Right now I'm stilling on the bullet train without internet. I'll have some photos to go with this, but I just wanted to jot down a few things while I had some time.
Man, this is a fast critter but you really don't feel it until you pass another train or enter a tunnel. There's something to that one piece rail system, I guess. It's also, like nearly everything else here in Japan, a model of effency. When they tell you your train is leaving at 10:33, it's leaving at 10:33, come hell or high water.
If you've seen the movie Bullet Train, with Sonny Chiba in a minor role, it's nothing like that though. If you haven't, that's the movie Hollywood ripped off for Speed. No bombs on the train, thank goodness.
We're on the way to Kyoto. We don't have too much of an agenda, like how most of this trip is running. That's just how Kristen and I roll. There's a lantern festival we're going to try to check out, but that's about it. Wednesday we'll be back at the Conrad in Tokyo and all that.
I think my time is running short, but I wanted to do a few quick reviews. It's been ages since I've done anything and I have some time, so here goes.
First up, Lode Runner DS. Basically, if you played any previous version of Lode Runner, you know what you're in for. There's nothing new, it's just Lode Runner and the Champion edition. There's really not even anything special for the DS, which is a good thing. You see the full map on the top screen (which I end up watching most of the time) and a closer view on the bottom. There's a level editor and that's it for frills.
Even though this was one of those Apple ][ games I played the snot out of, it's still fun and still kinda hard. Probably not coming to America and maybe not worth the import price (I really don't know what Play-Asia would charge for this. I think it cost 3800 yen.) Still, if you're interested, there's not a lot of Japanese in it, so it's an easy pick up.
(And this is one of the things I love about Kristen. While I'm looking at console games, she picks this up and walks over and is like "this looks like something you would like." Excellent score babe. Right on the money.)
Another Kristen find was Eddie Costa's "Guys and Dolls Like Vibes." I was in the vibes section of the CD store (Japanese jazz stores arrange according to instrument, FYI) and she pulled this one out, attracted by the "jazz versions of showtunes" aspect. I was a little hesitant, it was showtunes and on Coral, not a jazz label by any yardstick. But she flipped it over and said "look! Bill Evans!" and I was sold. (I'm getting her trained well.) Plus it was a nifty mini-LP sleeve, and I'm a sucker for those.
Anyway, it's really good. I forgot I had some Eddie Costa on my iPod already and I love vibe players, so why not? Yes, it's a little on the light side, but Costa and Evans have some nice chemistry. It's also interesting to hear Bill Evans in this time period (1958) where he was playing with Miles and still finding the style that would make him THE Bill Evans.
Then there's this Les De Merle CD "Spectrum." OK, it's dated (they do "Aquarius" from Hair) but it's enjoyable in it's own way. Kind of reminds me of Buddy Rich Big Band records from the same time period. And there's no denying dude has some serious drum chops, like the afforementioned Mr. Rich.
(At this point, we were pulling into station.)