Archive for April, 2009

With Spring comes… broken things?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Well, it’s finally Spring, and everybody knows that that means a time of rebirth. Flowers are blooming (if you haven’t yet, take a look at the sakura pictures in the previous post), trees are getting their leaves back, and apparently, since it’s a time of rebirth and all, all my stuff seems to have decided that it needs to die so that it can be reborn.

My camera’s been dying for a long time, so I guess I had that one coming, but it finally happened definitively right before my mom came to Japan. Being Spring and all, I decided to splurge and buy a new one. I was kind of expecting to have to since December or so, anyway, so I was prepared for this one.

However, I wasn’t prepared for my laptop dying right after my mom left. It didn’t seem to care that I wasn’t prepared and just up and went on me anyway… at least, more or less. I’ve been having problems with my laptop for a long time now (so many that I’ll probably never buy a Gateway again), but most of them were relatively trivial to fix. This time, my battery is completely dead (from full charge to zero takes about ten minutes) and I’ve now gone through my sixth AC adapter. I decided it was probably just best to put it to its final rest, because I really don’t like having exposed wires out on my desk because its really not safe and it doesn’t work half the time even with them.

So as you may infer from the previous paragraph, I’ve now purchased a new laptop, and am currently posting from it. It’s pretty nice, and was relatively inexpensive, to boot. More than I wanted to pay ($0), I suppose, but you have to get back up and start going again even if you fall down, right?

One thing that I didn’t think about, though, when I purchased the laptop, was that, buying a Japanese model, it would have a Japanese keyboard. Well, it does. Luckily Japanese keyboards also have the English alphabet on them (in the same places, too!) or I would be pretty far up the creek. But in addition to the English letters, it also has Japanese characters on each key, with several additional keys for switching between the different Japanese input methods. Also, symbols are used differently in Japanese, so they’ve reordered them accordingly. Quotation marks and apostrophes aren’t used very often in Japanese, if at all, so they got relocated. The double quote is shift+2 (which you’ll notice is @ for you — that has its own key on my keyboard), and the single quote/apostrophe is shift+7 (which should be &, which is shift+6 for me). I had to look pretty hard for the + sign when writing that last bit, too.

So anyway, I’m planning on posting pictures of the new laptop here in a little bit, but I also need to finish setting it up, so I may not get around to it immediately. See you later!

Sakura Viewing

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Well, it’s the beginning of Spring, and in Japan that means pretty much one thing to the Japanese people: sakura. Sakura, if you aren’t aware, are Japanese flowering cherry trees, and they are generally in full bloom for a period of about two weeks in late March/early April. Unfortunately, my mom missed it all by about a week. She caught the very beginning of it, but it’s really most impressive right after the trees hit full bloom. Here’s an example from a picture I took out my window the other day!

Sakura tree outside my window

Sakura tree outside my window

I don’t really know what else to say about this, so instead I’ll just go ahead and link, for your viewing pleasure, to the photo gallery of the pictures I’ve taken of the sakura. Without further ado, here’s the link: http://gallery.rintaun.net/thumbnails.php?album=4

Enjoy!

Note: Right before this, I finally finished posting my mom’s emails that she sent out while she was in Japan, and I don’t want you to miss them just because I put this up, too. So check them out!

Matthew’s Mama in Japan 3-15

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Note: These are emails that my mother sent out each day of her trip here. I already posted the first two earlier, but was so busy during the trip (and have been so busy ever since!) that I never got around to posting the rest. Sorry it’s taken me so long! m(_ _)m Anyway, I’m going to post them all in one big chunk, so enjoy! Also, the first two I posted, I edited just a bit, but these ones are just going to be verbatim. –Matthew

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