Tuesday, November 30, 2004

More PDA fanaticism

I wonder if there is a device out there that would allow my PDA to hook up to a computer and then the computer see my PDA (or at least the SD card) as a drive, sounds like a little thing but an example of its usefulness would be say documents. Documents to go is a pretty nifty program that allows one to sync and edit Word documents in its own format or in native word format, this could come in handy say if I have a document at home that I put on my PDA, edit whenever I have a inspirational brain fart, and then put on the computer at work to edit further (lets face it, scrawling more than notes on a PDA [even one like me trusty Treo90 that has a built in QWERTY keyboard] is cumbersome, especially for final edits), it would be like a CD/floppy/flash drive that I could edit/view the things on when I wanted… I am sure it exists but finding it isn’t always so easy.

Is the US becoming Russia?

With all the cabinet shuffling it is beginning to feel like what Putin has been doing (and has been denounced for), changing government to work your way, not necessarily the people’s way. While Bush’s changing of cabinet members wasn’t as drastic if you compare Russia’s government maturity to the US then perhaps Bush’s moves are bigger. He got rid of (yeah that’s debatable but in the case of Powell I heard it said that “yeah, he didn’t ask Powell to leave… but he didn’t ask him to stay either”) practically all the dissenting voices that I am betting he initially picked so he would be perceived as a more open man of the people, are now more or less gone; now he has surrounded himself with yes-men to blow sunshine up his ass every time he wants to declare war, watch out N. Korea!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Podcasting, the good, the interesting, and the give it up…

I have been trying out Podcasting, I love it. Actually I think this post is perhaps a bit after the fact since I have mentioned it in earlier posts but not expounded on it. Anywho, I have been trying out different episodes/broadcasts and have discovered that there are those shows that are good, usually done by people with an entertainment (reporters, writers, etc) background; those that may or may not have a reporting type background, don’t sound really professional but have *really* interesting stuff (Engadget); and those that sound like a bunch of pimply teenagers rambling between tokes. That is *not* to say any of the above should give it up (keep on tok’n fellas) the right to put your voice out there for ego inflation (Hell, that’s why I have a blog), or genuinely wanting to inform the public is fundamental. So far I have found about 6 shows I really like. Engadget, The Daily Source Code (by Adam Curry, the god father of podcasting and online broadcasting/blogging/etc), brainwagon, Future Tense, Jimmy Jett, Treo Podcast, Slashdot Review, IT Conversations, and Tokyo Calling. I am sure I will come across more but with time…

Sunday, November 28, 2004

WinAmp Lives?

Well, I'm confused, apparently winamp lives, the letter that they put up didn't sound really encouraging (the talk about being "slimmer" than they normally are). But anyway, they live, perhaps for another few versions (hopefully no 3.x repeats though)

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Time Update...

Doh!! ok, just came across the option that lets you specify what time zone you are in... So i guess that previous post about time is now moot. I changed the settings, situation resolved (doooh...)


It just occured to me that the times that are automaticly posted are wildly off... or set for somewhere in the US, well i am the early to bed type and do not stay up to insane (ok, reality I am the minority) hours. At the moment, whereever you are, just think Italian time (for the time being, different day different place for some of us).

TV advertising, FCC, RSS, & bit torrent…

I recently found out about podcasting, I love it and as a result I have also found out about bittorrent and RSS (which kinda seems to be bigger than podcasting, at least in terms of applications). There was a lot of talk about legality, the FCC even had a recent ruling that would cover advertising (actually it could cover tons of things electronic) etc and how tv networks would start clamping down like the RIAA and MPAA are and suing downloaders. Now I don’t have a solution for the RIAA but the TV networks and MPIAA could just put more advertisements in the programming. This is done all the time in movies anyway, I notice it only a small fraction of the time, and for TV networks they get almost all their money via advertising so why not? They might even make more since they would be increasing the number of ways to get their programming out; why shouldn’t that work?

Friday, November 26, 2004

Tech Goodies in Florence

Just got back from two weeks of running all over the place (well it felt like it) the first of which was Florence (then London, then Hamburg, then Düsseldorf… whew), nice town, beautiful architecture… rip off prices. I think I have gotten spoiled with (kinda) knowing my way around in Rome and knowing good-for-cheap places to eat… argh.

