Archive for November, 2008

I Like to Move It Move It

 | November 23, 2008 11:29 PM

On Saturday, November 22 our realtor, Rainmaker Properties, hosted a client appreciation event at the local theater featuring Madagascar 2.  This was the first time for Victoria, Isaac and Dylan to see a movie at a theater.  And I think it was the first time that I had seen a movie in a theater since Dylan was born over five years ago.  Ji Seon recently got to see a movie at a theater during a women’s night out but before that I think the last time was also before Dylan was born.

We arrived right at 10:30 AM as the invite said and realized immediately our mistake.  The theater was already almost completely full and we ended up sitting in the second row.  I ended with a sore back from looking up at the screen.

Lunch was hamburger and hot dogs with cookies and chips.  There was a raffle and we are hoping to win the 32″ LCD TV. :-)

We were wondering how the kids would do because normally they don’t like watching movies, they find them a little scary.  They prefer more innocent fare like Dora, Cyberchase, Sid the Science Kid, Dragon Tales, and Raggs.  Dylan did just fine though he sat on my lap at the beginning with Isaac.  Isaac found some of the parts scary.  Victoria was not happy at all with being in a dark theater and Ji Seon had to take her outside and strolled her until she slept.  Isaac later left me to look for Ji Seon.  And at the end of the movie Victoria woke up so I took care of her while Isaac and Ji Seon returned to catch the last ten minutes.

Overall though it was a good time and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  Isaac and Dylan loved the song “I Like to Move It, Move It” and you will sometimes hear Isaac singing it.

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Last Tuesday, November 18 I thought I would take Dylan out to dinner.  Isaac wanted to come too so I took both of them.  We went to Chili’s because Dylan’s preschool last year gave him a coupon for a free kid’s meal.

The boys got in our Burley bike trailer and I rode to Chili’s.  When we got there they were very excited about ordering from the menu.  Dylan ordered a hamburger and mashed potatoes with lemonade.  Isaac ordered a corn dog and french fries with lemonade.

During the middle of the meal Dylan needed to go to the bathroom so I took him and Isaac came along.  In the bathroom the music being played was The Rockafeller Skank which I first heard in She’s All That.  Dylan and Isaac started dancing to the music and having a great time.  Isaac exclaimed “This music makes me move!”

I don’t think we will go to Chili’s again because the service was not very good. But we did enjoy the music.

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Fantasy Basketball H2H Trades

 | November 21, 2008 12:11 PM

This week I made two trades in my head to head league.

Tue, Nov 18 12:27 PM PST I accepted the following trade offer.  It went through Thu, Nov 20, 12:31 PM PST.  Looking at the 2009 stats it looks unfavorable.

PR PRK GP FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
Tayshaun Prince 7.17 7 11 .453 .872 1.2 7.5 3.1 0.6 0.6 16.2
for
Shawn Marion 4.76 17 10 .467 .632 0.4 9.0 1.2 1.3 1.8 11.4

But it looks quite good based on the 2009 projections.

RNK FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
Tayshaun Prince 109 .453 .767 0.8 4.9 3.0 0.6 0.5 13.6
for
Shawn Marion 7 .517 .764 1.1 10.4 2.0 2.0 1.5 17.1

My reasoning for the trade is that Shawn Marion is a 1st to 2nd round player and his average ESPN draft position was 10th.  Tayshaun Prince’s average ESPN draft position was 95th and I took him in the 8th round.

I think Tayshaun Prince is going to have a great season while I expect Shawn Marion not to live up to expectations.  In the worst case scenario Tayshaun may have a better season but I think the most likely scenario is that Shawn does better.  One concern with Tayshaun is that he has to share the ball with the selfish Allen Iverson and also the scorers Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace.

Shawn is clearly not going to be the number one option in Miami but hopefully he will be number two, it depends on Michael Beasley’s growth as a player.  I actually would not be surprised to see Shawn traded, maybe to the Lakers which would not be good for his numbers.

