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Yesterday heaven touched the Earth.
You'll never guess who we saw when we went
for a picnic in the park: The Emperor and
Empress of Japan. Yes, that's right, I said
the EMPEROR and EMPRESS of Japan! How cool
It was just a regular Sunday afternoon and
we decided to go have lunch at Ueno Koen
-- a very large park with several museums
and a zoo, located a few stations away from
our house. Unbeknownst to us, and to anybody
else, it was also the day that the royal
couple decided to come and do their annual
viewing of the lotuses in Ueno pond (quite
an impressive sight actually).
When we showed up, we noticed all these suspicious-looking
guys with bad haircuts and little microphones
in their ears hanging around. They ushered
everyone off the roads and laneways because
a "VIP was coming through." Being
the snoop that she is, Karen insisted that
we stay and see who it would be (I wanted
to go and eat, figuring it would be the President
of Slovenia or some such person).
We ended up standing at a bend in the park
road with about fifty other people. All of
a sudden police motorcycles started whizzing
by. Then came one black limo, and then a
second. In the second car were the smiling
faces of the royal couple themselves. The
crowd let out a chorus of OOOhhhs and AAAAhhhhs
-- after all, it's not every day that you're
in the company of a descendent of the Sun
To make a long story short, the royal couple
saw us two giant foreigners towering over
the small crowd of black-haired munchkins,
holding a waving baby up in the air, and
they obviously thought it was cute because
the Emperor pulled his wife over to look
and wave at Jack.
What a moment...
To my great disappointment I wasn't quick
enough with the camera to get a picture of
the Emperor himself, but one of the photos
posted above is of Jack and Karen just as
the royal couple passed.
It just goes to show you. Never stay home
when you can go out and do something. You
never know when the gods will descend to
Earth and bless your child.
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The great thing about mobile computers, if
you ask me, is that you can do your work
anywhere at anytime.
Take my case, for example. As you read this,
probably thousands of miles away from me,
and maybe many years in the future, you couldn't
possibly know, unless I tell you like I'm
doing right now, that as I write these words
I am actually sitting on a soft brown upholstered
cushion on the greatest commuter train in Tokyo, the Yamanote line.
It's 7:24 p.m., August 24, 2001. The young
woman to my right is reading a small book in a hot pink, vinyl
dust cover, and the skinny couple across from me really seem to be comfortable in each other's
company. Just before I got on the train I
ate a ham and cheese burrito that I bought
from a Seven-eleven near the station, and
I can still taste it in my mouth.
Creepy, don't you think? Mobility combined
with instant self-publishing on an international
scale. This, to my mind at least, adds a
whole new dimension to the written word.
Have you ever, just on a whim, typed
name into the address box of your web
just to see what would come up?
Well I did, www.michaelclarke.com, and oh, the shame!
A friend of mine at work today told me that
he thinks there is a big market out there
for hybrid magazines: ,i.e., magazines that
combine two traditional genres.
You know what I mean, like a women's magazine
about guns, or a guitar magazine about traveling.
It seems like a good idea to me. I don't
know for sure, but if my computer programming
magazines looked like this, I'd probably be inclined to buy them more