March 2004 Archives

wired roundup - april

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Things from this month's wired magazine which caught my eye-

We all have cords like headphones, phone headsets, game controllers that lie around getting tangled. Well, while browsing through wired I saw a clever little solution called the smartwrap headphone cord manager. It's shaped a bit like an infinity sign and has a notch in each end. You slide the plug-end cord into one notch, wrap the cord around it as if you were winding a yoyo, then slip the earbud-end cord into the other notch. It's a rather clever design, I must say, and looks easy to wind and unwind for usage. I wonder if I could wrap my gamecube controller cord around one of these. Cell-phone headsets would also benefit from a bit of detangled storage like this. $5 a pop is a tad bit expensive, though.

The other notable entry that caught my eye in april's wired mag are these mini desk artworks from mikroworld which is cute and cleverly repurposes chemical milling intended for circuit boards.

Lastly is wired's nextfest where $15 gets you admission for a day to see firsthand some of the nifty stuff they report on. The admission fee also gets you a 1 year subscription to wired, which is a pretty good deal. Details: May 14-16th, Fort Mason Center in SF. Speakers will be announced via website on April 15th.

social butterfly

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Usually I'm not quite the social butterfly, but this week I've seen a good many people.
Here's the when, who, and where:
Thurs- Melissa and James for dinner at the "back" of Joy Luck Club- Rancho 99 Wolfe, and Q-Cup for pearl tea.
Fri - called Stephi to wish her a happy birthday. She was settling in for a movie night and some down time.
Sun- James and I wandered about Santana Row and wound up across the street at Cheesecake Factory for dinner. A lengthy stop at Borders but we both walked out without purchasing.
Mon- Drew, Kalyan, and James for Drew's belated birthday dinner at Amberindia in Mountain View. Then we hopped over to Walmart in our attempts to lure Kalyan to purchase something. He didn't, but we had fun smelling candles, fabric softener, and shampoos.
Tuesday- People I don't know for Avon Breast Cancer two day walk informational meeting held at the Palo Alto Crowne Palaza near Arastradero.
Later stopped by my Aunt Flora's to drop some stuff off. Happened to see my cousin Ted but he was getting ready for bed at 9ish since he has to get up around 5.

Financially diminished but socially stuffed.

wardrobe change


The last style was cute but not user friendly. It didn't resize well and I was told the load time stank. Well, here's a modified version of another style I've snagged from the glen road girls.
I've changed the colors and etc, removed some graphics, but it does resize nicely (at least it should) and comment on it please :) Does it load, how are the colors, etc. It might look a bit funny, but that's my hodge-podging.

cleaning costs

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Cost to clean freecia's bedroom:
1 dirt devil hand vac filter $2.99
1 new box of swiffer dusters $3.99 (safeway club card special for the standard nonflex head kind)
(1 safeway club card due to "misplacement" of last card FREE)
Gas to Goodwill, ~$1
1 box Claritin-D 12 hour 30 tablets $16.99 (with $3 coupon and $1.39 off sale from longs)

Currently $24.97

Time spent:
about 8 hours so far. If I could stop buying stuff, that'd be helpful. If this Claritin would majorly kick in, that'd be better.

3-28 3:38 pm

new style


Just because you weren't reminded of your allergies already, I've changed the template a bit. No Doubt Greg will grumble grumble about load times ;) and I'm grumbling about how this isn't resize friendly (those of us who use high res will notice that full window looks worse than a smaller window. silly designers). But I think this will hold me over until I decide to play with something else.
At least it isn't as pink.