Also I had to do the deal because I needed a power forward which Shawn Marion qualifies.  I had no idea I would soon be getting another power forward.

Shortly afterwards I made another trade at Tue, Nov 18 10:01 PM PST. It went through Thu, Nov 20, 10:31 PM PST. Again it is another trade where the 2009 stats look bad but the 2009 projections look good.

PR PRK GP FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
Nate Robinson 7.68 6 11 .468 .750 2.0 4.0 4.4 2.1 0.0 13.9
Jameer Nelson 5.59 11 11 .481 .944 0.9 4.1 4.5 1.0 0.0 13.7
for
Josh Smith -0.74 85 4 .426 .571 1.0 8.0 1.3 2.3 2.5 12.0

Josh Smith is a second round player, average ESPN draft position of 18, while Nate Robinson and Jameer Nelson weren’t even drafted onto peoples’ starting rosters with average draft positions of 111 and 115 respectively.

RNK FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
Nate Robinson 141 .423 .777 1.4 3.2 2.8 0.9 0.0 13.3
Jameer Nelson 107 .459 .821 1.0 3.4 5.3 1.0 0.1 12.4
for
Josh Smith 17 .450 .708 0.4 8.1 3.2 1.4 2.8 16.1

Since Jameer and Nate are so hot and Josh is hurt, which is hurting his numbers, especially his player rating which is currently negative, I thought I might have a shot at getting him.  Plus I have too many of these small point guard/shooting guard types.  I was pretty happy when the trade went through and I can use the blocks and steals.

Also someone recently offered me Cutino Mobley for Brandon Roy.  Cutino Mobley!  I countered with Brandon Roy for Amare Stoudemire. :-)

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Please pray for Korea.  There are two things I have always feared for this nation.

  1. China would invade and overtake North Korea.
  2. North Korea would implode and its nuclear weaponary would fall into the wrong hands and/or be loosed onto South Korea.

LONDON – Analysts on the Asian Desk at MI6 say China’s People’s Liberation Army has moved as many as 100,000 troops to its border with North Korea, ostensibly to block refugees from fleeing into China in the event of the death of Kim Jong-II, the president of the pariah state, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

North Korea also has announced it will reinforce its border with South Korea after accusing its neighbor of “provocation beyond the danger level.”

The result, according to one analyst, is “the most explosive situation since the Korean War.”

Chinese troops line up against North Korea

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Fantasy Basketball H2H Draft

 | November 17, 2008 11:52 AM

This is my second Fantasy Basketball team, named the Funky Kimchees, the same name I have used for all my Fantasy Baseball teams.  I decided to do another draft because I thought I could do much better than my first draft plus I wanted to try out playing in a head-to-head (H2H) league.

PG Jose Calderon, Tor PG
SG Dwyane Wade, Mia SG
SF Caron Butler WAS SF
PF Drew Gooden, Chi PF, C
C Andris Biedrins, GS C
G Jason Kidd, Dal PG
F Tayshaun Prince, Det SF
UTIL Brandon Roy, Por SG
UTIL Jamal Crawford, NY PG, SG
UTIL Zydrunas Ilguaskas, Cle C
Bench Nate Robinson, NY PG, SG
Bench Jameer Nelson, Orl PG
Bench Chris Duhon, NY PG

After the draft I was immediately tied for first, and now I am alone in first.

Looking over the draft I made one glaring mistake.

  1. I realized when I was drafting my last active player that I had no power forwards.  So I had to draft Drew Gooden because he was the only decent power forward left.
  2. Later I realized there were several better power forwards but I did not notice them because their primary position was center.  ESPN’s draft tool is horrible at finding players, I should have used ESPN’s fantasy website to find eligible power forwards.  If I had done that I would have Nene and be in much better position.

Here is my analysis of my draft.  I had the number six position which I liked a lot.  I was hoping for the first or fourth or fifth position but this position worked perfectly.

Round 1
I had planned on taking Dwayne Wade and if he was not available Dwight Howard.  Dwayne was there so I took him and immediately afterwards my friend Kwang took Dwight.  I think Dwayne is amazing, according to my stats he is currently #2 behind Chris Paul.

