Okayama Japan Travel Overview on #SustainableTravelJapan

+ from: Okayama Super Fan / dept of propaganda ≠

I was a guest on JJ Walsh Seeking Sustainability live talk show (sept 27, 2021) during a special week about tourism in Setouchi/Chugoku region talking about dear forever home Okayama.

Topics were varied – from Bizen pottery to art islands to custom Kojima denim to grateful goats and most points in between – banter was amusing (she does great research) and spectacles on point 🙂

Hope i represented well for spirit of Momotaro as i name-checked favourites aspects of living in the “Goldilocks of Japan” ™. Spoiler: my *not-secret* fave is Rural Caprine Farm. Also name checks for Mac Kobayashi & Amy Chavez ++ so many locals businesses & destinations including Katsuyama, Maniwa, various ~shima, the Market & the mystery of Momotaro & utility access covers (Pokéman).

Do consider sitting down with a leisurely beverage and hanging out. Eager to hear what you think.

The effervescent host and Inbound Ambassador said the following:

Continue reading Okayama Japan Travel Overview on #SustainableTravelJapan

Art Makes the Future / 6 Poets at 6 Gallery

Oct 7, 1955, San Francisco

{Of course, much has been written and documented this, however I’ll be uncharacteristically brief}, ergo:

How to change the world

  • Rally up creative pals
  • Post some easy flyers
  • Gather in a space with others
  • No charge (pass a hat for jugs of wine)
  • Spark the future

{Primer: Oct 7, 1955 / The list of poets reading included Allen Ginsberg (debut Howl), Gary Snyder, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure and Kenneth Rexroth.

Others merely observed > Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Neal Cassady and Ann Charters were among the large audience at Six Gallery.}

Post’d: Trains & Trams (& carriage interiors), mostly in Nagasaki

Fired up the printer last night, with two kinds of paper and 12 or 15 different designs with trains and trams/street cars in & around Nagasaki – plus another “bonus series” of symmetrical views of vanishing point in train interiors.

So many cute trams & trains in Nagasaki, plus some other treats which seemed to want to find a way into the world

Turned out so well! The trick is getting all the crops and the captions on the back just right as well as no/borders and choosing appropriate paper from extensive assortment. In this case, some are on thick watercolor paper, others done on glossy or thinner paper with a little white border which might get a crinkle cut.

Now comes the part where I diligently & specifically choose who gets which one, which stamp (Note: i generally over pay the postage in order to get the better designs on the 84¥ stamps) & which pen to use. Yes I’m very enjoyably overthink all of it.

You can see the same designs on different paper with different borders

I did let my doctor today choose first from the whole stash and enjoyed telling him the back story -– down to the nuanced detail – of the one he chose / indeed this photo has so much backstory to me – From Pender to Newfoundland to Nepal. I’ll tell you sometime if you ask.

Dr chose this one which holds such meaning for me with memories & boots from Pender to Newfoundland to Pokhara to Nagasaki

Made some extras so If you’re feeling a little blue or done something particularly nice out there in the world or, I don’t know, like a birthday or something, sign up for the postal club and I’ll see if I can’t get one coming your way… Always trying to catch up, I’m sort of trying my best 🙂

Of course the smart folks sign up for the “postcard as a service“ for a new unique piece of art every month / Surprise every month &/or blanks to send to pals / totally worth it #Endorsement

daveostory.com/shop/

I assume each of them will be passed down through generations. Fck disposable, make art.

Diary: Minor expeditions (library, hospital etc) & phone + the future

Minor expedition ~ libraries feel like home to me… When I first arrived in my new home city, this was a frequent sequestration but it’s been well over a year, so i felt a bit dizzy from all the possibilities (plus I just finished some medical treatment which spins me out).

Anyhow, I didn’t bring anything home – got kind of too much on the go right now – but Ryoko filled up a satchel including topics around horticulture, charcoal making, vinegar, bamboo, various food things and plant things, the usual.

We also had a small snack at the embedded café – They have a really nice curved couch however it was occupied.

