Monthly Archive for September, 2011

Beer Is Good – Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale

Wait, summer ale? Yes, I haven’t gotten around to reviewing this until now. You can tell how enthusiastic I am about it. Pours a medium light yellow, fair head, thins out but carbonation stays for a bit. Strong floral bitters, a fairly syrupy mouth feel. Bitter persists in the back of mouth. Can’t say I enjoy this, but it’s not so bad that I don’t finish it. I’m glad summer’s over.  1 out of 4 hopped out monkeys.


What happened to the Dodge Durango? Not that I was a fan of original, but it now looks like every other SUV and has lost the solid rear axle with Watts linkage. And to top it off the so new it still has paper plates one I was behind had a defect in it’s rear right light cluster.


Invasion from Melonia

Am I the only one that the media headlines about the cantaloupe outbreak bothers? I keep thinking there’s like an army of invasive melons bursting out of some underground hiding.


Pain in the Back

Zing! Carry a 25kg pack all over Japan for a week: No problem. Get out of work truck on first day back at work: lower back goes pop!



About three hours before flight time, the counter finally opened.  The staff was all ANA employees.  I got omiyage with no problems and it all fit in my X-Ray.  Immigration went smoothly as usual, and I got some angry oyaji sushi from Ganko and a large iced cafe mocha from Tully’s.  The sushi was not terrible, considering this is a chain restaurant, and the coffee also not terrible.  I wouldn’t rank Tully’s above CB&TL or Lion, but it is better than Starbuck’s swill. Continue reading ‘Boarding’

Homeward Bound

Sitting at KIX now, poaching their free wireless internet. It’s super slow, but it’s free, unlike HNL. It was going good for a while, but once in a while, it bogs down or completely disconnects. Blazed in from Okayama on the first Shinkansen then stashed bags in a coin locker so wandering around Osaka would be less of a chore. After wandering around Tsutenkaku and some shrine complex (I can’t remember the name right now), I got back to Namba, had some lunch, and headed here. My flight isn’t until 21:30, so the check-in counter is still Cathay Pacific and not Hawaiian Airlines. There are some Hawaii-based musicians here with their instruments waiting for the same flight. I want to hurry and check-in my bag so I can go buy omiyage, head to the gate, and get some sleep.  Oh, they’re closing the Cathay Pacific flight, so it should be soon… -ish.  …maybe.

Kami, Neko, and a Dude in Chinese MultiCam

Nicely, this cheap hotel in Okayama has wireless internet.  Actually, the wireless router is unsecured and not set up, so if I was an ass, I’d go in and give it some screwed-up password.  Today was a trip out to Onomichi and Kurashiki to see old stuff after yesterday’s trapsing around Naoshima looking at some great collections of art both classic and contemporary, and getting that mental limit of what constitutes art and what doesn’t stretched and massaged.  Contrary to the feel of the town put forth in fiction like Kamichu!, Onomichi feels like a place that has forgotten its Kami like an inconvenient burden.  Walking its steep, meandering hillside paths, one should be greeted on every turn by the town’s cats, at least according to the tourist blurb.  All I saw were three or four sickly cats and one “lost cat” poster.  Continue reading ‘Kami, Neko, and a Dude in Chinese MultiCam’

Fumed Out

Phew, that probably wasn’t the greatest of ideas. Finished fuel pump replacement at 1:30 this morning. The hand pumpy siphon thing I had bought a long time ago’s pumpy part disentgrated after a few pumps and wrapping it up in duct tape only lasted a few more, so I was left with a tank with lots of gas still in it. I disconnected a line and let it drain from that but it was a pretty slow trickle. Eventually undid the fill and lowered the tank enough to pour gas out that way. Gas and fumes floating all around the garage. Pump was an OEM replacement made in USA Carter. The pump itself looked fine, but the little additional provided bits, while quality looked fine, didn’t fit! A o-ring that I ended up not using at all, a retaining spring washer clip thing that was too big to retain, stainless hose clamps of common design where the screw part is so large that it could potentially short on the power wire. Dissapointing, but there was no turning back at this point, I reused old parts and eventually got it back together. Didn’t start car, still need to put back some parts, and decided to let fumes go away. Verdict hopefully tonight!

Typhoon Panic

As Typhoon #15 (“Roke”) passed South of Shikoku last night, all was fairly calm here in Takamatsu, with a light to moderate rain falling in the center of town.  The biggest thing I noticed was a single bomb-like thunderclap before midnight when the rain was at its peak.  Nonetheless, the typhoon panic led to various school and public facility closures.  The ferries were back online, but it was funny that yesterday when they were starting to panic shutdown for the impending storm, conditions were so amazingly calm, whereas today when it was all “safe”, conditions were borderline stomach-churning.  There were some legitimate road and facility closures on nearby Ougishima and Megishima due to small landslides or road washouts, but many of the much-touted art sites in the towns remained closed because staff were told to stay home because of the storm.  At least this evening dinner was easier to find, as opposed to finding restaurants closed or closing early “because of the typhoon”.  I can understand exercising adequate caution, but this event snowballed into a national panic (especially down South where the effects were mild), and I don’t mean this in hindsight – in the days running up to the arrival of the storm at it’s nearest passing point, it was deadly calm with just sporadic drizzling.  People were shutting things down days in advance because of the media hype and not actual observed conditions.  Continue reading ‘Typhoon Panic’


Although the rainy weather of last night dissipated in the morning so that Shikoku was visible across the water, to avoid the possibility of getting trapped on Shodoshima in the event that the fast-moving typhoon #15 came rushing in, I bailed early. Landing in Takamatsu, the weather was actually worse, with a fairly constant drizzle falling – it makes sense, since I actually moved closer to the typhoon! With no plans for today in Takamatsu, a quick stop at the ekimae tourist information office revealed a map of a shrine complex with a pile of stairs! I hate stairs! Let’s go! I had actually heard of the Kompira-gu shrine previously, but didn’t know many of the details. A leisurely local train ride on the Kotoden from a station built up against the outer wall of the Takamatsu castle ruins took me to Kotohira-machi for 610-yen. Continue reading ‘Typhooned’