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"Letter-Letter 286"
January 12th, 2001
"Who's This For?"
"Did I Say I Would be Homesick?"  by KCM
"Off to York"  by EWT
"A Bit Hot in Prague..."  by PCZ
"Traveling & Watches"  by QSJ
"Like at a Cocktail Party"  by JNR
"What's With the Hair?"  by AusW & LHS
"Hello to Everyone"  by CJK
"Pregnant Again"  by SCB
"At School in October"  by KCM
"Are You Enjoying Life in Tokyo?"  by YJA & LHS
"After the Fog....."  by SAJ
"Weekly Dose of MMH - Halloween, Etc." by MMH
"LL-Book / For Profit?"
"Busy Days"  by CJK
"Oops - a Light Post.  Ow!"  by PTJ
"Awful Weather..."  by EAI
"From Yotsuya"

"Who's This For?"   [Top of page]

(2001/01/13  Nishi-Shinjuku)  Three more people left the company I work at this week...  The contrast with earlier ship jumping was remarkable!  The first "sobetsu-kai" (farewell party) I went to at that company was for an American guy who left a little over a month after I climbed aboard.  The company paid for everyone's dinner at a shabu-shabu restaurant - spending a fair amount of money on the occasion.  The next two sobetsu-kai were smaller and held in the conference room.  I'm not sure how many people have left the company to date... at least ten... (out of a total of about 30 employees - increased from 20 when I got there), but it's gotten to the point where they just called a brief stand up meeting at the end of the day, announced that the next person was leaving, had them give a short speech, and gave them a parting bottle of wine.  (Do people typically get bottles of wine for presents when leaving a company?)  Actually, only two of the people leaving got a bottle of wine - the Canadian guy didn't get anything, apparently due to his only having been there a few months.

The first guy left on Thursday, and the IT guy and "Something Project Manager" yesterday, with farewell cards for the first two passed around early on Friday (after the fact for the first guy!).  After I signed the one for the IT guy, I took it over to the other American guy to sign... as he took it from me, he said "Who's this for?".  I was mildly amused as I answered "ITMan", and then he looked at the cartoon character that the Canadian guy had drawn (which he has drawn on every farewell card issued since he joined the company) and said "Are you going to draw one of these on your own card too?"  (There had only been a rumor going around that he was quitting too, but nobody seemed to know for sure, until the actual announcement that evening...)  I looked over at the Canadian guy, expecting him to smile about it, but he stared intently into his computer screen with an incredibly stern look.....  After saying "This isn't the place to discuss that" in an icy tone, he walked off, and I looked at the American guy and said "Well, there's confirmation of the rumor!".

I went back to my desk and suddenly the whole situation just seemed really hilarious!  People are jumping ship at that company from both the port and starboard sides!  On the optimistic side, a couple of the new people seem to be quality employees, so there's hope for the company yet I suppose, but I'm not overly interested anymore...

Anyway, when they mentioned that evening that the Canadian would be gone by the end of the month (in fact gone from that very day), I had to bite my tongue to keep from breaking out laughing.  I also had a strong urge to raise my hand and say "And I'm leaving next month!" - but if I had, I would have fallen into a fit of uncontrollable laughter I'm sure!  Later on, just before the guy left I went over and talked to him for a bit... which was (no different from before) an irritating experience.  I don't enjoy talking with politicians very much, and that guy is as political as they come.....

So - what's going to happen in that company?  Hard to say!  The Prez seems to be slightly in shock at having so many people jump ship in such a short time... I may be following them off the listing ship myself.      [Top of page]

"Did I Say I Would be Homesick?"   [Top of page]

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000  -0700
From: KCM  [US]

Did I ever say I was going to be homesick?  I must have been out of my mind.

Moving into my new dorm room has been slightly disastrous and I am stuck in my room.  I sprained my ankle the night before I left for L.A., so I had to use crutches for the first time.  I have no upper arm strength, so, I've been hobbling for the last few days.  I finally got sick of the staring, the tripping, and the exhaustion incurred just by going to the dining hall and took my splint off.  I walk very carefully on it now, so I limp a bit.  Otherwise I am fine.

I also left my wallet and my glasses at home, which probably fell out of my bag.....

