Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend Report (8/20/2007) - Ninja Warrior, Food, and What Nots

Happy Monday! Not too much from this past weekend. Highlights: went to Izakaya Sakura on Convoy for lunch, Cole was sick most of the weekend (poor little guy but he's on the mend), played Halo, and had kalbi and panchan from Zion. Oh yeah, we also watched a lot of Ninja Warrior on G4. Guess if you can't be active, at least watch others (ha!). So between Sakura and Ninja Warriors, guess you can say there was a Japanese theme going on this weekend.

The lunch experience (our first) at Sakura was interesting. The crowd at Original Pancake House made parking in the little strip mall very difficult. We ended up having to park somewhere down the road. We must be missing something about the attraction of lunch at OPH. Sakura had a good crowd already. To my surprise, the Mister ordered the special combo. I couldn't tell you everything that came with it (pork, mackerel, salmon, noodles, omelet, pickled cucumber & radish, carrots and potato, rice, miso soup, salad) but the Mister liked most of it. It was a lot of food! Cathy over at mmm-yoso!! recommended the Karaage. The flavor was very good and fried just right, although I thought it was just a tad too salty to eat it by itself, at least more than 1 piece. Was great with the white rice! I had the mixed tempura (love it when the batter is just right).

On the way home, stopped by Zion to pick up some marinated kalbi and panchan for dinner. I was too lazy to marinate my own and Zion's marinated meat is pretty good in a pinch. I couldn't find the rice wrappers like the ones Buga Korean Restaurant on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. so we opted for lettuce wraps. Yummy!

Now that food and what nots are out of the way, let's talk about Ninja Warrior. Have you watched this yet? When I first saw the show, I thought is was something like MXC on steroids. But it's different in the sense that the people who compete on Ninja Warrior take it pretty seriously, most of them that is. The first stage is probably the most like MXC. You can usually see some serious face plants into obstacles.

The object of the competition is to complete 4 stages of obstacles to win the title of Ninja Warrior. G4 doesn't do a very good job describing the show but check it out, especially if you're a fan of MXC.

The reason I'm bringing up Ninja Warrior is because G4 is in the last stage of selecting one American to send to Japan to compete in the competition. They are now down to the final 3 and these guys are pretty impressive (and I'm not easily impressed)! There's even a braddah from Oahu that made the final selection, Bryant. Walking and balancing on a 1" line and pinky pull-ups?!? Not only that, he does a little flip action with some kettle bells (cool). And he's doing all of it barefoot! I could have done without the break dancing demo but that would be just the kind of quirky thing the Japanese viewers would like (can't wait to hear the commentator on that one!). He's got good speed going up the ropes so that will definitely help in Stage 4. I would have like to have seen something like the Spider Walk (walk horizontally using hands and feet between 2 walls).

Another finalist is Brett from S. Carolina. He is like a monkey boy running and climbing all over the city! Nice acrobatic moves. This kid is definitely fast!

The last finalist is Colin from Michigan. He's got tremendous upper body strength. I think his got the best fingers and arm strength out of all 3 guys, possibly the best upper body stamina (notice how he hangs in the middle of the bridge on one arm). But Bryant still gets the award for best pinky strength (pinky pull ups?!?).

All 3 videos showed how well they moved around various obstacles. It would have been nice a couple of them demonstrate their balance and speed on a moving obstacle (often seen in the first 3 stages). I thought Bryant had the best showing of his balance and agility on something unstable, although Colin's climb on the spinning cube was interesting.

Not only does Ninja Warrior courses require agility, endurance, and physical strength, contestants also need speed. I think all 3 have a really good shot at completing the 4 stages and it's too bad G4 won't send all 3 of them. Maybe the the 2 runner ups can start a "Send me to Japan" fund raiser campaign...

The live show where the 3 finalists will compete to see who goes to Japan is scheduled for August 28-31 at 7PM ET on Attack of the Show. We'll get to see how the winner does in Japan during G4's 1-hour Ninja Warrior special in November. Go USA!

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