Category Archives: Japan

Settling Back in, Without Mercy

We made it back from the in-laws despite more rain, several random complete traffic stops on the expressway, and a temperamental navigator (a computer this time).

Once we got back, we got comfortable quickly. Maybe too quickly.

We were late starting out and that put us into the “u-turn rush” which wasn’t that bad, except the traffic came to complete stops several times during the trip. We still don’t understand why as there were no accidents.

As we got near home, our navigation system decided that we’d ignored her one time too many and she stopped giving us notifications.

Once we got home, we all fell into our usual chairs and routines and relaxed to the point that all of a sudden it was time to go to bed and we hadn’t actually eaten supper.

Tomorrow we’re back to our full regular routines. Maybe we’ll manage to unpack eventually.

Fish and Visiting

A short one today in honor of our short visit to the in-laws.

Although, we’ve had a short visit we are, all of us, ready to be home.

Our oldest has club starting back up, our youngest has Junior Leader activities, and She Who Must Be Obeyed has work.

In my case, I’m ready to continue doing nothing as I’m now in my actual official vacation, but doing nothing in my own way. Although being at the in-laws is mostly relaxing, it comes with lots of extra people and chairs that don’t fit.

By day five it’s time to move on.

Lost and Rebound

I recently passed the two year anniversary of my diet/lifestyle change and I suppose it requires an assessment.

The second year was the rebound year. I pushed the weight loss quite far and some of it came back with a vengeance once I relaxed my rules. Carbs crept back in and my dedication to the daily exercise routine waned.

Oddly, I’ve reached a kind of steady zone where I neither climb nor drop. However, the zone is above where I’d like to be.

I still fit the clothes I bought after the weight loss, but they are noticeably tighter than they were before.

I’ve been reviewing the first food journal I kept to see what the biggest changes have been with the goal of restarting the “diet” I followed in that book. I’m waiting until after we get back from the in-laws to start though. Being here involves food and alcohol that doesn’t fit the plan.

I’ve been lazy about exercise though; that also doesn’t follow the plan.

Lazy Vacation Day

I decided not to visit the dead because it was raining. I was that kind of lazy day.

Because it was raining I skipped the annual visit to the family grave. This is usually something I enjoy doing because it’s an interesting ritual and I often run into former students (visiting, not in the graves).

However, even though it was unseasonably cool, the rain made the trip seem less interesting so I opted to stay home and do absolutely nothing. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed and her mother cut the trip short.

Other than that, not much happened to day. Which means it was a good vacation day but not a good day to write about.

Cool Fools at the Beach

I do not know if they were cool or if they were fools.

We woke up to a torrential rain storm that went on quite a while. After it settled down to just basic torrents we went to a nearby city to do some shopping.

The rivers along the route were swollen muddy messes and they’d created a halo of muddy water along the coast. The areas where the rivers met the Japan Sea looked like boiling mud.

Despite that, dozens of people determined to enjoy their vacations, darn it, were swimming in the mud at various commercial swimming areas.

In another area several people were surfing in waves of mud. This was kind of cool, except the mud waves seemed to breaking rather close to the shore. About the time they got stood up they had to jump off.

Complicating matter even more, it was unseasonably cool today after the rain.

Although I admire their determination, I still can’t decide if the beach goers were cool or if they were fools.

I guess I have to embrace the power of “and”.

Darkness and Rain and Hydroplane

Not much today but a trip through the rain and darkness in a car with misaligned headlights.

Although I’m the only one who seems to think they are misaligned.

We got started late and that put us into the darkness. Our car is a hand-me-down from our in-laws who are no longer able to drive it. I’ve always complained that the headlights are probably misaligned because they have an odd pattern with a clear line I’ve never seen on another car and they don’t actually seem to illuminate much. Although everyone who sees them agrees something is wrong, the lights seem to pass inspection.

This wasn’t a problem until we hit rain in the mountains. That’s when things got interesting. We had limited visibility and headlights that didn’t illuminate the rails or lines.

Eventually we got through the rain and had a beautiful view of the remains of the sunset. Off to one side, though, was an impressive storm cloud that put on an impressive lightning show.

