Simplifying Multiple Items

"Sunset" Leander, 2018
Photo info: SONY NEX-6, 16mm, f/18, 1/60 sec, ISO100
“Sunset” Leander, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today’s photo was taken by my son. As you can see, we were driving along during a beautiful Texas sunset and I had him use the camera I keep in the glove compartment to capture the image.

We’ve long since moved on from using the Sony NEX-6 camera for everyday use (I use my Fujifilm X100T and Mariko uses her Olympus E-PL9), but it is such a nice camera that I didn’t sell it. So, I put it in the car where it serves as a backup camera. It’s actually a perfect car camera because it can be operated quickly with just one hand. Flip the power button on and it’s ready to shoot at its widest angle. Plus the grip is beefy and easy to hold. And it has come in handy many times!

It got me thinking about how I am trying to simplify and get rid of items that we have multiples of, but it doesn’t mean being totally minimalistic or getting rid of all but one item. There’s a balance for everything. For instance, we have accumulated laptops over the years, many of them are still perfectly functional. But I really only need one, so I donated/recycled the rest of them.

On the other hand, I have multiple Kindle devices and although I only need one, the others are very convenient to have. For instance, I keep one by the bedside, one in my messenger bag, one in the car, etc. I use all of them.

So, the usefulness of the item, and more specifically if it is being used or not, is the determining factor of what to keep and what to get rid of. And it’s not difficult to figure out what is being used and what is not.

One example is my fountain pen collection. I did a quick inventory (looking at my and purchase histories), and it turns out I have 12 fountain pens! But I use seven of them (two at work, and five at home). I guess I’ll remove the ink from the five I forgot about and put them in the Goodwill box. Those five unused pens were out of sight, but I honestly believe they weren’t completely out of mind. After they go to Goodwill, they truly will be! The knowledge that my collection has been narrowed down to what is essential is what will be freeing to my mind.

I hope you had a nice day!


Sweet Paris Crêperie

"Lemony" Houston, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO400
“Lemony” Houston, 2018

こんばんは。Today Mariko drove down to Houston to pick up her new passport from the Japanese consulate. The drive there was long (almost 3 hours) but it only took 15 minutes at the consulate to receive the passport, so we had a couple hours of free time in the big city. Woohoo!

One of the places we visited was Sweet Paris Crêperie and Café, which served… Crepes! And coffee! I was actually kind of full from lunch, so I had one of their lighter items, a lemon and butter crepe. It was yummy but maybe a little too sour towards the end. Mariko got a crepe with dulce de leche, banana, and berries. It was pretty sweet, and since I’m not a huge fan of crepes in the first place, I wasn’t too impressed. But it was nice to sit down and relax for a little while before hitting the road again for the long drive back to Austin.

"Sweet Stuffing" Houston, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“Sweet Stuffing” Houston, 2018


Simple Grill

"Old Reliable" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/150 sec, ISO200
“Old Reliable” Cedar Park, 2018

For years now the Old Smokey barbecue has been my grill of choice. It’s so simple and the size is perfect for my family of four. I’ve even taken it camping when we had our minivan because it’s pretty compact and light. Coupled with a Chimney starter, it’s a great solution for relatively compact grilling.

This evening we had some friends over for a Jamaican dinner, so I grilled up some jerk chicken and jerk pork. It was yummy! We usually use Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning (can find it at Cost Plus World Market) on the meat and slow cook over the grill. For the pork (butt), I actually grilled it on our gas grill for a bit, then finished it in the oven. Was super juicy! A pretty good technique since the charcoal grill was busy with chicken.

Mariko also made rice and peas and a shrimp run-down… it was a lot of food, so we were satisfied and stuffed. 😊

"What a Jerk" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“What a Jerk” Cedar Park, 2018

I hope you had a nice Sunday!


Idol Nite 5

"Japanese TV Show" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Japanese TV Show” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight my friend Mikey and I watched a bunch of tv shows and music videos staring Japanese “idols”. The music groups were all affiliated with Hello! Project, such as Morning Musume, Country Girls, ℃-ute, and Tsubaki Factory. It was a lot of fun, especially the old variety show Haromoni@ that the Hello! Project girls took part in. I usually find a new favorite Hello! Project singer and I think I liked Junjun the most from the programs we watched tonight. She reminds me a lot of one of my favorite actresses, Kimura Fumino. And although I knew Hello! Project was the brainchild of Tsunku, I never realized that Tsunku was the singer from Sharam Q! Mind blown!

We also watched a few episodes of the Sailor Moon live action series, which I really enjoy. They were pretty low-budget, but lots of fun.

I only took a couple photos and they weren’t so interesting, so here’s a cool Mano Erina video to watch. I really like it a lot because she has a cool camera. Enjoy!

Idol Nite 5 was a ton of fun and I am looking forward to Idol Nite 6!


Lucky Lani

"Expecting" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/70 sec, ISO6400
“Expecting” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight a few friends came over for dinner, which means that our dog Lani got to eat a lot of treats. She enjoyed a sampling of macaroni salad, poké, char siu-style chicken, and fruit tart. It was a good day to be a dog at our house! 🐶

The only thing that I didn’t like about the evening was the fact that I have to work tomorrow, so I couldn’t stay up later and have a couple more drinks. But then no one else could either, so we were all in the same boat. Oh well. 😁 It was fun anyways.

I hope you had a nice Wednesday!


Cleaning and Decluttering

"Tidy" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO640
“Tidy” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。Today I woke up pretty early (for a Sunday) and watched a few TED videos about decluttering. As usual, I got inspired to throw out a lot of things that I don’t use or need. Consequently, my desk at home is getting really tidy! It’s a much nicer environment to work, blog, play games, or just hang out. 😀 And while cleaning up, I found a string of lights so I decided to string them up to celebrate. I think it makes the room even more fun.

"Mood Lighting" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: SONY SLT-A77V, 10mm, f/4, 1/20 sec, ISO320
“Mood Lighting” Cedar Park, 2018

Besides the office, I went to my closet to see what clothes I can get rid of, but when I looked at my stuff, I realized I got rid of most everything already. Or so I thought… I have a hanging drawer set where I keep my shorts, pajamas, and workout clothes, and I haven’t gone through those yet. That drawer set had 10 sections, which were all occupied, but after declutering, there are only 5 slots with items in it. I basically got rid of old swimming trunks, workout shirts, and pajamas whose elastic bands had worn out. It’s amazing that I found so many running shirts! Even after throwing out so many, I still kept 4. Anyways, now my closet seems more airy and clean. I love it!

Simplifying my life is such a worthwhile thing to do. Now I am ready to tackle my books again. 😀


New Hat

"New Hat" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/30 sec, ISO3200
“New Hat” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

My new cap arrived today. It’s an Adirondack chair design which I bought from The Life is Good Company. Spread optimism!

By the way, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting some Haiku lately. I sometimes use the WordPress Daily Prompt as motivation to write more, and I think it’s fun to make them into haiku. I’ve never really written any before so it’s a new experience. Keep growing and exploring!