engineer, inspiration

Corporate Efficiency : “Humans Are The Problem”

I sometimes say in jest that in the corporate world the “humans are the problem”. Communication, expectation and difference in perspectives are some of what causes executions of projects to not work. This is a response to frustrations expressed by people on my team that “other” people are doing things the “wrong” way. I find […]

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family, inspiration

Family Portrait From 1975 in Hunan, China

I grew up in communist China from 1970 to 1979 before coming to the United States. This photo is a rare photo of our family together.  This is the time when China just opened their immigration policy to allow people to leave China. My mom was a pediatrician, my dad was an architect. I have […]

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inspiration, travel

Visit With Passionate People

I was visiting this jewelry store in Rome by a very famous jewelry maker Diego Percossi Papi (exibition). The shop is tiny and I was a bit intimidated since the jewelry were all well over $1,000. I looked into the shop for a good 5 minutes until the owner/designer buzzed me in and told me […]

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inspiration

Listening to: Public Shaming in the Age of Social Media

In 2013, public relations executive Justine Sacco tweeted an offensive AIDS joke before boarding a flight to South Africa. By the time she landed, she had been denounced around the world, and lost her job soon after. Did Sacco deserve her public humiliation? Or was she yet another victim of social media shaming and a […]

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inspiration

link: 12 Books That Every Leader Should Read

(Photo from my restaurant I Privé) I listened to Bob Sutton’s podcast on Scaling Excellence Successfully podcast fro the Center for Social Innovation podcast at Stanford I checked out his blog and found a list of books he recommends.  I’ve put To Sell is Human, By Dan Pink. in my SF library queue.  (I removed the referral […]

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badminton, exercise, inspiration

Find that one true sport you love

In high school I played badminton for 4 years. I liked the sport, but did not love it. When I went to UC Berkeley, I join the badminton club and we trained and competed against other colleges. We would travel both days on weekends, come back as a team, have dinner together and laugh about the […]

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inspiration

Face to face meetings: when they are useful

I’ve struggled with having too many meetings where I didn’t find them useful, but I felt that there is 10 minutes of useful information so I go to get that info. This particular week, I’ve had several useful meetings. The 3 attributes of these meetings that made them particularly productive are 1) They are 30 […]

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inspiration

Before paying for recurring service, know how they make money

I am in a position to evaluate different point of sale systems for a restaurant I’m invested in (I Privé).  There are 3 different business models I have seen. Take a percentage of every credit card transaction, give away the hardware Hosted software, charge a recurring monthly fee per hardware device Sell one time hardware, […]

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inspiration

Having the hunger to standout

Out of a team of 10 people, how do you standout without making others look bad? Figure out what is the BHAG. Out of the 10 features, bugs, on the list of todo, what are the most important pieces that move the needle? Write down all your ideas about improving, developing those 2 things. Ask […]

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inspiration

Spending time on things that matter

When you decide on what to spend your time on at work, try to spend your time that you can actually make a big impact. Otherwise in today’s corporate world, you don’t get credit or acknowledgement on it. Either decide not to work on it, or if you decide to spend X% of time on […]

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inspiration

Back of the envelope calculation

Embrace the fact that you won’t get the exact number right. But make sure to get the order of magnitude correct. Should you be getting 50, 500, 5000, 50,000 customers? If you get 30,000 page views, 6,000 clicks and 50 customers what that’s a good marketing return on investment? Once you have mastered being able […]

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inspiration

On passion

When you are working on something time passes by without you knowing it. When you start creating a list of things that you want to continue improving and you’re actually getting them done. Whenever you have a free moment when you’re thinking about it or doing something for it. You wish you have more time […]

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engineer, inspiration

Read: John Resig – Write Code Every Day

I want to learn from others on how to maintain good habits, one of those is to code everyday. I have missed a few days, but I’m very happy with my progress so far.  It has resulted in 3 mobile apps published on the Android and Apple Appstores John Resig – Write Code Every Day

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inspiration

What is the best advice you have ever received? (from Quora)

This is from Quora Find something that fully engages your mind. And your heart. For that is the way to happiness. Push harder. Do better. Never give into complacency. Be wide-ranging in your interests, and decisive in your judgments. Give every opportunity the benefit of the doubt. Always go the distance. And don’t buy uncomfortable […]

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inspiration

Yahoo Homepage and Verticals Open House

Ever wonder how often we release the Yahoo Homepage? Or how big a speed boost Yahoo Sports gets by doing Edge-side Assembly?  Curious to hear the tricks we use to keep CSS bloat free and forward-compatible with things we haven’t even dreamed up yet? You’re in luck! Our engineering teams are hosting a casual evening […]

