My good friend Ian Lynam recently created a typeface family called Kirimomi for Onitsuka Tiger, based on the company’s history, and available as free downloads. It appears that there have already been over 10,000 downloads of the fonts, and in celebration I’ve decided to change the logo on this site to what you see now, which uses Kirimomi Swash.

Go and do something with them too — “just do it” (oops, that’s another company I think).

No PauseTalk in August

I already announced it when the last PauseTalk came around, but just a reminder that next week there will be no edition, as I usually skip August — with so many people on holiday, it’s hard to get a good attendance. The next PauseTalk (Vol. 53) will be held on September 5.

27 Hours

This past weekend I spent more hours than I should really admit watching Fuji TV’s 27-hour comedy marathon (and even recorded the whole thing). It’s no secret that the only Japanese TV I watch is comedy, and this year’s event was hosted by Takeshi Okamura of the duo 99, who has been my favorite comedian ever since I first came to Japan back in 1998. He had a mental breakdown last year and took a break for 6 months or so, and although he’s been back on TV since late last year, this sort of acted as a big comeback. 99 (along with SMAP member Masahiro Nakai) hosted the FNS 27-hour special 7 years ago, and it’s basically sucked since, especially the last couple of years.

I’ll say that overall it wasn’t as good as the one from 7 years ago, but there were still a lot of really fun moments, and since we have it all recorded, we still sometimes watch some of the funnier bits.

People are sometimes surprised when they find out about my love for Japanese comedy — it certainly lightens up any gathering I have with Japanese people, when I bring up the topic. I will admit that I still don’t understand 100% of what is said, which is why I tend to prefer physical comedy, but I still do like a wide variety of comedians.

Recently, when I helped judge the Core77 Design Awards, we had a nice lunch afterwards with all the judges (for our category, Interiors/Installations), and there was a designer from Shiseido who suggested I should do a PechaKucha presentation on Japanese comedians. Maybe I should.

Out With You, Analog

There are only two more days here in Japan before analog broadcasting stops, and this morning they (and by they I mean someone sent over by our realtor) came over to replace the old antenna on our roof with a digital one. We’ve been watching digital TV for over two years now, and we did it by simply buying a small UHF antenna — you know, those “rabbit ear” kind of deals — and it’s worked fine, although occasionally we get a weak reception.

I’m glad that we have a digital antenna, but I don’t think we’ll be able to use it, since the outlet is not in our living room, and I don’t think I want a long cable going through two rooms so it can reach our TV. But the option is there I guess.

Also, I’m rather impressed with Apple’s new Thunderbolt Display, and not only would I like to get one to use with my laptop — my trusty MacBook Pro 17″, which has been my workhorse for over two years now — but maybe also to plug in my consoles when the TV is otherwise occupied. Is this something I can do? I’m not even sure if I can use it with my Thunderbolt-less MBP. 

It’s a digital world, and I like it.

A Fresh Start

It wasn’t enough that I’ve had to deal with the strongest sunburn I’ve had in 10-15 years — from hiking on Mount Tanigawa (2000m) this past Sunday — but last night’s attempt at installing Mac OS X Lion on my MacBook Pro ended up in my having to reformat my drive. It was damaged during the installation process, and all attempts (over the course of hours) to try to repair it or to get back to my original installation — or to simply re-install Snow Leopard over it — proved fruitless. Reformatting seems to have fixed the issue with the drive, and after doing a fresh install of Snow Leopard, I tried installing Lion again — I had nothing to lose at this point — and it worked without a hitch.

Now, of course, the hitch on my part is that I’ve been bad with backups, and so I have lost more than I’d care to admit, but most importantly two years of personal photos, and my entire music collection. Since my daily workflow rests on the use of Google products, my work hasn’t been affected much, and for that I’m thankful. 

Despite all of this, I’m trying to frame it as a forced “fresh start” on my digital activities. Maybe it was meant to be.

Oh, and I have Time Machine back in action (I’d stopped because of lack of space on my external drive) — lesson learned.

Codex 35

Not only did I start the month early with a new episode of the Codex — episode 34 — I’m trying to keep the momentum going with another episode already recorded, 35, that you can download here.

PauseTalk Vol. 52

I sometimes have photos to share from a PauseTalk event, but this time, since Luis Mendo was in attendance, you get to see last night’s attendees (to Vol. 52) in illustrated form (above). We were a smaller group — a lucky “13” — and the talk this time mostly revolved around questions of art in Japan. I also completely forgot to bring out the attendance sheet, but I was able to remember everyone who came (in part because of Luis’ illustration too), so below is the full list of those who attended.

As I mentioned recently, I think I’ll skip August — most people tend to be out of town on holidays, so it’s hard to get a good attendance — and so the next PauseTalk (Vol. 53) will probably take place September 5.

PauseTalk Next Monday

Just a reminder that PauseTalk Vol. 52 is just around the corner, happening this coming Monday (July 4) at Cafe Pause, with a regular start time of 20:00 (feel free to come earlier though to hang out before the official start). I’m quite looking forward to it, as I have a few friends in town for a visit, so should be fun. Here’s the Facebook event page (and again, I apparently can’t send out an invitation to fans of the PauseTalk page, which annoys me to no end).

Also, since I tend to skip having a PauseTalk in August (so many people leave town during the summer holidays), this may be the last edition until September.