On a side note, more friends came back from Taiwan where they went to vote. I took a picture of the newest mochi batch, then I came to notice that the brown sesame filled ones looked like uhm, well, something unappetizing. Anyhow. You'll just have to make do with the allergy inducing photo of a tree from our backyard.

kino no tabi


I've been watching Kino no Tabi - Kino's Journey and I have to say that this is really different from the anime I've seen. At first, you might think that Kino is for kids. These are gritty stories though, where everything doesn't come out "okay" and life isn't consoling. Yes yes, there's the gunslinger girl type anime where the little girl is an efficient killer with no feelings. Kino doesn't fit that genre, though, because there's a philosophical feeling you get from watching it and kino usually doesn't go around shooting everything (though kino carries around a startling array of weaponry). Despite Kino's relatively young looks and the watercolor style backgrounds, this flows more along the lines of a more true-to-life early Miyazaki-style plot.
Whoever wrote the plot is a serious thinker (Actually, it was based on a novel, or was it a manga?). If you're looking for something different or don't like the "I'm too cute" style anime, take a look at Kino no Tabi. Hellsing and Noir, it isn't. But it does evoke a lot of emotion, thought, and shocks. Even I, who can usually predict a plot line up to 1 hour in advance, am continually surprised. I believe it also brings up thoughts worth pondering about people and human nature. Perhaps the only quibble I have is that most of the people accept their fate far too easily and I have a feeling these first few episodes have been set up that way on purpose.
I dare say, this may be something I'd watch over and over, possibly finding something new to think about with each viewing.

Kino's Journey
"The world is not beautiful. And that, in a way, lends it a sort of beauty."
This is the story of a young traveler named Kino and Kino's partner, the talking motorcycle Hermes. They travel to various places together, visiting such worlds as "the world of caring" and "the world of decisions by majority." They stay at each of these locations for only three days, and throughout the story, their point of view is consistently that of bystanders. The experiences that people have encountering Kino and Hermes during their travels may not seem very sensational to their ordinary everyday lives, but in reality, they can come to have a tremendous impact.

And another excellent review

zelda fans


For you old school zelda fans (You know who you are even if you only visit this site once a month...)

There's a new japanese zelda coming out called Zelda Four Swords.
Take a looksie at the japanese preview (requires windows media player)

It seems to be a bit like Final Fantasy:Crystal Chronicles so RPG fans with friends/sibs should have fun playing this one, too.

whine efficient

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I thought I'd be efficient today and whine about two of my favorite whine topics. A. gadgets (I see something new that I want) and B. travel (there's somewhere I want to be) which both have to do with lack of cash.

Japan bloggers webring

Please note the lovely camera phones they have. Some are 2 megapixel versions, which we americans can just dream about. It's not at all unusual to see Japanese citizens staring into a phone held a foot away from their body.
from They don't have 3D holograms phones(at least not yet). They're simply taking photos. Yes, their phones have replaced low end cameras. So DoCoMo users who live in cities and have lives can take pictures for others who live in cell-phone hell (USA) to admire and gadget-lust after. Hence A)cool phones and B)Japan (and other travel) are combined into one whine.

Of course, I ask myself, what in the world do you need a camera phone for? Your phone is quite spiffy already.
My devil says "I could moblog- mobile blog. That is take a picture and send it via my cell phone to my website."
The angel replies "Oh. good point. but you have no life and you don't do anything interesting"
"I do too have a ... :( Can't I buy it anyway?" asks the devil.
"You dork" said the angel in a exasperated voice while rolling her eyes.
"Yeah well, you're the same person so you're a dork too. So there :p" claims the devil with a superior smirk.
Yes, my mind really is this infantile when it comes to self-control.

In the meantime, enjoy procrastinating and looking at pictures of japan. You can also moblog internationally. So far, my favorite site for torture is Mikan Moblog which demonstrates the lovely phone envy and the you're in japan envy. Also highly enjoyable is which has a bonus whine of lovely color balances and vibrancy (what digital camera does he use!?)
And just so you don't think I'm a totally envious fool, I like to answer calls on my new cordless (not cellular) phone in our backyard during the sunny hours. It's quite pretty back there since my parents had it redone. Sometimes I take off my shoes and walk on the grass. If I'm feeling particularly lazy, I'll go outside, sit on our flagstones, and catch some sun. Which reminds me, I need to buy sunblock. Yes, I take tea with me. Life is still great. The angel and devil freecia's can go drown in day-old tea.

