Entries for February, 2005

Tabulas things to do:

(So much...)

Currently listening to: Wilson Phillips - Hold On
Posted by roy on February 1, 2005 at 02:33 AM in Tabulas | 14 Comments

Computers are supposed to help mine data effectively. With a wealth of knowledge of how users use the control panel, what features they use, how they visit their sites ... I'm supposed to effectively be able to custom-tailor the Tabulas experience for each user.

The most emotionally draining issue for me of the last month has been dealing with two opposing viewpoints: free users should not be excluded from the featuresets and paid users should have a reason to continue their paid subscriptions.

I realize a lot of free users are not of the age where they can pay for services; I was lucky enough persuade my parents to pay $20/month in server fees a long time ago when I was younger and did not have a CC, but not everyone has access to these types of finances. Especially those in foreign nations ... payment to Tabulas is long and requires a lot of work (snailmail ... most likely through Western Union, then air-posting it).

I've come to terms with these problems: most users will _not_ be able to pay for their accounts. However, some of these users are a subgroup I refer to as the "Entitled." The "Entitled" users feel entitled to every free account in the world; they believe that everything on the Internet should be free. They move from free service to free service, knowing that they can demand everything in the world, cause if they don't get what they want, they'll get huffy and leave for the next service.

I feel no pity for the Entitled subgroup. Granted, most of them don't know better (they are usually the younger kids who just don't get the finances of running sites) ... and if I could have my way, I'd just delete them and ban them from Tabulas for life (but such would not be the right thing to do!).

At the same time, I feel a deep obligation to my paid users to improve the service and give them a reason to PAY. Simply enjoying a service is not a good enough reason to pay for a service; you have to feel like it's adding value to your life - which is what I'm trying to deal with. I OWE it to the paid users to continue developing new features for their sake - and this is the path I have taken. I will, in all likehood, never add another new feature for the free users.

The balance between the economics and what the users want is quite hard to balance. I have to figure out whether a demand is coming from an Entitled. If it is, I usually just ignore it; but that doesn't mean I can simply ignore all requests and suggestions from free users ... some of them are legitimate concerns.

At one time, I was thinking of using a 'points' system to help free users "buy" certain features. But the scripting in managing that would be such a pain ...

So what's the solution? I see it as a multiple-attack program:

  • Continue developing FOR the paid users - the free users should be happy with the current featureset - it's more features than any other personal data publishing on the web
  • I need to stabilize the free accounts - I don't want to continue creeping away free features; I'd like to eventually draw a line somewhere and say, "OK, this is what I'm taking for free users. The other features are all guaranteed!" Insecurity about what the platform can take you from is a real concern for me - the recent move to lock out archives for free users was not a decision I took lightly. To that end, I'm going to figure out exactly what free users will have and publish that list online so people don't have to keep wondering if they'll wake up one day and find their custom templates gone.
  • For those who cannot pay but LOVE Tabulas, I need to offer them a way to get free paid accounts. I don't want to lock out users because they can't pay - I do believe that people who truly love Tabulas but cannot afford or pay for an account should be entitled to a free paid account. To that end, I'm going to start running the "Invite a Friend" program. Invite six of your friends to use Tabulas for a set time period; if the system believes they are legitimate users ... even if they don't pay, you will be granted a full free paid account. It's in essence trading money for you spreading the program to your friends.

So thus marks my short, but interesting experiment in catering to the free users ... now is the time to kiss ass to my paid users :)

Posted by roy on February 1, 2005 at 03:06 PM in Tabulas | 18 Comments

I played at the tightest table I've ever played at before - Internet and live. I mean, seriously ... almost 2 of each round of blinds went uncontested to the BB ... except when I had the BB.

Here's the funny thing. When a table tightens up, it often is quite beneficial to open up and play aggressive. After about 10 minutes of absolute crap, I got my first playable hand ... 75hh in mid-late position (I think I was two off the button). I raised it 600 to go (200 was BB) ... and immediately get reraised 1000 more. I fold it.

So I decided that maybe it's not so smart to make plays at the pot ... I have zero table respect and too many new players for me to get a handle on how they play. So instead I decide then to play supertight. I will wait for the monster hands, pick up the blinds and maybe a call... and grind out to the final table.

The poker gods decide that this would be the best time to blast me with the worst string of cards ... ever. I was there for close to two hours, and I saw exactly two legimitately playable hands: AQss and 88. I get the 88 UTG (duh), so I simply call it and hope to flop a set or flop all low cards. Three overcards hit, and I fold for the price of BB. No big loss.

Then I start picking up cards like K6s, A3s, 74o, 23o, 59o, 94o, 78o ... just horrible horrible cards. If I could pick up something remotely playable in LP I could raise the pots and pick them up, except I'm not getting ANY cards.

The one time I pick up AQss (the other playable hand), I raise it 4x the BB from EP. BB calls with K6s and catches two pair off the flop. Ridiculous. Luckily I folded it off the flop before getting my chips in the middle ... I don't ever want to get busted again with a bitch in my hand.

After that, I get nothing. Nothing at all. Eventually blinds get to be 600, and I pick up 47o in the BB. MP limps in, and SB completes. So there's 1800 in the pot. I have about 2200 (I believe) left ... flop comes 843. Looks like a great flop to me (MP can't possibly have that 8). I go all-in (the pot) and get called almost immediately by MP with 66. Great.

This is a world record tonight: I did not win a single pot tonight; not even the blinds!.

I have now become a statistical anomaly ... how long can a soul go on without catching some cards? At a table where I have no respect I cannot win. Let's hope Thursday brings a change in fortune.

Oh yeah, this is mainly for Terrence, but Alex's left vein in his neck pulsates noticeably when he's bluffing. I didn't notice this before; I'm not sure how I didn't notice this ... but my god. What a tell. Next time you play at a table with him, observe the left (left to you) vein as he bluffs.

Currently feeling: pessimistic
Posted by roy on February 2, 2005 at 12:09 AM in Poker | 7 Comments

Right before I drifted off to sleep at about 230am last night, I was thinking about what a weird month it's been for me. I also remember Terrence saying that this month was a bad month for many people (from their away messages). In any case, it dawned on me that I have access to tons of metadata from thousands of users from that nifty little "mood" option when you post an entry. What if I grabbed all that data and generated a textual-graphical representation of how the Tabulas ecosystem felt?

I grudgingly forced myself awake and about 30 minutes later, I had my first batch of data ... about 45 minutes later I had something that I felt satisfied with and then I fell asleep.

How does the Tabulas community feel as a group?

If a word is bigger, that means it's a more prevalent mood for that given month.

There isn't huge variance (it seems the Tabulas community is always tired, which makes sense, as tiredness isn't subject to mood swings), but there are some small things that seem interesting: people really do seem to feel cheerful during the holiday months and depressed during January.

Oh well, it's all plainly obvious stuff, but it's still fun.

So if you have the time, set your mood setting with your entries. Hopefully I can start gathering more data from here on out.

. . .

Oh yes ... please do me a favor and go to your public profile page and fill in as many fields as possible :). Esp the birthday field (you can leave the year blank if you feel uncomfortable) ... I really like to know when the people on my friends list are gonna have their bdays.

Currently feeling: off
Posted by roy on February 2, 2005 at 02:10 PM in Tabulas | 13 Comments

My grandmother (on my father's side) passed away today. I don't think I ever posted this in my Korea 2004, but our extended family found out that my grandmother was terminally ill during my last week in Korea. It was a total damper on what was to be a joyous week there.

Being separated from my extended family in America has meant that I've remained pretty distant from all my relatives. Whenever I visit Korea, they always make me feel welcome ... but there are just certain things you miss. Growing up in America, you get a certain idea of how extended families act; in Korean society the interactions are different than those I imagine ... so in general it's a very odd feeling.

But there is no doubt that my grandmother took an interest in me when I visited. I remember one specific incident when I was with her, and she was trying to buy me some fruits. I politely declined (I didn't want to haul the fruits back on the 40 minute ride back to my apartment), but the lady who was selling them said, "You can tell she loves you; just take the fruits!" (or something along those lines, I honestly can't remember the exact quote). I ended up hauling the fruits back and then eating them later that day for dinner.

In any case, I'm glad I spent a lot of time with my grandparents; I took the hour ride out almost every Saturday morning to visit them and have lunch with them. Given their traditional Korean attitudes and my horrible Korean ... we didn't communicate much. But it's the time spent that's important. I certainly feel that I had some closure with my grandmother ... and that's what's important when someone passes away.

. . .

On a lighter note, since I don't like to dwell on deeply personal things on this journal anymore, the passing of my grandmother has suddenly thrusted me with a bunch of responsibility and a new role as Mr. Mom.

My father recently moved to Kansas City to start a new job. And as such, he cannot go to the funeral. So my mom bought a flight tonight that flies out at 8am tomorrow morning to Korea.

Now, this isn't so horrible. I mean, I can take care of my sister and the girl who is staying at our house alright, right?

Well, might I mention that my aunt and uncle from Korea (from my mom's side) are arriving tomorrow at roughly 2pm? Oh, excellent.

Roy must now TRANSFORM into Mr. Mom... taking care of the house while running tons of errands for two high school girls and two Korean relatives!

I will be taking bets on how fast I break down (over/under is 3 days) or how fast I burn the house down (over/under is 5 days). They should record this and make this a sitcom.

Even better, perhaps I can claim some distant kinship to the Ashlee/Jessica Simpson family and have my OWN show which would be infinitely more exciting than Ashee's show [I just LOVE Newlyweds]. Would you rather watch Ashlee talk about how she had a picture taken by paparazzi with Andrew or would you rather watch me desperately try to communicate in broken Korean to two tired relatives?

