Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obama in Germany.

Too funny.

Balloon Juice:
"Earbucket wins the internet:
I heard he fed the entire crowd with five bratwursts and two Heinekens."

Our TV is all grown up now.

One of the "bennies" of the reduced # of JET Programme ALTs next year... free stuff from the outgoing/non-replaced folks.



That's like the 3rd time I've hit this combo...

And two different quizzes today yield the same results. Guess I've officially moved on from the INTP of my youth. It's important to remember that I'm a special and unique snowflake, just like everybody else. It is creepy and slightly off putting that these are kind of accurate.
"Your Type is INFP - Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving
Strength of the preferences %
78 25 12 11

Qualitative analysis of your type formula - You are:

* very expressed introvert
* moderately expressed intuitive personality
* slightly expressed feeling personality
* slightly expressed perceiving personality"

Other analysis...

Idealists – Study Where The Heart Is:
"Healers (INFP) are the most sensitive to the underlying emotional current. If that current is negative and they can’t fix it, they will find a way to withdraw. ...he does his most creative work when he goes in his room, closes the door, and gets to work."

Portrait of an INFP:
"As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.

INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves

INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.

Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.

INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right. They don't want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations. On the other hand, INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people's conflicts, because they intuitively understand people's perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them.

INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they're interested in, it usually becomes a "cause" for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigor when working for their "cause".

When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.

INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don't understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it's not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.

INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don't give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members' of the group. In group situations, they may have a "control" problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.

INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counselling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they're working towards the public good, and in which they don't need to use hard logic."

INFP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"...INFPs focus much of their energy on an inner world dominated by intense feeling and deeply held ethics. They seek an external life that is in keeping with these values. Loyal to the people and causes important to them, INFPs can quickly spot opportunities to implement their ideals. They are curious to understand those around them, and so are accepting and flexible except when their values are threatened.

...the tranquil and reserved exterior of the INFP masks a passionate inner life. Healers care deeply about causes that interest them and they often pursue those causes with selfless devotion.

Occurring in only about one percent of the population, Healers can easily feel isolated. They value harmony and integrity in human relationships, seeking unity of mind, body, and spirit but often find these values to be out of step with the more concrete pursuits of the rest of the world. Feeling "different," they may wonder whether something is wrong with them. But those differences—an ethical nature, a devotion to ideals, a commitment to harmonious interaction—are in fact some of their greatest strengths.

...The polite, reserved exterior of INFPs can at first make them difficult to get to know. They enjoy conversation, however, taking particular delight in the unusual. When INFPs are in a sociable mood, their humor and charm shine through. Disposed to like people and to avoid conflict, INFPs tend to make pleasant company.

Devoted to those in their inner circle, INFPs guard the emotional well-being of others, consoling those in distress. Guided by their desire for harmony, INFPs prefer to be flexible unless their ethics are violated. Then, they become passionate advocates for their beliefs. They are often able to sway the opinions of others through tact, diplomacy, and an ability to see varying sides of an issue.

INFPs develop these insights through reflection, and they require substantial time alone to ponder and process new information. While they can be quite patient with complex material, they are generally bored by routine. Though not always organized, INFPs are meticulous about things they value. Perfectionists, they may have trouble completing a task because it cannot meet their high standards. They may even go back to a completed project after the deadline so they can improve it.

INFPs are creative types and often have a gift for language. As Introverts, they may prefer to express themselves through writing. Their dominant Feeling drives their desire to communicate, while their auxiliary iNtuition supplies the imagination. They enjoy metaphors and similes, having a talent for symbolism. They continually seek new ideas and adapt well to change. They prefer working in an environment that values these gifts and allows them to make a positive difference in the world, according to their personal beliefs."

INFP - The Dreamer:
"...sometimes others wonder if they are in touch with reality. They often get lost in their thoughts and books, and may develop a special ability in communicating, such as writing. They are somewhat reserved, especially in new situations.

INFPs decide early on what is important for them, what is of value. They tend to rely on themselves for direction and are reticent to ask others for help. They would rather do things themselves, to make sure they are done properly. INFPs have found this to be both a strength and a curse. Depending only on themselves and being careful not to show mistakes to others is important. As teens, INFPs may have a bit of a rebellious streak. They may argue with those who hold different values than they do. They are also likely to have a small, close set of friends with whom they share good times. In the comfort of those close relationships, they can relax and are often quite entertaining, since they see the world in a different and special way. Their sense of humour is readily apparent. However, unless an INFP finds an appreciation for his or her uniqueness and personal values, he or she may feel like an odd person out.

