Tuesday, February 28, 2006

[Work] The Verdict Is In

Last week, I was sick, and actually missed a day of work (Tuesday) for the first time ever.

This was such a unique situation that by the time I went home on Wednesday, it still wasn't sorted out whether it was going to be nenkyu or byokyu. Nenkyu is limited, byokyu (in theory) isn't.

Well, it's Wednesday again and the verdict has been handed down. It's nenkyu. In fact, I just witnessed the OL being chewed out by the kyoto-sensei for trying to file it under byokyu.

There are a lot of things I'm going to miss about this place. Things like this aren't among them.

Monday, February 27, 2006

[Work] Okurete suimasen*

(*Forgive me for being late)

I was late for work today. 20 minutes late. That's got to be a record for me.

Understand that I basically live right next to my school. I wasn't stuck in traffic, my car didn't break down, I didn't get a flat tire.

I don't even know what happened. I got up at my regular time and started getting ready and BAM! It was time to go to work and I wasn't ready yet.

It's like I walked through a time tunnel in my house and came out an hour in the future. I can't figure it out. So strange...

Someone (something?) out there owes me an hour and I want it back.

[News] Google in China

Oy, where to begin...

I initially had the same knee-jerk reaction as everyone else. "But, their motto is 'Don't Be Evil', how could they do this?" But after pondering it and considering the situation in the larger context, I believe Google made the right choice. The proper, moral, _Good_ choice. I further believe that refusing to do business in China at all would have, in fact, been evil.

And the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that people still in the "Google=evil" stage just haven't thought it all the way through yet. But that's just my opinion; we can agree to disagree. ^_^

But, how about a quick experiment?

Step one: Look around you. How many objects can you see just in the room you are in right now that were made in China? Unless the answer is ZERO, _you_ are doing business with China. You are supporting them.

Does that make you evil?

Step two: Ah, Slashdot. How I love thee.

Part A: Defeat the censorship.

Use elgooG

Spell poorly

Part B: Relevant Results

275 hits, that's WITH the censorship in place. If you thought there would be zero hits, you'd be mistaken.

Part C: Comments

I used to live in a totalitarian regime for the first half of my life and know the effects of government censorship. I have to tell you that if I should choose whether to have google with censorship or not have it at all, its clear what I would choose. I would indeed perceive it as a great evil if Google would withdraw their services from me because of someone's quite stupid elitist opinion.

It's by no means obvious to me that "provide nothing" is less evil than "provide partial."

The fascinating news for me is Google, a private company standing up to the fascist tyranny of the US government.
Aside from the fact that it should be the job of the US poulation to do this, and the profound irony of a corporation standing up for rights the ordinary individual is too apathetic and mentally lazy to deal with there is the hilarious spectre of Washington chastising Google and Yahoo over their censorship. Could the irony be any richer?

Just because Google is an American company, it is not within reason for it to impose American ideology on another nation. While doing business within a market sponsored and regulated by another government, it is only fair that you play by their rules. Google is NOT a liberation army, they are not defenders of democracy or freedom; nor is it their right to assume such a role in a foreign land.

Most of the comments here and the other articles on the subject follow the "everything or nothing" mentality. This is typical when asking for opinions of people not directly affected by the matter. Most of you being outside China, it is easy to claim that you would rather not use Google at all instead of use a reliable service with certain "sensitive" pages filtered.

For someone who is currently living in China and using it daily, I am very glad they made this particular decision. For those condemning Google for not sticking to "Don't Be Evil" or for selling out, consider this - which is the greater evil, to filter out some information (and let people know it _is_ being filtered), or to deny them access to information altogether?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

[Me] Phoenix is Sick

Sick in bed.
Can barely move.
Will hopefully be better by tomorrow for work.

Friday, February 17, 2006

[Warning] Valentine's Day

Warning signs:
  1. Did you get a box of chocolates from your girlfriend?*
    • No
  2. Did you get a box of chocolates from your mom?
    • Yes

* In Japan, the girls give the boys chocolate on Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

[Link] The Infamous Ghetto Indoor Pool

Manager: Sir, can you tell me why you’d like to return this pool?
Tynan : I was going to buy a penguin, but I was worried the pool was going to leak on my carpet. It doesn’t say anywhere not to use it inside, but I don’t think it’s sturdy enough.
Manager: Are you being serious?
Tynan: Yes.
Manager: Ok… I guess we’ll take it.

[Link] Trailers

We all remember the Shining trailer re-mix. Well, here are some new good ones:

Back to the Future (from http://chocolatecakecity.com/ )

Sleepless in Seattle (from http://tomatopatch.com/ )

I meant to post these before Sapporo, but, well, time is fleeting...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

[Image] Best Valentines Day Card Ever

Sunday, February 05, 2006

[Question] 19-hour Ferry Rides

The Sapporo Trip entails not one, but TWO 19-hour ferry rides.

My question is: What should I take with me to pass the time?

[Me] Adventures in Sapporo (soon)

I'm taking vacation time (!!!) this week in order to go to the Snow Festival in Sapporo.

I'll try to remember to take lots of pictures, but if I forget ... well, that'd be, you know, normal.

Of course, even if I DO take pictures, I might never get around to posting them here. I've still not put up the pictures of the palace I live in, and I've been here for a year and a half. And I'm changing houses in the Summer. So, time is ticking. AND, I never did finish the story of my adventures in Tokyo (and the related pictures).

I guess I'm just a Bad Person.

[Comic] The Adventures of Dr. McNinja

It's even more awesome than it sounds.

Great quotables, like:
"I'm a Doctor, OK. I know Science."
(context: he's thinking to himself, as he enters the cave)

"But if he wanted to enter the cave undetected," the coroner will ask, "why did he wear a bright white lab coat?"

"Because he was a Doctor. And he knew Science," someone will reply.


"I'm sorry. He used to love to say that."
Chess is a little too... "Rooky, pawny" for my tastes.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

[Fark] Light bulbs: Not such a bright idea

Ban the lightbulb and save the world?

Friday, February 03, 2006

[Comic] JETfool #2

Thursday, February 02, 2006

[Slashdot] Off Kilter

"Some times I think I went to bed last night in one timeline. A timeline where normal, common sense prevails. Yet, somehow I've woken up in another timeline. One where everything is slightly off kilter. Not enough to be grossly disorienting, but just enough to be maddeningly noticeable."

[Comic] Dilbert Theory

An example of why I still love Scott Adams.

(Yesterday's "Sure, and while I do that you can be at my house cleaning the grout in my shower." was also good)

[Link] Fun Movie Quiz

How many of these can you answer correctly, given only a small, grainy, poor-quality screenshot of the movie? (enable javascript to play)

If you get stuck, here are the answers. You dirty, dirty cheater.