There is a Kinokuniya bookstore across the river in Edgewater, NJ. We stumbled onto it while we were looking for the Trader Joe’s that’s a few minutes up the road. Kinokuniya is a Japanese bookstore. The first time I visited one was with my wife in Singapore. They have a large selection of Japanese and English language books, magazines, and manga.
The Kinokuniya in Edgewater also has a stationary consignment shop inside that is pretty nice. The shop is located in the same shopping center as Mitsuwa Shopping Center, a Japanese grocery store with a food court. Mitsuwa is pretty cool, too. I like walking down the aisles and looking at the products. They also carry items that we already enjoy like Ito Ten roasted rice green tea and Yakult, a probiotic drink.
Anyway, Kinokuniya is set up so that when you walk in, you’re in a section with a bunch of cute knickknacks and collectibles. One of those collectibles is called Smiski – Opens Japanese language website. It’s basically a blind-box item, where you open a box and get a random version of the collectible.
When I saw them, I was reminded of these forest spirit things from an animated movie called Princess Mononoke.
After a few visits, I decided that I wanted to buy one and open it. I don’t know why, but I like the idea of having them on my bookcases, or in random places in the apartment. It would be fun.
I picked a series 4 box. I was hoping to get the guy laying down with a smaller Smiski sitting on his head, but I got this guy that’s climbing up the edge of my books, which is also fun.
They’re supposed to glow in the dark, but I haven’t noticed that happening with mine. I don’t think it’s defective, though. The spot it’s sitting in doesn’t get much natural light.
I’m looking forward to picking up more of these. Maybe once a month?
This is the world’s largest Rilakkuma. He’s sad and lonely AF, because at $1200.00, no one can afford to take him home. So, he just sits there. He poses for the photos, hoping it’s his chance to find a family, but he is always left behind.
I spent 8 years in the Army. If I’d known better, I’d have joined the Air Force, like my dad did. And if I had joined the Air Force, being on an AC-130 gunship crew wouldn’t have been a bad gig. I wanted to do something meaningful, but I wound up spending most of my time loading and unloading trucks with a forklift or counting inventory. It wasn’t exactly fulfilling.
I was lured into the job by the promise that I would be working with computers. I enlisted back in 1998. Computers were still a new and amazing thing in my life, and probably most people’s lives, if they could even afford a computer and internet service. Windows 95 and America Online chat rooms were still sources of wonder and amazement.
Once I was enlisted and working in that field, I was unable to negotiate to move into a more interesting job when it came time for my reenlistment. Once you’re in an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), you’re pretty much stuck, unless you want to move into a job with a low retention rate, like basic infantry. I’d like to think that if I had the Internet as it is today as a resource, with blogs and extensive forums, I would have made better choices.
These videos are pretty graphic. Please keep that in mind before watching.
The following video (when autoplay is enabled) is pretty interesting too:
I subscribed to the Loot Crate service back when it started out. It was a fun diversion once a month. I wound up canceling the service after a few months though because I just stopped being impressed with the value of what I was getting for my money.I decided to give the service another shot around Halloween last year and it looks like they’ve really improved on the items they put in their boxes.
I decided to give the service another shot around Halloween last year and it looks like they’ve really improved on the items they put in their boxes. A lot of it is still stuff that I’m going to wind up either throwing or giving away, like the Pop! figures, but the books and t-shirts usually make up for that. The January 2017 box is an exception. I like everything that came out of it:
Action Comics #1 (1938) reprint
Ninja Turtles Raphael tiki mug
Captain America “The First Avenger” shield replica
“Jumpman” / Mario t-shirt (design in featured image above)
The boxes are still fairly hit-or-miss, but I guess that’s part of the thrill of opening one up. It’s like gambling or playing the lottery. Sometimes you get a jackpot and other times you wind up with Pop! figures on your shelf and no idea what to do with them. Loot Crate has other, theme specific, crates now that I’m probably going to look into. Maybe they’d fit my interests better, but this box was definitely a winner.