October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

POST #    1380

Instead of the more traditional scary halloween pumpkin, we opted for a funny pumpkin...with handlebar mustache. At the cost of one pumpkin, there exists tasty pumpkin seeds.

I should have invested in pumpkin futures like Homer Simpson, but sold them before Halloween, unlike Homer.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 12:12 PM

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October 30, 2004

Good Cooking ≠ Genetic

POST #    1379

Last night, I attempted to stir fry some beef with broccoli, something so simple, but something that I have never made before. Of course, my mom has done it several times, and I've witnessed it a few times, so I thought there might be a chance that I could do it. Nope.

I tried to marinate the beef before hand, which worked fine. I also put some corn starch on, which didn't work too well. As it turns out, there might have been too much on some pieces but none on the others. I now realize that there was no water in the corn starch mix, which I think my mom usually has, resulting in the uneven mix. Mental note for the future.

The broccoli came out fine, but the beef was less than stellar. Stellar being my mom's cooking. I hope that after some practice, I can semi-perfect the dish. I even tried my hand at soup noodles, and even that didn't turn out great. Too much water resulted in semi-flavorless noodles.

Clearly, good cooking ≠ genetic.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:30 AM

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October 29, 2004

Last Minute Halloween Costumes for the Politically Minded Youth

POST #    1376

Just in case you're into that whole Halloween thing, Jeannette sent me a link to The Stranger, who bring us some scary costumes that are economical too. From a voting machine, to a detained protester, you can't go wrong with these costumes. I think my favorite has to be Jenna Bush, because not only do you have a great costume, but you're a friend of the environement too!

Jenna Bush's Liver
Dive inside President Bush's rowdiest daughter with this ingenious re-creation of Jenna Bush's liver. Use old newspapers to stuff a Hefty bag to create the liver, then affix two or three paper-stuffed white bin liners for "diseased" spots. Rifle through the help's recycling bin for an empty Bud can and bottoms up!
Total cost: Under $5.
Total time: Under 30 minutes.

Alas, if the Nancy costume would have come with some out of style glasses, it would have been my choice for best of the bunch.

Posted by tien mao in Culture at 7:51 AM

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October 28, 2004

Cupcake, Cupcake, Cupcake

POST #    1373

Break out the insulin, because here come the cupcakes. Last night, I went to check out Clare Crespo's book signing in the West Village. Clare is the author of "Hey There , Cupcake!" There didn't seem to be any of her creative cupcakes around, but there were certainly lots and lots of cupcakes. Some surmised that these were from Magnolia Bakery, but I am without confirmation. Cupcakes everywhere. On the coffee table, on the dining table, in the back yard, everywhere a cupcake. I wonder if there were cupcakes in the bathroom (even though that would be disgusting).

And add cupcakes to my amazing eating feats (two slices, five bites). I managed to finish one cupcake in three bites. Three seems like a lot, but the first bite is difficult, especially when you don't want to get frosting on your face.

Thanks to RKB for alerting me to this cupcake feast and Heidi for being a witness, willing or not.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:36 AM

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October 27, 2004

Farewell to the Hole

POST #    1369

After being fairly certain that repairs to the drain were effective, the hole in my wall has finally been sealed. Sure, it's been a huge pain in the ass, but at least it's fixed. There are still some things to touch up with some paint, but at least all the holes are plugged. Oh, and there's the matter of cleaning. A minor detail considering I won't have to mop up rain water anymore.

And, I can walk around barefoot again.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home at 7:57 AM

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October 26, 2004

The Weekly "Quotations from Mao"

POST #    1368

On an unofficial, unplanned hiatus last week (as in I forgot), the Mao quote returns this week.

Mao said:
If we tried to go on the offensive when the masses are not yet awakened, that would be adventurism. If we insisted on leading the masses to do anything against their will, we would certainly fail. If we did not advance when the masses demand advance, that would be Right opportunism. - April, 1948

- All "Quotations from Mao"

Posted by tien mao in Mao Quotes at 10:29 PM

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Saturday Ride, Part 2: Red Hook to Park Slope

POST #    1366

After lunch in DUMBO, Halo and I forged on. The weather was no longer nice. The partly cloudy skies were replaced by mostly cloudy/cloudy skies. The sun was totally gone. No warmth for us. From DUMBO, we rode to Red Hook and explored the area. It was a very interesting exploration. We really had no idea where exactly we were, but we kept close to the waterside, stopping every so often when we saw anything worth a look.

