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[Good evening Blue Monday] If Then

My school project in 1995.

Our school was chosen to have new computers (FM TOWNS) and we got to learn super basic of BASIC... like 5 or 6 commands.

The problem was... there wasn't any teaching guidelines for these new-fangled machine nor teachers who could teach programming. I seriously wondered why our school was chosen…

For the assignment we needed to write more than 30.. or 50 lines of code to show graphics and play sounds. Looking back on it, we were making demos. Whatever the quality was.

I forgot what I made, but I thought writing more than 50 lines was very easy. Because, for example, if I wanted to draw a cat, it took at least 10 lines of command (lines + circles + rectangles + colors). And if I wanted to move this cat to the right, just +1 to coordinates in each of these lines. So 21 lines down only by a cat’s one side step. And where’s this additional “1” comes from? A command line to black out the screen. Yes, I was using the flip book technique. Because I didn’t know and still don’t know any other way. (Funny how smooth graphics move in pro people’s work.)

I remember I had really fun making it.


My Favorite Pens

Recently I met lovely people from Germany who share love for stationery. I know Germany has lots of great stationery (LEITZ, Lamy, LEUCHTTURM1917…) but we also have obsessive amount of them in Japan that I believe they would enjoy checking out.

Not sure how many will be interested, but here I list up my 3 favorite and go-to pens for your reference. They are all reasonable and accessible in Japan.

JETSTREAM (Mitsubishi)
It’s light and super smooth. It can keep up with fast writing and perfect for jotting down. I use 0.5 and make sure to stock up.

Ultra smooth. Vivid black color. It’s gel ink pen, but it doesn’t get stuck in the middle of writing. It’s fun to write with this pen. I have several colors in 0.4.

For joy of writing. You can write thin lines and small characters with great control. They have 0.3 to 0.5. I used to use 0.3 in my school days but nowadays 0.4. It sometimes.. or whimsically get stuck though. In that case, you hold the end of the pen and bang the tip area (put cover on) on the book edge or something.

Additional notes for notebook:
For notebook, I’d used pocket size Moleskine for more than a decade and just so enjoyed writing on it with HI-TEC-C. But they discreetly changed its paper and square size several years ago so I switched to MUJI’s. I also recommend MD notebook (MIDORI) if you like cream colored papers. For study, I’m (sorta) faithful to Campus notebook (KOKUYO).


[This must be Thursday] Hello, new era

New imperial era has started in Japan.

Last time our era changed (yes, I'm a Showa-born lady), we were in mourning period and everything moved mechanically. I remember TV anchors were all wearing black, and we quietly received the announcement of new era and its change. And it took some time before we joked about this name of era. (e.g. "What, Heisei? Hey Say?")

However, things were really different this time. Because the Emperor (now former Emperor) decided and was allowed to abdicate while he's alive, the change was received positively. After the announcement of new era name ("Reiwa") on April 1st, the country was (at least to my eyes) filled with "Thank you Heisei!! Welcome Reiwa!!" festive mood. I saw a lot of media coverage about "Look back on Heisei 30years" and it was like a super deluxe version of new year's eve. (A bit like Millenium...?) Quite strange, but it wasn’t so bad to feel the uplifting mood. After all it’s just normal for us to expect something good from “new”. And yesterday, May 1, we messaged each other “Happy new era!” as we welcomed the new start.

Back on the day of new era name announcement, I was talking with a young store staff at The Body Shop. She asked “Is this your first time to see the era change?” A new way to check the age group. I said it’s my second time. And she went “Do you remember it well?” A new way to narrow it down! I said yes, and asked how she personally felt about the whole era change situation. I’m curious to know the take of Heisei-born’s. She suddenly straighten herself and looked at me seriously, and said “I feel... really old" ...then we both laughed.

I think I’ll remember this conversation at the end of this era… if I’m there.

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