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Time traveling to Café Independants (sic), 2015 / 2022

Time traveling to sometime between the wars in a basement bar somewhere in France (or maybe more recently in Kyoto in a former newspaper office).

Or maybe this was the time, time traveling to another time not traveled to (yet).

Either way, creating artifacts for evidence of appearance, secret or otherwise – after all, who’s to say?

Vinyl: lots of (mostly early) Bob Dylan + Syd Barret, Ornette Coleman

Oh no, oh yes! More vinyl arrived!

Somehow someway scored these beautiful copies of (mostly early) Bob Dylan albums…

A new stash of Japanese pressings of (mostly) early Bob Dylan, plus the obligatory “live at the Budokan” also Ornette Coleman, a Woody Guthrie tribute, Syd Barrett “wouldn’t you miss me?” CD & something called “Zion train presents Natural wonders of the world”.

Quick/lousy photos of exceptional albums, all in wonderful condition, beautifully packaged and all around $15 each, or less from Deadstock records who also included a very nice note and a link to his interview on Discogs.

Dylan stash includes an “live at the Budokan” because it seems it was a certain rite of passage for artists of a generation. I’m curious to look up how many recorded there (BTO, Cheap Trick are also in the collection) but I’m gonna leave that rabbit hole to someone else.

Dropping needle on the vintage Bob, hearing songs I’ve heard hundreds of times – but in completely different renditions/artist/jams/live (especially by The Byrds, The Band and Grateful Dead) – can imagine the excitement as his expressionalist poetics & choogling all-out-highway riffs burst through the speakers in an otherwise Perry Como world. In context, the words & music feels quite different than all the various compilations, box sets, “best ofs…”.

Note: have a load more new (used) vinyl recently but generally don’t bother to snap and report but eventually (maybe) will catch-up on that topic, in the meanwhile…

Kitchen: Iced Coffee & Pies (for bamboo crew)

3pm ice coffee & cakes for bamboo cutting crew from “DaveO Kissaten”

Note metal straws & honey on the cubes + new French Press is nice cause higher capacity than previous broken unit & a lovely shade of green to go with the green/blue/natural wood vibes of Tsuchida Cottage.

Re: bamboo “crew”…

My darling wife is doing a project at our house to set back the bamboo forest behind our house a couple of meters requiring chopping down a whole bunch of 20m-ish bamboo trees.

She’s enlisted her Dad & another arborist to help. They’ve been at it for the last couple of days with chainsaws, wood chipper and today a front digger machine (very cute).

With my illness, I’m just not rated for such work so I’m helping out with “catering service“.

(The hope is to put in a charcoal kiln me and eventually pizza oven, bar-b-q etc. with the reclaimed space… and make access a little bit easier for possibly even a small tea house within the bamboo forest)

Noticed: Kei-trucks and loads at Tsuchida Station

The arborist returns home from work with a fully laden Kei-truck / Try to fit allll that in your Ford/Chevy/Dodge *monster* truck >> 650cc on the dime, 5 speed, 4WD!

PS firewood for nighhhhhts / Will need a bucking and splitting weekend in the fall though

Kei-Trucks & Loads at the Tsuchida Station construction site

As it goes, yesterday were 9 different trucks and vans coming and going from the house – electricians, gas fitters, carpenters, painters, oversee’rs, architect, etc etc.

Noticed some of the fellas had custom-made organizers in back of the van – i complimented of course and they guffawed saying how lousy it all is (very Japanese :)).

Also noted the guys with huge jumbled messes in their trucks, also worthy of documentation. 

May look chaotic but these guys know their gear

Carrying on from Noticed: Kei-trucks at the cottage (+ couple more)

[Update]

Few more well-organized and otherwise interesting vans documented from the construction project. These fellows were here to install the heat pump/air conditioners on June 30. 
 
 

Note: The white van in the picture is a Toyota HiAce roughly +10% size/footprint as a Volkswagen Vanagon >> great size to convert into a camping van.
 

The blue car/cube/van is a Honda Kei (& such cute!)

 

Backdrops: Trains and Capsules (for fun times), vol. 1

Train which looks like a Wes Anderson movie but was really in Izumo, Shimane, Japan (no longer in service)

While working in the “postcard as a service” and modified foreign passport industry, i don’t do many Zoom(tm)/etc calls but if i did, i’d use these photos from trains and capsules as backgrounds. And, yes feel very amused. 

a repurposed/refurbished train moved from service around Chicago to the Utah “front runner” line – pleasing 1960s greyhound/diner vibes 

Sharing these in the event you find them amusing and want to use as a backdrop for your next video service conversation. As long as you are amused. 

somewhere in California or Oregon on Amtrak Coastal Starlight dining car
First Cabin “deluxe” capsules within Kansai KIX airport (near Osaka) – lived here just so i cold tell folks “yes i did stay in a capsule hotel”
bonus: from the last time i was in Vancouver, an intersection which was once a gravitational centre for me (especially suite 420 of the 1 Alexander bldg dead ahead), now ambivalence 

Healing: Story of a bath in Chiang Mai, Thailand

a view of bathtub at Rainforest Boutique hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand – this time phot’d with a slice of papaya

What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques.

Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.

