Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Self-Portrait with my iPhone

Here's a self-portrait with my iPhone while I was driving home from work. LA traffic is so bad that I have time to whip out my iPhone and
do a little creative work. What do you think?

Friday, July 27, 2007

N'Chink Music Videos

These guys are hilarious. They are UCLA students doing a parody of the boy band N'Sync. They created a streaming website several years back and later ran out of funds to maintain the bandwidth to withstand the thousands of downloads. This is before the invention of YouTube and Google Video. Check these guys out... very funny and very talented.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nathalie and Ronald Zuletta

I heard the bad news today. I know you guys are going through some rough times. I'm sure that you'll pull through the trials and tribulations. I still remember on December 3rd of last year, you guys were so happy during your engagement photo session. (please see previous post in the archive). Furthermore, you were so happy on your beautiful wedding day on February 17th of this year.

I wish you guys the best. Trust in Him and all will be well in the end. Godspeed.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Eunice & Sheldon Butler Wedding

I have the pleasure of photographing Eunice and Sheldon's wedding today at the St. Bede Catholic Church. She's so beautiful in her gown, and Sheldon looked so handsome in his tux. It couldn't hurt that both of them are very photogenic. I love photogenic couples. It makes my job so much easier.

Their bridal party was a "hoot". Needless to say I had a wonderful time documenting their special day on digital film. I can tell that they are so much in love. Sheldon kept telling me Eunice has such a big heart that she's so nice to everyone. It's the one thing that really moved him.

During the reception, Eunice's father, Eryl Buan, made a speech to toast the happy couple. With regards to Eunice as his only daughter, he said he can safely say that she's his favorite daughter, and Sheldon is his favorite son-in-law... unless, one of his sons bring home a son-in-law to be. That brought the crowd with a roaring laughter.

He also added that Sheldon inadvertently paid him the ultimate compliment by saying he wants to raise their children just like the way Eunice was raised. If you think about it... when you found the perfect soul-mate, you'd find that they are perfect in every way. Why wouldn't you want your children to be like that as well. Of course, when Mr. Buan said that, he brought many teary eyes. He sure knew how to entertain a crowd, and bring them to tears as well.

All I can say is, I had a lot of fun and it's such a blessing to be among these great people and be an integral part of their wedding. Wishing Eunice and Sheldon long and happy life together!

I dropped my iPhone today

I dropped my iPhone today. The scratches are on 3 of 4 corners of the phone... see below.

Not only did I dropped it, I let it bounce and tumbled several times before resting face down the concrete floor. It never fails, whenever I drop my mobile phone, it's always when I'm on the run. You see, when I'm running, it creates additional momentum when the phone lands on the ground. So, the damage is more severe.

When I was using my Blackberry 8700C I used for SAG, I was running to the elevators from the garage, and it literally drop with a thud and slid across the floor 35-40 ft at approximately 10 mph. During it's journey across the floor, it picked up debris, dirt and crud which left permanent scratches on the phone. I later had to replace it with a newer BB 8800. Yep, you guessed it... within 2 weeks, I dropped it while chasing a subway car when I was in NYC in April for my 25th High School Reunion.

So, again, within 3 weeks, I dropped my iPhone. Aargh!! The darn Griffin holster broke on me. Do not make the same purchase becuase wen the clip broke off, it launched my iPhone in flight. Save your $$.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Country Wide Tennis Tournament

Yvette Foley, my co-worker at SAG invited me to watch tennis at UCLA, LA Tennis Center.

I had a great time watching James Blake almost losing to Paul Goldstein after winning the first set convincingly @ love. Then the table turned around and Blake lost the 2nd set quickly 6-1. They were neck to neck in the 3rd set and Blake had many chances to break Goldstein but he couldn't close the deal. In fact, he was down a match point at 5-6. Fortunately, Blake served a great 2nd serve wide and pulled Goldstein off the court, and followed with a forehand crosscourt winner. He then broke Goldstein next game, and served 4 aces the following game to win the match. What a "nail-biter"!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Melissa Gilbert came for a visit

Melissa Gilbert, former president of SAG came by the office for avisit. Here's a picture we took together. You might have to tilt your head because we photographed with my iPhone sideways.

Blogging via the iPhone!

This is so cool. We can now update our blog from any place and anywhere.
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Movie Review: "Live Free or Die Hard"

Lan and I watched "Live Free or Die Hard" today at the Edwards 14 theatre on Main and Garfield. This is Bruce Willis's 4th movie in the character of John McClain. For those of you who is not sure it's the 4th movie, let me count them for you...

1. Die Hard (1988)- Nagatomi Tower, Hans (Alan Rickman, I love his work, such a great actor, British too) robbing the company's vault. Blowing up the whold building
2. Die Hard 2 (1990)- Die Harder - where John McClain picks up his wife at the airport but end up spoiling a bunch of terrorists.
3. Die Hard 3 (1995)- with a Vengence - With Sam Jackson going about NYC to avoid bombing of a school full of children. Robbing Fort Knox of NYC and the villain is none othe than Jeremy Irons, another British Actor.
4. Live Free or Die Hard (2007) - along with Justin Long as Sam. Justin has been very popular and appeared in many films lately. However, his most famous work are the numerous Apple commercials portraying as Mac opposite to PC. However, recently with the emergence of the iPhones commercials, his commercials have subsided.

