It's been almost a month since my last update.  These few weeks have been quite eventful.  I've tasted success with two projects I had going on, and I've had other good news and changes to my life. The first project was something I tried last May: growing wasabi.  Real wasabi is actually quite rare, because it is very slow-growing, but at the same time very perishable.  The wasabi paste or powder that people frequently buy is typically composed of horseradish, which is a relative to wasabi,...
February 21, 2018
There are probably a few things that, if people were to keep in mind, would solve a lot of problems, relieve a lot of stress, and make people a lot happier.  I call these the great lessons in life: Learn what you have to care about and what you don't have to care about - it is not a requirement in life to please everyone you meet; the people who will actually make a meaningful impact on your life are very few, by comparison.   Learn what you can afford and what you can't afford...
January 28, 2018
As has been customary in recent history, I finished doing all my finances yesterday.  That has typically been the time when I am able to determine any trends that are developing in my spending habits, which I normally would not be able to ascertain just from daily activities.  It was particularly useful last year, when I noticed that I had been spending a shocking amount of money eating out.  It was something that needed immediate attention, as for the first time since I started working, I was feeling...
January 2, 2018
A year ago, I looked at my life, and decided that it was going in the wrong direction.  It was then that I decided that by the same time, a year later, I would be "back to normal".  Those were the exact words I had thought of in my inner monologue.  It wasn't easy, but I am satisfied with the progress.  In particular, I've been eating out and staying out late less.  I've been home more, which has given me the chance to clean and organize my room - something I've been doing in bits and pieces for...
December 29, 2017
Yet another month has gone by.  There hasn't been much going on.  I bought a new gaming laptop at the end of September.  Since then, I have been budgeting in order to amortize the cost.  Because of that, I haven't done many exciting things this past month. The laptop, an Alienware R13, marks an important change in direction from all my previous laptops, which had prioritized portability and battery life over processing power.  This laptop is the most expensive one I have bought so far, at $1250,...
November 13, 2017
Disclaimer: What you are about to read may shock you.  If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or are known to be impressionable, please consult a physician before proceeding.  Reader discretion is advised.  Thank you. One thing that's always puzzled me about myself, while I was growing up, was that I would find myself putting things into boxes.  These would be things that I really liked.  Due to this, I have boxes of non-mechanical pencils, various writing instruments, and candy dating as...
October 8, 2017
My first attempt at writing a mobile app happened more than 5 years ago.  I was in between jobs at the time, and decided to use the time to write a mobile app to get rich.  At the time, I had two main problems: I didn't have any ideas about how to write a mobile app, and I didn't have any ideas about what the app would do.  I think it was an uphill battle the whole way, from installing the Android Toolkit to laying out the UI.  Ultimately, I made something very small and basic, that ran on my Motorola...
October 1, 2017
Europe never appealed to me enough for me to want to go there.  However, my mom used to brag about how she travelled the world when she was young, and how Europe had been her next destination, after visiting the US.  Unfortunately, her plans would be derailed as she visited the US, met my dad, had me and my brother, and raised us.  Fast forward 30 years, and I made it one of my goals to pick up where she left off.  In addition, back in elementary school, my aunt, who was visiting from Switzerland...
September 19, 2017
It's been more than a month since my last post.  The past month has been incredibly busy for me at work.  It was actually really frustrating, as I was having to do other people's jobs.  Everything, including researching the current solution, looking at the potential impact, coding the solution, figuring out how to test it, testing it, and getting it into production was all up to me.  Though I did this all at my previous job, so I knew what to do, it felt like a different situation here.  Whereas...
August 5, 2017
Sister Mercy Kuhn passed away this last Wednesday.  She had been fighting a re-occurrence of cancer for more than a year.  The week before, my mom had told me that when she visited her, she had not been eating, and was all skin and bones, and that it was pretty much the end.  My brother made a trip back from Austin, and we visited her during the weekend.  I didn't know what to say to comfort her.  We ended up just praying together.  Just as we had served the children's opening together on Lord's...
