My high school dean was right

Link found somewhere (just before my browser crashed):
20 Questions to a Better Personality
You are a WRDL–Wacky Rational Destructive Leader. This makes you a Enemy of the State.
You are charismatic and winning and a very dangerous enemy. You favor justice over compassion, and would almost rather see your opponent fail than you succeed.
You impact the lives of those around you more than any other personality. People remember your name and respect you. You are a tremendous amount of fun to be around and astonishing to watch. You are generally abstinent in your habits, and you like things tidy and ordered.
When picking teams, it is smartest for others to pick yours.
Of the 80601 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 1.5 % are this type.

Mongolian Mustard-seed Antagonism

I’m back, after a five-day stretch being tortured by Koga ninjas in their secret lair under Lake Biwa. Fortunately, I survived by using my wits and took them all out with my killer combos:
whooping peony-blossom punch
explosive hawk flip
double star thrust
laughing taoist penetration
invincible eagle wall
resplendent sage knee
yellow emperor’s secret charge
burning fox-woman defense
abominable goldfish jab
unfathomable secret scratch
venerable sky elbow
illusory scorpion technique
fire of the eunuch penetration
innocent willow heel
When you’re time comes, will your kung fu be good enough?

The Other, Other White Meat

Go check out the Evil Sandmich’s continued writings on his adventures in Japanese cuisine last year: LINK

One morning they had a little hit of ketchup with the Japanese omelet (which I never got tired of, the omelet or the ketchup) and I was as happy as a brain eating zombie (I was quite tired and didn’t realize it, but my wife said that I was sucking the contents out of the packet). I got the definite impression that the Japanese don’t make a habit of coating their food with anything (ketchup, BBQ sauce, gravy, or even wasabi).

The relative lack of condiments is something you get used to, or if you’re a condiment/spice/topping addict, deal with by carrying around your own. Actually, condiments are a lot more prevalent than they were in years past. It used to be damn near impossible to get ketchup with your fries – at McDonalds!
Japanese Condiment Factoid o’ the Day: Up until about five years ago it was common for restaurants (even large chain or “family” restaurants) to refill partially depleted Tabasco bottles – with soy sauce! The resulting mix looked like uranium sludge, and tasted about the same (and no, it wasn’t that the Tabasco was just old, either). I assume this vile dilution was carried out by the restaurants as a cost-savings measure, but I have no proof – maybe it was a ploy by the Tabasco distributors to create a more “localized” flavor for the Japanese market (and if Tabasco adds an “Oriental Pepper Sauce” to their lineup, you will know where they got the idea).

Also on the beef night, I had something for the first time during the trip – raw squid. Now I don’t mind the cooked kind, and the flavor didn’t bother me, but the texture…. The most polite way of putting it is, imagine if a stranger hocked up a big, thick, mildly fishy loogey and put it in the fridge, and the next night you accidentally dined on it.

Raw squid is best when it’s very fresh and is called “ika sashimi”; even when refrigerated, it starts degrading rapidly and after a short time becomes what I usually refer to as “bait.”
Also, the phrase “mildly fishy” never fails to evoke terrifying memories of a certain teacher I had in junior high who had recently immigrated from Germany. Her impressive bust and fondness for wearing tight, short-sleeve summer dresses was set off by the fact she had the hairiest armpits I’ve seen in my entire life, which dripped sweat in the summer when she raised her arms to write on the blackboard. Just thought I’d share that.

To add insult to injury, they were served in a bowl with cold, greenish noodles that were about the same texture as the fish (sans eyes of course). I hesitantly ate my ‘snot noodles’, but I couldn’t bring myself to choke down the fish snot sitting at the bottom of the bowl, it makes my stomach light just thinking about it.

Heh. Damn, this brings back memories from when I first came to Japan. Yep, there were some “delicacies” that I wouldn’t touch with a stick back then, although I got used to most of them quickly. There are a few things I still don’t like, but there isn’t much I haven’t tried or given a fair shake, even the stuff mentioned in the story below:
Some years ago, I took some clients from the US out for dinner, and one of them, was adamant about trying every “strange” dish possible.
Thus challenged, I ordered accordingly. I have to admit that he seemed to be genuinely enjoying everything that came until I pulled the trump card and told him the next dish was a specialty of the house, and I bet he couldn’t tell what it was:
CLIENT (pleasantly surprised): “Mmm, it’s creamy.”
ME (factually): “Yes, and it’s white, too.”
CLIENT (savoring a larger bite): “It’s kind of sweet.”
ME: “Dude! Your mouth is full of COD SPERM!”
What can I say? I am here to serve.

Fishing Log

Here I will post what we, as a collective, have caught on Awaji up until now, and maybe it will turn into its own updated page.
A baby kawahagi (trigger fish). Caught on gokai (bloodworms). Sumoto port.
Torafugu (pufferfish), caught on squid. Yura.
Small bass, caught on squid. Fugu point.
Small snapper, caught on gokai. Takenokuchi.
A bera (wrasse), on squid. Yura.
Gashira (aka kasago, I suspect, or rockfish in English), caught on squid. Sumoto port.
Not pictured: Sea bass (suzuki), aji (jack mackerel), trout, largemouth bass, small jack, and a marine eel (or poisonous sea snake, according to the locals).
This gallery will expand over time, and hopefully better pictures will replace the fuzzy ones currently on display.

Don’t Be Evil

This is an interesting read: Scraping and ad-stripping Google’s results
I liken it to a brave little ant picking a fight with an elephant. You applaud the little guy’s tenacity, but keep expecting to see a huge foot stomping down any second.
I tried a few searches and the results of Scroogle/Google seem identical… But that said, I can’t stop using Google.
To be honest, I don’t even want to try. I like GMail. I like Blogger. I have always thought fond of the company because I beta tested their iMode site way back in the day and they sent me Google T-shirts in return for bug reports. And, of course, I use Google for searches every single day (can you say “Home Page”). So it is with mixed feelings that I read the dirt on them here, some of which is unimportant to me, much of which is biased, but all of which makes for interesting reading.

What the hell…

I’ve decided to see how long it takes Adam to see the blogpet thing to the left. This should be a fun experiment.