Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Walking in a winter wonderland.

Thats right, we had our first snowfall of the year last night. Looking outside the window this morning was great, there was maybe 3 inches of snow on the ground, the sky was clear, and I had already had an extremely pleasant cup of coffee.

Then I walked outside. I'm not really sure how the snow managed to accumulate so much -- we must have quite the difference in temperature from night to day. At 9am, when I was walking to work, it was 10 degrees outside and really sunny. The pretty looking snow was actually 95% water, with a pretty layer of clean virgin slush on top. After a couple steps, my pantlegs already soaked through, I scowled at the Japanese weather gods, marvelled at the apparent structural integrity of this liquid-y ground cover, and headed to work.

Oh the Japanese, they never disappoint in surprising me. I'd have thought they might pull a Vancouver/Seattle and freak out over the meager snowfall. No wai. A thousand little Japanese worker-bees were on the street, SHOVELLING. No snowplows (not that they were really needed), but all the same the minor roads near my dorm were already mostly cleared by the beginning of my commute. It makes me wonder whether Japan has a volunteer snow-removal service. Or maybe something mandatory - it really seems like a Japanese thing to do - to require that every family clear the road infront of their house in the morning.

Another surprise on my way to work - the bus companies pulled out all the stops in order to prevent any loss of traction on any of their buses. It appeared that the entire bus fleet had put chains on the drive tires. For a couple inches of watery slush. Overkill? You decide.

By halfway through the day, you'd never suspect that it was anything less than a normal midwinter day in Tokyo. 12 degrees and sunny. No snow to be seen. If a slushy day at the beginning of February is all this place has to offer in terms of Winter, I'm a happy man.

In other news, I've rediscovered the use of torrents. After a few years of hardcore Rapidshare use, I've come crawling back to Demonoid (me being far too cheap to pay for my own Rapidshare account for 8 months). Its still quite great. Nowhere near as fast as saturating cable downloads at megabytes per second, but more than enough for downloading books. For movies, I'm back to leaving my computer downloading overnight, since after 1am or so, the fiber line going to my building becomes a lot less full, and speeds skyrocket.

1 comment:

  1. Just for the record, Vancouver did not have a *meager* snowfall last year. It was epic. =P

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