Across the street from my house rest a vacant 2-story building that has not been in operation for over 10 years. When I say across the street, I really mean across the street. The distance from my side of the house to the other side is about 50 feet. Why am I writing about this furui (old) building? We were told that a company had purchased this land and will be building an apartment here, hence the newly built temporary gate in the distance. The gate was put up to deter cars from parking in that lot. Myself included.

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I finally got around to installing Ubuntu server on my spare pc. I am done configuring the essential to have my web server up. Everything seems to be running fine and my test sites are viewable, including 'Far From Home' blog. Over all I am happy with the install besides the little hiccups along the way. Coming from a Windows GUI base OS, I was a bit leery about using a Linux base box. The server is 100% cmd text and 0% GUI interface. What that meant for me was learning a new language all over again. I am grateful for the Internet. Finding answers and tutorials were just a click away.

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I do believe Japan has some of the best snacks (okashi) around. Their taste is quite different compared to USA. If you have tried them before, you know what I am talking about. Being a snack junkie myself, I love them all. One of my favorite in particular, is a drink call Ramune. This clear carbonated drink taste like Sprite cola. I think it taste more like bubble gum to be exact. Ramune was not originated from Japan. It derived from America in the form of lemonade drink with the bottle coming from the United Kingdom. Japan than packaged the product like so.

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Apparently any US citizen living aboard must file IRS forms taxes according to Uncle Sam. I don`t see the point since the foreign income exclusion for 2009 was $91,400. This means a person can exclude up to that amount from US taxation. I had the luxury to filed my online income tax return this year from aboard. It was not fun, than again filing taxes forms never are.

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As some of you may know, my favorite soda pop is Mountain Dew. I just can't get enough of it. Unfortunately, Japan thinks the opposite. I have yet to see any Mountain Dew on the shelves in super markets or convenient stores. Not even one single can. Otherwise, my fridge would be filled with 1.5 liter bottles like there is no tomorrow. This doesn`t mean that there is none in Japan. Selected soda vending machines do stock them. Fortunately, there are a few near my house. The cost is about $1.25 a can. Pretty pricy but when you are addicted, price means nothing. Well, I have my limits of course.

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