Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A request


If you can't help Japan, please at least remember us. If you don't want to help Japan, fine. But please don't say Japan doesn't need help. 170,000 people are still in emergency shelters. There is a nuclear reactor that needs deactivating.

"But what about stuff happening at home?" You are absolutely right. Tell you what, you do your part for an issue happening in your home country while taking a moment to think about what is happening in mine, and we'll say you're good.

Ichiro would need help walking if he had a broken leg. Please don't say Japan doesn't need help, because it's just not true.

"Songs for Japan", the compilation charity album on iTunes, sells for $9 in the USA and 1,500 yen in Japan. I guess I am supposed to feel lucky for the chance to contribute that much more to a worthy cause, but I wonder how the large difference in cost came about...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



(I had no idea it had its own English Wikipedia entry...)

This past weekend, I passed a gas station. There was no long line snaking along the road for half a mile. There was a line of 3 or 4 cars for each of the 4 pumps. I saw the 16 cars at the gas station and thought "wow, no wait at all!"

The scheduled blackouts are still scheduled, but they're cancelled with increased frequency. There hasn't been one since Friday, and tomorrow's blackouts have been cancelled, so that will make 6 straight days that Group 5 has been blackout free. This is a good thing, because one of the generators at work died. We have yet to hear repairs have been successful. We've been only half joking that it was karoshi. I'm not an engineer, but I can't help but wonder if that generator was really designed to run four, sometimes eight hours a day for 2 weeks straight.

On Yahoo! (original USA flavor and Australia/ New Zealand) and BBC websites, the direct aftermath of the quake/ tsunami is no longer to be seen on the short list of current news. The Fukushima nuclear reactor remains. Yes, it is important, but I suppose nice people trying to do their very best to keep their wits and trying to figure out what to do to get their lives back isn't nearly as eye catching as something straight out of a disaster movie. In one of the most developed countries on the planet, 2 weeks after the quake and evacuation shelter residents still only get a slice of bread and a rice ball per person. A day. I wish I were making this up, but I saw it on Japanese network TV. I personally find this far more outrageous than me and my family receiving 1/ 100,000 the amount of radiation in a single session of radiation therapy over the past 2 weeks or so.

Heroic workers, government and otherwise, are working around the clock to try to change this (both the food issue and the radiation issue), but people are just not designed to work around the clock. I hope we don't see any karoshi from these people, either. The generator was bad enough.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting through it


A couple days ago, I was driving right when the blackout hit. I knew it was coming, but I stayed at work a little longer than I planned. I was driving knowing it could hit at any minute, and it still made me jump in the driver's seat when the green traffic light in front of me suddenly went dark.

Something sad I read in the news: a woman in her 60's was hit by a car at an intersection during a blackout (the traffic light was out, and there was no traffic policeman). So someone dialed 119, and the ambulance came within a reasonable amount of time, and took her to a good-sized hospital because she seemed to have a head injury. Well, the hospital couldn't take a CT because of the blackout, so they had to transfer her to a different hospital that was in a different blackout zone (and had the electricity to get a CT). She is currently in serious condition. Based on the information I have, I don't know who is to blame for how much, but it is probably fair to say that she might not have been hurt at all if the traffic lights were in order.

Otherwise, people are starting to get used to the whole thing, scheduling work and food preparation and baths around blackouts, and finding creative ways to get through them when they hit. My friend got a camping trailer battery and rigged it so that he could charge it while he had electricity and use the stored power during blackouts. He gets enough power to have the lights on while watching TV, which is so much better than total darkness. I have another friend who actually moves operations to his camping trailer parked outside. It would have been a great plan if he'd remembered to clean the stove. He had heat, lights, TV and a working toilet, and it would have been great if it weren't for the smell of a year's worth of dust burning. Another friend has solar cells on his roof, which is fine when it's light out but not when it's dark and you need it most.

Of course, some areas are blackout free. The area around the local Japanese Self Defense Forces base gets power during blackouts (duh, how are they supposed to run quake relief operations if their home base does not have power). And then there is where I live...probably because we're on the same grid as the local train station that gets its fair share of traffic. So when people start talking about iceboxes and rigging camping car batteries and living in trailers, I kind of sheepishly slink off...

