PRIN — the tailor for a cat you know

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/03/prin-the-tailor-for-a-cat-you-know/

PRIN — the tailor for a cat you know — it is — fact which will become dearer than former if a cat has clothes on

Don’t you doubt? “Although I want to dress with dress extravagant with my cat, doesn’t a cat dislike having” clothes on?
It is impossible that continue for time long to be sure, and you continue dressing a cat. But about [ to which you dress a cat and take a commemorative photo on special days, such as a birthday of a cat, ] is OK.

You need to dress a cat. And you will say to a cat together with a family. “It has changed just for a moment”. [ “it being very dear” or ] You will pass pleasant one time.

2. If a family and a cat become fortunate, you will take a commemorative photo! Therefore, please photo your cat lovelily with much trouble.

3. If it finishes taking a photograph, you will make it remove clothes from a cat immediately. You will say then, without forgetting the language of gratitude to a cat. “– be flooded — a way — good — having done one’s best — ! — ”



UPDATE: Times have changed, and PRIN has a new web site, and improved translations:

1. Dress her up. Cheer or yell, do whatever you like to enjoy the moment with your family.

2. After you are enough with your joy, take a photo! Take some poses and leave her some cute photos!

3. Remove her clothes and give her a hub, say “Thank you!”

I think this is good advice, especially the third point, even if you don’t have a cat.

Now, I’m all for nonsensical Engrish, or just plain weird, but PRIN doesn’t stop with selling cat clothes in Japan. Nooo, that would be to easy. Take a stroll, if you will, into:


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$1 Shirt

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/05/1-shirt/

Today, before work, I started catching up with my checkbook. I cancelled my Discover Card, paid Dan some rent money, and back-ordered 401k statements. I had nearly $2,000 amassed in my account before I went and started writing checks with it. So it goes. I’m guessing my net worth is roughly -$6,000.

There’s a trendycoolretro thrift shop next door to the cafe, so before work I bought two shirts. One is lime green and has crazy patterns on it and cost me four or five dollars, and the other is black and groovy and cost $1 and has that thrift-store smell.


But I really need some pants. I’m down to one operational pair.

After work, I dropped by Mike & Molly’s and had myself a Kenyan beer. It was tasty.

And now, discipline willing, I can transcibe more of the Thailand journal.

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About Me


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/05/walking/

“That is a long way to walk,” she said.

I nodded and smiled, about five or six miles, round trip. Not really a lot. But I know where she’s coming from. We are bipedal hominids, born to walk, but we grow up indoors, watching TV in an air-conditioned room, and at the age of sixteen we are handed the keys to the car.

She asked how I’d gotten to walking so much.

I said that when I’d moved to California, I had to drive everywhere. I got fat, because I’d lost what little exercise I had been accustomed to in my life: walking to the L, often through harsh weather. There was no L in California. I felt unhealthy.

So I moved. I took an apartment close enough to work and walked or rode my bicycle to work. Over time, and a few different jobs, I came to rely on walking, biking, and whatever public transit was available. I came to love walking, as a sweet, slow experience of the outside world that was an excellent complement to whatever it was that I did in the dark, air-conditioned indoors of my employer. Walking gave me a space to myself, to think, and to feel a connection to the beauty of the world – trees, flowers, squirrels, fellow walkers, and all the infrastructure of the human world that I could observe carefully from the outside.

We’d gotten on the subject of walking because she wanted to know how I’d gotten around during my travels. Planes, trains, and my own two feet. I was pleased that just as I walked around this town now, I had also walked around towns in different countries all over the world. Walking was one of my constants, which is important to a life that feels more variable than most.

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About Me


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/05/solitude/

One constant has been loneliness. On the one hand, this is my fault, because my natural tendency is to ignore other people for the fascinating isolation of my own mind. Despite my best efforts, I don’t have an innate sense of self-image, of self-perception from the outside. For this reason, I find Ego Cultivation to be an endlessly fascinating challenge of a hobby. What to say, what to wear, how to act, it can all be a great kick to get those things right. But the second I switch off or start neglecting these balls I’m juggling, they all fall on the floor, and I revert to my naturally quiet self.

This makes me a bit schizophrenic, perhaps. Both identities are me: the quiet geek lost in his own thoughts, and the happy jester who wants to put a smile on everyone’s face, and be loved for it. It is the quiet geek I care about, and the jester is left to take a beating by the public just as he receives accolades. Since the jester is an external ego, I really don’t mind what animosity gets spilled on it. That stuff washes off. On the other hand, the jester is a derivation of the inner geek, so if people like the jester, and I have the time, I share a little more of the inner personality lurking behind.

