Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the kindness of strangers

it was pouring rain today, and as I was just returning from climbing in nishi nippori, I had no umbrella. As I exited the station at the 109 exit, the rain was insane. Fortunately there was a girl who was kind enough to offer to share her umbrella with me. She turns out to be a reggae dancer and performs at the clubs in shibuya. Quite fit, but I must say her fashion was very kitch. (as to be expected I guess) Wearing a gold sequined beanie and some fashionable black tank top, she was quite fetching. Should have gotten her number. Bah, shes was way to young for me anyway.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The number 60 says I WIN

There were exactly 60 of the ETC model that we wanted and I got the
last one!!!!
(the separate antennae model)
The people behind us had to settle for the handlebar card reader.

Now it's just waiting in line for the signing up paper work. I was number 72 in line and my buddy was 71. If he got the last one I would have mugged him for it.

Japan midnight vigil for ETCs

It's 630am and we are number 70 out of the current 150 people lining
up and out of the parking garage of the saitama naps in hopes to get
one of these coveted ETC devices which allow you to pay tolls auto
magically on highways. The government has an insane campaign which
allows you to spend just 1000 yen to rise as far as you like, and in
response, what was once the benign etc device sold out and went on
backorder immediately across the country. The manufacturer can't keep
up with orders so stores across the country must ration their sparse
inventories. To make things worse, naps is offering an additional
discount for the in device from the regular 45000 and 28000 for the 2
types to 22000 and 11000 for this June campaign. Sounds great right?
Well unfortunately the catch is that they have a total of around 1200
devices to spread over the 11 stores in japan. Each store gets around
100 devices and in the span over 4 campaign days you have people
lining up all night. We got here at 2am to find 60+ people camped
already. What is amazing is that despite the sign that says that there
are already 100 people past a certain point there is a line that
continued outside for another hundred. What are those people waiting
for? Hoping against all hope that some of us will leave? Only in japan.

Monday, June 08, 2009

12800yen charger

So I forgot my iPhone cable at work on Friday, and this was left with a very hoer battery life device and a lot of high use requirements. Mid Saturday the phone was running on red. So I pick up over at yamada denki a 500yen USB to iPod adaptor, which should theoretically allow my phone to charge. Plug it into the mac, and at first things seem to be working, but shortly after it seems the charging stops. After spending a phoneless sat and half of Sunday switching cables, powered hubs and sources it seemed like nothing was going to revive my dead phone. So over to apple I go thinking I'd give in and get another charge cable. After adding up the code of the plug, the cable, and a dock it turn out to be just 4000 more to get a full stereo radio alarm dock. Apple wins.