Round 2
I had planned on taking Jason Kidd in the second round and there he was.  Kidd is having a phenomenal season though I expect his field goal percentage to go down.

Round 3
I knew entering this draft that I would take Jose Calderon and I did as my number three pick. My backups were  Paul Pierce, who Kwang took immediately after me, and Chris Bosh, who went four picks after I took Jason Kidd in the previous round.  I saw Danny Granger was available and would have liked to have taken him but I am too loyal to Calderon.

Round 4
Bosh and Al Jefferson were already gone, having gone in the second round.  I was excited to pick up Caron Butler though he has been underperforming.  I thought of maybe Hedo Turkoglu but Caron Butler excites me more.

Round 5
Here I took Golden State sensation Andris Biedrins.  It was a little high but I had to have him.

Rounds 6 and 7
I was debating at this point whether to take Brandon Roy or Jamal Crawford.  I took Brandon Roy, figuring there was a better chance Jamal Crawford would be available in the next round and he was!  Fantastic two rounds.

Rounds 8 and 9
I was hoping Zach Randolph would be available but he was taken before I took Jamal Crawford.  I was originally expecting to take Zydrunas Ilgauskas but I decided I did not want to take a chance that Tayshaun Prince would be taken.  I was quite pleased that Zydrunas Ilgauskas was available for me to pick up in round 9.

Round 10
Expecting to pick up someone who had been producing a lot like Nene Hilario or Rajon Rando I suddenly realized I needed a power forward and grudgingly drafted Drew Gooden.  Later I realized Nene was eligible at power forward and that I should have drafted him.  Kenyon Martin might have been a better pick too but he had been a bit hurt.

Rounds 11, 12, 13
Here I took whoever had been hot so I picked Nate Robinson (really hot), Jameer Nelson and Chris Duhon.  I wish I had drafted Nene instead of Jameer but I thought I could get Nene in round 13.

Overall the draft went about as well as I could have hoped.  Yet still it’s a tight race for first in this league.

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Fri, Nov 14 6:29 PM PST I made the following trade. It went through Sun, Nov 16, 6:50 PM PST. Looking at the 2009 stats it looks close.  (It did not look as close until Dirk had that crazy game against the Knicks last night which unfortunately did not count for my team).

PR PRK GP FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
O.J. Mayo 8.54 4 10 .451 .886 2.1 4.6 2.4 1.2 0.1 21.0
Tyson Chandler -0.48 82 7 .581 .500 0.0 8.7 0.7 0.1 1.9 8.9
for
Dirk Nowitski 9.42 3 10 .437 .918 1.0 7.8 2.2 0.6 0.8 24.0

But looking at the 2009 projections it looks better.

RNK FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
O.J. Mayo - .450 .826 1.7 4.1 2.7 1.5 0.5 17.0
Tyson Chandler 84 .618 .570 0.0 11.5 1.0 0.6 1.3 10.2
for
Dirk Nowitski 5 .485 .888 1.1 8.7 3.3 0.7 0.9 24.3

My reasoning for the trade is that Dirk Nowitski is a 1st to 2nd round player and his average ESPN draft position was 5th.  O.J. Mayo was not even in the ESPN 2009 projections but probably should be a 6th to 8th round player.  His average ESPN draft position is 102nd, probably because he was mistakenly left off the projections.  Because of that mistake and my high waiver order (2nd) I was able to pick Mayo as the first player off waivers and he has been a pleasant surprise as one of the hottest players in the past week.

In theory I always prefer trading quantity for quality, hot for cold, and rookies for veterans.  This trade meets all three of those criteria but still I can’t help but wonder if O.J. Mayo is going to be amazing.  After all I remember reading about him before he entered his senior year in high school.

Now if I could just trade McGrady for Bosh…

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Next Phone?

 | November 15, 2008 5:12 PM

Phone technology keeps evolving rapidly.  As far as I can remember we have been using landline phones.  The big technology change was push button phones.  Then suddenly cell phones appeared and I must have been one of the last ones to get one.

