Inktober 2019

November 7th, 2019

I did Inktober again this year! It’s all on my Instagram account but I like keeping an archive here as well.

I used brush pens again and it’s been a struggle to get decent color. On a couple of them, I switched to watercolor and that seemed to work a little better. I think if I do it again, I might switch to a more traditional pen or a thinner brush as it’s been really hard for me to draw a decent thin line with what I’ve got.

Inktober is fun to do, but whooo, it sure does take a lot of time. I kinda stopped with most of my other projects while I was doing it. I’d like to spend more time drawing but I need to figure out how to incorporate it into the rest of my life.

New Vlogging Equipment

October 31st, 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QslUvgBS1m4

You might have noticed that the production qualities on my videos are … not the greatest. I just use the webcam on my laptop, which is 7 years old. I figured at some point, I’d get a new laptop and better webcam. Well, it turns out that even the latest laptops have the same low webcam resolution (1280x720p) and smart phones have had better camera resolutions (1920x1080p) for years. My friend pointed this out to me the other day. (I believe her exact words were, “My god, Mach, your videos are terrible quality. You should use your phone.”)

So, I went to the store and found a handy kit that came with a tripod, smartphone adapter, and fancy ring light. And I made this silly video to test it out. I’m not entirely sure it’s better with the new setup because the softer resolution and darker lighting were a little more … forgiving. But we must move ever onward!

Anyways, I hope you’re happy, Maria.

Vine!

September 28th, 2019

Hey, remember Vine? Back in 2013 or so, it was a site where you could upload 6-second clips of video. I made a few clips but the site shut down after a few years. I thought about them recently and I figured I should keep a copy here for reference in the future.

I did a cartwheel while holding my phone!

2014.06.29

Perpetual motion kid! (It was meant to be played on loop.)

2013.09.14

Dyson going down the covered slide at Live Oak Park.

2013.05.07

Climbing fun at Dogpatch Boulders.

2013.04.07

See how a BART ride to San Francisco turned into a trip all the way to Millbrae.

2013.04.07

Tracy and Dyson coming back from a visit to the in-laws. 2013.03.31

Facebook Dating for Married People

September 26th, 2019

https://youtu.be/3hN-ivcHRGw

I heard about Facebook Dating a couple years ago at one of their keynotes. It seemed a little ominous because they just know so much about you. But they made a couple points that I thought were smart:

  • No dating within your circle of friends.
  • Only single people.

But then I started hearing reports that married people were getting notifications about Facebook Dating and sure enough, I got one. So, I had to make a video about it.

I have to say, I’m totally fascinated by dating because I have almost no experience with it. My wife and I met through writing letters (this was before email was a thing) and we pretty much started going out as soon as we met in person. And then we got married pretty soon after that.

So I thought this would be a great chance to try out the whole dating experience. My wife vetoed that idea pretty quickly. Ah well. On the plus side, this is a rare video where she makes an appearance! So there you go.

I’m teaching Japanese now?

September 20th, 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRd9v-ILIYk

So, a while back, I went to Japan with some friends at work for a conference so I thought it’d be fun to make a video about useful phrases for tourists. Surprisingly, it became one of my more popular videos on YouTube.

And then I remembered this one time when someone asked me how parents tell their kids they love them in Japanese and I joked that I had no idea since my mom never told me that, so that led to a video about useful phrases for friends and family.

And then I had this idea about how there really isn’t swearing in Japanese, which led to a video about swearing in Japanese.

This latest video came about because I was thinking about my experiences working in Japan and then in Hawaii at a sorta Japanese company. I only spent a few summers and then one year working in Japan and it was a long time ago but hopefully, the information is still relevant.

I loved my time working in Japan and at the other company that was sorta Japanese. Those were crazy and fun times. But the work culture is pretty intense over there and I’m thankful that I work and live in America.

