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Aug. 26th, 2010 @ 07:54 am Music to Japanese Classic Games

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

So when I was using Wikipedia to look up Cee-lo (the musician, after the release of his awesome new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAV0XrbEwNc ), I instead found links to the Cee-lo game, a classic Chinese dice game:


Interesting. I was looking all over the place for the rules (in Japanese, even) for the old Japanese/Yakuza dice gambling game “Shigoroku”. And there it is.

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Sake Guy
Aug. 9th, 2010 @ 09:57 pm Projects, projects, projects…

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

Got back from a convention, finishing a writing project, getting deeper into a work project, and restarting my fitness and finance/investing goals.

Gonna be an interesting year.

More later.

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Sake Guy
Jul. 26th, 2010 @ 09:01 am Thoughts on a Monday

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

* Riding bike to work still, however I did take a few days off last week because the heat index made it 105, a humid 105 at that. I biked to work once, before the real heat kicked in, and it totally kicked my ass: The AM is fine, with temps in the 80 range, nearing 90 as I pull into work. But the ride home is in 95 degree range, heat index pushing it up to 105 or so, and on top of that a constant hot, humid wind blowing in my face the entire ride home. I rode into work the other three days, did some biking at night.

* Haven’t been keeping up with non-bike exercise (yoga, weights, etc) lately. In the middle of some work projects and writing: When they’re done, in about two weeks, I plan on plunging again into fitness, and keep it up this time.

* Tenra Bansho writing is drawing to a close. Editing begins in full this week, with a major hump this weekend. It still looks like I can meet my goal of “done by GenCon”.

* GenCon begins for me in 8 days. Looking forward to it, but wish I had just a little more time to prepare. The time I need to think up scenarios and sample characters will be spent doing last-minute editing.

* As I suspected, insomnia was pretty much directly related to computer use at night. I really need to start disconnecting an hour before I plan to go to sleep, and read a book, listen to music, etc. Only hitch is that this week I’ll be up late each night with prep.

* Thank you, CREE, for all the money. See you again next month for yet another round of covered calls!

* I’ve learned to relax more at work: Keeping my wits about me more, responding calmly to stressful situations, etc. Combination of experience/skill, focus, and emotion. Keeping up my production, with less stress and pressure. I wish I could go back in time about four years with my current mindset.

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Sake Guy
Jul. 12th, 2010 @ 07:51 am Bike: Achievements Unlocked!
Tags: ,

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been tracking my progress a little recently. This AM marks the 50th mile (actually closer to the 60th) on my new bike I got last week at The Bicycle Chain in Apex.
My first two times I clocked in at almost exactly 45 minutes from leaving my kitchen to parking my bike in the lot/checking time in the 1st floor gym. Today, the same route only took me about 35 minutes.
Loaded up on water and pre-surge, too, to get a little more out of the morning workout. We’ll see if I end up crashing come 10:00 or not (particularly today: Only got a little less than 4 hours of sleep).  Luckily, the 10 pounds of Yerba Mate tea I ordered arrived, which will combat the effects of Not Being Wired.
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Sake Guy
Jul. 10th, 2010 @ 10:33 pm SoreMachi…

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

So, my current favorite manga series, “Sore Demo Machi Wa Mawatteiru” (“And yet, the town continues on…”, it’s kind of a trick on an old expression): I just found out that it’s going to become an anime soon. It’s a slice-of-life manga about an average high school girl, her average friends, an average town, but the characters are interesting, the stories are feel-good and innocent, and very, Very fun.

Huh. On one hand, that’s a good sign: That means that it is then likely that someone will pick up the rights to release the original manga in English.

On the other hand, it’s likely a bad sign: Pretty much all anime from the past several years is total shit.

A previous series that this happened to: “Sumomomo-momomo”. The manga is great, funny, action-packed and dramatic. The anime was total shit. But, because of the anime release, the manga is now slowly coming out in English so my friends can read it, too.

The studio behind it, Pony Canyon (looks like a subsid of TBS or something?) isn’t really in the anime biz, they’ve only released like 1-2 other anime (one of them, “K-On!”, is otaku-flavored drivel). Maybe that’s a good sign, better than a gutter company with a long history of crap.

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Sake Guy
Jul. 8th, 2010 @ 10:17 am Mike Stanislowsky Update re attack on Afghanistan

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

This is a shout out to his friends who might not be in the loop. I don’t think he’d mind sharing this info:


Dear Friends and Family,

For some of you this is not new news, for some others it will be.  I was injured in an attack on the DAI/USAID compound in Kunduz early last Friday, July 2nd.  I sustained injuries to my left eye and left arm during the approximate 7 hour ordeal.  I’m currently in Dubai with Desi (who as you all know as the most caring, loving and beyond supportive wife any lucky fella could ever have) and will be heading to New Jersey on Sunday.  The fact that I’m writing this email tells you that I am both very lucky (most already know this) and beyond  thanks to the four security personnel who lost their lives, as well as the other two who sustained serious injuries to their legs and arm.  I have had two surgeries to my left eye and will most likely need more.  Lost my vision in this eye but am optimistic that it will be regained with some time and healing, as well as some assistance from modern medicine.  The plan is to get better, no other plans at this moment.  Desi and I will be staying with my Mother in Whiting, New Jersey which if you do not know is an amazingly traquil place, perfect for such a recovery.  I thank all who have already sent me their thoughts and prayers.

