Monday, February 9, 2015

February

February already. Time flies. Things aren't going to let up for a while, so long, coherent posts isn't happening. Let's just do some quick check-in style mini posts instead. And since there's no particular theme, I can also post recent(1) pictures that I happen to like.


A Cat's Life
A couple of cats in the morning sun on Nagahori street on my way to work.

I failed the JLPT as I expected, but with a better score than I thought (97/180). I'll try it again in July this time, and start studying for it in late March or so. Should give me a decent chance to take it this time. Just have to motivate myself to actually study grammar...


Autumn Wedding
A newlywed couple is enjoying the autumn sunset at Sōrakuen gardens in Kobe. This is a pleasant little garden just a few minutes from bustling Motomachi.

My passport expires this summer so I renewed it last weekend. Swedish passports are valid for only five years, and you have to apply in person at the embassy in Tokyo, on weekday mornings only. Which means I have to, at a minimum, take the train up from Osaka, spend a night in Tokyo, apply, then return back home. Between the train, the hotel, one unpaid vacation day and the steep 20k yen application fee it makes for a very expensive passport.

Since I have to go anyway we turned it into a fun weekend trip together. We browsed the used bookstores in Kanda, shopped for kitchen stuff in Kappabashi — I almost bought a small drum coffee roaster before I remembered I'd have to bring it on the train — and met a couple of old friends for dinner. One afternoon we split up, with Ritsuko in Ginza while I went looking for a used oscilloscope probe in Akihabara. I found the probe — along with a bag full of useful tools and components.

It was a fun trip. I brought the Minolta SRT 101, but when I loaded the camera I neglected to make sure that the film actually caught on the take-up spool properly. The result is a roll full of no Tokyo pictures. Oh well.


Crab Pot
We go eat crab hotpot once a year or so at the Kani Dōraku restaurant on Dōtonbori. For some reason, crab is insanely popular among Japanese; I like it too, certainly, so I enjoy this as much as Ritsuko.

Ebisubashi
Ebisubashi bridge, Dōtonbori, view from the restaurant. The bridge is a place to see and to be seen, especially during the warmer months.

Doutonbori
Dōtonbori canal.


This is insanely cool: a home-built — as in built completely from scratch — 6502-based home computer. He even made the case by himself. And all of it, from the board layout to the software, is open source.


"Askul" is a Japanese office supply company. It's a portmanteau of "明日来る/Ashita kuru", "Arrives tomorrow". In Swedish it means "Damn fun!". Every time I see one of their boxes at the office my day brightens up a little.


Ceramics
Ritsukos cousin, Ide Teruko, is a ceramics artist (ceramicist?), and we try to go to her exhibitions when we can. This was in a gallery in Kyoto last October.


#1 "Recent" only as in recently processed and uploaded. These are all taken last autumn.



3 comments:

Jordi Pujol said...

Hi Jan,

Seemingly this year came strong and many share this busy state. I'm wishing for April already to send off the trimester away.

I applied for Erasmus and am going to Sweden, Linköping. This coming August until January.

I am accummulating the knowledge I've gathered through your snippets of Sweden and Swedish. I'm looking forward for my stay.

Sad to hear the incident with the film loading. I always try to lock in and wind a bit, the ncheck the tension of the film.
I want to bring my OM-1 to Sweden and been thinking a bit about the logistics of it. Perhaps will have to load up on ISO 400-800 film.

You got some nice shots in there, the Kobe Garden couple is a very special one.

Not Askul yet, lycka till with all the deadlines!

Jan Moren said...

Hi Jordi,

Congrats on going to Linköping! It's not a big town, but it's a nice place and the university is good. In fact, I applied there when I graduated high school but didn't get accepted.

The film thing is OK. That's part of the fun of film in a way. This just gives me an excuse to try to visit Tokyo again soon :)

Klaus Kettner said...

How funny! I just found your blog via one of your posts in the tt-rss forum (searched for "tt-rss ubuntu") and realized - after seeing your picture of Ebisubashi bridge - you are living in Osaka. I'm quite japanophile and Osaka is one of my favorite cities in Japan! Last time I walked through Dotonbori was last year, but my next flight to KIX will be in just 4 weeks!

The combination of Osaka, Ubuntu & TT-RSS, I just had to subscribe to your blog :)

Have a good time Osaka, I envy you!