A couple weeks ago I came to Bic Camera in Ikebukuro to get a watch strap for my Seiko Solar. I never really liked the old band, so was glad I found a new one. It changes the look of the watch completely and looks infinitely better (I think).

On the way to the stairs I passed by Bic’s eyeglass selection (which is awesome, if you care to know). And a pair of the most amazing blue Oakley frames leapt out at me, calling my name!

I wanted another pair of “old eye glasses” because sometimes I forget them at home or work and then I’m screwed until the next day. But I wanted something colorful. And the frames need to be angled for the occidental face, not the oriental face.

Which is a hella hard combination to get in Japan. Foreign frames that are not black, and angled for our cro-magnon faces.

But I found them!!

So I bought them.

And because they are Oakley, they come with cool technology: an extra inner frame to switch out. Just pop up the nose piece, extract the inner frame, switch it with the other frame and you are set to go.

One set of inner frames has my reading prescription. The other set has sunglass lenses that darken when in the sun. Now I don’t have to carry around two sets of frames when I’m ootnaboot.

I get a lot of positive comments on these frames. I like them. A lot.

Now I just have to deal with the fingerprints I get on them whenever I switch them out.

I love you!


Long Time Off the Radar

It is incredible how many things have happened in the past year. A whirlwind of activity. Firstly I went to Canada last July. While there my brother died suddenly and very unexpectedly. Then I moved out under circumstances I will leave for private, and got divorced in November. I moved again at the end of the year to a permanent location. In February of this year my father died of esophageal adenocarcinoma. It was ugly and ripped him apart.

Life goes on, of course, and we do the best to improve the positive energy around us. There is far too much negative energy these days in the world and that, I am certain, is causing all the weird stuff we are seeing globally, governmentally and otherworldly (just thought I'd throw that in because three is better than two).

Updated and using the latest updated app which is why I chose to write this little post.

And yeah, that really is me as a rabbit with a pink moustache. At work. On "Open Office Day" when employees with kids, brought kids.

Keep on living, loving, and being grateful for life.

I love you!

Cthulu Meets the Old Testament

Last night’s very strange dream was brought to you by a large glass of Maker’s Mark and two episodes of “Vikings”, just before bed. 
Dad made a very brief cameo appearance. He was driving his truck and Tug and I were passengers. Dad pulled over to the side of the road so he could jump out and drop off a letter in the post box. Upon doing that, an old friend of Dad’s (a dwarf??) jumped in and put the truck in drive, then slid over to the passenger’s seat and sat placidly with a smile on his face. 
I had to quickly scramble over into the front and take control of the steering. As usually happens when dreams go weird, the break wouldn’t work so the truck kept creeping forward. 
From here on in it became…. something akin to Cthulu Meets the Old Testament. 
As I was turning into Oakland Ave (near M&D’s home), a herd of prehistoric …. zebras ran by, almost crushing the truck. Then there were these things that looked like horses, of a sort, but they had eyeless heads on both ends and could move in either direction. Flying turtles with bloody vampire fangs, OZ monkey horde warriors, fish that walked upright and smoked Sherlock Holmes pipes… you name it, I tried to avoid being hit by it. 
The street was choked with these things that looked like they had escaped from Noah’s Ark, running wild and free as if they had taken their bra off for the first time in their lives and realized how liberating Free Willy really was. 
I wanted to make a left turn and head back to get Dad but the road was clogged with construction so all I could do was either go straight or turn right, and further away. I had hoped for one left turn available so I could get back to Dad. 
My phone was Japanese so I couldn’t call him and I didn’t recall his phone number anyway. I just kept wondering what the hell I was going to say when we got back; would I wimp out and blame everything on his friend? Or would I suck it up and take the blame? No time to think! The truck wouldn’t stop creeping forward, no matter how hard I pumped the mushy brakes. Tug was sleeping soundly over the emergency hand brake so I couldn’t use that either. The stick was stuck in D and refused to budge, until it finally snapped off from my efforts. The dwarf sat silently all the while, with a happy smile on his face, taking in the scenery. He too refused to budge. 
Suddenly a triathlon group of cyclists turned into the road and started screaming for us to stop (even though we had the right of way). When one bike finally squeezed past, there were two people on the bike; one and a half to be precise. The primary cyclist was an ordinary person in neon-coloured triathlon lycra, but there was another half man (as in nothing below the rib cage half man) strapped to the handlebars. He was waving a tourist group flag with a look of frustration and surprise on his face, as if he were acting as the pace car in a Formula One race that had gotten too far ahead of the pack and found itself unexpectedly in the lead position. His frustration came from navigating the construction, traffic, my truck, and of course the beasts that filled every available space. 
I never got back to Dad. 
But I did get to the bathroom at 3:30 am for a pee. What a relief!

