Really bad thoughts

The other day at Lunch 2.0, I made the mistake of calling ValleyWag the National Enquirer of Silicon Valley in front of a Vallewag reporter. I was promptly corrected that it was the US Weekly. I guess that embarrassment was penalty for not paying attention to the mastheads when I’m at the supermarket.

Valleywag stops by for a quickie
Valleywag stops by for a quickie
Lunch 2.0 @ Ning, Palo Alto, California

Nikon D200, Tokina AT-X PRO 16-50mm f/2.8 DX
1/40sec @ f/2.8, iso800, 26mm (39mm)

Megan McCarthy of Valleywag. Don’t mess with these peeps—their keyboard is mightier than your coding skills.

Had I been thinking more along my sort of reading, I’d have called Valleywag the “Talk of the Town” of the Valley, but nobody actually reads that. If I said it was the “Page Six of the Valley”, you’d understand.

This is all a really bad segue into the fact that a friend of mine appeared in Valleywag recently in which they made a passing reference to a certain trait of hers I never noticed. And this reminded me of something that occurred in high school and why I have a natural defense mechanism to be oblivious to these things.

[Having really bad thoughts, after the jump] Continue reading Really bad thoughts

Bribe Your Siteops Day

Mariano tells me that it is important to keep your siteops well fed, because they are the ones that make us software programmers look good. SiteOps keeps your machines running and when you’re as big as Tagged, that means five people on call 24-7 maintaining hundreds of machines for you.

Things went ugly on Wednesday when us and half the Web 2.0 world went down because 365Main failed—“World’s Finest Data Centers”? Give me the second tier then—at least they won’t have three backup generators failing at once on the same day they issue a press release bragging about their two years of continuous uptime. Fuckers.

And even though our SiteOps was first on the scene, they couldn’t get in because the power outage locked the doors as they watched helplessly as the co-location decided to play five-year-old with the power on our server tier—machines never designed to be powered off at all. As the folks at uncov said:

“The only real victims of yesterday’s outage are the poor sysadmins who had to line up outside the datacenter to make sure their machines came up correctly. I really feel for these guys, they’re the only people in Web 2.0 who are doing honorable work.”

True dat.

Recovering from that hell, plus a scheduled power upgrade this weekend, and prep work for a massive site-wide software upgrade means that our poor SiteOps is going to be very busy this week in order to make me look good. So when I heard that it is System Administrator Appreciation Day, I thought it’d be apropos if I gifted them some clearly addictive substances in order to get SiteOps on my side—in this case a dozen cookies from Specialty’s.

Financial District, San Francisco, California

Apple iPhone

Keep your sysadmins happy!

Now don’t you wish you worked at Tagged? :-D

Perfect Ringing (This iPhone)

At work today Mark Kater and Sarah were joking that I’ve been as sick as long as I’ve had my iPhone. I guess my iPhone has bad Feng Shui.

Then Mark mentioned that the song in the iPhone television commercials, gives him the classically Apple 38 seconds of “all is good in the world” before he wakes up back to reality. I hadn’t heard the song, but when I mentioned this to our graphic designer, he said he hears the song in his sleep. The song is “Perfect Timing (This Morning)” by Orba Squara.

Hmm… that would make an awesome ringtone. :-D

Perfect Ringing
Perfect Ringing
North Beach, San Francisco, California

Nikon D70, Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D, Canon 500D close up filter
1/45sec @ f/1.4, iso200, 85mm (127mm)

It was indeed “Perfect Timing” because today was also when someone posted a desktop app for customizing the iPhone ringtone.

Some notes:

  • To get the song, there are a lot of ways. I purchased it in iTunes Music Store, burned to CD, and reimported as MP3
  • Intel Mac binary only. No PowerPC, No Windows
  • “There is no Step 1.” :-D
  • If your unlock fails, you have to click the “skip” button the second time around. Else it will keep playing the pig zapper sound.
  • The “Put the iPhone into Recovery Mode” means to hold the home and sleep buttons on the iPhone for 25 seconds until you see the recovery mode icon
  • Just kill “iTunes Helper” so iTunes doesn’t start up on you
  • Remember to select the ringtone (a green + appears next to the ringtone)
  • The iPhone speakers have a shitty bass

Have fun! Continue reading Perfect Ringing (This iPhone)

No whammies, big money

A funny rumor appeared on TechCrunch about the company I work for.

I won’t comment about the rumor. (To be honest, I’m so bad with numbers I wouldn’t be able to get the number right even if I did.) Instead I’d like to point out Comment 26:

“15M can hire the BEST engineers and product team in the bay area, word on the streets is that they already have 3 of the hottest sh*t php engineers, and a famous architect boot. I would watch out for them in the near future.”

