Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dunhill? Nope, look closer

I'm in zhaoqing a city west of guangdong. A city where all the motorcycles are made by the same company, and a helmet he one is worn at all is a plastic construction workers cap. it's weird to see people speaking canton outside of hkg. guangdong is the construction materials center me china, and this particular city specialises in ceramics. The city is covered in a perpetual cloud of dust and silt.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

me and miss universe japan `06

another year another thankless year

life is soo tough



Party time

10,000yen worth of adult amusement. Either I'm preparing for the biggest party my apartment has ever seen, or its Christmas time, and somebody has been naughty. Very naughty. And I'm very nice. Nice enough to endure the embarrassment of going through the cashier with over 100 dollars worth of sex toys and items. From vibrators that look like ipod peripherals to double holed shampoo bottle looking female simulators, to over 50 dollars worth of asian specific (read as 'sized') condoms, I got em all. And for what you ask pretell? Well, turns out that Japan is no longer known as the place where you can get the newest in electronic gadgetry, robot anime or delicate origami goods anymore. Its the Naughties (00's) and thanks to the wonders of capitalism and market forces, Japan is now the land of sex. And in this mystical land where sex is the second largest industry right after cars (yes, think about that for a second), you are bound to find the most elaborate things in the adult section of your friendly neighborhood discount store. And it just so happens that some of my friends in other less liberalized parts of asia, have caught onto this, so instead of asking for the usual bottle of sake, a cute umbrella, or custard eggtarts as souvenirs, they demanded fleshbottles, latex umbrellas, and eggs that run on batteries. Yep, its definitely the season to be merry. Very very merry. Off again. On another whirl wind tour of Asia, well, more of a sequence of connected trips. First off, to hkg, where I will deliver most of my happy toys to the good girls and boys, then off to china, Zhaoqing, but 3 days of golf. For the price of just 1 round in japan, I'll be golfing 3 rounds with hotel and caddies paid for. Gotta love china. Then its off to sunny and sweltering singapore, where I will celebrate the marriage of one of my best friends in singapore, Jo da man himself. We'll stay a night in good old Eusoff Hall, (oh the memories) and eat prata late into the night while we share stories of Jo and his disgusting habits in university. I'll be sure to take many pictures this time. After that, I'll be returning to japan on Christmas day (I'll spend Christmas in the air from singapore to tokyo, perhaps even see santa! hoho) where I will spend the day at the airport lamenting in my own self pity while I wait for my flight back to Toronto where I will finally be able to unwind and endure my parents continual nagging about my love life and why I'm not married yet. My answer, as anyone (male) who has lived in tokyo can attest to, is that there are too many women that I love to have to choose only one of them. Well, that is the cover story anyhow. For now, I will leave you with the best wishes for a Happy Holidays, and remember to play safe.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Golf in Chiba

Contrary to what most westerners thing, there are bungloads of golf courses in japan. Also there are plenty of affordable ones too, but you have to go on weekdays as the sheer amount of golfing population dictates that prices on weekends jack up a lot.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Crazy Spiders in Chiba

Crazy Spiders in Chiba
Originally uploaded by DJChan
You really don't want to mess with these guys...


Originally uploaded by DJChan
Is there a hidden message here? In a land ruled by strict rules, I think this display is enough to freeze the typical japanese person into a confused blur of inaction.

VFR800, SV400, ZRX400, CB400

VFR800, SV400, ZRX400, CB400
Originally uploaded by DJChan
Next time, we are going to have to get some female to ride the blue yammy XJR400 to complete the set. We rode around the entire penninsula of Chiba and Izu, and put around 1000km on our bikes for the weekend. It was awesome.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Straight out of the book...Initial-D

Straight out of the book
Originally uploaded by DJChan
Irohazaka, the windy mountain road made famous by Initial-D, is a riders paradise during the day, drifters racetrack by night. Only 2 hours from tokyo, its a travellers must see. As you can see by the photo in the motorcycling book I'm holding.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MotoGP 2007 - The beginning

Originally uploaded by cphousing
This was when we were all warm and safe and dry. Everyone was in such a great mood. Excellent weather, and riding conditions promised a fun and safe journey for all.

How little did we know that that would all change.

Monday, September 24, 2007

MotoGP 2007 - Motegi

Or should I call it the thunder dome? 10 men enter, 3 men leave. Only 3 people went without incident. 1 crash 2 dropped bikes (our own) 2 dropped bikes (not our own) 1 near miss 1 monkey on the road 1 torrential downpour 2 case of pneumonia due to the above But we all made it back safe and sound. And all a little wiser. Photos to be posted soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Outlook GUI Stupidity #114

Sometimes Outlook really just pisses me off. This works out to be about once a day. Today's "outlook you piece of crap" grip is about mailing lists. I have a mailing list, which is a global one. I want to make a new mailing list which is more regional based, using a subset of the mailing lists contained in the global one. It's worth noting that the global list is a list of lists, and not a list of actual addys. So, what do I do? As always, I do naturally what a user would do. Type the list into the TO field, double click on it to see its contents, and drill down to get the list of lists that I want to copy, leaving the ones I don't. In steps MS Stupidity -- You CANNOT COPY the lists you see in the properties dialog box of the mailing list! You can SELECT them, you can double click on them to drill down, but you CANNOT DO ANYTHING MEANINGFUL to those list names. WTF. Seriously, I hope that MS pays their monkeys in QA their quota of bananas for this one. What reason would you want to restrict the users to just LOOKING at the list contents if you can't electronically copy them? I think that EVERY item in a GUI that is SELECTABLE should be COPY-ABLE* (even if cut is not allowed) I am forced instead to TAKE OUT A PEN AND WRITE DOWN THE LISTS ON PAPER.** So that I can add them to the new list I am building. Outlook is a piece of hot steamy shite. * Except for password fields of course ** Anytime poor software design causes an end user to have to do this, somebody at the company responsible should be forced to ceremoniously cut off a digit.

An OIJ for the Record books

Thanks to plangent on tokyopia who subtitled it, for all to enjoy. Just sums up Japan, in one video

Monday, August 27, 2007

Outlook GUI Stupidity #112

When you receive an email from an internet address, for instance Aya [mymail@hotmail.com] Besides replying, and saving the address in your contact list, what is the most natural thing to do with the email addy? well, cut and paste of course!, but once again, MS developers thought that they were smarter than you, the user, and made it so that you cannot select the email address part with your mouse. Any attempt to select it will select the whole line, [] included. Why anyone would want to cut and paste that line with the square brackets is beyond comprehension, and yet another testament to developers at MS not using their brain, or doing any sort of sensical user acceptance testing. I've always been a critic of the stupid so-called intelligent text selection algorithms that they employ at Redmond. But this is just plain dumb. (FYI, to get just the email address, double click on the email address and take it from the 'real' address text box in the resulting dialog)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oh Canada! - you suck.

I'm allowed to say that. I'm canadian. And for once, I am embarrassed to say so. What the heck is up with this: Canada gets authoritarian This really stinks, and basically has seriously made me reconsider ever returning to my home country. At least until I get too old for bikes, and am ready to exploit the free health care.

Why Vista Sucks

What Joel Says about MS Design It's what I've been ranting about for the last 10 years. We were having a discussion along these lines at coffee time today with a fellow technologist. The topic was the general gui breakdowns of Outlook, and how apple stands a good chance of stealing the spotlight away from ms on this front as well (as it has on the ilife front of home apps) if MS doesn't sit down, and redesign outlook from the ground up, and trash all the legacy backward compatible old cruft that is over 15 years old and holding back the forward progress of the development. (no more, we can't do this because it would no be compatible with Ms exchange version 3.1) Like many big conglomerates, MS doesn't seem to care too much about the average PC user anymore. Why? Because Ms doesn't make money selling to you and me. MS makes money selling their software to OEMs. Why would OEMS care about the usability of the software that they preinstall on their systems? It's pretty much a secondary concern when they market a product. Besides, if the customer really cares, then they will install their own OS and apps on the system afterwards anyways. So MS can continue to make money selling million dollar contracts to Dell, HP and Acer... while caring about as much as a hot pile of poo what the customers really think about their product so long as they are legally safe from retribution. Besides, the design strategy they always seem to take in their apps is to make the system as accomodating (think cheap hoe) as possible, so that 3rd party software houses can come in and write better programs to fill in for the deficiencies and flaws in their own -- at the expense of 'good old human centered design' which other competitors use as a selling point. Since MacOS is (legally) only supposed to run on apple hardware, lets leave it aside, and consider linux as the only competitor to windows as far as OEMs go... So if MS's interests are no longer at the consumer level, and making the $$$ off of the middlemen, then why do the OEMs continue to support an OS that is unpopular and less than optimal in terms of functionality? 1) because they have to, because they sell to business users, who all (mostly) use windows, because linux on the desktop is still unreliable, and unsupportable (anecdotal). Besides, who wants to support linux? No thanks, I'll take MS crap ware, at least it is more or less standard and supportable. Any non-business user sales are most likely to the gaming segment. More games on windows, means these users will buy windows machines. They don't care about how crappy outlook is or how much extra work it takes them to configure/setup/admin their PC, they have lots of free time on their hands, most of them are still in highschool. (note how MS spends a lot of effort on DirectX initiatives.) 2) because they make money from 3rd party crapware firms who pay them to pre-install their demo/crapware at the factory, just like yahoo makes off of adware. Windows is crapware friendly. Whether that is a side effect of the market size of windows users, or because of general promiscuity of the OS apis itself, I don't know. But remember the criticism apple got when it said that it would only allow 'blessed' apps on the iphone? Well, rest assured, ms would never take on such an elitist stance. Win for the crapware houses, lose for end user happiness. What does this mean? realistically? I believe that this means that MS is rich and happy, and has long since shifted its sights on other industries like TV Media, and games. They don't give a rats bum about windows and the OS market anymore, so long as they can continue selling them enmasse to OEMs. They don't design vista with you the individual user in mind. It's not in their business model. They just need to crank out mediocre improvement versions to keep OEMs buying the new thing. And heck, its the correct business decision in my opinion. And Gates and company have always been shrewed businessmen. If you want an OS that is built for the average user for actual personal use, then either go apple, or build your own with linux.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hakone Skyline

