All Tea Comes From One Species?

I was told the different styles of tea (i.e. Green Tea, Black Tea, and Oolong Tea) were just different ways of preparing the tea leaves by Tekman which I could accept. But a few days ago Cari told me that all tea leaves originate from the same species, which I couldn’t even force myself to believe. Even in each category of Green Tea, Black Tea, Oolong Tea, etc, there are way too many different kinds of tea and different tastes. Even within Chinese black teas, they all taste quite different. Even my dad wouldn’t believe all tea leaves are of the same species when I asked him about it today.

So I decided to do some research online. According to Wikipedia: Tea is produced from leaves and leaf buds of Camellia sinensis, the tea plant. All tea varieties, such as green, oolong, and black tea, are harvested from this species, but differ by processing. It just blows my mind to think that all teas are from the same species. Do note, there are still variations inside species, just like skin color, hair color, and eye color differentiation within the human species. If you want to see how green tea and black tea differ during the processing, you can read more about it at Wikipedia.

I still wasn’t too certain with this info, so I did so more searching and found these:

  • Tea Information and Types of TeaTea is basically the dried and processed leaves of only one species of plant called camellia sinensis. Interestingly enough, herbal teas or herbal infusions are not really teas, but simply dried flowers and/or herbs.
  • Generation Tea : Pu-erh Tea, Chinese Tea, Oolong Tea, Black TeaThe tea species Camellia sinensis produces all the varieties of tea. The processing ultimately determines the class of tea created. This is part of the mystique of tea.

This is just mind boggling! Some time later, we also began to question if coffee were all from the same species, which I personally thought had a higher probability of being from the same species than tea, but it turns out there are 2 species of beans that can be used to make coffee. According to Wikipedia: There are two main species of the coffee plant. Coffea arabica is the older of them. It is thought to be indigenous to Ethiopia, but as the name implies it was first cultivated on the Arabian Peninsula. It is more susceptible to disease, and considered by professional cuppers to be greatly superior in flavor to Coffea canephora (robusta), which contains about twice as much caffeine—a natural insecticide (paralyzes and kills some of the insects that attempt to feed on the plant) and stimulant— and can be cultivated in environments where arabica will not thrive. This has led to its use as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in many commercial coffee blends such as Folgers, Maxwell House and almost all instant coffee products. Compared to arabica, robusta tends to be more bitter, with a telltale “burnt rubber” aroma and flavor. Good quality robustas are used as ingredients in some espresso blends to provide a better “crema” (foamy head), and to lower the ingredient cost. In Italy many espresso blends are based on dark-roasted robusta.

Dim Sum

Went to dim sum at Ocean Star with Cari, Decathanerd, and Ohfuee. I was shocked at how many people went to dim sum on a weekday! It wasn’t even a holiday for most people. Usually when I go to dim sum on a weekday, hardly anyone’s there. That day, we had to wait like 30mins before we got a table. For some reason, we sat in an area where no one really cared for us. Took us minutes to wave down a waiter to get us tea. Also took a long time to wave down a waiter to calculate our bill.

Thanks to Ohfuee for bringing this up, but I almost totally forgot about the shark fin soup lady. The shark fin soup lady that day (the lady that pushes the cart around with the shark fin soup selling for $10/bowl) stopped at our table. She literally stood there for a few minutes without saying anything. We had already told her that we didn’t want anything from her cart. All this time, she’s staring at me. I feel quite uncomfortable and start to slowly turn around to peak at what she’s doing. She suddenly starts talking. “How long have you had the tail?” ending with “It’s very cute.” I think my tail’s attracting attention from the wrong age group.

Afterwards, we went bowling at ABC. Bowled two games, both horribly. I think my scores averaged to about 60-70. Decathanerd had the best score for both games, breaking 100 on both.

Ohfuee needed to get some snowboard wax, so we headed to a sports shop close to Montebello mall. Guess who we saw there! MsticAzn! He apparently was looking at getting some laceless snowboard boots.

