- RT @stickergiant: @mtoppa @sucuri_security thx 4 speaking at #WCLanc this weekend. You rock! http://t.co/ipWaYqxdGt http://t.co/sdJ0Nk4FP7 15:15:32, 2014-02-26
- New blog post: "Driver, how far can you take me for one Earth?” Learning everyday Japanese with Mangajin http://t.co/dGmXIAgmEX 21:17:38, 2014-02-26
- Another old blog post restored: 36 hours of typhoons, trains, and temples, in Nikko, Japan, 2004 http://t.co/6esaIRKseB #ThrowbackThursday 14:45:28, 2014-02-27
- I’m looking forward to giving my talk tomorrow at WordCamp Lancaster on accessibility and languages: "A11Y? I18N? L10N? UTF8? WTF?" #WCLanc 22:25:19, 2014-02-28
- RT @liamdempsey: I spy with my little eye: @mtoppa just peaked his head into #WCLanc 09:11:15, 2014-03-01
- Hey #WPLanc hastaggers – most of the WordCamp Lancaster tweets are happening with the #WCLanc hashtag cc: @WPLanc 09:51:53, 2014-03-01
- Wow, really impressive set of 5 lightning talks in a row by @aaronjorbin, with topics selected by the audience #WCLanc 10:34:40, 2014-03-01
- Great web accessibility talk by @DavidAKennedy at #WCLanc. I’m glad he spoke before me – my talk will make a good sequel to his 12:00:23, 2014-03-01
- Fellow #WCLanc speakers: do any of you have a remote I can borrow for my talk? I forgot mine. I’ll be at the podium at 3. Thanks! 13:47:38, 2014-03-01
- @sabreuse great! Thanks in reply to sabreuse 14:02:58, 2014-03-01
- RT @AzraelGroup: Accessibility on the web with @mtoppa here at #WCLanc http://t.co/jUNrhTtnUf 15:37:11, 2014-03-01
- RT @bryanpeach: I learned something about language attributes today at #WPLanc! Very cool. Thanks, @mtoppa! 15:37:27, 2014-03-01
- RT @liamdempsey: Hey, there's @mtoppa with a mic on his shirt and a podium in front of him. #WPLanc 15:43:39, 2014-03-01
- #WCLanc – Here are the slides for my talk on #accessibility and #internationalization "A11Y? I18N? L10N? UTF8? WTF?" http://t.co/rkCaMKlo4B 15:47:19, 2014-03-01
- New blog post: my talk at WordCamp Lancaster: http://t.co/KdLD8oqAZV #WCLanc 20:11:40, 2014-03-02
- Japanese character mascots for 2013: scroll to the bottom for the testicular cancer awareness mascot, Mr Balls http://t.co/2oFdnj05SB 09:37:01, 2014-02-19
- RT @mfeathers: Never interrupt a programmer http://t.co/iTHFCM8CNJ 11:07:18, 2014-02-19
- New blog post: Living in Fukuoka, Japan this Summer and Fall http://t.co/7SoWVgE7Ou 11:08:06, 2014-02-19
- RIP @jimweirich RT @dhh: So very sad to hear about the passing of Ruby legend Jim Weirich. He taught me and many others so much. 08:02:26, 2014-02-20
- @DavidAKennedy looks like we're the only ones discussing a11y at WC Lancaster. Pls contact me, so I don't repeat you http://t.co/JwLkL3Xc1d 12:59:57, 2014-02-20
- Our visit to rural Aomori, Japan in 2004, when Kai was 3 (I’ve restored the missing pictures) http://t.co/YCjKKTvl0v #ThrowbackThursday 17:03:19, 2014-02-20
- Mine is one of them! RT @WPLanc: Check out our schedule! Some very interesting talks: http://t.co/DRlbQ92Wwa 08:04:16, 2014-02-25
- My first blog post in months, about last night’s @phillyrb meetup, Cibo Matto, and my upcoming WordPress talks http://t.co/rRgoEuaS7q 14:03:01, 2014-02-12
- @phillyrb I could do a presentation on how to use FactoryGirl (with RSpec). Is there a date set yet? in reply to phillyrb 12:19:41, 2014-02-13
- RT @jbrains: Yay. Someone else in the world doesn’t want to give up on the word “agile”. http://t.co/VQZzFcqXVc author: @tottinge 19:40:36, 2014-02-13
- I learned on Google Maps: a typical trip in the US takes twice as long by public transportation as driving, while in Japan it’s the opposite 10:19:02, 2014-02-14
- RT @liamdempsey: There are only 9 spots left to hear @williamsba + @mtoppa talk about @apppresser + Kanban. Come on out! http://t.co/az08Qn… 14:40:47, 2014-02-17
- RT @liamdempsey: #burbswp @VillanovaICE! There's @mtoppa telling us about Kanban. http://t.co/0sWQ7a2tAH 19:42:51, 2014-02-17
- Very, very cool: @williamsba showing off @apppresser at the #burbswp meetup at @VillanovaICE http://t.co/KEFyHYvfm4 20:07:02, 2014-02-17
- Slides (with notes) from my Kanban talk last night at the #burbswp meet up: http://t.co/Qi6xqvF0nu Thanks @liamdempsey and @VillanovaICE 07:02:25, 2014-02-18
Maria has been awarded an Abe Fellowship, which will support us living in Japan from June – December this year. The fellowships are awarded to support “international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern.” Maria will be writing a book analyzing the effectiveness of different approaches to the use of export credits. Export credits aren’t in the news much, but they’re a big deal:
ECAs [export credit agencies] currently finance or underwrite about $430 billion of business activity abroad – about $55 billion of which goes towards project finance in developing countries – and provide $14 billion of insurance for new foreign direct investment, dwarfing all other official sources combined (such as the World Bank and Regional Development Banks, bilateral and multilateral aid, etc.). As a result of the claims against developing countries that have resulted from ECA transactions, ECAs hold over 25% of these developing countries’ $2.2 trillion debt.
