NaNoWriMo 2016

Ever since Marie wanted to learn to program in 2009, I’ve wanted to write a book to help her. But I never could get started.

The National Novel Writing Month is November every year for just this purpose: to motivate people to put 50,000 words on paper (about the size of the novel, Slaughterhouse-Five), editor be damned.

I first heard about it in 2007, when I started using Scrivener, but dismissed it because the requirement that a novel be fiction. I only just found about NaNo Rebels, which allows you to customize the “50,000 words” into nearly any other creative exercise, including non-fiction. So yesterday, this was born:

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Badge

Nowadays, I use Ulysses. I simply created a group in the software and set a 50,000 word goal and started typing away!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 2

Goal setting on my iPad.

I don’t know if I can finish since it’s about a good sized blog article each and every day. We’ll see how it goes. So far it’s been a bit strange writing a book. For instance, I can’t use my WordPress shortcode macros lest I ruin the word count.

Periodically, I’ll dump the output to my blog, which you can track here. Wish me luck!

If you want to buddy up, I’m “tychay” there.

Us in Korea

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

Here is family photo sans Aboji. I sent you this photo of us in our Seoul house in 1954. We had a large spacious house with tatami mats, heated floors and a large yard with a garden. Surrounding it was a cement wall for privacy. The back of the photo gives our names and ages. (The ages are Korean ages, meaning it is one year older than it is here in the western world).

Francis Ree Family

Clockwise from the top left: (Hay In) Francis 19, (Shin He) Teresa 17 (my mother), mother (grandma), (Jung He) Jeanne 9, and (Ju He) Bernadette 20.

Continue reading the discussion thread after the jump

@Tay.AI predicts the next Pulitzer

I love articles like this. After all, I’ve been saying for the better part of a year that Donald Trump is Microsoft Tay made flesh and stuffed into an ill-fitting suit:

Note to self: Add Sanjiv Rai to this tool and this one to list of people that we won’t have to hear anything about ever on November 9.

I seriously wonder how these reporters find these whack-a-loons, because they deserve whatever the Ig Nobel-equivalent there is for a Pulitzer. Who knew there is such a large market for liberal bed-wetting? 😀

Article in U of Utah magazine

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

It’s a page from the Alumni magazine

article in U of Utah magazine.jpg


Reminiscing with musical records from home on the family stereo set is the Dr. Alexis Taikyue Ree family, 228 Douglas Street. Dr. Ree came to Salt Lake City 12 years ago as an exchange professor at the University of Utah. During the Korean War he lost contact with his family, who finally joined him six years later. Left to right, they are Bernadette, 25; Teresa, 23; Joan, 15; and Dr. and Mrs. Ree.

Many requests come to the Ree family to describe and model their native costume which they wear only at such occasions. Both older girls are working toward a doctors degree at the University. Bernadette is a psychology major, Teresa is studying chemistry. An older brother, Francis, has his Ph.D. and is working in atomic research at the University of California in Berkeley.

Dr. Ree worked with Dr. Henry Eyring, now Dean of the Graduate School at the U., in 1939-41 at Princeton University. A native of Korea, Dr. Ree graduated from and then taught chemistry at Kyoto University in Korea (ED: in Japan). After World War II he was invited to return to Korea where at that time he became dean of Arts and Science at the University of Seoul (ED: Seoul National University).

Mrs. Ree, from one of the oldest Catholic family in Korea, reports interesting stories of martyrdom in her ancestry. In America as in Korea, she is strictly a housewfie and mother. All four of the children were born in Korea (ED: two were born in Japan). Joan is a freshman at Judge Memorial High School and has taken piano lessons since she was seven.

At the International Atomic Energy Conference in Vienna, Austria, in October, 1960, Dr. Ree received this significant medal form the Korean Government. The Korean National Academy Award, it was presented for his research in chemistry kinetics (the behavior of molecules and atoms) and for his research in plastics. At the time Korea sent a delegation to honor him.

Continue reading the discussion of the article after the jump

The Artist’s Handwriting

After a break and much debate, I decided to not skip Chapter 2 of Keys to Drawing.

Sometime in the future, I’ll most certainly need to go back and practice copying the other masters to make up for the fact that I’m doing things digitally, but for this pass, I simply tried my hand at the first artist mentioned: Eugène Delacroix.

Study of Study of Lions by Eugene Delacroix
Procreate on iPad Pro 9.7″

Liberty Leading the People this is not. I need more practice. 😉

You can find Delacroix’s original drawing here.

