Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mobiles, thank yous and a vid

Just a quiet day today. We went by Entetsu department store, we had received a few gift certificates to use there- we were able to find a cute mobile for hanging on his crib or maybe bouncer. Did I mention how incredibly generous have been since Ken's arrival?

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for coming to my blog in 2007! I really wanted to use this as a way to extend a branch of communication to my family and friends back home, but it has grown into something more with many students and just coincidental visitors (like Marc who happened across my blog topic about his buddy Warwick) and it has been greatly successful. I am a little disappointed that my writing dropped off in the last quarter of the year- but in the end I have about 131 posts so I don't think I did too bad. Well, thanks so much for reading- I hope to keep it interesting for 2008!

Here is a little video of Santa lying like the fool he is and Ken swinging his head around a bit.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

cell phone pics

The focus around the household has definitely shifted to Ken. Through the first 2 weeks at home, I was still working a fair bit, so I would just have little snatches of time to spend with him- but now that my holidays kind of started on Saturday- and started full tilt on Thursday- I have had a great chance to just hang out with him.
He does spend a lot of time sleeping. And crying. And eating. And dirtying his diapers. But there are some times when he is just lying there and looking around. I read that this is the time to interact with him- and I think he is starting to love the interactions. By listening to him while he tries to practice his sounds, it helps him to get some much needed practice- after all, the poor bugger has two whole languages to learn.
I really have made an effort not to turn my blog into a "hey look at all the cute pictures of my cat" blog- because I realize that isn't an interesting read. I hope the new baby-centered focus you will see is not a bad turn. I will try to keep some other topics coming. This really is a great venue to document those changes that come along that, at the time, are somewhat minor, but you pause to reflect on later in life.
So far- he has already started lifting his neck- especially when we burp him. He is great for swinging his neck around and headbutting us right in the mouth. Cute but dangerous. Also he has started to make tears, though his cries are mostly dry, and he has also starting focusing more and he watches us as we walk around the house. Oh ya, also a couple of real smiles and a little bit of agoo's and lela's. Pretty fun stuff.

An Aside
Both pictures didn't turn out very well but, I still thought this was amusing.
A lot of places around here have the classic- squat and use toilets here, like this...
Well one place that I was working at had handy instructions posted for a foreigner on how to use these porcelain beauties. Unfortunately I had to be discreet as someone else was in the washroom, so the pictures came out blurry. He must have thought that I was taking some perverse pictures with the door closed, oh well - I wasn't....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Things settling....?!?!?!?

Yes, time is starting to move on and my schedule is lightening up and things seem to be starting to fall into place. Ritsy and Ken had spent the first few days at home in the living room where Santa was always trying to get in on the warm action. No problem as long as he doesn't try to lie down on Ken.
Ritsy was starting to feel better, and was moved into the baby's room by Monday. But going back a couple of days- Peter and Chris managed to convince me to come out to Hamamatsu city to celebrate the beginning of fatherhood. While I am weary of overdoing it , it had been a pretty stressful 2 weeks for me and it was really nice they wanted me to come out, so I headed into town for a couple of hours to a place called Liquid Kitchen- run by a guy we knew, Marty.
Even our other friend Peter came out and we saw one of Chris' students- in this picture is her friend. If I didn't know better I would say these two look like a nice couple...
We were good though and got home at a decent hour on the train.(hmm that poster looks oddly placed in the background)
This week was pretty busy too, but definitely starting to lighten up. I am also starting to understand why my students keep telling me to take lots of pictures. He has already changed in looks a lot in just 3 weeks. I actually see a little bit of me in this little face now! His hair is brown, though much darker than mine- but his eyes are dark-- well that light-coloured gene is a recessive one isn't it...?
He is a hungry bugger and seems to get really fussy at night- but we are learning and starting to minimize the fuss a little better little by little. Poor Ritsy was getting pretty tired though- yesterday I caught her having a nap with the little guy when I came home from work.
I know time is moving fast- I can't believe the little guy is already 3 weeks old! There will be lots of great times- but I am so interested to watch as he develops mentally and physically, I can't get enough- I am starting to get oya baka (Baby crazy)-- this is going to be a very interesting journey!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A positive turn

