The Week #145

  • I took the day off on Wednesday and we saw Matilda in Shibuya. Leo's not used to long-ish train rides (40 minutes), so on the way there he was got a bit impatient on the way there. We got lunch at Ikea Shibuya (more on that later), then headed to the theater where we had to wait for another 40 minutes before the show started. We barely made it through the waiting periods without some meltdown.

    Once the show started, Leo was hooked. He watched the entire show (over 2 hours) almost without a peep. It was just as good as I remembered. The music from the show is on Apple Music – well worth a listen. My favorites are The Hammer and When I Grow Up.
  • My father-in-law came over and planted a flowering dogwood, the same tree that the US brought Japan in the 1912 - 15 exchange of flowers, to commemorate Leo's first trip to America. While Dad's healthy as can be, at 80, it makes me think a lot about the adage "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in".Β 
    My new backyard carbon sink
  • 3 years ago I bought a car, which means it was due for its first shaken, or car inspection. Car inspections in Japan are a much more thorough deal than they ever were in California or Texas. Inspection in Texas takes about an hour and costs $50 bucks. Shaken takes literally all day at a minimum or multiple days for slightly older cars and costs Β₯85,000 ($635 currently) or more.Β 

    I probably could get it done for much less if I shopped around or did it myself (hah!), but getting it done at the dealer, along with all other maintenance, is the path of least resistance. They're also a known quantity. I have no idea how to judge smaller shops and to be sure I'm not being taken advantage of.Β 

    In the US, mechanics are famous for taking advantage of people's ignorance and doing work that doesn't need to be done for extra revenue. So in my head, the relationship between car owner and mechanic is always adversarial, regardless if that's the case here in Japan.

    The good news is that while my wallet is lighter, there weren't any issues with the car (7,000km over 3 years, I'd hope not) and its next shaken is in another 2 years.