Tag Archives: potassium iodide

Delusions of Grandeur

It has proved quite interesting to follow the amount of traffic generation to the site before, during, and in the aftermath of the Tōhoku earthquake. While most of the hits are generated by my mom and the innumerable people she has forwarded my blog to, it’s still encouraging to see that I’m not paying for hosting only for the sake of draining my bank account.


Not surprisingly, public interest in my life multiplied by 40 on the very day the earthquake hit. Then it dwindled for a couple of days until the nuclear scare got out of hand and traffic reached a record number that most likely won’t be surpassed until the first shots of World War III occur in my back yard. Potentially.

The World at Large

After seeing the huge influx in readership numbers during the earthquake crisis I’ve began to follow traffic charts slightly too much, forcing myself to write posts even when I haven’t really felt like it, just to see if I could artificially keep the numbers up. That strategy will now be revised as no matter how much I write, the stories are still aimed at people who at least know me, or are otherwise interested in stalking my life. This severely limits the amount of general traffic to the site, and I don’t really see any reason to change that. Writing about tourism tips is hardly appealing, and writing without inspiration is both taxing and results in lower quality output.

Although I would like to embrace Frank Herbert’s comment on inspiration and looking at my older texts I can agree with most of his views, I have a very difficult time putting words in the right order when I’m in lazy mode. I also recently realized that I usually only get an urge to write when I am bereft of outside distractions or otherwise deep in thought. Most frequently this inspirational time lapse occurs when wandering around aimlessly, getting incredibly frustrated with something or just before falling asleep. Rarely in these situations am I able to write things down on the spot. This dilemma often leads to the dismissal of a topic altogether or the creation of a watered down version later when I eventually reach the needed tools.

One of the things I really enjoy with writing, and life in general, are quotes. I tend to include them everywhere, much to the chagrin of people around me. Their amount varies strongly by post, but I am quasi-unable to publish any text within which I would not be able to accredit several words or expressions to specific people or situations. Some references are very direct and apparent, while others are taken out of context and surreptitiously hidden from those not concerned. In theory, at the very least. This is also something that I will not give up on, no matter how taxing it is for the reader.

Both my current and former blog contain a wide array of personal, historical, linguistic and pop culture references, which leads to a situation where the full extent and depth of posts can sometimes only be understood by people who enjoy similar hobbies as I do, are very close to me, or at worst (or best), only me. Different people can decipher different things within a post and may feel like missing some others. In the ideal circumstances, readers should be oblivious to not comprehending an obscure reference as they are not meant to notice it in the first place. Maybe some day I’ll be able to write about things that the public at large could care about, but now is not the time.

Enough of this pseudo-artistic nonsense.

I recently had a phone conversation with my boss. Due to random rolling blackouts and confusion in Tokyo, the office will remain closed until further notice. The main implication here is that I’m still stranded in Osaka until at least early next week. Today, I went to retrieve some KI pills from the honorary consulate general in Shinsaibashi and explained that they weren’t really for me to use, but rather work as a placebo to lower my dad’s blood pressure some 8000 kilometers to the West. He agreed that it was an acceptable reason and gave me a 5-day supply of emergency iodine to fill my thyroid with just for kicks.

Days in Osaka keep following the same general pattern, except I managed to catch a cold now, which makes everything so fucking much more enjoyable.


P.S. Nyt on hyvä aika alkaa seurata kaikkien aikojen oudointa Jukola-suunnistusporukkaa johon itsekin kuulun (ainakin nimellisesti). Fanittamaan pääsee osoitteessa http://www.facebook.com/teamheiaheia ja blogia voi seurata osoitteessa http://heiaheia.larksnest.org. Samalla asiaan vihkiytymättömien kannattaa liittyä heiaheia.comiin ja alkaa pitää kirjaa liikuntasuorituksistaan sekä kannustaa muita tuttujaan verkossa. Lisään edellämainitut linkit myös sivupalkkiin kaikkien iloksi.

Shangri La

The situation seems to have calmed down a bit, which is a very welcome change considering I’m exiled in a city that hardly even acknowledges that there is something abnormal happening elsewhere in Japan.

It is quite difficult to write about a general area of Osaka as well as a hotel that I have covered at least twice before during my adventures in the Far East. Besides, the past few days have been incredibly calm and dull, and I have lately come to realize by following different media that readers actually crave for catastrophes and tragedy, which unfortunately I am currently not able to provide from my safe haven.

One of the first things to came to mind after arriving in Osaka was that it beats Tokyo on many levels. The objective reasons I was able to identify were that Osaka is far less westernized, less crowded and just more likable in general. Having spent one of the best years of my life in the area can also affect the sentiment. Particularly the Shin-Imamiya-Namba-Nipponbashi area is a place that is more reminiscent of Finland than anything I’ve found in Tokyo so far: a relatively quiet downtown area mainly constituted of alcoholics.

On Wednesday I attempted to apply for a re-entry permit, the receipt of which would have made my life a hell of a lot easier if I had had to leave the country in haste. Unfortunately, to get a re-entry permit one needs to know the exact departure date, rendering it impossible to really get one just in case. In addition, I would need an alien permit first, something I need to apply for in my area of residence, i.e. at the Nerima Ward Office in Tokyo. Bref, le plan est  à l’eau.

I extended my stay here for two more days on Thursday morning, but had to initially check out and check in to a different type of room on that very day because the original one was not available anymore. Considering I had been skyping home to soothe my parents until 5:30 in the morning, the checking out at 10 was not my favorite moment of the week. Not as bad as some other checkouts, though. I then proceeded to wander outside for several hours enjoying the marvelous supplies of Den Den Town before returning to the hotel, this time to a Japanese type room instead of the previous Western type.

Attempting to adhere to several requests to retrieve some potassium iodide pills, also just in case, I studied the indispensable Japanese nomenclature and gathered enough courage to go inquire about said preventive medicine in a nearby drusgstore. Pros: they understood what I was looking for on the first try. Cons: They laughed at me. It turns out that the government possesses the whole supply of said pills, and the drugstore obaa-san emphasized that I should definitely be okay if I stay around these parts.

As this post is incredibly mundane already, let’s cover some other boring topics. I’ve been enjoying the furo at the hotel daily and also come to realize that this place, at a price equivalent to about 20 euros a night, provides me with a level of comfort that is perfectly acceptable. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone on their honeymoon, but for the sake of sleeping and using a computer it’s more than fine. The beer vending machine downstairs might add to this warm and fuzzy feeling as well. Let me put it this way; if Hotel Chuo feels inadequate, then you’re spending too much time in your room instead of experiencing Japan.

Extended weekend coming up because my birthday on Monday is a public holiday in Japan. This traces back to the late 70’s when I saved Emperor Showa from crocodiles during a rafting trip in northeastern Australia. True story.