Anyway, back to the movie review. Live Free or Die Hard "kicked ass" and 4 thumbs up as Lan also agreed. It's wall to wall action from the beginning to the end. Don't miss it!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Movie Review: "Ghost Rider"

Lan and I spent the afternoon watching DVDs and just 'kickin' back" and relax a little. We watched this horrible Nick Cage movie called "Ghost Rider".

It's no wonder it went practically straight to DVD rental because the acting was horrible, which is consistent to all Nick Cage movies with the exception of "The Rock" and "National Treasure". The story and the plot were lame. His character and outfit which mimick Evil Kenevil of the 70's were a joke. There hardly any action. Sam Shepherd as usual mumbled through every dialogue he had in the movie. If it weren't for the beautiful Eva Mendez, and the sinister Wes Bentley as the villain, I would have turned off the DVD player.

It's 4 thumbs way down because Lan hated it too.

Movie Review: "Happy Feet"

Lan and I spent the lazy Saturday afternoon watching DVDs. "Happy Feet" was surprisingly good and I can see why it beat our Pixar's "Cars" for best Animation Features at the Academy Awards.

Elijah Wood, famous for his character in Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins, was the voice of Mumbles... the lead character in this movie. Nicole Kidman, Britney Murphy, Robin Williams, and Hugh Jackman were among the actors who gave life and voice of these characters. It started out very entertaining and I love the songs, and the animation of tap dancing, which looks very similar to the late Gregory Hines moves. And then the story when kind of weird when they added live actors in this animation and ultimately tried to convey a "save our animals, save our planet" message.

All in all, Lan and I gave a 2 thumbs up (with 4 hands) because I still don't believe that it's as life like as Pixar's animation of "Cars".

Friday, July 13, 2007

I thought of returning my iPhone today!

Well, I was think about returning my iPhone today because today is not only Friday the 13th, it’s also the last day you can return your iPhone if you bought it on the first day (6/29) of the launch. Mmm… now that I think about it… do you think Apple purposely launch the iPhone purposely 2 weeks before Friday the 13th?

Well, initially I was ecstatic when I got the iPhone. (Read my previous posts regarding getting iPhone on 7/3). It was so cool having it in my hand and the GUI (Graphical User Interface) was so cool and never before seen in another PDA phone. I was really digging it so much that I was willing to overlook the “turtle-speed” AT&T Edge mobile service. However, the cool factor wore off pretty quickly as I found more and more annoying aspects of the iPhone listed below. The cool user interface and virtual voice mail is second to none. In fact, there are no other PDA phone can equal the iPhone’s “Coolness” factor.

  1. The AT&T Edge is way too slow for any real function for Internet use such as surfing the Web, retrieving emails, updating weather, updating stock market, streaming YouTube videos, and checking directions from the Maps module. Although if you can get to a WiFi hotspot such as Internet CafĂ©, your house, or your neighbor’s unsecured WiFi access, the iPhone becomes a much speedier Internet device. But really, most of us didn’t get the iPhone just so that we have to be near a WiFi hotspot.
  2. The virtual keyboard initially was pretty cool. Apple even has a video tutorial on it and it really got me sold on how smart the iPhone is initially. With the design of the virtual keyboard, it expanded the size of the screen. The keyboard is neatly “tucked away” when not in use and the entire real estate of the screen can be used for viewing video, movies, etc. However, the video is mis-leading. The accuracy of the keyboard is pretty low. In fact, during the 1st week, I had to type over and over again to get the right keys to register. As the weeks went on, my accuracy got better. Another draw back is that, I can’t type while driving, which is something I shouldn’t do anyway. However, if you live in LA like I do, traffic is pretty slow most of the time. I also have to type focusing on my fingers rather than the display which I’m not used to.
  3. No To Do or Task List – Can you believe it? I used to do lists and tasks lists all the time to remind me to do things with an annoying alarm. It will keep reminding me every 5 minutes until I’ve completed the task.
  4. Can’t directly Sync to Entourage (Mac version of Outlook) without using iCal, and Addressbook. The whole synching was a nightmare to begin with. Like most of you, I’ve been using a PDA for quite sometime, and I wanted to off load that information onto my iPhone. It was a monumental task to move it from my Outlook, to my Entourage, and then iPhone required the latest version of iCal, and iTunes to transfer data. At times, I wanted to chuck my iPhone out the window.
  5. Can’t copy and paste document – which is a major issue for me because I hate to re-type similar things or information from an email to a calendar event. Especially, I wasn’t that proficient with the new iPhone virtual keyboard.
  6. Can’t view websites created in Flash. At first, it would be so cool to use my iPhone to showcase my Flash driven website (http://www.tiamophoto.com/) but I soon realized that it won’t work with Flash sites because they require a mouse pointer which the iPhone lacks.
  7. Can’t download files nor applications. Here’s a real good one for you… are you sitting down? I signed up for a iPhone workshop after I got the iPhone with a local Apple Retail store. They sent me an email confirmation to my iPhone mail program. The email says to click here to add to my Calendar, so that it will remind me when my workshop appointment is near. Guess what, it can’t do it because it can’t download a file to add to my Calendar. Please bear in mind that I’m working with all Apple products and software and it’s not even compatible!
  8. Can’t use mp3 files you own or purchased from iTunes as ringtones, The preloaded ringtones are a little on the “weak” side.
  9. Battery life is horrible. I have to charge it every night otherwise, it would not last me for the whole day. Worse, the battery is embedded into the phone. Therefore, you can’t replace the battery or bring an extra battery. In fact, after a number of hours of usage, you must return your iPhone to Apple and have it serviced and have the battery replaced.
  10. It has a notebook, but it doesn’t sync with Memo, Notepad, etc. I keep many of my passwords to websites sign on my Memo module. I can’t use it with my iPhone.
  11. The headphone that comes with the phone is not so good. Because of the phone jack, it’s so narrow that any third party headphones such as the Bose headphones are not compatible with the iPhone phone jack.
  12. It needs more storage other than 8 GB since the OS takes up 900MB.
Summary: The iPhone is a great iPod/Phone combination... second to none. However, as a PDA phone it still has a lot of room for improvement. You're better off with the Blackberry Curve, Treo 700p, or the Samsung Blackjack phone if you need a PDA phone.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Movie Review: "Transformers"

