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April 30, 2005

a day at home

factoryIt's muggy again, so I put on the short-sleeved shirt for the first time this year. The dog is still stuck at shoebox. Fortunately, I have nothing to take care of this afternoon, so I'm going to spend the time reading books and listening to CDs.

I found an interesting website called "web-tune factory". This website is run by an automaker and you can virtually try various options of cars. Type, wheels, the color of exterior and interior, audio set, etc. You can choose any options you want and see how they look on the car on screen, just like a dress-up doll. That was very interesting.

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April 29, 2005

as if it were summer

littlesummer
It's really hot!! According to the news, the temperature in Shizuoka city reached 33.3 degree this afternoon. It was the highest degree in Japan and was record high at this time in Shizuoka. On top of that, people in Japan are now on spring vacation. Roads were so crowded that I couldn't go out anywhere. I wish I could have gone to my cottage in Nagano. My dog has taken a nap under the shoebox all day since it is the coolest place in my house.

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April 28, 2005

kokoro

corridorI read the novel “Kokoro” written by Soseki Natsume for the first time in 15 years. Needless to say, Kokoro is one of the most famous novels of Soseki and widely read around the world. Why I had stayed away from this Kokoro for such a long time, even though Soseki is my most favorite author and I read his other novels dozens of times? Actually, I don’t like Kokoro very much and have a mixed feeling with it. Compared to his other works, Kokoro seems somehow, a rush job to me. Its structure is poor and the characters act automatically on it. Having read it again after a long interval, I got the same impression.

It might be my false assumption, but I thought he had abandoned his ambition to open the new possibility of humanities with his novels, which he had retained until the former ones.The characters in the novel also seemed to have given up their own dreams and stopped struggling against their fates. "I" "Sensei" "K", all of them.

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April 27, 2005

bullet the blue sky

sunlight

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April 26, 2005

TRADOS

19I've started learning about TRADOS. TRADOS is an application software that aids translators and very useful for translating foreign languages. However, it's not a translation program, but a kind of database which records all the precedent translations. When you translate some texts written in foreign language, you can automatically refer to the similar translations made in the past by using this.

As a matter of fact, TRADOS is a very expensive software. It costs more than one thousand dollars and its copyright is tightly protected. So, it's impossible for us to get the secondhand. Of course, I can't afford such an expensive stuff that I downloaded the trial version of it.


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April 25, 2005

I turned on TV and the news of a tragedy jumped into my eyes. I pray for the souls of the dead and the safety of the others.

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hard day's night

d29I just got back from a one-day trip to Tokyo. I had an important business meeting there. The result of the meeting was terrible. I got a relentless hailstorm of questions by the attendees and I couldn't answer them appropriately. I think that to cope with the people who have nothing in common with me is the hardest thing in the world. I'm really exhausted and depressed. I wonder if the day comes on which I can deal with this kind of problem.

By the way, I took the Shinkansen (Bullet train) on the way home that was packed with businessmen who wore suits. Almost all seats were occupied by them. On top of this, almost all of the businessmen had a can of beer in one hand. As I said before, I'm on the wagon now. I came within an inch of buying a beer. Yeah, it was very close one.

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April 23, 2005

Ichiro's challenge

Today, I was watching the MLB game between Seattle Marinars and Cleaveland Indians on TV and heard Ichiro making a speech in English to extend his appreciation for the award he'd got. As far as I know, it was the first time for him to speak English in public. I was so surprised to hear that because he is very shy and always spoke Japanese even after moving to the US. And the broadcaster seemed also surprised. He said "It was not fluent of course, but it's OK. He's still working on it. Probably, he must have made a great effort to achieve this. Actually I speak Spanish as a second language, but it is terrible."

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April 22, 2005

still long way to go

bungakukan

As I wrote before, I use movies as the materials for learning English. I've been trying the way I simultaneously pronounce what the people say on movies. This is called "Shadowing". To keep this practice makes me memorize the whole words spoken on movies. I think it is the most effective way of learning English. But, the problem of this kind of method is there are very few movies worth watching repeatedly. There is nothing more painful than to watch boring movies repeatedly.

As you know well, I've indulged myself in past few weeks and skipped writing diaries frequently. When I started keeping diary in English, I thought I would be able to write beautiful English and make long sentences if I kept diary. But, I think I haven't made any progress.

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April 17, 2005

Doesn’t it mean nonalcoholic beer contains no alcohol?

kingfisher-brewryIt has been just 2 months since I quitted taking alcoholic beverages. I have lost 3 kg during this. Good. I will try to keep on. By the way I purchased 3 cans of nonalcoholic beer made in Australia yesterday and drank two of them. After drinking them, I read the label on the can and found that it contained 0.9% of alcohol. Doesn’t it mean nonalcoholic beer contains no alcohol? And does it mean I broke the pledge?

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April 16, 2005

old piano

007b
I asked a piano tuner to make my piano tuned. It was the first time in the past 3 years, though people usually do so at least once a year. The tuner said it had been fairly out of tune. This time, I asked of him for the alignment of timbre and touch as well as pitch. So it took a long time, about 3 hours.

