THE OMNI SHOW

Get to know the people and stories behind Omni’s award-winning productivity apps for Mac and iOS.

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Oct. 9, 2019, 6 a.m.
Aaron Kwong, Software Test Pilot

Aaron Kwong — jet-setter, Vegas enthusiast, Corgi catcher — joins the show to talk about testing OmniPlan and about the differences between verifying bug fixes and doing exploratory testing.

Show Notes:

Aaron started in support and was the OmniPlan PM before moving over to testing OmniPlan. He’s lived in Connecticut and Alaska, and he went to school at the now-defunct (totally not his fault!) Art Institute of Seattle.

Aaron also stars in the show’s host’s favorite Omni video: Monte Carlo Simulation.

You can find Aaron on Twitter @kwongkwong.

Some other people, places, and things mentioned:

Transcript:

Brent Simmons: You're listening to The Omni Show. Get to know the people and stories behind The Omni Group's award-winning productivity apps for Mac and iOS. Music.

SFX: [MUSIC PLAYS]

Brent Simmons: I'm your host, Brent Simmons. In the studio today is Aaron Kwong, software test pilot. Say hello, Aaron.

Aaron Kwong: Hello Aaron.

Brent Simmons: So, you are a software test pilot, which means that you test stuff all day. Well, what do you test?

Aaron Kwong: OmniPlan all day, every day.

Brent Simmons: OmniPlan is such an interesting one of our apps because the others are all somewhat potentially for everybody, and OmniPlan is very much for a specific need, you know, product management.

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: So that's cool though. It's complex, it's deep, it's got a lot of features. What's it like to test such a deep app?

Aaron Kwong: It's really fun. There's a lot of things to look at, you're right. A typical day, it depends. So if we have a brand new feature, that's great because you can look at what the feature's supposed to do. Go down the easy happy path to make sure that works.

Aaron Kwong: And then start testing the corner cases, to try and break the feature.

Brent Simmons: Creativity comes into play there, I'm sure, right?

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: Yeah.

Aaron Kwong: And then there's other things where there's, I mean there's, you know, smaller bugs where it could be that something has regressed, and we don't know about it. So hopefully we catch that during one of our release checklists and make sure that it doesn't go out to customers.

Brent Simmons: How large are those release checklists? And do you have different levels? Like here's one for a TestFlight build versus one for, this is we believe for sure final?

Aaron Kwong: Yes. So I would say it's about a page and a half, give or take. And yes there are different stages where if it's just like a tiny point release, you don't have to look at the whole slew of items on the checklist. But if it is a major release or a major point release, then you want to try and be more detailed about what you check.

Aaron Kwong: And I also have a bunch of sample documents that I use to make sure that certain things are consistent, and they haven't broken during the process of developing.

Brent Simmons: Sure. Right. That makes sense. Our system is, I assume, not too different from most other places, in that we have a bug tracker. Engineers work on a bug and then put it into verify.

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: And then that's when you come in ...

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: ... as part of that system. Are you always driven by bugs in verify, or are you sometimes just doing exploratory testing for other reasons?

Aaron Kwong: Yes, there's a lot of exploratory testing. We also, we'll go back and look at bug reports that are a "Needs Repro." Those are basically reports sent in by customers that we cannot reproduce within the short amount of time that we have in support to triage these issues and file them.

Aaron Kwong: And engineers are too busy, you know, working on the app. So that's where we can come in, too, and spend more time trying to figure out, from the clues that we have received from the customers, what the issue could be.

Brent Simmons: And I imagine sometimes that's easy and sometimes it's head-scratching.

Aaron Kwong: Yes. Definitely.

Brent Simmons: Because environment, too, can matter. You know, I've once had an issue like that with an app of mine, and turned out the problem was their installation of Little Snitch.

Aaron Kwong: [Mmm (affirmative)]

Brent Simmons: ...which is a like a kind of a firewall app or something. I'd never heard of it. That was— I could never have reproduced that.

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: It's like, you just never know what's going to come up.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah.

Brent Simmons: So when did you start testing OmniPlan?

Aaron Kwong: I think that was in the end of 2015, early 2016. Previously, I was in support and also a PM for OmniPlan.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: So yeah. OminPlan all day, every day.

Brent Simmons: So, and in those days the PMs all were in support. So it was like half and half?

