Yuki's Diary 日記

The words of the year 2020

It is time for me to look back at what I experienced this year and summarize it in some words, as I do it every year-end. This year, COVID-19 has affected a great deal to the lifestyle of people all over the world, including myself. I have been forced to stay home and work from home for most days of this year. 

Despite such restricted situations, I encountered some new things. The words of this year are Synapusyuthe handgun, and computer programming.

Synapusyu is TV Tokyo’s morning program for infants ranging from 0 to 2 years old. Since it launched in April this year, it has been entertaining them with songs, animations, music, gimmicks, arts & crafts, and more. It is not so much a childish toddler program as an entertainment show. Up-and-coming artists offer materials to this program, and most of their artworks enchant not only babies but adults like me. These days I watch it regularly when I prepare for getting to work every weekday morning.

I was interested in the handgun during the shelter period from March through May. I got to know from books and YouTube videos about handgun brands—not only traditional brands I had known since childhood, such as Colt, Smith & Wesson, Luger, Beretta, and Walther but also the latest brands like Glock, Desert Eagle, SIG Sauer, and Heckler & Koch. I taught myself how automatic handguns work and how to handle them, keep them, and fieldstrip them properly. I bought (gas) guns online and got used to using them. I did everything except for using real firearms.

Through these experiences, I found out how different they were from what I had seen on TV dramas, movies, and animes when I was a little boy. I think that, unlike fiction, it is tough to hit the moving target you aim at with a pistol. I don’t believe that you should overestimate handguns as a self-protective weapon. To shoot the enemy who has a sword and is about to attack you, you have to do a series of things—getting the gun and the magazine out of where they are stored, inserting the magazine into it, sliding the slider backward to cock the hammer and load a bullet to the chamber, aiming at the target with front and rear sights, and setting the safety lever to the fire position. Before completing these things, your opponent will get within proximity of you and kill you. I found out that the handgun was not mightier than the sword.

Besides, getting in touch with computer programming is one of this year’s most remarkable experiences. I had been away from it for over 15 years because I was busy with work. Since I got a little free time this year because of the shelter-in-place, I opened a GitHub account and began writing codes. I was amazed at how rapid the changes in computer technologies had been for 15 years. But, thanks to today’s open-source programming languages and easy-to-use integrated development environments, I got used to the new languages relatively quickly. For half a year, I’ve had a smattering of Python, Javascript, JQuery, Go, SwiftUI, Kotlin, Julia, and PHP, using IDEs like PyCharm, Anaconda, Xcode, and Visual Studio Code. Some languages were easy to learn, and some weren’t. I’m still far from catching up with cutting-edge computer technologies, but now I can at least make some small-sized programs, small apps, and medium-sized web systems.

The words of the year 2019 were HokkaidoMercari, and Grand Cherokee. Those of the year 2018 were cashlessJapanese language, and comeback, and those of 2017 Yurie OmiNHKshingles, and English exams. For 2016, the words were traveling to places in Japanmapping, and Jeep. Like this, I summarized the year 2015 in Maine, United StatesEstonia; and transfer of workplace. In 2014, I experienced England and Android. In 2013, AyurvedaKoreahigh school alumni, and Tsuyoshi Takashiro were what I encountered. The words of 2012 were Ojithe mahjongthe flight attendant, and Facebook. The words of 2011 are the carthe British culture, and China.

I don’t think the next year will be a better one. COVID pandemic is far from ceasing, Japanese politicians are losing their ways, and the newborn pro-China administration in America will be harsh to my country. Despite that, an individual has to get through such difficult situations. I think all I will do is nothing but preparing for whatever will happen by brushing up my English and IT skills and distributing dispersively all of my resources, including monetary assets and tangible ones.

