MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
Visit me at my new blog, MsGeek.Org v3.0

Heard the Word of Blog?

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

OK, Best and worst technology of 2003. What do I think?

Best technology: 64-bit computers for The Rest Of Us. (tm) No, I don't just mean the G5, although it is the best-realized 64-bit personal computer in current release. The AMD Athlon64 and the AMD Opteron promise to put 64-bit power in usable form for everyone, if not now, at least in a couple of years when the prices go down. And as far as AMD's 64-bit arch goes, it's supported by a real OS right now: Linux. And even when the Opteron was released this year it was released at a price point far lower than Intel "Itanic" was available for. The early-adopters (hi DBurr) who got G5s can't get a 64-bit version of MacOS X right now...they'll have to wait for Panther's successor.

Worst technology: Fortune Magazine called this a "runner-up" after the Diebold voting machine, but I'd have to say this is worthy of worst technology of the year by a landslide. The company Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. announced at an ID technology trade expo that they now had a subcutaneously implantable version of their RFID chip ID technology. OK, where have I heard about that sort of thing before? Right, in the Bible. Revelation, chapter 13. I mean, no, I don't believe in the religious ramifications of this, but consider the social ramifications if someone offered this technology, even on a voluntary basis, in the USA. You would have every yahoo with a gun and a membership in a militia headed for the hills to fight the New World Order.

One thing, though: if someone in the Bush administration decides this is a "great anti-terrorism idea" and it gets pushed through, imagine how bad Bush the Younger will look. Especially in an election year.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Looks like I'm going to spend New Years' Day in Little Tokyo. Last year most Oshogatsu observances seemed to be pushed back to the weekend afterward, but this year there's going to be lots of stuff going on there.

I was in Little Tokyo doing a bit of shopping, getting cooking ingredients that you can't get anywhere else but at a Japanese specialty grocery store. I swear by 99 Ranch Market for most of my Asian foodstuff needs, but 99 Ranch Market is more like a pan-Asian supermarket, with a strong emphasis on Chinese goods because, after all, they are Chinese-American owned. There are just some things that you can only get at a Japanese supermarket, like Mitsuwa, Nijiya, Marukai and Enbun. Unfortunately, none of these markets have a branch in the Valley. Enbun has and continues to be a Little Tokyo institution since 1916, interrupted only by the WWII internment. Mitsuwa, Nijiya and Marukai are chains. Mitsuwa is national, with stores in Chicago and New Jersey. Nijiya and Marukai are local to California, although there is a Marukai chain in Hawaii that might or might not be related. I suppose the closest to me is Nijiya in West LA...but that means getting on the 405 Freeway, the Freeway Of Hell, and fighting traffic. Even on the weekends the 405 sucks.

Little Tokyo is way less painful. On the weekends, Downtown LA is pretty much a dead zone. Yeah, the Chamber of Commerce is trying to attract yuppie scum with cash in their pockets to gentrified lofts that are transforming empty office and manufacturing space. But right now, Downtown LA, when not crawling with 9 to 5-ers, is left to the homeless and brave souls like me. And actually, if you don't drive there, the ride is a lot of fun.

The Metro Red Line, considered a boondoggle when it was being built and when it was unveiled, is actually quite cool. 30 minutes from North Hollywood to the Civic Center Station. And the train cars aren't tagged up, (although a few good pieces would actually improve the dreary cars) and the stations are still clean and neat. Civic Center Station is only a few blocks away from Little Tokyo, just a brisk walk along 1st Street. Unfortunately, taking the Red Line isn't so great as far as carrying stuff home goes. Anything perishable is largely out of the question.

I was able to find a few items I couldn't hope to find at 99 Ranch. I could probably find an-pan, little buns filled with red bean paste. But, for one example, I wouldn't have a prayer of finding Tai-Yaki, which is a bun baked in a mold shaped like a Red Snapper, or Tai as it is known in Japanese. The page I linked to calls it "a carp-shaped cake" but that's not quite right. Tai-Yaki is traditional for New Year's, as is the actual Tai fish. There is a scene in Bannou Bunka Neko Musume Nuku Nuku OAV where Our Favorite Catgirl sneaks a Tai-Yaki as a snack. I've always wanted to try one since then. I found frozen Tai-Yaki at's really good, I tried one tonight. Unfortunately it's thawed Tai-Yaki now, so I'm not sure whether they'll keep fresh for New Year's Eve. Oh well, something to munch on while cleaning the house to welcome the arrival of the New Year...^_^

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Christmas day, and it's a rainy mess out there. I suspect there's a lot of bummed LA kids who want to take their new bikes/skates/skateboards/scooters/whatever out but can't do it. This is LA, not Portland...WTF?