Aaron Kwong: Some were half support, half PM, some were half test, half PM. And right around the end of 2015 was when we decided to move to full time PMs.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: And at that point, different departments, who were also moving people around as well. And support was doing kind of an internal internship into test. So we could pair it with a tester for a few months and then see how we liked it and then move into test if there were openings. So at that big change, I was able to go from support PM into test instead.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: And then Ainsley went from support into PM.

Brent Simmons: Ainsley's doing a great job.

Aaron Kwong: Yes. Yeah, definitely.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. How was that at as a switch? You go from talking to customers a lot and then you go from directing the show, kind of, to just looking for what's broken.

Aaron Kwong: Yes. Fun. I like it. I really like sitting down and trying to solve puzzles, problems, basically. I do also miss the PM aspect of being able to work with multiple departments, which is how Mark and I created that Monte Carlo video. That was really fun.

Brent Simmons: Oh yeah. Yeah, the Monte Carlo video. I'll make sure it's in that show notes. It's showing off... It was a new feature in OmniPlan...

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: ... Three, maybe?

Aaron Kwong: Three, yes.

Brent Simmons: That it would do Monte Carlo simulations. So the video, of course, had to take place in Las Vegas. Anyway, it's a good video and everybody should watch it. Mark makes great videos, but this one is my favorite for sure.

Aaron Kwong: Thank you.

Brent Simmons: It's hilarious. So where were we? Yeah. You're enjoying the switch to testing OmniPlan?

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: Yep. Solving puzzles and stuff. As a tester do you have direct contact with customers when you need to? For instance, when you're trying to figure out one of the needs repro bugs?

Aaron Kwong: Yes, we can use RT if we'd like, and reach out to customers from previous crash reports, or we can talk to our PMs or the support team and ask them to follow up for more clues or information.

Brent Simmons: So what are you working on this summer? Is it all about iOS 13?

Aaron Kwong: Yes. iOS 13 and dark mode. The Apple file browser.

Brent Simmons: [Mmm (affirmative)].

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, all that good stuff.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. It's coming along though. I think we're in TestFlight as we're recording this?

Aaron Kwong: Yes, we are. Yes.

Brent Simmons: At the time this is published, we might be shipping. So yeah, we're getting pretty close. Yeah, that's cool. And OmniPlan, I don't want to say it out loud, but it might be ahead of the other apps in this respect, so thanks to you.

Aaron Kwong: Maybe. With each new iOS 13 beta, things get fixed and then things get broken underneath us, so that's always fun.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. When you're testing iOS 13, or iOS in general, are you more on an iPad than iPhone?

Aaron Kwong: I tried to do 50/50 just because I know that some issues present on an iPhone only or iPad only. Thinking back to a specific bug, we've had a OmniPlan crash that only happened on iPhone devices and not iPad, and then we fixed that four weeks ago, and a new variation of it just came back yesterday.

Brent Simmons: With a new beta?

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, I think. That's been fixed again, so it's good to keep an eye on both iPhone and iPad all the time.

Brent Simmons: That's what our summers are like though.

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: Going through all the betas and fixing things. Fixing them again.

Aaron Kwong: Yep.

Brent Simmons: Then undoing the fix sometimes. How'd you come to Omni? Was it a Craigslist ad?

Aaron Kwong: It was.

Brent Simmons: Of course, it was.

Aaron Kwong: Yes, it was.

Brent Simmons: You're like the 20th person or something I've talked to, who answered a Craigslist ad. That's cool. And this was back in 2000 and ... ?

Aaron Kwong: Six, I want to say. 2006.

Brent Simmons: You've been here a long time. Craigslist ad, I assume it was for support at the time? You went right into support. And this was, which location were we at the time?

Aaron Kwong: This was at the building in U Village, so the Blakely building.

Brent Simmons: Okay. Did the ad say you were going to be working on Omniplan? Did you know exactly what you were going to be getting into?

Aaron Kwong: No.The ad was, if I remember, it was just for Mac technical support over email. So I didn't know that that was going to be supporting OmniPlan until I got the job. And Liz, one of our previous testers, she ran me through a usability test on Plan just so I could get a feel for the app and see if I had any questions or feedback on how the app looked and felt.

Brent Simmons: This must have been like OmniPlan 1.0 or very early?

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, I think we called them "sneaky peeks." So OmniPlan 1.0 sneaky peek alpha something or other.

Brent Simmons: I don't know whether to be glad or not that we don't still call them "sneaky peeks". Like on one hand, I like the informality of that and the kind of fun. On the other hand, "sneaky peek." It's just weird. I guess we just call them TestFlights now.

Aaron Kwong: Right?