Famous architect? Moi?


P.S. Tagged is hiring. I don’t know about the others but I’m looking for some young, hot sh*t PHP engineers who don’t mind working with a “famous architect” for a profitable, growing, hot startup with tons of money. (The beauty here is you don’t work for me. I’m like the color commentator of your code.)

We’ll see who can kick out more product. As long as you kids don’t keep stealing my hearing aid, I’ll give you a run, I promise. :-D

Contact Mark Jen and Terry Chay (especially Mark, I’m just an engineer… but apparently a “hot sh*t” one. :-D).


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any geekier with inside jokes, lolgeeks is an amusing take on LOLCATS. Here geeks make various image macros in pidgin of photos of other geeks.

And just when you thought I couldn’t get any geekier, I find out that my “Chris as a beer” photo made lolgeeks

Chris’s beer costume
Chris’s beer costume
Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland, OR

Nikon D200, 10.5mm f/2.8G fisheye
1/180 sec @ f/13, iso 125, 11mm (15mm)

LOLGEEKS: i is a beer!
me: lol. i is a fotografr!
flawedartist: oh rly? no wai!

Chris, that’s karmic retribution for being declared a PHP hero a full three weeks before me!

Like that stuff? Then if you are “in” the social networking site with wit (and a horrible name): I’m In Like With You, why the hell aren’t you bidding up, flawedartist’s game in which Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal and CEO of Slide at Facebook’s f8 event, is in sore need of an lolgeeks caption?

im in like with yr games
bidding up yr peeps

[more inside geek jokes after the jump] Continue reading LOLGeeks

Stories about my wallet

I still haven’t recovered from the cold I had a month ago. I’m on a CEO-ordered mandate to not come into work the rest of the week and that should explain my lack erratic communications of late. Having my boss tell me, “Stop coming into work, get better” is the Terry equivalent of exercising the the nuclear option.

Well before I fall back asleep (because my body really is shutting down), here is what happenned yesterday:

I had a bet with my web developer about a piece of filtering code I wrote that was breaking a certain type of link. It turned out that the bet was a draw: yes, it was in my code; no, my code wasn’t broken. I decided to call it a loss and treat him to coffee at Starbucks—we have a nice Starbucks coffee machine at work, but “Cafe Verona” and “Cafe Verona Decaf” does not constitute an adequate set of options.

He ordered his reward, then I ordered the grande mocha cappuccino (yes, that was what the chalkboard told me to order). I then pulled out my wallet to get the Starbucks card. I just have the card as an excuse to treat people to coffee. I’m the only person in my family who isn’t a coffee drinker, I just drink socially, or when I’m desperate.

“Whoops! I have to use my credit card instead.” I then explain to my co-worker what happened to my card, “Normally, I have a Starbucks card but I cleaned out my wallet last month. Now I kept the Starbucks card, it’s just that I had a George Costanza wallet before, which stretched the wallet, and now when I pull this out, all the cards on the right side have been flying out. I guess it flew out recently and I lost the Starbucks card.”

The girl behind the cash register overheard this and laughed when I said “George Costanza wallet.” Apparently the same thing happens to her.

The moral of this story is, don’t clean out your wallet when you’re sick in bed and have nothing better to do with the idle time.

My wallet (slimmed)
My wallet (slimmed)
North Beach, San Francisco, California

Nikon D70, Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D
1/600sec @ f/2.8, iso200, 85mm (127mm)

Continue reading Stories about my wallet

Job: Software Architect for NovaTunes in Venice, CA

Sent to my by my friend John Herren (sorry about the delay in posting):

Life’s a Beach! Fix The Music Business! Work in VENICE, California

NovaTunes is a revolutionary new music company putting control in the hands of the artists and delivering quality music to a hungry global community. One lucky contestant will join a small team of web and music veterans as Software Architect. NovaTunes has a great vibe, sits 100 yards from the Boardwalk and is hooked-up in the worlds of music and web.

We seek an experienced code writer unafraid to get his/her hands dirty and turn a great vision into a reality working with and managing top software developers both off-site and at our Venice HQ. The Software Architect guides development of the company’s web site, community and technology and interfaces with Web Producers to create widgets and cool web apps.

A successful Software Architect will have an excellent opportunity to make a difference and advance within the company.


