« April 2005 | Main | June 2005 »

May 31, 2005

nothing special


Although it is end of May, it's chilly a little today. I'm wearing the long-sleeved shirt. According to the forecast, this summer is going to be cold. We cannot expect summery sunshine this year.

By the way, the roses in the yard are now in full bloom. Countless flowers are blooming, since I gave enough manure to them. Getting wet with today's rain, they smell strongly. Even when I'm indoors, their smell floats over here.

| | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 30, 2005


I bought an old SL camera, which made me interested in the world of photography. Especially, I got interested in lenses. There is a great number of lenses that can be attached to my camera and some of them attracted me much. Here is the list.

TEFNON (koboron) 28mm F2.8
COSINA 100mm f3.5 MACRO
Voigtländer Ultron 40mm F2 SL ASPH

It's just a reverie, you know. I can't afford all of them FYI.

| | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)

May 29, 2005

mystic river


To maintain willingness for learning English is not easy. You know, I've indulged myself and spent time doing nothing for a couple of days. What a shame!

I'd been looking forward to watching the movie, "Mystic River" for a long time, because it had a good reputation, there were some my favorite actors appeared in that film, above all, I love Clint Eastwood. Yesterday, I received its DVD I had ordered from Amazon.com and watched it at last. However, I was so disappointed in it. Why am I so disappointed? In a simple term, the people appeared in that film are all submissive to their fates. Things go automatically and they are not going to confront their own fates. They are merely puppets of the movie director. I hate this kind of story.

A father, whose daughter was murdered by somebody, kills his innocent friend by mistake, misunderstanding that this friend is the murderer. A Japanese critic said this father reminded him of the people in America. You can do anything for protecting your beloved family or for avenging the murder of them. The US troops have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraqi war, falsely accusing them of terrorism. But, I think this critic comes to the wrong place. In my opinion, the US is fighting the Iraqi war not for protecting its nationals, for the revenge of 9/11 nor even for bringing peace to the world. The government has other reasons. Anyway, I thought the issue of this movie are not the particular one on the people in America, I had expected that though.

| | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 26, 2005

slightly out of focus


"Slightly out of focus". It is the phrase that Robert Capa, a legendary war photographer, used for explaining the secret of good pictures. I know it may sound imprudent to associate his works on the battlefield with mere our hobby. But, I think this phrase can be applied to our photograph as well. Pictures completely in focus are static, or rather boring. Only those of out of focus can depict the atmosphere or dynamism of the object.

The fact Vermeer, a mediaeval Dutch painter, used a "camera obscura", a kind of primitive camera without films, to draw rough sketches is well-known among experts. And we can see this "slightly out of focus" on his works too. This is what makes his paintings more lively.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 24, 2005

she doesn't like camera


As you know well, I posted a great many pictures of my dog on this weblog. So you might think she doesn't care if she has her picture taken. On the contrary, she seems to dislike that. To say more accurately, she dislikes the camera. My younger sister, who is previous master of the dog, took pictures of the dog so frequently, and she always used a flash when she took pictures. The dog was scared of the flash so much that she got to hate cameras. Whenever I point a camera at her, she looks away or runs away. So, those photos of the dog I posted on this blog are all result of elaboration.

| | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 23, 2005

first shot






| | Comments (59) | TrackBack (0)

May 22, 2005

I"m waiting

Today, It's mostly cloudy and we have drizzle at times in contrast with yesterday's beautiful weather. By the way, I'm now waiting for something to be delivered. I bid on that stuff at the internet auction and am receiving it in today's afternoon. Guess what? O.K. I'll tell you what it is afterwards.

--- intermission---


The answer is "camera". I bought a camera of 25 years ago, at the internet auction. As soon as I received it, I checked if there were any problems. I got two of them. First, the cover glass of its finder was slightly cracked. Secondly, the film counter was also broken. But both are fixable. Anyway, I liked it. First of all, it is very small, fits comfortably in my hand. Meantime, it weighs moderately, despite the size. And its design is so stylish. I immediately charged it with film and took some pictures.

| | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 21, 2005

beautiful day


We had a beautiful, early summer weather, today. A nice day for something to start.

