I just found this site and am really enjoying this music. Here is the link: http://www.fwmj.com/plex/ ... heh ... it's a good departure from crazy Japanese radio all the time ...
In other news, tonight is the second to last episode of Densha Otoko! I've been watching this show and it's awesome. I'm going to pick up the book sometime too ... we'll see if I start learning some good otaku-style Japanese soon...
Today is Ben's birthday. Bring him cake. Sing him songs. Remind him that his early twenties are now soooo oficcially over ... heh ... sorry Ben :) Happy Birthday!
News of Hurricane Katrina has made it all the way out to Japan, so I've been reading all about it and watching some news clips. What a terrible sight. Well good luck everyone and I hope this whole thing is over soon.
Googe imode is cool ... it translates real homepages into chtml/wml for your cel phone so you can do web searches and get real homepage info on your tiny crap cel phone web browser. So cool!
Today there was a ~6 earthquake in Miyagi prefecture. I was 2 prefectures away in Ibaraki, travelling with MInori ... the whole building shook for about a minute, the street signs outside were waving around like they were made of rubber. It was very very exciting. I'm glad nobody got hurt.
... on foldable-collapsable bikes! (more on the foldable-collapsable bikes later) ... this trip was so cool, Chris and I rode a little over 100 miles in 2 days, around lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture. The scenery was great, and we got to hang out with Koji for a night up in the northern part of the lakeside.
Waiter changed the URL of his site - it's now at www.waiterrant.net, so update your bookmarks and enjoy. Thanks again, Waiter!
Whenever I fly I like to pick up a Dan Brown book for on-the-plane reading. A lot of his work has to do with cryptography and symbolism, which I find pretty interesting. So I did a little thinking and made up my own encryption algorithm: JJ-ENC31. I'm waiting for someone to break it and send me a message written in it. Good luck!! (hint: the encoded message always decodes the same way)
You may have noticed that this front page is different from the rest of the pages. You may have noticed that I haven't updated my t-shirts section in about a year. You may have noticed that I haven't updated the Japanese language journal page in 2 1/2 years, or that photojournal has been devoid of new photos since about then too ... well fret not Josh Jacobson Dot Net fans! I'm in the (albiet long) process of updating this site, including about 1000 new pictures, and some new and exciting Japanese-ey stuff... stay tuned...
So I've been reading this blog for almost a year now, and I'm finally getting around to linking to it - waiterrant - check it out - my advice is to read it from the begining. And if anyone ever figures out where this restaurant is, I definately have to go so let me know! Thanks Waiter!
Microsoft has the coolest IME I've used yet. Maybe you don't agree with me, maybe you do. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. An IME (Input Method Editor) is what you use to type in non-roman characters (i.e. Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.), and since back in the days of Windows 95/98, the default Windows IME has had a really really cool "secret" feature built-in -- handwriting recognition!! And it's really precise too ... I'm continually shocked that it accepts my chicken-scratch versions of Kanji I don't know (yes there are many ... I'll be the first to admit it!) with no errors whatsoever. Here is a link to Microsoft's version of the explanation - there are screen shots and directions on how to use it too (about 1/3 of the way down the page).
... back to Japan!!! yay!!! I arrive in Nagoya on Thursday night, then for 6 months I'll be hanging out in Shiga. All is very exciting. If you want a free postcard from Japan, send me your address (if the spam-o-tron emailers can find my email address on this page, so can you!) and I'll get one out to you right away.
Taking off from California for a little while ... I'll be driving across the country while rock climbing and visiting old friends ... if you see me wave ...
Next stop, NYC, England and Spain. Old friends in NYC and England, sister studying in Spain. I have been watching Da Ali G show nonstop to practice my Brittish accent (ha ha). Anyway, wish me luck!
... And don't forget your booties 'cause it's coooold out there ... it's cold out there every day ... ha ha ... that's right it must be time for another ... Groundhog Day!!!
Happy Groundhog Day everyone, see you in the spring...
I heard on the radio that there was a 50-car pileup on I-96 the other day, and that most of southeast Michigan is covered in a foot of snow and ice and general Michiganian winter crap. Today in San Diego, I woke up to sunny blue skies, walked out of the house in a sweatshirt, got some Mexican takeout and ate it on the beach, and now I'm getting some work done in my favorite coffee shop which has free wireless internet (Boo Starbucks!! Boo T-Mobile!!) and "bottomless" cups of coffee. How could winter get any better than this?
I woke up this morning, walked out of my hotel room, opened the front door of the hotel ... and got nailed in the face with a big gust of snow, a rude awakening for sure. By the time I got out to the highway, I realized that Texas doesn't salt its roads ... so the whole of highway 40 was a giant sheet of ice. Needless to say I saw about 7 trucks and over a dozen cars in various states of destruction within the first couple hours of driving. Everything got better in New Mexico, and by the time I was in Albaquerque the road was clear and dry again. Crisis averted. I knew all those years of winter driving in Michigan were going to pay off someday ...
It's time for another drive ... this time across the country, to my new home in San Diego. I'm moving out to pursue my dream of someday becoming Val Kilmer from the movie Real Genius. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have been aspiring to become a laser geek of the first magnitude since circa the 5th grade. Hopefully sometime soon, big big things will be coming from [ p h o t o n d r e a m ]. So stay tuned and all of you who I had to say goodbye to, keep in touch!
I finished up work on a big project the other day at work, and I was so slap-happy after a day of hard thinking that all I could think of to do was write a little poem about my work. So I will share it with you now:
My bugs are fixed, my code is froze
I'm perched upon my tippy toes
About to take a jump for joy
This software's ready to deploy!
...doesn't geek poetry just warm your heart?
Go visit this site, titled simply "Sorry Everybody". I don't mean for this site to become a ranting ground for politics, actually I would prefer them to stay as far away from my homepage as possible. But I kind of feel strongly about this one so there you are. Happy surfing.
Halloween was so dissapointing this year ... there were like 8 kids in my whole neighborhood! I got to go to a cool halloween party though. But they sure aren't Halloween-ing it like they used to around here.
In other (finally good) news, according to the Selective Service System, HR 163 was defeated in the House of Representatives ... I want to know which 2 bastards voted for it so I know which states not to move to anytime soon ... but for now I'm tentatively taking a sigh of relief and bracing myself for the results of yesterdays election.
I got one of those forwarded emails from a friend of mine about a draft happening here in the good 'ol USA, and I figured since I'm only going to be 25 for about 3 mor months that I'm almost off the hook. About to breathe a sigh of relief I skimmed over the email ... that's when I learned about the Universal National Service Act of 2003. This is the scariest thing I've seen in a while. Here's an article I found for googling "H.R.163" and "S.89" called Oiling up the draft machine.
I had a crappy day today, for no good reason at all, it was just one of those days ... so I thought to myself, Josh my boy, you need ice cream ... so my girlfriend and I headed out to the greatest ice cream place in Ann Arbor, the Washtenaw Dairy, where we waited in line for about 15 minutes, to be greeted by a really nice guy ... kindly informed us that they didn't take credit cards (it figures ... the *one* time ...), so off we went in search of another plastic-friendly alternative ... if I would have only known the ordeal that was in store...
So a new ice cream store opened up here in Ann Arbor called Coldstone Creamery, and I've heard some pretty good things about it. We decided to give it a shot. The girl at the counter was kind of pushy, and gave me the wrong flavor ice cream. I ordered a peanut butter, and what was in that cup was so totally banana ice cream (OK, I don't have anything against bananas - in fact, I really like bananas. Let's just say that I don't think any bananas were actually harmed in the making of that ice cream and leave it at that though) ... so I took it back, and they were out of small cups, so I ended up with this giant tub-like portion of ice cream that I didn't really think was all that good in the first place, far too much for me to eat in a single sitting, so I was forced to take it home and put it in the freezer. So ... anyone want some day-old leftover ice cream?
Yay for Apache rewrite rules! I was previously using an error document directive to redirect all bad requests to a page with a generic error, but now thanks to this guide to Apache rewrites, my 404 error page will tell you the page it couldn't find. Not too too exciting, I know, but I've had it in the back of my head to add that feature for a while now.
This one kept me up for a couple hours ... Mac IE 5.2 (and some other browsers that for some reason chose to cooperate with me this time) has what's called "quirks" mode. According to what I understand, when it's in this mode it will screw up some CSS rendering (un-screw is up?) on purpose to make the pages look right, or "as they were intended to look" ... little did I know, this includes using percentage units with absolute positioning and the top attribute... a little esoteric, you say? Not so for me, I commonly use this combination of CSS attributes to vertically center elements within each other (does anyone know of a better way to do this? I've been waiting for you all my life! well, at least since a few years ago ... email me right away please!) a la the iframes experiment. For some reason this page I'm designing (more on that later) wouldn't work in Mac IE5.2 ... I tested this thing in like 5 other browsers ... so I'm pulling out hair, tweaking CSS, looking at old source code ... and all of a sudden I realized that the iframes page has no doctype declaration, thus causing Mac IE5.2 to render the page in this mysterious "quirks" mode. WOW. Just like I intended ... great. So, one little php workaround later, my page doesn't display a doctype to Mac IE5.2 browsers. Problem solved (and it validates too because the php delivers an actual doctype to the validator, assuming you don't validate your code using Mac IE5.2). Phew...
I just can't seem to write in this journal too often. In the meantime, while you're waiting for me to actually update my site, why don't you go pick up one of my favorite books The Feast Of Love, by Charles Baxter. (Gasp! When was the last time you read something that was actually in print?!) If you aren't convinved to go pick up a copy of this amazing book, here are some of my favorite quotes from it. Godd reading, and happy waiting:
"Every day is a new day when filled with dawn feeling, a virgin day, until it gets fxxked up by human activity and becomes history."
"I was trying to think but seemed to be out of basic cognitive resources"
"All this love business is just nature's way of getting more babies into the world"
Alton Brown is the coolest host of any kind of show ever. This information is pretty much all heresay, but I believe it, so maybe you will too? Anyway ... I think beans are pretty cool, so here are a few things I know about them. Go Beans!
The ancient Romans believed that beans held the souls of dead people.
The ancient Greeks went so far as to have a god of beans
There are over 14,000 different species of legumes in the world, but only about 22 of them are cultivated for human consumption.
OK, you know you've seen an episode of "I Love Lucy" ... any episode, it doesn't matter... as long as Ricky Ricardo gets to go off at Lucy in Spanish ... Or when Kevin Klein yells at that guy in French in that movie with Meg Ryan ... so hot ... I wanted to learn a romance language for the longest longest time ... just to be able to chew people out ... but instead, I had to pick Japanese ... what the heck was I thinking?!
OK, for those of you who don't know my dear friend Bam-Bam, you should. This girl rules. She is putting up me and 4 of my friends on our super-budget vacation to Chicago the first weekend in April. So all of you Josh Jacobson fans in Chicago, look out for me! Or if you have a suggestion for a good blues bar, let me know too.
So I've been thinking about kind of overhauling this site, setting up a better photojournal, and making some of the features a little easier to navigate ... if you have any good design ideas, please let me know.
So I've decided to become more "active" around town. I just got the March issue of the Ann Arbor Observer (this site is affiliated with it I think), and there is so much cool-sounding free stuff to do in Ann Arbor! I never realized how cool of a free stuff to do city it was. So, in the next week or so, I'm scheduled to attend a free salsa/hot-sauce tasting at my favorite Mexican restaurant, look at the stars at U of M's free observatory night, and learn how to make maple syrup in nearby Dexter. Tons of fun!
Zach and I climb once or twice a week now over at Planet Rock Climbing Gym, and decided recently to start making our own holds for some home training walls. This task turned out to be pretty simple, Zach carved some cool shapes out of insulation styrofoam ($20 for 4'x8'x3"), we poured some silicone molds, and this saturday we're off to pour with a bondo/silica sand mixture. We made a few test holds as well, and they turned out really nice, I can't wait to climb on them. More news to come, as well as photojournal pics soon!
Congratulations to Tom and Erin, who got married today, a very nice ceremony and a bitchin' after party, I also got to hang out with my Iowa peeps, which is always a good time. Tom will be joining me in Ann Arbor this fall to eat tacos, fill that keyboardist position that's open in my soon-to-be band, and tear it up in general, can't wait ...
Another year older, another year wiser, another year closer to that midlife crisis red sports car purchase (and with the added security of being 25 and having a lower insurance payment to boot) ... This birthday was pretty uneventful, actually, the only real "event" so to speak of was that it's Monday and I had to go back to work today ... oh well, January 5th, 2008 is a Saturday, so write that down in your planners as the party of the new millenium!
Fun fun fun to be had new year's eve, I had some people over, it was cool. Sorry if you couldn't make it (you didn't miss too too much). Getting ready to go back to work tomorrow (!!!), and turn a year older on Monday (the 5th)... getting older ... Oh well, at least my car insurance goes down a bit, right?
So today was Christmas, my first in a while, and Minori's first American Christmas, it was pretty fun, I got to see some relatives I haven't seen in years, but it got kind of wierd ... you see, one of my uncles has some Jewish friends who of course do not observe Christmas, (which is most certainly not to say I have anything against Jews, I am in fact technically half Jewish myself) and invited one of them to our family gathering a few years ago. By the time Christmas rolled around this year, so many of his friends were there that my family couldn't even fit at the table (they all sat down first)... and it's a pretty big table over there too ... so my family is half over here, half over there, with a few stragglers eating on the couch by the television, my uncle's friends and their families are hapily eating ... it's a wierd scene to imagine, especially if you consider that none of these people even introduced themselves to me ... I was almost kind of dissapointed in the whole situation. Oh well, at least we got some snow here in Michigan, right?
Minori and I went out to a "u-cut" tree place, and ended up getting a cute little potted tree with the help of (in alphabetical order) Chris, Jane, Judy, Liz and Rob. We also got to help them pick out and cut down their trees, an interesting experience. Decorating a tree after 2 years was kind of wierd, but fun nonetheless.