I just survived a crazy busy couple of weeks! I guess my week isn't really over, but I know my schedule lightens up a bit from this point, so I'll enjoy it.
I continued with a tough week of commuting to my classes, the hospital and the Midwife clinic and last week reached an end with me having to travel out to Shizuoka city early in the morning last Sunday to take my Japanese proficiency test (level 3). With the hectic pace of the previous week and the buildup in the week before that, my studying dropped off pretty steeply. I am not confident that I did well in the test, but I guess I earned valuable experience for when I have to retake the test next year! On the bright side, the color of the leaves on the ginkgo trees were quite beautiful in their autumnal richness!
Of course, following the the test I was able to make it back to town in time to visit both Ritsy and Ken.
Ritsy was feeling much better as she had opted for a transfusion the day before. I understand her original skepticism to do so with the controversy about people contracting Hepatitis C recently, but the doctor assured her the risk is small, and in the end it was definitely just what she needed. On Monday she was able to leave the hospital and join him at the midwife clinic for a couple of days. She was pretty happy!
Finally last night the family was united at home. Though Ritsy slept downstairs with Ken, and I upstairs with the cats, it sure feels nice to all be back together again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The three corners

Even though the family has expanded over the last few days, it doesn't really feel that way right now. The three of us right now are in three separate corners of town- each of us going through our own issues.

For Ken the ordeal is pretty straightforward. He has spent 9 months in a nice, warm, safe womb and now he has been dumped out into this bright, cold and mind bogglingly complex world. He can barely see and doesn't even know why he feels compelled to suck down as much milk as his little stomach can handle. Even just burping looks like a lot of work- he's got a lot to learn.

I am most concerned about Ritsy. I mentioned that she had to go to the hospital after the birthing and was pumped full of fluids at the hospital. When I visited her yesterday, she seemed healthy and I thought that for sure she would be released from the hospital and be able to return to the Midwife clinic to reunite with Ken. Last night though she had a fever and today, her blood tests showed her to be quite anemic, she is really low on iron. When I saw her she was again looking healthy and had no fever, just frustrated that she can't see her son.

Luckily the doctor offered a great suggestion- Myself, her sister and the woman from the clinic went to the hospital carting along little Ken to finally see his mom. Unfortunately Ritsy once again had a fever and only could hang with him for a few minutes. I feel real bad for Ritsuko- she just wants to connect with the little guy- and feed him her milk and be happy. But she is stuck recovering and now I worry that because he is getting used to the bottle, it'll be tough for him to switch to breast milk later. Well, I'll try not to get wound up in a little knot over something I can't fix.
As for me, my ordeal is about my leg. I had my cast taken off on Monday but I am meant to only walk with about 30% weight bearing pressure. God, I'm a horrible judge of how much weight that means, especially if you consider you can potentially take thousands of step in a day. It's much easier just to think that I should try to walk 'lightly' and I think I will be okay. I'm actually back to using my crutches more than I did in the last 3 weeks before it came off. I am confident that my leg will improve a lot and quickly, I just need to keep patient with it.

Separate the 3 of us will have to fight our battles and get to the next level- I really look forward to when we can all sit down together quietly (well as quietly as it gets with a baby) and enjoy the true feeling that we are a big family.

Here is a little video of the guy doing nothing, but as a parent, I feel it is cute anyway. Please pardon me for using the I'm talking to a baby voice- I am trying to avoid doing that too much...

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's a boy!

I actually have known for some time the baby was going to be a boy, but I thought I would hold out before alerting blogger-space.

It was a tough couple of days. I guess it started on Thursday night. I was happily sleeping away, and woke up and noticed Ritsy was no longer in the bed. I went downstairs and saw that she was lying in discomfort and couldn't sleep. But there was still no contractions. At that time I was really worried about the baby- but I decided to wait a bit and see how things progress.

I went back to bed and the next morning Ritsy was still in discomfort and was going to call the midwife to see what she thought. I went off to work expecting to maybe not finish my work day. I had a day of work where I left home at about 7 in the morning and wouldn't return until 9:30 at night because of the locations of the classes. She started to have contractions but they were too far between. She went to the clinic a few times and sent back home. I made it through my day of work without "the call".

I arrived at home at about 9:30 and she was sitting in discomfort. Her contractions were still about 8 minutes apart. When they came down to 5 minutes apart (around 11:30 pm) we called her friend Kurami that was going to help with the delivery (she is a nurse with her midwife licence). She came over and helped out with the contraction pain. They told me maybe in an hour they would go to the clinic and I could sleep for a bit. I woke up 3 hours later and thought maybe they had forgotten about me. They hadn't - still waiting.

