Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung's Blog

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Ultimate random encounter

Played Ultimate today and I guess I looked like I really didn't know what I'm doing out there b/c several people asked if it was my first time playing. I had played before like way back in junior high school in gym class and then like 1 or 2 small games since, but never with people that actually played the sport. I had a lot of fun and I think I got like 4 or 5 points!

While helping a friend put up shelves in her new apartment, one of her friends comes to pick-up my friend's old dining table and chairs and low and behold, Peter, my fellow Canadian intern who started the same day as me, is helping her b/c of his monster truck. What are the chances? Crazy security people... We all went out for a beer after.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Seriously, it's warmer in Canada

End of June. I'm wearing jeans and a sweatshirt on top of my t-shirt and I'm cold. I am from Winterpeg. DOUBLE-YOU TEE EFF?!?!?!???!?!?!

Frickin' San Francisco is freezing. This is not summer. This is not California. In California, you are in swimming trunks all the time and have to resist the urge to take your shirt off to keep cool.

Went up to SF for a Giants (baseball) game, as Google bought tickets for the interns to go (and also gave us $20 in Giants bucks to buy food, beer, etc.). It was definitely not summer. Windy, cold, foggy/overcast. Not sunny California by a long shot. If it wasn't for the wind, it would have been decent with jeans and a sweatshirt, but still, it's "SUMMER". With the wind it was rather chilly at times. IT IS THE END OF JUNE. Seriously, it's warmer in Canada. No jokes.

Stupid ocean currents are going the wrong way and the ocean and bay water is so cold (~10 degrees) that it causes all this fog and makes San Francisco much colder than say, Palo Alto or Mountain View.

I brought a sizeable number of sleeve-less t-shirts expecting that I would be wearing them a lot. Boy was I wrong.

Oh, btw, "we" won! We hit a grand slam!

And on another note, this is my Pi'th blog post!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Off-site and Gay Pictures

A little bit of air while jump serving

Note: Not a blow-up of the previous image!

Hey! I'm trying to play volleyball!

Google event. Of course there's free lunch!
Clockwise: Brian, Michele, Jon (Canadian), Ari, Vince (Canadian), James, Mark, Adam (Canadian), Janna (Canadian). Heidi's missing. She's also Canadian!

Waiting in line for a ride. Check out the bling!

More Pictures
Thanks Michele!

All of engineering went to Santa Cruz (about an hour away) for the day last Thursday. Beach, free arcades, free food, free beer, free rides! It was a ton of fun. Played some volleyball, ate free food, bought food (Dippin' Dots and Funnel Cake), and rode the rollercoasters and rides (typical exibition rides).

More pictures from the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday:

Michele text messaging me for the zillionth time to try and find us

Michele and Jenny found me a girl

Marching in the parade and talking nerdy

I LOVE YOU JON! (Take a closer look on what we're sitting on)

Chilling at the lounge with mostly interns

The Google boys... in a gay bar
Michele, Vince, Adam, Mike, and Mark

More Pictures
Thanks Michele!

And in case you're wondering, I'm still not. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Thanks Tom

Yesterday was the last volleyball class for the clinic that I was going to in Sunnyvale. It was with Tom Jack, the coach of the boys team for Los Gatos High School and he runs the website.

The clinic was like 8 classes. It was ok. I don't think it helped me that much, aside from the drills. Actually going to the clinic was most beneficial in giving me ideas for how to coach. I want to coach like a junior high school or high school team once I start working full time. And right now I'm giving lessons to some of the interns.

I would have liked to have gone over setting. I also would have preferred more drills and less play. I was paying to learn, not to play. If I wanted to play, I'd go to an open gym since the players there weren't particularly good. Also, I felt that I didn't get enough feedback from Tom, as there were like 30-something students and just one of him. Plus, my form was already decent going in, but could still be better, but he didn't seem to concentrate on the advanced players. The biggest thing I learnt was to be a smarter player by watching the server and watching the hitter to anticipate where the ball will go - watch the position of the body, watch the arm, watch the hand.

I think I learnt more skill-wise from the Stanford clinic, especially with hitting, or at least hitting harder. It's too bad that Tom wasn't even there for the last class, apparently he had some other commitment.

