Sunday, April 30, 2006

What's Passe?

When you're in you late teens and early 20s, you care about what's in and what's passe, what people are listening, reading, watching, wearing, thinking... we're either too lazy, too stupid or just too plain immature to figure out what we're like.

Now that I'm older, I classify things into different categories. Things that I understand or don't understand; things that I agree with, have no opinion on, or think are plain stupid; things I care about, things I'm somewhat concerned about (like global warming perhaps) and things I don't give a rats ass about.

Developing your own style and personality is about expanding your knowledge, thoughts, and sense about the things you care about. If that's passe, who gives a damn? I don't think I can have a normal conversation about someone who uses that word anymore, "That's so Passe". What's that got to do with what you think, or what I think?

With that said, to my labmate who only listens to Celine Dion type diva songs and be openly public about it by singing in the lab, rock on brother. You're still cool,.... sometimes.

Friday, April 28, 2006

I think I've learnt what it's like to be parent



I just came back from work and my dog kobe's just lying there on the floor. Normally he would jump up and wag his tail to greet me but this time he just stays there on the floor looking at me. Then all of a sudden he jumps up as if he remembered something, then runs to the patio door and scratches it with his paw, asking me to open the door so he can sun himself outside.

I can so imagine coming home from work and my kids immediately going "Dad, can I have 20 bucks to go to the movies?" then disappear for the rest of the night. But I still love kobe, and as a parent I guess you just take what you get, don't expect any more or any less.

My parents should know, I haven't called home for several weeks. Oops!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

swamped with work

life sucks, it sucks, it really really sucks.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Defining my standards on beauty

Was reading someone else's blog about the plastic surgery issue and was reminded about my own standards on beauty. A good buddy of mine recently mentioned that whether way out of his league or not, if he see's a "chio-bu" he will try his best to court her. No loss even if it doesn't work out, he says. Besides from the obvious such as physical appearances, he wants someone who's kind and cooks well. Well my guess is, that's probably the most common standard that many guys use until they decide to "settle" for something and decide to stop looking.

I think when I was 18 I used to have the same standards. Now, I think my perceptions have changed. Pretty faces are always around; magazines, movies and porn. I don't need to go out with someone who's hot to feel satisfied or secure. On the other hand, I find the people who are good at what they do, attractive. Carmen Electra? No. Helen Hunt? Yes. Or even someone as old as Emma Thompson. Not just at a job, but overall skills set as a person. How you speak, how well you maintain relationships with people and family, and so on.

If I ever want to go with the first option, I could go back to Korea like my parents want me to. Matchmaking and blind dates are extremely common back home and especially with the recession (haha), I'd probably be a good option for someone looking out for marriage options.
I think I'd probably feel insecure in that kind of relationship, because I don't want my self-worth to be buried within the physical confines of how tall I am or what education I've had or how much salary I make. Questioning your self-worth can be the most painful thing in the world and I don't think I want to go down that path.

Is Osama still relevant?

Read Anderson Cooper's blog on CNN where he was asking if Osama Bin Laden is still relevant in the news today. He's been on the run for so long and with al qaeda only a shell of it's former capabilities, perhaps it's about time he's slowly forgotten.

Nowadays, I think Osama only serves as a stark reminder of the failings of the US government, with Bush and Rumsfeld in particular. Catching Bin Laden used to be the number one priority, but since then it's been a sequence of missteps which just keeps compounding one after another. Now it turns out Iran may be WAY more dangerous than Saddam ever was. Am I looking forward to Osama finally getting captured. Not really. However I'm looking forward to the presidential elections.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Crazy Hand

I'm ashamed to admit that I have tilted once again. I noticed a juicy 2/4 Euro NL table and sat down but couldn't hit a damn card while everyone was moving money around by going all-in with top pair. In the end I got fed up and tried to bluff in spots I knew I shouldn't have. Long story short, I was quickly down 500 Euros. Naturally I was extremely fed up since I had taken 2 weeks to build that up so I took my remaining 500 Euros to sit down at a 5/10 Euro NL Heads up table. Then this hand happened.

