Friday, September 29, 2006

Sam Ruby, License Wish:

Bingo. I’ve mocked the CC in the past, but quite frankly, I’m not happy with any of the popular license choices. My focus isn’t on maximizing my revenue, avoiding becoming “exploited”, or even changing the world; instead it is on minimizing my obligations.

I'm with Sam on this one, to a point. I think the "minimizing my obligations" goes without saying; I'd probably fall in the "changing the world" camp.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

On your cellphone, type the following: *#06#

Now read this.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

1) Sleep in, 2) go back to school to retrieve forgotten camera, 3) snap bus pictures on the way to Xujiahui, 4) hospital check-up at Int'l Peace Clinic, 4) metro to Hongkou, 5) browse comic shops, 6) Jolin Tsai concert, 7) put together bus talk. Full day for Jodi and me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It feels good to see Google deliver yourself to your inbox:

From: Google Alerts 
To: msittig@gmail
Date: Sep 21, 2006 7:54 AM
Subject: Google Alert - suzhou creek

‘Tis the season to be conferencing
Shanghaiist - Shanghai,China
... off at 6 pm on Saturday night with a pre-un-conference 
social at T-Sens, and continues Sunday with the main event 
at the Toodou offices along the Suzhou Creek. ...

This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google...
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Two nice things happened to me recently.

A couple weeks ago I stopped to buy breakfast one evening on the way home from work. At the 波力 stand where I usually buy my yogurt and pastry I found that I had forgotten to bring money. The lady behind the counter recognized me, and told me to just bring the money next Tuesday when she would be working again. Granted it was only RMB 5, but still pretty cool.

Last night after Latin dance class Jodi and I walked down Nanjing Rd to Ganguoju for dinner. When we werer close to finishing a manager suddenly came over and asked me to help translate for another set of diners. When the transaction was finished, he came over to our table and said some very nice things about Jodi and I, assuring us among other things that "our next generation" would certainly be a beautiful and talented child. When the check appeared, to our surprise it also came with a VIP card for Ganguoju. That's an RMB 150 value (USD 20), which entitles us to 7% off on future visits. We were extremely pleased.

Busy week ahead:

  1. Monday: First math club meeting, three kids take the statistics test, Latin dance class (last rumba session).
  2. Tuesday: 7th grade Chapter 1 test, first astronomy club meeting.
  3. Wednesday: rest.
  4. Thursday: 6th grade test, Latin dance class (first cha cha session).
  5. Friday: math department dinner.
  6. Saturday: hospital visit, Jolin Tsai concert.
  7. Sunday: BarCamp Shanghai.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

From a comment on The Panopticon of Ecclesial White-ness: Taking Foucault to a Church divided:

"I might be a jerk, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong" -- dude, that's like my personal motto. Maybe it's a Catholic thing? The first time I brought my Protestant wife-to-be home to meet the folks, my dad, after baiting her on some now-forgotten topic, finally asked her: "So, you don't like to argue?" Maybe Catholics rely more on external surveillance to keep themselves in line: lists of sins, the confessional, other people pointing out their jerkiness. Protestants live under the perpetual gaze of the inner panopticon, dying daily to the inner jerk and perpetually manifesting their regenerated nice selves. But I digress...

That's like me and Jodi. When we visit her parents, or when they visit us, they spend 80% of the time "arguing". Then when I mention it, Jodi denies that they were arguing. That's their way of discussing things, she says. My family, on the other hand, relies on hidden cues and latent shared values to reach consensus. It will be interesting to see which way our kids lean, but I have a pretty good hunch already.

The above is a good example of a difference in family culture, and not national culture. Surprising to me, people don't ask about me and Jodi's cross-cultural issues a lot. (The #1 question is what language we speak at home.) But it seems to me like that 80% of the conflicts we have stem from personality differences and only 20% from cultural differences. Jodi has also remarked to me and to friends that when you spend time with them, you find out that people from other cultures are more similar to yourself than you had previously thought. (The answer: about 50%/50% Chinese and English.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Just for fun, here's my cellphone bill from June.