The night I came home on crutches, my sisters and brother-in-law laughed at the sight of me, struggling to navigate my way through the house on one foot.  I really didn't find my pain entertaining, but I guess they did.  I did not say anything, as whenever I've opened my mouth to disagree with certain things, like racist remarks, the response is inevitably, "We're just joking.  You have no sense of humor."

The last thing that sealed my anger was a present I left in my house for my friend's birthday.  My oldest sister opened it and gave it to her two year old daughter to play with, reasoning that since I left it out in the open, I was inviting anyone to have it.  Before I left, I let everyone know that the item was for my friend and no one else.  I won't even begin to comment on the example she's setting for her daughter.

KCM      [Top of page]

"Off to York"   [Top of page]

Re: HelloAgain!
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000
From: EWT  [HK / UK]

I have now finished my A-Levels and am going off to university in about 1.5  weeks... off to York to do chemistry, life systems and pharmaceuticals - with a year in Europe.  I decided to study German, so will probably be off to Germany.

There have been a lot of changes in my family, because they moved down to London last November, and I had to really live/cope on my own.  But all good for preparing for uni right? :)  I'm really looking forward to going off to uni...  Time's gone by really fast and I don't know how to describe it - I feel a lot older now and slightly more mature than I was a year ago.  Things have changed and I have changed too - not sure whether it's all for the better or not though.

I've been working over the summer at Glaxo since finishing my exams about ten weeks ago.  It's lab work and helping out, as I'm there for the experience and I have learnt a lot.


TTYL - EWT       [Top of page]

"A Bit Hot in Prague..."   [Top of page]

Date:  29 Sep 00
From:  PCZ  [Prague]

It has been a bit hot in Prague these days with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Summit.  Protests this session escalated on the 26th of September into a street war.  (It is necessary to add that a large majority of the demonstrators were from foreign countries.  The next day I visited Vaclavske Namesti (square - city center) and the surrounding streets at 10:00 a.m.  All had been cleaned up already, but still there were far fewer people on the streets than usual.  Some shop windows and windows in the hospital on Karlovo Namesti (Charles Square) were covered with wooden boards.  I took some pictures of broken shop windows - KFC and McDonald's and so on - and returned home.  It's good to hear from the media that the demonstrators are away from Prague now.  Although apparently there have been some attacks against CZ embassies abroad in protest of arrested "cobblestone throwers".

PCZ       [Top of page]

"Traveling & Watches"   [Top of page]

Subject: From Singapore
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000
From: QSJ  [Singapore]

Hi, it's been very interesting reading letters from people all over the world.  It's boring where I am (Singapore)... or maybe that's because I've been living here for the past 26 years.  Many people have still not heard of Singapore - especially those living in rural parts of the world.  To those that have been here, they find that Singapore is just like big cities everywhere, with towering skyscrapers and heavy road traffic.  Tourists see a different picture from us locals in the sense that most of them stay downtown in the central shopping district.....

I've just gotten back from Seoul, Korea - I was there for two weeks supervising a project.  The weather was cool compared to back home.  The funny thing was, hardly anybody there spoke English.  So language was a huge barrier - even getting directions from the locals was a no-no as they just looked at me blankly and chattered away in their own language.  Good thing I was with a supervisor from California, USA who was assisting me on the job - we had lots of fun there together after work everyday.

The next destination for me is Taipei, Taiwan.  I'll be there for three weeks in November to supervise yet another project, followed by two weeks in Bangkok, Thailand in December.  Flying around is pretty interesting in the beginning, as one gets to see different countries and meet lots of different people.

To the guy who said he was interested in the solar powered Citizen watches - why not get a Seiko kinetic watch instead?  They are supposed to last a lifetime, and are all the rage in Singapore at the moment.  Price wise, Seiko is more expensive, but you pay for quality and a brand name that has been around for ages and is synonymous with dependability.

Anyway, hope to hear about the rest of you guys soon.


