Saturday, September 30, 2006

Did You Hear?!?!

We interrupt the seemingly non-ending, non-knitting content of this "knitting" blog to bring you breaking knitting related news. Yes, I realize it's 3:00 in the a.m. but I'm still suffering from jetlag. Plus I'm too excited to sleep! There's a new podcast out there in pod world- a knitting podcast and get this--it's a video podcast! Would that be called a videocast? Not sure. Well anyway, isn't that thrilling! I got the heads up while looking on Julie's blog, Boogaj, in it she mentions the new kid on the block entitled,"Let's Knit2gether". In her first episode, Cat, the host demonstrates casting on for socks using the two socks on two circular needle approach! Some of you may know that this is a technique that I've been wanting to learn because I'm always on the lookout for new ways to start a project (not finish mind you, just start) and I've been keen on learning this method for months and I'm very much a visual learner. Yay Cat! Keep them coming on.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Somethings I love about Japan



That you can leave your bikes unlocked for the most part








Even the garbage trucks are clean, small and ultra cute. I missed getting the shot of the really cute one- it was powder blue and mint green with an cartoon elephant, the garbage men wore crisp clean matching uniforms. Some of the trucks play music a la ice cream truck ...I kid you not.












The ramps in the middle of the staircase on the overpass near the Shibuya train station in Tokyo, it just makes so much sense!

Am I dreaming?!?



I had to pinch myself for this one, then I dove right in.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Japan from the air











Sunday, September 17, 2006

In and around Tokyo

Tokyo above ground:

Traffic laws are obeyed; so wait patiently for your light (this also pertains to pedestrians and bicyclists).

Getting around Tokyo can be a little confusing at first for two reasons: 1)Tokyo streets were originally built in a zigzag fashion to discourage invaders (and confuse everyone else). 2) Buildings in Tokyo are numbered by the order in which they were built, they are not in numerical order. For example if you are looking for a building numbered 5109 on a particular street and you see 5110 don't be surprised if not only is 5109 nowhere around, but it turns out to be miles away. So if you are planning on going to a particular address give yourself plenty of time. Many times you won't even be able to find a street name, unless it's a main thoroughfare. I mostly traveled by foot (a.k.a. getting lost) and by subway (coincidently, also known as getting lost). I found it easier to use landmarks, for that very reason instead of an address as a guide even when directing a taxi driver on the one occasion that I took a cab. I left Tokyo with a deep admiration the dedication of their postal workers. Despite of or perhaps because of Tokyo's quirkiness I enjoyed myself immensely, wouldn't mind moving there and can't wait to return!

Tokyo underground:

The Tokyo subway system is a bit confusing at first, but makes perfect sense once you get used to it.

1) Bring your train maps...all of them...just in case. :-)

2) Bring a coin purse (gentlemen, this goes for you too) the smallest paper denomination is 1000 Yen, approximately $10.00 USD at this writing, so you're going to get change- a lot of change.

3) There are quite a few train lines in Tokyo, the main one being the JR line. You can easily transfer between the lines but there may be times when you must purchase a separate ticket for another leg of your journey.

4) There is an option for English on the upper right hand corner of the screen when purchasing your tickets. Look at the map for the stop you want to get off; the tickets are purchased according to price, which is based on the distance. So if you want to go to Kamakura for instance from Tokyo the price, 890 Yen is located directly above and below the station name on the overhead map, 890 is what you choose on the screen.

5) The option to purchase a round trip ticket isn't always available for every leg of your trip.



6) Don't forget your train ticket after you put it through the machine when entering the train station (you'll need to put it through again at your destination in order to get out of the station).

7) There is a queue for boarding the trains indicated by the markings on the floor.


























I wish I had found this link while I was there. Check out their info on the Tokyo Metro Guide and the Transfer Guide as well as the General Tickets & Service Info.

8) Do not ignore the LCD displays above the platforms, turns out there kinda important (who knew!). Even though you may be on the correct platform the display will show what time the next train is arriving and most important--what train that is. I could regale you of the day in which I reenacted the blip in "Pong" going from the Ofuna station to the Odwara station over and over again, always in search of the elusive Kamakura station which I never reached that day because I kept getting on the wrong train although I was on the right platform (but we won't go there).

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Buddha at Kamakura


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hokokuji Temple grounds & Kamakura Bamboo Garden





Sunday, September 10, 2006

Konbanwa!

It's about 8:15pm on Sunday (7:15am Sunday, EST). I've landed safely in Japan and just arrived at the hotel. I'm highly distracted now because I'm watching a show that seems to have instant translation available because the hosts are speaking to the guests in Japanese and the guests are responding to their questions immediately in French. There's food involved as well, someone with a black mesh cloth over the head is giving all the guest panelists a taste of something Japanese, can't figure out why he is wearing the mesh thing though. Is he scared that the food won’t be to their liking and that they’ll spit it out as an immediate reaction? The show may be covering a Japanese exposition in Paris (I'm not sure as I can only figure out half the conversations), one of the Parisian guest panelists is explaining the appeal that Japanese products have to the French, namely that the products are compact, esthetically pleasing and practical. I think the show is called “Cool Japan”. Anyway, speaking of all things cool and Japanese, I'm going to go play with the buttons on the toilet seat some more then unpack and rest in anticipation of exploring Tokyo tomorrow. To all my NYC family & friends, I love you and will be sending especially warm thoughts your way tomorrow.

Oyasumi nasai y'all!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Organizing my stash

I came across this link while I was organizing my stash to update my database. It's a conversion website for different weights and measures. You can even get a code to put on your blog or website, thereby making meter to yard and yard to meter conversions a breeze.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Do the words "Captain Scarlet" mean anything to you?

No? I'll wait....Still nothing? Well, don't feel bad, there's not a lot of us, but you weren't alone. A dear friend recently clued me in on the BBC show that aired in the late 60's "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons". After I stopped laughing he went on to describe the characters and the process used. You see, the creators of Captain Scarlet and it's predecessor "Thunderbirds" didn't rely on animation. Oh no, Captain Scarlet and his cohorts were in "supermarionation", in other words beyond mere marionettes. It was at this point, that I of course started laughing again. He also sent me this link of the theme song. Still laughing, but now curious I went online and dug up these clips (you'll need realplayer to view the clips). It seems that Captain Scarlet had and continues to have a huge cult following. I actually stopped laughing hard long enough to be impressed, it was kinda cool especially the lip-sync. Considering the time period- it was pretty hip.

"The show was forward-thinking - not only did it feature female fighter pilots (albeit very pretty ones with big hair) but also Gerry's first black character. He had wanted to include non-Caucasian characters for a while, but selling the programmes to the American south in the 60s made it impossible. The climate had changed by 1967, and the Trinidadian Lieutenant Green and Japanese Harmony Angel were introduced."(quote found on the BBC site).

All of the marionettes were based on real people for instance, Melody Angel's character was based on Eartha Kitt!

I have been initiated. Thank you.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

Still chipping away at the Ruana

Friday, September 01, 2006

The South Dakota Badlands