Category Archives: Video

Who’s your daddy?

If the video wasn’t self explanatory, I was not hiding in some random woman’s ultrasound appointment. I’m going to be a dad! Michelle is going to be a mom! A young Padawan is on the way!

Food in Kyoto

This is a bowl of ramen, loaded with green onions. Before it was ready to eat, it looked like this…

Fire!

Here’s a quick video of Michelle and I losing our eyebrows. The first half of the video is the owner holding up a bunch of cards in English to tell us not to run away screaming.

These might look familiar to some of you. We went to Din Tai Fung in Kyoto. That makes three locations we’ve been to now. Kyoto, Shanghai, and Taiwan. We’ve never been  back home in Los Angeles. Now it’s almost like we can’t go because it’s too pedestrian for us.

Standard dumplings but topped with shrimp.

Pork chop rice!

Kyoto is definitely worth a visit, though it’s not a fast-paced, modern city like Tokyo. While it’s not backwoods town, it seems to move at a slower pace, sticking to its cultural roots. We were glad to get a chance to see Kyoto, but we were also very glad to be heading back to Tokyo.

Some well deserved drinks for the train ride back.

We did a lot of walking. This is relaxation time.

Yoyogi Park

Imagine a place, where space is a rare commodity. You live in a tiny apartment. Work is a small office. To get in between the two places you are crammed in a subway car, pressed up against your neighbor. This is Tokyo. There has to be a place for you to unwind before you snap. That place is Yoyogi Park.

Just outside the park some kids were modeling their latest fashions.

At the entrance to the park, kids are playing double dutch.

Then you turn and see these people. Rockabilly music is blaring and they’re dancing relentlessly.

This guy seemed to be their leader for the day. He had the tightest jeans and the biggest hair.

They dance so hard that their shoes are taped up with black tape. When we left the park four hours later, they were still dancing.

This group performed nearby, but didn’t hold down the tough guy attitude.

We were very fortunate to be in Japan during cherry blossom season. It’s a huge deal in Japan. In order to celebrate they have hanami, flower viewing parties, which consists of picnicking with friends, sharing food and drink. Yoyogi Park is one large park where some of these picnics unfold.

There are people everywhere! Unfortunately the cherry blossoms were nowhere to be seen, because it had been a little too cold.

Business men and women also gather to see non existent sakura.

While most of the people in Tokyo stick closely to their circle of friends and are very quiet outside this circle, some were welcoming.

This is Dodge-bee, a game where you try to get as many people as possible to jump with a huge jump rope.

There was a man, blowing bubbles for the kids.

The park is also used to practice and perform just about every imaginable type of performance. Here is a group doing some color guard routine.

This was some type of dance routine. It was mostly confusing.

There was a drum line going on in the park too. They played on for 30+ minutes while people danced around and had a good time.

If you don’t have a drum, just bring a guitar and join this group.

This seemed to be the only professional performance group, doing some interpretive dance while painted gold.

Our trip to Yoyogi Park made us love the people of Japan even more. Everyone did their thing, and no one jeered or taunted anyone else for being different. If such a gathering of people with diverse interests ever came about back home, you’d have some kind of hobby war with skaters fighting dancers. Japanese rule. I’m only talking about the Japanese in Japan. I have Japanese friends in America, and they are assholes.

Shinsengumi Yakitori: Loudest Restaurant EVER

Michelle and I were out of dinner ideas for eating at home, so we decided to go out to eat. Since we didn’t want to eat too much we decided on Shinsengumi Yakitori, where we could order small bites. For those of you unfamiliar with yakitori, here’s the quick rundown.

Yakitori , grilled chicken, is commonly a Japanese type of skewered chicken. The term “Yakitori” can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki (skewer grilled), is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled. Both Yakitori and Kushiyaki mean the same, so the terms are used interchangeably in Japanese society

They cook over a grill, generally containing hot coals, and the menu items are individual skewers.

Chicken wing. Great crispy skin without all the oil of frying.

Chicken thigh with plum sauce.

Squid in ponzu sauce.

Meatball.

Chicken hearts. Yes, internal organs are on the menu too. In fact it’s some of the best stuff on the menu.

The most unique part of the dining experience aren’t the unique menu items, but it’s the loud ambiance. You eat in fear, never knowing the next time the staff is going to shout. It’s not just that they great and cheers all the customers. They have loud, booming voices and it echoes in the tiny restaurant.

I’ve written about this place before and the consensus was the same. Good food. Loud staff. We haven’t been back until this time because it was so traumatizing for Michelle. I think we just need to wear ear plugs next time.

Snow, Beer, and Parties

I’m back from the Paw’s Up Resort in Montana, where I spent half a week for a sales conference in the snow. I know what you’re thinking. Why would you go to where it’s cold during the winter instead of some tropical island? I worried about that every day before I left for the trip, and the whole time until I arrived.

De-icing the plane in Seattle. Apparently the flights before us and after us never made it out.

Dining.

Bison Chili.

By the time we arrived, about half a foot of snow had fallen.

Snow flakes actually look like the crafts we cut from paper!

Our cabin.

Megan Fox stayed here before us, and she built this snowman. It grew a Marge Simpson style hairdo with all the snow.

Hot tub time machine! Really though. Hot tubs are totally awesome in the snow.

White everywhere.

