When Kevin Lomax blew his brains out at the end, he exercised his free will to do what he thought was best. When it all reset, John Milton came back in the form of a journalist to have another go. What was the reward he offered?
Some pride is okay, but too much of it can also be a bitch.
I wanted to end the year with a memorable post…
I can’t believe another year has gone by. My son is almost two. And I have another year of blogging under my belt.
Here I end 2017 with a situation I encountered in the latter half of the year that was very troubling.
I started to feel a certain restless leg syndrome type of discomfort that was also very painful at times. When I walked, pain would rifle up and down my left leg at random times. Sometimes I would be laying there in bed and my left leg would want to shake or tremble randomly. It was sort of like a tickle, but not in a fun way.
So I kept thinking like it was a network troubleshooting exercise. What has changed in the last few weeks? My body has been functioning just fine and I’ve done something different to cause this painful consequence.
Was it a change in diet? Maybe, I was still enjoying the same amount of junk food. But maybe my tired old body wasn’t able to process it as well.
Was it exercise? I generally don’t work out, but I did try to do some odd stretching of my back. I had not done this kind of prolonged stretching ever before. So it became my prime suspect. I stopped doing it, but the pain got worse.
Was my sleeping pattern different? Yes, there was another great disturbance in the way I slept because of my son. But not sure how that was causing this pain.
Was it a resurrection of something from my motorcycle accident? Maybe. The pain was causing me to limp in a similar way.
When I would walk, the pain could be very slightly alleviated by lifting my jeans off my left hip where it seemed like I the nerve pain was originating. So I kept working on alleviating that pressure. The odd part is that I have always worn my jeans low on my hips, so there had to be another contributing factor.
Was it my age? Maybe. I’m only getting older. Which sucks.
Not knowing how long this issue was going to be around, I kept doing the one remedy that seemed to work: alleviating the pressure on my left hip. I bought some Mork & Mindy suspenders. That way I could keep my pants up, but also keep the pressure off my hip nerves completely. I did that for a few days and again, the symptoms got better.
I remembered reading an article a long time ago about women who wore their jeans too low on their hips who might experience some weird pain. I’m thinking to myself that’s the exact same problem I’m having now. How is that possible?
My sleep has been crappy all year. What about my sleep has changed? I think I might be sleeping on my left side too much. So I started sleeping on my right. And the symptoms continued to get better along with the use of the suspenders. What else has been different about my sleeping habits? It didn’t happen that often, so I didn’t think it would matter, but occasionally I would accidentally fall asleep with my son at his bedtime. The routine we do is that Arry and I would take turns going to bed with him to make sure he fell asleep.
It turns out that when I would lay down with him, I would do it fully clothed: jeans and belt and everything. I wasn’t intending to fall asleep, but I was so exhausted that I couldn’t help myself. So I changed that too. I started to strip down to my undies as if I am going to bed for the night. And that was the last culprit that was probably the trigger that started it all. My jeans and the leather belt were putting pressure on that perfect spot when I slept on my left, which was the side that allowed me to face my son to watch for him to fall asleep so I could get the hell out of his room.
After changing all the different ways that I saw that I was putting pressure on my left hip, within a week my nerve pain was all but gone!! No doctor intervention. I forgot to mention I was trying to medicate myself back to health by using lots of ibuprofen – sometimes up to 600mg in a single dose with no great long-term results. I was thinking it would reduce any swelling around the nerves that were having the problems. Sometimes I seemed like it worked, but it never lasted.
To conclude, once I finished all the troubleshooting, I was very self-gratified. I was able to fix a very mysterious health ailment by practicing the three golden rules of troubleshooting:
1. Find out what has changed lately
2. Use the process of elimination to isolate the issue
3. If an idea seems to work well, then do more with that idea
Indeed, it was some very self-gratifying troubleshooting I did on myself!
Happy New Year, y'all!
MOST AWESOME: when you go into business with a friend, and the friendship becomes stronger.
AWESOME: when you conduct business with someone new and you become friends.
NOT AWESOME: when you go into business with a friend, and the friendship is ruined.
