Tilt Shift Noheji

03/03/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos

Link: http://www.boingboing.net/2006/02/27/tinselman_uses_fake_.html

BoingBoing has been posting a lot about "tilt shift" photos recently. If you haven't heard of it before, it's a kind of camera trick where you can make photos of real life places look like miniature scale models by messing with the camera focus. Well this sounded like fun, so I hit the streets of Noheji to take some tilt shift photos of my own. Enjoy:

Pretty neat eh? It almost doesn't look real!

HG: Young Man

03/03/06 | by silverso | Categories: Novelty Music

Since I have taken it upon myself to keep the English speaking world well informed in the latest Hard Gay news it is my duty to announce that HG has just released the new single "Young Man", a cover of the classic Village People classic YMCA. Here's the music video! FOOOOOO!

In other news, it looks like the Japanese press is trying to expose HG as being less gay than he appears to be. I'm not sure what this story says exactly, but it seems to be implying some kind of relationship between Hard Gay and some 22 year old model/idol. Say it ain't so HG, say it ain't so! Then say FOOOOOOOOO!!!

Suit Yourself

03/02/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos

Now for the final chapter in my epic series of vacation photo posts. For our last few days in Vietnam, Kate and I headed north to the small town of Hội An to do some suit shopping. The town famously is home to many old buildings that managed to survived the Vietnam War; however, most people come for the incredibly cheap custom made clothing. To be honest, I wasn't really looking as forward to this part of our trip as Kate was. Shopping for pants is near the top of my list of things I hate shopping for, right between shoes and Christmas presents. Nevertheless, I had a good time and wound up leaving with two new pairs of pants, some shirts and a nice new suit, which was christened just yesterday at Noheji High's graduation ceremony. Hopefully this means I won't have to buy pants again for a long time to come.

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Tokyo to Aomori for just 2300 yen!

03/01/06 | by silverso | Categories: Trains

Link: http://smt.blogs.com/mari_diary/2006/02/go_to_fukuoka_o.html

'Watashi to Tokyo' has a neat post about how to travel long distances in Japan for as little money as possible. If you're willing to sacrifice 18 hours or so, it's apparently possible to take a combination of local trains from Tokyo to Aomori using a special 5 day pass which costs 11,500 yen. Read the details here, and then find your connecting trains here. Other than hitchhiking, I doubt there's any cheaper way across Japan. If you're not into that idea, then for $5000 yen there is also a not too comfortable night bus that runs from Aomori, Hirosaki and Hachinohe to Tokyo station.

Muy Bueno Mui Ne

02/28/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos

Okay, back to the vacation photos! So immediately after returning from Cambodia, Kate and I rejoined Katharine, Andrew and the Rybaks and set off for Mui Ne beach with a bus load of boisterous ex-pats. Kate and I grabbed front row seats on the bus, which made the journey more than just a little bit nerve-wracking as our bus driver did his best impression of Michael Schumacher for the entirety of the journey. Fortunately the frequent brushes with death kept my mind mostly distracted from the drunken a cappella singing of our bus mates.

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Post-Japan Career Options

02/27/06 | by silverso | Categories: Links and Articles

Link: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060214/14slack.htm

Scene from A Day in the Life of Me

Well it's sad to say, but the time is coming near for me to start planning for life after JET. After three years of getting paid to surf the net all day, and occasionally speak English its hard to think of any jobs that would not be a shock to my system. My first thought was to come up with some kind of brilliant new business idea that would make me rich, and quick! I was just about to blow all my savings on underpants when I came across this handy list of careers for someone of my qualifications.

2nd hand electronics sales will soon be illegal in Japan

02/23/06 | by silverso | Categories: Links and Articles

Link: http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-11230-2nd+hand+electronics+sales+will+soon+be+illegal+in+Japan.html

As of April 1st 2006, it will be illegal in Japan to buy or sell uncertified used electronics manufactured more than five years ago. Why? In short it's because electronics companies in Japan are greedy and the Japanese public are pushovers. This is certainly bad news for Yahoo Auctions and will likely render Japan's numerous recycle shops even more crappy than they already are. The article I linked is actually a little alarmist in my view, as other things I've read indicate that the sale of used goods won't be banned outright, but will require some kind of safety inspection certificate. This is similar to the car shaken scam auto manufactures have been pulling on the public for years. For a really great article about doing your own shaken click here. Apparently you can save well over $500 doing this yourself.

Fun With Wara

02/22/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos

Two happy rope twisters.

A couple of weeks ago Kate and I drove up to Kashiwa Jusco to see a wara exhibition put on by Sorcha's boyfriend Yusuke and his wara club. Other than knowing that straw from rice stalks would somehow be involved we didn't really know what to expect.

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Avoiding life and teaching English in Noheji, Aomori, Japan


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