I will not be forgetting nor regretting my work in Afghanistan and can only hope that it continues on and hopefully bears some fruit.  I do regret not having had sufficient time to achieve any lasting results.  As said, no plans, but for sure I can emphasize that there are no plans to return to Afghanistan anytime soon.  Looking forward to lots of time with the family.




Take care, bro. Praying for your speedy recovery.

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Sake Guy
Jul. 6th, 2010 @ 06:15 pm OK, That wasn’t thought out very well
Tags: ,

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

So on my week(oid) of vacation(ish), I was thinking to myself, “Hey, now that I’ve got this awesome new bike, I ought to bike to the library to do some Japanese translation hobby/game work that I’ve been working on! A change of scenery might shake me out of some funk!”

Great idea, because scenery changes often do shake funk loose.

There are only a few problems:

* Biking to the library, vigorously. I took the long/scenic route to get some exercise. It was nice, even in this ungodly NC summer 95-something degree blast.

* Unfortunately, by the time I hit the terminal, I was covered in sweat, and sweating more and more as my heartrate hadn’t totally reset yet.

* And then I remembered that, while I can get to JDICT (basically the academic bastion of All Japanese for English speakers, including Kanji lookups and the like) and see displayed Japanese, I can’t type Japanese on this PC without jacking the profile and installing software.

Oops. Well, when my heart resets I’ll take a breather and ride home, do the work there. Maybe hit up the coffee house near my place for an hour with my laptop for a change of scenery.

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Sake Guy
Jul. 5th, 2010 @ 12:37 pm Quick Media Update…

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

If you have Netflix Streaming, you need to watch:

Departures (Wow. Simply wow.)

Archer (Sealab 2020 folks at it again)

The Orphanage (the best “Silent Hill” movie ever made)

Adam’s Apples (Mads Mikkelson: Great, as always)

If you have access to Japanese films in any legal or quasi-legal capacity, I highly recommend:

The Shonen Merikensack “The Brass Knuckle Boys” (hilarious, if apparently a bit overhyped in Japan)
http://www.nipponcinema.com/trailers/shonen-merikensack-trailer/ (english)

Summer Time Machine Blues (imagine if Primer were a lazy-day slow paced feelgood teen comedy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5XftzMJHr4 (japanese)

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Sake Guy
Jun. 27th, 2010 @ 11:46 am Recovering…

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

Got a little sick on Friday, been on and off ill this weekend, still waffling on calling in sick on Monday or not. Blarg.

In other news:

* Thanks to Craigslist, my Gaming Table went up a level. It is now a Level Four Gaming Table (+1d4 followers, +2 Comfort Points). New awesome/comfy Crate and Barrel chairs at 1/3 the price, basically.

* Wow, the market’s been really interesting the past few weeks. Turns out I made out on CREE, and thanks to sticking to my plan and not revising in the face of emotion (“OMG, the stock price just jumped up! Maybe I should cancel my options and re-buy in at $70!”), I’ll still be making 10% this month. Up to 20% if CREE hits or exceeds 70 by the third Friday of July.

* Writing, revising, editing on Tenra. My files are kinda scattered, I think I need to spend 1-2 hours re-architecting my data to be clearer as to which files are done, which are in-flight.

* We never go to Crabtree Mall, because the parking sucks. However, using a coupon for a restaurant took us to the area, so we went. Turns out, as faceless shopping emporiums go, Crabtree is far better than Southpoint for one reason: The rent for the stores is cheaper. That means less “every mall chain store” stores, and more unique stores. Like the LEGO store, and the “Teavana” store, where I got some really awesome tea. My leg is shaking as I drink their Creme Earl Grey. Strawberry Puer-eh is delicious, too.

* Bought one of the coolest T-Shirts I saw at Sears. It was on sale for $9. Turns out it was actually $5. Score. I love Sears: Banding with Structure was the greatest merch move of the last decade.

* Also, I now have an awesome, well-made Ganesha T-Shirt. I’m throwing away crappy old shirts and rotating in new shirts.

* Exercise: Not going so well. Will be kicking it back up this week when I’m less sick.

* Red Dead Redemption. Awesome. But wary of the time-sink, I’ve got other things to do.

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Sake Guy
Jun. 24th, 2010 @ 11:50 am Thoughts on a Wed^H^H^H Thursday

Originally published at KIT KOW SKI. You can comment here or there.

