Post Thanksgiving update

I resolved my bi-cultural food conflict by going traditional American for Thanksgiving itself, and Korean for the day after. The American dinner was from a restaurant too. I basically just heated it up, and Tim made stuffing. It came with cornbread stuffing, which we’d never had before but seemed like a pretty bad idea — you don’t want strange Southern foods on Thanksgiving, you want exactly what you’re used to, which in our case is french-bread stuffing with sausage and leeks and sometimes oysters. Getting a takeout Thanksgiving dinner turns out to be not that much less work than cooking the damn thing from scratch, except for the time involved in defrosting and/or brining the turkey.

Yesterday we went on a jaunt to Año Nuevo State Park to see the elephant seals. After trudging through the wind and mist for 1.5 miles, we reached the shore. We looked around, asking each other “Where are the elephant seals? I don’t see any elephant seals.” Then we suddenly became aware that there was a juvenile elephant seal within 10 feet of where we were standing, cleverly concealed as a sand dune. And the entire landscape before us was filled with female elephant seals lolling in the seaweed or swimming just off the beach.

My dad did a tremendous number of chores around the house — including assembling a new gas grill! — and my mom cooked a fabulous dinner featuring enormous quantities of galbi, ojinga bokkum (stir-fried squid in hot sauce), and eundaegu jorim (braised black cod with giant white radish). Korean parents are SO useful!


As some of you might recall, I once worked at a startup called KnowNow where I learned all about REST and pubsub from the founders, Rohit Khare and Adam Rifkin. Adam and I went on to found Mod-pubsub together while Rohit went back to finish his PhD. We’ve now been reunited as part of CommerceNet Labs. This will explain a bit more (let me note that I was smiling in the original photo, but somehow the process of cropping and brightening and smoothing ended up making me look like I hated life and/or got a facelift).

I am basically Rifkin’s technical minion now — I make his ideas real. We’re supposed to do projects that expand the future potential of online commerce, particularly in the direction of decentralization or empowerment of individuals. So if you have a super cool project you want to talk about, contact Adam and maybe he’ll give you some of my time. His email is his firstname or first-initial lastname at

If you’d like to chat in person, CommerceNet Labs will be hosting a booze and schmooze event on 12/14, at our offices in Mountain View. Add yourself to this Evite (if you’re not already on it) and let us buy you a drink!

Thanksgiving foods

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but there’s one thing I’ve never resolved properly in my mind: turkey and fixings taste uniquely awful with Korean food. They don’t even look good together — the rich colors of Korean food make the American stuff seem even more doughy and colorless. We used to have them together when we were kids, but even now the thought of eating a slice of turkey with kimchi, or galbi with sage-flavored stuffing, makes me quiver with dread.

My parents are coming up for the holiday this year, so for the first time in many years we’ll be cooking. Any suggestions as to what I can cook? Should we go all Korean, all American, or is there a possible compromise?

Repulsive food for all

Matt Haughey asked me to put the tag “repulsive food” on my infamous Flickr photoset… and I have done so. Now everyone can share photos of noxious, heaveworthy, and disgusting comestibles!

You may have noticed the evidence of my recent encounter with a geoduck — which, for those of you not from the Great Northwest, is a giant clam that looks like a horse penis with a shell unaccountably attached to one end. Taking photos of repulsive foods is not cheap — I had to pay $38 for my three-course geoduck dinner — but I suppose I must suffer for my art.

Ubuntu Linux

I generally try to avoid FOSS projects that have long manifestos, but I must give up the propers to Ubuntu Linux. It took me like a week to get Debian running on my last laptop. This time, I threw in the CD-ROM and 15 minutes later — with almost no intervention from me — I have a fully functional Linux laptop with wireless and acpi. And this is a strange machine, a Thinkpad X31 which has no drive bays or Ethernet except on a docking station.

It makes me wonder whether there’s any point in suffering to learn about Linux any more. In my day, it was an ordeal to use Debian! It meant something! Now it just means you’re smart enough to choose Ubuntu. 😉

Post election

You know, I reconsidered this entry. I was trying to express something — that the Democratic party has become an exercise in paternalistic codependency and I’m sick of it and I suspect the other side is too — but I guess just admitting that was itself too paternalistic. No one wants to hear it, and I find I don’t want to talk about it either. Sorry for my fit of peevishness.

Election Day

I toddled over to the polling station at about 10:15AM; it took about an hour, due to what seemed like pretty high voter turnout. The precinct seemed kind of understaffed, and there did not appear to be an election judge. They didn’t give you a choice of paper or electronic ballot — I had to ask for paper, the default was a touchscreen machine. There were only 5 machines, and especially with all the seniors it seemed like it was taking people a really long time to vote. I’m really hoping that people aren’t discouraged from voting by the long lines.

RAID for dogs

From the IM logs:

Joyce: How does MySQL work over 6 physical disks?

SurlySysadmin: RAID

Joyce: Oh right. All that striping stuff

SurlySysadmin: yep

SurlySysadmin: striping is your friend

Joyce: I usually tune out when you start talking about that

Joyce : blah blah blah striping Ginger blah blah

SurlySysadmin: talking to developers about hardware is always good for a laugh