Evening Routine

"Three Amigos" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Three Amigos” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’ve settled into a nice evening routine, which I am enjoying quite a bit. It’s funny, but the things I used to think of as “chores” are now part of a routine that I don’t give too much thought to, and they don’t really cause any stress.

Each night I will clean the cat litter box, which only takes a minute, but I would visualize how awful a job it is and fill my mind with negative thoughts like, “why am I the one who has to do this?”. 🐱 But these days, I just do it and my mind is thinking about things other than the cat poop. Does that make sense? It’s like I am on auto-pilot and since I don’t think about the chore that I am doing, it doesn’t affect my frame of mind negatively. My body might be scooping poop, but my mind is enjoying talking with my family, thinking about drawing, or listening to the baseball game that’s on the tv in the living room.

Another task that I do almost every night is washing the dishes. This is less of an “auto-pilot activity”, but I look at it as an opportunity to chat with the family in a relaxed environment (just after dinner, everyone is usually in a good mood). Or, if everyone has left the kitchen area, I can catch up on some podcasts. So, it’s a productive time of my day.

The same goes for brushing my teeth in the evening. I admit I used to often skip the nighttime brushing 😇. But for the past couple years this important task also has become an “auto-pilot activity” and I will listen to a podcast while I do it.

So those are my “tasks” that I do every evening. I also have a few other routines that are on the fun side, but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Tonight’s photo at the top of this post is of my three watches that I like to wear. My Seiko SKX007 (on the right) is what I wear every day, my Timex weekender is a watch I sometimes wear to bed. It’s so light and the band is so soft that I don’t even realize I am wearing it. But I find the audible ticking noise to be relaxing and helps me sleep. The watch in the center is my Seiko 5 SNK809, which I don’t wear as often, but once in a while, I will throw it on. What’s nice about the automatic watches like the Seikos I own is that they don’t use batteries. Just a few shakes to get them going and then they will power up by just regular body movement. I love that!

Lastly, the photo below is my latest practice sketch. I tried drawing it without referencing the proportions video that I needed to watch for the previous sketch. I guess it turned out OK, but I’m still not very happy with it. It’s a little “off”. Still, it’s good to practice.

"Practice Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Practice Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice Tuesday!

おやすみ

Escape from the Heat

"Battle Ready" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/320 sec, ISO200
“Battle Ready” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。

It’s 10 PM right now, and the temperature outside is still so hot: 91° F / 32° C! So you can imagine how hot it was in mid-day… in fact, we broke a record here when it hit 106° F / 41° C this afternoon. That’s just crazy… So, we didn’t spend much time in the great outdoors today. The only time was this morning when it was still pleasant. Mariko and I washed the windows that look out onto our deck. It actually felt pleasant this morning!

Today’s photo is of some Splatoon Amiibos that we have. Lots of people are playing Splatoon 2, which seems like a good idea for a hot day like today. Unfortunately, we don’t own a Nintendo Switch so we can only dream… I really want to get a Switch but I can’t really justify it since we don’t play many games. The only game I play now is Pokemon GO! and that’s just a super-casual thing. In fact, I mainly like to collect Pokemon, and I especially treasure the ones that I caught in far-off lands. 😀

I hope you had a nice, cool day!

おやすみ!

Gyoza, Clouds, and the Search for Grey

"Gyoza Dinner" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Gyoza Dinner” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight’s post will be a bit scattered, but whatever. I’m not writing to win any awards. 😁

For dinner, Koa and I had gyoza, which I am getting pretty good at preparing. We usually buy pre-made, frozen gyoza and so I just have to heat them up… not really cooking, just preparing. Anyway, the method I use it so arrange them into a circle in the skillet, with the flat side down. Next, add some vegetable oil and sesame oil to the bottom and fry over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, I add in about 1/3 cup of water, then cover the pan with a lid and steam for another 4 or 5 minutes over medium heat. Then, remove the cover and cook until the liquid disappears.

Finally, I take a large plate (that is wider than the gyoza circle), place it over the gyoza, then flip the pan, plate, and gyoza over. That way, the crispy golden part is facing up for serving.

Serve with a dipping sauce of ponzu and rayu, and bowls of white rice and you have a nice meal!  I only wish we had miso soup to go with it…

"Today's Clouds" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/3000 sec, ISO200
“Today’s Clouds” Cedar Park, 2017

Lately there have been some pretty cool cloud formations in the sky, so of course, I had to take photos of them. I think the clouds in Texas can get pretty huge and impressive and I am always amazed at the natural beauty. I still don’t fully understand how clouds form, and frankly, I’d rather not know and keep the mystery alive. 🙂☁️

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

Lastly, I did a little bit of research on how to create a nice grey color using the paints I currently have in my watercolor palette and I think I found a good combination. It’s basically pthalo blue mixed with a bit of orange, and a touch of red. It’s easy to make it warmer or cooler just by varying the ratio. I also produced a nice grey using the prima blue that came with the watercolor set I bought.

Next, I want to try to make some dark colors for shadows. I am not sure I can produce that with the colors I have now, but I read that pthalo green is needed to make the color I want. We’ll see!

I hope you had a nice day.

またね~

Back on Schedule

"Kitty kitty" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Kitty kitty” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Well, today it was “back to work” for me. Surprisingly, I only had about 250 emails to go through, although my work queue jumped to 25 new requests. 😨 It’s a challenge being the sole graphic designer in the company, but it’s good work, and pretty fun. And I get to manage a lot of contract work too. Good stuff!

Anyways, I’ve fallen behind on my daily posts due to our two-week vacation, however, I have the photos for each day processed, and outlines written for each day. So, I’ll post them to the corresponding date so it will keep my postaday effort going. 🙂

Today, please enjoy the photo of our two cats, who were happy to see us when we came home! 😻

またね~