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January 29, 2011

Check Your Boob Box

Gonna be on TV again about country living..

8:00 Sunday Scope, we start around 8:13 channel BS TBS.

I hate reporters recently, so I have been trying to start making my own videos so I only have to deal with my own lies. I think I have a long way to go before I make TV quality video.

The video is my drive home from Tokyo two nights ago. We got another meter of snow and the city next-door opened their emergency shelters for stranded people for the first time in five years.

Below is a short video of Mona waking up - when she is always at her best.

January 10, 2011


Tomoe and Mona Shovel out the carMona enjoys a bathMona enjoys a bath

It started snowing a few hours ago, while the fire brigade was on its way back from Tokyo. When we arrived in Sakae Mura, there was only about 15cm (6 inch) on my car, so I was able to brush it off and make it home from the bus-stop. That was around 8:00 pm. Now, at 12:00, I look out and find another 30 cm or so - and it is supposed to snow all night.

Luckily, before leaving for Tokyo, Tomoe and Mona were able to get the area in front of our house pretty much cleared out - to make room for tonight's big snow. Afterwards, Mona enjoyed a hot bath in the water left over from Mommy's foot soaking.

When Mona was born Tomoe found a cheap used Tummy Tub. It never really caught on, and has long since been a laundry bucket. Mona's favorite at-home bath these days is an old pickle bucket we got from the farm shop for $1.

And, I leave you with some obligatory annual shots of the snow on our car. This was a few days ago. I can't wait to see tomorrow morning.

Car in SnowCar in Snow Car in Snow

Oh! Wait! Speaking of tomorrow morning, as I write this, it is already 110110! Happy Birthday Mona! Too bad she has her first slight cold - in fact first sickness ever. (Just wanted to make other parent's jealous). It must be the rice. So, in light of that, I will leave you with some boring rerun photos from 100110.

DSC_2452 copyDSC_2534 copyDSC_2563 copy


Me with the Musahinoyamamurashi Fire Brigade where we played trumpet

Spent the weekend in the outskirts of Tokyo playing my trumpet with our village shobodan (volunteer fire-department) rappa team. The district of Tokyo (Musashinomurayama) where we played has no trumpet team, so they asked us to come play for their annual "start of the shobodan year" ceremony.

Musahinoyamamurashi Fire BrigadeMigi muke migi!Japanese military training on a local level

I hate these things. Put aside the four hour bus ride, another big party with luxurious food that I am pretty much sick of by now, repeating my story (which gets shorter and shorter every time I tell it) of how/why I came to live in this village - both to almost every member of the hosting shobodan, and to all six of the "companion" hostesses which I have mentioned many, many times on this blog, explaining where Michigan is "No, it is not near Texas, nor is it near Vancouver, nor Florida. Yes! Chicago is the capitol of Michigan! Lets move on."

Then, the next day we have to stand around and wait for an hour or more for the ceremony to begin, and then we have to stand motionless, at attention, for another two hours while people give speeches and receive awards and what not.

Musahinoyamamurashi Fire Brigade spraying colored water for effect

On the other hand, as I have mentioned before, I love these things. For all the (really good) bad food, it is fun to have face time with the other members of my community. I am luckier than some of the other people my age, in that I am a freak, so even the "important" people want to talk to me. Once we get past the tiresome topics I mentioned above, I learn some very helpful things. I was completely content to have a long conversation about farming and rice with the head of musashimonuriyama? Dang! I forgot how to spell it... fire brigade.

And, while not all of the members were able to make it, most of those of them that did seemed like kids in a candy store when we had free time in "the big city". I, on the other hand, stayed in the hotel and had some quality bonding (drinking) time with two of the members who I rarely have the opportunity to speak with.

As I said last time, and the time before, it is a pain in the ass, and I disagree with much of the concept, I am still looking forward to do it until I just get too busy to attend the nightly practices in what I hope will soon be our peak business time.

The photo below shows some of the "junior fire brigade". There was a guy in uniform yelling and scolding them like the drill sergeant in An Officer and a Gentleman. The youngest girl looked like she was about five years old, and they are teaching them to blindly obey militaristic orders. I was even more shocked when I came home and Tomoe told me that most schools (at least when she was in school) teach all the kids how to march in step and do "About face!!", and "Forward march!!", etc.

It would be great if they just focused on helping people and preventing/fighting fires...

Young recruits for the red berets Visiting the City
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