Monthly Archive for July, 2009

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BFF Ride

On the drive over to the fountain to meet for the Sunday ride, JT told Ckucke that he needed more friends. This off-the-cuff comment caused a stir in the fabric of the universe, because all sorts of people came out of the woodwork to be our friends. Thanks, JT! Jeff and Sara bailed thinking the weather would be bad, but there was nothing but blue sky in Kailua. Jay and Ckucke were already there when I arrived. As I unloaded my bike, a dude and his son came over to talk story about bikes. After a bit, he wandered over to Ckucke and JT. Something JT said must have lit some kind of fire in the guy, because he went all “intense” and went over the top with his stories. He eventually went away, and Root showed up and we rolled out. Continue reading ‘BFF Ride’

Beer is Good

That is a general statement, however the statement all beer is good is not true. Fortunately the past couple I’ve had were good. Here’s my quick take on them.

Echigo Stout – Sorry, image lost somewhere. Echigo’s dark beer. Like many Japanese beers, a very clean tasting beer. On the flip side of that, not much distinct flavors either. Has the smoky flavor of a dark, but not very strong. Makes it a go good with food. Not worth the $4 price of admission though. 2 out 4 monkeys.

P1010545Serious Madness Winter Seasonal Black Ale – Yes I know, it’s not winter. A California microbrew. This is a dark beer, no doubt about it. Creamy dark goodness, very much like Guiness Stout. Excellent. 3.5 out of 4 swigging monkeys.

Water from Heavens is not Cheap

IMG_0045On a shopping visit this past week to Marukai, spotted something new, a sparkling soda version of one of our fave J soft drinks, Momo no tennensui. We like to call it heavenly peach water because of the ten kanji, but really tennen means natural. We love it because the flavor is of real peach, and it’s not as sweet as your typical soft drink. So when I saw this soda version, I had to grab it. Unfortunately when it came to checkout time, it wouldn’t scan. I guess it was so new it wasn’t in system. After going to the customer service counter, they said it was $3. Ouch. I decided just this one time I needed to try it. The veridct? A refreshing carbonated version of the Momo no Tennensui we love, but at $3 a pop, that’s sticker shock way in excees of the highest vending machines in Japan.

2 out of 4 empty wallet monkeys at this price point, I can’t see them being able to sell much of this if that is the correct price.  If it were a reasonable normal price, then it would be 3.5 out of 4.

Friday Cirrus

Hmm… Just thought of something – the cirrus clouds today are an indicator of an apporaching weather front. I hope it doesn’t get all rainy and spoil the Sunday ride.


Steezy Spin

Some jerseys and shots that I ordered from Chainlove came in today, so I rocked some new threads on my after work cruise ride. The weather was fair on the windward side in the morning, and exceptional midday when I passed through during work – all blue skies save for some high-altitude cirrus. The clouds had gathered near the mountains when I came through the Wilson tunnel, and there had been a light afternoon drizzle, but conditions were still prime for some saddle time. I did my laps to the nostalgic accompaniment of roar of the Marine F/A-18’s practice landing at MCBH.

D = 12.44 km (7.73-miles), Vavr = 18.2 km/h (11.3-mph), Vmax = 47.3 km/h (29.4-mph), T = 41-minutes

Edible Briefs – Raraya Ramen Hiyashi

Raraya_hiyashiRoot, Fabio, and I dropped by Raraya tonight for some noodles.  Root and I saw a menu item that we had never seen before – Hiyashi gomadare ramen. The summer heat made something cold sound very attractive, so we both tried it. Volumetrically, it is similar to having the Tsukemen. The goma (sesame seed) sauce is creamy, and slightly sweet. The loosely wrinkled noodles were topped with cooked spinach, corn, char-siu, wakame, three pieces of nori, and half of a seasoned egg. I got it as a rice set, which added a chawan of rice and a plate of kimchi for $2 USD on top of the base $10 USD. The flavor was interesting. The sweetness threw me off a little at first, but I enjoyed it. The value meter needle hangs a little low on this – It was a little light for the money. As a postscript, I ended up having a slight histamine reaction in the bronchial area, usually an indication of the presence of MSG. I hope they’re not starting to cut corners…

Give it a try

Two-and-a-half grinning dining monkeys out of four

The Fixie Mentality

Fixie_mentalityChris and I have had a long running, “today I saw a Fixie doing [insert foolish act here],” tirade going for several years now. We gripe about them riding up alongside cars at a traffic signal only to be re-overtaken when the light changes because they can’t sprint off the start with their one gear. We rant about their freakish parts selection, like a carbon spoke wheel on the front but a traditionally laced wheel on the rear because the carbon wheel company doesn’t make a matching rear track version, but the bike owner just has to have those wheels. Most of the time the things that make us laugh are due to their slavish devotion to the fad just for the sake of being different, standing out, thumbing their noses at society, swimming upstream, or simply cutting off their noses to spite their own faces. Then there are those times when they transcend fashion and cross the line into stupidity. I saw something today that pretty much takes the cake for that – chainstay wrap. Huh? What? It’s a fixed-gear, single-speed bike with horizontal dropouts and no derailleur or tensioner. If his chain is so loose that he has chainslap issues, he has much larger issues to worry about! Time to put that bike on the rack and climb on board the short bus, dude!

Anime Briefs – Kannagi USDM Release

If you watched Kannagi and liked it enough to want the USDM DVD release, your wait is over.  Bandai Entertainment USA has just released the first DVD with the first 7 episodes.  The second DVD with the remaining 7 episodes will be released in September with a T-shirt (whee).  Right now, you can order it directly from Bandai or TRSI through the Amazon Marketplace portal, or directly through TRSI.  It’s about $26 USD and change plus under $3 USD for shipping.  If you’re patient and don’t really care about the T-shirt, the complete series set will be out in retail at the beginning of next year.

Summer Rain

Gee.  Lucky I rode when I got home today.  The sky just opened up and started dumping rain like a MF just now.


Dodging the Wacky People

I rode the ‘cross after work today to get some sprints in. All the bad drivers were out today. Along my training loop, I came face to face with a red Civic in my lane. The grunge-surfer dude was dropping off his granola girlfriend and came around a blind corner in the wrong lane. Seeing me, he made a vain attempt to move back into his lane, then slowly drifted back into my lane and stopped diagonally to let his passenger out, blocking my lane completely and forcing me to go around him in the oncoming lane. Ever heard of driving on your own side of the road? Effing idiot. Moments later after making the turn, I had to dodge a doddering senior lady in her new-ish Volvo who came into my lane far enough to clip the curb with her left front tire in order to make a right turn! I thought they only let the fools out on Friday and Sunday!

D = 19.78 km (12.29-miles), Vavr = 22.2 km/h (13.8-mph), Vmax = 50.0 km/h (30.1-mph), T = 53-minutes