June 20, 2017
Recently, I've been dabbling with making sushi.  With the opening of Mitsuwa, a Japanese supermarket, suddenly sushi ingredients were accessible to the average shopper.  I made some tuna yamakake, one of my favorites, for my mom on Mother's Day, and then squid sushi two weeks later (I had to wait for a sushi knife to arrive from Amazon).   Then, this weekend.  It started on Saturday, when I bought $80 of groceries meant for one meal. It consisted of sake and sushi....
May 29, 2017
Lot's of things have happened recently.  So many things, in fact, that I didn't have time to post about them.  Now, I will. It all started at the end of March.  One of my long-time friends (Ed, who I visited in Korea) came back from Korea, after 7 years there.  He lived with me for a week.  It was an interesting time.  We hung out with Joe and Jerry.  We all caught up.  Now, he's taking care of his grandma, and slowly getting back into the swing of things. My dad retired.  Around Thanksgiving...
May 14, 2017
Google Maps is a permanent tab in my browser.  I use it to check the traffic whenever I am about to head out during rush hour.  This means that I am checking traffic during the morning and evenings.  For a while now, I've been trying to see if there was some way I could just have it record the traffic, so that I can always glance at a semi-up-to-date picture of the traffic.  In addition, I could put together some cool animations.  Unfortunately, when I looked into this a year ago, I got nowhere....
April 18, 2017
One more thing on my bucket list that I finally got around to doing, that I've been wanting to do for a long, long time was to write a tool where I could upload an image, and it would automatically convert the image into ASCII art.  ASCII art is pretty cool, because it's like an impressionist painting.  At a certain distance, some strange details come to life.  Being able to convert any image to ASCII art would be awesome.  I got this working late last week, which you can check out here. Turns...
April 6, 2017
One thing I've been wanting to explore for a long, long time was how to post-process recordings (of myself) to make it sound like it came from a radio.  Recently, with the help of Google, I started doing it, and have been playing with some of my friend's recordings.  At this point, I think I have found the essence of how to do it, and so would like to leave it here for future reference. There are mainly just two parts to doing it: a compressor and a band-pass filter/equalizer.  A compressor...
April 2, 2017
One of my goals that I've been keeping in the back of my mind for a while now had been to make a retirement plan.  Turning 30 can be considered a landmark in life - about time to start thinking of the future - of the days that will come when I will not be as strong and capable as I am now, and to plan accordingly.  It's good to start thinking ahead earlier, because the earlier you set off on the right course means the less drastic measures you will be forced to take when ends don't look like they'll...
March 20, 2017
One thing I've always been bothered by was the fact that some people who do 90% unsatisfactory work can be more highly regarded than people who do 90% satisfactory work, if the former have 1% outstanding work where it is most visible.  Basically, they are able to hide the fact that they are sloppy, lazy, and uninspired, by dedicating a large amount of their effort to perfecting the small part of their work people see. However, I am beginning to realize that sometimes, the real key to doing...
February 10, 2017
It's become a tradition for me to organize all of my finances at the end of the year as a way of passing the time during the holidays.  During these times, I have been able to relive the experiences I've had throughout the year by recalling what it was that I spent money on.  I've also been able to spot trends as they develop.  This year was characterized by a mix of good and bad trends.  I hope to continue with the good trends next year while simultaneously... discontinuing the bad ones. Good...
December 27, 2016
It all started three years ago.  We had bought a new house half a year ago, and had finished moving everything.  We had then hired a family friend to do some renovations, but I volunteered to replace the carpet with vinyl planks.  I chose vinyl planks over hardwood floors, engineered floors, and laminate, because vinyl planks are easier to install, without the need to level the ground, or install a subfloor layer.  In addition, they are more weatherproof - being waterproof.  Finally, vinyl planks...
November 27, 2016
And just like that, my grandma passed away on a sunny, quiet Friday afternoon.  She had just finished eating lunch, and my mom had put her back in bed.  The lady who comes to give her showers came an hour later and alerted my mom that she was no longer breathing.  My dad was in Austin, on vacation at the time.  I was at work, having an unpleasant day.  According to my mom, she called 911.  The police came with an ambulance.  Then my mom called the funeral home.  They came and took the body away....
October 16, 2016
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