August 2005 Archives

August 27, 2005

Summer Vacation!

I'll be heading out for Busan today; so posting over the next few days may be light. You know, how it normally is.

Corny site move plug

echo: oh, i moved my blog to blogger btw
echo: so i don't have to run a webserver on my box, hah
leftsider: oh really? I was thinking of posting your link you sent but I wanted to credit you and your site was...well....silent.
leftsider: what's the link? so I can rss
echo: rabiddustbunnies.blogspot.com
leftsider: you and your three word names. heh.
echo: 3's a good number
echo: a magic number, even
leftsider: *groan*

Don't hate the player,...

Relax, Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn as the Villain - New York Times

Silicon Valley's hating; what's new?

Bill Gates is everyone's role model but Microsoft is the company that everyone loves to trash. Now Google looks like the new contender to the top spot, and all of a sudden the natives are restless again. Google's better than Microsoft ever was, or Google's more evil than Microsoft ever was--which is it?

There's a guy in Greek mythology named Sisyphus who really isn't relevant to this topic. However, he was banished by the gods to the underworld where his punishment was to push a heavy boulder up a steep hill. Upon completion, the boulder would, by its own weight, roll back down to the bottom. Rinse and Repeat.

This fate has often been used as a reference to futile and endless tasks we take on. And rather then a punishment for a wily man, it's viewed one man taking on an impossible task in hopes of success. This idea strikes home to a lot of starry-eyed geeks. Even to me, sometimes.

Problem is, Sisyphus' story is not one of success. And while the valley wallows in sisyphanaticism it ignores the other side of the proverbial hill.

The other side of the hill, if Sisyphus could ever reach it, would be a totally different environment; one where things move relatively quickly and succesfully. One where momentum builds and anything in your way gets steamrolled. One where trying to stop the boulder is now an exercise in futility.

I'm reminded of this when reading the comments in this article. Many people who rooted for the underdog now rue it's bountiful existence. My suggestion? Stop hating.

Don't hate the player, hate the game. It's a nasty hardcore world; there has to be big players and casualties. Think of it like God Emperor of Dune--there has to be a big, seemingly invincible monstrosity in order to create something to destroy the monopolistic rule of the behemoth.

So stop your pansy sisyphanatic whining and do what Google did. That is unless you like eternal suffering....

Movable Type 3.2 is out!

Time to upgrade. Again.

I'm actually kinda looking forward to this one for some strange reason. There's been a pretty positive buzz about it so I won't complain until my site is down as a result. ;)

Do the work, get the loot

Business 2.0 :: The $50 Million Giveaway

See anything you can do? I see only one or two I'm interested in. But I do have a few new ideas that are brewing. Are you the right VC for me? Let a brother know!

Value Meal

THE PERFECT 3.3 CENT BREAKFAST

An absolutely interesting essay. It had me until I got to the end and read the other essay titles it was previously bundled with...errr.

Still, this is the kind of thing I'd consider trying. Anyone game?

InternOS (named here first!)

GoogleOS? YahooOS? MozillaOS? WebOS? (kottke.org)

What would you do if you could do it simultaneously with others around the world?
What would you use if everything worked on every OS?
How would you store if you could access it from anywhere--even offline?

Better start thinking about it, because that may be where we're headed next.

August 26, 2005

I'm doing it but...

listening to my music collection in shuffle mode sucks.

August 23, 2005

Combating Stupidity

Being the product of a small, minimally educated, rural community, I am naturally fitted with some intrinsic habits and philosophies that govern how I act and react. In general, these hometown character traits are admirable; but for the sake of progress I've decided it necessary to include them in my occasional self-evaluation processes.

Why? I've discovered that a few of the precepts and tenets which define my being are limiting by nature. In order to surpass expectations, I need to have an open-ended structure; something that can expand or adjust to future development. And, most importantly, creativity grows best when not stiffled.

Boy, do I have stiffling. I'm notoriously enslaved to order and balance. I get lost in the details of homeostasis. I'll eat half a carton of ice cream trying to make it level. I religiously relegate my daily accessories to the same pockets, and then place them in the same locations when I return home.

