Dreamliner Birthday

On our trip to the states last month, I had my first ever birthday on an airplane. It might have been my longest birthday ever because of the time difference (UTC +7 to UTC -7), although I didn’t even really think about it until a couple of flight attendants came up and started asking about my birthday – one in English, and one in Japanese. I was really surprised at first, but it ended up being very dope. Apparently, Nam had asked ANA to do something after Mina and I had checked in and went through the first security checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi. Mina knew about it since Nam had messaged her and she thought it was hilarious.

The dessert plate they brought me “from Business Class”:

The dinner that preceded it:

Mina and her soboro (ground chicken bowl) dinner:

All in all, a surprise birthday celebration on an ANA Dreamliner is a great way to chase away the boredom of a 10-12 hour intercontinental flight, and I highly recommend it!

Both Kids Now Studying Overseas

I didn’t post here for the entire trip and actually didn’t do a lot of things I normally do… Some of them I just may never do again. We have new priorities and our lives are in a state of flux – preparing for a big move back home, etc. – and we are living each day with the immediate goal of joining our family together again. Standing in our way is a long list of big things like selling our house, getting Nam’s green card, finding new jobs, and transitioning to new cultures and lifestyles again… Adventure awaits!

Jointly-owned Copyrights

This is interesting: Several startups believe that web3 technologies will upend how authors make a living—and how we define who owns a story.

What if you could own a stake in Harry Potter?


What if the book series functioned like a publicly traded company where individuals could “buy stock” in it, and as the franchise grows, those “stocks” become more valuable? If this were the case, someone who purchased just three percent of Harry Potter back when there was only one book would be a billionaire now.


Just imagine how that would affect the reading experience. Suddenly a trip to Barnes & Noble becomes an investment opportunity. Early readers could spot “the next big thing” and make a $100 contribution that becomes $10,000 or even $100,000 if the book’s popularity grows. If readers could own a percentage of the franchise, they might then be incentivized to help that book succeed. They could start a TikTok account to promote the book via BookTok, or use their talents as filmmakers to adapt it to the screen. All of this stands to increase the value of their original investment.

Esquire: The Crypto Revolution Wants to Reimagine Books

Also, here’s a Bad Robot! video of the day:

Countdown

We threw a farewell party for Mina last night and invited her classmates and their families. She’s been going to school with some of them since they were two or three years old, so it was sad… Yet, she is ready to go off on her adventure. We take off in just over 10 days… The next week will be finishing work and school for us, and getting stuff ready to go.

When we got back home last night from the party, it was nearly midnight and starting to rain, and somebody rang our doorbell. It was a Grab (food delivery) rider who stopped to say he had seen a huge snake slithering into our neighbor’s yard (our neighbor doesn’t have a doorbell or a door accessible from the front street). The driver said maybe it was a boa, as thick around as his arm! I messaged our neighbor about it and went looking for it this morning, but didn’t see anything… I was kind of bummed because I’ve always wanted to see a wild boa here.

A Time to Remember

Max went to study for a few months in Washington state in spring of 2019. Nam took him there and came back. It was hard to watch him go and be away from him because we were such a close family – we ate almost every meal together since the kids were born (and they were almost all great meals). Well, three months turned into four and then six, and then pretty soon he wanted to be there for a whole year. We agreed to the extensions every time since he seemed to be having such a great time. And then the pandemic came.

We watched in horror as one of the first infection zones was discovered at an elderly care facility in Seattle, just a couple hours from where Max was, at my sister’s house. I knew I had a short period to go and pick him up and get him out of there before borders started closing. But. He was graduating elementary school the week I chose to get him, so I decided to let him attend that and not deprive him of saying goodbye to friends he had made over the past year. And so, the borders closed everywhere, and the window to get Max back was closed, for years.

Meanwhile, we endured living life without our boy here. It was lonely and we got used to that, and getting used to it also sucked. But guess what? Max got used to living in the states, and we had to deal with that. It turns out he got into a very progressive Project Based Learning middle school, was earning high school credits, and was even on track to receive a scholarship for college! Mina became interested in Max’s school. And so, we started making plans to apply for Nam’s green card and try living in the states for a while. Our plan was to get the green card sometime next year (there are no time guarantees and the various government agencies are all backlogged) and move over there in some fashion – a huge move, but it still gave us some time to prepare for everything.

So of course, everything got moved up. We found out that Mina had a chance to get into Max’s school that wouldn’t last very long, so we jumped at it.

Mina is unsure about going.

Mina wants to go.

Mina is going.

I will take Mina there and come back. Mina and Max will be together in the states until Nam gets her green card, and then we will follow after settling accounts here in Thailand.

The last three years have been hard without one child here.

The next year will be even harder without both here.

Minecraft’s Six Principles of Game-based Learning

  • The failure dynamic, fail early, fail often. Teach students to take risks in a safe environment- a game.
  • The flexibility dynamic. Provide multiple paths to success. Old school video games had one way to win. Newer “sandbox” games are more open.
  • The construction dynamic. Build something that matters. Students want to create things with a purpose. Minecraft lets them create something difficult and worthwhile.
  • The situated meaning. Learn new ideas by experiencing them. Students learn vocabulary in real-time, as it pertains to playing with others in the game; or learn math as they understand construction.
  • Systems thinking. Learn how all pieces can fit or be fitted. Games help players see how their actions fit into the bigger picture, not just the individual.
  • Build empathy. Bring players together to learn a common goal. By communicating and working together, players build empathy through their avatars by raising awareness of local or global goals.

(via Minecraft: Education Edition: Teacher Academy)

I’m brushing up on my Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite skills because I’ll be teaching in each of these soon. I went down this path a few years ago to each at our learning center, but then COVID came and shifted everything online. It’s taken too long for me to get back on track with this.

Windows Store Error Fix for Missing “wuauserv”

Today, I encountered serious Windows Update problems that started as a Windows store problems, namely, I couldn’t install anything from the Windows Store or any Minecraft programs at all – a big problem because I’m brushing up on MC, Roblox, and Scratch teaching skills.

The guided walkthrough from Microsoft didn’t help, so I tried manually resetting the Windows Update Service:

Open administrative Command Prompt and type following commands one-by-one followed by Enter key.
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
Ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
Ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver
Close Command Prompt and see if Windows Updates works then.

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/window-10-update-is-stuck-on-checking-for-updates/d4833fef-620e-445b-9b99-997c03b9a1f8

However, the “net start wuauserv” command returned an error:

The Windows Update service is starting
The Windows Update service could not be started
A system error has occurred.
System error 2 has occurred.
The system cannot find the file specified.

To make a long story short, I must have deleted this key from the registry at some point, and the fix that worked for me was re-adding the key via cut and paste from this article: Windows Update service missing 0x80070424 , Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 [Solved] / Error code 0x80070006 or 0x8008005

So far, I have a bunch of Windows Updates queued and will proceed with Microsoft Store and Minecraft installations after that, but it looks like everything is working properly again.