A whole different reality

A whole different reality

It’s one thing to talk about people yachting around the world in a boat they sold everything to buy. I recently ran across offerings that exist on a whole other scale.

Want to rent truly astounding yachts for 10-20 of your best friends? Yachts that come with crews of 10-20 to cater to your every food, bar, and piloting need? Do you have a cool half to million+ dollars for a single week’s rental? Then Morley Yachts is for you.

Go check out their offerings – offerings that only the 1% of the 1% could afford.

…and it made all the difference.

…and it made all the difference.

I am grateful to my family for giving me the gift of faith. After graduating from college, I served the Church full time for 11 years. But gradually, in the quiet intimacy of adoring Jesus in the most blessed sacrament, he revealed the difference between doing God’s work – and fulfilling his will.

The Lord was inviting me to be exclusively his own, he was inviting me to embrace a contemplative vocation at [the] monastery.

Sister John-Mark Maria of the Poor Clares in Tonopah, AZ

This is a profound realization – one that many in ministry work should heed. There is a difference between doing the corporal and good works we are called to do (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, educating the ignorant, defending widows, orphans, and the outcast, etc) and doing God’s will.

I think almost all issues and divisions arise in our church and faith lives because we’re more interested in doing the good works we believe should be done, and not to truly abandoning ourselves to do God’s will. If we all truly believe we’re aligning ourselves to the same, one, true God – then there should not be division.

But this is not easy. Consider Jesus during his last days. He had arrived in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. He was greeted by the crowds with palm branches and shouts of acclimation. The crowds were ready to crown him king and let him lead them to victory over the occupying Romans. With his own disciples, he had just instituted the Eucharist at the last supper. He knew well he was about to be betrayed and handed over. It would have been nothing at all for him to have avoided arrest, he could have performed miracles to astound the chief priests and Pontius Pilate and easily become a leader or king of Israel. Yet he did not.

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” 39 He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
40 When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.* The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”

Matthew 26

As sister Maria mentions, the only real way to learn God’s specific will for you is to spend time in quiet prayer. I’ve often found that the easiest way to tell if someone is really representing God is to observe how dedicated the person is to their prayer life. Daily prayer that consists of extended periods (30-60 min) prayer – preferably in front of the blessed sacrament. Prayer that is not just reading a book, full of distraction, but is a quiet opening of yourself to listening TO god instead of speaking AT him.

This is critical because I believe almost all divisions and arguments between believers are caused by people that are doing more of their own will vs abandoning and trusting in God to direct each person to their chosen path. This is critical for each of us, because Jesus himself told us:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Matthew 7:21-23

Experience boring realtime flight as a game

Experience boring realtime flight as a game

A new game called Airplane Mode asks players to enjoy being a passenger on a six hour trans-Atlantic flight that plays out in real time. This strikes me as almost as amazing as Penn+Teller’s Desert Bus.

Check out these amazing set of features to enjoy:

  • Fairly accurate satellite imagery of your flight path.
  • Snacks, premium beverages, and meal service (incl. fish option).
  • Carry-on bag with a book, headphones, pen, and charging cable.
  • Overhead reading light and complimentary aircraft information card.
  • Inflight safety video produced by IFC’s in-house team of expert air hosts.
  • Randomized events on every playthrough, such as turbulence, bad wifi, and delays.
  • Authentic ambient noise—whose baby is that???*
  • Inflight entertainment system featuring a flight tracker and hit movies of the 1930s.
  • Our award-winning magazine, Stratospheres, filled with articles, crosswords, and Sudoku.

https://gizmodo.com/honestly-a-video-game-that-strands-you-on-a-boring-six-1839717598

Upgrading ssd’s/nvme drives

Upgrading ssd’s/nvme drives

Consumer SSDs (solid state drives) have been transformative for the PC world. Their massively smaller size, temperatures, and power requirements have made ultra-thin laptops possible, nearly double battery life, massively increase drop resistance, and their speed has increased performance of disk operations/booting by 10x or more.

The only down side is that they’re fairly limited in capacity. While platter-based drives are selling consumer-priced 8-10 terabyte drives, your average consumer-level SSD is a paltry 512GB for the same price. As prices drop and one upgrades their SSD, one is faced with a terrible upgrade procedure. Upgrading your SSD often means backing up your data, making a windows re-install usb, re-installing your OS, and restoring all your data and re-installing your apps. Annoying to say the least.

