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January 28, 2003


I have a certain problem, which I've had since as long as I can remember. I have worked on controlling it for a long, long time, but sometimes it still rears its ugly head.

I have a certain way of doing things which others have described as a competitive spirit. To me, it's the simple idea that I don't do anything unless I intend to do a great job. I just don't know how to do something half-assed. Now this may usually be a good attribute to have, but sometimes it's not. Sometimes, you just want to chill and be blah. I recognize this, and in the past several years I've worked on being a little more chill about certain things, and learning when to have a chill attitude and when to light the competitive fire.

Sometimes, though, I forget. And usually it's playing sports. I've at least learned that most of the time I can't expect everyone around me to be putting 110% into a friendly game of volleyball at the company picnic, for instance. But I also learned a long time ago that before I get myself into one of those situations I have to make sure that I have the right attitude.

The thing is, as with all things there are sometimes grey areas. I play volleyball with a group of people twice a week, and I would characterize our play as being semi-competitive while still be friendly. Even though it's just friendly play, I still hold myself to pretty high standards of play and I get frustrated at myself sometimes when I'm not playing as well as I know I can play. Most of the time, I recognize that I can't hold everyone to the same level of play as myself because for some people, it's just not why they're there. However, a very small number of times, I kind of get caught up in it and forget this and my frustration sometimes boils over and I might say some things that I shouldn't say.

I do feel pretty bad about this, and I think most everyone just kind of recognizes that I'm a crazy all-out guy and sometimes I say things out of frustration when I shouldn't. But it doesn't change the fact that I still feel bad about it all afterwards, and I probably think about it more so than anyone else. Like I said, lately, it's gotten a lot better than in years past, but it's still something that I would like to continue working on.

PGP Signed Entry

January 23, 2003


I don't really watch too much television. In fact, I don't have cable or satellite or digital super-duper whatever TV. This is not to say that I don't believe there are entertaining programs out there. I simply don't miss it at all when I don't watch it.

However, recently, I think I actually go out of my way to not watch television. I couldn't put my finger on exactly why until a few days ago. See, much like the vast majority of parties leaving me in a state of utter contempt and hatred for all humanity, watching TV has caused the same relative effect. And I figured out why a few days ago. It's the "reality shows."

Even if I'm not watching one, I have to be constantly bombarded at every moment by advertising for one. The fact that they are so popular is making me lapse into the negativitiy and pretty soon I'll be thinking that there's no hope after all for humanity. I'm not even going to dignify these shows with reasons why they leave me completely disgusted, demoralized, and disenfranchised. Argh.

PGP Signed Entry

January 22, 2003

On the Success of the Internet

In thinking more about the impact of the net and the potential to change society, I came across some examples of how individuals empowered themselves by congregating on the Internet into a powerful lobby that previously did not exist. In 1998, I started searching the net for travel advice and information, and it wasn't long before I stumbled upon FlyerTalk. At the time, I flew about 25,000 to 50,000 miles per year, and had done so off and on since 1992, mostly because of trips to and from Asia to visit my parents. At first, I kind of lurked and gleaned some advice from the people who posted there. Sometimes, it was just people coming on to tell their stories about getting an upgrade, or good service, or bad service, or what have you. But from these assorted stories emerged a collective knowledge base. Now I was actually using some of this new knowledge in my dealings with the airlines, and hotels. And after a while I was able to start offering some of that knowledge back.

Then a funny thing happened... the group started getting widespread attention. Not just from other Internet users, but from the travel industry itself. And then, from national media. Suddenly people who had control over rules and policies within the travel industry were paying attention to what was being said on FlyerTalk. Now we weren't just sharing knowledge; we were affecting change and becoming a powerful voice.

I'm sure this isn't an isolated case. The net has allowed people who were once disparate individuals separated not only physically by many miles, but also socially and geopolitically by national borders, class, age, and more, to come together in a common forum and affect change in one area through the power of their collective voice.

There's very little holding back a revolution in the way people interact with one another, and affect the society and economy around them. There is still time, and, the means is still available. We just have to be careful about what we allow to happen to this digital world, because what happens in cyberspace affects realspace in a very direct way.

PGP Signed Entry

January 20, 2003


This is more for my own benefit than anything, but maybe y'all can help keep me on track. Over the next month, these are my priorities, in order from highest to lowest:

  • Class
  • Class of 1993 Reunion - publicity and financial details
  • Redesigning my blog, mostly to give more love to my friends and well-wishers out there who have given me valuable real estate on their own blogs but also to change the theme
  • Find something valuable to do with my summer, most likely an internship of some sort but I'm pretty open to ideas
  • Plan Vegas II - including mastering the composition dependent basic strategy exceptions for double deck blackjack
  • Plan Spring Break

PGP Signed Entry

January 18, 2003


My next trip is going to be to somewhere very warm. After spending the last month is places where the average temperature was well below zero (C) I am now back home, where it is below zero (F).

The last 30 days in review:

  • 30,000+ miles and more than 30 hours of flight time
  • 5 major cities in 3 countries on 3 continents
  • Visited with family and friends all over the world
  • Skied in China
  • Snowshoed in Italy
  • Hiked in the Alps
  • Discovered that anything tastes like the best food and drink you've ever tasted when you're above 2000m and haven't had anything to eat for 18 hours

PGP Signed Entry

January 7, 2003

The Macallan 25

Had my first experience with The Macallan 25 Year Old Scotch Whisky tonight at The Met here in Seattle. The flavor was intense and immediate. Very woody and smooth, with a good hint of the citrus coming out a moment later. Worth every penny of the $36.50 invested into the venture, but not something I'm going to be doing very often unfortunately.

It was the start of a perfect culinary evening, which included the fine Delmonico at The Met, and finally capped with a Haagen-Dazs bar on the drive home.

I shall not eat for weeks after this.

PGP Signed Entry

January 6, 2003

A Happy Entry, For Once

I've been thinking lately that those of you reading this over the ether who have never met me might get the wrong impression of me. In fact, I don't usually worry about this when I write, but every once in a while the thought crosses my mind. And today, the thought actually blossomed into action. I'll make you a deal: if you take a moment to think about the person behind the words that you read here, and everywhere else, I'll take a moment to think about the reader as I write the words.

Tonight's thought involves a little bit of fascination. A week ago, I was on an airplane flying over the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to Chicago. Today I'm in Seattle. Next week, I'll be in Italy. Earlier tonight, I was in a place that has never existed except in the minds of the beholders, a place called Middle Earth. Before that, I was having my brains gouged out by having to watch Manos: the Hands of Fate. I have friends and family to share all this with. I'm healthy, and everywhere I go I'm able to find something interesting and fun and positive. You are able to read these words from thousands of miles away. People whom I'm never met; will never meet; will read these words. Moments after I click on the "save" button. If this doesn't fascinate you, it should. Think about it for a moment.

This is an awesome existence. Regardless of what your plans were when you were ten and where you are relative to that, regardless of what you think you should be doing right now, this is a pretty amazing time to be alive. Don't let the negative stuff get to ya. War, disease, death, yeah... sure, they're out there. They might even be close at hand. But who wins is the one that keeps hope alive even in the darkest night.

PGP Signed Entry

January 2, 2003


I can totally understand the allure of hibernation.

PGP Signed Entry

January 1, 2003

Gatorade and Electricity

Now being an electrical engineer and football fan, I have a question for those Motorola engineers out there:

Do you test those headsets used by the coaches for water/Gatorade resistance? I mean, at least enough to ensure that no coach would be electrocuted by being doused in Gatorade while wearing the headset?

Just curious...

PGP Signed Entry