They've re-zoned the blackouts so that there are 5 subgroups for each group, and promised to give more precise and detailed blackout schedules. Makes sense, most people can probably handle one or two 3-hour blackouts a week if they know exactly when they are coming.

And I will now sheepishly slink off.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stocking up


Bread, milk, eggs, rice, batteries, toilet paper.

Actually, I think milk will come of this list of things that are hard to find in stores. They found trace radioactivity in milk from Fukushima about two days ago, so you just know people are going to stop buying milk from Hokkaido...

Something to add to the list: diapers (for both babies and adults) and feminine hygiene products. I've got 1 1/2 packs of diapers for the Pumpkin Prince in the closet, and I expect things will have died down by the time I need to get more. I can deal with the lack of feminine hygiene products if that pack of sanitary napkins went to some poor girl sleeping in her school gymnasium, but somehow I think it went to some local lady who tossed it with about 10 other packs of sanitary napkins in her shopping basket because she "doesn't know when she'll be able to find them next".

Monday, March 21, 2011

The spinach is gone!

Hourensou ga nakunatta!

They pulled the spinach off the shelves of my local supermarket, because there was spinach grown in our area found to have trace radioactivity. Why spinach? Probably because of the few vegetables being grown outdoors this time of year (which include but are not limited to broccoli, cabbage, scallions, and various greens including spinach), spinach has a large surface area exposed to the air (so that the radioactive debris has somewhere to fall on, for example, most of a cabbage is not exposed to air, and if it were, you could always peel off the outer leaves and everyone and the Geiger counter would be fine with it), and spinach is the most popular.

I guess milk will be next...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The insects awaken


When spring comes, the hibernting insects awaken. When there are three blackout free days in a row, the Pumpkin Family goes shopping.

We wanted to get a "spoon set" for the Pumpkin Prince. This is a flatware set consisting of a spoon, fork and a pair of chopsticks in a plastic carrying case. There are all kinds of sets, Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Peanuts, Disney, etc...The Pumpkin Daddy wanted to get the Pumpkin Prince the same kind he got the Pumpkin Princess, so we went to the big department store in the next city.

I take back what I said about the gas station lines not making any sense. There is an actual supply/ demand discrepancy caused by the quake. Actually, quakes. My uncle, who worked for Mobil until his retirement, explained it to me. The oil refineries stop production and run a safety check every time there is a quake. The past week, there have been quite a few aftershocks, so every time they start production, there's a quake, so they've been checking too much and making too little. The story in the oil refinery probably goes something like this..

"Is everyone OK? Production stopped automatically? Good. OK, begin safety check according to safety manual. Check, check, check...double check...great, everything is in order. Ladies and gentlemen, let's get this show on the road, and...(shake, rattle roll) Is everyone OK? That wasn't nearly as big as the last one. Please begin safety check according to the safety manual. Check, check, check, double check...Ladies and gentlemen, let's get (shake rattle roll) Oh drat. Begin safety check, please. Check, check (shake rattle roll) THIS IS DRIVING ME NUCKING FUTS!!!!"

On the way to the department store, we saw a gas station line over a kilometer long.

The parking tower near the department store was really empty. We got to the store at around 11, and only had to go up to the 2nd floor to find parking space, which is a new record (par that time of day is the 3rd or 4th level). The tower is usually packed with shoppers and also people taking the train into Tokyo. The stores were pretty empty for a Sunday morning with nice weather. So much for keichitsu...

Someone made this Scheduled Blackout Calendar. I'd leave them a tip if I knew how. I now have the blackout schedule on my computer and iPad, so I can schedule work stuff and housework around them.

And there is this...the American gentleman, and I call him this in every sense of the word, is Daniel Kahl. He's known for his fluent Yamagata dialect Japanese. I am having problems coming up with a good American equivalent. I think in the UK it would be a lot like a very heavy Welsh accent, but my Brit friends might disagree. Anyway, his American network standard English really threw me off, and I almost didn't know he was. I think most who know of Daniel Kahl would find the lack of accent amusing, whether they share my perspective on the "nuclear disaster" or not.

One thing I would like to add to Mr. Kahl's words is if the international media are guilty of generating and riding the hysteria, the Japanese media are guilty of exactly the same thing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cancelled tomorrow, too

Ashita mo chuushi

The blackout has been cancelled tomorrow, too. I was thinking "fix lunch by 11:30, blackout at 12:20 until 16:00, start fixing dinner shortly after (but not immediately after) blackout is over..." so so much for that.