The weather forecast for today was supposed to be rain. Well, for some of us riders, it may have been better if it did. Instead, the published 40% chance of rain, ended up being a cloudy but dry day, perfect for running the curvy bends of the hakone and izu skyline. 8 riders, 4 manufactuers, and 1 goal: to melt some rubber. We met up at the starbucks off the Yoga entrance ramp to the Tomei Expressway, the scheduled time was 8am, but it wasn't until 8:30 did all of us manage to trounce our way in. The field was varied, most were seasoned riders, a couple of beginners (myself included), and a seasoned veteran getting back into the game. 2 Ducatis, 2 Suzukis, 3 Hondas, and an Aprilia. The ride down was uninteresting, speeding through the tomei traffic was as always an exercise in nerves. When we got to the skyline the riding was pretty intense. Single lane traffic meant that we had to pass cars in pretty tight conditions. I almost found myself in the ditch at the side of the road once when I just couldn't negotiate a tight right hander after passing a slow car. Man, thank god for those tokino double disk front brakes, else I would be fishing my bike out of a storm gutter. We had lunch at the top of the hills, a mecca for bikers, as driving into the parking lot we could see a proverbial showfloor of bikes of all makes. We managed to sight one of the more rare bikes in the world, a Italian Virus. Orange, and looking more like a weapon in the US army arsenal with its missle launcher intake ramscoop, it was a marvel of engineering and a beauty to look at. I took several pictures before the rider invited us to his shop at the top of the mountain pass. Enjoy the pics. The mountain roads and conditions were beautiful, there were points when it felt like we were riding through a windy road in the shire, it was like one big roller coaster ride. After lunch in the biker mecca, it was onto the Izu skyline, which is professed to be even more beautiful than the hakone turnpike. The connecting road was windy and even more narrow, and unlike the turnpike, had many uneven changes in grade. Oh, and more slow cars. So passing them was even more nerve wracking. Not long after thinking that, did chance lay its (back of the) hand on us, and one of our group (who I'll call "M" ) overshot a quick right hander, and flew off the road into the dreaded storm gutter. I was fortunate to have seen it in my rear mirror, so I turned back to help. Another in our group, and a kind passerby on a R1200GS stopped to help M (thankfully unhurt) lift the bike back out of the gutter. No small task, as the bike is 150kg. A little shaken, but unhurt, the bike looked practically unscathed short of a busted passenger peg, and a warped windscreen, and we all thought that 'M' got off pretty lucky until we saw the big puddle of liquid that was gathering in the gutter. The bike was bleeding oil. On closer inspection, the bike had fallen straight into the concrete ditch, which is about 1 foot wide and 2 feet deep, and the concrete hand ground a 2 inch gash in the bottom of the engine block big enough to fit 3 fingers into. Not good. And because the engine was a wet sump, oil was bleeding out of it like a victim with a punctured carotid artery. Hmm... Thankfully, I had with me some electrical tape, so we fashioned a temporary patch of the hole, and 'M' and I continued to ride down to the closest town, while the others continued onto the Izu skyline. 'M's poor hornet was leaking the whole way... 20km later, we got to a gas station, where the attendant basically told us that he could do nothing for us. We got some more tape, (unfortunately, there was no duct tape for sale) and filled up the engine with more oil (it had bled itself dry). Immediately it started bleeding again(it was really hard to plug a hole that big with just tape) but we decided to make a run for it another 20km to Odawara, where there would be a bike repair shop. We make it there, and thankfully they can effect repairs there, so we leave the bike and double up to ride on home. What a testiment to honda reliability! Running an engine pretty much dry of oil, for 40km without a seizure. We were lucky. So lessons learned, and nobody hurt, we all congregated back in the Sizzler cafe on route 246 back in the outskirts of Tokyo to tell our tales. One thing is certain, some of us (myself included) will be paying a lot more attention to how hot we ride into right handers and also to always keep a roll of ducktape and oil cleaner while travelling, as that would have been able to make a much more effective hole patching kit (compared to electrical tape). Oh and the total bill for the repairs to M's bike? 15,000yen for a new engine cap and oil. Not bad at all. Considering when I replaced my front disk brake it was 25,000. We count ourselves lucky today. Ride safely. Here are the pics

Friday, August 10, 2007


I recently had an article published in Asia Geographic magazine on snowboarding in Japan. Just a short article. When it comes out, you can see it Here. My first time in print. Thanks largely in part from my singaporean friends in the travelling/exploring/adventuring industry who put me in touch with the editors of the magazine. Cheers Jo, next time I'm in spore, drinks are on me! On an unrelated note, I had a star sighting in Roppongi this week. Its not my first star sighting in Japan, but it is my first sighting of a foriegn celebrity. It was Nicole Richie, half of the dynamic duo of Paris Hilton and Nicole on the show simple life. She arrived at Grand Hyatt hotel while I was waiting in the lobby. For a celebrity of her caliber, there was suprisingly little or not body guards. Perhaps not many people know her here, although the Simple Life is shown on cable TV in Tokyo. She was lugging a very large pink suitcase. Straight out of the show. I could have gone up to her and talked to her, there was no fans, nor crowd in the lobby. But what would I say... I'm not even a fan. Though I do think that she was the cuter one of the pair. Perhaps she is here to film Simple Life Japan Edition.

Monday, August 06, 2007

GUI Design Problems in Microsoft software

Every journey no matter how long, starts with just a step. On that note, lets start this journey, of how I think many of the GUI designs of MS software just plain sucks, and how I die a little more each day as I struggle with using Outlook and other such bloatware that just gets in my way. Let me recant, and introduce myself. For those who don't know me, I'm just another middle class salaryman working in japan in the finance industry with a background in engineering and computer science. My degree is in engineering (from UWaterloo) and the thing that us engineers pride ourselves on (besides being able to drink heavily) is that unlike computer science majors at our beloved school we cared about the actual application of technology in the real world, while the CS guys hoo and hawed over the mathematical beauty of their creations and how wonderful and elegant their solutions to a problem were. Here is the problem. Microsoft (henceforth known as 'MS') seems to like to hire our CS grads, and those same geeks that loved to show off how they managed to write a doubly recursive self mutating widget to display 'hello world' in 17 languages ends up writing code for MS Office. Big, big problem. At least that's how my theory goes. My 'love' for MS software knows little bias. I've used it for years since the days of windows 3.1, but it has only been after taking on a job where computer science wasn't the primary product I began to notice how inefficient MS software was making my life out to be. I started a thread on a local forum, just so that I could vent my frustrations to the world, which soon became the longest active thread on the whole board, with over 20,000 views. Bad GUI Design I'll let the thread speak for itself. There are many many posts, most of them mine, but all of them about GUI design failures, and although not all are limited to MS software, outlook definitely is the winner of most number of gui design screw ups. Take a gander. So there, that was the first step. The first step with me opening up my critiques of the most heavily used productivity software in the world, and why it needs to improve a lot more if people are going to become more proficient at doing their REAL JOBS instead of fighting with the productivity tools constantly. Read the thread. And keep your eyes peeled for more news on this blog. I have had it up to here with MS software inefficiencies and blatant disregard for real people using their software in real ways. Instead they write their programs to account for worse case scenarios and rarely encountered special cases, or try to cram every last widget with the maximum level of affordance, and in doing so, make the tool completely unusable or impractical, or just darned frustrating to use. Here is a sample of a discussion I had with a fellow programmer (who is a CS major) about the problem with outlook tasks. (and subsequently, time widgets) The good news is that it has a happy ending with us agreeing on what would be an improved version of the widget. MS are you listening? Discussion about Outlook Tasks

