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November 30, 2006 11:24 PM Whine  |   Link
Official Certificate in the Mail

It's all done. I just got an email that my certificate in Business Administration from UC Berkeley Extension is on its way. J thinks we should celebrate. Does this mean party at Chez Chan? Not sure since the holidays are around the corner and everyone's dance card is full. Perhaps a meld of book swap and certificate celebration? We'll see. I just wanted to just write that I'm glad to be done with it and let's see where it takes me next...

angel investing
investment banking
product management

Email me (lchan at mywhine.com) what you think...

November 29, 2006 11:39 AM Food & Wine  |   Link
Questions to Ask Evaluating Restaurants

Now I have a checklist of things to remember and consider when evaluating restaurants. Oooh I can't wait to start really doing this more. I just can't seem to justify expensive dinners right now while I'm still enjoying cooking at home.

November 27, 2006 08:25 PM Whine  |   Link
Lots o' Photos

It took me a while to get the photos off the camera...oh well here are some to pass the late fall day...

ePhysician get together at the Elephant Bar, October 2006
Always fun to see a fun bunch of folks from J's previous company.

SF Auto Show, November 2006
Not as exciting this year however it was nice to see the new lines of hybrids. As you went down the escalators at Mascone the Tesla was on display, the electric sports car famous because the Google boys funded it. One booth advertising electric two passnger vehicles even had a George W impersonator with his own secret service type bodyguards. Overall auto shows are not as fun as they used to be...or better yet nothing like the Detroit Auto Show we went to a few years ago. Or it could be that we're really not into cars as we used to.

Peter White Christmas at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay, November 2006
Video will be posted shortly. Need to edit and upload. Looks can be deceiving, I thought Mindy wasn't going to be able to keep up with Rick & Peter. I was so wrong. She really knew how to jam and had a great voice too. We're going to hunt down some of her music, it was a great medley of holiday tunes and some of each of the musicians signature pieces. A nice intimate indoor setting, and we were only 3 rows back center. The show was really a nice way to get into the holiday season.

November 26, 2006 02:42 PM Business & Finance  |   Link
Mommy Inventions + sales = $$$$

I have many friends and family who are just great at new ideas to market to other mommies/daddies. This article is for you!

Innovations inspired by kids: Parents' creativity unleased when faced with practical needs.

So here's some encouragement...go out and invent!

November 22, 2006 07:32 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
Where Web2.0, market research & microformats

What's on my mind right now at this moment...

What's happening at the crossroads of Web2.0, information from market research, and microformats...

Please tell me there's something out there where culling information from the major information vendors for industry/market research can be easily gathered, manipulated, and analyzed.

Whine  |   Link
Librarian Tattoos

Archie McPhee has temporary Librarian Tattoos

Pretty funny description...

"It used to be that librarians were considered the quiet mousy type, but not anymore! Today's librarians are a rough and rowdy crowd of rugged individualists that are as unique as they are unstereotypical! These Librarian Temporary Tattoos will allow them to show the world exactly how idiosyncratic they are and then, after seeing the world's confused look, they can help the world look up idiosyncratic in the dictionary at the reference desk. Literate 4 Life!"

Food & Wine  |   Link
It's Crab Season!!!!

I would have posted this to a food blog I contribute to, Metafooder. However the disclaimer would be long and endless since the restaurant we hit up for crab during tihs time is owned by J's uncle.

R&G Lounge
631 Kearny, San Francisco

They have this amazing salt/pepper crab that is lip smacking good. Here's the description from their website: Live Battered crab deep-fried and sprinkled with salt and pepper seasonings.($25)

J and I have occassionally dine there and ate in silence. We order some bean sprouts and the crab, nothing else. We don't even bother with rice. One time we went with J's sister and brother-in-law and ate the plate clean, however there was alot of "fighting" over who gets the claw. When it's just the two of us we just eat slowly and freely, no "fighting", no conversation needed. So with crab in season again, we'll be hitting up this restaurant soon. We're just wondering if we should bother inviting some friends. I know K&T(and NO that's not Katie & Tom Cruise) enjoyed coming with us last February of afternoon crab feast.

Oh and we'll probably hit up my friend's resaturant, Princeton Seafood Company 50 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, perhaps on Friday before the jazz show at the Ritz. They are known for great seafood year round and all of it is local! Hopefully we'll remember to take photos.

