jona: a failing panda (panda - fail)
So I woke up and my desktop PC couldn't connect to the internet. I'd been having wifi issues for a while even before I went to Japan, timeouts and weird interruptions. When I got back from Japan the wifi didn't work either on my PC or my laptop anymore at all; the O2 guy I talked to the day after I came back from Japan reassured me that nothing was wrong with the router, and told me to do a reset. Stuff was sometimes working after that but still wonky, and at some point I went for the idiot solution and just plugged my long emergency LAN cable. But this morning not even the LAN cable wanted to work anymore. (My mobile phone, weirdly enough, can still connect to the wifi, but after trying a LAN cable and two different wifi adapters on the PC, and resetting everything there, I really don't think the problem is the PC.)

So I called O2. (A riveting start to any story.) )
jona: a nomming panda (panda - nom)
Short and low-picture version: bentoing still!

I started last Monday with a soboro bento.

Cut for gallery. )

I am still very happy with the bentos and pretty much look forward to them every morning. It's also nice that I now have enough of a stock that apart from the rice, I really do manage to make a bento without cooking anything in the morning at all if I don't fancy getting fancy.

In whack. )

Now, let me tell you about RICE.

Last week was also when I realised that my rice cooker is really crappy. I kept wondering why my rice kept coming out slimy. And then I thought, okay, I am a lazy panda and was never a big friend of washing my rice, so I started...washing my rice. And then washing it some more. Solo was making fun of me because I'd go 'sorry, have to go wash my rice' and then was gone for half an hour. And yet it still came out slimy.

So then I experimented with boiling the rice in a pot, and lo and behold, while it wasn't perfect Japanese restaurant rice, it was perfectly fine, unslimy rice!

Okay, so. I looked at proper Japanese rice cookers. Decided I wasn't that insane yet. Experimented with making rice in the pot in the mornings before work. Which worked okay except here I get screwed by my kitchen set-up: I have a very old hand-me-down stove, which has only one really good and fast plate that is suitable for doing anything that can burn (only plate that cools down fast) in a hurry (only plate that heats up fast). And when I cooked the rice on that plate in a small pot, the pot always boiled over a little and the whole place reeked of burning stuff, because the bubbly rice foam stuff would hit the plate. And when I cooked the rice in a bigger pot, so that stuff wouldn't dribble on the hot plate, the fact that it was a one-person rice portion made the rice burn / not get soft in time for the water to evaporate in that big pot.

Nnnghghahahr.

So, um. Yesterday I folded, and have now ordered a real Japanese rice cooker. The kind where next I'll probably have to call my home insurance so they can adjust for the dramatically risen value of my household appliances. T____T

(But am now tracking the delivery quite obsessively because I am very much looking forward to having it. ^^)
jona: (GKS - bigin)
So I was in a pretty boring conference the last two days. The upshot of this is that I finally got around to writing all my holiday check and packing lists, and my list for Thursday/Friday said 'Write LJ post about Toyota'.

Well, there's not actually much Toyota in this post, but. I'm undecided / sort-of-decided-but-sometimes-insecure about a few things regarding the trip, and I'm going to think aloud in this post, and any advice, experience or validation of my life choices would be appreciated!

Item #1: the camera
I currently only have a camera that was a good compact camera ten years ago, and is heavy and clunky. Last time I went to Japan, I borrowed my mother's quite nice camera** with its 10x optical zoom. I've wanted a less clunky, newer camera for a while, but always figured I'd wait with buying till the next time I knew I'd actually need it, so as to at least get the 'newest' for what I'm willing to spend. The need has arrived, but then I realised I'm going to Japan and now I don't know what to do. People of my acquaintance have bought cameras in Japan because of lower prices for good stuff there, but if I bet on that, it puts a bit of pressure on me to find one/buy one, or have no real camera on this holiday.

So, my options: Do I a) buy the camera before Japan, within the next week, b) buy the camera in my first two days IN Japan, because cameras are Cheaper There, or c) cajole my mamaaa into lending me her camera again because prices always drop AFTER Xmas and buying now in either country would be stupid, in your experience?

(My budget would be €100-200 with a serious preference for the €100-150 range, and I don't know much about cameras but I do care about zoom, and I care about size, so I actually will take it with me in life too. Just so you know what I'm actually talking about.)

**Any cameras discussed here are compacts.

Item #2: the luggage
My current plan is to travel with A) my huge-ass suitcase, B) a duffel, which will be IN the suitcase and consequently empty on the way in, C) my small Ryanair-approved trolley for hand luggage and D) a handbag. I am allowed two pieces of checked baggage, but I figure if I take an empty duffel, it'll force some discipline on me to not pack too much crap on the way in, and I know for sure I'll have space for all the crap I want to buy in Japan because I can stuff all my clothes in the duffel on the way back and put everything else in the hard-shell suitcase. The small trolley will be useful for overnight stays where I won't want either the big-ass suitcase or the duffel bag, though it does have the disadvantage of two to-wheel items at those times when I have all my luggage on me.

