Category Archives: Life and Stuff

Growing into Uniforms and Placement

Note: Been in the oddly busy part of the end of break and that means I guess I decided that Friday was a hiatus.

The only exciting thing that’s happened recently is our youngest started 7th grade today.

This involved her, after all these years, finally getting a uniform and being more obviously segregated by gender.

They marched in with girls on the left and boys on the right.

There was the usual round of introductions in which every new student (71 in total) was introduced by name. There was some excitement as a student in a higher grade fainted or had an epileptic seizure and was escorted out.

Eventually, our youngest gave a speech on behalf of her class of new students. I still do not understand how she was chosen to do this, but she rocked. The speech was good and she read it like an old pro. She has clearly inherited speech-making genes from both me and She Who Must Be Obeyed, who also has been known to make impressive speeches.

Eventually the students left and we parents suddenly found ourselves being held hostage. It is tradition to observe the first homeroom, which was happening as we sat there. However we were assured we couldn’t get to the homerooms before they ended unless five people volunteered to serve on the PTA. As I was holding down SWMBO’s hands she couldn’t volunteer.

Eventually volunteers were drafted and we got to see the homeroom and run home.

I ended up having to go to work, but that ‘s a story for another day.

Back and Back to Normalish

The girls survived their trip to and from Niigata. They brought back the usual baggage, though.

This means that within one day we’ve already had arguments, a surprise latish night, and serious questions about the food I ate whilst they were gone. I’ve also been criticized for not eating something that 1) I didn’t know I was supposed to eat and 2) was buried under stuff where I couldn’t see it.

That said, it’s good to have them back and in one piece.

Now it’s time to settle in to something resembling normal and start thinking about the start of the school year, which may suddenly be more complicated than I’d hoped.

More on that in a future post. (Along with possible job hunting.)

Missed it By That Much

Missed a day thanks to a game. My intentions were good but my actions, well.

Before writing yesterday’s post I decided to play a few rounds of a game. I ended up teaming up with an old friend and that meant I played longer than I’d planned.

At 4:00 a.m. I decided it was time to get to bed as today is technically a work day (aka House Arrest.) At least it’s supposed to be. More on that in a future, possibly angry post.

I was mostly pleased to see that I could still pull an all-nighter and be reasonably functional the next day.

However, I opted for a few hours sleep rather than writing a post.

Now it may be time to play again, but She Who Must Be Obeyed and the girls are returning tomorrow. I don’t have to be coherent or awake, but I do have some cleaning to do.

 

Reversing the Polarity of the Normal Flow

Lately I’ve been reverting to university summer time. Either that or I’ve become a vampire.

Because it’s a holiday/house arrest time, I’ve been staying up later and getting up later. This is something I haven’t done much since summer time during university. In those days, I’d invert time to the point I was staying up all night and sleeping a good portion of the day.

This doesn’t help me remember what day it is but eventually I get up and do the “work” required of my house arrest.

The funny part is, I’m actually doing actual work as I’ve foolishly decided to change things next year. Sigh. Perhaps it’s not too late to change my mind.

The Blather and the Tears

Our youngest graduated from elementary school today in a ceremony that was kind of mixed.

First, in order to reduce crowd size, there is a farewell ceremony for the sixth graders with all the first through fourth grade classes. The lower classmen were then sent home and only the fifth grade and the graduating class remained. (Note: She Who Must Be Obeyed and I accidentally crashed the farewell for the lower classmen. Long story.)

This means that not only did all the parents of graduating students get seats, there were also a lot of good seats to be had.

However, after that things get kind of odd.

The entire ceremony took two hours which, I’m pretty sure, is longer than both my high school and university graduations. In both of those cases the goal was 1) give me the damned diploma and 2) where’s the beer? (Note: I was technically of drinking age when I graduated high school although I wasn’t when I got to university. Another long story.)

What made the sixth grade graduation go on so long was the 50 minutes of speeches from various adults. Diploma presentation for 60 students took 25 minutes. Speeches a bit longer.

There was also a 15 minute section where all the 30+ VIPs (a few of whom gave the long speeches) were introduced individually.

After that was a final performance that took 30 minutes and tested my arm strength (as I was running the video camera). The sixth grade gave a speech that involved each student speaking part of the speech and, occasionally, all of them speaking in unison. That was followed by a song and the fifth graders repeating the process. This was all kind of cool and lots of people cried.

After that, the graduates marched out and I got to escape. She Who Must Be Obeyed remained behind.

What Day Through Yonder Window Breaks?

It’s only day three of the break between school years and I’m already not sure what day it is.

