Kevin C. Wong

Foods I Miss These Days

  • Fried chicken and mashed potatoes
  • Hamburger and french fries
  • Peruvian food
  • Ice cream, especially Cold Stone
  • Starbucks/Peets mocha coffee
  • Chinese food? Not yet. Never been really into Asian foods.
  • Pizza? I did order it last weekend but in general I'm not that into pizza. It's just easy to get it delivered.

Diary - Mar 21 to Mar 27 2020

Sat Mar 21 2020

Sleep 04:30 to 09:00.

  • Watched Isolated Queens Tournament. Was good.

Sun Mar 22 2020

Sleep 05:30 to 12:00.

  • Chill day watching Twitch.

Mon Mar 23 2020

Sleep 02:45 to 10:15. 1 hour nap.

  • Got a bit of work done today.

Tue Mar 24 2020

Sleep 04:30 to 11:00.

  • Got nothing done today. I'm so lazy.

Wed Mar 25 2020

Sleep 06:30 to 12:00. 1 hour nap?

  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave wins his game and leads after 7 rounds with 4.5/7 points (tie break advantage over Ian Nepomniachtchi also at 4.5/7).
  • FIDE suspends Candidates Tournament because Russia is suspending all international air traffic starting Mar 27. This gives the players like a day to find an air flight home, though I guess they can also travel by ground.

Thu Mar 26 2020

Sleep 05:45 to 12:00.

  • Three had to close permanently. Is sad as the fried chicken was really good.

Fri Mar 27 2020

Sleep 04:45 to 10:45.

  • I didn't know there that Downtown San Mateo Association has a web site with info on downtown businesses including what is open during shelter in place. Although really it doesn't look like the web site was updated much before this crisis.

Shelter In Place

Last time I was at work was Tuesday Mar 10 then I worked from home the rest of the week and shelter in place was declared that weekend. I think I went to the grocery store on the 11th or 12th but have been home since then and now it's Sunday Mar 29. Over two weeks at home only going out for 10 minutes at night to check on guest parking.

I think I was low level depressed for the better part of a couple of weeks (not that I've really recovered). Constant low level stress and worry. It's hard to work and there have been days when I've been a zombie or slept most of the day. Monday and Tuesday are best for work. Then Wednesday starts going down and Thursday and Friday I'm a bit of wreck. Recover Saturday and Sunday. That's been the last two weeks.

I've watched a lot of Twitch and the chat interactions keep me a bit sane. Also playing DDO on Friday and Saturday night is another time for a little interaction. No other human interactions. Before I thought I could live that way but now maybe not. I haven't done any FaceTime with C3.

It's strange because I've spent two week vacations at home not leaving the house. I did live in a townhouse with a lot of space so maybe that helped back then. Also it's one thing to know you can go out if you want to a restaurant or to see a movie or go shopping and be around crowds. It's another thing entirely when you know you don't have that option.

On thing I did was remove Apple News from my iPad home screen. I'd always see four article headlines and sometimes I'd dig in and read one and it's mostly sad news about COVID or the President. Now news is better than depressing news.

A second thing is finally ordering delivery. Got a couple of pizzas and an arugula salad today. Variety of food is nice. Wish I could get KFC or Popeyes; might try Postmates or another delivery service.

So now it's Sunday evening. I feel ok and hopefully can maintain for this week. We'll see.

New iPad Pro and MacBook Air

Apple's newest iPad Pro is a mostly incremental upgrade over the previous version. A12Z CPU is identical to the previous one except all 8 cores are enabled (that doesn't mean that you can take the previous chip and enable that 8th core; testing probably only checks to see if seven cores are good and only tests 8th core if a previous core is bad; with a few months better manufacturing experience yields are probably good enough that all 8 cores work consistently).

There's a LiDAR which can measure distances to 15 feet and will make AR pretty instant.

The companion Magic Keyboard looks pretty cool. You can put the iPad on a mount that can swivel vertically which is something I've found would be convenient. Better keyboard than before and it has a trackpad (and iPad OS has trackpad support). I'm always excited about features that make an iPad a better on-the-go laptop replacement.

iPad Pro 12.9 inch 1TB ($1500), Magic Keyboard ($350)


I'm not familiar with MacBook Air because I like powerful laptop computers. MacBook Air is light but is that good enough for lack of processing and storage?

