Get a therapeutic treatment to your emotional problems

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Family Life | Posted on 29-12-2016

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A lot of debates have been making rounds in the market regarding the contribution of pets in providing therapeutic benefits to disabled patients. While many people try to establish that it is just a myth but in practical life it has proved to be quite advantageous for people with emotional and mental instability. It has been observed in a number of instances that people are registering their pets to qualify them as emotional support animals to help them recover from an emotional and mental turmoil. This has led to the arousal of confusion and distrust among a certain section of the society who are hesitant to understand the legitimacy of the law.

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Since most public places and accommodations restrict the presence of such pets, the owner needs to comply with certain rules and regulations relating to such ESA certified pet. For those who want to register emotional support animal need not require their pets to be professionally trained as they are known to provide an emotional support just by being around its owner with disability. This has led to a significant distinction between emotional support animals and service dogs that are trained to carry out particular services.

Allowing an ESA in Housing

There are several legal procedures by which an animal can be allowed as an ESA, each one varying depending upon the prevailing laws in that particular state. In order to get a detailed report on the legality of a specific situation, a qualified attorney must be consulted. It should also be remembered that all housing are not covered under the FHAA guidelines such as I ceases when the housing is owned by a religious entity or there are three unit or less in which case the landlord is not liable to accommodate such pet.

Certain steps need to be followed to comply with the housing laws. The first and foremost step is to obtain a medical certificate from a mental physician authorizing the need for an emotional support animal. Then the prevailing laws for an ESA in a No Pet housing society should be known for which a letter of accommodation is to be submitted. Upon presentation of the necessary documents the landlord needs to provide an acceptance and approval letter to the tenant permitting him to accommodate such a pet in his housing complex.

Facts to be considered by housing provider

Apart from the ESA certificate provided by the owner of the pet, the landlord needs to look into a couple of other things to accommodate such pet. The first consideration is the intensity of the requirement of such a pet for therapeutic treatment. This can be known from the medical certificate provided by the owner from an authorized physician where it is clearly mentioned to register emotional support animal for assistance of the person suffering from disability. The next consideration is whether the pet actually contributes towards alleviating any mental instability of the owner. If both the above conditions are satisfied the landlord is compelled to allow such pet in his accommodation.

12 Steps to Financially Safe-Guard Your Home and your Kitten

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Family Life | Posted on 01-02-2012

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Start by looking at your home from the eyes of a curious, playful fur ball and consider what’s worth protecting

You will certainly be excited when you first bring your cute, net kitten home. However, owning a kitten is like having a newborn around the house—one that gets into everything and one that can, potentially, cost you a bundle! Having a new pet involves is a huge responsibility and cost, especially if that pet is an active, playful, curious and mischievous kitten. Unfortunately, a kitten’s natural curiosity can be fatal and costly to it’s new owner if you don’t kitten-proof your home ahead of their arrival to safe-guard your belongings and kitten’s wellbeing.

The key to kitten-proofing is to look at your home through the eyes of a curious cat. Pick out everything that looks like a fun toy—it could include needles and thread, electrical cords, etc.—and if it’s something that could be dangerous put it out of kitten’s reach or get rid of it. Or else you can expect your kitten will need to be rushed to the veterinarian to dislodge something from its throat. Emergency vet surgery is not only extremely costly, ranging from $600 to $1,600 for an obstruction in the throat or bowel, plus the Canadian drugs to treat your kitten, which can cost hundreds of dollars, even when purchased online. Unfortunately, strewn objects left around the home can also end in the tragic death of your beloved new pet.

Each room in your home will have dangers in store for a curious, playful feline. That’s why I’ve put together the following 12-step guide to kitten proofing your home…

Step 1

Explore your home for items that kitty might break and for harmful substances that he or she could eat. Don’t forget to look on high shelves and in hidden nooks. Don’t underestimate a high spot a kitten can jump to or squeeze into—if you can see it; they can reach it!

Step 2

Keep small items that kitten might ingest locked away in air-tight containers. This includes items like needles and thread, holiday ribbon, hair ties, and anything stringy that might appear a plaything to a small cat.

Step 3

Tuck away the cords to your window blinds or curtains. Your cat will jump to play with these and will be strangled if he or she gets tangled up. Simply tuck and tie cords using a rubber band so they don’t’ hang down.

