Archive for the ‘Business’ category

August Advent Calendar – Week 1

August 13th, 2011

August has come — school is starting again in the blink of an eye! As this sad date advances closer and closer, we are filled with more and more regret for the things we could not do in the summer. Thus, to compensate and cheer us all up, I decided to hold a sort of Advent Calendar. No, you don’t get chocolates, or virtual items for your Neopets, or toys. I have something better :)

Each day of August, you get a brand-spankin’ new mini-post! (Disclaimer: mini-post can consist of as few as one sentence.) I’ll stop blabbing here; let’s get this party started!

Week 1 – Monday August 1 to Sunday August 7

Monday, August 1

(By the way, I am backdating this minipost. Hee hee… yes, I am cheating.) The Common App launched today, and I haven’t even bothered to think about it. I had a dumpling party yesterday with Vincent, Mr. Zhang, Lucy, and Sue (and various parents). Originally I just invited Mr. Zhang, Vincent, and his dad, since it was supposed to be a little private get-together to celebrate Vincent’s departure as he would be moving permanently to Boston. Lively party was interesting to me (and I usually don’t find social functions interesting), but my parents thought that everybody’s parents kept talking about pointless things and making stupid arguments about stuff that nobody cares about. True, I guess. Vincent’s dad was different from what I expected. He disciplined Vincent well, as I expected, but he didn’t feel as oriented as Vincent. Something I talked about with my parents — why would he follow his son all the way to Boston? It’s like he didn’t care at all about his own life and dedicated everything he did to Vincent. In fact he outright affirmed that, making a splendid metaphor to how he was the first-stage rocket of the spacecraft known as Vincent. I suppose Harvard or somebody he meets there would become his second stage, propelling him furthermore on his journey to the stars.

Today Simon, one of the senior interns under my mentor here at JPL, came back finally from his school. Yes, it is around the end of his internship already, haha. Anyways, to celebrate, we went to this severely overpriced restaurant in Old Town Pasadena (or at least I think that’s Old Town) called Gyu-Kaku. I don’t know why white people like Asian food so much, but they do apparently. It was pretty good, but for the cheap $10 value meal thing I ordered, they barely gave anything. It’s a Yakiniku restaurant, and I think this is the first time I’ve been to one. It’s like a hotpot restaurant, except it’s not a hotpot, it’s a grill-thing. They give you meat, you cook it. What I thought was pretty interesting was the spinach they included in the value meal (because spinach = value!). Yes, it was just spinach. Raw spinach. Anyways, they wrapped it in aluminum foil with a few slices of garlic for you to, uh, toss on the grill (read: “cook”), and it was pretty good.

And yeah… crap happened in June and July, but meh. I’ll backdate a few posts to talk about important stuff, of course. Like Stanford. Oh yeah. Still need to write that post…

Have I mentioned that the Common App came out today? And I still haven’t started?

Tuesday, August 2

(Also backdated.) I had lunch with Zack today, where I failed a physics problem. After chatting about Zack’s cruise, the hot Russian grade-skipping genius college chick he met, how he stole her from her boyfriend, and how that made him totally cool, we were talking about the softball game I was going to play tomorrow (Wednesday). Of course, I have absolutely no athletic talent — even less than my artistic talent.

Wednesday, August 3

(Hey, guess what, it’s backdated.) Highlight of the day was my softball game. I was catcher, and I was completely clueless so I didn’t know to call foul or fair. Yet, everybody still helped me and said kind things, gave helpful advice. It feels great to be part of a team.

Thursday, August 4

(I’m serious, I intended to start this, but Thursday’s minipost is also backdated.) Today I met with the most important lawyer in all of JPL/CalTech. Considering lawyers charge like $500 per hour, and I got a half hour with him, that’s a nice $250 worth of legal counsel there.

It turns out he was actually a patent lawyer in his previous job for a big aerospace company. How brilliantly convenient!

Friday, August 5

I liked this quote from the Official Google Blog about startups:

We’re a small, close-knit group of friends that spend most of our time huddled in a room making decisions on the spot and moving fast to launch a product in a matter of months.

Here are the results of today’s productivity:

I love making post-it art. The things that end up coming out of my pen are always so random though. And yes, of course, my artistic capabilities are not quite proficient.

Saturday, August 6

(This is backdated again — I didn’t get to finish writing my other backdated posts so more stuff got pushed back.) My presentation yesterday got cancelled. But now I have to work on my presentation and paper instead of enjoying my weekend. Mwahh.

Ended up goofing off most of the day. Who would have expected.