Sunday, August 05, 2007

GUI Design Discussion #1 Outlook Tasks

> digitsu [11:35]: I hate those irritating outlook alerts, I end up ignoring most of them. > Mr CS Buddy [11:35]: then you should turn off the false alerts... > digitsu [11:36]: yeah, but you know how it is... > digitsu [11:36]: they are alerts for weekly status mails etc. > digitsu [11:36]: need to do them, but at what time... is not determined. > digitsu [11:36]: if outlook tasklist didnt suck so much, they should really go there. > Mr CS Buddy [14:02]: what's wrong with task lists? > digitsu [16:13]: where do I start. > digitsu [16:13]: > digitsu [16:14]: lots of usability issues. > Mr CS Buddy [16:14]: tell me a couple of things that it doesn't do > Mr CS Buddy [16:14]: i'm using it a lot these days > digitsu [16:14]: more like things it does poorly > Mr CS Buddy [16:14]: and it's decent > Mr CS Buddy [16:14]: so would be cool to know what i should complain about as well > digitsu [16:14]: I'ved never liked the completion percentage drop down. > digitsu [16:17]: colours would be nice too. > digitsu [16:18]: also the integration with mail is hacky. > Mr CS Buddy [16:18]: what's wrong with completion? > Mr CS Buddy [16:18]: you can colour tasks > Mr CS Buddy [16:19]: mailing others? yourself? what kind of integration with mail > digitsu [16:19]: I want a slider for completion. > digitsu [16:19]: not a drop down. > digitsu [16:19]: excessive mousing to use a gui always pisses me off. > digitsu [16:19]: as does mixing mousing with keyboard use excessively > Mr CS Buddy [16:19]: ic ic > digitsu [16:19]: and when I tag a mail > digitsu [16:19]: to followup, it should become a task, > Mr CS Buddy [16:19]: so more of UI issues, rather than functional? > digitsu [16:20]: but it doesnt and just gets flagged. > Mr CS Buddy [16:20]: you can drag a mail into your tasklist > digitsu [16:20]: i know > Mr CS Buddy [16:20]: (it's not the best interface i know) > Mr CS Buddy [16:20]: good pt tho > digitsu [16:21]: it just splits it up, so that some of your taskes are reminders, > digitsu [16:21]: and some are actual tasks... > digitsu [16:21]: and without a unified interface, enforcing compliance, things get messy > Mr CS Buddy [16:21]: i wish there was a good organizer system out there > digitsu [16:21]: and the whole system breaks down, unless you are organized yourself to keep it clean > Mr CS Buddy [16:21]: mail, tasks, contacts, finance > Mr CS Buddy [16:22]: should all tie up > digitsu [16:22]: yes. > Mr CS Buddy [16:22]: we should make one > digitsu [16:22]: hahah > Mr CS Buddy [16:22]: the ultimate PIM > Mr CS Buddy [16:22]: we'll call it PIM.P > digitsu [16:22]: another reason why I don't drag mail into a task > digitsu [16:22]: HAHAH > Mr CS Buddy [16:22]: personal info manager. portable > Mr CS Buddy [16:22]: it should work with your latest handheld gadget > digitsu [16:22]: is because when you are DONE your task, guess what, most likely you need to reply to that mail > digitsu [16:23]: Oh... TOO BAD, NO SOUP FOR YOU > Mr CS Buddy [16:23]: but if the task was assigned to you > digitsu [16:23]: if you moved or deleted that mail, then MS will give you the big middle finger > Mr CS Buddy [16:23]: as soon as you complete > Mr CS Buddy [16:23]: it automatically sends the update back to the person > Mr CS Buddy [16:23]: there are quirks with the assingment system tho > digitsu [16:23]: I only wish people actually used tasks like that > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: true > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: that's what i was about to say > digitsu [16:24]: NOBODY I know assigns tasks > digitsu [16:24]: maybe you? > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: most ppl don't use the features, so it breaks down any "integration" features > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: i do > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: hahaha > digitsu [16:24]: but nobody on the business side with little patience dose > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: i assign things to laj > digitsu [16:24]: does > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: so we look at the same lists > Mr CS Buddy [16:24]: ya, tru > digitsu [16:24]: well, in that case it has a use > digitsu [16:25]: id admit that we aren't using it as they should be. > digitsu [16:25]: communication in strat land is via email and yams. > digitsu [16:25]: and tasks you have to assign to yourself. > Mr CS Buddy [16:25]: i'm serious tho > digitsu [16:25]: and I used to always drag them into the calendar, (so that I can see them) or tasklist. > Mr CS Buddy [16:25]: i'm dying to have a PIM that works well > digitsu [16:26]: but I got caught once when I had to recreate the entire mail via cut and past of all the FREEEKEN addresses on the TO line > Mr CS Buddy [16:26]: i've been looking at this area for 10yrs > Mr CS Buddy [16:26]: it's gotten better, but so slow > digitsu [16:26]: when I had to report back that I had fixed the bug > digitsu [16:26]: that it pissed me off so much as to give the middle finger to MS tasks > Mr CS Buddy [16:26]: hahaha > digitsu [16:26]: you would think that a simple requirement would be > digitsu [16:27]: that mail <-> task <-> calendar <-> contact > Mr CS Buddy [16:27]: same object > Mr CS Buddy [16:27]: but different interface > digitsu [16:27]: should be a commutational operation > digitsu [16:27]: and changing an item to one and back again to another should be possible > digitsu [16:27]: exactly! > digitsu [16:27]: but apparently those who work at MS are too engrossed in their own egos to think about real usability > Mr CS Buddy [16:28]: i guess it's a balance what you hold at the core of this communal object > Mr CS Buddy [16:28]: and what are delegated to the interface layer > digitsu [16:28]: all objects should just carry a link back to the original data glob > Mr CS Buddy [16:28]: problem right now is that a lot is at the interface > Mr CS Buddy [16:29]: secdb concept? > digitsu [16:29]: and use an appropriate interface each depending > digitsu [16:29]: yeah... > digitsu [16:29]: hahah > Mr CS Buddy [16:29]: but then problem is that you're grounded to 1 place > Mr CS Buddy [16:29]: hence secdb is so hard to mvoe > digitsu [16:29]: so if I delete the original mail, then i can recreate it and forward it as long as I have a task that was spawned from it. > Mr CS Buddy [16:29]: it won't work if you want to be portable > digitsu [16:30]: well, how portable do you need your pim to be? > digitsu [16:30]: with our infosec policies > digitsu [16:30]: hahahaah > Mr CS Buddy [16:30]: i'm just talking in general > Mr CS Buddy [16:30]: not within gs walls > digitsu [16:30]: you can work off a common data file > Mr CS Buddy [16:30]: most business ppl will need the pim data to be mobile > digitsu [16:31]: download all current items to your local system > digitsu [16:31]: but keep the main data (like your archives on the server version) > digitsu [16:31]: yeah... there isn't a current good solution > Mr CS Buddy [16:31]: i'm thinking the problem with client-side is like secview > Mr CS Buddy [16:31]: it becomes bloated > digitsu [16:32]: secview is pretty lean when you compare to any other IDE > Mr CS Buddy [16:33]: that's only cuz you've thrown out the whole GUI > digitsu [16:33]: who needs a gui? > Mr CS Buddy [16:33]: to have a slider for %, you need a GUI > digitsu [16:33]: IDE requirements are not the same as PIM > Mr CS Buddy [16:33]: true > digitsu [16:33]: IDE is work. > digitsu [16:34]: PIM has the higher standards of being sooo useable and friendly and easy > digitsu [16:34]: as to GET OUT OF YOUR WAY > digitsu [16:34]: since its not a work tool, but a necessity of life. > digitsu [16:34]: like bureaucracy > Mr CS Buddy [16:35]: it's kinda interesting > Mr CS Buddy [16:35]: the analogy to secdb is quite similar > Mr CS Buddy [16:35]: if you try to hook this pim up to the work env > Mr CS Buddy [16:35]: it's like hooking secdb up to OMA > digitsu [16:36]: is that your job? > Mr CS Buddy [16:36]: you need to deal with the email volumes > digitsu [16:36]: ah > Mr CS Buddy [16:36]: cuz whilst the pim items would be easily converted between its different interfaces > Mr CS Buddy [16:37]: it's probably not going to be efficient for pure email > Mr CS Buddy [16:37]: about 50% which don't require convertion to another interface > digitsu [16:37]: well you don't need to convert unless you convert > digitsu [16:37]: I don't see any overhead > digitsu [16:38]: you may make the task object bigger > Mr CS Buddy [16:38]: but the whole tie-back to the glob would be the overhead > digitsu [16:38]: in order to remember who the original to.from was, but that;s it > Mr CS Buddy [16:40]: i'm going to save this conversation > Mr CS Buddy [16:40]: to think about more > digitsu [16:40]: yeah. > digitsu [16:41]: maybe if we come up with a killer pim we can start our own company > digitsu [16:41]: i'll be the complain generation department > digitsu [16:41]: otherwise known as the design despot > digitsu [16:41]: apple does a lot better job in its PIM app btw > Mr CS Buddy [16:41]: you can get some customer feedback > Mr CS Buddy [16:42]: market analysis > Mr CS Buddy [16:42]: i'm sure it does > Mr CS Buddy [16:42]: problem is that you have to give it to the masses > digitsu [16:42]: yep > Mr CS Buddy [16:42]: not just the ppl who like apples and mac > Mr CS Buddy [16:42]: and to put it on a handheld device > Mr CS Buddy [16:43]: i think it could be a good core function to start with > digitsu [16:43]: how do you colour tasks btw? > digitsu [16:43]: its not obvious. > digitsu [16:44]: another example of great gui > digitsu [16:44]: 99% of people probably don't have the energy to even ask > Mr CS Buddy [16:45]: you're right, it's probably not straightforward, like right-clicking and say colour > Mr CS Buddy [16:45]: you can format the view to auto-colour tasks of a certain category for example > digitsu [16:46]: ugh > Mr CS Buddy [16:46]: then just categorise your task > digitsu [16:46]: Just as I thought. you have to categorize first > digitsu [16:46]: who the heck has time for that u > Mr CS Buddy [16:46]: well, depends on what you want to colour > digitsu [16:46]: I just want to slap a colour > Mr CS Buddy [16:46]: you don't have to categorise if you're colouring things depending on time > digitsu [16:47]: without having to fill out application forms in triplicate and signing with blood > digitsu [16:47]: I just want to colour > digitsu [16:47]: no depending on. > digitsu [16:47]: I want to have in my brain what which colour means. > Mr CS Buddy [16:47]: well, for you to decide what to colour, don't you need to know which ones are what colours? > digitsu [16:47]: because I like green to mean X, > digitsu [16:47]: no > Mr CS Buddy [16:47]: well, you just answered my question > digitsu [16:47]: it should be like mail flagging > digitsu [16:47]: no > Mr CS Buddy [16:47]: i guess you do, but you don't want to explicitly define > digitsu [16:47]: exactly > digitsu [16:48]: why the fuck should I have to define > digitsu [16:48]: why the hell does outlook need to know? > Mr CS Buddy [16:48]: true > Mr CS Buddy [16:48]: i guess if you look at it this way > digitsu [16:48]: we all know, that unless you are David (whats his name) the organizational freak, who does nothing but reorganize his file cabinet daily > Mr CS Buddy [16:48]: do you want to always ahve to manually colour? > digitsu [16:48]: we categories will change > Mr CS Buddy [16:48]: or do you want the system to know why you colour what, and it does it for you automatically > digitsu [16:48]: categories change > digitsu [16:49]: keeping them fresh is a chore > digitsu [16:49]: making using a PIM a chore defeats the whole purpose of a PIM > digitsu [16:49]: or... creates jobs for assistants, depending on how you see it > Mr CS Buddy [16:49]: i see your point > digitsu [16:49]: besides, by your arguement > digitsu [16:49]: why the heck don't I have to specify the colour meaning in NOTES? > Mr CS Buddy [16:50]: but if you do change all the time, then your system will be out the window in a matter of months > digitsu [16:50]: or the mail reminder flags? > Mr CS Buddy [16:50]: you don't, but it doesn't do anyth auto for you > digitsu [16:50]: consistency... MS has about as much as a constipated pig > Mr CS Buddy [16:50]: true > digitsu [16:50]: well, I don't need it automatically done > digitsu [16:51]: because im creating the task anyway > Mr CS Buddy [16:51]: they should have the option to colour on the fly i agree > digitsu [16:51]: why would I need it to auto choose my colour? > digitsu [16:51]: if in return, I have to consciously choose (and maintain) a meaningful category list > Mr CS Buddy [16:51]: cuz the task might go through different states > Mr CS Buddy [16:51]: again, it depends what you're colouring it for > digitsu [16:52]: for visibility > Mr CS Buddy [16:52]: i'm colouring based on state changes > Mr CS Buddy [16:52]: and that is dynamic > digitsu [16:52]: I want my "pay parking ticket or get arrested" to be red > digitsu [16:52]: and about categories, the problem is that many things can fall under multiple ones. > digitsu [16:53]: is that a home task? or a work task or just a random thought? or a to buy, or a to do, or a remember bday. > digitsu [16:53]: work related bday > digitsu [16:53]: or personal bday > Mr CS Buddy [16:53]: i hear you > Mr CS Buddy [16:53]: i have that problem > digitsu [16:53]: I tried to categories. > digitsu [16:53]: I just gave up. > Mr CS Buddy [16:53]: i agree setup is someth that is unnecessarily difficult > digitsu [16:54]: since I spent more time categorizing and resolving cat unions and merges than actual work. > Mr CS Buddy [16:54]: and i believe that is a problem with most of the ms apps > digitsu [16:54]: yeah. > Mr CS Buddy [16:54]: i spent the whole wkend working in ms money > Mr CS Buddy [16:54]: and whilst i got the job done > digitsu [16:54]: hahahahaha > Mr CS Buddy [16:54]: spent a lot of time with setups/configs > digitsu [16:54]: I used to keep my finances using SB finance > Mr CS Buddy [16:54]: that is another reason why i think this whole idea for pim is worth exploring (finally) > digitsu [16:54]: for my PDA. > digitsu [16:55]: i gave up after 1 year > digitsu [16:55]: it was just too much work. > Mr CS Buddy [16:55]: i agree, but i want to make it easier > Mr CS Buddy [16:55]: cuz it gives a lot of insight into your data > digitsu [16:55]: yes > digitsu [16:55]: I know... it does. I agree > Mr CS Buddy [16:56]: i finally managed to aggregate all the reciepts i had for the last 4 yrs > Mr CS Buddy [16:56]: not every one > digitsu [16:56]: oh my got > digitsu [16:56]: god > Mr CS Buddy [16:56]: but the bulk > digitsu [16:56]: you reconciled all your reciepts?!?!?!? > digitsu [16:56]: do you put each item on your credit card as an entry as well? > Mr CS Buddy [16:56]: i went through one round of the high-level with the bank, salary statements, credit card bills etc > Mr CS Buddy [16:57]: i still need to sweep through again for major payments, like big purchases, utility bills, etc so i can work out a reasonable budget > Mr CS Buddy [16:57]: i categorised the items in the credit card bill > digitsu [16:58]: I did that too > Mr CS Buddy [16:58]: i had 90% of the receipts, but didn't rec all the items > digitsu [16:58]: I was quite proud of my purchasing categories > Mr CS Buddy [16:58]: threw out all the peti cash > digitsu [16:58]: sbfinance is cool cause I can run it on my phone > Mr CS Buddy [16:58]: nice > digitsu [16:58]: but still I get too tired to enter all the water bills and gas bills when i get them > Mr CS Buddy [16:59]: japanese ms money is not avaiable... pisses me off > digitsu [16:59]: esepcially when some of the bills are hard to read, and have multiple charges on different dates > digitsu [16:59]: yeah. > digitsu [16:59]: or japanese quicken > Mr CS Buddy [16:59]: that's where a combo of auto-paying in my bank, downloading to ms money helps > digitsu [16:59]: oooooh > Mr CS Buddy [16:59]: i can easily just have it auto-category my utility bills > Mr CS Buddy [16:59]: going fwd > digitsu [16:59]: your bank does a ms money download > digitsu [16:59]: sweet > digitsu [17:00]: that would be handy > Mr CS Buddy [17:00]: ya > Mr CS Buddy [17:00]: took awhile to work it all out > Mr CS Buddy [17:00]: but right, case in point, no one else woudl do any of this > Mr CS Buddy [17:00]: i'm just anal enough to do it > Mr CS Buddy [17:00]: and it's not that most ppl don't need it > digitsu [17:00]: well, I wouldn't say anal, > digitsu [17:00]: just organized > Mr CS Buddy [17:00]: ppl just can't be bothered > Mr CS Buddy [17:01]: or have the ability to work it all out > digitsu [17:01]: I know there is a certain level of satisfaction that comes from a tight ship being run > digitsu [17:01]: and a tidy apartment > digitsu [17:01]: unfortunately I barely have time to keep my physical apartment clean... so... something has got to go. > digitsu [17:11]: here is one for you > digitsu [17:11]: why the heck can't I assign a task with a due time. > digitsu [17:12]: like a reminder? > digitsu [17:12]: so if i have a task that has a reminder for the day, the only way i can do that is to mail myself and add a reminder to it? sort circumvents the whole task system. > digitsu [17:13]: lessening its significance > digitsu [17:14]: you asked for it, so now you are on my complaint list for MS task Gui > digitsu [17:14]: complaint #4 > digitsu [17:14]: why when I click on the time, does the cursor default to insert mode? what the heck use is that?!?!? > digitsu [17:15]: when I click on the time (for a reminder) then obviously i want to TYPE a TIME, NOT EDIT the time > digitsu [17:15]: because the time it takes for me to type '8' is less that the time it takes for me to type "del, del, del, 8" > digitsu [17:16]: and once again, stupid drop down box for time. > digitsu [17:16]: MS has a drop down box fetish > digitsu [17:16]: because they are freaken lazy with free text entry > digitsu [17:17]: choosing a time out of a drop down box is the most painful task ever. > digitsu [17:17]: I pity those with poor motor functions > digitsu [17:17]: clicking repeatedly on a tiny down arrow button > digitsu [17:18]: and why isn't the option to add a reminder to a task available from the right click menu anyway? > digitsu [17:18]: it is for mail items > digitsu [17:18]: convinced yet? the GUI is broken as far as I'm concerned. I'll have more complaints for you as i start to remember them > digitsu [18:13]: bitch #6 > digitsu [18:13]: why can't convert a mail item to a cali one via any discernable menu item? > digitsu [18:14]: drag and drop works well when i am staring at the inbox, but if I'm not, and I'm looking at my calendar (which guess what MS, that's what most people look at before deciding on inserting a new appointment! duh) > digitsu [18:14]: there is no way for me to turn an open mail item into a calendar item. > digitsu [18:14]: or task for that matter. > digitsu [18:15]: instead, I have to go back to the inbox, find the mail (which may be in a different sorting order or folder, and drag and drop. I hate you MS. I hate you > Mr CS Buddy [18:24]: not sure what you mean by task w reminder -- you can do this unless you're talking about the right-click method, which isn't there > Mr CS Buddy [18:26]: having a drop down for time allows you to just press the cursor keys to select a time, instead of typing, to guarantee correctly-formatted text, which is a good thing in UI cuz you give context to the expected input > digitsu [18:26]: dont agree > Mr CS Buddy [18:26]: but you're right in that insertion might not be the necessarily best default > digitsu [18:27]: pressing arrow keys is the stupid answer to the simple task of corect recognition > Mr CS Buddy [18:27]: and you're right about the mail->calendar or mail->task, not very obvious > digitsu [18:27]: most people can type 8:15 or 8pm > digitsu [18:27]: if you screw up, then you deserve the error message you get > Mr CS Buddy [18:27]: but having blank text boxes everything isn't the answer > digitsu [18:27]: better than having to pretty arrow key 15 times > digitsu [18:28]: carpel tunnel > Mr CS Buddy [18:28]: ppl sometimes don't knwo what to put > digitsu [18:28]: poor excuse > Mr CS Buddy [18:28]: so i agree that selecting the box and allowing for type over is good > digitsu [18:28]: most obvious choices can be easily accounted for > Mr CS Buddy [18:28]: but better to have an option > digitsu [18:28]: sure, you can have a drop down for the mentally unstable > digitsu [18:28]: but for those who prefer to save time and energy > digitsu [18:29]: just default to selecting the whole time when I click on it. > digitsu [18:29]: simple > digitsu [18:29]: apple does this with URLs as well as time fields. > Mr CS Buddy [18:29]: i know, i am agreeing with you on the second part > digitsu [18:29]: smart apple dumb MS > Mr CS Buddy [18:29]: but what i'm saying is that drop down (it doesn't really have to drop down) with the options is a good backup > digitsu [18:29]: everyone at ms will get carpel tunnel in 30 yaers > Mr CS Buddy [18:29]: i'm not syaing only the dropdown with cursor > digitsu [18:29]: yes > Mr CS Buddy [18:29]: it should allow both > digitsu [18:30]: fine as a backup, but it seems MS always wants to cater to LCD > Mr CS Buddy [18:30]: so it's the selection code that needs word > Mr CS Buddy [18:30]: work > digitsu [18:30]: its as if they design something with the stupidest people in mind > Mr CS Buddy [18:30]: well, i can imagine ppl not knowing what to put > digitsu [18:30]: and add on other features for the rest of us 'when they have time' as an afterthought > digitsu [18:30]: that doesn't matter > digitsu [18:30]: put what ever you want. > digitsu [18:31]: there is NO REASON to default to and edit > Mr CS Buddy [18:31]: that's fine > digitsu [18:31]: who the heck would want to EDIT the time field????!?!? > Mr CS Buddy [18:31]: i agree > digitsu [18:31]: I mean, that's just plain stupid. > Mr CS Buddy [18:31]: to be honest i do edit > digitsu [18:31]: and as for what to put. > Mr CS Buddy [18:31]: but i agree it shouldn't necessary default to edit > digitsu [18:31]: usually following whatever time format is displayed is a natural start > digitsu [18:32]: why would you edit when you can type over. > Mr CS Buddy [18:32]: cuz i might not want to type the colon > digitsu [18:32]: I find it easier to type 8:15 than to select, delete twice, and type 15 > digitsu [18:32]: oops, you screwed up, should of typed backspace. > digitsu [18:32]: hahaha. > Mr CS Buddy [18:32]: if you select in the right place, you only delete once > Mr CS Buddy [18:33]: or if you just select the right character, then you can type over > digitsu [18:33]: I bet you that 90% of the time you screw up and have to backspace out your mistake > Mr CS Buddy [18:33]: anyhow, that's just me > digitsu [18:33]: you are in the minority. your dextrous hands makes selecting 2 tiny characters easy. > digitsu [18:34]: you're lucky you don't have carpel tunnel yet. or that you dont have muscular diystrophy or something that makes minute mouse action difficult > digitsu [18:34]: or have bad eyesight and find seeing the cursor position difficult > digitsu [18:35]: maybe I'll stop bitching about MS inefficiency when I become a manager. > Mr CS Buddy [18:37]: but anyhow > Mr CS Buddy [18:38]: as i said, i agree the default selection should be the whole thing > Mr CS Buddy [18:38]: but the dropdown should stay > digitsu [18:38]: sure > Mr CS Buddy [18:38]: in fact that should be the case in any fields which have a finite number of options > digitsu [18:38]: I just think that a slider bar is a better widget for selection though > digitsu [18:39]: I haven't seen a good implementation of it, > Mr CS Buddy [18:39]: widget is not good for someth requiring precision > Mr CS Buddy [18:39]: slider i meant > digitsu [18:39]: but I sure like sliding up and down (cause you can use the roller on the mouse) > digitsu [18:39]: exactly my point! > digitsu [18:40]: the necessary level of precision for craetion of these tasks is what makes them UNUSABLE for me > digitsu [18:40]: you can make it precise, sliders with sticky points. > digitsu [18:40]: apple could do it. if anyone can > digitsu [18:41]: I don't like how MS forces you to put so much effort and precision to do something that should take minimal time, delegated to assistants. > digitsu [18:41]: like keeping a budget, if it becomes too much overhead, you'll stop doing it. and outlook (with the exception of calendar and mail) is 1 big fat ugly over head. > Mr CS Buddy [18:43]: but how does a slider make it better? > digitsu [18:43]: you can't be serious? > digitsu [18:44]: um the diff between 1 click and a drag with visual feedback and variable drag speed, compared with up to 24 clicks of a tiny fracken button > digitsu [18:45]: plus the biggest plus is that you can specify 8:17 without having to type it in manually > digitsu [18:46]: or any other denom that isn't on the hour or half hour > Mr CS Buddy [18:46]: but that just contradicted with what you said... when would you want to be so precise?? > digitsu [18:46]: you are playing semantic games > digitsu [18:46]: you know what I meant by precise > Mr CS Buddy [18:46]: no, i'm not > Mr CS Buddy [18:47]: k, there's 2 scenarios > Mr CS Buddy [18:47]: either a mouse, or a keyboard > digitsu [18:47]: one is precision in terms of choise of meeting time. which of course, choosing 8:45 conceptually is totally fine > digitsu [18:47]: the other is being precise as in ANAL about how to operate my software TOOL to represent my decision > Mr CS Buddy [18:47]: if keyboard, every cursor key you press would be the same between slider and dropdown, but you're pressing even more on a slider if it's going through the ranges (if only on set marks, then same) > digitsu [18:47]: software tool should be seemless > Mr CS Buddy [18:48]: if mouse, i agree it could be easier, but we're talking 2 less clicks on the mouse > Mr CS Buddy [18:48]: the 1 for dropping the box, 2 for making the selection (there's a slider already in the box) > digitsu [18:48]: not if the slider would actually move say a visual appointment up and down the calendar display. > digitsu [18:48]: which would be intuitive. > digitsu [18:48]: instead I feel like I am filling out a freaking application for a loan or some 1990 web form > Mr CS Buddy [18:49]: well, let me ask you > Mr CS Buddy [18:49]: what's better, to set the time > Mr CS Buddy [18:49]: or just pick up the appt and move it to the time? > digitsu [18:50]: have both, but if I have to set the time, let me type it in, if I want to scan a time, then let me scan visually, not a list of times. > digitsu [18:50]: scanning is inherently a visual experience > digitsu [18:50]: you are moving something. > digitsu [18:50]: you are using the visual part of your brain. > digitsu [18:51]: typing a time, you are using the logical part, so sure you can enter a time if you want. > Mr CS Buddy [18:51]: k, so if you want to be precise and type in a time, then coming back to the slider, how does that make it better in this case? > digitsu [18:51]: I've seen some better time entry systems on PDA apps > Mr CS Buddy [18:51]: (unless the 2clicks matter) > digitsu [18:51]: because the slider is sliding through a list of cryptic numbers > digitsu [18:52]: so that I can pick one. that is just silly. what if I want 8:45? oopps sorry. can't abort. type it in. Opps sorry, abort, you are in insert mode, select the whole thing, delete, type 8:45. > digitsu [18:52]: this is the usage pattern I fall through each time I use that damned widget > Mr CS Buddy [18:52]: k, drop insert for a sec > Mr CS Buddy [18:52]: we already agreed that it's a flaw > Mr CS Buddy [18:53]: and to answer your point > Mr CS Buddy [18:53]: that's true > Mr CS Buddy [18:53]: but you got to think about the number of times you want to pick 8:45 vs 8:30 or 9:00 > Mr CS Buddy [18:53]: if it's often, then add it to the list > Mr CS Buddy [18:53]: if it's not, then good the way it is > digitsu [18:53]: if you want to enter a time, precisly, but easily > Mr CS Buddy [18:54]: but with a slider, you're forced to slide through the whole range of 8:30-9:00 > digitsu [18:54]: they should have you enter the hour and minute separately > Mr CS Buddy [18:54]: every time > digitsu [18:54]: into 2 different boxes, which both default to 'type and overwrite' mode > Mr CS Buddy [18:54]: yes yes yes > Mr CS Buddy [18:54]: i hear u on that > Mr CS Buddy [18:54]: > digitsu [18:54]: so much easier to type '8' 'tab' '45' > Mr CS Buddy [18:54]: let's stop talking about that part > digitsu [18:54]: problem solved. > Mr CS Buddy [18:55]: my only question is only why a slider > Mr CS Buddy [18:55]: trying to understand the benefit as you are seeing it > Mr CS Buddy [18:55]: i can't see why it's better > digitsu [18:56]: well, its faster to adjust because I don't have to do the mental time conversion to 24 clock assuming the slider only covers a day > digitsu [18:56]: i wish I had a picture of old lotus organizer > digitsu [18:57]: the sliders were horizontal and showed a little arrow widget for each appointment that you have for the day. you know that the 7pm is pm because it near the right hand side of the slider,. > digitsu [18:58]: I've accidentally selected 6am instead of 6pm sometimes because the default time that outlook chooses for the appointment is unpredictable, and sometimes not in the same half of the day > digitsu [18:58]: and seeing where the list ends/begins on a drop down widge is much less obvious than on a visual slider > Mr CS Buddy [18:59]: gotcha > Mr CS Buddy [18:59]: that makes sense > Mr CS Buddy [19:00]: so whilst the drop down has the inherint ability, if you're just cursoring through, you have no context of whether you're at top or bottom of list > digitsu [19:00]: exactly > digitsu [19:01]: having a slider with 'sticky' points at every 15min, would be ideal > digitsu [19:01]: if you wanted to quicky move your meeting around > digitsu [19:02]: you wouldn't even need to label the slider necessarily > Mr CS Buddy [19:02]: hmmm...i'm thinking if the control looks like the way it does now, but when you click, cursor on the box, it should highlighte the whole thing for overtype, but also pop up with a vertical bar beside the text box with a marker showing you where you are on the bar > digitsu [19:02]: just move the time displayed in the manual entry time box to reflect the slider position > digitsu [19:02]: yes yes > digitsu [19:02]: that sounds right > Mr CS Buddy [19:02]: that'll give you both visual and logical context > Mr CS Buddy [19:03]: and gives you both mousing and keyboard function > digitsu [19:04]: when you press arrow down while in slider mode, it should jump by 15min increments, or 30min, whatever you choose > Mr CS Buddy [19:04]: yep, it'll be like the way it is now, but have the visual to give you where you are in the list > digitsu [19:04]: but if you pull the slider knob, then it will jump will move the time anolog like, and as quick as you can drag it > Mr CS Buddy [19:04]: kind of like the box on the scrollbar > digitsu [19:08]: we should start a gui design group > Mr CS Buddy [19:10]: just sent you a sample of hte widget > Mr CS Buddy [19:11]: it would move up or down at 15min increments > Mr CS Buddy [19:11]: but if you hold down the cursor, it'll jump quicker > Mr CS Buddy [19:11]: you can also move over the knob to move to the time directly > Mr CS Buddy [19:12]: and of course you can just typeover > digitsu [19:12]: did you just build that? > Mr CS Buddy [19:12]: yep > digitsu [19:12]: that's pretty cool > Mr CS Buddy [19:12]: look good? > digitsu [19:15]: can you make the knob look like the one I just posted on yams? > digitsu [19:15]: that would be sweet. > digitsu [19:15]: vertical of course > Mr CS Buddy [19:16]: need to open yams > digitsu [19:16]: yeah, MS doesn't let you post gif to this communicator > digitsu [19:16]: I like the bottom one, with the arrow widget and gradient > Mr CS Buddy [19:29]: keep in mind that the one i'm proposing tho > digitsu [19:29]: I think when it boils down to it, > Mr CS Buddy [19:29]: is that slider only pops up when you click on it > Mr CS Buddy [19:29]: cuz otherwise, it'll be pretty clutter all the time > digitsu [19:29]: you get satisfaction with using your gui if you feel like you are in control > Mr CS Buddy [19:30]: click or tab into it > digitsu [19:30]: and with the new slider we came up with, you I can see myself liking using it, as you can SEE the effects of your mousing movements > digitsu [19:30]: it has an immediate effect. > digitsu [19:30]: you are affecting your environment > digitsu [19:30]: not bending over and letting the environment drive you > digitsu [19:31]: plus, I think subconsciously there is something innately WRONG about clicking on a control without defined borders > digitsu [19:31]: Where the line between what is a valid click and a invalid click is invisible. > digitsu [19:32]: what I'm talking about, of course, is MS obsession with clicking on a time in a list of times, represented only by their alphanumeric representation in a free list. > digitsu [19:32]: that is just plain irritating on a primal level. > digitsu [19:33]: subconsciously, I'm thinking, since MS obviously didn't define any clear borders between what is 6:00 and 6:30, I'll be equally as messy with where I click, so half the time, you click the wrong one. > digitsu [19:33]: and the gui fails its task of facilitating ease of interaction between software and human > digitsu [19:35]: how far exactly from the number below can you click before it becomes the number above?, how many pixels? how far to the left or to the right? though not as vital, this willy nilly approach to the widget just irritates me to no end. > Mr CS Buddy [19:35]: haha > digitsu [19:35]: thats why apple makes me happy. > digitsu [19:36]: they seem to have gui designers that actually have a brain and live in the real world > digitsu [19:36]: they are not computer geeks writing widgets to be the most theoretically general and all-emcompassing. > digitsu [19:36]: they write widget to cover the most common use cases first. and the exceptional cases are secondary. > Mr CS Buddy [19:37]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance > digitsu [19:38]: yeah, that hits it right on the nose. > Mr CS Buddy [19:38]: i learned it my UI design class before > Mr CS Buddy [19:38]: first chapter > digitsu [19:38]: MS programmers are freaken geeks with no real world experience, so they design things to maximize all possible affordances > digitsu [19:39]: because who knows, you MIGHT want to toss the chair and sit on the ball one day. > digitsu [19:39]: so we better design for it. > digitsu [19:39]: what they end up doing is designing electric powered umbrellas > Mr CS Buddy [19:40]: i know you had a bunch of other UI complaints > Mr CS Buddy [19:40]: lets look at them and come up with a suite of better widgets > Mr CS Buddy [19:40]: for driving a better pim > digitsu [19:40]: yes. > Mr CS Buddy [19:40]: good side project > digitsu [19:41]: I swear MS should pay me for all this shite. I have started a thread on tokyopia for just my GUI beefs. its now the most read thread on the forum. > digitsu [19:41]: hahah > digitsu [19:41]: I should be the head of design acceptance dept at MS.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Global Warming - Real effects

