July 2009

Time again for more flowers in macro. We went again to the Lilyfest in Rockbridge and I got a chance to really practise with the macro function on my camera. The weather was a bit cloudy indeed it started raining but the colors still stood out.

the whites got a bit washed out on this one but I really liked the darkness in the background.

This little Nikon is light years better than my old Olympus. Not just in terms of megapixels but everything from color to depth of field and macro focus.

I want to get a camera like the Lumix LX3 or another point and shoot with a larger sensor and the capability of saving as RAW but I am going to explore the capabilities of this Nikon first.

does this one make you dizzy?

I have been playing with angles and composition lately. In retrospect I should have turned the pot just slightly to get the price tag out of view but I did not even see it until i got home and loaded these onto the PC.

weary_worker1TokyoTimes photo blog, who has one of the best photo blogs on the ‘net,  has this entry up on the working poor in Japan.

The gold-tinted glow of Ginza, or the neon-lit nightscapes of Shinjuku and Shibuya, can easily lead one to conclude that while the Japanese may well spend a lot of time at the office, their work ethic at least means they are wealthy.

A situation that is undoubtedly true for many, although for a growing number of working poor, it is way off the mark, with hardship rather than happiness much more to the fore, whether it be in the hours they do, or their home life — if indeed they have one.

TokyoTimes also notes the excellent documentary Japan: A Story of Love and Hate is up on youtube, embed for the first part is below:

kanjifrom Spam from Japan we get a list of six reasons why we don’t need to/shouldn’t bother to learn Kanji…

(1) Without knowing kanji (or the Chinese version, hanzi), tattoos are awesome again. Imagine looking at your acquaintance’s new tattoo and not knowing that it said ‘prostitute‘, ‘idiot‘ or ’sesame chicken’. I bet you thought I was making the last one up. Nope. Now you can appreciate friends’ tattoos without wondering how you’re going to explain that they’ve tattooed the technical term for mouse genitalia on their lower back.

hahaha, I just love the tattoos. Some idiot gets “Honor and Pride tattoo’d on their arm when it actually means Sesame Chicken’. BWAHAHAHA 🙂

(6) You will never know when it’s your turn to clean the staff toilet at your place of work. What does 「火曜日」 mean? And is 「5月31日」 some kind of serial number? If anyone calls you on it, nod your head as if considering the matter hard and try to enter that number into your mobile phone handset. Screw up your face and pretend you are cracking a code like in a Dan Brown novel. If it looks like that might really make you clean that loo, consult a nearby poster of the Vitruvian Man.

heh, ready made excuses are always useful

Mechwarrior Reboot

Jordan Weisman – designer of the classic Battletech board game is looking for a publisher for the new version of Mechwarrior, the computer version of the classic Battletech boardgame. Jordan Wiseman’s new company, Smith and Tinker, purchased the rights to the name from Microsoft and is shopping around for a new publisher. From RobotViking:

To summarize what we know at this point: the game is a reboot, not a sequal. It takes place at the beginning of the Fourth Succession War. Multi-player is a major priority, and they really want to have a four-player co-op mode so you can team up with your friends and form a full lance. Better video game technology will make the game more tactically rich, and improve the feel of “piloting a giant war machine” rather than “being a giant robot.” Players will have to use different types of mechs to accomplish various battlefield goals – tactical information will be crucial, so scout mechs will have a vital role even at higher levels of gameplay. No more “lock on, fire and forget.” You’ll have to actively acquire and maintain targets, and the dense urban environments (which appear to blow up nicely) make for great hit and run tactics.

multiplayer giant robot battling action – where do i sign up?

via io9.

The life sized Gundam in Odaiba is officially ready for action. ( Via Danny Choo)

The Odaiba Gundam

The Odaiba Gundam



First published in 1984 – this was the scifi novel that spawned the whole cyberpunk movement in scifi literature. Neuromancer is the novel that popularized “cyberspace” and “jacking in”. The internet did not exsist in 1984 outside of universities and a few corporations. I never read Neuromancer, despite becoming enamored of the cyberpunk trend and reading many of the followup novels (All Tomorrow’s Parties remains solidly among my favorites)

Gibson sets the opening parts of the novel in Chiba, in Tokyo and the visuals of the novel are continuously in spired by the manufactured feel of Tokyo. Shibuya and Shinjuku are the models upon which Gibson seems to be basing the feel for his futuristic Chiba. The movie Blade Runner also very adept at recreating the dark and urban feel that Gibson was going for.

The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligencevirtual realitygenetic engineering, and multinational corporations overpowering the traditional nation-state long before these ideas entered popular culture.

The much quoted opening line – “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” is even more layered with the advent of digital television today.

It is interesting to note that Neuromancer is very often the subject of film  rumors. Hayden Christensen and Liv Tyler have recently turned up in the rumor mill for casting. (Doubt if Hayden could pull off a believable Case  but Liv Tyler as 3Jane would be perfect!)

If by some wild chance you are like me and have not read this yet, then immediately order up a copy. Its worth the read.


This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
Saying this land was made for you and me.
When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

From This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie

Happy Fourth of July

(by the way, thanks to Goblin Girl from Circus Max for starting the meme)

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