internet postage


An ode to internet postage via

How convenient you are
To Print a label and walk to the door
Down the driveway
To the mailbox
And back

How convenient you are
Checking the recipeint address
Telling me I mistyped
And the zip code
Glorified state of nine digits
Instead of a measely five

How convenient you are
Stamps from my printer
No wait
No running into my dentist
While she is doing her errands

If you didn't charge a subscription fee
But alas, $15.99 per month is too expensive
For my leisurely walks down the driveway

(I'll post my tell-a-friend code for $20 free postage for me when I get it)

update: referral code C-56RW-7R6 and fill it in when you sign up if you do. Also, they downgraded my account to a plan they used to have but now no longer advertise for $5.99 a month and 10% of postage (like 3-20 cents depending on the postage cost) I just emailed and asked them, explaining that my usage and consumption doesn't justify the $16 but I could afford $6 :) That's like a paperback book or something else I can do without. And still save time!

gift that keeps on giving



- Real Simple
- Jane
- I.D. Magazine

I'm still waiting for wired mag to arrive from amazon along with my $5 coupon. And yes, I do get Jane, but a renewal would be nice! (I also noticed that the magazine is $2 less with those annoying little inserts they have in the mag)

can you hear me now?


UPDATE: This phone has now been purchased by me for me. Don't buy it! at least not for me.

My phone's mic (the cordless I keep in my room) has died. It's truely a case of Verizon commercial imitation. So, I'd like a new phone for my birthday (if I can hold out that long). The one pictured would be ideal - vtech 2434. I don't need an answering machine, but I would enjoy a good jingle and this phone has polyphonic ring tones and software you can use to download your own. This one is available for $50 from several retailers but I think I've seen it at office supply stores for less/on sale. I found one last year at Costco and Melissa likes her phone, especially when she gets calls and the phone is set to play a James Bond theme song. :) Alas, I haven't seen it since then, but certain people "ahem" don't visit the same costco and may have different stock (should they happen to see it).

I'm not particularly attached to this model but most phones are butt ugly. Panasonic has a cute silver one that stands in the cradle like this one but I think it's more expensive. I've seen it around at Fry's.


| | Comments (1) Define Your World

Highly Entertaining! They've got otaku and fanboy. hehe.

I always did wonder what fo' shizzle my nizzle meant (which doesn't seem to be politically correct).

Now you too can up your "street cred" or rather have a good place to look up definitions when someone insults you.

Finally, my curious mind is satisfied knowing the historical precendent of All your base belong to us


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Fresh Mochi directly off a plane from Taiwan. Yummmmmm. A family friend picked up their friends who just got off a flight from Taiwan. Their friend gave them two boxes of mochi. The family friend then called us and voila, fresh mochi! I love international travel... Mrphh (typing with a full mouth) So good.

happy birthday


To James- It's your day, have a great one!

computer hiccups


My computer decided that it dislikes my wallpapers directory and asked me if I wanted to reformat the d:/ directory... I don't think so. Then I rebooted and it deleted that directory; a few less wallpapers, I can deal with that. Then I do a bit of system maintainance - nothing like hardware failure to encourage you to do so - and evidently the next time I partition for Windows, I should partition more that 12 GB for my programs partition. O.o What in the world am I installing that is this huge? Then oh, I remember, I have Microsoft Office 2003. That alone counts for a goodly chunk. Throw in a few compilers, java editions, and adobe acrobat (not reader, the "creator" = 289 MB). Another Microsoft Project and Visio, because you don't get to call yourself a computer geek until these suck up hard drive space (if you're not Linux based at least). A service pack update and several critical fixes. Well. There I go.
Appropriately enough, among the monoliths of Microsoft hard drive usage I have, the four smallest programs that show up in my "Add or Remove Programs" list are the Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP which come to less than .6 MB. There's an easy explanation of that because they're all using functionality from Windows XP already... but anyhow.
Computer will be defragging while I go to class today. It's therapeutic to watch the bars move around the defrag program, though. Somehow I feel cheated of my maintainance routine.