The 2015 impossible wall of trance mix

Blue Sky with a dark blue on top

A long time ago (6 years ago) I did a mix called the impossible wall of trance mix. It was a good mix but was plagued by mix problems, which I couldn’t understand.

I have no idea what happened in the first 2 mixes. Honestly the mixes were dead on, I was playing it loud out of my amp and if it was that off trust me I would have heard it. Anyway, rather that try and fix it, I’ve left it in because the whole set is a excellent one. There seems to be a bug with the pacemaker or something because after those two mixes everything pans out perfect. Anyway let the mix do the talking, just remember to skip the first two mixes.

Now I understand a little more what could be going on thanks to me playing with the pacemaker beta firmwares. I rolled back my pacemaker firmware to the last known official version and lost some features including the beat aware looping (shame!) but now can record exactly what I hear.

Because of this, I redid the impossible wall of trance which one of the first mixes where I identified the problem/bug. As its a new mix, I threw some old tunes out and replaced them with new stuff. The bulk of the mix is still there however. I did have a better ending but I had to cut it short, as we were landing and things needed to be put away.

So anyway I present the 2015 impossible wall of trance, recorded on my flight back from Tokyo while on the Airbus A380.

  1. Big Sky (agnelli & nelson remix) – John O’Callaghan feat Audrey Gallagher
  2. So High (Martin Roth remix) – Starchaser feat LO FI Sugar
  3. Language (Santiago Nino Dub Tech Mix) – Hammer and Bennett
  4. Brush strokes – Simon Patterson
  5. Beautiful Thing (photon project remix) – Andain
  6. Grooveline (matt darey) – Blockster
  7. Shadow World – Thomas Bronzwaer
  8. Smack – Simon Patterson
  9. Humming The Lights (Full Version) – Armin van Buuren presents Gaia
  10. 1999 (gouryella mix) – Binary Finary
  11. Beautiful Thing (photon project remix) – Andain
  12. Running up the hill (jerome isma-ae bootleg) – Placebo
  13. Intution (Martin Roth remix) – Marninx Pres Ecco
  14. As the Amazon Rush Comes (Carl B remix) – Motorcycle vs Midway
  15. Rush Hour (no intro edit) – Armin Van Buuren
  16. The Evil ID – Max Graham
  17. The Expedition (Indecent Noise Remix) – Armin van Buuren and Markus Schulz
  18. Lizard (Solis & Sean Truby’s Ibiza Mix) – Mauro Picotto
  19. Headliner – Jornvan Deynhoven
  20. Ehren Stowers – Ascent
  21. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi feat. Einat

The 2015 impossible wall of trance mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

Shortcuts to city living

Tokyo from up high

I liked Lifehacker’s guide to Stress-Free Guide to Settling Down in a New City. The main points are…

Get the lay of the land by using the internet and asking real people.

Get out and make friends by seeking out your hobbies, meeting friends of friends and taking the initiative.

All seem sensible and to be honest I’ve done all these and more when moving from Bristol to London and London to Manchester. I didn’t have a guide, I just did it without thinking. I also find a lot of the points useful when going on holiday, but then again when I tend to go on holiday its more like an extended city break.

Anyway its a good read and if I was to move again, I certainly would have a look at it.

 

Makerba.se documents all projects

The Beauty Project

I recently joined makerba.se.

Makerbase is:

  • A place to tell the world what you made, and to find out who made the things you love.

  • Edited by everyone. You can change and add to anything that you see.

  • A way to see projects: Stuff like apps and web sites and digital works of art. (Not companies or employers.)

  • A list of makers: People who create projects, described by what they’vedone, not their job titles.

  • Limited access, for now, while we get things ready for everyone. We’ll add you to the waitlist if someone hasn’t already added you as a maker.

I like the concept, which allows you to document all types of project. When I say project I mean anything you class as a project. This means anything!

A while ago I mentioned documenting geekdinner and the past generally. I tried to do this with Wikipedia but my entries were rejected. Makerbase seems much more apt for this type of thing. The whole thing is a wiki, so you can easily link and join items together. It reminds me of Lanyrd in underlying structure, which is good. But like lanyrd I wondered about building up this tangled web of information and what happens when investment goes into it?

So before I signed up I read through the terms/end user licence agreement which was actually really well written with plain english. Theres nothing about what happens if the service ends, I was looking for a data portability angle but I’m sure its coming… something to tweet them about.