I just finished reading the English edition of "Higansugimade(To the Spring Equinox and Beyond)" written by Soseki Natsume and resumed reading "Toropic of Cancer" of Henry Miller which I'd suspended reading for a while. Compared with Higansugimade, the story of Toropic of Cancer seems too simple to me. There are countless strong languages on this novel against the world that abandoned the author. But, it can't be helped. I think Higansugimade is one of the most skillful novels ever written. It doesn't mean Miller is boring.

| | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 20, 2005

as you like

Put a raw egg, dried shrimps, shredded cabbage, natto, a soup cube and flour in a bowl and mix them around.
Brown it lightly over on the pan with some slices of bacon.
Put some Worcester sauce and mayonnaise on it. Looks yummy!

| | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 19, 2005

piano man


A young guy who was in a tux and drenched by the rain was found at the southeastern part of England. Even after being sheltered, he still remained silent. So, no one can identify who he is. Starting with his nationality, name, age, where he's from, why he was there, they all are still unknown. The only fact we know to be certain so far is that he is good at playing the piano. Some experts suppose that he is suffering from autism and shuts his mind off from the people. This news was reported sensationally all over the world. Everybody's talking about this mysterious Mr. nobody who's good at piano.

As a matter of fact, I'm not interested in such a sleazy gossip at all. But I want to know why the people were interested in this kind of news. By the way, Some experts say there's a possibility of false story which was elaborately fabricated by that guy. It's very likely.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

May 18, 2005

swimming in the pond


I took my dog to a pond near here in my spare time and let her swim in it. This pond is in a park that newly developed by municipal government as an excuse for the nature destruction caused by building of a huge sand-trap dam. Being developed for such purposes, the park is always being used by few people. There was nobody in the park today as per usual. As soon as I let her free, she jumped into the water. Look at the triumphant smile on her face.

| | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 17, 2005


I made an Okonomiyaki for today's lunch. Okonomiyaki is a kind of grilled pancake with spicy source and popular especially in western Japan. You can put in whatever you like as its ingredients. Vegetables, meat, seafoods. I put dried shrimps, bacon, shredded cabbage and natto(fermented soybeans) in it this time. It was cooked well and looked so delicious that I forgot to take picture of it before eating. So I cannot show you how the Okonomiyaki looked like. I ate it with some Worcester sauce and mayonnaise on it. Yummy!

| | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

May 14, 2005

I still have many options


According to the forecast, this cold climate will have continued until tomorrow. It will get warmer after that. My house stands on a hillside of the city, so the temperature here is lower than that on the plains.

It's been 40 days since I started taking the radio English course, and found it very useful. I'm listening to a course for the advanced. I found that it comes just after the one for the intermediate. I started listening to it as well. I've got to know the importance of knowing the various, useful phrases as well as the meanings of words. Radio courses are the best material for that. I still have so many ways to take.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 13, 2005



I haven't been satisfied with the quality of pictures I've taken since I got the new camera. Their color is vague and focusing is not sharp. I wonder why I'm not be able to take pictures like this. I tried to adjust their color and sharpness with the imaging software only to fail. Of course it could be due to my poor skill. But at the same time, I suspect it might be caused by the poor performance of my lens. The lens of mine is a wide-angle zoom. They say to design a wide-angle zoom lens is very difficult, and my lens might be a bad one.

| | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

May 12, 2005

olympus xa2


I found an old camera that I had bought 20 years ago, yesterday at the back of the drawer. I immediately exchanged the battery and checked if it worked. There was no problem. I could release the shutter normally. When it was in the dark, the shutter was slow. In the light, high-speed. There was no fungus on the surface of the lens. It looked apparently-normal. The only problem is that its rubber packing was worn out. But maybe it's not that much of problem.

The name of the camera is "OLYMPUS, XA2" came to market in 1980. Compared with the latest models, it's really primitive. We must do everything from focusing to loading and winding the film all by ourselves. But I like its design, especially its oval-shaped lens barrier. I loaded it with film. I'm going to try it.

| | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

May 11, 2005

chilly again


They say there was snowfall inHokkaio, northern part of Japan yesterday. It's middle of May. No kidding. Is that somehow related to the global warming? This cold climate let me down.

| | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 10, 2005

after 3 years


What do you think of the pic above? It's some kind of insect, such as moth or cicadas, right? It is on the wall in my house and I took the pic this morning. As a matter of fact, It's been more than 3 years since I first saw it. That means the insect has already been dead. It seems alive at first glance. No damage can be seen on the surface, but I've seen it every day for 3 years, because it is on the wall along the staircase and located about the same level as my eyes. I can't go upstairs without seeing it. The body has remained for 3 years after its death. It's a kind of mysterious, isn't it?

| | Comments (69) | TrackBack (0)

May 09, 2005

No Time!

grassSuddenly, I got pretty busy and can't find time to keep diaries every day. The pic on the right was taken at my cottage in Nagano a year ago. But I have no time to go there this year.

