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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

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

Memento: Dad’s #Expo86 passport

After my dad Lorne H Olson passed and we sorted through his papers, I took custody of a few various pieces of paper ephemera to document and curate as is my custom.

I’ve share a few bits and pieces from his life and next up (since today in anniversary of opening) is his passport for Expo 86, the worlds fair that was a *big deal* in Vancouver.

As it goes, I have kind of mixed feelings and memories about this as my parents had recently separated, I ended up in Utah with Mom but got a Volkswagen bus and returned for a summer of hijinks with my pals.

I recall two of my younger brothers had season passes and more visits for sure (perhaps they’ll chime in), and also recall that with my older brother, we had been at inaugural concerts the fancy new domed BC Place (Bowie, Gabriel, Tubes + Guess Who at a BC Lions game) – I had adventures skateboarding around the new stadium, rode the Skytrain (ALRT) from New West (before Surrey extension, rambled around geodesic dome Science world… {From when I was about 12-3 in Whalley, I started skipping school and heading downtown to spend my paper route money on records at Odyssey Imports, Collector’s RPM and other record shops on Seymour and Granvilles St. what not… But I digress…}

Continue reading Memento: Dad’s #Expo86 passport

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

Perhaps more rare than Sasquatch, a Kei-truck that is *not* white {or every once in a while silver, or occasionally black…} Look at this earthen brown beauty! And with a little bit of an extended cab as well. Such luxury! Spotted in our front yard in front of the blossoming ume tree in the midst of construction. Want to buy one for Ryoko’s birthday #romantic

Another more standard work horse for comparison and amusement

Same as above but with another carpenter sweet lil Kei-van

its just gorgeous > mossy green/brown, A little bit of a larger cab, obviously extended for a bit of a stash, oddly enough automatic transmission as well.

Note: of course you can find Ryoko’s Kei-truck documented in this archive as well as the one i drove at the mushroom farm in Tottori decades ago – haven’t changed much i thought until i saw this beauty… 

Oh here’s Ryoko’s Kei-truck now (you can tell by her birthdate number plate) laden with olive tree which needed cut down

Hold on, there are more captured recently… now where’d i put those? {note, I’m really trying not to take pictures of all these  because well they’re hardly rare but, what can I tell you, mildly obsessive when I get a notion}

Lovely Kei-van noticed at medical appointment. Wheels not my style but size and shape is

Ryoko’s arborist colleague, the kindly Yuasa-san comes by sometimes and his rig is always tidy ready

Oh one more glorious organization job noted at a temple/cemetery in Katusyama. retractable roof, bins of tools all in place and ramp for off-loading mower #zen

Stationery in Cinema, vol. 3 (2 ID cards, a painting, a telegram & a letter)

From Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel (i have my own version of this item now)

Due to an affection for stationery, letters, scrapbooks and whatnot, i notice such items when viewing moving pictures. As such, i am often inclined to capture screenshots for my memory.

Sometimes, oddly enough, these are printed and put into scrapbooks in a sorta meta-remix. Either way, to keep these tidbits close at hand, assorted specimen are collected within.

From Miyazaki’s (ummm which one is that? Totoro?) with a Dempo (telegram) being delivered… Yup, love telegrams
The titular (Marvellous) Mrs Maisel character hanging art in her apartment – warms my heart
A radio and air mail envelope from… ummmm maybe The Crown or The Americans (i should take notes, well i did “Alabama” – what does this mean?)
Another radio, can’t recall from where but sure amused by the lovely inky pen details
From one of the versions of GTO Great Teacher Onizuka – not the original, a re-do of some kind, anyhow the point is this great ID card/certificate with luxurious “preferential treatment” translation

File Under Portals, vol. 2 (postboxes, milk delivery, phones etc)

Post boxes & milk boxes – mysterious doors and other wormholes to places in time, observed on a stroll in Okayama city

Postboxes, spotted in the wilds of Kojima, Okayama, Japan (Ryoko also)

Devices. ideal for lonely time travelers and occasional ramblers.  

