Japan 2005: Combini lunch and visit to the Hospital

After checking out of the hotel, we grab a quick lunch from a combini… convinience store which are just about everywhere in Japan. There is of course 7-eleven, but there are others I have only seen in Japan… Family Mart, Lawson’s, Sunkus, Star-heart-Circle (that’s the picture on their sign), Ministop and there is a new one since my last visit called Shop 99+. The convenience stores are not much liked by Japanese, but they are so convenient, that many people use them. The prices are high, and the food is not the freshest, but still better than airline food. And when I say they are everywhere, I mean everywhere. You can find a combini every other block in most populated areas. And even in the rural areas, there will be at least two or three combini every 2km or so.
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Japan 2005: Arrival

The flight to Japan went well for me and so we disembark from the plane. On previous trips we got off the plane onto the tarmack, but this time we are at the gate and so it is just a short walk to the immigration line. Which then takes 45 minutes to wait through. Finally my turn comes and it is a few anxious moments for the officer checking the database and my passport is stamped and I am out. Then on to pick up baggage. Narita airport has free carts to use, so if you have much luggage you can grab one of those and head to the claim area. Signs are big and clear and it is open, much easier to navigate than O’hare in Chicago. By the time I get to the claim area all the luggage is off of the converyor and sitting on the floor. Being as far back on the plane as I was, I am one of the last to make it through. It is frustrating, but I only have one bag and then it is off to customs, which is just at the edge of the claim area. Nothing to declare and so it is only a short moment and I am through. The exit is right there and I see my family almost right away.

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Japan 2005: An emergency trip

My family and I had planned to go to Japan this August, but the plans were changed when my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. When my wife found out from her sister, she learned that the doctor’s felt that it might be in advanced stages. So she decided to go to Japan a few weeks earlier. Unfortunately, I could not just leave due to the responsibilities and tasks I had to care for at work… so she left with the kids and I was left alone. But her Dad really needed her as the family business is demanding all of her mother’s and brother’s time and her sister works full-time and also does not live nearby.

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Site Update

The code behind the site has been updated. If you notice anything looking out of whack let me know. The update involved mostly scripting updates and a change to the database schema, but there were also some tweaks to layouts and entries. Just send a comment to any message to let me know if something is wrong. All comments are reviewed before posting (because I don’t get that many posters… and I will never let the poker spam get posted) so don’t worry about it being seen by the world. You can click on the “more” link to get some of the boring details… otherwise, thanks for visiting.

~jim

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HCI 430: Prototyping & Implementation

I just finished HCI 430 Prototyping and Implementation. This class involved designing interfaces for windows applications and writing the code to make them work. I was a little nervous about taking this class because although I can write code, most of it is procedural scripting; PHP, VBscript, JavaScript and all of that is focused on web applications. Despite that, I wasn’€™t sure how I would handle this… it turned out to be trivial. I have never written a formal windows application in any great detail (I’ve done “hello world” and temp converter tutorials, but that’s it), yet this turned out to be only slightly more complicated than developing web applications. Especially when using the Visual Studio IDE.

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Why Mac on Intel is Good

We’ll I’ve been busy commenting on message boards everywhere that the move by Apple to use Intel is a good thing. And since I have my own part of the web, I figured I should comment here as well since some may know that I am a Mac fan/user. But I am one, who even when it was thought to still be a rumor, was arguing for the move to be made and why it makes sense for Apple to do it.

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In Search of a Better Editor

I have used Windows for my work system (it is required) for over 8 years now. I have migrated through a number of code editors as my abilities and needs have changed over time. I have used WebEdit, HomeSite/ColdFusion, and now UltraEdit. On the Mac it has been BBEdit all the way. Yet, especially in the last year or so, I have been looking for something on the Mac that would work more like UltraEdit on windows. Specifically, something that would allow opening more than 1 file via FTP at a time. And didn’t require pallettes to access common code snippets (I like keyboard shortcuts). Simply, the macro features of BBEdit just don’t cut it for me. I should mention the version of BBEdit I have is v6.0… and it is a great editor. So perhaps if I weren’t too cheap to upgrade, I may find some of these features added in the most current version.

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