Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Custom fortune cookie time!

This is a slightly leftfield post, but it was so entertaining that I couldn’t help but share it.

Mission: Custom developer fortune cookies for the Chinese New Year!
Why: Giving your developers a good laugh with relevant fortune cookie messages

We have a pretty awesome development team and we celebrate a diverse number of events. The Chinese New Year was approaching and the group were in the preparatory step of asking everyone to bring a dish… Note that I find all kinds of interesting ways of squirrelling out of bringing anything (the only thing I know how to bake is textures in a computer game :)). For this event I jokingly said I would bring fortune cookies.

Buying a bag of fortune cookies is such a cop-out, so here’s an alternative idea – make your own.

What you’ll need:

  • A fortune cookie recipe – they’re remarkably easy to make
  • Relevant fortune cookie messages, here is my template
    • We spent 20 minutes racking our brains for funny messages, it’s definitely the best part!
  • About 2 hours trying to not singe your fingers while folding the cookies

Happy New Year everyone!

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CloudGraphs: Part 2 – The CloudGraphs Architecture

The first of the CloudGraphs series introduced the problem statement: Let’s represent this nifty localization data in a cloudy graph database so that it can be distributed across a cloud system. This article follows up with the preliminary architecture, attempting to answer the ‘how’ and ‘why’. Why each technology in the first post’s stack? Well, let’s start with the informal ‘back-of-napkin’ architecture diagram below.

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Clouds and Giggles: Introduction to the CloudGraphs Project

In the interest of a bit of learning and initiating some public projects on SemiSorted, we’re taking on a cloud-based project! Dehann Fourie in the MIT CSAIL lab is working on a really impressive open-source pose estimation framework, and the idea is to learn cloud technologies by growing it into a distributed cloud solution. This whole project is a learning curve in Neo4j, MongoDB, CloudFoundry, and JuliaLang, and the articles will be written in the same way the project was executed: with haphazard enthusiasm and a bit (~lot) of hackery.

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Travel: Michigan Ice Fest

After all the running last year, I’m kinda marathoned out. To be honest, the sight of running shoes is enough to reignite the pre-ulcers from Gu overload, and to aggravate the permanent chafe scars in places innomable (french for “heck, don’t ask”).

So I’ve run out of running… at least for 2016.

Which means: *POOF*, around 20 hours/week of running training suddenly freed up. For me at least, the training is a respite from heavy the keyboard work, a re-centering. A necessary re-alignment. Without the stringent running schedule, the early part of 2016 involved drifting around like a sports Bedouin, aimlessly wandering from discipline to discipline, trying to find my oasis. My personal golden ratio is: for every 8-10 hours of heavy, ‘thinky’ work I need at least 1 hour of running, boxing, climbing, yoga, cycling, snowboarding, whatever. I require that “whatever”. Without it, sleep is like the elusive 7-minute mile, and cue the insomnia-induced blogging, anime marathon sessions, with a steady decline into daytime zombie/night-time web-crawler-cult-scifi-reader ‘what-the-heck-are-you-doing-on-facebook-at-3am’ guy.

Nope… need to train.

So I started messaging friends, asking about fun events.

Me: “Long time, no speak, how’s the climbing going? Anything fun on the calendar?”
Miri: “Hey, what are you up to next weekend? We’re going ice-climbing.”
Me: “Isn’t that dangerous?”
Miri: “No idea, but sounds like fun, right?”
Me: “I’m in! You had me at ‘next weekend’.”

Cue: Michigan Ice Fest!

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Seori – My learnings on mentoring

Mentoring.

Between you and I, I always feel like the youngest in a group. It may be younger brother syndrome, or from the fact that I don’t want to be an expert because it means I will soon start plateauing. My older brother said something memorable when we were teenagers: if you want to be a good pool player, find the meanest guy in the pool hall and challenge him until you win. Generally, it seems, I naturally gravitate toward being the noob challenger rather than the expert.

Either way, for 2015, I was tasked with doing a bit of mentoring/coaching. *Clap/rub hands* Right, so, where to start?

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Honolulu + Kauai + Kalalau Trail

The only way to experience Hawaii 🙂

– Sam

Ethereal Beings

It’s not going to be relaxing and it’s not going to be normal … my last words before leaving in case anyone got any fancy ideas about me going to Hawaii for a vacation.

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Honolulu:
Arrive. No plan.
Sam searches for an uber sans luck.
Michelle walks over to the lone tourist bus,
“Hey, can I ask you sumpin’?”
“Wuts up?” says Nelly, a local bus driver no more than 25 years old.
Nelly, totally ghetto gangster with hushed expletives, tattoos ablaze from knuckles to neckline, new to professional bus driving stopped to say hi to friends, made the delay totally worth the people watch.
She hustles us all the way to Pensacola Street where we’re staying even though she was supposed to drop us in the hotel district at Ala Moana.
Her 2 year old girl just broke her collarbone also. I told her she’ll heal up in no…

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