Category Archives: Personal Musings

sometimes i have something to say about me, life and the passage of time – schemes, ideas, holiday dispatches, thoughts and dreams that aren’t too private and other journalling

Secret Lunch Café (and remembering friends on a path)

1 choice so you don’t hafta order, easy – comes with a salad and water

So after medical treatment yesterday, snuck into secret cafe which had 1 patron (me) & offer only 1 kind of curry per day and every time is magnificent (as is the boss’ hair) *and* this time offered coffee and free gelato after cause i’m a big shot here in Okayama.

coffee and gelato (not pictured, notebook and pen)

I shan’t tell you the name :) Unless asked.

my own private hide out, with jazz, calm lights and very tidy

After, i wandered (got confused looking for the optometrist) and remembered my pals being here for the wedding and we sat on this bench and drank from this fountain (such luxury). I sat and felt grateful for friends.

Oh dear Okayama.

Diary: Tsuchida station grounds projects, various

Busy around the house, now the construction is “done”, doing some garden, yard, landscape, and kura/naya jobs… the glorious mundanity of the tiny things which make all the difference. Be prepared, nothing *shocking* or excited, just the usual days.

Hemp cloth wrapped on shelves made from wedding dais / under the dust cover is 1982ish Yamaha GT-2000 turntable & analog amp plus TEAC cassette/CD/usb/1/4” deck. Thats not *all the records* but a solid batch.

Another string of lights *and* Palau static montage… legit handcrafted speargun etc etc

Wood splitter, borrowed from forester Ukan and parents split up this rack / its loud & ornery but does the job

All hardwood – mostly oak and maple, odd bits of others (arborist wife often bringing home big chunks) This was all F&M-in-law. Epic. I’ll fire it up though (i just encourage)

Breaking rocks in the hot sun… (Ryoko has made a time-lapse of this rather intensive, long project…)

Continue reading Diary: Tsuchida station grounds projects, various

Item: Boots (at Hospital) + safety ramen

Today’s boots and socks combo for hospital visit. #looksharp / easy on and off is key in Japan / gotta make a simple outing for enjoyable somehow

not only did I wear these sharp boots, I also purchased gum, three packs (1 for back, 1 for car, 1 by door) & a pocari sweat (electrolytes :)) at the embedded 7-11 in hospital

PS Safety ramen before as well #important

Memo: Sept ahoy (settle, tidy, breathe)

this calendar (hanging in our WC) features public bath houses from around Japan, photograph by (I believe) in French lady rambling around living a wonderful life

September Ahoy! Theme: settling in, tidying up, breathing easier / started today with fresh lists and three pots of meal prep

{I make lists and have themes but not so much “goals” or objectives… broad strokes, think of the big things, the details just sorta fall into place} do you have “themes“ of some sort for your months?

August was full of big moves, various concerns, significant events, amplified voices

July had far too many hospital and doctor visits but also opportunity to practice patience and build relationships

A pig, a (big) ukulele, a tree, a phone, a raven… It’s a perfect – although unrelated – image. Thanks Trevor

Diary: Tsuchida Station ~ grounds project (weather station)

Now your jovial correspondent Takushi Fujita can transmit detailed weather information directly from Tsuchida Station including temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, UV, wind speed, rainfall and other sundry data.

{Next I hope to get him a shortwave transmitter to send this information “into the sky“ pending/maybe – in the meanwhile will attempt to connect it to Wi-Fi to then connect to various crowd sourced weather data sites, eventually.

Short version of current weather: hot and humid (not scientific :))

Update: found an electrical outlet adapter so I will circle back to get this working and also document the make, model and API for numerous inquiries.

Diary: Sunday Sundries… tidying up with power cords & dance party

Huge / busy week since my birthday good times on 16th which means am behind on correspondence as usual esp thank yous & catch ups to come after but but busy doing lots setting up the new/old house. #sortganizing (Also feels little rough sending joyful news with world collapsing :))

But hey look! Repaired a couple electric cords to a lamp and a paper shredder that the pet rabbit (who now lives comfortably in a luxurious cage) chewed through. With dodgy eyesight and clumsy fine motor skills, not my best job but you know, decent.