November 20, 2006 09:54 PM Business & Finance  |   Link
Yahoo SVP Hates Peanut Butter

This story first hit the newstands by WSJ with the actual leaked memo. Internal Memo Rips Yahoo (SFGate.com) But I think the real fallout from this story is the decrease in sales of peanut butter. Be sure to support your favorite brand and buy some peanut butter today!

November 18, 2006 05:25 PM Whine  |   Link
Furiously Cleaning

I don't know who is more nervous, me or J? He's doing his GMAT test right now and all day I've been cleaning like crazy. I put things away in the garage, broke down some boxes, cleaned up the carpet and put things away. In the bathroom I was going to start scrubbing the marble and tile. I was even considering hand scrubbing the linoleum(which I really hate because it makes my forearms hurt alot). When I'm stressed, anxious or nervous I tend to clean alot...during my finals in college I would scrub the grossest pots and floors to a nice shine. Perhaps I have elements of obsessive compulsive behaviors but there's definitely a zen quality to cleaning. It's all about control too and as you know me already I always want to have things organized into cute little categories or in their own place. Well in an hour J should be getting home and now my tummy is always starting to act up. It feels like I'm taking the test right now! I wonder if J and I have that Elliott/ET thing going on where we're super connected.

Information Architecture  |   Link
Usability Toolbox

My friend Daniel Szuc(HK) and his colleague Gerry Gaffney have recently produced an interesting product for small teams out there who want to try to implement some form of usability work on their projects.

The Usability Kit, published by Sitepoint.

Congratulations Daniel!

November 17, 2006 11:50 AM Business & Finance  |   Link
Mega-church Member New Demographic

Interesting article at Knowledge@Wharton on product placement and marketing of non-relgious products within mega-church communities.

Product Placement in the Pews? Microtargeting Meets Megachurches

"Advertising has begun to seep into churches, and the phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, say academic, religious and marketing experts. Among the wave of early adopters: the Republican Party, which successfully sold its platform to church-goers in the 2000 and 2004 elections; Hollywood, which discovered the economic power of faith when Mel Gibson's church-marketed film "The Passion of the Christ" became a blockbuster; and publishing, with Rick Warren's best-selling The Purpose-Driven Life, heavily marketed by a Christian publishing house."

November 16, 2006 03:32 PM Health & Fitness  |   Link
Really Reading WSJ Again

Since J started his Kaplan classes for the GMAT, we started receiving daily WSJ paper and also monthly Rolling Stones. What a strange combination. Well today there were some really interesting articles that caught my attention.

Wall Street Journal (Paid Subscription Required)
How to Keep Your Aging Brain Fit: Aerobics
"According to a new study, the brain's long, slow decline may not be inevitable. And the key to keeping intellectually sharp as we age may not be mental gymnastics -- as commonly recommended -- but real gymnastics."

Pearson to Create a 'Wiki' Book
"Publishing giant Pearson is joining with two top business schools to create a business book authored and edited by a "wiki" -- an online community dedicated to writing."
Business school professors use wikis to get the business community to contribute to current topics facing businesses.

House & Garden  |   Link
And I thought 1100sq ft was too small

Great article in NY Times about a couple who renovated their 300sq ft apartment to keep cheap rent when they were expecting their first baby.

And Now a Baby, Too!

ApartmentTherapy has more info as well. I hope I can be as clever in redesigning the use of space in our house. I really can't complain. Perhaps a redesign of the kitchen should be in order soon. I'm aching to rip out never clean vinyl floor. I can't stand having white floors!

November 15, 2006 08:28 PM Cars  |   Link
Who Had Too Much to Drink?

Mini Traveller

I can't bare to say anything. The photos stand for themselves.

Whine  |   Link
Addicted to Google Game

There are moments when I'm waiting for a reply, a returned call, or something to print and I click Guess-the-Google to pass the couple of minutes. It's addictive and quite amuzing since the goal is to reverse engineer the image results for Google by identifying the keywords.

November 12, 2006 10:37 AM Information Architecture  |   Link
Web 2.0 Meet Web 3.0("Semantic Web")

Entrepreneurs See a Web Guided by Common Sense (NY Times, free reg required)

The article talks about Web3.0 and differentiates with Web2.0. My first impression was that great let the common person understand but I'm thinking why should the common person care. As users we really don't care, I'm just glad there's something on the "net" that can solve my problem. Why dress it all up with these "slick" acronyms and monikers? The article is good, I'm just surprised the the Semantic Web hasn't gotten as sexy as Web2.0(mash-ups). With my active research recently on a couple of projects, I'm probably professionally active somewhere between both these phenomena.

