Author's details

Name: Andrew W.
Date registered: December 17, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Hammy Photo on Instagram — December 11, 2017
  2. Hammy Photo on Instagram — October 16, 2017
  3. Hammy Photo on Instagram — July 27, 2017
  4. Hammy Photo on Instagram — June 20, 2017
  5. Hammy Photo on Instagram — May 7, 2017

Most commented posts

  1. Michio Kaku = Douche — 16 comments
  2. Why Bad Journalism Has Driven Me To Desperate Ends — 13 comments
  3. JELLYBEAN! — 12 comments
  4. Hey Canada, WTF? Or: Wow, I Thought Getting My Passport Was a POTA! — 9 comments
  5. I'll have photos and a whole post up soon on the blog and the Hammy Central page,… — 7 comments

Author's posts listings

Jan 09

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Soba noodle Cthulhu by #Hammy .

Jan 09

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Trying to get a smile out of the family at a new little hole-in-the-wall sobaya we discovered in our neighborhood.

This place is old school. Most of the serve wear looks like it dates to at least the seventies, including the giant thermoses that hold the hot water for tea.

It’s heated by an old kerosene stove with a kettle on top.

I hope the food’s good; I love the atmosphere.


Jan 01

Hammy Photo on Instagram

New year’s lunch with a #Hammy too close to his naptime.

Dec 27

Goodbye Taipei, Goodbye 2015

Jeebus, but it’s been forever since I’ve written here. Mostly because I’ve started keeping a private journal that requires less editing and polish than something I post online. Yes, even more shit than this blog. But I felt like I should barf some of my photos and brief thoughts up online until I can write something more thought out.


Anyway, I’m planning a year-in-review post, so I’m only going to cover my recent stay in Taipei. On December 18, I flew out of Narita airport. The plan had been originally to teach several workshops upon arrival, but those got cancelled.

What did go according to plan was that I met a whole bunch of strange and unusual people involved in the theatre scene there. (see images below)Katie Partlow

Tellus Theatre













Ahem. There were also a few who were so strange, I didn’t photograph them.


The other part that went according to plan was that my wife and baby Hammy joined me from December 23 onward and we celebrated Xmas with Suzy and Roger Walker. Suzy and Roger were also the generous people who put up with the whole Kikai-ga-shima team being dumped on them this past summer for the Taipei Fringe leg of that show.


IMG_20151226_132608So, we had a lovely, nearly traditional UK Xmas with our friends, and also made time to a see a little bit of Taipei while we were here. It was the best possible way to spend an Xmas in Asia, and I’m only sorry that Roger and Suzy are leaving Asia in February, so this will be a one-off affair. But I’d like to extend a huge thank-you to them for putting up with us for the better part of a week (and me for more than a week)!


Other stuff: we visited Tamsui and spent half a day there, and also had a chance to meet up with some Taiwanese friends. Also, Hammy rode a giraffe (pictured here).


So now, with slightly heavy hearts, mostly because we both have to work tomorrow, I’m sitting at the gate for our flight (Transasia GE 608, in case anyone feels like tracking it with Flightradar), about to say goodbye to Taipei. At least for now. Goodbye, Taipei! Goodbye, bubble tea!

Bubble Tea!

Dec 25

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy watches an Xmas movie in 3D. Kung Fu Panda 2.

Dec 25

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy watching the NORAD Santa tracking system.

Dec 25

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Xmas morning in Taipei with #Hammy .

Dec 12

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy fell asleep.

Dec 04

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy thinks this hairstyle makes him look like Mickey Mouse.

Nov 22

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Thanks, #Hammy. I didn’t have anything better to do with the next hour or so.

Nov 17

WTF, Ymobile?

Picture 9I changed carriers at the beginning of the summer, moving from DoCoMo to Ymobile. I had been planning on stretching out my phone for another year, but it was on its last legs of usefulness. And then, Ymobile was having a promotion and I happened to stumble across it. Even after paying 30,000 yen for a new phone (a Nexus 6—I fucking love it) and ~16,000 yen to get released from my auto-renewed DoCoMo contract, I calculated that I’d save 99,000 yen or so over the next two years. Good deal.

One of the things that came with the deal: 3 data-only uSIM cards that I could request and use. I got the first one back in August and gave my old phone to my mother-in-law with the SIM in it so that she could use LINE (her phone doesn’t have internet). Last week, I decided to get the other two uSIMs I’m entitled to so that I don’t need to do it in a pinch later. My mother is visiting early next year, and it would be nice for her to have a working device. Also, my backup phone needs a SIM.

So, I went to the local Ymobile shop on Friday, since I was out in that area. One thing that’s nice about Ymobile is that I don’t have to take a number and wait 90 minutes to see someone like I did with DoCoMo. The downside is that the clerks are less knowledgeable about anything beyond their most basic offerings, so doing something like getting my uSIMs can take longer than it should. There is also no one in the shop for them to escalate questions to.

After some initial confusion, my clerk walked me through the registration process for the SIMs, and I signed for them on the screen of his tablet. He hit the submit button and… rejected. Weird, since I’d already done this process a few months ago for the first uSIM. He excused himself for a moment to pick up a flip-phone and call someone. He managed to get someone on the line, spoke for a couple of minutes and hung up.

