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December 30, 2005

Rest in Peace

Perfect Saturday Morning

In case anyone is wondering, the site has been down for a while due to some evil script kiddies. First, I apologize to those who are sharing space on my server. Second, I apologize to any remaining Mfop users too. (I also have not had any email for the past few days, so if anyone tried to get ahold of me....)

Having moved out of the "hard core" web world a while back, and finally severing all official ties to my old web-development career, my waning interest in the technical aspects has shown in my inability to keep my server secure. I am going to take this as a sign and an opportunity to move my site to a cheaper, low maintenance hosting plan with some other company. (one of the main reasons I kept the dedicated server was that I needed a hella lotta space for my photos, but having moved to Flickr, that is no longer needed -though I still worry about what happens when Flickr decides to close it's own doors.

For those of you sharing my server, I will help you find a good host, and move your sites over as well. If you have helped by contributing to the costs of this server, I will certainly make sure that you don't loose any money on the deal.

I don't know what this means for Mfop. I suppose I will still be able to run it wherever I go to, but it's better to swallow my pride and just give the ugly ugly ugly source code to anyone who wants to "take over" (Of course you will have to get permission from all the users to get their registration data).

So, that's all. Luckily I have a week off for New Years, so I have time to work on the move.

The photo, taken on a beautiful Saturday morning as Klee waits for Tomoe to wake up, signifies putting this server to rest.

December 13, 2005

Klee

Klee

Not sure if I posted this photo before, but I have run out of new ones so...

December 11, 2005

This is George

George of Lapland

So I spent yesterday and today working an overnight meeting/workshop for some companies here in Japan working on getting that "sustainability" thing right. (for some reason the workshop was in the mountains, a three hour bus-ride from Tokyo, and most people never once stepped out of the hotel - I have yet to figure out why we have to drive unsustainable transportation so far to have a meeting, but anyway...) The meeting went really well, I learned a ton and a half about how this sustainability thing plays out in the "real world".

Aside that, one of the biggest things I learned though is that, no matter how cynical I may sound about it, the Natural Step Framework kicks arse. They didn't use it, but I wish they did (joining the conversation two years after it had begun I was in no position to say "let's go back to the beginning and start over -although I can propose that Monday).

Another thing I couldn't shake from my little brain is how FRIKIN' POWERFULL open-space is -or at least how frikin' powerful I suspect it would be. There were more than a few instances where, based on my limited experience with it, it would have been far more productive at creating high-quality shared output that everyone feels is theirs and is happy (or extatic) about.

Ever since the first day I met Open Space, way back on the sixth day I was in Sweden, I have been completely in love with it, but I attributed that to my personality type which favors less order, more chaos, less "need to speak up", more "listen and learn", less "tell us what to think about", more "let's think about this!". I can't help but think that this is exactly what this meeting needed.

Was this a life changing moment for me? Time will tell.

December 09, 2005

George's Door

Lapland George's Door

December 08, 2005

So you wash your veggies before you eat them?

So you wash your veggies before you eat them?

Why bother?.

And to think that people are so terrified of germs growing in their bathtub that they have to pour gallons of heavy-duty-kill-anything-it-touches-until-it-evolves-a-resistance type cleaner down the drain. And yet....

December 06, 2005

Eco eco

Guatamala

Since I am sitting around catching up on my feed reading, I thought I would mention a blog that has quickly become one of my favorites.

Environmental Economics: Economists on Environmental and Natural Resources: News, Opinion, and Analysis. The first post I saw on this site (don't remember the link) went against what I "believed", but it was very convincing, and so I kept reading. Glad I did.

By the way, the photo above is not mine. It was taken by a friend when she went to visit her daughter who is volunteering her nursing skills in Guratamala. -Wish I could be that selfless.

how the heck did people do translation work before the web????

It's not easy being yellow.

Work is good. Aside from learning what a frikkin hard job translation is, I am also learning lots of other interesting tidbits which I hope will be valuable some day.

My "main" project, while I get worked into some of the other ongoing projects they have, is translating one of their publications into English. I thought the biggest problem would be my lack of any english grammarization ability what-so-ever. The next big time sucker would be making sure I have all the specialized terminology correct. Since Japanese uses those handy characters, it is usually not so difficult to understand the meaning of a new word, but if it is a word that has a specific term in English, I have to search the web to find what that specific English word might be instead of just describing it in my own words. -how the heck did people do translation work before the web????

Anyway, that is what I thought would be the biggest hurdles to getting this job done. Boy was I wrong. The biggest problem for me is getting my mind out of "Japanese think" and into "English think". While I finished a rough translation of the 60 pages a week ago, still sounds incredibly... not English. And when I try to rephrase it in a way that I would have phrased it if I had been writing it from scratch, I CAN'T GET THE FRIGGIN JAPANESE OUT OF MY MIND.

I'm a little worried about the schedule now, as I have also joined some other projects. Most of it is on an almost-observer basis, such as the conference last week where I spent two extremely interesting days listening. My only real responsibility was to make sure a small group of foreign guests made it back to their hotel from the restaurant -luckily one of them remembered the way.

* * *

In other news, I have been spending my "web-play" time on Flickr recently, looking at other people's photos and entering contests and what not. I noticed today that my very first victory, which got me into the "100 Best" photos on Flickr (obviously it's not really the best 100 photos) is being challenged. It looks like I am going to loose. Dang. Oh-well, At least I still have a photo in "the safe" of the ruthless DeleteMe! group.

I had been spending waaaaaayyyy too much time on Flickr until this weekend. Mostly because entering my photos into the groups and pools where they will be seen takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r withe the flicker web site, so I delved into the world of programming once again after a long break. It was strangely exciting, in a geeky sort of way, and in the end I had a nifty little app that displays my photos, what group they are in, what group they could be in, and allows me to add each photo to multiple groups with one click. This is years faster than looking at each photo to remember what group I added it to (I only add one photo per day to any given pool), and decades faster than using the flickr web-site to add photos to one group at a time.

* * *

Finally, a plea to any windows users out there. I need a great RSS reader for Windows. I am prepared to pay (or ask the boss to pay) because my work computer is Windows. The two main features I want are:

1. Displays Japanese. One of the best Open Source ones I found thrilled me until I couldn't see my Japanese feeds

2. Allows me to view all the feeds in a folder in order of freshness of the post, instead of one-feed-at-a-time. One of the for-pay ones (I forgot which one) looked great, but when I highlight the entire folder containing all my "sustainability" or "photo" or "friends" (not so many) feeds, it comes up blank.

I had the same problem finding a good one for mac until I came across Shrook, which I have been using for a year now and is exactly what I am looking for in a Windows version.

Wondering who I am

December 05, 2005

New Year Cards

just the two of us

This is the photo we will put on our New Years greeting cards and Christmas cards.

Ah, who am I kidding? Don't expext a card from me (and don't feel any responsibility to send me one.)

December 04, 2005