We're all going to kill the planet. George Bush, I'm looking at you, and all those other countries who refuse to admit that global warming is a real problem. Today, there is another day of flooding in UK, with parts of south London affected. For over a month now, rain has been hitting parts of UK unfettered, and floods are occuring all over the country. Not only that, the weather is strangely chilly for end of July, being only 15degrees today. Some parts have seen more than a month of rain in just a couple of hours today. Our building had flooding in the basement, and there was a fear today that the building might have to be evacuated. For those of you who are thinking why global warming has anything to do with the relentless rain and cold that is plaguing UK, go out and watch Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth right now. To summarize for the lazy amoung you out there, global warming affects the global weather patterns such that the inland continents become dryer and hotter, while the coastal ones get wetter and colder. Causing more hurricanes (like katrina) more storms, and strange weather patterns. If you need more proof that our planet is changing, add the evidence up: UK flooding Eastern Europe, temperatures of 39degrees celcius Japan, more typhoons than normal USA, more violent and frequent hurricanes than experienced in recorded history. China, the deserts are expanding. Darfur, the expanding deserts are causing civil unrest. Tokyo, this year saw the first time which it didn't snow. Not even once during the whole winter, while other parts of japan saw over 3meters of snow and buildings collapsed and roads were closed. New York experienced the worse snowstorm this past winter. Compare this to the weather patterns of the past 200 years, and you'll agree that an extreme number of weather anomolies have been happening in the recent decade. Now, I'm no tree hugger, and in fact, I'm a big proponent of capitalist mentality, but when you are faced with the prospect of not having a world to pass onto your kids, then well, this normally causes one to act. Anyway, I leave you with that thought. Cold, hard truth. I've discovered a cold hard truth. I guess I should be glad that its something that I realized at the young age of 30 instead of later on. Its the truth that money cannot buy happiness. Yes, everyone says this like they believe it, but do you really? Do you actually tangibly know what it means? It means that you cannot buy a remedy for loneliness. You cannot put a price on repairing a broken heart. You can have all the money you want, but you cannot buy friends. Being on assignment in ldn for the past month, I've realized how lonely it can be when you dont have people to spend time with. Its made me really regret some people that I have treated poorly on my quest for advancement in career. Its so easy to lose sight of things.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Globe Theatre

