Tag Archives: regular life

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: 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

Memo: Kei-truck Errand / Date <3

Out and about! On an errand (picking up a second hand roll-top writing bureau desk) in the Kei truck with the absolutely incredible and adorable Ryoko Olson at the wheel rolling the country backroads to the (minor provincial capital, mostly forgotten) city of lovely goldilocks Okayama – yes, we even have canned coffees in the cupholder and a.m. radio (which you can’t really hear over the 650cc engine but whatever) – got to say it’s a *pretty romantic* date

matchy matchy / curling sweater and hockey jacket, handmade hats, snappy scarves

Update: this is what we picked up, look at this gorgeous desk with the rolltop and everything

Diary, three unrelated stops

Seitai treatment room

Today went “over the wall“ for some seitai treatment / stiiiiilllll trying to bust outta this ME/CFS crashmode.

Good news is: my head and heart are so happy and filled with wonder every day. And I’m managing a few little creative dispatches through the fog. Thanks to each of you for chiming in, so very noticed.

PS I wish all medical offices were this level of aesthetic loveliness as well as phenomenal hi-fi system and exceptional records

Notice the everyday normalness because the usual days are hidden goodness

Whilst out, noticed a cute house café nestled in amongst some concrete buildings with an orange bicycle in front. I found that if you stay focused on the goal, I miss all the good stuff which get filed as “distractions”… It turns out the things like hobbies and digressions are the best parts of life.

Anyhow, stopped in for some “safety Ramen” at really the best place > one owner operator and everything is just “perfect” – the seats, the size, the decorations, the music, everything tidy and just well thought out and of course the Ramen is top level. (Brian Ceci can attest ;)).

Gakucho / miso tonkatsu (w/ butter, really)

Ichiro was as always his jolly self. He also had some injections today and got to say hello to the doctor that helped bring him into the world. She’s (Moe-sensei) a really wonderful lady and she was so happy to see him growing up so happy, healthy and strong.

Jolly lil dude

Recap: Haven’t left the house for sometime so three stops today, quite significant.

Next activity: on the 18th I will be “socially distant Santa Claus” for a few kids at a local community center. Yes I will be using natural beard. And we ordered appropriate costume, the “luxury/deluxe” version but I would describe it more just as “adequate but with some extra gold bits (and a little cape!)”. Ryoko Olson will assist me in a super cute red velvet dress, likely with the little dude on her back. I may take a clipboard to take notes about the children’s requests before I tell them “no, none of this is possible, here is an orange :-)”.

Practicing Santa, Moab 1987

Back home, warming up – it’s sunny but chilly and even a few flakes of snow (!), folded laundry, made tea, a few dishes to wash, have something to write about Vincent van Gogh, and some Hokusai postcards. Oh and i hope to sleep, really – I mean I can dream, right?

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage, dvo/UW

Cards and Scrapbooks – Japan Cottage Musings

Drinking a Turmeric / Reishi mushroom concoction in a stolen mug with a velour tracksuit, Dave rambles about  misplaced “tribute to Mom” memorandum log and love of receiving cards and letters which are stashed lovingly in handmade scrapbooks and shared with family.

Plus quick hits about festive cards (and evidential delays), poems, time traveller photos, letterhead, stationery and Ryoko’s Kinome office.

+ Name checks for new Papas, Steve Rapport (Mostly Rock n Roll), David Bowie 83, and Hotel Monterey and lost/odd Christmases + brother Anders.

Tsuchida Yard and Garden – Japan Cottage Musings

With Ichiro strapped on whilst outdoors, Dave and some dodgy camera work walk around the yard and gardens of our home in Okayama, Japan. Stops include: picnic area(s), Ryoko’s tool shed, location of upcoming house addition, various wood piles, bamboo grove, Mother’s vegetable garden, the kura grain barn turned art studio and (of course) a persimmon tree.

Appearances by father Takeshi, Ryoko of course, and the neighbour lady stops by to see the cutest baby.

Tsuchida Yard and Garden: Kei-truck with shelf project

Postbox Haiku and Paintings – Japan Cottage Musings

Rocking a plaid track suit, Dave catches up about an exhibit of postbox haiku and paintings at pal Mac Kobayashi’s goat farm and in Shibuya by dDesign and shares the story of the post box haiku and painting plus details of: Kathmandu, Nepal; Muscat Oman; The Vatican, and Olympia, Greece (including accompanying postcards of course) and riffs about importance of personal archeology and making things for future generations while drinking including coffee and jamu and digression about persimmon chutney.

Special ahoys to Gary, Beth, Arild, Jared, Erin, Sandra, Lance and especially you.