I stayed up with them through the morning, when the contractions got close together and more painful, we called the clinic and were told to come in at 7. The contractions continued for some time but were still pretty far apart. Man, those contractions look painful, I remember thinking and Ritsy turned to me and said it's going to get more painful. I gained a lot of respect for every woman that has given birth naturally-- it's like watching someone get tortured.

Finally around 1pm they went into the delivery room and asked me to wait outside the room. About an hour later, they called me and I could see the little bugger was crowning. I don't know if I was shocked or in awe at the sight of the baby coming out. It was something I really thought I couldn't watch, but a part of me told me that I had to. I don't regret it, I was able to see them cut the umbilical cord and clear out his mouth, and he took his first breath and started crying.
His name will eventually be Ken Trevor Lowrey-Takasugi. For now it's Ken Takasugi-I'll get into the whole name fiasco in another post. He weighed 4.1 kgs and was healthy. Official Time of birth was November 24th at 2:02 pm. Welcome little guy.

Naturally, when Ritsy first saw him she was crying tears of joy and probably partly tears of relief. I was still in a dazed shock/awe but was pretty surprisingly emotional. I guess it all clicks when you see the little guy, eh?

Well, we were told to go home after that (Ritsy's sisters and Nephew showed up and
hung around for it), looked like everything was good. I was even thinking about hooking up with Chris and Peter for a beer after a nap.

But an hour later while sleeping, both my cell phone and home phone rang at the same time. I picked up the home phone and Ritsuko's sister was on the line and told me that we were going to the hospital (Ritsy was staying in a midwife clinic, so they have no medical facility) because Ritsy's condition was not good. That conversation was stressful, because I didn't understand at first and then when I did figure out, I was worried. I had to wait through the drive there and about 30 minutes before I saw Kurami again (who works at this hospital usually) and she gave me the okay sign- everything was okay. Thank god for Kurami- she was just amazing- she stayed up all night, worked the birth and hopped to the hospital as soon as Ritsy went. We definitely want to do something to show our appreciation to her!

Yep Ritsy is okay now, she suffered a pretty big laceration while passing that big boy- so needed to get sutured up at the hospital. She needs to stay at the hospital a few days while recovering and then she can rejoin Ken at the midwife clinic.

What an emotional roller coaster of a day! In the end everyone is okay but separate, that will all change soon enough!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The waiting game

This picture was an accident, but I actually kind of liked it
Wow, thanks to everyone for the enquiries about the baby. It is definitely a bit of an anxious time awaiting the little one's arrival! Sadly, we're still waiting! Yesterday Ritsy was feeling like it might be time yesterday or today, but still nothing! I look forward to posting the first pictures!
While Christmas is not a Shinto holiday, the Japanese have taken to the commerciality of the holiday and some of the charming aspects of X-mas. One of those things is the Christmas lights and a lot of big companies make elaborate displays and they are called illuminations (or i-ru-mi-ne-shi-o-n). Here is the main display in Hamamatsu city called Winter firefly (but in Japanese), enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another video- an evening resting the foot, cats and pregnant Ritsy

Just a little clip from last weekend, sitting on the couch. It's starting to get colder here so the cats are starting to be more 'social' to share warmth with us. It's going to be tough on them when the baby arrives- they won't be sleeping in the same room as the baby, though I may crash in the separate bed sometimes when I need my sleep- so maybe they can crash with me there. Also you will catch a glimpse of how pregnant Ritsy is now. I heard that the baby is up to about 3200 grams now, should be a little big bugger...

Oh ya- Chris has been updating his blog daily lately with some funny cartoons- including this comical one of me during Halowe'en week- based on true events, though I never think like that, honestly! LINK

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The House (some old videos)

I thought I would post a couple of videos about my home's building process- the first one I made to put up in Facebook- but I don't think too many people found it, so I thought I might slap it up here, just a bunch of pictures I took showing the progress of the home as it was built ...

The next video I found sitting forgotten on my poor forgotten video camera. Now that the baby is close to arriving- I took out the camera, blew out the dust and found this old nugget. In Japan, more so in the more rural areas now I would guess, people have an interesting tradition when building a new house called tatemae. On the day that the roof gets erected, the owner first has the pleasure of treating the workers to a nice box lunch and dinner (which wasn't cheap- but if we don't do it, maybe they forget a nail or two...). Later in the day when the work finishes, we go into the house and pray for good luck at the home then pelt rice cakes at our future neighbours. It's quite funny, the older people when driving by on the day recognize the roof will finish and make plans to return at 4 o'clock. They turn up en masse and scrape and claw to get all the cakes. Indeed I saw a couple of cute old ladies grabbing rice cakes from children's grasps! It was pretty fun and interesting to see what it looked like from the other angle...

