Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry X'mas!!

Just back from Hiroshima and Osaka last night (X'mas Eve)
Very interesting trip filled with a bit of everything...details and pics later.

Just a quick message to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Yamaya Family who are down with the Swine Flu and whose daughter is currently in ICU. Fight Mahina!!! You can do it!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last Day of Term!!

Today is the last day of term at school.

It's been a tumultuous ride with plenty of ups and downs. But most significantly, the successful introduction of a new kids curriculum, which in my opinion, has gone pretty smoothly. Unfortunately, one of the staff from HO has had to return home indefinitely to sort out things at home (BTW, her name's not Tiger) and she'll be sorely missed as she did a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the ship running smoothly. Come back soon Willa...We'll miss you!!

Also a huge thanks to my immediate work colleagues who have really worked hard throughout the year and made going to work both enjoyable and stress free. You know who you are...

As we embark on the winter vacation the weather has taken a turn for the colder, with snow forecast in many areas and the prospect of a white Christmas for some looking very real!!

Tonight I have another 'Year End' Party, this time with Maki and friends from Bloom Surf Shop. It should be fun and we'll definitely need a few beers to help fend off the cold on the walk home!!

I managed to navigate the last party pretty safely and came away more or less unscathed, which is more than I can say for some of the others....hahaha. So inspired was I, that I got my lazy butt out of bed at the crack of dawn for a surf check with (repaired) camera in tow and snapped these pictures before hitting Kakou for a few waves!!
The early morning is definitely one of the most serene times of day and we are lucky to be blessed with sunrises like this most days!!

At that party some older pics popped up from the same event some 6-7 years ago. They were a bit of a laugh...I might scan 1~2 and post them for all to see. In the meantime, here's one for Ma and Pa after one of my busy weekends...hahaha I look knackered!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Busy weekends

It's that time of year when Year End Parties begin to roll around. Last weekend Grace surfboards had theirs and tonight it is the turn of "The Early Bird Surf Crew", a bunch of guys (and girls) that hit the beach early for a dawn session before work. I am invited purely based on previous years as this year I've been enjoying a more leisurely start of around 9am, hahaha. Should be fun, always is, and I'm looking forward to it. Better not go to hard as I've agreed to help friends (hopefully) finish painting their new house.

Last weekend was action packed, too. On the Sunday, I helped out a friend with his surf contest. They had epic head-and-a-half size waves in Wada with a few barrels pouring in all day. I didn't enter as I was there to help although I did squeeze in an hour or two surfing during the day with one memorable ride. The rest of the time I was moving stuff, setting tents up, doing time flags, entertaining kids and just kicking back in the unseasonally warm sunshine. Awesome contest, awesome people awesome time!!Then on Monday, before buying my new fridge, we helped paint a friends new living room. Very time consuming but satisfying to see the before and after shots. That's what I'll be doing more of tomorrow!
Hope you all enjoy your weekends, too...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Longboarding in NZ

It seems with the support of Hyundai and the backing of a national tour that NZ longboarding is progressing significantly with the young guys really adapting to the more radical maneuver side of things. Check out the vid from Sandy Bay...

GREG LONG wins macking EDDIE @ Waimea

I got up at 4am local time and sat glued to my computer for the next 7hrs only leaving to take a comfort stop. The action was so intriguing with heart stopping drops and death defying wipeouts nonstop in epic conditions. My hat goes of to all those that were brave enough to take on the challenge, especially Clyde Aikau at age 60!!There is no way in hell that you'd interest me in paddling out!! It was so mesmerizing that even Aiko watched and didn't say a word about my watching for so long....very rare indeed!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The "EDDIE" Contest

The Eddie Aikau Contest looks set to run tomorrow (Wed Japanese time) with solid waves forecast. You can watch it live at home on your computer by following this LINK.

This year celebrates the 25th anniversary and is run in memory of local Hawaiian waterman, big wave surfer, lifeguard and sailor, Eddie Aikau. A hero of sorts for the lives he saved and the circumstances of his death as well as being known and respected for his huge "Aloha", this contest is run annually with a select list of invited surfers recognized for their skills in the big stuff. This contest is unique also in that it only runs when the surf is over 20 feet...Hawaiian!!! That's like 40 foot wave faces!!!!

