. but maybe for the wrong reasons. 

Do people want to build the largest group of friends possible?  If so, that’s just like highlighting an entire textbook… where by including everything you end up noticing nothing.  If someone has 500 friends on their list, I doubt they care what 90% of those folks are up to.  Do people want to really keep in touch with what their “so-called” friends are up to?  I’m not sure if folks know why they join social communities…. most probably do it because their friends are in the community and there’s a low cost of entry to join.  But what good really comes from joining such communities? 

The value of a community site is to let others know what you’re doing and to keep up with things that others are doing.  But to really add “value”, the community site needs to provide information that people care about.  I haven’t figured out what that information is….. what do I want to find out about what my friends are doing?  Maybe trips they’ve been on…. or something cool they’ve done recently.  I don’t need to know that they’ve taken a quiz or joined a group called, “People that want to see someone eat something crazy”.  The ability to sift through the meaningless dribble to find the gems is tough. 

I think over the next few years, the cream will rise to the top…. in that people will figure out the sites that add value versus those that eventually get ignored.  Similar to how the glut of retail and auction sites in the late 90’s led to Amazon and Ebay prevailing as the top dogs, the community sites of our current time will lead to the one or two sites that maintain people’s interests.  Personally, I think the world will move away from community sites and move toward direct communication between people.  The world is getting used to passive communication (i.e. text messages, twitter posts, etc) where the communication is available when the receiver is ready to receive it.  That will probably change, once direct communication becomes more mainstream.  People will actually communicate with each other via some sort of Internet video/phone thingy that will make communicating as easy at watching your tv. 

For now, the blog will continue…. I like having an outlet for thought and insight, rather than trying to maintain a generic MySpace or Facebook page that can easily get lost in anonymity.  Happy early Thanksgiving everyone.  Looking forward to deep-frying that turkey… mmmmmm

Margaret’s new handmade jewelry business

September 20th, 2007

Not to sound like advertising, but my friend Margaret has started a new business selling handmade jewelry.  I think they look awesome and I know she’s going to do very well with this new venture called Baby Duckles.  Check it out if you’re looking for cool looking handmade earrings (with additional items to be added in time).

Griffey’s return to Seattle

June 23rd, 2007

Last night was Ken Griffey Jr.’s first game back in Seattle, after leaving 8 years ago to play for Cincinnati.  The Reds and Mariners are in different leagues and only play when the Interleague schedule pairs them together.  Prior to the game, there was a special presentation for Griffey, highlighting his years in Seattle and bringing back past teammates, Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner, to help him celebrate.  Safeco field was soldout, the first time this season.  When Griffey walked onto the field there was a good two-minute standing ovation.

Once the game started, the Mariners were out of it pretty much from the start.  After a few innings, the Reds were leading something like 8-0.  Griffey was up to bat and the Mariners decided to bring in a new pitcher.  Out comes Ryan Rowland-Smith, a rookie pitcher that was just called up from the minors.  I gotta hand it to the Mariners.  They bring up a kid and force him to make his major-league debut against one of the best hitters of all time.  Rowland-Smith showed real signs of greatness though… in 5 pitches he strikes out Griffey Jr. and ends the inning.  Of what ended up being a 16-1 final score whoopin’ of the Mariners, the emergence of Rowland-Smith as a possible future pitching phenom salvaged the spirit of the Friday evening fans.  Griffey ended up with 3 strikeouts and 1 hit in his return.  Not a great showing, but he still impressed the fans and everyone still had a great time.

Baby Hannah - June 2, 2007

June 12th, 2007

Just before 1am on Saturday June 2nd, Rachel and Michael delivered their first kid, Hannah. After a week of rest and relaxation (and poopy diapers), Mike and Rachel were ready to have visitors. Hannah was a little sleepy when I saw her, as you can see in these pictures. We distracted Mike enough for him to watch a baseball game on his new LCD flatscreen. However, we could tell that no matter how much joy came with getting a new big HDTV, their gift of a little girl made all other material needs insignificant. Having a kid may be the end of Mike & Rachel’s wild ‘n’ crazy social life, but think of the positives… they get to receive Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts. Congrats to Rachel and Mike!!!

