Monday, September 28, 2015

KGSP - Second Chuseok

You know, time is always a relative thing. you never really think about it too much. You just kinda get a feel for it when you think about the time left for things ahead and when you look back at things. I find that especially when you look back, the impact of time feels bigger.

Chuseok is my example for this case. This is my second Chuseok in Korea. That's a yearly event that I've already experienced twice. Really brings home how much time I've spent in this country. It's not necessarily bad or good, but just kinda interesting when all things are considered.

Eating a Chuseok dinner on the floor of a two room in Seoul.

Last year's Chuseok was memorable as it was the first time I celebrated the mid-autumn festival in a country that actually celebrates it. Last time me and some friends ordered some chicken and ate it on a bench by the dorm. Then for dinner we went for BBQ at a place called What.

This time around we have an additional year of Korean experience. We're all jaded and the honeymoon period has been long gone. We're all also pretty comfortably settled in not-Daegu doing our graduate studies.

Also I found out that my department has a shower if I actually wanna live in the lab.

So that mean we could celebrate for real. My friends in Seoul invited me over to their place for dinner and we had a proper home cooked meal and could share some quality time together as a big group of friends.

It was actually pretty great. We haven't hung out in a big group like that for a long time so being able to do so, especially in a new environment, was really fun. Conversation was good, food was good, and overall a good time was had.

And now we know we can fit at least 12 people in this living room.

Definitely a huge improvement over the last Chuseok.

It was made even better that this weekend was prerelease for Battle for Zendikar so the day following the Chuseok dinner we went to the card shop in Seoul for that. The shop itself was quite nice, best once I've seen in Korea so far.

Also I opened a card (currently) valued at $130 so.

Aside from that I've been going through grad school as usual. Classes are starting to pick up on their term projects and stuff, and this week was a lot of time spent helping the others in the lab with their conference submissions. Getting a taste of that grad school life and feeling totally ok about it actually.

Monday, September 21, 2015

KGSP - Getting Things Done

This week I actually had some work to do, which is pretty good. I still don't have a research project yet, but I was assigned a bunch of random tasks to do which took up some of my time. Actually because of that I'm doing my first Monday blog post since the semester started.

I'm actually not sure what I'm allowed to be sharing, so I won't say anything in detail. I was given a 3D scanner to play with so I've been playing with that. It's pretty cool actually, but there are issues with it so it's not perfect, but that's expected.

I mutilated an apple in the name of science.

Classes have been going on too. My Interaction Design class has its first project information up but I'm not sure what to make for it. We're supposed to make something that we need, but I can't think of anything. I'm fairly certain I can make it, I just need to think about what to make.

Outside of classes I went to check out another area in Daejeon over the weekend. I actually like the area around City Hall, there's a sports complex where you can skate or swim, a park, a lot of restaurants and shops, and of course the Magic store.

Some monument in the park.

The Magic store in Daejeon is better than the one in Daegu. It actually feels like a normal card shop but the focus of it is on Yugioh and not Magic, but still, it feels better. I did a draft there and did alright actually, so that's good. I'll probably go and play every once and a while.

Sunday ran a bit late so I didn't have a chance to do my blog post then. But essentially the lab needed my help in taking some videos and pictures for a conference they're submitting to. That was pretty fun. Aside from the mosquitoes.

It's almost fall, meaning it's almost winter, meaning mosquitoes will be gone soon.

God damn mosquitoes are terrible. Ughhh my armsss. Oh, next week is Chuseok so I'll do another Monday morning blog post.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

KGSP - Wires and Roots

Now that we're reaching the actual content for my courses, things have been getting a bit more interesting. I still don't have a research project yet, so my amount of work has yet to increase, which I guess is good in a way, but I get bored sometimes.

My most interesting course right now is my Interaction Design course. Unfortunately it's an undergraduate course so it feels a bit weird, but I like it. It's about physical computing and since I don't have much experience with hardware, it's cool.

Also I learned to solder, that was fun.