Before they cancelled tomorrow's blackout, I suggested we go out to dinner on a day we knew for sure there would be no blackout. The Pumpkin Daddy said he wanted sushi, so we went to the local conveyer belt sushi place. We were in the store at around 6:20 p.m. The belt appeared to have less sushi than usual. The Pumpkin Daddy ordered a plate of salmon sushi, and they brought a single piece (they usually come in sets of two) and told him it was the last piece they had, and since there was only one it was on the house. Good service, but it was concerning that a sushi place would run out of a cut of fish before 7 p.m. Part of the quake/ tsunami shortages...

Apparently, Brits have been advised to consider leaving parts of Japan further north than Tokyo. Just a couple of days ago, the British Embassy had released a transcript of a conference with the Chief Scientific Officer of the UK, so I was kind of surprised, but I guess it's more about shortages and traffic congestion than anything.

On network TV, they are running the same 3 commercials over and over and over again. They are for Advertising Council Japan. They're an organization that advocates the use of advertising to educate the public on things like cancer screening and bullying prevention. The networks are running these AC commercials because no regular corporations will sponsor the programs. The corporations don't want to be associated with quake related news, so the networks have pulled all the regular commercials and replaced them with the AC commercials. AC won't pay for the commercials, and they are usually public service related content, so neither the networks or AC make much money off of the commercials. So you're hearing the nuclear physicist say "NUCLEAR ARMAGEDONN!!!!!" and then they cut to a commercial where a pretty older woman talks about how she tells her pretty young daughter the importance of Pap smears because she doesn't want her daughter to get cervical cancer the way she herself did, and then people think CANCER and think I SO DO NOT NEED TO HEAR THAT RIGHT NOW, and...

...they get angry and complain to AC. Gosh, I wish I were making this stuff up.

The international media are saying how calm and collected the country has been the past week. I guess we are calm by most standards, but the toll does show in things like panic hoarding and lashing out in strange directions.

Blackout cancelled

Teiden chuushi!

I think it's the forecast for warm weather that made TEPCO decide there would be no blackout today. Everyone seems a little happier and a little more energetic...which is kind of dangerous for two reasons.

1. People have been turning to bicycles because of the gas shortages. This is a wonderful idea in theory, but the fact is that some of these bicycles are older models that haven't been ridden in a very long time, and some of these riders are older models that haven't ridden in a while. So you're driving along on a road without a sidewalk, and there's an older model riding an older model, and just as you are about to pass them, they totter in your direction...OK, I made the last part up, but I am sure it is a definite possibility!

2. If you are going to wait in line for gas, you'd want to do it on a warm day, so that you don't end up like the guy who died of carbon monoxide poisoning because he was trying to stay warm using a portable kerosene stove in his car while he was waiting in line for gas. So off you go to the gas station, where the line is already almost a kilometer long at 9:00...and the gas station is scheduled to open at 11:00. So there's cars that end up in line for gas when they thought it was just your garden variety traffic jam, and they suddenly realize it isn't your garden variety traffic jam, but quake/ tsunami-induced panic buying-induced gas shortage-induced long line for gas, and they try to get out of the line without so much as a turn signal. OK, I made the last part up, but only the last part. And I'm sure it has happened, just not in front of me.

I finally understand the hoarding/ panic buying mentality after having made a weekend grocery run. The crowd waiting for the store to open an hour later than usual, the unheated, dark store congested with shopping carts, the occasional empty shelf. The atmosphere of doom almost induced me to buy bread and milk I didn't really need.

I was thinking that the panic-induced (and not actual supply/ demand discrepancy induced) gas shortage would die down by now, but it hasn't. Yesterday, my mom's friend's husband went to the gas station at 6 in the morning. At 10, when my mom's friend delivered sandwiches and coffee to him on her bicycle, he was still in line...

