Blizzardboy | A Kiwi in Japan


Anonymous Sydney 02

Anonymous Sydney 02

Music for Coding

Reading the Coding Horror post Music to (Not) Code By, got me thinking about what I listen to when I code. I have pretty varied music tastes, but there is a lot of music that I listen to outside of work that isn’t really conducive to good coding.

Here is my top list:

1. Salmonella Dub, The Black Seeds, Kora etc
Good New Zealand dub. Nice and mellow with a sense of humour.
2. Peter Pik
Australian jazz guitarist. See him playing sometimes on the streets of Sydney.
3. Jose
Another Australian Jazz guitarist. He also plays on the streets of Sydney. I don’t go to music stores anymore, so buying CD’s on the street is a good retro way for me to get new music.
4. The album Ishi Kubari
Okinawan folk songs. I like to float along to this.
5. Koh Tao – On
Chilled ambient music.

That is what I am currently listening to while coding. I have tried lots of different music, but have found anything classical beyond the early modern composers too discordant to code to. And coding to Mandalavandalz or Texas Faggot is fun, but I always get distracted.

I think listening to music while coding is important, especially if you work in a busy office as it helps one to concentrate. Listening to music always helps me in reducing the stress and in creating fresh thoughts and ideas while coding for service. It is the best method to reduce the stress.

What do you like to listen to at work?

Things to do next time in Japan

Funny living in a country like Japan for so long – over 10 years and 6 of those in Tokyo – that there are still so many things there that I never experienced. Most of the things on my list are things I feel I should have done, rather than really wanting to do them. Kind of like living in China for 9 months and not visiting the Forbidden Palace or seeing the Great Wall!

Here is my short list:


Yakatabune are (were) fishing boats (pleasure boats) that one can rent out, or buy seats on to enjoy dinner or fireworks in places like Tokyo Bay. I always wanted to go out on one, sitting on the tatami and enjoying the fireworks. Expensive though and you need a minimum (depends on the company) of 4 people, and to book in advance. Famous since the Edo period, yakatabune would be perfect for a summers evening.

National Gallery
National Museum
Galleries and museums are funny things. I quite like installation art like the exhibitions that used to be shown at the Physics Room in Christchurch. That and looking through drawers of butterflies. There are many ways to write history – museums and galleries being a big part of that.

Tokyo Stock Exchange
Tokyo Stock Exchange has free tours. I went to the free museum at the Bank of Japan and that was fascinating.

Ghibli Museum
Feel like I should have gone, though I am not much of a fan of anime. Have enjoyed a couple of Miyazaki’s works though.

Japanese Diet
Ah, Japanese politics…


The only baseball game I have ever been to was Futatsui Junior High vs. Hatchimori Junior High (iirc). Seeing a professional game would be fun – J League Soccer sure was.

Visit Kamakura
Visit Nikko
Visit Hakone
There always seemed to be less trodden places to visit.

Climb Mt Fuji
Not sure if I really want to do that:) but I visited close by often enough.

binda’s bengali dahl

yellow lentils

soak over night – one pack ftw.

next morning, get some salt, 1 onion, teaspoon of curry powder and boil until soft.

in a separate fry pan get some garlic 2 buds about half an inch of ginger, one tomato, and some pepper (cayenne optional). olive oil. crush / grate ginger and garlic. heat olive oil, couple of spoons. saute ginger and garlic about 5 mins, add tomato, saute till becomes a sauce. poor into lentils



lentils. olive oil, onions, saute onions and lentils, low heat for 5- 10 mins.

add water 125-150 mls. (depending on consistency wanted)
cook that till done.

then get a big bunch of parsley. chop it up fine. once boiled add parsley. add a big whack of grated ginger (4-9 tbs).

turn heat off and add ginger.

nom nom with bread or rice.

nb: both of these are untested!

Japan Election Results

The dust has almost settled on another election victory for one of Japan’s leading political parties. Gaining a few percentage points over the previous election results, a party spokesperson said that this result vindicated their recent middle of the road approach to the various economic and foreign relation problems being faced by the east Asian archipelago.

The Prime Minister, keen to extend his short reign of power, appeared before reporters at the official residence in Tamieke-sanno dressed in an elegantly cut dark suit with a crisp white shirt and a confidently understated tie. He calmly answered a number of questions on various topics. When asked about what his government intended to do about Japan’s current economic malaise, he stated, “We will continue to develop measures to remedy that issue.” On the ongoing issue of Japanese – American relations, he was quoted as saying, “America remains Japan’s most important ally and we look forward to continuing and developing that relationship.”

No news has as yet been forthcoming regarding a possible cabinet reshuffle, however there has been some speculation that some senior members of the previous cabinet will have their portfolio’s reshuffled to make way for new blood from the back benches.

There was a bell

Lucette in the land of the wild and roving

In the land of the wild and roving!

There was a Child Once

There was a child once.
He came to play in my garden;
He was quite pale and silent.
Only when he smiled I knew everything about him,
I knew what he had in his pockets,
And I knew the feel of his hands in my hands
And the most intimate tones of his voice.
I led him down each secret path,
Showing him the hiding-place of all my treasures.
I let him play with them, every one,
I put my singing thoughts in a little silver cage
And gave them to him to keep…
It was very dark in the garden
But never dark enough for us. On tiptoe we walked
among the deepest shades;
We bathed in the shadow pools beneath the trees,
Pretending we were under the sea.
Once–near the boundary of the garden–
We heard steps passing along the World-road;
O how frightened we were!
I whispered: “Have you ever walked along that road?”
He nodded, and we shook the tears from our eyes….

There was a child once.
He came–quite alone–to play in my garden;
He was pale and silent.
When we met we kissed each other,
But when he went away, we did not even wave

Katherine Mansfield


The Great Wall of Saitama

The Great Wall of Saitama

A stone monument

gazing upon the water

grass gets greener

Takeo Nakamura


A Pile of Bicycles near Tokyo Tower

A Pile of Bicycles

Here is a pile of bicycles I saw near Tokyo Tower. For all the talk of eco in Japan, some things remain unchanged – such as a love of the new that would make Robert Hughes proud.

This photo was taken with my little Sony DSC-H10 and then modified with the gimp. I quite enjoy playing around with photos on Gimp. It really us quite powerful software.

It’s a Japanese Manga

I don’t know who the artist is (anyone?) but I found this amazing Japanese manga strip whilst browsing over at reddit. Not safe for work, and a little sick / gross at the same time, but if you are offended by such things I don’t really have much time for you. Back to your little hutch.

The thing that I really appreciated about this strip is its’ use of perspective. Never seen nought like that before. Very, very clever….