Oh, I took off from work early on Friday because I couldn’t stand the excitement. Rushed home and saw a telephone line crane-truck parked next to my parking lot (on a street close to my house). Got a sick feeling in my stomach because I somehow knew this was used to bring the princess Hikari to my home, and remembered asking for my landlord’s permission a month ago, before going to Thailand. I passed on the explanation I got from the NTT rep, that FTTH installation is not a big deal, and existing holes in the walls are used so that there is a minimum of impact. Well, it was not exactly a lie, as the fiber optic cable enters the house via a hole made for the air conditioning unit hose (fixed in place with white silly putty-like stuff), but the sun glinted off the newly attached mounting plate screwed to the outside wall (used to protect the fiber optic line) as I realized there must have been a five man work crew stringing lines from the power poles, drilling holes in my wall, and annoying the neighbor’s neurotic pomeranian (redundant, I know – i had a Pom). I am so glad my landlord wasn’t there, I’ll have to paint the cables and mounting plate outside to match the house.
First of all, the Hikari works. It rocks. Last night I heard the lonely scream of a 56k on some lame hackeresque TV movie, and it made me cringe. I watched the green LINK lamp on the ONU (FTTH “modem”) flicker as I downloaded files off some puny T1 server in Sweden, and was reminded about the Salaryman post I wrote a few years ago about hacking into the company LAN. About bandwidth: Out of the box, I have measured 23 Mbps in both directions. Average speed for this type of Hikari (B Flets Family 100 plan) is around 17, so I have a decent connection to begin with, which makes me happy. What makes me unhappy is that I have to find all the registry hacks I made to accomodate ADSL on all four of my windoze boxes in order to optimize for FTTH. For 8M ADSL, I managed to bring average speed up double where I started at and at the end, the speed measurement site I was using throughout started claiming I was breaking theoretical speeds, spiking up to 8.1M. Average speed was around 4.5M for DL/750K for UL.
Twenty-seven full minutes have passed since my last mail update from Nam. What is that girl thinking? I give her the benefit of the doubt and check for new mail actively instead of letting the system update my phone – it’s faster that way and the auto update is spotty in these concrete buidings sometimes. Goddamn it, why do factories have to be so utilitarian? I’d trade the third story metal doors (for moving big equipment directly in by crane) for wide-open (packet-friendly) gaping holes any day.
Thirty-one minutes now. I could really piss her off by calling for an update again, but before I get home she will be there all alone with the Precious so I’d better be a nice little hobittses until I can wring her filthy lying little neckses, Smeagol. (Raving sicko alert!) ………… Can’t wait… Must call… Must have Preeeeeeeeciouuuuuus…
(Doctor’s note: No more cookies for this patient until further notice.)
OK. Must Call. Must Find Out. Stay Tuned.
If all does not go well, I better take time to delete the post below.
Nam (the, no The GF) sent e-mail to my batphone (did I mention it can output a map of my surroundings using GPS?) saying they are installing the fiber optic cable RIGHT NOW. How many hours till I’m free? If all goes well, the thingamabob they set in my home will report dutifully back to spook central at NTT, confirming ALL SYSTEMS GO, OKIE-DOKIE, WE-ARE-INVINCIBLE@100MBPS-IN-YOUR-FACENESS. Then I can cancel my measly 8Mbps ADSL tonight and tell my provider, Asahi-net to give me a B-Flets (NTT-provided FTTH) account and cancel the A-Flets (ADSL) one. Shame, shame. For one night, I will have a cumulative theoretical bandwidth of:
B-Flets FTTH: 100 Mbps
A-Flets ADSL: 8 Mbps
Air ‘H Card: 128 Kbps
POTS (Pudgy ‘Ol Telephone System) Dial-Up: 56 Kbps
au cellphone dial-up (non-enhanced): 14.4 Kbps (actually times 2 if you count Nam’s, but no, this is mine, ALL MINE!)
Total: 108 dullards and 20.24 centsicles
I’M ON TOP OF THE WORLD!
UNIMAGINABLE BANDWIDTH! RAW POWER! TWISTED-PAIR KILLER! I WILL YOU MY EXCESS LATENCY, YOU UNDERPRIVILEGED SNAIL-TURTLE-SLOWTHINGS!
