Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New UI For Google Groups

Two people I follow on Google Buzz, Andrew Maxwell and Chris Lang posted about Google Groups new user interface. Which finally got me off my duff to take a look at it. I had been wanting to revisit Google Groups as a possible service to provide for our JANO members to share information. Then around the same time that the transitions to new infrastructure for Google Apps I noticed that Groups was showing up in the pull down of the navigation menu.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

George's Most Recent Work

The following image is a picture I grabbed of George's pc monitor. He is making this robot in a graphics program called Gimp which comes with just about every distribution of Linux.

I'm no artist but that looks amazingly detailed to me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dinner at a Friends

Tonight Arisa and I went to a friends for dinner. And what a great dinner it was.

Arisa made Soki but the pork bones weren't quite as good as they were in Okinawa, but the meat was excellent. Our friends made some great dishes including Salmon with a delicious sauce, grilled chicken with a Satay Sauce pasted on, and Soba.

Great food to go along with a great conversation.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Browns Give Ravens A Christmas Gift

The Cleveland Browns lost to the Baltimore Ravens today, 20-10.  Or rather they gave them the win. Three interceptions and and a fumble lead to 10 points by the Ravens.  A botched onside kick lead to another 7 points.

Poor clock management at the end of the first half by the coaching staff (and Colt McCoy as QB) limited us to another 3 points with only a couple of chances for the end zone instead of a more consistent attack.

These last couple of games have been extremely painful to watch.  And next week against the Steelers will be again, I think.

But I've made my decision.  The coaching staff of the Browns should remain.  What I've seen this year is a vast improvement over last year.  We improved our roster though there were so many holes to fill it was impossible to do it in one year.  But we have some players, Ward and Haden in particular.  Hollis looks good an I'm looking forward to seeing Hardesty if he can remain healthy.

But I've also seen improvements by the coaching staff.  Do they have their foibles.  Of course they do.  But just as Mangini did some major changes to his personal life (at least he lost a lot of weight), I think that they are working on themselves as coaches as much as they are working on coaching the players.  Considering their age, they have lots of time for improvement.

My preference is for consistently good football team not just a year here or a year there.  I think Steelers whom have been good for the last 30 years.  Have they had a few bad years?  Of course they have but they haven't blown it up every time they do either.  The way to get there is to not demand playoff appearances a year or two after rebuilding.  It means staying behind your staff to allow them to grow and learn from their mistakes.  It requires stability.

So the combination of progress on the field, the progress of the coaches themselves, and a desire for stability I've decided that Mangini and crew should stay for the foreseeable future.  As Ken Carpenter said in reply to me on twitter that may mean I'm on crack, but so be it.  And I'll continue to be hard on the coaches, particularly Daboll but I think I'd like to see these guys grow and build the Browns into a consistent powerhouse.


Burke Lakefront and a Dinner Conversation About Cleveland

I saw on today something I had missed earlier this year - a proposal to close Burke Lakefront Airport (PDF) in order to use it for a new port by the Cleveland Port Authority. While I'm not sure I agree with using it as a port, I certainly agree that the airport has to go. Particularly since I've been to Chicago and seen what their lakefront is like. Burke is an eyesore, useless except for the very rich, and an unbelievable waste of lakefront property.

A vast stretch of lakefront property in Chicago is a park, Millenium Park I think it's called. So while we visited on a snowy day in December and there weren't that many people using the park, I can imagine it being absolutely packed during the summer. Of course, Chicago also has the Navy Pier from which the above photo was taken and they have an absolute gorgeous skyline. With current trends in Cleveland, we won't be able to match that but we can certainly do better than what we have right now with Burke Lakefront Airport ruining access to the lake.

Present Report

Santa was good to us again. Elly, Ken and I already received our main presents during thanksgiving due to the kids expiring cell phone contract. We all got T-Mobile MyTouch 4G phones which we are all liking very much. George got his first cell phone for Christmas so we all now have cell phones. What that means is that we'll be cancelling Vonage. I'll update folks on our new "home" phone when the time is right.

We got George the $15 prepaid plan which comes with no "talk" minutes but unlimited texting. Reality is that we really don't call each other very much and George would have to make an awful lot of calls for us to worry about the incurred charges at 10¢ per minute. Since we will be moving George to our plan in 6 months I've set George up with a Google Voice number an associate it to his cell phone number. That way when his phone number changes in six months he doesn't have to worry about upating people on his new phone number.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


アメリカに来てから一番欲しい日本のものってやはりお風呂です。 アメリカは主にシャワー世界ですが、もちろんお風呂場があります。映画でよく出てくるやつですね。 日本お風呂と比べると、細長いですし比較的に奥が薄いでして、座ると腰ぐらいで全身にお湯に入りたいなら寝る形になります。 このようなお風呂って、水面の面積が大きくてすぐに温くなります。冬場に温いというより冷えてしまうわけです。 アメリカに来てからシャワーではなく「お風呂に入った」って片手で数えるのです。 いや、二つの指が十分です。

日本に住んだ頃、小説をもってお風呂に入って体を温めて寝ることが多かったです。 その一息の時間が好きだったんです。 アメリカに来てから借りているアパートと今の家では奥が深くないお風呂とシャワーのもので1回お風呂に入ったのですが、満足感がゼロ。東京に住んだ頃に狭いアパートのユニットバスの方がいいぐらいですよ。 やはり、サンターに日本のお風呂をお願いしたいです。

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas all. I know that not everyone who reads this blog(all two of you) are actually Christians, however, take my Merry Christmas in the spirit it is given regardless of what you believe. As you will see on another post I am preparing I'm not particularly "christian" either. But I've always believed in Christmas as a celebration of family, love and giving. If you can't believe in that regardless of your actual religion, or even lack thereof, then we probably aren't friends. Merry Christmas anyway.

The following is this year's Christmas card that due to technical and time problems we didn't get out this year.

