October 17, 2005

Too Tired to Post

POST #    1917

Got in waaaay too late last night (damn wind delays in the NY area), so I've got nothing from a great weekend in Michigan. Some pictures from a crazy football game tomorrow.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 8:34 AM



January 7, 2005

A Revolution in Comment Spam

POST #    1509

The other day, I got a comment from a Mr.manuel LONGA. Who is this? I have no clue. But it was comment spam. I'm used to getting regular e-mail in this form, but comment spam? That's a new one. The bad thing about this is that I can't really block it. There's no URL to block with MT-Blacklist.

I wonder if this form of comment will become more prevalent as spammers catch on. If you're so inclined, the full entry follows.


I am Mr.manuel LONGA, staff of SMITH & WILLIAMSON Private Banking. I am contacting you concerning a deceased customer and an investment he placed under our banks management three years ago. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.

I contacted you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you. In the year 2000, the subject matter; came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of Thirty million united states dollars, which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf.

I was the officer assigned to his case, I made numerous suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto chief operations officer of the private banking sector, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into our bank. We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being placed. I encouraged him to consider various growth funds with prime ratings.

The favored route in my advise to customers is to start by assessing data on 6000 traditional stocks and bond managers and 2000 managers of alternative investments. Based on my advice, We spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our first months of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at this point at over ten million United States Dollars, this margin was not the full potential of the fund but he desired low risk guaranteed returns on investments.

In mid 2001, he asked that the money be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in here in the United Kingdom. He directed that I liquidate the funds and deposit it with a security firm. I informed him that SMITH & WILLIAMSON would have to make special arrangements to have this done and in order not to circumvent due process, the bank would have to make a 9.5 % deduction from the funds to cater for banking and statutory charges. He complained about the charges but later came around when I explained to him the complexities of the task he was asking of us.

Cash movement across boarders has become especially strict since the incidents of 9/11. I contacted my affiliate and made the funds available to the security firm. I undertook all the processes and made sure I followed his precise instructions to the letter and had the funds deposited with the security firm. The Security Firm is a specialist private firm that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue chip corporations that handle valuable products or undertake transactions that need immediate access to cash. This small and highly private organization is familiar especially to the highly placed and well-connected organizations. In line with instructions, the money was deposited with the security firm. The deceased told me he wanted the money there in anticipation of his arrival from Norway later that week. This was the last communication we had, this transpired around 25th February 2003.In June last year, we got a call from the security firm informing us that the inactivity of that particular portfolio.

This was an astounding position as far as I was concerned, given the fact that I managed the private banking sector. I was the only one who knew about the deposit at the security firm, and I could not understand why the deceased had not come forward to claim his deposit. I made futile efforts to locate the deceased. I immediately passed the task of locating him to the internal investigations department of SMITH & WILLIAMSON.

Four days later, information started to trickle in, apparently our client was dead. A person who suited his description was declared dead of a heart attack in canne, in Southern part of France. We were soon enough to identify the body and cause of death was confirmed. The bank immediately launched an investigation into possible surviving next of
kin to alert about the situation and also to come forward to claim his estate. If you are familiar with private banking affairs, those who patronize our services usually prefer anonymity, but also some levels of detachment from conventional processes.

In his bio-data form, he listed no next of kin. In the field of private banking, opening an account with us means no one will know of its existence, accounts are rarely held under a name; depositors use numbers and codes to make the accounts anonymous. This bank also gives the choice to depositors of having their mail sent to them or held at the bank itself, ensuring that there are no traces of the account and as I said, rarely do they nominate next of kin. Private banking clients apart from not nominating next of kin also usually in most cases leave wills in our care, in this case; the deceased died without a testate. In line with our internal processes for account holders who have passed away, we instituted our own investigations in good faith to determine who should have right to claim the estate. This investigation has for the past months been unfruitful. We have scanned every continent and used our private investigation affiliate companies to get to the root of the problem. It is this investigation that resulted in my being furnished with your details as a possible relative of the deceased.

My official capacity dictates that I am the only party to supervise the Investigation and the only party to receive the results of the Investigation. What this means, you being the last batch of names we have considered, is that our dear late fellow died with no known or
Identifiable family member. This leaves me as the only person with the full picture of what the prevailing situation is in relation to the deposit and the late beneficiary of the deposit.

According to practice, The Security Firm will by the end of this financial year broadcast a request for statements of claim to SMITH & WILLIAMSON, failing to receive viable claims they will most probably revert the deposit back to SMITH & WILLIAMSON. This will result in the money entering the SMITH & WILLIAMSON accounting system and the portfolio will be out of my hands and out of the private banking division.