File Under Portals, vol. 1 (tobacco, kura, photo/coffee/masks)

Tobacco stands, spotted in the wild. Some are shuttered, some are (vaguely) operational, one is actually a ticket booth maybe. Note: the Japanese federal government is, I think, 27% owner of Japan Tobacco, a publicly traded company. I would fact check this but I’m folding laundry right now.
Machines designed to do dispense items, various – purchased items from 2 out of the 3
Kura barns, de/re-constructed at Nozaki-te salt compound, Kojima, Okayama, Japan
— at 野崎家旧宅

Diary: Closing Circles with Stones ~ Grandmother to the Ohaka

Buddhist monk (handsome!) and me, Father-in-law Takushi, Mother-in-law Junkyo and wife Ryoko with baby Ichiro at Grandfather Ichiro’s ohaka / grave, now with Grandmother Tomiko

Aug 19th was 49 days after Ryoko’s Grandmother Tomiko passed away at 94 years old, 6 days after baby Ichiro was born, and the night he was registered on the generational family register (koseki tohon) at city office with the same name (but different kanji characters) as her husband – Ichiro.

As such, in the Buddhist tradition, her ashes were put into the ohaka (crypt) with dashing Grandfather Ichiro who died at 49 years old, many decades ago.

Note: Throughout the pregnancy, we often visited grandpa Ichiro‘s ohaka (grave) as going to a cemetery it was easy to reduce risk while having a pleasant walk and while there, clean his grave, light incense and have a conversation.

Buddhist monk offering prayers/chants at family alcove/altar before taking ashes to ohaka

In early July were four days of various funeral ritual/ceremonies at the house (adjusted for current health protocols) before she was cremated, and since then, her ashes sat at the family altar with daily incense, prayers and so on. 

this smouldering incense was part of the ceremony at the house, pinch, put to forehead couple of times…

So as it goes, the remarkably handsome monk offered more incense and chants and led family in scripted prayers and incantations. Baby Ichiro rolled with it all.

the cemetery man opens up the ohaka crypt for first time tis century… (Father and Monk look on)

Following, we took her ashes to the cemetery where a kindly tall specialist removed the capstone of the freshly cleaned ohaka allowing us to briefly see grandpa‘s urn, before adding the new jar & gently sealing back up.

 

the sealing sealing removed by hand…

Then we burned more incense, gave regards to other graves and left a lovely lunch to take her into the next journey.

special lunch to take Grandmother Tomiko onto the next part of journey

Note: of course there’s more to share of the story (eventually, perhaps), and if you’re curious, see the wedding picture of grandpa Ichiro and grandma Tomiko, plus notes from Ichiro’s first month and an Ichiro card with her casket and his basket.

wonderful mother in law at the cemetery, what a huge couple of months she’s had!

The circle is complete, the family continues, I’m very proud to be part of this clan. We’ve had seven weeks of birth, death, (re)birthdays, and so much transition in real time. i’m privileged to be a participant.

So very gratefully,
daveo/UW

for a brief moment only, we could see Grandfather Ichiro and Grandmother Tomiko reunited in their urns, then was sealed back up… what a treasured experience!

Items: Library (dudes, artifacts, environments, etc), vols. 1~5

Library Dudes – Dave & Ichiro lost in the stacks at “old” central library Okayama, Japan (a Showa-era beauty)

Items: Library, assorted vols. 1~5, ergo:

  1. Dudes
  2. Technologies
  3. Dispensers
  4. Environments
  5. Rooms

For the record: Okayama City Central Library (map)
56 Futsukaichimachi, Kita Ward, Okayama, 700-0843, Japan

Items: Observed, at library / various technologies, vol. 2
Items: Observed, at library / various dispensers, vol. 3
Items: Observed, at library / various environments etc, vol. 4
Items: Observed, at library / rooms and such vol. 5

Redux:

Library, patrons of sorts

Annotations
Hat: cheap Thamel, Kathmandu
Mask: hemp, also from Nepal via Japan
Glasses: broken, from Bali
Shirt: (my design) Ambassador, Chiang Mai
Belt: brown, Fossil
Trousers: uniqlo (also boxers & v-neck)
Socks: (not seem but stripey), Buffalo, cheap at Ross in Montréal
Shoes: (not exactly Team Zissou) Adidas
Baby carrier: made in Japan (name escapes, update later)