The Omnivore's Dilemma

This is a wide ranging book about what we eat and where it comes from. It made me really think about food. If you're into food you'll probably like it. Its one of the best books I've ever read.

Backing up my files under Linux

For the longest time I haven't been in control of backing up. I've done it, haphazardly, usually before I do something risky. Each time I have to relearn everything. Now I want to make it semi automatic.

1.) I went out and bought a nice big 1 TB external hard drive.
2.) I don't intend to keep the drive connected all the time. So the first thing I do when I want to backup is connect the drive. I'll do this by UUID since its a more reliable method. First I connect the drive. Next I type:

sudo vol_id /dev/sda1

and copy the volume ID of the drive. Then I issue:

Configuring Grip

So now I have switched over to Ubuntu I have to redo lots of things with new applications. Here is my grip configuration for ripping music.

Rip file format:
~/mp3/%A/%d/%n.wav (default I think)

Encoder command line:
-V2 --vbr-new -q0 --lowpass 19.7 --add-id3v2 --pad-id3v2 --ta "%a" --tt "%n" --tl "%d" --ty "%y" --tn "%t" %w %m
I may not totally understand what I am doing here. But the sound quality is great. Variable bitrate files are created. id3v2 tags are in the encoding string. Not sure if I really need these.

Encoder file format:

Switching Amarok to mysql

We keep our music on our tiny server. It works really well because Cassandra and I can both access it from our computers. I believe I could network it to our living room if I was willing to run a cable, but thats another story for another day.

Globalization - George Soros

I should have read the summary of this book a bit more carefully. I was expecting to buy a book, written by a successful financier, about where the global economy is going. The plan was to get rich by moving our assets to where the future is. What I got was a book by philanthropist on how the global economy could be improved to the benefit of the disadvantaged on this planet. On second thoughts I'm glad I didn't carefully read the summary, because I wouldn't have bought the book if I had.

Passing my driving test

Well for the past 9 months I have been riding my bicycle to work, traveling less on weekends and driving illegally in Japan. The reason for this is after 1 year in Japan you must get a Japanese license. A mix of repeatedly failing the test, giving up and starting to try again and other excuses means that until now I have failed to get my Japanese license. I suppose I have always been one police pull over away from deportation.

Drinking Coffee

We have never been big coffee drinkers. But lately we have been casual coffee shop visitors and then on a trip to Austria I got to really like espresso.

One of my last chess games

So I have barely played chess since leaving Colorado. Here is one of the last serious games that I played.

Winter Springs

Closing Blogger Blog

We've closed down the blogger blog held at

Now all our personal posts will be posted here. For now will still be kept at Blogger.

All the old articles from are now held here. We still need to work a bit to make them accessible.

Cassandra and David

Where we live in Nasushiobara

We thought some people might be a bit curious about where we live and what its like.

When most people think Japan, they probably think Tokyo. Tokyo is very densely populated and very busy. We don't live there. We live in Nasushiobara. Its in Tochigi prefecture a bit over an hour north of Tokyo. Its quite rural.

Syndicate content