Monday, June 30, 2008

Riding Rody and play time

As Chris and I spent most of the night playing with the girls, we produced this great little sequence that could rival and big budget action-thriller in the theaters right now!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A blast from the pass

In my first year teaching at ESL College, we had the pleasure of teaching a mother (Yuki) and her two daughters (Yuzuka and Haruno) as they prepared for their move to Switzerland. This above picture was taken on their last day at the school.
A week ago, they came back into Hamamatsu for one evening to say hi. We had a bit of a potluck at the school and caught up with Yuki and the girls. A couple of the ladies that studied with Yuki came by too.
Poor Yuzuka had a tough time eating the delicious corn (yep more corn) one of the ladies had brought. She was missing her two front teeth.
There was also a delicious cake that someone had brought. The amazing difference was in how the two young ladies transformed. When they left they seemed a little shy about English and nervous about their trip. But on the Saturday they were talking as though they had spoken English all their lives and they were so energetic and fun to hang around with.
After all the food and the ladies had left we ended the night off with cutting up a rug to some of the school songs and the ladies had such fun dancing, even Yuki joined in a bit! It was such a good laugh and great to see how they developed speaking English every day!
Video clip tomorrow...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

So corny!

I'd say this little story is a good indication of the food frenzy that erupts in Japan sometimes. The media has a tremendous power on the eating public and can make a business' month by reporting on it.

I had been working, up until a couple of weeks ago, in a neighboring town called Morimachi. Morimachi means Forest Town and it pretty much lives up to it's name. Very sparse and loosely populated area. Indeed probably the biggest economic driver here is the many tea farms and the corn for which they are quite famous. Well about a month ago, on the early morning drive I could see a few private farmer's stalls starting to sell corn on the cob. Wanting to partake in some farm fresh corn, I decided to pick some up on the way to work before my class drew to a close.

Unfortunately the day before I decided to do so-- they ran a spot on local TV about the famous corn from the very stall pictured above (that I also happened to chose for my corn purchase) called Kan-Kan Musume. Well the morning I decided to stop by and pick up some corn, the usually un-busy stall was packed with people waiting to buy the reported corn. I waited for 10 minutes for a new delivery to make it in from the farm, but it was time to get to work- so I had to settle for some cheaper corn they had still available. I missed out on the popular product because of the food frenzy-- but the funny thing is that the cheaper corn I 'settled for' was very delicious and sufficient for my tastes!

That's Japan, I guess!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Raspberry V1.5

Now that he stands and has enjoyed the tummy raspberry, he has taken to raspberrying the table. Funny....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Congrats Hisano and Oji Oji

Picture of Hisano a mere 3 or 4 days before having the baby. More on the girls in a future post.
Hope I'm authorized to blog on this! I heard the word that Hisano gave birth to a lovely little girl a couple of nights ago. Not much on details or how the baby looks. Luckily time is short for me so I can't photoshop up one of my mock images like I did for Ken last year. Just wanted to say congrats!

Oh here is a picture we took of me while Chris, Akemi and I went present shopping for their little one. Pretty cool, eh?
Late Breaking Edit:

Stolen from Hisano's blog- here is a picture of the baby. Looks like she was about 3170 grams at birth. Ken had her beat by a KG! Well, very cute baby- looks like she has Oji-oji's hairline though...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Some pictures from the phone camera June/08

You definitely need to be careful when the baby is on the car!
Recently acquired TMX. It is pretty cute, but may be a bit advanced for Ken. He is interested, but he would flinch a lot to Elmo's quick movements the first few times. We have a dancing Donald Duck doll from a long time ago the he loves, so we thought we would experiment with a little more stimulus.
Things have changed a bit. Now Lanny is always close to Ken and Santa keeps his distance. I think Lanma sees Ken as a threat so likes to keep him under close watch. She does purr while he pulls her hair out though...
This is probably the last picture taken with my old phone. I had it open and it fell hard to the ground. The LCD ended up cracked and I could only read the top left corner... Ritsy thought I did it on purpose because I had been interested in a new one for some time, but I swear I didn't!
When we are eating he has taken to coming under the dining table and trying to stand, cute, but we have to get up often to 'reset' him to the living room.
Enjoying a commercial.
Still very cute when sleeping.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The foreward movement of life

With Ken now fully mobile, it's been more work for us for sure, following him around, child proofing the areas and now he can get to us whenever he feels lonely. But that smile makes it all worth it. I know I used that picture for my Facebook ID, but I just love it! So cute.
Ritsy and Ken lounge at home.
In May Ritsy friend from her first nursing job got married to a nice guy that she works with. She went to the wedding alone which was held in a restaurant- proving to be a little cheaper. I was able to spend some quality time with Ken, though driving home after dropping her off was a little tough as he got a little lonely in the back seat.
After the wedding finished I came back with Ken as we were going to attend the second party- the dinner party. In the background, you can see the husband of another of Ritsy's nurse buddies. His wedding was the one that I attended the first time I came out to Hamamatsu. Really nice guy!
Finally Ken and I were able to pose for a photo op, though he seemed to have other things on his mind in this picture... Ooo- pretty red.... It was a fun night- of course Ken was the show stopper as usual, oh how cute, I want him, etc...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My 200th Post! Peek-a-Boo! (ないーないーば!)