Early this year when I went to Kauai in Hawaii, Aiko's Hula friend's husband took me round and introduced me to Chava Greenlee, one of the alternates for the contest and big wave charger. He was super mellow but showed me some photos of his surfing and that boy is nuts!! Some of the waves those guys surf are CRAZY and need some serious balls!
Chava signed this Eddie poster for me at his house back in February. Thanks Chava. Mahalo and good luck if you get the call up to paddle out!!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Finally managed to get down to Tateyama and "Yamada Denki" to pick up my Sony Digital Camera which was in getting repaired. Sony not only fixed the faulty button but fine tuned it so that the pictures will be looking as flash as when I first got it!! Apparently there was something effecting the quality of the photos which I had wondered but put down to my imagination. Anyway, awesome service and all covered as within 12months of purchase. Stoked!

While there, I also forked out for a brand spanking new REFRIGERATOR!!!

The year-old models are almost half price on the latest models so we picked it up relatively cheap!! (But still one of the most expensive purchases I've ever made!!)

It'll be delivered to our new address when we move later this month.

Here is a pic of the 2010 model 426 liter Panasonic beast. Ours is the 2009 model and the same color as the one on the right with a nice sleek silver finish with a little product review.

Panasonic is among the leading electronics brands in the world. Panasonic has always introduced products with high quality and most innovative but user-friendly technology. Now Panasonic has introduced a range of refrigerators.

Panasonic refrigerators are a class apart from others. They are designed with most advanced technology which makes them unique. The Panasonic refrigerators have unique energy saving and food preservation technology. It results in more space, more energy efficiency and less material used.

Panasonic refrigerators are equipped with inverter technology which helps them perform better and also save money in the long term. To make best use of the energy, Panasonic refrigerators are designed to work on five power levels, in contrast of common refrigerators which work on only one power level. You can set your refrigerator to run on low power at night or at other times when it is less used. There is automatic system which adjusts power according to the usage. There is combination of features like inverter compressor, temperature sensor and microprocessor technology. These refrigerators provide the best cooling with minimum power consumption. These devices from Panasonic are given a rating of A++ with no frost technology. This is the highest ranking energy rating. In addition, these refrigerators run quietly at only 37 DB.

A built-in hygiene active system in this refrigerator fights odors and prevents the growth harmful bacteria.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

FIFA World Cup 2010 Draw

Well, it's been done! What everyone in the soccer fraternity has been waiting for...The 2010 World Cup Draw

I'll be closely following the fortunes of both Japan and New Zealand who are in Group E and F respectively.

From the look of things I'd say that Japan has a pretty favourable draw and good chance of progressing to the next stage of the tournament. For New Zealand, it's a massive accomplishment in itself just to qualify!! As the lowest seeded team in the tournament New Zealand will have very realistic goals and no doubt be trying to gain a respectable draw against the like of Paraguay and Slovakia or to even sneak a win against the odds!!! It'll be great to see them play the current and defending World Champions Italy as well!!

Bring on the Football World Cup 2010 in South Africa!! I can't wait!!

Group E






Group F

New ZealandNew Zealand0000000

Friday, December 4, 2009

From Mum

I got a funny message today forwarded on by Mum...

It compared a Japanese school bus rigged out with all the latest in technology...

and compared it to a school bus in India...

Then asked the question...
"Where do your calls get redirected to when you have trouble with your computer?"

I had to have a wee laugh despite the reality being somewhat different to that portrayed in these pictures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today's Water Shot!

Thanks to Taro Taniuchi from Grace Surfboards for taking this pic and posting it on the Grace site.

@ Kakou again today. A bit more size but not as perfect as yesterday with a cross-shore blowing. Still, good fun and great weather!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Morning Surf

The rain cleared away after falling constantly through the night and the wind swung round to the northwest grooming the swell from the low pressure. There were fun lefts and rights with the swell looking like building slowly from typhoon Nida far to the south. early morning there were the regulars out, Ken-san from Donya, Oguri and Mizue-chan from Rulez Peeps, Sakuma-kun from Waicoco Surfshop and Kentaro, Suhara-san and Naoki from Grace. Super low-key and mellow compared with the dog fight down the beach with everyone getting some fun ones.Thanks for the photo on the Grace Wave Check Blog Kentaro. (check links)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

$1 SUSHI !!