PS Noticed a bag for sale saying “you are absolutely necessary“ which, obviously you are.

Backtracking: Sept 30 was hospital check-in day so that means I put on the fancy shoes and take a snap to share… The van Gogh starry night socks aren’t necessarily the best color match but I think the pen ties it all together. Thoughts?

And yes, did get an egg salad sandwich variety pack from the embedded 7-Eleven while we waited.

Just another payphone I didn’t make a call from. I don’t have the cards nor do I know any phone numbers – however, I do appreciate that these devices exist and are well-maintained, clean and magnificent. The industrial design on them is so fantastic. It’s a sort of “peak Japan“ mixing digital and analog, materials & lines.

This photo sparked some reminiscence from other Japan residents in times past when payphones were critical utility, i.e.:

GL says, “Yeah handy too use as a guitar tuner back in the 1900’s. The dial tone is a F . Not the most convenient reference tone but it works to get you tuned up with the rest of the world 🎸”

MB says, “An international Japanese pay phone! The Rolls Royce version compared to their lesser green domestic call only cousins. These grey phones and their locations were coveted and noted when I was a student in Japan though I couldn’t afford to phone card pay for many calls back to Canada where a short call would cost me 1000 yen.”

JW says, “Yeah, I still remember in the early 90s when I first visited here, an international call could cost as much as 500 yen per minute. Later callback services became popular where you would ring a foreign trigger number and hang up (no charge) and the service would call you back and you’d dial the real number you wanted to call, without paying NTT for the privilege, at a much lower rate. Then I could call Los Angeles cheaper than a domestic call from Kanto to Kansai.”

I offer, “Plus having to trudge through the snow to a pay phone at some strange hour to try to contact a friend in another time zoneNow such luxury to blab on endlessly in pyjamas, from home, no cost (with video) seems 25 years changed a centuries worth.”

++ In general (I’ve been meaning to do a video spiel about this) Japan is so different than what I showed up 25 years ago on the mushroom farm and hitchhiked around, I mean, of course places change but there’s a few foundational things that are very different (as well as the massively impactful overarching demographic and economic trends).

I think the next 20 years as my little guy grows up here are really going to be incredible to watch and be part of.

Hey Cam, its your 50th birthday

“Hey Cam, its your 50th birthday, as such, i’ve got a lot to say”

My pal Cameron Uganec of Lynn Valley hit 50 so i made a spoken-song-arts-and-crafts-thing / its not long because he suggests “brevity is key” so i tried to not ramble on as per usual – making a “Ramones-sized song”.

Sharing here so i remember the fun making this for a great pal including: my Mom’s heavy duty pinking shears; Dymo labeller; scribbling “lyric and chord” writing; and a pink insta-camera + mighty hat a’la Richard Brautigan (made in Utah), and a Royal Stewart tartan jacket.

Thanks for being a top-notch gent Cam (and always driving and getting coffee etc).

Diary: Nuts, Seeds, Ballots, Cards + soup

Really not very consequential or interesting regardless…

Not only is it the best peanut butter in the world, I get free shipping and it’s great for storage jars

Several “life administration“ tasks on the list today including: a USA ballot (WA state); call to IRS (can’t I just fax them?); same-ish with CRA (will do that by postal letter I think); plus putting a variety of different nuts and seeds in peanut butter jars. Yes, my peanut butter consumption really pays off with extra jars. Think I will do that job first.

Various port commissioner and city Council positions, I sometimes recuse myself from voting but always submit my ballot in gratitude for the excellent service from Washington state secretary of state

Update: US ballot done, and various nuts/seeds/etc. put into jars (Next to the tiny dried fish)

Looks so lovely next to that jar of tiny dried fish for soup stock

Also sortganized my supplements for the next fortnight.

It’s a whole scientific system and do it for a few months, lacking a few magic potions which would put it over the top but impact is well noted

Not quite up for tax forms at the moment so going to fold some laundry and meditate on it.

