March 3rd, 2014
Kids are crazy about cardboard houses. Dyson’s been asking for one for a while and we finally accumulated enough cardboard. So I asked him what he wanted. He was very specific:
- A door.
- Enough room to lie down in.
I get the desire to have a door and enough space to lie down in, but what’s with the need for darkness? I have no idea. Also, once I made it, he was very clear that Tracy and I could only come in if we were invited. And we had to knock first.
You know what else kids are crazy about? Dress up. Superheroes and fairy princesses. But at the age of 4, kids are not as gender-restrictive as adults. My mother-in-law forbids us from sharing any incriminating photos that might hinder a future Presidential bid but I will say that Dyson is adorable in a wide range of attire.
February 18th, 2014
Dyson really loves trains. I don’t know why. And for some reason, he’s particularly enamored of the Southern Pacific 4449. I think it has something to do with a video he used to watch over and over of a train scene from the movie Tough Guys.
So for his birthday, I took a couple of wooden trains and painted it the colors to match. He didn’t quite recognize it at first so I asked him what was wrong. He looked at it and said, “It should have 4449 on it”. So I painted the numbers on it as well and now it’s acceptable.
January 23rd, 2014
If you haven’t seen “Her”, you should definitely check it out. It’s thought provoking and I identified with a lot of it. It’s not like I have deep conversations with my computer or anything. But I have had a lot of conversations with people on the computer, which has a lot of the same sense of connection without physicality that the film explores.
This is kind of a different topic altogether, but technology has had a profound effect on the way I interact with people. I have a number of friends that I don’t get to see much, but I still keep in touch through chat or email. That’s great, but it’s also strange to think that some of my relationships have become almost entirely virtual. I have lots more to say on that topic, but this was supposed to be a post about a silly video inspired by an interesting movie.
I liked “Her” a lot and I found Scarlett Johansson to be particularly effective in that role. But I’m a heterosexual male and the film sort of caters to that. So I started thinking about what it’d be like with a different “voice”. Hence, the silly video.
Also, a funny bit of trivia: my dad actually went to high school with George Takei.
January 20th, 2014
During the week, I spend about 3 to 4 hours a day on a bus and I used to feel pretty queasy by the end of it. I tried a few different things like making sure I don’t have an empty or full stomach, sitting on the bottom deck, looking out the window, etc. But the most effective thing for me was ginger.
There are probably a bunch of different ways to use it but I just opted for buying a big jar of the pickled version that they usually have with sushi. Somehow, the tangy sharpness of it really settles my stomach. I suck on on a piece or two for a while and then just bite down on it when I start to feel a bit queasy and that usually takes care of it.
So if you’re prone to motion sickness like I am (apparently, motion sickness is more common among Asians), give it a try!
January 13th, 2014
Every once in a while, I get a brilliant idea for a video. Something transcendent that will alter the very way people will — ok, maybe not. Mostly, I get really dumb ideas like this.
January 8th, 2014
Ever since it was announced that Google was buying robotics companies, some people have been freaking out with the comparisons to Terminator 2. I wanted to lay those fears to rest so I made this totally reassuring video.
A couple of notes:
- Intentionally blinking while talking is really hard.
- I hope this doesn’t get me fired…
January 2nd, 2014
My web host recently migrated the server my blog was hosted on and as a result, my blog wasn’t available for a couple days. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone but me noticed.
Anyways, it got me thinking about the infrequency of my blog posts as of late. Then I was curious to see how much of an impact it makes on viewership and iPhone app sales so I made a graph. Some observations:
- Blog viewership seems uncorrelated to iPhone app sales.
- Blogs should probably have at least a post or two a week to maintain an audience.
- If you want to do either a blog or iPhone apps, try to do it before you have a kid!
December 29th, 2013
I started to write that this year was one of big change what with the new job and all that that entails (completely different job, entirely different people, super long commute). But looking back on it, it seems like every year or two has had a big change: moving to the Bay Area, starting a blog, writing iPhone apps, having a kid, etc.
One thing that I have noticed, though, is how quickly we become accustomed to change. This applies to both the good and the bad. A decade ago, my wife was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which has significant implications for the rest of our lives. At the time, I wondered how we would ever adjust to it. But we did.
And this is how I know I’ll eventually get accustomed to commuting for 4-5 hours a day. If nothing else, it’ll give me a chance to practice my French.
December 23rd, 2013
Every year, I think we should do a nice Christmas card or something. Everybody else with kids somehow manage to do it. I have no idea how, though. For one thing, it’s rare when we’re all awake together. And when we are, someone is often bawling in tears. Usually, it’s the kid.
But this year, I came up with the brilliant idea of making a video of singing a Christmas carol with the boy. There were a few minor details that I did not count on:
- Dyson does not know these songs very well.
- Neither do I.
- He is more interested in taking funny pictures with the computer than he is in singing.
December 15th, 2013
I recently saw a great article by a woman who found herself constantly asked, “Is that your baby?” As another parent of a biracial kid, it’s also something I’ve heard a lot. And I felt a lot of the same frustrations that she did. But one thing that’s different is that there’s no underlying connotation that I might be the nanny, since nannies don’t tend to be male.
It got me thinking about context, though. The same thing can be said to two different people, but it might have a much different impact based on their past experiences. I recently saw an article about the stigma about dating asian men (especially if they’re short) that really hit home because I certainly have a lot of insecurities related to that.
I wondered, though, how much of it is just based on how I interpret things? I try to judge each interaction on its own merits but I’ve got to say, it’s hard to ignore a lifetime of patterns.