Last updated 6/18/09

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Moving On

Today I'll be moving out from the hotel in Tokyo to my prefecture. I won't have internet for a while, but I'll be glad as hell to be out of here, because one of my roommates snores like a chainsaw and I can't sleep.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I'm a little too lagged to make a clever and interesting post, but I'm here in the land of godzilla and geisha. It's about 7:00 a.m. here right now, and I'm getting ready to head down to breakfast with my roommates. I hope that they have toast, because I'm not in the mood for fish and miso soup.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

At the Gate

Leaving for J-Land in a little under 12 hours. I'll be back online and hopefully with pictures within a couple weeks if all goes to plan. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On Aliens

So although I may not be able to play it for quite some time due to my current shortage of a good computer, Spore is a game that I've given some thought to and will really enjoy playing. Basically the premise is that you get to create an alien creature and then help it develop through "phases," from microscopic ogranism, to individual creature, to tribal, etc. all the way up to space-faring and world conquering.

I haven't really given any serious thought to what kind of creatures I will be making, but I know that they will be at least penultimate in awesomeness. I've had a lot of experience with the theory behind alien making, via my friend Andrea. She took a class last semester with the aim of creating an alien that could survive under certain environmental conditions determined by the professor. At the end of the class, all the aliens "duked it out" so to speak, and some bullshit electric crab-type alien won.

Let me just say, I have learned my lesson from that. Check it out: I came up with this in about 14 seconds, and it probably would have knocked the socks off of the electric thing.

Here's a picture - I call it the Death Metaloid. I know, I know, it looks like a germ or an amoeba or something. Well, that's because it kind of is, but it's at least 50 times the size of a normal amoeba. And it's the ultimate predator. First off, it has some nasty little hair-things that could be barbs sticking out of its sides. Those are poison - you touch those, you die. Second, it's immune to electricity, so f#$@ you electric crab. Third, it cannot be killed unless all of its matter is vaporized at the same time. If you destroy part of it, it regenerates. Like right away. It is also immune to disease, because germs don't get sick, they inflict sickness. Now all that wouldn't be so bad if it lived at the bottom of the ocean or had to slither along the ground like some sort of pathetic ooze, but this thing can survive wherever there is oxygen present - on land or in the sea. It also can teleport. You see that purple organelle in its core? That's a teleporter orb. So it can and will catch you. Don't you worry about it not having any eyes or sensory organs - it can detect fear. And if you're not afraid of these things, then you're crazy and have big enough problems. It's also very smart and can read your mind. Off the top of my head, I'd say the only ways to get rid of one of these bad boys is to nuke it or blast it off into space. But you can't think about doing so before you actually do it, or else it will read your mind and kill you.
So there you have it. I'm fairly certain the Death Metaloid would kick the crap out of just about any other aliens out there, especially pathetic electrical ones. Now I only hope Spore will give me the freedom I need to create my masterpieces...

Devilish Side-Note

As per requested by Ben, I'd like to mention that I've agreed to start playing Diablo II again with Ben, because I hate myself and using my free time to do productive things. Emmanuel has also agreed to join in, and if anyone else who has the game is interested in joining us, just let me know. It's not going to be a regular thing like WoW was (thank God that's over) - more likely once things get going it'll be a weekendly occurance.


Please excuse me for my recent lack of activity. I hosted some company for a while, and now I find myself with less than two weeks to host another party and get all my crap together before I embark on the journey to J-Land.

I'll try to find some more time for this, but updates will probably be light for another month or so. Once I get to Japan, I'll try to update fairly frequently (after I set up my internet service, of course).

There is also talk of adding another contributor to this blog, to fill in news and pieces when I'm not available. More on that another time.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Focusing on the Issues

I'm glad to finally see some media coverage of what matters to me, and indeed most Americans. When I vote for the next president, I don't care about policy so much about which candidate looks the snaziest or makes me feel the fuzziest inside.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Surprise Candidate?

I don't intend to make politics a frequent topic here, however it does significantly impact the world we live in. Today I'd just like to make a brief post congratulating and pledging my support to a friend of mine, who has apparently decided to throw his hat in the ring despite claiming that he would rather stick to political analysis. Tom, we're all behind you. God bless America!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This is the Way the World Ends

This is a long article, but you only have to read snippets and look at the pictures and captions if you want the gist. Apparently we should be concerned that a gargantuan asteroid will be heading straight for us in 2029. It will be visible to the naked eye from Earth, and then if it's

heading along the right path, will hit us in 2036. It'll be great - we'll have 7 years to watch the damn thing coming straight for us. Here's hoping NASA has a better idea than sending some drillers to go blow it up with a nuke.

A scientific diagram is provided below.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Groundwork

So I've been finding out a few things about my placement in Japan and my future residence. My predecessor, that is, the JET I'll be replacing in Japan and taking over at this apartment/school, seems very nice from our email correspondence. He's also shared some info that makes me slightly apprehensive and slightly intrigued/excited (I guess at the prospect of being challenged). Let me share some snippets of what I'm talking about:

Him: So I was talking to your go-between (every ALT is assigned an English teacher to help out with anything needs) and it looks like you will arrive in Itami on the 30th. She'll pick you up and take you to yourhouse. I have a presentation to give that day at my University so Ican't meet up, but I was thinking of coming by the next dayto show youaround and show you how to use the stuff in the house (the bath is especially complicated, as there is no running hot water and you haveto use a special heater if you want a hot shower), assuming that's cool with you.

Me: the no hot running water thing just for the shower, or is it in the kitchen, too? Heh, sounds fun.

Him: Yeah the hot water is lot of fun. There isn't any running hot water anywhere in the house, but there is a gas faucet-thingy in the kitchen, which gives you hot water more or less instantaneously. The shower is a bit more of a pain. You have to fill up the bath and then turn on the tub heater until the water is hot. Then the shower is a pump that pumps water from the bath into a shower head. Not too bad once you get used to it, but it does mean you have to plan your showers about an hour ahead of time in the winter.

So there you have it. This is something that no longer surprises me, although it can still be frustrating. Japan - often perceived as the world's technological powerhouse, yet there are still many places (even in the urbs and suburbs) that do not have a developed enough infrastructure to have access to hot running water. Sure, you can get cellphone reception on a middle-of-nowhere island or on top of Mt. Fuji, but middle class people are crapping in holes and heating their bath water for an hour with gas.

Let me end this post with a clarification. I like Japan a lot - that's why I'm going back. But there are many things I see wrong with it. It's just as I love America but there are many elements of American society (especially politics and pop culture) that I detest. So I'll get some Japan-appreciative posts in here, but there will also be some criticism. And that is the major reason my identity remains anonymous here - because JETs have gotten in trouble with their employers in the past for negative material posted on their webpages.

Well, my situation could be a lot worse. I could be going to a country with no hot water period.