My two favorite people

8:22 am on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

image

Just a pic of Shannon and Dakota in a paddle boat at the company picnic last Saturday. And a test of my blog to Facebook link.

Making use of free time at lunch

2:13 pm on Tuesday, June 4, 2013

image

Made a toy for my desk during lunch today. A 1972 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300. Found a site filled with paper craft models. It’s all in Japanese though. Thanks to Google for auto-translate in Chrome.

Metmania Paper Models

3D Images from the Curiosity Rover

8:40 pm on Thursday, August 9, 2012

I’ve started a new page based an old project I worked on with a buddy years ago for the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. I trashed all our old code and rewrote from scratch.

NASA doesn’t generally release every single possible 3D image out there. I wanted to see it all. So I’ve written a couple of scripts that dig through NASA’s image servers and find the images that come from a ‘left’ and ‘right’ camera then finds any of those with matching time stamps. It then downloads them and creates them into 3D masterpieces. Some are awesome, many are crap. I’ll let you decide. I’ll have to tweak the code as I go as JPL brings online new cameras.

http://curiosity.nnin.net

If you have some old red/blue 3D glasses lying around check out this page I made. The page is basic as hell because I’m a geek, not a designer. I wanted results, not pretty. ­čÖé

I did this after Spirit and Opportunity landed and it ate me alive in bandwidth costs. We’ll see how it goes this time. With only one lander there might be less pics but with higher quality cmas the images might be bigger.

Best spam/phishing email ever.

1:00 pm on Monday, July 2, 2012

I just found this email that was caught in my filters. I like how the Director of the FBI now sends mail from AOL. For only $98.00 I can get off of the FBI’s wanted list. Such a deal!

From: FBI OFFICE <BlossomXXXXX@aol.com>>
Subject: [SPAM] WE THE FBI HAVE WARRANT TO ARREST YOU GET BACK TO US FOR YOUR OWN GOOD

Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
Fbi Headquarters In Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001 Website: www.fbi.gov

Attention, this is the final warning you are going to receive from me do you get me?

I hope youre understand how many times this message has been sent to you?.

We have warned you so many times and you have decided to ignore our e-mails or because you believe we have not been instructed to get you arrested, and today if you fail to respond back to us with the payment then, we would first send a letter to the mayor of the city where you reside and direct them to close your bank account until you have been jailed and all your properties will be confiscated by the fbi. We would also send a letter to the company/agency that you are working for so that they could get you fired until we are through with our investigations because a suspect is not suppose to be working for the government or any private organization.

Your id which we have in our database been sent to all the crimes agencies in America for them to inset you in their website as an internet fraudsters and to warn people from having any deals with you. This would have been solved all this while if you had gotten the certificate signed, endorsed and stamped as you where
instructed in the e-mail below.this is the federal bureau of investigation (fbi) am writing in response to the e-mail you sent to us and am using this medium to inform you that there is no more time left to waste because you have been given from the 3rd of January. As stated earlier to have the document endorsed, signed and stamped without failure and you must adhere to this directives to avoid you blaming yourself at last when we must have arrested and jailed you for life and all your properties confiscated.

You failed to comply with our directives and that was the reason why we didn’t hear from you on the 3rd as our director has already been notified about you get the process completed yesterday and right now the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and it will be carried out in the next 48hours as strictly signed by the
fbi director. We have investigated and found out that you didn’t have any idea when the fraudulent deal was committed with your information’s/identity and right now if you id is placed on our website as a wanted person, i believe you know that it will be a shame to you and your entire family because after then it will be announce in
all the local channels that you are wanted by the fbi. As a good Christian and a honest man, I decided to see how i could be of help to you because i would not be happy to see you end up in jail and all your properties confiscated all because your information’s was used to carry out a fraudulent transactions, i called the efcc and they directed me to a private attorney who could help you get the process done and he stated that he will endorse, sign and stamp the document at the sum of $98.00 usd only and i believe this process is cheaper for you.

You need to do everything possible within today and tomorrow to get this process done because our director has called to inform me that the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and once it has been approved, then the arrest will be carried out, and from our investigations we learnt that you were the person that forwarded
your identity to one impostor/fraudsters in Nigeria when he had a deal with you about the transfer of some illegal funds into your bank account which is valued at the sum of $10.500,000.00 usd.

