If I were to buy a car…

I’m in Japan, indisputably one of the worlds top 3 car producers in the world,  tied with Europe, ahead of America, and following from behind is Korea.  In this age where China and India are racing to join Korea in a journey to usurp the declining giants, there was an age where Japan was the climbing car maker.  From behind they changed the industry, not just on the roads but on the railroad tracks.  But now fans are left looking back at the glory days that got Japan to where they are.  I am one of those looking back, back at the light, all wheel/rear wheel drive, dragons on wheels.  So if I wanted to get a car in Japan, which car should I get?

First of all, it must be unique, and difficult to acquire in Canada.  That rules out major vehicles like the RX-7, Skyline, Supra, WRX, EVO, and so on.  The most unique cars in Japan are Kei-Cars, a shorten name for cars that are eco-friendly, small, efficient and can be quite fast.  They carry yellow license plates, and also a spot in my heart.

Here are the candidates I’ve decided upon:

Subaru Vivio

 

Suzuki Alto Works

 

Nissan GTi-R

 

Mentionable:

Suzuki Cappacino

 

Honda Beat:

 

So which one hmmm, I guess it depends a lot on the price, condition, and wither I want a convertible or mini-box!  I also don’t think the Nissan is a K-car, but its a powerful beast!

Some fame:

The Subaru Vivio was featured on Lucky Star beating a RX-7.  The Cappuccino was on Initial D and it lost to the AE86.  The other cars are pretty similiar, except the GTi-R has twice the power.

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Giving Day Get!

This morning I was anticipating the arrival of my “Giving Day” concert Blu-ray.  I decided to sleep in all day because I didn’t have work until 7:45 PM.  However, there was no knock, no call, no nothing, so I ended up sleeping until 2 PM.  It turns out they just left it at my door!  Now I have in my hands!  For 5439 Yen ($68.14 CAD)  I have a great Hi-Def version of a great concert that took place earlier this year.  Although this isn’t the special edition bundle, I ended up saving quite a bit because the initial batches were 7350 yen ($92.09).  Saving $25!  This was also my first time using Amazon ever.  It worked quite efficiently.  All I had to do was order the product online, pay the bill at a convenient store, and then wait 2 and a half days for regular free shipping!

Today, I ended up using the nabe pot again for some veggie, fish and beef dishes.  Quite simple and my first tank of gas is still going!  Now I have to get ready for work and to meet up with a co-worker for dinner.

Steak and Such

Steak!  Outback!  I had my first steak in Japan.  It was a nice cut of NY Sirloin.  It didn’t come cheap though.  It costed 3250 yen!  Thats almost $40 for something you can get for half the price and twice the size in Vancouver!  It was quite delicious and came with some nice sides.

After Steak, Tin and I went to LOFT to check out some new things, before he suddenly decided to go look for used games in Osu. Looking around Gamers, I noticed that Miku’s game day was only 6600 yen (as opposed to 8200 at Animate) for the blu-ray version.  I was considering the purchase when I realized I was dead broke thanks to the Steak I had earlier.

While we were walking to the arcade Blitz called, and we decided to play some Arcana Hearts 3 while waiting.  I’m beginning to really take a liking to it!  The vast amount of characters and moves allows me to finally move beyond Capcom and SNK.  I had already lost when Blitz finally arrived, he then proceeded to challenge Tin and I and as always we lost, but one day, one day!  Afterwards, we played a few more games before we decided to get some Kishimen at our usual Ramen place in Osu.  Everyone decided to walk back with me, since I had left my bike at Sakae and didn’t want to spend $ on the subway!  We parted ways at Sakae.  One to the subway, one to the bike and the other to the music.

During this quiet Sunday, I decided to  pay for Miku Game Day on Amazon.jp because it was slightly cheaper than Gamers.  Hopefully it will arrive soon, however I may not be home when it does finally arrive.   Afterwards, Blitz, Leon and I had dinner at our usual Chinese restaurant.  Afterwards, I finally picking up a knife at the dollar store, I went to Blitz’s place to practice some bass.  With a lot of help and a lot more needed I may be getting better at it soon!

Car Story 2

Let me tell you about two car stories. A long, long time ago, in a land quite far away from where I am now, I tried to buy two different cars, by two different manufacturers, two different times.  However, both times were a complete failure.  Once was during the economic peak of late 2007, and the other was about less than a year and a half later.  Both times ended in frustration and failure, but probably for the better?

The first time was at a Mazda dealership.  It was quite the dark and rainy night.  With my father, we tried to negotiate a deal, and then paid a deposit, which was promised to be returned if a car could not be found.  It was quite simple, we wanted a mid-level Mazda Miata (Roadster) with automatic transmission and a hardtop, color wasn’t a big deal.  Why the Miata?  It was a small, efficient, sporty (albeit girly) sports car, and the girl I hung out with at the time was quite infatuated with the car.  According to the dealership, this was a difficult combination to find, and because it was no longer Summer it would be very difficult, and within due time we found it was impossible.  The dealership tried suggesting alternatives, but we wouldn’t budge.  Then they tried to sell us a mini van for a budget price.  We proceeded to get our deposit back and never spoke of the car again.

