Commemorative Saké for the Rugby World Cup in Japan
“ Rugby: Agony and Exhilaration! ” Japanese dry saké rice wine — in commemoration of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year — -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Rugby: Agony and Exhilaration!
Japanese dry saké rice wine
— in commemoration of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year —
“ A Song of Praise for Rugby ” the non-dry version -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
A Song of Praise for Rugby
the non-dry version

The Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan for the first time later this fall, an event of much pride and excitement for the Japanese rugby enthusiast. One of the biggest such enthusiasts is a friend who as a side job sometimes does play-by-play commentary for national television, but whose main job is as an alcoholic-beverage wholesaler here in Kyoto.

The two spheres of his life combine to create a pair of commemorative saké (Japanese rice wine) products. I and some friends helped him with the English on the label.

My Best Contribution -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
My Best Contribution

Besides helping to make the English natural, we had some other ideas on the label. The Japanese bit shown above (which translates as this is alcohol) is required by law, but I suggested a more-helpful English version. 🙂

Rear -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rear
Open Here now that I think about it, we should have had some English to that effect -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Open Here
now that I think about it, we should have had some English to that effect

Damien's main contribution: making the barcode into a rugby ball.

Saké Cup Included -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Saké Cup Included

It's a nifty design: the top part of the label separates to reveal a saké cup, while the rest of the label remains, allowing it to be a commemorative keepsake even after enjoying the contents.

Ready to Enjoy -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready to Enjoy

At first it was available only in high-end department stores and Japan-Railway kiosk stores, but availability will likely expand as we get closer to tournament in the fall.

I mentioned this product to the owner of the 7-11 convenience store near me, and he was intrigued. He eventually not only started offering it for sale, but gave a huge amount of shelf space:

At the 7-11 Near the Heian Shrine in Kyoto Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7+ + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/40 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
At the 7-11 Near the Heian Shrine
in Kyoto Japan

Later still, I found out that they devoted an additional shelf to it in the cooler. It seems to be selling well. At only 648 yen (~US$6) each, it's a pretty good value.

We eventually had a little release party for it...

Cheers! Naoto, the brainchild behind it all, is at left (trivia: Naoto's mom did the calligraphy for the label) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/10 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Cheers!
Naoto, the brainchild behind it all, is at left
(trivia: Naoto's mom did the calligraphy for the label)
Demonstrating Proper Pouring Technique to Kelley, who happens to be an apprentice master brewer at an unrelated saké brewery -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Demonstrating Proper Pouring Technique
to Kelley, who happens to be an apprentice master brewer at an unrelated saké brewery
Best To Keep His Day Job not the smoothest product model :-) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 20mm — 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Best To Keep His Day Job
not the smoothest product model 🙂

Final Construction, Japanese Style
Construction-Site Entrance a large hotel in Kyoto -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7+ + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Construction-Site Entrance
a large hotel in Kyoto

The scene above is the entrance to a new large hotel nearing completion of construction. The workers putting the finishing touches on the interior have left their shoes at the entrance, and are presumably walking in socks or slippers. This mimics what one does at a Japanese home.

When the hotel opens, people will walk in this public area with shoes like any other business, but until the construction company turns it over to the owner, they treat it with great care, so that it's turned over in pristine condition.

I doubt that this would ever happen in America. When I last lived in America, asking a visitor (such as the cable installer) to take their shoes off inside the house would be met with the same face as if I had asked them to take their pants off.


GPS-Settings Info for Bryton Rider 450 Cycling-Computer Users
Precision (photo is unrelated to the text of this article) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 18mm — 1/8000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — image data
Precision
(photo is unrelated to the text of this article)

I've been testing a new cycling computer, a Bryton Rider 450. I was shocked to find out some information about its satellite-positioning features that isn't covered in the manual, so I'm sharing that info here.

As a bit of background, folks often use the GPS as a generic term for satellite positioning system, but in reality, GPS is the specific satellite positioning system built and deployed (and offered as a gift to the world) by the United States of America. It used to be the only one, but now there are several. Russia has its unrelated GLONASS system, the European Union has its Galileo system. These all provide global coverage. Regional systems include China's Beidou system (which will eventually be global), and India's IRNSS system.

