Earthsea: “Not-so-uppity” version

From a young age, I always found solace in science fiction and fantasy writing. I read The Hobbit for the first time in 4th grade, and never looked back. So it’s very disappointing to hear the disappointment created when the Sci-Fi channel decided to do a TV adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books:
A Whitewashed Earthsea
The punchline in that article, in my opinion, was their choice of Danny Glover. I guess it just as easily could have been Morgan Freeman or Denzel, but still… My fervent hope is that the Narnia movies, at least, treat the original books with a bit more respect.
Ursula K. Le Guin. I give her props for voicing her displeasure in such a way, and damn, isn’t that the coolest-sounding name ever (I still think so twenty years after seeing it for the first time.)?

Business E-mail Format in Japanese

I was just issued this “staff support book” which outlines employee duties, good work practices, and various other goodies which are causing me great joy, because they are the best example of Japanese corporate stupidity and herdthink. The page below is entitled, “E-mail Manners.” The previous page is “Fax Manners,” and the next page is “The Proper Way to Give and Receive Instructions.”
Now, in all fairness, the tips on this particular page aren’t all bad but the sample e-mail they show is just the worst example I can possibly imagine. For instance, everything from the line of slashes on down is a signature. Also, I find the lack of an “ijo” (END) on the bottom inauthentic since every other needless piece of fluff is included (what Nam refers to as “flower language.” I mean, for crying out loud, the meaningful content of the message itself is: “I’d like to see you next week regarding the calendar we discussed the other day. It should only take an hour or so, could you please let me know a convenient time?” Do you really need twenty lines of text for that?
This is an actual case of ?manners? getting in the way of work; I do receive a lot of e-mails formatted like this and I can tell you that when reading a long thread of messages in a reply, it really gets tiresome.

Should I stay or should I go?

Two words: WORK. BUSY.
Oh, hell, one more can’t hurt: FUCK!
But this is not a Work post. This is about whether I will be overhauling this site during winter vacation or not.
You see, I’m thinking about ditching Movable Type for another blogging platform. It is a great shame that MT’s great success is quickly becoming its downfall due to comment spam, but it is a fact. Spammers target MT blogs in particular because of the broad user base – spamming is all about volume, I guess. Spam pisses me off, and I tend to take attacks on my weblog rather seriously.
So. I have thought of upgrading to Movable Type 3 and MT Blacklist 2, but I’ve heard more than a few words of caution and it doesn’t seem that this upgrade improves the spam situation very much at all. As far as MT3’s TypeKey system goes, I’d rather not have comments at all than make my readers jump though registration/authorization hoops like that. Geek that I am, I wanted to upgrade since MT3 first came out, but I followed an old rule of thumb and waited for the action reports to start streaming in from the early adopters. If I stay with MT, I will of course upgrade at some point, but I need to decide whether to “stay or go” first.
I am thinking about other blogging platforms, but am far from deciding. Other people who have switched from MT know the best, and I am reading about their experiences across a wide range of blogging software/services (Some people, in desperation, have even ditched dedicated MT installations for Blogger/Blogspot accounts. I am not that desperate. Yet.). To be honest, if it were not for the gnarlific spam problems that are only getting more and more heinoucerous, I would not be thinking about other platforms at all, because at this point, I don’t see any as well-developed and rich in features as Movable Type.
So maybe I will upgrade after all.
As a stopgap, before upgrading to MT3 I could use a Captcha system, which is a short code set against a disruptive background that the commenter has to read and type in (thus defeating automated spam bots). I may lose some of my blind readers with this system, but that is a risk I may be forced to take…
This entire diarrheastic stream of ranty incomprehension has led me to conclude: Spammers should be rounded up and shot, or at least poked with red hot swords in the eyeballs until they repent.


Reading this article about a study that found early English education in Japan to be useless (link found on Nippon Goro Goro) reminded me of the story of a Japanese kid named Ringo. “Ringo” is Japanese for “apple,” so right away you know that A. this kid’s parents were some really sadistic fuckers (Ringo was his real given name, and in Japan there are no middle names to fall back on) and B. this kid’s probably gonna end up on the news someday for disembowling schoolyard bullies and scrawling “I’m a BAAAD APPLE” in blood on the walls.
Anyhow, Ringo’s parents hired an English teaching acquaintance of mine to teach him English twice a week, 90 minutes per session, which seems all well and good and perfectly normal in a Japanese cram school-mentality sort of way until you hear that Ringo-kun was exactly ONE (1) FUCKING YEAR OLD! Obviously, his parents were on really good drugs or something, because they paid 50 bucks per session for this early education. It apparently is not easy teaching an infant English for a full hour and a half. The teacher said that at first, he made googling noises at the baby but that got boring real fast, so he switched to reading it stories, and later, at the mother’s insistence (she sat in on the classes to change diapers and offer tit, I guess) singing and dancing to please it (I guess you could say that he was Ringo-kun’s little bitch, but that sounds rather unflattering.). I think this points to a certain phenomenon called “smothering with love,” and there were other seriously disturbing signs of this as well.
Ringo-kun was dressed in different clothes every session, with one recurring theme: Ringo. Every piece of clothing had prints or photos of apples on it, and the baby even had a little red apple costume that he was wrapped in before leaving class. Ringo’s mother videotaped every single session, and took an average of one photo every twelve seconds. My favorite story is the time when Ringo’s parents were called in for a parent-teacher meeting and the mother kept pestering the director of the school about her son’s progress (“he can now properly pronounce, ‘WAAAAAAAAAA,’ in English). Apparently, the director managed to keep a straight face the entire time, and even tried to offer “advanced classes” for the baby.
As for the teacher, the last time I saw this guy I asked if he was still teaching Ringo-kun, but apparently his parents had started courses at another school. He didn’t seem too disappointed.

Japanese HOVA

Mr. R.O.C., we runnin’ this rap shit
Memphis Bleek, we runnin’ this rap shit
B. Mac, we runnin’ this rap shit
Freeway, we run this rap shit…

Clear lenses and a GM sticker.
Pipes with no opening.
Mr. Roc.

Notice: My readers can kick your ass

Some of you who follow the comments closely here know that I’ve been subjected to various death threats, etc., over the past year, but I want you all to know it’s truly been a learning experience. I really love the commenters because they’re a true source of knowledge. This blog seems to draw readers from all walks of life. I find that extremely cool. For instance, what other blogger can claim to have readers that smoke crack? (Danielle, I’m not saying that in a bad way. Really. And maybe you just work in a clinic or something, which would be even cooler.)
Can’t you all see?
This is the true beauty of this “Internet” thing that Al Gore invented for us.