New Year’s Eve is a good chance to look back what I did this year. Every year I remember big topics of the year on the last day of the year. The year 2001’s topics for me was moving my apartment within Tokyo metropolitan area and buying Toyota Soarer. In 2002, I made my first visit abroad (Washington, DC). In 2003 I started studying aviation (aircrafts and its operation), and encountered musicals and performing arts by small troupes. In 2004 I started blogging, visiting Asian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong), and had GSM cell phones distributed throughout those countries. In 2005, I began playing darts, studies GSM/W-CDMA mobile telephony , and visited Hong Kong again. Last year, I opened a Firstrade account and began buying US stocks and mutual funds.
Although I had nothing special this year, some of my big events of this year would be (1) getting a new car, and (2) making my visit to Hawaii.
Hope that 2008 will be a better and more meaningful year for me, my family, my friends and everybody around me.
Illuminations displayed in front of houses near my apartment. Thanks to Shuji Nakamura who invented a blue LED, we get more variations of decoration with lights.
Last week I bought a portable navigation device (Garmin nüvi250) for my car because I had bonus this month and I did “holiday shopping” like an American. Although many cars in Japan have in-dash HDD car navigation systems costing over 300,000JPY with a receiver for Vehicle Information and Communication System (VICS), they were too expensive for me to afford. Nüvi250 has only a GPS receiver and power cables to be connected to a cigar socket or PC’s USB port, so it’s very cost-effective, costing only 38,500JPY! (about one tenth of the prices of traditional HDD car navi) More than that, it is not only sold within Japan but used worldwide, because Garmin is an American company. Nüvi250 is widely distributed in UK, European countries and the USA (in the USA, nüvi200 is sold instead of 250).
This device is simple and does not provide traffic information to avoid jamming routes, but GPS reception accuracy is very good. It displays an accurate position of where you are driving, keeps track of your driving routes, and calculates routes to destination very fast. Road maps are very simple, and easy to see while driving. It is very useful for 38,500JPY navigation device, as long as you use it just as a navigator.
As it is removable from your car, you can carry it with you anywhere, on the street or on the train, and you can install it to a rental car in a district far from your home town or even in a foreign country, just by plugging the power cable to its cigar socket. When you leave your car, you can put it off the car and in your pocket. There are no risks to be stolen.
Navigation is navigation. No functions more than navigation are necessary. PNDs are the most reasonable navigation system of today and more and more devices will be released in a few years, because you have only to pay the reasonable prices for necessary and sufficient capabilities.
Today’s news is repeatedly reporting that a man broke into a sports club building in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan, firing a shotgun at random and resulted in killing a man and a woman and injuring six people. It was said that the Japanese shooter shot himself to death. A victim happened to be there for waiting a friend.
In Japan or in any other place, slaughters by persons touched in the head can occur everywhere. It might be fresh in mind that a Korean guy fired a shotgun and killed 33 persons in Virginia Tech. In this month, eight people were shot to death by Robert Hawkins who shot at random at a shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska. It is not true that you think “Japan is safe and foreign countries aren’t.” Anywhere you are, there are no safe places these days.
We should keep in mind that life and death of us is just destiny and we can’t expect when we die. Death suddenly comes to us—maybe today. When you walk on the street, you may be hit by a drunk driver’s car, a hard block a mad guy throw from the building by you, or a people himself who attempts suicide by diving from the top of the building. When you are waiting for a train on the platform, a mentally-unstable woman may suddenly push you off the platform on the rails in front of a train rushing into the station. When you are riding on the train, the train may crash. When you are driving, an oncoming car may come to you to collide. When you even are in your house, an earthquake may happen and the ceiling may fall down on you. It’s unpredictable if you may suddenly lose your life.
What we can do to live our lives with no regrets is “not to put off till tomorrow what we can do today.” If you have something you want to do, do it right away. You may want to leave anything unfinished when you go to bed at night, not to regret even if you can’t wake up forever.
I attended a two-day “career management seminar” that the company I was working for hosted for the employees who had started their career a decade ago. An instructor who had been sent from Japan Management Association guided us to look back what we had done for the ten years, to recognize what our current strengths and weaknesses were, and to design what we should do in the future.
Through the sessions I found out that my characteristics I had thought of was a little different from that the people around me had done. I thought I was completely lacking communication ability to keep in tough with others, but my boss and my colleagues working with me do not think so. At the same time, they think less highly of my schedule management ability. It was what I did not expect, but they hit the mark.
Anyway, it was very meaningful that I could find out what I currently am, and I’m very thankful to the company that gave me the chance to help me think of my future career and to talk with friends I didn’t see for many years!