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Nov
03

Posted on Sunday November 03, 2013 at 8:01pm in ,

Long time, no post! I guess I haven’t really felt like there was anything worth writing about lately. October has come and gone already, and time is flying right by. Up until recently, I’d been riding my bike to work every day, but it finally got too cold. I bought a hat to keep the wind off my ears but when I rode with it, it was still way too cold. I enjoy riding when it’s nice out, but when it’s painful to ride it’s no fun!

On Thursday I am going to the Boston Career Forum. Before that, I have to get a new suit and update my Japanese resume.

Last Thursday was Halloween. I dressed up as Kanye Banana West. A lot of people in the office dressed up, too. Here’s me at work, being a banana:

Halloween, Haunted House, Broken CarWorking hard like a banana

After work, I went right over to Bryan’s house for his Halloween party. We were planning to hand out candy to trick or treaters, watch movies, listen to music and order pizza. Unfortunately, only ONE trick or treater came, so we had a lot of left over candy! We watched some Halloween themed TV specials, ordered pizza, and then danced in our costumes. It was a lot of fun and a lot of people showed up! Chris took a bunch of pictures, but he hasn’t posted them online yet so I’ll put them up later.

The day after Halloween, Mike wanted to take the new Japanese students and some people from Japanese Coffee Hour to a haunted house. He did some research and found a really good looking Haunted House called Scream Town. It was two hours away, near Minneapolis, and it was kind of expensive, but the reviews were all really good. I had never been to a haunted house before so I was kind of looking forward to going to one. The production quality was pretty high, it actually looked like an abandoned village in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive through dirt roads into a field to get to the place and it was surrounded in fog.

There were five haunted houses. The lines were all pretty long when we first got there, and we only had an hour to go through them all before the park closed. We were worried we would only get through one or two, but after we went through the first one, the lines all cleared up and we were able to fast track our way through most of them. There were two really good houses, and the rest were okay. Once you go through one of them, you more or less get the idea. Even though the houses seemed to be pretty long, we managed to get through all of them!

As for my first haunted house experience, I would say it was pretty fun. I’m glad I tried it. It was perfect except for one little thing…

On the way back from the haunted house, my car suddenly died in Hudson! Mike, being good with cars, took a look at it and concluded that it was “not good.” We had no choice but to leave the car and continue on in Mike’s car. Mike offered to help me tow it the next day in his van. So, that’s what we did.

Halloween, Haunted House, Broken CarMy poor broken car

Hopefully it doesn’t cost too much to fix!

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Aug
18

Posted on Sunday August 18, 2013 at 2:16am in ,

Two weeks ago, Mike invited me to go to the pizza farm. The pizza farm is a small farm in Stockholm, Wisconsin that serves pizza on Tuesdays from about 5pm to 8pm. That’s right, only three hours a week. All of the ingredients on the pizza come from the farm itself and the pizzas are cooked in firebrick ovens. When Mike mentioned the name to me I recalled my co-worker from JAMF recommending a similar sounding place to me last year. He said I really have to go there and try it out. It’s not just about the delicious pizza, it’s an experience. I ended up seeing that same co-worker by chance over the following weekend and as it turns out, it was the same place. He re-affirmed that I should definitely go. Everyone should go, he said.

So, I said I’d check it out. Mike and I were going to drive over together after work and meet some of his friends over at the farm who had been there before. After work I went to his place and we took his car to go to the farm. We stopped and got some beer on the way. The drive takes about an hour.

Pizza FarmOn the way to the pizza farm. This is the last time I saw these sunglasses, unfortunately

Pizza FarmThe road turns to dirt, that’s how you know you’re getting close

Pizza FarmThis is their menu. Allegedly, they also have a really good bacon pizza, but it sold out by the time we got there…

Pizza FarmThis is where they cook the pizza

Pizza FarmThere were a ton of people everywhere. I can’t believe how popular this place is

When we arrived there was a huge line of parked cars, and past that there were three full parking lots. They weren’t really lots, they weren’t paved or anything, but they were full of cars regardless.