We went to get ice cream afterwards. It’s been awhile since I’ve had rainbow sherbet. That’s my favorite ice cream flavor when I was a kid. I’ve switched to chocolate chip later because you can’t ever find rainbow sherbet in the supermarket.

Afterwards, we headed back to Cari’s place and we played hours after hours of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The game sells on for $20. The Link in this story is cute, but not as cute as the Link in Minish Cap. The cutest scene is when Link wakes up after sleeping and shakes and tries to wake up the cap. Can’t seem to find the animation online, maybe I’ll capture it later for you. Anyway, back to Wind Waker. I always thought I disliked 3D Zelda games ever since the first one was introduced on the N64, but besides the tedious sailing, this one’s pretty fun. You actually have a dragon boat which is pretty cool because you can shoot bombs from a canon on it. I still prefer the 2D Zelda games because I really only have 4 directions to move in: up, down, left, right. In 3D Zelda games, it’s so hard to correct the direction, in the case where I need to jump and stuff and the focus button doesn’t exactly know which direction I need to go. One good thing is that the GameCube controller has more buttons to associate weapons with instead of just 2 on the GameBoy Advance. The charging of the sword required to do the spin attack is also no longer needed.

zelda wind waker

Also, the graphics totally remind me of The Emperor’s New Groove, especially when the bombs explode and smoke comes out.

the emperor's new groove

We went to Noodle World for dinner and once again, we had bad luck with the waiters. I swear they tried to ignore us on purpose. Several waiters walked past our table, I was waving the menu, but they had their heads turn the other way, when there was nothing there! They were slow in bringing our plates and water and when we were trying to get a waiter to give us chopsticks. Hopefully, the patrons next to us who had already gotten thier chopsticks and not their food yet were nice enough to give us their chopsticks.

We then went back to Cari’s place to play some more Wind Waker. Decathanerd took a nap and we left around 2ish. I couldn’t believe it was that late already!

Print USPS First Class, Media Mail, Parcel Mail Postage for FREE!

Got this from SlickDeals: Print First Class, Media Mail, and Parcel Mail postage through PayPal. After you login, just select USPS and then just set up the label and print! only supports printing Priority Mail and Express Mail labels on their website. I could never figure out why the wouldn’t let us print out labels and postage on their site. The only reason I could think of was with the ‘ease’ created, a bunch of USPS employees would have to be laid off.

There are other services such as Pitney Bowes (service PayPal goes through) which allows you to print postages online, but they all charge a fee or a subscription. This is what makes PayPal’s postage printing service so great! Nothing beats FREE! Unless you actually make money back.

Random Crap:

I have so much random crap queued, it’s not even funny. I haven’t visited pya! in over a month. That’s going to be fun when I actually have to go back and check out all those images. Hopefully I’ll be able to spread the links over the next few days. Also, I may be incorrect on who I got the links from, so if you do find a mistake, please let me know and I’ll fix it.

Cute Overload! 😉 (from deadlock) – At Cute Overload®, we scour the Web for only the finest in Cute Imagery™. Imagery that is Worth Your Internet Browsing Time. We offer an overwhelming amount of cuteness to fill your daily visual allowance. Drink it in! Most of the pictures are mediocre, but some are SO CUTE!!!

cute puppies biting nose

Agents’ visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior (from /.) – A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung’s tome on Communism called “The Little Red Book.” The actual book is titled Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. Here’s the online edition. Is the McCarthy era starting again?

Animated Singing Santa Hack (from /.) – I’m sure you’ve seen this Santa in malls and such, but this guy managed to hack it to sing Christmas songs with different words. You should be able to find the videos in the 3rd paragraph (not linked since author requested it).

Riddle of “corpse bride” draws crowdsIs the tall, slender bridal figure in the window a richly detailed shop’s dummy or, as a local legend says, the decades-old embalmed corpse of the former store owner’s daughter? It’s funny how the image looks quite similar to one of the characters in the recent movie Corpse Bride.

