Wrap up

So the weekend has come to a close, as so too have D1 at Ebisu and WRC at New Zealand. 1st, we start with D1. Both Friday’s practice and Saturdays qualifying were super wet, as you can see here with the JZZ30 of Ryoji Jimeshi:

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I guess it cleared up later in the day however and became semi-dry for the competition today. Kumakubo in his CT9A took 1st, followed by Imamura in his S15, and 3rd went to Ueno in his JZZ30.

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Points leader Daigo took a dissapointing 7th place, but should be just fine in the points race as 2nd place driver Nomuken took a dismal 15th place, losing to Daigo in the 1st round. The next picture has nothing to do with any of that, its just that Kodama’s 180 is really F’n hot:

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It was also a big weekend for Kansai native, Nakamura Naoki, most known for his driving with Team Burst. On Saturday’s D1SL event he came up 2nd in his well known DMax S15 behind Suenaga. What I didn’t know however is that he now also drives in D1 using (what appears to be) Hibino’s old D1SL S15 with the Team Koyo. Nakamura managed to get 4th on Sundays main D1 event, all together not a bad weekend for him!

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The 3rd day of Rally New Zealand saw tons of surprizes, and both Fords of Hirvonen and Latvala ran into trouble causing them to lose their poised 1-2 finish. Latvala had an off that caused him to retire, and Hirvonen had a puncture on one of the last few stages that slowed him to 4th overall. Yet again Loeb was there to snatch up 1st with teammate Sordo taking up 2nd. Overall a great weekend for Citroen but one that I know Ford would like to quickly forget.

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Weekend Update

..with Norm McDonald…no no ok that wasn’t funny. This weekend is round 6 of the 2008 D1 series at Ebisu, here are a few pics of Friday’s practice, starting with Fujio Tsutomu in his Ryo FD :

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Kuroi and Kawabata nice and close in turn 1:

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New livery for Koguchi:

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And the big question; can Daigo stay on top in the points race!?

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This weekend is also round 11 of the WRC championship in New Zealand. It looks like Loeb had some starting issues and a close call in the 1st few stages, and Mikko has a nice 28 second lead over him at the end of day one. Some are speculating that the bad start by Loeb was deliberate, so he didn’t have to sweep the roads going out 1st on day two. We shall see if he is able to close the gap soon enough.

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And I most of you guys have see this on countless other blogs/websites but I just had to throw it up here. Yesterday in New Zealand RedBull and Mad Mike revealed his new FD..and wow!

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The car is still sporting the same wide BN Sports aero, but looks crazy with the new Weds Kranze Bazreia wheels. But the real kicker in the powerplant, nevermind the HKS 5speed sequential…but the old p-port 20b has been ditched in favor of this new…26B p-port, making a reported 480hp. Just insane!! Check out this video to hear how crazy it sounds!

 

My class

I finally got the scanner at school to work for me, so I scanned these two class photo’s taken back in late march at the entrance ceremony. 1st just with the kids:

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and together with the parents:

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Along with teaching between 3 and 6 classes a day during the week, I am also a homeroom teacher along with a native Japanese teacher. It’s really nice as I get to really know these kids and we spend a lot of time together. I am one of (if not the) youngest teachers at school so its cool that most of the students still warm up to me quickly and I feel like I have 20 little brothers and sisters. In the past 6 months even, its been amazing to see how much each of them has changed and grown. It really makes me want to stay for the 3 years they would be in school, if nothing but to see them after 3 years time. And every time I look at these pictures, I can’t help but think of the similar photo from Battle Royale:

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In no way am I insinuating that I’d like to do that to my kids, but I just never thought (when watching the film) that I, myself would ever been in a typical Japanese style class photo.

 

Summer Break

So now that summer break is over, I guess I should recap. The 1st two weeks were really laid back and chill. I spend a lot of time at home just trying to save cash, as I knew the last 1/2 of break would be spendy. I got some good workouts in and even started running regularly a few miles around town. I’m glad I started doing it, I’ve never been big into cardio but once I got past the 1st few days I really started to enjoy it. I picked up some gear too:

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I’ve never ran with real running shoes before, but these Nike+ Zoom Victory deals are super light and really cushion my feet well. I actually feel it the most in my knees, as they aren’t sore the following day. I also picked up the Nike+ sportband at the same time to track my progress. I know myself, and with out a record of what I’ve done or goals to break I would soon quit for sure.