It would be great if one could just copy the current image to a new drive, expand the partitions, and just swap drives – but that doesn’t seem possible…or does it.

Equipment you’ll need:

First you need to know what kind of SSD your system has. Is it SATA, PCIe, M.2, U.2, mSATA, or SATA Express, or a soldered-on drive? There is a lot of confusion here, because there is the interface type (SATA, NVMe, PCIe) but there is also the plug type (SATA, M.2, etc). Often you will find guides that interchange or equate them in confusing ways.

Once you have determined your drive type, you need to buy an appropriate drive-to-USB adapter.

Hardware you’ll need

Get one of the following that matches your system configuration:

Software you’ll need:

The Procedure:

  1. Make a backup. No, seriously. You should make a full backup of your system and all those important photos and documents. Go buy an external hard drive and download a free backup program, or buy a cloud storage solution right now, and back up your system. What you’re about to undertake could result in a dead drive if something goes really wrong (static discharge, select wrong source/dest drive, etc). Besides, you have already been doing backups of all your stuff already – right. RIGHT?
  2. Plug in your new SSD/M.2 drive into your USB adapter and plug it into the USB port. To be safe, unplug ALL unnecissary drives – including USB, external backup drives, etc. The less confusion the better.
  3. The procedure I’m going to use is more fully outlined here. And more discussion here.
    1. Start up EaseUS Backup Home (free version).
    2. Click on the ‘Clone’ operation in the lower left sidebar.
    3. Select your SOURCE drive. Proceed to the next step.
    4. Select your DESTINATION drive. Make SURE this drive is your brand new, empty drive.
    5. When you click next here, you’ll see the partition layout of the source and destination drives. You’ll notice there is a tiny partition at the start of the drive – this is the boot partition and doesn’t need to be touched. The next, largest bar will be the system drive. Many laptops will have a 3rd, very tiny partition as a backup partition.
  1. While not immediately clear, you can actually click, move, and resize these partitions! If you can expand the second/larger partition to the end of the space, do so. If you cannot, you need to carefully MOVE (not resize) the 3rd/recovery partition to the end of the drive. Then you can resize the larger middle partition until there is no more free space between the tiny first and tiny 3rd partitions.
  2. Click proceed to image the source drive to the new destination drive. This could easily take 30-90 minutes or longer.
  3. Once you are done, shut down the program and power down the system.
  4. Take your new cloned disk out of the USB adapter.
  5. Physically swap the old drive in your laptop/PC with the newer drive. Unplug the system/disconnect internal batteries to avoid accidental poweron while doing this.
  6. Plug back in and boot. If you did everything correctly, you should be able to power up with the new drive and boot right back up like nothing changed. When you check the free drive space, you should notice all that new capacity!

Wiping and selling

If you wish to sell your old drive, then I recommend using the program DiscGenius to wipe it before selling it. Simply deleting the partitions doesn’t actually wipe the data – and it can all be read by crafty people. Don’t do this wipe of the old drive until you’ve used your new SSD for at least a week to make sure it won’t prematurely fail.

  1. Take the old, smaller drive you wish to wipe+sell and plug it into the USB adapter you used above. Plug this into your PC.
  2. Start up DiscGenius
  3. Delete all the partitions on the old drive. Make SURE you are picking the correct, old drive and not your current boot or a spare drive that’s plugged in.
  4. Right click on the now empty drive, and select ‘Erase Sectors’. Fill the sectors with random data and then click proceed. This will overwrite EVERYTHING on that drive with junk data. It will take around an hour or two. Once you’ve done this, nothing can be recovered from the drive. Safely unmount the drive, shut the program down, and unplug the drive.
  5. You can now sell or use the drive for some other purpose.
time++ by TODTOWN

time++ by TODTOWN

Happy 2020!

The countdown to midnight on Dec 31st always gets me to thinking about time.

time++ is a public art installation commissioned to visual artist Raven Kwok by TODTOWN. It combines the aesthetics of computer generative art and the function of time service. In this customized generative system, particles that represent the current second are added with the elapse of time. With each assigned a shifting size and distance threshold, these particles form a self-organization and collectively display the current time in hour and minute.

