wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
We went to Shreveport yesterday. Check out this gorgeous mural. I wish I could find a better image of it, because I really, really liked it.


Nov. 6th, 2008 02:28 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I have more than 70,000 frequent flyer miles on American Airlines that are set to expire next year, if I'm reading this right.

Hmm. (Edit: Because of the change in thesis plans I don't have to use them to go to Japan to do research so maybe we could somehow both go there for fun over spring break or at the beginning of the summer...especially if C. can get his miles up to 50,000. He's 5,000 shy now. Man, will American Airlines REALLY give us free plane tickets to JAPAN? I find it hard to believe! Paying for hotels would still be a significant issue, though.)

I have to figure out how to use them! I've never done this before...
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Given a choice between DFW and O'Hare for your transfer on a California to Arkansas round trip (like December 22ish to January 6ish), do you think it'd be worth an extra $20/ticket to fly through DFW rather than O'Hare?

I'm just figuring our chances of getting stuck due to bad weather are worse at O'Hare, but I don't really know.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (potc-droppedmybrain)
This morning I had a non-standard headache (that is, a headache that didn't feel like a migraine, which is my standard headache). I took my temperature: 98.9. I took it again, because my temperature is never right the first time. 105.9! Gah! I took it again a few minutes later: 102.9! Yeah, time to go thermometer shopping. Now I have one that takes a reading in just a couple of seconds, with a nickel-sized, round display that lights up green, yellow, or red according to (conventional standards for) whether you have a fever. And my temperature is 98.7, thanks.

I think this is important:
They've sent science questions to congressional candidates (and Obama and McCain). Relatively few candidates have answered, but you can encourage your local candidates to fill out the form. Let them know that science is IMPORTANT.

Financial blogger is shocked that snacks at the movies are really expensive and turn an already pricey outing into a ridiculously expensive 120 minutes. Duh. Yes, if you're trying to be frugal, don't buy food at a movie theater! Sheesh.

Actually, I'm just redirecting my real outrage--the real reason I'm upset is that Portland apparently has at least 5 discount movie theaters. The Bay Area only has one that I know of, and it's far enough away that I'm not too interested in going. I would if I lived closer, because I've heard nothing but good things about it from [ profile] mactavish and others. Milpitas used to have one--we went there once before it "closed for relocation" and never reopened. Sigh. A matinee here is around $8 and an evening movie is at least $10.

*checks Portland community college math/CS-teaching positions again*

Speaking of, um, other states: WSJ report on a study on personality trait distribution in the US. Yeah, I'm sure people will be punching holes in it ASAP, but it's kind of interesting. Click on the Interactive Graphics tab at the top for details (I have a feeling the resulting tables aren't screen-reader-friendly, sorry!).

Via [ profile] geographile.

Via [ profile] pegkerr:
Authors can donate books to the fundraiser; readers who donate $250 to the Obama campaign will receive 5 books. Creative, I guess!

So tomorrow we're driving to Pasadena, leaving around 9:30. Of course, we'll get stuck with the horrible dilemma of WHERE TO HAVE LUNCH ON I-5. I imagine we'll get hungry somewhere north of Bakersfield. Sigh.

We'll probably have dinner in Alhambra or Pasadena. Our motel is in Alhambra, but we're thinking of going to the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena unless someone else has a better suggestion about how to entertain ourselves. We discussed trying to venture into LA proper and decided against it. We're also going to go to the Famima, of course.

If you have suggestions about where to eat around Alhambra or Pasadena, please let me know. Pasadena, not surprisingly, seems to have a lot of very good and very expensive restaurants that we can't afford (according to my stroll through Yelp).


Sep. 9th, 2008 08:57 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Anyone in Pasadena? I have to be there for a board meeting on the 27th of this month. I'm afraid I have to drive down the night before or get up ludicrously early that morning to catch a plane.

It's possible, though not likely, that if [ profile] assaultdoor can get that day off and Monday off, we'll go down to San Diego and see his brother, but it'll barely be worth it.

