Monday, May 28, 2007

Japan (Condensed Version)

Since I couldn't post effectively from Tokyo last week, I bundled up my thoughts from the four days in this one post:
  1. I awaken after my first night in Tokyo at the obscene hour of 4:30 AM. I had forgotten to close my blinds and by some bizarre custom, the Japanese find it neat to have sunrise before 5 AM. However, as much as the sun in my eyes was annoying, I think it was actually the sounds of dogs barking that woke me up. Although it seemed normal at the time (since I have loud dogs at home), after actually getting up I was somewhat puzzled. Especially since I was 27 stories up in the middle of downtown Tokyo. A quick look out the window solved my mystery:
    Yeah, the Japanese have a dog park on the top of a building near mine. Of course.

  2. It was a beautiful day and we wanted to get out of Tokyo, so I got dressed.
    This view is west away from Shibuya.

  3. We took the train two hours out to see Mount Fuji (Fujiyoshida, Japan). It was incredible. A tour bus drove us around the lakes (there are five lakes around the mountain) and we got some good pictures.

  4. Stopped by MOS burger. MOS burger is the In-N-Out Burger of Japan. Their teryaki burger is quite good.

  5. After getting back from Mount Fuji, we got a few drinks up in the bar. This is the same view as earlier.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mistral Blue

Mistral Blue
Originally uploaded by /k.
Still posting via Flickr due to the before mentioned Blogger weirdness.

Finished up my trip to Japan last night with a group meeting in Rappongi. Our Japanese director is a keen 1950's rock and roll fan, so he took us to his favorite theme bar where they played Elvis covers. I wish I had taken some video for YouTube -- there were some priceless moments. Having said that, they did play "Pipeline" by the Ventures, which makes them alright in my book. After the 1950's rock and roll bar, a few us headed up the street to my old haunt, Mistral Blue. Mistral Blue is a converted train car and possibly the smallest bar in the world (I was standing 3 feet inside the doorway when I took this picture). It is a stop on every true rock stars visit to Tokyo -- pictures and autographs from Iron Maiden to Guns N Roses to Fall Out Boy "adorn" the walls. I hadn't been there in 3 years but it hasn't changed at all -- even the same bartender was there.

I am back in the US tomorrow for a well deserved week of R&R.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Mount Fuji, originally uploaded by /k.

Sorry for the lack of posts. For some reason, Google thinks I can read Japanese because I am in Tokyo and refuses to display the blogger controls in English. As such, I am posting this from Flickr.

Please enjoy this zen image of Mount Fuji while I sort it out.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lazy Sunday (St Kilda Edition)

Anglo-Boer War Memorial
Originally uploaded by /k.
I've been on flights most of the past three weekends and am off to Japan this Friday, so I decided to take it easy and just hang out here in St Kilda for a few days. However, that turned out to more boring that I anticipated -- especially when I burned through my last episodes of Heroes and the Sopranos on Friday night. So I decided that I should at least walk into Melbourne CBD to get some reading materials.

On my walk, I spotted this about three-fourth of the way there. Melbourne has a huge war memorial park and this particular memorial is from the Second Anglo-Boer War (South Africa around 1901). I'm not sure what it is supposed to symbolize but it is quite striking.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Big Screen

While I have always been in awe of the 108" big screen at the Powerhouse, in the back of my mind I thought there must be a bigger TV out there. And there is. Here in Sydney at the James Squire Brewhouse I found a TV larger than me.

Yes, it is just a projection dealie, but I still sat mesmerized for hours. Even through Aussie Rules Football.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Matrix

Phone call, originally uploaded by adactio.

I meant to post this a bit back, but I think I forgot: Most of the original Matrix movie was filmed in downtown Sydney and it turns out that a few of the scenes were actually shot right outside my hotel. Case in point, a guy on the internet has posted recreation photos of a few scenes in the movie. The one on the right is directly outside my hotel's front door. It's weird that I have walked by that (and a few other places) hundreds of times and never noticed it before.

Downtown Sydney was also the set for Mission Impossible 2 and Superman.