Entries for January, 2007

Happy New Years, everybody! I can proudly say I upheld my 2006 resolution :)

Sad news: The Ford Taurus was sold on December 30th for $450. I am using those proceeds to purchase a new sofabed. Ah, oh well. I'm loving the Mazda3, by the way, regardless of what some people say ...

Posted by roy on January 1, 2007 at 02:01 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

Sports gambling is fun. I used to think poker is fun ... but it does not remotely compare to the rush from football sports betting. I've been dabbling in some betting (nothing too serious, don't worry, I have self-control ... or do I?) lately, and I guess last week was the week I got to beat the odds:

I noticed over the past few weeks that the underdogs were doing a really damn good job of covering. Some teams weren't just getting any love from the point spreads (Seattle and Philly were getting a lot of favorable points over the last few weeks), so I decided last week to simply bet the underdogs all the way. Any team that was getting more than 9 points, I bet on them. And guess what? Using that strategies the last two weeks would net you HUGE wins.

This past Sunday, look at what happened:

  • Detroit Lions +13 end up beating Dallas outright, 38-31
  • New England Patriots +3 stomp the Titans 40-23
  • Arizona Cardinals +14 cover against the Chargers
  • Atlanta Falcons +9 cover against the Miami Dolphins
  • San Fransisco 49ers +10.5 beats Denver outright 26-23 in OT

Want to hear something sickening? I had placed my bets on Saturday night before going out - when I was out, I remarked to Han, Yush, and Crisp that I had messed up one of my 5-game parlays by betting on Jacksonville when I meant to take Kansas City. Guess what happened? The other 4 games hit, and I would have hit a 5 game parlay. My $5 bet was worth $120... :(:(:(:(:(

Feeling pretty good about my perfect selection, I decided to roll the dice and bet everything I had on the Green Bay / Chicago game. After a bit of hemming and hawing, I took Green Bay +3.5. And guess what? Green Bay KILLED Chicago. Woot.

I quickly put in a payout request (but left enough to bet on the first round playoffs); any financial cushion for when I move will be much appreciated...

I've noticed that when I post my picks ahead of time, I always botch them, so I'll keep my picks for the NFL playoffs to myself ...

Posted by roy on January 1, 2007 at 10:54 PM in Ramblings | 10 Comments

One thing I'll never understand about Canada: Why do you mix letters and numbers in your postal codes? The postal code for Quebec is: J0N 1P0.

Is this l33t speak time? How often does 0 get confused with O?

Why can't you keep it simple with numbers???

Posted by roy on January 3, 2007 at 01:55 PM in Ramblings | 9 Comments

I saw the funniest commercial ... here's the premise:

Jay Bilas is standing in a cafeteria line and asks the lunch lady for some chocolate pudding. She stares at him and remarks that she doesn't have any, but the camera angle clearly shows a bunch of pudding. After Jay sits down, this girl walks by and "accidentally" smacks him in the head with her bag. Another girl runs into his chair and almost spills food. Then this guy who is sitting behind Jay Bilas slides his chair real hard and hits him in the back. He stands up (frustrated) and goes, "What is WITH these people?" Hubert Davis then mutters, "I don't know, Duke-Boy." The camera zooms out and you see Bilas is sitting at a UNC cafeteria (with somebody's head who resembles Roy's head in the foreground...).

Hilarious. I need to get it on YouTube or something...

. . .

UPDATE: Jeff Greenspan wrote this commercial (he commented below!) ... let me say, sir, you are my hero! His blog his here, and he posted the link to the commercial in the comment below. You can also view the commercial that's been uploaded to YouTube:

Posted by roy on January 4, 2007 at 01:29 AM in Ramblings | 7 Comments

Feels weird to pack my life into discrete cardboard boxes.

. . .

Alright, so this is pretty whorish, but if you install the Alexa toolbar for your IE6 or IE7, you get a free 3 month upgrade to patron status.

Alexa is such a dumb metric for measuring traffic, but if people are gonna take it so seriously, why not just get some users to use it and make it seem like Tabulas is bigger than it is? If you use IE, please go ahead and install it and visit Tabulas! It'll make little red lines and blue lines go up and that will give me some sense of joy.

The toolbar itself is safe, if you don't mind sending your anonymous surfing habits to Amazon for traffic analysis (see which sites are popular, see who is linking to whom, etc.).

Come on, how often do I ask you for some Tabulas love? (Answer: never).