This will not happen if I have my way. What I wish to relate to you will smack of unethical practice but I want you to understand something. It is only an outsider to the banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking world aberrational. The world of private
banking especially is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios. You should have begun by now to put together the general direction of what I propose. There is Thirty million dollars deposited in a security firm, I alone have the deposit details and they will release the deposit to no one unless I instruct them to do so. I alone know of the existence of this deposit for as far as SMITH & WILLIAMSON is concerned.

The transaction with our late customer concluded when I sent the funds to the security firm, all outstanding interactions in relation to the file are just customer services and due process. The security Firm has no single idea of what is the history or nature of the deposit. They are
simply awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party that come forward. This is the situation. This bank has spent great amounts of money trying to track this mans family; they have investigated for months and have found no family. The investigation has come to an end.

My proposal; you share the same surname With our late client Mr. KENT Ebner , I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct the security Firm to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you in half. That is: I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 50/50.I would have gone ahead to ask that the funds be released to me, but that would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit. But on the other hand, you with the same very name as the original depositor would easily pass as the beneficiary with right to claim.

I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within a few days. I will simply inform the bank of the final closing of the file relating to the deceased. I will then officially communicate with The Security Firm and instruct them to release the deposit to you. With
These two things: all is done.

The alternative would be for us to have The Security Firm direct the funds to another bank with you as account holder. This way there will be no need for you to think of receiving the money from The Security Company. We can fine-tune this based on our interactions. I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal. You may not know this but
people like myself who have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run The whole private banking sector.

I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such opportunities only come ones’ way once in a lifetime. I cannot let this chance pass me by, for once I find myself in total control of my destiny. These chances wont pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do not destroy me. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking.

I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank. I am the only one who knows of this situation, good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of relevance in my life. Lets share the
blessing. If you find yourself able to work with me, contact me through this email account ogo1112000@yahoo.co.uk.If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a conclusion. I wish to inform you that should you contact me via official channels; I will deny knowing you and about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me through my official email account. Contact me only through the numbers I will provide for you and also through this email address. I do not want any direct link between you and myself. My official lines are not secured lines as they are periodically monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management Policy. Please observe this instruction religiously.

Again, note I am a family man, I have a wife and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold.

This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence.

Kindly send your response to my private email address

I await your response.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 12:02 PM



January 5, 2005

When Did This Happen?

POST #    1503

Wow, when did this feature pop into Movabletype? Admittedly, I'm usually using Safari at home and not doing much personal blog stuff at work, but could it be the combination of Firefox and MT 3.14? I just checked out a MT 3.11 install, so it must be 3.14.

That said, I don't usually use any of the buttons I did see. I might use the blockquote and the upload file though.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 9:12 AM



September 30, 2004

The White Elephant

POST #    1320

The building that I work at in East Williamsburg is being repaired and painted right now. They have already filled cracks with cement and now primed the exterior with a blinding white coat of paint. I wish the landlords would allow graffiti artists to come in and fill the canvas with some great pieces. It would be pretty cool to work in the building if that happened. Somehow, I don't think that will happen.

Last night, I went to the New York Photobloggers 2 at the Apple Store. Just like the first photoblogger event, there was an impressive roster of people (all of which people should check out). Unfortunately, unlike the last post-event gathering, there was no grinding, make out action at MercBar.

The most interesting thing to me was Keith's presentation. Coming into the photoblogger event, the thing that I wanted to see the most was shots of how photos looked before and after the Photoshop process. Now, everybody says they just use curves, but if you've used Photoshop, you know that curves can really do a lot. (Not that you care, but for the record, I just use curves and unsharp mask.) In his presentation, he showed everyone the before and after of his photos, which was very eye-opening. Keith flat out stated that his photos at Overshadowed do undergo manipulation, sometimes through a lot of editing, but he's not necessarily looking for a realistic representation of what he took, but more of a "movie" view. With the work that he does, he wants to recreate the New York that he sees in movies.

To be fair, just because someone does post-photo work, it doesn't detract from the talent of the photographer. I'm just curious as to how the photos we see compare to what actually came out of the camera.

- Rion has all the information on who was there and links to photos from the night in her entry on pastries. (I say she's evil).
- Keith's presentation from last night, including his "post process" stuff.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Photos at 7:48 AM



September 11, 2004

More Changes at the Little Read Book

POST #    1274

As you may see, there have been some more changes on the site today. This is in addition to the upgrade to MT 3.11 earlier this week and then the updated look that essentially looked like the old site.

I struggled to get the comments working and MT Blacklist working. After pestering Corie and Greg Greenehouse about Blacklist, I finally figured it out. It wasn't misconfigured, it was just that I had my old version of it running. All because I wanted to make sure the new version worked. I'm still toying with the idea of requiring comment registration for the site and approval to non registered comments. So, if you want, go ahead and register with Typekey (it's free!) and you can comment at will on the site. If I'm making the changes, then unregistered people will have to wait for approval. Of course, this is only if I make that change.

