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Recent entries from the main blog Column@nak in English with Japanese text hidden for readibility.
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Decided to buy a Kindle PaperWhite for the #stayhome summer vacation which I plan on spending reading. Justifying my purchase since my iPad mini is too old and does not allow installing the Kindle application, and my Asus NEXUS first-gen Android tablet is just too outdated.


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The backlight of my Apple Macbook Pro 2017 13" went DEAD. I originally purchased this machine as a programming machine, and now is my workhorse for translation work. Didn't drop it or soak it in water, and the system works just fine hooking it up to an external display, all except for the backlight.

My guess was "Flexgate".
This is said to be a design flaw of the backlight flex cable being too short and breaking with repeated opening/closing of the display. Apple initially did not admit this as a flaw until May of 2019 when it launched a repair program for 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ models manufactured in 2016 ONLY. This lead to a class action lawsuit demanding Apple to expand the models eligible for the program to 15"machines and 2017 models as well.

My Apple Care warranty is expired, and Apple tells me I'll be getting a 90k yen check for the fix. A new 2019 Macbook Pro is too much to pay for. Lastly, I can't be be waiting for years till Flexgate reaches a verdict.

I was on the web searching for Macbook repair shops and several of them quoted me around 60K yen for the display renewal. Less than what Apple charges, but still hurts the wallet. Darn.

A more extended search came up with a shop that quoted me 25K yen for a cable fix. They tell me this is a typical issue with Macbook Pros and they have a lot of experience fixing it. Figured this is the best way to go as of now, so I send my machine to this shop via "takkyu-bin".

Now as I am writing this post and about "Flexgate", I get an email from the shop telling me the cause of my machine backlight failure is NOT the flex cable but a defective chip on the main board. They quote me an additional 10K yen for replacing the chip which hurts the wallet, but there's not much else to do it it's what it takes for the fix so I ask them to go ahead with the repair.

It took a couple of days for the shop to return me a message that the repair is finished, with pictures of the broken chip and the fixed machine.

I must say I was lucky to find a shop with a trustful, nice attitude, and reasonable pricing. Nice to have my Macbook Pro back and running, but at the same time need to remind this was an unexpected expense....gotta save up on my coffee and snacks.

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Ride Like the Wind - 誕生日に思う

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Find out what the #1 song was on the charts the day you were born on playback.fm. "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds, in my case. Makes you somewhat happy to learn that the # 1 song on the day you were born is quite a famous one.

While browsing the site, I came across Christopher Cross's debut piece :"Ride Like the Wind". It's a song about a worn out bandit on the run, still more to go till the Mexico border and "riding like the wind" to reach freedom.

Not in the same meaning as intended, but I send myself the words "Ride Like the Wind" on my birthday. At this time of drastic change and new way of life, one who cannot adjust to the changes will not survive.

Ride like the wind, go with the flow, and accept the changes that occur.
Sometimes difficult not being the smart and flexible type, but I need to work on it.
Still a bit to go, but the border is near.

Category:

こんぴら茶屋 牛カレーうどん

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Encountered a great tasting Curry Udon at Meguro. (The udon regardless of the curry tastes great too.) Access the link to the Shop's webpage at the bottom of this article for shop location.


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久しぶりに自分的アタリなカレーうどんに出会う。

JR目黒駅近くの「手打ちうどん こんぴら茶屋」は表から見るとカレーうどんのそぶりも見せない店の佇まいであるが、品書きを見るとカレーうどん全面押しだとすぐわかる。常連が多いようで客の9割がカレーうどんを注文していた。チーズや卵、餅などのトッピングもありつけ麺も用意されている。味は辛口と普通の二種類から選べる。
いつもであれば初めての店では標準的なメニューを選ぶところであるが、今回は気分的に生玉子入り牛かれーうどんチーズトッピング付きを辛口で注文。

本格的な讃岐うどんのお店だけあり、うどんは太くもっちりしていて美味い。カレーは和風出汁少な目でカレーライスのルー並みと言っていいくらい濃厚で麺に良く絡みつく。個人的にはとっても美味しかった。替え玉もあるがライスも注文できるようで、うどんを食した後に追加してカレーライスとして食べるがお勧めらしく魅力的であったが、太目な麺とルーでかなりお腹いっぱいになってしまい断念。

そうそう、テーブルには大好きなとろろ昆布が備わっていたのも良かった。カレーうどんにとろろ昆布は合わないと思いきや、和風出汁が少な目なところを昆布味が補いこれまた美味しい。味の変化を楽しむことができる。またトッピングの餅も気になった。カレーうどんに餅を一度試してみたいものだ。

当然カレーうどん以外のメニューもあり、そちらも美味しそうだった。

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Category:

telework 2020/05

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For the record.

