How Does a Web Software Engineer Land on the Moon?

I just finished the book Failure is Not an Option by Gene Kranz. It is a firsthand experience about the trials and tribulations of the U.S. space program in the 1960’s that ultimately resulted in humanity landing on the Moon. I am still reeling with emotion and inspiration after finishing the book a few hours ago.

Hearing about the titanic challenges faced by the flight teams and the bravery shown in the face of absolute risk and uncertainty for the dream of humanity stepping onto the Moon, was nothing short of incredible. I fought back tears in the final chapter of the book as it described the author signing off the final Apollo 17 mission with the future of the space program in doubt.

Read More

Share

Boredom, the Disregarded Fuel of Productivity and Creativity

If you were dropped on a deserted island (let’s call it Island 1) that is absolutely barren, aside from an unlimited buffet and an empty cabin with a huge stack of paper and some pens. After the novelty of the buffet wore off, how long would it take for you to get so bored that you start writing, drawing, folding the paper, or playing with the food and making different things? How long would it take for you to start creating and producing things?

Now imagine a clone of that island (let’s call this one Island 2) except along with the cabin, buffet, pen and paper, you have a magical rock. This magical rock is the gateway to an endless catalog of entertainment, media, books, shows, news, comics, articles, games.

Now how long would it take for you to start creating and producing things on Island 2, and how would you feel about it?


Read More

Share

Living for a Month in Shanghai

I arrived in Shanghai via train on February 6th, 2019; I did not know that this would be the last stop on my trip. I came into this city with a different mindset. I didn’t care to explore or see the sights here, I wanted a place to call home for a while, so that I wouldn’t have to be constantly planning where I was going to sleep the follow week. I also wanted to see if I would enjoy living in a busy urban city like Shanghai. I’ve traveled many times to similar metropolises but I always wanted to try my hand at living in one. So I rented a tiny little apartment for 1 month, got a 1 month gym membership, and just lived here for albeit a brief period of time.

Read More

Share

A Trip Down Memory Lane in Shijiazhuang, China

From Osaka, I left Japan for Shijiazhuang, China to visit the city where I was born. I wanted to go visit my relatives and spend Chinese New Year with them because I’ve never visited during this time before and the last time I spent Chinese New Year in China was when I was in kindergarten. Although I had visited Shijiazhuang a handful of times before, this time felt different. It felt like a trip down memory lane.

Read More

Share

Fresh Perspectives on Going Back To a Full Time Job

Nearly 2 years ago, I decided to quit my job and chase my dreams (yes cliche, but I don’t care). What drove me to do it, despite having a great job and healthy lifestyle was because I felt unfulfilled. It didn’t matter how good my life looked ‘on paper’ something was deeply wrong and I felt like I was stuck in a repetitive loop headed towards nowhere. I published my thoughts in this blog post Quitting my Dream Job at Blizzard back in 2018.

Next week I will be starting a full time job again as a Software Engineer, this time at Amazon. Aside from the normal nervousness of starting a new job, I’m oddly excited and happily looking forward to going back to the same kind of 9-5 job in which I felt so unfulfilled just 2 years ago. ‘On paper’ you can say that my life is going back to where it was 2 years ago, but I feel none of the dread nor the looming dissatisfaction. Am I crazy or did something fundamentally change? I think it’s the latter and this post is an exploration into what changed over the past 2 years, during which I traveled for 6 months and then started my own business, that made it so I could look forward to the same day to day routine that I used to dread.

Read More

Share

Pit Stop in Osaka and Nara Deer Park

I was debating between Kyoto or Osaka as my next destination after I left Takayama. At this point I was getting tired of exploring and I wanted to go to a place where I wouldn’t feel the need to be out all the time doing something or seeing something. So I decided that Osaka was the place I needed to go, whereas in Kyoto I would feel the need to go out and explore, which I didn’t have the energy anymore to do.

Read More

Share

Internet Addiction and Well-being While Stuck at Home

I don’t know how I ended up here. It’s late in the day, I just wanted to relax for a little bit. So I went on Reddit, browsed around, then instinctually typed in facebook.com, then checked the news and clicked into a couple YouTube videos. But now it’s hours later and I finally wrench myself away from my screen for a second of self reflection: My eyes are sore, and I have a headache from looking into a glowing screen for hours. This was not how I intended to spend my day, I had goals, things I needed to do that would have moved my life forward, but now I’m exhausted, I have a headache, and I don’t feel like I have enough time and energy left to do what I need to do today.

How did this happen? All I wanted to do was relax for a bit but after all of that I feel everything but relaxed. My mind feels scattered, I find myself feeling negative about the world and the society around me. My body is not refreshed and energized, instead it feels lazy and sluggish despite being at ‘rest’ all day.

Read More

Share

Pivoting to Lesser Known Places - Takayama, Japan

When I checked out of my hostel in Fujikawaguchio, I saw a binder filled with tips on how to get to different places in Japan from that hostel. While flipping through it, I decided that instead of going to Kyoto like I had originally planned, I was going to go to a city I never heard of, just to explore and see what I would find. Takayama caught my eye because getting there would take me across the middle of Japan, down along the west coast of the island, and back towards the central mountainous region. It sounded like an interesting train ride to a brand new place. So I made the pivot on a whim and headed to Takayama.

In Takayama, I learned an important lesson about exploration, travel and to some extent about life: We don’t necessarily need to find anything breathtaking or spectacular for our journeys to be enjoyable and memorable.

Read More

Share