you may find news about what I have been up to for the most month or so
in lovely Akagi Town, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Now, on to the report!
As always, Signe and I are doing great. She is adapting to Japan very
well. She has made many friends around town (she is a very popular
girl), and has taken up many projects. She is still baking for one of
the local resturants about once or twice a week. She has also taken uip
making kimonos. She has finished making the obi (it's like a big belt)
for one of her kimonos, and she is currently working on two kimono
projects. I am sure once she is finished you will be able to see
pictures of her in it at http://www.signerose.org/ .
This last month has been fun. The school year ends in March in Japan so
I went to a lot of graduation ceremonies. Afterwards was spring break
which ends on April 7th this year. Signe and I didn't do anything for
spring break this year, but it was nice to have a break.
One big thing that happened is that the English teacher I do my TV
English Classroom show with is moving to another town. So we have to
find someone else to do the show. We also had to record 3 months of
shows in one night, since the cable station wanted to have some time to
introduce the new person. Recording 3 1/2 shows in a row where you only
speak Japnese to the camera (except for 5 minutes when you do an English
conversation) is tough. I was fine in the beginning, but after 4 hours
straight, I was all gibberish all the time. My Japanese still needs a
lot of work. I study everyday, and keep a journal in Japanese daily, but
I am still lacking a lot, and prolonged conversations lose me.
Another cool think I have been doing in my spring break is translation.
I expressed an interest in translating at the board of education and
they said I could translate some stuff if I like. I was asked to make a
web page for my first finished brochure, so I picked up CSS and made a
page (http://jumex.sdf1.org/akagi/swamp.html ). I am working on another
brochure right now. I am very happy how the first page turned out.
Signe and I visited the old folks' home durring the break as well, and
that was really fun. The old women in town were really excited to see a
couple visit them, we are the first couple in this town for many years.
In any case I am really enjoying my work here and am looking forward to
another great year here!
I recently got back into watching anime recently. I finished _Last
Exile_ and _Gundam SEED_ this month and have just started on _Full Metal
I really liked _Gundam SEED_ a lot. It was a great show in my opinion,
and I am not a big mecha fan, I watched _Gundam Wing_ a few years ago,
but I think that this is a much better show. My favorite mech in the
show is ORB's MBF-M1, the M1 Ashtray
(http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/seed/mbf-m1.htm ). The 1/144th model
of it just came out, so I bought it with the model of ZAFT's ZGMF-1017,
the GINN (http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/seed/zgmf-1017.htm ) and
OMNI's GAT-01, the Strike Dagger
(http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/seed/gat-01.htm ). I got all of these
because they were the first production models of each side in the
battle...and the M1 Ashtray is awesome.
Speaking of figures. I also got two statues of Yomiko and Nancy from the
_R.O.D_ OVA series thanks to my good friend Robert Loo. They are sitting
on either side of my computer (which has had an _R.O.D_ wallpaper for
ever since I bought it).
As for DVDs I have bought. I just got _I can hear the Sea_ thus
completing my collection of Ghibli films (well, at least the ones I want
Signe and I just finished watching the first seasons of _24_ and _Dead
Like Me_. I really liked DLM a lot, and I have to say that I am hooked
on _24_. We will be watching the second season soon. I have to say I am
thankful for BitTorrent and friend's FTP sites. Japanese TV is cool and
all, but I like watching American shows every now and again as well.
It is also nice to be able to get fansubs of the shows coming out
currently in Japan, too.
Well, I have been changing my computer around a lot these days. Explorer
has been slow for me lately, so I took the leap and changed to Geoshell
(http://www.geoshell.com/ ) as my shell, and I LOVE it. Geoshell is very
easy to change and configure, and it is a lot faster than the XP
Explorer. Since I spent almost all my time in Windows Explorer (I have
no icons on my desktop, I only use the file manager), I needed to change
my file manager as well. I found a really great file manager called
2XExplorer (http://netez.com/2xExplorer/ ) that is like a mix of Norton
Commander and Windows Explorer, very nice. I got sick of how Outlook
Express handled IMAP (and I couldn't use pine all the time because it
doesn't support Japanese email encoding), so I went on a search for a
GOOD Windows IMAP client, and I found one with Mozilla Thunderbird
(http://www.mozilla.org/projects/thunderbird/ ). It works great as an
IMAP client, POP3 client, and news reader. Very well written. I have
been an Opera (http://www.opera.com/ ) fan for a very long time, but
Opera had been crashing on me from time to time, and taking up 99% CPU
resources every now and again after wake up, so I decided to make the
jump to Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/ )
after finding a good program that would transfer my Opera bookmarks to
Firefox called BookmarkBridge (http://bookmarkbridge.sourceforge.net/ ).
I have been using Cygwin (http://www.cygwin.com/ ) for a while as well,
and even made a patch for nano (http://www.nano-editor.org/ ) to help
when I am coding. I also wrote a simple plugin for the ConQuery Mozilla
plugin that will auto-translate to Japanese and English, you can find it
and other pieces of code I wrote at http://jumex.sdf1.org/ .
Now about my other computer (my PDA), well after having it for over 4
years, my Handspring Visor Deluxe (Orange!) finnaly gave out. It seems
that there is a common issue with the Visor series handhelds, where
after about 3 years the capacitor gives out and cause massive battery
drain. My battery life went from 1 month normal usage to 1 day normal
usage overnight. So I decided to pack in my beloved Visor Deluxe
(Orange!) and I bought a Sony Clie T650C (the Japanese version of the
T665C (http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=3708 ) off of
someone at http://auctions.yahoo.co.jp/ . The battery drain sucks when
the backlight is on, but with it off, the battery lasts for weeks. I got
a Clie T-series because Signe has a T415 and I wanted to use the same
cradle/charger. I really like the T650C, it is working out for me great.
I have been working on a couple Palm projects as well, but I won't
mention what they are until (if) I actually complete them.
Trev's One Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn a little Japanese, huh? How about expressing that
you like something (someone) OK, here we go:
The form is "(noun) ga suki desu." For example,
Anime ga suki desu. (I like animation.)
Hana ga suki desu. (I like flowers.)
But how about disliking something? That is easy too, check it out, the
form is "(noun) ga suki ja arimasen." Like,
Natsube ga suki ja arimasen. (I dislike eggplant.)
Terebi ga suki ja arimasen. (I dislike TV.)
OK! I hope you learned something this time! Have fun everyone, and
remember to drop me a note every now and again, I love hearing from you