Come on, be honest.

Currently listening to: Spice Girls - Viva Forever
Currently feeling: excited
Posted by roy on February 2, 2005 at 10:30 PM in Personal | 7 Comments

It occurs to me that although some of you read this journal, you have no idea what kind of person I am in real life. Well, my sister sent me an ecard that truly shows how she feels about me. So this should give you a general idea of what it'd be like to deal with me on a personal REAL LIFE basis.

Posted by roy on February 4, 2005 at 10:05 PM in Personal | 5 Comments

All you CSS experts, please tell me why Internet Explorer refuses to parse the CSS file I'm sending it to any given community? It's driving me up the wall.

problem fixed. i had an extra quotation mark. thanks to exodus for the link to the validator; i should of just run it through that to find out what the problem was.

. . .

I've been updating my radio incrementally. Check out some of the tracks I've uploaded - I've grown quite partial to one particular song, The Killers "Mr. Brightside."

The Killers - Mr. Brightside

Coming out of my cage
And I've been doing just fine
Gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all

It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this?
It was only a kiss,
It was only a kiss.

Now I'm falling asleep,
And she's calling a cab
While he's having a smoke,
And she's taking a drag

Then they go into bed
And my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head,
But she's touching his chest now

He takes off her dress now
Let me go
I just can't look,
It's killing me
And taking control

Jealousy - turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibi
But it's just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
'Cause I'm Mr. Brightside

A great song about the insecurity of a guy in a long-distance relationship with a girl ...

Currently feeling: confused
Posted by roy on February 5, 2005 at 10:34 AM in Music, Tabulas | 4 Comments

Sometimes I get so involved with the present that I completely forget about my future. I think it's quite easy to become self-absorbed in my own problems and thoughts that I forget that I'm living for the future.

During rare moments where I can forget about work-related stuff, I wonder what my future wife is doing right now.

(Yes, I know the concept of me getting married is completely ludicrous. But one day, I will use all my tricksiness [cause I'm a tricksy hobbits] to trick a girl into marrying me.)

Ten years from now, will I be talking to my wife about the uncertainty in my life right now? Will we take a look at our lives and be happy at the sacrifices both of us made during these critical years? Will we be interrupted by the screams of our children as they run through our house? Will I be happy? Will I ever wonder about the missed opportunities of the past?

I wonder about a lot of weird things like this at 3 in the morning. I should really get back to work.

. . .

I'm trying to draw TonyLee out of lurker-ness, but ...

To all my Chinese peeps: Gong-schi fait zai!
(Apologies to the billions I've offended with this Romanization.. er... bastardization of the Chinese language.)

Currently listening to: Something Corporate - Cavanaugh Park
Currently feeling: contemplative
Posted by roy on February 6, 2005 at 01:13 AM in Personal | 6 Comments

Thank god for "society" and its social mores. Otherwise I'd be an evolutionary dead end.

I'm like the retarded rat that never learns to stop shocking itself. I can't distinguish between the two buttons! Which one is food?! Which one is shocks?!?!?!??!

You see, for all the faux intelligence I front on this site, I am remarkably stupid when it comes to common tasks. Take, for instance, going to the grocery market.

I have told myself again and again to NEVER go to the grocery market when I am hungry. NEVER. NEVER. BUT I NEVER DO LEARN, DO I?

I spent $92.80 at the grocery market. And none of it on any food of real substances. I bought donuts, ice cream, chips, salsa, microwave dinners, AI sauce, sodas, candy ...

... it didn't seem to be that much when I put it in my cart...


. . .

I didn't get to watch the whole Super Bowl because I was tutoring, but the few times I watched were when Donovan decided to suck things up horribly. What was up with that INT he lobbed up after hit other INT got negated cause of a penalty? Yeah, underthrowing a lob is real smart into the Patriots secondary.

The thing is that the Patriots looked real vulnerable. If McNabb had more of his comfortable moments (like when he threw that nice pass down the middle to Freddie Mitchell for that TD in the last two minutes), the Eagles would of won this.

Donovan, this loss is squarely on your shoulders.

Currently listening to: The Killers - Somebody Told Me
Currently feeling: tired
Posted by roy on February 6, 2005 at 10:56 PM in Foolishness | 3 Comments

Do not sign up for Napster. Their ad in the Super Bowl is very misleading. Sure, you can download millions of songs for $15/month, but once you cancel your subscription you cannot play your songs anymore. You MUST maintain your subscription to continue listening to your songs.

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of - we have to "rent" music now? The music industry has some weird notion that because it's the internet, they can treat music differently. Wrong. Once I buy a CD, I don't want to continue paying for it on a monthly basis just to listen to it.

Don't use Napster. This is just another step that the business status quo is attempting to push onto our society to stifle innovation.

Posted by roy on February 7, 2005 at 12:47 PM in Ramblings | 8 Comments

Because the Duke/Carolina game is tomorrow, I feel obligated to link to chickhien's xanga which allows me to not waste time writing the exact same post.


Currently feeling: pleased
Posted by roy on February 8, 2005 at 03:48 PM in Sports | 4 Comments

Nothing much to say except that Blur's Coffee and TV is my favorite music video of all time.

. . .

Sorry, I couldn't resist ... apparently you have to do this quiz and you use an artist name and artist songs to fill this survey out... well.... hehe.

Describe yourself using one band and song titles from that band

Created by naw5689 and taken 16667 times on bzoink!

Choose a band/artist and answer only in song TITLES by that band:skee lo
Are you male or female:i wish
Describe yourself:i wish
How do some people feel about you:i wish
How do you feel about yourself:i wish
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend:i wish
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend:i wish
Describe where you want to be:i wish
Describe what you want to be:i wish
Describe how you live:i wish
Describe how you love:i wish
Share a few words of wisdomi wish

Create a Survey | Search Surveys | Go to bzoink!

Currently feeling: amused
Posted by roy on February 9, 2005 at 03:45 AM in Music | Add a comment

This weekend is the Triangle Bloggers Conference. I'm not sure I understand the hype of podcasting, so I'll probably go and see what's happening in the blogosphere. Maybe I'll get some ideas for some new Tabulas developments (although actually I'm backlogged on Tabulas work as it is... a post on that shortly).

It also seems Dave Winer is in town for the event. Maybe I'll go try to get a picture taken with him (g'damn the dork factor on this journal goes up every day) ... his blog was the primary influence for adding RSS/OPML support to Tabulas. Good stuff.

Posted by roy on February 9, 2005 at 02:59 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

Besides having to deal with household stuff while the 'rents are both out of town (I consider the house not burning down a success story), I've been trying to juggle multiple commitments across the board. Here's what's been happening in the Tabulas world:

Tabulas Platform

I recently licensed the Tabulas platform, so I've been spending time installing it, fixing some random bugs, and getting their site off the ground. This has led me to start refactoring most of the code to allow for future installs on other domains - I want to start licensing the software to anyone who wants to run their own versions.

This is a bit difficult right now because Tabulas.com itself doesn't use the Tabulas platform. The Tabulas platform itself is a series of hacks from Tabulas.com to be used on other domains - it's certainly not an extensible system. I need to sit down one weekend, completely hack out the Tabulas platform then convert Tabulas to the new system so I don't have to develop for two similar systems (Tabulas platform and Tabulas.com).

Tabulas Features/Bugs

Well, I still have this long list of stuff to do for Tabulas in terms of features

Tabulas Radio

I've been working on the Tabulas Radio backend. I don't quite have the money to move the frontend radio system to something else, but that doesn't mean I can't work on the backend. Here's what I've decided to do with Tabulas Radio.

Paid users can create a "repository" of streaming music on their Tabulas accounts (probably ~64 tracks per paid account). Users can then create playlists from their repositories (or they can just choose their whole repository as one playlist) and then publish these playlists to their radio. Visitors can then select a playlist of streaming music to listen to ...

I'm going to also develop a separate radio user directory (paid users only) that lets people find all Tabulas Radio accounts.

Supporting other languages

I've recently inked out a verbal agreement with someone in Brazil for them to run tabulas.com.br. It will be a Brazillian port of Tabulas; the whole site will be run in Portugeuse. The partner will handle payment and I will continue new feature developments/server management. This is mostly an experiment to me; I get to find a reason to refactor most of the control panel (as I've already had to above) to support other language files.

I'm hoping the Brazillian user becomes the 'Roy' equivalent ... we've decided to drastically cut prices on Tabulas Brazil user paid accounts. Hopefully if this works out, some enterprising Tabulas member from the Phillipines would be willing to be that Tabulas Phillipines partner? ;)

In any case, what I've decided to do technically is add in a field to each user's data that defines their language. Depending on their language, they will be redirected to their localized homepage (tabulas.com.br or tabulas.com). All data (even for all intl sites) will be stored in one database (so you can still make friends across borders). I guess essentially all your language settings do is redirect you to your language site (www.tabulas.com.br or my.tabulas.com.br or help.tabulas.com.br).

One of my big worries is the weird lack of language support in mySQL and outputting it. I'm currently using a mishmash of UTF-8 and iso-8859-1 (yeah, I know, I'm a moron, but I'm still learning!) ... I'll have to look into this.

Tabulas API and Syndication

Only the primary RSS feed is working for Tabulas right now; I'm in the process of re-adding category and community RSS feeds. OPML files were also temporarily disabled, but those should return shortly. I'm going to add RSS support to the gallery-level so people can see when you update images. On top of that, I'll add in a monster RSS feed which will combine all the aspects above if you want to track all changes to a particular Tabulas account.

