Ritsuko Shonen Knife
I returned yesterday from a quick trip to Melbourne to see Shonen Knife… and some friends and my family. My friends picked me up from the airport on Saturday night and we went over to Glen Waverley to have Japanese for dinner. And beer.

After that, we went back to Stephen’s place where he installed a new SSD inside this computer. I originally had a 60GB drive, now it’s 240GB. No more storing everything on an external drive. Yes!

On Sunday morning, everyone popped over. My brothers, parents and some friends I hadn’t seen in ages. It was the first time in three years my brothers and I were in the same place together and it was really cool. I also got to meet my niece, Addison, for the first time.

Brothers

We all went out for lunch at a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant in Bayswater while my parents went shopping. That lasted ages.

Then came 3pm when Steve and I visited Burwood K-Mart to buy some goodies from Rakuten and the Asian supermarket. I probably spent too much, but I did come out with goodies like Cookies and Cream Pocky, various soft drinks and mochi. Sweet, delicious mochi.

When it came 5:30pm, we headed to downtown Melbourne for another feed and then to see Shonen Knife. The support bands were hmmm…. different. Shonen Knife were excellent! I’m amazed at how much energy Emi Morimoto has. The whole show she was dancing along while drumming, her smile never leaving. Afterwards, they signed some goodies. I was wearing a shirt from England which they signed.

Shonen Knife Towel

Shonen Knife Shirt

When we got back, I did the obligatory posts to Facebook and Twitter, tweeting some Kansai-ben to Naoko. She favourited it. Sooo happy. (おおきに / Ookini is another word for ありがとう / arigatou / thanks in the Osaka area where they’re from).

Shonen Knife Tweet

Then yesterday morning my parents came over to drive me to the airport. We made a detour to see my uncle and aunty for an hour. The flight home was pretty okay, a little bumpy near the end, but no worse than the Bruce Highway.

All up, a fantastic weekend, with lack of sleep being the only downer. And the fact my camera was totally sucking at photos. I didn’t get to do any of Shonen Knife, even though I’d used RAW, maxed out the ISO and used an F2.8 aperture for 1/60 sec. It was all dark, whereas other concerts I’ve done on this camera were pretty good at quicker shutter speeds.

I’d love to see Shonen Knife again, but when and where? Another great Japanese band, Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her, have reformed and are now playing a bit in Tokyo, but that’s a bit hard to do at the moment. They’re definitely on my to see list though.

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Just Imagine

You’ve seen this picture making the rounds on Facebook, yup? I’ve done some research and found that twelve months ago (January 21, 2014)…

  • Qantas shares were $1.12. A thousand dollars would have bought me 893 shares (rounded up from 892.85). They are now $2.34. 893 x $2.34 = $2089.62, as opposed to $49.00. (source Yahoo7 Finance)
  • AIG shares were $51.17. A thousand dollars would have bought me 19.5 shares. They are now $50.70*. 19.5 x $50.70 = $988.65, as opposed to $33.00. (source Yahoo7 Finance)
  • Lehman Brother shares were $0.39. A thousand dollars would have bought me 2564 shares. They are now $0.14. 2564 x 0.14 = $358.96, as opposed to ZERO. (source Nasdaq)

Now with beer. There’s so many beers out there, and this article doesn’t say which kind of beer. Some, such as light beer, are much cheaper than heavy beer. Local beer is cheaper than international, so let’s just go with VB. It’s available Australia-wide. Boozle shows the high and low prices of VB, so let’s go with the low price, for maximum beer purchasing power (and recycling profit) .

According to Boozle, VB can be bought for $38.85 per slab of 24 x 375ml cans. A thousand dollars would then have me purchase 25 slabs (with $28.75 change), which equals 600 cans of beer.

A story on the ABC website shows that recyclers are paying approximately 70c per kilo of aluminium. The Australian Aluminium Council website says as of 2001, a standard 375ml can weighs 14.9 grams. Lets do the maths.