Today I decided to study some Korean, but unfortunately I hadn't put my things away; my wife had placed my books in a place of her choosing. Looking for them threw me out of sync, and when I discovered she had taken my pen (or presumably placed it in another location) I was just short of exasperated. I can't study because I'm missing that pen.

I contemplated this issue in my bound book recently:

Creativity and form do not follow the same path. I pride myself in being a slave to pattern and form, yet I wonder why I cannot be creative--be innovative. I wonder why I can't find the thing that will permanently remove me from this (or any other) rut I'm in.

Well, to get out of a rut there are only two successful courses of action:


1. Carve an alternate path. Without help from a second party, this is practically an impossibility. No one can really be in a rut AND carve a diverging path. Perhaps that person never really was in a rut.
Lots of people care about me and my wellbeing, but none of them care about me enough to intervene and provide an alternative for something that isn't life-endangering. Even if they did, my analytical arguments would probably deter them anyway.

2.Go airborne. Place a leverage somewhere in your circuit and, next time around, watch it fly. When you're airborne you see all the things that surrounded you from a different perspective...they seem so small. You'll wonder how they ever enamored you.
Problem is, if you're a slave to pattern and form like I, the option is useless. This is the path of creativity, not order. So, not knowing what else to do, you'll simply observe analytically, enjoying the the experience for what it is. Then you'll sink right back into your rut and hopefully forget about the whole experience...because otherwise you're gonna feel really low.

This week I read a really great quote by Christopher Morley: "Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity."

Now that, my friends, is not country thinking; that's the fertile crescent of creative productivity. So I'm gonna venture out, listen to my music in shuffle, put my cellphone in my right pocket, write with a random pen, dream a new dream, and hopefully combat the stagnation of my system.

What were you thinking?

Yeah, that's what I signed up for...

Kung Fu Monkey: I Miss Republicans.

Another one I missed. Hey guys, who's feeding me links here? I'm looking like an idiot... Don't tell me it was when I was busy moving; heads are gonna roll.

when X doesn't mark the spot

gapingvoid: why i prefer windows to macintosh

How'd I miss this one?

I've always feared that my intentions of always looking for the next best thing made me an anti-hipster hipster. Hugh at gapingvoid re-encourages me to not tolerate the hype.

Yes, I am posting right now from an iBook. I don't hate Apple; I just prefer windows. In fact, I only purchased this notebook after knowing I could install XP on it (yes, I run windows on my iBook) I now do tech support for my wife's powerbook as well as for my family's windows machines at home.

OS X is probably the best operating system I've used. However using X involves an almost philosophical change in how you think and do things; something that is counter-intuitive and inefficient for me. I've become much more proficient on a Mac over the last 9 months, but isn't progress--that's recooperation.

When I get back home, I'll retrive my trusty PC (or build another) and definitely transition back.

The right side

Don't ask yourself who was more worth understanding; you may just have a moral delima (for the brief moments you concern yourself with it).

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report

Can you smeeeeeeeeell.....

...what leftygatt is cooking?

AIM Fight

August 22, 2005

Oh crap.

No story go go with the pic, but man....what a mess.

Madagascar?


You're Madagascar!

Lots of people don't really know anything about you, making you
buried treasure of the rarest kind.  You love nature, and could get lost in it
whenever possible.  You're remote and exotic, and the few people who know you
value whatever they share with you a great deal.  For some reason, you really
like the word "lemur".

Take
the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

August 19, 2005

Vent

Why does everyone decide to message me while I'm set to away? No one messages when I'm set to available....

What is up with my ISP??? I can get 10mbps up/100mbps down for w36,000/mo with KT Megapass but with my stupid ISP I'm getting speeds of 5-800kpbs DOWN for w35,000. Huh???

Why do I bother asking for help? I ask the secretary to call my ISP and find out my login and password for online services....she calls schedules a service technician to come out. *groan*

Why am I using a Mac in Korea? Most people here have trouble understanding I'm not on PC; I DON'T USE Windows ANYTHING. No matter how many times you hit windows commands on my APPLE keyboard, you're not going to go anywhere. And there's no "X" at the top right. No, that button is not an "X" and I'm going to throttle you in 5 seconds...

Why do service technicians love to hate on my router? This is a bi-continental issue; anything that doesn't work or doesn't work well that you can't find must be the router. What did my router do to you?

