June 2003 Archives

Damn, damn, damn, damn...

Damn 1- Never leave wandering without my compass. I walked for 30 minutes, hungry, thirsty and sweating, in the wrong direction.

Damn 2- Cold sake REALLY messes me up. Whoohooo!

Damn 3- Never leave wandering without my phrasebook. How do you say "water please?" in Japanese?

Damn 4- The women in Kyoto beat the women in Tokyo hands down. No ifs ands or buts about it.

Oh and Damn #5: an old white Saab 900 nearly killed me crossing the street just now. A sign? And if so, what does it mean?

Quick update

Ok I am in Kyoto, which so far is of much more digestible scale. It`s almost 5pm and I`m going to wander about.

My hotel is across the street from the Old Imperial Palace.

Photos upcoming. This computer I am sitting at in the hotel lobby has some cat5 I`m gonna hijack later... ;)

Sunday in the sun.

Woke up at 8:30 in Jim & Yuka's living room. Jim and Toshiro woke up at the same time, oddly enough. Checking email, listening to music, breakfast of bagels (!)...

At 11:20 we headed out on our day trip to the Kamakura. Once there, we hooked up with friends of Yuka's: Christophe & Haneka. Torisho took us to a great restaurant where we had a huge lunch of cold soba, tempura, sashimi, miso, some egg/fishbroth stuff (?) and various sundries. This is living...

We began by visiting Tsuru-ga-oka Hachiman-gu, The Minamoto Shrine. It is dedicated to emperor Ojin, whom shogun Minamoto No Yoritomo, who had it built in the 12th century, claimed descent from. Had I known what I just wrote when I visited, I'd have been more alert. It was beautiful but I had no idea... Note: Read up before heading out!

Next we found ourselves just a short ways back down ib Hase, at the Daibutsu, which Jim insisted meant "large ass". Daibutsu is the Great Buddha. 37 foot high bronze Amida Buddha, cast in 1292. Beautiful! Too bad there were tourists and junk shops everywhere.

As evening approached we headed for Enoshima Island, but as it got dark, we settled for some beer-u and food on the beach of Sagami Bay. This is where Tokyo-ites come to the beach. Dirty grey sand, with a surf break interesting enough to keep surfers. Walking through the town I definitely felt the energy I so miss of surf towns and beach bums. I could live here...

The train ride back slowly broke up our little group, and we each took turns falling asleep.

Arriving at Toshiro's parent's house, I was greeted with broad smiles, slippers, a shower, two yummy slices of watermelon and light conversation until we all headed off to sleep. Tomorrow, I finally go to Kyoto.

Pics of day two

Didn't take many for some reason. Was busy getting my bearings...

The good, the bad and the costly

Through a friend of a friend, i was invited to a party waaay out by Gakugeidaigaku station. Notice the complexity of the name; it is relevant. Be there at 9.

I get there at 9:30. Friend meets me at the door (after I walked for 10 minutes with the couple I had asked for directions who happened to be going to the same party.)

It turns out to be what back home we'd call a warehouseparty, or loftparty. An old hotel in mid reconfiguration, becoming a department store. Some local promoters got their hands on the space for the night.

In the stars? What?

My horoscope in Metropolis/Japan Today states:


Your mind may revel in the many twists and turns it needs to make this week. Friday and Saturday, the influence of the Moon wakes up your spirit. The sleeping gypsy inside you asks you to express your creativity. This can happen in many formsófrom sports to dance, to baking bread. Youíll know youíve hit on the right formula when you no longer feel hungry or empty inside. Mars conjunct Uranus is fantastic for romance. Donít miss it!

Zing! Excuse me?!

Mobloged by Joi Ito

Joi's Moblog: Boris and Jim

Cannot bear pictures of myself (I'm the one on the right)...

Five minutes after this pic was taken I found myself alone. Not quite sure what to do now.. Guess I'll go get lost. Oh wait.. I AM lost! Hahahahaha...

Thank you Joi for the phone and the chat. See you next week!

First leg

See picture gallery!

Departure from Montreal delayed 2 hours. Means little for me: it was either sit for 3 hours in Detroit or in Montreal.

Just before boarding I see Maria, whom I know from CEGEP days. She's ended up in LA, being a movie star and writing scripts for Hallmark "movies-of-the-week". Bravo!

Flight starts off with worst turbulence I've ever experienced, and this DC-9 isn't in nearly as good shape as the flying trashcan my mother and I hopped from Cozumel to Cancun in when I was five.

Landing momentarily in Detroit, Motor City.

Ok. 14 hours in a plane is NOT fun. Not getting to sleep makes it worse. Bad bad bad Hollywood movies makes you think of pulling the emergency doors and jumping out.

Arrived at Narita. Falling asleep. Been awake for 48hours. Train ride to Tokyo is beautiful though overcast. Sitting beside me is Ken, a 32 year old frozen food production company employee. His english is perfect though he refuses to admit it ("oh no! my english is terrrrrible..." Buddy said my name perfectly the first time; an erswhile achievement for native japanese speakers...). We talk about shu mai, gyoza, his wife and the three massages he just got while on business in Thailand.

