Monday, January 30, 2006


So my Japanese instructor handed out a bunch of New Year's postcards from fourth and fifth graders today, celebrating the year of the dog. Three observations:
  1. I did not win the trip to Hawaii. Blasphemy.
  2. A Japanese fourth grader has better drawing skills than I do. This is not suprising. (She was about on par with your average ninth grade American anime fanartist, only without the pretending to be Japanese, and, of course, all the emo crap).
  3. A Japanese fourth grader has better English handwriting than I do. This disheartens me.

Judging by the way she quickly collected the cards at the end of class, I can only assume that one of them did win the trip to Hawaii. Unfortunately, this also means that I couldn't get a scan to put up here, but, eh, you'll live.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It all started with an iPod...

Well, it seems like it's finally happened. After all these years of managing to successfully avoid it, I now appear to be succumbing to the Dark Side. It all began in November, when I used my "holiday bonus" at work (20% off one item instead of 10%! Aren't faceless megacorporaconglomerates wonderful?) to buy myself a video iPod. It was fine at first, but then I suddenly found myself being overwhelmed by this inexplicable, uncontrollable urge. I didn't know what to make of it at first. As the urge escalated, I found myself doing things that I have never done before. I begain checking Apple rumor sites almost daily. Steve Jobs' MacWorld keynote? Watched the whole thing. All the while, the urge was getting worse and worse. Finally, last week, after a blurry few days of which I remember little besides the eBay logo and lots of cursing at snipers, I awoke to find this sharing a desk with my Linux box:

Powermac G4
Just the thing I need. How nice.

So, yeah, as you can see there peeking out from behind the monitor and under the architecturally-dubious Leaning Tower of Kiseki™ (a Moosic landmark since 2005!), I am now the proud owner of an aging Mac.

Actually, I'm pretty much using this as sort of a training exercise. Now that Apple's switching to Intel (and thus opening the door for things like VMware and WINE, for when I acutally need a Windows program), I'm considering making the switch when my Windows box gets too old to be useable. Seeing how I like to run these things into the ground (I had a 486 Linux box running 24/7 until just last year, for chrissakes), this probably won't be happening for at least a few years. In the meantime, I grabbed myself this G4, seemingly plucked straight out of the hallowed halls of a forgotten University computer lab, judging by the number of labels that were stuck to it at some point or another. It also posesses the strangest CD loading mechanism that I have ever seen:

The CD... err... jaws
I'm your mighty, CD-gripping Jaws of Love, baby!

It's actually a DVD-RAM drive, where the recordable discs would come in their own cartridges. Do we remember DVD-RAM, kids? No? Neither do I. So anyway, there's what I'm going to spend the next few months playing with when I should be doing something productive. Like making timely updates to this blog. With that in mind, here's one last look at Christmas Mokona before I pack the lights up for another year:

Stupid Camera Tricks!
En fuego!

Goodnight, everybody.