Another one

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HA!  Ok, ok.  I’m back.  Two months in a row.  What was it I came here to talk about again…I just got off the phone with my girlfriend.  I had this whole thing planned out and now its gone….I really need to start taking notes.

OH! So My girlfriend is coming to visit in August, for between one and three months.  We haven’t really decided how long it will be.  I figure tell the peeps at the airport three months to buy as much time as you need, then if something comes up or you decide you need to go home early it’s not a problem.  Anywho because of that we were searching about Visitor B2 visas.  And she enlightened me that last time she visited which was last August she didn’t need the visa, she just got ESTA(Electronic System for Travel Authorization).  So that was new to me but good to know.

So it will have been a year since we actually started dating in August, and its been since New Years that I last saw her.  Time is passing incredibly fast when I look at it that way.  Which reminds me why I started to make tonights blog…

So I was thinking in the shower, which I typically do, about the future.   (Not So Quick Aside) Starting to think I need to find a waterproof tablet and pencil to write notes with while in the shower.  I get some of my best brainstorming done there, but I lose most of it by the time I pull back the curtain.  Alternatively I could hire someone to take notes while I dictate.

Back again…so the future.  I’m working now, doing inspection.  I travel a lot, I’m once again typing this from a hotel(did I mention that last time?).  My girlfriend and I have discussed the future, and possibilities that probably end up with me back in Japan.  Which I am totally fine with as I actually like it there.  However I did come back to America for the job I am currently working now.  Today is Friday the 13th and was a pay day.  I only mention that because, in the last two weeks I made more than I would make in a whole month teaching English in Japan.  I’m not saying I make a lot of money, or that English teachers inherently make a small amount, but there in lies the crux of the situation.  My earning potential here far out weighs any, there in teaching.  If I get enough experience doing inspection here, there is a possibility to do it in Japan, but I’d rather not work this hard all my life.  So that is the cross roads I find my self at.  Money and constant traveling, or Japan and little money.  I see people do it, but I wonder how does one raise a family on a teachers wage in Japan.  Although some are actual teachers or are doing better than just the neophyte at the Eikaiwa I must say.  Just something for me to think about.  See you guys in about a month.

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It’s been awhile…

WOW! Three years! I guess that’s more than awhile eh?  I kinda let this slide to the wayside.  I did make a few videos both before leaving Japan and after arriving back in Louisiana.  To anyone still reading this, so sorry.

If you didn’t see the videos since I returned check them out.  I made a 30 minute video while driving explaining why I moved back check it out here.

And for those of you who are in the know, you’ll know that my girlfriend is living in Japan and I made a video of my Winter trip to go meet her family this New Years.  If you haven’t seen that then you might appreciate some actual Japan footage.

OK, after you’ve seen those I’ll set the soundtrack for this little, long over due, entry.

Well as it stands now I’ve been back state side since September 2013.  So almost three years now…wow.  Seems like such a short time when I think about it, but when I say it out loud to myself it’s actually been a long time.  For about a week now I’ve been thinking to get the blog back up and going.  I’m gonna start a new category and keep these kind separate from what’s to come, also the past, and I’m sure future, “Big in Japan” posts.

I spent a year working in IT, which wasn’t why I came back.  I wasn’t really enjoying myself, just going through the paces, but I got laid off and wasn’t even mad about it.  It gave me the push out of being comfortable to go out and get the job I initially came back for.  Which I’m doing now and have been doing for over a year and a half now.  It’ll be two years in October.  I’m working outside everyday, I’m traveling the country, and most importantly I’m enjoying myself.  The fact that I have to travel for work is just a bit of a bonus.  So work life is good, but it keeps me busy, and once again away from family.

I’ve got another song for you now if you have finished the first…

Being away from family wasn’t that big of a deal for me.  At least not until just recently.  As I recently entered a relationship with someone I’d known for a few years now.  I say recently, but it will be a year in August.  It’s been incredibly satisfying as far as relationships go.  Which is strange to say, as we are at any given time about 11,000km(~7,000Miles) apart.  But we have managed to talk or see each other every day.  And what’s starting to make it more difficult is my traveling. Which normally in this situation would be a non-issue.  As we are already over 10,000km apart.  However it’s making it hard to plan a time to get together as in my work I don’t have set off/vacation time. I sometimes work 7-days a week.  So as I try to plan a time for my girlfriend to come over here to visit for awhile it’s become increasingly difficult due to my hectic work schedule.  But I actually have faith it will work out.  As we are both happy in this moment and excited.

