Left hand wanking the right? Vice versa?

When a CNN Breaking News E-Mail Alert says the exact opposite of the anchorman on CNN International at the same time, which one is more credible?
This is not a trick question; either Israeli ground troops have entered southern Lebanon to attack Hezbollah bases (via E-Mail Alert), or they haven’t (CNN International). I know, I know, fog of war and all that, but still…

Short Movie Review: Takeshis’ 2005

I’ve been a fan of Takeshi’s movies for a long time. His early directing efforts were truly visionary.

takeshis.jpg
Terajima always delivers the best staredown.

That said, Takeshis’ 2005 was disappointing and just too damn long. There is a difference between looking at yourself in a mirror, and watching yourself look at yourself look in the mirror. This movie was filmed with the latter in mind instead of the former, and I’m pretty sure that’s why it sucked.
Takeshi’s on a bit of a sucky streak at the moment – that fucking godforsaken remake of Zatoichi and the movie with the title that basically precludes having to call it gay, Dolls, from a few years back kinda makes this three strikes… I still have faith in Takeshi though. After all, so did Kurosawa when he passed the torch to him.

Jehovan Awakening

If I were asked how I would like to be awakened at six in the morning on the third day of a three day weekend, “by a Jehovah’s Witness” would be near the bottom of the list, believe me. Obviously though, God thought differently today. And it really sucks, because I was having a dream about flying, you know, the full on will-yourself-off-the-ground-and-begin-floating freedom only afforded one without the sting of disappointment when rudely awoken seemingly once every few years. So, fuck! the doorbell was rung relentlessly and I instantly vowed to kill the fucker who dared ruin my awesome flying experience.
I opened the door to a short obachan with hair dyed light purple (it’s a geriatric Asian thing), who started with a curt, “Oh, did I wake you? Sumimasen.”
I’m in my underwear wiping boogers out of my eyes, ya think?
She thrust the following in my hands and says, “We’re passing these out…”:

“EVERYDAY IMAGES OF JAPAN” by ?????? (click to enlarge)

And with that, she walked away. Walked away! Bioooooootch! If you’re not even gonna try and convert people, why even ring doorbells! At six in the morning!
Note to future solicitors of less plausible/just plain crazy-ass religions: At least have the courtesy to stick around and say something so I can tell you to fuck off and slam the door in your face; then you can go home crying to the great floppy bunny rabbit (named after the guy who cuts people’s lawns) in the sky! Fucking fanatics! Six in the fuckin’ morning!

The Green Goddess

Note: This is not a tribute to absinthe.
If you thought my obsessive Gmail observations last week were sad…
ggoddess.jpg
That’s right, it’s time for DICTIONARY BLOGGING. This is my ode, in haiku form, to Green Goddess.
Indispensable
I can kill a full grown carp
With your mighty bulk

Seriously, this is a J to E translator’s best dead tree friend.
That is all.

EV1

An insider’s view of the miserably failed EV1 line of electric cars produced by GM: LINK
I’m pretty sure I saw one of these parked at a recharging station in front of Fry’s Electronics in Fountain Valley a couple of years ago. I wonder if it’s still there…
(link via waxy; the movie he refers to is covered here)

Calling Franky Four Fingers: Job Offer!

Cue Fuckin’ in the Bushes:

Position Title: Diamonds Assistant
Location: Ueno-Tokyo, Japan
Job Listing: I need a Japanese guy who can help our diamonds activities such as sort certified goods at the brinks office and other things. No need for special education. We need a very reliable person.
To apply for this position, please send your resume as the body of an email message to jobs(at)japanesejobs.com with ID#7692 in the subject line. No file attachments.

///
Note: Make sure to bring a tea cozy and a hacksaw to the interview, and practice the following line for perfection: Ver ees ze STONE?

Gmail for Domains – Small Bug

As I mentioned previously, I have my j(at)cosmicbuddha.com address set to forward all mail to my cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com address. Spam sent to the first address is not forwarded; I am OK with this. However, I have noticed that messages sent from cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com to j(at)cosmicbuddha.com are not getting forwarded to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com. I do not understand why, because emails sent from cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com do appear; emails sent from j(at)cosmicbuddha.com to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com do appear; emails sent from third parties to j(at)cosmicbuddha.com are forwarded to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com.
Is this because I’m fucking with the time-space continuum, or what?
UPDATE: My Account status on the Dashboard (Gmail for Domains control panel) is still updating. Maybe that has something to do with it.
All this forwarding business is tempting me to tempt fate with an infinite loop – to set both addresses in question to forward to each other. Should I do it?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Getting. Hard. To. Resist. What the hell? You only live once, right?
POSSIBLY FINAL UPDATE: Well, that was anticlimactic. I expected both mailboxes to instantly fill and throw the Google superkryptoniteleviathanserver cluster off just a bit, yet the net result of sending a test message to either e-mail address was one received message in each account (exactly as it should be). Props Google, you proactively foiled my plans for infinite loopty-looping.

Gmail for Domains Update: Nerdical Delight!

