Sure formula

Yesterday I slaved out in the hot sun, carefully detailing our black car.

After that, I watered the garden heavily because it looked dry.

Today I woke to the sound of heavy raindrops hitting banana leaves.

This is only the second time it’s rained in four months.

The first time happened after I washed both cars.

I am a level 3 shaman with powerful rain juju.


My admin login for this blog either got corrupted or was intentionally changed by some script kiddie, so I need to purge everything and build it up again. My last backup is recent, from New Years Eve of last year (thank Omniscient Being of Choice that I had nothing else to do that day). I’ll be losing all of my posts from January and February, but I don’t mind so much…

This blog’s feed gets picked up by Facebook, Twitter, and Buzz, so when I import the old posts, it might avalanche.. or not. Apologies in advance.

UPDATE: Maybe I didn’t lose anything except, strangely, the banner – I have backups of it, but it’s time to make a new one.


Mina shook her head in serious disagreement 17 times in a row yesterday – I was asking about people she loves; apparently she just hates everyone, because by the time I got to the end I had run out of people she knows by name and had started naming animals.

Max just told his mother to leave him alone and go be with daddy.

I got an e-mail from a distant relative in Kyushu who runs a beauty salon that T, Adam, Inaba and I visited 12 (?) years ago when we went to visit my cousins Kana and Aya in Saga Prefecture (Saga was where my grandfather on my dad’s side grew up, and is the Northeast Thailand of Japan – the locals move out to work shitty jobs in the big city, and the only people moving in are either going back to work on their family’s farm, or to get away from people in general.) Anyway, when we visited the salon, they just happened to be shooting a commercial to be aired on a local TV station, so we got to be in it while getting haircuts and shouting the name of the store – “HEADS!” – at the camera.

So the owner of that shop is either a distant cousin or uncle (which makes him close enough to kill for under Sackett law), and he emailed me out of the blue yesterday. He’s recently into sansevieria plants (AKA mother in law’s tongue), which are not so popular in Japan, so he’s coming this June to check out some of the farms and collectors here in Thailand. Maybe we will hook up.

Max had to take an entrance exam for a nearby preschool yesterday (his current school, which he loves going to now, is closing at the end of March). They test out the little kids by giving them various little tasks and challenges like drawing, puzzles, logic games, motor skills testing, simple questions, etc. Max would not enter the room without mommy, but aced all of the tests. He apparently did some of them twice, by choice, because they gave him too much time to complete them. Sounds scarily familiar.

Nam thought up a brilliant substitute for tenkasu today: Rice Krispies!

This was sufficiently genius for me to acknowledge that I am truly lucky to have married her… For the ten thousandth time or so.


Spicy Maple Links of Destruction 2/11/11

Offered mostly without comment because I’m still chewing on them:

The last Japanese man remaining in Kazakhstan
A Kafkian tale of the plight of a Japanese POW in the Soviet Union

An Evening with J. D. Salinger
Of course he’s crazy, that’s why his best works ring so true.

Educating B Students
My question is: Where have all the A students gone?

The New Atheists’ Narrow Worldview
If it weren’t for the crazy shit based in monkey-ass superstition, religion wouldn’t be half as entertaining… And in that regard, I think of animistic religions as more honest than others.

And finally:

Alternate Universe Movie Posters
So cool.

Samsung Kies Software

Is the worst piece of shit you ever did see. It’s super slow, bloated, and looks like the retarded monkey who decided on the design gave the job to a colorblind Amiga programmer.

Actually, I’ve never used any mobile phone/digicam/video cam maker’s software that was even close to being acceptable, but this Kies crap bundled with my Samsung Galaxy 5 is just laughably bad. Time to start up on my old desktop rig: FOUR TIMES longer than PhotoShop CS3.

This is just fucking unacceptable, shitty code. Shame on you, Samsung.

Karelia / Alone in the Wilderness

It was nice being able to sleep in a tent for a few nights this past year; I like camping and look forward to taking Max and Mina…

There are a couple of nice outdoors themed links I’ve been wanting to post, so:

Unforgettable Vacation In Karelia – Nice photo set from Finland or Russia, can’t tell which. (It’s hosted on English Russia, so watch for pop-ups.)

