Just about time for the yearly update

Last year in December 2022 I made my first trip stateside since February 2020. That was when I went to Texas for about 36 hours for a friend’s wedding, then I jetted off to Maui to spend about five nights with my dad and stepmom in Lahaina, the town that was just burned to the ground a few weeks ago.

Crazy timing I had, huh?

During my holiday visit, which was about two and a half weeks, I first went to the Houston area to see some friends and family, took a trip to Nacogdoches to visit my alma mater, a trip back to Houston to see more family, then I was off to Florida to see my parents.

Well, until I was at Hobby Airport in Houston waiting for my flight and misplaced my backpack and didn’t realize it until I was on the f’ing plane! I immediately told the crew, rushed off the plane, and frantically looked for it in the wing of the airport where I thought I may have set it down. But I didn’t find it.

Continue reading Just about time for the yearly update

Scuba dooby do

Suppose I should keep up with the now yearly update. It’s already Oct. 1 as I write this in Japan, but still Sept. 30 back in my home of Texas, so I count this as making the cutoff.

Earlier this year I took a trip to Okinawa and received a PADI Open Water scuba certification. Means I’ve been trained to safely dive down to a depth of 18 meters, or 60 feet, as long as nothing is above me. That is, no going into caves or wreckage where there is no way to swim straight up to the surface.

I first did a scuba dive in Maui, Hawaii, in February 2022 just as the covid-19 pandemic was beginning to spread. The experience was wonderful and decided to get the certification. But the aforementioned pandemic took off and I put the plans on hold.

So in March of this year I made the trip to the island prefecture of Okinawa and spent three days getting a certification.

There was quite a bit to remember, and it was physically exhausting, but a good time.

Just a few minutes from Odawara by local train. This is where I did my diving. Well, in the nearby ocean, not at the station.

Yesterday, Friday, Sept. 30, I did my first dives since then down in Kanagawa in the area of 小田原 (Odawara). Woke up at 6 a.m., got on the train at 7:15, arrived around 8:50. Got home around 4:30 p.m. It was a long day.

The dives themselves were all right. The water was a bit choppy, so visibility was pretty low (2 – 4 meters) most of the time, but it was nice to be able to just enjoy the dive and not have to do various exercises and practice maneuvers needed for a certification.

I didn’t take any pictures of the water, but I promise it’s there behind the buildings.

Golden Week doth approach

Golden Week has come, and I am off to Taipei, Taiwan, from April 29 – May 4. It’s the first time I’m taking a vacation by myself… ever!

I asked people what I should do, and the only suggestions people had were “GO TO NIGHT MARKETS! EAT FOOD!”  -_-

I’m sure I’ll find things to do though. ^^




No fast internet, but great movie

First, a short rant. Afterward, awesome news.

About three weeks ago when I was in Akihabara, I was coerced by some guys at Yamada Denki to sign up for fiber internet for my apartment. I checked with my company, whom I sublet my apartment, to confirm installation was OK, and was told “yes.”

The technician came out to install the fiber wire… but within a few minutes told me he wouldn’t be able to. It seems some type of pipe or tubing needs to be installed in the wall from outside by a different company that NTT (internet provider) could run the write through.

I contacted my company who contacted the leasing company who contacted the apartment owner, and was told that type of construction is not allowed. Well, shit.

I understand there’d be cost to the owner to have the work done, but it would definitely please this tenant. In the meantime, I’m stuck with ADSL internet rated at 47 Mbps but in reality only get 3 – 3.5 Mbps.

One of my favorite movies from my childhood is “Flight of the Navigator,” a not particularly fantastic movie, but it’s a fun, family friendly movie about a kid who accidentally gets swept in time 8 years into the future… unbeknownst to him.

Scientists, doctors, etc. try to figure out where he’s been. On his way to find out what’s happened, he comes across the alien drone ship, Max, who picked him up in the first place.

I got it on Blu-ray, and while it was advertised as an HD remastering, it’s just a standard transfer with quality no better than 480p from a DVD. And no visual cleaning was done at all. There are still specs of dust from the film itself that shows up on this version.

But it’s got both English and Japanese, and the same story I loved as a kid. ^_^


Reunion a long time in the making

Back in high school, I knew a fair amount of people. With a graduating class of 700+ (!!), there were a lot of people to know. I feel I was pretty lucky in that I was able to float between groups without too much trouble. I was friends with people in athletics, band/orchestra, art, theatre (I was in there), and others.

It meant I knew people, but I wasn’t close with a ton of people. Thanks to facebook though, regardless of my prior relationship with someone, I’ve been able to keep in touch with many. One of those people is Jim. Continue reading Reunion a long time in the making

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