March 2011


So much for lemons. I think there are very limited supplies getting through and we’re not finding them, mostly. Part of the problem is that whole milk just doesn’t work (it sends my skin nuts and Tomoko is very wary of high-fat things as she doesn’t want to gain too much weight just now – an easy thing to do at present and as I know from bitter experience, it’s much easier to put it on than take it off). Our local supermarket hasn’t had any at all available since we bought 1L a few days ago and the other store we went to today in Asakusa had a modest supply, but only of full fat. (more…)

Well, milk actually (bonus point if you know where the title of this post comes from). My local supermarket had a limited supply of milk today – rationed to one 1L carton per customer. The combini where I usually get my 2% semi-skimmed milk still has no supplies (the supermarket has 3.6% and 1.5% – I bought a 1.5%). However, it does look like the supply chains are getting back in order.

Tokyo Power (Tepco/Touden) have made their rolling blackout plans more fine-grained and split the five areas up into 25. Still no reports of these blackouts happening over the full area and time predicted, but as offices get back to closer to normal operation, and people drop out of compliant disaster mode and start using power more normally (it’s bound to happen, though we’re trying to keep our usage low as I’Um sure are quite¬† few others) they may become more apparent. Perhaps once they happen a few times people will return to being more rigorous, though perhaps also only if they’ve personally been affected, or maybe their close relatives. Human nature.

There were three large aftershocks today plus a number of minor ones, after relative quiet yesterday. RIC (Random is Clustered – Ah, I See) as Jack Cohen once repeated to me. (more…)

The supply shortages seem to be easing, with some things becoming available again. Bread is now generally available in bakeries, though in quite limited supply at supermarkets. Meat is more available again at supermarkets and fish never really went away. Fresh tofu is limited. Milk is non-existent. Yoghurt almost so. Even soy-milk is almost unavailable, though we did find some of that today. Fresh fruit and vegetables are almost at normal availablility. Most pre-packaged drinks are limited or no supply. (more…)

So, people have been asking how things are on a regular basis, so I thought I’d give an update on the situtation here. (more…)

This morning we suddenly heard a voice speaking Japanese in the hallway of our apartment. Thinking we’d left the door unlocked (advice after a large quake is to leave an exit propped open and though we closed it when we went to bed I worried we’d not locked it. But it turned out to be coming from a speaker grill in the ceiling of the hallway, that I’d never noticed before. Who looks up when you live in an apartment so there’s a floor above, not a roof space? It was the apartment resident’s association chief requesting one rep from each floor (apartment number 1 – we’re 2) to go to a meeting in the basement meeting room.

There was a Richter 7.9 earthquake 250 miles from the Eastern coast of Japan at 14:46 Japan time today. Tomoko and I are fine. Nothing significant wrong with the apartment.

Reading this article, I noticed the Google Ads box at the bottom of the page and while three of them seemed pretty well chosen for the article (a computer security company advertising anti-DDoS services et al; a fibre optic communications service provider; a telecoms business analysis firm) the fourth seemed really quite odd: a religious site “examining” Jesus “claims to be God”. Either Google barged on its parsing of the article, or that group is paying for completely random allocations of their web presence.

I’ve just submitted a paper to Computers and Society. The draft submission is available on OpenDepot.