Wednesday, December 22, 2004

packed streets at 12 am

Only in Japan, heh. I guess a lot of people missed the last train tonight, because the streets are filled with cabs.


Friday, December 17, 2004

the mcdonalds coffee case

10 years later, I'd like to say that I fully support the verdict of the McDonalds coffee case.

Monday, December 13, 2004

howl's moving castle

Gee, no one wants a calendar? They're probably available for this year only. I notice that there aren't any Spirited Away calendars available this year.

Maybe I'll buy another one just for me. I love the book anyway. Diana Wynne Jones writes the most brilliant stuff.

But my last 2 phone bills were horrendous... I don't think I can justify buying a calendar for the same amount of money that a Chinese child could live on for half a year. Crazy world isn't it?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

white clay

There's apparently a village in China where some of the inhabitants like to eat 白土. As far as I can tell, it's a type of white clay.

I just caught an interesting Japanese program on it, where they sent a girl to stay with a family where the mother loves the stuff, and the father doesn't eat it at all, but he digs it up for the mother.

They showed the family painting the walls with it, as a whitewash. And the mother tasted the brush and said it was delicious. Hilarious. She couldn't stop licking the brush.

The U.S. has some crap tv. Although there are some good shows, there's really a shocking amount of junk.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

java and eclipse

Java and eclipse make a pretty fun development environment. Sure, there are the occasional text encoding issues, and the obscure preference setting battles, but all in all, it's really fun to be able to refactor my code easily and trace through stuff.

I've decided that the number one priority for my code right now is that it be clear and easy to understand. On a big project, it's really important. This year-long project has been really fascinating. I've never seen a project from requirements gathering all the way through to testing and delivery before. My previous experience has usually been midway into the life cycle of an application.

In particular with my current project, each section of the application has been handed off to a different team, so it's interesting to see what different teams have implemented for the same problem. The development styles are wildly different.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


It's supposed to rain tonight, but I didn't bring an umbrella. doushiyo?


Thursday, November 25, 2004

email dilemma continued

I still can't decide on a single email service to use.

None of my accounts have the space issue anymore, but yahoo and gmail still have the character corruption (文字化け) issue. Plus gmail doesn't work on apple computers. I went to check email at my local manga cafe, and the only computer free was a mac. That's when I discovered that the browser isn't supported by gmail. Sometimes, using a beta service sucks. I don't care about being able to check email from my keitai anymore, but unreadable characters are annoying.

Hotmail has developed a javascript error when viewed with IE. Go Firefox! I love tabbed browsing.

Anyway, I still can't pick which one to use. Hotmail occasionally corrupts japanese too. I guess I should find some Japanese email provider and use that. But that would mean another email address.

I think I'll consolidate with Hotmail for now.

eclipse settings

Sometimes eclipse (java development environment) is a bit confusing to navigate. Part of the problem could be that all my menus are in Japanese, of course.

However, I'm having the hardest time altering my settings so that when I click on a file, the perspective will jump to that file in the navigator.

I finally got the workbench to show CVS version information (although a date would be nice too), but I can't remember how I did it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


(seen on a guy. I wish I could take pictures of these tops.)

Friday, November 12, 2004

get better soon Sean

Wow, just read that he had appendicitis! A little scary, but he's apparently well and recovering now.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Vote for Kerry

Go out and vote for Kerry!

Friday, October 29, 2004

viable stem cell lines? what viable stem cell lines?

None of Bush's approved stem cell lines may actually be usable.

All of the human embryonic stem cells available to federally funded scientists under President Bush's three-year-old research policy share a previously unrecognized trait that fosters rejection by the immune systems, diminishing their potential as medical treatments, new research indicates.

A second study has concluded that at least a quarter of the Bush-approved cell colonies are so difficult to keep alive they have little potential even as research tools.

3 years ago, Bush stated that more than 60 stem cell colonies were approved for federal funding. Most scientists were surprised by this number, and pressed for more information that the administration did not provide. There's an interesting article from 2002 regarding this.

At the moment, only 22 of the purported 60 exist, and it looks like most of them are may have no research value.
At least five of those colonies "will never be useful for the clinic" because they are so difficult to grow, said Carol Ware of the University of Washington, who led the study.
All of these lines were produced using 2001 or earlier technology. Today there are 150 lines, but only 22 are eligible for federal funding.

Frankly, I'd like to know what qualifies Bush to make science decisions. I don't think anyone would argue that he's intelligent. Would you want him telling your doctor what tests to run on you?

There's a really interesting article about a politically divided Wisconson family. It illustrates both stances nicely.

I will agree with Frieda that Bush is common," Kathe interjected. "He's so common, he's stupid.

Monday, October 25, 2004

go red sox

Go Boston!

1 step closer to winning the World Series.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

avoid rental phones

Or at least Action Cellular, which operates out of San Francisco.

