Entries for June, 2006

Relaxing a bit after work, I noticed the Scipps National Spelling Bee was on TV. When the heck did spelling become so popular? It almost makes me want to watch Akeelah and the Bee.

But damn, these kids made me feel dumb. Here are 13 and 14 year olds, spelling words I had never even heard of ... the only I got right while watching three rounds (about 25 words) was "Wehrmacht," and that's only because I had an unhealthy obsession with World War II history.

Go smart kids!

Currently listening to: DJ Encore - I See Right Through You
Posted by roy on June 1, 2006 at 06:31 PM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

Oliver writes:

Here is an incomplete list of things that I think are overrated (besides Tabulas and Roy Kim in general).

All of the Phoenix Suns besides Steve Nash: I would look like a pretty good basketball player too if I could play with Steve Nash.

When it comes to Steve Nash, there is only really one thing I can say about him .. .and that is best represented by this picture (which takes the place of a thousand and four words):

I rest my case. Is this how all Canadians like to get their clubbing on? This makes me wonder, what song does Steve Nash hum to himself when he shoots free throws? The Divinyl's "I Touch Myself"? Or perhaps some James Blunt...

. . .

Speaking of which, ever since I found out that Dirk Nowitzki hums "Looking for Freedom" by David Hasselhoff when shooting free throws (Oliver's posted the MP3), I find myself humming along when I see Dirk at the foul line. CURSE THAT DAVID HASSELHOFF! CURSE HIM!

. . .

Ego boost of the day: Remember my entry snippets implementation inspired from the New Yorker?

Someone's created JS/CSS for it!

It's nice to see *some* validation in some of the more off-the-wall ideas I waste my time on...

. . .

From Cute Overload:

What a playa. I strive to be Sooty. Maybe we can make it into some new hip slang terminology. "Man, you're such a Sooty!"

. . .

Stock disclosure: Out on EWW at $37.60, out on TD at $54.74. TD is a sick stock, and its technical chart doesn't show much upside; it's trading in a down channel. In on JOYG at $54.99 and CUP at $5.30 (I don't plan on holding cup past June 7th).

Currently listening to: David Hasselhoff - Looking for Freedom
Posted by roy on June 2, 2006 at 12:13 PM in Ramblings, Foolishness, Sports, Finances | 6 Comments

I'm getting an early start on this week (translation: I decided not to sleep last night and just doing my job work starting around 1am). This song has me JUICED ... I hope it can lift your spirits and give you energy to get through the week!

I had ABSOLUTELY no idea Tom Jones was such a hypersexual man. I guess I should have known by pictures like this:

Song of the WEEK: Tom Jones - Sex Bomb

"you're a sex bomb / you can give it to me when i need to come along / sex bomb, sex bomb / you're my sex bomb / and baby you can turn me on"

eons from now, when our civilization is destroyed and is discovered by some aliens ... i can only hope they uncover these musical gems and extrapolate far too much about our culture. that would be awesome, cause i bet those aliens would think that we oversexed ourselves into extinction. that's good, because they'll think we're really cool.

. . .

Thanks to Bernanke, the market is turning down again. I decided to cut away from JOYG at $52.42 (loss of 4.5%). The recent rally looks to be short-lived as there's no volume to support it... until then, I'm going to convert all my holdings into cash and wait for an uptick before reinvesting.

Posted by roy on June 5, 2006 at 02:49 AM in Foolishness, Music | 5 Comments

Someone on Tabulas (can't remember who, claim in comments) once wrote about the horrible habit of sports writers to incorporate puns into their headlines. One of the downsides of the Mavericks making it to the NBA Finals is I couldn't start a pool on lame puns on ESPN for a Sun/Heat match up:

  • Scorched in Miami [When Miami would lose at home]
  • Burnt in Phoenix [When Phoenix loses in at home]
  • Rising Sun burns Heat [For the inevitable game when Nash would break out for 40/6/12]

Well, you get the idea.

If you think sports headlines are bad, you should read financial headlines daily for a good laugh.

For example, yesterday's market summary headline was something like: "Stocks closed mixed on inflationary warnings." Mixed? I have a long list of stocks I check at night daily, and almost none of them ended up green. Mixed session seems to imply ... well.. you know... 50/50 green/red.

Here's another template headline (Mad-lib style): Stocks [plunge/rise] on [oil/gold] price [increase/decrease]

You can literally mix and match. For example, when Iran goes around proclaiming they're not going to back down on nuclear power (which they shouldn't, they have every right to pursue nuclear power), oil prices usually rise. When this happens, you'll see about a 50/50 chance that stocks will rise or fall. It's awesome!