And hit CBD-Green Store (after seitai) for some various tonics and CBN vaporizers (Plus tested new made in Japan vaporizer for wax and Setouchi made CBD oil) yup, right here in Okayama.

Plus their gourmet vegan food is frankly shockingly amazing.

And huge move (despite lousy photo) of turnin what was once a kitchen into an extendable, manageable, versatile closet for 4 seasons plus various hobbies, jobs, and costumes.

Even a surface for folding laundry and ironing. Such a luxury!

Segued into spontaneous Ella Fitzgerald live in Berlin dance party in the kura ~ comfort courtesy of new air conditioner and dehumidifier. Yeah, luxury. Appropriately, Ella was singing “it’s too darn hot”. Some rearranging getting ready for new art making in fall and winter.

This week hopefully a bit more time in the kura studio to organize ephemera and records and hang up some interesting lights to make a standing working area.

Plus beginning the rock work approach to the house… thats on wife & tough ole Oka-san to do.

Plus cleaning up the wreckage of my once a wonderful inflatable pool and tent oasis which has not fared well between Typhoon, falling tall bamboo & big rainstorms followed by periods of massive humidity which has made things well, rather biological. Was nice for a minute. No more.

Oh I should mention that the flat rocks will fill in the area around the big rectangular stones & concrete pad and over towards the trees and what not. I’m not asking a lot of questions because they’re arborist & landscape designers so I’m just gonna stay out of their way…

As for me, besides catching up on correspondence (as always) and a few “life administration complicated international transactions” #ugh but next “big creative project” is a story pack (#podcast, video riff, photo essay) from the Jack Kerouac in Kobe exhibit. Craft it cleverly.


But… In closing: A very special dispatch loaded with b&w #lomography photos from Gandhi Beach in Kerala India, Jack Kerouac in Kobe, collage of fake IDs, oil pastels of sherbet-colored houses, & snaps from Suez Canal required two circumnavigations to reach Montreal due to an errant “8” not “3”.

PS we picked up 30 kg of rice from this wonderful gent in nearby Akaiwa. Thanks!

OK heading to sleep Friendlies, fondly, dvo

DaveO51 ~ Birthday Bentos, Bevvies: annotations & evidence

rain storms, cake and gratitude

Preamble: So much to report as we moved into the new/old house in the midst of my birthday (16th) which coincides around “Obon” time here in Japan when folks return to their ancestral hometown/villages for respects to ancestors including washing graves. Usually full of festivals with dancing and snacks. This year, like last, festivals and celebrations are no-go & was squished in with typhoons, vax, errands and… so much wonder.

Let’s begin with the night of Aug 15th (birthday eve if you will). We had moved mattresses and desk (hello) over to Tsuchida “cottage” (now “station”) and then back over (a metre away) with the parents for a massive sashimi feast.

Evidence of such wondrous food!

Then we slept in the new/old house in new birthday present pyjamas (with matcha gelato cones print)!

Such a treat to wake up 51 with this life.

With my 2 cuddlers.

Next, coffee (and tried not to look at the cake in process behind)

Then we headed out for a pleasant session of seitai treatment with the kindly doctor (no evidence of treatment but i did snap my shoe/sock combo in the car so there’s that).

Oh & listened to the national high school baseball tournament on the radio while going to seitai treatment and watching the bullet train roll by. Japan Life indeed.

Then, back at Tsuchida Station, cobbled together 6 + 1 chairs and tidied up enough to have our first dinner in the renewed house.

Such Fun with my squad: father in law Takushi, mother in law Junko plus the Mac the goat farmer, Manami the designer and my Ryoko and Ichiro.

We ate massive deluxe bento boxes of gourmet items + fancy sausages from Doppo Brewery along with growlers of Dunkel & Kolsch made just a couple km away.

Aside: Small scale brewing was legalized in Japan in 1996 after I left the first time and one of the very first was right here near my house – called Doppo – they were a centuries old sake maker that added new skills and product. All *very serious* German styles but now added some more styles using local grapes and other seasonal fruits.

They have these incredible weird fliptop growlers like I’ve never seen before too. Strangely enough, they are brewpub is super close to me but because of corona, I’ve never gone in there to actually eat and drink, just get take away .

Anyhow: of course the goat farmer rolled in with a whole variety pack of German, Danish, Italian and other location brews.