The truth about shutdown. (from /.) – Link’s text says it all.

2005 Year-End Google Zeitgeist (from /.) – It turns out that looking at the aggregation of billions of search queries people type into Google reveals something about our curiosity, our thirst for news, and perhaps even our desires. Considering all that has occurred in 2005, we thought it would be interesting to study just a few of the significant events, and names that make this a memorable year. (We’ll leave it to the historians to determine which ones are lasting and which ephemeral.) We hope you enjoy this selective view of our collective year. It’s always fun to see which search queries were done the most often.

Computer worm traps child porn offenderA child porn offender in Germany turned himself in to the police after mistaking an email he received from a computer worm for an official warning that he was under investigation, authorities said Tuesday. “It just goes to show that computer worms aren’t always destructive,” said a spokesman for police in the western city of Paderborn. “Here it helped us to uncover a crime which would otherwise probably have gone undetected.”

Dumped pets “don’t match new sofa”Britons have abandoned their pets because they didn’t match new sofas or carpets, the RSPCA said on Tuesday as it issued its annual warning that animals should not be given as Christmas presents. If I get a puppy, should I be happy or angry?

Born with no arms (from deadlock) – This guy is amazing! What he can do with just his feet is just miraculous!

EU commissioner unhappy with Google, Microsoft, and YahooThere’s a lot of money to be made in China right now if you’re willing to play by the government’s rules—especially when it comes to censorship—and plenty of American companies are. A few months back, for instance, Yahoo turned over e-mail written by a reporter to the Chinese government, which then threw the reporter in jail, where he is currently serving a ten-year sentence. Or take Microsoft, who in June was discovered to be blocking words such as “freedom,” “democracy,” and “demonstration” in blogs hosted on MSN in China. And finally there’s Google, which last year was found to be omitting links to news sources that were banned by the Chinese government. Do you think companies should be allowed to compromise moral judgements in order to compete with others?

Tokyo Store Selling Diamond-Studded CakeThe economy is finally picking up, and Tokyoites are in a spending mood this winter. So how better to celebrate Christmas than with a diamond-studded, $1.7 million cake?

Double-Mouthed Fish Pulled From Neb. LakeThis fish didn’t have a chance. A rainbow trout pulled out of Holmes Lake last weekend had double the chance to get hooked: It had two mouths.

Polite Bank Robber Waits to Be ArrestedA polite bank robber was ordered evaluated at a Buffalo hospital after taking $50 and waiting for police to arrest him. I wonder why he wanted to be arrested…

The Top 10 weirdest case mods (from /.) – all the mods were pretty neat!

New Jersey: Land without sarcasmA list of five possible slogans released on Wednesday leaves out “New Jersey: We can always use another relative on the payroll,” and “Come to New Jersey: It’s not as bad as it smells.”

Live at the World Hobby Festival (from Tera – NOT WORK SAFE) – The World Hobby Festival was held at Tokyo Bigh Sight on December 23rd, a fair for both professionals and people like you and me that are into small figurines. Danny of also have tons of pictures, (make sure to have a look) and myself went there and had a look at this incredible world of fantasy. They have tons of figurine photos! Pretty neat!

The Evolution of a Programmer (from tolik) – Evolution from Jr. High to Chief Executive. Pretty funny joke, yet so true.

Audibility Of Distortion – Interactive Listening Test (from ungsunghero) – I ended up only being able to tell distortions up to about -18dB. Though my excuse is probably I was using the crappy earphones that come with my iPod.

Facts About Guys (from Moochfish) – A counter from what guys should know about girls. Pretty funny.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Been playing The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap for the past few days. It’s the real cause of why I haven’t updated my blog much recently. The game sells on for $30. I first played this game at Best Buy sometime my senior year in college and fell in love with Link (he’s so cute!!!). Zelda is cute too, but Link is cuter. This break, I decided to ask my brother to let me borrow his gameboy and I’ve been playing pretty much non-stop. The only reason why I’m blogging right now is because the battery died when I was in the Ice Dungeon so it’s recharging right now.


