March 18, 2020

My Traveler’s Notebook (Regular) Setup

Here is a post on how I use and setup my regular sized Traveler’s Notebook. My passport sized TN is used as a daily planner/general notebook whereas my regular sized TN is used as a creative outlet for watercoloring, sketching, scrapbooking, and stuff like that. I really like the TN system because of how modular it is; I use my notebooks for a variety of things so being able to swap inserts in and out is crucial. For daily use, I usually have 2 or 3 notebooks inserted at a time (detailed below). For travel, I will have one notebook (an insert dedicated to travel journaling) to keep the thickness of the TN down to a manageable size, since my travel journal insert is filled with about a dozen pamphlets and stuff like that.

This is the Traveler’s Factory Tokyo Station edition notebook that I picked up during our first trip to Japan in 2018. The red mizuhiki charm (the knot thingy) was purchased during the same trip. The brass charm was purchased from the Nakameguro store when we visited in 2019.

Diary Pouch

I keep my notebook as well as my most commonly used journaling supplies in a large atelier’s PENELOPE Diary Pouch from Baum-Kuchen. It’s great for preventing my journal from getting scuffed and makes a decent lap writing platform. I try to only keep a bare minimum of what I need in the pouch to avoid it getting bogged down with stuff as this item is a part of my travel setup.

Canvas Organizer

The blue canvas organizer insert is a Fourrof x Traveler’s Factory Collaboration purchased at the Tokyo Station Traveler’s Factory store when we had visited Japan last year. It has a zipper pouch on one side and card inserts on the other. The card inserts are great for storing washi tape samplers, stickers, and well… card shaped items. The zipper pocket and back pouch has a small ruler, paper clips, paper scraps, stickers, etc.

First Notebook: Baum-Kuchen SKETCH Notebook

I absolutely love this insert. The texture and page thickness of the paper is perfect for watercoloring and sketching projects.

Second Notebook: TN Kraft Insert for Journaling

I had mixed feelings about the kraft paper insert because the color made some of my pens and watercolors look weird. It has though, forced me to start writing and drawing on some of the paper pads that I have hoarded (before cutting/gluing/whatever it to the insert), so that is nice.

I originally had planned on printing vacation photos at home and then adding them to my journal later, but that’s a huge pain in the ass of a workflow. I purchased a portable Polaroid Zip printer for photo journaling a while back and I am glad that I did. Great quality, easy to use, great to travel with. The downside is that the refills aren’t super cheap so I have to be somewhat conservative about what I choose to print.

Third Notebook: Random Dot Grid Insert from Amazon

I started migrating my RPG notes over to the regular sized TN. It was easier to use the smaller TN for D&D 5E session notes because most, if not all combat and character based things are tracked on D&D Beyond. I needed a larger notebook for Shadowrun and 4E because there isn’t a good web-based character tracking site or app. As such, everything is done old school style using *gasp* pen and paper.

I also purchased a plastic three-fold file insert as pictured above. It’s great for holding papers as well as character sheets.

September 24, 2019

How to: Add a Suica card to your Apple Wallet

Here is how to add an unregistered Suica card to your iPhone. Keep in mind that only iPhones 8 and newer have the chip that allow you to use your phone. I think Japanese iPhone 7’s have it as well. Mind you that this post is an imperfect guide. I don’t read Japanese fluently.

We found that using the NFC chip on our phones to be way more convenient than carrying around a physical metro card. It’s one less thing to have to worry about losing and it’s way easier to recharge it using Apple Pay (vs feeding yen into a machine).

There’s an English app that allows you to add a card without the need to change your phone’s region to Japan, but it doesn’t allow you to view the full virtual card number on your phone. It’s not really that big of a deal for normal metro use but if you need to register your card for any reason, the full number will be required to my understanding.Set your phone’s region to Japan.

1. Set your phone’s region to Japan

2. Download the Suica App and hit the plus sign in the top right corner.

3. Swipe to the third option (Suica Unregistered) and tap the green bar at the bottom

4. Hit the next at the top right

5. Accept the agreement.

6. Tap the green text on the right to choose the amount of cash to add.

7. Choose the amount of money to add. Yen transfer rate is roughly ¥100 per each $1. So ¥1,000 = around $10

8. Tap the Apple Pay button

9. Choose a device to add your card to.

10. Tap next

11. Tap ‘Agree’ at the bottom right.

12. Tap ‘Done’

13. When you are all done, make sure to change your phone’s region back to what it was before.

If you need to recharge your Suica card, you do so from your Apple Wallet, not the Suica App. Once the card is added, do yourself a favor and open the actual Suica App, tap the card picture in the middle and take a screenshot of your Suica card number.

June 9, 2019

The Cats

No context. Only cat pictures.

June 6, 2019

Update on the Neglected Lithops

My shipment of pumice and potting supplies finally came in. I am in the process of re-potting the Mesembs into a grittier mixture. The soil mixture that they are currently in is too dense and was mixed with perlite, which had all but floated to the top of the pot and blown away.

