Random Friday thoughts

Last night I was correcting papers on the train, looking forward to a late night of writing up homework comments to hand back to students in class this evening. After I got home I jumped in the shower (it was about 915 degrees and raining outside) where, in a spasm of reclaimed memory, I noted that it was summer vacation at the school and I didn’t have to hand back assignments until late August. Bam! Problem solved. I stepped out of the shower, put on clothes, and cracked a beer.

Sakura is sick now. She has something called herpangina, which means blistering inside her mouth and throat. Makes it painful to swallow, so she’s been very fussy during feedings. Megu took her to the hospital and get everything checked up, and we now have some medicine to give her. Should be all better within a week or so. Poor baby.

Speaking of baby (-ies), Adam has posted more photos of his. See them on his Flickr site. Unless he has them protected and visible only to family and registered friends or something, in which case enjoy the Flickr warning page.

I bought a black MacBook. Stuck 2GB of RAM in it and it works just fine. I got to do the Microsoft Office dance again, the one where I try to install Office 2004, which I bought as an upgrade, and it tells me I have to have an older version on the drive, so I have to track down the disk for Office 2001 or Office X or whatever, copy the Office folder from it to the drive, point 2004 to that copy, and then erase said copy. It’s all so inefficient. This machine has a camera on it; I should be able to show 2004 that yes, here’s my CD copy of your ancestor, now please allow me to view this .doc filled with client comments I will ignore! Seems like it should work.

I’m now translating an article on the scandal rocking Japan’s pension system, in which the Social Insurance Agency accidentally misplaced records for some obscenely high percentage of the population, rendering them incapable of receiving payments. I can’t say I’m too confident in my own chances at getting a piece of this pie, since by the time I’m old enough to claim some of the yen I’m paying into the system there will be 100 million people my age and several dozen workers trying frantically to prop the whole thing up. I don’t think Social Security will do me much good either—hey, the money to pay for Dubya’s Wild Middle Eastern Ride doesn’t grow on trees, you know—but I am doing an end run around that whole mess by not living or working in America and paying into that system. I’m way ahead of the game here.

All right, I lied. Actually I’m now editing the new issue of Japanese Book News for a very finicky client. “Please translate these reviews in a more formal register. This is too casual.” “But the new critic you people have writing them in Japanese is much more casual than the last guy; we’re being faithful to the source here.” “Well, we know that, but ignore his style and do that stiff, formal thing.” Thanks for sharing this fundamental bit of editorial direction at the end of the process, rather than before translation began.

More random things to type: I’m playing with WordPress and considering making it the default thingy for the whole bloggish shebang. It’s doing stupid things with dead links that I can’t seem to make go away, though; probably some permissions deal that the WP folks expect everyone just to know offhand. “Oh, when you install that plug-in of course you’re supposed to chmod everything to 666, except for file B, which is 755.” Pure gibberish! It’s arcane wizardry like this that drives people to use MySpace.

Last but not least, I added more shots to the set of photos from our honeymoon trip to Scandinavia, lo those many years ago. Nice place in October. Much cooler than Tokyo in July. Would my company let me telecommute from three months in the future and seven time zones away? I’ll ask the boss.

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