Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Sex and the City 2" movie!!

Sex and the City 2 is rated 16% on RottenTomatoes. Megan went to see it, and pronounced it "terrible". So it was with lowered expectations that I saw it last night.

It was fantastic! I loved it!

I remember reading a newspaper article about Star Wars: Phantom Menace when it came out. One of the fans queueing outside Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood said, "You could show me two hours of Obi-Wan Kenobi mowing his lawn, and I would still go see it."

That's how I felt about the Sex and the City movie. It could be two hours of the ladies sitting in a diner eating flapjacks and discussing their romantic past, and I would still go to see it.

But it was not two hours of diner-eating. It was wonderful! There was a scene where Carrie wakes up Miranda to rescue Samantha from the consequences of her shenanigans. Instead of getting irritated at being woken up in the middle of the night, Miranda jumps out of bed and says, "I'm on it!" It was so sweet.

I also thought the way it portrayed relationships during the first half of the movie was realistic. The way people pester each other to change their behavior, and then sometimes the pestering results in the other person withdrawing out of feeling criticized. It seems realistic.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunfire Offices

I'm happy to announce that my friend Yishan Wong and I have created a co-working office in downtown Mountain View. It is called Sunfire Offices, and is located in downtown Mountain View. It will fit 20 to 30 engineers, designers, and other aggressively productive people to work on startups and independent projects.

Southeast corner of the office.

We're looking to create an office community where people can create great stuff, as well as explore opportunities for what they're doing next. The office is offered free of charge and paid for by our sponsors, a mix of angels and seed-stage investors who want to build relationships with people who are productive and entrepreneurial.

The only obligation for using the office is to attend the weekly networking mixer where one of the sponsors or a company in their portfolio will have the opportunity to give a demo or a pitch. These companies might be looking for publicity, product feedback, or recruiting.

Due to limited space, we are currently only offering services on an invite-only basis. Right now, we're extending invites to people within our networks (mostly ex-Google, ex-PayPal, and ex-Facebook) who have use for such a space. We are taking referrals from people we know.

The space is 2200 square feet and located on the 7th floor in downtown Mountain View, offering a great view and close proximity to Caltrain and food. If you have a track record of building great stuff and especially if you've worked with one of us in the past, we welcome you to inquire about visiting and to see if it's a place you'd like to use.

For more information, you can check out our site at, and we'll also be having an office-warming party on June 24th.

View of Castro Street below.

Fort built by Chris, a UI designer working from Sunfire Offices. He made this from cardboard boxes that the office furniture came in.

Friday, May 21, 2010

let's make sure this SMS conversation passes validation

My parents and brother are on a Chinese-run tour of the East Coast right now. It is a six-day tour, conducted by bus. They started from New York City, rode down to Washington DC, and will soon return north to Boston and Niagara Falls.

This tour group does a promotion of "buy 2 get one free", as long as all three people stay in the same hotel room. Last year my parents and I went on a tour run by the same company, for the western US.

This morning I got a SMS from my brother:

Tom: "Might need to take a vacation after this one to get rid of stress."

Me: "Oh no, what is wrong?? Is it because you have to wake up at 6am?"

Tom: "No, that's fine. It's that we spend 90% of the time on the bus and get like 30 minutes at each stop."

Tom: "We got 60 minutes at the Met, 25 minutes on Capitol Hill. Now 30 minutes at the Smithsonian. What a joke."

Me: "Are you meeting other tourists on the bus?"

Tom: "No i am meeting no one else. I am just filled with disappointment."

Me: "Hahaha what were you hoping for?"

Tom: "I don't know. I gave up 5 days on a beach in Hawaii to spend time with our parents."

Tom: "There better be some divine karma that is getting direct deposited as we speak."

Me: [laughing]

Tom: "XML"

Me: "What do you mean by XML? FML? Did your iphone auto-correct?"

Tom: "FML. </>"


I can't tell if that last part is him making a squinty maximum-frustration face, or if he is writing the closing tag for his XML schema.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

shrek forever after (no spoilers)

I watched an advance screening of "Shrek Forever After" tonight.

It was amazing! The movie did an incredible job conveying emotional states (desolation, despair, missing a loved one horribly), without being heavyhanded. It was reminiscent of how "Up" used a montage to display the arc of a marriage over decades.

I'm impressed that the fourth installment of the film turned out to be the best in the series. Highly recommend!

Monday, May 17, 2010

law of big numbers

Over IM with my brother.

Me: "I think Cynthia is going to regret leaving Bill one day, when she realizes he is in the top .001% of men."

Tom: "Only 1 in 1000? I'd give him better than that."

Me: "0.001 PERCENT."

Tom: "Oh right. 1 in 100,000."

Me: "Actually when you write it like that, it seems like it should be better than that. Maybe .0001% of men."

Tom: "I don't know if it's better than that. He would be one of the top 150 men in the US."

Me: [lol]

Thursday, May 13, 2010

argh cable

My housemate suggested that we upgrade our cable, so that we can watch the World Cup this summer.

This morning the cable guy came and installed a HD box. He cycled through all the channels, and they looked awesome! All evening, I was looking forward to coming home and watching my new clear HD channels.

We have three guests over tonight, and we cannot get the cable box to work. There is no video on the television. The only thing I did after the cable guy left was to turn the TV off and back on.


We've tried rebooting the cable box, using the television menu to switch the audio input, turning the TV off and on numerous times.

At first, my guests made jokes about how many Google engineers it takes to turn a television on. But now we are so frustrated that it is beyond joking.

UPDATE: The Comcast guy replaced my HD box, and now the cable works.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day cuteness

I called my mother on Sunday to wish her a happy Mother's Day.

My mother: "Your brother called two hours ago."

Me: "Yeah, I saw him yesterday in LA."

Mom: "How is he?"

Me: "He's on a fitness kick. He's down to 13% body fat."

Mom: "What is your body fat?"

Me: "I haven't measured in a long while. Last time I checked, it was 22%."

Mom: "Yours is much higher than Tom's, but you are not much fatter than him. Gosh, my body fat must be at least 50%."

Me: [laughing really hard]

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

you know what would go well with this pasta? Warcraft II

Yesterday CM and I cooked pasta.

Afterwards I was washing the sauce skillet. As I poured out the dishwater, a bit splashed onto the leftover penne pasta in a collander in the sink.

CM: [reaching for the penne to put into a tupperware]

Me: "I spilled some dishwater on it, but I already rinsed it off."

CM: [jerkily pulling penne out of the sink]

Me: "You want to wash it again, don't you? I can tell by your hesitant motions."

CM: "Okay, yes." [washing the penne]

Me: "I could tell because just now you were like those AI characters in video games, when they have two conflicting goals. They go into hysteresis and start twitching."

CM: "That's not very good AI."

Me: "It's actually extremely good AI, because it exactly modeled what you just did as a human. It would've passed the Turing test."

CM: "No. When I play Warcraft II and send my peon to mine gold, and he starts twitching, I don't wonder to myself whether he's experiencing dissonance between obeying my orders versus going home to his wife!"

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Hanging out with Lillers on Friday night.

Lillers explained beer pong to me. Apparently you throw ping pong balls into a cup of beer, and then drink the beer. Won't the ping pong ball be smushed against your nose, rolling beer onto your face while you drink? Also the ping pong ball is unsanitary. You wouldn't go around licking a bunch of ping pong balls, so why would you drink beer after dunking ping pong balls into the beer?