Archive for April, 2008

Speaking at YAPC::NA 2008

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

The schedule for YAPC::NA has been announced. I already knew that my talk had been accepted but I really wasn’t expecting to be the first speaker of the conference. I’m already feeling nervous but at least speaking at the start allows me to relax for the rest of it.


Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008


Karaoke Time

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Over the past year we have dragged lots of our guests out to Big Echo to take part in the Japanese pastime of karaoke singing. The ability to have a private room makes it much easier to encourage people to sing and also means that we don’t have to listen to strangers crooning strange Japanese songs. This, however, doesn’t protect us from hearing our friends sing strange foreign songs.

When Geoff visited last year he had taken the time to learn a song in Japanese. I was very impressed. I have been here over a year and only recently managed to get the whole way through an Angela Aki song without stumbling badly over the words. So far I haven’t tried to do this in front of any of my Japanese friends. Though I do sing in Japanese for my language teacher – but then the Japanese version of “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” is a bit easier than an Ayumi song. Marty can’t sing Japanese songs. Once he makes a mistake he stops dead and gets completely lost. But still it’s amusing to listen to him try.

At the weekend Tony impressed us by singing the Romanian song “Dragostea Din Tei”. He also managed to find the Holly Dolly song “Dolly Song” but the “lyrics” were only written in katakana and none of us have a hope of reading it that quickly.

It is always good fun but sometimes we spend more time laughing than singing. Andrew’s version of “Take on Me” was probably much more amusing than it was supposed to be. I don’t think he realised that Morton Harket had such a wide range and watching Andrew raise his eyebrows in a vain attempt to hit the high notes certainly made me laugh. I think though that the funniest performance so far has been Norwin’s version of “Wuthering Heights”. I really does have to be seen to be believed.

The Joys of Spring

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Now that it’s getting warmer the insects are coming back. Last night I saw our first jumping spider and tonight, whilst washing the dishes, I heard a cricket outside. (Now that Andrew has gone back home I have to wash my own dishes again).

Unfortunately the ants never really went away. The ants like house guests. House guests leave cups and plates on the table and more people eating means more crumbs dropped on the floor for the ants to find. House guests also managed to find food that the ants really liked – little sealed cups of jelly that brought the ants out in droves. So that even after cleaning the table with bleach my Japanese teacher was able to teach me the counter for creatures by counting the ants walking over my Japanese text books…

Biggest YAPC Ever?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

YAPC::Asia is really popular this year. At the minute there are 448 people who will be attending and there was an announcement made recently saying that another 50 tickets will go on sale sometime this week. The final schedule hasn’t been released yet but I am looking forward to hearing Schwern give his “Perl is Dead” keynote.

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

It’s my little sister’s birthday today. She really hates the fact that she was born on April Fool’s Day.

Sarah in Japan