“The Guest House” by the 13th-century poet Rumi

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Poem by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks


Vagrant+Puppet is AMAZING!

vagrant-up

At my work on my team, we have five main developers. Two of us are on Mac, while the other three are on Windows. I, as a front end guy in the group, am advocating for SASS/Compass be used prominently on the redesign, like in depth use (great book btw). There is one little problem — workflow. To be able to developed locally, SCSS require pre-compiling, and it uses ruby. Mac comes with ruby, but Windows does not. Grunt could do it, but then you need node.js/npm. If I want everyone on my team to have it, I need to install all of those (ruby/sass/compass/node/npm/grunt)… that would be just way too much customization/potential places to break.

Enter Vagrant and puppet. It is just amazingly awesome. You can create a linux machine on VirtualBox – which is an open source VM. I am running latest puppet-enabled ubuntu box available from puppetlab, which is Ubuntu 13.10 (saucy Salamander).

Dealing with Vagrant really tickled my inner linux nerd-ness. Once upon a time, I was involved with running a group called BJLUG, Boston Japanese Linux Users Group — this was way back when, when you still had to pay for Apple’s CJK Language Pack to have Japanese installed on your machine, and I figured out that if you use linux, it was FREE to write email back to Japan etc. There were certainly a lot of LUGs back then. Not sure if they are around any more.

I learned how to install puppets, thanks to my colleague Kevin D. who patiently walked me through it, and was able to create box with apache and the likes.

Now we all need to download, and then just run vagrant up and vagrant provision. And your local scss changes, on your filesystem, using your favorite text editor on your OS, will be watched and css is compiled without any additional work. This is beautiful.

The Vagrant CLI documentation was useful for me, who have not used Vagrant before.

Some useful command:

  • vagrant up – Start the VM
  • vagrant provision – Provisions the VM
  • vagrant ssh – Logs into the VM with ssh
  • vagrant reload --provision – Restarts and provisions the VM
  • vagrant suspend and vagrat resume – If you don’t want fully shut the VM down
  • vagrant halt – Stops the VM
  • vagrant destroy – Deletes the VM

Actually, first time I saw use of vagrant was WordPress VIP team’s quick start. It includes all their server hosting environment. They do good work there over at VIP. And also there are ways to have local WordPress environment in vagrant such as Varying Vagrant Vagrants (VVV) environment. I am still using MAMP for my local wordpress theme/plugin development (when I have “free time”) but perhaps I should reconsider it. For new version of Daigo.org theme?
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Slashathon! My third hackathons in 10 days.

slashathon

SXSW was pretty awesome. Total geek out. I have to go though all my notes, but it was very good. Meeting Brian Holt from Reddit was definitely the highlight, and went to two hackathons, first the Hackathon For Social Good, and then Slashathon! It was pretty cool. Event was held at Capital Factory in Austin, and the place was gorgeous. We had a plane to catch, but I kept coding in the airport… final product looked like this: Groupieology. SeatGeek’s API is pretty amazing: it requires no API Key, unlimited and very eimple to use. Including the Baseball Hack Day the Saturday before, it was my third hackathon in 10 days. My buddy Kevin Davis was a good sport and attended all three with me. Pretty crazy stuff.

Have not had a chance to use it, but this service, import.io sounds really cool. I need to check it out and see if I can use it for some hacks in the future.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:

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In Austin TX for SXSW! Hackathon for Social Good and more.

SXSW2014

Arrived last Wednesday at Austin, Texas. Pretty pumped. I am looking forward to meeting smart, motivated people and get inspired. If you are baseball enthusiasts, front end dev, or just good citizen of earth who are also in Austin for SXSW, shout out at @DaigoFuji and let’s meet up!

On Thursday, I attended Hackathon for Social Good at Adaptive Path, organized by Web Visions. It was very cool. It was the first hackathon where you already had a project and there is an assigned project manager. We created a js-Google Doc driven time line for history of Jewish Music for a non-profit, Idelsohn Society. Pretty random but came out pretty cool.

