life

In the City

Leaving Seattle with my best memories, I decided to spend this weekend in my spiritual hometown – the City, San Francisco.

I worked in San Francisco 2008-2009 at Cyworld USA. My office was on the Market St. in the area of Financial District. I remember both the energetic moment of the street in my early days and the scary scenery when the Lehman broke.

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I met an old friend who is now working for Uber, and his office is the next building of my old office, and those two buildings are a kind of twin building. For a reason, the system and floor plan are very familiar with me. However, the Uber office is excellent just as other tech-giants offices in Bay area nowadays; our office was also good but honestly not this grade.

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In my old days, I loved to walk down to the Ferry Building through the Market St at lunchtime or in the early morning. It helped me organize my thoughts. There is a local fair around the Ferry Building area on weekends. You can find a great deal sometimes.

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My best place in the City is AT&T Park – the home of San Francisco Giants. As a long-time Giants fan, I bought tickets for three days in a row this time. The first two days, I took the Lower Box seat of the 3rd base side, which was my seat of the old days. Usually, the Lower Box seat is for season ticket owners. The guy next to me was also season ticket owner of this year. It is the best spot to watch the pitcher of the away team.

The starting pitcher of LA (oh.. LA… ) of the first game was Hyun-jin Ryu, the famous Korean Major leaguer and maybe the best pitcher of Dodgers this year so far. I like him. He is a really good pitcher, and he has a same first-name with my wife; it is a neutral name in Korea. But to Giants? No way. It is a privilege and obligation of season ticket owners to welcome the opposing pitchers with warming sounds.

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The food of the City is marvelous. Chicken Tender with Garlic Fries of Derby Grill is the best of the Ballpark. I loved to grab a pizza from Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria in front of the AT&T Park to the ball game. As a steak zealot, Lark is my best steakhouse in the City, and Tad’s Steakhouse is always a reasonable option. But my favorite is the breakfast of Pinecrest Diner in Union Square. This 24hr restaurant never closes it door since its open – 1969. My best is Pinecrest Omelette, but every dish is excellent.

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I love this City. I remember almost every corner of the downtown San Francisco. Many places in my memory are still there. But sometimes, there are some figures that I have never known. There are many new skyscrapers in the City. No Borders, No Barnes & Novel, No Stacey’s Bookstore anymore. The most gloomy scenery for me this time is that my old temple turned to an ordinary T-mobile store. Living in the City is too expensive these days. Rent is doubled or tripled compared with ten years ago. Driving in the City is always a nightmare with traffics and many one-way roads, but I think it is getting worse now.

Time goes by; we have to admit it. With different people, status, and time, the City cannot be the same as my good old days. Nevertheless, the reason this City still has my most affection is this view. The view from the View Reserved seats of the ballpark.
This scenery always makes me at peace. I cannot have found any other place like this except for home.

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life

Visiting Seattle Office

Currently, I’m working in my Seattle office. Although I have written about animes, and also I’m working on an anime/game related job as a hobby (rather than a side-job), my primary responsibility is a software engineer, and I’m working in a company named Moloco Inc. My company provides online/mobile advertisement platform. We play as a DSP(Demand Side Platform). We present 100% programmatic and real-time bidding for every impression level, and We optimize it with AI/machine-learning. In these days everyone says about AI and ML, but we indeed do that. We have offices in Palo Alto (HQ), Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Seoul. Usually, I’m working on Seoul office, but this time I have a collaboration with engineers in Seattle.

It is my first time of visiting Seattle. When I got to SeaTac (Seattle Tacoma International Airport), ten flights were landed at the same time. I had to wait for one hour in a narrow corridor (and one more hour at the passport control floor). However, while I was waiting, the music flew with apology mentions and the airport staffs provided fresh water bottles to us. I couldn’t imagine this in the US before (10 years ago). Although it took more than 2 hours to get out of the gate, it was not so uncomfortable with their warm hospitality.

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My Seattle office is near from Univ. of Washington. Two small working rooms and one meeting room which are filled with scattered goods and snacks – as the typical startup offices. The Cafe Allegro is in two minutes walk where Howard Schultz got an insight about Starbucks.

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The weather of Seattle now is marvelous. The sky is crystal blue, and it’s warm, not so hot as the Bay area. The air is fresh, and the breeze is pleasant. Every my colleague said that it is unusual at this time. But they said that the weather of summer (July-Sep) in Seattle is just like this.

