Planning a trip to Japan – Part 2

Just as a quick update to my last entry about Japan, I now have confirmed dates and have booked my plane tickets! I’ll be leaving Charlotte on September 24 (arriving on the 25) and leaving October 4. Now that my airfare has been booked, it’s really going to happen! All that is left is to find a hotel, plan an itinerary, and pack.

…now, which camera equipment should I take, and should I bring a Figma along…

Planning a trip to Japan

Guide books!

After a couple years of saying that I was going to go to Japan, it looks like I’m finally going to do it this year! I’m still working on finalizing dates and details, but it looks like I’ll finally be able to go next month. I’m very excited about this and picked up a couple of guide books to help plan my itinerary…

At this point, there are a few things that I’m looking forward to seeing. For now, the trip coincides with the dates for Tokyo Game Show, so I’m going to be hitting up the show floor at least one of the two days. Also on the agenda is a trip into Harajuku on Sunday, a possible side trip into Kyoto for sightseeing, and Saitama to visit the Washinomiya Shrine. Of course, no trip for any otaku would be complete without at least one trip to Akihabara!

Lastly, I found out this week that Do As Infinity will be releasing their first new album in three years while I’m there. After a little searching, I found out that the NHK is hosting an outdoor live event to help promote the new album, so I’m going to try to get tickets to the show!

I’m extremely excited about this trip, though I’m probably going to wind up completely broke when the dust settles…

A week in Seattle – Part 2

In yesterday’s post, I went into some of the daytime adventures from my trip to Seattle, so today I figured I’d focus on some of the ancillary events and things I didn’t have time to cover yesterday. Since this was a Microsoft event, most of our evenings were booked with networking opportunities with fellow employees. To facilitate conversation, copious amounts of food and alcohol were provided. More on that later, though since we did have two free nights to fend for ourselves, we decided to take advantage of a few great restaurants in downtown Seattle.

IMG_3281Outside the Brooklyn Seafood-Steak House

Being on Puget Sound, Seattle is host to a lot of excellent seafood. In years past, we’d always had dinner one night at the Brooklyn Seafood-Steak House on the corner of 2nd and University. Even though we were thinking of doing something different this year, we eventually found our way back on Monday evening. If you happen to be in Seattle and have a little money to spend on dinner (about $50 with wine and dessert), I would highly recommend checking out this little place. This year, I decided to have the Wild Alaskan Salmon and a cup of Clam Chowder. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to take a picture of dinner since it looked so delicious and dug right in… I did manage to restrain myself on dessert and grabbed a quick shot before it all disappeared.

Continue reading “A week in Seattle – Part 2”

A week in Seattle – Part 1

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Last week, I had the privilege of attending TechReady, a bi-yearly, Microsoft-only, technical training conference. In all, thousands upon thousands of content was prepared and delivered, from recently finished products like Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, to future products like Office 2010 and Windows Mobile 6.5, to ********* (sorry, can’t talk about that one!) 😉

In addition to the technical components, it was also a great chance to network with some fellow employees. Most of this was done, of course, over some good food and drink. Most of the technical details are pretty boring, so here’s a quick summary:

  • Windows 7 has been stripped down to perform better and be even more secure than Vista was; most of the tweaks under the hood served to improve abilities for a broad range of users
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 features a host of improvements focusing on helping customers get the best out of their investment
    • Branch Caching and DirectAccess will prove to be invaluable for enabling the mobile workforce to be more productive, while at the same time allowing administrators to manage and monitor those machines
    • Hyper-v R2 adds a plethora of features to go head to head with VMWare, including Live Migration (complete with migrating across different generations of CPUs), increased scalability (up to 64 logical processors), and improved virtual network performance
  • Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 are being built to enable better live collaboration across the PC and web platforms while Office gets some significant UI tweaks to improve on the ribbon
  • Bing.com will continue to be improved and implemented, be sure to look for continues releases over the coming year. Some changes will be significant, but unfortunately I’m not able to talk about them. 😦 Nonetheless, I saw some preproduction demos and they’re really cool!

Continue reading “A week in Seattle – Part 1”

Update on flooring project

Last week, I did a quick update showing off the results of a days worth of work in laying down a new laminate wood floor. After putting in most of today on the project, I’m happy to report that I’m only a few steps from being completely done with this project. I’m very happy with the way it came out and the way it looks. Kitty really enjoys it as well, as her toys tend to slide around on the hard surface. I’ll often hear her entertaining herself by pushing toy mice and twist ties around down there. I’m going to be really glad once it’s all finished and I can move on to the next thing!

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Continue reading “Update on flooring project”

Quick update

First off, happy 4th of July everyone! It’s been a day full of excitement for me and also extremely tiring. First, I completed the previously mentioned flooring project. All of the boards have been put into place. The only thing remaining is to patch a few areas and put in the molding around the edges. Looks pretty good, if I say so myself!

IMG_3096There’s also still a little cleanup left to do…

Secondly, Dollfie Rin arrived on my doorstep. After fumbling around for an hour, I finally got her fully assembled and clothed. I still need to get some sort of a stand and head cap for her, but in all very nice! The one thing I wasn’t expecting was how big she was going to be. She’s extremely tall. I have a 24in diagonal monitor, and she towers over it. I’d initially thought about putting her in the display cabinet, but she would easily take up the height of two shelves…

IMG_3861My, look how tall you are!

More detailed write ups of both items are to come, but for now, I’m too exhausted to stay awake! The flooring project really took a lot out of me… ^.^

Start of the flooring project

In this weekend’s standard deviation from otaku life, I’ll be installing some new laminate wood flooring in the downstairs entryway. Over the course of the past week, I’ve had to tear up the existing carpet, remove the padding underneath, and rip up the tack strips for holding the carpet in place. Once that was all done, I could start the clean up process and fill in the holes and cracks in the concrete. Lastly, I had to clean up parts of the floor with bleach cleaner to get rid of the cat urine smell that had soaked through the carpet and padding… If all goes well, I’ll have more pictures to post later this weekend. I’ll also try to document the stages of the project, time permitting.

Spot the Kitty!

Carpet up and ready to go Continue reading “Start of the flooring project”