#Geekhouse Grand Opening

Cali&Yukari

Some of you might remember that I traveled to Japan with John P. and Cali Lewis from Geek Beat TV two years in a row. Since then, we’ve become pretty good friends, and I’ve been checking out their shows and occasionally join in the chat room. This year, I went to Japan with ANA again when they launched Vancouver-Haneda route, but this time I went without them and I was missing the Geek Beat guys. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to receive an invitation to their Geek House’s grand opening party on August 1st in Dallas, TX. I knew they bought a big building (times bigger than their previous studio and they now have an entire building) and been working so hard on setting it up for the big daySo I flew to Dallas to see it with my own eyes. I arrived at the Geek House around 2pm. The first thing I did was to sign this wall… guest wall #GEEKHOUSE After a few minutes of mingling, Cali and John started Geek Beat Live in the studio situated in the very back of the building. studio I’ve seen their “live” setting many times, but it was neat to see it actually happening in front of me. It was live streamed with “live with a studio audience” setting and I believe this might be the first time they did it like that. Usually we’d be all commenting and chatting on their 24-hour chat room when Geek Beat Live is on, (and of course we had it going on during this livestream so that fans around the world could comment) but it was such a fun experience to participate live. After the show, Cali and John moved out of the studio set and the party started. Philip Nelson performed for us while many fun items (worth over $10,000!) were raffled off. Here are some of the cool features and highlight from the Geek House.

Samsung 78 inch Curved UHD TV

curvedtv The second thing you’ll notice when you enter is the massive 78-inch Samsung CURVED UHD TV. I repeat, this TV has a curved screen!  It’s amazing.

Instacube station

instacube If you post onto Instagram with #Geekhouse hashtag, it will automatically be shown on this Instacube. KreepyKitty photobombing optional.

Posters

The entire Geek House is decorated with Geek themed posters, such as these. I’m a HP fan, so the one on the left was my favourite.

UpDesk Central

Geek House was full of UpDesks. These are meant to be used standing up, and as you can see in the photo in Cali’s office, she uses it with a treadmill. (I think I’m too clumsy to do that….I’m sure I’ll trip!) Of course, these desk height is adjustable, so you can use it as a regular desk. It’s big, sturdy (as you can see in the photo on the right), and with a custom cup holderI think I want one myself.

Han Solo

stormtrooper This part of the wall was covered with a cloth and what was underneath was revealed in the middle of the night. It’s Han Solo in carbonite!! Apparently, their first version was punctured by a folklift (Ouch), so this was the second one that was made. We had a friendly Stormtrooper there, too!

KEF Blade speakers

These massive, beautiful loudspeakers are $30,000 KEF Blades. We got to listen to a few different tracks with them. The amazing thing was, there was a nickel standing on top of one of the speakers, and it didn’t even flinch while music was playing. Stunning.

Deep Eddy Vodka

Lovely ladies from Deep Eddy Vodka was pouring cocktails for us all night long! These are all natural flavoured vodka from Austin. I particularly liked the sweet tea one. Mixed with lemonade, it tasted so refreshing, and dangerously smooth. (Unfortunately, this is not a permanent feature at the Geek House. Boo!)

Giveaways!

My friends at cheero provided some goodies for the raffle – like their signature battery Danboard Power PlusDanboard Mini or REVOLTECH (on the right).

CEABots

Perhaps the coolest toy in the Geek House, was the CEA Bots – you can set up an ipad on this bot, and download a software on your other tablet and you can control the bot remotely. There were people from UK “joining” us at the party. So freakin cool!

Daria Musk

daria Highlight of the night was when we had Daria Musk join us on Google Hangout for a special live for us. She is incredibly talented and seemed super friendly. I enjoyed her music very much!

Laser Harp

Steve Thompson came all the way from UK to showcase his laser harp skill! This short clip is where he’s playing Doctor Who theme song. He also brought a special autographed poster for Cali and John from David Tennant, the Doctor Who himself. Cool huh?

Photo credit: Gord McLeod

 Chevy Corvette Stingray

Handsome Chevy Corvette Stingray was on display as well. In fact, they also had two other vehicles- Escalade ESV and Cadillac ELR. What a beautiful car.

There was so much more happening that night I could barely write everything down. We had a fantastic meal, a cake, and a Livid Lobster cocktail, photo shootthen more.

I’d like to thank Cali and John for having me there, and also to the Livid Lobster team for the great night. If you ever find yourself in Dallas, be sure to stop by at the Geek House.

Okinawa (Part 1) – Shuri Castle, Okinawa Village, Snake Liquor and more!

(This is part of my #ANAOkinawa travel log; you can read all the related posts here.)

After long 3 flights, we are now safely in Okinawa! Our jam-packed schedule were as follows;

Shuri Castle 

Shuri Castle

This was the castle of Ryukyu(Origin of Okinawa) King. The exact age of the building is unknown, but it was in use in 15th century. The building was severely damaged during the World War II, and they are still undergoing extensive repairs. People working there were all dressed in this traditional Okinawan kimono of the period.

Shuri Castle

 

Okinawa World

Then we headed to Okinawa World, an Okinawan theme park. This was a blast!