Pizza FarmNew Glarus Wild Sour Ale. I really liked this, I recommend it if you can find it

We were number 185. That’s a lot of pizza for only being 1.5 hours into sales. Surprisingly, the wait was super short when we got there. Only 35 minutes for our pizza, and it arrived exactly on time.

Pizza FarmPizza oven

At the farm, they sell only pizza, which means everything else we had to bring. Drinks, tables, chairs, utensils, napkins, etc. We already knew this going in though, so we were prepared. The pizza size is 16”, which is pretty big, so Mike and I were able to split it no problem. We got the Italian Sausage for $28 which we split 2 ways. About $14 for half of a big pizza, an hour drive and a 35 minute wait. Was it worth it?

Pizza FarmOh yes

This pizza was really good. You can probably tell from just the picture above that it was one tasty pizza. I really recommend trying this place (if you’re a reasonable distance away). These people sure know how to make a pizza. By the way, I believe the actual name of this place is called “A to Z produce” but everyone I know just refers to it as “Pizza Farm”. There may or may not be more than one “Pizza Farm” in Wisconsin, though.

Pizza FarmPizza Farm

Pizza Farm

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Jan
13

Posted on Sunday January 13, 2013 at 3:13pm in ,

Day 3 in Los Angeles was the day before Ai’s 21st birthday. However, because of the time difference it was already her birthday in Japan. Because of that, we decided to start celebrating her birthday on Saturday and give her a two day party. Ai and I woke up early to go on a beach bike ride together. Atsushi slept in because he was super tired. Our hosts had a set of two 1-speed beach cruisers which they kindly let us borrow.

We took a nice three hour ride down to Manhattan beach and back.

Los Angeles Day 3That’s me. Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3
Ai’s bike. Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3
Made it to the beach. It was perfect weather out. Photo credit Ai Irie.

As we were biking, lots of planes flew overhead. We were pretty close to LAX. When I flew out of LAX to go back home, my plane went right over this beach.

Los Angeles Day 3
Volleyball players. We saw the nets and really wanted to play badminton but Ai already sent her rackets back home. We tried many times to play badminton in Eau Claire but the gym was always taken. Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3
There were many of these sand mountains. We got off our bikes and climbed some of them.

Los Angeles Day 3
On the other side, near the water.

Los Angeles Day 3

Los Angeles Day 3
Ai’m here.

Los Angeles Day 3
Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3

Los Angeles Day 3
There were a lot of unique and nice looking homes here by the beach. Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3

Los Angeles Day 3
Photo credit Ai Irie.

We kept biking until we ran into a small cafe. We parked our bikes and ordered some drinks. I went to pay with my card, but apparently they had just shut down their card machines because they were moving shop. Having already made our drinks, they offered them to us even though we had no cash. They were super nice! We drank our drinks on a bench facing the water and watched surfers go in and out for a while.

When we finally headed back home it was nearly 1pm and Atsushi was still sleeping. We woke him up when we came in. I think he could sleep all day if no one disturbed him.

For Ai’s birthday we traded in our Dodge and got a Mustang convertible.

Los Angeles Day 3
Nice breeze! Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3
Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3
Atsushi said the back of the car was really cold. Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.

After eating so fancy the previous night, we decided to dine cheap today. We went to In-N-Out Burger for lunch after switching out our car.

Los Angeles Day 3
Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.

Los Angeles Day 3
The burgers were really good and the price was great. The fries weren’t much to write home about, though. Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.

After lunch we decided to drive through Rodeo Dr, a very fancy shopping district. Everything looked very expensive.

Los Angeles Day 3
Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.

Los Angeles Day 3
Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.

We drove through to Long Beach and took some photos with the new car.

Los Angeles Day 3
Looking cool.

Los Angeles Day 3
This one is great.

Los Angeles Day 3
Photo credit Ai Irie.

After the mini photo shoot we went to Yoshinoya. Yoshinoya is a common fast food restaurant that’s very popular in Japan. I’ve never seen it in America before though. All of us were pretty surprised to see them in California, we thought it was a Japan only chain. Naturally, we wanted to try it. The prices were the same as Japan, too! Only about $4.50 (with tax even) for a meal. Great price, and it tasted just like Japan.

