August 15th, 2011 was the day I arrived in Japan for the very first time in my life, and since then, have never looked back. Continue reading “Seven Years. Seven Milestones.”
I don’t usually do diets, but on a rather spontaneous decision, the other day I decided I’d try this brown rice diet my wife maybe half-jokingly suggest we try. I was intrigued because on the pamphlet she showed me, the catchline went somewhere along the lines of the following: What!? Lose 5KG in 10 days!? Continue reading “Brown Rice Diet: Apparently It’s A Thing”
My Portable Office In A Nutshell
Inspired by the likes of The Verge, TimBuk2, & of course Matt’s What’s In Your Bag posts, I just had to do one of my own! Now that I’m more nomadic in a sense, I’m getting out the house traversing the city more, and carrying with me a lot of items that are essential to do my job on the go.
It was actually quite fun to unpack my bag and lay out all the gear, cables, WP swag, and other stuff I usually tuck away — I even discovered a hidden backpack pocket in the process (you’ve no idea how exciting that was for me 😂).
So without further adieu, let’s break it down 😀
01 Aer Fit Pack 2 — The bag itself. So far it’s been a friggin’ soldier withstanding contents up to its full capacity, trekking through rain, and even snow (yes, snow). And soon, it’s going to be going on it’s first plane ride 11 days from now for my team’s first meetup in Shirahama! (also featured in Swagged Out)
02 Macbook Pro (15-inch, 2017) — The Current Work Stallion. (also featured in My Home Office)
03 Personal Planner — (also featured in Swagged Out)
04 Wavlink USB-C Hub Adapter (Silver) — Designed for MBP 2016 & 1017, its ports include: x1 HDMI, x2 USB-C, x2 USB 3.0, x1 SD Card Reader, x1 Micro USB Reader. I usually have this connected when I’m at home and my laptop is hooked to my monitor, but I’ll also occasionally be in need of transferring photos on the go, which is when the card reader comes in handy.
05 MacBook Power Brick — Self-explanatory. I’ll feel anxiety if I forget this.
06 Power Extension Cord — Useful for getting power from hard-to-get-to spots. You’ll also find me cleverly hiding my cords away in the front pocket of my Aer Fit Pack’s front pocket, while extending the plug end into what’s usually a table socket (sometimes a wall), and the other cord (my charging cable) going straight into my Mac when I’m at a Starbucks working.
07 Pocket Wifi — I was using my phone’s 4G tethering connection for a while, but quickly realized my data would be gone within a week after normal use. (also featured in Pocket Wifi)
08 iPhone 6s — (also featured in My Home Office)
09 USB-C to Lightning Cable — I surprisingly haven’t been in need of this yet, since I’m not really using my phone heavily.
10 AirPods — Wireless Apple candy goodness. It was my daily go-to, until Beats Studio 3 came along, see below. (also featured in Loving Apple AirPods)
11 Beats Studio 3 Headphones — I love my wife <3 Kosato got these for my birthday a couple days ago. Since then, I’ve been rocking these bangers everywhere! They’re so good. I’ve always loved headphones, but it’s been a really long time since my last pair (nearly 10 years maybe). The unboxing of this was quite magical.
Design-wise, it’s perfect. Minimalist and clean. The earcups are also a perfect fit, as they cover my ears just right. The amount of pressure I feel against my ears and jaw isn’t too uncomfortable, as is the case with almost all headphones I’ve tried when wearing for a prolonged period of time. In regards to sound (the most important bit), the quality is solid. Admittedly, it is a bit bass-heavy, but in my case I absolutely don’t mind, since the majority of music I do listen to are bass-heavy tracks anyway.
Additionally, Beats’ Pure ANC (Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelation) is stellar — I tested this the other day during a team hangout at my usual co-working spot, and the place was packed and bumping at the time, but when I slipped these on, it was like going underwater. Couldn’t here a peep from all the outside chatter going on, it was amazing! I might just need to write a separate review for this in a later post.
12 Sennheiser Headset — A gift included as part of my Automattic Welcome Package 🙂 I’ve used this a few times, however for some reason I can’t figure out the volume controls — either the volume is already at a max, or I’m missing the obvious. In other words, the volume level is a tad low, so I usually try to be in a quieter place when I use these. Another reason why I’d prefer to use these over my other peripherals is mainly for the mic. When speaking and listening in to my colleagues who are using the same headsets, I can say the sound comes out crystal-clear. Compared to the echo-y sounds of wired EarPods, or even newer wireless AirPods, you can’t really beat out a mic that’s literally in front of your mouth.
13 SanDisk 32GB Flash Drive — I got this as a free gift when signing up for a mobile campaign years back. Not once have I used it, but I’m sure one it will come in handy. However, recently I haven’t been in need of transferring data via USB.
14 IODATA 1TB Portable HD — My trusty HD. Note to self: Buy a new one. The drive is FULL.
15 Assorted Peripherals — Square WordPress Case + EarPods + GRDE Earbuds + 3-in-1 USB cable I probably will never use. The EarPods are for just-in-case situations. The earbuds I have here are my first pair of wireless earbuds, and have a kind of noise-cancelling feature.
16 Z! Contact Eyedrops — Listerine for my eyeballs.
17 Zoff Smart Glasses — I keep this pair with me all the time. For another one of those just-in-case situations, since I always wear contacts when I go out.
18 White WP Shades — Got this from a WordCamp. I use these for just casual trekking, and most recently when I head out for my runs. (also featured in Swagged Out)
19 Wallet — One of the main essentials. I picked this up in Florence, Italy (on our honeymoon).
20 Business Cards — I recently ordered a new set of x50, but with a different design & content. This time I opted for rounded corners, a glossy finish instead of matte, and added some extra contact info. (also featured in Swagged Out)
21 IC Cards — For JR & subway transportation. If you’re in Japan for an extended period of time, save yourself from going to a ticket machine all the time, and get an IC card — it’s worth it.
22 JP Post Bank Book — Personal bank account book for JP Post
23 House Key — Another one of the main essentials. Attached is a small lock, along with its key, I dunno — I might need it someday?
24 Pens — Keeping things simple.
25 Screen Cleaner — Got this at a WordCamp from one of the sponsor booths, ZenLogic.
26 WooCommerce Shopping Bag — I think I have x2 of these now. Versatile and lightweight, I’ve used this when shopping, or when suddenly gaining something in excess, it’s great!
27 Jetpack Pen Pouch — While I don’t actually use this for my pens, I do keep random stuff in there. At the moment, it contains some allergy meds. During other times, I’ve used it to hustle big bills from ATM to ATM 😂
28 Arm Sleeves — I guess this would be the ‘weird’ item of the bunch. How can I put this… basically the only reason I have this is to cover my ink in some situations. Why, you might ask? The short answer is because Japanese culture has made it taboo, and I’ll leave it at that. This is one of those things I don’t like about Japan, you’ll still be looked at and be judged if you’re an individual with ink, regardless of what person you might be.
29 Beanie — (also featured in Swagged Out)
30 Aerspark Selfie Stick — Most days I’ll go out without this, but on other days when I’m feeling particularly inspired or creative by an idea for a blog post, I might take this along with me to take photos or video somewhere.
31 Umbrella — A portable umbrella for the recent rainy days. Picked this up at a nearby convenience store, Family Mart.
32 Poncho — Also from Family Mart. For when umbrellas no longer cut it, and becomes useless in windy rains, that’s when it’s time to bust out el poncho.
33 The North Face Martin Wing LT — This folds up nicely and has a nice home located in the inner bottom compartment of my backpack. This would come in handy if I were to temporarily store my backpack somewhere, but would still need a small pack to carry my essentials around for the time being. (also featured in The North Face: Martin Wing LT (Technical Pack) Review)
34 Olympus Pen — Last, and certainly not least, the very camera that wasn’t featured in the main photo because it was the one being used to take it, my Olympus Pen.
So, there’s my 5.3 kilograms of get-s#!t-done-gear in a bag. What’s in yours? 😀
It’s running season, and time to whip my lazy butt back into shape! It’s funny because while I haven’t exactly gained a significant amount of weight (in fact not at all really), my body has changed a lot, especially around my midsection 😫. All that muscle and strength I had built over the years from weightlifting & breaking have now all gone to s#!t since settling down in Japan. Continue reading “The North Face: Martin Wing LT (Technical Pack) Review”
Oh So Bittersweet
The teaching life was an interesting experience while it lasted, but it was finally time to move on. There are of course elements and particular parts of my teaching experience that I will always love i.e. seeing those lightbulb moments on students’ faces, helping eager students progress toward their goals, sharing ideas of personal development & education.
However, it was ultimately the uninspiring environment (unproductive meetings, monotonous non-teaching related tasks, etc.), subpar working conditions (low pay, job instability, regular six-day-weeks, overtime, etc.), and inability to pursue my real passions that steered me clear of continuing on with the English teaching path.
After a little over six and a half years of teaching English in Japan (also the exact amount of time I’ve lived here), I made the change into a career I never knew I always wanted. Continue reading “My Journey of How I Went From Teaching English in Japan to a Career in Tech With The Coolest Company in the World”
In anticipation for starting my new job that involves 100% remote work, one of the items that has been on my checklist for a while has been to get a mobile/pocket wifi device & plan for personal use when I decide to work away from home. To have to always rely on cafe hotspots, or coworking spaces for internet that may provide decent (at best) to shotty connections is — to put it bluntly — a pain in the ass. Continue reading “Pocket WiFi”
In preparation for my first official day of working remotely, I’ve tuned up my home work station and finally got all my essentials in place. Continue reading “My Home Office”