You’re a medium-sized country with a moderate to flat to shrinking economy, with no immediate plans for higher growth when your citizens are yearning for more opportunities. Do you stimulate the economy by pumping a couple of billion dollars into all kinds of political and economic plans with no definitive history of success?
Alternatively, maybe you sweet talk Jeff into opening up a few fulfillment centers and allowing organic and natural demand for Amazon’s goods and services to stimulate industry, innovation, and economic velocity. Oh and by the way, you can take a billion of those dollars and buy some $AMZN so you can have a stake in the success of Jeff&Co.
I have a special ambivalence in the world of raising children.
A wise friend of mine told me:
The days are long. But the years go by fast.
Someone caused great harm to me and my family on Monday, Oct 30. I have been mentally, emotionally, and psychologically obsessed over this incident since then.
I randomly needed a cooler while traveling. So I bought one.
And then I realized that I needed to decorate it. So I did.
"you are the bouncers, I am the cooler."
ASP can be Active Server Page. At least that's the definition with which I'm most familiar. It's about how web pages are controlled and rendered in your web browser.
My take lately is Asymmetrical Sensitivity Profile.
A person with an Asymmetrical Sensitivity Profile can present themselves as really blunt and harsh and critical towards nearly everyone around them, but if that person has one hint of a word said to them about anything that is in the slightest way direct, or against their opinion, or slightly coaching, or emotionally unexpected, they will treat you like The Beast himself who has come to rip their soul from their bodies. In their eyes, you will be the biggest POS on the face of the earth. And for that matter the most evil person in existence in the universe.
e.g. someone shares an idea in a group setting, and the Mr. Asshole in the group says to them "that is the stupidest idea I have ever heard in my life." And he doesn't think twice about it. But if someone tells Mr. Asshole that his idea doesn't really fit within the scope of the project at the moment, then he'll think to himself, "You are a prick and you're trying to sabotage my career. I can’t wait to stab you in the back you freakin' moron."
Have you ever told someone something innocuous like "you have some ketchup right there" (pointing to your own chin), then they react with a sour look on their face? Like they are thinking "what the fuck, man? I can't have a little ketchup on my face while I'm enjoying my fucking fries? Why do you have to be so fucking annoying?!"
One time I told a guy who came by my cube that he had something on his face. It looked like a dab of lotion. I couldn't help myself because it was so obvious and I didn't want him to walk around too much longer with it. I wasn't laughing at him. I wasn't actively clowning on him for having it on his face. I simply stated a fact in about as dry and nice way as I could. But maybe I unintentionally sounded like an asshole???. He promptly simultaneously turned around, brushed off the piece of tissue and left. He abandoned whatever conversation he was about to start with me. It felt like he was mumbling "Damn you Dae. Why the hell you gotta be like that?"
I tried to think about it from his point of view. Maybe it was that he was too embarrassed or something. But what's crazy is that he was one of the most brash and confident dudes in the office. He would not have any reason to be embarrassed around a lowly engineer like me. He walked away and I went back to work and to this very day I have no idea what was going through his head.
There is that very popular TV show called Survivor. There will inevitably be some players who are really good at the game who you don't like. And there will be others who don't play the politics very well who you do like. Their likability plays a factor in their ability to survive, but it is not the sole factor by any means.
Even though I might not like a good player, there is a certain level of respect I will give them. And that's the way it sometimes works in Corporate America. Layoffs, rightsizing, downsizing, mergers+acquisitions, the profit motivation, and maximization of shareholder value have made it so that many companies are the same Survivor Islands. And all the players are the employees who are fighting for their survival. Information hoarding, treachery, lying, and backstabbing are traits you need on the TV Survivor Islands and the Corporate Islands.
So while I do respect the players who survive, I don't have to like them.
<originally drafted May 2016. very late to publish.>
This is GREAT packaging.
No stupid packing peanuts.
No rattling around inside the box.
No product packaging getting mangled inside from bouncing around inside the shipping container.
I don't think I get too effusive about "silly" consumer products very often, but DAMN I love my popsockets!!
You might be wondering, WTF is that?
