Entries for July, 2006

I remember a few years ago, a person I once knew graduated from Carolina and fell off the face of the planet. This person, although still in Chapel Hill, was nearly inaccessible. I thought that was the oddest thing - why would a person cut themselves off from the world so completely?

I've followed in those footsteps lately. Since January/February, I've fallen off the face of the planet. At first, it was a nice break to get some alone time ... but I've been reminded lately how unhealthy and weird it is to be so reclusive. The situation's compounded because I also work from home, which means I really have no social contact at all. The past few weeks, I turned off my cell phone completely, and I stopped attending most social events I had been apart of.

People find this behavior odd, and when asked why I've cut myself off from the world completely, I'm never sure what to say. I don't think I'm depressed, and I'm not going through anything. At first, it was just more convenient to not have to deal with other people. Then as I thought about it some more, I tried to justify my behavior by saying that people dissappointed me. (What a cop-out answer, by the way). In the past, there had been many instances (and you people who have access to my friends-only entries know what I'm talking about) where I felt I had been wronged. But honestly, who doesn't go through those feelings?

So what is the real reason I've cut myself off so completely? The conclusion (at the moment) seems to be that I feel I've dissappointed a lot of people. Who I am, what I do, and how I act ... all aren't where I wanted to be a few years ago.

I just can't face the fallen expectations of my peers. It seems to be as simple as that. What really sucks is that it's a vicious cycle - I don't want to hang out with people because I can't face them ... then I get cut out when they needed my help, then I feel guilty and don't want to face people even more... etc. etc.

If only I had one of these:

Currently listening to: The All-American Rejects - Dance Inside
Posted by roy on July 5, 2006 at 04:42 AM in Personal | 8 Comments

I'm always trying to invent new phrases.... to really contribute something useful to human culture. I mean, if you met the guy who invented WHHAAASSSUUUUPPP wouldn't you be in awe? I would buy that man (or woman) two drinks of their choice if I met them in a bar.

So while sitting on the can today (where my best thinking is done), I was playing with a few ideas. What are some novel ways of greeting somebody? Obviously, since I was engaged in "Activity #2," my thoughts revolved around pooping.

I think you can tell a lot about a person from their poops. Are you poops well-formed and solid? If you haven't been eating well, your poops may start hedging into the liquid territory, which means instead of calling it a "doing a number 2," you might call it "doing a number 1.65." Obviously 1.5 would be dead even between solid and liquid, while a "1.2" might indicate some internal troubles (or that you've had too much Taco Bell).

So why don't we start asking each other, "How are your defecations? Are they coming out easy and solid?" This is a much more specific question than "How's it going" or "What's up" (which always leads me to a few seconds while I decide whether I want to answer honestly). You can easily answer the poop question. "My bowel movements are quite regular, thank you!" Hearing this would indicate to you that the other person is healthy and eating well, which should be the bare minimum you should wish (if you're a caring human being).

This reminds me of a story my freshman year. One Saturday morning, I woke up having to pee. I went into our communal bathroom (shared between eight guys). As soon as I walked into the bathroom, a mild fetid aroma tickled me. I looked over in the toilet, and there was this turd. One turd. It was slightly off-color, but the amazing thing was that it was one long turd. It was not segmented ... I immediately flushed the toilet in disgust (why wouldn't somebody flush?) and went about to peeing.

As soon as the toilet stopped flushing, my suitemate comes running into the bathroom.

"DUDE, did you just flush the toilet???"

"Of course I did, man. Somebody didn't flush after their poopsies."



"Dude, wasn't it amazing? It was so long! Normally you shit in pieces, but I just had ONE long turd last night! I didn't flush it so somebody could see it and vouch for me!"

And that's my story.

. . .

Today's video of the day: The Japanese conspiracy to make white people look stupid.

