jew food

Amy and Maya came over with their parentals and we all went down to David's Deli for some right and proper Jew food. Falafel pita sandwhich, matzoh ball soup, annoying Korean waitress...just like in NYC!
We then got some bread at the cool French bakery (Japan has the best bakeries, no idea why) and cruised home to await the arrival of Daboo and N3i.
The bus from the airport arrived promptly at 9pm. We taxi'd home and inhaled huge bowls of pasta as jet-lag set in.


Blackberries are finally coming to Japan. I had one for a couple of days for testing. It's pretty cool. Got used to the full but tiny keyboard pretty quickly. The Japanese support is weak -- they just slapped a crappy interface into an English device, but it displays okay so for reading Japanese mails it's fine.
I guess it'll be good for overseas travellers -- your Blackberry will finally work in Japan (as long as it's 3G) and Japanese berries will work overseas as well. Roaming charges will kill you though, and the damn thing is expensive enough to start, as it will only be offered to corporates.
Personally I'm more interested in having push mail and a more robust browser on my cellphone. Much better input prediction for Japanese on cells these days, and with a little more tweaking (slightly bigger screen, more powerful browser that supports more scripting) I'll be set.
The issue is that the market in Japan is entirely driven by consumers, not corporates, so the needs of the business user (data and more PC functionality) are beaten by the needs of the high schooler (MP3 player, digital TV, full-color decorated email.)
I had to go to Yokohama and was on the berry the whole time in the train. Managed to get through alot of mail and I can see how it can be productive, especially for folks with a long commute to work. Then again I can also imagine being a slave to it as mails from NY and London come in all through the night and weekends. No thanks, I'll stick with my laptop and cell for now!

typhoon yagi cometh

Typhoon Yagi, originally uploaded by renfield.

Things is gonna get real wet.


I-sensei was in fine form again tonight. He set up a circuit for the first half of class. A series of 1-minute routines with 5 second breaks:
  1. bench steps (right foot up on the bench, left on the floor. Push off with the right foot on the bench, lifting the whole body up to bench level, switch feet, putting the left foot on the bench and the right on the floor. Repeat.)
  2. running in place with 1 kilo weights in each hand, knees and elbows high
  3. straight sit ups
  4. right side sit ups
  5. left side sit ups
  6. straight sit ups
  7. right side sit ups
  8. left side sit ups
  9. left-right punching heavy bag, full speed, from the hips, up on the balls of the feet
  10. left-right kicking heavy bag, as soon as the kicking foot touches down, kick with the other foot
  11. sky-divers (lie on your stomach. Lift hands and feet off the ground in sky-diver position, lower and raise without stopping.)
  12. push ups
After this lovely warmup we paired off and did mitt work working kick and punch combos.
I think I lost 2 kilos in sweat alone.

mad ninja skillz ren @ work (by loveTrain)

LoveTrain drew this sweet picture of me. This is what I'm like at work, gettin' my bid'ness on.

bugs and weeds

Typhoon passed with little more than lots of rain, and as the clouds started to clear, I pulled on my long gum boots, long sleeves and pants, and wrapped my head in a towel. Time to pull weeds.
The front "yard" (is there a minimal size for a yard? If so, this is smaller) has been overrun by greenery I don't want, concealing the cool beauty of the moss I have encouraged to grow over the clay-like dirt.
So I pulled me some weeds. And the bugs didn't like it. Or, more accurately, they loved it. Specifically, they loved the one piece of exposed, non-covered skin: my face.
By the time I retreated to the safety of the shower, I had enough bug bites on my face to make me look like a battered husband. This was enough to get some decent husband pity from P, who rewarded my valiant efforts with a huge showing of sesame-dressing pork for dinner.

neighborhood mikoshi

neighborhood mikoshi, originally uploaded by renfield.

Three-day weekend + late summer = Neighborhood festival! Various omikoshi being carried by the adults and kids around town. When I went to get my haircut, only mom and daughter were there, as dad had snuck out to help, and was gone all afternoon. Even though it started raining a bit, everyone was having a grand time.

what u lookin at?

what u lookin at?, originally uploaded by renfield.

After the antique fair we went to Bic Camera and I bought me a super hi-tek electric shaver. Then we went to the big Muji, had some lunch, and bought some maternity clothes for the no-longer working P, and a new cover for our old couch. They changed the couch style a couple years ago; the arms are thinner and it's less comfy to sit on. But luckily they still sell the old-style couch cover.


milk, originally uploaded by renfield.

Went with P to check out the Oedo Antique Fair at Tokyo International Forum. Lots of cool, old stuff, but nothing worth buying. They also had various artistically decorated cows, which reminded me of the first time I saw such bovines, back in the day in Stamford, CT.