Another typical adventurous Thanksgiving weekend past, this year was pretty interesting. Minori and I went to visit the relatives, hung out for a while, and were about to split for my grandparents' cottage up in "the thumb" for the weekend, when we were informed by my uncle that my cousing was on his way up there to go deer hunting for the weekend. Plans instantaneously canceled and re-evalutated, we decided to head out to Niagara Falls for a couple days. Little did we know ...
The America side of Niagara Falls is a total ghost town, just about every other storefront was either boarded up or just plain "for rent". Nobody was there, and the only thing to do at night was go to a night club, or the Hard Rock Cafe. We chose the latter... and managed to find a 24-hour coffee/donut place, so we were't entirely bored out of our minds at our zero star hotel. In contrast, the Canadian side was jumping, lit up, happy-looking ... how odd ...
Some of you who read this homepage reasonably often (i.e. more than once a month) will notice that it's suddenly up to date, sorry about the little (3-month) delay, but I promise to at least feel real bad about not keeping this site up to date from now on. I'm also working very hard to get the Japanese Engrish T-Shirt section updated, and I've even managed to bring home a bunch of shirts for christmas presents, etc. ... actually, check the shirts section soon because I may be offering a few choice ones to the highest bidder!
Heading out to Chicago with Minori for the weekend, going to visit her relatives (her mom's cousin married an American guy and they live out in Chicago), and hopefully get to hang out with some of my good 'ol Ann Arbor friends who deserted me for greener pastures (well, art school). Sean, Natalie, BAM BAM and Galen are in for a treat when we take the windy city by storm. Wow, that sounded like a bad movie trailer. Or a bad poetry attempt. I assure you it was neither.
I forgot that I don't know anyone here anymore ... thanks a lot to the 4 of my friends who came ... I did however have a great time catching up with Zach and Lauren, who I haven't really seen since high school. Minori and I also had some wicked vampire fangs put in by my father the dentist (only very occasionally is it actually advantageous to have a dentist for a dad)! Pics coming soon.
There's going to be a huge halloween party at my house, you're all invited. Dry ice, costumes, and spiked punch will be involved. Call or write for details and driving directions.
Minori landed in Detroit today; I managed to pick her up allright, and now she's happily hanging out in Ann Arbor. Well, sleeping off a 13-hour time-zone change worth of jet-lag, that is.
So I had a Job interview yesterday ... kind of ... someone saw my resume and just flat-out asked me to come in and hang out for the day. So I did. Vey interesting. What's even more interesting is that they just called me and offered me a job!! I start tomorrow! Wish me luck as I commute out to Royal Oak every morning ...
I keep trying to remind myself why the hell I came back here, and I don't seem to be able to ... I guess I really didn't like where I was living in Japan ... but I should have probably at least tried to find somewhere even remotely interesting to try living in ... the problem is I bought this silly house, and now I have to pay mortgage every month ... Time to think, and availlable liquid funds are running out ... I guess it may be just baout time to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life too, huh?
In culinary news, I'm going to go hang out with my friend Lauren tonight, who I haven't seen since high school. We're going to cook Japanese food at her aunt and uncle's house. I'm very excited!
Very wierd to be back in America ... almost all of the people I used to know in Ann Arbor have either moved to other parts of the country (world), or gotten married and I'm guaranteed not to see them much. I spend a lot of time in the house, half-assedly looking for work, I dread knowing that I'm probably going to have to get in a car and commute to work every morning, this is going to be quite a departure from riding my bike 10 minutes to work ... At least in the meantime I have been able to get some work translating a few web pages for a guy Ben introduced me to, it's pretty interesting work and at least I get to keep using my Japanese.
Just in case anyone needs some Japanese translation, I work cheap :)
Ben and Karen picked me up tonight at the train station, and I walked into my house for the first time ... wow ... I'm a homeowner ... As soon as I can, I'll put some pics up in the photojournal.
Thanks a whole bunch to everyone who made my two years of adventure worth it, and sorry if I'm too lame to always keep in touch, but you can at least know that I miss you all and I'm thinking about you all the time.
Wow, Amtrak is boring as hell ... I kind of figured that since I'd be stuck on a train with a bunch of other people for 43 hours, I might have some good conversation or at least see some interesting sights, but to my chagrin, this does not seem to be the case. My advice to anyone who is going to ride Amtrak ... Bring something intersting to do!! And a set of nose plugs could certainly not hurt ...
On a much happier note, I'm in Iowa now, hanging out with Aislinn. I had a nice culture shock jolt right when I got to her apartment, when I made a cup of coffee and went looking for milk in the refrigerator... In Japan, milk is sold in quart/half-gallon cardboard cartons, and having not seen a plastic gallon jug of milk in two years, I reached right by it to open a half-gallon jug that my brain actually recognized ... gosh, it's wierd to be back in the states ...
Today I embark on my Amtrak adventure across the USA. I'll be stopping in Iowa to visit Aislinn, Tom, and Mitch for a few days, and Chicago to visit the inside of an Amtrak station for about 5 hours ... yuck.
So it was great to be in California, the weather didn't even change a little the whole time I've been here so the time went by super fast... so did about 8 Mexican meals, great geeking, a couple trips to the ocean, and hanging out with good old friends. Kyongsu and Celisa's baby Jillian is so cute too! Pics of the whole 5-day trip are coming soon in my photojournal.
Yesterday Kyongsu and I went parts hunting at the electronics store, and started work on a new and extremely improved version of the DAC (that's Digital to Analog Converter) board that controls the laser show. After a good all-night geek session, it's done and you can go check out pics of it at photondream.com. Oh yeah, of course I also had some kick-ass San Diego Mexican food. ;)
Today was the longest day of my life. No, really! I woke up in Japan, a normal unassuming August 25th. I went to the airport, got on a plane, and 12 hours later, I landed in California. But due to the time change, I actually got there 4 hours before I left... on the 25th. So instead of a 24-hour day, today was 40 horus long.
On a tastier note, I'm here in San Diego enjoying the most amazing(ly large!!) Mexican food I've ever had, and compared to anything in Japan it's super cheap too ... ha ha ... I'm totally going to eat at this restaurant every day I'm here! I also got to go see the Pacific ocean today, it was so cool ... California is really fun so far!
You too can be my friend. Just hop on over to friendster and look me up. This is very exciting.
In other news, my adventure around Japan continues, I'm back in Osaka, hanging out until next next Monday, when I'm off to California. And nobody has tried to hire me yet, this is possibly a good thing because there are a bunch of typos in my resume. I'll fix those and get back to you later on.
Sorry I've been gone for the last month or so, moving out of my apartment and finishing up my job was a pain in the butt but now it's over ... I'm bumming around Japan for a few weeks, then bumming around America for a couple weeks; see you all back in Ann Arbor on September 7th!
Oh yeah, almost forgot ... I'm going to need a job sometime in the near future ... anyone wanna hire me? Here's version 1.0 of my online resume!
There is now an option in my photojournal to email the pictures to people. If you find an interesting one, let someone know!