What really sucks for Bernanke is everytime he opens his mouth, the stock market seems to tank. If the economy is growing, then we have inflationary pressures, so the stock market will tank. If the economy shows stagnation, then the stock market will tank. How can you win?!

Those market summaries should just provide ... facts. Like an actual statistical ratio of winners to losers, or some sort of technical measurement of whether the market is oversold or overbought (stochastics).

. . .

It feels good liquidating some of my more volatile holdings into cash. Market orders are wonderful. After three consecutive days of 10%+ gains, I knew CUP was due in for a retracement. Before work, I threw in a market order to liquidate my CUP holdings; I ended up with a nice 8% gain for holding two days. At around 3pm, I decided to check CUP; if CUP was holding well, I would get back in. (The reasoning here is that CUP has a tendency to retrace around 6-7% on a daily basis on previous sell-offs.). If CUP continued to sell-off heavy, I would wait on the sidelines before getting back in. The problem with these highly volatile stocks is that you can't really read a technical chart; an even moderate sell-off in the larger scheme of things can be really painful (this is the lesson learned from NXG - I went from +15% to -10% in a matter of days).

Look at the CUP chart:

The 20mda, 50mda and 200mda are useless as support levels. I guess what I'm trying to do is maintain a high level of liquidity (prevent myself from getting locked into a losing position) without taking too much of a risk.

In any case, I managed to dump my CUP shares at $5.73 (bought for $5.30). When I checked the buy/sell orders at around 340pm, I noticed that there was a slight decline (there was also a huge bid/ask differential). Given PCU's intention of making a JV or a straight-up buyout offer by tomorrow, this seemed a bit odd. As I was watching the bid/ask, I suddenly noticed a huge surge of buying. 1500 and 2000 blocks started flooding the buy side and the stock started jumping up in $0.05. I had Fidelity open, so I threw in a market order and managed to lock in a significant block at $5.80. Within a minute after that, the stock was sitting at $6.00.

AH trading has been nuts - it's now sitting at $6.87. Apparently news hit the wire that CUP was officially going to start a 30-day process for buyout offers on their Peruvian mine (with a mine life of 33 years)... given Garcia's recent victory in the presidential elections (the lesser of two evils), copper's recent surge in price ... this is probably the best time for CUP to sell itself out.

What a crazy run. I have no intentions of becoming a day-trader; I guess all my research into commodity companies (especially my past history with PCU and NXG) has finally paid off.

But being a momo trader (momentum trader) seems to be the smartest play. I've been doing some momo paper trading and doing well - maybe I'll start doing some more momo trading on my IRA.

Currently listening to: Ashton Allen - Counting the Cost
Posted by roy on June 6, 2006 at 02:54 PM in Finances | 6 Comments

Shame on the owner abusing his or her MacBook, but I could watch this video all day:

. . .

Today's song of the day: Chopin's Waltz in C# minor Op 64 no 2.

Posted by roy on June 7, 2006 at 02:06 AM in Ramblings | 8 Comments

I bet somebody up above gets a huge laugh out of human idiocy. I'm not sure if girls do this, but when guys get really pissed, we tend to lash out (physically). This usually leads to punched walls, kicked beds, or broken electronics. It's amusing, because this destructive rage only hurts ourselves ... it's like our first instinct when getting frustrated is to physically beat up on ourselves.

I found myself hurling a pen against the dining room wall this past Sunday (frustration). I'm not sure what I expected to happen (I guess I just wanted it to bounce off), but I sure didn't expect the new Uniball Vision pen to explode. All over the wall.

The next two hours were spent cursing my idiocy while furiously trying to clean the ink off the dining room wallpaper, the dining room wall (the dining room is half wallpapered, half just painted with some wood designs), and the hardwood floor.

For the Martha Stewart Home Living fans: if this ever happens to you, don't use a paper towel up... that'll just smear the ink. Use a sponge (it'll soak up the ink before it dries).

The wallpaper and floor are OK now, but the wall (which I saved for last, cause I figured I could always paint over the ink) is still severely smudged.

At least I got something to do this weekend.

. . .

Tony's recent garden-blog post is hilarious. If any of you are farming experts, do you think you could tell me what he's growing based on his pictures? He refuses to tell me (he'll tell me in three weeks), and I'm just a tad impatient. Help me defeat Tony!

