I recently ordered and received a customized standard-sized Traveler’s Notebook from Baum-Kuchen. I have been wanting to order one for a while so as soon as they had re-opened the service, I contacted their lovely team to work out the details of my request. I have always wanted a camel Traveler’s Notebook and have always wanted a customized Traveler’s Notebook, so great opportunity to fulfill both wants.
My Tokyo Station Traveler’s Notebooks is what I have been using as my main journal for the past couple of years. I kind of baby it because it is one of my favorite souvenirs from our first trip to Japan. As such, whenever I take it anywhere, it is usually in a canvas carrier to prevent it from getting scratched up; Which is fine, but that makes it kind of a chunky thing to carry anywhere and prevents it from developing a nice patina like my passport Traveler’s Notebook. I kind of just throw my passport TN in my bag since it functions as a planner and extended wallet. Because of that, the leather has become nice and supple and broken in with a lot of character.
So the Tokyo Station TN now houses all of my travel journals from Japan along with pamphlets and other ephemera and my new customized TN is now my daily writing journal. I took my scrapbooking insert out, leaving just my journal and the sticker paper insert. Doing so slims it down quite a bit and makes it so that it actually fits in some of my bag/backpack pockets. When I feel like carrying around my scrapbook insert or sketchbook insert I can easily add either one back in as I have my TN setup to make it easy to do so.
So as far as customizations, this is what I went with. Originally I had wanted the pockets in nude but one of them was out of stock in that color so I had chosen brown instead. Thinking back, I am so glad that I went with brown as it matches the color of my pen clip and just suits my taste better.
I chose the cardholder wallet pocket on the left inside cover to store washi samples and other random card shaped slips of paper. I added my Superior Labor double pen clip holder because it’s convenient being able to hold two pens (fountain pen, and either pencil or inking pen) and also because the brown leather on the pen loops matches the brown leather on the pockets perfectly. The brass clip makes the top card pocket on the left inside cover a bit too tight for washi samples but I have found that it is the perfect size for printouts from my Polaroid Zink sticker printer.
On the right inside cover I chose the zipper pocket, which currently holds: A small plastic ruler, a fake movie prop $100 bill, weird pictures, bird stickers, scraps of paper. It’s basically a catchall for random ephemera. There is ample space under each sewn on pocket to store more items. This setup more or less matches the setup that I used with the blue canvas insert in my Tokyo Station TN. It’s a lot easier to manage with the pockets sewn in vs being another insert.
On the cover I have a quote from one of my favorite shows embossed: “There’s coffee in that nebula.” I feel that it encompasses a decent range of things that I enjoy: Coffee, Star Trek, and exploration/adventure. But seriously, I am a huge Star Trek nerd.
Hello there, long time no post. I have this backlog of photos to edit in Lightroom and (maybe) post somewhere, but just haven’t gotten around to doing that for reasons. This post was actually written in July of 2021, sat in the editing queue for around 7 odd months until now, March of 2022. At some point I’ll post a picture dump of all of the cool things that we’ve done. Maybe.
So on the topic of biking. I figured out what was causing the saddle and hand pain whenever we went out to ride: The bike I was using was too big. I was using my husband’s old bike which is a men’s large. The seat to pedal distance was fine, so I figured it was fine but the problem was that it was too long, causing my to lean forward too much. Sold that bike to a friend who really needed one and who fit it perfectly, purchased a new bike which fits me perfectly. According to online measurements, I am between a small and medium, leaning towards medium. A small fit me perfectly so that is what we got. New bike has a 1×10 drivetrain instead of a 3×8.
We have gotten into GUNPLA (Gundam Plastic Model) building lately. I have always wanted to build one but for some reason, I was under the impression that the kits required painting and gluing like Warhammer or most other model kits that I have seen. Painting and gluing is beyond the barrier of entry for whatever effort I am willing to put into novice model building.
The kits are pre-painted snap fit. The only tool that you actually need is a nipper to snip the pieces off of the plastic runner and optionally, a hobby knife and maybe sand paper to clean up the nub marks. GUNPLA seems to be the natural evolution for web + likes LEGO and building things. Also a great, “It’s hot outside and I need something to do indoors” type of hobby. Many regrets not getting into GUNPLA before going to Japan or at least before everything was closed for COVID reasons.
Here is what we more or less did in May. I don’t feel like captioning each image so this will have to do:
- We have been hiking a lot: The days are long and the weather is perfect. It’s going to be hot AF pretty soon, so we might as well take advantage of ideal outdoors conditions. In general, over the past year or so I would say that whatever activity we would normally do that would involve crowds of people or socializing has been replaced by doing something outdoorsy.
- I had received a new camera lens as an anniversary gift, so we went out for an evening walk to take some long exposure shots and grab some ice cream. On the short to-do list is: Find a place with minimal light pollution and take some nice star and Milky Way photos.
