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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