Godzilla and Jeopardy Illustrations

Washington Post Sunday Outlook cover. Article is about human brains vs. computers, knowing things vs. just looking it up online, etc... It asks how important is knowing things now that its a click away on your iphone/ipad/smart phone/computer? IBM's super computer Watson went up against two human Jeopardy contestants and blew them away. It did get some questions wrong. Watson was the only contestant to miss the Final Jeopardy! response in the category U.S. CITIES ("Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle"). Rutter and Jennings gave the correct response of Chicago, but Watson's response was "What is Toronto?????

Boston's Weekly Dig cover. they used my Japanese new year's card image for that week's cover.

Network world spot about next generation firewalls that can monitor employees computer actions.

Network world lead image about flattening your servers in the new year and starting from scratch.

Your life as an Asian TV show - The theme song

Ever imagine if your life was an Asian TV show/drama/sitcom? I do, and sometimes I think about what adventure and fun clips they would show during the opening theme song. These next two songs are the songs I imagine for the opening titles of my Misadventures of Jason in Japan show, because they have to be kind of gay, and have to be good to do a montage of the funniest, most dramatic, and most fun moments of the show to. Fun edits that they would flash on screen would be stuff like riding on a boat on the sumida river, riding under cherry blossoms with some cute girl on the back of my bike (never happened bonk!), getting hit by a taxi, a few edited clips of various trains zooming in from screen left and screen right, me trying various food, and so on and so on. Just listen to these and imagine the misadventures of jason, slickly edited by some Japanese studio into a 1 minute opening sequence, then fading out and they announce the show sponsors. You can even get a feel for it while browsing the blog. The last two are extra happy fun times songs that have powered my misadventures.

Pearl Kyoudai - Puzzle - From the anime Welcome to the N.H.K. which was set in tokyo and I can only slightly recommend if you have a lot of extra time.

Pizzicato Five - Message Song - The video is the opposite of fun and jammin' but oh well.

This is just extra. Pizzicato Five - A Tokyo - super happy fun times

extra - Karly Nomoto - and when I die - more happy fun times

Ikebukuro Fun time

Ikebukuro is north of Shinjuku and no one hangs out there because everyone thinks it sucks. But there is some fun to be had in Ikebukuro.

where have the new posts been? I have been working like a mother and didn't shave for days.

Kimu Katsu in Ebisu slices its pork cutlet meat into like 20 layers which supposedly makes it juicier and better. All it did was make it lighter and more like eating air meat. We went to burger king after eating this $24 meal. I would stick with regular Tonkatsu if i were you.

I went to an illustration portfolio review and exhibition for Illustration magazine where the guy told me that I should just forget trying to work with Japanese clients because the market sucks and i'm already doing good in the US and UK so it would be a waste of time. That's what i thought but now I have professional proof.

The Ikebukuro Fire station has disaster and safety prevention center. Ikebukuro Bosaikan. You get to practice CPR on a dummy

put out a fake fire with fire extinguishers.

experience a level 6 earthquake in their earthquake simulation room. It is pretty cool because it really tosses you around.

Sunshine City in Ikebukuro has an observation deck on the 60th floor.

Sunshine City also has Namja Town. a "Town" created by video game maker Namco. You have to pay 300 yen to get in. Inside is Gyoza Stadium, Ice Cream City, dessert land and i don't know what else. lots of games and stuff too.

Gyoza stadium. a festival like setting with tons of gyoza (dumpling) stalls of every variety. its expensive and chaotic to I'm not going back again. if you're in the area maybe its worth it.

It's probably awesome if you're a kid.


more hotness. these pics are the proprietors of the gyoza stands.

there were lots of hidden things in gyoza stadium like this pig mequito coil incense burner ride thing hidden in some back room. only i didn't see anyone riding on them so who knows what this was.

ice cream city. not as awesome as i was hoping it would be.

I saw people carrying around these detector things all day inside of Namja town. it turns out that they are "ghost" detectors

This place had various weird flavors like, eel, snake, and cow tongue.

Norman got the cow tongue. there were little pieces of cow tongue in there.

What every kid wants, a chance to play for mayonnaise.

The Sunshine City fountain when its turned off. So further exploration needs to be done to determine if Ikebukuro sucks or not. after this day its OK i guess.

February Mix

Another new shoe. I sewed my pattern on top of one of those gay looking Espadrillos (pictured in the rear).

these is this 7 spice thing that is famous from nagano that i thought i bought but when i got it home it looked more like 7 sesame seed mix, which it might be cuz now that i look at the can it says sesame seed on it. Still good though.

Naoki and Norman custom ordered this awesome leather camera strap for me for my birthday. I have been looking for a leather camera strap for a while now and haven't been able to find one. This one is pretty expensive. What nice guys.

from Leather Factory Roberu in Japan

I met my friend Matsuda while he was in Tokyo. He is Japanese, from Kyuushu but i met him while living in Beijing. He works in television and film. This place in shibuya is called Otoko dojo (guys dojo) where its all guy waiters and across the street is onnanoko dojo (girls dojo). of course Vivi reserved the guys one so i didnt get to see any girls. anyway if its your birthday they do a huge long bday fanfare thats like 10 minutes long so it's a good place for bdays.

forgot what this is called but its a bunch of tiny fish.

standing wine bar afterwards, vivi, hiroko who i met in beijing and matsuda who i met in beijing but they never met each other before.

curry soup dinner in shimokitazawa. apparently its a famous sapporo thing. this was the almost hottest one, and it was about as hot as shin ramen (the american one is spicier than the japanese one i think). So that means hottest is not so bad. Man stuff in japan is just not spicy. Still good though.