Afternoon activities.

It was only after we asked the staff to get us a snow shovel that we realized there was a sign that said not to build jumps.

Killer icicles.

We even got to throw hatches and knives, while drinking beer!

Another afternoon’s activities.

The snow stopped and the sun came out, but only after 48 hours and over three feet of snow.

Here I am, enjoying a snow bath.

Waiting at the Seattle airport to go home. I just lucked out on the way home too. Planes didn’t get in or out after my flights again.

Saw this when I looked out the window in LA. Ghost plane!

After waking up at 3AM to get home, I was happy to arrive in LA, but there was no rest for the weary. Michelle and I had three engagements to get to that day.

Happy birthday, Delphi! Babies love me because I look like a cartoon.

Next on the list was my cousin’s housewarming. He had a live band and a DJ. What a way to show the neighbors you’re not going to wreck the neighborhood!

Last but not least we headed to Congregation Ale House in Pasadena for a birthday party. It’s been a long time, but after trying so many Montana brews, I could not bring myself to drink a beer. I know, the beer guy couldn’t drink beer. Weird, huh?

It was good to see everyone after being away so long, but I am still recovering. I have seen enough snow to last me a lifetime.

Thanksgiving

Here is the reason we went up to San Jose for Thanksgiving. This is my niece, Myla, who just turned one not too long ago. Her upper teeth are probably due out soon so she likes to chew on her tongue.

Myla with her mom and the bunny we got for her.

Here Michelle is telling her the importance of online web presence.

Kids like me, and I think it’s because I look like a cartoon.

We made her play with the bunny every chance we got so it would become her favorite, and then we would become her favorite. Muahahahha!

Myla plays like a little boy. She doesn’t like to sit still and only has one speed, extreme. I was fascinated by the fact that she can mimic just about any sound you make. She can pop her lips, click her tongue, and do whatever that thing is called in the video.

Now that we’re done looking at my adorable niece, let’s talk about family and food.

People ask whether spending time with my niece makes me want to have kids any sooner. Playing with kids is pretty fun, but part of the fun is being able to say, “She pooped. Playtime timeout. Someone take care of this.” What you don’t see in all these pictures is all the hard work the parents put into raising Myla. You also don’t see the loads of stuff they have just to accomplish that task. Hard work is hard. As I am having a difficult time taking care of myself most of the time, I don’t think pushing up kids is a great idea.

Howl at the Moon

Not wanting to be the old couple, after we gorged ourselves on pastries and pasta, we decided stay up and head to Howl at the Moon. This bar actually exists in a few cities, including Hollywood. If it’s half as fun as the one in Boston, I’d be happy to go.

The concept is simple. It’s a dueling piano bar that takes requests from the audience, but at least in the Boston location they had six different musicians that night. They play many a lot more than just the piano and they switch up. There was a drum set, an electric guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, a keytar, and they even pulled out a flute during one of the songs.

You can see they are pretty talented. Here they are performing Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass.

And then I went to Michigan

The reason we went to Chicago in the first place was because I had work in Michigan like I do almsot every year. I bid Michelle farewell and drove three hours west into the heart of Michigan.

At least the beds were comfy. Have you ever tried a Sleep Number Bed? It’s interesting. It sort of reminds me of a hospital bed but without having to have your butt showing out the back of your gown.

This is what I did for two days. It was school all over again.

It wasn’t all work though. 1964, The Beatles tribute band!

You can see that they’re pretty good. Ringo actually drums like Ringo and Paul is actually left handed.

There was one very bright spot to my visit to Michigan though. I found out that Bell’s Brewery is twenty miles outside of where I visit, and they have a second brand that resides in the city of Kalamazoo, MI where I stay every time I’m out there. Here I am with a taster. I think the tasting board is Lake Michigan or one of the other Great Lakes.

As you can see, they’re known for their stouts, and they are good at them. Their Two Hearted IPA and dry hopped lager Quinannan Falls are great beers too.

Home Brewing is a Learning Process

Today I learned what a blow off tube does and why you should have one. I opened my pantry, curious to see if my stout was still fermenting. Boy was it ever! My airlock was filled with a mixture of beer and vodka, and that same mixture was all over the lid of the primary fermenter. Fortunately it stayed on the lid, because it was a mess. Think of root beer float foam, but thicker and stickier. Fortunately I have random crap I take from our warehouse at work and a spare airlock. After some quick sanitizing, I made this.

The tubing is just small enough to squeeze into the airlock tube. Dump the other end into some sanitized water, and crisis averted.

I know video if beer fermenting is boring, this thing is bubbling like mad right now! That pretty much means it’s making booze!

Today I am a man.

Today was a very special day. It was the day I got my first set of power tools. Drill/driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, and flashlight. It comes with two battery packs, and a cool bag that makes me feel like a professional thief.

I can no longer tell Michelle I can’t do things around the house because I don’t have the proper tools. Now I have to tell her that I just don’t know how to use the tools.

To top off the power tool man status, this is our closet. Michelle is pushing for it to be a shoe closet. I’m winning this battle.

Now for all you people that get as excited as me about home brew, here is a video of my beer bubbling as it ferments. I’m working on my second batch of IPA. This round I was encouraged to add a whole lot more hops during the brewing process. According to Michelle, our closet now smells like lychee. This should be quite the tasty brew.