Sunday, April 30, 2006

Toffoo & Peace

toffoo sign at Delhi Palace

Interesting spelling of "tofu" at Delhi Palace, Tempe, Arizona.

Despite its funny name, Toffoo & Peace was pretty good. It is a dish with tofu (or soy bean curd) cubes and green peas mashed together. My personal favorites are Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Curry.

Delhi Palace is a good place to eat, but the inside is very dark.

P.s. I think "peace" was really "peas", similar to the dumb yet popular bumper sticker that says "visualize whirled peas" (World Peace).

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Gwen Stefani Witch

Gwen Stefani Witch

Has anyone besides me noticed the close resemblence between the very pregnant Gwen Stefani and that witch from Snow White?

HOWTO: Save Videos from YouTube Updated

I first wrote about how to save Flash format videos from YouTube was in November of 2005. Since then, many things have changed. One thing was the way YouTube identify their videos.

The original eleven digits of both upper and lower cased alpha-numeric video identification code is still used to watch videos via YouTube’s website or embed them to other websites.

To download the videos via KeepVid or similar sites, the eleven digit video identification code is still useful, but in case of KeepVid crashes, user has to “kick it old school style” by reading YouTube video’s page source.

Using the F-16 Crash video ( as an example, here is how to save videos from YouTube “old school style”.

In Firefox browser, open “View Page Source” and do a text search for


YouTube Flash Video Page Source Example
(screen capture)

For this example video, its public video identification code is b4Knsa7kBPE, but the internal prolonged video identification code is


Keep in mind that the code between “&t=” and “&s=” may be session-sensitive and changed every time the video is accessed.

To save the video, the URL path format is

By paste the above URL into browser would not download the video. The best way is to paste it into an email and send it to oneself.

The default file extension assigned by email clients (Gmail, Thunderbird, Outlook) when saving the video is html (hypertext markup language), change it to flv (flash video).

Media players like VLC can play flv files stand alone. To convert flv video to other formats like Quicktime or Windows Media, use CinemaForge.

Update: April 30, 2006 - Javi Moya has created an extension called VideoDownloader 1.0 for Firefox which would download embedded videos and media files directly from Youtube, Google, Metacafe, iFilm, and other 60+ video sites. (more)

Update: May 10, 2006 – Browser Opera caches Flash video (.flv) files from YouTube in its cache directory. Typically in Windows, Opera’s cache directory is located:

C:\Program Files\Opera\profile\cache4

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Does This Make Me a Bad Person?

By guest blogger, Boris Yankanitov

So I'm sitting at ASU enjoying my work day when an unusual sight caught my eye. I looked up from my computer screen toward the fountain outside the MU. There, on the ground, was a man lying on his back. At first I thought that ASU's ridiculous tuition hike had finally killed someone, but then he got up. He brushed himself off, retrieved his skateboard, and scooted off. I figured the poor schmuck must have hit a cord or something that threw him from his board. To my amusement, it turned out that this wasn't just a freak accident.

Within seconds, I saw the same yellow shirted skateboarder. This time he was accelerating toward the fountain. He jumped his board over the three steps up to the fountain level. He proceeded along his path, aiming for the steps down. Then, to my absolute delight, he flopped down the steps, flailed wildly, and promptly fell backward. He lay there for a few moments, then got back up, retrieved his board, and skated off for what appeared to be another attempt.

It was at this point that I took out my cell phone. I'm not a big fan of camera phones and that sort of thing, but I think I may have found a new interest in the topic. You see, my phone has the ability to record 15 second video clips. On this poor guy's next attempt, I recorded the action with my phone. I couldn't help but smile as he biffed once more and fell to the ground.

Let me just say at this point that I am not a mean person. However, I am a human, and as a human, I tend to find pleasure in watching people fall down. I think an explanation for this comes from the theory of evolution, of all places. You see, to the Evolutionists, we were once a quadripedal race. Once we learned to walk on two legs, things really started working out for us. At the moment we developed the ability to walk upright, we also developed the ability to laugh at those who failed to do so. I believe we take walking for granted; I think that somewhere in the ancient marsupial regions of our brains, it scares the hell out of us. I mean, how many other critters walk on two legs? It's certainly easier to walk on 4 - it's more stable as well. And when we see a fellow marsupial descendent fail to walk on two legs, we get giddy with nervous laughter. Whatever the explanation for it, it certainly is damn funny.

