Sunday, December 30, 2007

Child Dicipline

In America, disciplining your child is a touchy subject for some. And understandably so. There seems to be only 2 common forms:
A) Spanking
B) A time out (for younger kids).

I would have to say both are really stupid. In my opinion, one is too mild, and the other is too extreme. So basically, one is "nothing", and the other one, you need to deliver physical pain to your child with your own hands. In a country where we strive to innovate and improve effectiveness, can't we think of something better?

Yes. My parents used it. I don't know if its called anything but its like a time out, but with a little bit of onsetting pain. What my parents had me do was stand against the wall with our hands up. And it might seem like the arms in the air won't be that big of a deal, but trust me, after a minute, its no joke. I'm not sure what the longest duration I got punished for was, but I wouldn't suggest starting this out with your children with a time longer than 5 minutes, and you can change the times accordingly. Within 30 seconds, you can literally feel the blood slowly flowing down, and a minute in your arm is throbbing while being filled with lactic acid. Another reason it was effective was that my ssiter and brother would be watching me, and it would feel a bit ackward and humiliating, but it wouldn't be traumatizing. The description of that kinda sounds cruel and medival, but its not. After all, it is still just having your arms in the air. And that's the beauty of it. It has the benefits of a time out, the benefits of it being painful without laying a hand on your kid and also a little humiliating. After the punishment is over, the physical effects of the punishment goes away within a few seconds, but it was painful enough to where you don't want to go through that again. You definitely should try it first to make sure the length of time you're handing out isn't going to be more punishment than you want to dish out.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Banana Bread Muffins

I love banana bread. I always look for it when I go to a coffee shop.

I also eat a lot of bananas. Probably on the average 3 a week for the last 5 years. But a problem I always have with bananas are that you can't eat them if you don't feel like eating them, and when you procrastonate on eating bananas, you usually end up throwing out a banana here and there. Sometimes even more.

I don't know why it took me 5 years to figure out but what I should have been doing with them was make Banana Bread or Banana Walnut Muffins. The recipie is painfully simple, and almost impossible to mess up.

1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking soda

mix it all up until it is smooth, bake for 30 minutes at 350 (your oven may vary)

I thought they tasted perfect. If I were to experiment, I'd experiment with substituting less brown sugar for the white sugar. Maybe throw in a quarter tsp of vanilla to enhance the aroma.

I don't know why but having 11 muffins left for the next few days makes me very happy.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Burger King stops selling the Whopper

What would have happened if I accidentally wound up at Burger King.

Me: Can I get a cheeseburger?
Them: We discontinued the Whopper, would you like something else?
Me: What is a whopper?
Them: Burger King has discontinued the Whopper sir.
Me: Oh this is a Burger King? My bad. I'm outta here.

Seriously, have you ever heard someone say "let's go to burger king" in the last 10 years? Forget getting rid of the whopper. Get rid of Burger King. McDonalds will always have their fries and they will always be good on a rainy day. Burger King, in my opinion, doesn't do anything particularly well, and doesn't inspire any interest or give me a reason for me to end up there for any occasion. I don't remember if I've ever ate at a place called, "Why Not Burgers" (It is a real place, but couldn't they pick a better name? Average Tasting Burgers sounds just as boring as Why Not Burgers), but if it was a choice between Burger King and a place with an mundane name like Why Not Burgers, I probably would give Why Not Burgers a try.

I think Burger King needs a new name, and a new menu. Get rid of the King too. He has a presence like Jason in the Friday the 13 movies. Simple name like "The Classic Bun" would suffice.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sky Diving at Las Vegas

I went skydiving a year ago, and forgot about this video. I would say the freefall was a total adrenaline rush, like I've never felt before. Everything else was a snore but I tried to pretend to be excited for the camera. Maybe I expected too much for the price I paid. Haha. Next time, save the $100 for another jump, but you gotta do at least one video so you can look back on your first experience.

I went to the place called Sky Dive Las Vegas, which turned out to be a popular place since Tony Bourdain did it in the show No Reservations in the Travel Channel not too longer after me and my brother went.

The sound of my voice

I've been listening to Carol Flemming's "The Sound of Your Voice" and its definitely a good listen. Quick points are:
-Most of us are conscious of what we sound like to others, and at least try to tune our voices to the appropriate occasion.
-Unfortunately, what we hear is not what the people we're talking to hears because the voice we hear is the sound that resonates through our jaw and skull, so we might think we're tuning our voices so that it sounds deep, rich, and full, but it might sound shallow, soft, and monotone.
-In a business setting we might even lower our voices, thinking we are making it sound more professional, when in fact, we are making it sound more monotone, soft, and shallow.
-Today, I was listening to a section on the octave and pitch. And that to make our voices sound interesting, we should have a normal speaking pitch so we can reach a few notes up and dip down comfortably about 4 notes down. Testing myself, I realized I was speaking at a baseline pitch about 1 note too low. Where it matters is when you fluctuate the pitch from baseline to high, and to low. When you can't hit that low note, your voice is no longer producing the sound of your choice, or worse, you're trying to say a word, and your voice just cuts off.

For males, I think the lower the voice we have symbolizes more manliness, and going higher is not the path I wanted to head down. But a single note is probably not even distinguishable as most of us aren't keeping tabs of what pitch our friends are speaking with. Trying to adjust my baseline of speech from the low "Do" to the next note "Re" is not gonna be an easy task, but I think its going to be a worthwhile investment because it'll mean that I'll have a better range to communicate better with, and my words dropping off at the end will only be at the fault of something else.

