Entries for June, 2010

What a crazy few weeks. Work at MindTouch is gearing up - ths release we're working on right now is the biggest (2nd only to Hayes, our first commercial launch), and the drumbeat about the problems its solves has been teased on our blog.

The release, as we continue to iterate over it, is looking remarkably good, but it's behind schedule (no surprise). Fortunately the end is in sight, and the team is working hard at it - a lot of long hours ahead! With all my personal stuff taken care of, I can start focusing my extra energy on completing and shipping this product.

It's been awesome working on product again. The team has been very well-focused for the past two months now, and it really shows in the level of work that's gone into the product. I'll write more about it after the release - it's been a great experience so far, and I'm looking forward to shipping it and sharing it with the world.

. . . 

But back to Tabulas. I haven't written about the site since the announcement of its sale, because I honestly haven't known what the relationship between Francis (the purchaser) and myself would be, and what my ongoing role would be.

When I was filtering out buyers for the site, I wanted to find somebody who was willing to invest more into the site. It wouldn't just be a vanity purchase where it'd wither (Lightbox7 suffered this fate).

The sale was not meant to be a death kiss for the site, it was rather an effort to revitalize the site and to give the community a chance to influence and improve Tabulas. And I'm convinced this is the case. The correspondence I've had with Francis has convinced me that I made absolutely the right decision (in retrospect, I wish I had held a minority stake in the site) and that he's the right person to own Tabulas.

Before I left last week for Han's wedding, I completed the migration of the site and its data over to the servers. Since then, Francis and I have been chatting about the future of Tabulas. While I have tons of great ideas, what's lacking for me is the motivation to execute on those. When you spend 4 years (active development time) working for free on Tabulas, you eventually want to get paid (the reality of life!).

Francis believes in the vision of the site and the future of it, and he has the resources to back the development of it. This is great news for you and for Tabulas.

While he doesn't have a dev team in place, I do have some cycles available, and I will actually be taking an active development role (in my spare time) to improving the site's functionality and features. I have some rather risky ideas (I'll write them up here once I get them solidified in my noggin') that might really help move Tabulas forward and revitalize the community here.

I know that a big part of why many of you stayed is because I was here - and you knew that with me, your data would be safe, and I wouldn't do things that would compromise the integrity of the site. While I can't speak for the new owner of the site, as I am still remaining an active member of the Tabulas team (funny to say that), I can say that the spirit of Tabulas will continue.

So what's going on? There is still some housework that needs to be done (Amazon won't let me simply reassign a whole S3 bucket to somebody else - fail!), but you're going to start seeing small changes here and there. This week, Francis has assigned resources to have me work on a refreshed home page.

It's a small start, but I think once Francis and I figure out how we'll work together, great things will come from Tabulas once again.

I know these are just words, but I hope I can back them up with actions soon, too.

So don't give up on Tabulas - if anything, think of the sale as a rebirth. An infusion of badly needed resources as well as another perspective on where the site will go.

Posted by roy on May 31, 2010 at 09:07 PM in Tabulas | 9 Comments

Posted by roy on June 1, 2010 at 08:19 PM in Music | 1 Comments

I need your opinion on something, all. Audi TT Roadster: girly or no?

I've embedded a poll: please vote (it's anonymous)

Posted by roy on June 3, 2010 at 01:59 AM in Ramblings | 19 Comments

If I ever have a lasting legacy, I want Thanksturkey day to be it.

Is there nothing better than Thanksgiving dinner with friends - cooking and drinking all day - then stuffing yourself with wonderful food and turning in early due to food coma? Let me answer that for you: NOPE. WINNER = YOU!

Saturday will be the first Thanksturkey day - *almost* six months after Thanksgiving. The turkey is currently thawing out in my refridgerator, and I went grocery shopping tonight to pick up all the wonderful ingredients.

I will consider the meal a success if nobody gets food poisoning ... HAH. (Just kidding. I don't think anybody who's coming actually reads this blog)

Last Thanksgiving, I got a lot of shit cause I cooked the bird upside down (breast down). Well, the turkey turned out DELICIOUS, so I'm going to do it again. Except this time, I will do it on purpose.

And it will be glorious.

Here was the turkey from Thanksgiving '07:


Posted by roy on June 4, 2010 at 02:35 AM in Ramblings | 5 Comments

Phew. It's 330am, and I just wrapped up some preparatory work for tomorrow's Thanksturkey feast. Since the oven would be in high demand tomorrow, I decided to do as many of the preparatory dishes today.

The full menu (all made from scratch!):

  • Arugula salad with caramelized grapes, pears, and roasted shallot vinaigrette
  • Candied sweet potatoes
  • Scalloped yukon gold potatoes and yams
  • Roasted turkey (duh) with gravy and stuffing
  • Stir-fried baby carrots and snow peas
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • And at the last minute, I realized I had all the ingredients to make delicious homemade chocolate cookies (wow, I can't believe I finally have a fully-stocked kitchen!)

Tonight, I worked on the salad - had to use the oven to caramelize the grapes and roast the shallots. While doing that, I made the cranberry sauce (finding cranberries was hard - had to call around to 3 different places!) and the candied sweet potatoes. I'm letting the sweet potatoes (which are only partially steamed) soak in the candied sauce overnight before baking them.

The secret to great chocolate chip cookies is also making the dough the night before and letting the flavors sink into the dough - so that's getting ready, too.

The plan for tomorrow is to kick off the turkey at around noon. I'll do the stepped temperature down (start at 400, move down to 350, etc. etc.) - this will give me about half an hour after I put the turkey in to prep the stuffing (put the bread out today so it stales up by tomorrow, for you don't want mushy stuffing!) and be able to get the stuffing in there at 350. Hopefully I can also squeeze in both the potato dishes when I'm cooking the turkey at 350...

And as we eat dinner, I'll pop in the chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

I'm a bit nervous about this meal - this is the first one I've tried to do completely solo, and boy, is it a lot of work! But I'm having a great time, and I HOPE the meal comes out delicious for everybody tomorrow...


Pictures tomorrow :) Have a great night, and a wonderful Thanksturkey day!

Posted by roy on June 5, 2010 at 03:44 AM in Food, Ramblings | Add a comment

Words cannot describe how exhausted I am right now. Hours of prepping, shopping (stressing), and the combined non-stop cooking over the past two days...

Thanksturkey day was wonderful - the food turned out surprisingly well! I was most proud of the fact that I finally got homemade stuffing done right - that dish had always eluded me.

I'm going to sleep like a ROCK tonight.

Posted by roy on June 6, 2010 at 01:27 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

Via an article where Tony Hsieh sheds light on why Zappos sold out to Amazon:

By early 2009, we were at a stalemate. Because of a complicated legal structure, I effectively controlled the majority of the common shares, so that the board couldn't force a sale of the company. But on the five-person board, only two of us -- Alfred Lin, our CFO and COO, and myself -- were completely committed to Zappos's culture. This made it likely that if the economy didn't improve, the board would fire me and hire a new CEO who was concerned only with maximizing profits. The threat was never made overtly, but I could tell that was the direction things were going.

I spent most of my youth trying to put myself in situations where I was in complete control. I craved to create something that was wholly mine - nothing could make the site impure with outside pressure.

But part of growing up is realizing you don't have control. You have very little control in this world - the best thing to do is to go with the flow and accept that fact. Things happen, most of the times without reason, and trying to anticipate them or to minimize your exposure to them is a losing battle.

I have to deal with the fact that will never strike uncertainty from my life. If I accept the premise that most of my life is uncertain, then I must acknowledge that the biggest battle in my life is dealing with the fear of the unknown - the fear against rejection, fear of acceptance, fear of complexity, fear of failure, and the fear of success.

A track that has quickly become of my favorites is T.I's "Live your Life" (f. Rihanna). Its simple message is great:

so live your life,
you steady chasing that paper
just live your life
ain't got no time for no haters
just live your life
no telling where it'll take you
just live your life
'cause I'm a paper chaser

Ain't nothing wrong with materialism as long as you remember that it's not the end.

Posted by roy on June 8, 2010 at 01:15 AM in Personal | 1 Comments

Posted by roy on June 10, 2010 at 12:10 AM in Music | 2 Comments

I just test drove a '08 BMW Z4 3.0i.

WOW, did it suck. The thing is cramped, visibility sucks, and the engine honestly didn't feel very powerful (~260 hp). The TT Roadster still remains the favorite. (And the more I research it, the more convinced the dealership gave me a legitimately good offer on it - I've been tracking Carmax, and the used models from that year, with 30K miles, are coming in at the exact same price.

This weekend: I'm gonna test drive the Mustang (for shits and giggles) and the A5 Cab (just as a benchmark, not that I could afford it). I might also give the 350Z a test drive (although I strongly dislike the car).

I do have to say that I'm incredibly happy about the Mazda3 purchase now - amazing how "luxury" brands aren't that much better.

Anybody have any good convertible recommendations? While I'm young (= irresponsible) and living in San Diego, I'd like to own an impractical convertible.

Posted by roy on June 10, 2010 at 08:00 PM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

Posted by roy on June 12, 2010 at 12:35 AM in Ramblings | Add a comment

father and son:

Posted by roy on June 12, 2010 at 06:52 PM in Photography | 1 Comments

I can't believe i've lived 15 minutes away from this for three-and-a-half years and I *just* got around to visiting it:

Reminded me very much of my Big Sur trip. It's about time for a road trip on my own, no?

Posted by roy on June 13, 2010 at 09:12 PM in Photography, San Diego | 3 Comments

Posted by roy on June 13, 2010 at 10:30 PM in Music | Add a comment

tacone wraps potato chips are friggin' delicious. and i was hungry. and the chips were just looking up from me in the trash can like, "EAT ME"

what was i supposed to do?

do you like the audio?

Guerric: "Dude!"
Me: "So good!"
Max: "That's interesting..."

Posted by roy on June 14, 2010 at 10:32 PM in Foolishness, MindTouch | 5 Comments

They do capture why Americans LOVE soccer...

Posted by roy on June 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM in Sports | Add a comment

Posted by roy on June 15, 2010 at 11:22 PM in Photography | Add a comment

Just cause this is the type of important thing I like to post in this "personal" journal: I'd like to inform the world that I actually woke up at 730am today (WOW) to go work-out at 8am (DOUBLE WOW). (I have never done any type of formal work-out routine).

See how impressive and responsible that sounds? (And a little manly?) Let me dash that with what really happened.

I skipped across the street in my cute lululemon clothes (yeah, they make men's clothes) on my way to a Pilates lesson.

Yeah, that's right.

The first class was free, and interesting enough (e.g. I got my ass kicked) that I signed up for five more private lessons (I'll switch to the much wallet-friendlier duet classes once I feel a little less embarassed about my inability to do some of the basic exercises).

. . .

I'm sure the sentiment is shared by many:

Jennifer: im hoping one day
Jennifer: you'll be like
Jennifer: FOOLED YOU
Jennifer: i dont take dance classes!
Jennifer: i don't take pilates!!!!
Jennifer: i dont take horseback riding!!
Roy: actually i never did those classes but thanks for reminding me
Jennifer: i dont wear tight pants from lululemon
Jennifer: i watch sports and drink beer!!

Posted by roy on June 17, 2010 at 09:12 AM in Personal, Sports | 5 Comments

"The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all." - Leo Rosten

Posted by roy on June 20, 2010 at 10:27 PM in Ramblings | Add a comment

Travie McCoy, of "Billionaire" fame, was in the Cobra Starship song for "Snakes on a Plane."

Posted by roy on June 20, 2010 at 11:05 PM in Music | Add a comment


Posted by roy on June 23, 2010 at 09:07 PM in Personal | 9 Comments

I didn't think it'd be that hard to find an iPhone-compatible car charger that has an aux-out from the charger (I don't want to have extra cables) and a built-in amp.

I can't find one in a single package. 

Bonus points: Don't want a mount (DQs LiquidAux). I like dumping my phone in my lap or in the cup holder (I'm weird).

Update: Guess I'm going to have buy it piecemeal. G pointed me to the SendStation MiniUSB LineOut:

Perfect! I also ordered a cigarette lighter USB charger... let's see how this works out!

Posted by roy on June 24, 2010 at 04:09 PM in Ramblings | Add a comment

On the last Friday of every month, bicycle riders ride through San Diego in an event called Critical Mass to promote awareness for bicycle riding. (Critical Mass is also held in other cities)

Here's a picture of them tonight riding through downtown from my window:


Posted by roy on June 26, 2010 at 12:13 AM in Photography, San Diego | 1 Comments

Posted by roy on June 28, 2010 at 10:34 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

So much to do, so little time (and energy). One of the tough things about being on your own is just the fact that you have to do everything. Gotta keep the place clean, gotta shop and cook for myself, etc.

In any case, all spare time this week will be funneled towards Tabulas. I'm hoping to promote more of the gallery features of Tabulas, by both updating the gallery views of Tabulas as well as promoting the content on the homepage. This should roll out by Wednesday.

Was in LA this past weekend for a Korean ceremony - pyebaek. It was a good time, but I'm tired from all the driving and sun!

I've had a bunch of floating invites to do stuff for the 4th, but after all the driving lately (I've been in LA 3 of the past 4 weekends!), I'm looking forward to just vegging out at home and working on my side projects.

Posted by roy on June 29, 2010 at 12:01 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

"i'm never gonna know you now, but i'm gonna love you anyhow..." - elliot smith

Posted by roy on June 30, 2010 at 12:18 AM in Photography, Music | Add a comment
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