I've been working with Borst (or rather, I've been haggling him) to get the Tabulas Uploader [a windows client that lets you upload images to your gallery via drag and drop]. This has been an interesting experience in client-server communication ... something I have no experience in. We're rather crude about it ... we're just using simple POST to send the data; I'm returning data in a very very simple XML format for Borst to parse.

Extending crossposting

Although time is lacking, I've been thinking about how COOL it would be to capture the entry ID# from LJ, Xanga, DJ whenever you crosspost; it would be real cool to link each entry to a certain crossposted entry; so for example when you edited a post you crossposted to LJ, it would edit that post automatically. I haven't given this too much look-see yet, but I know this is technically possible with LJ and LJ clones with their API. The main problem is if Xanga ever returns the UID when you post; if it does then I could just continue emulating an edit and delete post.

It would also be nice if Tabulas auto-converted tags to LJ tags when posting to LJ/DJ. (Idea from here).

Yeah, so that's what I've been up to.

Currently listening to: Counting Crows - Accidentally in Love
Currently feeling: busy
Posted by roy on February 9, 2005 at 03:18 PM in Tabulas | 7 Comments

oh god, why. why. 18 seconds, raymond. 18 seconds to penetrate and get a shot up. why. WHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Currently listening to: Simple Plan - Untitled
Currently feeling: shocked
Posted by roy on February 9, 2005 at 09:40 PM in Sports | 3 Comments

Some random observations regarding boys and girls:

Girls are quite perceptive about figuring out if guys like them. If a guy that likes a girl annoys that girl, there is NOTHING that guy can do to get out of the doghouse. Anything the guy does after that ... will continue to annoy the girl. But this could be the EXACT same task as a guy friend of the girl ... but the fact that the annoying guy did it will make it even MORE annoying. I think that's the one certain thing I've learned about girls ... once you're on a girl's "annoy" list, you might as well pack your things up and leave. Game over. No more credits for you.

. . .

I was watching the game with Alice, Lillia, and Mina. I shaved my head a few days ago, and Mina asked if I was going through a transitional period in my life. How intuitive of her! She knows that when a guy shaves his head, it usually marks the beginning of a new phase in that guy's life.

I'm not sure why it is, but it's so true. The other time I shaved my head was freshman year when I was dealing with a lot of weird issues. And now ... well... a lot of issues again :)

In any case, it's amazing what a shaved head will do! If you want to know what I look like, I took a picture with my digital camera:

Currently listening to: Mary J. Blige - No More Drama
Currently feeling: devious
Posted by roy on February 10, 2005 at 02:28 AM in Personal | 9 Comments

Is Amtrak finally going to go under? The Feds want to pull Amtrak's subsidies. Give this strategy document that covers 6 "myths" about Amtrak.

It seems to me that unless the big cities start really developing some extensive subway systems (ala NYC, Seoul, etc.) rail is not going to work. I remember taking a train ride upt o Washington ... but then without a car, high cab fares, and a spread out city ... I had to get a car. It makes going by rail pretty pointless.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about rail - when I was in Korea, it was so convenient to travel by rail (fast and cheap), but in a country like the US, where everything is so spread out, and we have a "me-car" mentality ... can it really succeed?

One of the points in the Amtrak strategy document is that Amtrak is not geared to be a financial success (unlike the USPS, which started off as a government entity and eventually spun out to a success as a semi-private company). Amtrak requires subsidies in the same way our highways require federal tax dollars to be maintained. Deep in my heart, I do want to see Amtrak succeed. I've had some very good experiences with Amtrak ... if I ever needed to go up to NYC (just in Manhattan), I would definitely take Amtrak over an airline.

Currently listening to: Simple Plan - Untitled
Currently feeling: drained
Posted by roy on February 10, 2005 at 02:35 PM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

It's been no secret that my poker finishes during 2005 have been more than dissappointing. Honestly, I can blame the cards. I had the worst string of cards ever - I'm just glad I quit playing online poker cause I could be in a huge financial hole cause of it.

In any case, I could feel the past few games slowly improving my cards; I went into tonight's game feeling that my cards would finally fall ... and then I would be unstoppable.

Well, tonight was really a crazy game of poker. Aaron showed up [whom I have great respect for - he knows what he's doing], so I was pretty excited to play at a very solid and aggressive table of players. Yush and Moonie are very dangerous and aggressive who are quite unpredictable ... Terrence is his solid old self playing great poker ... and then we have players like Alex, Bobby, Pete and Han who can be unstoppable if their cards fall right.

In any case, I drew the perfect position; I was to Pete's right and Terrence's left. I've been telling Terrence that I'm going to get him - and to sit by his left? Wonderful.

Bobby was the first one out in what could be the suckout of the century. Moonie opens the pot for 3xBB and Bobby calls. The flop comes 532 (two diamonds). Both get all their chips in the middle ... Moonie has 77 (with a diamond) and Bobby has A4 for the wheel. Bobby is something like a 90% favorite to win this hand ... except the turn comes a 6 of diamonds. Moonie picks up a flush draw and a 4 will give him a higher straight ... and the river ... a 4. Ouch.

Now, Moonie is on a card TEAR. He literally picked up close to four or five trips and two or three sets. He went in with 80/20 situations and came out winning with the 20% countless times. It was simply ... amazing to watch.

I should note that I'm doing alright ... I'm opening and playing a TON of pots ... at my low point I have roughly $7K in chips ($10K was the starting amount).

In any case, a critical hand came up between Moonie and me. I open for 3xBB with Terrence's favorite hand, TT. Moonie calls the raise and we see a flop. Flop comes 998. A beautiful flop for me.

I check to Moonie, who bets a sizable amount. At this time, I'm almost 100% sure that I have the best hand, so I reraise him a fair amount. He then immediately pushes the rest of the stack in. After debating for a while, I figure he decided to get cute with J9 or something along those lines ... so I fold my tens down. He flips up 88 ... and for some reason this puts me on tilt.

I should also note that Han and Yush have been using me as their personal boytoy. Anytime I get involved with them in a pot, I get check-raised. Most of the time I don't have much, but it's still really frustrating to get check-raised. I decide that with Han I'm going to be patient; I am picking up enough blinds to make sizable dents if I'm just patient for the right hand.

The next hand, I'm steaming for some reason. I guess Im just getting tired of Moonie catching monster hands. I look down to see a 84cc peeking at me. In MP, I would normally raise with this hand (I've been raising with almost all hands regardless of position because everyone seems to be playing tight, and Terrence is sitting to my right!), but I decide that since I'm steaming, I should just call it and fold it once I miss the flop. Moonie calls, and Han completes the BB.

Flop comes T73 (I think) of clubs. I've just caught the nastiest flush draw in the history of the world.

In the past, I've gotten burned really bad when I catch a low flush off the flop; usually the Naked Ace chases and catches a higher flush ... or I get shafted with some two pair becoming a boat. In any case, I check it to Moonie, who makes quite a sizable bet into the pot. Han then re-raises close to twice the pot all-in. Now, I know for a fact Han has nothing. I decide that at BEST he might have a pair of tens, but I'm giving him no credit for a set or two pair. My only worry is if Moonie will fish out for a higher flush (or if he has one made already!). I know the pot odds give him the ability to call, and since he's chip leader he may gamble. I push the rest of the stack in (which is only like 1/2 more than what Han had). Moonie debates forever and calls with 65cc. Han flips up A7 for a pair and no flush draw. I have them both drawing nearly dead to the river ... and I triple up. Now, this created a HUGE chip monster in me. I have roughly $40K in chips (with only $90K in play), and I don't think people were happy.

But of course, what happens next is the biggest implosion; if you want to every put money on someone blowing an extensive chip lead, you can bet it's going to be me.

Oh yeah, I need to detail a hand where I just was acting totally retarded. I picked up pocket 4s and raised the blinds. Moonie called (this is a recurring theme) and the flop comes AJT. I bet, and Moonie calls. At this point, I decide to give Moonie credit for a pair, so I check the turn (a J). The river comes a T, and my pair is useless. I'm now playing the board.

In a moment of sheer stupidity, I mucked my hand in a huge pot ... and as it turns out, it would of been split (Moonie was drawing for a gutshot with 97). I'm not sure what happened here - a total lapse of judgement.

I busted Pete a few hands later when he raised UTG with AJo and I saw pocket turds in the hole. I decided he had big cards and I could pull a stop-and-go if no face cards hit the flop. The flop comes J2x, so my turds have powered up for a turdbomb. I push Pete all-in off the turn (another J) and I eliminate Pete when the river blanks out. I still own his soul.

Moonie triples up when Alex calls his all-in and I get 3:1 on my money with 93hh. Given that Alex is also a weak-tight player, I know I can see the board down to the river. Moonie ends up having AA, and both Alex and I have a lower pair. Ouch.

I late blow my huge chip lead when I stupidly call with low two pair, knowing Moonie had top two pair. Sometimes huge chip leads blind you... AGH.

Meanwhile, Aaron had gotten eliminated earlier when he had KK against Alex's AA. Truly sick hands tonight.

After a few hours, Alex goes out (he just gets grinded down), and it's down to me, Moonie, Terrence, and Yush. Moonie goes out (I forget the hand, Terrence can probably recall it), and it's just me, Yush and Terrence.

Now, I've been waiting to get Terrence SOOOO bad for the longest time. I've been messing with him all night ... pushing him around with draws and pairs. I did double him up when I missed a flush draw ... so I'm still looking to get him good.

Three handed, I wake up to see KK. This is the first big pockets I've had all night (I've gotten AK about three times though, so I can't complain.) I've been doing a lot of limping, and Terrence is playing the all-in strategy, so I'm hoping he wakes up to something worth pushing. Yush folds when I limp ... and then Terrence begins to play with his chips. I'm starting to get excited.