Brent Simmons: Yeah. There is a name. Back to when you were a PM. I have to imagine that one of the main lessons you've learned in that role is not just talking with people, because you're doing that a lot in support, but with triaging, setting priorities, all that kind of stuff.

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: Does that come into play as a tester as well?

Aaron Kwong: I think it does in that I know what the PMs are dealing with and looking for in terms of bugs and how they're written, and also knowing when to grab their attention on a bug that I think is more urgent, versus bugs that... They are bugs but they might be a lower priority.

Brent Simmons: Sure.

Aaron Kwong: Because you know, we don't have an infinite amount of time to fix all these things, so.

Brent Simmons: Right. And nobody does. Right. But yeah, a barely noticed display glitch versus, "well, it crashes right here."

Aaron Kwong: Exactly. Crashes on launch. We should probably look at this sooner than later.

Brent Simmons: Probably take care of that. Yeah. So what'd you do before Omni? Where'd you go to school?

Aaron Kwong: Let's see. I went to school at the Art Institute of Seattle.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: My major was ...

Brent Simmons: is that the one down on Western?

Aaron Kwong: Used to be.

Brent Simmons: Used to be. It's moved?

Aaron Kwong: They're all closed now.

Brent Simmons: Oh, okay.

Aaron Kwong: So my degree's worth is questionable. But I have fond memories of school.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: So yeah, I went to school at AI, and during the time I was also working at Apple retail at the Lynnwood location, Alderwood Mall.

Brent Simmons: Are you from Lynnwood area, or just ... ?

Aaron Kwong: I'm from the South Everett area. I went to high school there.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: I'd actually applied for Apple retail at Bellevue. I believe they are one of the first stores to open in this region, back then. And I made it through the phone screen, the panel interviews and all that stuff, and just never got a call back after that, which is fine.

Brent Simmons: Their loss.

Aaron Kwong: And then Lynnwood opened up. I think it would be, I want to say about a year later or so. I applied there and then got in. So yeah. Good times.

Brent Simmons: What'd you study at school? Art, but specifically ... ?

Aaron Kwong: Video and film editing. Yeah.

Brent Simmons: Okay. I keep thinking of Avid whenever people talk about that, cause we're talking some years ago.

Aaron Kwong: That was one of the two options.

Brent Simmons: One of the two options. But you were on, what's the other one?

Aaron Kwong: There was Final Cut Pro, which is what I was on. There was Avid, and also Media 100 was a thing.

Brent Simmons: Mark is nodding his head, let the record reflect. Yeah he knows all this stuff.

Aaron Kwong: Two tracks of video and yeah, cut it for the news.

Brent Simmons: Yep. Yep. So what was filming video like in those days? Cause today I would just use my iPhone, but...

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, cameras back then were larger, more expensive. When I was doing it, it was all... MiniDV cameras were the hot thing.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: So for a low entry price of $3000, $4000 you can get a camera that shot 24P film-like video.

Brent Simmons: Film is 24 and TV is 30, is that right?

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. Okay.

Aaron Kwong: And so with that, a lot of people were trying to just shoot documentaries and short films. So it was a fun time.

Brent Simmons: Yeah, I bet it was.

Aaron Kwong: I wish it— Nowadays though, you can, yeah, like you said, shoot on a phone.

Brent Simmons: Right.

Aaron Kwong: Or get a DJI Osmo gimbal for 300 bucks, that is just Hollywood quality.

Brent Simmons: Wow, that's, that's incredible. I love the democratization of film, because it was always super expensive.

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: Now it's just changed so much. Were you always an Apple using kind of person, like a Mac user from when you were a kid?

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. In middle school, I was a teacher's assistant for our computer lab, and there I did like maintenance stuff for like on the Apple LC III's, doing random upgrades and stuff.

Brent Simmons: Oh cool. The LC III, that was one of the early color Macs, right?

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. And it was the pizza box.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Aaron Kwong: So I worked on those. My first Mac at home was a Performa 6400, which I upgraded—

Brent Simmons: Tower?

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, tower. Upgraded with the 64 megabytes of RAM so I could play StarCraft.

Brent Simmons: In those days, I think I was just playing Maelstrom.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, I also played that too.

Brent Simmons: That was a great game.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. Loved it.

Brent Simmons: I played it on a PowerComputing Mac. Oh my. So that explains why you would look for jobs at an Apple Store, because you were using Macs...

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: ... all along.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. And then in high school, I was also in visual communications as my elective for a few years, and shooting videos there and photos as well, and editing on Macs too. So...