Off to SXSW!


2014 Boston Baseball Hack Day was awesome

I had an awesome time last weekend at Boston Baseball Hack Day! 33 people. 8 project. More to coem later, but it was great time, met tons of very inspiring smart people. Technology and Baseball, two of my passion combined. Awesome.

baseballhackday-logo-2014

I’m going to write up about it little more later.

Following is links that I liked. Some unrelated to BBHD.
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I like to eat

I had an amazing food at Ming Tsai’s new restaurant Blue Dragon last night. I had a wonderful time with my Valentine, Jennifer (I love you).

Here is what we had.

Course 1
Local Oysters 2 ways
oyster
Tempura with Avocado Purée &
On The Half Shell with Beet Mignonette, Yuzu and Caviar

Course 2
Peking-Glazed Squab Breast
Foie Gras “Dirty” Fried Rice and Juniper Sauce

squab

Course 3
Lamb Loin Roulade with Root Vegetable Gratin
Black Truffle-Mushroom Ragout

lamb

Course 4
Double Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
cookie

I do eat out a lot (I have spotted 1,046 food items on my foodspotting so far), but most the time, I look for cheap food, so it may have been one of the most expensive night out. I think it was worth it — kind of food that I would expect to have if I spend a lot of money — it was like explosions of flavors. Blue Dragon may have become my favorite place to go.

We were also having this sake: Kikusui Funaguchi Ichiban Shibori, Nama genshu, Honjozo.
funaguchi-kikusui

It was pretty delicious. Kikusui home page, and rakuten shopping page.

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Beautiful slice of life from Tokyo

(Articles that I liked: Friday, January 24, 2014)

Adam Magyar, Stainless – Shinjuku from Adam Magyar on Vimeo.

Shinjuku Station is the Guinness World Records registered busiest transport hub of the world (according to Wikipedia.) I have been there and it is really amazing. This high-speed/slow-motion video Stainless – Shinjuku from Adam Magyar captures the moment that train rolls in. It is quite amazing. Beautiful. Also from this blog, you can see the presentation on the artist, how he did it.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:

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Challenges for Japanese pitchers.

farrell-matsuzaka

John Farrell worked closely with Daisuke Matsuzaka on his transition to American style of baseball

Masahiro Tanaka, sadly, is a Yankee. Over the weekend, World Series Champion Boston Red Sox’s manager, John Farrell took questions from audience at Boston Chapter of Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) meeting at the Baseball Tavern in Boston, January 20, 2014. I was there in the audience and was able to ask Farrell a question about Tanaka (around 19:10) and just blogged about it. Read it over at blogs.japanesaeballplayers.com post “John Farrell on Masahiro Tanaka and challenges for Japanese players

Hear the entire session here:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130805020″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

I was there in the audience and was able to ask Farrell a question (around 19:10). He was with Daisuke Matsuzka as the pitching coach of the Boston Red Sox from 2007 to 2010. He experienced a Japanese pitcher’s transition to MLB first hand. I asked him, what would it take for Masahiro Tanaka to be successful in US?

Here is Farrell’s answer:
There are number of things that they are going to encounter here for the first time.
In Japan there is one time zone, here, we are transitioning three.
You got a composition of the mound. In Japan, it is sand-based and your feet slide a little bit, as supposed to clay mound here. It puts more stress on lower half, they are going to have to condition themselves physically for that.
The baseball is completely different. The surface of the Japanese baseball is tacky, it’s sticky. Here, it is rubbed up with mud, there is a film to it and it’s much more slippery.
The strength of the line up that they are going to face in States versus the line up in Japan, not being condescending in anyway, but there is a difference.
The strike zone, I think here, it can be smaller more consistently.
And the fact is that they go from pitching once a week, to now every five days. So there are number of things that is challenging and It will be interesting to see how Tanaka transitions.