Anyway, back to the changes in appearances on this site. The site is a little sleeker and a has a few more images, and a lot less white space. The biggest thanks go to Shannan, who basically redesigned my whole site. If anyone needs a newly minted expert in MT 3.11's stylesheets, let me know and I can put you in touch.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 7:26 PM



September 9, 2004

Upgrade Almost Complete

POST #    1268

I think my upgrade to Movabletype 3.11 is finally complete on this site. I still have to change the templates for the links section, but everything should be in working order. You'll see that when you click comment, there is no longer a pop up, but the whole page goes to the full entry. I can see both positives and negatives to this, but that's the way it's going to be now. Well, that's the way they built it and I'm too lazy to tinker with it enough to change it.

So test it out, play around. I'm still tinkering with the comments and wondering why I need to approve them even for people that are registered with Typekey. Strange. Drop a comment and let me know if you're experiencing any problems with the site as you are using it.

Another re-design of the site might be in the works as well.

If the site is looking very messed up, you might need to load the new stylesheet. Click here and then refresh the main page.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 12:18 AM



September 8, 2004

Movin' on Up to the 3.11

POST #    1264

Last night, I took advantage of some free time and upgraded this site to Movabletype 3.11. There seem to be a lot of new features, and I have yet to even scratch the surface, but so far, so good. I love the new, more robust, comment section of the Movabletype system. The same goes for the trackback section as well. Perhaps even better than both those features is that I can now schedule posts for the future. I can't quite figure out why that isn't working yet though.

Another new feature is the way comments are registered on the site. There is registration via Typekey, which I have yet to configure, allowing all comments or a delay for approval of comments. Right now, I've got it set for me , but if spam becomes too rampant, I can change that over. So if you comment and it doesn't show up, just know that I have to approve your comment first.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 7:24 AM



July 18, 2004

Image Problems?

POST #    1166

During this past week, with Kevin's help, I put up some code on my site that doesn't allow people to use my pictures on their site while pirating my bandwidth. It's not horribly important that you know what this means, since it shouldn't affect your reading pleasure (or lack there of) while on my site.

Although this is only supposed to affect people who use my images directly, it's come to my attention that at least one person can't see the images on my site at all. I'm just wondering if anyone else is having this problem.


Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 7:29 PM



July 7, 2004

Blogging, the New Penpal...

POST #    1144

...or something like that.

Last night, I met up with Jens, who is from Sweden. It's funny, I've never met Jens until yesterday, but we've communicated a few times from our respective homelands. Him in Stockholm, me in New York. I can't remember how he found my site, but he stops by every once in a while, so when he said he was coming into town, I thought meeting up for a drink with him would be harmless enough. Unfortunately, I'm very busy this week, so I wasn't able to show him around town too much. Note to all creepy readers, just because you're reading this, doesn't mean I'll be hanging out with you too...kidding...or am I?

So have blogs become a new type of penpal? Probably not. I would think e-mail would replace the actual pen, but I think you know what I'm getting at. I've made a fair amount of friends via this blog thingy and it seems to be working pretty well. Sure, my life is an open book, but I get to choose what I write. I share what I want to share. It also allows me to communicate (albeit, it's very one sided) with my friends that I don't see too often.

Who knows where my site will lead and what I'll do with it in the next year and after that, but so far, I have no complaints. I've made some friends, gotten some shit off my chest, and had a pretty good time of it. Works for me.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 7:23 AM



July 2, 2004

A Meating of the Minds

POST #    1135

Last night, a few people behind the "-ist" family of sites gathered. Jen and Jake of Gothamist, Joe from Gothamist Weather, and Tom of the soon to be launched LAist. On the menu...Daisy May's BBQ of course. It might be the official food of Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 7:23 AM



June 15, 2004

You Want Comment? NO COMMENT FOR YOU!

POST #    1105

I'm not sure if the everyday or casual reader notices this, but occasionally, this site gets hit by comment spam. I've got MT-Blacklist installed, which blocks a lot of it and makes things very easy to delete, but on occasion, things still slip through. With Blacklist, I get this strange pleasure of putting people onto my blacklist and deleting the comments, but also the pleasure of seeing all the rejected comments in my activity log. I know, I'm crazy, but it's kind of fun.

There was one time when Gothamist was attacked by spam over and over again for what had to be over 200 comments on several different entries. You would ban one URL and another one would show up. It was non-stop. Finally, we added the domain (they kept using subdomains) and all their comments were blocked. That was so fun it's disturbing. Such an adrenaline rush. It's almost like it was a fight between good (me) and the evil spambots.

