先週末、5年振りに Dragster を Drive!!
Last weekend was the first time in about 5 years that we got to Drive the Dragster!

It’s been 3 years since we got a completely new chassis and finally, we got to run it.

今回は San Diego 近くの Barona Drag Strip で開催させれた Event に招待され
「真剣に Full Run をしなければ OK」と言う条件で走る事が出来たのです。
We ran it at the Barona Drag Strip near the San Diego area for an event we were invited to attend. They said under one condition, “As long as you don’t run it seriously hard, then it’s OK.” So we got to run.

煙を出して走ろうと思っていましたが 2回ともフロントが上がってしまい思うように走れませんでした。
The initial plan was to simply smoke the tires real good but that didn’t happen as 2 times we ran, the front came up.

New Chassis (2007年製), New Clutch, New Slicks, そして 燃料をアルコールに代えたり
新しい Set Up で初めての Run でしたが残念な結果でした。
New Chassis (built in 2007 by original Dragmaster Chassis Founder Dode Martin and Jim Nelsen), New Clutch, New Slicks, and lastly we changed from Gas to Alcohol fuel. With this new set up and our first official run, the results were not what we wanted, unfortunately.

僕にとって Dragster は走り出すまで、ぶつかるか?どうなるか?どう走れるのか分かりません。
Until I personally was able to drive the MOONEYES Dragster, I had always thought about what could happen. Will I hit something? How will it perform? How will I handle the run? The consequences. One can only pile on experience.

MOONEYES Dragster は 45年前の作り方ですから 2010年の Safety Rules に Pass できない為、
走れる Track がありません。今回チャンスをくれた Barona Drag Strip の方々に感謝します。

The MOONEYES Dragster was built in 2007, faithfully to the same specifications as the original MOONEYES Dragster built in early 60s. The result, unfortunately, it the safety equipment on that Dragster don’t meet the current safety rules and that usually means I can’t run that Dragster on a certified track.
I am grateful and really appreciate that Barona Drag Strip staff had allowed me to drive the MOONEYES Dragster last weekend.

ヘルメット / Helmet

1983年4月15日 Openに販売されたツナギにヘルメット姿のミッキーとミニー。
Before the grand opening of Tokyo Disneyland on April 15, 1983, they sold these matching Mickey and Minnie dolls with construction hard hats for promotion. Pictured on the right is one of the actual hard hats used during the construction.

Charlie’s Shoes Atsugi

横田基地前の何とか(忘れてしまいました)って言うテーラーのコンポラが良いとか、いろいろあったようです。神奈川県厚木米軍基地正面ゲート前にも手作り Shoes の店 “Charlie’s Shoes” と言うオーダーメードの靴屋さんがあり、この靴は28年前に作った物です。

A long time ago when the US Dollar was strong against the Japanese Yen, the surrounding area of most military bases were filled with made-to-order shops and tailors, catering to military personnel. There were many well known tailors and a famous shop that made contemporary suits right outside the main gate of Yokota Air Base (although I forget the name). In Kanagawa-ken (prefecture where Yokohama is) at NAF Atsugi (http://www.cnic.navy.mil/Atsugi/index.htm) there used to be a shop in front of the main gate called Charlie’s Shoes and focused on made-to-order shoes. These shoes (pictured) were made 28 years ago.

なぜ程度良く残っているかと言うと注文した配色と違った物だったからほとんど履いていないからです。「何時か履くだろう」と思い28年が経ってしまいまし た。
You might wonder why these shoes still look brand new but the real reason, aside from high quality craftsmanship, is the color scheme was actually not what was ordered so the shoes were hardly used at all. At the time I also thought to myself, “I’ll probably wear them someday.” but it’s now been almost three decades.

蚊の季節です / Mosquito Season

The other day, I bought this device that looks like a tennis racket that is supposed to help with mosquito extermination. All it needs is 2 AA batteries and that sends an electric current through the net to swap mosquitoes.

Curious about the power output, before using it on mosquitoes, I tried it by tapping my hand on it and ZAP!! Surely it’s not as powerful as a stun gun I think but it has quite a shock.
Mosquitoes won’t have a chance against this and I should add that using it on humans is dangerous. Please use responsibly and read the warning label and instructions first.

Okinawa Trip pt.3

Sam’s の翌日、羽田行きの搭乗まで時間があったので沖縄在住の元 MOONEYES Staff で Atomics と言う Clothing Shop を4軒も経営している ヤラ君に無理をお願いし金武 (これでキンと読みます) にある"元祖 タコライス" の店 "千里" へ連れて行って貰いました。
The day after eating at Sam’s, I had free time until my return trip to Haneda, so I convinced Okinawa resident and former MOONEYES Staff, YARA, whom now has a clothing store called Atomics and manages 4 locations, to take me to Kincho (a.k.a. Kin Town) to eat at the pioneer Taco-Rice shop called Senri.

