June 29, 2007

Cave Story for the Mac!

It occured to me that the greatest free game ever may have a Mac port. I was happy to find it does. Unite, my Mac brothers, and play 洞窟物語 by downloading it here (Japanese only, so think of it as language practice too).
The best part: using darwin remote and my Wiimote, I can play like the old-school style game it is!

June 27, 2007

What is your blog rated by an MPAA scale?

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • ass (1x)

Everything we love is stupid, revisited

You may remember the entry where I claimed that most things in entertainment, particularly science fiction related things, are really stupid. Really, really stupid.
I think about the idea often, especially when I watch the new Doctor Who episodes. I would say outside of the return of The Master, this season has been mind-numbingly silly. Seriously, villainous weeping angel statues? But I have been watching a lot of the older doctors' episodes lately, thanks to this site, and it drives home the fact that the show was always really bad, and cheesy in the best way. That and Sara Jane was hotter than I ever remembered.

It's all good though, because it's entertaining, and I stand by that.

Anyhoo, you may want to take a look at this article, which argues that true Star Wars fans hate Star Wars. That's something I can get behind!

I know this idea was controversial the first time I brought it up, but have you come to share my point of view, or do you still defend your media?

June 25, 2007

Reading Clark Ashton Smith on my iPod

This is a screen shot of the time-consuming task of converting a bunch of files to unicode 8 text so that I could put them on my ipod. Also, I used an OS X application called book2ipod to get the files to the right size. But it's all worth it; as you may know, Clark is my favorite author. But if you want to find his stories, my old link no longer works (I'll get it later). Better look in the heart of the internet*.

I think maybe over the summer I will give myself a fun challenge and start translating his stories to Japanese. I am gonna have to find a way to sound kind of smart, verbose, poetic, and archaic in Japanese... maybe a read-about into old ghost stories is in order.
After that, I wonder how I can let Japanese people have access to the stories...


*Blogspot Firefox 2 may be to blame, but if that link doesn't work, try http://web.archive.org/web/20011104141606/http://www.worldofschmitt.com/writings/smith/

June 23, 2007

Oh! Mikey

Oh! Mikey: not just a funny/creepy series about a foriegn--and incidentally manequin-- family living in Japan, but the twins' speech (sixth vid in this playlist) is a good exercise in the nuances of saying certain things that are close in meaning to each other.

June 18, 2007

A couple of friends came down to give me fresh baked crockets (sp?) and see the kitty. I had seen something previously in the evening that I thought they should see, so I had them hop in my car and we went about five minutes into the mountains.
Tara has a nice little park up there, with the word ホタル in its name. Which means it's a place for viewing fireflies.
The site of fireflies blinking in unison over a river in the valley between two mountains is quite magical. Like a strange fictional wonderland. Too bad the season will soon be over.

Then I saw this morning another town in our prefecture has made the Mainichi news for the same thing. I was at the town last year; it had a longer trail but fewer fireflies at once when compared to Tara. If you go to Ogi, you have to go deep into the mountains to get a good view, or so I hear. But anyways, there is a photograph in the article, so check it out. I may try a night shot with my camera tonight and see what happens.
BTW, fireflies make for excellent dates ;)

June 16, 2007


I have been curious lately about what old math calculations looked like in Japanese, before Arabic numerals were adopted. I am still rather unsure, but I did rediscover something I haven't thought about for years (I have random memories of researching for an art and math paper in junior college, and seeing this in the electronic periodical records): Sangaku.
Shrines have little evocative wooden tablets; usually prayers, wishes, and horses adorn them. But Sangaku were euclidean-geometry puzzles painted onto such tablets, and set out for those merry 参る者* to solve.
Most of them seem to involve circles. But anyway, here are some examples, and here is a concise history with good insights into the cultural background.
Also, this is at a shrine in Fukuoka; I want to find it, but it is from 1984(?) with Arabic numerals.

*:totally just made up a term for shrine-goer.

June 14, 2007

I scored plain as toast

Actually this quiz doesn't account for all the slurring that I do. That's Clayese. I scored Midland. Do I get extra points for editing their awkward quiz results grammar?
"The default, lowest-common-denominator American accent that newscasters try to imitate. Just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from the Midland."
Personality Test Results

What American accent do you have?

Well, it finally happened.

Things are a little odd today. Okay, a lot. And I am not sure how much longer the power will be on; it's been flickering. Besides, I've got to get to a safer location. Luckily, I am close the mountains, and will head up there shortly. The sirens started around 5 a.m., but they've been off for a little while now.
I confirmed what was giving me the willies pretty early on, with the site of my neighbor. She is one of a few little old ladies that lives around me. But I saw her, out in the yard, trying stupidly to claw her way through the chain link fence. It took me a good thirty seconds to put it together: the clouded over eyes; the blood on her hands and nightgown; the old man, barely in view, laying very still on the tatami beyond their open window. This woman was a zombie.
I got my shovel. It was really hard. Cause you second guess yourself in such a situation. You wonder if you aren't crazy, when the world is. I made a mad dash to the supermarket after that; did some breaking in and looting; there are already a few bodies strewn outside, some of them twitching. I kicked one into the river on my way out. There was a very confused man in the market; some worker. I tried to convince him of what was happening; why the banging was so incessent on the shutters, and that I had a reason for my ransacking. But he wouldn't believe me, and I left him behind.

Has it spread abroad yet? The TV stations that are on are issuing generic emergency signals. Thank goodness we are an island nation. But how long can I and the other survivors hold out? Gotta go. Pray for me and be safe.

(update: apparently there is some info and news about events here).

June 12, 2007

Cucumber Pepsi

I contend some violence goes so over the top that it becomes cartoony; how do you feel about the issue?

June 11, 2007

Chillin at the gats

I look like anpanman [shot by]

Need a water gun

A single cat is quite a bit to wrassle with; suprisingly more difficult than three. And training what is okay to do and what is not... I need to find a water gun, and maybe ammonia (but not combined!). And a widdle cushion to sleep on when I am gone...

June 7, 2007

The top three

Our word for the day is sandai, or "the top three". It's kind of an idiomaic grouping of any three things. There are also 一大, 二大, and 四大 etc groupings, but I was informed that yondai is a bit strange and 四天王 (the four heavenly kings) is used in its place. In any case, the pattern repeats infinitely as far as I know, but one must attach this compound to whatever word it is modifying.
Anyways, back to the top three concept. In Japanese baseball, they sometimes say "神様!仏様!~様!" Where the ~ is replaced by an awesome player. You can use this in other contexts to cool effect.

June 6, 2007

DVD is not the acronym you assumed it to be

So I saw a DVD store sign in Tara on my way back up from Isahaya the other day. I thought to myself at the time, Oh, that could be more convenient that going all the way to the next town over for vids; I'll have to check it out.
Then I go there today. The videos were there, but there was something... off about them. After a few hours it hit me: those ladies aren't wearing clothes. And this flashlight... it's all strangely shaped, and it doesn't light up at all. Waitaminute, this must be one of those burlesque videotechs the dandies talk about!
So I guess I found the town's Olde Sex Shoppe. That was... interesting.
And I guess DVD stands for Deviant Video Distributor.
Yet it warms my heart, in a strange way, that even a super small town such as mine could have such a place.