I'm gonna try out for varsity this year. Either as setter or libero. Really though, I just want to be coached again and go to practise and get better, so if I don't make the team, I'll see if I can just go to their practises.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I was *IN* the parade!

Marching in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade
with the Gayglers and a bunch of interns
(yes, that's me on the left holding the Google sign)

Front of the Google shirts

Back of the Google shirts
(instead of the usual "I'm feeling lucky")

Another cause I feel strongly about

More Pictures

Adam: I'm in the Gay Pride Parade.
Adam's Mom: What? Are you like selling tickets?
Adam: No, I'm in the parade.

I was so bad at it that I couldn't subject any more of them to it.

  -- Mark on why he was walking in the parade

That's too bad because you're cute.

  -- said both to and by me

I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is.

  -- Someone's t-shirt

I marched IN the parade! Not along side of it taking pictures. IN the parade! My first time at one of these and I was in the parade (also the first time I was in a parade)! San Francisco of all places as well (like one of the biggest, if not the biggest). In fact, I was the parade!

It was a lot of fun! It was amazing to have the crowd cheering throughout the whole parade. A lot of people were screaming that they loved Google :). We got Google blinky pins to hand out, and while they're pretty crappy, it was fun handing them out to the crowd. I even held the Google sign for a bit of the parade :)

The crowd was tamer than I had imagined. I didn't even see any nudity. We saw some Google interns on the side at one point and we tried to drag them into the parade, but they refused. They just didn't have enough pride!

Afterwards, we went to Civic Centre where there were booths and tons of people. I heard Jennifer Beals (from The "L" Word) talk on stage, which was cool. We later walked a while to Hayes and Octavia for a drink and some good burgers. Jon finally caught up with us there. Then, we went to Castro (the Gay district) and went to a lounge and then a Gay bar, The Café. Michele and Jenny finally met up with us there. First time at a gay bar and it was a lot of fun. Having women watch guys using the trough was an experience. And apparently some women were using the trough as well! We made it back on the last Caltrain - 9:00 pm, which is way too early. It's awesome that my place is RIGHT at the Caltrain station.

And in case you're wondering, I'm not. Not that there's anything wrong with it! I'm fully comfortable and confident about my sexuality and I was there to support pride.

Yes, that's glitter on my arm
(there was more before)

The adventure is getting there

If it's any comfort to you, I have no idea where we are.

  -- me after Heidi telling a harrowing story, which was indirectly partially my fault, while driving Friday night and having completely missed the turn-off several miles back

The 880 is closed for construction, but it'll be more entertaining if I don't tell him.

  -- me after letting Michele take the lead after I missed the turn-off by a couple miles

Took us 4 hours to get to Santana Row in San Jose (the drive back was 15-20 min.). Blame Heidi for it b/c she was telling an engaging story. The whole way, Heidi, Adam, and I were telling revealling stories of our most recent break-ups and we were having a good time.

At one point, we drove past a 99 Ranch Market, which is the American version of T & T, and is a Western style Asian supermarket. It's the most amazing supermarket! So much good food inside! There were also strip malls of Chinese restaurants and stores. We got excited b/c we had finally found authentic Chinese cuisine! Michele was not so happy with us at this moment and didn't answer his cell, so I U-turned and we ate there :). So good :). My stomach was content. I haven't had authentic Chinese food for like months. We also went for dessert after in an Asian dessert place and it hit the spot.

Adam taught me a new way to type text messages! It's the T9 system (I know it's not a new thing, but it's super brand new to me). I had always been using the triple-tap crap (i.e. press "2" 3 times to type a "c"), but now I just type in the numbers corresponding to where the letter will be and it will guess what word it should be! Awesome! I can write messages like 10 times faster now :).

We eventually made it to Santana Row and met up with Michele, his roommate, and Jenny. We didn't stay long b/c Heidi ran off and we went around looking for her. She needs a leash.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Congratulations Becky and Alvin!

After last summer's 5+ marriages (John, Tom, James, Nusraat, Lindsay), this year was looking pretty grim. But Becky just told me that she and Alvin got engaged with the wedding date set for Dec. 27th! Ah, frosh relationships...