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inspiration, yahoo

1-liner setup for your development environment

ydev setup <anything> I did an informal poll at Yahoo, and also with candidates who interview with Yahoo. When they join a new team, how long did it take to setup their dev environment.  It ranges from 30 minutes to a day, and even several days. I asked them what if I pour water on […]

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food, inspiration

Inspired By Alice Water’s Fireplace Fried Egg

All I Wanted Was for Alice Waters to Feed Me Then she picked up a large copper spoon with a two-foot handle. She rubbed olive oil into the spoon’s cup and cracked in one of the eggs. I saw the golden-orange yolk. Holding the end of the spoon’s handle, Waters extended the egg into the […]

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engineer, inspiration, yahoo

What Makes Us Happy And Motivated At Work?

It’s that time of year for me to reflect on why we are here working everyday.  Please chime in with your thoughts. What motivates us to be happy and motivated at work? Money Recognition Being valued Making a difference in the world and self motivation Money is a great motivator, it’s an enabler for future […]

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inspiration

BJ Fogg’s Behavior Grid: How To Form Habits

This is an interesting read from a Stanford professor, on how to form healthy habits as well as how Facebook became a habit for many people. I personally have been using this model for myself to remind myself to do push ups and drink water. Using motivation (getting stronger), ability (right before bedtime) and trigger (a […]

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inspiration

Wedding Wishes from the kids

Drawings from Ryan, Will, C. for Wedding – 1 Drawings from Ryan, Will, C. for Wedding – 2 Drawings from Ryan, Will, C. for Wedding – 3 Drawings from Ryan, Will, C. for Wedding – 4 Drawings from Ryan, Will, C. for Wedding – 5 Drawings from Ryan, Will, C. for Wedding – 6

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inspiration

11 Days Until…

I’ll be married to the woman of my dreams. Katherine and I have been a part of each other’s lives for 3 years.  She is the most intelligent, kind, warm and thoughtful woman I have ever met. During the first few months of dating, she introduced me to most of her close friends.  Her friends […]

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inspiration

Link: NYTimes: How I Became a Teacher

From The New York Times: SCHOOLBOOK: How I Became a Teacher A first-year teacher writes: “As a high school student, I never once considered the training my teachers had received or what their personal teaching philosophies may have been. I did not know what a lesson plan was.” Now she knows. http://nyti.ms/w4rH4A Sent from my […]

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inspiration, yahoo

Your Immediate Team Members Are What Matters

I love working for my manager, Cecilia. She is caring, funny, a good listener and a good person. I love working for my manager’s manager, my VP. He is strong, careful, a good listener and thoughtful. I love my co-workers, they are good, smart, passionate and caring. This is what makes me love my company, […]

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engineer, inspiration

GTD and investing

In June 2011 this year, when I was looking at my investment accounts, I noticed that it had fully recovered from the nearly 40% drop since March 2009. I was in the middle of selling my house, moving into a new rental, planning for a wedding for next year and starting an investment in a […]

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inspiration, yahoo

Making Annual Reviews Easier

  Annual Reviews It’s one of the most important task people in large organizations need to do. But often we don’t spend enough effort and thought compared with the importance of annual reviews to their careers Most People Hate Reviews I’ve been doing my self review for over 12 years now at Yahoo! For the […]

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engineer, inspiration

Single Tasking In The World Of Multitasking

I have been wanting to be a proficient iPhone programming for 1 year now.  I have tried 3 times to start but have stopped for various reasons. My most recent attempt has worked, and here is what I’ve changed Focus, pay attention to only one thing at a time I have created a separate account […]

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inspiration

Book: The Roadmap To 100

Some learnings from the book Pg: 204 1) Be a realist. Aging is inevitable. 2) Pay attention to your body. Get to know your body, your internal workings, better. Spend a little time in front of a mirror regularly. Ask yourself what you can do to make yourself healthier. 3) Move! Walk, Run, Fidget, Bend, […]

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inspiration

The Design Thinking Methodology

Trying to adopt this in my technical work at Yahoo! 1. understanding the problem to be solved 2. defining what one is trying to achieve 3. brainstorming ideas and potential solutions 4. getting feedback 5. prototyping a solution 6. testing the solution, and 7. repeating the process until a good solution is achieved.