The famous theatre where Shakespeare did his plays 500 years ago. Today I'm watching Othello, which I never got to read while in school. I figured it was about time that I see what this play is all about, and why indeed the game of reversi is given its namesake.

The actor playing othello is the famous british coloured actor, the one that I am sure I have seen before in bristish gangster movies in the past, with a big stage presence and deadly stare.

Quite contrary to at the beginning when I felt like I was trying to understand a dialogue in japanese, further on in the act my old english brain kicked in and I started to understand the gist of what was being said. I really wish that I had read the coles notes summary of the story. That would have indeed have been helpful.

Well the choir is done, and act 3 is starting.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Made in Coventry with Pride

(tune) I'm riding in a blackcab made in coventry with pride, to show to all my co workers my lovely bare white...wait -that won't do.

Well I AM in a cab with a plaque that clearly states that it was made in Coventry with Pride. I just thought of hat age old rhyme.

Have to hand it to the brits they know how to make a great cab. Big, stretch your leg out spacious, and with its very own PA system. Guess those folks in Coventry being so taken with that Lady Godiva decided to build carriages so that she wouldn't have to ride naked on a horse anymore. Damned fine carriages at that.

Going to see Lord of the rings the musical tonight. Little apprehensive, as I haven't been to one in more than 10 years.

We'll see

Monday, July 09, 2007

The bung hole

Oh man, the number of different jokes I can come up with about using this is just too numerous to mention.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Not often is it such a nice day in London

Today is one of those beautiful days that rarely happens in rainy London.

The quaint architecture of european cities is quite charming although it makes finding ones way quite difficult.

I cant help but to feel the history in the buildingd around me. But quite oddly, as I walked down oxford street, I pass a pub called the Bung Hole. One must hope that bung has a different meaning in british than in american.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Installment 56 Jolly London

Every country has its own smell. If you have travelled enough, you'll agree that every country has its own distinctive odour when you disembark the airplane and walk through the airport glancing at the brief glimpses of the city out of the windows of the airport. London smells a little like New york, but without the sourness and less musky. Very uniquely british.

On my ride into london, the chaffeur starts talking about global warming and the crazy weather in london. As we left the airport it was sunny, but he was saying that the past 3 weeks have been continual rain, and there was even a hurricane in london last year. Not helping the matter I had just watched Al Gores Inconvienient Truth on the plane. We chat for a while about how we are messng up the planet, when he mentions that he is sure that within the next 200 years the atmosphere is going to get sucked out into space. ??? "oh you mean because of the hole in the ozone?" I offer. "yes yes" he answers. I thought a second on whether or not i should tell him why that would be impossible, but i realize that it may require terms byond his understanding. It just goes to show you that although they may look more sophisticated and sound more educated (thanks to the british accent) cab drivers are just cab drivers wherever you are in the world.

Halfway into the city, it starts raining again. Wacky weather. Then just before we reach the hotel, the rain stops and its sunny again. I worry some more about global warming and our planet. Perhaps if we invent some sort of co2 sucking device... I shelve the unfinished thought under more pondering required and dismiss it for now, as we have arrived at the hotel.

At checkin though I am met with a surprise. My reservation is not in the system. WhatF how is this possible? I have them check again, and then the girl at the counter askes me whether I'm sure that I'm reserved at this marriot. Uhhhh. Oh no. Turns out that there are 2 marriot hotels at grosvenor! One at grosvenor square and another at grosvenor park. Dear god. This is the second time this has happened to me. Last time the car took me to the wrong crown plaza. What is it with british hotels/streets that keep on reusung the same name? It fools the non english speaking folks at my travel agency, as my itenerary doesn't specify which marriot. Most would assume that the suffix on the address such as street or park would be insignificant. But not in england apparantly. I'll have to tell my travel agent when I get back about this detail to avoid further future confusions.

Great thing about London vs new york is that service people at hotels do not expect tip the same way they do in usa. As the bell boy brings my luggage. I notice aome chocolates on the table with a little wimbledon shaped candy. A nice touch

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Random thought - Pounding dirt

Its a beautiful day in spring, perfect weather for a hike through sleepy Hadano, a town a couple of stops out from yugawara near hakkone. I'm doing some community work by cleaning up a hiking trail, and as I look over the scenery with the cool wind in my face I am reminded of a phrase a good friend of mine once said, to pound some dirt in every country that you visit. Of course, when he said it, I was tired, grumpy, and overheating while hiking up Mt. Rinjani in Indonesia. I really didn't give it much thought back then, but now, a little older and more seasoned (ala steak style) I can appreiciate his sentiment. Doing something for the sake of the experience, even when said experience is labourious and wearisome. That sort of thing has increased in value in my mind, elevated from 'stupid' to 'understandable'. Maybe its what happens as you get older. I've also recently have taken an interest in musicals, something else that I would have scoffed at just a couple of years prior. Quite accordingly, my interest in snowboarding has slowly waned. I've gone down powder bowls at terminal break neck velocity, and made jumps. Basically reaching the level where I know I cannot progress any further without risking major injury. My joints are not what they used to be. That's probably why Golf is such a great sport. The effective shelflife of the game, (in so far as how much of your life you can play it) is the greatest of all. You can play it from teens until you are well into retirement. Improving all the way. And in what other game can 3 generations play against each other and have a fair game? Only golf.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Breaking (Smashing) 100!

