Oscar was born on July 20 at 1:10 am. We're delighted, scared, and insanely tired. I'm unsure how many more photos of the little guy will actually be posted in public places if not for the sake of safety than for the fact that I just don't like having real life connections to this site. It's far too difficult to explain in terms that wouldn't make me sound like a lunatic but maintaining that separation is kind of important to me.
In any case, he's at home now and we love him way too much.
This is what my lap looks like on most nights. It makes typing next to impossible when you have a giant kitten fastened to you and hellbent on exposing himself to the world. Little jerk.
Spotted in a store window in Rome while looking for cheap(er) internet access. I cannot imagine why this particular piece of merchandise had its price reduced. The name of the company that produced this remarkable piece of understated propriety is Perfect Persuasion. Yeesh:
Some graffiti in Rome which completely cracked me up in the middle of a hot walk when the rest of Rome was taking a nap or otherwise relaxing:
Only two Euros. Plain old indulgences might be more simple although you've gotta appreciate the honor system.
Mainly I'm just orange and blurry. I am two months old and weigh two pounds. I have to live up to a lot of unreasonable expectations and I just moved in yesterday. Sheesh
Making Pig sit still is nearly impossible so I just stuck the camera in his face (sans flash, of course) and struck cute gold.
I have to work for the entire weekend and then all of next week. I'm mourning the weekend that isn't happening and one work day a week, at least for a few hours, when I don't feel totally burned out and disconnected. Romero's zombies make more sense to me these days as I too keep dragging myself around for reasons I don't understand in order to do things that don't make a damn bit of difference.
Taken with the shitty iSight built into this machine so it was a bit of a feat to even balance my laptop correctly. He is still sleeping in this exact position though so I did something right.
This photo was taken during the 15-45 second period during the day when Pig manages to stay still for longer than fractions of a second. His efforts to prevent me from putting on shoes each and every morning are exhausting enough to make me want to go back to bed. Then again I feel the same way about eating a bowl of Grape Nuts in the morning.
Yeah, he was named pretty quickly. If grows up to be one of those throw pillow sized house cats I may regret that decision. He has a cold right now which works out really well given that we should be acclimating the cats to one another without spreading any diseases. Leonard is having a dental crisis right now and cannot eat. Yoon will taking both of them to the veterinarian tomorrow. Two cats who are scarcely unfamiliar with one another and adverse to being sealed up in boxes will be sealed in a car with my sweetie tomorrow. The audio will no doubt be unearthly.
The first photo of the new cat who looks like suspiciously like the old cat only with bigger ears and more white (which is mostly invisible without a flash and all of the crappy contrast adjustment that iPhoto and Gimpshop can do):
Yes, he is that cute. This photo is a little blurry but this is as close as the little fucker gets to still pretty much ever.
More gratuitous overuse of Photo Booth and its extremely limited number of presets.
I don't care what common sense tells me. That is not your average child and that non-average child is not eating pizza. The free floating question mark only enhances the effect. Thanks to Pizza Hut for giving me fucking nightmares with poor design decisions.
I really, really hate coffee makers that can't last more than a couple of months under heavy use. Granted, this one was a Woot deal instead of the my electronic brain thinks I need cleaning and I will refuse to make coffee again until you chemically douche me coffee maker pictured that is equally broken at the moment. The coffee press still works thankfully.
I bought some insanely cheap cat food to feed to the cats that hang out in our back yard. I didn't realize until we brought the bag home that the product mascot cats kind of look like the scruffy cats that will eat its contents. The one on the right definitely looks like it would roll you for your wallet if you walked down our dark alley at night.
The keyboard was filthy so it seemed like a good idea to tear it apart and start cleaning at midnight. I really wish that Happy Hacking/PFU still sold replacement key as I managed to break one of the fragile little tabs in the process of removing more than eighty keys. I guess I'll wait another couple of years before I think about attempting this again. That very future-tific looking surface is just a paper towel. It looks very 2001. That is the sole consolation for several hours and a lot of effort essentially wasted.
I'm foolishly happy right now over something that probably no one else in the universe could care about. I finally managed to track down another copy of the only guitar I actually like. Unfortunately, most people who play guitar are easily awed by things that are pretty (sometimes the expense of functionality but mainly by getting sucker punched right in the wallet) or 'collectable.' This makes the Gibson Challenger one of those weird guitars that is neither collectable nor that much to look at. Given that they were only manufactured for a couple of years (and the ones I like were only made for one year -- 1983) and were inexpensive new they tend to take up space in attics instead of actually being put to use. I guess people also assume that they're not valuable because the finish Gibson used on these guitars checks like crazy and they will never look slick again without an expensive refinish. All of that said (and not said well through the haze of a hangover), I'm very happy to have another one. The more greenish of the two (on the right) is the one I've dragged around with me for the past nine or so years and the more metallic of the two is the new one. It is kind of sad that it won't stay that pretty for much longer.