The other question is the handbag. I need a new one -- I basically need a handbag that can hold my laptop in a crunch. Not a specific laptop bag, as the laptop won't be the primary use of the thing, but big enough that I don't have to lug a second bag around when I do take the laptop somewhere. Now, I know people also like to buy BAGS in Japan. But I also know that people buy crazy expensive brand bags in Japan, so IDK if there's any logic in aiming to buy in Japan for the kind of bag I want -- nice-looking, big, not totally cheapo but staying under €70, preferably under €50. Admittedly I don't have much experience buying handbags in either country.

So, survey items:

A+B: is this plan stupid, should I just take two suitcases / one suitcase and my medium trolley?
C: would it make more sense to take a big backpack instead of the cabin trolley as cabin baggage, for better carrying of things in Japan?
D: do I put all my handbag contents in a PLASTIC BAG and go shopping for bags in Japan?

Item #3 was 'Do I really want to take the Toyota plant tour on my one totally free day in Nagoya?' but I think the answer is, 'Um, no.'

Input welcome! I think better with input! >_>
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
As part of the shenanigans with [livejournal.com profile] solo's Wii, I ended up in possession of a spare Wii.

This Wii has now been hacked for karaoke use! >_> It has a Japanese shop channel and you can acquire the Joysound Karaoke WiiWare. (Anyone who's visited me lately or been to Chibicon knows what that looks like.)

I'd sell it for €60. (Not including postage.) Note that this is only the Wii, no controllers, no cables, no mics. IOW, this works well for someone who already has a Wii and can re-plug things. The Wii will not do anything else but play karaoke -- hence the name 'karaoke Wii'. (Well, okay, you could buy other Japanese games on the Japanese shop channel, of course.) My experience with a hacked Wii was that inserting any new games required a system update, and system update VERY VERY BAD for hacked Wiis, plus this one's CD drive is allegedly buggy. (I haven't checked, because, karaoke Wii.)

There is no warranty for obvious reasons. ^_^ Let me know if you're interested!
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
Yay, spring has finally arrived! (I noticed it was for real when my daily use of asthma spray tripled. *g*)

Stuff I have been up to:

Two weekends ago I had guests in the form of [livejournal.com profile] solo____, [livejournal.com profile] b_akakame, [livejournal.com profile] aya_3003 and [livejournal.com profile] ina.

I'm going to be lazy and link to Solo's posts for the documentation, which you may have seen, of course: the tech quiz is well worth looking at, even if you've now been spoiled, and here's a Summary Of Events.

Moving people around the varying sleeping places was like musical chairs (musical beds!) and you will have seen the picture of the night Pandarella slept in the kitchen. We also figured out more features of the karaoke Wii; we are getting really good at this! (The tech, not necessarily the karaoke.) But I did end up writing notes to myself; if I ever do this again, one thing I'll keep in mind is that after three hours of karaoke and boozing, I really won't want to get up and cook Real Food (tm). Always learn, always learn...

Enabled by pretty much everybody and having fondled all those phones for comparison, I also, um, bought a new smartphone.

Le shiny )

Phone is indeed excellent for Renshuu, so basically I just bought myself a very expensive vocabulary trainer. >_>

Randomosity: Because I always do what Solo tells me to, I played with the Chibi creator a few days ago.

This is me. )

Stuff I will be up to in the future:

-- I'm on the wait list for a bento class next weekend. So I don't know yet whether I get to go, but it could be interesting.

-- I'm going to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] solo____ for the Japan Day in Düsseldorf at the end of May. Am very curious what that's going to be like, and mostly hoping for lots of yummy fuds.

-- In June, there's NipponConnection in Frankfurt. No program yet, so I don't know how many of the films will be to my liking, but the general program around it will mean I'll probably want to go for a day or two.

