Oahu Tips

I wanted to help a friend out with her trip to Oahu, so I decided to start compiling a list of a few favorite places.

Food

Murakame

http://www.toridollusa.com/index.php

Come here for the fresh Udon

Island Vintage Coffee

https://www.islandvintagecoffee.com/

Some of the best Acai Bowls I’ve ever had.

Matsumoto

http://matsumotoshaveice.com/

Macky’s Sweet Shrimp Truck

http://www.yelp.com/biz/mackys-sweet-shrimp-truck-haleiwa

Leonard’s Bakery

http://www.leonardshawaii.com/

Nico’s Pier 38

http://nicospier38.com/

Nisshodo Candy Store

1095 Dillingham Blvd Bldg I-5
Honolulu, HI 96817

Get the Chichi Dango!  This place might look like a warehouse, but it’s legit.

http://nisshodomochicandy.com/

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

http://www.giovannisshrimptruck.com/

4 Things You Must Do When Your Web Application Is Down [via Downhound]

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 9.10.33 AM

Downhound posted their first blog post today, and it’s an important one for Operations people to know.  Having been in operations for almost 8 years now, I’ve come to a realization that not everyone deals with outages in the same way.  There are some that will take any action possible (restart all the things) and some that investigate the problem but don’t take any action until they verify with someone.  I’ve been in both of those parties and more.

Downhound listed the following must dos:

  1. Above all, stay calm.
  2. Establish a situation room
  3. Look, but don’t touch
  4. Pause before fixing

Stressing on the need to stay calm is very important.  Junior and Senior Operations folks often get a surge of panic when a crisis hits but if you can take a deep breath and keep a cool head, figuring out the problem will be much easier.

They mention creating a new “room” for every outage.  I’ve never tried that and maybe I will some day.  However, I do like having a dedicated situation room that I can refer back to when assessing a new outage.  Slack rooms are technically free and unlimited, but I like being able to search one room for keywords and commands used previously.

The third “do” is pretty important.  This is the fact gathering stage where you figure out what is wrong with the system.  It’s important to assess why there is an issue.  Although, on one of these fact finding missions, I’ve accidentally cat’ed a large file instead of running a tail.

Pausing before fixing gives you the opportunity to think of the repercussions of your fix.  “Will there be a split brain scenario?” “What happens if you rerun that script?” “How long will this take?”  Often times that last question forces you to think about a long term vs a short term fix.  You might be able to get away with turning off puppet and manually editing a config file to get out of the hurdle and then turning around and editing the puppet files to make the config stick.

It’s also very important to remember that complaining, blaming and making fun of technical issues during the outage doesn’t help.  When SHTF you should fix the problem now and critique later.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Speculation from a Notebook Cover

http://i.giphy.com/Hk04hIz9UENuo.gif

The internet is funny.  How does someone figure out a very crucial tragic event from a screenshot on a notebook?  This photo has huge potential spoilers so if you are sensitive to such things, please move on.

Click here to see the image and read the rumor.

NBA Finals 2015 Champions Golden State Warriors!

061615_GM6_Recap_900

Congratulations to the Warriors for their amazing win over the Cleveland Cavaliers!  I haven’t been this excited about basketball since I was maybe 10 years old.  I can’t call myself a true Warriors fan, but I’m definitely a Bay Area sports supporter.

The Warriors definitely played as a team.  Beautiful passing, excellent defense, and exciting shooting really made this an amazing game.  There wasn’t a moment where I felt like Curry was hogging the ball or “Iggy” was carrying the team.

In contrast, the Cavs looked messy.  The first three games were exciting because they looked alive.  But, the Warriors have “Strength in Numbers” and it really showed.  It was interesting seeing a difference between game 3 and game 4 where Dellavadova was harassing Curry all day to looking way too tired to really do much of anything.  Lebron definitely tried to carry the team on his back, but he was looking pretty tired near the end, too.  I wonder what it would have been like if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were there to play.