One particularly bad offender on this site was using the 'hrie@yahoo.com' e-mail address. Said bot/person kept spamming my site over and over, using different I.P. addresses and different sites. Finally, I just decided to ban the email address and it's blocked all spam from that address. While there is still the occasional comment spam, it's much better now.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 8:48 AM



May 27, 2004

Hmm...This Sounds Vaguely Familiar

POST #    1071

So there is this article in The Times today about people who blog. I've got to say that it all sounds pretty damn familiar. Writing while on vacation, several entries a day, writing about what comes into your head, making friends with fellow bloggers, etc, etc. I'll admit it, I share many traits of the people described in the article.

I try to write at least one entry a day, even on weekends. Sometimes it's difficult to come up with anything, other times I have more thoughts or interesting articles than I know what to do with. Sometimes I have a thought but am too tired, lazy, or mentally challenged at the moment to come up with anything. I'm sure faithful readers of this site have seen those moments where I'm totally not making sense and not conveying my thoughts (hell, it may even be happening right now), and I'm sure there are other times where it makes perfect sense what I'm talking about. Come to think of it, I have no idea what I'm talking about right now.

Anyway, I feel like the article sums up the way I feel about blogging at times. Sometimes I feel it's a burden to come up with a post a day, but other times it's really easy because the things I do can generally be written about with ease. I'm not sure if anyone reads them, or if they are interesting at all, but from the looks of the site stats, it looks like at least some people come.

So thanks to those that come and find it entertaining. Comments are always more than welcome - in fact it helps reassure me that people are actually reading. Whether you come here for the random shit that I write about, pictures of my apartment, to look at the "fun" things I do, to see how I'm doing, or to see me stuff my face, thanks for reading. And if you're reading and I don't know you, I'm just wondering what you find interesting about this site and how you found it.

This is kind of similar to a previous post of mine.

- NY Times: For Some, the Blogging Never Stops
- Gothamist on "Bloggers ♥ Their Blogs"

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 7:24 AM



April 29, 2004

Howard Stern Has a Blog?

POST #    988

I was in the car this morning listening to Howard Stern and "The King of All Media" briefly joked about putting something on his blog. I immediately thought, "Howard Stern has a blog?" Sidekick Robin Quivers was also surprised by Howard's statement. He said that he has been writing in it for a while already, but it's completely anonymous and that only about five people know he has it. Stern also said that he originally started it when he was thinking of writing a book under a pseudonym and that many of his friends, including Ralph, don't even know about the blog.

Of course, this got me wondering, what is Howard Stern's blog. Not that I'm all that knowledgeable about the sites in the "blogosphere", but someone's got to have some thoughts on the matter.

Update: 3:15 pm, 4.29.04
For those of you who think I'm crazy, Gawker also has the story, which was picked up by Boing Boing.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 9:02 AM



March 10, 2004

More Like RachelleB.com Everyday

POST #    830

I don't think I'll be going blonde or getting those hot pants...

In a quest to be more like Rachelle's site, I've added a new feature to the "little read book" - links, a.k.a. "little read links" (I'm going to ride the red/read thing to death). Right now, you can find them below the list of recent comments. The "little read links" will contain links (duh) to things that I found interesting, fun, or informative. You can even comment on them to add your thoughts on the links. There may or may not be a heavy slant on news from the NY Times, but what do you expect, it's my local newspaper. Hopefully, this adds a little to the site since I feel that it has added a lot to Rachelle's site.

Thanks for the help Rachelle.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 5:40 PM



February 27, 2004

NYC Photobloggers at the Apple Store

POST #    792

The requisite shot of the stairs at the Apple Store

Jake and some funky flash action on my camera.

Some non bloggers get hot and heavy at MercBar.

They moved on to some heavy grinding.

Last night, I went down to the Apple Store to check out the NYC Photobloggers presentation. Presenters included the people behind clarsen.net, slower.net, Bluejake, Satan's Laundromat, lauraholder.com, rion.nu, Infrangible, 990000.com, lightningfield.com. It was cool to see the people behind the camera and hear what they had to say about their pictures, methods, and sites. Turnout was quite impressive, so much so that an Apple employee had to shoo people away from the stairs. (As an added bonus, I also got to have one of Jen's cookies. Thanks, Jen!)

Afterwards, we went over to MercBar for a quick drink, where there was some a heavy make-out session going on. This is probably as close to porn as you're going to get on my site. At least until I'm really desperate for readers.

As an aside, my camera has been doing some strange things recently. You can see it in the photo of Jake above and the photo of Rachelle and Jess when we went to Chumley's. I don't use that flash function that much, so I've only noticed it recently. Perhaps it has something to do with the time I dropped my camera and damaged the it.