Pic somewhat related. Somewhat.

Sunday, August 7

(Backdated.) This is one of those rare days when I was able to make myself do work. I feel so accomplished — wrote a huge huuuge detailed PowerPoint and came up with some key concepts to emphasize. Unfortunately I couldn’t write much of my paper.

Growing up is overrated

June 24th, 2011

Productivity is so much more difficult than entertainment.

Case in point: these first two weeks of summer. Swamped with invitations, banquets, potlucks, decisions, requests, favors, startups, plans, and whatnot. Keeping up with events on my calendar, following up on emails, managing and leading people, making decisions and planning meetings. It’s all so… productive. I’ve never felt so productive.

Productivity takes a surprisingly large amount of time. I see now why there are people whose jobs are just to “manage people” — it’s a lot of work!

Being productive and managing felt so grown-up, yet it really wasn’t that fun. Like, when you’re a kid you look up to grown-ups so much, and when they do their work on the computer you’re like “wow, so mature.” And now it’s like “wow, so retarded.” Growing up is overrated.

free food Physics Team Potluck

Major event that I wanted to talk about was our potluck. I was burned out after junior year, looking forward to the inactivity and lazy days that supposedly lay ahead.

Sucks for me that I have so much going on. Well.

Vincent, my longstanding role model, among many — there are so many respectable people in the world (I never thought I would hear myself say that — I’m usually way more cynical than that. I guess my personality must be different in the summer. Or maybe it’s just that junior year’s over.) suggested that I plan a Physics Team potluck to celebrate our achievements this year and let everybody get to meet each other.

I, in lazy mode, was initially annoyed at his eagerness to spend time that I would normally find wasteful. I was also kind of annoyed that it would be held at my house.

I had this cool back-and-forth with my parents, and the conclusion we reached at the end was that Vincent was lending me a friendly helping hand by nudging me onstage to manifest my leadership, because I wasn’t normally the type of person to arrange social functions. My idea was that the only reason the Physics Team would ever need to meet together would be to discuss Physics or Team. Groups are complicated.

Society is complicated.

Vincent had selected three hopefuls, the brightest sophomores from this year’s AP Physics B, and the last, as Arcadia High School would be phasing out AP Physics B for sophomores (which makes little sense). I’d petition the administration, but there’s basically no chance of restoring the class.

Oh, on a tangent, Calculus D was also killed. It especially sucks for me. I was really looking forward to taking that class.

There was an overage of food, of course, as Asian parents coursed in with armfuls of eatery munitions. We played badminton, basketball, ping-pong, Wii, and even a little soccer. The best part, I think everyone could agree, was our Ultimate Frisbee game.

Usually I don’t have fun during social functions. But maybe, just maybe, they’re tolerable.

Startup, Inc

As much as I try to learn from Vincent and his outgoing persona, social command isn’t all it takes. You do get places by telling people what to do, and having people work for you, but that’s somewhat dissatisfying and unsettling.

Our hush-hush project began with a clang– with a hotpot. Jason Jong loves hotpots, and I see why now. Hotpots are the perfect meal to eat at business meetings. It totally fosters a sense of eating out of the same bowl, and working together to cook the meat. Symbolism aside, it also tastes really good.

The hotpot restaurant we went to (next to the 99 Ranch Market, the leftmost one– for some reason there are two hotpot restaurants in the same plaza right next to each other) wasn’t very good, but I still enjoyed it.

I found myself unfamiliar with the teenager hangouts of Arcadia as we later went to that tea shop next to 99 Cents on Duarte and I ordered my first tea shop snack.

Life’s good. To be specific, mildly spicy with a numbing aroma (麻辣). Sweet potato fries.


That was all… two weeks ago. It’s all stuff that should have been blogged in detail, but weren’t, and only now get a brief amount of coverage.

I missed talking about the various gatherings of my Skype group, LSG. Happy really belated birthday, Hanchan!

Aeris dies.

Because of various circumstances, one week ago (hey, we’re making progress!) I started playing Final Fantasy 7.

Now, don’t be mistaken. By “play,” I don’t mean I was playing the game.

My ineptitude at gaming is legendary.

One of the most vital points towards my college application will be the claim that I have never once completed a game in my life. I’ve never beat any of my Pokemon games. Never beat Sonic Adventure 2. Never beat Crash Bandicoot 3. Never beat Ocarina of Time — I’m actually at Forest Temple, roughly the halfway point. That’s a record for the farthest I’ve ever gone in a game. And that was with cheats (load/save state on emulator). My two little siblings beat me constantly at Wii Sports.

