Image & Video Update, Plus Rakuten Tech Conference

Today I put a pin down randomly in the middle of Tokyo on Google Maps:

tokyo-pin

Then I hopped on a train and went there.

It was this building.
It was this building.

I guess they can’t all be winners.

Then I found a cafe nearby called the Bookshelf Cafe. The sign seemed to say they were open on weekends from 10:00 – 18:00, but the closed sign was up. The door had an automatic “wave your hand here” panel, so I tried my luck and it opened. I stepped in and woke up a dude lying on his stomach sleeping in a booth inside.

「Excuse me, what time do you open?」I asked in Japanese.

「Oyasumi desu」he replied. In Japanese, “Oyasumi” can mean a rest, nap, vacation, time off of work, etc. So thanked him awkwardly and left wondering what kind of answer “I’m taking a break,” was to a customer who wanted to come in during normal business hours.

It turns out according to the website they’re not open on Sunday at all. And while I still wonder what led that guy to come into work for a sleep in a booth, I realized what his sentence meant: it’s our day off. We’re closed. Like the sign says, jerk.

My coworkers haven’t been able to give me a good Japanese word to use in place of “oops” yet.

Anyway, the title says “Rakuten Tech Conference,” which I attended yesterday. Had a great time, and most of the talks are on Youtube. I gave a “lightning talk” about successfully implementing process changes on your team. In lightning talks speakers have a strict 4 minutes to talk on their topic, so I had to rush, but it was a good experience.

Afterward I got to hang out and talk with Nathan LeClaire of Docker (super smart guy working on and showing off some really neat things for a cool company) and the accomplished Jim Coplien who’s been in the software biz for decades, is well-read, and has strong and intriguing opinions on many things from scrum, kanban, & agile in general to organizational patterns and international politics, all of which were extremely fun to discuss with him over beer and Japanese food.

Now for some images and videos I’ve made recently.

Walking off the train, I have to take these baby steps and get knocked around by other commuters. Watch and feel my pain.

A kitten at a cat cafe wants to chew my phone cord (of course).

A man fights sleep outside of a McDonalds and loses. I have been this dude so many times.

Thanks to this walk to Doofles, the neighborhood arcade, I’m sort of OK at Tekken Tag Tournament 2 now.

My Not-Allowed-to-Stay-In-The-Apartment-All-Day Day

My company is on break for the Obon holiday for most of this week, and I am determined not to spend it in my apartment watching South Park and Seinfeld on Internet TV. So I gave myself a rule today: out by 10am and back no sooner than 7pm.

I hopped on a train in a direction I never go and asked my girlfriend to pick a number between 1 and 30 (she picked 22). That’s how many minutes I stayed on the train.

The results:

1. Got off the train and started walking around, ended up walking into the area around Sensō-ji, my second time there in a week but this time from behind the temple. Saw a lot I missed by coming in through the Kaminarimon Gate, like the lovely works inside the free admission Taito City Edo Shitamachi Traditional Crafts Museum.

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Ate some delicious fried custard stuff and did a little shopping:

The cat make a speech. Listen to its meow.
The cat make a speech. Listen to its meow. Dream of a sweet love song.
Hehehe I don't know why I love this store's name so much.
Hehehe I don’t know why I love this store’s name so much.

Moved on, hop another train and ended up…

2. At Yashio station where I looked at some clothes

Satan Faith: Bulldog. hahahaha

And then I stepped into the spot to which, unbeknownst to me, destiny had been leading me all day: The 3rd Planet Game Arcade.

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And finally, I rounded the corner to witness a miniaturized horse race betting game. O_O

By the way, did you miss the fact that one of the jockeys’ bodies was horrifically snapped off at the waist? He was just a set of legs. I think that should disqualify him.

I was wandering around inside 3rd Planet thinking “This place smells just like the bowling alleys back home,” when I rounded the corner to discover:

It is also a bowling alley.
It is also a bowling alley. This place is incredible.

I played one game. One sad little game.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a two-digit bowling score.
A pirate-themed, two-digit, single-player bowling game score.

Finally emerging from the incredibly fun and diverse gaming experience that my day had become, I grabbed a bite at the finest McDonald’s I have ever laid eyes on.

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And now I’m writing this on the train at 7:30pm. Google maps says I’ll be home in 15 minutes, where I’ll upload all those pictures you just saw. My random train-riding journey took me to the opposite side of Tokyo from my home and cost me about ¥3000 total. Success.

If you’re ever looking for something to do, stop looking and just get outside. Something to do will find you.

Now for some South Park…