Daylight Saving Time

Friday, 31 Mar 2006 | Daily

Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2 am on Sunday morning for everyone who observes it in the United States. By the way, Daylight Saving Time is the correct terminology, NOT Daylight Savings Time. It's a shame we'll lose an hour of sleep and have to get up sleepy eyed on Monday for work, but at least we'll have more daylight in the evenings.

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Arirang Super Market

Wednesday, 29 Mar 2006 | Culture, Family, Food

Yesterday, before coming home from UCI Medical Center, Toni and I went to the Arirang Super Market in Garden Grove. Arirang Super Market is a Korean food market where my mother used to go to stock up on Asian rice and other Korean groceries.

This was the first time I had been to Arirang Super Market. Toni and her sisters, Trisha and Diana, had been there once with my mom when she was alive. It was raining cats and dogs when we arrived. There were huge puddles of water in the parking lot. As soon as I entered the market, I had flashbacks of the markets I frequented with my mom and aunts in Seoul when I lived there as a child. The sights, the Korean words being spoken and the smells all were so reminiscent of my memories of Korea. The last time I had been to Korea was when I was 10 years old, but I still remember things about living there.

Toni and I intended to stop for a few items, particularly some Korean sesame oil which is essential for making dishes like Bulgogi, a Korean marinated beef dish. We each would see a favorite food item my mom used to get for us and place it in the cart. By the time we went through the whole store, we ended up getting about half a shopping cart full of items.

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Nana's Surgery

Tuesday, 28 Mar 2006 | Family

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Toni's mother underwent surgery today on her uterus and pelvis at UCI Medical Center. I am happy to report she came through with flying colors. We arrived at the hospital at 5:45 am. Her surgery began at 8:00 am and lasted about 5 hours. The staff at UCI Medical Center and her surgeon were wonderful. They kept us abreast of the progress and mom's condition throughout the day.

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Mom looked so cute as they wheeled her away for the surgery. She had a little hair cap on her head and lipstick on her mouth. I could tell she was nervous, but everything turned out just fine. When I saw her in her room after the surgery, she looked amazingly good. She said she wasn't feeling any pain and she had a nice smile on her face. In fact, she was wanting to eat a meal already. Unfortunately, she is not allowed to eat anything until tomorrow. I bought mom a cute balloon wishing her a speedy recovery which she liked very much.

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Shrimp Scampi for Dinner

Sunday, 26 Mar 2006 | Cooking, Family, Food

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Tonight, I made Shrimp Scampi served with bread and an Iceberg Lettuce Salad with homemade Blue Cheese dressing for Toni and me. Toni's favorite salad dressing is Blue Cheese, so I decided to make some fresh for her using imported French Roquefort Cheese. Everything came out nicely. Toni enjoyed the meal, which is not surprising since she loves almost everything I cook.

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Shrimp Scampi

Sunday, 26 Mar 2006 | Recipes

Serves 6

2 lbs large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied, with tails left on, patted dry
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup seasoned olive oil
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
Approximately 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons (optional)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Dredge shrimp in flour, coating all sides.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. When oil is very hot but not smoking, add shrimp and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp have begun to brown. (Do not crowd pan; sauté shrimp in batches, if necessary.) Remove shrimp from pan and drain off excess oil.

Stir in wine, Worchestershire sauce, and garlic. When well combined, whisk in 4 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Return shrimp to pan. Stir in lemon juice and broth and return to a boil.

Using a slotted spoon, remove shrimp from pan to a warm serving platter.

Rapidly boil sauce for 2 minutes, whisking in parsley and remaining butter. Pour over shrimp and serve with crusty bread to absorb the delicious sauce.

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Kindness

Saturday, 25 Mar 2006 | Daily, Observations

Last night I stopped at a Wendy's on the way home from work to get a hamburger. Toni was visiting her parents and called to tell me that she was cooking for them and I'd be on my own for dinner.

When I entered the Wendy's in Hemet, I noticed there were two registers with two independent lines, one for each register. I got in the shorter one hoping it would be a little quicker than the other. I had never been to this particular Wendy's and was surprised how busy it was. I was only the third customer in my line, but it took an inordinant amount of time to reach the register. There was a man who had come with his wife and three children in line behind me. When they were taking my order, I noticed an elderly man by himself at the front of the other line.

