Category Archives: Daveo Dispatches

personal updates, thoughts, anecdotes, letters, and other missives – written for myself and sometimes for others

Mending: sweaters and jeans with sashiko-style, kimono and obi + patches

Some sewing / mending projects with brief notes

Part one: handle cover for a hot water kettle (previously had kind of straw wrap cover which was burning out)

Now, brocade edging (used for tatami mats’ edging I think) with a sort of blanket stitch with sturdy waxed twine/thread

Update: looked super cute but fabris included synthetic which melted and so now is removed

Part two: a pair of #Uniqlo jeans, surprisingly lasted since *at least* 2016 Now repaired sashiko-esque style with repurposed kimono/OB cloth & embroidery floss {2 views}

Update: awesome! The fabric is very thick and a bit inflexible at first and is definitely stronger than the rest of the jeans but that’s how it goes, eventually the scraps and the patches become the clothes if you know what I mean

Part three: similar to part two, #Uniqlo jeans, – previously repaired, but with some parts using iron on tape :(

Continue reading Mending: sweaters and jeans with sashiko-style, kimono and obi + patches

Healing: hospital day with doo-wop, muffin, and a rock

At a café awaiting hospital appointment, scribbling postcards

// they’re playing doo-wop music which reminds me so much of dear dead Dad. I know all of these songs by heart even though I haven’t really listened since via 8-track in a Mercury station wagon driving to Utah in 1970s

{Visual imprint seems to get all the “obvious attention” but really it smells and sounds that take you right back to a place in time at whiplash speed}

Flowers stolen from kissaten (but I confessed to my crimes)

Dr says “shut it down, big time, you need rest, a lot of rest, all of it”

The above is determined by: physical examination on various ummm “nexus points” on my body // I’ve been running on adrenaline and fumes for a while (there were some reasons I had to shift out of second gear) and took a toll on my body.

My illness is a neurological virus situation so activity plus stress plus other attributes “flare up” and cause neurological physiological crashes which feels like the worst flu and the worst hangover and the worst Jetlag all at once.

Continue reading Healing: hospital day with doo-wop, muffin, and a rock

Diary: dentist, ramen, trees, VW, Citroëns, shodo – completely usual activities

Cherry blossoms, not yet
But hooray ceremonial peach tree!

Wedding present from the city Peachtree – this one and it’s smaller friend both need moved due to impending construction

On way to dentist
First, drop Stan at school
See tree Ryoko trimmed up (with a variety of saws)
To the delight of the teachers

Ryoko trimmed this tree at the preschool to the amazement of all

Egg salad sandwich at konbini to take with medicine

Mailed a package with treasures – via Utah to Kyoto somehow, with evidence of four legends intact – from a different than my usual local post office. Somehow it felt like cheating / always remarkable how all #JapanPost employees are all so well put together, chipper & efficient

Postbox at the post office, first time at this location

Contents of the package containing evidence and artifacts from/of:

Edward Abbey
R. Crumb
Doug Peacock
Ken Sanders

(Not my photo, recent from Albuquerque, I made it into a postcard, yes the back is decorated but I can’t show you)

package via Utah to Kyoto with heroes x 4 inside
Continue reading Diary: dentist, ramen, trees, VW, Citroëns, shodo – completely usual activities

Diary: relative blessings with the remarkable boy

Me and the incredible Ichiro went to say hello to his great grandfather Ichiro and great grandmother Tomiko, said some prayers and asked for them to keep an eye on us (as done since he was still in mama’s belly)

+ A sweet friend made a smart observation :-)

Dropped a couple ¥5 coins into a shrine box… Need a few blessings for the next 48 hours.

Interestingly, parents popped by to say “thank you for going to the ohaka – grave – yesterday because today is the anniversary of (great) grandfather Ichiro’s passing.”

He is on our shrine of course & was a big man in the community (well remembered by some oldsters around) but died young at 49 – we have his accordion in the barn amongst other tools.

Bonus(es):

Canucks: well, gonna have to upgrade the Ichi’s Pettersson INF sized sweater / for the record, Ichiro’s middle name is Stanley #Foreshadowing / yep, Canucks fans in Japan, who else?

{Background: young Mr Elias Petterssen of the Vancouver Canucks hockey club just signed a significant eight year contract extension}

Tokyo Calling: there’s a song he loves with a special dance so he got up on an impromptu stage on the walk over to do the song and the dance #MyBoy

Healing: just another hospital visit, annotations

9AM Get out of bed Dave, get out of bed Dave, get out of bed Dave. You’ve got to go to the hospital Dave. Put on clothes Dave, take your medicine Dave, get on the bus Dave. Make sure you’re wearing pants Dave. Oh my goodness, have to decide what shoes to wear Dave.