I guessed that was where we were going and, as fate would have it, that was where we were going. We hit a harder storm at the worst possible area: road construction with opposing traffic separated by a row of cones.

We enjoyed some light hydroplaning and a few moments of terror.

Eventually we got past that and are now enjoying being at the home of Mother and Father of She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Beer is involved of course, especially after that trip.

Enjoying the Last Day Until the Next Week

Lately my house arrest/work days have been seeming like actual work as I suddenly find myself putting in some actual effort. This is about to change.

I’ve finally reached the actual vacation part of my vacation which made today more pleasant than usual. Yes, I had to “work” and was surprised when I actually spent a lot more time than usual on the project. This might be partly out of boredom.

Now that actual vacation is starting, my bad habits can return for two glorious weeks before I have to do another week of house arrest/work before actually work starts at the school where I work.

As a result of all this, there’s not much to report except that there’s not a lot to report.


A Long Wait for a Longer Wait

About a month ago I had to join a club to get a pen worked on. I joined the club figuring that I’d get work done in the future and joining the owners’ club would make it easier.

However, things got complicated after that.

After paying the fee I sent the pen in for repair and was told it would take them about a month to get it back to me.

Today, I got the package with my pen and I gleefully unwrapped the pen and was surprised to see a gold clip on a smaller pen. Nakaya had sent me the wrong pen. Instead of this pen, I’d received someone else’s briar version.

After a short bout of swearing I contacted Nakaya and, after a long wait, received instructions on how to return the pen COD in order to receive my pen.

However, Nakaya is about to take their annual vacation so part of the instructions were to schedule the pen to arrive on the 18th when they would be back in the office.

Now, I’m interested to know a few things: 1) did someone else get my pen, 2) how pissed off are they that they go the wrong pen, and 3) do they like my pen better than they like theirs and therefore they haven’t complained because “FREE PEN!” (Note: I am unimpressed with the briar Nakaya.)

I’ll send it out tomorrow and wait until mine arrives. I may try to score a free pen rest or a free pen case but I’ll be happy to have the pen back. Some day.

Whatever happens, the process won’t get started until August 18th.


Randomness, Curses, and Music

We avoided the rain but it is clear that we are cursed after music festivals. Or at least I am.

Today our oldest took part in a prefectural music contest. They’d barely squeaked in as they’d received a silver award in the contest last Saturday. Usually only “Gold” awards move on, but if there aren’t enough “Gold” awards, the best of the silver awards move on. (I think nine bands usually move on.)

There was a lot of pressure as the past couple years our oldest’s school has moved on to the regional contest, which is one step (ish) away from the national contest.

Because our oldest’s school played next to last, we waited for the results. On a side note, the organizers have the “trade generator” system down pat. By the time we left the auditorium, only ten minutes after our oldest finished, there was already a CD of their performance available for sale. They also appeared on video to advertise the DVD that is for sale.

The announcements came whilst most of the parents stood outside the auditorium (the actual band members had filled the hall). We could, though, hear the announcement of the results. The funniest moment happened at the beginning when they announced that the judges had already gone home and therefore could not be punished for their decisions. Something like that. (The judges had actually already gone home, though.)

Our oldest’s band got another silver award but the school where I work received a “Gold” award and will be moving on. Therefore today was kind of bittersweet.

After that we went home and, once again, everyone was in the mood for soft serve ice cream. Once again, though, we couldn’t find any. I blame myself.

Waiting for the Storm

Typhoon 5 (aka Noru) is coming and I’m waiting for it to start messing with my head.

Because it appears that it may be a direct hit, I’m waiting for air pressure changes to start triggering headaches. This happened a couple years ago and both my youngest and I had reactions. It wasn’t a full migraine, it was more of a constant annoying pain, like a sinus headache or a hangover you can’t shake.

The other worry is that the storm will interfere with our oldest’s music contest. Granted, this is a minor thing, although we’re all worried that we’ll get either soaked, trapped, or soaked and trapped by the weather. (I’ve been fooled by the eye of a storm before, and I ended up spending a long time in a train station.)

Luckily, the storm is losing strength and appears to be changing direction which means we will mostly get wet. Unfortunately, that will be followed by heat and humidity.