Thursday, December 24, 2015

Heading Back to South Korea over Winter Break.

I am writing this post while heading to Newark Airport in New Jersey on Amtrack train.

My plan was perfect, first of all. I planned to leave from Blacksburg on Dec 22 to Washington DC. I could take a flight from local Roanoke airport, but normally and always, that way of starting the trip is expensive. Also, I eventually need to transfer at a certain airport anyway. If I have enough time and courage to spend at an exotic area to have some adventures to save a lot of money, then I would do it.

I arrived Washington DC on Dec 22 at night and stayed at Downtown Washington Hostel, which was pretty good and inexpensive. The next day, my flight from DC to Newark was planned to leave at 9:45 pm, but its has been cancelled. I tried to get a new ticket for that, but all the tickets were sold out. Due to the severe weather at DC, the flight was cancelled. I could not stop though since I had a flight from Newark to Narita, Japan at 10 am on Dec 24. An United Airlines employee made a reservation for an Amtrack train ticket to Newark, which departs at 3:15 am. And that train is where I am currently on right now.

This train trip is actually very delightful. Very comfortable and novel. I do not think I had an opportunity to have such a luxury train trip before. For me, to be optimistic, this trip is maybe actually better than taking a flight from DC to Newark. The train is tremendously shaking, but I can still type.

Yes, I am going to get off at Newark International Airport and get on a plane to South Korea. I am expecting to arrive the airport by at least 6 am. I should be enough time to check in and use accommodations and etc.

The moments of waiting at the Union Station was just horrible. I had to sit there and somehow wait from 1pm to the next day of 3:15 am. I tried to read my new purchased book, did some internet surfings, but none of these were really productive. Just waste of time and energy!

I have not seen my family since August 2014. I have no problems with the fact that we are apart for such long time, but for my parents, they could not withstand it. Especially my father really wants to see me. I do want to see my family again. I would normally go back to home every Summer but could not for this year due to my studying. I was once afraid what if my father will not allow me to study over summer. Because he wanted to see me so badly. He did allow me without any hesitations, though.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to spend Christmas here in the U.S. That is because, I will be on an airplane up in the sky 20,000 feet altitude. Even more, when I arrive South Korea, it will be 9:30 pm on Dec 25. Thus, there is really not so much time for me to celebrate Christmas.

However, I do not need any fancy or special presents for my Christmas. I will have my family again. That is all I want for my Christmas. I am also really hoping to play the piano for my father, mother, and brother. It is something that I have been working on for a long time.

Everyone, have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.
Merry Christmas. Have healthy and safe Christmas to all. Godspeeds you.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Printed a Muzzle for my MP40 Airsoft Gun

My AGM MP40 Airsoft gun has no muzzle. This fact really downgrades the quality of my gun. I always wanted to do something about this problem and finally it happened.

I acquired dimensions from my gun and made a model based on the real MP40 muzzle. The reason for me decided to make a muzzle is to give MP40 a muzzle back but also to make a colour part.

When I first bought this gun from an eBay user, he told me that he removed the muzzle because of its colour part. He was a reenactor and that colour part was bothering him a lot.

If it was something else, I would not buy the gun, but the colour part is something I can make very easily. I made a model like always, of course, and rendered and exported as a stl file. I sent this file to a 3D printer owner and asked to print like I said so.

This was the first model I gave to him. Unfortunately, his 3D printer was not so accurate enough. The 3D printer owner sent me an email describing what the problem is.
It looks a little better with the 0.25 mm nozzle. The biggest problem is actually going to be that one central groove, rather than the small ribs, as that makes me need to use some support material (black).

So I suggested to change the model a bit. I removed the central groove.
This was a bit of big loss for me since what made MP40's muzzle special was that central groove. However, I had to understand that primary reason for getting this muzzle is to have a colour part for this airsoft gun.

Then, I sent the new 3D model to the owner.

