Sunset Reruns

These are photos that have been on the site before, but I just pulled them out of retirement for the photofriday Sunset theme this week.

Living Room Candidate

Just heard about a really interesting site showing presidential campaign commercials for every election since 1952.

Haven't finished watching them all yet, but finding it hard to pull myself away from the computer screen... but I have to do the dishes before Tomoe gets home... it's a real situation I have gotten myself into.

There is an equally interesting interview about this on NPR's Fresh Air. (there is no direct link to the show, so go to Fresh air, and search for the July 29 show.

His new show at The American Museum of the Moving Image is called "The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2004". Schwartz is the chief curator of film at the museum. He'll talk about the history of political commercials from their inception in 1952 to the present.

Of course, here in Japan, we don't see the current campaign commercials, and we are obviously better off for it. What amazes me, is that this stuff is so much crap, and everyone knows it (I assume) yet somehow intelligent people are persuaded by it.

Why is that?

Really nothing special about these, but I'm grasping for straws. I would love to put up some photos that I could use to illustrate some profound point, but I just don't seem to have any of those.

Maybe the point I am trying to make with these is that I am thankfully leaving this scene behind for at least a year.

Of course, in the mean-time, you will see photos of Sweden, a wedding in France (in October) and hopefully other locations in Europe. Included in those might be some similarly depressing photos like this.

As for updating the site with *good* photos. My big work project is going live Monday. After that all I have to do is pack and take pictures... I hope to get a few good ones of Japan before I leave on 8/11.

Wires and Wire-fixer Man
Blue Sky, Blue Sky

It's been a long time since I've picked up the guitar for anything other than to move it out of the way. No that I have to get rid of it because I can't take it with me, I suddenly have renewed interest, and long to start picking again.

I'm a realist though, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen. Another dream shattered.

Random Streets of Tokyo

Despite the pressure I am feeling now as a big deadline comes to within a week away, I took a whole weekend off. I didn't really mean to, but somehow I kept busy enough that I never got at any work.

I did however get some of my other to-dos done, taking a huge weight of my mind. My kayak is all packed up and ready to be shipped to Sweden. I just got word from the housing office and my apartment will be right in the middle of a little peninsula. On the map it appears that I am 200 meters from the sea.

My airplane ticket is ordered an paid-for. My stuff is almost all packed, and most of my junk has found a good home. Only three weeks left. Dang, suddenly I realize only three weeks left with Tomoe and the birds too. I begin to wonder if this is such a good idea...


I haven't been out and about lately, so I don't have many photos waiting to go on the site. Now I am just stalling, putting one up at a time.

Somehow I had this fantasy image that I would have July to relax and get ready to move to Sweden. I thought I could get rid of all my stuff, clean the apartment, ride around Tokyo with my camera, walk the birds, meet the people I should meet one last time before leaving... Instead, I have been spending almost every waking hour in front of this dang computer. I really, really, really can't wait to get away from this, get into some new surroundings, and finally be able to put more priority on learning what I want to learn without feeling guilty.

As much as I fully intended to work less on valueless web-sites, instead, learn and produce more value for myself and hopefully others regardless of how much cash is coming in, I keep getting sucked into a trap of guilt, thinking that unless I am making as much cold hard cash as possible, I am somehow lazy and even selfish for not taking advantage of the over-available work that others would kill for. The guy who my company just hired to replace me is actually moving into a small apartment in Tokyo durring the week, while his wife lives in their home over an hour away. Amazing how selfish that can make you feel... here it is a job I gave-up just because I didn't like it, and would rather work from home, and some people are willing to up-root their entire life for it.

I do have some work that will be following me to Sweden as well. It's comfortting in that I don't have to worry about money, but I just hope I can somehow find the will to say "no" when something comes up that I really don't have the time or need for.

Sunny Days

Not much use for those umbrellas lately. My oscillating fan has been running non-stop though.

Deep Blue Evening
How To Enjoy Soccer

Watching soccer is sooooo much more interesting when you have a camera and a beer.


Random shots of folks I see on the street.

Windowing II

I was out last night with my camera again taking photos in my neighbors windows. Some of my neighbors are scary, some are... well...

Scientific Internet Poll Favors Bush

According to my scientific Internet poll, Edwards isn't helping Kerry's chances much.

I seldom see any web-sites (blogs) supporting Bush, most sites I read are exactly the opposite. I wondered though, is this just a false indication that Kerry will clean-up? Maybe the blogging community is just where a certain type of people hang out, or, maybe it's proof for the echo-chamber argument, just like when every one thought Dean would still be around... just because everyone thought that Dean would still be around. Maybe I just don't read enough blogs.