Back to the story..

As I said, I'm not a mean person, and if I knew the guy was getting hurt, I wouldn't think it was nearly as funny. Funny, yes, but not nearly as funny. Now, here I am, filming a poor guy fall repeatedly in vain attempts to... to... to do whatever he intended to do. And every time this guy falls, he flops around on the ground for a few moments, then gets back up and throws himself upon the ground again. It was almost as if he was doing this solely for my amusement.

And to make it even funnier for me, I just happened to be listening to Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" song. My personal music tastes aside; I hope you can appreciate my joy at watching this guy slam himself repeatedly into the cement as I listen to such lines as "Watch the monkey get hurt..."

Ah - that made my day. Enjoy the Quicktime videos.

skater attempt 1
skater attempt 2
skater attempt 3

James Blunt Parodies

British singer and song writer James Blunt is getting some flacks lately. Following his single “You’re Beautiful” success in 2005, critics have labeled Blunt as "music for bored housewives".


Several British comedians have also released parody music videos to illustrate Blunt’s uninventive lyrics and lackluster use of simplistic emotional messages without any real meaning behind them in his songs.

I recently found two of the parody videos on the internet.

videos: Windows media 8.26 MB or YouTube

In “Bloody Cold”, the tongue-n-cheek lyric took jabs at Blunt’s military career, rejection from other musicians, and Cockney rhyming slang meaning of the name “James Blunt” as "James Cucking Funt".

videos: Windows media 11.7 MB or YouTube

“Emotional Douchebag” has changed Blunt’s lyric to make fun of today’s “MySpace generation”.

Both parody films were well done and hopefully you will be laughing along with them.

Update: May 5, 2006 - US comedy television show MADTV has released its own version of James Blunt parody.

videos: Windows media 9.04 MB or YouTube

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

KY Fried Chicken

KY Fried Chicken

Yum, KY fried chicken.

Would you like the original recipe or extra sloppy, I mean slippery?

Make sure to try all their delicious creamy sauces blended from secret recipes and special ingredients.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jedi Breakfast

videos: Quicktime 9.21 MB, Windows media 9.94 MB, or YouTube

The short film, Jedi Breakfast, is about one young man complaining to his messy slacker roommate about leaving his lightsaber on the dinning table.

Although I am not a huge Star Wars fan, this short film was very entertaining.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pickpockets in Liuzhou, China

video: windows media 3.46 MB

Last week on Chinese Central Television (CCTV), there was a news clip about pickpockets in Liuzhou.

Thieves were using long metallic tweezers to pick unsuspecting civilians’ pockets at street markets. Various items including cash and mobile phones were stolen. Thanks to footages from security cameras, all twelve suspects were apprehended.

Too bad the newscast did not air their execution by firing squads. That part would be aired in the pay-per-view version.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

HOWTO: Save Quicktime Videos from is a great place for users to download video clips from various websites, except there is one little problem.

If you are trying to save Quicktime format videos from, intead of the actual video clip, you will receive a generic intro clip for

It is actually very easy to get around it by viewing the page’s source.

In Firefox, go to View, then select Page Source, or use keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+U.

Scroll down until the tag

param name="src" value="URL"

The URL is where the actual Quicktime video clip is located.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Chris & Stripper

videos: Quicktime 6.85 MB or Windows Media 4.50 MB

Throwing a party with a stripper is always fun.
Having a lap dance while being fed with jello shots is extra fun.
"This is the best party of my life",
yeah that is right, Chris.*
It is even more fun when Chris puke all over the stripper.

* I do not know this Chris personally.

Summer Drowning

There are only two seasons in Arizona: Spring and Summer. In other words, the weather here is warm or hot.

Similar to how some American use a groundhog to determine when the winter season ends, I use drowning as indicator of the beginning of summer. Not just any kind of drowning, backyard pool drowning involving children (elementry school age or younger) and their neglectful parents/guardians.

Some of you may think I am insensitive; perhaps my opinion would change if the kid drowned was my own.


You see, I was not just born yesterday. I know the common sense of keeping eyes on the children around water so they don’t drown. Unlike some other Arizonan parents would rather answer phone calls, catching the last few minutes of American Idol or any other crappy television shows, and let their kids play the never ending game of “floatie” (in case you did not know, dead kids sink down to the pool’s bottom first, then float up to the surface).