I managed to get myself to the speech contest on Saturday but since then I’ve had no place to be and little of importance to do. This means it’s easy to sit back and do little and have a very good time doing it.

On occasion I’ve listed things I want to sell and even dusted off old camera gear to take some pictures of the gear but other than that, I’ve done little else that required me to know what day it is.

That will change soon when I once again am “responsible” for “work” as required by the company for which I work.

I’ll be annoyed, but at least I’ll know what day it is. Probably.

Out and About

Spent the day doing nothing. Spent the evening with old friends. Because of that, this post will be only filler. (I may throw out an extra on Saturday, if I can only be bothered.)

The last time this friend was here I was working hither and thither and we couldn’t arrange a meeting. This means we haven’t seen each other for 14 years. We met a thousand years ago in the last millennium. (1999, which was in the last millennium, which was 1,000 years ago. More or less.)

A lot has changed during that time, including spouses and the number of children. She’s met our oldest but our youngest didn’t exist. Also, my hair didn’t look as gray back then because the lighting was better back then. (Yes, my hair isn’t turning white; it’s just bad lighting. No. Really. There’s bad lighting everywhere. It follows me. Something like that.)

Hopefully we won’t have to wait 14 years for the next meeting.

 

Pens and Blades and Other Distractions

I had a few things planned but then I got a free pen and that led me to play with knives.

Because I took a survey, I scored a fee pen from a maker I’ve written about before. I inked it up and played with it a bit but won’t review it yet. (Initial Impressions: Where it’s good it’s very good, but where it’s bad it’s horrid. Also, one thing that looks horrid actually works pretty well.)

One of the problems with it was the aluminum cap didn’t work well with the delrin threads. Because of this I had to apply some silicone grease to make things move smoothly.

Oddly, this made me think I needed to do maintenance on a few knives.

I broke out three of my knives and with two all I did was clean them up and apply a bit of lube. The cheaper one I actually disassembled, cleaned, and lubed I then attempted to put it all back together. This all took longer than I expected as things neither came apart nor went back together smoothly or quickly. It all works now, but it’s cheap enough that it will eventually fall apart. I mostly bought it as something to take apart and tinker with.

Tomorrow I’ll have other things planned. I wonder what I’ll end up doing instead.

Once More With Caution

The guy I wanted was there, but he’d just finished another guy so I ended up with a woman.

This actually ended okay.

A couple weeks ago I got a haircut at my usual place and a woman who’d cut my hair before was in a mood to ignore almost every instruction I gave. The result was a decent hair cut that was much longer than I wanted. This wouldn’t have bothered me that much except they guy who’d cut my hair before had done a great job and she hadn’t.

Today, just over two weeks later, my hair was already starting to look shaggy and since I was in the area I decided to stop by and see if the guy was there. If he wasn’t, I was going to walk past and try again another day.

Luckily he was there and appeared to be finishing with a client. I walked in and was immediately redirected to a woman who walked out of the back room.

This woman had cut my hair a while ago and, as is the tendency of the women in the shop, she’d left it kind of long.

However, this time she seemed to understand what I wanted and did a surprisingly good job.

I kind of wish the other woman had been there, though, so I could show her what to do next time.

Piled Higher and Deeper

Every couple of years we need a snow shovel. This is why we don’t actually own a show shovel. This gives us a lot in common with our town government.

This past Monday the Japanese government finally flipped the winter switch (no, really, they have one, look it up) and we got 10.6 inches (27 cm) of snow.

In order to get work, I was volunteered to warm up and clean snow off the car. This meant I would have to shovel snow for the first time in a millennium. In fact, if I remember correctly, the last time I had to shovel snow was during the George H. W. Bush administration. (That was in the last millennium, which was a thousand years ago. Do the math.)

I had to shovel this time, though, with a folded cardboard box.

The first thing that impressed me was that the snow was terrific. It was a perfect skiing powder. Not too fluffy and not too sticky. It’s the kind of snow that rarely falls on Japanese ski slopes and it made we want to take my bad knees skiing. This also made the snow easy to clear, although my neighbors seemed to struggle.

One kid, who had an actual shovel, was clearing snow as if he didn’t want to do it or didn’t know what to do. He was chipping away and bits of ice, but was avoiding the worst patches of snow. I almost offered to take the shovel away from him as I was faster with the folded cardboard.

I cleared the snow off our car and from in front of our car; then I cleared the spaces in front of a couple neighbors’ cars. After that, I just sort of walked around enjoying the cool air and the snow.

Luckily, whilst I was clearing snow to go to work, I got the notice that work had been cancelled.

Of course, because we only get a snowpocalypse every couple of years, our town government doesn’t have any snow removal equipment. This makes our car clearer than the roads it will be driving on.