Archive for September, 2005

2005.09.27

VIZ Surf Picture!

VIZ Surf Group 2005
VIZ Surf Trip 2005
I finally got a few of the pictures that were taken during the surf trip out to Bolinas this past weekend. Going left to right in the front row is Hiromi, Ronnie and Julie. Across the back row from left to right is Reg, Grant, Mitsuko, Jerome, Masa, Ian, me and Akane.

The sign of a good surf trip with a bunch of beginners is that everyone seems to want to do it again despite having sore muscles. A few even want to go back next week! Hmmm… Maybe I can convince NHK to go surfing this weekend. I have a feeling he’ll be disinclined, but it never hurts to ask, and I do seem to recall one drunken Geek Night him saying he would go.

I have to say I’m looking forward to doing this again!

1 Comment | Catergorized: friends  life  surf  work

2005.09.25

VIZ Surfing Expedition

Today I took a group of people I work with at VIZ for a surf lesson in Bolinas. For anyone interested I highly recommend Nick’s lessons; he’s really a great teacher. Nine people (ten including myself) took to the water and had a great time.

I would have a few pictures but my camera ran out of batteries. I think I managed to get one of Masayuki. If it turns out I will post it.

Now I’m sore as hell and going to bed. I’m really happy about today, though.

Comments Off on VIZ Surfing Expedition | Catergorized: friends  life  surf  work

2005.09.24

A Distinct Lack of Sleep

I was talking with a friend at work today about how I haven’t been sleeping terribly well lately. Not like it’s horrible sleep, and I’ve definitely gone longer with less, but I wish just once a month I could wake up feeling refreshed. It’s definitely been a very very long time.

2 Comments | Catergorized: life

2005.09.24

The American Love Affair with Cars

For four years I drove an hour each direction to an from my previous place of employment. I was in control of my destiny, so I thought, as long as I was behind the wheel. I was free to do what I wanted when I wanted. Yet the truth is, for me, I wasn’t in control or free. I was trapped and limited.

Americans love their cars. We’re a car culture. A vast highway of roads and highways connects almost every point of this country of ours. We’re an independent people and cars were a form of independence and freedom known previously only to the very wealthy or very ambitious. The mythology grew along with the reality. These days owning a car is symbolic of making it, even among the poor in America. It’s gotten to the point where in some places you have to have a car or you can’t even function.

Now I don’t drive to work. I take public transportation and an interesting change has come over my life. I now feel more free, more independent. True, I’m not in control of the driving anymore, but that frees me to do something I hadn’t done in a long time; read. I’ve read more in the past four months since starting this job than I had the entire four years at my previous job. Taking public transportation is sometime slower than taking a car, but I no longer have to contend with parking. No more parking tickets.

I feel like there is a larger statement to be made about this. Letting someone else be in control might go against the mythological grain of American individuality, but it has given me free time that I hadn’t had in a long time and almost forgot about. When I think back on my life the most freedom I had was in Prague. I could hop on a tram or subway at any time of day or night and get to where I wanted to go. No worries about drunk driving or falling asleep behind the wheel or irritating traffic. It was wonderful.

There is a larger picture to this. Maybe I’ll write more about it when I have it more clearly in mind but I see similar arguments for health care, for example. Ours is a mess. It’s claimed that we have more freedom, but in truth it seems a confusing morass of unknown costs, lack of certain coverage, and red tape. It sounds socialistic, but “universal” health care would give more freedom to many than it would take away.

I want more freedom, not less, and worrying about the condition of my car, insurance, registration, smog tests, the cost of gas, dealing with idiot drivers here in California, and all the rest is worth less to me than giving up a wee bit of control to the bus driver (though I prefer trams!) and having the freedom I then gain.

3 Comments | Catergorized: life  thoughts

2005.09.22

Return of the iBook

At long last I have my laptop back. I’m hoping to catch up on loads of writing that has gone neglected over the past two weeks both here and on the UBUG, where there is tons of Blosxom goodness to share.

Comments Off on Return of the iBook | Catergorized: apple  technology

2005.09.19

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Avast me hearties! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day! September 19th of every year is the day. This year I didn’t have a party for it on account of it falling on a Monday, but such is life. I’ve installed a plugin for the day that will convert some of the text to reflect the day. Have a great one, mateys!

