Entries for December, 2009

Sometimes it seems all technology's purpose is to make people's lives more difficult:

Posted by roy on December 4, 2009 at 01:13 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

Spent a long weekend in Vegas - just got back... I loved it! It helps a lot that I really elevated my blackjack game this time around - I took some of the seed money that I won at the MindTouch poker game and flipped it into a nice return - paid off most of the trip! Yippee!

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I played at a table for a little bit with this girl who looked exactly like a young Maggie Q. It was pretty awesome - but I was so bummed when she busted out. (She wasn't very good unfortunately, she busted out at my blackjack table and later busted out at the roulette table)

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Was introduced to an interesting variation of blackjack: blackjack switch.

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Saw Mystere and Lion King - both were OK. Ka is much better than Mystere, and they re-used too many of the same lines in the Lion King from the movie, which sort of killed the story factor.

Posted by roy on December 7, 2009 at 02:54 AM in Ramblings | 10 Comments

i don't know if I was in the right mood when I first saw this commercial, but I think the new Geico commercials are genius:

Googly eyes for the win!

Posted by roy on December 8, 2009 at 01:45 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

debating sending out the insanely popular infamous christmas cards again this year...

Posted by roy on December 11, 2009 at 04:58 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Some MindTouch-ers decided to put together this video of the MindTouch exec team... so awesome.

Posted by roy on December 11, 2009 at 10:57 PM in MindTouch | 1 Comments

Assuming Parkinson's Law holds true ("work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"), should I draw the conclusion that when providing project deadlines, one should just pick an arbitrary date? Perhaps the scope fits the schedule, rather than the other way around.

Posted by roy on December 12, 2009 at 12:16 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

It feels damn good to leave Vegas with money in your pocket. I hadn't intended on gambling this time around (went for a Christmas party), but finding myself back on the road at 1230, I decided to take a three-hour pit stop at Treasure Island for some blackjack. Left happy as a clam - having that extra cash in your bank really helps when you got a couple of deadlines on those 0% APR credit cards looming in the horizon... (wedding travel really takes its toll on ya).

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I'm curious to one day meet a traffic engineer (one who studies computer models) to get a couple of questions answered: (1) is it true that speeders actually optimize traffic efficiency? and (2) what are the optimal number of lanes? It struck me as I was speeding back from Vegas (I'm not a speed demon - I averaged a safe 78mph the trip back), that the two lanes of US-15 (which turned into three lanes for steep climbs and downgrades for trucks) was quite efficient at channeling traffic. Contrast that to the 6-lanes in Atlanta, which I never feel is very optimal - there has to be some law of diminishing returns on lanes as people trade in the extra lanes for extra car-lengths in front.

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My car averaged 33mpg for the Vegas trip (yes, I keep accurate records of my gas consumption for kicks - I'm weird like that)

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I love driving back at night on the freeway, cause it gives you a chance to belt out some really awful songs. During the daytime, people might see you and think you're crazy... but nobody can see you alone at night as you sing along to Kesha's Tik Tok:

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But the drive isn't all foolishness - I had to start figuring out some things for MindTouch for 2010. I'm making slow progress, but I'm starting to piece together the different parts. Let's see if I can put it into a coherent roadmap - that's been my biggest weakness thus far - communicating the roadmap. I know what the roadmap looks like, and I can execute on it in small pieces, but I really need to be able to communicate it much better than I have been in the past.

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Figured out New Years - Hawaii! (No Christmas plans - I'll probably just spend it quietly in San Diego planning out Q1 2010) Delta missed out once again, as I chose to fly with US Airways - another moral victory for me! (Delta/Northwest has now missed out on two flights cause they decided to be jackasses - oooooh)

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Went to Shouthouse with some in-town guests from NC last week - I need to go there more often. $1.50 domestics on weeknights, no cover, and awesome piano music. I think my flood of guests ends next week - one more guest this week... then quiet solitude until the New Years!

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Came back, found a note on my door, and my place is lowering my rent for 2010 - sweet! I didn't even have to ask! How awesome was this weekend?!

Posted by roy on December 14, 2009 at 01:21 AM in Travel, Ramblings, MindTouch, San Diego | 4 Comments

Something's going on,
I feel funny - can't tell me nothing's different
My nose twitchin'
Intuition's setting in like Steve vision
I still close my eyes, I still see visions
Still hear that voice in the back of my mind
So what i do?
I still take heed,
I still listen,
I still paint that perfect picture,
I still shine bright like a prism

Posted by roy on December 19, 2009 at 03:59 AM in Music | Add a comment

humor me: (it's anonymous)

Posted by roy on December 20, 2009 at 10:31 PM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Does this graph of snowfall in the US remind anybody of the "Day After Tomorrow"? Better move on down to Mexico!

