Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lake Senba

I pretty much got all the bases with this one.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recycling in Japan

Today I had the opportunity to begin the process of figuring out how to recycle in Japan. There is a lot to it and it seems to me, a little unnecessarily complex. Back home, where I live; there is one recycling bin. JUST ONE!!! Glass, aluminum, cardboard, paper; all thrown into one bin. There used to be three but I think the recycling company figured most people in the neighborhood to be too stupid or too lazy (or maybe both) to correctly recycle, that they turned it into one bin. This saves a lot of time for me and for everyone. It also gets more people on board and conscious of environmental impact.

Now that I'm in Japan, there are about five different bags as well as various ways I will have to recycle paper, newspaper, magazines, and cardboard. This is more complicated than The States. Generally, I always think of the Japanese as trying to simplify things before many countries, finding the path of least resistance. However, in this case, they are behind on the times.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ridin' in Narita and changes (again)

Via bike of course.

Tomorrow is a new day. A day where I will meet up with the board of education in the specific area I will be stationed at. Maybe if I am lucky enough, find out what schools I will be teaching at. After this, I will finally move into my apartment. allowing me to settle down.


Finding a Shrine in Mito

Shrines and temples are fairly common throughout Japan. Generally they aren't to hard to find and in this case. The temple/shrine in this instance was just a few minutes walk north of Mito Station and right off the main road.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Episode 25!!!

I am slowly beginning to understand final cut. Though I like it a bit more than Adobe Premiere, there are some qualities lacking about it. Mostly dealing with text and the whole entire concept of rendering video. Still, it ain't too bad.

From this point on, I am hoping to have most of my videos match or beat this quality. It has taken me a while to fall into a grove. This is how I feel most of them should be. I have a ton of footage for when I visited the shrine in Narita. Probably around 20 minutes worth but I will cut it down to 2 minutes or less.

I wanna keep most video under 2 minutes.. Anyhow, there are more I would like to say but it ain't worth it....

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Hanko

Here is the Video:

This stamp is used for official documents. Getting a bank account, buying a house, etc... Usually big stuff. For most foreigners, they will probably only use it once. Which is a bit sad because the concept is so awesome.

A hanko can hold only a few characters in it but luckily it could fit my name. Now since I don't have a Japanese name, like many foreigners; I could get away with whatever I want. I went with a rough translation of my name in hiragana, which is one of the Japanese alphabets.

I didn't translate it but one of the coordinators helping my with my job did, which was kind of her. She also helped out a bunch of other lost gaijin.

As far as price range goes on a Hanko, it will range anywhere from $4 (which was how much this one cost) to easily over $100 or maybe more. This all depends on the size and material of the hanko, which could be something like ivory, bone, or a rare wood. Cases can be just as expensive, when I was in a department store, I saw some cases selling for over $4,000.

Why would someone buy something so expensive? I like to juxtapose it with the scene from 'American Psycho' where Christian Bale is envious of other rich business men and the fancy paper their business cards were printed on. Its all about class. Which, I do wanna be classy but I'm also super cheap and my dog carrying case will get my by just fine in Japan.


BTS 7 and 8. Episodes 23 -24

If you have missed anything...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Power Saving Escalators

One more before I go to sleep.

Japan has found some different ways to cut corners and save some money on electricity and be a friend to the environment... Here is one of them.

Though, I`m sure that all the power saved with these will be gobbled up by all their neon lights and billboards.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beer Vending Machine

Here is an interesting find in Japan... A beer vending machine.

Though Japan is fairly strict with their (really strict) with their drug laws, to a degree, they allow a bit more slack with alcohol. This machine was found on the side of the road on a fairly busy street. Something like this wouldn`t fly in the US.

There could be numerous reasons as to why it wouldn`t. I might dive into this topic later but it is fairly later over here and I will need to catch some Zzz`s.

I will talk more about my journey over here later. I just felt like I should post something instead of nothing.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Big Move...

This Friday, I will leave America for a grip (one year) give or take a few grips (days). This entire move is something I've been looking forward to for grips (years). Living in Japan? Crazy. It will be a whole new experience, I'll try and update this blog a bit more regularly while I'm there. I'll also try and direct friends and family here more regularly, so I don't have to be redundant on answering questions.

As of now, where I'm likely to end up is in Ōtawara. I'm not sure if this is a city or specific region. I'm still getting used to how the Japanese label regions, wards, prefectures, etc...

The area is considered rural with a population of about 77,000. This is not rural to me and I had to laugh a little when I was told this. I grew up in a town of 600 and the entire county (Skamania) has a population of roughly 12,000; with, what I would estimate at least 50 Sasquatches.

Fifty percent of the Ōtawara area is rice fields and around twelve percent is forest and mountains. I'm only quoting wikipedia.

It was hard to find any information on the area or pictures of it. This will be a true adventure. I'll have a car while I'm there, this is gonna be weird but thats grip (ok). Alright, this entry is becoming very non-grip (stupid), so I'll let it be.

More updates to follow.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Episode 22 and a TON OF CHANGES!!!

I went snowboarding with my buddy Kurt the other day and took the zi8 out for a test drive as well as an editing test drive. Looks like I will need to get a mac as well as Final Cut Pro. I edited this on iMovie. The software ran alright for being free.

When I edit, prefer a lot of control. Compared to Windows Movie Maker, iMovie is dominant. Its easy to use and operate. But if you have spent time editing, it doesn't allow much control; which becomes a big issue for me.

Well, with that out of the way, maybe I should mention I'm moving to Japan. One week (give or take a day) from now.

Ha. Maybe it would have been more important to mention this earlier? Well, I would have. Sadly, I didn't. Oh well.

There is a lot in store for me down the road. I'll keep you posted (if you read this garbage).