Saturday, October 2, 2010

A New Home

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting to this blog much lately. Well, there's certainly a good reason for that.

I've moved!

Yep, remember that old Tumblr I was experimenting with? That's the my new blog now. You can find it here:

Over time, I'll slowly be converting everything to the new blog, and hopefully, everything will be routed properly to there.

So, fix your bookmarks and feed readers! And let me know what you think of the new place!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Moldable Silicone = Hacking Fun

I've recently discovered this product called sugru, and it seems pretty awesome. It's pretty much moldable silicone that cures at room temperature. Imagine the cool hacks you could do with it... custom rubber grips, patching leaky... things, custom rubber cases for certain death-grip phones. I almost want to buy some just to see what all I can do with the stuff! I definitely have ideas for improving the crappy grips on my Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto and Uni-ball Jetstream 2 & 1 multi-function pens.

On the sugru site, they even have a gallery of hacking ideas for you, in case you run out.

Anyone else out there have any cool ideas or uses for this stuff?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Social Networking Tweak

So, if you haven't seen it yet, I have updated my blog layout! I have really been wanting to design a minimalistic blog, and with Blogger's new design editor, and a little bit of modifications done by yours truly, I think I've finally been able to pull off the look I've been wanting. What do you think? Oh, and are there any weird coding problems, let me know so I can fix them.

Actually, there's been quite a lot of changes going around here. Recently, I have been attempting to get my social networking sites all in order. Although I'm not entirely sure if it's effective, I'd like to share with you my goal in organizing these sites.

First of all, let me lay down the social networking sites I primarily use and the goals for their use:
  • Facebook - A more personal and intimate hub for what's going on with me, Facebook will be primarily for close friends and family. So, if I've deleted you from my friends recently, please don't be offended. You can easily follow me elsewhere for updates.
  • Twitter - I'll be using this as a public, quick, anything-goes status update.
  • Flickr - For pictures I feel comfortable sharing with the world and posting directly to my blog. As soon as I get a mobile phone with a good camera, I'll be posting more, I hope!
  • YouTube - I'm not overly active over at YouTube, hopefully I will be soon; again, when I get a decent mobile phone. Right now, it's just full of subscriptions I follow and whatnot. Probably boring for most of my readers.
  • Picasa - As my Picasa album is nearly full and I'm unwilling to pay a monthly fee for expanding my capacity, it's simply a dead archive at this point. I am, however, considering other solutions for sharing photos, such as DivvyShot or Facebook (for friends and family only, of course). But with great Blogger integration, it's rather hard to give up.
  • Google Reader - I cannot begin to tell you how much I love Google Reader -- but that's for another post. As I go through my daily feeds, I occasionally share items I think are rather interesting. So publicly, G. Reader a direct access to all articles I want to share with the world.
The setup:

My blog will serve as the main outlet for my personal content: articles, thoughts and other larger updates going on in my life. And, as most bloggers say they do, I'd really like to start writing (or at least posting) in my blog more often.

Media content will be retrieved from Flickr and YouTube to enhance the blog. And from there, information about my blog will be sent to Facebook and Twitter, where Followers can be redirected to my blog.

Shared information and other fun stuff, such as from Google Reader, goes directly into Facebook and I have to manually send those links to Twitter (as Twitter is more public and you know what they say about online reputations).

Thankfully, a lot of this is automated due to a variety of services, such as FriendFeed, a lifestreaming service, and FeedBurner, a service from Google designed to enhance your feeds.

Is it an effective way of managing my social content?

Hm, that could be a tough one to answer. It does feel rather sloppily put together. Ideally, I would like to use one main service to manage everything, rather than making use several automatic "helper" services.

In the meantime, this is my aim to get things in order. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Christmas Vacation in Okinawa

So, it's quite a few months late, but I'm finally getting around to posting our Christmas vacation album. For Christmas vacation, Kassie and I decided to visit Okinawa - the tropical island in southern Japan.

Despite looking so tiny on the map, Okinawa is actually larger than it looks. It's very different from the main island of Japan as well - that's not surprising being it used to be it's own kingdom since the 1860's. And because of the American military base there, the Okinawan people are quite used to (and very friendly toward) foreigners. The taxi drivers were a lot pushier as well.

There are no trains or subways, which are practically all over in Japan, but there is a single monorail that goes up and down the length of Naha, Okinawa's capital. I personally think it would be nice if it went up and down the length of the entire island. But the monorail was nice and clean and thus looked fairly new. Such an idea may be on the drawing board for the future.

Other than that, tourists have to rely on busses, taxis, or rental cars to get around. Here are some photo highlights from our trip:

Enjoying the local cuisine. Lobster, yum!

A rainy outdoor scene at Okinawa World

At a university near Shuri Castle

Arial view of Okinawa

A beach

More beach

Downtown shopping area of Naha.

Goya champuru - bitter, but delicious!

Kassie and I managed to get off the island of Okinawa and took a plane to Ishigaki island. Then took a ferry to Iriomote island - a very tiny and quiet island where about 80% is wild, protected forests. Only a single road runs along the coast that takes about an hour to travel - we read that there is only one gas station, too. It is also quite famous for the Iriomote cat, an undomesticated feline about the size of a house cat native only to this tiny island.

I was hoping to spot an Iriomote cat, but because of their nocturnal lifestyle and our limited time, we were unable to spot one. I heard it was quite rare, anyway. Interestingly enough, I did manage to spot one of my junior high school students all the way down here!

Anyway, here's some photos from Iriomote island:

Overall, it was quite a pleasant experience. We probably enjoyed the warm weather the most, despite raining half the trip. We'd definitely visit again. Hopefully we'll get the chance to spend more time in Iriomote when we do - a few days of relaxation and spend some time in the only natural onsen in the Ryuku Islands!

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Update

Okay, so yeah... it's been a while. But you know how things go.

My contract in Japan is over now and I'm back in America. We had some time off before we went back and ended spending a lot of time in Tokyo (saw some Kabuki) and even Korea. It was a lot of fun. Pictures soon, I hope (I know, I know... still working on those Okinawa pictures from December). Working on visiting the folks, friends and finding a job, but since Kassie became sick, it's been a little difficult.

But I'm back! I'm hoping to get back in touch with a lot of friends that I haven't seen for a long time. You know who you are.

Lots of cool news has been coming out lately -- I've been active on my Twitter stream about it, but hopefully I'll get to posting some more impressions soon.

It's good to be back!