I was the guy thinking of buying a solar Citizen watch... and in fact I did, but I am still interested in the Seiko kinetic watches as well.  I guess there are advantages to both systems.  As it is, there's a constant flag in my consciousness urging me to expose my watch to light to keep the battery charged.....  If I buy a kinetic watch, I'll no doubt walk around feeling like I need to shake it to wind it...  In that sense, the solar one might be better, as it probably intrudes on my thinking less than a kinetic one would.      [Top of page]

"Like at a Cocktail Party"   [Top of page]

Subject: RE: LL-282
Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2000  -0500
From: JNR  [US]

I enjoyed my first installment of the newsletter.  It was sort of like meeting a group of people I didn't know at a cocktail party and lurking at the edges of their conversations.  I think I liked best the note from the person who was concerned about her young friends not knowing how to play outside.  That concern is one I keep hearing come up on national public radio as more and more research points to too much time spent in front of TV screens, video games, and even computers (with non-creative / educational pursuits, of course :) ...  The electronic boxes are a major culprit in our children having increasing problems with obesity - childhood obesity is a very big problem here.  Is it the same in Japan?

I've just been working all of the time it seems - either at my job, or at home with the family.  I'm enjoying my college class, and look forward to having enough HTML and web tool knowledge to start working with that and stop working so intensely with real people.  I owe my own family and friends more energy, attention, and empathy than I am able to spend on them when my work as a psychiatric case manager uses up so much of me.  By the time I get home I'm full, and can't hold any more.  I think I am too intuitive and empathic to continue this work for a whole life.....


Obesity is not as much of a problem here, but people seem to be getting sloppier about their diets... young parents giving their children cola to drink with dinner, single people eating packaged convenience store food most of the time, etc.  Nevertheless, I often hear from people who visit the States that they were surprised at the number of large people there and the size of deserts at restaurants - which are positively huge compared to what is typical here in Japan.

About empathy... I tend to pick up things unintentionally from the people I'm around - and I've found myself with a shorter tempter and a tendency to snap at people lately... just like my boss!  Yow!  It's rubbing off!  I better try to avoid contact with that guy!      [Top of page]

"What's With the Hair?"   [Top of page]

Subject: Re: MP-22
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000  +1000
From: AusW  [Australia]

[Regarding some photos taken on the streets of Tokyo]  ..... a sea of black hair - it's funny how you see a lot of young Japanese people down here with their hair dyed brown... I just think - why???  I can understand wanting to be an individual but... then again, I've never been one to think that all Asians look alike, except perhaps at a glance.  That jet black hair I always thought was an attribute...


When large numbers of women began dying their hair various shades of brown here, I thought it was strange, but now that I've gotten used to the sight, it doesn't seem strange to me anymore - not until I see someone with jet black hair and it looks unusual!  Then I find myself wondering why that should be so......      [Top of page]

"Hello to Everyone"   [Top of page]

Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000
From: CJK  [Canada]
Hello to everyone from (Edmonton) Alberta, in western Canada.

I am new to the LL ring, so this is just a little bit about me, for all those interested.  I come from a fairly large family, I have an older sister who currently is off pursuing a modern dance career in Toronto, Ontario.  And two younger siblings - a brother, age fourteen, and a sister, ten.  I have lived most of my life here, and still live with my parents.  I am doing my grade 12 academics, the final grade of secondary education in Alberta, and am an aspiring ballet dancer.  I train for about three to six hours a day most days of the week, at a ballet school here.  I conduct my academics at home, to accommodate the hours of dance training I am involved in, and have been doing so for the past five years.

Other interests of mine include the violin, in which I have had something like nine years of training.  So I have managed to keep that up to a modest extent, along with all of the dancing, and play with an orchestra run by the public school board.  I am also an avid enthusiast for outdoor sports.  I really enjoy mountain biking, and commute by bike quite often.  I am also working part-time in a shoe store to try and help make ends meet these days.

Anyways, I was really fascinated to read about some of you in the last LL, and look forward to hearing more about the adventures, misadventures, and so on, from everyone in future LLs.

Yours Truly, and all the best,

CJK      [Top of page]

"Pregnant Again"   [Top of page]

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000
From: SCB  [US]

.......  I am pregnant again.  It was a bit of a surprise being so soon.  It still has not really "sunk in" yet.  I am only about five or six weeks along, so it will probably be a June baby.  We just celebrated Aabbb's first birthday last Sunday.  She still seems like such a baby herself, it is hard to imagine taking care of another little one at the same time.  The first thing I did after finding out was to quit my job.  Although it was kind of hard to give up, now that I've made the decision, I feel so relieved.....  That will be one less thing to worry about, now that my hands will be full of babies.


