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February 24th, 2010

08:34 am: brb, Brazil

February 5th, 2010

09:14 am: Brief Update
* Let's see, I bought the Extreme machine from MGL and stuck a PC in it running Stepmania. I can switch back and forth between them at any time, so I just need to find a switcher to do that for me. If someone wants to donate $100 (or once the machine is paid off) I'll buy a 2nd flash card for the system 573 so that I can install whatever mix I want from 3rd to max2.

* Work might be sending me off to Brazil. They've already had me apply for the visa, so I should be getting my passport back sometime in the middle of next week. I hardly know any details about this trip though.

* Speaking of work, the president of our business unit is stepping down after only being here for less than a year and we already have a new one stepping in. Our current president already shook up the office a bit, so we're all concerned about what this new guy is going to do.

* I've had this thought in my head for a while, and I figure I've been thinking about it long enough that I should do some research on it and write about it. A lot of what I've seen on the internet and heard from people is that in games where you can choose to be a good guy or a bad guy, most people will choose to be the bad guy. Either because it's funny, or because the bad guy is more powerful, or for the achievements, or whatever. So my thought boils down to this question: How do you make the player make a moral choice not for the sake of 'doing the right thing', but to make choices based on their own morals?

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

December 16th, 2009

01:50 am: NLP Trainings
Having just completed the "Trainer's Training" course, I wondered how much it would have cost me to take all the training that I have if it weren't free. That came out to be around $13,000. And if you include the audio of the classes that brings it up to just over $14,000.

That's....a lot of training.

Current Mood: appreciative

September 13th, 2009

01:29 pm: Cruising the Intertubes and spanking
After waking up today, I went cruising a bit on the internets to various random things. First I went to xkcd to see the new comics I hadn't seen. Then for some reason I decided to google my name since I know of at least 2 'famous' people with my name (there's one guy who runs this thing called "Playing for Change" which uses music to bring people together, and another guy who is the producer for the Narnia movies).

So there was this guy (obviously same name as me) who wrote a book about his life of drugs, crime, prison all at a very young age and how he pulled himself out of it. I looked at the book a little bit on amazon and at the bottom of that page was a link to a forum thread on amazon about a discussion on spanking. I decided "you know, I've never really looked at these kind of discussions on spanking before". The thread was actually quite civil...at least on the first page which was all I read. But in the original post, there was a link to a page that had a bunch of "facts" about spanking. (For your reading enjoyment, www.nospank.net/pt2008.htm )

More after the cutCollapse )

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

September 9th, 2009

02:22 pm: Musical heresy
You know, I have to admit something that I don't admit very often because of the ramifications people usually get for admitting this.

I can't stand the Beatles.

There. I said it. Sure I'll acknowledge their accomplishments and what they've done for so many other artists and listeners, but boy I really don't like their songs.

And today, RB: Beatles comes out...so I had to buy software copies for 360, ps3, and wii. And now, people in the office are playing it...just outside my cube.

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

August 20th, 2009

10:00 am: The loot!! *in the sound of Rockapella*
So there's been a lot of information about what happened and a lot of people that have wanted to hear it. So, here we go.

My trip here in China started on July 27th and was planned on going until August 17th. Towards the end, it was looking like there was more for me to do here, so we looked into extending my trip out here by 1 week; but all of the flights out were booked until the 28th. So currently, that is my planned return flight home.

On the night of the 17th, I was with 2 coworkers from Activision, and 2 coworkers who live here in China. We checked in to the hotel in Shenzhen, China around 9:15pm I think. As soon as we got our rooms, we dropped our stuff off in our rooms and went back down to have dinner at a restaurant in the lobby. When I got back to my room, my luggage was turned upside down and my backpack was opened with my stuff on the bed. I didn't take anything out of any of my luggage when I checked in. I quickly looked through my backpack and saw my laptop and iphone were gone.

Outside my room in the hallway there is a small desk with usually someone there from housekeeping. I went to her and asked if she spoke English, but she didn't understand me so I went to the lobby. On my way I called one of my coworkers who lives here to translate as I spoke with the hotel manager who did speak English. After the hotel manager saw my room, the hotel staff called the police. While waiting for the police, the US was just starting to wake up so I called AT&T on my coworker's phone to suspend my service on my iphone. Being in China, my phone's data roaming was turned off and I don't have the "MobileMe" so there wasn't anything else AT&T could do at this point.

When the police arrived, we (the police, the hotel staff, my coworkers and I) went to the video surveillance room to view the incident. A little bit about the layout of the hotel... There are 3 elevators in a semi-circle shape that go to all of the floors. On a floor with rooms, there is a small lobbyish area before going to the rooms. Straight across from the elevators was my room. The hallway goes to the left and to the right. At the end on the right was the security camera, and on the left is the desk where housekeeping is. There is no camera in the small elevator lobby area. The door that goes into each room has a small alcove large enough for someone to stand at the door without being seen by the camera. On the video, you can see me leaving the room, and then just minutes later, the woman at the desk leaves, then another woman comes from the elevator straight to my room door. Due to the alcove, you can't tell how long she was standing at the door vs in the room. A little bit later, 3 men join her in the room, and then they leave about 15 minutes after the woman first arrived. On the camera, they are all too far down the hallway to identify any of them. We (my coworkers and I) figure that this had to be an inside job and that they weren't targeting me specifically, but rather just targeting whoever got that room. I didn't see anyone in the elevator with me to the room, or in the lobby near the elevator, or in the hallway (except for the housekeeping lady), or in the elevator on my way down.

