Through the Woods

As my friends and family back home are getting an early dose of winter, fall is still in its prime here in Kanazawa. But this is the time of year when two weeks can make a big difference, so I’m trying to take full advantage of the sunny, warm days while I can. To that end, I took a bike ride with a friend yesterday for a couple of hours. Here are some pictures.

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Since we know we are going to be hanging around Kanazawa for a while, we’ve started looking at houses/land. Neither of us know anything really about buying property, so it’s going to be a long process before we do anything. For starters, I can’t even get a loan without first getting permanent residency, so I need to go through that several-month process first. I’ll have lots of posts on this process as it unfolds, and I’ll no doubt be soliciting advice from anyone who has experience building or buying a house in Japan. But that’s for another night.

Happy Halloween (tomorrow)!!!

The Japanese Dream?

Last spring my boss asked me if I was interested in a permanent position at my school. I certainly was, and so began the several-month process of me re-applying for a job at the school where I already work. I had to write a long essay, get my wife to translate my resume into Japanese, then cross my fingers and hope that my boss’ word was enough to sway the powers that be. Yesterday was the meeting in which people voted me up or down, and this morning I learned that I am in line to become tenured. Sweet. Exhale. Don’t have to move. Don’t have to find  a new job. May exit the carousel that is university teaching in Japan. I feel pretty fortunate about this turn of events.

I’ve lamented the teaching situation here before. By and large, you work at a school for a few years and then have to pull up stakes and find a new gig. That was cool, even appealing, when it was just Chieko and me. Ray changed the equation. Giving him and any subsequent kids a stable childhood became paramount, and if teaching couldn’t provide that then something else would. Fortunately, we don’t have to wonder about going down that road any more.

Now it’s time to start making a reality out of all the ideas I have about the kind of life I/we want to build for ourselves and our kid(s). For the last 5 years we’ve been living in temporary mode, laying down roots but not letting them burrow too deep. Now we can really sink them in. Time to look for a house with some land, get some chickens, a big friggin garden, maybe a goat, make our own cheese, brew a bunch of beer, start saving for that 2001 BMW Z3…the sky’s the limit baby!!!!

Gonna sleep well tonight (not that I don’t every night). Look at the boy.

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Fall In the Sticks

We took a short trip to the inlaw’s, leaving after work on Friday evening and returning this afternoon. We have the day off tomorrow to relax, so it was a good opportunity to put some miles on the new ride, get out of town for a bit, and have some grandparents to take care of our kid for 48 hours. This post has a bunch of pictures, so I’ll split them up with minimal commentary (since I’ve spent so much time uploading and editing them that I just want to get this over with!).

We’ll start with the boy, who thoroughly enjoyed the company of his grandparents, and their fish.

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Around the farm, things are in full fall mode. The money-making crops (rice and watermelon) are done, and now the focus seems to be on wrapping up the personal  garden and getting ready for winter.

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Not sure what these flowers are, but I dig them. Looks like a brain to me.

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Despite the subtle feeling that everything is starting to die, there are still plenty of plants that are just coming into their own.

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This morning we woke up to thick fog.

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The fog eventually burned off, and I jumped into the car to cruise up my favorite road to nowhere. The fog was gone, but the sun was still low enough in the sky to create all sorts of cool light.

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The next time we’re here, it’ll be covered in snow.

I probably have other stuff to say, but after spending far too long putting this post together, it’ll have to wait. Anyways, I have to get up at 5 o’clock tomorrow to watch the Pats whoop up on the Jets (hopefully).

Enjoy the three-day weekend those of you in American and Japan. Good night.

New Wheels, Etc.

This blog has taken a back seat lately now that we’re back to work. I haven’t had time to get out and ride my bicycle up over mountains or do any other blog-worthy pursuits.

Last week, however, I was bursting with anticipation as we were set to take delivery of the Voxy that we bought last month. We ended up getting it Thursday night, and it is cool. I probably shouldn’t feel as pumped as I do about driving around a mini-van. But it’s a new car, and it is slick inside and out, so the novelty of it is pretty powerful.

I took a drive down to the beach over the weekend for some glamor shots. The front end is definitely the best angle.

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Not too hot from the side, but not bad. It is a grocery-getter after all.

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The beach itself was pretty impressive as well, with ominous front passing off the coast.

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And sadly, that’s about all I’ve got tonight. I could talk about how well work is going, or how it’s cooling off and fall is in full effect, or the Red Sox’ abomination of a season, but none of that is particularly interesting. We’re contemplating a trip to Chieko’s parent’s this weekend, but nothing set in stone. I’m fending off a man cold, and the meds are just kicking in. Time for bed.