12 Lessons Learned from Pixar and Google

September 4th, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQrRbcKVOtg

I don’t talk a lot about work much in my videos or on this blog, because I like to focus on the stuff I do outside work in these places. But over the years, there were some interesting things I learned at work that had an impact on the sort of things I do outside of work. So I started jotting them down.

At some point, this started to become a list, and then I thought it might make for an interesting talk because, hey, I like to talk. But then, I couldn’t think of an appropriate place to give such a talk. But then, it occurred to me that I’ve got a YouTube channel, so there it is. I don’t know if anyone else will find this interesting to watch, but I had fun making it. Actually, more than fun, I found it satisfying to make.

This is also something that I’ve been trying to work on: It makes me happy when people enjoy the things I make but I’m trying to worry less about that and concentrate on the work itself. In other words, focus less external validation and more on internal validation. Hmm, maybe that’s another video…

Mach vs. Pyramid of Cans

August 1st, 2019

https://youtu.be/UMiCj8uRLNA

So … my friend at work had a drinking problem, by which I mean he would drink those awful, slightly flavored soda waters day in and day out. But he wouldn’t throw away the cans, he’d just pile them up on his desk. So then we had the bright idea to stack them up into a pyramid on an unused desk in the office, which was great.

But then someone needed that desk.

So we were faced with a dilemma of how to dispose of them and I came up with the bright idea of kicking them down with vague thoughts of trying to do a backwards roundhouse kick that I had once learned in high school. Then people decided to film it, and then I decided I wanted to have some fun with the footage.

I grew up on cheesy 80s action movies so I wanted to try to recreate that. I cut them together, added a little effects, created a silly music track in Garage Band, et voila: a cinematic masterpiece. The most time consuming part was creating the little face that shows up on the pyramid 7 and a half minutes in. Dyson thought it would be funny. He also liked the repeating kicks. I was hoping I could get him to try doing a roundhouse kick but he wasn’t having any of that.

Also, he thought a front kick would have been better. Everybody’s a critic.

Pigsy Banksy

May 5th, 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLmKJkRrky8

Last weekend, a few friends and I participated in Ludum Dare where people try to make a game in a weekend. The theme was “Your life is currency” and we came up with Pigsy Banksy (follow the link to download it for Windows, Mac, or Linux):

  • You’re a flying piggy bank.
  • You collect coins, which are also your life.
  • You shoot coins to hit objects, but they cost life.
  • The more coins you have, the heavier you are and the harder it is to fly.

To make the game, we used the Unity game engine and I used Tilt Brush and Poly Toolkit to create some assets, including the main character:

The main things I worked on was the character animation (Pigsy squints when she takes damage, her legs swing as she flies, and she does little idle animations like blinking and snorting). I also did some work on the controls and some other animation things like the coins bouncing in and numbers popping up for your coin count.

It was a ton of fun to do and I learned a lot. The main things are to keep the idea simple and it helps to know your tools. In my case, I burned a couple hours getting git to work with two-factor authentication on my laptop. In particular, I learned I had to:

If anyone’s curious, the entire git repository is available here.

Blindfolded haircut

March 8th, 2019


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAhpKaM2IGA

The video goes into what led me to cut my hair while blindfolded but this was also a bit of an experiment with social media. I put a shorter version of this on Instagram and I’m curious how they’ll compare.

Also, the thing at the restaurant bathroom actually happened. I get mistaken for a woman pretty regularly. It doesn’t bother me and it’s kinda funny to see people startle when they hear my voice. Ah, the joys of being androgynous.

Incidentally, I made this entire post on my phone while on the bus to work, which was an interesting challenge.

Beard

January 5th, 2019


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbUbUMRni84

I am physically incapable of growing a beard, which is weird because my dad had to shave, like, twice a day. But the men on my mom’s side all lacked facial hair so I guess I take after that side. On the plus side, they all kept their hair well into old age. Anyways, it’s kind of a toss-up whether Dyson will have much facial hair or not. But now he’s ready!

Also, this kinda started with No-Shave November which I participated in once, but nobody noticed.