It Puts the Baby In the Car

After last night’s bottle of wine disappeared I climbed into bed and woke up ten hours later.  Actually, I woke up closer to eight hours later due to all the noise and commotion of Sports Day festivities being broadcast through megaphones at the elementary school a few doors down, but that was a fleeting (though recurring) wakefulness.  I finally rolled out of bed when Chieko advised me that her parents were leaving soon.  Before I could finish my first cup of coffee they were gone, planning to hit some sites on their way back to Niigata. (We had initially signed on to help out at Sports Day, me setting up tents at a horrific hour and Chieko helping prepare lunches, but bailed out when I realized that would leave me with a no-day weekend.)

I watched the end of the Sox game, and some basketball, and eventually we fled the noise and took a drive.  Before Ray was born Chieko and I would jump in the car and head off to where ever at the drop of a hat.  We enjoy going on drives, but Ray has obviously hampered our ability to take them at the drop of a hat.  Now that he’s getting a little older and less fragile, we’re starting to venture out a bit more.  He had a good suckle before we left, which meant sleep once the car started rolling.

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures from a drive I had taken after work one day, following a winding road up the side of the nearby mountains.  I had been wanting to explore further since then, and today was the day.  I was a little hesitant about bringing Ray, given the single lane, winding, landslide-prone nature of the road, but figured we would be OK since it hasn’t rained in the last 48 hours.

Once we gained some elevation the views opened up over some nice valleys and peaks across the way.  Although it hasn’t really rained the past few days, we’ve still been stuck under pretty low clouds.  Take what we can get, I suppose.



We passed the entrance to the dirt road that you can see across the valley.  I would have loved to see where it leads, but not sure the Civic is up to the task.


We took a different route back down, which lead through some really dense, aromatic forest that I really need to explore on foot.


Finding out where this road goes has only made me want to go back and explore more, on foot or mountain bike rather than by car.  I saw a lot of signs designating various swathes of mountainside as protected, and there are all kinds of trails through the woods (and bears!).

I had notions of hitting the beach today as well, since I haven’t been there in ages, but we didn’t make it.  Perhaps on Tuesday, which is a day off, or next weekend.  For the time being, good night.



Damn.  That was a long week.  I screwed myself from the beginning by dwelling on the fact that it was a six day week.  Throw in rain and darkness for 5 out of the last 6 days, plus a few extra-curricular work duties, and I had dug myself a nice big hole to wallow in.  But all that’s behind me.

Chieko’s parents are in town for the night to ogle and fawn over Ray.  It’s nice that her parents are only a few hours away, and can visit with such ease.  When Chieko told me they were coming earlier this week, in the midst of my self-pity, I declaired defiantly ‘I’m not doing anything!’  Chieko countered with the keene observation that her parents were coming to see Ray anyways.  Good enough.  I’ve mellowed a bit in my resistance, but I’d rather not leave the yard tomorrow.


I had a scare tonight when I tried to take some pictures and my camera wouldn’t work.  I was using the P.O.S. kit lens that came with the camera, which I love and have used the crap out of.  I put on another lens and the camera worked fine, and for a few minutes I thought I might be justified in buying a nice new lens.  Sadly, when I put the kit lens back on a few minutes later and did some finagling, it started working again.  In the meantime I had some fun with my equally P.O.S. 50mm lens, which for all its limitations takes some cool pictures.


And while I’ve got you staring at pictures of wine, I’ll mention that it has become my beverage of choice over the last year or so.   I grew weary of mainstream Japanese beers, which are good but all basically the same.  To get a good Japanese micro-brew, which happily are becoming more and more popular, you pay through the nose.  Wine, on the other hand, is available in wide variety at a very reasonable price.

That bottle of wine is nearly empty now, and I will surely make it an early night, wine induced.  I’m looking forward to not getting up at a quarter to six tomorrow morning, watching some baseball, drinking some coffee, pulling some weeds, all very, very, very slowly.  Hope your weekend is longer than mine!  Good night.

That’ll Do

Lament.  In my last post I welcomed the rain.  Four days later it’s still coming down, and my hospitality washed down the gutter a long time ago.  I need some sun.


It may not rain 24 hours a day, but it’s never nice.  The mountains have been socked in for days under low clouds, but despite the drear and apparent lack of sunshine things are growing like crazy.

This week is dragging a little bit though.  The prospect of having an extra day of work, coupled with the perpetual feeling of having my head in a fog because of the weather, has given me the feeling of just going through the motions trying to get to Sunday, putting the days behind me as quickly as possible.  That’s no way to live.

At least Ray doesn’t seemed phased in the least by the weather, and once I get home and see him smiling away and rolling around all over the place, I find myself in a better frame of mind.

More rain on tap for tomorrow!  Keep smiling Ray, please.

Let It Rain

I knew today’s forecast was for rain all day, so I made sure to get all my outside work done yesterday.  This left me with nothing to do but chill out inside with no pressing feelings that there was something I needed to be doing.  And rain it did.


This morning I spent a few hours flipping between Dice-K taking a no hitter into the 8th inning and the Celtics mopping the floor with the Orlando Magic.  Quite the morning for Boston sports.  After that it was back into bed with Chieko and Ray to listen to the rain falling outside for a little while, and then a leisurely trip to the gym.

This evening we met up with my friend/chiropractor, his wife, and their demon-child for all-you-can eat yakiniku.  He was wearing a shirt that said ‘Christianity,’ and she had a sweater saying ‘Fuck That It.’  I declined to explain any of it to them.  So I’ve had my monthly quota of meat, and I’ll be eating nothing but salad for a few days.  I’m also losing my taste for red meat, unless it’s a prime cut of good Japanese beef.  The bite-size pieces that you generally get with yakiniku really don’t do much for me.

Back to work tomorrow, and we’ve got a six-day workweek on tap, with classes next Saturday — sucky.  We do have next Tuesday off to make up for it, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Still have an hour or so of weekend consciousness left, and I shall enjoy.  Good night.