Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Work In Progress Wednesday

Snowmen ornaments are coming along.

Some progress on the afghan.

I also worked on the scarf one afternoon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Wild Boar on the Loose in Hadano

I don't know which wild animals are scarier - bears or boars. In Japan both are pretty scary. 

Last week in Kanagawa Prefecture, a wild boar came down from the mountain forest into the town of Hadano. First, it was seen at the entrance of the Aeon shopping center, where it knocked an 83 year old woman to the ground and she suffered injuries to her head. After that, the creature ran about 200 meters down the street, attacking a young man who was left with wounds to his left leg. 

Next, the boar was seen running around the athletic field at Suehiro Elementary School, which is about 400 meters from the shopping center. The city animal control workers arrived at the school and tried to incapacitate the animal using a prod that delivers electric shocks. That did nothing, as the boar, estimated to be 120 centimeters long and 80 kilograms in weight, charged at the animal control employees. At that time, Masahiro Iwata, the deputy chief of the Agricultural Promotion Division of Hadano, stabbed the wild boar with a spear that had a 150 centimeter shaft and 24 centimeter bladed head. That was it for the boar, Mr. Iwata killed it. Luckily no children were in danger or saw the animal being killed, as they were all inside the school at the time. 

I'm not in favor of killing animals, but I'm less in favor of animals killing people. Boars or bears or other wildlife are sometimes killed in Japan in order to protect people, but using the old fashioned spear is very unusual.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday Morning Star Count

I continued working on the hexagons and made them into a tube.  The green fabric will be the lining.  

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Japan Cleans Up

On Wednesday, after Japan unexpectedly defeated Germany in the World Cup soccer match in Qatar, Japanese supporters cleaned up litter in the stadium.  

This may sound strange but it is a common thing for Japanese people to do. I've seen reports from other events with Japanese spectators doing the same thing. In Japan it is uncommon to see trash cans on the street or other places because people just expect to take their trash home. Public areas are neat and clean. This is one of the many things I love about Japan and Japanese culture.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Japan's Yamashita Yoshimi Making History at World Cup in Qatar.

I'm not a soccer fan, but the World Cup is big news in Japan, so I can't help reading about it. The biggest news for me is that female referees are officiating men's games for the first time at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and one of them is 36-year old Tokyo native, Yamashita Yoshimi. 

Yamashita played soccer when she was younger and changed to officiating the game at the suggestion of referee and fellow Tokyo Gakugei University alum Bozono Makoto. Yamashita has served as head referee at international women's soccer tournaments and all-male competitions in Japan, including the national high school championships. In 2021, she became the first female referee in the J. League. She and other female referees are showing they are physically capable of maintaining the high physical levels required for professional men's games and as well as being able to handle players who question her calls. Yamashita trains under the guidance of a former track and field athlete and is able to deal calmly with players. Her example is giving courage to women in soccer as well as other sports where referees tend to be men exclusively. She is a great role model for women everywhere and she is making Japan proud.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Work In Progress Wednesday

In addition to the new hexagon project I showed on Monday, I worked on my pansy petals a little.

I need to recount this white on white section of the Betsy Morgan project I've been working on.  I think something is not right on it.

I've also begun the finishing of the ten snowmen ornaments with this green snowmen fabric for the backing.

A new idea - - -

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Who Can Afford to Smoke Cigarettes?


One of my students told me he quit smoking because of the high cost, now 600 yen a pack. He asked me how much cigarettes cost in the US. I have never been a smoker, so I didn't even know how much they cost when I lived in the US, but I really don't know now, almost eleven years since I've even been in the United States. We checked Google and looked at this website for information. 

The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in the United States is $8.00/pack, with average prices per pack ranging from $6.11 in Missouri to $11.96 in New York. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have an average price above $10 per pack!

The states with the highest cigarette prices are:

  1. New York ($11.96)
  2. Rhode Island ($11.71)*
  3. Connecticut ($11.60)
  4. Massachusetts ($11.11)
  5. Minnesota ($10.49)
  6. Alaska ($10.46)
  7. Hawaii ($10.41)
  8. Maryland ($10.26)
  9. Illinois ($10.60)
  10. Washington ($10.14)
  11. Vermont ($10.12)

*Were the District of Columbia included in this metric, it would have the nation’s second-most expensive pack price at $11.75.