The following is the note that my wife added to the email we sent out in lieu of regular cards this year.

Happy Holidays!

To this email, I attached a picture of the Cleveland Hawkins Family. Included is a picture of Grandpa. We all miss him very much. Here are some quick facts from this past year.

Robert : Robert traveled a lot this year. He currently has 7 projects that he's working on for Hyland. He took Ken on a College tour during the summer and he is very happy that Ken's favorite was Wesleyan.

Arisa(me) : I started a part-time job this year to help support our family. I miss Elly, who is studying hard in American. With only boys(Robert is included) in the house, I constantly worry about the state of our house, and often tell them to clean their rooms because Santa is coming.

Elly : Elly is a Freshman at American University at D.C. She tells us that she enjoys her new freedoms, and life in general. Her major is "International Business". You cannot tell in the pictures, but Elly cut 12 inches off her hair for a new look.

Ken: Ken is a Senior at Mayfield High School. His soccer team made district champions for the 3rd year in a row, and now they have a spot in the school hall of fame. As with Mayfield tradition, Ken bleached then dyed his hair. Ken even cut his hair into a mo-hawk. The soccer shirt he is wearing in the picture is from Grandpa and Grandma Ishii(japan).

George: George joined the soccer team this year. He also got his temporary license, adding some new grey hairs to Rob's head. Although in the picture you cannot tell, He has grown, and is nearly as tall as Ken. The picture is of him tutoring a Japanese boy, which he does every week.

We all hope to see you soon.

The Cleveland Hawkins Family (Rob and Arisa)

As you can tell, Arisa's English isn't perfect. I still think you get a sense of what our year was like. The year started off on a grim note, with us taking a trip down to Charlottesville VA to say good by to my Dad on New Year's day. 10 days later he had passed on, and we made a trip out to Boston for his funeral. The funeral, while a sad event, obviously, was also a really fun time. It has been quite a while since the extended family had gotten together, or at least a long time since my family and I had a chance to participate.

Life goes on though, and Elly was accepted and matriculated to American University. With the exception of one "b", she got all A's and did well enough in Calculus that she didn't need to take the final exam! Ken was on a team representing the State of Ohio at the SkillsUSA contest in Kansas and came home with a gold medal. He played varsity soccer, is in all honors or AP classes at school with the exception of "Chefery", which is what I think they used to call home economics. Several years ago George was labelled "gifted" by the State of Ohio and while I'm still unclear as to what that means, he is also in all honors classes, and getting straight A's. What really surprised me was his joining the soccer team. I certainly didn't expect it. While still not the best player - he had never played before - you could see improvement in foot skills over the season and just as importantly an understanding of how the game is supposed to be played.

Arisa continues to be the rock of this household. This year she is transitioning from focusing on her online business to finding a job. She currently works at Target for a minimum wage job to help the family finances. This job is just a step for her. As she looks for a job one of the things that really hit home is that she needs to improve her English. So she has drastically reduced her efforts in her online business to focus on studying English. I could tell that she's improving, probably not where she needs to be yet, but improving. But more importantly she is really trying, and she will get there. I really appreciated her efforts last night at dinner where she was very talkative and it was clear she was trying to use her English.

The other thing we found was that companies don't really take her online business seriously. Regardless of the fact that the amount of work across the spectrum of the business, from market research to marketing communications, to sales, to customer support(to some of the pickiest customers in the world) and P/L tracking, she is not working for a "company" and therefore it is discounted. So the job at Target is part of the plan. It helps the family finances but gets her working for a "company". The other major part of the plan is already in the works as well. We have gotten her transcript from Japan and it "officially" evaluated to be the equivalent of a B.A. here in the U.S. The next step is for her to take the Social Worker licensing test for the State of Ohio.

While I continue to be a cog in the machine at Hyland, both Arisa and I are active with the Japanese Association of Northeast Ohio. I am, not surprisingly, involved with the web team which is probably the most active part of JANO other than our two main events, the Shinnenkai and the Sakura Picnic. We have three other volunteers that make up the web team and they are truly spectacular. One of their more important roles, other than posting to our website, is the "welcome" they give to Japanese nationals that are moving to the area. I am currently tracking an email thread from an individual who will be attending a graduate program beginning next year. Over the last 3 or 4 days, 20 or so emails have gone back and forth over such things as health insurance, places to live, what to bring from Japan, what not to bring from Japan, etc., etc.

For JANO, this support of Japanese coming to Northeast Ohio prior to arrival is a relatively new thing and it has been hugely successful in my mind. Almost every single person we've helped has turned around and become a JANO member. But more importantly, I think they are arriving with substantially increased ease-of-mind. For many of these individuals, moving to Northeast Ohio will be there first time outside of Japan - and moving to another country for anybody can be a worrisome thing just because of the unknowns of a new country and culture. I think it is telling that the vast majority of people these ladies have helped in 2010 became members of JANO.

Thank you ladies!

Obviously, there's a lot more that happened in 2010, but in the end I think it was a good year with the huge exception of losing my Dad. And most of all, looking back on it, I realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by some of the best people in the world - my kids and my wonderful wife. Merry Christmas guys, I love you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

JANO Shinnenkai - 新年会

If you are not a JANO member please send an email to

なお、会場の都合上 お申し込み先着順100名様までとさせて頂きますので、予めご了承ください。
Limited to 100 attendees on a first come, first serve basis.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Grandma Molested at the Airport

Hat tip to Linda Lawry on Buzz for posting this. I got a kick out of it.

The reality of it thought, is that songs like this one help us on our way to accepting the situation. Which I'm not really sure should be the case.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Baffling Browns

The Browns lost to the lowly Bills today in a game that has me completely at a loss. I have no idea what to think. I am clearly in the camp that this team has improved drastically this year and therefore the coaching staff should be safe. But a game like this does make me question that.

What I can't understand is how pathetic the offense was today. Is it Daboll or is it Jake Delhomme? Or are our wide receivers so bad that they can never get open so Delhomme has to pass to Hillis at the line of scrimmage? Why does our offense seem better when Colt McCoy plays? Perhaps its because when we stink I give him a rookie pass?

I just don't get it. That was a game worthy of last year's pathetic team - it wasn't competitive and it wasn't fun to watch. It did not represent progress. So clearly while the coaching staff should stay throughout the rest of the season, I'm less convinced they should stay passed it, progress or not.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Med Mart Thoughts

Recently, I read in a Bloomberg article that Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, was quoted as saying this about the Med Mart planned for Cleveland:

“What’s the worst thing that could happen if this fails?” he said. “You have a brand new building and a new convention center. So the downside isn’t too bad.”

This strikes me as complete hubris related to his brainchild. What we get it is an empty new building and 20 years of taxes to pay for a failure.

Note, I am not against the Medical Mart per se. In fact, I like the idea of trying to leverage the Clinic's and University Hospital's expertise in the Medical industry. It's one industry that while it may have ups and downs, you can't export it to a different country.

What bothers me about the plan for the Med Mart and convention center is that there appear to be no plans b and c in case our competitors, Nashville and New York City pound us(Cleveland) in the market place. It seems an awful large burden to place on Cuyahoga County residents with no safety net if it fails to generate the business that they claim.

Now the reality the problem isn't Toby Cosgrove since he simply is pushing for what he thinks is a good idea. My problem comes in with the stewardship of Tim Hagan. He and Dimora (Peter Lawson voted against it I gather) have put all the eggs in the med mart basket with zero risk management or planning in the case it doesn't work. I've heard Tim on the radio a couple of times and I actually kind of like him (the mark of a professional politician), but in this particular instance he has not done the job.

Regardless, now that we are down the path and too far to back out, I'd like to see the Med Mart/Convention center succeed. But I'd also like to see some alternate planning and ideas.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010



Ken's CertificateGeorge's Certificate



Monday, December 06, 2010

Short Trip to Chicago

This last weekend Arisa, Ken, George and I took a little jaunt to Chicago. We were there for two different reasons: to visit the University of Chicago and take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). We left Saturday morning arriving in Chicago at around 1pm Chicago time. Other than me connecting to other flights at O'Hare, it was the first trip to Chicago for all of us. I gotta say, I was impressed with this city which is probably not surprising.

The first thing we did was to check in at the Courtyard Marriott at Midway. After chillin' for a bit, we then went on to see the University of Chicago.

Sunday, November 28, 2010





View Cleveland Amtrak Station in a larger map



Amtrak train at Cleveland Station

エリーに曰く、この電車に寝室があります。それが必要でしょうね。だって、Washington D.Cまで13時間かかるわけです。


Friday, November 26, 2010

2010年感謝祭 - Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Welcome Back Home Elly

Elly arrived back home to Cleveland early on Wednesday morning having taken Amtrak from Union Station in Washington D.C. She was more than cheerful after a 13 hour train ride and still being awake at 4 in the morning.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Browns Lose Another Close One

The Cleveland Browns just lost another close game to the Jaguars.
With a little over 2 minutes left in the game, Maurice Drew-Jones
breaks out for a huge gain, finally stopped by Joe Haden on the 1 yard
line. 20 seconds later the Jags went scored the game winningTD. Colt
and the Browns did an admirable job to in the final 1:40 to try and
score, but the Jags got an interception on a bobbled catch.

The thing that sucks about this game is the absolute inability to
generate any offense after five interceptions. That's five
interceptions and only one field goal out of it. True Phil Dawson
missed to FG attempts but they were both 50 yards or more.

My question for you experts out there is this - why was the offense so
anemic? Injury to Wolmak? No WRs? Did Ben Watson play at all in the
second half?

What happened?

PD Lack of Transparency or Just Dishonesty

I posted a few months ago on an article by Ted Diadiun, the "Reader Representative" for the Plain Dealer and by extension. In that post, Ted is warning us all that we need to be wary of commenting and publishing online. Clearly the nuance of that column is to leave to the schooled professionals since they are aware of what they are doing.

In a separate article point out by Jill over at Writeslikeshetalks, we find Ted trying to take the high ground on ethics in context of the Keith Olberman donations to political campaigns. Even the title suggest the Plain Dealer has irreproachable ethics: Avoiding even a hint of bias: Ted Diadiun. But I like this quote:

The Plain Dealer, like most newspapers, has a list of ethical guidelines developed over the years:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Browns Lose Great Game

The Cleveland Browns lost last Sunday to fall to 3-6 on the season. And I'm good with it. Read this @ WFNY first.

Back? Okay, great.

I agree wholeheartedly with WFNY. While we lost the game, and made some mistakes, the Browns are fun to watch again. Would it have been nice to have Chansi take the safe, smart play and step out of bounds? Sure. But I will never complain about a fumble when someone is putting in extra effort. Disappointed to be sure, but the reason the Browns were in the game at all was all the extra effort going into it - except for that final play. That's the only play I found to be inexcusable at this level. The same thing goes for Peyton Hillis' fumble, Joe Haden's pick and the attempt to throw long near the end from the 3 yard line. All of these are effort at winning the game.

But most of all, I'm excited so far by the play of Colt McCoy. That under two-minute drive for a touchdown was a thing of beauty. I'm really looking forward to his development as the Browns quarterback. Can you imagine if he actually had a #1 WR how much this offense would open up. And I'm also looking forward to Hardesty if he can stay healthy. Can you imagine what our offense could be with two good running back and the superb fullback we have?

Can you imagine? Last year, I just wanted the games to end so I didn't have to watch - not sure why I did. This year though, I'm looking forward to the games which in and of itself is a massive improvement over last year.

