Monday, April 30, 2007

The camera upgrade

The camera I bought a couple years ago in anticipation of our world trip has been upgraded twice since then. I have wanted to newest one ever since it came out, and of course got to drool over it today at Bic Camera. Just so happens, Cal is also on the lookout for a new camera, and since Sony has decided to change their memory card type (to something that is still non-standard in any other camera as far as I know), he wasn:t particular on brand.

This of course gave me a brilliant idea. Since Cal was humming and hawing over a pre-DSLR (which my camera was) I offered to sell him my old one, and then use the funds towards the new fz50. We reached a deal that was agreeable to both of us - a much better price than buying one new in Cal's case, and me not have to worry about finding someone to buy the camera on Yahoo auction or whatever.

Essentially it is the same as the old one, except that the lense doesn't extend when zooming. This makes me feel much more comfortable about taking the camera to places where sand can get into moving parts. It also has a new teleconversion lens that I had to get... I mean, come on it brings the 12X zoom up to 21X zoom. How else am I going to get my kick ass nature and animal shots in Tanzania? Not to mention spy on people hehehe.

As we were wandering around, I was checking out the sales and was shocked to find 120GB Lacie portable harddrives for 50% off! Combined with the fact that they have really come down in price from a couple of years ago, this was a steal. Now I can do a full backup of my MacBook Pro -- those of you who have read about my previous drive failures and loss of data will understand my obsession with having full backups.

Anyway, I now have new toys to play with. I hope to get out and take some pics with the new camera soon... speaking of which, I definitely need to update my Flickr page. Has been ages since I've uploaded stuff there. Yes readers, that means new pictures are coming soon!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Whehoo! new places to shop

This week is Golden Week - a week full of holidays here in Japan. Basicaly I only have to work on Tuesday and Wednesday. I spent the last couple days relaxing and today went to my favourite Thai restaurant for brunch with Hiroshi and Cal.

The Mango Tree is located in Marunouchi (the east side of Tokyo station) on the 35th floor of the Marunouchi Building. The Marunouchi Building opened a year or so ago and has restaurants, office space and stores. The Mango Tree has a great lunch buffet for about 2500 yen. Of course I always get a mango juice or coconut smoothie or something, so that adds another 800 yen into the bill, but believe it or not, 3300 yen is pretty decent for ethnic food. The restaurant has a modern decor and floor to ceiling windows, which offer a great view of the city too, so it makes for a nice lunch place, with good food that you can eat your fill of.

On the way to the restaurant we realized that the Shin-Marunouchi building is now open (it opened a couple days ago actually). Shin essentially meaning new. This is one of the newest buildings in Tokyo (there are several new complexes that have opened recently) and there were tons of people walking en masse to get in. My first instinct was to avoid going there at all costs, cuz, really, who wants to go shopping in an environment that resembles Disney Land on a busy day?

Of course that was before I read the list of shops that were there. Turns out the Marunouchi Building and the Shin-Marunouchi Building produce a joint listing of stores and restaurants. In addition to the international food store, I found a store that I have been looking for for ages - Molton Brown.

When I was in Thailand two years ago getting LASIK done, I stayed at the Penninsula hotel and they had Molton Brown shampoo, soap and lotions. Absolutely loved the stuff and wanted to buy some. Of course, I haven't been able to find a store in Japan, and really didn't feel like paying a ton in shipping on top of the already expensive prices by buying online. Well, now there is a store in Tokyo and I am in heaven. My bank account is under duress, but I am in heavenly scented bliss. I have magnolia hand lotion, ginger lily body wash and a bunch of other stuff too. (Of course now that I look at the Worldwide rather than the UK site, I suddenly find a bazillion stores that sell it in the Tokyo area).

There are some interesting stores in the building other than Molton Brown, but it was so nuts in there, that we just kind of wandered with the crowd. I'll have to go back another day after the opening crowds disperse. Ths makes Marunouchi a great place to shop now though. The oazo building has the best (in my opinion) book store in Tokyo. I never seem to be able to get out of there without spending at least a hundred bucks. Gessh. Funny how you go in for a magazine and come out with bags of books. I am not the only one to suffer from this problem either. Now add in Molton Brown, American Pharmacy, 2 international food stores, a really nice brunch place and a Bic Camera in walking distance and I am in shopping heaven. Hiroshi just thinks it is dangerous now. LOL

Of course, that is why when Cal and I hit Bic Camera tomorrow, Hiroshi is staying at home, and all my shopping will remain a secret. ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Let's try this again...

Seems like I never did get back into the swing of blogging last year. So, I am going to try this again. I have been keeping up with my book review blog - check out the links on the right if you are interested. My current book is taking me forever to read.
I have changed jobs and that is going well. It means I can get home at a normal time, make dinner and get stuff done. For some reason I don't seem to be getting much stuff done though. You know the saying that if you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know? I think that holds true. I suddenly have a ton of time on my hands in the evening and I don't seem to be doing anything. Weird.
Well, going forward I hope to keep this blog up to date, and upload a bunch more pictures to my flickr account. I haven't added anything interesting to that page either in a long time. So stay on the look out for new stuff!