- We have also returned to cautious restaurant dining since we are fully vaccinated. Suffice it to say, stuffing our collective faces with sushi was fairly high on the to-do list.
- The cats continue to be cute.
These are the notebooks that I am currently using: My Regular Traveler’s Notebook for journaling and memory keeping, my Passport Traveler’s Notebook for planning, and the new addition discussed below. Not pictured is the black notebook that I scribble in (brain dump journal entries, grocery/to-do lists, etc). I had recently treated myself to a few goodies from one of my favorite stores, Baum-Kuchen, one such item being an A5 notebook cover to house the stuff that I am using to study Japanese.
Finally, after so much procrastinating, I am bucking down and redoubling my efforts to study Japanese. I took around 2 years of Japanese in college, but didn’t really keep up with studying it afterwards. Consequently, even though I still know enough to travel and hold basic conversations, I had forgotten more than I would like. My study goal is to relearn all of the kanji, vocabulary, and grammar that I have forgotten as well as continue my language education with a focus on stuff that would be useful for our next Japan trip (whenever that will be).
I am using the GENKI textbooks as they were recommended on Reddit and seem well regarded online. Instead of skipping ahead in the book, I figured I would start from the very beginning. Although I already know almost all of what I have covered so far, it is good to reinforce existing knowledge and to notate grammar, etc in my notebook for the sake of reference.
I have two notebooks in the cover; One tucked into the left side and one tucked into the right side.
The left notebook is comprised of A5 sized gridpaper. I was previously using this notebook as scratch paper and lettering practice but it has been repurposed for kanji study and practice. The postcard holds no significance other than it being pleasing to look at and to cover personal information that was written down underneath it. I do plan on printing out or writing out A5 sized (or smaller) reference sheets and either tucking them into the pocket on the left or clipping them to the front inside of the first notebook.
The right notebook is an A5 slim sized Washi SOSHI notebook from April 2020’s Stationery Selection box. The paper is an absolute delight to write with my fountain pens as I find that it’s the perfect texture (not too smooth, not too rough, no feathering). Sadly, I have been sitting on this notebook for over a year because that’s how long I procrastinated on starting this project.
Special mention to these highlighters. I bought them years ago off of Amazon and I use them all the time. I think they are Muji twin tip highlighters? One side is broad tipped for highlighting and the other side is fine tipped.
It was a great weekend to go for a walk on the beach/outdoors since the days are getting longer and the weather is nice. I really like my new sling; it makes it much easier to drag my camera everywhere to take pictures of stuff.
This is what I carry with me when I am out taking pictures of stuff and/or out all day. I have finally found a bag that will hold my normal everyday carry as well as my camera, while also not being gigantic.
Codeofbell X-Pod: When I am out taking pictures, I have my camera slung around my body but I like it tucked away in a bag when doing non-photography things (I also refuse to leave my camera in the car). I specifically wanted a sling bag that was roughly the same shape and size as my other sling, but also able to function as a bum bag for biking and just large enough to hold my camera. There were a lot of bags that fit all of my stuff but they were either too big and boxy or were missing things that I really wanted. The X-pod was the only bag I looked into that was able to expand to hold quite a bit of stuff but collapse down to a fairly small size.
The shoulder strap is from another bag; It prevents sling slippage and shoulder fatigue (straps can dig into your shoulder when dragging around a chunky camera all day). The carabiner is a medium sized hero clip: Great for keeping your bag off of the ground when at a restaurant (whenever we can go to those again), hanging off of the back of airplane seats, hanging on trees, and so forth. I find that most tables and desks are too thick for anything smaller than the medium sized clip.
Camera stuff (on the blue square):
- Sony a6400 with 18-135mm lens: I had considered getting a full frame camera, but they were either out of my price point or too large. Anything larger than a mirrorless camera is just too much of a pain in the ass to drag around.
- Peak Design Leash: Quality of life item. I should have purchased a better camera sling a long time ago. It is easy to adjust, easy to remove, and easy to stash when not in use. I hate carrying my camera around my neck and prefer to carry it like a sling bag if that makes any sense. Carrying my camera like this however, requires constant strap length adjustment (when not in use, I like having my camera snug against my body).
- Tenba 12” Protective Wrap: This padded wrap was like, $10 and can make any bag a camera bag. I am pretty careful, but I feel better having some layer of protective padding just in case.
Contents from top to bottom left to right:
- Prescription sunglasses: If you wear glasses and enjoy going outside, prescription sunglasses are pretty great and also covered by vision insurance.
- Wallet: I like men’s wallets because women’s wallets are generally too big. I don’t always carry a purse/bag and will sometimes run out for short errands/walks with just the essentials. As such, any wallet that I use must fit in the front pocket of chick jeans.
- Pen: I always have a pen with me. There is never a functional pen whenever you really need a pen. Also, other people’s pens are gross.