You're finally seeing regular programming on TV. The regular networks were all about the nuclear reactor and the trains in Tokyo stopping. Since TV is all about getting people to watch until the commercials, I guess the marketing choice would be nuclear reactors as opposed to nice people in the refugee shelters trying their very best to keep their cool among blackouts and shortages. So you prop up a nuclear physicist next to your newscaster, ask him (I'm sure there are woman nuclear physicists in this country, they just haven't been shown on TV) if this situation is bad, and he'll say "oh yes, this is very bad, much much worse than Three Mile Island. The radiation level is 20,000 times higher than usual". And people will be glued to the set ("20,000 TIMES!!!") and start to get angry at the government (it's not the government's fault, if it's anyone's fault it would be TEPCO's, and possibly General Electric's) and afraid for their health and start buying Betadine (upon which you would have lost their viewership but not their attention).

Notice how few doctors there are next to the newscasters in these shows? That's probably because all the doctors are too busy dealing with the panic-induced phone calls and hospital visits by people who watched these newscasts in the safety of their living rooms while drinking tea. As opposed to dealing with one of the Fukushima 50. Or, when contacted, will say "meh" which isn't going to get as much attention as someone saying "this is awful this is disaster this is ARMAGEDONN!" (never mind that the nuclear physicist might not actually be Christian...)

The most helpful bit of information I learned this past week is that when you do animal research on the thyroid, you should never, never, never, ever use "iodine-free" animal feed made in Japan because it will skew your lab results. Always use made in USA or EU. Why? Because all food made in Japan contains iodine, no matter what it is. So unless you've lived outside Japan for the past several months and just arrived in Japan during the past week, your thyroid is safe.

Unless you're part of the Fukushima 50. These people are in real danger, and they know it. They are heros worthy of the highest praise. But unless you're actually in the 20km area (in which case you probably should talk to a health care professional in person, and stop checking blogs of people you don't know), don't go out and buy Betadine and take a swig, OK? Have some miso soup or something, it's comforting (and it contains iodine!).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why toilet paper?

Naze toiretto peipaa?

Another gas station generated traffic jam. This time, the gas station hadn't even opened yet. There were lots of cars that had the driver's seat fully reclined. My educated guess is that they'd camped out in their cars to be at the front of the line to get gas when the store opened. I wouldn't do this myself, but I can understand how people would want to. Gas is really hard to get.

One of the drivers in the long gas line got out of his car and opened his trunk for some reason or other, revealing a trunk full of...toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper.

Bread, I understand now. It's something you can eat without heating, which is very practical during blackouts. But toilet paper? Someone needs to explain that one to me. My mom says during the oil shock in 1973 (or thereabouts) there was a shortage of paper, including toilet paper. Maybe he is working off of memories of those days...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Traffic obstruction

Tsukou bougai

Disclaimer: This is a ranty blog entry by someone so far affected by the quake/ tsunami by only scheduled blackouts and a temporary gasoline shortage. If you are looking for actual helpful information, go here.

More working in the cold darkness today. Group 5 had not one but 2 blackouts scheduled today, which meant work did the "backup power" thing Yesterday I found myself getting depressed, so today I made it a point to walk around and talk to people outside my section, jerry-rigging early intervention. I think I left work in better spirits than yesterday.

A new development was that there was an actual blackout in the area around my work. If nothing else, it kept people from asking us why we were the only gig in town running on auxiliary power (we aren't, city hall and the prefecture office do the same thing). My friend said that all the traffic lights were down. There were police officers directing traffic at large intersections, and there, you could pretty much drive/ pedal/ jog as if nothing had ever happened, but at the smaller intersections, things sometimes got a bit scary. I understand there have been car crashes during these blackouts. Drive carefully if you are involved...or do what lots of us at work have been trying to do, which is schedule work so that you don't have to drive during blackout hours, and avoid doing stuff away if it can be done where you are now.

Of course I write this knowing this suggestion is more helpful to some than others...

The Pumpkin Daddy had the morning off (based on the blackout schedule) and went to the store. He found milk and (finally!) bread. The panic buying some people are doing is really annoying. My co-worker reported seeing someone who had something like 6 packs of toilet paper in his cart. I guess he was anticipating a bout with diarrhea...

The food issue has kind of leveled down, mostly because we are a food producing area. The big thing right now is gasoline. My boss has been trying to fill his gas tank at least part-way so that he can drive home to see his wife, but so far, no luck. He has a small, spartan apartment in the area for occasions like this, and he's had to stay there pretty much the entire time since the quake. A popular topic of conversation at work has become the locations of gas stations that still have gas, and how to avoid the gas-station induced traffic jams. My boss armed himself with the information acquired during one of these conversations and headed for the gas station in question. There was a long line in front of the station that stretched a couple blocks, so he knew they were still pumping, and he got in line. So he waited, and waited, and waited some more until about an hour had passed (he came in late, but because of the whole auxiliary power thing, there really wasn't that much to do this morning so we didn't miss him that much), and then...