Posted by roy on January 7, 2007 at 12:02 AM in Ramblings, Tabulas, San Diego | 3 Comments

11 of the next 17 Carolina games will be available on CBS, ABC, or ESPN. Sweet...

Posted by roy on January 7, 2007 at 07:15 PM in Ramblings | Add a comment
"According to a book written by Heerak Christian Kim, Korean-American Experience in the United States: Initial Thoughts (The Hermit Kingdom Press, 2004), a typical university gathering of Korean students will have 100 percent of the group members having attended a Christian church in their youth." - Wikipedia

Aside from the fact that this quote doesn't account for the "non-typical" gathering, there's truth to this statement ... almost all K/A I know have grown up in the church. I haven't attended church regularly in many years, but I'm still greatly influenced by the moral "guidelines" of a church. Over the last few years, I feel that the absence of a rigorous church has led me to become more of a humanist.

For me, there are two goals in my life: bettering the lives of people around me, and growing as an individual.

Naturally, since I'm moving on Saturday, I've been getting asked how I feel.

A huge part of me is incredibly excited. But there's this fear that's just lurking there.

The hardest thing about living at home for me was not being able to grow as a person. It's incredibly difficult to have any worthwhile challenges when I have this huge safety net at home - I didn't do any laundry while I was at home, and my mom would always cook dinner. This is great, cause it opened up my concentration on other things, but it's also equally bad, because doing those mundane tasks (as tedious and time consuming as they may be) is a part of building character. I believe that not doing tasks like these led me (to a certain extent) to be pretty spoiled. I think growth comes from doing things you don't like (learning to be less selfish), and I really had some stunted growth on that front these past two years.

Another drawback of living at home was I started making excuses for myself for not growing as a person. I stopped putting myself out there. I stopped pursuing relationships (which could actually be a good thing, but whatever). One of my biggest personal flaws is the utter fear I have of girls in a relationship context. It could be a result of being burned in the past (maybe), but I'm simply unable to cope with girls as love interests, crushes, or relationship partners. Living at home gives the perfect cop-out answer to avoiding relationships or getting too close with girls. In fact, I doubt girls even date guys who live at home (fine by me!)

But what happens when I move to SD? I'll have my own home, my own time, and *COMPLETE* freedom (my parents are the most relaxed parents out there, but there are certain things I just cannot do sometimes...) ... what if I find a (single) girl interesting? Will I be able to take that first step? What if a girl throws herself at me for a one-night stand? How weird would it be that a 23-year old male would run away in that situation? (Since conventional wisdom states that males of my age hump anything with a hole). I've never considered myself a prude, but I guess I really am.

More generally though, I have all these hopes for personal growth and self-discovery. It's the biggest reason why I'm incredibly excited about this move - the opportunity for personal AND professional growth in a great new setting ...

It's funny that we use New Years as an arbitrary excuse for self-improvement, when we should be striving for it every day of our lives. It just proves that we need a catalyst to spark that inner fire for growth. I feel like this SD could be a catalyst in a big way for that.

But what happens when that fire dies down four months from now and I don't feel like I've grown, but simply changed? The fear is that the potential letdown from all these expectations could be too much ... and what happens when I'm all alone in a new city, burned out, and depressed?

Posted by roy on January 9, 2007 at 12:24 AM in Personal | 5 Comments

"Oh iIm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have and cannonball into the water" Damn, that Teddy Geiger is catchy.

Anyways, I'll be flying out to San Diego on saturday. To everybody who's been a part of my life (big and small) over the past eternity in Chapel Hill, it's been great. I'll miss most of you (the exceptions being the following jerkfaces: you, you, you, and you)

They say last impressions are important. I've had many a sleepness nights on what type of impression I wish to impart on you. Since pictures are worth a thousand words ... here it goes:

THE RED RACER (sans the green monster ford taurus ...)

May you always remember me by that picture. When they say, "Do you remember that Roy Kim?" you'll look wistfully off into the distance and say, "Yes ... he sure did love that red suit ..."

