Monthly Archives: November 2004

Sony Offers First Look At Playstation 3 Chip

Sony, IBM and Toshiba released some data about the new processor that will power the next generation Playstation 3. The new gaming machine isn’t expected until 2006, but prototype models will be released to developers early next year for their work on games to be available at the product’s launch.

The Cell processor looks like it will be a doozy. IBM will manufacture the chip, which will also be available in high end computers and digital televisions.

Home Again

I am back home on Guam after an all too brief vacation in New Zealand. I am pretty much a zombie right now after being up all night on the Continental Cairns-Guam flight last night and heading right into work upon arrival. I’ll slap up some more pictures in a day or two, but right now I am heading to bed.

Quick Photos

While I am waiting for my laundry to dry, let me post a couple photos from the last few days.

Fletcher Bay, Coromandel
Fletcher Bay, where we camped out for a couple nights.

Fletcher Bay by moonlight
Fletcher Bay on Thursday night, watching the full moon rise. Excellent night.

Auckland skyline from the Birkenhead ferry landing
Last night we sat and watched the night fall on the Auckland skyline and Harbour Bridge from the ferry landing at Birkenhead. A good way to adjust back into the city life after a week in the countryside.

Quote Of The Day

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H. L. Mencken

Hilton Guam sold for $30M

Title says it all. The Hilton on Guam sold to DaVinci-RP Hotel Investors LLC for $30 million. Speculation at lunch centered around how the Hilton was pushing hard for Prop A this past election, and that the sale price of the hotel was contingent upon whether the gambling iniative passed or not.

Hilton International will continue to manage the hotel under an agreement with the new owners. This is a trend for other hotels on island, including the Marriott. Expect other major hotels chains to divest their properties and continue to manage operations on Guam.

10,000 Miles And Loving It

The Blue TorpedoOn my way home tonight the Blue Torpedo turned over 10,000 miles. Not bad after 16 months of near daily driving. That’s only 625 miles a month. That’s a little over 20 miles a day. It just so happens that my commute to the office is 10 miles each way. So I guess I’m saying I drive the Blue Torpedo to work and back and that’s about it. Looking at it another way, I don’t get out much besides going to work.

I like the PT Cruiser, she gets good mileage and she turns a few heads. The comments I get the most though are “Dude, are you sure that car is big enough for you?” Like because I am a big boy I need to drive around in a Toyota Sequoia or something. The car fits me just fine thank you.

Science Braces for Second Bush Term

Scientists are bracing for a second Bush term and drawing battle lines against an administration seemingly devoted to negating the advancement of science. From global warming to stem cell research to the campaign against science education in schools, scientists expect the worst from an administration that bowed out of the Kyoto Treaty, thwarts stem cell research, and promotes a recursive religious agenda. Some even expect retribution from a vindictive right wing administration at loggerheads with scientific establishments across the country. Another breakdown for the reality based crowd I guess.

Tokyo Pictures

Picture time!

A couple weekends ago I spent a few days in Tokyo. I stayed with my friend Dave and his lovely wife Keiko. It was great fun, and I got to experience fall weather for the first time in 12 years. I took a pile of pictures too, and here’s some of my favorites.

David enjoys a beer
Here’s David enjoying a beer with his meal late Friday night.

I was lame and didn’t take any pictures on Saturday. We slept late, ate some lunch and then rode the trains to Dave’s school, ASIJ. Dave was the technical director for their production of Pericles. After that we got some food in Ogikubo and then hit some places in Asagaya. Turned out there was a jazz festival in Asagaya that weekend. We caught a couple sets – that was pretty cool. A couple more places after that and we were back home late. And drunk.

Up in the mountains around Okutama
On Sunday (after some aspirin) we rented a car and drove up into the mountains west of Tachikawa. We drove up to this reservoir in Okutama, near the headwaters of the Tamagawa.

Me at the lakeshore
Hey, it’s me! Standing on the shore by the reservoir.

Spillway and trees
It was quite hilly up there, and while the trees in Tokyo were still green, the forest at that altitude was beginning to change colors.

Trees ablaze
Like I said, some trees were ablaze of color.

Peering into the mist
After visiting the dam and pumphouse, we headed up into the hills above the lake. The whole area is a national park, Chichibu Tama. This was taken at the lookout up in the mountains. It was eerie up in those clouds.

Crimson trail in the clouds
We walked along this trail for awhile. It was very pretty, but also very popular. Lots of hikers working the trail with us.

Heading back down to Tokyo, we drove along side this beautiful river gorge. It first crossed the road at this beautiful waterfall. I think it was called Dream Falls or something like that.

David snaps a photo with his phone
David took a few pictures with his mobile phone too.

That night we took the Tama monorail for a ride. David recognized my fascination with rail transport in all it’s forms.

Leaving Shimbashi Station on the Yurikamome
Monday David went off to work and I was set loose upon Tokyo. I dumped my bag in a locker at Tokyo Station and started a roundabout tour of the city.

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge
First leg was taking the Yurikamome out to Odaiba Island and seeing the sites. Crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

Statue of Liberty
Oh look! The Statue of Liberty is out there.

Looking over Daiba
That funky building is the Fuji TV (Iron Chef) building.

Me in shades
Who is that cool looking guy in shades?

Lady Liberty and the Rainbow Bridge
Lady Liberty and the Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge from the water taxi
After lunch and walking around for a bit, I took the Yurikamome back across to Tokyo and got on a cruise up the Sumidagawa. It was billed as a bridge tour… Here’s the Rainbow Bridge dramatically lit while we pulled out from the pier.

Another bridge on the Sumida
Another bridge on the cruise. I think there was seven bridges the boat passed under.

Flood gates and ships
Off the main course of the river, there were many of these boat-clogged canals ringed with flood gates. Looked pretty cool to me.

Big Golden Turd
Look! It’s a big golden turd on top of that building. I think that is the Asahi Beer Building.

Asakusa Shrine
The cruise dumped me off at Asakusa, so I wandered over a couple blocks and checked out the big ass shrine.

Pagoda at Asakusa
Here’s a five story pagoda at the Asakusa Shrine.

Ueno Koen
After checking out the shrine, I hopped on the subway (did I mention my fascination with various modes of transport?) and got off at Ueno Park. It is the oldest and biggest park in Tokyo.

Cherry trees in Ueno Koen
These cherry trees must look absolutely beautiful in the springtime because they were certainly lovely that day.

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ueno Koen is the site of many museums. Unfortunately they are all closed on Mondays. So I wandered around looking at all the homeless people camping out in the park.

Toshugu Shrine Torii
I did find this cool shrine off beside the closed zoo. It was dedicated to the first Tokugawa Shogun in 1651. This is the entrance gate, or torii.

Ceremonial copper lanterns
These lanterns were solid copper, given as gifts of fealty by local lords during the shogunate.

More ceremonial copper lantern
More of those cool lanterns. They’re Japanese national treasures.

Lion ablaze
A lion ablaze in the autumn.

Pagoda through trees
Pagoda through the trees.

Time to go
I left that evening. That Narita Express is a pretty sweet pipeline from the city center out to the airport. Very handy.

Alright, that’s the highlights. I took tons more, but I don’t want to bore everybody senseless.

Say Goodbye to Radio

Scratch my earlier comment about Radio Userland. The install was just screwed up. Things appeared okay, but underneath it was giving me fits. So never mind. A quick search on the internet and I discovered a better way to use a news aggregator – Bloglines. Instead of being chained to a single computer, I can use Bloglines on any computer with a browser. It imported my subscription OPML file from Radio with no problems and I like the interface.

Oh yeah, and it is free. As in beer. Hmmm… beer.