Tokyo Disneyland Still Has Their Redhead

I've now been on three different Pirates of the Caribbean rides in three different parks.  The first one I ever rode was down in Walt Disney World.  And it is great.  Has just one drop and what I thought was a really nice show.  But then, I rode the one in Disneyland.  Woah.  Totally different and ummm...better?  Like, first there's the pre-pre show.  The whole seeing the boats come around the Blue Bayou restaurant into the loading area.  Then the whole bayou scene with the guy playing the banjo and the fireflies buzzing around.  Then the drops.  There's more than one!  That was nuts to me.

And now I have these (admittedly) blurry photos of the Pirates of the Carribbean at Tokyo Disneyland.  The reason they are all blurry is that there are tons of signs advising one to NOT take photos on the rides and so I wasn't sure what to do.  I was worried about the brightness being seen from my phone screen on the ride, so I pressed the phone against my body, tried to put my fin…

Vessel Precision Phillips Screwdriver - Made In Japan

I found myself in a Japanese hardware store in Ginza and discovered that a lot of the products are just like ours:  made in China.  But, there was a section that had some signage that proclaimed:  Made in Japan.  That's where I spent my time poking around to try to find something small and inexpensive that I could bring home for myself and for my tool-loving family members who had birthdays coming up. 

There on the rack were a series of these precision screwdrivers.  Or "micro precision drivers" as I think they were billed.  This Phillips head driver from Vessel has that red padded section that you can use to twist the screw into place while applying pressure to the base.  I have a set of precision drivers, but they're stuck in a case and it always takes me a second to pull them out.  Now I have a driver that I can keep in the coffee mug on my desk at home along with my most-used regular-sized driver and a pair of needle nose pliers. 

You can buy a full set of these…

Duffy's Heartwarming Days @ Tokyo DisneySea - February 2019

Of the course of the past week or so, I've shared a bunch of details of my trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort including a stop at Tokyo DisneySea.  My trip there coincided with a unique celebration called "Duffy's Heartwarming Days 2019" that was taking place in the Cape Cod section of the park that seemed to be a particular draw for some guests.

The Heartwarming Days celebration features Duffy the Bear and his friends Shellie Mae, Gelatoni and StellaLou.  They had this display with little characters set up that you see above that had a super long line of folks waiting to take photos.

The Heartwarming Days celebration ran simultaneously with the 35th Birthday celebration of the resort so they had situations where you could get a photo of a 35th Birthday marker (like this nautical Mickey themed one) and the Heartwarming Days banners (on the roof and on the next building).  This had a shorter line - but was still having people take photos (I blurred this little girl'…

I Don't Think That's What They Had In Mind In Terms Of Imagineering

I mean...Disney Parks and Vape things.  Both are totally about Imagineering the Future.

This Vape shop is past the security setup at Narita Airport in Tokyo.

Also, for those wondering at home, turns out Disney didn't invent the idea of "Imagineering".  But they do *own* it:
Imagineering is a portmanteau combining the words "imagination" and "engineering". Imagineering is the implementation of creative ideas in practical form.  The word is a registered trademark of The Walt Disney Company, and is well known for its use within the name of Walt Disney Imagineering; however, contrary to popular belief, the term was neither coined by Disney, nor did it originate there. The word was "invented" by Alcoa around 1940, and appeared widely in numerous publications of several disciplines such as urban design, geography and politics, evolutionary economics, corporate culture and futures studies.

White Noise and Bird Chirps On My Japanese Toilet

I don't think I've mentioned how the addition of a Toto Toilet to our master bathroom has fundamentally altered my life.  And, that's probably best.  If she is reading this, Nat is seriously cringing right now.  So, I'll just move along.  TMI, Nat?  Sorry!  Briefly...I'll just say this: Yes...I'm proud to be totally #TeamToto.

But, before I move along, I wanted to flag this for all of you:  some of the public area toilets (think....bathrooms that are adjacent to a multi-tenant high-rise office building) have not just the normal front/rear wash and pressure but also the button marked 'privacy'?  And the 'volume' toggle underneath it?  That's basically a white noise function.  White noise, chimes and bird chirps.  For real.

During my time in Tokyo, I didn't come across this very often so I'm not sure if this feature is rare?

The first time I came across Toto's in public was during my time at Google.  Here's a post from all the…

Manhole Cover From Ginza Tokyo

Just like street trees, there's a whole world of Web content related to manhole covers in Tokyo.  And for good reason.  Above is a photo of one of the many covers that I came across on my walks around the Ginza neighborhood on my recent trip to Tokyo.  
Based on this post from Japan Visitor, is either a combined sewage system or water supply cover and has the four icons in the middle light up in colors of orange, green and blue.  And the variety of covers that one could come across in Tokyo are there by design.  Literally.  From this story Japan Wonderland comes this description: According to some sources, in the late 1980s, there was a Construction Specialist from the Public Sewer Division, Ministry of Construction who advocated the use original designs for each municipality in the hope that it would improve the image of the sewage industry and make it more appealing to the general community. Everyone seemed to think that that’s a great idea. Almost every year competitions are h…

The Outer Gardens of The Tokyo Imperial Palace

This is the view that I was greeted with most of the days I was in the office in Tokyo doing meetings and client work on my trip in February.  In the foreground where you see the yellowish/tanish ground is the Kōkyo-gaien or "Outer Garden" of the Tokyo Imperial Palace.  If you move your eyes more towards the upper portion of the photo, you'll see the buildings of the Imperial Palace grounds with the large stone driveway area in between the two.  The public grounds is the part that mere mortals like me are able to wander around in, but I think you can make your way around the Palace grounds and take in some nature.  Due to time constraints and uncertainty, I was only able to enjoy the front, public outer gardens you see with the yellow/tan grounds.  
And that part was pretty spectacular.  There's tons of things written on the Web about the plants/trees and animals that live in and around the Imperial Garden, but you can start with this entry on Wikipedia that details…