Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Anniversary of the Fall of Nanjing

Head on over to Trans-Pacific Radio for a balanced article on the Rape of Nanking (Nanjing).


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Monday, November 27, 2006

Another Thanksgiving Pic

Most everyone is seated in this picture, so you can see that everyone was packed in pretty tight. We bought fourteen placemats for the dinner, but it turned out that they were way too big. Luckily they were made of cloth, so we were able to fold them in half.


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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bullying

Please click on the link above and read the article (Trans-Pacific Radio).


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Thanksgiving Day Feast

We hosted our first ever Thanksgiving dinner Thursday night. We had 12 guests (14 turkey-eaters total) which made it by far the biggest gathering we've ever attempted. This is a picture of the bird--fresh out of the oven.


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Sunday, November 19, 2006

New View

After a couple of months of demolition, the noise has finally stopped. Here is what was waiting for us on the other side (I recommend focusing on the background).


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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thanksgiving Turkey

Bought a bird last week, a frozen one. 14 pounds was thought to be enough for the guests coming on Thursday, but it's too big to fit in the freezer.


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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Trans-Pacific Radio

Over in the links section of this page is a link to a new website that may be of interest to some of you (or you can just click on the title above). The good people at Trans-Pacific Radio, Garrett and Ken, are heading up a podcast project that discusses regional politics. They put out a podcast and several articles each week. Currently they have a lot of good information on North Korea's nuclear escapades.

Definitely worth a look (and/or listen).


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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dad's Rainbow

My brother posted some good photos from last Thursday evening. Find them here.


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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Raymond Pellegrini

Here is a resolution passed by the House of Representatives in memory of my father.


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Loss

We're back in Tokyo after what has been easily the worst week of our lives.

From door to door it was about 28 hours coming back, so we're tired now.

Here's a quick rundown of what I'm referring to.


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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Birthday Dinner



We went to dinner in Yokohama last night. It's a place called Chandler's, a Seattle-style seafood restaurant, at Minatomirai station. Lobster and steak! Nice nice! This photo was taken on the deck outside Chandler's.


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Friday, April 28, 2006

Moving

This isn't easy. We've managed to pack a box or two every night over the past week, but very little seems to have changed. It's annoying. Everything is cluttered, nothing seems to have actually been moved, and we now have half a living room filled with boxes.

We have a moving company coming to pick up all of the big, bulky stuff (fridge, bed, kitchen table, etc.), so those items are still making the place look like we don't intend to leave. From what I've been told, the movers will just march in here with huge blue blankets, wrap the computer up, and march it down the stairs. The TV, printer, DVD player, and my dartboard will experience a similar style of abduction. Then we just have to make sure that everything looks mildly presentable for our landlord.

There are a couple of dents in the wall that we're going to have to pay for, but other than that the place is in pretty good shape. The tatami also needs to be replaced, but that's normal. Apparently they're supposed to be replaced every time a tennant moves out.

My back is sore from moving things around (and from playing with the kids), but I'm going to play soccer tomorrow anyway.


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Sunday, April 23, 2006

One of 'Those' Nights



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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Spelling


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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Royal Parks Hanakoganei

Click here for the floorplan of our new apartment. The balcony on the left side of the page is not included with our apartment. That only comes with the apartment on the top floor (we're on the 4th floor).

Measurements are in meters.


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Moving

I just went to the bank and wired enough money to cover the deposit, real estate agency's fee, first month's rent, and several other miscellaneous expenses for our new apartment.

Wire transfer amount: $7,500.


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Monday, April 17, 2006

Trip to Pusan, South Korea


Myself, Papa Kim, and Kayla out in front of the raw fish restaurants.


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Yong-nam and her father on the beach in Pusan.


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That's right, TWO bottles of expensive wine. Actually, I usually just pick the 2nd most expensive bottle on the wine list when I go out, so it's rarely that expensive.


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Yong-ho, Christopher, and Yong-nam.


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Song-jun and Shilbia at the wine bar.


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Things got out of hand.


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Song-jun puts on my hat and sunglasses.


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Shilbia tries them on.


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Shades on Hyeon-ju.


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Hat and shades on Yong-ho.


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The whole crew at the wine bar. From left: Yong-ho, Yong-nam, Christopher, Song-jun, Shilbia, and Hyeon-ju.


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Yong-nam enjoys her appetizer.