600 cans of beer X 14.9 grams = 8940 grams, or 8.94kg. 8.94 X 70c = $6.25, or $207-odd less than the article. Add in the $28.75 change if you didn’t blow it on pizza, and you’d have $35.00 (still $179 short of $214).

Now the distance thing. I’m annoyed with this as Australians don’t use miles and gallons for measuring distance and volume. Regardless, it also proves that Aussies are lazy. 900 miles = 1448 kilometres. That’s 28 kilometres per week, or four per day. L-A-Z-Y! And 22 US gallons = 83 litres, or about 1.6 litres a week. But are they talking about 1.6 litres of beer, wine or bottles of spirits? I don’t know. There’s a big difference between 1.6 litres of beer and 1.6 litres of Woodstock’s finest**.

So yeah, I guess it’s safe to say that article you see on Facebook is kinda vague in some parts, and totally wrong in others. If only I’d bought Qantas shares a year ago.

*AIG shares are changing in real time.
** Woodstock’s finest is my attempt at humour. It tastes like arse.

Edit 28/01 – I noticed beer cans have a 10c return in SA. So 600 cans x 10c = $60.00. It’s a bit more than the $6.25 you’d have got, but still no way near $214. And you’d have to live in South Australia. Ewww :oP

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I found this hilarious. Australia’s finest performance car magazine – Motor – has this to say about a new Lexus.

Motor Lexus

 

As I use tokyoskyscraper on almost all my social media outings, I sent them a message on Twitter. And they replied. Classic!

Motor Lexus Reply

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BT

And that pleases me. It’s much too hot/humid and there’s no relief, even after the sun has gone away for the day. I find that late March/early April is when the days and nights begin to cool down.

So, two weeks into this year and I can say I’m still eating well. I’m having WeetBix and All Bran most days, as well as a Vegemite and Cheese wrap for snack time. I’ve been really tempted to devour Pizza Shapes as they’ve been on special since last year, and also Red Rock Deli chips, but so far I’ve resisted temptation. My deep fryer is still empty, and the freezer hasn’t seen fries and miscellaneous crumbed meats either. And I still haven’t lost any weight.

I’m at a loss as to why. I know I’m not the most active person, but you’d think eating a slice of multigrain bread smeared with Vegemite as opposed to 12 nuggets and a huge amount of fries would mean instant weight loss, but no. But while I don’t see any significant difference on the scales, I do notice in the mirror that the small second chin I had is almost non-existent. So maybe eating better, fresher foods is doing me well.

Next week is Shonen Knife. I’m really looking forward to seeing them, hoping I can get my photo with Naoko, Ritsuko and Emi. Fingers crossed Melbourne isn’t 46 degrees again like the past 3 times I’ve gone there in Summer. Too hot!

As for the image at the top, I re-did the website for my friend. I liked the other one, but it was very plain. This new one has smaller, brighter images, and I should’ve just gone this route from the start. My friend is also coming to Shonen Knife with me. And installing a larger SSD in this computer. Score!

And that’s me for now.

 

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Hi! It’s 2015 and I hope you had a great 2014. Mine was pretty good, but my diet was horrible. I invested in a deep fryer in May, mostly to cook my homemade katsu chicken, and then came the fries, nuggets and other cheap and convenient frozen meat and potato-based foods. All coated in aioli. Mmmm, aioli is so good.

Coming home from work at 6am, the only supermarket open is the local IGA and at that time of the morning, I’m not really craving cereal or a sandwich. Yesterday morning I cooked up the last of the fries and potato gems that were hiding in the freezer, coated them in aioli and scoffed it all down. Mmmm. Delicious.

Then I did something new. I turfed the cooking oil.