To be honest, I was hoping for a game 7 to continue the excitement but I am really happy with the win on game 6.  I kept rooting for the Cavs to close the gap and bring the game closer.  Don’t hate me, I just like watching a good game.  I even kept texting #DubsOn7 to different people.  It was a hashtag I saw ABC7 display on the first 2 games, which I think they took down. =(

Anyways, again, congratulations Warriors! Thanks for bringing more Trophies to the Bay!  And thank you fellow fans for not bringing the violence to our city!

 

Microsoft’s Xbox One E3 2015 Press Conference

Is console gaming back?  I haven’t really played hardcore on console for the past 3 years.  I played Skyrim here and there, finished Arkham Asylum, started GTAV, but it was all pretty casual.  I’m watching the MS E3 Press Conference and off the top of my head, I’m pretty excited to see Gears of War 4, HoloLens, and Halo 4.

Sam and I have been huge fans of the Halo series.  It’s actually the first “hardcore” game I had her play when we first started dating.  I remember the days she started running around and aiming her gun at the sky, not really sure how to move her head yet.  Then, she grew into this hardcore multiplayer, demanding SWAT no shields BR every time.

It looks like for Halo 5, they are taking a squad based shooter approach.  From the footage, you are one of 4 Spartans trying to find out what happened to Master Chief.  According the the Podcast that Microsoft has been producing, it sounds like MC has gone Rogue and in the campaign you are trying to find out what has happened to him.

The multiplayer modes seem to have your standard squad vs squad matchups and will include a SWAT-like “Breakout” mode which will feature a 1 life competitive mode that encourages communication between players.

The next cool thing they showed that caught my eye was the Hololens with Minecraft.  I don’t play Minecraft, but what they were doing was blowing my mind.  How much of it was smoke and mirrors? I don’t know.  But, if they can really pull this off at home, I’d really like the chance to try it.

And finally, they ended the game with a preview to Gears of War 4.  It was a quick demo bringing you back into the universe as a new character named JD.  The footage showed what seems like 2 characters working together instead of a squad of 4.  The enemies were bigger and scarier than before.

[Battle Report] Imperial Assault The Spice Run Review

A long, long time ago (on Wednesday), we continued our Hot Imperial Nights campaign with ‘The Spice Run.’  In this mission, the reward is to have Chewbacca as a permanent ally that the rebels can call into battle.

Chris Chiuey as Gaarkhan
Larry Hobiwan Kenobi as Fenn Signis
Lanakin Ikaiwalker as Mak Eshka’rey
Samdo Calrissian Lee as Gideon Argus

Emperor Palpa-King as the Imperials

In this mission, Chewbacca is deeply concerned with Han Solo’s debt with Jabba the Hutt.  He decides to organize a team to steal some Spice to relieve some of the heat on his friend.  Leading a group into a spice factory, Chewbacca hits the guard at the door smashes the door in and the mission begins.

End of Mission Triggers

1. All 6 Spice Barrels are recovered
2. Round 5 ends
3. All heroes are wounded and Chewbacca is defeated

I was pretty excited for this mission.  There was a little ‘hide the queen’ game and it gave me the opportunity to control a diverse group of figures.  The initial deployment consisted of an elite Nexu, elite Trandoshians, and a Probe Droid.  The mission allowed me to start the game with twice the amount of Threat level increase, 4 Threat at this point in the game.  I decided to deploy a second Nexu to annoy the heck out of these guys.

The first part of the mission, the heroes needed to find the yellow keycard.  When deploying the Trandoshians and the Probe Droid, I needed to place tokens under them with one of them holding the keycard.

The heroes made their way through all the Nexu figures, and eventually killed the 2 Trandoshians.  With the tokens on the floor, I decided to create a diversion with the Probe Droid by sending him as far away as possible.  It worked by splitting part of their group there to waste some turns.  Eventually, the heroes picked up the keycard which triggered an increase in Threat level.  After the heroes finished readying themselves to complete the rest of the I deployed some Stormtroopers.

The heroes opened the door, which revealed an additional E-Web Engineer (Stormtrooper on a turret).  I moved the Stormtroopers in to start boxing in the doorway.  This seemed to work at first, until they started taking advantage of Chewbacca’s Slam to move Troopers away.