I carry two phones. One for my day job and one is my personal phone. Some people hate dual-phoning. I didn’t know what I was going to think of it. After trying it out now for over a year I have determined that I LIKE IT. It’s like having double battery life. The most ironic/tragic part is that even with double battery life, I still have to charge BOTH DAMN PHONES multiple times a day in order to make it to bed time. It’s pathetic. One of these days I'll write up all the thoughts I have about how pathetic smartphone battery life is.
Anyway, it’s been over a year. Being a typical guy, I’ve been carrying the phones in my front pockets. Yes, it’s sort of a PITA (Pain In The Ass), but for me, the advantages outweigh the PITA part. Recently, I’ve decided to stop carrying the phones in my pockets. I try to set them in the passenger seat, or generally away from my pelvis as much as possible. It is because I’ve been obsessing about the far-fetched notion that I’ve created a VORTEX OF SEMINAL CARNAGE (VSC).
Here’s how I came up with it. I don’t know exactly how the radio energy comes out of the phones. But if the radio waves from each phone emit from the antennas in basically a omni-directional way, where the phone is at the center and you can imagine circular waves of sinusoidal patterns transmitting in three dimensions, then it would look like kids blowing bubbles where the bubbles get bigger and bigger and bigger until they pop. Except with these radio waves, the bubbles don’t pop. They just go and go and go and dissipate until all the power is absorbed or naturally gone.
So then with two phones bilaterally surrounding my testicles, now you see the VORTEX OF SPERMATOZOAN DEATH (VSD) right at the center where the arrow is pointing. It is where the energy waves from both phones would intersect and overlap each other. All I can think is that my poor little microscopic seeds won't stand much of a chance being nuked from both sides.
I will still be a dual-phoner, but I won’t carry both phones in my pockets if I can help it.
I’ll carry them in murse.
When I'm faced with a network issue at home, I start with the fundamentals. I like to start with what I call "number zero". Because counting doesn't start at one. It starts at nothing. (Yes, I realize that the OSI Model starts at layer 1, but humor me for a moment.)
0.0 is it on? Is there power?
0.1 are all the plugs connected?
0.2 are all the activity lights blinking?
0.3 try rebooting one device at a time.
The whole exercise of troubleshooting is all about isolating the cause of the problem. You can't figure out what is truly going on if you eliminate multiples variables at the same time. For example, if you have an engine problem, you can replace the entire engine and it will probably fix your issue. But no one replaces an entire engine. They figure out if it's a dead battery. Then recharge the battery or replace it. If that fixes the issue only temporarily, then you work backwards and figure out if the alternator is working. If it isn't, then replace it and see if your engine problems are cured. It takes time and it takes reasonable, analytical thinking to go through one component at a time in a given system. You have to know what you're doing.
When I think about our environment and all the arguing and debate about whether the existence of humans and our carbon-emitting vehicles and lifestyles of consumption contributes to the problem of climate change, I think about what single variable we can isolate at a time. Some possible choices are:
* internal combustion engines
* plant life (forests, vegetation, etc)
* fossil fuels
Eliminate the existence of each, one at a time and figure out if it improves the situation of climate change. It's really simple. (Simple doesn't mean it's easy.)
Well, none of those are viable to isolate in any reasonable time frame. Then the debate goes back to one semi-viable option: reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. And then one side says "No. No! No!! It won't work. You're wrong. It's a stupid idea."
But the alternative is to stay on the course we are on without any other variables to isolate. We can always re-instate the use of fossil fuels. That's easy. Rather than having a negative response, how about trying it out and seeing what happens? I bet the side that wants to eliminate the use of fossil fuels won't be mad if they turn out to be wrong. They will just have to figure out what the next variable is to isolate.
According to the article below, we're pretty much fucked.
One day we won't have any other choice but to swap our planet for another one.
Elon and many others think Mars is the only choice.
I wish I could be around in a thousand years to see what we end up doing.
Lately I haven't been able to get the idea of wasting money by idling a car engine out of my head.
We got a car recently where the owners manual explicitly says "Don't idle the engine to warm it up. It doesn't need it. When you turn on your car, start driving immediately." I was very pleasantly surprised!
It goes against ALL the learning I have ever received about warming up car engines. So now I don't start the car unless I am fully, completely 100% ready to start driving immediately.
