Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where does one go to print stuff when one doesn't have a printer?

Hey gang-

So I'm packing up my room/house. Everything is in a bag or a box or a milk crate. If you're keeping track at home, some of you know that I don't have a home. boo hoo, I'm part of a broken family. So anyway, I don't have anywhere to put shit. I've ended up with some in friends' basements (shout-out to Arash, who will never, ever, ever read this), some in my Dad's basement dwelling, and some in my Grandma's garage. Me-in-8-months is going to hate now-me.

I really have quite a bit of stuff, and I really can't bring very much with me to Japan. I'm already bringing a pretty big piece of luggage along with my massive 75 litre camping backpack. I don't think I'll be able to fit that along with me in my 8x10 cell they call a room. I don't even know if I'm going to need CLOTHES. They tell me I will have a uniform. Does that mean I don't need clothes? Because that'd be awesome. I could go to Japan for 8 months with just my little backpack with my laptop in it. And my Kindle. Thats really all I need. (BTdub: Its totally easy to pirate books, I've got like 200 on my Kindle so far -- thanks rapidshare!)

Also, I don't have a printer! How am I supposed to print my plane ticket? The university is closed, my printer is gone, and all my friends are in god-knows-where probably having a very warm and awesome time.

I don't want to go to the public library. I've had a bad experience.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kindle Review, also Re: my new follower

So I got a Kindle. Its was a sum-of-all gift for the next 8 months from my mom, and its pretty awesome.

The e-ink screen is totally mind blaasting. I looked up how it actually works, and apparently its some type of micro-capsule array that depending on the e-field through each capsule, brings white or black particles to the surface. This makes quite dandy sense and reminds me a lot of an etch-a-sketch, but looking at the screen its really hard to see the pixels... either its exceedingly high resolution, or theres some demon-magic at play. I think there may also be some magics in how each pixel experiences its own e-field with enough electromotive force to physically move shit.

The unlimited access to wikipedia is very douglas adams, but canada has some draconian cell phone providers that are preventing the experimental web browser from browsing anything but wiki. But fortunately the land of the rising sun (read: Nippon) is a little more friendly, and once I get there I read that the entire interwebs will be open to my browsing. Pretty awesome considering there is no monthly subscription of any kind.

It looks like I'm going to be spending a fortune on books. Its too easy. Those folks over at Amazon really have heads on their shoulders.

PS: I'd like to draw undue attention to my new follower, Brie. Everyone say hi Brie!! She spent a year in Japan, you know. But she doesn't want to be defined by it. So forget I said anything.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

There are so many lost souls out there. Why can't you see the light? I see my path laid out before me, I must become an evangelical Pastafarian and spread His Noodliness throughout the world.

Come over to the dark side, we have cookies and spaghetti.

But seriously folks, I'm really looking forward to Shintos rather than Bible thumpers.

Peace out.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Attention all cats and kittens: Exams are over for a year!

This means that suddenly the next thing on my radar is going to Japan in a few weeks... looks very daunting right about now, but its going to be pretty fantastic. Me and my cat are going to get some good bonding time before I have to hand him over to Mikhail and leave him in the GWA. Its been about 8 months since I've changed his litter, so my first gift to him will be a clean shitbox. Hurray.

To everyone that I didn't say goodbye to right after the exam: You obviously aren't important enough to me to merit a goodbye. (NB: The only person I said goodbye to right after the exam was Liu)

Addendum: Part-ay in the nanoroom tonight at 9. Be there or be a square Bravais lattice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Godaddy has .com domain names on sale for 99 cents for one year with the promo code "BUYCOM99". I just snagged for my pleasure and to expedite your daily type-commute. You do come here daily, don't you?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bah humbug. Christmas makes me sick. And not just in the walking-in-an-overly-commercial-wonderland kind of way. I usually get this nasty sinus-y ears-nose-throat kinda illness just before Christmas. Its probably just the changing weather (which was really sudden), but I like to think its a psychosomatic Ebenezer-complex.

But my bestest and newest friend Susan brought me some Advil Cold and Sinus today, which totally saved my life. Thanks Susie!