Currently listening to: Brian McKnight - Thank you for saving my life
Posted by roy on July 6, 2006 at 03:43 AM in Foolishness | 8 Comments

I've played a little bit of Diablo 2 lately, so I've gotten into my head the notion of carrying an inventory of useful items with me. Of course, this would never happen in reality because I wouldn't be caught dead with a murse (man-purse, but I also remember that word being referenced to a male nurse), even if I could carry around all sorts of cool things.

For example, brass balls from Amazon. Imagine all the useful situations you could use these!

Is one of your friends acting a bit too smitten with his girlfriend? Imagine the scenario:

ME: Hey man, let's go out for some dri-zzinks (hip slang for drinks) like old times

SMITTEN LOSER: Man, I'm gonna go shopping with my girlfriend early tomorrow morning. I don't want to stay out too late, she might get mad. She's already a bit peeved that I stayed out late Tuesday playing poker with you guys

ME: Hey, can you ... hey that reminds me of something I found on the ground yesterday...



ME: Yeah, I found these on the ground yesterday. You sure they aren't yours?

There is no better way than to appeal to the masculinity of a guy to get him to do something. This is why girls can always get their electronics fixed; there is a horde of guys who want to prove their worth by fixing a gizmo.

Or another situation:

ME: Yeah, so Jessica (Biel) emailed me yesterday wanting to go out for dinner, but I already made plans with Kristin (Bell)

ADMIRING FRIEND (I have many): Wow man, so you gonna cancel on Jessica?

ME: Heck NO man! I made plans with both of them! Roy's got enough love to share... OH YEAAHHHH

ADMIRING FRIEND: Oh man, you've got some ...



Laughter would undoubtedly ensue.

Note: I would never attempt to go out with Kristin and Jessica on the same night. At the worst, I would probably try to make a lunch date with one and a dinner date with the other

Another note: Please realize that anything in the "Foolishness" category is tongue-in-cheek. I realize that subtlety and inside jokes are hard to project onto a web-audience, which is probably why hundreds of people probably now think I'm a pompous jackass. I will be lucky if I can trick a girl into dating me, nevertheless goddesses like Jessica Biel and Kristin Bell ;)

. . .

Video of the day: (this is an old favorite when I went to college... the guys in my room couldn't stop watching it. It's fantastic)

Posted by roy on July 7, 2006 at 01:45 AM in Foolishness | 4 Comments

Anybody else notice that REITs are performing really well lately? AIV, AVB, EQR, MPW (disclosure: i own), UDR all have been fun to watch. It doesn't hurt that a lot of these have nice dividends (as required by federal laws, REITs gotta return 90% of taxable income to shareholders).

I really wish I had gotten in on BPT a long time ago. It's dividends alone are enough to salivate for (roughly 10% a year), but the stock has been on fire since the price per barrel of oil has blown up. I was thinking of buying into strength, but the price of oil is quite scary. In historical context, the price per barrel of oil (adjusted for inflation) from the 1973 oil crisis was about $83/barrel. We're upwards of $75/barrel right now. It seems traders love historical numbers, so I would expect some resistance at that level.

I spent some time a few weeks ago looking for energy alternatives ... it's just all so expensive. I'm really digging the transition into hybrids though. I'm personally waiting for hybrids that are a bit more efficient (the Prius is effective, no doubt), or maybe for the all-electric car. I'm not much of an early adopter ;)

Currently listening to: Felt - Dirty Girl
Posted by roy on July 7, 2006 at 09:02 AM in Finances | 1 Comments

I'm going to finally make use of my chemistry degree by transferring the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to webdesign: The more pixel precise you attempt to get a layout (meaning each browser displays the page in exactly the same way), the more hacks and non-standard markup/usage you will have.

Someone remind me in about three weeks to clarify on this topic. But for now, let me just say that my life has been a living hell as I've been trying to create an extensible design that is as standards-compliant as possible... oh dear me.

. . .

Man, Family Guy is great. It captures perfectly real-life situations. I can't even remember all the times I've had conversations that go like this...