It's really hard for me to not feel excluded when I can't play online games, shop online, or log in to many Korean portals because it requires a citizen's (not resident's) ID number. Way to keep it in the family...

And what the heck is up with Camino when it hits a graphic intensive site? All Korean portals take my browser to a crawl. And I'm totally not ok with the entire community
accepting a plugin that prevents flash auto-loading as a solution. Huh???

I took a painful dump this morning. So I'm in a bad mood. Business as usual tomorrow.

August 11, 2005

Ask Leftsider!

Yes, people do ask me for advice!

Dear Leftsider,
I find myself in an awkward situation. I have a guy friend who is single (Boy), and another friend who is as well (GirlA). GirlA suggested that we plan a blind date between her friend (GirlB), so we planned a group outing.
As soon as the date was done, Girl A kept contacting me regarding Boy. She's fallen for him, even though she was trying to introduce him to GirlB! She wants me to talk to him for her, but what do I do? I feel bad for GirlB....
--Mixed-up Matchmaker

MM, The ladies must love you! You're very kind an considerate to even think of someone's situation besides your own; many women would say that is a rare trait in a man. but even though you are thoughtful, this situation is mostly out of your control. The more you involve yourself, the more likely you are to be blamed for ruining something that was meant to be--even if it wasn't. There are two things that you should do in this situation. First, talk to Boy and see which of the two ladies he prefers. If he likes Girl B, you need to pull out of the picture immediately, it's only going to be a catfight between two women at this point. If he likes Girl A, then you should tell her to pursue him and let them bumble their way to romantic bliss.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Hey Leftsider,
I met a girl last week who is from Canada. She's hot! We hit it off and I got some contact information. Problem is, I'm leaving for the states in three weeks. Plus side is that she's returning to Canada around the same time.
Should I pursue her? It'd still be a long-distance relationship, but at least we're on the same continent, right?
--Don Juan de Merican

DJ, The most important thing in a relationship is communication. If you're going to build a relationship with this person, you'll need to ensure that communication can continue effectively. This means distance is a factor, but it also means that willing participation is key as well. Will she be interested in calling your scraggly butt who she never sees every week? Would you be willing to? However, this is only important if you are looking to build a relationship. Most people with three weeks left in a location are not looking for a relationship, so communication isn't nearly as important as low lights and the right music. I happen to know who you are and I know your skeezy behind isn't looking for love; it's looking for loins. Pursue, but don't lie to yourself and your partner about long distance liaisons. Keep it real.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Leftsider,

More than anything I want to stand out from my peers, but it seems I was born to be a wallflower. Maybe it's hopeless; can I be an overachiever, or is this just something that's genetic?
--O. Dinary

O, The one thing that makes people really stand out is when they can be themselves. Recently I read that true freedom is knowing yourself and accepting that. I agree. Maybe you're not a Trump, a Hilton, or a Beyoncé; that doesn't mean you can't shine in the areas that you do best. All you need, according to a man who I happen to like, is willpower--and that is one thing that anyone can develop and increase. Find what you're good at and go for it--with all your heart. Finally, think big. Even if you don't reach the stars, the treetops are a lot higher than where you started. There's a reason they're called overacheivers; they shoot for what's beyond the requirement. Good luck!


Have a question? Just ask!

August 9, 2005

Mapmaking

Leftsider superfuture Project - a photoset on Flickr

So I finally put some action behind my constant blabbing, and I've started making the map of Daegu that's so desparately needed. The ironic thing about this project is that if I had started this when I got here, I probably would have gotten some use out of it. As it stands, it'll probably be something to give to the expat/foreigner-friendly community as we make our exit. With our contract up in December, it seems like it's over all so soon.

Anyway, I'm thinking ahead with dread to the actual submit form and online application of the map and feeling knots in my stomach. Did I ever mention that I totally skipped out on the lessons about form submission when learning HTML? Backend has so not been my thing. I guess that's another thing to conquer.

Actually, I'm thinking that maybe someone (Ed! ED! ED!!!!) might figure out a newer, sleeker method for interactivity (Cho! Are you listening????). That would actually give my map an edge over it's model, the superfuture maps.