This is only a small section of the audiobook itself. Other things it talks about is:
-Keeping a constant stream of air so that your setence is more continuous (easier to listen to).
-Tips for sounding professional and not sounding like a child
-How to project your voice so the source isn't at the back of your throat, but is in your mouth and face.
And a good key term they keep on using is "vocal vitality", how people that have good voices we like to listen to have it, and people that drain the life out of the room are lacking it.

Getting full screen 480 x 272 AVC MP4 files to work on my PSP

For some reason, I thought it used to work, but maybe it never did. I have the ImToo MPEG Encoder version 3, and it comes with the PSP Video Manager which was the problem. I thought it was the encoding that was causing it to say "unsupported data", but the encoding was fine all along. The PSP Video Manager (That comes with ImToo) was putting them in the G:\MP_ROOT\100MNV01 but my PSP did not recognize them. I had the firmware 3.30+ that supported 480 x 272 AVC MP4 files, but it just didn't work. It had the correct naming schemes M4V00001.MP4. Putting the encoded files directly into the G:\VIDEO folder worked perfectly. The .THM files that the ImToo generates should be renamed to .JPG.
One last note about ImToo, it is probably the best and easiest encoder out there. I've used things like:
3gp encoder
Dr Divx (and the many generations of it before that)
And the common problem is that virtualdub won't support mpegs, tmpegenc won't do avi, nothing will do mov, 3gp encoder won't do xvid (I think) and the list goes on and on. First, it takes you a good few hours to figure out the quirks and gotchas of each encoder, things like how some numbers have to be divisible by 4 or 16, or that it doesn't support mpegs, or you need to raise the bitrate because the encoder only supports 1-pass. You need to make sure the aspect ratio of what you encode will be what you want. Isn't there a drag and drop program that just takes any format, and spits it out in any format, and doesn't crash? yep. ImToo. It rocks. Nuff said.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

interesting fact of the day

year 2100 is not a leap year (no feb 29) even though its divisible by 4. It'll be like y2k all over again. but this time, y2.1k. problems would arise for only for programmers who thought it would be cool to write their own date classes without knowing a leap year is more than an extra day every 4 years. they'll be dead anyway, so who cares. haha.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

How to make french bread

1 pkg active dry yeast
2.25 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 egg (for egg wash to coat the bread only)

1. dissolve yeast 1/3 cup water at 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit
2. keep yeast at 110-115 degrees for at least 5 minutes until it starts frothing/bubbling

3. add and mix all ingredients together:
-1 and 1/4 cup water at approximately 115 degrees F
-2.25 tsp salt
-3 cups flour
-yeast mixture

4. knead for 10-15 min on a flour covered surface. keep adding flour to keep surface and hands dry. by the end of kneading, the dough will have taken in an additional cup of flour.
5. form dough into a ball, put in a large oiled bowl, cover and let it sit for at least 1 hr. (up to 2) preferably in a 90+ degree room. it should double or triople in size.
6. give the dough a stiff punch dough down the center and the bread will deflate. flip over, and let it double in size again. should take approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
7. quickly give the dough a gentle knead, and shape the dough, cut 4 slits on top. let it rise a third time. This, you can do it overnight if needed.
8. preheat oven to 450 degrees. place a tray of water on the bottom rack.
9. coat the top with egg wash (i think egg whites will work just as well) and throw it into the oven.
10. bake at 450 degrees for 20 min
11. bake at 400 degrees for an additional 15 more min

additional tips:
during baking, spray the dough with water every 10 minutes for a harder, crunchier crust.

enjoy the bread with whipped chive butter:
1. finely chop chives
2. mix chives with whipped unsalted butter.
3. add garlic salt to taste

additional notes:
You might find the bread on a bit on the salty side if you have salty meats or salty butter with the bread. you can reduce the amount of salt and substitue the amount with sugar. It is recommended you do this if you want to have the bread with sweetened butter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

mass graves found in IRAQ!

I don't know about you, but 27 bodies does not qualify in my mind as a mass grave. It looks like they are digging up cemetaries again to look for WMDs....small, private graves.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

what would make downtown San Diego better?

The best and the worst thing to happen to downtown San Diego is the Gaslamp quarter. I believe that if it wasn't there, downtown San Diego would be much better off.

What is missing from Gaslamp? Character. Right now it has the character of what a downtown should look like if a big corporation ran it. That is probably what is going on.

Because of brilliant engineering, most people head straight to the heart of Gaslamp (Horton Plaza) and branch out from there. Its the only place where parking is free and guarenteed. And its the area where the foot traffic is the most dense. These are two very attractive reasons why you wouldn't start your journey outside the gaslamp area. Another thing is that parking outside gaslamp is anywhere from $10-$20. Is "the Man" behind this so that people wouldn't park anywhere else than Horton Plaza? There is some food for thought.

The first thing that is wrong with it is that it is too small for small businesses to open shop, who would otherwise bring character to downtown San Diego. For me, the best places to eat at are places where the quality of food takes precedence over decor, hospitality, and service so that prices for authentic food are a bargain. I know that most people I know would say the same thing. Because at these places, the food is honest, authentic, and good. Maybe when I hit my 40s, Gaslamp would make more sense. I don't know for sure. But the line items of honest and authentic is not in the priority list of how the gaslamp people like to do it. They want ambient lighting, candles at every table, a cute hostess, popular music played a little too loud, hispanic people cooking in the back, and a waiter/waitress who are trained to talk to you at eye level. They run it like a tight ship and they are all great things for a successful restaurant, but when everyone does it, there is nothing interesting about it.