Anyway lots to see there, about $9 to see David in all his well hung glory, but here I try to focus more on tech, and tech there was (though not when I needed it most, like running around with my friend while she shopped [for shoes/purses/jackets… no gizmo store for me]) at two of the exhibits.

I looked around on the web for a mention of these features but found nada (could be something out there in Italian, I used English).

Medici Palace meets Minority Report
There was a cool exhibit in an ok site the Medici Palace. It was a huge screen (something like 2x4m) that had a cone you stood under and about 2 webcam looking things pointed at you while you watched, the cool (at least in concept) part was that to pick something on the screen you wanted to listen to or to go to the next screen you used your hands, pointing at the option you wanted, kinda like Minority Report without the 3D holograms. It did work but not that well, i had to do a lot of waving around to get the desired result, perhaps it requires more practice…

3D of David
The second not-nearly-as-cool-but-what-the-hey thing was at the exhibit of David, they had 3D images of David which you could rotate around looking at every aspect of him (probably did more for the women and true art lovers than it did for me).

The Transition...

Its kinda sad, not like seeing WinAmp die, or having to use M$... well maybe like the having to us M$. Bloglines got me started with blogging, or I started with bloglines, not sure why I picked that over blogger the first time, perhaps the blogroll feature (but i mostly use Kinja.com)... my memory fades from minute to minute. But after using blogger, it is kinda nice, and seems to be more customizable than bloglines… so I find myself switching. No worries, for all two of you that read this with any regularity blogger has the option to set the date/time of a post so I will eventually transfer my stuff over to this site (blogger). Farewell bloglines, and thanks.

Monday, November 15, 2004


Just read an interview with the Skype CEO, its pretty interesting (Skype in general) but I liked his commentary on regulation of VoIP.

“The phone market was regulated so that customers get good service and also to enable fair competition in a monopolistic arena. Voice over IP should not be regulated because there is no monopoly. Today, millions of people and teenagers in particular aren’t getting land lines, they’re getting mobile phones and Internet connections. The phone companies are clinging to old business models rather than transforming themselves into services companies and reducing operational expenses by using the Internet. Soon, most of us will be using the Internet for voice communication, and the idea of charging for that makes as much sense as charging for email or for using a Web browser.”

Bravo! That makes sense to me, but then again I am not a telecom.

And now Siemens has come out with an adapter that has the skype software on it so you can hook up their phone and use skype via their phones.

Peace Corps in the Middle East?

I recently read a story about having the PC in the Middle East. Having suffered through 2 years of the PC myself (most of the real suffering came from asinine PC exclusionism [of local staff], in-country and Washington bureaucracy, and American staff protecting other American staff [that should have been jailed]) I am sceptical at best. The main mission of course is to help teach English, business, environment etc but they told us all the time that another large component was helping people know “Americans”.

Not sure how much it actually helps though. Here, in Italy, the perception of many Americans is a bit skewed, and I think the Italians are pretty nice about it. A case in point happened to me the other day; I was having problems with a database search so I went to the librarian/it department in fisheries to see if I could get some help. They had no idea why I was having all the trouble, even after watching me do it. I grumbled “its some sort of divine conspiracy” and on of them said “well, your American” my weak retort was “and I didn’t even vote for Bush”, his reply was “It doesn’t matter”. That was a bit sobering; he was joking but as a Moldovan once told me, “there is a bit of truth to every joke”. Most people in the world will see me as “American – one of those that support Bush” when in truth I voted and put the word out to purge Washington of the Bush dynasty (a lesson in manic frustration).

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Death of WinAmp

Today was kind of sad, I saw an article about the downhill slide of Winamp.

I have been a winamp user for a long time; long long time. I was a bit frustrated with version 3.0 but up until version 3.0 it rocked and version 5.x is great (albeit much slower than the 2.x and earlier iterations). Now, they have announced that there will be no more major updates... that is sad, it was a handy bit of software. In truth I can’t think of a piece of software that has as much functionality as WinAmp. Of course there is iTunes but it only has a fraction of the options that winamp has (more than 75% of which I use on a regular basis).

I would be *really* interested to hear from anyone who has used WinAmp *and* another MP3 player and prefers the other player (that is, why do you think the other player is comparable) since I will probably be in the market for a new player at some point.

Doc Serl's commentary, sobering.

Its kind of an article within an article. Doc comments on an article, he disagrees with it but I found myself agreeing with both sides. Its not a bush bashing article per'se its more of a “this is what is wrong and why the Dems lost.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Give in to the dark side or No?