Congratulations guys! Thanks for telling me only now when in fact you got engaged back in Feb :s

So hot that I made it onto the front page of the website!

Me, Barbie, and not Jon on stage

Last weekend's shenanigans at The Saddle Rack landed me on the front page of the website! (Right after the ads, it's the first picture!)

Upon closer inspection of the picture, where is my right arm?!?!??

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Teacher for a day

Feel like all I did today was teach.

I gave a talk at Google to a crowd of mostly PhD interns. I invited my non-PhD intern and full-time friends to come to stack the audience in my favour. Pretty good showing. I'd guess on the order of 50 - 75 people. I gave my Video Epitomes talk, which is always fun to give and is fun for the audience because of all the pretty pictures and videos. It was quite beneficial for me too in that it got me in contact with two other interns working on similar projects, even though I'm not doing video or epitome stuff here. I can't say what I'm doing aside from "organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful".

Then, later in the day, I had my first session of volleyball lessons for the interns. I only had 6 students show up for the drills (which is a nice small number, but I expected more), but it ballooned to 12 when we played a game (some came late and we accidently picked up a full-timer off the street). I went over passing and serving today. I was quite pleased in the improvement that they showed. It just touched me every time one of my students served an ace or made a nice pass *tear*.

Neon Blue-Green

I wake up and do my usual #2 this morning. I always look when I wipe. WHAT THE HELL?!!?!1!ONE!? WHY IS IT BRIGHT BLUE-GREEN?!!!?!? WHAT THE HELL DID I EAT?!?!?!?!!

OH! I had blue linguine for dinner the night before. It tasted perfectly normal. Now we know that there was just a ton of food colouring, which apparently doesn't get digested.

It's all out of my system now. I saw the last of it a couple hours ago in my last expunge.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Weekend Pictures

Volleyball action

How about being a little bit more specific?

Don't ask.

I stole Adam's pictures and put them up on Picasa Web. Why? Because I can and I think it's a nicer interface.

AVP Pro Beach Tournament and the State Capitol


Monday, June 19, 2006

Screw it, I don't need to sleep this weekend

More Pictures

Busy and exhausting weekend.

  • Aperol
    • Went to a party with Michele and Jenny introducing Aperol, an Italian orange liquor, to the US. Situation around the aquisition of the invitation by Michele is still a bit foggy.

  • "Shut-up Michele and drink"

  • Do you believe in love at first sight or do I have to walk by again?
    • I found my "invitation to flirt" match with the first person we talked to.

  • Jon, you need a cell phone (Part 3)
    • Jon finally found us (after we left the party to get food at YoYo Sushi before heading to the club). He called me from the cell phone of some random person he found on the street.

  • GPosh
    • I don't think it's too much to expect quality food and service if I'm actually going to pay for food, considering that I get good food and friendly service for free.

  • Unmarked club
    • Not sure what the club was called, but it was across the street from the Italian furniture store. Despite my objections, Jenny tried to set me up with my "invitation to flirt" match, who was like as old as my mom.

  • I don't know what happened, but I woke up and it was 4 am and I was home
    • Lost while driving in SF, looking for Jon's place. Of course, he was very helpful drunk and none of us knew SF. Oh, and we didn't have any maps. Not sure what happened b/c I fell asleep in the car. Apparently Michele got pulled over right as he got to his place to switch drivers with Jenny, but nothing happened.

  • Sacramento!
    • Went to Sac with Adam (Jahmeilah pulled out b/c she was sick) for the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tournament. Only about a 2 hour drive from the South Bay.

  • Awesome volleyball
    • Saw Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger beat Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser (who won the last 4 tournaments), and then go on to win the finals over Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal.

  • Ah, Rachel...
    • Caught a game where Rachel Wacholder and Elaine Youngs beat Holly McPeak and Nicole Branagh. Hot and amazing at volleyball.... *falls into a day dream*

  • Roasting
    • It was SO hot. Like 35 degrees, not a single cloud in the sky, and the sun was just burning. The thermometer on the court was maxed out in the sun. Sat/stood in the sun for like 4 hours straight. I wasn't even playing and I was dripping in sweat. My arms were shiny and wiping my arms or back left me with a very wet hand.

