A Ricoh TF-200D which was mine for ￥1050. I got great photos from a test roll I shot. Fantastic. Will digitise some negatives soon. Even though I have some cool photos on 120 film, it's more expensive to develop, buy and to be honest the Diana+ I have is just plain unreliable at five times the price of what I paid for the Ricoh.
Monday, 31 August 2009
Friday, 28 August 2009
Thursday, 27 August 2009
I was talking to a friend relatively recently over beer and curry and the subject got on to music, as it would.
"Nobody really listens to albums as a communal experience any more. Before, we used to ... have a bottle of wine and put on an album. Now, nobody does that."
We tend to lend CDs or burn them and listen to them in private spaces. It's always private time when you're hooked up to an iPod. But with all of this private time, or rather time when we are refraining from interacting with one another, are we becoming selfish?
You can still interact with this blog, whether you are listening to an iPod or not.
Part 1 Part 2
Saturday, 22 August 2009
I'm annoyed before I even get on the train to go to work by a guy writing an article about his Buddhist retreat experience. For a professional writer who is a Buddhist, who should show empathy with others, is it really appropriate to compare a Buddhist silent meditation retreat with Guantanamo Camp X-Ray?
The article is here, with the offending sentence in the fourth paragraph.
Friday, 21 August 2009
Why do we take pride in passing certain arbitrary increments of time. 6 months, 1 year, 25 years, a century?
All of these are mere numbers, halves, quarters, imaginary wholes invented by consensus.
Why don't we celebrate every seven lunar cycles since our birth?
Why don't we commemorate every 23 minutes since the invention of the steam locomotive?
It's the infectious nature of the yearly cycle and the seasons, I know, but things like this are strange and just as artificial as my above examples. The fact is that years, and their easy fractions are beloved by us humans, but are no less eccentric than unrounded numbers.
Monday, 17 August 2009
As people in the modern leisure-oriented society, we are apt to use the phrase killing time. Yet, as the slow march toward impending death goes on, why do we want to kill time? Even time spent waiting can be spent doing marvellous things like daydreaming, wondering, writing, solving problems.
So many of us, and I include myself, see time as something negative as we anticipate some intangible that seems much more worthwhile waiting for.
As a teenager flirting with Buddhism, I remember reading that for the true Buddha mind, one lives only in the present because the past is an illusion as is the future. While I no longer believe that the past is totally irrelevant, being as that it can teach valuable lessons, surely dwelling there is unhealthy. That said, anticipating that which may or may not occur can be just as fruitless. However, I raise another question for myself: to what extent is living in this moment, right here, right now, the right and healthy thing to do?
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Seeing as I'm off work for the special period of Summertime where Tokyo becomes all but empty, I've been taking to wander the city and have been taking the camera with me. That said, not many photos are up on Flickr because with the 10MP camera I'm quite into my monthly allowance, though when I get a bit more money I will buy a pro account again.
Anyway, I managed to learn a bit more about the city. Yesterday I seemed to cover nearly every square metre of Shibuya ward as well as substantial chunks of Minato and Meguro wards too.
Some things I learned:
I can buy materials to make architectural models in Roppongi.
The Czech Embassy is a beautiful Bauhaus looking building.
Nogizaka has a nice small shrine.
The Czech Embassy
I wonder where I'll go next. Surely it will not be today because my feet are killing from the Converse and asphalt collisions.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
I went out yesterday morning at 4:30 am to take photographs because I heard that the quality of light is better for colours. Not wanting to go too far due to it being a pain in the arse and a bit too close but not close enough to to pay day I hit Shinjuku.
My intention was to stay out for an hour and be back in bed by 6:00. I ended up back home at 7:30 and in bed straight away. I'm still suffering from tiredness now.
So you can imagine that being woken at about 7:00 by a typhoon this morning after finishing my housework at 2:00am being fairly bloody annoying.
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
I just read on The Guardian's site that John Hughes is dead.
It's terrible that he kind of bowed out after Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, because if you look at the delicate nature of scripts like Pretty In Pink, look at the care afforded to Ally Sheedy's character in The Breakfast Club, you could imagine a John Hughes renaissance. With all the news about teens being related to pregnancy, cyber bullying and distributing naked pictures of former girlfriends that spurned them, one can't help but come to the conclusion that the world needs John Hughes more than ever. And now that he's gone, it's so sad.
Here's the trailer for The Breakfast Club
This says things better than I managed to.
Monday, 3 August 2009
It's not astounding to anybody who regularly meets and interacts with young-ish Japanese workers to find that most of them have particularly awful work practices that they have to put up with. A quote from a friend of mine that I often remember is: "Working in a job outside the gaijin bubble, you can really appreciate just how shit it is to be Japanese in Japan." That is, us foreigners generally attract a rock-star status: we are signifiers for America, modernism, pop culture, the dominant cultural aesthetic of Western art from the Ancient Greeks onwards and, for the duration of a forty minute English lesson, the essence of escape from Japanese society.
Anyway, I stumbled across this wonderful site (http://kusoshigoto.blog121.fc2.com/blog-entry-278.html) in the popular links on delicious.com, and although it is in Japanese only, there's a particularly nice graphic and some fab T-shirt designs.
The blog post, from what I have skim read of it, says: Why do Japanese basically live to work. In comparison to Singapore, Japanese work practices are oppressive. In Singapore, people don't have to stay at work after they were supposed to finish, or put up with idiot clients and what not. It's even OK to not go into work if you have plans on your day off or something. (Any inaccuracies are purely mine here - I have deeply wrong Japanese to start with and, as I said, I only skim read the article).