New Toys


Took one of the new teachers shopping Monday. We went to Yamada Denki to look at electronics and appliances. I picked up three items and drooled over several others. My new toys:

  1. Buffalo 128 MByte mini SD card for my cell phone
  2. Allgo 2.2L electric airpot
  3. Sharp Papyrus electronic dictionary

About a year ago I bought a 256 MByte card and found, after researching some mysterious error messages, that 128 MByte was the maximum size for my FOMA F700is. They are discontinuing these cards, so I was glad to get one – plus the price was cheap. Now I can take more photos, videos, etc. with the phone and easily dump them to the computer.

In Japan the airpots and electric airpots are very popular. An airpot is like a large thermos to set on the table, with a plunger button on the top to force water out the spout. The electric airpots are about the same, but they continually keep the water hot. This is great for: making instant miso soup or noodles, making tea, or mixing hot shouchuu (焼酎) drinks. While these are a convenience, rather than a necessity, my model was pretty cheap.

Some of the new airpots have electronic safety locks, 60/90/98 degree settings, timers, decalcifiers, and all sorts of other settings. Mine has a manual safety lock and only heats to piping hot. Of course, the fancy ones are three times the price of mine.

**Update: mine only heats to 90 degrees. This is not so good for making miso soup. I may have to accept my poor decision and buy a higher level model.

Everyday I pound mercilessly on my electronic dictionary. Coatings are worn off the buttons, buttons sometimes require mashing to get them recognized, Screen connections in the hinge failing (again), … I could still get by with my old device, but decided to drop a few yen now rather than later. New features definitely influenced my choice to buy.

One feature that I have really wanted, but wasn’t in my older model, is the English-English dictionary. My vocabulary is pretty good, but sometimes I need to check alternate pronunciations, subtle definitions and such. Someone called me ‘supercilious’ this week and I had to page through my Webster’s Ninth to check the meaning. Ironically, I think any person throwing that word around automatically qualifies for being labeled by it.

I will probably write up details in the next week about feature comparison between Papyrus, Canon Wordtank, and Casio Ex-Word. The other two have some nice features, but I still prefer the Sharp design and user interface.

My wish list from the electronics store is:

  1. Flat panel TV
  2. Digital DVD recorder
  3. Computer

I have good reasons for wanting all three of these items, but they definitely become harder to justify because they run about $1000, $500, and $1500 respectively.


9 Responses to “New Toys”

  1. Sylvia Says:

    Sigh. I wished I knew people (IRL) supercilious enough to call me supercilious.

  2. びっくり Says:

    Sylvia – I don’t think I want to know that individual in real life. Supercilious was the least personal part of his invective. I took it as a sign that I shouldn’t post anymore comments there.

    I’m glad I stumbled across all the book-related blogs. The intellectual level (and the politeness level) seem higher there. It also reminds me how little I’ve been reading lately.

  3. Sylvia Says:

    It’s true, we have a nice little community going. Welcome aboard, Colonel Brandon.

  4. Sylvia Says:

    And what are you doing up at 3am??

  5. びっくり Says:

    Actually, I didn’t hit the hay until almost 4am and got up about 7am. Kind of crazy, but I was getting ready for a trip to Tokyo on Saturday morning. I have classes at a school all day today, then a meeting in the countryside, then a dinner with a class coordinator, followed by an evening class, so it all had to get done last night.

    Are you also in Japan?

  6. Sylvia Says:

    Nope, other side of the Pacific. Vancouver Island, to be specific.

  7. びっくり Says:

    Oh, sometimes I tell people I am from South Vancouver (Seattle-area) when I want to pass for Canadian. Vancouver Island sounds great. When I was a kid, we’d ride the Princess Marguerite to Victoria for fun. After I graduated from UW, I took a bike ride to Vancouver Island and ended up on Saltspring Island. It was my last get away before moving to Houston, TX.

    What a peaceful setting to do your book reading.

  8. Sylvia Says:

    Cool. Moving from Seattle to Houston sounds pretty drastic (though considering where you are now I suppose you are not too bothered by culture shock!).

    Ya, I love it here. 🙂

  9. Latest Toy… er, Tool « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] pitching the cartridges which contain Japanese dictionaries. After all, I dropped about $200 on an electronic dictionary and its features are fixed. A DS can have all manner of software loaded into it. The rub is that […]

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