Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Power of Patience and The Value of The Arts

Patience, discipline, awareness, and knowledge are perhaps all we need for a great life!

Exercising, eating good, sleeping well, etc. may not always feel good instantly, but will yield a longer lasting good feeling. On the other hand "evil" actions like eating junk food, overeating, pulling an all-nighter, etc. may provide instant gratification, but will result in a longer lasting bad feeling.

With patience, even "bad" situations become good because they yield precious lessons that will make the days to come better.

Training in ancient Arts such as Yoga, Chi Kung, and Martial Arts, if done properly and with effort, will result in long-lasting balance between mind, body, and spirit; balance feels good. This practice will be useful for the entirety of our human lives, possibly handed down by us to the next generations in our families and communities.

The time and effort put into training is an investment to bring balance, which makes us better for every aspect of our lives. I don't know of anything that provides a higher return on investment, if I understand patience! In fact, if done precisely and without aggression, training also provides instant gratification ;)

Money, jobs, industries, people, countries, groups, etc. come and go, remain the same and change, but our character, mind, body, and spirit will always be with us. It makes sense to prioritize our investment in those things which are guaranteed to last longer.

Stemmed from here:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Maintaining Your Car’s Exterior

Vehicles are simply tools to move from point A to point B which have become a necessity in our lives.
A cheap car would suffice, but… why not travel in style?
Taking care of our cars is actually very important in maintaining their value and allowing us to travel comfortably. Here, I will speak on how to care for the exterior paint of your car and point to some resources in the Silicon Valley. Mind you, I am no expert in the car industry and am only speaking from my experience as a car owner.

Simply put, our car’s exterior is composed of the vehicle's body, paint, windows, mirrors, tires, rims, bumpers, mirrors, exhaust pipes, etc. The most visible of these parts is the paint, especially on black cars. In order to care for the paint, in particular, there are a few key points.

Prevent Damage

Things that can damage the paint include:
  • Physical damage while parked (door dings, vandalism, environmental damage)
    • use covered parking when possible, especially when there is risk for damage (i.e. severe weather like storms)
    • park in safe, well-lit areas
    • avoid parking in locations where young people hang out, as they tend to have more time and impulses to engage in vandalism
    • park in less crowded areas of parking lots
    • park next to expensive, well-kept cars
    • when parking, leave room for the driver’s side door of nearby parked cars to be opened
  • Physical damage while driving (accidents, flying rocks/debris on the road)
    • avoid driving behind vehicles which may drop debris, such as dump trucks, especially near construction and road-work areas
    • avoid driving on roads with many rocks
    • in areas with snow, avoid winter abrasives on the road such as winter salt, which can cause paint and trim damage when kicked up by tires
  • Tree sap/bird/insect droppings
    • do not park near trees, as all kinds kinds of trees may drop sap
    • do not park under places where birds may sit (light poles, trees)
    • avoid parking near areas with many bugs
    • wipe off any contaminants from the car as soon as possible, as they can eat into the paint and clear coat if left alone
  • Acid rain, “hard” water, dust, sunlight
    • park in covered areas
    • avoid driving in the rain or dusty areas

For long-term parking or situations where you must park in a nonideal location, a car cover can be very helpful.

Finally, applying car wax and various coatings (X-protect, hard wax, ceramic) can protect the car's paint.

Wash the car properly

Automatic machine car washes are quite risky. The hard bristled brushes they use may operate on hundreds of cars on any given day and can be covered in dust, which can scratch your car easily. Using touchless machine car washes or cloth-based handwashes are the safest option.

Reversing Paint Damage

There are many levels of damage, which can be addressed in various ways, including clay bar, exterior detailing, waxing, paint restoration, and repainting.
For minor damage, SCRATCH-OUT is good do-it-yourself product.

Resources in the Silicon Valley

Below are some businesses I have used and recommend.

Car Wash

Touchless machine car washes

Touchless washes use high pressure water to clean your car with minimal risk of damage. They are quite convenient if you “pre-wash” your car by gently rubbing off debris, run it through the touchless wash, and hand-dry it yourself afterwards with a clean, microfiber cloth.

The below gas stations offer high quality touchless washes:
  1. Chevron N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA
  2. Chevron, Willow Rd, Menlo Park, CA
  3. Chevron, Mowry Avenue, Fremont, CA
  4. Valero, Thornton Avenue, Fremont CA

Hand wash shops

I haven't needed to use any yet.

