Japan: Arrival, Transit

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Posted on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 at 11:12 pm.

Dan and I had started thinking about a trip together to Japan during his Spring Break roadtrip to the east coast back in March of 2010.   It was meant to be a return trip for Dan and a vacation for me, mainly as a post-Step 1 trip, albeit during winter break and not immediately after the exam.  Plans solidified in the autumn with the purchase of airfare, JR Pass, and Dan booking a few hotels and hostels for the skeleton of our trip route.  We both left the US from our respective airports on Sunday, December 19, and met up in Narita Airport, in Tokyo Japan on Monday, the 20th.

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Umbrella Locker

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Posted on Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 8:04 am.

Umbrella Locker

I see lockers like this every once in a while; you put in your umbrella and get a key so that nobody walks away with it. It makes sense in a country where umbrellas are so important, but man, is it weird.

Teachers’ Cars

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Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 12:25 am.

There are a lot of interesting cars here; here are two of the neater ones: an Alfa Romeo and a Legacy WRX.

This school has, strangely, tons of Subarus. I’ve seen a Porsche before, and a BMW.

Alfa Romeo and Legacy WRX

Parking Lot Traffic Guy

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Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at 7:19 am.

While I went to city hall with my friend Grant to go to our interviews for direct contracting next year, it occurred to me that you guys might be interested in this.

There’s a guy in the parking lot who stands on a little tower, like so:

Parking Lot Traffic Guy

His job is to point at an empty spot, and your job is to go there.

This isn’t by any means common; I’ve only seen it in two other places. It’s neat, though, and I can see how it would be a huge help to drivers…

The Japanese Staff Room

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Posted on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 at 9:25 pm.

My name is Scott. Though I’m American, I work in a Japanese school and this is my fourth year here in Japan.

Staff Room Chalk Boards


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The Start of a New Decade

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Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2011 at 12:49 pm.

2011 – doesn’t that sound oddly futuristic?  People felt that once 2001 rolled around that we had hit that weird point in time where we were treading on the future settings of past movies and movies (namely the one that used that year as its main title), but don’t you feel like 2011 also gives a similar connotation?  It seems a little less pretentious too, somehow.

I haven’t really posted anything significant for the past year and a half, and I can see why journals like this eventually dissipate; the immediacy of daily life just takes precedence and there are just other things that time can (and should) be spent on.  The site has been around for a full 4 years now, which isn’t any amazing landmark, but it does make me feel a little older, considering I was finishing up with college when I first started it.  I still plan on keeping it up for some time, and hopefully with some improved content.

Recently I went on a 2 week trip to Japan, to try to get a fuller experience of the country and culture, and I will do my best to get around to writing about it and sharing whatever I recorded in my logs or photos.  Long time readers of the site would remember that my first few posts were of my brief trip 3 day trip to Japan and subsequent trip to Korea in the holiday of 2006; the new material should show some kind of improvement in both scope as well as maturity (one can hope).

Programmable Thermostats: Do they work?

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Posted on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 at 11:51 am.

Natalie recently found this article explaining why programmable thermostats save you money, and I thought I would share it because it is so useful. It’s apparently a confusing topic to most, and I’ve already gotten into several arguments about it. Actually, I remember thinking as a child that keeping the temperature constant in a house was more efficient than having it fluctuate a lot by turning the heat down when you left or went to sleep. After taking classes in heat transfer and control systems in college, it’s obvious to me that I was wrong, but most people have no reason to take such classes. Here’s a good article summarizing it in layman’s terms instead:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2970/does-turning-down-the-thermostat-at-night-save-energy