Terrence starts counting his chips, and I can just feel the push. What makes this more glorious is that Terrence starts talking (very rare for him!). He says, "Roy ... have you been waiting all night to get me? Is this a trap? Well, if it's a trap ..." then he pushes his chips in. I immediately flip up my kings ... I GOT TERRENCE FINALLY!!!! It's very very very rare for anybody to outplay Terrence (unless you're name is Stephen and you manage to trick Terrence into thinking that QQ is "weak hand" ... JUST KIDDING TERRENCE!!) ... so this was great. The kings hold up, and Terrence is gone.

A few hands later, Yush and I get all our money in the pot when I had top pair, and he has second pair. He hits two pair on the turn and I'm done. (I should note that Yush is killing me - he called an earlier hand with A4 on a board of J4x when I had QJ and caught an Ace on the turn ... but luckily I sensed he was strong so I checked it down to the river).

Tonight was a good night ... I had a few questionable calls (I should not of mucked the 44, should not of called with 67o against Moonie's J7 suited), but I played very aggressive and strong so I'm quite happy with my finishes. I got my groove and rhytm back, which I hope can translate to some high finishes on the Tuesday night games.

Oh yeah, this post would not be complete with me disparaging someone's play:

Pete opens up UTG for about 2.5xBB. Yush and Han both call. The flop comes KJx, and Pete checks. Yush and Han both check. The turn comes a A. Pete bets, and Yush and Han both call. The river places a Q on the board which also completes a diamond flush. Now, here is the questionable play of the night:

Han bets 1/4 of his stack ($2K) into the pot ... Yush calls. Pete thinks forever and calls ... with a set of kings. Han has the straight and Yush has the flush. The river bet was substantial ... I can't believe that was overcalled by Pete. There is absolutely no reasonable hand that he could beat at this point ... this is the hand where Pete got really shortstacked and eventually led to him getting knocked out with AJ.

Honestly tonight ... was crazy. Everyone was playing very well and crazy ... and the nastiest hands were coming out. People were only getting eliminated on nasty hands (good stuff!) ... I'm quite happy to see everyone elevating their game. It makes playing much more enjoyable ... to see each hand becoming harder to play. Hopefully when I hit up Vegas for some fun ... the pressure of the 305 games will help me succeed in some of the tourneys there :).

But I'm feeling a lot like Terrence lately when it comes to my game. I've been in almost every situation so I feel like I know what I need to do, and I don't have to focus so intently on every pot. It's not autopilot, but it's close to it.

But damn, you know you've played with a person too long when you see a flop and you have a bad beat story to go with it.

And before PM5K says anything, yes we gamble TOO MUCH!

Currently listening to: OAR - Crazy Game of Poker
Currently feeling: silly
Posted by roy on February 11, 2005 at 01:22 AM in Poker | 7 Comments


. . .

Check this artist as he draws on LSD. Quite fascinating.

The effect of various drugs on a spider's ability to spin webs. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd look up the paper myself and see the relative dosages given to the spider. The caffeine web is the most messed up one of all ... so I've (honestly) decided to quit drinking Coke from now on. I'm going to give it up at home (I'll have it when I go out occassionally) ... but I'm really kinda freaked out.

Currently feeling: scared
Posted by roy on February 11, 2005 at 11:05 PM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

I attended the Triangle's Blogger Conference this morning. It was alright ... nothing too groundbreaking for me. (Notes from the conference are here)

In any case, the focus was mainly along the journalistic side of things - how does grassroots journalism work, how can big media deal with it, etc. etc. Honestly the discussion wasn't too enthralling (it seemed a bit unfocused; once in a while someone would bring up a point then someone else would speak about some previous point and then we'd go off on weird tangents), but it did get the gears in my mind to churn a bit (ooh, it's been a while).

This touches a lot on what Alice wrote a while ago (what is the purpose of this blog?), but I've noticed that in the case of blogging, there are two primarily type of bloggers in this world. There are those who blog for the purpose of developing their own social network and those who blog for the purpose of developing a better information architecture (those who promote grassroots journalism fall into the latter camp).

Both of these groups share two types of users: the realists and the idealists (ooh, I know, groundbreaking philosophizing going on here... just bear with me). The idealists are those who think the Internet, if given the proper tools, can uproot a lot of the status quo (wikipedia vs. encylopedias, grassroots journalism vs. big media) and create a "better" world. Realists share in some of the optimism, but take a much more grounded view of the situation - in all reality, a lot of the status quo will exist, but this new medium serves to complement, not replace.

The problem with the idealists is they have an oversimplified view of the economics of the situation - the point was brought up rather obviously when someone bemoaned the fact that the NYTimes would not grant access to online archives for free - this person suggested that "opening up the archive online and putting advertisements next to them would become a cash-cow." Right.

Dan Gillmor quickly rebutted this point (rather politely, as far as I could tell) by quoting someone who said that this notion was "laughable." In any case, the point is that there are a lot of people who still believe that everything on the Internet should be free - "hey, the only cost is running the server, right?" Again, I've touched on this many times - but many idealists have a sense of entitlement when it comes to websites.

Backtracking a bit, I've realized that a lot of the power of any blogging revolution lies straight in the hands of the tool publishers. Movable Type, LiveJournal, Wikis... the development of these tools directly led to their adoption by the media. It's interesting to see that a lot of thinking among the media crowd is how to "improve" existing tools rather than thinking of new tools, but I guess that's why people like Dave Winer are important - they can straddle that line between the social implications of a tool but still develop new technologies which benefit the masses.

In regards to masses, someone made the point that still a very small percentage of users blog. This is what I'm primarily interested in, and I was quite saddened to see no real discussion on how to improve adoption of blogs among the non-technological crowds. Although the popularity of blogs has exploded due to word-of-mouth associations, those who have blogged with great frequency are those who have others there to moral support - that's to say that if you want to really get Person A blogging, you need Person B, who is already an established blogger, there to give them help and give comments to their posts.

People will not blog unless they get feedback (which makes me wonder if I should just create an automatic bot that goes around Tabulas and goes LOL, Great Post, I agree!, Just Blog Hopping in order to give people a sense of empowerment?) and they feel they are getting "something" from it.

Which begs the question, should everyone blog? I used to think the obvious answer was, "yes." But lately I've decided that a lot of what people have to say is dull, uninteresting and stale (and this includes this site). Maybe part of the problem of the signal and noise ratio problem is the overenthusiasm of users with their blogs. This is the issue of the "echo chamber" effect that's been discussed. Essentially the problem is that your readers will be in the same social network: if Bob reads Jane's journal, and Jane posts a funny link, Bob may post that link on HIS page. On some levels, all social networks are incestuous, so no real content is being published. Old content is just being recycled within each encapsulated social ecosystem.

This brings me to my next point. There are two [two seems to be a magical number in this post!] methods in approaching blogging communities. One is the gated community method (Xanga, LJ, Tabulas) where registration is required and all data is stored centrally. The second option is the "I own the domain" version, where you host your own software on server space you rent. The benefits of each can be drawn to the analogy of big cities and rural settlements. Gated communities are bettering at moderating themselves - in a situation where a single entity controls your user information, people are more likely to be well-behaved. However, the drawbacks are in the limited features (you can only use what your service provides you!) and the signal to noise ratio is ridiculous. Look at the list of gated communities - do any of them have any writers who make solid contributions to the netsphere? The most influential bloggers run their own domains - but why is this? Why wouldn't influential bloggers have someone else manage that software for them? Most of them just use simple tools in any case!

I honestly think that the way to make money is through gated communities - you can try running a hosting company where you offer hosting to bloggers, but you'll be run into the ground due to the low margins already. Plus peopel hate setting up their own software. Perhaps the commercial success of the blogging industry lies within gated communities [I'd be interested to see 6A's revenue streams when it comes to MT vs. TypePad], while the people who really benefit from it all run their own domains.

There seems to be a general consensus that there are a lot of problems in the blogosphere (comment spam, signal-to-noise ratio), but the general attitude towards it all seems to be, "Let the tool builders deal with it." Unfortunately the tool builders are not rich enough to deal with the heuristical problems of comment spam (what *is* spam according to a computer?) or signal-to-noise ratio (the user-moderation of /. fails enormously when you don't consider "funny" comments to be a good thing).

The success for any online blogging community (in regards to tool development) will be a closer collaboration between sociologists (how can we best connect people with similar interests?), statistical analysts (how can we sift through all this data and figure out what is quality?), user interface designers (how can we make the tools easy to adopt by Joe Average?), technologists (what new tools can we devise which will be adopted by future generations?) and finally code monkeys (build the tools or you get no bananas!).

Oh yeah, I finally "got" podcasting. In a world where I write better than I speak, it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to podcast ... but there are a lot of people who speak and want to listen rather than read. Maybe one day I"ll add podcast support to Tabulas. I still think speech recognition is too weak to support this feature - if we could get a program that lets you speak into it that automatically generates a MP3 and a textual transcript ... that would be hot ish.

Posted by roy on February 12, 2005 at 03:17 PM in Web Development, Tabulas | 6 Comments

A bunch of passing thoughts:

This picture of a baby from MikeyMike's Tabulas is the cutest baby I've seen in a looonnngg time. Look at her! So cute!

. . .

So there's been big hoopla over the Gates, a 26-year art project that's going to last 16 days in Central Park.

Sometimes I feel like such an uncultured buffoon... I looked at this exhibit and went: "So they hung up a bunch of orange banners in a line throughout Central Park." I just don't "get it." I mean, the artist explained it, it's supposed to make people feel like they're in a parade ... to give dignity to the masses. But apparently I just don't "get it."

