Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Tony, my hero, almost got killed. What an unreal story. http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2006/07/28/bourdain_beirut/

On a separate but related note, here is a picture of happier times:

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A victory for Asian Guys everywhere

Here is an interesting article about how the massive talent of an unknown 20-something korean guy playing the guitar in his room at mom and dad's house came to shock and awe the internet & guitar rock communities everywhere. This video brings a tear to my eye not just because of the way his guitar skills transcend any other guitar playing I've seen, but because the cold precision of his playing is reminiscent of the hours of piano and violin playing that ABC's like me put in everyday as we were growing up. Only on a much cooler instrument!

What's so sweet is the totally unassuming nature of this beast. His video was somewhat anonymously posted on the internet and it bore only screen names. In the video, the face of the player is obstructed by a beige baseball cap, and as word of this guys skills grew, the thing people wanted most to know was his identity. Through all the imitators and frauds who have popped up through the months, it looks like the real creator of the video has been found, and he looks like the kind of guy I went to chinese school with all throughout my childhood. It's refreshing, the way he wants his work and skill to speak for itself, with no packaging, or pizazz. He didn't want even his face to have an impact on the way people saw his work--when questioned about the use of his baseball cap to block his identity, he replied, “Main purpose of my recording is to hear the other’s suggestions about my playing.” He added, “I think play is more significant than appearance. Therefore I want the others to focus on my fingering and sound. Furthermore I know I’m not that handsome.”
In any case, you go, Jeong Hyun and Jerry. I'm proud of you!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hitting pretty close to home

You probably all heard of the rampage a Fremont driver went on yesterday, when he hit a pedestrian with a bicycle in Fremont, killing him, then drove to the city where he hit 14 more people in different locations. What you probably didn't know is that the road he lived on was just a few blocks away from my old home! And the place where he swerved from the far left lane to hit the pedestrian on the right side of the streen? at the Ferry lane and Fremont Blvd intersection, where I used to turn in to ranch 99 to shop for groceries and get pho, and greasy chinese.

I'm convinced this is the new form of terrorism, taking the killing to the streets of the US where all us infidels live. they say he started to get mentally unstable after a trip to afghanistan 2 months ago, and was paranoid about the devil being out to get him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Feels like home

I found this to be an accurate portrayal of the flavor one gets from exploring and shopping in HK. It made me a bit reminiscent!

Friday, August 04, 2006


Almost 5 years since 9/11 and I still can't read about it without welling up and feeling like something inside is going to explode. Perhaps it's because of the constant new testimony and discovery of information about what really happened that morning.

Reading or listening to anything that has recording or the transcripts of real people has a tendency to crush me (as brad pitt would say). something like
this, which was just released earlier this week, is particularly brutal because of the way we seem so helpless in our ability to defend ourselves. Most of this stems from systematic difficulties on communicating and synthesizing information, whether it be through the chain of command, from one location to another, or in the worst case, between organizations. working in a large organization myself, I deal with communication breakdowns and politics every day...but at least within the high-tech sector we have what's pretty cutting edge from an infrastructure perspective--instant messaging, web conferencing, web telephony. What's especially sobering is thinking about how antiquated and slow moving the IT systems of our miliary and government are--in these transcriptions, all conversations are one to one, phones are constantly buzzing, and so much information is passed by shouting over the shoulder.

After reading something like this, I wonder if there are countless other stories of people being organized, knowledgeable, heroic, and reacting to the situation in the right way; saving us all from a number of other unknown 9/11's that could have changed the world in a way that we'll never know. Hopefully.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hi, Steve Jobs

Check out this funny blog written by (Someone Impersonating) Steve Jobs. It's pretty brash, but I imagine something pretty close to the actual truth. I especially love that entry about Larry. although I think that since they're friends it would be a bit more kind!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Serious Gaming

This is a pretty interesting article about a new wave of "Serious Games" which take real life scenarios such as the conflict in the middle east or food distribution in areas of poverty, and craft them into games. In playing them, players immerse themselves in the complexities of different sides of the situation.

As a member of the generation that grew up on Mario brothers, and an admitted addict to the Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale series of RPG's (that's Role Playing Games--to you uninitiated), I am behind this movement all the way. I can attest to the addictive nature of gameplay--at some point during the times I was playing most intensively, I was logging 10-12 hours per day, something which I know contributed heavily to my RSI. I loved the aspect of RPGs which allowed me to build a character and imbibe it with experience and to collect worldly goods on its behalf. The storylines in these games were mesmerizing and left me always wanting to find out the consequences of the decisions I'd made, and how the plot would unfold.

A time of reckoning came when I realized how much time I was investing in these characters which essentially only existed in the context of the game I was playing. They, and the knowledge of that world, had no real value in the "real world". The saddest thought came when I realized if I'd spent the same amount of time in building a hobby or skill (in my other interests like basketball, pool, or guitar playing), I'd have been expert. All this changes with "serious games", as the game play can help one to understand the subtleties of events in the real world! (I always did wonder why it was so hard to distribute our food surpluses to the poor. Just take the sacks of corn and ship them to africa, right?)

When I see the youth of today, I know that the world they are growing up in is significantly different than the one I experienced. There are so many ways that technology has broken down communication and knowledge gathering barriers. The advent of serious games is yet another very positive example of this, and I applaud their makers in harnessing technological resources to explain complex experiences and situations in a way that is appealing, and understandable. Plus, it takes all the guilt out of the equation--you get all the immersion, all the fun, and you learn something in the end, too!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Yo Quiero Tacos

I was tickled to find this NY times feature on the best tacos between LA and SF. Check it out! I was never a big fan of tacos as a kid, when my corrupted understanding of what they were involved that hard, U-shaped shell which usually held some salty-seasoned ground beef, a few strips of iceberg lettuce, and velveeta. But since moving out here to California that all changed. I first fell in love with tacos through introduction of my frosh year roommate Edith, a mexican native, whose father **actually ran the border between LA and Mexico**. The source was this grubby one room restaurant off telegraph avenue, where the grill was in front, and had just a few dirty benches clustered around small, greasy tables. It wasn't the type of establishment I would have frequented on my own, but all that changed when I sampled their fares. The tacos were made of tender, slightly fried corn tortillas, stacked two to a taco. and the beef was actually in chunks, like eating a steak that had already been cut up for you! eating those tacos was how I finally learned to appreciate the contrast of raw onion and a salty base meat. and I thought it was so thoughtful and inventive how they always provided a wedge of juicy lime, and crisp fresh radish as contrast.

The restaurant (whose name I can't even remember) had closed by my senior year but I was happy to find tacos of a similar (though inferior) breed at a number of restaurants in the area. In fact, I came to understand that what I had associated to be a "taco" in my youth was wrong and I actually enjoyed them very much.

My own taco search continued after moving down to the peninsula after graduation. the first place I started to frequent was El Charrito, at the intersection of Holly and El Camino in belmont. but a personal favorite that c and i found together (in our early days--which might be part of the reason why I always find the food so delicious) is La Taqueria. It's featured in this new york times article, and you can see our own picture here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

So here's the idea....

Hey folks,

Yep, I finally joined the 21st century. Check it out! and come back often since I think the posts will be frequent until I catch up. For some of you, this'll be like a walk down memory lane. enjoy.

If anyone is a blogger expert--let me know! I have questions that I can't seem to find answers for...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Look at that guilty smile!

j and the sheep have a very special relationship.