Tuesday, February 25, 2014

オートオタク日記:Vol.II_Nissan Silvia (S15)

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I've always been jealous of Japan for having the cooler models that stateside can only dream of having. Well, if you pay thousands of dollars to import one, you're one to be envious of...except when you go through drive-thru's by yourself having to reach over an empty seat to grab your double-double and animal fries. I'm pretty sure you'll be living off fast food after paying for smog modifications and registration, but for a hardcore JDM fan that's no problem. 

One of my favorite Nissan's, one that is more attainable for the average salary, is the Silvia S15, a.k.a. Silvia "Strawberry". People have always asked, "why strawberry?", some say because the shape of the headlights or the sharp angles of the front end, but when have you seen strawberries shaped like that? 

Let me clear the air, if you don't already know.

Silvia S15, in Japanese they say "ese ichi go" which mean S15, but Japanese like making words shorter, like the case of the Toyota 86, they call it hachi-roku for 86. Hence the name for the silvia ichi-go for 15. I guess someone thought it was cute to call it strawberry because ichigo in Japanese also means STRAWBERRY!  

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Enough talk about fruits, let's get back to this red beauty I spotted nesting in it's lonely parking spot. How could you miss this this strikingly bright red hue with contrasty white wheels against a monotone background to grab your eyeballs out of their sockets to get your attention? 

It seems like this car is not only the owner's track rat, but his daily driver as well. Somethings any car enthusiast can appreciate. It shows character of the car and the owner, even with limited "garage" space you can see that he stores is broken/back-up wheels on a pile of leaves, ECU wires, empty cigarette packs behind his car in broad daylight. 

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From every aspect and angle of this car, you can tell every piece has it's function and that this car has been used for it's purpose of getting sideways as fast and as smooth as possible. 

One of my favorite features on this car, which usually gets my attention, is the vented fenders and carbon fiber canards. The carbon fiber not only accents the bright red paint, giving it that true blood racer look, but lightens up the car. Like the vents on the hood, air can pass through easier to give that turbo a better intake induction.

Always loved the way the S15's one piece headlights looked, black housing and HID projector headlights? Can't go wrong with that combo.

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Don't see myself drifting or building a drift machine myself, but the drifter style has been one of my biggest influences for being involved with cars. The stance, the style, and definitely the sport itself are aspects I want to incorporate into one of my future builds...probably, in the far far far future. But one can dream and drool right?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wherever My Two Wheels Take Me

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Whenever I get the chance, I like to sneak out on my own with my camera with no definite destination and get lost around the city on my bike. Riding a bike around the local spots helps you blend in and look less "gaijin", and to wear a cough mask also disguises you. In Japan, there are so many major sites to see, but the interesting sights are on the outskirts of major streets. You really get to see the structure of some of the old traditional style houses and the small shrines that hide in between them. Here's a few shots of what daily Japanese life looks like in Himeji.  

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

CBNC 5 Year Anniversary PB&J Ale x Hell Bound x Silenus's Ego

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Mom always said not to play with my food. Who knew that all those rebellious years of squishing jello between my teeth and spatting it out on my plate, to draw pictures on my plate, like paint on a palette would later pay off in my adult years.

Although a very limited run of these beers were made, with very limited time and supplies, we're already brewing up some new ideas for bigger and better batches in 2014. You can expect this collaboration won't stop right here!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Do As The Japanese Do

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It's already been over two years and some change since my wife and I tied the knot. We didn't have the whole chapel experience, rice thrown at us as we walk out of the church doors to wedding bells, instead, we traveled and partied. For our trip to Japan, we wanted to commemorate our marriage with a photo of us dressed in traditional Japanese garments. Tomorrow's the big day! We've both held out on all the delicious Japanese snacks and I've kept my beer intake to one can of beer a day for the sake of looking our best. But you can bet we're gonna binge again after all this is over...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ja-Pan-O-ramas_Vol. I_Morning Walks in Himeji

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In this past month trying to get used to the extremely cold weather, burying myself in layers of futons and hibernating in the kotatsu, it's time to start moving around. It's slowly getting warmer and my body is feeling too stagnate. With wedding pictures coming around the corner and good friends from California coming to visit, we gotta whip ourselves into shape. 

I'm pretty familiar with the main roads of Himeji, I've even cycled through the small residential areas as shortcuts to get around but there's something more gratifying about using your own two feet to truly absorb the environment. I can feel the texture of the land and take more time to look at my surroundings and observe and appreciate every detail.  

The best part about walking is you can take time to take pictures. When I'm not stalking a car sitting pretty in a parking lot or garage, I like to take in the scenery as well. Sometimes it's too much of a heavy load to lug around my DSLR and lenses on our walks/jogs so my handy iPhone 4S handles the tasks just fine. 

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Himeji is more of a rural area, the city area is concentrated towards the train station so you get the best of both worlds. Sure, I love the metropolis of Tokyo, the hilly city of Kobe, and even the crowded weekend nights in Osaka, but it's nice to live away from the noise. Himeji, on the other hand, allows space to walk around, climb up mountains or even stroll down the river bends. 

My wife and I are constantly looking for new terrains and discovering new shrines every time we go on our walks. You never know where that shaded dirt path may take you. They took us to graveyards on mountains sides with some of the steepest stairs our thighs could barely handle.

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Here are a small series of panoramas that I've taken so far and many more to come on my travels around Himeji. I'll be traveling around the Kansai area in a few weeks so that'll give me a chance to get more pics of other cities. 

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かんぱい!