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Tokyo Is Better Than Kyoto!

Monday, November 26th, 2007

This is for our two new great friends, Tsuji and Masa!

Guli wanted to stop at a particular bar / restaurant type place to have sushi for her birthday.  We went in, climbed upstairs, and sat down at the bar to Japanese menus.  Uska (?) gave us an English translation and recommended an item.  The guys at the end of the bar noticed we weren’t from around town and said hello.  One of the guys, Masa, had lived and worked in the states for 5 years and Tsuji had been there several times on business.  Tsuji really wanted to show us some of Japan in a way that we might not ordinarily see.  He’d been well treated in the US and wanted to return the favor to some other foreign travellers.  You could see in his eye that it truly came from his heart.  Sometimes you can worry someone is going to take advantage but they seemed very on the level.  Anyway, why wouldn’t you trust these guys?

Masa and Tsuji

We went out to this out of the way, tucked in down the street type place that was small but very inviting.  I’m not ordinarily a fan of anything uncooked but this place was truly incredible.  We were treated as honored guests and had great food and wonderful shochu (? – can’t vouch for a spelling there :) ) and great conversation, some of which was obvious to all parties involved, while most of it went through Masa the translator.

All of us

Well, it’s late and the full story must wait, but I really wanted to give Tsuji and Masa a shout out because they treated us grandly and we can’t say enough good things about them.  It truly was a wonderful evening and a special birthday for Guli that we will never forget.  And since they wanted us to go on our travels beleiving Tokyo to be better than Kyoto, I’m going to say that Kyoto is going to have a heck of an act to follow!

Tokyo is better than Kyoto! :)

The Other Ozymandias

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

or…Other Ozymandii, as There’s So Darned Many of Them!

Well, it doesn’t appear that I’m unique with my interest in the poem / concept / name of Ozymandias. Way back in 1996 when I first started a site for our mocking hero, I could only find about 3 other sites. This does not count mere recitations of the poem itself. I don’t really count that. It hardly takes any creativity or even necessarily much actual interest.

Those sites are all gone now, but they have a new generation that is much larger, and at least some of them are significantly more creative. is run by a guy who works for Microsoft (hey it’s ripe with Ozian irony, or appropriateness, depending on your point of view!) doing XBox stuff.

Ozymandias was the name of a movie made by Strange Company using the LithTech engine. They asked me my opinion on it while they were making it, which I thought was an appropriate show of respect.

Amon-Ozymandias, which is of all things, a cattery in Italy. I am a cat fan, but Persians just look like they’ve been surprised with a punch in the face.

Ozymandias the pianist. Can’t say I’ve heard of him, but the site was appropriately arty.

Ozymandias the Flickr group, who specialize in graveyard and cemetary photos. I didn’t see any Egyptian statuary so not much of a dim nod to the past roots was made. Nobody could get an Ozian shot of any sort?

More Luxor Feet for Ozymandias

Really, how hard is that?

Broken Statue in Luxor for Ozymandias

Ok, it’s not from the Ramesseum, which was closed that day. I was heartbroken.

Ozymandias over at Didn’t see anything on the site itself obviously Oz-related other than the name. Seemed to be largely about Jewish issues and the Middle East.

16 Different Readings of Ozymandias for when a little variety just isn’t enough.

The planet Ozymandias as a SciFi resource or role playing game of some sort. Looks like Jupiter, to me.

Ozymandias’ Sabotage Handbook. Since it advocates eco-terrorism I’m not going to link it.

Ozy’s Castle, which is a blog with some stuff about beer, computers, and motorcycles. No other apparent Oz-link except for the handle of the admin.

The Annotated Watchmen is about the graphic novel series with an Ozymandias character.

Cummings Study Guides does the Ozymandias poem, with some good information well-laid out. with all the information you could ever possibly want to know, but it doesn’t stop there. Holy moly! I’m a biographer now? :)

I reckon that’s a good overview. Most of the rest of the entries that you’ll find have little, if anything, to do with Ozymandias other than somebody liking the name or a simple display of the poem itself with no commentary nor anything of interest.

Life In A Sandstorm

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

We get some decent sandstorms here.  Not quite like that “Wall O’ Dust” you’ve probably seen pictures of, but impressive in their own right.

Sandstorm obscuring the distance

Antennas In The Mist

The sun looks pretty odd, too.

A Sandstorm Sun

Good Ways To Waste Your GDP

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Hmm…you could set it on fire, I guess.

Burning Wells with Dust Devil

At first I heard “hey check out the clouds” so I went outside to see the blackness.  “Wow,” I thought.  “It’s gonna rain!”  Then I went back inside and carried on about my business.  Only later when I went out for something else and went around the corner of the building did I see the plumes.  All I saw the first time was black on the horizon, not the source. :)

We get a lot of dust devils here, too.  I’d say at any given time you can see at least two of varying qualities.

Dust Devil, well developed

Closer view of the fires…

Burning Wells

On the left is a C130 flying outbound.

C130 and Burning Wells

‘nuther debil.  There’s trash flying around in this one.

Dust Devil with trash

Man Contemplates His Own Existence

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Statue in the Louvre

Taken in the Louvre.

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