Tag Archives: io

We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

More outings to Stanley Park for picnics with pals and explorations including Earth Day excursions, aquarium visit, and horse carriage circumnavigation – after a few topsy turvy days – plus eats back at HQ with Ryoko, Ichiro, and free radical visitors before seaplane escape to Vancouver Island.

We <3 Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

Exceptional humans who followed our cryptic geo-coordinate dispatches to various willow tree hobbit camps included:

* Rebecca B, on Stanley Park Eco committee

* Mikala F, of Backstage Rider fame, etc.

* Jess and Stewart M, ”the Antlers” #KBO

* Simon, Barb and Roland – creatives all, coming by bicycle with cake in Tupperware carrier

* Jon, Michy with son A – we’ll see these brilliant folks again

* Marcus with wife K and son O – yet another kid from the same era as our Ichiro… I’m hoping they all start an international club/band

* John and Elena– with commemorative meta-mug 

* Vanessa T – with Weblos medicine

* Kei B – with New Town Bakery boxes

* Jess W & daughter L. – joining us on a horse carriage commentary circumnavigation

* Jason S. and Višnja M. – adorable brilliant newlyweds (among other qualities)

* Finlay – young poet, emerging hockey-ist and possible future pilot (son of Monique and James, met previously)

* David D. – modern classical composer

* Betty-Ann and daughter P. – from back in the olden Surrey days

* Jerry Kroll – super entrepreneur with a new book https://www.jerrykroll.ca/

BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)
BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)

Unsurprisingly, impossible to provide adequate commentary on each of the wonderful folks who took the time to commune with us, and my apologies to anyone who wasn’t able to find us or otherwise missed a snapshot in this dispatch. I’m doing my best, we did our best.

Topics & places, amongst others, include:

  • Food – so much gifted (thanks!), ordered, prepared etc & all savoured at 1234 Hornby HQ with flowers and sometimes hockey
  • Commemorative postcards preview
  • Earth Day excursions
  • Horse-drawn carriage ride with “plenty of commentary” about smallpox and horses
  • Reminisces of childhood birthday, teenage hi-jinks and adult sojourns
  • Sulphur pile (giant and unwavering in size) and floating gas stations
  • Glimpses of Rose Garden, Robbie Burns statue, Lumberman’s Arch, and other scenes before… 
  • Glorious Totem Poles, a homecoming of sorts
  • Japanese WW1 cenotaph, an important place of remembrance 
  • Zoo grottoes (abandoned & i wanna make a music video or concert here)
  • Vancouver Aquarium sidequests
  • Olympic torch assortment dealio
  • Postboxes and shoelaces, as usual 

And a riff about places we didn’t go: Gastown, Railtown, Chinatown, Seabus, as well as Vancouver’s bewildering lack of public restrooms & note to myself about “its about the future!” and reminder of theme “Family, Friends, Parks and Gardens” plus a special dedication to the memory of Darren Barefoot.

Finally cappuccinos and a flight via the wonderful Harbour Air from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria with the glorious Gulf islands and Cascadia scenes flashing below the pontoons – with water taxis, Legislature building and Seattle Clipper in the inner harbour awaiting us on the sunny docks. 

BC Invasion, part 3, with cappuccinos
Continue reading We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

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

“Where do you go to (my lovely)” by Peter Starstedt, on baritone ukulele

At our friends annual musical party “Kojo piano club” where I added a bit of a “charming train wreck” to the evenings festivities.

Just look at that jacket though

While my (usually) adorable son “accompanies me” by attempting to decapitate the audience with an ukulele of his own, I stumble through an abbreviated version of Peter Starstedt’s lovely song on a baritone ukulele with a few buzzes (seriously, it’s not me… Right?) and some dodgy singing (yikes) but still, it’s fun-ish.

And dang, my red embroidered coat makes up for everything. Thanks Andrew M!

Keen observers might recognize this song from Wes Anderson’s “the Darjeeling Limited” film.

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


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


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}


* Organize all the packets of medication which arrived yesterday

* Order some new house shoes/slippers


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


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.

Theme, maybe: best intentions and all of that

Things I had planned to do today:

* Clean fans, cover and take to kura + busted lamp

* Same with the straw window shades

* Record another ukulele song or storybook video

What I’m actually going to do:

* stay in bed

* fold laundry

* listen to a hockey game

I have many things to say about:

Continue reading Theme, maybe: best intentions and all of that

Evidence: darlings in BC (on a Bedouin scarf)

A little collage of printed postcards from the #BCInvasion trip.

I keep adding more in lieu of a “proper” scrapbook but kinda love the view

Still haven’t really processed, digested, remixed, create-i-fied from this journey but, happenstance offered a moment to print & hang a few of my darlings above the writing desk, pinned to a Bedouin shroud.