Being that men and women are different, an article I read a while back said that for some reason, women tend to sit in their cars and idle the engine more than men. So I've been gathering my own empirical data to see if it's true. It's inconclusive at this point.
Then I started thinking about the hundreds of millions of cars in the world that sit idling for one reason or another. Seems like if we could all learn not to idle car engines, then that would go a lot farther in the extreme short term to:
1. waste less money buying gas
2. not put extra wear and tear on your car engine
3. reduce your personal CO2 emissions into the world
4. contribute to saving the world by doing almost nothing
Seems like a good deal to me.
And then today I saw this article that further qualifies my rambling thoughts in a more professional journalistic way:
Yes. I am the one guy in the world who reads the owners manual for an automobile. It's shocking what you can learn about your car from it.
Before mid-life I used to think “how could he allow himself to become an alcoholic.”
After my mid-life started I think “how can anyone NOT plunge themselves into abject alcoholism.”
I don't know why I never considered the current situation I am in as possible.
At mid-life, I am in full recognition of a significant lifestyle change. I'm pretty sure its all the fault of my new kid. But of course he's wonderful and amazing and so worth it :\
Before, I had more time than money. I would sacrifice time in favor of saving money.
In other words, I tended to be very frugal. If I could save money by taking longer, then I took longer.
Now, I have more money than time. Old habits are hard to break though. I have to sacrifice money in favor of gaining more time.
"every man dies. not every man truly lives" goes the saying.
Today is a great day for phishing.
But then again, every day is a great day for phishing for the typical cyber criminal.
A pair of words from my father I used to hear (more often than any other guidance) was "safety first." In most endeavors of sending me off into the world for education, adventure, travel, or the unknown, I heard those words. Little did I know as a child, or teenager, or young adult that those two words would ring so true in my personal and professional online life. I find myself saying the same words to my 1.5yr old son too. You could say I'm trying the mantra on for size. It seems to fit well.
I am late to write about the annual Father's Day event from this past Sunday, but the image of the email I got today is a prime example of "online safety first." The internet wasn't built with a heavy emphasis on security and privacy. We have to do extra work to use third party tools and services and encryption to make us operationally more secure in the internet-dominated world as it is today.
To all my technical brethren out there: safety first!
To my dad, whose family fled North Korea when he was a child seeking safety, who as a husband/father immigrated to the United States seeking opportunity for himself and his children, I give my undying love and deepest admiration of your bravery.
Five quick ideas you can explore for more privacy, more security:
Tenta Browser (created and founded by my good friends Jesse and Jen)
Comcast DDoS Protection for your Enterprise (as part of my day job)
Learn about blockchain technology and its built-in feature of pseudonymity
Consider a new BlackBerry KeyOne that integrates Android and the legendary security capabilities of BlackBerry (aka Research in Motion)
Read as much as humanly possible, educate yourself, trust your gut. Be suspicious of any email that asks you to login with a provided hyperlink. ALWAYS mouse-over the hyperlink to see where it goes, like I did in the above image. 99% of the time, you don't want to click on it.
After reading (still in the middle of it) Creativity, Inc., I’ve come to dislike the word “honest” even more.
When people who are trying to persuade someone and they use the filler of "I"ll be honest with you, blah, blah, blah..."
I hate that.
From the article in the hyperlink above:
“It's also a way to be honest and supportive, two traits one top Silicon Valley CEO coach says are crucial to running a great team."
A better word to use is candor. Being candid means people can be honest without all the underlying morality issues.
The article doesn’t address what exactly happens when they disagree and also don’t want to commit. I suppose the idea dies, or hibernates until a different decision maker comes into the picture. But then of course you might have some underlying resentment and frustration build up in the person whose idea was crushed.
I haven't done an #FTTF post in quite a while. It's been since last May!
But it's for a great cause. It's all in the name of privacy, encryption, and security. And best of all, a couple of my favorite people founded the company. I hope to be trying out the browser soon on my new #blackberry #KEYone. That's right. A new blackberry WITH A FULL KEYBOARD is coming out next month. And it also gives me a chance to use an app from CakeCodes (full disclosure: I am an investor) that is only available on Android.
