Monthly Archive for February, 2011

Back at HNL. Effing hot and humid.


Kustom Pan

Update on the kitchen sink mod. Finally got around to working on chopping the sink to make a custom engine belly pan. Destroyed one carbide tipped hacksaw blade labeled good for stainless cutting the flanges off. It worked, but things got difficult as more parts got chopped off. The sink got more floppy and it got more troublesome to secure down pieces. Switching to the cordless demolition saw actually worked better, went through one standard bi-metal blade. I’m sure the neighbors love me, cutting sheetmetal is always a horrendously noisy deal.

After dinner, I set about pounding in new lip. I’m not entirely sure of what I’m doing, this metal forming business is new to me. I make some ugly tears in the corners, but I do get the lip formed. Here’s how it looks for now, it’s begining to look a little more like the plastic shield I’m trying to replace.

Nice Set of Racks

Derek made a suggestion the other day about finding a better way to store all the wheels I’ve got, I hadn’t given it much thought before. He’d suggested using the same rack/shelf units I got for the closet and using them for tire storage. Took some quick measurements and it looked like it would work, so I ran down to City Mill. Got them, set up and here it is! Works quite well for my car tires. Truck tires are too big to fit a complete set, and actually if you go wider than 195 tires a complete set of four does not fit on one shelf either. But stacking them like this is much more efficient.

Cleans up a bunch of space!

Beer is Good – Leffe Bruin Belgian Dark Ale

This Belgian dark ale produced by A-B/InBev at the Stella Artois factory in Leuven is typical in manufacture to most Belgian “abbey beers” in that they are brewed by major commercial breweries “under license” from the original abbey brewmasters, or are named after an abbey that no longer exists to cash in on the popularity of abbey beers (in this particular instance the former). The recepie for this ale goes back to 1240, and even though it is no longer produced in the monastic tradition, it is still a good dark ale with a rich, slightly smoky malt flavor. There is a hint of fruitiness and spice, with a mild trailing bitter. It’s not quite syrupy, but this doppel does carry a thicker mouthfeel than a standard ale. A higher alcohol content and abundance of phenolics ensured a good cranking headache afterwards though. I had it with lamb, which was a good pairing with the strong flavors of this beer. Those stronger flavors, along with the slightly heavier mouthfeel make this beer almost a meal in itself, but also would tend to make it not a very good “beginner beer”, although people who don’t care for bitter beers may appreciate this one. Continue reading ‘Beer is Good – Leffe Bruin Belgian Dark Ale’

Pay the Piper

When you engage in certain activities, say snowboarding or mountain biking, you have to be willing to accept the consequences of your actions and decisions.  I’ve always been aware of this, but sometimes, something comes along and smacks you in the face to underscore it.  A couple of years ago, it was riding into a tree branch I didn’t see and busting my helmet and nose and splitting my goggle lens right down the center (Root was there for that one): This year, it was riding headlong off a triple-overhead drop.

With news of the 5-year record snowfall in my head, several continuous days of snow behind me, I headed out to Sapporo Kokusai ski-jou for some powder poaching.  I had no illusions of the bottomless fluff that I’ve experienced there before, as the snowfall had been consistent but not heavy, and a weekend of endusers had probably already cut up most of the easily-accessed ungroomed areas.  The morning had arrived with a few centimeters in town, which meant that there would be a little new coverage out at the resort, but it wasn’t enough to erase the sidecountry slash marks that squiggled down the visible faces. Continue reading ‘Pay the Piper’

Mmm… Battera

On the way to Sapporo, I only had an hour layover in Narita, so after getting through immigration, baggage claim, and customs, I ran over to the domestic counter to check my bags in then went up to the observation deck to cool down.  After the sweat evaporated, I went inside to look for a quick bite.  I was thinking of going to Sushi-den, the usual sushi-ya I eat at, but I didn’t want to scarf everything down in like 10-minutes and run out of there, so I went to Kyotaru, the take-out sushi place over on the North side (it’s right on the main walkway fronting the balcony overlooking the check-in counters).  One of the first things I saw was their Battera, so without even looking at any of their other offerings, I grabbed one and was off to the domestic gate.  Continue reading ‘Mmm… Battera’


A few years ago when JAL retired it’s last B747-200SUD on a final return trip from HNL to NRT, it was met with much fanfare, filled with people who bought tickets in advance specifically to be on that last flight.  I used to avoid the HNL-NRT run if I couldn’t get the later flight that was downsized to a newer B767 to specifically avoid that plane.  It was stinky, creaky, noisy, and uncomfortable, yet some people found some sort of nostalgia in all of that – enough to pay a premium to be on that last flight.  I was on it a couple of weeks before that final flight, and I don’t miss that old bird one bit. Continue reading ‘Jumbover’

Wait Until Your Row Number Is Called…

No, really people.  I heard the lady, and she even said it in Japanese!  In fact, she ONLY said it in Japanese!  As I wait near the gate in the waiting room, I watch all the anxious people milling about the gate.  There are a few tour groups, and their companion guide is even telling them, “please, go sit back down until they call your row,” but they insist on clogging up the area in front of the gate entrance.  At every instance when a slightly different announcement comes over the PA, whether it be for premier members or parents with young children, they start the push again.  There is no way I could be a guide because I’d be all like, “F**k, are you m**herf**kers all like f**king stupid or something?  Sit the f**k back down!”  Samuel L. Jackson as a tour guide… Continue reading ‘Wait Until Your Row Number Is Called…’


Muahaha, Musubi gets her stitches out today, just dropped her off. Should have taken pics before. Her leg is slowly showing some improvement. She’s starting to use it like a normal leg, but I still dont see much response from the lowest area. It’s still early, we shall see!

Beer Is Good – Red Hook Mud Slinger Nut Brown Ale

Pours a small head that quickly goes away, clear dark brown. No really strong initial aroma, fair bitter gives it dry taste, but the feel has a bit of substance. I get a nice roasty nuttyness in the middle, which fades to a lingering bitter. I like this, but especially if not having with food, this is more a sipping beer. It stays tasty as it warms too. 3 out of 4 nutty monkeys.