Entries for December, 2004

I've always lambasted my sister who spends an insane amount of time just eye-shopping in the mall. I keep telling her, "There's nothing to look at for that long.

Unfortunately, Dell has managed to entangle me with their "deals." My new guilty pleasure has been to go to the Dell website, clipboard filled with coupon codes ... I make desktops that I'd want and then I use the coupon codes to make the cheapest combination computer. It's so soothing to see a total price of $1400 and see that you're getting -$400 off the price ... it just makes me feel so good.

I've made about 5 or 6 computers today, using a combination of their "outrageous" deals and just making a standard computer and using the coupon codes I've gotten from the Dellf game (a site where you can play "games" to earn Dell coupons).

Of course, I keep just closing out the window (I really wish I just had a thousand or two to blow on a new computer) ... but I'm sure one of these times my inhibitions will be lowered enough that I actually make a purchase.

Damn you Dell with your coupon codes and your low low prices .... *shakes fist*

. . .

Great news! The Tabulas licensing deal went through! Yay! Some money for me ... the beauty of it all is that I never had any intentions of ever licensing out Tabulas ... but there IS a demand for it! Woo hoo! Let's just hope I can get 2.0 out in time... ehehe

. . .

A few days ago, I finally got my business cards that I had designed/ordered a looonnng time ago.

They came out real well ... I was very impressed at their quality. It's hard to tell here, but they're made of this semi-plastic satin material so they're very durable.

How do you like them? I think it's very "me," whatever that means. I don't know what it is, but everyone is always able to tell when I've made a certain design/site or something. They always say, "It's very Roy." I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

If you want one, let me know. I can send some through snailmail ... because ... you couldn't find my Tabulas otherwise ... I think.

. . .

The product of about 4-5 hours of reading and cobbling together a prototype of a future feature.

Perhaps with the upcoming season coming, a "wishlist" feature might be a good way to letting your TABULAS friends know what you'd like so I can get you guys gifts (MAYBE!)

So far I have an interface in the control panel that connects through Amazon's Web Service API to grab search query results; you can then add that data into your wishlist with a click of a button; some data then becomes locally stored in Tabulas (so I don't have to rely on bloaty XML over HTTPD) ... and your 'wishlist' page is automatically generated. If you have anything *on* your wishlist, it will appear as a link in your content page.

So far, no interface for removing/editing your wishlist ... I'm thinking maybe next to the user's "bday" notification, I can also throw in a link to their wishlist if they've created one.

Would also like to let people "note" when they've bought something so multiple people don't buy the same item over and over again.

Posted by roy on December 2, 2004 at 12:22 AM in Ramblings | 17 Comments

Once upon a time, I realized that free hosting sucked. When I started, free hosting wasn't a real option (this was back with FortuneCities and Xoom). So I got a paid account. But my first host turned out to be a complete scammer, so I got a horrible taste in my mouth. After that, I moved to Communitech to host HongX.net, my old website (which was actually, in retrospect, quite a successful site and pre-empted the blogging revolution for a few years - my friends and I ran that group blog and had fun posting ...

Upon moving to a dedicated server, I decided that I had to give kids the opportunity to get free hosting - for those kids who were in my boat who were interested in web development but lacked the resources (free hosts SUCK and restrict their users in so many ways) ... I then opened up NeoPages.net around 2001 as a free hosting site - anybody could apply and get free webspace.

With more and more members signing up for the service (the service was never automated; every single application was read by me and was verified by me), I realized I needed some way to coordinate activity. I think NeoPages.net was one of the first free hosting networks on the web (that I know of) that was coordinated through a forum.

The site soon blew up as the prospect of getting ad-free hosting was too enticing for many. Sifting through the applications became too time-consuming ... so the wonderful community at NP Forums started helping me weed out the applications; the whole community soon evolved as the members of the existing network would vote in a new member each week.

The community itself always held a somewhat special place for me ... there was simply something about the forums that was always fun. Maybe it was the diverse demographics of the forums (people of almost all age groups from all around the world) ... but the community just felt different.

(For those of you who were wondering, the "Roy Kim fan club" evolved from these forums)

But things were not to be. As I got more involved with other projects and life started distracting me, my participation slowly waned. With the recent hackery of the server, I realized that I could no longer support the community with my money or time.

So it was with some reluctance I announced that the server was shutting down. So far, the replies have been heartwarming - a lot of people really spent a lot of time on the forums. It's been 3 years! 3 years! I was 17 when I first started moderating those forums ... a freshman in college. How things have changed.

Thanks to all those NP.net people who have been so gracious with the decision that I've made - it's going to be tough to find new homes for you guys ... but it's been a total pleasure getting to know you guys and seeing some of you evolve into great designers.

Posted by roy on December 3, 2004 at 02:13 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Apparently my business cards are a big hit. People love it. Great! There was one small blemish on the cards (my fault) where there was a slight discoloration in the white area (for some reason when I compressed it it became a slightly off-white color, blech).

Now, I'm a prideful person and more than anything, I have trouble saying "I'M SORRY" about stuff.

So it struck me. Why not make a BUSINESS CARD that would apologize FOR me? I could simply check the appropriate boxes, stamp the date (red rubber stamps are absolutely cool; I remember wanting to stamp my own work in grade school) and give the card to someone. The whole process is already set-up (SYNERGIZING AND LEVERAGING E-TECHNOLOGIES TO STREAMLINE OPERATIONS) AND people will know that I'm not an asshole - I REALLY AM SORRY!

The front of my 'apology' card. The child indicates a "mistake." In his case, the mistake is that he's a moron and he can't eat his ice cream. The image of the child should "soothe" the emotions of those who are receiving the cards (who might be angry because ... well I obviously did something wrong!). It's kind of like those frat guys who use puppies to get girls... I'm using an obviously cheap 'cute' image to make people go "Awwwww."

