EppsNet Book Reviews: Humans of New York: Stories

26 Nov 2015 /

I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you’re not one of the 16 million people following the Humans of New York Facebook page, take a look there to see what the concept is all about.

This book would make a great gift for anyone on your holiday gift list who knows how to read. If you’re on my holiday gift list, you’re getting this book. I wish I could give a copy to every person on Earth.

Rating: 5-stars

A Couple of Random Thoughts on Gun Control

25 Nov 2015 /
  1. Laws don’t turn crazy people into good citizens.
  2. What reasons are there to think that gun laws would make it difficult for anyone to obtain a gun? We’ve had a War on Drugs for decades. How difficult is it to obtain illegal drugs?

You Tell Me It’s the Institution

22 Nov 2015 /

Well, you know, you better free your mind instead . . .

A Student of Life

22 Nov 2015 /

C minus

I’m a student of life. Not an A+ student of life. More of a C- student of life.


A Riddle

19 Nov 2015 /

What’s the difference between a student activist and a petulant crybaby?

Yeah, I don’t know either . . .

Happiness is Not . . .

17 Nov 2015 /
portrait of Leo Tolstoy

Happiness does not consist of the gratification of your wishes. Anna Karenina, for example, is quite illuminating on this point. Try reading a book once in a while, you’ll pick up on a lot of universal errors like that.

The Sign Said, “You’ve Got to Have a Membership Card to Get Inside”

16 Nov 2015 /

Throwback Cousin Photos

14 Nov 2015 /

My wife found a photo this weekend of our son and his cousin Kao. Casey was 5 years old in this photo and Kao was 11. She lives in Thailand but was visiting us in La Verne.

I don’t remember this photo. I like it because I don’t remember the overall tenor of Kao’s visit being this pleasant.

Casey had never had to share his mom’s attention and he wasn’t happy about it, especially since she talked with Kao in a foreign language that he didn’t understand.


Here’s what they look like now (Kao on the left, another cousin, Tammy, on the right):


Walking in Irvine is Not a Good Way to Meet People

14 Nov 2015 /

Unlike walking in San Francisco, walking in Irvine is not a good way to meet people. This is what my walk to Starbucks looks like on weekend mornings . . .

Walking in Irvine

Nov. 12, 1954: Ellis Island Closes

12 Nov 2015 /

Via History.com:

On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s.

On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America’s first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states.


With America’s entrance into World War I, immigration declined and Ellis Island was used as a detention center for suspected enemies. Following the war, Congress passed quota laws and the Immigration Act of 1924, which sharply reduced the number of newcomers allowed into the country and also enabled immigrants to be processed at U.S. consulates abroad. After 1924, Ellis Island switched from a processing center to serving other purposes, such as a detention and deportation center for illegal immigrants, a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War II and a Coast Guard training center. In November 1954, the last detainee, a Norwegian merchant seaman, was released and Ellis Island officially closed.

What Would Jesus Think of the Starbucks Boycott?

10 Nov 2015 /

Outraged Christians boycott Starbucks over ‘politically correct’ Christmas red cup designMirror Online

There’s a line in an old Woody Allen movie: If Jesus came back and saw what’s going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.

The Mad Hatter

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

8 Nov 2015 /
At the movies
  • People who advise you to “embrace failure.” Probably good advice, but if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it ten thousand times. We get it: Embrace Failure. Let’s move on already. Extra demerits: You have opinions on other completely played-out topics like management vs. leadership and how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
  • People who say “Can I put you on hold for a moment?” and then immediately put me on hold without giving me a chance to sigh ostentatiously and say “If you must.”
  • Full-grown adults who tell you how sexually attracted they are to an actor or actress in a movie. Extra demerits: You invent your own fawning vocabulary with words like “droolworthy.” Your ability to be sexually aroused by a fantasy on a movie screen doesn’t enhance my opinion of you at all. Try maintaining a relationship in real life with someone who’s no more attractive than you are, lover boy (or girl).

At some point, even if you don’t need the money, you have to teach what you were taught. — Ken Kesey

Sleep thou, who wa’st born to sleep, or follow thy own inclinations; for my own part, I will behave as becomes a person of my aspirations. — Don Quixote

I Am Identified as the Worst Father of All Time

7 Nov 2015 /

I noticed a significant uptick in traffic to EppsNet in the past week . . . a check of the referrer logs indicates that it’s coming from Reddit, specifically from a series of posts on the hapas subreddit (here’s an example) identifying me as the worst father of all time and an overall despicable human being.

The worst

(If you’re as much in the dark as I was about what a “hapa” is, it’s a person of partial Asian or Pacific Islander descent. My son, for example, would be a “hapa,” which is how the hapas subreddit took an interest in EppsNet.)

Ironically, the posts cited on Reddit as evidence of my awfulness are — to me, anyway — either pretty obviously not intended to be taken at face value (some are attributed to an imaginary author named Hostile Witness, to make it even more obvious), or completely on point, or both.

Examples include:

And of course Why Asian Girls Like White Guys and Why Asian Girls Like White Guys II, which are among the most popular posts on the site, right behind The Blog of Anne Frank.

I’ll say this about my results as a parent: Unlike the population of the hapas subreddit, my son is not a whiny twit with no sense of irony, humor or perspective. He doesn’t invent labels for himself and seek out discrimination where there is none.

That being said, thanks for visiting, hapas, and additional thanks to the 40 or so of you who also picked up a copy of my book while you were here.

My Current Mood Is …

7 Nov 2015 /

I don’t know if it’s a cumulative effect or just a phase I’m going through but I’m really sick of people and their goddamn cocksure opinions about everything . . .

Two Out of Three Job Search Coaches Agree

7 Nov 2015 /

The jobs are off to your left . . .


What is My Face Telling You Today?

5 Nov 2015 /

That not only am I set to meet all opposition, I am actively seeking it out.

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Occupational Certification a Guarantee of Quality?

4 Nov 2015 /


I had fingerprints taken this morning, not the old-fashioned way with an inkpad but with a biometric device that required a certified technician to roll each of my fingers back and forth on a scanner.

I emphasize certified technician because California law requires any individual who rolls fingerprints manually or electronically for licensure, certification and/or employment purposes to be certified by the state Department of Justice. You can’t just put any person off the street in charge of advanced optical technology.

Thanks to the use of an expensive machine vs. an inkpad and the certification requirements, the cost to me of having my fingerprints taken was about $70.

California is big on occupational certification. More than 200 professions from doctor to tree trimmer require certification from one of 42 government bureaus and boards. Does this elaborate and costly web of regulation assure the highest quality of professional service?

Each fingerprint took at least three attempts . . . the machine kept rejecting them due to poor quality and the technician had to re-roll them. One finger I believe required 10 repetitions.

God only knows how many tries it would have taken a non-certified person to complete the job.

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