Sanding Cork?

"Wrong Fit" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“Wrong Fit” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

We bought a cool wine bottle stopper when we were in Barcelona. But as you can see from the photo, it doesn’t fit our a standard wine bottle. ☹️ Which is surprising. Or maybe this bottle stopper is made for a different type of bottle? Who knows.

I want to somehow reduce the diameter of the cork, but I am not sure if there is a special way to do it since it is a very soft wood. Should I use sandpaper? A sharp knife to widdle it down? Hmmm… I guess a bit of Googling is in order.

I hope you had a good day.

またね~

Free Hiragana and Katakana Charts

"Free Hiragana and Katakana Charts" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Free Hiragana and Katakana Charts” Cedar Park, 2017

Hi all! I was searching for some small, printable hiragana and katakana charts to put in my passport-size Midori Traveler’s Notebook, but then thought that I should just make my own. So I did that. And then I thought, “Why don’t I make these available for others to use?” Well, here they are – free hiragana and katakana charts!

Each PDF chart is roughly 100mm x 70mm, which will leave enough room to tape it onto a page or slide it into a kraft sleeve.

Right-click the links below to save the PDF, then when you print, select “Actual Size” to print at 100mm x 70mm, or you can choose “Fit” if you want it to fill your paper size.

I hope someone finds these simple reference charts useful! 😀

Black Algae?

"Black Algae" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO3200
“Black Algae” Cedar Park, 2017

I’m not sure what this is, but my best guess is that it is a kind of black algae. For the past half-year or so, this has started appearing on the aquarium plants’ leaves, the rocks, and other surfaces. Our Siamese algae eaters and Malaysian trumpet snails have not been able to get rid of it, but I think I have a solution.

I’ve been adding the recommended dosage of API Leaf Zone to the water for a month now, and the black algae has been going away. The plants are growing more and shedding any leaves that have the black algae on them. And as a bonus, the Malaysian trumpet snail population is booming! 😀

So, if your aquarium is suffering from black algae, give API Leaf Zone a try. It might just do the trick!

NATO & Zulu Straps

"Instax, NATO, Zulu" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Instax, NATO, Zulu” Cedar Park, 2017

Continuing with my (so far) inexpensive watch obsession, I put my grey and black NATO band onto an old Casio quartz dive-style watch. I used to really like this style of watch face, but now I don’t like the shiny polished metal looks as much. But, it does match the shiny buckles on the strap, so I think it’s a good complement. If you look at my Seiko and its strap buckles, you can see both have a matte finish so it matches nicely. 😊

I also learned that the strap that has the 5 buckles is not a NATO strap, but a “Zulu” strap. The larger, rounded buckles are the difference here. I think I prefer the Zulu strap.

Anyways, my interest in watches continues, and I have made a little Amazon wishlist in case anyone is feeling incredibly generous! 😍 But seriously, I’m keeping my eye on a Seiko 007 model… One day!

An Old Watch

So I’ve been getting back into my interest in watches again, ever since I got my Seiko 5 last week. I absolutely love that watch! It spurred my memory of another watch that I used to own back in high school – a Timex titanium watch. I don’t think I would have ever thrown that watch away, so I can only assume that it got left behind somewhere when I moved. Anyways, I was thinking how it was such a great-looking watch, so I Googled it and found a photo of the same model and… I guess it is not as nice as my memory led me to believe! 😮

It’s not a terrible-looking watch, but I guess what I find attractive in a watch has changed a bit. I prefer a design with clean edges, and the old watch has the indents around the edges which I am not fond of. Here’s a photo of my Seiko 5, which has a thinner bezel and cleaner look:

"Pillow Watch" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Pillow Watch” Cedar Park, 2017

Oh well, I guess I don’t need to find the old Timex on Ebay to add to my collection, right? 😝

The Bond Strap(s)

"Spectre Bond Strap" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/30 sec, ISO3200
“Spectre Bond Strap” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。Are you well today?

Continuing with my mini-obsession with my new watch, I decided to get a couple new watch straps. I mentioned in a previous post that the band that came with the watch wasn’t highly regarded and that a NATO strap replacement is recommended. Well, I did a little research into the style I wanted, and I ended up going with the “Bond Strap”, which is the same design that James Bond wore. But, he actually wore a couple different styles. In 1964’s Goldfinger, Sean Connery wore a black, green, and red striped design, while in 2015’s Spectre, Daniel Craig wore a black and grey striped design. Naturally, I got both!

"Goldfinger Bond Strap" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Goldfinger Bond Strap” Cedar Park, 2017

What is nice about the NATO style straps is that they are very inexpensive. I paid about $10 each. They are both pretty good, but not perfect. The black and grey Spectre strap is a good thickness, softer, and more comfortable, but the buckles are a shiny stainless steel. I prefer the darker matte finish of the stock band. The black, green, and red Goldfinger strap is thinner, harder, and the buckles are a nice matte nickel color. Unfortunately, they are a little too big and prominent, plus I think there are one too many buckles. There’s a way to loop the strap around two of the buckles so that it is more secure, but I don’t think I need that, so I might Dremel off one of them.

I like the NATO straps, though, and I bet if I search hard enough, I will find the combination of smaller matte buckles and softness. But perhaps it’s not about finding the perfect one, but enjoying the variety that comes with owning several different types. 😊 Luckily, NATO straps are easily removed and replaces, so switching it up to suit your mood is not an inconvenience at all.

I hope you had a nice Thursday!

-B