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

Papa’s Day Sashimi (and socks)

grateful for Ichiro and Ryoko

Father’s Day sashimi, also received a three pack of socks. Thanks to all those have given me sweet and sincere advice to help me be a good papa (especially whilst dealing #mecfs).

Also grateful to my pals around the world who became fathers in the same “strange time of public health conundrum” including the dad’s of Theo, Oliver, Ivan, Ryker, Momo, Auggie, Murphy and so on.

Items, by post (from Diego Garcia, Gifu, Tōkaidō highway, and “no country”

1) Stamps from British Overseas Indian Territory Diego Garcia, thanks Cmdr

items, arrived by post

2) Postcard re: podcast “writers read their early sh!t” from an affable gentleman boxer in Gifu / Tip: he’s featured in a “beat sushi“ video

3) Kurt Vonnegut’s “A Man Without a Country” – pleasing to the feel hardback

4) small collectible card from Tōkaidō highway which came packed with satchels of seaweed and seeds to make a sort if savory rice porridge. Working on the series

+ etc

Pleasant chat with dear sensei Larry Harper in Utah this morning. Grateful for his kind words and to hear steps forward with his health and housing.

near Ken Sleight’s pack creek ranch
Continue reading Items, by post (from Diego Garcia, Gifu, Tōkaidō highway, and “no country”

Diary: Luxury life with scattershot actions amidst (in)consequential events

So, to no one in particular, “please don’t mind if the posts seem a little scattershot, maybe not finely-tuned, polished and definitely random”… After all this is about fck stats make art make for the future and let the present peek over your shoulder

#daveo50 turns into #daveo52 maybe “finish” by #daveo63

As it goes, left over from my #Daveo50 “personal archaeology project” as well as other sundry diaries, dossiers and whatnot, I have 380 or so posts in my WordPress “draft” folder / Plus switched from “classic“ to “Gutenberg“ which adds a step. So sort of trying to clear the deck. I’m not telling you this for any reason than to give myself an excuse to say that “not every post needs to be a complete mixed media dossier and maybe just rock them out – just make sure they follow your category naming/tagging conventions” / Reminder: Metadata is important for finding.

I really enjoy the process – especially assembling the items and then hitting “public” and floating them out into the world without any expectation – the part I don’t like is sitting and looking at a screen for more than an hour at a time. So many different topics, era & riffs.

So, instead of finishing “important” things already in the “pending folder” what follows are very basic things, photos included for no particular purpose except for my improbable, albeit somewhat inconsequential, documentation of the “usual days“.

Today, so far, recap:

Drink coffee, talked to a friend I haven’t for 3 years, hung out with Ichiro (before he & mama went to tea ceremony), took binders + stuff to kura, organized some scrapbook items, unboxed some new 7” & 10” records, ordered a 45 RPM adapter, usual dishes and laundry.

Amongst the new records is Mudhoney’s “this gift” Subpop split single (with Mr Epp on reverse) + other 7”s by White Stripes, Sebadoh, Shins more + Live 10” by Jesus and Mary Chain including one of my all-time favorite songs “head on“.

PS Still not thrilled with new phono preamp, but also not very technical hi-fi clever, need a smarter friend.

Continue reading Diary: Luxury life with scattershot actions amidst (in)consequential events

Diary: May 5月, Beguiled (& rather) Bewildered

Oh bye May

Spinning past another month, we’re at the 31st and I’m waiting to try out a new Ayurveda clinic here in dear Okayama. So a few annotations:

Guess it ain’t no secret that I’ve had a hard time bouncing up this month/year, however in the midst of it all I’m out of bed *almost* every day and doing a few things around the house even if it’s just dishes, laundry, compost, making tea and rice. Some days I do a few more things, for example:

This month we had a surprise overseas visitor and we went together to one of the inland sea islands as well as enjoying food & items together – and it was a joy to share my “new life” with a friend from my before times.

I’ve done a few sessions of sorting around in the kura barn and, going through bins of artifacts and taking from “stuff in a bin” to curated collections in binders with labels and themes. It’s a task requiring equal parts organizational theory, temporary nostalgia, celebrating past and imagining futures, specifically “what can I make with all these things to amplify what it means?” None of the items are by themselves significant for the collection of them all creates a tapestry of life. That sounds rather “grand” but in my mind, it’s the usual days in regular life that make life remarkable.