They charged me a huge amount on a 5 day rental phone. I knew I should have gotten a pre-paid phone. It's entirely likely that the shocking rental phone bill is perfectly valid, which just is a shame, since it's more than 5 times the cost of a pre-paid phone and plan. I should have just bitten the up-front cost of a pre-paid phone. Of course, I thought that a pre-paid phone would turn out to be cheaper in the long term, not in 5 days!

Sad. But hey, no one's hurt. Action Cellular is a bit richer and I'm a bit poorer, but I'm still safe and sound. Iraqi citizens can't say the same about their brush with the Bush. Heck, Americans can't say that about Bush. Now that's a shame.

Friday, October 22, 2004

T-shirt sighting



Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Oppose the intelligence reform act

The current bill H.R. 10, is absolutely appalling. Under the pretense of intelligence reform, it attempts to strip away the checks and balances which protect the execution of justice in the U.S.

There are too many reasons I am opposed to Bush. It would be really nice if he would try to lower the number, but he just keeps increasing them.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

An interesting editorial by a Japanese reporter, regarding the evidence that the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was patently false, hence there was no justification to go to war against Iraq.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Male fish producing eggs

I found this headline amusing:

Male bass producing eggs. They suspect pollution is the cause.


My coworker was playing one of those online rpg fantasy games. When wandering through the marketplace, another coworker came up to watch, and asked,
"Can you kill those other people?"
"Nope (terrorism isn't really proper, you know)." Literally, he said "いや、テロは…"

Kind of interesting how terrorism is a commonly used word these days.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


we were the generation that grew up on this planet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

abstract classes vs. interfaces

Study point.

I was trying to explain the difference between an interface and an abstract class the other day, but it didn't come across in Japanese.

I found this nice comparison of the two constructs (in the context of the Java language).

word of the week

Since I haven't posted Japanese words frequently enough to claim to have a word of the day, 挫折(ざせつ) is my word of the week. Or one of my words of the week. It is not a particularly positive word, so I'll have to find a nice positive word to accompany it.

挫折 is a noun and a verb. It means a breakdown; a setback; a frustration.

The other word is 積極的(せっきょくてき)which is a na-adjective. It means positive; active; aggressive; enterprising; enthusiastic. A good personality trait.
積極的に考えるようにします。 "I will try to think positively."

Grammar point:
make an effort to ~
I'll make an effort to speak in Japanese.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

nuclear drugs

A person on a mailing list referred to a dose of radioactive iodine as a "nuclear drug."

I don't believe that all things radioactive are automatically nuclear.

Another person used the term "naturopath." Another term I am unfamiliar with. Do you suppose that they're like psychopaths? Pathological about nature? Probably not. From the context, it sounds like they advise you on a natural diet. Ah, I looked it up and it is a system of treatment of disease.

Monday, October 04, 2004

american express online security

American express online security is a joke. The main login screen doesn't use https. If you go to the specific credit card login page, that uses https, but not the default main screen.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

house for sale

My parents' house in MD is for sale. It's a nice house in a very quiet neighborhood. It was built a year after I was born and we lived there the whole time.

Friday, October 01, 2004

bush is not a leader

A leader can distinguish the difference between Osama bin Laden (murdered Americans and citizens from around the world in the attack on the World Trade Center) and Saddam Hussein (former dictator of Iraq).

Bush is clearly not a leader. In fact, Bush doesn't even think Bin Laden is a threat. I find that seriously disturbing. Iraq didn't kill 5,000 people (on American soil, no less). Neither did Hussein. bin Laden did. Where is bin Laden? Why are we in Iraq, terrorizing Iraqi families? How is this security?

Thursday, September 30, 2004

My dear is a foreigner

"ダーリンは外人" is the title of a comic book apparently in print. I saw an ad for it on the train. It looked kind of cute. It's about a Japanese woman married to a foreign man. The comic strip they showed said, "Even though he knows extremely difficult Japanese words...", "sometimes he doesn't know what the simplest words mean." The husband asks the wife, "What's ----- mean?" I don't know what the word means either. The wife starts laughing, "What is ------?!?!?" The husband says, "Oh, of course, it's THAT." He sweats as he has no idea what it means. The wife thinks, "what is he talking about? it's THAT?"

The comic looks quite funny and easy for me to understand. I shall have to go buy it. Haha, maybe I should go ask the help desk to help me find it. They'll probably look at me funny when I state the title.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

the mystery of life

"It's so secret, we can't talk about it." - George W. Bush

How can anyone vote for a guy who says stuff like this?

Come on! I know more articulate 5 year olds.

I really do not understand. If anyone is planning on voting for Bush, please tell me why.

American Idiot

A pretty fun and interesting new song from Greenday. Very apt for the current status of Americans in the International arena.

Thank you very much, President Bush. I believe we are hitting new lows of inhumanity every day.

Monday, September 13, 2004

$100 ramen

The search has ended! Ludicrously decadant ramen can be found in Nagoya! (See the last shop on the page)

Whether it actually tastes good is another question.

But it's got everything. Steak instead of the standard sliced pork. Caviar. Four kinds of crab make up the soup base, along with the standard tonkotsu (pork bone). Laf. All in a standard-sized ramen bowl.