Star Wars Kabuki

Star Wars Kabuki

For one-night only, Three Shining Swords took the stage at the Meguro Persimmon Hall in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on November 28 for an unforgettable night of cultural storytelling. A unique adaptation of George Lucas’s 1977 brainchildthis Star Wars kabuki play focused on the franchise’s latest episodes, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and stars one of Japan’s most renowned kabuki actors, Ichikawa Ebizo, as Kylo Ren. 

Skip along to 14:00 to start the fun.

Japan travel resources

Japan travel resources

Black Buddha – Excellent experiences and shops not found in the normal guide books to hit up in Tokyo. https://black-buddha.com/tokyo

TimeOut Tokyo – a great list of local events, reviews, and current events to attend. Great to check out right before you head out.

  • Time Out Love Tokyo Awards 2017
  • Top 100 best shops in Tokyo
  • Particularly interesting
    • Tokyo Hotarudo – a shop of Taisho period (1912-26) merchandise.
    • Shin-Yoshiwara – unique souvenir shop that captures the spirit of Yoshiwara, Edo-Tokyo’s legendary red-light district.
    • Beams – 6 floors of dizzying clothing, crafts, and art.
    • Tokyo Kitsch – Unassuming little shop selling traditional, quirky and, as its name suggests, kitschy Japanese souvenirs
    • Kagaya – One of the city’s longest-running smoke shops and deals in everything from standard cigarettes to cigars, pipes and lighters. You’ll find fine Cubans alongside product from places like Dominica, Honduras and Nicaragua
    • Kakimori – Specialist stationary shop. Kakimori’s has a massive range of pens, inks and letter sets. Best of all are the made-to-order notebooks, prepared in five to 10 minutes.
    • Hanashyo Nihonbashi – specializing in Edo Kiriko glassware
    • Atelier Sougeikan – Atelier Sougeikan offers calligraphy lessons where you’ll get a chance to decorate an item of your choosing, such as a fan or a lantern, and take your creation home with you.
    • Karimoku 60 Shinjuku – Turning out exquisite, retro handmade furniture since 1940. The company’s creations are all made from domestic wood and designed to suit Japan’s smaller homes.
    • Tokyo135° Shinjuku Alta – An offshoot of the nationwide Tansuya chain, Tokyo135’s Shinjuku Alta branch attracts a diverse crowd looking for slightly funkier kimono for all occasions.
    • Pass the Baton – modern recycle shop. You’ll find a range of second-hand items, including antiques, furniture, clothing and art – many of which have been previously owned by well-known celebrities.
    • Solakzade Solakzade’s Harajuku boutique is home to a distinctive range of unused vintage and antique frames sourced from Japan and around the globe. The shop has a particularly broad selection of styles in its 10,000-frame trove, including a few shades that date back all the way to the 1800s.
    • Mask Shop Omote – a favourite among the city’s actors, mask-makers and headwear enthusiasts. The selection ranges from the usual to the fetishistic, including Venetian-style masks, medical gear, Hyottoko (Japanese-style clown masks), and items with animal motifs.
    • House @ Mikiri Hassin – high-concept clothing by up-and-coming Japanese designers alongside select secondhand items from overseas
    • Nude Trump – long-standing vintage clothing shop with a chaotic jumble of outré garments and accessories with all kinds of studded, sequinned and fur-print oddities.

BucketList – top 50 things to do when in Tokyo

Love Tokyo Awards

Tokyo Foodcast – Insider food and sake discoveries in and around Tokyo, with occasional side trips thrown in just for fun.

Conde-Nast 25 things to do in Tokyo

Tokyo Illuminations for the Christmas season

Random and interesting things:

Coded Field

Coded Field

Coded field is part of “Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13” organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture).
This is a public art program that takes place surrounding the Zojoji Temple in the historical and traditional Shiba district.
Structural and geographical data of Zojoji Temple will be analyzed by using programming “Code” and is generated in virtual “Field” with this coded information embedded. That invisible information will be translated into light and sound and experienced in real space through balloon-shaped special devices developed independently by Rhizomatiks. Dance numbers are performance by ELEVENPLAY

Learn more here: https://coded-field.tokyo/