I would rather eat at a place like a self seating curry joint, where there is a line out the door with weird music playing in the background. Because you know the food is going to be good, authentic, and usually at more than reasonable prices. Gaslamp does have the possibility to implode one probably wont' happen, but it could... Take for example Del Amo mall in Torrance, CA (my home town when I was in high school). It used to be THE largest mall in the world, but is now a pretty sad place. What happened? It got bought out by some big company and they decided to jack up the rent which only big department stores could afford which effectively got rid of the small unique stores, and were replaced by 2 gaps, 2 millers outposts, 3 radioshacks...and so on. I'm sure their profits were up for a good 6 months. But until the gaslamp bankrupts itself, we will be missing out on what its like to have a real downtown.

Friday, November 30, 2007


its funny how simplest of things bring back some powerful memories. like today, i bit into a banana, and it was like a stormclould of memories just passed by in a split second. it reminded me of my first experience at a supermarket in the US, and how plastic everything looked in the vegetable/fruits section. i do not remember eating bananas in korea, but my first memory of a banana is in the US. And when i bit into it, it had this funny green, citrus, very rounded sweetness to it. it wasn't the best thing i tasted, but definitely was something i could get used to. enough of that, back to my banana.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

sourdough: yuck or mmmmmmm?

From wikipedia: Sourdough bread is made by using a small amount (20-25%) of "starter" dough (sometimes known as "the mother sponge"), which contains the yeast culture, and mixing it with new flour and water. Part of this resulting dough is then saved to use as the starter for the next batch. As long as the starter dough is fed flour and water daily, the sourdough mixture can stay in room temperature indefinitely and remain healthy and usable. It is not uncommon for a baker's starter dough to have years of history, from many hundreds of previous batches. As a result each bakery's sourdough has a distinct taste. The combination of starter, yeast culture and air temperature, humidity, and elevation also makes each batch of sourdough different.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thinkpad Power Manager Problem

There's a lot of misinformed information about how to fix the Power Manager problem where the profile does not set, or the list is blank. I have a rock solid answer why this occurs, and how it can be addressed.

Bug #1. The list is blank. This is because the lowest numbered Profile Policy in the registry is blank. For example:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\1]
If it doesn't contain any information, your list of profiles in the power manager will be blank. Every time the power manager is accessed, it will create approximately 4-10 additional default profiles due to a bug.

Bug #2. Newly created (or even default policies won't set). This is because when there is a background policy of power manager is running, it won't let you set policies where the number (according to the registry) is above 50. You can test this by:
Terminate the both instances of power manager, open up the windows task manager (taskmgr.exe), go to processes tab, and just to be sure that we kill the process, kill all that say rundll32.exe.

Start up a foreground instance of power manager, go to start -> all programs -> thinkvantage -> power manager. you'll notice now (by referring to the registry's profile numbers) you can now set any profile in that list, even profile policies above #50. For verification of the problem, start up the background process again by going to start-> run:
rundll32 C:\PROGRA~1\ThinkPad\UTILIT~1\PWRMGRTR.DLL,PwrMgrBkGndMonitor
and switch to any profile policy #50 or below (like number 10) which should set. then try switching back to a profile that is higher than #50 (like number 90). It will NOT set.

5 Steps in getting this problem handled once and for all.

1. Go to: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies] and delete ALL the policies.
2. (close first if its open) Open up a Power Manager. (This action will create 4 default profiles when none exist.) Don't worry about not being able to set them just yet.
3. Create any custom profiles that you want. Don't worry about not being able to set them.
4. (close first if its open, as the registry needs to reload), Open up the registry (regedit.exe) and go to: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies]
5. Renumber these (the profile numbers on the left panel) starting from 1.
6. Set [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg]"CurrentPowerPolicy" to an existing number.

I've emailed ibm about how to fix it. Lets see if they do anything about it. its been a major bug that's been around for years.

Optional Step...if you've for some reason deleted the GlobalPowerPoilcy\Policies key, then you gotta have it. Here's an example
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\GlobalPowerPolicy]"Policies"=hex:01,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,10,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,\ 00,00,00,10,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,03,00,\ 00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,01,00,00,\ 00,00,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,00,00,00,c0,01,00,00,00,\ 05,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,0a,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,01,\ 00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\ 00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\ 00,16,00,00,00

Monday, November 5, 2007

Get UTC/GMT time in classic ASP

ASP doesn't have the .NET UtcNow() function, but you can easily make one. Code I found on google seemed overly complex for such a simple solution. this lets you get the server UTC time in classic ASP, it outputs the time in datetime format, and the function is conveniently named UtcNow so that if you wanted to transfer your code to later, it would already be taken care of. make sure you replace the brackets and put the javascript in the head.

[script language="JScript" runat="server"]
var serverdate=new Date();

Function UtcNow()
UtcNow = serverdate.toUTCString()
UtcNow = CDate(Replace(Right(UtcNow, Len(UtcNow) - Instr(UtcNow, ",")), "UTC", ""))
End Function

