Monthly Archive for September, 2008

Go Team SNM!

Not a bad showing by the SNM boys!

I think this is the second time I ever got money for photos. Good for some beer money, or 1% toward the Canon 5DmkII.

Honestly, Ladies – there are only three places in Hawaii (above 3000M elevation on Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Haleakala) that it gets even remotely cold enough to wear Ugg boots! Stinky Feet! Tinea Pedis! Icky!


Honolulu Lolo

Hit the ground running. Landed at 07:19 and I was back at work at 08:20. The one hour of sleep on the plane should be catching up to me right about now…

Happy Bird – Kohnotori

This past thursday’s dinner out with the boys was just Derek and me. Our initial phone conversations were indecisive on where we wanted to eat. After tossing some ideas around, it came down to thai or that “inexpensive izakaya place you went to before Derek.” Not having been there myself, I suggested I pick up D from UH and we could decide from there, with the izakaya as first choice. We found decent parking on street, just a short walk. Walking is good for you! Go to Japan, it’s the way to go there. People here are so lazy! Like how all the fitness buff canoe paddlers parked their cars along the road in the beach park when there was a virtually empty parking lot that the road leads to. Anyway, it’s early so we walk to newly opened Ninja Market (Nijiya Market) to check it out, we’ll blog about it sometime. Continue reading ‘Happy Bird – Kohnotori’

No Temporal Beings

Got back from Hakodate yesterday. It’s quite a distance from Sapporo, so a fair amount of determination is required if you really want to go there. I don’t personally see myself going out that way again for a long time. On our first day there, we went to Goryoukaku (5-sided fort) and had some good ramen out that way. Hakodate = shio-aji ramen, at least that’s what the tourism authority wants you to believe. Okay, if you were wondering, that distinction is not exactly only “salt flavor”. Keep in mind that even shoyu-aji and miso-aji ramen soup base is initially chicken and or pork based soup with those flavoring adjuncts added. Shio-aji essentially has just the soup base flavoring. In the evening, we went up the ropeway to Hakodateyama. It was a little late and dark, so I didn’t get to go down the road a bit to the old WWII military gun emplacements and magazine tunnels that I wanted to see. I did get a fair amount of otaku-related photography of the ropeway station and the churches and structures at the bottom, though. On the way back to the Hotel, we had dinner at the Hakodate Beer brewhall, along with sampler sets of their current beers, a weiss, an alt, an ale, and some bitter blond German-style brew whose name escapes me at the moment. Continue reading ‘No Temporal Beings’

Musubi Man, Mana Bu’s

Earlier this week, Derek mentioned this newish place on King Street, Mana Bu’s. They do musubi/onigiri. And that’s it. Actually they do offer some salads and desert items, but the main deal is musubi. Not the mashed together refridgerated bricks of white rice, but carefully crafted triangles of good rice and grains combined with various ingredients. I popped in to check it out and try a sampling. Here’s a tip, go early. I got there at 12:30, and already most of the varieties were sold out. It seems their signature is the 10 grain musubi. Manabu-san’s got it figured out just right to somehow keep all those grains sticking together into a cohesive musubi. It’s quite interesting with the texture and slight nuttyness that the grain medley lends to the musubi, not to mention boosting the healthy factor. They also almost analretentively list the origins of almost all the ingredients. And he manages to price it at $1.50! I’m sure if some yup cali shop were to sell this, they’d upcharge it and sell it with boutique factor. I bought a 10 grain hijiki and 10 grain baked spicy poke. Both tasty. Flavors are more on the subtle side, reflecting a more Japanese palate rather than a heavy local leaning. The hijiki is on the sweet side, would go great with something salty, maybe some fried chicken/karage. Which brings me to one thing, there are no okazu here, so you’ll be doing either a lightish meal, or you’ll need to go elsewhere to find stuff to fill out your picnic. Maybe go down the street a bit to Gulick Deli.

3 out of 5 fairly healthy monkeys (I like to use a 5 monkey scale, yes I know, spank the naughty monkeys for not being consistent)

Mana Bu’s is located on King Street, just Diamond Head of the King-Punahou intersection in the little strip of shops with Baskin Robbins. Take out only, no seating for eating in shop.

Feet Dry

Landed in Narita no problem yesterday, but there was a traffic jam on the ramp, probably due to various complications from Taifuu 13-ban. We were parked a while until our parking spot became available. The kokunai connection boarded smoothly on time, but again, we were beset with ground delays in actually getting from the gate to the runway. The typhoon seems to have turned East out to sea after drenching central Honshuu, so it is unlikely that it will have any ill effects in store for me in Hakodate today.

Off to Japan Again

I fly out tomorrow to Sapporo. Hopefully all goes well. It will be a short trip, this time busing and training around Southwest Hokkaido (Hakodate and Matsumae) over the long weekend. I’m not really sure if I’ll have web access to post while on the road, but I’ll try whenever possible.

Beer Is Good – Onuma Brewery Alt

Onuma Alt frontOnuma Alt colorAltbiers are old-style beers that use top-fermenting yeasts like ales, but the yeasts are active at warmer temperatures. This altbier from Onuma Brewery in Southwest Hokkaido has a light malt flavor, and a bitter note, typical of the variety. There is not much of a sweet/fruity/flowery flavor from the hops – only the bitter. The color and flavor is rather similar to a pale ale, like Niseko Beer’s Canadian Ale. The initial flavor is dry and bright, with the bitter in the middle, and the maltiness in the finish. The carbonation is low. Continue reading ‘Beer Is Good – Onuma Brewery Alt’

Hazy Days

Just when I thought the sweltering dog-days of Summer were at an end, the winds all but went away, bringing with it early afternoon convective downpours and an influx of Big Island vog. The Trades have returned overnight, so the haze has broken up. Hopefully the nighttime temperatures will drop too.  It’s aggravating having been rained out on a bunch of weekday and weekend rides, but the shortening days and approaching wet season will force a taper in biking soon anyway.