Disney

So I was talking about this with a friend and decided I’d dust off ol’ blog to potentially hit a broader audience.

Is there anyone out there that also sees the Disney logo and doesn’t immediately recognize the first letter as a D?

Disney_Logo

So when I see the Disney logo, I have to very consciously shift my focus to see the letter D. I have a hypothesis that maybe this is because I knew of and recognized the Disney logo before I knew how to read and the whole thing turned into a symbol for me during a time when I primarily identified the logo/word by the bottom left part of the D (the part that kind of loops, which is not a very typical D). Honestly, I don’t think it was until late elementary school or middle school that I even realized it was supposed to be a D and not just some made up symbol.

To better visualize what I’m talking about, this is kind of what I initially see:

Disney_Logo2

Versus:

Disney_Logo3

So… anyone else out there have this too? =)

I also have a story about my nerdy self in middle school to blog about, but I’ll save that for another time.

Flame Bait

Alright, for better or worse, here’s my opinion on all the crazy. I may be wildly inaccurate on information that leads me to these opinions, so if you have points you think I should be aware of, don’t hesitate to enlighten me. =)

HB2 - it seems to me that if this bill went through and led to no clinic closures, no one would have an issue. Is that correct? On paper, the bill is focused on improving the quality of care and making it safer for women, or that’s the claim as I understand it. The issue is that this is seen as an underhanded way of closing down a majority of clinics because most of them will be unable to meet the bar set forth in the bill, right? I suppose my thoughts then are:


  • How accurate is it that a majority of clinics will close down?


    • For example, how influenced by profit are these clinics? Are they incentivized to claim they’ll be forced to close?

    • Even if the ones do close down, is it unlikely that new ones open that do sufficiently meet the bill’s requirements?

    • The math must be doable… has someone calculated the financial feasibility of running a clinic while abiding by the bill’s requirements?


  • Which specific aspects of the bill are unreasonable? IMO, it seems that at least some of them are fine.

This bill’s gotten a lot of media/social attention by pulling in “women’s rights” into it and if it’s in fact true that the bar set in this bill leaves it financially impossible to offer appropriate services to women in need, then I don’t doubt that it ends up achieving something counter to what it’s supposed to on paper, and that would be bad. I’m not entirely sure if I’m convinced this bill is ALL bad though, but I can definitely see how it could be if it does in fact lead to an increase in illegal abortions from potentially dangerous sources. I feel like a lot of people jumped on the “protecting women’s rights” bandwagon (which is not a bad thing), but I’m curious… is there a version of this bill that would be deemed “good?” Certainly there’s a set of abortion sources that are currently illegal and dangerous and should remain that way. Or are there people out there who feel like even those should be legal in the name of “rights” and “choice?”

Zimmerman/Martin - Zimmerman’s verifiable actions (those backed up by his call to the police and eye witness accounts), though potentially deemed unwise, are reasonable for someone to take, especially given the history of crime in the area and that he was head of the neighborhood watch. Neither Zimmerman nor Martin did anything legally wrong until someone made the first move to assault the other. The evidence seems to shift against Martin at this point, but it doesn’t seem like anyone knows who “threw the first punch” conclusively. At the very least, there is not sufficient evidence to counter Zimmerman’s claims and his account of what happens seems at the very least plausible. It very well could be that he got away with cold-blooded murder, but “innocent until proven guilty” is what we generally run with over here. I don’t think anyone can reasonably say he was proven guilty with the evidence on the table. I also think this case is more racially charged than it needs to be and the media has made Zimmerman out to be more “racist” than the facts seem to indicate.

Snowden - Doesn’t seem so bad.

February!

Happy post-Valentine’s Day, yos! All you single people complaining, just shut your yappers and do something productive. ;)

Hopefully this isn’t the only post I end up making this month, but I’m finding it hard to come up with topics I can talk about here.