Step 4

Trust me when I say that air-tight wastebaskets and kitchen garbage cans will be your saving grace—that’s if you don’t want kitten littering through your garbage and eating whatever he or she finds. Or else kitten may end up in emergency getting his or her tummy pumped or taking a costly remedy for indigestion.

Step 5

Keep your dryer door closed. Kittens seek out dark, warm places to hide and to sleep because it makes them feel secure. However, if your kitten hides in the dryer and can’t get out, they could die.

Step 6

Same goes for your cupboard doors and dresser drawers—if a cat can get inside to snoop, he or she will. Kittens limbs can be broken or injured you close a drawer and they can eat toxic cleaners kept under your sink. Use baby-safe fasteners if your cabinets don’t shut tight.

Step 7

You know that the toilet is not for drinking, but kitty doesn’t. So keep the lid down to stop kitten from falling in and drowning or injuring him or herself.

Step 8

Keep things like antifreeze in a separate shed or garage with the door closed. Anti-freeze, although tasty to cats and dogs is fatal when ingested. Plus fomepizole, the drug used to treat antifreeze toxicity in pets costs about $240 per vial (with multiple vials required based on toxicity levels and pet weight).

Step 9

Cover or tuck electric cords under the wall trim to avoid any playful bites from kitten.

Step 10

Check online to see if your household plants are toxic to cats. If there are green leaves, your kitten will chew on these, but plants like lilies and poinsettias are poisonous.

Step 11

Change to animal-safe household products—such as insect repellant, floor cleaner, window cleaner and counter-top sanitizer.

Step 12

If your kitten is a little too curious for his or her own good, use a natural, animal-friendly bitter Apple or lemon scented spray, which cats dislike, to deter them.

Post by Brenda

Getting Unemployment Benefit in Japan

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Posted by jamie | Posted in Family Life, Personal Finance | Posted on 19-09-2009

My contract with the university I was working at wasn’t extended last month, but there’s no chance in hell I’m going home. I’m getting married next month, and my future wife is a student here until March so that’s just not an option. My Visa problems aside, I planning on using this and the next few months to perform a major career change operation, so I need to receive unemployment benefits in the meantime.

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Change your internet and get gift vouchers, or a Wii

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Posted by jamie | Posted in -Featured-, Family Life, internet | Posted on 04-06-2009

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Japanese internet is the best in the world, hands-down. But if you’re moving house or if you’ve had your internet contract for over 2 years, I strongly suggest you head to your nearest electronics store and change your internet provider. Having recently moved, we went into town to get signed up for some high speed internets. Since this is something we were going to be getting no matter what, I was eager to take advantage of any offer or campaign we could. We ended up getting 20,000 yen worth of BicCamera vouchers for signing up in-store for NTT hikari-fibre 100mb connection (the price is the same by the way, whether you sign up in store or phone them directly). The only catch was that we had to sign up for cable television for at least 3 months too, the first two months of which was free and of which the 3rd month cost us 6,000 yen; and the fact that we are locked into a two-year contract. Still, with the extortionate key-money and deposit we payed on this place you can be damn sure we’re not moving for at least two years. So after canceling the worthless cable TV today, we still ended up 14,000 yen in the positive – which we promptly used to buy a second-hand Nintendo Wii! We later found out that BicCamera was also running a similar campaign where you could just get a Wii instead of the vouchers, so I guess you might want to look into the deals a little bit more than we did.

Who is your current provider, and how good is it? Any plans to change? In my own experience, NTT hikari lines are by far the fastest – I had a Yahoo BB ADSL connection when I first came here, but the speed was pathetic and often it would just disconnect – I’ve only ever heard complaints from friends with regard to their BB connection too. I guess it’s pretty obvious when you consider that NTT brings a dedicated fiber-optic cable into your house while Yahoo/Softbank BB is essentially running through a standard telephone line. BB do seem to advertise better though – reminds me of the old days where any magazine you bought would have an AOL cd attached – carpet bomb marketing I guess you could call it.

