Today, there was supposed to be a session of my MagicCaptors campaign, but one of Jeroen's kids has fallen ill. He couldn't come to the session, so we canceled it. That gave me the opportunity to pay Technica a visit to get the replacement fan.
Technica is a weird store. It is run by an old geezer who smokes rather stinky cigars. He often wears a dustcoat, cigar-stump in his mouth. All of the walls are covered with drawers with cryptic labels like 'tools' or 'tools G.T.L.' on them. The actual counter-area is rather small, there are more closets in the back, undoubtedly with more drawers.
You wait for your turn (it can get quite busy), and tell the geezer what you need. You don't need to speak in technical terms, he'll understand you. Definately a plus for me. Then he shuffles off and returns with two different things (from two different drawers) that will solve your problem. One of them is cheaper than the other, and he explains the difference to you -- often, he ends up recommending the cheapest alternative.
Sometimes he has an underling, a young man who wanders bewildered amongst the many drawers. He often has to ask where stuff is, to which the owner reacts with slight exasperation. I don't come there often, but every time he has a different underling. I can understand the predicament the young guys are in: how are you to learn the proper place of everything if the store carries everything? And I can understand the owner thinking: "Well, if I have to tell 'em everything, I might as well do everything myself."
So, I entered the store in time and produced my fan. He did have 'em, though they were more expensive than I had anticipated: I ended up paying 11 euros for one... I couldn't pay by PIN or chip there, so I had to run to the post office and back... Oh well, our problem is now solved. klik's machine is once again up and running, with much less noise. So it's money well-spent.
I heard Maaya Sakamoto's new CD, "Shounen Alice". I have barely recovered from her last album, the second singles collection titled 'Nikopachi' (with such gems like the melancholic 'Yubiwa' (the Escaflowne movie ending theme), the haunting 'The Garden of Everything' and the simple-but-great 'Gravity' (the ending theme to the Wolf's Rain TV series)), and now this.
It seems that Maaya's albums are a lot more 'homogenic': there seems to be a certain 'style' that pervades the whole album. 'Shounen Alice' features a lot of songs with rather simple instrumentals, giving more room for Maaya's voice. The best song of the album is 'Kingfisher Girl': simple but beautiful music, mysterious lyrics (they sound like it's a folk tale or something). Maaya demonstrates her mastery of the inflection of her voice, which gives a wonderful effect.
If you've never listened to her before, then this might be a good album to start with. If you know (and like) her work, then you won't be dissapointed by this new album.