These t-shirts are high quality 100% cotton. The medium fits me very well. You can always tell a t-shirt is nice by checking the tag. These are "District Made" with some very nice satin nylon tags. I haven't heard of District Made, but the satin tag is what really gives it away.
To the Tenta team: well done on the selection of it!
Example number one of thinking to yourself:
Where did that email go? Oh, here it is. No. It doesn't have that attachment I need. That's not the right email. Where the heck did it go? Did I file it somewhere? Maybe I detached that file to save email server quota. But then I know I saved the file someplace. Now I have to look through all the files on my hard drive...
Example number two between two information workers:
"I don't see it."
"What? I just sent it to you yesterday."
"I'm looking at all the emails you sent me in the last five days and I don't see an email with an attachment."
"Maybe I sent it through our Instant Messenger session."
"Okay, let me check the conversation history."
"And while you do that I'll go ahead and email it again."
"No, no, don't do that. Let me look first. Give me a chance to find it."
"Find it yet?"
"Hold on. Gimme another minute."
"Ok, so I got the file and I can send it again when you're ready."
"Fine. Go ahead and send it again. I SWEAR I saw it. I KNOW I saw it. Where the hell did it go?"
"Don't worry about it. It's no big deal."
"No, it is a big deal because I feel like I'm going crazy. Why does this happen all the time?"
"I don't care. Let's hurry up and finish. We already wasted enough time."
((( A week later... a bug was discovered. IT sent out a company-wide notification. The bug happen to randomly delete emails with suspicious attachments that were perfectly FINE. )))
There is actually a clinical diagnosis for this kind of hellish world. There was even an old movie based on it. And then the term from the movie became the clinical diagnosis. It's called gas lighting. It's a very effective way of driving someone insane. And that's what computers do to information workers every day! Yay!
P.S. And yes, an evil manager can do the same shit to an undesirable employee. It's super evil behavior. Just like your computer and its faulty software, you don't want a manager like that.
I haven't done a big detailed food post in a while, so here goes.
it's a very nice, wide open store that is well lit in the middle of the day. i got there around 12:45pm and you would expect that the place would be packed with lunchers, but it wasn't. and the parking lot was really easy to park in.
if you park directly across the street from the restaurant, and you don't want to walk to one far intersection or another, then you will choose to jay walk to go straight in. when i was sitting eating my LCB (little cheese burger), i saw a few people do the same as i did: jay walk. after you chicken run across the street, then you walk up across a grassy incline to the front door. if there was more foot traffic from the parking lot jay walking, then there would probably be a dead path of grass that they would have to stone over to keep it looking pretty.
I think the shopping center needs to do some extra marketing or something special to get more people in through here. Maybe the 'hood had a bad reputation or something. I don't know. Maybe it's because it was a Monday. I don't know, but it seemed like it should be more busy.
for me, the LCB, as they call it, is the perfect amount of beef. i don't need too much because ground beef is so rich and fatty. you think having more beef is good, but it will probably just kill you faster. anyways, i finally noticed today that they toast the buns. and that reminded me of In-n-Out. For me, In-n-Out is the gold standard for really good fast food burgers. It seems like these guys basically did their non-Christian version of In-n-Out and have done a great job. lightly toasted burger buns are so damn good!
the peanut deal is unique. but i'm not so into that.
it's $6.45 for an LCB. whether you get it all the way, or plain, it's $6.45. to me, for a fast food place, it's a bit expensive. but i get it. they have a unique brand, they have very, very specific decor, the vibe is good - they were playing Beck's 'Devil's Haircut' while i was munching on my burger. but i am pretty sure that according to fast food standards, $6.45 for just the burger is a bit high. it's okay though, i like it. I just need to remember to not get the pickles on the 'all they way LCB'.
here's the last observation. the little light wood colored chairs sit really low to the tables. i have no idea why it's like that. the tables look like they are the normal height. all i know is, i usually sit pretty high (if i sit up straight) to the table. but in this case, even if I sat up straight as a stick, i still felt like i had to struggle to get my elbows on the table. maybe they want your face to be as close to the table as possible so that when your pigging out on your burger there will be less chance that the burger bits will fly onto the floor. of course it could be just dumb luck that the tables and chairs are like that.
the burger is good though. i really like the cajun seasoning you can get on the fries, but the last time i tried them, they were a bit too soggy. it might be a product of the fact that the potatoes are fresh. like In-n-Out. i find that In-n-Out fries tend to be a little too soggy for me too. but that doesn't stop me from eating a lot of them.