More on last night:
- Corie on the "Look Away Game"
- Gothamist on "Photobloggers, Blogged"
- Rachelle on "New York City Photobloggers"
- Kottke on "NYC photoblogger exhibition"
- Jake on "NYC Photobloggers @ Apple Store SoHo" (check out the gallery too)

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 7:33 AM



February 11, 2004

And the Move is Complete

POST #    760

After a few hours of frustration, I have successfully moved my site from one host to another. It feels good to be finished. The easiest part was actually moving over my site database (posts, comments, trackbacks, etc), the hardest part was getting Movabletype set up. But I can say I am relieved to be finished and in less than a day. In the process, I also upgraded to MT 2.661.

My thanks to the people in the MT support forums and to Oscar.

Please let me know if you encounter any problems while on the site.

Thanks. - Tien

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 11:56 PM



February 10, 2004

Okay, Moving is Happening Now

POST #    758

So it's happening a little sooner than expected, but I'm moving my site right now.

Any comments between now and then will probably be lost. After the site moves, it may be down if I didn't do things correctly (very likely). Wish me luck. Worse comes to worse, I'll be back next week.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 12:17 PM



Lil' Red Book Getting Ready for a Move

POST #    757

Against the advice of some people, I am going to move my site in the next month. I've started to back up all my files, upload stuff to my new server, and install Movabletype. I knew it would be a painful process, but it's a process that has already started and I hope it will all work out in the end. I won't be done moving stuff for a few days, if not a couple of weeks, but I'll let you know when I move, and when there might be a short break for my posts.

If anyone has any tips on how to dump databases and then import them in mySQL, please let me know. Also, if anyone has actually moved their blog from one host to another, please let me know of any potential issues.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 10:07 AM



January 18, 2004

Party at the Dollhouse

POST #    706

Dahlia's Party

Remote control car from Radio Shack

Last night, Dahlia hosted a blog party because her friend was in town. She invited a bunch of people who all have blogs, most of which I've never read, but I'm a lazy blogger - I only read a few sites, but that roster of sites is growing.

Dahlia offered to supply food for the event, if the guests provided the libations. That was easy enough. She made these delicious empanadas that had raisins in them, which added a nice touch. I've actually never had empanadas before, but if they all taste like the ones last night, sign me up to eat some more!

Thanks to Dahlia for a fun evening and some excellent empanadas.

- Rachelle on Dahlia's Party
- Dahlia on the "Party at My House"
- Karl on the "Party"

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 12:41 PM



January 11, 2004


POST #    691

Back by popular demand, my Netflix queue. Well, maybe not popular demand, but it's back. I previously installed it back in September, but I removed it because I was having some issues with it. Thanks again to Oscar for developing the Netflix Suite. Hopefully, I won't have too many problems with it this time around.

I finally put up my photos from my trip to the Getty Center on ofoto. Take a look at the photos here, or just check out the original post.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 3:15 PM



December 28, 2003

"Alright! That's it for me. Goodnight everybody."

POST #    671

I'm famous! (click on image for full article)

Who would have thunk that I would ever be in the venerable New York Times, but today it has happened. Back on December 5th, I posted a photo of a taped over crosswalk sign that I saw while walking around Brooklyn Heights. Ten days later, NewYorkish put the image on their site, which Gawker then put on their site. After that, Fox 5 called to interview me, then put me on TV, and then I made Gothamist (big head and all). I thought everything had passed until Denny Lee of The Times sent me an instant message asking me for an interview earlier this week. Today, that article is in the paper. Just plain crazy.

- NY Times: When the Light Changes, Walk, but Do Not Look
- Gothamist: Sweet Bird of Fame
- Gawker: Walk This
- NewYorkish: Street Sign Amusements
- As Seen in Brooklyn (original post)
- Slow News Day (interviewed by Fox 5)
- Camera Adds 40 Pounds and a 3" Radius to Head (on Fox 5)

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 9:56 AM



December 17, 2003

Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda

POST #    646

With this whole middle finger thing, my parents now know about my website. I guess it was inevitable, especially with my email address having "tienmao.com" in it. But since my parents aren't exactly tech savvy (sorry mom, sorry dad), they might not have ever figured it out.

I blame Fox 5 for calling them and saying they wanted to talk to me. It was all very disturbing. I got the call and I asked how they got my number, their response, "we're the media, we know everything." Turns out they got the number from my mom, but how did they get my parents' number?

So, I guess this is "hi" to mom and dad. I hope you guys like what you see.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 12:22 PM



December 11, 2003

"It's Not a TOO-muh!"