"A policeman came and told us to go away because we were obstructing traffic."

My boss is probably sleeping in his apartment in town again tonight.

The area surrounding my workplace had a blackout, but the area around my home didn't. I think they'll pick us for tomorrow...which means it will start at 6:20 a.m. Yikes! I should probably turn in early so I can wash with warm water and make coffee before the power gets cut.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saving electricity


If you are looking for relevant information about the scheduled blackouts in Japan, please try here.
So here we are with the second workweek (of goodness knows how many) saving electricity. Something about community responsibility makes my workplace especially aggressive in this endeavor.

On the way to work, I encountered 2 gas-station induced traffic jams.

Today's blackout schedule threatened to put our area (group 5) in darkness and silence from about noon until 4 in the afternoon or thereabouts. As yesterday, we obeyed instructions to try to save as much electricity as possible, and turned off most of the lights and all of the climate control. We worked in the darkness wearing coats. One of my co-workers showed up with a fluffy fleece cape. The thing is, so far, there hasn't been an actual blackout in our area yet. Work does the voluntary quasi-blackout by choice.

We'd wanted to get as much done as possible by noon, but we made sure to make a trip to the toilet before that time. Being a large building, the water pressure gets too low for the toilet to flush with 100% certainty when the power is out. We called it a morning when the power cut to TEPCO to backup, and had lunch. I ordered a boxed lunch from a local delivery place which was pretty good. The on-premisis convenience store (residents of Japan: it's a Lawson) was swept clean of rice balls but not egg salad sandwiches. I guess stuff that would keep at room temp like rice is being diverted to the areas hardest hit.

We watched the news over lunch, where the news of the moment was the status of the nuclear reactors in the Fukushima power plant. It's frustrating to see awful stuff going on, and not being able to do anything about it. The debate was whether you could prevent the effects of fallout from a power plant with iodine intake (short answer: yes for thyroid cancer, amount needed is something like a 3 cm piece of konbu)

The afternoon was spent again working in the cold darkness. I am finding working in the cold darkness is depressing. Tomorrow, I am going to try roaming around and find places warmer and brighter to work.

I encountered yet another gas-station traffic jam on the way home. That's how you can tell if a gas station has gas, whether or not there's a line in front of it...

Monday, March 14, 2011

No blackout

Teiden nashi

WTF? There are people actually complaining that there wasn't a blackout in most parts of the country? Am I missing something?

I called the Pumpkin Granny this morning to ask her what she wanted to do about the Pumpkin Prince and Princess. Our "turn" for the blackout was scheduled for 3:20 pm to 7:00 pm, and she usually picked them up from day care at 3:30. This would mean driving on streets without traffic lights.

Not only did the Pumpkin Granny not know what time the blackout would be, she had not thought about the whole traffic lights issue.

A short discussion brought us to the conclusion that it would be best if the Pumpkin Granny went to pick them up at 2:00 pm or thereabouts.

So I packed up the Pumpkin Royalty and headed in the direction of work. I dropped the kids off at day care, and headed to work...where the entrance was dark. Only about half of the hall lights were on. They were doing their part to save electricity, I guess. My department had the heat turned off, and everyone was working with their coats on. We have backup generators for times like this, and though the blackout didn't happen as scheduled (in fact, it didn't happen at all in our part of the country), they cut the power we were getting from TEPCO and switched over to the backup power source at 3:20 or thereabouts. Then, at around 5, they cut off all power to "non-essential" departments (including ours...could have sworn we were "essential"...) leaving us no choice but to go home.

The Pumpkin Daddy's work sent everyone home after lunch. I got home to find him vacuuming.

Tomorrow's blackout is scheduled from lunch to 4 pm. I'm hoping that doesn't mean they will keep us until 8 pm to make up for lost time.

The night after the big quake, my friend the Tomato Daddy got a Skype call from a co-worker currently based in the American East Coast. "Hey, you guys OK? That's good to hear. Like I said the other day, they're going to be in stores today. Want one?" And the Tomato Daddy said yes.