Postbox haiku exhibit corner at Rural Caprine Farm (more to come)

Bonus:

dDesign Okayama exhibit blurb

More about Painting / Haiku ~ exhibit intro and round-up (preview)

+ new postbox Haiku in *unconfidential* kokoro postcard (variations)

 

Diary: Monday at Tsuchida Cottage

Monday at Tsuchida Cottage
Fire up laundry machine
Rock out these dishes
Leftover soup into fridge
Grocery deliveries around three
(Give them next week’s order)
Note: wife already brought in fresh bottle of milk
Coffee grounds to garden, scraps to compost
Garbage goes out tonight
Etc

1/2 way there (ps all about systems & pacing #MECFS)

Bonus: started some new stew & chopped up a pumpkin squash for roasting plus separated seeds for snacks

Diary: Spectacle update (part next)

Overview: Due to my absurdly complicated prescription, lenses are always fantastically expensive and, because I really wanted to have two fresh pair on the go, decided against new frames and instead reusing 2 existing frames. Details follow: 

As pictured above:

The top right pair (brown tortoise Clubman) are almost an antique, purchased in 1995 on Guam, with early days transition lenses. The frames are still in decent shape, well-made with machined screws and feel cool on my face. I remember purchasing this pair as there had been some recent advances in progressive bifocal lenses which significantly reduced the thickness of the lenses from “safety glasses thickness“ to something more dignified. The new lenses will have a brown tint – not gradient or transitions, just a light/medium brown for a general purpose out-n-about specs.

The other pair (rather clear + titanium with blue detail in the temples) were purchased around 3 years ago in Victoria, BC with hopes would be a *perfect* pair. Alas the lenses were not made to pro specifications (the focal point is wildly askew) and give me instant headache and nausea when trying to wear. As such, the frames are barely used and will now be basically remade as originally intended with a gray tint and blue light filter for screen time. Hopefully help in reducing headaches & twitches. 

Recap: So, saved a little bit of money by not going with new frames but still get a fresh-up on the face. Thoughts?

Also: Nishida-san at the optical shop with a good sport as a rolled in with a leather satchel with six different pairs of glasses (from my world to her at spectacles) to check which frames were serviceable / salvageable. I also learned about the “secret codes” that lensmakers embed into the lenses as an oracle of sorts to other opticians in optometrists to understand how the lenses were constructed.
Pick up in 10 days-ish.

PS Thanks to Tina T. for re-sparking idea about digging into the old stash. Everything new is old again.

Diary: Spectacle update (Ryoko’s new glasses)

Behold! Ryoko Olson with 1 of 2 new pairs picked and elegantly fitted by Nishida optical in Okayama.

Note: These specs feature blue filter for easing eye strain on screens. So very lightweight too.

PS She’s wearing the other pair now and I keep looking at her face and saying “wow“ as both pair really allow her eyes and smile to shine.

Diary: Spectacle annotations (re: dave)

Tried these, didn’t pass the awsum test, quest continues.

Notes:

Bottom: good shape but with the weird gradient coloring, found them distracting like an “reverse mono brow” hard to see in the picture but there was kind of a green color to them, also available in blue but just didn’t feel quite right

Top: like the quirkiness of them for sure but, I found that chunky/dark frames are tough on my eyes because of my astigmatism… the “lazy eye” gets *pulled* & i see the frames in my peripheral vision all the time so I tend to prefer lighter colored/translucent frames with kind of a wide lena area. But yeah, they were fun to wear for a minute, somehow felt like would be a good choice if I was hosting a TV show

Middle: fun but just tooo much for my lil face

Riffs:

I am really the best customer ever of optometrists/opticians (and ophthalmologists for that matter) > Have spent untold thousands over my lifetime. However, I didn’t buy any for myself this time because my lenses are so unbelievably expensive and complicated, unless the frames are “oh yes completely awesome“ I don’t pull the trigger.

Plus I am investigating a new “migraine-prevention” lens called (rather mysteriously or just poorly branded) FL-41. My eyes change significantly year to year so I’m always having to spend the big bucks and there’s nothing worse than a substandard set of spectacles for me – if the focus point is even slightly off, I get intolerable headaches and eye strain.

I save money on lots of things and find good deals but I’m glasses, no time to scrimp. I look on with some enV when I see these “buy one, get one” or special prices because I am the guy that is excluded in the fine print.

That said, I celebrate all the advances in lens technology from my youth wearing heavy glass executive bifocals which left a semi-permanent divit in my nose. So glad I can get gradient tints, various filters and I’ve even had the transition lenses a few times.