Feb 29, 2012

Mr Miyagi returns in Vita's Reality Fighters

(by Rick Marshal digitaltrends.com 1-26-12)

Pat Morita's iconic character from The Karate Kid returns in upcoming PS Vita fighting game.

The Karate Kid actor Pat Morita may have died in 2005, but his character in the hit movie franchise will make a return this March in Reality Fighters for the PlayStation Vita.

Over at the official PlayStation Blog, the announcement of Mr. Miyagi’s return was accompanied by a few screenshots of the character and some details about the role he’ll play in the game.

“We specifically chose Mr. Miyagi for several reasons. Firstly, we needed someone who was a true fighting master who could easily take on the best fighters from around the world, but was also wise, and capable of teaching the player,” explained Mitsuo Hirakawa of SCE XDev Studio. “Plus we had to consider the tongue-in-cheek nature of the game; some of our fight styles include ballet and break dance, as well as some unusual weapons like a toilet plunger. We needed someone who was tough, but also had a softer, more humorous side.”

Daniel-san’s Karate Kid mentor will serve as both instructor and playable character in the game, and be voiced by accomplished Call of Duty and Metal Gear Solid voice actor Jim Ward. Players will not only be able to unlock Miyagi himself, but also his handyman uniform and family headband.

“Before we decided on Mr. Miyagi, we shortlisted various characters such as Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jet Li and even Mike Myers,” added Hirakawa. “It became clear that Mr. Miyagi ticked all the boxes for us in terms of a true master who has a humorous side. The Karate Kid movie being a worldwide hit and a film that we were all huge fans of also helped a little.”

Reality Fighters will hit shelves March 13 for the PS Vita.


Feb 27, 2012

Tea cups and lamp

I'd like to get some similar tea cups and that lamp. It shouldn't be impossible, they seem fairly generic. We shall see. I've already looked a little bit but have come up empty handed so far.

Family Circle magazine

The karate manual probably is impossible to find, but that Family Circle magazine could be a possibility. That is if anyone out there ever felt the need to hang on to Family Circle magazines. There could be a grandma out there somewhere, maybe.

Tamlyn Tomita recalls ‘Karate Kid’ role

(by Steven Mark honolulupulse.com 10-17-11)

The lovely actress Tamlyn Tomita first came to Hawaii in 1985 as Nisei Week Queen — Los Angeles’ equivalent of Cherry Blossom Queen — making friendships that have lasted ever since.

Just a few months after that visit, she called them up.

“I go, ‘Guess what? I’m coming back. I’m doing “Karate Kid (II)!” Can you believe it?” recalled Tomita, who is in town as a juror for the 2011 Hawaii International Film Festival.

“Karate Kid II,” which was set in Okinawa but filmed in Hawaii, starred Tomita as Kumiko, the romantic interest of Daniel DeRusso (Ralph Macchio). Tomita will make an appearance at a screening of “Karate Kid II” Monday night at Dole Cannery.

Beyond her appearances as Nisei Week Queen, it was Tomita’s “first ever” role in entertainment. She’d never taken acting lessons, modeled or appeared in television ads, but her sweetly formal presentation of the Japanese tea ceremony is one of the film’s most enchanting scenes. Luckily, Tomita had taken a course at UCLA on the tea ceremony. “It just provided a lot of comfort that I would be able to perform it with respect and not be ‘schlocky’ about it, and not just going through the motions,” she said.

She relied on her co-stars Pat Morita and Macchio for guidance throughout the film, getting tips from Macchio, whom she often called “Daniel” in the interview, for a dance scene. “He’s the one who actually taught me to syncopate that two-step,” she said, gesturing and humming to demonstrate. “I was like ‘Wait a second, I thought I’M the one who supposed to be teaching you. And he goes ‘Yeah, I guess I got to be a little bit goofy about it.’”

“Karate Kid II” vaulted Tomita into her long career, and though she auditioned “on a whim,” she understood how important the role would be. “Absolutely, I knew that working with Pat and Ralph in the second installment of ‘Karate Kid,’ and going to Okinawa, which Hawaii lovingly stood in for, was really special. It was a big pair of shoes to step into.

“I still get that, ‘Oh, are you that girl from ‘Karate Kid’?”

Feb 24, 2012

the tiger's nest

Taktsang Palphug Monastery more famous as Paro Taktsang is a Buddhist temple complex which clings to a cliff, 3120 meters above the sea level on the side of the upper Paro valley, Bhutan.
Mountainous Paro valley is the heart of Bhutan; here the only international airport of the country is located.
The Taktsang Palphug Monastery is one of the most famous touristic destinations of the country and the cultural icon of Bhutan.
Visiting the Paro Taktsang Monastery is an unforgettable experience thanks to its unique location and the views of surrounding majestic mountains and emerald green valleys.
The main peculiarity of the monastery is its isolated location. It is only accessible by mountainous paths.
The remote location of the monastery makes it amazingly beautiful and unique, but also creates technical difficulties.
When on April 19, 1998 a fire started in the Monastery it was burned down completely: the temple was hard to access and the emergency assistance was impossible.
No wonder, that when you are looking at the Taktsang Palphug monastery from Paro valley or from the bottom of the cliff, it seems almost impossible to reach the Monastery.
In fact, there are three paths leading to the holy place.
The first path is a trail passing through the pine forest and decorated with bright, prayer bannerettes symbolizing protection from evil forces, positive energy, vitality and good luck.
The other two paths are passing through the plateau, called "a hundred thousand fairies’ plateau."
The refined architectural appearance of the Monastery is shaped in the best traditions of Buddhist. The complex has white buildings with golden roofs. Paro Taktsang Monastery consists of the 4 main temples and several dwellings.
All buildings are interconnected by staircases with steps carved into the rock. Almost every single buildings of the monastery complex has a balcony with a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The main shrine of the monastery -the prayer wheel is located in the courtyard of the temple. Every morning at 4 a.m. it is being rotated by monks to mark the beginning of a new day.
The interior design of the temple impresses with its luxurious beauty: gold-plated dome and flickering lights that are illuminating golden idols. In the hall of Thousand Buddhas, which is carved into the rock, a large statue of a tiger is located. The tiger is respected as the symbol of Paro Taktsang because of the legend, according to which the location of the Monastery was chosen by a tigress. The tigress brought here on her back the founder of Bhutan’s Buddhism guru Padmasmabhava.
There are eight caves in the monastery; four of them are comparatively easy to access. The cave where Padmasmabhava is believed to have entered first, on the back of the tiger, is known as “Tholu Phuk” cave and the one where he meditates is known as the “Pel Phuk”. Monks of the monastery are supposed to live and meditate in these caves for 3 years. They rarely visit the adjacent Paro valley.