  • Personalized schwag
    • Adam loves personalized things (omelettes, smoothies, sushi, etc.). We got autographed DiG magazines and the Men's tournament champions (Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger - played volleyball in high school together back in Hawaii) signed our bags, plus some other stuff. He was just touched by the personalized autographs.

  • State Capital
    • We checked out the state capital building and surrounding area after the tournament. Pretty nice, but we didn't get to see Arnold.

    • FINALLY. 415-308-427#

  • Peer pressure (Part 1)
    • Got back around 7:30. Exhausted after only like 4-5 hours of sleep, driving for 4 hours in total, and roasting in the sun, plus I had to get up early the next day. But hey, it's time to live it up. Decided to go out with my roommate, Amy, and her boy toy John (yes, I know you read this) and a bunch of their lawyer/Apple/dog walking friends. Figured I would just sleep Sunday night, but I'm not b/c I'm blogging :p

  • The Saddle Rack
    • I'm a bit little country... I know you know the words. Sing along. Wasn't too bad actually, actually pretty good. The band did play country, but not hardcore, and deviated later on.... umm... like Outkast. I had a really good time.

  • Haven't seen a club so white since Winnipeg

  • "I expected more mullets"

  • "It was him!" -- John
    • John framing me for slapping peoples' asses. But I guess it did what he wanted to do b/c she was very friendly to me the rest of the night.

  • Apparently I drank enough to dance on the stage... with the band

  • They all seem to be named Jennifer
    • So apparently if you meet and dance with a girl at the end of the night, her name is Jennifer. Well, at least this weekend.

  • Stalled 3 times in front of the cops
    • Amy had some trouble driving stick. Fortunately the cops only checked to see if things were alright and we came off clean.

Sunday (Pictures)
  • Peer pressure (Part 2)
    • Crashed at John's. Woke Amy up at 7:30 and convinced her to come surfing with me.

  • Linda Mar
    • We went to Linda Mar beach (in Pacifica) instead of Santa Cruz b/c it was closer to SF for the SF'ers.

  • Tons of interns, none of us knew how to surf

  • "Those are not beginner waves"
    • Massive waves and not so great b/c they were breaking too early. It was really hard to do anything b/c of that.

  • "Surfing"
    • I gave up trying to actually surf (which requires paddling through the massive waves and way out into the ocean and then just falling off the board and being pushed right back to shore), and instead, decided to just do my own thing that sort of resembled surfing. I just went like waist deep, waited for a "wave", which was just a rolling white mess since it broke really early, and then hopping on the board and riding it. At least I got to stand on a board and get pushed around by the waves. Snowboarding made standing on the board and the required balance more natural.

  • Need booties
    • The wet suit made the freezing water bearable, but my feet were freezing. Next time I'm getting booties. Seriously. You can actually rent them.

  • "Beach"
    • Hard to call it a beach when it's frickin' cold and windy. We frolicked on it for a while playing a bit of volleyball, but left after lunch b/c it wasn't so pleasant.

  • "Jenga"
    • Heidi started it. That's what happens when you give building block like things to a bunch of geeks.

      Stonehenge and how it got destroyed - dominoes

  • Human circus
    • Featuring: levitating humans, people walking on their hands, jugglers, human pyramids, human pretzels, ear wigglers, random human tricks, inflatable tv's, and humans immitating seals.

  • More pictures (the rest to come later)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Picasa Web Albums (Test)

My Picasa Web Albums

Picasa Web Albums (by Google) was released today in "Test" mode, rather than "Beta". I think they called it that b/c they were sick of all their products in "Beta". It's nothing particularly ground breaking, but it's pretty slick and gets the job done. I resisted using other sites (eg. Flickr and its variants) because it was a pain in the ass to upload lots of images, flipping through images was slow, and storage space was limited.

Picasa Web Albums is nice because:
  1. While it says that you're only supposed to have 250 MB, my account has 1 GB :)

  2. Uploading from Picasa is a cinch and that's the most important thing - making it easy to put the pictures up. The best part is that it resizes the images before uploading because there's no reason I need to have pictures 1 MB in size just for viewing on the web. This not only makes it faster to upload, but also saves on storage space.