Golf is a funny sport. If you are one of those who are inclined so far as to call it one. Its definitely more of a sport than bowling, or billiards, but less so than football or hockey. If I were to compares, I would say its around the level of tennis or ping pong. Anyway, the holy grail of every beginning golfer is the magical breaking of 100 in score. The point when a beginner graduates from a novice to an amateur. Its also the magical point when you can say that you are no longer 'learning to play' golf, but actually playing. It comes quicker to some than for others, and for me, its been elusive for 2 years. Given though, that I haven't played as much as I a beginning person should in order to improve my game. Its pretty unrealistic for a learner to break 100 in the first year, but normally the 2nd or 3rd year should yield some results. But for me, due to the impossible expense of golfing in japan, over the first 3 years, I had only gone a total of less than 20 times. My best score up to this point has been 104 at a very easy course in shenzen (with no OB zones). My average score though, has been 120 so you can see that the volatility has been pretty high. Recently, though, I broke through that barrier with an astounding 93 in a course up in Karauzawa. It was the greatest feeling ever. What's more, the addictive aspect of this game is that the lower your score gets, the harder it is for you to improve it, since the variability of the course layout, and wind start coming into play, as each can cause you to make a mistake, which when you are playing at a level when a couple mistakes makes the difference between an 80 score or a 90 score, it really matters. Its quite interesting when you think about the fact that each stroke over par that you incurr is actually 1 mistake. So my score of 93 means that I made 21 mistakes in the game that day. Averaged over 18 holes, means that I made 2 mistakes per hole, plus 3 extra. A mistake is any shot which did not land where it was intended. Golf is truely a game where the more you play the more you want to play. New bike... Even with my shiny new oogata license, I haven't had the chance to test ride any bikes yet. I'm avidly awaiting the ducati hypermotard and the aprilia shiver to make it here to japan. Until then, I'll stick to my honda cb400sf v3.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Downloadable Movies to spell the end of Disk media?

... [in response to a post contending that downloadable media will prevail before Blu-ray takes off] Considering how long it's taking to even get 100mps bandwidth in the USA to be standard, and how DRM issues are so 'quickly and smoothly' solved in this industry, I give BDs 10 years of glory at least. If I'm a homeowner, and given the choice between buying a BD player (1 time cost), or getting 1gbit internet access (monthly cost) in order to get my HDef movies, I think you underestimate the power of laziness. Disks will win, until bandwidth is a lot cheaper. There is also the problem with local distribution, who will distribute american movies in japan/Iraq/China? It better be some company locally because if you think downloading that linux distro over the WAN took a long time, wait until the internet backbone is cluttered with movies flying everwhere. Laying new cross continental lines aint cheap, and it ain't happening in less than 5 years. Who wants to pay for that much bandwidth? (I mean the extra bandwidth over the normal amount you need for regular net access) Probably the same people who order the FULL++ cable packages from Time Warner. The idea is good, it just has too many variables, each with their own problems when multiplied together makes it unlikely that the world will abandon portable media in the too near future. What is interesting though, is drawing comparisons to other mediums which have already weathered the "electronic" storm and survived. Books are still bought, and I prefer owning a physical book than the (arguably) failed attempt of MS, Mobi and others to sell ebooks for PDAs. I subscribe to online bike magazines to get the latest reviews and updates, but I still buy print magazines. Why? Because of the ability to browse the medium.. have it around the house to pickup and casually look through. Also, its physical presence gives you a sense of ownership. Movies are different for sure. you don't bring one into the john with you. but the ability to browse casually is still an important factor. If I have to boot up my media center just to browse my movie collection, then it's less likely to happen than if I had a shelf of DVDs. Besides, having a shelf full of anything impressive is an indication of your p3nis size, so if my collection is more visually impressive than yours, then haha, you better keep your wife away from me. These kind of intangibles are things that having a physical movie collection brings. Disks are also portable, so you can bring your movies to a friends to watch. Or lend them. Having to do the same will require some serious administrative infrastructure on online accounts that just doesn't exist yet. Rentals are different. You don't necessarily want to own the movie. You just want to watch it. This is perfect for the download medium. Porn is a great example of this. Incidentally, having an impressive collection of porn on your shelf is an exception to the p3nis size rule. When it finally happens, I see HDef downloads as being stripped down without all the directors cut, commentaries, extra languages, etc etc. No need to bloat up the download. Just the movie please. If I like the movie, I will go to the neighborhood movie store, and buy the BD version with all the extra goodies that ownership brings. Quite often people in the tech industry can get so hyped up with their own ingenuity/vision that they lose sight of reality. Would you settle with owning a d/l'ed version of the Lord of the Rings? Or giving a download coupon as a Xmas gift for your kids? Or would you want the one with the commemorative box, the authentic map of Middle Earth and replica One Ring? Music is once again different. Having a shelf full of music isn't as impressive as it used to be (unless they are old vinyls, in which case, you have a MONSTER kok.) Plus, music is bought to be arranged into playlists, and then played in the background while you have people(or person) over for a party(or parTAY). You don't want to be flubbing about changing CDs. This makes it perfectly suited to be stored in a little black box somewhere unseen. Disks will live. they will weather the storm, their presence will be diminished, but they will remain... just like how VHS is still around even after 10+ years of ceding to DVD. Until interfaces get more grandma friendly, transfer rates get faster to be able to move around this much data between mediums, and we get a new R/W mass storage medium that is more portable than a fat box that requires its own power source ( something like the isolinear chips of Trek ) the portable medium will still have a place. (some will be quick to point out that you could always store your collection on mass storage, and just burn movies onto disk if you wanted portablility. I propose that if you wanted to do that, most would rather just buy the BD movie on disk to begin with -- not to mention hollywood would NEVER allow that to happen. )

The Death of HD-DVD

Not yet, but I'll start this thread to take it off the 360 hw gripes one. Why is Bluray succeeding when Betamax failed? Bluray players are more expensive than HDDVD ones, but it seems to be taking an edge in the format wars. And unlike some analysts, I fully expect 1 format to destroy the other, complete death of the loser resulting in 3 years time. Betamax died to competing VHS. Why? Pros Betamax had higher quality. Cons Betamax players cost more than VHS. Betamax has shorter record times (1hour vs 4 hours on VHS) Sony was trying to sell quality over quantity back then. It didn't work. Bluray players cost more. (con) Bluray has technical advantages over HDDVD.(pro) sounds like history should repeat! Why isn't the same thing happening now? BD has longer recording times compared to HDDVD, just as VHS had longer times than betamax. (one of the main reasosn why people chose VHS), blu ray has this going for them.... But this alone wouldn't be enough, since users back in the 80's picked the cheaper option, so that should mitigate the technological advantages. But the market has changed. Buyers are no longer looking for a (any) recording option for their TV sets. the market of HDef is BUILT around high quality and high priced HDTV sets and flatscreens. Technology IS the focus of this day and age, while it wasn't in the past. Ease of use and price was. Besides people back then where happy gathering at a friends house and play twister and bridge, while in today's world, a man's worth is built around the size of his HDTV. Today's market is a lot more willing to shell out more for a player if it meant that we can support the "theoretically superior" format. Sure, 30gb may be enough says HDDVD advocates, but why sell yourself short? Why get that 750cc motorbike when your p3nis is bigger riding around a 1000cc liter bike? If you are gonna spend $5000 bucks on a home theatre, what does an extra $300 really matter for a bluray? Nothing. it doesn't. Consumers decision process goes something like this: 1) look at the list of movies available exclusively on each format. Look at the list of studios supporting each format. 2) if #1 does not sway your decision, then all things being equal, 50Gb is BIGGER than 30GB no matter how you explain why you don't really need 50GB (yet) The market has learned its lessons from the Bill Gates of the world ("uh, 640k should be enough for everyone!") to know that MORE is better. Bigger is better. All things being equal. Why do I think there will there only be 1 champion? Why not the stalemate that so many others are proclaiming? Because it makes no sense for the market to have 2 formats. We've seen it time and time again. Sure, there are those optimists who think that studios will just end up supporting both formats, but c'mon jimmy, these studios will ditch you faster than that 1 night fling you had at the tequila bar last sat if money was involved. and it simply doesn't make business sense to support both, if you can help it. (especially since stores like BB have chosen already) Once there looks to be a leader in the wars, (and there seems to be now) all will jump ship. Especially since in this day and age, changing the production format of your content can't be too hard. So who loses? 360 owners. but they still have games to play, so they won't mind too much. Plus, in 3 years time, MS will have released a BD version of their 360 anyhow seeing that every 3 years consoles get upgraded. Real losers will be ones that bought HDDVD players. But hey, they were cheaper than BD players, so they won't cry a river. You can place it in the attic beside that old CED player. Sure, as some have mentioned analysts have been predicting that BD win since late last year, but it has been an even battle. But the straw that will break the camels back, as it were, is the recent blockbuster announcement. Because frankly, for those of us who don't care (the market) the deciding factor will be which of the formats I can find at the local store. Therefore, today will be known as the day HDDVD died. It will take 3 years in dying, but the prognosis was delivered today. flame away. :-)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Right here right now,

There is no other place I'd rather be

I sit here

In the middle of a beautiful forest onsen getaway in the secluded hills of karayuzawa. A modern frank lloyd wright building with a field full of candles on the grass in front of us, with some local wild forest beer in my hand. It tastes a little fruity but with a hearty flavour. The rest of the gang are coming out of the onsen now. The sky is blue, the weather is perfect, 20 degrees with a cool breeze. The sound of the water tricling over the rocks and the birds in the forest surround me.