Lan and I watched Transformers today. This movie totally rocked because it's filled with actions from the beginning to the end. They also managed to insert a comedy slippet in between the action pack scenes. Lan and I gave this a big 2 thumbs up!

Movie Review: "Knocked Up"

Lan and I went to AMC Santa Anita for "Transformers" but it was sold out! The next show is at 7:30PM and we have 3 1/2 hours to kill. Fortunately "Knocked Up" starts at 3:15PM and we sneaked in to watch this movie in it's entirety. We had plenty of time to get out of the movie and wait in line for "Transformers".

It was surprisingly funny. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl was electrifying as a on screen romantic comedy couple. But seriously, in real life, it's highly unlikely that Seth's type would hook up with Katerine's type. It's movie magic! Seth showed his range in this movie... first as a bum with no real direction in life. But everything changed when he realizes (with a lot of help from Katherine Heigl's character Allison) that being a parent means taking on new responsibilities. His character (Ben Stone) really took charge in controlling an angry OB-GYN doctor and a meddling sister in law.

Lan and I loved the movie... a 2 big thumbs up.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Most Popular Wedding Date of the Century 7-7-07

Today is the most popular wedding date of the 21st Century... at least for the non-Chinese families. We Chinese like the number 8. So, next year 8-8-08 (Friday) would be swarming with Chinese couples trying to get married on that date. It should be good business opportunity for me if I try really hard to target the Asian couples who are getting married.

Actually, I might not be available that day next year, as I might be planning on getting married with Lan on that day as well. She's such a great person and I'm so happy to have her in my life. She's very generous with everyone else except for herself. She's always thinking of me and for me. I love her so much.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Receiving my first call on my iPhone

From reading yesterday's post, you would know I got an iPhone. I spent the whole night charging the phone for the first time because I was too tired to activate the phone last night. The phone was half-charged when I opened the box. That was a nice of Apple to do that for us, just in case we need to use the phone right away.

Activation of the iPhone requires the latest version of iTunes and it allowed me to contact AT&T directly and activate the phone. The whole process took less than 5 minutes. I heard some poor fellow, took over 10 hours for AT&T to activate the phone. I really hate AT&T's service.

Below is a video of Lan calling me for the first time after I added her to the Contacts folder and with her distinctive ring.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Got my iPhone today! Yeah!

I got my iPhone today. Allen found a seller through Craigslist. He had 3 phones but all we need is just 2. He has the original receipts purchased on 6/29. It's brand new untouched, the seal is still on the box. He was willing to part with these 2 phones for a nominal fee... for his trouble for lining up on 6/29. Allen and I thought it was fair so I went to pick these phones up.

What's coincidental is that the seller is James Poon, one of my former scouts from Troop 206 (now Troop 283). It was nice chatting with him again. I'm glad that he's doing well in college.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Didn't get my iPhone yet.

I came in the office early this morning and Steve Graham told me that his wife got an iPhone and that Mark Friedlander waited in line last Friday at the Grove and got one as well. It turned out that there were plenty last Friday at some Apple stores as late as 9PM.

Boy, I could have gotten an iPhone had I made a trip to the Pasadena Store on Friday. Oh well, I can wait. I read the review and Apple has many areas to improve on the iPhone. It was kind a cool that Mark came by and show me the iPhone in the afternoon. He and I actually had a pact back in January that we will show each other's iPhone.. whoever gets it first. :-)