Monthly Archives: July 2009

Published on the Go


I just came across the WordPress for Blackberry application and thought I’d install and give it a try!

Here’s a picture of Doraemon sitting on my desk. 🙂

Sights & Sounds

Rice field art

I came across this a few days back and thought it was incredibly neat.  There are already a number of articles around the web on this though, so I’ll keep it brief.

The images below are what happens when rice farmers get creative.  By mixing various types of rice (depending on their color) and laying it out in a pattern of their own design, they are able to create “living art”; a field of rice that gradually forms itself into a beautifully precise image as the plants grow.

I find it amazing that, despite the back-breaking work involved in simply sowing, maintaining, and harvesting acres and acres of land, farmers still find in themselves the creativity to do something like this.

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For more images, click HERE.



Just a few pictures of a pretty sunset view from outside my apartment.  My balcony faces east, so I get a lot of light in the morning.  Sunset happens from the side where the entrance to my place is, and since I’m 5 stories up, I sometimes get a nice view when I come home from early shifts. 🙂

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My books!

I don’t think I’ve posted these before, so here are a few shots of where I’m keeping my books now!  (plus a sofa that I got for surprisingly cheap online – though it turned out to be WAY smaller than I had thought it would be).  The bookshelves were fun to put together – they’re actually “expandable”, so if I were to ever move to another place with higher ceilings, I could make them taller, adding at least 1 more row.

I love books. 🙂

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Minami-Senju Matsuri

I know this is pretty old (the Matsuri actually happened in early June!) but thought the pics would be interesting to share.  I was woken up one morning by the sounds of voices shouting, whistles blowing, and drums a-banging – all of this happening right outside my balcony.  I grabbed my camera and stepped out to take the following pictures.  When I left my place later in the morning, the matsuri parade was still going strong – I passed them at the main street and snuck a couple more shots.

One interesting thing I noticed was that the people carrying the portable shrine would occasionally pause in front of select locations and then proceed to tilt the shrine back and forth several times.  I wish I knew what the significance of that was as it was the first time I’d seen that.  You’ll see what I mean if you take a look at the pictures towards the end.

It was fun to watch, but I’m just glad that such events are fairly infrequent as they can get very (enthusiastically) noisy! 😛

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Piano cat

I know the cat is not really playing, but he/she’s cute – and remarkably relaxed!  Mom pointed me to this, courtesy of Woot! 🙂


I ain’t sleeping on the floor no mo’!

It’s already been a couple of weeks now, but I forgot to post pics of my bed!  For a month and a half after I moved, I was sleeping on the tatami floor – not even a futon! (which I really need to get so that friends can stay over comfortably).  But, I finally got myself a bed!

To be honest, I was a little surprised that it arrived in pieces.   For some reason, I had expected that the delivery people would help put it together, but no – they brought in the boxes, asked me to sign, and poof were gone~

Putting it together was a fun experience though – I have to say I do like hands-on work. 🙂

The images are below, though I have yet to get a mattress pad!

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Experiences News

Eclipse follow-up

A couple of posts back I wrote about the upcoming eclipse.  However, for most of us living in Tokyo, it was pretty much a no-show.  With the clouds and near-constant drizzle obscuring the sky, there sadly wasn’t much to see.  I even got out of the train a few stops before my usual station so that I could take a look at the sky at 09:55, but I couldn’t even tell an eclipse was happening.  All in all, very disappointing. 🙁

However, thanks to the internet, we do have some pretty cool footage already available and here’s one of the best ones I’ve found so far:

Finally, here’s a link to an aggregate of eclipse pictures – some of which are simply amazing.



I know my blogging has been sporadic lately, but it’s just been a combination of too much going on, or following the busy periods, plain old weariness with no enthusiasm for coming back home to sit in front of a computer again.

Put another way, I haven’t been utterly sluggish – I just haven’t been writing.  🙂

For example, last Monday (which was a national holiday, making it a blissfully long weekend) I did some gardening!  Actually, I did a mix of carpentry and gardening.  A friend of mine (Josh) had visited my place and though there’s not much to do (I am thinking of grabbing a Wii at some point so that friends who come over can have some fun) he saw the little “shelf/stand” that I had started creating the night before.

I have a balcony at my new place and from the beginning I’ve been planning on growing some flowers, herbs, and vegetables in planters out there.  One of the spots I wanted to use was the top of the A/C unit since that was really just “wasted” space.  I bought some planks of wood at Tokyu Hands to form a sort of stand over the A/C so that I could place some pots there.  The night before Josh came I had been sawing the wood to the length I needed, but I stopped short of hammering the pieces together since I didn’t want neighbors to start yelling. :p

When Josh came by the next day, he saw the wood parts and offered to help both with that and the planting since he’s had experience with both in the US.  The shelf took about 15 minutes to complete (Josh made a couple of suggestions to strengthen the design of my original plan) and I soon had a serviceable spot where I could set a number of pots.

With that done, we both started filling up the various pots with dirt.  Ultimately we set up 1 pot of lemongrass (supposedly really hard to grow so if it fails I may look into getting an actual pre-potted plant instead of trying to grow from scratch), 1 small pot of basil, 1 small pot of mint, 1 pot of spinach, 1 pot of salad/lettuce, 1 pot of jasmine, and 1 pot of moonflower.  Oh, and I’ve got an avocado seed in a glass of water as well as a couple of ylang-ylang seeds in a dirt-filled plastic baggie on my window sill. 🙂

(and that’s not all I plan on planting!)

It’s amazing, but as of last night (a mere 2 days later) the salad, spinach, and basil are already sprouting!  I’m actually a little concerned about the lettuce because I didn’t plant the seeds one by one but rather sprinkled them (fairly generously too) in the soil – and it looks like ALL the lettuce seeds are sprouting!!  If they all grow, I’ll have to consider transplanting them into a couple more pots at some point…

Another worry is that if all this lettuce grows, it’s going to be too much for me to eat!!

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