I finally uploaded some of the pictures taken at the freshjive photoshoot to the animation section, as well as a cute little movie that Nate and I made a few years ago. It's kind oflarge (about 1.27 megabytes if I remember correctly), but check it out, you may get a kick out of it. I'll be converting some more movies to divX format and uploading them pretty soon (I hope).
First of all, I want the whole rest of the world to be jealous because I am now the proud owner of one ticket to the Shonen Knife concert on Friday the 11th!!! Excitement upon excitement!!
... and as if that wasn't enough to get you on the edge of your seats, I'm going to be playing in two concerts this month, one on the 13th and one on the 26th! Get ready for more news soon ...
Yeah that's right, I'm still at least 12 hours in the future (well, if you live in Michigan like I'm going to when I go home in a couple months), so I can still slip in a "happy 4th of July" on time ... I think ... anyway, vacation is over, but I had a great time, I'm actually headed back to Kyoto tonight for this walking contraceptive advertisement's going away party (is being a walking contraceptive ad a good thing or a bad thing? Thank you very much F. Scott Fitzgerald ... or was that Kurt Vonnegut ... anyone know?)
Speaking of "home", I am moving out of my apartment on July 31st. I still have to go in to work every day until the 5th of August though ... They wouldn't let me pay for just a few days, they wanted to charge me the whole 41,000 yen for a month of rent, so I'm outta there... but where to? Got an extra couch? Live anywhere near the armpit of the universe where I work? Give me a call and we'll talk.
That's right folks, it's time for me to go on vacation ... and coincidentally it's also time to bowl. Why I tell you about every time I bowl, I don't know ... anyway, I was going to head south to the island of Kyuushuu, but that trip got cancelled so I'm off to Nagahama and a few choice locations in Shiga, then stopping in Kyoto for a day, and temple sightseeing in Nara for another day before I come back to Osaka later on next week. You can expect some interesting photojournal updates sometime soon!
(Anyone see The Princess Bride?) ... A whole bunch of people I know are getting or have just recently gotten married... congratulations and good luck to Greg and Leah, Rodger and Lynne, and David and Liz! (In chronological order of wedding date) Also, Happy Birthday to Rodger today!!
Rose and I went to see LTJ Bukem spin at club karma in Umeda last night, and what do you know, after his set he walked out right where I was standing, so I got to say hi. He actually remembered being in Ann Arbor back in September of 2001 at the 1st Annual DJ Music Colloquium, where I did a pretty crappy laser show (we got hired for a beam show but the University wouldn't let us use our smoke machine inside so it turned out pretty lame I must say). He smiled when I apologized :)
So I'm finally catching up on writing emails and whatnot; today I managed to finally update the last few months of pics into my photojournal. Take a look, there are some interesting pictures. Who knows, you may even be in one ...
Long long ago (2 weeks ago Monday), in a land far far away (Los Angeles, California), Iris from freshjive had a look at my claymation page. Some freshjive people actually liked my style enough to hire me to do 3 stills in clay for an art publication they're putting out in July. Anyway, some of you may have noticed that I haven't been doing much translation of that comic, or answering very many emails lately. I've been working on these scenes for at least 3-5 hours a day, so, as soon as the photo shoot is over (tomorrow evening) and I catch up on some long lost sleep (this weekend), I'll be back to communicating with the world again. Sorry to keep anyone waiting -
To be a little more specific, it actually looks like I'll be flying in to San Francisco (I have an irrational fear of flying, and the trip is 2 hours shorter than a direct flight to Detroit), hanging out there with Kyongsu and the gang for a few days, then taking Amtrak back to good old Ann Arbor. Should be an adventure. Wish me luck. And let me know if you want any souveniers from Japan!
That's right folks, its's back into the laser show business for me ... working on redesigning the photon dream homepage now, check it out and let me know what you think!
I am sitting in the "Opti Cafe" in Osaka, writing this email. I guess that's nothing special, internet cafes have been around for years, but I just thought I'd let you all know.
So I finaly got around to putting up a bunch of pictures. A few hundred in fact, using a little database-driven photo album system that I wrote. Check it out at photojournal.joshjacobson.net. If you have any comments, questions, or are interested in installing a similar system, I'm more than happy to answer email/distribute php files. Let me know.
This just in ... Internet search engine rivals google.com and yahoo.com probably don't agree on much of anything, but if there's one thing they agree on, it's the fact than when you type in "Josh Jacobson", my name comes up first. It didn't used to ... way to go Josh.
In other news, I promise to update this journal soon (especially the Japanese section) ... I'll even edit the DB entries to make it chronologicaly acurate.
Well, it looks like it's bowling time again ... that's right, time to bowl. Wish us luck, we're going up against 2 fine junior high school bowlers tonight. Further bullitens as events warrant
Well, here I am at Kansai International Airport again ... Why, you ask? Because my friend Ben is coming to visit Japan! His plane is actually scheduled to arrive 35 minutes early ... keep your fingers crossed!
In other news, today was the graduation ceremony at the middle school I teach at. I didn't have time to change into regular clothing ... I hope Ben isn't surprised when I show up in a suit ...
So the seminar was super-super-fun, I met all sorts of great people from all over the world (not only that but hopefully I have some new places to crash when I travel around .. ha ha ... just kidding ... well ... not really... you guys can come stay at my place too!) ... Anyway, all in all a wonderful time, I really wish it had lasted for longer. Oh yeah, and I got a pretty certificate too... be proud of me.
In other News, I took a trip to Nagano Prefecture this weekend to hone my already razor-sharp (yeah, right) snowboarding skills... too bad I spent most of the time on my ass in the snow! Happo-one, where they had some of the olympic events back in 1998, is most definately not the most beginner-oriented place in the world... Lots of fun and VERY beautiful though.
Well, I'm off to Shiga Prefecture once more, this time for a week long seminar- part of the correspondance course I'm taking about Japanese linguistics and teaching the Japanese language. Besides that, it's a week-long vacation from my middle school kids! Excellent! See you back at school on the 25th!
I managed to get invited snowboarding somehow, and after about 5 hours spent sliding down a hill on my ass, I can do a pretty faithful rendition of something kind of like snowboarding ... I'm off to Nagano prefecture on the 22nd to break more body parts, wish me luck
Yesterday I awoke... to a freezing cold apartment with no heat. Yeah that's right, Japanese apartments don't come with free heat like a lot of American ones do ... they don't mind if you freeze to death in winter here in Osaka ... because there's not supposed to be a winter! But according to yesterday morning, winter is here, and abour 4 inches of snow with it. I was all big silly grins on the way to work, nostalgia of Mighigan winters and such... hopefull this won't end in slush of Michiganian proportions!
Today on joshjacobson.net, a rant. <rant>I hate Japanese drivers. Drivers in America can be pretty bad sometimes, but if you've never been a bike-commuter in Japan, you have no idea what kind of hell we have to go through every time we leave our houses. I am continually amazed at the rudeness, ignorance, and just plain stupidity of Japanese drivers. I have nothing constructive to say. I can't wait to get back to America, behind the wheel of a car.</rant>
OK Folks, this is the moment you've all been waiting for... Thirty-Four new Engrish t-shirts added in the shirts section. English speakers beware...
