Thursday, 16 July 2009

Mitama Matsuri

It was my day off today. I went to Akihabara to get a cheap 800 yen trolley to help drag my amp's 25kg ass to Narita Airport next month. It will definitely be my cross to bear, as well as the rest of my music gear that I'm hoping can make the safe voyage across.

Along the way I also got some cheap double layer blank DVDs to back up my obese hard drive that doesn't even have enough room for a side of fries.

While I was there I had my camera handy so I took out my SD card to put into a Canon HF11 and Nikon D5000 to make some demo files that I planned to try to edit with iMovie later on.

The test movie came out better than I expected. I'd upload it here but it has way too many views of my ugly head, so I'll spare everyone for now. Just it's good to report that it worked fine, and now I have to decide whether to take the plunge or not.

It was hard to miss the Mitama Matsuri at Yasukuni Shrine on the way to and from Akihabara. I took some pics..





I think I've had this nightmare.

There were lots of pretty girls in yukata.

I was surprised there were so many people for a thursday. It was SO crowded that I didn't really want to hang around long. I got bumped so often I lost count.

It's been a while since I showed off some Japanese events so this'll do for now.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Getting Warmer

Maybe I spoke too soon in my last post, but today felt like the first real day of summer. You know it's summer in Japan when your anti-perspirant gives up on you.

Looking at the Shinjuku temp gauge, it said 32 degrees. I'll be glad when I get to "chill" in Australia for two weeks. This month is flying by, so I'll be there in no time.

Speaking of "getting warmer", I was explaining to some Japanese the meaning of that idiom by getting them to guess my age. Unfortunately (for me) they were guessing pretty good, TOO damn good. You'd think they could humour me by saying "18?" HA HA HA.

No.

Quite a few were right on the money, and I had a few that said a few years older than my real age. That was a bit of a downer. You know since I use Oil of Olay for younger skin and all. They say you're only as old as the girl you're feeling. Hmm..

Next time it will be guess a number between one and twenty, that has nothing to do with age. That'll be for the better.

Better for me.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Cats And The Canal Cafe

It was a beautiful day today.

Although it's summer, most days lately have been overcast and/or rainy. It doesn't even feel as hot as the last two years. Either that, or I'm starting to get used to the humid weather.

I didn't get to bed till about 4am last night (I mean morning). I was playing my guitar using a software amp, recording a video with my webcam and syncing them together. Originally I tried recording into my lappy with a direct out of my Mesa, but it didn't sound as good as I'd hoped.

It went pretty well. I managed to sync it up nicely, but being shirtless, I'll spare anyone from that for the time being. Anyway, back to today.

As you'd expect I was quite tired and didn't really feel like doing too much today. We went to the supermarket for some discount icecream and a short time checking out the Yotsuya library.

Arriving back to the apartment, the downstairs cats saw our shopping bags and looked hungry.

While the gf put the rest of the icecream in the freezer, I waited on the road, with the cats circling me looking like they'd attack me for the two icecreams I was holding.

One of them jumped into my lap scaring the bejesus out of me.

I let them lick the plastic, but I wasn't giving mine up. Before we set off again, I was asked to take some pics of the greedy little neko..

We soon made our way to the Canal Cafe in Iidabashi. From checking my blog, we haven't been back since 2007, so seeing it was such a nice day, it was a good call. The last time I was here I only had my phone cam, so these photos came out much better.
There were big carp fish coming close to the boardwalk like last time. This time I didn't have any ice to feed them.

Where is it?

Plug these co-ordinates: 35°42'0.29"N139°44'33.87"E into Google Maps for the exact location. The food can be a little pricey, but for a coffee (or beer) it's a nice place to spend a sunday afternoon.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Getting Some Oxygen

I had a great day at kindergarten today. Despite the wet weather, the kids were really soaking up the vibe, and having a fun time like me.

In my insanity I brought my laptop along because I intended to try out a Midiman Oxygen 8 USB midi keyboard later from TC Gakki in Shin Okubo. Unfortunately carrying it in my shoulder bag made it feel like it weighed a ton after a short time.

By the time work was over, the weather allowed me to get there without much of a hassle.

They let me plug it into my laptop to see how if I liked it. I did.

I was there easily at least an hour. Although I can use the laptop keys, playing on a real keyboard feels 100% better with chords and melodies far easier to play. I tried to talk down the 5,250 yen price but like most Japanese music stores they didn't budge at all. It's not the latest model, but for what I want it for it suits me fine.

I thought the two octave keys wouldn't be enough but playing various things it wasn't a problem. The portability and USB make up for that. Looks like I'll be able to take this one back one day too.

It's a relief to take a break from guitar buying (I did try an Edwards directly against a Gibson today. The Gibson won btw).

Writing songs in the park with this new toy should be sweet. Bring on the Tokyo techno!