Coming on Two & looking like a young man already

Wonderful child Ichiro has battled through a couple of snotty noses, colds and fevers which sometimes pull him out of school due to “protocols“ but my goodness, the words are tumbling out of his mouth now, the balance is increasing, his awareness of where things go and how to do things is increasing on the regular and I am absolutely proud. I am trying to add to my skill set of how to “tug the reins“ a little bit without being a grumpy Papa and not buying into the fallacy of punishment, which perpetuates and hides problems and always requires escalation and this is proven – throughout forever – to be generally ineffective & mostly unwise.

My treasures and the penguins on a recent trip to Antarctica via Shimane

Darling wife Ryoko is studying for her “tree doctor” level up exam coming up later this year and has also continued work on her charcoal kilns and tidying up her tool shed a little bit for maximum organization efficiency. She’s also been doing some secret live streams while kiddo and I are in the bath and usually get sa couple piano songs out before Ichiro yelled out “bing bong Mama!” and we do our “Captain Ichiro, are you ready?” countdown to exit bath, dry up, lotion and pajamas, stories, cuddles and sleep.

For me, sleep is a struggle – i sleep long but shallow & unrefeshing/replenishing plus make up in fits and starts + dealing with a lot of neurological pain still along with the brain fog, confusion and general crippling fatigue. So, new plan is to change my periodic check ins/administrative visits from the “big city general” hospital to the University Hospital where they have specific departments investigating long-term chronic post-viral inflammation/immune system diseases relating to the current cee-one-nine virus which kinda dovetails into my situation with #MECFS. There is also a traditional Chinese medicine clinic on site i’ll endeavour to try in my quest for new approached for increasing my baseline.

Always have at least a dozen sleeping masks on hand… i mean on face

As I mentioned in a video (I should know that I’ve done a couple more dispatches in my “healing ramble” series if curious) this month was the awareness campaign month for my illness, as well as awareness month for mental health, Asia Pacific islanders, IBS/Crohn’s and other things (Cascadia Day!) which have impacted my life. These notable days – coupled with a few significant anniversaries: me becoming ill and memorial service / for my Mom & Creepers & Chums party; I guess added onto the emotional exhaustion of just being constantly zonked.

Celebrating Cascadia several years back and Evelyn Street, Lynn Valley, North Vancouver, unceded Cascadia bioregion

But hey, here I am talking about it!The important thing is, I have a wonderful family here and great friends around the world, food is delivered weekly, we plant seeds in the garden, postcards and packages come from time to time, I have enough books and records to keep me constantly amused and I’ve even done a bit of scrapbooking about our trip a couple months ago to Shimane.

Tip: send postcards to yourself

Yes, mentally I always feel like “I should be doing more” and I guess felt since was a little kid reading Tintin books that I was meant to be “out there in the world sparking revolutions” – so I remember to pause and think of all the things “accomplished” in the last three years since I came to Japan and all the things in my almost 52 years… So many countries, conversations, projects and so much more to come.

Adventures ahead, adventures behind, same same different different

I also continue to fiddle away at this “creative life archive” / when I run down and stuck in bed, I listen to audiobooks and longform podcast and sometimes tappity tappity on the pocket robot to assemble posts with pictures, musings, memories and what not. I love the feeling of hitting publish and thinking that someone might find a bit of inspiration or amusement.

Getting hot and humid so hoping in June we might have some beach days and also set up the yard for more playtime right here. Ichiro hits two on the 23rd so have an eye on a balance bike and maybe a visit to a zoo.

Always more, we’ve got all the time in the world.

A wonderful painting I came across: Martina Heiduczek
“Coffee and Friendship” / two of my favorite things :)

Diary: visitors see new life & family + trip to Teshima w/ Ichiro annotations

A mysterious brilliant visitor from overseas – first in three years – captured me, at home, in my new life. This is my family, this is our home.

my adorable family with whom Xo Ryoko, Ichiro (thanks Amber Sensei)

I wandered far and endured plenty to find this life, and immensely grateful for it all. I’m so happy to show someone from my “old life“ what i found & and she understood very well.

and now with remarkable in-laws/grandparents

With out guests coming, we pulled out the special stash of saké, some fermented carrot pickles, housemade miso, and a few other fermented treats. Also started to soak in soy beans to make soy milk; prepared the Bizen yaki ceramic cups & small dishes for sashimi; also have bamboo shoots from our forest. (thanks M-i-L and F-i-L)

garden vegetables and bamboo shoots right out the door

Ryoko also prepared matcha tea in an abbreviated tea ceremony with tea bowls from her great-grandparents and made anpan (anko sweet bean paste in lil pancakes) to go with.

tea bowls and accessories, freshly washed

I should add that, “no, Japan is not open to tourists at this time” – Our recent particular international guest was on a publishing-company-sponsored book tour / meaning the company supported a business visa requiring a detailed itinerary and accepting of various risks / responsibilities etc. visit with issued by Japan consulate in USA before departure and required 10+ various forms, letters, etc.

