Nar3: Japan

Posted on Monday, April 19th, 2004 at 12:10am by Brett.
(Monday, April 19th, 2004 at 1:10pm Japanese Standard Time)

A couple nights ago as I was trying to fall asleep, my mind started to wander. I was idly thinking about which classes I am going to take this trimester. Since I ended up in a higher-level Japanese language class that I had planned, my options for non-language classes were severely affected...but yay, higher level language classes.

So I was thinking about the Japanese language courses here, my time spent in Japan...stuff like that. I decided that I don't think I learned as much of the language as I had hoped. Being fair, though, Japanese is a hard language. Look at most other languages taught in colleges--by your senior year, you will have achieved near-fluency in most of them...especially the romance and Germanic languages. By your senior year if you study Japanese, you will probably be able to survive in Japan, but you will need lots of help from a native speaker.

I was thinking how much better it would have been for me to probably have lived with a Japanese family in a home-stay sort of setting. That got me thinking about the time spent in Kyushu with my relatives and my tutor's family. Then it just kind of hit me: I'm in Japan.

Aside from my ...(More)

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Posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2004 at 4:18am by Brett.
(Thursday, April 15th, 2004 at 5:18pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've just installed a bandwidth throttler to keep people from running us over our limit. If you get blocked from the site, and can't figure out why, send me an email.

Oh btw, if you download a lot of stuff (for instance, webcam pictures) that's why you're blocked.

( Read More | 107 views | 2 Comments )

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2004 at 12:48am by Brett.
(Thursday, April 15th, 2004 at 1:48pm Japanese Standard Time)

It's spring. People are coming out of the hibernation in their rooms, the grass and shrubs are coming alive with bugs, and the sky is filling with birds. Chirping, singing, shrilly little birds.

The Japanese crow is one of the most evil creatures ever gifted with the ability to cry. From the picture, you can't tell how large these things really are, and you certainly can't hear the nasty little buggers.

Each room in my dorm has a window--they were nice that way--with a "balcony" outside of it. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of these are, as they're too small to fit a person on unless you're going to just...stand. Most people have taken to using them as a sort of storage place. But not me...

For about the last two weeks, my balcony has been the home of a couple of these karasu birds. Each morning, around 4:30 or 5, they come, sit on my balcony (which happens to be about 2 feet away from where my head is while I'm in bed), and they scream. They don't chirp, mind you, they SCREAM.

These birds fear nothing...especially the ones around campus. Just last quarter, they ...(More)

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Posted on Monday, April 12th, 2004 at 8:18am by Brett.
(Monday, April 12th, 2004 at 9:18pm Japanese Standard Time)

This month has been the month of perpetual move in for the first years. Beacuse of this, the student organizations have been out in force. For the last week or so, each evening I have been visisted by at least 5 different groups wanting me to join their clubs or circles.

Japanese colleges, and general education system also, put high value on extracurricular activities--they count if not more than, at least as much as the grades you get. For that reason, some circles and clubs take things VERY seriously. (Band, anyone?) These organizations are not unlike frats in the states, only much more important.

Tonight, as I was finishing in the shower I heard this loud noise. Screaming, pounding, cheering. I was interested, and a little concerned. It sounded like a huge number of people were in the open area by the Oikoshi Community center, which is next to the showers.

I got outside and the source of the noise was immediately noticable. There was a ridiculous amount of people not IN the open area, but crammed on the steps that surround 2 sides of the 4-sided open space. They were, in fact, screaming, pounding, and cheering at something in the middle of the open area. ...(More)

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Jason's Webcam
Posted on Friday, April 9th, 2004 at 9:50am by Brett.
(Friday, April 9th, 2004 at 10:50pm Japanese Standard Time)

Most everyone that reads this probably knows that Jason has a webcam too.

On the off chance that the two people leeching his webcam read my blog, this post is directed to them.

Stop it. As the notices you have been receiving tell you, our bandwidth is limited, and you are consuming more than is acceptable. If you wish to continue using this site, you will stop accessing the webcam images with a program that is set to download more than once every 15 seconds.