Well…when I sat down to type this I didn’t mean for this blog to go this way.  It was just supposed to be an informative, catch up on life blog.  And here I am talking in-depth.  No reason to erase it now since it would all come out anyway.

So here is what I’m thinking to do with my resurrected(of sorts) blog.  I’m thinking to continue to chronicle adventures and thoughts I have along the way.  It seems I’m either going back to Japan indefinitely within the next five years, or I’ll be bringing a piece of Japan that close to my heart here.  But I’m thinking the latter will just be for a short time.

So regardless I’ll be talking about the journey, international relationships, visiting back and forth, mindless rants(like this one it seems) and so on.  I’m also gonna talk about the weight-loss that I’m going through at the moment.  For those that don’t know I lost almost 100kg while living in Japan!  And in the last two and a half years, through sheer laziness, and some bad eating habits(thanks Mom for the good food) I’ve managed to back on about 15kg.  So I’ve been in the gym trying to build muscle this time and trying to shape up.  I’m not trying trying to focus on numbers this time, but overall health and fitness.  I’m gonna go hard on the bike too, I’ve picked up a set of rollers and I’ve rebuilt the aggressive trackbike as a track only beast.  I really wanna start practicing.  I’ve got my mind on getting in shape.

IF any of this interests you then I’m glad you stuck around.  Or on the other hand I’m glad you are here if this is the first time thanks for stopping by.  I promise to get a little more frequent with my updates.  At the moment I’m gonna try for once a month.  So I’ll see you again in May!

 

 

 

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Its been awhile

Its been awhile since I’ve posted. But some things are changing soon.

I’m actually moving back to Louisiana. I’ll have some videos soon. About some things here in Japan and my going home. So I’ll be trying to make some posts and videos soon.:)

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Sunday Ride

My first decent ride since my bike accident, thought it would be a good idea to bring the GoPro along and get some footage. This is only half the ride. I have most of the other half. Because the GoPro died after we got to the cafe on the last leg of the trip and then started to part ways.

Total trip distance was about 38km for me. We went from Guell Bicycle store in Nara City to the Shirakawa-Dam in Tenri. Along the way we picked up an extra rider. About 14km to the Dam. Then after that we went to the Savas cafe in Nara City. Then back to Guell.

After Guell 4 of us went to the Nara Keirin Track. If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen a few pictures from the ride already. It was a good day even though it was cold and it felt great to be back on the bike riding decent distances.

I’m looking forward to the next ride, and to warmer weather.

It was nice to make some new friends and great to hang out with the old ones.

If you guys like you should go and check out some of the blogs that the other riders have.
Danny on the crazy Fuji rock hopper is over at Kinki Cycle
http://kinkicycle.blogspot.jp/

And Guell has a blog run by Toshio and Susumu (in Japanese though)
http://ameblo.jp/guell-bicycle

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Toy shopping in Den Den Town

As my 50th post I thought I’d show off a bit of my Otaku side….

So on Monday it was a bit rainy here in Nara and I decided to take a train out to Nippombashi, Osaka and do a little shopping.  Due to my friends back home talking about Gundam alot lately I decided I wanted to go out to one of the biggest Gundam stores in Den Den Town and pick up one of my old favorites.  So this is going to be a picture chronicle of shopping in Den Den Town and what you might see when you go there.

Nippombashi station entrance

About a 1KM walk from the station is Den Den Town.  But I forgot to get a picture of one of the signs…

The beginning of Den Den Town, you can already see the Zaku

From here I decided it would be best to head right into the Joshin and get to business.

The big Gundam Display, can’t miss the building.

If you are coming here for Gundam specifically then you can just skip the first floor.  Best to take the escalator up to the second floor, and you’ll be greeted by this

A giant fist!?

