Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chinuchi Dragons

This past Monday was the third game in a series of three, if the Nagoya Chinuchi Dragons won against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows they would advance to play the Tokyo Giants in what is basically the world series of Japan. If they lost, well, the game was played in Nagoya, so everyone could take the subway home. Either way, I had yet to go to a baseball game in Japan and I was concern if I missed this game I would have to wait till next year.... So I went!!!To summarize, Second-place Chunichi rallied from a one-game deficit to win the final two games of the best-of-three series, they crushed the Swallows 7-4, it was embarrassing.This was an amazing baseball game, from the first pitch to the last out everyone was focus on the game and not distracted by things like yelling at the other teams fans or checking stocks on i-phones. Here are a couple of things that are different from MLB games:Bento Box. In this case, the Bento box is shaped like a baseball jersey, #3 is Tatsunami who is going to retire this year.Plastic bats. Everyone had plastic bats used to make rhythmic noise, they were in use the entire game, from the first Dragons pitch till after the on field news conference ended.Japanese cheerleaders!The 7th inning stretch was replaced with 7th inning karaoke, but the lyrics on the bottom of the screen was way beyond my ability to sing along.

Above is a few minutes of Baseball in Japan, please enjoy.

Anyways, the Tokyo Giants are kind of like the Yankees, the Dragons can be compared to the White Sox. Go Go Dragons!!!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Recipes

I've learned a couple more recipes, Japanese dishes, kind of based on those ingredients most easy to get at the local grocery store. Here is my first attempt at making Gyoza, in this epic battle - the small flour wrapper is winning, refusing to conform to the pot-sticker shape. Look at that focus, but I think my fingers are to fat to make this kind of stuff correctly.In total, 26 gyoza were assembled, I tried to fold 4 of them in the time the other 22 were made.Yep, Ustunomiya style. On the right hand side of the photo above is two bowls of rice, each with salt but one with little fish and the other with Ume added. Ume is a Japanese sour fruit (simular to apricot or plum), the rice is being used to make onigiri or Japanese rice balls.This is the final onigiri dish, they are both really good and healthy. Please feel free to come over for dinner, I think I should be able to make this again!!Above is the Gyoza recipe.... good luck.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Typhoon Melor

The image below was taken by NASA and shows two storms, to the right is Typhoon Melor and to the left is Typhoon Parma.Also in the NASA image is China, the land mass in the upper right; Luzon Philippines is the bottom center and southern Japan in the upper left under Typhoon Melor. When this photo was taken, Melor was a supper Typhoon with sustain winds of 120mph and burst up to 150mph, this was 2 days ago.

Yesterday, the rain started hitting Nagoya hard around 2pm. Around 4pm I left my office and had to walk to the train station (where my bike was stolen). During that walk, people were nailing up boards over the windows of older buildings and newer homes had metal shutters all ready closed.

By the time I got home it was dark, I made a few stops to buy groceries with everyone else who was over reacting. Below is a photo taken around 8pm from my living room. There were still a few people making there way home.I woke up around 3am and took this photo:What was a super typhoon has calmed down and just a minor typhoon, in the photo above nothing is going on. The eye is actually over Nagoya, no rain, no wind, I went back to bed. The back half of the typhoon rolled through between 4am and 7am, there was lots of rain and wind but I sleep through most of this. By 8am, the storm had all ready passed and just a bunch of clouds were left over.The only damage or effect from the storm was this:Some water came through the mail box attached to my front door and made my shoes wet. That little mail box is where the utility companies leave receipts, those got wet too.In Japan the weather is usually really nice after a storm, by 3pm Nagoya was blue skies.