Saturday, August 22, 2015

Small Adventure 42

I mentioned a while ago that my little pocket camera had overheated while I was recording the Yukata Matsuri live music event at the beginning of August. Well, it's not getting better on its own, and may actually be on its last legs, not wanting to fully turn on or off. I've been looking for a replacement, but I've got the bigger Nikon Coolpix and I've been carrying that around in the meantime. Anyway, Thursday, I was walking through Tenmonkan and I stopped at the open area in front of Lotteria, where the Yamakataya department store was hosting a Hawai'ian music and dance event for the entire week. As I was waiting for some group to set up, I noticed that there was this interesting effect around the spotlight aimed at the stage - the light and humidity were combining to create a sparkling rainbow halo. I knew it was kind of a risk, but I pulled out the Coolpix and took some pictures to see if I could capture the effect somehow. The light was pretty strong and I was zooming right at it. Afterward, I tried taking pictures of the band as they were playing, and the camera started acting up, not wanting to autofocus. I gave up and returned home.

Yesterday, the weather was perfect and the sky was an absolute clear blue. The volcano was quiet and I headed down to Dolphin Port to take photos of it to show that Sakurajima wasn't visibly acting threatening right then. But, the Coolpix just refused to focus right. I turned it off and on a few times, and I'd be able to get a couple pictures before I lost focus again. The annoying thing was that the local merchants in the neighborhood in front of City Hall are putting on a small annual festival this weekend and I couldn't even get shots of the empty stage during the set up. Finally, I again gave up and continued on to Tenmonkan.

It was 3:30 PM, and I had an hour break between lessons, so I went to Maruya Gardens to visit the Junkudo bookstore on the 5th floor. There's this one manga I've been itching to read, and I wanted to see if Junkudo carried the first volume. It's Area 51, and I'd translated one chapter a year ago. I haven't been able to find it in Kinokuniya in Amuplaza. So, I get to Junkudo, track down the Comic Bunch shelves, and they only have volumes 6-10. I want #1 to see how it starts. My next choice is to visit Junkudo's sister store, Maruzen, 3 blocks away. It takes a bit to get the clerk to understand what I'm asking him for, but finally he takes me to the Comic Bunch section, and they've got the entire series, but only one book for each volume. I grab #1 and go to the register to buy it.

I still have 40 minutes for my break, and I decide to spend it at the 7-11 near the school, eating a sandwich with a bottle of ginger ale, and reading the latest issue of the Vocaloid magazine. When I finish that, I reach for Area 51... and it's not in my backpack. I go through everything and I just can not find it. I look around the table, and I don't see it. My first thought was that I forgot to grab the bag with the book when I left the register at Maruzen (I had been focused on pocketing my change, the points card and my wallet). I return to the bookstore, where the clerk I had dealt with isn't anywhere to be seen. I ask someone else if they had my book, but they looked in some notebook and said "nope". It wasn't on the shelf behind the counter, either. Then, I return to 7-11, where the clerks I had bought the sandwich from didn't even recognize me as having been in the store 10 minutes earlier. I asked them if they found a bag from Maruzen, and they also said, "nope". At this point, some older Japanese businessman was sitting where I had been, and he's studiously ignoring the clerks as they're checking the table for anything out of place. And I can not remember the last place where I'd seen the book. Either Maruzen has my book but they have really bad record keeping, or that businessman stole my book and didn't want me to realize it. Regardless, it's not just that I'm out the $5 for the manga; that may have been the only copy of Area 51, vol. 1, in all of Kagoshima.

Not been a really good week. It's probably cheaper to scrap the pocket camera and get something else to replace it. It would be nice if I could get a compatible model, which would then give me a backup battery. I'd like to think that I could take the Coolpix to Bic Camera and have them look at it, but it is out of warranty, and any repairs may be at least 20% of the original $500 purchase price. Decisions, decisions... Volcano eruption warnings. Not a really great week.

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