Posted by roy on July 8, 2006 at 03:54 AM in Web Development | Add a comment

If you want to keep up with North Korean affairs, check out this Daily Show video:

Currently listening to: Styx - Mr Roboto
Posted by roy on July 10, 2006 at 02:33 AM in Foolishness | 3 Comments

Facebook allows you to define your relationship status with a specific person. One of the more common settings is "It's complicated." Girls, attempting to be cute, always list some close friend as their "its complicated" partner. Unfortunately, guys doing this is not as cute.

This begs the question: Can you be in a complicated relationship with yourself? The vanity mirror by my desk most definitely says "yes." Imagine the 3am chuckles a Facebook stalker would get by seeing that I'm in a relationship with myself on my profile! It would also add a plus++ factor to the narcissism quotient (and extravagant narcissism is always funny on these types of sites)

Well, according to Facebook:

Man, how demoralizing. Not only does it use RED ERROR TEXT to say how wrong I am ... it also issues a command. RETURN TO THE HOME PAGE, YOU LOSER.. It's always sad when a social networking tool reminds you that you have on friends. When I created Tabulas, I made sure to wordsmith the "no friends" phrase in your profile... On that page, if a certain field doesn't have a value (like your AIM name), it'll simpy omit that. I decided that for friends, it'd be funnier if I simply said "User has no friends." I remember somebody once got the joke...

Currently listening to: Ringside - Tired of Being Sorry
Posted by roy on July 10, 2006 at 09:57 AM in Foolishness | 3 Comments

Revealed: The disgusting abuse that sparked Zidane's fury:

It is the question on every football fan's lips. What did the Italian footballer say to prompt Zinedine Zidane's shocking headbutt in the closing moments of Sunday's World Cup final?

The answer, it has emerged, was a vile stream of racial and personal abuse.

First Marco Matterazzi called the French star the Italian equivalent of 'n*****', and then insulted both his mother and his Muslim background by saying he is the 'son of a terrorist whore.


. . .

I had NO clue that Comedy Central was airing Season 3 of Chappelle's Show! (Shows you how out of the loop I am). Apparently the DVD is coming out in late July and will contain the three episodes that were shot.

Here is a funny skit about Tupac:

Posted by roy on July 10, 2006 at 10:42 PM in Sports | 3 Comments

Courtesy of Anton, find public wireless hotspots in Durham. Courtesy of Brian, find public wireless hotspots in Chapel Hill.

Currently listening to: The Ataris - summer 79
Posted by roy on July 11, 2006 at 07:40 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

Alright, so I've bashed JJ Redick quite a bit. But I'm honestly sad to hear that his bad back will prevent him for trying out for Team USA. As much as I hate Redick (and Duke), he is a wonderful shooter (although his stroke isn't as smooth as Michael Redd) that would flourish on the international level. I think the last thing we need is more two-guards (Wade and Kobe) jacking up shots; isn't it bad enough we got owned in the Olympics?

Currently listening to: Meg And Dia - Monster
Posted by roy on July 12, 2006 at 07:41 AM in Sports | 2 Comments

I filled up my tank yesterday on my Ford Taurus (~16 mpg avg). The last time I had filled up before yesterday was June 8th.

If there was ever a way to quantitatively measure the "needs to go out more factor," this would be it.

Currently listening to: Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
Posted by roy on July 13, 2006 at 02:07 PM in Ramblings | 5 Comments

Hey look, my idea came true: adult dormitories for young professionals. My version wouldn't have so much sharing - could you imagine living with three other roommates? That'd be rough. Unless, of course, each person got their own room.

Posted by roy on July 14, 2006 at 05:16 AM in Ramblings | Add a comment

Is anybody else getting stopped out on their stocks? I find myself liquidating more and more positions as the stop-losses are hit. I even had to unload Walmart yesterday after the downgrade. I'm sitting on more and more cash, which is probably good for this type of market.

Higher oil prices, weak retail sales (Walmart), geopolitical conflicts (Israel, Iran, N. Korea), overall weak world market ... hoo. We'll also see how the Fed decides to defend the dollar - do we let the dollar continue to fall against global currencies? Either way, I wish I had "sold in May and gone away." I'll do that next year.

