Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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20 Nov 2019

The world looks a bit different at 5 AM. In a bid to get back into the daily walking groove, I’m trying to shift back my daily walks to early in the morning, before breakfast. Recently I’ve been doing it in the afternoons or early evenings, but walking in the mornings has the distinct advantage that if for some reason I am unable to do it (maybe because I was super tired from the previous day, or the weather doesn’t cooperate, or just plain laziness), I have the rest of the day to catch up on it.

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19 Nov 2019

The past few years have not been good for competitive balance in MTG. Following yesterday’s deservedly heavy-handed B&R announcement, standard is now at 14 cards banned since 2017. Before 2017, the standard bannings have been relatively sparse. Working backwards: 2011 - cawblade standard, 2 cards banned 2005 - affinity standard, 8 cards banned 2004 - skullclamp banned 1998-1999 - the infamous combo winter, 9 cards banned So this period from 2017-2019 has seen the most bannings since the affinity era, and may even be comparable to the unquestionably disaster that was Urza block in `98-99.

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18 Nov 2019

Getting my licks in before the banhammer drops. B&R prediction: Noxious Grasp and Aether Gust banned in Standard. loljk #MTG

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Getting my licks in before the banhammer drops. B&R prediction: Noxious Grasp and Aether Gust banned in Standard. loljk #MTG
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A lot of people seem to think that blogging as an activity is about writing a well-thought out first draft, revising and researching and revising again until the post is perfected, then finally hitting publish (then possibly realize you had some editing errors and upadating and republishing). I tend to think this sort of perfectionism holds one back, I prefer to publish even when thoughts are yet half-formed and maybe even incomplete, laying the groundwork for revisiting the topic in a later post.

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17 Nov 2019

OMG I’m finally done with this horrible coin flip of an #MagicArena event. This was only slightly worse than last week’s Elk madness. Only 1/3 of this months events were great, bleh. Should’ve just had one of them be brawl!

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OMG I’m finally done with this horrible coin flip of an #MagicArena event. This was only slightly worse than last week’s Elk madness. Only 1/3 of this months events were great, bleh. Should’ve just had one of them be brawl!
Posted by under photos at / MagicArena / via twitter / Syndicated: / 0
I don’t use Inoreader anymore, but a recent blog post of theirs recently appeared in my feeds that mentioned they implemented “sort by magic”. This was a feature that Google reader had 10 YEARS AGO! There hasn’t been much innovation in the feed reader space in the last decade it seems, which is totally understandable given they are mostly tools used by internet “power users”, and mostly by older netheads, so the target market isn’t very large.

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16 Nov 2019

Oh wow! This is awesome! Thanks!! I’ve replied to your DM :)

Quoted urlichmtg’s tweet:

We have a winner! @roytang wins 10.000 gems in #MCVI giveaway edition! Congratulations to @roytang, and big thank you to everyone who participated!

The next edition of 10.000 gems giveaway for my lovely followers will be around #MythicChampionshipVII three weeks from this tweet! https://twitter.com/urlichmtg/status/1191379585356709895

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The other day, a family member mistakenly took my phone with them to the office so I was without a phone all day. This meant my daily walk had to be offline, which was a weird thing I hadn’t experienced in a while. I couldn’t help but note my hand’s instinctively reaching for the mobile phone that wasn’t there. Mobile phones are so ubiquitous in our daily lives, but sometimes it feels like a crutch how we can be totally dependent on them.

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15 Nov 2019

Hong Kong is on fire. For months now, protests and unrests, led mainly by university students, have wracked the city. Initially in response to a controversial China-backed extradition bill, it is also believed to be fueled by political and social inequality and interference by the Chinese government. As the months went on, the stakes have escalated in the wake of widespread anger at the way the police are brutally cracking down on protests.

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14 Nov 2019

It’s a lot more uncommon for me to go to places like Ortigas or Makati nowadays, but when I do I almost always take the P2P bus. The P2P (Point-to-Point) buses were introduced in Metro Manila I think around late 2015/early 2016, as a pricier alternative to the usual city buses. The fares are more expensive, but the buses are also much more comfortable and they don’t make stops along their route, only at the endpoints, so their travel time is faster compared to the usual city buses.

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13 Nov 2019

I was helping my brother check some database issues the other week, and he mentioned how impressed he was with how quickly I was able to come up with SQL queries on the fly. I told him that SQL was one of the skills I considered myself to have mastery over. This shouldn’t be surprising given my early career path: for most of my first year working as a software developer, I was working on reports which involved lovingly handcrafted (and oftentimes quite complicated) SQL queries.

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12 Nov 2019

Despite our best efforts as software developers, it can still happen: production goes down. Or some sort of bug introduces catastrophic data error. Hopefully you have a support/DevOps team to handle the response. If not, the dev team themselves have to step in. This usual means a mad rush to figure out what happened and how to fix it, sometimes during off hours and maybe even into the early morning, all while facing pressure from clients and higher-ups.

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11 Nov 2019

Had a friendly discussion last night about our favorite anime theme music, figured I’d share some of my favorites. J-Pop in general and anime theme music in particular have a kind of energy that you just don’t get from Western music. I think that generally I tend to favor those that openings for series that I had a chance to watch on TV (instead of via streaming/online channels), since back in those days I had to sit through the openings!

