Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.

The Time Machine


This is a personal blog, all opinions expressed are meant to be in good fun - if you are offended by heavy sarcasm and jokes that are in poor taste then this is not for you. If you have any copyright related issues please contact us via messenger pigeon.


Tuesday, November 30

Blue Mountain's opening day is in on Sunday, how much snow can you fake?

Mt. Fuji Station 5 - 1
Mt. Fuji Bikers 1

Monday, November 29

JAPAN Trip video part 1: Jet lag, food festivals and fun times.

What happens when you don't leave the house all weekend? Apparently like 20 hours of Black Ops and this. Actually sorting through it now, I honestly can't believe how much video my sister and I took with our puny little cameras in Tokyo, but I guess it's a good thing when we're like 60 and reminiscing on the good times? Sure why not...

Anyway, this is the first day and a half in Tokyo + the trip from Toronto. I'm pretty happy with it except for the lame solar flaring you get with the SD960 in bright light. I thought the GoPro was a trooper but this thing got passed along from me (took the China trip videos with it), to my parents to my sister (who is notorious for breaking anything) and it got pretty banged up along the way. It came back from Japan held together by my gum and some tape the 7-eleven uses to secure your food boxes and shopping bags closed and it still works fine. No joke.

This "project" is looking a lot bigger than I originally thought...

Friday, November 26

Tokyo Tower at night and Asakusa...also around night time...

Look on the bright side baby, it's Friday.

Hard to do anything when the weather is cold and this premiered last night. If you don't remember Voleurz Outdoor Graduation, go ahead and educate yourself.

Tokyo Tower 20
Tokyo Tower 15
Tokyo Tower 17
Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan 19
Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan 2
Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan 4
Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan 24

Full sets HERE. Now go and watch this and start your weekend off right.

Thursday, November 25

Downtown Tokyo with a view...

Since we initially had no clue what to do when we arrived in Tokyo, the first fifth stop on day one was the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. It's about a 15 minute walk from Shinjuku station to what I can best describe as a financial or business district (that's also next to some park with lots of bums in it). While Shinjuku is pretty much overflowing with restaurants, shops and bars you can tell you're getting down to business when you head towards the twin towers' area as they really thin out.

Also located in this building is one of the Tokyo Tourist Information Centers and two badass observatories in each tower (all free).

If I can find it I'll post one of the walking tour sheets that the tourist center has available for poor saps visitors (and in many different languages). These double sided sheets are 100% gold. Basically they are maps of the different core areas that make up Tokyo with suggested walking routes that hit major attractions/landmarks in that area. There's also little blurbs about them so you can decide whether to skip over or add other destinations. These were good because huge folding maps are no help ever since there's not enough detail in them for walkers. Trust me.

So not only do they give you the attractions you probably want to see, estimated walking times from point to point and a pretty detailed street maps, but they are just super easy to use and all we really needed for a map (not that we carried around much else either). We used them as "rough guides" to get us started in the different areas, and in combination with random blog and forum posts we found on sketchy sites other suggestions we read about, made us an unstoppable force (or something like that). FYI, we were able to cover roughly 2/3 areas a day since we always somehow got side tracked by other stuff we couldn't refuse...

Unlike Toronto where you can have all city streets on one map, it's virtually impossible because Tokyo is so dense and huge. Unless you want to carry like 36 useless folding maps of all the districts that make up downtown then you should find these immediately at any tourist center or sometimes scattered at some subway stations. No joke, if I got a dollar for every time I saw some random jackass with a Frommers or Lonely Planet book trying to navigate with them and totally inconveniencing random citizens that don't speak English for directions to some obscure shop that probably doesn't exist anymore, I could have bought another iPhone.

See the sights, get yourself lost and then discover something amazing. When you're ready, use these handy maps to find your way back to the subway. They're great.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Japan 18
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Japan 17
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Japan 20
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Japan 13

Can you tell that I really digged those maps? Anyway, rest of the set HERE.

Wednesday, November 24

Japan by iPhone Part Two...of 2

Contrary to popular belief, my sister and I pretty much hit all the major tourist attractions in downtown Tokyo and Kyoto except for the Imperial Palace (in Tokyo). Truth be told, two of the hotels we stayed at were right across the street from it and we sort of lost interest after a few days. We did visit the Imperial Palace in Kyoto though, that's gotta count for something.

Since I'm not one to carry a camera bag though (because I'm weak), the pictures/video are spread out all over the place - some places on on video, some on SLR and some on cell.

Anyway, I finally finished off sorting through the 1000+ cell phone photos I took and plucked out 176 of the less ridiculous the more interesting ones.

