Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Banzai Ricoh!"

I bought a Ricoh camera (the R4) about a month ago and it's turning out to be a really great camera for close ups and daytime photos.  Unfortunately, it's not so great for night photos, but - at the moment anyway - that's okay, as I'm generally using it as a daytime camera.  In some situations it takes passable night time photos, but not if it's overly dark or the lighting is a little bit odd - both of which produce disappointing results.  But the closeups!  Clicking on the macro setting enables close-ups as close as 1cm, which is really good for a compact and reasonably-priced camera.

Anyway... if you have any information about Ricoh cameras in general, I'd be interested in hearing it.  Drop me a line or two.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


"Mannin-densha" is a term that conveys that not only are all of the seats in a train taken, but indeed every 800cm square - or whatever the absolute minimum a standing body requires - is also taken.  The last few souls to get in have to back in, simultaneously pushing with whatever strength the legs below, and arms above (pulling from the inner upper edge of the door frame) can muster, compressing the standing bodies within.  It's not pleasant.

Now - on to the "mechanics" bit....  Some people try to get themselves some space by moving their feet into someones feet space either behind or in front of them.  The stupid thing here is that when you've got people up against you on all sides, there is nowhere to go!  So... if someone takes the space you could have used to resist (a little - there's only so much you can do) having to lean into such a would-be space-grabber.  The result?  You have you lean into them much harder!  In a bid to grab space, they end up forcing you to lean into them harder.  Every time it happens, I mentally shake my head and think "Mechanics... if only you understood mechanics, you would be space-thief you!".

You folks living in less crowded cities - enjoy your space!  You don't know how lucky you are!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Seven Pages, 367 Photos..."

Making use of some automation, I put up seven new "Photo Batch" pages today, as follows:

"Iroiro #1 - May 2006"

"Yamanote Line - May 2006"

"Ebisu - May 2006"

"Nakamagome - May 2006"

"Shinjuku - May 2006"

"Ikegamidai- May 2006"

"Hatanodai - May 2006"

I would rather have gone over those and arranged them the way I have most of the pages in the Photo Gallery:

- but have decided that if I'm ever to get a more comprehensive coverage of Tokyo actually up there on the screen, I have got to go with the speed of automation.  Once I've got a certain coverage completed and have some time, I'll go back to putting up custom-built pages.  (Note that these photos are on the "PhotoBatch" page, and not in the "Photo Gallery".  The direct link for the "PhotoBatch" page is here:

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Bloody Computers!!!"

In trying to fix a problem with a macro problem in Word, I tried rolling the system back and ended up with so many weird problems that it looks like I'll need to vaporize everything on the hard drive and start all over again.  The IT man isn't going to be very happy about having to reinstall Notes, but... if he wants to complain, he should aim it at a certain monopolistic software company.....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"Memory... or the Lack of It"

I rented a DVD over the weekend and was a bit surprised to have no idea at all that I'd seen the movie before until a scene that I remembered from near the end of the movie.  I looked at it and thought - ".... You're kidding... there's nothing else in this movie that I remember?  Nothing at all?".  It makes you wonder how much of your life goes missing as time passes.  I mean... what happened, really happened, but if you can't remember it....

It just seems weird...  It's also a good reason to write things down.

Something else though... could it be that my perception now is so much different from when I saw that movie about fifteen years ago that it is in effect a different movie?

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....

"Analog - A Closer Connection?"

I've always liked the clarity of digital recording, but every now and then
I'll listen to an analog recording and find myself thinking it sounds
better in some way (at least until I get tired of the muddiness of it and
then end up thinking that digital is better after all). The most recent
example of this was a tape I made in 1984 while living in San Francisco -
of different stuff pulled off the FM airwaves. I made the recording by
going from FM station to FM station riding the San Francisco airwaves, and
recorded bits and pieces of what I heard, including bits of some of the
commercials and a little from AM radio as well. I made the 90-minute tape
to send to a Japanese pen-pal to show her what radio in the US was like,
but that tape has turned into quite a bit of nostalgia for me 21 years down
the road. The analog sounds, the intervening years, and the Pacific Ocean
make the recording some as though it's from another world... and in a
practical sense, it really is from another world....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Asakusa - May 5th, Children's Day"

I walked through Asakusa on one of its busier days - on May 5th, Children's Day, in the middle of Golden Week on a day with beautiful weather.  If you go to Asakusa, chances are it won't be quite as crowded as in the pictures:

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Monday, May 08, 2006

"Trying to Clear the Drive..."

It used to be that getting a drive free and clear (vaporizing all the
data on it) was no big deal, but I've spent the whole morning trying to
eradicate all the junk from Brand-W so I can put in... er... more junk
from Brand-W! (I would go with Brand-L, but it's not my computer, so I
- unfortunately - have to go with what the owner of the machine wants.)
A newly purchased and quite-legal version of Windows-XP in hand, it is
not offering any options for vaporizing everything on the hard drive so
I can do a new and clean install.

Not being able to clean up the hard drive with W-stuff, I downloaded
Ubuntu Linux, but the built-in CD-R/RW software for XP doesn't recognize
an ISO file the way my L-box does, so while I'm able to burn a disk with
that one file on it, it's not a bootable image.

Next try - some old CD burning software, but no luck - it doesn't run on

There's a DVD with Linux on it from a magazine, but this computer
doesn't have a DVD reader in it.

Now? I'm downloading a trial version of Nero, version 7.2. Will it
know what to do with an ISO image? Hopefully it will!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

-- - The way an email service should be

Friday, May 05, 2006

"Hibarigaoka-kita - March 9th, 2006"

Views from a walk around the north side of Hibarigaoka Station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line.  Very early in spring, the trees were still mostly bare - it has (surprise) a warmer feeling in the spring and summer:

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon