In the past, I've built computers, maintained them etc. and likewise with laptops. I have never, however; completely taken apart a laptop and put it back together again, until now! My uncle's laptop had a faulty motherboard so I took the liberty of replacing it for him. It was a great experience, and not much different than a PC, but I did put in more caution due to all the small parts. In the end, it all worked out and the new motherboard works great!

sorry for the time guys, it took a lot longer to upload than i thought! video was sped up too make the video shorter/smaller in size. squealing noise in the beginning but it goes away after a few seconds!
Hey guys!

In my previous entry I wrote about how i was going to attempt in one of my first cooking projects and make Jambalaya for a dinner fundraiser. That was several days ago, and I promised a video, but trust me, you don't want to see it! I had a camera rolling in the back throughout the whole disaster, but all you could really see was me running around like a lunatic trying to get everything done. We had a cooking demonstration a couple days before, and the instructor made it look SO simple, even separated all the ingredients for us so I thought I would be in the clear. Little did I know, it was much more difficult than I expected! I think the fact that I had very little cooking experience had something to do with the difficulty, but I was running around trying to get everything done, and even cutting the chicken was difficult for me! The recipe called for the chicken to be cut into bite-sized portions, and I thought it would be an easy task, so I would do it mid-cooking. But, to my surprise, raw chicken wasn't the easiest to cut! Slimy and slippery, it took me more time than I expected to cut the chicken, and that was the main set back in my project, but in the end I did end up successfully making a batch of Jambalaya for the fundraiser! Next time, if there I do ever end up making Jambalaya again, I will be sure to cut the chicken beforehand! Here is the recipe I followed to prepare the Jambalaya:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cajun-Jambalaya/Detail.aspx

In other news, my uncle's laptop had some problems, so I took the liberty of fixing it for him. I finished, and will go into more detail in tomorrow's entry, with a video! Promise! I'm uploading it right now onto my Youtube channel, but it's a pretty large file and it's taking a while, but it should be done by tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!
-Hai Pham
In efforts to reduce the price per person on our Mississippi trip, we've held numerous fundraisers of all different sorts. This Saturday we are holding a Southern type dinner with all different traditional southern-style dishes, raffles, and all types of fun. Last night I had a meeting with some of the trip group that was specified in making Jambalaya, where we prepped everything and had a little demonstration on the cooking process. It didn't look too difficult, but then again the person cooking had been making this dish for a long time, so she made it seem like it was nothing! I was looking on in epic confusion, as I told the group, "Well… I haven't really been cooking much at all, I'm a pro at hard boiled eggs… but that's about it…" They all laughed and poked fun at the newbie, but they told me I should be alright. After the dish was prepared, we tested it out, and it was delicious! If you've never had Jambalaya before, I highly recommend trying it. The dish is a mix of chicken, sausage, and rice soaked in juicy and spicy seasoned sauce. I'm going to be preparing the dish Friday (tomorrow) night and I will try to record my endeavors to share with you all! I'll also post up the recipe for you guys in case you want to try your hand at preparing it! Hopefully I don't mess up!
-Hai
So many things going on right now!

My sister recently had her graduation this weekend, so I went up to Maine (Bates College) to watch and support, as well as helping her move all her stuff out. It's crazy how time flies, it seems like just yesterday she had just gone off to college, but now she's graduating and I'm in my third year of college! She's home for a couple weeks but then she's back off to Maine to take an exam called the MCAT (don't ask me what that is! I just know it has something to do with Doctoring) and I believe she's working at a stem cell lab for a while before applying to graduate school. I myself have always wondered what college athletes do post-graduation, and now I've seen what goes on. The day before her graduation, my sister was inducted into a "Student Athelete Society", which is basically a society for students and alumni that have excelled in both athletics and education. I was extremely impressed with her accomplishment, and was extremely surprised with the past couple days. She, being an avid runner, has not gone for a run since she has been home! When I asked her if she was planning on running anytime soon she replied, "Why? My competing days are over". Kind of sad to see actually, but I'm sure she'll start it back up sometime soon.

Seems to me that airfare has gone up significantly since last year! My Mississippi trip this year is going to cost more than double what it did last year! It's crazy, but I'm extremely excited to go and can't wait. We've had a lot of fund raisers to lower the costs, but even with all that, the price is still kind of high. It's all for a good cause though, so in the end it will be worth it. I had an amazing time last year helping Katrina victims, and with all the other tragedies in the world it's sometimes hard for people to remember about past disasters. It's sad that after all these years people in Katrina are STILL suffering from the aftermath. The only part of the trip that I'm dreading is the heat; I remember last year's trip was a sweat-fest all day long.

Such a groomy and blue update so far! I guess this is good news, but my mother and baby brother (10, well I guess he's not a baby anymore, but he's still one to me) are going to Vietnam this Saturday for 3 weeks. One of my uncles is going to become a priest and his final ceremony, I can't remember for the life of my what it's called, is coming up. My brother is extremely lucky, this will be his second time going to Vietnam, but I have yet to go! Someday in the near future I hope though.

Even in the summer you can see a college student has a lot of running around to do! It is definitely a lot more relaxing that finals and such, but there is still a lot of work before I can sit back and relax.

Thanks for reading, till next time -

-Hai

Holiday Update

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I'm extremely glad that we had the day off today. All the work piled on top of me lately has been incredibly stressful, and I felt that having this nice 4 day weekend was a great way to step back, re-assess everything, and just breathe!