(from Video Games Media Network)

(from Ganon’s Tower)

(from Nintendo-Difference)

Did I mention how cute Link is?


Went to watch Munich with Antegra, DNG, Glendia, LilSneezy, PhatFreeza, and Chheang. You can watch the trailer here. IMDB users rate it a 8.0. The movie didn’t have much action, but told a very strong story, though it could’ve been shorter and it felt dragged out every once in awhile.



The story revolves the incident that occured during the 1972 Olympics held in Munich, Germany. This was when the Israelites’ (Jews) and the Arabians’ conflict was in full fledge. The Arabs had killed off 11 of the Israel Olympic contestants. Israel decided they needed to fight back, but they couldn’t do it openly, so they created a team of 5 which will have no governmental connection and will complete 11 assassinations or as many as they could until the Arabs get the message.

Most of the story talked about the process and what went on their minds at that time. One of the most powerful thoughts was the fact that new people replaced those who got killed and the replacements were usually worse than before. The leader of this team could not see an ending to this and when 3 of his teammates died, he gave up on the rest of the mission.

The story was powerful, but does require somewhat of an understanding between Palestines and Israelites.

I didn’t know the movie was directed by Steven Spielberg until the credits started rolling. The cinematograpy was great. DNG noticed the shot of the twin towers at the final scene which was quite symbolic.

Went to Noodle World afterwards and Sueon joined us. We chatted stuff ranging from intelligent design to Microsoft’s Windows Live Local. It was quite fun.

Full Metal Alchemist – Conquer of Shambhala

Just watched Full Metal Alchemist – Conquer of Shambhala (劇場版 鋼の錬金術師 シャンバラを征く者). The subtitles were pretty horrible. Badly translated, missing translations, very bad timing, and tons of typos. However, the story was so good! I don’t want to spoil anything here, but you can read about it in the spoilers.

full metal alchemistfull metal alchemistfull metal alchemistfull metal alchemist

Shambhala, according to Wikipedia is In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambhala (also spelled Shambala or Shamballa) is a mystical kingdom hidden somewhere beyond the snowpeaks of the Himalayas. It is mentioned in various ancient texts including the Kalachakra and the ancient texts of the Zhang Zhung culture which pre-dated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. The Bon scriptures speak of a closely-related land called Olmolungring.


The TV series left much to be desired with Edward and Alphonse seperated. In this movie, it starts off with Ed telling his stories about his world to “another” Alphonse. So let me back track. Ed apparently found an Al-look-a-like in Romania and this Alphonse researches on rocket science. Apparently, physicists exists in Ed and Al’s world too, but their parallel universe followed the route of Alchemy instead of Physics.

Somehow, the Germans and Nazis were involved, as well as the Thule Society. Adolf Hitler (or as called the Fuhrer in the anime) also appeared trying to resurrect Germany after World War I. So that’s the time frame I believe. The Thule Society was trying to connect to Shambhala, this mythical parallel universe and acquire their power to fight the war.

Later on, you find that this new Alphonse is making a rocket to help Thule Society arrive at Shambhala safely. Apparently it needed to reach 11km/hr (or maybe the subtitles were wrong). Tons of duplicates from the original world are also shown in this world, but completely different such as Hughes is stil a police officer. Scar also showed up as a truck driver. I can go on and on with the list, but lets get to the interesting parts.


Al has been trying to figure a way to find his lost brother and when the Thule Society attempted to open the gate between the 2 worlds, he was able to send a armer with part of his soul attached into the other world, finding his brother. So he attempts to connect to the world from his side. Wrath and Gluttony were sacrificed on that side of the gate while Envy and Hohenheim were sacrificed on the other side. After Envy went through the gate in the last episode, apparently he became a big snake (also known as a dragon) in the other world.

