Calculate your chances...negative...negative...negative!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Not happy...

Sitting in the Denver airport...

our three hour layover keeps getting longer...

the flight has been delayed at least an hour...

number or crying/shrieking children: 2, so far...

I just want to get home.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Where I've been...

I've been sick for the past four or so days. Baah. So here I am convalescing in Hawaii.


Gigan makes sure I'm taking my meds.


In retrospect, having Hedorah the Smog Monster play nurse probably didn't help matters.


Mothra prepares to deliver the meds to the patient.

So, I don't have a whole lot to say right now, but here's the last three pictures I took in Tokyo. (Click for larger versions, you know, so you can actually read them.)




Saturday, July 21, 2007

Akihabara 2, Electric Town Boogaloo

Man, I'm exhausted. Today was the day where several months of wedding planning, a wedding, a 13 hour plane trip, being in a country where you speak very little of the language and being crowd phobic all caught up. Still, I'm hanging tough like New Kids and I still love Japan.

We returned to Akihabara today. If you'd like to read a more videogame-centric recap of day one, I'd encourage you to check out this post I made at 30 Lives. It's on the nerdy side, so approach with caution.

So, let's assume you didn't read that post and have no idea what Akihabara is about. Well, it's nicknamed Electric Town and for good reason. It's like the promised land for anyone into gadgets, toys, videogames or anime. For me the big attraction was looking for all the videogame goodies. And there were pleanty to be had.

Unfortunately, videogame shopping in Akihabara isn't exactly an ideal activity for a non-Japanese speaker. The stores are all so small and narrow that you really can't browse and with most shelves stocked titles out, you really can't tell what the heck you're looking at if you can't read the language. Not to say it's impossible, just saying being a big, sweaty American puts one at a huge dissadvantage.

Oh yeah. Akihabara has it's own weather system. It's humid. Very humid. You realize after a while you're almost swimming in the collected flop sweat of everyone you rub against trying to navigate the stores.

There were two stores in particular I was looking for, Mak Games and G-Front as those were two shops specalizing in arcade boards. Well, I never did find Mak, but I found G-Front. The problem was again, the language barrier. They had more arcade boards than I'd even seen in my life, but I had no clue what I was looking at. Aside from that, I've read their prices aren't so hot, so no harm, no foul.

Some of the stores I did shop in include Sofmap, Traders 2 and a few others I really don't know what the heck they were. It kind of got to be a blur after a while.

A lot of stores here sell used stuff, which is good. The problem for me is there was a ton of Nintendo stuff, and I'm much more of a Sega guy. Granted, I saw lots of Saturn games (no big bargains, sadly) but there was just so much Famicom and Super Famicom, I couldn't believe it. Mostly what I came away with was used PS2 games which were really easy to find.

So, let's have a look at some games, shall we?


Gunner's Heaven. I found this in a cheapie pile. Looks like a Metal Slug type thing. At least, I hope it is.


Psyvariar and Sonic Wings Special from the first trip to Akihabara.


Cheap Jogcon and Disney DDR for Kristen. (That sucker goes for stupid money in the US.)


Treasure Box Sega Ages collection and the bizarre button pushing game Switch (aka Panic on the Sega CD.) I'd only found out this existed for PS2 this week and lo and behold a cheap copy found it's way to me. Read more about this one here.


XII Stag and Trizeal.


Random picture of some cosplay girls handing out flyers.

We also bought soundtracks:


Some game soundtrack CDs. That's Atari Music 1 & 2, Shoting Game Sound Omnibus 1 & 2 and Space Invaders Anniversary.


Bunch of DDR soundtracks. (These are Kristen's.)

And Gamera?


Part 2 of the Gamera box set with yet another Gamera figure.

But the best thing I bought today was probably this:


It's a 1998(?) set of vinyl figures of all the critters from the classic Gamera films.


RARRRRRRHHHHHH!!!! Giant monsters attacking Tokyo!!!!

That was a bargain at about $28.

There's more, but I'm too tired to get into it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Say What?

Originally uploaded by CaptainWrong

There are literally so many weird uses of English here, you couldn't keep up if you tried. Some are honest mistakes in translation. But then there are others...

If you've ever been to Engrish, you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, today we got up early and went to the fish market. It sounds less exciting than it actually is. I think the fish market here is one of the world's largest and it's extremely colorful and noisy. Plus there is just the insanity factor of being up at 5 am, in a fish market, in a foreign country where you understand very little of the language.

After that, it was a slow start today. We headed out way after lunch and ended up at the Toto showroom. Toto, you may or may not, make toilets. Yes, we went to a Japanese toilet showroom. And it was cool. The best toilet I saw had a remote flusher/paper stand and the lid automatically flips up as you approach it. It also has about a zillion different settings to wash your butt after you do the deed. I want.

We then walked around a while, did some more shopping, took some pictures, etc., etc. Good times, good times.

I realized today, I'm firmly on vacation time. I thought it was Tuesday.

Speaking of forgetting time, I think this happened a couple of days ago. It was in Kyoto, that much I know.


Jet Jaguar wanted me to post that. He rubbed the statue for luck.

By the way, we are leaving Japan in a couple of days, so please put your orders in now for Humping Dogs USB flash drives.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pictures from Blister.

