Archive for May, 2004
袍 – Pao2 – Gown
Weddings coming up. That means Jenny gets to do her favorite thing: shopping for dresses. Girls like shopping, right? Oh wait, I forgot. She hates it, hates it forever! I keep telling her to take the easy way out and pull her trusty 旗袍 – Qi2 Pao2 – Banner Gown — Qi Pao out of the closet, but she won’t have any of that.
鉤 – Gou1 – Hook
The best kung fu weapon has to be the 鉤子 – Gou1 Zi5 – Hooks! I love the hooks! There’s a little bit of hook use in the fight scene linked from over here.
The only weapon that might possibly be better is the Iron Hand. “Prince, if you are able to overcome my Iron Hand, then you are ready for combat.”
兔 – Tu4 – Rabbit
This 兔子 – Tu4 Zi5 – Rabbit, which I have named “Rabbit Rabbit”, occasionally visits our back yard. Here he is peacefully eating some clovers:
I like Rabbit Rabbit, and look forward to his visits. And Jenny hates him! She’s planted some tomatoes and doesn’t want Rabbit Rabbit getting too comfortable eating what he can find in our yard. So right after that picture was taken, she went out and chased him away.
Poor Rabbit Rabbit.
I’ve been hacking on WordPress a bit to customize it for my needs, and I thought I’d share a few things I’ve “discovered”. These may be obvious to you, but they took me a while to figure out.
I’ve never figured out a good way to do logging from PHP. Sometimes you can get some insight into what’s going on by printing out some comments to the outgoing HTML that a view source will then reveal. But that doesn’t work in all cases: What if there’s something funny going on in the processing of a new post? There’s no place to print to! Actually, there is. Use STDERR!
$stderr = fopen('php://stderr', 'w');
fwrite($stderr,"Logging statement: value is $value\n");
On my host, this works. There is a directory where the output from STDERR is captured. I can post a story, then look in the logfile and see what happened. It helped me debug this quite easily.
WordPress has the built in ability to log all the SQL queries executed while building your page, which I happened to notice while looking at the ‘wpdb’ class. Here’s how you can use it:
Step 1: Add
define('SAVEQUERIES', true); to your wp-config.php. This will cause all queries run by the wpdb to be appended to an array that you can get at later.
Step 2: Print out the queries somehow. I’m printing them out in an HTML comment at the end of my main template, like this:
foreach ($wpdb->savedqueries as $q)
$q = trim(ereg_replace("[[:space:]]+", " ", $q));
Now I (and you) can see exactly what queries are being executed, which may help answer some questions about what’s going on in the guts of WP.
蚊 – Wen2 – Mosquito
Either I’m immune to 蚊子 – Wen2 Zi5 – Mosquito bites, or they don’t bite me. Jenny and I went to the same cookout and she’s scratching like crazy, but I’m not. Her explanation: “I just have sweeter blood”.
I’ve upgraded to WordPress! Expect breakage, and assume it’s all my fault! Migrating two years of b2 hacks isn’t that easy. Well, the migrating is easy, thanks to the new plugin system, it’s just that remembering where all the hacks are is a bit difficult.
Just now I’ve thrown the big switch to put WP into production, and I think all the major stuff is working. I’ve got a kung fu movie to watch, then I’ll come back and fix the rest.
善 – Shan4 – Good, Friendly
In The Legend of the Sacred Stone, the evil ghostly demon bad guys are called, if you translate literallly, 非善類 – Fei1 Shan4 Lei4 – Not Good Kind. When we first saw the movie I thought it was so cool that the bad guys were called “The Not Good Kind” that I repeated it over and over to Jenny and it became one of our catch phrases. DSL isn’t working? Not good kind! Your sisters are having a fight? Not good kind! Sorry, I have to stay late at work tonight. Hey! Not good kind!
From the Taiwanese version of the movie, I learned that “The Not Good Kind” are “Not To Be Messed With”. The movie opens with one set of puppets who are reallly good at kung fu teaming up to beat this one other puppet who is really really really good at kung fu. Then the “Not Good Kind” show up and completely tear ALL the puppets apart, with puppet blood shooting everywhere (yes, puppets bleed). They speak in these altered, raspy, scary voices and can burrow underground and fly and assume human form and are generally really menacing. When they show up, puppets die. Even the strange name “Not Good Kind” sort of added to their evil mystique.
Today we finally watched the subtitled version of the movie that I picked up recently, and guess what: “The Not Good Kind” are actually the COMIC RELIEF! As scary as they are during the fight scenes, all their lines, spoken in those scary demonic voices, are jokes and puns and other gags. They are actually clumsy and stupid. Everything else in the movie is dead serious except for The Not Good Kind. And they aren’t even The Not Good Kind: the subtitles call them the much less menacing “THE UNFRIENDLY”.
This changes EVERYTHING! Not good kind!
無 – Wu2 – Without, Not
Welcome to FINGER DAY!
