I attended the biannual K. H. Kim taekwondo tournament

Today was the third and final tournament of the season, the Ki Hong Kim Taekwondo tournament of Northbrook, IL. Notice how I said “of” instead of “at,” because they rescheduled the tournament to be at a different location – some random preparatory high school – instead of at the main academy, or even at the normal tournament area in Glen Ellyn.

The location was a disaster this time. Not only was the tournament not even at the main high school, but in some random athletic facility next door, but the facility looked like some wooden cabin.

Instead of just using the hardwood/laminate floors, they covered the whole place in brown tarp. The problem was that the coverage was absolutely terrible, so the areas where the pieces of tarp met kept on rising up, and students and competitors tripped over those areas on multiple occasions.

Nonetheless, I still attended because the martial arts academy next door to my family’s business has an association with K.H. Kim Taekwondo, and most of the students I like, who I feel are talented, were attending the tournament. I even brought one kid along with me, a student who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to make it to the tournament due to financial issues and lack of available transportation.

This is where the tournament took place. It wasn’t that glorious of a location, but it was more-or-less fitting for the number of students who signed up for this tournament. There used to be a massively larger number of competitors, even within the past few years, but it’s rapidly declining, presumably because of all the problems and conflicts there were in the previous few tournaments.

The unfortunate thing about this whole tournament was that there wasn’t even official K. H. Kim staff run­ning the assembly of contestants. A majority of the people you see in suits in the photo above and below are actually from Keumgang Martial Arts Academy, and not from K. H. Kim. I’m not sure if they were ac­tu­al­ly paid for their services, but if not, that’s incredibly unfortunate, because tournament participation costs were $60 for the first event, and $10 extra for each additional event.

(Those wide and generic shots are the only photos I’m going to put up on my website, primarily because I want to protect the privacy of the students I was coaching and assisting at the tournament.)

Overall, it was a little tragic how badly this tournament was run from an administrative and organizational viewpoint. With an extremely rough estimated calculation, if there were 200 students and each student par­tic­i­pated in an average of 2 events, they would’ve made $14,000 off this one-day tournament, and it re­peats every handful of months. Yet, they clearly didn’t invest that money back into their company in an effective manner, either by hiring talent or training their current staff.

Seeing something with so much potential fail so badly makes me appreciate the people who work with me or for me. Because I work in an industry where it’s all about the performance, things pretty much always go more smoothly. I appreciate that this high attention to detail and level of effort of my business partners is considered “normal” in this industry, when they could technically be getting by without much work, similar to how this tournament went.



I went to the J.K. Lee Taekwondo Great Midwest Championships yesterday

… as a coach, not as a competitor, of course.

I went with my good buddy Ed Lam, who you might know as Grainyrice. We both took photos and videos throughout the tournament, and I posted some of the highlights on Keumgang Martial Arts Academy’s Face­book page.

The guy holding the biggest trophy is Elias.

He originally wouldn’t have been able to make it to the tourna­ment due to not having a ride, but he came along with me instead – seeing as I was going to go to the tournament anyway, and he might as well – and he ended up literally winning the whole thing. The huge trophy is the grand championship award.



It’s snowing sideways

Literally two days ago, I posted that it was finally warm enough to go outside and not feel chilly.

Today, it snowed sideways.

In what seemed like the strangest weather I’ve ever seen, possibly as a one-day-late April Fools’ joke by nature, it proceeded to snow sideways (not literally, of course … it was snowing normally, but the wind was so strong that it looked like it was falling sideways and upwards), then cleared up and became really sunny about an hour later.

After another hour, it poured rain, and about another hour or so later, it cleared up and went back to being sunny.

Then, with absolutely no clouds in the sky, it hailed.

And now we have a clear night sky.




The Outdoors

Today was more-or-less the first day of the year where it was warm enough to go outside and not feel a bit chilled.

Our family business wasn’t very busy today (probably because most people were out enjoying the weather), and the martial arts academy next door didn’t have any students attend the first class of the day, so we went to a nearby field and played with a frisbee.

Playing frisbee in a field

I was obviously taking a picture, because I rarely head to this place called the Outdoors, as I am usually an indoors building dweller.

I guess Chris didn’t realize I was taking a photo, and just threw the frisbee at me anyway.



I finally have a new Twitch offline graphic

Back in October 2012, I made myself an offline graphic for Twitch; this is what it looked like:

If you’ve visited my website’s splash page recently, it probably looks familiar, because I have my Twitch stream embedded.

Since then, a ton has changed in regards to my gaming. I became absurdly frustrated with the direction in which the gameplay of League of Legends was headed, and stopped taking the game seriously part-way through season 3. I completely left the Tetris competitive scene. StarCraft II became a game I opened once every few years, only to play arcade games with friends.

I’ve wanted to change the banner for a long time, if not for the misrepresentation of games, then to at least increase the quality of the image. The problem was, I uploaded the graphic to Twitch as a .jpg file, which created a lot of artifacts in the embedded video player and made it look blurry.

Literally almost four years later, I finally got around to designing a new Twitch graphic.

Not only have I obviously gotten a lot better at graphic design since then, but I also made it so this offline graphic is a lot more specific and broad at the same time. It provides more information about who I am, but also doesn’t include any restricting information.

I’m happy with how it turned out, but hopefully it’ll be shorter than another four years until I redesign it to make it look even better.



How not to get the most out of technology

Last week, I went to visit my police sergeant with whom I worked during my summer internship over two years ago.

Since I last saw him, he got promoted to the deputy chief, was the acting chief of police for a little while, and retired. After retiring, he got another job as a police sergeant at a different, smaller police department with a much more peaceful and low-action job.

One of the problems he’s having right now is how poorly structured the police department is, at which he has his new job. Apparently, the previous chief of this department didn’t really do a great job, so my ser­geant now has to try and get the department back on track.

He had an ambitious goal to write up a police operations manual from scratch, with only a sample manual as a guideline.

He had a PDF copy of the sample he wanted to use, but because he prefers to work with paper instead of on computers, he decided to print out the sample. To start, he printed the first chapter of the sample.

A pile of papers

Yes, that’s just the first chapter. The whole thing is over 600 pages.

He rapidly realized that he should probably just get used to working with a computer and electronically reviewing the PDF sample guide, so he stopped printing the document. Before we laid the stack of papers to rest, I decided to take a photograph of it in its memory.




How not to use a vending machine

We have some vending machines at our business.

Yesterday, someone came up to me and let me know that our snack vending machine was just eating money and not registering the actual values of the coins that were being inserted.

I tested it out, and it appeared to be true, so I refunded the customer’s money and got out my tools to fix the machine.

It was actually a surprisingly easy solution – there were a bunch of coins stuck between the coin acceptor and the coin processor, so the coins would go through the acceptor and get stuck before they would be read for their value and dropped into the coin container.

I took apart the entire coin acceptor and processing device and pulled out the jammed coins.

Strange coins stuck inside vending machine

(Click to enlarge)

Apparently someone decided to mash two warped coins and two foreign coins into our vending machine. If you take a close look at the largest coin, the hair of the embossed person is actually quite elevated, and the whole coin itself is about twice the thickness of a regular US quarter if you account for the hair.

So, smashing in damaged or foreign coins.

That’s exactly how not to use a vending machine.



It’s a bomb

I’m at our family business right now.

I wanted to have a snack, but my snack of choice was a bit dirty. Literally.

So I took it to the bathroom to wash it before sticking it in the microwave and baking it.

On my way to the bathroom, a child shrieked at me and alerted everyone that I was holding a bomb.


That was a delicious bomb