What’s Working

2020/1/14 10:50 AM

What’s Working is a weekly podcast show that I discovered recently. It’s all about the side of the office life that people don’t talk about — awkwardness, embarrassing stories and weird happenings. It’s my weekly dose of brightening up on Monday mornings.

2020/1/11 9:48 PM

小孩子才要搞清楚什么是出轨什么是忠贞,成年人会思考自己言行对别人带来了什么影响。小孩子才要搞清楚定义,成年人在乎的是结果和影响。说到底,搞清楚规则和定义往往是为了在游戏规则的线里越玩越大。

Finite players play within boundaries, infinite players play with boundaries.

问题是,你把感情看做是一个有限的游戏还是一个无限的游戏?A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.

Previously: Finite and Infinite Games, Revisited

The Most Critical of All

2020/1/9 10:18 AM

Some ideas I had while reading through what’s in Code Complete, pp. 115:

Collaboration can take any of several forms:

  • […] You don’t work with anyone who can review you work, so you do some initial work, put it into a drawer, and come back to it a week later. You will have forgotten enough that you should be able to give yourself a fairly good review.

Or let the code sit for a year or two. Then you look back and see how shitty the code looks and realize how much you’ve improved over that year or two. Or you find out that there’s nothing you want to change about your old code and that you’ve learned nothing in the same year or two.

The same idea applies across the board: when you look at the filtered photos you created a few years back and think “Why did I use such tasteless filter?” Or when you look back at your terrible app design and wonder “Why did I have this in the first place?” These are the moments you realize how much you’ve grown.

The best of all this? The 1-year-from-now you is the most honest and the most critical reviewer of your works. A close second is a-week-from-now you. Everyone else on the planet earth is far behind in the league.

2020/1/9 9:52 AM

Unremarkable — Marker:

Affixing your own oxygen mask before helping others is a decent tagline for capitalism.

Drawing Canada Maps in R

2020/1/7 12:00 AM

There are many reasons you may want to draw a custom map with ggplot in R — overlaying data with ggplot is a lot more flexible than in Power BI1. There are many blog posts on how to do this for the US, but resources regarding Canada are scarce. But fear not! With the help from StatCan, some great pointers out there2, and the spirit of exploration, we are ready to share how to draw some Canada maps.

By the end of the post, you will be able to —

  • Use R and ggplot to draw maps for Canada: all of the 10 provinces and the 3 territories
  • Zoom in to draw only select provinces or select areas within a province
  • Apply coordinate transformation so that the maps of the Great White North appear closer to reality
  • Overlay custom data points with coordinates — we are pinning Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal.

Canada Maps drawn in R

You will be using —

  • Shape files from StatCan (.shp, shx, .dbf)
  • R with multiple shape file-related packages listed below
  • SQL connected to SCDB to grab coordinates for the open big box stores
  1. We use Microsoft Power BI across the company. 

  2. Canada Maps - R Bloggers was my starting point. The post neatly points which packages to look into, and where to get the data. However, it falls short explaining how to draw your own data that are now part of a shape file. A lot of code in this post is taken from this post with only minor modifications. 

For me, the year of 2019 is about regaining balance — balance I’ve lost since the jump back to Beijing in 2017, and in 2018, the move back to Vancouver with clarity of what I want of my life. I’ve phrased my decisions in very different ways and described them to many different people, and I’ve only got compliments that I was brave and dared to try things. It was not until this year that I was able to look back and agree. Without that experience, my current life might have been fast-tracked by a year or two, but I would not have learned when to settle.

I’ve tried a few things this year. Quite small things. I learned to snowboard over the season (during fun-employment). I haven’t learned any new physical skills since forever, and it was revealing to observe how my body learns and adapts and recovers and improves. There’s the new Version 2.0 of my bestselling app with my amateur-but-somehow-successful tech transition. Around May and June, we furnished a new home from scratch. There were some quite daunting decisions and it was both horrifying and relieving to PIN my credit card for $4,000 of furniture. It was such a load off my mind we went straight to the bar next door — that was when I couldn’t stop giggling over the sex-on-the-beach I had. In the summer I’ve done weekly Grouse Grinds with him, and it had been surprisingly pleasant — we talked about things we wouldn’t have, and explored a few great diners in North Vancouver that we wouldn’t have been to. We did the Panorama Ridge trail in August — a close stretch for me (2,700 kCal a day smh) but we’ve finally done it after talking about it just over a year. There’s the September trip to California that made me miss doing 13 roller coasters a day. In November I tried writing something or anything at least once a day — quite a nice X-Ray to what’s on my mind 24/7.

