Mudgrubber

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On the way home from field archery a few months ago, I spotted this bad boy about to get squished on the road. We took him home for lack of a good place to release him, and I snapped this shot with the Nikon in one hand and steering wheel in the other. (On a scale of difficulty, it was somewhere between eating a Big Mac and changing a CD while driving.)
Anyway, Mr. Turtle got to play in my bathtub for a few hours and he surprised us all by screeching the entire time. Yes, it’s true. Turtles screech. Eeek eeeeek eeeeeeeek. So the next time some hippie starts crying about the trees screaming (as opposed to the Screaming Trees), you can tell him it was probably just a turtle he stepped on.

Classical Thai Dance

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Right now I’m sipping lemon chu-hi at Bill’s Bar and going through my photos from the Thai dance exhibition Nam participated in last week. Pictured here is a Japanese girl who is quite skilled and actually teaches others classical Thai dance. The dance group is comprised of both Japanese and Thai girls, and they perform all around Japan.
I am waiting for the new Nikon D70 DSLR to be released and push down the price of the Canon Digital Rebel so I can buy a digicam that works better in low-light situations than my Coolpix 4500. I love the 4500 but it sucks for night/low-light pics. The Canon apparently does quite well. Hell, if the D70 looks good I might eventually go for that… I don’t know if I can wait for the next generation cameras to come out. After all, the waiting game tends to get tedious for me and with each product cycle my patience wears a bit thinner.
I like photography a lot, but I often wonder if I should spend more time on technique. I think I could really get into it but I worry that it would affect the fun I have now. It’s rewarding to be in the middle of learning the basics and still produce results I’m satisfied with, say once every 200 shots or so. Digital cameras are so liberating for me. I erase at least half of the photos I take before they ever leave the camera, and I don’t think anything of it. If I were using film, I know I wouldn’t take a lot of the shots I experiment with now because of cost.
Why is this so important to me at 3AM? Everyone else here in the bar is wasted or borderline comatose… Time to go now that the police running the sobriety checkpoints have packed up for the night.

Gyudon Pics

At the request of a certain hominid (and I suspect a fellow chowhound), I present borrowed gyudon pics.
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Here we have the gyudon (center), miso soup (right), pickled cabbage (left), and a cup of hot green tea in the blue cup. This is a set meal that was available at Yoshinoya stores in Japan for about 600 yen until the American cows went apeshit or whatever. Basically the only thing missing from this photo is the raw egg. Not very photogenic, I guess.
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First of all, whoever took this photo has to work on their color management because the red ginger looks like shredded carrots. Shame, shame. Please take better photos for me to borrow next time! Ah, well, at least your heart is in the right place… I never even thought of taking pictures at Yoshinoya because I was too busy stuffing my face. This photo was taken at a Yoshinoya in the US. Even without the telltale English text on the placemat and napkin, you can tell by the styrofoam bowl which is used even for “for here” orders in the states. Not as elegant as the Japanese bowls, but somewhat comforting in its assumed sterility. American portions are larger than their Japanese counterparts of course. Also, from the beginning, the American stores have featured a Chicken Teriyaki Bowl and Combo Bowls with oth chicken and beef, items that the Japanese stores still do not feature to this day.
It’s past midnight, and my stomach is rumbling from remembering this stuff.

Why I Love Cali

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This is the beach at Crystal Cove. The sand feels damn good under your feet after getting off a 12-hour plane ride. We are home for the holidays, terrorist fools be damned.
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A Cosbu journey is never complete without some jump pics. Adam is jumping for joy.
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Nam looks happy too.
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Yeah, this is gonna be a good trip.