Monday, July 25, 2005

What kind of Asian are you?

Found this floating on the net somewhere. Saving it here for posterity. I am not exactly young any more, so these catetories don't really fit me :). I only hope my son doesn't grow up to be a twinkie.

What Kind Of Asian Are You?

Young Asians in America come in many forms. Below are the major categories. Most Asians fit into multiple groups. For example, Rice-boys can also be Fobs and many Tabs are Fobulous. The only groups that are never part of another group are the Twinkies and the Asian-Americans. Claim your Fobbiness! When you see your Asian friend, greet them with "Wassup Fob!" And if your Asian friend says something ridiculous, say "Fob please!" Of course, when a non-Asian calls you a Fob, that is grounds for a fight. Ahahaha... The categories below are to be taken lightheartedly. Read, recognize and laugh.

  • Besides your nationality, there is little to distinguish you from white people
  • Your significant other is not Asian and never has been
  • You have few Asian friends, if any
  • You are embarrassed at family events because you cannot speak your language and everyone has to switch to English to communicate with you
  • You have no idea that the other types of Asians on this list even exist
  • You think Hello Kitty is dumb and do not know what Sanrio is
  • You are the only Asian on this list that does not know what Bubble Tea is
  • You drive a Ford or some other domestic car and if you drive a Honda, it is stock
  • You claim yourself as Asian, but real Asians think you're whitewashed and non-Asians see you as a foreigner. You fit in nowhere
  • You have heard of Bubble Tea but have never actually had any
  • You are confused about your cultural identity and express this frustration through spoken word performances at your college
  • You read A. magazine and think it's great
  • You do not know who Leon, Aaron, Sammi, Hikki, or Kangta are
  • You are only vaguely aware of the other Asians below
Yap (Young Asian Professional)
  • You are in one of these professions:
    • Medicine / Pharmaceutical
    • Engineering
    • Finance
    • Investment Banking
    • Accounting
  • Most of your wardrobe was purchased at Banana Republic
  • You go to "mixers" on Thursday nights to meet other Yaps and talk about the Dow Jones
  • You did exactly what your parents wanted you to do and as a result, your life is hella boring
  • Your apartment/home is decorated almost exclusively with stuff from Pier 1
  • Your parents always talk to their friends about how much money you make. If they don't, then you're a dissapointment
Fob (Fresh Off tha Boat)
  • You were not born in America
  • You know who Leon, Aaron, Sammi, Hikki, and Kangta are. In fact, you have seen them at Atlantic City or Las Vegas recently
  • You speak your native language fluently and so do all your friends
  • You do not have any non-Asian friends
  • Your parents do not speak any English
  • When you speak English, you like to make everything plural
  • You get extremely good grades in school
  • You cannot dance
  • Your fashion sense comes from whatever country you're from and you incorporate nothing from American fashion into your wardrobe
  • Your command of the English language is minimal and you don't care
  • You like dim sum chicken feet
  • You do not own a single CD, VCD, Video game, or DVD that isn't bootlegged
  • Your only hangout is Chinatown
  • All the lights in your house are fluorescent
  • You dry your cloths outside your window
  • You need a haircut
  • You either smell like cigarettes or food
  • You are an Asian-American or Twinkie who has recently "awoken"
  • You have a newly found fetish of Asian girls/boys
  • You have taken the Asian Studies course at college
  • You are trying to learn as much as possible about your culture to make up for your lifetime of trying to be white (Twinkie ; Banana) or Black (Chigger ; Tea egg)
  • If you are lucky, you will grow to become Fobulous
Gangsta Fob (Fobsta)
  • You have shot another Asian
  • Your favorite hangout is a pool hall
  • When you talk, you sound like a cross between a Fob and an urban black kid
  • Your hair looks silly, but no one will tell you because you'll shoot them
  • You have a serious gambling problem
  • You are a Rice-boy, but your mods are cheap and are never painted to match the rest of your car
  • No one tells you your rice ride looks cheap because you'll shoot them
  • You want to have a Tab girlfriend, but can only get Hoochie Tabs
Tab (Trendy Asian Bitch)
  • You shop at A/X, Bebe and Club Monaco
  • You only wear black and will occasionally wear white to "mix it up"
  • You do not weigh more than 105 lbs
  • You have never paid for dinner at a restaurant in your life
  • Platform heels are your favorite
  • You are a makeup expert, in fact, you appear completely flawless
  • You do not smile in public
  • You are the object of desire of all Asian men and you know it
  • You smoke
  • Your cell phone is completely customized
  • On the inside flip of your cell phone is a sticker pic of you and your man
  • Somewhere in your purse is a Sanrio item
  • You only date Asian and will only date a boy with a nice car
  • You are often seen with Rice-boys
  • You never travel alone. You are either in the company of other Tabs or your Rice-boy boyfriend
Hoochie Tab
  • You are an import car model
  • Your boobs are not real
  • There are naked pictures of you floating around on the internet somewhere
  • Stiletto heels are your favorite
  • Your role models are Francine Dee and Kaila Yu
  • Your boyfriend is a Gangsta Fob
  • You cheat on your boyfriend
  • Unlike most Asians, you do not do well in school
  • You drive an Asian import. Usually a Honda or Acura
  • Your souped up car (known as a Rice-ride or Rice-rocket) is unrecognizable from it's original stock form
  • Your exhaust pipe is big enough for your head to fit in
  • The spoiler on your car looks like it was made by Boeing
  • The interior of your car also looks like it was designed by Boeing
  • You always drive like you are racing someone
  • You are not afraid of dying in a crash, but you are afraid of speed bumps and parking lot on-ramps
  • The only other person besides yourself who can sit in your car is your 105 lbs Tab girlfriend. If anyone else sits in your car, the entire bottom of it will be touching the ground
  • Even though your car is a Honda, it goes faster and is worth more than a Lotus Esprit
  • If you drive a Civic, your dream car is a Supra. If you drive a Supra, your dream car is a Skyline (which you can never have). Poor Rice-boy.
  • You speak perfect English and you are fluent in your native language
  • You have Asian friends as well as non-Asian friends
  • You listen to Asian pop as well as American music
  • You are equally aware of both popular American culture and Asian pop culture
  • You are a good dancer
  • You date Asian by choice even though you could rock the opposite sex of any other race
  • You are a good designer and have superior Html skills
  • You have an Apt107 page AND an AA page and the guest books in both are packed
  • For you, FOB stands for Fabulous Oriental Being
  • You have lots of Asian pride

