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Japan Roll Call part 2

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Ian D, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. doofdoof

    doofdoof First Runs

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    Janus

    They are having serious production issues. If you go and check out the TGR forums you can see what Stephan Drake had to say. Basically they have made very few TRs and they will be dribbling them out for a while. It seems that they have shifted production to China, and have little idea as to which skis are turning up when

    I will still wait for them, but I must say I loved the Bro Models in Japan. They were a touch tight for skiied out trees, but absolutely rocked on the groomers, crud and powder.

    I'll let you know when the TRs arrive, coz I'll be screaming it from a roof in Utah!

    On the Niseko issue, I think I will probably look elsewhwre in Japan too. We spent a lot of time with some small groups of locals and that was brilliant. Eating in a restaurant with 80% Aussies , while still being good food, does seem to effect the cultural experience. However, I have also heard that the locals are very happy as the poor farming country has had a major influx of cash because of the tourism. Another double-edged sword .....
     
  2. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    sorry too drunk to post tonite.
    niseko aint that bad but like any resort its not an every year thing right. For now its a great spotin japan that has open trees and big snow.
     
  3. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    dont think its a big deal at all really .
    as Janus said , plenty of places to go .
    Why should a resort bought by aussies suddenly be a conspiracy ?
    Ok theres the margaret jackson thing but that is after the fact . More like tall poppy syndrome to me .
    Fact is , Japan has deflated and is now cheap ( this would never have happened in the 80's )
    There is plenty of spare capacity in air lines upto Japan .
    Snow is brilliant , in the same time zone and close ( in relative terms ) to aussie .
    With the growth of skijapan being nearly exponential , and the aussie economy being great , then logically investment will follow .
    Sort of opposite flow to the Japanese golf and hotel investment into australia in the 80's and 90's .
     
  4. Belly

    Belly A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Picking up on the general resort mcomments posted by GnuDad, agree with the others, Marg Jackson thing looks like a bit of a beat up.

    As I've posted before I reckon Hanazono will be a bit of a white whale, well, there's no way I'd stay there rather than Hirafu. Why go to a place like Niseko, try to avoid crowds by staying out of the way at Hanazono and then ski with moderate crowds all day, may as well stay in the thick of it and enjoy the Apres. The white whale factor also because I think resort has hit its peak as far as numbers go, people like Janus who have been intro'd into Japan through Niseko but have now explored the other resorts will continue to do so to try and escape the crowds, get steeper terrain and more untracked (not that its hard to find at Niseko if you have half a brain).

    I said I wouldn't be back this year but it doesn't take much arm twisting from mates who haven't been before or want to go again, but 3 years in a row and I can sincerely say I'm almost over it (not to say the trips weren't epic, I love the place, its just if your paying good $$$ you start to get the feeling that you should be going other places, despite the snow being so good and reliable).

    Only other place I've been is 2 resorts in Canada so time to broaden horizons ($$$ permitting).
     
  5. Mangoes

    Mangoes First Runs

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    I'm a bit like Belly in that I have only ever been to 2 resorts in Canada other than Niseko and the Aussie resorts.

    Niseko this year was my first trip to Japan and I am planning to go back again next year, but after that I think I would like to see a few more places.

    I only recounted to the +1 a couple of days ago, that the trip fell like a 1980s bus trip. We bundled into a packed aircraft in Sydney only to be dumped out in Japan, shuttled by bus to Niseko and left to our own devices for 10 days then shuttled back to the airport,lined up like sheep along with loads of other aussie skiers and a few japanese, packed again into an aircraft and then tipped out in Sydney at the end.

    As far as seeing Japan, well I saw Chitose Airport, Niseko, Takigutchi Sports in Kutchan, the road to Sapporo, Sapporo Train Station and the Bic Camera Mart.

    Culturally I could have been in Thredbo, Canada or anywhere had it not been for the snow and Japanese school groups. As mentioned by someone else, some restaurants had no Japanese patrons, only aussies although at the Prince Hotel in Higashiyama it was the opposite with more Japanese than westerners.

    I have decided next year I am least going to go home via Tokyo so I can see some sites, unless of course my daughter who will be spending 3 weeks there, 1 week Tokyo and travelling, 2 weeks at school in Kyoto tells me it's not worth it, but I sure that won't be the case.

    As far as the Aussie influx/development, I personally don't think things will change too much in the next couple of years.

    My reasons being, people who have been there for the first time this year and have the resources to invest, might consider it, perhaps even going back again next to just to confirm their thoughts before committing.