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inspiration

Marsh “You Choose I Write”

The summer wind softly fans across the marsh. The sound of the tall stalks swaying from side to side can only be heard by those who care to listen. The marsh is not a place to explore. It is a vast flat land, with seemingly large patches of water and tall grass repeated as far […]

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inspiration, yahoo

Measuring Value Of Time Part 1/4

Time is one of the most valuable asset a human being has.  There is a finite amount of time each day.  There is a finite of time in our lifetime.   And once the moment passes, you can not get it back no matter who you are and no matter how much power or money you […]

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inspiration

Living The Future (“I choose, write”)

This is a 30 minute piece of fictional story that C. and I are working on. She picks a word like ‘Newspaper’ and I write a 400 word story using that word as a central theme. I picked “eraser” for her. We call this series: “I choose, you write” —— Rusty looked in the mirror and […]

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inspiration

Lost In Bamboo

He has not seen them this tall before. The bamboo trees are 70 feet tall.  They filled the plot of land in front of him in clusters of 5 to 10 trees.  He has always loved bamboo.  The sound of the leaves rustling in the wind in the afternoon when the would come to cool […]

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inspiration, parenting

I Believe In Consistency And Persistence

Many aspects of my life are based on 2 simple concepts: consistency and persistence. I have been working for Yahoo! as a software engineer for over 11 years now.  I have consistently delivered  results regardless of what project I work on.   My co-workers and management can trust me with the most important projects.  Without fail, […]

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inspiration

Done With Moving Old Yahoo! 360 Blogs Into WordPress

I’m done with manually copy-pasting 649 blog entries from my old Yahoo! 360 blog entries which were imported into Yahoo! Pulse.  I deleted a bunch of posts that was not worth moving. Here is the breakdown of the number of entries in each category. coffee 16 engineer 42 exercise 65 food 27 inspiration 78 parenting […]

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inspiration, yahoo

Mondays : Thumbs Up Or Thumbs Down?

Do you look forward to Mondays ? If you do not look forward to Mondays, is it because you will miss spending time with family and friends? Or is it because you don’t look forward to going into work? If you dread going into work, perhaps you can actively look into how to improve the […]

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inspiration

Living A Life Without Regrets

If your life were to end on this Earth in a couple of months, would you have any regrets? Would you regret not having gone on the trip you’ve always wanted to? There is no reason to wait, plan for the trip, buy the tickets and you can go. If this is your priority, set […]

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inspiration

Be Kind To Yourself

For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that C. says self-deprecating comments about herself. When I notice it, I would tell her there is no need to put herself down. In the dictionary “self-deprecating” is defined as “belittling or undervaluing oneself; excessively modest”. It’s ok to be modest, but not at the expense of one’s self […]

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inspiration

Using Pivot Points To Make Decisions

Recently I was asked to make a decision between 2 options. Both options have positives and negatives. Both options are different and you can’t compare them side by side. How would I choose? Today, a co-worker has to make a similar choice, so I thought it would be good to share our experiences. Instead of […]

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inspiration, parenting

Happy Mother’s Day : Day With My Mom

This year for mother’s day, I thought I would just spend a full day with her alone (the day before the actual day). No other family members, just mom and son. I hadn’t made any special plans ahead so in morning, I booked a ZipCar just in case we needed it, and walked 20 minutes to […]

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badminton, inspiration, travel

Not Being Fair Is OK

I’m in Malaysia watching the 2008 Badminton Super Series (I’m an addict) I noticed that older women in Malaysia and Bangalore often would cut in front of lines to the bathroom. It almost seems like they think it’s their right. At first I was going to ask them to get in line, but then I […]

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commute, inspiration, san francisco

Singing the praises of Bay Area transit

I have been car-less for over 3 months now in San Francisco. Relying mainly on a foldable bike, ZipCars and the public transportation to get around the bay area. Here are the great things about this lifestyle 1 stress free communting. Driving and parking is stressful and does require my full attention. 2 I plan […]

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inspiration

Going Car-less

Not careless but car-less. The thought came to me on Sunday when I was at the church service after a long long time of not attending. After the service, as I was walking home, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I was only using my car 2 days a week went I […]

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inspiration

unconditional love

(self portrait in Barcelona train station) I once thought I no longer loved someone. I tried to prove this to myself by either trying to hate this person or trying to love someone else. Until I realized one day that I can still love and show love to this person without needing or wanting anything […]

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inspiration

don’t get too comfortable

My parents and I were hanging out in Monterey and they were joking that I walk faster than they do even when I’m on my crutches. I told them the human mind often figures out a way to make the best of something. Even though I’ll be on crutches for another 3 months, it doesn’t […]

