Archive for December, 2005


Dec 31 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

I went to Chicago for Thanksgiving, so that I’d still be able to go to Tokyo at the end of the year. I was quite happy to spend the week reading D&D books and sitting with my mom as she recovered from her knee surgery. Here’s some kind of reptile that my nephew is keeping.

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Dec 28 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

Here’s a good encapsulation of a lot of what I’ve been thinking about lately. The alarm clock is my conscious effort to try getting better at waking up. I wanted an alarm clock that could play CD-RWs, so that I could experiment with various kinds of sounds and volumes. Lately I’ve been waking up to Japanese talk podcasts, which works rather well. I’ve been trying to find more and more time to read books, and have started keeping a definitive list of what I’ve read and what I should read next. Here you see a novelization of the life of Alexander the Great and a collection of biology essays. The bag you see is a gift from Piroko for my birthday; somehow barbers’ scissors bags became fashionable for men to wear around in Japan. It does make sense now that guys are carrying around cell phones, digicams, iPods, and such. This way my pockets aren’t full of stuff anymore. You can also see my [Hipster PDA][1], which has become central to most of what I do, and my sad, sad Motorola cell phone, which I’ve done my best to dress up by applying a white face plate. [1]:

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The Microphones

Dec 27 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

Phil Elvrum, also known as The Microphones, also known as Mount Eerie, came to play a little show at a little place in Seattle. Troy invited me to come along, and I brought Ann. The place was the back room of some kind of art studio, with random objects lying about, scribblings on the walls, and artworks in various states of completion. About 100 very tall indie guys and very short indie girls fit into the room, sitting pressed together on the concrete floor. After the very hip and indie opening acts, the unassuming guy who’d been manning the CD table took the stage; he was Phil Elvrum, and he’d been sitting there the whole time. He just stood there, flipping through his notebook and playing any song that caught his eye, sometimes making things up on the spot. I couldn’t describe why he was great; he simply had enough charisma to keep all of us hanging on every goofy word he said. I wanted to take some real pictures, but my camera was out of batteries and I was uncertain how considerate it would be to setting off flashes in such close quarters anyway.

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Getting Things Done

Dec 22 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

Here I am during the sorting stage of [Getting Things Done][1]. I like that GTD is less of a system and more of a way of thinking attached to a big list of good ideas. I probably have less in my _action item list_ than most GTD nerds, and I may be the only person to implement GTD using folders with Sakura Taisen characters on them, but it works excellently. For my own stuff I use a combination of GTD and a [Hipster PDA][2]; at work I use [kGTD][3]. My mind is a lot more at ease these days. From left to right: trash pile, recycle pile, filing, fresh folders (with important folders behind), inbox, items needing attention (with my new Hipster PDA in front), and the GTD book itself. [1]: [2]: [3]:

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Dec 22 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

Ann and I went wandering up to a local barbecue place for dinner one night. It’s easy to disparage the country you come from, but when I think about a big, messy BBQ pork sandwich, homemade macaroni & cheese, cole slaw, and a root beer, at a place with live blues music every week, I am pretty happy to be in the USA.

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Boss’s Garden

Dec 20 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

One nice thing about working for a small company of nerds is that when a major science fiction movie comes out, the entire company sets down its work and goes to the theater. On my birthday, we all went to see Firefly. Afterward, we convened at my boss’s house for a barbecue. She’s got a fine garden, including these guys who exhibit the radial symmetry I love. Posting photos of flowers is pretty standard, but somehow this photo turned out looking computer-generated.

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Dec 16 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

My reading habit has been pretty healthy in Seattle. It’s not like grade school, when I could read a book every week, but I’ve read about 16 books since arriving here. The commonality of used book stores, including the labyrinthine Half Price Books, makes book-buying and reading pretty rewarding hobbies to have. Here’s the resident kitty of Twice Sold Tales, napping right in the middle of an aisle; apparently she is pretty used to having strangers around.

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Smokin’ Car

Dec 12 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

One night I was driving home from work, when the car in front of mine started pouring out smoke. I watched for a while, alarmed, until there was _fire_ shooting out the bottom of the car. As the car pulled to the side of the road, I came up next to it, rolled down my window, and said, _your car is on fire_.

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Dec 09 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

The oldest living Van Hecke is my great aunt Peggy, who lives just a short drive across a bridge in Bellevue. I had no idea that any of my relatives lived near Seattle until I moved here. They welcomed Piroko and me into their home for last year’s Thanksgiving, and we felt right at home. This September there was a Van Hecke reunion; my aunt Debbie from California and I represented our branch of the Van Hecke tree. Ann came along, and we got to play “how long will people assume we’re dating”. At the reunion picnic, we were standing out on this pier when some college kids appeared and asked whether we would mind if they jumped in the lake. We said no, so they did. After, they felt dumb.

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Dec 03 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

Soon after Piroko left, I bought myself an [iSight][1] and ordered one sent to her. Now every Friday and Saturday night, we meet up for a video date. Now that I don’t live alone anymore, I set up in the ballroom at Omni; it’s easier to relax and concentrate on Piroko if I have the whole place to myself, plus there’s coffee, tea, and snax. :D I have a tendency to get prematurely nostalgic about things. I can already tell that I’ll be looking back fondly on late nights at Omni. Nearly any life-situation I get myself into, I feel as if things have always been that way. For the first time, now, I feel like I wouldn’t mind if things always _continue_ to be this way. With some incremental improvements, I can imagine myself living like this for quite a long time. One night as I came outside, I found this stream flowing from some unknown location to disappear underneath my car. [1]:

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Wall of Wheels

Dec 01 2005 Published by under Uncategorized

We drove up Aurora to take Ann’s car to emissions testing, or to get our Washington driver’s licenses or some such. After making a wrong turn, we discovered a lot surrounded by this fence made out of wheels.

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