SCB      [Top of page]

"At School in October"   [Top of page]

Subject:  hi
Date:  Mon, 16 Oct 2000 09: -0700
From:  KCM  [US]

Hi, how are you?  I don't have class for another hour, so I'm just writing e-mails to people.  My weekend was ok, if a little disappointing.  There was a Comicworld convention I didn't get to go to because my friend (who has a car), was sick.  He did promise to take me next time, though.  I couldn't take the bus because the only bus line that runs there is still on strike.

At school, everything's been ok.  I still don't like talking to my sisters, who are still living at home.  I do miss my friends, though, and I'm trying to get them to come visit me for Thanksgiving, but I don't know if it's going to work.  One of the drivers has a midterm and a long paper due around that time.

I'm a little sad, because my roommate keeps pointing out how few possessions I have.  It's not that she's insensitive or anything - she's just blunt.  Neither of us has a lot and we're both poor, but my closet has almost nothing, compared to hers, which is filled.  I stuffed all my clothes into drawers, which isn't all that much.  I wouldn't even care or think about it, if only she didn't keep mentioning it.

I'm looking for a job, but not very hard.  I think I need the money, but according to my bank account, I think I can last until the quarter's over.  Still, I want a job and I've sent my resume out a few times, but everyone's already been hired.  I guess I should be more aggressive.

I think I've been studying a lot more than I did last year.  Of course by studying I just mean doing my course readings.  I really don't have good study habits, despite my nice grades in high school.  (High school was a joke.)

I've noticed a tendency in myself to say "Duuude!!" a lot.  Am I regressing back to the eighties or what?  And I have to constantly watch myself so I don't say "like" every four seconds.  I'm scared I'm turning into a Valley girl.  That would be a nightmare.  For me, anyway.

Anyway, talk to you later.

KCM      [Top of page]

"Are You Enjoying Life in Tokyo?"   [Top of page]

Date:  Tue, 17 Oct 2000  +0900
From: YJA  [Japan]

...........  Are you enjoying life in Tokyo?  I have been living in Tokyo since I was born.  I live with my mother - and my brother and his family live next door.  My house is basically in the center of the Yamanote [loop] Line.  I work in the purchasing department of a manufacturer.

Do you like Tokyo?  You said you have been living here now for sixteen years, so I imagine that you do...  When I was young, I loved Tokyo, but now it's too crowded, too noisy, and there are too many strange young people.....

Today I went to a Vietnamese Restaurant in Hibiya.  The Chinese style ramen was very good and only 750 yen.  I recommend it!


Actually, I think that Tokyo is a very interesting city, but recently I'm feeling like I would really like to spend several months away from Tokyo... somewhere with few people, no trucks, few cars, blue skies, and lots of green.....  Clean air with the sound of clean water in a nearby clear stream in the summer... or the clean silence of snow falling at night in the winter... these are the things I dream of recently, and what I want more than excitement.  I think what would be perfect for me is if I could work in Tokyo from Monday through Friday, and then take the Shinkansen out to somewhere (Niigata, Nagano...) where I could relax on Saturday and Sunday.  The trouble with living in Tokyo is that it's so big - it takes too long to get away... and so I end up just staying within the city all the time.

But, back to what's good about about Tokyo.  Restaurants for one thing- I'll have to try out that Vietnamese one sometime.....      [Top of page]

"After the Fog....."   [Top of page]

Subject:  17/10/2000
Date:  Tue, 17 Oct 2000  +0200
From:  SAJ  [Holland / US]

