Chatroulette cover of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”: I enjoyed this about a hundred times more than the official music video.


On my way to dance practice tonight, I passed by two guys and caught a fragment of their conversation. The main guy who was talking was saying something about the only thing [he] fear[s] is fear.

Methinks he forgot the “itself” part of that quote.

I also think that guy’s full of shit. (Pretty bold of me, going off of one snippet of conversation!) There’s plenty of fear to be had in this world: fear of losing what you have, fear of not attaining what you should, fear of physical pain, fear of social rejection… the list goes on and on (and this is listing rather high-level examples, not “fear of getting reprimanded by my boss for playing Flash games instead of working”), and those fears are all legitimate to some degree or another.

Sure, you can’t let your fears rule your life (that’s really what FDR was getting at, I’d say)—but you can’t wipe them out, either, at least while you’re living. To do so you would have to have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing to change… it’d be a peculiar brand of sociopathy.

I don’t doubt that guy was just abusing a historical reference for posturing, but still.

You won’t be able to watch this video on an iPad: Fake Steve Jobs’ title is accurate, but the video he links is the real star of the show. Best watched as a total surprise, I think, so I won’t spoil it.


One of the pics I noted was “not racy” in my previous post is, in fact, racy. I failed to note the see-through nature of the doodad the girl was wearing in my “glance and toss” yesterday afternoon, and only discovered my error after cries (some via email) for pics caused me to wade through my garbage*.

(*you all suck)

Honestly, I’m more worried about various powders that might be in any thin envelopes from poor foreign countries with horribly-written addresses, than I am about evaluating any potential softcore pics contained within. (I don’t honestly believe there will be any powder… but, then again, I don’t honestly expect to get these letters, either.)

I regret the error; please return your minds to the gutter.

If you really want (…), here’s a poorly-sanitized pic for you to gawk at. (It’s amazing what a three-second Photoshop smear job can do for an originally NSFW picture.) I think the pic on the right is supposed to feature some sort of “come hither” look, but it doesn’t really do anything for me. The gal in general really isn’t my type (despite how amorphously-defined “my type” is).

Scammers are going to have to work harder than this if they want my money! This is the 21st century; I expect—nay, demand—that my spam be custom-tailored for my preferences in females! (Beyond that, I hold snail mail spam to a higher standard than email spam. They’ve gone for the extra effort to get their spam physically in front of me—they might as well make it worthwhile.)

Every time I watch Mystery Science Theater 3000, I walk away with a headful of terrible ideas—like this quote (now edited for accuracy!):

You know, anthropologists would call this a mating dance. What do you say? *heh*

The proposal

…is an absolutely dreadful movie. Please save two hours of your life and do not watch it.

More to-the-point, though, is that I was proposed to today.

Via mail.

From Ghana.

The gal, who has absolutely horrible handwriting (the address was hand-written), is looking forward to starting her new life with me in the United States. Although she has access to a computer, laser printer, and photocopier (the letter inside was a photocopy of a printed letter), her english isn’t terribly good. To seal the deal, she included two photos of herself. (Nothing racy; get your head out of the gutter.) Not sure what her ethnicity is, exactly, but it’s pretty obvious she’s a fish out of water in Ghana. [Correction: one of the photos is risqué.]

I’m sure she would eagerly hop the next plane here, if I could just spot her some cash for the ticket or somesuch.

Twitter: The Criterion Collection: some are better than others, but the best are pretty darn funny.

And if you decide to play Cave Story? Learn from the best (er… me), and Always Be Closing Saving.

Sheesh; that game practically had me dying before I started playing.

Cave Story and happiness

Played a bit of Cave Story on the Wii this evening. (It’s for-pay on the Wii, but was originally released—and is still available—as a free Flash game.) It does play a bit like some sort of combination of Metroid (the first) and Mega Man, but graphically it exists somewhere between the NES and SNES.

Andy noted that none of our group of friends has played the Flash version of the game, despite reading all about the great excitement building over the (then-impending) Wii version… and theorized that it was all generated hype, and so not really worth playing or paying for. I figured Andy was just trying to rationalize ignoring the game.

Verdict? It’s fun. I haven’t played enough, however, to know whether or not it is as excellent as Kotaku claims:

Have you ever gone back to play an old Nintendo, Sega Genesis, or Super Nintendo game that you used to love, only to find that it didn’t play quite like you remember it playing? It’s as if your mind only stores the good elements of the games you’ve played in the past, and revisiting them uncovers flaws you might not have seen back when you first plugged in the cartridge and took game pad in hand. It’s like you have two games: the actual game, with all its flaws, and the ideal game, molded into near perfection by your imperfect memory. For me, Cave Story is that ideal game. It isn’t simply reminiscent of the games I used to play as a much younger man; it’s what I remember them to be.

Fahey brings up a fascinating point, whether or not you care about video games: what we remember and what the actual experience was like at the time can be two very different things. There’s a TED talk, the riddle of experience versus memory, that explores that unexpected dichotomy and is well worth 20 minutes of your time.

(This is interesting stuff! My favorite college class was an introduction to systems theory and thinking, which had a number of similar “hey, that kinda makes sense!” moments.)

