It was high time for a day trip to classic Cincy, to meet up with an old friend as well as venture to the lengendary Jungle Jims.
One of life's mile markers for me on the way to attempting the JLPT N4 exam next year was to take the TOEIC exam for my English proficiency. Since this exam isn't offered in the state of Indiana, and I wanted a vacation to visit an old friend of mine, a journey to California was necessary.
I bootcamped for a couple days in the hotel room for exam prep, then had an unusually large amount of free time for the next three days to travel around the Los Angeles area and see some of the local scenery post-exam.
With my impending relocation to Indianapolis on the horizon starting here in June, a preemptive scouting trip was in order! This trip was more of a matter of sorting out practicality as opposed to actually site-seeing (or "shite-seeing", depending on the part of town).
Nothing like the classic weekend road trip down to Texas! Enjoyed wandering the streets during the Austin City Limits music festival, had some great food, and got to talk with once of the longtime Otaku Central brothers-in-arms, Joe, and future sit plans and developments.
This is probably the final trip I'll be able to take with my family for a VERY long time due to my work situation with relocating out of state. While Las Vegas's primary allure (gambling) was of no interest to me and I spent no money on the subject, it was a nice enough time of canyon hiking, good food and drink, wandering around Chinatown, and related ventures.
The story behind this trip is so laughably awful, it's like an oncoming train wreck that you can't help but look at.
The gameplan was to spend 17 days in Japan, travel all over the country, and have a grand old time. Well, upon landing in Tokyo and getting through customs and immigration, I wandered over to an ATM to get some cash to buy a train ticket to get to the central city.
My credit card didn't work in that ATM, or in any others in the airport.
While this was worrying, I started heading into the city on foot thinking that the 7-Eleven ATMs at the airport were just having a bad day, and I'd grab cash from an ATM at a bank or konbini within Tokyo on the way in.
My card wouldn't work in any ATM or bank that I attempted it in. Called my credit card company as well as my bank, and they verified that my card was still active and had plenty of funds in the account.
Matt, OC's video administrator who was also in Tokyo at the same time, had to come and bail me out so I could at least get into the city and get to my hotel (having now walked close to 10 miles with no food or water, and next to no sleep for the last 36 hours).
The ATM story continued for the next day. Tried over 20 ATMs total, and several different banks - nothing could read my credit card. Travelex and Western Union transfers errorred out when I attempted then, as well as other resources to try and get cash into my hands.I was stranded on the complete opposite side of the world with no usable money. To say I was bordering on scared wouldn't be far from the mark.
Thankfully, I was able to procure a little pocket money from Matt to at least get a meal and some hydration in my system and get back to the airport. I was able to successfully change my departure flight time to the next day so I could get out of the country that I literally couldn't afford to live in.
So, there you have it. I'll publish a tech comment on the Tech section as to the details for why my card wouldn't work, but I do at least have a few pictures from the time wandering around Tokyo that I was able to get.
Since I needed to gather some "tactical reconnaissance" information about two of Otaku Central's industry competitors - HIDIVE and FUNimation - in addition to taking some time to hang out with a long-time friend of mine, Joe, a trip to Texas was in order!
Had an amazing week at the San Japan anime convention, toured a decent portion of the San Antonio area, as well as enjoyed some unique experiences at the Henry Gonzalez convention center.
In order to scratch the RHCSA exam of my list of certifications to obtain for this year, a trip down to Denver was in order to get to a test center that had the equipment to let me take the exam. It was either Denver or St. Louis - pretty much a no-brainer of a decision.
I bootcamped for a couple of days at an AirBnB residence first, then took my test and had some fun in the city and on the way home.
Went down to Texas for the weekend for the San Japan anime convention, and hung out with a long-time friend of mine, Jose. Had an awesome time at the auto show for the con, but was a little disappointed by the manga library and a few of the other more notable events. The beer, rum, and company were good, though!
Went down to Denver for the weekend for a rocking time of sampling craft beers from 10+ different local microbreweries, touring the FDC, Cogent, and Oracle datacenters, and hanging out with old friends.
I'm a 31 year-old computer fellow, located in Indianapolis, IN. I enjoy steaks, brunettes, Celtic music, and fine cigars. In that specific order.