Currently listening to: Phoenix - If I ever feel better
Posted by roy on July 14, 2006 at 08:32 AM in Finances | 6 Comments

Cars, a surprisingly pleasant movie. I wouldn't describe it as funny, but definitely feel-good. I enjoyed it a lot! I just wish they had repped the Ford Taurus.

Mater is hilarious. The tipping cows... man. The end credits are fantastic too, don't miss them! Mack discovers something sinister about Pixar movies you should all be aware of ...

Currently listening to: Rascal Flatts - Life Is a Highway
Posted by roy on July 15, 2006 at 09:47 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

SO IMPORTANT TODAY GUYS. SO IMPORTANT: Date With Jessica Biel Up For Charity Auction

OMGWTFBBWLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GOTTA GET TO DENVER ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The auction is to help Molly, who was run over by a limousine on prom night (and lost a leg). Her blog has a bit more info (although it's a bit hard to read).

By the way, this is the inaugural post of the "Current events" category. How fitting, huh?

Posted by roy on July 17, 2006 at 06:45 AM in Ramblings, Foolishness | 2 Comments

This really bothers me:

Crude oil prices plunged more than $1 a barrel Monday on a *edit* blah blah world current events that you don't care about blahblah *edit*.

Crude oil prices plunged a dollar. This would be the case if crude oil prices were like .. $3/barrel. Surely, a 33% intraday drop would be enough to use plunge. Unfortunately for Robert Barr, the writer of this piece, crude oil prices were down to about $75 from $76. This is roughly 1.5%.

Yes, plunge indeed. I wonder what verb Robert Barr would use to describe a "normal" 5% drop.

Currently listening to: Rascall Flatts - Cars Soundtrack - 03 - Life is a Highway(2)
Posted by roy on July 17, 2006 at 01:55 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

A placeholder post while I formulate a larger post, but Yahoo! dropped the ball big time in their handling of the new Yahoo! finance message boards. I don't think i've seen such a site implementation gone wrong. More on this later.

Currently listening to: Felt - Dirty Girl
Posted by roy on July 18, 2006 at 04:45 PM in Ramblings | Add a comment

I made my first craigslist posting today. It was a "missed connection."

. . .

Today's quote of the day (source): "Bottom line - how we [ed: the market] close out the day is much more important than the strength we're seeing at the moment. It will also be interesting to see how the tape moves after Bernanke shuts up." LOL

Just a side note: Yahoo!'s been getting hammered on a huge upside day for the markets. As of this post, YHOO is down 20% (!!!!). Last night after their 2Q came out, I thought the 16% drop in AH was a bit steep - the earnings were inline, but forward guidance was lowered. I didn't know a few product delays was worth knocking off like $6bil in market cap. I guess we're at a point where investors are no longer interested in paying a 35 forward P/E for an "established" tech company.

. . .

Today's video of the day: (cause pong is awesome)

Currently listening to: Rascal Flatts - Life Is a Highway
Posted by roy on July 19, 2006 at 09:39 AM in Foolishness | 3 Comments

The illmatic is back! If you don't know, this site contains SECRET IM conversations between Kim Jong-Il and other world leaders. Here is one of the two new conversations (check out the site for a LOT more hilarity!)

Currently listening to: Meg and Dia - Cardigan Weather
Posted by roy on July 20, 2006 at 10:17 AM in Ramblings, Foolishness | 1 Comments

I am greeted this morning by a problem with my PowerBook G4. Ever since I bought a new router last week, this thing has trouble connecting to my wireless network. Of course, since Apple is so user-friendly, it simply says, "There was an error joining the Airtport network katebeckinsale." (that's the name of the wireless network here). GRAR! Thanks for the help, Apple!

It looks like there's no real solution. One thing I can say is that if this was happening on my tablet... I could troubleshoot it. Things seem harder to fix on a Mac than a PC when problems occur...


. . .