After he left, I tried the tuned piano immediately. The precise pitch made the harmony clear and the timbre became what I had wanted. I thought I would try new songs on it. Actually, my piano is very old. My grandfather bought it 40 years ago. It was made by YAMAHA, and the pianos by YAMAHA have highly improved in this 20 years. So my piano is completely out of date.


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April 13, 2005

usual suspects

usualI regretted having watched this movie. I must say it is no worth watching. It was the most boring movie I've ever seen in recent 10 years. All factors in the movie were submissive to the story. The whole story had been written to only hide the real criminal, which ironically made it easy for audiences to find him. I was looking forward to watching this movie, because some of my favorite actors had appeared on it. I've got to find another one.

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April 12, 2005

cherry blossom chill

cherryCold climate has temporally recurred in recent days. In Japan there is a word "花冷え -cherry blossom chill" that means an unseasonal cold snap in cherry blossom season. This is exactly that cherry blossom chill. It was so frigid that I needed one more blanket last night, and turned on the heater this morning. By the way, you might wonder why Japanese make so much fuss over merely a flower. But it has a special meaning for us.

I haven't been able to listen to the radio CBC through internet for several days due to the regular maintenance. During that, I've been listening to CKNW, an internet radio in Vancouver instead. But on this CKNW, people talk in broken English, so it's hard for me to catch what they are talking. I hope CBC will resume soon.

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April 11, 2005

the rain falls hard on the hundrum town

sakura


The cold rain falls hard on the cherry trees. Their petals might fall soon after blooming. Instead, the other, various kinds of flowers start blooming in the yard.

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April 10, 2005

baseball?

safeco
The season of Major League Baseball has begun. It is great fun for me to watch games on TV. I used to watch Japanese Professional Baseball every year until it became available to watch a lot of MLB games on TV in Japan. I used to be a fan of Yokohama Baystars. But recently, I don't watch it so much. The other day, I watched the game between Yomiuri Giants and Baystars for the first time during the past few years. I enjoyed the game and thought it was not so bad. The skill of players was in no way inferior to that of MLB players, and every players had their own characters. However after watching the game, some feeling that I couldn't enjoy the whole game from the bottom of my hearts remained. I thought it was caused by the way the spectators rooted for players. In Japan, spectators root for their favorite team, singing the same songs and clapping their hands together. I think that noise spoils the atmosphere in ballpark. Sometimes, I wonder whether they come to the ballpark to watch game or to sing together. I prefer the atmosphere of MLB on which I can hear the clear sound of bats hitting balls or balls tapping gloves. But I'm still fond of Japanese baseball. I hope it will get more exciting.

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April 09, 2005

dogs under evacuation

I saw a TV program about animals last night. 5 years ago, a volcano in Miyake island suddenly erupted and the people living there evacuated to the mainland to avoid hazards. At that time, their pets were placed together in a facility apart from the families, because the shelters to which the people had moved didn't have enough space for the pets. Last month 4 years after the eruption, the people was allowed to return to their home in the isle and live with their pets. The report said a Goldenretriever that had lived for 4 years apart from her family slept in the car every day in order not to be abandoned again. But the report also said the pets that can live with their families again are very few. Most of them were adopted to the new families.

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April 08, 2005

Tower of Babel

shio-site
Yesterday, I went to Shinagawa, Tokyo and walked around the city centre. I had something to take care of there. It has been 5 years since I last visited Shinagawa, and the landscape had completely changed. Huge skyscrapers have been built, because this area was newly redeveloped. 60 thousand people are supposed to live in this district that used to be merely a huge blank space a decade ago. I felt like a huge megalopolis suddenly emerged in a short time without any notice. But in Tokyo, this happens quite often, so I wasn't surprised. And now, so are the other cities in Asia.

Decades ago, Christopher Alexander, A German architect, closely studied the modern planned cities and found some defects. He mentioned such defects were inevitable no matter how elaborately the plan was made. I wonder what is going on with this new city.

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April 05, 2005

radio course

004b

In Japan, April is the month on which everything starts. School, fiscal year, sports TV programs, etc. Many of the radio courses for learning English begin as well. Some of my friends recommended me taking those courses, so I decided to try one of them and bought the textbook. Actually, it is the first time for me to take a radio course. I've never experienced such programs. Yesterday was the first day and it was only 15 minutes. I wondered if it is really useful. Anyway I've got to try!

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April 04, 2005

designing life

003b

Country Life Page Updated

I said the other day that I was thinking of building a new cottage adjacent to the small cottage I had built in my land. I thought I need enough space, kitchen, toilet and showerroom in order to live there. But during this stay, I found that the small one was enough for me. I estimate that it costs about a million yen to build a new one and it is not so urgent.

By the way, they say it's snow today in Nagano pref. It's unbelievable!

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April 03, 2005

wide-angle lens

006b

Last month, I purchased a cheap single-lens reflex camera and started taking pictures over. But before long, I found that one of my lenses for camera doesn't work at times, so sent it to repair. Today, I got a call on which the camera shop clerk told me matter-of-factly that my lens was too old to repair. I was so disappointed. The one that cannot be repaired is the telescopic lens and I've lent the standard lens to my mother. Now, the only thing I have under my own hand is the wide-angle lens. How can I cope with that?

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April 02, 2005

meet horses

This is the shameful pic of my dog being terriblly srared of horses that I promised to show you.


001b
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