Catch me on...

Inspiration

Wednesday
Oct312012

The Art Of Pong

The Battle - The Art Of Pong.  This is definitely one of the funniest videos that I've been a part of.  It all started with our Halloween costumes.  I was dressed up as an old Kung Fu master which spawned an idea of a quick and fun video project at work.  Being heavily influenced by old 70's kung fu films, I wanted to use that theme and create a table tennis version.  It had to have all the typical elements: young hero, old master, arch rival, and of course, bad dubbing.  We threw the video together in a day, and I'm really proud of this hilarious project that the team was able to put together.  Steven Chan played a great young hero, Michael Squires was perfect on his acting, and Rich Heo did a great job on filming and editing.  Go Team JOOLA!

Sunday
Oct282012

A conversation with a craigslist scammer.


 

I've been trying to sell a camera on craigslist, and have been getting bombarded with emails from scammers.  I decided to finally have some fun with one of them. And just to fill you in, the scam that they are trying to run can be found here. My reply, has been inspired by a website my friend Matt has introduced me to, www.dontevenreply.com. Enjoy and also beware!

Kean Oil <bknite7@gmail.com>:

is the item still available?

Me:

Yes

kean oil <bknite7@gmail.com>:
I'm interested in the immediate purchase of this item i will be paying you a sum of $1650 i will want to complete the transaction in a very timely manner and i will like you to ship out the item through via LOCAL POST MAIL if you can do this, email me with your paypal id so that i can proceed with payment right away.let me quickly say that i will be sending this unit to my son in WEST AFRICA ,he need this item urgent for his birthday gift,i will be happy if u can email me bac know..

Me:
Local post mail won't be timely.  How about you pick it up from me and pay with cash and then fly over to visit your son and hand it to him?  I mean, it is his birthday, so you should see him on his birthday right? I bet he would be SOOOO Happy to see his dad on his birthday!

kean oil <bknite7@gmail.com> :
Thanks for the reply, and I really know how you feel, but I am so happy for the answer, actually I live in california, and I would cometo the pick up but am not in the state right now and I want you to do me a favor by sending this item to my son in AFRICA ,so if you don'thave any account with paypal do logon to  WWW.PAYPAL.COM and return to me with the email address you use so that I can proceed with payment as soon as possible. and that is why i including plus the shipping price 

Me:
Wow, you're in California?  Actually you know what, I think I might take a vacation to West Africa. When is his birthday? I want to make sure your son's birthday is special! I'm willing to do this since you seem like a really nice guy. I will book a flight, and rental car, and take it directly to him.   Please send me his address right away.

kean oil <bknite7@gmail.com>:

Hello i think i have to explained to you that am a (Ocean-Photographer) i worked main offshore am not available to give you a call due to the nature of my job i can only give you a text message to your mobile phones, Cell phone using is restricted here so this is the reason why am not available to give you a call i also wish to call you but due to that i do not have the chance to give you aring to your mobile i can only text get back to me soon to know what we can do about that,

Thanks.

Me:
Hi Kean Oil,

That is crazy!! I am an ocean photographer too!! I'm on a job on the Atlantic ocean right now. There is a hurricane coming, so the water has been pretty rough lately.  Which ocean are your taking photos of?  I too, can't call you either. And I could probably text as well.  But why text each other when we can email each other, just like we have been doing!  It seems like you've been able to send me a lot more info via email anyways. So, please send me your son's address as soon as you can.  I'm looking forward to my vacation in West Africa!

Me:

My friend Kean, I have not heard from you.  Did you get the last email? Is everything ok in the ocean?

kean oil <bknite7@gmail.com>:
your PayPal id..

Me:
My dear friend Kian,

I'm glad you are ok! I was very worried that you might be swallowed up by waves.  What ocean are you on? Hurricane Sandy is getting stronger.  We are about to leave the Atlantic Ocean.

You know what, you are my dear friend and I don't want to give you my paypal ID until you receive the product.  Why would you pay for it first if you don't receive the product? What happens if you paid me and the camera was broken or not in the condition you want? That would not be fair.  Send me the address, I can surprise your son with his birthday gift, and if he feels that it is in good condition and operationally working, we can then have you pay me.  I think that is the fairest way. Please send me the address asap.

-----------------

I haven't seen another response yet, but I'll keep you updated if "Kean Oil", the ocean photographer, does respond to me.

Thursday
Sep272012

A pick me up

As I was coming home from a late night out in the city, I noticed the gentleman sitting across from me on the metro. He was well dressed and his facial expressions made it seem as if he had gone through a rough day. At some point, he unzipped his bag and pulled out a piece of paper. I could see through it and noticed a colorful drawing that was most likely done from a child. His sleepy eyes opened up and a big hearty smile emerged from him. That smile lasted the remainder of my time on the train. It made me smile just witnessing that. Thanks to whoever made that drawing for him. Not only did it bring a smile to his face and uplift his spirit, it did the same to me. #itsthelittlethingsthatcount

 

Thursday
May242012

Hong Kong & Vietnam, I miss you.