July 8th, 2006, Letter to the Shareholders of Weitz Funds:

Dell is a new position for us (and one likely to raise eyebrows among our investors). We generally avoid technology stocks because of their very short product cycles and unpredictable future free cash flows, but we do not think Dell is a typical tech stock. Dell markets directly to consumers and assembles computers, monitors, printers and other hardware to order. As a result, it takes very little inventory risk and can change its product offerings on short notice.

In recent quarters, Dell has faced improved competition from Hewlett Packard and others and has created problems for itself by skimping on telephone tech support for its customers. As a result, sales have slowed, margins have slipped and the company’s cost advantage over its competitors has narrowed. We believe Dell has addressed these problems and that its cost structure, balance sheet, returns on investment and strong management provide the company with significant and sustainable competitive advantages. The company generates prodigious amounts of cash and is currently deploying it in a massive stock buyback program. We believe the company is worth considerably more than the current price of $24.

Are you kidding me? Who in the world thinks Dell is doing well? It seems that there are literally hundreds of horror stories online. I had my own horror story when I simply ordered a simple system using their website, had the order delayed by weeks, then had the CC charge come out fraudulent, then I couldn't get ahold of anybody to reorder the same system. I spent like an hour on hold just trying to buy the friggin system. I eventually gave up and resolved never to buy another Dell again. Giving the impression that I'm "smart with computers," people ask for my advice when buying laptops and computers. I always steer them away from Dell now. By my count, I've cost Dell nearly $10,000 in business over the last year alone. Not much, but I'm just a random dude.

Anyways, vindication this morning as Dell issued an outlook warning and the stock responded by dropping 13%. I can only hope that Dell continues to pay the price for becoming such a nightmare company to deal with.

Posted by roy on July 21, 2006 at 07:13 AM in Finances | 3 Comments

I'll be in Portland this week for OSCON 2006. Lots of exciting sessions await!

Posted by roy on July 23, 2006 at 09:20 AM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

Ahh! My bosses threatened to fire me if I didn't post this in my blog. (Just kidding!). I'm here at OSCON because MindTouch is going to officially announce the DekiWiki project and release it as an open source project! I've been working my butt off helping to tie up loose ends in a beautiful hotel room (we have a 14th floor view of Portland - I'll post pictures when I get some time).

Over the week, I'll try to post more on what we're doing, but for now, here is the press release:

On Wednesday at OSCON (booth 911), MindTouch is releasing DekiWiki - a MediaWiki fork which delivers a highly extensible, scalable and interoperable wiki. MindTouch DekiWiki is being released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), with libraries under LGPL. Built on MindTouch's Dream framework, it is a service oriented architecture (SOA) that allows distribution of both data and behavior across any device and platform, employs AJAX extensively to enrich the user experience, stores in XML, with Apache's Lucene for search indexing. DekiWiki affords flexibility in the creation of highly distributed composite applications as well as providing an unmatched off-the-shelf collaborative space for business and organizations of all sizes. Stay tuned to www.opengarden.org for more details...

Look at the app, dig into the code, and see for yourself why this is going to cause fireworks.

You'll be able to get the builds off of OpenGarden on Wednesday ...

. . .

One thing I noticed: The sun is great for getting some strength ... I was feeling really burnt out midday, but I stepped outside on the balcony for a few minutes and felt so recharged! Then I decided to sit out there for like 10 minutes longer and I felt sleepy... a balance must be found!

Currently listening to: Rascal Flatts - Life Is a Highway
Posted by roy on July 24, 2006 at 05:46 PM in Web Development, MindTouch | 5 Comments

MindTouch has rented two one-bedroom apartments in the city. Because the internet at the hotel was spotty, we all moved over to the apartments last night. After a night of fixing up some work items, I was ready to pass out. I took the key and headed downstairs to the second apartment. Thinking I didn't need to take anything (I had already brushed my teeth), I left all my stuff (including my cell phone) in the room.

Now, the apartments we're staying at have some high security; you need to swipe a key in the elevator to select a floor. I knew this as I went in, so as soon as the door closed, I swiped the key and hit "4."

Nothing happened. The button didn't light up ... nothing.

