Sede Vacante

The light is on but no one is home.

Archive for December, 2007

Welcome to 2008!

Chuc mung nam moi!

Happy new year, folks! The wife and I are traipsing around northern Viet Nam so I haven’t been able to post much. You can (all 6 of you) rest assured that I have quite a few posts currently being thought out. In case you want a bit of the day-to-day, you can check out the wifey’s blog for a quick rundown of what’s going on with us over here.

For those wondering, the current header is a shot from beautiful Ha Long bay (here’s a link to it, in case I’ve changed it already). That’s another reason I haven’t really been able to post. At the moment, we’ve accumulated 1081 photographs. And those are just the digital ones. I’ve also got 4 rolls of film that I’m planning to develop and scan back at the office in Ho Chi Minh.  In the meantime, check out the photos I’ve uploaded on Flickr!

In any case, see you all in 2008!!


Population Control for the Philippines

It’s Christmas and countless poor and destitute families have descended upon the city in droves in order to make the most of the relatively generous sentiment that grips the general citizenry during this time. Driving down Gilmore Avenue, you see entire makeshift villages spring up by the side of the road like the camps of the Roman legion. What bothers me the most is the sheer number of children that make up these seasonally nomadic communities.

Like most poor countries, the Philippines has a growth rate that far exceeds 2% per year. In some urban areas the figure exceeds 3%. Why is this so? There may be many reasons, but ultimately, I suspect that it is a Tragedy of the Commons as discussed by Garret Hardin.

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Merry Christmas!!

Santa Gautama

Hello everyone. The Dalai Santa hasn’t been posting much because of the confluence of two interesting coincidences. The first is that it’s Christmas. Obviously, it’s a hectic and insufferable time for people who live in a painfully Catholic country like I do. The second thing is that it’s only the second time in about two and a half months that I’ve been back in the country. And that means Christmas is doubly hectic. Try cramming all your Christmas shopping in 5 days. Add to that all the friends and family who want a piece of me.

Actually, there’s a third reason. And that’s the overriding commitment to not post too much inane crap on this blog. I’ve got 4 posts that I’m still in the process of writing. Yes, it’s taking a while. Yes, these posts are turning out to be painfully long. But hey, I promise that it’s not going to be about my mood for the day or what I had for breakfast.

Then again, there are only 6 of you reading my blog plus about a few thousand who found this site while looking for sex-dolls. It’s Christmas for chrissakes. Stop surfing porn.

In any case, MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!! I’ll see you in Vietnam in a few days.

*The Pope

Sex and the MMORPG experience


With the ongoing race to make more and more sophisticated MMORPGs, I’m curious why no one has put any work on adding a gameplay system to handle sex. In World of Warcraft (probably the current king of the heap), players can craft weapons and armors, collect herbs and mineral ores to create potions and enhancements, swim underwater, fly through the air, even run a complete buy and sell business straight off the game’s auction house system. We can dance, we can flirt; why can’t we have carnal knowledge?

Ok, now back up, you pervs. I don’t mean actually turning the game into porn or some kind of rape-fest. That’s called the Internet. Try it sometime. What I’m talking about is a gameplay system that handles the wonderful intricacies of attraction, arousal, and *ahem* intimacy?

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Finally coming home with lessons learned

Bubble of home.

It’s been an interesting 10 weeks to say the least. It’s the longest I’ve spent out of the country, and away from my wife since we tied the knot so many years ago. I signed up for this gig because I wanted to learn some new things–always a good thing for old dogs like me.

Perhaps it was apt that I ended up in Ho Chi Minh. I don’t think I would have learned these lessons anywhere else. In most other places, it’s so different that the novelty lasts quite a bit, and you can easily distract yourself from the strangeness of a place by the fact that there are new things to see. The funny thing is that HCM is a lot like Manila. The area where I live in, Phu Nhuan, reminds me of the backroads of Cubao or perhaps Old Manila. Just when your mind is about to adjust to a level of comfort something just slams into you that reminds you that you’re not back home. You’re in the twilight zone, in some strange twisted mirroring of the reality you used to call home.

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There are anime freaks, and then there are just plain freaks

Candy Girl

Ok. I’ve seen it all. I thought I’d seen it all after I saw the Real Doll, but this abso-fucking-lutely takes the cake. Yes, that’s a sex doll.

You know, I’d thought years ago that some sicko would make an anime real doll. I mean, it made perfect sense. I admit, anime and manga have more than their fair share of hand-drawn hotness. Just look at the work of Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina), and the sleek hotness of the Major in Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell. And let’s not forget the amazing wunderkinder at Square Enix who brought us the uber-sexed up version of Tifa Lockheart in FF7: Advent Children. But come on, guys. This one doesn’t look a day older than 12!

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Wooden hopes

Wooden Hopes
Originally uploaded by tajheuer

I’m really just testing the blogging function from my Flickr account. This is actually an old photo from around 2004, if I’m not mistaken. It’s was taken in one of the shrines / temples in Kyoto. People make an offering and write their prayers on these wooden plaques and leave them at a special prayer wall. Someone had left a little silver trinket, perhaps as an offering. It seemed poetic to me, and beautifully naive; like the prayer of a child.

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