I recently came back from one of the best trips ever. And I absolutely miss it. It all started over a year ago, when my friends Christy & Mantik got engaged.  They were having a wedding in the US, but also in Hong Kong since their family still lives there. The DC family (That's what we call our circe of friends here in DC) decided we wanted to attend and be there for such a special moment. We also decided to make a fun Asia trip out of it.  Some decided to go to Korea or China first, but we all met up in Hong Kong and then eventually made our way to Vietnam as well.

Hong Kong

Christy & Mantik's Wedding In Hong Kong!

In Hong Kong, we were blessed to have Christy's parent take so much care of us.  They are some of the nicest people I've ever met.  They housed us, fed us, and we were all fat and happy.  No seriously, we ate so much food while we were there!  Christy & Mantik also did an amazing job being our tour guides.  The things that I'll remember most about Hong Kong is the fun city life, riding the subway everywhere, seeing all the markets & shops, and of course the food!  And of course, the best memories were being with friends as we were a part of a magical day for Christy & Mantik!

Vietnam

A merchant working hard and still smiling in the market

The last time I was in Vietnam was 11 years ago.  It was my first time there and also the first time I got to meet my Dad's side of the family. Originally I was suppose to be there for a month, but I think I was only there for 2 weeks.  My dad's side of the family lives in the country side, a couple of hours south of Saigon.  No matter how much insect reppellent I put on, I absolutely got owned by mosquitos.  I told my dad that if I counted 100 mosquito bites, I had to leave.  And unfortunately... I counted 100.  Which was interesting because no one else got bit except me.  I joked that it was due to my hamburger meat.  Thanks, McDonalds!

So much has changed since I've been there. But one thing that hasn't changed, is the connection I felt when I was there.  Growing up, you hear stories of people being so poor, not having jobs, how hard and difficult it is to live in Vietnam.  Which most of it is true.  And after hearing this all the time, you get this picture in your head that everyone must be just miserable in Vietnam.  

However, on my first trip to Vietnam, there was a zen moment for me.  I just visited my cousins in Saigon and was with them at their box company.  It's this small little thing in District 1, right by the Nha Tho Du Ba (Saigon's Notre Dame).  Customers will come to them looking for boxes, and if they need a custom one, they'll make it to the customer's specifications. At the end of the work day, we all sat out on the sidewalk right in front of the store on a beautiful night in Saigon.  We ate food, drank some beers, laughed, talked, and I just remember looking at all of my family members and seeing the smiles on their faces.  And then it hit me.

It doesn't matter where you are, even if you are poor, don't have the best opportunities, etc, you can be happy as long as you are surrounded by wonderful people.  That whole picture I had in my head growing up was completely shattered.  And I felt so in touch with not just my family, but with all of humanity.  No matter what background a person has, you can connect with them on a deeper, yet simple level.

At the end of the night, I crawled upstairs through a small ladder above the box company to where my family lived and slept for the night.  I remember before heading to bed, I was just smiling as I fell asleep to the sounds of Saigon.

 

This time around, when I finally got to visit again, I climbed up those same steps of that ladder with my buddy Dan.  Reading about it, hearing about it, is no where near the experience you get when you finally reach the top and see this small little room that has a wide open window looking down on the streets of Saigon. I wanted Dan to experience it too, and I hope he did. For me,  I felt that connection again, and it's something I'll always cherish.  

Upstairs of the box company.

As I got to spend more time with my family and friends during that trip, that zen moment kept replaying in my mind.  I hope that one day others too, will experience that same feeling.

Thursday
Apr122012

iPad Paper app

My friend Dan introduced me to this great free app called Paper by FiftyThree recently. It's a simple and beautifully designed app that allows you to get your ideas on paper, whether to draw, sketch, write or scribble. You have the options of creating multiple notebooks, and inside each one is blank paper. The tools provided is a pen with different color options, and also an eraser. They have some extra upgrades, such as various style pens and brushes as well that you can buy individually or bundled for a cheaper price ($7.99 total). After playing around with it for awhile, I decided to get the extra add-ons.

I'm actually not that great at drawing. I've always relied upon technology to help express my creativity, i.e. Photoshop, Photography etc. However with this paper app, it has helped me get back into the joys of drawing again. I was really inspired by seeing the fun drawings of Dan and actually bought a stylus pen upon his recommendation. Take a look at this app since it's free in the app store! Anyways, here are some drawings of mine.