Is this a linkedin killer? No I don’t think so, its filling in the area in between linkedin and the stuff which happens on Github. Neither have the space for things like geeks talk sexy or personal projects like learning a diabolo trick. I can already imagine the links with other sites like meetup and even lanyrd.

I like it and the only thing better would be if it was distributed instead of centralised. It seems worthy of backing.

Stop the slut shaming crap…

The Morning After.

A friend of mine read the post I was sent from Tony. They commented on the post and I will power phrase it as this…

The casual hook-up crap in that post is really awful… Hookups aren’t people you feel nothing for. they can be intense, lovely experiences that make you feel alive and fulfilled. You can learn a lot about what you want, what you like and who you are through them. that post was just nasty “slut shaming” crap.

And they are right… lets read the key parts in full

We sleep around — a lot.

Some less than others, but most individuals have multiple partners every year. Don’t get me wrong, I like sex just as much as the next guy, but sleeping around ends up leaving us feeling empty.

It starts out feeling exciting and gratifying, but ends up making us feel even more alone. Worse yet, it makes finding someone to love infinitely more difficult. You’re wasting your time with people who mean nothing to you and, to top it all off, you are likely to turn sex into a sport.

When that becomes the case, good luck trying to make love. Good luck enjoying sex when sex is no longer a special or unique experience, but just another trivial evening.

Bollox, yes there are some people whom see it as a sport or game with achievements but having casual sex does not mean you are wasting your time, not capable of making love or even having a long term relationship.

This reminds me of the talk about non-monogamy in Manchester when somebody suggested that people in a poly relationship might as well forget about falling in love because there love couldn’t be as deep. Once again Bollox!

We need to get over this crap, this is the type of thing which breeds ignorance and terrible sex educational black spots. This is why I have a new found respect for the Japanese and their age laws around sex. At least they are dealing with it, instead of the head in the sand approach or simply con-damming it.

Manchester Quantified Self, rebooted on 1st June

Fitbit stats

Its been a while since the last Quantified Self Manchester meetup. Mainly because I was away in Tokyo over April, then in May there was the May bank holiday. Its meant to happen every first Monday of the month.

The meetup is always interesting but lacks repeated members, so I rebooted it with themes thanks to Vimla.

The theme for June 1st is Sleep and Wellness and we welcome talks around this including

  • How you do sleep tracking?
  • What are the benefits of sleep tracking?
  • What you do with your data?

We normally start at 7pm with actually talks at 7:20pm, giving you time to meet other people and settle in. This part lasts till about 8.30pm.

If you have been interested in the Quantified Self to understand what self tracking is about or just nosy about what people are doing to improve their wellness. This might be a good time to come along learn more and contribute your experiences.

Did you see the Channel4 Tinder documentary?

Tinder

Did I see it, did you see it?

Well I finally saw it and I was not impressed. Sensational and stereotypical topics. What a load of rubbish I’m sorry to say. There was no depth whatsoever! The tinder title says it all… It was mainly about dating apps in general, but of course the secret life of dating apps wouldn’t have worked on TV.

To be fair it will make popular TV but I was just waiting for the catfish and danger aspects to come along. I mean who invites a date to their home on the first date? Seriously WTF! Thats dating 101!

They bumped against the paradox of choice but it was for about 5 secs. I far preferred Dawns guide online dating, which was also from Channel4.

Thanks Claire, Mr Brislr and others for highlighting it to me… but I say garbage!

Films you may have missed in 2014/15

There has been some great films recently… including Kingsmen, Selma, Interstellar, Citizen four, The intimidation game, Theory of everything, etc.

But heres a bunch you may have missed…

71
71

71 is a movie that I usually wouldn’t enjoy but unlike unbroken (which started well but pulled too many heartstrings). The 71 tells a story about the conflict in northern Ireland. Its got a few small twists and turns but takes you in for a good ride.

I Origins
I Origins

This one is a interesting tale which hinges on the balance of science and spiritual belief. Like Lost Its hard to describe but its a heros journey as the man of science tries to grapple with things which directly conflict with what he can prove. I like the style of the the film as most scenes look simply gorgeous and the focus on the human eye was always going to be a winner from a photography point of view.