But I was part of the early group of people that dropped their landline altogether and only used their cell phone.  But when I saw I was running out of minutes and was too cheap to purchase more minutes or a landline, I started using Skype.  The service is fantastic and is only $3 per month for unlimited outbound.

Now though we are having problems with our Verizon cell phone service.  Apparently where we live is a dead zone for Verizon.  In fact we did not get very good reception at our last place either.  Unlike the north east, Silicon Valley does not seem to be a great place for getting Verizon cell phone service.

We have been considering cutting down to one cell phone line instead of two which would save us about 50% off our cell phone bill or even paring down to just a pay as you go plan.  Since we started using Skype so much we’ve found our cell phone usage has gone down a lot.  Also I do have concern about cell phones and brain cancer since the evidence is starting to mount.

The only reason we were hesitant to go with Skype exclusively was because Ji Seon does not like being tethered to a computer when she wants to make calls.  She likes walking around when she talks.  And so far the Skype accessories for doing this look underwhelming.

Enter Ooma.  I heard about them on the radio so I thought I would look into it.  The reviews on Amazon have been pretty fantastic.  Basically you pay $250 for a device that you hook up to your internet.  Then you can your old fashioned phones again and never have to pay a monthly fee.  The only drawback is that it does not include free calls to Canada, calls are 1.2 cents per minute.  In a normal month that would work out to be about $3 per month which is what I pay already for Skype.

One of my favorite blogs, My Money Blog, has a similar discussion, Ask The Readers: Skype As Replacement Phone Service? » My Money Blog.  Someone recommended Ooma.  I can only imagine Ooma will become more popular.

My remaining questions are:

  1. Should I drop Verizon?  I have complained a few times to them about the service and each time they say to call in again and have someone test it.  I am not sure if it is worth calling them again.Update: I called Verizon and their response was that nothing can be done and that it must be a dead zone.  They issued me a one time courtesy credit of $30 and opened a trouble ticket.Update: Verizon called me to let me know that my area is a known trouble area and that new two cell towers are going to be opened in thirty to sixty days.  Of course while telling me this the call was dropped. :-)
  2. Should I drop down to one phone line (AT&T or T-Mobile) or go to pay as you go (T-Mobile)?  I am leaning towards pay as you go in which I will pay about $100 per year for 1000 minutes.  On the other hand a basic individual cell phone plan will cost $35 per month (T-Mobile) and you get 300 minutes per month and a much nicer phone.
  3. Should I upgrade my Skype account to include unlimited inbound?  The cost to do that would be another $5 per month and the inbound number would not show up on caller ID when I call people on outbound.  And I would still have to make calls from my computer.
  4. Should I buy Ooma?  It seems great but $250 at once is a good amount of money and what if they go out of business?  If they included free calls to Canada I would be in.  You do get a $50 credit for referrals but that expires in 3 months so it is not worth much.
  5. What would I use to call Canada if I no longer used Skype?  Pay 1.2 cents per minute on Ooma? Use a free service like Voipcheap to call Canada (I don’t trust them)?  Or just use Skype computer to computer or iChat, both which are free?  But then that would depend on my parents having their computer on.  I do have lots of Skype credit for calls to landlines so maybe I can use those to initiate a call to my parents at 2.1 cents per minute and then use Skype computer to computer or iChat.
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Jose Calderon is my new favorite player.  Sure he participated in the racist taunting of Chinese people.  But I will forgive him because he plays so well and is on both of my fantasy basketball teams :-) .  When someone tries to intimidate my fav player, like KG did, well that someone goes to my do not like list, even if that someone happens to be my wife’s favorite player because she thinks he’s funny.

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Fantasy Basketball First Trades

 | November 11, 2008 4:21 PM

Thu, Nov 6, 7:10 PM PDT I made the following trade. It went through Sat, Nov 8, 7:32 PM PST. Looking at the 2009 stats it does not look great.

