Ima Ai - Tut Tut

The results are in and . . .

. . I lost to 2nd place. :( Remember The 8% Guy with his unbelievably low view count I told you about? Yup, he was chosen as the winner of the Toshiba video contest. He announced this on his twitter last week, but I wanted to confirm this with Toshiba to be sure. I received this confirmation today.

Sure, I'm disappointed. I'm sure you know from previous posts how much I wanted this. I missed working in Japan, I missed traveling, I missed sending all you guys postcards. I wanted to tour Asia, I wanted to see friends, I wanted to see family, I really wanted to visit my grandfather's grave in Brunei and finally pay my respects, I wanted to learn, I wanted to do so many things. I needed to bring stability to my life and overcome the recent closure of my workplace with work, work that would've been fun, exciting, conductive, challenging and promising. So I put my life on hold and poured all my heart and energy into this for two months thinking that effort and creativity would be enough to make my dreams come true. I'm disappointed that Toshiba felt it wasn't enough.

I'm also disappointed in the judges. Even after expressing my concern to Toshiba about "The 8% Guy" when he was "The 10% Guy," the judges wouldn't take integrity into consideration. Integrity is important to me, to many Japanese people, to successful businesses in any country, and definitely to consumers. Time and time again, especially in recent years, you've seen companies nosedive due to a lack of integrity. 99% of the entrants in this contest had integrity and I'm disappointed that Toshiba chose the one entrant with the least. To give the trophy to him is not just a slap in the face to me, but to the other entrants in the Top 10 who worked their butt off to promote their video legitimately. However, I hope the winner will grow up and understand the importance of integrity between now and the internship next summer, because he's not going to survive 3 months in Japan without it.

(EDIT: Now I've learned the guy may actually have a criminal record for defrauding another company. *sigh* My faith in both parties is reaching zero. >_< )

That aside, I want to thank all of my friends on LJ again for voting, commenting and supporting my dream. :) You guys were incredible! –- we ended up with the most votes, comments and views thanks to friends, family and even strangers all around the world. I think that's the best thing that happened as a result of this contest. My small circle of family and friends grew ten-fold. I heard from friends and cousins I hadn't spoken to in years; now we're e-mailing and phoning each other all the time. I got a chance to meet many interesting people as I traveled around Vancouver handing out my contest cards. I got 15 minutes of fame after my cousin's friend, the "Oprah of Brunei," posted my video on the front page of the most popular social site in the country. Family members who weren't close before got together regularly to discuss the contest. My cousin who was handing out flyers about my contest at the local café ended up becoming good friends with the café owner, who also started pitching in. My father was getting calls regularly about his stint as the gambler in the video, and you should've seen his face light up bragging about it! It's really incredible how my 3-minute comedy skit about a magic hole punch ended up bringing so many people together!

And after so many people came together to help me out with this project, I wanted a piece of the action, too! XD In other words, I also wanted to help others. That takes me back to something I said a few years ago, that I felt the purpose of life was to help each other, and I hope I'll come across many opportunities to do so in the future. :)

One thing I was working on last week was fundraising for the homeless in downtown Vancouver . .

This was the video that convinced me to participate. Isn't it amazing?

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So while this loss felt like a BIG step back, I'm aiming to take two BIG steps forward. I'm always aspiring to be better, that's how I roll, but now I'm also aspiring to be a better humanitarian, too.

That's why, while I can't send you postcards from Japan anymore, if you ever need anything else, please let me know and I'll try my best to help out or provide you with a reasonable substitute! :)

THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE for taking the time over the past two months to support me and my video!
Hulkster - Good Hulkamaniac

Cheesemon vs. Contest

Contest Aftermath
Thanks again everyone for supporting my entry! I'm just waiting for the results now, and I remain confident and really happy with the results!: Most votes, most comments, most views, best video of the week winner, I posted a 2nd video to thank Toshiba and was more involved in the comments than any other entrant and responded to supporters and critics with class.

And man, were there a lot of critics in the last few days! Things they did included:

- Saying Toshiba would choose me simply because I was Asian and Toshiba was in Japan
- Saying I broke copyright laws because I used "Beethoven's 5th Symphony" and had split second shots of Winnie the Pooh magnets on my fridge
- Posing as friends from SFU and Livejournal to try to get incriminating information from me
- Saying that I should be disqualified because they read on my blog that I wasn't a student (I am now)
- Saying that I shouldn't be in this competition because they read in my blog that I had already been to Japan
- Saying my video was so horrible and disturbing that I would make an awful intern . .?
- Saying that on my blog, I tried to teach you guys how to cheat (WHAT??)
- Saying that I had bribed 2nd place to take the fall (WHAAAAT???!)
- Saying that I was uncreative, boring, talentless, unfunny, childish, etc. etc.