EDIT: Aw, he has a 3 PM meeting on that Monday! I don't think we can make it back in time, do you? :(

Friday: Drive to Pasadena (~ 6 1/2 hours ... if we leave in the morning, we could probably do something in Pasadena if there's anything to do around there). Stay overnight in the cheapest safe motel we can find.
Saturday: Meeting from 9 AM to 2 PM or so, then drive to San Diego (about 2 1/2 hours, so we probably won't get there till 5)
Sunday: Hang out with S.
Monday: Leave after breakfast; drive about 8 hours back to Fremont (plus lunch). We'd actually have to drive back to Pittsburg, though supposedly that'd only add 20 minutes.

Man, California is too darned big.

I also have the option of flying in by myself or with a colleague on Saturday and then flying out again. I think the board will pay for the flight, but I'd have to get up at 4 AM or something. Or I could drive by myself (or maybe with another NorCal board member?) on Friday, stay overnight as cheaply as possible (they won't pay for that, which is unfortunate when the meeting starts in the morning), and drive back immediately after the meeting.

I don't know which way would be the least obnoxious, honestly.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
We had so much fun, and I got to try out my new camera, and nothing cost very much. YAY.

Books and goats and cheese and a lighthouse and a bunny and the ocean and a sunset! (which we waited for by playing Final Fantasy 3 on DS, hahahaha)

Photos and details at Flickr:

So tired! and I have to get up at 5 AM! but then I'm going right back to sleep!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
If we do this trip, we'll have to plan for it VERY quickly, so I figure I should pre-plan even if we don't know whether we're going (interview tomorrow, doctor the day after, who knows!). As I've mentioned a couple times, we *may* leave in a few days to drive from the Bay Area down to San Diego and then come back up after 2 or 3 full days there. We have two purposes: visiting C.'s brother (and other folks if they're around!) and relaxing/having some fun. So we'd like to stop on the way down and maybe the way back up and do/see a few things, but we have a ton of restrictions:

- We could really use some beautiful natural scenery, but Big Sur is still on fire, I think.
- We are pretty short on money and can't afford to pay $150 a night unless it's only once during the trip. We need to stay in the cheapest clean, air-conditioned, safe accommodations possible.
- It's also no good to find cheap lodging somewhere with only expensive restaurants. (It's a sorely-needed vacation, so we're going to eat out, dammit, but we can't be spending $50 a person.)
- We can't camp due to medical reasons.
- We don't have any interest in wineries (or even art galleries and stuff, because we can't buy anything).
- We've been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium a couple times and don't need to go there again soon.

Given all that, any ideas for an overnight on the way down and/or back up?

My parents suggested Lompoc, but their flower season is over. We actually still haven't done a lot of the San Diego stuff, such as the zoo (though it's kind of expensive, I guess we could manage it), Point Loma, etc. We also haven't ever been to Hearst Castle (also a bit pricey, sheesh. And then there's the food...).

Gah, I don't know. Maybe we should call C.'s brother via video Skype, take a hike on the Penisula for our nature dose, and then just stay the one night in the hotel in Japantown to celebrate our fifth anniversary. :P
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Via [ profile] hillarygayle, since I never do Friday Fives but I could use a bit of dreaming right now. :)

Theme: International Travel

1. You have the summer and plenty of money to travel abroad. Where all would you go?
I'd rather not go to Japan in the summer, but...I'd go to Japan. I'd take one or two weeks to go to Taiwan, visit old haunts in Taipei (including the National Palace Museum) and finally visit the south and central parts of the island. I'd spend the rest of the time in Japan. I'd revisit and better explore all the places we went to on our honeymoon (see [ profile] alwayshoneymoon). But we didn't get to see Kinkakuji or Arashiyama or the costume museum in Kyoto, or Akihabara or Otome Road or several museums or old shop districts in Tokyo, and I want to spend more time in Kurashiki. And I really want to visit Kyushu. SOMEONE PAY ME TO GO WITH YOU.

