Up Your Street

This is a sort of "catch-all" section, where I just throw random images at you, and you try to montage them into something resembling my life.

WARNING: The image to which this first thumbnail links is 0.9Meg in size!

I link this thumbnail to a full-rez image, as a kind of indulgence; I think I'm usually pretty good at being careful with the demands I make on your bandwidth, but I want to make an exception here: If you blow this image up to the full resolution of your monitor and scroll it around a bit, you'll get quite an eyefull of detail. If you've got the bandwidth, the inclination, and the time, have at it.

But now, let's go to my room for a bit. You can find other images of my room elsewhere in these pages, but I want to focus on a few little details.

For instance, here are my books. NOTE: I read "The Green Mile," and had the strange experience of concluding that the movie was a significant improvement on the book. Of course, the impact and richness of the movie owes much to the book; King is a kind of Gogol; a great narrative visualizer. Nonetheless, I almost put the book down; it started to bog down under all that detail. The movie ensconses just the right portion of these details in the visuals, then keeps the narrative lean, focused, and effective; the best adaptation I've ever seen (not that I've seen that many...).

I have to say—and, of course, at some risk of troubling the Heisenbergian waters of the causal plane by so saying—that this Toshiba laptop has been a fantastic tool and general source of pleasure. I can do my work on it, I listen to music and watch movies on it, I surf the net on it, I have Skype loaded and can use it as a phone at little or no cost, I do graphic play on it, I've done some programming on it, etc., etc., etc.

Well. Time for a snack. Here's one of my faves; Oolong Tea ("Oolong" is Chinese for "dark dragon") and a sliver of chocolate cake from the Kuh Kuh Doh ("Cocoa Bean") Bakery, just up the block. Right: And a splash of Doh Jiang (soy milk) in the tea.

When I first got here, I was afflicted with respiratory trouble for about two weeks. In general, I find that such things tend to linger here, and I'm not sure if it's that I'm getting on in years or that I'm encountering new bugs that I'm not inured to.

Anyway, Pauline got me this stuff, and since then I've gotten more; it's a dark red, sweet, herbal syrup. I mix it with hot water and quaff it down. Does it help? "It couldn't hoit!"

But...what about my basic, humanoid needs? No problem, bucko! On the left you see my laundry area, on the right my bathroom. Note that the bathroom is my shower stall, so when I'm done I have to sponge things down before leaving. I get just enough hot water for a nice, relaxing, hot shower. If someone moves across the hall and we have to share, I'll have to become a little more frugal with the hot water.

Just for *your* edification, here's the control panel on the washing machine. Interesting Fun Fact: Because many people in Taiwan hang their clothes to dry, the washers feature lint traps; and this only makes sense.

Here's another view down Sanmin—looking northward, towards Chungshan Lu, where the Joy School is. Note the yellow vertical sign a little left of center of this picture. This is a department store, of which there are many of these "mom & pop"-sized specimens all over Taiwan. Come to think of it, this is sort of a throwback to the post-war U.S.; lots of small businesses, including smaller one-stop-shop stores like this one.

But the sign is interesting, and I have a blown up version to the right. The Chinese folks tend to put quite a bit of stock in numerology, and they have lots of "lucky numbers." Not being much of Christianized people—or, at least, not the wrong kind of "Christianized"—they're not spooked by the fact that one of their lucky numbers is "666."

I thereby dub this store...

And, now that we're in the mood, let's finish on a slightly spooky note.

Check out this wierd...thing...someone had left here. Apparently, it's the giant raceme of some kind of palmaceous plant. The "noduley" looking protrusions are, I believe, the remants of large root hairs. Anyways, these things can be dried and they become rather strange looking conversation pieces, like this one.

So...what's new with you?