Archive for September, 2008

There is such a thing as TOO good

Posted in Formula 1, Sports, Travel on September 30, 2008 by garyyfong

It’s Monday, my most hated day of the week. I could complain about how tired I am. I could complain about how my fellow HS class of 2003, Dan, just turned 24 which reminds me that I’m getting older as well. I could complain about how summer has officially ended and we’ve got about 9+ months of gray, rain, and cold ahead of us. I could complain about how for the 3rd time in 4 weeks my favored fantasy football team got blown out due to different people under-performing. I could complain about how much I hate my job and that I’m ready to quit if it wasn’t for the economy being so bad that it’s tough finding a better job here or in Asia, effectively throwing a big wrench in my plan for the semi-annual HK trip. Lastly, after seeing this last weekend’s F1 race, I could complain about how my favorite driver once again ended with zero points along with my favorite team and thus making his chances at repeating his championship almost nil.

But surprisingly, I’m actually not too bummed by those things. Yeah, I’m most bummed about my job and my trip but I’ve still got time on that issue. The weather is still nice out which is holding my Seasonal Affective Disorder off for now. And as bad as bad fanatsy team was this week, I know with the players I have they won’t stay bad all year and I’m like 100% sure I’ll make the playoffs.

What’s got me so rattled is how AMAZING something was that I only witnessed through a video from the screen of my computer. Have you ever loved something so much it made you cry? How you ever needed something so bad you can’t sleep at night? I’ve experienced that feeling now. Knowing there is something so special and great but also knowing you can’t have it at all is the worst. The Formula 1 race this past weekend. It was SO awesome that it made me a bit sad that I wasn’t there to experience it first hand and I will never get that chance on this inaugural race again. Despite Raikkonen crashing out and Ferrari not scoring any points at all due to some bad breaks, I could not take my eyes off the race. It was that cool. The first F1 night race EVER set against a wildly amazing backdrop.  

With its similarities in the  skyline overlooking the water, the culture,climate, cleaniness, captialism, democracy,and even proximity to what is obviously one of my favorite cities (Hong Kong), Singapore had already been one of my favorite cities in the world after only going there once years ago. Watching this race taking place there tugged at the very core of my soul. Not being there for it all really rips my heart out.

Those pictures did not serve it any justice. If you are interested, do visit the following links to more pictures from the official F1 site. Those don’t serve it justice either. You should see the breathtaking shots they took in the video of the race. And I bet physically being there would have been even better by a 1,000-fold.

http://www.formula1.com/gallery/race/2008/801/

http://www.formula1.com/gallery/race/2008/801/special.html

I felt a tingling sensation all over my skin seeing that amazing track at night. I’m not joking when I say I felt chills up and down my spine from the spectacle. AND I’M ONLY WATCHING IT ON A FREAKIN SCREEN!!! I can’t imagine how great I would have felt had I physically gone like I planned to (see previous post). I totally and utterly regret so much that I didn’t just go on my trip as planned. There is, afterall, such a thing as too good. So good that it makes you disappointed. My friend informed me after the race that the price for admission to the race ran $1200. And you know what my immediate thought was? ONLY 12 hundred? I would have paid double that on top of airfare,hotel, etc. now that I saw what it was like. The cars at night looked absolutely amazing. With the lights glaring off the fresh paint of every pinnacle of racing engineering machine streaking through the brightly lit track. The sparks flying off the titanium bottom of every car from the bumps of a street circuit.The excess fuel catching flame at the end of the exhaust. The action, drama, and excitement of a brilliant street race. And the whole atmosphere of a night race at a place like Singapore. Wow.

Unless one day there’s a night race in Hong Kong, this was the race I think I would’ve most wanted to go to EVER. The inaugural Singapore Formula 1 Night Grand Prix. The following ones in the upcoming years will never be the same as the first, but they are still already about as appealing to me as attending the Monaco Grand Prix would be.