Faults
Faults

This reminds me of the Martha Marcy May Marlene. Its all about mind manipulation, brainwashing and deprogramming, its pretty wrong. It also reminds me of Suicide Kings, but faults goes much deeper. Watch and be shocked… Reminds me I need to read the back story for this.

Whiplash
Whiplash

Everytime I watch this, I side with one side or the other. I keep thinking who wound whom up and when they could have stopped. But honestly the ending is excellent and will have you punching the sky. If you missed it in the cinema, get it in DTS and play it loud!

Kill the messenger
Kill the messenger

Very good film which surprised me as I knew nothing about it. Then as it unfolds you realise this is actually a true story not just the stuff you heard about. I understand why I didn’t get much attention but it deserves so much more.

Predestination
Predestination

Time travel! You know how much I love time travel films. Predestination is good but its not quite a Donnie Darko. Its more of looper I would say but worthy of a good watch a few times over to understand what is going on.

time lapse
Time lapse

This movie is a surprisingly good time travelling film. It feels on the lower end of the budget, but not a primer style budget. Its a good story told but certainly doesn’t have the depth of primer. Its quite constrained and I guess compared to Predestination, its slightly less confusing.

Project Alamnc

Continuing with the time travel theme. Project Alamnc feels like a cross between Primer, Timelapse and Chronicle in filming style. Its a MTV film, so its full of teenagers partying and usual music stuff. Even with all that, its quite a solid movie with the ups and downs. The ending is a let down but if you compare it to other teenager films it stands its ground well.

Open Windows
Open windows

I don’t quite know what to say about this film except it kind of jumps the shark so many times you have no idea what on earth is going on. Maybe its because I’m not paying too much attention everytime I see it but I’m keep wondering what on earth? The computer screen stuff is hysterical too but reminds me of a higher budget welcometothescene.

I give it a year
I give it a year

Its not usual that I can recommend a rom-com but this one has some hairy balls. Its funny and tragic but even though you know whats going to happen at the end, its interesting to see their marriage break down and the things they do to get it back on track. The premise that some people are simply not suitable for each other is a worth while message throughout.

Am I losing the ability to be in love? Nope

Love...

Tony sent me a link to 10 Reasons Why This Generation Is Losing The Ability To Be In Love. I quoted a few bits from it in my thoughts about narcissism and selfies. But theres much more to be quoted…

My greatest worry is our generation will be looked at as the generation that gave up on love. We date for the sake of dating. The generation that forgot how to love — which is ridiculous. Most people have never had a good understanding of love, just a poor interpretation of it.

I’m not sure why Tony sent this to me but I have thoughts why… you see why as I go through some of the points I think are levelled at me?

We sleep around — a lot.

Although I have dated quite a bit, I don’t sleep around a lot. This is a common misconception when I talk about dating. If I mention serial dater, the first thing which comes to mind is sex.  I won’t even go there about what is sex…

We’re becoming even more egocentric.

Not so…  Although I agree culture is leaning that way, sadly. But its nothing to shrug about, the future is not written.

We date for the sake of dating.

Many people have asked me over and over again, if I date for the sake of dating? Everytime I say something about enjoying dating, mainly because I might be sapiosexual (more about this in the future as I do agree its a little silly but this a bit strong, thanks Tom).

But I do also say, I date because I would like to meet somebody special. Heck in the context of this post, I would like to fall in love again. Feels weird saying that but its true but I’m not scared of doing so. I will look forward to it.

We aren’t fans of making compromises.

I do agree, I don’t like to compromise much but I do understand I do need to compromise. For the person who sweeps me off my seat, I’ll compromise and some.

We believe in fairytale endings.

Nope, I don’t buy it at all. I would say I have come to the realisation that love take a very different path for everybody. This includes non-monogamy too. Wheres the fairytale endings for that? Exactly, don’t believe the hype… silly rabbit!

We’ve been fooled into believing perfection is attainable.

Rubbish, perfection is an illusion. Just like the fairytale endings, being open to more creditable influences and meeting more people, its clear as day whats actually attainable and what is sustainable.

We’re goal driven, but often forget to include our partners in the mix.

I don’t know about this one, I feel this generation is much more collaborative than previous ones. The slow but sure balancing of the sexes also insures both or more partners goals and aspirations are more important than ever before.

Most of us are really bad at loving.