拇指 – Mu3 Zhi3 – Thumb
食指 – Shi2 Zhi3 – Food Finger — Index Finger
中指 – Zhong1 Zhi3 – Middle Finger
無名指 – Wu2 Ming2 Zhi3 – Without Name Finger — Ring Finger
小指 – Xiao3 Zhi3 — Little Finger — Pinky
That’s right, “ring finger” is “FINGER WITH NO NAME”. How cool is that?
碩 – Shuo4 – Large
I am now a 碩士 – Shuo4 Shi4 – Large Scholar — Master!
Dear Mr. Minutillo:
This is to certify that you have successfully fulfilled requirements for the Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on May 15, 2004.
驚 – Jing1 – Startle, Alarm, Frighten
驚喜 – Jing1 Xi3 – Frighten Enjoy — Pleasant Surprise
Super awesome day today! Jenny, Walde and I went to New York with a special guest star: Joe of Joe vs. Japan fame! His site, sadly, has been taken over by domain sqatters. But in meatspace he still exists, and plans to go back to Japan as soon as he can to continue studying whatever obscure sub-sub-type of Japanese Buddhist sculpture he studies.
First: Ninth Avenue International Food Festival! It wasn’t quite as good as we’d hoped, it was mostly just a regular old New York street fair with gyros, funnel bread, kabobs, expensive lemonade, cheap irregular clothes, gimmicky informercial type items, and socks. There were a few more “real” restaurants that set up stands than the usual street fair, but not really enough for it to be worth trudging down all 20 blocks.
Second: GODZILLA! The original from 1954! Never before seen in the US! Remastered and retranslated! A pretty serious and dark movie, not like some of the later silly Godzilla movies. And seeing the first one is a perfect preparation for GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, the last Godzilla movie, which will come out at the end of this year.
AND THEN, 驚喜 BONUS ITEM: At Kim’s Video, while Walde and Joe were looking through the obscure Japanese movies, I had a sudden thought: “This, of all places, seems to be where I’d have the highest chance of finding a subtitled version of Legend of the Sacred Stone“. Immediately Joe said “You mean this?” and pulled it right off the shelf. Subtitled! With the original Taiwanese language track! AMAZING! I’ve been searching the Internet for a subtitled version of this for the past 3 years, and could never find one. Now I’ll finally know what those puppets are fighting over.
褐 – He4 – Brown
Jenny’s always taught me that brown is 咖啡色 – Ka1 Fei1 Se4 – Coffee Color, which has caused me to wonder for all these years: what did they call it before they knew about coffee? Mystery solved! I found these two other words for brown:
褐色 – He4 Se4 – Brown
棕色 – Zong1 Se4 – Brown
聚 – Ju4 – Assemble, Gathering
聚會 – Ju4 Hui4 – Assemble Meeting — Gathering
According to Jenny, you can’t say party? Is she sure? 聚會, which is a gathering or a get-together is the closest you can get. There’s also 晚會 – Wan3 Hui4 – Evening Meeting, but I guess that sounds too formal, according to her. Then there’s 聯歡會 – Lian2 Huan1 Hui4 – Connect Joyful Meeting which is an expression she’s never heard, so who knows what the connotation is. You can also say it phonetically as Pai4 Dui4 but that would be cheating.
UPDATE: I no longer consider 派對 – Pai4 Dui4 – Party cheating, after I found this site: Partyman & Sunshiny’s Sweet Party!
OK, the bookings are all set: Jenny and I will be staying at a purple hotel in San Francisco from June 27th to July 2nd. I’ll be at some dorky conference, while Jenny will be having fun. I won’t have much free time, just half a day when we get there Sunday, and then each night. Any suggestions? What makes the “DON’T MISS” list?
樓 – Lou2 – Building, Floor
紅樓夢 – Hong2 Lou2 Meng4 – Red Floor Dream — Dream of the Red Chamber
Tonight: Dream of the Red Chamber: THE MOTION PICTURE. Walde and Jenny both liked it, I thought it was a little boring. The movie version cut out all the supernatural stuff and was basically a Romeo and Juliet type story, with one difference: these star crossed lovers needed no poison or daggers to die! The sheer force of will was enough in one case, and in the other, a simple walk straight up to heaven worked nicely.
Today’s word of the day is Geek, because I have had this story of geekism on my mind. Where I work, we are geeks, mostly. One of the geeky things we do is come up with “code names” for each project we work on. There’s actually a good reason for this: marketing will change the actual name of the product 10 times while you develop and test it, and then after you pass the point where the name can not possibly be changed, 10 more times. Then in the next version they’ll rename it more. To escape this cycle of pain, we use code names, which need never change. The product name is set at manufacturing time by some configuration file, but all the internal documentation and source code refers to the code name.
The second level of geekism here is that we name all our projects after colors. (everybody needs a theme, for instance Intel uses rivers and towns in the Pacific Northwest) Previous projects have been Gunmetal, Daffodil and Magenta. Current projects include Quicksilver and Cyan. Coming up soon will be Canary. Some purists out there are now thinking “WELL SOME OF THOSE ARE HARDLY COLORS.” …You need to learn to think outside the box.
