Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: November 2013

16 November 2013

Disorientated Feelings (Part 54)

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So how did this whole incident of people being mysteriously turned into girls begin? Was it that abandoned ski loge that Saeko found where we first heard of it? No, it was already happening at that time. I didn't realize before, but the answer is actually closer to me: my aunt. Yes, she may be younger than me, but it was my dad's parents and dad himself having a child too early caused me to be one generation ahead of what it should be.

You see, this aunt of mine, Nanami Fujibayashi, vanished in front of my eyes at her house when I went to check on her on one of those days between me arriving back from my university and getting married. She was living alone with... That's odd; I can't remember who it was other than that person being a relative, and nether remember who my grandparents and above were. My memory tells me she has a younger sister, Naomi, but Saeko and Nanami insisted that Naomi was one of those people who were among the first batch of people to be transformed where their existence is shifted to a different family where they think they have always been a part of them, where neither them nor those aware of this, could remember who they were before. The same goes for the family members they were formerly from. I will talk about why people do not remember people who were transformed in the first year, and why people could remember, and stay with the existing families, for the subsequent years up to present later. And also, my dad being turned into a girl too.

Back to the story, my aunt reappeared at Saeko's house at Inami City some distance away... A SECOND LATER! The flash of green lights she saw told me that it was that doll Saeko and I have encountered before, where I almost died while stuck in an another dimension back during my days in High School.

During the time between me seeing my aunt disappear and Saeko calling me that Nanami was with her, I thought I was seeing things, or my aunt cease to exist. My aunt told me that, during that one second, she was trapped in a huge empty white void for what seemed like hours. In that time, something that looked like a scene preview appeared, which automatically loads any scene in her memory that has many people in a scene. The settings panel that appeared is the primary cause of it happening, but since the words on it were so cryptic to her (she wasn't detailed enough for me to determine what exactly she saw), and thinking the whole thing was just something like a game editor, she did not revert the changes she made when she left.

What exactly was the scene she saw editing? She didn't say: she only told me that the people in it changed with each setting, in my aunt's words and my comment on what it could have been:
  • Changing the weather and sunlight. People's clothing changed depending on the temperature.
    • I am guessing this does not change the real world and more of how they would look like in various weather, seasons, and time of day.
  • Several settings where nothing visible happened
    • Perhaps this was the rate the changes takes place? The intelligence of people? How the body works? If only I could at least see what the cryptic words look like for me to be able to translate.
  • Made some children older, elderly people younger, with the slightly older children and slightly younger elderly changing too the more this was changed by a notch, along with a sub setting that doesn't do anything, and another appearing to invert the selected range.
    • I'm guessing this changes the minimum and maximum age range of people to change, with the difference between the two narrowing the more this was changed. With that inverted range selected, that becomes the age range where people to not get affected by the change which means that, over time, everyone would be changed, including me! Since it is already in effect, inverting that setting back is a bad idea since it changes all the remaining people who aren't previously affected, and not restore people who already have changed. That setting that didn't seem to do anything is probably the delay setting for the minimum and maximum, which explains why we don't see babies and children changing like how the elderly did.
  • More people in the scene turned into men in one direction, women in the opposite direction
    • I'm guessing this changes the gender ratio of men to women. I didn't know the current situation could have been where more women being turned into men instead of the current opposite situation before she mentioned this. It is unclear at this time if she had the setting to have more women than men, or made up of women only. What is for sure is that there are more women than ever before, and the men, which are already the minority, are still turning into young women today.
Well, I'm am now absolutely positive that my aunt was responsible for all the elderly and tough men being turned into young girls, but she didn't know what she was doing, and she got into that situation in the first place because of that doll. The problem is, those settings are in some unknown dimension we can't get to without knowing what it is. It almost seems as if it could fundamentally change how our very own world works, and our world could have been paused for hours while my aunt was there. You wouldn't notice the world around you was paused if you are a part of it unless noticeable changes were made during that pause.

Why is it that people could not remember who the people transformed in the first year were, but could for the subsequent years? Well, it started when people noticed that elderly people and tough people were missing, more girls in school than before, and, more importantly, people can't remember who those people were. It wasn't clear until the first population census after the change was released proved their suspicion.  It was then that scientists, including us at Hatsuya Research, went on a scramble to figure out what was going on.