Yuki's Diary 日記







そして、プログラミングというのも今年の主な経験の1つです。これまで仕事が忙しく、15年以上プログラミングから遠ざかっていました。今年、ステイホームになって少し自由時間が増えたので、GitHubにアカウントを作ってコードを書き始めました。この15年間のコンピュータテクノロジーの進化ぶりは驚くばかりですが、最近は言語もオープンソースになりIDEも使いやすくなっていて、比較的早く新しい言語に慣れることができました。この半年で、Python、Javascript、JQuery、Go、SwiftUI、Kotlin、Julia、PHPなどの言語をかじり、IDEもPyCharm、Anaconda、Xcode、Visual Studio Codeなどいろいろ使ってみました。覚えやすい言語もあればそうでないのもありましたが、まだまだ最新のコンピュータテクノロジーに追いついているとはいえないものの、小規模なプログラムや小さいアプリ、中規模なWebシステムぐらいは作れるようになったかなと思ってます。



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Hong Kong is dead

Visiting Hong Kong was one of my favorites since I made the first trip there in 2004. I did it eight times until now. I loved to stroll on Sai Yeung Choi Street South where people were very cheerful and energetic, to enjoy wonton noodles, steamed duck, and gwilinggao at restaurants, to get Nokia’s brand new and second-hand smartphones and accessories at mobile phone shops of the Sincere Podium building in Mong Kok, and to open and use a bank account of HSBC Hong Kong. I saw the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping, visited a prison museum at Stanley, stayed at a hotel of Chungking Mansions, worshipped at Che Kung Temple, had a fortune-telling session at Wong Tai Sin Temple, and extended my journey as far as Macau and Shenzhen. All the memories of those places were impeccable.

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Prelude to WWIII

The second year of the Reiwa period began with a nightmare. More precisely, at the beginning of the year, nobody could predict what would be going on just two months later. I am talking about what the entire world is fighting against—COVID-19.

The coronavirus outbreak has been an urgent global issue. It was just the case of people in a limited area of a particular country, or poor, rich travelers within a trapped gorgeous cruise ship in February. Only a few weeks later, however, it became the case relevant in most parts of the world. Now the situation is changing day by day. For days, thousands of people around the world have been newly hospitalized due to this disease. More than 10,000 patients have died from it in China, Japan, Iran, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the United States, and more.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Lockdown is underway in many cities and even nationwide in some countries. Going out for non-essential reasons is banned or discouraged. People are forced to stay home and keep six feet away from others so as not to be six feet under.

The lockdown has had a massive impact on the world economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by around 1,000 points this month with circuit breakers taking effect many times. The share price of Boeing has become less than a third for weeks. This financial crisis is even worse than those in the great depression in 1929.

That is true with Japan. Here in Tokyo, the governor stated that lockdown in Tokyo is likely because patients tested positive are increasing every day by more than the number of cases a day before. She requested Tokyoites for being home this weekend except for essential business.

People in Japan look afraid of a state of emergency being declared and lockdown being issued. I hate to say that, but I’m sure that these will be near. I think lockdown orders will be released in weeks or even in days because we see other civilized countries being already like this.

Lockdown being inevitable, how should we do? Most people will be forced to stay away from their workplaces, such as offices, farms, fishing grounds, milk plants, and factories. Then it is likely to run short of various things needed for daily life. As a result, the production of foods and groceries will be severely restricted.

Once supply cease, panic buying is likely to take place. This action must be blamed as antisocial behavior since not all households have enough money or means to get what they need. It will be difficult to supply daily necessities if panic buying occurs, because the distribution system will be burdened more than usual, and the distribution of domestic inventory will be unfair. Participating in such panic buying is nothing but not only exposing your low awareness of social solidarity, that is, lack of knowledge that society will not be established if we do our own things, but also proving that you have neglected to be prepared and save in case of an emergency.

We have no choice but to secure the needed supplies for the time being before lockdown takes effect. It would help us a lot to find out what people in countries where lockdown is already in place are doing.

This experience gives us the following important suggestions and lessons: the fact that even the most rights-sensitive liberal nations can easily and quickly control individual’s rights and freedom before the impending crisis. It means that, once an emergency happens, the rights of individuals are insignificant and vulnerable.

