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  • Michael Krakovskiy 10:24 am on February 3, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cube, Games, really uncomfortable chair, , Times Square Building   

    Window Cube 

    After more than five years with my current company, I finally snagged the ultimate in attainable by mortal developers status symbols – the window cube. If I crane my neck and recline in my really uncomfortable chair, I can see the same Times Square Building that Joel and his co-workers can see from their comfortable Aerons, except from the opposite side.

    What looks like a fake skyscraper with a hole in the middle is actually a side view of the superstructure that supports the electronic marquee. It looks like there’s a staircase inside the glass-enclosed space.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 8:17 am on August 18, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Games, , , , Katamari, Katamari Damacy, Takoyaki,   

    Deadprogrammer Does Japan: Morning Set 

    Let’s face it, my week and a half trip to Japan was a major highlight of my miserable cubicle existence, and a major picture taking opportunity. In fact, it wore out my old camera. Still, I wrote up maybe a tenth of what I wanted to write about. Part III of the extensive posts still sits unfinished somewhere on my laptop. Writing long articles kind of wore me out, so I’ll try my hand at small Scobel-esque little bunny poop postlets focusing on tiny aspects of my Japanese experience.

    Any good Japanese guidebook will tell you that food is very expensive in Japan with one major exception: morning sets. Morning set (I think it’s pronounced “morningu setu” or something like that) is a cheap breakfast menu. The average price is about 500 – 600 yen, or about $5. Paying for breakfast with a single silvery coin is rather cool.

    As we all know, Japan is all about dainty stuff. Morning sets are chock full of kawaii. Your coffee is served in a nice cup, you get a cute little salad, a small scoop of potato salad, a croissant, a cup of yogurt with floating bits of fruit. Notice the cutest little stirrer-spoon.

    Although Japanese-style morning set exist, Western ones are more popular. Me and my wife had this particular breakfast in a little French-themed cafe right near our hotel. There was Mozart piped in from the speakers, but friendly service was most un-French.

    Here’s an American-style morning set. A tiny cute little omelet, a tiny cute little piece of bacon and the most manly toast. Morning set toast is super thick, reaching a few inches in cross section.

    The interesting part is that Western-style morning sets are way more exotic and Japanese in nature than the traditional Japanese breakfast of rice, miso soup and fried fish. Beware of Western-style restaurants in Japan – they often suck, but definitely do not eat breakfast in hotel restaurants, but go for morning sets outside.

    I added my photos with a Flickr tag “morningset“. Maybe the collection will grow.


    Ad:
    I thought about including a nice Japanese guidebook in this ad, but that’s boring. Katamari Damacy aka Katamari Damashii on the other hand is the most amazing weird Japanese video game. You control a tiny little alien who is rolling a ball called “katamari” around various settings. Objects stick to katamari, making it bigger and bigger, allowing you to pick up larger and larger objects. You’d be surprized at how addictive this is.

    Wikipedia explains the meaning of the name: “Katamari means “clump”, Damashii is the rendaku form of tamashii (soul or spirit). Therefore, the whole phrase approximates to “clump spirit,” or, somewhat more loosely, “clump of soul.” It might also be considered a pun — dama means ball while shii can be translated as circumference, and the two kanji that form the name look nearly alike in a kind of visual alliteration.”

    The objects that stick to katamari range from pencils and erasers, to takoyaki to giant squids and fishing boats. When I had my first ever takoyaki in Japan, all I could think about was this game.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 2:21 am on March 4, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , but I really like this photo, , , , , Games, , Magician, Minchiate, , , , Rider-Waite tarot deck, Sherry Netherland Hotel, , , Tarot of Marseilles, The Magician,   

    The Deadprogrammer Tarot Project 

    For a very long time I wanted to create my own Tarot deck. Complex symbolism of classic Tarot decks such as the Rider-Waite-Smith makes it next to impossible to recreate them faithfully in photographic format without posing people and items (which would look lame of course). I do want to stay relatively close to RWS canon though, so I am thinking about digitally altering my images to add swords and other things not commonly found in XXI century New York.

    Please treat these as sketches, because final versions will probably be way different.

    The Tower: Brooklyn College heating plant’s smokestack is as good a Tower as any. Maybe I’ll shoot it some day in a lightning storm.

    The Moon: I need to reshoot this with the Moon between the towers and with the pond visible in the picture, but I think this is the right location for the card. The towers are Pierre Hotel on the left and Sherry Netherland Hotel on the right.

    The Magician: I saw what is probably a bicycle inner tube rolled up in an infinity symbol along the glistening subway rails one morning, and the first thing that came to my mind was the Tarot card. Theoretically this should be a man with an infinity symbol over his head, but I really like this photo.

     
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