Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Mosquito Stats 2019

Friday, May 24th, 2019

The bloodsucker* season started in late May. This year’s stats so far:

Total score: me: 7 – them: 1

Timeline

June 12th: me: 2 – them: 0
June 5th: me: 1 – them: 0
May 31st: me: 1 – them: 0
May 24th: me: 3 – them: 1

*the worst sort, too… 🙁

Decline of the heroine

Monday, May 6th, 2019

Last week, I went to the movies to watch “Birthday wonderland” (in Japanese called バースデー・ワンダーランド).

The movie is visually appealing and well done, just as you would expect it to be. For comical effect or something, the obligatory “cute” characters are also included.

However, the story line is rather bland and feels kind of chewed on and spit out. It’s a mix between Spirited Away, Laputa Castle in the Sky, The Cat Returns (“猫の恩返し”) but with a not very inspiring female main character.

The above listed films also feature heroines as main characters, as you probably know. However, in their adventures, they have to prove their worth, they face overhwelming odds but still they persists and come out on top.

The heroine in Birthday Wonderland is called Akane (I even had to look up her name because I forgot). No spoilers here so I will not recap the story, but apart from grabbing someone by his leg and later pushing the same person down a well (I said no spoilers, please watch the movie to make sense of this), she does not really do anything except complain. It’s not very inspiring at all… Possibly this is just her character but it’s hard to feel sympathetic towards her because for whatever reasons she also gets to get away with whatever lazyness or dishonesty she’s pulling off.

The film last almost two hours. If you don’t care much about depth and if you don’t mind lined-up anime clichés, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

For those who expect some depth and bravery, save your money and wait for something else to see.

Follow-up questions…

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

This weekend, I had another one of these slumps… where staying at home seems a waste of time but going out is not much better because it isn’t really comfortable anywhere (at least in winter).

The problem was compounded by this dreaded feeling of “I should be doing something instead of nothing” and “I wish things were different”.
Steve Vai, in one of the many youtube interviews he gave, once went on record saying “he only felt bored one afternoon” which he seems to remember vividly as it was so unusual for him.

Great for him. Me on the other hand feel pretty limited in what I can do at my present location so I was lying in bed thinking “I wish things were different” – as a somewhat responsible adult with working experience, such a statement is not really useful though. The inevitable follow-up question thus is “how should things be different”?

I became aware of the requirement to ask a follow-up question thanks to age, wisdom and training (be it professional or as a result of bringing up kids).

Unfortunately, the answer to that is not really simple. Every decision results in some consquences with which you will have to live. How far you want to go is up to you.

A slightly cautious “happy 2019”

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Ah, well…. another year… I wonder what will happen this year. Anyway, if we’re really to talk about resolutions, I’ve decided to pursue my goals more vehemently although I’m somewhat afraid of the consequences for the people around me.

Nonetheless, to all of you out there: happy 2019, may your dreams come true!

Kabutomushi are awesome

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

In Japan, there is a famous and well-loved beetle called カブト虫 (kabutomushi), which goes by the common name of Japanese rhinoceros beetle.

Anyway, here’s the wikipedia link to it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_rhinoceros_beetle

You might have seen pictures and if you watch anime, you will probably have heard of them. However, these things are huge. Check this out:

(No banana for scale but an adult’s hand)

They’re completely harmless but it scratches slightly when they hold on tight due to the slightly hooked ends of their legs.

They can be kept as pets although they don’t live very long. Since they’re mostly active at night they will sleep during the day. They eat jelly and fruits e.g. pieces of apples and watermelons.

For some reasons, they will invariably fight an other species of beetle called クワガタ (kuwagata) when their paths cross.

The above picture was taken at a exhibition on beetles in Shinjuku.

Can’t unsee it…

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

every time I walk by…

reminds me of this:

(shamelessly stolen from https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/en.futurama/images/9/96/Futurama_roberto.png/revision/latest?cb=20110619182621 )

The pain of moving…

Monday, December 4th, 2017

across continents. Moving to another continent at the end of the month and besides being scared shitless, there’s so much to do when you need to clean out your apartment. So much to throw away…. because there is so much that accrues over time. I found old guitar cables, not used for 15 years. They definitely need to go. And since I’m boarding the plane with just three pieces of luggage, I can’t afford to bring almost anything. Shipping is quite costly.

But then again, so much memories are buried in all that stuff.

Finally a good tracks layout…

Friday, August 25th, 2017

The Tomy tracks are a great toy. Not only for kids, also for parents and grandparents. And with all the available parts you can create some really astonishing layouts.

One of the properties of a well-planned layout is the direction in which the trains can run. Sometimes accidentally and sometimes on purpose, tracks limit trains running in just one direction.

This one is not and it uses all the special tracks parts that we have at the moment: crossroads, switches, the bridge:

If this doesn’t sound like much too you, try building some tracks for yourself and you’ll be surprised.

Is what I’m doing really alright?

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Sometimes I get a bit thoughtful and slightly depressed. There is so much going on in this world and without doubt I’m engaging in many activities as well.

But should I? Is it really ok to spend time, again, not with my family? Shouldn’t I be with him? Does it matter as long he is still very young?

See the previous post… preparing for that test took a lot of time although I spent many hours reading late in the night and tried to keep time away from the family to a minimum. Those were difficult three years. My resolution is not to let that happen again, at least not in those dimensions.

But then again, the business world seems to be turning faster and faster and keeping necessarily ends in concessions. With personal changes looming I wonder to what degree my environment will accept my resolution to put the family first.

Then again, I want him to proud of me once he is old enough to understand what that means. I want his eyes to light up when he says “my dad…”. I’ve chosen my path partly based on such considerations but as the future is hard to predict he might not necessarily share my interests, neither in profession nor in hobbies. But that’s alright – he is a different human being and should have his own interests. I just hope he will be able to see through different genres and recognize the effort I made to become what I became.

As for the future… nobody knows for sure what will happen. Plenty of people have ideas and expectations but that means exactly nada. Might as well pursue the path I’ve embarked on and pull it through to the end.

Already cold outside? Let’s go diving!

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Yes, you read that correctly!
It might be slightly nippy but that’s no reason at all to hang up the ol’ diving suit and wait for summer.
Do as I do and get yourself a Waterproof D9 breathable (http://waterproof.eu/en/products/drysuits/d9-breathable/) and the Waterproof Dry Glove set (http://waterproof.eu/en/products/accessories/drysuit-accessories/ultima/) and the cold will not be a problem anymore.
I’ve gone diving almost every week in November and December (and the previous months but the temperatures really started dropping in November) and I haven’t had any problems.
In 30m depth, it’s cold anyway, so why not make the best of it.