Which of the following things do you find most interesting/ amusing?

1. That even when the usual land line and cell phone lines are down, you can get through to your friends if you use Skype

2. That someone would call the evening of the biggest natural disaster in this country's history to ask if you wanted them to buy something for you that was going to hit the stores that day

3. That said person could refer to the object in question in third person pronouns and you would know exactly what they were talking about

4. That the object in question was an iPad

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Planned Blackout

Keikaku teiden

Actual info on scheduled blackouts here.

We're getting one tomorrow. My main concerns are

1) The blackout falls on commuting hours. How many of the traffic lights in my commute have a back up power system?

2) What will become of the contents of my fridge?

I am thankful my concerns are this trivial, but the first has potential to become tricky. Apologies to people who have Googled "planned blackout" or something and found no helpful information on this blog.
My accomplishment for today is having peeled myself away from the TV and internet quake and meltdown coverage long enough to buy diapers and cook dinner, and also not having lost my temper at my kids.

Sometimes, I have really low expectations for myself. Today is one of those days, and I'd say it's allowed.

Neither parent had the emotional resources to play with or pay any sort of attention to the kids, so we just let them watch DVRed programs and rental DVDs. Apparently, the Pumpkin Princess likes Dora the Explorer. She watches it in English, and loves it, which is strange because she doesn't understand English or Spanish.

Why bread?

Naze pan?

I went to the store to get diapers. I had no problem finding them, and there were plenty left after I took my usual 2 packs. There were plenty of other things on the shelves, but two sections were completely empty: bottled water and bread. The water is not hard to understand, but bread seems a strange choice. I doubt people are mailing it to friends and family in the Tohoku area, since transport is essentially gone in that area. Bracing for a power outage by stocking up on food that doesn't require heating or other preparation, I guess...

Maybe I'll start cooking rice early today while there's power.

I hate having the TV on. The Pumpkin Daddy keeps turning it on, but the TV is like a dysfunctional vacuum. I keep getting sucked in and am not getting stuff done like housework and cooking. So I turn it off, but then I get sucked into the internet. I keep reloading news sites like Yahoo! and the big dailies (Asahi, Yomiuri, Mainichi) and checking on my friends on Facebook. Maybe writing about this dysfunction will be the motivation I need to get going.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I won't watch TV.

Terebi ha minai.

I do not understand why the Pumpkin Daddy insists upon having the TV on all day. There is nothing but quake related news. We are confused enough as it is, there is no point in adding to the confusion. If watching TV would get food and water to those hit hard, or will save someone still buried alive under wreckage, I would watch all day. But it won't, so I won't.

I also fail to see the need to cancel children's programming. The Pumpkin Prince and Princess have been watching DVRed cartoons all day. Their parents lack the emotional resources to play with them...

Thank you to everyone who has shown concern (and relief) for my well-being.

I'm OK.

Buji desu

A very short post to let people who check on me here but not Facebook that I and my immediate family are all safe. My house, my parents' house, my sister's apartment, and my brother's house all have electricity, water, gas, and internet. My house is well away from the coast and also the worst of the quake damage.

The devastation, particularly from the tsunamis, is, well, devastating. The TV footage of cars and homes being washed away look like something that I might see if I caught the Pumpkin Prince and Princess playing Legos and Cars in the shower. But it's not, it's real, and there were people in those homes.

Your local Red Cross is probably a good place to start if you want to help out financially.

I was thinking of making a lighthearted post about the nice things my co-workers got me in Vienna. I might later on, but for now, I am thankful for them, my family, and their safety.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Focus today, too

Kyou mo chuumoku

A half dozen of my co-workers are gone for a conference in Vienna. Bastards.

This weekend, I managed to:

Cook dinner both nights (lasagna on Saturday, nikujaga on Sunday)

Purchase and plant flowers in the pots outside the front door

Put away the Hinamatsuri dolls

Change the filter in the goldfish tank

Get the Pumpkin Princess to practice the piano and do her piano homework (I never said she did it well, I just said it got done)

Get 7 hours of sleep both nights

Write a blog entry containing an image

I managed not to:

Eat potato chips or snack food along those lines after 9 pm on Saturday (but not Friday)

Bring on the workweek! And my co-workers come back on Wednesday. I think they should bring me something nice, don't you?