Categories
General

2016: Year in Review

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Gosh, is it the end of the year already, I’m already almost 30 in Korean age! 2016 came and went pretty fast.. I think the major story here is that I found much more success with women this year than I did last year, which is great, but the night schedule of working in Korea and having ill health finally wore me out. This year I got both incredibly homesick for Canada/California when I was in Korea, and also got incredibly homesick for Korea once I got back. I always have some form of depression or loneliness wherever I go – whether it be in Korea or USA. Both countries have advantages and disadvantages. In USA, I have access to everything I want, people speak my language, the weather is good in California and I can go see a doctor whenever I want. In Korea, I have easy access to beautiful girls and nightlife wherever I go.
So, the ups and downs always haunt me – I could never be fully comfortable living in Korea and at the same time living in California was also boring and lonely.

Highlights
-Trip to Japan and Taiwan, finally completing my East Asia tour
-Dated at least 5 Korean girls this year, overall a much more successful year in relationships than last year, and I learned alot from each one.
-Got Lasik surgery done, which improved my self-confidence a lot.
-Got my San Francisco apartment back! My health should also start improving since I am in the regular sleep cycle again.

Lowlights
-Lost a combined $8000 in bets from both the Cleveland Cavs winning and Donald Trump winning – both underdogs btw. I’ll never underestimate underdogs again.
-Didn’t find any Korean girl who could come back to USA with me. This is obviously one of the biggest failures of my life, and makes me wonder what I ultimately accomplished during my 2 years in Korea. Of course, I don’t regret it, and I learned a lot, but still. This was a big disappointment for me. Now I am prompted to move somewhere else again just because San Francisco has so few Korean girls.

Summary
I think the most important thing for me this year was that I gained a lot of relationship experience, and I got a lot of feedback about how to treat Korean girls and ideas about what they like and dislike a lot better than before. Last year, I was essentially still blind to what they liked. This year, I amped up the aggression and confidence a little bit, did lasik surgery, changed my hairstyle, and it seemed to make all the difference. That said – I have to keep it up. I have to keep working on my Korean and working on my next goal of getting to Vancouver – because ultimately San Francisco isn’t the same as it was even 2-3 years ago. I have few friends left in SF – most of them went back to Korea so I know just 3 good American friends here – all guys of course. There’s virtually no ways for me to meet Koreans here anymore, and very few go to meetup or online language exchange websites anymore. My ultimate failure to keep a relationship in Korea and bring a girl back is what causes my current situation and next challenge. I have to keep trying therefore, to achieve my goal of marrying a Korean girl – but it has to be done either in USA or Canada, which makes things all the more challenging. But I don’t really have a choice – unless I want to work in ‘Hell Joseon’ (what Koreans refer to Korean work culture as), I could never stay in Korea long term.. this is the only thing I can really do, and fight for, and I’m not getting any younger just sitting around.

Categories
General Tech

2013: Year in review

Happy New Year everyone. Once again I’m doing a yearly review of the highlights and low points of each year for me, and so this will be for 2013.

2013 ended up being one of the worst years for me. Why? Here are my highlights and low points:

Highlights:
-Moved into my new apartment
-Paid off $10k in mortgage payments
-Got a new job at a well known company with a higher salary
-Went to Korea for 2 weeks
-Met a lot of cool people
-Saw my family again after 2 years
-Taking Korean class was a good call

Low points:
-Paid out $5k in parking/impound fees for my scooter
-Didn’t get my driver license in time for the end of the year, so couldn’t renew scooter license
-Broke my wrist and in a cast for 2.5 months
-Lost over $10k in stock options
-Lost $1k in Apple stock due to Scottrade’s errors in reporting gain/losses
-Missed an opportunity to make $50-60k With Bitcoin
-Lost some good friends this year due to misunderstandings
-Despite trying as best as I could, didn’t meet any girls who liked me this year
-Most of my close friends went back to Korea this year
-Korean only improved marginally

Summary:

That’s a hefty list of low points, and stands in stark contrast to last year‘s mostly happy experience. Although the major goal of this year was achieved (finding a higher paying job at a well known prestigious software company), I had mostly bad luck this year, mostly financial-wise and relationship-wise. Despite meeting a lot of people, I made very few close friends compared to last year. The friends that I made this year tended to be more transient and the facebook-acquaintance-type rather than the hang-out-every-week type. In addition, my new co-workers at BitTorrent are not as open to having casual conversations over lunch or hanging out as my last workplace. In addition to living by myself, this turned out to be quite a lonely year for me. The brief vacation to Korea was great, and was my only escape in a year otherwise full of stress and financial mistakes. My Korean barely improved, and its frustrating only being able to understand 20% of the average Korean conversation despite having studied it for over 2 years. What an embarrasement. I learn from my mistakes though, and hopefully next year will be much better for me. My tentative resolutions are:

1) Study Korean much harder, watch more dramas to improve comprehension
2) Stop spending money on gadgets and start saving for the next Korea trip
3) Find a room-mate, and/or find more hobbies and interests in order to meet more people

Overall, I felt like I wasted my time this year and it could’ve gone much much better. I should look for more ways to improve myself, be more aggressive in socializing, be more conscious money-wise, and be active in finding more excitement in my life. As 2014 arrives, I will need to remember: to fight for the things that are meant for me, and to let go of the things that aren’t.

