Remaking this site yet again


So, I a few months ago I moved by blog from Site5 to SiteGround. It wasn't too hard as both are basic LAMP/CPanel ISP. The reason I moved is Site5 didn't support letsencryprt can many sites are started to ban non-HTTPS. For example you can not include a script on JSFiddle unless it's HTTPS. I was using scripts from my site and they stopped working because of that. I waited nearly a year for site5 to add support (they said they were looking into it) but it became clear they were't going to do it.

So I looked around, tried Dreamhost first but they had issues with my needs. I think they required running my DNS or something which was out of the question. I ended up at siteground. It's setup was also a little strange but I got things working moved 4 sites over.

Then, about 10 days ago I wrote an article that got some traffic and all of a sudden I got an email from siteground that I was ay 75% of my service limit and that might site would be shut down if it hit 100%. Why I didn't notice this before but that's when I found out their limit for the plan I signed up for was only 20k hits. I have 2500 posts, many with lots of images. I have no idea if they count every image as a hit but effectively a few scans by seach engines and I'd hit my limit.

Just because I didn't want my site to go offline I paid them to double the limits to 40k hits. That's when I got the message it might take 3 days before they could do it. Seriously, you tell me you might take my site offline and when I pay you not to you tell effectively tell me you might take it offline anyway!?!?!

They did get to it fairly quickly despite the "up to 3 days" message but they did end up taking my site offline because instead of just upping some limit they moved my site to another server and because they aren't doing intellgent routing that changed my IP address and took the site offline.

So, fuck that! Gees! WTF!? How do these shitty ISPs stay in business?

With that and the fact that if I manage to write a popular post they'll yank the site down I decided to bite the bullet and try switching to a static site using something like Jekyll and hosting on a VPS from Digital Ocean. They won't yank it down, they'll just charge for bandwidth. Also their limits are way higher than those typical LAMP sites.

But ... converting this blog was way more work than I thought it was going to be. I've worked on nothing else every day for about 10 days and I think I'm stil not 100% done.

First I tried using some plugin for wordpress that was supposed to export to jekyll but of course it didn't work. In fact it was deleting stuff. I spent time setting up XAMPP and trying to get the site to run there so I could more easily play with the exporter but something wasn't working. I also really wasn't looking forward to working in php. I know XAMPP has worked for me before but why it wasn't working now I have no idea. I even tried downloading their new version that runs in a VM. I got the site over and the database imported but I couldn't get wordpress to come up for some reason.

So, I exported the db to json and starting writing my own exporter from that to jekyll. At some point I realized jekyll wasn't going to work for me because I have 2 blogs that share data, something jekyll doesn't seem to handle. Jekyll was also failing in a bunch of places with things it didn't seem to support like inline html in the middle of some markdown etc...

So, finally I decided to just use the code from webglfundamentals which was already reading markdown.

That's was mostly working but converting 20yrs of posts, writing the rules to try to automate the conversion took quite a while. And of course each time I fix one edge case it breaks some previous edge case. It only has to work once or just get close and I can manually fix the rest but after a week I was about 1/2 way through. I'm pretty sure I missed some pages because I made a big change where I tried to extract all the HTML from the markdown for some post I was having issues with before I realized that would never work when I hit another post that showed why. So I removed that change but I don't remember which post I originally wrote it for.

When I got it all done and fixed the 20 or so posts that looked like they needed manual intervention I then needed to setup a webserver, setup a repo, and write scripts to make it auto update from a git repo.

I ended up using Caddy but like all webservers the first time requires a bunch of time learning how to get them configured with their cryptic config systems. Sometimes I think it would be better if they just gave you a library and a lot of examples but let you just use a normal full programming language instead of a limited and confusing config language. I needed to get some silly redirects working. I also have a few hundred redirects from old URLs since before I moved it to wordpress. And I had to try to get feeds working correctly. I hope they are still working.

I started to wonder if I should just delete this blog. At this point it's more for me than anyone else. Maybe I should use medium or something and just not care about doing my own thing or any kind of backup etc..

I'm not sure how I'll like not having the wordpress interface. It was nice to just be able to login, edit preview, edit preview. As I have this new site setup I can't do that easily at the moment. There is no preview unless I have my laptop and run the build scritps so no posting from an iPhone or iPad, not that I've ever done that. It was simpler to log in then I think it is now.

I can use github to edit or add posts but I have no way to preview. Maybe I should setup a preview site but that's just more work.

I also actually wanted to pay an ISP to keep the server running and up to date but staying on wordpress meant dealing with having to manually update wordpress every month or so which was a PITA.