After the gate was reopened, Thule Society sent it’s rockets through. The 2nd Alphonse realized that such another world exists and sent Ed through it first. The reunion of Ed and Al and Winry was quite bittersweet. Why I say bittersweet, you’ll find out shortly.

Someone the story ties into the fact that people who you don’t associate with are monsters. That’s why humans somteimes see humans who are different as monsters and would do anything to eliminate (think Nazis and Jews). The Thule Society saw alchemists as a threat and believe they needed to destroy that world at all cost.

Al and Ed team up to fight this invading army which was cool since both of their alchemy skills were superb. Mustang also arrived to help. After they defeated the ‘boss’, Ed knew what he needed to do. He had to bring this army back to the other world because they didn’t belong there. He also needed to close the gate from the other side. Al begged his brother to stay, but he wouldn’t listen. Winry already knew what Ed would do, but she was still sad to see him go, after only seeing him briefly.

After arriving back to the other world, Al pops up hidden inside an armor suit. It was so cute that these 2 brothers get to reunite!

Seems like the DVDRip has finally been released! I just saw PsyKE‘s release and from what I saw, it was pretty good. Did a quick skim and and the fonts, timing, and translations were all pretty decent. Enjoy!

White Elephant

A White Elephant was held over at Glendia’s house last night. White Elephant Gift Exchange is described as:

Traditionally, a “White Elephant” is something lying around the house that you don’t want (some horridly ugly item that someone gave you as a gift or some other item unwanted for some reason). I am of the belief that in most parts of the country, if you tell someone to bring a White Elephant gift it will almost certainly be a gag gift and not something genuinely useful or desirable.

The type of gift exchange that you have described, I have always heard referred to as a “Yankee Swap”.


  1. This party’s gift theme is XYZ.
  2. The gift should be valued as close to $xx.00 as is reasonable.
  3. The gift should be something someone would actually want or use. It should be in new or good condition.
  4. The gift should be wrapped or in an envelope before arriving to the party. Gift bags are OK only if a wrapped item is inside.
  5. Gift certificates are OK only if it is accompanied by some other item as part of the gift. For instance, a $xx Starbucks gift certificate, by itself, is not OK, but a $yy Starbucks gift certificate together with a coffee mug is OK.
  6. As guests arrive to the party, the gifts should be placed in an area where few people can see who brought which gift. All efforts should be made to hide who brought which gift.


  1. Each guest who wishes to participate must contribute a gift. Everyone sits or stands in roughly a circle around the pile of gifts.
  2. Prepare slips of paper equal to the number of gifts with clearly written numbers. Be sure to distinguish 6 from 9, 1 from 7. Each participating guest draws a number and holds onto that slip of paper.
  3. On the first turn, the guest with paper slip #1 chooses a gift, opens it, and all admire it.
  4. On the second turn, the guest with paper slip #2 gets the choice of “stealing” any unwrapped gift (#1’s) or choosing a wrapped one. If #2 steals #1’s gift, then #1 must open a wrapped gift.
  5. On the third turn, the guest with paper slip #3 gets the choice of “stealing” any unwrapped gift (#1’s or #2’s) or choosing a wrapped one.

The game continues based on the following:

  1. If a gift is stolen from you, you can steal a gift (within limits, described below), or open a wrapped one.
  2. The turn proceeds until a wrapped gift is chosen.
  3. A gift cannot be immediately stolen back from the guest who just stole it.
  4. The fourth “owner” of a gift gets to keep it. The gift is “dead” after it has been stolen three times.
  5. “Owners” of “live” gifts must keep them visible and hold them up when requested.
  6. The gift exchange ends when the last wrapped gift is opened. Usually, guests are encouraged to perpetuate the gift stealing as long as there are “live” gifts, but no one is obligated to do this.

The set price for our gifts was $20 and I got something from the Microsoft Company Store before I left from Seattle: Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000. It sells on for $37, but with employee discount, it was a lot closer to the set price of $20.