And since this question doesn't ask it, I'd take [ profile] assaultdoor and [ profile] kyspaz if I could. Well, there are a bunch of other people I'd also love to take with me ([ profile] toratigris, [ profile] hillarygayle, [ profile] hoshizora, etc.). It'd be awesome to go with a huge group of likeminded people. But if I had to choose one non-[ profile] assaultdoor person, it'd be [ profile] kyspaz, because she's never been to Asia and I think she'd really enjoy Japan (if we could avoid the seaweed). And we'd have so much fun together. (The only drawback is that we might get thrown out of Japan forever.)

2. What foods would you be sure you got to eat?
I'd like to try a bunch of the fish and stuff that I couldn't handle the first time I was in Japan. And I'd like to go to some of the sushi places featured in the seasonal sushi TV specials, especially the place with the hand-caught tuna. AND. Honey toast again. AND. DESSERT VIKING. (I can't find the link I had before, but basically, an all-you-can-eat buffet of nothing but beautiful desserts.)

In Taiwan, stinky tofu--there were a lot of things I didn't order because [ profile] assaultdoor wasn't with me and I didn't want to waste food if I couldn't eat it.

3. What landmarks would you be sure you got to see?
Kinkakuji, Sakurajima, the Shimazu family house, a ton of museums we missed the first time, Yakushima ...

4. What airline would you use?
Probably whichever partners with AA, which I believe is JAL (and we used them last time). You know, I always thought JAL was the Japanese airline to use, but all of my Japanese friends use ANA. Hmm.

5. Would your knowledge of other languages influence where you went? (i.e. would you be more likely to go to France if you spoke French)
Kind of--I really prefer to go somewhere where I can at least say "Where's the bathroom?" and "Is this train going to $destination?" But I'm certainly not fluent in either Mandarin or Japanese, That said, I'd be interested in going to almost any country in the world if I got the chance, barring places I felt were unduly likely to result in death and dismemberment.

Theme: USA Road Trip

1. Who would you take with you on a road trip?
[ profile] assaultdoor and any variety of LJ and RL friends.

2. What states would you visit?
Well, I've seen the south, and I don't really enjoy the urban clog of the northeast, so ... how about San Diego, CA, to Vancouver, Canada (I know, I'm cheating again!)? Balboa Park, trip to Catalina or Channel Islands or whatever, museums and Japanese & Korean areas in LA, up the coast with random fun towns, Santa Cruz, Monterey, show off my favorite places in the Bay Area (various sites in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto/Stanford, Fremont, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco), cross the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, Big Sur, all that pretty coastal stuff in extreme NorCal and Oregon, Portland, more coastal stuff, Seattle, Vancouver ... phew! IT WOULD BE AWESOME. WHO'S WITH ME?!

3. What national parks and/or monuments would you go see?
Well, due to the vagaries of our system, there's not much along the way--tempting as Yosemite and Lassen are, they'd be way out of the way (Not that the So Cal islands aren't.) Possibly Channel Islands, Pinnacles, Muir Woods, Redwood, and Olympic, I guess. North Cascades?

4. Las Vegas: Overrated or a Must-See?
Overrated. I hate cigarette smoke, and you can't escape it there. When we went they were having a (supposedly) freak heat wave, where it was 95F at midnight, so ... ugh, misery. Everything's expensive. I did enjoy some of the wacky architecture and stuff, and I kind of want to go back one time when it's cool out so I can better see the wackiness, but that's it.

5. How long would you be gone?
I think the above trip would take several weeks, but longer would be better--we could go to some of the more inland stuff, or do what someone on my f'list did once and drive as close as they could get to the Arctic Circle. Woohoo!


May. 21st, 2008 12:01 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
American Airlines to start charging for FIRST piece of checked luggage.

I try not to check anything these days if I can help it, but still...I don't recall any other industry or service in my life that has consistently gotten crappier and crappier. If only we could rent a Prius and drive to Arkansas instead...

Someone please expunge Amtrak and get JR in here (and have 'em build their own tracks).
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Let's say that you and some friends decide to take a trip to a place about 50 miles or 80 km away, about an hour and a half of freeway and twisty mountain driving. Gas is ... the price it is now. No one on the trip is wealthy. Someone else is driving and you're all in that person's car. What do you do about gas money and other fees?