In addition, Japan has a small four-satellite augmentation to the United States's GPS system called QZSS (みちびき in Japanese).

The Bryton Rider 450 is advertised to work with all of these except IRNSS. This in theory would allow my use here in Japan to benefit from the three truly-global systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo), and two regional systems (Beidou and QZSS), so hopefully it would be more accurate than other units I've used.

(In years past, I've posted a few articles about GPS accuracy, including here and here.)

So it was with dismay that I opened up the configuration menu on the unit to find only these options available:

  • GPS + Beidou
  • GPS + Glonass
  • GPS + Gal + QZ

This seems... unimpressive and disappointing.

I wrote to the company asking about this, and was told what the options really mean:

Menu Option GPS
global
Galileo
global
QZSS
Japan
Beidou
Asia Pacific
GLONASS
global
GPS + Beidou
GPS + Glonass
GPS + Gal + QZ
What the Menu Options Actually Mean

This means that the GPS, Galileo, and QZSS are always enabled, and that you can optionally enable the global GLONASS or currently-regional Beidou systems.

What horrible menu labels, obfuscating what they really mean. There's plenty of space on the screen, so there's no excuse for this stupidity.

In Japan, the company recommended GPS + Beidou. Wikipedia tells me that Baidou will eventually be more accurate globally than GLONASS (or GPS or Galileo, for that matter), and it perhaps already has better coverage for the Asia-Pacific region.

I'd like to do tests where I bring six units (two at each setting) on the same ride, to compare and contrast the results in different situations, but I'm not about to spring for five more units just for that. Oh well.

(The lead photo, which I hope gives the feeling of precision to go along with this article, is from something I hope to be able to write about later.)


Temple Overlooking a Frosty Kyoto
Watching Over a Frozen Kyoto temple at Shogunzuka, Kyoto Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/10, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Watching Over a Frozen Kyoto
temple at Shogunzuka, Kyoto Japan

Last night we a short but intense snow flurry that dropped about 2" of snow in 15 minutes, leaving the mountains this morning with a nice frosting.

The building seen above is at Shogunzuka, covered in Inside the “New” Temple Building at Shogunzuka Overlooking Kyoto and, more widely, a bit earlier in New Views of Kyoto from Shogunzuka’s New Observation Deck.

A bit farther north, hikers were enjoying the clearing on Mt. Daimonji:

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos

The clearing is where the fires are lit during the Daimonji Festival each August, as covered in Daimonji: Kyoto’s Least-Photogenic Festival, and in its photographic rebuttal Daimonji Fire Festival Up Close and Personal: Yaron Silberberg’s Photos from Last Year.

It's a simple hike to the clearing, though perhaps more challenging with slippery snow.

Frosty -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2019 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/10, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Frosty

I tend to like this kind of frosty-cold-with-sharp-detail image, though my favorite is probably the photo seen exactly nine years ago today in Snowy Mountains. At first glance it's a boring photo, but I find it to be interesting at full, sharp resolution.

Also in the same realm is Bridge Over Icy Water, which then itself made a reappearance as a print in Dabbling in Some Fine-Art Printing for My Office.


Native Languages

One line through four generations:

  • My dad's mom's native language was Polish.
  • My dad's native language is German.
  • My native language is English.
  • My son's native language is Japanese.

All four of us were born in the United States of America.

父方祖母母語はポーランド語でした。父の母語はドイツ語です。僕の母語英語。息子母語日本語。全て4人は米国の生まれ。

My four grandparents all had different native languages: one each with Polish, German, French, and English.

Three were born in the USA; only the native English speaker, my maternal grandmother, was not (she was born in Canada).

僕の祖父母、4人はそれぞれ違う母語があって:ポーランド語、ドイツ語、フランス語、英語。一人以外米国の生まれ。母語英語母方祖母だけは別の国の生まれ。