chris vs. the arctic

chris: 72 // the arctic: 47

きれい! (Beautiful!)

This morning has made up for the past month of dreariness and rain/slush. I opened my door to a bright, sunny, and foggy morning. The mist made the fresh powdery snow appear to blend into the sky. The trees were encrusted with sparkling ice. Absolutely beautiful! I whistled my way to work. Of course, I grabbed my camera before I left...

Farmer's ShedsFrozen Rice Paddy
The HospitalFrosty Branches
Line of TreesBoys Shoveling The Driveway

There are several other reasons as to why today is fantastic...

a) It's pay day.
b) My luggage is packed and ready to be picked up by the airline.
c) I leave tomorrow for my Christmas vacation!!! Yeeessss!


d) I found out my bank randomly increased my credit card limit by a LOT (even though I don't work in Canada). A dangerous prospect: My card + shopping in Chicago and Toronto.



Snowy Bush
Originally uploaded by buck82.
The view from outside my condensed window this morning. Mother nature dumped 30 cm of snow on Toyama overnight! I went from riding my bike to barely surviving a walk down the street.

At least snowboarding season is upon us!

★ Article: "Foreigners: beware"

So, so true. The sad reality of Japanese media.

Next Language: Hindi (Apparently)

Check out the results of a quiz I took online:

You should learn Hindi

QuizGalaxy Language Quiz!

You should learn Hindi. You like to be able to speak to people wherever you travel if even just a little bit. You are very versatile and like adventure.

Take this quiz at

Maybe I should go to India... I've been considering it lately. Hmm...

(Thanks Amber for the link!)

Alcatraz Junior High School

My school just upgraded its security to CIA standards. Originally, all one needed to enter Daimon JHS was a key to the front door. Sometimes, the front door was just open anyway. If it wasn't, you pushed the buzzer and the secretary would run downstairs and let you in.

Now, however, it's much more high tech. They installed a video camera facing the front door and two video phones in the office. Whenever someone wants in, the video pops up, the intercom starts, and you can buzz them in. The best part, based on my loose understanding of the Japanese in this morning's staff meeting, is that the 5-digit code needed to open the door will change every Monday!

I would be skeptical about all of this, but there has been a ridiculous number of school stabbings in Japan lately. The only (huge and gaping) hole in this system is that fact that the students' doors are always open! I just hope they don't install some sort of sentinel robot next. Actually... that would be cool!

Evil Robot

Random Thought [第14]

Remixes are always better than the original.


Death From Above 1979 - Romance Bloody Romance | Remixes & B Sides
The Faint - Danse Macabre Remixes

Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger (The Neptunes Remix)
Gorillaz - 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix)
Madonna - Nothing Fails (Nevins Mix)


Gross, gross, gross. That's the only way to describe the weather today. I opened my curtains to a dark grey sky, slush covered ground, ice rain, and a thunderstorm. Yuck. It's been raining in Toyama for the past 3 weeks straight. I had finally become accustomed to the dreariness of it all, but this is ridiculous.

My only consolation is that it will soon be snowboarding weather...

Me on top of the mountain!

▲ List: Top Christmas Movies

In honour of my recent discovery of a gremlin, I'd like to list for you some of my favourite Christmas movies of all time. Some of these movies are not necessarily "Christmas movies" per se; some are set in or around the holiday season.

1) Gremlins (duh)
2) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (the part with the cat eating the powercord still freaks me out)
3) The Rules of Attraction (because, sometimes, happy endings are lame)
4) Die Hard 2 (can't beat a Christmas action flick)
5) Miracle On 34th Street [old school] (because I have my sappy side)
6) A Christmas Story (after seeing this movie on TV every single year of my life, it's become a staple)
7) A Muppet Christmas Carol (heheheh)
8) The Nightmare Before Christmas (in honour of Japan's obsession with this Burton classic)
9) Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (did any of you notice a slight sinister undertone in this movie? especially Santa)
10) Scrooged (Bill Murray is my comic hero)

A Christmas Gremlin

A Christmas Gremlin
Originally uploaded by buck82.
"Gremlins" was one of my favourite movies when I was a kid! (I still love it.) I stumbled across this wicked statue in one of the best clothing stores in Kanazawa -- Detail. (If you're ever in the city, check it out!)

I think I want to watch that movie soon...

▲ List: Bands I've Seen Live In Japan

Shonen Knife
The Shins
Broken Social Scene
Death From Above 1979
The Dears
DJ Towa Tei
Death Cab For Cutie
Duran Duran
The Arcade Fire
Bloc Party
TV On The Radio
The Others
Rip Slyme
Asian Kung-Fu Generation
Public Enemy
Orange Range
Air (Japan)
Deep Purple
The Roots
Space Cowboy
The Glimmers
United States of Electronica
The Pillows