The quote imparts wisdom from some smart guy since I suck with words and lack creativity. Maybe my roommate Yush (the poet) can make me a cool quote about "being sorry" and I could use it. The big sans-serifed font makes good use of negative space, which is all the "rage" with designers lately (this whole concept of negative space is pretty retarded if you ask me ... I mean, how can there be design in NOTHING? [Just kidding]).

The backside contains my name (thus letting you know WHO apologized) along with my contact information (in case you want to call me and let me know how grateful you are that I apologized).

The backside also contains an area where I can "stamp" the date. Knowing WHEN I apologized is very important. Apologizing 4 months after something happened is a NO-NO. This way, everyone will know that Roy apologized "within X days" of something happening.

The options are the most common reasons i might be sorry about something. I was going to put "so gosh darn good looking," but I really can't apologize for that. Tthat would be on my mom and dad's "apology" business cards.

I've left the business card open-ended with the "other" reasons. This basically allows me to be really cool and "write in my own reason" since life isn't all about checkboxed answers.

And of course, to make this a "binding" legal document, I've included my signature in the bottom right.

So if I wrong you in any way, demand an apology. I will gladly acknowledge your request.

(I think this post clearly demonstrates why I need a girlfriend.)

Posted by roy on December 3, 2004 at 05:56 AM in Foolishness | 6 Comments

Well, I've always been a loyal fan of OmahaSteaks.com. Everytime they call, I answer and I buy. But today just pissed me off.

It all started when my mom decided to buy some steaks from there at my behest for my birthday. She made the order mid-November ... and it didn't get to our house until yesterday. Do not tell me it takes 3 weeks to wrap steak up in a box, fill it with dry ice, and send it out. Strike one.

Now, she loves the seasoning that they sell ... so she decided to order three packets of seasoning. Strike two occurs when the bright minds in Nebraska think, "HEY THERE'S A BIG BOX FILLED WITH STEAK. LET'S JUST THROW THE SEASON NEXT TO IT!!!!!!" And of course, UPS, being the gentle package caretakers they are, gently handed the package so that none of the packets of seasoning busted.... NOT.

So my mom asks me to call them up and get them to send more two packets of seasoning. What are we going to do with all this steak and no seasoning? I call their toll-free line and get a lady no the line pretty quickly.

And that's where it starts. The conversation goes something like this:

ME: Hi, I received an order the other day. Due to negligent packing, two of your seasoning bottles busted. I'd like replacements sent so I can properly season my steak.

HER: Sir, I cannot send you two bottles of seasoning.

ME: (Thinking, well, duh...) So do you need proof of some sort? I can send you whatever.

HER: (Irritated) No, I don't need proof.

HER: Sir, we cannot replace the steak seasonings. Because (listen to this) we do not have packaging small enough to send two packets of seasoning, we cannot replace your seasoning. We can, however, give you credit for two packages of seasoning that you can use on your next order.

ME: (incredulously) So you're telling me that in order to get the two orders of seasoning, I need to order MORE food in order to get my seasoning which was busted because YOU improperly packaged it?

(here's where it gets funny)

HER: SIR, could you please let me finish? (Seriously, this is verbatim. It's like she's watched too much CNN). Could you stop interrupting me? COULD YOU PLEASE STOP INTERRUPTING ME?

Obviously she's had a long day. Or she has penis envy. Or she hates her life working the phone lines for a steak company. I decide that there's no need being an asshole customer so I shut up. I'm still amazed at the gall of this lady. She goes on to repeat what she has said verbatim to me. OK, thanks for repeating what you said!

But she then says, "OK sir, what I can do is refund your Mastercard for the amount that you paid on the two bottles of seasoning, then I can send you a gift certificate for $15 for your next order (yeah, bitch, that's a bit different than your initial offer). I guess being a "nice" customer was advantageous here.

But still. My love in OmahaSteaks.com has been shattered. I will no longer order from there. What kind of company cannot ship it's smallest items out by itself? And what kind of company has customer support reps that are rude when they pick up the phones to start with?

Bitch at OmahaSteaks, I'm sorry you had a bad day. But there's no reason to be snippy with me when I answer the phone. You should be happy I wasn't in a pissed mood cause I would of been happy to rail on you for the next 5 minutes about the lunacy of the situation.

Posted by roy on December 3, 2004 at 06:45 PM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

Tonight we played some poker. I had won last night, so I was feeling alright with my playing - my playing had been somewhat off over the past few weeks, so seeing me do alright yesterday was a blessing. (For clarification, my game is still not back 100%; I had to get very lucky a few times to get in the chip hunt)

Anyways, we're playing some hold 'em tonight (Pete, Kris, Yush, and Pete) after we played some Monopoly (Monopoly master Roy won!) ... Pete is getting nasty, nasty hands. Absolutely nasty hands. It almost makes you not want to play against him, even with made hands.

In any case, I was severely shortstacked most of the night, but got a nice big pot when the following happened. I have about $8 (we started with $50), and I pick up KK in the big blind. Kris opens with a raise of $2, Terrence calls, and Yush call. I go all-in for another $3.50 more, and Kris calls after much deliberation. Terrence, realizing he's getting 6-1 on his money if he pushes his hand, goes all-in. Yush has to fold, and Kris then folds. Terrence flips up 79o, and Kris starts going ballistic. But it was a brilliant move. In the worst case scenario, I do have a big pair; but Terrence is still getting 6-1 on his money; best case scenario I have overcards and he's only a 60-40 underdog.

Later on, I pick up AK under the gun. I open the pot for $3, and Pete reraises me to $10. I move in for another $14.75 ... and Pete calls.

I was expecting to see something like AQ or pockets (small pockets would of been questionable, but I could deal with 88 on up). Pete shows ATo.

WHAT THE F'? He catches his ten and wins.

A few weeks ago, Ryan called my AK all-in with T9 and I was pissed all night. I'm mostly pissed because these calls with T9 and AT are clearly disrespectful. What types of hands do AT dominate? Ace with a weaker kicker? Why would I risk all my chips after I had spent so much time with an ace with a shitty kicker? Likewise, why would I make a reraise that's not a huge overbet with small pockets? Why would I risk my whole tournament with a coinflip?