Had I been the winning driver of that race, I KNOW, that even at my age as I am now, had I won the race and immediately dropped dead after getting the trophy, I KNOW I would’ve die a happy man with the biggest and most ridiculous smile you’ll ever see on my face.

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Semi-Annual Hong Kong Trip

Posted in Hong Kong, Travel on September 19, 2008 by garyyfong

So, as some people may know I was planning to go to HK again around this time. I had aimed for this next week mostly because I was hoping to catch a tour to Singapore next weekend from HK to go to the inaugural night Formula-1 race there. However, seeing as how my hero Kimi Raikkonen is all but out of the championship as he continues to struggle, and mainly because I haven’t been able to find any plane tickets of what I would consider reasonable pricing this time of year, it looks like this next week is not going to happen.

Last year, someone I knew said their parents got round trip tickets to HK for about $400, I was almost tempted to go for a weekend. But having just got back to Seattle in July, I decided to wait and eventually went in the winter time with some awesome friends. This year tho, the Olympics have jacked up the prices over the summer, and I think it’s still having a bad effect even now.

I’ve been keeping tabs with 2 travel agencies in Chinatown and they’ve so far quoted me $850 as the lowest price possible but that price is available from now until the 13th of December. That’s a $400+ difference from last year! Not that I’m not willing to pay $850 to go to HK, but I’m not trying to pay $850 to go in September. I’d rather pay a little more and go during December or at least wait to go over Thanksgiving to tie in 4 more extra days I can miss from work.

So in another words, I no longer have a timetable for this trip. It doesn’t really matter at all when I go so I will go whenever. Anyone trying to go to HK or Asia anytime in the near future?

New Beginnings

Posted in Football, Sports on September 16, 2008 by garyyfong

After years away from Xanga entries, I’ve now official started again anew. (For the abridged version, Just skip to the paragraph before the bullets.) I was gonna start the Monday after the Olympics but after a series of random dumb events, it became a frustrating Monday and so I thought it wasn’t an ideal time to have a fresh new start. Today isn’t exactly the most exciting day of the year, but then again I never liked Mondays and with the weather so nice out, it’s as good a day as any regular Monday.

Since I’m on the theme of new beginnings, I’ll start off this blog about something new I’ve started. I’ve been a football fan as long as I could remember but I’ve never attempted to play fantasy football. I tried fantasy basketball before and at first I’m checking in on my team and my stats multiple times a day. But then as the season plays out I get more excited about the success, or lack of, of my favorite team or players. Then real life takes over and I totally forget about the fantasy team and never check it again (I still won the first half of that season despite having started 2 weeks AFTER everyone else until at mid-season it made everyone redraft and by then I had long forgotten about it). So despite my excitement for fantasy football now, I’d expect to follow a similar trend now as well. Although being in front of a computer at work all day could maybe keep me interested during the whole season.

Anyways, my first crack into the world of fantasy football started out really well. Or at least, what was considered very well. Because of my inexperience and possible eventual indifference to fantasy football, I joined a league of 6 teams with some friends who are also noobs. Having the 5th pick, LT, AP, Westbrook, and Addai were no longer available when I was up. So I picked what I considered the best pick for that situation, Tom Brady, considering that I’m in a 6 team league and although the then so-called “elite” RBs were taken, a bunch of “good” RBs were left on the board for me to scoop later.

Nevertheless, I’m pretty happy even now about the moves I made with the knowledge I had, or didn’t have. I’m not really bitter or have any regrets about my decisions because I still believe I made the right choices. I ended up with Brady, T.O., Marion Barber, T.J. Housh, Antonio Gates, Steve Smith, Carson Palmer, Dallas Clark, Chris Chambers, Maroney, Michael Turner, Bears D/ST, Fred Taylor, and the San Diego Kicker. With a small exception of Fred Taylor, I have absolutely no regret whatsoever considering not knowing how the season will play out thus far. But then this is about when things start to go downhill.

Again to reiterate, I don’t regret these moves, blind luck of the draw just screwed me. They were either good moves at the time, or at the very least reasonable judgement calls I had to make. In other words, not blatantly bad calls, but they just lucked me out of points.

