Adventures with Ed

There isn’t much more time left until Ed leaves to get started on his Master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, so we’re getting the most out of his final days in our home town before he moves out for a while.

We’ve been regularly going out to get lunch, but today, we decided to go on an extra adventure after our meal. After going to Chick fil’ A, using a coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free chicken sandwich, and seating ourselves in a convenient corner of the restaurant such that we were able to access the Pokémon Go PokéStop in the building across the street, we stopped by a few stores on the way back home.

It’s the middle of August right now, so it’s burning hot. I have air conditioning in my house, but I also don’t really want to spend hundreds of dollars extra on my electricity bill for running it to a low temperature. So, I end up sort of just getting used to being warm during the summer. This wasn’t a problem back when I was an undergraduate university student, because my electricity was included in the base rent payment – now that I’m actually paying a separate electricity bill, I’m more conscious of it.

We decided to wander into an electronics and appliance store called hhgregg. I quickly realized that, whenever I’m warm at home, I should just pack up my laptop and come over to hhgregg. Not only do they have it cooled to a very comfortable temperature, they have plush couches on display for sale, that we can just use to relax.

The best part (for us, not for hhgregg) is that it’s not very busy there, so it’s peaceful and quiet.

After relaxing for a bit, we decided to go next door to PetSmart. Ed and I both absolutely adore animals, so we went straight to the pet display. We started off with the cats – here’s a photo of Ed observing and smiling at a cat, and a photo of a different orange cat who was one of the only active ones.

Next up were the birds. They were pretty loud.

We made our way to the back of the store, where the dogs were kept. I don’t think there were any dogs available for sale or adoption (unless all of them were literally out for a walk all at the same time). But, we got to see the dogs inside the “dog hotel,” that offers babysitting and training for dogs.

And finally, before we left the store, we stopped by the fish. There were a ton of fish, including one that apparently need to be kept in solitary confinement, or else they will eat each other (according to Ed). I decided to take a picture of more peaceful fish – neon ones, kept inside a brightly-lit tank.





I delivered the well-traveled pretzels

Earlier this month, I went on a trip to Los Angeles, California for the Heroes of the Storm North American regional, as part of the global championship circuit. On my flight back, I was messaging Ed Lam (better known online as Grainyrice) via the wifi on the plane.

He let me know that he wanted me to save the airline pretzels for him, because enjoys the taste of a well-traveled pretzel. I posted a screenshot of our conversation on Twitter:


Ed and I met up a few times since then, but I forgot to hand off the “product.”

Earlier today, Ed came to visit me again, and this time, I remembered to give him the pretzels.

Ed Lam (Grainyrice) holding a bag of well-traveled pretzels

That is Ed excitedly holding his well-traveled pretzels.






I went to a Korean restaurant today with my parents for lunch.

I ordered a spicy pork dish that was apparently so spicy that, according to my dad, my tongue would shrivel off.

Finished the meal, tongue is still intact.




Why does Sony Vegas Pro hate me

One of my content creators at Tempo Storm sent me a video to edit.

After cutting out the parts he didn’t want, I proceed to render it at 1080p60 (which is pretty hard for my lap­top, but it usually just struggles along and eventually gets the job done).

But not today.

Sony Vegas Pro 13.0 Crash #1

Literally an hour into the rendering process, when it was 94% done rendering … it crashed.

Assuming the video was too long for my laptop to try and render at once, I go back and edit it some more, taking out bits and pieces until it’s over a full minute shorter. Surely, that’s enough to make up for the 6% that it couldn’t render?

Nope, it proceeds to crash again, this time at 49 minutes into the rendering process.

Sony Vegas Pro 13.0 Crash #2

What I eventually had to do?

Render it in two parts at 720p30, then concatenate the pieces using FFMPEG.




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.