The best MacBook Air:

Intel Core i7, quad-core, 1.2 GHz

Intel Iris Plus Graphics (no discrete GPU)

==> $2250

Currently I have a MBP 2015 with max upgrades.

2 TB SSD is a great size, I have 1 TB and wish I had 2 TB so I can load all my music. 16 GB is good, same as my current MBP and I don't think I'm memory constrained.

I have an i7 quad core at 2.8 GHz. Half speed would kind of suck. Also I'm often using the graphics card for games so staying on built-in GPU would so be cramping. As it is now, sometimes my computer feels sluggish streaming 4 Twitch channels, downloading stuff and doing normal work.

I have two monitors but MacBook Air supports two 4K monitors (and I don't have high resolution monitors). You can also attach an eGPU if you really need it which is ok if I only use it at my home desktop environment and don't have to lug it around.

In the end I actually think I could live with the latest MacBook Air as my main computer. Still, a bit of a sacrifice for a lighter computer when I don't value that metric.

Diary - Mar 14 to Mar 20 2020

Sat Mar 14 2020

Sleep 03:30 to 12:30.

  • Checked up on cats while family is in Lake Tahoe. Looks like they'll be snowed in for a day so getting back Tuesday?

Sun Mar 15 2020

Sleep 04:30 to 12:30.

  • Got a work email. Everybody must work from home unless you have to be in office. And so it begins.

Mon Mar 16 2020

Sleep 03:00 to 13:00.

  • As of midnight most of the Bay Area will be placed under a shelter-in-place directive through Apr 07. You can still go get groceries, gas, and take-out/delivery food.
  • Went to Trader Joe's. Closed. Didn't stop to look but probably ran out of stock. I'll have to make do with what I have at home but should be fine for a couple of weeks I think.

Tue Mar 17 2020

Sleep 04:00 to 10:15.

  • First day of isolation. Low on oil and butter.
  • Right thumb is slowly improving. Most pain when I'm wiping my butt.

Wed Mar 18 2020

Sleep 04:30 to 11:30.

  • Day two. I figure I'll go grocery shopping this weekend for meat if nothing else.

Thu Mar 19 2020

Sleep 04:30 to 13:00.

  • I contributed $250 for prize fund of this event:

Fri Mar 20 2020

Sleep 01:30 to 09:00.

  • Been lethargic last couple of days. Hard to get motivated to do work.

Isolated Queens Tournament

Isolated Queens: US Chess Women and Botez Live Host 2K Saturday Swiss

I watched the tournament Saturday morning. 89 women players, many of them streaming on Twitch (required to win one of the prizes). Mostly watched the main commentary on BotezLive and somewhat watched six other channels: Zefcatt, HashtagChess, GoldDustTori, ChelsieMonica, AnnaCramling, Anna_Chess.

Tournament Result

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (ChessQueen) won, scoring 8/10, even after losing to second place IM Carissa Yip (Magician4MA) (7.5/10). Third place went to WIM Thalia Cervantes (DishonorOnYourCow) (7.5/10). GM Irina Krush (Irochka83) came in fourth (7.5/10) while fifth place was disqualified for fair play (I heard that someone else was playing that account).

Of interest to me:

#6 (7.5) WFM Lile Koridze (LileKoridze) - a Georgian player and relatively new streamer.

#9 (7.0) FM Anna-Maja Kazarian (annamaja7) - a Dutch streamer (AnnaMaja), relatively new.

#14 (6.5) WIM Chelsie Monica Ignesias Sihite (ChelsieMonica) - Indonesian streamer. I was recently promoted to one of her mods on her Twitch channel.

#27 (6.0) WIM Jesse February (QueensCrawl) - South African streamer, half of HashtagChess.

#28 (5.5) WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni (Fiona) - Streamer (Fionchetta) from Luxembourg. Like Anna Rudolf, does a lot of chess commentating for various platforms.

