A Student to Marry

I greatly enjoyed most of my Japanese students and colleagues, but I have retained contact with only a few of them. Most of my acquaintances are from my Tokushima University days, during which my Japanese ability began to improve and the size of the city, smaller than Sapporo and Tokyo, helped me get to know people better. My last unwed student recently sent photos of the man to whom she is now engaged, who proposed by writing "Please Marry Me Rie" in fruit syrup on a dessert plate at dinner.

Congratulations Rie!

A Pleasant Day

Though it began with my reluctance to depart for school, the day turned out to be a very good one for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was able to figure out viable algorithms for Connect 5, our peer-to-peer final project in ECE 463.
  2. Purdue's main campus will let me attend Commencement up there.
  3. A friend called to thank me for passing along the contact information of a recruiter who has since hired him. He is excited about moving to Michigan to work.
  4. Another friend I had not seen in a while happened by and said he had heard good things about my growing programming skills. They are definitely better, but they are still low.
  5. My 463 partner found out how to use the old PHP 5.3 that my hosting arrangement provides, which will allow our P2P game to work nicely.

Additionally, it was unseasonably warm: 71°F.

Nosing about Winchester, Kentucky

I'm in Lexingotn, Kentucky, writing this at a Panera. I've driven down to Winchester, Kentucky, to see the friend in whose Columbus, Ohio, apartment I'm living for the summer. I will most likely be helping him move back, whenever he does.

Winchester is quite a nice small city. It surrounded by the rolling hills of thi spart of Kentucky, a topography I enjoy, one inseparable from the Ohio River valley. Around Winchester are lenty of stone fences, usually built by Irish immigrant stone masons in teh 19th century. This is horse country, as many license plates will remind you, if you somehow manage not to stray off the interstate, about the only place where you won't see horses here. Beer cheese, which I've never had, was first whipped up here, and various restaurants promote it. I also see a number of "Coal Keeps the Lights On" license plates, since Kentucky is coal country, especially to the east.


The Kentucky River flows nearby and is currently quite swollen, large chunks of debris floating from recent heavy and fatal rains. There are surely ample canoe and kayak options, but I don't have the money to plump for those right now. I have been on a variety of trails, including one up to the old foundation of an earthen Civil War fort, Fort Boonesboro.  Later this evening I might stroll the cemetery, which dates from 1814, I think, to seek some neat old headstones.

There is a local soft drink, Ale-8, that has been in production for decades. Stopping in the local tourism office and Chamber of Commerce, where I was treated extremely well, I learned that there are a number of Japanese firms nearby, which is not a surprise, given the large Toyota plant up the interstate in Georgetown. But the people in the office were interested in my Japanese past.

Winchester also apparently hosts the headquarters of its local utility, the name currently escaping me. I had wondered whether AEP, my current co-op employer, might operate here, but unfortunately they do not.

I will head back to Ohio tomorrow with some of my friend's stuff, but it will be something of a disappointment to leave here. It seems a nice small town, with thriivng Lexington simultaneously near and far enough.



Moda Industria Show

A friend of mine has started her own business selling original art: Moda Industria.

Last Friday I drove down to see an exhibition of her work at Bloomington's John Waldron Arts Center, which is apparently a part of Ivy Tech Community College. Her work is quite interesting, but I do prefer the metal work, such as the piece below. She no longer welds the pieces herself, but she can, if needed. Right on!


I like the intentional corrosion on both these pieces. Rust can be oddly warm and appealing, but I do like orange colors.