  3. Viewing images is fast and easy. You can flip through the images by using the left and right cursor keys, it prefetches the images to make this fast, and since it uses AJAX, it doesn't need to reload the page for each image, which is really nice.

But it would be nice to have:
  1. Growing storage space like Gmail

  2. Tags/labels like Facebook, where you can label people/things in the picture by drawing a box around them

  3. Ability to SEARCH the photos

  4. Ability to upload in batch from Mac OS X and Linux

Here are my albums. Just random photos I had lying around. Pictures from my ATV camping weekend at Oceano Sand Dunes are up there. And of course there are photos of my grass and pet pictures.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hurry up and lose, we have work to do!

Pictures courtesy of Michele

I don't know how anyone gets anything done here. If it's not food, it's volleyball, shooting pool, maybe watching a talk, you know, anything asides from being at your desk.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Still no green card, maybe next weekend

I decided to come back from vacation. I was unsuccessful in finding a millionarie to marry me so I can get a green card and retire as a trophy husband. I did however, see a place for same day weddings, but unfortunately was missing the bride.

The drive down to LA on Saturday morning was 6 hours door-to-door, but that included a stop over at Google for supplies, breakfast, gas, and lunch. The drive back was only 5.5 hours, with one stop for gas and a snack, but it took me like 45+ min. just to get out of LA b/c of the traffic, so you can do the drive in less than 5 hours.

Didn't do much in LA itself, just chilled with Mimi, Anne, and Jamie. Nice relaxing weekend away from where I had all the stress of working 3 jobs. Now I can relax in California b/c I *only* have to work at Google :p.

The best part of the weekend was that I stayed away from the Internet. I watched them use the Internet briefly, but didn't check my e-mail or anything. It was great. It's time to boycott the Internet.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Done. It sucked. Going on vacation. Might not come back.

Oh, and this is post #300 for those of you who are counting.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What happened to the 3 posts per day?

Well, when you have a conference paper deadline and you're trying to submit 2 completely different papers to it while having to work full-time during the day (and evening) and playing 8 hours of volleyball in 3 days, you kinda become short of time.

I'm gonna go on vacation after Friday at midnight Pacific time (the paper deadline). Still up in the air if I'll come back from vacation. Check back Monday to see if I do.

Happy 666! This could only be better if I was blogging from my apartment in Toronto (666 Spadina Ave.)

Song of the day: Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man (listened to it like 50+ times today)

Who knew that spreadsheets could be fun!

Put a couple people together online, give them something to modify in real-time, and chaos and hilarity ensues.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

All girls slumber party

In homage to Jill's recent post, this post is only for us girls.

Mimi, Anne, and Jamie flew down to LA last weekend and then drove up here to San Francisco with Mimi's "uncle" and "uncle's" gf. It's "uncle" b/c while technically he is, he's like only a few years older than us.

I met up with them at their hotel near the airport late in the evening and we had an all girls slumber party! This being my first all girls slumber party, it didn't quite meet my high expectations with respect to skimpy clothing and pillow fights. I'll be sure to bring my skanky lingerie next time.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Compensating for deficiencies

In volleyball, I compensate for my height by jumping higher. That's how I can play against people more than half a foot taller than me.

Today, I realized that in softball, I compensate for my utter lack of batting skills by simply running faster. 5 of out the 6 times I went to bat, I managed to get onto the bases! But, it sure wasn't because I hit well. Even when my hits were caught inside the diamond, I still managed to make it onto first base by running my ass off. The one time that I didn't make it onto the base, they just got me. Even my running skills weren't able to compensate for that hit.

I'm pretty much a billionaire

Sergey and I think and behave alike:
  • We both use Powerbooks

  • We both use our Powerbooks on the toilet (I saw him coming out of a stall with his)

  • We both play volleyball in the middle of the work day when we should be doing work (it's really killing my productivity)

  • We both work at Google

All I need now is to find my "Larry" and become a billionaire. My mentor told me to change my "Future Millionaire" shirt to read "Future Billionaire" since being a millionaire at Google impresses nobody.
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