By the way, Christmas thanks are a bit overdue, but I'd like to publicly thank Eve for the coolest gift ever:

(this is not a joke,  really. ask eve. or alex. or han. or alice. all who were present when Eve bestowed upon me this wonderful bottle of joy)

Most men would be offended that a woman dare challenge his masculinity, but I am confident in my virility to accept this gift from Eve which will, according to Viagra's website:

  • Helps most men with ED (Ed note: I don't have ED) achieve harder erections
  • Helps most men with ED (Ed note: I don't have ED) maintain an erection during sex
  • Can work in as little as 14 minutes
  • Partners were satisfied with how well VIAGRA improved erections of their men with ED (Ed note: I don't have ED)
  • Has a proven safety record
  • Works for men with ED (Ed note: I don't have ED) who also have a wide range of health issues
(Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) (Ed note: I don't have ED) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by roy on January 10, 2007 at 11:33 PM in Ramblings | 8 Comments

Day 1: I "moved" into my loft yesterday. Unfortunately, I've caught San Diego in its "record" cold spell (it's hitting the 20s at night, which is pretty normal in NC). Fortunately, I'm built for the cold, and even though my thermostat doesn't work, I managed to keep pretty warm last night in my sleeping bag.

Being that I live in a loft, the ground is actually hard concrete, so it's a bit uncomfortable to sleep at night. I keep waking up in the middle of the night, not being able to feel my right (or left) arm, as I've found that I've slept on it for a while.

I also forgot to pack a pillow (can you see how well-prepared I am for this?) so I've used a combination of a pillow and sweatshirt as a pillow underneath my sleeping bag (I did pack this as well as a LOT of TP, since my car won't get here until Lord-knows-when).

I called the moving company, and it seems they've pushed back the arrival date to January 23rd. Greaattt. Luckily, I had enough foresight to order furniture online and have it delivered, so I'll have a convertible sofa to sleep on tomorrow.

Pictures forthcoming...

Posted by roy on January 15, 2007 at 12:59 PM in Ramblings, San Diego | 18 Comments

zomg, I just had a fire drill/false alarm. Am I in college all over again???????????

Posted by roy on January 15, 2007 at 10:32 PM in Ramblings, San Diego | Add a comment

Today was the first full day at the office. Technically, if you count the day when I worked from the office when I visited SD, this would be the second day. Eh, whatever. Nominally: first day in the office!

Reaction: OK, so this is what working with "co-workers" is like. Collaboration is great, but if I get in one of my moods, I can easily see how I could be a negative Nancy. It's also hard to really focus - I may need to see for days when I need to do a lot of dev if I can escape home to get stuff done.

Got in around 845am (the 5 minute walk to work was FANTASTIC!) and left around 7pm-ish. Not bad for the first day. I was gonna split earlier and grab some grub with my co-workers, but I ended up staying back to talk some things out with the Steve and Ken.

I discovered a CHEAP Chinese restaurant RIGHT in front of my loft ... they have $1.39 lo-mein. $1.39 LO-MEIN!!!!! I feel as if I'm going to be a VIP there - they treated me very well today (the lady gave me noticeably extra food, and she was extra nice with the sauces) so this will be my first official San Diego "regular" eateries (sad, I know).

In any case, I got the food for take-out and brought it back to my loft.

There's a certain comfort in coming back home and having nothing to do; I don't even have a couch to chill on, or lights to really light up the room (I'm using the lights above my kitchen sink as the sole source of light).

I just went over by the window, looked out into the city, and ate my Chinese food (beef + broccoli + fried rice + extra lo-mein + medium coke = $4.95!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) while just letting my brain veg out.

I feel as if there's a certain romanticism associated with this Spartan-type lifestyle: me, my sleeping bag, my clothes littered on top of my luggage bag, 3 laptops scattered on the bare concrete floor (plugged into the outlets), all illuminated from the kitchen light. I feel like a monk, trying to achieve enlightenment by depriving myself of comforts and distractions (except this free internet which I'm temporarily mooching off of until Cox gets over here and sets me up).

Alas, once the movers get here, it won't be the same ... but for now I'm enjoying the bare minimalism.

My story in SD starts with a sleeping bag and a concrete floor. I wonder where it goes from here...

Posted by roy on January 16, 2007 at 12:13 AM in San Diego | 9 Comments

Is it only day 3? Feel like I've been here for much longer. The (work) days are long but bearable. There's so much amazing food in San Diego (maybe it's the big city?). I thought about trying to visit every restaurant in the Gaslamp district. Probably impossible to do.

Haven't really felt the need to go out and meet people yet. Trying to catch up with my projects, deal with the move, and stay on top of work is time consuming. I ran into a floormate who is a viola-ist for the San Diego Symphony (whoa!). There seems to be a very ... heterogeneous mix of people here.

There's a ton of young people in loft building. Almost feels like college. Feelings of nostalgia as I walked into the elevator and there was the familiar stickiness of spilled beer on the floor. Brough a smile to my face. I guess the pricing point, location (right by the party district), laundry units in building, and loft-ness makes it an inherently popular spot for young people.