Based on what my aunt told me, I asked the department that researches other dimensions to see if they could figure out something. It is also this department that helped brought me back from that other dimension. Information involving our company's counterparts of other dimensions, along with the things in there different from ours, go through this department.

[Author's note:  I honestly don't want the Kansai-arc to end abruptly after only just two parts, but those were written 8-12 months ago and I don't remember the details. I am fast-forwarding the time to catch up to the events of S2P87 and beyond.]

03 November 2013

682th post: Designing a profile, and maybe attract followers

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So you probably have a Twitter account or some social networking page that says about you to other people. However, there is more to just typing words and inserting images.

This is probably what an average person would see on their screen. As you can see, the interface would take up some space. More importantly, the whole bio should be visible in the remaining space, and leave some space around them.

However, the view can look different if viewed on a mobile device and exclude some elements like profile background, along with possible extra steps to view everything. The banner image might not appear if viewed from a 3rd party app, or the mobile web version on non-smartphones. Keep this in mind as not everyone wants to view everything or viewing from something that doesn't show it.

If people are viewing your profile, along with several others at the same time, you would want to make it look appealing. This also means that the choice or words and images needs to look nice too. I don't claim to be an expert, but what I do with mine seem to attract people.

So here are the things to take note of:

Not exactly part of the bio, but it is visible from the profile. People actually look at what you tweet (retweet and mentions too), particularly the recent ones. If it is filled with too much retweets, caption-less links to images, automatically generated tweets from places like YouTube, without any breathing room in between, that is not good. I have unfollowed people before because of this reason, and only because they flood my timeline. Who knows how many more that I failed to catch.

Depending on the person, they may also be particular on how often/little you tweet: too little and they may forget about you, or even not see your tweet if they follow a number of active people. If you tweet too much, your followers might see nothing but your tweets in their timeline.

Private account? There's a chance that they won't follow you just because they can't see your tweets, which includes mentions to them. Sure they can send a request to follow, but if they have a lot of other people to look through, and/or have past experience of private accounts they followed being not good, they would skip private accounts completely, possibly quickly too.

But why make it private in the first place? If it's because of spam, you are probably overreacting. If it's because you don't want certain people to see something, you should block them, or don't say it (at least not with that account).

Background Image
So you want to put some box that is like an extension of your bio as part of the background image? Bad news: not everyone views it in the same browser dimensions as you, which can be bigger than your screen. Even worse, it is not visible on non-PC web versions. However, you should have a background image anyway as it would make your profile look better. After all, it is the largest image visible on your profile, and if they see the default image, they may think that you are a boring person. The same goes for the banner image.

Recently, there is an option to choose if the transparent layer over the background (the gaps between each parts in the top screenshot) be either white or black, so you can pick which one is better, like black for a dark background image., and whether the image be positioned at the left, center, or right. Depending on the image and its size, having it tiled can be a good idea too. However, there is no option to change the horizontal positioning between top, middle, or bottom.

Banner Image
Kind of like background image, but behind just your profile image instead of the whole profile. You can choose what area to crop to and what level of zoom. Unlike backgrounds, it could also appear on mobile apps or mobile web for smartphones. You can try to align it with your display picture, but you wouldn't want to be exact with it as, for example, your alignment in the web version might not be the same in landscape mode of the iPad version. I know you might not use it, but this is about what other people see when they view yours.

Images and videos you tweet and retweet
This would say more of who you are, particularly to people that don't know you. Retweets with images do not appear on your profile unless you manual retweet them. If you tweet too much images at a time, particularly of a particular theme, it can turn people off and possible have them unfollow you just so their timeline isn't flooded with those. As of the time of writing, they have recently introduced a feature where image previews are visible without the need of expending. Not a good thing if your image tweets are questionable or even not-safe-for-work.

However, only supported sources would appear there. It is not clear what exactly these sources are, but these include YouTube, vimeo, twitpic, and so on. Some sources, like pixiv or tuippuru has the preview appear like a news article preview. Keep note that this may change over time, or even be excluded completely. Historically, this includes yfrog and instagram.
(Why? Well, Imageshack (company behind yfrog) services are getting more annoying to use lately, unusable if on a non-smartphone mobile device. As for instagram, probably because they have been bought over by rival Facebook)

Bio and website link
Try not to follow the crowd, avoid unnecessary details (like your age and gender), and keep it short and simple. After all, you can only enter a limited amount of characters in it. Also, avoid using hashtags or typing everything in caps.