One huge highlight of the whole day was stumbling upon the location of Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies. I actually think we spied Steve and his dogs. Also in Red Hook, we were yelled at by some bikers (as in the moto kind) as I took the fourth picture. It was something like, "Hey! Take that shit somewhere else!!" It should be noted that the biker was quite burly. We yelled back, "What?" as the guy explained to his friend that we were writing on the wall. After we explained that we were taking pictures, he was all "oh, okay." The coolest building we saw was the Port Authority Grain Terminal, picture number seven. So big, so empty looking, so daunting.

After putzing around Red Hook, we went to Park Slope ever so briefly and parted ways. After Halo took the subway home, I was going to take the G, but ended up biking home. I got home around 4:20, five hours after starting from Wiliamsburg.

- Saturday Ride, Part 1: Williamsburg to DUMBO
- Halo on "Brooklyn Bike Tour" (It's disturbing to see how similar the photos are.)

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 8:01 AM

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October 25, 2004

Saturday Ride, Part 1: Williamsburg to DUMBO

POST #    1365

Saturday morning, Halo and I took advantage of the nice weather to go bike riding. This was really my first non-commute long ride since getting my bike. After he tweaked a little bike issue I was having, we set out. We started in our day in Williamsburg with a target of DUMBO, but that we weren't sure where we were headed.

It was breezy and windy, but sunny when we started. Really, quite a lot of fun. After we got to DUMBO, Halo tried some Jacques Torres hot chocolate and I scoped out his new bakery. Debating between lunch at Grimaldi's or Bubby's, we elected for Bubby's because we lacked locking equipment for our bikes. After lunch, we forged on. Those pictures tomorrow.

And, how good does that photo of the burger look? Damn, this camera has some good macro settings. I can shoot from 4 cm away. Quick, someone convert that!

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:05 AM

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October 24, 2004

Sunset from Greenpoint

POST #    1367

Tonight's sunset was beautiful. It was the first time I saw the sun since early Saturday afternoon. But damn was it cold up on the roof.

Posted by tien mao in Photos at 7:07 PM

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A Bitrhday for Satan

POST #    1364

Mike's birthday is on Monday, so he had a little gathering at his apartment. He made several of his guests don a disco suit that was a little tight (note the camel toe moose knuckle) and has polaroids for blackmail later. Janelle, who came with, somehow managed to escape without a photo.

As you can see, Mike's got a fair collection of Mao trinkets. Who doesn't need more Mao trinkets? That clock is especially cool. Turn the numbers mechanism and the date increases.

Anyway, happy birthday, Mike. Pity it was so cold, as there was no chance to grill bacon in the yard. No robots, but obviously with disco.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 12:18 PM

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October 23, 2004

The New Toy

POST #    1363

Yesterday, I picked up a new toy, the Canon PowerShot S70. Why did I need a new camera? Well, my old one was falling apart so a replacement was needed. What do I plan to do with this camera? Hmm...more pictures of me eating of course.

I think this camera gives me more to play with, more flexibility after shooting - with cropping and such. Hopefully, I can take some better pictures with it, but it's never about the camera, but about the composition of the photo that makes the picture. There can obviously be a difference in the same photo when it comes to equipment, but in my mind, a lot of it is about the photographer's eye. So whether my eye will be much different remains to be seen.

Any why not a digital SLR? Well, I don't need it. For the lifestyle I have, a smaller camera is better. Even a camera the size of the Canon G6 is too big for me. Basically this camera gives me lots of options shooting with the flexibility to carry it around easily. Now, all I need to do is learn how to use all the features.

More information:
- DCRP review on the S70
- Steve's Digicams review on the S70

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:45 AM

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October 22, 2004

Playing with the Future of the Country/World is Fun!

POST #    1362

I've loved playing with The NY Times electoral vote calculator ever since it came out and since we're so close to the election, I thought I would share. Aren't ties fun!?! So there is this and the Electoral Vote Predictor. Oh, and then if there's a tie, it's not looking good for Kerry.

