30 January 2008

Background of the moment

Toast once mentioned that refrigerator doors were actually a window into people's souls. Looking for link...

I would say the same of a desktop, in sense of both literal and as a computer metaphor. Here's a picture of mine, in its full screen-wide glory.


I've had it up for a while now, maybe two weeks. They usually stay up for about 7 or 8 weeks before they are changed. Most of the time the pictures are either astronomical or from a vacation with Hirono. Often it will be Hirono in the picture. That's liable to change soon with the girls coming. Its still rather hard to believe.

The reason I like the picture is obvious, I totally identify with that dog. I've always felt an identification to the canine, maybe from the very strong bond I had with Trixie. Trixie was my pet dog that I've had since I fist came home from the hospital as a baby. Nobody has ever really replaced a special part of me that was hers. Anyway, I'm the dog.

The dog could be doing one of two things. He could be tearing the toilet paper to shreds, got caught and claimed was too innocent at heart to know it was wrong. He also could simply be saying, "Oh, Shit. I got caught." I'm feeling a bit of both right now. Evidently I've felt that way for a while now and that's why I chose this picture. Its certainly out of the ordinary theme. This moment captures the distillation of the feeling because it shows my mail system is dead and I could now lose tons of emails. He's quite funny looking, too. In the upper right hand corner of the screenshot there's a .gif. It came from a commenter at the Freeper sight. It's a reminder to me of how incredibly pigheaded people can be. I guess I'm really a dog person.

To my many dear readers, what's your desktop right this moment? Put up your own desktops so we can all psychoanalyze you as well.


Update: More than a month of email lost. Oh, joy. My job is totally dominated by email.


24 January 2008

Me and My Product

Here's a picture of me with my beloved products in a showcase in Akihabura, the electronics area of Tokyo.

FSM Touches Harajuku

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a picture of this in Harajuku itself. However, the T-Shirt did come from Harajuku - the punk fashion capital of the world. May His noodley appendage caress you wetly and his googley eyes forever gaze upon you.

09 January 2008

Kanji version of names

Here's are the likely candidates for the Kanji version of the names:

有咲 - Alysa

伶有 - Leiah

Update 1:

We've changed our minds a little bit. Alysa's kanji has a clear feminine overtone, whereas Leiah's does not. We thought this might be unfair and so changed the Kanji for Leiah to have a similar amount of feminine overtones. The second character for Leiah will be different now:


A quick interpretation of these Kanji are:

伶杏 - The first character means a musician (one who plays clear notes). The second character means apricot.

有咲 - The first character means existence. The second character means blossom.

07 January 2008

Meme for 2007

OK. I finally got around to this meme.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? Managed other managers.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Didn’t have one. I’m trying it the first time this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yep. My sister-in-law gave birth to a boy, Yusuke Kobayashi.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What places did you visit? Michigan, Reno, New Dehli (India), Beijing, Tokyo, Spain, Holland.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? Babies. Two of them. Both girls. See blog posts below.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? A couple of them. The day the blastocysts were placed inside Hirono. The day we found out Hirono was pregnant with twins. The day a totally hot woman gave me the twice over with her eyes in a very hungry way and we decided to make it come to nothing sexually.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? Turning around the morale on the installer team.

9. What was your biggest failure? One of my best engineers isn’t transitioning well to management.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing significant, though the arthritis in my fingers still really sucks (particularly here in Tokyo where my pain medication is illegal.)

11. What was the best thing you bought? IVF.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My mother’s. She’s started engaging with the world in more ways again.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The whole damn world, or at least those still trying to kill each other. Grow up, people.

14. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? See #7.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? “Let’s Spend the Night Together” by the Rolling Stones.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter? The same.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, except my house value is decreasing now so that might change soon.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Play the bass.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Play stupid video games on the computer.

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? The same way as the year before: at my parents home in Reno.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? No. I fell in lust in a hard way; but, we’ve been able to avert catastrophe there.

22. How many one-night stands? None. See #21.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Sorry, no TV yet. I’ve not had one since college, if you even count the TV in the fraternity’s basement during college. We’ll likely get a TV for the little ones so they can watch some cool programs from DVD or online; but, I still intend to never hook it up to cable.

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2007? A nice evening with my wife.

25. What was the best book you read? I’ll assume this means in 2007. “The Father’s Almanac”.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? That Rage Against the Machine totally kicks ass live even though they still suck recorded.

27. What did you want and get? Twins in my wife’s belly.

28. What did you want and not get? Less hours at work. I’m getting there. As the team is built up and put in place the hours are starting to decrease. Its taken a heck of a lot of time going from a non-existent team to the 18 now in place (more like 50 counting dotted line reports over seas.)

29. What was your favorite film of this year? None, really. I’m not a big video person.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? Absolutely. Jen stands out the most. Graeme is awesome, too. Both of them are people who I can be open and honest with about any topic. Many people on my team are outstanding individuals personally as well.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Not having to go through IVF in order for Hirono to get pregnant. That was really hard on her.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Cool shoes and lots of leather.

33. What kept you sane? Finding out that I have a friend I can talk to about anything.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Sorry, I’m not enamored of any public figure right now. I’m a misanthrope at heart.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Can’t we finally stop war? There’s too much killing going on. It sucks that my taxes are paying for a good deal of it. A close second is patriotism in general. Let’s move past the days of the nation-state, OK?

36. Who did you miss? Lot’s of people. Toast stands out, the cranky bastard.

37. Who was the best new person you met? Jen, see #30 above.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. I really do need to talk to someone about my inner thoughts or I start to hit the drugs and alcohol too hard. Hirono really isn’t the person for that, which is totally fine and doesn’t have to hurt our relationship. I’m not sure how I’ll cope when my kids are born and I won’t have time to spend with my friends.

05 January 2008


We've tentatively decided on two names for the girls: Leiah and Alysa. The requirements were that the names sounded appealing in both Japanese and English as well as having no negative connotations for either Hirono or me. Both these names fit the requirements. We'll keep them unless a better name strikes us in the next couple of months, though we'll not be actively searching for a different name.

Now we have to find the right Kanji spelling for the Japanese citizenship papers.

For the Japanese speakers in the audience, the Katakana spelling would be レイア and アリサ, or Reia and Arisa in Romaji.

Although the names were chosen without reference to their meaning, according to baby-names.adoption.com the meanings are:

Alysa - Greek origin meaning "princess".
Leiah - various meanings in different cultures. I like the one meaning "glad tidings".


We got the results of the amniocentesis a couple of days ago; but, I've been to busy to post anything until now. Both girls are without detectable genetic defects at this point. More than anything else I feel relieved. We have one more check-up in two weeks to take a good look at their hearts. If that turns out well then there should be no more issues to worry about with their health until birth (where the worry is that they'll be too premature.)

At this point I'm having trouble thinking of the girls as anything other than two tiny human beings.