What is happening in front of us now seems like a dry run exercise for the third world war. I think it is likely to occur in the coming decades because it is a very similar situation where a big earthquake occurred in 1923, the world financial crisis in 1929, and WWII 12 years later. Likewise, the big earthquake and tsunami happened in 2011, and the economic crisis derived from the coronavirus epidemic eight years later. Now the world is divided. Each country is isolated and closing its borders. How many years is left for us to see those countries to collide?

The time is right to be prepared for in the future. Divide your assets into some pieces and save them in different countries. If possible, have multiple places to live and jobs in two or more countries. Having as many life options as possible will save you in this volatile future with many uncertainties.

Yuki's Diary 日記



Yuki's Diary 日記

The words of the year 2019

Looking back on what I experienced in the year 2019, the words of this year are: Hokkaido, Mercari, and Grand Cherokee.

I’ve traveled to Hokkaido three times this year alone for both business and private. In February, I visited Sapporo to conduct a system test, and I went to Hakodate one week later to see a friend of mine. In September, I was in Sapporo again for the system test. I’m revisiting Sapporo next month, too (It won’t be “this year,” though!). In spring and summer, NHK broadcast a morning TV drama set in Tokachi area, which became very popular. I had more opportunities to get in touch with Hokkaido.

I started e-commerce this year through the Mercari marketplace app. It allows users to buy and sell items quickly and easily from their smartphones. I sold a briefcase I wouldn’t use any longer, one of the bottles of hand sanitizer I bought too much to use up all, and even a socket of an iPhone charger. I purchased an antique bookshelf, English soaps, and a sixpence coin for comparatively lower prices with several taps on the screen.

I sold my 2013 Jeep Compass Sport and bought a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo in April. The new Jeep’s odometer reading was about 21,000 miles when I found it at the Jeep car dealer, and I have driven more than 6,000 miles for about eight months since I bought it. It is a big, comfortable, good-conditioned, and powerful SUV, excellent for both short-howl and long-howl drive.  

The words of the year 2001 were getting a flat within the Tokyo metropolitan areaa position change at the office, and Soarer. The word of the year 2002 was America. The words of the year 2003 were the airplane and the musical. The words of the year 2004 were the blogAsian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong), and the GSM mobile phone. The words of the year 2005 were dartsthe GSM and WCDMA mobile phone, and visiting Hong Kong again. The words of the year 2006 were the US stock and the mutual fund. The words of the year 2007 were changing my car and visiting Hawaii. The words of the year 2008 were England and Fukagawa. The words of the year 2009 were office position changeMacBook Pro and JR Seishun 18 Ticket. The words of the year 2010 were Taiwan, Singapore and MalaysiaiPhone and the credit card. The words of the year 2011 were the carthe British culture and China. The words of the year 2012 were Ojithe mahjongthe flight attendant and Facebook. The words of the year 2013 were AyurvedaKoreahigh school alumni and Tsuyoshi Takashiro. The words of the year 2014 were England and Android. The words of the year 2015 were Maine, United States; Estonia and transfer of workplace. The words of the year 2016 were traveling to places in Japanmapping and Jeep. The words of the year 2017 were Yurie OmiNHKshingles, and English exams. The words of the year 2018 were cashlessJapanese language and comeback.

It is becoming more and more difficult to bump into new things over time, because the older one becomes, the more satisfied with what he is and the more reluctant to change. That being said, changing with the changing times is absolutely essential to keep pace with the future, and it would be fun.

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Another Asadora: a talk show by Yurie Omi

On August 31, I went to NHK Culture Center at Aoyama-itchome in Tokyo to attend a lecture presentation of Ms. Yurie Omi. As I wrote in this entry, I have been a fan of the NHK Announcer, and once met her at her talk show in Nagoya two years ago. This time it was held in Tokyo and it was much easier to have access to the venue, so I applied to this lecture presentation as soon as NHK Culture Center began selling the tickets.