As Haddaway said, What is love?  Although I joke, its a serious question. Love is different for everybody. We have evolved and so has the sense of what love is…  I don’t disagree that the paradox of choice and other factors have made finding love much more complex but millions fall in love everyday. Be it physically or virtually. With one person or multiple people.

On top of that, there are so many different ways to tell our loved one(s) that we love them. From a text message with emoji at the right moment to turning on a light in the connected objects domain.

I think the writer is unfair in the statement that we are really bad at loving.

For me, its not a resistance to fall in love but to get it somewhat right. I listen to my gut reaction a lot more than I use to. Does this mean I don’t have the ability to fall in love? No, it means I will only fall in love when the conditions are right and not for some artificially manufactured reason.

Decoupling attention and physical proximity

Jason Silva has covered this before but this goes one step beyond.

We’re post-geographical beings, attentional proximity has been decoupled from physical proximity, collapsing geography

Attention proximity is interesting to me, especially because I have been known to be many miles away in attention from where I  physically am.

The decoupling is something which I can relate to…

…fund a lifestyle that makes everyone insanely jealous

Tokyo tower

Yeah I hate that title too but its worst than what I wrote… The full title is What it takes to get paid… and fund a lifestyle that makes everyone insanely jealous.

As I read the post recommended by Dave, not sure for ironic reasons or what. I pretty much hovered over the delete button but I did find a few things which I thought was actually interested.

“What you seek is seeking you” – Rumi

In other words… Imagine if what you really want, deep down – is actually seeking you out at the same time…

It’s a nice thought to hold as you go through tough times because it gives you faith to keep pushing through.

Ok I think this actually nice to remember and think about.

Designing your life so that everything is a pure delight to use

See the most exciting thing about lifestyle design for me, is treating the world like a giant smorgasbord of delicious options. You pick and choose the stuff that RESONATES with you the most. And discard the stuff that doesn’t vibe with you.  I believe in making every single area of your life, from the time you open your eyes and wake up to the moment you go to sleep – an absolute DELIGHT to use.

I quite like this outlook, it makes it loud and clear you are somewhat in control of your own destiny. You need to design/craft your life. The choice about people, places, things and activities is quite key.

When I asked people what I should do in Japan, I included a list of conditions.

  • I speak little or no Japanese, so best not recommend somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
    Very true!
  • I’m also not so big into the traditional culture (don’t hate me, just being honest!) so you may want to limit the amount of shrines.
    Indeed, only went to one.
  • I love metropolis cities, so I’ll spend all day at markets and cafes soaking up the modern culture.
    Oh and so I did!
  • I’ll spend most of the time in Tokyo because theres so much to see…
    I wasn’t wrong there!
  • I also love modern art, manga, people watching, amazing architecture and great landscapes like Mount Fuji.
    Certainly did a lot of these…
  • Love theme parks! and amusements.
    3 theme parks and lots of rides
  • I don’t have a problem just wandering around suspect locations like the red light district in Amsterdam.
    Well I did rub shoulders in Roppongi and Shibuya
  • I’m going in mid April for 2 weeks, so it will be coldish and maybe wet
    I was right at first then it got really hot, sometimes up to 29c!
  • I will get a JR pass, so the trains should be fine
    Well in theory yes, but I wasn’t prepared for the changing of
  • I’m terrified of dying from eating fish, seafood, nuts, beans or peas. So don’t recommend a fish restaurant :)
    Enough said…
  • Actually if you can recommend places where they do lovely meat, I’ll be very happy (heard the Korean BBQ’s are perfect for me)
    Enough said once again.

You can look at the list as restrictions on myself but I don’t see it that way, I see it as myself designing my holiday by removing the things which don’t resonate with me.

When I moved to another place when my airbnb screwed me over in the 2nd week. It was important to me, because I just knew it was going to upset my holiday and I wasn’t going to let that happen!

How did Tokyo change me?

Mount Fuji!

Si Lumb said to me, something like…

Yeah I read the many blog posts you wrote and saw some of the images but what I really want to know is, how did it change you?

This is a tricky question… Every experience slightly changes you but this one was extra special.

I already said my experience of the Onsen was fascinating and enjoyable enough that I’m going to visit a local spa every few months now. It won’t be the same but lying in the water thinking about things was quite refreshing.