MOON Cafe のタコライスはこの千里を基本にしています。
久しぶりに千里のタコライスをと思い那覇から1時間位 の金武まで行きましたが何と改装中でした。残念!!
The foundation of MOON Cafe’s Taco Rice is based on Senri’s version.
It’s been a very long time since I last ate there and it took about one hour north from Naha. When we arrived, we found out it was closed for renovations! Oh, that’s too bad!

街の反対側には米軍 Camp Hansen があり、
Right across the street is the U.S. Marine Corps, Camp Hansen.


This used to be a very busy entertainment district a long time ago.

We walked around and checked out the buildings in the are, remnants of what once was.

"King Tacos" で、タコライスを食べて帰りました。
The signs of bars and clubs are still present but have seen better days. Worn out from walking, we went to Senri’s sister store, "King Tacos" and ate Taco Rice there before returning to Naha.


Before we left Kin Town, there was one more place we were going to visit. We went to see another former Staff member, Furuyama, whom now manages a diving shop.


For a split second, I was worried at the vacant lot, but soon saw that he was out diving with customers that day.
Okinawa is truly a great place.

Okinawa Trip pt.2

So Cal 沖縄を後にした僕らは58号線で宜野湾にある Steak House Restaurant "Sam’s Anchor Inn" へ向かいました。 
After I left So Cal Okinawa, I took route 58 and headed for the famous steak house restaurant "Sam’s Anchor Inn" in Ginowan (west coast of central Okinawa).

沖縄と言えば Sam’s か Pizza House に決まっています。
When you are in Okinawa, two must-see/eat places are Pizza House or Sam’s.

Customers that come from all over the world have stuck their business cards, I think that is what most of them are, completely surrounding the stairs leading up the where the striking aroma of the 50-60s era remains strong.

まずは Waiting 等で一杯できる Bar いいですね。
First, however, we must wait so we have a drink at this cool bar.

After we have a drink at the bar before we eat, we head over to the dining area and there’s a lot of open space.

そしてダイニングは全て Teppan 焼きです。Teppan なんて言うを構えちゃいそうですが、さすが沖縄です Steak に色々付いて 3,000円以下で 素晴らしい価格です。信じられません。
All dining meals are prepared by Teppan style and only in Okinawa, you get steak and everything else for the low price of 3,000 Yen ($30), which is an incredible price. It’s hard to believe.

スープ、サラダ、メインデイッシュの Steak 勿論ポテトとかの付けわせ付きです。そしてガーリックの Fried Rice まで付いてこの価格!
Soup, salad, main dish of steak and of course, with potato and garlic fried rice; all for this price!

この Fried Rice、Volcano Rice と呼ばれ、Fried Rice を火山にみたて、炎を出す演出がにくかったです。
They call the fried race, Volcano Rice because of how it’s cooked and prepared by producing this amazing blaze right in front of you.

The final touch was another fine 50-60s era touch of delicious sherbet from the owner of the restaurant.

沖縄らしい Steak House です。一度は行かれる事をお勧めします。
Sam’s Anchor Inn
At the bar, there was a collection of many historical things and memorabilia like a license plate from the time period when America had occupied Okinawa.
This steak house is highly recommended as it truly represents Okinawa.
Sam’s Anchor Inn

最南端の MOONEYES Dealer “So Cal 沖縄”

沖縄の MOONEYES Dealer "So Cal 沖縄" (敬称略) にお邪魔してきました。
I visited MOONEYES Dealer “So Cal Okinawa” while I was in Okinawa.

アメリカンハウスを使った Shop は MOONEYES 商品で一杯でした。
The shop is made from an American style house and it’s filled with MOONEYES products.

数ある MOONEYES Dealer の中も "So Cal 沖縄" が MOONEYES 商品の在庫量ではOne of the Best でしょう。
Out of the number of MOONEYES Dealers in Japan, “So Cal Okinawa” ranks up there as one of the bigger stocking shops.

The owner, Mr. Ozaki has been a MOONEYES Dealer for a very long time.

営業時間が 夜の 8:00 から 0:00 までと言う事ですがお邪魔した時も多くのお客様が いらっしゃいました。
Their business hours are from 8PM to midnight and I got there very late at night but there were customers there inside.

沖縄へ行ったら是非お立ち寄り下さい。MOONEYES 商品の充実度は素晴らしいです。
If you are ever in Okinawa, please make a point to stop by the shop and check it out. It’s a fully stocked MOONEYES shop and a great place to see.

So Cal沖縄 (http://www.so-calokinawa.com)

Taipei 台北

これから MOONEYES Dealer の So Cal Okinawa へ…
From my trip to Taipei I headed for Naha, the main city in Okinawa, on my way back using this airlines so I was a little bit worried but happily I arrived safely.
Now to visit MOONEYES Dealer, So Cal Okinawa…


The rear design impression of the Hyundai Sonata

looks strikingly similar to this car.