Friday, July 22, 2005

Fios Update

As I stated in my previous post, Verizon is scheduled to come light the fiber to our house on Tuesday. Yesterday when I got home I found a flyer on the door handle, telling me that Housley Communications, LTD — a subcontractor I suppose — will be "placing telephone cable for Verizon at your home. Work will be done in the front utility easement. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact..." then it gave a 1-800 number.

Today as I was pulling into the driveway I saw a pickup truck leaving, with a trailer full of cables and digging equipment. That must have been the subcontractor who had just finished burying the fiber-optic cable. They pulled the drop all the way from the other edge of our neighbor's front yard, along the strip of lawn sandwiched between the street and the walkway, and then turned a 90 degree angle, terminated at the side of our house. They actually did a pretty good job: you can hardly tell they dug up the sod.

I took some pictures on the side of our house where the cable terminated:
The rightmost line is the optical fiber with a hard-plastic jacket. The extra cable at the end is twisted into a circle to be connected to the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) on Tuesday.

This is the marking on the cable.

And finally, this is the end of the fiber-optic cable. You can see it must have been tunneled through mud, and wrapped in electrical tape.

I'll post another update once I am on the fiber connection.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Yuans and Senses

I am not an economist; in fact, I don't even play one on the web; so I won't pretend to understand the first thing about international finance or currency evaluation. What I do have is common sense, and a logical mind —— at least I hope so, as my livelihood depends on it. When I heard some people complaining on NPR that today China's adjustment of her currency, renminbi yuan, is too little, not the %40 they had hoped, I just couldn't help thinking that's total nonsense.

Suppose we lived in an alternate universe —— hey, this blog is not called Vacuum Fluctuation for nothing —— and the Chinese government decided, instead of raising the value of yuan by 2% as they actually did today, they'd increase it, in one shot, by 40%, just to make some Americans happy. The effect of that would be catastrophic, worse than the '97 Asian financial crisis. The major Asian economies would probably collapse. Since that region is a major growth engine for the world, the world economy would be heavily damaged as well.

But that may be too abstract. Let's take an example closer to home then. Suppose in another alternate universe, you walked into your local Wal-Mart and found everything had been marked up by 40%: the $10 curtain is now $14; that $200 electric scooter is now $280... And maybe just maybe, since the yuan is worth so much more now, the Chinese had bought up the world oil supply, and gas price is at $4 a gallon. How would you feel then?

