Sunday, January 27, 2008

1.20 metres of powder in two days

Today` s weather conditions

Temperature on top: -11
Temperature at the bottom: -5
Wind speed: 22 m/s
Visibility: 20m
Ammount of snow: 355 cm
New powder: 65 cm

Thank you Mos San

Thank you Olivier for the video

Have a good week!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Japanese Speech Contest in Aomori

I arrived at work and was surprised to hear that there is an articol in the local newspaper about the Japanese Speech . I was impressed by the other competitors knowledge of Japanese and of their fluency in speaking. The first prize was obtained by the malaysian Competitor- " Japanese and Malaysian gastronomical culture" . When first arrived in Japan she was surprised to see Japanese eating cold food during summer and hot food during winter. The first time she didn` t find it that tasty, when eating cold noodles, but after a while, tasted it again and enjoyed it. Her feelings were expressed clearly and fluent.
The second prize obtained by the romanian competitor- " My son, my good rival" . There were explained the feelings of a romanian father, whose son` s japanese is getting better than his, even if the boy is only 3 years old.

Source: Toonippo newspaper

Monday, January 21, 2008

Japanese Speech- Busy weekend

Sunday? Emotions, repeating the speech, dressing up, preparing to speak in front of almost 100 people. I debutated in the 12th edition of the local Japanese Speech Contest for foreigners living in Aomori and in the nearby areas. A few friends of mine joined the competition and I had the chance to meet other foreigners from China, Egipt, Russia, Phillipines, England. I was the only one from Romania.

Everyone picked their favorite theme and had five minutes to debate on it. All the themes had interesting titles . It was good to meet all the other participants before the contest. We all gathered in a room next to the hall where the contest took place. Some of us were eager to meet and talk, some of us had emotions just like before a contest when tens of people are waiting for you to speak. It was fun to speak to everybody. To some of them I was speaking in English and to others I was speaking in japanese. Don` t know why. Free choice?!?

I was the third one to enter the stage, after Alex from England( "Friends") and Son from China("One night in Tokyo"). Amazing! Fluent japanese, good introduction, beautiful theme, polite ending and smart responses for the jury.

And... here I am, on the stage, with the microphone that was near my chest. I had bend over to speak in it( not too smart to adjust it to my mouth). The name of my theme was- " My son, my good rival" . The crowed laughed a few times and then, off stage.
All the following speeches were original, funny, to the subject and well thought. I was standing in the middle of the hall, right in front of the stage. Even for me, a competitor, it has been interesting to see the others make their speech. A few times I couldn` t stop from laughing. If the next time I won` t be competing I will sure be standing behind looking at the competitors.

When the speech finished, the jury gathered in another room to decide the winners, while we had the chance to see a nice Hula Dance Show.

One competitor from China was nominated with " Beautiful performance" prize.
The competitor from Philippines was nominated with " Amazing Voice".

3rd place for the competior from France- "Mountain Hakkoda"
2nd place for the competitor from Romania- "My son, my good rival"
1st place for the competitor from Malaysia- "Japanese and Malaysian gastronomic culture" .

At the end of the competition we swapped telephone numbers. I would like to meet everybody now in a while and talk about... everything.

Today I took a trip to Hakkodate for an urgent visit.

Tommorow back to work

Did I tell you that Saturday after work I went for just two hours up the mountain? Yes I did, it is the previous post :D It was great, but from what I` ve heard from my friends, today and on Sunday, there was so much powder, almost 4 metres. No way to go off course.

Have a nice week!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

After work escape

Temperature on top: -11.6 ℃
Temperature at the bottom: -6 ℃
Wind speed: 13 m/s
Visibility: 30m
Ammount of snow: 310 cm
New powder: 30 cm

After work, i went uphill and had the chance to get on the gondola once. I won` t be able to go to Hakkoda this weekend, and I needed to see and ride the new 150 cm of new powder. It was amazing. The powder was so deep but so soft. Could get out of deep powder if stucked easily.
I met my new friends and my Yamahai friends just before I went home.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ski world record

Jamie Pierre is a professional free skier. Jamie Pierre set a world-record cliff jump of 255 feet at the Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming

I understand the ideea of loving ski, snow and life but this is too much. He loves ski too much.
He actually did a free fall for about... 78 metres in....SNOW

Have a great Day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hakkoda- White Heaven on Earth

Around ONE METER of new powder snowed at Hakkoda this weekend. There were 50 cm of fresh powder on Sunday morning and 40 cm on Monday morning. The weather was good to us on Monday: -10 ℃, windspeed 11m/s and visibility 40%, but on Sunday it was pretty rough: -17 ℃, windspeed 22-25m/s and visility 5%. After the first gondola went uphill, one of Hakkoda` s staff rushed to the place where all the skiers and snowboarders were standing in line to announce that the conditions at the to are very bad and to be careful while coming downhill. And he was telling the truth. After we got up there, the gondola stoped for about 2 hours, until the windspeed lowered.
Anyway, this was the weather condition, but that didn` t stop us from heaving fun. 50 cm of powder is quite difficult to deal with when on flat ground, but when on steep slopes it`s "Heaven on Earth". It feels like you are floating on a big pillow, like you are driving a luxury car on a national road at 200 km/h. It feels so good.
On Monday I had to leave the mountain after the Gondola` s service had stoped.

