September 19, 2014
Kindle

Amazon announced a new e-reader, the Kindle Voyage. It looks so great, and of course I want one. But for $199? That seems pretty steep… so as I look at the current Kindle lineup (the dedicated e-reader, not the Fire tablet), my choice would be the Paperwhite. Bay has one, and the backlight is so great and convenient. If you don’t know, I have a Kindle Keyboard – it’s the one that has keys on the bottom. I still love it because the battery lasts forever. And it has something the others don’t have: speakers and a headphone jack. It’s a really nice feature actually… I have a bunch of nice classical piano and guitar mp3s on the Kindle, and it’s great to have that play softly as I read.

In short, the new Kindles are cool, but my old Kindle is still chugging away, and shows no signs of slowing down. :)

The post Kindle appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1AVsTNm

2:04pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1RBacXt
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
September 17, 2014
Fuchiko and Ohayo! @satencoffee

Our friends opened up a new café! Please visit Sa-Tén sometime!

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1Dh6a2v

The post Fuchiko and Ohayo! @satencoffee appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1srejsx

8:43pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1R3x0JF
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
September 6, 2014
Morning Ride

Looking Out Over Inks Lake

Looking Out Over Inks Lake

I’m pretty lucky that I live on the edge of the Texas Hill Country, which has some really fun roads to ride. This morning I rode Route 1431 from our house in Cedar Park to Marble Falls, then up to Park Road 4, which goes past Longhorn Caverns State Park, and then on to Inks Lake State Park, where I took these photos. It was so much fun, that I turned around and rode the same way back home, and made it in time for lunch! It was a total of about 150 miles round-trip and a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning.

Kiki Resting in the Shade

Kiki Resting in the Shade

The post Morning Ride appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1nCAOJw

1:33pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1QA2zh8
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
September 5, 2014
operationfailure:

My friend Maggie, at the young age of 34, just found out she has a twin, and now it’s up to all of us to help her find them!
I love a mystery!
Please share this photo!

operationfailure:

My friend Maggie, at the young age of 34, just found out she has a twin, and now it’s up to all of us to help her find them!

I love a mystery!

Please share this photo!

(via japanlove)

September 5, 2014
"Love the design, however, we were wondering if you could move our logo about half a pixel up?"

— (via clientsfromhell)

September 1, 2014
Morning Osanpo (Walk)

Morning Osanpo

Morning Osanpo

I took the photo above early in the morning when I was taking a walk from our hotel room to the outside onsen. It was probably about 6am and Mariko and the kids were still asleep, and I could have just stayed in bed as well but I really wanted to make the most of our stay so I made the sleepy walk along the path.

Just do it

One of the things I am trying to do is to be more active. By active, I don’t mean exercise, but rather if there is an opportunity to do something, I want to take it rather than just stay in and relax. The problem I’ve had in the past is that it is difficult for me to get started doing an activity. Once I am actively engaged in that activity, however, I almost always have fun and it is worthwhile. But just taking that first step has been a barrier. I’m not talking about a large project or adventure, but more like daily things. For instance, I always remember my brother Kevin would ask me to go golfing, but I would be hesitant to go. I’m not sure why, but I would rather take the “safe” option and stay home. But of course when I went golfing, I had a lot of fun and couldn’t wait to go again. Kevin mentioned something about that… how I should just get off my butt and go. (Not his exact words)

Let’s go

Back to my vacation… I arrived at the outside onsen and joined several other guests to enjoy watching the sunrise over the mountains, which was a pretty dang cool thing to do! But it didn’t stop there… after I returned to the room and changed into my regular clothes (and the family was still sleeping), I decided to go on a short hike. The hotel we stayed at has a few trails of varying lengths that start near the entrance so I took a short one, which led to a small stream and waterfall. I thought I might see a few other guests on the trail, but I ended up not seeing one single hiker. (I found out later that there was a longer, guided hike that left earlier.) The hike itself was good, but it was already starting to get muggy and I was constantly in motion trying to keep the mosquitoes at bay, and spider webs out of my face. However, I am glad I went for the hike. It was a new place that I would probably never go to again, I got some exercise, and I created some lasting memories.

I’m glad that I am making decisions that lean towards taking action rather than ones that follow the “safe route”. We only live once, and thinking of all the possible memories and experiences that we are missing makes me a little sad.

Sunrising

Sun Rising

Pathway

Pathway

Morning Sky

Morning Sky

Forest Stream

Forest Stream

The post Morning Osanpo (Walk) appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1nkUem5

7:38am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1Pl3vmj
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
August 27, 2014
thechapterfourblog:

Holy shit.
If that doesn’t put the finest point on it you’ve ever seen/heard, I don’t know what does.

thechapterfourblog:

Holy shit.

If that doesn’t put the finest point on it you’ve ever seen/heard, I don’t know what does.