It's always going to be interesting when the first-time-dad is left to provide childcare. I was given instructions to "make him happy."
And it made me realize that maybe Sebby really isn't capable at 13 months of age to make himself happy. There are extremely short glimmers of it every once in a while when he is playing by himself. And it misleads me. But he pretty much he has to rely on his caregiver for happiness and enjoyment.
It's crazy how that skill is foundational for a human.
You MUST be able to make yourself happy.
Somehow, someway, you have to figure it out for yourself. You sure as hell didn't get asked to be brought into this world, but you're stuck now. It's my responsibility to do the best I can to teach you how to make the best of it. I can give you some tools. But somehow you have to figure out how to make yourself happy without a dependency of something or someone else. Do it and you will have, by my calculations, about 51% of your short existence figured out.
So I'm trying and wanting to use a certain web site and it's another site that is asking me for my userid+password for a one-time authentication. While I can appreciate the high level of security the site wants to impose on it's users due to the risk of fraud by bad actors, it reminds me of the three most important rules for a brick+mortar retail store:
So the three most important rules for passwords are:
1. Never give out your password.
2. Never give out your password.
3. Never give out your password.
It still astonishes me that in 2017 there are Information Technology departments in companies who ask their users for their passwords to do troubleshooting.
It's like one friend of mine said "it's junk food for your brain."
And it's totally true. Don't get me wrong. i LOVE junk food. potato chips, doughnuts, cheetos, soda, tortilla chips, popcorn, dark chocolate kit kat, ice cream, kettle style potato chips... the goes on and on.
And it's coincidental that I have had to seriously cut back on my consumption of junk food because my metabolism has finally hit a wall. My mid-life tragedy is almost complete. So I have had to also cut back on my consumption of this one really bad brain junk food too: facebook.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't totally 100% taken facebook junk food out of my diet yet, but it's been seriously curtailed. And yes, I love my seeing my friends and family too. But there are limits to everything in life.
I've been running some self-experimentation, in the style of Tim Ferriss to figure out what works for me. And ever since Nov. 8, 2016, I have found that participating in facebook, especially on mobile, is not healthy for my brain. Along with making me impatient and angry, when I am on it, I want more of it. Like a casino and its slot machines that practice variable ratio reinforcement on you, if I don't see a post that entertains or informs me, then I look for another. After the satisfaction of consumed, it, I seek more. And so on and so forth.
I also realized that I also continued to think of fun, clever, and entertaining or informative posts to share. It felt like I was in a self-contained coopetition with my friends for fun, clever, informative, and entertaining shit to share. So not only was I wasting my time consuming brain junk food with variable ratio reinforcement, but I was also contributing to the consumption of it by others. In my spare brain cycles, I would constantly be thinking of taking this picture or that picture and making a joke or sarcastic comment. AND YES, while very fun and engaging with my friends, it was a hamster wheel. It didn't help me to earn more money, it didn't help me to be better at my day job, it didn't help me be a better husband or father, it didn't help me get more accomplished in my nights and weekends jobs, and it didn't make by body more healthy.
I am happy to report that for me, I am back to reading great books, and listening to very short snippets of national and local news to keep me informed about what is going on and I FEEL and THINK more clearly now. CLARITY. I am more focused on an exciting possible new side business venture involving bitcoin too. FOCUS. Just like the song goes, "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone." I don't allow myself to facebook on a mobile device. DISCIPLINE.
I will not participate in a drone-like existence to further the maniacal efforts of The Zuck to take over every aspect of the online world, to mine what I do, to sell my information, and to profit while not making the world a better place. Here is an interesting critique of his manifesto.
Anyways, if you read this far, then thanks for making it. Hope to see you IRL soon.
My name is Dae Yu.