Perhaps the dead kids are at a better place. They may be in heaven hanging out with other dead relatives; especially when their child molesting uncle/neighbor will be there too. The way I understood about Christianity is that no matter how terrible a person is, as long as this person repents, ask for God/Jesus’ forgiveness, he will be able to enter heaven just like everyone else. I could be wrong, so don’t quote me on this.

Recently I got an email from local television station about doing on camera interview about my website.

I was excited at first, since I have done several radio and newspaper interviews, but never on camera. Then I realized it would be more work that its worth.

A typical local news broadcast is in a 30-minutes slot. Minus 8 minutes of commercials, the actually “news” is left with only 22 minutes. Sports and Weather segments usually take up half of that. The actual informative news would only be 11 minutes or so.

Stories about traffic accidents, increasing gasoline price, crystal-meth bust, state budget, and illegal immigration are always on the top of local news list. One item will always trump that is children drowning. With that kind of competition, the interview about my little website would probably be getting at maximum 2 or 3 minutes of air time.

With Phoenix’s temperature has already reached 90 F (32 C), I wonder how much longer it will be till some kid drowns and Arizona’s summer season officially starts.

Update: April 21, 2006 - 17 year old drowns at Lake Pleasant. This one does not count because he is over the elementry school age.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Resurrection Banner

Guadalupe Centro de Amistad
(larger view)

I drove passed by Centro de Amistad and saw this interesting banner in Guadalupe, Arizona.

Gun -> Candle holder
Rifle -> Shovel
Perpetrator -> Advocate
Nude Bar -> Women's Shelter
Aldonza -> Dulcinea

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter, It's On!

videos: Quicktime 1.84 MB and mirror

With the annual White House Easter Egg Roll fast approaching, hundreds of gay parents have announced plans to attend with their partners and children.

And while the White House hopes no one will politicize the event, we would like to make it clear that we will not refuse admission to anyone simply because of their sexual orientation.

So whether you are straight, gay or lesbian, everyone is welcome to take part in the festivities. Just as long as you are not Jewish.

Easter, it’s on.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mother, Tech Support's Nightmare

For seven years, I have worked in the Information Technology industry. Part of my job was to provide technical support for people that really should not be working with computers at the first place. It was more like babysitting technical challenged adults.

Granted, most of people’s computer skills have improved with time, but there are always the last few dinosaurs that are still struggling with modern technology. On many occasions, I have thought about replacing their keyboards with fake keys painted on wooden planks and to see if they would ever notice the difference.

Out of the thousands people I have supported during my so called IT career, I have never had a client tougher than my own mother.

Ever since high school, I have been my mother’s personal 24/7 tech support. When mother calls, I would dreadfully answer the phone and hoping she is calling for something else. Yet, time after time, it was for the same list of things, can’t connect to ISP, email is crapping out, can’t print, or the scanned images are showing upside down. Not to mention the hundreds of hours I have spend to covert Chinese DVDs to NTSC standard, so my parents can watch them in their Region 1 American DVD player.

Unlike working in a professional environment, where I can stop by the client’s cubical, do my job, and leave. A job that usually would only take 15 minutes would end up being an hour or so with my mother.

Why? It is because all mothers like to talk. Talk about what exactly? I have no clue, because I always zone out the exact moment she finishes describing her technical difficulties to me. There are times where the subconscious side of my brain would register bits of her rambling and replay back to me.

My latest adventure was installing a DSL modem for my mother. After years of cruising the information superhighway at lightning fast 56Kbps (interestingly enough, older people drive slowly on the highway too!), my mother finally decided that she wants more speed. It is about time, especially when the computer I built for her has so much potential than what she is currently using it for (AMD Athlon 3000+, 1 GB DDR400 RAM, 80 GB 7200 RPM Hard drive, nVidia GeForce4 256 MB video, Soundblaster live! Audio, DVD/CDRW, etc.).

I don’t know if this is a common thing among older people, they seem want you to tell them everything, even when all the information they wanted are packaged neatly in a pouch labeled “Instructions” or “Users Manual”. I am guessing by having a live person read out loud from a booklet is somehow satisfying for them. (Well, at least I didn’t have to wash the feet of one diabetic great-aunt. ha ha, this one is for you, Andrea!)

After ten minutes of playing with the DSL modem, I could not get a solid connection. Mother’s buyer-remorse set in and she panics. There is nothing worse than talking to the telephone company in one ear, and having your mother talking to you at the same time in the other, especially in “machine gun Chinese”!

