Category Archives: Personal

That one time when I saw Wil Wheaton at a Star Trek convention

I have no idea why I felt compelled to write about this tonight. I was reading my favorite blogs and winding down from an awesome day at work. And I read this post from Wil Wheaton about people who stake out at airports and other places to try and get him to sign something of theirs. Not that it matters because I’m not a famous person like Wil is but I agree with everything he said. Kind of messed up people do that to him and can totally see how he might be really uncomfortable.

Anyway, his blog post reminded me of when I first saw Wil in person at a Star Trek convention in Pasadena, CA I think back in either 2004 or 2005 - I can’t remember.

He was there signing copies of his book Just A Geek. He had a small table tucked away in the back. It was a few tables away from Rod Roddenberry’s booth/table setup of incredible Star Trek replicas (remind me to tell you my story about meeting Rod and doing some work for him sometime!).

It was super early so folks were just beginning to pile in. I was there helping out for something so I was in before they started letting everyone else in. This moment though was the perfect chance to go up to Wil and say hi before the chaos began. Ask him how he was doing, about this book, etc. And I didn’t. I stopped myself. He was clearly deep in thought, writing stuff down on a notepad he had. Wil was going to be meeting people like me for the rest of the day and the next two days. I convinced myself not to bother him.

And I kind of regret it now. Because in reality he is a geek like me and a cool guy (read his blog).

So my point is this: if you ever see Wil Wheaton out in public like at an airport or some other place and not at any sort of convention, don’t approach him. Just leave him be. But if you’re at a convention and have an opportunity to say hi to Wil Wheaton – do it. And don’t ask him stupid shit about Wesley Crusher. Ask him about being a geek.

Any advice for an European train adventure (honeymoon)?

My fiancée and I are getting married next summer. And we’re tossing around the idea of going on an European adventure for our honeymoon.

Screenshot (3)

The basic premise of the idea is that we go for about 12 days and begin the adventure in London where we’ll take two days to explore Great Britain’s countryside (see the Jurassic Coast, Stonehenge, etc.). Then we’ll take the train to Paris where we’ll see the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc. We’re thinking we’ll spend a few days in Paris. Then we’ll take the train south to visit the Mediterranean coast of France, then head over to Italy and Rome.

My fiancée has a pretty solid plan for the trip. When she told me about it, it filled up about 12 days but as I write it all down here it seems I am missing some pieces and forgetting certain elements. But I’m also looking for any recommendations on a trip through Europe by train and any suggestions on what to see, what to do, and what not to do! My fiancée and I look forward to reading what you have to say!

My first blog

I stumbled upon backup files of my first blog from 2004 this evening and had a good laugh. At the time, I had not found my “focus” yet in terms of blogging which of course eventually became Microsoft and Microsoft-related technologies (my first “real” blog was MSTechToday.com).

blog2004

I designed the website by hand using Microsoft FrontPage 2003 and a bunch of HTML coding. I wasn’t using any sort of blogging platform like WordPress. My “blog” was simply a collection of HTML webpages I linked together unsophisticatedly. Because there wasn’t any platform behind the website, whenever I wanted to add a update ( essentially what would be a “blog post”), I would create a new webpage, upload it, update the frontpage (index.html) with some sort of update linking back to the new webpage. Not really the most efficient way of doing things. I’m very thankful WordPress came along!

The content of my first blog was, as you can see in the above screenshot, a collection of just random life stuff. In 2004, I was a sophomore in college and worked at the local shopping center (a JCPenney store). The last “entry” or update I posted was 8 years and 2 days ago today and was an inside joke with a fellow co-worker.

The website was designed with my favorite colors at the time – I recall really liking greys and shades of blues. I also incorporated elements of my life into the design such as my family dogs, my bird, me and a banner ad for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (new at the time). I did all the graphics work using Microsoft Image Composer 1.5. I loved this app. It originally shipped with Microsoft FrontPage 2000 which, if I remember correctly, was the only way to get the app.

It’s interesting looking back at this and remembering how much I enjoyed not just posting stuff to a website but working on the website itself. I had a lot of fun. In 2004 I was just beginning to realize how powerful a website and eventually a blog could be to reach people and share thoughts and opinions that would lead to discussions and engagement with people all around the world. Blogging is a powerful tool even today.

Of course, I look at my website from 2004 and my blog of today and really do think I need to update my blog’s lame design.

Am I a geek or a nerd?

UPDATED 7/13/11: Some of the below has changed so I thought I’d update it and then pass the question along to folks again and see what kind of responses I get!

