Saying Goodbye

Today I have to say goodbye to someone very important. Today I have to say goodbye to my mentor, Randy Pausch. Randy died today after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was my inspiration and my teacher. He came into my life when I was lost and aimless, and he gave me something to live and dream for. He helped make me who I am.

He was intelligent, outgoing, and an excellent speaker. He talked about ideals and dreams, and what to live for, and I believed in him with my heart and soul. He was honest and straightforward; he demanded much from me because he knew what I was capable of.

From the moment I met him I admired him, and he drove me to excel beyond my wildest imagination. I sought his approval and recognition, and through my efforts and my passion, I achieved them.

When I was was joyous, he rejoiced with me, and when I was lost he showed me the way. He spoke to me plainly, and wisely. He made me feel good about who I was, and what I could achieve.

After I found out he had cancer, even though we were apart, he still continued to touch my life. As the world came to know Randy Pausch, I found an even deeper lesson to learn from him. In his suffering and trial, he endured with a strength that defines the beauty of the human spirit. He will always live in my heart.

I cannot repay a fraction of the compassion and wisdom he has taught me. I can only hope to spend every remaining day of my life to live as he did: with honor, and strength, and endless gratitude for all that I have been given.

I miss you Randy…

Tech magnet

Though I haven’t had much time to do hardly any kind of non-programming task the last several months, my propensity for attracting vintage technology has not waned. One of my friends who worked in a care facility for the elderly inherited a mid 70s Fujica SLR some time ago, and my reputation as a connoisseur of things optic opened the doorway to its acquisition.

The Fujica ST801 was the world’s first SLR camera to have LEDs in the viewfinder for exposure readings (very useful in poor lighting conditions). It’s also a solidly built M42 screw mount with a decent 55mm 1.8 lens. The camera appears to be more or less unused. None of the usual signs of wear, scratches on the body and abrasion of the indicator paint, are present. There are a few tiny spots of mold inside the lens, however these are almost unavoidable due to normal humidity fluctuations over the course of 35 years. As far as I can tell the only significant cause for concern is the complete disintegration of all foam seals around the body orifices.

I’m just about done a test roll of Centuria, and in retrospect using my precious discontinued film wasn’t probably the smartest thing to do as the metering system could be shot to hell and all the whole roll could come out ridiculously overexposed.

But like George Michael says, “you gotta have faith.”

The Garden of Earthly Delights

It’s very, very late. And I am very, very tired. But, I’ve been meaning to introduce you to my flatmates, and I finally had the chance to get both of their photographs together.

This is Cliff, he’s lived with me ever since my last apartment back in Honmachi. I didn’t intentionally try to bring him with me, but somehow he got into one of the moving boxes and came along. This photograph is misleading because it’s a crop. Think about half the size of your pinky fingernail.

He likes to jump, and makes rounds all through the apartment each day. Sometimes you find him behind the AV center, sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes by my loft. We have an understanding built on mutual respect– I’ve never charged him for rent, and he’s never bitten me. So we live in peace. He actually has a wife now, but I’ve never seen a web.

And this is Spiffy, my salamander (or is he a gecko?). One of his brothers lived near my last apartment and frequently got trapped in the windows during summer. It was a real pain to get him back outside without either crushing him between the panes or having him scurry indoors. Anyway, this Spiffy takes advantage of my many planters, which are thankfully far away from the sliding glass doors. Here we see him taking a midnight stroll through the carrots.

Spicks and specks

I promised myself I’d go to bed as soon as I came home tonight, because tomorrow is going to be another very long day. However, I do so little outside of work, I have to spend a few minutes doing something, just to break it into two pieces, you know? So this post is really nothing more than filler to you, sorry. It means a lot to me though, to be and and say. Hopefully I’ll have a day off this weekend and I can catch up on some production.

One might try to paint a picture with water colors on the blue sky, but it is impossible. And it is also impossible to dry up a great river by the heat of a torch made of hay, or to produce a crackling noise by rubbing together to pieces of well-tanned leather. Like these examples, people should train their minds so that they would not be disturbed by whatever kinds of words they might hear.

They should train their minds and keep them broad as the earth, unlimited as the sky, deep as a big river and soft as well-tanned leather. — from The Way of Purification

Fast forward

Today is July 3rd. I don’t remember when I last wrote, but it seems like yesterday, whatever that means. Releases to client fall like rainy days and it’s a miracle I remember to pay the utility bills.

Tomorrow is America’s Independence Day, 232 years from when a group of influential Anglo-Saxan landowners decided they’d had enough of being controlled by a group of other influential Anglo-Saxans several thousand miles to the northeast across the Atlantic Ocean. Of all the major holidays I’ve had to abandon since forsaking social security and the right to bear arms, the Fourth of July is probably the most derelict. I’m always working late, but there’s no marketing support for it in Japan, so it comes and goes with only a mid-compile passing thought of so many teenage romantic entanglements amidst fireworks.

Tomorrow Chub-Du has a concert, as does a minor band that has shown interest in hiring me for photography (which I have badly managed). However, I’ll make it to neither as the gaming industry is one of the most underdeveloped, taxing, and grossly inefficient wings of software development. This is no cause for alarm, however, as I’ve long since acquiesced to the fact and simply accept is as being inevitable as mortal death.

In any case, I have two independent productions on the board right now, though the first is quite tenuous for lack of definition. If anyone is interested in providing artistic consul, I would be much obliged. You may leave comments or mail me.

Ikuno Oribe said, “If a retainer will just think about what he is to do for the day at hand, he will able to do anything. If it is a single day’s work, one should be able to put up with it. Tomorrow, too, is but a single day.” — Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure, The Book of the Samurai, seventh chapter