Monday, October 22, 2007

the time for hoping has passed

being just a few miles south west from mandatory evacuated areas, and seeing the forecasts for extreme dry wind conditions until thursday there is a very high probability that the fire will sweep through. if not today, the next 2 days. these fires don't destroy everything in its path. it seems like when the fires pass through, its just random chance that you'll get hit. looking around the house, there is as much or as little personal proprety i want to see. i say that because i'm not going to save the big items, mostly my furniture. they are definitely worth money, and will need to be replaced, but if i had to replace them, I wouldn't replace them with identical brands/models. even though I don't own much, its still at the very least going to be a few thousands of dollars lost that I don't have covered though insurance. its an interesting play on the mind because on a normal day, losing a $20 or a $100 bill would be a pretty awful day. but right now, I feel pretty content that if I were to lose everything i couldn't take with me, it wouldn't ruin my day. Its funny how the mind works.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Its the shops in vegas that sells pretty cool magic tricks and not just some sponge balls. They are at every casino. Sometimes even 2. Well anyway, that stored has ruined any kind of magic for me. You would think learning a few magic tricks, it wouldn't ruin all magic for you. But it has. I can sum up all magic in 2 words. Elaborate planning. Elaborating in that, it can be just an unexpected amount of effort one would go through to pull off a simple magic trick, whether its practicing the sleight of hand for hours, days, or weeks just for one trick, hiring people that are in on it, or wearing some kind of a apparatus a casual observer would never imagine someone would go through the trouble wearing for extended periods of time. Its beautiful in the way that it exploits the blind gaps that the brain fills in. But once you learn how a few good tricks work, you have jumped over to the other side. Nothing floats, disappears, or bends the rules of physics anymore. Any magic trick I see, I only watch to figure out what he's doing. The harder to figure out, the more elaborate the planning (more people, props, money, big machinery, and time involved). I'm certain I'd rather not know and just enjoy the show. Too bad you can't go back from taking the red pill.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

the meaning of life

been pondering this for quite a while. and i think i'm onto something pretty convincing, at least for myself. of course, probably the majority of this is bits and pieces of things i've read or heard about. but i've come up with some interesting theories to tie a lot of these things together. coming to these conclusions definitely has helped me understand what i'm really supposed to be doing here, and where i want to take my life.

what is the meaning of life?
it is simple from a macro perspective. and the most common answer is the correct one. we are here to find happiness, spread our positive influence, and ensure our genes are spread. we are genetically predisposed and driven to do so. i don't think anyone will question that. its an inner desire we are born with. everything we do after puberty can be linked to our desire to make sure our genes are spread before we die. why do we go to school, buy a car, buy a house, buy nice clothes, work out, get a job, get plastic surgery, wear makeup, beat up people, etc? to attract a mate, so we can procreate, and raise our gene hosts (aka children) to put it in the most dry way possible.

the long drawn out answer is when it gets interesting. you have to view our planet earth as one giant organism. and we are just the cells. the one difference in this analogy is that we have the choice to be benign cells, cancer cells, or a cell that helps the organism by helping other cells survive, replicate, spread good, and fight off the cancer cells. we have the choice to be one at any time.

the survival of the fittest genes
for an organism to live healthy, it needs to have a system in place so that the better genes have a higher chance of replicating, and the inferior genes have a hard time doing so. this explains why we do things like the list mentioned above, and why we spend every moment of our adult lives trying to advertise that the genes that we are carrying are good for replication by advertising our good health, physical beauty, intelligence, skill, charisma, ability to provide for others, or our high place in the social/cultural ladder. that is why all of these things are so innately attractive to the opposite sex. it is the ultimate test of life. you need to prove to yourself and others that your genes and upbringing is good enough to continue to go on for the good of more than just mankind, but everything that exists on our planet.

on the opposite side of things, if you choose to not follow this system, you won't be attracting the opposite sex any time soon. of course, some of these things listed are things we're born with, and its almost impossible to be a dud in every item listed. you will be able to initially attract someone, but you'll be in trouble if you fail to prove that you'll be able to do your part in the big picture, guarentee as much as possible that you'll be able to raise your children by any means, whether it be the ability to throw a spear into the heart of a wild boar wearing only a sash, or be financially abundant to where if something unspeakable to happen to you after the children are born, that they will continue to grow up healthy.

happiness is everybody's endgame
another thing just as important is to find happiness. This is why even if you have good genes, and you can show that you can raise a healthy family, if you cannot demonstrate that you can at least keep your partner happy for a very very long time, its another deal breaker.

here's my view (and I'm sure many people's view) of what happiness is. Like how it is said in Greek that there are many words for the word love, there should be many different words for happiness. it is true that driving a new ferrari off the lot may make you incredibly happy, but this type of happiness and the happiness that we are hoping to find in the big picture of life is not the same thing. the different levels of happiness may be adjacently mapped to our brains but there is only one type of happiness that we are all innately looking for. and if we had that, we wouldn't need anything else to heighten our emotion, because we would already be at the peak of happiness.

my picture of "true happiness"
-only reachable after having successfully raised healthy children (knowing my genes will continue to survive)
-a collective euphoric emotion shared by the family that you hope will never end.
-purely emotion based where physical world has no meaning, especially the ownership of material objects.

why do people adopt?
i would say whenever an adoption is made, there is some sort of compromise. whether you can't reporduce or maybe you are sacrificing the desire to pass off your genes so you can save a child. it would be an addition to the great "nurture vs nature" debate. and it would be one for the nurture argument stating that nurture is at the very least, as important as nature. just like spreading genes, you can spread your philosophy of life. and if you can do that successfully and in a potent way, is there really a difference than spreading your influence that will carry on for generations and generations for the good of mankind compared to spreading genetic predisposition? in a overall macro view, there is no difference. you are helping the big organism earth in the same way.

could married people with no kids be truly happy?
i truly believe in what i wrote, and i would say, you can find substitions and make compromises for a lot of things to achieve happiness to a certain level (pets, helping the needy, influencing people), but I think they would be missing out in a some way. Maybe they'll always feel like something is missing, or maybe they'll not know what they are missing and live completely happy lives. Can't say for sure. If these people don't do anything like spread their influence (even though they believe that they have good influence to share), these would be a good example of benign cells. They exist at one point in time, then the cells and genes are gone forever. their philosophy of life doesn't continue. It makes sense for the greater good that people who are willing to live lives with a selfish philosophy shouldn't be spreading genes or influence anyway.