It angers me to no end when people do that kind of shit; everyone KNOWs I will not risk all my chips preflop except with four hands: AK, AA, KK, or QQ (QQ is usually still just a call and not a pushing hand). Why do people keep showing me disrespect by calling me with stupid shit like that?

Ryan is officially off my "disrespect" list and Pete is now high up on that. I cannot stand the f'ing disrepect.

Posted by roy on December 4, 2004 at 02:51 AM in Poker | 4 Comments

I just had a dream, and I woke up utterly depressed. Here it goes:

I'm back at home (my age, not flashback or anything) But we're at our old house, not in our new house. My mom keeps asking me to go this dinner party (Christmas-time), but I keep refusing. My sister starts getting somewhat dissappointed about this. For some reason, my mom is trying to find me a "date" (maybe cause I'm getting old?). She invites this girl over who's supposed to "persuade" me to come over to this dinner party. I know for a fact that this dinner party is going to have at least 8 girls my age with no guys. But I still refuse to go.

During this time, I see to have an aside where I see someone I know (D. Chun) talk to me about his life experiences. But time is running out, and he tells me to visit his website at a new blogging service called TazNetwork. He refuses to give me his username, and I go searching for it with this girl. We soon find his site ... but I never get to read it.

I get angry at my parents and this girl who keeps bothering me, so I decide to leave home and clear my head. I go for a train ride, but somehow end up in London. I follow (it seems I'm not really a protagonist anymore) this hapless man who is constantly ignored by everybody. He keeps getting hit by cars, but no one notices or cares. One time, he falls into the canal and starts heading for the waterfall, but no one even looks to help. I ask a gentleman (who looks like Prince Charles) for his umbrella so I can pull the guy out of the river, but he denies me. An umbrella suddenly appears in my hand, and I pull the guy out of the river with the help of some passerbys. I feel good.

I'm suddenly waiting for the subway in Korea. A little child falls into the tracks, and again the same situation arises as with the guy above. But this time, everyone wants to help. We pull the kid out, and we're all happy. The train approaches. But instead of going on the track, it comes out on the floor... and it's a miniature size train. I would say it's about roughly a third of my size. Everyone is confused about how to ride this train... somehow we all know that we have to write our name and whether we've "arrived at our location." Everyone writes, "Yes, I've arrived," but for some reason, I've written "No, I have not arrived."

Everyone then puts their little slip of paper on the train ... but I haven't. The train starts leaving, and as it leaves it the train starts growing in size, and people start dissappearing from where they're standing and they're transported into the train. I realize that the slip of paper is still in my hand ... but I decide to try to jump on the train and see if I can pry my way in. After a few harrowing minutes of hanging on for dear life, I do manage to get into the train. I see people I know in my life on the train, and they're all sleeping. I sit down ... and fall asleep.

I wake up at a "new" version of Disneyworld. My friends and I get off a rollercoaster ride (train became a rollercoaster, I guess) and I ask them what they thought of everything. They reply, "Oh here comes Roy, reading to bitch about something again." Apparently my presence is not tolerated well by my "friends;" I've become an utter asshole and I whine about everything. I get the feeling they don't like me, and I get the feeling that I've been raised as a total spoiled brat. Suddenly I'm very depressed, because I have a flashback and my parents were not the great parents they are now, but instead they are rich bastards who just threw money at me and never properly nurtured me. The flashback features some futuristic car, so I ask my friends what year it is. It's the year 2200. I get the feeling that my "friends" are only hanging out with me due to necessity, and I leave.

I find a gift store, and I wander in. Apparently in the future, gift stores have huge computer software sections, so I look. I then notice my "friends" on the cover of a computer game. The game reads, "Virtual Friends." Apparently the "friends" I have were not real - they are figments from some software that manifests itself in the real world. I'm suddenly depressed.

I'm no longer stuck in the time period that I know, and everyone I know is dead. Furthermore, I'm not surrounded by real people who know me, and I'm a rich spoiled bastard. I miss my family and my friends ... and I don't know what to do.

I ask for a taxi ... which comes ... and then it just starts driving away, and as it drives away, I see everyone I knew standing there, looking at me, waving goodbye...

Feel free to offer your interpretations. I have a pretty good idea what this is about, but I'm just feeling a bit weird to be posting them online right now. Maybe later.

. . .

I just spent ... 6 hours reading up on one thing and trying out a new feature for Tabulas. And now I just deleted it all (on purpose). This is frustrating. Someone shoot me, please.

Posted by roy on December 5, 2004 at 04:35 AM in Dreams | 5 Comments

So within the programming world, there are these things called APIs. APIs allow third-party programs to access a program through a set of given commands. On the web, these are incredibly useful because it allows interoperability between services. For example, Amazon has an API that allows me to send in search requests with given keywords; Amazon then spits back a bunch of data with the search results which I can then output and print on my page.

Out of curiosity, I decided to try to make Tabulas more API-friendly by implementing some blogging APIs; in essence, these APIs will allow you to use programs like W.Bloggar to post to your Tabulas instead of using the AWESOME NEW CONTROL PANEL.

Apparently the first real API was LiveJournal's API (which sucked, so I won't bother talking about it too much). The next evolution was Blogger's API, which allowed for very simple tasks: add an entry, delete an entry, view your last X entries, edit your entry, and set some templates.

This was later expanded with the metaWebLog API, which implemented categories and allowed you to upload media files with your entry.

Then came MT's API, which implementing trackbacks and some other useless features.

Let me just say as an independent developer, these APIs suck ASS. I could wrap my head around the Blogger API alright, but the metaWebLog API and MT API started making my head hurt. These things seem to be way more complex than they need to be. I looked at the Atom API for about 10 minutes before I threw my hands up.

These APIs are all built on-top of XML-RPC, which seems TOTALLY inefficient. You're generating tons of extra metadata just to send some basic information; I can see why people detest XML over HTTP now. It's slow and unwieldy. What's wrong with some simple POST methods?

