Monthly Archive for February, 2009

A Spot of Sun

With the winter giving way to spring, I managed to get home before the sun set today, but there was very little remaining above the Ko’olau crest by the time I got my bike ready and got dressed. I was feeling quite British in my Endura shorts and Hope Technologies jersey, but if I was really feeling the UK vibe, I would have not turned around and gone home straightaway when the weather suddenly deteriorated and it started to drizzle. Oh well, it was nice getting out on the Ellsworth anyway.

D = 9.22 km (5.73-miles), Vavr = 17.7 km/h (11.0 mph), Vmax = 40.1 km/h (24.9 mph), T = 31-minutes

Burton AK Throttle Gloves

Finally, I’m no longer “Mr. Astronaut-mummy-hands.” Got a new set of Burton AK gloves on sale from Dogfunk for 50% off. These current gloves are made much trimmer than the early generation version I had originally. I think the ones I had were the first generation Gore-Tex 3L taped gloves. Yes – taped! I’m not talking about a prefabricated Gore-Tex insert here – we’re talking Gore-Tex 3L fabric stitched together into a glove shell and seam-taped!  The palms were a synthetic material that went cracky and peely after about the third use, but since this material was an overlay over the actual PTFE material, there was no waterproofing problem, so I didn’t bother getting warranty service on them. Many seasons later, the grippy material was pretty much worn away, leaving only the fuzzy substrate. I do know that this issue was cleared up the next year with a genuine leather palm Continue reading ‘Burton AK Throttle Gloves’

Cute as a… Ninja?

There was a blurb in local paper the other day about ninja, in Hawaii. Damn those sneaky ninja, how’d they get in here? Probably JAL, or ANA. This was a group from Igaueno representing the Igaryu Museum. I’d kind of forgotten about this until Derek gave me a buzz. Hey, it’s ninja, we really should go check them out. Now how much of a tenuous connection these performers have to the actual Iga ninja of feudal times, we will never know, you know how sneaky these ninja are. The actual performance was entertaining, a bit of a circus show almost. Certainly the kids enjoyed it, I’m sure a good many were enthralled and will be going home to play ninja for the next few days. And I think the adults like me who grew up watching samurai TV series were smiling and chuckling as it brought back memories of watching those dramatized sword fights as the hero skillfully slashed his way through the disposable minions as they grimaced and quickly died of screen. It reminded me of how I grew up running around the house in a kimono/yukata, with my little bamboo sword/dagger. How cool was that? When I went back to Japan after a long time away, putting on the yukata to go to dinner, the onsen and wear in the hotel suddenly brought back a familiar feeling. Continue reading ‘Cute as a… Ninja?’


Man, did I have a headache when I woke up this morning! I blame Lil! No, only joking …maybe it was the ice cream or being stuck on the H-1 Westbound where it went from a three-lane freeway to a one-lane parking lot. Anyway, it was good to see everyone last night.


Bilious Demagoguery

With all the cash and effort the born-again right is throwing against the “domestic partnership” issue before the State Legislature now in the form of rallies and radio spots, it behooves us to stand up against these people who hide behind the catchphrase “traditional marriage” and show them once and for all that in order to protect Hawaii’s multi-cultural diversity, we are sick and tired of them trying to force their religious beliefs down everyone else’s throats. You may not care one way or the other about the domestic partnership issue or the same-sex marriage issue that they are attempting to noose it to, but this is one step of many that they are trying to force Hawaii to take down the road toward a christian theocracy (the next step is getting Dook in office). FTP!


If you happen to be in the Seattle area, Jason Teraoka will be having a solo art show, “Homesick,” at the James Harris Gallery. If you’ve seen his works before, the imagery of people bearing their internal conflicts and experiences as expressions on their faces will be familiar. From the sample images that JT showed me, there are some nice and interesting uses of color and light in this new crop of paintings that I really like. When I told him that I liked his use of impressionistic color and chiaroscuro, I was surprised that he didn’t call me a pompous ass! The show opens tomorrow night at 18:00 and runs through 28 March 2009. Check it out if you’re in the area! Continue reading ‘Homesick’

Heirloom Cutlery?

I just rediscovered the drawer full of sharp things. The good ones are knives that she brought back from my grandparents place. The couple junk ones you can barely see are the ones she got here that don’t get used anymore. But those Japanese knives look pretty nice, and I don’t even think they’re the real good ones. One of them I spotted a price tag of +5,000 yen, around $50 so not your dollar/yen shop variety, but the super good ones run into multiple hundreds. There was a couple of the veggie cutting blades, sorta cleaver shaped, broad squarish and pretty thin.  Decided to bring one of them out and use it yesterday. It’s a three layer blade, apparently fairly common for the consumer grade Japanese kitchen knives. Side plates are a softer more ductile steel, in this case stainless, and the center the harder grade edge steel. I thought this one might also be stainless, but apprently hagane as labeled on packaging is normal carbon steel. The knife is nice. Cuts amazing! Made some paper thin cucmber slices. Continue reading ‘Heirloom Cutlery?’

Yaris Power!

This past Sunday was the final regular race of this season’s SCCA Solo II auto-cross. I’d missed the last couple events due to events, which I’m sure if you’re reading this blog you know about. Stewing in my brain the past weeks was the thought of racing Mom’s Yaris. I really wanted to do it as something of my tribute to her, so I made up my mind on saturday. I tried fitting my 13″ race compound tires, but the Yaris brakes are too big. Imagine that, this little subcompact weighing the same and smaller than my FX has bigger brakes.  Anyway, instead of trying to swap the 15’s of the FX, I decided to go bone stock. So except for taking out spare wheel, tools, wheel covers, and running gas until almost empty (almost too empty!) the Yaris was exactly like off showroom floor. Continue reading ‘Yaris Power!’

It’s a Freeway, Dammit!

It’s bad enough that I have to come in to work on what’s a holiday to virtually everyone else, but do I have to also deal with people going less than 40-MPH on the H-1 Eastbound? The freeway users were sparse and there were no collisions to stop up the works, but for some reason everyone felt that they had to go surface-street speed. Speed up, get off the freeway, or stay home!


Snowboard Repair

With the March Japan snowboard adventure looming, it was time to get the boards back in shape. Early season and peak winter trips to Whistler had wreaked havoc on the boards due to the marginal conditions.  I am not sure what the conditions will be like in Japan next month, so I had to get both boards ready just in case. The short board had a base gouge and trashed edges, so that was an easy fix – just some P-tex repair filler and liberal filing and sharpening, followed by a rewaxing. The powder board was a different story. The edges were pretty much intact, but there was a base delamination bubble just forward of the end of the metal edge, and a 9mm x 12mm triangular smash on the nose with a tear in the base. Continue reading ‘Snowboard Repair’