#39 (5.0) IM Anna Rudolf (Anna_Chess) - retired for at least a decade, playing to support the event. Did credibly well including this amazing B+N checkmate.

#47 (5.0) Tori (GoldDustTori) - One of my favorite streamers and only been playing chess for a bit over a year. Did amazingly well.

#50 (4.5) Sara Herman (Zefcat) - Another streamer (Zefcatt) I watch regularly. Stronger than Tori and beat her in a head-to-head in this tournament.

#51 (4.5) WFM Anna Cramling (AnnaCramling) - Swedish streamer, fairly new. Did commentary for the Women's World Championship. She's still getting used to playing bullet and blitz time controls.

#74 (3.0) Naycir (desinformation) - Turkish streamer (Naycir) currently studying in St Louis (Webster University?).

2020 Census

It took a few minutes to complete my 2020 Census. As I recall, the questions are:

1. Confirm address as of Apr 1 2020
2. Phone number in case I need to be contacted
3. For each person living at address above.
-- Name
-- Birth date
-- Hispanic? (No, three or four different hispanic boxes)
-- Race?

And that's it.

Diary - Mar 07 to Mar 13 2020

Sat Mar 07 2020

Sleep 05:00 to 11:00.

  • First B&B session since November.
  • D+M mentioned moving to San Antonio if Donald gets a job there from an old boss. Maybe.

Sun Mar 08 2020

Sleep 05:00 to 12:00.

  • Watching Twitch all day.
  • Alexandra/Anna sub battles x2, then Alexandra/Chessbrah sub battles.
  • PhotoChess vs Zefcatt puzzle battles match. Zefcatt wins 30-10.
  • Neeko got almost 4k new followers at the start of her stream. All from her Tiktok or Twitter where she was sporting a Bernie Sanders t-shirt. It was kind of crazy.

Mon Mar 09 2020

Sleep 02:00 to 09:00.

  • Dinner with CSr and DS at Cfood Crush. CSr had to leave early because Steph was feeling ill and babysitting Cjr.

Tue Mar 10 2020

Sleep 02:30 to 10:30.

  • Two consecutive days at work. My new workspace really kind of sucks.

Wed Mar 11 2020

Sleep 03:15 to 11:00.

  • Work from home.

Thu Mar 12 2020

Sleep 03:00 to 11:00.

  • Work from home again.
  • Cjr's school (all the schools in San Mateo - Foster City Unified School District) are closing due to COVID-19 starting Monday and running to start of April. Remote schooling starting Thursday 19th.

Fri Mar 13 2020

Sleep 04:15 to 09:00.

  • President Trump finally declares a national emergency for COVID-19, which mostly means reserve federal funds are released.
  • Went shopping about 19:00 at Safeway. Lots of people, somewhat empty shelves, no bathroom tissue, and a good 45 min checkout line.

Drobo 5c Warrranty Renewal

Now that my 2-year warranty expired Drobo Customer Care sent me an email about extending my warranty. My first Drobo S lasted almost 7 years before the power supply died.

3-year extension is $150 so $50 per year.

A new Drobo 5C is... sold out. Maybe discontinued. But it retailed for $350 with a 2-year warranty. So $250 for 5 years warranty, is the $100 worth it for a new Drobo 5C instead of fixing my old one when it breaks? Yes.

I guess I would have to compare with a 5D3... Never mind it is also sold out. Maybe it's COVID-19 issues that everything in Drobo store is marked sold out.

Anyways, my analysis is that 3-year warranty extension is not worth it. Might as well just wait for my Drobo 5C to die and buy a replacement. Also that would probably be faster than shipping my Drobo somewhere to be fixed.

GOG Spring Sale

Let's see what is interesting and Mac compatible.

Deep Sky Derelicts (1C Entertainment) [$7, 66% off] Sci fi rogue-like exploring derelict spaceships. Has cartoon graphics.

Exapunks (Zachtronics) [$13, 33% off] Hacking puzzle game with little robots.

BattleTech (Paradox Interactive) [$14, 66% off] Yup, still think about buying this but maybe after everything for it is finally released.

