Monthly Archive for March, 2012

Hokke Grab

I loaded the cooler in the boot of my car with ice packs just in case there was still some Hokke left at Shirokiya’s Hokkaido Fair.  Score!  An older lady and me got the last ones.  20% off to boot!  Got some prepared sardines too.  Tomorrow’s dinner is going to rock!


Kai Select 100 Mortar and Pestle

I needed a mortar and pestle to grind up spices for masala chai, and I just so happened to see one in the knife display case at McBike, so I picked one up. The price was right at $29.98 USD plus sales tax, which is pretty much what it goes for online (MSRP is $50). The mortar body is made from a white glazed ceramic and measures about 10cm in diameter and about 6cm high. The glaze is absent from the foot of the bowl as is normal with ceramic ware. It would be nice if there was a ring of silicone there to keep it stable on a countertop, but the size and shape make it perfect to hold in the hand while using. The inside of the mortar is ridged like a traditional Japanese suribachi, but the ridges are glazed over to provide a slightly less aggressive surface. The nihongo labeling on the box identifies this as a “mini-suribachi”, but the overall shape is more hemispherical rather than the conical shape of typical suribachi. Continue reading ‘Kai Select 100 Mortar and Pestle’

Tea Snob

Man, am I turning into the tea snob? I just bought $20 of “sipping teas” (not kranky teas for masala chai) and a mortar and pestle specifically for use to grind my masala chai spices! I’m going to have to find some piece of tactical nylon to store all my tea-related things in now… (I’m actually drinking jasmine dragon pearl tea as I post this)


Polishing Dervish

Whew, been working on the rally FX the past week to get it ready for the SCCA display at the First Hawaiian Auto Show this weekend. I went at the paint with the DA polisher and had to find some new polishing pads for it. Time for a plug for Pak Shak, an auto detailing supplies shop right off of Sand Island Road. The dude was very knowledgable, and helpful. He knows his stuff and gave excellent suggestions, and never tried to push anything. I picked up a backer and some pads for my Porter Cable. If you’re picky about country of origin of your tools, you can get from them German made polishers, although you will paya good premium. Anyway, after a full day of work, the paint had quite a shine, probably not seen since it left the dealer! I can’t imagine doing this without power tools. And micro fiber towels. What the heck did people use before these? They work awesome! If you’re not doing anything this weekend, come check out the show. I’ll be working the SCCA booth on the second floor from 7PM on Saturday. You can check out the most awesomest FX16 in Hawaii. Or possibly the last of two in this state that hasn’t completely rusted away anyway, yet.

Proper Sill Level

I’m glad my old car predates the higher mandated door height for passenger vehicles.  Even with the door beams and side airbags, it’s probably not as safe as a current car in side impacts, but at least I can actually see out the side of my car.  Also, aesthetically my car doesn’t look all “gangsta” with tall door sheetmetal and tiny windows like a gen2 Scion xB or Chrysler 300.  My sills are around 20cm (8″) below the Scion tC parked next to me.  That’s like barely below my sight line!

“Organic Fresh Natto”

I had to chuckle when I saw this sign as I drove past the Blaisdel Center farmer markets. I think I know what they mean, but still it’s something of an oxymoron.

Shirokiya Hawaii Hokkaido Fair

Ooo!  I saw some lightly dried, lightly salted Hokke at Shirokiya’s Hokkaido Fair yesterday.  It wasn’t cheap ($25 USD), but it isn’t common to see outside of Japan.  I would have bought some if it weren’t for the fact that I wasn’t going to be home for several hours, and I didn’t want it to go bad (it was refrigerated).  Root might be interested that they also had Matsumae-zuke (which can be expediently made into Matsutaka-zuke).  I didn’t taste any (either) nor buy any when I was in Matsumae in 2008.


Less Desirable Than Oreo

The new limited filling flavor for the Akimune-an taiyaki is chocolate custard creme.  I don’t want!  Aaa…


Not Oreo Taiyaki

Dammit!  The dude at Akimune-an has to get his ears checked. I don’t know how I can say, “two Oreo and two anko taiyaki, please,” and it gets misconstrued as, “two custard crème and two anko taiyaki, please.”  It sounds nothing alike – not even close.  And it wasn’t like he didn’t hear me because it was too noisy or I wasn’t speaking loud enough or clear enough since he didn’t ask, “what?” or even throw a quizzical eyebrow.  Krapp!  It would be the filling that I object to the most on intuitive levels and had absolutely no intention whatsoever of trying that I end up with.  Since the special flavors rotate on a bi-weekly basis and I saw Oreo advertised last week, with my luck if I go back on Thursday, the flavor will have changed.  If I say that I wasn’t really all that excited about Oreo flavor, someone will call sour grapes.  Truthfully, I wasn’t dying to get some, otherwise I’d have ordered them last week.  It’s being denied them and getting the shitty flavor instead that bothers me more than not actually getting to taste Oreo.  Now I’m sad.

Nagaoka Fireworks

Despite the steady drizzle, I stuck it out after the Honolulu Festival parade to watch the Nagaoka fireworks off Waikiki Beach. Figure I smooched some free sake off them, I better watch the show! Forgive the crooked video, I did this with a monopod propped against an uneven rock wall. I have to say the display was impressive, one of the best fireworks displays I’ve seen here. I can only imagine what it’s like back in Nagaoka! In hindsight, I should have recorded the whole show, but oh well.