It comes down to BenQ PocketPC phone vs Treo650 vs HTC Blue Angel and yes, anything that has M$ stuff on it is part of the Darkside to me.

I have drooled over the Treo line for awhile, I have a Treo90 (antique by todays computer standards [and does not have phone capabilities]). Each generation keeps getting cooler and cooler… but the guys making PocketPC phones are catching up. For me one of the main selling points was the keyboard, after trying it out I now can barely tolerate graffiti (which I still have to do on occasion since the keys on my Treo90 are not backlight so I can’t “type” for sh*t in the dark). But the PocketPC guys are coming out with phones that really seem to trump the Treo600 (and its upcoming sibling the Treo650). I have used both OSs before and can attest that the PalmOS is just plain better suited to PDA/Smarthphone platforms than PocketPCbut while ease of use is big it ain’t everything. Functionality goes along way, plus, some of the applications I use the most (like Agendus is available on both OSs


  • Software availability? (I still think the PalmOS has a ton more software, and lots of freeware stuff)

Advantages of both of these PocketPC smarthphones over the newest (Treo650) are as follows (and if I am wrong please enlighten me):
  • WiFi
  • 1+megapixel camera (ok that’s only the BenQ phone)
  • Play media files natively (w/o having to convert them to some palm format)
  • Native predictive text
  • Faster/Beefier processor
  • More onboard memory

The processor beef, native playback/viewing of media files, and the WiFi are pretty big to me. Having to convert files over to some other format so it will play/view (PalmOS) sounds awfully Sony-esqe to me (though I believe there are technological reasons not the proprietary bullying/egocentrism that Sony suffers from). Softswitching between VoIP and regular calls (or even “hard switching”), along with using my smartphone as a remote from anywhere in the house are two big WiFi uses that I would sorely miss. Playing movies, loading up pictures, editing files etc, those require processor power and I am hurting with my Treo90 but I hear that the Treo650s processor will still be comparatively wimpy. Memory, yeah I could (and probably would) get a one or 2 gig SD card but geeze I would like to be able to keep the apps on the PDA and the docs/backups on the card, no techno-reasoning there, just personal preference.

Firing the godfather of public radio, Bob Edwards

I seem to be a “bit” behind; while I knew bob Edwards was going (has gone?) to XM radio (best of luck!) I didn’t know he was forced out of NPR! Its like firing Walter Cronkite!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

That can’t be right, can it?

Not that I have a problem with it but an Engadget article says that streaming music and video is a bigger motivation than sharing broadband connections for people considering setting up home networks? Most people I know can barely setup a network not to mention conceptualize streaming music/video to some other home device. Home automation ranked pretty high too, are we all turning Japanese? Oh well, whatever the reason, its all gravy to me.

Truth in journalism

Saw an article from a temp that is working for NPR, I have heard the kind of stuff she said over and over but for some reason this article made me want to scream; not because I disagreed but because it really resonated with me. It made me kinda understand more what Jon Stewart meant when he railed those fake news guys earlier. We don’t hear real news anymore, matter a fact much of the “news” we see and hear nowadays through traditional channels (TV/Radio) strikes me as crap, not because it doesn’t sound good, it actually sounds better (these *are* professionals) but because it is censored, streamlined, and generic-a-fied for the public. I also believe this administration is perpetuating the phenomenon with all its I-don’t-need-your-permission-or-approval/closed-door type actions.

I have been learning about podcasting over the past week, its pretty cool but one neat thing about it was how it is totally uncensored. The down side is that it can sound unprofessional (No, I am not referring to swearing, couldn’t care less about that) or be untrustworthy... though I am finding mainstream media to be just as untrustworthy.

Monday, November 08, 2004


This is a Ag meets Tech meets Culture thought. I was reading and article talking about monocultures in the Tech world, referring mainly to MS. I had never thought of it that way. Yes, I grudgingly admit that programs like Opera and FireFox have just as many bugs (security and otherwise) as IE but they aren’t nearly as obvious because they are the minority and minority flaws aren’t noticed as much/often because there just aren’t as many people using/hacking them.

