Of course, since there was something happening in the sky at night, it was cloudy, then rainy at my house.  The sky did clear enough for me get these lame pictures with my point-and-shoot.  I didn’t feel ripped-off, but it was a lot less impressive than I imagined it would be.  In the long shot, that’s Mars at the top of the frame, and some unknown star to the right of the moon. Continue reading ‘Gesshoku’

Solo St Lous

Was almost going to give up on a ride, but Chris will be glad to know I went. I took a peek outside when work was done and saw how beautiful it was. I’m healthy, I don’t have wimmin problems, I don’t have a p p puppy, f it, I’m going riding! Continue reading ‘Solo St Lous’

Going Euro

So this is what the mailman brought today. Yes, it came USPS Priority Mail. Not exactly cheap, but it was fast, it shipped from the UK on Wednesday. UK? Yes I had to call out to over the other side of the globe to find this rally stuff. It just isn’t very big here in the USA so selection is limited. I was taking abit of a leap of faith on these parts, I didn’t really know where they were made. I was pretty sure the rims were made somewhere in the EU. Turns out they are made in Italy. Not sure how to feel about that, but the brand has been around for a long time. They came with a set of aluminum hub centric spacers of the correct size for the FX that get retained by a spring clip into the wheel, nice! Also full set of extended shank lug nuts, but cap ends so I can’t use them with my extra long ARP studs. Oh well. Continue reading ‘Going Euro’

Oh, Snap!

I’m lying head downslope in knee-deep powder looking up the underside of a leafless tree canopy, the sharp pain in my front leg beginning to dull with the onset of the adrenaline rush.  I manage to get my board untangled from the ice-ball rock garden that I have wandered into and try to rub out the Charley Horse in my right quad.  I know from the dullness this isn’t going to be a minor injury, so I focus on getting the board under me and traversing out of the sidecountry and onto a groomed course before I go shocky and black out in the worst-case-scenario.  I am a little wobbly, but the leg doesn’t fold under the weight.  I complete the drop into the little bowl I was S-turning down onto when I found the icy Linga of Death, crossing a little gulley and toe-siding out to the Echo course.  After a little breather, I ride out to the base. Continue reading ‘Oh, Snap!’

Just a Little Bit(ch)

Back from dealing with buffet sensou with yelling Chinese tourists in Noboribetsu.  Figured going to a less-known property would be a safer bet against the throngs of foreign tourists, but apparently where we went was specifically marketing themselves toward the package foreign market.  Onsen itself was not bad, though the scenery was lame, and the baths themselves set in the concrete industrial underside of the hotel.  Had some good gyutan for lunch in a new place in the basement of JR Sapporo-eki, North of the Mexican restaurant.  Dinner was at an unremarkable ramen-ya.  Organic, but not all that good.  If you like niboshi-based broth, you’ll like it, but if you lean more toward chicken bone or pork bone bases, you’ll find it painfully fishy.  I guess I’m not too upset I forgot both my camera and phone in the rush to get dinner.  It’s in Maruyama, around the corner from the second location that Bozu was in before he went under.  The place screams, “former salaryman with a dream to open a ramen restaurant”.  There was a centimeter or two of new snow in town, so that might be enough to get me motivated to catch the bus out to Kokusai tomorrow.

Layering Test 5

Yesterday’s high was between +5C and +7C.  The wind was pretty minimal.  Patagonia Capilene 2 long bottoms under Marmot Hatteras nylon canvas pants were fine.  On top I had a Capilene 1 silkweight tee, a Capilene 3 quarter-zip long-sleeve, and R1 hoody.  That ranged from about right to too warm.  The zippers on both the long-sleeve and hoodie helped regulate the temperature.  It would be nice if there was a R1-weight piece with the lighter-weight micro-grid fabric on the entire back for use with a pack.  In the evening on the walk to dinner, I deleted the Capilene 3 long-sleeve since I’d be indoors for a long period and didn’t want to overheat.  It was a bit cold, as the temperatures dropped toward the evening low of +2C after the sun went down, and the wind came up to 5-10 m/s.  It was fine for the short walk, but anything more would have been uncomfortable.  As a side note, the Capilene 3 long-sleeve doesn’t play well with the R1 fleece – their surfaces bind against each other, making it hard to put the R1 on without the baselayer sleeves getting all bunched up, or the fleece’s back getting hung up across the shoulders. Continue reading ‘Layering Test 5′

Wet and Messy

The warm weather has made all the unremoved snow in the streets melt and the vehicular traffic has churned it into a brown slurry.  The snowpack on the sidewalks are corny slush in the sun or slick ice-slides in the shade.  I’ll never understand the half-measures in this city.  It’s not like it has never snowed before.  It’s not like they don’t have front-end loaders and dump trucks.  They’ll clear the center turn lane and the inner traffic lanes of a four-lane highway, but leave mountainous piles of snow in the outer lanes.  I can understand just getting some lanes open immediately after a blizzard, but that’s where the work stops.  They don’t clear the remaining mess in subsequent days and it just keeps piling up.  When the temperatures drop next week, all that slush in the streets will harden up into an ankle-twisting egg-crate of ice. Continue reading ‘Wet and Messy’

Toy Case?

If you need a protective case for carrying around your detachable “junk” (in the case of King Missile), or extra “unit” (in the case of Hide), here’s the solution for your needs!

Beer is Good – Sapporo 2013 Furano Vintage Classic

I didn’t get to drink this last November, so it’s been waiting faithfully in the refrigerator for me until now.  This limited seasonal from Sapporo Breweries is distinguished by its use of freshly picked hops (Tsumitate nama hop shiyou) grown in Furano, Hokkaido for a wonderful burst of Pilsen-bitter.  The decoction is essentially the same as other Sapporo lager products, so the taste-bud-pleasing maltiness is similar to their other products.  The carbonation in the glass after the pour is fleeting with no significant head, but there is still bubbling on the tongue when imbibed.  This is a very good production beer.  I like it better than the Suntory Malts Premium Pilsener, which is unfortunate, since I’ll never be able to get it again!  Launching at the end of April, there is a similar Sapporo Kuro Label The Hokkaido that is using both the Furano hops and Hokkaido-grown barley.  That one is both a limited edition and Hokkaido limited sales product.  With any luck, I’ll get to try that one too.  Here’s hoping! Continue reading ‘Beer is Good – Sapporo 2013 Furano Vintage Classic’

MOS Karamiso Chicken Burger

Wow.  That’s the tenderest whole chicken sandwich I’ve ever had.  One of the current seasonal selections at MOS Burger is the Karamiso (spicy miso) Chicken Burger.  This one takes a little bit to arrive, since they grill up the chicken when you order the sandwich.  Topped with a special sauce made from a blend of three kinds of miso - spicy Korean kochujang, sweet Chinese tianmianjiang, and sweet Kyoto-style miso – blended with aibiki (ground beef and pork), carrot, onion, and other vegetables, the juicy chicken thigh sits atop cabbage in a soft bun.  The sweet and spicy sauce and the crisp, sweet cabbage balance the salty savoriness of the marinated, teriyaki-style chicken. Continue reading ‘MOS Karamiso Chicken Burger’