Then there was the guy who wrote a 50 paragraph essay about why the judges shouldn't let me win and posted it in the comments at the last minute -- only to find out that it wasn't the last minute and my supporters all tackled him. ^_^;

But yeah, I've never seen so much drama aimed at me in my life!! One of the things that really bugged me was how they used my Livejournal so much to discredit me -- I originally used "Cheesemon" to get positive attention to my LJ, but didn't expect the opposite!

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On the other hand, after what Toshiba told me, I wonder if I really do have a legitimate case here?

What do you think about those numbers?

Suspicious . .
Verrrry suspicious!
Paranoid Cheesemon scares me.

LJ Power

This is it!

Hey everyone, today's the last day of that contest I was telling you about from a few weeks ago! Thanks to LJ Power!, friends and family, I've managed to make it to first place, but it's still way too close to call.

So if you can spare a moment to vote and comment one last time, it would mean a lot to me!:

I have no idea when this ends -- it's probably tonight some time, but if you don't see a "Contest is Closed" splash screen, then it's not too late. :)

Regardless of the outcome, I do want to give special thanks to sakurak and caithion for posting the link up in their journals, as well as everyone who has been supporting me in comments and on whatifpaint. :) And anyone else who has been voting but have been silent about it, thanks to you guys too. You know who you are . . hopefully. ;)

Lastly, here's an awesome banner my talented niece Jia Ying made for the cause ^_^:

Thanks a bajillion!
Hulk Hogan - YOU!

Men and Health don't mix?

Possibly a deja vu post, I feel like I may have written about this before but ..

Last week, I caught a few episodes of the new "Dr. Oz show," and noticed that the majority of the audience were women. Then I switched over to "The Doctors," a similar health talk show, and again, the same kind of audience. Even though most of the doctors on the host were men, many of the health issues tackled were for women and many of the questions fielded were from women.

And then I thought about the advertising: even though maintaining healthy skin is important for everyone, commercials for sun care, moisturizers and soap all primarily feature and target women. Heck, the sunscreen section at stores are usually located right next to cosmetics!

Think about your last trip to the bookstore: Have you noticed the Self Help section is full of books for women? I flipped through one of Dr. Phil's books the other day, thinking, that maybe, y'know, he'd talk about building relationships from a guy's perspective, but instead, it's chock-full of advice for single ladies. Kinda makes me wonder if the divorce rate is so high because only it seems like only one of the two cares about sustaining it. :P

So I'm a guy who loves reading health and self-help books, enjoys eating healthy and proudly uses sunscreen AND moisturizer. :) But it's a little bit disheartening that, based on the ads I see, many of my fellow men aren't as interested.

So what ads *do* target men? Beer, trucks, fast food .. Hmm, no wonder women live longer than us. :P

Envy Ticker: It's official, Jonathan Sherr is the new luckiest gaijin alive! haha, well that aside, I'm happy that Japan is finally doing this. It's a big step in gaijin-kind, heck, maybe I'll still live to see the day when Japan becomes a multicultural country. Nah, but maybe my successors one billion years from now will? Continental drift would've caused Vancouver to collide with Tokyo by then, so it'll happen for sure. :)

Unhip Ticker: In the season premiere, Oprah introduced the #1 best-selling song on the Billboard charts for the past 20 weeks: Black Eyed Pea's "I Gotta Feeling." I "gotta" feeling that I'm getting too old because I've never heard of this song before. I'm also feel old because I didn't really like it, and just kept thinking how the title seems so Engrish. ;)

Cool Ticker: alchymyst found these INCREDIBLE color photos from 100 years ago. I didn't know color photos were around back then, and many of the photos look even better than today's best dSLRs!

Current Headlines ticker: Usually I'm not that affected by news, but for whatever reason, I've been disturbed and upset by the Annie Le murder. Just how it happened, why it happened, the timing .. just made me lose a bit of faith in the world. Eh, I'll write about it more someday.

Pet Peeve #3: Foul-mouth people in public. Now, I don't wanna sound puritanical, hey I swear too and I love Joe Pesci movies, but hearing people loudly swear on the bus, the train, the restaurant, especially when there's all these kids around, does bug me. The other day at Subway, I listened as this guy managed to fit an expletive in every sentence he spoke while his girlfriend showered him with kisses -- who dates these kind of people? *sigh*

Lastly, PLEASE KEEP VOTING EVERYDAY! Thank you so much for the support so far. Only 2 people left and 10 more days to go! *fingers crossed*
Haruka - NOOO!!

Now serving: eBay en Flambé!