PR PRK GP FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
LaMarcus Aldridge 4.97 10 6 .471 .667 0.3 6.5 1.8 0.7 2.0 19.3
Marc Gasol 4.57 10 6 .568 .714 0.0 8.8 1.0 0.7 1.2 10.5
for
Elton Brand 2.67 18 6 .461 .692 0.0 11.8 1.2 0.5 0.7 14.7

But looking at the 2009 projections it looks fantastic.

RNK FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
LaMarcus Aldridge 82 .487 .757 0.0 7.7 1.4 0.7 1.4 17.0
Marc Gasol 113 .530 .647 0.0 7.7 1.1 0.3 1.1 13.8
for
Elton Brand 14 .522 .770 0.0 9.4 2.7 0.7 2.3 21.5

My reasoning for the trade is that Elton Brand is a 2nd round player while Aldridge is a 9th round player and Gasol is a bench player. However Brand has been struggling, apparently because he keeps getting double-teamed since the rest of his team is so weak. Brand also did not play most of last season so the jury is still out on how effective he will be.  Philadelphia did give him a ton of money to be a top player and lots of prognosticators were giddy about Philadelphia’s prospects. Aldridge is up and coming and looking stronger every game this season. Maybe he will blossom this season like a young Chris Bosh.

Immediately after this trade I made another trade at Thu, Nov 6, 9:08 PM PDT.  It went through Sat, Nov 8, 9:29 PM PST. Looking at the 2009 stats it looks quite favorable for me.

PR PRK GP FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
Troy Murphy 4.41 12 5 .447 .500 2.4 10.4 2.6 1.4 0.8 11.6
for
Tracy McGrady 5.72 12 6 .405 .841 0.5 4.8 5.5 1.8 0.2 18.7

It does not look as good based on the 2009 projections.

RNK FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS
Troy Murphy 80 .452 .786 1.2 8.5 2.3 0.8 0.5 13.8
for
Tracy McGrady 108 .421 .701 1.5 5.3 5.9 1.1 0.5 22.8

My reasoning for the trade is that while Troy Murphy is a solid player, a 9th round pick, Tracy McGrady could be a top 50 player, a 4th to 5th round pick.  He is a high risk, high reward play because of his injury history.  It does not help my confidence in this trade that he went 1/11 in his latest game.  But in the end, I think that Troy Murphy was not too big of a price to pay.

Now if only I could get Chris Bosh…

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God in the Public Schools

 | November 6, 2008 8:23 AM

Kids Club

I never thought I would see an openly Evangelical Christian after schools program in a liberal state such as California.  But our church, GrX, runs such an after schools program at Dylan’s former school, Ponderosa Elementary.  The fact that such a program exists is a testimony to the vision and relationship building skills of Helen Chae, Pastor David Chae’s wife.  The Chae’s live in Ponderosa and have committed themselves to supporting Ponderosa Elementary.  Helen Chae has a great relationship with the principal, Meg Jackson, a kind and obviously open-minded person.

Yesterday was the first day of Kids Club.  Ji Seon volunteered to lead the Grade 1 group.  This year’s leader of Kids Club is Sara Chon and she asked me to volunteer so I agreed.  I ended up not doing much, just registering children and providing snacks.

Dylan and Isaac are both in the Kindergarten group.  They made an exception for Isaac who is too young and for Dylan who does not attend Ponderosa since Ji Seon is volunteering.  Yesterday they had a raffle (they do this every week with the tickets children get to encourage participation) and Isaac won one of the raffles.  He picked a Spider-Man water bottle.

I think over sixty children showed up.  And these sixty children were Europen, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, African.  And many of these children are not from Christian homes.  These children worshipped God with songs, played games, did crafts, and ate snacks.  Overall I think they had fun and it’s just amazing what God is doing here in this community.

This is the second song the children song, You Are My All in All.

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I’d be a fool
You are my all in all

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising up again I bless Your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down You pick me up
When I am dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I’d be a fool
You are my all in all

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising up again I bless Your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down You pick me up
When I get dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

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