My Purikura Photo

When I went to karaoke last month, the shop gave me a free ticket of playing “Purikura”. Purikura is an instant photo booth and normally placed in the game center. I took my pictures by the machine and they made me surprise. The pictures are different from real me! They are far more young and cute. All wrinkles and spots were disappeared because I was lit up from all angles. In addition, it seems that the lines of my face was edited too. I don’t want to show you my before-after photo here, so let me give you other people’s examples.

 http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2134390466930750401  

https://twitter.com/co2071503/status/439087280599224321

I don’t think my purikura photos have a big difference like these.   If you are interested in them, check out my Twitter account.

Photoshop software can edit as you like too.   Examples Where Photoshop Makes Pics Better      Don’t believe everything you watch!

WATCH: 99 per cent grade average student from Maple Ridge

Sean Okawa, who is one of my blog friends, is a genius!  He is going on to The University of British Columbia this month.  I hope he has a very enjoyable and rewarding college life.

Global News

Maple Ridge teenager Sean Okawa is remarkable in many ways.

He is about to graduate from Thomas Haney Secondary at the age of 14, a full three grades ahead of schedule.

Okawa also has an impressive 99 per cent grade average, and now five Canadian universities are trying to woo him with impressive scholarships.

He volunteers in his spare time, is about to get his solid black belt and is also an accomplished pianist.

Linda Aylesworth reports.

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Join and Leave

Two hamsters joined our family a few months ago.  My daughter was eager to have a pet.   So I thought a small one would be nice to take care of.    We bought two one-month-old hamsters at a pet store.  They were both male, of course.   If they were a breeding pair,  we would be troubled by a lot of baby hamsters.   At first, I let them live in the same cage, but one of them wasn’t active.  The other one ran around energetically.   I thought they weren’t getting along well and bought another cage to keep them apart.  However,  the inactive one died soon after this.  The active one is still alive.   It is said that the lifetime of hamsters is only two years.  How short!

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On the other hand, my daughter is leaving home.  She was accepted to a college which is located far away from home.   Recently I’ve been busy for helping her move.   In Japan, the new school year starts in April, not September.  I think spring is a good season to start something.   I wish her good luck with her new life!

Aso Farm Land

When we descended from Aso, it was about lunch time.   My daughter and I went to “Aso Farm Land,” a resort facility.

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We had a  buffet lunch at the restaurant, “Harvest”.  Dishes were made from local ingredients.

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I ate it all up.

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This facility has many shops.  This is a chopstick shop.

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A Vegetable  factory

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I saw mushrooms before they are cut for the first time.

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We took a bath at “Aso Volcano Onsen” in the same facility.  The following pictures are from its website.

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Nobody was there!   10 bathtubs were all ours!   Was it very quiet because it was a weekday in the off-season?   We were hopping in and out outdoor bathtubs.   I had a strange feeling that was a mixture of shyness and release, when I walked around naked under the sun.

露天温泉

Social Language Learning Part 2 – LingQ

I wrote about Lang-8 in the previous post.  I really like LingQ as much as I like Lang-8.   LingQ is a language learning site which deals with 11 Languages.  The site has abundant contents that are very useful for listening and reading.  It is no wonder because materials can be imported from any other page on the internet.  After setting the LingQ button on a bookmark bar, you can easily import any text of interest by pressing it.  It is very convenient that the meaning of your unknown word shows up by clicking the word.  You can also create your own word list.  Since the sound can be downloaded into mp3 player, you can listen to it anytime and anywhere.  It is also possible for you to create original material by recording voices and typing texts. I want to try to create a Japanese one in the future.   For example, “A conversation of married couple’s fight” would be nice because such a situation isn’t common on most teaching websites .  lol If you pay some, you can talk with a native speakers on Skype or have your writing corrected. While I don’t need my writing correction thanks to Lang-8, I have speaking lessons with Americans.  By chance, I found two female Americans on the LingQ news feed who live in the suburbs of Chicago where I lived.  It is a lot of fun to talk with them.   It is also interesting that their teaching methods are different.   I wrote things about LingQ, but I still have lots of unknown matters on the site. Here is the promotion video.

Social Language Learning Part1 Lang-8

Have you noticed something different with my posts recently?   To tell the truth, I have published the posts after getting corrections by natives.    In February,  I was motivated by Yumi’s blog and decided to study English.   She is a porcelain artist and studying English on the internet to fulfill her dream.    It is boring for me to study English by using a textbook.   I thought if there were any social websites for studying English, I might be able to continue learning.   Then I searched for language learning sites.  After all, I created nearly 10 accounts.  Wow!