Two weeks later, I'm visiting a winery in Yamanashi prefecture and meeting its manager. He is the only person in Japan who's doing everything related to wine making from cultivation to bottling. In most cases, the wine production is based on divided labor. He is a young highly targeted person in Japanese wine industry. I'm looking forward to seeing him.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 05, 2005

squid burger

shippingnewsThe movie "the Shipping News" is one of my favorites. That's the story of a middle-aged guy who is at a loss having lost his wife and parents all at once. His aunt brings the man and his small daughter out of NY and takes them to Newfoundland where their old clan were from. He recovers from that desperate life little by little, getting along with the ingenuous people living there. Actually, I don't like that melodramatic story very much. But I love the humble, but a kind of comical characters of the people and the beautiful sceneries of Newfoundland in the movie. I use this movie as a material for learning English and watched through it over and over.

I came across the website yesterday, on which a real Newfie (Newfoundland native) had reviewed this movie. He wrote "Don't go to this film looking for authentic Newfoundland or if you expect the entire book to be portrayed in the movie. Neither happens,", But he also wrote "But what you do see is a decent film with Kevin Spacey in a very different role and some incredible shots of what us native Newfoundlanders lovingly call "The Rock." That's what I really wanted to say.

What's disappointing revealed by the reviewer is the squid burger that the people are having at the sole restaurant in the island on the movie is a sheer fiction fabricated by the director. Squid burger, it sounds yummy doesn't it? But according to the reviewer, there's no such food in Newfoundland. I believed there had been living matters and wanted to eat it at Newfoundland someday.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 03, 2005

Young Woman at the Virginals


I've been taking my time to read the articles on the website I mentioned below. since I found it They are very interesting to me. According to the website, only 36 paintings have been confirmed as his genuine works so far. I've already seen 5 paintings out of those 36. I saw 4 of them at Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, 1 at National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. That means I have to see 31 more paintings. The number was less-than-expected.

4 years ago, "Young Woman at the Virginals" was confirmed as Vermeer's 36th work by authorities after a century of dispute over its authenticity. It is said that an upstart millionaire in Las Vegas has purchased this painting recently and is going to hang it in his own museum. A great many people are opporsing its display in Casinos. By the way, they say Vermeer's performance differs by works. There are good and bad results. Actually, I don't like this "Young Woman at the Virginals" very much. It seems mediocre for his work to me.

| | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

pesky visitors


Every weekend, I have some visitors who ring the doorbell. I always answer it with the entry phone. In most cases, the visitors disguise themselves as neighbors and try to pretend they dropped by to say hello. Having felt suspicious, I demand to know who they actually are. Then they turn out to be salespersons who's selling remodeling of houses. I wonder if there's someone who trusts and hires such liars.

| | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

May 02, 2005

Vermeer's paintings

woman_in_blue_reading_a_letterI've been thinking it's a shame I'm wasting the opportunity to explore the vast cyberspace of Internet and limited the regular browsing websites to those written in Japanese. I've hesitated to watch other websites written in foreign languages, due to the lack of time. Today, I'm on vacation and have enough time to do so. Now, which website I'm supposed to start with?

How about this one? It is a virtual art museum featuring Vermeer's works. As you know well, Johannes Vermeer is a famous Dutch painter of 17th century and known with detailed portraits. 5 years ago, his most famous painting, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" came to Japan and we could appreciate it at a museum in Osaka. This exhibition set the Vermeer boom off in Japan and at that time everybody was talking about his paintings, which ended up very quickly. But I think it would be regrettable for us to regard this popularity as merely a temporary boom. His paintings are extremely-accomplished and worth watching. He is at the vanguard of impressionism of 19th century and you can see all of the art of impressionism on his works. The essence of impressionism is the experiment to determine the vision system of human and you can see such challenges done by separate artists, for example Picasso or Cezanne, all at a time on Vermeer's paintings. There's a lot of similar web sites on which you can see his works. But one thing the website above is better than the others is that it provides not only free pictures but also his scholarly biography, documents and the latest studies related to Vermeer in detail.

| | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

« April 2005 | Main | June 2005 »