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Showing posts from September, 2003


A lot of stuff about Friendster is still impressive, but a number of things about it continue to alienate me. The bulletin board delivers a message to the poster's 1-degree friends, and any responses only go to the original writer, condemning any chance for thread-discussion. The personal-picture guidelines are overly strict, and unevenly enforced: a self-portrait I sketched for use on the site (prior to the inclusion of the current, draconian guidelines on the Add Picture page) was deleted from my profile. Without knowing the roolz, it seemed arbitrary. After reading the rules, and proceeding to see pictures of Bruce Lee, Brad Pitt , and the Rubik's Cube in use as other's image, it seemed a particularly lame move on the site's part.

It's clear that there is some reasoning behind the people controlling it who want it to remain a form of valid reputation-through-association, which in turn may lead to some form of trust-based-system for like minded friends, or member…

Johnny Cash has died.

Johnny Cash died of diabetes-related complications on September 12, 2003.
I grew up listening to a lot of good country music. Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, was already "old" when my parents played it for me. As the nature of country music turned ever more toward formulaic, predictable, and standardized formats, I discovered a whole different realm of music. I got into new wave music instead, later, "alternative" and techno-industrial. Still, I've always had a soft spot for the music of my childhood, which was actually the music of my parents' youth. Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly would have to be the two I heard the most.
Recently Johnny Cash's American Recordings series of albums came to my attention because of his cover of Nine-Inch-Nails' (Trent Reznor's) "Hurt." I think it's better than the original by leaps and bounds; an opinion that is reinforced by viewing the video. From recent personal experience, I can attest that it…

What up, matey?

Can't tell if you are festooned with doubloons, or decked out in bling-bling? Use this Pirate2Gangsta conversion table.
Also for Talk Like a Pirate Day, I appear to be called:
Black Sam Flint - "Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!"

post-festival recovery time

I live in Kishiwada, an hour or so south of Osaka by express train. It's a really nice town with just about everything a guy needs to get along. Every year, on September 14 and 15, the city holds the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri. It's famous among the people that follow festivals in Japan! It has had documentaries written up about it, and frequently is covered on the national news.
What happens is that each neighborhood has its own /danjiri/, a HUGE wooden parade float that is ornately carved. It's pulled by people manning a long rope that stretches out ahead of it. It's steered by a post that sticks out the back end of it, which people will jerk left or right, until it's facing the desired direction. It doesn't have a steering axle; the wheels only go straight, so jerking the steering pole around makes the wooden wheels skid on the street. This may give you the impression that several tons of ornately carved wood are careening around populated areas, rampaging …

post-"pattern recognition 2: 2pattern 2furious" we'll get more?

I'm a big fan of William Gibson's work, despite my love affair with Pattern Recognition lasting about 100 pages. I have a 10(or so)-year-old copy of Neuromancer that my Mom sent to me when I first moved to Japan in 1993. I read it on the train, going to and from Namba, Umeda, and Dotonboribashi. I felt like a character in that book. Unlike many people, I really enjoyed the Virtual Light series, probably because Gibson said he wanted to try something different, like Elmore Leonard doing SF. Boo ya; it rips. So, yeah, so what if Pattern Recognition's ending is the sort of anticlimax commonly experienced when finishing a candy bar? It was tasty enough.
So I was excited as a cat with a ball of string to find that he has a weblog, with an RSS feed. Seeing as I only just started messing around with RSS in the last three or four weeks, it is with my typical late-to-the-ball timing that I greeted the news that today's post would be his last.
Laika, come home!

no-money back guarantee

Blogger just decided to turn the whole sausage into a free service. i was about to cough up the money to go Pro, and now i get to (narrowly) avoid feeling silly. Sticking with free blogger gets me just about every feature of Pro, except for RSS and submit by email. Hopefully, syndication will eventually get rolled into the free bit as well, since... well, since there's no Blogger Pro to get it from anymore...

sum numbers

From yesterday's gamasutra news page.
Game Boy Sales Exceed 150 million
A press release from Nintendo today, indicates that the company has surpassed US sales of 15 million Game Boy Advance consoles. According to the company's figures the portable console accounted for 40% of all gaming systems sold this year; with one unit sold every six seconds since the introduction of the format in June 2001. The Game Boy brand in general has now sold over 150 million units since its debut in 1989.

PlayStation 2 Shipments Pass 60 Million Mark
Not to be outdone today, in announcing impressive sales figures, officials from SCEI have revealed that cumulative world-wide shipments of the company’s PlayStation 2 console reached 60 million units on 6th September, 2003. This is 1.6 times more in volume compared to the same period after launch of the original PlayStation. In order to cope with the busy Christmas period the company will be increasing monthly production/shipment to more than 3 million …

So that's how they did it.

Learn about the features of Panasonic's PT-D7600U - SXGA 3-Chip DLPTM Projector
I bought one of these for my apartment. When I switched it on, the temperature immediately went up 15 degrees farenheit. 30 seconds later, the wall it had been projecting onto began to melt, then blew out. The beam continued to shine through the dust, projecting an image of a geisha, smiling at the camera and consuming a tiny pill, onto the skyscraper across the street. Now I know how Trumbull got that effect to look so good.

archives are the culprit

I get publishing errors whenever I try to enable archives in blogger. I'll have to look into that; I must be missing some kind of file? The path is there. It's correct. Ack. No, it's not. It's not a relative link to the blog, but absolute to FTP. Welcome to bwana's Amateur Hour.

compulsive behavior

it has been awhile since i've sat in front of a monitor, repeatedely clicking "Get New Mail," but that's exactly the reaction Laser Squad Nemesis, a PBeM (play by email) wargame, has engendered in me. when i was a big fan of Warhammer 40k, I would spend hours painting figures (good fun!), and even more hours showing them off, setting them on the tabletop, and then going through turns and "discussing" various loosely worded rules from the book. LSN gets down to the meat of the wargaming portion of the pastime, as each player separately plots and submits their moves, and letting the server deal with all the rules to determine the outcome of a turn. Now the big trouble is waiting for my opponents, usually in wildly different timezones, to mail in their turns.

again! again!

2nd attempt at getting this right. why am i using blogger instead of hand FTP'ing this?
maybe i'm hoping it will handle RSS for me, since i'm WEAK!
mah first pass at using blogger resulted in one good post, efforts at updating a couple cosmetic things on the template, and the inability to re-publish. yukko!
here's hoping this one starts better.