I'm curious about people's expectations. I don't know about much this varies by region, so if you think your city or country or whatever is unusual, leave a comment about it. :)

[Poll #1087038]

My thoughts about my expectations are in a comment.

In other news, I had a pretty good time in Santa Cruz today. (I'm not cranky about the gas money and stuff, just curious about why my expectations seemed to be so different from my passengers'.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (wachifield-pirate-me)
My brother-in-law needs to leave out of SJC the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The flight goes to Vegas first, then to his destination of San Diego. The flight leaves at 7:00. Given that the airport doesn't really open until 5 AM, do you really think we need to get there at their recommended 2 hours beforehand? I'd guess less is fine, except I've never flown the Sunday after a Thanksgiving and I'm worried that it'll be really crowded. When would YOU get there? (It's US Airways, by the way, so Terminal C.)

I checked the TSA Average Wait Times page, but of course it doesn't account for holidays. (It may be the only useful thing they've ever done! though if it's well thought out as everything else they do ... it wouldn't be.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
If you know an undergraduate (in the US) who's on a Pell Grant, have them check out this scholarship program for study abroad. There's a bonus supplement for people studying certain languages, too.

I so wish I'd done real study abroad as an undergrad.

I actually felt OLD today. I brought a $1 Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted) book up to the check-out counter at Half-Price Books. The clerk, who looked to be in that vague college-age-to-my-age range, glanced at it and said "Oh! I loved these books when I was a kid."

Buh? "They didn't have these books when I was a kid," I responded without thinking.

Publication date 1999. I guess if she's 18 ...


Hillary Clinton is working SO hard to lose my vote. Her chief campaign strategist is also working for Blackwater USA.

I know, it's all business, highest bidder, whatever--it's a black mark as far as I'm concerned.

True Love and High Adventure: The Princess Bride ... Videogame. I want this to not suck. Please. I love the book so much...

Some link-of-a-link-of-a-link led me to Games For Change, which "provides support, visibility and shared resources to organizations and individuals using digital games for social change. This is the primary community of practice for those interested in making digital games about the most pressing issues of our day, from poverty to race and the environment. We are the social change/social issues branch of the Serious Games Initiative." The Serious Games Initiative encourages "the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy."

Okay, that's cool. Damn, why are they based in New York? Rats.

Ah well, check it out.

Huh, I just realized recently that I've totally stopped shopping at Safeway. Huzzah! Safeway annoys me, and is full of stuff I don't need to eat.

Except I am going to have to go there to pick up some Nutella now that Trader Joe's doesn't have a version of it anymore. Bother.

Matt Thorn writes about Japanese manga readers' expectations and assumptions.

Check the comments for more explanation by Thorn.

As noted, this video of Japanese dancer Kanichi winning the 2006 Apollo Dance Challenge in Harlem is a bit old, but it's pretty good--and I'm posting it for the Matrix fans on my list, because the Matrix part is fairly amazing!

I don't have an opinion on the science behind this, but I know some of you may be interested: "A woman in her 30s who has a very low risk of heart attack and a family history of breast cancer might want to seriously consider avoiding alcohol."

So, I'm on about Yosemite again. Anyone have a specific recommendation for a place to stay during the winter--as inexpensive as possible? I believe we'd have at least 4 people and would need at least 3 beds, either in separate rooms or as a cottage/cabin. I don't actually think any of us would object to a regular ol' (clean) motel, though obviously more atmosphere would be a bonus. West side since we'd be coming from the SF Bay Area.

P. S. It is very weird to see Mr. Gibbs in "A Bit of Fry of Laurie". He looks so young. o_O

Dolores Umbridge is in the next episode, too.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (wachifield-pirate-me)
as of tomorrow afternoon, for the Northern California Writing Center Association Conference. We're going to take a bizarre route there due to the detour to Pittsburg to pick up Clint. We're staying north of CSUS, so we'll be refreshed and ready to go Saturday morning, thanks to my awesome tutoring center boss. Friday night, we plan to go to Marrakech, a Moroccan restaurant with bellydancing, to celebrate our head tutor's birthday. She's from Korea, is two years ahead of me in the MATESOL program, and is really smart and an inspiration to all of us. I hope that Marrakech is fun and doesn't drain our pocketbooks too badly.