Then there’s this clip from a film called Alone in the Wilderness:

This kind of stuff just fascinates me – I often wonder if I’d be able to handle a month or two of solitude.

The guy’s homepage is here.

I’m acquiring the full video as I type this, so I may write about it again.

Max and Mina’s Tribute to the White Stripes

“The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”

The White Stripes, February 2, 2011

And so:

We did this back in August of last year.

I was never a huge White Stripes fan, but the way they are ending is inspiring. I sure wish my favorite bands had gone out like this.

Legion, the chat transcript

Adam: yo
what up

Adam: that’s cool, I like chatting to myself anyway

me: hey
you there?

Adam: they killed the black guy!

me: ?

Adam: and he had a prosthetic hand…
it’s a really good movie!
such an intricate plot

me: oh

Adam: and great acting

me: you should see spartacus the series
pretty cool

Adam: what up man

me: not much
just finished my only class for today

Adam: nice

me: i was sitting under the trees outside drinking coffee

Adam: gonna go do something fun?

me: um
got a pal who’s cousin has an m4

Adam: lol

me: we’re going to go to the police range and surprise the shit out of some cops

Adam: nice

me: his uncle’s the governor of a nearby province so he has all the papers
he usually takes it to the range and gets asked about it by all the cops after he rocks full auto

Adam: oh no, black guy number two is rushing the zombies
fuck, where’s omar when you need him
oh shit, the little girl is a zombie

me: farmer in the dell

Adam: she ate him!
the white girl is going crazy
she’s in the van!
The little kid is leading the zombies

me: is that a gladiator movie with zombies or what

Adam: now the angel is taking an mp5 out of the diner
karate chop
flying forward kick!
cap to the dome!

me: wtf that movie sounds awesome

Adam: gasoline flame thrower

me: robocop

Adam: ooh, white girl is getting lucky
back safe in diner

me: you need to see walking dead

Adam: sorry, the movie must look super cool through text

me: it sounds awesome

Adam: that’s what I hear

me: keep going

Adam: oh shit, baby girl stabbing!

me: i wont bother watching it

Adam: lol
oh shit, the baby girl got tossied in the air

Adam: shot by machine gun!

Adam: like a midget toss
now the girl is in labor!

me: wtf

Adam: her vagina is glowing!

me: that movie is fucking complicated

Adam: never mind, was just a flashlight
wow, that baby popped right out
looks like quaid from total recall

Adam: “The baby was not meant to be born…but the future was unwritten. The baby was born.”
one handed baby catch!

Adam: wow, the angel is being rear naked choked@
oh, choker pwned by a switchblade hidden in a mace

Adam: “sorry, we’re out of business”
angel got shot in the head with a flare gun
wow, I think I should go study

Adam is offline.

Thanks for the D

I was in a bank the other day, holding Max and waiting for Nam to finish renewing our car insurance, when a student from a while back spotted me and came in to say hi. Then she started tearing up and thanked me repeatedly for passing her last year, and pointed down to her bulging midsection.

“I’m six months pregnant,” she said, “and I just don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t graduated yet.”

I remembered her case very well – it had been a tough call, with various problems if I chose to help her, but in the end, I passed her. I dealt with the problems. I forgot about her class and started teaching new ones… and now she was here.

I was kind of embarrassed, but I squeezed Max closer, and looked her in the eyes and told her to be a good mom.

It’s 50,000% better to be told someone’s pregnant after you make a decision like that than before.


I’ve really tried to keep the design of this site pleasing and simple over most of its incarnations. It bugs me when I visit sites that have interesting content overlaid with shitty design and ads, so I’ve been using the Readability javascript for a long time (it currently exists as a Chrome plug-in). Simply stated, it simplifies pages, strips out extraneous crap, and makes them easier to read.

Readability has now launched as a subscription service, starting at $5 a month. I would pay for it if I browsed on my mobile more often, but $60 a month is a bit too much for me… I like the idea a lot, but I’m not willing to pay that much for it.

I’m very grateful they’re keeping free the Chrome plug-in around.