Brent Simmons: That's cool. So Tim Ekl told me to ask you about being the credit card points guy.

Aaron Kwong: Oh he did?

Brent Simmons: Yeah.

Aaron Kwong: Well yeah. Guilty.

Brent Simmons: Oh, what's all this? So I don't pay very much attention to stuff like that. My credit card, I think I get miles and that's nice.

Aaron Kwong: Right.

Brent Simmons: So what's this credit card points business and what do you get?

Aaron Kwong: The main goal is to get a bunch of signup bonus points in order to travel for free.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: And you can look around on a, let's see, a good website would be thepointsguy.com, that's a good starter website.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: That website will show you current signup bonuses from all the various credit cards, and their benefits.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: So the simplest way this works is, let's say you sign up for a brand new credit card and it has a signup bonus of 60,000 miles.

Brent Simmons: All right.

Aaron Kwong: But you have to hit a minimum spend of $1,000 in three months to get the bonus.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: So if you wanted to time that credit card with a large expense coming up in your life, you basically get a free trip out of that large expense.

Brent Simmons: You buy a nice iPad and then you get to go somewhere.

Aaron Kwong: Exactly.

Brent Simmons: Right. Okay.

Aaron Kwong: And I fell into it when I was paying for my wedding. That's a lot of transactions there.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. Right.

Aaron Kwong: And thinking, after the wedding expenses, how do you do the honeymoon in a nice way? So this is actually a fun experiment to try. So I collected credit cards over time as I was paying for expenses for the wedding.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: And then at the end of it, I had enough points to fly my wife and I first-class to and from Japan...

Brent Simmons: Wow.

Aaron Kwong: ... for our honeymoon and then stayed at the same hotel in Tokyo that they shot Lost in Translation in.

Brent Simmons: Oh wow.

Aaron Kwong: Stayed there for four nights for free. And yeah, the expenses out of pocket were just food and subway transportation.

Brent Simmons: Wow. Well now I'm sold, I want to be a credit card points guy. That sounds awesome. So, but you had to get a lot of different cards, cause it's all about the signup bonus?

Aaron Kwong: Right. So that that can be daunting when you're first starting out. It was daunting for me too, because you're kind of worried that you might ruin your credit or something. But once you start to get into this hobby, and you go online and research it too, it's not bad. As long as you're responsible with credit cards, which you should be in general. In the community online, they have what's called a App-O-Rama, where every quarter people will pick out like two or three cards they want to sign up for, and apply for them all in the same day. So that the hit to your credit score is minimal, you'll lose a few points because of the inquiries.

Brent Simmons: All right.

Aaron Kwong: But then they'll bounce back in four months, and you get the bonuses and keep the card for a year. And at the end of that, if there an annual fee, you can choose to keep the card if you still like it, or you can call them and ask them to reconsider the fee, or just cancel the card and move on. So that's how that hobby game goes.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. And of course there's a whole community for it.

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: I've never, I had no idea. How many cards do you think you've canceled? Over this time.

Aaron Kwong: I'd have to check my Credit Karma profile to see, but I think I've maybe gone through a total of like 20-something, 30?

Brent Simmons: Wow. I'm just impressed. I mean, it pays off though. So you've been to Japan. Where, where else have you traveled based on, by using points?

Aaron Kwong: Japan, Korea. Let's see. Scotland, England, Belgium, Austria, Monaco. I might be forgetting something, but yes, those countries and hoping to add more every year, if I can.

Brent Simmons: Huh. That's cool. Do you have a routine? You always go over spring break or something like that?

Aaron Kwong: During the holiday break at Omni, here...

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: ... my wife and I tend to go to Europe for a week or two.

Brent Simmons: Oh sure. Because it's warm? No.

Aaron Kwong: It's not terrible.

Brent Simmons: It's doable.

Aaron Kwong: There was one year we were in London and it was, I think, Christmas day or Christmas Eve, and it was like mid fifties and sunny. Kind of surprising.

Brent Simmons: So are you a Northwest native? Grew up around here?

Aaron Kwong: No, I grew up in Juneau, Alaska.

Brent Simmons: Hmm, okay. And your initials are A.K..

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: That's convenient.

Aaron Kwong: That is not the first time somebody's made that connection.

Brent Simmons: Right. First time, though, on a podcast. Growing up in Alaska. What was that like? I've never even been to Alaska. I mean, it's less warm.

