Archive for March, 2003

Date: March 16th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

Connecticut’s Chinatown

Dealing School

Cool article in today’s Hartford Courant: Connecticut’s Chinatown. This link may rot very quickly, I’m not sure what the Courant’s policy is on keeping stories online.

There is a mass migration going on of Chinese people into Norwich from New York, caused by the garment industry collapse, as well as abundant casino jobs. Jenny’s mom is one, she was thinking of getting a job at one of the casinos.

Date: March 16th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere
2 msgs

Lungshan Temple – Taipei, Taiwan – 9/27/2002 – Evening

Here’s some pictures from 龍山寺 (Lungshan Temple) that I never posted. Each clicks to a larger version. You might be interested in some English background information about the temple.

Lungshan Temple

At the end of one busy day in Taiwan, Jenny and I went to the temple to meet up with her cousin Yvonne. She was a little late, so we took the opportunity to take some night shots of the temple.

Here’s me by the waterfall in the courtyard. Lots of older people hang around there, talking with friends.

Steve by the waterfall

Detail of some of the carvings on the roof:

Steve by the waterfall

A peaceful scene, inside the temple. People seem to be there praying or making offerings all hours of the day and night.

Temple interior

A close up of a big incense urn:

Temple interior

Inside the temple there are many gods that you pray to for different things. Or, if you just want generic heavenly providence, there is a recommended course of gods to follow, culminating with prayer to 觀音 – Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy, and the temple’s main god. (the temple we visited in Tokyo is also for Guan Yin, who is called Kannon in Japanese)

We saw a pair of girls, maybe Japanese tourists, asking one of the other gods to bless their friendship. They were doing some little ritual with a monk there, I assume it was going well because they appeared to be happy. Jenny and I both have forgotten the exact details of what they did, we do remember it involved a piece of red string.

Yvonne eventually arrived, with Jenny’s Aunt. We all went out for dinner nearby, and then shopped in one of the seedier night markets for a bit. Jenny wanted to go rent some comic books that she had never finished reading as a kid, but I wasn’t ready to go home yet. We parted on the subway, and I was off to see what sort of extremely minor adventures I could find.

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Lan3 – Lazy

懶網 – Lan3 Wang3 – Lazy Web

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Cookies still broken in Safari v64

Here’s a good test page to show the problem. Even with the top secret Safari v64 it doesn’t work.

Otherwise, Safari remains totally sweet. v64 is faster than Mozilla 1.3. With the addition of tabs, it’s just about invincible.

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Lazy day, again!

The good thing about being infected with my own mystery virus is that I can use it as an excuse to not have to do anything. So I sit here and play on the computer while Jenny plays Suikoden and contributes to global terror by listening to J-pop MP3s leeched from Boxup.

Luckily, I just found out that b2 actually is maintained, but you have to get the files from CVS if you want the latest bug fixes. So that’s the perfect project for today: Merge my changes with theirs. Cross your fingers…

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Last Night – 9:00 p.m. – A Chinese restaurant

Doubleplusgood entry at The Adventures of AccordionGuy (in the 21st Century) today.

He’s got another blog, The Happiest Geek on Earth, where he talks about the hat and accordion less.

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere

Realistic simulation

Furry

(via Geisha asobi)

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME

Parody becomes reality. Again.

They want to add another threat level, higher than orange, but lower than red. That’s right.

I suggest TERROR THREAT LEVEL CHILI. That’s a Pantone 18-1448, for your reference, Mr. Ridge.

Here, read this, written in January, 2001 for more of that nice “it used to be a joke but now it’s actually happening” feeling. It’s amazingly accurate.

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere

Sushicam

Lucky for me I just subscribed to this crummy website the other day, because otherwise I would have missed out on his link to Sushicam, an excellent Tokyo photoblog.

And while you’re at crummy.com make sure to see Tonight’s Episode.

Date: March 15th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Tou2 – Head

This can be used in a strange idiom that I love saying. You repeat back what somebody just said to you and put 你的頭 – Ni3 De5 Tou2 – “Your Head” at the end. Like if Jenny tells me to wash dishes I’m likely to say:

洗你的頭! – Xi3 Ni3 De5 Tou2! – Wash your head!

Date: March 14th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Elbow Soup

  • 1 8oz can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce – this is critical
  • 1 8oz can sliced mushrooms
  • About a quarter pound of ground beef
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • Garlic salt
  1. Start a pot of water boiling. Salt it. You know how to make pasta.
  2. Brown the beef.
  3. When it’s done, throw in the sauce, mushrooms (dump in the whole can, juice and all), and garlic salt to taste. Depending on how “soupy” you like it, you could even add a can of water. Let it simmer.
  4. Do the elbows.
  5. Mix the cooked elbows with the sauce and you have two big bowls of Elbow Soup!

Guaranteed to hit the spot, every time. You can use fresh mushrooms, or fresh garlic if you like, but the Hunt’s Tomato Sauce is non-negotiable.