money and the material world
it is true that money and material posessions doesn't have anything to do with the finding of happiness that i've been talking about, but money has a lot of purpose. just because you realize it doesn't have anything to do with the ultimate happiness, it doesn't mean you shouldn't make as much money as you possibly can.

what does money actually buy you?
1. health. you need money to feed yourself. even health comes before anything i've talked about.
2. a home (a roof over your head for your family).
3. added security (guarentee food will be at the table, that the mortgage will be paid, and that you're doing your best to protect your family from the "cancer cells" on this planet)
4. a climb up (or the catchup to) the social ladder. the higher you are up, the more appealing you'll be to the opposite sex. futher you are down, the less appealing you'll be. maybe this mainly applies to males.
5. free time (hopefully to improve yourself physically and mentally).
6. the biggest and most important, the ability to instantly help others become healthy. there is not enough money you can have to help feed and give medical attention to the less fortunate. as we speak, thousands of people die daily from famine. it is part of our calling to help mankind. unlike us who ponder what we should do with ourselves, people who can't feed themselves or go to the hospital because they are poor can't do anything without health first. unfortunately and forthunately money is probably the number one contributing factor. If we can feed a child for 11 cents a day, imagine what you can do with a million dollars. with money, you can impact lives directly, and instantly.

the soul
what is the soul, and how does it play a part in all of this? the soul is an internal system that analyzes our worth on earth, and is the governor to our happiness. it tests us to see if we should spread our genes, drives us to improve if we haven't proved our value yet. to achieve this, its the moderator and source of all types of emotions. it punishes us when we don't do well, it rewards us for being good, and drives us to improve.

cancer cells (bad people)
cancer cells are people who negatively affect the health of earth. whether they are hunting animals to extinction, killing people, or setting off nukes, unlike the people who try to improve the planet we live on, these cancer cells are out there to damage it. another example of cancer cells are like if someone now posesses a gun, and intends to use it maliciously, he skips through the systems that earth has set in place, and without proving himself to anyone, now posesses great power over others, and defiintely can spread his genes by force. he can also convince others to follow in his footsteps.

in conclusion, life is simple
why are these bad people on earth? why do some of us have cancer cells in our bodies? i haven't started pondering that question yet. i'm not trying to figure out how the planet was created, or how we got here on earth. i'm just trying to demystify that life is much simpler than what we probably expected. no one really knows how we come into existence. and it doesn't really matter that we don't know. trying to find out might not be a part of our business (and out of our level of understanding) because we are just a small part of the big organism and our roles when we've gotten here are simple. if you have mutated into a being with good genes, and/or have been nurtured with postive influences, spread it as much as you can. and don't just spread it, make sure its effectively spread. then we will be rewarded for it.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thinking Out Loud: What is Intuition?

One topic that has been on my mind lately is the topic of intuition. Just what is it? What does having it mean to the one with the intution? What does having it mean to others around you? Can you have it now, but not have it later? Is there such thing as good or bad intuition? Is it based on past and present experience, or is it judged on one event? Can you improve your intuition?

How is intuition related to things like psychic abilities, the sixth sense, premonition, insight, luck, and prediction? Is based on results that come from experience, and being able to assess (read) the situation and seeing the results after having performed the decided action as a whole?

Here's my currently answer so far. Intuition is something others can believe that you have. Once someone believes you have it, they will gain trust in your ability to make decisions on their behalf, even if they (the someone) doesn't fully understand the reasoning you made the decision with at the moment. The people that believe you have intuition believe that your intuition does come from experience along with the trust that they will be acting on the greater good if you leave it up to them. And also believes that there is an intangible factor at play, and that the person with intuition has some extra-ordinary power, whether it be an ability to predict the future, or accomplish near impossible feats. The person with the intuition also knows that the majority of his intuition come from past experiences. But a small part might be attributed to knowing he's holding the building blocks to a puzzle that he can solve, and acting on that belief without actually having put the pices together before the action.

In conclusion, intuition is the trust in one's abilities based on previous experiences. If you want to believe you have it, you will have to trust in your abilities to solve new problems having gained the building blocks from previous experiences to solve the problem at hand. If you want others to believe you have it, you need to demonstrate it, and the more times you do it, the stronger the belief you will establish. If you want to improve it, number one thing is experience. Experience and master the important building blocks to any problem you might need to face in the future. Demonstrate to yourself and others that you can solve new problems with the building blocks you have gained from your previous experiences.

Friday, June 8, 2007

leadership, communiation, trust, rapport in a nutshell

being the ceo of a company where I need to inspire people to work basically for free until we are profitable, learning the art of leadership has been one of my main focuses.

As John C Maxwell states, whatever someone says, leadership is influence. nothing more. nothing less.

Everyone looks to the leader for leadership. Whether you are not a leader at all, or the leader of the country, you need to acknowledge that the hierchy is there. of course, at the top of the branch, you might find God, the president, or a personal mentor. but if you are somewhere in the middle, you can make the climb up. it'll just take a lot of work.

there are two types of leaders. Positional leaders, and true leaders. Positional leader can be best described as someone with the title of leader, but without the trust and rapport from the followers. Furthermore, the positional leaders stay as positional leaders because they do not spend the time or see value in establishing trust and rapport with the followers. A positional leader might not sound like a bad position to be in, but if you break it down, they are a big liability. Positional leaders rub people the wrong way. He asks for a hand without the trust of his followers, and it can create tension and generally rub people the wrong way in any situation whether in a business or even at a party.