Another good thing is spring's arrival. The weather has been better lately, although there are some few random days where it gets cold again, but usually it's nice enough out for short sleeves and shorts. The only bad thing is I'm really sensitive to pollen, but I guess it's a nice trade-off for the beautiful weather. The grass is greener, more people are sitting around outside, all the normal spring stuff. And instead of driving to the Campus Recreation Center (from South Campus to East Campus) I've been able to get in a good job before my workouts.

I'm also excited about Spring Carnival. I'm not 100% sure about the dates, I believe it starts 4/30/10, but don't quote me on that! Last year it was a fun time, but this year rap artist Drake is coming to the Tsongas! I'm not a huge fan of Drake's but he is a very popular artist right now, so why not?

Thanks for reading!
-Hai Pham
Some of you may remember from previous posts that I went to Gulfport, Mississippi this summer with some members of my parish. A group of us went with other parishes in Massachussets in an effort to help rebuild homes/communities that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. It was a great opportunity and I had an amazing time last year, so I've decided to return again this year! I will update you guys on the trip progession as time goes by.

Another important event is Spring Break! I'm currently home on spring break and it's nice to have some R&R from school work! Last year I went home and worked during the break, but this year I've decided to take it easy and just stay at home and try to relax a bit. It sure does make me feel lazy, but sometimes a break is nice as well :) Only half way into the break, sitting around the house all day is already getting boring! It's too late to call up and ask to be put on the schedule, so for now, I'm just waiting to move back into school! I'm sure I'll find another time this week to write about some more updates, so stay tuned!
-Hai

P.S. Happy St. Patty's Day!

CMF Begins!

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Hey guys! In my last entry, I mentioned Campus Movie Fest (CMF) and how my friends and I signed up. Today was the launch day, and we picked up all our supplies from McGauvran Student Center, and I gotta say, some of the equipment is pretty sweet. Here's what we got:

STM Backpack - Never heard of this company but the backpack they're letting us borrow is nice and I'm thinking of buying one for myself (not a product placement ad!)

17" Macbook Pro - Fully loaded with professional movie editing software and much bigger than my 13inch Macbook! Only problem I had was the battery was dead and I can't use it without the charger

Shotgun Microphone - Looks like a regular boom mic except smaller.

Full HD Camcorder - Records in the highest quality! Couldn't stop fooling around with it today.

Prepaid ATT cellphone - I believe it's called the Samsung Impression. Unlimited texts, web data, and minutes. I already have a cell phone, but doesn't hurt to have two haha.

So we only have week to plan, shoot, and edit a movie, and so far I don't really know what I want to make. I have a lot of ideas floating in my head but nothing concrete yet. Hopefully something good will pop out, and I'll be sure to post up the video I create when I finish. That is if I'm allowed to, haven't really read all the rules on the sheet they gave me...

Till next time,
-Hai

Campus Movie Fest

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Hey, long time no see! This semester has been going great so far, all my classes are fine and none of my professors really seem like sticklers. The only complaint I have is 8AM classes. It's not that early in a high school standpoint since classes usually start at 7 for them, but when you're so used to have classes start at 11 or later, it can really be killer. The adjustment is going pretty well, and I'm starting to not really mind it at all.

One thing I want to talk about is Campus Movie Fest (CMF). I saw some poster advertisements hung up around campus about it and thought it was a great opportunity so I signed up. The school/CMF loans out HD camcorders and Apple laptops and gives groups of students a chance to create 5 minute short films. After the videos are edited on the laptops and submitted, they are judged and winners will receive prizes such as laptops, cameras, and more. I've got tons of video ideas buzzing around my head and hopefully one of them will be a winner! If you're interested in signing a team up, you can head over to www.campusmoviefest.com for more info.

That's it, hopefully I'll have another update in the next couple days!
-Hai

So I had a chance to sit down and talk with a freshman athlete, Katie Mazure. She's currently undeclared business and also a member of the UML Women's Softball Team! She was nice enough to let me interview her and ask her questions about time management and other freshman related questions! Sorry about the audio quality, the heater in the room was pretty loud! Thanks Katie!


-Hai

It's that time again! Snow and finals. I was on Facebook last night during the peak hours of the night, and almost everyone had status updates regarding the snow. I looked out the window and was extremely disappointed that it had yet to snow, and by the time I went to bed no snow had fallen. I figured that it wouldn't snow here until tonight, but I randomly woke up around 5:30 AM and there was snow! I was extremely excited and stood by the window for at least half an hour just watching the snow fall.

By morning, a lot of the snow had fallen and walking to class wasn't extremely enjoyable. Nonetheless, I made it to all my classes without any major slips or falls. Which leads to my next point, finals. Last year finals weren't bad, and this year is no different. I'm not extremely worried about them, and cannot wait for the semester to be over. Don't get me wrong, I love being here on campus, but I love Christmas at home much more!

I didn't ask for anything for Christmas this year, so hopefully I'll get some nice surprises. UML usually gets out later than most schools do, which I don't mind at all. I think if I was at home earlier, then the wait for Christmas would kill me. I remember back to my pre-college days and waiting for Christmas as soon as November strolled through. Now though, college life has me pretty distracted and before I know it, I'm home and only have to bear the wait of three days until Christmas!

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