I ended up buying some MJNA stock a little while back and it’s been doing well. I didn’t really buy enough to make any significant dent one way or the other, but it’s fun to say I’ve made money buying/sell marijuana. =p

Beautiful Creatures came out recently and Oriana has been driving me crazy just begging me to take her. Something about a yearning in her loins or something. So weird. Yesterday, I caught her combing her hair looking at yourself in the mirror whispering “you’re a beautiful creature.” I may have to give in and take her or I may find myself asleep forever.*

My Volt has been pretty satisfactory so far. The air dam at the front of the car is super low to the ground and it scrapes every so often whenever I go through various inclines. Supposedly it’s built to withstand that type of thing and it’s expected, but it’s mildy annoying. The central panel controls are also annoying, most of them not being actual buttons. That said, I have yet to visit a gas station after going over 1200 miles (I still have about half a tank left). It’s not really fair, but looking at gas alone, I’ve probably done something like 280MPG. ;) I did end up doing the calculation for how much fully charging the car costs, and during this time of the year it’s about $0.65, which gets me about 37 miles. So if I do the miles per dollar calculation, it’s probably something in the ballpark of 36 miles per $1. FYI, during the summer, I expect a full charge to be about $1. Honestly, I’m not sure if it makes sense to buy the Volt purely based on the travel cost savings, but it’s a fun metric to look at.

*-This is basically all a lie.

1217

Well, it’s been a year since. I’ve found myself to be noticeably more emotional this past year (though perhaps not outwardly). I don’t consider that a bad thing, but here’s an emotional post for ya.

A year ago, things were pretty sucky. Despite that, I continue to have so much to be thankful for that in reflection of everything that’s happened, I consider myself extremely blessed. As I’ve previously mentioned, I view Mozilla as kind of a symbol of all the love and support I got during a dark time in my life. He was kind of a poetic gift to myself to cap off a depressing time with something positive. Maybe that’s cheesy, I don’t care. =) Sometimes you don’t see or value the gems in your life as much when everything’s peachy. My friends and family were awesome for us and whenever I have a quiet time to contemplate everything’s that’s happened, I can’t help but come out of it with a kind of solemn happiness. So, in that spirit, I’m going to cap off this dark anniversary by talking about the ladies in my life, my mother and sisters.

Before I get to my family, a quick shout out to Nancy because she’s like the big sister I don’t have and a year ago she gave me a perfect hug right when I needed it and I’ll never forget that. All of my friends were great during that time, but since Nancy’s the girl of “the group” she tends to be my emotional vent more often than not. Maybe next time I’ll talk about what my guy friends did, because they were definitely there for me too.

So… I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to buy my mom a car a few years back. She gave me no sense of obligation to do so, but it just kind of made sense. I got her a new RAV4 and while presenting it to her, she mentioned how she’s wanted a car like it so she could carry kids to/from church, and other ways she could serve others. The things that make her happy allow her to love and serve others even better and that’s why she’s awesome and we love her.

RAV4

This is a picture of Oriana at her baptism back in 2007:

She made everyone cry

I’m pretty sure this was shortly after she mentioned our mom. I’m also pretty sure that before she finished her sentence, there was not a dry eye anywhere in the room. I’m not a good enough writer to even get close to describing how powerful I found this moment, but I hope you can get a glimpse of the love my mom’s given us in our lives by knowing that a young high schooler brought a room full of people to tears by barely conveying the words “mom” and “love.” Everyone who knows my mom knows that she’s a bottomless pit of love. She’s one of the biggest reasons I believe there’s a God. The love she’s given me and my siblings, not to mention the other people she’s positively touched, is too powerful, too beautiful, to merely be a result of chemistry and physics. I would not be where I am today, or the person I am today, if she wasn’t in my life. Her love gives me a glimpse of Love, and I couldn’t ask for a better reason to have faith. I’m so blessed to have her as my mom, it’s almost not even fair. ;)

Olivia is, as my mom says, “the spicy one.” As siblings two years apart, I’m sure we went through the typical love/hate relationship that many go through. I’m happy that that flip flopping ended up on the love side though. =p Olivia’s certainly the more extroverted of us, but I like to think we balance each other out pretty well. She gave me the worst present I’ve ever gotten - a sheet of half-used stickers. Her fear of E.T. allowed me to pay her back well enough though when I bought a plush toy of him off eBay and put him in the hallway facing her room. =)

We’ve both grown to be foodies, and it’s fun to enjoy and share awesome food experiences we’ve had. We also both enjoy ruining Oriana’s food. I fulfill my quota of making her angry every so often, I’m sure, but I know we love each other and it makes me happy to think about growing up together and perhaps someday in the future, having larger family reunions where I can have my kids torment hers.

