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今日は西宮にある白鹿酒造ミュージアムに行ってきました。
もやしもん読んだ時も思ったけどお酒って面白いな。
ということで今日は作り方を学んできました。

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入場の際に頂いた限定日本酒。すごく飲みやすかったです。水のように喉を通りあまり酒の味が強くなくちょっと甘かったです。

The process of making sake starts with washing the rice.
Today they would do this with machines, churning the rice with water and grinding it down until a percentage of the original grain is left. (This is also the difference between the different types of saké like daiginjo and ginjo if I know my stuff)
Back when they didn’t have machines people would wash the rice by filling shallow barrels with rice and washing the rice by stepping on it. (Not so different from making wine actually)

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Washing rice, lots of it. Saké was made in large batches so lots of rice needs to be washed. (Economy of scales)

Rice was them steamed to turn proteins into amino acids and carbohydrates into simpler sugars.
This creates food for the koji cells that will grown on the rice and ferment.
How much to stream was up to the boss’s experience and it was tested by making a paste out of the steamed rice and feeling its texture.

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The large pot they would have used to steam the rice. After the rice was done someone would have to crawl inside and shovel out the rice to be cooled on mats laid out on the floor.

After cooking the rice it was shoveled out of the large pots and laid out on mats to cool.
Mind you, all this was done by hand.
So someone needed to crawl into the pot with a wooden shovel to cut out blocks of rice like one might cut blocks of snow for making an igloo and people had to spread the hot rice out by hand first.

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Laid on the floor to cool until it's just right for mold to grow in it.

Next step is molding the rice.
You might think this is as easy as leaving it out for a day or two to get that green fuzz growing but that’s not the right mold.
They maintain the temperature inside a hut around 30℃ and start by sprinkling the mold spores on the rice.
As the mold grows it releases heat so the rice, now in multiple trays stacked around the room, need to be rotated often.

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Growing koji mold for sake in a hut. Must have been hot in there...

After they have moldy rice it’s mixed with water to make moldy rice water.
This moldy water ferments to become the fermenting agent when they make the sake.
The images I saw of this had people singing and rhythmically pushing rice around a barrel with long sticks that looked like they coins be used in a big game of roulette.

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They call it 酒母(しゅぼ)or mother of saké. It's what will be dumped into a large barrel with some more water to create saké.

The shubo and more water goes into a very large barrel where the mixture ferments some more.
After this step there’s no more fermentation, just filtration and pasteurization.
People had to stand watch over the barrels of fermenting saké to cut down bubbles and stir the mixture from time to find using other barrels filled with warm water to maintain the desired temperature.

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The saké and lees mixture is called moromi. If the temperature got colder they would sometimes need to wrap mats around the barrels to keep them warm.

From here on in we have drinkable saké. The next step is filtration and any saké taken at this point is called raw (or live) saké since it hasn’t been pasteurized and is technically still fermenting.
The moromi is stuck in bags and then a large pile of those bags are presses to squeeze out the saké.
I suppose that depending on the fineness of the filter used here we get the “unfiltered” cloudy saké and the clear saké.

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The rectangle in the back is where the bags of moromi go in. The top is then pressed down using weights and levers to squeeze out the saké.

The last step before packaging and shipping is pasteurization.
The filtered saké is brought up to a temperature just high enough to kill the fermenting molds and we have our saké ready to ship.

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More big barrels, they like their barrels...

And thus goes a general overview of how saké is made.
It was cool how they had a display of all the tools that were used in the process and explanations of how they were used.
The display of skazuki from around Japan was interesting too.
There were a bunch of different shapes and sizes including ones shaped like cones so you couldn’t put it down once you were poured some…

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None of them are capable of standing by themselves. Some even have holes in them that you need to cover with your finger so you can't give your cup to someone else. Is it weird I had more fun here than I think I would have at Universal Studios Japan?

小中高学校バスケ

従姉弟が三人ちょうど小学校、中学校、高校で三人ともバスケやっててちょうど三人とも今日試合だった。
三人の試合を見るのにそれぞれの学校に自転車で回って今日は過ぎました。
今になって眠気が・・・
やっぱり時差ボケ?

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The middle school gym where the middle school cousin's match was held.

Watching everybody play basketball was fun.
I’ve figured out that with my limited basketball knowledge I can probably help teach up to middle school basketball.
The elementary school teams (known as the minis) could have benefited most from basic skill improvements while middle school teams needed more work on their team play.
When it came to highschool teams though, the students were better than I was when I last played…

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今晩は焼き肉でした。普段食べない肉の量だと食べられんな。

カナダの空港で見たことのない風景が。
荷物受け取りの場所に落ちてくる荷物を丁寧に受け止めては取りやすい方に置き直してた。
ある意味日本人らしいなーと思った。
でもきっと誰かが「鞄が落ちた拍子に荷物が破損した」というクレームの結果出来た仕事なんだろうなと今思ってしまう。
それこそ日本人らしいといえばそうでもあるから。

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荷物受けのおじさんがスーツケースを受けてる。ずっとかがんだ姿勢だったから結構辛いのではないかと思う。

We made breakfast this morning, bacon and eggs in toast with a sort of Greek style salad.
Trust me, very Japanese.
The weird thing is that it looks Japanese somehow.
Probably the plate and the nice square cut bacon and perfect bread slices.
So regular…
Aunt Y was showing us pictures of our cousins basket ball team.
The girls all look the same with their identical haircuts and uniforms.