Anyone remember Lumberg in the movie Office Space? I can't think of a better example of a positional leader. It is clear, he has no intention of building trust and rapport with his staff, and when he asks for people to come in on the weekend. It is difficult for him to ask so he starts off like "ummm....yeah...". He's not in the position to ask for any help, and his staff is obviously not interested. But because he is in the position, people will come in, but don't expect them to be movtivated. If they do any work at all, they are doing it out of obligation, and they will only do the work they feel obligated to do.

This is why ceo's and officers in companies are paid so well. They all generally hold some good leadership qualities which translates to a lot of influence. imagine if your boss, that you have respect for, have a lot of trust in, and you know that he is looking out for you, asked you to work over the weekend. Would you do it? Of course. You probably would feel touched that he came to you personally and asked for help. You are going to give it 100%.

Rapport building 101 - Connect with people.

-Before anything, people need to buy into you, before they buy into your vision. This is one part you cannot immediately establish without a reputation. To to able to immediately establish this, this is where the time and energy you invested in networking and establishing your reputation pays off. If you do not have that, you need to spend the time to get across that you are genuinely a good person, can be trusted, and practice what they preach.

-Find some common ground. Find something you both share, whether it be a hometown or interest. So that you have a common ground to understand eachother below the verbal communication level. And if you had to make a decision, he would trust you to make a decision in not only his behalf, but a decision that is the best decision for the whole group.

-Pay attention to their interests and passions. This is generally what people talk about naturally. When they mention something they are passionate about, take notice, and when the opportunity arises, let them know you've listened by an action. One of John Maxwell's laws of leadership states, you must first touch people's hearts before you ask for a hand.

With some practice, you can establish rapport, and gain trust upon the first meeting. But like anything, takes some practice to be able to do it well.

The fastest way to lose trust and rapport from your followers
You can pretty much throw away all the work you put in gaining people's trust and inflence in a heartbeat if you exhibit a slip in character by:
-not practicing what you preach.
-overlooking the decision that is best for the group for personal gains.

if you do that, you'll need to spend a lot more time to gain trust back. exponentially more than you spend establishing the relationship in the first place.

applying your influence doesn't always have to be about the big stuff. it fully applies in any situation with any group of people. whether you are hosting a party, or out at the movies with a big group of people, everyone wants to accomplish the same goal. without a leader, you'll have to reach a group consensus, which is no easy task. with a true leader, he will lead the group and be able to communicate (with the aided help he has from the trust he's gained with the group) that the next action he proposes is the best action for the entire group. either the group will feel like he just read their minds and that you are looking out of their interests, or if they think the decision is something they wouldn't have chosen personally, they'll trust in his judgement and follow you wholeheartedly.

in conclusion, whether you'll be leading a group or not, you should always establish communication, trust, and rapport with just about anyone. establish it as quick as possible. stronger the better. always work on improving your relationship with them. so that if the time arises when you need to ask anyone for a hand (this situation will always arise) you'll already be in the position to do so.

it is true that some people are born with the ability to lead, but leadership is a skill, and every aspect of leadership can be learned. you may be born with leadership skills, but the best leaders are the best leaders because they've made it a practice to keep improving their leadership abilities.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

new website up

major revisions to the company website. thanks to peter for the awesome content.

the site is better suited for 800 x 600 resolution. tons of more content. more professional feel. we have more than one product now, and the site reflects that (no longer single product feel) the site is search engine optimized as titles and headings are dynamically geneated through asp. lots of marketting on the website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein

As I was driving back from Rock Bottom, I saw a guy pretty much parked in front of a busy intersection. I thought it was just a stranded motorist, but upon closer inspection as I was driving away as the light turned green, the guy was passed out in the drivers seat, with his door wide open. I knew he needed assistance. But it was at a somewhat busy intersection, and for a second, I thought, someone must have already called 911, because it was so obvious he needed help, bad. And I hadn't even looked at what the cross street was. Then I realized, who cares if a hundred people called it in already. One more call, whether it be the first one, or the 101th, police weren't there yet, and no one else was helping him, and I realized it must be done. I made a quick U-turn, got the cross street, and called 911. Amazingly when I called, it from what I could tell from the operator, I was the first one calling in. Luckily for the guy, he had left himself exposed half a mile away from a the fire department, police station, (and even 2 hospitals). After I had to make another U-turn far down the road to get back to his side of the road to see if I can park anywhere, the police had arrived, with the firetruck about a quarter mile away, I knew I had done all I could. Whether it was shock, heartattack, stroke, or botched carjacking, if I hadn't called it in, he would have had to wait longer, maybe seconds...or maybe even minutes. Not sure what the outcome was, and its none of my business, but I drove with the certainty that the outcome for him couldn't have been any better. It was definitely a spiritual experience.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Good things come in 3's?

Today was one of those out the blue great days. Woke up, and saw a evaluation request. Then while talking to my sales guy, our first eval guy who i thought I could have done better in presenting him the product, and his evaluation kit was loaded with bugs finally emailed us.

I thought we let him slip through our fingers, but he emailed us today saying that he is most likely gonna go with us because he sees a great amount of value in our product. And we know how much the other products suck. I always said, if they are willing to evaluate, they are going to buy. I definitely don't like losing any prospects.

Then got another eval request from someone big. Small hint... They make airplanes...

Other than that, might take a little time, for another prospect, the sale is pretty much in the bag. The interesting thing is, he hasn't even evaluated yet. And may just buy it without an evaluation first because we showed him exactly what he was looking for.