HABU SHU(Habu Liquor) is a Awamori(unique bevarage indigenous to Okinawa) with Habu snake in it. It is believed to be good for your health. Here’s a little clip from Geekbeat.TV Where Cali, John and myself trying the Habu Liquor(Liqueur version).

okinawa village

There was a small village inside Okinawa World that demonstrates traditional arts and crafts of Okinawa. These old houses once were actual people’s residents back in the day. They were transferred to Okinawa World to create a miniature village. So cool.

There was also glass blowing studio and you could experience making your own Ryukyu Glass! Here’s a short clip I managed to take.

You can also experience paper making, playing Sanshin(three-stringed instrument unique to Okinawa), and pottery making in the village.

Gajumaru Trees

Gajumaru

Okinawa is full of Gajumaru(Bunyan) trees and they are beautiful. The trees send down rope-like seeds onto the ground, that eventually turn into thick branches around the trunk, making beautiful formations around it. It is also called “Walking Tree”. We also learned about this fairy, Kijimuna, that lives on Gajumaru trees. They typically are in the shape of boy or a girl and have firely red hair. If you treat the tree with respect, your family will be proeperous, but if you don’t –  you’re in trouble! I love this story!

Sefa Utaki

Utaki means secred place. Sefa Utaki is considered one of the most important secred places in Okinawa. It’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.I know in Japanese we call these places as spiritual “Power Spot”. You climb a rough and steep path up the mountain and you will see several caves and overhanging ledges. It was a quite magnificent site but we are waiting for the approval from the authority to publish the photos. Stay tuned.

Read the next post: Okinawa (Part 2) -Whale Shark and Elephant Nose

Or jump to the list of all the Okinawa posts: #ANAOkinawa Travel Log

Adventure continues with ANA

Okinawa

You might remember that I went to Japan last year as one of the brand ambassadors for All Nippon Airways’ Inspiration of Japan cabin service. I flew on their amazing business class with Neal Schaffer  as well as Cali Lewis and John P. of Geekbeat TV.

We explored Tokyo and Okayama and had an incredible time. You can read about the trip here.

Now, it was so much fun we are doing it again!

This year, the team (same member) are flying all the way to Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan.

Falling in love with Okinawa 

I’m from Sasebo in Nagasaki prefecture(in Kyushu) and it is a pretty warm place, but Okinawa is full-on tropical. It’s “Hawaii of Japan”!

Did you know Okinawa consists of about 160(!) islands, big and small? It is also known for its rich culture and history. It was occupied by The United States until returned to Japan in 1972 after the World War II. Also, Okinawan people are known for their longevity.

This will be my first time in Okinawa and I cannot wait to report everything I experience here. I’ve been reading up on this wonderful little island and I have already fallen in love with it!

Follow the #ANAOkinawa #YukariFliesANA hashtag on TwitterFacebook, and of course, Google Plus.

Lean more about Okinawa at OkinawaStory.com.

Read the next post:  Okinawa (Part 1) – Shuri Castle, Okinawa Village, Snake Liquor and more!

Or jump to the list of all the Okinawa posts: #ANAOkinawa Travel Log

 

We Fly 1st – Boeing 787 Dreamliner with ANA

(This is part 2 of 3. You can read part 1 here.)

Adventure continues in Tokyo. We got to visit ANA’s Maintenance Center and Cabin Attendant Academy In Haneda International Airport.

Here is a GeekBeat.TV episode from the maintenance center tour, so check this out.

After the tour, we got to fly on the amazing new aircraft, Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

If you didn’t know how special the 787 is, read this page –  but basically the 787 is the lightest, most sustainable aircraft currently available in the world. And the amazing thing is, ANA (and many other Japanese companies such as Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Toray, etc) worked together with Boeing to build this aircraft. It is said that this aircraft was “Made with Japan” (Yeah, this is where I got all misty while watching the documentary on the plane)

Saw this outside subway station.

I love their copy “We Fly 1st” – well, because, they did!

ANA is the first airline to fly 787 in the world. And we as the Brand Ambassador team got to fly to Okayama on Dreamliner!

Ambassadors on 787!

First thing you’ll notice on board is how roomy it is inside. Interior had a very high ceiling and calming color with LED lighting. Of course, everything was brand new.

High ceiling with huge overhead bins

I loved the big windows, with electronic “auto-dimming” shade – there was no sliding shade you’ll see in regular planes. On 787, all you need to do was to push the button under the window to darken or lighten the glass. You know, sometimes you want the full view of outside, but don’t want all the light, or your neighbour is asleep? This window will solve the problem.

Of course, each seat was equipped with its own screen, complete with seat-to-seat text messaging system and an USB port.

Drink holder OUTSIDE of tray table, USB port and window dimmer

 

 

 

As I looked outside when we were taxing to take off, I saw something heartwarming. Couple of people in uniform on the tarmac, were lined up side by side, and were waving at us! (Well, not to us specifically – but to the aircraft. You know what I mean.) I was so excited I had to let John, who was sitting in front of me, know right away. I wish I had a photo to prove this. But that is Japanese customer service, in my opinion. Extreme attention to details. This reminded me the simple fact that it doesn’t take much to make people – your customers – feel good.

See the Rolls Royce logo? They made the engine

We had a wonderful flight to Okayama, and a quick tour in Kurashiki.

Be sure to check out Dreamliner when you have a chance!

(To be continued in Part 3)