Self wash

This can be done at your home or at a self-service car wash location which provides vacuums, soap, brushes, and water.
  1. Thrifty Car Wash, 2080 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040, USA

Paint Restoration

For paint restoration, I recommend MAR Quality Protection ( in Fremont, CA. Their service is exceptional and they only have five star reviews. I had them restore my car's paint after some bad paint damage using RestorFX and it looks like new now!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Transferring LINE to a New Phone

In Japan, the mobile Naver LINE messaging application is very popular and used by almost all smartphone users. It is similar to WhatsApp, but has more features. However, one major problem with LINE is the difficulty of transferring your data to a new phone. The main missing feature is the ability to transfer chat history to a new phone. I recently spent a lot of time trying to do this, so am writing this guide for people who are looking to do the same thing.

Required items

  • New smartphone
  • Old smartphone with LINE installed
  • A few hours both for backing up and importing chat history

Back up chat history

If you're old phone and new phone are rooted, there is a faster way to do this, but please do a web search for this. Here we assume the phone is NOT rooted.
This process needs to be performed for every single chat you would like to back up, so it will take significant time.
Described in the LINE Help Center, but I will detail it here.
  1. Open the LINE app
  2. Open a conversation
  3. Select "Chat Settings"
  4. Select "Backup Chat History"
  5. Repeat this for every single conversation

Copy files to your new phone

Backed up chat history is saved in the LINE_BACKUP folder. Find this folder in your old phone and copy it to your new phone.

Transfer LINE account to the new phone

The issue here is that you will lose access to LINE on your old phone once this process is complete. This is by design of LINE. The process is detailed in the LINE Help Center, but I will write here.
  1. Make sure your LINE account on the old phone is either linked to your Facebook account or registered by email address
  2. Install LINE onto your new phone and log in (do NOT click transfer account yet)
  3. If you are having issues at this step, please see the Troubleshooting section below
  4. LINE will ask for a 2-step authentication to allow the account to be transferred
  5. (Optional) Before transferring the account, you can try to put your old phone into airplane mode (without internet access). After transferring accounts, your old phone will try to delete all of the data the next time you open LINE. If you disconnect your old phone from internet, you can temporarily keep the old LINE data on your old phone.
  6. Transfer the account

Import chat history

We're not done yet! Now, we need to manually import all of the chat history. This is also described in the LINE Help Center.
  1. Create a new message to one of your friends
  2. Go to Chat Settings -> Import Chat History
  3. Repeat for all friends
  4. Done!


I ran into a lot of trouble while trying to transfer my LINE account, with messages such as "An error occurred. Please wait a while and try again" or "エラーが発生しました。後ほどまたお試しください" in Japanese. I tried many things such as:
  1. Installing an older version of LINE on my new Android phone (Nexus 6p)
  2. Linking a Facebook account instead of the email address
  3. Changing the language of my new phone to Japanese
However, none of these worked! Luckily, LINE has a Problem Report Form. I told them about my issue there and they contacted me back with the below message in a couple of days. You may need to submit your problem a couple of times (spaced a part by a few days) or use a different web browser, but it worked!
Dear our valued customer,

Thank you for contacting LINE Customer Care.

We have finished looking into the issue, and believe it has been resolved.

Please try carrying over your account again after restarting the device and then reinstalling the app.

Please see the following Help article for detailed instructions on carrying over your account:

If you see an error message when verifying your phone number saying, “Invalid Phone Number”, please wait 1-2 days and try the process again.

If the process fails again after waiting for the appropriate amount of time, please contact us with the details of the error.

Again, thank you for using our services, and please let us know if you need any additional assistance.

Kind regards,

LINE Customer Care

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Music to my ears/微妙な英語を聞くのは音楽みたいです

While living in the Silicon Valley for over 20 years, I have had the opportunity to study with and work with people from all over the world. Although we all somehow managed to communicate in English, everyone had varying levels of fluency. Interestingly, people from similar regions seemed to share the same grammar mistakes and odd word choices.

However, this is not a bad thing! In fact, listening to foreigners trying to speak English has often been music to my ears. Depending on the person, it would even beat listening to music!

Now living in Tokyo among the Japanese, I hear music almost every day... perhaps my tattered Japanese is music to their ears as well?

Have you had the same experience as me? Have I been having too much fun by myself? Feel free to leave a comment.

しかし、これは悪いことではないですよ。私にとって外国人の英語は音楽みたいです(music to my ears)。人によって、音楽を聴くより面白かったですよ。
「music to my ears」のイディオムの意味は2つあります:
 例)You got accepted to UC Berkeley!? That's music to my ears! Let's party tonight! ー> バークレー大学に入学だと!?朗報だよ!今晩はぱてぃーしよう!
 例) Her voice is music to my ears. -> 彼女の声は快適です。

ちなみに、女性に声が美しいと言いたければ、「You have the voice of an angel」も言えます。直訳は「君は天使の声を持っています」。