Saturday, January 19, 2013


One of the best news that came out last week was the announcement of Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger season 2. For those not into Japanese media, Akibaranger is a 13 episode 2012 Japanese tokusatsu comedy series based on the Super Sentai Series. It is not part of the official line up in Toei Company's Super Sentai franchise, but is instead a parody geared towards adults who were fans of the franchise as children. There are a lot of Super Sentai parodies, in addition to references to the Akihabara sub-culture.

They also announced a Sentai themed cafe in (where else) Akihabara. Sure the prices seem kinda high and it would be pretty absurd to expect the food to taste as good as the other restaurants, but I'm sure the setting and atmosphere would be pretty fantastic. Looking at the menu, all the food/beverage names are related to Super Sentai teams throughout the ages. Needless to say, they have both my attention and curiosity.

Sure I've been to Akihabara before, but it was a short 1 day trip and I didn't even get to visit all the cool places. While looking forward to Akibarangers season 2, I'll also be planning and anticipating my next visit to Akiba, and hopefully this Sentai themed restaurant would still be standing there!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Escape from Camp 14

I'm not a fan of books and don't really read often. Manga and magazines don't count so unless you put those Narutos and Bleaches into the tally I don't have a lot of books which I can proudly say I've read page to page, line by line over the last couple of years. 4 or 5 a year would be pushing it.

So, it's quite a feat when I read 2 books successively within a month. I do buy quite a couple of books, but rarely finish them. Most are self help, motivational books, while others are related to science fiction topics such as time travel, inter-dimensional "physics", etc. 

The two books I've finished recently are easy reads too, compared to some of the other books I bought but too me too long to understand each topic. They are No Easy Day by Mark Owen and Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden. I don't intend to do book reviews (though people might remember that I used to do game reviews a long time ago), so I'm just expressing my feelings through a simple blog post.

Both are extremely easy to burn through, and in fact I finished Escape from Camp 14 in 2 days. I've always been fascinated by North Korea's regime, how its people are oblivious to their own situation, and yet how belligerent its leaders can get. The book focuses on the hardship faced by people thrown into the political labour camps, but it also gives you a glimpse of how life is like living in North Korea.

Strongly recommended, so do pick it up if you are interested in how one man was able to eventually reach the US and become a voice for human rights.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Goodbye 2012

It's a little late for the new year resolutions but nonetheless, one of the little ones that came right up was the promise to read more and write more. I'm not talking about fancy papers or deep stuff, but simply reading up more to expand the intellectual horizon a little bit, and to reflect and share what I've been doing with the time that is blessed upon me.

It's been so long since the last blog entry I'm not sure how I can catch up. Looking back, the entire 6 months spent in the US seemed to have flown past so quickly right now all I have left are the memories of the activities I've done, the friends I've made, placed I've visited. Thankfully I managed to take enough photos, and condensed the photos into 2 videos which hopefully encapsulates my memories and experience into something easy to archive.

Upon my return to work, all my friends and colleagues seem to greet me with the same phrase. "Welcome back! Looks like you had a great time!" True enough, most of them were my Facebook friends and were not strangers to the hundreds of photos I had taken during my stint there. But I must clarify, the photos were not posted so as to make anyone envious or jealous. I feel lucky and privileged to have been selected, and as much as possible, I wanted to share my experience with friends who were not as lucky as me. I hope the photos have served this purpose, and that even though separated by thousands of miles, people are home are able to see what I have been doing.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mabel for taking care of Rena in my absence, and for making my life so much more comfortable when she joined me in Arizona. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job of taking care of our daughter. I apologise for not being there, and also for the various mistakes I've made that made you angry. I look forward to more trips with you and Rena in 2013, so you can start planning now! :)

As much as possible, I'll try and blog more from now. There's lots to say and reflect on, so hopefully I can keep this resolution going. At least for the 1st quarter, I'd say. :p