Friday, September 10, 2004

alone in vodafone land

I don't know anyone with Vodafone service. And I know a lot of people, let me tell you. Heh, just kidding. But really, no one in my acquaintance has a plan with Vodafone.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

not so impressed with Logitech

As my 8 month old mouse has apparently died.

Weak! I have to go buy another one. I wonder how long the warranty was.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Rather exciting. Some of the train lines are delayed or stopped because the winds are too strong.

Laf, nothing like SF.

Monday, September 06, 2004

jawbreakers as a souvenir

Heh, how do you think jawbreakers would go over as souvenirs from the U.S.? I'm debating what to give my coworkers. Heh.

I like those fireballs. I think they're called fireballs. Big hard red candy spheres. I bet my team leader would like those. He really likes spicy things.

Sunday, September 05, 2004


I'm having a little trouble deciding upon a car storage facility. I ought to decide soon, but it's like buying a plane ticket. I don't like committing to a price until I absolutely have to.

Since I've never seen any of these places, I really don't know what they're like. I've decided to call up a bunch of places and ask about availability, then visit them all and pick one. It's kind of time consuming, but all the places with web sites just aren't in very convenient locations.

Friday, August 27, 2004

car storage

hrm... gotta fix the links here.

I find it interesting that exactly 1 SF company provides flat estimates regarding auto storage on their website. Everyone else asks that you email them to request one. Makes me think that the other companies are not competitive about their rates.
Oh well, email is cheap, I will email them all. Not sure what other alternatives in car storage exist.

Google is not giving me good search results either. Just lots of crappy moving sites with "links to many storage companies." Contentless links. Will try teoma and other search engines.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Insane! Inoue Takehiko's site has a special Slam Dunk site where fans can input a short message and select 1 of 27 avatars. At the end, you see a stadium filled with fans, and when the mouse pointer goes over an avatar, the person's message appears. 8000 messages so far. 105 messages today, including mine.


That is a cool website.

I wish I could save the flash movie.

I also missed the newspaper ads. Apparently 6 different ads in 6 different newspapers, all on the 10th. Almost wish I read the newspaper.

Unfortunately, they can't support the traffic to the site, so there's this message in Japanese warning of delays. I think there's so much traffic that I can't see Sakuragi's picture. A pity.

Ah, Inoue's a genius.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

more words, eclipse

I'm reading Japanese documentation at the moment so I'm learning many new words.

New words:
記述: description
用意: prepare
なんらかの/何等かの/何らかの: some

When it's all working, Eclipse with the Tomcat plugin is a great development environment for Jakarta Struts. Thanks Sysdeo! French companies are great, aren't they?

It was annoying of the Oracle Installer to go and add its JRE to my Path environment variable. I had to take it out so that Eclipse would work properly.

calling computers, new vocab

Investigating pc to phone options like and Dialpad has pretty inexpensive monthly rates, and the prepaid rates are the same as Net2pad. So I'm going to try out Dialpad and see how that is. It'd be more convenient to be able to call from my cell phone, but in that situation my parents can always call me back. Heh. If my home connection proves too flaky, I'll think about getting a land line. It might be better to just test what's wrong with my friend's connection and fix that. Laf. I haven't been able to use his wireless network in months.

New words:
記述する to describe
異なる to differ ; be different

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

feels like boston

Whew! Rainy and windy! It's like Boston showers, but not quite as strong. All wet now though. We got caught at lunch without umbrellas, but the cafe was nice enough to lend us 4.

I need some waterproof shoes.

Monday, August 09, 2004

spitkickers, java conventions

I saw a guy wearing a shirt saying "Spitkicker." Intriguing word.

Read some code conventions for java, finally.

Friday, August 06, 2004


Seen on colleague's business card:
Head Quoter

Intended meaning:

Thursday, July 29, 2004

my current favorite drink

is Gokuri by Suntory. The site is in Japanese. Interestingly, it is listed as a softdrink.

It's a grapefruit blend - not as tart as 100% grapefruit juice - but refreshing. It has lots of grapefruit bits in it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

hiring considerations

Hypothetical situation:
- 3 month project
- hiring programmers.
Most current programmers are in their late 20's, some are much younger.

- early 40's
- overqualified for the position, with extensive experience
- would be perfect as a team leader
- aware that he is applying for a programming position

Would you interview him?

In a similar situation, the team leader decided not to interview him, saying they couldn't use him currently. He would have been perfect when they were hiring for more senior positions. They joked about putting him to work under one 28 year old programmer, or the 20 year old programmer.

What do you think about this decision?