My hope is that given it's a static site now there really isn't much to update so I'll cross my fingers.

I also lost control of my comments. That probably doesn't matter but originally had my own comment system, then I ported those comments to wordpress. Then when I got too much spam I copied those comments to disqus but disqus magically copies the comments back into your wordpress DB so even if they disappear or get sold and change how they work you still have your comments.

But it seems like that ship has sailed as in I should just look at comments as ephemeral. Or who knows. If it ever comes to that maybe they'll have a way to export the comments. Or more likely I should just let that go.

In any case the site is now static. I'm sure there are issues and there's still a few more things I need to do but ATM it seems to be working.


No, We are not living in a Simulation


I'd heard about the "Maybe we're living in a Simulation" argument before but I had never read the details.

If I understand correctly it's basically a "follow the logic" idea.

Simulations get better all the time and as such eventually there will be universe simulators that can simulate an entire universe. Once you can do that there lots of people will run them therefore at any one time there will be millions X more simulated people than real people QED: Odds are we're simulated

This reminds me of the 1/2 way problem.

Before you can get somewhere you have to get 1/2 way there Once you reach the 1/2 point you have to get to 1/2 the remaining point (in other words, go to step 1) QED: You can never reach your destination because there's always 1/2 remaining

The logic seems to work and yet we get to our destinations all the time. Clearly there's a flaw somewhere. I think the same is true for the "We're living in a simulation" logic.

Here's where I think that flaw is. I think it's impossible to build a universe simulator. Currently it takes more than 1 atom to simulate an atom. It seems like a universe simulator would need to simulate all atoms therefore since you can't simulate all atoms without using more than all atoms you can't make a universe simulator.

Now you may say, like a video game, we don't need to simulate all of it, we only need to simulate the parts people look at. I think that's false for a universe simulator though. Video games don't actually try to simulate the real universe, they're fake, stories, they take huge shortcuts, they use "game" physics, etc. A real universe simulator though can't take those short cuts. Even if it only has to deal with observed portions of the universe those observed portions need to match real physics. That means even if no one is looking at someone part of this simulated universe, the moment they do look at it the simulator would have to compute all the physics for every atom for all of time since that part of universe was last observed until this moment so that it looks like time has passed correctly in that part of the universe. In other words the universal simulator can't take shortcuts like a video game. It has to simulate every atom, at which point we're back to it an impossible task because as pointed out above it would take more atoms to simulate atoms.

And so the flaw is clear. It's the original assumption that a universal simulator could actually exist. It can't.

Does that mean you can't have a holodeck? No, we could have holodecks, but like video games they'll take shortcuts. They won't simulate the entire universe. Take a typical video game that supports foot prints or skid marks or mud tracks, they always fade out over time, usually fairly quickly because keeping around the tracks of the player forever is just too much to compute. The same will be true of holodecks. They'll simulate some small portion of reality but not every detail and plenty of those details will be temporary. That's all great and it will be fun when we get there but it doesn't follow that from that we'll be able to simulate entire universes and all the causality needed to make them consistent which is what we'd need to simulate the universe we're in.

QED: We're not in a simulation


Getting Phished


I just got phished.

I received a suspicious PDF in email. It had a name that made it sound like something I might personally be interested in from someone I met about a year ago. No idea if that was luck or by design. Even scarier if it was by design.


Can't Figure Out Where to Be


I can't **cking decide where to go/be. I feel so stupid to have this freedom and so unable to use it effectively. I'm in Singapore at the moment. In 6 days I'm homeless again meaning I have no place to stay unless I make plans and pick a place!

I've thought about doing a vacation place like visiting Bali for a week. What will give me another week to decide yet again, where next. Going alone doesn't sound that fun to me though I have a friend that's done it. Could waste time in Australia or go back to Europe for a couple of months just to do it but it feels like I'd just be putting off deciding rather than doing something fun or constructive.

So where to actually plant some roots?

Los Angeles:

I spent 8 months last year back in LA. The first time I'd spent any long time there since 2000. It's big and sprawling. To visit friends I often had to drive 40−70 minutes. I found I hated driving in LA as well. It was super stressful.

Only good place to live IMO is west side near ocean but LA felt really lonely. No places to get work done. Every cafe was either full or I had to give up my seat in 2 hours to use the restroom. I didn't feel welcome at most places. Not really sure what that means. Maybe the fact that service workers in the USA all seem to hate their job and their customers. Compare to Japanese service workers. They may or may not hate their jobs, I have no idea, but they certainly don't let that on most of the time and always do their best to actually provide real service.

