Hot Brass, Percussion and Visual - Blast!

My daughter and I went to see what’s said to be the final Japan tour of Blast!. The brass, percussion and visual performers are young, but are among the best in the world on their instruments. The music and visual performance skills were out in force this afternoon.

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OS X Fonts, Managed by Linotype

If you pay any attention at all to typography, layout, type faces, fonts, leading, kerning, tracking and the like, and have ended up amassing a collection of type faces from the famous designers and font foundries, if you just love beautiful type, you’ll end up needing some method of organization. The type face or font organizers that come with operating systems are basic, so vendors have channeled some Gutenberg and come up with replacements.

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Plaxo Outlook Sync Now Fee-based, Going DavMail

Despite its once-poor reputation, I have been using Plaxo to keep my iCal and Exchange calendar sync’ed as well as a way to keep in touch with business contacts. I’ve been syncing using the Plaxo Outlook client on an old clunker of a Windows box at work, to go Outlook to Plaxo, and also using the Plaxo iCal client on Mac OS X, to go iCal to Plaxo. It also works to sync Address Book entries.

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Japan Marine Day “Umi No Hi“‘s Roots

The third Monday in July is “Marine Day” here in Japan, called ”Umi no Hi” (海の日) in Japanese. It was established in 1996, a few years into my life in Japan. It’s common knowledge that the day marks the return of the Emperor Meiji from a boat trip. More specifically, it’s the day of his return to Yokohama port in Meiji 9 (1876), from a royal light-house inspection tour to the northernmost prefectures, on a Scottish-built schooner called the ”Meiji Maru”.

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Twitter Meishi Generator From @faa

Twitter user @faa has created a ”Twitter Meishi Generator”, or, ”TMG”, which you can use to create a Twitter business card with your last tweet or bio, a QR code of your URL, in an assortment of delightful colors.

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Kenkoshindan Health Check

My wife and I did our yearly “kenkoshindan” health check via our insurance provider the other day. If you are on the national insurance plan or one of the big alternative providers, you’re supposed to get this kenkoshindan once a year. My wife and my secretary at work badgered me into submission, so I finally took the plunge and got the big one-day “ningen dock” (人間ドック, and kind of like “human dry-dock” in its meaning).

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Shared iTunes Music Storage

My family has a shared iMac G5 running Leopard OS X 10.5.7 and iTunes 8.2 (both the latest as of 13 July 2009), and recently I noticed we were running low on disk space, so I did some digging via du at the command line. I found that we were eating space by ingesting CDs into iTunes, which would get copied to our respective local user folders. After a little research, I found the Apple KB article that describes how to have a single storage location for music, so I set that up and made some other discoveries in the process. I thought I’d share how I did it.

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Japan DVD-HDD Video Recorder Incompatibility

The other day I was asked by a friend to see a Ken Watanabe TV show we had recorded, because the friend had missed it. Long story short, in the end we could not provide our friend a DVD with this show on it.

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iPhone 3GS Unfairly Expensive in Japan for Upgraders

I went to a Softbank shop in Shibuya, Tokyo and asked how much it would cost to upgrade an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS. The clerk told me that for the 16GB model it would be an additional JPY 780 per month for 24 months, totaling JPY 18,720, assuming the continuation of my current contract. That sounded about right to me, given the US prices. But of course there has to be a catch.

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Japan and Its People Are Unique

At least that is what they tell me! Japan’s my home, and I have had many interesting, enjoyable and indeed unique experiences here, otherwise I would not have stayed on in this country since 1987. But over the years, I’ve had an earful of people telling me directly or indirectly how unique Japan and its people are, and I’ve had to burst more than one person’s bubble. Sometimes incorrectly. But let me vent.

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