Comments Off on Talk Like a Pirate Day! | Catergorized: life

2005.09.17

Resizing Windows

A note to all you website developers. If you make my browser window resize when I visit your site I will never go to your site again. I think most people at the very least get really irritated when you resize their window. STOP IT. Thank you.

Comments Off on Resizing Windows | Catergorized: geek  grrr

2005.09.16

Take It Back From the Hippies!

Somehow the hippies acquired the phrase, “Make Love, Not War.” I hate what it’s turned into, but c’mon… the sentiment is great! I think we should take it back.

Yes Fuck, No Kill.

Comments Off on Take It Back From the Hippies! | Catergorized: thoughts

2005.09.16

Formative Events from High School

This month’s blogging challenge is to describe some formative event from your school days. I’m picking high school which, because of moving and the way my schools were formed, I consider from 7th to 12th grades. Instead of telling individual stories I’m going to just chunk them all together and let all go at once.

7th, 8th and 9th grades I spent in Korea. Seoul American High School. What an odd mix of people.

Loads happened at this time in my life. I joined the Boy Scouts and my Dad and brother joined me. It brought us together in ways that might never have happened otherwise. The basis for the song Chopping Up Robert happened at this time when a murderer tried to kill my friend Robert and us after a comic book shopping spree. I managed to avoid a fight by just standing there and not letting the guy yelling in my face get to me. I punched my neighbor when he wouldn’t stop picking on my brother. Knocked him on his ass. I had my first kiss. I discovered and played Dungeons and Dragons. I bought my first book from myself; The Lord of the Rings. My final year playing soccer my team, The Fury, came in first. I had some really great friends who I wish I could still be in touch with. We had great conversations during lunches on life, philosophy, religion, books, politics, and whatever else came to mind. I had one of the best teachers I ever had in my life: Mr. Gahan.

10th, 11th and 12th grades were in Ohio. Fairborn High School. You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Somehow my voice started to change… and never finished. For a year and a half I didn’t speak much at school. Most people thought I was a mute, most of the rest thought I was gay, and the few who cared would tease me. It really sucked. Then we sorted that out with a speech therapist. Now I have an artificial voice. I had my first taste of alcohol. I wasn’t impressed and never really tried it again until I was almost 22. I got involved in Drama Club which just grew my impulse to want to be creative. I started learning and playing music. I made some great friends who I’m still in touch with. I kept playing RPGs; go 20th Stormguard Calvary! I watched Highlander, Heathers and The Princess Bride probably too many times. Jolt Cola became a huge part of my cultural life. I learned to drive. My parents will probably hate hearing this but I lost my virginity towards the end of all this. I tried one time, and one time only, to skip school; I got caught. For a different reason entirely I was grounded for one solid month (that sucked!).

This is far far from a complete list of formative events from my school days. It is really interesting to me that very little of this stuff actually dealt with school. For me most of school was something I had to endure before I could get to anywhere I really wanted to be. Mind you I’m not sure I am there yet, but school was definitely just a thing I had to do because it was required of me.

Comments Off on Formative Events from High School | Catergorized: korea  life  memories

2005.09.16

About Fracking Time

The box finally arrived so I could ship my iBook off for repairs. Apparently the order wasn’t pushed through or something. Hopefully I’ll have it back by next week so I can finally get back to posting regularly here, there and elsewhere. I know I could do it through the web interface, but ecto has really spoiled me.

I don’t know why Apple doesn’t just replace the entire computer at this point. This is the third time this problem has occurred with my iBook. I love the machine, but if there’s a fatal flaw then something a bit more drastic should be done. I mean, at this point it’s got to have cost them in shipping, labor and parts something close to the cost of replacing it. I hate to tell them this but I’ll probably keep using the thing until it really dies; I can’t see myself affording a new computer anytime in the near future.

Oh well. If they run par for the course I should have it back next week, probably on Monday. At that point I’ll go crazy catching up with sorting my email, posting, and stuff.

1 Comment | Catergorized: apple  grrr  technology
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