Personally, I'm surprised that they didn't bother to interview him. As long as he'd be willing to work with people who have far less experience than him, I think it'd be great to have such an experienced person on the project. If he was willing and appeared open to it (or had even had experience with similar situations), I don't see what the project would have to lose.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

learn chinese

Laf. Remember Jin? That Chinese American kid who blew up BET's "106 n Park" MC battles. I'm actually pretty impressed by his new song. The melody's not bad, and the lyrics are Jin. Pretty clever. A tad on the misogynistic side though.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

cool vs. everyone

各位(kakui), meaning everyone, or ladies and gentlemen, and かっこいい(kakkoii) sound the same to me, although context probably makes it clear which word is intended.

my coworker's weekend

My 20 year old coworker spent his 3 day weekend reading a C# book.

golf, drum arcade game

Yesterday was the holiday 海の日(Sea Day). Coming back from Ito we stopped at Yokohama. We went to a bowling/entertainment center that had almost any sport imaginable. An ice rink on the 2nd floor (in summer!), ping pong, archery!, a batting range, a tennis range, a place to shoot baskets. I went to the driving range for the first time.  It was pretty fun, but the golf swing feels rather strange.  I enjoyed it a lot though.  A friend taught us some basics, but actually only swinging my shoulders is rather difficult. 

Another first was trying that taiko drumming game where you hit the middle or the edge of the drum depending on the beat showing on the screen.  It's fun trying to drum to Carmen, William Tell, or jpop songs.  I could see wasting a lot of money on this game.  200 yen for 2 songs.  I guess used manga is a better investment. 

We also played a couple games of pool.  I scratched on the 8 ball in the second game, but made it in on the 3rd game.  Whew.  Often I start out playing fairly accurately, then eventually can't get anything in, so it was nice to regain a little accuracy in the end.

Mini golf and the seesaw game were lots of fun too.  Very interesting mini golf courses.  Rather dangerous, actually.  Laf.   There's one where you hit the ball up a ramp and it flies into a net about 4 feet high.  I wonder if someone got a picture.  It was a bit tricky hitting the ball hard enough to reach the net. 

We went to the movie theatre to see what movies were playing, but the selection was pretty boring.  A bunch of screens with Spiderman 2.  I'm still bitter about paying money to see the first Spiderman, which was spectacularly disappointing, so I have no interest in the second movie.  But I feel bad that I never want to see the movies that everyone else wants to see.  No interest in Day after Tomorrow either.  I think I've seen enough of those global disaster movies.

Ito onsen, taxis

伊東(Ito) near 熱海(Atami) is a pleasant little place. It's quieter than Atami, and easy to walk around. The beach is a dark sand beach, but probably isn't the prettiest beach I've ever seen. We saw a couple festival structures with people practicing for the fireworks festival at the end of the month. One group was interesting - all men dressed up in anime costumes, many in drag. There was a Anpan man character, and the guy on the megaphone looked like a power ranger in a powder blue outfit.

The 温泉 (hotspring) was very nice; wide and pleasant. Also mostly empty. Hot water really feels great. I can't stay in it very long though.

We watched an interesting reality show where a father and daughter, both taxi drivers, took their passenger from the southernmost point of South America, to New York. They started from some island off the coast of Aregentina. It was great; the show brought an actual Japanese taxi to the island!

Laf. When they started, the passenger, a recently divorced guy in the entertainment business (on a journey to discover himself), said, "New York, please." And they actually started up the meter! I think at the end, if they make it to New York, the father and daughter will actually collect the fare from the show. Somehow, I don't think the passenger is going to be paying.

While they were driving the first day, they continued past 11 o'clock, and the daughter informed the passenger that after 11pm there is a 30% surcharge on the regular fare. Or 3 times the regular fare. I'm not sure about that. That was hilariously surreal. Here they are, driving around a South American island, and she mentions the taxi fare rules. As if the passenger had a choice. "I think I'll hail another taxi."

Driving around Brazil's largest city, they went through the Japantown, where various people stopped them and asked if they were really driving a Japanese taxi.

They stopped by a lovely waterfall too. Looked cooler than Niagara. South America looks really beautiful.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

little earthquake today

But probably the strongest one I've felt so far. Seems like
there's one every other month or so. The strongest one I ever
felt was in Foster city. I was in my bed and it felt like I was
in a hammock.

melon and raisin yogurt chocolate

My coworker eats the oddest chocolate. He likes this one kind of cantaloupe (sp?) flavored chocolate, and a raisin yogurt flavor too. I find the melon and chocolate a very odd combination.

Think it would sell in the U.S.? He likes that Hokkaido melon flavored caramel too. Yuck. Never tried it, but I don't like caramel anyway.

Friday, July 16, 2004

boo on the Bush administration

Interesting article about unlawful detentions and recent Supreme Court decisions.

tricorders and cellphones

After seeing my coworker walking around with her phone flipped open, I realized that it looks like a Star Trek tricorder.  You know those things they use to scan for things when they land on a strange planet or scan people for injuries and check their DNA?  Laf.

The U.S. Senate rulez

The ban on gay marriage failed to pass the U.S. Senate yesterday.  Yeah!  Renewing my faith in our government.   It was pretty close though; 48 for to 50 against.  12 needed to move to a real vote, 19 needed to pass the actual vote. 
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), one of the six Republicans who voted to block the amendment, said he did not believe it would be approved "this year, nor next year, nor anytime soon until a substantial majority of Americans are persuaded that such a consequential action is as vitally important and necessary as the proponents feel it is today."

Japanese is just cool

Reasons the Japanese language is cool:

just sounds better than
"Run for it!" or "Run away!" or "Flee!" Flee doesn't really have the right effect.

also sounds better than
"No way!" or "Yuck" or especially "There's no way I want to do that"

Any other examples? Suggestions solicited.

poor sony vaio Z design

It really annoys me how easy it is to turn my sony laptop on and off.  I've done it twice in the past 2 days.   The toshiba laptop design is much more effective.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

errors in my blog

It didn't occur to me that Japanese text would be a problem in post titles. However, the titles are used directly to create links to individual posts, so Japanese breaks the links.

I also noticed that the archive links don't work. Have to fix that.  Not sure why they don't work, but have to check if the directories exist.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

visit from relatives

2 weeks ago, my father came with his brother's family to visit for a few days. It was fun hanging out with all of them. I've never spent much time with my uncle's family, as I've only seen them at big family gatherings where I stick close to my parents or hang out with my cousin Sean.

My 2 young cousins are quite entertaining to talk to. They asked interesting questions about Japan. I like them a lot. The older one spent a lot of time on his gameboy. They really like Gundam models too.

They treated me to a day at Atami, a famous hot spring resort about an hour by bullet train from Tokyo. After going with my dad to get him lunch (while I munched on the classic beer snack, squid innards), we lounged around the hotel and went for occasional soaks in the baths. I really like the soapy scrub they have at onsens. Unfortunately, it's about $30 for a medium sized package of the scrub, which I find a little excessive. It's basically abrasive soap.

As is traditional, my dad pestered me to cut my hair really short (been there, done that), and I bothered him about his 20 year old clothing, and tried to buy him sporty shirts from Uniqlo. He refused though, as did I. Laf. Nothing changes. We also got into arguments trying to force each other to finish the food. Apparently my dad was starving for most of the trip. He eats a lot I suppose.

travellers, food

From Miss Manners:
All travelers will spend some time exclaiming over the prices, food and cleanliness of the place they are visiting. The difference is that the good traveler talks about something else every once in a while.

Regarding food, sometimes being solicitous is rude.


my friend says that a lot, which I find very funny.(cute)

chinese takeout

You know, it's been ages since I ate chinese food out of those paper cartons. I used to eat chicken lo mein like that all the time.



I talk too much sometimes.

Discretion is a valuable skill.

Speaking of "discreet", it amuses me when people use "discrete" instead. I always think of "Discrete Mathematics" when I see that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


From Caroline Hax's column:
Simplify, simplify, simplify. (Can Thoreau sue if I use that?) Your best days, especially with a baby, will be the ones when you set no goal for yourself but to appreciate the day. Only so many of these will be possible -- bills make sure of that -- but you can bring every day close, if you try.

It's hard to remember this. Alright, I won't buy any more presents! I need to simplify my life! Except for those wedding gifts...

phone bill

My phone bill has been ludicrous lately. I make my parents call me now. I'm thinking of getting a home phone; I think international calls would be a lot cheaper. Plus it'd make it cheaper for my parents to call me.

The trouble with VOIP is that my internet connection is not reliable.

Talking to my parents made me realize that I make some things seem more difficult than they are. You just have to find the right path, but very little is actually impossible.


I mostly encounter this problem at work. I get confused, and find it all a wall, but it's often actually quite easy. That's why I like talking to people. I should ask more questions.


Sunday, July 11, 2004

food good

Currently stuffing my face. I've been spending a lot of money on food lately so I stopped by the grocery store and bought a bunch of frozen food, haha. Healthy... not. I got some salads too.


I should be studying, but am instead enjoying Jamelia's music.


Apt. is nice and clean.


Dancehall rocks. Recently addicted to FYA, a young U.K. group. Scary how talented people are. 2 of the girls are only 17. I love their music, but their clothes aren't my taste. Cool hair though.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004


You know, gmail is lovely. The organization scheme is an obvious one that is nice to see implemented. The only problem is that I can't access it from my cell phone.

I can use my phone to read mail from all my other accounts, other than excite.

I think I'll push all my personal email to yahoo, until hotmail upgrades their mailbox size, then I'll move everything to hotmail. Once hotmail upgrades, my mail issues will be solved! Assuming they still allow mail downloads, and classY still supports mobile access to hotmail accounts. Laf, nothing free is certain.

I'll just check the excite account once a month, and keep the 1 yahoo account for junk email and such. Work accounts will remain separate as work.

Email requirements:
- free
- can read from phone
- more than 3 mgs of space (buffer in the event of travel, etc)
- can read Japanese
- can download messages

Friday, July 02, 2004

me yuppie

I got a gmail account from Anu. Thanks Anu!