I pleaded on your behalf so that this agency could give you till 6/27/2012 so that you could get this process done because i learnt that you were sent several e-mail without getting a response from you, please bear it in mind that this is the only way that i can be able to help you at this moment or you would have to face the law
and its consequences once it has befall on you. You would make the payment through western union money transfer with the below details.

NAME: VINCE DURU
ADDRESS: LAGOS NIGERIA
TEXT QUESTION:FOR
ANSWER: YOU
AMOUNT: $98
Senders name======

Send the payment details to me which are senders name and address, mtcn number, text question and answer used and the amount sent. Make sure that you didn’t hesitate making the payment down to the agency by today so that they could have the certificate endorsed, signed and stamped immediately without any further delay. After all
this process has been carried out, then we would have to proceed to the bank for the transfer of your compensation funds which is valued at the sum of $10.500,000.00 usd which was suppose to have been transferred to you all this while.

Note/ all the crimes agencies have been contacted on this regards and we shall trace and arrest you if you disregard this instructions. You are given a grace today to make the payment for the document after which your failure to do that will attract a maximum arrest and finally you will be appearing in court for act of terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking charges, so be warned not to try any thing funny because you are been watched.

THANKS FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION.

ROBERT MUELLER
WASHINGTON DC

Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
Fbi Headquarters In Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001 Website: www.fbi.gov

Welcome DHS!