When they set their minds on things, INFPs are not likely to give up easily, yet because of their outward gentleness, they do not show their determination. They may not take a direct path, but somehow they reach their dreams.

As young adults, INFPs may have some difficulty finding the ideal career and the ideal mate, in part because of that very word 'ideal'. They have a vision in mind of what they want, yet reality may not follow suit. They may make several starts and stops in their career until they find a comfortable place for themselves.

INFPs have a need for perfection in connection with their personal values. They become frustrated with those who dwell on trivialities.

INFPs need a purpose beyond the paycheck. They become burned out easily if their job does not fit their value system; they may not feel good enough about what they have achieved and, as a result, may undervalue themselves and their contributions.


At work, INFPs contribute their creativity, their value system, and their ability to work with others. They are able to see the larger picture and how specific programs fit in. They do not dwell on the trivialities or the details. Their job must be fun, although not racous, and it must be meaningful to them. They need a strong purpose in their work. They want to be recognized and valued, without undue attention given to them. They may become embarrassed when make the center of attention. As a result, they may undersell their strengths in order to avoid being singled out and made to feel conspicuous. They would rather have their worth be noticed gradually over time.

INFPs like to work with cooperative people committed to the same values that they are. They can become bothered when they see others working at cross purposes, especially when conflict is overt. They do not like competition or bureaucracy. They need privacy. Calm and quiet appeal to them, as does time and space for reflection. People usually like working with INFPs even though they may not know them well.

...INFPs prefer occupations in which they can be involved in making the world better. Having their heart in their work is important to them. These occupations also allow for an element of creativity and flexibility. INFPs are particularly interested to be counselor, editor, education consultant, English teacher, fine arts teacher, journalist, psychologist, religious educator, social scientist, social worker, teacher, writer, and other occupations that engage their values.


The INFP leadership style is subtle, gentle, indirect, and inclusive of others. INFPs do not confront people head-on, but rather work with them and through them to get the job done. Their style is not an aggressive one but is highly persistent; only reluctantly do INFPs assume leadership roles.

They lead with their values in mind, and these guide them. They prefer not to take a hands-on approach with others but to allow them to achieve in independent ways. They are facilitative rather than directive. They encourage others by appreciation and praise. Critiquing others does not come easily to them.

INFPs seldom confront situations directly, in part because they do not like conflict. Whenever possible, they would rather wait for a situation to work itself out, since they trust that people will work things through. They do not like following all the rules and regulations, but they are not overtly rebellious. They seek to get things done in their own style.


Leisure activities are very important to INFPs, but at times it is difficult for them to separate work from play. When a new leisure pursuit is found, INFPs typically do a great deal of research. They may read many books and make several phone calls to dig for information.

Many of the INFPs' leisure activities are done alone --- reading, listening to music, and gardening are some activities likely to appeal to them. Reflection time and the opportunity to make sure things are right are important.


For the INFP, love is a very deep commitment, and one that is not easily attained. They have ideals, and therefore reality may be carefully scrutinized.

With their ideal firmly envisioned, the first date with that special person is carefully planned and prepared for, and often every aesthetic thing is taken care of. The flowers are in place, the right wine is ordered, and the proper meal is prepared.

INFPs may have difficulty sharing their feelings about others. They keep so many of those feelings inside that they may forget to tell their partner how much they love and appreciate them. They also need reminders of their partner's love.

When things go wrong in a relationship, the INFP takes it to heart but does not readily discuss it with others. They may not be willing to communicate to let others know how they are feeling. When scorned, they are very hurt and may overreact in an almost maudlin way.

Profile by David Keirsey

INFPs present a calm, pleasant face to the world and are seen as reticent and even shy. Although they demonstrate a cool reserve toward others, inside they are anything but distant. They have a capacity for caring which is not always found in other types. They care deeply-indeed, passionately-about a few special persons or a cause. One word that captures this type is idealistic. At times, this characteristic leaves them feeling isolated, especially since INFPs are found in only 1 percent of the general population. INFPs have a profound sense of honor derived from internal values. The INFP is the Prince or Princess of mythology, the King's Champion, Defender of the Faith, and guardian of the castle. Sir Galahad and Joan of Arc are male and female prototypes of an INFP. To understand INFPs their cause must be understood, for they are willing to make unusual sacrifices for someone or something believed in.