For the link in your bio, try to link it to a place to where people who may be interested in you to know more, like your blog. And please do not use a link shorterner here: people may think you are a bot if you do. This link could also be one of the chances (probably the only chance if your account is private) if someone wants to find out more about you.

Personally, I would prefer that there would be no hashtags or links in your bio besides the website link next to the location field. Placing a link to a portal of where you would place all your other sites is not recommended: I wouldn't know which one to click, or not want to go the extra step just to find out more (keep in mind that there may be tabs of other people's profile in their browser), and not bother going further. I would if this was on the blog instead.

You can enter the name of your town/city here, your GPS coordinates here, stuff like "Within the Whelm of Darkness ( ´Д`)σ)Д`)", or just leave it blank.

Take note: There are apps that tells you where your followers are from. Don't know if they get the information in this text field. Also, if you are entering a real location, be mindful that it is viewed from around the world, so people may not know what your two-letter US/Canada postal short-forms for the state means, and it could be mistaken as a short form of an another country in the world.

01 November 2013

Yononaka no Okugi (Part 4)

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Hitoshi seemed as if what she said to me was not enough to convey what she wants.

"Oh right. You are born after it happened, forgive me if you don't know what I'm talking about. Hmm... It's difficult to explain without you having already feeling it first hand, which you probably had not. Would it be okay for me to show you pictures of that time so you would know? I have to warn you that what you feel as a result from seeing it may not subside for years, and possibly affect how you would think", she said.

Since I am clueless, but curious, I agreed. It's a sacrifice and maybe a privilege that most post-evolution people would most likely not experience. She told me that they are in that small derelict building standing by itself at a corner that nobody ever goes near. I've seen this place from far, but have never gone up close because there was no reason to go there. Hitoshi talked to me as we head there.

"This open area are where are all the outdoor sports takes place. Sports used to be more popular, but the evolution has forced us to behave more feminine and only be able to wear the kind clothes we are wearing now. Take soccer or baseball for example..."

She pointed to the grassy field that has two identical white metal poles on opposite ends of it with a net at the back of it, and then points to a barren field that has some kind of base at the four corners of it and the middle.

"...how can we hit or kick the ball without being forced to act feminine? We can't hit with all the energy we got that way. I think we would even get scared to the point of closing our eyes or running away if a ball approaches us at high speed where we are supposed to catch it or send it elsewhere, or maybe not play at all because of being scared of getting dirty from the ground it is normally played on. And then there's the marshal arts, swimming, tennis and volleyball courts, along with the running tracks..."

She points to the edge of the sports hall located next to the field behind us, only part of the swimming pool is visible from where we are.

"...Those used to have their own dedicated and traditional uniforms, like white robes and a thick band around the waist that signifies rank for the former, and a swimsuit for the latter. Doing traditional arts or running while wearing our school uniform looks weird and not well suited for the intense physical activity. Had you noticed that physical education is missing in the curriculum?"

I don't know what physical education is, but I'm guessing that these sports-related places around the school are related.

"For swimming, we could still wear the swimsuits, but we have to wear our skirts over them. We aren't supposed to swim wearing that, but if we don't do so within a minute, it is seen as not wearing "proper" clothing and our previously worn acceptable clothing would reappear, which is worse for swimming than just the skirt alone. You do not want to swim with the usual clothes on since clothes absorbs the water and sticks to our body."

She made it sound as if clothes were something that wasn't part of our body, but more of something to cover yourself in. I was born with my school uniform on, so I thought this was normal, but apparently the world and time I was born isn't how it usually was.

"With these odd restrictions relating to what we are forced to wear or behave today, it's impossible to play sports like what it was in the past, which, even back then, isn't really popular among females. It's a sad fate to see the world of sports to die out like this. Ah, here we are."

This is the first time I have been up close to this building that I normally see only from a distance. It appears that this building was home to several clubs, with clubs that uses the nearby fields taking up some adjacent rooms. Hitoshi opened up one of the doors for the baseball club using a key. Where did she get the key from? Well, she's with the student council after all.

