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February 18, 2003

Fire and Ice

I had the luxury of spending most of my free online time over the past two days using iChat to talk with Yuka, so my posts have been brief. Chatting with Yuka is much more interesting than filling my blog up with information regarding what I've been up to... and anyone of you who've met Yuka will indeed agree. Larry was so busy with marking, that he actually snuck into his office so that he'd not have to deal with me, camped out in the student area. I was happily working away chatting with yuka, and Simsim and JuliaD, checking out Sarah's blog, and learning about kameshibai from Bob Seberry (another of the FUN crew) who had been in New Zealand exploring kameshibai in a maori context. (Check out http://kameshibai.com for info on what they are.) I had a thought that KAT! and Mudsey could perhaps teach students kameshibai via flash as part of their next summer duties. Today I got a package from her as well, via Larry and Atsuko. It was a belated Valentine's Day box of maple sugar candy. Sweetness personified. With her permission I shared at with some of the faculty on the 5th floor (the Communication Department). Some of Atsuko's students were lucky enough to partake. Unless I got it wrong, women buy men valentines presents. That works for me. Guys have no excuse for leaving presents for one day of the year. They should be at it more often. Well, in that's from a hetronormative perspective. Suffice it to say that the partner in a long term relationship who is responsible for keeping everything stable and sailing forward should be deluged with a myriad of presents. And the partner most in need of steering should be doing the presenting. Did I mention that none of the roads are salted or sanded here? Perhaps not. But that was what I was thinking of as I slipped and slid my way up to FUN this morning. I've seen more cars adrift on the roads than anywhere else except in the midst of a blizzard. Well, though the do scrape the worst of the snow off the roads and some of the sidewalks, they by no means create a safe environment. I've found that trying to walk across intersections to be the worse, due to the black ice that looks just like asphalt. But walking up to FUN is no fun matter either. The daytime sun is hot, and the sidewalk is black... so everything melts. That is until the sun goes down and every thing turns to ice. Some of the sidewalks are worse. You walk through slush when the sun is up, then all the bicycle tracks and footsteps turn to ice. Hakkodate must have the most sure footed octogenarians on the planet. I certainly see enough older folks about to know that they don't all stay indoors for the winter, or go to Guam. I thought of taking some pictures, but I slipped and fell while trying. Not really. I'm a sure footed semi-octogenarian myself. The strange thing is that in a country that is so organized in certain contexts, others seem to slip so spectacularly between the cracks. I think this is just central planning at it's best, and not much of a cultural comment on Japan. The rules are made in Tokyo where the snow and ice never stay long enough to get around to dealing with. It is, however, a comment on globalization, and the inability of someone far away to ever be able to have even a slight sense of knowing what's really going on elsewhere. Hillel's meeting with the networking police soon, and will probably be getting me access to the server outside of the FUN firewall, so that I can replicate all my work setting up stuff (PhP, MySQL, Perl, OJS, MoveableType, PhPNuke) that I've done with larry's server. A bit repetitive, but that's how things seem to work around here. I hope that they will decide that I'm not qualified, and choose to set it up for me. Today is Feburary 18th, and I'm heading home in 10 days. I'm going shopping this Saturday, down town. Early in the morning. So that I can see the fish markets. Perhaps I'll be able to get Atsuko to take me tea shopping, as I need someone to help me to get the best stuff."

Posted by jason at February 18, 2003 09:00 PM