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.