And at this stage of the re-building, that's all I'll ask. In a year or two, if we are not in playoff contention then I'll get annoyed. But for now, I'm just enjoying the fact the Browns play competitive with the best teams in the league.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Browns Pound Pats

Okay, so the game against the Steelers I thought the Browns played well even though they lost. Then they played even better and pretty much spanked the Saints. After watching the Browns since returning from Japan, they have been bad. So those two games were a definite improvement but I wasn't sold on them or the coaching staff.

Last year, I even called for Mangini's head early on in September. Since the didn't I gave him a free pass for this season, but in return I have called for Brian Daboll's head as this year was some of the worst play calling I have ever seen.

Crow, meet my mouth.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Response to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named

As many of you know, I'm a Cavs fan and I was a he-who-shall-not-be-named fan. Until "The Decision". I now try to ignore news about him, but it is hard. And this response to his last tv ad is just to good to pass up. I'm sure many have already seen it, but here it is for your viewing pleasure anyway.


Cleveland Asian Festival 2011 - Save The Date

The date is set for the 2nd Annual Cleveland Asian Festival - May 21 and 22, 2011.

Cleveland Asian Festival 1Cleveland Asian Festival 2

First Snow of 2010

Yes. It is snowing today. The first of this year. Well, first of this year on this side of summer anyway.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


会社の同僚が親戚のため盆栽を買ってプレセントしたいそうですが、北東オハイオならどこで買えるかは分かりません。 どなたか分かりますか? 

Browns Beat Saints!

What a great game to watch! The Browns beat the New Orleans Saints with a final score of 30-17. But more than winning, it was the way they won. The offense wasn't great, but it didn't need to be. It needed to be solid and it was. In particular with that long 7 minute drive in the fourth quarter. Mostly Hillis just doing what he does, running and hitting defenders as hard as he can.

And the Special Teams made some great, fun-to-watch plays. Cribbs throwing across the field on a punt return; the punter Hodges faking the kick and running up the wide-open middle of the field for 68 yards. Just not plays I would expect the Browns to call let alone execute effectively. And both lead to points.

And the defense was excellent. Yes we got burned on a couple of plays, but for the most part Brees looked completely confused. He was intercepted 4 times, two being pick 6s, and was sacked 3 times. So while the Saints racked up close to 400 yards of offense, in the end most of those yards were for naught as the Browns found a way to stop them.

I tweeted during the game that for the last two games I have been relatively pleased with the offensive play calling. I wondered whether that represents the impact of Mike Holmgren. And while that may be true, the reality is that I think it's the play of Colt McCoy. Granted, the offense didn't do much in this game. I read over at WFNY that we had grand total of 12 first downs and I know we only had something like 74 yards passing. And 12-13 of those on the trick play where Hillis threw a pass to Colt McCoy. The reality is that we don't really have any wide receivers that keep defenses honest, but we were still able to make a long time-consuming drive when we had to. And that's progress.

But I think the real reason that I've been pleased with the offensive play calling is Colt McCoy. In his first start he reminded me a little of Brady Quinn, or rather a deer caught in headlights. But that didn't last long and he started to show confidence and leadership. He looked that way for the whole Saints game. And I don't remember specifically, but I don't remember a boneheaded play. At a minimum, there were no turnovers.

My problem with Delhomme is not the picks, but the types of picks. Any quarterback is going to have picks. It's gonna happen when you have NFL caliber defenses to play against. What I don't like are the boneheaded picks, like the one Jake had in the first game as he was getting tackled. He's been in the league too long to try and make a pass as he's going down. That's boneheaded, and that's my only concern with Jake. Other than that, he reads the defenses well, can audible successfully.

I also like what Seneca brings to the table. With one exception - his throws to the sidelines are 10 yards out of bounds, not even giving the receivers a chance to catch the throws. Yes, the defense doesn't have a chance to pick it because in most cases the receivers have been covered, but its a waste of a throw. And I saw that multiple times with Seneca.

With Colt, though, I haven't seen a boneheaded throw, and for the most part his accuracy is dead on. Throws to the sideline are where only our receiver can catch it. Regardless of whether the throws have been successful or not, he puts it where it needs to be.

So I'm tempted to say Colt should start for the rest of the season. I hear many commenters say that's what the want so we can determine whether he's a "franchise quarterback". I disagree. We don't need a "franchise quarterback". What we need is a servicable quarterback as we get folks to fill the roster - like the right side of the line, some quality receivers(!!), something for better pass rush and coverage. We have so many holes still that Brown's fans obsession with quarterbacks is annoying.

Colt is more than good enough. But what I don't want is to rush him along and get him hurt. So I'll come down on the side of if Jake and Seneca are healthy Colt goes back to third quarterback on the team.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MHS Soccer Ends Regular Season

Mayfield High School's boys varsity soccer team ended the regular season with a 2-1 win over Lakewood High School.  They ended the season 12-3-1 and are headed to the playoffs where I expect them to do real well if they don't have mental lapses.  If they do as well as I expect, they will run into St. Ignatius in the District Finals again, although I must admit I don't know the seeding or schedule.

More importantly though, Ken actually got playing time in a game where MHS wasn't up by 3 or more goals.  It was still 1-1 when came in to the game. And for probably the first time this season, Ken came is a midfielder.  They had him in as right midfielder.  So he got 10 minutes playing time in a position he hasn't played all season.

And most importantly, he scored the winning goal in a scrum in front of the net.  

Congratulations Ken!

And congratulations to the rest of the team for a great regular season!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Adding Discus to Blogger

Has adding Disqus to blogger gotten any easier?

Maybe, just maybe:

Testing from my Account

I am testing the email posting capability  of blogger from my email account.

This weekend I am looking around at some of the changes related to the Google Apps infrastructure change that I took advantage of for the Neohawk.Org domain.
For example, I logged into my Google Sites site that I use to play around and see what's up with sites this morning.   It has been a really long time since I have logged into a google sites.  One of the first things I notice is that the "announcement" content type now provides an RSS feed.  The lack of an rss feed was one of the major reasons I never seriously considered Google Sites a serious solution to anything.  It was simply a toy.   Now that it has rss feeds at least for the announcements content type that may change.

