Fruits

2007/7/17 Tuesday

The Japanese take their fruits seriously. If it isn’t perfect, it’s not for sale.
I just had a peach now. It was a big one…the size of my fist ! It was symmetric, orange reddish, and extremely juicy. No wonder it cost me 250yen !

I also remember having melon some time back. It was perfectly round and the size of my head .
The meat was so orange that it was nearly red. The best melon I’ve ever had. Set me back about 1000yen though.

Best of Tokyo

2007/4/21 Saturday

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I blogged. Last year has been a tough year of work, and I did not get much free time to process life, let alone writing.

It is my sixth year in Tokyo. Over the years, many people have asked me why I came and what I like about Japan (Tokyo). My usual answers are that I like the culture (it is quite different from the North American culture I grew up in), the weather (more sunny days than Vancouver), and the onsen. These are reasons that anyone can come up with. Tourists come to Tokyo for these same reasons. They are the right reasons but they are also boring reasons and do not give enough credit to the bustling and colourful megapolitan.

The Japanese way is a subtle one, and with six years under my belt, I have come to appreciate a bit of this way. Below are some less obvious reasons of why Tokyo is so great. Not everyone will agree with all the reasons — possibly only locals will nod and say “ahh….sou da ne”. At least they are not boring.

Trains and busses that are punctual, frequent, and covers most of the city

Quality onsen for under 2000yen.

Half-price sushi near closing time.

24-hour convenience stores within walking distance from home selling good oden, pasta, and sake.

100 yen stores that sell stuff that people actually need.

Free tissues hand-out.

Tatami floor in Izakaya’s.

Sakura in April.

Street musicians (some of them have more heart than talent, but some are quite good).

90 degree bows from the store staff after a purchase.

Takkyubin (Express couriers) that delivers up till 9pm.

Kimono on New Year’s, Yukata during fireworks.

and more, but that’s enough for one post. All the people say “ii ne”.

Track Back

2006/2/27 Monday

Track Back to Ena’s Farewell Transit.
I love Transit

EUC vs SJIS

2005/10/8 Saturday

I got tired of using EUC. Not the encoding’s fault really. Just that my editor doesn’t edit in EUC and that’s not its fault either. It’s probably because I didn’t install the codepage on my system. Well, it was easier to ask WordPress to display SJIS instead of EUC than for me to install EUC, so I went in and changed my config….

Well, I was wrong (happens more often than I’d like). WordPress stores multibyte text (you know, like 日本語) in the effective encoding at the time of posting, and when I just change my config and settings, the encoding of these text aren’t converted. That’s reasonable for WordPress, but doesn’t help me since now my pages look like I go into temporary insanity and scribble gibberish (ex. ¤ÎÀ¤³¦¤) every once in awhile.

To make matters worse, these text make some WordPress admin pages unusable since the gibberish interferes with the markup in the pages. The very pages I need to fix my problem are crippled !

As a last resort before reformatting my hard drive, which is the way I solve most of my PC problems, I decided to try to clean up the rebelling text in the database (MySQL).

My luck was unbelievable. It worked ! My harddrives sighed relief. My pages now look like they are written by a sane person. This anal author rejoices in the knowledge that his text are now safely stored and displayed to millions in SJIS.

Life !

2005/10/8 Saturday

Practice makes perfect.
Less than 15 minutes to set up my second blog site of the night. My first one took me 3 hours.
The installation took less than 5 minutes. The rest of the time was spent customizing the site.

Even customizing took little time. I admit it. Coming up with the title took the most time. Strange title for a Blog, but I’ll let it process itself out after a few more entries.