The experience of seeing the forward thinking culture of Japan struggling with over narcissistic approaches did have a profound effect that technology in the wrong hands can be toxic. This has renewed my politic thoughts about our rights online. Maybe time to donate more the Open Rights Group and spend more time helping out? Something to think about…

I hadn’t really considered getting a new scooter after my Silverwing dies but seeing the range of maxi-scooters in Tokyo. I’m actually reconsidering it. My thought is learn to drive, so I can rent cars for certain trips and times like going to Ikea. But get another scooter for general commuting and exploring.

I always said Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore and Seoul were on my list of places to visit. I enjoyed Japan and said I’ll go back in a few years time. I feel like I managed myself ok. With this under my belt, I’m much more willing to consider elsewhere in the near future. I guess it changed my thoughts on travelling alone into the unknown.

Lastly the stories I can tell about Tokyo and Japan are crazy. I’m putting together a presentation for a few people, but the interactions with people and things were fascinating.

I’m very thankful that I got the opportunity to go under my own steam, it was incredible… and now I can tick it off my new years resolutions! Not in a flippant, I did Japan way, but in a I feel enriched and want to visit again and other places. Other people will never get the chance.

Coldstone icecream Tokyo vs the States

I discovered a Cold Stone at the base of the Tokyo Skytree. The last time I was at one was in the states. The American store didn’t include singing like this!

As James pointed out the nearest coldstone is unfortunately Istanbul in Turkey. Somewhere I’m not keen to visit again anytime soon to be honest. But it was fun to find the video of the one in the states as a comparison.

Coldstone with no singing but the same great icecream. Think the Japanese win this one.

Ian what did you eat in Tokyo?

Dinner in Tokyo

Before I went to Japan, I and others worried what I was going to do about eating out.

Ian what are you going to eat in Japan?

I joke but its a deadly serious question for me. Either I’m going to come back from Japan  having lost a load of weight (i’m going to carry a lot of antihistamines in lei of a epipen) or gained a bunch from eating Burger King and KFC all the time.

Obviously I don’t want to eat western food but a mistake/error could mean the difference between endless puking and a trip to the hospital.

Well as I wrote earlier, I didn’t do so bad. I insured I had a reasonable breakfast of eggs and toast (although the only bread I could find was white bread and finding butter was tricky).

Out of 14 days, I had 1 incident which resulted in me projectile puking my guts up into the toilet where I was staying (we got a taxi back asap!), eating 3 antihistamines pills to try and dampen the unavoidable and falling a sleep pretty much straight afterwards. It wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t the worst I have been luckily.

The problem seems to be the marinade on the Yakitori  (やきとり) skewed meat dinner

2015-04-24 21.16.24

I did show the allergy card but we think the skewed meat I picked and some of the skewers the rest of the party picked got mixed up. Part of the issue for this was because the veggie skewers couldn’t be eaten by me for some reason (can’t remember why?) So I ended up eating more meat than I actually ordered. Things got mixed up too, as you can see its hard to tell which one is which.

I was doing so well up that moment and afterwards I decided found this very useful guide to Japanese food types and then a nice simple way to find them. Mainly Korean BBQ style Yakiniku (焼き肉) and of course Teppanyaki (鉄板焼き). After a while I got use to looking for the Japanese 焼き肉 (Yakiniku) and avoided やきとり (Yakitori).

2015-04-23 22.12.51

Most of the time I had mainly meat plus vegetables, and it was lovely. Especially the very well marbled Wagyu Beef...! Which wasn’t too badly priced at all.

2015-04-23 20.56.30

Classic Yakiniku style, embedded within the table. Its just a matter of switching it on, along the side of the table.

Dinner in Tokyo

This is the other style which seemed very popular. They bring the whole BBQ unit over to your table.

Dinner in Tokyo

This one is similar to the one above but instead of moving the whole unit, they just add white hot coal to the unit.

Dinner in Tokyo

Teppanyaki style dish, lovely tender lunch time dish in Ginza.

Dinner in Tokyo

Another Teppanyaki dinner in Shinjuku.

With all that meat and veg, it was surprising to come back to the UK almost exactly the same weight as I left. Yes I missed all the Sushi and other types of great food in Tokyo but what I had was great and I even tried tounge, but avoided the heart, womb and whale jerky! (seriously!)

