Entries for April, 2005

The Pope has passed away. :( I'm not a Catholic by any stretch, but for some reason this news saddens me greatly. Maybe it's the same thing as Mother Teresa, where I just feel a sadness in seeing truly selfless people pass away. Oh well.

What's up with these deaths? Johnny Cochran passed away last week as well.

NPR reported that Frank Purdue (the chicken magnate) also passed away.

And, of course, Terri Schiavo.

Edit: Wow, look at the front page of Tabulas:

Posted by roy on April 2, 2005 at 01:18 PM in Ramblings | 9 Comments

I love Bittorrent. Being a really disorganized person, I can never remember when my favorite shows are on. If I miss the episodes, Bittorent saves my ass.

Here are my favorite TV shows in no particular order:

  • Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
    I'm not sure if it's the cast, but I absolutely love this show. What is especially awesome is that on Saturday nights USA reruns back to back episodes of SVU, so I can catch up. Of course, this website has also been incredibly helpful in tracking down when specific episodes are on
  • South Park
    I've never been a huge fan of the Simpson; I honestly think South Park is leagues better than the Simpsons. There's a continuity to all the stories (given that Matt and Trey have continued to be the creative force behind SP, this is expected) and level of humor with each progressing season contines to astound me. There's no stale jokes, no dead plotlines... all-in-all, I think SP is one of the best shows on TV right now. Given the fact they're in their 8th or 9th season right now...
  • Lost
    Man, I don't know what about this TV show hooks me so much. Honestly I think it's the vast number of characters. Or maybe it's Evangeline Lilly. I am hooked on this show.
  • Las Vegas
    Beautiful people living a life we only dream about. 'Nuff said
  • Scrubs
    Zach Braff is hilarious. Although this show is starting to get a bit stale to me (the storyline isn't progressing enough very well... it feels like it's stalling a bit
  • Daily Show
    Best news show in the world.
  • Chappelle's Show
    Is there a season 3?
  • Arrested Development
    One of my new favorite shows; I'm not sure why I wasn't turned onto this show earlier, because Oliver has been urging me to watch this show for a while now. I need to rent the 1st season and watch all of it ... Tobias and Buster are absolutely hilarious characters. Plus any show which uses Europe's "The Final Countdown" is a definite PLUS in my book (that song absolutely rocks)
Currently listening to: Europe - The Final Countdown
Posted by roy on April 3, 2005 at 02:12 PM in Ramblings | 5 Comments

At 9:21 PM EST, the final game of the NCAA college men's basketball season will begin.

Roughly two hours later, I will either be an anonymous ecstatic face mobbing Franklin St., or I will be driving home, pissed.

One thing I am so tired about hearing is the whole "Roy Williams is the best coach never to win a championship."

Championships are great, but they are not going to define the legends of the game. This whole "Will he win one?" talk is irritating. It's the same with pro ball, too. Charles Barkley never got a ring. What does it matter? Does it detract from his legend in any way?

In any case, I'm incredibly nervous. UNC is far more talented and athletic... but our guys have focus and team issues. Given the talent of our team, it's no wonder that our guys go through spurts where they just chuck up shots - I think deep down inside unless they truly feel challenged, they're going to play half-assed.

This is a common problem among athletes. Remember the Lakers last year? They dilly-dallied all year until playoff time came around. Paul Shirley, a pro baller for the Phoenix Suns, sums it up perfectly:

By midway through the first quarter, I was anticipating having a fine conclusion to this road trip journal—some anecdote from my first game action in weeks—but that turned out to be very premature thinking. In the end, we muddled our way to a win. I wonder sometimes if my teammates get bored on the court. At times it seems that the game almost comes so easily to some of them that they forget to concentrate and subconsciously allow the opponent back in the game just so they can have some competition.

UNC will win handily if the follow occurs:

  • Raymond Felton isn't nervous and isn't in "turnover" mode
  • Rashad McCants isn't shooting cold
  • Either Marvin or Jawad is shooting OK
  • Sean May isn't sitting back and letting Rashad take long-range jumpers

If these four things occur, I can't fathom how Illinois cannot win. They might be able to chuck up a vast number of treys and keep it close, but come on... Carolina has far too many offensive weapons!

Vegas is giving two points to Carolina ... so technically, it is our game to lose.

But I'm proud of our boys nonetheless. Let's just hope the run-n-gun offense is in sync tonight...

Final score prediction: UNC 258, Illinois 52.

