wil wheaton

He got chops:

three hours

Long practice again. Two hours of iai; Oki-san was there because he got of work early. Everyone else in the class were beginners so Oki-san and I ran ourselves through as many kata as we could. New handle on the sword feels pretty good. Not used to the thickness yet, but I like the silk better than the old leather wrap I had. But I should have gotten he tsuba (swordguard) fixed. I swing pretty hard, and it loosens up just hair, enough to let the tsuba rattle about. The whole in the center of the tsuba, through which the sword passes, had been widened sometime in the past (probably for some other sword) and it's too big for this blade. I guess I'll get it fixed some day, and also replace the seppa (washers) -- replace the brass and silver with dull copper or something that matches the rust color better. Might as well get a new silver habaki (sword collar) too.
So anyway after two hours of hot and sweaty practice (it was REALLY humid) Niina-gosoke runs us through another hour just like last week. Needless to say my back is sore, but I love it.

welcome home

Finally got my sword back, with a new handle and fittings:

kyoto photos

Put up the photos from Kyoto.


Niina-gosoke called me this morning to tell me that since I didn't totally screw up in Kyoto, as of today he's promoting me to 4dan...I didn't deserve the promotion to 2dan last year, so how long will it take me to get to the point where I am worthy of 4dan?
This also screws ANY chance of placing will in the upcoming tournaments -- I'll be up against my own instructors!

x-men 2

Saw X-Men 2 at the shiny new Virgin Theater in Roppongi Hills, with Hiroko, Kevin, Z., Ericka (3 months pregnant) and Jeff.
The movie was a treat -- plenty of explosions and action, and the theater is what going to the movies should be: all seats in the theater are reserved, so no battling or waiting in line. Bought the tickets in advance (the day before), with a credit card. The armrests have cup holders, and also fold up for couple-friendly cuddling. The seats are big and comfy, with plenty of room to the seat in front of you, and the whole theater is properly sloped so that even the shortest person can see over the head of the guy in front of you. Add to that a good screen and Dolby THX, plus a giant bucket of caramel popcorn and every high school kid from the American School in Japan, and it's just like America!
If you could pick your seats and buy more than four tickets at once online I'd use the web all the time, but since the theater's up the street from my house, I'll just pop over to the box office when necessary.