Yep, just waiting for the bus as usual

10AM OK, I did it… Up, medicines, beard oil’d, snappy outfit-ish, shotgun coffee and out the door just in time and experienced all four of Japan’s seasons within the four minute walk from home to the bus stop.

Felt a little bit more springtime when I first looked out the window

{They taught me well at the school for “worlds worst secret agents”}

All of the seasons, all at once: Grey rainclouds, bright sunshine, crispy windiness all at the same time (on rather warm stuffy bus)

11AM Rocking to Belly (the band)’s “Dove” en route to Okayama University Hospital 岡山大学病院 / usual as only this & Bob Dylan’s basement bootleg are in the basc “music” app for past years (i have stashes in Bandcamp & Relisten)

Along with Belly, I’m a huge fan of Tanya Donelly’s solo EP series “Swan Song” and am partial to her songs in Throwing Muses

PS Also have signed #vinyl

11:30AM This is a “foursquare check-in” from Okayama University Hospital. I think I’m the mayor by now :)

Injections impending / 1st of 8ish checkpoints

12AM Update: nurses love my spring blossom vibe tie

{Many things happened}

My tactic with communicating with hospital doctors is taking a printed memo in both English & Japanese (i use machine assisted translation) as most doctors studied medical terminology in “English or whatever” and having something they can read rather than listen is a huge help

{in preparation, February 8, 2024}

2:45PM At least eight hospital checkpoints completed – both medical and administrative – Plus pharmacy (with all the QR codes and special booklets) and now my secret Kissaten was closed but reopened to serve me this glorious lunch with flowers on the table & 3 beverages.

¥950 + ¥400 for royal milk tea
Continue reading Healing: just another hospital visit, annotations

Catching up & goofing around with Ichiro #io

For the record, I am completely mental in love about this incorrigible, amusing, intrepid, courageous kiddo #io

I’m always dropping notes to keep up with my ongoing diary about him and how he changes and evolves while growing up *but* you know, memos & snippets slip through the cracks but perfection is not the aim, celebration of his existence is, ergo:

Goofing around with burgers made on the woodstove, lack of buns so mama improvised, he loves accessorizing and doing his *just right* with a little bits of bacon, ketchup, mayo, lettuce
We are cats in pajamas, hear us meow, softly
On our excursion to the omotecho shopping arcade, was some kind of delightful booth set up (a store celebrating a birthday? Just some normal enticement for shoppers)

Anyhow, he ended up with a balloon which he was very eager to pose with in the laneway

Backstory: Rolled bus and tram to pick up delightful/incorrigible kiddo for a little bit of dude time on the trek home. We had snacks at daily Yamazaki (the unsung hero of the konbini scene), got gatcha on the tram, smiled and waved at the cool older students in their uniforms chattering away, I helped him with his cargo (my goodness, his rucksack is already quite hefty but “this is the way “)

PS i mean it sounds really basic but it was kind of the plan when he started his school back in September that I would do pick up a couple days a week but, the illnesses hit and my energy just hasn’t bounced back so this was really the first time I did the routine solo.

The tricky part is, getting back because that’s when the trams and buses get quite filled and all that human energy energy, temperature changes, jostling around – is a lot. We waited at the bus depot which feels caught in time, and by the time we were on our usual backseat of the bus, he was kicking off his shoes and stretching out to snooze until the end of the line. (But managed to rally for a bit of playtime in the park showing me how he can lift heavy rocks before arriving home).

These tram drivers do really an incredible job

Scenes of life: spiral staircase, library signs, basket of balls + pink door

While out and about on various expeditions, snap snap’d the usual days and the glimpses of regular life.

{With generally unrelated diary notes which happened to happen the same day}

Up early, by my standards, to see classic movie “the sound of music” at some community something something place.

First, a stop at a rusty strip of shops which houses an exquisite French style bakery: fluffy cakes, croissants, croque monsieur, brie / prosciutto sandos + uniforms. Swoon!

Made it as far as the intermission in the exceptional epic “sound of music” – Each time, notice the fantastic use of light and shadows, and pacing (+ of course stellar stoic Christopher Plummer as well as the effervescent Julie Andrews) – was kind of my speed, maybe a total of 8 people at the screening, the 3 of us were by far the youngest / I forgot my “pro tip” of always bringing my own slippers… but anyway, now ramen w/ evidence:

Then, nearby our not-so-secret-anymore Ramen place, went to check out the dinosaurs in the shopping arcade, spotting a few bits of *normal* along the way: a basket of balls, a pink door, a streetscape sign – all very pleasing in their normalness…

…and were fortunate to catch the “Okayama University woodwind orchestra” (or something like that) rocking through the final bit of their set. Especially enjoyed seeing the percussion section of course:

Bonus:

Was a Sunday of a three day weekend and coming out of the winter doldrums or whatever but a lot of people out and about, which meant that after my usual limit of 1.5 activities, we should’ve run for home but a library visit was on the agenda.