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, Glendia being the host, made baked some cookies and put ice cream on top of it which was really good, but also super sweet. She also busted out the IceWine (Eiswein) which she brought back from Germany and shared it with us. I declined since I didn’t like wine either. Ohfuee was toasting to every hot actress he could think of.

We modified the rules a bit since there were only 8 people: Antegra, Glendia, JoeHK, LilSneezy, Ohfuee, DNG, Chheang, and I. Also, THE GIFTS RULE #6 was completely violated because almost everyone knew at least what one other person brought. I think the only 2 people who did not know any other gift was Chheang and me. Quite a few interesting gifts showed up and I ended with the Puzz3D Empire State Building which I stole from Antegra.

Some needed to leave as midnight came along because they wanted to open presents with the family. The rest of us stayed to play Taboo. There weren’t really any teams, we just went around in circles guessing. There were moments that were so funny when someone would say something like: “Lily is BLANK.” or “What you do when you’re bored.” or “Heang does this to me.” Glendia had to drive to Vegas the next day, so we left around 3am.

LilSneezy was hungry so we ended up at ABC Cafe. Almost everyone ordered their $2.29 wonton noodles. Cheap. Cheap. Ohfuee also ordered a warm milk with raw egg drink. I didn’t dare to try it, but supposedly it wasn’t that bad. Suddenly out of nowhere, Kalekkos shows up. Apparently, it’s the thing to hang out at ABC Cafe at 5am in the morning on Christmas.

Check out the photos I took.

lily and earl
PhatFreeza would be happy to see this.

heang, anthony, and chheang
Guys awaiting for the present stealing to begin!

Kyle’s Birthday

Kyle’s Birthday was this past Saturday the 24th, but we celebrated with him on Friday. A bunch of us guys got together cand chilled at his place. Antegra and DNG had set it up, but apparently most of the people had other plans already, so only a few showed up. In fact, besides the 2 who setup, only JoeHK and I accepted the Evite. JoeHK was going to arrive later, but the rest of up met up at DNG’s place before we headed off to Kyle’s place. Just when we were about to leave, Chheang gave us a call and asked if he could join. Of course! The more the merrier.

We went to Ralph’s to buy some booze to celebrate Kyle’s birthday. It was suppose to be international beer testing, but no one really knew what beer tasted good. So we did a coin flip between hard alcohol and and beer and hard alcohol won. We ended up with Smirnoff Vodka (green apple flavor) along with some coke. JoeHK being a party pooper called us and told us he might not be able to make it because his company’s Christmas party was extending to karoake.

Antegra, DNG, and JoeHK had chosen a gift certificate from Sports Chalet since Kyle’s really into fishing and they didn’t really know what fishing equipment he needed. Chheang and I chipped in later. They also got him a “Would Rather Be Fishing” license plate holder, which Kyle was able to guess immediately without opening the wrapping.

Kyle busted out his sister’s Grey Goose and Absolut Vodka which they did shots with. I didn’t join in since I didn’t particularily like the taste, but they convinced me to do Coke and half a shot of vodka, which basically tasted like bitter Coke with a hint of green apple.

We talked about a bunch of things and Kyle’s parents are so cool. We played with their cat Zion (yes, the last city of humans in The Matrix). We got Zion to jump between the car and the boat back and forth with a catnip toy. Well, I never got it to jump, but DNG and Kyle did. I guess cats just don’t like me.

Kyle had these really cool BB guns. One was in the form of an assault rifle with semi-automatic shooting. However, the battery was low. We also played with his glock which was powered by CO2 and we were shooting into cardboard boxes.

JoeHK and N0rybic finally showed up and we decided to play some poker. Buy in was only $1 so it was basically a friendly game. They had just gotten a whole poker set with card shuffler, chips, and table. The shuffler didn’t really work, so we basically shuffled on our own. Not really going to get into the details of the game, but Kyle ended up winning with me as #2. The payout was $5 for 1st place and $2 for 2nd. Hehe. I doubled my money. ;p

and once again: