Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Things I Didn't Know (until just this moment.)

The correct word is "restaurateur", NOT "restauranteur." H.T. to John Derbyshire of National Review.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Georgia On My Mind

I just love the site.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

California Spring Weekend

UPDATE 2: "Rusticanium" was a placeholder. Mieko finally remembered that the red thingies are geraniums (gerania?)
UPDATE: To answer the questions from around the world, the blossoms, clockwise from top left, are: Rose, Calif. Poppy, Geranium, Japanese Red Maple, Rhododendrom, and Trellis Rose.

We're a bit late this year, because of all the rain I fear, but all comes to him who only waits, I hear. Enjoy! (And, as always, click on the images to expand them in a new window.)

Memorial Day 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Tokyo Lights

From BldgBlog, please check the pictures of Tokyo at night that have been posted here.

The lighting is surreal, but inspection seems to indicate that the pix were taken at night after an unusual snow storm in Tokyo.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Great Taco Hunt

All of you out there who, at this time, are pining for some Mexican food, you may wish to visit The Great Taco Hunt

Mmm, mmm, bueno!

Real Spring!

Thanks to for the above reminder that Spring has arrived, and the ladies get to wear their most flamboyant finery at the Kentucky Derby.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Ryokan Inn

Yes, the ceilings are a bit low. But the food is great.

And the communal baths even better (So I was told. Truth be told, I was too embarrassed to get into a bath with strange women, and there's no way I'd get into a bath with nude men.)
Happily, but uncomfortably, sleeping on the floor is de regeur (French lingo there). If you can get out of bed in the morning, it's okay.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Japan Jottings - A Potpourri

1. Bathroom switches are still outside the bathroom. No reason for this since the power is 100V.

2. ALL toilet seats are hi-tech, electronically warmed. Even at the 13th Tee on the golf course.

3. Braille is everywhere. Beer cans, stair railings, sidewalks, carpets all have it. And I never saw a blind person anywhere.

4. Coffee is now available in most restaurants. They have machines where you dial a brew (espresso, american, latte, etc.) and the machine grinds the beans and brews the coffee into your cup. Pretty neat.

5. Japanese still try to avoid transferring money directly; it's dirty after all. So you pay by placing your money on a tray, and you receive your change in a tray, on top of receipt, or in some other way that does not involve touching hands with money. Weird.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Well, it was snowy in Karuizawa when we awoke, but we had a tee time scheduled and, after a while, the sun came out. There we were, on the slopes of Asamayama ("yama" means "mountain", remember.) playing just about as poorly as we do back in California. Ah, well. It was fun, and the golf carts had steering wheels on the left!

(That puff of white at the top of Mt. Asama is steam, not a cloud. It's hot 'cause that volcano is active, and blows every now and then.)