Los Angeles Day 3
We got it to go and took it back with us.

When we got back Ai wanted to watch a movie. She chose Despicable Me with Steve Carrel. We watched it on the sofa and Atsushi promptly fell asleep again (he sleeps a lot). Despicable Me was pretty good. It started off slow but I enjoyed it in the end.

After the movie ended Atsushi was still asleep. I wanted to get a cake or something to celebrate with, so I left by myself to go find a cake. I tried a few different places but most of them were closed for the night. I did find a bakery at the last minute and they had great looking cakes (although they were quite small). I bought two of them along with some candles which they gave me for free and then went back.

Atsushi was awake when I got back and then we decided to light some candles. I gave Ai her birthday gift, which she seemed like she really liked. It was a framed photo, some chocolates she likes and a shirt from the GI on Water Street. At the GI, they have a specialty drink called ‘The Delusion.’ If you buy one, you get a ticket. If you collect 10 tickets, you can redeem it for a GI shirt. When she was in Eau Claire we collected 4 of them, but we still needed 6 more – so she never got her shirt. I, along with Kyoko, Brian and Brittany ordered some more drinks before I went to LA and we got the shirt for her.

Los Angeles Day 3
I think she liked it.

Los Angeles Day 3
Playing the drums.

Here is the cake that I got. Ai also lit a bunch of candles that were around.

Los Angeles Day 3

Los Angeles Day 3
Happy Birthday! Atsushi saved a lot of energy so he was ready to go out.

After that we sang karaoke on the big screen and drank until it got to be midnight. Then, we went out to a dance bar.

Los Angeles Day 3
I think it was called The Circle Bar. It was nice, but very crowded (Saturday night) and expensive (LA). Good atmosphere, though. Atsushi even felt like dancing and he had a good time – he doesn’t usually like to dance! Photo credit Ai Irie.

Los Angeles Day 3
After bar close. This was her birthday dress.

Los Angeles Day 3
We finished the night with more music on the big screen!

I had a lot of fun – birthdays are usually a lot of fun. Coming up in Day 4: pizza on the beach, the Getty Center and Little Tokyo!

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Jul
05

Posted on Thursday July 05, 2012 at 9:30pm in ,

I’ve been riding my bike a lot lately these last few weeks. Usually going 6 to 11 miles a day (I have to bike pretty far just to get into town). On the 4th of July, I took a nice holiday bike ride (had the holiday off work) to meet Bryan at Kwik Trip. We then biked together to his house. Mike and Keith showed up and we cooked burgers.


Complete with a flag on top.

It was really hot that day (102 degrees) so I got pretty hot biking back to my place. Right when I got back I saw that Kathy and Stephanie were there and they were cooking out with my parents. I took a shower to cool off and then grabbed my camera to take some pictures.


Nutmeg, the Kent family’s new dog.


Kathy made this 4th of July cake. It was as good as it looks!


The pie my mom made.

After the food, my parents went to watch the fireworks. When they got back, we did fireworks of our own.


Mackenzie and a sparkler.


Mackenzie again.


Fire fountain.

We also had a firework that launched in the air. I didn’t know it was going to go so high so I wasn’t ready with my camera. This is the only good one I got.

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Dec
05

Posted on Monday December 05, 2011 at 6:50pm in ,

Happy December, everyone! Right on cue it seems that the snow has started to fall here in Wisconsin. We had our first big snow yesterday, but I had to work all day. Today I brought my camera with me to class and during my breaks I managed to get some really great shots of the December snow.

Click any of the images below to bring up the wallpaper version. I think all of these images would suit any desktop! All images have been formatted for a widescreen 16:9 display. If anyone would like to request other aspect ratios don’t hesitate to contact me.

Enjoy!

Winter Wonderland
Click to enlarge.

Winter Wonderland
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Winter Wonderland
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Winter Wonderland
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Winter Wonderland
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Winter Wonderland
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Winter Wonderland
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