Monthly Archives: April 2017

Pack and Repack

Things like this happen in my life now: We get a box full of rice and vegetables from our in-laws and my first reaction is “That box is mine”.

It says a lot that She Who Must Be Obeyed understood why I wanted the box, although she wasn’t real keen on me just tossing the rice and vegetables aside. (My reaction was: the floor looks clean, but just in case, make sure you cook the rice and vegetables thoroughly.)

Then I had the task of cutting open the box I’d already packed perfectly and feel kind of sad as I both undid and admired my handy work.

That said, I did a pretty good job of repacking, and even managed to get all the new ink (which prompted the repacking) in with room to spare.

Now I get to deal with the post office which in any part of the world, isn’t always fun, especially as I’ll be carrying three different packages all being sent different ways. That always makes for an interesting time.

Wasted Days Etcetera

For reasons I don’t fully understand, I decided to accomplish absolutely nothing today.

In truth, this was not a conscious choice; it was the result of migraine hangover and a bad habit of enjoying the first day of the weekend way too much.

I managed to clean and re-ink a pen, and to pack a box and an envelope for shipment, but otherwise I did nothing else.

And I made lunch for our youngest and myself and then did dishes. Eventually.

Sundays are usually more productive, but Saturday’s have become my day to play vegetable. I didn’t even bother to schedule anything.

Sunday has been planned, though, and a with a little bit of follow through, I’ll get all of it done.


There Can be Only One Bully

My bad first year junior high school student had a decent class last time. This time he was bad. He came in late, wasn’t carrying a book, and tried to play dumb until I mentioned that he’d have to stand all class if he couldn’t answer “What is your name?”

He answered and got to sit down.

Later, he put his head down and the students near him confirmed he wasn’t sleeping, he was just bored.

I do worry about students getting involved in such things. It’s too easy for them to cross the line from “helpful jerk” to “straight up bully.” This is not good as, technically, it’s my job to be the bully, which I define more along the lines of “bad cop”.

My form of bullying, though, only lasts during class (and maybe a lunch or two) then goes away. It will even go away in class once a student’s work is done.

Classmates, though, are always around and can continue bullying long after class is over.

Eventually we’ll have open classes where parents can visit. I kind of hope his show up.

Until then, I’ll be the bad cop.

Traveling and Waiting for Traveler’s

What I would have done would have been rather different. What I did was act cranky and that may have earned me 20 minutes. It didn’t win any friends though.

An acquaintance asked me to run down to Tokyo and buy a special edition of a notebook cover that was released as part of the grand opening of a shopping center.

Although I’m not a big fan of the notebook cover, I agreed to head down to Tokyo.

After locating the shop, I tried to implement my usual “play dumb” tactic to get in past the ropes but failed. (Yes, the notebook shop, in anticipation of big crowd, had ropes to keep the public out. (They are visible at the very bottom of this photo:)

However, the staff, many of whom spoke English, informed me I’d have to wait and gave me a reservation time for three hours later. This surprised me as I expected that getting there late would mean I’d miss out on the notebook covers. Instead, the shop had apparently not actually opened yet (although some people seemed to be shopping) and I’d missed out on a convenient shopping time.

I said a few choice words in two languages and went in search of a snack and some bourbon. (There’s a liquor store near Tokyo station that lets you pay for two small samples of even expensive booze.) I also found a surprisingly good coffee shop that served coffee in cups larger than samples. I stayed there for a while and read a fairly average book.

In the end, I returned to the shop about 20 minutes before my time, and someone who recognized me from before managed to get me inside early. I asked if they had a package deal and got more apologies as I selected the notebooks and assorted paraphernalia individually. I was surprised they hadn’t considered a package. As it was a grand opening, I’d have assembled a number of bags of samples of the new goods and given out numbers to interested parties until I ran out bags. It would be a bit like Fukubukuro Fighting in April but with less violence.

Instead, all I got was a complimentary box of coffee flavored candy. (Famous conundrum: Coffee is delicious. Candy is delicious. Coffee candy is not delicious. #whatevilisthis)

Now I send it all on with a bunch of ink.

Hopefully Approaching the Probable End

If I tried to run a restaurant, it’s the dishes and daily cleaning that would do me in. If I ran a restaurant it would have to be a questionable dive in the middle of nowhere. Never look in the kitchen and don’t ask what that is staining the table top.

In my current low volume, low margin side hobby/business, it’s boxes, packing and forms that get to me.

What I hope is the last batch of ink a client has ordered arrived today and I now have the job of once again performing packing magic. I’m not looking forward to this.

To get the box to its currently packed state I performed advanced Tetris level packing that I now have to undo.  I also will probably have to find a new box as the current one is at its volume limit. Luckily, I won’t be able to ship anything out until Monday so I’ll have a lot of time to work things out.

At that point, when I go to the post office, I’m looking forward to seeing the looks on the faces of the post office staff when I hand over boxes of different shapes and sizes and envelopes of different shapes and sizes all going to different countries and all with different shipping methods.

They, however, will get to enjoy the look on my face as I fill out several different types of forms, some of which I’ll never have seen before and at least one I’ll have to fill out twice.

