Khaos

Archive for July, 2008

Japanese TV and My Quest to Learn Japanese

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

I have been trying to find programs in Japanese to watch on TV as the more Japanese I hear the better.  In the past I watched Infomercials but sometimes these just don’t hold my attention.  For a while the only thing I watched in Japanese was the F1.  This has taught me some interesting phrases for describing how cars move around a track but I wanted to find more to watch than this.

In the past month I have found a couple of new things to watch.  One of these is karaoke TV.  We have the Star Karaoke channel which plays a lot of karaoke songs and the Popular Music Channel which has charts of karaoke songs.  Being able to listen to someone sing the words whilst I read them is really helpful.  It is improving the speed at which I can read hirigana and the 200 kanji that I have learnt as well as improving my accuracy.  These programs can be hard for me to watch as they contain a lot of Japanese music that I don’t like but they do play lots of slow songs with the words written underneath.  And sometimes I do hear something I that I like.  Today I heard a group which I think was called “Tenjochiki” which I quite liked at a first hearing.

The second thing I have been watching is the Sci-Fi channel.  I hadn’t realised we had this channel, as it wasn’t one of the ones we selected when we got the Sky Perfect box, but I’m glad I have found it. They have been showing Buffy the Vampire Slayer dubbed in Japanese.  I have all of Buffy on DVD so I have been watching the episodes in English and then watching the Japanese versions.  These are really hard for me to understand but I am starting to understand some of the things being said.

What I would really like to find is something that was made in Japanese that is interesting enough for me to watch even if I can’t understand most of it.  Most people suggest anime but so far I haven’t found any I like.  And I can’t even easily tell people what I have been watching as I can’t read the titles of the programs!

New Mac Hard Disk

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Today Marty found a new hard disk for my broken MacBook.  He has installed the disk and restored the operating system.  I have installed FireFox and now I need to see what I can do about the data that was stored on my broken disk.  I am so pleased to be able to use it again and I’m shocked by how much I missed it.

In The Summer Time

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Summer has arrived.  Tonight for this first time this year I have been serenaded by the cicadas.  I don’t like the summer and I am finding it difficult to cope with the heat.  I find it hard to stop myself getting ill because I’m not eating and drinking enough.  The heat makes me lose my appetite and no matter how much I drink it doesn’t seem to be enough.  I started to feel weak and debilatated during the week and realised that I really need to eat more.  I keep thinking that I’ve eaten enough but fruit and salad don’t contain enough calories to be the only thing I eat.  I have added kanpyo maki to my diet but I am not eating enough of this to make up the calories I need.

To fix this problem I have tried to make sure that any food I buy is food that I really like eating.  This does mean that the grocery bill is increasing but at least I should be healthier.  On the plus side I’m losing weight.

Miyagawa Wins White Camel Award

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I’ve just seen Miyagawa announce on Twitter that he has received a White Camel award at this year’s OSCON.  I have not seen the official announcement yet but I imagine that he has been awarded this for his work in being a key organiser of YAPC::Asia and for his work with Shibuya.pm.  Well done!

Looking for a New Apartment in Tokyo

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Marty and I have started to look for a new apartment.  We still have months to do this but we really don’t know much about the different residential areas of the city.  I really like the area we live in and we do have a nice apartment but I think it might be an idea to try to experience life in a different part of the city. 

Yesterday we went and looked at a new apartment complex in Minami-Senju.  The area wasn’t anywhere near as nice as the one we currently live in but the apartment was stunning.  It would cost around the same to rent as our current apartment but it had two extra rooms.  It was also in one of those buildings that looks more like a hotel than an apartment block with water fountains outside, a marble lobby with red leather sofas and a reception desk.  The complex also has a gym and a Japanese style spa.  We also liked the fact that the apartment was brand new with a beautiful kitchen and bathroom.  And it had a view over the city and of Mt. Fuji. 

We were told that this would probably be fully rented by the time we would be moving but it has shown us that we could have a much nicer apartment.  Next week we are thinking about taking a look at the area around Hikarigaoka Station.

Not Summer Yet?

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

This is something about the heat and humidity that makes me want to sleep.  I found it really hard to get up today and yesterday afternoon I managed to fall asleep after I had carried the shopping home.  Usually it takes me about 15 minutes to get back from that shop but yesterday it took half and hour and I was out of breath when I got here.

I have been told that summer hasn’t arrived in Tokyo yet as the rainy season isn’t over.  I’m really not looking forward to summer as along with the heat it will bring bugs. 

My Computers Hate Me

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

I am writing this post using Internet Explorer on a Windows machine.  My MacBook has died – Marty thinks that the hard disc has gone – and the latest Firefox updates have broken Firefox on my PC. 

My Sister is Superwoman

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

My sister Christine has been asking me why I haven’t written about her trip to Japan as last year I was keen to write about her exploits. The only reason has been my lack of desire to do anything with a throbbing head.

I am always stunned by how much “get up and go” Christine has. She arrived in Japan with a recently broken toe on her right foot. I thought that this might slow her down but she continued to go out every day. When I got to Japan I was shocked by how bad her foot looked. It was purple and swollen and she had either been badly bitten or was allergic to something. When I pointed this out she pointed out that that wasn’t the foot with the broken toe. (I have never been that good at telling left from right). So both her feet are a complete mess. What does she decide to do? Put on a pair of sandals and go hiking on Mount Takao!

I took a picture of her foot as she tells me that her friends haven’t quite grasped how bad it looks (she normally has really slender legs, ankles, and feet).

Christine\'s scary looking foot

This morning when she was limping around the apartment I suggested that she stay in and rest her legs and feet. I was told that there was no way she was spending time in Japan sitting around my apartment. (I too would have liked to have gone out today but this is not the country to travel around coughing, spluttering and carrying two boxes of tissues).

When I said that she might have difficultly walking her response was, “maybe I should hire a bike and cycle around”. Her feet have either gotten so bad she no longer has any feeling in them or she has super powers that I don’t possess.

Short Tempered

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

I realised that my infection was affecting my mood when I found myself yelling at the screen, “come on Lewis, get out of the gravel, your granny could qualify better than that!”.

Marty came to my rescue with a cold compress for my swollen face, steam and olbas oil to help clear my sinuses, hot tea and dark chocolate for some chemicals they contain, and paracetamol for my fever.

Back Home and Ill

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

I haven’t written anything for quite some time now. I am hoping that next week I get to catch up on my blogging though that depends on how well I feel. I have a chest infection that combined with the heat and jetlag is making me feel quite bad. Normally, when I feel ill, I make myself feel better by reading something fun but my sinuses are so bad that the left side of my face has swollen and my left eye is sore, bloodshot, and throbbing.

My sister and niece are visiting and they are disappointed that I haven’t been able to go anywhere with them. Throbbing eye or not I’m still going to watch the F1 qualifying.