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Q&A WITH ALEX

Some people put up a page for "Frequently Asked Questions". Now, obviously something as august as Border Collie Enterprises speaks entirely for itself. Wherefore this page is not one of Frequently Asked Questions--and let's face it, how often do you suppose somebody really asks most of the ones you see listed in FAQs? Man, those things are useless.

So tell me a bit about yourself.
The likelihood is that you didn't get here through random chance, which means you probably already know the answer to this question. Anyway, my name is Alex Osaki, and you can read my humble ([ed: no]), short ([ed: hahahaha*snort*!]) biography here. Also, that wasn't a question.
 
Fine. What is the capital of Ethiopia?
Oh boy, it's like high school all over again! But the answer, as everyone knows, is Addis Ababa.
 
How is this site put together?
The previous version of this website suffered from a lack of updates, in large part because updating it was fairly difficult. I don't really have a particularly large readership, which is ok, but I want to have more content this time around. As such, I've tried to make it as easy as possible. Many pages, like this one, are static for performance reasons. Others, like the pictures gallery, are created in PHP. Still others, like much of the rest of the site, owe their existence to my poor but growing comprehension of MySQL. In theory it is all backed with stylesheets, though in a practical sense I tend to forget to use them.
 
You don't look entirely stupid; why is this website so plain?
Two things. Firstly, I don't have a very good sense of aesthetic. You're talking (well, reading) about someone who reviews things based on Border collie heads. Secondly, and more importantly, it's a conscious choice. Many websites--too many--are flashy, gimmicky affairs that look like they came off the Vegas strip. The best designs, in my opinion, are the simplest ones--like Wikipedia, say, which I like a lot. I've tried to avoid gimmicks where possible. At the moment, there is no Flash anywhere on the website, and no JavaScript. You'll thank me later.
 
On one of the other pages, you mention a favourite microwave setting. What is it?
Thus far every microwave I've owned has come pre-equipped with a "reduce popcorn to charcoal" setting, which is definitely my favourite. Coming in a close second, though, is the one that causes sparks to fly everywhere.
 
If you could be a beautiful forest creature, what would you be?
(Christ what the hell?) I would be a noble and graceful elk! Then, after depleting the ecosystem's available food resources because human culling of predatory animals has led to my species explosive overpopulation and causing in some cases borderline-irreparable environmental damage, I will have my life terminated by an overweight man with a Weatherby, ending up as a creepy staring antlered head over someone's dining room table!
 
Um.
No! Wait! I know! I'd be a sinewy, slinky mountain lion! The world would tremble in fear at the sound of my roar! Then, they'd tremble more, because I've come down from the mountains to wander about in suburban backyards, preying on the delicious kitty cats and puppy dogs people keep tethered outside! Eventually, I'll be tranquilised, but when I don't learn my lesson DFW will have me put down with a .45.
 
...
Would you prefer I be a partially-decomposed hiker whose remains, perpetually unidentified following their discovery at the bottom of a ravine, will spark heated debate over whether it was an accident, suicide, or something more sinister for a couple of days before the whole incident fades into the collective memory basement of the community and the bones, now unrecognisable as the human being I once was, are interred in an unmarked grave or, more likely, burned?
 
*cries*
You asked.
 
Why are you so mean?
A crippling lack of self-esteem that I take out on others. If you ignore me, I'll eventually stop bothering you. [ed: no he won't]
 
*sigh* Right, I figured. Anyway, where did you go to school, and why?
The University of Colorado, Boulder Campus (motto: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"), and pot.
 
Really? Pot?
Mostly. I would've gone to Berkeley, in which case it would've been wok, instead--but the tuition was too high. I don't ski, though, if that's what you're asking.
 
You seem to like Border collies an awful lot... you're one of them furries, ain'tcha?
Oh damn you got me.
 
That's pretty fucked up.
I wish I could cogently argue the point. I've met some good friends that way, though. Besides, it's not that bad. Kibble tastes ok, and... and there's walkies!!
 
Yeah, but seriously though.
What do you want? Do you want me to tell you I dress up as a Border collie and run around molesting people and having unprotected sex with sports mascots? Because I don't. Do you want me to tell you I think I'm really a dog 'on the inside'? I think those people are quite frankly ridiculous and not a little insane. I just like writing about talking dogs for some reason. Maybe it's because I have thin southern blood, I live in Colorado, and a nice thick coat of fur sounds damned good four to six months of the year.
 
Awful defensive, aren't we?
Fuck off.
 
*pout* Fine, one last question. Can you design a system with >70% efficiency for capturing solar energy with the intent of not only supplementing but replacing fossil fuels in day-to-day life then, taking into account production and distribution costs, use this design to produce an action plan to chart, based on historical precedents and solid analytical data, the evolution of the American energy economy in the twenty years following such a system's introduction?
Yep.