Look at the size of that collar

June 6th, 2007

I stopped by McCormick & Schmidt’s happy hour before the Mariners game yesterday. They’re known for great happy hour deals, especially their $1.95 burger/fries. Instead of getting the standard burger, I opted to order the halibut collar, assuming it would be something like fish ‘n’ chips (without the chips). When they brought it out, it seemed like the whole crowd gasped at the size of it. It barely fit on the plate and it must have been the WHOLE collar off the halibut. Just so you know, halibut runs about $10-15 per pound at the supermarket, so this collar (including bones), which weighed at least a pound and a half, should have cost about $20. Thanks to happy hour prices, it was only $3.95. Yay for happy hour!

Get a $25 Safeway gift card

April 1st, 2007

Every once in awhile, there’s a weird sale.  I stumbled upon one this past week here at the Seattle Safeway.  They offered a free $25 gift card just for buying 10 “qualifying” items in one purchase.  Now, depending on what the items are, it may be good or bad.  Lucky for me, the qualifying items included 12-packs of coke and Hebrew National hot dogs.  Armed with my strategy to buy 10 items, I loaded up my shopping cart with eight 12-packs of Coke Zero (stuff actually does taste very close to the real Coke) and two packages of Hebrew National Franks.  10 items, check.  The hot dogs were $2.50 each and the coke was $3.50 each.  Doing the math, that’s a total of $33.00.  Factoring in the $25 gift card brings the total down to $8.  Not bad…. if the qualifying items were jars of mayonaise or bottles of prune juice, I may not have gone for it.  But since it was stuff that’s useful, sode and hot dogs, it made sense.  I’m not a 25-cent coupon-clipping fanatic, but if the discount can be calculated in dollars, or tens-of-dollars, then I’m all over it.

A penny saved is $100 earned

March 17th, 2007

I need a new fridge. But buying a fridge isn’t an easy decision…. since who really keeps up with which are good brands, what’s a good price, or where’s the best place to get one? I went first to the Internet to find places around Seattle that sell refrigerators. Arnold’s, Albert Lee, Sears, & Best Buy made the short list. My first assumption was that a fridge would cost around $400. Wrong! The start below a grand, but can be upwards of $6,000. For that much, I expect to open the refrigerator door and find a chef inside preparing my food for me. About a week ago, I heard about an outlet store that Sears uses to get rid of excess inventory and returned/reconditioned items. The place is way down in Tacoma, which is quite a ways to go to buy an appliance. But for a discount (supposedly 20-40% off retail) I figured it was worth it. When I called yesterday to find out the store hours, the salesperson told me that there would be a St. Patty’s Day sale today (Saturday). As a bonus, the first 25 people thru the door at 8am receive a $100 store coupon. Wow, a sale PLUS a bonus coupon. Count me in. So early this morning, my sister and I drove down to get there by 7:45 (in case there was a line) and got our extra $100 off my fridge. Would you wake up early on a Saturday to get a discount on an appliance? Before today I probably wouldn’t have…. but just goes to show the early bird gets the worm and an extra $100 off. In case you were wondering, I didn’t get the $6000 fridge. My fridge retailed at $2000, but was on sale for $1180, and with the coupon, came down to $1080….. not bad, not bad at all.

(Sachi waiting to get let in to Sears Appliance Outlet at 8am on a Saturday)

Penn vs. Texas A&M (Thurs 3pm EDT)

March 14th, 2007

My beloved Quakers play the over-hyped Aggies of A&M tomorrow in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. If you live near the Lexington, KY area, you’re lucky enough to possibly see the game in-person. Maybe in the Philly area, you’re able to see it on the local CBS affiliate. However, in Seattle, I’m stuck with the local Washington St./Oral Roberts game. Too bad. I guess I won’t be able to see my alma mater play……

And then there was light!