Out n About to Teshima

the hilltop minimalist cafe where fig farmers served curry and you can chop your own green onions

Briefly: The many islands of the Seto inland sea (nestled between our home prefecture of Okayama and neighbour pref. Kagawa and the 4th of the main island of Japan Shikoku) host a triennialle art festival – not shockingly unheld for a few years – more to say about the economic goodness and reinvention and volunteer spirit but for now, i’ll say:

We went with our guests rather spontaneously (they had planned and reserved museum access) by our groovy “Esquire” van, then walked onto ferry and used various busses around the island of Teshima, ate curry, drank coffee/tea, more curry, postcards, then a walk-on ferry back to Uno port, more art and drive to Okayama station – the busiest day i’ve had in forever but was buoyed by conversation, views and friendship. Further annotations follow:

whilst friends went to museum, r, i and i went to a hilltop sorta café (really some fig farmers putting out a shingle for a few hours a day) and enjoyed views of Inushima (Isles of Dogs) and back to Okayama #panorama

Ichiro, postcards, ships (all sizes) etc

After our day out, in the bath he explained over and over again all the different modes of transportation and conveyance (big ferry boat, small ferry boat, two buses, baby car/stroller, our usual van etc.) he used during that day, using new sentence construction skills with conjunctions and verb conjugations. His magnificent brain spinning – even working out the names of our friends.

this obv was not our ferry but Ichi loved checking out all the fune

Lil dude got a bit of a fat lip running down the hill too fast and tripping but still was able to chill out at a café and enjoy his beverage.

dude knows how to lounge at a quirky curry cafe with Suzuki and Ota san

Papa wrote postcards and drank chai, sitting on cushions and sending geo-coordinates to pals who found us at カレー喫茶 異邦人 near Ieura port across the island from Kubota where we originally disembarked.

Ichiro mailed my postcards for me. “Choose the right portal for postcards Ichiro” i said {update: he did, what a smart fella} Inventory: 2 cards from Teshima to Gifu and Kyoto.

2 are decoys but one whisks secrets anywhere

Ichiro has now learned how to use the coffee bean grinder and insists on being the coffee captain in the morning, two scoops of the right beans, puts on the lid, covers with his hand, inspects to see if it’s the right grind for French press or Moka pot, all very serious & perfect.

And my darlings auditioned for a role in the next Wes Anderson movie (so to speak) with a pose by this blue truck.

blue, red, yellow – the day was my fave sort of weather, warm, breezy and overcast

Back to the port – love the salty smell, rusty metal and reinvention from industrial manufacturing and process to artistic tourism.

Ieura port – like most of Pacific coast of Japan, lots of factories in various states of use or decay, boats/ships of all kinds including container ships and now ferries, all sizes

Dozen+ of these islands with art, more to say but time to head home with my snappy shoes, happy. Thanks family and friends.

Fluevogs, since 1970 (like me) now with new aglets – getting very worn in

Diary: apropos of nothing (sleeping masks, hockey, mosquito net, laundry)

Really nothing to the usual days except for the brilliance of usual days, appros of really nothing, i annotate for amusement. Carry on in a disinter-mediated manner:

new kamidana house shrine for ancestors – made in Tottori from a slab of gingko wood

Okayama memo: The thing I really like most about is its very “usualness” {aside from being famous for the Momotaro peach boy story and being a “place you pass through to get to other places”} is also almost always sunny but not today (this Cascadian doesn’t mind the rain though).

My 1st era in Japan in the early 90s, was in Tottori (remote w/ kei-truck), later hiding out near Miasa, Nagano. When came back few years ago, found Okayama was just right / Not a hectic sensory overload city but has big hospital, Immigration etc.

Yes, we “lean heavily” into Momotaro folktale here and the image of a peach is scattered all over from statues to utility pole covers and gosh, peaches with a boy coming out of them can look really funny! And apparently it’s the sunniest prefecture in Japan. 

By post: Three pack of organic oatmeal arrived. {always mean to scribble down “tasting notes“ with all the different kinds but never do and never remember which ones were “great“ but all are, you know, good enough} ~ Eat each morning with variety of nuts, berries and sometimes yogurt.