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inspiration

talking to the dead

Last week was the annual event for all Chinese to visit the graves. Usually bus loads of Chinese people are transported over to Colma, Daly City for this busy weekend. We visit the graves, line up for a coupon for a pound of free roasted pork and then go to a relative’s house for some […]

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cate, inspiration, life goals

baggage of tradition

I used to know someone who didn’t like to be bounded by the traditions of her culture. She felt that tradition limited her in how she could behave or act. I loved this person a lot and I was influenced by her thoughts quite a bit. I’ve changed my mind in recent years. At the […]

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inspiration

新年快樂 : Happy New Year

I’m very excited about this particular Chinese New Year. The first of day of the New Year is actually today, but last night was the most important day. When the immdiate family is suppose to gather around for dinner for 團圓飯. My sister went back to her inlaws for dinner, I was back with my […]

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inspiration, personal life

Start From The Beginning

People can often point to a number of stages of their lives. Childhood, high school, college, marriage, middle age. My life has been defined by these stages in my mind and they are marked by extraordinary (at least to me) changes 1-4 years : I was raised by a nanny in rural China because communist […]

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inspiration

Connecting via Baguette

This morning I was going to Petite Patisserie (all organic pastries) for some morning pastries when a jolly bearded man was commenting on how sad Kate was looking. I told him she refused to put on her jacket and was pouting. The man was delivering twenty some odd baguette and I asked him where he […]

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inspiration

Free Hugs: Give someone a hug today

I was walking back home in SF passing by the Metreon, saw these teenagers holding “FREE HUGS” I went up and got a great bear hug, incredible feeling to be hugged tightly by a total stranger. Check out how it all started by Juan Mann (freehugs.org)

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inspiration

Eating Alone

Recently I’ve made a choice to be alone for a while, without being in a relationship. I find that I need some solitude time without ‘reporting’ or being accountable for my time. Being alone does have some drawbacks however. Example: I usually take the Yahoo! bus to SF civic center, heart of Little Saigon. Tonight […]

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inspiration

passionate about anything

It doesn’t matter what you are passionate about, as long as you have the passion in your eyes and your heart.   For many years in my life, I was passionless.    If I had a weekend free, I would not know what to do with that time. My recent passion is all about latte art, good […]

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inspiration, parenting

Passionate About Anything

It doesn’t matter what you are passionate about, as long as you have the passion in your eyes and your heart.   For many years in my life, I was passionless.    If I had a weekend free, I would not know what to do with that time. My recent passion is all about latte art, good […]

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inspiration

Playing Tourist In SF

if I don’t loose my curiosity and passion for what I am doing and where I live, I will constantly find jems and little moments of joy. My favorite spot here in the city   — nice shot. it’s important to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. on my way to and […]

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inspiration

Reaching Higher And Falling

I’ve been asked whether I’ve ever failed before? My first answer was ‘no’, I can’t think of failure anywhere in my life. That bothered me for a few days until I realized why. I don’t fail because I don’t reach high enough. I reach for goals that I know I’ll achieve. Someone asked me if […]

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inspiration

Watch Out For Self Criticism

Last night I prepared a batch of patê fermenté and this morning I used it to make some fresh bread for breakfast.  Kate helped with kneading and mixing and she made a snail bread for herself.  When it was finally done, I thought it was not very good at all and was going to suggest […]

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inspiration

your worst critic?

My worst critic is myself.  It’s my way of pushing myself.  Today during a Y! News meeting, I was knocking something on Y! News, then my co-worker Chris stepped in and said some words of encouragement.  “Look at what sort of data we are delivering, in a consistent, fast and dynamic way to our users. […]

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inspiration

live sea urchin, one of the best food in the world

Please take the poll at the bottom: I’m not a health nut, I pretty much eat anything.  But I also have a appreciation for really exotic foods.  My brother in-law is Tony multiply by 4.  He often goes on fishing trips to catch hamachi and cuts it open for sashimi on the boat.  Recently he […]

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inspiration

Blind Spots

We have blind spots on our pupils. Our brain fills in the missing image the best way it can given what’s around the blind spot. I’ve pride myself as being able to criticize myself. I’m self-center, often not sensitive, sloppy, workaholic, not patient. I also realize even though I beat myself up enough, there are […]

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inspiration

Sorry, We Don’t Share Our Food

Self centered thought of the day. It’s dinner time at a nice restaurant: my dinner partner asks if we can share food. I cringe and say: ‘a little bit’ but deep down I don’t want to. I don’t ask others to try theirs, don’t ask to try mine. Selfish and childish perhaps, but wouldn’t you […]

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