4:51 pm on Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome to my rarely updated blog, Mr. DHS Lacky! Enjoy your stay looking for terrorists under every rock.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Coast Guard (USCG)
Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Border Patrol
Secret Service (USSS)
National Operations Center (NOC)
Homeland Defense
Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Agent
Task Force
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Fusion Center
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
Secure Border Initiative (SBI)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)
Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS)
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Air Marshal
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
National Guard
Red Cross
United Nations (UN)
Domestic Security
Assassination
Attack
Domestic security
Drill
Exercise
Cops
Law enforcement
Authorities
Disaster assistance
Disaster management
DNDO (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office)
National preparedness
Mitigation
Prevention
Response
Recovery
Dirty Bomb
Domestic nuclear detection
Emergency management
Emergency response
First responder
Homeland security
Maritime domain awareness (MDA)
National preparedness initiative
Militia
Shooting
Shots fired
Evacuation
Deaths
Hostage
Explosion (explosive)
Police
Disaster medical assistance team (DMAT)
Organized crime
Gangs
National security
State of emergency
Security
Breach
Threat
Standoff
SWAT
Screening
Lockdown
Bomb (squad or threat)
Crash
Looting
Riot
Emergency Landing
Pipe bomb
Incident
Facility
HAZMAT & Nuclear
Hazmat
Nuclear
Chemical Spill
Suspicious package/device
Toxic
National laboratory
Nuclear facility
Nuclear threat
Cloud
Plume
Radiation
Radioactive
Leak
Biological infection (or event)
Chemical
Chemical burn
Biological
Epidemic
Hazardous
Hazardous material incident
Industrial spill
Infection
Powder (white)
Gas
Spillover
Anthrax
Blister agent
Exposure
Burn
Nerve agent
Ricin
Sarin
North Korea
Health Concern + H1N1
Outbreak
Contamination
Exposure
Virus
Evacuation
Bacteria
Recall
Ebola
Food Poisoning
Foot and Mouth (FMD)
H5N1
Avian
Flu
Salmonella
Small Pox
Plague
Human to human
Human to ANIMAL
Influenza
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Drug Administration (FDA)
Public Health
Toxic
Agro Terror
Tuberculosis (TB)
Agriculture
Listeria
Symptoms
Mutation
Resistant
Antiviral
Wave
Pandemic
Infection
Water/air borne
Sick
Swine
Pork
Strain
Quarantine
H1N1
Vaccine
Tamiflu
Norvo Virus
Epidemic
World Health Organization (WHO and components)
Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
E. Coli
Infrastructure Security
Infrastructure security
Airport
CIKR (Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources)
AMTRAK
Collapse
Computer infrastructure
Communications infrastructure
Telecommunications
Critical infrastructure
National infrastructure
Metro
WMATA
Airplane (and derivatives)
Chemical fire
Subway
BART
MARTA
Port Authority
NBIC (National Biosurveillance Integration Center)
Transportation security
Grid
Power
Smart
Body scanner
Electric
Failure or outage
Black out
Brown out
Port
Dock
Bridge
Canceled
Delays
Service disruption
Power lines
Southwest Border Violence
Drug cartel
Violence
Gang
Drug
Narcotics
Cocaine
Marijuana
Heroin
Border
Mexico
Cartel
Southwest
Juarez
Sinaloa
Tijuana
Torreon
Yuma
Tucson
Decapitated
U.S. Consulate
Consular
El Paso
Fort Hancock
San Diego
Ciudad Juarez
Nogales
Sonora
Colombia
Mara salvatrucha
MS13 or MS-13
Drug war
Mexican army
Methamphetamine
Cartel de Golfo
Gulf Cartel
La Familia
Reynose
Nuevo Leon
Narcos
Narco banners (Spanish equivalents)
Los Zetas
Shootout
Execution
Gunfight
Trafficking
Kidnap
Calderon
Reyosa
Bust
Tamaulipas
Meth Lab
Drug trade
Illegal immigrants
Smuggling (smugglers)
Matamoros
Michoacana
Guzman
Arellano-Felix
Beltran-Leyva
Barrio Azteca
Artistics Assassins
Mexicles
New Federation
Terrorism
Terrorism
Al Queda (all spellings)
Terror
Attack
Iraq
Afghanistan
Iran
Pakistan
Agro
Environmental terrorist
Eco terrorism
Conventional weapon
Target
Weapons grade
Dirty bomb
Enriched
Nuclear
Chemical weapon
Biological weapon
Ammonium nitrate
Improvised explosive device
IED (Improvised Explosive Device)
Abu Sayyaf
Hamas
FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces Colombia)
IRA (Irish Republican Army)
ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna)
Basque Separatists
Hezbollah
Tamil Tiger
PLF (Palestine Liberation Front)
PLO (Palestine Libration Organization)
Car bomb
Jihad
Taliban
Weapons cache
Suicide bomber
Suicide attack
Suspicious substance
AQAP (Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula)
AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb)
TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan)
Yemen
Pirates
Extremism
Somalia
Nigeria
Radicals
Al-Shabaab
Home grown
Plot
Nationalist
Recruitment
Fundamentalism
Islamist
Weather/Disaster/Emergency
Emergency
Hurricane
Tornado
Twister
Tsunami
Earthquake
Tremor
Flood
Storm
Crest
Temblor
Extreme weather
Forest fire
Brush fire
Ice
Stranded/Stuck
Help
Hail
Wildfire
Tsunami Warning Center
Magnitude
Avalanche
Typhoon
Shelter-in-place
Disaster
Snow
Blizzard
Sleet
Mud slide or Mudslide
Erosion
Power outage
Brown out
Warning
Watch
Lightening
Aid
Relief
Closure
Interstate
Burst
Emergency Broadcast System
Cyber Security
Cyber security
Botnet
DDOS (dedicated denial of service)
Denial of service
Malware
Virus
Trojan
Keylogger
Cyber Command
2600
Spammer
Phishing
Rootkit
Phreaking
Cain and abel
Brute forcing
Mysql injection
Cyber attack
Cyber terror
Hacker
China
Conficker
Worm
Scammers
Social media

Japan Trip – Day 9: Fake food, ancient temples, and an interview

2:16 pm on Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today was supposed to be an easy day to relax. We didn’t, of course.

We really wanted to visit Kappabashi, or ‘Kitchen Town‘, on this trip as we missed it last time. Everything you need to open a restaurant or stock a professional kitchen can be found here. What we were most interested was the plastic food. Shannon mentioned in a previous posting that many restaurants have plastic versions of the dishes they serve in the front window of their store. Kappabashi is where they get them. It’s really a wholesale district but you can visit stores and look around. It’s pretty popular with tourists much to the surprise of the locals. Why would anyone want to see fake food for fun? There are several stores that specialize in the fake food. They have everything from sushi, to ramen noodles, to desserts. It’s not a good place to go when you’re hungry. The food is extremely realistic and looks good enough to eat. It is also very expensive in most cases. A fake bowl of ramen going for about $40-50. We wandered through several stores and I purchased a very realistic fatty tuna nigiri sushi for my desk at work. Shannon found a few dishes in a pattern that she liked. After spending a couple hours here we moved on.