On Sunday, new powder, another story. Don` t stop on fresh powder, avoid loosing speed on flat ground. If you stop you have to take your snowboard off, make steps with it so you can step on and actually swim until you reach some solid base so you can put your snowboard on again. It happened to me once while trying to take my camera out of the suit. I was trying to film the beautiful forest that was reaching to the ground, under the heavy snow that fell a night ago, and... it happened: Stopped and fell over :D . Got out of there soon, but I didn`t take the camera out again. Before that I managed to take some photos.

On the last part of course, the lowest part of it where the visibility is good I made these 3 clips.

Part 1- The Lowest part of the Direct Course

Part 2- In the forest before the steep slope

Part 3- Arriving at the Gondola Station

Nothing better than this!
Have a great week!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

International dinner

This picture was taken at our previous meeting in July 2007

Today I had dinner with some of the foreigners living in Aomori. The initiative was taken by Ms. Emiko Kamiyama, japanese teacher, President of a volunteer corporation, English interpretator, a person of so many great values. We had the chance to eat delicious food and discuss on many subjects related to Japan, japanese language and culture, different cultures around the world like Thai, Vietnam, Canada, China. I also had the chance to meet again one of JICA` s Coordinators for International Cooperation and shared our thoughts about " a better tomorrow".
I also had the chance to speak to other foreigners living in Japan in japanese and I was impressed of their japanese knoweledge. Some of them have been in Japan for a short period of time and their fluent in japanese( I should restart learning japanese). At the end of the meeting we thanked two of our members for their achievements made while in Japan and wished them good luck in their future projects as they are leaving Japan in March.

Back home, browsing through JICA` s website I` ve found this interesting interview with Ms. Iuliana NEACSU, Head of the National Reference Air Laboratory, National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA). Iuliana Neacsu has been working in Japan with japanese experts in a tehnical cooperation project, has been a counter-part in the Project on Strengthening the Air Quality Monitoring Capability of the National Reference Laboratory since its inception in January 2007 and in November 2007, participated in a counter-part training course in Japan.
It has been a pleasure reading about her thoughts in what concerns japanese way of working, thinking and collaborating spirit.
Read Ms. Iuliana NEACSU` s Interview

Have a good week

Monday, January 7, 2008

Lexus LF-Xh

The Lexus LF-Xh is a hybrid SUV based on the "L-finesse" design philosophy.

The power for the Lexus LF-Xh comes from a V6 petrol engine combined with a high output electric motor.

Lexus Press Release:

Lexus LF-Xh

A specialty SUV based on the Lexus design philosophy of L-finesse and equipped with an advanced hybrid system
The combination of a powerful body and elegant interior gives the Lexus LF-Xh a dynamic look and feel.

Application of "Lexus Hybrid Drive", which features a sophisticated fusion of superior environmental and power performance, seeks to achieve outstanding driving performance, quiet operation, high fuel efficiency and low emissions.
All-wheel drive is backed by a V6 gasoline engine and high-output electric motor hybrid system.

Total length: 4,800mm
Total width: 1,895mm
Total height: 1,650mm
Wheelbase: 2,850mm

V6エンジンと電気モーターを組み合わせるハイブリッド仕様である「レクサスRX400h」が、北米では2005年4月、欧州とアジアでは2006年に発売された。高級SUVとして世界初、かつ唯一のハイブリッド車である。 特に北米市場での人気が非常に高く、生産が追いつかないほどである。2008年秋に、フルモデルチェンジを予定している。本年度の東京モーターショーでコンセプトカーが展示された。 ラインナップはRX350、RX500で、それぞれV6 3500cc、V8 5000cc(形式名不明)が搭載される。2代目と同様ハイブリッドもラインナップされ、V6 3500ccとモーターが搭載される。ただし、ハイブリッドの発売に関しては半年~1年ほど遅れる可能性がある。 また、現行RXの車体を延長したテストカーが幾度か目撃されており、3列シートも設定される可能性がある。


Hakkoda on January 6th 2008

-8 degrees C
wind: 18m/s
0 cm of fresh powder since yesterday but:
On the north side of the mountain, after the clouds vanished for about 1 hour, we` ve found no tracks powder. Around 12 of my friends were on the mountain in the morning, but when the sun came out, only me and 3 other friends had the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and untouched powder.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Niseko Trip 07-08

Videos uploaded on Youtube: On the road to Niseko, Niseko- Tise, Tise- Mushrooms