Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Fire Ants Found in Tokyo

photo of fire ants from the internet

More than 200 fire ants were discovered at the Harumi Wharf in Tokyo last week. Fire ants are so named because after they bite you, they pierce your flesh with a stinger from their abdomen and inject a venom which causes painful burning. This poison can kill people who are allergic. 

According to Nikkei Asian Review, in the US, where fire ants have settled, treatment and countermeasures cost more than $5.47 billion a year. Fire ants are indigenous to South America and were first found in Japan in June 2017. They have spread to 15 prefectures in Japan. Sixty-five ports in Japan are routinely checked for fire ants and red ants, which a little less dangerous than the fire ants.

Agents from Japan's Ministry of the Environment are exterminating the ants in the Toyo wharf's container yard.  The big problem is that the nest and the queen have not been found, so this extermination is just a temporary solution. Earlier this month 300 ants were found at the port of Yokohama. Environmental agents warn that the ants will become more active as the weather gets warmer. People in Japan are urged to avoid physical contact with ants. No problem, I won't go near them.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 8

Year Four of the temperature quilt  

Week 8 

June 14 - 20 

72, 88, 82, 82, 75, 66, 81

I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Four temperature/color (Fahrenheit) scheme remains the same: 

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 

10-19 Black  

You can see my finished Year One Quilt here.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

WIP/UFO Update

Before my Golden Week Holiday, I posted about my WIP/UFO's (here). I thought I would check up on how I'm doing with them.  I worked on some of them and finished a few things, but then started a few more things. I've kept this list in the same order, taking out the finished projects and adding the new ones at the end.

Year 2 of the Temperature Quilt 

Year 3 of the Temperature Quilt 

The House Quilt

The Midnight Mystery Quilt 

Flower Applique Wall Hanging

Hexagon Block Wall Quilt

The Hexie Tree Wall Quilt 

Miscellaneous Hexie Shapes (I used some of these)

Ribbon Album Wall Quilt

Mary Queen of Scots  

Bess of Hardwick 

Canvas Vacation Ornaments (need Finish/finishing)

Paisley Purse

RSN Knot Garden 

RSN Rice Fields

Cruise Bracelet

The Miniature Rug 

Miniature Chair Cushion 

Silk Gauze Cat 

EGA Drawn Thread GCC

Blue Hardanger 

White Hardanger


Dogwood Afghan 

Winter Banner

New Year's Eve Mystery

Sashiko Table Runner

Fashionable Ladies 

Fairies Hiding

Redwork Girl

Little Dragonfly Stumpwork Project

Pansy Stumpwork

Sardinian Filet

Flapper Bear Ornament

December Ornament

Sneek Sampler 

I did finish a few things.  Really.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

No Screaming Please

photo from the internet

Tokyo Disney Parks and other theme parks in Japan closed in late February due to the coronavirus. Now that infection numbers are decreasing in Japan, the amusement parks are deciding what precautions they will need to welcome guests back safely.  The East Japan and West Japan Theme Park Associations have prepared guidelines which are titled "Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Infection of the Novel Coronavirus". 

You have to understand, in Japan, guidelines mean polite requests.  The thing is, requesting politely works.  No one argues or protests, they just do it.  I love living in Japan. No lockdowns, no fines or punishment, people get that not following the requests will be dangerous for everyone.

So, back to the guidelines - - - Some are pretty straight forward, like limiting the number of people in the park, checking temperatures and denying entry to those with fevers, asking guests to wear masks.  The guidelines also ask the facilities to encourage cashless payment systems and use advance purchase tickets in order to shorten the time standing in lines and handling cash, in addition to keeping doors and windows open for better ventilation in indoor attractions. 

Then we come to - - - Urge guests to refrain from shouting or screaming on roller coasters and other conveyance-style attractions. Because coronavirus is spread by airborne particles, the associations would rather not have riders' saliva or other particles from the mouth flying around. This guideline also applies to indoor attractions and character shows, as well as haunted houses. This one might be difficult, but I feel sure people will try hard not to scream.  

Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea are set to reopen on Wednesday, July 1st. Ticket prices for one day range from 4900 yen for young children to 8200 yen for adults.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday Finish - Home for the Holidays Ornament

This is a free chart from The Drawn Thread.  I stitched it over two on 28 count linen, with two strands of DMC cotton floss. The backing is kimono fabric and I made the cording using #8 DMC perle cotton.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Pocari Sweat

Would you drink something called "Sweat"? 

In 1980, the Japanese company Otsuka Pharmaceutical launched a new beverage called Pocari Sweat.  "Pocari" has no meaning, it was chosen because of its cute sound.  "Sweat" was chosen for the purpose of replacing water and electrolytes lost by perspiring. It contains water, sugar, citric acid, flavoring and salt. I've known about it since first moving to Japan, but I haven't tried it. People say it has a grapefruity taste and is refreshing.  For native English speakers, a drink called sweat doesn't sound very appealing.  The sports drink, Pocari Sweat is sold across Asia, the Middle East, and Australia in bottles, cans, and powder form.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Work In Progress Wednesday - The Bear Parts and More of the Sampler

The Flapper Bear's stitching is complete.  Next, will be to finish it into the ornament.

The sampler is keeping me entertained. I'm counting carefully.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Japan's New Passports

Japan's brand new passports are probably among the most beautiful in the world. The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji were painted between 1830 and 1832 by artist Katsushika Kokusai.  While the series actually consisted of 46 paintings, the best known 24 are featured in the new passports. Summer would normally be the time people would be using their passports, but this year overseas travel is on hold because of the pandemic. I think these pages are gorgeous and would just look at them this summer, if this was my passport.

Does your passport have some interesting pictures or pages?