Monthly Archives: December 2011

A look back at 2011

It’s the final hour of 2011, and as I think about the past year, I’m amazed about how much has happened.  It’s been a year of some amazing highs and incredible lows.

The highs

I couldn’t have expected such an incredible year.  This year, I got engaged, then found out we were having a baby, then got married.  Getting engaged was interesting.  I had to figure out how to ask my wife to marry me, but thought about our first date.  We were at Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura, and that’s where I proposed, close to a year later.  It was a beautiful early February day, though a bit cold to be at the beach.

Later, in the spring, we found out we were going to have a baby.  I’ve chronicled this adventure on my other blog.  To put it into a few words, it’s been amazing watching how my wife has been getting a bigger belly, feeling the baby move, and seeing the ultrasound.  Now that the birth is only about 3 weeks away, it’s getting so very real.

Getting married was a big day, too.  However, it seems that many people don’t even realise that we’re married now.  I’ve had a few friends surprised about it, because they’d missed the announcement.  We actually got married at city office.  We had no wedding, though we’re planning to in the future.

Some other good things that happened were discovering Instagram and this blog becoming more popular.  Of course, that’s what I’d hope!

The lows

While my personal life has had some amazing highs, Japan itself went through some unbelievable lows.

March 11 was a day I’ll never forget.  Biggest earthquake recorded in Japan and 4th largest in the world, plus a giant tsunami that killed over 20,000 people, and a nuclear disaster.  It’s been difficult for Japan, which has been going through a recession it just can’t seem to pull out of.

If the earthquake wasn’t enough, the Tokyo area was hit by the most powerful typhoon to hit the region in a few years.  There was more damage  from the typhoon in the Tokyo region than there was from the earthquake.  It certainly was a surprise to experience such strong disasters this year.


So, what’s coming for 2012?  Well, hopefully bigger things for this blog, but the biggest thing for me is the birth of my daughter in the first month of the year.  I also plan to work hard on studying Japanese.  This blog will see some new things, and hopefully a return to frequent posts.  I think 2012 will be another year to remember.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Filed under Daily Life

How I’m spending New Year’s

As I write this, it’s very early New Year’s Eve morning, and I haven’t gone to bed yet.  We’re on holiday, and time seems to have no meaning right now.  My wife is playing a game on her computer, and I happened to be playing the same game, though an earlier version.  Well, I’ll be going to bed soon.  But before I do, here’s my plan for the next couple of days.

New Year’s Eve will consist of staying home, eating, watching TV and probably doing a blog post or two.  It seems that my wife’s sister is delivering some food that their grandmother made for us, so I guess that’s our dinner (we were going to have homemade fish and chips).  Also, we’re going to record the Gaki no Tsukai year end special.  My wife doesn’t really like their kind of humour, but I find the year end special to be very funny.  The local shrine has some lights set up, and I’ll probably pop by around midnight to see how they do things when the New Year starts.  I’ll also be drinking some beer.  What will I blog about?  My plans are for a Year in Review kind of post, as well as a top 5 Instagram photo of the year post.

New Year’s Day was originally supposed to be spent at the in-laws’ house, but due to our baby being in the breach position, we have an appointment at the clinic on the first.  That’s how the day will start, at the clinic, seeing if the baby will be born naturally or by C-section.  After that, we have more relaxing and eating coming up.  Meatloaf and gravy for dinner!  And sake (Hakkaizan, to be more specific)!  And the big thing for the new year is that I’m starting up the Photo of the Week again.  I missed it, and want to do it again.  Also, I plan to put up all of my Instagram photos, 10 at a time each week.


Filed under Blog Announcements, Daily Life, Festivals & Events

A letter to selfish Canadians regarding tsunami debris

I was reading the news on CBC’s website today, and came across an article about how the cleanup of tsunami debris will be quite difficult when it hits the west coast of Canada.  It’s quite understandable that it’ll require a lot of effort to clean up, but when I read the comments, I was disgusted.  But what would you expect from the average commenter on the Internet?  I’d like to address some of the moronic points brought up by some selfish idiots who call themselves Canadian.