"I have to warn you that you might see photos of males in here. After all, sports was common among them. Now, where is that switch for the lights?"

The room was dark and stuffy when we entered before she turned the lights on. There are windows, but partly obstructed by things around it. I have never seen a messy room like this before. Then I noticed something by the wall: looks like clothes, but not the kind you see people wearing, and mostly white. Several of them too, and they don't look clean.

"Ah, these were the uniforms of the baseball team, and yes, the lower part is not the skirt that you are so familiar with. Try to wear this and you will see why I say we are forced to wear feminine clothes. People used to change clothes everyday, sometimes several times a day, though men have an easier time to change as... their chests are flat."

Her facial expression looks like she is being forced to fell happier than before we came here. Also, I never took off my clothes before, and I was born with my uniform already on. She showed me that I could start by unfastening the buttons and zippers on my clothes, but just as I was done with everything, my clothes came back on all fastened by themselves as if I had not started. I did not get to see what my body underneath my clothes looked like.

"There is a time limit to be able to have your clothes unfastened and removed, which started when you removed the first fastener, which was that first button you unfastened on your blouse. You took your time changing, so the time ran out by the time you were done. You have to take it off quicker than that and put on your new clothes within that time if you want to change, provided what you are changing to is within what we are allowed to wear. Well, try wearing these uniforms over your clothes and see what happens when you try to wear what is not allowed to be worn these days. You don't see people selling these any more because no one could wear them. The effect is the same whether you took your existing clothes off or just wore over it. Men's sizes are larger than women's, so you should be able to put them on, even if they may be too loose for your body."

I didn't know there were people who wore clothes that were a lot larger than my size as everyone is about the same size as me. Well, there are people larger than me, but not to the extreme of the size of these loose clothes I'm wearing. Also, the lower half of these clothes are pushing my skirt inward, and the buttons for the upper half are on the opposite side. I am so not used to wearing anything besides socks or stockings that covers my legs that isn't tight, or wore anything that isn't a skirt on the outside.

"You are lucky that our skirts being designed to flutter in the wind, which also means that, by design, you can put those pants on. You wouldn't be able to if the skirt wraps tightly around our legs."

This unfamiliar feeling didn't last long as they are magically forced out of me not long afterwards. The upper part scattered all over the room through my arms, and I actually fell onto the floor as the lower half gets magically blasted out through my legs.

It was at this moment that I saw an image of something attached to the ceiling. It looked liked a large group of people, but these people are different from anyone I have ever seen. Somehow, the sight of them had me feeling some kind of happiness that I never felt before, and a weird feeling around my hips.

"Um, Maeda-san? Why is your face... OH NO! CLOSE YOUR EYES NOW! Ha... ha... ha..."

Huh? What is wrong with seeing that? Why did she made a strange sound after shouting at me? She seemed to be struggling inside her, while I continue to feel more pleased the more I look at that image, the kind that I never felt before.

Hitoshi noticed that I wasn't closing my eyes or looking away. Despite the internal struggle within herself, she is somehow desperate to stop me from looking at what I'm seeing and... this is the first time anyone has hit me with force, and it's painful. It feels weird to have both painful and pleasing feelings at the same time, neither of which are in my control.

"Sorry about that... What we just saw were images of men... Nobody usually decorates the ceiling, so I did not look at the ceiling when I inspected the room... I think you saw it for longer than me..."

It's difficult to think with the non-stop new feeling in me, but I struggled to ask her how to undo it.

"I'm sorry, but only way I know is to be reborn, which, for our current biological age, is decades from now. There is an acupuncture-like therapy to undo this, but it is difficult to get to."

She led me out of the room before we saw more men. There was a mirror hanging just next to the door at the corridor.

"Your face tells me that you are feeling more aroused than I though you are. Did you see pictures of men before today?"

Thinking back, I did saw people that looked like what I saw in the old magazines at home. Her reaction to me saying this was mixed. Sorry, I was born after mankind has evolved, so I don't know what is normal, and what isn't, as well as what I shouldn't be seeing.

Chapter 2

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中野区, 東京都, Japan
帰国子女 英語能力は堪能。趣味はアニメや漫画やプログラムコードを編集。通常、あたしの小説を英語で書いてです。Grew up abroad &travelled to different countries. I write my own fictional novel on my blog.