CBS has again made the first few rounds of the tournament available to watch online. All games from all regions can be seen live online. All you have to do is sign-up for March Madness On Demand from CBS Sportsline. If you have a computer nearby, and don’t mind watching a basketball game during work hours, I hope you’ll root for my Penn Quakers on Thursday 3pm EDT (noon PDT, 9am HST).

Have you met “The Man”???

April 22nd, 2006

First of all, I have to say that the Mariners finally won a game that I attended. YAY! It happened on Wed night when they came back to tie-then-win the game in the bottom of the 9th inning… talk about squeeking by in victory. Well, the point of this post is not to talk about the win, but instead to talk about “The Man”.

“The Man” is super-hot spicy sauce served at Dixie’s BBQ. The BBQ (either pork, beef brisket or chicken) is very good and saucy. I’ve eaten there a few times, both at their store locations and at their satellite locations at Safeco Field (Home of the Seattle Mariners). Tonight Peter and I got BBQ while at the ballpark and Peter decided he wanted to meet “The Man”. Now when I say this is hot sauce, I’m not talking about a wasabi hot, or even a tabasco hot…. this is off-the-scale hot and is served using a toothpick. To be clear, a toothpick amount of “The Man” is enough to make a whole sandwich spicy and seemingly unbearable. I used the tip of the toothpick and got a dab of sauce on my sandwich and I felt the burn in my mouth for a few minutes. Peter, unlike myself, is known for getting spicy wings and is tolerant of almost anything hot. Having not previously tried “The Man”, Peter took 2 (I say again, TWO) spoonfuls of “The Man” and mixed it into the BBQ brisket of his sandwich. From the first bite, you could tell he wasn’t doing well. Before continuing, a soda was purchased. After about 4 more bites, it became a testiment of wills…. Peter vs. “The Man”. The sandwich won and Peter tossed in his towel along with any ability to enjoy the rest of the game. To quote Peter, “That was the hottest thing I have ever eaten.” As you can tell from the picture, “The Man” gets a thumbs down. I guess it was too hot to be enjoyed.

Peter Thumbs Down

Bad luck mojo

April 9th, 2006

I think Peter and/or I, give bad luck mojo to the Mariners. Peter is a Detroit Tigers fan and I’m a Philadelphia Phillies fan. But, since we live in Seattle, we both are secondary Mariners fans. Opening day at the Mariners was somewhat close… I think we lost 6-5, which isn’t that bad. But, over the next 3 games, the Mariners won them all. Then comes Friday. After missing the Tues-Wed-Thurs games, Peter and I attend Friday night’s game and our bad luck mojo is quickly felt. First of all, the ceremonial first pitch is tossed by the basketball coach of the Seattle University (Sachi’s MBA alma-mater) and the ball bounces before getting to home plate…. never a good sign. Talk about jinxing the whole game. Anyway, Seattle is playing typical Seattle-style baseball… i.e. each player is hoping someone else on the team will make a hit/run. There isn’t much to report on the game, as Oakland ended up pitching a 2-hit shutout. That means Seattle didn’t score and only produced 2 pitiful hits in 9 full innings. At this point, Peter and I are thinking…. “They win when we’re not here and they lose when we come to watch them”. Maybe it’s just bad timing, we conclude. Saturday rolls around and another game against Oakland. Again Peter and I hope for the best and expect the worst. Another 9 innings pass and this time, Seattle musters up only 1 hit. Another shutout tossed by Oakland. This can’t be blamed on the team, can it? It must be me and Peter coming to the game. Well, we’re settling part of this mystery today, as I’m going to the game, but Peter isn’t. So we at least will know if Peter is the jinx or if I’m the jinx. It’s going to be a long season if they get shutout everytime we go to a game…. hahaha. Now if only my Phillies could get their first win of the season… They’re 0-4 and already in last place in the NL East. Good job Philly, way to get our hopes up during the offseason just to dash them so quickly in the first week of the season. Typical Philly style; over-promise and under-deliver.