October 5, 2005

Shinkansen to Kyoto, talk at NTT

I took the Shinkansen to Kyoto today, from Shin-Yokohama. It took about 20 minutes, not including the ridiculously long time it took me to get to Shin-Yokohama. To get there, I took the Toyokosen to Kikuna from Jiyugaoka, about 25 minutes, then at Kikuna realized that I had forgotten my passport (which I will need to exchange my order for the JR Rail Pass I bought) so I turned right back around and was back at Jiyugaoka 25 minutes later. A short 10 minute taxi ride to the apartment and back to get my passport, and then another 25 minutes to Kikuna, from there one stop on the JR Yokohama line, and I had about 2 minutes to spare to catch the last Hikaru Shinkansen (the fastest type you can get with a JR Rail Pass.)

Of course, that train had no reserved seats remining so I had to chance the unreserved seating, but since it was only the second stop, there was plenty of room. I arrived at Kyoto at about 11:45am, and arrived at NTT at about 12:30pm.

The talk went well, and I met with Hideki Isozaki, supervisor group leader of the Knowledge processing group, Eisaku Maeda, Tatsuto Takeuchi (HR, Research Planning Supervisor), Naonori Ueda (Executive Manager), and Hajime Tsukada (Senior Research Scientist.) I really got the feeling that I would be welcome there. It was a nice visit, I saw a demo of their Q&A system, and heard about some knowledge ontology work that they are doing.

September 20, 2005

Cafes in Akihabara: Maid and Linux

Maid Cafes

A few days ago, I saw a show on "Maid Cafes" - places where the staff dress up in Maid costumes, but otherwise normal cafes. There are apparently a lot of them in Akihabara. Admittedly, that is a very popular destination for their presumed target audience: Otaku, but there still seems to be a very large number of these things. There are at least 5 or 6 in Akihabara, and that was just after a quick internet search. I didn't think it was worth counting after seeing there were that many.

I resolved to go check one of these places out when I got a chance. I went to Akihabara today to pick up a cooling pad for my laptop since it has been getting very hot lately. I decided to get lunch at the first Maid Cafe I came across.

I found a place called Cure Maid and went in. I had a nice Tonkatsu Curry Set for 1000 yen. What really surprised me was the normalcy of the place. There were at least twice as many women in there as men, which was the big surprise with me. It seems like these are just normal mainstream cafes, where the wait staff happen to dress up. I think maybe some of acceptance might be due to the wide publicity the "Otaku" has been getting recently in the Japanese media, especially from shows like Densha no Otoko, but it is still pretty surprising.

While I was there, I saw at least two couples come in for dates. In both cases the girls in each couple were semi-cosplaying. One of the girls was wearing a very cute dress, most likely handmade, that was in an Alice In Wonderland theme. It had a cute hearts and spades pattern, and some cat imagery (possible Chesire-inspired, but it didn't look like the Chesire Cat to me.) Anyway, that was a bit more in-line with my expectations.

Linux Cafe

After making my purchase, I wandered around for a while and saw this sign for the Linux Cafe. Now that is some place that I would like to visit. Apparently, they offer free wireless with purchase, which is very rare in Japan. It is a place that I will try to visit on my next trip to Akihabara. I can't say that I go there all that often though, so who knows when that will be.

 

September 18, 2005

Apple Store in Ginza

I met up with Fumie today, and we stopped by the Apple store in Ginza. It is a nice store, with five floors and very curious elevators. Clear glass, but no buttons. They are mind reading elevators. They had a whole bunch of iPod Nanos, and they are a lot cooler than I first thought. They are just amazingly small. Afterwards, we found a nice restaurant that is お忍びダイニング, which just means that you are at semi-private tables. It has nothing to do with Ninja food. It was a really nice dinner though.

Yesterday, Eric, Sharon, and I went to a Matsuri at Toritsu Daigaku. They had a Taiko drum that Eric and Sharon enjoyed beating on for a while.