So e-mail for our domains is now handled by Gmail; the switch was a simple matter of changing MX records and adding existing users of cosmicbuddha.com email to the Gmail for Domains web panel.
The way I was using my cosmicbuddha.com e-mail before was simply to have it forwarded to my Gmail account, and archived on my webhost’s mail server.
The way I will use it now is the same, except that my cosmicbuddha.com account is also hosted on the Gmail server.
This should reduce some stress on my webhost’s mail server, which is theoretically a good thing since it should reduce their costs, if even by a minute/insignificat amount. It is in my interest for them to benefit, because I pay for their services. You could counter that I have traded this benefit for security, but that doesn’t really worry me – if you want to keep something secret, don’t mention it in e-mail at all; it is that simple. Whether it is Google or some other party that wants your secrets, they are not safe in your e-mail. Period.
One practical issue I have regards Spam filtering. Spam from my cosmicbuddha.com account seems to be getting caught at that address and not forwarded to my gmail.com address. This means that in order to catch any false positives, I will have to log into the cosmicbuddha.com account and dig through the spam bucket.
The truth is, I can’t be bothered to do that – it takes too much time and is aggravating to see how many different ways spammers can spell any given prescription medication. However, in the past couple years of using Gmail, I have only had a couple false positives, so I figure I can live with that.
The greatest benefit, of course, is that we now get to use the Gmail interface for all of our e-mail, and this beats the hell out of old, tired webmail programs like Horde, NeoMail, and Squirrel Mail provided by many webhosts. And all of our mail archives are now hosted on Google’s supermagneticgoliath cluster, so I feel secure there and bask in the joy of native Google searchability as well. All in all, I feel Google is providing a wonderful service here.
[/end verbal fellatio]

Let’s get nerdical

I have applied for the Gmail beta for domains for cosmicbuddha.com. I hope it comes through. Gmail is the killer web app as far as I’m concerned.
I recently switched hosting providers for this site and chose Dreamhost. The biggest complaint I have about them so far is that their webmail app, Squirrel Mail, is crippled for the sake of stability of all Dreamhost users, and as a consequence, does not support the languages my users need most besides English: Thai and Japanese. This is a deal breaker as far as using our cosmicbuddha.com e-mail goes, because in addition to POP and IMAP accounts, we really need the webmail option. So I set everybody’s cosmicbuddha e-mail accounts to forward to their Gmail accounts (while still maintaining archives on our mail server), and we have been testing this configuration for about a month now.
I’m actually very happy with it – I could go the extra step and set the reply to (or even Send as) field for my Gmail account to j(at)cosmicbuddha.com, but this hasn’t been necessary (and I for some reason think of it as a bit dishonest or misrepresentative).
So a native Gmail account matched to our own domain name is the next logical step in the evolution of this system, and I hope we are accepted for the beta testing.
……………
I just felt like writing about shit no one else is interested in today.

Yucko the Clown

There are times when beating on a fucker like this with a baseball bat would just make my day. Why do we even tolerate clowns in modern society? They should be burned at the stake as far as I’m concerned, right along with mimes, jugglers, and human statues.
Oh, and parents who hire clowns for their children’s birthday parties should be fucking shot, too.

New Banner – Tribute to BIG MAN

BIG MAN is one of the first landmarks you should memorize in Osaka, and I learned this the hard way ten years ago when somebody told me to meet them there later.
I was all like, “what big man?” Everyone within a two kilometer radius spontaneously combusted in laughter at the country boy chawing on a rice stalk, with cow shit caked on his boots, driving his daddy’s tractor.
So yeah, this is me giving props where they’re deserved.

Encyclopedia

Taro’s grandmother passed this morning. She was 94, and one of the coolest old ladies I ever knew. The first time we met, she regaled me with her full knowledge of the English language, “Hello,” “How do you do?,” and, “encyclopedia!” We never figured out where she picked up that last one. She will be missed.
I’m on my way out to Nara from now.

I hate the term Web 2.0

Mostly because it is an overused marketing term with seemingly no real meaning aside from “a new generation of web sites with nifty features and groundbreaking/useful services.”
However, there’s a great comparison of US/JP Web 2.0 sites over at PingMag that’s definitely worth a look: Web 2.0 in Japan

Bad Company Names

It’s official. A post-lunch stroll through the company parking lot confirmed my suspicions: Japanese CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing/Drafting/Design) companies have the funniest names.
I’ve written about this one a couple times before: ZERO PLANNING
With a name like that they pretty much have to be doing work for the government (or perhaps Sony’s been using them as of late…). They had a branch office near our apartment in Tamade, and seeing their logo everyday on my walk to the subway never failed to put a smile on my face.
As I walked among the parked cars today, one with a huge green logo on it stopped me in my tracks: Sodick
You might have to click on the “Global Sites” button to load the English page, but it’s worth it. My favorites:

  1. “Why Sodick technology attracts users?”
  2. “Sodick is to celebrate 30th ever growing anniversary…”
  3. “The Sodick Group”
  4. Would you not feel a little embarassed working here? Or driving around in a car painted with the company logo (like the one I saw today)? Does the company have a hard time giving away free t-shirts at trade shows in the US? (I just don’t understand it, we splurged for pockets and everything!)

The best, though, is the history behind their company name:

The name of “Sodick” is the abbreviation of 3 Japanese words. They are “Sozo” “Dikko” and “CuroKokufuku” which means “to create”, “to implement” and “to overcome hardship.”

Hearing that explanation opens a whole new level of horror: You mean by simply using the overwhelmingly popular romanization of the word (??), the company would have been named “Sojick”? They were so close to being merely nonsensical instead of self-deprecating!