From Kappabashi we walked the mile or so to Asakusa. This is a very popular tourist destination. Its focal point is Sens┼Ź-ji┬áTemple. This is Tokyo’s oldest and one of its most significant shrines. It’s also one of the largest. The first temple here was erected in 645AD. It’s a place of special significance to the Japanese. The area is also home to one of the largest paper lanterns in Japan and makes a great photo op. There is a shopping street out front that has been active since the 1300s. Some of the booths and buildings have been passed down through families for hundreds of years. Now they mostly cater to the tourists and are filled with cheap tchotchkes. There’s not much there of interest. Outside the temple is a very large incense pot. Before entering the temple you wave the smoke over you in a ritual cleansing. The inside of the temple is quite impressive. We also made sire to get our fortunes from the fortune tables where you shake a canister until a stick falls out. The number on the stick directs you to a drawer where you’ll find your fortune. Always an interesting time. We wandered the grounds for a bit and went in search of lunch.

We ate at a little restaurant we’d visited last year. We got a table on the second floor. Before entering you must remove your shoes and put them in a locker by the door. This is actually a god-send when you’ve been on your feet all day. It feels great to take off your shoes for a bit. The tables are very low and you sit on the ground. There is a small well where you can put your legs should you not enjoy sitting cross-legged or on your knees. Lunch was delicious as it was last year.

From there we headed back to Akihabara again. Dakota was really looking for a specific toy to bring home so we were going to give him time to browse the electronics district. There are also many stores catering to the otaku, or people obsessed with manga, anime, and video games. As we exited the station a small crew with a camera stopped us and wanted to ask Dakota a few questions. They were interviewing foreigners about Japanese pizza and started asking him many questions. Shannon and I watched as our shy son tried to answer their queries. They were asking what is normally on a pizza in the US and if he’d had pizza in Japan. One question was about seafood on pizza. I shook my head and made a funny face which the producer saw. The interview quickly shifted to me.

“Have you ever had squid on a pizza?”

“No way. You never see seafood on pizzas in the US.”

This revelation seemed to shock them. They had a menu from a restaurant and let me look at it. Browsing it I noticed a pizza with something white on top. I looked at her and asked “Is this┬ámayonnaise?” She said yes and that it’s pretty popular there. I saw another with corn on it. I explained you’d never see that in the US. We also noticed a pizza with pumpkin, bean paste, and marshmellows. Ewwwww. I’d like to think I was a pizza connoisseur┬ábut I’ve never seen pizza with mayo or pumpkin on it. They thanked me for my time and we walked towards the toy stores.

Dakota wanted to go off by himself to look for his┬ásouvenir so we gave him a time to meet and went in search of something to do. I found another robot store and drooled over the fun toys there for a while. The dollar is so weak right now that I couldn’t really afford to bring one home, sadly. Shannon and I found a place to sit and wait for Dakota near the major street in Akihabara. There we watched the girls from the Maid Cafes try to drum up business.┬áThe girls stand on the corner in their little maid outfit and hand out flyers and try to talk lonely guys into visiting their establishment. We met up with Dakota and headed home.

By the time we got back to the hotel it was after dark and we were bushed. We got a couple drink from the lounge and turned in early.

Japan Trip: Day 8

9:22 pm on Saturday, October 22, 2011

For the day 8 trip report see Shannon’s blog here: Valued Trees, Vibrant Trends, and Vintage Thrift ÔÇô Day 8

Japan Trip Day 7: Octopus balls, Ancient Walls, and a Train that Hauls

7:59 pm on Saturday, October 22, 2011

Woke up this morning after a good night’s rest. It rained all night and was still raining at dawn. We had a train to catch around 2pm so had the morning to explore Kyoto a bit more. As it was raining, we wanted something that wasn’t too much outside walking. We decided on visiting the old Nij┼Ź┬áCastle and grounds.

We wandered out of our hotel about 9am with our backpacks on, went across the street to the train station, locked them up in pay lockers, and headed off in search of breakfast. Shannon and I chose a couple of $3 bagels from a small bakery in Kyoto station while Dakota had another of the ham, cheese, and wasabi kolache thingys. Delicious.