What I do get is that this thing cost $20 million dollars to make and will only be up for 16 days.

But then again, I'm the type of guy who hates to see 'historical landmarks' in Europe (I call them "Shitty Old Buildings Exploited For Tourist Money") ... so I guess I'm just being an ass.

. . .

I'm getting quite depressed that Google is serving "Girlfriend" ads all over my site. As if the smart computers are Google know that I'm a desperate lonely man ... they mock me. THEY MOCK ME. Just they wait until Tabulas becomes self-aware ... then we'll see who has the last laugh...

. . .

I do believe I have found Tabulas' new privacy policy:

(It's stolen from despair.com)


Posted by roy on February 13, 2005 at 03:55 PM in Ramblings | 7 Comments

Thanks to Terrence, I decided to spend about an hour and a half making this really stupid Valentine Day's e-card.

input your name to get a special valentine's day card from me:

You can send your own e-card by changing the URL parameters

I find it quite disturbing that my handwriting is that bad. I also find it disturbing that I'm spending so much time putting in random names (like this)

Posted by roy on February 13, 2005 at 11:24 PM in Foolishness | 4 Comments

this is the coolest website ever. it lets you track the popularity of all names since 1900s in a very interactive manner.

Unfortunately it looks like Roy is no longer very popular.

Currently listening to: Fuel - Sunburn
Currently feeling: amused
Posted by roy on February 14, 2005 at 02:52 PM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

I'm so glad the Internet exists. Were it not for this glorified geek toy, I might never appear even remotely "cool."

You see, in the many days I've spent examining online profiles for this singular post (I was doing research), I have noticed that one of the characteristics that comes up more often (besides "smart", "charming", "dark", and "handsome") is the wonderfully vague characteristic of ... "humorous."

Now, I realize that humor is an artform, with many different manifestations. You have your slapstick humor, your subtle humor, your absurd humor, etc. etc. Most of these, I think, we can all accept as being fields in which we can develop skills. Sure, people like Jim Carrey are quite talented in slapstick humor, but if we all applied ourselves, I think we could all become modest comedians.

The one type of humor that is close to impossible to learn or teach is witty humor. I have known only a few witty people in my life, and I can truly say that witty humor is the best type. A true witician (neologisms, here I come!) brings out the best (or worst) in everyone else. Every conversation reeks of Tarantino-ish comebacks, and all topics seem profound and meaningful, while maintaining that wisp of transcience.

The problem is that truly witty remarks have a total timeframe of 3 seconds.

If someone (let's say for the sake of clarity that we're talking about Yush) were to say, "Roy, you would hit anything with a hole because you're so desperate", I would have roughly 3 seconds to respond. Failure to respond to this insult with an equally witty response would end with me losing credibility.

If I were to almost immediately respond that to comment (we're talking in real life, here) by saying, "Yeah, like your butthole," then I have achieved a victory. You see, when Yush sent that insult to me, he opened the door for the response, full well-knowing that if I made a "witty" remark, he would accede defeat and I would be victorious.

However, had I waited close to 4 seconds to make that response, Yush would be forced to shake his head at the less-than-mediocre response time.

The problem is that for people who are truly not witty, it's hard to fit in a nice response in that 3 second timeframe. You can hone these skills by thinking of every possible insult someone would send you, and then having a prefabricated response, but eventually people will see through these lame attempts at humor.

The beauty of the Internet is that the witty timeframe is extended to 10 to 15 seconds ... maybe even 20!

Because of the very nature of IMs, people are always under the assumption that I'm doing "something busy." So when I take about 15 seconds to come up with a witty response, they think "Wow, although that response was long, it's probably because he's chatting with 4 other people!" Bzzt. No, it just took me that long, but I'm taking advantage of the medium to maximize my image.

Being "funny" online is a double-edged sword. People can then find you in real life and expect a free comedy club act ... but you might really not be funny (as it is in my case!).

But I still love the Internet.

. . .

A little while ago, John Mayer had one episode of a show called "John Mayer has a Show." I found this show amazingly fresh and funny ... I've uploaded a 250meg DiVX so you can download it. Right click, and save target as:

John Mayer has a TV Show download

Hey, what is the song being played in the intro with the guitar riff? It's "Only Heart" off of "Heavy Things" by John Mayer.

Currently listening to: 2Pac - Wonder Why They Call U
Currently feeling: worried
Posted by roy on February 15, 2005 at 12:05 AM in Foolishness | 6 Comments

So I saw a link for one of those quizzes (on wandergirl) for "Which Journaling Service Are You?"

I ended up getting LiveJournal, so I'm quite depressed. Does someone have the actual answer key so I can get Tabulas? I think it looks quite bad for me not score Tabulas.

What's most amusing is when you go through the list of possible answers, Xanga's strength is: intelligence. Riiiiiiggggghhhhhttt.

Tabulas' strength is: enthusiasm, which sounds about right.

. . .

Wow, this really hurts.

Currently listening to: John Mayer - Only Heart
Currently feeling: amused
Posted by roy on February 15, 2005 at 12:12 AM in Tabulas | 12 Comments

A whirlwind of activity from Tabulas-land.

With my mother back from Korea, I've had a huge chunk of time free up on a daily basis which I've been using to tackle a lot of the issues in my Tabulas to-do list. (Speaking of which, I realized a few days ago that everytime I edited it, it would refresh the RSS feed. Apologies to those who read my site through RSS)

(Continue onwards, friend!)

All in all, I'm feeling really content with the level that Tabulas has reached. There's a lot of work to be done, but for the most part, a lot of the bugs have been patched. This feature freeze (sort of) has helped me stabilize the system. And have you noticed we've had great uptime? I'm really surprised Tabulas hasn't crashed once ... with the 4 odd servers I'm running ... I would expect one of them to whine once in a while. Oh well ... knock on wood.

In any case, because I've gotten so much done, I can finally focus on the more theoretical problems rather than the boring bug fixes. Whoo, so excited!

Oh yeah, don't be scurred, but Sal has notified me as to a HUGE security hole in Tabulas. The solution requires about 15 Roys working nonstop for one day, so it may take me a while to patch it. But I'll write all about it (the first big security hole in Tabulas!) once I'm done.

Currently listening to: Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany's
Currently feeling: satisfied
Posted by roy on February 15, 2005 at 02:38 AM in Tabulas | 2 Comments

How did Alice know that this post was coming days before I even knew I was going to write it?

My interest lately has been the human social condition - how humans organize themselves in groups as well as how the human mind influences the social networks we create.

On the macrosocial level, humans have a tendency to form groups of 150 people. This is well-outlined in this paper entitled co-evolution of neocortext size, group size, and language in humans. If you want to save yourself the trouble of reading it, the important points is that there is a strong case for the size of the neocortex affecting how big our natural social groups tend to be. Dunbar used some regression tests against apes, chimps, and humans and found that humans have an ideal group size of 148.4 individuals (or 150). This is to say that once a group reaches greater than 148.4, things tend to start breaking down; in essence the huge number of social networks that must be maintained by the group is too burdensome for each individual to handle. Once you get larger than 150, then you have to create a clear hiearchy and start introducing formalities. Under 150, you can keep things impersonal and use direct contact between individuals to get things done.

It's no surprise that effective armies are structured around the platoons (30-40 soldiers), which are then structured into companies (which usually have around 3-6 platoons).

On the microlevel, each individual human mind has an innate limitation of seven numbers. Look at phone numbers - they are traditionally seven numbers. The bulk of humans cannot deal with remembering more than seven things at once. This is not to say our lives are defined by the number seven, but the simple case of the matter is that the human mind has a lot of limitations. At any given time, I wouldn't say I have more than 7 close acquaintances at once (these friends change with time, but I don't usually have more than 7 to deal with at once).

Personally, I always notice how poker games always liven up when it gets down to about 6 or 7 people; things are much different when you're in a larger group.

When classifying human social connections, you can break things down to "strong ties" (close friends, family) and "weak ties" (basically boils down to acquaintances). Granovetter wrote a supposedly groundbreaking paper about this topic (. S. Granovetter: The strength of weak ties : A network theory revisited. In Sociological Theory (1), 1983) which I haven't read, but I've read excerpts online and I've read papers in which it's been cited. What's amazing is that as it turns out, weak ties are more important in developing yourself as a human in a social setting. Strong ties tend to be overly supportive of yourself (blinded, in a sense) ... and strong ties tend to be people whose interests you share.

How does this apply to your life? Well, as it turns out, weak ties are way more important in job hunting than strong ties. Makes sense! If you hang out with the same group of people with the same network ties as you, you'll saturate those network ties trying to get a job. But tap into a social network in which you're not really associated with and you immediately have more options.

The beauty of the Internet is that self-publishing has become cheap (almost free). This means that a lot of those "weak ties" are much easier to develop. Even better, there needs to be almost no reciprocation among these weak ties - a recruiter could be reading this right now (I doubt it, but you get the point). The Internet makes social networking incredibly cheap and efficient.

Taking this one step further, because building these ties are now so cheap, there is a blurring among personal/business ties. This journal is a key example. Am I attempting to connect to individuals I find interesting on a personal level or am I using this partially as an inexpensive PR tool? Sadly, the answer to both questions is "yes." Read almost any technnical blog, and you'll see it's a combination. Weak ties are no longer limited just to one purpose - they are serving multiple purposes.

So how does this fit in with the future of journaling? (You've got to know that I'm going to eventually write about Tabulas.) Well, if the human mind is limited (Miller's Magical 7) and if we're constantly trying to build more weak ties, it seems that social networking tools should also be striving to help you develop and maintain those weak ties much more effectively.

