Nov 30, 2011

Thank You for 10,000 Accesses

I started this weblog on Dec. 27, 2010, "Keeping a Dream Journal". Although I wrote journals in bad English, I could get over 10,000 accesses almost for a year.

Thank you very much, merci beaucoup, danke schön, grazie mille, muchas gracias, muito obrigado, 多謝, 대단히 감사해, どうもありがとう!

Anyway it's interesting to see the stats of the access log of my weblog.

1. Popular Posts
(1) "Haruki Murakami's Speech on Catalonia International Prize "As an Unrealistic Dreamer". Jun 14, 2011 1,876

This journal was a turning point of the weblog. Although my journal was full of mistakes, this is the first English translation of Murakami's Speech in Catalonia, so many fan of Murakami, who couldn't read Japanese, checked this journal. After posting the journal, the number of the accesses to my weblog has increased significantly. I reminded the broad popularity of Haruki Murakami.

(2) "I Love the "Past Perfect Tense"" Jun 26, 2011 214
(3) "Multilingualism and Literature" Jun 6, 2011 141

The main readers of my weblog might be Japanese language learner, so the journals about language are more popular.

2. Previews by Countries
(1) Japan 3,014
(2) United States 2,700
(3) France 525
(4) Germany 368
(5) United Kingdom 342
(6) Canada 221
(7) Russia 194
(8) Australia 157
(9) Malaysia 135
(10) Romania 114

I was surprised that accesses from non-English countries were large. Especially who does read my weblog from Romania?

3. Pageviews by Browsers
(1) Firefox 2,848 (27%)
(2) Internet Explorer 2,716 (26%)
(3) Chrome 2,285 (22%)
(3) Safari 1,721 (16%)

The shares of Firefox, IE, and Chrome are almost even. I use Chrome, because it's light and fast.

4. Pageviews by Operating Systems
(1) Windows 5,800 (57%)
(2) Macintosh 2,477 (24%)
(3) Linux 742 (7%)
(4) iPhone 434 (4%)
(5) Android 221 (2%)

It's surprising that the accesses through smart phones are so little. I guess that my journals are too long to read by smart phone's small display.

I'll keep a journal next year. I hope you will enjoy my weblog.

Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.

Nov 27, 2011

House of Rising Sun

I get up at around 5:00 in the morning. At first I turn on my iMac and then check e-mails, facebook, twitter, and lang-8. My iMac stand in front of the east window, so I look at the morning glow every morning and tweet about it.

I'd like to pick up my tweets about the morning sky. I think that they are kinds of Haiku.