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The local food is terrific. The stake sandwich of Jak’s Grill must be my favorite. I’ve never had Jimmy John’s in Bay area. You should try the clam pizza at Mioposto.

Although this time will be a short visit (about a week), I must get to love this city. But, I also want to experience the rainy day in Seattle. Which make me know the real aspect of this city. If I can enjoy the rain, this city could be my favorite.

anime

Personal Anime Wrap-up 2018 C1

Personal Best: Laid-Back Camp (ゆるキャン△)

This is my personal best of this cour. It was a close competition with my runner-up (as always), but one made me smile at the end, and one made me cry. So, I choose the one make me happy at last.

It’s been three years since I started camping (with an accidental purchase of a tent), This anime gives me a new motivation to my camping life; and with a side-effect, I began to buy a lot of new camping gadgets…

This show reminds me of Kei-on, but… it is fun; it does not mean that Kei-on is not fun. While the fun-factor of Kei-on is making us immersed in its warmth, we can feel not only the warmth/comfortability but also the direct fun from the comedy codes in Laid-Back Camp. The comedy plots have a perfect tempo, and the ping-pongs of mentions are excellent.

The opening theme – Shiny Days – is also a perfect match. It makes me hum the song to myself in many times, and it always makes me happy. The only thing I regret is that it would take some time to see the sequel because this first season consumed almost all story of the original works. But I’m sure that we will see it someday while we enjoy the other excellent shows that we don’t know yet.

 

The runner up: A Place Further than the Universe (宇宙よりも遠い場所)

This show is my runner-up, and the one made me cry at the end (and always). The first time I saw the casting, I thought that it should be the most expensive casting of the four female voice actresses in these days. It should be tough to adjust the schedule for them, and it was said that (in a related radio show) they actually recorded independently many times.

I might mention it before that I like the road movie, and especially the road movie of girls with the growth of girls. This one is the perfect match, and it is about Antartic this time; although I thought that it is an SF story when I see the title the first time.

The most considerable part of this show is the characters. The four girls (and… maybe the one more querulent girl) have perfect settings. Each one has her own story, weakness, and strength, and they support each other. They are finding her-selves and the true meaning of the friendship.

It always makes me happy to watch this story in an anime, but the ending is a little… a very little weak to me. I wanted to cry more.

Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san (からかい上手の高木さん)

When I watched the first episode, it reminds me of ‘My neighbor Seki (となりの関くん).’ And I got to realize that actually, the production studio is same: SHIN-EI.

It is a warm and comfortable love comedy. And it reminds me of my old school days although the stage is set to nowadays (even there is a smart-phone). However, the tempo is a little monotonous to me; I prefer some up and downs in the comedy works.

The most impressive part was the ending; especially the first ending. There are 7 ending songs that are covered by Rie Takahashi (acts for Takagi-san), and the songs are famous old(?) numbers in Japan. When I listened to the first theme ‘Kimagure Romantic’ (the original song is from Ikimonogakari), it really thrilled me. It was my heavy rotation in these days.

Spoiler alert! They will get married. Because there is a sequel (or a spin-off) original comics: Karakai Jozu no ‘Moto’ Takagi-san.

Overlord 2 (オーバーロード 2)

To tell the truth, it was not so fun to me than the first season. But it should be because I have already read the original works until vol. 10.

It was my pleasure was to see the ‘Evileye’ – my favorite character in the original work. And the voice is Yumiri Hanamori who also performed ‘Nadesico’ – the main heroine of Laid-Back Camp.

The most impressive part was that the ending of the first episode – the acknowledgment about all the effort for the establishment of this second season. I was able to know that it was not a just saying. And we will happily enjoy the next (already announced) third season.

The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! (りゅうおうのおしごと!)

I like (don’t reluctant at least) erotic animes and I also enjoy loli works… but I cannot stand for an erotic-loli one.

Personally, I like the works of Shirou Shiratori, who is the author of the original novel. His novels have a robust erotic code, but the theme is always the real matter. However, this anime show reduced the portion of the shogi (the subject) a lot, and the loli-erotic codes are too emphasized; which makes me uncomfortable.

However, the opening is an excellent one. I think it is the best opening of this cour regarding the traditional anime opening.