Marketing and Corporations, Always Ruining Society

The Woman Shaking up the Diamond Industry, a recent article in the New Yorker, reminds me of how terribly broken our society is due to corporate greed. Talking about N. W. Ayer & Son, the company that De Beers hired to make diamonds more alluring to the market in the United States: One Ayer copywriter, Frances Gerety, recalled that women formerly wanted their future husbands to spend money on “a washing machine, or a new car, anything but an engagement ring,” which was considered “money down the drain. [Read More]

HBR on the Worst Type of Leader

I won’t spoil the ending, but this Harvard Business Review article on one of the worst and draining types of leadership explains why I left my last work. A young friend recently remarked that the worst boss he ever had would provide him with feedback that always consisted of “You’re doing a great job.” But they both knew it wasn’t true — the organization was in disarray, turnover was excessive, and customers were not happy. [Read More]

Dodo, FTTC, Mikrotik and PPPoE

A family member has been using Dodo’s ADSL2+ service for a long time and it worked fine for their needs. Recently (before the rest of us, thanks Turnbull and co-conspirators!) she was upgraded to the Fibre To The Curb system, which meant a few tweaks. They sent her a shiny Huawei HG659, which I had no intentions of using. The Mikrotik in place was doing the job fine, took up less space, and maintaining it would mean nothing else had to be reconfigured. [Read More]

Simple Overcast Stats

I use Overcast to listen to all my podcasts, it’s a great app by Marco Arment. Smart Speed shortens the listen time by shortening longish silences in speech like magic. I’m a data nerd, and the app shows how many hours Smart Speed has saved (281 hours) but not the amount of podcasts I’ve got outstanding or how many I’ve listened to. You can export the OPML feed for your account from the accounts page, including the “All Data” feed - which is handy to summarise the data I want. [Read More]

Woodblocks and Cup Noodle, our last full day

We started the day with weighing our bags. We left Australia with 18kg across our two bags and we have managed to double that with the weight of books and other souvenirs ^_^ As soon as we walked out of the hotel we saw a beautiful Nissan Skyline R35 GTR. Burble burble happy noises… from me, the car sounded great too! Kamigata Ukioye Museum is in the Nanba area of Osaka, not far from the main train station. [Read More]

Osaka Castle and oodles of Noodles

Let’s start the day with some quick floof. Japan, no. Pepsi, plz no. Osaka Castle was today’s thing to visit. There’s an extended garden next to it, but that’s not open on Mondays, so we might come back on another day. This was an interesting place to explore. Visually spectacular from the outside, but once you’re inside it’s like you’re in any other museum or art space. Built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, as much as any structure is by the daimyo. [Read More]

Kyoto to Osaka with Manga

Today’s a transit day, we are leaving Kyoto and heading back to Osaka. Given it’s only a half hour train away, we have some time to kill between the 11am check out and the 3pm check in at the new place. The news from home isn’t getting any better, but the art showing what a clusterfuck our political leaders are has really started to catch its stride. The only real plan we had today was to head to the Kyoto International Manga Museum. [Read More]

Nijo Castle, last full day in Kyoto

Waking up to more news of the horror befalling my home country wasn’t a great start. Fuck the liberals. Fuck Murdoch. Fuck everyone that’s had anything to do with the policies and corruption that have led to this truly horrifying state. That includes me I’m sure, so well, fuck me. This is going to be a short post for sure. Today was the day of “please don’t take photos here” places. [Read More]

Torii, Silver and the Palace

So it’s Friday the third, our second last full day in Kyoto and our first goal is to see Fushimi Inari Taisha and the Senbon Torii (The Thousand Torii Gates). A quick walk down the hill to the Kiyomizu-Gojo station of the Keihan line and we’re on our way to Fushimi-Inari station, the start of the Kyoto Trail. We’d seen these markers along the way to Shogunzaka, and a few times since, but this was #1! [Read More]

Arashiyama Adventuring

Today we’re doing things in Arashiyama, western Kyoto. A bus to the train station, then on the JR West train to Saga-Arashiyama station. Oh how I’ve missed trains. Kyoto is a very bus-centric city and Google Maps just isn’t great at indicating where bus stops are around here. You can keep the free internet of the big cities, and their automatic doors, just give me my rail-riding steeds. Off the train and through the suburban streets to a small section of bamboo forest walk before visiting Nonomiya Shrine, a Shinto shrine. [Read More]