Currently listening to: 2pac - Wonder why they call you bitch
Posted by roy on June 13, 2006 at 01:09 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

GBuy will destroy PayPal. Not because GBuy is going to be awesome, but because PayPal is so utterly incompetent ...

For example, PayPal doesn't believe in hyperlinks! Not at all! The INTARWEB? To them, it's just a fad.... I'm sure somebody at PayPal would love to believe hyperlinks to go the way of the dodo...

Check out this awesome example of how a help document on PayPal references its own pages:

THANKS! Now I just toggle back and forth as I go about 6 links deep just to change a goddamn setting.

PayPal is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edit: LOL. Check this screenshot as I get stuck on Step 3. Does anybody see "Instant Payment Notification Preferences"? I sure don't. Great job, PayPal.

Currently listening to: Martika - Toy Soldiers
Posted by roy on June 13, 2006 at 01:24 AM in Web Development | 3 Comments

This entry is dedicated to JJ Redick.

Ex-Duke star Redick arrested for DWI

J.J. Redick, a likely first-round pick in this month's NBA draft, was arrested for driving while impaired early Tuesday and was released on $1,000 bond.

According to a police report, Redick was arrested at 1:03 a.m. in Durham, N.C., after the former Duke star made an illegal U-turn to avoid a police checkpoint.

"I regret what happened last night, and want to apologize to my family and the Duke community for the incident," Redick said in a statement.

Redick is scheduled to appear in a Durham court on July 17.

"J.J. knows he made a mistake and regrets it," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "He represented the very best in college athletics and exhibited outstanding character at Duke the last four years. He is and will continue to be a credit to the Duke Basketball family. As his friend and his coach, he has my total support."

Redick's agent, Arn Tellem, added: "J.J. is an outsanding student athlete of the highest character. He is an exemplary role model and a credit to his family and the entire Duke community. This is nothing more than an isolated incident. Everyone who has come into contact with J.J. as a student and an athlete knows the quality person he is and will continue to be."

Redick, who won the 2006 Wooden Award as the nation's top college player, shot 47 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the free throw line in leading Duke to a 32-4 record. He finished his career with 2,769 points and 457 3-pointers.
Posted by roy on June 13, 2006 at 11:18 AM in Sports | 5 Comments

I want to highlight this hilarious line from the article on Brazil's victory over Croatia:

"A minute before half-time, Kaka raised the roof with his brilliance."

Did you hear that? He raised the roof. Lol. I can only hope one day that the phrase "raised the roof" graces a sentence with my name in it.

. . .

House fans: Season 2 DVD preorder is only $19 (price for me including taxes and shipping)! Amazon has it for $41, so this looks like a great deal.

Posted by roy on June 13, 2006 at 05:25 PM in Sports | 2 Comments

Forwarded to me by Matt, you've gotta check out the Updated Google Corporate Philosophy. It's great.

Currently listening to: 2pac - Wonder why they call you bitch
Posted by roy on June 15, 2006 at 02:43 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

This past Friday, Yush (and his family) opened a smoothie store in a mall in Charlotte. Wanting to be the first customer there, I drove Han and Moonie (picking Eurie up about halfway) two and a half hours to the opening. Since the opening was 10am, I had wanted to leave at 7am, but due to delays (what Asian-Americans affectionately call "Asian Standard Time") we didn't leave until 730. But fear not, my loyal readers. Even with this delay in leaving, we managed to get to the mall by 9:58 AM! How's THAT for timing?!

We strolled into the mall, feeling victorious and giddy. We would be the first people to willingly hand over money to the Scion (Yush) in his conquest of the corporate world! However, when we got there, the lights were still out and there were a few workers milling inside the store. There were a few delays, so we decided to chill on some couches (it's a really nice mall) outside the store.

It was then I spotted them. A couple, probably late twenties, milling about the smoothie store. They looked like trouble to me. They kept eyeballing the store, They brazenly asked the workers if the store was open (the lights are out! have some manners!) ... and the workers decided then to turn on the lights and open the store! THEY WOULD BE THE FIRST CUSTOMERS.



I think God/fates/Flying Spaghetti Monster has a pretty good sense of humor, no?

Posted by roy on June 18, 2006 at 11:02 AM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

and all the roads we have to walk are winding
and all the lights that lead us there are blinding
there are many things i'd like to say to you,
but i don't know how,
because maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me
and after all, you're my wonderwall.