38th floor of the Ebisu Garden place tower towards shibuya and daikanyama.

shibuya crossing with naoki's ultra wide angle

this izakaya in yotsuya has the cheapest and most awesome all you can drink plan ever. it's 1000 yen for 100 minutes and then you can extend for 30 more minutes for 300 more yen. It's self service. Here is a sampling of the drink library there.

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check out this video of a Japanese automatic draft beer machine. normal for Japanese but awesome for me.

Saizeria is a chain of cheap "Italian" food restaurants. they are usually filled with students, loner business men, and housewives. I would expect this kind of strategy in China but not here! every single bottle of tabasco sauce had the same amount in it, which as you can see is barely anything. same with this cheese.

see what i'm saying about the house wives? they have nothing to do all day but spend their husbands money and talk trash with the other housewives, taking up 5 tables in the process. At least they don't smoke and are spending a reasonable amount of their husband's money in a "quality establishment with authentic Italian food, friendly service, and prices that are hard to beat." Check out her shirt. It says "living large in the NBA". after reading it for a while i figured out that she is a walking Men's Health magazine. the designer just took a Men's Health magazine (Rodale Press Inc.) and put it on a shirt. hahhahaha. what's going on?!!! but i guess after the Tabasco Fiasco i should expect all kinds of China-like conduct in here.

Leading off 2011

....were a bunch of other illustrations but here is what i have for now.

full page illustration for strategic finance about knowing your IT stuff and spotting your weak points.

spot for Emory Magazine about the evolution of man and how humans aren't the only ones that have caring and empathy just because we have morality and religion.

Nagano-ing Around

Final Part of our Nagano trip. And it's too bad I finally started shooting in RAW format instead of Jpeg on this final day because i learned that RAW can save so many pictures with the wealth of light information stored in each file. Any amateurs out there like me that care about editing your photos later you gotta start shooting in RAW!

The main lobby of Senshinkan Matsuya Ryokan - highly recommended! http://sibumatsuya.com/

the local Shiga Kogen Beer we drank. good stuff. we passed the super small factory/house they were making this in on the walk back from the monkey park.

Oyaki is one of the famous foods from Nagano. Its kind of like chinese buns filled with various stuff.

the lady we went to said they were all vegetables only. we got white bean, pumpkin, green veggies, and some other stuff. okyaki is good stuff.

on the street leading to Matsumoto castle in Matsumoto city. I guess its a frog city cuz i saw frog stuff all over the place.

whats the word im looking for? i'm drawing a blank. dichotomy?

check out this awesome shrine to a parking lot. i dont know if thats what it is but you know, what is going on here.

Matsumoto Castle is one of four castles designated as National Treasures of Japan. made of wood. this is a bootleg HDR made from combining the best elements of overexposed and underexposed shots from 1 RAW.

it was pretty cold and dark, especially because you had to put your shoes in a plastic bag and walk around in slippers.

lots of super steep stairs.

Swans through slots used by archers and gunmen

these are for my pops

this is a bootleg HDR made from combining the best elements of overexposed and underexposed shots from 1 RAW. but this one came out kind of weird.

Apples from Nagano are famous too. I kind of like how this ultra wide angle takes product shots and distorts the background.

Miso is famous from nagano and so is miso icecream. tasted like vanilla basically. see! doesn't this lens take cool product shots?

Nagano is a good example of a town that developed around a temple as opposed to a castle. Zenkoji temple. It's one of the most visited temples in Japan. Its super sacred. You're not even allowed to eat icecream on the grounds we found out. But why the hell is there Country music blasting out of it right now?!!! How about you're not allowed to play country music at this super sacred Japanese temple dudes? Hey girls, are you enjoying trying to pray to the super loud sounds of twanging music made by the bastard red necked red haired great great step children of imperial invader commodore Mathew perry? check the video for a listen

The Rokujizō are statues of the six Bodhisattvas, who gave up Buddhist enlightenment, in order to provide salvation to others. The Bodhisattvas are said to be able to commune with the six realms of hell, starvation, beasts, carnage, human beings and divine beings.

Two guys who are so popular their eyes have been rubbed out. The temple contains a statue of Binzuru, a physician who was said to be Buddha's follower. Visitors touch the statue and then their corresponding body part in order to cure that ailment. Do Japanese people have bad eyes? cuz they certainly rubbed the sh!t out of ol' Binzuru's

It hasn't snowed in tokyo for the 2 winters i've been here. so its cool to see temples with lots of snow on them.

come on now! a charm vending machine!

a dude and a tanuki at some random alter place near the temple.

Soba is maybe the most famous food from Nagano. we had it and were super hungry still, just like every time I eat soba. maybe i'm just a neanderthal or unrefined, but i just don't get soba. I could eat 10 plates of this and still be hungry.

A side note, at the monkey park while photographing those little baby monkeys fighting, another baby monkey was diggin' into my back pocket. Everyone including me thought it was funny and cute. later during the walk back i realized I lost my phone. I thought....wait.....no way! thats totally awesome and cute but totally sucks if that little bastard stole my phone! I ran back for 5 minutes along the icy snow trail, but my phone ended up being on the floor next to the ticket office counter :) and :( We saw like 1 olympic facility in Nagano, but they weren't even on my list of things I care about so we didn't see anymore. again if you're in Japan for like 2 weeks or more i recommend it, but for shorter trips you've got plenty else to see. So that's it for Nagano! What's next?