Speaking of which, I feel really left out of this whole freak snowfall thing - with many of my friends in DC, I've gotten to live (secondhand) through the pain that is being snowed out. It's really hard for me to relate, with the weather being in the 70s and sunny here ... ;)

(Looks like that freak week of rain we had here ended up being snow everywhere else!)

(And boy, am I glad I opted-out on traveling over Christmas - best decision EVER. Flight delays with weather... the worst thing ever)

Posted by roy on December 21, 2009 at 06:51 PM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

Aaron and Steve got me a friggin' awesome holiday gift: Phaidon Design Classics.

Now, I've never heard of this series before today, and I'm not sure why. The three-book collection is an encyclopedia of (industrial) design icons and the short histories behind them - it's the kind of stuff I just gobble up.

Now, if you end up clicking that link, you're going to find that the top three reviews talk about the case. And I am going to as well. The case is RETARDED. For a book about great iconic designs, the case demonstrates the antithesis of it: how to design something that looks cool but is utterly frustrating. 

The case is intended to allow you to carry all three books at once, which is cool inconcept, but it utterly fails. Because of the way the wait is distributed with the three books, you end up holding the books at a funny angle (which gives me a workout, which I guess is positive - give those trendy hipsters some manly muscles!)

Don't even get me started on how long it takes to get the books back IN the case (it's like a Chinese puzzle, I swear). After I got all the books back in, I dropped them on my car seat, and then they fell out again. Frustration.

Phaidon, are you listening? Get rid of the case. It actually detracts from the books.

Back to the book, though. Here's what it looks like inside:

I've been thumbing through the book tonight, so much to learn from it! It makes me want to be an industrial designer... but then I realized that maybe software design today will one day have a book like this 50 years from now - I really hope MT gets itself in there.

For those of you who like books like this, I also highly recommend a more text-heavy book: The Design of Everyday Things. I had a great time reading through that book as well. 

Thanks Aaron and Steve!

Posted by roy on December 22, 2009 at 12:41 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

Just watched the end of Season 2 of "How I Met Your Mother." (More on my thoughts about this show later)

I just felt floored by the way Season 2 ended with Robin and Ted. I hated it. I know those two aren't meant to be, but damnit, did I think that was the worst season finale ever. It's very odd how I react to on-screen relationships (which I realize are nowhere near reality).

I recall watching "Good Will Hunting" when it first came out, and thinking the ending to be the most depressing ending I had ever seen (the emotional impact of that ending coupled with Eliot Smith's "Miss Misery" was the beginning of my love of Eliot Smith's music). In "Good Will Hunting", the protagonist leaves his life behind, spurred by his childhood friend's speech:

Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it's great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, 'cause I think, maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that.

And he does. Looking back now, it really is interesting to frame how intensely I valued friendships over the riskiness of love - I don't find that ending depressing now, but there's a part of me that still has trouble dealing with personal change.

Posted by roy on December 23, 2009 at 01:57 AM in Personal | 1 Comments

Merry Christmas to you all!

Posted by roy on December 25, 2009 at 03:02 PM in Ramblings | 8 Comments

Watched both "Love Actually" and "About a Boy." I love those two movies - I especially enjoy the church scene in "Love Actually":

Posted by roy on December 26, 2009 at 10:32 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

AI don't want to brag, but I'm something of a trendsetter, and my deep meditation over the holidays gave me a breakthrough discovery. I've identified the next big cultural wave that's going to sweep over the States, and I'm going to share it with you here. (Hold your excitement!)

It's Canada. Yes, Canadian fever will spread through this nation over the next decade, so it's high time we start learning more about our neighbors from the Great White North. To that end, until I tire of this, I will share a Canadian fact with every post.

During my extensive research, I was a bit surprised that there were so few Canadaphiles:

YES! I can Googlebomb this! Canadaphile!

I mean, look at how popular France and England are:

I spent this weekend digging through Wikipedia for many Canadian facts. Here's your first Canadian factoid, the provinces of Canada: (not to be confused with the three territories of Canada: Yukon, Northwest Territories, & Nunavut)

  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • New Brunswich
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Nova Scotia
  • Quebuec

(I did that from memory - how awesome am I?!)\

OK, enough Canada factoids for today. I don't want to overload you.

Canadaphile Roy Kim out!

(And happy belated Boxing day!)

Posted by roy on December 27, 2009 at 11:03 PM in Ramblings, Foolishness | 4 Comments

"Roy, what stories do you have of the female persuasion?" you inquire, quite befuddled at the quality of my last couple of postings.

Unfortunately, I have nothing embarassing to report on that front, but I do have a tangentially related story I can share which should do a good job of lowering your opinion of me.