We walked down to the bus station and bought a day pass for the Kyoto bus system. It’s a good deal at 500Yen for all you can ride for the day. Three bus rides and you’re ahead of the game. I studied the map and found there was an express bus to┬áNij┼Ź. Kyoto is less English friendly than Tokyo as it seems less overseas tourists make it down here. This makes navigating the city a bit more challenging, but not impossible.

We arrived at┬áNij┼Ź about 9:30. I figured we’d spend an hour or so here. Once we actually got a look at the grounds, I knew we’d spend a lot longer time.┬áNij┼Ź Castle was established originally in 1601. Actually, it is quite young compared to many of the temples and shrines we visited in this ancient capital. It’s had several fires raze sections of it to the ground and it’s been rebuilt. The current buldings date to the late 19th century. There were many tour groups on the grounds today but not as many as a weekday because there were less schoolkids. It seems counter-intuitive but all the major sights are less crowded on weekends because on weekdays is when the schools do their field trips it seems.

We saw you could take a tour inside the old shogun’s quarters and this was something I was keen to do. Before entering you were required to remove your shoes. You tour the buildings in your stocking or bare feet. The interior was very dimly lit to protect the several hundred year old paintings, some dating to the late 1600’s. Being able to get up close and see the individual brush strokes of some of the masterpieces was quite neat. It’s amazing how from a distance they look extremely detailed but when you are up close you can see that they accomplish this with very few actual brush strokes. I was in awe of the construction of the building. The floors were made from boards of Japanese Cypress over 2 feet wide. You don’t see trees that big around any longer. My favorite part of the building was those same floors. I’d heard about ‘Nightingale Floors or uguisubari‘ before and now got to hear them in person. These floors are designed to squeak when walked upon to prevent assassins or ninjas sneaking around the palace. When you hear ‘squeaking floors’ you think about what you’ve always heard in an old house. These sound nothing like that. They really do sound like a bird chirping or squeaking. It’s actually quite beautiful to hear. It’s an architectural marvel. I’d stop and wait for a room to clear out of tourists just so I could walk across in my socks and hear it without distraction. It’s not a sound that could easily be captured with a video due to background noises. edit: I found a video on youtube of the floor. It’s a bad recording but you get the idea. Sounds much clearer and more bird-like in person.

After touring the buildings, we climbed onto the walls of the inner keep and could get a good view of the palace and grounds. With rain always a threat, we didn’t stay long after taking some pictures. On our way out we found they were having a small ‘Autumn Festa’ as they called it. It was many booths filled with, unidentifiable to us at least, foods, both hot and pre-made. As we were leaving the festival area, I was approached by a grade school boy. He first asked me my name and I realized he was looking at a cheat sheet. I was being used for English practice. Pretty cool. He asked some basic questions like where I was from, if I liked Japan, and if I spoke Japanese. At the end of my little interview he asked me to sign his little logbook. I guess to prove to his teacher he talked to a native English speaker. Shannon got the same interview from a different kid. In Kyoto they really seemed to like interacting with Americans. I guess they see less tall, white people there so we’re an oddity to them. The night before I got stopped in the street by an older gentleman who wanted to find if I liked Japan and Kyoto. It’s odd being treated like a celeb.

Once we were done touring the Castle grounds it was nearing noon. We had a Shinkansen to catch at 2 so we had time for a quick lunch. I really wanted to try takoyaki so we headed back to Nishiki Market. If you don’t know what takoyaki is, it is fried octopus balls(no, not those balls). It’s really more like a dumpling fried on a special grill. It takes a master to cook them correctly as they require constant turning to make sure they cook evenly and are shaped round. The entire menu was in Japanese so I took a guess as to which ones to order. We gave our order to the chef and he started cooking them up. About 5 minutes later they were ready. I apparently choose ones with cheese and some sort of sweet sauce on them. Good choice. I thought they were delicious. Shannon ate one and Dakota a couple of the 6 in the order. If you looked closely you could see the small octopus arms with the suckers attached in the ball. I’d eat them again but it’s something you’ll never find in the US. It’s a uniquely Japanese food.

