Monday Baking and Bye-bye Fitbit

"Brownie Time" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“Brownie Time” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Even though today is a dreaded Monday, mine was pretty good! I got a ton done at work, and then later on, I helped Bay make brownies for his school assignment. We haven’t tasted them yet, but they smell delicious! It was fun to help him measure, mix, and bake the goodies. Plus, he did all the dishes. 😄

In less-good news, I’ve been wearing a Fitbit for the past month or so, but I am going to stop. Basically, the pros do not outweigh the cons. It’s kind of uncomfortable, and the syncing with my phone is unreliable. Today it finally lost Bluetooth connection with my phone for good. I’ve spent an hour or so trying to troubleshoot it before deciding that the Fitbit was not enriching my life, by rather causing frustration and negativity. At first, seeing the data was interesting, but honestly, it’s the same day after day, and I don’t really need the tracker to tell me how many steps I’ve taken. I find that it’s enough to know if I’ve planked, how many squats I’ve done, or if I’ve spent time on the bike. And when I go running, I like to use Strava, whose data I do find interesting. I guess the Fitbit just isn’t for me.

Oh, here’s a photo of Yuzu and my glasses, just because. 😺👓

"Glasses" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO6400
“Glasses” Cedar Park, 2018

I hope you had a nice Monday!

おやすみ

Paddington 2, Burgers, and a Broken Filter

"Ticket Stub" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Ticket Stub” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This morning I was planning on seeing the 8:50 am showing of Paddington 2, but I woke up at 8:30 and had to rush rush rush! Luckily the theater is only 10 minutes away, so after brushing my teeth, throwing on some clothes, and tidying up a bit, it was off to the movies! And when I arrived, I noticed that the movie time had changed to 9 am. Whew!

The movie itself was fantastic. I heard it was good, but I wasn’t expecting to be so impressed. The entire cast is wonderful, but Hugh Grant really stole the show. So funny, especially the dog food commercial. And I loved the scene where the Browns were talking about how actors were despicable and that they lie for a living. It was a meta moment seeing actors talking about actors!

The special effects were amazing as well, with the pop-up book montage being truly breathtaking. On the other hand, the animation of Paddington himself was completely seamless and looked very natural. I never once had a “That looks so fake!” moment.

Lastly, the jokes were clever and refreshing and didn’t resort to cheap bathroom humor. The trailers before the movie, on the other hand, had a total of 3 fart jokes. I mean, come on!

I’d have to say that Paddington 2 is the best movie that I have seen this year (so far). I’m not surprised that it has a “100% Fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

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In other news, I fired up the grill this evening and made burgers for the family. What made these special was that we also had bacon, avocado, and egg! Actually, Mariko and Bay had egg burgers, which made for a messy affair. But it did look damned tasty. Anyways, all the burgers were yummy, although I overcooked the patties just a bit.

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"Shattered" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO4000
“Shattered” Cedar Park, 2018

Lastly, Mariko couldn’t get the lens cap off of one of her lenses and asked if I could do it, but when I looked at it, the cap was stuck on as if someone super-glued it. And I could hear a strange sound coming from it… It turns out that Mariko had dropped her bag (which had her camera in it) and it must have impacted the edge of the lens. I had to use pliers to remove the cap, which revealed a shattered filter. Using the pliers again, I was able to unscrew the filter, then used a soft paintbrush to clear out all of the shattered glass. Thankfully the lens is undamaged, but we’ll have to get another filter. I guess that’s one example of when using a protective filter showed its worth.

I hope you had a nice Sunday!

またね~

Lunar New Year

"Money for the Unmarried" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Money for the Unmarried” Cedar Park, 2018

Every year, we head down to my cousin’s house in San Antonio to celebrate Lunar New Year with good food, games, and the handing out of the red envelopes to the unmarried relatives. It’s so much fun when all the kids line up to receive their loot! This year, there were about 29 unmarried at the party, ranging from a newborn up to some in their mid-20s (I’m guessing).

And for the past couple years, my cousin has been bringing over some different whiskeys for us to taste. This year we had some cognac, which is new! It was delicious. 😄

"Handouts" San Antonio, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/75 sec, ISO6400
“Handouts” San Antonio, 2018

I hope you had a nice Saturday, and if you celebrate the Lunar New Year, gung hay fat choy!

またね~

Late-night Movie

"Late-night Movie" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/4 sec, ISO3200
“Late-night Movie” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight Bay and I went to see the 10:10 pm showing of “Maze Runner: The Death Cure”. I’ve gone to a few late-night movies after getting my Moviepass and I enjoy the experience, especially leaving the theater to a ghost town parking lot. It’s really eerie and fun! After spending two hours immersed in a movie, then being thrust back into the real world can be disorienting. And when the real world looks deserted and different from when you last saw it, well, that’s strange and interesting to me.

The movie itself was ok, with plenty of action and I was surprised that the special effects were so good. The story was kind of lame, but still a lot better than the second movie of the series. I think the Maze Runner movies are better rental or discount-theater candidates. But with Moviepass, there are no regrets seeing it on the big screen! 😀

Tonight’s photo is the reflection on the theater ceiling. Too artsy-fartsy?

I hope you had a nice Friday!

おやすみ

Thursday Dinner and a Movie

"Kimchee Nabé" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Kimchee Nabé” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。 How’s it going?

Tonight’s dinner was a kimchee nabé, which is a hotpot dish with tofu, pork, napa cabbage, and mushrooms. The broth’s main flavor comes from kimchee, and is enriched with a little cream. It was awesome! Not only delicious, but it really warms up your belly. 🔥🍲

It was the first time using a new nabé pot that Mariko got for her birthday, and she bought the ingredients from a new market that just opened today! Mariko said that the grand opening of H-Mart was crazy! I’ll wait until the crowds die down a bit before I go, but it’s really nice to have this popular Asian market just 10 minutes away. We used to make a stop at the H-Mart in Carrollton (Dallas) when we visited up north, but now we don’t need to make that long trip anymore. Yay! Actually, it just means that when we visit Dallas, we can skip H-Mart and just do Daiso.

After dinner I decided to use my Moviepass to see “Early Man”. I love all the movies from Nick Park, and this one didn’t disappoint. I was laughing from the very start! And I was excited even before the movie started because one of the previews was for another Nick Park movie, “Shaun the Sheep in Farmageddon”. Can’t wait! 😄

Here’s a short video that I took during the pre-show at the theater. I’ve been making a short video every day this year for my “1 Second Everyday” project. It’s pretty fun so far.

Hope you had a nice Thursday!

またね~

Valentines Day

"Valentines Fondue" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/17 sec, ISO400
“Valentines Fondue” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight we celebrated Valentines Day as we normally do: by enjoying a yummy fondue dinner! I don’t know when we started this tradition exactly, but it’s been at least several years.

For the main course, we have two cheese fondues, one for the kids with no alcohol, and then the adult’s version which includes white wine. We use Emmentaler, Gruyere, and Cheddar, but I don’t remember which goes into which, but both are delicious! This year we had bratwurst, baguette cubes, apples, cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes for dipping. It doesn’t look like a lot of food when you put it on the table, but it is really filling!

For the dessert portion, we had a chocolate fondue with marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, and brownies.

I only had a little of the dessert (I was so full) but the chocolate/banana combo was super. 😍

I hope you had a nice Wednesday!

またね~

"Valentines Cat" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“Valentines Cat” Cedar Park, 2018