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Help Desk Confessionals

I'm a systems administrator who provides tech support, data analysis, and report generation for about 300 users. No support staff. No other help. Just me.

100 things about me (Part 4 of 10)

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Jobs, Jobs and More Odd Jobs:
  • 31. First part-time job at UCLA: cashier at the book store.
  • 32. Best part-time job at UCLA: enrollment clerk at Registrar's Office - we get first dip at classes.
  • 33. Chief Registrar at UCLA when I worked there was Bill Locklear - father of one famous actress.
  • 34. Dream job when I was growing up - bus driver.
  • 35. Realized my dream when I trained to drive an MTA bus for two weeks.
  • 36. Quit bus driver training because of scheduling conflict with school.
  • 37. In my last year of grad school, I was working six part-time jobs simultaneously, for a total of 43 hours a week. Needless to say, I didn't do very well in school that year.
  • 38. Number of job I had after I left college: one. Years at current job: 15
  • 39. Worked 9 1/2 years for free as a programming intern at KOST-FM, a Los Angeles soft rock station famous for its "Love Songs on the Coast" program, which I was a part of.
  • 40. Waited tables for almost a year at a Chinese bistro. My claim to fame was pampering my customers and fast table turnaround.

Coming up next: Part 5 - Teaching Step Aerobics and What a Strange Trip it's Been

posted by Carl from L.A., 11:45 PM | link | 0 comments |

Metrolink Train Wreck in Glendale

Thursday, January 27, 2005

(From Los Angeles Times) A man apparently intending to commit suicide parked his SUV in the path of a Metrolink commuter train Wednesday morning, then jumped out of the way in time to watch a chain-reaction wreck that killed at least 11 people and injured about 180.

At least 10 people died and nearly 200 were injured when two commuter trains collided after one hit a car parked on the tracks by a man intent on killing himself, officials said.
(Don Kelsen / LATimes)
posted by Carl from L.A., 11:08 AM | link | 0 comments |

Investigators survey the crash scene in Glendale.
(Brian Vander Brug / LATimes)
 Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 10:38 AM | link | 0 comments |

The collision left a tangled mess of twisted steel and debris, including seat cushions, bloody towels and luggage discarded by fleeing passengers.
(Brian Vander Brug / LATimes)
 Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 10:37 AM | link | 0 comments |

Johnny Carson

Sunday, January 23, 2005

(From salon.com by Jack Boulware)

On the good nights, he was the second best thing you could do in bed -- but on his best nights, he was the best.

The most impressive feature was always Carson's opening monologue, sharp and topical, evolving with the nation's moods, delivered with a casual Midwestern air, textbook TV cool, each punchline set up with a completely plausible statement, as if Johnny were standing in line in front of you at the feed store, and turned to say, "Did you see this in the news?" When the material clicked, it killed. (Many maintain that Carson's constant hammering of President Nixon contributed to his eventual resignation.) And when a line bombed, Carson made an art form out of the recovery. ("You didn't boo me when I smothered a grenade at Guadalcanal.") In a narrow-casted, three-network world where comedy meant sitcoms and variety shows, his monologue provided an ideal cultural barometer for the nation, mixing in politics, scientific discoveries, fads and trends, strange news items, his divorces and even bawdy mentions about Dolly Parton or Linda Lovelace. If you craved a peek at the big bad adult world, there was really nowhere else to turn besides the first 10 minutes of "The Tonight Show."


Johnny passed away on Saturday, 1/22/05.
Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 3:04 PM | link | 1 comments |

100 things about me (Part 3 of 10)

Grad School and My Strange Relationship with God:
(Let's pick up the pace a little...)
  • 21. Grad school was expected in my family, not a choice.
  • 22. I was not very motivated for grad school, especially since I didn't take any break.
  • 23. I do enjoy Statistics. And Math.
  • 24. I was a T.A. in college. At 21, I was younger than most students in my class.
  • 25. One time the prof I T.A.ed for had to leave town, so I lectured the class. 90 students.
  • 26. I always had stage fright. Petrified whenever I had to go in front of people. Being a T.A. and later, aerobics instructor, helped me overcome those fears.
  • 27. I was born and raised Catholic, but in grad school, a friend got me involved in a fundamental Christian church.
  • 28. I can't stand Catholics ever since.
  • 29. Among things I believe: God created the heaven and the earth (yes, in seven days), Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Jesus is the Son of God, Christ's second coming, etc, etc.
  • 30. I believe that if we can bring God to our level of understanding and can invoke him at will - that's not God, that's Genie.

Coming Up Next: Part 4 - Jobs, Jobs and More Odd Jobs

posted by Carl from L.A., 1:15 PM | link | 0 comments |

My Nerd Score

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I scored only a 76. Whew!