As I sit here typing this, the sun is showing itself at last.  The past few mornings have been foggy, with no sensation of the sun coming over the horizon - and the sunsets came while it was raining, so the daylight faded away with no sunset.  A sort of perpetual twilight - which has fit my mood this past week.  The anniversary of the loss of my father has come and gone, but the memories are still there.  Now that finally the sun is showing itself this morning - the feeling is of a new beginning.  It is time to move ahead with my own life - and as is often said when someone loses someone "They wouldn't want you to..."  The loss of a loved one effects everyone in a different way and everyone grieves in a different way.  I myself grieve for a week or two each year, hoping that the following year the feeling of loss will be less... only to find out it is not.  But when that one morning comes, as it has this morning, when you wake up and that feeling of loss has drifted into the background somewhat, there is a sense of relief that you have survived that empty, lost feeling and found other emotions... like the sun rising in all of its beauty after days of fog and rain.  A new day has begun all shinny and new... and I feel the same way about life - at least until next year.  <S>


SAJ      [Top of page]

"Weekly Dose of MMH - Halloween, Etc."   [Top of page]

The following two letters are the first of a new series from MMH, who sends out a personal newsletter which he has given me permission to reproduce in here.

Subject:  Weekly Dose of MMH .10.25.00
Date:  Wed, 25 Oct 2000 06: -0700
From:  MMH  [US]

I am going with Aabbb on a business trip to Yakima.  I will have a chance to see my good friend and college cohort, Bbccc.  He and I used to have a lot of fun together doing little stunts in towns filled with boredom (everyone should have a buddy they did college antics with), so it will be fun to sit down with his family and catch up.

I have been very busy with work lately.  More and more of it keeps appearing on my desk.  This is all a good thing, as I need to get a lot of work done to make up for the slower times this year.  I promised Aabbb earlier that I would go to Yakima on a business trip with her.  She was very much looking forward to going along.  Then I told her that I couldn't because of work and she was very unhappy.  But, she came up with a solution.  She bought me a Macintosh PowerBook.  The one I bought her for Christmas some years ago died a few days ago.  It was very old and could do no more than word processing.  Still I did like to use it.  This new PowerBook is such an improvement - I can only go 'Wow'.  So now I can go with Aabbb because I have a traveling computer to take with me.  I made sure that all my sketches were approved, so I can scan them and get busy constructing them in the computer.

The dog will miss us as I will have to place him in a kennel for a few days.  Well, that's life.


Subject:  weekly dose of MMH .11.3.00
Date:  Fri, 03 Nov 2000  -0800
From:  MMH  [US]

Sometimes the most boring thing in the world is to become busy.  Well, at least it is boring for others.  Yourself, you're so caught up in work, the kid, or the dynamics of a new relationship, that it's hard to tear your attention away.  You have to admire that type of focus.  Of course there are the times when work, the kid, or the dynamics of the relationship are thrust upon you, and focusing is essential to your survival.

I am at that boring spot where focusing is essential to my survival.  I have so much work to get accomplished in the next few weeks that it makes my head spin.  Twelve hour days have become my norm and might get longer.  Sigh.

Tuesday was Halloween.  I set out a pumpkin.  I played scary music.  I had the bowl of candy all ready.  No kids came by.  The reason for this is because my yard is very scary to begin with.  There is no set path from the front gate to my front door.  True, the delivery man can weave himself around the shrubbery and deliver a package during the day.  But a little kid out on Halloween night finds the jungle of my yard a bit intimidating.  Plus there are less kids going out in public each year on the main roads.  They stick well to their own neighborhoods, with escorts.  They have prearranged parties to go to instead.  Long gone are the carefree days in this neck of the woods when you would go out with your friends and cover 2-4 blocks with no supervision, and no fear of terrible possibilities.  I am sure it is different in some places, not in this city-like town.

On Friday I was talking to the crossing guard and she told me that at 7:00 the streets were filled with kids out trick-or- treating in my neighborhood.  I was home then but still nobody came to the door.  Next year I will have the gate open, string lights, and make an extra effort.  Either that or turn off all the lights and play possum.

MMH      [Top of page]

"LL-Book / For Profit?"   [Top of page]
January 22nd, 2001  12:28 a.m.  Nishi-Shinjuku

I invested several thousand dollars in making LL-250 - LL-258 into a book.  It's a bit of a gamble, as there's no guarantee that I'll be able to sell the books that I emptied my bank accounts to have printed, but I believe in the idea - so it's time to see if it can financially fly somehow...  Up until now there's been nothing commercial about the LL-Letters, but I've had increasing feelings of frustration at having to spend my time doing other work in order to pay the bills, and then working on the LL-Letter in coffee shops, on trains, in bits and pieces at work, and late at night... often falling asleep in front of the computer as I attempt to do something that I am simply not able to stay awake long enough to do.....  So, the dream of the LL-Letters paying the bills - enabling me to work on them on a full-time basis - has gotten stronger month by month over the past three years.