The most recent time I tried to buy a car was in 2009, just before I started studying at BCIT.  I was a little reluctant to buy a new car before going to a Trade school, but I figured why not?  My RX-7 had not wronged, but it was difficult to get through emissions at the time.  So we tried many Nissan dealerships.  Many dealerships wouldn’t budge a cent on the 370z citing its popularity, newness and rareness.  Many dealers didn’t bother to give a test drive, and many dealerships couldn’t be bothered to discuss preferences.  “What we got is what we got.”  That was the message at every dealership.  This gave me a lot of time to research the problems related to the car.  The car was certainly exciting, the price of a economy sports car, for the power of a Porshe 911. The car had come out 4-6 months ago, but this superior attitude during a bad economy made me ponder if this was one of the contributing factors to our economic recession.  Much like with PS3’s and Nintendo Wii’s, they couldn’t meet demand for about a year, or in Nintendo’s case, 3-4 years.  There was a demand, but no supply, no personnel concerned, because the economy was good.  Now the economy is in a rut.  Morale is down, nobody knows why.

I did get close to buying a model with a classic colored interior.  However, I fought for black on black, but nothing came of it.  Afterwards, I also tried to ask about cars from Suzuki dealerships, and if they had certain models in stock, but they feigned ignorance about commercials, discounts, and try to redirect me to minivans.

Do I want a new car?  Probably not, especially if I have to deal with salesmen who have no business or automotive sense.  Many wise men have always said,” the worst investment was in one that would depreciate thousands of dollars the minute you leave the premise.”  Maybe they are right.  Maybe the right car is waiting for me here, in this country.

Nabe

It was quite the busy day, as Thursdays are usually my chores day.  There isn’t really much chores per say, since I clean daily, but laundry can only be done on this day because I always run out of clothes by this time.  So I wake up, take in my birthday wishes (yay!) then I get some food from the convenience stores or obento shops.  Afterwards, I do the laundry in between TV, music, eating or games.  Afterwards, I relax a little longer or do small bits of cleaning, then I go shopping for my week or half weeks worth of groceries.  Today, I decided to buy some mushrooms and meat to make some Nabe hotpot to go along with my rice.  The prices are great after 8 P.M.  They are roughly 30% cheaper than during the day.  I bought myself 3-4 days worth of food this week for 4200 yen.  I’ll eat, relax, and then shower and get ready for bed.

Interesting article I read today:

Mainichi Shimbun

University students hold banners as they demonstrate during an anti-Japan protest over the disputed Senkaku Islands, at Chunxi Road business area in Chengdu on October 16, 2010. (Reuters)

Anti-Japan demonstrations were staged across China again, and most of the participants were rightists in their early 20s. Inflamed by such online messages as “Defend the Diaoyu Islands (the Chinese name for the disputed Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture),” the youths hurled stones at Japanese supermarkets and Japanese cars.

However, these violent youths are not playing a leading role in the anti-Japan demonstrations, as a photo of a demonstration in Chengdu, Sichuan province, carried in the Mainichi Shimbun Oct. 17 morning edition clearly shows.

A well-organized group of about 20 people carrying three banners as wide as the road they were marching on formed the core force in the demonstration. They are distinctive from the crowd following them.

Another photo carried on the Internet shows a first banner reading, “Don’t forget the nation’s dishonor. Strengthen our nation,” while a second one says, “Recapture the Ryukyu Islands. Liberate Okinawa.” A third one says, “Boycott Japanese products.”

“Recapture the Ryukyu Islands” reflects the vengeful spirit of former military leader Chiang Kai-Shek. Immediately after the end of World War II, Chiang believed that China could get back not only Taiwan but also the Ryukyu Islands in Okinawa that includes its main island. Under the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Japan was forced to give up its sovereignty over these islands.

However, the United States placed the Ryukyu Islands under its rule at the time while leaving the sovereignty over Taiwan “undetermined.” Chiang got infuriated at the decision but was unable to resist it then.

In 1972, the United States returned the Ryukyu Islands — including the Senkaku Islands which China regards as part of Taiwan — to Japan even though the Kingdom of Ryukyu had been a tributary state to China, which sparked a campaign to recapture the Diaoyu Islands.

The rally was initially an anti-U.S. campaign staged by Taiwanese studying in the U.S, but quickly spread to students in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The movement still is active.

Beijing has maintained the same position on the sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands as that of Chiang. In 1971, then Chinese Premier Chou Enlai used Chiang’s assertion in his demand that Washington retract its position that the sovereignty over Taiwan was undetermined, when he held normalization talks with then National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, according to Kissinger’s book on his negotiations with Chou.

Chou had bitterly criticized Chiang for giving in to the U.S. position that the sovereignty over Taiwan was undetermined, calling him a “traitor.” “The nation’s dishonor,” one of the slogans for the anti-Japan demonstrations, refers to this.