I’ve said goodbye to a few friends and met a dozen new ones. (Maybe one of you is reading this right now — Hi!) It’s a year a lot about getting to know the city I live in, the person I live with, and the people that I’m around. I’ve learned to appreciate more of his passion, and understand how his characters complement mine. I’ve made friends out of strangers — quite a few of them.

I can’t wait to see what 2020 holds.

20 Reasons to Work From Home

2019/12/30 11:25 PM
  1. There is a mandatory fire inspection at home.
  2. The pipes broke and I have to wait home for the plumber.
  3. I have furnitures delivered to my house.
  4. I didn’t do my laundry. I’d have to show up stinky.
  5. My dog is sick from the mushroom he had from the backyard and he cannot stop drooling.

Moody as the Mountain

2019/12/22 5:18 PM

Anne Marie Vivienne, in Moody As The Mountain

The mountain is complex in her moodiness. She is all at once threatening and inviting, dangerous and calm, complex and simple. The more intimate you become with the mountain, the more you feel the subtle nuances of daily and seasonal change. You learn to become a witness of intensity.

2019/12/22 8:52 AM

可能是我的巅峰之作了。再也不是年初那个强迫症般拉直所有地平线海平面的我了。

——我对三点说

Exit the Gungeon

2019/12/21 11:41 PM

An amazing combination of rogue-like, platformer and dodge-roll, Exit the Gungeon has been a great play from Apple Arcade. Too bad that once I got the hang of it the randomly generated stages were not at all challenging anymore (and the game’s “Beast Mode” did not seem to have brought further thrill).

That said, the game has been a hook and a lot of fun. The random terrain and boss system, the guns, and the rhythm of each stage all contribute.

And at its core lies what rogue-like games offer: you don’t accumulate assets and better equipments and stronger stats; instead, you become a better player through each play.

最近听的爵士/说唱

2019/12/21 5:49 PM

那英《毒药》——头一次知道那英在 1999 年就有这种爵士风格的歌,似乎到现在这首歌也没被人在网上讨论,也没有被 Apple Music 收到那英的入门精选或者另类精选里¯\_(ツ)_/¯

王若琳《寒雨曲》——同样 Jazzy 的一首流行歌曲。王若琳的收放自如倒比原唱更有张力。

Lu1 ft. 蔡健雅: Just Say So——最近重新迷上了 Lu1 的说唱。虽然不是小老虎那种天上一脚地下一脚,但是偶尔的双语作词没有丝毫的油腻,反而非常有启发性。蔡健雅加入的这首 Just Say So 算是挺轻松的入门歌曲,我还挺喜欢 Follow 打造的炮房心思和 Feelin’ Blue 的上海夜店氛围。Lu1 作为爵士说唱艺人在做着民谣歌手做的事,唱的都是青春爱情和梦想。

小老虎《通宵酒》和《说唱艺术》——两首博古;《每当我用词不当》、《再等等格子》——两首通今。

Communal Potluck

2019/12/19 11:01 PM

Communal Potluck

Christmas Potluck. Sony a7iii.

Got commissioned by my boss to take some photos for the food at the department’s Christmas potluck. This is one of the 27 photos I took.

These are not the first photos I’ve taken with Sony a7iii; I must have taken some few hundreds already. But to take photos at a public event is a first. There’s also the duality of casualness of an amateur and the sense of anticipation being the sole “photographer” for the event. It’s fun. It’s also kind of inviting me to be more than phone-casual.

I’ll leave this thought to some other time in 2020.

Social Network Isn't Your Enemy

2019/12/16 10:47 PM

Social network isn’t your enemy.

People keep telling you that the social network is “an echo chamber,” that it makes you feel less of yourself because everyone posts their best moments.

Fuck those people and their negativity.

I recently realized that by limiting the people you follow (or the people you put in your precious do-not-mute list) you have more conversation. Like actual, private, one-on-one conversations. You go ask them how their vacation was and that the photos looked amazing and that you’re glad they are having a good time.

