Monday, May 29, 2006

HOWTO Clean LG VX5200

Verizon LG VX5200
larger view

I had this LG VX5200 mobile phone from Verizon since last November. Recently started to notice there are dust particles collected underneath its external display. There is a speaker vent on the top side, which is where dust particles enter the phone through.

I have tried using compressed air spray, similar to the ones used for cleaning computer keyboards, but without any success. Since there are no visible marks where screws are inserted, I don’t know how to get it open.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can clean my mobile phone?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

When Performing at a Coffee House

Coffee houses offer independent or up-starting artists outlets to show off their talents and gaining some grass root audiences.

Often these so-call artists break several basic courtesy rules I have, which automatically label themselves as “douchebags” in my book.

Using tonight’s performance by musician MB, the following is a list of things I thought I would like to share with everyone, perhaps independent musicians would learn something from MB’s wrongdoings.

1. Don’t Bash about the House Audio System/Music Choice

Ever wonder why the espresso machine is running extra loud when you are about to do that awesome solo or you are no longer booked at a particular venue?

Here is a fucking clue.

Unlike Starbucks, since most coffee houses are not equipped with Muzak, their music are most likely picked by employees or better yet, owner of the place.

By having such negative opinion of fellow artists and audience, you are actually demoting yourself as a musician. Especially when you do not know who is listening in the audience.

2. Talk Less, Play the Music

If the audience desperately wants to hear your opinion about current affair or social issues, they will ask later when you are out on your break. You are not here to be a stand-up comic, you are supposed to be a musician, so be one and play the music.

If you do have a joke that you really want to share with everyone, make sure it is going to be a good one and everyone would understand.

When I say “everyone”, I don’t mean just your groupies include your girlfriend, her sister, your parents, and your cousin just got released from the “big house” that needs to constantly call his parole officer to let him know where exactly he is at.

3. Stop Griping about how other musicians have "Sold Out"

Puhlease… The only reason that line still works is because you have yet got your big break. I want to see the day you turn down a fat contract by major music label because you want to keep your music “pure and free of corporate greed”.

By bitching about other musicians does not make yourself look any better or “true to the music”, you are just a little whining bitch.

Perhaps your girlfriend would agree with your choice about “being independent” now, but I am sure she would dump your ass as soon as she found out about when you have rejected a contract.

In case you did not know, the other name for “musician without girlfriend’s financial support” is “homeless”.

4. Garb Selling

CDs, websites, and mailing lists are great tools to help you to promote, but it is not necessary to announce them after every single song, by the way, playing with the whammy-bar for a minute and half does not qualify as a “song”. That should be taken care of during sound check.

What is even worse? Spelling out your/your band’s website URL over the microphone. No one here loves your music enough to bust out a BIC and scribble down your website as if it is the ten commandments.

Hosting your band on MySpace is almost like labeling yourself “Pedophile Friendly”. Do not be a cheapskate, spend the extra $15 and get yourself its own internet domain.

5. The Closing Set

Be sure to thank everyone during or after your closing set, not just your girlfriend (whom will later suck your cock because you just made $20 on tips). Thank everyone, do some name dropping if you have to.

Let’s start with the audience who gave up two hours of their lives listening to your jam. Then the employees of the coffee house, especially the one barista who is also an aspiring musician, whose music taste you just dissed two hours ago.

Last, you may now thank your groupies, even though they probably had better plans with their Saturday night, yet they still came out to show they support for you.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cannibals in Arizona

When I first saw the cover of the latest issue of New Times, I did not think much of it. It shows chef Kazuki "Kaz" Yamamoto posing in a meat locker with a a baby seal's severed head.

As I read passed the parts about people pay tens and thousands of dollars to consume meat from exotic animals, it did not bother me a bit.

After all, I have had my share of jellyfish, sea cucumbers, shark fins, and variety of mystery meats.

New Times - Xtreme Cuisine
article link or pdf

The article did take a disturbing turn towards end, it says:

Placenta pâté has long been a part of Yamamoto's repertoire, but it's not the only human flesh he's willing to prepare for customers eager to experiment with cannibalism.

Yamamoto presented me with three plates, one with a slice of human liver sautéed with onions, another with a hunk of muscle torn from a human leg that had been deep fried, and a third of a side of poached hufu, a faux human flesh product that bills itself as the "Healthy Human Flesh Alternative".

As if these revelations were not bizarre enough, Yamamoto admitted that he has an unsavory agreement with some local mortuaries to harvest kidneys and other internal organs for him from children and teenagers who have died in car accidents. But Yamamoto's ultimate desire to prepare the most unthinkable of dinners is what really sends shivers down my spine.

"One day I hope I can cook whole Mexican," sighs Yamamoto. "Maybe baby Mexican that mother sell to me. Then I make for my good friend Jon Kyl. I know Senator will like to eat Mexican. He only likes Mexican when on his dinner plate." (more)

The best part of all this? I was reading this while eating at Filiberto's, a place that is rumored to serve stray animals on diners' plates.

Update: May 14, 2006 - Is Kazuki “Kaz” Yamamoto a Hoax?

Unlike The Onion, Phoenix New Times is not known to publish many satire articles. Also Yamamoto's client list does include several well-known locals and celebrities, if the story is real, I am sure themselves or their publicists would release statements.

In the original Phoenix New Times article by Stephen Lemons, it mentioned an interesting story about Kazuki Yamamoto and why he came to US. According to the article, Kazuki Yamamoto “accidentally” killed a man named Nabu Sato in 1999 while working at an Osaka sushi restaurant by serving him fugu (puffer fish) liver.