In a completely unrelated note, for anyone who happens to be going to the US for co-op but isn't of age by their Draconian standards, the ISIC card is a really good "fake" ID. It looks very legitimate, but they don't check the date of birth you claim, so adding a couple years is no biggie. The grocery stores that are pretty official-like in the states probably won't accept an ISIC card, but the sketchy mom and pop liquor stores definitely would.

You can thank me later.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So I'm currently drinking this especially delightful suspension of coffee nanoparticles. Taro no koohii to mirukutei desu. (たろの コオヒイと ミルクテイ です)Fancy stuff.

I just had my JAPAN 101 exam, it was a pain. Unfortunately for me, my Nihongo has not yet progressed to the level that I can answer trick questions about a story I just read. Talking to my Japanese friend after, apparently there was even a question that SHE wasn't sure about. And shes fluent in Japanese. Fuck you, JAPAN 101. I will come back from Japan fluent, and then maybe I'll be able to compete in your introductory courses.

I'm supposed to mention Dan in this post. You're so sensitive and such a good friend Dan. When I walk around with you we constantly run into your girl friends (NB: friends who are girls). Why aren't you a massive pimp?

That is all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So its final exam season. Okay, I can dig it, I enjoy a good 10 day OMGWTF barbecue every few months.

I've made DC my primary home, as I tend to do during this time. My day is punctuated by periods of missing my cat and feeling that I'm mistreating him, made worse by the fact that I'm leaving him alone with a bunch of terrorists and Mickey for 8 months. Has anyone noticed the hall monitors patrolling the library lately? Of course you have. They're there every second moment telling you to "watch your volume" and then mysteriously writing down a small note in their oh-so-mysterious little notebooks. But right now the rest of my table is enthralled in these images of someones dick covered in outrageous tatoos and hooting and hollering with complete disregard for the "QUIET STUDY" sign above my table. Where the fuck are you, hall monitors?

God damn it kids, get off my lawn!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Over Christmas holidays I'm going to have to do some serious Japanese cramming to augment my limited JAPAN 101 knowledge.

I'm thinking first I need to learn Katakana (the second easy Japanese alphabet), so that I can read all the awesome butcherings of English words (konpuuta, nekutai, nanotekanoroji, etasetera). Next I need to learn common words that I'm going to be using every day, but that aren't taught in an introductory Japanese course.

Heres a quick list I've put together (from a Japanese dictionary):
やりにげ (yarinige): having sex with a woman and then breaking off contact with her (esp. after telling her that you love her); wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am; hit it and quit it; fuck and chuck
どあほ (doaho): total idiot; fuck-wit
くたばっちまえ (kutabotchimae): Drop dead, you bastard!
けとうじん(tetoo-jin): Hairy foreigner (esp. European)
ほっといて, わたしは からてを わかります(hottoite, watashi wa karate o wakarimasu): Back off, I know Karate.

I think there are probably better ways of learning such phrases outside of entering my favourite vituperations into translators. Maybe watching a lot of anime? I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to make that kind of commitment.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whats going on, eh?

In another one of the lovely and entertaining case studies/parables from Japan I was presented yesterday, we hear another story of Lloyd (apparently before the roller blade incident, or maybe there are just a lot of Lloyds out there, care to comment Lloyd?).

Lloyd was minding his own business on a commuting train of some kind, maybe zoning out watching a tentacle-related TV show on his crazy TV/cellphone. Either way, he was distracted from this by some murmuring sounds coming from a girl standing near him. You see, the train was pretty packed, but since Lloyd is a big western guy, he can see the sea of Nipponese layed out before him. And in this sea in front of him, a high school girl was being sexually molested by some guy.

No she wasn't yelling, punching or in any way trying to defend herself, she was just taking it. Lloyd was struck dumb by seeing this, and in shock for a few moments. Once he'd gathered his wits and decided to move in, Trainrape-san was nowhere to be seen, he had jumped off the train at the last station.

Lloyd was mortified by witnessing this and being able to do nothing to help, and the experience apparently marred much of the rest of his work term in Japan.