- oasis

Currently listening to: Oasis - Wonderwall
Posted by roy on June 20, 2006 at 01:34 AM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

This could be the funniest post I've read in some time. HK1997 talks about what makes a REAL country.

I've GOT to add that emoticon into Tabulas' collection. It's too perfect.

Posted by roy on June 21, 2006 at 08:56 AM in Sports | 2 Comments

So what's everybody up to? A brief recap on things happening:

My life has been simplified to the lowest common denominator:

I swear to God, the scientist who figures out how to prolong the "kitteh" stage (kitteh seems to be cuteoverload-speak) of a cat will win the Nobel peace prize. How can you not watch this video and immediately feel your heart puddle into a mushball into your stomach?

. . .

Stock markets: OOOOOOH, how great timing I had to start getting interested in the stock markets. Considering how speculative my portfolio is, it took a beating (and a half). I'm down about 10% (to think, I was up 15% before the market started tanking) at the moment, but I'm feeling allllright.

. . .

I feel very guilty watching these videos (and also linking them), but there's a Japanese comedian named "Hard Gay." He goes around in a tight leather outfit, gyrating his hips at anything (and anybody) and generally gets excited about anything (and everything). Here is a link to a list of translated videos... feel free to watch this one to get an idea of the character. The Ricky Martin hook is perfect.

. . .

Bands/artists I've been digging:

  • Tegan and Sara (twins from Canada. Their rockstar appeal makes them immediately HOT HOT HOT)
  • Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  • Sia

To mingtian: I've actually been trying to write a Net Neutrality post for a few weeks now (Matt and I traded emails about it eons ago). I've written like three drafts and trashed them. Basically how I feel: Yes, we need some sort of legislation because the telecos basically have segmented their markets into mini-monopolies. However, I'm still not comfortable with the government setting down regulations on the Internet (even if it is just to force equal carrier neutrality). I'm also not comfortable with telecos packet sniffing. The only reason I'm completely not sold on net neutrality is that we're chaining the Internet to what it is right now. Arguably, this is a good thing. But let's be reasonable. There is a limit to how much data we can push through the existing infrastructure. My only concern is how we treat data from higher bandwidth sources in the future (like streaming videos and whatever we invent in the future). There could be a need to tier protocols and applications based on latency requirements ... and to have existing legislation blocking that would be horrible. I can't read the future, so I can't exactly give specific reasons. It's just a feeeling.

Posted by roy on June 22, 2006 at 01:47 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

The main www Tabulas server was returning some nasty "disk out of space" errors tonight. This was odd, because the server has about 50GB of hard drive space, and there is no way that space is being taken up (DB is on separate server, all images and files stored on separate servers as well!). The only thing really on this server are the PHP files and some cache files...

Turns out I had left access_logs on Apache on ... after I wiped all the access logs (which were storing information about every visit to Tabulas since 2005!), I went from using 50GB to using 14GB.


Posted by roy on June 23, 2006 at 02:00 AM in Tabulas | 2 Comments

I don't remember soccer being so exciting.

I'm currently "at work" (which is more of a mental than a physical state). I wanted to see what was happening in the South Korea - Switzerland soccer match, so I fired up ESPN's Gamecast. This is the recap:

I almost crapped my pants at missing something so exciting... until I realized... oh yeah. It's soccer. I realized that the CAPS LOCK effect was making the game seem much more exciting than it really was. So here is MY attempt to make MY day seem fascinating (don't you feel left out?)

8:50AM - LETS GET IT STARTED! - Day begins. Roy fires up Pageant and checks email and bugs list. Will there be any exciting bugs to be triaged today?! Things are quiet for the moment...

8:55AM - CRITICAL ERROR! - An email exposes a critical user flaw in an edge image case stored in the content! An exciting bug that needs to be triaged... Roy files a formal bug report and sets the high priority (and then assigns the bug to himself).

9:30AM - NEW SUBROUTINE!!!!!! - The long-standing bug with overflowing filenames is adeptly handled with the creation of an autotruncating function! No more will there be overlapping text in the image gallery cells!!!!! Roy skillfully applied his knowledge of the English language by applying the ellipse (...) as placeholder for the truncated text!!!!


2:25PM - COMMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Revision 845, committed to the MAIN BRANCH, commits the truncating text fix tested earlier in the morning. There is also a minor AESTHETICAL update to the way <pre> tags are handled in print cases for Internet Explorer!!!!!!!

... and that would probably be my day.