By this time I was a bit annoyed with the long wait and feeling a little sorry for myself since I was eating alone. I'm an only child. I used to not mind eating alone so much before, but lately I feel a little lonely when I don't have company when I eat out. As I left with my food, the man behind me turned to the elderly gentleman and said he could go ahead of him since he had been waiting longer than him. The older man said thank you and went up to the register.

I was so pleased to see the man behind me offer his place in line. It's so nice to see a kind, selfless act. I get so tired of seeing people looking out for only their own interests, so this was a welcome sight. Even though the man had a hungry family waiting for him, he kindly offered to wait for the older man. That really made my evening and turned my mood right around.

Try to do something kind and selfless for another person today. The world will be a better place for it.

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Benny Anderssons Orkester

Thursday, 23 Mar 2006 | Entertainment, Family, Music

My dad returned Sunday night from a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He left Friday for a 3 day trip to see the Benny Anderssons Orkester perform at an event sponsored by the American Swedish Institute. Benny Andersson is best known as a member of the Swedish pop group, ABBA. Lately, he performs mostly with his orchestra in Sweden. This was a rare United States performance for the group.

Dad stayed at the Sheraton where the concert was held. It was a dress up affair in the Sheraton's Grand Ballroom complete with a full dinner, concert and dancing. Dad met up with some fellow Benny Andersson fans he met online. He had a great time at the concert and took pictures of the performance right up near the stage. After the concert, he met Benny and lead singer Helen Sjoholm who both graciously autographed my dad's CDs. The group played numbers ranging from Swedish folk songs to a handful of ABBA favorites. They even played the Hawaiian War Chant complete with Hawaiian lyrics.

Although dad spent most of his time at the hotel visiting with friends in the lounge, he did get a chance to go with a small group to the Mall of America. The Mall of America is touted as the largest shopping mall in the United States. He said it was 4 stories tall and included an enclosed amusement park, 4 major department stores and a host of retail stores and restaurants. I'd love to visit the Mall of America someday with Toni. I'm glad dad had a great time and arrived home safely.

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Bowling Birthday Bash for 3

Wednesday, 22 Mar 2006 | Family

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We celebrated the birthdays of my brother-in-law Danny, niece Danielle and nephew Antonio at Brunswick Lanes in Norco. They had a great time bowling, eating pizza and opening presents. Toni and I didn't bowl, but had a fun time as well. I took the opportunity to take some casual pictures to remember the day. The photo above shows Danny's hand lighting candles on the birthday cake. They decorated the cake with elements enjoyed by all 3 birthday celebrants.

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State Finals Results

Tuesday, 21 Mar 2006 | Family

Woodcrest Christian was not in the top eight teams at the California State Mock Trial competition this weekend. I was very disappointed for Erin, even more than she was herself. I am still so proud of Erin and her team members. I feel so close to each and every one of the mock trial participants because I attended so many of the trials. It was a great experience seeing these kids work so hard. I can't imagine performing so well under pressure in front of an audience when I was a teenager. Their professionalism and confidence impressed me immensely. Erin intends to participate again next year playing the part of an attorney.

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Mock Trial State Finals

Sunday, 19 Mar 2006 | Family

Erin's team, Woodcrest Christian, competed in the California State Finals for mock trial. On Friday, their prosecution team competed twice and on Saturday, the defense team competed twice. The four rounds were scored together to rank the 32 teams participating. Last night, the two top teams, Sacramento and Santa Barbara were announced. These two teams will compete this morning for the title of California State Champions.

Although Erin's team didn't make the top two, I am very proud of her and her entire team for their hard work and dedication. I've been continually impressed with their level of knowledge and professionalism. The last judge, Judge Nguyen, praised them highly.

This afternoon, the top 8 teams will be awarded. We won't know until the awards ceremony at Raincross Square how Woodcrest ranked among the 32 teams participating in the state competition.

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Taffy's 91 Week Photo

Monday, 13 Mar 2006 | Pets

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Taffy is very wary about getting her nails filed, but soon her nails will be as beautiful as mommy's.

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Two Year Anniversary

Sunday, 12 Mar 2006 | Family

Today, my dad came to our house to visit because it has been two years since my mother passed away. We all miss her dearly and it's nice to get together for mutual support. I try to do as much as possible with my dad since he's by himself now. Plus, he's just nice to be around. He's the best father and I'm so blessed to have him in my life.

We had an early dinner at On the Border, one of our favorite places to go for fajitas. For dessert, we shared an apple crisp served on a sizzling fajita plate which was very good. Afterward, we came back to our house to talk and visit into the evening.