Week 1:

  • 4th Round (24th overall) pick Chad Johnson was dropped to waivers. No one picked him after waivers cleared, I had an extra slot in WRs since Steve Smith is suspened. So I picked him up, and started Chad in front of Chambers, who then scored 10 points as opposed to 2 from Chad.
  • Antonio Gates goes on record as to saying himself that he is not 100% and does not expect to contribute as much as would be expected. I start Dallas Clark instead of Gates.
  • I see Bears playing Peyton Manning and the Colts. I see Vikings playing brand new QB Aaron Rodgers. I drop Bears for Vikings D/ST.
  • Maroney or Turner? Run against Detroit or run against Kansas City? Judgement call: Chiefs suck more and Brady opens up run game more than Ryan will. Start Maroney.
  • 3 of my starters, Brady, Clark, and Barber, gets knocked out of their games. Brady: 1st qtr, 3 fantasy points, out for season. Clark: 1st qtr, 0 fantasy points, didn’t play week 2, still questionable. Barber, not as bad, we’ll see tonight.
  • As if Brady’s season being over is not bad enough, New England splits the running between different backs, Maroney has a very quiet game.
  • Michael Turner lights it up against Detroit, scores 34 and tops fantasy scores for week 1.
  • My backup QB Palmer has horrible game, thus affecting my starters Housh & Chad to have a quiet game.
  • Meanwhile, Chambers, who got bumped by the newly acquired Chad, scores 10 points as opposed to 2 from Chad.
  • Gates scores 10 points despite his injuries, as opposed to Clark’s big fat 0.
  • Aaron Rodgers’s Packers reduces my Vikings D/ST to 1 fantasy point.
  • Bears score 13.

Week 2:

  • Decides to pick up Philip Rivers off standard weekly waivers to replace Brady. Most likely will start him against Denver as opposed to Palmer against Tennessee.
  • When thinking about picking up Cassel to put in back pocket, decides why not try to trade Chad for Cutler to put in back pocket since I eventually can’t have 2 Bengals receivers during their BYE.
  • Trade declined. Ok, no prob. Drop Brady to pick up Cassel.
  • Guy I was trying to trade for Cutler with offers me Brett Favre instead of Cutler for Chad. I accept. Since I have Favre, I cancel my waiver claim to Rivers.
  • Someone drops Santonio Holmes! I use my #2 claim order to get him and prays #1 doesn’t get him. He doesn’t, and I sucessfully drop Fred Taylor for Holmes.
  • With T.O., Housh, Holmes, and Chambers and 3 WR starting slots, I sit Chambers.
  • After struggling to decide on the judgement call as to start Palmer against Titans or Favre against Patriots, my friends agrees it’s a tough call eventualy just says maybe Favre late Friday night. I say oh what the hey, I’ll start Favre. I try to do it on my iPhone cuz I’m not home. It doesn’t allow me to switch the lineup on the espn site because maybe there’s some flash which the iPhone won’t handle. I think nothing of it, I’ll do it later at home.
  • Bengals have an early game so at 9:00 am I wake up in bed remembering I need to take Palmer off the starting lineup and put in Favre. But I was really tired, and I didn’t really feel like getting out of bed that early. I had trouble deciding anyways cuz it was a close judgement call. Forget it, I’m too lazy to get up for that. I go back to sleep.
  • Palmer has another horrible game, bringing Housh down with him.
  • Favre does slightly better, not great, but scores 11 points. That’s 10 more than Palmer scores.
  • Rivers, who I would’ve picked up and started if I didn’t get that reverse offer of Favre for Chad, goes off and scores 33 points.
  • Vikings D/ST does really well… until at the end against Manning. Ends up only scoring 6.
  • Chambers, who again got bumped by a new acquisition, Holmes, scores 20 as opposed to Holmes’s 10.
  • I start Turner since Maroney is splitting carries, and Turner only manages 4 points against Tampa Bay. But still better than Maroney’s 1 point.

It can only get better now tho right?