I don't think the police spoke English, so all of the conversations once they arrived were in Chinese. In the video room, I could see the cameras throughout the rest of the hotel and I saw that there are cameras inside the elevator in the back corner. On our way out of the room, I asked my coworker why aren't we looking at those, and he said they did ask and for some reason, they said no. I have no idea what the deal is with that as obviously I was still a bit in shock at the time.

At the room, the police took pictures and started lifting what fingerprints they could find. This hotel in the rooms have a panel of light switches next to the bed including a switch to turn on a "do not disturb" sign outside. Now, I put the "do not disturb" door-hang on the door...I always do this with every hotel I stay at because I don't want housekeeping waking me up if I sleep in (and because if I don't need anything in my room done, I don't need people in my room). But I did not turn on the electronic sign for "do not disturb" so I asked the police to look for fingerprints on that switch. I think the only other thing he dusted for prints for was my DS (which now has a lot of this gold dust crap on it now D: ). I had to start cracking stupid jokes at this point to keep light of the situation and I did through the rest of the night.

When the police were done, they said I could go through my things and figure out what was taken. They took my laptop (it's my personal laptop, not Activision's), iPhone, PSP and the 5 games with it and a 4gb memory stick inside it, digital camera, wireless electric razor, around 400HKD and around 700RMB (which is around $150 USD combined). However, they did NOT take my passport, drivers license, credit cards, or my DS. They didn't take any of the cables associated with them, just the devices. I can access the balance of my credit cards online and I've been keeping a close eye on it, and it doesn't look like they copied the card numbers down or anything like that, but I will be voiding both of these and getting new ones when I get home.

So we go to the police station to give them our statement on what happened that we're aware of and all of that. We were there at the police station until maybe 1:30am. After they got the statement, I requested a copy of it, but they said no. They would only give me some receipt in Chinese. Not really much of anything important happened here besides that.

The following morning the police called the Axis office (the company we work with out here in China) and asked for a photocopy of my passport so they can escalate my case to a higher level because I'm a US citizen. Personally I think it's just BS to make me feel better because I'm a US citizen. I have a China phone with a China number that I use while I'm here that I had on me at the time, and the morning after, Axis gave me this loaner laptop to use for the rest of the trip.

I've already sent out e-mails to key people at Activision about travelers insurance and I'm waiting to hear back from them on that.

After this whole thing has happened, most people were surprised at how well I was taking this whole thing. I just kept telling them that I can choose how I want to feel, and right now, sulking won't do anything but waste valuable time. So I'd rather not. This NLP stuff isn't just for show people. :p

tl;dr - stuff got stolen, I'm fine, I can get back to the US no problem.

With that said, anyone happen to have an iPhone 3g or 3gs they would be ok with parting with? >.>

Current Mood: busy

July 2nd, 2009

11:29 pm: SCORE!!!!
So way back in the day, RedOctane used to have a game rental service. That service was stopped a few years ago shortly after the 360 and PS3 were released. Just this past week, they laid out all of the games in the big meeting room and opened it up to us employees to grab whatever games we want for free. So, I grabbed the following games. Most of them have the box art + manual, but there were some I couldn't find. Yes, I know that some of the games I grabbed are absolutely terrible...that's why I grabbed them :D. So with a 3 day weekend ahead of me, and having never played almost all of them, where should I start?

Games ListCollapse )

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

April 22nd, 2009

12:55 am: NLP Cafe
So there's a group of people that meet in Mountain View twice a month who all have studied NLP and they get together to keep their skills sharp. Apparently, there has been a recent discovery in NLP that was taught to me while I was taking the classes that a lot of the people at the Cafe haven't heard before...so I was asked to teach it to them...which I'm going to be doing tomorrow night.

I'll be teaching about internal conflicts and how to identify them, sort them, and resolve them and I'll be talking a bit about Double Binds. Double Binds are where you're "damned if you do and damned if you don't and you're stupid if you can't decide." (The discussion on conflicts and double binds aren't new, but there's an aspect to it that makes it much easier to sort out the conflict...that's the new part). And I 'only' have 2 hours to fill...heh.

As I listen over the almost 9 hours of audio on the topic from the classes I've taken, I came to a realization that I'm teaching a brand new NLP idea to a group of people that have probably been studying NLP for longer than I've been alive. O_O

Current Mood: nervousnervous

April 16th, 2009

12:30 pm: ugh...
So ever since I stopped playing DDR seriously, I've been getting more and more out of shape. (Gee, I wonder why). So I'm putting it out there that I'm going to be doing my best to make it out to MGL every Tuesday night to just play. You're welcome to join, and the more the merrier.

Supernova 2 is in really good condition, ITG2 is in kinda crap situation, and Extreme is in really good condition if you play on the right side and don't pick songs that freeze. (The left side is wobbly).

P.S. The Hypnosis mp3 is coming...I just want to finish the script first wait until the last weekend of the class before recording it.

Current Mood: hungryhungry

April 1st, 2009

04:32 pm: Hypnosis Induction
(btw, not an April Fools...)

In the hypnosis class I'm taking, one of the requirements for passing is coming up with our own trance induction, utilizing trance in some way, and then bring them out of trance. My idea was to combine hypnosis with a process in NLP for 'building a compelling future'. (All that is is creating the future you want to have in say 5 years from now and make it so that it seems that it will just happen which then tells your unconscious to make it happen.) Since I have all of the sound equipment from the NLP class at my house between classes I could make a recording of the induction and put it up as an mp3 for anyone to listen to it and use it for whatever. Would that be something anyone here would be interested in?

Current Mood: curiouscurious
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