Both famous Hokkaido locations for different reasons, this was an awesome weekend trip. Plenty of dessert and other good food, relaxing twilight hot springs, and some really incredible views. I’m not sure I could choose any one thing as the best.. it was all incredible.
Enjoy a few photos and “my first short film”, which is really just something I shot on the gondola ride down the mountain, and then swapped in some elegant music. In fact the scenery is majestic, the music elegant; the only thing out of place in that equation was me, in a U2 t-shirt, jeans, and mountaintop, wind-swept hair.
What a social network should never, ever do is lock out users, regardless of their device.
After being automatically corralled to their “touch” version, LinkedIn refused to accept my login credentials, and even pimped its own iOS app. Perhaps a non-working website is their way of forcing users to download that app and bolster their stats.
Needless to say, after downloading their precious 2-star (user rated) app, it crashes straightaway, and upon relaunch, refuses my login just the same.
LockedOut is more apt, and reaffirms why I don’t use their service more.
Update: Turns out it was a security measure; my old password apparently wasn’t good enough, and the full website wanted me to create one newer and more secure. Only problem is that the mobile website and app did not display that message or a way to do so (only the vague “failure to sign in” error message), making the first part of this post still valid; I was a mobile user locked out until I could access the full site via PC.
It’s no secret to those closest to me during the past couple years that I have developed a real affinity for bread-making. Not that lazy nonsense done with a machine, but really doing it all by hand, from scratch.
There’s just something beautifully simple and magical about exerting a small dose of effort, a bit of patience and getting something much bigger and wonderful in return. I could try comparing it to making and carrying a baby to term, or even a more direct hobby analogue like gardening, but I’ll just say that for me, making bread is not just therapeutic because of the tactility of mixing and kneading, but it defies the common logic that you get out of something what you put into it.
For years I enjoyed bread, assumimg that buying it from the store or during one of the rare visits to my grandmother’s house was pretty much the only way to get it. To learn how basic the recipes generally are, how cheaply they can be made, and often how much more delicious and healthy it is versus the chemical- and preservative-laden loaves from the market tend to be, I was not only surprised, but embarrassed–if not borderline ashamed–to have neglected these truths for so long.
All that said, the year or two of experience I gathered from learning and making various bread recipes while living in San Francisco have proven at least a little helpful while attempting to rekindle the hobby here in Japan. Aside from just plain enjoying it as a pasttime, the impetus is that I’ve found bread in Japan not quite to my liking. While many bakeries exist that offer specialty breads, pastries, etc., many of them don’t maintain as convenient hours as grocery stores, nor are they what I would describe as “affordable,” often ranging from 5-10 dollars for things you might pay 2-5 bucks for in America. That says nothing of the sizes, which tend to be half to two-thirds the size I am used to. On top of that, basic sandwich bread here is almost always that super-white, blocky stuff that many western people outgrow when they reach adulthood. For pre-made sandwiches, they even tend to trim the crusts off like some western children prefer. Whole wheat or other grain sandwich breads are nearly impossible to find.
I took a three hour trip to a pretty famous zoo yesterday. While many of the more exotic exhibits seemed closed or at least temporarily moved from the outdoors areas for the rather harsh wintertime, I was able to sneak a few really nice photos.
Hamburg steak is about as American as restaurants get here. But, eating fries with chopsticks does feel classy.
At least for the time being, I am giving up having a custom design for my blog/site. It’s simply too time consuming, especially when I have to consider backward compatibility with all of the content I’ve created since not only its creation, but my creation as well. So, I am opting for a basic, out of the box theme that I won’t have to worry about updating or tweaking as the underlying publishing software evolves.
But that’s where my giving up ends. I have been living in Japan for the past 6 months, and amid all the craziness and difficulty of settling in, have already amassed a gigantic pile of things worth sharing; a lot of which has already been shared between my presences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Since much of that is piecemeal and posted one at a time as they happen, there is very little context or organization to it.
I’ll be uploading things to this blog as I have time, including a refined, simplified portfolio, which is as yet unpublished. Not that I’m actively seeking design work, but if some should come along, I do plan to share what little talent I have publicly.
Otherwise, beyond the banalities of my daily life, it feels like there should be a greater opportunity to share things with those who can’t be here in Japan to experience them firsthand. I’m open to suggestion as to what that could be, and until I find a decent groove, my posts will likely be random in nature.
That’s it for now, time for a private English lesson!
Just setting up a post before making my big move to Japan next weekend. Who knows when I’ll be back, but as you can see from my visa above, the first milestone will be 1 year.
For anyone who wasn’t already aware, I’ll be going to the city of Sapporo, which is on the northern island of Hokkaido. I like to describe it as an archipelago analog of Minnesota, but that just leaves the door open for showing contrast rather than comparison. Just like some American cities are well known for beer, so is Sapporo. Shame I don’t appreciate alcohol.
I have to sell a LOT of stuff. Whatever doesn’t sell is mostly going to charitable organizations like the Salvation Army. Guess even someone without a regular job like me can still do my part to help those less privileged. Weird, that.