Family visit
I went on a road trip with my family to Vegas, Grand Canyon, LA and San Diego. It was a really fun trip and I especially enjoyed seeing my brother again who I hadn’t seen since Jan 2012.

With my brother and parents at Death Valley
With my brother and parents at Death Valley
With my cousins and grandparents at Red Rock Canyon
With my cousins and grandparents at Red Rock Canyon

In other news…
I love old school DOS games and their hilarious sound effects. Check out this game, it’s called Depth Dwellers:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSeLXmi9ZoM

The sound effects had me rolling, especially the ‘HEY’ greeting and the ‘YEAH’ ending. oh my god…

and also the first ever FPS, which came out on March 1992. Check out these reviews:

Ultima Underworld
Ultima Underworld

ACE called Ultima Underworld “the next true evolutionary step in the RPG genre”, and noted that its simulation-style dungeon was “frighteningly realistic”.

Computer Shopper enjoyed its storyline and characters, and believed that the game “makes you feel as if you’ve entered a virtual reality”

Finland’s Pelit stated, “Ultima Underworld is something totally new in the CRPG field. The Virtual Fantasy of the Abyss left reviewers speechless.”

“Nothing can completely prepare you for the freedom the game gives you … It’s about as close to Virtual Reality as you are ever likely to get from your mouse driver.”

He praised the game’s “atmosphere”-creating sound, and called its graphics “stunning”; he stated that, with a high-end computer, “dungeons can move like a film”.

Scorpia was similarly positive, stating that despite flaws “Ultima Underworld is an impressive first product. The meticulous construction of a real-world dungeon environment is outstanding. [It] may be a dungeon trek, but it is certainly the dungeon trek of the future”

Power Play praised its “technical perfection” and “excellent” story, while Play Time lauded its graphical and aural presentation, and awarded it Game of the Month.

Hmm… high praise for a game that we would now consider to be pixellated and outdated compared to the likes of Call of Duty, Battlefield, Crysis, Far Cry, Bioshock, and co, right? Amazing how much FPS’s have changed.

Categories
General Politics

2012: Year in Review and thoughts about gun control

Happy New Year everyone. Once again I’m doing a yearly review of the highlights and low points of each year for me, and so this will be for 2012.

First off though, I want to talk about some thoughts on gun control. The recent Newton Shootings have spurred some discussion on gun control. Some gun rights activists have often responded with the following arguments.

If you ban guns, criminals will find a way to get them anyways since criminals don’t care about the law.
My response: Well, yes of course criminals will break the law, but the point is if guns were banned, then it will be a lot harder for them to get guns in the first place. The shooter actually stole the guns from his mom, which wouldn’t have happened if guns were banned. Most shooters don’t become criminals until they start shooting. Until then, they’re just a regular citizen. Plus, people break laws all the time, including traffic laws, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them there.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If you start banning guns, why not ban cars and knives too?
My response: Cars are designed for transportation. Knives are designed for cutting food. Baseball bats are designed to play baseball. Guns however, are designed for killing. There’s no comparison here, because its apples and oranges.

Now, I respect people’s gun freedoms, but I really don’t think they need 30 round clips and assault rifles to protect themselves when a mere pistol would do fine. Now, onto the year review:

Highlights:
-Traveled a lot this year.
-First full year of full time employment.
-Steady progress as a front-end developer.
-Met lots of new friends.
-A short relationship, fun while it lasted.
-Improved my Korean.
-Made $8k off of Intrade, and $6k from the stock market.
-Parents helped me buy my own condo in San Francisco.

Low points:
-Friends are mostly international students who go back after a few months.
-Work can be kind of dull at times.

Summary:

2012 was mostly a year of relaxing, in contrast to 2011, which had a lot of set goals. I traveled to many places this year, including Yosemite Valley, Napa Valley, Point Reyes, Tiburon, Marin County, Lake Tahoe, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Carmel, 17 Mile Drive, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Venice, Las Vegas, and Grand Canyon. And I did all this traveling while only taking one week off, while making use of my extended weekends.

In addition, I am still working on learning Korean and increasing my knowledge as a Front-End Dev, which is always productive for me.

Traveling!
Traveling!
Traveling!
Traveling!

Overall, this year went quite well for me, but lacked the characteristic ambition that I had in 2011. I hope I’m not getting too comfortable – I need that sense of drive for me to succeed and move even farther in life. Like Steve Jobs said, I have to stay hungry, stay foolish.