Game # 313209174 - Texas Hold'em No Limit EUR 5,00/10,00 - Table "Leuven", Game ended 2006-04-25 13:54:59 GMT+01:00

Players: kobechibbs (EUR 569,22 in seat 1), fstrand (EUR 918,88 in seat 2)
Dealer: kobechibbs Big Blind: fstrand (10,00) Small Blind: kobechibbs (5,00)

kobechibbs was dealt: Jd - Js

kobechibbs Call (5,00), fstrand Raise (29,00), kobechibbs Raise (100,00), fstrand Call (71,00)

Flop 9d - 2h - 4h

fstrand Check, kobechibbs All-In (459,22), and after taking forever to think fstrand Calls (459,22)

Turn 9d - 2h - 4h - Kh

River 9d - 2h - 4h - Kh - 7h

fstrand shows: 4c - Ac (a pair of fours), kobechibbs shows: Jd - Js (a pair of jacks)

kobechibbs wins: EUR 1 137,69 (with a pair of jacks) Rake: EUR 0,75

My heart skipped a beat when I saw the King on the turn as I thought he could have had Ace King, and I thought I was dead for sure when I saw the fourth heart on the river. But I guess he put me on Ace King when he called my all-in bet on the flop.

I live to survive another day.

Monday, April 24, 2006

TO SEE OURSELVES AS OTHERS SEE US

To offset a serious protein deficiency, powdered milk was introduced into the diet of New Guinea schoolchildren. But the children didn't like the milk, so a live cow was taken on tour, milked in front of them & the milk distributed in glasses. But again they grimaced & laughed & rejected it.

Miss Juanita Ferguson, a teacher in the Southern Highlands, filmed these reactions. Her students loved the films. They asked to see them over & over. Each student especially wanted to see himself - to see the funny face he had made & watch the reactions of others to his humor.

At which point, much of the resistance to milk disappeared.

Children everywhere are fascinated by pictures of them-selves, far more so than by pictures of friends. They know what friends look like, but they've never seen themselves. They're also more interested in their own art work than in the art work of others. The work of another is simply part of the environment, but their own work is visible proof of what was hitherto, for them, merely an inner thought, a psychic experience. Now part of them is visible to themselves & for a moment, at least, it gives them new identity . Then gradually it becomes subject to environmental control. Any environment has the power to distort or deflect human awareness. Photographs increase self-awareness only as long as they are private & not part of the environment.

Page 136
Oh, What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me! by Edmund Carpenter
Holt, Rinehart and Winston - New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Copyright 1972, 1973 by Edmund Carpenter
translated to hypermedia and edited by Michael Wesch 2002

Who are you?

Article from HBR: "The Power to see ourselves", Paul J. Brower, 1964.

Everything we do or say, everything we hear, feel or otherwise perceive, is influenced by how we see ourselves. Unrealistic self-appraisal has cost many a manager his or her job. Think of people you know who have been fired, eased out, or moved laterally because they no longer "seemed up for the job". Has there not been in many such cases the subtle flavor of unadaptability, or a rigid inability in a manager to adjust his or her sights to a new role as times have changed? Most familiar are the unnecessarily tragic cases of those who cannot old gracefully. Next are those uncounted misfits who fail through lack of realistic insight into their true worth. There are endless instances of failures owing to a disparity between "who I am" and "who I think I am."

If realism in the individual's self-view has a one-to-one relationship with effectiveness on the job, then it surely follows that all of us can improve our effectiveness by the simple expedient of developing a more realistic, more accurate self-concept. The difference between a strong person and a weak person may not be a difference in ability, for many clerks have keen intelligence; or in drive, for many ambitious people get nowhere; or in opportunity, for somehow, strong people make opportunity. No, the difference lies in self-concept.

