Category Archives: Random

Productively Lazy and Sluggish

I didn’t do much today, but I did get a lot done. More specifically I didn’t move much.

Although I spent most of the day at the computer, I was working on things that involved pens and paper but didn’t involve the actual computer. Instead the computer provided background noise and images for me whilst I worked on other things.

At one point I had my laptop set up on my desk in front of my regular computer so that I could work on a computer but not disturb old episodes of MythBusters. (Note: it is interesting to see the early seasons before they became popular. They had trouble getting stuff to use in their mythbusting. Then, they had an episode where they got the FBI to close off a highway and blow up a truck and you could tell they’d arrived.)

Somewhere in there, stuff got done, although there were a few odd computer issues. They weren’t that bad, though, so not much swearing was involved. Just a lot of angry sighing.

Tomorrow is another exam day and part of that will be spent watching movies as I attempt a double feature of sorts.

A-Holes of Various Types and Income

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the biggest assholes at an elementary school sports day are the parents of the first graders. They are young, fast, and everything is still new and they will get those photos/videos at all costs.

To make matters worse, they bring along grandparents who are just as deadly because they’ve reached the age where they just don’t care.

Today was especially bad. There was even a judging controversy.

Today was our youngest’s last sports day in elementary school which meant she had a lot to do which meant I had a lot of pictures to take. As a rule, She Who Must Be Obeyed takes video and I take still pictures. We have battle plan of sorts that involves finding out approximately where our youngest will be at any given moment. I always set up my tripod at the back of the  zone of tarps. This lets me get good camera angles and puts me standing behind a zone where people usually sit.

In general, most parents are fairly well behaved. Not today. Today there were a lot of assholes around.

The tarp zone, which is usually one solid zone of tarps, had lots of small dirt gaps of several inches. This meant that any gap was a free zone where people could stand and the people behind could be damned.

None of these people care about anything but pictures of children. Even the cameraless woman in the center.

Luckily, I only was interested in a few events, but even those were complicated by women who brought parasols to protect their skin from the sun.

A pair of female assholes who probably won’t get skin cancer.

I can forgive all this, though, because, as a parent, I understand the urge to get as many pictures as possible.

The next level of asshole is the professional asshole who gets to roam around the field taking pictures where ever he wants and always manages to get in the way.

This asshole blocked several shots (our youngest is behind him). The bright side is, I know the best camera angles.

However, even I can forgive that. Sort of.

What I can’t forgive, is the asshole mother in the designated photo section. She had kid in her arms but no camera. She was up against the rope when she should have been toward the back. She was talking to her friend and kept bumping into me as I tried to take shots.

I kept my cool, but I asked She Who Must Be Obeyed what “Take a picture or get the fuck out” was in Japanese but she rather vehemently refused to translate for me.

To make matters worse, there was a judging controversy. Going into the final event–the big ball race–our youngest’s team was behind but was in striking distance of victory.

In the race, all members of each of the two teams help pass a large inflated ball down the line to a final resting place. I noticed right away that the teams seemed to be operating under different rules.

When the white team dropped the ball, they had to bring it back to the place it had touched the ground and start from there. The red team, though, was allowed to pick the ball up from where it had stopped and continue from there. I thought it might be a delusion created by my own parental bias, but it turned out an asshole was involved.

The red team won two races in a row and secured the overall victory. However, the judges for the white team had misunderstood the rules. Because part of each team is little kids who are shorter than the ball, they are allowed to roll the ball rather than try to keep it in the air. The asshole judge, however, insisted they move a “dropped” ball back and start from the drop point it had started rolling.

Next year’s sports day will be our youngest’s first in junior high school. There usually aren’t many assholes there, but we’ll see.



Getting Ready for the Sports and the Dust

Not much happened to day except I did a lot of running around and started getting ready for tomorrow.

Our youngest has her final sports day as an elementary school student tomorrow and that caused me to chase down batteries and chargers.