The monoculture being “bad” (though cases can be made for it being good, personally think it is more bad than good but whatever) carries over into Agriculture as well. The huge animal production farms or crop places have problems with infections. If an infection sets in it spreads like wild fire because there are all [insert ag commodity] close together, it’s a pathogenic dream/nightmare (depending on if you are the farmer or the pathogen), if polycultures are done then the spread of infections are stemmed, and if some loss takes place there is still the other commodity (in polyculture systems) to fall back on.

And then there are cultures, or societies. I am probably a bit biased having grown up in the US but I was always amazed (much more in developing countries) at how culturally ignorant many people were, many times they were (for example) racist, basing their ideologies on movies. They absolutely would not accept any other foods and being tolerable (palatable) all of this made them less accepting of change (coming from outside influences); and to me change is inevitable, if you don’t learn how to accept/embrace it you will drown.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Americanization or Homogenization?

I hear complaints about the US all the time, imperialism, invasive capitalism, exportation of our culture etc all of which is feeding a fire of resentment against the US (whose flames are wildly fanned, by Gee Dubbya [more like fed with trash bags of petrol]).

But I wonder, is it all the US or perhaps, in part, a natural progression of modernization?

There are similarities between the expansion of many great empires. Aztecs, Egyptians, Chinese, they all came up with huge structures, writing (ok, not sure about
Aztecs for the writing part), art etc. now admittedly the structures were different, as was the art, and language but in a way they all became more similar as they modernized, even without influence from other cultures. Is it possible that as we become more and more modern we will become more and more similar? And that is not just one culture being invaded by another?

While I am sure there are about 100 ways my line of reasoning is flawed think about this: There are few instances where people are forced into taking on "American" lifestyles. Of course it could be said that there are all sorts of subtle ways that people are "made" to eat at McDonalds etc, ok, could be. But what about the copy cat places, those businesses that have come from American ideas (say Fast food) that are not owned by *any* American interests? We didn't start some of those fast food places, don't fund them, in some cases loath them (maybe for taking the idea?) but people are going to those places the same as they go to McDonalds.

Exporting our culture? In some cases yeah sure, record companies want to make more so they try to sell stuff over seas (though other countries try to do the same, its capitalism) but then the big supermarket, like PAM in Italy, I don't think it is American but I have been lectured by some Italians how we exported the big supermarket here... if the first large supermarket in Italy was American owned then ok I might believe it (and in truth I don't know one way or another) but until then.

PS I don't necessarily believe the above, but the thoughts crossed my mind, in truth I really just don't know.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Gee Dubya the pawn

The Bin Laden tape about how his plan was to bleed the US, with bush’s ignorance it won’t be hard for bin laden to succeed. It amazes me that people voted for bush based on his economic or “wartime leader” or “economic” platforms.

"The Digestible Aggie" is up!

"The Digestible Aggie" is up!
Yeah that title took me awhile, I'm not that original and at first it was going to be the “Agricultural Digest” (while I am not creative I can't settle for regular names). I haven't seem many agricultural weblogs out there, not many ag sites in general, so I thought I would try to make an ag weblog myself, thus the birth of "The Digestible Aggie". There is a two fold purpose here: #1 To fill a niche in the blog-o-sphere and #2 To try out my blogger.com account. Of course I could get bored with it and let it die but we shall see right? I have started to find a few and hopefully will make a Blogroll and a Session with all (and only; sot it doesn't get mixed up with my tech stuff) my favourite Ag sites/blogs so that might provide me with enough fodder to make a few postings a week. Wish me luck!

P2P downloading strategies

I was thinking about P2P apps. There are a few things that I think need to be taken into consideration, mainly speed, availability, and anonymity. For this I am thinking about apps like Sharazza, eMule Plus, Mute and Freenet. It is kinda hard to justify running all those clients but here is why I thought it might not be a bad idea (assuming there is someway to balance the bandwidth load to/from your computer, there has got to be a way I just don’t know how). You want some new Eninem (or a semi-classic like Bobby McFarrin don’t worry be happy [the RIAA doesn’t just look at newer files]) file, well two problems #1 there are probably a ton of dummy files out there, can’t help ya there, #2 the Riaa is out there and expecting you to DL it… that’s when something like Mute or Freenet might come in handy, they aren’t fast and don’t have tons of content *but* they probably will have this popular file, and you can get it almost anonymously (nothing is totally anonymous). Then there is the not so popular stuff, you have a bunch of choices now. Anonymity isn’t as much of an issue, you want it and want it *now*, well there is eMule Plus and Sharazza (or kazaa Lite). Here I have found Kazaa Lite and Sharazza to be the fastest (I think Kazaa is a bit faster but what do I know?) so give it a try, if you can’t find them then you try eMule Plus. Don’t get me wrong, I *love* eMule Plus, the interface and advanced user options amaze me (ok, the actual search options aren’t that great but the rest rox!) plus, it has *everything* you can find even the most obscure things… but they require patience, tons and tons of it. eMule Plus is *butt*slow* (read: months[sometimes]), and even though you may find some things listed it doesn’t always mean they will ever finish downloading… but hey, if it is that rare then chances are no one is keeping an eye out watching you DL it right?