I didn't think it'd be so friggin difficult ... but damn. I actually got parts of the API to work alright, but for now, I've deleted it all and given up. I wish I had money so I can sponsor the development of a private client so I could write my own (really simple) API that could take advantage of all the cool Tabulas features.

. . .

Another FedEx story: I sent in a shipment for a package on November 28th. Expected ship date Dec. 7th (not bad). It is now Dec. 6th, and it is still sitting in its original location. AWESOME! This would make FedEx 0/4 in terms of getting packages to me on time. Could there be a worse company?

Posted by roy on December 6, 2004 at 09:54 AM in Web Development | 5 Comments

Bert, true to his word, told me a short story about Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx. Apparently there was this time early on during the company's history when the company needed 15K in payroll, but only had 4K in its reserves. To prevent the company from going under, Fred Smith went to Vegas and played blackjack for a weekend ... thus making 25K and saving the company.

What a man! It sounds like something I was doing a few months ago (oops!).

So I read up more on this fascinating character, and came out with this quote:

Today that paper is kind of famous, and it's because of a careless comment I once made. I was asked what grade I got on it, and I stupidly said, 'I guess I got my usual gentlemanly C.' That stuck, and it's become a well-known story because everybody likes to flout authority. But to be honest, I don't really remember what grade I got. I probably didn't get a very good one, though, because it wasn't a well-thought-out paper.


Posted by roy on December 7, 2004 at 03:17 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

I was just thinking last week that no one posted on Tabulas. I wake up at 3am today (don't ask) and see tons of posts being made. Damn you. I will have to get my Tabulas reading done soon.

. . .

I believe I will have to start a trend; it's been such a LONG time since I've started a trend ... so here it goes.

From now on, instead of saying "TTYL" or "cya," I will start using the new acronym "TTUL," which means "ta ta until later." This is ingenious for a variety of reasons. It easily adapts to the common TTYL, so little "training" is required for the masses to adapt this SO CATCHY SAYING. Secondly, it has an air of elegance about it ... I mean ... "ta ta?" It's like something the Queen of England would say!

So join me in this new revolution. With luck, we'll have Lil' Jon rapping in his new song "Ta ta" by year's end.

TTUL (ta ta until later)

Posted by roy on December 8, 2004 at 02:53 AM in Foolishness | 3 Comments

Remember my dream post a few days ago? Yush wrote an amazingly good interpretation of it. It hits most of what I thought dead-on, but I think part of it differs a bit with what I think (partially because well.. it's based on MY life experiences and I didn't bother write a frickin' novel for that one dream).

Give it a read. Yush is the master of interpretations!

. . .

Fuel - Innocent

Angels, lend me your might
forfeit all my lives
just to get one right.

All those colors long since faded
all my smiles are confiscated
never were we told
we'd be bought and sold
we were innocent

Posted by roy on December 8, 2004 at 12:21 PM in Personal | 1 Comments

I saw Blade: Trinity last night. The movie is "eh, OK." Plotline is glaringly weak (even for an action flick about vampires ... I mean, really!) and the action is OK (it's typical Blade stuff, I didn't remember anything that seemed to jump out at me in terms of cool stunts). There are pretty good one-liners (none which I can remember, sorry!) that made me go LOL a few times...

But I'll tell you what you need to watch the movie for: Jessica Biel. I never realized how HOT she was... goodness. Forget Kate ... I'm all about Jessica Biel now!






. . .

Speaking of oversized things (like this segue??), I've spent most of today working on the new Tabulas 2.0 templating engine. Did you know that the current 1.0 engine is really bloated? If you right click and do a view source on any page, it'll show you how many mySQL queries are being sent to generate the one page; with my Tabulas homepage, there are 97 queries being sent... WHOA. That's a lot.

I've cut down the queries so far (this is a first pass) on the new templating engine down to 62 queries. Let's see if I can cut that down even more...

The problem is there are two approaches to the way I'm currently doing things: (1) do all data manipulation and then send it all out and (2) do things incrementally and send it out to the browser in smaller portions. The problem with (1) is that it requires a LOT more RAM, but the benefits are that I can cut down on the number of SQL queries. Since the data isn't being sent, I can store all SQL queries in a buffer and then combine the similar queries into one query like SELECT field FROM table WHERE id IN (ID1, ID2, ID3) instead of doing three separate queries of SELECT field FROM table WHERE id = id1 (and two more).

The problem is with method (1), I'm freeing up the mySQL server, but the burden then gets passed onto the PHP server for processing (and it's important to note that less SQl queries doesn't necessarily mean it's easier on the mySQL server!)... but with the way I plan on figuring out the Tabulas network, being CPU-bound doesn't seem like a bad option; CPU will scale easier than the RAm required for the DB.

I'm having a friggin' blast doing this (no sarcasm). Man, it's nice to do something you really love doing and turns out to look "produtive" to others... isn't that the American dream?

Posted by roy on December 9, 2004 at 10:18 AM in Ramblings, Tabulas | 18 Comments

Because I'm such a hopeless romantic, I honestly believe that subjecting myself to the same song three times by three artists will get me one step closer to Jessica Biel.

"I remember mama said
You can't hurry love
No you'll just have to wait
She said love don't come easy
It's a game of give and take
How long must I wait, how much more must I take
Before loneliness, will cause my heart, heart to break?"

I am waiting for you, Jessica Biel... Hey is there anything more ridiculous than reading the "interpretations" to "you can't hurry love" ... I mean ... come on. COME ON!!!!!

(Last night's poker game)

Posted by roy on December 10, 2004 at 07:30 AM in Poker | 2 Comments

We played in another 3-game tournament last night with 7 people; buy-in was $5 and person with most point got the victory. Pete played very well and solid to take home the whole pot after getting 1st in both games; I got 1st in the third game to take 2nd place.