Rent a house, not an apartment – a cost comparison

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Posted by jamie | Posted in -Featured-, Family Life | Posted on 31-03-2009

tinyapartmentApartments in Japan are ridiculously tiny and astronomically expensive. If you can afford to spare an extra 20,000 or 30,000 yen a month I really recommend you look into renting a house when your lease is next up. Initial moving-in costs like key money and deposit are similar to an apartment. If you can get a friend to move in with you you’ll find the cost per person is actually less per month than you were paying for a rat-cage apartment, only you get a whole lot more space – and if you’d rather live alone you’ll be paying only a little more for a lot more space.

The house may be a little older than a similar priced apartment, but a home is what you make of it. You may also find you have free parking with a house, so it’s definitely a cheaper option if you’re currently paying for a separate parking space like I have in the past. You’re unlikely to find a house in the central city area if that’s a big point for you; but you’ll also find life a few kilometres out of the centre is a lot more peaceful and relaxed.

Cost Comparison:

Here’s a breakdown of the situation for my current house and previous apartment to give you a ballpark idea.

Apartment:
Location – central Kyoto, 5 minutes from Hankyu Omiya station
Rent: ¥ 50,000 / month + ¥5,000 parking fee for motorbike
Deposit + key money: ¥ 150,000
Size: 8 mat main room, tiny kitchen/genkan area, low ceiling bed sized loft space for sleeping, small veranda.
Notes: annoying landlord lives next door; wall to next apartment very thin

My Current House:
Location – North Eastern Kyoto, 5 minutes from Demachiyanagi Keihan station. Next to Kamogawa river.
Rent: ¥ 65,000 / month
Deposit and key money: ¥ 200,000
Size: 10 mat bedroom, 8 mat bedroom, 10 mat living room, 8 mat kitchen, 8 mat low-ceiling loft for storage, separate bathroom and toilet, 3 verandas, parking space for one car (or many motorbikes!)

I’m currently living with my girlfriend who is still a university student, so the house is big enough for the both of us and I’m able to pay all the rent myself to save her some money towards tuition. We also currently have someone renting one room for a nominal amount of rent, and it doesn’t feel cramped at all. As for getting into the very centre of town, it only takes about 5 minutes longer than when I lived in the apartment due to Japan’s awesome public transport – and truth be told, there’s a lot more to do out of town than in!

Do you rent or own a house in Japan? Let me know in the comments about how much it cost you and much cooler it than the apartment you were crammed into when you first came to Japan! If your still living in an apartment, what’s holding you back? Is it big enough for you?

Get some wheels (part 1): K-Cars

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Posted by Daniel | Posted in -Featured-, Family Life, Trash | Posted on 13-03-2009

This is the first post from our new author Leon. Leon is a web developer and is raising a family in Japan, so he knows all too well the importance of frugality. Be sure to leave and comment, and if you’d like to hear more from Leon and I, then subscribe to the feed!


Being frugal about your transport in Japan takes a little knowledge. I prefer a motorbike for everyday use, but I also have a car for the family and transporting stuff around.

While you can pick up a late model car for a fraction of what it would cost you back home, you need to be aware of the fees structure here. A 5-door regular sedan will cost you upwards of ¥100,000 a year for registration, taxes and jibaiseki (mandatory 3rd party insurance).

A “k-car” or keijidousha on the other hand – which is any car with about 660cc of grunt – will only set you back a few man per year for the same.

It is usually easier to find a good price on a futsusha, regular sedan or bigger car. But when you factor in the increase in fuel, fees and parts costs, the total cost of ownership of a k-car will be significantly lower.

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K-cars also get a discount when you use highways or toll roads. A ¥700 toll, for example would usually be ¥500 yen in a k-car (or 250cc motorbike!). Keep in mind though that k-cars are only allowed to carry 4 people at a time, including the driver for a combined weight of I think 200 – 350kgs.

When buying a car, I strongly encourage budding frugalistas to pay the extra for nihoken or 2nd level insurance. This is similar to fully comprehensive cover back home and there are various plans available. Why spend the extra money? The mandatory jibaiseki, which is illegal to drive without, only covers you up to ¥1,000,000. The minimum cost of damages just for hitting a jidouhanbaiki (a vending machine) is ¥5,000,000! You can imagine how many more lifetimes worth of pay-checks you will be paying if you injure a real person!

As with all frugal things and life in general: failing to plan is planning to fail.

Stay tuned for a follow up on 2-wheeled frugalistic fun!