"In the morning sun a wisp of cloud is light crimson and very beautiful." 9 Jan.
"What wonderful morning glow! Recently morning glow has been beautiful everyday." 18 Jan.
"I'll have a meeting at 8:45, so I got out of bed earlier than usual. The sun hasn't risen yet. I hear dignified sound of a temple bell." 24 Jan.
"Morning glow is beautiful, but clouds in the morning sky today are also beautiful." 10 Feb.
"It's still cold, but sunrise is getting earlier steady." 4 Mar.
"Good early morning. It's dark and silent." 2 Apr.
"I looked up to morning blue sky, and took a deep breath. I'll go to work now." 5 Apr.
"Blue sky and clear sunshine gave me a lot of energy!" 6 Apr.
"It's a vermilion morning glow!" 7 Apr.
"It's "Vermilion Sands". No, no. It's the vermilion sun!" 7 Apr.
"There is a long and narrow cloud in the sky." 8 Apr.
"It's cloudy and warm morning. This is "花曇り(hagagumori)" a hazy sky in the cherry blossom season." 9 Apr.
"Cherry blossoms are scattering into the clean air." 13 Apr.
"An insomniac's morning is busy. I love loneliness in early morning and warmth of breakfast with my wife." 14 Apr.
"The vermilion sun is rising now." 14 Apr.
"The sun is rising just now. The great merit of early rising is to see beautiful morning glows." 15 Apr.
"Good day sunshine!" 17 Apr.
"It's dark and I can just hear the noise of raining." 19 Apr.
"I, an early bird, am listening to the songs of birds in the early morning." 21 Apr.
"I woke up very early, and fell asleep again. Sleeping again in the morning is sweet." 23 Apr.
"It's cloudy and cool morning. Life is going on." 7 Jun.
"It's rainy and cool morning. I can't see the sun." 8 Jun.
"Now I see the sun is rising in the early morning. It gives me energy to live today." 12 Jun.
"It's cool and rainy morning. I don't dislike such a morning." 13 Jun.
"It's bright morning!" 22 Jun.
"The sky is so blue and bright that it's beautiful but I can't see it well." 16 Jul.
"It's cloudy and cool morning." 19 Jul.
"It's raining heavily in the early morning. The sound of the rain makes me calm." 30 Jul.
"It's stopped raining and birds started singing." 30 Jul.
"It's cooool morning, TOKIO!" 31 Jul.
"It's also coooool morning, today!" 1 Aug.
"It's sunny morning in TOKIO!" 2 Aug.
"It's a hot and sunny morning in Tokyo." 9 Aug.
"It's a cool and rainy morning. When I arrived at Narita airport last Friday, I was surprised that it became autumn in Tokyo." 22 Aug.
"It's a cool morning. I'm hearing that semi (balm cricket) is stridulating. Summer is going now." 23 Aug.
"The morning sun is shining the under side of cloud in orange." 25 Aug.
"In the midnight a thunder storm hit at Zoshigaya, Tokyo, but now it stops raining. Anyway I decide to go playing golf today." 1 Sep.
"It's a tropical morning in Tokyo, so I'm listening to tropical music by Haruomi Hosono." 3 Sep.
"It's a clear and refreshing morning in Tokyo." 4 Sep.
"The sky is strips of blue sky and gray clouds in Tokyo." 6 Sep.
"The sky is stained with burgundy morning glow." 8 Sep.
"Morning glow makes gradations of colors on the sky and clouds from dark orange at the horizon to deep azure at the top of the sky." 9 Sep.
"A hot summer is coming back on September." 12 Sep.
"The colors of sky are turning rapidly in the early morning. Now the sun is shining in a yellow light." 17 Sep.
"I can hear nothing but the sound of rain." 21 Sep.
"The typhoon's passed by Tokyo bringing autumn winds." 21 Sep.
"Good morning, insomniacs, my friends." 24 Sep.
"It's (literally) cool this morning. When my wife found I wore a business suit, she said, "moe-ru (萌える)"." 27 Sep.
"The sun is rising again, today." 8 Oct.
"The sky is dyed faint rose pink in Tokyo, now." 11 Oct.
"I took a bath in the morning, because it's getting cooler." 11 Oct.
"It's a dark and rainy morning in Tokyo." 16 Oct.
"The downside of the clouds in autumn sky are shined in bright red purple by the sun setting in Tokyo." 19 Oct.
"It's dark, but the sun will rise soon in Tokyo." 20 Oct.
"It' a cool and cloudy Monday morning in Tokyo." 24 Oct.
"While watching the sun rising, I was listening to "What's Going on" by Marvin Gaye." 26 Oct.
"It's a Monday morning. Well, I have to go to the office and work as every Monday." 7 Nov.
"It's still dark and cold in the very early winter morning." 16 Nov.
"I see the sun under the horizon dyeing tangled clouds in the sky various colours. Awesome morning glow in Tokyo." 23 Nov.
"I see the beautiful color gradations changing from orange horizon to blue sky in the morning glow. 25 Nov.
It's burgundy sky just in a moment." 27 Nov.


Nov 23, 2011

How to Manage a Baseball Team in the Big League: My Impression of the Movie "Moneyball"

I watched the movie "Moneyball" last weekend. I enjoyed this movie, mainly because I've devoted myself to Major League Baseball. (Of course I've read the original book "Moneyball" and I wrote a journal about it.)  

In addition, I could really understand what Belly Beane, who was a leading character of this movie, wanted to do.

I became one of the managers of my company this August. The main role of managers is maximizing the performance of the team under many restrictions.

Belly Beane is a general manager of Oakland Athletics, which is much poorer than big teams, such as New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. These teams buy star players of Athletics, but Belly Beane can't stop them. The restriction that he faces is money.

I have many restrictions to manage my team. I have no right to select the members of my team. I have to manage given members. It's the biggest restriction.

Belly Beane thought that Athletics couldn't beat Yankees, even if a poor team kept doing the same thing as a rich team. So he changed his approach and began to use findings of sabermetrics (statistical analysis about baseball). Many his staffs resisted his change, but he stuck to his belief.

I'm trying to change my predecessor's approaches, and sometimes I come across resistance. But if I wanted to make my team more efficient, I should break it down.

In this movie Belly Beane always talked straight about what he thought of. I also want to and try to talk straight. But all of my colleagues don't talk straight and sometimes we can't discuss enough. I wonder if the person, Belly Beane, talk straight or business people in the U.S. talk straight.

Nov 20, 2011

A Dream in Daytime

I've been having headaches and feeling tired, so I spent time to take a nap in the bed in all daytime today.

I had many strange dreams. I can only remember their strangeness itself, but I almost forgot their stories. I can remember the fragments of one dream about London and the Beatles.