Work is going well. I'm managing well. We're really doing some huge changes to our product, so it's really interesting to watch how well we handle them all. I've been pretty good about meeting my timelines on work, so I actually ended up having nothing much to do. I managed to help a new employee get up to speed on the boring-ness that is updating our home page. Yay, delegation!

I really want to take a stab at revamping the UI of our product. Fortunately, one of the new features I built into our product makes creating new templates pretty easy, so I may work on it bit by bit over the next few weeks. There's something inspirational about looking at Apple products - why can't we ever get there with webpage UIs? I've never seen a website UI that's blown me away ... what website UIs blow you away?

I still haven't been hit with the sadness that I expected when I left Chapel Hill. It's no reflection on Chapel Hill or the people there. I do find myself missing my family dearly, but feel happy that I'm liberated from that all.

But it's weird that I don't miss CH. Maybe I was secretly really unhappy there, and chose to ignore those feelings given my circumstances then ... who knows.

The car and the moving company should arrive tomorrow. This weekend, I'm going to paint the loft. Chose a nice neutral tan color which shouldn't clash too horribly with any of the furniture and give the whole place a nice feel. I do have these orange/red sofas...

Currently listening to: KT Tunstall - Under the Weather
Posted by roy on January 18, 2007 at 12:37 AM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

It's snowing in NC? AHH rats. Somebody take a picture! :)

Movers are coming today (both the the car and stuff!). Yay, car! I can finally make my grocery/Target/IKEA/Lowes run tonight...

I'm working from home today, and it's nice :) It's start to warm up here (it's mid-50s here right now and very sunny!)... yay life!

Posted by roy on January 18, 2007 at 12:00 PM in Ramblings | 5 Comments

Hey everybody - I'm alive and well. Unfortunately I've had no internet at home (Cox should be stopping by tomorrow to set-up Inet access, hopefully) so I haven't been able to stay afloat of emails/messages/posts/etc. Hope all is well with everybody!

Posted by roy on January 22, 2007 at 01:42 PM in San Diego | 6 Comments

things that suck:

  • working late (i'm posting, so guess what i'm doing!!!!!!!!)
  • sneezing constantly (am i allergic to something here???)
  • starting over in a new city
  • finances

things that don't suck:

  • in & out - amazing ... had it for the first time and i gorged myself silly (thanks to my coworker max for taking me)
  • louis armstrong
  • lil' sis making the dean's list (congrats!, i could never do it)

exhausted, but alive. i still haven't fully unpacked (boxes littered all over my floor, clothes scattered all over the place). will have pictures shortly, i promise.

Posted by roy on January 23, 2007 at 12:37 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

(All pictures from my cellphone, thus the lower quality)

San Diego at night: (this is the view from my boss' place)

Taken moments after entering my new loft for the first time:

Facing back:

Unfortunately, I had to sleep on the floor the first few nights:

Fortunately, after a couple of nights, my convertible sofa were delivered:

A few days after that, the moving company... which created a mess:

This will be the entertainment section, complete with the FUNTONTM, that will face my new TV (whenever it decides to arrive)

Still needs a bunch of cleaning, but I'm happy with the layout. The best thing is, my work desk is within rolling distance (in my office chair, of course) to the refridgerator. YESSSSSS ...

I pretty much got the whole thing furnished as I wanted. Very utilitarian and functional. The only thing I *might* be missing is a stand-alone kitchen island table (there's one at IKEA for $200 I think) because my kitchen counter top is too tiny to cook and store appliances.

One of these days, I'll actually go out and *explore* San Diego. And when that happens, I'll post some pictures of the actual city.

Oh yeah, one final picture:

Oh yeah.

Posted by roy on January 25, 2007 at 12:19 AM in San Diego | 15 Comments

It's hard for me to imagine San Diego as anything but run-down; part of the city's appeal right now is that everything is really fresh, bright, and uncongested (this should change over the next few years).

However, there are reminders that not-so-long-ago, downtown San Diego was run-down. I posted a picture from my boss' place yesterday; in this picture, there is a tall skyscraper which I've outlined for highlighting purposes:

Today's game of the day: Given this building's primo real estate location, guess what this building is. Here is a google maps link here

google maps link.

Posted by roy on January 25, 2007 at 03:22 PM in San Diego | 2 Comments

Answer to that last post: it's a jail. Right in the heart of downtown. Imagine the sales pitch when they convert those to condos..