Japan iPhone 88
Japan iPhone 100
Japan iPhone 111
Japan iPhone 96
Japan iPhone 108
Japan iPhone168
Japan iPhone156
Japan iPhone173

There, phase one is complete. You can check out the updated collection HERE. On to the next phase!

Tuesday, November 23

Operation awesome Japan stuff...delayed.

Sometimes you walk into a meeting and someone points out that you have hot sauce stains on your documents, that happens to everyone right? RIGHT? Well, that's the kind of day I'm having.

So the plan to sort through the 170 GB of pics and videos we took was this: sort through the cellphone pics, sort through the DSLR pics, then get my edit on.

The execution however hasn't gone as planned, as it's been more like this: be all psyched and make one video, sleep for 3 days, finish off all seasons of Man vs. Food, play Need For Speed and stay up late eating way too much takeout...and throw in "working" somewhere in there too. I am a bum who needs to go on a diet.

Time to get my act together, in more ways than one.

Monday, November 22

Gourmet Food & Wine Show...it's'okay.

One of the things that I love to do is get tickets in advance for like everything - I hate waiting in lines, or queuing as many call it, because it's for suckers. Sure you might get hit with some lame service fee but usually there's also a discount code you can apply to balance it out.

Anyway, the one time we decided not to get tickets in advance (because we were somehow convinced by someone that "it will be alright" because they go every year and buy at the door...), was at the show last year. And guess what? We didn't get in. It was great as the 10 of us + a whole other herd of unfortunate saps people stood in front of the sold out sign looking all fly...but at least we were downtown and found something else to do. Anyway, this year it was like, "I already got you a ticket, you're going right?" To which I replied, "get the f- outta here Sure, I'll go."

I also don't think they stopped anyone ever from getting in this time around - the place was stacked (in more ways than one). Tickets also seem to disappear pretty quick so you better bring the cash. If you're anything like me then you'll need to reload too because when it comes to delicious food and wine my inhibition meter switches off. Buying $8 Kobe beef burgers and $5 Japanese scotch adds up.

I guess the ironic part about "Toronto's Largest Cocktail Party" is that since it ends relatively early we actually went out to get more food after...

And for your Monday watching pleasure here's Kenny Powers and Natalie Portman...

Is it Friday yet?

Friday, November 19

TGI-Food and Wine Expo...

Unline the TTC, which consists of pretty much a U and a line going through it, the train system in Tokyo is a veritable spider web consisting of Tokyo Metro, Toei and JR Rail lines. Despite that it's still very easy to get around with, 8 year olds literally do it by themselves.

Like I mentioned before the cost is distance based, so unless you want some gates to quickly slam on your nads when you validate your ticket, then buy enough fare. It seems that when someone commits this crime they're expected to commit seppuku immediately after due to the massive inconvenience it causes...not that I've ever experienced it before *cough*cough*

Anyway, this is one of the longer transfers we had to do - it was something like 300m from one line to the other (all underground) and about 9 mins. At one other transfer we did around Tsukiji, you actually had to walk outside then re-enter though a different exit. Like I said, spiderweb.

And on a totally different note, don't buy cheap iPhone screen protectors off eBay. They suck. Stick to this, and if you totally damage it beyond repair like me, just re-buy it. Trust me, because I'm cool like that

I also just realized from my Visa statement that TAKUSHI = TAXI. For a while, I thought it was just another pair of shoes I bought...


Thursday, November 18

Double downed the double down...

Even though the the KFC Double Down isn't officially "still going on", there are still some restaurants with stock selling it out.

Thanks to J-dogg, four of us finally ended up eating at least one of them yesterday. I say at least one because of the picture below. Even though the promotion was over she actually called a place to find out if they were still serving it...and they were. Her new name should be Persistence, because the effort was impressive.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty salty tasty, but my blood pressure hates me (more than usual) after that.

And I don't know how he did it, but he literally double downed the double down in a super heroic effort - I'm surprised that his heart survived.

You gotta wonder how long they've been under the heat lamp though, cause they're not even on the menu up on the wall...

Wednesday, November 17

Japan by iPhone Part One

I think my body (and mind) are still rejecting the fact that I'm not on vacation anymore, as I've been totally struggling the past few days. Being back at work sucks...

Anyway, it's maps like this that helped us get around town in Tokyo via the crazy train system. That plus pictures of Google Maps on my laptop screen that I took with my cell phone (damn you data roaming). GPS works without data plan, but the problem is you need the data plan to download the maps to actually see where you are. An arrow on a grey background isn't too helpful though, heh.

The other super helpful thing is that on the streets of the busier areas of Tokyo there are random information maps placed on corners all over the place. They show the "you are here" directional arrow/line combo (aka which side of the street and direction you're facing), with subway entries, the buildings around you and arrows with distances pointing to landmarks. Unlike Kyoto, it's hard to get completely lost when you can find your bearings this way. This is the greatest thing ever for tourists hoofing it around town.