Back in May, one of the top eBay execs flew over to Vancouver to deliver the bad news: eBay had decided to close down the Vancouver branch. Even though we were outperforming all the other eBay branches around the world, we were the only center to get the axe. :P

Employee: "Is it because of the recession?"
Exec: "Absolutely not, we're just consolidating our resources."


I've always left jobs on my own terms, so I wasn't sure how to react to a lay-off. Eventually, I just decided to focus everything on work before the August closure. At one point, I was working 12 hour shifts, 6 days/week -- my coworkers started calling me the Overtime King and management kept reminding me of all the labor laws I kept breaking. ^_^; But I did it because I really enjoyed working there; work was pretty easy, I liked helping members out, and my coworkers were awesome. We had 100 people in our department, we all knew each other and we were almost like family. So it was hard to break up.

But break-up we did!! =D

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So, now that I'm done work, I spent the last week catching up to two months worth of LJ! MY EEEEYES!!

One day, I'd like to write a bit more about the memorable stuff at eBay, but it'll have to be Friends Lock .. I guess I'm still afraid of being fired even after I've been fired? :P But seriously, working with eBay was a blast, but it's time to move on to Level 2. Next up? Hmm, hHonestly, I'd like to be an entrepreneur and create something rather than work for someone's creation again.

Realistically though, I'll probably be back at Workopolis tomorrow. XD

- Peer Pressure Ticker: I'm very close to caving in and finally getting a Facebook and/or Twitter. It's so hard to keep in touch with friends otherwise. "No, but I have Livejournal!" "Er, what's that?" Do you get that a lot too?? And yet, I'm not really sure what I'd post over there because, as you know, I'm a writer at heart and write A LOT. So I was shocked to learn that even Facebook, the king of kings, has a character limit!! WAZZUPWITDAT?! Why wouldn't anyone rather use LJ with its unlimitedness?

- Cool Video Ticker: meh, you've all seen that by now (Vancouver news rocks!). Ok, how about this: Sugar of YTV fame is making videos again and her latest is pretty entertaining!:

- Pet Peeve #2: Drivers who don't signal! I don't get it -- it's instinctive for me, yet I can count more drivers in a day who don't, even when they're often cutting in so close and so quickly in front of me! This isn't just for safety, but it should be common courtesy, like holding a door for someone. *sigh* Signaling is a dying art.
Ramos - Go Crazy!

The Wildly Wide West

The Detroit Red Wings are the Western Conference Champions in the NHL. That's right, the WESTERN champions. I was thinking about this the other day, and I just found it hard to believe, so I pulled up a map.

Yup, the NHL map is crazy. This is how the West is defined:

Not only is Detroit considered in the West, but the Columbus Blue Jackets 50 kms east of Detroit is STILL in the Western Conference! Meanwhile, the Atlanta Thrashers are 50 kms WEST of Columbus, and are in the EASTERN Conference!!

The NBA map isn't that much better, although at least Detroit, Atlanta and Columbus (if they had a team anyway) are in the East:

Obviously, it's because the teams aren't that spread out, skewing the border to the East where most of the teams reside. What could pull the border closer to the middle would be if we had more teams in the Northwestern states. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and North and South Dakota have no hockey, basketball, football, baseball, or any national sports teams Wazzupwitdat?! What do they play over there, golf?

Apology ticker: In my last post 5 weeks ago, I made a HUGE plug for everyone to watch the Dancing With The Stars finals and I was surprised at how many people I convinced to see it in the comments! (*cough*None*cough*) But if anyone actually did watch it based on my plug, I'M SORRY, it sucked. Freestyle is too non-ballroom for my tastes. The final results dances were far better .. Gilles and Cheryl's last dance is one of the best I've seen in the franchise! I'm still shocked that Gilles came in 2nd, but with Annie Duke, Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle all in second place, I guess it was the trend of the reason on reality TV. :P

Regret ticker:
- I *really* regret not applying for the 2010 Olympic Ceremony performer in time. It was the ULTIMATE volunteer job, and the training actually starts right after eBay Vancouver closes at the end of September. It was like destiny calling, but I kept putting off applying until when I finally found time last weekend, the application was closed. I've tried to console myself by thinking I might not have made it anyway, but they were hiring **4500** people!! And I'm a natural performer. ;) I just can't help but imagine what it would be like dancing in a stadium of tens of thousands of people, with millions around the world watching. *sigh* I think I might send a video to the director and see if I can still get in, but he's the guy that actually said to the media, "This is your ONE and ONLY chance to audition!"

- If my June wasn't bad enough after that, I also lost the chance to win a $2500 ring. >_< Won't bore you with the details, but somehow I was at #1 for many weeks on the Canada-wide Bachelorette tv show fantasy pool without actually watching most of the show! But this week, even with the spoiler sites, pictures, and my mom stating what would happen, I didn't believe them and defiantly chose the wrong guy instead of the right one!! I really wanted to give that ring to my mom since I've never really given her much in return for all these years she's helped me out. But now that I've fallen from #1 to #10 due to thinking logically when reality shows are illogical, the ring has completely slipped through my fingers!!

( That made no sense, did it? )

Be Ambitious! ticker: In brighter news, I'm really thinking of running for that Livejournal Advisory Committee thing they're doing. I have had TONS of ideas for saving LJ, and was planning to post these ideas on here one day, now I just need to post them over at the nomination board instead. Of course, they just had to choose my busiest and worst week of the year to run this thing, so I'm not sure if I can get something up by the Friday 4:30 deadline. But if I do, I'll be in it to win so please VOTE FOR ME!! I promise jobs, peace, and 200 x 200 userpics!!
Salaryman - Don&#39;t mess with me!

Bzzz! No simpatico!

I've been in training at work for the past few weeks, and as with every training class at eBay, it starts with this ice-breaker: "Tell us a fun fact about yourself."

I've always had trouble with this question: What is fun about me? I just can't think of anything. Maybe it's not just me: If posed this question, could you think of anything on the spot that you could tell a roomful of strangers? What would you say?

In hindsight, I should've talked about movies simply because I *love* talking about movies! There's nothing right now that I like discussing about more. I could've brought up how I was just about to complete my New Year's Resolution of watching every movie from a certain famous company everyone knows of (more on that next time ;) ).

But NOOOOOO, I noticed most people in the group's answer was about movies, so I needed to be different!

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I'm so frustrated by my answer that I'm blogging about it to make it go away. :P It bugs me because I'll never get another go at the question again because it was the last training class. And by last, I really mean LAST, since this training session was part of eBay's big "Train Everyone in Everything" initiative . . now that we know EVERYTHING, there's nothing left to train us about. :P

  • I've finally finished going over two months of f-lists post, and probably the weirdest thing I found was this Japanese commercial on scorchy96's journal.

    Kit-Kat, congratulations on making the worst commercial of all time. Does anyone have any idea what it means? Or how it's supposed to make you want to buy Kit-Kats??

  • On the flip side, a commercial I really like is Electronic Art's FLAIR vs. BEAR
    PART 1:
    PART 2: (My favorite episode -- vintage Flair! XD )
    PART 3:
    PART 4:
    PART 5:

    Of course, you could say the campaign's just as ineffective as the Kit-Kat one. It makes me want to buy a wrestling game more than a strategy war simulator. :P

  • I bookmarked this last month to post, still as sick as the first time I saw it: Hong Kong's toilet restaurant

  • And last but not least, Woody Harrelson beats up paparazzo because he thought he was a zombie.
  • Melissa Theuriau - En Autre Nouvelles

    Oddest, randommest, what-should-I-be-feelingest news ever on CNN

    In case you missed it, this was posted on CNN for like 15 minutes yesterday before it got yanked, but as soon as I saw it, I knew it had to be preserved forever in the Randomness Historical Archives:

    I tried making a caption, and ended up making ten. Sorry, I couldn't resist!! . .

    #10. "I wanted a kid, and got a kidney instead"
    #9. "I think you pushed a little TOO hard there, maam."
    #8. "Honey, I warned you about the hazards of eating kidney beans during the third trimester!"
    #7. "Just one? But the mammogram showed twins!"
    #6. "Um, the bad news is your baby has no arms, legs, face or brain. The good news is it's healthy!"
    #5. "We may have another one, but more than that is probably unlikely."
    #4. "Does this mean I automatically fail Delivery 101?"
    #3. "I can only pray that our baby grows into a beautiful beanstalk."
    #2. "Yes, Mr. Hefner, we do take special requests."

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    Yeah, they're cheezy, but hey, that's my LJ name. :P Feel free to let me know your captions. :)

  • Why are all the entertainment news programs so focussed on Jessica Simpson being "fat" even weeks later? I say that in quotations because when I saw those pictures, I just could not imagine how anyone could call that fat, no matter how many times the media tried to hammer the message home. Hollywood needs glasses. -_-;

  • The other overblown story that they're devoting the next few weeks to is Christian Bale's f-bomb rant . . I love how all the critics and celebs are going, "Of course, I've never done THAT before!!! >____>"

  • But the saddest news of all this week was that they're cancelling Vancouver's annual Celebration of Light fireworks show after 18 consecutive years! That's like Vancouver's most famous and treasured event!! C'mon people, stop being so cheap!! Bleh, now all we have left is the stupid steam clock and that Olympics thingy. :(