Japan Strikes Back – Hirohito’s Revenge

Yesterday I flew back from a 10 day business trip to Japan. It was a huge success, with great results. However the end of the trip was brutal.

After two long days of training at our distributor, their senior manager took us out for dinner. A small sushi place, walking distance from their office, and Tokyo station.

The food was excellent, fresh, and delightful. As a long time traveler to Japan, I have always enjoyed the sushi and sashimi there.

As a westerner, I even enjoy the “odder” items, much to the delight of my hosts. This place started with an appetizer of tuna cheeks (with the eyeball).  Not a shock to me, I dove in and ate it.

We also had uni (sea urchin roe). This is probably where I got into trouble. I had 4 pieces of it. It tasted OK, but one of the pieces was a little “off“. But hey, when in Rome (or Tokyo)…

Bad idea.

Starting about midnight, the vomiting began. I hit the bottom, drank water, lost it, a few times.

About 9:00AM I tried to head out to eat some breakfast.

Bad idea. Had to run back to my room for another round.

Finally around noon, just before the shuttle bus to the airport came, I began to feel human again. I even ate a light meal on the plane ride home.

I am feeling like dogshit today. Back in the office though.


Moving notes

Been a bit radio silent this last week. The move has been in progress since Tuesday, and the time since then has been a blur. Each day was at least 12 hours of shifting boxes, packing, loading the van, unloading, and finally unpacking.

There is no graceful way to move. If you have beaucoup bucks, you can pay someone to do all the hard stuff (packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking) but there is always some effort and pain involved.

Since we aren’t rolling in the dough, we did a lot of the work ourselves.

Since we moved from Phoenix to the bay area, and have lived in an apartment for most of a year, a LOT of our belongings were in storage. But a ridiculous amount was also crammed into 1100 sqft of our apartment, complicatind somewhat our move.

The early move era

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Apartment Living – Laundry part deus

Among all the joys of apartment living, not much ranks up there with the friendly competition for the laundry units. At 9:00AM you can practically see the residents lining up to steal the machines as soon as the time locks on the doors open. Hoo BOY!

Today though, we will talk about the machines themselves. The washers are all HE (high efficiency) units. That means that you really don’t need much detergent to run a load.  Really, about 2 & 1/2 tablespoons of Tide or your detergent of choice is all that is needed for a large load. (in the photo above, the cup on the left is all you need for a full load, on the right is the “usual” detergent scoop)

How wonderful is that?  Detergent lasts a long time, clothes get clean, and all is happy, right?

Well, not so fast. It seems that the HE revolution is lost on all our neighbors, so continue to dump a cup or a cup and a half of detergent in each load.

Not only is this a waste (and believe me, most of my neighbors would enjoy spending less on their detergent), but it leads to a nasty side effect.

Namely, our clothes will smell like the perfume in the detergent last used. Ugh, heavy scent in all our loads, and worse yet, it seems to change.

Nightmare: Computer edition

At work, we are being split into two companies. A week ago, my computer was supposed to be migrated to the new domain. So I followed the directions to the letter, and naturally it failed.

That night, I had a nightmare. That instead of just switching domains, that my laptop automagagically upgraded to Windows 8. Metro interface and all.


Fortunately, when I woke up, I found that I was still running Win 7 Pro. Phew.

Observations of a brief period of Bachelor-hood

My wife is away dealing with some family issues, so I have been home alone for almost 2 weeks (and will probably be home alone for another week and a half.)

I don’t mind doing household chores. I lived alone or with roommates long enough to not quibble about dishes or laundry. But, being in a house alone (with two dogs) is a lifestyle change.

Getting critical
Getting critical

Fact: Men use less toilet paper than women. So, we in general don’t need to restock the bathrooms. My wife kids me about it that I will go to the last square to avoid having to go to the pantry and grab a package. 2 weeks, and I am out. It is critical. I need my wife back.

I don’t feel the need to wash sheets every week. They were a week “used” when she left, so they are now three weeks old. Today, I felt it was time. Washing the sheets. Probably time to ditch the comforter since it will be in the upper 80’s this weekend…

My wife is a master of not doing dishes during the day. She will let them all accumulate until I get home from work. Here is where I am more diligent. I load the breakfast dishes before I head to work, and the dinner dishes before I go to bed. (She will hate me for this though).

I can go 2 full weeks without doing whites. Good to know.

The Dishwasher. My wife will spend hours re-arranging it to get one more meal in before running it. It is like an adult, real-life Tetris game to her. Funny thing is, I need to run them every three days, about 1/3 empty. I find that I run out of spoons in three days.

I use a lot less milk. The gallon we had when she left is still 2/3rds full, and it is spoiling. Oh well.

Grocery shopping is a lot easier (and cheaper). Of course I do several smaller trips, but in total it is a lot less expensive for one person.

Having a dog that requires medicine 4x a day is tough. It means I have to go home at lunch time (I can do the 5:00AM, the 5:00PM, and the 9:00PM fine, but the interruption of the work day sucks.) Just having Barb around at lunch time to handle that mid day pills is a huge thing.

A lot of little errands get delayed. I need to pick up prescriptions. I need to pick up my dry cleaning. I need to hit costco (as our TP is wiped out).

I am ready for her to get home.