Thanks for the recipe suggestions! I tried the NapaBars, with a little variation on the theme because I only have a very hard-working toaster oven (ovens are pretty much unheard of in apartments here). They turned out pretty yummy though - so much so that many of them were consumed in my apartment and not on my bike!!!!! As for interesting Japanese power food, there is plenty to try. My boyfriend is a surfer and swears by his morning natto . This would be an icky, sticky bowl of fermented soybeans which smell like an old sock, taste like burned coffee and feel like chewing a big wad of snot. It's supposed to be mega-healthy. Hey, whatever. I can't deny that it's growing on me, but I still need the comfort of my energy bars during this transition period!

I went trail riding last Sunday near a town called Kameoka. Super hilly, super muddy and super fun! (Typhoon season is making th trails nice n' juicy!)

New obssession: finding a used BMX to use for riding around town. How awesome!

One more recommendation? My dad will be visiting me soon with a big bag full of things I want. English books are high on the list. Can anyone recommend a good maintenence manual, kind of DIY thing that I could ask my dad to pick up? Thanks!!!!