(Source: thedragoninmygarage, via wilwheaton)

August 20, 2014
Curry: Good But Disappointing

Katsu Curry

Katsu Curry

in 2011 I visited Osaka and had a super-spicy curry at 上等カレー near Tsukamoto Station. It was soooo hot that I was in a daze. Mariko and the kids said I was crying, but I beg to differ! My eyes were watering, yes, but that is different, isn’t it? Also, I had a sort of hiccup due to the extreme heat and it hurt to breathe too quickly. My facial muscles were slack. Take a look at the photo below and see for yourself.

Super Spicy Curry Face

Super Spicy Curry Face

Regardless of how each of us recall that meal, the memory of it is a great one, and I wanted to experience the same spiciness during this vacation as the one in 2011. So I asked Mariko if we could go to the same curry shop, but she said there was a branch of the same shop near where we would be that day and that we should go there. Sounded good to me! Outside the shop is the ticket vending machine where you choose what you want to order, and put in your money. We noticed that there was no options for spiciness level and that kind of set off some alarms. We ordered the regular curry and saw that there were bottles of chili powder on the tables so you can adjust the level of spiciness yourself. I added a few dashes, and it still wasn’t as hot as it was in 2011. Back then, the cook just asked us how spicy we wanted it, and I told him “very spicy”. But now, the self-serve chili powder just wasn’t cutting it! I added several more dashes of powder, but it wasn’t getting any hotter – I think I maxed out that chili powder’s capabilities. I was pretty disappointed.

The curry itself was pretty tasty, but I was hoping to have the same experience as before! So, for the next time, I asked Mariko to do a little research so we can visit a curry shop with super spicy curry, just like the one in 2011. In fact, we might try the Tsukamoto shop again, but I don’t know if they will just have the self-serve chili powder which would be disappointing.

Curry Shop near Tsukamoto Station

Curry Shop near Tsukamoto Station

Just for reference, if you are familiar with Coco Ichiban Curry, where they have a spiciness level 1-10, I normally will order the level 10. I’d say the curry in 2011 was probably a 15+.

The post Curry: Good But Disappointing appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1vi1cgE

12:20pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1OlyK1Q
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
August 19, 2014

ikemenparadisethings:

Dakishimetai Movie

August 19, 2014

wo is I, ai is LOVE, ni is YOU. Wo ai ni. = I love you. 

(Source: zooxzoo)

August 19, 2014
Being a Tourist

I wanted to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine this trip because it looks so cool and is one of the top tourist destinations that I haven’t been to. In the past I wasn’t so interested in seeing the touristy stuff, and since I was always with a local (Mariko), I enjoyed going to places that a native Japanese person enjoys. But lately I see a lot of photos from friends who visit the touristy places and I start to think… “Shootz, I haven’t even been there even though I have visited Japan so many times!” And I kind of have a new outlook on life… where I want to experience all sorts of things and not really care about stuff that doesn’t matter. For instance, looking like a tourist used to bother me a little, but now I don’t care about it. Anyways, the feeling of being a tourist might last only a short while, but the memories of visiting an amazing place will last a lifetime! And you know what? I am a tourist after all! Why try to pretend that I’m not?

Also, as I try to look for positivity in all things, I realize that being a tourist can actually be fun and that you can have some interesting interactions with the locals, who are almost always friendly and generous with their time.

So this trip when Mariko asked me what I wanted to do and see, I included Fushimi Inari Shrine and Himeji Castle on the list. I also mixed in some local stuff, like seeing a baseball game, and it turned out to be a great mix of activities, with items being removed from the bucket list, and precious memories created!

Hot Day at Himeji Castle

Hot Day at Himeji Castle

The post Being a Tourist appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1qmMYXe

11:42am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1OgN_k2
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
August 17, 2014
Submarine Sandwich Realizaton

Eating my Sub at HNL

Eating my Sub at HNL

“Food always tastes better when somebody else makes it.” That’s what my Mom said to me when we were talking about her submarine sandwiches, which I always request she make for me when we visit. I kind of agree with her, especially because when I try to make the exact same submarine sandwiches, they always taste differently (and not as good) as hers. Every time I have the subs she makes I ask her the same question… “What kind of Italian dressing do you use?” because I’ve always thought that the dressing is the key to getting the same taste. But now I am thinking maybe it’s just because “Food always tastes better when somebody else makes it.”

The post Submarine Sandwich Realizaton appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/VwlYfH

1:55pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1OVjqcg
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
August 15, 2014
Vacation Eats

Enjoying Ramen at Kamukura

Enjoying Ramen at Kamukura

Food is good! And the food in Japan and Hawaii is hard to beat. One of the things I look forward to most when traveling are the vacation eats: meals at the local restaurants and sampling the regional cuisine. This past trip to Japan, I ate almost everything that was on my list:

  • Sushi
  • Okonomiyaki
  • Takoyaki
  • MOS Burger
  • Yakitori
  • Izakaya goodies
  • Ramen
  • Curry
  • Kushiyaki

The only reason I didn’t gain 10 lbs is that in Japan you tend to walk quite a bit to get around and I’m also glad that I got to run, swim, and surf to keep my metabolism up.