This is why I think sites like Facebook and Friendster were such huge hits. Their ideas were not particularly innovative, but it was the tools that they introduced to their members that were important. Friendster and Facebook allow you to not only develop weak ties more effectively, but maintain them. It's hard for me to imagine all the people I've met throughout high school, but I load up FaceBook, and voila! Here they are! And even people I kind of knew in college. Right now, you can't do much except just view them and read their profiles, but this is only the beginning. In the future, these connections will be worth a lot to you (want to reconnect with your old buddies? need to find a job in a certain new industr? need to find a place to live in a new city? look at your weak ties!)

I see the next step for blogging tools is not only for publication, but management of weak ties. A combination of Friendster/Facebook with the power of personal publishing will be an extremely effective tool.

I remember when I first introduced the birthday reminder feature into Tabulas. It has saved my butt so many times - many people don't care that you don't personally remember birthdays - they just want the affection of weak ties (everyone wants to think they have lots of friends, and remembering the birthday is a great test of that friendship). The birthday, as you get older, is less about your actual birthdate, but a test of who you believe to be your friends.

So sites like Tabulas will have to evolve by creating APIs that will let the users store information like address books, birthdates, contacts, etc. that will not only be accessible through their websites, but also through mobile handsets and through whatever future applications the user uses. People want reminders about their lives, because real life nowadays is so hectic that it's quite hard to remember every little thing we have to do.

Hope this made sense.

Currently listening to: John Mayer - Only Heart
Currently feeling: thoughtful
Posted by roy on February 15, 2005 at 04:30 PM in Ramblings, Tabulas | 3 Comments

To all users who use Tabulas Radio ... thanks for your patience. I've finished up the Tabulas Radio feature now. You can now delete files, rename the filenames, reset the order of your playlists, and hide certain tracks from your playlist (if you don't want to delete them but you want to keep them saved on your Tabulas).

Paid users will be allowed a total of 64 songs on their Tabulas Radio at any time. I haven't implemented this quota yet, but I'll do it tomorrow.

Listen to my Tabulas Radio!

. . .

Edit: I've added a nifty little feature to the radio feature. If you like a song on someone else's Radio, and that user is your mutual friend, then you can download that track to your radio (as long as that person has the file checked on 'shared' option). This can be useful for quickly importing a whole collection of music you like. Hopefully this will help people share new types of music with one another and be exposed to new artists.

. . .

I also fixed up an annoying bug that pushed certain entries on your friends/friends of pages to the next page. It was annoying to click "View next x entries" and to see the last entry on top :)

. . .

Yes, this journal has gotten totally uninteresting. I'll get around to posting interesting stuff soon enough. I'm just in a total Tabulas development mode right now, so my head is stuck up my Tabulas ass right now, which makes it difficult to think of anything else.

Currently listening to: Yellowcard - Gifts and Curses
Currently feeling: exhausted
Posted by roy on February 17, 2005 at 04:49 AM in Tabulas | 10 Comments

Here is my to-do list for Tabulas since the old one got too busy:


Posted by roy on February 17, 2005 at 04:56 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

So last night the server that Tabulas was located on was the target of a SYN-ACK attack. Basically an evil user decided to fake requests of files on the server at a high enough rate that the server got saturated with requests. This meant that legitimate users got locked out of the server when they tried to request files.

This, in and of itself, is not abnormal. Big sites are under attack all the time - I had the NOC take a look at the attack, and the attack seemed to die off after a while.

No, but this is not the reason I write the post. The reason I write this post is the LOL moment I get. I post this notice in the forum, and look at the two responses I get.

"When will our accounts be back up?"

I bit my tongue last night because I figured I was being too "in the moment," but luckily Heatsink responded politely.

It almost seems like they thought I was attacking the server. Or that it was someone that I knew so I could ask them to stop.


Posted by roy on February 18, 2005 at 11:01 AM in Tabulas | 2 Comments
Posted by roy on February 19, 2005 at 07:46 PM in Ramblings | 5 Comments

With almost nothing of any worth left to say, I instead offer you a picture that was taken when I helped my father move to Kansas City.

We were driving around the suburbs on the Kansas side of Kansas City, and I was remarking how nice the neighborhoods are (for NC folks, these suburbs are nicer than Cary's!) ... and then I noticed this huge silo in the middle of a subdivision. Obviously there for aesthetic reasons, I had to get a picture taken with this huge phallic symbol. Hopefully some ladies will think that Roy being associated with a huge phallic symbol makes him a more attractive date. Hopefully.

Posted by roy on February 20, 2005 at 02:36 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Why won't people leave poor Paris Hilton alone? First she got her poor Blackberry hacked. Now apparently her Sidekick has been hacked. This time, the damage is more severe as her personal notes and the phone numbers for various celebrities have all been posted online (as well as a bunch of not-safe-for-work pictures).

I find it pathetic that people need to go through such lengths to violate the privacy of others. If there were some higher ideal here (the truth of something important perhaps) this would be justifiable, but this is pure tabloid crap. It makes me sick.

The obsession with celebrities is also amazing to me. I have no issues with examining celebrities if they open up to the world (ala Newlyweds, an awesome show), but to bother celebrities in their day-to-day business is ridiculous. Why are we so obsessed with celebrities as a culture?

In any case, I hope whoever's fault this is pays big. I'm guessing it's TMobile. How could you let all that information leak? Not only have you pissed off your number one spokeswoman, but you've managed to alienate tons of celebrities who don't their information is safe with that service.

(Heh heh heh *cough cough* Tabulas XSS exploit *cough cough*)

Posted by roy on February 20, 2005 at 02:44 PM in Ramblings | 7 Comments

A public service announcement: If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer... STOP!

Go to Mozilla.org and download Mozilla FireFox. It is a browser that is about 100x better than Microsoft Internet Explorer! Plus Tabulas looks really neat-o in FireFox (thanks to a bunch of :focus and :hover attributes I added tonight).

. . .

None of you care, but I don't care that none of you care! So HAH! A useless post to help fill up the internet with even more noise (I hope that one day someone will be legitimately searching for real information, and instead they'll get on THIS page and then they'll be REAL pissed.

I have changed my desktop wallpaper.

Yes, even this simplest of tasks requires a separate entry post ALL in itself. Why?

I am a creature of habit. I do not like to change my computer settings. But to change ... this marks a shift in my love live. Jessica Biel, as much as I love you ... you cannot hold a candle to the ever-lovely Evangeline Lilly (of ABC's Lost fame).

What used to be my desktop:

What is now my desktop image:

I think Evangeline Lilly is absolutely beautiful. I do not use that word often when describing women, so this is truly an honor for Ms. Lilly.

. . .

Oh jeezus. The Tabulas billing center is broken beyond belief. A hodgepodge of stuff I can't even bother explaining. I've spent all of tonight sorting through the old PayPal subscriptions, updating all the subscription IDs in the Tabulas system, finding out which usernames are not paying anymore (and downgrading them).

I've not even remotely closed to being finished ... but I need to sleep. exhausted. woot.

Currently listening to: Warp Brothers - Power
Currently feeling: busy
Posted by roy on February 21, 2005 at 12:06 AM in Foolishness | 19 Comments

ghost_tree has posted a really good entry regarding teaching in Korea and how foreigners are viewed as teachers. This is more or less a unfocused response to the issues he's brought up.

Koreans are the most xenophobic people ever. I'm not sure whether it's excessive pride for one's nation [don't get me started on the absolutey ridiculousness of nationalism] or what, but it sickens me sometimes.

I remember during the World Cup in Korea during the Summer of 2002 when my friend almost got into a fight with this inebriated Korean guy when the guy was openly rooting for US to lose against Germany (which they ultimately did). There are strong anti-US sentiments throughout the masses [my ideology has been remarkably shifted as of late - I used to be a really big proponent of any type of "government for the masses," but I'm really beginning to understand the dangers of large groups - they are more easily deceived and can be led to do greater damage than if each individual was asked to act on his own accord!] which really flared up during the World Cup. In any case, Koreans have the strongest sense of national pride that I've yet to see ... even in Americans. Hell, I'm a proud American and I'll show my red, white, and blue pride ... but the fanatical level the Koreans take it to is simply astounding.

Unlike the fiercely individualistic Americans, Koreans are geared more towards the group mentality [this has a lot to do with the influence of Confucius within Korean culture]. There was an article that I read a long time ago that talked about the popularity of a particular Korean game (Lineage, I believe) that would never fly in the US. Why not?

Lineage was built around team play where each team has a distinct hierarchy of command. Unlike CS and Halo, each player was *not* equal in power. The reasoning went that Koreans, who are much more willing to accept a lower social ranking for the sake of the group, could bear to have players who would happily be the "grunts" in each battle. According to this logic, many players in American could never accept the role of grunts to the level that the koreans did, so the game would never be popular in the states.

Deferring to the group also rears its ugly head in the Korean economy. The creation of the chaebols (which are huge companies that pretty run Korea's economy) was not simply the result of horrible economic policies. Koreans, when they're not dreaming of getting their kids into Seoul University, also dream of getting a "secure" job at one of the large chaebols. Entrepeneurs do not exist at the level that exists in America.

Now, my parents have become Americanized over the years (thank goodness), but I remember a long time ago when they would watch Korean news tapes [we would rent them from the local Korean grocery store]. The Korean news media is a joke (it's all propaganda from the government); they would supplement a lot of normal news with sensationalist reports [a lot like America!]. And like many Americans, many Korean adults would get caught up with whatever the news show decided to talk about. My parents used to abide by these shows with a fanaticism that astounded me... they took whatever was said as fact.

