Tag Archives: problems

Some Things I Hate

I don’t like the word hate, but it describes a feeling I have toward a few things pretty well. This post was inspired by Godless Cranium, who was in turn inspired by HarsH ReaLiTy.

  1. People who turn without using their turn signal. This applies to both when I’m driving behind them and when I’m walking across a crosswalk and I think they’re not turning.
  2. Old men who pick at their teeth and make loud smacking noises with their mouths while riding the train. It’s disgusting.  Stop it.
  3. No rain in the forecast, I don’t bring an umbrella, it rains. Also, rain in the forecast, I bring an umbrella, it doesn’t rain.
  4. Being told I’m doing something the wrong way, when I’d been taught to do it that way, and had seen many people do it the same way. More specifically, I was told I wrote the number 7 wrong by an HR manager a few years ago. She said I must cross the 7, but I told her that every teacher I’ve had in my life did not cross the 7. She said they were all wrong. I continued writing my 7s without crossing them.
  5. Having someone explain a scientific theory to me. A scientific theory that I studied in university and did plenty of research and laboratory work on. A scientific theory that person didn’t actually understand. They got so much wrong, and when I tried to correct them, they’d still claim they were right.
  6. Anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, anti-GMO activists, climate change deniers, and religious fundamentalists who are so adamant about their position that they will not listen to any kind of reason while expecting reasonable people to accept their version of the world as truth without any questioning. Not going to happen!
  7. Stubbing my toe. In fact, I stubbed both little toes and dislocated them several years apart (1996 and 2012).
  8. Some of my favourite games being incompatible with Windows 8.1.
  9. World leaders who refuse to stop acting like little children, which is most of them.
  10. Being questioned about why I’m so quiet at a party. There must be something wrong. No, as an INTJ, that’s just my natural state at a party. My problem is being asked that over and over again.

I’ll stick with ten. There’s more. But this isn’t so bad for an optimistic person is it?

Going to the Embassy Is Always an Adventure


Someone is asleep. She wasn’t always like this today. We went to the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. It’s in a nice neighbourhood called Akasaka, which is known for its embassies. It’s near the high class Omotesando shopping area and the popular Roppongi, which has many bars that cater to foreigners, especially Americans.

But our day was at the embassy. It was definitely an adventure in parenting. This is what I had to deal with.

First, she kept singing. In the train, in the post office, in the embassy. Not quietly, but loudly. Second, she demanded to stand up on the train. And then loudly complained when I put her back on the seat. And she did this many times. Third, she played with the cover of her stroller, the one to block out sun and rain. She pulled on it so hard while I was talking with the embassy staff that it broke. It’s not possible to fix it. That’s when I had it with her behaviour. The problem is, she didn’t listen. She was very stubborn today. When she saw I was angry, she finally said sorry. I then told her that she broke the stroller, and she started crying. The staff offered her a toy to play with and she just threw it on the floor.

On our way out, she told me she pooped. We went to the bathroom to change her, but she hadn’t pooped at all. We left the embassy and as we walked to the station, she told me she pooped. Another check and nope. No poop.

She fell asleep on the train, so the rest of our trip home should be uneventful.

There were some positives, though. A high school boy waved at her on the train and she waved back. Some high school girls kept looking at her and saying she was soooooo cute. And at Aoyama-itchome Station, we had to get up to street level through what is a maze-like station. Many stairs up and down. She can walk up and down stairs very naturally now. No more carrying her up or down!

At least we should look at the positives even if it was a trying day.

In the Zone, but Starting Writing Is the Problem

The A to Z Challenge has been a wonderful thing. In fact, I’ve gotten more writing done with this than I did with NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo. Actually, in the three Nanos and two Camp Nanos, I wrote less in all of those combined than I have in the A to Z Challenge.  I’d say it’s been a huge success, and it’s not finished.

You see, I’ve been able to write between 250 and 500 words in only fifteen minutes.  My latest ones have been over 400 words and take me a mere fifteen minutes to write. If I wrote for an hour, I could easily surpass the NaNoWriMo daily targets.

I’ve been finding that once I start writing, I just keep going and going without a pause.  I get in the zone.  The dialogue flows easily it appears. Maybe that’s my strong suit. It looks like I’ll have to write as much as I can of dialogue and whatever I can of narrative, then go back to edit more action in.

My big problem is getting started.  Before I start writing each part of the challenge, I sit there for fifteen or thirty minutes trying to just get the first word out.  I know what I want to write, but the procrastinator in me won’t let me start. But once I do, I have no problems finishing it.  I just need to get around that delayed start.