My primary sales guy has been training 2 other guys today on our product, and these 2 guys are now pumped after I hit one out of the park when I demo'd the product to the new sales guys today. They are now eager to make some sales calls.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sleep Phase Monitoring Alarm Clock

Just bout an axbo
Had to order from europe. Denmark? It was ~$283 shipped.

there are 2 other products.

SLEEPTRACKER. Almost half the price. No problem getting it in the US. Plentiful at Amazon.

Supposedly the axbo is better because the wrist band is more comfortable than a watch, and the alarm is better (and no worries about it being covered.) Not sure about underlying technology.

SleepSystem is unreleased, but it is the most promising because it actually uses brain waves (it seems) to determine your stage of sleep. most accurate. it was a hot topic as a cog sci major at UCSD. Good to see products finally exist. Unfortunately you can't get SleepSystem right now, and i need something now.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, The Family Edition

i was at frys and this 12 yr old kid was with his parents and he had GTA San Andreas. one of the customers pointed out to the parents that its a pretty violent game. so the parents told him to find another game. of course the kid started throwing a fit. i never really gave it much thought, but i guess most parents really don't care about even reading the ESRB ratings. and parents, including mine have a set belief that, video games (and cartoons) are strictly for kids. if i was a kid, i'd be the one trying to get my parents to buy me the game, betting on their ignorance. but if i was a parent, there's no way in hell that i'd allow it under my watch. its just as bad as the kid buying a porno. as bad, worse, or not as bad as buying a porno depending on what you think porno is to violence. we live in a funny society. we allow pretty extreme violence on tv, then all of a sudden a nipple makes an appearance, and the whole country holds a press conference about getting a control of media and their standards.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Finally, full res video on PSP without hassle

I always loved the PSP as a video player. Even though the PSP is almost 2 years old, the screen is still pretty amazing. I always hated the fact that I needed to use a hacked psp, a homebrew application, then you have to make sure your video codec hacks the file after the encode.

Your alternative was to run videos that looked crappy, which was a shame for such a beautiful screen.

Well, all that is old news. 480 x 272 resolution videos are officially supported on the new firmware 3.30. Surprising move for sony. I guess they have given up on the umd disc movies. i never understood the concept of that. charge double the price for half the resolution (in other words 1/4 the video size), and not make it useful in any other device.

Shortly after this news, I realized that there is a hacked firmware out there that is the mother of all firmwares. It lets me boot backups of iso's without anything like devhook or run umd, lets you set screen to the brightness you can only select while plugged into an adapter, plays all UMD games from the disc, and best of all, it played videos at full resolution. Same resolution and format you can use with the new 3.30 firmware. One last thing I think sony should do is offer the full brightness setting with or without being plugged into the wall. Its ridiculous. The battery is good enough for a few hours of content. More brightness the better, especially in well lit areas.

It literally took about 18 months of waiting since I bought my PSP to finally become the device I always wished it was. Its about time. I guess I'll start carrying this thing finally.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Its all about the Hamiltons Baby

Taking big steps to move forward. I may have come across, with some luck, an opportunity to save myself at least a year in developing the company. Instead of assembling a sales and support team myself, I've found myself a kind of a value-added reseller when it comes to enterprise level software. There is just so much to benefit from kind of a partnership. I'm a little behind on the goals that I've set, but I don't see a reason I won't be able to achive all of them this year.

Friday, February 16, 2007

business retreat day 0

I decided to take a week off from my day job to concentrate on my business. Luckily I have a friend of a friend in he hotel industry, and even on this busy weekend with multi-national holiday plus extended valentine celebrations going on, I managed to get a room at the Sea Lodge Hotel at La Jolla shores for literally a fraction of the price. Love the area. The view on the ocean ain't bad either. ;)

I call this day 0 so that I can get a head start on the work that needs to be done. On the agenda:

Have one downloadable package with all the installers, documentation, etc. so the whole process is completely automated.
Pay Bills
Everything for the big conference in april. (order shwag, redo brochure, what to do with the booth)
Do some hardcore thinking and planning for goals, strategy to reach my goals on business.
Work on personal goals.
More to be added as they come up.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pure Energy

Adding to my post a month ago (Sixth Sense)...Its along the lines of the same energy you can sense when someone is in the room with you, but you cannot see them. Ever notice someone behind you, and without seeing them, or hearing them you knew they were there?

Or you knew that someone was going to call you, and a few seconds later, your phone starts ringing? This doesn't count if you have cingular because often it interferes with speaks near the cell phone. :)

One time in my elementary school, I had the key for some reason to the entrance of the auditorium. And I could save myself a good 5 minutes if I chose to go through the entrance to the back door of the auditorium to go home. I decided to do so. Unfortunately, when I opened the door and started walking to the back door, the entrance door shut behind me. It was almost pitch black except the lining of the door ahead of me. I felt an intoxicating level of an energy of someone or something that was there all around me while I was walking through. It was so thick that I had a hard time breathing. When I finally got to the exit, it got easier to breathe again, like I had just poked my head out of the water, and maybe having escaped potential harm.

Baseball, tennis, golf, it's all the same swing.

For these 3 games, and I'm sure there are more out there, the main swing of the bat, racket, club is almost identical. You perfect this one swing, and you'll see the other 2 games in a whole new light, and probably look pretty damn good without any experience. Its all about creating a whipping action, and about making contact with the ball at the end of the whip so that the contact is explosive because the inertia of your whole body and the apparatus is all concentrated on that one point during the contact. You'll eventually be able to almost visually see that the energy is at the center of the racquet, the middle of the bat (and no where else), or the face of the gold club. Its interesting that this swing is probably the biggest representation of how well you can play the game where it makes more sense to me that the ability to swing should be a measurement of your potential as an athelete of these games, and the skill of the sport itself depends on your ability to do everything outside of this swing.