I can certainly think of possiblities for using sites now.  Since one use case I have certainly doesn't require any serious effort to provide a nice look and feel (sites ability to customize look and feel still sucks, but I guess that's the price you pay for an easy-to-use, highly google apps integrated site).   Unfortunately, that use case requires that we get JANO re-classified as a 501c3.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oberlin Hosts Kenny Endo Taiko Concert

Kenny Endo, a world-renowned taiko player, along with four other equally talented musicians in a concert that focuses on Traditional Japanese instruments, like fue, shamisen, and koto, as well as contemporary jazz influences, like the vibraphone will have a concert sponsored by a taiko group at Oberlin University.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Sorry for the Noise - Transferring Posts

My apologies if you got a rash of posts via my rss feed.

I try to keep and this blog in sync, but I had let it go for a while.   I need to make a more concerted effort to do this as I think that at the end of the year, I will be completely migrating to this blog for the website.  I have been using byteflow on a virtual host for a few years now and am certainly more than satisfied with it.  But the virtual host does cost money, minimal though it is, which I'd rather not pay if I don't have to.  

Additionally, blogger added the capability to add up to 10 static web pages to a blog which is more than sufficient to handle the minimal amount of pages I have at neohawk.  Moreover, with the transition to the new google infrastructure this fall, I'll be able to use my account to manage the blog.  So that's part of it even though, as I point out in this post, that at least for the time being, it will not be possible to manage blogger from the google apps dashboard.

But in the end, it's one less payment and one less thing I need to manage.   With blogger, I'm just a user I don't need to worry about managing the infrastructure behind it.  It just is.

Actually, this is a pretty big decision.  I have been "blogging" since 1999 though the vast majority of those posts are sitting on DVD.  I started with a simple html web site, but quickly realized it's limitations.  I moved to Zope, and then the CMF (Content Management Framework) for Zope.  I then switched to Plone.  Upon moving to the U.S. I realized that Plone was way more than I needed and it's resource requirements was not something for which I was willing to play.  So for the last 4 years or so, I have been using Django, and in particular Byteflow, a blog system built on it.

I've always like running my own servers, and playing around with new open source software.  These days, however, I simply do not have the time.  And so, in combination of being able to use my domain not only for google apps, but the most of the rest of Google's services, I will make the transition.  

But I won't make it until Google force transitions my google apps domain to the new infrastructure.  So we still have a couple of months before this blog becomes

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thoughts on Today's Diadiun Post

Ted Diadiun, the reader representative for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, posted a piece on today (9/26) that could be characterized as a scare tactic to keep people away from blogging, or as he suggests a “public service” to make people aware of the dangers of publishing online.

He starts the article/opinion piece off by providing three lawsuits involving what he calls in quotes, “citizen journalists” (notice the pejorative use of quotes). I am unaware of two of the three cases he cites, nor does he actually link to anything that would provide information on these lawsuits. I am aware of one of them thanks to Groklaw. In particular this post regarding a concept called “implied license”.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Browns Lose Again

The Cleveland Browns lose again. It's hard to fathom this year's edition of the Browns. They remind me of the Cavs of a few years ago that once they hit the locker room at half time they lose all sense of pace, focus, intensity, or anything resembling a will to win.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

No Dual Citizenship for You

Yesterday, a friend posted on her blog (Japanese) about an article in the New York Times about the famous Japanese conductor, Seiji Ozawa. She pointed out that he has dual citizenship, U.S. and Japanese. My children who were born and raised for most of their young lives in Japan (the older two's first language was Japanese) have dual citizenship. However, due to Japanese law, they must choose one or the other by the age of 22.

This choice is still a few years away for them. However, I looked at the link to the Ministry of Justice that Clara had in her post. And sure enough the Japanese Government is asking to choose your citizenship by age 22. They even have a PDF pamphlet you can download! (and what's with the blurry PDF? Is it just me, or do others see the PDF as blurry? ) The consequences of not voluntarily choosing is to possibly lose your Japanese citizenship.

Oooo, now that's a real threat. That'll get us to make sure we pick.

If my kids have to choose, they'll choose U.S. citizenship. The only possible negative impact to them is if they are already in Japan when they lose their Japanese citizenship - they may get deported for not having a proper Visa(clearly not a good thing). Other than that, there is zero motivation for them to go through the time and effort to let the Japanese government know that they are choosing U.S. citizenship since by not doing so that choice is "automatically" made for them.

You really have to wonder what the Japanese Government is thinking. As parents we both love both countries and want to have our kids feel pride about both their countries and cultures. The Japanese Government is pretty much guaranteeing that kids will have a bad taste in their mouths left over from having to choose. They will certainly like Japan a little less for it. And to what end? What's the purpose? Keeping the race pure? But that doesn't make sense either since anyone born in the U.S. is automatically a U.S. citizen, it is possible that a "pure" Japanese also has dual citizenship.

In the grand scheme of things it is zero impact on my kids' lives. No I may be overly proud of my kids, but the only losers is Japan. Of course, they may not thinks so. I am absolutely baffled as to the purpose of this. What are they trying to achieve?

Gauging New Google Apps New Infrastructure

So I have a domain registered with Google Apps that I use for testing and development. It's a Standard Edition with only a few users, all of which use English. So basically, this domain met the criteria for becoming an early adopter of the transition to the new Google Apps infrastructure. The infrastructure that basically makes a google apps account operate just like a regular Google Account.

