Tuesday, 9 January 2007


Saturday, February 28, 2004

Languages, Manners, and Racism
Man haven't Kuro5hin got themselves fired upon because of their reduction of Japanese to some basic concepts and structures!
My take on the article is simple:
You either have respect for others or you don't. You either do courtesy or you're a rude git. One of the respondents to the article went into huge dissertations on why it was that people should learn the entire way of life and social nuance of the japanese. That shows a great deal of courtesy - but then he called the author of the article (and all the readers) gaijin and that's back to discourteous again.
His reply isn't that of a courteous person speaking, but a person who has a skewed view of the world. As so many people rightly pointed out at k5, if we snigger at a Japanese immigrant whose best broken English sounds like a load of lunatics on speed reading James Joyce, we're racist and evil. And rightly so, because that would be discourteous in the extreme. So where does this gaijin get off doing a "pot-kettle-black" routine?
(Update 07 March 04) Seems that racism is only a valid term if applied to a white european, even a black american poltician can get away with saying that we whites (including hispanics) look all alike to her, and that's quite okay. Corinne Brown, shame on you.
I'll grant that the author is a bit rude in the original article, but not as excessively rude as their respondent who apparently only has courtesy and tolerance for two ethnic groups, neither of which they belong to. At least the article make no bones about it - structuring your Japanese this way would make sense only in the most surreal way, but it might be the difference between going thirsty and getting a cup of coffee...
Me, I speak two languages reasonably and about four others in very broken ways. But I try and understand what I'm saying and how I'm saying it, and I have a secret weapon - I *LISTEN* to my friends of whatever nationality and I *LEARN* from them - and more courtesy than that you can't pay...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Sunday, March 07, 2004 8:27 AMposted at 12:35 PM Ted
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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

cardboard boxes
I now have my own stack of stacking styrofoam boxes. Half inch thick walls, about the right size, and because they stack, I don't end up with crushed groceries.
Our local fresh and continental market, Swansea St Markets, gives them away for packing your purchases in. I now have six, they all stack together properly, and they go in the car as soon as the word "shopping" is mentioned.
Reusing them is friendly to the environment. They don't end up crushed into some landfill to be a pollutant for the next fifteen years, they get used for a few years in between, which extends their useful life, and at the end of it all they'll probably be pretty crushed up already and by then perhaps someone will have found a way to recycle them.
Meanwhile, I can fill a box with delicate stuff and then stack another box on top knowing the top box will never crush the stuff under it, which makes packing boxes a snap.
The fact that they're styrofoam also keeps things cool on the drive home, and since we've just recently had some of our 40+ deg C days, that too is a bonus.
Not to sound too "born-again-greenie," I think if more people took their own calico bags and cardboard or styro boxes to the checkout, the stupid LDPE plastic bag fad will finally go away, and with it a pretty serious ecological problem.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:27 AM Ted
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Another one of them reminiscences
I came to Perth about 18 years ago, and when I did, I lived on a block which backed onto the parking lot of a block of shops along Canning Hwy, which included Jo Joe's Pizza. Naturally, living that close, I tended to wander right out my back gate and into their back door a lot of nights a week...
Joe and his crew always had time to socialise, the place was always warm in the winter (and in the summer too but who cared? At least the pizza was always good) and the pizzas were superb.
I loved it.
It became a regular thing for about 18 months, then I moved south, wayyyyyy north, and back to Perth again, only not ever in the same neighbourhood again. I sometimes drove past Jo Joe's but never had the time, or else I was boxed in the wrong lane - and tonight I took my SO and her young son in there for pizza.
The place had changed a bit. For a start, I nearly went in the wrong back door to the shops, then I noticed the counter was all new, then that the old dining booth at the back had been replaced by a large drink refrigerator, and finally, that there was no bullet hole in the ceiling from the '87 holdup.
Some things stayed the same though. All the rock'n'roll memorabilia was still there, the same buzzy neon sign stuck above the door, and a very similar crappy TV on the pelmet above the door.
Joe was no longer running it, his partner Bruno was though. And Bruno finally put me out of my misery, too. "We moved the shop from the middle shop to this end about six years ago" he confided to me. I felt like a total retard, but at least I'd headed for the right door, just that the shop was next door.
And the pizzas? Bruno still uses the same recipes, the bases are crusty and the toppings excellent. I think that even though I live across the city from Jo Joe's, I might make a weekly trip there again...
I think I ate myself into a coma, so did Trish. You just don't get food like that anywhere else, no other pizzas come close. Those chain-store pizzas are cheap, but that's also exactly what they are, cheap. Jo Joe's prices aren't rock bottom, but they are not bad either, and for that you get a decent size meal, great flavours, and a texture unlike just about anything you've ever experienced...
Come on Perth people! You're missing out on one of the BEST pizza places in Perth! Canning Hwy and North Lake Rd, it's on the gastronomic "must taste" list!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 12:20 AM Ted Comment made, yay!
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Sunday, February 08, 2004

Remember Pride In Incompetence? Part Three is here...
Hmmm Hmmm hmmmmmm.....
We have a new managing agent for our office, seems that the owners of the building didn't appreciate incompetence either...
'Nuff said, as they say...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 3:11 PM Ted
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Thursday, February 05, 2004

