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January 31, 2005

Online in Mammoth

DOH! This didn't get posted when it was supposed to have been.

Its a big moment! Its after 2am and I'm online in Mammoth, in my own room, in my apt. Better still, I'm posting this through the VPN into work. You know what this means right? It means I can work from Mammoth!

On Monday I will work from here, just to see how it goes. Then I'll drive back to LA and on Friday move up here permanently.


Posted by wonko at 11:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 28, 2005

ebay and alcohol don't mix.

So a couple minutes ago I was closing some browser windows when I noticed the last of my open windows was an eBay page informing me I was the highest bidder on an unopened copy of an Animalympics DVD (1980).

How did this happen? Well. Last night I went to a friends for some games and drink. When I got back to Richard's at 1am they informed me I was, "just in time," as they had just started watching Xanadu (1980). If you haven't seen this movie, or haven't seen it recently, don't walk, RUN to the movie store. The crazy 70's colors and animations reminded me of Animalympics. That combined with the scotch that big Greg had brought must have inspired me enough to bid on it.

You're all invited to a screening of it when it arrives. I bet you can't wait.

Posted by wonko at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 26, 2005


"I'm trying."

"You should feel lucky."

"Yeah, but when I think about that its always things I'm lucky I'm not, not things I'm lucky I am."

"You're just not looking in the right places."

"Where am I supposed to look?"

"In the opposite direction."

Posted by wonko at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2005


"You're not what I expected."

"What did you expect?"

"I don't know, something clearer."

"Yeah. I know. I'm sorry."

"So. What now?"

"That's up to you."

Posted by wonko at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2005


I've waffled back and forth between whether I like snowboarding to music or not. My last mp3 player weighed WAY too much, so I had a good excuse for leaving my music home. Now I have an iPod and I even remember thinking to myself when I bought it how perfect it would be for snowboarding. So yesterday, I rode with it for the first time. I've got some perfect riding music on it. Blackalicious. Iron Maiden. James Bond stuff. However, I found it wasn't as ideal as I'd hoped. I'd put on the perfect music, but inevitably, the moment would change and some other music would be perfect. My iPod couldn't sense this change of mood and change music accordingly. Of course, I don't have a remote either, so its hard for me to switch music manually. Plus, I haven't created 'perfect' ride playlists, which I think would help. But... I found that when I rode with my mIpod (the M is short for mind), the music I was listening to could instantly change moment by moment. I could be riding up the lift with one thing in my head, but when people talked to me it would instantly mute. When I got off the life I'd drop in to some adrenalin music, then it might switch the James Bond if I got into the moguls. If I'm I get in the trees the music can instantly switch. Then, when I need silence, it again knows to mute. The only tradeoff is that I don't have many full songs on my mIpod. I have millions of choruses, but few FULL songs. Also, the words of most of the songs are messed up or just incomplete. Thats definitely the downside.

Its fun to ride with the iPod and I'll definitely do it more, but I think I prefer the mIpod for its versatility and intuitive interface. I give it 5 stars.

Posted by wonko at 11:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 13, 2005

Crickets and Karaoke

Last night, Terri, Richard and I went to a Karaoke room place. I'd actually never heard of such a thing before a week ago. Instead of singing in front of a drunk bar, you get a tiny room for you and your friends. There are a bunch of them in J-town as karaoke is still huge among asians. The places are open until 4am during the week and 5am on weekends! People must need their late night karaoke. It was my first time singing karaoke and would definitely do it again. Good time had by all.

Two nights ago Cindy, an ex Cnation designer, and I went for Crickets and Frog's Legs at this Thai restaurant in the Santa Monica Airport called Typhoon. The crickets were actually quite good. Garlicky to boot. The frogs legs were also delightful. Here are some pictures of the leftovers. Richard commented that it looked like food that had gone bad and been left out.



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Moments of memory

Sometimes I wish my identity had a different past.

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January 09, 2005

Jadyn and I

Here's me and my new niece.

Img 3867Img 3845

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January 08, 2005

Retrospective 2004 and a look ahead.

I will probably remember 2003 as one of the best years of my life. In 2003 I finally began to feel really good about myself, where I was going, and where I was at. I felt happy, alive and in the right place. 2004 was a different story. I will probably remember 2004 as one of the worst years of my life, also punctuated by significant personal change, including the loss of everything I gained in 2003.

I do need to thank those that helped me get through 2004 though. Without their help, I don't think I would have made it. So, to these people, in no order, please accept my deep gratitude: Greg, my mom & dad, my brother and sister-in-law, Caleb, uncle Paul & aunt Sarah, Steve, Matt, Richard, Al, Terri, Brandon & Katie, Bruce, Eric, Bryce, Nir, Oded, Megan, Christie, Cindy, Shuli, Lauren, Racehl, Annie, Giuseppe, Ofelia, Dennis, Henry, Nick, Gina, Annie, and I'm sure there are more that I missed. I can never fully express my immense appreciation for what you've all done for me. You are all really good people and true friends.

