Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hey I'm outta here soon!

Hello everybody.

I totally missed the 8 month anniversary of this blog! Why did nobody send me a cake or something? Fail everyone. Fail.

Anyway, 8 month anniversary of this blog means about 8 months ago I was writing/studying for final exams. Mon dieu, how the time has flew b-- oh wait, its been 8 months of stroking days off the calendar. But guys, this time is actually close enough to being over that it effectively is in my mind. Today at work I realized that I'm pretty much done, よ. I had one more experiment/synthesis that I kinda/sorta wanted to do, but my time is up now. Tomorrow isn't enough time to do it, and I've got to spend it finishing up a manuscript for a paper I've got to submit before I head home. Next week is summer holidays here, so its automatically a 4 day weekend, and my boss is taking the 3 week days off. So that leaves me twiddling my thumbs and maybe working on my experiential report (a colossal piece of bullshit I need to do) or my paper. But no pressure and I'm not allowed to do any lab work without my boss present in the research center somewhere. After that I have a bunch of farewell parties (How much better is a farewell party than a welcome party? About a billion times.) and a mandatory presentation. Then I hop on a plane to Busan and its nothing by bliss and smooth sailing. Now to get to a bit of a rant, because thats what you come here for, right?

Experiential report: Screw you, Canada-Japan Co-op Program (CJCP). --Name redacted-- presented my thoughts on this quite well today. "I finished my crappy experiential report this morning, so I am officially done all the CJCP stuff. Now I just need my boss to fill out some forms, and then I can email Yuko and then forget I was ever in CJCP." I can't wait until I can do this. The experiential report is supposed to be 10 pages on my experience in Japan, with pictures. So I think I can do at least 4 pages worth on Fuji-san complete with a series of normal, comparative and superlative adjective subtitles. The rest can be my tropical holiday from ages past and maybe a trip to Akihabara and Minato Mirai. I can fill it in with verbal diarrhea without too much trouble I think, I'm just having trouble scrounging the will to do so.

A similar task that stands between me and bliss is my mandatory presentation I need to give. My boss asked me last week whether I wanted to give a presentation:

I said; "Uhhh, who would I give a presentation to?"
"A good point. I would come. Maybe Noguchi-san? No... Ikari-san? No... I don't think anyone cares about you or your work." he replied, in his usual blunt manner.
"Seems kind of pointless, eh?"
"Okay, I guess you don't need to"
"*CHA CHING*" I murmur, incomprehensibly to the Nipponese in the room.
"Ohhh wait! The HR department requires you to do the presentation. They will come, but they don't care about the science because they can't understand it. So they want 50% to be about your experience in the company and in Japan." Saita-san adds.
"Oh, and remember to make it good. It needs to be good. Don't say anything bad. It needs to be 30 minutes."

I don't think I can talk for 15 minutes about good things in Japan/Mitsubishi. The kakiage in the cafeteria are pretty good, guys. I really can't recommend them enough, especially with Eastern Japan sauce.

P.S. That conversation reminds me of another depressing anecdote. After Fuji-san, I was tired as a race-banshee and kind of sick, so I emailed my boss in the morning and took the day off. The next day I asked my boss if I'd have to take unpaid leave. He just said "No one noticed you were gone. I don't think anyone cares about you."

Thanks, Saita-san. If I wasn't going to be living it up in Waterloo in 25 days, that might faze me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fuji-san continued.

Here goes -- Fuji pictures as promised! It was really dark and not a lot of pictures were taken during the ascent. Most are of the spectacular view at the end. Makes sense, ne?

Fuji-san Subashiri 5th Station. This is where we took the bus to, and then climbed from here.

Maybe 1000 meters later, the Subashiri 7th Station. I enjoyed this picture so I took a picture of it. Toilets were $2.50.

Yes, I'm checking my Kindle. When Amazon says free 3G internet everywhere on earth, they mean it. Full bars at 3200 meters elevation on Fuji-san.

Mmmmm. Udon. I needed a snack at the 8th Station, this is about 3250m elevation. Water boils weird at this altitude, so the udon wasn't as cooked as I wanted.

Arianna and I at the summit obelisk. I'm very unhappy at this point. I've been climbing for like 8 hours guys, I think I look okay. Meanwhile Arianna discovers you can't do a peace sign with mittens on.

I loaded up all my layers. Another few shirts and another sweater. I was still very cold, trying to keep my arms close to my core. I'm laying on metamorphic rock. I know its metamorphic because it's very uncomfortable and I'm on a volcano.

I eventually woke up. I'm huge in Japan. I wish I brought my puffy pink snowsuit.

Beginning of the sunrise.

We beat the crowd and had the best seats in the house. The crowd is now accumulating and flowing back down the east slope.




Starting to lighten up more... Thats our cue.

We proceed to get the hell out of there. 2000 vertical meters of the descent was through a lava flow that was composed of one foot deep volcanic ash/sand. It was straight going at a >45 degree decline. You could run, but we just sludged through it. Needless to say my shoes are destroyed.

I've got some more but thats all for now. Later folks.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fuji: Check.

I conquered Fuji-san. Shirt credit to Shrey. Thanks dude!

Yes those are clouds behind and below me. Yes the view was nice. Yes it was an incredibly long and tiring climb. More pictures to come.