Uniqlo Airism Mask

Today, June 19th, Uniqlo started selling the Airism Mask, a washable mask, that is supposed to be lighter and (hopefully) more convenient for the hot summer.

Not surprising, this resulted in long lines in all Uniqlo shops and overload on Uniqlo web store.

As I was driving by Uniqlo store around 12:00PM a big sign said “Sold Out”, but still there was a long line in front of the store. Only one hour after the store was open, it was already sold out.
Another thought, if it was sold out why so many people still waited in line? I do not get it.

Uniqlo also published on their website an apology and that they will work to produce more masks . The apology was published 13:30, which again shows the demand for this mask.

I am actually looking forward to try it, as my experience in the past few with standard masks was not good. It gets really sweaty and hot when it is 30 degrees. can’t imaging what it will be like in 35 degrees.

Getting closer to international business travel

Takara Bio announced they developed a method to perform 5000 PCR tests in less than 2 hours.

Now this will not completely open international travel, but I expect it to improve and I guess we will eventually see a PCR test area before check-in to a flight.

1. PCR test before check-in
2. Only Negative (obviously) results will be allowed to check-in
3. Another PCR test after arrival and before immigration? Or will they have a treaty which they will accept tests from another country?

It kind or reminds me security tests before boarding a flight, and in some cases, airlines, destinations more thorough tests and rules.

This will make travel slower, as need to spend at least 4-5 hours longer per flight, but will make travel possible.

Can’t wait to see it implemented, or maybe the vaccine will be available earlier.

Caffeine consumption

Trying to reduce my Coffee consumption.

Till recently I used to have 4 cups of coffee per day:
1) First one, in the morning before eating breakfast
2) Second, next to the office or customer meeting area. Working at a cafe and relaxing a bit after the train ride
3) After Lunch
4) Around 4PM, some Caffeine to keep me going

The cost of paying for 3 coffees per day + the beans I grind in the morning definitely exceed 1000 yen per day is quite high, and more important is the amount of Caffeine I consumed.

Although working from home, I realized that I kept the Caffeine drinking pattern even though I did not take a train, and did not need the “relax time”.
So I finally decided to reduce the amount from 4 to 2 per day. One in the morning and second in the afternoon (between 2PM to 4PM).

Planned to do it gradually, to reduce to 3, get used to it for a week and then reduce to 2, but realized that I could do it faster. So, within a week, I am already at 2 cups per day.

Will evaluate it for a while and will consider reducing it further. I do like the taste of coffee and enjoy drinking it, so assume that once we go back to working in the office, consumption may go up again.

Telework Drama

Asahi TV created a special episode of Housekeeper Mitazono which was created without the cast meeting with other. Most of the episode was taken and shown as a view of a computer screen with the plot is shown via video calls, video conferences and Audio.

It was really nicely done. At some places they had to stretch the plot (and technology) a bit, but overall a good episode and very good writing.

People and companies are discussing Holograms and remote presence for a while, but recent days and necessity show that it is possible to make TV shows with remote presence. It is possible to have comedian act in their living room with a reasonable result.

What we now need to do is to connect the Audience in a more interactive way and we can be ready for the next pandemic.

Garmin Vivosport broken belt

A Known Vivosport issue?  

Two years with the Vivosport and the belt is torn/broken. There is no way for me to fix or replace it, as there is no accessory available to buy.

Encouraged by a Japanese blog post claiming the product was replaced free of charge, I started the process.

First step: Garmin support Website reporting the issue, torn belt
Result: Email asking me to access support website and provide more information.

Second step: Support website access, provided Serial number (second time), where it was purchased (Amazon) and if I have warranty (no)
Result: Email asking me to ship the product to Garmin service center.
Explaining the service charge I am expected to pay – About USD$100
Asking me again to provide receipts, warranty and that if they do not exist, I may be charged

So, now I have to decide. Do I risk spending my time and money sending the package and hope for a replacement and then be charged for the service, or I just throw the device (in the nearest designated electronic device service day)

Photos of the torn belt:

Torn Vivosport Belt
Torn Vivosport Belt

Simple Solution – Coffee Grinder and a Marker

I feel both delighted and ashamed about this blog post.
Such a simple solution, such an improvement of the product.
But how come it took me so long to implement?

I have been using Zassenhaus Coffee Grinder and was always a bit frustrated that the Grinder settings drift and I sometimes get the right grain sizes, sometimes I don’t. Yet I continued to use the product as it is, thinking that the maker should have designed the product better.

This week I finally decided to improve the product by myself, not blaming the maker design. Found the right settings of the coffee grinder for a pour over, used a marker to mark the location and Voilà , the coffee grinder is so much better now. I have a visual indication that the grinder drifted and can re-set it for the next grind. Perfect.

On another note, made me think why Zassenhaus did not add this mark by themselves. It is because they felt it is not needed, that the grinder will not drift, or is it for esthetic reasons, keep the design clean. Not sure why, but I strongly recommend everyone to do that (also to Zassenhaus)


Sharp started today (April 21, 2020) to sell masks online.
Priced at 2980 Yen for 50 masks (+ shipment Cost), it is standard pricing and much appreciated.

Only problem is that “everyone” are trying to access the online site at the same time.
It was obvious it is going to happen, but I am still surprised it does. Can’t IT organizations plan for such events better? Registration method, better scaling .

I just need to wait and click Refresh once in a while and hope to get through.

SHARP online mask Site

Covid-19 Concert Cancellations

As expected, Concerts are being canceled due to the Covid-19 Situation.

MGMT were supposed to come to Japan in May for a music festival and two more concerts, which are obviously not going to happen.
The process of getting my money back is a bit annoying, but I trust it will come and I am sure it is more painful to the organizers.

Fuji Rock is still pretending it is going to happen, which I doubt.

Below is a screen capture of MGMT notification on twitter. Why did people “like” this post. ?

Covid-19 Genomic detective work

We often here in Japan that a high percentage of new patients are 経路不明 meaning cannot trace how they got the Corona Virus. Either because they do not know, or that the patients do not want to tell.

With all due respect to Privacy laws in Japan, I think the government can do more to track and analyze.

First and most obvious is Cellular Phone location. Government can get cellular phone location of patients, track their location and try to find common places and source.

Second, which is probably less effective, but is interesting for me is genomic tracking of the Corona Virus. Apparently, the mutation of the virus and analysis of that can track the source and spread. Twitter and internet are discuss and quote Trevor Bredford’s twitter and analysis.

Looking at some genomic analysis of the virus in patients in Japan, can see clearly the second wave coming from Europe, US and other countries

Two Examples:

Virus path: China, Europe (UK, Italy, Spain) and then to Japan
Virus Path: China, Australia, US and to Japan

Power of IT in the battle with Covid-19

(Almost) Everyone carry a smartphone, which is used in some countries for monitoring and alerts about Corona virus, Quarantine, etc.

I like what Line did with a friendly application which can collect information as well as assist with consultancy and recent recommendations.

I registered for both Tokyo and Kanagawa … not sure why.

The screenshot is from Kanagawa prefecture, which pings me periodically to ask about my health status