The interesting dynamics of the tournament was in the point and blind structure. Points were distributed mainly to the top three players (7 for first, 4 for second, and 3 for third). The other four players got 1 point each; there was absolutely no benefit in sitting around and waiting; playing super-tight would leave you with a huge chip disadvantage when there were four people. Additionally, it must be noted that we raised blinds every 10 minutes (or said we did). So basically we started off with $50 in chips, and started blinds off at $0.25/$0.50. The blinds were raised to $0.50/$1, $1/$2, $2/$4, $3/$6, $4/8, $5/10. In one of the games, we did some miniscule raises of $6/12, $7/14, $8/16, but in retrospect it should of moved something like $$6/12, $8/16, and then $10/$20.

In any case, the basic concept (in my opinion) was that aggression was rewarded. Because there was no difference between 4th and 7th place, one would hope that people would make more moves. The point structures were also so that even if you finished 2nd place in two tournaments, you would only tie if someone else finished 1st in one tournament and 3rd in the other tournaments. I liked the point structure, overall. You were never out of the running for the money, but then again it was very hard to clinch the top spot unless you played very well through all three games. Furthermore, it encouraged people to play aggressive; being aggressive and catching a few fortunate hands in one tournament could offset horrible plays in the other two.

But you wouldn't want to bee too aggressive early, which would be equivalent to hitting the NOS too early in a car race and have someone go, "Too soon, Junior" and win the race and then you'd FLIP out and run to your friend but then the asian gangsters would come and shoot you down .

Um, ok.

So I decided to bust out my aggression tactics for the first game, because most other people seemed really passive. Terrence wasn't feeling poker last night, so he busted out real early. A few other people busted out early as well, and I was pushing marginal hands to win some sizable pots. Making the first big jump to $4/$8 is where I started making mistakes. Given my huge chip position, I should of immediately switched gears and started playing tight as I could sense my hands were getting cold ('the streak'). But I didn't, and I started losing my chips. It also didn't help that I was calling a few hands I had no business calling and then losing chips (argggghhh). So I blew my chips in the first game, and the lesson here was that I was too aggressive with the higher blind structure; my table image was already one of that of a huge bluffer, so people were starting to call me down with premium hands on the higher blind structures and I was losing chips.

The second game I busted out on maybe the 4th or 5th hand. I tried to bluff out a nasty-looking board, only to have Yush make a great call with top pair, worst kicker which crippled me. I eventually found myself all-in with a coinflip which I lost. I decided that given the texture of the game, I should of played a bit tighter (people were starting to be a bit more aggressive at the second table).

The third game was a race for 2nd place; Pete had locked in first place with his nice first place finish in the second game. We started with the normal $0.25/$.50 blinds, and people were going CRAZY. There were $6 raises utg with only $0.75 in the pot, and this was _normal_. I just looked over at Terrence and we kind of gave each other this look like, "What the HECK is going on here?"

Amusingly, I got quite decent hands when everyone was going wild; I got stuff like mid-high suited connectors (JT, T9) and nice overcards (ATo, KJo). But given the fact that I would have to invest the pot to make calls with these, I opted to fold instead. The nastiest hand came when Bobby made a great read on Godwin with a board of Jxx and called Godwin's all-in (77) with pocket nines. The river was horrible to Bobby, as a 7 hit the river and saved Godwin from elimination. The problem with these two last night was that once Bobby got on tilt, he played crazy (and by crazy, I mean somewhat stupid). He started going all-in with weirdo hands instead of patiently waiting for a better position; given the loose play at the table, Bobby could of easily doubled up and gotten back in the game. Godwin was also playing all-in strategy, which I made a mental note of. I later busted him out with KK against his AQ which make two pair off the turn but got busted by a K on the river (ouch).

So the lesson's learned from this? I am pretty pissed at myself for playing so poorly in the first game given my huge chip advantage; I have the tendency to leak chips once I get a huge chip lead, and this is something I need to watch, especially in the higher blind structures. The second game was a complete wash; I shouldn't of tried bluffing out with small blinds and out of position. Given the call on the turn, I should of known a river call was inevitable. Oops.

Oh well, lesson was well-learned from the first two games. I look forward to doing these types of games more often; we still have to tweak the blind structure (10 minutes is still too fast given the fact we were 7-handed; I think we should of opted for slightly longer periods, but faster blind raises).

Perhaps we should do something like number of people W x 2.5 for each blind period, with the times being reset every W/3 people being eliminated, with times only being adjusted twice. The blind structure should also start off a bit higher.

I'm thinking given we start with $50 in chips, we should do something along the lines of: $1/$2, $2/$4, $3/6, $4/8, $6/12, $8/16, $10/$20, $12/$24, $15/$30. If there are 6 people, each period should be 15 minutes. So with this structure, we'd be at $6/$12 in one hour (assuming two people go out in which case the blinds would be raised every 10 minutes), which is roughly where a big chunk of everybody went out in the first game.

Edit: ooh, this is still turning into a crapshoot. It's so hard to figure out good blind structures!

Posted by roy on December 12, 2004 at 02:49 PM in Poker | 3 Comments

No one is infallible. We each have our own flaws which we learn to live with ... for a while I thought my flaws were quite minute and could be dealt with accordingly, but I can't ignore it. I have a problem.

I have a horrible addiction which I need to get over. I can't continue to trick myself into thinking that "just one more time" is harmless. The little acts are just as harmful to myself as the big ones... and to this, I can no longer stand it.

I've grown to hate myself for this problem and my unwillingness to deal with it. In retrospect, it's damaged my life in far too many ways to mention. I need to stop.

As I step into the real world, I have to learn self-restraint ... I cannot continue to just live in a carefree world where I do whatever I please.

So here's to eliminating the flaws ... let's see if I can conquer these demons. Starting today ... a new Roy.

. . .

On a much lighter note, I just found out that Ken and Barbie broke up. Barbie has a new boyfriend named 'Blaine.' Here is the new happy couple:

Posted by roy on December 13, 2004 at 08:20 AM in Personal | 17 Comments

twista featuring faith evans - hope

the Lord is gonna help you feel better,
so you ain’t gotta cry today
sit at the light so long,
and then we gotta move straight forward,
cause we fight so strong,
so when right go wrong,
just say a little prayer, get ya money man, life go on...
Let’s HOPE!