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10 Nov 2019

I mentioned before that I was looking into indieweb stuff. There’s a whole wiki of information about it if you’re into that sort of thing, but also here’s a recent post which kind of serves as an overview. I have some comments on the content of this post, more on that later. Indieweb things I’ve already implemented on this site: have a personal domain (since 2006) microformats (h-card and h-feeds and h-entrys), though I would have to be using some sort of microformats reader to make sure everything there is hunky-dory (no concrete plans for this yet) webmention support, via webmention.

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9 Nov 2019

Aha! I finally managed to finish a book again! I’ve heard of Cal Newport since years ago tangentially due to his Study Hacks blog, which was pretty good at the time. I haven’t followed his career too closely, but he’s an academic at Georgetown apparently. I wasn’t looking for any career advice in particular, but I did have a recommendation for this book from somewhere so I thought I’d give it a go.

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8 Nov 2019

FontAwesome has been fun and all, but in the interest of reducing load time and external dependencies, I removed the FA dependency on this blog and switched to SVG icons instead. Icons are from here, specifically the set by Bryn Taylor and the Special Social Icon Set #9. Not all the icons carried over, especially some of the social ones (Mastodon, etc). Workarounds had to be made. Hopefully nothing breaks!

I am envious sometimes of people who are able to narrow down their interests to a specific scope, it’s kind of like a lot of their decisions are made easier. Consider a person whose only hobby/interest is something like sports (not necessarily all sports, or just one sport, just sports in general). looking for something to do in your spare time? Sports! want to watch something on TV? Sports! picking up a newspaper, but don’t have much time to read?

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7 Nov 2019

I’ve been using Python for well over 10 years, and I still don’t have an intuitive mastery of one of its keywords: yield. Everytime I see it in someone’s code I need to stop and mentally remind myself what it does. I figured I’d write a devnote to help improve my recall. Typically, yield is used in a function with a loop, like so: def some_func(lim): for i in range(0, lim): yield i yield means the function returns a “generator” that can be used as an iterable in a loop:

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6 Nov 2019

A while back I found myself having to figure out how to compile/build/run a mobile application. The developers previously assigned to the project were no longer available to consult with, but they did leave behind some documentation. However, their documentation quality left a lot to be desired. The instructions they left basically amounted to: npm install ionic serve ionic codrova run android/ios Okay, first sign of trouble is that their instructions were basically commands that anyone who knew the app used Ionic would be able to Google.

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5 Nov 2019

Charging monstrosaur from ixalan rough sketch #sketchdaily #mtg. This is one of those things where I’d like to flesh it out and color it but I don’t have time and I’m already a few days behind on the daily sketches. maybe I’ll revisit it in the future

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Charging monstrosaur from ixalan rough sketch #sketchdaily #mtg. This is one of those things where I’d like to flesh it out and color it but I don’t have time and I’m already a few days behind on the daily sketches. maybe I’ll revisit it in the future
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A bit overwhelmed by the world at the moment. Time for a break. My outrage will return in the future.

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A bit overwhelmed by the world at the moment. Time for a break. My outrage will return in the future.
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The world can be suffocating. You won’t always have enough energy. You’ll have too much to do. You’ll fall behind on your commitments. Bad things will happen at work. Your problems will pile up. Roadblocks will stand in your way. You’ll never have enough time. Other people will come to you for help. You will bear the weight of their problems as well, even a little. Then there’s the problems plaguing the world around you.

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4 Nov 2019

We’re giving away a Vita and you could be the winner!

To enter: follow us & RT this tweet. We’ll draw a winner on 11/30.

In addition, for every 1,000 retweets this gets, we will add a Limited Run Vita game to the grand prize. We’ve got over 100 of them, so keep the RT’s coming!

We’re giving away a Vita and you could be the winner!
To enter: follow us & RT this tweet. We’ll draw a winner on 11/30.
In addition, for every 1,000 retweets this gets, we will add a Limited Run Vita game to the grand prize. We’ve got over 100 of them, so keep the RT’s coming!
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To celebrate the Joy of being alive in a world where the infamous grifter Jeremy Dezany tried to dq his opponent for having a Rick and Morty playmat, we are going yo give away one between all the people who retweets and follow us.

To celebrate the Joy of being alive in a world where the infamous grifter Jeremy Dezany tried to dq his opponent for having a Rick and Morty playmat, we are going yo give away one between all the people who retweets and follow us.
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Something I haven’t done in a while: travel with my parents to Bicol to pay respects to our ancestors during the undas long weekend. In fact, the last time I made this trip was back in 2004, 15 years ago! (I technically also visited Bicol about 11ish years ago, but that was via a flight to Legaspi, Albay, and not to my dad’s hometown.) My Dad’s hometown is in Daet, Camarines Norte, and that’s also where my grandparents are buried.

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3 Nov 2019

I watched Justice League vs the Fatal Five on the bus home last night and now I want to read more Jessica Cruz Green Lantern

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Roy Tang is a:

roytang.net is a personal site, an E/N site, and kind of a commonplace book; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.