In other news, I ... oh dear I seem to have run out of news. Oh well, maybe next time.
Well, Tokyo was a pretty wild adventure... I managed to run into a guy I haven't seen in about 7 years - We were on the same exchange program back in 1996 called AFS. This was just the start of my wacky adventures. email me and I would be more than happy to tell you the rest of my stories.
I'm off to Tokyo for the weekend, to hang out with some good friends from college, and cause a little international mayhem in general... be back on the 13th in the evening-
Yeah, it's my birthday. I'm 24 now... feel free to send me presents!
By the way, if you're not sure which presents to send me, just let the nice folks over at Bang & Olufsen help you pick out something nice ;)
Happy New Year!!! I had the most ridiculous New Year's Eve in Osaka ... some friends and I decided to go to an all-night party/event, hosted by the Osaka Hilton hotel, a super crazy rich hotel right by Osaka (Umeda) station ... very posh, very schnazzy. So, we got in line at a little after 7:00 to buy our tickets, a whopping 4,300 yen investment (about $35USD), and then hung around the station area for a couple hours until about 9:30 or 10:00. When we got back to the hotel, we got lost on the way up to the 5th floor(where the event was), randomly walked up some stairs... right into the middle of the party ... WE SNUCK IN BY ACCIDENT AFTER WE PAID!!! wow. So that's the kind of year this is going to be...
Well, it's Christmas here in Japan, which means that it's probably sometime around dinner on the 24th back at home in Michigan, 14 hours in the past ... Hope everyone out there is having a happy, safe holiday season. And not only that, but as my present to you, I give you "conveyer belt sushi"... yes, this actually exists ... the sushi somes by on a conveyer belt, and you pick off the plates that you want to eat. At this particular restaurant, called "Kappa-Zushi", every plate is only 100 yen (about 88 cents, American). Gotta love automatic raw fish...
It's kevkev.net!!! Yeah, my friend Kevin, who I've known since my days of Japanese study back at the University of Michigan, has registered his own domain ... check it out, this guy has the bossest car around!
Hydrogen Fuel Cells are the coolest thing ever! If I had a boatload of cash, I'd invest it all in this amazing technology. I am so taken by its possibilities, I decided to do a little experiment at home. What you see here is my attempt to generate hydrogen, through the process known as "hydrolysis". In my setup, which has been carefully and precisely built using only the finest empty plastic bottles and hot glue, I use parts of a #2 pencil I butchered for electrodes, and yes, those are three dead 9-volt batteries down in the lower left-hand corner, attached in parallel as the power source. Surprisingly enough, it is actually working ... by my calculations, I have already generated about 5 or 10 cubic millimeters of hydrogen in the last 15 minutes alone ... at this rate, I should be able to get enough hydrogen to recharge a AA battery sometime before the end of 2005, assuming the dead 9-vots hold out that long ... ha ha ha ha... but seriously, hydrogen is the coolest... all hail the technology of the future!
I have always wondered this: Why is it that I can I balance myself on a bicycle perfectly while in motion, but not while stopped? Any physics majors out there reading this page? Feel free to enlighten me.
In other news, I have noticed recently that one of my favorite sites, The Hunger Site, has begun throwing pop-under ads at me when I visit their site... if you or anyone else you know happens to know how to get ahold of these guys, tel them this for me: "This is a pretty annoying way to show your appreciation for my donation of time, fellas... do us all a favor cut it out!"
...actually, I already learned it ... converting this site from HTML to XHTML was so utterly painles ... anyway, XHTML is the coolest ... I love it ... everyone should learn it. That's all I have to say for today.
On second thought, I lied. I'm not done ... I was 'surfing' today, and found this great quote by none other than famous author Mark Twain: "It is better to keep you mouth closed and to appear dumb than it is to open it and remove all doubt"
This weekend I went and hung out in Shiga prefecture with a bunch of friends... we ate some wicked omuraisu, played some frisbee on the beach of Lake Biwa, and saw this very nice sunset. All in all, a great weekend. I am also pretty jealous beacuse it looks like snow is going to start falling pretty soon out there, and here in Osaka, it doesn't snow at all. Michigan is like 20 degrees with 5-6 inches of snow right now ... I haven't seen snow in almost 2 years!!! I miss the snow!!!
This will be my first post after the drastic revision of my site ... How do you like it? Let me know.
In news: JOSH! Coming to an America near you, September 2003. Full details to follow, but just to keep my public "in the know" ...
So the funniest thing happened to me on the train the other day. I was jam packed into an Osaka city subway, and the two girls next to me (squished into me along with 3 other people) were making fun of the subway guy, who we could see because we were in the very last car, and I started laughing at whatever they were saying (hey, it was funny)... this totally blew them away that I could speak Japanese, and it took them a full 2 stops to finally accept the fact that it was possible ... sometimes I wonder about this country...
OK, I was browsing through some digital camera pictures that I had taken a while ago, and I found yet another Engrish T-shirt!!! Excitement, excitement ... that makes a total of 9 shirts for the December update.
8 new pictures have been added to the Engrish T-Shirts Section!!! Everything is now more exciting, and the world is a better, if not slightly funnier place for everyone. Enjoy-
Well, there's no central heating here in Japan. This means that I go in and out of about 30 different cold/hot places every day. It has finally taken its toll on my immune system, and I am sick for the time being. At least I think that's why I'm sick. Anyway, yuck.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The wierd thing is that this year, instead of eating turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and whatnot, I was enjoyed some ... raw fish? Yup, it was definately a very Japanese Thanksgiving. Well, in any case, it's already tomorrow here, and I have nothing more to write. Good night.
...is the name of the game here in the armpit of the universe. Actually, I have been spending some time outside of Mihara Town. This past weekend, I went on a little adventure to a place called Shigaraki, in Shiga Prefecture... if this is not a farmilliar place name to you, take a look at what they are famous for... that's right, stuff made of clay. Anyway, for about $20, you can sit around and make whatever you want out of clay, and they will fire it and glaze it and mail it to you when it's done. I'm pretty excited, maybe I'll put some cel-phone pics of what I made up here when it gets to me.
Today might be interesting ... the teacher that I usually team-teach with is out on a business trip, which leaves me to handle a room full of approximately 35 raging 14-year-old Japanese children ... in Japanese ... this should be a trip ... wish me luck
So I'm taller than pretty much everyone here in Japan ... This picture is what I see when I ride the last express train out of the city at night. It's really wierd to just look around and see the tops of people's heads ... but there are so many people packed into the train that I can't see their bodies!
I forgot to add a link to the folder with some sample sounds that were generated by the current version of my software. For some reason, I couldn't get winAmp to play these files(I probably screwed something up), but Windows Media Player, Quicktime, and iTunes on my Macintosh handled them just fine. Happy listening!