Growth is the evolvement of personal goals and the sense of venture in pursuing them. This is the meaning of dedicated people. Their personal goals, their company goals, and their job goals have coincidence to a great extent; and their personal power is directed single-mindedly toward seeing themselves in relation to the fulfillment of their executive potential.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Neko-kun



It's been about four months since we took in the stray cat, that Ryan named Neko-chan. He's a boy so Neko-kun would be more appropriate I guess. He is extremely playful, naughty and much worse than Kobe in messing around in the house. Exhibit 1 - guai lan face as if to ask "waddya want?" Exhibit 2 - We left him a box to play with (which most cats like) but he decided he wanted extra doors and chewed up several huge holes.

Ryan's supposed to pick him up in a couple of months when she moves to an apartment that allows pets but I'm not really looking forward to it. A personality like his, you'll miss having around once you've gotten used to.

Forensic Economists

Gladwell proposes an interesting idea of letting loose forensic economists, that will weigh upon the circumstantial evidence of athletes under the suspicion of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I'm sure this solution will probably work in convicting those widely thought to have used steroids to propel themselves to mega-stardom:- barry bonds, mcguire, big sammy sosa, etc. The jump in their power numbers are too overwhelming for someone in their age-group that it's just too ridiculous.

HOWEVER for such a judicial system to be in place, we need to keep in mind the few innocents who may become wrongly convicted. Overcoming stacked odds and breaking new records is every boy's dream as we each undertake a sports endeavor. Now we have to be careful of overperforming in case we come under suspicion? If that's the case, we'll have to start casting doubt on every heroic sports tale ever told. e.g. George Foreman's incredible heavyweight title win in the later years of his career? It just gets too ridiculous.

Case in Point: Lance Armstrong. The guy overcame cancer, fought to build his strength back, and dominated the Tour de France. Am I 100% sure that he's clean? No. But with a story like his, I don't even want to think about the possibility of thinking that he's dirty when he's not. So until there is undeniable proof that indicates otherwise, I'll choose to believe in his courage and determination as an individual and as an athlete. The other extreme would be just too cruel.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why I blog

I've been in a slump recently. Next steps after graduation and not knowing what direction to take in my life, especially as I near the end of my 20s. So in way, this is a way for me to jot down my everyday thoughts and perhaps make some sense of my life as I go along.

And then I thought, these are things that everybody goes through. Sure not everybody is interested in reading about someone else's life but it would be cool if I could keep write a journal for my kids, when they grow up and start thinking about life. I sure would be interested to know about the choices my parents made when they were younger that made them who they are today, regardless of whether they were right or wrong. There's only so much you can gather from memories, after all I can't remember why I did the things I did when I was 18.

Of course if I don't have kids eventually, I'll have to leave it to my dog.
Kobe's my dog and Chibbs is my cat btw. Together, they are kobechibbs - with the power to eat, sleep, poop and cause destruction.

Eloquence

Main Entry: el·o·quence
Pronunciation: 'e-l&-kw&n(t)s
Function: noun
1 : discourse marked by force and persuasiveness; also : the art or power of using such discourse
2 : the quality of forceful or persuasive expressiveness

Briefly watched MM's Lee Kuan Yew's press interview/discussion with a panel of young adults, mostly fresh graduates on Channel News Asia. The questions offered weren't very incisive or thoughtful and I didn't think LKY spoke very well, although at his age it's still pretty amazing that he's still up for such public appearances. Even those his words struck me as being rather empty and a recast of the same opinions he's offered up in the past, he still struck me as someone with a remarkable amount of eloquence in his speech. Not necessarily through his words but through the level of conviction and belief that you could clearly see in his facial expressions.

It's an aspect that I've not given much thought to in the past but if eloquence is defined as "the quality of forceful or persuasive expressiveness", the spoken word is but just one aspect that you need to focus on.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Listening to Crossroads now

Don Mclean's American Pie and Vincent are great songs but Crossroads has to be his best song.