Posted by roy on June 23, 2006 at 01:13 PM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Warren Buffett: "A market system has not worked in terms of poor people." (Source)

And this is why individuals have a responsibility to help those around them in their daily lives. Ed, this was the point I was trying to make months ago.

Posted by roy on June 27, 2006 at 11:21 AM in Ramblings | Add a comment

I keep visiting meg & dia's myspace page 'cause their songs are so friggin' catchy! I pre-ordered their EP today (which comes with an autographed CD booklet, woot!) ...

In any case, I saw a post that quoted a Wired article that basically said Google passed on buying MySpace for $290mil because Google figured they could build it themselves. The post then calls this a "strategic blunder." I read the Wired article, and it's clear that MySpace was really a perfect fit for News Corp; Google's purchase of MySpace would not have led to the success we see today from MySpace. Why?

News Corp is a media company. Google is a technology company. The Wired article even went so far to quote Rupert Murdoch when he said that (I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the actual article in front of me) "News Corp could afford to wait on building a net presence because they were not a technology company."

Clearly, if Google had purchased this popular social networking site, they would have spent a lot of time trying to improve the technology of the site instead of playing to MySpace's strengths. It's also not clear how long Google would have kept the existing staff (Tom and Chris DeWolfe), whereas Murdoch has the foresight (according to the Wired article) of giving them multimillion dollar bonuses to stay on and continue their work.

I'm a bit skeptical about Google's M&A abilities - the way they botched Blogger leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So was this a strategic blunder by Google? No way. Buying MySpace would have been a strategic blunder for Google, not passing ...

Posted by roy on June 27, 2006 at 04:51 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

Superman Returns is a solid movie. Runs a bit long at ~2 hours, 40 minutes. I'll save you any plot spoilers, but it's very interesting how they really play Superman as a "savior" who hears everybody's cries. Reminds me of the "Hero with a Thousand Faces."

The Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift was a nice distracting film. Given the relative crap that's been released in theaters (MI:3, Da Vinci Code), I really can't say I feel ripped off about paying $6.75 (thank god I still have my college ID card). I guess that says something about movies today.

Spider man 3 teaser: watch it, be amazed. There was scattered applause after this showed during the previews of Superman Returns. During the previews! I can't wait. Spiderman has been the only superhero franchise (so far) that hasn't dissappointed. (An aside: Blade and Punisher were quite solid superhero adaptations as well ... and of course, I *love* Batman Begins).

Sony's got a flash-heavy Spiderman 3 site that you can check out, too.

Disclaimer: I'm getting paid to link to the spiderman 3 site

Posted by roy on June 27, 2006 at 10:05 PM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

Man, whatever happened to this guy:

And a link that shows how he accomplished that 45-degree lean

Currently listening to: Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal
Posted by roy on June 28, 2006 at 12:56 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

if you have IRCed before, you will appreciate this video (fans of trashy europop will also find this video palatable)

Man, I wish I could be "banned so hard."

Posted by roy on June 28, 2006 at 07:19 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

An interesting concept: PayPerPost, which pays you to write posts about certain topics. For example, if everything goes well, I should get paid for making this post.

This is certainly going to blur the lines between what I'd normally write and what I feel compelled to write. Obviously, if someone is going to pay me a few bucks to write a post on this (I would have written this posts even if I wasn't getting paid because the concept is interesting), it certainly gives me an incentive to write.

But do not worry. I'm not going to turn this journal into a walking commercial enterprise. I'll probably only write about things that I would have normally written, and I'll leave a disclosure if I'm getting paid for a certain post. I certainly won't be plugging any products or sites that aren't worth it, either. I'm sure the months of you reading my pointless ramblings have build some level of trust (although my constant YouTube embeddings may have destroyed some of that respect and trust a bit), and I won't try to take advantage of that ;)

I don't think it's that wrong for people to try to make a little money off their blogs, as long as there is some transparency in it.

So onto the service. Signup is easy, and taking "opportunities" is pretty easy too. There generally seems to be $5-$10 per blog posts, which works out well. The only thing I found a bit disturbing was that they required my Tax ID (SSN) upon signup. The signup form was secure, but it still made me a bit uneasy. Maybe do some sort of aggregate payments (you get paid through PayPal) and force people to give a taxID then.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by payperpost

Currently listening to: The All-American Rejects - Dance Inside
Posted by roy on June 30, 2006 at 02:29 PM in Ramblings | 6 Comments
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