O-furo with #io + #poem

I have very rudimentary arithmetic / math skills but I do know:

Ichiro is 41-ish months old so about 1,230 days +/-

So, minus days when he was brand-new baby or i was critically ill / crashed &/or mom/jiji/baba filled-in, we’ve *easily* passed the 1000 bath threshold. 38°C in summer 42°C +/- in winter.

he’s much bigger now, not so appropriate for public snapshots :)

Bonus: bit of poem snippet

Question mark eyebrows
Old man shuffle walk
Baba Jiji Sho-sho
Double ups words to talk

Skipping walking
From crawling to running in a flash
The best hour of every day
When we slow down in bathtime
Reciting introductions to ancestors

Bonus: not just baths, also kitchen

yes, he was using that big knife, safely

Diary: Halloween 2023, quick hit for short event

It’s probably too late, late to the party whatevs… took the snaps on a “vintage” early gen digital camera so it takes a minute to get to tha Internet…

We were Lawrence of Arabia, a ranger/explorer on adventure, a farmer on his “tractor” and a hastily assembled jack-o’-lantern.

But hey, we’re in provincial Okayama Japan and #Halloween happens from 1 PM till 2:30 PM at 4 authorized community checkpoints with sign-in sheets where children are issued approved bag of snacks & sent on their way.

this kabocha thinks will be spared the knife coz of the cute eyes but… we’ll eat you Wilson, oh we will!

Addendum: everything, quite everything, in Japan has a designated program, a specific start/end time, a special introduction and review of the plan, and then the plan is followed very carefully and in the end, everything is tidied up very deliberately. Not a country for spontaneity or ambiguity but if you like efficiency and punctuality, have I got a country for you :-)}

{note: snaps straight from the camera, a sort of “vintage” Olympus ruggedized digital camera, using the onboard pinhole camera setting. It’s a really cool little unit}

Bonus: When you are just wearing goggles to cut an onion but it happens to be Halloween…

accidents happen
fun in the neighbourhood

Diary: home safe from ill-fated errand (with Ichi funtimes)

Background: Had a real rough go of it yesterday trying to complete one of those seemingly impossible errands that one runs across as immigrant/emigrant with tasks to do with previous countries. Good news is, the little dude and I got some hang out time on buses and trains & burgers.

Now: earplugs, eyemask, ice packs, cool air, hydration, medication

I am home, I am safe, I am baffled by the complexities of life

Good point: I was a fantastic Papa today

I want:

  • solve this illness #mecfs
  • put poetry, art, post, music out into the world

Grateful, xo dvo

PS I have so many short stories, poetry collections, novels, paintings and albums to finish but I’m gonna live till 120 (at least) so I’ll get it all done. I just need that magic elixir (come on science!)

Bonus notes from out n about:

Tram ride: we rode a trolley yesterday on an ill fated errand. So fun because you never know which style car you’re gonna get from postwar to sleek and modern – each one different design, paint job and vibe. It’s quite exciting / costs a dollar per ride, no matter distance

Denim kimono: Autumn mean more kimonos and here in Okayama, one can spot the unique (likely indigo dyed) denim kimono, elegant in it’s utility and beauty / I would’ve bought it for my darling wife but her cabinet is overfilled

Errand > Burger time: Re: errand (a tax filing for a country i haven’t set foot in in years and lived for decade+ and no longer member of) not only did I have to find a stash of US letter size paper – Japan, like most of the world uses A4 etc sizes, had to track down an international courier which seems like it would be really easy but ended up at a dingy old stationery shop that is the contract office for DHL and it was like I was the first one requesting to send anything overseas in the last 20 years… Plus it cost about $60 each to mail some stupid papers to Texas (in my situation I can’t file electronically).

But, me and Ichiro ate burgers and fries at a friendly place where they were very accommodating and kind. They don’t have an “kid’s menu” (coz kids oughta be in school!) so he #io got a full-size mozzarella mushroom burger, with fries, soup, salad, orange juice, and got to eat the leftovers for dinner :-) he’s such a little celebrity everywhere he goes and it’s so nice when he wants to hold my hand or ride on my shoulders while rolling down a shopping arcade street with giant dinosaurs and him pointing out payphones and postboxes to his quirky papa. #swoon

Train Postcard: Tokyo based pro photog Alfie shared this great snap from Tokyo station (where you can buy a “platform only” ticket to hang out but not ride) – evdentally my advice to turn this into a postcard was late as doneso long ago

Overtourism: (In regards to recent articles about Japan, considering making tour guide, mandatory to limit tourism due to too much tourism – sub text: “sloppy tourism”) i mentioned:

“Funny there’s three, maybe four places in Japan that deal with “over tourism” meanwhile so many fantastic provincial areas of Japan are waving the flag and making brochures saying “come here, come here, we hace ____” but still, almost everyone goes to same few congested places

Records: no, I didn’t buy but just snapped this photo with Ichiro on my shoulders have a nice selection of 4 beauties all lined up – sheesh we got great records stores here

Nakasendo: About that Tourism-ness: someone I know is planning a Nakasendo ramble so i assembled a dossier of historic Nakasendo road with stories, vids, tips etc. {Doesn’t really fit here but I’m putting it here so I can find it again, maybe because stashed it on Tumblr for some reason}