chronovore: (sweater)
Noticed last night that one of the lights is out in the kitchen, so today I removed it, took it to the store for a match, and bought a new one. I had the clerk recycle the old fluorescent bulb.
I got home, plugged the new one in, turned on the row, and it turns out I've replaced a working bulb.
chronovore: (sweater)
I gave up and put on the air conditioner today, when a waterfall of sweat was running off my arms despite sitting directly in front of a fan.

This country is trying to kill me. 
chronovore: (sweater)
The weather today is pretty great; I mean, it's grey as all get-out, and it's threatening to rain until sundown if the weather reports are to be believed, but right now there's no rain and the breeze is making me pretty happy to be alive and working from home next to an open window and screen door looking out on the deck and yard.

I'm putting in a little time each day into a couple things which are important to me. I'm either working out, learning Japanese, drawing, or training myself up in skills which other people have lately needed from me. The phrasing in that last part is pretty intentional; the database work I'm doing, I'm interested in but not really passionately pursuing.

The customer who wants the DB work done also wants it put on the web, as FileMaker has a web-ready feature which will theoretically allow me to post the Solution (front end + DB) on a web server and it'll "just work." I'm not convinced of that, but I'm hopeful that it won't be horribly painful. In the meantime I'm brushing up slowly on web skills I've let atrophy since 1999, which essentially means re-learning everything except "web sites are just a bunch of files on a server." Apparently the tools are all heaps better now, which is nice.

Crap, spent too much time dallying. I'm going to jump into work, but it's worth noting that the sun is out now, the breeze is still here, and the weather doesn't really get any better than this in ANY season. WOooooo~!
chronovore: (Default)
Last night, as I was climbing into bed just after midnight, I heard a shrill noise coming from at least two of my walls. The racket was pretty subdued inside my house, which has double-paned everything and substantial insulation, so I was surprised to hear much of anything. It soon proved to be coming from outside; my first thought was that my neighbors' heater fan had hit some kind of resonant frequency with our own, or something which would provide that kind of high-pitched feedback. I opened the windows, and it seemed at once to more clearly be some kind of constant alarm bell.

I went downstairs, my wife confirmed that it had only just started, so I went outside to look. There is one small apartment complex on our block, which is otherwise single-family residences -- typical houses. The apartment has a lot of turnover, so no-one really knows anyone in it. Like most Japanese apartments, it has a foyer with a locked front door, and an intercom from which people can buzzed in.

The buzzer was stuck on "open." I tried the door, it swung open. I tried to manually reset the deadbolt: no luck. I tried pulling the door shut to realign whatever mechanical or magnetic lock might tell the thing that the door had opened and closed: nope.

Rrrrrrrrrring.

I went back inside and told my wife about everything I tried. She said, "So someone might have forced it open?" I guess...  "So it could have been some kind of bad guy?" I... hadn't really thought about that. Hm. I don't know what to do. You can't sleep with this, can you? "Sure, I can." So it was off to earplug land for me.

As I lay in bed trying to find how to get away to get sweet slumber to enshroud me in its purple cloak, I instead saw a bouncing light shining around my room from the window. I hopped up to see some sort of local Barney Fife running down the street with a flashlight, trying to find the source of the sound. Later, there were police cars. I'm still not sure what happened.

wtf?

Dec. 1st, 2009 06:48 pm
chronovore: (furious)
DECEMBER? Already?
chronovore: (Default)
Interesting weekend for me: even with the wife away on a business trip, the kids were both largely angelic... but I worked hard to make it easy for them. Saturday I made breakfast for them; the boy loves pancakes and maple syrup (the real stuff) but at some point the girl decided the smell of them makes her nauseous. In the afternoon I took them and their cousin to a children's art show where they built a giant cardboard fort while I looked at a bunch of kids' work on the walls. We had an early dinner and then attended karate for two hours.

