Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Airport Part 2

So here is how bringing that device through the airport went down. In all cases, the device was in a taped up brown box, inside a zippered up beat up looking duffel bag. Very inconspicuous right?? lol

John Wayne Airport (Santa Ana)

Put the duffel bag on the scanner. Duffel back goes through the scanner. Not so much as a word or a suspicion raised. We went through the John Wayne airport security on two separate occasions on 2 separate days of the week with exactly the same results. No one cared.

The scary part is I fly out of John Wayne a lot, and the ease with which it went through security is a little scary. Luckily though it is a smaller airport which would be a less likely target for a real bomb.

San Jose Airport

Put the duffel bag on the scanner. The security person scrutinizes it a little bit, and then asks to swab down the package with the bomb detector. They swab the package, asked what it was, and then let it through.

Not bad, at least they were curious and did a swab down.

Seattle Tacoma Airport

Put the duffel bag on the scanner. The bag goes through the scanner, and sets off the alarm! Security people ask what it is, and then open the box. They pull it out and swab it down. Meanwhile we are subject to the full pat-down search and scan with the wand. Then they put the package through the scanner again this time with all 8 security personnel crowded around the little screen watching it run back and forth through the scanner. In the end they deemed it safe, but not after spending a good 20 minutes checking out the device and asking us exactly what it was for and what it did.

Seattle has the best security of the 3 IMO. We did almost miss our flight because of the delay, but it's good that they paid attention because it really IS a suspicious package.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One day trip

I recently took a one day business trip up to Washington and we had to bring prototype samples with us on the plane. Inside a dufflebag, inside a cardboard box, sealed with tape, we brought the following item through airport security:

Wanna guess what happened ? :D

Anyway, keeping busy I'm not quite back to blogging yet but this was a quick and interesting one :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Anime Expo Part1

A few weekends ago I went to the Anime expo. A majority of the people that go to the Expo dress up as their favorite Anime character. It gave me a great opportunity to try out my new Nikon D80 and see what I can take. So here are a bunch of photos from the morning.

We had anticipated the ridiculous lines that accompany every Anime Expo so we arrived early at 8:00am:

The convention doesn't open until 10:00 so we sat out front like everyone else and I took a bunch of pictures. Some Naruto Villains:

Not sure which Anime she is from:

The Wii always gets the attention!

This is the line to get in to the convention center. It stretches across the entire length of the center, around the corner, down the stairs, around the street, etc. It took nearly an hour for it to actually dissipate.

There was a single booth in the convention center for some Porn company. I have no idea what this has to do with Anime??? Lol

Shino and Kiba from Naruto:

A view out the window of the convention center:

Some people have really elaborate costumes!

More Pictures to come!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Keeping Busy!

Hey Folks,

I wanted to post a bunch of pictures from Anime Expo, but I've been pretty busy lately. I'm doing some additional consulting work on my nights and weekends so there hasn't been enough free time to write a blog entry.

I'll try to post something soon! I need to finish my Japan photos too. We're almost there!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Miyajima Island Part 2

To continue where we left off last time -- we had just gotten off the cable car which we thought took as to Mount Misen. Oddly enough, we saw a sign that said "Mt. Misen 1.5KM ----> That way." And it pointed down this path.

Ok we thought, so we had a nice little hiking path on the mountain. But we noticed that the path started going downhill. Here's a deer that we were following along the path:

As we realized we kept going lower in elevation we started to wonder where the heck this would take us. We looked up a little bit on the path and we noticed a building on a mountain far far away. We pointed and laughed, "Ha ha... hey maybe the path goes there!!!". We thought nahhh. it can't be! That looks WAY too far.

Look REAL closely and you will see a squarish building / structure on top. (Click for a bigger picture)

After a few hundred meters, we realized instead of going downhill that we were now going uphill, and STEEPLY too. I turned around to take a picture of where we started. You can see the building with the cable cars here. Notice that it is significantly higher up because we had gone so far down hill.

From here on out it was about 700 meters of walking up various flights of stairs and ramps. I wasn't quite prepared for this because i had brought several bottles of water, a sports drink, guidebooks, camera, and my 4 lb leather jacket in my backpack ( had to take it off since it got so HOT!). I would guess I was carrying at nearly 10 lbs on my back. At this point i was too busy climbing and forgot to take pictures!

Three-quarters of the way up we found a rest stop with a temple. After catching my breath I took some more photos!

There was a deer also taking a break here!

That's Yoriko standing under the stone structure on the stairs. The entire walk was effectively this steep.

Yahooo! Here we are finally at the top of Mt. Misen. Pictured below is the structure that I took a picture of earlier.

... And then we had to walk back haha. You would think it was easy because it was all downhill.. But remember that we have to walk back up the other side. The trail is kind of like a big "U".

Back at the other side we found some photo opportunities. Me and Fu were the monkeys!

Yoriko does not like her picture taken. Can you tell? lol. We somehow coerced her to pose for this one...

We walked around a little more around the island and here's a picture of a temple we saw. It was TALL!

Now this is a funny sign. 10 min. walk. 7 if run a little... WTF?!?!?! lol.

By the time we had walked up and down Mt. Misen, we were at the end of the day. The tide had actually dropped way down and you can see now that you can actually walk up to the gateway!!!

And so ends our time at Miyajima island! That was quite a hike we took. I wish I would have known so i could have dumped off all my junk at the hotel or in a locker :D ! Oh well!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Anime Expo

Just got back from the Anime Expo. Wow I had a busy weekend so there was no time for me to write up a post. But, here's a funny one. We ate at the Great Steak and Potato company for dinner.

Unfortunately, they were out of steak. Oh and they were out of potatoes too. ???

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Miyajima Island

Nearby to Hiroshima is Miyajima island. We had to take a ferry like the one below to get to the island.

This gateway out front is the symbol of the island. It actually stands on its own (it doesnt have any supports that go into the ground).

When we get off of the ferry we were greated by some friendly deer! There are wild deer wandering around the entire island! This one was chasing after me trying to eat my map while my friend laughed and took pictures of it.

Even though he had JUST seen me successfully thwart a deer from eating MY map, he lets a dear get a hold of his!!! Plus, he tries to get it back!!! Hahahah. He was NOT successful.

There are a ton of landmarks to see on the island. One of the most famous ones is this temple "Itsukushima Shrine" dubbed a national treasure of japan built in the year 593:

During that day the tide was low, so the temple area was completely dry. But during certain times of the day when the tide comes in the temple is surrounded by seawater!

There is a little stream that runs through the city area of the island:

We followed a few walking trails around the island. Here is some of the sceneary along the trail:

We were trying to decide what area to visit next as it was around noon time. On the map there was a cable car ride to "Mt. Misen". We thought, oh cool, we will go for a "Quick" visit to see the mountain. Little did we know that it wouldn't be quick at all....

At the end of the lift, we step outside to these little signs! Click for a bigger version so you can read the text. Apparently there are monkeys running around stealing your stuff!

There are lots of photos, so this post will be continued the next day...