When I get to walking, in the quiet solitude of nature, I am most naturally in geek form: quiet and thoughtful, less concerned with my impression on the world because I feel connected to it. I think the word solitude in that last sentence is key here: in a world where most of us are caught up in the internal combustion joyride from one dark air-conditioned chamber to the next, us walkers are few and far between. I think that maybe most people are more lonely than they like to admit: I used to hurry home for the satisfying social stimulation of the television. I liken this to a sugary cereal, which while delicious at the moment, doesn’t really leave much nourishment.

My mom brought me up on Cheerios and low-fat milk. She bought wheat bread because the digestive challenge is healthier. Now I have forsaken the hyperactive diet of sugar-coated human experience on TV for the harsh, thick dietary loaf of the ancestors. When my ancestors walked around, they weren’t alone in doing so. Everyone was hanging around outdoors, and greetings and gossip would pass. In my age, I am alone with my thoughts, my geek and my jester. I can take notes to exchange words with people around the world when I make it home.

A trade-off, a deal I have no choice in striking, because I live in the world I was born into, and I can no longer stomach commercials.

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February 16, 1913 to May 27, 2003

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/05/february-16-1913-to-may-27-2003/

A beautiful, smart Swedish girl who married a wily charmer in an age when people married for life. Studied to be a nurse, and when she returned to Michigan, she helped one after another of her family in succession through sickness and death.

During the unrest in Chicago in the 1960s, her friends tried to dissuade her from her daily commute on the Western Ave. bus through the South Side. Couldn’t stop her: white woman, black grief, she trusted her life to God and His Plan.

Three kids. The youngest of two boys is my father: a smart, awkward kid who rides his adult years through myriad successes and frustrations, though mostly the latter. Makes for interesting stories.

The middle child, and older brother, Bill, was her nurse these past years. He’s a crazy man who has lived a crazy life and he has no inhibitions about sharing his thoughts with us. He recounted a time when he called home, and Grandpa answered and said, “yeah, she’s here. We’re eatin’ pork and beans and fartin’ at each other.” She smiled at this memory, and was with us no more.

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Saying Goodbye

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/06/saying-goodbye/

The nice thing about the weekend was getting together with family I hadn’t seen in many years, and other people that Grandma knew, including the parish priest. The digital camera I have carried the past two and a half years, around the world, after six thousand captured images, I finally decided was dead, shortly before I’d heard of Grandma’s new situation.

She was to be buried in the cemetary next to Grandpa. So she had a proper funeral, at the church, in the chapel. Her body had been prepared and looked like a dressed up version of the lady I had visited just a few weeks before, who was reluctant to eat, and seemed keen on sleeping as much as possible, dreaming her way out of the end of the long life she had led. She was ready to go when I’d seen her last, and now she was gone.

She wore a blue dress with white dots in a pattern that gave a sense of motion to her chest: an eery, unintended illusion that she was breathing. After the family visited the body, I returned, alone. I touched her soft white hair, which I’ve always done, and kissed her forehead. She tasted like makeup, and was cold to my lips. Then I knew, despite the artistry to the contrary, that I was kissing the cold skull of a corpse. She was definately gone, and that reassured me.

There is a belief that the body is prepared for the afterlife, and that you might give it gifts to better prepare the person for their next life. I decided that if my camera and my grandmother had died about the same time, that the one went with the other. Perhaps Grandma could use a new hobby in the next life.

There is another belief that when you take a picture of someone, you capture a piece of their soul. Many people are uncomfortable at the thought that pieces of their soul might be floating around the planet, lost on photographic prints, so it is polite to ask before taking a picture of someone. I gave her a few pictures I had printed from my camera, mostly of myself. If I am to lose a few pieces of my soul, I’d just as soon they were buried six feet under the ground in Rapid River, in a box with the bones of my Grandmother.

I do not hold either of these beliefs, but I am willing to share in them. It makes me feel connected and that is what you want when you gather to lament the departure of a loved one.

We also shared stories. There once was a guy who was overly fond of complaining about things. He was a nuisance. He complained that his coffee was too cold, so Gertrude warmed it in the oven and brought it back to him. He grabbed the newly-heated coffee and burned his hand. He did not complain so much after that.

When she was last shuttled home from the hospital, the care-giver asked her if she knew her first name, to determine her lucidity. “They call me Trudy.”

After that, the care-giver addressed her as Trudy, which struck others as strange, because they had only ever known her as Gertrude and Mrs. Howard. They inquired and Grandma explained, “I just wanted to make the ambulance girl happy. The Lord knows my name.”

I stuck around with Dad and Gwen and Uncle Bill and the Conroys on Saturday morning, and we carried the coffin through a chilly breeze to a stand over the hole in which it would be lowered, to rest thereafter next to Grandpa. We shivered as the priest read a few passages from the Bible, and headed back to Grandma’s house, where Uncle Bill will continue to live. We all went our seperate ways South in the next couple of hours, when the sun came out and shone warmly on a summer Saturday, as it has so many times before.

