Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Four Seasons

Considering I was not born in a country blessed with four seasons, I used to say that Fall is my favorite season whenever asked. This is mainly because I love the colors of the foliage, it's a pretty sight to look at. Other than that, the temperature is ideal.
Just this year, or probably it has to do with maturity and age, I began to appreciate all. I am missing Summer now that Winter has begun but at the same time look forward to the latter because it means bed-weather, making good use of the things available at home.

The major dislike on winter are that days are short and nights are long. Sun sets at around 4:30 pm lately which is disappointing for I feel that if the sun is up longer, the more activities can be done.
Early in January this year, I began taking photos of this tree located at the backyard. Luckily, it's a white cherry blossom tree which makes good representation for all seasons.

What I like about Spring in Japan is obviously the cherry blossom trees. To where I live, there's no shortage of cherry blossoms. I see quite a lot around my place as well as in the office premises. Spring symbolizes the beginning, everything looks new from nature to fashion. The downside of Spring is the torrential rains which is such a hassle for a commuter like me.

Summer in Japan is insane. Humidity is high, temperature as well. Unlike last year, thankfully the temperature did not reach 38degC. The highest this year was around 34degC. Inspite of the bugs and humidity, i like Summer, especially around late afternoons because it allows us to go out and still feel that a long day is still ahead. 
Fall has just ended and made way for Winter. As per tradition, we went to a park to document Fall. Park of choice was Hibiya park in Tokyo.

I digress. Fall is still my favorite.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Kindle

This is a long overdue review. It is only at this time that I have come to realize that such work of genius deserves more than just oral praises but also, a testament in written form.
In 2012, I wrote about my thoughts about eBooks: here I have been very hesitant if not indignant at becoming a full convert to eBooks. However, as cliche as it may sound, things have changed. In November last year, having found the convenience of Amazon, I decided to purchase a Kindle Paperwhite. At that time, I still had a lot of books waiting to be read and was considering of postponing the use of Kindle until those books are read but my excitement got the better of me. The first book I read in Kindle was '12 Years a Slave' by Solomon Northup -- which at that time of last year was adapted into a movie.

Oh, what I like about Kindle.
1.) It's like carrying  a Library. I am not sure how many books it is capable of storing but the idea of books in one portable gadget is just brilliant.

2) In the event of dementia, long press on the character's name and viola! Kindle will reacquaint you with those characters. The last book that got me grabbing at the first sight of pen and note in order to write the characters' names was 'The Count of Monte Cristo' by Alexandre Dumas. With the many characters involved in that book, I was often left gaping and trying to dig through memory on who was this and that.

3.) Defines everything. THIS GOT ME SOLD! Worry no more on Medical terms (such as shown on photo), Legal, ancient, French and words beyond layman's terms. Kindle has defined convenience in many ways.

3.) Bookmark. I know this is not something new.
4) At the bottom of Kindle screen, it will show the percentage milestone you have read and hours remaining to finish. Not really necessary but if one intends to read a book in one day, it might serve well.

5.) Kills time while waiting for something or someone. Not that ordinary books aren't capable of this. 

6.) Lightweight. It fits well to an office or weekend bag. Its casing is sold separately, by the way.
7.) Unlike iPad or any phone, Kindle's screen brightness does not strain the eyes. The color of the books pages look real paper.
8.) eBooks are cheaper if bought from Amazon. Always sold at discounted prices and one more thing, you get to save trees.

Just months ago, Kindle released a new version. Well, I am never been the type to always get the latest.

I think my book storage issue has been solved. My books (hardcopies) have taken a lot of space at home. I can't for the love of books part with them nor throw them away. I have brought them from Japan to Korea and back to Japan in one jumbo box, lol! And with that effort, I do contemplate on maybe donating them to an organization to whom I feel the books will be of more use. I doubt they will accept my Twilight copies =P

Love Kindle. Love Technology. Love Life.

Currently reading: 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Yokohama: Day 2

Mandatory manhole shot. Manholes here in Japan have different designs depending on city. 

Day 2 started at Landmark Tower. Before going to Anpanman Children's Museum (which was the only itinerary for that day), we made a second side trip to Landmark for lunch and shopping.

The mall inside Landmark tower. The Gap was still on Sale, LOL! Judging from the design and materials of its interior, it looks dated but with a luxe appeal.

The restored stone dock, The Dockyard Garden is a sight to behold. Honestly, I thought it as a barrier to protect from waves or worse, even thought of it an old ship's mold.

This is open to the public but time was limited so we skipped the opportunity to touch the old stone walls.

Amber's stroller was a huge help, as always. It has served as bearer of our heavy bags. I can't imagine without it. Amber is nearing 3 and putting her still on a stroller for long travels is acceptable but how about near distance trips?! The stroller has served well in multi-purpose ways so i will probably miss it more than Amber will miss sitting on it.

As an Equipment Buyer, I just had to take a snapshot of this.

at Yokohama station, going to Shin Takashima.

Outside is the mall. We missed the production number.

For the museum, entrance fee is 1,500 JPY. Children over 1 are not free. Charge is same for adults.

Baikinman's narcissistic abode. Here he designs and fabricates his weapons to fight Anpanman which he always fails to triumph.

Toys and interactive games are many.

Anpanman's characters are mostly derived from food. Anpanman himself is a bread with bean paste inside (known as Anpan). Other characters, recurring mostly, are common delicacies and dishes of Japan.

Everything is in Japanese so we just allow Amber to enjoy the games and photos.

Paintings of Anpanman's friends. From left to right: Currypanman (protagonist but recurring), Baikinman (the main antagonist), Shukopanman (protagonist but recurring), and Donkinchan (Baikinman's cohort but not at all pure antogonist. She is sometimes neutral).

A mini-classroom. Adults might find it boring (I did) but it's a children's museum in the first place so adults are not the target market. Outside the museum is a mall with restaurants and boutiques selling authentic and rare Anpanman memorabilia and toys.

While outside, Shukopanman (white bread man) came out to greet the kids. Amber, upon my advice, went to hug him. 

One of his fans. Amber loves Anpanman so much that Mickey Mouse has taken the backseat. That's why, there's no way we will miss the opportunity of not going to Anpanman's museum.

Too tired to smile.