Frozen Cortex Ultimate Tier (Mode 7) [$16, 50% off] Turn-based tactical robot squads battling it out a la the old Maxis RoboSport.

Diary - Feb 29 to Mar 06 2020

Sat Feb 29 2020

Sleep 05:30 to 11:00.

  • Went to C3's and played Gloomhaven with C2.

Sun Mar 01 2020

Sleep 03:00 to 11:45.

  • Worked about a full day.

Mon Mar 02 2020

Sleep 01:30 to 09:00.

  • Backups take forever now that I'm having it verify that backed up files are still good. Ended up working from home.
  • Grocery shopping. Safeway had visibly less than full stock on quite a few items. Maybe COVID-19 virus scare.
  • Moved my empty moving boxes to across-the-hall storage room.

Tue Mar 03 2020

Sleep 02:45 to 10:45.

  • Heard that DK got laid off yesterday. OOF.

Wed Mar 04 2020

Sleep 01:30-11:30.

  • Chrome + 4 twitch streams with chat is about 75% CPU load.
  • Firefox with 4 twitch stream videos + Chrome with 4 twitch chats is about 25% CPU load.
  • Not that convenient using two browsers though.

Thu Mar 05 2020

Sleep 07:15 to 12:45.

  • I hate doing the combined merge transaction. Trying to get everyone's code deployed and working is a pain, maybe because I'm pretty thorough.

Fri Mar 06 2020

Sleep 03:30 to 09:15.

  • After Tuesday worked from home rest of the week due to work and because I've been coughing a lot. Don't want to scare people though it's just the winter cough (cold+damp is not good; now I know why old people move to warmer climes).


Ars Technica has a pretty good article on this.

  • SARS-CoV-2 is the virus
  • COVID-19 is the disease caused by the virus
  • Takes 5-6 days to show symptoms, though could be up to 14 days
  • Two weeks to recover once you show symptoms (up to 6 weeks if severe case)
  • It's like the flu and maybe 20x more deadly (though that's going from 0.1 to 2%)

As it is slowly spreading various events are being cancelled. Twitch Con EU and SXSW being a couple big ones. Although Chess Open Candidates Tournament is not one, one player pulled out and was replaced. PCL Finals + Chess Party are still on though seems risky since it's an event that will attract people from all over the world.

For our company only China and parts of India are work-from-home. If we think we've been exposed we're supposed to notify manager and stay at home for two weeks.

I've had my winter cough which unfortunately was a bit worse this week. I stayed at home Wed to Fri as I didn't want to worry coworkers. If it seems ok next week I'll go to work.

Dietary Restrictions

As we get older I keep forgetting about dietary restrictions.

Christopher Sr - no lactose

Corina - no gluten

Donald - usually fasting during the day, or that all-meat diet

Mary - no gluten

Sophia - good asian food

Steph - no lactose

Saturday I ordered pizza and forgot that Corina and Christopher Sr can't eat it. Though it is more food for me.

Site Updates - Feb 02 to Feb 29 2020


Feb 03 Apple Arcade - Spelldrifter (2019) [+]
Feb 05 Netflix Movie - I Am Mother (2019) [+]
Feb 07 Spot Reviews - Hala (2019) [/], Sharon 1.2.3 (2018) [-], Wursthall [/]
Feb 10 Restaurant - Urban Momo, San Mateo [+]
Feb 12 TV Show - Star Trek: Picard #101 (2020) [+]
Feb 14 Spot Reviews - Hunt for Red October (1990) [+], Swing Away (2016) [/], Taku Taku [/]
Feb 17 Star Trek: Ascendancy (2016) [+]
Feb 19 Movie - Inside Man: Most Wanted (2019) [/]
Feb 21 Spot Reviews: Cinderella and the Four Knights #101 (2016) [/], Fix a Dent [-]. Twitch - NM_Budda [/]
Feb 24 iOS - Mario Kart Tour (2019) [+]
Feb 26 Netflix Movie - Io (2019) [/]
Feb 28 Spot Reviews: PF Chang Dan Dan Noodles [+], Twitch - FuzzyGardens [/], Love and Other Disasters (2006) [-]