So I transitioned this domain. And sure enough I get the "Organization" tab in the dashboard that allows me to turn services on and off for accounts in an organization of the domain. Unfortunately, at least for my purposes, since a Standard Edition account can only have one organization, I cannot test creating multiple organizations and creating access privileges to certain users based on their organization.

new dashboard

Since the Standard Edition only allows one organization, while the dashboard is certainly "cleaner" and more intuitive to turn services on and off, from a functionality perspective there is zero change. It's on or off for the whole domain. Hence the infrastructure change is pretty much irrelevant - though again the interface is much, much better. (It would be nice if Google would allow the creation of one organization with Standard Edition rather than just on/off for the whole domain. )

The other thing you may notice is that the services you can turn on and off are the same core services from prior to transitioning to the new infrastructure. I was hoping to be able to control which Google Services, now that accounts from my domain can register for a whole host of google services. I was hoping that this lack was just part of being an "early adopter". But no, apparently this is all there is and all that is planned although Google has left the door ajar for adding other services later.

"Any other Google services (not listed above) can't be restricted at this time. Note: Other Google services might be added to this list in a later release. Please refer to this article for updates.'

Here's the list of services currently available under the dashboard:

  • Email
  • Chat
  • Calendar
  • Docs
  • Groups (all except standard?)
  • Sites
  • Video(all except standard?)
  • Mobile

So what this says to me is that Google is going to open the flood gates to their services without providing me the control of that for accounts I issue. Even if they add services later that's an administrative nightmare to start denying services to users that have already signed up/registered for a service. I have to qualify that for now as I'm an early adopter so those services may be in place by the time google apps users will unilaterally be transitioned. But I also have to assume that, and this is partially based on my experience with Google services up until this point, that in fact other services won't be ready for control on the dashboard. And if that's the case, and if I were anything but a Standard Edition user I would not be a happy camper.

Granted the infrastructure change makes it easier to register for other Google services with my Google Apps account, and that for this is a great thing! However, this typical Google tendency not to think things through makes my life much harder. For example, the reality is that prior to the infrastructure change you could "associate" a google account with a google apps account making for pretty much seamless integration with other google services. So the transition means that I need to go to the effort of dismantling all of that. Again, for, not a big deal. For JANO though, that becomes problematic. And if I were a Premier Edition user I'd not be a happy camper.

Luckily, I've had enough experience with Google that I never had the rest of the folks that use the JANO domain and Google Apps to "associate" their accounts. Moreover, I'm not sure I'll tell them that they can use their Google Apps account to register for other services. It's all useless if I can't control what they can and cannot use with MY domain. Typical Google, though, where everything is in motion and not perfected to start with but improved over time regardless of the impact to users and administrators. So as an administrator of a google apps domain, while the change in infrastructure opens up a lot of possibilities and opportunities, it is still only half-steps at this point. Not enough for me to go all googly eyed over it. (Sorry, couldn't resist)

However, one of the main reasons I did not have my JANO users associate their JANO google apps account with a Google account was that if you logged into a service that required a Google Account, the Google navigation menu changed to Google account menu. What that meant is that when you clicked on "Calendar" you would be sent to the Google Account calendar, not the Google App account calendar. Talk about end-user confusion!

I am happy to report that the navigation upon transitioning to the new infrastructure works as I would expect. The navigation menu sends you to your Google Apps calendar. This is clearly an upgrade and makes the transition highly welcome if I'm not being a stickler about being able to control which Google services my domain users can use outside of the core listed above. For the domain, I'm a happy camper.

For the JANO domain, I'm still not convinced that the migration to the new platform helps me in any significant way. I won't really know that until the transition is forced upon me whether I like it or not. The JANO web team will be able to use their JANO accounts for logging in and posting to the blog, but they already have that capability with the Google accounts they had to set up to begin with in the first place. I should mention that JANO is also a Standard Edition until we can, if we can, change the status of JANO from a 501c4 to 501c3 to take advantage of the Not-for-profit Edition.

So I'd have to say I'm glad for the change as it relates to Neohawk, completely ambivalent as it relates to JANO (disappointed really since I had higher expectations), and I would be pissed if I were a paying customer due to the lack of control over other Google Services. Again, with the caveat that I'm basing it on my test, standard edition Google Domain and I'm an "early adopter". Things may change over the next month or two as they gear up for the real transition.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cleveland Browns Beat Themselves

Today, the Cleveland Browns had their season opener in Tampa Bay, and after looking really good for the most part in the first half, last year's high school team returned.

Okay this is my breakdown of the Cleveland - Tampa Bay game. If you want real breakdowns by people that understand the game better than I do, go see WFNY. This is my take, and I'm just a fan that's never played nor really understands the nuances of the game. WFNY and others do.

Sunday, September 05, 2010




9月11日 13:00~22:00
9月12日 12:00~20:00



Friday, September 03, 2010

Google Priority Inbox, Google Apps, and Random Thoughts

So I can't really talk about Buzz. But I can talk about other items of interest about Google products and services.

As most GMail users and Gapp (Google Apps) users are aware, Google recently deployed Priority Inbox. Nifty little filter and I like the idea that it gets smarter, much like the spam filters get smarter with more data. So I think its a great feature. Just a tad bit late.

Sunday, August 08, 2010



Saturday, August 07, 2010



Sunday, July 25, 2010

JACL&CJAF 奨学金ランチ

久しぶりに日本語で投稿させていただきます。日本語あんまり使っていないんで忘れています。 これからもう少し日本語でブログに記事を投稿しようと思っています。日本語が間違ってもやはり使わないとドンドンと忘れてしまいます。ということで、今日はJACLとCJAFの賞学金奨学金ランチについて日本語で述べさせていただきます。


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lake Erie Crushers' Japanese Night

This last Thursday night was Japanese Night at the Lake Erie Crushers game. Since the Crushers' stadium is on Avon about 15 minutes from work, I went straight from work. Well, I took a detour to pick up a friend since his wife and kid was coming later to meet up with Arisa and another couple, also good friends. In each of our cases, the husband is American and the wife is Japanese. So it's cool to hook up with them every when we can.

