“Help me do my hair.” Palsied hands guided mine to the pair of
chopsticks Mama always used to bind her hair in a tight bun. I
gathered the limp gray strands gently, conscious of Mama’s fragility.
No matter what I did, though, the chopsticks kept slipping out of the
knots I made.
“Harder.” She reached up and gave the chopsticks a sharp twist. I
winced as I heard hair snap, but her face showed no pain. “I want to
look my best when I die.”
“Mama, don’t say such things.”
“I’m dying and you know it. No sense pretending. When I’m gone, you
have to keep the family together. Someone has to keep your brothers
from killing each other.” She nodded toward the other room. Through
the thin wooden walls, we could hear them already arguing about
“How can I? They won’t even give me the time of day.”
“I know you can do it. You have to be strong.” She patted my hand.
I felt her slip away. “Mama!”
“I love you all.” As the light left her eyes, her head bent forward.
The motion jarred the bun loose and the chopsticks clattered to the
floor. I reached for them and tried to do her hair again, but there
was no strength left in my shaking fingers. A door slammed shut,
and my family was no more.
(Written on the train.)
The nomikai was tons of fun! I’m looking forward to the next one. I
met lots of interesting people. Michael Moyle is into Linux
administration and programming, and is looking for a part-time job
while he studies Japanese. Michael Reinsch is into component systems research, a higher-level version
of aspect-oriented programming. He likes strongly-typed languages.
Jeffrey Keays is a Java non-fan and likes PHP and Perl, and is fairly
interested in aspect-oriented programming but hasn’t really gotten
into it beyond reading a few papers, as the main implementations use
Java. He likes loosely-typed languages and thinks Ruby is delicious.
Thomas GiuffrÃƒÂƒÃ‚ÂƒÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â© is his boss.
Ken’ichi-san thinks Planner is a bit difficult to use, and is of the
opinion that no Emacs-based PIM has quite hit the mark yet. He laughed
when he saw his website on my task list. Uekawa-san
(dancer,dancerj(IRC)) is a DD who’s also going to Kansai Open Source 2004. We swapped GPG fingerprints, so all I have to do now is study
for the interview. Moon Ki Cho is Ernest’s friend and is interested in
Linux, but hasn’t really tried it out yet. There was one other girl. I
think I was the youngest there.
I particularly enjoyed practicing my Japanese, although I’m still bad
at it. =)
I made it back barely in time. I managed to catch a train going all
the way to Sangyo Shinko Center, and I even made it before curfew.
Whee! I will certainly attend the next one.
For some reason, I sporadically have problems with Linux networking,
although Windows works without any obvious problems. DHCP works. I
acquire a sane-looking address and the same connection details (DNS
server, default gateway, netmask). DNS lookups work, as the DNS is
within the subnet. However, routing packages through the gateway
doesn’t work on Linux. Ethereal shows me that my computer keeps
sending ARP requests for the gateway, which doesn’t answer. When I set
the MAC address for the gateway using arp —set, I get delays when I
try to access it, and no successful transmissions.
The strange thing is that it sometimes works, it sometimes doesn’t.
This morning and early this afternoon, I connected without problems.
Sometimes I manage to connect during the night. Possibly a
misconfigured computer joining the network? (I hope it’s not mine.
Then again, I successfully connect some of the time.)
Now, I know the gateway exists, because I can see traffic from it from
time to time—usually, very delayed ARP responses to _other_ people,
not to me. Could my MAC address be getting filtered on the server
side? I’m not sure. That requires some setup (unless they have an
automated firewall doing weird stuff) and doesn’t explain why I can
occasionally access the Net.
I don’t think it’s my computer’s fault, but I’m still annoyed.
Other packets are going through the gateway fine. Why don’t mine?
Wild speculation: perhaps the server has a Windows-biased virus that
won’t let uninfected hosts access the Internet… ;) So much for
Occam’s Razor, eh?
I miss the Internet.