Tag Archives: tsuchida cottage

Typhoon Nanmadol annotations

Really apropos of nothing, just a few unedited notes i sent out via social channels during recent typhoon here in Japan. And a gentle reminder to self to step up “emergency preparedness kit”… I mean, easy got a C+/B- but A is the gane.

{Ichiro was curious about all the weather and commotion and reminded me of myself in 1972/3 in Lansing Michigan when a tornado was coming and we went down to the basement and ate macaroni and cheese… It’s kind of my earliest memory. I think there’s a poem about it somewhere in this archive.

Tuesday Afternoon:

Somehow it was a lovely day today! after such a hot humid summer, today was one of those days where neither heater/woodstove nor air conditioning was required. ++ I think I got more done today than the last month. Both “life admin“ stuff and pushed along a big creative project.

Tuesday Morning:

Hello friends, mighty Typhoon took a turn for the better (for us anyway) and curved towards Sea of Japan keeping us to the outside edge… Some strong wind and plenty rain but nothing heavy duty.

{Still a little bit blustery out there but definitely not catastrophic}

Thanks for checking in on us, certainly provided an opportunity to “step up“ our emergency preparedness routines and gear.

One thing certain in Japan: there’s always another natural disaster on its way… cue “ring of fire”

Monday afternoon:

Just a friendly hello to folks around Japan, Puerto Rico, as well as other places experiencing extreme weather events… I see you Pakistan. I have nothing clever to say and won’t bother you with safety platitudes or quasi-religious bromides, just saying “hello i see you” #peace

Sunday afternoon:

Wind picking up here in Okayama, just went out the kura barn to batten down (this is our “retreat” if things get rough, have campstove and lantern etc there – Let’s hope it’s not) #typhoon #cantrememberhowtospellthenametwhichoundslikeaprescriptiondrug

Shut down the barn, make sure have the camp stove and lantern and batteries on standby, wife took down the bamboo shades outside. This morning was bright and sunny and now the pressure has dropped it’s gray and windy / good thing I was such a great Cub Scout ++ thanks for thinking about us

News/Resources:

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/09/e6586063ae12-japan-braces-for-possible-landing-of-strong-typhoon-on-kyushu-region.html

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220919_06/

https://www.jma.go.jp/bosai/map.html#contents=typhoon

Saturday:

While I’m here (in a cool dark room with an aching head #typhoon) Just a friendly hello to anyone else in Japan who’s head feels like it’s being squished with air pressure changes from incoming #typhoon.

Goes without saying but “stay safe“ and hope it blows over. Also, I don’t know typhoon’s name or number, we’re not on personal terms as yet.

Friday:

We’ve now entered the “my head is squishing due to typhoon air pressure changes“ season in Japan. No big deal, realize there are much bigger problems in the world, like a lot but… Change starts at home and change at home starts in one’s head, right? #mecfs I just want to sleep.

Art: Michal, Ichiro, Noriko paintings on display at Tsuchida Cottage

what a corner! / #swoon

Ichiro art hanging between 2 masters / Michal Korman (L) & Noriko Miyake (R) at Tsuchida Cottage.

Captured before moving this Ichiro art assortment to a scrapbook.

Plan: Kura, 1st floor “concept” (family hang-out arts and crafts music clubhouse)

While the second floor of my kura barn is well documented as a mixed media arts and craft studio, this first floor is getting rearranged to be more of a well, family style mixed media arts and craft hang out with musical instruments, record player, more books, records and CDs, as well as emergency/camping supplies, storage of tea ceremony equipment, extra supplies for pickling/fermenting, and other seasonal storage.

its a perfect plan, right?

Here is my very important plan detailing the intentions and schematics.

UPDATE: coming along well! i’ll share a snap but the stereo is mostly working, the messes are tidied (except for the big pile of extra heaters to consider jettisoning), and shelves filling up with items. More to go but hey, we’re on the way.

UPDATE: panorama of hangout

hooray for big panorama! what do you see?

Kura barn / storehouse turned studio, consulate and lounge (round-up/catch-all)

Summer 2021: Glorious Kura barn 125+ yrs old got a century retrofit with heat-pump/cooler, electric upgrade with breaker box & a safety railing

For documentary purposes, these snaps show the unscathed (mostly) exterior (note how a/c does not breach the perfect east facing yakisugi wall)

Along the side is a stash of storage flower pots, crocks & roof tiles + bricks (maybe to make a bar-b-q or pizza oven in future).

See below for lousy video clip included to show the summer sort-ganize project.

Continue reading Kura barn / storehouse turned studio, consulate and lounge (round-up/catch-all)

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: 4 paintings (by BC artists) at Tsuchida Cottage

Tidying up the artifacts, as such, here is a subset of paintings at Tsuchida Cottage and/or Giggling Piglet Studio and Consulate or, in one case, a painting which is still in Vancouver. Joins other paintings by Noriko Miyake, Michal Korman, Vincent Gornall and others.

1 painting by John Ferrie, still on “wrong” side of Pacific

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

Dim Sum: Ambient Sortganizing in the kura barn studio #video

It’s just me tidying up, please keep expectations in check

Absolutely Nothing of interest, just tidying up – like Japan’s version of Marie Kondo – in the “Giggling Piglet Studio and Consulate” in a re-purposed storehouse barn in provincial Japan.

Music incidentally plays in the background by “John K Samson / The Weakerthans” something something ++ “Back Country New Road” album “Ants from up Here”.

Really nothing, except for a Nepali Topi hat and moving scissors and papers I suppose.

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)