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It's just bread with eggs and bacon but it still looks Japanese...

そこからなんとなく日本人の個性を押さえつける性質について雑談。
制服やら校則などで小さい頃から皆同じにする日本。
これに比べて結構適当なカナダ。
どちらかというと個性を活かそうとする。
自分はカナダ教育モデルのほうが好きだが日本的価値観(の一部)のほうが好き。
ちょうど日本人生まれカナダ育ちなので好きなところばかり取らせていただきます。

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This as a map and timetable for the bullet trains in Japan that came with the JR Passes. The thing in the middle is obviously a shinkansen but after I looked at it upside down once I can't stop seeing it as an alien making a D: face.

Arrival!

眠いです、寝ます。
I swear, that last descent, they did it at least three times before actually landing.
とにかく、今日は従姉妹たちのところへ行ってたこ焼き食べて寝る予定。
タコ~!🐙

夏にバイト先が2つ見つかったし大学院行く前の最後の機会になるということで日本に行きます。
現在セキュリティーチェックで引っかかった弟を待っている。

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長いし面倒だが必要なんだろうな

Not that were both out of security, let’s go find some coffee.
The floor of my living room is apparently too hard to sleep comfortably and the brother needs coffee to keep awake until we get to the other side.

全然関係ない話だけどこうやって時間飛ばし飛ばし書いていくならいっそちょくちょく投稿したほうがいいのかな?
今度投稿する前に一日単位で見れるかどうか見てみよう。
それなら別に一日数回投稿しても構わないし日記として成り立つから。
それに正直そっちのほうが気軽に書ける。
あ、やりたいことに物語を書くことを追加。(ソフト開発はゲーム開発だからかねてできればいいんだけどな)

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Haven't been here in a while, looks better than I remember

Coffee’s expensive…
And Starbucks…
Sister’s coffee snobbery has begun to rub off on me.
There’s a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver called Revolver near a wonderful sandwich place called Meat and a Bread (which, as you might expect, sells sandwiches consisting primarily of meat and bread).
Wonderful coffee, for my taste at least.
Sister commented how a friend who doesn’t like coffee so much was able to appreciate coffee after visiting that place.

さて、搭乗口についたし後は待つだけ。
羽田で乗り換えて関西空港行き。
あともうすこしで日本だ。

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Hour and a half before boarding. We arrived a bit too early.

On the 28th of April I finished my last exam of my undergraduate studies.
After 5 years of minimum 6 courses (max 8?) a term I was free of homework and exams.

Kは「文具を片付けてたら手が震えてた」とか言ってた。
でも何でだろう、大して達成感がない。
終わったのはいいが大学院も行くので別に一生に二度と学校に行かないわけでもないしこれで何もかもが終わった訳でも無いし。
それに「試験が終わったー!」という達成感はもう古い。

It’s nice there’s no more homework or other work in the immediate future, but that also means there’s no clear thing that needs to be done in the next week.
Need to find my own thing to do.
Everything that’s been forcefully planned for me now need to be planned.

やることはあるから問題ないけどね。
計画立てるのが少々面倒くさいだけ。
ソフト開発、書類の翻訳、電子物で遊んだり夢はいろいろ。
この夏はバイトが2つ入ったしお金の面では大丈夫かな。
全部出来るといいな。

工学流鞘修理

Kから頂いた居合刀の鞘が軽く裂けてきたので道場の者たちで修理することになった。
機械工学専門のDが鞘の裂けかけているところを銅線で巻いて補強。
紐のように縛り付けて止めようとしたが銅線が持たず切れてしまったようです。
結局テープで巻いておしまい。

Figuring that there had to be a better way to fix the ends of the copper wire, electrical engineer me went to solder the ends of the copper wrapping (or is it came whipping?).
I found the best way to solder many parallel wires together is to first haphazardly apply solder all over the thing so most of it is covered.
Because the heat propagates along the length of the copper and not to the sides it’s hard to get an even coat the first time around.
After having laid some solder around most of the area you want to cover, spread the solder sideways running the iron back and forth along the row of wires.
A large blob of excess solder will soon form, so using gravity I melted and rolled the drop off solder around until the whole area had an even coat.
After that it was slowly melting and suctioning off the blob of solder left over.

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Looks nice from a distance in the end.