Anyway, that is my 2cents, I am sure there are about a million holes in my line of reasoning but it makes sense to me and so I thought I would post it.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


The post election funk is lifting (its been a pretty bad week in general), part of the credit goes to Xiaoqing, she actually asked for my blog URL (that would take my known reader count up to a grand total of... 2). So I thought I would write a bit about things (other than tyrannical presidents) to take my mind off things.

Anywho, I have found a few feeds that I like, the only quirk I am having now is figuring out how to make ipodder not re-download a feed if I have already downloaded it once (then moved it to my iRiver MP3 player).

The “quasi” part comes into play with NPR, who doesn't have ipod audio feeds (and probably won't since many of their shows are being sold on places like iTunes). I am an NPR addict, who has been going through withdraw. I can’t get it here in Rome (without the European equivalent to XM) so that leaves me with listening to it online. Online wouldn’t be so bad but ipodder has kind of raised the bar so now (more than before) I really want to be able to listen to it on my MP3 player.

Since most of the feeds are in Realplayer or Windows Media format so I can’t just copy them so I have to use other means... there are apparently lots of programs out there that seem to be capable of doing this but when you want something that can do scheduling that tends to narrow it down quite a bit. I managed to narrow it down to Replay Radio and Total Recorder. Replay seemed to work ok (had a pre-made list of radio shows too!) but cost more than I was willing to pay ($30! Com’on guys, throw me a bone, like $10-$15 then I would totally get it). So I looked at Total Recorder Pro, it has a ton more features for the same price; ok that might work. I tried it out, it has a billion features/options, great for the techno-weenie/power user, but when I set it up to record every broadcast I got, 1 minute into the show, this crazy mad static, not sure if it is like macrovision for online broadcasts or what but it rendered every broadcast un-listenable.

Back to the drawing board, Ugh.

The broadcast that I tried was my hometown public radio/NPR station WFAE and they streamed using the windows media, perhaps if I can find an MP3 stream then I wouldn't have this problem. I posted something to that effect on a few news groups on Usenet (using Google Groups), hopefully someone will have some ideas.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sad day

Today is a sad day for America and the world. The majority of Americans have voted for Bush. All great empires must fall, the US started its descent 4 years ago, and we chose to continue this year...

To those non-Americans out there, I apologize for my fellow Americans actions (past and sure-to-come) and can truthfully say that I am ashamed of them.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Adventures in Rome

I have recently gotten some emails from friends in my masters program about their internship adventures and for a moment it made me think that I am not having any sort of internship experience but with alittle reflection I have come to the conclusion that’s not true, it is just night and day different.

Getting emails (Silvia's [a friend working in Africa at the moment] was the one that finally made me "just write something") prompted me to scrawl out this message. I suppose I have a bunch of things to report but they seem petty compared to bombings and general upheaval that Mark [who is working in Nepal now] seems close to or the dire poverty of Tanzania that Silvia is seeing.

In Rome the food is not a worry but a constant delight. Not to butter up Silvia (who is Italian) but I think my favorite thing about Italy is the food, even the cafeteria in the FAO office is good (I thought "good cafeteria food" was an oxymoron until I came here).

Rome has had its ups and downs, mostly ups (and when the downs happen I just go to the nearest pastry shop, yes folks I will probably come back looking like some Save-The-Whales poster child [though no problems so far])

The first 3 weeks seemed to go ok, had some good housemates; a German/Panamanian Lawyer, Italian Physicist, Italian Lawyer, and me (can't I be in a household where I am *not* the intellectual gimp?!). It was all happy goodness until our landlord had a schizophrenic/psychotic episode (she was really nice at first) and tried to evict my housemates and I (swear to god we didn't do anything wrong). It seems to have started when the German lawyer wanted to read the contract and she got offended/mad (what kind of idiot is going to give a *lawyer* a contract and think he/she isn't going to read over it?!). Fortunately she wasn't too smart when she rented out the apartment because two of the four of us were lawyers, so she ended up paying us to leave (paid us two months rent plus 3 nights at a minimal bed and breakfast). Bizarre.