Back to the universe we are living in. If we do want that 40% increase of yuan's value, it's totally within the framework set forth by the Chinese government today. The key is, it's going to take some time. According to the Wall Street Journal:

The yuan will now be allowed to trade in a tight 0.3% band against a basket of foreign currencies, the government said. It didn't say which currencies. It said the central bank would announce the yuan's closing price each day, and that rate would be the midpoint of the next day's trading band.
Let's make things simple, and assume everything is against the US dollar. And since so many people think yuan is vastly undervalued, assume they'd buy up as much yuan as possible, so yuan would always go up the maximum amount allowed by the Chinese government.

After first day's trading, yuan goes up against dollar for 0.15% —— the previous day's closing was set as the midpoint of the trading band, so it could only go up as much as 0.3%/2 = 0.15%. That's 1.0015 times yesterday's closing price.

Let's assume people and banks the world over never run out of steam buying up the vastly undervalued yuan, so it goes up 0.15% against the dollar every day. After a month (the currency exchange is open 24x7, right?), the yuan would increase

1.001530 = 1.046

that's a nice %4.6 increase right there. And after a year

1.0015365 = 1.728

Wow! After a short year, the yuan would increase its value by 72.8%! I think even the most die-hard protectionist would be satisfied. The question is, would your Wal-Mart shoppers?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I am going fiber optic

When we bought our house in this sleepy suburban town, full of subdivisions bordered with gentle rolling hills and grazing cattle, you'd never have thought it as a technology hotbed. Apparently someone thought differently. About a month ago these men drove into our neighborhood with utility trucks (my two-year-old had a blast saying "u-ti-li-li truck") and Ditch Witch trenchers, started digging up trenches and laying down thick strands of optical fibers. Every day we'd get a flyer in the mail proclaiming the next internet revolution (didn't that go out of style along with the dotbust?) . Verizon Fios has arrived.

I had been pretty happy with Comcast high speed internet. Their voluntarily increasing the download speed to 3Mb/s certainly helped. But lately their service had gone to hell. There was a whole week when their DNS servers were down. The whole internet was rendered inaccessible unless you remembered all the IP addresses. Then my router would loose its IP address and DHCP renew would time out again and again and again... Then there were the intermittent quantum anomalies, when you were surfacing the web as usual and suddenly time came to a standstill the electrons all stopped and the link you just clicked on never came back to you. I did a speed test it told me my download speed was 111kb/s and upload was 200kb/s, and promptly asked me "did you tweak you settings since your upload is faster than your download?"

That finally pushed me over the edge. I jumped over to Verizon's Fios' page (well, once the electrons started flowing again) and signed up for the 15Mb/s down 2Mb/s up service at $49.95 a month. You can get a $5 discount if you have Verizon phone services, but my packet8 is $20 a month with free long distance, I don't think Verizon can beat that.

Anyway, I am scheduled to have Fios installed next Tuesday. I can hardly wait.

Friday, July 15, 2005

XSLT engines are not created equal

It's been a while since my last entry. It's not that I am too lazy to write anything; it's just that my daily grind has become so mundane and mind-numbing I hardly ever had any idea for a new entry. Maybe that's a sure sign telling me to start looking for a new job.

Anyway, we are building this diff tool that compares airline schedule files. It's quite sophisticated now from its humble, simple beginnings, but the basic flow is it takes two input files, compares them based on business rules, produces a report object, uses xstream to convert it to XML, and finally uses XSLT to generate an HTML report.

Of course it works perfectly in our development environment; we also tend to stick to small input files. As soon as we shipped it to our customer, we heard the bad news that if you put it against two big input files (15 MB and 4 MB) and run it from the command line, it just sits there forever. When we tried it here, we let it sit there for 10 hours before killing it off.

So yesterday we had a company party to celebrate the cool summer days in Texas (hey, we are not even over 100). After a few margaritas, we sat down to figure out what the problem was. We ran the same two files in IntelliJ, and it worked, even though it took a while. Only on command line it hangs. Looking into the scripts, I noticed that we had weblogic 7.1 jar file in the classpath, which we didn't have in IntelliJ. Thinking maybe the old XSLT engine in weblogic got used instead of the one in the JDK, we commented out the weblogic jar, and kicked it off. After getting another margarita and came back, voila, it worked!

We all know XSLT is Turing Complete, but that doesn't always mean it'll finish its computation in your lifetime.