Cause I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

There’s probably a post exactly like this a few weeks or month from before but hey, it’s what’s on my mind. I write this stuff more for myself to think out loud although I’d love to hear wise and sage advice or opinions if you have any.

I’m un-glued from a “normal” life (whatever that is). I’m not sure I actually like it. I guess this is kind of called the “digital nomad” life although my impression is digital nomads usually have work they have to do.

I have 2 big questions: Where should I live and what should I do. My friend Chris said as for a place to live I should just pick some place, any place and give it a year. If it sucks leave. Maybe that’s good advice? I kind of feel like picking a place is like getting married. I have to commit. Committing means working on making it my place. Get house or apartment, start decorating, nesting. Join clubs, sign up for classes, volunteer, make local friends. Basically plant roots. If I don’t plant roots I wouldn’t really being experiencing the place in a way that would make me want to stay. So, if I say “just a year”, in the back of my mind I won’t plant any roots, it will all just be temporary.

Right now I’m in Tokyo again. This time I’ve been here for 2 months. I’m in a tiny apartment but it’s one of the nicer places I’ve stayed. It’s also the cheapest place I’ve stayed in the last 2 years. Hotels are expensive, go on Booking.com and see, the bottom level is hostels. The next level up is what I’ve been shooting for. That’s still $90-$150 at DAY!!!! OUCH!!! Yea, I’m getting poor living this way. Another reason I need to rent an apartment.

I was in LA from July 2014 to Feb 2015. I’m from there but had not lived there for 14 years. I forgot how good the weather is! I really liked hanging out with my friends in Pasadena but I gotta say of all the places being alone Tokyo seems best. There’s lots of things I loved but as a single guy I didn’t like trying to find places to work (cafes, co-working spaces, etc…) and I didn’t really enjoy eating out alone (like what is there?) and it sucked that the city closes at like 9pm. Here in Tokyo, especially where I’m living there’s hundreds of restaurants, bars, and even cafes I can visit at 3am.

I probably wouldn’t care about that if I was on a project and/or had a girlfriend or family. I’d have something to go to in the day (work, project) and something to come home to at night (girlfriend, wife) but as it is I’m single. I find that I run into far more friends in Tokyo than anywhere else. In SF I have a ~3 friends I see regularly but it’s limited to about 4 hours a week. That sucks. LA was similarly lonely. At the same time my logical self reminds me that if I made the effort I could probably have a ton of friends no matter where I am. I could start a meetup. I could invite people out. I could host parties. Take classes. Go to meetups. etc… So, it seems irrational to choose Tokyo for the reasons above. Especially if I finally find a girlfriend and/or a project most of those advantages will disappear.

My point being, I can’t figure out a criteria for choosing which place is best.

Then there’s projects. I’ve basically spent a year working on HappyFunTimes. It’s doesn’t look like it I’m sure but it’s a gawd damn full time job. There are days I’ve spent 14 hours straight trying to get shit done for it. It’s getting harder and harder as well. As I add more platforms and options testing them all is becoming impossible. I can try to set up more automated testing, that alone would probably take several weeks of full time work. It’s complicated by the fact that HappyFunTimes is made from several parts. So for example I need to test if the app can be installed and runs in Windows and OSX and that every feature works. Since Windows and OSX use different path formats it’s possible I broke something on one if I don’t test.

I also need to test iOS and Android. Testing those means setting up temp servers. Each one of those platforms would take several days to get a testing infrustructure setup and most testing infrustructures assume a single app that only works locally. Not an app that connects both to a local server and a remote server. Anyway, I’m just whining I guess. My point is HappyFunTimes has been a fulltime job and while I’d like to see it become a popular library there’s no plan to make money from it.

The Tyranny of the -1

I’m sure someone else has already written about this far better than me but this has really been bugging me lately. That is, that +1s or Likes or even more specifically -1s seem like they’re squashing discussion. (more…)

Sometimes meeting your idols can be the worst thing

To put my fandom in perspective I arguably got interested in Japanese partly because of Nomiya Maki. Back when I lived in the Bay Area in 93-95, just about the time I starte studying, Live 105 was playing her song with Pizzicato Five, “Twiggy Twiggy” which I instantly liked.

I proceeded to find all the Pizzicato Five music I could find. That’s a lot of music because they’ve released something like 75 CDs. Sometimes I would study the lyrics. I got laughed at by a co-worker for liking their music. She thought it was “those weird Japanese”. (more…)

Turn on the built in Japanese/English Dictionary in OSX

I recently read this article about just how awesome the Webster’s dictionary is compared to other dictionaries.. I highly recommend it.

After reading that I installed that dictionary in OSX. Then a few days later I needed to look up a Japanese word. I usually go to WWWJDIC to look things up but it’s annoying to have to be online.

Then I got to thinking, Hmmm, if I was able to install a dictionary into OSX I’ll bet there’s a Japanese or Japanese to English dictionary. A few clicks later and BAM!, turns out there’s one built in. All you have to do is turn it on. (more…)

Manoa Falls

I was in Honolulu looking up a restaurant or something on Google maps and I saw a marker for “Manoa Falls”. I had never been and I assumed it would be like Opaekaa Falls or Wailua Falls in Kauai. Both of those are just off the road. You get out of your car, walk 50 feet, see the waterfall, get back into your car. At worst I thought it might be like Akaka Falls on Hawaii which is nice paved with steps and walkways with rails.

Instead it was a dirt path about 1 mile long. It was a drizzly day and so it was all really muddy and slippery. (more…)