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Cars have been on my mind a lot recently. So far in the decade I’ve been licensed, I’ve owned three. My parents gave me an Eagle Vision when I was in college, and I bought a Saturn LS2 from them a few years later after returning from Japan. Both were sensible, practical, well-maintained sedans firmly [...]

Summer Fest

Command has been promoting the K-16 summer fest for over a month now. Come to summer fest! It’s a Friday off! All the cool people from not just this base, but Yongsan and the surrounding Seongnam community will be there! Naturally, the day arrives and there is rain. This isn’t just any rain, though: it’s [...]

Soul of a New Machine

It’s about time for me to build a new computer. I last did so last time I wintered in Asia, and it’s been a few years since then. The rig that blew games out of the water back then only plays them hesitantly now. Luckily, constructing a new computer is a lot easier now than [...]


I reached an agreement today to buy a motorcycle. Its current owner bought it last year for $11k, but just got a bonus and wants to upgrade to a $20k sport bike. He’s paying off the remainder of the $8k he currently owes this week, and next week will sell it to me for $4k. [...]


7e11 dollars. When the most convenient notation for a figure is the scientific, you’re talking about either a whole lot or a tiny amount. The exponent here is positive, so we know that it’s a ton, but trying to imagine that sum in terms of money just boggles the mind. It is too much money [...]

Dr. Horrible

Some of you may recall the Writers’ Strike of last winter. Finally, some good has come of it: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. It is a short film in three parts, free (until tomorrow midnight) to watch. It is very amusing. Can even Joss Whedon tell a grand story in half an hour? No, but luckily, [...]

user generated solutions

Today in the academics portion of training we were learning about close air support systems. In passing, the Lt. Col. teaching us mentioned this nugget: “The Army spent a few million dollars for a custom computerized battlefield orders management system. It can handle hundreds of detailed orders per day, and coordinate them with the rest [...]


A friend of mine is an avid poker player. That would be an entirely unexceptional hobby, except he makes money at it. He studies the game almost as intensively as he studies for flight school, always reading one book or another about its theory and practice. I was skeptical of his claims that he’s made [...]

on the first day of actual flight you give your ip a nickel

This morning at 0455 I was on a bus to the flight line. After some briefings, at 0800 I sat down in a helicopter–the first time I’ve done so in my life. Less than half an hour later, I was flying it without assistance from the instructor. Actually, flying at cruise speed and altitude is [...]

True Stories of Life in Japan, pt 10: All Good Things

My contract in Japan specified that I would stay one year at that company, and that nine months into the process both the head office and I would determine whether the contract was worth renewal. If we both decided that I should stay, I would get a raise of about $1000 annually and an automatic [...]