Tag Archives: diary

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Annotations: Ichiro always eating, almost walking

Just a bit of handsome dashing dapper for ya  (eating Mac Kobayashi’s Rural Caprine Farm focaccia & goat cheee)

Of late, Ichiro comes home from school and wants to put on his shoes and practice walking for a little while.

Sometimes he gets going with his hand and a spoon at the same time. He loves umeboshi furikake on his onigiri and slurping miso soup

Also, his appetite is voracious now so he’s catching up in July when he was losing weight and strength. In this example, farmer Mac’s focaccia bread.

Ryoko and Ichiro practicing walking and dancing (note CBC Radio 3 t-shirt and Ichi sweet kicks and loungewear)

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

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.

Updated & online via the internet

Essential Annotations About Cycles & Adapting

Dave enjoys a moment of leisure after busy days of construction and sortganizing to scribble art postcards, arrange records by neighbourhood, think about the of cycles miracle of death, flashback to the hemp “essentials bag” project, and gingerly mention the difference between “adapters and whiners” in the kura barn atelier with (apparently) new festive lights.

Special regards to friend en route to Sundance ceremony and mothers dropping their babies off to college.

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!)