Using Amazon Glacier on Ubuntu

2015-04-27 10.55.13

Looking at my little home server, I noticed a Spideroak warning telling me I am up to maximum on online storage. I assume the reason for this is the 1391 pictures I took over the course of the 2 weeks in Tokyo.

Rather than just pay for the next band up, I thought I’d give Amazon Glacier a chance. because frankly I don’t need to view the pictures all the time. I uploaded the best ones to my Japan photoset on Flickr already.

Can I say one thing!

Amazon Glacier is certainly not ready for the general public!

Yes I’m using Ubuntu and yes I was seeking to do it with a GUI but boy oh boy… Amazon webservices is very very developer focused.

In the end after about 4 hours, I finally settled on using Simple Amazon Glacier Uploader, which uses Java 1.6+. It was that or try and use Wine to emulate a Windows app called FastGlacier. Don’t get me wrong there are many clients but not many for Mac and even less for Linux.

The thing which I think most people will miss is the fact you need to setup a user just for the uploading. Once you do that you need to setup a bucket and then give that user permissions to control that bucket. This is done in the policy control, without this you will get lots of errors which don’t make a lot of sense.

I’m still waiting to verify my test upload worked but I believe its correct now. If so, then the next few days would be the time I could really do with Hyperoptic fibre broadband. My picture count is currently at 91.9 gigs over 68794 files…

Tokyo… So what did I think?

shibuya crossing

On reflection on this post and all the posts I did during my time in Tokyo starting with I’m dying to experience Tokyo by 2016.

Forever I have wanted to experience Tokyo. For me its always been a place of technological progress. I know its not for everyone, but the culture is so wildly different and technology is at the core.

I wasn’t wrong there.

So why have I not already been?

Well its bloody expensive and to be honest I have this vision of going bankrupt just searching through the market bins of Shibuya

I lived with a Japanese lady for a while and we would talk about me going to Tokyo. She always pleaded with me, please go with someone who can speak Japanese because my allergies will kill me.

Technology like Google translate really made the difference on this front.People have asked what my high and low points were in Tokyo/Japan?

Low point’s

The Airbnb for the first week was fine, it was quite nice having a place with Rebecca. But the second week when Rebecca went off to western Japan, I moved to a smaller shared airbnb apartment. What I didn’t know was how small it really was. There wasn’t enough room to get out the door as my suitcase blocked the very narrow walk way by the futon. I did wish I had taken photos but I was so worried about it ruining my whole holiday, I went looking for an alternative hotel straight away. Luckily I met  Alexandra after Herb Kim told me she recently moved. And she was able to help me find a great room in Nippon. I did finally get a refund from Airbnb, although they thought I was in the wrong?

After reviewing the details of your situation, there is no clear violation of our host standards and we won’t be able to retract the payment from your host. However, because this was the first time you were experiencing Airbnb as a guest, I decided to refund you the amount you requested…

Trying to get to Nagashima Spa Land the first time and standing on the wrong bullet train between  Nagoya and Yokohama for over a  hour, was also a pretty low points too.

High point’s

There were so many…

2015-04-15 16.48.25

Right from the flight on the Airbus 380 to Dubai with USB, mains power and wireless internet to each seat. Also nicely got the exit row at the very front with more than enough room for the tallest NBA player.

2015-04-18 20.32.04

Meeting up with Andy Budd and Alice who happened to be in Tokyo too. Having sake in Shibuya with them and the rest of the UX workshop, then seeing the sights and sounds of Shibuya. It was exactly how I imagined Tokyo would be like and it didn’t disappoint at all. I couldn’t walk down the street without taking pictures every few steps.

2015-04-18 20.16.15

Experiencing the insanity of the Japanese passion for the make believe in Anime and Cosplay in real life via the Robot Restaurant and Harajuku. The Robot restaurant was totally mind blowing. It was a real world anime with every move being better with a bigger and better come back. Honestly nuts and the audience were loving it. I kept saying only in Japan would this work.

DSC_5356

Shibuya crossing I visited about 3 or 4 times at different days and times. Each time it was an experience. I didn’t bring my GoPro but I really could have done with it, to show how many people cross at the same time. I did shoot some stuff on my phone (uploaded to youtube 1st here, 2nd here, 3rd time and 4rd here.) but its not so great. Especially like my video from the mid point. I’m still working out what to do with all those pictures (I have about 120!)