Continue reading Diary: Nuts, Seeds, Ballots, Cards + soup

Healing: Laundry & Unrest

Lots of action and activities and errands last Monday, makes the heart and head happy but the body can’t quite stay/catch up so went into #mecfs “crash mode” on tuesday – though I’ve stumbled through this for so many years now, it never gets easier / such pain and unrest and confusion – kinda like epic jet lag plus hangover plus flu and a kick in the head/gut/kneecap all at the same time #NonScientificAnalysis

Blanket note: Master Artist Bill Reid design / collab with canadian national history museum / wedding gift from pal Kemp Edmonds.

Slowly coming back to life on Wednesday – enough to wash the dishes and fold the laundry. I really enjoy folding laundry except for fitted sheets. I would investigate the proper technique but I really don’t need another obsession 🙂

Noting I am writing this annotation on Canada’s first national Day of truth and reconciliation (on which I made appropriate donations to express my solidarity in a practical manner as well as lighting incense or metaphysical support)

Tomorrow is usual check-in with the neurologist at the city hospital.

Memo: With my weird illness (though hardly *uncommon*) there’s no usual treatment path but the check-ins keeps me in the system as well as acquiring minor medication to help smooth out the edges (ditched all the heavy duty medication some years ago – more pain but more brain).

PS with the onset of “long-haul C 19” illness it’s suddenly given a lot more awareness, research, science towards my nuanced chronic viral infection which presents some of the similar symptoms

Anyhow, just wanted to share the simple pleasure of folded laundry. No big deal, I roll-on, just floating it out there in solidarity with other folks who are primarily homebodies due to physical constraints which can feel a little challenging as people are getting out and about a bit more

Yard Projects: Tsuchida Weather Station, broadcasting + QR codes

Set up real time weather reporting from Tsuchida “Station” Okayama, Japan with a white-label outdoor station. Check in for hi, low, UV, rain, humidity, wind etc.

Here’s Fujita-san installing it on a 2+ meters long concrete mounted tree, properly aligned to Cardinal directions

Was a gift for father-in-law who always likes to check him in on these things but with the local weather report coming from the airport which is some distance away, this is a lot more fun and accurate.

A bit clugey but now uploading data to:
WeatherCloud &/or
Ecowitt

Any weather enthusiasts have others to suggest? Both of the above have rather lacking integrations :(

Continue reading Yard Projects: Tsuchida Weather Station, broadcasting + QR codes

Diary: Archival Cabinets, Dirt, Kissaten & Espresso

Picked up a mighty cabinet unit from a crazy junk shop down the road apiece. {The old fella and the lady was so surprised to see my adorable wife driving the k-truck and tying cool trucker knots to secure the load. Yeah she’s the coolest}.

Ryoko’s rig – i love being her sidekick, rolling country roads with a tied down load

plan: Gonna replace these open book shelves on the right (photo below). The new cabinet has glass front doors so I can put in de-humidification packets to control the humidity to keep my fancy collectible books safe and sound.

Don’t worry, the air conditioner is positioned well in front of the stereo and records

Then, will get rid of these shtty IKEA shelves (which are about to collapse under the weight of the books & the records anyway).

The trick is going to be getting this unit up the steep kura stairs as it’s quite heavy. The current crappy shelves attached to the wall with L brackets and all the books and artifacts will need to be thoughtfully removed… This takes some thinking and a friend (Hi Ted!)

We had the home center all to ourselves with attentive staff helping us load up the truck

Also picked up buncha soil, manure, etc stuff for Ryoko’s job site tomorrow. #arborist #landscapedesign

Take a spin, I personally am not qualified to operate motor vehicles at this point in my life

Oh & a quirky bric a brac laden kissaten lunch (with a friendly owner and a variety of bikes and scooters around despite his very limited eyesight, all in a giant dog have a breed I have no reference of).

Clearly a lot of love went into this machine. I wish the coffee shop had a seat other than one rustic wooden bench… Like aesthetically I get it but a little bit of cozy is nice

Finally a stop fancy espresso at an almost too hip coffee roaster with a gorgeous machine which must require diligent maintenance and elegant repairs.