That background taken care of, here are some details about the book.  It's called:

"The LL-Letters"
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon & E-Friends

There are letters from 40 people altogether (myself included), and it consists of (reedited) letters LL-250 through LL-258.  I had the book printed in A6 size (postcard size) for several reasons.  Cost was certainly a huge factor, but I also have found the A6 size (which is standard for paperback books in Japan) to be very convenient when I want to read something on the move.  It's a great size - fitting into a pants or coat pocket perfectly, it isn't too heavy, and it can be much less-expensively sent through the mail due to the reduced size/weight.  I did opt for one of the more expensive paper stocks however, so the paper quality is like that of a hardback book (better than many actually).  There are 218 pages, and the cover is light blue with the title printed in black ink.

At the moment, as I've had the book printed entirely on my own - there have been only expenditures, so the question of how to handle any profits that may accrue is still in the planning stage, but I have gone through the book and done a word count for each of the authors, input the data to an Excel spread sheet, and notified the individual authors of their word count in the book.  If (whenwhenwhen) the book does sail out of the red, I will divide the profits (after expenses) among the authors, calculated by each one's word count in the book.

The book can be had for Y350 or $4.00 plus postage (either Y320 or Y380 for the two cheapest ways of sending it).  The content is basically that of LL-250 through LL-258, but I did some further editing, so it's a little different, and includes an introduction and index pages.      [Top of page]

"Busy Days"   [Top of page]

Subject: Many Busy Days...
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000
From: CJK  [Canada]

I'm very sorry to hear that things have been rough for you at work.  I have never had to work in an office situation up to this point in life, but with my Dad being a professional engineer, I have heard the gruesome tales of how the politics in offices can be.  My Dad worked for the government for a government engineering agency up until a few years ago.  He just had had enough of the whole deal, so he has been freelancing since then.  Anyhow, I definitely sympathize with your challenges and battles!

I have been working and studying crazy hours this past couple of weeks.  I am working a small contract with the Edmonton Opera for their production of La Traviata by Verdi.  I don't know if you are into opera or not, but this one has a pretty typical opera plot.  Although it is a fairly light, comical opera, it still has the usual elements of... LOTS of big parties and a masquerade ball, and a tragic death at the end.  But anyways, they needed some extras to play general stuff like servants at the parties, and matadors for a bullfight in one of the scenes.  So I have been tied up with these opera rehearsals almost every night at the jubilee auditorium, (Edmonton's main theatre complex), on top of all of the regular dance training classes and school work.  (Yikes, it is all getting a little hectic.)  I also have another show that I have to do tomorrow night at the Winspear Centre for Music, (Edmonton's symphony/music hall).  It is just some gala for the music teachers conference that is running in town right now, where my orchestra is playing at.  So yeah, I have a pretty tight schedule right now, but once the opera run is finished in two weeks, everything should start to get back to normal for awhile.

So, best of luck in the trenches of the office battleground, and keep the positive attitude!


The new year has brought a new attitude, and suddenly, I find myself laughing at the situation at that office more than being upset about it... laugh or cry I guess, and I'd rather laugh - besides, there is something quite comical about things lately.  It sort of reminds me of my one and only experience playing golf.  The harder I tried, the less success I had hitting the ball... until I gave up trying, relaxed, and didn't care if I hit the ball or not, and suddenly the ball started sailing off straight and true where it had refused to go when I was trying hard... too hard apparently.  The Canadian guy who left spent most of his time at the company making personal/personal-business (not related to the company) calls and writing personal/personal-business (his own, not the company's) e-mail - and everyone seems to think he was doing something great for the company!  He told me "Perception is reality", which I don't agree with - I think "Reality is reality - Fiction is fiction" - nevertheless, he seems to have done something right... I think I'll try playing the office game the way I played the better half of my golf game.      [Top of page]

"Oops - a Light Post.  Ow!"   [Top of page]

Subject:  RE: LL-282
Date:  Mon, 23 Oct 2000  +0800
From:  PTJ  [Philippines]

I just went to the United States to attend a conference.  I was there for about a week and met some big names in the Computer AntiVirus Community.  The bad thing is that while I was there, I never had a chance to recover from jet lag.  So while "touring", it felt like dreamland.  "Oops - a light post.  Ow!"  People must have thought I was either smoking something or was just a klutz.