November 11, 2006 11:19 AM Food & Wine  |   Link
What's a 2 Star Michelin Rating Like?

Manresa 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA

We celebrated our 10th "first date" anniversary last night at a Michelin 2-star restaurant/Mobil Travel Guide 4-star restaurant. The dinner was truly amazing. We were 20 minutes early and Michael Kean, the general manager got us a table right away. The decor was nice, comfortable and inviting..not too plush, a nice balance of modern and warm. We were seated along one wall where we can see the door to the kitchen and get a good view of the wine storage and most of the room. The crowd looked a little bit on the older side wearing business suits. I had double checked opentable.com to read more on how to dress for the restaurant. I went for a safe outfit and wore all black with a hot pink shawl. J did the whole black look with a silver button-down shirt. Can't go wrong with black.

The room didn't feel overly crowded or noisy. I'm wondering if this is just a more sedate crowd or if it was because they didn't try to cram too many tables in the restaurant.

The restaurant location is actually quite quaint and tucked away in on a little street between University & Santa Cruz. Parking was a bit of a challenge since this part of Los Gatos is quite popular with all its shops and restaurants. I thought with the cooler weather there would be less folks, however arriving earlier than we expected we didn't mind waiting for a space to open up in the lot just behind the restaurant. There is no valet service.

This had to be the most memorable meal we've ever had. Considering our first date dinner was more of a college type fare with spaghetti, salad and soda which was over in 20 minutes. The time of our dinner party included a viewing of Toy Story. The Manresa experience was the extreme opposite on the spectrum of dining experiences.

When we were reviewing the menu we wanted to try the tasting menu and we didn't want our dinner to take 3-4 hours. We were starving since we ate so little during the day and it was already 8 o'clock. So we both decided to do the 4 course dinner and selected different dishes so that we could try the variety of food. Since we were celebrating we also opted for the wine pairing for our dishes.

After we browsed the menu and enjoyed the bread and sea salted butter, I manager came up to show us their latest prized possession, a nice white truffle from Italy. The truffle was a little bigger than a golfball and was sitting on a bed of uncooked rice in a nice black lacquer box. It was quite a beautiful presentation. For an extra $65 you can have a few shavings of this amazing fungi during the second course.

Amuse bouche
Spoon of acorn squash puree with evoo and a little crushed sea salt.

Slow cooked egg with something like sour cream and chives...(i need to learn more about how to taste seasonings and distinguish creams and stuff) This was quite heavenly. You had to mix it all around to make sure the dressing was incorporated with the egg.

Deep fried parmesan stick(similar to a cheesy churro), not too greasy and just a slight taste of saltiness.
This was paired with a Cava sparking wine. This was a nice way to start our celebration dinner.

First Course
Butterfish sashimi with a really nice olive oil dressing. The fish was really like butter, a slight transluscent pink color touched with a bit of olive oil, the serving was a good portion to be able to enjoy and to share.

Sweet onion-brioche soup with a slice of manchego cheese and slow-cooked egg. Poured into a bowl, the soup was amazing and the wine really brought out the flavors. The cheese and slow-cooked egg were really nice balance to the sweetness of the soup. The cheese gave the nice saltiness and the egg gave some weight and texture.

Second Course
Arctic char with some greens. This was a nice light fish that resembled salmon but not as heavy or oily. A nice balance with my super light chardonnay or was it a sauvignon blanc...can't remember.

The john dory on the plancha(style of cooking on a cast iron plate), drenched in Indian spices, yogurt & cucumber sauce. This dish was an amazing mix of fish in a slightly spicey sauce. The wine pairing was excellent and it truly brought out the spiciness but balanced with the buttery feel of the wine.

Third Course
Squab, nice medium rare really red. However the server warned us and said that if it was cooked well it would have become rubbery with no flavors. He was right, the rareness released the nice balanced flavors of the meat with its accompaniment and sauce. The dish was not salty and the wine pairing was amazing; a 2005 Jezebel Pinot Noir from Oregon. That was the only thing I wrote down because the wine was amazing.

My veal cheeks braised in apple cider, celery root and maitakes, roquefort was absolutely amazing. The earthy French syrah I had was a nice balance to the earthiness of my dish. The veal was tender and felt like it was melting in my mouth. We both ate in silence as we enjoyed our meals.