I am an insomniac and I have nothing better to do ... so I am writing a computer program that synthesizes an audio waveform, using a method called subtractive synthesis. It currently uses up to 32 harmonics, and can already generate sin waves, square waves, and the beginnings of saw waves, as well as apply variable-frequency amplitude modulation. The only thig I don't know how to do is write data directly to the suondcard, so I had to learn all about the .aiff file format, and write it all to a file(I had to fudge the IEEE 754 extended 80-bit floating point number :P ). If you're interested in owning a copy of this, or helping me develop it, email me and I would be more than happy to share the source code with you(written in C++, tested on a mac powerbook G4 but should compile anywhere because it doesn't use any OS specific functions).
My wishlist of features to add includes direct out put to the sound card, a few filters and whatnot, a sequencer ... and heaven forbid I actually stay up late enough to figure out how to build it a GUI...
I just got back from the most exciting weekend ... I was invited to stay over at one of my students' houses. It was so much fun, I definately reccomend doing a homestay if you're going to be spending any time abroad anytime soon -
If you are using a Macintosh with OS X, you need to download this!!! The Chimera web browser (it uses the same "rendering engine" as Mozilla, but in contrast is not huge and slow) is definately the fastest loading (and rendering) web browser I have used on a Macintosh so far. I'm very pleased. Especially since it does not barf at the sight of my <iframe>s experiment...
I have a new hat. It's from a store called ca4la. It's a Japanese store ... I can only assume that the name has something to do with California, but hey I could be way off. "Why," you might ask, "does Josh have a new hat?", to which I refer you to the post entitled "My Girlfriend is the Coolest".
This tasty snack can be bought at my local convenience store. It is called "Hamster's Lunch", and consists of little crackers in the shape of big orange sunflower seeds. It also comes with a little plastic model of one of 11 different types of hamsters. There's some great Engrish on the box, so I'll be putting a higher-resolution picture up in the Engrish section sometime soon too ...
Here in the armpit of the universe, I can almost never see the stars at night, probably owing to the fact that I live right near a giant highway (OK let's clarify that - it's a Japanese giant highway, which makes it about 4 lanes wide or so... they're small lanes and it has stoplights ... but anyway...). So I was riding home last night, and I looked up and saw the constellation Orion. But the wierd thing was, I noticed it was sideways... At home in Michigan, Orion's belt is just about horizontal, but here in Osaka it's almost a vertical line.
I made a little bulliten board system for the Magical Teachers Band Homepage with PHP and mySQL. I am also finally finished moving the site's internals from file i/o to a mySQL database. Or at least the English part is done ... oh well, chances are that if you're reading and understanding this then you won't be looking at the Japanese half anytime soon ...
I was going to go up to Shiga this week for a huge Halloween party, but now I'm not. Instead, I have orchestra rehearsal on Saturday, and band rehearsal on Sunday. Stay tuned to the Magical Teachers Band Homepage for more info.
This is a test of the new and improved journal update system. I just finished converting the whole contents of this journal to a mySQL database. PHP yanks the entries out of there now instead of the fudgy file i/o that I was using before. This will make reformatting a lot easier too when I finally get around to pushing that site update I've been talking about for so long ...
Yeah that's right, I said "heck". ha ha ,,, way to go 2nd grade, right? Anyway, this past weekend, I went to Wakayama city with Minori. It was so boring that we actually left after like 2 hours. Then we went north up to Shiga, where we hung out with some other friends, and went chestnut picking. Now I have this big pile of chestnuts in my kitchen, and I have no idea what to do with them. Any suggestions?
Well I did a little reworking of the internals of the site, mainly the script that actually does the grunt-work of updating my journal ... just testing it out, and the only picture from my cel phone that I happened to have handy was this one of me and my girlfriend ... hope this works!
I just downloaded Windows media player 9, and the download maxed out at about 620kb ... I'm in awe... Yahoo BB is the coolest!!!
We come to you live from the armpit of the universe, Mihara-town, where Josh Jacobson has just suscribed to Yahoo BB. I just did some downloads at 280 kb/sec, needless to say I'm a very happy camper this afternoon.
So today in English class, my kids were writing letters to their penpals. This was their first batch of letters, so they had to write their names, birthdys, et cetera on them. About halfway through class, one kid raised his hand asked the teacher "How old am I?"... at first we thought that he just didn't know how to say "I'm 14 years old" in English, but as it turns out, he actually didn't know. We had to ask him his birthday (which he thankfully remembered) and figure it out (as it turns out, kids in Japanese 8th grade are either 13 or 14 with no exceptions). I never met anyone that stupid back in America... please tell me this is not normal ... I would like to find that guy who started the rumor about Japanese kids all being super academic and bring him to my junior high school for just one day...
Today my school had its field day. I was impressed at the amount of preparation that went into it- they even had a full dress rehearsal yesterday... This was nothing like American field days, they divided the whole school into three colors, and each color had a little dance routine that they did as a cheering contest, et cetera. I think the most interesting event was one called "bou taoshi" (knocking over the pole), in which two teams of about 15 kids each get a bamboo pole about 15 feet tall, and a flag to put on the top of it. They have to stand the pole up, and then whichever team can take the flag off of the other team's pole wins. This event was pretty greusome, I was shocked that nobody was severely injured during it.
In other news, The Magical Teachers Band is at it again! We have a concet on the 2nd of November ... get ready for Josh's Elvis impersonation...
OK, some good news and some bad news ... first of all, the pictures of my from the concert turned out all dark and yuck ... so my John Lennon impersonation will have to go unappreciated by the internet public. If you really want to see the teeny dark picture of me in a long hair wig and an "I love NY" t-shirt, email me and I'll send you a copy.
In other, much much happier news, joshjacobson.net will undergo a complete design overhaul sometime in the near future. Get ready! If you want, you can see my progress here. Let me know if you have any comments on the new layout!
What would you do if it is thrown out in the different solid dimension space? No, I haven't gone totally nuts ... I just found the motherload of t-shirts with wacky Japanese "Engrish" on them ... check them out in the Engrish T-shirts Section ... happy reading!
the concert went really well, and I'll be posting the funniest picture ever of me in a John Lennon suit sometime later on ...
Aah... life is exciting again. Not only am I going out for Indian food tonight, I am going to buy a couch. This wonderful 2.5-seater will make my life here in Japan complete. I think that having a sofa is really one of the only things I miss from home (in terms of stuff at least). You can see a picture of my new sofa here.
This saturday was supposed to be another rehearsal for the concert on Monday, but I'm ditching out to go party in Shiga, my very favorite place. This time it will be fun with barbecue; watch out for Josh behind the wheel of some fantastic scheme to cook something or another ... see you all on Monday!
That's right ... and I'm very proud of myself today for having finally played through the whole tenor sax part of A Night In Tunisia. The Mihara Wind Orchestra will be performing with the Mihara Nishi JHS band on the 16th at 2:00, call or email me if you need directions. Other songs we're playing include some Japanese animation theme songs like Rupan the 3rd and a medley from some movies I haven't seen, a Beatles medley (that's right, I will be wearing a John Lennon costume), a wacky Ultraman medley, and the super-wacky Japanese arrangement of "My Favorite Things" (Look out for Josh on the drumset!). Get the feeling that these guys like to play medleys?
