the ladies

Mom and the girls picked me up we went home where I became an immediate hit by producing stacks of cool Japanese stickers, notebooks, and pens. Food beckoned, so we wandered up the street to get some greasy Chinese take-out and ate it at the park before chasing each other about and playing with massive static electricity from the plastic slides. Do they build them like that on purpose?
The girls were getting restless and downright grubby, so we cruised home for a bath and some jammies before they drove me back to the hotel.
In an attempt to beat jet-lag I spent an hour in the gym and am now entirely ready to pass out. So if you'll excuse me...

san francisco

First things first: ANA is most awesome. Electronic biz class seats that go nearly full flat. Power plug that looks like a regular outlet (no special adapter needed). Brilliant food. Wonderful service. Personal entertainment system with tons of movies. Noise cancelling headphones. Blanket like a sleeping bag.
Silliness: my suitcase checked by the very thorough agents in San Francisco airport, looking for drugs. Drugs?! What kind of a moron smuggles drugs from Tokyo to the USA? Tokyo, whose draconian drug laws are second only to maybe Thailand?
More silliness: the anti-liquid rule. The "no congregrating" announcement by the pilot. The full set of metal cutlery distributed with every in-flight meal. The bottled water available aplenty in-flight, though don't bring your own.
Really silly: An executive suite at the Four Seasons. Damn.

oriental voodoo

oriental voodoo, originally uploaded by renfield.

P is trying some oriental voodoo magic accupuncture. She's got three needles in her back, and two in each ankle. Supposed to relax her, especially the abdomen, giving Tonchan room and freedom to flip out of breech and into position. Hey, whatever works, eh.


Good turn out in class today, and an interesting discovery, though not surprising: sa and enyo and basically the same kata. Specifically, the sayabiki and the use of the left side of the body are the same. Doesn't matter if you're turning to the left as in sa or turning to the right as in enyo; the effect is the same: get the saya out of the way to get the sword out, don't draw with just the right arm, let the hips do the work.
This is why I think teaching is such a great way to learn: things I think are key and obvious aren't necessarily so for others. So I try to show and explain in a different way, and in doing so I re-discover something. As Gosoke says: "There is only one kata in Mugai."

b is for bauhaus

b is for bauhaus, originally uploaded by renfield.

Had to buy these modern alphabet hipster cards from

akiba economics

Took my old and busted iPod (well ok not busted per se, but certainly old as it was bought used, and the battery doesn't hold a charge any more) and sold it at Softmap. Didn't realize that on the 5th, 15th, and 25th of the month they do a special points campaign, so it being Sunday the 15th the used buyback counter was packed. Had to wait four hours, so I wandered to the cool t-shirt shop and back alleys, discovered a couple new robot parts and LED shops, ate some crappy rotator sushi, and watched some digital entertainment at Tower Records before picking up my points.
I then crossed the street to the Softmap Mac store and picked up a brand new 80 gig black video iPod for: zero cash. I had over 45,000 points stored up so I used them all.