Whatever the reason, my recent internet poll indicates that my daily blog-read gives me a very skewed view of what will actually happen in the next election. The results are in, and it's not looking good for Kerry.

Date Google results for
"I'm voting for Kerry"
Google results for
"I'm voting for Bush"
June 20 1,860 2,350
June 21 1,840 2,360
June 22 1,840 2,370
June 24 1,770 2,300
June 27 1,690 2,230
June 30 1,660 2,180
July 8 1,760 2,200

Of course, there is no way to know how many of the "I'm voting for Bush" hits were from last election, or even his father's elections... if we divide Bush's 2,200 by the four election his name has appeared in, he'll only be getting 550 votes this year from people who write on web-sites.


I walk around the neighborhood late at night and take photos in people'w windows. I have some other "better" photos as well, but I am saving them until I get my for-pay section set up.


A free massage chair to the first one who can tell me where any two of these photos were taken in Tokyo.


Since got this new camera, I have been enjoying the ability to take out-of-focus photos. My old Lumix only had auto focus, so it was almost impossible to play with any settings.

I think it is just a phase, and I will some day look back and say "why did I put that out-of-focus crap on my site?", but for now I kinda like these. I know a lot of people think that taking a blurry photo is a cheap and quick way to get "artsy", and I often look at these and think maybe that is what I am trying to do. Although, I have in-focus versions of all of these and they were among the first to be thrown away because they were just plain boring.

I also wonder if maybe the only reason I like these is that I took them. When I put photos up,. I always try to imagine what I would think if I saw them on someone elses site. Sometimes I know I wouldn't even give them a second glance... but I put the photos up anyway because they are my birds. These however, I am not really sure why I keep them.

Night Walk

Lately, we've found that we are both getting too busy, and haven't been taking our daily walks like we used to. With Tomoe getting ready to go to Connecticut in August, and me to Sweden, not to mention Tomoe's driver's training courses (she needs a license when she gets there) and me trying to finish up a big work project work before I leave.

Yesterday we took the birds out for a walk for the first time in about two weeks, but I'm afraid it wont become a regular occurrence before we go.

In an effort to at least spend some more time together doing something other than watching rental videos late at night when she gets home from work, we have been making ann effort to take more "night walks". As such, my photography is also suffering, as I always had my camera with me on the regular morning walks. I still have my camera, but there are only so many variations of night-walk shots...


When trying to think of a title for this post, I couldn't get Mark's, (vudeja) post entitled Relic out of my mind. A little friendly thievery with attribution never hurt anyone right?

Beautiful City

For all I complain about Tokyo, I have to admit that it is a realtivly clean place. I am a 5 mintue walk from at least four parks that I can think of. Granted, only one of them seems to be maintained, but it's not really a problem because I can just walk along my river, lined with trees, flowers, birds, dog-walkers... everything peaceful you could ever imagine.

While some places in New York and Chicago (the two other big cities I have recently spent a day or two in) seem to have more "character" I can't really say they are "better". Tokyo has great public transportation. Tokyo has clean streets, and with recent bans on smoking in the street in some places, it is getting closer to being rid of one of my biggest polution complaints.

We have good recycle programs (if only more people would follow the recycling rules), and comparativly speaking, we see little garbage on street.

Why then is it so easy to make Tokyo look like a dirty, run-down city you might see in some futuristic "after the bomb" movie? It's the buildings. For all the other things that Tokyo does well, they have the ugliest buildings. Granted, many of them are warn down and old, which is a good thing that they are not considered as disposable as everything else is nowadays, but even when they were new I can't imagine they looked all that much better. Somehow, an old building in Manhatten actually looks better than the newer ones. So why is it so different here?

I'm certainly not suggesting that they should tear 'em down and "re-vitalize" the city with more monsterous wastes of resources such as the famous Roppongi-Hills. Granted, it looks nice now, but I can't imagine any sane person going inside and feeling good about the way that space and steel is being used... and I'm guessing that most of the ugly buildings we see here now were once considered "cool" and "beautiful" when they were first built. That gives Ropongi Hills what... ten yers before it is nothing more than an eyesore and waste of space in the middle of Tokyo?

Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be a rant. :) this was supposed to be a comment that despite how ugly some of these photos (above) look, apart from ugly, poorly maintained buildings, Tokyo really isn't that bad.