Posts Tagged With: Japan

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.

Categories: This life... | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Big In Japan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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