Why the name Renkoo

It’s not like I’m trying to say that Renkoo is the world’s greatest name for a company. But I am not taking any flak about it from anyone who has not had to find a name that is short, internationalizable (e.g. does not mean “f*** your mom like a pumpkin” in Mandarin or Malayalam), has available and relatively affordable domain names, and for extra credit means something cool and relevant to the business. If you have had to find a name that meets these criteria, take your best shot. If not, kindly step off. Thank you.

And since I’m in a bad mood now, let me mention that I’m sort of not thrilled with the racial implications of some of the comments I’ve heard about our name. WTF does it mean to say Renkoo is “a Pikachu”??!?! Hmmmm… could they mean… small, yellow, and kawaaaaiiiii? I’m small, yellow, and kawai myself. You got a problem with that? No? Then kindly step off. Thank you.

I am a lifelong child of the Pacific Rim: born in Seoul, raised in LA and Seattle, studied Japanese Empire history for a long time, settled in Silicon Valley. Japanese or Asian words do not sound odd to my ear. And if they do to you… well, that’s you and I’m sorry. Get over your bad Atlantic self and learn a few kanji — it’ll come in handy for the rest of your life.

Rattus rattus

Our small emergency backup cat died recently — and whether for that reason or by some coincidence, shortly thereafter we started noticing odd thumps and scrabblings in the attic crawlspace at night. Animal control experts were called in, but not before an unbearably stinky odor and the appearance of gigantic striped flies announced a death in the house.

We’ve since learned far more than we ever wanted to know about the life cycle of Rattus rattus, the black or roof rat. Did you know they only live on the coasts of North America, having stowed away on ships? And that they were named by Linnaeus himself? That they live on citrus fruit and dog food (both plentifully provided by our neighbors)? And that they creep into houses like ours to die only when they’ve been poisoned by said neighbors? For some reason I can’t get a most perverse image out of my head: a picture of the Dying Gaul with a rat head on top, dragging himself into our crawlspace to breathe his last.

To be honest, it’s been an awful lot like a mini horror movie at the ranch house, with awful stenches and maggots and poisoned peanut butter and traps and nightlong squeaking and possible cannibalism. My ever-so-helpful coworkers have suggested that perhaps I could emulate Willard, and attempt to use psychic powers to turn my verminous cohabitants into instruments of vengeance. I’m working on it, but in the meantime I’d settle for just surviving the Siege of the Rats with the tattered tag-ends of my sanity clutched in my tiny fists.

Assigned status

Why do bugtracking systems even have the “Assigned” or “Accepted” status? It seems like an unnecessary step to me, and I never use it personally. If I don’t think the bug should be mine, I simply dump it on some other sucker reassign it to a more appropriate team member; otherwise it’s just “New” or “Open” until I get around to fixing it.

Meanwhile, there are statuses that I think would actually be helpful that you never see. Like how about “Sent to QA for confirmation”? Or “Sent to staging server”? Or “Sent to live site for final regression”? I think all of those would let you track exactly where on the assembly line that bug was at the moment.


My college buddy Patrick, who lives in Madison, recently started a political blog called LeftRightLeft with his brother Brian. I love blogs with strong concepts like this one: it’s the sort of thoughtful, intra-family version of Crossfire that I bet a lot of people wish they could have with their nearest and dearest. I love how the design enhances the concept, but secretly I wish I could have an RSS feed. 🙂