-- 月份: 2006年06月 --
起始日期 (start) 结束日期 (finish) 总金额(元) (total, in Chinese yuan) 缴费状态 (status)
2006/06/01 00:00:00 2006/06/30 00:00:00 121.99 结清 (paid)
收费内容 次数 通话时间(计费单元) 金额(元)
明细帐单累计金额 2 0 0.00
本地基本通话费 (calling) 55 (calls) 108 (minutes) 64.20 (yuan)
短信费 (text messages) 112 (messages) 0 11.20 (yuan)
GPRS通信费 (internet connection) 136 (minutes) 1443 (billable units?) 43.29 (yuan)
彩信费 (photo messages) 11 (messages) 0 3.30 (yuan)
GPRS-WAP流量费 (internet transfer) 136 1704 0.00
充值卡余额抵扣 (subtraction from pre-paid total) 0 0 -121.99 (yuan)

That's about fifteen bucks US total.

Chock-full of familiar images.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lots of people yearn for the day when the Chinese government is truly under the rule of law. But if this is what the law begets, then I don't want it:

“These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution and our treaty obligations,” Mr. Bush said. “The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful.”

That's what happens when you mistake the law that man creates for the Law of an absolute Being. I shudder at the current administration's logic.

I'm tired of these pointless weekends.

I was messing around with Google Spreadsheets today, and calculated that in 2003 Japanese nationals made up 24% of expats in Shanghai and yet were partners in 40% of expat-local marriage registrations! Smells like a conspiracy to me. Just wait till we get Zhang Jiehai in on this one.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hey Web 2.0 sites! Do NOT make my profile page trickily unlinkable. In other words, do not:

  1. ...make your front page act as my homepage. For example, if I want to share my calendaring info or event info with my friends, don't have me send them your URL only to find out that they can't see my info because they have to be logged in as me. Prime offenders: 30Boxes, Upcoming.
  2. ...make my profile page act radically different when I'm logged in and when I'm logged out, even if it's not the front page. If you find yourself coding a "click here to see how your profile page looks to other people" link, you're doing something wrong. Prime offenders: Douban.
  3. ...assign me a number so I can't guess my friend's profile page even though I know his username. Prime offenders: Upcoming, previously MySpace.

Please do: give me a profile page to share with my friends, make a clear distinction between my public profile page and my personal control panel (or make them similar enough so that being one and the same is no big deal), and make profile URLs guessable.

Lots of hits from 'Direct', 'Other', 'Sinosplice', and 'Shanghaiist'.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This MetaFilter post (and comments) about Europanto is like candy to a linguist:

Que would happen if, wenn Du open your Metafilter, finde eine message in esta lingua? No est Englando, no est Germano, no est Espano, no est keine known lingua - aber Du understande! Wat happen zo! Habe your computero eine virus catched? Habe Du sudden BSE gedeveloped? No, Du esse lezendo la neue europese lingua: de Europanto!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Why do Chinese stores use those loop-style motorcycle locks to lock their front doors? Is it some kind of law? Even the new Starbucks below our apartment...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Via Rockself, all Tanghui rock concerts have been cancelled due to "unsurmountable difficulties". Ah, cranky neighbors...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

It's a lazy Saturday afternoon. Jodi is out in Pudong for the morning doing a tutoring job, and I'm at home trying to fix the TV card in her computer, and doing some translation work for the upcoming blogger conference.

This year it's official that I'm doing translation work for them. For example:

  1. MediaGuideen/MediaGuide
  2. RegisterByEmailen/RegisterByEmail

If you haven't signed up yet, go register now. Remember that it's two days, and will take place in Hangzhou. Maybe I'll write it up for Shanghaiist. I think it's a good chance to take the missus because the weather shouldn't be too bad.

One of my AP Stats kids reminded me that DJ Qbert is playing at BonBon tonight. Maybe we'll check that out... if I can get this TV card working.

† Which reminds me, somebody do a post on popping the collars of polo shirts (and maybe toss in Dan's black-socks-with-white-shoes). It's probably just me, but after I read Marxy's post I've been seeing them all over.