Category Archives: Life and Stuff

One Little Piece at a Time

I was worried our youngest might learn some new words, but in the end, things turned our much simpler than I thought they would.

I mentioned before how my headphones and video card all died on the same day. Via the magic of the internet, and a part of a day spent not marking, I managed to find a part that seemed to fit my ancient, in computer/dog years, PC and didn’t cost more than a replacement computer. I also found easy to follow instructions for installing it.

This means, of course, that I was expecting problems.

The part arrived and I warned our youngest not to listen to anything I was about to say, especially if I sounded angry. However, I was able to get things up and running surprisingly quickly and without any swearing.

I was also informed that I’d be getting a replacement set of headphones. Eventually.

This means all technical difficulties are more or less solved (except for a couple other parts that need replacing).

Then there’s the problem of the dead fly in the cheese. More on that in a future post.

When the Time Cometh It Pours

If i could summarize today with one word it would be:


Actually, the real word would involve a lot more profanity but that scream/thunderclap will have to do.

First, my headphones died. Well, actually the left earbud died, which wouldn’t bother me except they were less than three months old. This means the game of “replace them, damn you” email tag with the manufacturer and seller has begun.

Oh, and I also have final exams to mark which means I don’t have much time to play tag.

That would be annoying enough, except the graphics card in my desktop PC also decided it was time to die today. This puts me in that annoying state where I have to decide to upgrade parts or buy an entirely new computer. That leads to the decision of whether to pay up for a domestic computer, after a painful hunt to find an English langauge system, or import a computer from the USA.

I’ll decide tomorrow after I do some parts hunting at nearby electronics stores. I suspect there will be more swearing involved at some point.


Another Year Mercifully Gone By

Well, that was another one I’m glad is now days gone by.

I’ve mentioned before, although I can’t find the post to like to it, that the one year of my life I wouldn’t want to repeat was when I was twenty. I was in a bad mood that alternated between cranky and dazed and then all of a sudden one day I was 21 and the spell seemed to break.

Now I have to add age fifty to the years I don’t want to repeat.

Lots of stuff happened this year that caused lots of extra stress. There were deaths and illnesses and lots of extra crap from work.

There were also pressures from extended family, mostly as a result of illness and injury and that has muddled things up on this side of the island as such things stress out She Who Must Be Obeyed.

As for writing, except for this bit of blather, I’ve been in a bad mood that alternates between dazed and lazy. I’ve asked friends to read things, sent them manuscripts, and then gotten no response at all (I’m zero for three now). That has me feeling down and has Kimberly laughing and saying she told me so. Unfinished projects seem to abound and I’m stuck about what to work on first.

There are a lot of decisions that keep getting put off.

That said, I got through October better off than normal. I haven’t been productive, but I’m finally getting ink inventory out of the house which has picked up my mood some.

Now we’ll see what fifty-one is like.


What is Important For Thee is Not For Me

A couple of weeks ago the Tokyo area got hit by Typhoon 21. (It had a name, but Japan doesn’t care.) As a result of the storm, a few people died and our local government has been heavily criticized.

They responded by giving people what they wanted, albeitĀ  a bit too late.

Although we live near a flood control reservoir, it is clear that just down the hill form us is a bad place to be in a flood. Although we’ve talked about buying a house, I’ve insisted that it be up hill and not down near the “bank” or flood control reservoir.

Part of the flood. If you look at the back center, you can see the flood control reservoir bank.

After Typhoon 21, the areas near the schools (which are, ironically, evacuation centers) were under a couple feet of water. Near our youngest’s elementary school, people were being rescued by boats.

Just outside the parking lot of our apartment complex.

Just a hundred meters or so from our apartment.

Almost immediately, the local government came under fire for not issuing an evacuation order. Although the closest evacuation centers were under water, there are several others on higher ground.

The local government’s defense was “We were busy counting votes. You know, democracy and crap like that.” (Something like that.)

The storm, rather rudely, chose to strike during the official voting day of a national election. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed braved the weather to vote.

Because of this, the local government felt that counting votes was more important to the electorate than actually saving their lives and were too busy to issue an evacuation order.

Since then, there has been a lot of bowing and apologizing and at least two meetings with the public to explain “but votes!”.

Then, last Sunday, Typhoon 22 hit the Tokyo area. Almost before the rain had started, the local big voice speakers started wailing and our smartphones started beeping that we should get the hell out if we didn’t want to f@#king die. “Here’s your f@#king evacuation warning right here, just like you wanted it, good and hard.”

In the end we didn’t get any flooding–in fact the storm bypassed us–but no one could complain we didn’t get any warning we were about to die. Even if the warning scared people to death.


Back Home Again

As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. The storm passed us and we got the warm, muggy, clear weather that follows a storm.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and our youngest made it back with no problems, although they did encounter some rain.

The rain before had messed up her reason for going: rice harvest. Now a group of cousins are being dragged out of retirement to help with harvest and we’ll probably have new rice in a couple weeks.

Our oldest also made it back from school on time, although there was some confusion about whether or not she needed lunch:

Me: When are you coming back today?
Her: ——————
Me: Do you need lunch today?
Her: ——————
(door slams)
Me: (shouting out window) Do you need lunch today?
Her: ——————

It turned out she did need lunch, but she arrived home after I ate so I sent her on a mission to buy a lunch at a convenience store.

Then, I tried to teach her how to answer questions.


Yet Another Place Keeper

Today, oddly, had it all but I didn’t actually do much.

She Who Must Be Obeyed went to the in-laws for the three-day weekend whilst out oldest and I continue to go about our daily business. For me that involved doing shockingly little.

This meant there were some “see you laters” and I settled in to do nothing. Sometime during doing nothing I got my migraine spot which led to medicine and a nap.

The nap led to, well, nothing.


Daze of Rest

Taking today off, except for a place/habit keeper.

The only interesting thing was that I forgot to finish using the notebook I was planning on reviewing. I’ve been using it as part of a morning routine (more on that in a future post) but because it’s the weekend, I completely forgot to use up the last page.

Yeah, I could have done the review anyway, but I’m weird that way. (More on that in a future post, too.)


Lines and Lines and Prizes

I almost won a prize today but changed chairs because I was too lazy to run the video camera.

Today was our oldest’s culture festival. Because her band club had failed to progress in the national contest they were going to perform today. (Note: last year they’d progressed in the contest and didn’t perform on culture day.)

Because it was our oldest’s second culture day, I couldn’t be bothered to go for more than her performance. However, once I arrived, I was made to stand in line for cookies. The school’s baking club sold cookies and chocolate chip scones twice each day. By the time I got to the school, She Who Must Be Obeyed and our youngest had been in line for 20 minutes.

After cookies and scones were acquired, I went to save a place in line for the band performance. I ended up in line for 20 minutes and managed to find the good seats where we’d actually be able to see our oldest.

However, because I wanted to watch the performance live rather than through a video camera screen I changed seats with SWMBO.

Our oldest had a nice flute solo and at the end of the show the band gave away prizes. Certain chairs in the audience had anime characters taped to them. If your character was called you won. The winners got a bag of goods and and interview. As it turned out, the seat I’d traded was labeled and was called. SWMBO won a small bag of sweets and praised the flute section.

I think it would have been funny if I’d stayed in the chair and won. The interview would have been funny as the band members panicked.

Thoughts After the Bar

We took our youngest to a bar tonight because our oldest was out with her friends and doesn’t understand English or Japanese for “Get home early, we want to go out”. (Long story.)

This means She Who Must Be Obeyed finally got some beer tonight. However, although we had fun, it wasn’t as good as she was hoping.

We went to a local izakaya called “Yakitori Big” which features a good selection of things on skewers and a decent selection of alcohol flavored beverages.

The beer was fairly watery, which disappointed SWMBO, but the food was good. I started with watery beer, then ran through a selection of drinks, finally settling on sake which turns out to be the best deal for the money.

Our youngest had soft drinks, of course, but we got her to try gizzards, hearts, and tongue. (She was unimpressed with the first and last; tolerant of the second.)

Hopefully next spring we can make plans for the Spring Craft Beer Festival. If we start planning now, we might be able to pull it off.

Cold Beer Festival

She Who Must Be Obeyed has been in the mood for beer. She even managed to discover that the Autumn beer festival had been moved to this weekend.

We (her, actually) made plans to attend the festival. Friday night, though, was thwarted by cold rain.

Today our plan was to go to the festival in the evening or, if the weather was bad, got to a nearby izakaya for less crafty beer.

Although the weather was gorgeous (eventually) it remained cool enough that beer was suddenly off the table.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer and plans have been made for tomorrow. However, the plan depend on our oldest being dependably on time.

I’m not holding my breath. We may just have to go to a grocery store and buy some beer.