The family and I are in a Super 8 Motel somewhere off US 31 in Decatur, Alabama. I'm posting via the new laptop (wireless Internet r0x0rz!). We're on our way to New Orleans for the weekend for a family occasion. Posting will be sporadic as Internet access permits.
We have a long drive ahead of us tomorrow, so I'm turning in.
A thin, cookie-like stick most commonly coated with chocolate, Pocky is building momentum as a hip treat and finding a place among Louisville's more traditional munchies.
Pocky is gaining popularity particularly among young Americans enchanted by Japanese pop culture - including anime (a form of animation) and manga (graphic novels). In Louisville, Pocky has popped up in such places as video stores, including Suncoast, comic shops like The Zone, and even at one movie theater's concession stand.
The word "Pocky" is meaningless, according to Eiichi Takano of Ezaki Glico, the Osaka-based confection company that created the candy. It's a word meant to represent the sound a Pocky stick makes when snapped. The stick's consistency and taste are somewhere between biscotti, pretzels and graham crackers. But Pocky is categorized by its coatings. While plain-chocolate Pocky in the red box is the most common, Pocky is available in an ever-expanding array of flavors, from coconut to mousse. Limited-edition flavors include crème brulee and grape. Pocky prices depend on the size of the box and the flavor, ranging from $2 to $11 a pack.
To Takano, Pocky appeal is easily explained: "You nibble little by little, and it's very fun."
In Japan, the snack has been common for more than 30 years. "It's in every grocery store and convenience store. You can see it everywhere," said Toki Hue, co-owner of Maido Essential Japanese Cuisine on Frankfort Avenue, who grew up in Japan.
The ownwer of Louisville's art-house Baxter Avenue Theater identified pocky popularity as part of the growing acceptance of Japanese culture in the US.
"It's starting to come into vogue. Almost anything Japanese right now is hot. Anime is growing by leaps and bounds, and this goes along with it."
Pocky was what kept us going at our recent visit to Ikasucon; the tasty confection was about the only snack available. (Memo to self: Next con, be sure to tote some chow.)
Thirty-five years ago, two Americans landed on the moon, taking the human race to another body beyond Earth for the first time.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, piloting the Eagle landing module, touched down in the moon's Sea of Tranquility, on July 20, 1969. A third U.S. astronaut, Michael Collins, was in the orbiting command module overhead.
"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind," said Armstrong.
The words were seared into the memories of the 600 million some people -- about 1/5 of our planet's population -- who watched the broadcast transmitted from the lunar surface.
"For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, the people of this Earth are truly one," said President Richard Nixon.
Accolades poured in from around the world. New Zealand Prime Minister Keith Holyoake said: "The impossible is only that which takes a little longer to do."
In related news, here's a NASA story about persistent rumors that the moon landing was a hoax.
...Well, not posting, that's for sure. I'm definitely finding that saving up links to post in the evening is a spotty proposition at best. I'll try to post today's collection tomorrow.
We're heading out of town this weekend, so expect posting to be even slower than normal. I'll be bringing my laptop, so I'll post if I can find wireless access.
On the job front, my current consulting position wraps up at the end of the month, but I'll be beginning a new one directly afterwards. That one should extend at least through October, so there's breathing room there, at least.
I just received a spam email message from an organaization claiming to be LUCKYDAY LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL that, for once, holds some slight interest, if only for the unique and clever nature of its scam:
LUCKYDAY LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL. 48-50,AMSTERDAM WEG, AMSTERDAM-NETHERLANDS. FROM:THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT. INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD. BATCH NO: LDNL/009842/04. REF. NO: LDNL/1282884/04.
This is to inform you of the release of the EMAIL LOTTERY BALLOT INTERNATIONAL/WORLD GAMING BOARD held on the 16th of July 2004. Due to the mix up of number,the results were released on the 19th of July 2004. Your name attached to ticket number 561000 with serial number 009888 drew the lucky numbers of 11-8-9 which consequently won the lottery in the 2nd category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of EUR 1, 000,000.00 (ONE MILLION EUROS) in cash credited to file with REF. NO: LDNL/1282884/04.
CONGRATULATIONS: Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from only Microsoft users from over 20,000 company, and 3,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes place every three years. Please be informed that all non-resident of Holland are required to pay a refundable fee between EUR300-900 Euros in advance for their non - resident processing/application fee prior to the collection of their winning prize. The amount to be paid is subject to your country of origin. To begin your lottery claim, please contact the processing company that have been appointed for the processing of your winning. Please call the claiming agent;Mr.RICARDO VAN-ROY, the Foreign Operation Manager of the appointed company,LUCKYDAY LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL on,Tel: 0031-616-204-829 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the processing and remittance of your winning prize money to a destination of your choice. Any claim not made before two weeks from this date will be returned to the MINISTERIAL VAN DE ECONOMIA HOLLAND.
Note that all unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake. Also in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications,remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers in all your correspondence with Mr.Ricardo Van-Roy and please follow all his instructions religiously.Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible. Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Note: Anybody under the age of 20 is automatically disqualified.
Yours Sincerely, Dorothy Van Der-Berge. Vice President, LUCKYDAY LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL.
This message seems to be some variant on the notorious Nigerian spam swindle. At the very least, I'm sure any sucker who responds would be out the 900 Euro "non - resident processing/application fee," and perhaps the originators of this email would request bank information in order to "transfer" the so-called "prize." Of course, I'm not biting.
Last weekend, we nipped out to a local used CD/DVD store to pick up something in preparation for a trip we're about to take. We got Cecilia a used GameBoy to keep her entertained in the car. (We're gong to New Orleans, and the return trip wil lbe something like 16 hours in the car!)
I also saw an obviously imported anime disc for $9 -- the thing is, it had almost no English at all on the label (although it did indicated English subtitles), and nothing to indicate the title. Fortunately, someone at Ikasucon was helpfully able to identify it as Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Forest and Mermaid Scar. Via Google, I also discovered that the copy I bought was apparently a Hong Kong bootleg.
By the way, I also scored a copy of the PlayStation game Dance Dance Revolution Konamix, plus two dance pads, all for $26! I've only begun playing DDR, but I've discovered that it's not only fun, but also great aerobic exercise. (Of course, I'm still pretty L4m3 at it; at Ikasucon this weekend, there were some kids at a DDR contest who were positively smokin' -- far above my level indeed!)
I've long become accustomed to hearing Muzak versions of songs from my youth, but it’s a little disheartening to hear relatively recent songs – stuff that not long ago was playing on the local pseudo-college-radio station – converted to easy-listening format. This morning, I was on hold with the technical support line at work this morning, and the first song selection of the hold music was a watered-down instrumental version of Deep Blue Something's "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Our (nearly) five-year-old, Cecilia, and I had a great time at Ikasucon! Here are some pictures of her cosplaying as Sailor Moon. She even took part in the onstage cosplay contest, and received an honorable mention and a plushie.
My lovely and talented wife Crystal made the costume. I'm inordinately proud of both of them!
I'll have more cosplay pics posted soon, and I expect Musashi will post some at Destroy All Monsters as well.