I could pick some neighborhood and get an office though that would be lonely as well. Maybe more likely to find collaborators though. There's a large indie game community in LA as well as a large art community.

Everything closes by 9:30. Want something to eat after 9:30? Fast Food and shitty American convenience stores is all there is. Compared to Tokyo I felt like I was stuck at home after about 9pm.

The weather is awesome and there's some awesome friends there. My sister and nephew are there as well and my mom for a couple of months a year.

LA now feels like a settle down place as in if I had a wife and kids and lived in some suburb where my life was play with my kids in the yard it would not be bad.

Could live on the east side where all the Asian food is and there's a few tea houses that are open late but I always feel hated by American Asians. Not my friends of course but just in general.

I tried downtown. It also felt isolating and lonely. Stepping outside seemed scary. Grocery stores seemed far. Again compared to Tokyo where most of the places I've stayed in the last couple of years there's been 3 to 6 24 hour convenience stores with actually good food open 24 hours usually less than 1−3 minutes away by walking. LA has some 24 hour grocery stores but they really aren't the place to grab a snack. The prepared foods at a 24hr Safeway are pretty horrible. Whole Foods or Trader Joes might be better but they close at 10.

San Francisco:

I have a few friends there but something about those friends so far has not been very inspiring. Sorry, that sounds horrible. Those friends are awesome, amazing and talented but for whatever reason I'm not inspired to be entrepreneurial by them so much. I only say that in comparison to a few friends in LA, Kyoto, and Tokyo. Like I feel like hanging out there is settling for a certain kind of lifestyle which is basically exist and then hang out with friends in a kind of rut like way. I suppose that ends up the same anywhere though. You get a few favorite places and just go there over and over.

SF also has the 2hr cafe problem and not enough of them. The one bright spot is the Workshop Cafe but it's full often as are many others.

SF is probably really expensive. People say a 600 sq ft apartment for 1 is now around $3000 a month!

Public transportation exists but it feels like ass. Scary people doing scary things. Last time I was a there a group of kids in the back were tearing down the ads on the bus. Ripping up the ads, pulling down the plastic dividers and hitting each other with them. Then getting out their markers and writing on the windows and seats. To a lot of Americans that sounds almost normal and like a rite of passage but having lived in safer places where people actually value the shared public interest it's actually a very poor reflection on Americans and is one of those reasons that makes me not like my country.


I don't like Japanese women. Haha. Actually to put it slightly more objectively if I go on say OkCupid the percent it claims I match based on the answers to questions goes way way WAY down. Like from lots of women in the 80−99% range when in the USA to most women being in the 30−60% range. Of course that might mean absolutely nothing and there are certainly some amazing Japanese women I've met. Rather it's just some small evidence that I'm less likely to meet someone I'm truly compatible with there. Or at least it feels that way. On the other hand I get more attention so maybe that's means the odds increase in general since I get zero attention anywhere in the USA.

Another thing about Tokyo or Japan in general is applying for a visa will be a PITA. I'll need to start a company. Which also brings up the number of potential partners and/or employees would seem to be way smaller. The stereotype is that most Japanese want a stable job at a large company. There's foreigners there but certainly the number of potential candidates is much much smaller than anywhere in the US.

On the plus side I love the late night in Tokyo. I can walk down many streets in Tokyo at 3am on a Monday night and see restaurants and bars busy with people having fun times and conversations. Where else does that happen? No where in LA or SF. Maybe NYC? Although, my impression is that's a very different scene.

There's nice, friendly, and safe Starbucks open till 4am. There's co−working spaces that are 1/2 to 1/3rd the price of anything in LA or SF or SG.

And I have lots of friends there. Or at least enough that I feel like I get to see people socially 2 or 3 times a week which is more than LA or SF. As soon as I think that though I then think "Well I can make friends anywhere. I just have to make it happen" and so I shouldn't pick Tokyo for that reason.


I've spent about 4 weeks total in Kyoto as a non−tourist. Meaning those 4 weeks I wasn't visiting temples which is the only thing I'd done the previous 5 or 6 times I'd been to Kyoto.

Kyoto isn't that small of a city. 1.5 million people is bigger than Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Munich, Brussels, Milan, Stockholm, Prague. Technically it's bigger than all but 6 cities in the USA including Dallas, San Jose, San Francisco.

But for whatever reason it feels really small. There's a core area that's only a few blocks large where most stuff seems to center around. You can bike from one side of the city to the other in 15−20 minutes. Less than SF. If you're out late a cab ride is unlikely to be more than $10−$20.

There's a large group of foreign game devs mostly because there's 3 game companies run by foreigners including Q−Games, Vitei, and 17bit. That means there's a community that's easy to jump into.

