Monday, December 29, 2008

Loving You Whether, Whether, Times Are Good Or Bad Happy Or Sad

Been in Anchorage since Christmas Eve. Kia managed to get us on an earlier flight out of SF on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas day and I have to say I am pretty damned glad for the extra 24 hours in Alaska. Its bitter cold out and there are a couple feet of snow on the ground at this point and its just about perfect for the holidays. Cold enough that if you go outside and do something you feel a true sense of accomplishment. Also cold enough that if you stay inside you feel absolutely no guilt about that decision. The house is great. Jason, Heather and the kids are about totally moved in and it feels like a real home. Now about the lighthouse wallpaper....
Anyway, its been a fun few days. Lots of time with the nephews and a night out with the friends who are up from out of state for the holidays. We are doing the fourth and final gift exchange event with my family this evening as my brother got in last night from the slope. Making eggs benedict for dinner, uh, yum.
Went for a snowshoe (I think this word can be used as a verb) yesterday afternoon and have some pictures of my beard crusted up with a mixture of snot and frozen breath. Look forward to that.
OK, it looks like I just washed Kia's Razr in the load I put in. Doh! It looks like someone may have just inherited my Christmas gift of a G1. On the other hand, we do have another Razr at home....
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Just Keep On Dune Methane

A week and a half since my last post is a long time. Tough noogies.
Work has been busy the last few weeks but a lot of fun.  I have been adjusting well - in my opinion - to Tokyo so far and have been having a blast.  Work is picking up a bit so there is lots to do and I am beginning to feel like the 5 months is going to go very fast.
That said, I'm not in Japan right now.  Some of you might be saying to yourselves, of course you're not in Japan, you're supposed to be in Alaska (thanks for taking the extra interest in my schedule).  To those people I would say, yes, yes I should be in Alaska and where am I actually?  Sitting on my couch in SF.  Now, lets be clear here, there are a ton worse places than sitting on my couch in San Francisco, I mean, I could be stuck in Seattle with no hotel rooms availble.  Quite frankly though, I would prefer to be in Anchorage at this point with my family.  My flight was canceled yesterday and the next available booking is on Christmas day.  Merry frickin' Christmas.  Now, not to get everyone too out of the Christmas spirit here but what really steams my ass about this situation is that apparently flights are going into and out of Seattle.  Yeah, its not like the airport is closed or anything.  Here is the big problem:

"The big problem, according to the airlines, has to do with the lack of de-icer. Alaska announced they may not have another shipment of deicer come in until today. The constant snowfall is another issue."

Seriously?  De-icer?  This is Alaska airlines here people, you should have like emergency reserves of de-icer and be controlling how much of it goes into the market like OPEC.  Good gravy.  So Kia and I spent the day trying to get through on Alaska airlines number yesterday and by the time we got through all they had left was Christmas day.  Again, could be worse so I will try not to gripe too hard here.
Updated some photos on the ol' picasaweb thing.  I consolidated all of my Tokyo photos to one folder as the separated folders was becoming a bit annoying to navigate but now I need to caption some of the photos so I don't forget where they came from.
For those of you who made it home for the holidays, enjoy - jerks.  For those of you still in the bay area either by choice or not, hit me up, I am going to begin swilling some spiked egg nog with the quickness.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Microphone Mixmasters, Make Money From Music

Wednesday down.  Work has been good and I am feeling pretty settled into life in Tokyo.  Just in time to get on a plane next Friday for the holidays back to Alaska.  I am pretty pumped for Christmas both because I get to visit with my family and because Kia and I get to stay in the house we just bought.  We closed on it a few days ago and my brother and his family should be moved in by now - I think.
Rahul has been in town this week which has been nice because it has meant that we have gone out almost every night.  We went to the arcade and udon last night and we went shopping and ate sushi tonight.  The sushi was awesome, udon too.
Need to do some shopping this weekend for holiday stuff.  We went to a store called Don Quixote or Donki for short this evening and it had some awesome stuff.  Maybe I will head back and look for some gifts.  
Anyway, things are good.  I have been learning about Japanese sports, video games and television shows - all the important stuff.  For those of you who watch this gameshow in the US it is apparently a take on a Japanese gameshow called Takeshi's Castle which has long since been off the air but we had fun at lunch today comparing notes on which events we all remembered from the show.
Lots of interesting things to report but maybe I shouldn't try to pack them all into one blog post.  I should pace myself.

FYI - this movie looks awesome:

I was showing the team some of the Japanese gameshow videos that Dave showed me back in Mountain View which are funny as hell.  I didn't show them this one, so a bonus for team members who follow my blog - credit goes to David.

The beginning is awesome but I lost some interest after the bad smell one.  If you watch any of them skip to 7:45 to watch the "old man biting tenderly".  Holy cow that's nuts.
I like the fact that some of them pretend to read inbetween. 
OK, getting late.  

Thursday, December 04, 2008

We Are Strong, No One Can Tell Us We're Wrong

Just got back from an evening of Pachinko and Japanese pancakes.  I have to say.  I am loving Tokyo at this point.  The team has been super awesome about showing me around.  In fact, last night we went to a videogame arcatde so between yesterday and today I feel like I have figured out some very quick ways to drop cash in Tokyo.  
For those of you who haven't eaten Japanese pancakes or okonomiyaki it is a magical food which both tastes delicious and I believe is the cure for the common cold.  Perhaps my Japanese comprehension needs some work though.
Pachinko and the Japanese arcade were pretty awesome too.  I managed to drop a fair amount of cash pretty quickly at pachinko meaning that I probably won't return anytime soon.  Hiroyuki from the team here is apparently quite the pachinko expert.  He did really well while the rest of us busted out within the first 15 minutes.  The pachinko parlor was intense though, extremely loud and smokey and filled with people who were taking the pachinko thing very seriously.  The arcade was actually quite similar in terms of the noise and visual stimulation.  It was awesome.  
Watching the Patriots/Steelers game on Japanese tv and it looks pretty damned cold in New England.  I think maybe I will try to watch all my NFL games in Japanese from now on. 
OK, so I was watching South Park online the other night and they had a scene where the town came together and sang "Love Is A Battlefield".  It reminded me of this clip (one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time):

Pete Rock is a freaky genius. Credit goes to Beniquez for showing me this clip something like two years ago now.
Oh and here is the original Pat Benatar video. This song is pretty bonkers. Yeah I said it.

Yeah, that video features a pretty intense dance off.  If you don't know, now you know.
OK bedtime. Keep it grimey

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ready To Rock 'Em Sock 'Em

Uploaded and sorted through the most recent photos.  You'll notice that all the photos were taken at dusk or night.  I really need to start getting my day started a little earlier on the weekends.  Living the dream, oh yes, living the dream.
OK, some photos.

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Walking around Harajuku after the park.
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Saw some cool stuff but more importantly got a little more comfortable being mobile in Tokyo.  The subway was cake and people have been really friendly everywhere I have gone so far.
OK, grind hard.