When the part finally arrived, I had to do some sandpaper works and other dimension checking. I gave enough tolerance for these muzzles, but it seemed like that 25mm nozzle was not necessarily accurate enough even with the tolerances I suggested.

Since I had no sandpapers at my home, I had to use a dial caliper's needles to somewhat cut through the inside surface of the muzzles.

I have two muzzles: one black and one orange.
I will put orange muzzle (colour part) all the time when I bring this gun outside. The black muzzle is to make the gun real and to satisfy me while I hang this gun on a wall.

Muzzles are not the best qualities I can make, but do their jobs.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Practicing the Piano a Lot

I did learn how to play the piano when I was about 11 years old I think. At that age, I was really not fascinated by the piano. My parents would force me to go to a piano academy. At least, I learned how to read music sheets; I was not good at moving fingers fast enough to perform a song that can really impress my parents. I told my parents that I did not want to continue on about half a year after I started the academy. They did not refuse it and pulled me out from the academy.

I did not regret such decision. After all, it was MY decision.

Now I am in college. A lot of opportunities I can have. What can be a good hobby that can improve my character and image? What is a hobby that I always aspired?! I had a couple of answers to these questions. Playing the piano was one of them.

It is not that I suddenly wanted to play the piano when I entered the college. I somehow started to show interest on the pianos since my middle school. I listened to a lot of pop music played with the piano. Backstreet Boys was one of them. No, Backstreet Boys was always there in my middle school time.

A song, I still remember, 'Incomplete' really made me to play the piano again. I printed music sheets first and started to study them. Wait, but this attempt soon failed because I forgot the most important thing--I did not have the piano. The piano is a very expensive musical instrument. Takes a lot of space, needs tricky maintenance, and etc. I gave up playing the piano then. Completely. Because there was no way that I can get the piano to practice.

After an unexpected journey to the U.S. and decision to enter college, now I have a full access to the university including the Music Department!

You see that the time I enjoyed Backstreet Boys was a few years ago. Meanwhile, I quickly changed my interest in a more classic and quieter way: Yanni. Actually, this was an influence from my father. He would listen to Yanni sometimes on TV. Yanni live at Acropolis was the best one I remember. I thought rather than practicing a song that only I know but practicing a song that my father would know as well as I enjoy would be a great idea.

So here I am. Last nearly 5 months, I practiced Yanni's songs only.
The following is the songs I practiced and completely memorized. Yet, may need some more practices since my fingers just would not move quickly.
- Until the Last Moment
- One Man's Dream
- So Long My Friend

Rain Must Fall is still in progress! If I master this song successfully, it will replace Until the Last Moment as my priority piece. My ultimate plan is to play all songs I practiced in front of my father, whom he will understand and appreciate my play.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Getting Ready for Christmas!

Christmas is coming.
I will be traveling back to home to see my family.
Last time I went back was last year's Summer.
They are very much excited as I am.
From New Hampshire, on the day of Thanksgiving, Nov 26th.

Bought Sword Art Online Progressive 1-3 books

I thought it would be interesting to read these Japanese books in English. The main purpose of buying these books was to give my friend back in South Korea. Yes, there are books translated into Korean, but it is always interesting to get the same books with same contents but in a different language.

I do like this series by the way. While I have these in my hand, I may read them a bit. Last time I read these books was probably about 5-6 years ago. I would normally read Korean translated books, but at this point of situation, it leaves me no choice but to read these English translated books if I want to read them. Because there is just no way for me to get a Korean translated one!

Good quality. But, some of the words are Japanese proper nouns. The books do not necessarily explain them. Even Korean translated version sometimes struggle to translate those nouns into Korean. Then, how about in the case of English? Korea has closer relation and similarity in culture and language a bit at least; I do not know about the English though.

I already encountered some of the proper nouns that I do not understand! I would simply search on Google, but that is a painful way of reading these books. However, I see no other ways for now.

Good book. Hard to read just because of proper nouns of Japanese.