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Meeting Ingrid at Disneyland

Sunday, 12 Mar 2006 | Disneyland, Family, Friends

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Yesterday, my dad and I met up with Ingrid at Disneyland. Toni was not able to go with us because she had a Cue technoology conference at the Palm Springs Convention Center to attend. Ingrid is a friend of mine who goes by HapaKorean on Flickr. I have known her for a while, but have never met her in person before. We met her and her family at ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney at noon. She came with her husband Michael, her three sons Caleb, Michael and Bryce and her sister Erika. Erika is a long lost half sister Ingrid had not seen for many years until this past Friday.

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Ingrid and her family were so nice and everyone got along together so well. My dad and I had a wonderful time visiting with them. We thought we'd just have lunch and then go on our way, but Ingrid invited us to go along with them to Disney's California Adventure. They were so gracious to us. We ended up spending the whole day with Ingrid and even having dinner at Storytellers Cafe. It was close to 10 pm when we exchanged goodbyes. I so enjoyed meeting Ingrid with her family and sharing her reunion with her sister Erika. Erika was visiting from Oregon with her choir who was invited to perform at Disneyland on Friday.

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Woodcrest Wins County Finals

Sunday, 5 Mar 2006 | Family

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On Saturday, Woodcrest defeated North and Hemet to become the Riverside County mock trial champions! It was thrilling to watch Erin's eight member defense team take Woodcrest Christian High School to the top place in the county. That's quite a feat given there were 22 schools at the beginning of the competition. This will be the second time Woodcrest will go to the State Finals, the last time being in 1999.

The State Finals will be held in Riverside on March 17-19 to determine who will go to the National competition in Oklahoma City.

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Taffy's 90 Week Photo

Sunday, 5 Mar 2006 | Pets

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Taffy soaks up the California sun in our front yard.

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Oscars Gift Bag

Friday, 3 Mar 2006 | Entertainment, Movies, Television

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Each presenter and performer at this year's Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday will receive a gift bag filled with goodies whose estimated value is over $100,000. They are given these cool gifts in lieu of payment for their appearance.

Some of the items included in the 2006 gift bag:

A custom selection of truffles from Moonstruck Chocolate Co. within a Thai silk and teak wood box.

$25,000 luxury package from the Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu which includes a four-night stay in the resort's 2,135-square-foot Vera Wang Suite with 24-hour butler service, spa treatment and dinner at Hawaii's only 5-star restaurant, La Mer at Halekulani.

$600 Krups XP4050 Premium Pump espresso machine and coffee products.

$2,500 "Unlimited Card" from the Cornelia Day Resort on New York City's Fifth Avenue.

$550 VTech Expandable Broadband phone system from Vonage.

A Rosewood Hotels & Resorts $2,300 package including two nights in a large suite at New York's famed Carlyle Hotel.

$1,495 leather-trimmed cashmere travel blanket from Frette, the famous Italian linen house.

$1,500 exclusive dinner party in Morton's Private Boardroom from Morton's steakhouse in Chicago.

$500 Kay Unger vintage silk kimono.

$1,300 pearl and diamond Tara necklace.

$550 year’s supply of Manni olive oil.

$5,700 package including two nights plus surfing lessons at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California.

$2,500 package including two nights plus wine tasting at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, California.

$2,500 package including three nights at one of five Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

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Woodcrest Defeats Poly!

Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 | Family

I received a call this morning from Erin saying they won last night's mock trial competition against Poly High School. I was so happy to hear this. It was an important victory because Poly has won the last four years and was most likely Woodcrest Christian High School's toughest competitor.

Now it's down to the four final teams who will battle it out on Saturday. There will be a trial at 9 o'clock in the morning eliminating two teams and a final trial in the afternoon to determine the local winner. Woodcrest will be going against North High School in the morning trial. I'll be there with Erin cheering for her team.

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The Elite Eight

Wednesday, 1 Mar 2006 | Family

Erin's mock trial team is one of the Elite Eight. The Elite Eight is the term they use for the eight mock trial teams that have advanced to the 5th round. This evening Erin and her defense team competed against Poly High School, who has won four years straight in this region.

Tonight was definitely the most intense and interesting trial I've witnessed in the competition thus far. I feel both teams did an excellent job. We were thinking we'd hear which team won tonight, but it turns out we'll be told at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning. I can't wait to find out. I honestly don't know which team did better. They both did that well. Of course, I'd love to see Erin's team advance and upset the mock trial champions!

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