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Naps and Permanent Markers · 22 February 2020



Technology is amazing. Nowadays, you do not need a permanent marker when your friends take naps.


I do not know that I have done it, but there is always that temptation to do a little doodling when somebody is taking a nap in a public place. You just want to grab the Sharpie and put a mustache under your sister’s nose when she is sleeping on the couch while “watching” a movie. Or maybe you want to make your brother pay for the last time he teased you mercilessly so you put hearts and flowers on his manly cheeks. Of course, when you grab that permanent marker, you take your own life in your hands. Especially if your napping friend or relative is a light sleeper. Or vengeful.


Not that I would know. I have not succumbed to that particular temptation of doodling on people’s faces. However, nowadays you do not need a permanent marker and you can still publicly humiliate your friends and relatives on the internet. There is an app for that. All you need to do is take a picture, modify it with the app, post it on social media, and voilà, instant humiliation. Or stardom. Or something like that.


I ought to know. I have fallen victim to such an app.


Actually, I do not think of myself as a victim. Whenever anybody ridicules me or makes fun of me, I just think to myself, “Somebody loves me.” Or at the very least, I think that somebody is paying a little attention to me. Either way, I think of whatever attention I get as a form of love.


By the way, we all know that the internet is permanent. More permanent than those permanent markers used to be. So when you get a picture modifying app, make sure your relatives and friends can handle the exposure you are planning on giving them. (Did you catch the photography humor? I know. Not very funny when you need to point it out.) And be ready for payback. Unless your friends have old phones. Or are tech unsavvy.


One last thought. There must be some sort of etiquette to making fun of your friends with these graffiti apps. Or even with permanent markers. I tend to think that if a person is napping on the couch or some other public place, then they are in the playing field. Then again, I am not usually the one using the apps, I am usually the one taking the naps.


So next time you are napping in a public place, remember that there are people watching. And that with today’s technology, they do not need permanent markers. Although, there is great joy when people see somebody’s new mustache you drew.

© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi

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I Hate Being Sick · 15 February 2020



Clinical Thermometer
by Menchi
(Alteration: size changed)
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


I hate being sick. Especially, with a fever.


I left school one day recently being cold. Icy cold. I had put on my jacket somewhere after the middle of the day and never took it off until I got home. I did not think that I had a fever until somewhere in the middle of an after school meeting. But when I got home, the thermometer said I had a fever. Mild but still a fever. And enough to make me feel as cold as ice.


I was actually going to write about being sick while I was sick, but I was not necessarily thinking straight. In fact, I did not do anything for four days while I was nursing that fever. It went up and down just a bit, and then, it finally went away. Not quite time to hoot and holler though. I still felt a bit out of it and a bit weak.


I suppose there can be a silver lining to anything. My silver lining is that I did not need to commute through the mess that is caused by a single road closure near my destination. That one road closure bottles up everything and makes traffic a nightmare. I guess that happens when you close up half of the ways in and out of town.


Well, that is about it. My brain still needs to start working again as I get ready for normalcy. Whatever that means. I hate being sick.

© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Avast Ye Scalawag · 8 February 2020



I never knew that Pirate was a different language that could be taught and learned.


There are all sorts of apps out there that teach different languages. Of course, the biggest of them all is Rosetta Stone. Its approach is immersion. As much as you can immerse yourself in your own computer. (Which is a completely different story.) But there are other apps that are certainly worth looking into and trying.


Mango Languages is one of those noteworthy apps. It is available for download on phones and tablets and such. Plus you can access it online. The nice thing about it is that it connects to our local library and whatever languages the library has available are available on Mango Languages. I would imagine that is true in other places too. Just connect the app to your library account and you can be learning a language in no time at all.


The great thing about language is that it brings people together. Obviously, we all use language to communicate. Yes, we can use pictures (after all a picture is worth a thousand words), but when it comes right down to it, we need language to communicate.


I need to interject a side note here. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but how many of us complain about movies not being able to correctly portray a book? Those thousands of pictures cannot hope to accurately portray the tens of thousand words. So is a picture really worth a thousand words?


But I digress.


Language is indeed important and learning new ones is a great way to learn to communicate to a wider range of people than we can just knowing one. For instance, if I wanted to communicate with more people in the world, I would learn Spanish. Or Chinese. Or Hindustani.


We might also want to learn different languages for different reasons too. If I wanted to learn more about my culture of origin, I would learn Japanese. If I wanted to watch more soap operas on TV, I might learn Korean. If I wanted to find out what they were saying on those pirate movies, I might learn Pirate. Really. Pirate is an actual language!


When I first saw Pirate as a language on Mango Languages, I had to laugh. Pirate!? How ludicrous. There were even six lessons (at least) on how to speak pirate. Quite the eye opener. At least the one without the patch. I thought to myself, why would anybody want to learn to speak like a pirate? And why would anybody go through the trouble of making lessons to learn Pirate? Obviously for people in my family. After all, we opened up the first lesson and went through the whole thing.


“Brush me barnacles!”
“Avast ye scalawags!”
“Shiver me timbers!”
“Haul wind, ye landlubbers.”


And then later, we opened the second lesson and learned those phrases too. I was not quite as in tune with those and did not practice those phrases, although Swashbuckler and Landlubbers were certainly part of that lesson and not the first. Still, I thought it quite entertaining to hear the iPad spitting out those phrases. Especially, with the emphasized arrrr everywhere. And the never conjugated “be” or the forgotten “g.” I be thinkin’ it be quite enterrrtainin’. For spectators and participants of the lessons.


My favorite part about the whole thing was that the narrator could be so straight-faced, rather straight-voiced, throughout the whole thing. I wondered how many takes it would take to record the whole thing. It was no wonder that they only had six lessons on Pirate. Then I was told the truth. The narrator was a computer generated voice. So all they had to do was put in the right words to say and the computer did the rest. What a disappointment. But I can still imagine a real narrator having to do the lessons tons of times before getting it right. Before doing it without so much as a smirk.


I suppose the pirate was a computer too. Then again, maybe the pirate was real. After all, he sounded like a real scalawag. Who knows. All I know is that when we looked at all the languages we could be learning, we chose Pirate. Because as you now know, Pirate is a real language that you can learn to speak.

© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi

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