Aaron Kwong: Less warm. Everything is further away. You can't really take a road trip to the next town in 10, 15 minutes.

Brent Simmons: Yeah.

Aaron Kwong: Everything being shipped up to Alaska takes longer and there's a shipping surcharge on it, like Hawaii. Not sure if it's the same now with Amazon Prime being so popular everywhere, but... That'd be nice.

Brent Simmons: Are your parents in the computer industry in some way, or?

Aaron Kwong: So, okay. My parents lived in Connecticut and they got married there and then flew all the way to Alaska to open up a Chinese restaurant.

Brent Simmons: Oh, how'd that go?

Aaron Kwong: Great. It's been around, at this point, I want to say, 30-some years. And then my half brothers, they took over the business, and then from there, it's now been sold to another company, but it still exists in Alaska.

Brent Simmons: Oh cool.

Aaron Kwong: So if you ever take a cruise up to Juneau, just look for Canton House.

Brent Simmons: Canton House.

Aaron Kwong: That's the place.

Brent Simmons: Your family is Cantonese then?

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: My father is from Hong Kong and my mother is Chinese, but she was born in Vietnam.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: And then she came over here during the Vietnam war, basically.

Brent Simmons: Nicer here. Not to diminish that experience, but truly, yeah, I can absolutely understand wanting to move here.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, definitely.

Brent Simmons: That's cool. The restaurant is still there. That's really awesome.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah.

Brent Simmons: If I ever get to Juneau. Well, I would like to take the Alaskan cruise, so maybe I will go to Canton house. So when did you move here? Before high school, it sounds like.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, I moved here when I was 10 or 11, I don't remember exactly, but around that time, so I started middle school in Washington state, and that was interesting because when I started middle school here, I felt like I was retaking the same grade because everything we were learning here in sixth grade, I had learned in fifth grade in Alaska. So that was an interesting lapse.

Brent Simmons: Was it a bit of a shock? You mentioned the towns here, you can actually drive from one to the other.

Aaron Kwong: Right, yeah.

Brent Simmons: Quite a change from Juneau.

Aaron Kwong: Yes. So much more convenient to just drive anywhere you want. Also, very interesting to not see snow during winter.

Brent Simmons: Right. Is Juneau pretty snowed in a lot of the winter, or?

Aaron Kwong: It is, I'm trying to think... Maybe it seemed like a lot more snow to me because at the time I was not very tall, as a kid, but I remember it would snow and then we'd go out to play. You had to put on a snow suit and everything. And as a kid, the snow was higher than my head.

Brent Simmons: Right.

Aaron Kwong: You could build tunnels and stuff and...

Brent Simmons: I remember doing that.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. So yeah, there's a lot of snow, I would say.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. All right. Maybe I'll take that cruise during the summer.

Aaron Kwong: Yes. I've been meaning to take that cruise and just to go back and visit my hometown too.

Brent Simmons: That's cool. You still have any family there?

Aaron Kwong: No, not anymore. Most of my family now is either in California or Connecticut.

Brent Simmons: So rewinding in our talk a little bit, I got things slightly out of order, but I wanted you to tell me about having iPods thrown at you.

Aaron Kwong: Oh, right. So my time at Apple retail, I worked at the genius bar and there was a person who came in with a, I'll never forget it because it was a U2 iPod.

Brent Simmons: Of course it is.

Aaron Kwong: It had a famous click of death that most iPods had, but there was also...

Brent Simmons: It was a spinning hard drive, at the time still? Yeah ok.

Aaron Kwong: Right. And it also had a bunch of dents on it as well, so, hard to tell what caused the click of death on that particular iPod.

Brent Simmons: Some kind of hard living right there.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. But he was unhappy that we wouldn't cover it under warranty, and he told us, "The other, like Sony store would never do this to us." And I was like, "Okay, sure."

Brent Simmons: Maybe that's true.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. "But I can't do anything here to help you." And as he was leaving, he chucked it at us, at the Genius Bar, and walked out.

Brent Simmons: Break anything? Hit you in the head?

Aaron Kwong: No, no. Everybody was ready. Yeah. They all ducked and moved out the way.

Brent Simmons: Oh wow. I wonder if Apple has any kind of metrics on things thrown in Apple retail stores. I can see Tim Cook reading his monthly report, "Things being thrown, it's lower this month. That's good. That's good for customer sat."

Brent Simmons: What do you about shoplifters at an Apple store?

Aaron Kwong: Crime doesn't pay, kids. Stay in school.