But in terms of overall game execution, the ability to use the fastball here in the States, I think, is much more important than it may be in Japan. Just that being different styles of pitching. Now there is a willingness to use the whole count there where they may throw a 2-1 breaking ball and pitch to the full count little bit more than we will. There is less strictness for pitch counts there. Largely because there is more recovery time, you are pitching every 7 days versus every 5th day. There are number of things that will challenge him regardless of the talent that he comes here with.

It is very interesting. Listing to the whole conversation by poressing the play button on the embeded player. People also asked him about Koji Uehara.

As I write this post, there is a news that Masahiro Tanaka signed a seven year, $155 million contract with the New York Yankees. Tanaka will be the 7th Japanese Yankee, following Hideki Irabu, Hideki Matsui, Kei Ihawa, Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro Suzuki. Yankees also have a prospect in Gosuke Katoh who was the 66th pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.


Learning from successful people

(Articles that I liked: Friday, January 17, 2014)
Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson on HBR was quite good. The post was from 2011, but it was linked recently from some blog post that I was reading. I should look at this list time to time.

  1. Get specific
  2. Seize the moment to act on your goals
  3. Know exactly how far you have left to go
  4. Be a realistic optimist
  5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good
  6. Have grit
  7. Built your willpower muscle
  8. Don’t tempt fate
  9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

NYTimes’s redesign thoughts (Behind the Scenes on the NYT Redesign) was also quite interesting. Liked this quote by Eitan Konigsburg:

[Rebuilding of the technical foundation] includes using Github instead of SVN for version control, Vagrant environments, Puppet deployment, using requireJS so five different versions of jQuery don’t get loaded, proper build/test frameworks, command-line tools for generating sprites, the use of LESS with a huge set of mixins, a custom grid framework, etc.

We are doing a lot of the same stuff. Good stuff.

They also sounds like they had a goal all along, specified. See the number one of that top list there?

  • Be faster.
  • Have a more flexible and adaptive presentation.
  • Have consistency across platforms.
  • Make the site easier to for the newsroom to produce and maintain.
  • Make it easier for our readers to read, navigation, share and explore.
  • Maintain and convert subscribers.
  • Create a high-quality advertising environment.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the two weeks worth of links:

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Leveling up in the game of life

(Articles that I liked: Friday, January 3, 2014)

dragon-quest

This is the game that I really, really, really really liked when I was kid. Dragon Quest by Enix. (English wiki page)

A Happy New Year.

Yes, it is beginning of the year and it is so typical/predictable of me, but I am trying out a new methods that I heard from a friend, nerdfitness.com, and decided to level up in my life in 2014.

So here’s what we can do in real life: identify the badasses who are higher levels than you, who already are what you want to become. Then learn from them!

I am not calling it a new years resolution, because those usually don’t last.

To be specific, I am hovering over 200 lbs now and I’d like to be under 190 lbs and keep it there. To do so, I am going back to practicing Aikido (2014 goal: Pass 3rd-Kyu Rank Test) and am leaning toward doing Paleo Diet — meaning not completely eliminating food that are not allowed (like Soft Drinks, Fruit Juices, Legumes i.e. peanuts, Grains, Fatty Meats, Salty Foods, Starchy Vegetables, Snacks, Energy Drinks, Sweets), but rather “limiting” them. For example, I am Japanese and can’t completely eliminate rice. I am going haiga rice first, and eventually maybe moving towards brown rice (yuck!). But, can I reduce the amount or donuts that I eat? Sure, I can. No soft drinks and energy drinks ever again. Sure. The diet calls for no beer/alcohol, but well, again, limiting not eliminating. I can Still eat all meats, all fish/seafood, fruits and veggies, Eggs, nuts.

And I am going to go on a vacation, either a cruise or all-inclusive trip. And am finally going to apply for my citizenship before I turn 40! Clock is ticking. I have 5 month.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:

Continue reading…