PS3 in trouble.

Too expensive to buy even if it had a bunch of exclusive titles and all the tv show and movie publishers went with bluray.
Sony losing ~$300 per system.
Propietary cell processors increases complexity on developing titles for the PS3 (not easily port-able)
Everyone seems to be jumping the bandwagon to produce games for the Wii, whereas some companies has already jumped ship from PS3 development.

PS3 is a few years ahead of its time. Maybe in a few years when more bluray movies are out, everyone owns a 1080p tv, and technology has advanced where production costs of the PS3 has been driven down significantly, it would be a different story.

I did get to experience it this last weekend on a 1080p tv, and the graphics are stunning, and really makes everything else look like old technology. Hopefully Sony can hold out on their gigantic investment so that it'll pay off in a few years. I'm a big PS2 fan. But I'll hold off on the PS3 until it'll make sense to buy one.

We're looking for a new president.

We have 2 years to go with Bush, and I have never seen so much excitement over the next democratic president. Who will it be? Obama, Gore, or Clinton? They are all very extreme choices in my opinion, but what they represent does spark passion in a lot of voters. Does the republican party even stand a chance?

What Bush lacks the most is the rapport with just about anyone. He pretty much does what he wants to do and really is loud about how much he doesn't care about what others think. Maybe if he made some decisions and could prove that he was right and everyone else was wrong, it would be another story. But it seems like everything he does that goes against the public just seems all result in a big "i told you so" against Bush. And then Bush goes and apologizes to the public. Yeah, announce you are a weak when people already think you are dumb. That'll work out well.

Whatever. I don't care much about politics at the moment. I just hate our president. Hate is a strong word, but its perfectly fitting.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Today at 10:58PM, I finished. Exactly a month behind the deadline. Just a little over 21,000 lines of code. 5 months of challenging myself to come up with countless solutions to things that was believed to be impossible. Demading myself to make some critical decisions to design in record time. 5 months of working on it 5 days a week (the last 2 months, 7 days a week). Cutting no corners when it came to having the implementing the best features users would like to have. Its eerie how the product is so close to what I envisioned it to be, yet when I see it in action, I'm still amazed and proud in every way. Its my greatest accomplishment yet. Well no, my greatest accomplishment is my change of lifestyle from having no clue what health and fitness is to the knowledge and action I live my life by. Although I have put myself on break until I get this done, there's no question I'll be returning to the gym as soon as I'm back from orlando. This is the greatest accomplishement when it comes to my need to create, express, and contribute. Its a product that wouldn't have been possible if my life were to have unfolded any differently (whether it was the windfalls or the mild tragic events that has brought me to this point in my life). I wouldn't know what I'd be doing if for example if my life folded a little differently (like I got into a college of my choice). But comparing to the endless possibilities that could have been, comparing those to where I'm at right now, I think the opportunities in front of me are as great as if not greater than any possibitlites I can imagine that I'll ever encounter.

If I were to guess from the beginning, I would have guessed that the compiled code would be less than 1000 lines, and the web interface far less than that. If I had known it was going to be near 10000 lines of compiled code, near 10000 lines of asp, and 1500 lines of stored procedures in t-sql, I definitely would have never started. Good thing I have a tendency to underestimate the time and complexity when it comes to programming.

Enough of that. There is a lot more work to be done.

We are open for business. Finally

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Why no 3G?

It seems rather...dumb that the iPhone does seem to be at the cutting edge of technology in every way. I understand why they don't want to put a mem card reader in there for security and more control of their product and pricing. But c'mon. No 3G? Its like saying, "here. we made the ultimate family vehicle. it does everything you can imagine. we've adopted the bleeding edge of technology. (no pun intended.) but one drawback is that it only has 2 seats." c'mon jobs. we don't buy it. i'm willing to bet that when the iphone is released, it will come with it. did you forget how slow 2.5g is? What would be nicer if an iPhone in the future came with EVDO or even the newer EVDO whatever its called. Although, having 3G and 2.5G compatible phone will be awesome for travel out of the country whereas a phone with EVDO is useless outside the USA...

I wasn't too impressed with the iphone at the press conference pictures, but after seeing the product on their website, damn, it could be the next best thing. it has nicer screen than the psp, impressive battery life, incredibly thin, works with itunes which has become the most convienient vehicle to get songs and tv shows from the internet (although the biggest drawback is availability of the show, movie, or artist), apple's bubbly interface, and the 2 touch thing is gonna rock.

one other improvement would be, being the owner of a handheld gps unit that talks to my bluetooth blackberry, i can say gps capabilities on the iphone will just add so much to it.

as chris rock might say, "i've grown accustomed to" having 60 gigs on my ipod. considering we can readily put 16 gigs on a postage stamp today, and 32 gigs relatively soon, 4 and 8 gig seems very limited. 80 gigs of solid state memory would be nice on the iphone. definitely not a problem and it will happen on a future iphone some day. you can argue that since you'll be charging this thing daily anyway, you can always put content you want for that day. it'll still be nice to have it with you all the time. storage capacities seems to be exploding at the moment. maybe 80 gigs is too little to ask for future devices.

Monday, January 1, 2007

The Sixth Sense

Ever feel the obviousness of an extra form of energy in the air where something that has nothing to do with anything, and just doesn't happen randomly is happening near you (same city, same town, or maybe a few miles away), and you find out later that it was true? There are many things we don't understand yet, but maybe one day, someone will have a scientific explanation that this energy that everyone does have the ability to detect with their sixth sense does exist and we can make good use of it. Maybe being psychic is just an overused and over simplified explanation for this occurance.