From there the fun really begins

Do you want to look like Char at your next Halloween party?

Here is a display case with LOADS of Gundams doing battle.  Its like a case of collectors dreams. “NO PICTURES!” Don’t worry I’m not taking any pictures, I’m just looking around…

And we haven’t even really walked into the Gundam portion of the store yet…

And you are still missing another isle on the left side here

As we come in I’ll kind of show you around.   Here is a good bit of the HG Universal Century stuff

PG Gundam Astray Red Frame anyone?

Or how about this guy?  Master Grade Destiny

Extreme “BEAST?” Mode…LOL

On the way back down to the first floor this is in the stairwell…

A nice description of the different levels of Gundam, or at least most of them.

In case you didn’t know ZOIDs are big again, and have been for quite some time.

Of course I couldn’t leave the store without snapping a picture of some of the statues.  I do love me some Mio from K-On!

And as you leave the store this guy is almost 5’6″ tall.  Kinda hard to miss.  Some kid had just got done putting the fingers into the rock n’ roll posture so I had to get a picture of that.

SO METAL!!!

After leaving I headed over to the Other Joshin.  Thats about 5 or 6 stories tall and snapped photos of the model cars and planes.  And also some of the RC stuff.  When I was a kid I always dreamed of visiting the Tamiya store.  So a store like this is a dream come true for me.  Almost every Tamiya everything was on display here.  It was amazing.

There was a row for Tamiya Bodies, there was a row for wheels and tires, there was a row for paints, there was a row for electronics.  There was a row of RC kits.  There was a row of suspension and drivetrain goodies.  It was like heaven on earth.

There was a racetrack in the back corner setup making alot of noise and quite a few people gathered around it.  Interesting to watch.  But good for me so I could snap a few pictures of the custom drift cars in the glass cabinet that said “no pictures” once again…mwahahha

Custom drift skyline

custom drift Z

Trouble finding wheels for your oldschool ride?  What do you fancy?  Maybe some SSR FM?  What about some Techno Shadows?  That’s right everything is here…  From Watanabes to Volks, widened steels to Work Equips.

If you have a chassis, and the perfect wheels what about a perfect body to cover it all with?  Everything from Civics to Zs.

Moving to the next floor….
Maybe the famous Mazda 787B is more you speed?

Maybe you prefer 2 wheels instead of 4…

Maybe flight is more your thing?

Or if you really wanna blow some stuff up…

Of course I had to visit the car racing floor…

Thats right a floor dedicated to racing and diecasts, as a collector of hotwheels and scale car models in childhood this is like a heavenly floor…

This would have been my fathers flavorite floor I believe.  When I was a child he had lots of train sets.  And we played with them.  And here is a floor dedicated to model trains.  Its kind of a big deal here…

One more floor left, the model floor.  And things glue together models (mostly cars).  Now on the racing floor I was a bit disappointed by the lack of Toyota chasers/crestas/soarers.  But here they more than made up for it.

SOO BEAUTIFUL!!! All the Shakotan you could ever want!

And the best wheel selection I’ve ever seen.  Whats your favorite?

So finally left probably spent a couple of hours in here. then headed to my next favorite spot that’s last on the way out of Den Den Town.

I’ve only got a few but Bear Bricks are SUPER popular here.

So awesome…here’s just one wall.

My favorite, I do love me some graffiti.

And if you like Daft Punk….

This place is full of old used stuff…you like Dragon Ball Z?

And to end this all I ended up with HGFC G-Gundam 1/144th

Still my favorite series.

If you visit the flickr photoset here http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigtoepfer/sets/72157632530654975/with/8385749986/ there are alot more photos.  This is just the ones I thought most interesting.  Hope you enjoyed.  Let me know if you want to see more stuff like this.  Thanks for reading.