In that dream;

I was watching a movie lying on the bare ground in the open air. I could see stars shining in the sky.

I saw the views of London with the Beatles' songs in this movie. The guards were walking in front of the Buckingham Palace with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

Some of my friends bothered me walking around. I wanted to be concentrated on the Beatles' songs, so I kicked them out.

I found myself in London. The Beatles' songs were still blasting from the sky. I heard "Lady Madonna" and I thought that Paul's vocals were always amazing.

Nov 15, 2011

The "Theory" of Relievers

Today's topic is about baseball.

I plan to go to watch the film "Moneyball" this weekend. I enjoyed reading the original book "Moneyball", which was a non-fiction about Billy Beane, the general manager of Oakland Athletics.

Oakland Athletics aren't a rich team like New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, so they can't get well-paid super stars. Billy Beane made his team competitive without enough money using findings of sabermetrics (statistical analysis about baseball).

In the baseball world there were many unscientific "theories", which hadn't been proved by any objective evidences. For example the ability of batters is usually evaluated by AVG (batting average), HR (home runs), and RBI (run batted in) and you will find these data on sports pages of newspapers. But sabermetrics found that OBP (on base percentage), SLG (slugging percentage), and OPS (on base plus slugging) are more adequate indicators.

Billy Beane selects cheap players based on sabermetrics data. He doesn't like hit and run and bunt, because sabermetrics found these tactics weren't effective.

I have a question about a "theory" of relievers. The best reliever in a team usually is assigned a closer, who pitches the end of winning games. The second best reliever is assigned a set upper, who pitches before the closer. But I think that the critical points of games aren't often the end of games. The best reliever should pitch at the critical point of games, should he?

Now the Nippon series is being held, which are the playoffs of Japanese professional baseball. In the second game of the Nippon series Nagoya Dragons scored a run at 1-0 in the top of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh inning Fukuoka Hawks got runners on second and third bases with one out. Dragons' manager Hiromitsu Ochiai changed the pitcher into the set upper, Takuya Asao.

I thought that this was the critical point of this game and that Dragons should send the best reliever. I'd like to know which pitcher should send at that time sabermetrics point out.

Interestingly, Dragons' set upper, Asao, is the best reliever in his team. Dragons' closer, Hitoki Iwase, is an old hand. He has a lot of experience, but already peaked out. Similarly, Hawks' closer Takahiro Mahara is also an old hand and their set upper Brian Falkenborg is in better shape than Mahara.

I don't know if Dragons' manager Ochiai intentionally used the best reliever Asao at the critical point in that game.

Nov 12, 2011

Don't Rely on My Will - What I've Gotten through Suffering from Depression (2) -

I wrote a journal about the lesson, which I got through my depression. Today, I'd like to write about that topic again.

Before I had suffered from depression, I thought that I had a weak will, whenever I gave up doing something, such as learning foreign languages.

Now, I think still that I have a weak will, but at the same time I think that it makes no sense to blame my own will for giving up something.

First of all, I have limited time and energy. The older I'm getting, the less my time left is also getting. The things that I gave up wouldn't be what I want to do with all my heart and soul. It isn't worth giving these things my precious time left.

And then only the things that I really want to do are worth keeping up and I should keep them up.

When I keep up something, I should not depend on my own will, because I have just a weak will. There are three ways to keep up something.

1. Making it routine
2. Enjoying it
3. Decreeing it

1. Making it routine
When my depression was worse, it was quite tough to go to the office. Before I left my house, there were a lot of things I had to do. I had to get out bed, wash my face and teeth, eat breakfast, drink coffee, choose my suits, shirt, tie, and shoes, change into clothes, shave, fix my hair and so on. I felt pain with doing each of these things. Sometimes I just gave up and went back to the bed.

I changed my mind and got everything I had to do in the morning into a routine. I closely defined things to do and their orders. Now I can automatically leave my house from the bed without thinking of anything. I don't need any will and it's just automatic.

In the office I get things into a routine as possible. Things I have to do are defined, when I arrive at the office. I automatically finish off trivial tasks and then think about the business deeply.

2. Enjoying it
It's difficult to keep up efforts, but it's easy to keep up enjoying something. Don't try to make an effort to keep up something, but think of how you can enjoy it SERIOUSLY. Enjoying isn't just meant making fun. You should enjoy something seriously.

Since the end of last year I have been keeping a regular journal in English on my weblog. I enjoy communicating with people around the world. So I seriously try to write interesting journals in order to make more people read my weblog. I'm not consciously studying English, but as a result I've learned English quite a lot. I'll keep journals in English for quite a while.

3. Decreeing it
If you want to diet, you should decree it to all over the world! And then you should write about all the things you eat and to drink on weblog or facebook every day. I declare that you WILL lose weight just by doing so.