I seem to put a whole lot of weight on the “experiencing” self that lives in the moment, and much less on the “remembering” self… which is why I generally prefer to stay home, in comfort, rather than travel around the world. That, in turn, might explain why I’m such a lousy storyteller in general—because I favor immediate comfort over remembered pleasure, I don’t have many stories to tell… and so don’t have much experience in telling stories, compared to the average person.

Examined in the light of my generally poor memory—an impediment to telling stories in and of itself—my homebody tendencies make some sort of sense. (That said, of course I have fond memories of the trips I have gone on.)

404: the first “not found” error page that I’ve ever envied. Works in Safari (and so probably Chrome); dunno about Firefox or IE.


(This is photographic follow-up from my previous link, and will make a tiny bit more sense given that. Only a tiny bit, mind you!)

Here’s my own take on Matsue castle, complete with Awesome Action Tree:

And the view from the top of the castle (yes, that poor woman in the pillar supported my weight for a short period of time), looking down into the castle grounds:

Matsue’s actually quite pretty, and definitely a different side of Japan from the major cities. (Though it felt more like a small town, Wikipedia states its population was about 196,000 back when we visited. Hrm.) I forget what about it caught Brian’s interest, back in the day, but I’m glad it did. Aside from the castle, the other “major” attraction (as I recall) was Shinji-ko, a major lake in town (photo by Andy):

Human pillars: Holy crap. Brian, Andy and I visited Matsue castle back in our famed Japan trip of 2005. The place did not shake while we were there—but, then again, I can’t say that any girl danced in the streets of Matsue while we were visiting the castle, either.

Layout tweaking

Playing around with the site’s layout a touch instead of being smart and going to sleep. The main text is a touch bigger, and the width of the “page” is a bit smaller. My main goal is to make the place a bit easier to read; I’ve recently noticed that I quite prefer sites with slightly larger text and shorter line lengths. (The fact that it exposes a bit more of the side pictures is a nice, but unintended, benefit.)

I haven’t resized any inline images at the moment, so pictures that are being scaled down (e.g. the header, or the Sunriver stuff below) will look as nice as your browser of choice makes them. Once I re-settle on something, I’ll work on those.

Fail Trooper: hahahahahaha

Danger/Xing: if only more short stories were written like this.

I am a pending statistic. Looks like my ol’ credit card number has been stolen (probably from Monoprice, given the warning on their front page)… now I’m just waiting for the charge from TMA*AFFILNAME,GAMENAME to post so that I can call my credit card company and report it as fraud.


Today’s experiment… FAILED

Final waltz class tonight meant that we each had to do a mini-performance for the class: two laps around the room, once with the choreography we learned in class and once with our own choreography.

End result: I don’t really remember much about my performance. I do recall that my follow and I had a few points where we disagreed about which foot we should be on. Most interesting to me is that I don’t recall whether or not we were actually on-beat—something I had noticed was off in some earlier performances and hoped to (at a minimum) get right.

Some of the other couples were quite good, though. Damn good, even.

My last task of the evening is to choreograph an international waltz routine for a single trip around the dance floor. I only have thirteen moves (and four of those are simple spins broken up into “first half” and “second half”), but the potential combinations are daunting.

This routine shouldn’t be the same as the routine we’ve learned in class. At the same time, though, it’s always nice if you can get the moves to flow into each other, rather than being a herky-jerky mess because you didn’t consider the rotation of each step.

And then there’s the little problem that I’m supposed to have this routine memorized by tomorrow evening. (Brent’s Dark Secret: he sucks at following routines, even when each step is called out in advance.)

Ajinomoto Stadium: dude made the right choice.

Red banner day

For the first time in a really long time (I’m guessing back in 2000, or thereabouts), I weigh less than 200 pounds. I’m wearing pants I haven’t worn for a similar length of time, too.

I don’t even know how much I weighed at my peak—I didn’t bother getting on a scale until some four or five months into exercising—but I have lost over 25 pounds since I started weighing myself. Most of that was thanks to the unsurprisingly effective combination of eating less (not really “dieting” in any strict sense; just eating less crap and eating less in general) and exercising more.

I’ve lost the most-recent pounds without exercising, however. Sunriver was the straw that broke my already-broken schedule completely, and I still haven’t figured out a routine that I can keep reliably. The last week I’ve been fighting off a sore throat/cough combination bug that’s taken most of the wind out of my sails… long story short, I’ve gone about two weeks without exercise. And yet I still lost enough weight (muscle mass) to hit a milestone.

I still have a good bit more I need to lose, but I’m glad that I’ve finally turned the corner in this battle.

Tonight Jill informed me that Yogurt Extreme is the new hip place on Monroe. (Yes, she specifically used that language… why don’t you believe me?) Give yourself as much frozen yogurt as you want, sprinkle on whatever toppings you want, and then at the end they weigh your creation and charge you per ounce.

“Sounds dangerous,” I commented after she explained the setup. “It is,” she agreed.

“Nothing is old but shoes and hats,” declares my daily Yotsuba&! calendar. I’m not quite sure where Kiyohiko Azuma gets his quotes from, sometimes.

Stupid post-nasal-drip cold took me out hard this last weekend. My throat’s still a bit janky, but I appear to be on the mend at this point. I took my forced down-time as an opportunity to get caught up on my RSS feeds, which was super-exciting so I’ll spare you the details.

Next up (but not tonight): upgrade the blog to Movable Type 5. Maybe I’ll even throw some new pictures into the side rotation, if I get ambitious!

powered by wordpress