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the loss of my Uncle Richard. It was not a totally unexpected death, true, but still and all it hurts like crazy.

Oh yeah, yesterday I went onto the LAVC bookstore site, and my books for Spring 2004 are going to be an unholy bitch to buy. I was out of work for about three weeks with this flu, my husband had a lot of students cancel on him because of the holidays, and these damn books are going to cost me something like $300. Financial aid money isn't coming until February and March. Dammit.

Merry christmas everyone. Just because mine sucks doesn't mean you can't enjoy yours.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Here's something funny I helps if you are a history buff, but it's not mandatory. Happy Saturnalia to all my Roman friends...

OK, problem solved, I just bought a m125 from eBay for $34. That's basically half of what the refurbed one I lost cost. Happy holly-days to me.

Anyway, there's a bigger reason for me to be bummed today. My uncle Richard (not to be confused with my husband Richie) died yesterday after a valiant battle with advanced prostate cancer. The funeral is tomorrow.

I lost my father 28 years ago today, after a 4-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. My mom and my grandmother died two months apart 10 years ago this year. One more reason to hate this season. ;_;

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I feel like such a schmuck...I lost my Palm m125 at the health clinic I go to. Hopefully someone will have enough of the Christmas Spirit to return the device to me. If not, then at least I have my old m100, and I've got feelers out on eBay for a replacement for the m125.

Really, there is nothing in that device that would be worth anyone's time. There is also a sticker on the back with a serial from Byte Brothers that is designed to not be able to be removed. So if some prick wants to sell the thing for a crack rock or something they should think twice.

Still, it doesn't make me feel any less of a schmuck for losing it. #^_^#

Monday, December 22, 2003

Ooh yeah! DVD Jon prevails!!!

Here's the skinny:

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Tonight was a family get-together...third night of Chanukah. It's funny, the more I age the more I enjoy these kind of things. I used to hate them...hate the criticism, hate the family politics. But it seems everyone is mellower now. I suspect it has a lot to do with a lot of loss between the bad old days and now. Much of my family isn't around anymore. And those who are seem to have a bit more of an understanding about the impermanence of life, and the need to enjoy people while they are still around. It was also cool seeing the youngest members of my family growing up...they are all in the 2-3-year-old range. There was a bit of a "baby boomlet" among some of my cousins. And love seems to be in bloom for other cousins of mine. The circle of life, and all that crap...hey, it's not so bad. Just so long as I'm not the one having to deal with the nuts-and-bolts of raising them. ~_^

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Yes, I'm beginning to think this is the new home for my blog. Nobody can hassle me about not having comments turned on, because apparently you *can't* comment here. The web interface is lovely, and I can use little bits and pieces of HTML in here to do things you can't do in text, like set up links that pop open a new window instead of take you off my blog.

Yes, this is a big long URL. So sue me. I'm thinking of setting up to redirect here rather than serve as an alias for But is easy to remember. It's a lot to type, true. But it is easy to remember.

Anyway...this damn flu is almost over, I have a two-week hiatus from school to enjoy before I go back in for Winter Intersession (a three credit course in a I nuts? Obviously.) and after that, Spring Semester in February.

Today is probably going to be uneventful at best and boring at worst. Still, it's better than hectic which is what today is probably going to be for most red-blooded Americans. It *is* the last weekend before Xmas, and Chanukah is in full effect. And of course, there's Kwanzaa and Oshogatsu coming up. Ladies and gentlemen, start your shopping engines...

Friday, December 19, 2003

From the sound of one gland fapping department:

Wow. Slashdot now has a Personal Ad system, powered by Match.Com, no less. The only thing they're going to have to deal with is where to find women to join. There ain't a hell of a lot of them on Slashdot and I probably know most of them. And of course, they can't get me to join, I'm happily married. Eat your heart out, geekboys. ^_^

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Here's my best wishes for a happy Year of the Monkey:

Hi everyone, this is my first post on this new system. I have been doing this on Slashdot for a couple of years, and I had a Slash-like site called MsGeek.Org which got pulled down by idiot crapflooders. I'm not sure whether I will be transitioning from there to here. But this is actually kinda neat.