One of the Italians I lived with helped me find a place pretty quickly so now I am resituated with a new place with 2 months of rent ready to be paid out thanks to the ex-land lord, in many respects it is better than what I had before. Instead of the bus I now have a slightly longer walk but a much quicker overall commute on the Metro, geeze I feel so "cosmopolitan". I have been there about 2 weeks but don't feel I know the neighborhood like the other place, it is right off of a massive road and doesn't have the NY "block community" feel that the first one did, oh well, can't have it all.

I have done a lot of eating (no weight loss for me) and a lot of sight seeing. The history here is just unreal to a guy whose country is 200 years old. From my old apartment I passed by the Coloseum everyday, I sip on wine at 100+ year old wine bars (forget pubs, beer, and peanuts [never was a beer kinda guy]; I am loving the wine bars, wines, and antipastos [cheese and smoked meats]), and walk down 1000+ year old roads, incredible.

Work, yeah I guess I do a bit of that too. While just about everyone in my school program seems to be doing real work to varying degrees, I am the exception. I sit in the FAO headquarters spend half the time emailing, working on my weblog, and reading news feeds; the other half of the time I spend reading up about sanitation regarding fish feed.

The informational resources at FAO (and I guess UN institutions in general) are mind-boggling, the fisheries department has a library specifically for fishies! All I have to do is find the title, email the librarians and they find it (where ever it is, their library, the main library, interlibrary loan etc) and tell me when it comes in! I have never experienced a luxury like that before.

My advisor, while *really* nice, is really busy, and pretty much just helped me get in touch with a few select people when I came. This internship is apparently all me, that is, I have not been given anything to work on, pretty much said work on your project idea and I will help when I can. This is good and bad, not realistic in the work sense but allows me to read and read and read.

It has also allowed for reflection time and helped me to re-identify core interests within development, reading all the things I have and occasionally getting off topic when I find interesting stuff (feed efficiency & alternative feeds, fun fun don't you think?).

Reading some emails have made me appreciate where I am a bit more, be it Akiko's ritual daily slathering of 200% DEET to ward off the various life sucking mosquitoes in Cambodia, or Silvia's constant confrontation with dire 3rd world life/mentality in Tanzania. While I do feel a certain level of guilt in saying this I will anyway, I don't particularly miss those parts of development work. The adventure and money (I am sure I have spent more on 1 month of rent than most of my fellow interning students have in 3 months total) parts yes, but the frustration of working in the field is still fresh on my mind from Peace Corps (and that was for eastern Europe, seemingly easier than Cambodia or Tanzania).

Despite the lack of 3rd world adventures here there are adventures to be had: Getting lost in Rome while barely being able to speak Italian, fending off rabid landlords, gypsies, etc (pardon my seeming heartless but when you have seen conditions like what some PC Volunteers [or SID 2nd year'ers] are experiencing right now it makes you a bit less sympathetic), watching out for pick pockets, psychotic drivers/mopeds. The moped motorists are the worst; I unaffectionately refer to them as "moped morons". I have seen 3 of them get macked by trucks, cars, and even other moped drivers, and it ain't always the car/truck/other drivers fault. I have almost gotten hit twice by them weaving through traffic and driving on *sidewalks*, they are *everywhere*).

Anywho, if all goes well I will be going to Bangkok in early to mid December. I hope Amy (a friend of mine who has been living there already for a few months) is ready to do a wee bit of babysitting (I can feel the cringe as she reads this) because right now I know about 3 words in and one of them is profane (which won’t really help unless I want to get my ass kicked). Hopefully the NGO I will be tagging along with (doesn't look like they will have work for me either, I will just be accompanying them on site visits or that is what my advisor has lead me to believe) will be able to help some. I have never been to Southeast Asia, and some of Akiko's stories are not exactly encouraging but I gotta take the good with the bad I suppose.

For those who are interested I have put up a few (and will add more soon) pictures of my European/Roman escapades, take a look if you have the time (the first of the bunch is not vacation but art stuff, you can ignore that)