Working from home, May 2020.

Since I was fortunate to have a room for my own to setup my tele-work environment, that certainly helped me concentrate on work. It did help in achieving a lot effectively, but it came with some negatives. Since I apparently was so focused and somewhat overly concentrating, the days usually wound up noticing myself completely exhausted. In addition to the work space, I guess that focusing all day on your PC display which is the one and only connection to your team and company drains most of your energy at the end of the day. Controlling yourself, snapping yourself out of the concentration for a break once in a while is important. I actually experienced swollen legs from sitting at the desk all day. Getting away from the displays and going out for a short walk at lunch time also helps a lot.

Lessons learned. A nice experience to actually learn how you can or cannot manage yourself in a tele-work situation.


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Rixen Jute (麻)"Re-" Bag

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The Rixen Kaul Frontbag: Daypack Box which I've been using so long for bicycle touring has become quite sticky with grime and dust, making me decide to trash it. When ripping off the outer cover, out came a (still) firm skeleton frame that made me have second thoughts about throwing the whole thing away.


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Looking through the closet to find something I can turn into a cycle basket, out comes a jute shopping bag I recall getting at the Hethrow Airport Duty Free. Looks nice as a casual cycling basket by fixing the frame to it.


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The jute bag is strong enough and the fram fits perfectly size wise.


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Actually looks fancy. Can't wait to use it on my next shopping chore.


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*2020-04-11 22:20 originally posted

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In the press conference declaring the state of emergency to stop the corona virus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Japanese citizens to reducing person-to-person contact by 80%. If successfully achieved, Japan could avoid an explosive rise and turn the curve downwards in a month. Since Japan cannot enforce a lock down legally banning citizens from going outside, the consciousness of each and every citizen to actively aim this number becomes important.

In my case, reducing person-to-person contact by 80% from my usual days including my commute on the train would become around 20 people. If I were to count strictly the people who come within my social distance of 2 meters, this 18 people/day turns out to be quite difficult to achieve since the majority of people aren't aware of social distancing and walk by you so closely without any bad faith. They even give you a grin if you try to back off. I am not aware of any stores that have any signs of keeping distance inside, except COSTCO which is of US origin. If I were to seriously aim for less than 20, I'd have to give up my daily jog (walk in public) to achieve it. IF everyone become aware of social distancing and seriously abides by it, I believe it will work.

I plan to keep a day by day record of how many person-to-person contact I have made, to keep myself conscious of this 80% target which all Japanese citizens have to keep in mind for the next month.


  • 04/09: approx. 20ppl
  • 04/10: approx. 20ppl
  • 04/11: approx. 10ppl
  • 04/12: 0ppl
  • 04/13: 0ppl
  • 04/14: 2ppl
  • 04/15: 0ppl
  • 04/16: approx. 10ppl
  • 04/17: approx. 20ppl
  • 04/18: 0ppl
  • 04/19: 5ppl
  • 04/20: 1ppl
  • 04/21: 0ppl
  • 04/22: 10ppl
  • 04/23: 20ppl
  • 04/24: 0ppl
  • 04/25: 0ppl
  • 04/26: 5ppl
  • 04/27: 0ppl
  • 04/28: 0ppl
  • 04/29: 3ppl
  • 04/30: 0ppl
  • 05/01: 5ppl
  • 05/02: 3ppl
  • 05/03: 5ppl
  • 05/04: 5ppl
  • 05/05: 5ppl
  • 05/06: 0ppl
  • 05/07: 0ppl
  • 05/08: 1ppl
  • 05/09: 2ppl

* Stopping the recording of social distancing as of May 9, since it has fulfilled the role of keeping me conscious of person2person contact to the point that it is now in my blood.

Category:

EOS Webcam Utility Beta

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Canon USA has released a beta version software 'EOS Webcam Utility Beta' that turns select Canon EOS Cameras into webcams.

Everyone's relying on video calls to stay connected during this #stayhome time, and webcams and video boards are difficult to find even if you're willing to pay. This utility solves that for EOS users.