Still contemplating what to do for my email. Having 7 accounts (8 now, 6 I check regularly) is proving to be a pain. I just need 2! Laf. 1 ideally. Technically, I could just use 1 account, but I like keeping work and personal stuff separate.

1 hotmail
1 excite
2 yahoo
2 work
1 website
1 gmail

I'm going to stop using my excite account though. The interface is just a pain. With classY, that consolidates my hotmail account, 1 work account, and the website account into 1. Then I only have 2 yahoo, 1 gmail, 1 work, 1 classY. Only 5! If I funnel the yahoo stuff to gmail, that's 3 accounts. Hrm... The 1 work account is unavoidable as it's temporary. ClassY rocks.

I hate migrating emails though, since emails inevitably get stuck in my old inbox and I never answer them. I have emails on my computer from before my computer crashed that I have yet to answer, 3 months later. That's why classY is cool, as I don't really migrate the emails. I just check from a single place. No committment. Yeah!

A pity they don't support yahoo's proprietary interface, only hotmail's.

Probably, I should just pay for email. Then I can do everything I want.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


I think I'm a fan. Trancecore is a subgenre of Hardcore, of course. According to Ishkur's Guide, that is. The samples are good stuff.

You know, electronic music artists have the hardest to remember names. Practically impossible. Doesn't even go in my ears - rebounds on the air.

nu italo is good stuff too.

performances on the street

Heard this guy Daigo performing by Shimokitazawa (下北沢) station on Tuesday, and stopped to listen. I like his music. I have no idea if the lyrics are any good, but the music's nice.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

bizarro world

LAF. So, was continuing my meandering through Ishkur's guide to Electronic Music, which has quite funny descriptions of all the genres that may or may not exist. It also has nice samples which illustrate the genres very well. They're good to listen to while I do mindless work.

And guess what? There's a jpop listing! It's quite an entertaining one too. There's a sample from Hamasaki Ayumi (of course), and Megumi Hayashibara.]

To find jpop, you can click on the "House" button, and it's on the far right.

For other funny entries, you should check out the section on German under "trance". LAF.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

sushi fighting

The Japan Times has a funny article on sushi snobbery.

To the Japanese, entering a good sushi restaurant is similar to entering the confessional booth: you're rewarded, yes, but at the same time you'll get your dose of punishment.

Speaking of food, these vegetarian restaurants around Omotesando sound good. Might drop by one of the cafes.

Monday, June 28, 2004


Hey, anyone wanna tell me why the British seem to pronounce Ibiza as "Ibitha"? Just curious. Maybe it has something to do with the Spanish pronunciation.

competition is good

Have you noticed that after Yahoo upgraded all mail accounts to 100 MG (after Google started testing gmail with 1 GB of space), that major mail providers have started advertising their planned space upgrades? Hotmail says that they'll be upgrading to 250 MG this fall, and Excite says they'll be moving to 125 MG soon. I love competition. All for free services. By the way, I wouldn't get an excite account. it's not very easy to use. In fact, I shouldn't use mine. I've been pumping the unimportant but fun newsgroups to that account, but the interface is a real pain. Now that I have lots of space on yahoo, I can use that instead.

New vocabulary

It occurred to me that I haven't posted much Japanese lately. Time to change that, as the best way to practice is to use the language.




Friday, June 25, 2004

quote of the day

From an article about Iranian women and blogging:

Bloggers can get quite feisty, as one commented in Farsi on the ruling clerics: "It's very pleasant to have to talk with 18th century people in 2004."

Ryuji Miyamoto Retrospective

The Setagaya Art Museum has an interesting photo exhibit of Miyamoto work at the moment. It's only there until July 4th though.

The Ikko Narahara exhibit is only there till July 11th though. Too much going on :P.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Dropping Wal-Mart, switching from JAL to ANA.

Time to sell Wal-Mart, avoid JAL?

I knew I shouldn't have bought Wal-Mart stock. It goes against most of my principles. Sigh. Capitalism.

Pay inequity is just unfair.

tennis is getting interesting again

Martina Navratilova won at Wimbledon. Huh, what happened to Hingis? I haven't been paying attention in a long time. I don't really like Hingis, but she's a heck of a tennis player. I definitely admire her skill.

Seles is cooler though.

Anyway, apparently Michael Stich (remember him?) said on BBC that it was a terrible day for women's tennis because Navratilova won (at 47). He said the girl who lost to her should quit tennis. I understand where Stich is coming from, but he's totally wrong that the girl should quit. She should never quit! She should work harder and become a great tennis player.

Of course, it's pretty rude of me to tell someone I don't know anything about that she should work harder, but as a general rule, anyone can work harder at what they do. Even if you're supporting your parents and siblings while working on your high school equivalency diploma. Although you're already working pretty darn hard in that situation. Perhaps I should stay away from unsolicited advice.

In any case, that girl shouldn't quit. Hey, she made it to Wimbledon; I think that's already pretty cool. You can't quit at the first failure, or the second, or the third... Stich gave horrible advice.

In other tennis news, good luck to Safin. He's a great player.