My vanity is much stronger than my will, so I use my vanity to keep up something.

Nov 8, 2011

Prime Minister Papandreou Is a Good Political Leader, Isn't He?

Prime Minister Papandreou looks very confused about the debt-relief deal with EU.

He suddenly announced that he would hold a referendum for the acceptance of the terms for the debt-relief deal. Because most people predicted that Geek people would deny the referendum, they thought that Papandreou made the deal and the Euro Zone itself danger. His real intent couldn't be understood well, so Euro market was shocked, and Merkel and Sarkozy called Papandreou to Cannes.

At the end he got the agreement of implementation of the terms of the debt-relief deal with the opponent party, New Democracy, by his resignation of the prime minister. I think that this is just as his plan. (see New York Times)

First of all the prior Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, is responsible for this problem. His government made accounting fraud in order to hide huge national debt and pretend to keep Euro Zone limit. And then Papandreou revealed it.

He confronted quite sever political situations. He had to agree with EU about the debt-relief deal. But it meant that his government should do the policies that were quite unpopular among Greece people. And more his government doesn't hold a stable majority in the house and his political position is unstable.

He struggled to a narrow pass. The reason why he proposed the referendum was bluffing. The members of New Democracy also knew that Greek should agree with EU about the debt-deal, but they wanted to impress the responsibility of unpopular policies to Papandreou. I guess that Papandreou knew that he had to resign from the prime minister in order to get cooperation with New Democracy but at the same time the resignation from the prime minister was the last card.

I think that Papandreou did what he could do as a prime minister in such a sever condition. Now the responsibility is handed over Greece people.

Nov 6, 2011

"An Ideology and a Utopia" by Karl Mannheim

I'm reading "An Ideology and a Utopia" by Karl Mannheim, was a founder of the sociology of knowledge.

He insisted that historical, social, and cultural contexts determined our recognition, thoughts, and beliefs, which he called "total" ideologies.

I also think that our recognition, thoughts, and beliefs are based on the preconditions, which we can't know by ourselves. In order to find the preconditions, which determine our thoughts, we should get out of our "total" ideologies.

There are two ways to get out of our own "total" ideologies.

The first way is to go to other ages. Michel Foucault revealed the preconditions, which he called "episteme", through his comparative study of prisons and madness between the pre modern and the modern age.

The second way is to go to other cultures. Claude Lévi-Strauss went to the jangle in Amazon, and found "pensee sauvage (savage mind)" in a primitive culture. He criticized modern Western philosophy (including Jean-Paul Sartre) from the standpoint of "pensee sauvage".

When I talk with people in other cultures, sometimes I can't make them understand what I mean, because we have different "total" ideologies. For example it's really difficult to explain my religious feeling to people born to be Christians, or the virtues of non-democratic system to Americans who believe in "American democracy".

If I try to explain them too much, it would make them angry. But these kinds of conflicts are chances to know the difference between their and my preconditions, which constrain our thoughts. We could realize that our own recognition, thoughts, and beliefs aren't universal but local, just one of "total" ideologies.

If both of us realized that we have different ideologies, we could understand each other more deeply.

Nov 3, 2011

Talking with a cat

My friend on lang8, who is a Senegalese Muslim girl, wrote a journal about her cats.

In that journal she wrote, "They keep growling at each other for I don't know what reason. I can't figure it out, because OFCOURSE they don't TALK."

So I made a comment, "OF COURSE CATS CAN SPEAK."

And then she replied, "Haha I'll try to have a serious conversation with them today, but if they answer me, I might die of horror XD"

I think that most Japanese who have cats MUST say, "I always talk with my cat."

Of course cats don't speak human languages such as English and Japanese, but people who have cats believe that they and their cats understand each other. I don't keep any cats but I had a friend of stray cats, who has gone of somewhere now, and we often talked with each other.

I think that there is a difference of view of nature and animals between people from monotheistic religions, such as Muslim and Christian, and Japanese people.

We think that human beings are just a species of animals and there is no essential connection between human beings and other animals. Recently people who have cats call their cats "my child" and think that their cats are literally the members of the family. In an animal hospital a doctor calls an owner of a cat "Dad" or "Mum".

When I went to Western countries, especially the U.K., I found pets were much more trained. On the other hand pets are usually pampered in Japan. I guess that the owners of pets have responsibility to train their pets in Western countries.

I was very surprised when I heard about welfare of livestock in Europe. I had never thought about welfare of livestock before. Some stock rising farmers in Japan raise their livestock very carefully with love, but it might be different with the concept of welfare.

Today's journal has no special conclusion.

Anyway do you talk with cats? Yes, I do.