Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Dinner Blogging

Chicken cutlet on rice with a bowl of soba, beer & green tea in the background. Oishikatta!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Phew! What a week!

Well, for a four-day week, this one has been rather busy. I'm supposed to write five posts a week (one per weekday) for Futurismic, which has turned out to be more challenging than I thought. I've gotta compete with the three other new guys, not to mention Paul Raven, the old hand. But it's been fun, and I guess this is what I gotta do to get better. Everyone I've ever heard talk about writing has said you have to set aside time to write, there's no other way to get better. And I guess they're right. Though I wish it weren't cutting into my sleep time. Teaching 5th graders tomorrow is gonna be fun.

Anyway, the author Tobias Buckell has also posted on the website, so writing at the same place as one of the author's whose next book I'm actively awaiting *swoon* is pretty cool.

In other news, you remember those two new bikes I got? Well, on Monday the little one got a flat tire, so I took it in an the guys fixed it for free. Gotta love the warranty. The Specialized bike, however, I managed to crash the second day I rode it. I'd just finished climbing and coasting down the big hill between me and the school when I decided my backpack was too hot and tried to find a new resting place for it. See, I hadn't gotten a basket or a carrier rack to bungee things onto, so I was stuck with it on my back, where I got all hot and sweaty and steamed everything I had in my pack. So I put it on the crossbar. A few seconds later, the belt strap got caught in the fork and I was scared something would get caught and bad things would happen. So I stopped. On brand-new V-brakes waayyy stronger than my old bike's. And proceeded to vault straight over the handlebars and faceplant on the pavement.

Fortunately, there weren't any cars behind me, so I came out in one piece, and the bike came out flawless - dunno how that happened. I managed quite a graceful roll, given the circumstances, slightly bruising my palms and my shoulder hurt a day later. But the worst damage was to my leg. I think the bike flipped with me, so when I rolled over, I think my leg landed on one of the tubes and gave me the mother of all charley horses, complete with a 6-inch scrape. At work that day I was lucky all my classes were on the first floor, because I couldn't climb stairs. Even a day after, it hurts to use the stairs and I can't kneel yet. Makes tomorrow's class with 10-year olds who like to vault onto my bike even more appetizing.

So anyways, last night I made it to the bike shop as they were closing and bought a basket. I should probably get a helmet too, so the next time they have something to scrape up what's left of me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Money Comes In, Money Flows Out

We had a three-day weekend, and I decided to take that extra time to spend all my hard-earned money. Due to the sore back I've had for a few days, I went out and finally got the matress pad to go under my futon pad. I think I went a little overboard, most matresses you get are two or three centimeters thick. Mine's 7cm. I'm a lot higher up, but it's very comfortable.

Last week wasn't such a good week for me. On Monday I blew out the rear tire on my granny bike and the guy at the shop said the rear tire had to be entirely replaced. The cost of that, combined with the rusted chain, wobbly front tire and nearly complete lack of brakes prompted me to just get a new bike. Or two.

I blew quite a bit on a bike that will actually fit me, a nice Specialized bike. The only problem with it is that it doesn't have any fenders, so riding in the rain won't be fun, nor does it have a basket or rear rack to carry stuff on. So that's all gonna have to be paid for. Not to mention, I don't particularly like the thought of taking my nice, expensive bike down to the station where people can take off with it. So I bought a little folding bike as well. It looks cool, but evidently the quality leaves something to desire as last night I was riding back and realized that the rear tire was completely flat. So much for that. I'll take it back and make sure they fix it. The shop I got it from isn't known for selling quality bikes beyond the granny shoppers.

But this week is shaping up all right. It's a four-day week, as is next week. And after that I'm scheduled for a day at Tokyo DisneySea. At least there, unlike Tokyo DisneyLand, you can get booze.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hey look everybody! I'm a blogger!

No, a real one, at someone else's website, albeit still unpaid. Oh well. I've just started blogging at Futurismic, a site devoted to science fiction and writing, as well as futurism and fun stuff like that. I think it'll get me better at writing, at least short bloggy posts. I still need to work on my magnum opus. It'll get out one of these days.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

BOINCing for Science

You all remember SETI@Home? The program that would look for extraterrestrial intelligence using your idle computer? Well, the hippies at UC Berkeley have come up with a program that lets you do more: you can manage what projects you are interested in. If you're worried about the environment, help make climate models more accurate; if you like sudoku, there's one for that. It's cool stuff, and puts your extra cycles to good use.

Vonnegut Lives!

Well, at least in our memories. And nothing livens him up like rereading his stories. Here are some (very) short stories about books Kilgore Trout have written.

(thanks, Futurismic)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When It Rains, It Pours

Well, I'm finally getting caught back up. It's been crazy getting back into the swing of things, and though I haven't gotten quite all the way up to speed yet, I'm getting closer. This week has been rainy, the kind where it starts and stops without warning, so you can't go outside without an umbrella, though I usually do if it isn't raining when I leave home.

The other day with was sunny out and still raining. Last night, it poured down. This morning it rained, but then it kind of devolved into not really a rain, just more of a mist that defies and umbrella and still gets you in the face.

And Monday, of all days, my bicycle decided to blow out its back tire. I'll need a new tire, but the $40 or $50 for that would probably be better spent on a new bike, one whose chain isn't all rusty and whose frame can actually carry someone my height. This week I have to suffer the poorly scheduled (for me, at least) public transportation, until I can drag myself to the bike shop.

But dropping the cash for the kind of bike I want isn't something I do on a whim. Not until I've agonized over every little detail and mourned the loss of everything else that money could've gotten me. Hopefully I can get a decent one, though I'll have to take much better care of it when I ride in the rain.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Post-birthday Blogging

My birthday was Friday. Typhoon #9 hit Thursday night and Friday morning, with strong winds going into the afternoon. What a way to turn 28.

Sayaka took me out for a wonderful evening. We went to Yokohama for a dinner cruise aboard the Royal Wing. It didn't go very far, just a straight line out into Tokyo Bay and back, but it was a nice trip, aside from Sayaka getting a bit seasick. Now I see why she was worried about the typhoon and it being scheduled originally to last all Friday. Wouldn't have been easy to eat on a pitching ship.

Saturday I went bowling with my friends Todd and Nicole, then later met some other friends for drinks. I'd initially planned to have an easy night, but somewhere betwen bowling and karaoke it got out of hand and I staggered home at 4:30am. I have to stop doing that.

It's been rather busy since I got back, the second term has started at school and I've been trying to readjust my sleep cycle to getting up early, as well as deal with everything that's come up at work. So apologies on the Borneo blogging. I've posted several entries in August and have some more to write. But as time goes by, the prospective length of the writing just gets shorter and shorter. So if I don't get it done this week, it'll probably be nothing more than a short recap, if anything at all.