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2012 in review

So its December 31st.  I don’t know if I’ll get to do the traditional Japanese “going to the temple thing” this year.  But I have had some fun with some friends.  So probably tomorrow I will compile some pictures and put them here in a post.  For now there is is that was in my email today which I thought was pretty neat.  And I figured why keep it to myself when I can share it with everyone.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.  Stay safe and enjoy yourself where ever you are and whatever you are doing.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Cajun Night Before Christmas

Cajun Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas an’ all t’ru de house, Dey don’t a ting pass Not even a mouse. De chirren been nezzle good snug on de flo’, An’ Mama pass de pepper t’ru de crack on de do’.

De Mama in de fireplace done roas’ up de ham, Sit up de gumbo an’ make de bake yam. Den out on de by-you dey got such a clatter, Make soun’ like old Boudreau done fall off his ladder.

I run like a rabbit to got to de do’, Trip over de dorg an’ fall on de flo’. As I look out de do’in de light o’ de moon, I t’ink, “Mahn, you crazy or got ol’ too soon.”

Cux dere on de by-you w’en I stretch ma’neck stiff, Dere’s eight alligator a pullin’ de skiff. An’ a little fat drover wit’ a long pole-ing stick, I know r’at away got to be ole St.Nick.

Mo’ fas’er an’ fas’er de’ gator dey came He whistle an’ holler an’ call dem by name: “Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an’ Alcee’! Gee, Ninette! Gee, Suzette! Celeste an’Renee’!

To de top o’ de porch to de top o’ de wall, Make crawl, alligator, an’ be sho’ you don’ fall.” Like Tante Flo’s cat t’ru de treetop he fly, W’en de big ole houn’ dorg come a run hisse’s by.

Like dat up de porch dem ole ‘gator clim! Wit’ de skiff full o’ toy an’ St. Nicklus behin’. Den on top de porch roof it soun’ like de hail, W’en all dem big gator, done sot down dey tail.

Den down de chimney I yell wit’ a bam, An’ St.Nicklus fall an’ sit on de yam. “Sacre!” he axclaim, “Ma pant got a hole I done sot ma’se’f on dem red hot coal.”

He got on his foots an’ jump like de cat Out to de flo’ where he lan’ wit’ a SPLAT! He was dress in musk-rat from his head to his foot, An’ his clothes is all dirty wit’ ashes an’ soot.

A sack full o’ playt’ing he t’row on his back, He look like a burglar an’ dass fo’ a fack. His eyes how dey shine his dimple, how merry! Maybe he been drink de wine from de blackberry.

His cheek was like a rose his nose a cherry, On secon’ t’ought maybe he lap up de sherry. Wit’ snow-white chin whisker an’ quiverin’ belly, He shook w’en he laugh like de stromberry jelly!

But a wink in his eye an’ a shook o’ his head, Make my confi-dence dat I don’t got to be scared. He don’ do no talkin’ gone strit to hi work, Put a playt’ing in sock an’ den turn wit’ a jerk.

He put bot’ his han’ dere on top o’ his head, Cas’ an eye on de chimney an’ den he done said: “Wit’ all o’ dat fire an’ dem burnin’ hot flame, Me I ain’ goin’ back by de way dat I came.”

So he run out de do’ an, he clim’ to de roof, He ain’ no fool, him for to make one more goof. He jump in his skiff an’ crack his big whip, De’ gator move down, An don’ make one slip.

An’ I hear him shout loud as a splashin’ he go, “Merry Christmas to all ’til I saw you some mo’!”

Author: J. B. Kling, Jr., 1973

As read by me:

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Trip to Kyoto

I’m not sure why I never posted this.  I think I tried to and got side tracked or maybe I just never got around to it.  Not sure.

So what happened was I got all packed up one morning on a day off in the second week of October.  Charged up the battery on my camera.  Charged up my phone.  Started packed for the trip.  Getting the bike ready.

When I rode across Kyoto and got to the first attraction and realized I had left the battery for my camera at home. (-___-)
At that point I had pretty much lost the motivation for the day.  But I did take a few photos with my phone and tried to save as much battery life as possible because I also wanted to do a video while I was there.   So after riding all the way across town again I stopped at the river and made a video.  And then went on to see one more attraction.  After that I learned that Kyoto is BIG.  And I’d never do that again.

Not to just run around the city in one day.  I’d do better with the train or bus.  Its just not worth the time.  The city is simply too big and way too mountainous.  I do want to go back to Kyoto however once it warms up a bit and see the sights that I didn’t see.