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近くで見るとちょっと汚い・・・

終わった直後はかなりゆるゆるだった銅線も冷えるについできつく巻き付くようになりました。
銅線の下はどうなっているのかあまり考えたくないがまあ長持ちするだろう。
ということで修理完了。
後は鍔の緩みを治したいところだがそれはまた今度になりそう。
先に宿題と中間テストの勉強・・・

Pasta with a pan

A few days ago my roommate was making pasta.
His method consists of filling a pot, tossing the pasta in, and waiting for it to boil.
Usually you bring the water to a boil first right?
His logic is something along the lines of saving energy.
But the result is soggy overcooked pasta every time without fail…

そこで昨日ネットを見ていたら面白いビデオにたどり着いた。
パスタをフライパンなどに入れてかぶるぐらいに水を入れて茹でる。
これで水も電気も時間も節約。
実践してみたところ水を入れてから15分以内に出来ました。
お湯を沸かす時間考えたら結構早い。
水がなくなってきたらパスタがフライパンにくっつくのでちょこちょこ水を足しながらした方がいいと思います。

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パスタ~。そう、面倒くさい時は箸で食べています。

ほぼ決定だったところが決定になりました。
新学期にはトロント大学の研究室で大学院生生活を送ってます。
なんか早いな~

Still trying to figure out if I can start in the summer semester or not.
It’s appearing to boil down to whether or not my dear little sister can find a job for the summer in Vancouver.
Hopefully she can and I’ll be free to fly to Toronto to start the graduate program a bit earlier.
There is that thing about the graduation ceremony being near the end of May (when I would be expected to start)…
A few more things to figure out, but so much less stress now that I’ve secured my place as a graduate student.

一番の悩みは行ったらどのような武術をしようかなという悩み。
薙刀術も剣道もいろいろあるみたいだしそこらの人集めて竹内の稽古会始めてみようかな・・・
(一緒に稽古はしないのかっと自分にツッコミ)

I spent one day being demotivated after returning on the 7th and then (reluctantly) got back to work the day after.
Probably should have worked the day after I got back, since the upcoming week was one with three midterms and the usual homework assignments.
I survived though.
The electronic materials midterm wasn’t bad and the digital systems midterm was easy (though unexpected, I thought it was Thursday when I stepped into class in Tuesday).
Optics was OK as well since it reflected the the past midterms level of difficulty.
Algorithms returned the midterm written last week and the results were satisfactory. (82/85)
And now it’s reading week.

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The optics lab in which we are expected to create and characterize a HeNe laser. It's a pain getting it to work the first few times...

学校の話はそのぐらいにしておいてトロントの話をしましょう。
トロントのピアソン国際空港に着いた後タクシーに乗ってホテルへ直行。
後でわかるのだがホテルから数百メートル行ったところですでに大学敷地内でした。
夜は他の大学院志望者たちと小さなバーでぎゅうぎゅう詰めになってワイワイ。ちょっとした食べ物が出てきたのですぐ食べた。
機内食も何もなかったのでその頃は腹をすかせてしょうがない状態に。
その後はただ次の日に備えて寝ました。
朝四時に起きて飛行機に乗って寝もしなかったのでぐっすりと寝た。

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かの有名なCNタワー。登ってないけど。

The next day was what we all came for, going around the facilities on lab tours and interviews with professors.
I first went to a separate location to attend interviews for one department and then was taxied back to the main campus for another set of interviews.
Interestingly, of the two interviews that I was supposed to do at the off campus location neither were actually carried out because of both professors being absent.
They are now rescheduled for sometime during this week.
After finishing all interviews there was a dinner with all of the attendees as well as some of the professors and then it was time to head back.
(A leg of chicken and mashed yam with sauteed whole small onion like things, maybe shallots? Oh, breakfast was the standard hotel buffet of eggs, sausages, bacon, hash browns and a variety of morning drinks and bread.)

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There was this windmill in the middle of town as well. I wonder if the city of Toronto is attempting to go with wind power?

結果から言うとオファーはすでに2つ来ています。
面接は後二回今週中にあるのでその後に決めたいと思います。
両方共面白そうですが選択権全部集めてから決めるのも悪くないと思います。
ほぼ行けることが確定した今考えないといけないことが減ったような増えたような。
いつどうやって向こうに行ってどこで過ごすかなど。
自由な時間を何に使ったらいいのかなとか。(武術は続ける予定)
どんなノートパソコン買おうかな・・・
断るときはどう断ったらいいのかな・・・
などなど幸せな悩みだけなので置いておきましょう。
あ、でも夏には何をしたらいいかとかは考えないといけないな。
大学でちょっと仕事する予定だがパートタイムなので(週二回?)他にも仕事探さないと・・・

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いきなり違うもの、今日の昼ごはんの一人湯豆腐。まあまあだけど出しなトロみつけないとな・・・

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