Today by post: hori hori garden tool (this one is artisan made, previously ordered for wife and mother-in-law from off-the-shelf made-in-Japan company) / this one needs sharpened up and it didn’t come with a case/holster :( feels good in the hand though.

Day in the life:

  • ate salad with smoked salmon for lunch
  • loaded our new tiny dishwasher
  • sent a telegram, really
  • attempting to remove chewing gum from a pocket of a favorite shirt with ice packs #pending

now a rest before finishing laundry

Next day: One oatmeal, three coffees, two baskets of laundry, two hockey games… Now switching to loungewear and some tax paperwork. Then maybe repair a wicker stool after lunch.

Update: some arcane tax documents prepared, stamped, notarized, faxed, ready to mail in Duplicate etc. Indian curry and smoked salmon/avocado/lettuce salad lunch with darling. Next (going to try) to put a new seat on this wicker stool with hemp cloth and upholstery thumbtacks.

It’s not a masterpiece but it’s decent. Sturdy Polish hemp cloth, rugged long tacks & see how it goes. Hooray for hexagons!

Continue reading Diary: apropos of nothing (sleeping masks, hockey, mosquito net, laundry)

Diary: April, tiny steps (are what you take)

April 月 4 / Tiny steps (are what you take)

Oh hello May: after I fold this laundry, going to flip over the nine calendars in the house. Then, make turmeric tea and catch up the dishes while darling wife and wonderful child are at tea ceremony.

So April, more “tiny steps” and otherwise in the last two weeks in the previous 3 1/2 months…ergo:

  • went out into the world and met some people and learned some things about traditional houses and permaculture, even some hugs
  • Ryoko’s birthday and our third wedding anniversary, and other erstwhile milestones (recaps available)
  • so many other birthdays of dear friends! Noting that seems most of my friends, like 85%, birthdays are in August (like me) or an April. I have some wonderful friends and made a lot of phone calls to send best wishes
  • sent a few postcards, this seems obvious but this year I’ve been on hiatus of sorts
  • caught-up-ish on a few “life administration” tasks, answered a whole load of email yet of course, as it goes, more just come in #ImTryingMyBest
  • attended a memorial service for a kind gentle sake master at a Buddhist temple, made friends with the Abbott, exchanged artwork, watched my adorable son nap in a room with 3000 wooden carved Buddhas representing those passed on and who are read sutras annually. Also came home with a necktie, kimono and sake cups.
  • received some very kind packages from near and far with thoughtful and practical treats.
  • news of friends getting married, others having babies, others losing loved ones. As Gary Snyder wrote to Lew Welsh, “teach the kids, it’s all about the cycles”. #Peace
  • continued small steps to improve the campsite (metaphorically, our home) and supporting wife who unflinchingly and constantly takes on increasingly complicated projects like it’s no big deal

As always, more to say, I’m always “behind” but really, far far ahead and eternally grateful for your kind words, positivity, hopes of peace ++ I see your hard work, I see your struggles and always cheering for you.

Fondly, dvo at Tsuchida Cottage

Ichiro heading out to tea ceremony

Happy Golden Week (to those who celebrate :)), otherwise, general happy days in good times to all – from us at Tsuchida Cottage.

[Update] changed the calendars (only eight as didn’t go outside to change the one in the carport), tidied the house, dinner with my darlings and of course bathtime (best time!)

In bed at nine, read a book, zonked out (aside from midnight sleepwalking foraging for a snack) >> now it’s nine in the morning the next day and I feel like I ran a half marathon and drank at least eight beers and flew across 17 time zones. This illness #MECFS is a trickster. But I’m happy.

Oh, I made at least three phone calls yesterday just to shoot the breeze and catch up with friends and family.

#DRO420 / 3rd Anniversary: Wedding outfit flashback/recap

How many outfits can you wear for one wedding celebration? It turns out, a lot (but never enough!) Let’s briefly recap.

Day Two, Shinto Shrine:

photo by the hired “pro” photog, edited by daveo

Three years ago 4/20 Heisei 31 at Munetada Jinjya – Friends and family on day two of our three day #DR0420 wedding festival, which has gracefully extended well into three years of daily perfection.

Day Three, Goat Farm:

Yesterday was three years since the Shinto ceremony at the shrine (say that three times fast) and three years today was the celebration at Mac Kobayashi’s goat farm & music library (we’ll probably stop by today).

at the goat farm, right after bonus vows in English (3rd ceremony of 3, in 3 days) ^ by Robert Scales, ed. daveo (daveo filter, No Patent Pending)

Coming down the aisle after the vows, this time in English (previous was Japanese and the previous previous was a matter of signing & stamping papers at the city office after laboriously verifying ID supervised by my flower bearing attorney Lindsay Bailey in a fantastic dress).

