Welcome

Welcome, all, to my blog’s new home.  Please say hi, and I hope you find this a more pleasant experience to deal with than the old site.  I think everything transferred here without too much of a hitch.  Some things, such as titles for posts, will need to be fixed, and so will categories/tags as well as other sundry minor issues that shouldn’t interfere with your reading experience in any significant way.

There has been one change though — my feed will no longer give you the full post, but only a snippet.  This is mostly to deter feed thieves who, in the past, have stolen my posts wholesale and published them elsewhere.

If you have any suggestions for how the site looks (or, for that matter, any problems with it, technical or otherwise), do let me know.

Growing culture

I didn’t realize that it’s possible to grow mold in heavily chlorinated water, which is what I get from the tap.  I added some water to two glasses and put them in my storage closet for my puerh.  I left them there for a few weeks, figuring there’s no reason to bother them since they had not evaporated.  I went back a few days ago to check on my tea, and I saw a thin film of white and black mold on the water.  Yum.

The tea, however, is fine — no evidence of mold outbreak.  Not sure what to make of it, really, but this is a first.

Emails

Once upon a time, everybody used Hotmail as their default free webmail address.  Then, Gmail came along…. and the world has never been the same since.

Long story short, today I just re-logged into my long unused hotmail account, and to my horror, there were a number of emails from well meaning readers to which I have never responded — obviously, since I haven’t seen them.  To those of you who’ve written to my hotmail address and never got a reply, I offer you my sincere apologies.  If anybody wishes to write me an email, please direct your emails to my gmail account (username + gmail.com).  In the meantime, I’ll have to go through my backlog of emails to try to rectify my errors.

Thanks

Turning to the dark side

No, I still don’t drink coffee.

However, I did format my harddisk and install Linux.  I was a Windows user (XP).  However, it gave me a nasty crash yesterday.  Some system files got corrupted.  When I tried to recover the computer using the pre-installed files that came with the computer (Lenovo doesn’t give you a recovery disk) the computer can’t seem to find that either.  So what that means is that I couldn’t load anything up at all.

I had two options.  I could wait for the folks to send me a disk, which can take three to five days.  Or, at the suggestion of the kind folks at my school’s help desk, I could use Ubuntu to boot up and recover all the documents/files I want, and then, well, wait for the recovery disk or just use Ubuntu.

I have been pretty fed up with Windows recently, and have thought of doing something about it.  This was enough of an excuse for me to make the switch.

That does mean, however, that I have to install everything again, and to re-learn some things, since I’ve never used Linux extensively before.  It also means I need to find the right programs for the right tasks again.

For the purpose of this blog, I need to find something that manages photos, and also does some simple editing — cropping, changing brightness, the basic stuff.  I don’t like toying with the pictures too much, because I feel like heavily edited pictures, for a blog on tea anyway, takes away the original flavour of the image.  This is especially true when you switch colour balances and that kind of thing.  You don’t want to see blue tea leaves, which sometimes show up on vendor pages because they did too much to alter their image.

So, any suggestions on software is welcomed.  Until I’ve figured this all out, however (hopefully not too long), expect low amounts of updates.

Moving sale

Being a young academic means you pretty much have to deal with the nomadic lifestyle, at least until you find a stable job. I have to move again in a few months, and as anybody who’s followed this blog for a while would know, I’ve accumulated a lot of things in the past few years.

So in the interest of lessening the load of things I have to carry, as well as putting some of these items to better use than sitting on my shelves collecting dust, here are some teaware that I’ve dug up so far that I am hoping will find a better home somewhere else.

In the interst of not cluttering up the blog with too many messages, please inquire about prices or ask for more details/pictures by emailing me. My address is marshaln at gmail. The list of items here are

5 cups
1 silver plated kyusu
1 tea caddy
1 tetsubin
1 teapot + yuzamashi
5 chataku (one set)

Most of these I’ve used at one time or another, some rather extensively. They are no longer items that I use for my tea drinking, however, and will probably be more useful to some others. I also have some other cups that I am thinking of parting ways with. If you’re so inclined, shoot me an email too.

Ugh

My last entry on this blog was December 5th. That’s almost two weeks ago, which is quite scandalous. I have been rather occupied with all sorts of things, not least pretending to try to write my dissertation and to look for (hopeful) employment as a pedagogical device in classrooms. Until then, however, there is much work to be done.

Work aside, however, I am heading to Hong Kong tomorrow for a bit more than a week to see family and such. So hopefully, I will be reporting again from there 🙂