Maybe I hadn't hit the button correctly, or the swipe didn't register. I swiped again: the little black box went "beep," turned green, then turned red. I then spent the next minute trying out all the combinations ("Maybe I'm supposed to hit the floor then swipe"). Nothing. Frustrated, I hit the "Open door" button.

Elevator doesn't budge.

I frantically just start swiping and hitting any floor - and somehow the elevator goes to the ground floor. But it just sits there. It doesn't open. Nothing. I hit door open, and 'woosh' the elevator opens.

The problem here is that I couldn't find the stairs, my key won't work in the elevator, and I didn't have my cell phone on me. This was troublesome.

Being it was late (maybe 2am or so), there was nobody at the front desk to help me. Hearing the familiar whir of a computer, I jumped over the desk and turned on the monitor. I was hoping I could send off an email to my coworkers upstairs who would then come get me.

No such luck. The computer was running some surveillance cameras, and I didn't want to screw with that.

So I stepped outside the building (keeping the door propped), hoping that the apartment number was listed on the callbox. Nothing.

I wandered around for a little bit, trying to figure out what to do.

LUCKILY, somebody went down to the apartment to check up on me, and didn't find me there. He then came down to the ground floor, where I was stuck. Tonight I'm gonna take both keys (the ones that work) and make sure it wasn't my late night frazzledness which made the keys magically not work - I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing anything wrong, but I just gotta make sure...

I'm not liking Portland very much ...

Posted by roy on July 25, 2006 at 02:29 PM in Ramblings, MindTouch | 4 Comments

penance for mistakes past...

keane - bedshaped

many's the time I ran with you down
the rainy roads of our old town
many the lives we lived in each day
and buried altogether

don't laugh at me
don't look away
you'll follow me back

with the sun in your eyes
and on your own
and legs of stone
you'll knock on my door
and up we'll go
in white light
i don't think so

but what do i know
what do i know?
i know
i know you think i'm holding you down
and I've fallen by the wayside now
and I don't understand the same things as you
but I do

don't laugh at me
don't look away
you follow me back

with the sun in your eyes
and on your own
and legs of stone
you'll knock on my door
and up we'll go
in white light
i don't think so
but what do I know
what do I know?
i know

oh oh
and up we'll go
in white light
i don't think so

but what do I know?
what do I know?
i know

Currently listening to: Keane - We Might As Well be Strangers
Posted by roy on July 26, 2006 at 01:22 AM in Personal | 1 Comments

(I started writing this post on Thursday, but ran out of time to finish writing it. I've also decided to start linking to a Work Disclaimer on any MT-related posts).

I feel like I've been in Portland forever. Yesterday (Wednesday) was a huge day for the MindTouch booth on the exhibition floor - everytime I swung by, a bigger and bigger crowd seemed to be forming. Honestly, I don't know how Aaron was managing a demo every five minutes the whole day, seeing as to how most of us were already running on fumes by Wednesday. What I enjoyed most about the demo was watching people's reactions to the software.

Working "in the trenches" in software has an effect of making me blind to the product as a whole - I tend to get caught up in bugs and flaws so I miss the "bigger picture." This MindTouch job is my first "real" job, so I simply don't understand the problem of collaboration - I grew up with wikis and the Internet, so the value of our product isn't as obvious to me as somebody who's had to work with Lotus or Sharepoints for many years. It's really refreshing to know that what I'm working on will have an impact somewhere.

So the summary of Wendesday for MindTouch:

  • Release source code for DekiWiki (mediawiki fork) and MT Dream on SourceForge
  • Launch opengarden, a community site to help with DekiWiki and Dream - it has a full listing of our bugs and has the most recent stable build of DekiWiki powering the documentation section
  • Announce a partnership with Visi for viawiki - which will host DekiWiki for you for FREE (with advertisements and space limitations). Signup only takes two minutes and you've got your own private wiki!

It was, in essence, our coming out party on many different fronts.

