Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weapons of Mass Distraction - Surviving the Commuter War

Those of you who have been following my series on the commuter terrorists waging their war on the Tokyo train-lines, must realize that it would be foolish to venture out to the subway/train battleground without any weapons of my own.

After buying the house and increasing the commuting time, the need to stock up on defensive weapons became even more urgent. Now I have amassed quite the arsenal of Weapons of Mass Distraction to keep me somewhat entertained and shielded from the horrors of the commuting war. There are three primary weapons at my disposal;

1. The iPod
The iPod (not touch, the older version) comes into use mostly for listening to music during the trek to and from the station and while waiting for the train. If the train is extremely crowded and both hands are needed to hold my ground I use the iPod as a last-line defense. In the past I have also turned to audio books and podcasts/radio shows and although it is some relief, it does not completely shield me from the war. Although the iPod I own is capable of video playback, I find the screen to be too small to watch anything meaningful on.

2. The PSP
The PSP is probably my most utilized WMD as the relatively small size makes it comfortable to hold with one hand and can be managed even in very crowded trains. I very rarely use it to play games on, partly due to the lack of interesting games and partly due to the need to hold it with both hands, making it more difficult during crowded trains, instead I use it to watch downloaded TV shows (and sometimes movies). Assuming I have some fun/interesting stuff to watch this can be a very potent weapon and make me actually look forward to the train ride as time to watch TV shows is limited otherwise. Currently I'm watching the show Dexter as recommended by the Big Bro and I find it very much entertaining, but as I work my way through two episodes/day on the train I will finish up the available five seasons very soon and will need to find some other stuff... I am very much looking forward to Sony releasing the next-generation PSP "Vita" by the end of the year since I have hopes that some more amusing games will be available.

3. The iPad
Ok, generally speaking, the iPad is the greatest thing ever (or at least the iPad 2 that I have, have never used the first version) but it's not really optimized for the train battles as it is a bit too heavy to comfortably hold with one hand while under attack from all fronts. The iPad mostly come into use during those rare occasions when I get the chance to sit down and get a little more space and can use it to read comic books, books and play some of the more entertaining games I have for it.

If I realize that I have left the house forgetting any of the above I am in for a rough time... I do however only use my WMDs for defensive purposes and even keep the volume down reasonably low as to not disturb my comrade in arms.


Chris said...

Ipad2 FTW!!!
Mine is becoming a distraction but I use it in the class all the time and it's just so bad ass!!

Anonymous said...

My galaxy tab is lighter...can be held with one hand. KAPOW! Its my little princess, I read with it, listen to music, watch movies...I would really get VERY bored without it

The Kid said...

Would you like to get more visitors from Tokyo?

Submit your blog RSS url in This is a one time submission. This would automatically submit a preview of your latest blogpost in Tokyo with a link back to your blog.

Enjoy more traffic from Tokyo :-)

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - Yep, gotta love the iPad. We had a really intense relationship the first month where we spent basically all our time together. Now it has cooled off a bit, but he's still a very good companion and support. Without my iPad buddy, my life now would just fall apart, that's how much I've come to depend on my little flat buddy!

Canthushme - I would be fine with another table as well, it's just that the design and iTunes store for the iPad is so user friendly. I have an android phone (the work phone) but I'm so used to the iPod, iPad interface that it's hard to change.

The Kid - Thank's, I'll check it out

Chili Size said...

You forgot "the book."

I come from a largish city in the western US. And I love to drive, but not to work.

An hour (or more) in a jammed up in a Tokyo train car is no fun, but at the end of it, you usually get where you are going and get there on time.

An hour in a traffic jam is a crap shoot.

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