June 27, 2005

Good morning!

     Hey everybody! It's about 10:30 in the morning here, and I'm feeling fine. I don't have school for the next two weeks (due to exam preperation and the exams themselves), and my host parents have basically told me to get out and sightsee, so what have I been doing? Why reading webcomics of course!
     No, not really. Yesterday my host family went to Universal Studios: Japan, but I said that I ddn't really want to go. Now don't look at me like I'm crazy! I ws not about to go blow $100 to visit something that not only a) exists in America, but b) I've been to within the past few months. So instead I went on a really long bike ride. I went from about 9:00 till around 3:00 just riding about. Though rather quickly I found that Osaka is really big... I mean REALLY big... In the end, I ended up finding some really enormous park and stadium, at which point I realized I was about 2 hours away from my home, and lost. It turned out I was about two prefectures away from home, in a place called Nagai. I had to ask three people how to get home, and by the end I was so disoriented I didn't even realize I was about 10 feet from it. Since my host family was gone until 8:00 that night, I ended up going to the school even though I couldn't really go to any classes. The English teachers let me bum out there for a while, then one of them invited me to go to their house and bum out, because I was pretty sunburned and didn't really have anything to do for another 5 hours.
     I said I didn't want to be a burden but she insisted, and since she was leaving Japan in a few months, she was more than willing to give me a ton of touristy info. She also took me to a place where I could get a really awesomely cheap phone card that was also really easily rechargable. Then she took me out to dinner at a cool 100 yen (about $1) a plate sushi. There's some big conveyor belt and you pull off food. Then when you finish the plate, you pop it into some slot thing which counts how many plates you've eaten. Then when you're done, you simply press a button, someone comes by, gives you a bill, and you pay. For all five of us (me, the English teacher, her husband and two children), it was 2700 yen ($27)! Awesome! Food is normally so expensive, but it was really good price there. Anyway, I thanked her profusely, and demanded that I pay for my portion of the meal because she had been so nice already. So now I've got a lot more information with which to explore with, and some good tips on where to go during the day.

Oh... and tomorrow (whine whine Jack), I'll have a more article-like-thing for you guys.

Posted by Kickmyassman at 09:46 PM | Comments (4)

June 26, 2005

Let the exploration begin!

     So I don't have much time. I'm actually meant to go back to the house by 7:30 my time. Anyway, I've started the really fun part of my trip, which is mainly because I learned two things: 1) My host parents want me to basically be a tourist; 2) My host parents want me to go and do shit all over Japan by myself. So basically, starting tday I'm just gonna start going all around Japan on my bike taking pictures and visiting crap. I already got some pretty nice shots, but I didn't have a computer to upload them onto. Look forward this week to some way cooler pictures as I begin to explore Japan more. I'll also, probably sometime this week, be visiting Kyoto and Nara, so then I'll have some REALLY awesome pictures. Wish me luck!

Posted by Kickmyassman at 06:21 AM | Comments (4)

June 24, 2005

I have pictures!

     So I just uploaded some photos. Have a look-see:

This is my friend Nova. He's a very good artist.

This is popo. He's a dog (one of three) who lives at my host parent's house.

This is Walker. He's married to my host Sister.

This is a random shot from one of my japanese classes. Man! Look at all that Kanji (I have NO IDEA what is happening here).

Posted by Kickmyassman at 05:14 AM | Comments (5)

June 22, 2005

Later today, I will have pictures!

     Well, later today for me anyway. For you guys it will be very early tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a "What time is it for Kit?!" Javascript application to keep you guys busy. Later, I'll make it so that it properly adjusts for whether or not daylight savings time is in effect (I added this feature).

Note: This script will stop working in the year 2038. Sorry, but it can't be helped.

Okay, NOW it works flawlessly... I think...
And as a side note for the curious, this application uses php to recieve the correct time, and if powweb ever expands it's servers to places that do not have DST, it will not properly adjust for DST (Daylight Savings Time) when you access the machine from that server.
Posted by Kickmyassman at 09:19 PM | Comments (3)

June 21, 2005

So in Abeno Highschool...

     So right now I'm sitting in Abeno Highschool library, since I can't really take any academic classes this is where I wait. Anyway, I definitely seem like a movie star here, everyone tries to tell me their names and say hello. Unfortunately, 200 names are not something that I can remember successfully. Some cools things that I've seen? Well by far the thing I've seen the most of, bikes!
     In Japan, owning a car is really, really expensive. The cost of fuel alone can be somewhere around $100-$300 a month. This being said, there's also not much of a need for cars because public transportation (subways, buses, and trains) are so cheap and readily available. But to get around, nearly everone has a bike. On the bikes 90% of people have some form of stunt pegs on the back wheels or crate carrying device. Throughout the day most people arent't doing many tricks, most of them are carrying a second person! This is... not quite entirely legal. Although it is not expressly illegal, policemen will stop you if they catch you doing it. Since so many people have bikes bike theft is a serious problem, and so when you buy a bike there serial number on the bike is registered with the police. When they catch you doing something you shouldn't, they call the serial number on your bike in. Normally, you didn't steal the bike, but it wastes a lot of your time. All of that just to deter you from riding with two people on the same bike. I ride a little black bike to school everyday. It's okay, but I can't change gears and the brakes are shot, but it's still a bike. I'll post sometime tommorow about something else interesting I've seen! Ciao.