Apparently, they wouldn’t tell him why I couldn’t have my cards. Not couldn’t mind you. Wouldn’t. At least that’s my interpretation of it. The wording he used was, roughly translated, something like: “They won’t teach me, so I can’t teach you why you can’t have them.” (The Japanese word for teach is frequently used in the context of telling information. For instance, people “teach” their phone numbers to each other. So that particular wording isn’t as weird as it looks.) But he used “おしえません” (“didn’t teach”) as opposed to something ending with “できません” or some variation thereof (can’t do), and he did it repeatedly. My Japanese is not great so I checked by confirming: “You can’t tell me because they didn’t tell you.” and he agreed. Well, I could be wrong. The upshot in either case: I couldn’t get my SIMs and no one would tell me why.

Worse, the clerks couldn’t even tell me what my next step should be. I asked if I could come back in three days, and maybe they’d have it sorted by then. “Not likely,” was the answer I got. One of the other clerks pointed out a couple of times that maybe I should switch to AU or another company that had more support for foreigners. I pointed out that a) changing providers would cost me money, since I had a contract with Ymobile, and b) I have already paid for the uSIM cards, and their own material (right there on the desk; I was pointing to it) entitled me to those uSIMS. I asked if they had a supervisor, department head, or other boss we could escalate the matter to. Apparently, the only point of contact they had was the number my clerk had already called.

Then the other clerk suggested I come back in December. I asked why that would change things, and they couldn’t answer me. I also pointed out again that these SIMs were paid for (and were sitting right in front of me) and while I was willing to wait a couple of days for them to figure something out, waiting two weeks for something I paid for five months ago was a bit ridiculous. Throughout all this, I was as polite as possible. Aware that I’m not very good at hiding my irritation, I made a point of apologizing to the clerks and explaining that I was wasn’t annoyed with them, but with the system that allowed something like this to happen.

So, in the end, after spending 90+ minutes in the shop, I had to leave empty handed.

Next course of action is to phone the customer service line… or rather get someone to help me call the customer service line, since my Japanese falls completely to pieces on the phone (especially since I can’t easily use the phone to look up words I don’t understand while I’m talking on it).

Still happy with my phone, but seriously annoyed with Ymobile’s ridiculous customer service.

Nov 08

Hammy Photo on Instagram

I should have taken #Hammy to the Rocky Horror last week, I guess.

Oct 31

Hammy Photo on Instagram

14 years of knowing each other, 12 years of living together, 10 years of marriage (as of today), and 2.5 years of #Hammy. Holy shit. Happy anniversary.

Oct 29

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy is always like this before his morning coffee.

Oct 24

How to Flash OTA updates

Honestly, the easiest way I’ve found is with the Nexus Root Toolkit and doing Flash Stock + Unroot with the “No Wipe Mode” and “Force Flash” boxes checked.

I find it easiest to just download my current build factory image and flash that.

This returns the phone to stock, but without wiping it, allowing it to download and install the OTA updates.

I’ve never been able to properly sideload OTA updates, so I find this way more convenient.

(Didn’t work for the Marshmallow update for some reason. Ended up sideloading it manually using adb.)

Oct 22

Hammy Photo on Instagram

They grow up so fast. #Hammy

Oct 17

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Fun at the park with Emi and #Hammy .

Oct 17

Hammy Photo on Instagram

“#Hammy, you need to roll up your sleeves if you want to pay with Playdoh.”
Here is the result of that negotiation.

Oct 14

Hammy Photo on Instagram

“Hi there!” #Hammy

Oct 12

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy is making “pizza” using my toolkit.

Oct 06

Wi-Fi On But Won’t Reconnect After resuming From Sleep

This happened after upgrading to Windows 10, but apparently any version above Win 7 might have this problem.



  • Open Device Manager > Expand the Network adapters section
  • Right-click on the wireless network card > Properties > Power Management tab
  • Uncheck option Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power and click OK:

Oct 05

Rtorrent Won’t Start

Sometimes Rtorrent won’t start. The SCREEN process will be running, but the main rtorrent process won’t be.

Usually, this is caused by a bad .lock file.

Stop the service (just in case), go to /home/rtor/.rtorrent-session, delete the .lock file, and then start the service again.

Sep 20

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Breakfast with the boy. #Hammy

Sep 18

Install Btsync 1.4.111 on a new machine (ubuntu)

Since I’m still using Bittorrent Sync 1.4.111 (because the free version of 2.0 is too restrictive for my use case), I need to use the following command to install it via Tuxpoldo’s PPA:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Aug 11

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy demolishes an entire slice of pizza.

Aug 08

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy ‘s new friends.

Aug 07

Hammy Photo on Instagram

#Hammy and daddy eat their cheerios.

Aug 04

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Big breakfast. Little man. #Hammy

Aug 04

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Sleeping in in Orillia. #Hammy

Aug 04

Hammy Photo on Instagram

Sleeping in in Orillia. #Hammy

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