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Good Reads, Politics

Iraq’s Underpants Gnomes: Step Two

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/08/iraqs-underpants-gnomes-step-two/

I am reading Salam Pax’s web log and he is whining about how bungling and inept the American administration is now that it has control of his country, and about how scarey it is that despite all their claims of preparedness to the contrary they haven’t a clue what they’re doing, as if they only said these things to justify their presence there, and I’m starting to think that Salam sounds awfully lot like an American.

Our entire nation went through what sounds like a state of “military administration” when it went into a Total War economy to fight World War II. The stories we get now, somewhat removed from the actual events, is that while our nation was organized for the noblest intentions, it was Hell to live through this well-intentioned bureacracy on the ground. We went through it, though, because defeating fascism and Japanese imperialism seemed worthwhile. That, and it probably beat the Depression.

I am reminded of the Underpants Gnomes, who appeared on an episode of “South Park”, who had a great master plan to justify their nightly sortees of underpants theft:

  1. Steal underpants.
  2. …?
  3. Profit!

We read it at the time as an allegory for the dot-com boom, which has since gone bust. I can look at it now as the story for Iraq. I just hope the noble intentions leave enough room for something that could profit the people there. For now, though, let us acknowledge that Step Two can be Hell live through.

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Linux will dull the pain …

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/09/linux-will-dull-the-pain/

I decided to really really really clean out my e-mail inbox, purging anything I can. So I’m running across little ideas for things I should try and right about, and interesting links, and there is this wonderful post archived on Keith’s web site with this beautiful reflection from Anne:

From what I have observed from my male friends, though, this is exactly the climate required to learn Linux. Without a full and happy lovelife or distraction of soft lips and a reason to kiss them, there is enough room to grasp the intricacies and nuances of such a fine operating system.

It has already begun to happen. As I walk down the street I am not thinking of emptiness, kising, nathan or any other previous SO’s, I am thinking of penguins, rm -rf / and lilo.

I am already convinced that linux will dull the pain better than heroin.

I am reminded that in my youth, during times of family strife, it was suggested that one of the reasons I spent so much time playing with my computer was because it helped isolate me from the unpleasantries swirling around me. Being a geek was an anti-social reflex; I’ve always been such a nice boy, but for a long time I vented my Id on computer networks.

Since the layoffs and that wonderful little trip all over the world, I sense that frustration and a lot of the negative emotional energy is just not useful, so I tend to let it go. Every time I find things that upset me, I figure out a way to explain to myself why I shouldn’t be upset. Legitimate grievances with The Way Things Are are left as a big karmic to-do wall against which to I can formulate frustration in to little bits of positive action.

Or something. We’ll see how it goes.

You know, where computers used to be my escape from a troubling family situation, now it serves as a creative outlet for my surplus of time when I have the energy to interact and refine ideas, but I don’t know of an appropriate audience, so I work out in this little room here, and maybe if someone passes by and notices something and can provide feedback, that is all well and wonderful. But, I’m not waiting for them, because talking to the wall here is cathartic enough.

For the time being.

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Letters to The Man, Technology

Amazon.com Feedback

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/11/amazoncom-feedback/

Your web site is becoming a useability nightmare, which is discouraging given that this has traditionally one of your core strengths.

I have a gift certificate. I try to buy something with it. I order a used item, I go through all this stuff, and it says NO YOU CAN’T BUY A USED ITEM WITH A GIFT CERTIFICATE. Why not? Hasn’t someone given you $10 to send to a third party?

Okay, so a few days later I want to see your price on color sidekick. You don’t have them. Pity. Ah, but I could afford a heavily-discounted hiptop carrier! Okay, let’s put that in.

And it says “your gift certificate wont cover it” which is interesting because the item is $8 and the GC is $10. How much IS shipping? It won’t tell me HOW MUCH my order costs, just that it needs a credit card, and submitting my credit card is the ONLY navigational option.

Okay … well, let’s do that, and there are items in my cart from WAY BACK, like the used item I tried to purchase the other day. The only option is to confirm my thirty dollar order. Where do I say no? There is what LOOKS LIKE a navigation bar on the top of the screen, but it doesn’t do anything, not even clicking on “Amazon.com” to start over.

So, I go in to my web browser and TYPE Amazon.com to get to the point where I can clear out my shopping cart to just the item I want, proceed to check-out, and you STILL want $3 shipping for a little piece of neoprene. After all this hassle? FORGET IT! I could stuff that thing in a padded envelope and smack an 80 cents stamp on it and send it USPS, but you can’t, because you’re designed to extort money out of your previously-loyal customers.

Please fix your user experience.


I try to be very laid-back about most things, but I guess I take customer service really personal now, huh? And it is all the more frustrating to be thwarted by Amazon.com because for a long time they distinguished themselves by being pretty clueful and user-friendly.




Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/13/cats/

Last night I had a dream that I was visiting a hospital. It was a very nice hospital with velvet drapes and wood panelling and carpeting. I think I might have been visiting Uncle Bill, who was content in the place. It wasn’t a nursing home, but more of a place for people to feel good. There were lots of cats walking around the place. They were all remarkably friendly and wanted to be pet and each one had its own exotic look. I think at some point I also dreamed of a Danger Hiptop that vibrated and made a purring noise when one pet it.

I don’t often remember my dreams, but I’m glad I remembered this one because it was so groovy. And it featured cats, which Geoff would certainly approve of.

I also recall thinking to myself that since people are allergic to cats, there must be a whole seperate wing of the hospital devoid of cats.

I think I also recalled this quote from my fortunes file:

Someday, I would like to design a concept house which is heated entirely by live cats.


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Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/15/fortunes/

For a long time, I have included random fortunes on my main index page in the style of the classic Unix “fortune” command. I present you, here, with a slightly more legible version of my fortunes file. Note that the file is formatted with an 80-column, fixed-width Unix terminal in mind. Deal.

Fortunes that begin with a string like <whoops> or <ChromeLi> are excerpts from IRC sessions.

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“I never thought before . . .”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/18/i-never-thought-before/

“Peculiar,” said Tirin. “I never thought before . . .”

Comments from the other three on the self-evidence of this remark.

“I never thought before,” said Tirin unruffled, “of the fact that there are people sitting on a hill, up there, on Urras, looking at Anarres, at us, and saying, ‘Look, there’s the Moon.’ Our earth is their Moon; our Moon is their earth.”

“Where, then, is Truth?” declaimed Bedap, and yawned.

“In the hill one happens to be sitting on,” said Tirin.

Margaret Atwood
_The Dispossessed_

It is interesting, to me, that Moon is a pronoun, but not earth.

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Stumping for a Smart Democrat

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/18/stumping-for-a-smart-democrat/

I heard the first version of what is perceived to be President Bush’s re-election “stump speech” on the radio this morning and it goes something like this:

“The terrorists declared War on us, so we declared War on them back. Twice! In Afghanistan and in Iraq.”

“I inherited a recession, and already it is getting better. I cut taxes to make things even better!”

Unfortunately, I think many Americans will buy the simple logic that it makes sense to attack Muslim countries when Muslim wackos attack us. Be that as it may, Afghanistan is a neglected mess that is just begging to be brought up by a smart Democrat to haunt President Bush, and Iraq sounds like it is ready to stew and fester and get worse as it is neglected and left to underfunded and ignored efforts at reconstruction. I really hope the Iraqis can mostly pull it out of the fire themselves, but plenty are going to get angry, and cause increasingly photogenic scenes of violence starring American troops, and it will start to look like Vietnam, and proud Americans who might otherwise support war will become angry at the profiteering civilian good ol’ boy network responsible for the flag-draped coffins.

Which connects neatly to that “out of touch with reality” thing that licked Bush I: the economy, stupid! It is already getting better? I myself have left the dot-com wasteland to kick it in Middle America, and it sure doesn’t feel like things are getting “better” out here. Unemployment remains high, wages remain low, and back in the middle class, 401ks remain shriveled. Health care keeps getting worse, and the schools are chafing under more and more standards while their funding gets cut. Things are already getting better? Things are doing what they can not to burst apart at the seams!

There are plenty of us disposed to view the White House as filled with a pack of sanctimonious lunatics hell-bent on making as much personal gain as they can at the expense of our welfare and our liberty. The federal budget is loaded with silly pork-barrel programs that our children and grand-children get to pay for, and we don’t even get an economic bubble to enjoy in the process. A smart Democrat will point out how we alienate the world by rejecting global treaties like the Kyoto Protocol, the prohibition on landmines (OUR military needs something as barbaric as landmines?!) the Convention on the Rights of the Child. And then there’s all the international stuff we like to hold up because when it comes to controlling human populations we dare not let any of our federal money touch abortion … perhaps that is a wedge that can be driven between the lunatic fringe of the right and the more moderate, reasonable American who may find the thought of denying family planning aid to people in unimaginable poverty as even more abhorrent than the possibility that a Hindu might have an abortion.

A smart Democrat … well, maybe not a smart Democrat, so much, for Al Gore is a very intelligent person, but a savvy Democrat …

Here’s to wishful thinking! I just had to rant a little, you know, for the blood.

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Vanilla Coke

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2003/06/22/vanilla-coke/

While I have lately eschewed consumerism, and the whole high-fructose corn syrup cut with endless stupid commercials junkfood culture, I do enjoy the recent innovation of Vanilla Coke. It reminds me of root beer floats. A nice sugary snack from the Evil Megacorp, a twelve-ounce can providing 14% of my USRDA of sugary carbohydrate. Yay.

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Arrr! . . . Avast!
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