I am nerdier than 76% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

posted by Carl from L.A., 1:55 PM | link | 3 comments |

100 things about me (Part 2 of 10)

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Undergrad Years:

  • 11. UCLA was my second choice for university, the first was Stanford. I didn't get in to Stanford.
  • 12. I picked Chemistry as my major (a mistake, ha ha) and was planning on going to med school.
  • 13. I found myself not motivated for any classes except for Math, so instead of flunking out of college, I changed my major to Applied Math.
  • 14. I lived in the undergrad dorms of UCLA for four years (Hedrick Hall), plus three more years in the graduate dorm (Mira Hershey Hall). Why so many years? Convenience, mainly. I got guaranteed housing running movies and doing other audio-visual projects (slide shows, DJ for parties, setting up for comedy clubs and...aerobics) for our dorm.
  • 15. This was when I started collecting LP and 45 records and dabbling into sound equipment - my second year in college.
  • 16. One of my roommates in the dorms - we roomed for four years out of seven, was an art prodigy. He studied animation as a grad student and went on to direct episodes of "The Simpson", "King of the Hill", and "Family Guy".
  • 17. Somehow I applied to be a D.J. at the campus radio station, and somehow they hired me. I still remember reading the station I.D. : "Radio home of the Bruins, this is UCLA radio K -L - A, 83AM, 99.9 Cable FM, Los Angeles." Thanks, Bob Anderson, for getting me started in radio.
  • 18. Was never a Greek, and damn glad I wasn't.
  • 19. Proudest academic moment: Got an "A" in Math131A - arguable the hardest undergrad Math class there was at UCLA. I aced the final by scoring 30 out of 100, the class average was 15. Yes!!!
  • 20. Found my calling out of the UCLA Catalog one night. I was flipping through it one night during my junior year, looking for graduate programs I could apply. I almost got to the end of the thick book when I came across Biostatistics in School of Public Health. I thought to myself, "Hey! I can do this!"

Coming up next: Part 3 - Grad School and My Strange Relationship with God

posted by Carl from L.A., 11:37 AM | link | 0 comments |

Patriots Shut Down Colts and Manning 20-3

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Yahoo! News - Patriots Shut Down Colts and Manning 20-3

I had a bad feeling for the Colts about this game with the Patriots, despite Colts' QB Peyton Manning's record-breaking performance this season. Here are the reasons...
  • Indianapolis have never won at Foxsboro with Manning at QB.
  • The Colts are an indoor team who excels on turf, not on torn-up slippery muddy field that is the Patriots stadium.
  • The snow at game time further slowed down Manning and his receivers.

    It should be an interesting matchup between the Patriots and the Steelers next week.
posted by Carl from L.A., 5:16 PM | link | 0 comments |

100 things about me (Part 1 of 10)

Part 1: The Beginning:

  1. I was born in Hong Kong, on May 18, 1965.
  2. I have a younger sister, and two younger brothers. My mom and my dad were both school teachers.
  3. I went to a public elementary school (read: for poor people) in Hong Kong where my mom was a teacher there. I went to high school in Hong Kong at St. Paul's Co-ed, a very prestigeous school.
  4. I had a very hard time adjusting at St. Paul's - I was not used to being around people who were very rich or smarter than me.
  5. Salvation came in the form of my family migrating to the U.S. in February 8, 1979. We were the last of my family to immigrate here.
  6. I started Grade 9 here, and felt that schools here were very easy, very undisciplined, put too much emphasis on sports, and had too much extracurricular activities.
  7. I moved out of my family's house when I started UCLA. I was happy to leave because my parents always fought.
  8. My father was, and still is, the most evil person I've ever known. In addition to many verbal and physical abuse I took from him while I was growing up, he refused to pay for my college education, but instead made me work and borrow money. He said he would help me repay my college loans, but I am not holding my breath.
  9. When I was growing up, I was fascinated with two things: Numbers and Buses. According to the Yuan's Family lore, I was able to count to 100 forward and backward before I started kindergarten, and that I wanted to grow up to be a (public double decker) bus driver.
  10. I was born a speed demon - I still remember in driver's ed my instructor screamed at me "The speed limit on this freeway is 55 mph. If you go over it I'll flunk you!"

Coming up next: Part 2 - The College Years

posted by Carl from L.A., 1:02 AM | link | 0 comments |

Scenes from the Mansion (Part II)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Lori and Russell are modelling the use of the loft area on the second floor, which looks down, over the bannister, to the front door below. Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 8:06 PM | link | 0 comments |

The Kitchen - there is another counter out of view on the opposite side. Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 8:02 PM | link | 0 comments |

Radio Hosts

Friday, January 07, 2005

The following is the programming line up for KFI-AM (640), an All-Talk radio station in Southern California, as provided by laradio.com...

6 a.m. - 9 a.m.: Jesus
9 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Tamales
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.: Leo Laporte
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Dr. Dean Edell
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Jim Cramer
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Captain Dale Dye
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.: Matt Drudge
10 p.m. - 5 a.m.: Art Bell

Yes, we have Jesus followed by Tamales.

posted by Carl from L.A., 6:47 PM | link | 0 comments |

Scenes from the Mansion (Part I)

The Family Room (of the model home we are buying). Russell was checking the wiring.
Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 2:23 PM | link | 0 comments |

Happy New Year

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A gathering in Phuket Province in Thailand on New Year's Eve honored the memory of those killed in the tsunami that devastated the resort area.
Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 1:10 AM | link | 0 comments |

It's about time...

U.S. finally raised the amount it's donating for the SE Asia tsunami rescue efforts from $35M to a more superpower-appropriate $350M, after some arm-twisting of Colin and George W. I mean, c'mon, why the delay? Shouldn't we have jumped on this PR bonanza much sooner? Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 1:02 AM | link | 0 comments |