During that Saturday I managed to chalk up a number of injuries; I nearly fell down the steps again while trying to close a window on the landing. Pulling rice out of the microwave, a jet of steam opened up on one finger and gave me a searing jolt. Then I went to karate and hurried into a very bad backward roll; managed to conk my own head as well as put my 94kg weight onto my neck. Then one of my favorite black belts gave me a 10 minute clinic on resisting his joint locks, which mostly turned out to be ways to make me squeak like a bagpipe.

Everyone slept pretty well that night, though I was still paranoid about mosquitoes after that other incident.

Sunday morning, the girl rose earlier than the rest of us and helped the neighborhood kids gather and centralize newspapers for recycling. As a reward, she was able bring one of her friends over for the afternoon and play. In the evening my mom-in-law took all of us to a hotspring for a soak and dinner. This spring is about 30 minutes drive into the mountains, and has air that is more cool and clear than near our home; soaking in the outdoor tubs is something I could do for hours. Dinner was great; I had a smörgåsbord of various pickles and a little grilled fish, as well as some spicy tebasaki and some cool nihonshuu served from a chilled shoot of bamboo. Lovely. It was a great way to get all of us recharged for the week ahead of us. Only a few more days until I get my wife back.

(And in the "this cannot possibly fail" category, I'm thinking of making a hard rock band with costumes made out of steak and ribs and calling it MEATALLICA.)

bugs

Sep. 26th, 2009 03:11 am
chronovore: (mouthy)
So it's 03:15, and I've spent the last 2.5 hrs. hunting what turned out to be four blood-filled mosquitoes. They were lucky, then they were really unlucky. If they'd just snack and be on their way, it wouldn't be so bad, but even engorged they'll keep buzzing and biting. I've got four new bites, and the boy has at least two. The girl sleeps under a mosquito net because she's a princess (and smarter than I am). So. Yes. I'm tired; I'm tired to the point where it feels like nausea. But I hunted them all down (knock wood) and made several bloody stains on the wallpaper and my hands.

We had the housecleaner dust all the window screens today. Silly me, I turned off all the lights then opened all the windows when we went to bed, and didn't even think to check if the screens were solidly shut. As it turns out the biggest window had the screen entirely on the wrong half of the window -screens slide here, and I forgot that- so the window was entirely open for an hour or so. Hence the parade of sleep-stealing bloodsuckers. DESTROY.

COFFEE!

Sep. 24th, 2009 11:23 am
chronovore: (furious)
Peet's Major Dickason's Blend: OM-f'ing-G this is good coffee. First sip shot my eyebrows back with such force that my hairline has receded further.
chronovore: (Default)
The wife and I have a tendency to forget our own wedding anniversary. We think it's kind of cute that neither one of us is interested in "marking chalk lines on the prison walls." (I kid. It's love.) The other day I showed her a wedding picture which I'd not looked closely at in a while, and mentioned how it made me feel unusually old. She looked at herself and said, "Yes, wow, I look so young. When was this, 20 years ago?!"I said, "Um... it's our wedding day.  So it's been 12 years. You remember at least that we've not been married 20 years, right?"

We're not big on keeping close track. Or math.

Still, some anniversaries should not be passed without recognition, but I've managed just that, again: As of this week, I've been in Japan for 8 years.
Read more... )

kiai irete

Jun. 29th, 2009 02:37 pm
chronovore: (mouthy)
Well, karate kicked my ass again this week. Everything went a lot better than the previous week, except for two things. Two arguably critical things. Last week I bashed my forearms against other guys' forearms until they were swelling and bruised. This week I did that too, but it wasn't as bad as my technique has returned/improved a little bit.

The two parts that got me were (1) a simple jumping exercise, leaping over a rope and landing on one leg. Flinging myself one leg at-at-time over a rope is not a good idea at 94kg; I tweaked my lower back on the right side. Worse was (2) going in for a strike/counter drill where the defender sweeps my right arm down, away, and then up behind my back while guiding my head down, forcing a single-arm roll. Only, I really don't remember how do do single-arm rolls, and I ended up putting the aforementioned 94kg into my left shoulder in a sloppy roll.