My mom says that I never hit Olivia, although I do remember one time when I punched her in the head. That said, she was wearing a karate helmet, so maybe that doesn’t count? =p Instead, I resorted to psychological warfare and just annoyed her like crazy, which you can even see in this video of us fighting at a young age:

Once, I made her so angry she kicked a shoe at me. I dodged it and she ended up breaking a window. My mom didn’t punish her though, cause I guess she understood how annoying brothers can be. =) I have a lot of memories of Olivia, and I’m happy I do. She’s been my sister since as far as my memory goes back and I wouldn’t have it any other way. <3

Oriana is my baby sister, eight years younger than me. Given the large age difference, we never really fought, but we also didn’t really play with each other as much as she and Olivia did (expected, I suppose). I annoyed Olivia a lot to get even, but I do it to Oriana just for fun. ;) I once walked in her room as she was reading and just let drool fall out of my mouth onto her leg. She gave me a quite satisfying yell when she realized what was going on.

I remember trying to make her stop crying as a baby, and trying to change her diaper with Olivia. Now, she’s about to turn 21 next month and that’s crazy. Oriana likes to gives me hugs, and I appreciate that because I like hugs, but I don’t often initiate. She lives with me now as she’s going to school at UT, which is pretty cool even though most of the time we just sit quietly. We’re the introverts, so I think we understand each other there. =)

She gives me good fodder for my videos, like this one:

I hope she knows I tease her to show my love, which I guess means I love her a lot.

Uh huh. Life's like this.

Life sometimes sucks, but I’m glad I went through it with these women and I was there for them and they were there for me.

<3

SF

BV flew me out to San Fran this past week to spend some time with my BV West brethren. I didn’t do anything too crazy, but there was a mall and lots of food options around where I was (4th, between Mission and Market). Made me realize how much I like big cities and being able to walk/mass-transit my way everywhere. I walked over to the mall across the street and saw Cloud Atlas (not very good), and bought some clothes since I packed particularly light.

I have a special relationship with SF since I was born there and visited so often. I guess having that deeper history makes me wonder what my life would be like had I decided to go to UC Berkeley instead of UT Austin (which was my middle school plan). I can think of a whole crazy butterfly effect on my current life since I likely would have stayed in the bay area after graduation. What company would I have been working at? One of the hot startups of the past decade? Would I be married? Homeless? =p Where would my Austin friends be without me? How has my existence impacted their lives? Imagining an entirely different timeline post-2001 is kind of crazy. Would I be a significantly different person?

I have the itch to leave Austin sometimes, and though avoiding poop on the street on my daily commute is a mighty tempting proposition, I’ve yet to make the leap of taking off to one of the big cities I find attractive (SF/NYC). I suppose I still have too much in Austin to keep me around and vacationing suffices for now… ;)

Ultimately, I’m blessed with the life I have and certainly don’t regret going to UT, but it’s fun to think of alternate realities sometimes, eh?

Milestones

I hit my “unofficial” six year anniversary at Bazaarvoice near the end of last month (I was a contractor for the first two months). It’s certainly been a great experience for me as I’ve played multiple roles throughout the years. I’ve had the opportunity to grow immensely both technically and non-technically and have gained a lot of confidence in my own abilities.

Today (well, technically yesterday) I have the privilege of being the official team lead for one of the highest concentrations of talent and passion I’ve ever worked with. That’s saying a lot because many of my past teammates have been no slouches! I feel honored with the designation and look forward to continuing to push the envelope of what the team can accomplish. I’m super thankful to everyone who had a part in getting me here and on this team.

In other news, December brings a large mix of emotions to me. I have a hard time identifying my feelings often times, so this feels a bit like rapid spontaneous mood swings. I generally find myself listening to terrible music, then forcing Mozilla to cuddle. Seems to work well enough.

What's in a name?

Okay, I’m seriously considering changing my middle name for reasons I won’t dive into right now, but maybe you can ask me in person if you’re really curious. The real point of this post is that I’m not entirely sure what I want to change it to. Currently, I have two comical front-runners and no other solid ideas.


  1. Danger

  2. Tyrone/Tirone

I don’t think I could actually commit to going with Tyrone, but Danger is sounding fairly appealing to me at the moment. I’m looking for something clever/fun so if you have ideas, share!