Enough time paced our courses and gave us a chance to enjoy our wine. James, our server was quite helpful in explaining our meal and the accompanying wine. He asked if we were there celebrating an occassion; we told him it was our anniversary. For our last course, dessert, he served both our plates with a little candle on them. It was a nice gesture and made our celebration dinner feel more festive.

Fourth Course
Chocolate marquis , cashews and white coffee ice cream. A highly sophisticated Snickers-like bar with white chocolate ice cream. The small portion was enough to close out the dinner but not too much to overpower the flavors from all the courses. This was paired with a nice velvety late harvest red wine.

Date cake with Tahitian vanilla ice cream with carmelized bacon and dried pear slice. I really don't even know how to describe this one. The carmelized bacon was an unlikely pair with the date cake but somehow it was a really nice touch to the dessert.

Great presentation of loose tea and served in individual teapots. I'm hoping for Christmas I can get a nice loose tea presentation box. We both had a lemongrass herbal tea. This was a nice way to top off our dinner and warm us up before we headed outdoor.

What was more amazing about this dining experience was the General Manager gave us a tour of the kitchen. Executive Chef Kinch was somewhat busy so all he could manage was a subtle wave to acknowledge our presence. Not too bad considering we've never been in the kitchen to see a kitchen's choreographed dance. One of the highlights of the kitchen was a professional stove that was imported from France. It cooks with even heat at various tempertures. The chef basically moves the pot over the French top(not open but smooth so fuel smell of gas doesn't affect the food) of the stove which was made of cast iron. You can read more from the SFGate Review.

After so much wine(we don't usually drink), we went for a walk on Santa Cruz Ave in the extremely cool November evening...it was getting close to midnight when we headed home. I guess dinner did take over 3 hours! But we really didn't notice the time since we were savoring each bite of our meal and enjoying spending quality time together.

4 Course Meal was $85 and another $52 for the wine pairing
Chef's Tasting Menu(seasonal and spontaneous) was $115 and another $72 for the wine pairing.

Next time we'll plan for an earlier dinner and try the tasting menu.

November 06, 2006 10:22 PM Business & Finance  |   Link
Tax Season Will Be Here Soon

Yes I know we haven't even hit Thanksgiving yet. But I tell you before you even start to think about what to buy when going Christmas shopping, consider your financial outlook for this year and start planning. You never know when those receipts will be important or that junk mail turned out to be your 1099 statements. You just never know how crazy life will be when the holiday season takes over.

I just go the Captio TaxCase

It looks like a great way to manage all the paperwork during the year and centralizes much of the information you need anyway before you even start your taxes. While we use a professional tax accountant, it's still a useful binder to make sure you have tracked all your important financial details. The organizer/control freak in me is actually excited again about our finance management. Yes I'm definitely endorsing mywhine associates link to Amazon but as many of you know me I'm a financial planning walking buildboard.

November 02, 2006 07:23 AM Health & Fitness  |   Link
Spa Living Full-Time

Living in Zen (NY Times)

Can it be the ultimate dream home for a spa-goer like me? A condo community revolving around spa ammenities. Interesting article about these concept communes being planted right in the middle of stressful metro cities. Sounds like a great idea. There are many special vacation destination or even 2nd home type residences in more rural/remote locations such as in Arizona and Utah. I even thought of doing my one month time off there, however I felt like Napa had a good mix of that feel without the high pricetag. I wonder if SF will have them too?

November 01, 2006 03:34 PM Whine  |   Link
Cops & Agents Roaming Around

We're on the border of Atherton and sometimes we cut through a particular street to get to Middlefield to get to our neighborhood. Somehow today I turned into this street and there were several cop cars at either ends of the street. At first I thought it was something horrible that happened. But no ambulances or roadblocks. I was imaginging that in one of those mansions there was some political campaigner or bigwig executive having a fundraiser lunch or something. They had me stop and I told them I lived in the neighborhood. Yeah right me in my little dinky Honda just passing through Atherton to go to Menlo Park. It looked like there were a couple "agent" looking folks. I figured they were agents because of the earpieces dangling from their ear. And no it was not an ipod thing. The last time I saw these types of folks was when Chelsea was still on campus. I'm so curious to hear who was the celebrity in my neighborhood requiring all the security detail. I'll scour the news tomorrow. There has to be some write up somewhere.