So without further ad-due here is the video

And a few pictures

 

And that is but a small selection.  If you follow me on instagram you got the full taste of it.  Sorry I wish there was more, but I didn’t have my camera battery. (T-T)

Categories: Big In Japan, Cog Blog | 2 Comments

Evolution of Donatello

So has it really come down to me posting once every month? SHEESH!

I posted on Sept. 10th about my new headset. WOW.  Since then BIG changes.  I wasn’t joking when I said big changes were coming.  But its been 4 months.

So before it looked like this.

Then in October I changed the rear wheel.  And that started a chain reaction.  Cranks, saddle, seatpost, stem, bars, front wheel, extra set of wheels.

Here is a picture after I changed the rear wheel only.

So I have a picture here somewhere after I changed the rear wheel, cranks, seat, and front wheel.  This is when I took a ride to Kyoto.  I have a video on TheCajunGaijin Channel about that.

I have a full set of the front wheel.  Rough Pista hoops with black DT spokes laced to StarFucker Mohican Hubs.  SMOOTH.  But I only use them for long distance riding and I am putting a set of 25c tires on them.

The back wheel is a H+Son TB14.  In the picture its laced to a Rizing hub.  But I later relaced it and a front just like it to a set of Starfucker Mohicans also.  Which you’ll see in the next picture.  Polished spokes and Purple nipples.   Also added drop bars.  And another new saddle.

Upclose of the wheel and purple nipples because they are sexy…

I apologize that for the last two pictures I don’t have nice high quality photos.  I haven’t been out to take a picture of the bike lately.  ITS REALLY COLD!!! I rode today for the first time in a week.  And its like 4*C out. This weeks low is -1*C all week.

Dunno when I’m going to be able to go out and get more photos.  But I wanna do another bike check soon for youtube.

I’ll make a post about the GoPro ride soon.  I need to redo the video.  I didn’t put any music to it and its just kinda boring.  So I’m going to redo it.  So hold tight for that.  Thanks for visiting.

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JVLOG Meet: Kansai 2012

So myself and RoninJapan91 put together a little JVLOG meet here in Kansai.  In Osaka to be precise.  We were unable to make it to the big meet in Tokyo for a few different reasons and so we decided that since there are probably a lot of people like us in the area who didn’t get to go that it would be fun to put together a little something in our neck of the woods.

So we did.  On December 8th we had a meet up at Tin’s Hall.  Which is right near Tennoji Station in Osaka.  This place is pretty happening and has been for about 15 years from what I’ve heard.  And its a great little place to get a drink and meet people.  They also have a really good burger selection and make a nice pizza.

SO enough about that you came for the video and pictures right?  Well I took out the GoPro to the meet.  This was my first time trying to use it for something like this. (I still have a bike video I need to post about here (T-T) sorry) And I think it came out pretty well.  As you’ll see I turned it one as we strolled to the station, and then used to do a little videoing at the actual meet.  All in all I think it came out pretty well.

Thanks to everyone to came out and I hope we can do it again.  BIGGER and BETTER!

**BONUS POINTS** if you are a video game nerd like me and can figure out the music that was used in the video.

And here are a small selection of pictures.  If you follow the Cajun Gaijin facebook page they are all there.  And also on my Flickr.

JVLOG KANSAI 2012 poster I made for everyone to sign then later give away.

Unrested and Nanairomiso

ChillinKansai

LaurenNihon and Myself(with awesome Christmas shirt from my grandmother)

RoninJapan91 and MCJangles

And last but not least RobotKoi

Now this is probably a good time to mention (as you see the nice girl standing there)that there was a gōkon (合コン) going on at the same time as our party.  So there were some people who came over to see us and have a chat.  Now a gokon is a mixer or a type of group dating that happens alot in Japan.  Another word for it is Konpa (コンパ).  But these are interesting in that they aren’t generally meant for one night stands.  They are meant with the intention of people forming friendships and possibly long-term relationships.

Interesting stuff. And I suppose your Japanese lesson for today.  Thanks for reading.

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