At the same time Kyoto feels a little like a place to settle down with a family more than a place to be as a single guy. I'd love to be settled down with a family but so far that hasn't happened. I've clearly got some issues there.

Kyoto also seems much cheaper than Tokyo and Tokyo cheaper than SF or LA.


I've spent a few months in Singapore. I can't really say I know it that well. My fiction is that it would be hard to find collaborators. Most people want high paying jobs in finance or IT. Singapore doesn't have any reputation for creatives whatsoever except maybe in architecture. I don't know if that has anything to do with reality but it certainly feels that way to me just from looking at what's on offer in stores, ads, campaigns etc...

It's also hot year round and everyone is fat. I'm not complaining about fat people only that I can see myself getting fat because the heat means I won't want to ever walk or go outside and the ubiquity of easy food literally EVERY seems like it would be no time before I'd gained 30lbs.

Singapore also seems boring in some ways. I've had some great time there but it really feels like all their is is shopping and eating.

Women wise my impression is I'd be more likely to meet someone there. Then of course I'd probably be stuck in SG. Maybe that would be ok though with an SO.


I've never lived there and only visited twice a week at a time. I like that there's public transportation and the busyness of megatropolis like Tokyo but it doesn't feel safe. Riding the subway in NYC is often depressing and scary. (same in SF actually). At least compared to SG or Tokyo.

There does seem to be a lot going on there related to games and I have one friend there and suspect I'd quickly make more.

The weather sounds like it sucks. Blizzards in the winter. Sweltering heat in the summer.

I guess I'm mostly intrigued as just a new experience to live somewhere new. Of course all my stereotypes also turn me away like I expect all the women want a rich guy from wall street and that NYC will be super expensive. I'll need roommates and won't be able to really experience the parts of the city that make it so attractive.


I don't even know why this is on the list. I suppose I could add a bunch of other European cities here including London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. I have no idea how I'd immigrate but I guess the excitement is just that they'd be really new experiences. Berlin in particular is supposed to be reasonably priced and I got a relatively good vibe while there. If I picked any of those except London I'd have to learn a new language but that's a also a draw.

I feel like if I had a girlfriend and she was into any of these I'd totally do it. I don't know why that feels more compelling than just going alone.

I met an American guy that lived in Kyoto for 12 years and his plan is to move to Berlin. Not sure how that's relevant except as an anecdote that others are excited about Berlin. I've heard lots of other people bring it up as one of the places they are most fond of in Europe including lots of Europeans.


On top of all of that like I mentioned above about "I can make friends anywhere". When I think how like the nightlife aspect of Tokyo and the co−working spaces another, a more logical side thinks "Why do I care about night life. It's not like I actually take advantage of it that often and as I age or if I finally meet someone it's likely to become very unimportant". Similarly with co−working spaces and cafes. Most likely I should rent an office and once I do that cafes and co−working spaces have no meaning. Of course my impression right now is even an office is cheaper and easier to rent in Tokyo or Kyoto than LA or SF or NYC. No idea how easy it is in Europe. I'd guess Berlin is easy and the rest hard.

One friend said "just pick a place and try it for a year" but like I said previously I won't plant roots if I don't commit to a place.

Some people say "make a list". Well that list is above. It's not helping.

Anyway I **cking can't decide!!


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 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.


Feeling out of place in a Record Store


The other day my sister, nephew, and I were touring around LA by subway. We decided to go check out Amoeba records which is one of the largest record/cd stores left in the USA. I'd been before but it's been years.


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".


If You Had Money?


If you had money what would you do?

Seriously think about it for a moment. If you had say $10 million what would you do? I'm guessing lots of you would buy or pay off your house or sell it and get a new one. Would you quit your job? Would you start a new job? Would you move? Would you retire? Is $10 million enough to retire? Would you teach? Or run a flower shop? Open a bar or a cafe or a club? Would you invest? In what? Buy a sports car? Blow it in Monte Carlo?


Stupid Me Yet Again



Yea, I'm upset and I know it's stupid. I met a girl last year way out of my league. I know I shouldn't say that but it's a shortcut for she's super hot and knows it and is probably used to a certain type of manly guy that I'm not. Someone who is an aggressive type A guy where as I'm mostly a "nice guy" geek.


Living out of a Suitcase


Like I mentioned before I got rid of my apartment, sold all my furniture, gave away all of my clothing except for enough to fill a suitcase, and decided to travel indefinitely until I figure out what to do next. Indefinitely could be 1 month or it could be a year or more. Basically I thought I'd keep doing this until I figured out what to do next or ran out of money. I hope it's the former.