MyDoom, the Internet Rubicon.
MyDoom is the best thing to happen to the Internet and OSS community. I am not saying that tongue-in-cheek, nor am I saying this to vindicate any imputed OSS putsch trying to take over the Internet, which is what some supposedly reliable news sites are apparently implying.
No, I'm just going through the positives and negatives of the outbreak, and I'm actually finding that it's done more good than harm.
To begin with, the virus targets SCO and Microsoft - both of these are no great loss to the average Internet user out there, and in fact it's made a pretty powerful social statement which is creating discussion and educating the general public about these issues. Virus scores zero for Evil, two for Good.
Next, anyone who uses the Internet and their computer sensibly won't be directly affected. This isn't just restricted to people who "don't use Microsoft products" because even those of us using Windows and Outlook include a fair few people who know how to use their PCs safely. So Evil still zero, Good still at two.
Latest news at NYT is an article which says that geeks are increasingly refusing to help their luser friends and family, and I can't help thinking that it's got to be a good thing.
Apparently, the My Doom outbreak has crystallised the formation of this rift, thus achieving a third positive result. People who get caught by MyDoom are the ones that aren't fit to survive in the Internet at large. If we stop helping them for free, then they either have to learn, or else pay a lot of money to technicians or computer shops so they can remain ignorant, or otherwise they will just end up not using PCs outside of work.
No matter which of those results comes about, it's a positive thing. Good = 3, Evil = 0.
I've been there. "You have around a hunded malware programs running on this PC - no wonder it's slow... You shouldn't click on buttons without reading the text first you know."
"But I don't - I have no idea how that stuff gets on there!"
Yeah right...
And that was a family member, who lives by themselves and has no-one else using their PC.
Mind you, I'm not saying MyDoom is harmless or ineffective, far from it. Until each clueless jerk is either educated or eliminated, spammers will gain a fleet of zombies which will spam the rest of us unmercifully. Okay so that's a point for Evil. Still 3/1 though...
And if we can get ISPs to block machines which are spewing out spam, even that could turn out to be a hidden bonus...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:50 PM Ted
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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Have you ever dreamed? Or rather, have you ever remembered your dreams, because we are assured that everyone dreams. Okay, so have you ever dreamed lucidly ? (i.e. where you know you’re dreaming)
I can quite often dream lucidly, and remember it fairly well for long periods after waking, so I enjoy writing some of the dreamiest ones down afterwards. This one sticks in mind because it’s different.
Well, for a start it was set way in the past, Middle Ages if I was a good history student – and most of my dreams are contemporary. That alone would have set it apart, but (as the ad says) wait, there’s more…
In all my dreams I am me, I am myself in body even if my costume varies, and if I am a disembodied observer then I am still me, to myself. I have my own ego and id, and they are me. Not in this dream – in this dream I am patently and completely someone else.
Okay – “I” start this dream off wandering towards a large-ish hall, it’s a community hall and there’s a Festival in progress inside. It’s Mediaeval as I said, and I’m with a couple of colleagues heading for the festival.
“I’m” a six foot, blond haired youngster who has no great mental skills, no problems with his place in life, and certainly no illusions about what I am. “I” am dressed in a light leather jerkin and shorts, wearing a broadsword style sword on my right hip, which makes me left-handed. I’ve just graduated from sword training along with my “colleagues,” which means we can now be hired for fights and battles – we are mercenaries, muscle for hire or for our local lord.
I know I don’t have much of a future but I really don’t give it much thought, I know I am good at smiting and a-smiting I will go – after the Festival, the Festival of Apprentices… Because that’s what’s in that hall, with the smells of good food and the sounds of fun coming from it.
My companions and I are all proud to have passed, and we enter the place like we owned it – and I know that in a way, for tonight, we do, because it’s the only way the people can repay us for (soon, soon…) laying down our lives for them… Mind you, it doesn’t bother me a lot. I am an oaf, but a strong oaf and good at smiting, and who cares what else may happen, tonight I am having fun.
There are stalls set up all around the perimeter of the hall, and food and dancing in the centre. I’m joking with my mates and we come to a stall with a game I’m pretty sure never existed, but since it’s here in my dream, I decide to try it anyway. (Told you I was lucid.)
The game involves a clay pot shaped more like a vase, placed about three metres back from the front of the stall. You are supposed to take a wooden sword about a metre long, and lob it so it falls point-down into the jar without smashing it or tipping it over. The game is on the house to apprentices tonight, and I loft one of the wooden swords, figure out the best trajectory and lob it – bullseye, it hardly rocks the jar at all.
The stall operator hands me my prize. It’s plastic cutlery – white knife, fork, and spoon. I am delighted with my prize, and as I slip it into the front pocket of my jerkin I remark to my companions that now they wil no longer be able to complain about me making noise with my cutlery as I eat. We all roar with laughter. I wake up because – dammit! – this is NOT ME!!!
For the first time ever in a dream, I have been someone I don’t recognise as being me…
I remember in the dream that as I woke up, just after making my joke, we were all heading for a mug of beer and something to eat, and “I” was actually thinking how silly it was to give me plastic cutlery as a prize when all the food was going to be beyond it anyway…
For the first time ever in a dream, I have been someone I don’t recognise as being me…
“I” am also annoyed that I am now going to wake up from that realisation and thus miss out on the beer. How’s THAT for lucidity?
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:24 AM Ted
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