2013-01-16 What’s happening to me?
In the middle of November last year, when I was talking with my clients at a meeting, I felt a hot flush in my face. I didn't care so much then, but when I went to the restroom and looked into a mirror, I found red rashes in my neck. "What's this?" I wondered but forgot about it until I was back home. The moment I took off my undershirt to take a bath, I was shocked to see the rashes spread all over my body. Something was definitely wrong with me!
"Something might be wrong with your internal organs."
"For something like liver functions and......"
" and what!!!?"
"And cancer markers."
- to be continued ----
2012-11-01 Now three of them
It began when I bought Rakuten Kobo-touch on the day it was launched. It really enlightened me and opened my eyes to the world of a new reading life. But this particular device had problems I mentioned in the last post. I consulted Kobo help-desk staff on its terribly slow response. After several suggestions over one thing or another which I tried all in vain, they decided to replace it with a new one. However, as I talked with the Kobo staff and got tired of it, I gradually wanted to give up on the use of this Kobo tablet.
In the meantime, Sony released a new book reader, type PRS-T2. I was quick to buy one before Kobo staff sent the replacement. It was 2 thousand yen more expensive than Kobo-touch but it turned out worth it. It was simpler and faster in sorting downloaded books, its firmware and PC application software far faster and easier to use and it came with a stylus pen (It doesn't have to be this pen. You can use anything with a pointed head, while Kobo cannot). I liked it, so much so that, looking at my indulgence, my wife wanted another sony too ( the red one with a stylus pen and book cover). Then the new Kobo-touch came (middle in the picture), this time without a slow response problem. So... I can use it too.
In conclusion Sony PRS-T2 is better than Kobo-touch in every respect but one serious drawback for me. The e-book store run by Sony (named Reader Store) does not deal with English e-books. What a shame, considering that the reader tablet has a good English-Japanese dictionary (when to use it if there's no English contents?). Kobo e-book store boasts a broad range of digital book contents in English (Perhaps because Rakuten bought a Canadian company the name of which was Kobo). Unfortunately and naturally, the books downloaded on the Kobo tablet cannot be read with Sony readers (the reverse is also true).
2012-09-06 Since then
Almost a year has passed... already.
I bought an e-book reader named kobo. Despite its insufficient functionality, incredibly slow response, and the who-can-use interface of the ebook store, I find it unexpectedly handy. Yes, I like the gadget. It's light to hold, the battery lasts a week, and the letters displayed on the screen are sharp and clear almost like those printed on a sheet of paper (they call it e-ink) so that I feel no eye-strain during my terribly long-time reading.
Since the day it was delivered to my house, I've been hooked on it and read more than 30 books including 3 English paperbacks in a matter of weeks. I am into Japanese classics partly because I wanted to know how my perception of the same bookｓ that I read in my youth has changed as I grow older, but mainly because those books are free. Sure, I got to read classics more deeply with a shallower motivation.
2011-09-23 Autumn Equinox
Lilies... Lilies. We guessed who.
"Yu-chan". I said.
"Well,... might be".
On top of the flower a gray slimy thing was crawling. Slug. I picked him up and put him on the ground outside our family grave lot. He must have been eating the flower. but how could he find the flower here? Had he just randomly moved about and accidentally come across the flower? Or did he smell the flower and make his way straight to it? Perhaps the latter because he was not the only one. Four of his friends were found near the flower. His antenna, which we call horn "角", were fascinating. Just as I tried to touch it, he retracted it nicely and perfectly into the head. When my daughter fanned the smoke of a mosquito coil toward him, he also quickly pulled it back into the head. In spite of the smoke attack he seemed to try going back to the flower.
By the time we finished trimming trees, cleaning and sweeping the lot, he is back on the foot of piled stones that terraced the 15-square-meter lot of our ancestors' final resting place 50cm above the ground level.
We, one by one, stood in front of the tomb, poured a ladle of water on top of the gravestone, closed the eyes, put the hands together and remembered the dead. My father, grand-pa, grand-ma and my brother...