Cause I’m hopeful, yes I am, hopeful for today,
Take this music and use it
Let it take you away,
And be hopeful and he’ll make a way
I know it ain’t easy but that’s okay
Cause we hopeful!

Posted by roy on December 16, 2004 at 11:36 PM in Personal | 1 Comments

I'm sure you know by now that I am Korean. Most of the times when I meet strangers (this used to happen a lot more often when I was younger, but I guess people get a bit more subtle as they grow older), they go ... "Oh Koreans... y'all like kimchi, don't you?"

Not wanting to complicate things (in the same manner in which one automatically responds "Well" whenever asked, "How are things?"), I usually just give them a grin and agree with them. I'm pretty sure that they're usually thinking, "Man, this guy must be a kimchi connoiseur! Those Koreans eat kimchi with every meal!" [this is true, by the way]

Here's the thing. I know what kimchi is, and I eat it on occassion, but I am not the kimchi coinnoiseur. Not at all. In fact, my kimchi tastes are so rudimentary that I can never distinguish between good and bad kimchi. Never.

A quick background for the two of you who do not know what kimchi is. It's spicy fermented cabbage. Yes, fermented. As in you let bacteria break it down. Doesn't sound so appetizing, does it?

This leads to the next question: "What exactly is good kimchi?" To what standards do we measure one bowl of kimchi to another? Unlike beef, it cannot be measured in the way the poor calf is treated prior to its slaughter (greater stress makes more tender meat). Unlike french fries, we cannot hold the standard of "perfect crispness" (BK's fries are the BEST between the big fast food chains, hands down) or "perfect brownness" test. Unlike apples, the outer appearance of kimchi holds no measures in its test of greatness. I've never heard anyone say, "That is the most perfectly formed fermented cabbage!" And unlike BLT sandwiches, we do not measure the "balance" between the various ingredients to form the perfectly textured sandwich.

Being spicy might lead the layman to believe that the spiciness is the defining characteristics of kimchi. But the layman would be WRONG. (Gosh, don't you just LOVE sweeping generalizations) Just kidding. Maybe you're right. But I've never heard anyone hold standards of foods to the "spicy" level (except peppers and hot sauce). Why would you hold something to the standard of spiciness? If so, why not just get a whole bunch of Texas Pete and dunk some cabbage in there? Why does it even have to be cabbage? Why not just get some kudzu or something (there's enough of that in NC)? It's not as if you're actually going to feel the texture of the vegetable....

This whole chain of thoughts (sadly) was sparked when my mom made some kimchi and my dad said, "This is really good kimchi." I took a bite and couldn't figure out what made it good.

It just tasted liked spicy, cold fermented cabbage.

Posted by roy on December 20, 2004 at 07:27 PM in Foolishness | 8 Comments

Question: What are the codes of gentlemanly behavior that guys should follow?

Notes for discussion: These should be rules about how guys should deal with other guys. Girls throw in a whole dimension I don't want to deal with, so focus simply on the codes of behavior among guys. However, you can discuss the merits of how to deal with girls among guys (dating no-nos and the such).

Note 2: For the sake of actually grasping this complex topic, assume you can classify your friends as the following: [this classification is stolen from Chuck Klosterman, who is the genius who wrote Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs]

  • Close Friends (people you would phone immediately if you got lung cancer
  • Good friends (people whose death from lung cancer would make you profoundly sad)
  • Affable acquaintances (people who you generally wouldn't wish to get lung cancer

Discuss. I will post the result of a long convo between Terrence and I regarding this topic. Opinions of men are obviosly favored, but I would love to hear from the women as well!

. . .

LOL moment @ 3:19AM EST: I'm working on the new Tabulas 2.0 templating engine (working on the profiles and entry page right now) so I'm making test posts to see if everything is coming out OK on the templating engine part... I have to create a fake account so I naturally create the first thing on my mind: 'jessicabiel' and almost as soon as I post the test posts I get this comment.

Wow, Tabulas really lets the nobody be heard, doesn't it? It really amazes me how quickly random journals are found by random people!

Edit: 530am ... but I just finished up a huge bulk of the commenting features. The commenting is a bit smoother now; the script is tons less bloaty (a recurring theme). The reason I'm posting this is a cool new little automatical feature.

It's no secret that Tabulas will take links in your comments and quickly convert them so they are clickable; try putting in any type of valid URL as a comment and you'll see. The problem is that someone sometimes inadvertently posts a super-long URL that screws up your page formatting (this really bothers me). I implemented a quick and dirty regexp (and a few hacks to fix the shortcomings of my regexp knowledge) that will take URLs that are longer thatn 64 characters and will shorten the URL while displaying the website the link goes to to the right. It's pretty cool! Check the link above to see me comment on the jessicabiel entry that shows the shortened URL (this feature is not yet enabled on this version of Tabulas, so please refrain from posting superlong URLs in the comments. If you do, I will delete your comment).

By the way, I love Jessica Biel.

Posted by roy on December 20, 2004 at 08:51 PM in Ramblings | 12 Comments

This is kind of a quick note for myself more than anything.

Dare I jinx anything, I want to tentatively say that I got the Tabulas 2.0 templating engine done. Now all I have to do is fix up the various small bugs in the CP that I've found (a few missing features) and get the new templates up (I've been using a test default template for the time being) and I should be able to launch 2.0!

For the curious, you can access the new templating engine from the url: http://www2.tabulas.com/ (just add in your username like usual). It seems a lot faster, but most of the beautiful changes are the stuff you can't see; better scripting and better memory management (uh, in PHP... right...).

(server plans)

To save on billing charges, I'm going to do all these moves in a matter of a week right before I'm billed on January 20th-ish. I'll move NP first (high priority with the DNS...) once that resolves I'll move the other stuff around.

Posted by roy on December 21, 2004 at 01:37 AM in | 6 Comments

I think I found the perfect companion for my Got Tickets to the Gun Show t-shirt...