Realistically, I think Bush will win most of Colorado (they can split their votes - also in the NPR article), which would give Bush a 270-268 victory. That means that Kerry needs to win just one more state from the map. Florida? Ohio? Nevada? This of course, assumes Kerry wins Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and carries all of Maine.

It's not looking good, but you can make your own scenarios with the calculator. Fun times, fun times.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 7:48 AM

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October 21, 2004

Fornino - Great Pizza in Williamsburg

POST #    1359

Last night was the opening night of Fornino, the new pizza place on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. Dutifully, Adam and I went to try it out and it was excellent. We had three small pies, sampling as much as we could without getting too full. Michael Ayoub, the chef/owner, has three "generations" of pizza on his menu and we sampled piesfrom two - the first and third.

Our first pie was a margherita classica, which had tomato, mozzarella, basil and two parmesan cheeses. Next, we had the patate e salciccia, a fennel sausage, potatoes, fontina and cherry tomato concoction. Finally, we had the vongole, which was clams, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic and oregano. All the pies were smalls, which were $8 for the first generation and $10 for the third (the second was also $10). Large pies run $14 and $16.

The consensus favorite was the margherita, which was super light with a perfect crust. Our second pie was rather eh, with the potatoes "not adding anything" and the sausage lacking spice. The clam pizza was very good, but overladen with oregano. In a twist from a more traditional clam pie that you might see in New England, the clams were served on the shell. If there were less oregano, I think this would have been my favorite pie.

As it's first night open, the pizza was very good and it will probably only improve from here out. Fornino's has a greenhouse out back where they want to grow some of their own ingredients. The oven at Fornino is wood burning, which is evident when you walk by it. Fornino has been dubbed a "artisinal pizza" place, which seems to be the trend these days.

For some reason, we decided to get desert after the meal (damn persuasive waitress). While I had the spumoni, Adam had the ice cream cookies, which had pumpkin, mint chocolate chip, and vanilla cookies. Turns out that after desert, we were stuffed anyway.

A great pizza place and Tasti D-Lite on the same block in Williamsburg? There goes the neighborhood.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:55 AM

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October 20, 2004

Ladies and Gents, Meet Mortimer

POST #    1358

Down in Virginia, Shannan has acquired a cat. While I'm semi-allergic to cats, I can't wait to spend some time with Mortimer and his owner. I don't know anything about cats, but I've been told that Mortimer is an abyssinian and is less likely to cause allergies. I guess I'll eventually find out.

Oh, and if you're wondering where the name came from, I came up with it. After Mortimer Duke from Trading Places. And his shirt says "fleadom fighter". And yes, he is already a spoiled cat.

Posted by tien mao in Mortimer at 7:54 AM

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October 19, 2004

Pizza - Runs in the Family?

POST #    1352

Does cooking run in the family? I certainly hope so because my mom's a damn good cook. Over the weekend, she made some pizza, which was good, but almost overloaded with toppings. The dough was homemade, something that I have yet to do, and the dough was thick. There's nothing quite like a weekend away with good food, despite the manual labor.

Tips for mom, heat the pizza stone more, make the dough thinner, and ease up on the toppings. As far as the rest of your food, no tips necessary.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:47 AM

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October 18, 2004

A Weekend Away

POST #    1354

Over the weekend, I took a trip to the C-House where my parents had a "surprise" for me. They told me about the surprise more than three weeks ago, but wouldn't let me know what it was until I actually went to Pennsylvania. My mind was wild with ideas, money, car, money, money and car (really, I'm not that materialistic, but what else could possibly be a surprise for me). Turns out, the surprise wasn't really for me. It was just a "look what we did" surprise. They built a garden pond.

Totally a surprise...just not for me. As if you need something to make the countryside even more relaxing, they built it. It's nice. Nothing quite like the sound of trickling water, mini-waterfalls, rocks, pools of water, and fish that hide when it's cold. Makes me want to pee just thinking about it.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, House and Home, Travel at 7:41 AM

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October 17, 2004

Targeted E-mail

POST #    1347

Hmm, is this coincidence or is Network Solutions sending me this because they figure Tien or Mao is an Asian name? If so, maybe they should have refined it to include a Chinese dude instead of a Korean one. If it wasn't targeted, did they just use an Asian face because we're so geeky?