Stat lines:

Raymond Felton: 60 points, 10 boards, 28 assists

Rashad McCants: 78 points, 2 boards, 0 assists

Sean May: 100 points, 58 boards, 27 blocks

Jackie Manuel: 0 points, 0 boards, 59 blocks, 25 steals

Melvin Scott: 1 points (1-25 from 3 point range)

Marvin Williams: 25 points, 12 boards, 3 blocks

Jawad Williams: 25 points, 13 boards, 3 blocks

P.S. If we win, it'd be sweet to try to get Franklin St. to sing Queen's "We are the Champions." On live TV. For the world.


Currently listening to: Europe - THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
Posted by roy on April 4, 2005 at 10:58 AM in Sports | 4 Comments

UNC defeated Illinois 75-70 to take home the championship. I joined 9,500 others at UNC's Dean Dome to watch the game... and what a game it was.

Jumping 9-2 in the opening minutes, UNC showed why it's considered the most talented team in the nation. Of course, this was tempered by a few minutes of retardness (UNC has a tendency to defeat itself with bad possessions and one-on-one plays by Rashad "Selfish" McCants who think he's better than he really is), but Terrence and I were incredibly happy to see that UNC had come to play.

Illinois was playing catch-up the whole game, playing the shoot-a-trey ballgame... our 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone was a surprisingly good matchup for them, but you cannot win championships by simply taking jump shots. I'm surprised they didn't use Dee Brown to try to penetrate more often ... whatever.

After the game and celebrating, I took off to Franklin St and joined 45,000 fans in celebration. I headed over to Han's house and hung with a few friends and revelled in the moment. After that horrid 8-20 season ... UNC has finally done it. We've restored the glory of the program. Thanks to the coach, Roy Williams.

The ESPN article almost made me emotional (although the past few hours could probably account for that).

Great job, guys. You pulled together when it mattered and showed the nation that you are truly the dominant team. Illinois didn't even look like a contender the way they played ... there was no dominance; just catch-up with whack-a-trey.

And this should put into any doubts what the elite basketball conference in the nation is; I hate the morons who said the Big Ten was making a 'good showing.' UNC single-handedly defeated the top three Big Ten teams (Wisconsin in the Elite Eight, Michigan State in the Final Four, and Illinois in the championship game). Can you think of ANY team in the nation that could defeat Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC in consecutive games? That's what I thought. Shut your face, doubters. No one will ever match ACC basketball.

Now, the big question is, "Who will jump to the NBA?" Championship teams have a tendency to lose players to the NBA (what else is left to acocmplish?)

Rashad McCants is probably the most likely to jump pro; he's always been a me-first selfish player. I was talking with Soob about this tonight, and we agreed that of our four possible returning starters (Sean May, Raymond Felton, Marvin Williams, and Rashad McCants), Rashad was probably the most replaceable.

I HOPE that Marvin and Sean May will stay (Soob says Marvin wants to develop for the 3, which makes sense)... if Felton stays as well, I just think that would be all the components necessary for another run. It'd be nice for May, Felton and Williams to get together and say, "Hey, let's write ourselves down in history and do a repeat title run." Everyone remembers NCAA tournaments; no one cares about pro ball championships. There's a purity at the collegiate level that just makes it more worthwhile.

I am exhausted. But I am so happy for our players. Thanks for the season.

images stolen for espn

Posted by roy on April 5, 2005 at 12:58 AM in Sports | 4 Comments

I swear this tree sperm getting all in my eyes and nose is making my life absolutely miserable. Why can't you control yourself like normal adults, stupid trees?

Posted by roy on April 5, 2005 at 03:45 PM in Foolishness | 5 Comments

I love wonderfully designed cell phones. My first phone was an 8890; I actually detested the concept of cell phones, but the wonderfully designed 8890 was the exception that got me on the cellular revolution.

Since then, I've had no luck finding a phone that just screamed of elegance.... until Nokia announced the 8800.

I am getting this phone regardless of the cost.

Posted by roy on April 8, 2005 at 09:10 AM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

An era is coming to an end soon. Although I'm not a part of that 'college scene' anymore ... the true 'end' will be coming this May, as most of my buddies move away and move on with their lives. Only then, can I add the concluding paragraph to this chapter in my life.

I had a helluva time today; there was the Hold 'Em for Hunger poker tournament at Carolina from 4pm until about midnight. All the Stacy Poker Tour guys from Tuesday and most of the Thursday guys showed up for the game... and boy was there a strong showing from the games! I'm quite proud of the level of our games and our ability to represent the best in Carolina poker. Individual achievement is great (e.g. me kicking ass), but I think it's a far better reflection to have whatever group you hang with do well!

