Woke up at 6:30 to a beautiful Hokkaido morning. And buckets of fresh powder. The group was psyched by slightly hungover. Me and Binnie and couple others managed to get on the slope by 8:30, rode to the top, hiked up to the very peak, and barrelled down unspeakably good, fresh, deep powder.
I went way off course and ended up far too left, and had to hoof 30 minutes to get back on the mountain. But it was worth it.
Hooked up with Greg who took us to the other side of the mountain where we found a valley of fresh powder. Hit that several times before lunch before breaking for a thousand yen pasta-and-meat-sauce-topped-with-deep-fried-pork-cutlet. They kept going but I was getting tired so I took some on-piste runs and called it a day.
Headed back to the Full Note and did the pre-dinner onsen, got the fireplace running, and sat around reading.
Weather was sunny so folks weren't expecting fresh powder, and thus planned on a late start. More drunken debauchery downstairs; cheap dinner wine, prune juice and vodka, etc. Several UDI's (Unidentified Drinking Injuries).

to hokkaido

Got up at 4am, which technically can't be called 'morning' because it was pitch dark.
Scootered over to the Westin and found Dev. Waited for Binnie and finally saw a tall white guy running down the street. We grabbed a cab to Haneda airport, rallied the troops, and flew to Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. Switched on a bus and drove through the expansive nothingness of Hokkaido to Niseko. Lots and lots of not much. And snow. Kind of reminded me of Wyoming.
Got to the Full Note, checked in, got our rooms, grabbed some lunch at Pow-Pow and hit the slopes. Snow was falling, wind was blowing, and visibility sucked. But the powder was stupendous. Boarded all afternoon, bought some new googles, and called it a day.
Back to Full Note for dinner and relaxing by the fire, watching the snow fall. Some folks went out drinking, I stayed by the fire to finish reading.

highlands ranch, co

My brother the yuppie buys a house in the suburbs with with wife, kid, dog. American dream comes true:

led traffic lights

Slowly but surely the Tokyo government continues its devious plot to replace the ineffective standard traffic lights with bright, clear led ones. First is was the main strip of Ginza, and then I noticed that the lights at Furukawabashi Crossing are now led. Even in direct sunlight it's totally obvious which light is lit, and when not lit they are near black. Each color seems to made of concentric circles of perhaps 100 individual leds. I am assuming they are lower power and longer lasting than traditional bulb lights. And such a vibrant green! Really, technology is just so cool.

catch-22 ?

Do you deserve to be sorrounded by your fellow morons, or do the morons around you not recognize the fact that you don't belong there?
I remember, at an impressionable young age, my wisen'd father telling me about How The World Is:
"The average person is: average. And that's pretty dumb. Think about it. An average grade is a 'C'. Think about your fellow classmates who consistently get C's. They are morons. They are average."
The Curse of the Bell Curve? The cruel irony of being two standard deviations right of the norm?


By some miracle I managed to get up early enough to get to Toritsudai and attend am practice. Even had about 40 minutes all by myself in front of the mirror when everyone was eating lunch. Only 13 people tested for shodan and nidan, including Presley-kun. Thankfully everyone passed, though Ando-sensei had about 3 million points to make after the test.
Niina-gosoke was suffering from hay fever and stressing over the cost of remodelling the honbu dojo, trying to figure out how to cut the price down ("We'll put in the mirrors ourselves!") so after the test I went home to discover that Hiroko had succeeded in the string bean mision and had made a giant batch of mama's famous carmelized-onions-and-string-beans fake chopped liver dip. Don't worry about how strange that sounds, trust me it's stunningly good.
She also cooked up a storm as is the Sunday evening tradition, so we ate like royalty and watched dumb Japanese tv.