Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eating Osaka and Kobe

When you see a street like this, you know it's time to get eating, so let's get started.
Osaka is famous for takoyaki, a ball shaped snack with octopus, ginger, onion and sticky dough.
The signs are easily recognizable, and Maneki-neko the cat agrees.
They are less easy to eat, however.
What do you get when you combine cabbage, batter, green onions, ginger, pork, bonito flakes, mayonnaise, special brown sauce, and sometimes sticky rice and cheese? My favourite Osaka dish, succinctly called Okonomiyaki.
Feel like a snack? Perhaps a crunchy crab snack?
Maybe not. Will and Keith were not big fans, and after this Barry was too scared to even try!
Ok, let's move on to Kobe. Below are nose prints from cows. We think the certificates have something to do with what Catherine calls "ancestors", or bovine family trees.
Below is a lot of beef. The lower one is Wagyu, the upper is Kobe. Other than the price, the difference was unclear. Apparently the fact that the cows have black hair is relevant.
Here Barry demonstrates the best way to enjoy the beefy beefiness. You don't want to absorb anything with your other senses.
And as a final demonstrate, Barry here shows the importance of perspective. Or: the risk of a sake glass causing your head to inflate!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Carpentry Tools and Goodtimes

Let us start by contemplating the simple beauty of the Butt Chisel.
Now let's think about the potential health benefits of the O2 shuttle home hyperbaric chamber. Apparently you can't get locked inside. I'm not ready to try.
These things and more are available on the museum scene in Kobe. Perhaps you would like to admire this wide-bladed ripsaw?
Here is a display of straight line chalk stringy thingies, carved themselves to show the infinite and eco-system like elegance of the woodworking cycle.
Also on display were different flavours of wood chips.
We figured you were supposed to smell them. But, like many things in Japan, it is likely that we were wrong and acting inappropriately.
Here, we were pretty sure that you were supposed to take apart the wood puzzles, as long as you reassemble them nicely, and don't leave your shoes in the wrong place.
When making grooves in wood, you need to consider getting the right tools. A plow plane leads to a very different result than a head jamb, if you think about it.
Here is what happens if you have the right tools.
And, well, above is what happens if you don't. This small child beat Barry on the electrical engineering quiz at the Kawasaki Good Times World. In English.
Here, you can also look cool on motorcycles. Or, well, pale.
After all of the museum fun, smoky beef is in order. But we'll have more on that later.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hazards, Hobbies and Help

Let's talk first about hazards. Sudden stairs, and flower petal risk to men!
I did note a little stumble.
And I was careful not to enter the pile of rope.
Now apparently these hats are about fishing, including the long word on the second line.
I'm not sure if this is the best fishing message though.
These lead me to believe that these underwear might also be about fishing, although that's not comfortable living every day.
The Streak Eagle Military Command refers to the model plane version of the Strike Eagle, don't worry.
There were also racing hats, but there was something in the way.
It turns out Funky Monkey Babys is a band, so totally normal.
Now that we've got the hobbies covered, let's see how Engrish can help us. Need to spread the creaps?
Not sure which part of the cow to order? (Yes, they also had second stomach).
Looking for a little inspiration from rabbits? This Flench is deep, because it could either mean that we share a history with rabbits, or that our story is the same as theirs. Wow.
In other motivational sayings, whacking 2 things with a mallet is bound to bring future happiness.
And if you're still not happy, perhaps an exchange is in order?
Plum Juice seems like the right name for a Nail Salon, and RipCurl has now expanded into Hair and Make.
But of course you can always go to the traditional Saron, inspirationally called Unjour.
Or you can let Engrish help you find love.