  • Solid PHP and MySQL scripting skills
  • Familiarity with HTML, DHTML, JavaScript, CSS 2.0
  • Widgets/Gadgets using Flash or Ajax
  • Audio-Video and Broadband and Networking
  • Hands-on experience with relational database design and web service API’s
  • Search engine optimization
  • Some knowledge of JSP/Java, ASP,.NET
  • Familiarity with the LAMP environment (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)

Bonus Skills:

  • 5+ years professional Web development experience
  • BS/BA in CS, EE, or equivalent education experience
  • Strong presentation, communication, and collaboration skills
  • Experience with online communities
  • Positive attitude and professionalism in the workplace

Generous equity in well-funded company, benefits, competitive salary and casual work environment.

Contact Us:
So, if sad and you’re feeling blue go out and buy yourself a new pair of shoes, but if you need a job to afford the shoes call Michael Lato @ 310-748-8041 or send an e-mail to novatunesjob [at] here.

Continue reading Job: Software Architect for NovaTunes in Venice, CA

What Web 2.0 is…

Dave called me today to complain about the sudden explosion of strange terms that have been appearing on the resumes of people he interviews: Ajax, SaaS, SOAs, Scrum, and, of course, the dreaded Web 2.0.

I said some stuff which I won’t repeat because I’ve decided to refrain from kicking Java while it’s down. :-D

Dave also mentioned that I haven’t pissed on Ruby in a couple weeks and their TIOBE stats have started to recover. But I figured, that since Ruby on Rails has hitched its car onto the front of the Web 2.0 train and that baby is going full steam ahead toward the cliff… Let’s just say I’m betting it won’t reach the requisite eighty-eight miles per hour.

Speaking of which, what’s with the fucked up vocabulary/acronyms in the Ruby world? RoR? (Rawr!!!!) DHH? (Dude, like I’m going to confuse him with the six other Dave Hansson’s in my address book?)

This somehow led into a discussion on how Chris Pirillo is my hero—which I guess makes him a hero’s hero:

(Dave’s comment while watching the video: “I think I phone screened the first guy.”) Reminds me of the phone calls I’ve been getting recently (only not as long or nearly as funny). Hopefully, they’ll go away now that I replaced my Vista phone with an iPhone. :-D

[Gnomedex and Lunch 2.0 after the jump!] Continue reading What Web 2.0 is…

Did you ever know that I’m your hero?

Can I ever say enough times how much I like to hear my name? Oh sure, Meagan one-upped my last article by getting her photo in Valleywag. But I refuse to be outdone.

Me! Me! Me!

So a big thank you to Bobs Matthis for making me his hero on Friday, with my own trading card, special powers, and everything. :-)

Terry Chay

Bobs writes:

“I am a subscriber of [t]his blog and always look forward to [Terry’s] next post. His blog is always entertaining as he mixes in technical posts right along with everything else. He has a way with mixing in comical antics along with technical posts where he still comes across as an experienced developer, intelligent, and hilarious.”

Pshawww!!! I’m blushing! (In other news, my readership count has jumped to 11! That’s like as high as the dial goes, baby!)

[More about me after the jump] Continue reading Did you ever know that I’m your hero?

A fish(y) story

It is because of random flukes like this:

I make C|Net’s News.Com frontpage (sort of)

Baseball cap? Check? New York Giants? Check. Geek convention? Check. This reminds me, C|Net really needs to host a Lunch 2.0… Check?

that Blake and Meagan have started calling me “rockstar.” What is ironic is that I’m not a rockstar, but I am related to one: my Uncle Francis, whom you’ve read about before. :-D

Uncle Francis Gunbei!

Uncle Francis Gunbei!
Yoshi’s Jazz House and Japanese Restaurant, Oakland, California

Nikon D70, 50mm f/1.8D
1/20sec @ f/1.8, iso200, 50mm (75mm)

Here is the photographic proof my brother found that my Uncle Francis has a secret night job as Shin Joong-hyun, the Korean Godfather of Rock ’n Roll:

Korea’s Godfather of Rock Makes a Comeback

As my cousin, Chris, says, now we figured out what her father has been up to since “retiring.” We just got to get him to shave his head, wear and earpiece, and look pensive. :-D (Knowing Uncle Francis, he’d do that too, if it meant a free lunch…Hmm, maybe the idea for Lunch 2.0 was genetic.)

Speaking of another Chris (and another lunch), Chris Jones mentioned that I need to include more essays from my Uncle. So, the same week last November my brother found Uncle’s hidden secret double life as the Godfather of Korean Rock, this essay was making the rounds in our family…

(Trust me, you’re going to love it.)

[“One day in life of a retiree: a fish(y) story” after the jump.] Continue reading A fish(y) story