Sorry, I kind of lost it up there. Everybody was staring at me as I wrote “MUWAHAHA…” cause I was glaring at the screen and typing in an exaggerated hunt & peck, where my fingers were death rays and the keys were snail-turtle-slowthings. As if they know what it’s like getting wired with Hikari. Uninspired corporate slothmongers. Have fun dialing up to check mail tonight, australopitheces! (austalopithecuses?)
Did I tell you this tech fetish is temporary and I will soon forsake all things digital?
THE BANDWIDTH LORD HATH SPOKEN
Oh, I forgot – the doctor didn’t charge me anything (I used my previously prescribed meds, as described below.). I love Thailand.
Do I want to switch to the new Blogger prototype, Dano? Hell yes, life is a chain of upgrades. Heeeere we go…
During our trip, I realized that I’m possibly suffering from an RSI. DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis. My wrist has been painful for a couple months now, but it all culminated in Phuket when I threw a beach ball to a little Aussie girl while swimming in the pool. The motion of that overhand throw (two handed) hit a sweet spot, and I ducked underwater to scream as loud as I could. Cool! The most painfully painful pain I have experienced in a while. Purifying, in a pure-grittish way. I went back to the room and laid on the bed for awhile. We went to see the local clinic the next day, where the doctor told me I was suffering from tendinitis. I accepted this at face value and let the nurse (who was kind of cute but not pretty or lovely or understanding like my girlfriend, I might add) wrap my wrist. Later, Nam’s sister, Nok (who is the most selfless person I know), convinced me to see a famous doctor in Bangkok, and I did so in order to get a second opinion. Good thing, too, because this doctor knew his stuff a lot better than the Phuket guy, who was probably more used to injecting penicillin into Fat German Ass or urine testing Recently-Impregnated Japanese Princesses than diagnosing specific types of RSI.
But this Bangkok doctor was great. He runs a private clinic located in the heart of the city. It opens every night after he finishes his rounds at a big local hospital. When I first walked into the place (comprised entirely of a large fluorescent-lit waiting room with a small adjoining treatment room), I immediately was reassured because the nurses/receptionists were Old Women, Greatly Experienced Yet Non-Bitter types. As I waited, I noticed that some of the patients in the waiting room were bearing gifts – flowers, food, etc. – and placing them on the reception desk after being treated. In retrospect, I’m absolutely sure that these people had no money and that the gifts were actually barter (Is that the correct word? I’m using it to express “goods for services”). This reminds me of stories about my dad, who accepted goods (one specific example was jars of Tupelo honey) when patients did not have money to pay for treatment (props to pops for that), and also my pal Taro’s dad who accepted produce from families that sent their kids to his juku (cram school). Thinking about this kind of stuff makes me happy. Buddha would be moved (In fact, he is).
He did more specific testing involving twisting, tapping, and squeezing my hand, wrist, and arm to isolate the specific area of Pain. I now know this area is called the tenosynovium which is the slippery covering of a common tunnel for two tendons – the abductor policis longus (APL) and extensor policis longus (EPL). I assume my l337 mousing caused the irritation to I read that the reason this is important is to distinguish it from another type of tendinitis where the intersection of the tendons is irritated (and hence requires another treatment). Doc approved of the meds the Phuket doc had prescribed (a pain reliever and a “muscle relaxant” – at first I thought it might make me crap my pants or enable Gumby-like contortions), and said that if the pain persisted, cortisone shots to the wrist would be next. All I can think about is how much a wrist injection would hurt. Pretty bad, I imagine. Also, the last step, which is apparently a final solution of sorts, is surgery to widen the tunnel surrounded by the inflamed tenosynovium.
All this Latin reminds me of a documentary I saw in high school history class. The narration ended with the words, “we can woe the plight of doomed Australopithecus,” delivered in Britspeak (Lorries, brollies, biscuits, etcetera, etcetera, and so forth. Is the word “soldado” used throughout the former British Empire [colonies reconizeable by Commonwealth Game attendance] or only in OZ?).
Surgery, huh? Gotta ask dad about this one.
