A summer adventure to Mt. Fuji

October 5th, 2017

Summer was a little different for me this year for reasons I won’t get in to, but there were still some great moments.

One of the best things I did this summer was attempt to climb Mt. Fuji.

Yes, “attempt”.

I also didn’t know you could really “fail” at reaching the top until last summer when my wife’s group was turned back at the last moment by bad weather.

So, she went again. And made it.

So, she asked me to go.

We didn’t make it.

We started in the early afternoon and hiked and climbed all night with a 3 hour rest and short nap right before reaching the top. This was timed so we could reach the top at sunrise.

The wind was crazy strong near the top, and we couldn’t get to go all the way up. We were only a few hundred meters from going all the way. It was disappointing after going so far, but it was also still interesting.

We returned part of the way down the mountain and waited on the mountainside for the sunrise. The wind was really strong and it was very cold. We were told not to go to sleep because of the temperatures and we were waiting on an exposed part of the mountain. It was a little tough, but we were dressed for cold, wet weather, so not too bad.

The sunrise was spectacular.

Here’s a photo I took.

The heat is peeling things

July 20th, 2017

Summer is not here for class yet, but it is certainly here with the weather. It has been in the mid 30s several days in a row now. The humidity has been high as well. I think we actually used the air-conditioning at home more than once.

That’s not a thing we have to do so much.

A couple of days ago when I was parking my bike at school I saw a monster grasshopper taking advantage of some shade on the back of a recently parked car. I guess the window was still cool from the air conditioning. He didn’t want to be disturbed. I’m not sure how big it looks in this photo, but I thought it was huge.

On my walks during the day my clothes are completely soaked wth sweat. There are some shady spots along the trails, but today I noticed that even a snake thought it must have been too hot and walked out of some skin!

Okay, I know it wasn’t the heat, but I did see a pretty good sized, all in one piece, snake skin that was recently shed along one of the trails I usually walk.

Another little visitor on my walk

July 13th, 2017

The weather has been so hot and humid these days, but I am still going out for my daytime walks twice a week. When I walk alone and in the daytime, I usually take a route through the forests around Heiwa Park. I often see wildlife there, even a raccoon and a squirrel. I usually see lizards and the like, but they dart away so quickly I don’t usually have a chance to get a photo.

Today I saw a blue tailed lizard who stopped to try to hide from me, so I was able to get a couple of pictures before he realized his ruse was not working and he darted off into the woods.

Here are a couple of the better pics (sorry, they’re just taken with my iPhone, so not that high quality)

 

Bluegrass for Water

July 6th, 2017

My friends and I who make up the band Meito Junction are very excited to announce we will be playing the first of what should be a string of benefit concerts to raise money to bring clean water to an orphanage in Uganda.

Here’s an old photo of the band

Here’s the poster for the first event:

And here is an audio sample of the music we play:

 

How do you eat an elephant?

June 15th, 2017

And why?!!! 😉

This week we are really digging in to preparing for a final exam essay and I thought it was a good time to remind students that it is too big of a task to sit down and try to finish all at once.

So, I put this drawing (yes, I call it a drawing!) on the board.

 

I of course told them that you grab the elephant by the trunk and try to suck it down like noodles. They laughed. I think that was either from my pantomiming the action or well, look at that drawing…I eventually told them that you should do it one bite at a time.

 

(I do this sometimes, often, too often, where I just think, “Oh, I’ll draw a/an somethingerother” without having done it either ever before or at the least in a long, long time. That’s how I ended up with this drawing a week or so ago:

To the left were bad ovals, supposed to be eggs… it did the trick though.

I need to practice drawing more!