Wimbledon is difficult to spell.

While I'm rambling about tennis gossip, I thought Boris Becker and his wife made a lovely couple. Sad that they divorced.

So, do you think Agassi and Graff's child is going to be a mad tennis player? I bet he/she grows up to be a mathematician. Something amusingly antithetical.

I still think what's-his-face the blond Australian with long hair is an embarrassment. I guess it could be immaturity, given that he's been playing tennis since he was young, and perhaps did not develop logical skills or social skills. Patrick Rafter is far cooler.

James Blake is cool. Go Blake!

Roddick is boring.

Seles is cool. The Williams sisters are cool. As long as they live up to their potential, which is fearsome, it's all good.

Capriati's pretty cool, Davenport is pretty cool. I hope that Andrea Johnson does well.

Of course, my opinion of all the above players is purely based upon media reports, but my opinion of Blake, Seles, the Williams sisters, and that Australian guy, is pretty reasonably based.

I'm a slow perfectionist.

Friday, June 18, 2004

murphy's law

Usually, I put my phone in silent mode at work. Occasionally I forget, but it's not usually a problem since I never get calls.

However, today, my dad called at about 11 am and my phone started ringing loudly! A bit embarrassing. Everyone at work puts their phone in silent mode except for the project leader and another guy from his company. Well, the company cell phone isn't set in silent mode either, but that's because it's a shared phone that sits on the desk.

I want a cool ringtone.

I read on E-online that Paris Hilton and Nick Carter are dating. Hands up if you think they're a stable couple. Even separately I don't think they're stable. Laf.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

web sites, style

I read some suggestions for e-commerce sites. I checked google and teoma to see if Well Luck came up, but it's not high on the results list. Oh well. I'll try Walton too. You can tell the essay is a little old, as Barnes and Noble has a nice short domain name, I find it hard to remember though, and usually type instead. You know, I really don't like Amazon. Their search engine reeks.

Tim Berners-Lee has a more in-depth discussion of Online Hypertext Style.

Radical Japanese lessons.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

2046, politics

This article on Cannes is hilarious. "It's now understood that we, too, are victims of a dangerously idiotic president." Wong Kar-Wai's latest film, 2046, looks interesting, even though I don't like Zhang Zhiyi much. Well, I've only seen her in 3 films - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Musa the Warrior (don't know the Korean title), and Shanghai Noon (I saw it on the plane).

My favorite directors are probably Wong Kar-Wai and Ang Lee. Ah, can't forget Hayao Miyazaki!

I had fruit for breakfast today. Biwa (びわ) and mandarin oranges (蜜柑). I'm still hungry.

Saw ads for the new phones which use bones in your head to transmit sound. I wonder how they will sell. They ought to do well, assuming they work. You're supposed to be able to hear and speak clearly to people in all sorts of noisy situations.

Stuff to read if bored: Recently Asked Questions for the keitai list, a "mailing list meant for the discussion of current and future web and JAVA(tm) enabled mobile phones with a bias towards the Japanese market."

集中する: to concentrate

An interesting story about the NSA, and Iran and Iraq.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


I think I drank too much liquid today, but I was feeling a bit dehydrated. Now I feel bloated.

In any case, today's meeting went well, and I finally explained the new flow to my team leader. Now I'm writing screen definition documents for the next week.

It's pretty slow working through the Oracle Database Fundamentals text.

I have studied my Japanese textbook for about 20 minutes in the past 2 weeks. It's been pretty busy, but I need to study more.

I read a couple interesting articles today. One about a little Iraqi boy, who had an eye operation and afterwards met the widow of a Japanese journalist killed in Iraq. The journalist and his nephew (also a journalist) were shot and killed in Iraq while the journalist was making flight arrangements for the child. Another article was about a japanese tap dancer named Rhythm who started tap dancing at age 18. There's also a music festival going on in Tokyo soon.

Monday, June 14, 2004

orkut needs a delete all function

I like the communities on orkut but the interface really bothers me at times. All the messages I get are junk, so I'd like a delete all function. As it is, I will just let them accumulate and take up storage space.

I think the flaw with ryze is that the search functions never hit anything. And some search functions require a membership to use. I guess it's part of the business model. I wonder if it's effective. Everyone I know seems to be using orkut. Competition is good.

Lovely, I password protected my zip file with a stupid password (as I recall, it was stupid), and now I don't remember it. Ugh. *bangs head against wall* Laf. Protecting myself from myself. Fortunately, there are convenient password recovery tools! Laf. Irony.

Yay, I remembered my password. All my tax files are back, goody.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

reorg, part 1

Moved the old site, and fixed some links.

There's a lot to reorganize! Funny how I could be taking a nap but have instead spent the past 2 or 3 hours cleaning up my website.

Reorganized links. Broke it up into different pages. Will make pretty when put in css.

* make new menu system
* take out frames (frames are a real pain when you have links in the frame)
* add css
* put up photos

Hey Jackie, the wife cakes were yummy! Really good. Did you try them? Thanks very much.