Oh! I should mention… this is NOT and April 1st joke. =P

In other news, I found a wonderful program to make fake Magic cards and had a blast of a time creating Sam and Viraj cards. I’m sure Gene, Liang, Mark, and Sam can attest to the many giggles that came from my desk as I tinkered with this. I was so pleased with myself. Here are draft versions of two Virajs. You’ll have to wait for the Sam one. I think I’m going to redo what I’ve got.

=D

Mozilla Fart

Mozilla just farted in his sleep. =(

Here’s a set of tweets that makes me smile (it’s from newest to oldest, so you probably want to read it in reverse).

My 5D Mark III comes in tomorrow! YEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

I asked the social networks whether or not it was weird that I sometimes like going to the movies by myself. I got a number of responses that seemed to indicate that that is not one of the reasons that makes me weird. I haven’t gone in a while by myself, but it does feel appealing occasionally. I never really got why movie-going was viewed as such a social event, since you don’t really interact while watching the movie. There are certainly some exceptions (like watching Expendables next to OMan - that makes the movie uber awesome), but it seems most people viewed going alone sometimes positively.

I posted a few pics from Andrew and Jen’s engagement party thing to flickr. I wasn’t really out to document the entire event (there were plenty of other photographers there), so I just have a few random ones. I wish I had actually taken at least one picture of Jen though (sorry!). Here’re a few and some of the after-party:

March Stuff 1

March Stuff 4

March Stuff 8

March Stuff 10

March Stuff 12

March Stuff 14

March Stuff 16

Heart Uchiko

I used to have a hard time answering what my favorite restaurant was in Austin, but over the past few months, Uchiko has solidified itself as one I give. I usually like to get the tasting menu and getting surprised. That means the experience fluctuates and sometimes it’s better than others (but they’re all really good), but I really like not having to make decisions and getting a variety of tastes that I probably wouldn’t have if I chose dishes myself.

Chad, Nancy, Mark and I went to Uchiko today for the start of restaurant week and it was pretty good. I didn’t think about bringing my camera and taking any pics, so you get none. =) We went there at 5PM cause they were full on reservations and I didn’t want to end up waiting a million hours during “prime dinner time.” We ended up not having to wait long at all and they didn’t seem too packed. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were busier later though, just something to note for those of you who want to go there and may not have reservations (get there early instead!).

Mozilla has started to shed a bunch and I think we’ve entered into the “blowing the coat” phase that happens twice a year. I’ve been taking him outside and combing him almost every day and I get a good bit of fur every time. He cooperates pretty well though, so that’s good. I’ve seen photos of shibas blowing their coat that look all funky, but Mozilla still looks to have a pretty good coat (not patchy), so we’ll see if that sticks.

MY 5D MARK III IS SUPPOSED TO SHIP SOON. WE SO EXCITED.

A storm's a brewin'!

Whenever I write a blog post while it’s raining, it reminds me of Sam. You can ask him about that sometime. While you’re at it, you can also ask him about the time he watched me as I slept in our Jester dorm and imagined what it would be like if I were a girl and we were watching the sun rise together. I never asked him how that story ended in his head, but I’m pretty sure it’s not pretty.

Speaking of sleep, here’s one of Mozilla sleeping next to my modem:

Mozilla sleeping at my feet next to the modem and compressed air. Extra fur puffing out at his neck, haha.

A few days ago, Mozilla ran out the front door for the first time (I blame Mark). Greg and I chased after him and despite the worry in me that he’d get run over by a car, I was fairly amused by how elated he looked. He ran across the street a few times and went as far as two houses down, but he came back and started sniffing a bush for long enough for me to sneak up on him and grab his leg. After learning how fun it was to run free, he snuck out again later as Greg was leaving, but Greg managed to corral him back into the house. Shiba inus are infamous for not having good recall and while he’s not bad when he’s in the backyard (I’ve been positively reinforcing him by giving him treats after calling him back), that doesn’t work at all when he’s out front, so I’m going to have to take more care with making sure he doesn’t sneak out.

Take this broken heart,
if it brings You praise,
Take this beaten soul,
shivering hands I will raise.

Hope Unstoppable,
Sing the morning sun,
Wake up oh sleeper,
the Daylight has come.
- Brave Saint Saturn