[ofo] winter’s last stand

Hey everybody!

The average day’s weather this week has been sunny and blue in the
morning, dumping snow in the afternoon, dramatic colorful cloudy sunsets,
and clear, freezing nights.

Everybody complains about how cold it is here. Japan is one of the most
technically advanced places on earth, the line goes, yet they still have
not figured out insulation and central heating. This much is true–most
houses and schools don’t have either. My house is blessed with two vented
kerosene heaters, one in the living room and one upstairs in the bedroom.
The “vented” part is a relatively new key innovation; otherwise I would have to crack a
window to keep from dying.

I have gotten used to the system, though, and may have even grown to like it.

I was thinking back to the Great Carrboro power outage of 2001, and how it
was 46 degrees Fahrenheit in my house and I thought I would freeze to
death. Now it is usually a little more or less than 32F, and I am
completely used to it. I sleep with two down comforters, and have the
heater timed to heat up my room 30 minutes before I wake. On average, I
end up burning just enough fuel to heat one room to 60F (that feels balmy
now) for two or three hours. I bought three cans of kerosene back when it
started to get cold, and just finished the second. That is about $16 for
three cold months… not bad. There is something nice about knowing
exactly how much I am impacting the world for warmth.

On another note, the school year is coming to an end. Soon I’ll get to go
to a bunch of middle-school graduations and see those kids off into the
world. Yeah, I’ll miss them–even Kadonohama’s graduates, the little
boogers. All of the students have been working on reviewing for year-end
tests, which means that I have had a lot of downtime (even more than
usual). I’ve been using that time working on a pet project that has been
on the back burner for about a year now:

http://folktunes.org/ – The Folktunes Archive

The Folktunes Archive will be a collection of all kinds of folk tunes that
anybody will be able to stream or download to learn. Anybody will be able
to add to the collection as well. I’m currently seeking advise for this
project, so if you have any, give me a call or email.

I’ve redesigned the homepage, but I don’t think it is quite right yet…
any ideas? I’ve also got the structure in place to start archiving
recordings. I want the first ten recordings in the archive to be ten
different people playing the first song that they ever learned. Please
drop me a line if you can help.

– Forrest

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