Inspired by the blogs of 2 of my friends, I am going to try and list the significant events of 2004 for me.

So what's ahead for 2005? In some ways I'm off to a good start and in others its been rocky. The first couple days of the New Year were absolutely great. It sort of trailed off after that with a series of unfortunate coincidences making me wonder whether my friend was right when he told me it was probably my fault and a result of bad karma. I'm going under the assumption that 2005 will be a better year. It would have to be bad indeed to be worse than 04. So what are my plans and resolutions for 05?

My goals aren't earth shattering. Nothing about career or trying something radically different. Its more about rebuilding. Starting from scratch to try and become a person I can feel good about. If I can accomplish that, I'm sure the rest will fall into place.

Posted by wonko at 01:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 07, 2005

Double Uncle

One can have cousins, but there's no word to pluralize having a single niece and a single nephew. Nevertheless, I now have a niece, Jadyn, born to my brother yesterday (Thursday Jan 6, 2005). She and her mom are doing just fine.

Posted by wonko at 12:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 02, 2005

Fair and Balanced

Often when people are watching or reading the news they mistakenly believe they are watching mere dissemination of facts devoid of bias. This could not be further from the truth. Bias, like speed, is relative (as mentioned before). There is no middle, only relative middles. So, if you are only exposed to a single POV, that is your middle and anything else would be further right or further left of your center, which you may believe is THE center. Is there no hope?

In comes Google News. What's so great about Google News is that it is news content aggregated by a computer. A computer which I can assure you is neither right-wing or left, neither republican or democrat. I'm not saying there might not be ways of influencing Google news, but the truth is in there. Google news merely looks for similar stories and groups them together, so you can see all the versions of a particular story from many sources in many different places. This has the added benefit of SHOWING how biased the media is by showing you such different perspectives on the same issues all in the name of unbiased news. If it was unbiased, how would they all be so different? Of course, some people will not accept this as proof of all media being biased. They will find the story that most closely aligns with their wold-view and call the others biased. The Irony will be lost on them. The reality is, given the political nature of so many issues, you can find conflicting views on almost any story. Just click on the link that says 599 Related Stories and start reading the titles.

I do not believe any news is un-biased, so I am always watching for clues. The first clue is the title. The more resolute the title, the more likely it is to be biased. When I see an article with an obviously inflammatory title, I immediately click the Related link and look for other opposing stories. A lot of the time, the differences will be subtle, while other times it seems like they are from different planets. Take this example of articles related to the new Michael Crichton novel, "State of Fear". One headline reads, "A right-winger attacks global warming" vs. another headline which reads, "Global warming? Now that really is fiction". Both articles are convincing, especially if you're already on once side or another.

So, in order to remain objective we need only click the more related link on google news right? Unfortunately its not that east. First of all, I have to admit that since I started using Google news, I find myself looking for articles written by papers I trust. This isn't inherently bad, but it is way I impose my bias onto the news. I've consciously decided who I will trust, but in doing so, run the risk of being led astray by believing my source to be unbiased. The second problem, and this is the larger problem, is that there appears to be a stunningly limited number of points of view represented in today's media. It really does appear the media represents the right and the left so succinctly, it is easy to forget there are other points of view. Even the labels, 'right' and 'left' imply a perfect duality, I mean, things CAN only be RIGHT or LEFT right? Seeing things as a strait line with two ends, that makes sense, but REALITY is really more like a large sphere with points of view at any point in 3 dimensional space. Like the Wonkavator™, people's points of view will be in all directions from yours, upways, downways, slantways, longways, and even halfways. By having 2 point's of view that are so all encompassing we often forget there are others. Just watch the news talking head's shows and you'll see how they try and force us to choose sides, as if those were the only two POV that existed.

Can the truth be known than, given the relative nature of bias? I'm starting to think of the TRUTH more like quantum particles. There IS truth, but like quantum particles, any attempt to measure its exact location, direction and velocity at a given precise moment influences that particle and changes the answer. We influence the answer by observing it and thus can never really know what the answer would have been if we had not influenced it. This is the nature of truth. By looking at it with our own eyes we influence it in a direction in agreement to or in opposition to our own bias. In that sense, its more about probabilities. We gather peripheral information to gain context and try and counter our bias. By doing this we increase the probability we are closer to understanding the truth. We can never truly know though. Only try, and try we must. Desiring to know the truth outside of bias is a nobel desire that can only make one a better, more understanding person.

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