I was reading synopses, character bios, game walkthroughs, scripts, and watching YouTube videos. I’ve given up on “playing” games. It’s impossible for me.

FF7 is so deliciously complex.

I also like the name Mint. It’s brilliant.


Today (wow big timeskip) I visited my new office.

Yes, you heard right. I was amazed too. I get my own office? …

Turns out I had to share it with this other guy, but that makes me feel less bad at getting my own office.

Wow. I get my own half office.

Looking forward to starting my research with spacecraft fault protection and interconnection on Monday.

Dang, I feel so privileged.

Coffee makes me sick

I hate coffee.

This morning I was at a coffeeshop waiting for someone, and, being considerate of the coffeeshop, decided to buy something. I was thinking of getting one of those cold milk-coffee drinks — Frappiccinos or something?

I don’t know coffee terminology.

Well, “cappuccino” sounds like “Frappiccino” so I ordered one. I expected sweet, I got freakin’ bitter. I expected milky, I got freakin’ black. I expected iced, and I got hot.

Stupid coffee.

College Apps

Let’s not talk about this.


May 16th, 2011

Originality. We are taught in our childhood that everyone is special (feel free to sing along). We each have our own place in the world and our uniqueness is precious. It’s also what much of the motivation behind religious belief centers on. Jesus loves you, God loves you, God has his place for you in the world or something, and all You have to Do is Believe in Him. Gratuitous capitalization intended.

I’ve been thinking about how unoriginal everything in each of our lives is. Mainly stemming from the extremely unoriginal idea of entrepreneurship. Ideas don’t get much more unoriginal than that. People were trading furs and pebbles long before the wheel was invented. I’m sure some cool dude set up a little clearing in the jungle to display his wares, and that dude was the world’s very first entrepreneur.

How many people, unsatisfied with their lives of teacher torture, or pointy-haired-boss torture, or professor torture, or landlord-asking-for-rent torture, sit in their cubicles/dorms/bedrooms/apartments dreaming of formulating an idea, putting it to practice, and being your own boss? Its simplicity is what makes it so attractive, especially in America, what with our Dream and all.

It’s just how… naive we are. Me. Am. Is. No, that’s still not right.

By the way, I’m sitting in El Pollo Loco after the long, pointless Physics Team meeting waiting for the long, pointless Symphony Orchestra rehearsal at 6pm. Just thought you’d like to know that.

For your info, I have a narrative essay to write, a short story presentation to create and present, three weeks of math homework to finish, years worth of college physics material to self-study, clothing and such to pack, spam filters to set up on Reverie, a Math Team captain election speech to prepare and deliver, three concerts in the morning on Wednesday and one more long concert at night in stuffy concert attire, an interview by APN to deal with, four hours of volunteer shift to work on Thursday night…

Luckily I finished my compsci project and my chem lab today. Whew. At the rate of two items per day… okay, I’m not going to finish in time before my flight on Friday morning.

Especially since I have completely no free time on Wednesday due to the conveniently-scheduled concerts. Or Thursday due to my Methodist session. Not that I had any free time today, really, either (due to three-hour rehearsal, two-hour physics team meeting, and ortho appointment). Oh yeah, speaking of ortho appointment… I desperately wanted my braces off for camp. Even if it doesn’t impair my speaking abilities (which it does), it seriously undermines my self-confidence. I’m going to be going to a camp with the 19 other VERY BEST high school students in the nation. I really don’t want to be wearing lame braces, with FOUR. CROSSOVERED. ELASTICS. Crap. I couldn’t get my orthodontist to take them off before Friday. Crap.

The other unoriginal goal I was thinking about today (they mostly regard careers as that’s what’s been in my mind recently) was studying finance — playing with money. It’s another extremely popular career choice for youngsters — the latest fad, it seems, after watching the US economy collapse and all those Wall Street con-men get away with all the money. People think it’s an easy get-rich-quick scheme — one year on the job, and then millions of green paper to backstroke through on your way to your private villa by yacht.

It’s 11:59; if I don’t click Publish now it won’t count as today’s post, so we’ll have to end here.

This is going to be a horrible week. Yet, hopefully, it will also be the start of something spectacular.

help exchange Ideas

April 25th, 2011


text logo v1.

I tossed around a few ideas and came up with this.

Here are some ideas on paper, thought of these during Chinese:


Ben, help me rotate those. I can’t find where to do it.

I thought the ‘e’ would look good at first; it did in my head, but it didn’t look to good on paper.

Need font ideas, color ideas, and everything that can be changed. Also anything on those pages that I considered; which should we use?