Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Some orange and black in honor of the day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scintillating Conversation

I adore my coworkers, even though they sometimes smell as weird as they look. They're smart, funny and endearingly geeky. We talk about all sorts of things. Today we were learning about transparent alumina and sintered ceramics. Even the most serious conversation has lighthearted bits and generally the dialogue is pretty damn funny. There is nothing like getting a bunch of engineering-minded know-it-alls with a propensity towards twisted humor (and pseudologic) together. Unfortunately, most of the humor is of the "you had to be there sort" but yesterday's topics included:

Benri is composed of parts made in China and assembled in the USA.

Cockroaches came before dinosaurs but we're still working on the chicken/egg thing.

It is better to be pissed off than pissed on but there's money to be made from both situations.

An airplane on a giant treadmill still can take off, duh.

We are yet undecided about quantum crystalline versus adamantium in terms of overall strength. It might be apples and oranges, but at the very least, it's two different universes.

Darth Vader would probably win a fight with Superman (we worked through several scenarios).

The Borg could most likely assimilate a virus but based on the episode with the cycling phaser frequencies, a couple of Borg would have to be infected/die first. One really interesting thing - everyone responded to the question by first asking "What's the virus' payload?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blog Flog

Amish Ninja finally updated his blog.
To my "numerous" readers (ah, ha ha ha ha) go leave him a comment, wouldja? He was totally like "I want comments on my blog, waaaaaaaaaaaaah" at the office, while SOME of us were trying to do WORK.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mushi Shi

We just finished watching the Mushi Shi anime. We really enjoyed it. It's based off a manga, which we also have.

It rained today, but stopped by late afternoon. Definitely a fall sky and for the eleventy-billionith time in my blog, I'm going to mention how awesome the clouds are here. The cloudy weather is not awesome (there's too much of it) but the clouds themselves are splendid. I got out my Audobon's Weather Guide to see how many kinds of clouds I could spot. How can you not like clouds?

Sylvia's pack-out is November 18th. That really drives home how rapidly the end of my time in Japan is approaching.

Since this is the first weekend in a long while that I won't be spending most of my time studying, I am going to do some grocery shopping, home-office stuff, errands and then some knitting and sewing. It feels weird not to be studying, but I've got plenty of other things that have piled up. I am looking forward to getting back to the gym on a regular basis, too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


One test a week for four weeks. I have completed my MSCE 2003 +Security. Now I am going to bed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Last Big Bazaar

This weekend, I got to wear two of my best kimono and obi. They were big hits. There's more kimono photos on Flickr.

Saturday and Sunday were the days for the Big Bazaar. There's not the variety or quality of vendors like in years past (vendors PCS, retire, etc) but that hardly mattered. People who had just arrived in Misawa were excited and it was contagious. Everyone was in a really good mood and having fun. I talked about (and sold) kimono to oodles of people. This Bazaar was my last one and it was probably the most fun I have had.

Near the end of the day on Sunday I was a bit tired and everything had a tinge of sadness. I couldn't believe that I've been helping Mr. Ikeda since 2005. I didn't want the bazaar to end and I didn't want to leave and I think Mr. Ikeda could tell - this bazaar was the only time he has let me help with packing up the shop. Even so, it went so very quickly. We said our farewells and off I went. I cried a bit on the way home. It's really beginning to hit me that I am really going to be leaving soon.

PS - I am also studying/cramming like crazy. My last test for my MCSE is on Wednesday and I am really struggling. It would suck to bomb out on the last one.

Friday, October 17, 2008



Normally I try to update the blog on M, W, F. With me being so focused on doing my MCSE tests (one left), I haven't been updating. A whole week rushed by without my even realizing it.

Between studying, studying, studying, eating, sleeping and working (barely) I've been looking for a job. Send me luck. THANKS!

Speaking of sending stuf, SD sent me a lovely care package - beer and dried snacky things. THANKS!

I am a bad influence and made Sly buy SHOES. HAHAHAHAHAHA! YOU'RE WELCOME!

Mom emailed to check up on me - THANKS. I LOVE YOU, TOO!

Skully and I finally connected - chatted about vivisection, bacon and POOP. I miss you, dude!

The big bazaar is tomorrow. My last one! I am excited and very sad, too. I am going to wear some of my fancy fancy kimono for my last hurrah. But where did I put my fancy hair?

The weather has been gorgeous. I don't want to leave. But the fact that I am going to makes it that much more of a wonderful last autumn here in Japanland.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of my dad's death. It came and went without much ado, I was focusing on my 2nd of 4 MCSE examinations, which I took (and passed) today.

That's not to say I didn't think of him, because I did. But thinking waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back, it hurts a lot less now than it did back then. After my examinations are done, I'll knock back a few drinks (of the alcoholic variety) to honor him. Actually, it's sort of stupid to drink to the health of someone deceased but my father would appreciate the gallows humor there. Oh, I wanted to make it even more authentic, it would be something made of CHEAP alcohol, but I'm past that now. Besides it conjures up memories of the most studendous hangover EVER, courtesy of Dad's penchant for cheap rotgut whiskey (and beer).


Monday, October 06, 2008

Murphy's Law

I have the first cold of the season and it is a doozy.
I have another MCSE exam in two days and the most severe case of brain fog ever. More later, I have to go study. It's my own self-inflicted exam hell.

Oh, I forgot to mention that on Sunday, Benri came back from the desert, tan and 25% deaf.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Caramel Pudding Kit Kats

The new Kit Kat flavor for fall is out! Caramel Purin (Pudding)! The picture looks more like a flan than a pudding to me, though. Definitely an interesting take, not too bad, and the guys at work still ate them. Of course! During my four years in my office, the ONLY food item that had the unusual honor of not being polished off completely were the stir-fried teriyaki crickets (but people still tried them).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Koromogae Time Again

Uniforms are ubiquitious thoughout Japanland. Students, police, firemen, fast food and clerical workers...just about everyone wears a uniform, particularly if they are female. Technically, you could say that the black business suit is the salaryman's uniform, but only technically.

There are summer and winter uniforms and they are changed out appropriately. The day that the uniform change occurs is called koromogae. For summer, it is June 1. For winter it is October 1.

If you are an anime fan, you've probably seen this change referenced, particularly if you are watching an anime dealing with kids in school. The old chestnut being that one student always forgets the changeover day and comes in wearing the wrong uniform.

Last year, I almost drove off the road laughing because I saw a few kids that had obviously forgotten it was koromogae time again and had on the wrong uniform. Their friends were very clearly giving them crap.

I know I've blogged about this before . . .