One of the stores we went in yesterday was this "character shop" called Blister. (You can find them at This place was pretty amazing, wall to ceiling vinyl figures, Kubricks, bobble heads, model I've never seen anything quite like it.

I got a rather terse "no photo" but I managed to fire off a few ones before then:


Here's some Terminator, Land of the Dead, Friday the 13th and Die Hard stuff. They also had a life size T2 statue which was unbelievable.


Some Nightmare Before Christmas stuff. That movie must be huge here as there's a ton of toys everywhere.


More Nightmare.


Star Trek with some Street Fighter II.


Lots of these bear Kubricks. (Can't remember the name of them.)


Bobble heads. Jerry Only, Pedro and the Man, Buddy Holly and Maxwell Smart.


Kurt Cobain and Freddie Mercury, together at last! (I was tempted by the Live Aid Freddie, for reasons I don't quite understand.)


Oops. I was trying to get the silly Master of Puppets diorama, but missed it.


Spiderman, some red dude and Mickey Mouse smashing a guitar. They actually have some cool Mickey stuff here, including some Rat Fink-esgue Mickeys.


This was the point where I started having sensory overload.


Keep in mind, this is only the top floor, though I don't remember if we bought anything on street level.


I think this was the exact moment I was told "no photo" and thus ends our trip to Blister.

Shibuya and the rest of Kyoto

Well, again, I'm pretty exhausted, but I'll try to wrap up the last couple of days. Kyoto was amazing. We saw a ton of shrines and whatnot. Unfortunately, what I think was the best one didn't allow us to take pictures. When you're in a room with 1001 hand carved, full sized Buddha statues, it's almst overwhelming.

One thing almost all these places we visited had in common is that the sites had been destroyed by fire and completely rebuilt. Usually, they were still many hundred years old. The statues I was mentioning dated back to the 12th and 13th century. Crazy stuff.

We also took in a brief cultural presentation, kind of a greatest hits of Japanese culture, if you will. It ended with a tea ceremony and that was neat.

Today we were in Shibuya, which is a shopping/fashion district. Lots of great people watching. However, if you're 6'3" and 300 pounds, you're out of luck as far as clothes shopping goes. Too bad, as they're some really funky threads here. I couldn't even find a hat to fit my noggin, and I don't have an especially large head. I think.

So, I did some toy and CD shopping again. That was pretty groovy. I'll have some pictures around eventually.

Speaing of pictures, it's ironic in a country so associated with cameras and the stereotypical Japanese tourist with a dozen cameras hanging around his neck that we've been told no pictures in so many places. Do as I say, not as I do?

Anyway, that's it in short. I need to hit the sack here as we're getting up early tomorrow to hit the fish market.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Too tired.

No blogging tonight. We had a long day and are very tired. Nighty night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gamera and Godzilla Get the Munchies

Man, I'm hungry. I could go for a snack.

Yeah, me too.

Ooh! Chip Star!


"Happy Birthday Mr. President..."

The Road Most Taken

Today was a little less hectic than yesterday. Though we'd intended to see the big parade, we didn't make it. Sucker started at 9 and was long. Though we've been getting up early, today we took it more on vacation time. I think we both needed it.

We finally did some touristy thing as we took the day and visited temples and historical sites. Our guide book said we'd be able to do all these things in a matter of three hours or so. It tooks us about four hours to do just two and we had to rush through the third as it was closing. Bummer.

I won't bore you with all the details. Sooner or later I'll buy a Flickr account so you can see the million or so snaps I took today. However, I'll give you a taste of what I did on this day of my summer vacation.

That's the Golden Pavilion. Bet you'd never have guessed. This is part of the Rokuon-Ji Temple. There was a lot of pretty greenery to see and a nice little shrine area where Kristen and I lit candles.
Hers is "alleviate stress." Mine is "be very fine."

Kristen rocks the bells at the temple like her name was LL Cool J.

From there we went to the Ryoanji Temple, famous for steakburgers it's rock garden

where I had this moment of zen:

Then we hit the Old Imperial Palace Ninna-Ji which since it was the largest place, we got there twenty minutes to closing.

We both fell in love with this orange pagoda, though I haven't the foggiest what it is.

Then there was this thing. It was pretty.

I'm very sorry I can't tell you more about the palace. It was absolutely awesome, but we were literally sprinting through the place, taking pictures like mad as we went.

Speaking of pictures, Japan has got to be a photographer's best friend. You can point your camera anywhere, at anything and come up with an interesting image. Old or new stuff. Trees, people, vending machines. This is maybe the most visually interesting country I've been in.

Now, let's get down to the important stuff. What did I have for dinner? Well, I broke my streak of not eating at McDonald's by eating at McDonald's tonight. But it was good! I was shocked. Plus the workers all wear old school McDonald's uniforms, so they get points for that.

There's the menu in English. It's smaller than what they have in the US, but it gets the job done. I made it a point to order the weirdest thing on the menu, so I had the EBI Filet-O. Essentially it's a Filet 'O Shrimp. It was delicious.

We also had these Mango Pies.
Unlike the US pies which you could cut diamonds with, these were light and flaky and yummy.

I think we're getting ready to go back out (it's only 6:17 PM here) so I'm going to wrap this up. I forgot to take the critters along, so here's a gratuitous shot of Jet Jaguar conquering the room decorations:

PS: since we've been here, we've missed both a typhoon and an earthquake. w00t!