I tried to find a quiet corner to scribble postcards with limited success. Ichiro checked out a massive – both quantity and size (quite literally as included an oversize book with a spine approximately a meter which was packed in a giant padded satchel), and join me for scribbling postcards, including one to himself, another to a cousin, and of course he did much stamping.

I noticed that “technically” no photos are allowed in the library (of course, taking photos of patrons/humans is totally offside) and also “no self study without using library materials” which may have made my postcard writing an inappropriate act.

But, spotting books such as “start up 101 “”what is sound art?” and “end of life” required documentation – as did a lovely construction paper collage of a train station.

Usually, libraries are calm and chill but again, at no fault of the other patrons, a little bit too much going on for me. We did make a stop at the embedded coffee shop for a tasty beverage and refresh before…

Yet another stop on the way home to a shopping plaza to dump off some plastic recycling and purchase a few items, during which I hung out on a bench outside, mailed postcards, and spotted “cake box” – which I can only imagine is a service for ordering a cake which is placed in this box, then magically opened so you can pick up (obviously), a cake, and I’m sure it’s quite wonderful.

Asides:

I would like to thank Taylor Swift & her conundrum of getting from Tokyo to Las Vegas for football by going backwards across the international dateline for helping my friends in the USA understand that yes, I live in tomorrow in Japan (also yesterday but that’s another story)

And, at the risk of being Cliff Claven, I like to explain to people that:

* The international dateline is not straight

* And yes, I have crossed the international dateline by ship

* But no, I have not passed the exact point of the international dateline and equator simultaneously #shellback

Finally, enjoyed a few “old-time style” phone calls with pals recently… It took me years to get over my phone phobia from a terrible job in Utah, 1987 but now find it quite pleasant to sit in my dark room with a beverage yapping away to someone, in this case, back in Utah. {Note: not using the phone pictured}

Diary: New Year Dragons with foods, gardens, bevvies, and themes #calm

what follows is a post-dated diary of various activities in and around New Years day copied from various notebooks, memos, and small dispatches covering foods, outings to parks and graves, bevvies, postcards, dreams, schemes, and themes of calm and endeavours

Dec. 31: We ate soba (buckwheat noodles) as per tradition with parents on new years eve. Most folks watch TeeVee (many famous “wide ” variety shows, singing contests). They leave it off for my sensory overload benefit so i retired early – as i my way – so they could watch if desired.

So tired, heading to bath and bed. {all the tabs will not be closed, many emails unreplied, various messages and conversations left dangling, flip the page, carry-on}

So we go on… gn & gy

i made a video: Good night & good year / Reiwa 6 Ahoy

Jan. 1: GM, HNY – We ate mochi (glutinous rice paste) with other tasty items with parents in the morn as is tradition.

Then, off to Korakuen (one of the “three great traditional garden” of Japan, frequently visited by us).

Early start by my standards – we packed several thermoses and flasks of coffee and tea for the journey…

Off onto the Road: Of course, all manner of beverages are readily available from ubiquitous vending machines yet I prefer our house-made treats. Also, provided opportunity to break out a teabag which was included in the card sent by some friends from Canada.

So off we went, waiting at Tsuchida stop for our first bus ride of the new year…

As is our usual routine, we sit in the very back row (like the *bad kids*) because there are big windows and a little bit more room to stash our gear. Ichi-Stan, of course being a frequent traveler, utilizes the hooks for hanging up his rucksack and travelling cap {usually here I would note that the bus features complimentary high-quality wi-fi and power outlets but you know that by now}.

Note: the *usual* tradition is a shrine visit on New Year Day (bet ya there is a posted in this archive (or maybe still.in draft but… anyhow) this year though we took the with a chance to meet up with Ichi’s best pal and roll around the stellar garden – importantly including the first time in years in which the public could be present for the “flying of the cranes” so… off we went. Plus its a “free admission day!”

Flying of Cranes: The garden was packed but crowd well managed by diligently dudes wrangling pedestrians and keeping on the pathways with optimized view points for the flying of the cranes (a symbol of longevity).

