Archive for March, 2006

Shibuya

Mar 31 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

Piroko and I went shopping in Shibuya, and at one of the many trendy department stores I ran into these charming stools modeled after Apple keyboard keys. It’s even got a good approximation of the italic [Univers][1] that Apple uses on their keys. [1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_font#Keyboards

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Shinagawa Prince Hotel

Mar 30 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

Here’s a traditional Japanese meal at a fancy hotel. Piroko’s grandmother and her sister took us to this place; while standard restaurants are at the tops of big department store buildings, fancy ones are at the tops of big hotel buildings. Much of my trip was spent with Piroko, just walking around stores as she looked for shoes or sitting down to eat together. And that’s just fine with me.

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Yakiniku

Mar 28 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

I think my favorite meal may be yakiniku, Korean-style barbecue. Hiroko’s parents took us to a nice place near their house, because they know I love the Korean food. We had all varieties of meat to grill up, assorted kimchis, and various sauces and spicy side dishes. I don’t think any other meal leaves me feeling as content as this one. Hiroko turned me on to the period-drama [Dae Jang Geum][1], about the royal kitchen in 16th-century Korea. Apparently it’s the highest-rated show in Korean history, and has since become a hit around the rest of Asia, especially in Japan. This show contains plenty of facts about cuisine and Eastern medicine. Whenever a useful fact is mentioned in the show, they actually put the relevant information up on the screen for you to note. That’s a show with substance. [1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dae_Jang_Geum

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Bags by Eboy

Mar 22 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

[Eboy][1] and similar isometric pixel art are the rage these days. Apparently they’re even cool enough for designer handbags in Japanese department stores. [1]: http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/

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Shibuya

Mar 22 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

1. This alleged Harvard clothing must be real, because they are using the official seal of Harvard. 2. This can’t be real, because Harvard should never allow such adverb abuse. Heck heck heck.

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Apple Store Shibuya

Mar 20 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

Hiroko and I dropped in to the Apple Store in Shibuya just for fun. It was great to see the place so crowded with Apple fans or prospective switchers. We went upstairs to the software area and found OmniGraffle 4 on the shelf. The localizers did a number on the box, cluttering it up with distractions, but it’s nice to see it there at all. I went to one of the Power Macs, found the bundled copy of OmniOutliner 3, and popped open the Welcome document. There it was, as it would be on any Mac in any store, anywhere in the world, something I created one day at work. I realized then for the first time that I had made something that would be seen by thousands, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people. How about that. :D

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True Curry

Mar 20 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

My employer provides me with delicious, nourishing meals five days a week. On campus at St. Norbert, I had the dining hall and several culinarily-skilled Korean and Japanese friends. But when I was studying in Tokyo and was left to feed myself, I degenerated into a mostly [Matsuya][1]-based diet. I liked Matsuya because I could get gyuudon, curry, or some other kind of teishoku, all cheap, all filling, all tasty-tasty. Upon my return to the USA, I longed for those dishes, and while I’ve yet to find gyuudon in Seattle (and I have tried resolutely), there is a fine Japanese curry place in the International District. Curry has become a weekly ritual for my Seattle friends and me. To us, Sunday equals curry. I bought a tiny replica of a plate of curry for Shishka to dangle from his cell-phone. The dish has been elevated to legendary status. So imagine my delight when Piroko’s mother presented this curry to me, orders of magnitude superior to the fast-food-type curry at Matsuya or Fort St. George. [1]: http://context.metalbat.com/index.pl?768

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Oimachi

Mar 14 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

I’ve loved this sign since I first saw it years ago and Try it!! I did a lot of walking between Piroko’s parents’ place and her grandmother’s place; in doing so I finally learned my way around Oimachi, a town that had confused me for years. I have a deplorable sense of direction. In addition, when someone is guiding me, my brain stops accepting input and I don’t learn anything. This was the first time I had to navigate around the town on my own, so it was the first time I really learned where I was going. This diner was a major landmark for me. So was a certain huge industrial-looking building that I knew wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be. I have been getting lost and ending up at that building ever since I first tried to visit Piroko’s parents’ house five years ago. It’s my “you are lost, turn back now” building.

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Shinjuku

Mar 09 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

Kabukichou from above, part three. Do you remember parts [one][1] and [two][2]? While Piroko was at work, I occupied myself by making the traditional Shinjuku used game shop rounds. The treasures this time around were Ryuu ga Gotoku (a kind of yakuza-Shenmue), and the entire Zero (Fatal Frame) series. [1]: http://context.metalbat.com/index.pl?760 [2]: http://context.metalbat.com/index.pl?905

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Izeki-san’s Sushi

Mar 08 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

Piroko’s family is friends with the proprietor of a superior sushi shop. For special occasions they order trays of this top-notch sushi to be delivered. I thought I might be lucky enough to eat some during my visit, but they went the extra kilometer and ordered some not just for my arrival, but also for the night before I left!

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Take One More Step Forward

Mar 08 2006 Published by under Uncategorized

On Christmas 2005 I flew to Tokyo to see Piroko. This second visit in one year brings my average back up to one trip to Japan every year, after having stayed in the USA for all of 2004.

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