I remember one particular news story that was talking about what parents are to do when their kids run away and return home - the news show suggested parents beat their kids severely so they "learn their lesson."

In any case, I suppose it's only been a matter of time before things reached a boiling point in Korea with all these foreign teachers.

The hakwon [private schools] lobby in Korea is incredibly powerful. I don't think Westerners can fully grasp the ubiquitousness of these private schools which offer private tutoring on any subject at all. With an obsession with education and a xenophobia ... it's only really a matter of time before Koreans start questioning whether these foreign teachers are "really worth it" (which they are!)

I never wrote my summary conclusion from my teaching experiences when I got back, but there are simply many, many flaws in the hakwon system which astounded me.

ghost_tree (dude, should I just call you 'Reyes' or what? I feel so informal using your username) mentions how many teachers are simply hired because they are white. This is absolutely true - I remember when my hakwon wonjangneem [the owner] was trying to hire a new teacher. I was asked to assist in sifting through an online site with all these different Westerners looking for jobs.

What really amazed me was the low level of qualification a lot of these people had. I'm not sure what it was, but on more than one occasion I saw wrong grammar and poorly written descriptions and just a level of idiocy in some of the postings that made me feel very smart [a rare occurence, I assure you]. But these people were getting HIRED!

This is the main problem. There is such a high demand for teachers that the only way that these schools can seem like 'high quality' is to bring in these Westerners who are underqualified, oftentimes shooting over the more qualified Korean-Americans.

The second problem is what I call the "assholes are loud" problem. You never notice the unproblematic people because ... well you're not supposed to notice them. People only notice the bad apples - even worse, the stickiness of any memory increases when an asshole is involved. (like my story which is still vivid in my mind)

Honestly I'm not sure why Koreans are such assholes when it comes to foreigners. You get one bad apple and suddenly the whole group is bad. It's simply ridiculous. Americans have many flaws, but on the whole, I find that Americans are a lot more open-minded regarding races than a lot of other nations. [Europeans are *not* that open-minded towards other races - Germans in particular are friggin' racists]

Man, this post was going to be longer. But I suddenly got really lazy. I think I'm going to go get some breakfast from McDonald's instead.

Posted by roy on February 22, 2005 at 03:47 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

I uploaded The Argument's Song One which is just a cute song about middle school "love." Download it... it's real nice. Here are the lyrics:

The Argument - Song One

8th grade Winter Break,
'Cause I studied hard,
My parents broke down and bought me a guitar.

I turned it up high,
I strapped it on low,
Taped your picture to the mirror, baby,
And I struck a pose.

I sent you a note,
"Yes or No, Circle one"
You wrote "maybe so"

Well, its on to plan B,
'cause plan a went all wrong,
laid the phone on the bed and I sang you my first song.
In a late night telephone serenade.

I'm letting my heart roll right off my sleeve,
And onto an empty sheet of looseleaf.
I'm sure there'll be more,
But this first one's for you,
So go ahead this is where you shoot me down…

I got a simple melody,
Cliché sounding words,
For added effect I put your name in each verse.

Don't ask what its called I haven't named it just yet,
But if you like I'll put it down on cassette.
Would you a like a recess serenade?

And I really don't care how silly this all sounds,
'Cause I know I'm gonna make mistakes the first time around.
So I better write this down.

8th grade Valentine's,
I'm way over you.
Took your picture off the mirror, baby
And started song two.

Currently listening to: The Argument - Song One
Currently feeling: optimistic
Posted by roy on February 22, 2005 at 04:03 AM in Music | 1 Comments

I need to buy a tape recorder so I can catch all my weird ideas in the moment instead of relying on my poor memory to recall what Past Roy was thinking.

I went to the Chapel Hill meetup of bloggers at Cafe Driad tonight. I'm not much of a conversationalist, so I mostly shut up and just listened to what other people had to say. Because the whole concept of easy self-web publishing is so new, I think a lot of the bigger problems haven't been dealt with effectively on a lot of self-publishing platforms. What will help platforms in the future is how they deal with inevitable information overload. As each weblog/website [I use these terms interchangeably because I honestly think they boil down to the same thing] grows older, the information on the site grows and grows. I have over 1000 posts on this site alone; can anyone effectively locate a post about a specific topic? [Answer is no]

The next big step for all developers is how to manage the information overload in the blogosphere (I wrote about this earlier briefly). How do we quickly locate users based on similar interests, geographic location, and hot topics [a tool for tracking specific current events]? Technorati allows you to search all the blogs they've indexed for specific keywords. The problem with Technorati [and it's really not their fault] is that they're taking a "one-all" approach to this aggregation. Every blog in the world is being searched for a specific keyword. If becomes impossible to find information about local news or local events. Furthermore, there's no way to identify quickly if a user is from your geographical area. Blogging also needs to serve as a tool for connecting people in real life [one of the many lessons I'm learning].

An idea

What would be a cool tool to build [which probably means I'll end up making a rough copy then giving up] would be to create a DMOZ-type directory of bloggers [a blogging yellow-pages, perhaps] that would let users quickly identify bloggers in their area. Weblog tools would 'ping' the centralized site whenever a user updated their site.

The way I envision this would work would be to let bloggers use the "ping" feature found in many weblogging tools [weblogsUpdate over XML-RPC] whenever they update their site. The centralized site [I'll call it BYP for now for Blogger Yellow Pages] would accept the ping and throw it into a queue. If the site's URL was a new site, then BYP would examine the page for four critical pieces of information:

Unlike most aggregation tools [and I'm not aware of too many, so correct me if I'm wrong], this wouldn't serve just as a "here is a list of the most recent posts by this human-edited list," this whole system would be automated.

Furthermore, one of the main reasons I don't use aggregator tools is because there is absolutely no context for the user. Who is this user? Do I really need to visit their site to read about it? What compounds this problem is that a lot of users don't have visible "About Me" pages [including this one!] so the context of the weblog is completely lost.

Real quickly, for those who don't know what FOAF is, FOAF is a standardized XML format for telling people who you are. There was some hoopla about it a while ago, but the project seems to have simmered down. I find FOAF useful because it's a standardized format for exactly this purpose - identity context.

The FOAF file would help eliminate this problem. BYP would capture the FOAF data and create a Friendster-like profile of the user within the system itself. So not only BYP would you see a listing of "the most recent posts," but you would have a quick view of the community of characters themselves without having to visit each blog individually.

The geodata would help identify users with location; if they didn't input a location, they could manually input their data into their BYP profile. Since this is a geographically-driven tool instead of a interest-driven tool, the primary concern would be with grouping users based on location. I'd have to find an API or tool that would convert longitude/lattitude values to specific metro locations, but that's a problem for another day.

The meta-data would help separate users within each location to interest groups. Do you have a blog about politics in a local area? They define one of your meta keyword values as 'politics,' and BYP would aggregate that into a category called 'Politics' within the 'Chapel Hill' area.

BYP would *not* be a post aggregator [Bloglines kicks too much butt to do that]. At the very most, I imagine it could take many different feeds and simply identify what *types* of information is offered by each user [and maybe show the last 10 posts or so per user]. However, it would offer an OPML file for any specific category within BYP that you could import into your aggregator of choice.

A separate tool that would be cool

There was an interesting discussion on the value of 'Carnivals' tonight. Carnivals are in essence a post that simply sums up the "best of" a specific post that is human edited. Someone sends out a request for the best posts regarding a specific topic; people then e-mail this person with all the posts, and this one poor soul sifts through the posts and creates a long running post with short excerpts.

Why not help build tools to simplify this tool? It gets to the essence of information overload: How do you identify "valuable" posts within the blogosphere that are worth reading? Eventually someone is going to have to read it and make a determination himself. I don't think there is an automated way of doing this - for comments and such, the /. system of moderation works fine, but with the very nature of the blogosphere being spread out on so many systems, no one could agree to a single classification for "rating posts." Someone is going to have to read them.

The tool would allow someone to create a "Carnival of ______" thread on a centralized site. People would then trackback to this post with their individual posts. The site [which I shall now refer to as CA for Carnival Aggregator] would grab the RSS feeds to the site and store the specific entry within one single location [like a blog aggregator!]. The person who created the Carnival thread would set a time limit on when people can submit trackbacks to the Carnival thread.

The thread creator would then go to the site and read all the posts on one page. A checkbox and a text form would let them quickly aggregate annotate good posts, and then the site would generate all the HTML for the whole Carnival thread.

The creator could then post the generated HTML of all the links and annotations on their site, and we'd have a Carnival!

But the cooler thing here is that site now has *archived* the carnival. With the temporal nature of many blogs, a lot of useful data gets lost as server and sites go down. CA would have all this data with all necessary metadata stored on its servers so someone doing research in the future could reference all the threads.

This system could be expanded to any "hot topics." For example, imagine if someone created a Carnival for the Tsunami crisis a while ago? People who actually lived in the area coudl trackback to the main site, and bloggers could follow the progress on a day-to-day basis [assuming someone created a Carnival a day]. This would also be really cool for stuff like elections where you could actually track the opinions of people as an election goes on [e.g. where was the tipping point for Dean's popularity?]

Imagine integrating this with the BYP above. I'll leave the implications for you to consider.

Another tool that needs to be built

One of the first big features I built into Tabulas was the creation of a crossposting tool to Xanga and Livejournal. One of the issues that I think a lot of bloggers are dealing with is the issue of dealing with multiple blogs and how to crosspost to multiple ones.