Successfully flying by the seat of my t-back gotch

Today was Far Away University. 
I had my physical checkup which they offer for free to the men today and the women last week. I added the prostate cancer check because of my age, but am not too terribly worried due to the previous “vigorous masturbation” admission. 
No food after 10pm was rough.
Oh, eye doc said yesterday, after digging around in my eyeball, that laser surgery area looks good but there are several other areas on the retina that are very thin and not held firmly in place so they could tear in the future. I am supposed to avoid boxing, elbows to the eyeball, direct punches to the face from girlfriends or wives, or vigorous rubbing of my eyeball. Other than that I may exercise again and vigorous masturbation is back on the OK list.  
I digress. I am hungry. 
The students (most) handed in their assignment. I was glad. The first time they completely forgot to do it. All. Of. Them. The second time they just cut and pasted stuff from the internet. Not. What. I. Wanted. So I took responsibility for that one and explained it differently. 
Assignment: Think of five topics related to Singapore. Write them in English. Then think deeply about what kind of business you would do in Singapore with those ideas. Write a lot of info in Japanese. Finally pick up important words in your Japanese language idea and write them down in English. 
Finally they got it and most submitted. “A lot of info in Japanese” turned out to be one or two bullet point semi-sentences in their own native language. Later on you will understand why I mention this here. 
Next I did the following on the fly as I wanted to take it further. Thinking by the seat of my t-back gotch one might say. 
I went through their assignments and listed one or two ideas from each page that I found interesting. 
Then we voted on the most possible to succeed. Every student could vote a max of four times. Most didn’t raise their hand more than once or twice. 

I picked the top three choices and we voted again, most interesting business. 
The winner was, as you can see in the image, “Foreign Business Support” business. 
Pretty cool. 
And then I took it another step and told them that I will put this on the final exam as a test question. They will have to write five sentences, not just words. There are many more weeks until the final exam so they should have lots of time to research, plan, think, and create their sentences. They should come to me to ask me for advice regarding words, grammar, phrases, logic, etc. On exam day I noted to them all that I therefore expect them to get perfect marks on this exam question. 
The second activity was to watch “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, over and over and over. And to conduct several activities related to that simple, simple, simple story. In one exercise they needed to draw lines between pictures and words. One word was porridge and that went to a Bowl of porridge. 
I decided to run with it because it frustrates me that so many Japanese people express themselves in one or two words, and rarely go into more imaginative descriptions. I had ENDLESS struggles with this in my previous “real world experience” as well. Explaining things with more creativity just “did not compute”. So I ran with this as well and started to explain that porridge is extremely boring. Hot porridge is marginally less boring. A bowl of hot porridge is getting better. A large, piping hot bowl of steaming oatmeal porridge with whole milk and brown sugar is starting to sound mouth watering and when you make it organic, and add fresh, cut fruit you are finally talking about something that deserves to be eaten. I gave some simple examples and then I described… coffee (see image).
I want them all to understand that once they get in the business world (they are all in the Department of Business Management), just responding at meetings with one or two words. Will. Fail. They need to develop thinking skills. In their own language. Expressing ideas and opinions. In their own language. So many lack that here. 
Q: “What do you think about XXX?” 

A: “Sou desu ne.” 
…….. (end of opinion).
(Most of you know too well how this would drive me nuts).
Finally I talked to two students who do nothing but surf the internet, look at antique Nissan Skyline photos and prices, change their background images to good looking female Japanese tarento, etc. and never listen. A real “man to man talk”. Yep. Man to man-child is much more like it, but I don’t want people to think I’m bragging about my youthful, boyish good looks or anything like that. * wink *

I’m beat. 
It was a good day. 

I love you!
On the train home…..

A GeoDate w/ Turbo-7

Today I met a fellow geocacher, Turbo-7. We had made a GeoDate three weeks ago for this day. He drove for two hours to meet me at my station at 09:00. We had coffee and then rode around picking up my caches in the area. It was a great day.
We even found one cache I have been looking for, for a couple of years so yay!

I enjoyed everything except the feeling of wanting to tear out my eyeballs and wash them in acid, then drink and snort the acid to get rid of the tremendously powerful cedar pollen allergy.   

GeoVisitation Rights

I am on the train home from Kakogawa, western Japan. I went out Friday evening to spend the weekend with my good friend Rob. Although I arrived about 23:00 to his station he was kind enough to come and get me, rather than leave me out in the cold to fend for myself. 
On Saturday we fleshed out some ideas pertaining to the next “mini conference” that Rob would like to plan for his students. We came up with some pretty good ideas, and as Rob is an intelligent man, I am confident that the program will be a success. 

We went for a very early dinner to a “beer hall” kind of place, as we were both quite hungry and then headed back to his lovely home and family around 18:00. I spent some time talking with Junko as we ate leftovers for dinner, and then had a shower and promptly fell asleep around 22:30. I must be getting old…

Today we took Rob’s son out for some geocaching in the area, and found eight to 10 caches in total. We found all we searched for, which was very nice,  so that Rob’s son did not have to experience the disappointment of “the  dreaded DNF” at such an impressionable, young age.

We had a late lunch (15:00) at Coco Ichibanya, and then Rob dropped me off at the train station for my trip home. I am currently on the Shinkansen and should arrive at Tokyo Station just before 20:00. Please do say hello if our paths happen to cross. 

It was a very pleasant weekend and I look forward to visiting Rob et. al, again in the near future.




Yugawara Getaway

Hiroko and I had a very nice overnight break away from Tokyo at Manazuru and Yugawara Onsen in Kanagawa Prefecture. Mountains and forest and sea, oh my!
We got off the train at Manazuru and took a bus to Manazuru Cape, where these first photos were taken. Then we walked to Yugawara Onsen station and took a bus up to the hotel. We walked the 5km down and rented eBikes for three hours and toodled around the town. Then we caught an afternoon train home. Perfect weather. 
There were NO geocaches in this area! I was shocked because the scenery and the history is fantastic. I hope someone sets a whole bunch of them there one day (2.5hrs by train is a wee bit far for me to do maintenance on them so I will leave it to someone else. )
A special thanks to Yuko for recommending this lovely location!