By limiting the people you follow, social network is more like a place where you casually meet people; a place where you feel happy for friends when they’re happy. It is not a place where you feel you’re lacking in life and brew on your cynicism.

Previously: Space is Key.

铁道镇的大统华手工水饺

2019/12/16 10:34 PM

大统华啥都卖,锅碗瓢盆柴米油盐都有,但我最喜欢的还是面食区现包的手工速冻水饺。

在铁道镇这家大统华,王阿姨的元宝小饺最为可爱。鱼肉馅儿本身个头不大,王阿姨讨巧地将饺子捏的圆鼓,仿佛是 Herschel 推出的雪白巧克力。这尺寸刚好一口一个,没有用筷子举着一半饺子的那种尴尬,满满一口好滋味都在里头。只是这元宝小饺煮着费劲:四棱锥一般的饺子形状会让它们浮起来后大头朝下,留着皮薄的底面朝上露出水面,就像一条条放弃生命希望的鲤鱼。煮的时候我总要不断翻动这锅饺子,让水在面上滚一滚,生怕煮不熟。

李大妈的北方大饺则不一样,长的扁的,很难对称着立起来,像极了我在家里自己包的饺子。每次扑通扑通放下去,饺子浮起来都是一面朝上,轻轻拨动就换成另一面,好煮的很。

To Walk in Nature

2019/12/12 10:55 PM

It’s different to walk in a city than in nature.

The city has to make sense. It’s built by human, for human. Every bit of it serves a purpose or at least has served a purpose. To walk in the city, understanding it, is to make sense of the history of the city and the people who contributed to its existence, and to ponder how you, as an individual, can mutate the city into the future.

Therefore, it’s invigorating to walk in the city. It’s reaching out to you, connecting you to its past and welcoming you into its future.

It’s futile to make sense of nature. Nature is what it is. Nature is immutable; it doesn’t care how you try to mutate it. You can’t fight something that doesn’t try to stop you.

So it’s humbling to walk in nature. You feel nothing in the grand scheme, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need. It’s one of the best gifts of Vancouver with its proximity to nature.

2019/12/12 10:39 PM

我的宝贝她 不在乎我的穷大方
我的宝贝她 不在乎我的一根筋
我的宝贝她 不在乎我的目光
偶尔会照进她的梦
她用来跳舞
我会偶尔对这个世界失望
我的宝贝她原谅 她为我切开一个牛油果
她不在乎我曾经爱过别的女人
我的宝贝相信她我讲的每个故事

我的宝贝她不在乎我的失败
但如果我丢了尊严 她会非常非常生气
但她会帮我捡起来 擦干净
放进抽屉
安静的等着我睡醒 戴上它
我的宝贝她不在乎我的妒忌
我问她如果我死了 她的反应是什么
她从不回答我那些假设
我的宝贝她不在乎我的怀疑
因为她比我更相信

——小老虎《我的宝贝她不在乎》

Away Under Fire

2019/12/9 10:59 PM

I happened to have read The Verge’s coverage on Away’s CEO Steph Korey and the “toxic culture” she brought, right after it was published last Thursday.

Then came Monday, she got replaced by Stuart Haselden, the COO at Lululemon.

Writing Challenge Aftermath

2019/12/5 9:11 PM

A while back I pledged to share something — anything — every day in the month of November. I did it. Granted, a few days were kind of lacking where I basically put garbage up, but I’ve enjoyed the process overall and did made a few pieces that I’m really fond of.

There’s also a few things I noticed —

I’ve noticeably lowered the bar of what can or cannot go into the blog, and it’s for the better. I didn’t reach for “perfect” for each and every post. Time didn’t allow that. They were not exactly as lengthy as before (some, are, quite, short), but they’ve done just as a good job to capture whatever that interested me.

Tech Sector Jokes of 2019

2019/12/4 1:15 PM

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, via the Google Blog:

We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets. We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!

First of all, nice exclamation point!

Apple Style Guide Excursion

2019/12/2 10:38 PM

Had some fun reading through Apple’s Style Guide; made some revelations big and small. Did you know — at least by Apple’s standards — that website is one word? And that in the sentence “The temperature is –7 degrees on the mountain,” you need to use an en-dash to denote numbers below zero?

I didn’t. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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