His name is: TABULAS belt buckle. Imagine how pimped out I would be with that. AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHA.

I think it'd be really funny one day (when I have enough money to waste on foolish things such as this) to completely get decked out in iced-out Tabulas gear and walk around and do some shameless self-promotion, rapper style.

But yes, this is my new favorite site. I love it!

Posted by roy on December 22, 2004 at 12:22 PM in Foolishness | 1 Comments

December has always been a traditionally shitty month for me ... so this year was no different. One of these days, I'll post a nice 30-day summary of all the lovely stuff that's happened. I guess in the grand scheme of things it's not so bad, but boy do the small things start to add up to the biggest problems...

To help me distract myself, I've been listening to a lot of new songs to help put my life in perspective. After watching Napoleon Dynamite tonight (I LOOOOVED IT!), I was entranced by the song playing in the prom scene of Napoleon Dynamite ... I later found out the song was by a group called "Alphaville," a German synthpop band from the '80s.

alphavilla - forever young
let's dance in style, lets dance for a while
heaven can wait we're only watching the skies
hoping for the best but expecting the worst
are you going to drop the bomb or not?

let us die young or let us live forever
we don't have the power but we never say never
sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
the music's for the sad men

can you imagine when this race is won
turn our golden faces into the sun
praising our leaders we're getting in tune
the music's played by the madmen

forever young, i want to be forever young
do you really want to live forever, forever and ever

some are like water, some are like the heat
some are a melody and some are the beat
sooner or later they all will be gone
why don't they stay young

it's so hard to get old without a cause
i don't want to perish like a fading horse
youth is like diamonds in the sun
and diamonds are forever

so many adventures couldn't happen today so many songs we forgot to play so many dreams are swinging out of the blue we let them come true

The song is interesting to me because it's obviously a very long reference to the Cold War; a time when the people of Europe constantly had the threat of nuclear holocaust over their heads.

Although the song is obviously a reference to enjoying your youth to the fullest extent, it is tempered by the fear of being killed in a global catastrophe... but what's amazing to me is the acceptance of the situation by the singer. They've accepted it as a way of life and continue to live their lives ... but there is always this yearning to remain young even with the situation that they're in. They don't view the situation as hopeless at all - they think of the future where the arms race will finally be over and they can live their lives without worrying about death.

I do miss my youth; I know given all that's happened in the past few months my parents also wish for the same. Times were simpler than ... there was so much hope for what I could of been (in their eyes) ... but now the bitter truths of life kick and ... well... a lot of people are dissappointed (me included).

But you know what? We still have each other. We still have a roof over our heads, and we still have those strong bonds that tie us together as a family. And on this Christmas, I guess that's all that matters :)

Posted by roy on December 23, 2004 at 03:55 AM in Personal, Music | 4 Comments

Had to move plans up - AM server is dying. The hackers used it for an outbound attack. Server billing comes up tomorrow, so I bought a new server and will begin transferring stuff to the new server now. I'm currently configuring the new server to automate eveyrthing ... trying to figure out the new equivalent to up2date (anyone know?).

Notes for the future: (1) change hostname (2) disable logging (3) install ntp for automated date management

Posted by roy on December 24, 2004 at 02:22 PM in | 1 Comments

Merry Christmas to all!

Thanks to all of you, my readers (and especially those who comment!) who have made this year much easier for me by being there for me. This has been a tough year for me, and it's amazing that I don't feel too burdened by the happenings of the year - if anything I'm still quite optimistic about the future. And I really think that I have all of you to thank for that.

So to all of you - my friends and readers - thanks!

(fuel - sunburn)

Posted by roy on December 25, 2004 at 12:07 AM in Personal, Ramblings, Music | 5 Comments

On this Christmas vacation, let's pray for those who were affected by the earthquake/tsuanmi in Southeast Asia. It looks like the death toll from the whole event is somewhere around 15,000 (high estimates, but who knows with the lack of communication in some places). To read more, go here.

Edit: Wikipedia has a running article on the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake. Death toll is rising.... natural disasters really make you realize the fragile state of the Earth and of human life.

Edit: Alice has a list of places you can donate to; Amazon has set-up a page where you can donate to the Red Cross. What's really cool is if you reload the page every few seconds, you can see the # of donations and the amount going up in real time. Americans are "stingy," huh? (Proof again the UN is filled with bigoted retards)

Posted by roy on December 26, 2004 at 02:12 PM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Notice that I have another Literati word bonus ready? I would get one more Literati word bonus and completely dominate that game (catnips). I love literati.

. . .

A few days ago, I told Terrence that "no team could win in fantasy with Shaq on their team." I hope I'm wrong ... Terrence has been making crazy trades in fantasy and has cut my once 20-point league (in a roto league!) down to 1.5 points. I'm getting uneasy ... so I'm going to take a risk and pick up Shaq. I'm currently in 1st place in FT% with team shooting 84.1% from the charity stripe. Second place is 79.6%, so I have some slack in that FT lead...

Posted by roy on December 28, 2004 at 05:11 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

So I was at the grocery market and this chick totally started checking me out while I was in the frozen foods section. She came up next to me and ... just kidding. Yush always says that a great intro can capture a reader; I hope that this faux introduction will lure you into reading the rest of this drivel. I'm so evil.

It strikes me that I'm quite a selfish person when it comes to my time. In any case, I've been trying to actively make amends by making myself more available for help; apparently this girl at my church (only 3 years in America!) wants help with her admissions essay to Carolina so here I am at 4am trying to help her out. Ho hum.

. . .

It strikes me that one of the few useful skills that everyone should be taught (and by everyone I honestly only really mean males) is how to pick a basic lock. For example, my forgetful sister somehow managed to lock herself out of the house she's watching (which really is close to impossible; three separate events had to occur for this to happen, and my sister somehow managed to fulfill all three). We're late for the SAT tutoring session (I teach her and three other high school students), so we go back home. My sister calls my mom once my mom returns from her bible study; my mom calls the owners who say the window to the garage is unlocked.