Perhaps you can help me out and determining something: am I a geek or am I a nerd (or both). Quite often, I have people call me a geek. Equally as often, I have people calling me a nerd too. And it seems that both hold slightly different meanings in society today – although I’ve yet to really figure out exactly how.

Here are a few characteristics of mine to help answer this question:

  • I love to build my own PCs (desktop PCs not laptops of course!).
  • I love to blog (duh?).
  • I hate math.
  • I used to draw and paint a lot as a kid. As I grew older, I did less drawing and painting and got into writing stories and eventually movie screenplays/scripts that my friend and I were shoot (high school).
  • I am reverse engineering the theme on my blog from scratch – barrowing code from the default WordPress theme to make things work. As you can tell – it’s a work-in-progress.
  • I love doing things to make people laugh. Ask my co-workers. Sometimes I do so at inconvenient times.
  • I do have a blunt sense of humor.
  • I am a huge Star Trek fan – mostly Star Trek: The Next Generation and on (and 2009 Star Trek movie).
  • I own many Star Trek “technical manuals” and can tell you where Captain Picard’s quarters are on the Enterprise-D.
  • I randomly quote movie lines from such classics as the Back to the Future Trilogy, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and *many* others.
  • I like listening to music soundtracks – e.g. The Dark Knight soundtrack is one of my favorites, so is Tron: Legacy.
  • I recently pulled up to a stop light next to a car with 2 nice looking women blasting the E.T. theme. Yes – I smiled and waved.
  • I recently discovered I could almost sing the entire song “Can you feel the love tonight” from The Lion King from memory. Why am I admitting this?
  • I dislike most Disney movies except for The Lion King and the Toy Story Trilogy. They better make a 4th Toy Story.
  • My music tastes are very eccentric – my favorite band is The Beatles, but have a huge 80’s music collection (remember the song “The Flame” by Cheap Trick?) and like a lot of the modern rock of today (Weezer, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Ear World, Linkin Park are some of my favorites to name a few.). Check out my Zune profile to see what I’ve listened to recently.
  • I enjoy going on long walks while listening to my music or long drives.
  • I love photography and taking photos. I like taking photos of landscapes and scenery. While I like taking photos I hate being in them and finding a good photo of me in it is, well, pretty rare.
  • I collect these “mini-figures” called Minimates from Diamond Select Toys. No they aren’t “LEGO people”. They are better!
  • Over the last 2 years, I’ve really gotten into Batman comics (Bruce Wayne returns!). Dick Grayson has grown on me as Batman and I’m disappointed he won’t remain as Batman when DC Comics re-launches all their comic titles this fall.
  • New software releases excite me.
  • My favorite animal is the Velociraptor. Oh sure, they are extinct now. But they were a real animal at one point!
  • Cats despise me.
  • I try to be a gamer. My Gamerscore on Xbox LIVE is 1020 1470 and it has taken me a while to get there. I tend to lean toward playing classic games like Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, etc. available as an Arcade game title on the Xbox LIVE Game Marketplace. Yet I spent $149.99 on the Halo Reach Legendary Edition. UPDATE – Improvement in my Gamerscore is due to Kinect Sports and bowling. I rock at that.
  • I like reading “Making of…” books on movies that show production art and talk about the making of the movie. In a different life I would have loved to have been a director/producer/production designer for movies. I just love this stuff.
  • I love sushi. I eat too much of it.
  • I did not like Avatar. Effects were good but the storyline was boring and felt ripped off from Fern Gully: The Last Rain Forrest.
  • While I did not like Avatar, I HATED Transformers 3. Worst. Movie. Ever.
  • I’m not a fan of 3D. Love HD though!
  • I love Family Guy. I equally love American Dad.
  • I really enjoy Top Gear. Jeremy Clarkson is a hoot. Those guys get themselves into crazy situations doing messed up things with cars and its hilarious. They’ve had me laughing so hard I was crying (such as when Jeremy capsized his Toyboata).
  • Getting into I love Fringe. I jumped in at end of Season 2. Enjoying the “over there” storyline. UPDATE: I loved everything about Season 3 and can’t wait for Season 4 this fall.
  • I heavily support manned spaceflight and believe we should return to the moon and look at going to Mars (I hope to see us reach Mars in my lifetime however recent events have casted doubt this will be achievable).
  • I like to bowl. I am quite good at bowling on Kinect Sports and like to of course bowl outside my living room in a real bowling alley too.
  • I love movies about history or historical events or people (e.g. The Aviator, Tombstone, etc.).
  • I also find myself “socially backward” in that I’m not very good at “socializing”. I tend to be shy.
  • I don’t like large groups/crowds.

So am I a geek or a nerd? Would love to hear what people think! No – dork is not one of the options.