2015-04-19 19.54.14

The many theme parks I visited including Tokyo dome, Nagashima Spa Land and Fuji Q highlands. Thunder dolphin at Tokyo dome was frustrating due to the crazy following of every single safety rule but when I was on, it was surprisingly fast and the drops were pretty epic.

Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima

Steel dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land was the winner of all, having me grab the rails on the first and second drop. After that one time I was back to my usual hands up when the G force wasn’t so great.

Fuji Q highlands

Fuji Q had some great rides but if I hadn’t been on Alton towers smiler I would have enjoyed Takabisha more (which is very similar, understandable knowing the maker)

Riding the bullet train (Shinkansen 新幹線) was quite an experience. At first I thought it wasn’t much faster than most of our trains at full speed. But then it got out of Tokyo and suddenly you can feel the gravity pushing you into the back of your chair. It really shifts!

Tokyo from up high

The Olsen (Japanese Spa) I went to in Tokyo dome was great, yes it was very weird being naked and having to wear their clothes (which didn’t quite fit) when moving to the mix floor. But even with the weird looks from the also naked Japanese business men. I found the whole experience pretty good and I enjoyed it enough that I stayed from about 2230 till 0230! My experience was so rewarding that I’m going to seek out one in the Manchester area and visit at least once every 6 months.

Akihabara, Tokyo

Shopping and browsing in the electric district of  Akihabara. I spent quite a few half days there and it blew me away how big the district really was. I explained it to friends as the size of Manchester’s shopping centre but all electronic markets and shops. I also went looking for Nikon lens (where else better than Japan?) for my aging Nikon D40X DSLR and ended up finding a basement the size of my apartment in Shinjuku, stocked full of second hand lens which ranged in price from cheap (£15) to stupidly insane (£3000+). It was called Chuuko Box, the tip was to go downstairs, this place is a treasure trove! I was so blown away, I decided to duck out and learn more about lens because I was obviously out of my depth – in a way I’ve not experienced in a long time!

2015-04-23 23.33.56

I did Karaoke in Tokyo with Alex and Len after I moved out of my terrible Airbnb. I don’t usually like Karaoke because I don’t know most of the songs and never had much of a singing voice. But singing away while drinking sake after the nightmare I almost had, was such a great relief…  It was of course also great being able to share experiences to date.

As I spent 2 weeks in Tokyo, I also quantified my walking and sleep. Here’s the numbers from my fitbit.

  • Steps: 121,531
  • Daily Average: 14,504 steps
  • Best Day: 18,961 steps
  • Total distance: 86.05 km
  • Daily average: 10.86 km
  • Best day: 17.95 km
  • Total floor climbed:183
  • Daily average: 23 floors

The sleep quantified data is under lock and key but generally I slept less and less over the holiday but I spent more time in deep sleep than REM sleep.

Talking of sleep, it was scary how many people I caught sleeping in public. I assume its something to do with the very work loaded culture.

In other fun quantified numbers…

  • Saw one Shrine
  • One allergic reaction
  • Went up 3 tall buildings/structures in Tokyo
  • Went to 3 theme parks
  • Went on 26 rides. (rode 13 times at Fuji Q Lands, 9 times at Nagashima Spa Land and twice at Tokyo dome)
  • Visited Shibuya crossing four times and crossed it 12 times.
  • Went with 26kg of luggage and came back with 30kg + 11kg
  • Visited the beach
  • Had 9 days of sunshine
  • Hottest day was 32c and coldest was 9c
  • Eat roughly 16 boiled eggs
  • Eat goodness know much meat!
  • Went one weight and came back 2 pounds lighter!
  • Took 989 photos and uploaded only 628 to Flickr.
  • Tracked over 500miles over Japan (difficult to get the exact amount from google)
  • Took 4 taxis
  • Rode the bullet train 4 times

I was wrong on many counts with Japan but I’m happy to see the techno-wonderland I thought it was going to be. There are scary tales of where the technology unchecked will take us.

I will go back to Japan because it is unique and theres so much left to try and do. The culture is insane, lovely and weird all in one massive gulp. I’ll be interested to see what effect the 2020 Olympics has on the Japanese culture, I’d like to check it out a few years beforehand and maybe afterwards. There are some frustrating things and some wonderful, wonderful things. I’m going to watch Lost in translation again real soon…

Thoughts and ideas of a dyslexic designer/developer