The THIRD level of geekism is that we create silly logos for each codename that we use on internal documentation and sometimes tchotchkes. For the project I’m working on, Cyan, the details of which are unimportant, but I can assure you are incredibly boring, I created the perfect logo. I sent it out in an email. I got lots of responses. They all hated it! Not enough “Zing”, one email actually dared to say. People began to do Google image searches and send back alternatives nicked from the web “How about this one?” “OOooooo I like that one!” “Hey, this one has a funky font!” “Look at this funny album cover I found.” And so on, and so on.
We ended up using one of those other logos, leaving mine consigned to the dustbin of history (along with 22,700 other things, according to Google). But because of pride in my fine logo-geneering skills, stubbornness, or maybe plain stupidity, I decided: This will not stand. I’m not going to let my fine logo go to waste just because the people I work with (to a man: even the art designer guy) can’t appreciate it. So I’m working the other end of the lazy-web: Post the lazy-web response now, and when the lazy-web request comes in, the answer will be waiting here.
So here it is. Need a logo for your project/product/company/clothing line/floor wax/dessert topping? Is it called Cyan? USE THIS ONE! IT’S FREE! (note: logo makes more sense if your previous project/product/company/clothing line/floor wax/dessert topping was called Magenta)
Disappointed? Now you know how the people I work with feel. Every day.
So there it is! USA Today has the story. Two screens, one touch sensitive, but you need a stylus? Backwards compatible with all GB games, and has built in Bluetooth for networked play (no more stupid wires).
And for the purposes of comparison, here’s Donkey Kong Game & Watch, a single-game Nintendo system from the early 80’s:
舊 – Jiu4 – Old
舊金山 – Jiu4 Jin1 Shan1 – Old Gold Mountain — San Francisco
I don’t know why San Francisco is called “Old Gold Mountain”. And I don’t know if there’s a “Gold Mountain” or “New Gold Mountain”, either. I do know that San Francisco is where JavaOne is going to be, and I know that I’ll be there.
A saying: 喜新厭舊 – Xi3 Xin1 Yan4 Jiu4 – Like New, Hate Old. This is something you say about people when they’re interested in some new friend and bored with the old.
Second post: not so much (although the possibility of working for Google in Japan is, as they say, wicked cool)
Certain sites have characterized the below table as a “hoax”. I am curious whether or not the numbers are “real” for some definition of that word. I found this copy of the exact same table, posted on Usenet by Robert Calvert in 2002:
From the groups he posted it to (rec.org.mensa, sci.anthropology, alt.politics.british, alt.fan.rush-limbaugh) it’s quite possible that it was a troll, just trying to stir up controversy. Somebody else has contacted him in the past few days, but he still hasn’t said where he got the data from. He did hint that “If you’re exceptionally intelligent, I guarantee you that the
source for my data will absolutely blow you away. :-)”.
Right now my fake-or-real-ometer is starting to swing over to the “fake” direction.
避 – Bi4 – Avoid, Evade
避免 – Bi4 Mian3 – Avoid
One of the movie theaters around here was randomly playing this Indian movie, Main Hoon Na (which means I’m Here Now, if the subtitles were in sync with the songs), so we went to see it. It was a good old fashioned three hour long action/romance/musical/comedy/drama movie. So far I’ve seen just two Indian movies: Lagaan and this one, and they’re both exhausting, but really good. So why is the word of the day “avoid”? One of the characters used “Avoid!” as a catch phrase… sort of shorthand for a similar concept to “don’t go there”.
(unrelated: how to know you are coming home way too late: the next day’s newspaper has already arrived.)
In the latest entry in my ongoing “things that are correlated with extreme stupidity” department, I give you this data, compiled by The American Assembler: A simple list of states, sorted by their average IQ, and colored by who they voted for in 2000.
誌 – Zhi4 – Record
日誌 – Ri4 Zhi4 – Day Record — Journal
Today I read some of the “morning journal” that Sharena keeps at school. There was a striking similarity to my “word of the day” section! If you looked at them both and matched up the dates, you’d see that we’re thinking the same thing many days, about playgrounds and gerbils and dinosaurs and hiking and museums and video games and visits to various aunts and uncles and cousins.
And, just like me, it’s clear that sometimes nothing’s going on and she can’t think of anything to write. She solves that problem by just writing about how great her teacher is. On those days she always gets a “10″.
市 – Shi4 – City, Market
For some reason I started playing SimCity again. I have a city of about 1.3 million people, a highway, a reasonable subway system, every improvement they’ve asked for, low crime, high aura… but it’s not growing. I think the problem is that all the polluting industries have moved out, but the high-tech ones are not moving in. I see a few research labs and software studios, but lots more abandoned buildings (which I bulldoze, but they come back). My population’s education quotient is in the 140’s and I think I’ve set all the ordinances right, but still nothing.
June 28th 2004: Steve Jobs introduces Mac OS X 10.4, known as “Tiger”.