The session I'm involved in is another tutor's idea, on using wordplay--as in games--to develop writing skills. He also happens to be a gamer geek, so that's made putting the presentation together fun, even if we DID get mashed into a "panel" with someone presenting on metaphors. (We're like, "Not THAT kind of wordplay!" D'oh. But it was too late.)

If you want to see the handout of recommended games and so forth, there's a PDF of it right here.

I'm a little nervous because I think this is the first time since I started using CPAP that I'll be sharing a room with someone who is not Clint. (I'm sharing a room with my friend and classmate who is my partner for the CATESOL conference in April.) Meep.

Anyway, I don't think I'll be online from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening, because the Best Western only mentions having internet access in "Business Plus" rooms. (Are they being run by an airline, perhaps? Grr.

And no. I didn't feel the earthquake. *slightly miffed*


Feb. 14th, 2007 07:29 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I suppose it's a good thing that the science fiction museum in Seattle isn't open on the evenings I'll be free next month, because I don't think [ profile] assaultdoor would forgive me if I went without him. *g*

The Seattle Asian Art museum will be open on the Thursday evening I'm there. I don't know how it compares to the SF one; I'm mildly interested in the exhibitions they'll have, but there's no OMGMUSTSEE!!! show on. The website is ... erm ... uninformative.

California people: I'm going to drive to Sacramento on Friday, March 2nd. I have to go from Fremont to Hayward, from Hayward to east Pittsburg, and then to the CSUS area. I can't leave from Pittsburg till 4, because that's when [ profile] assaultdoor's class ends. Google Maps shows highway 160 for getting over to 5, which looks weird and twisty. Any suggestions?

Also, I wonder if there's a decent outlet mall we could stop at on the way back if they pay for us to stay overnight Saturday...
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Surprise!Comet. I don't know if I'd be able to see it from CSU East Bay or not. Probably not, since there are those hills on the other side of the bay. Plus there's a terrible amount of light pollution here. (In Arkansas over break, it was nice getting to see more of the night sky than just Orion and the planets.)

Librarian trading cards! Well, so they say, but they look more like Magic cards. Anyway, you can make your own here. Yes, I'm hoping [ profile] kyspaz will make one.

We came back from San Diego on Sunday. There was really bad traffic through LA even on a Sunday afternoon ... but we were able to see the ocean, and "HEY! IS THAT THE MATTERHORN?! OMFG IT'S DISNEYLAND!!!" Seriously, I had no idea it was smack-dab against I-5. The drive was easier than I thought it would be, since so much of I-5 goes through the middle of nothing, and trucks are restricted to the right lane. No problem, really, other than the amount of time it took, and over $100 in gas. I appreciate that even though I'm totally out of shape, I'm still young and fit enough that driving from 2:30 to 11:30 doesn't make me particularly physically uncomfortable. Don't know how long that will last, but I should take advantage of it. I'm thinking Yosemite, once we can afford a motel anyway. (This trip wouldn't have been possible without [ profile] kikibelle [and her three quirky cats] hosting us. Thanks again!)

We went to the Maritime Museum and did the half-hour bay tour, which was fun, and poked around the HMS Surprise, which is not only the real ship that the fictional Captain Jack Aubrey commanded, but supposedly also the ship on which Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner." How random. They had a couple of good storytellers/docents around, which really added to our visit.

We had some good food, thanks to [ profile] kikibelle's recommendations and Chowhound, and we bugged [ profile] kikibelle and [ profile] dataknife's cats and [ profile] assaultdoor's brother. And we made his brother watch Eddie Izzard DVDs (thanks to [ profile] dataknife for leaving 'em at home). And we found the house my dad lived in as a kid. Photos of stuff later. I hope.