INFPs seek unity in their lives, unity of body and mind, emotions and intellect. They often have a subtle tragic motif running through their lives, but others seldom detect this inner minor key. The deep commitment of INFPs to the positive and the good causes them to be alert to the negative and the evil, which can take the form of a fascination with the profane. Thus INFPs may live a paradox, drawn toward purity and unity but looking over the shoulder toward the sullied and desecrated. When INFPs believe that they have yielded to an impure temptation, they may be given to acts of self-sacrifice in atonement. The atonement, however, is within the INFP, who does not feel compelled to make public the issue.

INFPs prefer the valuing process over the purely logical. They respond to the beautiful versus the ugly, the good versus the bad, and the moral versus the immoral. Impressions are gained in a fluid, global, diffused way. Metaphors and similes come naturally but may be strained. INFPs have a gift for interpreting symbols, as well as creating them, and thus often write in lyric fashion. They may demonstrate a tendency to take deliberate liberties with logic. Unlike the NT, they see logic as something optional. INFPs also may, at times, assume an unwarranted familiarity with a domain, because their global, impressionistic way of dealing with reality may have failed to register a sufficient number of details for mastery. INFPs may have difficulty thinking in terms of a conditional framework; they see things as either real or fancied, and are impatient with the hypothetical.


At work, INFPs are adaptable, welcome new ideas and new information, are well aware of people and their feelings, and relate well to most, albeit with some psychological distance. INFPs dislike telephone interruptions and work well alone, as well as with others. They are patient with complicated situations, but impatient with routine details. They can make errors of fact, but seldom of values. Their career choices may be toward the ministry, missionary work, college teaching, psychiatry, architecture, psychology-and away from business. They seem willing and usually are able to apply themselves scholastically to gain the necessary training for professional work, often doing better in college than in high school. They have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate, as do the other NF's, a remarkable facility for languages. Often they hear a calling to go forth into the world to help others; they seem willing to make the necessary personal sacrifices involved in responding to that call, even if it means asking others to do likewise. INFPs can make outstanding novelists and character actors, for they are able to efface their own personalities in their portrayal of a character in a way other types cannot.


As mates, INFPs have a deep commitment to their pledges. They like to live in harmony and may go to great lengths to avoid constant conflict. They are sensitive to the feelings of others and enjoy pleasing those they care for. They may find it difficult to reconcile a romantic, idealized concept of conjugal life with the realities of everyday living with another person. At times, in fact, INFPs may seem fearful of exuberant attainment, afraid that current advances may have to be paid for with later sacrifices. The devil is sure to get his due if the INFP experiences too freely of success, or beauty, or health, or wealth, or knowledge. And thus, INFPs guard against giving way to relaxing in the happiness of mating. They may have difficulty in expressing affection directly, but communicate interest and affection indirectly.

For INFPs, their home is their castle. As parents, they are fierce in protection of home and family and are devoted to the welfare of family members. They have a strong capacity for devotion, sympathy, and adaptability in their relationships, and thus are easy to live with. They are loyal to their family and, although they may dream of greener pastures, if they stray into those pastures they soon locate the nettles. The almost preconscious conviction that pleasure must be paid for with pain can cause a sense of uneasiness in the family system of an INFP, who may transmit an air of being ever-vigilant against invasion. In the routine rituals of daily living, INFPs tend to be compliant and may even prefer having decisions made on their behalf, until their value system is violated! Then INFPs dig in their heels and will not budge from ideals. Life with an INFP will go gently along for long periods, until an ideal is struck and violated. Then an INFP will resist and insist.


At midlife INFPs may want to increase mastery of intellectual interests, perhaps taking advanced degrees in a chosen profession. They also may want to explore the sensual side of their natures, expanding their aesthetic appreciations to include physical sensory appreciations. Extending social activities and contacts may offer new horizons for INFPs, but they will have to guard against overextension psychologically, for before, during, and after midlife the vulnerability and sensitivity of the INFP will continue, and he or she can easily become emotionally drained.