And it was even better on this night since the Crushers were putting on Japanese night. Ken Hill, an American Japanese, or Japanese American, not sure which, is on a summer internship at the Crushers and this was his brainchild apparently. He did a great job getting participation from a variety of groups including JANO, the Cleveland Chapter of the Japanese American Citizen League including Mame Daiko and the Sho-jo-ji Dancers, a Japanese restaurant and a women who teaches shodou, and couple of folks from the Cleveland Japanese group. There were a couple of Japanese folks who are currently working at the Cleveland Clinic. I grabbed some pictures with my cell phone hence they are not that great. Arisa had the camera but she didn't arrive in time for the drumming or dance.



Arisa was going to volunteer at a ongiri contest and some other things, but unfortunately the rest of the evening got rained out. Just as they were about to start, the rain came down and reports of Tornado warnings/watches a county to the west. We waited for about 20 minutes then left for the evening. While we're disappointed that it didn't work out for a longer evening, it was certainly a lot of fun. I really wanted to wear my jimbei but its stored away somewhere and we couldn't find it in time. Next time though!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peppermint ICE - Dell Mini 10

So Elly received her new Dell Inspirion 15 last Friday. She got it in preparation for going to American University. I spent my day off Friday making sure that she could dual boot into Windows7 and Ubuntu. The only problem I have so far is that the wireless doesn't work in Ubuntu. It seems like Broadcom hasn't released a driver for Linux. Or at least, none of the packaged (B43 or Linux SAT) worked. So until that driver comes out, it'll be one big MP3 player.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Japanese Night at Lake Erie Crushers

From the Cleveland Chapter of the Japanese American Citizen League and the Lake Erie Crushers, a Japanese Night on July 22nd.

Cleveland Chapter
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
2783 Lancashire #15
Cleveland Heights, Ohio  44106

The Cleveland Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League ongoing mission is to be a charitable, benevolent, and educational organization relating to the promotion, support, development and furtherance the welfare of all Americans, particularly those of Japanese ancestry and to secure and maintain the civil rights of all who are victimized by injustice and prejudice.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Super Mario Beat Box - Video

I saw on facebook where Elly's boyfriend sent her a video. I went to check it out and loved it.

Check it out!


Thanks for the link Eric.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Mayfield Fine Foods

Arisa and I went shopping today to get some extra things for our family bbq tonight. After shopping at Giant Eagle for our stuff, we went to Micro Center at East Gate and then to Best Buy to do some comparison shopping on laptops. Elly is going to get herself a laptop to replace her Dell netbook which she doesn't feel is sufficient for when she starts college at American University in August. In particular, I was looking at laptop pricing and system specs so I could compare them to the employee purchase program prices.

Anyway, on our way out of the Best Buy parking lot my wife notices a sign for "Mayfield Fine Foods". She asks me, "What's that?". Since I have zero idea as to what it was, I said "no clue, wanna go find out?"

Yakiniku in San Diego

For work, I've been traveling quite a bit to San Diego to work on a client project. By coincidence, the client's office is located right along San Diego's "Asian" strip. Along Convoy Street there are a host of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese restaurants. Probably some others like Vietnam as well.

The first time I went I remember seeing a Japanese BBQ restaurant on the way to the client in the morning. But in the evening I could never find it again, not sure why. Well, on this last trip I was finally able to see it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Did I Mention Cherries?

Did I mention the cherries from our tree are ready? Oh, right, this morning I posted about picking cherries. Yesterday, Elly, Ken, George and I were out for about an hour maybe less. As I mentioned in this mornings post, the cherries we harvested yesterday were way more than we could eat so we were taking them to the JANO Sakura Picnic.

Our Cherries at JANO Sakura Picnic

We did exactly that and we came home empty handed. Those that weren't eaten at the picnic, people stuffed them in ziplock bags and took them home. Not a single cherry left. Sigh. We came home cherry-less. (Which was the idea!)

Picking Cherries

Over the last week or so, we've been watching the cherry tree in our backyard. It seems the time is finally here to pick them. It's a balance of waiting to just the right moment and saving the cherries from the birds.

ripe cherries

So Elly, Ken, George and I headed out at about 11:30 yesterday morning to start picking what seemed to be the ripest cherries.

Ken Spots while Elly Climbs the Tree
George Gives Thumbs Up!

An hour later we had barely made a dent in the cherries on our tree. Still I think we gathered something like 500 cherries. The picture below are the cherries we gathered sitting on our stove. From this picture, you really can't get a sense of how many cherries there are, but trust me there is alot.

gathered cherries

This is way more cherries than we can eat before they spoil. Plus, the tree is still full of 'em. We'll bring most of those we gathered to the JANO Picnic today for people to snack on. The rest we'll probably make some preserves, or jam. We might try a cherry pie.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Garden 2010

So I have just about finished planting my garden for this year. This Memorial Day weekend, I took Friday off so I could have a four day weekend. I'm glad I did as we expanded the size of this years garden in the back yard. It' probably 25' by 15' or there abouts.

Friday I spend pretty much all day tilling. I rented a roto tiller from Home Depot and started in at about 9:45. I didn't finish until about 6PM. I only rented it for 24 hours so I had to return it by 9:15 on Saturday. I wouldn't have minded going through one last time of turning the garden. But it was sufficient. It was a long day made better by my daughter's boyfriend and my youngest son chipping in to help with the tilling.

tilled garden

Sunday, May 23, 2010

JANO Sakura Picnic

On June 6, 2010, JANO will be holding it's annual Sakura Picnic. This potluck picnic is to celebrate the nearly 140 Cherry Trees JANO has donated to the Brookside Reservation (map) of the Cleveland Metroparks. I am posting information here in English on the Picnic. The picnic is open to anyone as long as you bring food for 5-6 people.

The picnic starts at 11:30 with a quick talk by the Japanese Consulate General from the Detroit Consulate. Yume Daiko will be performing for us as well. Afterwards we'll have pick up soccer games, volleyball, tug-a-war, and other small games. And of course will have our Janken Taikai (Rock, Paper, Scissors competition) which Arisa walked off as winner last year.