So once we get back home, I pick up my mom and we drive over to the house ... and the window to the garage is _not_ unlocked. Great. So we go around back to double check the door... and it's still locked. I notice it's one of those doors which have the curved locks that you can use a CC to unlock ... so after double checking with my sister I decide just to use the ol' CC trick and open the door. Good stuff. But that's when I started thinking about how nice it would be to learn how to break a basic lock (and also to learn how to break car locks).

Maybe there's a website about this ... hmmm.....

Posted by roy on December 29, 2004 at 03:15 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Since I started tutoring SAT, I've realized how ineffective my writing can be. I'm not sure where it happened, but my writing has gotten quite bloated as of late. I love reading Hemingway and Carver's stuff because of the simplicity of the language; perhaps I need to experiment a bit with my writing style. Well, it's not like I'm an English major or anything... or I do any professional-level writing, but I do need to work on making my essays more persuasive. Then everybody can be a Repubrican-loving moran like me! Just kidding.

You ever notice how I'll go on a "hot" streak of posts? In my mind, I sometimes get in the "zone" and write a batch of pretty solid quality entries (quality not necessarily being anything of importance, of course) which you guys seem to find enjoyable (I make this assumption based on the number of comments). Then I'll go on a two-week period where each entry is more of a filler because I won't be feeling too humorous. I feel bad for columnists who have to be funny every week. Must be tough.

Anyway, the only purpose for this post is for me to express my frustration regarding people's supposed perceptions that American foreign aid has been 'stingy.' I even created a new Xanga account simply to respond to someone who posted an editorial that Americans are not generous enough (based on $$$). I wholeheartedly disagree ... that's the problem with these "dollar" foreign aid packages. They're so deceptive. The EU loves to boast the fact they give a higher percentage of their GDP ... but then again, the US donates more than any other national in real dollars.

America is a nation that is based upon the idea of a small government. We, as citizens, do not expect the government to spend our money for us; we'd like for them to take what is necessary to regulate commerce and protect our way of living and leave the charitable donations to ourselves. The real value of how "charitable" a nation should take into account private donations. Given just this tsunami disaster, by some accounts, there are close to $127 million in donations from the private sector and individual Americans. A bulk of this comes from companies like Pfizer ($35 million), but it still shows how caring American companies are (of course to the cynical this indicates companies trying to buy good PR by using tax loopholes). Even on an individual level, the Amazon Red Cross link is amazing to visit and watch. So, Mr. Jan Egeland, talking about the initial $15mil aid from the US as being "stingy" was shortsighted. The numbers speak for themselves, although I wish that I didn't have to actually research them and waste my time...

Note: This is in no way attacking the generosity of citizens of other nations; I have no clue what the numbers are. I'm simply responding to comments that Americans are "stingy' with relief aid. (Edit: a great article on the outpouring of support from around the world)

The New Years is coming up soon. And what does this mean? Probably a bunch of "New Years Resolution" posts coming up soon.... ho hum.

Posted by roy on December 30, 2004 at 10:16 PM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

I feel that if each nation was a guy, all the countries in the world standing around in a locker room comparing the size of their members. For some reason, I feel like some people are donating because they feel a national obligation to "outdo" other countries. And that makes me sick to my stomach

To those of you who are promoting individual charity, karma thanks you. I've always valued and believed in individual charity over any other forms of charity such as governmental and corporate (although those are definitely a plus). What I cannot stand are MORONS using this tragedy to push their left/right agendas. I wrote that post below as a clarification regarding people's attack on US foreign policy aid; I want to broaden this argument on behalf of those Europeans who love to boast about "dollars per citizen in developmental aid."

Shut. the. f'ck. up. I don't give a damn if Denmark is donating $10/person and says the US needs to "catch up." I don't want to hear people attacking the Bush Administration bemoaning the lack of foreign aid when they were previously bitching about the large fiscal deficit (HEY HERE'S AN ECONOMIC PROBLEM FOR YOU: MORE AID FOR OTHER COUNTRIES MEANS..... LARGER FISCAL DEFICIT!) only a few weeks ago. The US is NOT a socialist country. The government relies on individuals to do with their money what the Europeans allow their governments to do. This is a simple fact of life. Get it straight.

What's ridiculous is only a few days after the attacks, the NY Times pushes an editorial essentially attacking US developmental aid by comparing it to the Europeans. My previous post aside, it's been pointed out that developmental aid and relief aid are two completely different issues. So don't confuse the two and manage to think the US government is cold-hearted. It's done everything within its power to alleviate the situation (including sending troops and a carrier group to help).

I've also been wondering how long these sympathies will last. That's not to say that people who are donating now aren't doing the right thing - but this reminds me a LOT about the sympathies heard around the world when 9/11 struck. Money helps to alleviate problems in the short run, and this is fantastic after a natural disaster such as this. But the bigger issue at hand is not only nature, but preventive measures. The relatively poor areas were hardest hit because the lack of communication. The lack of transportation and the proper sewage infrastructure is going to spread diseases which will only exacerbate the death toll in the long run.

The big issue ties into global poverty. How can we help these nations become more modernized? I offer no solutions, just thoughts.

I find it very amusing that the news has been very quiet regarding the Aceh region; the Aceh region is in northern Sumatra and is home to the Islamic separatists fighting for an Islamic state. Well, actually, I guess that's good. It would be bad to see a headline on Faux News along the lines of: "Free Aceh Separatists Fighting for Islamic State Wiped Out by Hand of God."

The real question is how long the generosity of all these citizens will last. Six to nine months from now, will you still be donating to the Red Cross? Will you still _care_ about others? There are other programs in the world which are suffering just as badly as those in disaster. So I urge you not to just donate once here, but to take a look at some of the other problems in the world and do your best to help them. As Tatsu points out, donating money isn't necessarily the best thing. So go out and do what you can to make the world a better place ... this generosity (I would hope) can extend beyond this tragedy.

Posted by roy on December 31, 2004 at 01:40 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments
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