I was at the mall a couple of weekends before Christmas, drooling over this beautiful watch. After a particularly long session of gawking, I got pretty hungry so I headed up to the food court. After grabbing some Rubio's (my love for fish tacos is rivaled only by my love of Cobie Smulders), I looked for a seat to enjoy my fresh catches (har har).

Unfortunately, being the weeks before Christmas, seating was tight. I ended up finding a seat at the far side of the food court, by some girl who was sitting underneath a tent with a keyboard and a guitar. I figured she was gonna play some Christmas songs or something... but then... I heard... chick rock. Emo chick rock. YES!

For those of you who haven't read my journal enough, or have had the displeasure of knowing me in real life, I love chick rock. I mean, if I'm watching some crappy TV drama like Grey's Anatomy and they overlay some dramatic scene with some chick who's playing a guitar, there's a 90% chance I'm going to download get on YouTube and watch crappy fan-made music videos hop onto iTunes and preview the rest of the album.

Don't believe me? In my ACTIVE music rotation, I have the following artists: Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch, Meg & Dia, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spector... I also have a healthy helping of Sarah McLachlan, Lisa Loeb, etc.

(Speaking of which, how I ended up with such an effeminate streak is really something I should figure out. I had an inkling it has something to do with the fact that when I was younger (like in the 5th grade), my mom got me a whole slew of Judy Blume books. My earliest literature exposure was to: "Blubber", "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret", "Superfudge", "Freckle Juice". Think about it: reading about all these coming-of-age books for girls at that age probably warped me to some degree. I mean, I was smart enough to know that *I* would never get a period, but I could have probably done without reading about it)

ANYWAYS, back to the story.

So I listened to this girl - she was decent, so I felt the urge to support her by buying a CD (it was only $5). The problem is after I bought it, the lady told me I could get it autographed for free!

Now, this poses a slight dilemma. I'm clearly out of the age range for people who should be buying independent chick rock (those old creepy guys can at least claim they're buying it for their daughters). It just felt really weird to get it autographed, but what am I supposed to do? I didn't want to own some CD that said: "To: Roy, <3 Jessica Lerner"! (I have some limits, although my constant flaunting of Ashlee Simpson's "Autobiography" may seem contrary to that fact)

So I did the first thing that popped up in my mind: when she was signing it, I tried to play it off like I was buying it for my sister. Winner = me. Actually, in retrospect, it didn't make it any less awkward. Jessica was quite gracious about it, and asked a couple of questions about my sister. She's quite a lovely person.

Anna, I am now in possession of a Jessica Lerner CD that has your name on it. But let's face it, you're never gonna want it, so I'll just hold onto it. Now if anybody finds it at my place, I can just play it off like, "Oh yeah, that's my sister's ... she left it here..."

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Canadian factoid: I was researching where I could see the northern lights in Canada (Fail - guess I'll have to head to Fairbanks, AK), and discovered that Canada has very few cities at that latitude. In fact, the population of the whole Northwest Territories is 40,000 people. Chapel Hill has about 50,000 people! 40,000 people in an area twice the size of Texas!

Canada factoid #2: Canada is the second largest nation by area in the world behind Russia.

Currently listening to: Ashlee Simpson - L.O.V.E.
Posted by roy on December 28, 2009 at 02:16 AM in Foolishness, San Diego | 8 Comments

I have two stock recommendations for all my readers:

Booyah - how many others of you can do this?

(I was going to buy a small position in each just to appeal to my vanity every time I logged into Scottrade, but I realized ROY is being acquired - which means I won't be able to do this soon... sad)

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Canada factoid: The world's largest lake-within-a-lake (Lake Manitou) is in Canada. There are islands within this lake, so you actually have an island-in-a-lake-on-an-island-on-a-lake thing going on. (Google map) (Source)

Posted by roy on December 29, 2009 at 01:24 AM in Finances | 5 Comments

Headed to Hawaii tomorrow morning... hope you all will be ringing in the new year surrounded by happiness!

Semisonic - This Will Be My Year

Thursday's crush is a friday night rush
And a monday morning cry
It's the tail that you keep chasing
And it gets away every time

New years eve and it's hard to believe
Another zodiac's gone around
While you drank yourself high on hoping
And watched the ceiling spin from the ground

Counting down from ten it's time
To make your annual prayer
Secret santa in the sky
When will I get my share

Then you tell yourself
What you want to hear
Cause you have to believe
This will be my year

Pound your fist and cross it off your list
But you know you're not that strong
When the man at the stop light catches you
Singing along to a brand new song

Well maybe it's
Trash or the overnight smash that brings your
Ship crashing through the wall
So you can make your grand departure
From a world getting way too small

One wheel in the ditch another
Spinning in the air

Put your pedal down to the floorboard but you're not
Getting anywhere

Then you tell yourself
What you want to hear
Cause you have to believe
This will be my year

Posted by roy on December 29, 2009 at 10:52 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments
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