- Fenix E12 v2.0 Flashlight: For whatever reason, it’s kind of hard to find a small flashlight that doesn’t have a strobe. Great for finding cat toys under the couch and digging shit out between car seats.
- Hand Sanitizer: Because COVID and because I like having clean hands.
- Face Mask: Comfortable mask that folds flat. I honestly don’t see this leaving my EDC even post-COVID.
- Anker PowerCore Fusion Power bank and random lightning cable: 5000 mAh battery that can charge two USB-A devices simultaneously and is also one of the few power banks that I have seen with foldable wall charger prongs.
- Hygiene wipes: This is basically a larger and sturdier wet wipe. They are great for feeling less gross after all day hiking/airsoft or after using a portapotty.
- Bandaids: You know that feeling when a new pair of shoes or socks end up rubbing the back of your ankles raw? I do and ever since then I always carry two small bandaids just in case. I also want to add a small antiseptic pad to compliment the bandaids as an emergency boo boo kit.
- Chapstick: Dry lips sink ships.
- Hand lotion: I absolutely loathe dry hands and must always carry hand lotion.
- Emery board: I dislike uneven nails (not as much as dry hands though).
- Kleenex: Because allergies.
- Emergency hair tie: Because long hair. When not in use it’s either used as a cable tie or to keep all of the flat items together.
- Lens cleaner wipes: Disposable alcohol pads for glasses and camera lenses. Great for removing greasy smudgy fingerprints and what not.
- Emergency toilet paper: Cute-ass small roll of toilet paper that came in an MRE. I have this stuffed into one of the side zipper pockets.
- Microfiber cloth: For cleaning glasses and camera lenses.
- Emergency tampons: Better to have and not need than to need and not have.
- Pill case: Just large enough to hold emergency migraine strength excedrine and allergy pills.
- Emergency pad: Also better to have and not need than to need and not have.
- Apple Watch: 6th generation Apple Watch with a black sports loop band (the sweatpants of watch bands).
- Phone: The same iPhone 11 Pro as pictured in the previous EDC post.
- Keys: The same set of keys as pictured in the previous EDC post.
- Folded plastic bag: I keep a folded plastic bag stuffed into one of the side zipper pockets. Useful whenever a trash bag is needed or whenever there’s something wet, etc.
The large zipper pocket in my sling is large enough to also hold my water bottle and camera if expanded all the way. I don’t ever see myself doing so as I am not into tempting fate that much. If I really feel like spending unnecessary money, I may look into purchasing a camera clip for the sling strap (placed right below the shoulder pad). I like the idea of docking my camera to the strap so that it doesn’t swing around loosely when not being held, but at the moment I don’t like the idea enough to want to spend $70 on a fancy clip…
In lieu of certain computer parts being virtually impossible to buy (and also in lieu of me not having any AAA PC exclusive title that I am interested in playing at the moment), I have decided to put the new PC build on hold. The ‘fun fund’ has instead, been allocated towards a new camera.
Hello and happy belated 2021. Totally had this post sitting in my drafts and had forgotten to publish it in early January. Whoops. Here is a video compilation of clips from 2020. For obvious reasons, not a whole lot happened and the video as a whole turned into a complication of cat clip and socially distant hiking/walking places. Perhaps we will get to travel soon. Who knows!
Specifically, it’s new damn computer time for both my husband and I. The last time I had upgraded my system, was with a new video card in 2014; Which, for the past couple of years, hasn’t mattered too much as most games that I have played are either on the iPad, console games, optimized old-system friendly Blizzard games (WoW, Overwatch, and friends), or indie titles that will run on literally anything with a screen.
Unsurprisingly, the game that we are building a PC for is Cyberpunk 2077. Unfortunately, literally everyone on the planet is also trying to build a computer for Cyberpunk 2077 with the exact same parts. We managed to snag one R5 5600x and one RTX 3070 for my husband’s computer, but mine will have to wait until more parts are in stock (his machine no longer boots, so his rig has priority). Until then, I am satisfied with being a console peasant and enjoying Cyberpunk from the comforts out our couch. This also gives me more time I guess to look into a decent KVM Switch to switch between my work machines and gaming machine.
Here is the build. Parts are subject to change depending on availability and when I actually build the damn thing. I haven’t 100% decided on the case that I want:
|CPU||Intel Core i7-2600||AMD Ryzen R5 5600X|
|Motherboard||Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 ATX LGA1155||MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk|
|Video Card||Radeon R9 280||Nvidia RTX 3070|
|Memory||Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333||2x G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3600|
|Storage||OS is on an SSD, data is on a large ass HDD||Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB M2.-2280 SSD|
|PSU||Corsair 850W ATX12V||Corsair HXi 850W|
|Case||Antec P280||Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C|
|Cooling||Cooler Master Hyper 212||Noctua NH-U12S|