Date: March 14th, 2003
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

Talking Moose, Raging Platypus, what’s next?

What’s the deal with Raging Platypus? Why is everybody linking to it? I don’t think it’s anything.

A conspiracy, I say.

Date: March 13th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Huo3 – Fire

Jin1
gold

Mu4
wood

Shui3
water

Huo3
fire

Tu3
earth

Date: March 12th, 2003
Cate: Regular
2 msgs

Ministry of Patriotic Food Naming

Two Minutes Hate

So I guess in this formulation, we are Oceania, the Axis of Evil stands in for Eastasia, and France is Emmanuel Goldstein?

Date: March 12th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ku3 – Bitter

We had 苦瓜 for dinner tonight. But I still never found the MP3.

I like to think looks like a frowning face with both eyes squinted shut from the sheer bitterness.

Date: March 12th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Leng3 – Cold

Because it’s 冷冷的 out!

Date: March 11th, 2003
Cate: Regular
8 msgs

Freedom Fries

Freedom Fries

This important change enacted by Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Bob Ney (R-OH).

Actual press release on Ney’s site:

WASHINGTON D.C. – In a symbolic effort to show their support for American troops protecting freedom abroad and their displeasure with France’s continued refusal to stand with its U.S. allies, U.S. Rep. Bob Ney (OH-18), Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, today responded to a letter circulated by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (NC-03), and ordered that “French fries” be removed from all restaurant menus in the three House office buildings and be replaced with “freedom fries.” Chairman Ney directed this change, as well as the new term, “freedom toast,” instead of “French toast,” in a letter to the House Chief Administrative Officer who supervises restaurant operations in the House.

Date: March 11th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

RC

Nothing like a surprise root canal to make your morning. You think you’re going for an “evaluation” but they take one look at the x-ray and quickly start canaling that root like it’s going out of style.

For my next trick: Drinking my morning coffee with the side of my face that still works.

Date: March 10th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Shi4 – Is/Yes/Right

at Zhongwen.com
at Unicode.org’s Unihan DB
at A. Charles Muller’s CJK-English Dictionary
Learn how to write at ocrat.com

Here’s some more on those four tones. I found these wav files of “Ma” said in each tone.

– Ma1 – Mother (high)
– Ma2 – Numb (ascending)
– Ma3 – Horse (dipping)
– Ma4 – Scold (falling)

And guess what. There’s a SECRET FIFTH TONE they don’t usually tell you about. But I’ll let you in on the secret. It’s only used for special little words you put at the end of a sentence. For instance, if you put this at the end of a sentence it makes it a question.

– Ma5 – ? (neutral)

So now we can write two sentences.

你是豬 – Ni3 Shi4 Zhu1 – You are a pig.
你是豬嗎 – Ni3 Shi4 Zhu1 Ma5 – Are you a pig?

Footnote:

I just realized I can use UNICODE COMBINING DIACRITICAL MARKS (good googeley moogely?) to write the romanizations a little more clearly: Mā Má Mǎ Mà Mȧ. Does that work for you?

Date: March 10th, 2003
Cate: Regular

www.af

Afghanistan has a home page.

Date: March 10th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Homework, Word of the Day, Other

Like the man always says, Still diggin!

I finished the homework finally. This one was hard! All about frame sizes and sequence numbers and selective repeat. So far we’ve handed in three homeworks, this one will be the fourth, but only gotten one back. The midterm is next Monday.

See that huge scary Chinese character staring at you on top of the sidebar? That’s my new department, Chinese Word of the Day. Each day I’ll write a different character, tell you how to say it (in Mandarin) and what it means, and whatever other notes I feel like adding. The first few entries are a little rough, and I had to make mincemeat out of the code to do it, but I intend to make it cleaner later.

In other news, it appears that after the current dance is over, I’ll be the top Minutillo on the Internet. And I’ve gone from the th result to about the 200th for Steve.

Date: March 9th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Ni3 – You

at Zhongwen.com

Here’s something interesting. There is an honorific form of , which is written (Nin2 – You). It is just with (Xin1 – Heart) under it, kind of like “from the heart”. This is what Jenny refers to her parents and grandmother as. I usually forget.

Date: March 9th, 2003
Cate: Regular

God of Procrastinatery

Today’s agenda: Dim Sum at Dim Sum. Homework.

Interesting sites I found instead of doing homework: monkey.org; Magnificent Obsessions.

Date: March 8th, 2003
Cate: Regular

CamWorld’s back

CamWorld’s back – and ashamed to be American.

Date: March 8th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
3 msgs

– Zhu1 – Pig

你是豬 – Ni3 Shi4 Zhu1 – You are a pig.

(the numbers are the tones. 1 is high pitch, 2 is rising, 3 is down then up, and 4 is hard.)