Although Yamamoto was eventually acquitted by Japanese court with help from attorney Bennie Matsukawa, Yamamoto was blacklisted in Japanese culinary world. The Mainichi Shinbun, one of the largest dailies in Japan, printed Yamamoto's photo and called for him to commit seppuku, or ritual disembowelment, in disgrace.

Since I read the article, I have contacted several friends including one journalist in Japan asking them to look for this particular story. So far nothing has came up.

I have also called Phoenix New Times (602-271-0040) as well as sent email to Stephen Lemons ( himself, no response from either.

Perhaps this is a publicity stunt to drum up business for Kazuki Yamamoto?

Update: May 21, 2006 - Stephen Lemons called and confirming this as a hoax. (Thanks to Matt Norwood for the mp3)


“[This is Stephen Lemons] just returning your call. Just want you to know that the article you have read is a spoof/satire/parody. About every year or so, Phoenix New Times does a spoof. This year, this is the spoof we did. Basically, none of the article is true, it was meant to be a satire. And you may want to let anyone to know that. Like I said, if you have any other questions, feel free to give me a buzz back at (602) 229-8426. Thanks a lot, bye bye.”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

HOWTO: Save Embedded Video from NBC Site

NBC has some good video clips on their video site, but they are embedded to prevent visitors from downloading them.
“Now, instead of searching the web for ‘borrowed’ NBC highlights, you can go to the source! We've taken your viral favorites and gathered them into one convenient location. Watch. React. Tell a friend.”
Whatever you say, NBC.

I am a believer of “if you don’t want people to have your files, don’t put them on the internet.”

Actually, all the videos are in Windows Media Video (wmv) format and they are quite easy to download as long as you know where to look.


Using “Laser Cats” as an example, here is how you can download NBC’s videos and share them with your friends (instead of only watching them on NBC’s site with that stupid Flash video player).

Open the page source, search for or scroll down to “MAIN CONTENT BEGIN”.

(screen capture)

The video’s location is in the CONFIGURATION section:

var pathToASX='/nbc/Video/asx/';
var isIE = (navigator.appName.indexOf('Microsoft')+1);
var content='Saturday_Night_Live/snl_1445_lasercats';

and few lines down, it shows the URL format which directs to an Advanced Stream Redirector, or asx file:


Since the embedded video page’s URL is:

Using the URL format shown above, the asx file is this:

(screen capture)

Copy and paste the URL from asx file shown above into URLSnooper to get the wmv file.

(screen capture)

Use SDP Downloader to save the file.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Adidas Superstar by NEIGHBORHOOD

If you are paying $1,000 for a pair of Adidas Superstar, would you be interested in what are written on your sneakers?

is Japanese kanji meaning “one”, commonly it is written as . means “style, system, formula, rule”.

In Japanese, (or ) means “a complete set”.

Granted, there are only 300 pairs of these Adidas Superstar 35th Anniversary Consortium edition available world wide, and this line of these sneakers was designed by Japanese street fashion house “Neighborhood” (although, I personally have never heard of them), $1,000 is still a large sum of money. Last time I checked, Nike’s Lebron James "self suspicion" line was only $320.

It must be nice to know Adidas is pricing these sneakers in pairs rather than individual pieces.

On a related note, about two months ago, Adidas was planning to release a line of sneakers called the “Yellow Series” priced at $250 per pair. Eventually the plan was scrapped when the caricature Adidas used on its sneakers was regard as racist.

Update: Amy Ruth was selling them at 90,300 Yen (or $800) per pair and they are sold out. $1US = 112.575 Yen

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Apple, It's Pretty Awesome When It Works

For years, people loved to watch Bill Gates making a fool out of himself when products made by his company fail to respond during presentations.

Apple recently has launched a new ad campaign pitting Mac against PC. Adrants had this to say:

“This time, it does it with human characters who take on the mythical qualities of the PC versus Mac argument - PCs always crash, macs never do. PCs freeze all the time. PCs get viruses, Macs don't. PCs have terrible software, Macs don't. Macs are all about plug and play, PCs aren't. It's a nice campaign but if you've used both a PC and a Mac, you know full well, this is all bullshit. Each platform has its benefits and its downfalls. The campaign, though, does continue Apple's brand goal of positioning itself as the hipper alternative to the PC's staid, mass image. Apple will always be the cooler choice. It just might not always be the more popular one.”


Finally there is a blooper video of Apple’s chairman Steve Jobs shoving foot in his mouth, can’t get Mac to connect to a camera, and using the following quotes during keynote demonstrations:

“Trust me, it works.”
“Alrighty, yep, I’ve got a little bug here.”
“That should give me it, oh, no, Eddie? Just refresh?”
“That is why we have backup systems here.”
“Alright, there we go. No? Golly golly golly…”
“It’s pretty awesome when it works.”

Unlike Steve Jobs and Apple computer company, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could not fire a machine gun properly, it was because the machine gun was not made by al-Qaida!

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Armless Handicapped Parking Spots

I saw these newly painted blue and white signs in local Chevy's restaurant's parking lot.

Armless Handicapped Parking Spot 02

In each sign, the stickman figure did not have any arms/armrests for its wheelchair, which led me to believe these spaces are reserved for armless handicapped people.

If they don't have any arms, how would they drive?

Armless Handicapped Parking Spot 01

How did the painters manage to f*ck these ones up, when you can still see the old sign underneath?

The regular signs for handicapped parking look like this.

This shows the type of "quality work" can be done by American labors, when the Hispanics are at immigration rally.