Eventually the problem was solved, but for the agonizing 11 minutes and 53 seconds, I have lived through hell.

Unlike any other job, this one, I can’t just submit my resignation and walk away.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gospe Rats

What do you call a Japanese five member group plays Motownish music with black makeup on their faces (not the most political correct band comparing with American standard)?

Gospe Rats

Why Gospe Rats? The answer is simple:

Three members were from another band called "Rats and Star" and the two other were from "Gospellers".

My personal favorite is their single "Midnight Choo Choo Train". I was then later corrected by an anonymous commenter that its title is "Hurricane".
(Quicktime video 6.81 MB or mirror at Metacafe)

anokosayisuno midnight choo choo train

Yeah, sing it Gospe Rats!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Frenchflies and Cock's Blue

Andrew Plummer has emailed me these two Engrish gems.

"mmm, frenchflies..."

Cock's Blue
"No, for the last time, BALLS ARE BLUE!"

Saturday, April 8, 2006

How Geeky Are You?

Peter was so excited when he saw his product, a black t-shirt with white Japanese text that says “looking for Japanese girlfriend”, was featured in a recent issue of Newsweek magazine.

Jlist in April 3, 2006 issue of Newsweek Magazine
(larger view)

I was happy for him too; especially when he is the sponsor of my other site Hanzi Smatter.

I wish I could say the same about Newsweek magazine.

I consider Newsweek magazine as the “diet” or “lite” version of magazines that cover current affairs. Many of the stories featured in Newsweek are simply “fluff”. They do not provide readers with in depth insights, rather just superficial mentioning of a list of stories that have been chewed and spitted out by other news organizations.

Intrigued by the “How Geek Are You” quiz, I went though and answered all 20 questions honestly.

My score was 66 out of 102, yet I am classified as “Serious Geeky”.

Wait a minute, 66 out of 102, which is only 65%. That is equivalent to a middle D grade.

Shouldn’t “Serious Geeky” to be 90% or more?

Newsweek, what a waste…

Wetback Mountain

Video: Quicktime or Windows Media

Since the original story of Brokeback Mountain was based on Hispanic characters, Carlos Mencia has decided to make his own and the real version of the film.

It is called “Wetback Mountain”.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Roadside Bomb Wounds

Video: Quicktime 3 MB

"Most of these injuries are caused by shrapnel from roadside bombs. The wounds are dirty and ragged. The immediate risk is infection. In America, there has been very little coverage of this kind of aftermath of battle.

The second case in the theater is an arm wound, again caused by a bomb blast. There is nothing very delicate about war-time operations.

Nearly 16,000 American troops have been injured in battle since they invaded Iraq two and half years ago. 90% of the casualties happened after Americans were told it was all over. "

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Dead Fetus Discovered

Video: Quicktime 6.95 MB or Windows Media 4.70 MB

Q: What is worse than finding one dead fetus in a dumpster?
A: Finding one dead fetus in ten dumpsters.

Monday, April 3, 2006

iPod: Think the Same

I have always thought portable media players made by Creative Technology are much better than Apple iPods. Besides the basic function of playing music, many Creative’s players have other capabilities such as audio recording which iPods lack.

In last week’s episode of The Showbiz Show, David Spade has said somethings about the iPod that were just dead on.

Videos: Windows Media & Quicktime

“Do you really need to carry the entire box set of some crappy washed out band with you at all times? Taking the iPod to the gym is great, if you want to exercise continuously for 38 hours straight.

First you got the regular iPod fits 5000 songs, then the Mini, and the Nano. How about iPod Splinter? It fits 9 songs and a jingle. It is so small that you can jam it up in your fingernail.

Oh you can watch TV on your iPod. That is a real treat; I have always wanted to watch something on a screen that is smaller than my hand. It is also nice to know guys can carry their entire porno collection in these things, you know, for the pervert-on-the-go.

Check this out, iPod sock? Oh, not for your feet, they are made for this crappy piece of plastic. I would feel great walking pass by a homeless guy, ‘hey look, my iPod has socks, and you don’t.’

More than 50 million people in this country already have an iPod, by the way, here is Apple’s new slogan – Think the Same.”

Related: December 2005 - Creative Technology won patent lawsuit against Apple regarding portible media player.