Out of them all, my most favorite is Lang-8 since it provides specialized services for writing.    After submitting your journals in almost any language, some other users kindly correct them for free.  (they are not always corrected though)    Of course, you can also make friends, leave comments and send messages.   As I wanted to do something for my English which has many grammatical mistakes, Lang-8 is just what I needed.   The corrections by native speakers help me learn a lot about English grammar.    Also, it’s just fun to correct foreigners’ Japanese journals.  Please refer to  http://lang-8.com/happyuan/correction_logs/sent   I feel like I have become a teacher. lol

Surprisingly, a young Japanese man, Ki Yoyo 喜洋洋 started up this site when he was 23 back in 2007.   He is amazing.   The site he created helps a lot of people all over the world.  Please read the  article.

Incidentally,  喜羊羊 is a name of famous anime character in China.  Both have the same pronunciation”xi yang yang”in Chinese.  The sound seems to have a happy and hilarious image in China.  Referent: http://bitex-cn.com/teaching_materials/126/show10112301.html

喜羊羊

The next posting will be about another favorite site.

My Cursed Car Part Ⅱ

On a sunny Sunday afternoon the next year, I had the third accident at the same location as before.    My car was once again hit from behind, only this time without a braking sound.  The driver was an old woman.  She said she was lost in thought and saw my car too late.  The damaged part was the rear bumper, the same as before.  Unlike the last accident, not only the bumper but the body were damaged.  My car was towed to a  garage.

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(Although it looks like just a scratch,   the metal was bent inside the bumper.)

I became very  panicked.  Don’t you think it is weird that this kind of accident happened repeatedly?  “Is my car cursed?  Since my car’s color is a less noticeable,  is it hard for the seniors to recognize it?  But the same colored cars are running without an accident.  Why do I get in accidents so often?”

I thought I might be killed by my car.   So I decided to sell it and buy a new car.   I searched for a dealer that buys such damaged cars and found one.  I made a deal with him via mail and the phone.  It was a good deal.   The trade was very easy.  The car seemed to be exported abroad after being repaired.   Anyway, I never thought it would come to this.  I drove that car for only 3 years.    Thinking positively, it was lucky I wasn’t badly injured. However, I had to go to a clinic to heal my back for a while.  I was really exhausted by various anxieties, and contacts with the insurance company and the car dealers.

Then in January this year, it happened again!!!   On a weekday morning, my car was pushed from behind when the traffic was slow.  The driver was an old man.  He said he took his eyes off the road for a moment.  I wasn’t injured thanks to traffic congestion.  I just had to have the bumper replaced.  That was all.    It was  superfluous work for me.  My car became the one with the history again.

What’s going on my car!   Drive safely, everyone.

My Cursed Car Part Ⅰ

I got into a car accident in January.  Lo and behold, I got involved in four accidents over a few years.  In all cases,  the accidents were 100% the other side’s fault.

The first accident happened in the spring of 2007,  only one week after I bought a new car.  When I was in a parking area at a gas station on Sunday morning, a car went into reverse to park and bumped into the rear bumper of my car.   The driver was an old man.  He said he couldn’t see my car.   He was an unpleasant man.  He asked for a discount on  the repair charge at the garage because he didn’t want to use his insurance.  But after all he failed to pay and the insurance company paid everything.   I was shocked that my new car got in an accident so soon.    The accident decreased the value of my car!   However, there was no compensation for it.  I just had a bumper replaced.  That was all.

Then,  on a sunny Sunday morning the next year,  another accident happened!    The place the accident happened was near my house.  While I was waiting for a gap in traffic to turn right,(the left-handed traffic in Japan) I heard loud braking, then a car suddenly hit mine from behind.    The person who caused the accident was another old man.  He said it was too late to notice my car and couldn’t hit the brake.   It seemed he didn’t see my car.  But the weather was good and the road had good visibility.   The damaged part of my car was the rear bumper, the same as the last time.  It was paid for by the old man’s insurance.    As for my body,  I was almost OK though I went to a clinic to heal my neck several times.

So, I decided to go to a shrine so as to purify my car.   A priest purified my car, especially the rear bumper, with salt.   Nevertheless, he said “ This rite doesn’t mean you will never have an accident in the future.  Drive safely.”   As he said, the third accident happened.

To be continued.