It was really the funnest of times! Beloved friends and family from so many countries and Ryoko’s admirers arriving from around Japan from her different circles and communities of arborists, gardeners, jazz & ska musicians, Lindy Hop dancers, French and Chinese language classes… and various free radicals, Mountain ramblers, Coffee roasters, beer makers whiskey distillers ornamental tree artists, singers, smoking three-piece jazz band, a couple of MCs. Plenty of dancing, so much food, the best gift bags ever (featuring Bizen-yaki sake cup and DIY tea ceremony set). Decorations abounding thanks to the diligent assistance of the “Goat Farm hippie hostel compound dwellers” et al.

Getting ready was extra fun since i forgot half my outfit at the house requiring Tom Sawyering some friends to do the meandering drive to pick up shirt, coat, vest etc.

Meanwhile, Ryoko was readying with dress, makeup, hair and all of it. Kris Krüg captured her (magnificent) progress while he and Robert Scales helped me chill (captured by Lindsay Bailey) and prepare for the ceremony before walking me down the “aisle” (goat path) (captured by ??? Duane Storey??). #smooches

Day One, City Hall

Bonus: Flower bearing attorney supervising me to the City Hall and witnessing our paperwork. Photo: Kris Krüg outside 後楽ホテル Okayama Koraku Hotel
^Photo Lindsay Bailey ❤ (ed. daveo)

Outside the Okayama City Office – which got a little complicated as they flipped through thick books comparing my birth certificate to other Canadian examples from the Northwest Territories and so on.

Unsurprisingly, they got hung up on my middle names and spelling of my birth town (all of which which had to be rendered in phonetic katakana).

Relieved, made it out of there eventually and somehow that was enough to be “official“ >> then headed to the welcome party at Livehouse Bird to see all the international renegades (and immediately Tom Sawyer them to tasks)… So many wonderful humans and was particularly fantastic to see friends from different areas of my life connect like that already known each other for decades.

Day Four, rolling home

The day after the 3-day scheduled festivities concluded and shifted into ad-hoc goodtimes, Ryoko and I rode the city bus from our downtown Okayama hotel to our home in Tsuchida neighbourhood in Okayama Higashi.

Rolling Uno Bus with flowers 25k cash in a suitcase, bottle of high-proof whiskey & wearing a kilt with underpants just bought at a konbini store

We looked pretty awesome: her in a flower lacy dress and Royal Stewart cape and me in kilt, socks and sandals and trilby hat – carrying the aforementioned old-time suitcase of magic envelopes, bouquet of flowers, bottle of grog and endless smiles back to our lil home and the future.

3 years later

present times: same goat farm, same date (but rain falls on goats) – and now we are are three >> forever awaits

#DRO420: 3rd anniversary vibes from goat farm

variety of circumstances, of sorts
Mac’s lounge panorama funtimes

Diary: (inexplicably) myriad tasks from Gravelly Beach, Oct. 15, 2004

As it goes, while looking for something else, I came across a diary from 2005 – published in a proto-blog software (w/o RSS) made by Ben Livingston and hosted by Jay Stewart – or something like that… anyway… for whatever reason I can’t find the original text but oddly, there is a screenshot of “entry #5”.

Notable because of the monumental tasks checked down the list like no big deal.

  • Was days of running Zhonka Broadband ISP, making documents of all sorts
  • Alluding to starting “Postcards from Gravelly Beach” and “Choogle on with Uncle Weed” pods (check and check)
  • Moving to Bernice’s double wide on Gravelly Beach road
  • Doing renovations on the Puget Street house and sore back after a bit of shock seeing the police shakedown unsuspecting neighbour kids coming out of their house and laying them down in the middle of the road with guns drawn for no fcking reason(!)
  • Writing letters of judicial political support (lotta lobbying in those days)
  • Adding links to a website (hello here we are)
  • Thinking about starting on oil paintings (done) and a novel length project (not done)

Yep, all that like its no big deal.

Oh of course, what i was reading at the time (Salinger bio, Keroauc, Dostoevsky, Hemingway) – note namecheck for Last Word Books – and digging clams

Around the same time I also wrote the LSAT (law school admission test) studying for which is notably not on the list.

Anyhow, always be archiving.