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Browsing Posts published in May, 2010

The iPad came out in Japan this weekend, so when I was at Yodobashi near my house earlier today I checked it out. It is nice, but 500 bucks for a 16GB model or like $700 for the 64GB? You’ve got to be kidding me.  Probably not anything I’ll be able to afford in the near future.  I think I’d rather spend $100 on the iPad I blogged about last night.  Of course the real iPad has a nice interface and all, but it’s so pricey!  The store display model was connected to wi-fi to let you try it out, so we checked out how sites like IUSTV.com and SarahJessicaParkerLooksLikeAHorse.com would look.  Pretty much just like on a computer, but with touching and horizontal/vertical flipping.

アイパッド  Kieran Farr interview on the iPad

We also tried YouTube and watched the IES Train Introduction Video and NR7000 doing his anime dance.  Ah technology.

Chinese APad/iPed

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Saw a Japanese news report earlier today on YouTube via TokyoMango about a Chinese iPad knockoff called the APad (or iPed?) that’s been popping up recently.  The reporter goes to the big shopping center in Shenzhen to check out the device at a shop selling it.  To be honest, I think I’d be more likely to buy one of these than a real iPad, especially since I’m thinking of heading over to HK or China sometime before August anyway.

The device’s casing looks almost exactly like the iPad, and it has a camera and full touchscreen.  To make it even better it also runs Android meaning that the thing is probably super customizable and would give you more freedom than a real iPad ever would without maybe jailbreaking it or something.  Sure the specs might not be as good as the real thing, but considering that it costs less than USD$100 I’d say it’s not a bad deal.  I’m not likely to spend 500 bucks on an iPad that I realistically wouldn’t use that much, but if I have a chance to get an APad I think it’d be worth having another toy to play around with.

On a side note it’s funny how often Japanese news has stories on Chinese knockoffs and counterfeits.  I always get the impression that rather than just providing information they’re trying to just point fingers at China for “being bad.”  Knockoffs are an awesome alternative to people who can’t or won’t by the original devices, and it’s hard to believe that the APad is actually going to have any effect on iPad sales.  Especially considering the iPad isn’t even officially available in China  yet.

August Return to America

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I think a lot of people have heard by now, but I’m coming back to the US in August.  No, not just for a vacation – for good!  OK not necessarily for the rest of eternity, but yes I am actually moving back to live in St. Louis for what will probably be a fairly long period of time.  Originally I was planning on coming back sometime in September or November, but it’s been pushed up to sometime in mid-August.  I’ll be working in St. Louis and slowly going back to school.  Just at night for now, but eventually going for a Master’s I guess.  That’s pretty much the main reason for the earlier than planned return, since the fall semester at the university I’m going to take classes at starts the last week of August.

It will be just short of the 4-year mark of when I moved out here after college to start working.  It’s been a long time since I’ve lived for real in the US, so while it’s hard to imagine that I’m going to be leaving Japan for good, I am starting to get excited about my return.  It’s going to be nice to actually drive places instead of doing a bicycle/walk/train combination.  It’s going to be nice to have an apartment larger than an American hotel room.  It will be great to see all the friends and family that I haven’t been able to see much over the past few years.  And it will be absolutely amazing to be able to get real American food every day.

I of course complain about things here in Japan a lot, but that’s natural.  Obviously I like living here, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed for so long.  So yes it will be a big transition, but I think it’s about time.  Time to get more focused on my career and future, time to live a life that’s not as temporary as I sometimes see my current situation here in Japan.  I’m going to try and fit in a lot of stuff before I leave Japan, including of course seeing a lot of friends and people that have made Japan home.  I’m slowly working on my list of stuff to do/see/eat before leaving, a “bucket list” of sorts if you want to reference a terrible movie that I’ve never seen.  So far the list is fairly sparce, but it includes:

  • eat at an Iron Chef’s restaurant
  • go to a mahjong parlor
  • hit up the museums and zoo in Ueno
  • (maybe) check out the parasite museum in Tokyo
  • (maybe) visit another Asian country while I can get flights for less than $300
  • tabehodais: Top Run, FuuFuuTei, Moo Moo Paradise
    (of course not all in the same day, as impressive as that would be)
  • all nighter at the video game bar in Shibuya

 

A lot of the things on my list I’ve done before, some more than others, but I’m putting them on the list to make sure I can do it again before leaving.  So of course if you’re interested in hanging out before I leave and/or knocking off things on this list with me, let me know.  The next 3 months are going to go by a lot faster than I can even imagine, but I’m going to try to make the most of it.  America, I hope you’re ready for me to come back.

Bob Loblaw

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I don’t have anything especially in mind to write, but I figured I should write something before this blog becomes super stale and dead like so many of my friends’ blogs have *coughNR70000cough*.  Ha.

Golden Week came and went here in Japan, the week-long national spring break that seems to exist only to give airlines and other travel-related business an excuse to hike up rates times one billion since the majority of the country has vacation during the exact same few days.  I really don’t understand why they don’t get rid of Golden Week and just allow people to actually take off.  Then again, based on my limited experience, even with an extra 5 or 6 vacation days a lot of people here just wouldn’t use them.  Why not?  You have vacation days, right?  Oh, but it would be such a hassle to everyone else. Ugh.  Is it sad that GW might be a necessity here to actually get people to take a vacation?  Of course please also note that many “hard working Japanese office workers” spend half their day in pointless meetings, stamping forms, chain smoking, and writing e-mails with super polite language that makes simple communication a chore.  And then they wonder why they have to work overtime!

I was planning on taking a few days during GW off myself, but things didn’t work out as planned when the Wednesday before I got hit with some kind of nasty flu or something that knocked me out for a good 4 days almost.  I’ve had colds before but this was something much worse.  Headache, congestion, fever, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, all that fun stuff.  Usually I’d welcome the chance to lay in bed all day watching TV but I couldn’t even enjoy it this time around.  It was pretty bad.  But I recovered.  Just in time for Golden Week to be over, too!

I don’t really watch Japanese TV anymore, save for a few shows that I just download anyway.  American TV has been pretty good recently, and I’m looking forward to some awesome season (and series) finales coming in the next few weeks.  Not looking forward to the summer drought of new episodes, but that’s to be expected.  Lost has gotten pretty disappointing and I’m honestly just hoping to get it over with.  Maybe they’ll surprise us with something awesome in the end?  House has been fairly good all season although I miss the better season-long story arcs they had in past seasons.  The Office and Family Guy are just kind of there, although still good.  Fringe probably has my vote for best show at the moment, especially with the season finale coming up that should tie a lot of stuff together and really drive home the long-term arc they’ve been working on for the past two seasons.

Let’s see, what else is there?  Work is still work, for better or worse.  I’m hoping something pops in the next few weeks/month or two.  Either way right now I’m looking at moving back to the US (for reals this time) sometime in the fall.  St. Louis here I come!  It’s hard to think about packing up everything here in Japan and moving back to the other side of the planet.  It’s been a great time, but I think that four years is a lot longer than I had originally planned to stay here.  Yeah I just realized that come September it will have been four years.  Yikes.  I have no regrets about moving to Japan after graduation, but I think it’s time to start planning for the future.  That will be much easier in the US.

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