As I’ve mentioned before, the more sports days there are, the less interesting they become. The last four sports days haven’t been that interesting or important. The first was interesting and important because it was the first and this one will be interesting and important because it is the last.

Because it is her last sports day, our youngest will have lot of stuff to do, including dancing and athletics and running. My job will be to take still photos whilst She Who Must Be Obeyed takes the moving pictures.

This all has me checking cameras and charging batteries and trying to mentally ready myself for potential “encounters”.

Hopefully, it will be an entertaining show.

Cleaning and Refilling and Retiring

Not a lot happened today (although that will change tomorrow). Spent part of today cleaning pens and deciding which ones to retire. In the end I chose the cheapest because they were the most high maintenance.

One pen got refilled with the same ink (which I count as “cleaning” the pen) and another got retired. A third got refilled with an ink I’ve had for a while but haven’t actually tried.

The pen that got retired was one of my Noodler’s Ahab pens. I like the pen, but find Noodler’s pens to be too high maintenance for my taste.

I also discovered an ink sample I got a long time ago and filled one of my cheap pens with it.

Along the way I took and processed some photos for future reviews on this site. Couldn’t be bothered to write them yet, though.


Watching Bad Movies Vicariously

The day started with a spinach, bacon and cheese omelet (because today was Mother’s Day) and went down hill after that.

On days I get lazy I seek out old movies or television and keep that on in the background whilst I pretend to attempt other things.

Today, though, I binged watched the guys at Red Letter Media review B-movies with titles such as Xtro, Samurai Cop, and KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. In most cases cases the worst videos are destroyed.

After hearing about RLM after their excellent reviews of the Star Wars prequels–reviews that involve Pizza Rolls, dead wives and a hooker chained in the basement–I started following their videos.

They can be wacky and loud and they tend to prefer movies with lots of gore and beheadings, but I’m a big fan of their Best of the Worst series. They pick a theme–action movies, Christmas horror, robots, ninjas–and watch and review three movies. They also have a variation called Wheel of the Worst that involves a spinning wheel and videos that are not movies.

The YouTube videos focus on their reactions before, during and after the films, and include longer reviews/analyses of them. As you watch you kind of feel like a participant in a group of friends who are watching a bad movie, but without actually having to watch the bad movie.

Note: at one point there were a couple women who joined them in the viewings and reviews, but they have mysteriously disappeared which, given the types of movies these guys watch, could be considered suspicious. 

In the end, one video is chose best of the worst and one video is destroyed for being the worst of the worst.

It’s not very productive, but it is a lot of fun.


A Disservice to the Italians Ensued

Tonight we had a party at an Italian restaurant. I suspect the Italians would be upset.

Tonight was the welcome party for the school where I work. It was highlighted by the fact that one of my former junior high school students is now a teacher at the school where I work. (And by the fact that he probably has a better contract than I have, albeit with much, much more responsibility.)

As a rule I eat a decent snack before school parties because the food either arrives slowly or in  less than adequate amounts, but today’s party was complicated by happy hour at a family restaurant. We had beer and snacks whilst waiting for the party to start but that’s when things got complicated.

First, we were able to order drinks but the food arrived slowly. It was good but we only got a taste as it arrived preportioned for  each party goer.

Along the way, we were served drinks in pitchers and bottles but not individually. At least not until last call when drinks were sold individually. Food just trickled in.

As soon as I got home I had a snack which is not what you’d expect after a meal at an Italian restaurant.




Scraps and Things but no Coherence

Today, as is becoming a habit, I can’t be bothered. It isn’t just this bit of blather, it’s a lot of things. That means today’s post will be short and random.

I updated yesterday’s post to correct typos and to let readers know what happened with the tickets. I’m not sure if it was good news or not.

I intended to do some work on book number three but hit a snafu with Scrivener. Much trial and error and swearing ensued and although I got things working, I came away with shocking strong hatred of the people who gave us Scrivener. (For all its strengths, it’s still an oddly clunky bit of software that’s currently behaving irrationally.)

