yakisoba & okonomiyaki

yakisoba & okonomiyaki, originally uploaded by renfield.

Popped across the street to check out the local Shinohashi Summer Festival. It is small, local, and basically lame. The kids seemed to enjoy it, but after walking up and down the few blocks looking for inspiration, we decided to just head into Komugi for some quality eats.

amy on the train

amy on the train, originally uploaded by renfield.

Met Todd and Amy at Akihabara station around noon and proceeded with the mission: backup solution for his digital photos, laptop replacement for Hiroko, and introduce Amy to the joys of Akiba. We nailed one, getting Todd a sweet external 120 gig HD, failed on the next, as Hiroko's old Thinkpad had secondary cache errors on the CPU and I had to beg them to trash it for me, let alone get any trade-in money for it.
And did Amy enjoy her afternoon out with the guys? She alternated between dead silence and giggling hysterics, she ate a bunch of sandwhiches and blueberry pie, and she was generally adorable and almost-three-ish.

meat @ barbacoa

meat @ barbacoa, originally uploaded by renfield.

Just basically too much meat. Garlic steack + grilled pineapple is the Food Of The Gods. After dinner I was so stuffed I walked home from Aoyama in a feeble attempt to burn it off. Needless to say it didn't help much.

stick this

Showed up at honbu and immediately realized it's the first Tuesday of the month: jo day.
A ridiculous number of people (12 at one point) jammed into the dojo to practice.
Admittedly, jo is not my thing, for several reasons:
  1. it's really, REALLY hard
  2. it's not a sword
So I wasn't that into it, but damn if it ain't alot of fun. Paired up with Elvis and he's most into it; lots of aiki jo in his blood anyway, and plus the mechanics of jo are much closer to aiki than to sword.
I admit it's a damn good way to learn some fundamentals that we can all stand to work on; distance, timing, generating power from the hips.

license plate

plate, originally uploaded by renfield.

Papa is the Prison Warden for the state of New Jersey. OK, that's a lie. He's actually in charge of re-engineering the Department of Motor Vehicles for the whole state. I think the idea is to use modern change management and leading technology to streamline the process of buying fake IDs online, or something like that.
He went to the prison where they make license plates and was given a gift. The joke is, his real CT license plate is exactly the same.
Reminds me of that old joke: What's the Secret Service codename for Al Gore?
Al Gore.

birthday summary

After work Hiroko and I had dinner at Lucky. It was typically dead and the mama-san who runs it was happy to see us, so we got free stuff (garlic potato salad!) and ate most leisurely.
Cruised home and took stock of my 33rd haul:
  • two equally silly electronic Hallmark greeting cards from my favorite mom and my favorite her twin sister.
  • Five volume set (softcover) of Harry Potter. Yes, I know, so shutup already. I WANT to read them. Been a while since I read something fun in English. Loan Securitization documents don't count.
  • Teku-teku Angel, in blue.
  • Cool black Nike t-shirt from Masa declaring "The Legend Continues"
  • Summer kimono and matching geta

happy birthday to me!

happy birthday to me!, originally uploaded by renfield.

Happy Birthday to me! Yum, melon cake!


Grandma, originally uploaded by renfield.

Papa took grandma out for the day in Manhattan. Feisty as ever!