    Some might jump in and throw the money down straight away, but I can't see a development of the size they are talking just popping up and running at full capacity in the next 12months.

    There could be some properties up and running but unless companies like Ski Japan package it all up tightly a lot of holiday travellers will still be looking for the full service backing of an established town like Hirafu.

    You already have a choice to stay out of the action at places like Annupuri and Higashiyama but I don't know of many aussies that did that, they mostly went to Hirafu.

    I think the reason most people have been drawn to Niseko is that they are naturally concerned about communicating their needs, particualy so if they head to a resort where little english is spoken or written.

    There will always be people who like the security of the aussie establishment in Niseko but as Belly said, others like Janus are nore adventurous and keen to experience what real Japan is like and will travel to many other places in search of pow so whilst a lot more might start to arrive there will be reasonable numbers heading elsewhere.
     
  6. trent78

    trent78 First Runs

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    Bic camera rocks!!! Myself and my girlfriend spent 5 days in Sapporo on the way home, each day we would go to Bic Camera and try the massage chairs. I love that place....

    What are the plans for Hanazono? is there a master plan in place? Is there plans for new lifts? I heard when in Niseko that they had plans of clearing trees (this is a bit ironic as they moto they use is "inspired by nature") and the plans for a pedestrian friendly village.
     
  7. Belly

    Belly A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    My understanding, no new lifts, 10,000 bed development. Refer crikey article previous page.
     
  8. MD3

    MD3 First Runs

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    I have heard that Niseko currently gets 3,000 Aussie visitors each season. This is forecasted to grow to 10,000 but not sure by when. Apparently big travel companies are moving in next season instead of sub-contracting to DPT or Ski Japan.
     
  9. trent78

    trent78 First Runs

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    One thing about the increased number of Aussie heading over is the Japanese who use the resort will prob go else where.
     
    #109 trent78, Feb 25, 2005
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  10. Powkeg

    Powkeg First Runs

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    I only got back on wed from a month in japan. Only 2 weeks of which I was snowboarding. 1 at Niseko and 1 at Hakuba (I did not enjoy my time there nearly as much as niseko) + a daytrip to Yuzawa. Had a great time travelling around Japan. Got down as far as Hiroshima, seeing Tokyo, Nagano, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya and plenty of other regional places in between. Bessho onsen near Nagano was a def highlight. I would def recommend getting a rail pass and checking out the country a bit. Tokyo was just an amazing place, just as you would expect the worlds biggest metropolitan area to be. Although I had a great time on snow in Japan the off snow stuff is just as memorable.
     
    #110 Powkeg, Feb 25, 2005
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  11. FATTWIT

    FATTWIT First Runs

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    This is definietely a cool thread! Intertesting how things have morphed from people going to Japan now to people coming back from Japan. Unreal - people are actually thinking about how things might be next year, and how they might expand their experience.

    The aussie thing at Hanazono is interesting of course, but I think more of an opportunity than a threat. Where else can one go in the world (let's leave the powder out of it for the minute) where a new ski town might just emerge ? Or should we all just retreat back to wherever our Best Last Skitown was. Maybe Thredbo is worlds best practice!

    The problem with Niseko is that once someone discovers the full meal deal, no-one will ever leave. Fattwins reckons it is too flat, but he(she) is wrong - I got caught in a (minor) slide yesterday.

    Niseko has one problem - not a girlie place. Lot'sa guys going powder skiing, not many resort babes. That has to change!

    Must admit though, and Fattwins is right in what he promotes, why in the hell go anywhere else in the world than Japan! It actually snows in Japan (espacially in Hokkaido) and you get a snow holiday.

    What if going skiing in Japan becomes the same as going on holiday to Bali ? (look forward to the precious responses).
     
  12. solo

    solo First Runs

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    It's funny/sad reading through all these posts...

    I was in Niseko for a season when there were only 150 westerners all season thats 10 white people per week for the duration of the season. It was still a truly cultural experience... there were no Aussies in any of the restaurants and none of the signs or menus were in English. We would ride the trees all day long without seeing a single track from anyone!!! Oh the horror! The peak would stay untracked for a week if it stopped snowing but of course it never did. We never had cause to venture as far as LaPonte because the freshest tracks of our lives were up the first chair we hopped on. Sad how things have changed. Sort of like the Pass at Byron. Can you imagine what that wave was like before the crowds??? Anyone that says its not a bummer the changes that have occured in Niseko just wasn't there to experience how amazing it was before the crowds.

    I'm super bummed that people come back and say it's like Bali.
     
  13. gortonator

    gortonator One of Us

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    do it Belly - the world is full of wonderful places to ski/ride

    Just got back from first trip in Lech/St Anton. Was amazed at how many people said 'this is our Nth trip here - we don't go anywhere else'. Mostly poms admittedly, but man, great place that it is, get a life and explore.
     
    #113 gortonator, Feb 27, 2005
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  14. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Just take a look at the terrain at niseko and at hakuba. #1 niseko is half the height. #2 has 1% of the terrain that hakuba has. So you really cant compare it.

    Janus hit Tsugaike hard the other day. We could get lines that we were dreaming of 2 weeks ago. pow was thigh to waist in the 2 areas that you liked the most. The chute slid 30 meters wide with a 50cm crown on the traverse in. Scary as I got caught in large debris and wrap myself around a tree to hang on. Do you remember when you could see the big chute beside our chute? From where you could see that chute it cracked and flowed into the chute. we got the heck outta there fast man. we talked it over and slid out one by one.

    Then did ak style lines at happo on sunday crazy steep open faces you would have loved it.
     
    #114 fattwins, Feb 28, 2005
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  15. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Nice, back at work now, it's too painful to be thinking about skiing....need another coffee..
     
  16. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Am thinking seriously about booking the first 'shoulder' rated flight to Tokyo for late February 2005 to hit Hakuba for a few weeks, will continue to give it serious consideration, have to see how much skiing I do in Aus this season.
     
  17. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    ill pop a new journal up onto SJ later tonite.

    Man it was so good out there. That steep line that you took a double header on while flimming was just sice deep. double dropping in there was full on nuts.
     
  18. Stevie Baby

    Stevie Baby First Runs

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    Everybody,

    Lessons learned from going to Niseko Hirafu.

    1) Snowave did not warn me about skijapan handling the action on the Niseko end. This resulted in the following conversation: "Are you with skijapan?" "No, I'm with snowave." "Right! You are with skijapan, follow me."

    2) It is cold in Niseko, much much colder than mount buller. You can freeze your tits off in -18C when 40 kmh winds are blowing, thank god for the 1000m hut.

    3) Food in Niseko is soo much more expensive than food in Sapporo.

    4) Too many aussies. Conversations like this. "The re is a lot of snow today, dont you think? " "Oh you speak english, pretty well." "Just enough to survive in Australia." "You are from Australia??" "I from Melbourne" "We are from Sydney." If I got a dollar for everytime I am mistaken for a local (japanese) then my trip to Niseko would be paid off.

    5) The local japanese not only understand english, in 5 years time, they will swear in english too!

    6) Skinny 62mm skis do not work well in deep deep powder snow.

    7) Who design the lift system in Niseko hirafu? I have to go uphill to get on the next lift? CRAZY!!!

    8) Going from hirafu to higashiyama via the mountain top is difficult when the visibility is very low and strong winds are blowing. God help you is you get lost because the local ski patrol will not. Especially if you are doing it for the first time.

    9) Bring your own vegemite.

    10) Be sure to drop in to visit Hanky-sama in Hanky's Pantry (otherwise known as Hank's Bar).
     
  19. trent78

    trent78 First Runs

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    "Best skiing I've ever done", first thing my boss said this morning when he walked in the door after being in Japan last week!

    Add another Aussie to visit next year!
     
  20. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Japan blows the socks off people cause it snows from dec to mid march. then it is big mountain fun time
     
  21. janus

    janus One of Us

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    You heading up again this weekend?
     
  22. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Did anyone partake of some heavily bearded clam in Japan?
     
  23. trent78

    trent78 First Runs

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    How'd you go?
     
    #123 trent78, Mar 1, 2005
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  24. girl running

    girl running First Runs

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    well, you did better than me. i was with skijapan, but they told me i wasn't. i had to ring the head office of value tours [my agent] to find out that i actually was, and then sprint the length of chitose airport to catch up with them before they left. :p

    but the booze at the seikomart is cheaper. [​IMG]
     
    #124 girl running, Mar 1, 2005
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  25. trent78

    trent78 First Runs

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    Yeah but food is still dirt cheap compared with Aussie resorts!
     
    #125 trent78, Mar 1, 2005
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  26. janus

    janus One of Us

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    And a hell of a lot better tasting!
     
    #126 janus, Mar 1, 2005
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  27. trent78

    trent78 First Runs

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    If you were to buy crab on rice in Oz, you prob pay $25 and the crab would have been caught 6 months earlier....

    Niseko - $12 and fresh too...
     
  28. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmm...crab ramen :doh:
     
  29. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Tonester, you gotta put some clips up dude, it's been ages!
     
  30. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Janus im putting the next video together today and if I can ill shrink it to email size
     
  31. vako

    vako First Runs

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    Didn't quite get the pow we got last year but Tinkus and I thought it was acceptable [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #131 vako, Mar 1, 2005
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  32. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    I vote with janus and the vids must keep on coming. janus is there a way to keep the vids of the past linked to the top page at all times. Now that is a job woeth doing. the next vid is done but its big again will post a bunch because of that.
     
  33. Tinkus

    Tinkus First Runs

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    nice post vako, I look quite good on those pics and you even came out ok, even with that big neck warmer on. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #133 Tinkus, Mar 2, 2005
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  34. Tinkus

    Tinkus First Runs

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    Janus no luck here!

    But I did see beaver in 4 different levels of coverage at the combined onsen (thanks to snow wave tour guide). That was a special moment in time.

    The beavers were
    1st girl was full wax :evil:
    3rd & 4th girls were true natural Belanglo Forest girls. [​IMG] [​IMG] , Serious WIPPER SNIPPER needed on those ones.
     
    #134 Tinkus, Mar 2, 2005
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  35. janus

    janus One of Us

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    hahahha, my theory is this;

    You see alot of females in Japan walking around in miniskirts in the middle of winter, as a natural defence mechanism to the cold their "beavers" have developed more "fur".

    FT - don't think there's any way to do that, unless we had a seperate thread which was locked - ie. no posting allowed. Then the page would always be the same..
     
  36. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    I shamefully agree [​IMG] . Like I said in another post, I'm teaching myself some Final Cut....'cause I want to make me a mini Warren Miller movie [​IMG] . So I've been taking more time than I originally planned. And the more I learn Final Cut the more tricky things I want to do....it'll be overkill for sure.

    Oh...and did I mention that work is getting in the way??

    Anyway, I promise....some clips up within 36 hours.....or it's great dishonour for me (insert Japanese smiley here)
     
    #136 Tonester, Mar 2, 2005
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  37. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Is there any chance you can get me a copy of Final Cut? I've been using Window's movie maker, and it's pretty crap, it seems to reduce the video frame rate or something so the footage gets a little jumpy..
     
  38. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    That would be illegal and unethical. PM me

    Only works on Mac though
     
  39. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Oh, right, I'm using a XP Windows machine, cheers anyway. [​IMG]
     
    #139 janus, Mar 2, 2005
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  40. stuntt

    stuntt First Runs

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    Fattwins : is that video of that second huck out in the open yet?

    the first one was good times but would be crazy to see from behind.

    [​IMG]
     
    #140 stuntt, Mar 2, 2005
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  41. Mangoes

    Mangoes First Runs

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    Janus

    Have you tried Ulead Video Studio??

    The +1 took a bit of video in Japan and managed to cut the skiing bits out as a bunch of separate mpg files and even overlaid some soundtrack, on his first attempt with the software.

    I'll ask him to drop a copy of one on my machine and upload it for viewing

    If I remember it came bundled with a firewire card that we threw in the pc.
     
  42. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    the second huck is kicking around but I cant get it yet. maybe in 2 weeks but then it will be good stoke for next year. the jump itself has broken. the tree dropped its snow in the last rain which is too bad. maybe next year.
     
  43. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    u lead is a great programme
     
  44. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    a big system is loading up everywhere might be good almost anywhere.
     
  45. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  46. Siddhartha

    Siddhartha First Runs

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    As big as that big, fat b@stard that hit at the end of Janaury and lasted for about 9 days?
     
    #146 Siddhartha, Mar 7, 2005
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  47. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    nah but it did dump 50cms up high and 20cms the next day
     
  48. Siddhartha

    Siddhartha First Runs

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    Cheers for the Evergreen recommendation by the way fattwins. Had a good day with them.
     
  49. fattwins

    fattwins One of Us

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    Who took you out? I work there Part Time to study off of Dave good guy that he is.
     
  50. AJC13B

    AJC13B First Runs

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Messages:
    333
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    Location:
    Sydney
    Where do I go next year?

    Hakuba or Niseko?

    Myself and the better half are intermediate with advanced leanings, I board and she can ski and board, though stronger on skis.

    Little help? [​IMG]

    As for Niseko this year...GOOD GOD! [​IMG] :thumbs:
     
    #150 AJC13B, Mar 14, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013