And then, when they come to me asking how I did it I'll not reply to their emails in much the same way they didn't answer mine. *evil laugh*

August 6, 2005

Weirdest thing....

Frulwinn is sitting next to me, right now, looking up wedding pictures on Flickr.
What the? Am I forgetting someting? Anniversary is in October.....fellow married bro's, what should I be reading from this?

Stones Throw Records: Madlib After

Stones Throw Records: Madlib

After a bad nap, I decided to throw something mellow on while the sun slipped below the mountains. Searching through my (painfully limited) collection I decided on the equally off-kilter noodlings of Yesterday's New Quintet.

YNQ has always been one of those groups that I was proud to have accidentally stumbled upon. While record hunting (ah, another lost pleasure!) I picked up a YNQ EP mostly because of the catchy name. Taking the record for a spin, I was groovin off of "Papa," "Uno Esta" and "Life's Angles." I snagged it with a couple other records and called it a day.

Funny thing is, I never really worked that hard to find out more about them. I ended up downloading the entire "Angles Without Edges" album, but never looked any further than remembering the record label for future crate digs.

Previously, In a totally unrelated record hunt, Aou dropped a sample CD in my bag from a guy named Quasimoto. We listened to the 3 tracks on the way home and it was definitely some off-the-wall next-level stuff. But it had tight beats and decent rhymes, so we kept it in the car for the longest.

Quasimoto was just too odd to not Google. I soon found out that it was an alias for a guy also known as Madlib. Madlib....isn't that the guy who's famous in underground for making all his stuff on the $300 SP-303? I'll have to keep an eye out for this guy.....

Fast Forward. I flip the YNQ record cover over and read the back....Five guys with interesting musical backgrounds converging in one premium blend. Wait....Madlib's involved in this? Wow, that man's got some range. I'm gonna have to pay attention to this guy for real.

Fast Forward. You know, listening to these bumbling beats and lopsided loops on Saturday evening, I decided to finally sort through this whole thing. I plopped down in front of the computer and googled the YNQ album, then Madlib.

Guess what? Madlib is both Madlib and Quas on the Quasimoto CD. Guess what else? He's ALL FIVE MEMBERS of YNQ. Dude. Who the heck makes their own quintet by themselves? And why is it so darn good???? I'm in awe to the talent.

In addition to these revelations, I found out a lot of other projects he's involved with. Impressive. A musical gem hidden even under his own creations. That's pretty baddass. I'm too jealous right now.

August 2, 2005

This one's for the ladies...

I've been a married man for about 10 months now, and I'm happy to say that it's been positive all around. Sure there are somethings that take getting used to, but I can't think of one thing that was better off as a bachelor.

I'm thankful for my wife, and I think that there are a lot of reasons that God put her in my life. One of the biggest ones is that my love and respect for her has helped me to clean up my act around women. I was born a charmer, but was trained a wolf. Spending time with Fru has made me more of a gentleman and less of a dog.

But I am still a dog. I am a base, carnal, selfish wisp of a man--albeit on the road to wellness. For this reason, I've decided to write this letter to the women of the world.

Women of the world,

Hi there! I'm glad to have the opportunity to speak to all of you directly; it's an honor and a privilege as some of you know that women quite possibly could be my biggest fascination.

Since I was a boy, I've always looked in awe at that which is a woman. Curiosity and intrigue often got the better of me, leaving me in more predicaments than I care to share. Yet the mystery of you lingers on; still somehow linked to me in a way that cannot be severed.

Since you now know this, I'm gonna ask that you help me out in being the guy I want to be--and I'm sure that you all would generally like me to be. One who doesn't step on your feelings and make your existence miserable all for a notch on his belt or a temporary bliss. One who is all the things in that crappy Edwin McCain song you all love...without being crappy.

