MacBook Pro Late 2016 (without Touch Bar) ; On the Road Again & on Iron Fist

So Since this is weekend and it was so hectic this week, I have a lot to say. I will write about three of my major categories: MacBook, a road bike and Iron Fist.

MacBook Pro Late 2016 (Without Touch Bar)

First of all, finally my partner for the next 4 years have arrived! I have been using Macintosh computers ever since I bought Macintosh SE 25 years ago and using PowerBooks ever since I bought PowerBook 140, the middle range model of the very first notebook computers released by Apple (except for MacPortable) or by any companies for that matter (if I remember correctly) two decades ago.

I had been using one of the IBM compatible computers but I was so moved by the famous 1984 commercial, dumped the DOS machine I was using at the time (Windows was still a beta version at that time) and bought a used Mac from my friend working for Apple Japan.

This is the third MacBook Pro I bought in the last decade (I don’t know how many in my life so far especially because I was extravagant when I was single) but this is so different. They ditched all the legacy connectors like USB 3.0/1, Thunderbolt 1/2 and all that stuff. For those who expect nothing more than conventional and practical qualities, maybe this is troublesome (but as far as reviews go, new MacBooks are not as unpopular as I expected) but for true good old Mac users, it looks like finally Apple is back on track. A Daredevil, a bold forerunner, the one who thinks different and shows us our future. This is Apple. I haven’t felt this vibe for a while. Buying a new machine always makes my heart race but this time it is giving me the joy I used to have when I bought Macs! The sense of holding the future in front of me!

FYI, I bought the one without a touch bar (simply because I don’t have enough money), the lowest model with space grey in color. Looks cool (so thin!)! I like the new controversial keyboard, except for the sound the keys make (too loud) but it is OK. A retina display is totally amazing! USB? If you spend extra 40 bucks and buy a USB hub and everything’s alright! And they gave me 80 bucks worth gift card in Japanese Apple store so it was like a giveaway.

Now I will be more productive… or maybe not. I don’t watch TV these days. I watch streaming dramas like Netflix on my laptop (especially I have digitally migrated). Now that I got this beautiful display so I can’t stop watching dramas. But hey, it only proves this machine is worth the money! 🙂

On the road again!

Last week I rode my bike. I rode about 20 miles. Today, I rode 27 miles with more climbs than last weekend’s ride. The going was still slow but here and there I sprinted and rode faster. I hope to introduce some of the beautiful scenery I can enjoy in this area.

OBTW, I would like to express my deepest condolences for Chuck Berry. When I first bought my fake Stratcaster when I was 15 years old, the riff from Johnny B. Good is among the first riffs I played along with the ones from Smoke on the Water and A Stairway to Heaven. I don’t know how many people imitated that phrase and learned to play the guitar. Chuck, you are the father of almost all the guitarists after you debuted. Now it’s time to blow Angels’ mind.

 

Iron Fist!

I have so many things going on right now so I cannot concentrate on binge-watching Iron Fist though I very much like to. I watched half of all the episodes, and yes, I freakin’ loved all the episodes. As I said, you can find faults with this series. But I love each and every drama of each and every defender (Luke, Jessica, Mathew and Danny)! Each one has their stories to tell and they are all beautiful and violent nightmares full of harrowing ordeals. As I said, Jessica Jones is really violent and graphic (they are etched in my memory and can’t get rid of them). Iron Fist is mild so far in that sense. I would classify this series so far into PG if this stays this way. Maybe Marvel fans don’t like the shows that way but I like mild violence so I feel comfortable watching this or Daredevil. Of course we don’t know what’s coming (unless you binge-watched all the episodes already).

Either way, I want to post a full report when I’m done but I would like to mention that it is worth spending 13 hours on this. And I advise you to watch Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. There are so many plots overlapping and intertwined with each other that you can enjoy so much if you know what happened in other shows about other defenders. (But once again, Jessica Jones is very graphic).