POST #    630

I've been dropping things a lot recently (glomits, cell phone, and camera come to mind), and now that the cold weather has come along it's only getting worse. I have this bad habit of using something while in the car, putting it on my lap and then getting out of the car after forgetting that the item was on my lap. If I'm like this now imagine what I'll be like when I hit 30!

Last night, I was sitting in the car and after wearing my hat all day, I took it off and put it in my lap. After getting out of the car and walking a few steps, I dropped it right near the curb. Ordinarily, this isn't too bad, but it was wet out from the light rain and the snow melting. First reaction was to shake the water off the hat. I did that, but I seemed to have sprayed myself with road water. Blech. Almost immediately, I started to get a headache, which continued for most of the night and through this morning. I'm assuming that it's not from the water since my head started to hurt right away. Hopefully it's just psychosomatic and not the flu. Whatever it is, I'm trying to fight it off with lots of water. After getting to work this morning, I chugged a full Nalgene bottle worth of water.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 10:07 AM



December 8, 2003

"little read book" - Too Much Tien, Not Enough, Just About Right?

POST #    624

Man, I wish I found this hat earlier.

Late Sunday night, Gothamist, one of my daily reads, posted a guide on blogging - "Gothamist Notes 1: What Not to Do When You Blog." What followed was an enthusiastic discussion on what Gothamist writers think a blog should be.

I'll try to summarize, but if you want the full details, you should really read their post about it.
1. Don't call it a blog, call it a website. Don't call yourself a blogger.
2. Don't write about yourself. No one cares about what you do.
3. Don't blog unless you take it seriously. Don't forget the commitment to your readers.
4. Do not write to other bloggers for links.
5. Do not steal.
6. Do not consider your blog as a free ride to slander, etc.
7. Do not overreact when you get dissed by your readers.
8. Do not forget to be polite.

Okay, I think I've got a few of these down - namely 3, 4, 5 (for the most part), 6 (for the most part - see exception here), 7 and 8. I may not do 8 that well, so let me say this: "Thank you to all my readers (what there are like 15 now?) for your readership and for pointing any mistakes that I might make. I enjoy when you comment and make a post more lively with discussion. I'll try not to feel disrespected if you don't leave a comment on a post, but you damn well better! If you have any thoughts, feel free to drop me an e-mail or IM from the links on the right hand side of the page."

I guess the one thing that I want to ask is about #2 - don't write about yourself because nobody cares what you do. I suppose that this is an over simplification of what Gothamist said, so here is the full text of that point:
"Therefore, for the love of God, do not write about yourself. Do not write about your friends. Do not write about your family. Do not write about your pets. Or airport travels. Do not write about that girl at the bodega on 4th avenue and how she's giving you the eye. Do not write about your dates. Pick a real subject or series of subjects and stick to it – if you have to use the word "I" more than once a week, you are doing something very, very wrong. No one cares about you or the things you do (unless you are Paris Hilton, Bazima, or Bennifer – don't believe the weary, B.Lo, keep it comin' strong!), keep it to yourself. And if that's not enough to stop you from writing about yourself, just remember these words of advice from Meg: "A cardinal rule of blogging is this: Post as if everyone you know will read your weblog because chances are very good that they will. If you don't want your boss, religious leader, or your parents to read what you're writing, you might want to think twice about posting it." And if you're on that first date where he/she knows everything about you, it's your own fault."

The question I put to you, the "little read book" reader is, do you think I write too much about myself? Do you not want to read about me? I must admit that I'm not exactly the most interesting person in the world. I don't go out every night and get bombed (although, that might make for more of an interesting site, no?), but every now and then, I do some things that I like to share. I don't tend to tell you what I have for lunch everyday (today Blimpie and Pizza Hut - a very bad idea), but to some extent, this is my site and things I do sometimes make the pages. Granted, Gothamist's guide isn't the be all, end all, but just a guide to making a blog good.

So again, I ask, does this site contain too much content about me? Personally, I think it's a healthy mix of my life, sports, politics, news, and random shit. Any thoughts would be appreciated, but I reserve the right to ignore your comments, if there are any. Constructive criticism is preferred.


Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 8:23 PM



December 7, 2003

Housewarming Callalillie's

POST #    619

This evening, Corie was having a housewarming/jump the cable guy party at her new apartment in Park Slope. It was a gathering of her friends, co-workers, and blog friends - a group that I fall into. It was gracious of her to invite Rachelle and me to her party, despite never actually meeting us. For me, it was a tad awkward at first. While, I know a little about Corie by reading and commenting on her site, I still didn't know what to expect. I'm happy to report that her housewarming party was a lot of fun and it was nice to meet the people that are mentioned on her site.