Which brings us to the Top 10 songs when you're feeling down & moody. (ala High Fidelity although I barely remember the book or the movie now)

1. Don Mclean - Crossroads
2. Stevie Nicks - Landslide
3. Bob Marley: No Woman No Cry
4. Jodeci - Lately
5. Cat Stevens - Father & Son
6. Don Mclean - Empty Chairs
7. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
8. Pulp - Something Changed
9. Natalie Merchant - Life is Sweet
10. Eminem - Mockingbird

Honorable mentions:
Frank Sinatra - My Way
Madonna - This used to be my playground
Ben Folds Five - Brick

Being Greg Maddux

Article on Greg Maddux, one of the best pitchers of our time and his philosophies that worked out pretty well for him.

1. Keeping things simple
"He is so smart, he makes everything so simple,'' Mazzone said. "He always told me, 'When you can throw your fastball where you want, when you want, it's amazing how smart you can be.' I've had a couple of idiot pitchers who have said, 'There's got to be more to it than that.'

2. Practice being in situations that make you feel uncomfortable
"The first time he threw for me in the bullpen [in 1993],'' Mazzone said, "he threw 80 percent of his pitches from the stretch. I asked him why he did that, and he said, 'The biggest pitches I make in every game come from the stretch.' It's so simple, but I'd never seen another pitcher do that. He always told me the hardest pitch for a right-handed pitcher to throw is a fastball down and away to a right-handed hitter. That's the one he practices all the time. He's always practicing, he's always thinking about what he'll do next.''

3. Play to Win
Several years ago, Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton invited Maddux to go out to dinner with him. Maddux politely declined, saying, "I've got a pizza that I didn't finish from last night, and I've got a video game that I can't beat, but tonight, I'm going to beat that game."

Gospel of Judas

Interesting article on the Gospel of Judas from Slate and the possibility that Judas might have been a Saint, and not a traitor of all mankind.

This kind of makes sense to me, which is not to say that I believe this theory completely but I'm certainly open to this possibility. If Jesus was destined to save all of mankind by sacrificing himself, why even blame Judas for it, right? In a normal situation what he did would be downright dirty and pitiful but granted those circumstances, Jack Bauer would have done the same thing.

The thing about religion is that everyone takes themselves and the written word too seriously. The priests, the rabbis, the bible, the Koran, the Sadhus (India's travelling holy men)... all they provide is but an interpretation of life and spirituality. I believe in Jesus but I'm open to the possibility that many aspects of the bible are inaccurate. In fact I haven't gone to church for a long time as I got tired of sermons that just try to force certain doctrines down your throat.

Religion is and should remain a personal issue. My interpretation of Jesus is different from everyone else's and really don't care even if my pastor thinks I'm crazy. After all, we're all here to make up our own minds about why we're here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

started playing poker again

After cashing out a few months back, had no bankroll to play for while and I played like a tilt-crazed maniac the few times I deposited small amounts to UB or Stars. It's hard to build up slowly when you're not used to playing micro limits anymore and it's hard to play through the bad beats and negative swings when playing games too rich for my micro bankroll.

In an earnest effort to build in up again so that I can make a run to tunica over the summer, started playing at a new site that offers a lot more playing bonuses. Haven't taken down any monster pots yet but doing pretty well and made some good laydowns as well (I think). It's a european site, so a lot of scandinavians at the table, using interesting cuss language which i find funny for some reason.

akaBUTTERS: runkhomo din ***** sopa
akaBUTTERS: ger ** fortarande bort gratis pengar
runkhomo: qq
akaBUTTERS: hahaha, *****
akaBUTTERS: fick ** **** draget denna gang? *****?
akaBUTTERS: ***** sopa
Winger: i am manager.......
runkhomo: bad looser?
akaBUTTERS: yeah, when u go all in with flush draw???
akaBUTTERS: and of course u get it, what else...
akaBUTTERS: fiskjavel
akaBUTTERS: samsta *** sett
akaBUTTERS: allvarligt, tanker ** overhuvudtaget?
runkhomo: come and get it back then?
akaBUTTERS: i will
akaBUTTERS: or, i would if this site were not rigged for the
fish
akaBUTTERS: lol
akaBUTTERS: never gonna play b2b again