Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Literal Bathroom

This is our bathroom. That thing on the right is about a meter deep tub. That thing on the left is the shower.

In our house we have two restrooms with one toilet each. This is our bathroom. There is no combined room. The Japanese do not do that, probably to save space or something, but I think it's strange to not have the shower and tub combined.

The monitor above the tub faucet controls the temperature of the water in the tub. You can't see it, but there is a circle underneath the tub faucet that takes in water from the tub and circulates it to maintain the temperature that is set on the monitor. That monitor also talks to me, but like everything else, I don't know what it is saying to me. Pictures help.

The shower is basically a rubber floor mat, a temperature control, and the faucet goes either there or another one just like it but higher.

Don't worry, the bathroom window is frosted and the door is like a school bus door and seals the water in, so what gets wet in the bathroom, stay in the bathroom.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


So I need to make a quick post and get to sleep here.

If only Okinawa was like that...

ANYWHO... I recently attended SWOS ASAT, which stands for Surface Warfare Officer School Advance Shiphandling and Tactics. Now you see why the military loves acronyms. Basically it is to put all Ensigns on a level playing field in terms of being OOD (Officer of the Deck) and getting SWO qualified. It was cool. Alot of simulators that were something like this:
But not as cool. And telling the computer what to do tend to go like this.
"Right full rudder."
"Right full rudder"
Yay, technology! At least I don't have to worry about a Terminator scenario any time soon if the most technologically advanced military in the world can get a computer to listen to me correctly for $75,000.

While there I got to spend some time with my Mom in Boston, and we visited the USS Constitution and walked the freedom trail, which goes by a lot of revolutionary sites, like Bunker Hill and Paul Revere's house. Then I got to go again next weekend and hang out with some of my good college friends.

Once back in Sasebo, Jennifer and I went to the Sasebo Biopark, which is like this:
Except without a babbling fool and with interactive exhibits with animals. Essentially a super awesome petting zoo with Capabara and Kangaroos.

Then we went to Kumamoto. This was a cool experience, because it meant we got to experience the Japanese Expressway system. It only costs you an arm and a leg in tolls to do it, but whatever.

Kumamoto is really cool. Well, we specifically went to the Castle, though  I want to go back and check out Mt. Aso and the city. The castle was awesome and was something like this (at least in my mind):
 Well, not really, but can you at least see how I confuse it with this
Pure Awesome.

We also went to a scare crow festival and I met the President:
 So yeah, pretty cool all in all. Also got to see Gadaffy Duck
And this guy:
Well that is all for now. I really need to go to sleep. Check FB for more photos!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Japanese Addresses

More like "wtf is this?" or "how am I supposed to know how to get there?"

That above is our house address. I don't know what it says. I don't know what it means. The neighbors' plates look completely different, so it's not as if they change slightly because of the number differentiation. Nope, I have no clue what they tell natives about our house.

Our address is 1146-22 Yamato-cho. Yamato-cho is the neighborhood in which we live. I don't know what the numbers correspond to. Thankfully the taxi drivers know how the number translate to where to go. Someone else who lives in our cho, but in a different part, has totally different numbers-before and after the dash. I wouldn't know how to tell people what our Japanese address looks like if they want to write a letter (you could just send it to the numerical address above). Some houses have these a few don't...I don't know.

I think it would be great to find out what the heck that means, but really it's not that big of a deal so long as we know where we live and I don't have to try to say the above characters. I wouldn't know where to start.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I miss my chicken sandwich friend. Anytime I craved something from the chicken champion, I could take a short drive (or walk if I was desperate enough, though I never did) to get a chargrilled chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a sweet tea. I would get an ice dream if I dared or a milkshake to finish it off.

The playground was entertaining, not for me of course, unless I brought a niece or nephew with me. A little anecdote to brighten up your day:
The first time I took Kenleigh and Aislynn to Chick-fil-a they darted to the playground while I ordered the food. No big deal, I'm used to being left to do the dirty work and pay for things for people who need to be chauffeured around because their feet can't reach the peddles OR because the law won't allow them to drive under the age. Either way, I didn't mind not fixing another pbj for the 12th day in a row. "No Chick-fil-a employee, it's my pleasure." I go to the booth in front of the playground so they can watch see me and I can keep an eye on them. I go into the playground room and tell them it's time to eat. Kenleigh looks at me with the brightest eyes and amazement, "Jennifer! Orphans!"
While indeed they were not orphans, they were children playing without their parents present. So in a way, they were orphans. Just later on after they had eaten a nugget or two, they went back to the playground. This time, Kenleigh followed a little boy up to through the maze of colored levels that should lead to the top of the slide. Well, it can be a bit confusing and challenging to find your way out if everything looks the same. So, it had been a while and Kenleigh hadn't come down the slide after climbing to the top. I go in there and she won't move. I try to tell the little boy to show her where the slide is and she still won't move (and I don't think she was willing to follow him anymore after he led her to the top where she was scared and confused). After hearing her little voice cry out for help and her determination to not get further into dispair, I bound up the playground designed for young people smaller than 42". Level after level I bend and twist until I get to where she was. A familiar face to her was the saving grace. "You saved me Jennifer! You saved me!" Yes, yes I did. And don't you forget that, dear one, when you are trying to figure out which of your aunts and uncles is your favorite.
So after I showed her where the entrance to the slide was, I let her go and climbed back down just to climb up part way to the slide so she could hear my echoing voice to guide her down to solid ground. She slid down the slide and she had had enough. The rest is a blur because I was still amused that I "saved" her and nothing as epic happened while putting on shoes.

Chicken sandwiches made with love and having an excuse to sit inside instead of the drive thru are what I've been missing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Printer!

It's Monday. And that means it's time for another episode of what I'm missing in America. This week's feature is my printer.

Yes, my printer. There are many like it, but that one was mine. I've had it since I was a freshman at GT. I miss it. It brought me many saves as I forgot something at the last minute and needed it before class. I was able to print reports in my room and run to class to turn it in before I was too late and the professor thought I was doing just what I had been doing: waiting to the last minute to perfect my once-looked-at paper with grammar mistakes and confusing syntax.

I was also able to scan pictures and documents, just like most other all-in-one printers these days. But this one has a special place in my heart. It could be because I don't like spending money. It could be because I was very familiar with it's functions and how it worked, including its temperament. I could just go to the NEX and buy a new one, but it just won't be the same... It will be shiny, new, and fingerprintless. It will have all the functionality of my last one, but with more features like wireless printing. It will be here in my house and not in some storage unit in Atlanta waiting on my paperwork to be completed so that it may join us in Sasebo. It would allow me to print off pictures and other sorts of decor for our bare-walled home.

One day printer of mine, we shall be reunited. Until then, brush the dust off your shoulders and know that I still want you.