* Started writing a post yesterday, found myself lacking in time, deferred to today.

* Sleeping schedule messed up again, starting to feel sick, will need to reset again this weekend: Due to some insomnia, I’m only sleeping like 3-4 hours a night, so I go to work and bust ass: After work, though, I’m so drained I can barely think. So I take a nap after work, only planning on sleeping about 30-40 minutes to refresh. 3-4 hours later, I wake up again, feeling tired, trashed, but awake enough to do some follow-up leftover work. Do the work, check some email, crash again. Repeat. This has only been happening this week, but man it’s a bad cycle. Need to stop it. Thinking about dosing on Yerba Mate before I get home so I don’t nap, and just go to bed early. Will be trying this tonight.

* Had to pick up a few new T-Shirts: The old ones were getting… old. And when 3 years ago my company *stopped* giving us free T-Shirts every other week for some small new product release I *was* happy at the reduction of waste, admittedly… but some of those were alright, and now I’m starting to even lack a typical “the company where I work” Tee.

Been looking specifically at religious iconography: Got a cool “OM” shirt, and stumbled across an excellent picture of Ganesha on a shirt. Unfortunately, most such T-shirts are either lame, “funny” (but not really), or just tacky/plain. There’s no Buddhism-themed T-Shirts (yeah I know how weird that sounds, but bear with me) that are interesting. Kinda made me think about going back to some calligraphers and maybe doing up some prints.

* Helping redo the kanji in the margins for John Wick’s Blood and Honor. It’s an interesting process. If you have the game, the Japanese in the margins is (currrently: “some sort of”; soon: “actual”) Japanese traditional proverbs and the like. Gonna aim to do it all up pretty-like, like the cover of Kagematsu.

* On that front, I found some AWESOME resources for classic Japanese proverbs and expressions, which include both the Japanese and English translations. I’ll tell the whole story later, but basically 80% of the proverbs/sayings that are on websites that collect proverbs from around the world and attribute them to Japanese… are bullshit. Turns out they simply don’t exist, or exist in a form so unrelated it should be stricken. But since these expressions/proverbs websites copy content from each other without fact-checking or noting the original Japanese, these fake expressions continue on. More on that later. But for now, the good sites/google books that have true, real proverbs (which honestly are more awesome than the fake ones anyway):

http://www.languagerealm.com/ <– The Japanese proverb section is very well thought out! Tons of great stuff here.

http://books.google.com/books?id=wGb4zNqYj10C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false <– Tons of classic expressions with complete explanations. I might try to score the original print on Amazon later. The original Japanese is not noted, but the romaji version of the original Japanese IS noted, so that means the proverbs are both Real and Relatively easy to find on Japanese language sites.

http://books.google.com/books?id=qQPWtyEP23kC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false <– Also great, includes original Japanese, romaji and hiragana.

* Market has been interesting for the past few days. Pulled out all my ESPP shares, putting that money back into the market (75%) and a new screened-in porch (25%). I need to follow up on that last post re CREE in July: That was an interesting play, and it paid off, but I’m still following the rollercoaster that’s been happening on that stock the past few days.

* GenCon is six weeks away. Yikes! Gotta buy plane tickets. Let me know if you’re going, we’ll meet up.

* Mark Causey is an awesome human being. He stepped up to help me out with last minute doc changes on Tenra. We’ve got a weekend set aside as a failsafe; “If I don’t have any time to do this work between now and then, we’ll have a marathon session and get it all done then.” That’s exactly what I needed.

* Watched two time travel/comedy movies from Japan recently, both were funny and fun (the latter being more “scientific-ish” than the former): “Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust”: About a girl sent back in time to the year 1990 through a time-travelling washing machine by the minister of finance, on a goal to A) find her mom, who went a few days previous but hasn’t returned, and B) stop the Japanese economic bubble of the early 90s from ending so catastrophically (imagine our S&L scandal on top of our housing bubble, multiply that by 10, and that’s what happened in Japan in the early/mid 90s). Lots of funny “this is what the 90s were like” moments, charming story, fun all around. The other  is “Summer Time Machine Blues”, a more “time travel/paradox realistic” yet still as silly/laid back movie about a bunch of boys in this school “SF club” who happen upon a time machine and initially try to use it to get back a broken air conditioner remote control. The results are basically Primer-level paradox-upon-paradox which eventually all  have to get resolved by the end. Without melting your brain, even.

I highly recommend both: Bubble Fiction is more for the anachronism lols, Summer Time Machine Blues is the better SF movie yet still wrapped around a fun, youthful plot.

* Money goal: If this investing continues to pay off, I’m thinking about going back to school specifically for Japanese study. Not even for a career change or anything, just because it’s something I love and want more time/resources to dedicate to getting better at it.

* d20 cuff-links on etsy: Bought.

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Sake Guy