Monday, November 5, 2007

That's Japan! Volume 5

What's that you ask? A country that has a population about 3.8 times that of Canada's, squeezed into roughly 1/26th the space? The country that invented Pocky and Godzilla and Ultraman? Yes folks- That is Japan!
Yeni and I at the ESL college summer Hanabi party
1. Jinbei - Most people when they think of Japan's unique clothing styles, readily come up with an image of a kimono, or maybe a pair of wooden sandals (geta). One of the lesser known players is the jinbei a light weight easy to slip on clothing that is great for the summer time. While the tradition is to go through the time consuming process of putting on a kimono, or slightly quicker yukata - it is quite popular for men to opt for a jinbei when attending summer festivals. And gosh, don't I look sharp in one?
Some guy eating basashi in Kumamoto(stolen from this blog- sorry!)
2. Food tourism - What did you do last holiday? Did you travel to Kentucky to eat baby back ribs at a popular restaurant? Did you travel to a number of different cities sampling Roll Cake from the many local restaurants? Chance are if you are in North America you said no. But it is actually quite a popular travel activity for some people in Japan. I think this speaks of one of the charms of the Japanese culture, to be perfectly honest- each region has a unique culture point or a food specialty that has grown and improved as time passes. While I get annoyed with the TV for always showing people eating- it is a great way to keep people informed of some of the unique tastes and spots around Japan. So if it is the food motivating to travel around, at least they are happy with doing it. After all, I'm sure they do end up doing some sight seeing between all the eating.... right...?
Again gleaned from a google search HERE
3. Pub - Are you new in Japan and want to settle in for a pint at a local pub? Be careful what you choose. Most likely what you would expect in a pub, here is called an Izakaya. That's a place to sit down for a laugh with your friends, eat some (surprisingly) good food and of course have some drinks. If you end up heading into a Pub- you will find a very different kind of establishment. A Pub here is usually a hostess bar, where you pay an incredibly high price for drinks and you (maybe) get flirted with by the hostesses at the bar. Similarly, Snacks have a very similar scheme and the best I can figure out the big difference is that an older clientèle frequent Snacks.
Yep, you can order this here.
4. Loli-Goth - One of the great fashion statements you will run across when walking around (more so in a bigger city than Hamamatsu though) is the Loligoth trend. Yes they have taken all the best elements of Lolitas (yes that is the sick love of younger girls?!) and the remarkably beautiful voice of the Goth underground and made just a... well... creepy image. Actually the image is cuter and cleaner than some of the other trends- but there is just some sort of odd undertones to the whole thing- I can't really put my finger on it, but it gives me the shivers.
5. Traffic Signals- I haven't been able to figure it out in almost 4 years living in this country. They call the green light on the traffic signal- the Ao Shingo- meaning the Blue signal. The light looks green to me and most of my students agree with me it is an odd thing, why blue? Well I formed a theory. Maybe the first guy that brought the traffic light over to Japan was colour blind and called it the Blue light. Maybe he was so revered and respected that all those around him just kind of went along with him and agreed that it was indeed blue. They probably took pity on him that he did not see his error and continued the tradition in his honour after he passed on... Well, it's a working theory, anyway.

Well that's my blog for today, and that's Japan for a lifetime!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What's going on?

What's going on indeed!

I guess part of the more quiet pace I have been on with my injury, some my energy for blogging has sapped. Must stay on track! This whole blogging thing was meant to be an exercise for me to practice day to day focus, so it has been largely successful, but there's been a big tailing off the last couple of months. But, when we fall off that horse, we get back up again!
Mac: According to pictures stolen from Facebook, my sister's, son- Mac (because he looked like a big Hamburger when he came out, I think... :-)) was recently spotted dressed up as a big chicken. Pretty Funny costume! If you are wondering what my brother-in-law is dressed up as- I believe that is just one of his regular hats! Just kidding Sean! Well, also, using my detective skills, not having heard the story, it looks like he may have won a prize for his costume. Good Job, little guy!
Music: Most people know I love Radiohead- so I was pretty excited when they gave us 10 days notice last month and they offered up their new album only as a download. Plus we could pick the price. Pretty interesting move, though an established artist has a better chance of pulling it off than a struggling band. The initial offering of 10 songs is pretty good and filled with the usual ear candy that makes for great ear-phone or in-car listening, so was a solid release indeed! They had another option of purchasing a CD packaged with 2 LP's and a bonus disk- but the price of 40 pounds was pretty crazy. I will probably hold out until they strike a record deal to get the other new music. Oh, how much did I choose to pay? I thought 6 pounds (about 13 bucks Canadian) was fair, considering I probably will buy it on CD to get the songs at a better quality later on.

