Evening Dew On Rice

Nice sunset tonight, but sunsets are sunsets and are pretty more often than not. I was more enchanted by the dew clinging to the tips of the rice.

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Another weekend in the books. This time next week I will no longer be registering weekends, at least for the next few months. Hope all is well. Time to find a pillow.

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Mega

I’ve had several potential blog-worthy topics kicking around, but have been too busy/unmotivated to write them in a timely fashion, so I’m slapping them all together into one, all-encompassing post to sum up all that’s been going on in my weary universe of late. Here, in order of increasing importance in the grand scheme of things.

Item 1: Big-Ass TV

Sunday marked the last day that Japan would be broadcasting an analog signal (is that proper terminology?), which meant that we need to buy a new TV if we wanted to retain access to the crappy selection of channels we have been enjoying. We did some browsing last week, but naturally waited until the last possible moment to pull the trigger and buy a TV. We were definitely going to upgrade from the 15-inch unit we have been using for the past six or seven years (have I been here that long???), it was just a question of size.

The old:

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The new:

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I need to get some cables online so I can hook up my computer and patch the Slingbox through to this giant TV. Until then this TV is not much use to me.

Item 2: Garden

Most of what I planted in the spring survived and is in full swing at the moment. I haven’t had much time to spend tinkering around amongst the veggies, weeds and spider webs, but fortunately my plot is of a size that doesn’t require a whole lot of attention. And even when it does, generally one of the old fogies who spends his or her days out there takes care of minor maintenance for me.

My plot goes back to the corn, across from which are a couple of cucumber plants; in the foreground are way too many beans, a hot red pepper plant and a habanero plant; up to the front I have soy beans (which are sucking, as usual, but not dead), okra, green and red peppers, eggplant, mini and regular tomatoes.

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Back in my yard, the BBQ sanctuary/sunflower garden is doing great, with the first few sunflowers blooming and the rest not far behind. I love sitting in here having a cup of coffee in the morning or a brew in the evening, though I wish I had laid a little more sod as it’s a bit cramped in there.

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Item 3: The Boy (for the grandmothers mostly)

Ray is plugging along, getting big, jabbering away, figuring out how to push our buttons more and more each day. I wondered aloud to Chieko this evening what exactly we used to do after coming home from work before Ray was born. I can’t remember. I can’t imagine coming home and having NOTHING to do after work. If I ever have to describe parenthood to someone, I would say that it’s being tired, all the time. But in a good way, and hopefully I won’t be this tired for the rest of my life.

Ray in motion.

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Ray at rest.

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That’s it from here. We’ve been doing a bunch of other normal stuff like BBQ-ing our brains out and enjoying down time on the weekends; good for the psyche, not great for the blog. Life is good. I think I have 8 days of work left, and I am by all means counting. Until next time, whenever that may be, stay well. (And I will get a revamped blogroll up at some point, for my own convenience if nothing else.)

This Place Is Alright

I had Ray for the majority of the day yesterday since Chieko had to go into the office for a few hours, and then had to go to the hospital for her toe after that. Her toe, to all of our pleasure, is not broken. In the late afternoon I hopped on my bike and headed off to ride up a mountain as far as my rations of time and energy would take me. I have no idea where I ended up, but would like to see it on a map, if only to figure out where I was going. I’d like to try to go further on this road someday.

I had ridden up a little ways before back in the spring, when there was still a lot of snow in the woods and eventually on the road as well. There are pictures on here somewhere if you care to go back and look. This time, still wary of bears, I was clanging away on my bell for a lot of the time, but eventually I got tired of listening to it and figured my breathless panting would be enough forewarn any wildlife of my presence.IMG_2594

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I made it this far — still climbing.

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And I was very much in the middle of nowhere, which is a lovely if not slightly unnerving place to be.

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And then back down in a fraction of the time it had taken to where I had gotten. It was fun, curvy ride down.

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Back through the artificial, fairytale forest which I like despite it’s unnaturalness.

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And back home it was for the end of another weekend. The good news of course is that this week is a quarter in the books already. And now enough of this blogging, it’s time for a nightcap in the sunflower pleasure palace. Good night.

Sitting Here Sweating

It’s an exceedingly quiet Sunday afternoon here, aside from the unwelcome hum of cicadas outside. I always associate their mating calls with the darkest, hottest days of summer. There aren’t too many out yet, but the chorus will grow deafening in the next few weeks, after which the sidewalks will be littered with dead and dying cicadeas.

The other reason it’s quiet is because Ray is out like a light, and Chieko is at the hospital. It would seem she has again broken her foot in the most mundane of ways. Last time she fell UP the stairs; this morning she got to the top of the stairs and booted the laundry basket she had left there last night. She is being pretty hard on herself about it, but these things happen. Hopefully it’s only sprained and will heal quickly since she is pretty hobbled, and has classrooms spread out all over campus that she has to get to.

Yesterday afternoon I went fishing with two of my neighbors. I went with them a few weeks ago in the morning. Morning is definitely the better time to go. I can’t recall ever sweating more just standing in one place than I did yesterday. None of us caught any fish, but it was peaceful and the sunset cast a beautiful light on the towering storm clouds that had formed over the mountains as the afternoon heated up.

When I went fishing with these guys last time it was a bit embarrassing. The coastline is basically paved over or covered in jetties made up of concrete tetrapod/jack structures, and the custom is to clamber out onto these things and fish from there. I’m not afraid of heights at all, but these tetrapods freak me out. I get paralyzed with fear of falling into the voids between them, and there’s a fair amount of hopping around from place to place involved in navigating one’s self out to a proper fishing position.

So I make it onto the first tetrapod, arms full of fishing gear and big balance-skewing backpack on, and that’s it. My neighbors scamper away at alarming speed as if it’s the most natural thing in the world, and I can’t move. One of my neighbors comes back and relieves me of my armload of fishing rods, but it makes no difference. It was fruitless, we had to move to solid ground. I felt like a huge pussy, but I couldn’t help it.

Yesterday, I eventually grew more interested in taking pictures of the scenery than repeatedly tossing my lure into the water and not getting any action.

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Hints of Cape Cod in those last few pictures.

The next few weeks have been a long time coming — 4 day week this week, 4 day weekend, 4 day week next week. After that another week of real classes before things start wrapping up and summer vacation will be upon us. I try not to start looking towards ┬ávacation while it’s too far away, but I think we’re within range enough that I can start obsessing about it.

That’s about it from here. Ray will probably be waking up soon, and I should hear from Chieko shortly as well regarding her foot. I think I have time to squeeze in one more homebrew before things start picking up again. Until next time…