Nihongo of the Day: 成らぬ堪忍するが堪忍

Have been watching 日本語で遊ぼ (literally, “Playing in Japanese”) with Layla every day.  It’s an awesome show that highlights elements of traditional culture and language in a format that’s fun for kids and interesting to parents (or, at least, interesting to one gaijin dad).

The Japanese introduced is often lesser used, if not bordering on archaic.   Today we learned “成らぬ堪忍するが堪忍”, which in English would — I think — roughly translate to “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t… so just put up with the status quo.”

I can’t tell you how many times I could have used this phrase while living in Japan.  Like, say, when the wealthy yet crazy neighbor would come over and shower me with junk (old pots, broken plates, flat bicycle tires, etc.) because she thought I might find it useful.

I couldn’t refuse the junk.. that would upset her and cause trouble in the neighborhood.  But I also couldn’t throw it away again; she would notice, get upset, and that would… cause trouble in the neighborhood.

So I hid two years worth of slowly accumulating junk under the house I was renting.


Princess Layla

I’ve been waiting for just the right photo to use with this post title.

And here it is, straight from the Japanese photo studio, compliments of Jiji!


I am told that she was allowed to have as many pictures taken in as many costumes as she (or rather the grandparents) wanted.. for free.

But then each print cost 7,000 JPY, roughly $70 USD.

This is the most genious business model I have ever seen.  I just hope Jiji didn’t have to take out a loan.

Opening Day At Fenway

Just saw the jets (finally) fly over Central Square, so here is Nick Mills’ ode to the team, the park, and the town.

Opening Day at Fenway

It’s opening day at Fenway
And a thrill is in the air
The champs are back in town
And there’s a hum in Kenmore square
The long cold winters over now
The snows have gone away
The sun is getting higher
And it’s warmer day by day
Emerging from our overcoats
Like moths from our cocoons
We spread our wings and point our hearts
Towards April, Mays and Junes
When the seasons full of promise
And the field’s full of dreams
And the old ball yard on Yawkey way
Is bursting at the seams.

It’s opening day at Fenway
And the fans are streaming in
From Southie, Newton, Roxbury
From Everett and Lynn
The ushers in their bright red coats
Are dusting off the chairs
The boys are selling popcorn
And yelling up and down the stairs.

It’s opening day at Fenway
And by some peculiar quirk
Some thirty thousand people
Have the same day off from work
Ten thousand aunts are sacrificed
On the alter of opening day
Their funeral processions
All end up on Yawkey way
The seats are filling up now
The opening pitch is near
The bleacher bums get settled with
Their plastic cups of beer
For some fans it’s their first game
For some perhaps their last
But all are here united
With the glory’s of the past
They gaze upon that green expanse
Where heroes played the game
Williams, Yaz and Manny
And more of lesser fame.

It’s opening day at Fenway
The pitchers on the mound
The patch of earth in Boston
once again is sacred ground
Heroes of tomorrow and ghosts of yesterday
Line up along the foul line
as the anthem starts to play
Now the rabble in the bleacher seats
Takes up the ancient call
It rumbles through the grandstand
And rattles off the wall
Play Ball the thirty thousand call
Let the game begin
It’s opening day at Fenway
And the Sox are gonna win.

Updating fstab and missing data!

If you have drives mounted over cifs and, after calling mount -a or /etc/init.d/netfs restart, suddenly find that your data is missing — even though you can still access your drives — try deleting the corresponding entries in /etc/mtab and mount/restart again.

I just experienced this on an elderly Red Hat distro. Problem with the older kernel?

Getting past VSFTP’s 500 OOPS: cannot change directory

This is a frustrating one. Make sure that the user you are connecting as and the target directory have both the same user as well as group permissions.

For example, if you are chroot jailing a particular user, given this entry from /etc/passwd:

(where 100 = “username” and 200 = “somegroup”)

Make sure that the user and group permissions of the directory match what is set in /etc/passwd:

$ ls -lah /ftp/directory
drwxrwx--- 4 username somegroup 4.0K Mar 24 23:56 .

Posted this one since I’ve probably solved it, and then promptly forgotten the solution, at least three times.