This is a real resort

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Installment #55 Big bike license, Golf, and Haunted Forests

I was recently in Hong Kong for business, and had a chance to check out the bar and club scene there. Its very different from tokyo, in that it was much more like New York, in as far as it was very exclusive. You really needed to be on a guest list to get into anywhere. The bouncers were real assholes. I suppose that is what happens when there is a very limited number of trendy bars around, you have to keep the riff raff out somehow. But the thing that was really stupid was that so long as you knew somebody inside, you could get in. So many grubby looking folks got in just because they knew somebody's name. That's lame. Very unlike in japan where clubs pretty much let you in if you look well dressed enough to spend some cash. At least I got to catch a glimpse of Jackie Chan's son, who was at Dragon 'i', a club in soho where we had dinner. He was there with some of his friends, very low key. He looks pretty dopey actually. Big nose like his dad. ah, calpis. I'm watching tv, and the new Calpis commercial comes on. For those of you who don't know, Calpis is the company that makes the infamous Pocari Sweat sports drink here. Anyway, their new slogan makes me spit out a mouthful of their product. It goes with most slogans that have half english and japanese mixed together. Right into the bargan bin of retardedness. The new specimen of comedic relief comes in the form of a cute jingle, accompanied by the phrase 'Karada ni piss, Calpis!' Karada means 'body' or 'health', and the phrase loosely translates to, 'Calpis! It's piss for your body!' Of course, they don't know that piss means urine. They probably thought it cute to state that the company has all sorts of 'piss' to offer for your health. Lovely. OOgata Menkyou That the big bike license here. In japan, for motorcycles, there are 3 separate licenses. 0-50cc, which you can ride with a regular car license, shogata, which allows you to ride 51-125cc, chuugata which lets you mount 126-400cc, and the Oogata, which is the unlimited license that allows you to ride anything with 2 wheels. Its this last license that I have been trying to get for the last 5 times, but have failed the test each time. The system is corrupt here; not corrupt as in china corrupt, but a stupid bureaucracy that has grown to the point of no reform. You can take the test from the DMV, or you can pay 200,000yen and take a school. If you take the school, there is no way you can fail. ( I took the school for my chuugata, and passed without problems ) If, though you decide to pay 4400yen to take the police test, then they will cook up whatever reason they want to fail you at least 6 times. In fact, nobody I know has passed the test with less than 6 tries. The average is 10 attempts. Of course, if you have been riding a big bike for 10 years, and read japanese, you can probably pass it in 1-2 tries. The problem is that on top of the fact that you have to demonstrate that you can pass a series of technical trials akin to the license tests you see in games like Grand Turismo, you also have to know a lot of stupid rules of the road that they do not explain to you until you break one, and fail the test. Couple this with the fact that once you do mess up enough to fail, then they stop you immediately, so that you cannot proceed to even attempt the other parts of the circuit, so you can't practice without failing. Anyway, all this pain is to encourage people to big business to the schools. Once I pass I will write up a step by step 'how to pass' list for the betterment of mankind. The irony of all this is that the tests don't really teach you much about riding in the real world. Anyway, I go attempt my next trial this week. Why am I taking the test you ask? Because I'm looking to get one of these babies, and my 400cc license won't allow me to ride one. These 2 italian dames are the best lookers of the bunch, in my opinion. I just love that naked look. The Shiver 750cc is a new one coming out from Aprilia later in June, with a new engine designed in house, and the first fly-by-wire ECM throttle in a bike. The looks are razor sharp. Just waiting for the first reviews to come in. Or one of these classic beauties, the Ducati Monster S2R1000, air cooled, the quintessential naked that started the whole class. It's still a looker, and comes in red and white or black with a mean racing stripe. The competition in this category would be the KTM 990 SuperDuke, the BMW F800, Honda Hornet, and the Triumph Speed Triple. None of which look as fine.


The italian ones are the most beautiful they stop a man in his tracks to gawk, but they require a lot of maintenance, takes a lot of TLC to keep in working order, and they don't age well. (Corrosion of the pipes is a big problem) They are known to be fiery in first gear, and it takes a little getting used to controlling them. They can get you in a lot of trouble. Austrian and German ones are functional, practical, but have a look that you need to get used to. They are angular instead of curvy, and usually have a odd quirk to their styling. In the case of Beemers, they always look a little too bulky for my liking. The engines are so overpowered for their frames that they sometimes leak coolant. (happened on a colleague's KTM 450sm) Japanese bikes are the most reliable, are the easiest to care for, (they practically clean themselves!) and have the best resale value thanks to long lasting parts. Someone once said that you could thrash a japanese bike all you like, and they keep working faithfully. They lack pizzaz, run very quiet, are well mannered, and have smaller displacement. ...Bikes are a lot like women. (ducks) Golf, or nothing. I have recently taken imposing a break 100 or bust policy. My game has stabilized a bit since returning to my old cheap japanese clubs from the taylormades, which had the wrong shaft flex for my swing. Still, I'm hovering around 110 with the score. I've already dropped close to 100,000yen this season on the game, going 6 times, but I need to do more if sub 100 is going to be a reality. Its an expensive game, but its a great one. Why? Because it challenges you at every skill level. You can always improve (unless you are Tiger). And your goals at each different stage changes. First you aim not to lose all your balls in the lake, then your aim to sink all puts in 2-3, then you start looking to get out of the bunker in 1, then you start working on driving relatively straight... etc...etc... No other sport/game demands of you that much diversity in required skills, and no other sport gives equal chance to fat, skinny, short, weak, and women alike. Its an addictive game, and I implore all of you in countries where the game is cheap to take advantage of your gift. In other news, a bunch of friends and I are planning to make a camping trip out to this famous forest near Mt. Fuji, which is allegedly haunted by the souls of the people who commit suicide there. Apparently over 100 bodies a year are found there, thanks to the dark forest being iconicized as an ideal suicide place in popular japanese literature. Sounds like a job for the Mystery Gang! or Blair Witch Project: Japan. Anyone want to join us? Aokigahara Back to work, and dreaming about italian bikes. But I leave you with this bit of twisted humour from the past. I found it like one finds gold nuggets in a stream of endless history. Needless to say, sometimes irony has a funny way of popping into our lives. "Why take diet pills when you can enjoy AYDS? Funny is not the appropriate term here...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kiroro 2006 video now on YouTube

Part 1 of 3, this is the web streaming version of the video I made of last years ski trip to Hokkaido

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Weird Japanese warning signage

Don't go taking weird medicines while abroad, you may contract an STD

Weird japanese signage #2

If you take psychadelic drugs, you won't poop well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Installment #54 Nasty China

Today was one of those days when i was embarrassed to be chinese. I havent felt this way since the days in canada, when back then the hk rich brats made me want to crawl out my skin. I just had the most wonderful experience of sitting beside the most disgusting little troll from china that ever were. He started off by sticking his ass in my face as he crammed all his luggage (and he looked like he was moving his house) into the overhead compartments. Second, when the attendant came by with papers, he took every one that was on chinese. Over 6 of them. He then for the entire course of the flight proceeded to tear up pages of the paper to keep for his own evil purposes, and generally making a racket and fuss. He addressed the attendant without a word, instead just waved his hand and grunted at her like he was calling his servant. He stepped over me several times without first giving the common curtesy of saying excuse me (knocking over my tv), and numerous times he waved his newspapers way over the seat and was encroaching my personal space. And this was in business class where the seats are wide apart. In typical chinese fashion, he demanded everything entitled to him and more (he wanted several extra bread rolls for his meal, to which he stashed away) To top it all off, he put his raw apple core into the seat pocket after the flight and stole the dinner napkin. Oh, and he insisted on speaking mandarin to the stewardess even though I heard some english from him later. About the only thing good I can say about him is that he didn't smell, -- that much.

The poor stewardess. She was apologizeing for him to me (in japanese of course), and I was sympathezing with her. I wished that I could speak mandarin so that I could tell him that people like him give chinese people a bad name. I was glad to be mistaken to be japanese, at least to distance myself from this barbarian. Chinamen. Goddamit they have to grow up and civilize themselves.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Installment #53 continuation

After returning to japan after a long 2 weeks, I came to realise one of the things that I really love about living in tokyo - the smell. The wonderfully clean smell of an apartment, the clean smell of onsen, even my bathroom has a distinct clean smell to it. Perhaps it is due to the rain, or the use of wood in apartments, but anyone who has lived here can attest that there is a unique freshness that permeates apartments here, you notice it most when you go house hunting, but sometimes after you have been away for a while, it becomes detectable over the odour of you personal things.

I think that this odour is unique to each city, it's signature in a way, New york's smell is that of the subway station, a mix between oil, grease and rancid garbage. Hong Kong smells like mold and air conditioning. Toronto smells like cold, if that could be a smell.

Installment #53

As I sit here on the narita express going into tokyo, i see some forigners hunched over their luggage on the seat like a lion guarding its downed prey. How silly of them. He can't even sit down because he was too worried about leaving his bags at the luggage rack at the end of the car. So naive. Doesn't he know that nobody steals in japan? At least not in the same ravonous way that westerners do. Reverse culture shock. Thats it, I've been here too long

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Americans are stupid

Well at least, the ones on gamesshows are.
I've watched what quite possibly is the most ridiculus tv gameshow ever.

Its called 1 vs 100

A question is asked that has 3 answers. The contestant answers and the mob answers, and the mob members that answer wrong get knocked out. As does the contestant. The contestant was some overly plump mid western girl with hello kitty socks.

The question was which of the following objects is still in orbit.
A. Hubble telescope
B. Skylab
C. Mir space station

Here's where the stupidity comes in. Shes talking out loud,
'well, those all sound familiar... I think that being in orbit means that its going around something... And i think that the telescope is the only thing in orbit, and the others I think are just in space...not in orbit'


She doesnt know so she polls the mob. She has 3 helps. First she can poll the mob to see how many answered one way, second she can ask any two mob members 1 who answered right and one that answered wrong, lastly she can just trust the mobs popular answer as her own. She uses her first help. Out of 51 people, 16 people picked hubble. (Of course its hubble, mir crashed in the 90s, and skylab in the 70s). She was going with hubble, (because the others were in space...duuuh) but the 16 people who picked it throws her into enough doubt to use a second lifeline, where 1 guy who got it right and one who got it wrong are asked. 1 guy picked hubble and one picked mir. They both picked for stupid unconvincing reasons. So she still doesnt know what to pick, but the host points out that that obviously takes skylab out of the choices.

Now here is the REAL stupid part. She decides to use the final lifeline which is to trust the mob majority and take that answer. Dear god I wish people like this were around to give me their money. Obviously, if she knows that the right answer is either a or c, and she knows that only 32 percent voted for hubble, then there is no upside to trusting the mob. They are either going to be wrong, and the majority picked b, or they are picking c and you dont need to waste a lifeline to tell you that.

Moreso, she should have been watching which of the people picked hubble when they were highlighted. I mean, *I* was. She knew that 2 of them are professors and one is a rabbi. It was pointed out to her at the beginning of the show as they were return panelists. I think I would trust whatever they had to say. She chose MIR. She lost.

My god it was painful to watch.