Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"My Dad in Georgia"

My dad came to the United States in 1965 to be a medical intern in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My mom was also a medical intern living in Youngstown, Ohio. They met in the United States, two Korean immigrants who had come to America for a better education and started to date.

Then it was time to introduce my dad to the family. The only family my mom had in the States was her oldest sister and her husband who lived in Decatur, Georgia because he was a Professor of Engineering at Georgia Tech. So my dad made the drive down to Georgia.

He pulled over at a rest stop to go to the bathroom. He stopped short of the restroom doorway. There were two entrances, one marked "White" the other "Colored". He stood there for a long minute. Was he white or was he colored? He had to make a decision because he really had to go to the bathroom. So he went into the white bathroom. Without incident.

My dad once told me, "When I see a minority or a woman in a position of authority, I think that person must be really excellent at their job. Because it's twice as hard for a minority to make it that far than it is for a white person. That's just the way it is in this country. Maybe in your lifetime, there could be a black president. Maybe, but I doubt it. Definitely not in my lifetime. No way." I remember feeling disappointed when he said this to me.

Late at night on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 I called my dad and asked him if he remembered having that conversation with me.

He said, "You know what. I was listening to his acceptance speech and for some reason my eyes were wet. I reached up to my eyes and they were wet. And I realized I was crying. I can't believe. I can't believe it."

I said, "I'm so happy for you, Dad. That you're seeing this in your lifetime."

"Yeah, I know. Congratulations, Fred."

"Congratulations, Dad."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

5th sentence

"My understanding of twinning, as with my (still limited) understanding of everything else in animationland, has evolved over the years since, and has led me to the following irrefutable mathematical formula:"

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note to your wall.

Monday, November 03, 2008


It is the night before the election. I am excited and for the first time, I'm optimistic (I'm for Obama). Here is why.

Previously I had posted a thought on this election and what it would come down to.  Basically, will the vast number of newly (democratic) registered voters (many of them young and therefore unreliable) actually show up to vote come Tuesday?

I say... yes.

Early voting lines for the past week have been absolutely inspiring for those who will vote for Obama.  Obama voters are especially enthusiastic about their candidate and to see the long lines in Georgia, GEORGIA, a state that leans McCain but will symbolically give extra motivation for voters to become a part of history.

To vote tomorrow, is to become an indelible part of this country's history!

Become a part of history.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gift from Kenya...

Check out my new button!
This was sent from my sister-in-law in Kenya! (via tigereyedesign.com)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Running Redux

So I did a little fact-checking on my previous post on running and discovered that my times were wrong. Turns out I wasn't slowing down with every consecutive race. Below are the correct times and dates (all 5K races).

(Above are pics from my most recent race.)

Sept 16, 2007
Banana Chase Race
22:26 7:14/M

September 23, 2007
Komen Breast Cancer

November 18, 2007
Run for Hunger

February 2, 2008
Kaiser Permanente
22:54 7:23/M

September 14, 2008
Banana Chase Race
22:09 7:09/M

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm a Dad

Today, at breakfast in the kitchen, my oldest son (5 yrs), was looking out the window up at the roof.

He asked, "Dad, how does Santa get down the chimney?"

I said, "You mean, how does a big guy like that fit down the chimney and into the fireplace and into the house?"

He said, "Yeah."

I said, "That - is a very good question."

And then I walked out of the kitchen.

Web 2.0 Social Apps

In socio-economics there's the upper class, the middle class and the lower class.  In a wired society there's: the power users, the lay-user and the afraid-of-the-computer user.  In a web 2.0 society: the update-every-days, the update-once-in-a-whiles and the why-bothers.

The people who use web 2.0 social web apps is a subset of a subset of a small set.  They are all techies and are playing to the techie crowd.  Question is: will these sites continue to only play to the techie crowd, or as time goes by, will the new (younger) generation become the update-ever-day kind and take these sites out of hobby-mode to actually-can-make-money status?

I check facebook and friendfeed all the time but what I find is that there's only a certain minority of my friends who use these web 2.0 apps, and an even smaller subset of them that update their status or other feed-worthy activity. It's a very small set of people who are avid users, the majority of all my friends (all of whom use email) don't use the web 2.0 app because there's little return on investment (of time).

Updating one's status, or one's blog or any 'feed-worthy' activity is an investment of time. Why would I want to write a review on a travel site or a movie review site or a restaurant review site? What do I get in return?  If I feel like I'm party of a community then maybe it's stature.  Most of the time, it's for people to broadcast their thoughts opinions.  Most people don't care to broadcast.

Maybe future generations will be using these web 2.0 apps like we use the telephone.  Blogging and broadcasting feed-worthy activity will be as routine as checking email.  Maybe.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

amazon's new subscribe and save

I've signed up for something on amazon called subscribe and save (http://www.amazon.com/sands/)

Basically, you buy stuff like paper products, toiletries and stuff you would normally buy at Costco and have it shipped to you for free. And then they send the same bulk item to you 3 or 6 or 9 months later automatically. You can modify the frequency. The shipping is free and buying in bulk saves you some as well.