The state I moved from is North Carolina, the fourth lowest, where a pack averages $6.58. Only three other states have cheaper cigarettes - North Dakota, Georgia, and Missouri.  

My student didn't understand the big differences in the prices between states. In the US, each of the 50 states has its own laws and taxes, among other things. A smoker buying cigarettes in New York pays $4.35 in taxes, in North Carolina, $0.45 and in Missouri, only $0.17! 

Really?  Who can afford to smoke anywhere?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Monday Morning Star Count - New Project

Yesterday I started a new hexagon project. Here's what it looks like so far.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Cool Choice 2022


Yesterday, I was at the train station, getting ready to buy a train ticket from the machine, when someone gave me this ticket.  I asked "Nan desu ka?" (what is it?) and he asked (in English) if I spoke English.  I said yes, and he explained there was a special train promotion and free train tickets for the day were being given out to everyone. It was nice to get a free ride on the train and also to be asked if I spoke English.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Online System for Lost and Found Items to be Launched by March 2027

"Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers", was the phrase I heard often as a child in the United States. Not true in Japan! In addition to people being very honest, Japan is just amazing when it comes to lost and found. Found items, including wallets, phones, and other things of value are routinely turned in to the local police station so the the person who lost the item can get it back.  

The Japan National Police Agency plans to introduce a unified lost and found database by March 2027 that will allow users to search online for items lost anywhere in Japan. Police departments will be able to record details of the found items, in addition to the date, time, and location they were found. Owner will be able to access the system therough the NPA website to search the system, rather than contacting each individual police station.

There were over three and a half million reports of lost property made to Japanese Police in 2021, and over 17 million reports for found items the same year.  The online system should help owners reunite with their lost items even better. The system will be launched at ten prefectural police stations in March 2023 before going nationwide by March 2027.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday Finish - Seven Fobs


For the first time, I tried making two fobs using the larger canvas.  I like the regular size fob, which are done on 28 count evenweave, better, but I'm glad I experimented with the bigger ones.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Cruise Travel to Resume in Japan


The Diamond Princess was the start of the pandemic in Japan. For two weeks the cruise ship sat off shore with coronavirus cases increasing by the day onboard.  Immediately following, a cruise ship ban was imposed in Japan in March 2020. At that time, I thought the cruise ship industry was finished. Apparently not so.

Japan has been very careful and just recently opened its borders to tourists again.  Now Japan is ready to reopen to cruise ships again, more than a year after the US and Europe resumed cruise travel. Cruise ship operators and port authorities' associations announced the anti-virus guidelines and the Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito said Japan will create an environment that allows tourists to enjoy their cruise travel without worry while in the country. The new guidelines require all crew members to have recieved three vaccine shots and passengers to be vaccianted at least twice, in addition to throrough ventilation, distancing, and disinfecting common areas. 

In Autumn of 2019, I was able to take a wonderful Mediterranean Cruise and at that time was hoping to take another cruise.What do you think about cruise travel? Are you ready to take to the ocean again?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Work In Progress Wednesday

 The fobs have beads and twisted cords.  Next is putting them together.

My stitch group stumpwork progress

Betsy Morgan project progress

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Sunday Stitch Group - Stumpwork Flowers

We met on Sunday to continue with our stumpwork pieces. We started with two simple flowers, daisies and ribbon roses, followed by the beginnings of our pansies.  I took pictures of the daisy making, then forgot about pictures until tea time! We will continue with our stumpwork next time and I will show my flowers tomorrow for Work In Progress Wednesday.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Yokohama World Quilt Festival 2022 - Part 7 International Quilt Artists and Entertainment

Photographs of the quilts in the next two sections were not allowed but I was able to take pictures of a few of the quilt artist bios.

At Japanese Quilt Shows it seems there is always Hawaiian Dance entertainment, and this one also had some kind of American Country Western Dance Show. I don't remember any type of stage dance entertainment at quilt shows in the US.

That's it for this quilt show!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Yokohama World Quilt Festival 2022 - Part 6 Excellence Awards


                                    Encouragement Award