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This wine bar that we went to has its own way of dealing with empties. With no deposit to collect (and therefore no boy scout bottle drive in sight), the management allowed a glass sea to be created. It's very interesting to look at, and it definitely fits with the atmosphere, but drunk patrons kept kicking the edge of the sea on their way through to the bathroom. Lots of 'cling-cling-clang' going on all night. Just in case someone's counting: the sea got two bottles bigger while we were there.


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Samgyeopsal (bbq'd pork) dinner with Yong-ho (my brother). Four of us were able to pig out and drink a little bit for about 17 dollars. I love Korea (and samgyeopsal)!


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You take a block from the bot-...wait...where?


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Kayla isn't very good at Jenga. She had to wear this hat as a punishment for making the block tower fall.


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Kayla, Yong-nam, and Papa Kim on the windy beach in Gwanganli.


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Karaoke exhibition in the subway station in Seomyeon. Lots of old school Korean tunes being belted out. The crowd is filled almost entirely with people who are old enough to receive free train tickets.


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This is a picture of Kayla, Kelly, and I. Kayla joined us in Pusan this time around, and we did our best to show her around town. In this photo we are standing on the beach in Gwanganli. Unfortunately we didn't have a chance to ride the pirate ship at the nearby amusement park.


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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Back in Tokyo

It's good to be back.

Lots of stuff on our plate right now. I've got classes to teach, books to read, projects to complete, and a new apartment to move into.

Yes, it's time to move. After three years and four months in our present apartment, we've decided to move on. It's a big change for us to be sure.

And then there are all of those baseball games that I need to go to...


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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pusan, South Korea

Yong-nam and I are going to Korea tomorrow for a one-week vacation.

Any requests for soju?


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RFD: Haphazard

RFD: Haphazard
Dan has done some nice work on his blog. He's got it tweaked so that the banner at the top of page changes each time you check his blog. He's got at least a dozen photos that shuffle through there at random.

I'm thinking about making him a team member on my blog so that he can come and flirt with the html over here as well.


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hanami 2006

Here we are a-grillin'! 'Hanami' can basically be translated as the act of viewing the blossoms on the Cherry trees. In Japan they tend to be a little bit flexible with the exact definition of the term. Our definition is to sit under the clouds of flowers, cook some meat, drink some beer, and make fun of all the people who are more inebriated than ourselves.


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Hanami 2006

Junko, Yong-nam, and Chris get the meat cooking.


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Hanami 2006

These are the Cherry Tree blossoms that everyone comes to party under. There are blue and green tarps for miles as people get together with their friends and make merry.


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Hanami 2006

Another Cherry blossom shot.


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Monday, April 03, 2006

Hanami 2006

Yong-nam and Yu-ja as it started to get cold.


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Flat Stanley Comes to Tokyo!

We received Flat Stanley in the mail from our good friend Dan way over in DC. He stayed a couple nights with us before heading off for the port city of Pusan, South Korea. He was really excited about all of the plum trees lining the bike path from our place to the train station. He chose a good time to visit, because the plum trees ('ume' in Japanese) were in full bloom. We then showed him around town a little bit.


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Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley checks the train schedule. He was very impressed with the fact that the trains always arrive when they're supposed to, but he ended up getting on a 'local' by accident. It takes about 50 minutes to get from our place to the center of town by local train. Express trains only take 24. Oops.


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Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley was a little bit nervous about the idea of "raw" fish at first, but he did quite well in the end. He ate more than 400 times his body weight in fish and rice!


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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Baseball Season is Here!!!


Went to Jingu stadium for opening day last night. The Tigers (same knuckleheads my family was in town to see last fall) again got outclassed by the Tokyo Swallows. Final score: Hanshin Tigers (defending Central League champs) 3 -- 4 Tokyo Swallows.

All my preseason hopes may indeed be very close to reality! We have four hitters in the middle of our lineup who have had 40 home-run seasons, a leadoff man who had over 200 hits last season, and a bullpen bursting at the seams with young talent and former major leaguers.

Ishikawa started for Tokyo, and pitched well even after acknowledging that he gave up a 2-run homer in the process. He was followed by Kida (formerly with the Dodgers and Mariners), who fanned four and gave up one run in two innings of work. Igarashi, one of the hardest throwing pitchers in baseball, effectively mixed in his offspeed stuff and slider to retire the side in the 9th with 14 pitches.

I imagine that we'll see Ishii pitch for the first time when we play the Giants in the next series of the season. I'm also looking forward to seeing Takatsu come in to work his old magic. He reportedly throws faster now than when he left Japan a few years ago. He's got age going against him, but we have enough options sitting next to him in the bullpen that we should be able to keep him from throwing more than one inning at a time.

If we get the run support that the lineup is capable of providing, we should easily be able to rest our starter after five innings of work, even if his pitch count is modest. Furuta (player-manager) won't hesitate to let pitchers work out of a jam, especially since he will be catching them and seeing firsthand whether or not they're struggling. At the same time, he might opt to rest guys with an eye on the post-season.

Game two of the three game series is this afternoon at two o'clock p.m.


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Friday, March 24, 2006

Adam and Sachi's New Place!!


This is where Adam lived for about two months (up until one week ago). Looking in from the entry, there is just enough room to squeeze through to the ladder that leads up to his bed. Sachi had a similar room up on the second floor of this building. Informally, these places are known as 'gaijin houses'. As the guy next door remarked, "It's like living in a jail cell."


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At least the sinks were cool.


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Adam and Sachi's new bedroom.


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After a long day of touring Tokyo, Chae-an rides the train home.


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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pizza Party


Pizza parties should always be followed by a good game of Jenga (or Twister). Noo Noo gets the game rolling.


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I'm not quite sure what's happening here.


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Sunday, March 19, 2006

WBC

Korea's run came to an end today. Kelly wasn't terribly disappointed with the result of the latest Japan vs. Korea matchup (Korea made it further than most had predicted and were undefeated until the game today), but she thought it was dumb that they had to play each other three times during three different rounds of the same tournament. Maybe we just need more countries to participate so that the brackets fan out a bit more in future WBC Classics.

The Japanese finally found their stride today, and their bats came back to life. Uehara pitched really well, and the wind was completely taken out of team Korea's sails once pinch-hitter Fukudome roped that two-run dinger into the right-field stands. If it hadn't been for that rain delay in the middle of the 8th inning, I think Japan would have added a couple more runs to their total. Ichiro also played a great game.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

WBC

They're still fuming here over that blown call the other night. I have no idea how well the press has been covering things back in the states, but just about everybody and her sister has added their two yen on this one.

After seeing the replay of the play at the plate, I recalled seeing a foreign face making the calls behind home during the Japan v. Korea game (played at Tokyo Dome) earlier this month. I think the argument that a third party ump should officiate during international games is definitely sound. Most of the Japanese officials that govern the game over here are years and years better than Davidson (the home plate umpire during the Japan v. America game), and it's very puzzling that they weren't invited to ref some of the games.

Well, justice may be served in the end. It looks like team USA is on the bubble in terms of qualification for the third round, and Japan might be able to squeak through despite being robbed a few nights ago. America is going to have to do a number on team Mexico in their last game of round two in order to qualify for the next round.

The upcoming Japan v. Korea game should be a good one!


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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Old Pic

Background info, please, gents. I'm having a hard time remembering this one.


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Monday, March 13, 2006

White Day

I have a lot of chocolate to buy before I head to school tomorrow. The 14th of March is White Day, and I will catch grief if I don't have some on hand for those who believe they deserve it.

On White Day, traditionally (?), men give women candy or flowers. It's very similar to Valentine's day back home. The difference over here is that only women give presents on February 14th over here. I have to make sure that I remember to give chocolate back to those who made a down-payment in February. My tactic is to hold on to all of those small gifts from a month ago, and then pass them on to other people.

I also need to get a bottle of perfume for my special someone. I have no idea when I'm going to have enough time to do that.


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Sunday, March 12, 2006



After a big play in the endzone. Adam, Thatcher and Chris.


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Koganei Park "Sports Festival"



Joe, Chris, and Alex. Crafting a clever play.


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Koganei Park "Sports Festival"



The play didn't work. Thatcher chuckles after sacking the crap out of Alex. In his defense, Alex (who isn't from America, and therefore didn't grow up on a steady diet of NFL) didn't know that it is perfectly OK to put the QB on his back.


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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Koganei Park "Sports Festival"


Junko looking to keep Thatcher on first.


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Koganei Park "Sports Festival"



Chris Pellegrini and Alex Oke on defense.


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Koganei Park "Sports Festival"



Adam, Junko, and Alex. Nice batting stance.


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Koganei Park "Sports Festival"

Adam is the backstop. Yong-nam heads for first following a line-drive up the middle. Junko reacts as Sachi knocks Alex over on her way to third.


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Koganei Park "Sports Festival"


Sachi and Junko devise a new version of "rock, paper, scissors".


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