2011-09-17 Sound of existence
As the sun rises and begins to color dull orange the east sky over the beige building, more songs of birds can be heard. But, listen hard, in the background of the merry soprano chirp, there is a gut-resonating bass noise echoing through the town. That may be the sound of people's activity, how prevailing and penetrating.
Last week I went to Osaka and heard a similar noise in a hotel room near the station. It was so faint and at such a low pitch that it felt more like a vibration. But somehow it seemed like trying to reach somewhere in my soul, so familiar and nostalgic that I felt as if remembering what I heard before I was born.
A sound that thrusts through 13.6 billion light years of time and space, through the stars, the Sun, the Earth and every one of us. That's grand to imagine. If there were such sound, it would definitely be like what I'm hearing now.
The sound of existence. If only I could hear it.
2011-09-08 Last minute preparation
I woke up this morning with a to-do list in mind. After breakfast, I have to pack my things up for the 3 day trip. Then I will make reservation for two seats on a shinkan-sen train leaving Shin Yokohama around 9 am today for Shin Osaka. Don't ask me why I didn't do it yesterday. It's just a question of personality and for no other reasons, which my mom hated.
My wife is calling me. The breakfast is ready. She is going to go with me for sightseeing in Osaka and Kobe while I am at a conference. So I have to finish the meal extra fast so that she can make her last-minute preparation for the trip. Yes she is my type^^;
The typhoon has strayed off Tokyo for Hokkaido and we had a little rain last night. It brought a brief respite to us in the midle of the boiling heat and disaster to western parts of Japan. Nature does not care our convenience. Its nonchalance is even irritating and exasperating. And, look, we have never, even once, conquered her and will never be able to. All we can do is live with her, and that's if she allows us to.
Clouds are breaking here and there. I find myself adrift in a thought. If nature were something we could fully control, possess, or conquer, where would we look to to find beauty? We will never really be awestruck by anything we can get our hands on or we can think of or imagine in our brain. There's only a razor-thin difference between awe and beauty, or most probably they are about the same feeling in different words. Then how about awe and dread?
6:40, Clouds in all kinds, dynamism governs the sky. The typhoon is coming closer and has brought this moisture in. Good, we could use a little more rain. The magnolia tree, which my mom got planted in front of the gate last year and had been thought almost dead, has put forth some young leaves at last as the temperature got down. With its roots yet frail, it needs water.
Going to be a busy day. Two days ago, my paper was finally published in the Journal of Applied Physics. A young guy in my client company will make a presentation on it next week in an international conference. I checked his speech script and corrected all but the title. In fact, I rewrote it from scratch. He is supposed to read it and give me some feedback today. Perhaps too long sentences for him to memorize. He wants me to listen to his rehearsal by way of Webex, an Internet meeting system. How easier it would be if I could make the presentation all by myself! I could save all the trouble. But it's a part of my job to let a client take some credit and not bad at all if I could help a young guy grow competent.
He wrote the speech draft in Japanese first. One of the problems is he outsourced the translation. The translator apparently is not familiar with this field of science. In many parts the translation was wrong or meaningless. When I go back to the original Japanese, sometimes it is written ambiguous and might as well be mistranslated. The Japanese language may not be so much for science as for poetry. But still it strongly depends on translator's background and translation skill.
This will be my last paper in my life. Strangely I do not have any special feelings or attachement to it. Rather I am surprised to find myself feeling happy that I could help this young guy with his first experience of speaking in English in front of big audience.
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
2011-08-28 Curry life
6:40, Woke up in a daze. Feel cottony in my head. The sunshine feels too intense this morning... Went to bed 2:00 a.m., I remember. In the midnight, I was cooking curry for today's supper, my three-weekly routine and the very least I can do to thank my wife^^ for her everyday household chores.
Curry left to sit overnight develops, how can i say, some depth and richness in its taste. Time does some magic to this spicy ethnic food; through fermentation, chemistry or what. That's why I cook it the night before.
2011-08-24 Gestalt prayer
Here is a sort of prayer created by a psychotherapist Fritz Perls.