Archive for April, 2008

So Hillary won

Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary.  America continues to astound me by not wanting to change.  Why are people voting for a person who is derisive, malicious, and using fear as a motivator?

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Morton’s Seattle vs. Morton’s Singapore

With the MVP Summit coming to an end earlier today, I found myself with some free time in the early evening.  One activity I am fond of doing in Singapore is participating in the practice known as “Happy Hour.”  Specifically at Morton’s.  Morton’s is known as a steakhouse, however I don’t go there for dinner.  I go for the happy hour specials.  From 5 to 7 pm martinis are discounted and free filet mignon sandwiches are provided.  Delicious!

Much to my delight, there is a Morton’s 1 block away from me, here in Seattle.  A few of my colleagues were up for a drink so I suggested Morton’s.  I was curious how the happy hour here would compare to the Morton’s in Singapore.

Martini Price
Seattle – 13 USD (no happy hour discount)
Singapore – 8 USD  (5 – 7 pm happy hour discount)

Filet Mignon sandwiches
Seattle – Burnt toasted bread with a sliver of steak cooked rare.  The bread is thick and lengthy.  The steak is… the size of a US 50 cent coin.  It is small.  Mayonnaise and mustard are the toppings.  Plenty of sandwiches were provided.  You could take more than one at a time, and they came around frequently (every 10 minutes or so).

Singapore – Very lightly toasted sesame seed bread with steak cooked rare.  Bread is thinner but same size length-wise.  Steak is slightly bigger than the bread, so you get a piece with every bite.  Mayonnaise is the topping.  Depending on the day, the sandwiches can be hard to come by (every 20 minutes).  You can only take one per serving.

Overall the Singapore branch of Morton’s provides a better happy hour experience.  The martinis are cheaper and the steak sandwiches are meatier.

Microsoft & China

Found an article titled “How Microsoft conquered China” from Fortune magazine.  Written back in July, 2007.

The article says how Microsoft took a “quantum leap forward” by hiring Tim Chen to lead Microsoft’s groups in China.  Just an FYI that he has since left the company.

Divorce Generation

Newsweek cover story that focuses on the kids from Grant High Class of ’82.  The story focuses on how divorce shaped their lives and what their status is 26 years later.

Barack Obama’s Mother

TIME has an interesting article on Barack Obama’s Mother.

LAX hates me

Perhaps Los Angeles International “airport” knows that I write bad things about it.  Perhaps LAX (its Airport code) can manipulate the universe and dish out retribution.

As mentioned in the previous entry (which I was writing while still at LAX), I was connecting through Los Angeles to get to Seattle.

I made it to Seattle.  My suitcase did not.  This is the SECOND TIME IN A ROW that my luggage has not made it on the connection from Los Angeles to Seattle.

It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling to realize one’s suitcase has been lost.  To make matters worse, Alaska Airlines didn’t send out our luggage until an hour after the plane had already landed.  Picture a hundred passengers milling about the baggage claim, staring at the carousel waiting for the luggage to come.  Note that the flight landed at 10:30 at night so people were tired and harried.

Finally the baggage comes (people had already started complaining, one lady grabbed all the complaint forms she could see and dispensed them to the passengers, encouraging us that we should all write in a separate complaint to encourage Alaska Airlines to change).

People pick up their bags and leave.  A few passengers and I are left standing there looking at the 3 bags remaining on the carousel.  None of them are ours.  AARGH.

Walk over to the service desk, they tell me that *maybe* the luggage will be on the next flight from Los Angeles and that if I wanted to I could wait.  They gave me a whopping 6 dollar voucher so that I could have a coffee before the luggage came.

I waited.  Repeated the carousel process, still no luggage.  Boo-hoo for me.  I filed the claim and headed to the hotel at 1+ in the morning, feeling exhausted, weary, and frustrated after a 24+ hour journey from Singapore.

Welcome to the USA!

Los Angeles International Airport

Usually when I have to fly to Seattle, I fly from Singapore – Los Angeles – Seattle.  The nonstop Singapore to Los Angeles is lovely.  Sadly, the route to Seattle is marred by going through Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Airport’s terminal 3 is worse than East Timor’s’ airport.  Note that this includes the Timorese refugee camp that sits on the airport grounds.

Why is it only the US airports that make one take off their shoes when going through security?  (Do they do this in Europe?  They don’t in Asia).

American Airlines also needs to get its employees up to speed with what codeshare flights are.  I went over to Terminal 4 since my flight to Seattle was issued as American Airlines flight 6800.  Tried to check-in using the self-service terminal but the terminal states that I need to go to Alaska Airlines since they are the ones operating the flight.  Fine.

American Airlines agent pulls me aside and tells me instead to wait in the line for the American Airlines service counter.  I explain to him that the machine (and printout from machine) says to go to the Alaska Airlines check-in, which is in Terminal 3.  The agent insists I wait in the American Airlines line.

Fine.

I wait.  It doesn’t move.  20 minutes pass.  I become agitated.  Another American Airlines agent comes and asks me why I’m in line.  I tell him that I am checking in for my codeshare flight.  The agent then looks at me as if I have the intelligence of a squashed ant (which is how I feel after 16 hours on a plane with very little sleep) and tells me that I shouldn’t be in line and I need to be over at Terminal 3 checking in with Alaska.  As I thought.

Fools.

On a totally unrelated note, do you know that you can set Windows Vista to display an additional clock that displays when you hover over the time in the taskbar?  It’s a nice way to be able to keep track of what time it is in Singapore and what time it is in my present location.

To activate it:

1) Left-click on the clock in the taskbar
2) Select “Change date and time settings”
3) Select the “Additional Clocks” tab at the top of the displayed dialogue
4) Enable “Show this clock,” select a time zone, provide a label, click OK