• The Week #111

    • My office area has been a mess, pretty much since we moved to our house. It's still a mess, but less so. Basically the problem is we have some awkward sized things that don't really fit anywhere and there's no proper place to put things...so they ended up getting grouped in an area. What I realized was I had heaps of storage vertically and I wasn't using it. I bought another steel shelving unit from muji (large this time, instead of the extra large) and put it across from my other shelve.

      Now there's a perfect spot to store the bike charger and all the other random stuff that didn't really have a place. It's great.
    • I've taken about a month off from running. Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's getting bored with always running the same general area. Maybe it's, despite best efforts, I can't run slow enough to stay in "zone 2". In place, I've started taking out my acoustic bike. It's so much fun to ride. Maybe this will be my thing?
    • I finished reading Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World and I'm glad I stuck with it. The three main take-aways I had from it are:Β 

      1. You're not going to win over the 5%Β  of the population that are climate change denialist, so don't waste your energy trying. Instead, focus conversations about climate change with the 95% who either agree / can be convinced / are somewhere along that spectrum.Β 

      2. For die-hard conservatives, they associate climate change as a liberal political issue and will often automatically disagree with doing anything (we saw this with the recent passage of the IRA). For climate change conversations with such people, focus instead on local issues, which brings it home. e.g. The local river isn't as full as it used to be and this will lead to water shortages -> as a community we've got to be prepared to properly manage -> how can we solve the issue, roughly. Especially important in this is it doesn't matter if you don't agree all the time, but that choices/lifestyles trend in the low-carbon direction.

      3. Using your car doesn't make you a sinner and approaching carbon output from the perspective of sinΒ  is counter-productive. Sticks don't work. I always felt a sense of moral guilt each time I used my gasoline car knowing that I was making the problem worse. I still feel that to a certain extent (especially in summer), but it's not like before. I don't beat myself up over it. Note that this is separate from general disdain for driving and cars generally, but that's been there for as long as I can remember and is separate from climate change.
  • Took out the acoustic bike yesterday morning. Glad I did. I should do it more often.
    Summer rice fields 😍🌾
  • The Week #110

    • The biggest news this week is the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. This is basically a bit watered-down version of Build Back Better, but without the social benefits. Words can't express how happy I am that the US is finally doing something about climate change. 370 billion USD is a lot of money. This bill was the strongest climate change bill ever in the US. My hope is that it's just the start and we can build upon it more and more.

      It's funny how just 3 weeks ago it felt like all hope was lost in the US...generally...but especially in regards to climate change...and now we have a fighting chance. I think it is worth calling out that it was Democrats who gave us a shot at saving the planet, because every Republican voted no. Worse than no, they removed a $35 price-cap on insulin that would've helped type-1 diabetics stop getting gauged by the pharmaceutical companies.Β 
    • We watched Lightyear, the movie about the real buzz lightyear – not the toy. I wanted to see it in theaters in English. However our usual theater in Tsujido only had it in Japanese. I'd need to visit Minatomirai/central-Yokohama to watch it in English. That's when I saw it was $20 USD on iTunes on my AppleTV. Even with the horrible exchange rate, that worked out to the cost of just me and Leo going to the movies, so we bought it. It was really good – I quite enjoyed it.
    • I got a battery powered pressure washer and started using it around the house. First on the balcony outside office and the results are great! Once confirming it wouldn't mess up our siding in a non-visible location, I started using it on the north side of the house, which has gotten a bit dirty / green with a field being right there. I need to get a ladder so I can get the second floor as well...
    • We had an issue with leaf-miners green beans in the garden. You can tell because they leave these white lines through the leafs as the eat the inside of them. Rather than get some chemical pesticide I tried using neem oil instead, as it's organic and since I'd rather not digest *icides if I can avoid it. Since spraying the neem, I haven't seen any new leafs with leaf-miners and a week later it's looking fuller and greener than ever.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act passed. It actually passed. Do I wish it was stronger on climate? Absolutely. Is it a giant step in the correct direction? Absolutely. $370 billion in spending on energy and climate change is a BFD. Great job, Dems!
    The frontpage of the NY Times
  • Checkin to Lucy's Bakery & Kitchen

    in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan
    Yum!
  • Checkin to Starbucks

    in Kanagawa, Japan
    Friday treat.
  • The Week #109

    • We spent the night at the Odawara Resort & Spa with Yumi's sister and her kids. It was a lot of fun, though quite tiring. The main attraction is the collection of swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor. You're free to use them before the official checkin time as well.

      Traveling like this is lots of fun, as there's nice air conditioned activities for the kids built in. We swam in the pools for probably 5 hours, total. A few hours before dinner and again after dinner.
      The door on the right is actually full of water and leads to the outdoor pool
    • We got a new sofa that is long enough to lay down on and finally makes the living area feel complete. Now that we have two sofas, we've arranged them facing each other. The idea is that we'd rather chat or read than focus in the TV.
    • The green bean plant has a case of leaf miners that I've let get out of control. I let it get that far because I couldn't decide how to combat them. I'm not an organic gardener (or a proper gardener really), but I hated the idea of spraying some wonder chemical on food that I'm going to ingest. Turns out, neem oil might could do the trick. And as it's just a vegetable oil, I don't need to worry about eating something that, we find out, causes cancer or something as so many of the pesticides do.

  • Bookmark of After Going Solar, I Felt the Bliss of Sudden Abundance

    My rooftop panels showed me that a world powered by renewables would be an overflowing horn of plenty, with fast, sporty cars and comfy homes.
    This is something I’m really looking forward to when my panels get installed. Whenever the chip shortage allows them to be made…
  • Lovely sunrise this morning in Odawara. πŸŒ…
  • Checkin to Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa (γƒ’γƒ«γƒˆγƒ³ε°η”°εŽŸγƒͺγ‚ΎγƒΌγƒˆ&スパ)

    in Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan
    Home for the night.
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