Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Digital Age

The old set up. おつかれさま!
As of July, TV in Japan is going fully digital. Messages have been flashing up on our old TV warning us of the impending change for months. So, with a fresh pay check banked, it was off to the store. We'd been waiting and waiting and trying to second guess the potential sales campaigns ahead of the changes, but the events of March 11th kind of threw a spanner in the works. As it turned out though, now is as good a time as any to upgrade to digital with consumers having a bit more of say at the negotiation table with recent sales flat as people are wary with their savings and the economic outlook. We managed to get 25% off the ticket price! There was possibly an opportunity to haggle a bit harder, but we were satisfied and the customer service staff was really helpful and didn't push at all.

Now we have it, TV is COMPLETELY different!!! I'm loving it and looking forward to the 2011 Rugby World Cup to be held in NZ later this year. GO the ALL BLACKS!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stolen Surfboard


Grace/ビートル・トラフィン(Ofuchi.Shape)/6'0" 47 5.8/デッキ:クリアー、ボトム:ネイビー

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Job Well Done お疲れさま!

I've had these Brooks running shoes for probably near on 10 years!
 Admittedly they haven't exactly been over burdened with excessive use, but they've done the job extremely well. Recently however, the soles have started to break apart and the cracks have worsened as the years take their toll. It's about time I replaced them, but finding shoes in my size in Japan is easier said than done. Last weekend my wife and I were in the city and went to the Nike outlet store in Makuhari, near Chiba. I managed to find 3-4 different models in my size, a real luxury of choice, and settled on these.
 With any luck they'll help motivate me to get out a little more often and lose some of that winter layer that's built up this year. I figure that if my sister can have three kids and still run around lakes doing Contact Women's Triathlons, I should at least be able to run around the block once or twice.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gyōza ( ギョーザ ) 餃子 Chinese Dumpling

Some friends came for dinner and set about making gyōza. For those who aren't familiar with gyōza, they're a kind of Chinese dumpling which typically consist of diced vegetables (namely cabbage and Chinese chives, although ours had shitake mushrooms, ginger and garlic) and ground meat (usually pork, but we used chicken). The girls were so keen to eat veges that we had enough filling to make 200!!!!
 We pan-fried them, Yaki-gyōza (焼き餃子) style, first frying on one flat side, creating a crispy skin. Then, we added water with a little corn starch mixed in (which makes for a nice crispy base), the lid put on and steamed them until cooked.
Side salad
We ate until our hearts and stomachs were content and still had a bunch leftover that we had to freeze for another day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

100 years old today!

 My Nana is
She's such an amazing woman.
An inspiration to the generations that follow in her foot steps and a great example of what perseverance, determination, a big heart, a never say die attitude and respect for core values can achieve. Wish I could be there to celebrate with you and the family. Have an awesome day!
I love you Nana!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another Action Packed Weekend!

 The sun was shining Sunday and the weather was perfect for the outdoors. Winter is well and truly behind us finally and summer is knocking on the door! It would have been a travesty not to have made the most of the day, so my wife rallied the troops and we headed to Kuro Taki Koen (Black Waterfall Park) in Wada. The road in is narrow and windy, but it's only a short drive and is relatively unknown which means that you don't have to deal with oncoming traffic much, if at all. While the girls did a little Hula practice, the boys entertained themselves with soccer, frisbee, bug hunting and a flying fox. We had a bit of a picnic, played some dodgeball and then went for a quick walk in the bush to the waterfall and took a group photo to remember the occasion with.
 The boys.

 Flying fox fun for young and old.

 This shade tent could be yours for less than $10!
 Other park users playing frisbee.
 Happy campers.

 On Monday, Aiko and Sei were keen for a surf. The waves were super small and there were only a few people out. Dave was tearing up the little lefts on his shortboard, then went in, grabbed his waterhousing and camera and took these photos of Aiko on the set of the day and me cross stepping to the nose. Thanks mate!

All in all, it was a great weekend! Fingers crossed there are more of the same all summer long!

Surfing is Fun!

Just check out for ear-to-ear grin for proof!

This was taken May 13th, the morning after Typhoon #1 passed by @Kakou in Kamogawa. Very few out, head high sets, blue skies, blue water and fun peeling waves! PERFECT!

Big THANK YOU to Mr Moriyama (KERIS) for the print photo. Check out his blog HERE

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rulezpeeps Web Site Renewal

Our friends at Rulezpeeps and Rupee House have their new web site up and running. Check out their online shopping, new items, staff profiles, blogs and company policy right HERE or click on one of their links under FRIENDS on the right to see their blogs->>>>

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Minties Moment

 (For those who aren't familiar with Minties, they're a mint flavoured chewy candy, popular in NZ and Australia, with an advertising campaign that stresses 'when things go pear-shaped you need a Mintie to cheer you up' hence there catch phrase 'it's moments like these you need Minties')

About a fortnight ago I had a shocker. It was a beautiful warm spring day and there were waves out front. Ken gave me a call to give me the heads up and I was in my wettie and out the door in a flash. When I got down to Kakou, Ken and Shinya were standing on the beach after scoring the early with a great tide. Ken had to work, but Shinya was up for a second surf and we paddled out. Everything was sweet and we got a few good ones before the tide filled in and we called it a day. All good so far. However, on the way home I saw a couple of fun rights breaking at Seaside. I thought 'what the heck' and decided to go for a quick surf again. I got two long peeling rights to start then went left, did a turn or two then tried to squeeze a last one in at the end. Should have kicked out...what a nice thing hindsight is.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, my board bounced back off the impact, I put my hand out just in time to partially block it, broke my board, cut my hand open on the fiberglass, and whacked my nose (possibly broken, but it was still straightish so didn't go to the hospital to find out). Blood everywhere, shocked looks, laughs, the whole spectrum. Rather embarrassing and well worthy of a Mintie. It's healed up fine now thanks to these wonder Band-Aids by Johnson & Johnson and a few conciliatory Minties.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

GW = Golden Week

There was a lot going on in the world this time around with the royal wedding of Wills and Cate as well as the eventual demise of terrorist leader Bin Laden hitting the headlines.

 However, in my little corner of the world, things were pretty chilled as we opted to take it easy and stay home.

Our holiday was shortened somewhat as we worked to make up lost lessons while the school was closed immediately following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March. But, when the holiday did eventually start, I kicked things off with a nice fun surf and a few little cover-ups. Good friend, Dave Yamaya, was testing his new camera and shot a couple of pictures.
After that we got a call from the in-laws in Osaka to ask what we were doing. They were free too so decided to visit for a couple of days. It was great to see them and I'm sure they were pretty happy to see us in our new place, too.

On May 3rd, Constitution Memorial Day, my wife and her friends danced hula at a charity event. There was a good turnout and they managed to raise in excess of ¥300,000 for the Red Cross Japan to aid the Tohoku appeal.
On May 4th, Greenery Day, my father in-law went fishing around the port. He didn't have a whole lot of luck, but the weather was fantastic and he seemed to really enjoy himself.
Peace and quiet

Family time


When he returned, we cranked up the BBQ on the grass and the hula girls and some friends came around for what was a fantastic time.

Chillin on the Slack line with the kids

Proud dad

BBQ crew

On May 5th, Children's Day, the in-laws drove home and we tidied up. All in all, it was a great way to spend a few days off with friends and family. Thanks to everyone that joined us over the holiday at some stage or other.