Training in tranquility

I will go here, and I will train.

Feb 22, 2012

Feb 20, 2012

Chapter 5, a very important piece of the puzzle

Chapter 5 is a very important chapter in the book, it fills in a couple of crucial gaps.

I've always been confused by Mrs. Larusso's comments at the Orient Express restaurant.

"They have this program: two nights a week. As soon as a spot opens, I'm in. And the benefits - I'd never get them working in computers. They pay for everything."


Chapter 5, pages 23-26

The front door opened. Daniel pasted the well-practiced smile on his face and greeted his mother easily.

"Hi, hon! How's the eye?" she asked, dashing in.

"Okay. What's the rush?"

"I got a job!"

"Yeah, I know. Rocket Computers. Flight to the Future!"

"'Crashed in the Present' is more like it. The company went bankrupt last Friday. Can you believe it? Isn't that my luck?"

"So, we're going home?"

"Honey, we are home. This is it." She walked into her bedroom, then came back out again. "Seen my black shoes?"

Daniel reached under the couch, found them, and handed them to her.

"So, what's this job?"

"It's just fantastic, honey. Listen to this story. I walked out of the former Rocket Computers offices, feeling pretty low - as you can imagine - and a woman comes flying out of this restaurant, the Orient Express - isn't that cute? - yelling about how she's going to quit. Right behind her a guy is yelling, 'You can't quit. You're fired!' It's one minute to noon, people are coming in for lunch, and I'm the Number One applicant. I got the job. What a story, huh?"

Daniel couldn't hide his disappointment.

"So after going to school - all those night classes about computers - you're going to be a waitress?"

"Hostess, if you please."

"Big difference."

"Yes, Daniel, there is. But it's only temporary anyway. It'll feed us until something better comes along."

Daniel wanted to change the subject. He did have some good news, after all.

"I started driver's ed at school. I got my learner's permit."

"That's nice," his mother said, distracted.

She held up a pair of earrings to her lobes.

"Do these go?"

"Sure. Listen, if I get enough practice in, I can get my license on my birthday."

"How do I look?"

Daniel pasted the smile back on his face. This time, however, the insincerity showed through.

"Great," he said, dully.

"Hon, there's stuff in the fridge for dinner. See you later." With that she hurriedly pecked Daniel on the cheek and dashed out the door. He retreated to the corner of the sofa and his not-so-happy thoughts about the Garden of Eden. The door opened again. His mother stuck her head in and said, "How's Friday afternoon?"

"For what?"

"Driving lessons." Daniel beamed at his mother and then watched her leave.

After dinner, Daniel took out his karate book. He was glad he'd brought it from Newark. He thought that perhaps if he followed a careful regimen, he could get as good at karate as Johnny and then feed him some of his own medicine.

However, it didn't take long to figure out that the few lessons back in Newark and the book could not replace experience with a really good teacher. The movements and strategies simply could not be conveyed in a book. Well, it was all he had and it was better than nothing.

For perhaps the twenty-fifth time, Daniel wondered why he had ever told Freddy he knew karate. Now he'd have to learn it for real to get back Freddy's friendship and to get back his own self-respect.

With renewed determination, he turned to his book. Carefully, he read the section on front snap kicks. He found that if he held the wall with one hand and the book with the other, he could read and follow the instructions. Somehow, though, it lacked Bruce Lee's fluid movement. Daniel persisted, setting a goal for himself of one hundred kicks, each side.

As he got to fifty-seven, there was a knock at the door. When he opened it, there was the handyman, Mr. Miyagi, holding a wrench and bowing.

"I come to fix faucet."

Feb 16, 2012

Soccer tryouts

So in a previous post I pondered whether the soccer tryouts were held the first day of school or the second day. I came to the conclusion that they were held the second day. Who holds soccer tryouts on the first day of school?

Well, according to the book I was wrong, they were held the first day of school.

Chapter 4, page 19

The first day of school was a maze of loneliness for Daniel. Everybody seemed to belong there except him. Several times he was sure people were talking about him, but it seemed impossible that he was already the talk of the school. Daniel tried to concentrate on his schedule, the school map, and his teachers' names. The only thing he really wanted to do was get to soccer tryouts. He needed to do something he was really good at.

At two-thirty, he changed into his gym shorts, jogged to the soccer field, and began dribbling the soccer ball along with fifty other hopefuls for the soccer team.