I did manage to do a little work on book three, but the experience left me wondering how to approach the project. In other words, all the computer trouble got me thinking and when I start thinking I stop working. (Much of my teaching related and writing related work are proof that no thinking was involved.)

For supper, I continued an “I can’t be bothered” tradition and went and got sushi from the grocery store. I usually do this at least once whilst She Who Must Be Obeyed is away, but today I initiated our oldest into the tradition.

Now I have to get the house in order for She Who Must Be Obeyed’s return. Unfortunately, I can’t be bothered.


The Perils of Golden Week and Fifth Seasons

Except for our oldest, we all enjoyed a lazy first day of the Golden Week holiday.

I finished my Babylon 5 revisit and came away remembering why I found the fifth season annoying. Tracy Scoggins was better as Captain Lochley than I remember and the season had a few interesting moments, but it suffered from being tacked on to fourth season that resolved all the main conflicts and plot lines. Season five didn’t have a unifying story, just a lot of stand-alone scripts that felt a lot like spec submissions from new writers.

The makeup still looks impressive, especially on G’Kar and the other Narn, but the computer special effects look a lot like 90’s computer games. In a bad way.

The main problem though: Singing Hippy Telepaths. I’m being serious. Singing Hippy Telepaths.

I also managed to get some printing done and start work on the revision of book two.

Book three, which is partly written, continues to taunt me.



Pack and Repack

Things like this happen in my life now: We get a box full of rice and vegetables from our in-laws and my first reaction is “That box is mine”.

It says a lot that She Who Must Be Obeyed understood why I wanted the box, although she wasn’t real keen on me just tossing the rice and vegetables aside. (My reaction was: the floor looks clean, but just in case, make sure you cook the rice and vegetables thoroughly.)

Then I had the task of cutting open the box I’d already packed perfectly and feel kind of sad as I both undid and admired my handy work.

That said, I did a pretty good job of repacking, and even managed to get all the new ink (which prompted the repacking) in with room to spare.

Now I get to deal with the post office which in any part of the world, isn’t always fun, especially as I’ll be carrying three different packages all being sent different ways. That always makes for an interesting time.

Traveling and Waiting for Traveler’s

What I would have done would have been rather different. What I did was act cranky and that may have earned me 20 minutes. It didn’t win any friends though.

An acquaintance asked me to run down to Tokyo and buy a special edition of a notebook cover that was released as part of the grand opening of a shopping center.

Although I’m not a big fan of the notebook cover, I agreed to head down to Tokyo.

After locating the shop, I tried to implement my usual “play dumb” tactic to get in past the ropes but failed. (Yes, the notebook shop, in anticipation of big crowd, had ropes to keep the public out. (They are visible at the very bottom of this photo:)

However, the staff, many of whom spoke English, informed me I’d have to wait and gave me a reservation time for three hours later. This surprised me as I expected that getting there late would mean I’d miss out on the notebook covers. Instead, the shop had apparently not actually opened yet (although some people seemed to be shopping) and I’d missed out on a convenient shopping time.

I said a few choice words in two languages and went in search of a snack and some bourbon. (There’s a liquor store near Tokyo station that lets you pay for two small samples of even expensive booze.) I also found a surprisingly good coffee shop that served coffee in cups larger than samples. I stayed there for a while and read a fairly average book.

In the end, I returned to the shop about 20 minutes before my time, and someone who recognized me from before managed to get me inside early. I asked if they had a package deal and got more apologies as I selected the notebooks and assorted paraphernalia individually. I was surprised they hadn’t considered a package. As it was a grand opening, I’d have assembled a number of bags of samples of the new goods and given out numbers to interested parties until I ran out bags. It would be a bit like Fukubukuro Fighting in April but with less violence.

Instead, all I got was a complimentary box of coffee flavored candy. (Famous conundrum: Coffee is delicious. Candy is delicious. Coffee candy is not delicious. #whatevilisthis)

Now I send it all on with a bunch of ink.