Friday, August 31, 2012

My Cards Are Moo Cards!

Every time I hand out my business cards, people get excited. They like the unique size and shape, the thickness of the paper, and the variety of covers I have available. The MiniCards are from a company called From what I can remember, you can choose up to 100 different covers for your cards; your own images, or choose from their wide selection. In fact, all the images on my Minicards are from my blog. If you want to stand out and be different, get Moo Cards!!

(P.S. I'm not getting paid to promote I just love their products and want to share!)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

5 String Bass Street Performer in Harajuku

 Another picture from the archives.....

I love walking around Tokyo on the week-end, especially near the known street performance areas such as Harajuku.  These guys were really slick, especially this long, blond-haired, 5-string bassist. I love his stance and I love his pants. He kept his head down and rocked out, except his crazy hair was being tossed around as he rhythmically bobbed his head to the beat of the drums. Between songs, the lead singer would run around and hand out flyers to their next gig; but the bassist used that time to silently practice his scales!! How dedicated and how Japanese of him. Rock on Tokyo! Rock on 5-String Bass-Man!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guerrilla Marketing on Bikes in Japan

Walking in the Umeda district of Osaka, I noticed a group of cyclists all dressed in uniform and obviously advertising something. It easily caught my attention, as it did everyone else, hence a successful guerrilla marketing concept: a bike parade!! It says "Children 110 Yen" (approx $1.45USD) so I assume it's some sort of entrance price for an amusement park or something like that? 

None of them looked happy riding their bikes though, but it was a bit of a warm day. Or perhaps it was the basket in the front? If I got paid to ride around in circles all day, I would be happy!! In fact, I'd be ringing my bell too!! Imagine each bell had a different tone, and they were playing a tune while riding around? Now that would have been cool! Ride on Osaka!!

Cute Girls Doubling on a Bicycle in Osaka

It's written all over their faces, no? The pure pleasure of doubling on a bicycle. The wind against your face, the rush of adrenaline as you avoid pedestrians and other cyclists as you try not to fall off the back!! I happened to see them approaching from far off so I discreetly took this picture just as they passed by.... not that they would notice little old me and my tiny Canon p&s camera!!

This is very common in Japan, as you can tell by this other doubling act caught by a National Geographic photographer.  In both images, the girls riding on the back are wearing heels, and neither are standing on some well structured, meant-for-doubling-stands or anything like that. What can I say? When it comes to two wheels and heels, Japanese girls have skills!! Thanks @cyncerest for the link!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Doing the Splits in Hong Kong!

That's my wife on the far left walking with her uncle #4 in Hong Kong. The bay area of To Kwa Wan is a popular place for exercise, especially for early morning walks. I was trying to take a nice backwards portrait of my wife and her uncle and was waiting for this older gentleman to pass by, but he decided to stop.....and then stretch.....really stretch!! I thought to myself, if you're not going to leave my picture frame, I'm going to frame you into my picture!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Refreshing Work at Budweiser

Another old picture. Taken in Hong Kong a few years back.....I know, it looks worse than it is. He was working really hard before I took this shot, and then when I finally decided to take the picture, he took his break.... but it does look a bit like he was sampling the product doesn't it? Leave him alone. He's worked hard. Doesn't he deserve a Bud?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cool Guys Riding Folding Bikes

Another old, lost picture from previous blog entry........

I love Osaka because it's a bike city. My brother goes restaurant and bar hopping with his wife and friends on their bikes. It's a great way to get around town, and a fun way to burn off some of those extra calories! 

I took a picture of these guys because you just wouldn't see this in N.America (except maybe New York or San Fransisco). Cool guys, or at least trying to project a 'cool guy' image, riding folding bikes. I mean, those things are not cool, seriously. Efficient and compact, yes. But cool? What are those, 8" wheels? But look at the attitude... it's like they're on hogs or a nice cruiser......ha ha!! I like both of their shoes though......

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kimono and Dreadlocks?

I'm going to re-post some older pictures since some amazing shots were sort of lost in past postings, as I use to post up to 12 pictures in a single blog entry!!

This picture was taken at my youngest brother's wedding in Osaka a few years back.  Up to that point, between myself and my big brother (I have 3 brothers and a sister), we had taken all family wedding pictures. This was the first wedding we could enjoy without being completely stressed out.... but old habits die hard!! I still brought 3 cameras with me!!

This is Miho, my sister-in-law's cousin. She's a professional hip-hop dancer, but for the wedding, she decided to go ultra traditional with her kimono...or did she? Look at her dreadlock updo!!  I liked the contrast in styles, or perhaps it's more of a juxtaposition? The bright red colour of the kimono and the red in her hair-do actually worked really well; as well as the layering of the kimono and the similar layering of her dreadlocks. And perhaps because she's a dancer by profession, her personality and her composure allowed her to pull off this cool look.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fast Food Faster: Express Self Ordering?

I walked into my new neighbourhood A&W and noticed they only had a single-cashier set-up and I thought that was odd for a fast food joint. Then I noticed the 'Self Order' kiosk. I didn't realize that minimum wage was too expense for these places to operate, thus replacing humans with robots!! Self check-out at grocery stores, self-pump at gas stations, and now self-ordering at fast food joints. What's next? 

My guess is that in the future movie theaters, airports, dry-cleaning, department stores and even restaurants (computerized self-seating and self ordering) will all be run by machines and computers. We can go all day without coming into contact with other humans in the future. Don't worry, we'll all have smart phones and tablet computers to keep us company instead. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Do You Park Your Bike?

While waiting for my wife while she shopped, I thought I'd walk up and down Robson Street to see if there was anything interesting to shoot.  I noticed a locked up bike against a pole, but it was parked upside-down! What the? Just as I was about to take a picture of it, the owner appeared!  I asked him why he parked his bike that way? He said so his bike doesn't move around clumsily or fall over..... good idea!!  Who needs a kick-stand right? 

The only problem is scratching the leather seat and handlebar grips...... but hey, with a smile like that, does Kwan care about a few scuffs on his sweet fixie? Where's his bike from? Built by his buddy's over at Beats and Bikes. Music and bikes. Nice combo......