(Quick poker interlude)

In any case, afterwards, I suggested we go get some ice cream (yes, pretty random). So a bunch of us drove over to Harris Teeter and got 5 Ben and Jerry ice cream pints; I got ice cream sandwiches and picked up sprinkles and cones. We decided that we were hungry for some 'real' food as well, so we bought two huge bags of Tyson's chicken fingers and steak fingers (which were both insanely good)... then we hung out, played some ping-pong (I retired from my game with Terrence when I was ahead 2-1!), played some Risk (I won!) and played an amusing HORS tournament (where I kept asking the dealer to deal my last Omaha and Hold 'Em card face up, and it was a deuce EVERY TIME!).

It is now 621AM, but I just realized that nights like these where nothing yet everything happens; where we share some amusing anecdotes and poke fun of each other while eating junk food into the wee hours of the morning is what I'll miss most about college.


Posted by roy on April 10, 2005 at 03:23 AM in Ramblings, Poker | 1 Comments

I'm all peterd out.

. . .

Girls like passionate guys. I wonder if girls do this as some sort of sick self-esteem test; to see if they can land these guys and distract them from whatever makes them passionate. The one universal truth about the world is that girls are insecure with themselves: either about their physical looks or their mental abilities.

Posted by roy on April 11, 2005 at 10:46 PM in Ramblings | 9 Comments

Check out this hilarious photogallery from about two weeks ago - I finally got a chance to scan these images and upload them and format them. It's my first photogallery I've made in roughly 2 and a half years now! :o

This is how we do on Thursday nights!

Oh yeah, THIS IS *NOT* 56k FRIENDLY!

Posted by roy on April 12, 2005 at 12:36 AM in Poker, Photography | 7 Comments

I got these pictures from Linda a few months ago. They've been sitting in my inbox for a while, but for some reason I suddenly found the urge to clean this thing up and put it up online.

People who love Calvin and Hobbes a bit too much.

Posted by roy on April 14, 2005 at 10:39 PM in Photography | 8 Comments

Has anyone else noticed that Tabulas seems to be getting slower? I think it's high time I buy a dedicated database server.

That and more is coming... at end of April (dramatic music plays).

Posted by roy on April 15, 2005 at 10:20 AM in Tabulas | 6 Comments

Yesterday I drove two and a half hours for Chinese food. And damn, it was good. It was worth the drive there, but not the drive back.

And that was my Saturday. What about you?

. . .

Poker is starting to bore me, big time. (More poker joy)

All I have to do is place sixth next Tuesday and I win Player of the Year ... a pretty good feat in a 18-person weekly tournament seeing as to how I was close to dead last in points by Week 7.

Posted by roy on April 17, 2005 at 01:30 PM in Ramblings, Poker | 5 Comments

Alex posted an IM conversation regarding friendships. The social transition from college to post-college life is the toughest. Starting from grade school, you're always thrown into a social potluck where the only common thread among your classmates is that (a) you're the same age and (b) you live in the same neighborhood.

Honestly, (and I've written about this topic before) I do think many college friendships are borne out of convenience. What makes this tough is that many of us discover that our friendships were too contingent upon the convenience (and geographical immediacy) that when we truly need help or understanding from somebody during that transition time ... we find they aren't there.

I'm not too hung up on this (being the cynic that I am) because I've always felt that as a guy, I should be relying on myself for support before reaching out to others.

I'm just happy to share the moments that I've had with my buddies in college, and I try not to sweat too much about how often I'll be seeing them in the future.

For me, once a friend ... always a friend.

Posted by roy on April 17, 2005 at 03:34 PM in Personal | 4 Comments

While cleaning out my old website, I found tons of folders of pictures that I forgot that I had scanned from the Korea/Vietnam 2002 summer trips. These haven't ever been posted before...

Posted by roy on April 17, 2005 at 10:45 PM in Photography | 1 Comments

Radiohead's OK Computer was named the top album of all time. Sounds about right.

Posted by roy on April 18, 2005 at 11:20 AM in Music | 1 Comments

What are some shortcomings of Tabulas?

What are some features you'd like to see?

Please try to be as specific as possible. Don't worry about relevancy; even if you think your idea is "far-out," post it below.

I'm currently starting to spec out the next iteration of Tabulas. The document I've written is quite long, but there's always room for more!

Remember, Tabulas was built around user-input and user-requested features. It only gets better if you make the effort to give criticism! Feel free to send this link to your friends and see if they have any ideas on how to improve the service.

But please, no "give us more free _____." That just won't fly here.

Edit: I've been banging out a brain dump of possible future feature developments for Tabulas. It's kinda lengthy, but if you're interested to see what features might be developed for Tabulas, check it out. I've been sharing a few of the interesting thoughts that have been posted below already...