Friday, June 11, 2004

created this blog, communication, site redesign awaits

I broke down and created a blog. Succumbing to the path of least resistance.

You know, it's a real pity that so many lovely phrases (such as "the path of least resistance"), have been overused and hackneyed. It's a good thing there are so many good writers who can create lovely new ones.

Reasons I created a blog:

I can update without ftp-ing to my website. Hopefully there's that cool feed where I can post comments and pictures from my phone. That would be sweet.

It's prettier than my website, which I've been meaning to redesign and put in spiffy cascading style sheets but haven't had time to yet.
So in the meantime, I'll use this free software.

I needed another place to vent and allow comments. What I really want is a nice bbs somewhere where I can get intelligent feedback to issues or just jaw about what's wrong, but it's a little hard to collect the right people and actually have them be around often enough to respond within a day or two. At least this allows comments.

I should try starting a new community in Orkut. People seem pretty active about posting there. The focus would be: Interpersonal/political/technical issues in the IT/software industry. The issues aren't limited to this industry, but I want to discuss technical issues also.

I want to show several faces of myself on my website, but it's an interesting challenge. I want to vent about various personal issues, but I don't particularly want professional contacts to read that. Basically, I need 2 sites, and I want to allow people to go from the personal site to the professional one, but probably not the reverse. I could just set up a professional subdirectory on my site, but it's easy to get to the main site if you know the domain. So, I'll have to do the reverse and make the professional aspect the default site, and friends and family will get a link to the personal site.

Photos will probably be available from the professional site, just for fun. I think the cultural pictures are generally interesting.

Ah yes, time for a whole redesign:
* change file organization and content
* add style sheets
* put up photos (perpetually pending)

I really have to work on communication. I don't state my reasons very clearly.

For example, I believe shopping in Tokyo is a lot of fun. My reasons:
* 100 yen shops! You can buy anything here. Bath supplies, bottled drinks, various organizers for magazines and closets, to cooking utensils and baking supplies. I like the stationary and kanji practice books in particular.
* There is a lot of music from all over the world available here, and lots of used CD stores. I really like buying a CD for 300 yen.
* Lots of fun little shops, with pretty jewelry and cool bags.
* Uniqlo - good quality and cheap. Always fun to sift through the stuff. They're selling yukata for 3000 or 4000 yen. Dirt cheap for a yukata, and they're in bright, pretty patterns. I could buy one, but I don't think they're very practical, although they are super fun for summer 花火(fireworks festivals). Evelyn is so cute. She bought 3 yukata while she was here. 2 from Uniqlo (one for her brother), and another 1 that was a set w/ shoes and all. Uniqlo has a tshirt with a soy sauce graphic on it and "[Soy Sauce]" on it in English. I think that's really cool. Email me if you want one, but tell me the size. I'll post a picture online. I sent it to 2 people, but I guess they didn't find it as cool as I did. A pity.
* Food/souvenir floors in department stores have the most delicious array of foods.
* I've found more and more places which have Japanese text on the clothing. One shop sells tshirts with Okinawan phrases on it. They're pretty basic, but interesting because it's Okinawan. I found some other shops in 下北沢(shimokitazawa). There's a place in Harajuku which sells a shirt that says 「おまえのものはおれのものだ。おれのものはおれのものだ。」(Your stuff is my stuff. My stuff is my stuff.) Or something to that effect. I thought it was cool, but I didn't really want to pay more than 2000 yen for it.

Ugh, I am having the hardest time sitting up straight. I just don't want to. I forget and slouch in my chair when I get absorbed in work.

You know, the cool thing about studying is that I try lots of new
cafes. The bad thing about it is that I don't spend much time
with other people.

My Fridays have gotten really boring. All in the name of improving my brain.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

dresses, sql, JR staff prom dresses for Chicago kids (old bridesmaid dresses, etc.)

Was up late working last night. Surprised that I'm managing to function today. I passed my Oracle SQL test. Now, back to studying Japanese, and beginning studying for the first DBA test.

Sunday, June 6, 2004, at Shinjuku Station, track 3 I think, for the 1:14pm Narita Express train, both the station attendant on the platform and the conductor at the end of the train, were extremely kind. It's always nice to run into helpful people, so I commend these 2 JR workers. Sadly, I didn't get their names. I have now encountered 3 exemplary JR workers, and 3 other very nice ones.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

calcium, Courteneys

I've started drinking yogurt for breakfast regularly. I suddenly realized I wasn't getting much calcium so I changed my diet a bit. The "drinkable yogurt" they sell here is pretty good. I like it a lot. No plain, sour yogurt here. I get 275 mg of calcium a day. I have no idea if it's enough. I just looked it up, and according to Australia 275 mg is 1/3 of my recommended daily intake.

Oh my. I saw a news headline about Courteney Cox, and my first thought was, she's having a kid?!? However, I was thinking of Courteney Love... Whew! Um... Haha. Wonder how the young Cobain girl is doing. She must be in her teens by now.