Tokyo stattion. Taxi. Lost driver. Jim and Yuka, super nice! Dinner in Shibuya. Head is spinning.. must sleeep!!! :)

Close your eyes

She closed her eyes as the unagi passed her lips, into her mouth.
- "Mmmmmm" she let out.
- "What did you see?" I askd as her moment ended.
- "What did I see?"
- "Yes, what did you see? As you closed your eyes and said 'Mmmmm'? Where did the eel take you?"

I was eager to hear how she would answer, her english skills being still very young. How would she communicate such an experience in a language so foreign to her mind?

- "Nothing..."
- "Nothing?!"
- "No... well..."
- "Yes?"
- "If I tell you, it won't be the same."

I picked up my piece, dipped it in the soya, opened my mouth... and closed my eyes...


Wirefarm : Rain rain rain and Things I find in my bed

Looks like I'll be getting more out of this trip to Japan than I bargained for... ;)

Call for tenders...

As this Japan trip rapidly approaches, my anxiety level increases somewhat.

I've posted to Joi's "Going to Japan" WikiPage some info about my trip and what kind of help/info I'm looking for.

Anything and everything is welcome! :)


Ok. You got me. Here's why I'm REALLY going to Japan.

1st International Moblogging Love Hotel Conference


IRC to weblog

Over on Joi Ito's IRC channel, I expressed the desire to have an ongoing log of the goings-on. It caused some heated debate and Joi decided we should discuss it and come to a decision via his Wiki.

So here I will explain my idea a bit more fully and why I think it would be at least a neat thing to try out, in the spirit of Joi's ongoing experiment to fuse various "social softwares".

First of all, the reasons I'd like a log of the channel are several fold: 1- catch up on anything interesting I may miss while I am asleep or commuting to work or otherwise logged off from the channel. 2- I feel much of what goes on there would be interesting to a bunch of other people who otherwise may not want to participate in an IRC "life". Also a log would remove the time requirement of participating etc...

Secondly, a simple "log" is not what I had in mind. I'd like the "log" to be dumped, in XHTML, into a weblog CMS system (I believe Bloxsom to be the tool of choice here), enabling it with Comments and Trackbacks and making it available to Google and Technorati. This would extend the conversation while stripping the time element.

I propose a proof of concept. A separate IRC channel complete with a logging bot which would dump everything into xhtml textfiles, ordered by day and perhaps at one hour increments, into a directory on a webserver which would have Bloxsom running over them. We could dev this out there, show it off.. and perhaps do a trial run for a day or two on #joiito...

So, I need an IRC channel, a python bot script and an installation of Bloxsom on a server... i can take care of the last one, who will do the first two? :)


I've been online since only 1996 or so, but I have never gotten into IRC (Internet Relay Chat)... until this past week. It is total virtual world immersion/time limbo induction. The week gone by seems like a speck of dust floating in a smokey room.

And I have never made so many new friends in so short a time. The experience, however, also extends into the "real world" (a term I dislike more and more as all is "real" to me now: online, offline, dream and awake... ) where in this past week I have also done more, moved more air, met more people and proactively participated more in my own life than I have in months.

Discussing identity and space in a virtual environment, preparing for a tattoo which will serve as a reminder of my physical form, planning a trip to a place I hope will push the last puzzle piece into place in my understanding of... well... I'll let you know when (if) it does. ;)

As long as you all, both online and off, in my space and in my dreams, are around, I'll know I am not insane, for reality is a discussion & consensus of perceptions, nothing more.

No really, I am fine. ;)

Single black band

I was just informed that a tattoo of a single black band on one's arm possibly has negative symbolic connotation in Japan, indicating a convict (person who is jailed for a crime).

Can anyone verify this for me? How about in other cultures?

This is rather annoying to me as I've been searching for 10 years for a tattoo that would have no symbolic meaning and this was my ace in the hole... sigh...

Thanks in advance!

Email: natural interface for weblogging?

Thinking about setting up my moblog for my trip to Japan, I immediately thought that I'd have to troubleshoot the setup. Seeing as I don't have a cellphone with e-mailing capabilities, let alone built-in camera, i wondered if Joi's moblog python script can handle email sent from a regular MUA (mail user agent). Theoretically, yes of course.

Then I smacked my head. "Of course, this must be one of the reasons Karl is interested in Joi's script!" I remember a few months back listening to Karl talk about the difficulties of maintaining a blog via email. Myself I am not worried about edits and such (maintenance) but merely posting.

So, to do: set up a test blog and start using Entourage to post blog entries.

This is kinda interesting to me because I'm feeling limited as it is with the current blog posting/editing interfaces I am using... MT's admin site is great except I have to click around alot to get stuff done, and copy and paste URLs and hand code links etc. Kung-Log is nice but it's been acting very bad lately - it for some reason converts the opening brackets in any HTML I insert into ascii.. which I then have to go clean up, by hand, via MT. So basically, it's become useless. Also, Safari doesn't like MT's Bookmarklets so quick blogging of links is out of the question. Sparkign anothe rbrowser and then copy and pasting the URL an dthen hittign the bookmarlet sorta defeats the purpose... Ah well...

So yeah, on with it eh...

Intel "messup"

Wired News: Why Centrino and VPNs Don't Mix

Amazing. They are either total idiots or they did this on purpose. Somehow I don't think they are total idiots...