Posted by Kickmyassman at 09:03 PM | Comments (4)

June 18, 2005

Hey look Ma! I'm in Osaka!

     So I made it. After 5 days of orientation and about 18 hours worth of flying I am not only in Japan, I am also in my host family's home. Brian, if you thought my Japanese was good then good googly moogly we both fail. Fortunately they speak a decent amount of english so I'm not too lost. Anyway, I won]t be making too much of a post today, but I'll have a camera soon enough and then I'll show you guys what it's like here. My host family apparently runs a Japanese "love hotel," where couples can pay for a room. This is apparently a respectable business in Japan because there is so little space and therefore very hard to get any privacy. It's actually way too hard to descibe any of this right now. I'l post tommorow/when I get a camera. Sorry about the lack of good postage...

Posted by Kickmyassman at 01:44 AM | Comments (8)

June 10, 2005

I will be gone.

     So if you haven't already heard, I'm going to Japan this summer. After filling out a huge number of forms and writing lots of essays and surviving an interview, I won a scholarship which pays for nearly all of my trip. So I'm going to Osaka where I will be spending six weeks. Honestly? I have no idea what to expect. Either way, I'm leaving tomorrow morning and I'll be back July 28th ish. During this time I may or may not have internet access. Even moreso than that I may not even have access to a computer. I hope I will be able to post on a daily (if not every-other day, or weekly) basis, but there are no guarantees. Wish me luck...
Since I have to keep packing and whatnot I'm just going to give you guys some music:

Posted by Kickmyassman at 11:15 PM | Comments (7)

June 08, 2005

Just a little something

Since everyone seems to be linking to it this month (and by everybody I mean that I noticed a few people link to it) and so I thought I would too:

The Perry Bible Fellowship
You need a rather morbid sense of humor to get the jokes, but if you do, it's hilarious!

Posted by Kickmyassman at 11:24 PM | Comments (1)

June 06, 2005

Overclocking and An End to the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy

     So with the completetion of my semi-new computer (more like reconstruction), I've been looking into something called "overclocking". Overclocking is a way of making your computer go faster by processing more commands per second... actually, more like more commands per millisecond but either way, faster. There are several reasons not to overclock. First, it makes your machine burn out sooner. If you didn't already know, your computer's life is limited not only by the ability to process information, but by the amount of usage and time it has been in use. Eventually, the parts will stop working. This happens almost no matter what you do (maybe not if you kept it at subzero tempeatures in a completely water and static free evironment, but that's an extreme case), and the point is by overclocking, you reduce what life your parts may have had.
     Secondly, if you try to overclock like a moron, you may end up doing this: AMD Vaporization (note: you will need a divx player like ffdshow to play this video. If that link has for whatever reason died, you can download the ffdshow installer here)
     Thirdly and finally, getting good enough equipment to cool a rig that's really overclocked is either expensive or noisy. I think it'd be cool to build my own phase change cooler (and no, that wasn't a pun). If I was smart about it I could simply salvage all the parts from a scrapyard (except for the tubing which would run between $15 and $30) and then have something that I could really overclock. It'd be a fun experiment.

     And now onto something that I have no idea whether or not anyone's been paying attention to: The HitchHikers guide to the Galaxy. If you've heard all the episodes then you've probably been rather pissed at my leaving you guys hanging by not posting, but here we are all the same. I've now posted all 12 episodes, and each one is, in my opinon, gold. Hope you guys enjoyed it!

Posted by Kickmyassman at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2005

Games for real gamers

     There are two games which I say are the pinnacle of the true gamer. Amplitude and Ikaruga. Both of these games, while not having plotlines or... really much of any direction of all, require you to be as fine tuned into the game as possible. You need fast reactions, faster fingers, and the ability to play without stopping for several minutes at a time. Both these games normally leave you with finger cramps by the time you're done, and even more often in tears of frustration at your inability to get past one part. Why do I say that such games represent the pinnacle of gaming? Simply because to beat them you have to be good. No, you have to be better than good: you have to be damn near perfect. Can I claim to beat either of these games? Some days. Can I claim to complete them on their hardest difficulty level? Hell no, and I'd be impressed at anyone who can claim to have beaten either of these games on insane. If you ever want a challenge and a damn good game, try amplitude and ikaruga. but don't come back and complain about how you couldn't beat level 1 on easy. That's just the way the cards are delt.

Posted by Kickmyassman at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2005

Computer is almost up and running, but my speech takes presedence.

Since I really need to work on my speech, I'm only gonna give you guys the next hitchhikers guide to the galaxy installment.

Posted by Kickmyassman at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)