Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Birthday Sushi

My friend invited me to celebrate my birthday with her and her family with a sushi dinner at their home. She and her family are always very good to me and I appreciate them so much! It was a fun evening of talking and eating, and yes, they sang Happy Birthday to me in English.




(Five people ate all of this!)

Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 30

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 30 

November 21 - 27 

61, 59, 61, 61, 61, 61, 55




I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Five temperature/color scheme remains the same as previous years: 

100+ Brown 

90-99 Red 

80-89 Orange 

70-79 Yellow 

60-69 Green 

50-59 Blue 

40-49 Purple 

30-39 Pink 

20-29 White 


You can see my finished Year One Quilt here.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Ten Years

Ten years in Japan.  Can this be true? Time is such a strange thing. I remember the snowy day I arrived in Hokkaido and how new everything was for me in the days that followed. I feel very fortunate to have come to Japan when I did.  The world has gone through so many changes in the last ten years, as have all of our lives.  


What has changed for you in the last ten years?



This week's view of Mt. Fuji from my apartment


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Tokyo Olympic Games Volunteer Uniforms


 

After a year's postponement and the pandemic causing the games to be closed to spectators, many volunteers were not needed or were not able to volunteer.  As a result there are uniforms for 28,000 volunteers that remain unused. 


Municipalities across the country are now wondering what to do with these uniforms, that were paid for with tax payer money.  More than 1.7 billion yen was spent on volunteer uniforms for the 2020 Games. Depending on what items are included, the cost of one uniform set was between 22,000 and 40,000 yen.  Some uniforms are being stored in private warehouses at additional costs. 


Because the uniforms have the official Olympic emblems on them, there are strict rules about how they can be used. No one seems to want to make the final decision on what to do with them. 


Sapporo, which was the location of the marathon and race walking events donated approximately 100 uniforms to schools for the visually impaired for use in goalball events, which is a sport played by people with visual impairments. 


Yuji Nakamura, professor at Utsunomiya University with expertise in sports administration said it is important to be transparent in how the uniforms are used.  In the meantime, they are sitting in warehouses.  


What do you think should be done with them?

Friday, December 3, 2021

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Merriam Webster's Word of the Year 2021

(You can read the full story on all the words here).


It was no surprise to find out that Merriam Webster's word of the year for 2021 was Vaccine. Vaccine comes from the latin word for "cow", vacca, because the term was originally used to refer to inoculation using doses of cowpox, which protected humans against smallpox.  This relatively new English word dates to the 1880's.


Other top words for look ups in 2021 on the Merriam Webster site include the following. 


Insurrection - which means an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government. This word came to English from French. 


Perseverance - defined as continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition, coming from Latin. 


Woke - a new word originating in African American English, defined as aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice). 


Nomad - referring to a member of a people who have no fixed residence, who move from place to place, usually seasonally; or more bradly to someone who roams about. This word comes from Latin and Greek. 


Infrastructure - came to English from French and dates to the mid-20th century. It means underneath or below the structure. 


Cicada - is defined as any of a family (Cicadidae) of homopterous insects which have a stout body, wide blunt head, and large transparent wings, and is from Latin. 


Murraya - which spiked in lookups after the Scripps National Spelling Bee in July, is a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees having pinnate leaves and flowers with imbicated petals. 


Cisgender - defined as of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth. 


Guardian - one that guards; custodian, from Middle English.  This word jumped in look ups when Cleveland's American League baseball team chose it as their new name. 


Meta - defined as showing or suggesting an explicit awareness of itself or oneself as a member of its category; cleverly self-referential. This is Facebook's new name and is a still-emerging term. 


Past Words of the Year include: 

2020 - Pandemic; 2019 - They; 2018 - Justice; 2017 - Feminism; 2016 - Surreal; 2015 -ism; 2014 - Culture; 2013 - Science; 2012 - Socialism; 2011 - Pragmatic; 2010 - Austerity; 2009 - Admonish; 2008 - Bailout. 


Isn't language interesting?


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sankaeban Inari Jinja Shrine

It was late in the afternoon when I visited this little shrine and the shadows were long. This shrine is tucked in between a home and a little restaurant. It looks kind of lonely, but I saw a couple leaving as I was arriving, so it seems it does get some visitors. I think this is another tiny Japanese treasure.








Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 29

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 29

November 14 - 20 

63, 68, 61, 61, 57, 64, 63




I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Five temperature/color scheme remains the same as previous years: 

100+ Brown 

90-99 Red 

80-89 Orange 

70-79 Yellow 

60-69 Green 

50-59 Blue 

40-49 Purple 

30-39 Pink 

20-29 White 


You can see my finished Year One Quilt here.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Walk In Sumpu Castle Park

Things are good where I live. All across Japan the vaccination rate is high and there have been zero new cases in my area.  Things could change any time, so I need to get out of the house while I can before the next wave hits us. Yesterday I decided to take the train into Shizuoka City. Of course everyone on the train and everywhere else was masked. I walked around Sumpu Castle Park and it was a gorgeous day. I couldn't help thinking about how fortunate I am.