Mac Adept

The manager for the packaging design department came to me with a blank procurement form last year and said, “Fill these out. We need a new Mac; you have 1,000,000 yen to spend on it.” My mind was instantly filled with images of a dual processor G5, Apple Cinema display, striped and mirrored SCSI backup system, Firewire-powered cappuccino maker, etc., you know, The Perfect System. I almost cried. (I say “almost” because this would have been a dream in my Mac maven phase, say five or six years ago.)
Well, I came even closer to crying today when I saw how this new girl, the Designated Mac Operator in the design room was using the Perfect System. She had the 23″ Apple Cinema HD Display (max. resolution 1,920 x 1,200) at the lowest resolution possible, 800 x 500 while laying out pages in PageMaker. I couldn’t believe my eyes even though I watched her 1337 operating skillz for a good 5 minutes over her shoulder. The only possible analogy I can come up with would be sitting two feet from a movie screen; as in TOO CLOSE to a good thing. My man, the folders on the desktop (to mix metaphors) were the size of matchbooks. I later found out that she lowers the resolution instead of using zoom tools in the DTP programs. Amazing.

Got Rice

Nissan Laurel in my company’s parking lot with a homemade rear wing. I could see the bolts holding it on the trunk. As a side note, the Nissan Laurel was popular in its heyday because it was relatively cheap sedan/coupe but it sported the same 6-cylinder engine as the Skyline. A lot of punk-ass motherfuckers and wannabe yaks still ride around in this car.

Salaryman Wept

Found an article from last month that hit close to home:
Competition stiffens to work oneself to death
Let Salaryman tell you something about dedication: Too much can kill, and blind dedication is either for the young, or for well-paid upper management. Even in these two cases, there is only so much you can accomplish before you break down.
With that in mind, keep it real and work your ass off. By playing your cards right, your investment of time and life energy will eventually be returned in the form of work experience and maybe a nice watch (standard-issue salaryman bling-bling).
Ulcers. Yes, it seems everybody has them around here. Like everyone else, I have a horror story. Two years ago, my senior partner on a prototyping project sat up quite suddenly in his seat and handed me a stack of documents. His eyes were bulging as he bent over and proceeded to noisily vomit blood into the wastebasket. Then he slumped over in his chair and the girls in the room started screaming. When the departmental manager left the room to find the nurse on call, homeboy opened his eyes, pointed to the aforementioned stack of papers, and said “tanomu wa” (Get it done.).
Now, this guy is a legend. He is the most dedicatedist motherfucker I have ever met, and a pain in the ass to work for because of his scrupulousness – he put the “ei” in “einaru”, if you know what I mean. And he ended up spewing entrail juice. Coincidence? Hardly. So that is the moral of this story – the most dedicated person in the office always ends up vomiting blood.
The End

