Saturday, March 30, 2013

I got a new fish tank

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After 5 years of having the same boring fish tank, I decided I wanted to get a smaller, and easier to maintain tank. After a lot of net and store searching, I finally found the one I wanted. I bought a much smaller 6 liter acrylic fish tank by Nisso.

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The price varies wildly between pet shops and online retail outlets but I got mine for about 4000 yen including shipping. It cost me nearly half of what it would’ve at a brick and mortar store I was originally going to buy it from and it came with everything I needed to start a new tank included in the box. Well, except for the lid which was an extra 600 yen. I lost a jumper due to that…

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The tank turned out pretty good and it looks great at night with that moody LED lighting assembly on top. I decided to give up on live plants as they always seemed to die on me and brought way too many snails with them along with making the water a lot smellier than I liked. Now my tank is stocked with the most basic of fish, Neon Tetra, and Corydoras catfish. Nothing special but they are mellow and nice to look at when sitting down after a long day of work.

If you live in Japan and want a fairly clean and easy hobby/pet go for a fish tank. Just make sure you have friends or family around to take care of them if you decide to go out for long extended periods of time. Fish can’t take care of themselves. aquabase_nissoacrylicminib[1]

If I had a choice to change my tank I’d go for the slightly larger version of this particular tank model. I got the Mini version but what I should’ve gotten was just the regular version. 6 liters is pretty small and the kind of fish you can stock it with gets very limited at that size. Oh well.

Here’s a little video of the stocked tank in action.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hot beer? What the heck Kirin?

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OK, now I’ve seen just about everything when it comes to beer gimmicks in Japan. I've had super chilled beer, which is pretty darn good, but super hot beer? No thanks.

I took a picture of this oddity in December or early January I think so this is probably no longer in stores. Sorry for the blurry pictures. I forgot to switch the phone into auto focus mode. Hot stout? Hot stout beer? Hot BEER? Not two things that I would assume go well together. Cold beer, yes but hot beer? Wow…

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I’ve never considered drinking a beer hot when drinking them at or near room temperature is bad enough. I have a feeling a good amount of alcohol would be boiled out of it although that’s just a guess. So seeing Kirin Stout, a beer I actually like, being sold in such a way made me do a double-take.

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The box basically wants you to pour a can of their Stout beer into the clear mug that they provide in the box and then microwave till hot. There is also Kirin Ichibanshibori beer taste jelly-chocolates that they suggest you try with it as well. All I can say to that is ick, and as for the beer flavored chocolate, I could see that turning out not bad but since its gelatinized I really don’t want to try it because I don’t like gelatin. I wonder if the stores that stocked this stuff sold through all of their stock or did they end up sending it back to Kirin or selling it at half price… I’ll never know.

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So, yet another weird beer product from Japan. Did anyone ask for this? Who thought this would be a good idea. I can understand the reasoning behind the timing of the product as it was mid winter, but it’s just so weird… I’m curious if any of my readers had the guts to try this stuff out. At 1580 yen for like 3 cans and a mug, I wasn’t willing to jump in, but maybe some of you deeper pocketed readers out there might have… I wonder what they will think of next… Hopefully it’s something I actually would be willing to try out and not laugh hard at.

Friday, March 8, 2013

No, I didn't forget about my blog. :blog update:

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It's been weeks since I've written so I've got a few things to catch up on here. First of all, I made a resolution to wean myself off happoshu and daisan beer for a while. Drinking them as often as I've been doing over the course of last year has added a few unwanted pounds as well as dulled my tastes to real beer. In an effort to get back to my target weight I've decided it's time for quality over quantity. 

Another school year is coming to a close and I’m already getting thank you letters from the graduating class. It’s one of my favorite times of the school year when you really feel you made somewhat of an impression on the students. I’ll miss this particular graduating class as I’ve known them since they were little 3rd graders just getting used to the whole English class routine.

Here’s to another successful year of classes.

I’m swearin’ off the cheap stuff!

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So, I am back on real beer, more specifically jibiru ( Japanese microbrews) and for the most part, my body and stomach have thanked me greatly for it. While I still will try out a new happoshu now and then, I am curbing my regular consumption of brands like mugitohop to save money and my waistline. Another big reason for this recent decision was that I've been inspired by a few readers and friends lately to try some Japanese microbrews and it's really been quite a treat. In the next few entries I plan to share some of my experiences with new jibiru and some new mega beer labels that came out this year. 

I also plan to add some general entries about life here and maybe even a few culture difference gripes if I'm in the right/wrong mood. So that's it for now. I'm still alive and am slowly coming out of my winter hibernation.