Monday, March 23, 2015

HI MOM&DAD!! Nice talking with you last TUESDAY!

1.  Happy B-day dad.  So nice to hear  your voice.  Do get hooked up w/a computer.

2.  Heading to Sanomiya via train.  Osaka is hub to some major Japanese cities.  Kyoto is down the road.  Nara is to the south aNd Kobe (a major shipping point city with history, most notible as the gateway to Japan's opening to outsiders) is half a block to the West.  The 4 cities are iNterconneCted by express trains that buzz in and out of the city. Conformity on some level is required to coordinate the living of some 25 Million people in such a small area.  Being here and living the chaos makes Japanese conformity seem pretty sensible.

3.  The vacation is coMiNg to an end.  And I am always on the move.  Mostly Because of the loss of my child.  I don't Like to stop and be contemplative.  At such times I feel my self stairing down a deep-dark well of Despair.

4.  Taking the tra8n.  Heading to socCer.  Stopping@Okamoto.  In 2-weeks I will be stopping there^for class.

5.  Went on a bike ride yesterday and got caught in a cold winter shower as we were,climBing a MouNtain.  Rain in Japan.  The rummor is true.  Japan has rain.

Friday, March 06, 2015

My day as a redneck!

It was a SUNDAY afternoon and I was heading out to what can Best be described as the legacy of Evil Kanevil: loud and dangerous jumps/pro-wresting hyperboly/unruley heavy metal fans.

A month earlier my friend posted a note: anybody wanna go?!?!?  I always try to say YES.  So I said YES and worried about the details later...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


In Japan there are many places to snowboard because obviously if you are an Islan you are going to be a beach or your going to be a mountain.  Sometimes you may a place that leads up to a mountain or you may be a place that you pass through on the way to the beach.  For the most part you are either one or the other.  

Snowboarding w/my soccer team has been a regular event for me.  We usually leave Friday night@10 and arrive the next day@5a.m.  You arrive blitzcreaged and behaggled from 5 hours of trying to sleep in the bus.

Then we stay for 3 days and make a party of it.  The last time we rode the bus all night and the snowboard-ed all day and returned to our hotel w/ambitious plans to go to a bar.  But we returned to our hotel room and fell asleep mid-pose.  Noone even unrolled their futon.  We just slept where we were standing.

ONe of our members almost died on one trip.  Did I tell you that?!?!?!  True story.  No sleep.  Lot's of drinking  the night before (him not me.  I am afraid the alcoholic gene slipped past me.  My drinking habits are almost identical to Dad).  It was especially cold that day and he lost his hat.  He pasted out stone cold.  Luckily it was  infront of a lodge. 

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Hello!  Mom and Dad are you there?!?  Most of my posts have been via Facebook or Line.  I hate to say it but bLogs are so old fashioned.  But I realize that the blog is the only media that you can access so in the next few days I hope to post some updates about my life.
So you may be wondering about the above picture.  I play futsal 5 days a week.  Futsal is basically soccer played w/5 people on^a small tennis court sized pitch.  Remember this.  Since I play 5 times a week any conversation w/me will require knowledge of said sport and it would bring upon me pains most heavily to have to repeat myself.

The  young man I am w/is Saudi.  He is from Saudi Arabia and He and saveral other Atabs play w/us....

Thursday, September 04, 2014

West Coast trail

The West Coast Trail runs along the coast of Canada and it was based along a trail used by shipwrecked sailors who were trying to make it back to civilization.  There is also a history of the First Nation people using the trails.  In these days of GPS the trail has outlived it's utilitarian purpose and not has become a site of recreation for any number of campers and hikers. 

I started out the trip in Victoria and met my friend Anthony.  Victoria is upper class hippy-ville.  Boutique restaurants and an assortment of craft and novelty stores.  Beautiful weather and a bevy of tourist related activities greet the visitors to this city.  Anthony and I stayed in the Youth Hostel although the bar across the sleep that played live music into the twee hours was no help to our sleep.  We woke early: 5 and head out to catch the bus to Bamfeild.  It was a long and arduous 5 hour trip along some very dirt roads.  Eventually we made it to the ranger's house and we were told that it was very busy and we might bot be able to get on the trail for several days.  My heart sank.  This is what I feared: being unable to touch foot on the trail after traveling across the globe.  But we were put on a waiting list and headed to the nearby campsite to wait (days?!?!).  The camp site had all sorts of amenities including hots showers and firewood.  The view was beautiful and the sky clear.  Hold tight for pictures.  My friends should be sending them.

