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.