The INFP questor probably has more problems in mating than any other type. Let us be mindful of the relative infrequency: about 1 1/4 percent, say two and a half million people in the USA. Their problem lies in their primary outlook on life. "Life," says the INFP, "is a very serious matter." Now when a person makes his life a kind of crusade or a series of crusades, then there's bound to be some taxing of the spouse. If the INFP takes the other tack, the "monastic" (and the same person can tack back and forth-now a crusader, now a monastic), the spouse will find himself again taxed, trying to draw the monastic out of his dark meditative cave.

The opposites of our crusading monastic seem well equipped for this alternating-phase taxation: ENTJ and ESTJ. Both are anchored in the real world with a vengeance. The ENTJ marshaling his or her forces toward distant objectives, the ESTJ administrating in a solid, dependable, and traditional way whatever is his or hers to administer. Both provide anchorage to a person who might otherwise get lost in meditation or in crusade. Selection of a mate of irrelevant form (e.g., an ISTP artisan or an ESTP promoter) would not be the wisest of tactics in so serious a business as life."

For a crazy quiz where all you do is pick colors, this got some stuff right.

ColorQuiz.comI took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Seeks the determination and elasticity of will nec..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

"Free personality analysis from ColorQuiz.com.

Your Existing Situation
Sensitive; needs esthetic surroundings, or an equally sensitive and understanding partner with whom to share a warm intimacy.

Your Stress Sources
Has an unsatisfied need to ally himself with others whose standards are as high as his own, and to stand out from the herd. This desire for preeminence isolates him and inhibits his readiness to give himself freely. While he wants to surrender and let himself go, he regards this as a weakness which must be resisted. This self-restraint, he feels, will lift him above the rank and file and ensure recognition as a unique and distinctive personality.

Your Restrained Characteristics
Willing to participate and to allow himself to become involved, but tries to fend off conflict and disturbance in order to reduce tension.

Wants to broaden his fields of activity and insists that his hopes and ideas are realistic. Distressed by the fear that he may be prevented from doing what he wants; needs both peaceful conditions and quiet reassurance to restore his confidence.

Feels that things stand in his way, that circumstances are forcing him to compromise and forgo some pleasures for the time being.

Your Desired Objective
Seeks the determination and elasticity of will necessary to establish himself and to make himself independent despite the difficulties of his situation. Wants to overcome opposition and achieve recognition.

Your Actual Problem
Needs to be valued and respected as an exceptional individual, in order to increase his self-esteem and his feeling of personal worth. Resists mediocrity and sets himself high standards."

Bruce Lee + Warren Ellis + Frank Miller.

= Brilliant.

Warren Ellis » Collecting Stray Thoughts - 2008-07-28:
"# One should be able to Frankmillerize films. By which one digitally removes all the dialogue and replaces it with the actors saying “WHORES” #
# Bruce Lee in Frankmillerized ENTER THE DRAGON: “Don’t think… WHOOOOOOORES.” #"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thug with a badge.

Critical Mass bicyclist knocked over by NYPD - Boing Boing:
"I wonder what made the police officer choose this particular bicyclist to knock to the ground at a critical mass rally in NYC on July 25?

Although a judge ruled in 2006 that the monthly Critical Mass bicycle rides could proceed without a permit, the NYPD's stance remains somewhat adversarial. Though the city has not been enforcing the controversial parade permit law when it comes to Critical Mass, police have been ticketing cyclists during the ride for such infractions as not having the required lights.

A representative for TIMES UP! tells us that the cyclist in this video was arrested, held for 26 hours, and charged with attempted assault and resisting arrest."

MyFox New York | NYPD Suspends Cop Over Shoving Incident Shown on YouTube:
"The New York Police Department has stripped a police officer of his badge and gun after a video posted on YouTube showed him body-checking a bicyclist who was part of a well-known monthly bike ride through the city.

Witnesses said the incident occurred Friday in Times Square during the Critical Mass ride, a monthly protest of urban reliance on vehicles.

The video shows the cop standing in the street as bikes whiz past. He begins to slowly walk to one side as the cyclist, Richard Vazques, approaches. Vazques appears to veer left to avoid the cop, but the officer seems to speed up his pace and then violently knocks Vazques to the ground in front of crowds of people.

