…there is no thought, “I have attained something.” When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners.
— Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Now that I’ve spent over a year relearning how to program, it’s getting to the point that I can spend some spare time applying the system of shuhari to something I never learned: drawing.

The cynical me says if President George W Bush can do it, how hard can it be? But the real reason is I’ve always wanted to draw and admired and encouraged my friends who had the talent, but gave up trying myself around the sixth grade.

Later, I learned that “having talent” for something just means willingness to practice at it and fail, a lot. It was feeling embarrassment over the latter that kept me from seriously attempting to learn drawing.

Continue reading about my attempt to draw my eyes after the jump

Grandpa’s reunion

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

Here is a picture of Grandpa Aboji with his family. To his right is his older sister. This was taken when Aboji went back to Korea for the first time in close to 20 years.

Aboji reunion with his family.jpg
Aboji reunion with his family

My grandfather is in the middle foreground. He was recently commemorated on a postage stamp in South Korea.

한국의 과학 두 번째.jpg
한국의 과학 두 번째

The artist messed up. There is no reason for my grandfather to be wearing a sweater under his suit. 😉

Edit: Letter from my cousin

Oh man I love your blog posts. I scrolled quickly to the one on grandpa and thought you should know… he did frequently wear a sweater under his suit! I have strong memories of a camel colored one and sometimes a soft burgundy cardigan worn almost like a suit vest. To me, it was an extra suave, climate-prepared, and eccentric detail I was glad got captured in the stamp.

The pepper gives up the ghost

“Let me tell you why I want to visit the bookstore. The next thing I’m supposed to draw is a green pepper. But because of its shape, I’m having trouble getting started. I thought maybe I could find a different drawing book to distract myself until I can get the energy.”

“So that’s why you have that on our dining room table,” she noted. “You know it’s gotten to the point where the pepper has acne.”

“Heck, it’s much worse than just acne,” I observe.

“Yeah. Did you know that it’s a ghost pepper?”

“Oh? Then it must be really hot.”

“No, not hotter than a regular bell pepper.”

“But, green peppers have a Scoville rating of zero. Ghost peppers are supposed to be hot.”

“Well then not that. It’s a special pepper though.”

“The only thing special about that pepper is it has pepper leprosy. Maybe what makes it special is it’s got Pepprosy.”

Rotting gypsy pepper
I didn’t get a different book, but I finally got unstuck enough to finish the drawing. As I was dropping it into the compost bin, she informed me that it was actually a gypsy pepper .

Don’t worry, boo, I got enough Korean drama for the both of us

Her: Let me finish the episode of this Korean drama.

Me: Why you watching that? You have Korean drama right here! *points at self*

She laughed, so I had to tweet it. 🙂

I think the drama was Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, which she described as, “Kdrama version of Outlander.” All I could tell was everyone looks like a girl, and since all asians look alike to me, I wasn’t going to get my head in a knot watching it.

A little about WaterField

Gary Waterfield:

Subject: Thanks for finding us!

Congratulations on being part of an exclusive group of people who own a San Francisco-made WaterField product. You might see another one— at an airport, a café in Florence, or a business meeting in Austin.  The best cases in the world attract some of the best and most diverse people in the world and we are glad to have you be part of our community. 

All our bags and cases are made by the most skilled sewing team in San Francisco. Please keep in touch and let us know what else we can do for you.

BTW, how did you bump into us? 

Thanks again,
Gary Waterfield

Continue reading about Waterfield bags after the jump

Photos of your mom

My aunt started an e-mail thread in my family. I’ll include excerpts here periodically.

I am cleaning the house of more pictures — so many. In the album Grandma Omma left, I found some pictures your mom. I will send another email of your mom and dad’s wedding that you probably have seen already.

Teresa so young.jpg
Teresa so young

My mom, like her father before her, loved science. She started in physical chemistry like her father but her heart condition caused by rheumatic fever led her to work in biophysics studying the neural network of the heart and heart arrhythmias.

Continue reading about and seeing more photos after the jump

What “Store” means

My father often calls Apple Store, “the Apple company”, so it with some amusement that I read MacRumors’s rare case of good reporting where they show a lot of evidence that Apple is in the process of dropping the “store” moniker from their Apple Store locations.

The next day, John Gruber linked to it and added:

The “Store” branding only made sense when the concept was novel. Now that Apple’s stores are well established, it makes sense to drop the “Store”. Think about the brands that are Apple’s peers in retail. No one goes to the Tiffany Store or Gucci Store, they just go to Tiffany or Gucci.

This is a classic example of taking good reporting and diminishing it with thoughtless punditry and fanboyism—it must be a good move because Apple did it. In the end, the reader is left worse off than if the link was provided without comment.

Continue reading some critical thinking about the meaning of “Stores” in stores after the jump

The Apostles Query

Saw this on my feed the other day:

Beautiful queries
Beautiful queries

“Just wrote the most complex SQL statement I have ever written. It won’t scale, but it’s so beautiful. :)”

Cal’s query brought tears to my eyes. When a finch landed on it, I saw it pivot. It was deeply religious…


I believe in Codd, the Father Almighty,

and in MySQL, His PRIMARY KEY, our INDEX:
Which was established by the DB driver,
born of the Open Source;
suffered under Larry Ellison,
was TRUNCATE’d, DELETE’d and was DROP’d.
It RAISE()ed into non-TEMP, RIGHT JOIN’d with Codd the Father Almighty;
from thence It shall come to SELECT FROM the relational and non-relational.

I believe in the DB driver,
the Fourth Normal Form,
the relations of tables,
the ROLLBACK of failed transactions,
the RESTORE from logical backups,
and the persistence of storage.


Next up: Ave MariaDB.