I should have stayed longer... it was kind of nice to be in a place I normally only see on television or in the movies.  The interesting about San Francisco is how there are a lot of Filipinos there.  I felt like I hadn't left the Philippines.


PTJ      [Top of page]

"Awful Weather..."   [Top of page]

Date:  Tue, 14 Nov 00
From:  EAI  [UK]

As you can see I'm back on line - we have bought a new computer, the old one finally died altogether, this one is much faster and doesn't keep crashing!!!

How is your cold?  Mine has finally gone after four weeks - hope you are feeling better by now.  My doctor has a saying that is very apt, I think, "When you've got a cold, you think your dying - when you've got the flu, you know you are".

As you may have heard, we are having some awful weather again, first the storms, and then flooding all over the country.  Fortunately I live on top of a hill, but we were still affected - the river burst its banks and contaminated our water supply - we now have to boil all of our water before drinking, preparing vegetables and even before cleaning teeth.  Anyway, we got away lightly compared to most households, some of which are flooded for the second time in 18 months and are expecting to be so again in January & February.  The insurance companies are refusing to insure them, the government says they will help, we will see!!!


Now that I've finally gotten over my month-long cold, there are a couple of other long-term sick people in the office - one of whom is a bit less friendly than usual lately...  I hope it's just her mood, but I have to also wonder if she thinks she caught her terrible cold from me...  Could be I suppose, but she works in a different room from me, so I doubt it - whatever - "Perception is reality", I don't care, so it doesn't matter!  (Ha ha!)      [Top of page]

"From Yotsuya"   [Top of page]

(January 22nd, 2001  15:46  Yotsuya)  The day started off uneventfully, but then the boss came over and gave me a bad time about not second guessing him well enough...  My resolve to leave this company grows stronger by the day!

I went to CitiBank to look into opening an account, as I thought that they might offer more options regarding funds remitted from outside of Japan... but the guy there told me that there are new regulations that take effect from January 2001 requiring that any interest etc. be reported to the IRS, with failure to do so resulting in an immediate 30% fine taken from your account!  As the new regulation only involves American banks and American citizens, an American outside of the US using a non-US bank would not face the same regulations, and non-US citizens using CitiBank are exempt.  This reminds me of the classified ads I've seen from American companies that state "Japanese nationals only".  I feel like my own countrymen are giving me a bad time of it, but obviously it's nothing personal.....

(January 23rd, 2001  17:18  Yotsuya)  I finally figured out how to manage the BIOS password setting properly in my computer at work...  I kept trying to change the password, but it was locked because although I had the password to get the computer up and running, I had forgotten the password for locking the startup password!  Even after getting advice from Dell Support about how to reinstall the BIOS, and how to obliterate the old settings, the machine stubbornly hung on to the original lock-out password I had input a couple (a few?) months back.  Then the password drifted out of the back files of my memory and suddenly I had control of the machine again!  Someone else will be using it tomorrow, so I've changed the fire-up password and given the new (temporary) one to the secretary next to me - which will enable use of my computer (which I am rather unhappy about by the way!), but not any changes to the BIOS passwords.  When I get my mitts back on the machine I'll change the fire-up password back to one that only I know again.

Umm..... am I kind of obsessive about not wanting people poking around in my computer, or are most people the same way?  It feels like someone opening the drawers in my desk and rummaging through my things.....

Oops.  Too much computer talk......  The thing is, the only thing that is good about my current job is regular access to a computer - if I lose that, the job would be very difficult to bear.     [Top of page]

Until next time -

Sore dewa!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon
Images Through Glass
Nishi-Shinjuku (etc.), Tokyo
January 28th, 2001
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