I hate making the trip to Costco so this was a no-brainer.

Amazon has a lot of 'green' brands as well, but not the wide selection that costco has to offer. Still, it's worth trying out for a few months and see if I like it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Politics - Show up or Shut up

I’m not going to rant or rave about the state of politics today. I’m just going to cut to the chase. It comes down to just one thing and one thing only:

Will the vast number of newly registered voters show up on Tuesday.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Period.

Many of them are Democrats registered by the well-organized Obama campaign and they’re in key states. So the numbers heavily favor Obama.

But, many of them are also young. And young voters are notorious for not showing up at the polls on election day. However, many of these young voters DID show up for the Democratic
primaries and caucases and were a major proponent of Obama’s victories against Hillary.

I don’t know the answer to my own question above.

I’m guessing that when the dust settles, the Palin effect will diminish and perhaps even backfire. But that’s just a guess.
There’s about 50 days left and depending on how you look at it, that’s very little time or a lot of time, for things to change.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Picture Meme

Take a picture of yourself right now. 
Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair - just take a picture. 
Post that picture with NO editing. 
Post these instructions with the picture. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yahoo ID Odd-yssey

About a month ago I tried to log into my Yahoo! Mail account and couldn’t get in. It said my password didn’t match. But I hadn’t changed my password. When I tried to reset my password online, it said it couldn’t do that either.

So I sent a help request form to Customer Care and a few days later they told me that I broke the Yahoo! Terms of Service Agreement and that’s why the shut my Yahoo ID down.
I had no idea what they were talking about, but deduced that it had something to do with Yahoo! Small Business and the two domains I had registered there, namely thetradesmen.com and fredland.com – sure enough, those sites weren’t working either.

Every time I asked for more information, I got the same form letter saying I had broken the Y! TOS blah blah blah. What I found completely ridiculous was that there was no warning or communication from Yahoo! that they were about to shut down my ID. This was an ID that I’d had for over 13 years. And I used to work there. The outrage!!!!

Normally I would’ve just said screw Yahoo! After all, I hardly used that email account and wasn’t even using My Yahoo anymore since they forced the “upgrade” to the new UI.

BUT, I was playing in a fantasy football league on Y! Sports. And this would’ve totally ruined the season for myself and everybody else in the league.

So, I called in the big guns. I contacted a former uberYahoo! who’s no longer there who passed my grievance to another uberYahoo! who is still there and before you know it – ZAP! I got my ID back with an email saying all was restored and we apologize for any inconvenience. My two domains were still gone and I had to re-register them and now they just point to my fredfolio blog.

If it weren’t for connections, I’d be screwed.

So while I still play fantasy football on Yahoo!, I’ve gone to every single site I’ve ever registered with my yahoo.com email address and changed it to my gmail account. Not out of anger, but fear that somehow they’ll screw me over again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pushup Club

A group of people I used to work with started something called the Pushup Club. They woud pick a day of the week, Thursday in this case, and give themselves the entire day to do a set number of pushups. So on the first Thursday, they did 100 pushups in one day.

They could divvy up the 100 pushups any way they wanted to: in sets of 10, 20 or even 5 and they had 24 hours to complete those 100 pushups. Then the following Thursday the number was 200 pushups. The week after that, 300 pushups, and they would add 100 pushups to the total ever week.

This was very effective weight training because you were stressing/pushing your body beyond its previous limit in one day then giving it 6 days to recover and rebuild before distressing it again. Plus pushups are an excellent all-around exercise for the upper body.

I started doing this a few months ago as a substitute for the gym and because I got tired of running. I was already in pretty good shape so I started with 400 pushups on a Monday. I added a hundred every week and the highest I got up to was 1,200 pushups.

It sounds a lot more ridiculous than it really is. You can rest between sets as much as you like and 24 hours is lot of time. The hump for me was the week I had to do 700. Almost didn’t make that one. Once I got past that, the following week totals were fairly easy.

But then I got tired of doing the pushup club and went back to running.

Maybe now I’ll do just a little bit of running and a little bit of pushups instead of this all or nothing approach. ;-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I started running about a year ago.

Before I ran I used to go to the gym and lift weights. I would warm up on the treadmill and run about 2 miles at a 7.5 min/mile pace. I hated running, but it was probably the most healthy part of my workout.

I quit my gym one day because I would only go sporadically for a few weeks at a time. I’d get into a groove then inevitably catch a cold, be out for a week or two and then be out of my groove, making it harder to get back into the gym and start it all over again.

I liked how efficient and low maintenance running was. All you needed was a nice pair of running shoes; no gym membership, just go outside and start running. I used mapmyrun.com to keep track of my routes and how far I was running.

I discovered that running outside is a lot more of a workout than running on a treadmill and built more muscle than I expected. Duh. I registered for my first 5K race called the Banana Chase Race which is held close to my house.

I ran it in about 21:14 minutes which I was happy with since I had no notion of what a ‘good’ time for me was. I signed up for more 5K races determined to beat that time.
The next race was the Komen Breast Cancer race and my time wa something like 21:35. I decided to train harder for my next 5K race and looked up training regimens for 5K races online. The next race was an SF Dolphins Running club 5K and my time was something like 21:55. I resolved to run one more time and train my butt off for it. The Kaiser Permanente race… 22:10.

I gave up running a while and started doing pushups instead.

Then a few months ago, I saw that the Banana Chase Race was coming around again. The Banana Chase Race is interesting in that they have a children’s race after the adults race at Kezar Stadium. My two boys really wanted to run with their dad so I signed myself up for the 5K and signed them up for the kids race.

It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it and the kids had a blast. I still have no idea what time I ran because I forgot to look at the billboard as I was crossing the finish line.

I may run more 5K’s in the future but for now I’m going to just run 3-4 miles every other day. I’m getting used to it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Announcing "Fredfolio" blog

I've launched a new blog called "Fredfolio" which you can see here.

The purpose of Fredfolio is to present all my studio and animation work as an online portfolio.

This blog, "Fredland", will continue to be the thoughts in my head while 'folio will be the images and stories in my head.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've been tagged for a "meme"....?

I'm not exactly sure what this is or how it works but my second cousin Beth tagged me so here it goes...

4 jobs I’ve had

1. Cigarette Captain at Philip Morris. [read all about it here]

2. Fire Extinguisher Checker for the PENN Safety Department. The title says it all.

3. Bellboy for The Avalon Inn (Warren, Ohio), where I got into my first car accident with the company van.

4. Grill worker for "The World's Most Magnificent McDonald's" in Niles, Ohio.

4 shows I’m watching

1. How It's Made on Discovery Channel my sons love this show.

2. ESPN PTI - my guilty pleasure, and I do mean guilty.

3. Avatar, the Last Airbender - honest to god, the best show on TV

4. Battlestar Galactica - it jumped the shark during during season 3 but I still dig it.

4 places I’ve been

1. India - beautiful and crowded

2. China - hot and crowded

3. New York City - fun and crowded

4. on the ferry from piraeus to san torini - barfy and crowded

4 CDs I’m listening to

don't listen to CD's, instead i use Rhapsody. I listen to tracks at random and I don't know the artist's names or even albums. So I'm completely useless here. Suffice it to say, I'm not the biggest musicophile in the world.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I love the Green Apple Bookstore in San Francisco. My wife and I sometimes go out on a date sans kiddos and one of our favorite things to do is eat at a nice little restaurant in the Inner Richmond then go browse the Green Apple. The problem is I keep buying books but not reading them.

The solution, I have found, is to not read them at all. But listen to them.

Years ago I tried out Audible (www.audible.com) and downloaded two free books ("On Writing" by Stephen King and "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini) then dropped my subscription. But I recently re-subscribed and have promptly listened to 3 books ("The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho; "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy; and "The Golden Compass" by Phillip Pullman) and working on my fourth. The subscription allows me to download 2 books a month.

The aural experience vs. the visual in consuming a book - Listening to an audiobook is great in that you get a performance from the narrator, an actor or the author, and, like radio, you can do other things while you listen. When reading a book, you can't do anything else but read the book.

Reading a book is visual and you miss out on the 'design' of the sentence. Sometimes an author will deliberately use short sentences like Hemingway or McCarthy. Does that come across in the audiobook? Is it important?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Microsoft + Yahoo!

The rationale for this deal has been a conglomeration of both companies' audience which would mean more eyeballs for more ads for more dollars. Nothing has been said about how the branding would work, or how the products would work amongst one another, or what the user experience would be like. Because it would probably be a nightmare. Yahoo and Microsoft have enough problems getting their own products to make cohesive sense I can't imagine what it would be like to combine them.

There was some mention over company culture clash. Silicon Valley companies HATE Microsoft. It's not just a culture clash, it's an all out hatred/oil and water situation.

I hate to say it because I loved working there but for Yahoo, this was a long time in coming. You could see the decline begin 5 years ago, and it's caught up to them. So to turn 5 years of lethargic momentum around in 6 months - don't think so.

And the kicker is, even if the merger worked they'd still be chasing Google, they'd still be very far behind. Google is wicked shrewd and continues to run with the ball.

In the short term, wall street might like the accumulation of eyeballs and reward the stock price(s) but in the long run there's going to be severe confusion.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why I voted for Obama...

In one word: Electability.

I think Hillary would be a great president. I think Obama would be a great president. She definitely has more experience. But she would also bring out the Hillary-haters.

If Romney were the Rebulican nominee then Obama or even Hillary would be a shoe-in. But b/c it's likely to be McCain, it makes the race that much tighter.

While I still think it's the Democrats' general election to lose, I want someone with the best chance of winning and that's Obama.

Don't see much difference in policy and philosophy really, just electability.