2009 Sakura Picnic Pictures

The picnic will last until 3pm.

Please feel free to attend as long as you bring food for 5-6 people. Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 21, 2010


If you've got a few minutes, check this video out of my niece presenting on what she learned during her gap year.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Enjoy it while you can

As much as I find facebook useful for keeping in touch with folks and friends of yesteryear, I've decided I'm going to stop using facebook. It's too difficult to manage the ever changing security and privacy settings. And reading that it's fairly simple for people to figure out my IP address via facebook, just made me realize that I don't really trust this company.

So enjoy my posts and stuff while you can, I'l be dumping it at the end of this month, and severely reducing my current footprint on it starting immediately.

If you are really that desperate to follow me, I'm still on twitter, friend feed, buzz, orkut, linkedin, mixi, amongst others. And you can subscribe to this blogs feed too.

Google Trusted Tester

I signed up to become a Google Trusted Tester after seeing this post on Buzz. Much to my surprise, I was actually chosen as a tester.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mayfield City Schools Artfest

Today, Arisa and I went to see the Mayfield City School's Artfest at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights. As you would expect with student artists, there are some that are pretty darn good, and others not so much. Couple of the artists were kids we know from soccer or something else.

Most importantly, though, Elly's boyfriend had a painting on display.

Didn't realize he was into self-portraits! Of course I'm kidding.

Astounding Ignorance

Today, the Cavs posted an advertisement to follow them on Twitter for a prize pack to be given away during the Cavs - Bulls game. They tweeted it first, but it also made it to facebook. On the facebook version, a Toyota add was posted along with it.

And sure enough, some of the ignorance that is killing Cleveland rears its ugly head.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Social Wok

I posted a tweet today that suggest that Social Wok had problems. Social Wok replied to my tweet asking for more information. Now that's the way to follow up! Take note of that folks. Responding to complaints is a good thing as I went the extra mile to grab some screenshots(see below) and am creating this post. If they hadn't responded I probably would have removed Social Wok and just moved on.

update: And they wouldn't have fixed it already making their product better, this user happy with them, and all that before I could even finish this post (granted there's a lot of fluff in this post).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Korean BBQ in CA

A month or so back, I was in Orange County, CA on business. On a previous visit, our waitress at the California Pizza Kitchen was kind enough to give us a list of restaurants to try out in the area, mostly Asian, though one was Cuban.

We found a Korean BBQ she recommended and it was really, really good.

korean bbq

I won't lie, I like the Japanized version of Korean BBQ but it was still really, really good. I want to order the beef tongue, but my colleague wasn't interested and it would have been too much to eat by myself. As it was, we barely finished everything.

See the reviews of the place we went on Yelp. I think the reviews on it are lower than I would have given as I thought it was good, service was friendly etc. Next time around, I think I'll try some of the other ones in the area too.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Seed Catalog Arrived

Just noticed that my seed catalog arrived today. I believe that I asked them to send me on via the web. Considering the fact that the weather is clearly getting warmer - it was gorgeous today here in Cleveland - it's time to start planning for the garden.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Google Fiber for Communities

So Lev Gonick has started an effort to get Google to choose Cleveland and/or Northeast Ohio for its Google Fiber for Communities. I of course followed the twitter account Lev created for this purpose - Google1Gig4CLE. Lev has been very active in bringing broadband and it's benefits to Cleveland, with OneCommunity and the effort around University Circle and Case University.

My question for Lev is this - what's the plan?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Excell Tecc and Malley's Chocolate's Partnership

I got this from Ken today.

Ken Hawkins is a member of Excel Tecc and their group is conducting a fundraising activity with Malley's Chocolates of Cleveland, Ohio.
A website has been setup specifically for the Excel Tecc fundraising campaign.
All purchases made on that site will be credited toward Ken Hawkins and will directly benefit Excel Tecc.
To connect to this site, please click on this link.

Thank you very much,
Excel Tecc

If you are interested in supporting Excell Tecc or just want some chocolate, give Malley's a try.  It's good stuff.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Edward Jackson Hawkins - Memorial Site

Dad As some of you know, my Dad died on January 15, 2010. He had been sick for a while and we were expecting it, but that expectation doesn't reduce the shock and sense of loss when, inevitably, the news comes.

To all the folks that have expressed their condolences via Facebook, email, and other ways thank you. They mean more than you know and are greatly appreciated.

We have created a temporary memorial site. The site has a longer obituary that probably won't run in newspapers, information on the Funeral, and will have information on a Memorial Service in Cleveland. Please check it out.

Memorial Website URL:

The site has a page to leave messages that we'll be collating. The current web site is temporary and for immediate use. However, my siblings and I have decided to build a more permanent memorial website to honor my Dad. We'll be collecting and organizing his writings, photos, movies as well as wider family histories into the site. Just based on what I have, it will be a pretty impressive site from a volume of content perspective.

In fact, the effort to categorize and convert the content for web use will be fairly intense. We are fully aware that we'll not be able to do this in one fell swoop, but will have to do it over an extended period of time. The good thing about that is that it's a great way for us to keep Dad in our thoughts and remember all the good things he meant to us, and to the world.

The current design is okay, but certainly nothing to write home about. That's not surprising since I did it. I hope to engage a real web designer for the permanent memorial site. Dad deserves a better looking site than I can do.

It'll also be a collaborative effort amongst us siblings at least, but I hope to get some of my Dad's siblings to contribute stories, information, etc. They know a whole side of my Dad of which we, his kids, are completely ignorant.

Of course, we are spread out across the country and each have our own lives to live. So we'll be using some online services like Google sites to help reduce duplication of effort, share information and tasks. I must say I am looking forward to working with my siblings to make this happen. My Dad deserves a nice memorial site, and I am honored to be a part of building it.