Chiang Mai, Thailand (3 visits various times between 2016-2018)

Along my healing journey, I’ve traveled to various countries seeking treatment and relief. In my condition with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis, my energy is very low and I’m easily overwhelmed by the lights, sounds, commotion… and then i crash and am stuck in bed with pain and delirious exhaustion (which depletes neuro-transmitters leading to mood ummm swings).

me, bathmode

All of these conundrums make travel by conventional means very difficult. As such, I strategically rely on quiet, calm rooms with bathtubs for recovery after long periods of travel. And, importantly, I travel with various items to make my self-care more effective and pleasurable, particularly during these hot, therapeutic baths.

These items often include (as described in caption) :

Continue reading Healing: Story of a bath in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Travel: Trip to Yubara Onsen and Katsuyama hi

[From March 23-25 2020]

Leaving the workers to their work as they switch to more “modern equipment” with nail guns to put down roof panels while we head to historic town of Katsuyama (noted for their handmade Noren door curtains among other things) where I’m going to hit up a noted post office to mail out this new batch of #DaveOStory dispatches. Yes im that obsessive.

Then onwards for a soak and stay at Yubara onsen (hot spring) which has an in-river outdoor public bath which you know i’ll be hitting up.

Gave the workers a “yorushiku” on the way out, key in lockbox, coffee/tea/snacks on standby.

Anyhow, small bags packed (for me old-timey suitcase with socks, talcum powder, fountain pen, stationæry & Gary Snyder’s mtns & rivers w/o end, meds, charger as most everything provided at hotel) ++ snacks & tea for the road, Billie Holliday on the stereo. Ichi loaded up with a giraffe & bear-cub hat. Ryoko at the helm. Sakura blooming.

The road is (part of) life.

Along with my wonderful mother and father-in-law, my adorable wife and remarkable baby, we took a little overnight trip to a nearby onsen (hot springs village) called Yubara, as well as a stop off at a all time trading post town of Katsuyama which still maintains a lot of traditional charm.

We stayed at a groovy old hotel, ate a ridiculous amount of food, sat in the moonlight on a rooftop garden tub and the next day in a communal bath with rock walls (like the actual rocks of the cliff outside) and finally in the outdoor tubs in the river (don’t showff!)

Along the way, we checked out an interesting art exhibit, popped into a variety of shops with handicrafts (Katsuyama is noted for its noren curtains) and of course, various post offices (indeed, moved Katsuyama and Yubara post boxes & office to a post of its own) and cafés, which – unsurprisingly of course – make up the bulk of my documentation: cute cafés, curious machines, amusing signs and sweet post boxes #theusual

Come along (more or less) – noting there are several, so settle in and i’ll remember to break em up somehow:

Part 1: Noren curtains in Katsuyama

Continue reading Travel: Trip to Yubara Onsen and Katsuyama hi

Suez Canal Transit Panorama Views

+ Back to Sea with Suez Canal Panorama views +

I enjoy building panorama views especially when space and time is compressed, warped and otherwise manipulated and bent – whether by scissors and glue, my olden panorama film camera(s) – both 35mm and APS, or the fancy feature on the common pocket robot cameras (as in the case of this series).

Anyhow, as such, i made some panoramas views in the Suez Canal – to go along with Suez Canal Dossier and Musings – which make for pleasing immersive views. Click to embiggen

Consider this bundle for your amusement and/or remixing – some showing magnificent desolation of desert, others town on the banks, and other catching ships and the accruements on the vessel on which i transited.

PS One or two of these may be cropped rather than panorama as i used a load for header images on this web archive and can’t quite remember what and which so carry on accordingly. 

PS my classic Fuji Panorama 35mm camera, bought from close-out bin at TOPOS dept store in Tottori Japan, 1993 for ¥3000 (still have receipt) Alas the winder broke (salt-water damage in Guam) but still have the artifact.

Suez Canal Transit Dossier and Musings

Queen Mary ahead in the mist – the ships make caravans with cruisers / liners in front of containers and fuelers

+ Suez Transit Dossier and Musings +

If i was crafty and timely, woulda shared these snaps a few weeks when Ever Given was blocking up the flow of the Suez Canal (yeah you saw this…) i had/have a lot to say about it all and well, lot of more important things to do (nursery school!) so just didn’t get to it, but today is now, so: 

up early to note the transit – takes most of a day to work through / and yes the desert is chilly

Quick annotations:

  • Suez isn’t “squared off” with tidy concrete walls and locks
  • Was dug mostly by hand/buckets
  • Ships assemble caravans at either end and go very slow
  • Winds are weird (really) which makes mishaps not shocking and coordination important.
  • Don’t start with the Egyptian pilots!

Let’s begin our transit in the “staging area”… (note captions and annotations)

Ships assemble at anchor in Gulf Suez at tip of Red Sea (see also Gulf of Aqaba) and then are organized into caravans / quite enjoyed the sound the anchor chain dropping and reeling back up

Local Traffic amongst the behemoths 

Importantly, the canal is active with local ferries darting back and forth between lumbering giants. The sides are so close you can wave to folks (of course i did) and the ships in-front/behind are also so close and don’t have brakes.

Ferries time departures to slip between the ships, looking like likely collisions and almost comical variations in scale
Ferry loading up (i think East Qantara Ferryboat or the West Qantara Ferry – regardless, wave hello (they did)

Continue reading Suez Canal Transit Dossier and Musings