Around the 8th, I headed to Tokyo via that cool bullet train, and before meeting up with Yuki, met up with two friends I met almost 10 years ago when I 1st participated in exchange programs back in high school. It was fun to rehash old times, something it seems most people are doing these days. From the  10th I headed to Shinagawa to stay with Yuki and her parent. Here is a view out of their place:

We spent a few days in Tokyo, eating, drinking, shopping…all the fun stuff to do in Tokyo. We had plans to go to Tokyo Disney Sea but it was crazy hot so we decided to skip it. On the 13th we headed to Tokushima via a quick flight out of Haneda to stay with Yuki’s father’s side of the family. Security on a domestic flight was really lax, I enjoyed a beer while waiting to board:

Once in Tokushima we got some rest and then the following two days Yuki’s grandfather (who is 80 years old) drove us around to various sight in and around Tokushima. One of my favorite places was Biwa- no-taki, this fantastic waterfall:

The main attraction on Tokushima during the summer in the Awa Odori festival that spans 3 days during the week of Obon. It was really a great time, and as you can see there were plenty of people:

After a great 3 days in Tokushima, Yuki and I headed back to Kameoka, where she stayed for another 2 or 3 days. It was cool to hang out with the guys and have her there as well. Really good times.

All in all a nice summer break, but a bit short. We ended the break by having a fun 3 day summer camp for all of the international course kids at a hotel on the shore of Lake Biwa, it was a great way to spend some time with them all outside of school and really get to know them a bit more in a relaxed setting. Today was actually the 1st day back of full classes…and I wasn’t ready for it one bit, ha. Another few months and it’s winter break time 😉

If you want to check out the full set of pics the above are form, take a peek here!

R8 GT3

Audi just released its R8 GT3 homologation….HOT!  The Audi R8 GT3 will develop more than 500 hp and will conform to the GT3 regulations. This means it will be GT rear-wheel drive instead of the typical four-wheel drive. The Audi R8 GT3 will be equipped with a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox and will have “almost” standard suspension. You can read more @ ZerCustoms or just drool at these:

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Fork in the road

Clean, classy and simple:

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or aggressive, flashly…but classic

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hrmmm….

Taste of home

Thanks to Tim and Yuki, I am fully stocked! Japanese peanut butter sucks, its sweet…boo! I’ve been having my famously thick pb sandwiches like crazy! And its hard to see, but thanks to the TF guys there is a sweet sweet can of spam waiting for me to dig into. YUM YUM YUM

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RD @ Horsethief Mile

A few ago the west coast group of guys on the RoadsterDrift forum (that link to the right) got together and organized an all miata event at Willow Springs’ Horsethief Mile (HTM). It’s awesome to see guys on the forum get together and thrash their cars, both grip and drift. If I was still in the states I would have tried my hardest to get out to the event, I’ve always wanted to drive HTM and it would have be rad to drive it with a bunch of other roadsters. I’m sure it won’t be the last event of its kind, so I hope to someday be able to rock out with these guys. The following shots are courtesy of Linhbergh of Kinod and as always are amazing!

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And a slick video of the day:

F1 Time Again

Time for the 2008 European GP! ColdTrackDays says it best so I’ll let them do the talking: “But a few days remain until practice begins for the 2008 Telefonica Grand Prix of Europe. In a long list of firsts for the ’08 season, this years European GP will be held on the streets of Valencia, Spain. The course, made up of public streets along Valencia’s newly renovated harborside district, had its first race just a few weeks ago (see below video). Sundays Formula One race will be the first for this circuit, and the new course is fast becoming the most talked about F1 race of the year. At 5.473 kilometres in length and boasting top speeds upwards of 185mph, with average speeds right around 125mph, the Valencia street course is a welcome change to the F1 schedule.”

This video of the RSV Ferrari 430 GT2 shows the track well. It should be an amazing weekend!

Quick Touge

After coming back from the Tokyo/Tokushima area Yuki and I met up with Tim as he stayed with me for about 3 days. After grabbing some AWESOME Nepalese curries and Indian tandoori at Himalaya we headed back to Kameoka to hit up the touge. So the three of us jumped in Masa’s 86 , Takachan’s Carina, and Kenichi’s 34 Laurel.

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We just made a quick 3 runs (as Masa’s car doesn’t have shakken/plates/insurance) to make sure we didn’t run into the police. I really need to get a decent video camera so I can film some of this stuff. It was an awesome time, I always love just chilling and talking there with people.

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So Kenichi kept breaking his exhuast since the Laurel is so low, so he solved the problem by using some rectangle shaped pipe…HAHAHA Hardcore!