Besides the yummy food, we had a lot to drink, not only beer, but lots of iced coffee and canned coffee (I have to keep my caffeine addiction in check). I loved it all! Of course, the above list was just the Japan leg of the trip. In Hawaii we continued our constant feasting with:

  • More sushi
  • Poké
  • Korean BBQ
  • Plate lunch
  • Fresh tropical fruits
  • Smoothies
  • Himalayan/Nepalese

To finish off the vacation, we had dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Torrance! It was really cool to have my parents and my brothers together at one time, something that doesn’t happen very often since we live so far apart.

The meals we have while traveling are a great opportunity to not only try different flavors or revisit signature regional flavors, but also to make great memories around these special meals. Vacation Eats are a great opportunity to add a lot of color to the vacation (and also life in general). Food is good!

The post Vacation Eats appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/XnlLNE

12:33pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1OKS0ka
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
August 13, 2014
Summer Fireworks

Summer Fireworks at the Park

Summer Fireworks at the Park

We had a lot of fun one evening when we visited Koa’s classmate’s family for dinner and summer fireworks. After we ate the delicious food, we all went to the nearby park with our bag of sparklers and other small fireworks and then spent the next hour or so setting them off and having a good time. It was really cool and a very “Japanesey” summer activity. I loved it! It’s just one of the many things I love about summer in Japan and why it’s my favorite time of year to visit. I hadn’t spent a summer in Japan since I lived there in the 1990′s and I miss it so much… I love summer!

Summer Fireworks at the Park

Summer Fireworks at the Park

The post Summer Fireworks appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1lVGBc9

4:57pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1OARRrP
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
August 12, 2014
I Just Wanna Hug You (2014)

I Just Wanna Hug You

I Just Wanna Hug You

Another tear-jerker of a movie crossed my path – and of course I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks to Hawaiian Airlines’ fantastic international service to KIX there were several movies to choose from, one of which was “I Just Wanna Hug You” (抱きしめたい ―真実の物語―) starring Kitagawa Keiko (北川 景子) as Tsukasa and  Nishikido Ryo (錦戸亮) as Masami. It’s based on the tragic true story about a young woman who is involved in a car accident which leaves her partially paralyzed and brain-damaged. At the beginning of the movie we learn that Tsukasa has already died (her son and husband are talking in front of her memorial altar), and with that eventuality revealed, the story immediately shifts to focus on her and Masami’s relationship that begins several years earlier before they are married. It’s kind of predictable, but charming and enjoyable nonetheless, with many funny scenes and of course some romantic ones as well.

Kitagawa Keiko’s acting really stands out in this difficult role, depicting someone recovering from brain damage in a realistic but not over-the-top way. I was really rooting for her because of her positive and energetic attitude even in the face of these challenges. But holy cow, there is one scene where Tsukasa’s mom shows Masami a video of when Tsukasa was going through rehab. That was really powerful and tough to watch and I am getting sad just thinking about it now! However, it really was superb acting on Kitagawa’s part. I’ve become a huge fan of hers!

Kitagawa Keiko in Dakishimetai: Shinjitsu no Monogatari

Kitagawa Keiko in Dakishimetai: Shinjitsu no Monogatari

Nishikido Ryo also does a fine job as Masami, the man who falls in love with Tsukasa at first sight and pursues her 100%. His is a more straightforward role, but still something that many of us can relate to easily. In fact, I think I had the same head-over-heels kind of feeling towards Mariko as Masami had for Tsukasa! Maybe that is one reason I really liked “I Just Wanna Hug You”.

What made the movie even more moving to me was that I hadn’t seen my family in over a month and was getting closer to them every second (at Mach 8.1 according to the in-flight map!). As I alluded to in a previous blog post, I have become more emotional the more years I put on. Sometimes to the point where I read something vaguely sad in the news and then I feel a wave of emotion coming on. It’s really weird, for me at least. I’m a quiet person and was never really openly emotional or passionate growing up, so wow this is all kind of new, and not at all unpleasant, really. It’s like life is really happening and stories are being written, good and bad. Just as in this movie, life is unpredictable but I think we make choices or shape our thoughts which can turn situations, even unpleasant ones, into those worth appreciating. Even though Tsukasa is dealt a pretty terrible hand in life, she works hard to better her situation and her life was dramatically improving. It was so sad that she passed away, especially due to the rare condition (which was totally unrelated to her disabilities).

I try to learn something from things I observe or in this case, a movie I watched, in order to better my life and those around me. From “I Just Wanna Hug You”, Tsukasa’s positive determination and Masami’s straighforward devotion show me truly admirable qualities and maybe something that all of us can strive for.

The post I Just Wanna Hug You (2014) appeared first on 10nineteen 藤元バロン.



via WordPress http://ift.tt/1sAt69g

10:26pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z-Pxby1O6LUPC
Filed under: IFTTT WordPress 
Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »