The blog that's gotten one comment ever! Thanks mom!

Monday, April 30, 2007

We're here!

Hey folks. Sorry that I haven't posted much, it's surprisngly difficult to post using Blogger's interface when everything is in Japanese. We landed safely Sunday, breezed through immigration (despite not having an address for where we'd be staying, again!), and met up with Batty and Sonoko within seconds of stepping out from the customs line. They guided our jet lagged souls through the maze of trains and to their house, which absolutely kicks ass. Sliding screens as a way to either partition or open up space is a really neat idea that I'd never really appreciated before.

Anywho, the next day we got up and went to Yokohama, Sonoko's old college stomping grounds. I'll try to upload those pictures to flickr later this morning. Lots of shopping, lots of amusement park, and lots of Chinatown. We finished the day at an incredible Chinese restaurant (super tasty dim sum for the win, and I don't care it's usually breakfast food), then caught the train back home and sat around drinking homemade grapefruit chu-hi until we all crashed.

The plan for today is to stay a bit more local. We're going to drive around town in Batty and Sonoko's cute little Daihatsu, run a bunch of errands, and send off a few postcards we picked up in Chinatown. Which reminds me, if you want a post card, send me your address! AB and Celeste, I'm thinking of you guys! I'll send you an email to remind you, if we don't get it mailed off, we'll try to bring you one back in any case. Oh, and we're going to get Celeste's canned chu-hi today too!

Tomorrow is Shinjuku and Harajuku, with dinner with Sonoko's sister Mika, whom we haven't seen since they got married. And then the next day is Akihabara! I cannot wait!

Friday, April 27, 2007

What am I forgetting?

Gah! The final hours before leaving for a trip are always the worst. Did I get Janie's allergy medication? My deodorant? All of the stuff Batty and Sonoko wanted imported? My anxiety is increased by the fact that, despite being packed for the trip, the packing job isn't final yet. Janie has one of her bags with her on the Boston trip, so when she gets back from that, we'll likely be repacking quite a bit of our stuff into that. I don't think my nervousness will subside until I've got everything packed in their final locations. And I've annoyed all of my friends with the constant 'what am I forgetting' IM's. Sorry guys.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Latest photo dump, Japan!

One last photo update before we leave to go see our friends Batty and Sonoko in Japan. This time, it's pictures from the last time we went to see our friends Batty and Sonoko in Japan! It was also their wedding, which was a whole lot of fun. We laughed, I cried, I got to shop in wierd little Japanese toy stores in Den Den town, Osaka. Life is good.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Scott's lesson for the day.

Do not blog about inviting friends over, if other friends whom you did not invite actually read your blog. It has a negative effect on blog readership. Sorry Celeste! I woulda invited you guys too, but I know you don't watch Lost!

Lost and hot dogs

So, Janie left Saturday. That means I've spent my evenings alone for just four nights. However, last night I found myself talking to myself, and if I wasn't monologuing whatever was going through my head, I was talking to the cats. Not good signs. And so, desperate for human contact, I asked my friends Jer and Steph to come over and keep me company. We're going to grill up some hot dogs, watch the increasingly bizzare, but still mostly entertaining Lost, and I'll finish my packing for Japan, which is pretty much the only think left on the honey-do list Janie left for me. Anywho, thanks guys. My sanity appreciates it!

Monday, April 23, 2007

New photo set, Hong Kong!

So, if it isn't obvious yet, Janie and I like to travel a bit, and this is the one that really got us going. Before Batty left for Japan to teach, he asked everyone if anybody would want to meet in Hong Kong for a vacation. To me the idea was just silly, I never considered it as a real possibility for a second. But to my surprise, Janie said 'Ok!'. So we saved up, got tickets, and spent New Year's 2001 in Hong Kong! Absolutely one of my favorite vacations we've been on, though we've been to a lot of other fun places since then.

And she's off!

Janie's off to Boston, or Cambridge to be more exact, for her week of NHLI training. I was scolded many times over the course of the weekend for mispronouncing Cambridge. I had thought the ca was more like how you say can, but Celeste assures me that it's pronounced came. Oh well.

In any case, I'd like to wish Janie the best week possible! The training is pretty intense, so she's not going to have much time for sightseeing, and when she gets back, we leave for Japan the next day! She's going to have a stressful couple of weeks, but with any luck, the vacation on the end of it will help keep her sane. Love you Janie!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ebay rant, part deux

So after my earlier post on this, I did some more research. Turns out, you can sell things on ebay without actually having the item you're auctioning! Sound fishy? Well, it is. But it's not illegal, as long as you send the item out within 30 days. Of course, in the seller's terms on the page, they mention a 7-10 day wait before shipping, though we have obviously gone long beyond that in this case. After three unanswered emails via ebay, I contacted the seller through paypal, basically saying hey, looks like you don't have the game, let's just cancel this so I can get on with life. Here's the response.

Message From Seller:
This was a preorder. We are waiting to receive our shipment from our distributor, but it is currently on back order. We sent you an email but you must not have received it.

Ok, fair enough. Except that nowhere in the auction does it mention that this item is a preorder (wonder why? Think that would scare people off?). Also odd that this email shot right into my inbox the day after I asked for the refund, but his earlier email never got to me? I'm thinking he may need to talk with his email provider, judging by the other feedback, this isn't an uncommon issue. In any case, got my money back, and left neutral feedback with the following comment.

Item was preordered, canceled order after three weeks, got refund.

Will that help any other suckers out there buying things on ebay? Probably not. But it opened my eyes a bit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ebay rant

I like my nintendo DS a lot. It hasn't gotten a lot of play time of late, primarily because I've finished the games I have for it. And given the upcoming travel time, a good game with some decent shelf life seemed a pretty good investment. So I found this little gem, which promised to keep me hopelessly poking away at the touchscreen for the long hours of travel. Unfortunately, as with many interesting DS carts, if it's not named Pokemon or wasn't released by Nintendo, it can be kind of hard to find down at the local Game Stop. I shopped around for it online, but eventually turned to ebay as an easy way to track it down. Track it down I did, and after checking the seller's feedback rating (over 98%, nice!), I placed my order. Ebay's paypal integration couldn't be simpler, since they own em, and within seconds of choosing the buy it now option, I had made my payment, given the seller my shipping details, and gotten on with my life, waiting with gleeful anticipation the arrival of my new game.

That was 21 days ago. The emails I've sent to the seller have fallen on deaf ears. I've received no word on shipping info. No information whatsoever as to what the status of this purchase is. I would have had better luck just ordering the game from almost any other source. I've gone back and reviewed the feedback the seller has. For the most part, it's fine, but every so often you find a similar case. Complaints of no communication. Complaints of extremely slow shipping. And lord help you if you decide to take the route of leaving poor feedback for the seller. He appears to be vindictive. Even in cases where he acknowledges that there were problems on their end, if you leave negative feedback, expect to receive it in return. And unlike the seller, I don't have ten thousand transactions at my back. A negative feedback for me would put my percentage around, oh, well, 93%, which isn't all that bad, but still. Since ebay's feedback system is obviously skewed in favor of those that manage massive numbers of transactions, I'll call out yellowoasis here, on the least read blog on the planet! Take that, you fiend! Send me my game! If, by chance, I actually ever receive anything from this tool, I'll let you know, but at this point, I'm thinking I'm going to just buy another copy from someone less shady and more willing to actually talk to their customers.

Upcoming travels

Tonight, Janie and I will be getting her bags packed for her trip to Boston next week. She's gotten into a really neat leadership training program, where she's spending four weeks in various cities throughout the year. Next week is Boston, she's already been to San Francisco, and towards the end of the summer, she'll be in DC. I'll probably go on that little trip as well, to see the graduation ceremony they'll have for J and just to play in DC for a weekend. But in addition to getting ready for Boston, we'll also be packing a second bag for Janie. We're off to see our friends Batty and Sonoko in Tokyo, and we're leaving the day after J gets back from her first trip! So she'll land from the flight from Boston, we'll crash at an airport hotel, after repacking everything for the next trip, and then be back at the airport way too early to start the never fun trip across the Pacific. At 6'3", I've never had any luck sleeping on planes, so I plan on simply carrying enough toys to keep me as entertained as possible. There's the frankenpod, my nintendo DS, my cell phone, which makes for a pretty good movie player. I'll probably also pick up The Children of Hurin, a work put together by Christopher Tolkein, the great J.R.R.'s son, based on his father's notes. Anything to distract me from the misery of coach class. Anywho, I'll have a fresh set of pictures posted when we get back.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More flickr pix, Disney World time!

My mom and dad gathered up the kids and grandkids and took everyone to Disney World in the summer of ought six, all expenses paid. It was a wonderful time, that went by far too quickly. Anywho, here are the pictures Janie and I took while we were there.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

And now, the big reveal!