My Leg: Went back to the doctor last week and he said that my leg was healing slowly. Indeed, looking at the previous X-rays and the new ones, I couldn't see any difference whatsoever! Hmmph. He made a new cast with a good rubber heal and said that I could walk a little bit, concentrating the pressure on the heel of my foot. I am definitely more mobile- but I have probably been walking too much, so I hope it doesn't further slow my healing. The new cast is also removable so we can pull it off and wash the foot. I don't much like looking at my swollen and bruised foot, to be honest though!

The Train: Taking the train a lot the last couple of weeks, I have seen a lot of my old favorite employees of the local train- Aka Den, I remember I had created some 'names' for them- there was Creepy Smiley Guy, The Guy With Big Lips for example, but sadly- Unusually Tall Girl has not been spotted yet. It's good to see them all again, it reminds me of a year and a half ago before I had my car! Nazukashi!

Baby: Not yet!

Yep, I'm a little dry for topics right now- tough to grab the camera and go to check out a temple or whatnot, but I will get my groove back in no time!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some old pics and getting to know my couch

My mom uploaded a few old pictures after my old blog in response to my request. I'll only share a couple here due to the 'bad hair' that I seemed to chronically have between ages 6 and 23. The above is one of the oldest surviving pictures of me- aged 3 rocking out to "Chipmunk Rock" by the Captain and Tenile I believe. (I'm not sure why I have this in my mind that was the song I was listening too, it could be the fact, or just an artificial memory as I like to call them).
Here is the picture of me the winter after breaking my leg the first time. I heard that my recovery at that time was 8 - 10 weeks. Probably a bigger break, but I wasn't too surprised when the new doctor I went to the other day lengthened my expected recovery time to 6 weeks. But looking at that picture- holy crap- have you seen the movie Bad Santa? Because I'll be damned if that isn't Billy Bob Thornton working as Santa at the Seaway Mall. I wonder if they got robbed that year...?

So I had a soft week last week, with my business classes cancelled, just 2 home lessons, then the end of the week we started stepping up the work load with a couple of trips to ESL College (Though don't be fooled it's not a college- nor is it ESL... it's EFL okay, sorry Chris!). Next week is going to get more tough, me getting reacquainted with my old friend the train. But I have been trying to concentrate on getting lots of rest this week. Maybe a little too much? I think Ritsy was getting a bit annoyed, but she is awesome- been really helpful, I will step up my help around the place now too!
Well the couch I have been using for propping up the foot is usually the couch where the cats sleep. So you can imagine that times there are territorial challenges. The other day Lanma was so funny, she was sleeping on my side and kept stretching until she was almost sitting up straight. Funny girl. Well, one more day of rest then back to it! Maybe I'll shoot for one more posting before I get back to the busy schedule...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A funny thing happened the other day...

Wow, fall is here. The trees around the area are starting to sprout Mikans (also known as Mandarine oranges) and Persimmons and the weather is actually bearable now. Yep life couldn't get any better.

Except for the October curse.

Those who know me- know the story of when I was young (maybe 6 years old) on Halloween I ran into the side of a car and broke my leg. The part that still always cracks Ritsy up is that I was too scared to use crutches for whatever reason, so I walked around in the beginning with an old person's walker. Near the end though, I was on crutches. {Mother- if you read this can you scan the old picture of me with Santa clause in my cast?}

Some 29 years later, the October curse strikes again. I will have to document somewhere to beware in October of my 64rd year...

Sunday started harmlessly enough. I taught in the morning. I was quite proud of the handout I made for my Sunday class- studying haiku. I thought it would be easy for them get since it was a Japanese style of poem, and a great way to study counting syllables. Well it turned out to be tough for them to get, but sometimes we have to push the students, right? I digress....