Wow, I made it 200 posts! Unbelievable! It's sure been fun blogging-- I find it tough to find the time sometimes-- but I am always thinking of what to talk about and improving my motivation, so hopefully it's found to be a bit more consistent...

Now that Ken is mobile we have been getting a bit of a lesson in baby-proofing the house. Recently we have had to move the coffee table up to the TV to block it out. Before it was pushed in, we played a nice game of Peek-a-boo where I would say good by and hide under the table, then open the cushions (blocking the shelf in the table) and say hi. He loved it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Filling in the cracks

Ken has really come a long way since coming back from Vancouver. Here are some pics and tales to fill the gap between when we arrived back in Hamamatsu and we went to the Matsuri.
Pretty soon after we arrived back he started to sprout a couple of teeth- so the drooling and gumming of everything in site stepped up.
Ritsy had an old friend over to bring her little cute baby as well (forgetting his name now).
They didn't really interact very much just sort of took turns crying and soiling their diapers. It was fun to see the two together all the same.
Ken really started getting pretty vocal about his inability to move around more freely but he kept trying.
And at last he could do it! One day he just started crawling and trying to lift himself up more. A little clumsy at first, but it was a great start!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Sunset from my window one day...
It sure did take me some time to catch up on news of the trip to Vancouver. And then the pictures of the festival are a must for a Hamamatsu blog- so I took a few entries to recount that tale.

In the meantime there are a lot of ideas that have just fizzled and disappeared over that time! That's okay- I'll try to dig them out of my thick skull...

Did you see this in the news back home? Yesterday some idiot in Akihabara, Tokyo hit a bunch of people with his truck. As if that wasn't enough he hopped out of the truck and started stabbing people with a knife. Injured 17 people, 7 of which died. Such senseless violence.. Seriously people if you feel alienated or strong hate for people in general-- go to a psychiatrist, take a vacation, take your meds and find a way to cope. That is 7 people that will never get to realize the potential of their lives, plus the one life of the guy that will face the death penalty now.

On a lighter note- I wanted to point this out.. This year at the school that I work at ESL college, Chris, Oji Oji and gang put together the workbooks for the kids classes this year- and they are good! Hellofajob man!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kite Festival- May 4th- part 2

Setsuko (left, holding parasol) and Ritsy getting shelter from the hot sun
We walked into the main kite flying grounds with Setsuko helping to shelter Ken a bit from the hot sun before she decided to pack it in for the day.
We were burning hot that day walking around so were happy to quickly get a rest from the sun.
The park proves excellent for this sort of festival- providing a nice breezy wooded area to rest-- it was quite refreshing.
The fair had the usual assortment of stalls offering up all the fried noodles and Japanese style pancakes you desire!
A good view of the various kites.
Finally we headed home having enjoyed the excitement of the festival. As we walked back to the bus stop, we saw some poor suckers got their kite stuck in the trees.

One of the good things the festival organizers had was a system whereby they would give you a garbage bag and some tongues. If you return them (with a bag full of garbage) on the way out- you received a free eco-shopping bag. I took the job seriously and worked hard to earn my little green shopping bag!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Go Fly a Kite- May 4th Part 1

The day after checking the parade out, we got up early and brought Ken down South to check out the flying of the kites- Tako Age. Now don't get confused- tako is kite in Japanese and age is as in age means to raise. Some may think that that tako means Octopus and age means to deep fry. The kanji is all wrong for that!
We parked our car at a nearby park and took a shuttle bus to the flying grounds. Soon after we got off the bus we saw that visitors could try to fly their own kites. We didn't try this time around, maybe next time.
Setsuko, Ritsy's sister was already there as her new boyfriend is in charge of a food kiosk or something at the fair. She walked with us for a while and then took off. We walked through the park which I had never been to before, a beautiful setting for the fair!
Soon we could hear the familiar Washoi-Washoi and saw as a group of people passed us by. The sky behind them is littered with Kites flying high.
At last we came to the giant open field with numerous teams in the process of setting up, taking down or flying and navigating their kites. It was quite beautiful!

Continued tomorrow...