It's looking great! Dad just ordered an overdrive for it, and although I don't think I'll be doing 75mph in a nearly 50 year old vehicle, it'll sure make it easier to get to and from the fun places to go play! Thanks Dad!

The mysterious imaginary jeep of...mystery!

My dad's always had a thing for old jeeps. Completely impractical vehicles for day to day use, but living fairly close to the mountains, they can come in handy from time to time. So for the last several years, he's taken to searching around for old jeeps to fix up. The first one he finished, a 1946 CJ-2a, had literally been put out to pasture, having sat under a tree in a farmer's field for years. It's been his goal to eventually rebuild enough jeeps so that everyone in the family would have their own. And right now, he's working on mine, a 1959 CJ-3b. However, as this jeep lives a couple of hours from me while my dad's working on it, I have no evidence of it's existence, leading my friends to believe that it's a myth, like bigfoot or the Air Force.

Last night my dad called and said that the chassis, suspension, brakes, etc, were all finished, and they had mounted the engine last night. The transmission is soon to follow. He's promised to send pictures (which are sure to be denounced as photoshopped forgeries), which I'll post here once I've got em. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bored with gaming. Could it be?

So lately, since the last few months of '06, I've had what I'd call the best of all gaming worlds. Janie started playing Warcraft with me. Now this was a huge deal. Back in the day, Janie played Everquest with me, and the trauma of that led to my leaving the world of MMO's, presumably forever. As with many addicts, I couldn't stay away, and I eventually fell down the rabbit hole again, first into Star Wars Galaxies, and then, after about the third complete revamp of that game, into World of Warcraft. Janie and I still went back and forth of course, as I always wanted more game time, and Janie always wanted more Scotty time. Eventually though, as more and more of our friends began to play, she gave in, and decided to give it a try. Although the newbie area bugged her (note to WoW devs, many folks don't like having to kill kittens, overpopulation or no), she got into it a little, and I started a character to play with her, and things were good. Fast forward a few months. Today, Janie's holy priest and my feral druid are level 50, running Blackrock Depths at least once a week with our friends, trying to get to Outland. And we're having a great time. But when I get game time without Janie, a strange malaise takes over. I've got my main, a level 65 arms warrior, and I just don't have much interest in getting him to 70. I've got an army of alts, and I'll play one, get them leveled, but it's just not much fun. It's gotten to the point that I think I'm going to take a break from things for a while. Not from gaming as a whole, but from World of Warcraft solo, at least. Maybe replay some of my all time favorite space combat games, Tie Fighter and Freespace 2. My friend Batty is always telling me about some adventure games, which I never get around to. Heck, I've only finished the first two dungeons of Zelda on the Wii. Maybe I'll take some time out from WoW to play some of these. I'll still play Warcraft with Janie, of course, but no more playing WoW just because I've got nothing better to do.

New pics on flickr, Scott and Janie's honeymoon

In my continued effort to archive old photos, here's Janie and I's honeymoon pictures. We shot these with our very first digital camera, given to us as an early wedding present by all of our friends. Thanks guys!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Speaking of googling folks...

My day is winding up, and out of curiosity, I searched for Janie on google, and lo and behold, in addition to quite a few valid links on the front page, I found this, Janie's patent! So congratulations Janie on yet again showing that you're smarter than me ;)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Kraft DDR and Cheese...

I found this on Gizmodo, and I went ahead and ordered one. I've got a MAME cabinet in my basement, maybe I can get this to work with some DDR type games. Hey, for $6, it's worth a shot!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Of google twins, evil dopplegangers, and being found on the internet...

Everyone's done it sooner or later. Well, everyone not living in a unabomber style shack at least. Punched your name into google, to see what the web thought of you. And chances are, you found some links that actually refer to you, and not to some other person with the same name, using it without your permission or any thoughts as to how that might make you feel. And that's part of the reason I started this blog. I google other names too. Old friends, long gone. Eli Jones, where the hell are you? I'm nearly ready to try and track down your family to see what fate has befallen you, that's made you so hard to track digitally. But I digress. Seeing how hard it's been for me to track some people down, I figured it wouldn't hurt to make myself a little easier to find. And so it's with a strange sense of dread that I admit that googling my name will now get you this page, at least on the first page of search results. So come one, come all, old friends, future employers. I'll just have to remember not to say anything here that might keep me from being hired.

Have you read my blog?