This relates to her work at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, which is what brought us to Japan for 6 months back in 2007. This time she’ll be a visiting scholar at Kyushu University.
The boys will attend the Fukuoka International School for the first part of the school year. Their primary instruction will be in English, but they’ll also learn Japanese. The boys and I have already started some informal tutoring, just once a week, with a couple students from Japan at nearby Rosemont College. This will help refresh my memory, since I’m rusty on what little Japanese I knew 7 years ago, and it’ll help the boys get at least an introduction to the language before we go (Kai was only 5 when we were there in 2007, so he doesn’t really remember any Japanese).
Fukuoka is a bustling port city in southern Japan, and it’s actually a lot closer to South Korea than Tokyo. We’ve already made arrangements for a small apartment (or, as the Japanese call it, a “mansion”) in Tenjin, which is a popular shopping and restaurant district in the city (this webpage has pictures of the apartment). Fukuoka is known for its cuisine and its beaches. In 2007 we visited Kagoshima City, which is also on the island of Kyushu, but we’ve never been to Fukuoka. So my new favorite website is Finding Fukuoka, which is filled with restaurant reviews and lots of information on things to do. I’m especially keen to work my way through the site’s guide to Fukuoka’s beaches, and its ramen shops (Kai and Eidan are also ramen fanatics, so I’m sure we will be checking out all the ramen shops). Fukuoka also appears to have an active Ruby community, which I’ll have to check out.
Maria will leave for Fukuoka probably at the end of May. I’ll stay here with the boys until they’re done with school in June. Then we’ll visit Newport for a week or two, so the boys can spend some time with their cousins there before we head off to Japan!
I haven’t been blogging for ages – it’s time to fix that. Let’s start with a recap of last night.
The monthly philly.rb meetup at the Comcast Center: how good were the presentations? They were just as good as the view from our room on the 45th floor:
I got a lot out of Nate Olds’ talk, “Refactoring with a View.” A large part of my career has been spent wrestling with big, old, sprawling, messy codebases, so Nate’s real-life walk-through of his strategies for dealing with such challenges was very informative. Check out the February meetup page for more information.
Afterwards, a group of us went to Ladder 15 for beer, where we met up with Maria. She stoically suffered through several minutes of extremely nerdy conversion, before she and I headed to the Boot & Saddle, for a rare evening out without the boys, to see one of Maria’s favorite bands, Cibo Matto. It was a sold out show, and we ended up stuck near the back, but it was still a good time. I tried to take a couple videos, but they didn’t come out. A good introduction to their utterly goofy side is the song Sci Fi Wasabi (I’m Miho Hatori, straight out of purgatory), and their split-screen video for Sugar Water, with one side portraying the visual story in reverse, is quite clever (the ending is in the middle).
I’m presenting at the WordPress ‘Burbs meetup next Monday on Kanban. And on March 1 I’m presenting at WordCamp Lancaster: A11Y? I18N? L10N? UTF8? WTF? Understanding the connections between accessibility, internationalization, localization, and character sets.
- RT @jvcnye: New Year's Resolution: Failure is inevitable, but you get points for style. 18:50:11, 2014-01-01
- RT @unclebobmartin: Resolution: This year I will focus more on making my code easier for others to read as opposed to easier for me to wri… 18:54:04, 2014-01-01
- RT @dnscollective: Programming is the art of knowing when to use google, when to ask for help, and when to go for a walk around the block. 22:50:34, 2014-01-02
- RT @ggreenwald: Lots of talk about how the Gary Greenberg post about Brooks is satire, not real – if so, it's great satire http://t.co/Eqi… 13:19:11, 2014-01-03
- @wells_jake Nice work! I esp. liked your take on confidence/vulnerability. I've realized no one is an expert – just share what you know in reply to wells_jake 14:28:43, 2014-01-03
- @CatWarr You've got to read this http://t.co/WsucFZ6v7O in reply to CatWarr 18:07:08, 2014-01-03
- RT @mfeathers: Check the reviews: http://t.co/TqYstGVZRk RT @stevesilberman: If you missed it: The saddest cookbook ever written. http://t.… 12:21:41, 2014-01-06
- RT @sahilkapur: Nicely done, @dylanmatt. RT @TimFernholz: This is a laudably complex trolling exercise: http://t.co/B7zAiSggt4 13:57:09, 2014-01-07
- @LLSusa Thanks. I already removed myself. My frustration was your form required me to fill out fields about myself before letting me unsub in reply to LLSusa 05:36:33, 2013-11-07
- My WP Clean Code talk http://t.co/Lf68C9azec RT @wpnashville: @mtoppa is currently on the front page of WordPress.tv for @WordCampNash 2013 10:35:18, 2013-11-12
- At #DataIO13 today. Really good opening keynote from @gsingers on Lucene and Solr 08:52:07, 2013-10-30
- @speno Hopefully it is not a recurring event in reply to speno 09:05:36, 2013-10-30
- My #DataIO13 conference notes (so far) http://t.co/Uc1uFElO3o 12:27:22, 2013-10-30
- Hey @LLSusa – it's wrong for you to require personal info so I can unsubscribe from your emails that I never signed up for in the 1st place 13:46:32, 2013-10-31