Cycling in Neighborhood

Going out for longer ride is something, but since I got my bike, I often travel out to my neighborhood, too.
Issaquah is not very big city, but riding around makes me realize how I haven’t gotten around much.
Like, there is historical city hall and jail in my neighborhood (it is now a museum, it looks like. I need to come back when they are open to check it out!)

Skagit Valley Outing on the Bike

Today, I was riding around Skagit Valley all afternoon with Elias and Hitomi. I have been here but experience was significantly different this time around. Not only this was my first time visiting Skagit Valley on my bike, this marked my first real outing with my new bike.

Tulip Field

We started off from Edgewater Park, riding along McLean Rd to the West, and visited Roozengaarde. Tulip fields there were very nice, it looked like a carpet on the field. We were not supposed to go into field (if people go too far, person with flag tells you to not do that) although it seems like there were some threshold that the person don’t care.

Alcapa

There were some alpacas. Other than $5 will gets you into the fence (which I didn’t) they were upselling some of alpaca merchandises. Dogs there looked very tired!

Tired Dog

After leaving Roozengaarde, we headed further west, trying to find additional tulip field. We didn’t find any, but we ended up close enough to La Conner, a little nice town with antique feeling to it, and also good ice creams!

Lemon Icecream

It tasted very good, and especially great with all the energy I put in to get to the place.

After having moment of icecream greatness, we’ve headed to the East, toward Skagit river. We went through long strech of road for about 30 minutes, which we hit Skagit river.

Skagit River

Then we headed to the North where we came from, then to Skagit River Brewery, where we had beer with some tasty BBQs.

Hitomi and Elias with Beer

Looking back all the road we have gone through, it was total of 20.54 miles. This was very fun experience, and I enjoyed a lot. Yes this made my feet and hand sore, but it well worth it!

Folding Bike!

So, one of the thing I have been telling to people that I will do this year for sure was to get folding bike. And today, I finally did it!

It’s a folding bike from Dahon; it’s their new 2010 Eco 3 model.

Doing some runs at Crossroad park

I dropped by REI in Issaquah, as I got off my work early today. I was looking at this particular bike on the web, and there it was, on the stand at REI. After asking few questions, they offered me so I can take it out for test ride.

It has been close to 18 years since I last rode on bike, but amazingly, I didn’t have any hesitation or problem getting back to speed. After doing few back and forth in the short trail just behind the store in the gorgeous weather, it didn’t take too long to find that this is what I want. I felt GREAT!

Then I got back to the store, after some moment of thinking (financially speaking, it’s somewhat bigger chunk of money I’m spending!) I told the person there I will take it. While they are doing check on it, I have had storeperson show me around for additional accessories I’d need. I got bike lights, helmet, spare tube, portable pump with it, resulting about $540 in expenditure. (hopefully this will be best $540 I’m spending this year!)

As a folding bike, it folds,

My Vouch to Support Free Expression

I have watched documentary called This Film Is Not Yet Rated. Basically this documentary outlines how secretive MPAA about who are actually rating films, as well as biased decision of rating, particularly between R and NC-17.

I always thought NC-17 is reserved for highly pornographic contents, but this documentary persuaded me that would not be the case. It appears to be line between R and NC-17 are very thin.

As my vouch to support free expression, I think I will be focusing little more on Not Rated and NC-17 movies. (though most of movies are edited to meet their R rating as NC-17 titles are pretty much kicked out from normal marketing and retailing chains…)

Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not totally against idea of rating, but I have been always disturbed by highly biased rating on anything. In my opinion, all rating systems, as far as I know are all defective. It is perhaps easier than ever now we can skip draconian retailers and just market directly to people who are tired of biased rating systems. Ratings may be good guideline, but it shouldn’t be used as an instrument to regulate what on the market. If you don’t like what you see, just turn away from it and don’t patronize it.

Dinner & Karaoke

Friday (now yesterday) after work, I’ve gone to dinner outing to for birthday of one of us, as well as perhaps us having fun.
After dealing with some carpooling (though I’ve had enough transportation management at the con!) we’ve first went to Kaname Izakaya.
Dinner was good, and after we ate, we headed to Seattle’s Best Karaoke for some karaoke actions…
At Karaoke, I have song quite a few including:

So I gave I’m proud a try because Kagami Hiiragi (Emiri Kato) was singing in the one of ending in Lucky Star. (Original version of the song was by Tomomi Kahara.) Trying this song, now I know why Kagami was making her mistake where she was making mistake. For example, Kagami’s version, she seems to attempt to start singing too early after intro, and that’s perhaps because karaoke version actually starts there, while version on the CD starting few bars after that.

Another tendency I found out about myself is that I’m overloading microphone when I sing. I think what happe

Sakura-Con 2010

Sakura-Con 2010 was yet another good year, I think. Overall, it had 18002 attendees. We had 16500 last year, so that’s good 9% growth there. Quite impressive.

Just like previous few years, I have been on Sakura-Con 2010, taking a part of Japanese Guest Manager.

My Badge

Although, I didn’t get to see much of the Con, other than now-familiar office which located in the “floor that doesn’t exist” and perhaps 15 to 30 minutes of walking around the con, I had great time with guests.

Autographed Badge

Perhaps next year, I should start finding more time looking around the con. Not sure if it will happen, though!

Pictures are available on my Flickr.