-- On Thursday, after a long, long delay and many timing complications, we are going to buy BUDGIES. For my grandpa, because he could do with a pet that is interactive but doesn't require too much walking. My mother hit on this genius idea about two months ago but left all the research to me, and didn't know what she was getting herself into when I focused my post-break-up energy on reading all the advice on wellie.net and yourbudgieandyou.ocd and all that, and we learned that everything we ever knew about budgies was false. (OK, mostly we learned that getting my grandpa 'a budgie' was a really bad idea, and that those cages our old budgies, some 25+ years ago, were kept in were not very nice for the budgies.) So the first time I informed her we needed two budgies and a cage the size of #RedK Jin's apartment, she was all 'oh, okay, THINKING TIME-OUT.' But by a stroke of luck my mother has now purchased a two-year-old budgie pallazzo from her hairdresser (the ways of the village are wonderous...) and on Thursday we are picking up two budgies from a budgie-loving hobbyist breeder who comes with recommendations, and I am really sad about my asthma because I currently think budgies are awesome. (Maybe I am just still processing my break-up, who knows!)
jona: (geänderte verkehrsführung)
Drive-by tech post:

I'm going to be flogging my netbook (Asus EeePC, 1GB Ram, Win7 Starter) and my Samsung Galaxy Gio GT-S5660 (Android 3.2, 150 MB, 3,2" screen) in the next few days on eBay. I know you're all likely to have better tech than those anyway, but just in case any of you want to get a portable typewriter (the netbook is too frustrating as a main computer but its battery life is excellent) or a baby smartphone cheap, give me a shout.
jona: Jin, of KAT-TUN, joyful (JE - Jin joy)
So I never wrote the to-tab-or-not-to-tab post. Instead I came into some very belated Xmas-and-birthday money, and then to an executive decision.

 photo 2013-01-26125031Custom_zpsd1e2b84f.jpg
 photo 2013-01-26125415Custom_zps86e7826c.jpg

Now what to call it?
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
-- I'm back from Scotland, thought I was getting sick, didn't get sick, am trying to get used to going to the office again. T_____T

-- I came back from Scotland with a Wii that pretends to be Japanese so I can play Joysound Karaoke and apart from the fact that ALL the decent mics in ALL of Germany must have sold out over Xmas (no joke!) it works, and La Paloma and I sang our way through Bryan Adams and U2 one drunken evening. (Then she made the mistake of wanting to check out Madonna songs and I realised they have Don't Cry For Me Argentina and it was DOOOOOOM, heh heh.)

-- I had my first post-new-hairstyle haircut today. Not that much of the perm left, but it still looks okay. I again had to tell the lady after the fact to take off another centimeter, though. What is it with hairdressers afraid to cut off hair?

-- There have been two friending memes on DW that looked interesting to me and I missed the 'reasonable' timeframe for both. GRMPF!

-- I am still undecided over tab vs. new laptop vs. neither. Those of you I haven't bored stupid with my angst yet can loook forward to the longer version soon.

-- La Paloma and I are making mini-holiday plans for Easter. Exciting!

-- Bomb Girls is back! I watched the first episode of the second season and I'm really, really loving it, and sometimes want to babble on about how catnippy it is, but I don't think anybody but me is watching it.

-- Why can I not keep my kitchen clean? Why?
jona: (geänderte verkehrsführung)
Today I installed Whatsapp. [livejournal.com profile] aya_3003 took my n00bish cluelessness under her wing and explained to me about emoji. Emoji practice turned into Akame fic. *g*

Read more... )

You just need the right incentives!
jona: (JE - jin - long hair)
I finally set up my scanner this morning and tried to get the hang of it by scanning the bargain basement whore Jin pics I bought in Japan. The quick-and-dirty setting seems to be working for bright or colourful pics, but the darker pics with more black turned out somewhat greenish. I tried them again at a much higher resolution and that seems to have yielded results, only it's also much more fuss, and large file sizes. I'm not sure yet what the happy medium is between decent resolution and sensible file sizes.

Anyway, you've probably seen these here and there, but I'm still putting them up because I thought they were cute, apart from very cheap. >.<

Cut for SIZE. )
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
Jo flakes
So I clearly flaked out on the March Posting Project two days in a row. The reason being a) that nothing interested happened and b) I was too tired to make anything interesting. (The latter being kind of the point of the March Posting Project.)

That's basically the summary of my last three days: very very tired. Which was a little weird, because I slept enough, and I had moderate-not-murderous exercise, and mentally I felt fine. But both on Friday and on Saturday I woke up tired, even after a solid seven and a half hours, with that kind of heavy-bones-lethargy I only know from being in a serious funk or having a flu, or seriously hungover. And I was neither in a funk, nor did I have the flu, nor had I had any booze.

I ended up wondering, what with the headaches last week, if I'd caught some sneaky bug that my body was fighting off so effectively I didn't notice and the fatigue and the headaches were the only symptoms. Or whether it was the weather.

Today it's better, though I woke up freakishly early after very weird dreams about fandom. (Someone on [livejournal.com profile] fail_fandomanon was closing a thread that [personal profile] lulumeow was very interested in, and I had just opened the comment field to defend [personal profile] lulumeow's right to have that discussion, when I woke up. WTF, head, WTF.)

/my interesting life

Jo runs
On Friday morning, I went for a twenty-minute run, and on Saturday morning, a thirty-minute run. And while my legs felt like bloody CONCRETE, my back has not even twinged. I consider this AWESOMESAUCE, because I would love to be able to mix up the bike and the swimming with running again. I plan to up the time gradually and see how it develops; it would also help if I got a new pair of running shoes, but this is where I run into the finances of a grad student -- a pair of good running shoes is still this BIG INVESTMENT, and I'm shying away from the hassle. But YAY RUNNING!

Jo tries to be helpful NORLY
I came across this a few days ago on the DW network: Instapaper, a site that lets you collect and download-as-epub-or-mobi-or-PDF various types of online texts: very very handy for downloading fic that was posted to LJ, and even handier for downloading multi-chapter stories in a low-fuss kind of way. As someone who moved from printing everything to wanting everything on an eReader, I'm finding this an excellent resource.

Where I found it, and the instructions for downloading multi-chapter stories.

I've tested it with a few multi-chapters that were posted to [livejournal.com profile] akame_, a website like haikuesque.net, a blog post on blogspot, and random single-entry LJ posts. The blog post didn't work, and with the first multi-chapter, the epub file didn't produce all the line breaks, leading to run-on paragraphs. But that story in particular also had curly quotes, and I'm suspecting this was due to the author using special formatting and not the LJ default. With other stories, it worked perfectly fine, and I'm very pleased I found this. I always thought I would probably read more sporadically-updated-perhaps-never-finished multiparters if they didn't have to clear the hurdle of being worth the formatting hassle first. (SRSLY, with the stories that worked, it gave me just the text, no comments, and the chapters/parts neatly behind each other, like MAGIC!)

Oh, and it might come in very handy for eReader types when k_x starts posting and if it's still posting to LJ this year.
jona: (bunnies incognito)
1. During lunch break, I bought a new phone (for the landline), after the old one got very capricious about charging, showed only half of the display ('hmm, is this an 8 or a 3?'), and eventually started going CLACK -- CLACK -- CLACK during calls. It's amazing how much time you can spend being undecided about phones that all do the same thing and are roughly in the same price range.

2. Also bought new Sennheiser earphones -- or rather swapped the voucher I got for when my old Sennheiser earphones broke before warranty had expired and they didn't have that type anymore for a new set. This is... quite nice.

3. I'm not going to Japan for concerts this spring. I know I've been saying that, but with little caveats in my brain, remembering how I wish I'd just borrowed the money from someone and GONE in 2009. I don't even know if it would work with work; I could swing it financially if I emptied my savings account, especially with the tax refund I'll have coming, and I could even see a scenario where I just make this my 'big' holiday, and in the summer I just stay at home, or see a few friends in Germany.

But today I realised what it was: I'm lacking Fernweh -- desire for travel and new places, roughly translated. I would LOVE to go to the concerts, and I'm sure two weeks in Tokyo wouldn't ever suck, but that feeling of OMGJAPAN!1!!!1 I had before the last trip just hasn't had much time to rebuild. Probably all that work travel, but whatever the causes, I'm currently just not OMG enough to want to blow this much money, so shortly after I've blown that much money.

And I'm feeling quite zen about that.

(I even, god, still quite fancy the idea of just taking three weeks off in summer and spending them largely at home, doing Balkonien. Or maybe go diving for five days and spend the rest at home.)

4. Last night, when I couldn't sleep (I have holiday jetlag; I've been sleeping in until 9.30 for two weeks, going to sleep at half past eleven just isn't on the menu), I dug out my very first Akame WIP. Apologies to those who actually remember me talking about this, but I hadn't looked at that one in ages, so to me that was... interesting. It's the one set in 2018 where KAT-TUN broke up because Jin left the band for a small-potatoes career in the States (...in rock, though) and still based on 2006/07 Kame characterisation (a.k.a neurotic!angstbunny!Kame). It's got various kinds of facepalming moments (people don't take their shoes off! Kame doesn't cook!) and the premise is admittedly jossed to the point of irrelevant, but the style and the snark (and even the kind of angst) struck a chord in my writer brain -- if I had ANY less to do fic-wise, I might actually go back and write The Terrible Irrelevant Angsty AU. But, well. There is only so much time. *sigh*

5. Does anyone know if Dreamwidth has an Android app, or some such?

6. My office is surprisingly busy. I spoke to seven people today. You usually only see these many people when there's a seminar or something.

7. The rest of my day shall contain the following: go on exercise bike, watch The Good Wife (YAY!), cook actual food for dinner, eat it, and write. (Preferably the porny frivolous one over the angsty serious biznes babies, but who knows.)

8. Are there any Pi downloads yet??? (Srsly, people, my squeal when I was informed that show would go on for three months probably scared the cat.)

9. *ignores Solo*

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jona: (Default)
the paranoid android

December 2015

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