Monday, 8 May 2017

Thing #78: Update

Perhaps not surprising, none of my magazines got sold on eBay. "Fortunately" I had by accident ordered two games for my console which were not compatible with it. I found these much easier to sell! In less than 24hrs the transaction was complete and I had my first eBay sell under my belt. Consequently Thing #78 is once more completed!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Thing 64# Make Your Bike or Skateboard Look Cool

I went out for a walk this afternoon and passed by a known retail-chain. I thought to browse the new range of products they were stacking in case they had something of interest. Guess what I came across!  A fingerskateboard. Clearly under normal circumstances I would have paid any attention. Who would buy such a thing anyway? For starters one who write articles about making your mike or skateboard look cool and they don't have either of them. Well now I have a skateboard. It even came with a sticker I could use to make it look cool. If I was feeling extremely cool (or if I preferred yellow to grey) I may have even changed the wheels. Then again I had to do some DIY earlier today, which was enough for a day. In anyway, I can proudly claim (again) this Thing completed!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Thing #78: Hold a Yard Sale

I have recently decided to simplify my life as much as possible. It is as a very convenient decision indeed, given that I have to hold a yard sale for Thing #78. As yard sales are not my thing, I've decided to donate most of the things I did not have a need for anymore. 

In addition, in order to meet my objective I've also decided that in the future I am to avoid paper in any form and shapes. Not only is it good for the environment, but it also means I don't end up collecting things. Say, why go for a paper version when you can access  magazines in electronic format? Paper versions end up taking much space and once you have a few years worth of staff, recycling feels a bit of a "waste". This is especially true for a science magazine I have been collecting for almost 20 years now! Given that they are all in mint condition, I have decided to put them up on eBay and see if I can find a good home for them. I don't expect to have the science community rushing to buy them. Still if nothing else, it will be an interesting experiment to see if there is any interest. I will update you on the progress of the sale in due course. 

In the meantime, I think I will claim Thing #78 done.

Thing 64# Make Your Bike or Skateboard Look Cool

Given that I don't like mods to the things I own, I would not be able to claim this Thing done. If nothing else, it's ancient times since having a bike or skateboard made me feel cool. Then again being "cool" never was and never will be my thing anyway. In fact, I'd rather be "hot" than "cool".

Now.. if my memory serves me well, my first bike  was given to me when I was around 9-10. It was a chopper-styled one. Very 80s, very heavy, very slow. It was the sort of bike you certainly did not want to pedal uphill. It looked good though.. and the best part is that you did not have to add something to it to make it look cool. In fact... it still does! Perhaps after all these years coming across it in the garage brings back all these fond memories, while the genuine retro look can't just be ignored.

Image result for bikes  chopper 80s

Having such a bike should suffice to claim this Thing done. However I thought to claim this via an alternative route. About three months ago I went through airport security and as required I took my laptop out of my bag. The lady at the belt was about to place it in the tray when she paused for a second: "This is the thinnest laptop I have ever seen. It looks really good." Clearly, she has good taste. What made her remark though impressive was that she must handle hundreds or laptops on a daily basis.
I don't like leaving things unfinished. Even if that means coming back to a blog 5 years later and having another go at finishing the 101 Things To Do Before I am Old and Boring. I may be older, but.. I am not old! Hopefully this time I will get to finish off the list and finally move on to something else.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Think #98: Drive something

Driving something different is good, but flying a plane is even better. I have postponed this Thing for far too long. So when I was at probably the ideal place, i.e. an airport, I thought to finally complete it and book my first (and hopefully not last) flight! I even have a certificate to prove it. Well an aerial photo is better...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Thing #89: Learn to stick up for yourself

OK, I am not Chuck Norris, but there is no point trying your luck, right?

Thing #49: Read These Books

I used to read many books when I was a kid. I still do, even though lately I don't invest as much time as I would have liked to. Other committments take their toll, and consequently it's not easy. So, it was rather convenient as far as this Thing is concerned that I was asked to write a book review, which I have now completed.