Later on during the party, Dahlia and Sam showed up. Now, this was even more weird for me, it wasn't just Rachelle and me that was part of the "blog crowd," but it was a group of four people. When someone asks what your name is and what site you are associated with, it's a tad strange, but I guess it just takes a little getting used to. Perhaps at the next Gothamist Happy Hour, I should introduce myself as "tienmao.com" or would it be "tien - tienmao.com"? Hmm...things to think about.

Anyway, a big thanks to Corie for inviting me tonight, and for the sushi and excellent cookies.

- Corie's entry on her gathering
- Dahlia on Corie's party

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 9:53 PM



November 19, 2003

35 Shopping Days Until Christmas!

POST #    575

As a public service, I thought I would let everyone that there are only 35 shopping days until Christmas. Usually, the shopping starts after Thanksgiving, but why wait? Shop now!

If you want, you can even buy me a gift. Yep, that's right, I have resorted to pandering on the "little read book." If you do get me something, I might get you something as well, but I'm not the best with Christmas gifts or anything. If you don't believe in Christmas (I don't either), I'm willing to take Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus gifts. I'll pretty much take anything you want to buy me for any occasion.

For ideas, check out my Amazon.com wish list.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 3:39 PM



October 20, 2003

TMQ no more

POST #    462

***Update: TMQ is back, read more here.***

last week, on easterblogg, gregg easterbrook wrote a about how the movie kill bill was a glorification of violence and that quentin tarantino is a lousy director. in the same column, he criticized miramax, its parent company disney, and the executives at both companies for releasing a movie that glorifies violence. in criticizing the executives at the company, easterbrook said, "Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice." since that post on monday, people have criticized him for what he said. easterbrook has since issued an apology for his choice of words, but it appears the damage has been done. instapundit reports that easterbrook has now lost his job writing for espn.com, where he wrote "tuesday morning quarterback." espn also seems to have deleted all records of easterbrook and his column.

it's unfortunate that espn has fired him for something he wrote, but it looks like they are giving him the same treatment they gave rush limbaugh. the difference is that easterbrook didn't even say these things on espn.com, he just wrote about them on easterblogg. perhaps his comments combined with criticizing anything in the disney family (espn is owned by disney) caused the over-reaction by espn execs. it's a shame that there will be no more TMQ on espn. maybe slate will pick up the column (TMQ was there before espn.com).

and yes, kill bill is an extremely violent movie.

- the original easterblogg entry.
- easterbrook's apology on easterblogg.
- the ny times blurb about it.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 9:58 AM



September 30, 2003

oooh, fancy new feature

POST #    417

as if my shameless plug for guinness yesterday and my constant plugs/links to netflix were not enough, i just added (actually added last night, finished this morning) two netflix features to my site, the three movies i have out and the top three movies on my queue. now, there will be no need for the, "what movies do you have right now?" questions anymore. the netflix info is on the right, underneath all the other links. if you want, you can even click on the name of the movie to see what it's about. no guarantees that it always shows up though, since the netflix site undergoes maintenance and acts up from time to time (like right now), but it should work most of the time. it should be noted that some of the movies i have in my queue are soon to be released or have long waits on them, so you might see them there for a while. i have to thank oscar for all his help with this plug-in and some other issues i was coming across. thanks oscar.

see the details about this plug-in here.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 9:39 AM



September 29, 2003

"fresh, spontaneous and instant." that's me!

POST #    413

okay, so that's kind of me. anyway, the new york times ("all the news that might be true") has two interesting articles this morning. (they have more, but two that i would like to point out.)

the first is on the blogs of journalists and how some are now falling under the scope of an editor. they ask the question "is a blog still a blog if someone else edits it?" if a journalist who is writing something and has it edited, isn't that just a news piece and not a blog entry? read more at gothamist - they are fair and balanced, and not in that fox news way.

the second article, and the one that is actually more dear to my heart, discusses netflix. for those of you who don't know, netflix is an online dvd rental company that mails dvds to you and you mail them back. you get three at a time and can keep them for as long as you wish, all for the low, low cost of $20. now that i'm done with the shameless plug, i'll give you the gist of the article. netflix now faces a couple of competitors, wal-mart and blockbuster. both now have online rental programs, but wal-mart's program is further along than blockbuster's. wal-mart also has substantial muscle to throw around in any arena that it enters. netflix does have the advantage of being first to market, as well as a system that works relatively well (i've had my problems in the past, but it's much better now). so for those of you out there that like movies and have a dvd player, i think you should give netflix a shot.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 8:19 AM



September 24, 2003

apparently, i'm going to have a sex change...no, not really.