Brent Simmons: Instead, why don't you go to Vegas, do some gambling. Do you actually go to Vegas much?

Aaron Kwong: I do. I would say on average I go about three to four times a year.

Brent Simmons: Okay.

Aaron Kwong: For various reasons.

Brent Simmons: Mainly because it's fun.

Aaron Kwong: Yes.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. I love Vegas. I'm lucky if I go once a year, but yeah, it's a blast. I myself don't gamble much. Not against it, I'm just more of a drinker, but yeah.

Aaron Kwong: Same.

Brent Simmons: Yeah.

Aaron Kwong: We should go together.

Brent Simmons: Yeah, we should. Where do you like to go? Do you have favorite places?

Aaron Kwong: Not really. I've tried out most of the hotels on the Strip at this point. And then going back to the whole credit card points thing, one other thing you can do is actually use certain credit cards to get higher status levels in hotels, and then the casino resorts will also match that.

Brent Simmons: Cool.

Aaron Kwong: So you become either mid or higher level players club status without actually having to spend a dime in the casino.

Brent Simmons: Wow. I think I have a new lifestyle ahead of me. Sounds brilliant.

Brent Simmons: Got any cats or dogs? Fish? Birds?

Aaron Kwong: I do. I have two cats. One is named Tuna, she's two years old. The other one is named Spunky, he's 15 or 16. And I have a Corgi named Buddy Cash. He is 12 years old.

Brent Simmons: Buddy Cash. Where does the name Buddy Cash come from?

Aaron Kwong: We were just going to name him Buddy when we picked him up. We picked them up in Idaho, and on the drive back, he was very anxious about the car ride, and we were skimming through all the radio stations, and we stopped on a radio station that was playing a Johnny Cash song. And he, that was the only station where he'd stopped howling.

Brent Simmons: All right.

Aaron Kwong: Kind of weird.

Brent Simmons: He likes the man in black.

Aaron Kwong: So from there we're like, "Oh, let's… all right, let's call him Buddy Cash," and that stuck. The funny thing is my parents just adopted a new kitten and they were asking me, "What should we name the cat?" Like, "I don't know mom, it's your cat. So you come up with a name." And she's like… a few days later, I'm like, "So what'd you guys decide?" And she says, "Oh, I, we named him Buddy Cat" and I'm like, "You're joking." She's like, "No, no. Buddy Cat."

Brent Simmons: Buddy Cat. Yeah, that's great.

Aaron Kwong: So now when Buddy Cash stays over while we're on a trip or something, it's hard to discern who she's talking to.

Brent Simmons: And it doesn't matter. They're going to ignore her anyway because they're animals. Oh, that's great, Buddy Cat. I have to confess, I googled "Buddy Cash" earlier, and then there's a cover band of eighties and nineties music in the Philadelphia area, or something like that.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah, Gil Wilson told me about that too. And I was like… "Not related."

Brent Simmons: Not related. Yeah. Yeah. Right when I saw that, I'm like, that can't be, but you never know, like could have been, you know, brother-in-law's in the band, or something. Who knows? So he's a Corgi, which means he is not fast.

Aaron Kwong: Not fast, and can't jump very high.

Brent Simmons: Is that a deliberate thing? You prefer a dog you can catch?

Aaron Kwong: Well, he's our first dog and...

Brent Simmons: I see, taking it easy.

Aaron Kwong: Yeah. We didn't want something too big, and they seem very smart and playful.

Brent Simmons: And so cute.

Aaron Kwong: it was a good fit. Also, he is a herding dog, so he spends a lot of his time just chasing the cats, too, around the house. And the cats don't care.

Brent Simmons: Yeah. Right.

Aaron Kwong: They just lay over instead of running away.

Brent Simmons: I can picture it. I like cats, and they have the right attitude.

Aaron Kwong: Yep.

Brent Simmons: Well on that note, that attitude of cats. I'll say thanks, Aaron. Where can people find you on the web?

Aaron Kwong: You can find me on Twitter and Instagram at @kwongkwong.

Brent Simmons: How's that spelled?

Aaron Kwong: K-W-O-N-G-K-W-O-N-G.

Brent Simmons: @kwongkwong, got it.

Aaron Kwong: Last name twice.

Brent Simmons: Right. I'd also like to thank our Intrepid producer, Mark Boszko. Say hello, Mark, Mark.

Mark Boszko: Hello, Mark, Mark.

Brent Simmons: And especially, I want to thank you for listening. Thank you. Music.

SFX: [MUSIC PLAYS]