Blog Archives

Making of the Katana: Behind the scenes with a Master


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A few days ago I had the amazing opportunity to meet, speak with, and watch the famous Japanese blacksmith Masahira Fujiyasu work during a special event at the Minka-en grounds in Fukushima City, thanks to the hard work and planning of Andy Coombs and the Fukushima City Tourism and Convention Association. This type of event hasn’t been held for over a decade and the majority of Japanese people never get this opportunity, let alone a foreigner.  Mr. Fuhiyasu’s master was a national treasure of Japan and I am told that Mr. Fujiyasu is the last classically trained blacksmith that has mastered techniques of making Kamakura and Muromachi period styled blades. What added to this even more was the opportunity to speak with him and his students during lunch and while he was taking a break in the afternoon.
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Driving in Japan vs. the USA


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In the USA, there are no Kei-cars(軽自動車). I had never seen a Kei-car until I moved to Japan and started driving one for work. Read the rest of this entry

Cursed Holymans of NYC


The HolyMan and its victim...

The HolyMan and its victim…

The Holymans’ casualties have claimed yet another unsuspecting victim as a snow storm turned to a lovely onslaught of sleet/ freezing rain in this frigid Iceland we call NYC.

Casualties left spilled drops ofliquid gold, many a sore behind, and even near cataclysmic events of the “slipping dropkick of con-flailing (confused flailing)”.  This consists of Victim A running to catch their cross signal and is sent sprawling for balance.  Their hands and feet flail as they desperately try to right themselves, missing another Read the rest of this entry

10 Seconds of Courage; Perspective


Walking down the street I happened to look to the right, seeing a girl walking in a stylish black and green twirl of a scarf.  Her hair is wind-brushed back, out of her eyes, yet still squinting due to that same crisp, chilly wind.  My heart skips a beat and then moves in double time to make up for itself.  My mind pulls at the idea of approaching her, introducing myself, and inviting her somewhere for a romantic and fun night out.  In my mind it all works; she smiles while say “yeah, sure thing.” to my invitation.  Without delay, as that thought ends, a bombarding onslaught of horrid rejections flood my mind, one after the other, holding nothing back.  Grasped by the vice of fear I look back and forth between her and the original path I was taking.  An eternity passes as two seconds tick by.  Finally I build up my courage for a ten second burst, as that’s all it takes.  She starts to turn a corner a and I took the chance to jog over to catch up.

Security Camera View

Late at night, approximately 9:00pm. A woman walks onto the screen.  Shortly after a man in a black coat, hat and gloves comes into view on her left.  She is walking slowly leaning forward slightly into the wind.  The man starts to stare in her direction, putting his hands in his pockets, taking them out, and putting them in once more, all the while looking her way.  He looks around and jogs after her as she rounds the corner of a building, going out of view.

Unshackling your Mind


This is a great post that I found, check it out.

 

Unshackling your Mind.

Buy a bike, get a free person


Last year changed my life.

I bought my first car when I was 16, and I had  been paying for every part of it since then. Insurance, gas, repairs, you name it, I’ve probably needed it since then.  As an out-of-state college student I brought my car with me to the University for the first two years, yet mid spring semester it went in for its yearly inspection and utterly failed.  It would have cost me about 3+ times what I had paid for the car to repair it. Looking back at that time, I think that changed my life.  I remember seeing an add for a local bike shop with a coupon that said “Bu y a bike, get a free person” and having no idea what in the world it could have been talking about.  Seeing as I was taking classes at a nearby university and a dependable mode of transportation was key, I went to check out the bikes. I spent about 3 days searching through the bike shop and trying out bikes, wandering around, tying to see what would best fit me ; my personality, my daily needs of riding (terrain, weather, blah blah), efficiency, and most important at the time, cost.  I ended up buying a used Diamondback mountain bike and I was pretty impressed.  It had some decent front shocks, and a hard tail, as well as decreased my past biking time (with an old beat up bike) from 50 minutes down to about 40 minutes.  That was pretty amazing for me and I made the 5-6 mile trip several times for 2 weeks before realizing that the bike would not stay on the selected gears and I had almost crashed a few times because of it.

The understanding shop owner tried to adjust the shifters, but I never felt comfortable on it again. So in the end I returned it. Now, without a car or a bike, I needed to figure something out, and fast.  On my way out I saw a road bike in the used bike section.  It was a carbon fiber Trek 2120, with a nice shade of green painting and white wraps.  It was love at first sight.

I took her for a spin, absolutely loving the STI shifters, and the glide like pedaling.  I had to have her. I ended up getting the Trek and I have used it almost every day since.  It got me to work every day in the summer, and it gets me to all of my classes and whatnot during the semester.  Finally I understood the meaning of that coupon; When you buy a bike for the first time (one that you truly put a lot of thought and consideration into), you give yourself a new perspective on life.  Instead of closing yourself off from the world in a car I had opened myself up to the world, I payed more attention to my surroundings and was just happier overall because I was proud of my bike, my efforts and the change in my actions.  It has changed who I am to say the very least and I think that this kind of experience is something everyone should go through, maybe not specifically with bikes, but in one way or another.