Okay, okay...as much as I love conspiracy theories, I'm sure this is a mere coincidence. Slow day in the mind of Tien. Then again, they might all be slow days.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:07 AM

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October 16, 2004

SAAB and Baseball, Both "Better on Holiday"

POST #    1351

Has anyone else been watching TV recently when you hear Franz Ferdinand blaring during a commercial? Well, if you're watching Fox, this may occur with more frequency than not. It seems that both Fox and SAAB have chosen Franz Ferdinand's "Better on Holiday" as the soundtrack for their commercials. Fox for their postseason baseball coverage and SAAB for their new SUV.

Nothing like hearing peppy music during the commercial breaks. Who needs iTunes? One curious thing I've noticed is that I don't ever remember seeing the SAAB ads on Fox during baseball or at any other times. I wonder if this was a concerted effort or if that's just not SAAB's target audience.

Semi related, I went to the Franz Ferdinand concert back in September.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music at 9:18 AM

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October 15, 2004

Signed Up for AMEX's In:NYC

POST #    1350

Over at Gothamist, we've been running a AMEX campaign for their new IN:NYC card, their new credit card targeted at spendthrift New Yorkers. The idea is that you can earn points, much like any credit card, and redeem them at local "hot spots". With some purchases, you can even earn double points, getting you that much closer to your "rewards". I'm always a sucker for new products, so once the campaign launched, I signed up.

One thing I wonder is if the rewards more valuable than the 1% I get back on my credit card? Probably not. Will I be using this card much? Probably not. Then again, I don't use my AMEX Blue card all that much either. So I guess I can cancel the Blue card. And for those that wonder why I even need an AMEX card, I have been to places that only take the American Express card. Crazy, I know.

This AMEX card differs from their original because you can carry a balance and there is no annual fee. Like I said, I'm a sucker. Only then would I get a card I don't need. On the plus side, it's interest free balance transfers until April, 2005. That and it looks cool and is much better than getting a credit card with an American flag on it.

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 7:38 AM

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October 14, 2004

Slice Celebrates Its Birthday with Patsy's

POST #    1346

There may be better ways to celebrate a birthday than eating pizza, but when you have a pizza blog, that might be the best way to go. That's exactly what Slice did last night with pizza at Patsy's in East Harlem. Celebrating the best pizza blog in New York (if not the country or worldwide) with the best pizza in New York. It was also billed as the latest Slice Pizza Club gathering. Two birds, one stone.

Instead of cake, there were pies of pizza...five of them for eight people. Two plain pies, one fresh mozzarella, one mushroom, and one sausage and onion. I believe I had seven slices when the dust settled. It's hard to say as things became hazy after six. I do know that I managed to eat two slices in five bites. That sounds really impressive, but for those who have never had Patsy's, the slices are very thin.

Happy birthday to Slice and congratulations to Adam, the head honcho over there at Slice.

More information:
- Youngna on "Slice, Patsy's"
- Joe on "Returning to Civilization at Patsy's"
- Slice on "Bringing A One-Year-Old To Patsy's"
- Gothamist Interview: Adam Kuban, Pizza Enthusiast
- All entries on the Slice Pizza Club

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink at 7:50 AM

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October 13, 2004

Green-Wood Cemetery

POST #    1342

And to finally complete my series of photos from openhousenewyork, here are some photos from Green-Wood Cemetery. This was my second trip to Green-Wood, which might seem a bit odd, but I really like it. It's so vast and there is so much to see. The fact that we made it there a little late is another issue.

The main difference between this year and last year is that it seemed like a bigger production this year. There were people pointing the paths the tour went on, accordion players, piano performances, and even strange performances within the catacombs. There were a few people in the vaults that would yell the name of a dead person and ring some bells. Creepy. I much preferred the wandering, non-creepy version from last year.

The Steinway Tomb was new to the tour this year. The last picture happens to be the first member of the Steinway family to come to the United States. It was an unplanned coincidence.

More information:
- Last year's trip to Green-Wood
- Corie's trip to Green-Wood

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 8:00 AM

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October 12, 2004

The Weekly "Quotations from Mao"

POST #    1343

Hmm...arrogance...reminds me of something...

Mao said:
Guard against arrogance. For anyone in a leading position, this is a matter of principle and an important condition for maintaining unity. Even those who have made no serious mistakes and have achieved very great success in their work should not be arrogant. - March, 1949

- All "Quotations from Mao"

Posted by tien mao in Mao Quotes at 11:13 PM

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New York Marble Cemetery

POST #    1340

After visiting the NYC Marble Cemetery, I visited the New York Marble Cemetery, which was only a block away. The New York Marble Cemetery was the first non sectarian burial place in New York City and was incorporated in 1931 (the NYC Marble Cemetery opened afterwards because the NY Marble Cemetery was so popular).

There are no markers for the entombed on the ground in the New York Marble Cemetery, but marble plaques on the walls mark who lies in the tombs below. The cemetery is showing signs of aging, as the walls are deteriorating, with some in dire need of structural support. The vaults however, are in good condition. Something I found interesting is that the reason for burial in vaults below the ground, as opposed to regular in-ground burial, was because of the fear of yellow fever. Laws during the time prohibited earth graves, which resulted in the marble vaults 10 feet below ground.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:57 AM

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October 11, 2004

New York City Marble Cemetery

POST #    1339

Saturday afternoon, I went for the cemetery trifecta. A trip to the New York City Marble Cemetery, the New York Marble Cemetery and Greenwood Cemetery. Yes, it was extremely morbid to hit up all three in one day, but with the closure of Terminal Five at JFK, there really weren't too many things that fit in my schedule. All three of the cemeteries were part of openhousenewyork, a weekend with several...open houses. One hundred places were open to the public, free of charge, as part of OHNY's second year.

The New York City Marble Cemetery was New York's second non-sectarian cemetery and started in 1831. The first one, the New York Marble Cemetery, started in 1830. James Monroe was buried at the Marble Cemetery before his body was moved to Virginia. Other well known people there are James Lenox (a founder of the NY Public Library), James Henry Roosevelt (as in the hospital), and Moses Taylor (a financier). But the most important is the Kip family, as in Kip's Bay. What would the movie theatre be named without Kip's Bay? Loews Midtown East?

More information:
- OHNY Last Year: Day 1, Day 2

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos at 7:45 AM

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October 10, 2004

Beastie Boys at Madison Square Garden

POST #    1338

Last night, I went to catch the Beastie Boys at Madison Square Garden, which some might call a homecoming. The concert supplants the Foo Fighters concert I previously went to as the best concert I've ever been to. Hard to believe since the concert was at MSG, but it was amazing.

They played for about an hour and half, with songs from their newest album (about 4) and lots of songs from the past. They also had an instrumental set, which was a nice time to relax. For their encore, they came up into the crowd and performed from around section 226...where I happened to be sitting!!! Ad Rock, MCA and Mike D were no more than 3 feet from me. It was pure insanity. We got on the seats, excitedly sang along, and threw our hands in the air (all causes for the horrible photos).

Apparently, they were also filming a DVD of the show for sale later, which I think I'll have to buy. Big ups to random ticket assignments, the Beasties and friendly neighbors for sharing.

- Setlist from the show

Clips from the show:
- Triple Trouble (272 kb .mov file)
- Sure Shot (576 kb .mov file)
- Shake Your Rump (520 kb .mov file)
- An Open Letter to NYC (588 kb .mov file)
- Brass Monkey (480 kb .mov file)
- So What'cha Want (528 kb .mov file)

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music at 3:58 PM

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October 9, 2004

Jeannette's Birthday Dinner

POST #    1337

Jeannette's birthday is Monday when she turns 20 something and last night, a few people gathered for dinner at Grand Sichuan, a place renowned for its spicy food. Spicy it was. We had hot pot, some appetizers, and some main dishes, but none of Mao's favorite dishes.

There was also a three flavor ice cream cake, which hit the spot after the spicy food. Banana, red bean, and lychee, the perfect trifecta for Asians. Yum. The only issue was the fire that came in the form of candles. Good lord those were some strong and dangerous candles. I don't believe a fire extinguisher was on hand.