I’m hoping that in 2015 I can be a bit more healthy. My so-called resolution is not to get fit, lose X amount of kilos and whatever I know I won’t accomplish. I just feel it’s time for a change, to eat better, to have more energy. If I lose some weight while doing so, that’d rock, but for now I need to change my attitude towards food. Forget the delicious $1.99-on-special Pizza Shapes at 6:30am, I’ll have an apple or a glass of juice instead. Fries and deep fried miscellaneous animal bits? Now it’s cereal time. Real cereal, like Weet Bix and those made by Goodness Superfoods, not Coco Pops and Froot Loops (even though they are super tasty). Although, with the Goodness cereal, the main side effect is constant farting. Stand clear!

I also drink a ton of soft drink. The average day has me buying a can of RockStar, a 600ml Coke Zero and a 1.25L Diet Pepsi. Then on the way home I get a 600ml Portello. If I can cut it down to say, just the 600ml Coke, and have water or a weak cordial for the rest, that’d also be great.

So this morning I did some grocery shopping and bought a bunch of new stuff. I have chicken breast that I’ll cook on the stove, not in the deep dryer. I have pineapple, blueberries, lemons and limes. I have wholemeal Mountain Bread wraps and Vegemite. I have Cayenne Pepper to mix with the lemon and some water to kick start my metabolism. I’m pretty sure the wraps are decent food, but if not, a Vegemite sandwich is mucho better than a dozen nuggets and fries, right? Right!

If the past has taught me anything, I’ll stick to this for a week, maybe two, then I’ll see no change in my body or energy levels, and it’ll be back to eating rubbish. I hope that’s not what happens, I just want to look good and feel good, have more energy and sleep better. All I have to work on is saying no to junk, sweet delicious junk, and stand up to my cravings. Hey, I may even reward myself at the end of the week with a small chocolate bar.

It’ll be hard, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. My wallet may thank me, too. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan.

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In a post the other day, I mentioned that some things were falling apart/dying on me, like the TV with the two horizontal lines – one of which is growing by the day, my work pants splitting and my car with the awful noises.

Fast forward to the present and I can add more to the list. The gear knob in my car has these two metal plates glued to it. One has decided to peel off. I stick it back on every time I get inside the car, but the glue is no longer sticky. I’ve lost the allen key to remove it, so I can’t put my old knob back on.

My jeans, I love my jeans. I have two pairs of Maddox jeans with a light “dirty denim” look that was big in 2005. One has a hole in the pocket so keys, my phone, everything starts going down my leg. My other pair, the newer one, they decided to split around the butt cheek/crotch area. And every bend down to tie my laces action makes the split larger. Time for new jeans.

My BluRay player, I had it fixed to play all regions of DVD. It no longer accepts anything from Japan or USA. So I can’t play the DVD I got with Bomi’s Kisselbach album. I ripped it on the computer not long before the drive was locked to Region 4, put it on my backup hard drive… and that died. And there’s this video clip I really want to watch. It’s probably best I buy a new external DVD drive.

The CD I used to make the BluRay player region free no longer reads. It’s not connected to WiFi or Ethernet, and I never upgraded any software, so I have no idea how/why it decided to reset.

Now I have $70 in Coles/Myer gift card which is almost enough to buy new jeans from Myer, an external DVD burner from Officeworks or something else I don’t need, but will see in the shop and want. I probably should put my sewing machine to use and just sew up that pocket, using the butt-torn jeans for vegging around home where nobody in public will see my underwear.

Edit 31/12/14 – My wallet has now split. It was one of those plasticky Dosh wallets and just after I posted the above, it split. It’s almost in two pieces now. Grrr. Every leather wallet I’ve had has lasted 6-8 years, this is a year and a half old.

I have new jeans too, as well as an Apple SuperDrive – external. It didn’t connect as this MacBook Pro came with a DVD drive built in, but some editing of a plist file and it’s all good. The only bummer is that half the DVDs I want to watch are Region 2 or Region 3.

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ME ME ME

me

Hi,

I'm Cory and this is TokyoSkyscraper, a place where I can share my thoughts and work, and everything in-between.

I'm from the Sunshine Coast, AU, and my current love is J-Pop/J-Rock. I'm also a big fan of art, photography, design and I'm currently learning Japanese. すごい!

And that's it for now!

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