It hurts badly enough that it's waking me up, preventing me from sleeping easily. I'm a little punchy now, after Saturday and Sunday nights were spent not-sleeping. Tried to get to the chiropractor today but I arrived at 08:33 and would have had to wait two hours to have it seen to. I'm going to find a new chiro office, because my current one's popularity with all the local senior citizens prevents it from ever, EVER being a convenient visit.

I'll practice my rolls and such more frequently before the next class. Both kids are enjoying it, but maybe feel a little overwhelmed. Honestly, this lesson is loads more casual than the dojo I started off with when I was 12. Still, 2 hours is a long time for a kid to concentrate on anything.
chronovore: (mouthy)
We are definitely in a change-of-seasons here in Osaka. Yesterday was gorgeous clear skies, and warm. Today is not chill enough to explain the uniformly grey skies, the drizzly rain.

This morning was the first so far this year where sleeping under a single blanket had me waking up in a light sweat at 06:30. Man, I hate summers here, and it's just going to get more rough over the following 5 months. I need to mop up the remaining days of spring with an intense appreciate for their attempt at mildness.
chronovore: (mouthy)
Yesterday I took the day off because jetlag, allergies, and an impending cold were overlapping. Today the jetlag's done, but the cold has progressed to a mild sinus infection with headaches, and my allergies are worse. Woke up with my eyes gummed shut. Fuck it all.

monday

Feb. 23rd, 2009 01:13 pm
chronovore: (Default)
It's Monday, the sky outside is gray and drizzling rain. It would be a fair comparison to the Pacific Northwest, except that there's no nearby hills to provide the contrast of lush green, only a bunch of drab concrete and tile-sided buildings.

On Friday it rained as well, but there was also a bright patch of blue extending across the view from the product development side of the building, which produced a very welcome, very distracting rainbow which appeared to reach from an apartment complex on the right hand side to an elevated freeway on the left. It was so beautiful, and uncommon here. I don't expect that another one will show up today, but the memory of Friday's is helping me push through the depressingly bad weather this morning.

hair

Feb. 4th, 2009 01:31 pm
chronovore: (furious)
Two of my least favorite things about getting older may be connected. My hairline is thinning out, and I am getting new hair growing in my ear. Clearly those strands from my hairline have become lost. Or bored, and have begun wandering around.

rawk out !

Dec. 18th, 2008 01:22 pm
chronovore: (OMFG)
After months of scraping together 2,000 and 7,000 fans, and occasional epic sessions resulting in 30~40,000 fan increases in Rock Band (1) at Medium, then Hard difficulty, today at lunch we cleared 1,000,000 fans and the resulting in-game Achievement. Immediately afterward we tried a make-a-2-song set on Expert and gained an additional 51,000+ fans. We should have been playing Expert sooner...
chronovore: (Default)
This morning I went to the chiropractor/physical therapist, who worked on my shoulder injury as well as "making adjustments to the human spine" particularly in my neck and between my shoulderblades. When I receive treatment, I come out of there feeling better, but what's weird is I feel like my vision has improved. I can see things more clearly, and further away.

Is this just my imagination, or does releasing tension in the spine free up my eyes to focus more efficiently?
chronovore: (OMFG)
I have chills all over my arms and back. I am so electrifyingly happy right now; I no longer have to believe that most Americans are idiots, that we fear change, and that we would rather ride a sinking ship than try and swim for safety. My heart is racing.

I honestly feared, after Gore giving up so easily after the first Bush win, that any election could be stolen. With another Bush election in 2004, that Americans were so afraid of change that they'd re-elect the very man that had given them the ill-advised war in which we were entrenched. What would it take to bring change?

Obama is a human being, and he's coming into a very difficult presidency, but I believe that HE believes in what's best in all Americans, and he will help us raise ourselves to become what we are capable of becoming.

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