Just keeping old pal Trevor Erikson’s 50th birthday festivities going with a little “Japan Gothic” garden vibes card from pals at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama (Setouchi), Japan to Sparrow Cottage, Pender Island, Salish Sea, Cascadia.
Let’s catch up with a 4 pack of Ichiro cards for collectors, fans & general enthusiasts. Yup, i’m the papa who loooooves his boy (though i’ve lost track of the card numbers… was bound to happen).
DaveO postcards for sale / Yep, I’ve hit the big time, art available at goat farms and displayed on refrigerators around the world. Note the promotional photo with Ichiro on my back.
The “other side of the Post box“ ~ you’ve seen this before but ya know, the other side with yes, another haiku 5-7-5 (as is the tradition established by Kobayashi Issa) at Rural Caprine (goat) Farm, in Okayama Japan run by Mac Kobayashi.
+ Dropping off the Goodness +
Tending to tasks >> dropping letters in a boxes at Yubara hot springs village & Edo-period town of Katsuyama, Okayama.
Such fun to amuse the postal workers with my decorations and insistence on the most interesting stamps squeezed onto the scribbled envelopes and postcards.
Yes, I do get rather excited every time I send these dispatches out to you and others (but especially you, really). You can get in on the fun at DaveO Shop.
PS Keen-eyed friends have probably already noticed the Nepal flag patch ^^
Always more to tell you but… Over the past three days we sort of revisited our 2019 three day wedding festivities #dro420 with a little mini-outings, ergo:
* April 21 pleasant lunch and afternoon lounge around at Mac Kobayashi’s Goat Farm including lovely conversations with four generations of his family￼￼ / ￼daughter Reira snapped some pics, grandson Sosuke showed off his new glasses, mother (84 yrs young) tool a break from cutting grass to hug and cuddle little Ichiro (who split his time between napping and ￼￼meeting goats) ~ importantly, finally got a photo with all three of us in our “family tartan“ tie-dye made by brother Daniel
* April 20 rolled to a Shinto shrine, not our “official” shrine but a neighborhood location with no people >> wrote some grateful prayers and intentions on wooden tiles, clap-clapped bowed for the Kami￼ & ancestors, >> enjoyed some of the nuanced details and then some artisan roasted coffee across the lane￼ (where Ichi continued the familial tradition of batting eyelashes at baristas)￼
* April 19 skipped the City Hall registration and went directly to the jazz bar (which was the scene of the welcome party for foreign guests) but this time was Ryoko Olson’s band Mae Maes rehearsal￼ >> I haven’t seen her bandmates in real life since well, probably their last real show at the beginning of “global health meltdown (TM)” though I’ve seen their faces while editing videos. Enjoyed tea and snacks and music #friendship
Now, resting before an afternoon hospital visit while construction continues outside (we’re camped out in the parents beautiful traditional kominka home￼ on tatami mat floor, glorious raw wooden beams above, sliding rice paper doors￼) >> Ryoko heading over to the nursery school to help with ￼Ichi’s lunch.
Flashing back to everything that happened these last two years and frankly, stunned by it all￼.
Completely smitten by my remarkable wife who surprises and thrills me daily, head over heels about this healthy happy little fella who is now in indispensable part of my entire existence, and so very grateful for friends & family scattered around the world for continued support & solitarity. Keep an eye on your post box.￼
The year ahead will be more changes (i mean, obv) but hopefully￼ fewer “big moves/projects” (i.e. endless registrations and paper work and settling-in and construction and shipping containers and complicated transactions)￼ and more “tiny steps” to make life more pleasant and full of creativity and enjoyment / yes, we have a list and involves post boxes, payphones, sign posts, trees, gardens, paint) ￼~ also health & rest, please please.￼
So very fondly from Tsuchida Cottage (soon to be Tsuchida Station)￼
dvo & fam
Backstage at the oasis… Was surprised to find a painting of me in this mural :-) >> Complete with suitcase, backpack, hat and scarf, glancing at a tree thinking about a chair and coffee. Yup, def me.
+ First 2 weeks of Nursery School (almost) finished +
Our lil Ichiro Stanley was accepted and enrolled in a great nursery/preschool in our area called Wakaba (new leaf).
The principal (who coincidentally studied at Langara college in Vancouver) spearheaded the creation of this new school (next to an older similar institution) – a beautiful facility, purpose-built for a calm, healthy learning atmosphere for kids from 0 to 4 years old.
It has everything: healthy lunches, playground with unicycles, solar panels, cute hats & everything is kid height – And yes the kids clean up the place.
We loaded up a bunch of gear for him the first day including his own futon + various changes of clothes all with his name written (mix of Katakana & Hiragana If you’re keeping score) & and a binder of information updated daily.
Started with an hour per day, then up to an hour and a half, then three hours and before you know it will be a “full day“. The school is a pleasant 15 minute walk from our house – which also passes by the elementary school he’ll here eventually attend.
Great seeing all the little students in their uniforms proudly marching to school with their fresh backpacks. And it’s also a great chance for me to show my face around the community more.
Recently obtained a bicycle with a baby seat for my new friend (thanks Daniel) and as my strength and confidence develops from the “illness” will try that out but in the meanwhile, me, the wife and our wonderful parents take turns. with the drop-offs and pick-ups.￼
Not surprisingly being part of “generation quarantine”, like his classmates, he hasn’t had much of a chance to socialize with other kids before this so it’s a bit of a transition with some tears :(. He’s such a jolly happy boy at home and I’m sure soon his same personality will flourish at the new school.￼
The teachers are incredibly empathetic, thoughtful and professional and I feel very fortunate that we were able to get into this school.
