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Archive for January 2007

No excuses all hands on techs. It’s been awfully quiet around here for more than a year. I am not going to make any explanations, it has been the most wonderful and at the same time busy year in my entire life, with weddings, travels, work and much, much more. However, I kind of finally decided that it was time to start working actively on the whole blogging thing again. The address has changed and maybe some of those who used to read this page will never find it again, but for those of you who did, I am happy to be back online.

I won’t make any silly attempts at recapping what happened during the past 14 months or so, instead I will jump right at it and give you a standard, of the mill, blog post about my recent activities, and maybe, as to my amazement has been the case before, some of you will actually find it worth a reading.

Right now I am sitting at the Komatsu airport waiting for my flight back to Tokyo. So what am I doing here, well apart for being the birthplace of my loving wife, this place is also home to what is commonly known as JAIST, the Japan Institute for Advanced Technology and Science, which happens to be one of the clients I work with at the moment. I have spent 2 days here in intensive coding in order to solve some interop problems on a current project, and now I am returning back home.

As Douglas Adams once pointed out, there is no such thing as a beautiful airport. However, airports, and especially smaller ones in Japan (thanks to incredible service and a general calmness) tend to lend themselves very good for catching up on magazines, books and other types of recreation. Whenever I enter an airport with some extra time to spare, I get the feeling that I am transported into a sort of half-being, that is half of me is on the way somewhere, but since the journey has not yet really begun, the other half is still stuck in the real world. I guess it has a little to do with the way airports are always sort of separated from the ordinary world of shops, streets, people and what ever. While waiting in an airport you can not just pop, go around the corner and hang out in a café or browse some stores, the surroundings are always incredibly desolated…

Anyways. On to something more interesting. Last week S and I took a daytrip around the neighborhood checking out some newly built houses that are just going in sale. The area where we live in Tokyo is notorious for extremely high land prices, and so even the smallest house built with very cheap materials tend to cost a fortune, still looking is always fun so we decided to go for it.

First we visited a newly built housing area where the architect had really managed to come up with a fun and refreshingly new house-body design. The exterior of the 10 small houses looked like hulking Gundam robots, with giant robotic eyes (balconies) gleering out over the surrounding neighborhood. The interior however was not that well planned and due to the close proximity of the buildings tended to be very dark. That said though the elimination of dead spaces and use of ceiling windows did lift the overall impression somewhat.

It was fun to look at and when we left we both felt that maybe it was not so bad an option for a small family or a young couple.

Next, after pausing for ramen, we went to one of the numerous Model House villages that housing companies in Tokyo build. Basically a group of house contracting firms get together and build real size models for houses they sell, and you are invited to walk around in them to get a feel for what they actually look like.

We where both particularly impressed by a 2×4 design built by Sumitomo Ringyou (住友林業). A 4 story building with a very open atmosphere, 2 rooftop verandas, one outdoor wooden deck, a small garden within the walls, a large Japanese style room as well as a bed room that was just incredibly beautiful.

I instantly fell in love with it and decided that if I ever build a house that is the kind of design I would want to aim for. S also loved it and we spent the whole evening fantasizing about how it would be to live in a house like that. I have been playing around with the idea of building a house for some time, but experiencing the space and light of this particular Model House really got me thinking seriously about what it would take to actually be able to someday live in one.

Anyways, buying land and building a house in Japan, especially in Tokyo, is a very expensive enterprise, and I guess it is something that we would aim for in maybe 2-3 years… Still dreaming is always fun :).

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