I guess this is a good starting point to get back into reading. In fact, I now know how many of my 212 books I have not read. The 212 number is not random. I found an excellent Android app called... 'Book Catalogue' and added all my book in it! Highly recommended!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Thing #84: Lobby Your Local Congressman

If you want something done, just get elected. What's the point in just lobbying? So in April, I decided to put myself forward and see if I can get elected. After a long, but exciting campaign, I was elected a few days ago... albeit not as a congressman. Perhaps next time!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Alice Bucket List

Most certainty a more interesting list compared to mine:

"life is what we make of it and so I'm going to make the best of what I have"

Friday, 4 March 2011

Thing #46: go as fast as you can by train

As I was going to travel from Osaka to Tokyo by train I decided to measure its speed using my GPS for Thing #46: go as fast as you can.

My first impression was that of a deja vu! I have been on a train like this before, I thought to myself. Indeed, it turns out Taiwan's High Speed Rail and more specifically the THSR 700T train series is a variant of the 700 Series Shinkansen, built by a consortium of Japanese rolling stock manufacturers. So no surprise that they looked very similar.

GPS recorded about 265 km/h which is not really that fast for high speed rails. What is probably more interesting is the reliability of the the Shinkansen. In 2003, JR Central reported that the Shinkansen's average arrival time was within six seconds of the scheduled time. This includes all natural and human accidents and errors and is calculated over roughly 160,000 Shinkansen trips completed.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Thing #92: Have your own plot in the garden & Thing#57: Plant a tree

One of the benefits of doing the 101 Things when are you older (but not boring), is that you probably live by yourself and have a house that YOU call home. This house may come with a garden, even if it's a small one. Now I am useless when it comes to gardening and my garden looks like a 'plot' rather than a garden. Still, there are some green plants that grow there every year by themselves (I have tried many times to prevent them, but so far have failed miserably). As I think this is as close as I will ever get at completing this Thing I will just consider it completed.

On a more positive note when it comes plants there is another Thing, #57, that is similar to #92. For this one I was supposed to plan a tree and climb it when I was to be older. We used to have a tree and I used to climb it until we had to cut it. Then my parents planted a few more trees but I don't think I can wait for them to grow for me to climb them. You've probably started wondering how I can claim this Thing completed. Well the answer it that planting alone is not enough and that watering is equally important. So, I spent a whole day digging a trench to install an automated watering system. Believe me.. digging that trench under the sun is enough to claim more than 10 Things done! Anyway these two are enough, as the watering system not only waters the trees but all the garden!

Thing #76: Learn to Say Useful Phrases in Other Languages

I take it computer languages don't count for this one, so lets focus on what most people would consider a 'language'.

I can handle more than a few useful phrases in English (in case you did not notice), which is a good start for this thing. I can order ice cream in German apart from some other equally useful stuff. I even had a complete dialogue in French once, which went something like:

Airline staff: Bonjour!
Me: Bonjour!
Airline staff: Asks for my destination (I could recognise that much!)
Me: Oui
Airline staff: hands me the boarding pass etc
Me: Merci beaucoup!

The above should have been more than enough to claim this Thing completed. However, I thought I will try something a bit more special for this one. I've known I was coming to Japan for 10 months now, so I though to wait and claim it done when I arrive by trying my Japanese survival vocabulary.

Thing #76: done! Arigatōgozaimasu!

Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

It's customary to look forward to the New Year on a day like this, but it may be more appropriate to step back and see what took place the past 12 months. Sometimes we feel an urge to discard and forget, pretending there was this black box that can encapsulate all that we want to leave behind us. I suppose it's only to be expected. We want to forget the bad moments and look forward to the new adventures that lurk just around the corner. However, there seems to be a gap in between the two: the good moments, which as per always we don't treasure enough.

You may start thinking that I have fallen into the cliché holiday trap and that I have already started compiling lists of new year's resolutions! Actually, I have not, although ironically I am thinking of compiling such a list just now. It's just that for me it has been a good year, overall. Actually, the last couple of years have been good, very good indeed. Not everything was perfect, but they were good! Despite the difficulties there were these 'special' moments that made every struggle worthwhile. I guess without them they would not have been special. Now, what I came to realise is that during the past 24 months I more or less got closure in many challenges I had set for myself over a decade or so. It's like 10001 Things to do before the decade is over! It sounds dramatic, probably because it is. Well, for me anyway! It's a great feeling to be happy with your place under the sun, know where you are coming from and have a direction. No I have not figured everything out and neither do I know how things would turn out. I am just happy that I can shout: so far so good!

With a tabula rase as my to do list and a clean email inbox (does not happen often), I am ready for 2011 new adventures!

All the best for the New Year.