During spring break I proved to myself that continuous netfeed is in fact NOT necessary for survival. My entire Internet useover 10 whole days consisted of a single e-mail written in 5 minutes at a net cafe in Phuket. Additional “unconnected” computer time was comprised entirely of loading images from the Nikon 4500 to Baby (Vaio U3) via Compact Flash cards and a PC card adapter, plus a single one-hour Counter-Strike sesh (with my bro, Adam) in a gaming lab on the 4th floor of MBK center in Bangkok. It was an unfulfilling sesh (session) because the comps were slow compared to my own so I had to adjust for graphic bottlenecks, plus the tops of the movement keys (W, S, A, D) had been worn out from use. There were holes on the top of the keys, and my fingers touched down on the plastic ribs that crisscross the inside of the keys directly over the pluger thingy that actually initiates output of a character (if you can describe this any better, or even just understand what the hell I just wrote, please contact me). The tactile effect was equivalent to tapping your fingers on the tip of a blunt-tipped ballpoint pen (Bic, maybe?).
Thinking about posting here while on vacation. But I didn’t have time to buy an (gasp) analog modem for my Vaio U3 (PCMCIA). Ah, visions of the future… I will be going from 100Mbps LAN at home and 128Kbps wireless PHS card to ANAfuckingLOG MODEMS. But that’s the whole purpose. By next month, I will have technology which in combination with my gadgets and black sorcery, will provide me with a tech level I can piss on 99.9999% of the world’s heads from – for at least 5 years. My intention is to give it all up after a year, move to the Thai countryside, and purge my life of EMR for a while. Does it make me sick? Sometimes I feel so. If it allows me to ignore the urge to urinate for eight hours and stare into a pulsing electron gun while exercising only my fingers, it’s probably less than healthy.
Why the HELL am I writing this now? Must pack…
Well, I barely made it through this week. Working with clients that are powerful and inefficient is kind of like driving a jeep – it’s fun once in a while, when you want to do it for the thrill, but if becomes a day in and day out kind of affair, it becomes a chore. Whatever that sad-ass analogy means.
Tired. Tired. Hungry. But tired.
Have to pack. Going to Thailand tomorrow! But must eat. Must sleep. Must wake up at 5:00 AM!?! What the hell kind of vacation is that?
Missed the haircut because i spent a while trying to figure out a way to send Nam an e-mail her brother sent in Thai script. A challenge since Nam only had her phone (au) on her. I took a screen shot in WinXP after formatting the text to cellphone screen size in the OE compose window. Then I optimized in Fireworks and tested the 1.65K gif (and then png) by sending to my phone, also an au (albeit newer and way cooler – it’s got image conversion and editing capabilities and video – more on this later) but the attached files were not viewable. The error message displayed claimed size limitation errors, but I think it had to do with image subformat. Well, that was all a colossal waste of time.
I got a sudden inspiration and just took a pic with my phone after setting typeface of the Thai script to bold for screen legibility. This unbelievably crude hack worked better than I could have imagined. I swore I would never use a camera-equipped phone for taking snapshots (got me a pinhole camera, yes sirree!), but I found an honest to god practical use today. It was like finding out that those tits on the hog actually produce milk. Yippee!
In related news, the other day on our way back to this island (Awajishima), we made a pit stop at a highway rest area. I came out of the john and saw that Nam was waiting for me in front of the impressively lit vending area. She motioned for me to come over and was gesturing toward something on the ground in front of the Asahi vending machine. I jogged over and saw one of the coolest moths I have ever seen! It was shaped and colored just like a gingko leaf! It was so strange looking, I would not have been surprised to find it on the fifth moon of Endor, let alone at a highway rest stop. But there it was. Links are forthcoming, but impossible while my ISP is screwing around with my account. Actually, these smug bastards are in line for a class action suit from the state of Florida, so I better clear my crap off their servers, um, like, soon.
YAY! Time to get a haircut and go shopping for the grubbage needed to sustain life at Yoshida Manor.
I am going through hell with my new Air”H card. I got it because I’m a bandwidth junkie. I optimized all my comps for 8Mbps ADSL over the course of half a year by reading all possible documentation, and tweaking all components – hardware and soft – only to become suddenly eligible for NTT’S FTTH service. To Be Installed on May 16th. 100Mbps, I welcome you to my world. I will optimize you like I optimized your ADSL forebearers (noise-prone philistines they were!). I will distribute you fairly among my leige-boxes. You are my new champion.
There’s nothing like being stabbed in the back by your ISP… Then again, I guess Ma Bell (NTT West, where I am) could tweak your titties just as sadistically. The dreaded feeling of having NO POWER over the situation as sweetly sickening bile works its way up your throat… Welcome to the land of Royally Screwed, starring YOU! This is how I start this blog, providing a glimpse at its reasons for being. (Well, Smeagol, at least we thinks it can only get better.)