"Friends" you may ask?  I thought it was just you and Anothony?  Ahhh.  This is another story and another aspect of the trail.  It is quite busy and trail hikers end up being social.  But let's continue with out story for now..

The hike was 6 days and 75 kilometers.  We made about 2k per hour and on average hiked about 12k a day.  So this would mean a good solid hike of 6 hours and we would be rolling into the camp ground at 3 or so.  We would grab a nice spot, set up our tend and have time for relaxing and taking a dip in the very very cold ocean/river/lake/waterfall.

The trail was built like an obstacle course.  There was beach hiking, woods hiking, ladder climbing and zip-line zipping.  The beach was either sandy covers or large haphazardly tossed boulders.  On our second to last day we had two hours of boulder hopping.  Many people (and by "many people" i mean 1 or 2) get K.O.-ed by the boulder field.  They slip on the black moss and hit their head and face.  I myself did a little scamper dance and landed on my butt with one such encounter with black moss.

The woods usually had boardwalks but many of the board walks had rotted away or they were never there in the first place to rot away.  So the above was a typical trail for about 20k.  Tangled roots and mud pits.  As such many people wore GATORS which look like plastic leg warmers but serve the purpose of keeping your feet dry when you tread through muddy and wet places.  But we took to the trail during the DRIEST SUMMER ON RECORD.  So a lot of the problems you would hear about from the past were not present during our short 6 day excursion. 

We made friends with a lot of people because at the end of the day we would end up camping at the same site.  This made the trip much more social than most out door camping you would do. 

All in all it was an amazing trip and I hope to go back to Canada sometime real soon!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

the trip...

Headed out to the tip of the penisula about 300 miles south of Osaka. Started out the day and headed an hour south and was picked up by my friend Terry. Terry O'brian is English and retired and set. He has a big van so after scooping me up we set off. The first part of the trip was interstate highways and tunnels but as abruptly as falling off a cliff the scenery turned to seascape. Large anthropomorpic rocks lay crouched just off the shore.

We arrived at our hotel which was a little Greyhound Bus Station-ish but no complaints. The scenery was great even if 5he curtins were unchanged since the 1950's.

The next day we followed the shore and then took a sharp left and followef a ribbon of a road up into the mountains. The scenery was bold and green and boarding on Canadian-esque.

Along the way we took a wrong turn and ended up going along a fisherman's road. Things started to get rocky. I hit a rock wrong and my tire deflated with a quick pshhhhhhhh.  In a manner of seconds my back tire was reduced to r7bber. And that was only the first of many flats. All in all we us3d up our paches. Soon Terry got fed up with flats and storms (oh did I mention we got  caught in a storm?!?!?!?) and we headed home.

The last day was short. Terry was knackered.  We headed out at 11 and did some coastal riding. At 2 or  so Terry has injected himself with several Ref Bulls to prop up his exhausted body. `Let's head home he said to me whilst sitting down at the convience store nursing a red bull.  It was fine with me. My goal was to enjoy the bike trip and not break any records.  Wr came back and fouNd the van. We returned home and I readied my self for my next big trip: My voyage home!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The 1,000 year old tree...

Took to the hills.  Climbed over Minoh (where the monkey's live under the waterfall). Then came into a small valley where here us a tree that is (according to a plak) 1,000 years old.  And int the tree lived 7 tiny baby owls. 

We followed a river road down to Ichikura Dam.  Then it was a small path through the woods where we stopped at a small Japanese restaurant.  After which we picked up where we left off and headed home via the river road.  The sky darken and we were caught in a storm.  A warm summer rainfall.  It was good.  Life was good.  Came home tired.  And headed out the door to my friend'S house where he was having a house warming party.  It was warm.  And good.  Lots of good.  Came hope and fell into a stupor that eventually tapered off into a kind of sleep.  Woke up the next day and realized that I had slept 9 hours.