I gave the DVDs a try, and it's official: Not a Mr. Bean fan. I don't hate it, but I don't like it much. I have to admit he's good at physical comedy, but the humor to stupidity ratio doesn't work out often enough. "The Thin Blue Line" doesn't work for me either. (I have an idiosyncratically deep dislike for "stupid, unkind man with long-suffering woman" shows, ala "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "King of the Hill.")

I think "Blackadder" is the only show I really like Rowan Atkinson in, and I really like that show.

Annnd today was my first day of the quarter. Oof. Luckily my class didn't start till 2:40, so we slept in. The class is an intro phonology class, and it looks like it'll be interesting. And I have TESOL classmates in this one, which will be helpful.


Jan. 3rd, 2007 02:39 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
So, Representative-elect Ellison WILL opt to do the ceremonial swearing-in, and WILL use a Koran ... and it's going to be Thomas Jefferson's Koran. Ah. That will be one sweet scene.

If only I thought it would cause anyone who objected to it in the first place to stop and think for a minute. But it won't.

Anyway, Washington Post article on the historic copy of the Koran and the swearing-in.

If we feel well enough, we're driving to San Diego tomorrow via this route. Most of the trip will be on I-5. Any ideas on where to stop for lunch and breaks? I remember 5 as pretty desolate, but even a decent hole-in-the-wall diner would be fine. The map shows next to nothing that's actually located along I-5 itself. Blah. Of course, Highway 1 is more interesting, but it takes longer, so it's out this time.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (wachifield-pirate-me)
Sage advice in the form of reader contributions to the San Jose Mercury News' Travel section yesterday, on jet lag:

I am a retired airline pilot who flew across the Atlantic more times than I care to remember. Many folks assume that airline crews get accustomed to jet lag. Well, that is akin to saying a carpenter gets used to hitting his thumb with a hammer. Every time is much like the first time.

However, I did develop a procedure I try to follow:

On the first day home when I waken (usually about 3 a.m.), I get up and just sit in front of the TV all day. I try to avoid activities which require any of the following:

1. Handling anything sharp or hot.
2. Manual dexterity.
3. Abstract reasoning.
4. Patience.

On the second day I do much the same, but around noon I actually turn the TV on.

Phil Livengood

Too true.

They also had a really good short article on credit card use overseas (link goes to SF Chronicle's version of the syndicated column by Ed Perkins, since SFGate doesn't require registration). I had no idea that my credit card charged me 3% on all my purchases (for no good reason, even). Well, I may have had, but I forgot. If I intend to live in Japan for a while, I think I had better get a Capitol One card. No, you can't fling plastic about in Japan like you can in the US, but 3% even on occasional purchases could really add up. The writer is going to discuss debit cards in the future, so I'll keep an eye out for that.

They also had an article on the orchestral video game music movement, the mixed success of the Video Games Live tour, and so on. It was a good Sunday issue. I thought about writing in to compliment them, but then I would have had to nitpick their use of the phrase "wireless fidelity" in an article noting that all three major Bay Area aiports have free wireless access. The fact is, "wifi" was formed by analogy (as Dr. Murphy would say) with "hifi," but does not actually stand for "wireless fidelity," which is an utterly meaningless phrase. You would think Silicon Valley's newspaper would know this.

But that may be a losing battle. I think that in a couple of years everyone's going to believe "wireless fidelity" is real.

Speaking of travel and the Chronicle, there's a new regular column on Hawaii in the paper. I've been wondering about the apparently strong HI-CA ties for a while, so maybe I'll learn something.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Have you had a good experience with the nonsmoking rooms in any hotels on the Vegas Strip? We need to stay there toward the end of August, and we really need a nonsmoking room that isn't just a smoking room they spritzed some air freshener in. Any recommendations would be great.

It'd be nice to find a hotel that's actually pleasant to stay in, since besides being our friend's wedding, it's also just a couple days after our second anniversary. =)

Wireless access would be a nice bonus ... and a place where we don't have to cut through the casino to get to our rooms ... but really, nonsmoking and on the Strip are our priorities. (On the Strip because they're going to be picking people up from their hotels to get to the Little Chapel of the West, which is on the south end of the Strip itself.)


wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)

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