Happy (early) birthday, Jeannette!

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink at 9:16 AM

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October 8, 2004

Why That's a Big Hole You Have

POST #    1335

Hmm, there's nothing quite like three pictures of a hole. This, however, is a very important hole. At least it is to me. It's the hole outside my basement window. Hopefully this hole is fixed. Before, it was not. When my contractor went into the hole, opening it up, it was found that there were cracks in the hole and the pipe that had eroded the ground below over time. All that was left was an empty area with a pool of water. Hopefully, this is now fixed. With a new pipe installed and new cement work, the hole looks good. All that remains is a test with water tomorrow.

With this hole fixed (I'm knocking on wood as I type), I can then fix this hole and after that, I can clean some and have a party so I can clean some more and get drunk to forget this mess.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home at 9:07 AM

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October 7, 2004

Tasty Cookies

POST #    1333

I was sent some tasty cookies over the weekend and they are almost all gone. I think one way to win my heart with food is to add lime. These cookies were good to begin with, but with the addition of lime, they became really good. Made from scratch and lime...you can't beat that. Some of the cookies even have corn flakes baked onto them. Yum!

So think about that...lime making everything better. The cookies, your gin and tonic, the Limon in Sprite - everything better.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:55 AM

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October 6, 2004

Kingda Ka - 456 feet of Madness at Six Flags Great Adventure

POST #    1332

Holy Crap! Last week, Six Flags Great Adventure announced a new expansion to their park which will include the world's tallest roller coaster - Kingda Ka. It's scheduled open date is Spring, 2005. Using hydraulic launch rockets, riders will reach a speed of 128 mph and go up to 456 feet high. 0 to 128 in 3.5 seconds and then vertical to 90° with a quarter turn. After reaching the peak, the coaster goes straight down with a 3/4 turn.

I'm so there next year at some point.

More information:
- The Kingda Ka media center on Six Flags.com
- Yahoo! News: "Six Flags Unveils Fastest Roller Coaster"
- Previously on the annoying Six Flags mascot

Posted by tien mao in Travel at 8:06 AM

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Getting a Tad Dark Out

POST #    1331

Mental note to self: no more 12 hour days at work. Especially if it's going to start looking like this and be cold. That was the scene last night when I left work. WTF?!? Where are all the people commuting home? And would it hurt to put some street lights up in this industrial area?

Creepy.

Posted by tien mao in Work at 7:51 AM

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October 5, 2004

The Weekly "Quotations from Mao"

POST #    1330

I think the word of the day is "contradictions" and "antagonistic"...with that in mind, a Mao quote.

Mao said:
The contradictions between ourselves and the enemy are antagonistic contradictions. Within the ranks of the people, the contradictions among the working people are non-antagonistic, while those between the exploited and the exploiting classes have a non-antagonistic aspect in addition to an antagonistic aspect. - February, 1957

- All "Quotations from Mao"

Posted by tien mao in Mao Quotes at 11:55 PM

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In Need of a More "Manly" Cereal

POST #    1328

I'm not sure why, but apparently Special K is targeted towards women. It's a shame because it's my favorite cereal. It's not that I'll stop eating it because of the marketing towards women, but maybe they could tone down the feminine colors just a little? I can accept the offer for a pedometer or even for the promise pen or pin...but the huge image of Courtney Thorne-Smith and the pink on the box have got to go.

I'm sure there is some sort of market research coming out of Battle Creek that tells them that women like their cereal more or that having a woman's cause would increase sales. (Sick to think that a marketing person might think like that, but I'm sure it crossed their minds - cancer = sales!)

