Chit-chat from Imaginatorium Shop
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Illustration : Haruyo - Chihiro - Reina Sato - Okamoto - Uchida - Animal art - Cartoon fun - Wachifield
Fantasy : Horaguchi - Fujishiro - Kagaya - Kusuda - Nishino - Shu - Teppei - Takaki - Other fantasy artists
Anime and characters : Studio Ghibli - My neighbor Totoro - Kiki's delivery service - Evangelion - Conan - Suzumiya Haruhi - One Piece - Dragon Ball - Naruto - Gintama - Rage of Bahamut - Sailor Moon - Pokémon - Children's anime - Hello Kitty
Western art : Classics - Mucha - Alice - Lassen - Wysocki - Americana - Moomins - Peanuts - Ellenshaw - Thomas Kincade - Tim Rogerson - Gonzalez - James Coleman - Disney
Miscellaneous : Mandalas - Heian period - Floral collection - None of the above - Tiny pieces - Scroll - Bargains
Chit-chat from Imaginatorium Shop
February — Delays and improvements
The long-promised Tenyo catalog finally arrived in December, and while we still have a record number of puzzles we are waiting to get more stock of, the situation has generally improved.
I have also just reinstated the Epoch catalog. This has been updated, actually made simpler to use, and now includes both Epoch and Apollo brand puzzles.
For external reasons, I am hopelessly overstretched until about April, and so we have a big backlog of requests for missing pieces and so on. There are lots of new puzzles being issued too, so I hope over the coming weeks we will gradually catch up with everything.
March — Problems
March 31st Well, we all have problems sometimes. Last night (30/31 March, Japan time) the website was unavailable for about 2 hours over a 4-hour period. This was due to some problem with the server at Pair Networks, and is (I believe) the first time we have had an outage on this scale in 15 years of their service. Server operation should now have stabilised, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Meanwhile, we are still having problems with Tenyo puzzle supply, the bad news being that many of the puzzles in the latest (December 2014) catalog are still not available, while the good news is that some of the puzzles deleted from the catalog are in fact available! So if you are looking for a puzzle that appears to have been deleted, feel free to ask and we will try ordering it.
These deleted puzzles have all reappeared!
Putting problems behind us... I should now have the proper amount of time to devote to keeping everything up to date, and hope to be adding a significant number of new puzzles over the coming months, plus some improvements for usability. Please keep watching!
April — Challenging 300 pieces!
Last month's comments were a bit downbeat: we still have over eighty puzzles out of stock with no indication of when or whether they will be available again. But I have been adding lots of new puzzles to our range, so we are back over 1100 titles in stock, and still growing.
And I hope to be able to spend more time on puzzles themselves. I like a challenge, like the current Puzzle of the month, of the clouds over the Uyuni salt flats, and the clouds reflected in the Uyuni salt flats! But here's a different sort of challenge I did a while back, which must be the most fun I have had from a 300-piece puzzle for a very long time.
Looking at the box is certainly not going to help much. There is no top or bottom, and each part of the pattern appears six or twelve times... and the pieces? The most you can say is that there aren't too many of them.
So I sorted out the pieces as on the left, with the inside pieces (the whorl centres) at the bottom, and the outside pieces at the top, then I started working from the pieces at the bottom, closest to me on the table.
Before my very eyes, whorls began to form, and it was quickly clear (we aren't looking at the box, remember) that some would be larger than others.
And at last two of them joined together...
The corners at last!
Now just a few holes to fill in...
I decided on "Torture" for this Beverly series, but as you can see on the box above, the original title is 回転地獄, or literally "Rotary hell"... look for more of these challenging and different puzzles on the None of the above page.
September — Floods
Tochigi has been in the news, internationally even, for flooding. We had a (local) record-breaking amount of rain on Wednesday, causing problems at the nuisance level just about everywhere, but the serious problems are all from rivers further to the East. Our local river (2 mins from the house) is Akiyamagawa, and it looks angry and brown, but not threatening. The next big river to the East of Sano is Omoigawa, which has overflowed in many places; basically it has a much larger catchment area in the mountains far to the north. Then the worst appears to be Kinugawa (incidentally the -gawa or -kawa on the end already means "river"), which is the next to the East.
The BBC website has a comparison with some UK flood facts, but still doesn't mention the obvious fact that in England it rains practically every day, a bit at least, whereas here rain is always concentrated in the occasional downpour day... http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34205879.
I did have my own little adventure on Wednesday night, which was the last regular practice session before our performance of Carmen on Sunday... suffice it to say that to get home I first had to wade through knee-deep water to get to the car park, followed by a long detour because of roads being closed. Carmen also means I will be completely tied up for the weekend. If you want to read about the last Oyama Carmen, it's here.
"A kind of blog..." My sporadic comments, mostly topical, on shop matters. (Brian Chandler)