Posted by roy on April 18, 2005 at 04:15 PM in Tabulas | 65 Comments

Thanks everybody for posting in the previous post asking for changes to Tabulas. I've been compiling the list and re-editing the specifications. I should have a full document of the changes that will be made to Tabulas for version 2.1 by end of April. I'm really excited about the changes I'll be taking with this new version of Tabulas; I've also learned a lot about programming from my current job, so it'll be quite interesting if I can tie this all in together.

Also, happy birthday to Lillia; her birthday was yesterday!

Also congratulations to Gibby from Tuesday's Stacy Poker Tour. I had a chance to lock up the POY title, but I played poorly and lost the opportunity. Gibby deserved the win for his consistent finishes throughout the year. Congrats, Gibby.

For those of you who are keeping up with this journal for personal reasons, I'm doing ok. This week was a bit rough for me emotionally, but the week is ending with me having the better half of the stick.

. . .

Picture of the day:

Who loves fobs? I LOVE FOBS! (Picture from Korea 2002)

Posted by roy on April 21, 2005 at 05:21 PM in Ramblings, Poker, Tabulas | 1 Comments

Darth Vader's blog is quite interesting.

Currently listening to: Gavin De Graw - Chariot
Currently feeling: amused
Posted by roy on April 22, 2005 at 09:18 PM in Ramblings | Add a comment

This could signal a new low for this blog - I write an entry about my mom.

So I'm downstairs, engaged in combat with super-frozen Haagen-Daaz coffee ice cream, when my mom approaches me with that "I'm your loving mother and I gave birth to you" attitude that she always uses to guilt me into doing something.

In any case, she starts off, "Well you know your father said that I could buy this necklace for my anniversary and birthday..." and immediately I'm thinking "Oh god, I will never be able to save up money for a down payment on a house."

She goes on to tell me about this awesome necklace she wants from Off 5th ... except the thing costs $1200. Before I start rambling about the ridiculousness of purchasing a necklace for $1200, she quickly interjects "My friend and I are going to split it!"

Now, I'm not sure what types of experiences you guys have had with "sharing" expensive items, but it never works. I remember "splitting" a video game when I was younger, and by the time it got to me, nobody wanted to play it. Intrigued I ask her how her and her friend are going to "share" it.

My mom grabs the napkin and draws a crude rendition of the necklace. She draws 7 pearls (or diamonds) and the string. She goes, "Well, we figured there are 8 pearls. So then one of us will get .." (she draws a cross through half the pearls) ... "3 of the pearls and the string, while the other one of us will get the 4 pearls." She looks up at me with a big smile.

Imagine the look of amazement on my face. The audicity of Korean moms to save money.

But that's not the end ... no sirree. Not at all. Before I go back up to my room with my ice cream, she goes, "Oh yeah, since you have a job and a debit card, do you think you can apply for the credit card at Off 5th? It gets 10% off this item." Before I can offer a response, she quickly interjects, "I know that you're busy with work, but me, my friend, my friend's son, and your father have all applied for the card already to buy stuff from there. You're the only one who hasn't applied yet!"

So they plan on using my credit card virginity so they can split up a $1200 necklace. Wonderful. So glad to know I'm of some use.

Currently listening to: Puff Daddy - Every Step You Take
Currently feeling: satisfied
Posted by roy on April 25, 2005 at 01:15 PM in Foolishness | 11 Comments

Is it just me, or are advertisements in RSS feeds the most ridiculous thing ever? I understand the need to monetize content, but this is ridiculous; advertisements in RSS are the antithesis of everything RSS stands for. The beauty of syndication formats like RSS is that there's an implicit trust that the content in each feed is 'pure data.' If I wanted to build an aggregator of certain categories based on RSS feeds, how would I strip out the advertisements?

Also, I am appalled by the number of people using Feedburner to generate their own site data. Sure, it's easier ... but what happens when Feedburner goes down? Does the whole blogosphere go down with it?

Currently listening to: Oleander - Hands Off the Wheel
Posted by roy on April 26, 2005 at 12:49 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

Tabulas told me it's Mr Josh Herman's birthday today. I have never met you in my life, but happy birthday.

. . .

Was reading some /., and this question came up: "Why is it that so many small or independent developers give us so much quality software, often without reward, and huge companies like AOL can only spit out this bloated garbage?"

The answer:

Because the small guy actually cares about the product, has passion around it, enjoys the work, and wants to put out something that makes him look good. He's also far more likely to "dogfood" the application, so it has to work for him before anyone else.

