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Ok, so I changed my theme again. I kept that last one for a LONG time, but I got a little restless. I'm sad to say goodbye to the awesome cartoon that Kristen drew me, but I had to get this gangsta picture of me up here. I couldn't resist.
I know that there are a few minor issues with the theme (like the fact that I haven't tagged / assigned a category to any of my posts for the past year or so). I'll probably go back and fix that and make it look pretty for you.
The REAL exciting news is that I'm going to be writing features for Gadling.com. Gadling is a travel blog, and I think it's the most popular one on the net. I'll be writing a story every week for them. It's a cool site, so definitely check it out... my favorite posts are the ones by the pilot guy. Very interesting to see behind the scenes there.
I love my American Express card. I have the platinum one thanks to Todd, which has a lot of cool benefits like being able to go into airport lounges and such.
However, they always seem to freeze my account when I travel. Last year, when I went to Tokyo, Todd and I ate at a baller Kobe beef restaurant in Kobe. We went to pay and both of our Amexes got declined. Ouch.
We called from a payphone across from the restaurant and they finally fixed it.
Recently I needed new hosting. I was paying way too much over at HostGator (who later ripped me off!), so I quit and began the search for new hosting.
At first I tried to get a VPS (virtual private server), which is basically a chunk of a real server. This was great until some idiot on my server kept doing SOMETHING that brought the server (including my sites) to its knees.
After that I realized that I didn't want to have to worry about anyone else screwing up my sites. If they were going to be screwed up, I'd be the guy to do it.
I think it's our third day here. It's hard to tell because I've spent a good amount of that time sleeping. However, I'm now over the jet lag and ready for action again.
Last year when we came to Japan we had no jet lag at all. My jet lag strategy is to try to match my sleeping pattern to the destination's. We got into Japan at 4pm on Tuesday, so I should have been awake for 4-6 hours and have slept for 8 hours.
That's how we did it last year and it was fine.
My productivity has been abysmal for the past three days. I haven't stuck to my crossfit schedule. A couple meals weren't vegan and Ty-approved. I fell off the wagon.
Sure I was on a plane for most of one of those days and jetlagged for the others, but those are excuses and I don't want to excuse myself. Excuses don't put food on the table.
At the same time, I'm not going to dwell on on the past. I had stuff to do, I didn't get it done, and now I'm where I am. It is what it is, and all that matters now is the present.
I love Lenovo/IBM/Thinkpad to death. I'll write more about their laptops soon, but for now I'm going to talk about this new power adapter.
My old one broke in Panama, so as soon as I got to the US I ordered this one. Shipped overnight, it was expensive but worth every penny.
It's very thin, which makes it easy to pack. Just wedge it in next to something else. I had a similarly shaped one from Targus many years ago but it broke and I could never find a replacement.
I have no idea why, but these flights to Tokyo seem so short. Despite staying up the night before I only managed to sleep for five of the twelve hours we spent on the plane. The rest of the time was spent entertaining the four year old next to me with magic tricks, reading her book about Disney princesses, and showing her how to draw on the computer.
The girl next to Todd slept in the most interesting position I've ever seen. Defying age old Japanese Etiquette, I took a picture for you.
Once we took the bus to Tokyo we were met by Blair, the guy renting us a room. Our room last year was fine, but nothing exceptional. This year we have a huge room with two beds, a couch, a TV, and a mini fridge. It's like a little hotel room. The rest of the house has a nice kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathroom shared by the rest of the residents.
My week in Hollywood has just finished and I'm now on a plane to Tokyo. Just hearing the Japanese announcements on the airplane's PA brings back fond memories of my trip here last year and makes me more excited to get there.
(Quick aside. The girl next to Todd is sleeping in the most hilarious position I've ever seen. She's kneeling facing the seat with her legs under the seat in front of her. Her head is face down on the seat of the chair, buried in the cushion. I cannot imagine that that's comfortable in any way. I wish I had my camera out to take a picture.)
I waited too long to call people so I didn't get to see all of my old friends, but I did get to see a bunch of them. I stayed at Style's place, spending most of my time working on CD on one couch while he worked on a new book on the other couch. His new girlfriend, an exotic half Indian, quarter Japanese, quarter something else, hung out with us a lot. She's adorable and a lot of fun, and they're in love.
We watched the plane that we were supposed to be on fly away. As it flew over us we waved our arms as if we were stuck on a deserted island.
In a way we were. With one plane a day, which is usually full, there was no guarantee we could get off the island any time soon. We looked to our canoe driver for guidance.
He stammered something in Spanish. I wasn't sure exactly what it was, but it certainly wasn't an apology. He turned the canoe around and headed for Rio Sidra. Rio Sidra is the "big" island of the chain, but that's relative.
Conquerability: Moderate. No national army, but there are tons of security guards with huge guns. Most of them seem to like us, though, so we may be able to co opt them. Experimental data will be available 2009.
Dangerosability: Disappointingly low. We insured our stuff and got pacsafes, and never had to use them. Even the weird old guy we met in the airport said that Colon was safe. The closest we got to danger was going to a bad area and having tons of locals helpfully guide us away.
Times we rocked the scene at karaoke: 3.