I can never remember if I'm spelling the word "rehearsal" right ... in fact, maybe I just misspelled it twice ... I don't know. Anyway, here I am at school on a saturday, about to rehearse for a couple of hours. This morning was the rehearsal for the the student orchestra, and since I'm still pretty bad at the saxophone I went to that too. This was a mistake because now I'm exhausted and my lip is blown out for the day ... oh well, wish me luck for 2 more hours. And could someone please email me and let me know if I spelled that word right? that would just make my whole entire day... thanks
This will be my very first post from my new computer, a 500mHz G3-powered Apple iBook. Since I am so cute, I named it "jBook". I pretty much like it already - the battery lives for a long time, it`s decently fast, and within the first 2 hours of being connected to the internet, I already had the "BSD Subsystem" running Apache, PHP4, and MySQL ... so now I can check my email and write web pages ... everything I did with Windows and Linux combined ... I guess the only things I`m going to miss are the frequent crashes of Windows, and the constant loss/premature greying of my hair due to stressful overexposure to Linux`s geek-rays ...
...I`m Ho-ome! Yeah that`s the text version of my killer Ricky Ricardo impersonation. Anyway, I`m back in Japan, safely, after a harrowing 13 hours in the air above the northern Pacific Ocean. You can look forward to seeing me play the tenor saxophone and the drum set at the Mihara Wind Orchestra concert on the 16th of September, and in great news I`m headed back to my favorite school on the 2nd to teach for a semester. This will be the last time I teach there so it`s going to be a little sad, but I`m looking forward to it anyway. Stay tuned for last year`s "The most interesting thing I`ve ever done" writing contest results...
... is tomorrow ... I have to get on a plane and fly back to Japan. As you may know, I hate hate hate airplanes and flying. I'm talking "hysterical" ... cross your fingers everyone ... see you in Japan-
I am Mario. I like to jump around, and would lead a fairly serene and aimless existence if it weren't for my friends always getting into trouble. I love to help out, even when it puts me at risk. I seem to make friends with people who just can't stay out of trouble. Which Video Game Character Are You?
Today, nothing interesting is going up on this site. You're just going to have to deal with it.
Right now, I am hanging out in my freind Nate's apartment in Spanish Harlem in New York City. Everything is wonderful. An interesting side note about NYC is that they get all of their water here from some lovely natural place somewhere in upstate New York, so even though I am afraid to touch banisters on staircases and handrails in the subways, I may very well be drinking some of the cleanest water available ... aaahh ...
Well folks, I'm off to the Big Apple. No, I don't mean big like all the rest of the food here in America, I mean big like New York City! I just can't seem to get enough of driving around the country on this trip ... at least I don't have to go through customs!
I'm in Canada! 4 friends and I drove all day yesterday to a little teeny cabin out in the Canadian wilderness. I have not seen so many stars in a very long time. Today we're going to sit around and do nothing, enjoy the wilderness, and maybe eat some good ol' Canadian food. This is exciting.
The last thing I thought I was going to see on my relaxing trip home was the inside of an American emergency room ... I proved to be wrong though... stupid me tripped over my own shoe
Yeah I'm back in America now, driving on the right side of the road, eating food that's too big, etc. etc. ... If I know you, and I am going to see you after I go back to Japan, email me if you want me to bring back anything -
Well here I am at Kansai International Airport, waiting to get on an airplane that will either be taking me to A)My firey death somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, or B)Detroit Metro Airport. If I make it home alive, I think the first thing I`m going to do is eat some good old greasy American Chinese food ... ha ha this is the only thing I can think of to eat after being in Japan for a year...
In other news, Planet Josh celebrated it`s 1-year anniversary of being in Japan today, interestingly enough it`s also the day I go home. Wish me luck...
As part of my quest to further my understanding of Japanese culture, I went to a Pachinko parlor. This was a great deal of fun, expecially considering that I royally kicked it`s ass and walked away with cold hard cash and a smile. Pachinko is an interesting phenomenon, because gambling is illegal here in Japan. So instead of winning money at the pachinko parlor, you trade in the little balls that you win for plastic tokens, or trinkets, or something of the like. On a very surreal yet interesting note, the pachinko parlor that I went to also threw in a 1:18 scale model of a Honda motorcycle and a little coconut flavored cookie. I have yet to decipher their respective meanings. The cookie was pretty good though. Back to the point, you take the little tokens or trinkets that you won, and right as you walk out the door of the parlor, there is a convenient window where a man who really wants to buy plastic tokens or trinkets is sitting. You give them to him, and he gives you back some cash. No words are exchanged in this process. It`s all very very odd. Very, very odd.
Osaka, Japan - Yesterday marked the first day in what may turn out to be a long drawn out conflict, as Planet Josh's self-proclaimed monarch, high ruler and webmaster Josh Jacobson officially signed documents declaring war on the cockroach population of the Kitano Heights apartment building. In a brief interview after the first initiative of 5 roach motels were covertly deployed throughout the apartment, Jacobson was quoted as saying "We here on Planet Josh are going to do everything in our power to rid ourselves of these little rat bastards". Further bullitens as events warrant.
Yeah, that's right, look out ... Josh is driving! I finally got behind the wheel of a car the other day, while I was camping up in Shiga Prefecture with some friends. So I haven't driven in about 11 months, it's been just about a year since I drove a manual transmission, and the first thing I had to do when I got into the car was start off in reverse, then go into first up a hill. This was traumatic, especially since everyone was staring at me. But, I made it allright, and my first driving adventure ensued. Driving in Japan is great because the roads are really thin and nobody konws who is going to pull over so that the other person can pass through. Kind of like "chicken", but this happens all the time. It's normal... Oh dear ... anyway, I'm safe for now, still a little bit shaken from driving on the "wrong side of the road" (the left side), but allright.
Today was the end of the semster ceremony, also my last official day teaching at my school for the summer (I still have to go to work, I just don't teach classes anymore). As of September 2nd, I'll be back at the first school, Mihara Nishi Junior High School, which I am looking forward to returning to.
Back to today, I played in my very first concert as a "saxophonist". The brass band club and I performed a cheesy middle school band song called "song of the prarie". It was great fun! The next concert I'll play the saxophone in will happen on September 16th, somewhere in Mihara.
So I've just spent all my money on a plane ticket... it looks like I'll be flying into Detroit on August 5th, and I'll be home until August 27th. This is good and bad, because I seem to have the world's worst irrational fear of flying. We'll see how I look after 13 hours in an airplane... wish me luck
The other day started out pretty normal. I woke up, went to work, taught some English classes, played the saxophone after school... little did I know that my small fragile sphere of reality was to be mercilessly shattered. Upon returning home, I was greeted in my doorway by none other than animals in mid-coitus. Real live Japanese animal porn. And the animals? None other than my bestest of friends, Blatta Orientalis. Fortunately, I was quick with the bottle of dish soap, and the happy cockroach population of Mihara is down by 2. Although I do remember hearing somewhere that for every cockroach you see, there are 40 more living in your walls ...
Still wanna come visit me in Japan?
