Monday, November 29, 2010

Japanese Twin?!

Woah! Twins might have a Japanese player next year! Sweet!!

That means I'd be able to see highlights of the Twins game that player on the news! :D

It was always interesting watching the news in Japan. I knew they followed the Japanese players in the majors, so I was excited when say, the Mariners played the Twins because then I might catch some highlights on TV. Except by following the Japanese players I mean that that... follow ONLY the Japanese players. They don't even mention the scores of the games, it just shows as a graphic on the corner of the screen, heh.

Yes, watching the news of a different country is pretty enlightening.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Zoom zoom zoom!

Japan, your internet, is unbelievable.

At 113Mb/s (or 14MB/s), I could download most mp3 songs in less than a second. I could download most video clips in less than 10 seconds. I could download an entire CD (700MB) in 50 seconds. I could download a DVD in a little more than 5 min, a Blu-ray (25GB) in 30 min, and a dual layer Blu-ray (50GB) in an hour. Japan, your internet is so amazing. I am now basically limited by the speed servers can upload data to me, hah!

Now I just need to put together a file server to store all this stuff I'm gonna be downloading. What a drag!

PS: I could also download all 465GB of my current HD in 9 hours 21 min. :D

Edit 1:
Oh hey look at that, I just got it a bit faster. Gettin close to 120Mbps!

Edit 2:
This just in! I tested my internet one last time before going to bed... 120Mbps broken!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fuji on the Run

By the way, did I mention I can see Mt. Fuji on my bike into work from my new apartment now?

Rice fields and housing near work.

Dah! Bad timing :(

In some strange way I'm kind of glad I can see Fuji every morning, in that it... continues to develop and mature the Japanese side of me? Yea I know, corny, but cool nonetheless. Anyways, some time later when I have more time I'll take some more (nicer) pictures.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Signs on the Train (also Internet!)

The other day I'm on my train to/from church, it's pretty empty so my eyes kind of wander around the different people and advertisements until they land upon these masterpieces:

It's painful to get caught between the closing doors. Even more so are the eyes of those looking at you. (Look! Look! Close! Close!)

I believe what this is actually trying to convey is the idea that getting caught in the closing doors not only hurts, but the stares of others when you get stuck is also very embarrassing. But when I read this the first time I thought it actually meant that people looking at you was literally painful for some reason. Anyways, it's more attempts of the train companies to dissuade people from running and jumping into the train when the doors are closing, because of the obvious danger. Many people still do it of course though.

My lit cigarette always points toward others, never toward myself.
Smoker > Tobacco > Fire Others Fire

This one is kind of a mystery. The translation is spot on. I thought it's trying to make a point that its a nuisance to point your cigarette at others... but it doesn't say anything about smoke. It literally uses the word "fire" in Japanese too, and has another person surrounded in fire. I guess it really could talk about ash from cigarettes falling on others though. Still, awesome diagram of a person pointing fire at someone else.

On last thing quick here. I got home from work today to find a package from NTT Communications about my internet that should be installed this Saturday. I've been wondering which plan my internet would fall under - mansion of family type. Since there's basically a $10 difference a month, I would much prefer it to be in the mansion (aka apartment building) type. Sure enough it looks like it will be the mansion type (hooray!). I also wondered what the speed for it would be as well since the person I talked to on the phone mentioned something about it being one of the newer/faster plans they have. Well my plan is Mansion High Speed Type (Mini). I looked up the little chart they sent in my package that compares all the plans they have. The slowest plan they have is 100Mbps... and since mine is the 'high speed' plan, I get 200Mbps...

No, that is not a typo. I said 200Mbps.

Hoooooooooooooly crap thats fast.

That translates to 25 megabytes in one second. WOW. In comparison, the fastest internet I had in the US at my apartment in Minnetonka that was on the fiber loop around 494/694 in Minneapolis was 24Mbps, or 3 megabytes in one second. Of course I'll probably never max that out, but if I'm ever downloading a big file, or say... playing video games online, that extra bandwidth will help out a lot. Especially since I'll have 100Mbps up as well.

Amazing Japan. I love your internet so much.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

New Apartment (and Better This Time)

Yikes, I haven't posted since my birthday? Well I guess I have a reasonable excuse this time, I kind of... moved. But I think I'm going to quit starting my posts with the usual "it's been too long since my last post" bit and just post when I'm able. And hopefully it will be more often.

Anyways yes! Moved! Why you might ask? Well it's a long story, but basically it boils down to the lack of action and responsibility of my land lord/real estate agency (Able) I rented the old apartment from. There were a number of different issues with the apartment I found after I moved in that needed some attention, and if Able did anything about it at all, it was usually delayed or all I got was an excuse as to why they wouldn't do anything. Items like the AC front panel broken, the AC hose outside cracked and leaking, the toilet faucet not stopping, the sink hot water knob leaking, etc were, albeit annoying, something I could live with. But the biggest of these was the water pressure.

::Warning, rant::

When I first moved in I mentioned that the water pressure seemed a bit low - it wasn't exactly something I thought to check when I moved in, plus the water is usually turned off when no one lives there. After I told Able about the water pressure, I pretty much had no response. It took them a month alone to fix the toilet because I had to call and remind them. I finally got them to move when the water started STOPPING, but when they took a look at it, they basically told me that it's weak because I'm on the 3rd (top) floor... which never made sense to me since there's 10, 20 story buildings nearby.

In all, 6 or 7 people came at different times over a couple months to look at my water, all with different opinions and results, but none with quick response. It turns out that the owner just didn't want to spend money on fixing it, especially since he was about to sell the building. Well that's an reason I can accept... if they would only tell it to me before giving me the run around with "there's nothing we can do" and "it's not impeding upon your daily routine". Well they could do something about it (replace the pump) and it was impeding on my life (water stopping). So I basically said, the heck with it, and started looking for a new place.

I eventually found a much newer apartment (2009), much closer to work (15 min via bike), with almost double the space (600 ft2), from a much more reputable and trustworthy real estate agency. It did come with a price as moving into new apartments are quite expensive with the security deposit, finders fee, service and handling fee, insurance, 1st month rent, etc... but its definitely worth it. I feel more relaxed and comfortable just being in this apartment. Plus, thanks to Kana and her mom graciously taking their time to negotiate with Able on my behalf, I'm getting most of my non-rent money back from Able, so in the end I'm not down as much as I would have been if I had moved here from the beginning (although it wasn't available then). Many many many many thanks and apologies for all the stress and time they took to help me out with this issue. I can't even think of how I'll ever be able to repay them! Maybe I can start with importing anything from the US for free.

So yea, new apartment, and I'm loving it - less stress and easier morning commute. I took some pictures before I moved in here, and I'll take some more after I finally finish cleaning up after unpacking.

Oh by the way, I don't know if this qualifies as irony, but for the last month I lived at the old apartment they contracted some cleaning company to basically clean the entire building exterior, including resurfacing the balconies and repainting everything. So the owner will spend money on contracting them for almost a 2 month period, but won't spend money on fixing the innards, the stuff that matters? Yea... oh well. It's done. I'm happier and a bit wiser. :D