What can we learn from Lloyd escapades? Well, apparently what people say about train rape is actually true, this has been reported by a couple co-op Japan students over the last few years. This makes you wonder, if this kind of stuff actually goes down in the exceedingly far east, then maybe other things like tentacles and Dragonballs and Pokemon actually happen too?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

To whom it may concern (hopefully everyone, this is worrisome stuff):

I had a mandatory 2 hour pre-departure meeting today for my Japanese exchange, before I head out in one month and two days. This meeting was intended to get me up to speed on everything Nipponese, including culture, language, business etiquette and their almost fanatical aversion to roller blades. I know what you're thinking, how could they possibly get across everything I need to know about the Japanese roller blade vendetta in only two hours? Jesus said it best: "Fuck it, we'll do it in a parable!"

The story begins with an unsuspecting Waterloo student working somewhere in Tokyo, we'll call him Lloyd. Hes got Nihongo down, and is achieving success in the work place and in his social life. On the flip side, hes got this 10 minute walk to get to work, which for Lloyd was too much. So he does what any red blooded son of the 90s does: he decides to pick up some 'blades. No go, turns out there isn't a Japanese word for roller blades, and as such he can't find any.

No problem, Lloyd gets mom to send his pair from Waterloo and soon hes cut that 10 minute commute down to about 8 and a half (its kinda uphill, okay?). His co-workers begin to notice his new wheels, and occasionally ask him about them, saying things like "Those are interesting". Lloyd takes these comments in stride, thinking that hes doing his part in bringing modern conveniences to Japan.

But our hero Lloyd was lost in ignorance. Turns out "interesting" is Axis code for "totally against company policy and reason for termination". Lloyd's supervisor considered these coded comments ample warning, and after a few more "warnings", Lloyd was terminated and the Co-op Japan program was disgraced.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To my most dear and mysterious fan.

So my followers show up on the right there, and I can totally understand two of them. Shrey knows awesome when he sees it, and this blog is obviously drenched in the stuff. Mary is simply being proactive on ensuring ways of getting her Blake-fix, since I'm going to be so far away so soon, and shes having trouble facing this inevitability.

The third person there is a fellow named Lloyd Webber. Are you there, Lloyd? Are you aware that your name bears a striking resemblance to a certain English composer? I'm sure you must get that all the time. I'm curious how you found this blog, as its not even on the Google index yet. I'm afraid many of my posts may appear nonsensical to you, but this is just because you are a creepy guy from outside my social circle looking in. Don't be offended Lloyd, I shall always appreciate your patronage to Coffee Nanoparticles and I forgive you for any and all past creepiness.

Re: Dear Everyone

Dear Everyone (again, sorry to make you all come back),

I take back what I said yesterday, I'm not so sure anymore. I'll check and get back to you.

So you know those crazy things that Asians always have attached to their phones? I want one. I'm going to Japan and I consider it an integral way to get accepted into their crazy future-culture centered around tentacles and cell phones with television on them.

Speaking of Japan, I wrote a super awesome play in Japanese about Transformers going out to a bar. Its first showing is today, and I expect great commercial success. I'm a regular shakesuperu.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dear Everyone

Dear Everyone-

It'll be okay.

Dear diary

Dear diary,

Today I had a lab exam. It was done in such a way that everyone was able to cheat very easily (if they had wanted to). Unfortunately it was so easy that no cheating was required. Big shout out to my most favouritest nanosystems computer aided design prof.

In other news, I spent the last few months helping a PhD form a lab experiment surrounding a solar cell fabrication that I did in an afternoon, out of donuts and tea.

Today the PhD integrated everything and tested his first device. He got less photocurrent out of a titanium dioxide nanoparticle and eosin dye based cell than I got from purified powdered donuts and tea.


For those outside of the loop:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sometimes you think you know people, but you don't.

So today I realized that my friend Dan is very lame. I knew he was Asian (with a capital A). But I've since discovered a series of long-lost Xanga blogs that hes poured his heart into over the years.

I also discovered my other Asian friend Mary Mu has a locked up blog that she hasn't told me about nor even allowed me access. I consider this a personal affront.

Coffee - nanoparticle suspension or dissolved solution?

Does anyone know the answer to this age-old queston?