So there are some things you need to take in consideration as you continue to exist. Please don't think of these as rules for all men but rather recommendations from one. Okay, in no particular order:

I'm telling you I'm married, work with me. I'm being honest and upfront; I know this is a good trait in a man but I'm no longer on the market. Don't tell me that I don't look married or ask why I'm not wearing a ring or otherwise inquire to the status of my relationship. If I was the Hoover Dam would you pick and prod till I break? Okay then. In both cases, the moment I break is the moment I'm a disappointment to you.
Also, don't tell me my wife is lucky or you're jealous (or even worse, you don't care) or anything else that is going to make my head swell. When my head swells there's a lot of pressure on my brain. For some reason this pressure trggers a failsafe which diverts thinking to the groin area. It's not the best auxillary HQ; it's mainly concerned with self-preservation. Just convert all compliments into "Oh, that's sweet. Congratulations." In fact, at this point that's the only failproof comment, so be aware.

I'm married, not dead. A woman will wake up and spend over an hour preparing her face and hair. She puts on an outfit that makes her stunning. She poses and positions herself to look attractive. Even if she doesn't want men to approach her, subconsciously she wants all who see her--men and women--to consider her attractive.
Well if you're my type I will. And I will look, because I'm human. And if I'm with my wife I'll then have to see her looking at me looking at you...and try not to feel like a heel. This is why most come to women hate the guts of their partner at least once in their relationship. The problem is that there's nothing we can do about it, but there is something you can. I'm not gonna prescribe a dress code; I'm just gonna let you be a little more responsible in that area.

For crying out loud, don't be shy. Ok, this one is my problem, but you gotta help a brother out. I'm attracted to things shy and othwerwise unattainable. If I see you, and you see me, and you smile and look away...somewhere deep in the vast nothingness of my brain a little switch is thrown. GAME ON. Now I've tried to curb this and I think I've done a decent job, but as a domesticated predatory animal I still have innate urges that I am working on.
Best way to help me that? Just come up and say hello. I'm a friendly guy, and, especially if you know me and my marital classification, there's no reason for the doe eyes and bashfulness. It's cute, but cute kills.

Thank you for you time and attention. I will never ask you to be less beautiful, complex, and sophisticated. I will never ask you to change who you are. I appreciate and admire you; tall, fat, beautiful, short, ugly and thin. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow. Best wishes.

August 1, 2005

Leftsider the Hermit?

There are so many places on the internet where you can find unhappy expatriates moaning endlessly about their Korean situation: the disadvantages, the stereotyping, and above all else the closed-minded attitude of Koreans. Well, I realized recently that I've become one of them.

Wait....not the foreigner; I've become one of the Koreans. I don't know when it started, but I see now that I'm on a path that aligns me dead on with most Koreans. I made it a point to assimilate myself, and perhaps I was a little too successful. I guess the only way for me to escape would be to leave the country.

Leaving Korea is really why I came to recognize my malady. Recently I spent two weeks in the US and I have never been happier than when I returned home--in Daegu. Here, where the streets smell and no one understands me; yes, here is where I spent most of my time in the US longing to be.

And now, with some vacation time coming up, Fru is talking about a trip to Japan. Japan? What's in Japan? Do we know anyone there? Can we communicate with anyone there? Why would I go there when there's so much undiscovered history even here in Daegu? Where will I stay? What will I eat? So many questions.....

Rewind about nine months and you probably would hear this conversation:

Friend: So you're moving to Korea?
Me: Yep
Friend: What's over there? Do you know anyone over there?
Me: No. I think some parents of some friends here....maybe some high school classmates...
Friend: Uh, so you don't know anyone and you don't speak Korean. Why are you going?
Me: Oh, just something new. And I'd like to learn Korean...it's an adventure!

Ok, back to the present.

Adventure? Ha! All I wanna do is just keep here. The unknown makes me nervous. I'm a simple guy now, leading a nice quiet simple life. That is, unless there's some noisy bummily-dressed foreigners nearby ruining my atmosphere. What are they, english teachers? Oh no, short haircuts; they must be military. Those are the only two categories available. Maybe I can get another table away from them....여기어...

Now I'm starting to get suspicious. More than one Korean has referred to me as "SuperKorean" in response to my actions. Have I gone to deep? Is this the point of no return? Will I paint a Korean flag on my face before shooting a sniper rifle out the window? Ok maybe that movie is too old for you to get that joke (IT IS A JOKE).

Anyway. I talked with an online acquaintance who's from Tokyo; he says that I'd enjoy it and meet lots of friendly people. Maybe I'll take his word and try something new.

I know. I think it sounds absolutely ridiculous coming out of my mouth as well.