So we've been dealing with circuitry and micro-controllers in that class. The programming portions of it are really simple right now so I've blown past that quickly. The hardware stuff on the other hand is really interesting.

I had a good time just figuring out the wiring and getting stuff to work. The kit I bought is fairly limited so I don't have much to work with, but I had some LEDs and buttons so I figured I could try to make a basic game out of it.

Aww yea making a real thing.

First thing that came into my mind was a Simon Says type game. It was funny because I was talking to a friend of mine who tried to make a similar game back in high school. Back then I couldn't figure out how to do it properly either so we couldn't do it.

Didn't think much about it when I was doing it, but I managed to do the wiring for the physical components and the software programming for it in under an hour and a half. It was a fun little exercise that got my hands wet into building stuff like this.

There's a input error near the end there, but that can be fixed easily.

Outside of class I spent some time with my friends on the weekend. On Saturday we went to a pretty cool park called Ppuri Park. It's a pretty unique park because from far away it looks kinda like a cemetery because there are these stone monuments scattered throughout the park.

But what it is is actually pretty cool. Each monuments represents a person, who then represents a Korean last name. By finding the monument for your last name, you can read about the history about your lineage essentially.

Apparently 뿌리 means roots. I learned a thing.

Despite not being Korean, I still found the monument for my last name. Same Chinese character, so it was still kinda really cool seeing like, a fork in history I guess. If I was Korean this monument could be about my people.

The park itself was also just pretty nice in general. It was a nice day too which really helped so it was just a really relaxing walk through it. The weather is actually pretty nice now. It's not as hot anymore so it's nice and refreshing to go outside. Fall is coming.

Pretty psyched for not hot weather.

I'm hoping to get started on a project soon though, and as the semester progresses classes will get busier and busier too so I guess I should try to enjoy this lull.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

KGSP - Second Birthday in Korea

It's weird. A year ago I was just settling down at Keimyung, inviting all the friends that I met so far for dinner and drinks for my birthday. Fast forward to the present and I pretty much did the same thing, except in different cities and with more people.

This week marked the first week of life as a graduate student at KAIST. Classes have officially started and I've also started my time in the lab. It's a bit weird getting back into the traditional university structure so there were some bumps on the way, but I'm still pretty hyped.

Also my sick $2000 rig came in on Friday. Hyped to have it beast through some stuff.

Classes have been alright so far, first week stuff so still introductory. Hoping to get into the meat of things soon though. Lab work has been pretty sparse so far as well. Just a lot of settling into stuff and figuring out how they do things. For the most part I've just been doing website stuff.

Since it was my birthday on Thursday I decided to invite a bunch of my Daejeon friends for dinner. My lab mates couldn't make it unfortunately but they bought me a cake which we ate after our lab meeting. I thought that was really nice of them actually.

Tasted really good.

So on Thursday I just met with some friends for dinner. Friday was when I went to Seoul to see my friends that live there now. A lot more people live in Seoul so when I was inviting people I just kept on clicking names and then next thing I know 20 people showed up to dinner.

A lot of my friends couldn't make it either, which kinda made me realize just how many random people I know in Seoul. Regardless, it was really nice seeing everyone again. I normally don't really celebrate my birthday but considering how it's normally at the start of the school year it's always nice to use it as an excuse to see everyone again.

I wanted to split this into 20 pieces but I was convinced not to.

One of my friends from UOIT was even in Seoul for vacation so I got to see her too. So overall it was a pretty good night. It's been like a month since I've seen most of those people so seeing them all again was really nice, especially since it's just before we all get busy with graduate studies.

But now that my birthday is out of the way, it's time to get serious. I can already imagine how busy I'll be once the semester is in full force, so I'm gonna take this time to slowly bring myself back to my UOIT Game Dev schedule. The last year was a good break, but now it's time to do some devving.

I saw this poster for Keimyung at Seoul station. Feels like a different life.

Getting a bit more comfortable with Daejeon too. Still have a lot more to see and figure out, but it's starting to come together.