Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The last day...

On the last day I have a CHRISTMAS PARTY.  How is the CHRISTMAS PARTY?!??!


For some schools it's a lot of fun.  But other kids just don't get into the spirit.  Here is one present, 100 yen ($1) maybe something bought on the way to school at the convenience store wrapped, no not rapped, just crumpled in a wod of newspaper.  IT looks like trash hunh?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My tips for people who want to RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

have I got tips?!?! THis man has got tips!?!? Ask me anything and i will always give you four solid tips!!!! For running:

1. Set goals. I say you should try to do a 5k in 25 minutes.

2. If you set your goal w/a 5k run don't train more that 20 minutes. That's why I make the 5k my race. Longer race means more time.

3. Do 20 minute runs 2/3 times a week. Do short sprints 2/3 times a week. For the short sprints find a nice park/river side or a nice trail. Sprint for about 1 minutes and then trot for about 20 seconds time should again 10 times. Your sprint time should not exceed 10 minutes (for a 5k). You can mix this up (5 sprints at 2 minutes) but your total times should not exceed 10 minutes. So in summary: 2/3 week long slow run and 2/3 week sprints.

4. Have fun. Sometimes when it'S raining it hard to get started. But I am not talking about this kind of non-fun. If you feel sick/hurt take a break. Enjoy it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

THe jump!!!!!!!!!!!!

THe land....

The background story....

Monday, September 23, 2013


The scene of the crime: SHIMANAMI...

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SHimanami is a string of islands in southern Japan that are connected by elevated bike paths.  Along the way you can take in the sea breeze or marvel at the suspension bridges or even stop at some of the museums like the Towel Museum.

My friend Anthony and I went out on the road and headed across the islands.  It is 150k round trip and as we set out, I was already getting tired.  usually you don't loose energy until the very end.  Bicyclists call this "bonking" or running out of energy.  This happens because as it turns out cycling is a very fuel intensive activity and it requires lots of energy.  More so that you would initially suspect.  It isn't uncommon to be eating 5 meals a day.   On the first leg of the journey I was already bonking.  We came to the last bridge and crossed it and coasted down to this beautiful hotel that was located along the sea side.  I took a chair and went to sleep.  There was a 30 minute wait for the meal, which turned out to be perfect.  I slept.  Then I ate a large meal (vegetables, pizza and tomato cheese) and I was ready to jam again.

On the way back we went off the path which proved to be a top idea (tip of the hat to Anthony).  The side roads allowed us to explore the island.  As it turns out, the bike trail follows the mail highway and it is more geared towards getting to point B as fast as possible.  But the side-roads took us through the countryside and the alleyways of island life.

We were out on a limb and we had a gander at the map again.  We were far out as it turns out with many a mile till our finish line.  We came back and it was getting darker.  Anthony got a terrible headache.  We stopped at a pharmacy.  We found some Bufferin and this Japanese power drink.  Anthony immediately got better and we immediately set off in the dark with a new spring n our step.

At 8 o'clock (12 hours after we originally started) we came gliding up to the last ferry.  We paid the 100 yen for the ferry crossing and soon we were on the other side back at the finish line.  Anthony wanted a ONSEN (Japanese hot bath) so we took a taxi driven by the Japanese version of mad Max down these alley ways and finally at the site.  The bath proved to be a brilliant idea (another 2 points Anthony!).  By the time we crawled back to the hotel it was 30 minutes to 12.  We eeked past the midnight deadline.  Tired and exhausted (but clean) we made it to our beds and disappeared into a deep sleep.

Oh and did I say crawl...?!?!?!

Another story.  We were looking for a hotel.  And there was NOTHING left (because it was a Holiday).  But then Anthony found a 1 and a half star hotel.  "Don't expect too much" said Anthony.  As it turns out, the hotel was a top of a hill...

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...and the only way to get to the hill was to carry your bike and all your luggage to the top of this hill.

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But the hotel was great (another 2 points for Anthony???).  The dorm room had thick futon beds.  The price was cheap.   And the food was delicious.  It was Thai themed restaurant and there was nothing wrong and everything right about what was available.  The atmosphere and the view and the price were all so cool that it would be difficult for me to find something I didn't like.  The climb was a doozer though.   IT was a boot camp every time you wanted to go home.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Here is the group I ply with on SATURDAY morning.  We had a great time playing last SATURDAY.  Lots of elbows to the face (etc.).  I am in the middle and the guy on my left is JOY who is my Italian friend who you might recognize from previous posts as the fellow FUJI mountain climber.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Rough group.  Don't let the smiles fool you....

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Cycling around BIWAKO

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Lake Biwako is JAPAN's largest lake.  And just North of Kyoto.  Beautiful and expansive, when one looks out across the waters of Biwako one sees something more akin to a sea.  Last week I bicycled around the lake.

1.  At my UNI there is a retired professor named TERRY who invited me out on a bicycle trip.  We had originally planned to go on MONDAY but because of the various typhoons that have been landing in Japan as of late we postponed the trip to Wednesday/Thursday.

2  Wednesday I biked out in the rain and found my way to the meeting point.  Terry showed in the van and soon we were on our way.  An hour later we were standing in front of the hotel.  It was large and majestic like a Church of Scientology celebrity center.  We found our way to the room and kicked back until dinner.

3.  Terry got this hotel because his neighbor had a time share.  It cost $100 and included was a steak dinner.  And what a dinner it was.  Course after course and all topped off with the bottle of wine Terry was generous enough to buy.  At nine I returned to the room and slept like a baby,.

4.  Early the next day, with a buffet under our belt, we headed out.  The first part of the trip is nice enough.  But soon we topped the north side of the lake and haded hoe.  The roads were small and wooded with only an occasional car.  I stopped on the way back to take a picture.

5.  Time was the essence.  And we found ourselves still biking long after dark.  The road would never end.  We were in the city and there seemed to be no end to the pachinko parlors and fast food restaurants.  Finally we found the hotel.  We had traveled 184 kilometers but my butt had surrendered many miles back.  After the long trip Terry took me home and we happily departed.  What a wonderful trip.  Hope to do it again sometime soon!