A very simple script would be able to detect when your IP address changes, and block you from the site within minutes. If you do not comply, I will write such a script.

I have no problem with your using a program to access the images...not yet, at least. But out of common decency, set it to 15 seconds! For your information, Mr, Jason's webcam doens't even update every 4 seconds, so you'll be getting at most a new image every 10 seconds.

Stop it!

( Read More | 100 views | 3 Comments )

Sugar Rush
Posted on Wednesday, April 7th, 2004 at 9:25am by Brett.
(Wednesday, April 7th, 2004 at 10:25pm Japanese Standard Time)

Imagine there was a little boy. A fat, hungry little boy, if you will. This boy was given a crisp, clean new dollar bill as a reward for good behavior for an entire week. His mommy told him that because he was such a good little boy, she would take him to the local candy store, where he could use the dollar to buy any candy he wanted. The local candy store was a sight to see...It was the second largest candy store in the entire country, and had all the candy any fat, hungry little boys could ever want.

On the way to candy store, the boy told him mommy that he would like to have a Snickers. He had always liked Snickers, and knew that he would like the one he would buy today.

When he and his mommy arrived at the candy store, the little boy looked around in awe. Though he had been to the candy store many times, it always amazed him. Then he saw the shiny plastic wrapping of a Snickers bar reflecting the sunlight. The Snickers bar was on a shelf far above little boy's head. He was looking up to the shelf, when something flashed in the corner of his eye.

He turned around and saw, across the store (which was quite a way...second largest in the country!) a ...(More)

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Perfect example
Posted on Monday, April 5th, 2004 at 8:01am by Brett.
(Monday, April 5th, 2004 at 9:01pm Japanese Standard Time)

This story is a perfect example of the troubles that meet gaijin in Japan when they have to do any form-filling proceedures.

( Read More | 60 views | 1 Comment )

What's the date again?
Posted on Friday, April 2nd, 2004 at 6:23am by Brett.
(Friday, April 2nd, 2004 at 8:23pm Japanese Standard Time)

If you haven't figured it out by now, the pervious post was an April Fool's prank. Bwa ha ha.

( Read More | 58 views | 0 Comments )

Posted on Thursday, April 1st, 2004 at 1:25am by Brett.
(Thursday, April 1st, 2004 at 3:25pm Japanese Standard Time)

As I recently mentioned, I just got back from a trip.

Early this morning, I got a call from someone from the Immigration Bureau, asking for some details about my passport. I gave him the stuff he wanted, and he thanked me and hung up. I didn't think much of it because I had just gotten back from a trip, and I've heard that sometimes they follow up on college students with college visas instead of travel visas. Not worrying about it, I fell back alseep.

About 15 minutes ago, I received another phone call from the American Embassy in Tokyo. Apparently, I have 24 hours to collect my things. I'm being extradited because of a subpoena to appear in court for a lawsuit against Jason and me.

You have probably read the emails that were exchanged a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, looks like I'll be back in America sooner than I thought...

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Sakura, lots of free time, and Harry Potter
Posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2004 at 6:30am by Brett.
(Tuesday, March 30th, 2004 at 8:30pm Japanese Standard Time)

If you don't know--and I'd imagine most of you don't--I've just gotten back from a trip. It's our spring break, and in the Japanese school systems, the spring break is pretty long. I took advantage of this and went on a little trip. It was a nice place...people were friendly...quite like being home...

Anyway, I got back just in time to see the sakura bloom. As you know, Japan is moderately known for the millions and millions and cherry blossoms that bloom every year. They seriously pop up over night, and are apparently gone in about 10 days, so it's nice that I'm here for that. Well...nice to look at, at least. My allergies are going crazy.

As I mentioned, the spring break is a long one. I just found out today that classes don't start back up officially until the 12th, and then my language classes won't start until the 17th. I have a good long time to do...nothing. One of my friend told me that it's nice for about 5 days, then you start going mad from boredom. Tsukuba isn't the most...er...happening city, if you will.

Have you seen it? A new Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban trailer is out! (Modem users beware, this ...(More)

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