Saturday, January 27, 2007

Almost Lost My Ticket

After work today I entered Waseda Station on the Tozai subway line, coming back from having fed and talked at the rabbit, listening to a Boing Boing podcast. I fumbled my 11-trip (for the price of 10!) ticket out of my wallet as I heard the train pull up to the platform one level down. These trains don't stop for more than about 20 seconds so I rushed down the stairs, as you do, ticket in one gloved hand, wallet in the other. Fortunately the conductor glanced up the stairs and waited for me to jump aboard before he closed the doors. Less fortunately I discovered that my ticket had magically vanished after I got on the train.

I checked my pants pockets, my jacket pockets, and even rummaged through my wallet, in the hope that I had absentmindedly put it back in there. I found the spare ticket I had mistakenly bought on New Year's Day but not the one I was seeking. I mentally shrugged and began cuing up the speech routines to explain to the station employee about my lost ticket when a nice young lady came up to me and handed me back my ticket! I managed the typical words of thanks that weren't nearly effusive enough.

Does it say something negative about me when this is the most exciting thing that happened all week? Nah...

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Code & A New (12:10!) Monitor

Greetings friends. I haven't written much lately, I know. This time though it hasn't been because I've been lazy but because there hasn't been much going on. This week I was coding long hours at the keyboard, coming home late, cooking dinner with Jeff, finishing dinner much later, then getting up exhausted the next day. I was also bunny-sitting. Next week I promise I will keep a better sleep schedule.

At least I'm getting some slack to re-code a part of my project that badly needed it. My boss asked me to change the way the errors in my application are reported, and in order to do that I absolutely have to look through gross and hoary old code I wrote almost exactly a year ago. That stuff is really horrible and as a result, really satisfying to reimplement.

Also, in preparation for my new workstation/development server I got a new LCD monitor for my existing workstation- a 20 inch Mitsubishi with the wacky dimensions of 12:10. This works out to 1680X1050. It's huge! It did bad things for my productivity today (Linux mumble xorg.conf modelines mumble mumble), but I have high hopes for next week.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Food and Politics

Here's are two links which came to my attention recently. Ok, so they're both quite old, but I hadn't heard of either one before. It was somehow refreshing to learn that the US hasn't been the only country to rename food for political reasons. Try searching in the text of the first article for "amerikaner".

Boycott of American Goods Over Iraq War Gains (2003/3)
Iranians rename Danish pastries (2006/2)

On a completely different topic, until recently I was using gtkpod as the application to connect to my iPod from my Gentoo Linux box (as Apple has never bothered to port iTunes, even though OS X is based on BSD). It works, but the user interface is abysmal. I finally found the time to try a few alternatives and settled on amarok. This is a great piece of software. It's slick, it supports podcasts, and most importantly it just works. I wholeheartedly recommend it to any Linux readers.

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New Year's Post

At this time of year Japan is full of signs suggesting you take your first this, that, or the other thing of the year with their store, restaurant, or company. I figured it would be as good a time as any for another post here. ;)

Happy 2007 everyone!

I've been relaxing at home for the past week, enjoying the time off from work, playing Dragon Quest VIII on Jeff's PS2, studying Japanese kanji, jogging, reading about programming, playing with my iPod, making things with planks of wood/nails/wine corks, and generally being lazy. Oh yeah, and getting in touch with people who live on the other side of the planet. I installed Skype (username: jarsyll) so call me up! Just don't expect me to get out of bed when my computer rings.

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