I had re-potted the lithops mentioned in my previous entry to survey any damage that resulted from the unseasonal amount of rain and rabbit munching. To my fortune, they do not appear to be as bad off as I had originally thought. Both the roots and plant body on the larger leaves look to be okay (no rot, fuzzy root growths, no mushy spots). One of the leaf sets looks dubious. But then again, they have looked dubious for over a year (pretty sure they are slow dying).

I am very very surprised that my lithops survived the rabbit apocalypse as the damage was quite severe. On a plus side, the new growths look healthy and are undamaged. Since I had left my plants out in the rain, their growth cycle is a little fucked up. Consequently, I cannot pot them with the new lithops that I had purchased last weekend. So for now (and probably ever), they will live in their own little pot.

I really need to find a relatively sunny rain sheltered place for all of my plants. We have a patio, but it’s a little too shady. I like working in the garden after work when it is light and not shitty outside, but in about 5 months, that’s probably going to change. Maybe build a plant thing? I would love to put some of my plants in a window but all sunny windows in the house are cat windows…

June 2, 2019

Succulents: June 2019

Happy June everyone! Although literally no one visits this site, I am trying to get into the habit of updating this site more than once every year. I have made a few recent acquisitions + It’s been literally over two years since I last posted a plant update so hey, that’s a good place to begin. A combination of severe neglect and an unseasonal amount of rainfall here in Southern California has left a number of my more finicky succulents in a poor state. Most of them are fine, but some of my favorite plants (lithops and fenestraria are a little worse for wear).

Luckily, my husband had pointed out that our local succulent society had a show and sale this weekend, so I did manage to pick up a few new plants (as pictured in the featured image). My next project, now that the rain has (hopefully?) stopped is to clean up and work on my succulent gardening area in the backyard.

Here is my lithop pot. I had neglected to move them under the overhang during the like, 5 storms that we have had this year. Some of the leaves are in the process of growing new leaves that look like they may be okay, but I haven’t had a chance to check on the status of their roots (going to repot them into faster draining soil).

Additionally, the backyard rabbits seem to love munching on the lithops for whatever reason. As such, I have learned that they need to live on one of the succulent tables that isn’t rabbit prone and isn’t undearneath the stupid california pepper tree that rains shit all over my plants.

The burro’s tail seems to be happy enough to fill the pot with new growths. Once it grows a little more, I think I will repot it into a larger pot. They are so tricky to work with though, every time I touch it leaves seem to fall off.

Here are the new plants. The baby toes are frithia pulchra, a different type of mesemb than the baby toes pictured in previous posts. They have different watering requirements than the fenestraria so they cannot share a pot. I want to repot the newbies and some of my existing plants, but I am waiting on a shipment of pumice + faster draining potting soil. The blend that I am using now does not drain fast enough (the internet was right, perlite just….floats to the top of the pot. Annoying).

May 4, 2019

My Battlestation

A visual history of my computer desk (I really like taking pictures of my desk during the Spring I guess). Neither clutter nor cable free but, whatever.

My workspace actually changed that much in the last couple of years aside from adding a shelf and hanging a few pictures.

March 24, 2019

Japan: November 2018

We went to Japan this past November for two weeks. Our itinerary was: Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Takayama, Tokyo. I kept a daily travel journal while we were in Japan, and had planned on digitizing it here at some point. But….you know.

Here are a couple of images exported from Lightroom. I have about 2,000 images from our phones, but I really don’t feel like picking through those and uploading them here.

February 5, 2019

My Traveler’s Notebook Passport Setup

I guess some folks find it odd for someone so digitally oriented as myself to use an analog planner system instead of well, my phone. I have used both methods for general planning as well as note taking, and physically writing stuff down just works the best for me and well, ❤️ analogue/journaling things.

I have three notebook inserts, two folders, and the plastic sleeve insert in my TN. These are the three notebooks that I use: the Weekly Diary, Blank Notebook, and the Monthly Diary. I find that having three inserts is the most that I can include in my current setup without making the notebook too chunky. 

The plastic sleeve has a clear zipper pouch in the front and card slots in the back. I keep memory cards, checks to deposit, and stuff like that in the zipper pouch (as well as a whisker from each cat). The card slots in the back have cards that I don’t need to carry around in my wallet (club cards, stamp cards)

I have two folders: The first folder is the TN Kraft folder, which is inserted around the monthly planner notebook. I just keep blotter paper, post-it notes, shitajiki (writing bird), and stuff like that. The second notebook is a thin leather folder that I purchased at the Tokyo Station Travelers Factory store when we we visiting Japan. This folder is loosely inserted in the back. Read More

January 28, 2018

Draw a Thing 1/22/2018: Succulent Spread

I had inked out a few succulent designs and tested some of the marker colors in my Traveler’s Notebook before starting the actual project in my other notebook. Two goals: First off, to do more ink drawings without outlining in pencil first; Second, the color the background without it being super streaky (compare to the rooster picture posted a while back). The yellow marker unfortunately started to run out of steam on the second half of the spread. I should have given it a break between pages to “recharge.”

It doesn’t seem to matter how thick the paper is, alcohol based markers bleed through absolutely everything I guess (Leuchtturm = 180gsm). Tools used: Pens and markers.

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