Note: Despite Japan’s declining birth rate and encouragement for “more kids“ there’s still a lack of nursery schools and it was important for us (due to my wife’s working and my disability) to be accepted into a facility close to home.￼
PS I’m using the word “nursery school” or “pre-school” (for hoikuen 保育園) as it’s much more organized, structured and dareisay studious than a “daycare”.
Eventually I will start going in to help out (hang out really) with some English conversation for the four-year-old kids and yes, I’ll definitely be Santa Claus come Christmas time.
Oh & there is usually a “first day ceremony” where the parents dress up in their best clothes and there’s, I don’t know, talks and bowing & stuff but, not surprisingly, it was canceled because of *current public health concerns* ~ As such we didn’t take the customary ceremonial photo but did snap a picture of him and mom in front of some flowers on the first day and then he & i paused on the walk home the other day on the dirt path amidst fields & canals in his stroller (you can catch the school building in the background).
As always, more to share but it’s been a big schedule transition for not just him, for your humble correspondent as well (In other words, i am constantly exhausted and wiped out but hey that’s nothing new right).
Came here to say, “I’m proud of him and grateful for this opportunity” hooray Wakaba & Ichiro.
Gist: As i am undergoing an epically wonderful slog of personal archeology, i love the part where i find new treasures, less-so is tidying up already created things, but (as you maybe know), i’ve migrated 13+ sites/feeds/channels into one mega site (almost 5000 mixed-media posts) a few years back (thanks Duane).
I tell you this because: sometimes there are “errors and omissions” – broken links, missing images, duplicate posts, mis-categorization etc. Sometimes these are import errors, typos or sloppiness by me or helpers (often hired by Upworker etc.)
For example, recently (Dec. 2020) David G. noticed the audio embed for the “Taos Hi-jacking Incident” was borked (there was an extra “http”) and i also noticed the url slug didn’t follow my conventions. Thanks to his noticing, these are fixed. I have a spreadsheet to track such things (yes, its true, me a spreadsheet!).
Oh i should mention, most all the pods from “Choogle On with Uncle Weed” and “Postcard from Gravelly Beach” series, as well as the “grab bag” of lectures, spiels, riffs etc as “Community Feasthouse” are hosted on Internet Archive for future proofing. i.e.:
So two more things:
1) If you find errors and omissions, please submit on errors and omissions form (natch)
2) You should totally listen to the story of the night at gunpoint. When i recorded the riff year’s ago, i’d fallen out of touch with the co-conspirator Sooby Ahmed, but now back in touch and he can confirm and extrapolate any details required.
Update: Sooby errr “Sohaib” says,
listened to and with a nostalgia that took me back. While others were feeling beat and on the road we hit a bump! The generation its been or so since is less the surprise than this incident. I think it went well though. Thanks for recapturing!
Grateful for the usual days (amongst the tumult) ~ Spontaneous picnic along the canal in pleasantly provincial Okayama.
A few BIG projects recently and no doubt wiped me out despite the dopamine of “finishing” something. So, after a (thought at the time but… really not) final step, we purchased a picnic for a spontaneous hanami along the canal in downtown Okayama.
Of course these days, a day out in public isn’t common but we found an empty bench and enjoyed the blossoms falling and each other. Noting the “usually” in Japan, hanmi (flower watching) is a big deal with elaborate picnics, jousting for prime locations and often drunken revelry – honestly, this is more my speed :).
Note: Indeed, we buy each other hats… Possibly “too frequently”
More about history of Fire Lookouts and their mountain perches, this one from the Smithsonian focusing on intrepid women doing the lonely work by Dina Gachman, March 29, 2021
“Women have earned their place in the history of forest fire lookouts,” says Dixie Boyle, a longtime lookout and author going into her 34th season. She staffs a tower in the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico’s Manzano Mountains. Men like author Jack Kerouac brought attention to the job when he wrote about the 63 days he spent as a fire lookout in the summer of 1956 in books like The Dharma Bums and Desolation Angels, but it’s women like Hallie Morse Daggett, Helen Dowe and Boyle herself who deserve our attention.
After a 3+ weeks of digging out and laying foundation, connecting to various systems and preparing all the timbers with specific joints, as well as removing walls, clearing out eaves of giant beehives and adding insulation, on an auspicious day, a crew came and assembled the main structure (walls and roof) of the house addition.
Basically a new room where previous was a car park which now sorta connects the existing house with a carport and naya (tool shed). Overall, there will be a new genkon (formal entrance), a woodstove, handwash station, the piano and desks will move in here too along with a heavy big table. Skylight and windows including a “patio door” etc anyhow… T
here was a small ceremony involved (salt purification) and the architect Morioka-san chief builder Ishii-san and others were on site with a variety pack of workers. I (daveo) did a “coffee ceremony” with 3 types (both beans and preparation method) for the crew which was very pleasant.
We (the family) also went to tell Grandfather Ichiro and Grandmother Tomiko about the action at their ohaka (grave).
So…. during all this “Amish Barn Raising” event, i put an olden PhoneRobot on a tripod with extension cord – being careful to stay out of the way of workers and equipment – and ran a time lapse for various parts of 2 days.
The aim is/was to commemorate the happening and show the different construction tools and methods utilized. Nothing fancy… oh i’ll tack on a few still frames snaps at the end with minimal annotations. Possibly some of the lil trucks coming and going, i don’t know, i’m not at that part yet, we’ll see when we get there…
Time travel is everywhere ~ we pass the wormholes every day ~ devices disguised as common place but quite exceptional: phone booths, letter boxes, fax machines, CB/ham radios, telegrams etc all bend space and time – if used strategically. Closest points require folding.