Did i mention the yakiniku wagyu?

*Of course* Ryoko fired up the first use of the new oven and made her first cake, double-double with icing, fruit and nuts and decorations.

Ichiro was duly impressed.

Much laughs with the gang and snaps as evidence and then records in the kura with Mac & Manami. I’m a very fortunate lad.

Plus wrapped it by taking the trash out by midnight in pyjamas.

Memo: Of course, we’re still in the midst of getting settled into the new/old house “Tsuchida Station” amidst rainstorms so I’m a little bit behind in your lovely messages ~ don’t worry, each well noted each will be replied with full vigour and enthusiasm {& likely postcards…}

Ichiro getting settled into the new/ old house

Today was putting away things in the closet and kitchen, we’re getting there, full video tour to follow eventually because you know me, I always need too many projects.

Zam!: Speaking of silly hats and kind words, you know i love a collage (or static montage) and this photo flashback from my dear friend Rebecca in Vancouver dang near brought me to tears. Thanks so much for the awsum snaps of (some of) our adventures and for your friendship and thinking about me. Truly. {& already of daydreaming of Stanley Park picnics with you and John.}

via @Miss604 twitter

You are each and everyone of you so wonderfully kind for thinking about me and sending along your sweet messages. Settled in with hot coffee and leftover cake to write postcards of gratitude, {mostly postcards of me wearing silly hats}.

3 of us Aug 16, 2021 (see Aug. 16, 2020) photo by Mac Kobayashi

Note: if I don’t have your address or if you’re not sure if I do https://daveostory.com/more-daveo/postal-club/

Obviously and fondly, Daveo

“set” for “Castles, Foundations and Pyjamas video (note Jack Kerouac apple pie and vanilla ice cream, Utah Brautigan hat, sweet notebook, 50 & 51 items and other talisman)

PS did you watch my birthday annotations recapping the year video? Includes musings from Saskatoon to Tsuchida & many points & topics, riffs between over 51 years today {yes it involves some poorly played baritone ukulele!}

Diary: August Days of Obon, Typhoons and Errands

Aug 12-15th-ish: We’re in the midst of Obon Holiday time when people traditionally visit their ancestral towns and villages to pay respects to ancestors and clean the graves and then have festivals with tasty treats and dancing. Oh course, this year…

Helping the ancestors find their way… #obon #japanlife

Fortunately, our ancestors are interred a short walk away, rubber boots & foul weather gear recommended. No evacuation for us and we’ve got peanut butter and miso and hey, the pool is staying topped off with rain water since the tent was broken by fall in bamboo in the typhoon.  “The giant pumpkin sculpture of Naoshima has been recovered from the waves” (yes this is a sign). 

Grateful for usual days in unusual epochs, as such, carry on with diary (& brief annotations of recent out and abouts of no particular significance except the wonder of *it all*).

* Becoming more difficult to tell us apart

* Books and buddies in the tatami room set up for Ichiro

* Nekkid boy statue has a GShock

* Rainwater filling up the pool now that tent broken from typhoon

* Really was bamboo crashing down that broke it i guess / very tall & mighty

* Today’s sharp boots for walking to optometrist for another tweak, ugh

* Fancy vegan vittles CBD Green cafe Okayama / also purchases

* Asahi river – wide, muddy, swollen / flood & landslides forewarned

* New “Bridge” w/ items for reading & writing & music making at Tsuchida Station

* Paging Number 56

Also: virus cases here in new record. Delta > Lambda / What was that the IOC fella said about Armageddon? (Teen Vogue)

* Stoking out my old-school passport #ontrend

If a vax falls w/o a snapshot, did it even… (noting that with all the logistical delays and grumbling about fax distribution in Japan, the experience itself at my “usual” Civic Hospital was some kind of a VIP easy experience. Second one already scheduled, yeah I know this is a boring topic :-) oh came with shoulder massage

First quick lunch in the new/old house

Wishing peace, serenity, safety, and goodness to everyone floating out there in the world, always – but specifically in this moment. Hard to process the catastrophes happening in rapid succession seemingly everywhere but simple steps, frequently and kindly, is the course.

Next up: birthday goodtimes and possibly more about the house project (so much!)

