Bits and Pieces: A random update

About that video I posted last Friday. I had an epiphany while watching his God-awful performance. If a guy can stand up in front of a crowd and not only sing the world’s most horrible song (even the lyrics were atrocious) but also revel in the attention and attract at least one fan (the adulator with the uchiwa in the video), then there’s a whole lot more I could be doing with my life if I just let go of my fear. Maria is my new hero. He’s probably completely insane, but he’s living his life with the right attitude.

There are so many things I scare myself out of doing. He accomplished something in that performance that struck a chord with me. (Har har.) I want to be more like him, minus the makeup and the head thrashing.

Next subject. I added gravatars to my blog’s comment pages. If you register your own gravatar, it’ll show up on any other blog plugged into the same system. I like being able to see who I’m interacting with. Thanks to everyone who showed their faces a week or two back. Now every post can be like that!

Next subject. Tony, our 10 year old, is reluctantly learning to read in English. While he sits in my lap and plays Counter Strike on the PC, I make him earn the privilege by having him sound out new words and correcting him when his swears are grammatically incorrect. (BTW, thanks Oliver for teaching him “Aaah shit!” He never said that until he pwned you at Red Steel on the WII.) Yesterday Tony read “Downloading Map” off the screen and really surprised me. Before bedtime we read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish together. It practically killed him to engage his brain that for that long, but he stayed with me through whole book. Barely.

This week I’m going to start learning Java (finally) with the O’Reilly Java Bookin their excellent Head First series. Previously I read the book on HTML and CSSand liked it a lot. I’m also trying to learn JavaScriptthese days. Life is too short, and I feel like I’ve wasted too much of it already.

Last item on the agenda. I posted some photos of Tony and Andy’s undokai, which was last Saturday. It’s the first in a series of “interesting but boring” photos I plan to take of just daily stuff that won’t be good enough to throw up on Flickr. At least take a look at the panorama of the school grounds.

[tags]geek stuff, Tony, fear, Java, JavaScript[/tags]

Weekly Saturday ritual

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While the boys take swimming lessons, I sit up in the spectator’s area with all the little kids who chase each other around barefoot and their parents who talk amongst themselves, stare into space or read.
I’m killing time by listening to Otofuke on my iPod and reading the Japanese translation of Catcher in Rye. It’s slow and painful to have to look up 4-5 words on every page, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. One day, far, far in the future, I’m going to finish reading this book.

At the dentist

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Tony unfortunately inhereted his mother’s teeth and gets cavities all the time. I, on the other hand, have never had one.
Our dentist is high-tech. X-rays show up instantly on a laptop and get stored on a server instead of a file cabinet.
[tags]moblog, photo, Tony[/tags]

Crazy Japanese podcast

Tell me what you think of this idea.

Last weekend when Oliver was visiting, Tony and I started playing a new game. I’d say something totally insane in English like, “May I please poke your eyes out with my chopsticks?” or “I made you a bracelet from my nosehair. I hope you like it,” and he’d translate it into Japanese. Or he’d say something equally strange in Japanese (usually having to do with poop, because he’s nine years old) and I’d say it in English.

Would this work as a podcast with audience participation? I think it would be a fun way to learn English/Japanese. Of course we’d keep it clean. Believe it or not, Tony still doesn’t know bad words in English, and I want to keep it that way. Although he did say to my mother once when he was about two years old, “You’re a FIRE BITCH!” He was just putting sounds together, and that’s what came out. You should have seen the look on her face. Priceless.

Andy, Oliver, Tony


Oliver, a 19 year old podcast listener from the UK who’s trekking around Japan for a few months, stayed over at our house last night. Our boys were really, really excited to meet him. All three slept on the living room floor, but not before spending at least an hour in the dark making all sorts of noises that only little boys can make. (armpit farts, pig snorts, unexplainable very loud banging, etc.) I’m assuming it was Andy and Tony entertaining their guest. Tony woke up this morning looking very hung over. As long as the walls weren’t splattered with blood and nobody woke up in a pool of their own vomit (or somebody else’s), I’m just glad they enjoyed themselves.

In fact, you’re all invited to visit, just as long as all 4,000 or so of you don’t visit all at the same time.

P.S. My site was down earlier because the database server’s hard drive died and had to be rebuilt from a backup. I’m very surprised they’re not using RAID. Very bad sign. If I weren’t so lazy I’d ditch Dreamhost for a more reliable operation.