There's also huge street/building maps all over the subways so you can take the right subway exits to street level (to end up where you actually want to end up when you climb like a million stairs and escalators to reach the surface). The subway system there rocks and it's pretty much another city underground (minus the mole people that have been transformed via radioactive fallout).

Anyhow, other than the quick video I haven't even started sorting through the other videos and pictures - that will be a joy... Here's roughly the first half of the trip (I think) via cell phone pictures. Camera phones are convenient.

Monday, November 15

12 days, 12 hours on a plane, 142 GB and 7 pounds later...back from Japan.

As much as I would love to sit on those heated toilet seats forever, all vacations have to come to an end.

It sucks to go back in the office, particularly because my body is still struggling from jet lag, but you gotta be able to pay for these things somehow. Anyway, I basically laid on my butt the past two days, splitting my time between napping and watching movies because it didn't really matter what time it was to my body and resetting my internal clock didn't work out as planned.

Anyhow, the fun was had, the memories were made and it was great - now it's time to freeze them in carbonite (a la YouTube and flickr)...I'll look back on these things one day and be able to show my kids that I wasn't super lame a total square had some fun when I was younger (and their aunt was also pretty cool). Is it Friday yet?

Saturday, November 13

Totally Jet Lagged...Tsukiji Fish Market

Lots of stuff to go though, this is the first of it because it was my favorite...

Thursday, November 11


And that's a wrap. We pretty much will just get some lunch tomorrow and then head to the airport. Our journey of gluttony has come to an end, with some of the best food and shopping saved for the last day.

After getting back we headed to Shinjuku like quicktime - it's probably the busiest or one of the busiest areas of Tokyo as Kabuchiko (the entertainment (and red light district)) is located near there as well as tons of restaurants, bars, department stores and shops. Busy.

We just happened to find an amazing spot for lunch and dinner. Ever eat a grilled tuna head? If you remember the Tsukiji market pics, these fish are HUGE. It's amazing - the jelly in the eyes and jaw are to die for, and the cheek meat behind the tough skin (which you peel away) is so tender. It was one of the restaurant we went to's specialties, as well as crab guts mixed with miso. We ate a whole bunch of fresh seafood there.

This was a great meal with lots of great drinks while surrounded by masses of red faced Japanese. Teens, yound adults and salary men all gathered here for the seafood and drinks. The atmosphere was just what we needed to wrap up the trip, followed by a cruise around downtown.

Here are some pics (in no particular order (I'm fading fast))...

Anyway, that's it for now. Catch you in the T.Dot.

Us in Japan: Home stretch!

Gonna make this one short because we gotta get back to Shinjuku ASAP to enjoy our last night. We're back in Tokyo and my knees and feet hurt from the cramped Bullet train ride. You get a pretty good view of Mt

Anyway, Kyoto sure takes a lot out of a guy. Let's see how much I can remember from the tour...

Kyoto, which means capital in Japanese, was the longstanding center of Japan for 1000 years before Tokyo. It's now the religious and cultural capital of the country. Tokyo actually means East Kyoto: To = East, Kyo = Kyoto. It seems like a smaller and older city, but downtown and Kyoto station are pretty new/nice/high tech. There are just tons of gardens, temples and palaces here.

It's 1/33th the size of Tokyo and there's only 2 subway lines in the city, so joining the tour was a good thing because getting around was a pain in my feet. The unfortunate part of the tour was that in a lot of places photography was strictly forboden.

The Shoguns hizzouse.

At some of the Shinto temples you can get a fortune on a piece of paper. If it is a good one you keep it, if it sucks you leave it at the temple and hope it doesn't stick with you (like this).

This building is one of the longest Buddhist temples in Japan. Inside there is 1000 life size, hand carved statues of Buddha as well as several others which are Japanese national treasures. It was an amazing sight. The statues were all hand carved from wood and in the center was a huge Buddha statue. No photography allowed, the monks literally took away your camera to check if they suspected it.

From this temple, you get an amazing view overlooking Kyoto. The support structure of the shrine on the right was impressive to say the least.

There's also this fountain with three fresh water streams. Each stream has a different meaning, I think intelligence, wealth and longevity. I wished that I don't get AIDS from using the public cups where literally thousands of people go through them a day. My sister did the smart thing and bought a souvenir cup to use...

We actually spent the evening in this dept. store that they just opened one week ago and had tons of sales - it was right behind Kyoto tower (which despite the name is not impressive at all). Department stores in Tokyo are no joke. Add some more clothes and shoes to the body count.

Back to Canada!