The whole crane flying thing was quite amusing (the wranglers entice them to fly) and yeah cool but i couldn’t help but laugh at the crew of ojisans with their massive telephoto lens, standing on top of camera boxes (no fun for you kids!) and rapid firing like artillery weapon kinda killing the buzz but so it goes, hobbies and all that. {Of course, this is coming from the guy who’s over documenting everything including everything but a picture of the cranes.}

Continue reading Diary: New Year Dragons with foods, gardens, bevvies, and themes #calm

A few small repairs / tiki mug and coffee cup

What a fine looking trio

2 Sons Of Vancouver Tiki cups were casualties of the trip home from BC and 1 “XXL size” Parks-Parcs Canada coffee mug had an accident so, today used Loctite glue and a bit of persistence to put back together.

Bonus: now cannot be fingerprinted.

PS Yes, there is a pile of broken / crockery for Kintsugi (repairing with gold thread) but that’s for stoneware and not slipware ceramics.

Bonus: reminds me of this song

“A few small repairs” indeed

Diary: Stumbling thowards new year – ad-hoc annotations about records, boar, medicines & #io

So wiped out from the last few days… Tea ceremony, hospital checkpoints, another tea ceremony, garden visits, photo studio, preschool church, naked man shrine, ancient optician… wrangling humans for some semi-festive vibes, ramen was good / almost noon, still in bed, must eat.

Anyhow, usual sundry ad-hoc memos & several innuendos follow:

Another timestamp to remember seitai appointment / this time taken afterwards at a quirky gallery café roaster where I got Postcards spread out on the counter // place has ceramics, cameras, rocks, grinders, a printing press, guitar etc scattered about. I want to do a show here.

As always, questions about my outfit are accepted within reason // @theunabonger will recall my sharp camel jacket as my “standby when have to go legislative lobbying or photo opportunities with Washington state governor” times

Evidence of the above with coordinates for your investigation

I guess gotta get in my head & bones that the holiday season cycle is just different here… Everything builds up to New Year – and finally today, kiddo’s last day at school, (most) cards in the mail, things starting to shut down – is when it all happens // still bewildering.

So, I’m going to eat this non-squished gorgeous cake to help me understand the cycles.

Meanwhile, back at Tsuchida Cottage:

Haul from milk! Records (who are closing up shop) includes:

Milk! Do / did everything right with great selection, reasonable pricing, fantastic packaging, personal touches, not sure why are shutting down – I think it’s Courtney Barnett’s biz and she’s got busy doing other things like revolutionizing rock ‘n’ roll
2x12" + 1x7" + stickers from Sleater-Kinney

2 x7" from queen @courtneymelba

2x12" milk records compilations

1x12" from St Vincent (transparent)

1 Milk compilation cassette

1x10 year anniversary patch

1 personal note and sticker

Related:

Wild Boar Persist: This is the wreckage from the adorable barbecue grill I built last summer from salvaged bricks and roof tiles.

The wild boar came and attacked it – I mean, completely destroyed it. They are tough!

Lesson: everything is temporary if you make it that way

{Investigate the visit from the wild boar trapper for more background and mitigation approaches we are approaching, unsuccessfully}

Today, by Post:

From a lovely lady & her daughter in Nagano or thereabouts:

And mother-in-law did a “sniper mission” back-and-forth to Saga Prefecture (related to transport logistics of a small relative) and brought back this very special sushi made in Nagasaki prefecture

Still…

Gosh, I know it’s the time of year to be all happy and chill but I’m feeling super stressed, confused, don’t quite know how to mop up some projects, or how to even start and have put myself in a bit of a sticky wicket which is “good news” but I complicated due to #brainfog #blerg

And when get stressed, I either/or:

  • hide out in bed and watch hockey games
  • fill up carts from record stores
  • 3 hour bath

send irrelevant social messages (with unrelated photo attached)

But I’ve got some household tasks that need tended to because it’s the frantic “build up/tidy up” for New Years in Japan and it’s important to look busy (really, my wife is working super hard outdoors so I’m trying to keep the house up)

So making myself a list:

* Get out of bed, change into multipurpose warm loungewear

* Put on music

* Ingest food, fluids and medications

* Rock the dishes, fold the laundry

* Bring in firewood

* Then address and stamp “batch x” of New Year’s cards (the fun part!)

{Just keep breathing}

Also:

* Organize all the packets of medication which arrived yesterday

* Order some new house shoes/slippers

Update:

Because I want you to be proud of me… I organized all my medications // and this is what all looks like in the cute little boxes on the shelf I took over from wifu’s kimono cupboard

Bonus:

Ichiro and I on an outing the other day towards the neighborhood to the shrine (he wanted to climb the stairs, I did not :-)) and ancestor’s grave where we washed the stones, changed flowers, lit incense and said prayers. #TeachTheChildren

When you can’t choose which snapshot is the cutest (him, not me… Well maybe me a little bit :-)) #io

What makes it extra fun is we were visiting his great grandparents grave sites. We clean the stones, light incense, say prayers, change the flowers and romp around his ancestral history.