Honestly I think this is a *huge* flaw with many blogging platforms. The very nature of many personal blogs is in the wide variety of topics that the author writes about - I write about poker, personal stuff, tabulas stuff, and current events all on one blog.

The proper blogging platform shoudl allow you to use categories to create separate pages that only show these items. Furthermore, there should be separate RSS feeds for each category. This helps prevent people from having to register multiple blogs everytime they want to write about a separate interest.

But there is a strong legitimate need for some people to run multiple blogs. I'm not disputing this fact, I just think that a lot of the times the multiple blog issue is the result of limitations in the blogging platforms. In any case, someone was asking about if there was any way to cross-post between different platforms.

The short answer is, "Yes, Virginia. there is." Almost all blogging platforms support XML-RPC to some level. The only problem is that you have to download a client, then configure it to post to all these blogs at the same time.

But blogging is about posting from anywhere! Having to download a client to a local computer really is going to limit the capabilites of bloggers.

Someone needs to build a website that lets you create a listing of blogs that you own. You would post your username/password to all the accounts on this site [assuming you trust them!]. Since there really are only a few "big" blogging tools, the site would recognize when you input the site URL what type of blogging platform you used and would automatically configure to the proper XML-RPC location.

You would then post an entry to a WYSIWYG browser form, then check all the blogs you want to post to. Voila! It posts to all the sites that you list ... and it's easy. No need to copy+paste to 3 or 4 separate blogs.

Good thing Tabulas does this already with Blogger, Livejournal, and Xanga. I've been personally abusing this feature for a long time - I know a lot of my friends troll Xanga a lot more than Tabulas ... and I'm not locking them into any particular platform. View where you want to see my posts - I'll do my best to post everywhere!

Currently listening to: The Argument - Song One
Currently feeling: geeky
Posted by roy on February 23, 2005 at 06:19 PM in Web Development | 4 Comments

Went to the weekly Thursday night poker game. I've been in a drought all semester, so I was just looking to catch some good cards and have a good time.

(The poker story)

Posted by roy on February 25, 2005 at 12:33 AM in Poker | 4 Comments

The past week has been marked by subtle improvements to Tabulas. I've been mostly working on quiet stuff that no one cares about - for example, you'll now notice a revamped friends management page and a new ban management page [which actually required a change in the architecture]. The tagboard management page also finally has the "Check All" tags box ... and even better, a "Delete Tags and Ban IP" option.

In any case, I spent yesterday reading and experimenting with Ajax . Ajax is the culmination of a lot of standards coming together to allow for data retrieval within a webpage without reloading!

Ajax is changing the way web applications are built; Gmail is the first highly publicized Ajax application. The old method of forcing a user "post" everytime they want new data from a website is clunky at best.

With Ajax, web apps can now do a lot of on-the-fly data generation. I've made my first implementation of it in Tabulas on the Tabulas registration page.

The username box looks normal. Ho hum. Average Joe comes along and says "Let me try to register a username..."

Nary a 400 ms after he stops typing in the username, the site tells him... "STOP! (collaborate and listen..) You can't register that username! It's taken! And no page reload was necessary!

Peeved, our user then decides to stick it to the "man" and try registering a different username:

Ooh, that one is available, Tabulas says. So our user happily registers the username. No long does he have fill out the whole long sheet of page and submit it, only to find the error!

For Tabulas, there aren't too many "killer" implementations for Ajax. Most of Tabulas does rely simply on the simple POST mechanism, and it works fine. Howver, I can vastly improve the usability of the control panel with some small changes.

If I had the resources for more hardware, I would re-enable the searching of full-text entries for paid users. It would be cool if you could quickly inline search your entries from your 'add entry' page; you could then quickly reference these posts in your entry. Stuff like that.

It's all in the details.

. . .

Hey, remember to use the "Mood" feature when you're adding an entry so we can continue to generate some cool mood metadata for the Tabulas community!

Currently listening to: Def Leppard - Long, long way to go
Currently feeling: optimistic
Posted by roy on February 25, 2005 at 04:20 PM in Web Development, Tabulas | 9 Comments

I was out to dinner last night with Borst, Neeraj and James [Neeraj is in town for some concert].

Besides catching up on what those fools have been up to, the conversation turned to blogging and Tabulas. Borst and Neeraj both admitted to reading my blog, but they would flat-out skip any poker entries.

Wouldn't it be cruel if I started a really deep post with a poker reference, then break the entry so they would skip it?

Or even better, it could be a Borst and Neeraj filter! I could talk junk about them behind the break... and they would *never* know.

I have the feeling they're going to start reading my poker entries now :o)

Posted by roy on February 26, 2005 at 12:56 PM in Ramblings | 8 Comments

So apparently *nobody* reads more poker entries. This is of no surprise to me. I wasn't writing those so you could read them.

But I have found solace in the platinum lining. All you haters who called out on my poker entries ... you have implicitly acknowledged that you read all my OTHER stuff.

What you guys don't realize is that I'm secretly playing an evil trick. I am playing a numbers game - I'm applying the "law of averages" to the max here. I post about a wide variety of topics which always end up concluding nothing in particular ... because I know maybe 50% of my readers will read it. So that means that every ten seconds I waste writing this particular post ... I will waste at least 100 man-seconds from random visitors! SO THE JOKE'S ON YOU!!!!

Why would I do this? I'm not sure. I partially think it's because as Conan O' Brien says:

I'm going to tell you my story because, first of all, my perspective may give many of you hope, and, secondly, it's an amazing rush to stand in front of six thousand people and talk about yourself.



. . .

Oh my goodness. This flash movie is funny/cute. The song is entitled... "Everyone else has had more sex than me." I would imagine oliver couldn't relate to this song...

I just love how that one girl bunny has had 1000 partners. GIRLS ARE EVIL!

. . .

While I'm posting a generally useless post, I might as well highly recommend The Shadow of the Giant, which seems to be one of the last Ender's Game series books. I absolutely loved it; I started reading it last night right before I fell asleep ... and ended up reading 2/3 of it before passing out at 6am. I just finished it while I was tutoring .... just a fantastic book. It wraps up a LOT of loose-ends with Peter, Bean, and Ender's jeesh.

. . .

Saw Amelie. Loved it. Saw Reality Bites [finally]. Thought it was OK. Saw About a Boy. Loved it. Saw Aliens. Didn't like it as much as I did when I first saw it. Saw Platoon. What a great movie.

. . .

God bless the soul who scanned up all the old Calvin and Hobbes strips and put them online.

Posted by roy on February 27, 2005 at 03:02 PM in Ramblings, Foolishness | 9 Comments

The ability to fly without wings is a recurring theme throughout my dreams. I don't fly like Superman ... I fly as if I'm "jumping" through space from one stepping stone to another.

Flying becomes a tiresome task, so sometimes I fly up as high as I can, then point straight drown so I parabolize down to the ground then fly back up. Sometimes I just glide down.

In this particular dream, I have rented out a house in the most gorgeous valley. My prose skills are not refined enough to describe the absolute beauty of this valley. The valley us surrounded by snow-capped mountains, but the area where the house is located has nothing but the greenest grass in the world - much like those wheat farms you see in the Midwest. I naturally decide to go exploring and start flying around the area. I decide after enjoying the scene that I should fly over the mountains to explore the surrounding area.

While flying, a huge gust of wind overcomes my flying ability, and I find myself having no control over where I go. I eventually run into a tree; I grab on for dear life, but no matter what I do, I can't turn myself upside down. I'm holding onto the top two branches (they form a Y), but i can't get my feet down to the tree so I can grapple my way down. People down below stare at me, but do nothing to help me. Eventually, I climb my way down the tree using my hands only; one when I do reach the ground can I stand right-side up again.

I see a city in the distance, so I fly over there. I decide that blending in is useless, so I continue to fly around the city, amazing those who see me. However, I get tired quite quickly so I decide to spend the night at a hotel.

The following morning, I continue exploring ... when I see this large giant forest separating the city in half. The forest is composed of mostly dead trees - huge craters dot the forest - these huge craters are old dead trees whose trunks had been torn away ... so only the hollow stumps remain.

I fly through the forest and end up on the other side of town. I meet all sorts of people and have the most random conversations with them. Then I realize that I should get back to my cabin in the valley, but I'm lost. I fly around desperately, trying to find someone who can understand me ... but nobody can.

I enter this skyscraper in order to get to the top to get a bearing on where I am. Perhaps I can see the mountain range...

When I get to the top, a jealous young man and a beautiful young woman are arguing. I interrupt them to ask where the hotel is - the girl points through the forests and tells me she can accompany me. The man is quite angry. The girl introduces herself as "Bolivious."

The man lunges after me ... before he can tackle me to the ground, I fly up, so he falls head-first in the cement. I take Bolivius' hand and quickly run out of the building.

We approach the forest of dead stumps and I start flying through the forest, while she walks beneath me. But suddenly, someone grabs me with a long elastic band. I look down, and it's this little gnome. Bolivious walks up to him [he is no bigger than a shoe].. and he quickly becomes distracted by her and starts humping her shoe like a dog[I realize this serious dream just got completely ridiculous]. This happens three more times ... and then we're out of the forest.

I feel so grateful towards Bolivious for offering herself like that to the gnomes, but she explains it's a common occurence for people who have to travel between the two sides of the city.

I thank her, and fly off towards the now visible mountain range. For some reason, trouble and loneliness plague my soul. I woke up feeling quite sad. I wanted to learn more about this Bolivious character. One could sense that she had a strong character and a life story worth listening to...

Currently listening to: Counting Crows - Round Here
Currently feeling: pensive
Posted by roy on February 28, 2005 at 01:43 PM in Dreams | 3 Comments
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