Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #8

without a hat
a winter rain falls on me
so what

kasa mo naki
ware o shigururu ka
ko wa nanto


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, February 12, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #7

in the saddle
the small boy rides
an uprooted radish

kuratsubo ni
ko bozu noru ya
daikon hiki


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, February 05, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #6

banked fire
on the wall a shadow
of the guest

uzumi-bi ya
kabe ni wa kyaku no


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Confidential Noir

I don't play a lot of computer games. I own a lot of computer games (mostly due to the amazing Humble Bundle service). With the passing of time, other competing interests and responsibilities have come to dominate my time. Family, work, books, movies; there are a lot of things that I find more worthwhile than computer games, most of the time. That said, however, I do find a particular style of game very appealing and interesting, which is the linear, narrative, single-player game. Some games are very linear (most Mario games), some have strong narratives (Zelda, anyone?), and there are many that are only for one player. But until I find all these virtues in one game, that game fails to tempt me. In this vein, then, one of my all-time favorite games is L.A. Noire. (No, I don't know why they added the "e".)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #5

a jar cracks
awakened from sleep
in a night of frost

kame waruru
yori no kori
mezame kana


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Movies in 2017

Turns out I watched a lot of movies last year. I'm fairly confident that it was more than I usually watch in a year, but since I've never kept track before, I can't say that with confidence. I do know that I read a lot fewer books than once was customary. The effort I made to watch and return my Netflix DVDs was consciously greater than before.

In any event, the list of movies watched has 175 entries and 173 distinct movies. (Not rewatching more than two is certainly unusual for me.) Because I use Movie Lens I have ratings on their 5 star scale for each film I watched. The movies I had seen before averaged about 3.6 out of 5 and the new movies were 2.8 out of 5. This fits pretty well; folks would be less inclined to watch a movie again if they didn't like it well the first time and watching new movies can be hit or miss. Herewith, some thoughts on the movies.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #4

today is the day
people grow older
first wintry shower

kyo bakiri
hito no toshi yore
hatsu shigure


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #3

building a bridge
between snow-covered mountains
white egrets

Hira Mikami
yuki sashiwatase
sagi no hashi


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, January 08, 2018

Weekly Basho Haiku #2

more reassuring
than in a dream
the real hawk

yume yori no
utsutsu no taka zo


Translated by Jane Reichhold

Monday, January 01, 2018

Weekly Basho Posts

I'm going to be posting a weekly Basho haiku on the blog here each Monday in 2018. I've sampled these few poems from a book of his complete haiku translated and edited by Jane Reichhold. It's a great book with a lot of supplementary material as well. If there are errors in the Japanese transcriptions I'm placing below her English translations (or errors in the English, for that matter) it is entirely my fault and not hers and they probably crept in while I was typing the posts. If something seems off, drop me a line using the contact form below on the right. Rest assured, your e-mail will only be used for possibly e-mailing you back and for selling to Russian hackers. Hope you enjoy them.

Weekly Basho Haiku #1

in the night
meeting a thief who also stole
the end of the year

musubito ni
ota yo mo ari
toshi no kure

~ Basho

Translated by Jane Reichhold

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Beer and the Search for Novelty

I've updated the beer list linked at the top of the blog. But I've hit a wall, to a degree. I don't want to set myself up as some sort of beer expert, because I most certainly am not. But at this point there aren't many styles of beer I haven't tried. (Most of them would be in the lager family since I don't really have a fondness for those.) And the novelty aspect is beginning to be limited to things like the ridiculous Rogue/Voodoo Doughnut collaborations. This isn't to say that I don't find beers like Abyss or Helldorado to be delicious. They are delightful. But they are also much of a muchness. The different Abyss vintages are subtly different, but not so much so that one needs to really try them all. If you have had a few, then you have the idea and while I'd suggest enjoying them when they cross your path, there's probably no point for someone like me to seek them out. At this point it's just checking boxes or finding ways to brag.

This isn't going to keep me from updating the list, nor looking for new beers I haven't had, but I think the joy of the search has worn off a bit and I need to find something else to interest me in terms of searching out some new experiences. Whiskey, perhaps?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mixing Up Metaphors About Muggles

If you don't want to read the Harry Potter books, I think it's fine. (I only read them to check on their suitability for my children.) But if you haven't read a book, you probably ought not to make part of it the central metaphor of your unrelated opinion piece. You run the risk of misunderstanding and then you make a hash of your point inadvertently.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Authorial Chutzpah

It seems like Patrick Rothfuss and George RR Martin have a one-upsmanship fight going about how badly they can abuse their fans without alienating them all.

George: I can make them wait more than 6 years for a book.
Pat: I can make them wait more than 7.
G: I can make them wait more than 20 years for the story to end.
P: I can start a TV series based on my trilogy before I've finished.
G: I can have my TV series pass the books and spoil the plot.
P: I can sell 10th Anniversary editions of my first book without any hint of the third book being ready.
G: Ooh, good one.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sexual Apologia

It no longer surprises, but it still disappoints that The Federalist writes a sympathetic brief for sexual immorality on the occasion of Hugh Hefner's death. They are, after all, the publication that went ahead and published articles on defense of prostitution and polyamory. What's a defense of a pornographer after that?

EDIT: Joe Carter is in the breach, yet again saying what needs to be said.