This kind of minutiae is why I suspect that many young business fail. Owners like handling the stuff, and some like selling, but very few like keeping track of inventory, boxes, packing materials and money. Similarly, it’s probably more fun to be a cook at at restaurant than to be the restaurant’s owner. At least as long as dishes aren’t involved.




Parts of Three Equals None

Today I’m going meta as I managed not to finish three different projects for this daily bit of blather. In my defense, I did actual work, which is not something I usually do on days off.

My plan was to go out and do stuff but eventually I realized that all was planning on doing was going to lunch. Instead I stayed home and worked on a couple worksheets for the school where I work (and for future house arrest days).

I also took some photos for this bit of blather but only wrote part of the actual text. Granted, I wrote part of the text for three different posts but didn’t actually finish either of them.

This is the curse of enjoying your days off a little too much. Eventually I finish all the posts. Eventually.

Watching and Waiting and Wondering

Today my bad student was decent for half a class and I was notified that it was my job to protect the school where I work.

The bad student did some book work and at least pretended to work on the print I gave him. He also performed a dialogue with other students. However, when it was time for the second dialogue, which had to be both original and memorized, he passed. However, he’s remained awake and hasn’t resorted to crying histrionics, so I consider that win.

I suspect he’ll get better as he gets bored with sitting by himself in the back, but we’ll see.

I was also informed that I have a student who was bullied last year and his dad has either promised to, has tried to, or is suing the school where I work. Because of this, I’m supposed to keep an eye on him and how other students treat him. I joked that because of that I should probably stop taping him to the chair, but the messenger wasn’t in the mood for jokes.

However, this situation creates a dilemma for me. Because I don’t actually work for the school where I work, a fact they make known by denying me something as simple as a locker for my coat, I really don’t care how badly they are sued. That said, I don’t want to be involved in another lawsuit. (Note:  I didn’t actually know about the first time I was almost sued until it was already over but I still count it.)

Now I have to be watch myself in class. Or not. It depends on the mood I’m in.


Packed and Then Unpacked

Spent part of the day organizing ink and stuff and packing a box for a customer. I was pleased that one of his many orders fell through as I wouldn’t have had space for it in the box.

I packed and weighed the box and even figured out the shipping costs. I sent him a note about the costs and his reply was to tell me that more ink was on the way.

I backed away from my desk and into the boat’s cabin and said to the rest of the crew “You’re going to need a bigger box.”

Note: that all made sense at the time it happened. Even the boat’s crew understood. 

Now I’ll have to undo my excellent packing job and try to recreate it in a bigger box. I’m also going to have to redo the money with a little extra thrown in for my effort.

There will also be a caveat about sending stuff without notifying me in advance.

Conan, Popcorn, and Creepers

Today became an impromptu Daddy/Daughter Day Out when She Who Must Be Obeyed said that our youngest wanted to go see a movie. Somewhere in there Beauty and the Beast was mentioned and I said that would be okay, mostly because it was in English and because movie popcorn would be involved.

This means I may have been the victim of a bait-and-switch.

As I looked up times for the English version of the movie, She Who Must Be Obeyed clarified that our youngest wanted to see the latest Detective Conan movie. This was an issue as the movie is shown in Japanese only. However, I’ve already seen Bakuman and a Pokemon movie in Japanese so I didn’t think this would be an issue.

However, I know absolutely nothing about Detective Conan and found the movie quite boring. A lot of it takes place in meeting rooms with people talking about events past and present. This made it hard to follow. Action scenes are easy to follow, but four people sitting in different rooms discussing the case gets old pretty quick. Also, anime Japanese is much harder to follow than live action Japanese as facial expressions and lip movements are off.

On either side of the movie, I let our youngest play her favorite game. The first time there were no problems but when we arrived after the movie, there was a high school/college aged young man playing the game on one of the machines. As this is a game designed for girls, it was an odd image. Also odd was an older man who kept circling around and through the game center. As he kept making odd noises I figured he might be a little off or might have Tourette’s Syndrome.

Either way, every time he came by to watch our youngest play her game, I positioned myself between him and her. At one point I was in constant motion as he kept moving to find a view. Eventually he left.

After we came back it was time to recover from a diet busting day.


Fading Toward the Weekend

I should be more tired than I am and in June I probably will be. Right now, though, I’m kind of surprised.

Although my schedule at the school where I work is nearly identical to last years schedule, it has a couple interesting changes that make it much better than last year’s. With one exception.

First, the schedule is front loaded. I have half my teaching schedule on Monday and Tuesday and then the other half is spread out over three days. Three classes on Wednesday, three on Thursday and two on Friday.

This means my schedule lets me relax toward the weekend. It also gives me lots of prep time to get ready for Monday and Tuesday. Because of this, although this is the first full week of work fr the school year, I feel fairly relaxed.

Of course, there are a couple problems. Both involve Friday.

First, I have my current worst student on Friday. As I also have him on Monday, that means he serves as an annoying bookend for the week. Second, although Friday has only two classes, they are second period and sixth period, which gives me a four hour break. Although this seems awesome and gives me a lot of prep time, the fourth hour is painful.

The real test, though, will be in June, when the weather is getting hotter and there are fewer days off. If I can get through that without being cranky and/or miserable, then I’ll be able to say I have a good schedule.