Yes it was time to rock and roll again... I spent last weekend in Niigata prefecture with my friend Michael, rockin' it out at a concert we put on for the "Tanabata Festival", a Japanese holiday on July 7th. This concert was great, we performed in big store, and a bunch of people came. Songs we played included "summertime", "I can't help falling in love with you" (gosh I don't know the actual title of that Elvis song... we played a little up-beat version of it), "Oye como va" (we made the audience play along, it was great!), and etc. etc. ...
They told me there was going to be someone recording the concert, but it turns out there wasn't. I didn't take pictures because they said it was being recorded. So we're waiting on someone to mail me prints ...
A new record low in the Japanese education system was recorded earlier this morning at Mihara Junior High School in Osaka, Japan, when during class, one of my students actually took out a razor and started shaving her arms and legs. I remain in a state of shock. Passing notes, pocket video games, cell phones ... been there, done that ... This one is certainly new.
This weekend I went "camping" up in Shiga prefecture. On the way to the campsite, we stopped at this place which boasted "fresh ice cream". Little did we know how fresh it really was. We're talking like "out of the cow straight to the cone" fresh ice cream. It was certainly a unique taste, indescribable in terms of American ice cream. I'm not the ice cream connoisseur or anything ... Here is a picture of the baby cow I made friends with.
Anyway, camping was a blast, we rented a "bungalow" for an evening, which turned out to be this luxury resort style place, complete with a bathroom/shower, refrigerator and air conditioner, and additional 2nd floor sleeping loft ... something tells me thatwww.webster.com would disagree with this loose interperatation of the word...
joshjacobson.net is proud to present to the entire world.... the first official joshjacobson.net online chatroom!!! Now all of us joshjacobson.net fans can gather and chat. Aren't you happy?!
By the way, you may also want to go look at the original website of the chat program, Clatter v1.04. Happy chatting!
***Editor's note - the chat room no longer exists, so this link has been deactivated
Here's a picture of some random English (this is from a garbage can I found somewhere in Osaka city), and a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald:
"I was reminded of someting - an elusive rythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man's, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound, and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicatable forever."
Right now I am working on a computer class in my school. It's pretty interesting, my students seem to be having a good time too.
I am on the team for the Osaka Survival Guide. Email me if you have any good ideas or anything!
I went to a rock climbing gym on saturday! It was a blast, I haven't been climbing in years. This place is in Osaka, and it's two stories of walls walls walls ... and most of the whole place is padded with huge gymnastics mats, so you can just boulder around and fall off wherever you want. I managed to get to the top a few times, and jumping down about 3 meters was really fun!
This wednesday is the JET program re-contracting ALT conference (assistant language teacher), so I'll be in Kobe until friday, and the on the weekend I'll be camping in Fukui prefecture with some friends. Expect some more pictures soon, too-
You guessed it ... the trombone I was using at school has been snatched by a new first-year student... so I'm on the the Bb (B-flat) tenor sax! It's a very exciting time here on planet Josh. I worked out my school schedule so that I get the music room all to myself at least one hour a day to practice ... if I manage to miraculously grow some talent in a short amount of time I'll post some sound files on this page. In the meantime, I'm spending most of my time online here at this site: www.saxlessons.com. This is the coolest site ever. I also joined an online saxaphone forum. That's all my news for today.
Oh yeah, I was in a rock concert... check it out in the band section
Camping in Japan is great! First of all, you can just pull your car over anywhere you feel like and pitch a tent. Second of all, if there's firewood lying around, you can just go ahead and build a fire wherever you feel like. This system has a very interesting side-effect: If you walk around in a beautiful nature-type place for long enough, you're bound to run into a bunch of burned-out fire pits. ha ha. It's kind of funny, and kind of sad at the same time.
So anyway, I went camping on friday night with some teachers from my old school, we had a good time, sat around outside, burned some stuff. It was a good time. Unfortunately, we went by car, and since this weekend was "golden week" (4 holiday days right in a row), the whole rest of the country was out on the roads... it took us 4 1/2 hours to get there and only about an hour and 45 minutes to get back. But let me tell you it was worth it, Nara prefecture is one heck of a beautiful place (minus the burnt-out fire pits all over the place).
Possibly the most interesting thing that happened while we were out in the nature was this: We had noticed some guys up on a scaffolding working on the mountainside near us, and didn't think much of it. Sometime around the time we were eating dinner, one of these construction guys walked up to our little campsite, and struck up a conversation. It turns out that they were working on the mountain because it was collapsing, little by little. "It moves a few millimeters every day, and it's going to collapse right into this valley if what we're doing doesn't work." So as you may guess, they wanted us to move our tent. "Nah, it's all the way over *here*", remarked one of the teachers, so we stayed. What a thrilling adventure it was (nothing happened; the mountain was still there in the morning). So, that's my big adventure story.
Ok, this is what you've all been waiting for. The most interesting thing I've ever done, ever. Check it out: The story of a boy and his potato
Guaranteed to soon be a best-seller, this warm and touching story has already brightened the days of probably ... oh, at least 4 or 5 people. Don't you feel lucky that you can be the 6th? Well what are you waiting for?! click on the link and start reading the story already!
Today is band practice. The magical teacher`s band will rise again... be sure to check us out on Saturday, May 11th. We`ve decided to play "Shima Uta", an Okinawan song, "Ryuukyuu Aika", by the Japanese band MONGOL 800 (Japanese site only), and some other songs, as of yet undecided, possibly including Josh himself butchering some of the vocals for a song or two. Stay tuned for more news.
This is exciting. I might be on national television. There's a show here called Let's go to school (Japanese site only), that goes around to different schools and gets some of the kids to yell stuff off the roof of the school. An interesting concept... free talent. In any case, they came to my school today, and I got to yell off the roof - 13 kids (including me) got to go, but only 6 or 7 will actually be on TV, so we'll see what happens. I'll record it and put the video up on this site if I'm actually on.
In other news, tonight was the welcome-going away party for teachers at my school (the Japanese school year starts in April), and we got to eat this poor animal over here on the right(it's a duck). But as a consolation, we ended up going to this crazy karaoke place afterward and singing for a while. Karaoke in Japan is the greatest, they don't have it in bars all out in the open like in America, they've got little rooms that you rent out, it's wild!
Now I'm all excited about this phone-picture thing. Here's one of me and Erik, adventuring our way around the Kansai area sometime last autumn. Yes, that is a purple towel wrapped around my forehead. No, I don't remember why. More Erik stuff can be found at this fine website.
There is a digital camera built into my cellular phone. How cool is that? Here's a picture that I took when I visited Shiga prefecture. It's part of a sign, which warns would-be lake swimmers to be careful in the water.
The "Magical Teacher's Band" is at it again. This time, we'll be playing at the Koinobori Festival in Mihara, on May 11th. If you don't know where that is and you want to come, email me and I'll give you directions. Also, be on the look out for the Official Magical Teacher's Band Homepage to be completed soon at a joshjacobson.net near you!
Welcome to the new and improved joshjacobson.net, personal homepage of yours truly, Josh Jacobson. There's not much here to see right now, but at least I'm finally done with the new layout and I have begun the claymation section as well. Be on the lookout for my adventures in Japan, and pictures from my cellular phone, coming soon.
Enjoy! And feel free to email me