December 2012


Meet Ren. She’s an alien slave girl with a brain the size of a walnut and a heart the size of, well, something big and chest-related.

Ren, bonus postcard

This is one of the postcard-sized bonus items included with the deluxe edition of the DearS PlayStation 2 game. Notice anything odd about it, besides her rather distorted anatomy?

Let’s take a closer look:


Essential iPhone apps...

Makoto Ogawa’s Bagel Navigator.

K-pop girls teasing...

heLOVEnus continues to taunt fans with pictures; there’s a new album, you just can’t have it yet!

Still one more day...

The more usual form of k-pop tease (aka “cute girls doing cute things”) can be found here.

And then there’s the unfortunate phonetic problem with the group’s name…

Fear the cute ones, heLOVEnus edition

Sending a bit of a mixed message here, girls?

Lime gets the point across


So after many delays, we finished moving the company to the new building. We had a few small issues to work out Monday morning, and I spent the evening on the phone with someone in China who needed to bring up a new VPN connection, but All Is Well.

My reward, apart from an Amazon gift card, new business cards, a coffee mug full of candy, and a Blu-ray box set, was that on Tuesday night, our Shinkendo dojo did tameshigiri for the first time.

Nothing like cutting up targets with a katana to take your mind off of work!

My tastes diverge mightily

Tyler Cowen on Marginal Revolution links, apparently approvingly, to someone’s list of the 200 best action movies of all time.

I could eat a pile of VHS tapes and puke a better list than this. Some of the movies do belong on the list, but in wildly different positions; others are, um, kinda sorta not action movies, or kinda sorta not good.

Holiday driving

I was not killed on the way home tonight.

A pack of drunken assholes made the effort, though. They were doing about 25 MPH over the speed limit and apparently had no depth perception, or they wouldn’t have come so close to ramming me from behind on a clear stretch of highway.

Instant Retro

Apparently, Girls Generation was set to release this video over four years ago, and ran into trouble getting the rights for the song. When they finally got that cleared up, they made it a surprise gift for the fans and a teaser for their next album. The styling at the end is pretty awful, but fortunately the previous few minutes of unadulterated cuteness softens the blow.

Also, Sooyoung/Seohyun pillow fight; not nearly as exciting as it sounds, but still good clean fun.

Dare I hope?

Timerider is coming out on Blu-ray in March. Does this mean that we may see an HD release of Fred Ward’s finest movie, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins?

Amazon Japan ships booze (domestically)

After our fruitless search for Habu-shu on the last trip, my sister and I were seriously contemplating a short jaunt to Okinawa to buy the stuff (and see a bit of Okinawa for a day or two, but really, snake-booze run). Yesterday morning, as we were chatting about the other major change to our trip, I whimsically searched Amazon Japan for ハブ酒.

By golly, you can get all sorts of the stuff shipped anywhere in the country, from tiny 50ml bottles up to 5-liter jugs (with a correspondingly large snake inside). We could still choose to take a jaunt to Okinawa, but it’s no longer the least-frustration method of acquiring the goods.

The reason we may not go is the other change to the trip: Interplanet Janet has flown so much on United that she’s graduated to an even higher class of membership, which granted her free business-class tickets for our parents. Now we are four; fear our shopping prowess!

To ice the cake, a few hours after we conferenced with them and went over the basics, we discovered that a new room block had opened up in the hotel we liked so much last trip, the Citadines Kyoto. The place we originally booked was only three blocks away, so we knew the area, but everything about the Citadines worked for us: quality service, comfortable room with free internet and a kitchenette, major subway line 50 feet away, dry cleaners and grocery store a block away, 7-11 across the street, all sorts of shopping, food, temples, and shrines within walking distance, etc, etc. Also less expensive than the other hotel.

I think the first night we’re there, we’ll take the folks down to the House of Grilled Meat. One of the nice things about learning to read kanji is that when you see a large neon sign reading 焼肉屋, you know that you need to investigate. An all-you-can-eat yakiniku joint with touchscreen ordering and a grill in the middle of the table is a Very Good Thing to find.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”