Moreover, the finger of blame is also pointed at Deng Xiaoping, who signed the Japan-U.S. Peace and Friendship Treaty without settling the dispute on the U.S. position on the sovereignty over Taiwan, and current President Hu Jintao, who follows Deng’s policy line and pursues a strategic reciprocal relationship with Japan.

The “dishonor” for Chinese people now is obviously the joint development of gas fields in the East China Sea with Japan.

As if to be possessed by Chiang’s vengeful spirit, conservatives within the Communist Party of China and top military officers are bitterly criticizing Deng’s policy line, which has been taken over by the current Chinese administration. This issue reflects a serious struggle over basic policy line within the party. (By Hidetoshi Kaneko, Expert Senior Writer)

Source

Birfday Dinner

After my 2 classes, I went with a few friends to our local Chinese restaurant to have several dishes of Chinese food!  It was filling and quite delicious.  Afterwards, I went to practice some bass until 2 A.M.

This morning I woke up to more birthday greetings because it is still the 20th back in Vancouver!

Interesting news is that my dad got checked at the border and because my phone had a pedobear sticker immigration wasn’t too happy.  They asked about my home and information about me.  I think the news taken this internet meme too far.  It was just something that symbolized that the topic was related to a topic about female anime characters.  Now they’re harassing kids that put the stickers on their cars or phones.

Birfday

For my birthday I got myself several things.  First of all I bought this really addictive itouch game.  It’s called Game Dev Story.   In the game you’re in charge of a new game development company.  You start off my hiring, creating and publishing games, like a business simulator.   The consoles and games move forward in the same way our market does.  The better you get the more options open up.  Its great to see so much feedback for you work through in game events.  There just enough to keep me addicted and playing for days!

I also got a haircut after eating out at a burger joint with a co-worker.  The haircut was great.  2000 yen ($25) for an hour of styling, shaving and shampooing.  It was like a Spa.  Even though I couldn’t communicate with them all I had to do was say “hai” and everything was done!

Relating to characters

When we watch a show or movie we all like to sympathize with a character.  Usually that character is the most like us or at least in science fiction, the most human character.  Therefore, when we watch superhero movies with protagonists who possess powers which we cannot relate to we feel a little left out or at least slightly less attached.  As we mature we of course only notice these things subliminally or only through repeated exposure, and the loss of interest.  The need to make a superhero like Batman more believable is to make him more gritty, more relate able to our everyday struggles.  He is of course human, and compared to other superheroes the most human, possessing only the powers of insights, James Bond X Q’s intelligence, and simply being quick on his feet.   Its difficult to create these kind of situations in movies or shows that are dominated by powerful beings, and its difficult to find an attraction to characters that are weaker than others.  Therefore, it seems quite smart to put a character in the show that resembles the viewers.  Like adding humans to Transformers, a guy with some overbearing sense of justice, or on the opposite scale a person that would make the same mistakes as the audience helps people relate the movie or show to their own mundane lives.

In the anime, A Certain Scientific Railgun, I find that the addition of a character with no powers, among a group of users with strong powers to weak powers really gives the audience a dimension where they can relate to the characters.  We can see the anime from Saten’s position, and she, like us would want to be just like the strongest characters in Railgun (Spinoff) or A Certain Magical Index (original series).  Dramas and movies usually throw in a fistful of characters and we try to relate to one or the other, and hope they ask questions we think about or make the same choices we would in that situation.  I feel Saten accurately represents the viewers, and like in Index, a person with no power except the ability to cancel powers, was as close as we got.  In Railgun it was taken further, except she isn’t the main character, but a side character that throws a bit of reality in a fistful of impossible situations. She isn’t overbearing like the humans are in the recent Transformer movies.  In those movies, you start to wonder if the robots are just one dimensional beings, and the humans are the only characters that can change and save the Autobots (good guys).  Without characters like Satan to provide a reality check, you could write any unbelievable story and have people either love or hate it.  She is a character which aids the main characters without being too annoying or asking too many questions.   Her ability is in fact the ability to pull us back from the anime and back into our everyday life, and hopefully her emotions and thoughts will  carry over into our daily life.  So what if we don’t have powers ourselves?  She shows us we share something in common with those who have power.  We share similar feelings, we’ll make the same choices under different circumstances, and we’ll explore the possibilities together without being too preachy.

Today’s News: Cleaning, Sushi, Don Kiote and arcade.

Nabe Simpson

Watched some new Simpsons for the first time in ages.  Spent the day chilling in front of the PC again, what did I use to do before internet again??  Went to work a little early and took the Meitetsu line for the 2nd time since getting here.  It certainly feels different from taking the subway.  Less packed, and more open.  Before work I picked up a Nabe bowl for all my future cooking with my portable gas stove.  After work I had Dinner at a Chinese restaurant with Tin.  Sweet and Sour soup Ramen.  He wants to meet up tomorrow at Sakae to check out some game related things.  Afterwards, I went to Brian’s to practice some Bass for a little while before heading home.

During my time away from the net I played an interesting little economy game called Recettear.  It was quite nice.  Now I’m thinking of playing Minecraft!