As you can tell from the date, I started the exercises in this chapter two weeks ago.

Continue reading about the long slog through this chapter after the jump

Political courage

Last week, no less than eleven people on my facebook shared this “confession” from Mike Rowe, with positive comments.

I can’t believe people think this deserves anything other that derision.

He’s more “Hollywood” than the people he denigrates. It takes real political courage to potentially alienate half your viewers, it takes none to opt-out with the tired “I won’t say, other than our politics sucks”-cop-out. It is pure pandering to use ill-thought-out platitudes like “voting is a right, not a (civic) duty” and “most people are too stupid or uninformed to vote” in a manner crafted so that **all** sides can retweet, repost, and feel self-righteous about it.


If you take his philosophy to its natural and logical conclusion, we as a country should reinstitute literacy tests and poll taxes to disenfranchise minorities and other such undemocratic measures. After all, what better way to ensure a enlightened democracy than to allow only those with the requisite amount of education and capital to make the “right” decision? Plato agrees, fuck this thing called democracy.

Here is the truth: The United States has been an experiment in whether a democratic republic can ensure liberty. Yes, even if that means risking its failure under a Trump presidency because more people voted for him. Taking that risk is courage; abdicating it, like Mike Rowe, is cowardice.

Ignore the cowards, if you have the right, even if you believe Hitlery will destroy America and needs to be stopped (heck, because you believe she will destroy America), go vote on November 8 this election. That’s an act of political courage and another test of this two hundred and thirty year experiment.

Leaving Korea for the USA

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

The attached photo is of us at Kimpo airport waiting to board a flight to the USA. We all look miserable and sad because we are leaving life as we knew it back then. I remember the propeller plane, so loud. I remember waking up from a nap on the loud plane and heard my siblings talking to each other — hard for me to believe because they hadn’t spoken to each other for more than a year (and used me as a messenger when they needed to communicate).

Leaving Korea for USA

Left to right: ?, Aunt Tamaye, Uncle Francis (in front of Aunt Gia), Grandma, Dr. Tae-Bong Kim, Teresa (my mom)

Continue reading the discussion of the photo after the jump

I come to bury PHP, not to praise it?

(I received an answer request from someone on Quora for this question. At the time of my writing, there were only two answers, both that boiled down to “use Python.” While I feel I was asked to balance out that with some PHP cheerleading, I can’t bring myself to do that. Nor, can I hop on the bandwagon.)

Between PHP and Python which is better for a startup?

My answer reads like a Zen koan: it depends on the nature of the problem; it doesn’t really matter. It becomes the nature for future problems; that makes it matter.

Continue reading an to see that the koan does actually make sense after the jump

Who they are, who we are

I understand Trump appeal, he is a man who speaks for the “people”. The question for me is not Trump because there is away going to be some asshole who comes along, what bothers me is the alt-right movement altogether. It’s like why is there so much hate that is being taken as logic among this group?

The “alt-right” almost ended our revolution before it was declared. They tore at our republic before it was founded. We fought the bloodiest war in our history with them. When it was finally over, they found a way to void it within a decade so their sin would forever be our sin. Even as recently as 1968, George Wallace carried five states solely on their message. After that, the Republican Party rebuilt their entire party around them. Heck, the anti-abortion movement is their proxy contrived for polite company.

They had many guises and went by many names: slavery, “fit vs. unfit”, “separate-but-equal” “states rights”, movement conservatism, “cognitive elite”, “religious freedom”, and, most recently, yes, the alt-right.

Even before they became “Redeemers” at the first hint of threat to their power, they embedded a nomination rule to ensure they had veto power within the Democratic Party. When that was finally excised to elect FDR, they migrated to the Republican Party and they are only now just discovering that their tiny plurality in their former party comprises the majority of the motivated base of their new one (hence Trumpism).

No, the “alt-right” under some name has always been with us and will always be with us. It is our original sin and a part of the American identity. When they rear their ugly head, they need to be fought and “roundly defeated by the abiding decency and good sense” of the rest of us. And yet, at the same time, sadly, we must admit, they are us: We, the People.

Nobody said democracy was easy.

Comfort yourself with the knowledge that they have always been the losers in our history. They were the losers when they said a black man is three-fifth of a person, they were (are?) losers when they said that a woman couldn’t vote, they were losers when they sent blacks to the back of the bus, forced birth on women, and kept gays from marrying. And, yes, they will be the losers again—they that say build this wall, deport that Muslim, and show your birth certificate at the bathroom door.