Mechanized Dolls

I went to a free presentation about Japanese moving dolls provided by the library. The library is pretty cool, with an “International Community Center” on the third floor.

I sat next to a German lady that is doing post-doc molecular physics research at a research place here in Okazaki. She is working on a molecular spectroscopy device. That conversation made me realize that I can talk about molecular physics better than I do small talk.

Tea Serving Doll

When the tea cup is placed on the tray, the doll moves forward. When the tea cup is removed by the customer and then replaced by the customer, the doll turns around and goes back to the start.

Mercury regulated doll inside




“Thing I like”

I like cameras. I have lots of cameras and lenses. I am always carrying a camera. I also have a camera that can have its lens changed. If you change the lens, you can take different pictures.
When I see a pretty scene, I want to take a picture that reminds me of that. Taking pictures of models is also fun. But, If I want to take a really cool picture, I think it is good if I spend time pondering. That challenge is interesting.
On business trips, when I have free and boring time, I am always taking pictures. Sometimes even though I am busy, I take pictures. Any time, anywhere pictures can be taken. Thus, taking pretty pictures makes free time not boring.

(I am trying to be more literal in my translation, which is getting hard. The phrase “いつでもどこでも”(“Any time anywhere” is the first part of the title of a Go game on my DS that I like, “いつでもどこでもできる囲碁/Any time anywhere Go is possible”

Softbank Prepaid Card and Mail

I finally had to get a new card for my Cell Phone, and I found that I couldn’t do it by myself. So, I am writing this in case someone else finds it useful.

To change the email address that the phone uses, go to this page, and go through the “Forgot email” part. To check your current email, go to “account details” from the Phonebook menu.

To get the Softbank 730SC (The standard candybar prepaid phone) into English, do this:
Go to the main menu. (The button in the middle of the d-pad). If a white message box pops up, the keyboard is locked. To unlock, hold the middle button for a while, and then press it twice to get to the main menu.

From the main menu, press 9 4 1 , select a language, and then press the middle button again.

First, if you change the menu for service (1400) to English, it becomes much easier.

Dial 1400
Then press 3, “Language Selection”
Japanese is 1, English is 2.
You need to press # to confirm your choice.

To enter a new card:
Dial 1400
From the main menu, press 2
Type in the card number, and press #
The lady reads back the number
Press # again if that is correct.

In the main menu:
1 is Account Info
2 is Card entry
3 is Language selection
4 is Mail service

Mail service is ¥300 for 30 days, the phone card is ¥3000 and is valid for 60 days. The ¥300 charge comes out of the ¥3000 cards value.

Other notes about Softbank:

S-Mail! only works between Softbank or Disney phones, so to send to a phone on another company, an email or SMS would have to be used.


真夏日, “Manatsubi” is a word that means a day where the temperature is over 30 degrees. Since that would probably be about 80% humidity as well, that is an annoying weather. Today (Tuesday) was one…

But, a word like that that doesn’t have “30″ in any form to mean such a specific thing. The kanji are “True/genuine”, “summer” and “day”.

Hair Cut

Self Portrait
Self Portrait. I cut my hair. This is 3mm.

Other random stuff:
It it so humid and warm that I am getting condensation and mold on the top of my fridge. I used to take it for granted that the shower would be dry that evening if I used it in the morning. Here, it is almost that unless you forcefully move water, it will stay put. I think if I put a saucer with water in it on my fridge that condensation would cause it to fill faster than evaporation would empty it. 80/100 on the laundry index is that a T-shirt will dry in 3 hours (and rain doesn’t necessarily interfere with that rating).

It seems that the guy who was going to be my roommate changed his mind, so the customer service people are coming to take back his luggage.

Before and during the haircut pictures inside

Bottle of HCL

HCL Lens Cleaner
Lens cleaner.

HCL brand lens cleaner. I was in BIC CAMERA looking to buy some lens cleaning stuff. (Yes, mom, I was buying cleaning stuff. I even MOPPED today.)

I made sure that it was just an alcohol based cleaner with a very odd brand name.