I crashed at Tim's place last night, because I still have no TV (or cable) and I wanted to catch the Carolina/'Zona game. WOW. What a blowout. This is twice the season when we've blown out a pseudo-top 25 team (Kentucky was the first one) on what was supposed to be a highly contested game. I fear more for our ACC games ...

Anyways, I came back a little while ago and I'm getting to chill in my loft during the daytime for the first time in a while (I guess this is normal, I'm just not used to it) since I usually spend most of my daytime in the office. I heard some ruckus outside, and I walked over to see a parade of anti-war protesters walking up 5th and to Broadway ...

Pretty cool location. I'm enjoying this loft immensely - the bad parking situation isn't actually bothering me too much - it's actually encouraging me to drive a lot less. I did well.

Another excellent thing ... the weather. My god. I leave my 4 windows open ALL day EVERy day; it's been sunny and GORGEOUS every day. I'm going to have a hard time living anywhere else with this beautiful weather.

Posted by roy on January 27, 2007 at 04:25 PM in San Diego | 6 Comments

I don't know how many of you are aware, but Flea Market Montgomery is just like ... just like a mini-mart:

Posted by roy on January 29, 2007 at 01:03 AM in Foolishness | 1 Comments

I write so little about something which consumes so much of my life: MindTouch.

First things first ... we moved offices. What was once a 0.1 mile walk to work has now turned into a 1 mile work (boo!). The new office is really swank compared to the old office, so I guess it's much better.

We launched a new homepage, which was the work of the new designer who joined our company not only but a few weeks ago - we ditched the neutral browns and went with a more aggressive red/grey branding scheme.

We launched MindTouch Deki, which allows IT administrator's to install and run a wiki on any OS - you can install Deki on its native Debian, or you can install one of VM's many products and get it to work on other operating systems (like Windows). We've pretty much abandoned focus on selling the DekiBox (a real shame, cause that was pretty cool) to focus on selling the Deki software.

We took over the hosting of wikis from the now-defunct Wiki.com to wik.is - we'll be relaunching that site in a few weeks for public registration. Unlike wiki.com, I really want to take the time to make it NOT suck - DekiWiki (the name of the wiki software MT makes and I work on) is NOT geared to the general public, which was a huge stumbling block for wiki.com adoption. It says something when people think Wikia is better than your product...

Some of the stuff happening internally is the most exciting. We've taken a HUGE risk forward and gutted the whole technology powering DekiWiki - we're dropping all PHP backend code for a C# (powered by Mono) backend. I'm not enlightened enough to talk about the benefits of one over the other, but the one cool thing is that this PHP to C# backend transition is forcing us to write a powerful API that will power DekiWiki. We're writing an API for everything - user creation, file management, page management ...

Designing and watching an API being borne is an amazing thing, although it's been incredibly frustrating due to the technical walls you keep running into.

We've consolidated most of the dev team to San Diego (3 of us in SD, 1 still in MN), so I've been able to directly benefit from the daily interaction I have with my coworkers ... being able to quickly debug a problem that spans across many stacks ("Is this problem in PHP or C#?") with your coworkers is really helpful. We also have developers in Russia who have been working the PHP side of LDAP implementation (the bulk of that functionality is still being handled by C#), but coordinating with them has been difficult.

In an effort to make development easier, we have an internal version of our Deki project for deving - in theory it should mean everybody develops on one environment (crucial for a product like us, which has so many dependencies), but it's been rather buggy lately, and I've spent most of my time tracking down problems in the Dev VM and getting them fixed.

Anyways, I sometimes feel with our dev process, we've sort of thrown up all these balls, and now we're scrambling to catch them all in time. We've gutted all backend functionality - an active rewrite of all services is being done. Because of this, we're also getting the flexibility to implement things 'as they should be' and not 'as they are because that's the way MediaWiki did things.'

So far, everything has been manageable (albeit a bit frustrating), and I'm feeling very hopeful about the technical underpinnings of our new product. *If* we get our current release done in time, on a technical level, NO other wiki product could even be close to ours.

What's pretty cool is that even before these huge updates, I had gotten a lot of work done on improving things on the templating/UI side - the currently released open source version doesn't support multiple templating or skinning - I had implemented features to support both of these features. I also worked on making the image gallery not suck by using a ton of Ajax and simplifying the view (managing images is a BREEZE now) ...

I admit, we still have a lot of UI stuff to deal with (how do you push 1 meg worth of javascript down the pipe and still make your product responsive?!), but so far, the hectic pace we've been working at has made me ignore those concerns :)

Posted by roy on January 30, 2007 at 10:19 PM in MindTouch | 2 Comments
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