 

September 3, 2005

Job hunting in Japan, blog software

I arrived in Japan August 24th, 2005 to start my job hunting activities. I also installed bBlog on FuguTabetai.com, and I think it is quite nice software. I should be able to post a bunch more because this automates a lot of what I was doing by hand.

May 20, 2005

Successful Thesis Defense

On Friday, I successfully defended my PhD thesis at Columbia University. Oh yeah.

March 21, 2005

Japan Girls Night US Tour

Japan US Girls Night This is the second time I've gone to Benten's Japan Girls Night tour in New York. Lots of fun. Puppy Pet, TsuShiMaMiRe, Titan Go King's, Gaijin a go-go, and Petty Booka.
 

February 18, 2005

Bishop Allen at the Mercury Lounge

Bishop Allen at the Mercury Lounge Bishop Allen at Mercury Lounge.
 

January 21, 2005

We Are Scientists at CBGBs

Keith rocks out Bishop Allen and We Are Scientists at CBGBs. I was late and missed BA, but made the Scientists part of the show.
 

November 25, 2004

Evans Siblings Thanksgiving

Evans Family Thanksgiving Thanksgiving at my place. I even cooked a Turkey, since both of my sisters came here!
 

October 31, 2004

Internet Halloween Party

Internet Halloween Party Carl Sable had an Internet-themed Halloween Party. Click on the thumbnail to check out my pictures.
 

October 24, 2004

DeVilla VanNoy Wedding

Ron DeVilla and Michelle VanNoy get married My best friends Ron and Michelle got married at Princeton University October 23rd, 2004. I have the pictures here to prove it.

August 7, 2004

Trip to Washington State

My uncle has llamas Back from my trip to Washington state, where I visited the family.

July 16, 2004

Treo 600 as a modem in linux (Fedora Core 2)

I haven't had much interesting to talk about lately, but I did today get my Treo 600 phone working as a modem on my linux Fedora Core 2 install. If you are interested, check out the amazingly simple things I had to do to get my Treo 600 working as a modem on my Fedora Core 2 linux install.

April 23, 2004

Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu Asobi Seksu played at Lounge 13 on Thursday, and I went to check them out. I really, really recommend them. Their CD should be out soonish in NY area stores, but at least hit their website, check out their MP3s, and then go see them play.

April 17, 2004

We Are Scientists at the Knitting Factory

We Are Scientists at the Knitting Factory. How cool is that?

April 14, 2004

Say Hi To Your Mom

Caught Say Hi To Your Mom at the Mercury Lounge. It was a great show. They are a great band. Had dinner at Waikiki Wally's (a really kitschy Tiki place, sister restaurant to Lucky Cheng's) before that. Really cute ambiance, and surprisingly good food.

April 9, 2004

Macy's Flower Show

Six years in the city, and this is the first time I've ever been to the annual Macy's Flower Show. Pretty amazing actually.

April 4, 2004

Rock 'n Rollerskate

Rock 'n Rollerskate 2004/04/04 Rockin' Roller Skate at OfficeOps in Brooklyn was just a blast. Take 4 bands, put them in a cage, give the audience roller skates, add beer and stir. Of course, since Bishop Allen was one of the bands, I thought I should lace up some skates and head out there.

March 29, 2004

FuguTabetai.com cookbook

I cook sometimes, so I threw up a cookbook that I wrote for my friends and family. Mostly family, since I bought most of them rice cookers.

March 23, 2004

2004 Japan Girls SAMURAI US tour

I went to check out the Japanese Girls SAMURAI US tour when it came to New York, and had a great time. 4 Japanese girl bands ranging from "the new breed of Japanese noise" to a "Ukulele playing duo". I really, really liked Petty Booka, a country hawaiian ukelele pop duo. They sounded just beautiful, and were funny to boot. Check them out. I also like Noodles a lot. No pictures though (didn't have a camera with me.)

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