After teaching, Chris called me up for a spot of basketball, which is quite a common activity for us on Sundays. So I met up with Pete and Chris and we saw that the usual crowd wasn't there, and we ended up playing a few games with a big crowd of guys from the Phillipines, nice guys and they played hard. Early in the third game, I was starting the playing and found that my check was easily fooled if I would stand with my back to him, protecting the ball and spin backwards into the lane to the hoop. While I was spinning though, my foot caught in an awkward position (maybe something related to the piece of my shoe that fell off earlier in the day) and instead of stopping I kept trying to twist my foot and I was met with an odd popping sound. Yep, that pop was the fracturing of my fibula. How lame to break your own leg without any contact or anything.
I planned on going back to work right away, but I realized that with a 4 week healing time, and my baby due in about 4 weeks, it's better to cut my financial losses a bit and try to get a head start recovering, so I asked for a couple of days off. Time/Life went ahead and got me the whole week off from the company classes, which will really help, once I start taking the trains to work it's going to be tough! Well, I saved the pictures for the end of the post to preserve the integrity of the story...
This is my leg, try not to look at the toes too closely...

And here is me resting on the couch, trying to heal quickly....

Monday, October 8, 2007

Adding an RSS feed in Firefox

Okay most people probably already know how to do this, but I think this was a pretty neat and easy way to check someone's blog. So I am making my first blog tutorial- how to add an RSS feed icon in Firefox.

1. In the View menu go to Toolbars, then make sure that the Bookmarks Toolbar is checked- it will provide a nice home for your RSS feeds.
2. When you are at a site with an RSS feed you will see an icon like in the above picture (click on the picture to get a larger view). Click on the icon, then select the option to add the site as a Live Bookmark.
3. You will get redirected to the feeds page, just select to Subscribe to the feed.
4. A box will popup where you can change where the bookmark gets saved and the name. By choosing the Bookmarks Toolbar Folder it will show up on the bookmarks toolbar.
5. Now you have a simple link that you can click on that will show you a list of all the latest posts, you can see if there is a new one that you haven't read (or quickly access an older post lightning quick).

There will work with any site that has an RSS feed. RSS means Really Simple Syndication by the way, which means that it is a very easy way to distribute your works quickly. So most news sites or regularly updated sites will include a feed for easy access to their sites. So, really- I'm not just teaching this to make it easier for people to come to my site, it is a great tool for any site!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A New Post!

Call the kids in! Phone your friends! Hamamatsu Life has an update! A new posting! And the lead picture is a generic, unreferenced one, it must be time for one of Todd's miscellaneous ramblings entries! Wow!

Sorry: Yep, I don't know what's been going on, my posts have been a little too much spaced out lately. I guess this week I had two new classes which I usually get a bit stressed about especially when trying to teach a new textbook. I tend to think that in the end the classes always work out fine but if I don't get worked up for the classes, I won't do as good a job- so it may be part of my successful recipe (it's one of my theories anyway). Well even though I haven't been typing in my blog, I often think about what to talk about when I am driving, so this is probably the by product of those thoughts!

Baby Talk: Ritsy finished work this week, and is now on Maternity Leave. I think it's great that she will have a month to relax now, it's going to get really busy for both of us, especially for her in about a month. And wow- that really feels real now- one month away from baby arriving. We actually heard the baby's sex now- but I'm not going to mention it here just yet- I want to personally tell a few people first. We already have a baby bed- thanks to Kouji-san, and we bought a new mattress and blankets for it. We also bought a stroller at a used goods shop and a car seat. So I think that is a good start. I even have been trying to read the What to Expect in the Baby's first year to be prepared for the challenges ahead. Progress is slow...

Baby Talk part 2: I watched the movie Knocked Up the other day and had a good chuckle. Of course the movie isn't for everyone- very adult themes like drugs, etc... Though in the movie the baby comes about thanks to a one night stand- the actual pregnancy and everything after that was somewhat relevant to me, so it was actually good to watch for my situation. Especially when they showed the picture of the baby crowning, that is something I have to work myself up to...

Death Hill: One of my new classes this week was in Morimachi(actually both of them were), which means that for the first time in a long time I had to go out in the direction where I had my accident earlier this year. Well, the old road is now gone, they built a new, much safer road through the hills. It is a gradual incline with a much lower apex and very good sight lines- the drive feels much safer now! Good job government of Hamamtsu!
Not Farewell, it's see you later : Ya it was kind of a sad feeling on Tuesday. Some of my regular students for my Tuesday night class that have been attending for around 2 years will not be joining next semester. So it felt like goodbye, though I hope that we will all stay in touch as they were not only great as students but we also had some great talks and a couple of fun times at Josh's place. Well if you guys are reading this, thanks again!
Lanma: Asked me to put her picture in my blog again, so there it is.

I will try to be more on top of posting again! Thanks for reading!