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Anyway, for the low low semi-low price of $7 US a month, I set myself up with a web hosting provider (http://www.ipowerweb.com), and have tons-o-space (tm). So, as you read this, I believe I have finished uploading all the images and pages from my old servers, except for my karate videos (I'll get around to that). At any rate, I should get around to updating the Japanese version of my page (I never did really finish it; it's in awfully strange Japanese which may-or-may-not-be understandable by anyone...including me), and making sure the links are all moved around correctly.
Other than that, work has been...interesting. I have been worked pretty hard lately, and one person I was emailing thought I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown based on the tone of the letter (which I wrote in Japanese). Anyway, Thursday is a holiday, and I am trying to get Friday off...or perhaps I will just take it off regardless. No new stress-related deaths at work, so all is quiet on that front. One thing I should really do soon is get a haircut. I'm starting to grow an uncontrollable afro here.
In my spare time (what little I have right now), I have just been hanging around with some of my friends and relaxing, eating, etc. My friend Mori-san bought a digital camera as well, and he is having fun with it. His camera (a Fuji FinePix), takes a very nice picture, though it sucks batteries like nothing else. (well, perhaps like my old Epson digital camera...) He went around taking pictures of everyone last weekend. I wonder what he's up to...
I have also been looking into my own apartment (none of this Hitachi-home-for-the-employees stuff). However, even though I can afford it, the cost is far too great for what it is worth around here. I'd be better off getting a house in Nagano again, which would be less than a quarter of what I would be paying here. You see, I found some real nice places, but I have to have Six Months Rent up front before I can move in, AND I need a "guarantor" (like what you need for your passport in Canada). Considering rent on average in this part of Yokohama costs around 60000 to 80000 yen at the LEAST, you can see how much money I am talking about. Oh well... it was a nice idea at the time.
First off, I have been transferred to the Higashi-Tostuka plant to work on some Korean project. It seems to be much nicer to work there, since I don't have to worry about my bosses trying to chain me there until midnight, it is only a minute from the station, and it is closer to where I live in the first place. Unfortunately, this setup is only temporary, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.
Okay, first off, work has been pretty busy. Okay, *really* busy. First off, in December, I put in what I thought was a generous amount of overtime. I simply can't compete with the current record of 168 hours of overtime (+ 160 core hours for the month), though
Enough of work, I got to meet friends this holiday. First off, I got a special visit from someone I met on a DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) message board on the Internet. Robert (goes by "Nykkel" on the board) was in Japan for a week and a half, during which I met him twice. BTW, I have actually been updating my DDR page between site updates due to extremely numerous requests. I guess I should be so honoured that I have recieved both high praise, and been called a flat-out fake/liar by people from all over the world. Aren't I lucky...or something.
Next, I actually made it down to Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Shiga) to see Evan Jones and his *new* girlfriend, Kayo. Things are still going well for him, despite all the snow and cold in Kansai (in comparison, there has not been one snowflake at all this year in Tokyo/Yokohama).
First, don't trust a train station master when he gives you directions unless you check them yourself first. I wrote the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (Level 2) last Sunday, and the directions I followed took me to a different "Toudaimae" station in Tokyo. By the time I realized this, the test had already started, and I was on the other side of Tokyo. I ran and rushed my way through every station in the way to get to where I had to go (note: I ran 1.2 kilometers straight crossing Shibuya station to catch the train I had to catch. When I arrived, it was 30 minutes into the 55 minute Kanji/word section (the test is in 3 parts, written at different times throughout the day). Fortunately, they let me write (they shouldn't have allowed it), and I finished it in 10 minutes. Hoorah for Kanji being my strongpoint. If I missed that, I doubt I could ever have passed without that section. I will find out the total results in Feb.
The funny part about the whole thing was that almost everyone was writing the test was an English teacher, and the first question everyone asks each other is "Where do you teach?" While I could have answered that a half-year ago, my response of "I'm not a teacher" confused them proper. They all responded "So what do you *do* here?". I told them I was an engineer, even though I am more of a translator in my job it seems. It would be too much for them to comprehend if I told them I was a translator and I was taking this exam (most translators *require* some sort of certification to officially translate...Hey! If I pass this exam, I *do* have something).
Next, my computer is fixed! My motherboard was fried (frying) on the inside, which was why it would just sit there when I turned on the power, and after several minutes...*poof* it would boot up.
Lastly, I managed to make my way onto the Internet Ranking for DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) 6th mix (MAX as it is called). You can check it out at Here. I am in the "Single Extra" and "Double Extra" sections (Leave the pull-down menu at the top item (All Japan). I am 15th in Japan on Single, and some high teen or low 20's place (I think) on the double. My feet ache so much after Konami decided we needed to be tortured with a song called "Max 300", which runs at 300 BPM, and which means that runs of 8th note steps are at 10 a second. A friend recently commented, "Don't people's legs fall off?".
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