 

[Battle Report] Imperial Assault Aftermath Mission Review

 

Chris “Chiu-y” Chiu, Larry “Last Ho-pe” Ho, Ikai Lan “Solo”, “The Commanda” Samantha Lee and I started the Imperial Assault campaign.  Here’s a battle report and quick review.

Chris as Gaarkhan
Larry as Fenn Signis
Ikai as Mak Eshka’rey
Samantha as Gideon Argus

Kingston as the Imperials

The campaign starts with some flavor text setting the theme of the campaign.  It’s after the events of Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope.  The Rebels have just destroyed the Death Star and the Imperials seek revenge against them.  An Imperial beacon begins a broadcast on an Imperial outpost near the Rebel base on Yavin 4.  An elite Rebel team is dispatched to silence the signal.

The first mission starts with guns blazing.  The Rebels deploy directly in front of a group of Stormtroopers, an Imperial officer and a probe droid.  Their mission is to break in to the Imperial outpost and destroy all of the broadcast terminals.

Click here to see the events during the mission.

The Rebels were successful in stopping all broadcasts from the Imperial outpost causing the Imperial forces to fall into a hasty retreat.

Click here to see the rewards.

This first mission was great.  The players started and ended knowing that they needed to work together to complete the mission.  I am not a good Game Master so having the flavor texts and triggers spelled out for me was very useful.  The game felt balanced, I was 1 turn away from winning for the Imperials.

Tomorrowland Movie Review

Tomorrowland-logo

Tomorrowland is a movie starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson and directed by Brad Bird.  Leading up to the release, I had no idea what to expect.  Was it a movie about the district at Disneyland with the same name or was it a movie about the hidden stories inside of Tomorrowland?  No. Well, sort of.

Tomorrowland-Syd-Mead-Concept-Art

The world that Disney brings you into is amazing.  Robots that can repair anything, people flying around with jetpacks, and life-like animatronics, you almost wish you were there.  Almost.  It’s clean and wonderful.  But there’s too much control.

I found the movie pretty weak on the surface.  There was a lot of dialogue and hidden metaphor that made the movie seem dull.  It felt like the movie wasn’t really trying to have too many lows and too many highs.  The main villain didn’t really seem like he should have been the villain.

It wasn’t until Sam and I started to discuss the events of the movie that we started to really interpret the messaging and hidden symbols.  In the end, Tomorrowland is a call to action for a better tomorrow.  A high budget PSA on what is happening to the world today and what we can do to fix it.

One thing I love is a good movie soundtrack and this one does not disappoint.  Closing my eyes and listening to the music, I feel like I’m wandering around Disneyland and just enjoying the atmosphere.  Very well done Disney, exactly what I expected from you.

Overall, the movie barely hits the mark.  My recommendation if you are debating on whether to watch this in theaters is to wait until it comes out on BluRay, DVD or streaming.  Disney fans will love the innovative special effects, Eiffel tower scene, and music.

Music Mondays – Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs

Taylor Swift Playlist

While talking to Samantha about what I should start writing about on my blog, I started going through my Drafts and one called “My Favorite John Mayer Songs”.  That post will be written soon, but I wanted to show some love to everyone’s favorite Country-turned-Pop-Singer-Songwriter Taylor Swift.  I wanted to go through her entire catalogue including features, parodies and live covers but I’ll stick to songs credited with her as the main singer.

As I went through all of her albums to write this, I started with a “this is too country” attitude.  As I went from Fearless to Speak Up, I started throwing up my arms and exclaiming “Too many good songs!”  I’m sure a lot of you diehard Swifies are starting to type in the comments about your favorite songs from her 2006 self named album.  Obviously, your country taste is better than mine.

One of the things that I really love about Taylor Swift’s music is the story that her lyrics create.  I’m sitting here, jamming out and dreaming up all the scenarios that must have created songs long ‘Sparks Fly‘ or ‘Speak Now‘.  I’ve gone through my first pass of all the Taylor Swift and I now have a playlist of 29 songs to filter through.  This is hard.  Oh cool she talks about dragons in ‘Long Live‘.

And here it is in no particular order:

Whittling down all of Taylor Swift’s songs to my favorite ten was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  What are your ten favorite Taylor Swift songs?

There's an exciting world out there, and I want to conquer it.