POST #    401

from the bbc:
"All letters are short and to the point: Tien wants to have a sex change to become a woman."

contrary to what the bbc reports, i am happy with my current sex organs and have no plans to lop them off.

similarities between tien in new york and tien in saigon: watching television, wants to grow hair (tien in ny has done that and needs a haircut), "most of the time they think i'm a pervert."

differences between tien in new york and tien in saigon: tien in new york is staying a male, watches football (american and futbol), never wanted to become a woman, has not used a razor to cut appendages off and does not plan to either.

thanks to shannan for pointing out the gender-bending article.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 4:37 PM



September 23, 2003

now with comments...

POST #    396

as if reading my the "little read book" on your pda wasn't enough, the site now features the 10 most recent comments (so what if most of them are my responses to comments). now you can see when someone posts a comment that is waaay back in the archives.

thanks to rachelle for making it all happen. hmm, now my site might look a little too much like her's with the red and all. but the red goes with that whole mao thing. anyway, thanks again rachelle.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 11:02 PM



September 19, 2003


POST #    385

ahoy!! today be talk like a pirate day! how excitin' be that. i'm just goin't'do one post in pirate, because i think i would go insane if i hadt'read more than one (who cares if i'm usin' a translator). read more about talk like a pirate day.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 12:10 AM



September 8, 2003

translate this site

POST #    359

i think most people have heard of "the shizzolator," which takes any website and translates it to snoop dogg. the creator of that translator, has a site which has many other languages including pimp, smurf, and redneck.

read tienmao.com in
- pimp
- smurf
- redneck

check out the universal translator for more.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 10:47 AM



September 3, 2003

little read book, now available to go

POST #    343

after reading this article, i decided to make a pda version of my site available. i'm not sure if anyone will actually use it, but it's no skin off my back since it took me like 10 minutes. in order to read it, you'll obviously need a pda and the application avantgo, which is free. so, if you have a pda, and want to read my site on the go, click here and then "save channel" and you'll be ready to go.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 3:06 PM



July 16, 2003

the incredible green blog

POST #    223

so apparently the hulk has a blog. it's pretty funny. check it out here.

and no, that's not a pea pod in his pants, he's just happy to see you

(as reported by gothamist)

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 10:10 AM



July 15, 2003


POST #    222

it should be noted that every entry written makes sense to me when i write it. i don't mean to offend, unless it is obvious that i am trying to do so (ie dell customer service). does that even make sense?

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 7:05 PM



July 7, 2003

done and done!

POST #    202

so i just finished putting all my old xanga posts onto this new site. that took a really really long time and was a painful process. thankfully, i am finished now. if you want to read those, they are in the archives on the right of the page by month. there is also search functionality where you can enter a word or name to see when or if it was mentioned. like "pizza" for example, was mentioned 16 times. unhealthy obsession, i know.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 1:13 PM



July 2, 2003

setting stuff up

POST #    2

hi all, i just had this new blog set up. i have to configure it, but in the meantime, you can go to my xanga blog at here or audrey and my pizza review page here.


it should be noted that johnny (or john as he calls himself now) helped come up with the title of this page. if you dont get it, just ask.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 6:07 PM



July 1, 2003

issues with mt

POST #    5

so i'm trying to install movable type on my website so i can move off this xanga junk, but i'm having some serious issues. well, maybe not serious, but issues. i finally get the main menu working, but then i cant rebuild the site because there are some sort of errors. at this point, i'm thinking over of shelling out $40 for the installation. i'll try again tomorrow though.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 8:01 PM



May 21, 2003

everyone with a blog

POST #    187

even steve has a blog...

mmm...key lime...

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 3:41 PM



April 9, 2003

Blogging from chicago

POST #    132

So I’m in Chicago for this trade show, the CSI show if you must know or are interested in knowing. I got here on Sunday and this is the first time I am able to update my blog. I checked my email yesterday, but no time to update my blog. Anyway, so I get here late Sunday afternoon and walk around town a little. It was ass cold and windy as all hell. Since I love pizza so much, I walk around town looking for a place to eat…with a huge preference for pizza. So I go to this place called Gino’s East, the original. In this guide I have, it is described as serving “legendary deep-dish pizza made with chunky tomato sauce and its famous golden crust.” I must agree that the tomato sauce was great and the deep dish is quite different from the typical new york style slice.

Today and yesterday we pretty much got the booth ready for the show. It is this funky looking thing that kind of resembles a rib cage or the fuselage of an airplane. If I get a chance, I’ll post an image of it on here, but it will probably be after I get back. Ho hum…its 10:34 right now while I’m typing this, and we are going to have a meeting about the show tomorrow…crazy.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 1:14 AM



March 9, 2003


POST #    96

oh, i forgot. i started my own website. i've had the domain for a while, but now i have a server too. there isnt much on it, but if you want, feel free to check it out. oh and if you want a tienmao.com email address, shoot me an email at the one that you already have or here.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing at 6:55 PM


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