Date: March 8th, 2003
Cate: Video Games
4 msgs

Fighter’s Generation

You probably think I’m weird for wanting to rip a few sprites from Street Fighter. Check this out: Gamegen.com Character Gallery. Frankie (with some community help) has collected information, pictures, and animated sprite rips from EVERY CHARACTER from EVERY FIGHTING GAME, EVER. I mean like EVER. From Adon to Zangief, with some really obscure ones thrown in like Belger, the end guy of Final Fight. The pages for the more popular characters, like local favorite Chun Li just seem to go on and on and on forever. Then you get to bottom and it says “click here for page 2″. WHAT?

Look at the rest of the site, too. He’s got other neat stuff, like pages for every game, including ones that don’t exist. And if you ever needed to see what the character selection screen of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo looks like, you just need to visit his selection screen section, and get it. Of course there is also the obligatory which fighter are you? quiz.

Astounding.

Date: March 8th, 2003
Cate: Video Games

Retsu

Retsu

Date: March 7th, 2003
Cate: Regular
2 msgs

Monkey Skulls

Monkey Skulls

Jenny thinks he’s thinking “My skulls!”

Walde thinks he’s thinking about bananas.

Date: March 7th, 2003
Cate: Regular
8 msgs

Hero Tattoo (with nine dragons)

The guys came over the other night and we watched Hero Tattoo with Nine Dragons, or 九紋龍 – I think. Let me tell you, that is one fine quality movie.

And it turns out to be based on another of those Chinese classic novels, this one is called The Water Margin (水滸傳), written around 1300. In that novel, there are 36 heroes and 72 demons, each with a special quality or fault. The movie focuses on Shi Jin, who has a nine dragons tattooed on him, (hence the title,) and whose special quality is throwing people through doors — oh, I mean Subtlety. You wouldn’t know it from the movie though.

It also turns out that this novel is popular in Japan, and in Japanese is called “Suikoden”. They’ve made millions of comic books, tv shows, and video games based on it.

Anyway, the movie is just totally great. Synopsis: Hero Tattoo beats up on all his teachers, gets in trouble, finally gets a teacher who can teach him something, gets in more trouble, meets up with a crazy Monk and some lady and then goes off to the end guy’s mountain stronghold. At some point his family is killed and he must get revenge. You know the drill. But we didn’t get to see the ending, due to an unfortunate incident about 10 years ago involving a glass of coke.

Date: March 5th, 2003
Cate: Regular
2 msgs

Today’s APOD: Where People Live on Planet Earth

Where People Live on Planet Earth

(you mightn’t be aware of it, but an RSS feed for APOD is available, thanks to jwz.)

Date: March 5th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Java Byte Code Engineering Library

What’s the #1 complaint about Java? “Sure, all this OO stuff is great, but what really bugs me is that I can’t write self modifying code.”

YOU CAN NOW!

BCEL – Byte Code Engineering Library, via the almost impossibly geeky Lambda the Ultimate.

Seriously, this has some other uses. Like generics, aspects, profiling, optimization, behavioral reflection, accounting, tracing, and just imagine the possibilities for reverse engineering. This is absolutely COOL.

Date: March 5th, 2003
Cate: Regular

NEW PHIL

Jenny discovered that 張宇 (Phil Chang) has released a new album, called 大丈夫. I think that means something like “Real Man”. I told Jenny he only chose that title because the characters look cool, she thinks I’m an idiot.

But the plot thickens… If you search for those characters in Google you get back a million Japanese pages. The Babelfish says that that sequence of characters translated from Japanese to English means “All right”, which is apparently some sort of slang phrase or common idiom. Who out there speaks both Japanese and Chinese and can explain this?

Date: March 3rd, 2003
Cate: Video Games
5 msgs

Link, he come to town

Flash Flash Revolution. Go to “Arcade” and play song #1, Legend of Zelda. I bet you didn’t know that song had lyrics, did you?

If you can beat that one — I know it’s hard, but keep at it — you are rewarded with bonus YOSHI LEVEL, which is absolutely impossible.

Date: March 3rd, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Feed on feeds

Just the other day I noticed that none other than Tim Bray was talking about RSS, and mentioned “The Problem of Being Away from Your Home Machine”. I’ve solved that for myself with a server-based RSS client. Any time I’m at an Internet connected machine, I can load up a page, and see what’s new since the last time I checked in. Once an hour, a cron job on my server goes out and updates all my feeds, and the news is ready for me to read when I feel like checking in. It keeps track of what I’ve read already and can show me just what’s new, or I can display all the cached items a bunch of different ways.

I’m not quite ready to release the source code, though. I’d like to sand down a few sharp corners people might cut themselves on first. Here’s how the control panel currently looks:

Feed on Feeds

For now, if you like the sites I like, you can use this static view. It’s updated every hour at the half hour mark, and shows all items for today. It rolls over to a fresh page at midnight, EST. (maybe it would be better to just show the last N hours of stuff?)