Overall come out way way too much for me in one day but sometimes when the opportunities are there, you gotta do *all of the things* even if it means a couple of recovery days. Life goes on, and I want to be part of it.

Post’d: Tea & Ink + metaphors of knives & telegrams

The important part is to enjoy tea {and the tools} +

Series of 9

Bound for the post office forthwith (tomorrow is a holiday in Japan hence closed) with a new batch for (some of) the “postcard as a service” subscribers… Each handmade on washi paper with ink sketches of different elements used in tea ceremony with specific narrative on the back.

Yep, 9 indeed

Just think: If all these folks got together one day, each with their card in hand, together they would have a (in)complete guide book to tea ceremony ;)

The tea cards anointed with these most wonderful Japanese remixed woodblock print stamps

[Update] Arrived at my favorite little post office, Shinogoze, with 11 minutes before closing the day before a holiday – they were, as always, excited to see my new creations – rather surprised that I make these things mail all over – and indulge me picking out *just the right* stamps + managed to squeeze up a few quick snapshots before they went into the chute of adventure.

The bonus/sundry assortment where adorned with the cute little Postal bear off on an adventure in England it seems

Bonus round: A few from the standard and experimental stacks also went out for various purposes including:

* train station in Tripunnithura, Kerala India (going back to India) & * post boxes in Kathmandu (foreign, domestic, regional) – in memorium

* telegrams (concerning roast beef, smoking jacket and a barman named Sunday) from the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia / protip: find the poem written from this very experience elsewhere in this archive (snap too #evidence)

On the left is from DT Suzuki Zen Museum in Kanazawa, on the right is from Yumeji museums in Okayama / Both adorned with far more expensive stamp than necessary for the postal rain but seem to really fit the aesthetics. What is a few yen between magicians anyway?

* Two very important health of various kinds of practitioners celebrate birthdays (constantly enough, the same age milestone) and though they’ve been in close navigation to each other, I’ve never met… Anyway, pulled from the high value/not by me file for special wishes & gratitude

* assortment of pocket knives (with metaphor included) and even more metaphor with the importance of Scaffolding in most any construction/project, so often forgotten, no matter how sturdy (on a enotepad from some government office)

Get in on the fun, 2 ways:

Free/Occasional/Random/Fun; https://daveostory.com/more-daveo/postal-club/

Deluxe Postcard subscription & shop: https://daveostory.com/shop/

Post’d: not *these* postcards right now, these are gone, but next are…

Aside: Paralympic stamps are already disappeared from the post office along with all other evidence of the recent Olympics around Japan. It’s not a happy feeling in general despite all the shiny shiny performances

Sharing this August batch so a recent new penpal in India can see some Paralympics stamps from Tokyo2020/1 > love the big stacks! sending vibes out to so many.

September series are thick textured tactile washi paper with ink drawings of tea ceremony items / you can get in on the goodtimes / priceless + putting “fun” into fungible.

Bits of inspiration for September’s postcard as a service assortment

Typhoon Weather and Usual Days

Possibly – no Probably – the best worst video you’ll *maybe* watch today. Likely only with lounge-y, vaguely annotated Ramones on baritone ukulele anyhow + Gord Lightfoot if you get that far.

Typhoon Weather and Usual Days

After catching up on the laundry, making tomato soup, washing dishes and tidying up the carport, Dave checks in with a bit of ukulele and gratitude for friends who pick up phones &/or send messages, books and quilts when bit blue from “the illness” which is *a challenge* – and through it all, mixing in a little bit of Ramones and Gordon Lightfoot and the usual stuff about Post offices and making fermented items while trying to be a good papa to a wonderful nursery schooler and hubbo to a delightful arborist and diligent landscaper. 

Ryoko’s stone approach project #evidence
serious about tomato soup and various other items

mixed-media art library, global diary, project dossier and whole life documentation