After lunch we made our way back to the train station to catch the bullet train back to Tokyo. Before boarding we grabbed an order of the Chinese dumplings the Shannon liked so much from the evening before. We talked about the dumplings and decided that a small shop or trailer selling them in Austin near campus would make a killing. They are delicious and easy to eat on the run. Maybe we’ll open our own store. ­čÖé

The ride back to Tokyo was faster than the ride down. just after we boarded we all popped some Excedrin the deal with headaches. Still had a bit of jet lag. We learned that Dakota couldn’t handle the caffeine in a couple of pills. He looked very flush for most of the ride home. I fired up the GPS and clocked our top speed around 165MPH on the ride back.

We arrived in Tokyo right at rush hour. this makes navigating the train stations very fun as they are packed with commuters. We got back to the hotel around 6:30 and were bushed. We got a drink or two at the hotel’s Executive Lounge and called it an early night.

Japan Trip: Day 6

7:56 pm on Saturday, October 22, 2011

For the day 6 trip report see Shannon’s blog here: Giggles, Geisha, and Gag me with Red Bean Candy ÔÇô Day 6

Day 5: With a bullet

4:58 am on Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today is the big day, we get to ride the Shinkansen. Otherwise known as the Bullet Train. We are heading to Kyoto for three days of sightseeing. It looks like the weather isn’t going to cooperate though.


We didn’t eat breakfast before we left Tokyo. We didn’t because we knew by the time we got to Kyoto 300miles away that it’d still be breakfast time. You read that right. 300 miles and into Kyoto by 9:30am. Let me say that the Shinkansen is a marvel of technology. From a stop to 150+ mph in about 1.5 minutes. It’s quieter at 150mph than an average American commuter train at 40mph. It’s smoother, more comfortable, and the service is awesome. A cart with everything from candy to sake comes by every 10-15 minutes. The countryside flies past so fast that it’s hard to focus on the passing scenery sometimes. Before we knew it we were in Kyoto. And we didn’t even take the fastest train. We _need_ these things in the US. Too bad the polititians won’t stop bickering long enough to do things right.

As we were in Kyoto so early we really had an entire day to explore. The sky was dark and cloudy so we wanted to make the most of it before any rain started.

The first place I wanted to visit was the Fushimi-inari taisha shrine. If you’ve ever seen promos for Kyoto or even Japan this place shows up often. Finding what the name was and where it was actually located was the trick. Many guide books show pics of it but don’t tell you where it actually is. It’s like it’s some sort of big secret. ­čÖé What it is is a shrine with walkways lined with thousands of Shinto gates. They are bright orange and range in size from about 6′ to 25′ tall. The gates are lined up one after the other nearly touching. There are about 4km of trails through the shrine and all over the mountain are decorated thusly. It is stunningly beautiful even though it was just starting to rain. I think that made it all the more mysterious.

Now I get to preach a little. Whenever we travel we try to respect our host country’s culture and history. We take time to learn their rituals and will even perform them if allowed. We may not believe what they do, but we appreciate the dedication needed to build the shrines and temples. Near the top of this shrine we were taking pics and enjoying the quiet when a large group of Chinese tourists walked in like they owned the place. Loud, obnoxious, walking through your pics like you weren’t there, blocking the trails to take their pics and so on. We couldn’t get out of there soon enough. Sadly, that also meant we left sooner than we’d have liked.

From there we decided to walk down the road about 1 kilometer to another nearby temple, Tufukiji Temple. Going to this place was kind of an afterthought, more a ‘let’s ditch those Chinese folks’ move. We were glad we did. The complex was huge and ancient. It was founded in 1236 and contained the oldest Zen gate in Japan. A slight rain started to fall as we explored the well matured grounds but it didn’t slow us down. We also found there the oldest communal toilet in Japan where as many as 100 monks could ‘do their business’ at once. Um, okay.

From there we walked down to the train station and boarded a train back into Kyoto. Or so we thought. I made a rare mistake when it comes to map reading and we ended up on the wrong side of the river. No worries, we’ll walk back. And we did. We wandered through southern Kyoto back to our hotel a couple miles away.

Our hotel was right across the street from the massive Kyoto train station. In there we found a bakery that sold these delicious rolls filled with cheese, ham, and wasabi. Yum! We don’t know what you called them but we sure had our fill. This was only the first of our ‘adventurous’ eating for the Kyoto trip and it was very tame compared to others.

After eating, we decided we were wiped out from all the walking and waking so early. Also, the rain was starting again so we called it an early night. Tomorrow was going to be a fun day and we needed our rest.

« Previous PageNext Page »