Citizenship Certificate Application (aka What’s Killing My Writing)

Today, my family’s continued adventure into the world of immigration lead us back to the Embassy of Canada.  It was a frustrating day with a few bumps.  It started out with me ready to go to the embassy with my daughter, but I did some double-checking.  That’s what brought about my first bump.  It said I needed an affidavit signed by the translator of any Japanese documents in front of a Commissioner of Oaths.  Panic time.  I thought I’d have to wait until next week.  I sent an email to the embassy, and they responded quickly.  That wasn’t required.  No affidavit.  Whew!

So, why is no affidavit needed?  Japan doesn’t have a system for certifying documents or doing oaths like that.  So, all I need to do is make sure the translation is done neatly, accurately, and typed.  Okay, that was fine.  So, we rushed out to the embassy.  I knew we’d have time to get there.  And we got there just in time, 15 minutes before the Consular Section is supposed to close.  I gave all of the documents and translations to the embassy staff.  What we had translated for my daughter’s citizenship certificate is the family registry, her birth registration, and her national health insurance card.  Next bump coming up.  They asked me if I had an original of the birth registration, because it looked like I only had a copy.  Well, I was certain that was the only copy we had. More on that later.  Next bump.  I forgot my daughter’s photos!  Damn it!  Well, they said it was fine, just mail it to them.  So, that was that.

I was done at the embassy, except for a trip to the bathroom.  You see, my daughter poured her water all over herself.  It made her look like she wet herself.  But it was just water.  I couldn’t do anything about it until we got home.

When we got home, I asked my wife about the birth registration.  What I gave the embassy was the copy that was made for us by the city.  In fact, it had never been made before.  This was THE original, first ever copy.  In Canada, we’re given a birth certificate after we’re born.  In Japan, the important document is the family registry.  When a child is born, they join the family registry, rather than have a birth certificate issued.  Therefore, the family registry is the big official document.  The birth registration document had to be typed, then given to us, so it took them some time to prepare it.

We’ve sent the photos and a letter explaining that this was the original birth registration document.  They should have her citizenship certificate application sent out next week.  Unfortunately, it’ll take up to a year for us to receive it. This creates a little problem with my wife’s visa application.  We’re supposed to include it in her application, but now we can’t.  We’ll have to explain to Immigration that it’s being processed.

I think one of the more frustrating things is that the embassy’s website isn’t very clear on a few things.  What the embassy staff says, what the website says, and what the forms say are often different.  It’s hard to know what exactly we’re supposed to do. Anyway, the only thing left we have to do is the visa application.  But that’s a lot of pages.

I’d planned to have a video done, but YouTube’s taking its time processing the videos.  I’ll put it up in another post when it’s ready.

Computerless for the Foreseeable Future

I’m writing this from my phone, as I can’t get any of my computer’s web browsers to work without locking up. This means I’m restricted to my phone for the Internet. Not the best thing for typing up blog posts. So, I won’t be able to make long blog posts without tiring myself out, because typing on an iPhone takes far too long.

So, what should I do now? I’ll be reading a lot more. I’ll be writing on paper, both for my book and book reviews. Everything will get typed up once my computer is replaced, whenever that will be.

As for this blog, I’ll try blog often from my phone, hopefully generating some discussion from you in the comments. That means it’s your turn to talk a lot on this blog. So please leave comments often!

The unfortunate thing is that my Coursera courses are being put on hold for now. One course I won’t be able to finish at all because it’s done this month. I can’t watch anything. I don’t have iOS 7, so I can’t get the Coursera app. I tried.

Anyway, please bear with me until I get a new computer. When I’m fully up and running, I’ll have plenty to say.

Time Consuming Computer Problems

Not sure if I’ve fixed anything yet, but so far, I haven’t had problems running Firefox for the past 15 minutes.

Starting this morning, I noticed that Firefox kept hanging.  It repeatedly stopped responding, and I had to force it to close.  I got home tonight, and the same thing happened.  I ran a virus scan, nothing.  I ran a tune-up program and found 229 registry errors.  I fixed that, but still the same.  It still stopped responding.  I upgraded Firefox to the latest version.  Same thing.  I restarted Windows.  Still no change.  Finally, I went into control panel and fiddled with the settings in power options, changing the hard disk power down to 60 minutes.  That seems to have solved the problem…I hope.

It’s Not Writer’s Block!

Sometimes things just won’t let you write.  Today, I had one such incident.

I started up my computer this morning hoping to get around 30 minutes or so of writing done, but what came up on my screen was aggravating.  A message saying Windows couldn’t start and was going through start-up repairs.  Well, that only took about 10 minutes and it restarted without a problem, but the damage was done.  I was in no mood to write.

It actually has me worried still.  My computer’s done this once before about a month ago.  It actually did it occasionally last winter.  I don’t think it likes cold temperatures.  It seems to do it more when it’s cold.  I wonder if it’s a hardware issue with this type of computer.  I’m wondering if it’ll start up normally tonight.  I guess I’ll try do a major cleanup on my computer tomorrow.  Run all the tests.

And this was my one chance home alone this week to write.  Not happening.