Of Lohms and Mindslaves

Lying on my desk is a document entitled:
Lohms vs. Orifice Size
I don’t know who put it there, but apparently I get to make a presentation on it later this morning. in Japanese! Yay!
Welcome to the modern state of technical translation, where a total ignoramus like myself can hop on the Al Gore Expressway and become an expert on any specialized subject matter in a matter of seconds – and before you ask, no, a Lohm is not a penis (but an orifice is, well, an orifice). A Lohm is a Liquid ohm – get it? Ohms are units used to express electrical resistance, so morphazenilinguistically speaking, Lohms are the units used for liquid resistance. This unit of measure, when pronounced by my Japanese colleagues, sounds like “Rohm”, which is an electronics component maker based in Kyoto. (Sorry if you thought I was going to continue in the vein of fluid dynamics; the best I can do for you there is to promise a future update about writing my name in the snow.)
I wrote a slogan for Rohm’s public relations department when I first started my career as a non-gaijin-looking gaijin in a translation company years ago. It didn’t seem like a special job or anything, they just needed a catch line for a “small advertising effort” in English and they faxed over some sentences in Japanese to base it on (BTW they had a G4 fax machine that seemed super fast compared to standard G3 fax machines but often suffered from mysterious transmission failures.). I ended up creating three or four different variations for them to choose between and thought little of what would become of it thereafter. Turns out they ended up using it in their radio and television commercials, which were aired quite frequently on national television. It was also used on company brochures, posters, etc., and somewhat less gloriously, on the back covers of obscure trade magazines with names like “Precision Mounted Chip Design” and “Capacitors Weekly.” I admit, I was proud whenever I saw my words out in the real world. (I feel free to talk about it now because they are no longer using it on their website and the posters in the subway stations are long gone. Also, regardless of what I post below, I think it was a great ad campaign and hope it was a success for Rohm.) In a way, I felt silly on the importance being placed on a simple phrase I thought up at the spur of the moment. Then again, simplicity is often the best option, and it was gratifying to see my words in print and pixel broadcast to millions. Millions and millions of potential clients who might make a decision based on seeds planted in their heads by effective advertising. And if it sounds like it started getting to my head, that’s because it did at the peak of the ad campaign.
Sometimes the commercials would come on when I was watching TV with other people (sometimes clients) and it was a turbo-nitro ego boost when the leggy models in the ads paraded around futuristic space-and-satellite backdrops with my words flowing out of their mouths. People I was with would usually give me props and I would just bask in the glory as everyone came to the realization that, in a way, these girls were actually my mindslaves. Through the looking glass of manga/Kubrickian reality where my reasoning takes vacations after steady consumption of alcohol, the mindslaves on the screen seemed completely powerless to resist. They returned to the screen at regular intervals to convey my thoughts. They awaited further orders. They waited for anything, some kind of sign or command. There they remain to this day. Faithfully waiting.
OK, so maybe it got to my head a little bit more than I care to admit, but it was still kinda cool for a salaryman who was just starting out and trying to make his mark on the world. Especially when the cute models were replaced by a fly. Not just any fly. The Fly. According to this Japanese fan site, Rohm chose Jeff Goldblum because his role as a scientist in the movie Jurassic Park (released in Japan shortly after the commercials started airing) perfectly fit the image of the company’s high tech products (and also because he was new to Japandering). As a famous actor later to be known for 13375ki11s with a Powerbook, and used to dealing with the mind games and manipulation that is show biz, would he be impervious to my powers? Heh.


I get all sentimental thinking about the Citroens we had. I had a BX and Taro had an AX. The funny thing is that Taro got them both for free, the BX from a professor at Tenri university and the AX from an OBGYN who worked at the hospital his mom stayed at when she got sick. That BX was a tempermental French piece of shit, but it had the smoothest ride because of the hydraulic system, which also allowed me to slam the car to the ground when it was parked and prevented donut-eaters from placing a boot on my tire more than once.
I broke the tranny on my BX by fucking around in the mountains and slam-shifting. We later found out that the ATF had never been changed (for 60,000 kilos over 8 years). It was like black mud.
Taro crashed the AX and caused a three car collision on his way to see a girl in Nagoya. He had been fucking aroung changing CDs and didn’t notice cars stopping on the highway in front of him. A sad sidenote of what was never meant to be is that he never told the girl he was going to see her because he wanted it to be a surprise, and he lost all interest in seeing her in the aftermath of the crash. Also, he “fucking hates” Nagoya now (before, he only “hated” it).

ISO 14001 Compliant

This is a warning that I will be archiving posts that I liked on my old blog on this one because I want that tingling feeling on my scalp from feeding the monster that is RSS. Don’t worry, I will recycle in a responsible manner so as not to disturb the natural surroundings. I’ll just filter out all the hate and venom from the posts, and then maybe I’ll screw a tree just to show you that I really do care about baby seals.

Sunset on the Awaji Bridge

Every so often, I hear of people jumping off the Awaji bridge. Most recently, it was a police officer. It would never really occur to me to go out that way, simply because it seems stupid to me to die by jumping into water, unless you don’t mind drowning if the fall doesn’t kill you. In that sense, the Awaji Straits would be a good place to drown if you didn’t want your body to be found, cause they are DEEP… You would end up as octopus bait or something.
It always strikes me as funny when people say that when jumping from a great height, hitting the water is the same as hitting concrete. I tend to doubt this statement and would ask those people if they would rather land in water or on concrete from any given height, assuming they wanted to live. I would choose water any day.
Of course, if you jump from the Awaji Bridge, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll land on the deck of a supertanker or car transport, seeing as it’s one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world… Then again, you might land in the swimming pool of a cruise ship, so I guess it evens out.