Huge companies like AOL (this is a generalization!) only care about the bottom line, and the passion & interest for the product isn't nearly as strong at the level of the developers. They aren't building something they believe in, they're building what they're paid to build. Add in "too many chiefs, not enough indians" (basically, every mid-level manager and marketdroid has to get their word in and impose their will) and the end result is bloated garbage.

Is this why the trend in innovative websites is:

  1. Small development company (aka Pyra Labs, LiveJournal, LudiCorp) make kickass site
  2. Bigger company swallows companies whole (Google swallows Pyra Labs, 6A ingests LJ and Yahoo! eats LudiCorp [sorry, was running out of adjectives]) instead of developing own application

Worth nothing that del.icio.us is another site that fits this trend; who will buy them out?!?!

Honestly, with the tools that are available to developers today (memory-managed scripting languages like PHP and ASP), developing large-scale applications is incredibly efficient.

Viva la small developers!

Posted by roy on April 26, 2005 at 03:05 PM in Web Development | 5 Comments

To be honest, I don't read InstaPundit as much as I used to, but a piece caught my eye today:

The Democrats' weakness is that people worry that they're the party of Jane Fonda. They tried -- but failed miserably -- to convince people otherwise in the last election.

The Republicans' weakness is that people worry that they're the party of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They tried, successfully, to convince people otherwise in the last election, but they're now acting in ways that are giving those fears new life. Add to this the fact that the war is going well, weakening the national security glue that holds Bush's coalition together, and a drop is natural: People who reluctantly backed Bush because Kerry was just unacceptable on national security are now seeing their worries about domestic issues as more credible.

Perhaps the Republicans think this will all be forgotten by 2006, or at least by 2008. And perhaps they're counting on the Democrats to remain so feckless on national security that it won't matter. Perhaps they'll be right, but they're certainly suffering short-term declines in the polls that hurt the President's ability to act right now. I think that if he had a 60% approval rating, or even a 53% approval rating, he'd be making more progress on Social Security reform and on his various nominations. Was it worth this damage to solidify the social-conservative base? They seem to think so, but I'm not so sure.

Good stuff.

. . .

Saigon, Vietnam, 2002

. . .

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||| 43%
Stability |||||||||||||||||| 80%
Orderliness |||||||||||| 46%
Empathy |||||||||||| 50%
Interdependence |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 70%
Mystical |||| 16%
Artistic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Religious |||||||||||||||| 70%
Hedonism |||||||||||| 50%
Materialism |||||||||||| 43%
Narcissism |||||||||||||||| 70%
Adventurousness |||||||||||| 50%
Work ethic |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Self absorbed |||||||||||||| 56%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||| 43%
Need to dominate |||||||||||| 50%
Romantic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Avoidant |||||||||| 36%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 43%
Wealth |||||||||||| 50%
Dependency || 10%
Change averse |||||||||||| 43%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||| 56%
Individuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Sexuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Peter pan complex |||||||||| 36%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Food indulgent || 10%
Histrionic |||||| 23%
Paranoia |||||||||||||||| 63%
Vanity |||||||||||||| 56%
Hypersensitivity |||| 16%
Female cliche |||||| 30%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Stability results were high which suggests you are very relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic..

Orderliness results were medium which suggests you are moderately organized, hard working, and reliable while still remaining flexible, efficient, and fun.

Extraversion results were moderately low which suggests you are reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.

trait snapshot: rarely irritated, positive, tough, non phobic, fearless, likes the unknown, self reliant, high self control, confident, trusting, strong instincts, prudent, optimistic, willful, likes parties, prefers a specialized career, takes charge, altruistic, strong, high self concept, adventurous, practical, thoughtful

Because quizzes are so gosh-darn fun (normally I hate them, but this one is remotely interesting).

Currently listening to: Matchbox20 - Long Day
Posted by roy on April 27, 2005 at 11:38 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

"reach down your hand in your pocket / pull out some hope for me / it's been a long day"

Man, I think the past three weeks have been the busiest. And the sad thing is, I don't have much to show for it. My days used to be so much more productive. I can easily see how people say once they hit their mid-twenties time starts flying by real fast.

I'm looking forward to this weekend - some of my friends and I will be running off to the mountains of North Carolina for a break away from Chapel Hill; they'll be studying their butts off for finals, and I'll probably be doing some work for MindTouch. Hopefully with some downtime I can also get my personal site ready for launch by May 1st.

Posted by roy on April 28, 2005 at 02:18 PM in Personal | 1 Comments



This has been a public service annoucement, brought to you by:

Geeks for a Better America

Posted by roy on April 28, 2005 at 10:48 PM in Ramblings | 7 Comments
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