I've installed the utility on my Win10 UMPC:GPD Pocket that doesn't have an integrated camera, hooked my EOS M6 Mark II to it via USB and it worked just fine on ZOOM.

The image quality is obviously much high compared to the low-res webcam images we've become used to these days, and it's easy to notice at a glance.

Good job Canon.

note: It is a beta version with no support outside of the US. Use it at your own risk.


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About replacing my broken 10 year old WiFi access point with an 11ac enabled one. Turns out latest features improve my home network user experience. The WiFi band steering feature on the Buffalo access point enables optimal 11ac/11n switching automatically depending on the signal strength needless of any user intervention...cool !


Another unexpected improvement (should have imagined, my oversight) was that the extended signal range in new generation access points enables me to reduce the number of Access points from 3 to 2. (Yes, I needed 3 to cover my small apartment full of walls !) The new access point also uses some technology that pinpoints and aims at the client device in transferring the wireless signal. Wow, technology improvements !


I guess it does make sense to invest in your network infrastructure once in a while.

Amazon Japan:


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ペーパークラフト / Papercraft

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Didn't realize that the world of paper craft was this serious.
References to some hard-core stuff below !
A good way to spend some artistic time during the #stayhome time.



ググってみるとまぁいっぱいあるある。


#stayhomeの遊び道具としてのプリンタは以下など如何?

Category:

#LIGHTITBLUE

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The #LightItBlue movement is spreading across the world to thank our frontline and essential workers in this difficult time. Expressing my 5 cents worth of appreciation by lighting my background image blue....with a picture of a Hawaii sunset from last year.


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My 5 cents to support the restaurant industry having a difficult time...introducing places which started takeout menus. #supporttakeout

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Social Distance/社会的距離

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Messages with class, from our German auto manufactures. Keep a distance to stay together.

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#keepdistance #keepsocialdistance #staytogether #stayathome #stayhome #audi #volkswagen

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Added Contents/コンテンツ追加

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Category:

売ります/For Sale

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Some stuff for sale. Road bike handlebar, a couple of minicars, and some old gadgets. Limitied to residents in Japan.


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Sketches from the Past

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Found some drawings from the past, and decided to upload them for the record.


Flickr:Drawings - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmLQ4W7p

Drawings

Category:

酸辣湯麺 (Sanratanmen) 2020/02

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In to hot and sour noodles these days...


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「泰興楼」 自由が丘店:相変わらず酸味と胡椒辛さがガツンと。
近所の中華料理屋:野菜と豚肉がタップリ。辛みが少ないが癖になる味。


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池尻大橋「橙」: トマトが酸味を増長。

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銀座「橋梧」酸紅麺:酸味と紅油の辛いつゆそば

Update :03/20
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東京ミッドタウン「千里馬 南翔小籠」:胡椒と辣油がガツンと効いた刺激的な麺。

Category:

Shopping List, Feb 11

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Decide to test out Amazon hub...pickup at the train station.

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SHOPPING LIST :
Need to backup some data from an IDE HDD...

Stuff for my tennis elbow (actually turns out to be golf elbow symptom wise...)

New tennis wear for a change...this I bought from UNIQLO
Kei Nishikori AO2020 Version Tennis Wear

Category:

Tennis Strings

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Started the tennis year with a couple of hours of play this weekend. Had a difficult time holding down my strokes with one of my rackets, and I'm going to blame the strings instead of my skills. Suffering from a slight tennis elbow and shoulder pain, so thinking about trying a softer type of strings instead of the nylon strings that came with the racket and a bit harsh on your wrists and shoulders.

A lot of recommendations for the Technifiber X-ONE BIPHASE.
Flat stroke player, wanting a string that helps hold down the ball, soft on the wrist and elbows.
Any other recommendations ?


p.s. Congrats to Novak, 2020AO Winner, as I am posting this.


Category:

Minatoya 3 Mercedes Me Roppongi

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Collaboration of German and Japanese craftsmanship. The founder of a famous Japanese noodle shop "Minato-Ya" has opened shop inside the Mercedes Benz showroom in Roppongi.
Who would imagine Mercedes Benz serving noodles !?
The special shoyu based hot and spicy Tsuke-men noodle menu named :Minatoya 3 Vision "Mercedes-AMG GT Atatakai-Nikusoba" (what a name for a noodle dish !) is said to be inspired from the AMG sports series of the Mercedes brand. Spicy and good tasting it was. The pricing also inspired by AMG ? lol
Worth a try while it is still open....only in Japan



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