Japan should pay for the cleanup.  I don’t think so.  Natural disasters have no borders, and they are not the responsibility of the local government when it affects other countries.  Japan is going to be paying for the recovery from this disaster for many years.  The Vancouver area is also expecting a megathrust earthquake of around magnitude 9.0 in the near future.  What should happen when it happens?  Vancouver will be devastated, I’m quite sure.  Should all other countries just sit by and watch what happens and not offer any support?  Japan, with its extensive experience with earthquakes, will probably be one of the first countries to offer assistance to Canada.  The debris from Canada’s likely earthquake will spread to Alaska.  Will the USA demand that Canada pay for the cleanup?  Not likely.  So why is it that a handful of selfish idiots in Canada would demand that Japan pay for the cleanup?  Show some humanity, you morons.  No one is demanding Iceland pay for damages caused by the volcano.  No one is demanding the USA pay for flooding of the Red River in Manitoba.

Japan should be punished because they hunt whales.  This is unrelated!  How dare you think this is some kind of retribution for a whale hunt?  Besides, this is hypocritical.  What about the seal hunt in Canada that is condemned by many around the world?

Japan is at fault because they build along the coast.  What?  Every single country in the world with access to the ocean does that!  Okay then, abandon Vancouver and Victoria.  Everyone should move inland.  Also, most habitable land in Japan is coastal.  Inland areas are mostly mountains and uninhabitable by large populations.  Or are you suggesting that Japan start leveling some mountains to build new inland cities?  Idiots.

The whaling ships should be used to clean up this debris.  I don’t understand how this would be possible.  That’s a tiny number of ships and a huge amount of debris.  It’s not physically possible.  Think with your brain, if you have one.

The Japanese destroyed a whole ocean ecosystem.  Uh, how did the Japanese people cause the earthquake and tsunami.  You, sir, are an idiot.

Japan should be embarrassed by this mess.  Yes, they should be very embarrassed about having a natural disaster that was not their fault.  Again, only idiots make statements like this.

“A single minor earthquake in Kobe killed thousands ruined Japan’s economy. A stronger earthquake struck Seattle years later with no deaths and only minor damage.” Kobe’s earthquake was shallow, and it was not minor.  It caused a lot of damage because it was shallow.  Seattle’s earthquake in 2001 was quite deep, which is why it did not cause much damage.  I was living in Victoria at that time, so I was also a “victim” of that earthquake.  If it had been a shallow earthquake, the devastation would have been far, far worse.  March’s earthquake was a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and the 4th largest recorded in the world!  It’s a very unfair comparison.  Seattle and Vancouver will likely be devastated in the Cascadia megathrust earthquake that’s expected.

There are more comments that are stupid and uneducated, but these are the worst of them.  Japan went through a massive disaster, thousands of people died and are still homeless, a large amount of rebuilding needs to be done, and all these idiots can think of is themselves.  For those of you who agree with the ignorant statements I mentioned, you should remove yourself from society and spend the rest of your lives living in some dark hole in the ground, or at least get some kind of education in humanity.  You are not human, you are garbage.


Filed under Canada, Japan

Snowcapped Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji is a very well known sight to people around the world. It’s a symbol of Japan. I’m very lucky to be able to see it on a regular basis. On Saturday morning, as I was riding the train, I could see Mt. Fuji, as well as the much closer Tanzawa-Oyama Mountains very clearly. I took these two pictures from the train with my phone in Izumi Ward, Yokohama. That morning was very cold and clear, so the air was incredibly clear.

The snowcapped Mt. Fuji is very prominent next to the much closer Tanzawa Mountains.

I zoomed in on Mt. Fuji to get a closer look. Looking great!


Filed under Izumi-ku, Japan, Kanagawa, Mountains, Nature, Yokohama

Where’s Jay Dee?

I haven’t gone anywhere.  Actually, I’ve been quite busy lately.  I work 6 days a week, and I spend my time with my wife in the evening.  On my day off, we’ve been going to the clinic, getting things ready for the baby, spending time with the in-laws, and so on.  I’ve been blogging regularly on my other blog, though.  I have a lot of ideas and things to blog about here, though.  I just haven’t had so much time to think them through or write the posts.  I didn’t even get through 6 days of NaNoWriMo because I had no time.  After the baby’s born (next month!), everything will be crazy.  I can’t make any promises, but I’ll do my best to update as much as I can.

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Filed under Blog Announcements