A few more that are mainly random. I like the picture of the Korean flag at night the most of them as I had to use the zoom which doesn't work particularly well at night and the graininess of it adds to the weirdness of the photo. I am obviously not a photographer but I enjoy messing around with the limited number of features my camera does have.
This thing was enormous and was filled with cartoon characters. The owner didn't seem to think that I really wanted to go in. I'm still a little sad over the wasted opportunity. The little girl who was running around inside it looked like she was having the time of her life. Grrrr.
I felt kind of stupid even taking this picture but given the tension between South Korea and Japan I couldn't really resist.
I unsucessfully searched around trying to find that Dokdo animation that I saw during Revenge of the Sith. Yoon has an address for it but she is sleeping at the moment. I'd rather not even comment on the animation but just link to it. When I was watching it in the theater I felt like it was something I wasn't supposed to see. There is no feeling as uncomfortable/privileged for a tourist and a complete cultural outsider than that one.
I've been fighting let lag mercilessly for the last couple days which had been a mostly losing battle until the first day of work kicked my ass. Usually that means that you shape up under the onus of work and regularity and all of the other things that make working for hourly wages such a drag. I, of course, am not bright enough for this sort of strategy and came home to take a five hour nap after staggering through the first day. Although I'm kind of mad at myself for gumming the works up yet again I imagine that I needed that sleep since I managed to sleep through the sounds of the auto repair shop across the street. This event (the sleeping through the god awful racket that emanates from that place from early morning to late evening) might be singular so I'm a little torn in what to be guilty about and which is a boon in disguise. It's a guessing game I'm not prepared to participate in.
I woke up to read that drobbins has joined up with MSFT a little while ago. Obviously it wouldn't make any sense at all to post that news right after making the decision since the shit storm would almost outweigh the benefits of being willing to disclose news that is likely to meet with harsh criticism. The things is that Daniel has a wife and child and needs things like health insurance and a regular income. If his work as a liaison (is that the right term) between MSFT and the OS/FS world is helpful or productive that seems rather secondary. I made a trip over to Planet Gentoo just to see how people were reacting and it seems like most of the developers saw this (though not necessarily through MS) as something that was a long time coming. It probably wasn't the best possible outcome but more a case of making the best use of what's available and fits your needs.
On Jeju, one of the islands off the coast of South Korea, there are all of these crazy stone walls that look something like the one pictured above. After a day of driving past them and wondering what inspired people to spend so much effort stacking rocks up to make what I thought were pretty shaky walls being without any mortar or anything. It turns out that they're actually pretty permanent and do a fine job of keeping things from blowing into fields and people's yards. The island is covered with volcanic rock and this was just a case of having a bunch of it available whether aesthetically pleasing or not and making best use. The tour guide guy told a story (translated to me by Yoon) about the wall builder's male and female methodology for building sturdy walls without cement but I'm not entirely sure I'm buying it. What is pretty surprising is how extensive the wall building has become on some chunks of land. There are hundreds of feet of wall dividing rice plots and other crops that I can't imagine need that kind of protection or isolation but since the island is covered with these damn rocks...
Pretty much every time I'm in an airport I see at least one crashed system so I had to take the obligatory tourist photo. To be fair, the OS wasn't exactly crashed but ran out of virtual memory and threw the error message up on top of everything else. That stuff (like most of the jack in the box horrors that Windows likes to toss up when you're trying to get real work done) really belongs in the system tray.
I like this photo because it kind of sums up leaving the U.S. I felt more of this descent into ugliness and disorder on the way back rather than when leaving. I'm still not sure that coming back was really the right choice. Armed with a little bit of perpective I'm feeling a lot of the things that bother me about living here pretty keenly at the moment. You should probably know that most South Koreans are not scared out of their minds by imminent attacks from North Korea or the creeping threat of the obsolete menace of communism. You can read whatever you like into that but I have definite opinions about how things are going to continue to decline on both the domestic and international stage over the next three years.
Yoon is back from New York, school is back in session with a reading load for three classes that exceeds all of my expectations and crushes all hope of doing anything other than school work this semester, and I'm just plain tired. I did get a new camera yesterday so you can just look at some cat ears while I try to get a little work done and then pass out cold.