'Critical Mass is a peaceful, nonviolent bicycle ride promoting the use of nonpolluting transportation,' said Critical Mass participant Barbara Ross, in a statement. 'There is no reason for the police to use such unprovoked violent tactics.'

The NYPD placed the unidentified officer on desk duty pending the outcome of a department investigation."

No video, and nothing whatsoever would've happened to this officer. As it stands, I'll lay even odds, that once the PR dies down, he'll be back on the force, "protecting and serving."

Abuse of authority pisses me off.

Amongst other things.

Overheard in New York | Good Point-- Fuck Those Furry Little Bastards:
"Little guy to big guy wearing fur hat: You know, wearing fur is murder.
Big guy wearing fur hat: So is me pushing you off the train.

--A Train"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Me too, and I don't even smoke.

Overheard Everywhere | And Let's Get Some Chewing Tobacco to Spit:
"Girl, to two guys smoking in a bar: Oh my gosh! Smoking? Gross! (walks away, disgusted)
Guy #1: You wanna follow her and smoke?
Guy #2: Hell yeah, I do.

Denver, Colorado"

"So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye..."

And on Saturday night we had our farewell gala for a bunch of our local crew - Kathy, Elaine, Andy. The standard Fukutsu event - Bagus + karaoke.

Little commentary required, as the pics speak for themselves. Good food, good drinks, and most of all - good people.

Jon and his evil shot-drinking plans. Tequila sucks. Hard. And one day I'll be strong enough to resist peer pressure. [But then I won't be cool and people won't like me.] But jesus god almighty do I hate tequila.

Kathy and her crazed look, having cleverly found a way to avoid the evil shot.

My sempai.

Kathy is "this many" years old. [Actually, this is when Kathy defends from stalker paparazzi like me.]

"Bad Boys."

ALTs in Japan. Corrupting young minds, drinking all the alcohol.

On to karaoke!

I've never loved Anton more than when he picked up the tambourine.

Mike has never seemed happier than when he was able to sing Gundam karaoke. Otaku Pride!

You know, I'm clearly punching above my weight in this marriage.

"Only you can prevent forest fires."

Singing their little hearts out.

"Bad Boys, pt II."

Even Anton sings. "Daydream Believer" by the Monkees. [That's not very punk rock, young man.]

How I'll always remember Kathy... mysterious and sophisticated. No wait... I meant slightly silly. :)

Even more photos here:

"Time keeps on slippin... into the future."

Summertime in the JET Programme, so changes are afoot.

I'm staying for my fourth year, having just finished up my third, but the two other ALTs at my Board of Education are heading back stateside, including my "sempai" Kathy, who's cheerfulness, optimism and thoughtfulness never failed to help make my time here in Japan a little better.

Along with these two vanishing back into the gaijin wilderness, it tends to make me take stock of where I am and what I'm doing. Starting my fourth year, which is 90% certain to be my last year, barring unforeseen circumstances... and despite the occasional desire to choke a random disrespectful yanki student or two, I'm still really enjoying my job. And as I've pontificated before, enjoying the job and the kids a lot more than I ever anticipated. And thinking about leaving next does pull at the heartstrings and tighten the chest up a little bit. So I'll bury that down deep via my powerful denial abilities...

But, with the passing of the year and the departure of personnel, that means farewell enkai parties. On Friday eve the Board of Education held the farewell enkai for our two returning ALTs, Kathy and Teresa... and this is the photographic tale.

Catching our last enkai bus together, me and Kathy.

Catching their names in lights, if you can read Japanese, that is.

Former Board of Education members returning for a final farewell.

Our supervisor, Terashima san, kicks things off.

Farewell speeches, an obligatory Japanese enkai requirement. I dread having to work mine out next year, as sad as my Japanese is...


Appreciatory-ness [it's a word.]

Biking pictures while riding "no hands" and freaking out kids and elderly Japanese women.

Testing out the ISO setting on my digicam, while fishing out the camera from a pocket "no hands" while getting a feel for the new bike. I perversely enjoy the shouts of "abunai! [dangerous] that the kids yell out when they see me so callously disregarding safety. I've never been able to figure that out... in a nation where they make all the kids play on unicycles at elementary school. Ah, well.

Rice growing season - that's some powerful green...

2 hand, over the head, no look photo... gone horribly wrong, obviously. But now I see why all the children wish to rub my shaven dome. That's some attractive smoothness right there.