Well, without a car, our options for dining out are a little more limited than before. However, just 5 mins walk from my place is Kappa Zushi!! This place sells sushi for $1 a plate!!! Although you don't get to select the fish you want from those swimming around in the tank and watch as the chef fillets it in front of your eyes and serves it up as the tail still flaps around on the chopping board, it is only a fraction of the price. They have a wide selection and apart from the crab which is often a little watery, as if it's just been defrosted, the fish is fresh and tasty. I always go for the Toro Salmon, which is the fatty part of the salmon. But I also like the 'aji', horse mackerel, and the 'ebi', shrimp, with avocado and onion. They opened up in Kamogawa about a year ago I guess and it has proven very popular with locals and tourists alike. I took Dad there on his last night when he was here last.
Last night Aiko and I went there for dinner and it hit the spot after a fun afternoon trying SUP (stand up paddle surfing) at Seaside with Masato Watanabe, local pro surfer and big wave charger.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Well, all good things have to come to an end, or so the saying goes. I've had a great run with this Sony Cybershot H50 camera since I bought it in December last year. Unfortunately, the other day, for no discernible reason, the reverse zoom button failed. It's only a minor thing and should be fully covered by the guarantee but it also means that I'll be without a camera for about a month or so (hopefully less). Fingers crossed it's all chipper and set to go for X'mas and the New Year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Kamogawa Sunset

From the Grace Showroom on Route 128...
Dave snapped this one on his phone from the window at work


Yesterday the sky lit up at sunset and put on a rare and spectacular view. Unfortunately I was working and had a class at the time so I didn't have my camera!!! bugga!!! Out the front of work the sky was bright orange with a silhouette of the mountain range coming down to the sea. Out the back of work the sky was all pink and purple with a bright pink rainbow like I've never seen before!!

Hopefully some friends managed to capture the moment and I'll 'borrow' their photo and post it up here for you to see. In the meantime, here's one that ENISHI had on his blog...And one of the rainbow from SEI...Mahalo for the photos guys

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanks Sis!!

The perfect present! The postman rocks up every two months and drops this guy off in the letter box making my day!! Big thanks to my Sis and her family for the subscription.

BTW, how mental is that cover shot! Biggest wave surfed in NZ??

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Asami's Wedding!!

Good friend and Hula dancer, Asami-chan, is getting married this weekend!! I wish her all the best for a happy married life and hope the girls have a great day this Sunday!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bob - SURF2SURF Video

Bobby Hanson, one of NZs top surfers and WQS competitors blowing up on this clip!
Bob - SURF2SURF Video

Luana Hula Girls

Aiko and a select few from her team performed at a charity event held in Kamogawa, run and organized by some local guys. Not a bad effort for their first effort and I'm sure they'll build on it next year and be sure to make a real go of it. They made these fliers (above) to advertise it but could have done a bit more to raise awareness. There was definitely a lot of potential for a really fun event with lots of people.

There were all sorts including a bunch of guys DJing, rapping, dancing and playing the steel drums. A real diverse group with a strong emphasis on reggae. Not quite sure how Hula got invited to attend, but in fact it actually went off really well and the girls all seemed to have fun despite the chilly wind.

It was an interesting locale, situated across from the Josai University gates on top of the hill in Futomi, just south of Kamogawa itself. I was busy scouting it as a BBQ option for next summer!! I got some video, took some photos (before the camera went on the the the store to get it checked soon) and had a great time looking after the kids with Mizuki! It was cool to be up on the hill with a nice outlook for a change and backed by natural green bush and trees, it made for a pleasant setting.

Well done girls!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thanks Haru-san

Haru-san @ Nonkey Surf Shop took these photos from his deck on Oct 27th following the typhoon. Just Sei and me surfing this peak!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Party

Thanks to Dave and his wife Etsuko for hosting an entertaining Halloween Party. Almost everyone there got into the fun side of things and dressed up. There were Ghouls, Devils, Witches and even a Friar Tuck. There was also a bunch of food that people cooked with skull pizzas and the like. I tried to make some sausages look finger like with cheese nails and dipped in tomato sauce (blood) and stuck them on some French bread that was doing it's best to imitate a bug of sorts.
Jun(ko) SeiAikoMe

I got a lot of mileage out of that mask as I used it all week at school as we had a Halloween Theme throughout the week. I got a variety of reactions from deadpan 'and?' to screams of horror and a few tears. But it was all good fun

WinBe Halloween with a class of 3rd graders (8yr olds)