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Back from Canada

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Janice and I went on a 10-day holiday in Montréal, Québec and environs earlier this month; just got back last week. We went to my best friend Manon’s wedding, spent a few days in Québec City, drove out east of there for a couple days, then went back to Montréal for the remainder of our holiday. I’m glad Janice got to see Québec, especially at a time of year when it’s not cold and snow-covered.

My somewhat-scant assortment of photos from the vacation are up on Picasa. Hopefully I’ll have photos from the wedding soon.

As if I needed any proof…

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

… of how awesome and cool Janice is:

[flower painting]

She keeps the above painting as a desktop image “wallpaper” on her computer at work. Partly because it’s dark so the other stuff on her desktop stands out against it. But mainly because it’s a useful tool for cutting off inane attempts at conversation from her co-workers. They ask about the painting, and she mentions it’s by an obscure artist, named Adolf Hitler. That shuts them up abruptly.

I guess you could call it Godwin’s Law for the workplace.

Legally blind to 20/20 in 24 hours

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

A couple months ago, after losing a contact lens at the office (I needed to pop it out to clean it, and failed to catch it) I decided that enough was enough, and the following week signed up for Wavefront-guided custom Lasik eye surgery. It took a couple months for my eyes to readjust to their “natural” shape following 12 years of rigid gas permeable contact lens use, but I finally underwent the LASIK procedure last Friday.

At a bit over nine diopters of correction needed I was (without glasses or contacts, obviously) legally blind according to California law. 24 hours after the procedure, they followed up with a quick test and my vision was at 15/20 for my left eye, 20/20 overall. I’m very pleased with the results so far; my only regret is that I didn’t get this done sooner.

Single no more!

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

I have a girlfriend! Her name is Janice; we’ve been going out almost two months now and things are just great. We met online (in my opinion she’s the only good thing ever to happen to MySpace) and hit it off almost immediately. She’s smart, she’s nice, and as if those weren’t enough, she not only tolerates my obsession with cars and motorsports, she shares in them.

She’s like the perfect match for me: she doesn’t mind hanging around when I work on cars, and best of all she remembers where I put down each and every tool. I’ve got her started in autocrossing and I think it won’t be long before she takes to the track as well.

I could go on and on about her but I think she reads this site and I don’t want to creep her out (hi Janice!)… Suffice it to say I’m absolutely thrilled to be with her.

The exciting world of automotive retail

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Been a very busy past few months. As mentioned on my racing site, reconstruction of my Evo race car continues. In the meantime I’ve been busy, and my latest undertaking is my (joint) acquisition this week of my friend Navid’s automotive parts and accessories store, eXtreme Performance. Here’s today’s press release:

San Jose, Calif. (May 10th, 2007) eXtreme Performance is proud to announce new owners Viet-Tam Luu (“Tam”) and Rahul Pinto, both San Jose locals, active race car drivers and sports car enthusiasts.

Luu and Pinto bring almost twenty years’ worth of technical know-how from their time in the technology industry, combined with over a decade of experience in car-related activities including exotic and race car brokerage and sales, sports car tuning and modification, and motor sports.

“Rahul and I look forward to an exciting and successful venture together in eXtreme Performance,” said Luu.

“We are eager to enhance and expand eXtreme Performance’s product and service offerings to better serve existing and new customers,” said Pinto.

eXtreme Performance, based in San Jose, CA specializes in performance upgrades and customizations for your vehicle. Whether you own a truck, SUV, sports car or a race car, we can obtain parts for your vehicle and provide installation services. We have access to hundreds of aftermarket specialty manufacturers and can locate hard-to-find items at competitive prices. If you are unsure of the parts you require, our experienced staff can help assess your needs and advise you about your options. With years of experience in the automotive and motorsports markets, we are able to provide quality service to our customers.

Our showroom is located at: 43 South Capitol Avenue San Jose, CA 95127

Our telephone number is: (408) 923-6404

We are located on the web at: www.xperformance.com

To use the term “friend” loosely…

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Writer and historian Henry Brooks Adams once wrote, “One friend in a lifetime is much, two are many, three are hardly possible. Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim.”

I wonder what Adams, were he alive today, would have to say about MySpace?

Sure, it’s a “social networking” site, the point being to “network”—form social relationships with other people. But how meaningful can a relationship with another person be, when one is, say, one out of 245? I’m fairly distrustful of anybody who has more than a few dozen “friends” on their MySpace account. Is “friend” a “best friend since childhood” or “someone they once greeted at a party”? Naturally one can expect more of the latter than the former, but I also see a lot of people with MySpace “friends” with whom they’ve never so much as spoken or written a word.

True, I can’t “know” that for a fact, but it stands to reason because I get “friend requests” from people whom I don’t know, who have never before made any attempt to communicate with me. Moreover, on the odd occasion where I’ve accepted them into my list of friends, they’ve never followed up with any further communication… So what was the point? It renders the whole social networking—much less the term “friend”—completely trivial and meaningless. People do it, I suppose, because it requires less effort than introducing themselves via an E-mail message, but what does it say about them, that typing a few words (instead of clicking the mouse a couple times) is too much effort?

Maybe I’m not hopeless after all

Monday, February 12th, 2007

I’ve been casually browsing the personals ads on CraigsList, replying to a select few that pique my interest. Much to my annoyance and frustration, I’ve never received so much as a whisper of a reply to any of my enquiries.

Tonight I figured out why. It turns out that the way I’d been replying to messages: cut-and-pasting the CraigsList-specific E-mail address, subject line and message text into my Gmail web client, simply doesn’t work. For some reason the CraigsList message forwarding service refuses to forward such messages. Only by clicking on the E-mail link and using my own local mail reader am I able to issue a reply that gets through. I verified all of this by sending a few different test replies to my own CraigsList ad.

I wish the messages that I sent out “incorrectly” would have bounced though, as that would have saved me considerable trouble and vexation.

Stupid blogging tricks

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Yes, I’m totally lame for posting a placeholder at the last minute so that I would have a blog entry in January. It’s my website, I’ll do what I want! 😉

Anyway I’ll have an update real soon. Promise.