Oh well, what can I do, I love Special K and it's ricey goodness. It's like Rice Krispies for adults. I'm just asking for a little less pink. Anything. I mean, I might even accept purple over pink.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:23 AM

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October 4, 2004

Comfort

POST #    1327

Rachelle blew into town last night for business and Jeannette, Yvan and I met up with her for a little while. We hit up dinner at Chat 'n' Chew. Chat 'n' Chew is a restaraunt that serves all sorts of comfort food. From meatloaf to mac and cheese (blech). Lots of greasy, heart stopping food. After dinner, we headed over to her hotel room at the SoHo Grand, which is apparently very expensive to stay in. By the looks of the design, that sounds right. It is beautiful though.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family at 7:41 AM

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October 3, 2004

An Early Birthday for Jacob Dobkin

POST #    1325

Jake Dobkin's birthday is actually Monday, but Saturday night, he got some of his peoples together for some drinks at Double Happiness. By my count, Jake had quadruple happiness and was not carried out. Then again, I left before Jake, so for all I know, he was stumbling down the streets of Chinatown on his way home.

I was just too hungry not to leave early. I had a desire for some soup dumplings, so I had to excuse myself. For that, Janelle and I hit up Joe's Shanghai. While it may not be the best anymore, it totally hit the spot.

- Jake on "28th Birthday 1" (what, he's got more than one entry?!?)

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Friends/Family at 1:48 PM

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And on to AC

POST #    1324

After the Vote for Change concert, Johnny and I headed to Atlantic City. It seems like a crazy idea to head to go to a concert, then afterwards to AC, but we had a car that wasn't due until Saturday afternoon, so what the hey. It worked out pretty well. Leave the concert at 11:40, arrive in AC by 1:40 or so. There we met up with some high school friends who had a suite at the Trump Plaza and a room at the Borgata. Turns out, Johnny and I didn't need either.

He played poker most of the night, while I played blackjack for about 3 hours. Strangely, the blackjack tables start clearing around 3:30. Who knew? After looking into the room at the Borgata around 7, we decided to make the return to New York. We were up a little money and the room was about 20° more than comfortable.

On our return, we stopped at IHOP which was the perfect addition to our trifect of bad eating. Wendy's followed by a late night stop at Burger King and finally IHOP. A breakfast at McDonald's was for some reason ruled out. Good eating, good Eating.

The drive back was uneventful as I was sleeping for some of it. Worst copilot ever.

Posted by tien mao in Travel at 12:25 PM

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October 2, 2004

Vote for Change with Pearl Jam and Death Cab for Cutie at the Sovereign Center

POST #    1323

Friday night, Johnny and I went to one of MoveOn's Vote for Change concerts with Pearl Jam and Death Cab for Cutie. The series of concerts featuring all sorts of artists (from the Dixie Chicks to Jurassic 5) from MoveOn is designed as a way to reach scores of voters the swing states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Florida. The different groups hit different parts of the same state on one day before moving onto the next swing state. Last night was the first day of concerts. While the concept of reaching undecided voters in these states with some great music is great, you have to wonder if the people are coming for the bands or for the political message. I'm not one to argue that changing one voter's mind doesn't matter, but you kind of wonder if hearing a musician talk about it will really have an effect. The great thing is that - at least at the concert I was at - Pearl Jam was really encouraging people to vote without being too partisan. Wait, that doesn't sound right. Pearl Jam was really encouraging people to vote and was slightly partisan, but never mentioned who they were going to vote for or a candidates name.

As the last time I went to a Pearl Jam concert, they were again awesome. Johnny was saying how Pearl Jam has the some of the greatest fans - and with the response and crowd participation in their concerts, it's really hard to argue with.

While I expected some politicking, the best line of the night was Eddie Vedder's message for undecided voters. Something along the lines of "People that are undecided are stupid and I have the perfect example. Mullets. Long or short, make a decision." Simple, no?

A few random notes/thought about the night. Reading is a bitch to get to. The police there also don't know anything about directing traffic. Talk about making a town a pain in the ass to get to. Tim Robbins is a pretty bad singer and dancer (not that I'm one to talk), despite not really being able to hear him. When he came on stage, I thought I heard a few "Stuyvesant! Stuyvesant!" chants.

After the concert was over, Johnny and I made the best concert exit ever. Our car was parked on the 5th level of the parking complex, but the exit for the lot happened to be across from the arena and the entrance happened to be right next to our gate. Because JK is such an astute PJ fan, he knows they end with Yellow Ledbetter. After hearing the song, we bolted to the car and we were out in less than 5 minutes. Best exit EVER!! Why the rush? We had an appointment with some casinos in Atlantic City...

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music at 3:00 PM

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