Lists for “beginning of end” with coffee in bed

The beginning of the end of the Tsuchida Station construction project… But you know, “the last 5% is the hardest 95%” next comes cleaning all the parts, a few fine-tuning bits and moving stuff all around. “Don’t worry, I’m super good at this part” (he whispers to himself).

Ergo:

  • Checking off past steps
  • Scribbling down next steps
  • Adding a few bonus projects to make it all a bit more fun

(Obviously written in code & in bed)

Diary: arborist test, sumo, salad + sckness, campaigns, ideas

Saturday: My sweet wife Ryoko started day at a funeral for a dear fellow who always supported her band & community and then, changed outfits and hopped the train to Fukuoka for a big test to level up her tree doctor credentials.

Back at Tsuchida station, we watched final bout of Nagoya sumo basho (yowza!) & i made caprese salad with garden tomatoes (& bonus avocado).

The brutal elbows to the face & the full meaty hand slaps were heavy duty. More about this epic & historic sumo bout.

I know avocados aren’t usually included but when it is ripe, i’m using it! 

Sunday: she’s home! we all (me, father and mother in law) all managed Ichiro just fine though he def missed his mom and clung when she arrived home.

PS yup, i set up hotel, breakfast and walking route to test for her (i’m helping :)) feel a cold coming on though… 

on the bus, in the hood

Monday: went to mall by bus to get some Pokéman things for sick lil dude in Canada. I have no idea what i’m doing or wtf Pokéman is, but double-masked, sunglasses and hat and a mysterious foreigner met me to hand off some treats. Parcel coming soon (as well as a video to answer some questions about Japan). Continue reading Diary: arborist test, sumo, salad + sckness, campaigns, ideas

Diary: postal, piano, fever etc

Mailed:

  • 23 postcards {mostly #DaveO50 #PersonalArchaeology series}
  • Two thick dossiers (one foreign, one domestic)
  • Bonanza of Paralympic sports stamps
  • Plus, voting packet (Thurston County)

Also: piano moved, laundry started, Ichiro has a fever, Pokémon stamps acquired for a special packet, next step is the tatami mats getting re-wrapped.

Clarification about Pokéman: putting a packet together of Pokémon (and other Japanese cuteness) for a friend’s 13-year-old grandchild dealing with some heavy medical situation and facing eight months of chemotherapy. He loves Pokémon. So: (eager to help) put a message out to the local foreigners FB group for advice and trying to understand what makes a Pokémon card exciting (is it opening of the new packs or getting a super collectible card etc.?) And while I was at the post office, I noticed the Pokémon stamps so I bought a sheet to add to the packet. They’re here somewhere, I’ll snap a photo…

Wife studying for tree doctors certification level-up.

End of dispatch, more laundry to fold.

Hat was ¥642

Re: hat & workclothes >>

Related Annotations:

Japanese workwear stores are awsum & cheap > fun to explore // my arborist wife lets me tag along for kei-truck trips & i get a whole outfit (plus big hat, belt & cooling shirt) for like 4000¥!

Tabi (toe/sock-boots) are great & cheap to replace &/or have a few pair in rotation.

Baggy trousers keep ya cool (actually) & act like “cat whiskers” when on scaffolds to know how much space you have.

PS Sent requisite messages about baseball All-Star game and Tokyo Olympic conundrums (Note to self: post that radio interview you did)

Ohtani at MLB home run derby

Diary: to the seashore for pizza & watermelons

Thank you for usual days

Brief evidence of a day trip to Nishiwaki Beach {Setouchi city} and pizza at Iwaburo + meeting up with Ryoko’s jazz vocalist friend Ayumi.

Though it’s just a short drive away, felt like a whole “expedition/holiday” yesterday >> so long since we’ve been out and about. Anyhow, poorly annotated snaps follow: 

* Postbox, at quirky cafe, Iwaburo (also ukuleles, turtles, cats, dogs, goats, and a friendly couple running it who told me about building pizza oven (see below)

* Pizza, handmade & woodfired

Ya know i’m making one of these at home, one of these days (we have loads of bricks and blocks and old ceramic pieces around for starters… a few other projects to finish first… 

Continue reading Diary: to the seashore for pizza & watermelons