Wednesday morning, Urs submitted a story to digg. Pete and I were one of the first to digg it, but we were both talking about how this story would never make it to the front page. Boy, were we wrong. Haiphong (thanks dude) reminded me to check the digg ranking, and I saw we had something like 180 or so diggs by 6pm! I then went to the front page, and there we were! This was such a refresher for our whole team ... that whole evening, everybody would excitedly check the digg score on their kickass cellphones ...

Later on, we got a mention on slashdot as well as a link on the nytimes blog. DekiWikiand Dream both hit SourceForge and we had a solid number of downloads by the first day! (something in the hundreds, I forget it now).

A video interview later went up on Port25 (Microsoft) with Aaron and Steve about MindTouch and its products.

Later that evening was our launch party. I think everybody was in a total daze about the level of success - the level of PR we got was far more than any of us had expected.

I was talking with Steve (our President and CTO) that night, and he said something that I thought was very relevant (paraphrased, because I forget the verbatim quote): "This has all been very odd because everything so far's been easy." This isn't meant to mean that this past week was smooth - there were so many last minute changes to the opengarden site, getting stuff organized, getting the projects up on SF, etc ... but overall for the level of success we got ... it all seemed so easy.

That quote reverberated with me because looking back over the past year working on DekiWiki, we've had a long struggle getting the product looking like what it is now (I'll post some more about the UI changes over time in a later post), but nothing seemed hard. For me, I always assume there's some extra X-factor that you can't control which serves as a 'hump' you have to get over (like activation energy in chemistry) to become 'successful.' I think it's premature right now to say that MT is a success - we still have a long ways to go in making the product much better, but for the first time (in a long time), I'm really excited.

Seeing everybody in person was absolutely fantastic. Remember that I work from home, meaning I have no "human" contact with the other guys in our company. Finally putting a face and getting to know these guys personally was an absolute blessing...

The absolutely cool part of all of this is that everybody (I mean, everybody) in the company is absolutely cool. I could get along with everybody in the company on a personal level. By Tuesday, I had loosened up and started joking around with them (not an easy task - I'm a stonewall when it comes to new people). What's even cooler is that all these guys are brilliant. I've long held a disdain for overly intellectual people (people who are smart, know it, and shove it in your face) - this is probably why I dislike anything academia-related so much. The guys in our company all know a lot about their own areas, work their asses off, and are all really personable (in person). Even though our company is really fragmented geographically, there's a really strong sense of unity in making everything about MT much better.

I got to talk with different members of the company and catch up on what they do for MT ... because I work on the dev side of things, I don't get to talk much about the business side of things ... it was great to see how things were progressing along those fronts and to get an idea of where MT was headed over the next few months.

So to Corey (check out his URL, it's hilarious) , Pete, Aaron, Mark, Doug, Tom, Urs and Steve: it was great meeting you guys in person and seeing the company together in one place for once!

Posted by roy on July 27, 2006 at 10:28 AM in MindTouch | 3 Comments

It's really sad, but I feel it noteworthy to say I went to church today (for the first time in a long time?) I have lots of strong (negative) feelings about the concept of church in general, but I'll save that for some other time.

In any case, my body is still a bit on west coast time, so I passed out at 5pm and I just woke up about 10 minutes ago (1120) from a nap from all my morning shenanigans. I had the scariest dream that scared the bejesus out of me ...

I had a dream that there was a serial killer in Chapel Hill. This serial killer (implied to be a woman) would drug men at bars, take them into the woods, and cut them open. She'd remove all the organs surgically while the guy was still alive.

It really freaked me out! I woke up really hungry, but at first I was like "no way i'm leaving with that serial killer on the loose!" Then I realized it was just a dream.... -_-;;

Posted by roy on July 30, 2006 at 08:22 PM in Dreams | 6 Comments

Congrats to Malice for graduating from the nursing program at UNC! This is perfect timing, cause my foot hurts and I could really use some free healthcare... whomp whomp whomp...

Look at dem pearly whites!

mas pictures

Posted by roy on July 31, 2006 at 11:00 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments
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