Before I leave, one more thing. There are so many Japanese martial arts including bushido, the way of Samurai, in those shows. Well, actually, I was a student of Battoudo about 5 years back, where I learned to use a real Japanese sword, Katana. I learned more than 30 katas or patterns to attack and defend using a real sword and even cut countless damp rolled tatami mats, which are said to be exactly as hard as real human necks. Many swords appear in those show make me smile because so often they are too broad or bend in the wrong way, but that’s not important. As for the Japanese language I hear, they are so real.

Then there was a scene where a heroine of Iron Fist said to Danny, “I haven’t spoken Mandarin since I was (forgot the exact age but a young child). Speak Japanese or English.” It got me thinking about the state of affairs in Asia now. Every time I went to the U.S., I became friends with a lot of Chinese people and Korean people. There’s a lot going on in this region right now. Hope Japanese people right the wrongs and will be ready to become friends with other Asian friends. I don’t need any borders physically and spiritually. I want the world where people can live wherever they like speaking whatever language they like to speak (I love American English so much better than Japanese or any form of English for that matter) and don’t care where they come from. Just a thought.

PS  About 20 years back, when I was still single and liked play video games, there used to a series named “Iron Fist (鉄拳).” Does this “Iron Fist” have something to do with it? The storyline of the game was so crazy.  One of the strongest human beings and the president of a conglomerate company (means he is super rich) tries to kill his son, who wants to kill his father and take over his company. There are so many bad guys involved in this. Iron Fist keeps reminding me of this.

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About dw64 (or Masa(aki) or Mark)

I am 52-year-old Japanese male. Ever since I watched Sesame Street when I was VERY young (5 years old?). I fell in love with American English and culture. I learned English hard and now I am teaching it. Then when I was 18, I had an opportunity to stay with an American family in Shell Knob, Missouri and I asked them to educate me as an American kid. So they taught me the American way and even my taste for food has changed completely so I call this rebirth! Then when I was 30 (I visited the U.S. several times but they were short stays), I joined the MA course in teaching English of graduate school in Vermont. I stayed about 10 months there (it was an intensive course). I stayed in a dorm and learned a lot inside and outside of classrooms. I got all the credits but I failed because of the difference in the context between the U.S. and JAPAN cuz it is so hard to teach English in The way I learned in the course because in Japan, teaching is about understanding grammar and structure in Japanese. But my journey does not end here. Last year I was admitted the CELTA course in NYC where I worked hard and got this certificate that certifies that I had finished the course and qualified to teach English to people who want learn English as a second language by Cambridge University standard. So if you are one of those people, send me a message and I can help you learn American English (I got this at Cambridge but basically they teach different English depending on location). Why did I pick NYC? Well, I am a huge fan of American everything! I live the country even when that demagogue guy is the President so I am an authentic fan of it. I mean, I love the U.S. more than anything in this world. There was a guy who loved Japan so much so after he retired he came to Japan and became a citizen. I want to do the same, actually. So now I am so into it, I listen to NYC CBS radio 880 all the time except when I watch dramas on Netflix, HBO or HULLU or read paperbacks on Kindle (read 70 books in the last two years). And then I am writing in English. I hope to be able to write something publishable in the future but I have to learn some more. As for my learning, I have almost done usual stuff so now I decide to do things that native speakers who wish to be writers will do. At least I learned 8000 words and phrases in the last couple years and I confirmed that I know more than 22000 words, which is tantamount to the number of words American graduate school students have. Well I might talk about these things, too, but I will talk about my favorite things in this blog. I love American dramas. I love the ones with some sci-fi portion in it. Like, from HULU, Gotham, Lucifer, Fringe, etc. I love good comedies so I love Seinfeld, SNL and night shows. Netflix? Luke Cage, Daredevil, and other defenders. I love legends of tomorrow, too. HBO, Game of Thrones!! And I also loved Night of and West World. I also might talk about cycling (road biking) and all other stuff! Please feel free to comment!
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